With the bloody-knuckled, pouty-lipped, Hot Topic-clad swag of your angsty fourteen-year-old sister, actress Morgan Weed has dragged “American Idiot” producers into a nasty little lawsuit for alleged identity distortion in the show’s promo campaign.

Weed, a former swing and understudy for “Whatsername” during the pre-Broadway run at Berkeley Rep, is “demanding compensatory and punitive damages” in addition to a slice of the show’s financial yields to compensate for all the tormented nights of anguish she spent thinking about the destructive force her two seconds of screen time in this studio recording of “21 Guns” will have on her fledgling career in regional theatre.

Image Source: Jeff under Creative Commons
Theatre Actress Sues Over Green Day Musical Promo [abc news]


Everyone is talking about Prop 8 and same-sex marriage. It’s a contentious debate on both sides, and with gay marriage just defeated again in New Jersey, it’s a debate without an end in sight. Our state of California is joining the party again with a lawsuit. The plaintiffs are a Berkeley couple named Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier “along with Southern Californians Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo,” and they’re suing the state for their right to marry.

The trial, which began today, asks a question of constitutionality. Does Prop 8 “[violate] the U.S. Constitution by treating gay unions differently from those between straight people?” (Quick answer: yes.) But the Berkeley couple is doing more than simply filing a lawsuit–they’re testifying.

Either way, though, it’s certain to be an important trial. What’s more, “gay rights leaders say the two couples’ testimony will be pivotal in the case.” There you have it: Berkeleyans making history once again.

Image source: celesteh under Creative Commons
Berkeley couple to testify in trial [San Francisco Chronicle]

UCB recently settled a lawsuit with our hillside football fans.

The fans filed a suit with the university when they realized that the proposed plan of the new stadium threatened their nosebleed section seating.

The settlement requires that the university “consult(s) with the plaintiffs before altering the eastern side”. It does not guarantee that dwellers of Tightwad Hill get to keep their free seats. In other words: there might be a mumbled conversation on the matter over a cup of coffee and donuts, but try not to hold your breath. read more »

The long-awaited court ruling is finally here–and it’s 129 pages long. According to the Daily Cal, “The ruling states that with a few exceptions, the university’s environmental impact report for the athletic center is in compliance with environmental state laws.”

We think that means, “YAY! WE WON,” but it isn’t for sure. If the uber-long document looks good to campus officials, then it looks good to us. We’ll keep you updated as the press conferences come and go. In the mean time, we still have a few questions.

How will the university get those people out of the trees once and for all? We doubt they’ll come down willingly. And without tree-sitters, where will we go for our daily dose of inane Berkeley drama?

UPDATE 9:22 P.M. - Alright, so it looks like the drama will continue. Daily Cal reporters updated their article and report that the treewok side actually won in-part. Stadium development cannot take place unless the university complies with the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act and the California Environmental Quality Act by drawing up a new plan. In other words, no trees will be cut down … for now.

read more »


 The future of the Nuclear-Free-Vegan-Save-the-Trees Zone is grim, pending the results of tomorrow morning’s court hearing. Tomorrow the university seeks court-ordered removal of the tree-sitters.Last week, UC failed to reach a settlement with the city of Berkeley, so now it appears the university will resort to more draconian measures: kicking people off their property.Frankly, the shallow-rooted trees are coming down in The Big One anyway. Whether we build something half a mile from or something directly on the Hayward Fault probably won’t make too much of a difference.But in the grand principle of things, we suppose the protesters have every Free Speech Rah-Rah right to join the ranks of Those Who Hate the University for basically telling the protesters “Hey, you’re shitting all over our lawn.”Though, to be fair, they basically are.Our pick among Zachary RunningWolf’s many words were these, as summarized by the Daily Cal:bq. RunningWolf thinks the university’s goal is to quickly remove the tree-sitters.How accurate, since it’s only been oh, ten months since they set up camp, cut the tops off some trees, refused compromise and got arrested.We wondered when the university would shut this thing down, but then we remembered that it’s the University of California, where everything takes ten years (or months) longer than it has to.Image Source: Ted Kwong, Daily CalUniversity to Seek Court Order to Remove Tree-Sitters [Daily Cal]

The city of Berkeley is just picky, picky, picky about their lawsuit against the University of California, probably because the university’s compromise still calls for construction at the contentious Memorial Stadium hippie lair oak grove.It doesn’t surprise us, really, to see the city vote against something the university proposes because it has rejected UC before.But we guess The Clog held a glimmer of hope after Beetle reported Gordon Wozniak’s support of the ASUC during the election hoopla back in July 2006, noting “his analysis completely fails to understand the Alternative Vote system the ASUC uses.”Maybe Wozniak’s annoying constituency or his pained ignorance of campus issues drove him back to his nay-saying ways.But Facebook groups have been popping up in support of the stadium and our athletic Bears, and we all know how important that makes the issue. Utterly.Nevertheless, we’re sighing at the City Council’s groundhog-seeing-its-shadow-like response to the university’s willingness to halve the scale of construction on their own property. It means an extended performance art exhibit, and more to the point, more articles to bore ourselves writing. Isn’t this getting a bit old?Image Source: George Derk, Daily CalCouncil Rejects Athletic Center Settlement [Daily Cal]Council Rejects Proposal to Amend City Charter For Student District [Daily Cal]

CLARIFICATION: It has been brought to our attention that Gordon Wozniak was, in fact, the sole City Council vote in favor of settling the City’s lawsuit against the University of California. While the author intended statements to suggest Wozniak’s “nay-saying” was in other cases, she does not wish to suggest his position was against the university in the case of City of Berkeley v University of California. 

According to a story in the Oakland Trib, UC Berkeley still wants to try to settle a lawsuit with the city of Berkeley concerning that new student athlete high performance center that the university wants to build right next to Memorial Stadium.

But Cal has apparently set a deadline, according to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau.

bq. “(The deadline for a settlement is Sept. 18) and we will be working with them to the last minute,” Birgeneau said at his on-campus back-to-school briefing before the fall semester starts Monday.

Why Sept. 18? That’s because that’s the day before this lawsuit goes to trial.

But of course, the city says that they have seen a settlement proposal.

bq. “We had a settlement meeting with them, and they didn’t offer anything,” Deputy City Attorney Zach Cowen said. “We haven’t received anything that says, ‘Here’s what we’ve decided we’re going to do.’”

And interestingly enough, the public can vote on this issue. You can head over to and voice your opinion on whether or not Cal should build the Student-Athlete Performance Center. As of right now, you, the public think that the thing should be built.

Image Source: Ben Gallup, Daily Cal
UC Berkeley still hopes to settle city suit [Oakland Trib]
UC Berkeley still hopes to settle city s Should the University build a Student Athlete High Performance Center adjacent to Memorial Stadium? [Kitchen Democracy]

Remember when, a long time ago, there was this company called Enron? Remember that this company, Enron, was a giant among men in the energy business? Remember when Enron pretty much screwed over its employees, investors and the state of California in 2001?

Yeah, the University of California still wants its money back. How much? Well, the university lost about $145 million.

UC is appealing all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in a battle against three banks tied with the whole Enron fiasco.

The university is the lead plaintiff in the case against Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Credit Suisse First Boston. There are about 50,000 other plaintiffs also in the case.

But why only these three banks? Weren’t there other banks? According to UC spokesperson Trey Davis, some of the other banks have settled outside of court to the tune of about $7 billion.

Still UC and the other plaintiffs say that the banks were also responsible and knew of Enron’s shadiness and didn’t do anything to stop the energy giant.

We’re not legal scholars, so we really don’t know if the highest court will take this up and if they do, whether or not they will favor on the side of UC and the other plaintiffs.

Our guess, the Supreme Court won’t hear the case. But that’s just our guess. We’re actually really hoping that this goes to the Supreme Court. It’d be nice to get some of that money back.

UC Appeals Enron Bank Case to Supreme Court [Daily Cal]