Summer news in review

Even though many students leave UC Berkeley for the summer, news continues to happen. Here is a brief look at the major news that occurred over the summer, from news that happened in and around Berkeley, to national news with implications for Berkeley students:

May 16: The campus announced the new location of the Shared Services program — part of the controversial cost-cutting initiative Operational Excellence — designed to streamline administrative services to one physical location

June 6: The campus independent Police Review Board released its official report concluding that the campus’ handling of the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protests was inconsistent.

June 15: President Barack Obama’s administration announced a new “deffered action” immigration policy to protect young undocumented immigrants for two years from deportation and allow them to obtain work permits provided they meet a series of qualifications.

June 27: Gov. Jerry Brown signed a budget that includes a tuition freeze for UC and CSU systems provided voters approve his tax initiative in November.

June 29: In a bipartisan vote, the US Congress voted to maintain the current 3.4 percent interest rate on Stafford student loans for undergraduates two days before the rate was set to double. However, due to fall-outs from last year’s debt ceiling agreement, grace periods on graduate student loans were eliminated at the same time Congress’ vote went into effect.

July 1: The United State Postal Services decided to close its post office on Allston Way and move to a new location due to decline in revenue that resulted from competition from other businesses that provided the same mailing services this branch.

July 11: Berkeley City Council votes, despite challenges and protests to the measure’s approval, to include controversial civil sidewalks measure that would ban sitting on commercial sidewalks.

July 20: UC Rally Committee announces that the annual bonfire rally will not be held before the Big Game against Stanford, as it has historically been held. Hearst Greek Theatre was already booked for a series of concerts throughout October.

July 18: UC Board of Regents vote to endorse Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, which if passed by voters in Nov., would provide an additional $125 million to the UC next year to prevent a mid-year tuition increase.

July 24: Councilmember Kriss Worthington announces candidacy for mayor against incumbent Tom Bates.

August 6: A fire broke out a Chevron refinery in Richmond in the evening, temporarily halting BART services between North Berkeley and Richmond. Although some local medical centers reported a spike in emergency visits when the fire broke out, it was contained before midnight.

August 13: Members of the California State Assembly passed a bill that would raise a billion dollars annually for middle-class college scholarships by altering require out-of-state corporations to pay taxes based on their sales in California. A companion bill, which allocated this money to be used to assist college students supported by families making less than $150,000 a year, was passed by the assembly in May.