Three environmental groups are appealing an Oct. 1 Merced County Superior Court ruling that denied a legal challenge against the University of California in an attempt to halt construction of the Merced campus. The groups’ lawyer is also filing papers to seek an emergency stay in the Fifth District Circuit Court of Appeals in Fresno, Calif.

    The San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center, Protect Our Water and the Central Valley Safe Environment Network alleged that the University of California failed to execute a required Environmental Impact Report for the campus, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

    In the Oct. 1 ruling, Judge William T. Ivey denied the petitioners’ motion and denied their request for a 10-day stay to give time for an appeal to be filed. The groups’ lawyer filed an appeal on Oct. 4.

    UC Merced is scheduled to start the first phase of its campus construction on Oct. 25 following a special ceremony. The university will be the 10th UC campus, and is expected to open in fall 2004 and initially enroll about 1,000 students.

    Former professor, Revelle College provost dies

    Morris Enton Friedkin, former biology professor and Revelle College provost, died on Sept. 19 in Encinitas, Calif., 0at age 84.

    Joining the UCSD faculty in 1969, Friedkin taught biochemistry to undergraduates and medical school students until 1989. He served as provost of Revelle College from 1974 to 1976. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1963.

    Friedkin grew up in the Midwest. After attending Iowa State University, Friedkin worked on the penicillin production program at the Northern Regional Laboratories in Illinois during World War II. In 1948, he obtained a doctorate from the University of Chicago and spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Prior to coming to UCSD, Friedkin served on the faculty of the Washington University School of Medicine and later as chair of the departments of pharmacology and biochemistry at Tufts University School of Medicine.

    Friedkin is survived by his wife, Roberta; their three children, Sukey, Noah and Debbie; and four grandchildren.

    New arts center opens at UC Davis on October 3

    The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis opened on Oct. 3 with an inaugural concert by the San Francisco Symphony.

    The $57 million performing arts center features a state-of-the-art 1,800-seat performance hall and a 250-seat studio theater. The building also features academic space for use by the department of music and department of theatre and dance.

    The opening featured speeches by numerous individuals, including Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, as well as a blessing by members of the Patwin tribe. The site of the building was once a burial ground for the Patwins.

    Funding to build the center was raised through a combination of university contributions and private donations. The largest donation came from Napa Valley wine maker Robert Mondavi and his wife, who gave $10 million. The Mondavis also donated $25 million to UC Davis for a future wine and food science institute.

    Doctors at UCLA upgrade conjoined twins’ status

    The conditions of the conjoined Guatemalan twins separated at UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital in August have been upgraded.

    Maria de Jesus Quiej Alvarez has been upgraded to good condition and was moved from the pediatric intensive care unit into a regular patient room on Sept. 26.

    Her sister, Maria Teresa, was upgraded to fair condition and remains in the pediatric intensive care unit. She has undergone several follow-up operations since the initial procedure, and her recovery has lagged behind her sister’s.

    The 14-month-old girls, born conjoined at the head, were separated during a 23-hour surgery on Aug. 6. Doctors anticipate that the twins will be well enough to return to Guatemala sometime in October.

    More information about the twins is available on the World Wide Web at

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