News

Transit Board Discusses UCSD Trolley Plans

The Metropolitan Transit Development Board of San Diego discussed possible locations for a trolley station on the UCSD campus at their board meeting on Thursday. There are currently 11 possible sites for a trolley station in five different areas of the campus, all of which are still under evaluation and were discussed at the meeting. The first option, alignment A, would place a station near the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. Alignment B would stop on the East side of campus in front of Thornton Hospital. The third “”family”” of options includes C-1, which would stop at both the VA Medical Center and Thornton Hospital, and option C-2, which would include the same stations as C-1 in addition to the construction of a tunnel and aerial alignment. The D family of choices includes four different ways to reach the Price Center, with various alternatives, including the construction of a tunnel or aerial alignment. Plans E-1, E-2 and E-3 would traverse through Pepper Canyon, via the VA Medical Center. Lastly, alignment F would stop at Gilman Drive near the UCSD Medical Center, made possible by the construction of a tunnel under the West campus returning to the street level at the Thornton Hospital station. This alternative would be achieved through the use of a tunnel option including a stop on La Jolla Village Lane. The meeting was open to the public, and several members of the UCSD community spoke on behalf of the student body. UCSD alumnus Ben Smith, who was on the campus planning committee last year, suggested a careful reconsideration of the D-4 or F plans, which would not only be close to the Price Center, but to Giesel Library, Mandeville Auditorium and several lecture halls. He added that a station near East parking would not offer a better option to students than driving because it would require a shuttle service to reach the center of campus. Smith conducted a survey over four days in May 1999 on behalf of the A.S. Council. The survey of 2 percent of the student body resulted in the approval of two possible station sites on the west side of campus by 80 percent of students. The D-4 alignment was approved by the administration and the A.S. Council. Smith also said that a station at Pepper Canyon, while within a one-third mile walking radius of the University Center, would still not be close enough to serve the needs of the growing campus community. Construction in Pepper Canyon, an ecological reserve, may also receive opposition from environmental groups and the biology department, which uses the canyon for scientific research. Additionally, Pepper Canyon faces Interstate-5, which passengers would not be walking to. Smith stressed the importance of “”putting things where the people need to go.”” Although the Price Center station would be more expensive to construct, he said, it would serve a larger constituency than its East campus alternatives. A.S. President Doc Khaleghi addressed the board on behalf of UCSD’s 20,000 students. He stated that although the student body is diverse in its opinions, the students have a unified view of this “”valuable mode of transportation.”” He strongly urged the board to further explore options that lead to the center of campus, while working within the aesthetic and financial constraints of the operation. The Board recommended further evaluation of the B-1, B-3, and E-1 options. These would include stops on the East campus, or at Pepper Canyon. However, student representatives who spoke to the board stressed that a station on the East side of campus would only fail because it would not be close enough to the heart of the campus. Although the board did not make a recommendation on Thursday, the decision was delayed until the reconvention of the Board, including its newly elected members, in December. In retrospect, Smith said that without the representation of the students at this meeting, the board might have approved an alternative that is not in the best interest of the largest number of students and faculty. He also mentioned that with this extra window of time, students have the opportunity to gather support and rally for a decision that would be the best compromise between the Metropolitan Transit Development Board and the needs of the students. A date has not yet been set for construction of the Mid-Coast Corridor Alignment, but the project is expected to be completed between 2010 and 2015. ...

Hillel Seeks to Buy Vacant UCSD Lot

For many UCSD students, the ability to practice their religion and affiliate with those that share their beliefs is a right often taken for granted. UCSD Catholics, Lutherans, and Mormons each have facilities located on the fringe of campus where they can associate with those of their faith. While not the largest facilities, each group does have a building where they can practice their religion. The University Lutheran Church on La Jolla Shores Road is shared by the Catholics and the Lutheran student groups. Jewish students, however, are not as fortunate. Hillel, UCSD’s Jewish organization, shares an office with five other ministries on campus in the Office of Religious Affairs. In addition, the members of Hillel said the office and its lack of private space hampers the practice of the Jewish religion on campus. “”The Jewish students need a quiet retreat to have access to education and religion in a facility they can call their own,”” said Neal Singer, vice president of the UCSD chapter. “”Because they don’t have a facility of their own, they can’t have a kosher kitchen, which is required.”” Singer believes Jewish students at UCSD should have the same opportunities for religious exercise as other groups. “”Hillel is an organization that has facilities on hundreds of campuses across the country,”” Singer said. “”In fact, all the other UC campuses — namely Berkeley, UCLA and Santa Barbara — have Hillel facilities in proximity to campus.”” In order to alleviate this problem, Hillel began an extensive search in 1997 for an off-campus location to build a Jewish student center within walking distance of campus. Hillel felt they had found such a location when they discovered a small, undeveloped piece of land situated at the corner of La Jolla Village Drive and La Jolla Scenic Drive. However, Hillel was forced to battle with residents who did not want development in their neighborhood over this new 15,000 square foot, city-owned piece of property. Many of the residents around this area were vehemently opposed to the construction of a center on this lot, as it violates the city zoning laws that were established to protect homeowners from various forms of development. “”Our problem is that this is a land-use issue,”” said Penelope Bourk, a five-year resident of La Jolla who owns one of several homes in this area. “”If Hillel goes here, and spot zoning is against the law, then [any] house could easily be razed for, say, a Catholic institution.”” Spot zoning occurs when there is a substantial difference between two properties that are in close vicinity of each other. Bourk said that the structure Hillel supports would exemplify illegal spot zoning, and would also set a bad example for homes surrounding the neighborhood. “”If somebody wanted to build an institution on the other side of [La Jolla Village Drive] amongst other institutions, that wouldn’t be spot zoning,”” she said. “”But if somebody should get a permit to build here on this property, and it’s not clearly distinguishable from the property next door, then whatever applied to that property could apply to [neighboring] properties.”” Neighboring residents feel that doing this would establish a precedent for the city and the La Jolla Highlanders Homeowners. “”If [Hillel] can get a conditional use permit for a student center even though there should be no provision for that in land use zoning, then we have not been told by anyone why all of these houses couldn’t become essentially an extension of the university,”” Bourk said. Although Bourk and her neighbors understand the need for organizations such as Hillel to expand and build permanent structures of their own, they are simply opposed to doing it in ways that violate their rights as homeowners. Instead, Bourk and others have encouraged Hillel to search for alternative locations like the eastern periphery of campus, where homeowners are less likely to be disturbed and where new developments are constantly sprouting up. However, disagreement and resentment have risen over this issue. “”We can’t go someplace else,”” Singer said. “”We have made an exhaustive search of all the property around UCSD that would be available for something like this. If we built something on the east side of campus, or someplace that wasn’t within immediate walking distance, it would go unused and our money would be thrown away.”” Singer also refutes Bourk’s charge that the proposed Hillel student center would violate existing zoning regulations for the area. “”If you look at the 1975 community plan, it says specifically that this parcel is owned outright by the city and may be disposed of or used as the city council deems appropriate,”” he said. Singer feels that Hillel should be able to have the space because it has been vacant for 35 years. “”Here’s an asset of the city that has not produced a single penny of income for over 30 years,”” Singer said. “”Now [Hillel] comes in and says we’re offering to pay over half a million dollars for this piece of property, which benefits all the people of San Diego, not just the select few that are whining about it.”” Whatever the outcome of this struggle between La Jolla Highlands Homeowners, the City of San Diego, and Hillel, one thing remains certain: As long as religious institutions are prevented from building permanent structures on campus, they will be forced to venture out into the neighboring community in search of their own structure. This leaves homeowners to defend their community from disruptions that they feel will change the status quo of their peaceful streets and homes. ...

Lights & Sirens

Lights & Sirens is a selection of entries compiled from the log book of the UCSD Police Department. UCSD crime statistics can be attained by all persons from the Police Department or at http://police.ucsd.edu Sunday, Nov. 5 10:39 a.m.: A 34-year-old graduate student suffered a dislocated shoulder while playing football at RIMAC field. Transported to Thornton Hospital by a friend. 5:30 p.m.: A nonaffiliate reported burglary to a silver ’94 Buick in Lot 102. Loss: $280. 9:30 p.m.: A 21-year-old male nonaffiliate was ordered off campus for seven days after creating a disturbance at RIMAC. 11:22 p.m.: Officers arrested an 18-year-old male nonaffiliate at 3200 La Jolla Village Drive for an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court for driving with a suspended license. Transported to Central Jail. Bail: $5,000. Monday, Nov. 6 9:22 p.m.: Officers transported a 26-year-old male nonaffiliate to Scripps Memorial Hospital. Subject was later pronounced dead. Coroner notified. Tuesday, Nov. 7 11:07 a.m.: A student reported burglary to a burgundy ’86 Honda Accord in Lot 020. Loss: $200. 6:58 p.m.: A student reported the theft of a wallet from Geisel Library. Loss: $355. Wednesday, Nov. 8 7:49 a.m.: A nonaffiliate reported the theft of chemical tanks from the Marshall Parking structure. Loss: $250. 11:45 a.m.: Officers arrested a 22-year-old male nonaffiliate in Lot 601 for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear. Cited and released. Bail: $5,000. 3:07 p.m.: A 21-year-old male student suffered a head injury after falling in York Hall. Transported to Thornton Hospital by paramedics. 4:34 p.m.: A student reported the theft of a wallet from RIMAC. Loss: $7. Thursday, Nov. 9 2:19 a.m.: A student reported vandalism at the Price Center. Loss: unknown. 6:55 a.m.: A nonaffiliate reported the theft of equipment from North Torrey Pines construction site. Loss: $1,700. 11:30 a.m.: A student reported the theft of a wallet from the women’s locker room at RIMAC. Loss: $24. 11:27 a.m.: A staff member reported vandalism at Geisel Library. Loss: $200. 2:30 p.m.: Officers arrested a 54-year-old male nonaffiliate at the University Bookstore for petty theft. Cited and released. 4:05 p.m.: A nonaffiliate reported vandalism to a gray ’01 Acura TL in Lot 411. Loss: $1,000. 10:21 p.m.: Two 19-year-old male students suffered from alcohol poisoning in Brennan Hall. Both subjects refused treatment. –Compiled by Lauren I. Coartney, News Editor ...

Workers Discuss Strategies for Disabled

A panel of three distinguished members of the disabled community spoke at the Career Services Center Tuesday afternoon, addressing career strategies for students with disabilities in a career exploration panel co-sponsored by Career Services and the UCSD Alumni Association. The panel’s primary goal was to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to learn from those who had succeeded in their careers, despite various physical and nonvisible impairments. The panelists addressed the audience in a prearranged question-and-answer format with information about their own career paths. They discussed the rewards and challenges of their respective careers by tackling issues such as disclosure and accommodation in the job search process. The three panelists were Steven Brock, an advisory software engineer for IBM Corporation; Jonathan Mooney, two-time author and executive director of his own nonprofit organization Eye-to-Eye; and Valois Vera, employment coordinator at The Access Center of San Diego. Brock, who is deaf, received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from California State University at Northridge and has been working for IBM for 18 years. Brock now provides technical consulting for many major corporations including Exxon, Target and Motorola. He also serves on the Internal Corporate Advisory Council for People with Disabilities. Brock spoke of the difficulties he faced as a result of being hard of hearing in the workplace. “”A disability becomes even more of a challenge as the face of a management team changes,”” Brock said. Mooney, who is dyslexic and has attention deficit hyperactive disorder, is nationally recognized for his lecturing on learning disabilities and cognitive diversity. “”People have this misconception that learning is about menial things like spelling and reading, when it it’s actually about ideas,”” Mooney said. Having graduated from Brown University in May with a 4.0 grade point average and a degree in English Literature, Mooney has already authored two books, including Learning Outside the Lines, a handbook for academic success for students who think differently. He is now the founder and head of Project Eye-to-Eye, which pairs young children who have ADHD with college students with the same condition to help kids cope with the learning disability. “”People don’t seem to understand that ADHD is a facet of my mind, not a disease, as it is with all physical and nonvisible disabilities alike”” Mooney said. Above all, the panelists stressed the idea that disabilities and accommodation for those who suffer from them is a diversity issue very similar to race or gender relations and that people with disabilities are basically like everybody else. “”I’m married, I have sex, I drink beer and I like sports … I’m just like any regular guy,”” Vera said. ...

BRIEFLY

UCSD Spine Surgeon Wins Honor Steven R. Garfin, professor and chair of the UCSD School of Medicine department of orthopedics, has been awarded the Wiltse Award by the North American Spine Society during its annual meeting in New Orleans. The Wiltse Award is given to physicians who make significant contributions in the field of spine surgery through research, teaching or through other innovations. The award is named after Leon Wiltse, M.D., a founder of NASS and a pioneer in the area of spine surgery. Garfin received the award because he has dedicated his life to surgery to help patients suffering from spine disorders. Garfin has also contributed to many published papers and books regarding spine care, with a special interest in cervical spine surgery. Scripps scientist receives Packard Fellowship Jeffrey Severinghaus, a geochemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD, has been awarded a Packard Fellowship to study the stability of past and future climates. Severinghaus is an associate professor in the geosciences research division at Scripps and specializes in analyzing Earth’s climate by studying air trapped in ice cores. He is known for discovering the cause of sudden climate changes that occurred just before the birth of civilization 12,000 years ago. The $625,000 fellowship will be granted over 5 years. It will allow Severinghaus to determine how methane, a colorless, odorless gas, can offer clues about Earth’s climate. UCSD Burn Center releases 1999 statistics The UCSD Regional Burn Center released its annual report Tuesday on people from San Diego and Imperial counties admitted to the center from January through December of 1999. Patients admitted during that time for injuries and smoke inhalation numbered 440. There was an increases of 68 burn patients from the previous year. Most patients were adults. However, infants and small children constituted 93 admissions, a 23 percent increase from 1998. Most reported injuries to younger patients were caused by home accidents, with most involving cooking or scalding accidents. Contact with hot objects such as curling irons and clothing irons, hot coals, fireworks, gasoline, gunpowder and barbecues were also common burn causes. It was found that most adult patients had come into direct contact with fire or flames, most often caused by cooking accidents. The majority of adults were burned in their homes. The Burn Center at UCSD was established in 1973 to provide specialized care for severely burned individuals. UCSD Extension launches Medicinal Chemistry Institute The UCSD Extension program plans to create a new institute focusing on one of industry’s key sciences, medicinal chemistry. The decision comes in response to San Diego’s concentration of nearly 100 drug discovery companies. The institute will open with an orientation program on Jan. 6, which will be followed by an 18-week intensive program designed for graduate and post-graduate chemists and biologists who have a basic knowledge of drug research and the professional requirements to broaden their perspective on the fundamentals of medicinal chemistry. Regular classes will begin on Jan. 10 at the new UCSD Extension Center in Sorrento Mesa. The all-inclusive enrollment fee is $1,995. Bell Labs President to give free public lecture at UCSD Dr. Arun Netravali, known for his work with digital technology and communications networking will give a free public lecture titled “”Beyond 2001: Trends, Developments and Opportunities in Communications Networking,”” at 1:30 p.m. in the Institute of the Americas Auditorium on Nov. 27. Netravali is the president of Bell Laboratories and is responsible for research and development across all of Lucent Technologies. ...

Events

Thursday, Nov. 9 Ceremony: First Annual Veterans’ Recognition Day The UCSD Veterans’ Association will sponsor the event, which will take place at 11 a.m. in the Sequoia Room at Muir college’s Sierra Summit Restaurant. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (858) 534-1583. Friday, Nov. 10 Dance: “”Arcadia”” by Tom Stoppard The UCSD theater and dance department will sponsor the event, which will take place at 8 p.m. in the Mandell Weiss Forum Theater. General admission is $12 and $6 for students. The event is open to the public. For more information call (858) 534-4574. Saturday, Nov. 12 Performing Arts: The Kathi Burg Band The University Centers will sponsor the event, which will take place at 8 p.m. at Espresso Roma in the Price Center. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (858) 534-4022. Performing Arts: “”Noche Flamenco”” Noche Flamenco is a celebration of passion, sensuality and the human spirit communicated through dance, song and music. The University Events Office will sponsor the event, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Mandeville Center. The event is open to the public, and general admission is $25. Student admission is $18. For more information call (858) 534-4119. Tuesday, Nov. 14 Film: “”The Perfect Storm”” George Clooney stars in the film, which will air at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the Price Center Theater. Admission is $2. The film is sponsored by the University Centers. Wednesday, Nov. 15 Instruction: Credit/Debt Workshop Student Financial Services will sponsor the event, which will take place at the Women’s Center at 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (858) 534-4374. Appearance: Author Susan Gaines Susan Gaines, the author of a new book called “”Carbon Dreams,”” will talk about her first novel and sign copies of the book at the UCSD Bookstore at 5 p.m. during the Bookstore’s Wednesday “”Happy Hour.”” The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (858) 534-7306. ...

Many UCSD Expansion Projects in the Works

As a result of recommendations by the UC president to expand the university campuses nearly a year ago, UCSD is in the process of designing a new large expansion set to completely open by 2004. “”We have taken more students than we had contemplated,”” said Director of Campus Planning Nada Borsa. “”We expect more to be graduating from high school and going on as well.”” Borsa said expansion will soon be in the works at UC Irvine and UC Riverside as they too have room to expand their campuses. Currently, over 15 large expansions are in the design or construction phase at UCSD and should be completed within the next five years. Of substantial consequence to UCSD students will be the opening of the new Eleanor Roosevelt College on the north side of campus in 2002. The possibility of seventh and eighth colleges are currently being discussed, although the likelihood of their existence has yet to be determined. “”We aren’t sure how many colleges we are going to have,”” Borsa said. “”The problem is that we can’t build that far to the North because it will be hard to get to class within 15 minutes.”” For this reason, classes in Galbraith Hall were canceled because students walking from there to Warren Lecture Hall could not walk to class on time. In addition, construction starts later this month on the new Natural Science building while a new computer science building is currently in the process of being designed. There are plans for a new theater between the Mandell Weiss Theater and the dance facility, as well. “”As the growth of students continues to occur, new facilities like housing will have to be expanded,”” Borsa said. The number of undergraduates is expected to grow from 17,000 to 23,000 in the next 10 years, and the number of students in total will climb to 31,000. Some students, however, are opposed to this large increase in students on campus. “”It could make upper division classes harder to enroll in,”” Muir sophomore Steve Reis said. “”At the same time it will spread out the very talented faculty that we have right now among more people.”” However, the Medical Center only stands to have an increase in services available on this campus. Currently, the new Brain Imaging Center in the Medical Center is set to open in 18 months, the Eye Center will be expanded next year, the new Cancer Center with the new, state-funded pharmacy school will open in 2004. In addition, designs have been made for a new medical research center. “”The med school’s already great — the expansion will make it even better,”” Revelle sophomore Eisha Christian said. “”This may put us in the top 10 med schools in the country.”” New temporary parking lots in the Medical Center and in East parking will be built to help ease the parking problems that may be associated with the construction of new structures. Borsa said these interim lots might become full structures in the future once the funding has been allocated. An outside consulting firm has been hired to determine the sources of the parking problems on campus. Borsa said one possible solution would be the construction of new parking structures, although this is currently unlikely. “”We need to determine how many spots we will need and what kind of policies we will need to adopt,”” Borsa said. “”We also need to figure out how many we can afford to make before permit prices become too high.”” ...

StudentLink Repaired After Outage

Students attempting to register for classes last Wednesday found themselves unable to do so, as StudentLink’s WebReg system was beleaguered on the first day of undergraduate registration for winter quarter. Due to the discontinuation of the TeSS telephone registration system this quarter, WebReg, an Internet tool for adding and dropping classes, was left as students’ only means to register for classes at UCSD aside from walking into the Registrar’s office. Students primarily affected by the irregularity in service were athletes, Regents scholars and National Merit scholars who have the privilege of first-day registration. The first sign of trouble came around 8:30 a.m., when athletes with the earliest registration times found the system inoperable. “”I ran back from water polo practice at 8:15 a.m. to register and I had no problems,”” Muir freshman Laura Holshouser said, a goaltender for the women’s water polo team. “”But, some of the girls who got back at 8:30 a.m. found out they couldn’t register.”” Holshouser was the one of few without problems during the day. As registration opened to Regents and National Merit Scholars beginning at 10 a.m., they too found the system inoperably slow as they attempted to register for classes. WebReg allowed students to access the add/drop screen for winter quarter, but would return errors, stating an inability to connect to the student database as soon as students attempted to add a section. However, many students found a simple solution to their woes by walking to the Registrar’s office. “”I first tried to register at about 10 a.m.,”” Revelle freshman Nick Butko said. “”Then, I called the Registrar’s, and they said, ‘It’s down, they’re fixing it. Come here and register.’ So I went there and registered. It was easy — it took about two minutes per person with two windows open, and there were only about five people there.”” Registrar’s office staff reported more traffic than Butko witnessed. A staff member who asked not to be named said that on Nov. 1, “”traffic [there] was very heavy as a result of StudentLink being down.”” Later that evening, StudentLink was completely shut down and a notice was posted that stated: “”We are currently experiencing technical difficulties.”” By late that night, the system was apparently working again. Marty Backer of Administrative Computing and Telecommunica-tion tried to allay campus concerns about the technical difficulties. “”We have not solved the problem at this time,”” Backer said. “”But can assure you and all students that it is not related to the volume of students beginning their registration process for winter quarter.”” There were difficulties the next day as WebReg posted a message asking students to retry their request, should they run into any trouble. However, the system was once again slow and barely operable. “”We had to keep trying for, like, an hour, repeating the same thing over and over,”” Muir freshman Cori Atkinson said, who admitted that she was able to register on her second try. While it would be easy to correlate the first-day failure of StudentLink to the discontinuation of TeSS, this apparently was not the case. “”[Nov. 1] was not an unusual volume for student WebReg,”” Backer stated. Many students expressed support for WebReg over TeSS regardless of system irregularities. “”I would actually prefer the Internet, even if it is slower, because there’s a weekly planner to make sure you do nothing stupid,”” Atkinson said. ...

BRIEFLY

UCSD Professors Receive Honors Kiyoteru Tokuyasu, David Woodruff, Raffi Aroian, Daniel Dubin, Susan Taylor and George Feher, professors in the biology and physical sciences divisions at UCSD, are being recognized for their achievements. Tokuyasu, a professor emeritus in biology, received the 2000 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Microscopy Society of America. He is the third scientist at UCSD to receive the award. Woodruff, a biology professor, received the honorary degree of doctor of science from his alma mater, the University of Melbourne, Australia, for his work on 100 research papers presented in his thesis on the evolution and conservation of animal species. Aroian, an assistant professor of biology, received two awards: the New Investigator Award in the toxicological sciences from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, based in North Carolina; and the Beckman Young Investigator Award, awarded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Dubin, a physics professor, received the 2000 Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research from the American Physical Society for his outstanding contributions to the field. Taylor, a chemistry and biochemistry professor, received the 2001 Francis P. Garvin-John M. Olin Medal from the American Chemical Society for her contributions as a female chemist. Feher, a research professor in physics, is being named a fellow of the Biophysical Society for his part in the use of physical methods to study biological systems and in investigations of the primary processes in photosynthesis. UCSD Scientists Awarded $3 Million ‘Biocomplexity’ Grant The National Science Foundation has awarded physicists and biologists at UCSD a $3 million grant to study the development of the ameboid protozoan Dictyostelium discoideum, an organism commonly known as slime mold. The grant is being awarded for five years and was one of 16 grants awarded by the foundation this month to study the effects of the interaction between living things on all levels with their environment. UCSD scientists will collaborate with researchers at Cornell University to attempt to connect the underlying genetic information about slime mold to its morphology and multicellular organization. The scientists said they chose slime mold because it is the simplest organism to study for their purposes. Supercomputer Named one of Fastest in Nation With a recent upgrade to a speed of 1.7 tera flops, or 1.7 trillion calculations per second, Blue Horizon, the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure computer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center has been ranked No. 8 on the list of the top 500 supercomputers. The speed is a 70 percent increase over previous speeds. It will allow scientists to gather information more efficiently. Blue Horizon is helping researchers probe demanding computing problems, such as determining chemical reaction rates, designing new materials, stimulating the nervous system, modeling water and pollutant transport, modeling climate and predicting storms and understanding the origins of the universe. The list was compiled by the University of Mannheim and the University of Tennessee. Impact of Internet on Agriculture to be Examined Business and university experts will gather Dec. 4 at the University of California’s annual Executive Seminar on Agricultural Issues in Sacramento to discuss the effect of e-commerce on agriculture. Participants in the seminar will gain a better understanding of the technological and economic influences that dot-com businesses could have in world markets, California farms and agricultural supply. The seminar will feature speeches by industry experts representing companies such as John Deere and Bank of America. The speakers and participants will go over economic trends in the field and review issues facing California specifically. ...

Bookstore Steps Up as Web Site Goes Under

Online textbook retailer BigWords filled its last order and “”succumbed … to the powers that be,”” according to an explanation posted on its Web site on Oct. 20. Like many other online retailers, BigWords has encountered financial difficulties that have ground its operations to a halt. The announcement makes matters difficult for college students across the nation, including UCSD students. Students who wish to return their textbooks or request a refund directly from BigWords will be unable to do so, given the company’s untimely failure. The UCSD Bookstore is offering a solution to students. John Turk, UCSD Bookstore director, has decided that the Bookstore will accept receipts from BigWords and honor book returns as if they were from the Bookstore. “”We feel it fills our mission to be of service for the academic community, particularly the students, who are caught in the middle by circumstances beyond their control,”” said David Wilson, course materials manager. “”It’s purely a service mission on our part.”” The bookstore’s new policy is designed to help students who purchased textbooks for the fall quarter from BigWords and later dropped the class or wished to return their books. Students who would not have been able to obtain a refund for their BigWords books can return them to the Bookstore for full credit. “”It’s not a give-away, exactly,”” Wilson said. “”We do get the book. We’re just giving [students] credit. It’s not as if we’re saying, ‘Whatever loss you suffered from BigWords, we’ll cover.'”” It is difficult to speculate how many UCSD students have been affected by BigWords’ closure, and how many will take advantage of the Bookstore’s offer. “”I hesitate to say whether it will be half a dozen or 20,”” Wilson said. “”It’s not just the number of students who ordered books from BigWords — it’s only the ones who had a problem and did not get it resolved.”” Students with a BigWords textbook they wish to return should bring it and its original receipt to the customer service area of the UCSD Bookstore by Nov. 11. The book must be in mint condition for a full credit. Otherwise, a 75 percent credit will be issued. For more information, please contact David Wilson at (858) 534-3771. ...