UC Irvine law dean Erwin Chemerinsky named dean of Berkeley’s law school, will begin July 1

  • Erwin Chemerinsky, who is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at UCI, teaches one of his classes in 2015. (Michael Goulding, Staff File)

    Erwin Chemerinsky, who is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at UCI, teaches one of his classes in 2015. (Michael Goulding, Staff File)

  • Erwin Chemerinsky, who is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at UCI, wipes down the classes whiteboard and chats with a student after teaching one of his classes  in 2015. (Michael Goulding, Staff File)

    Erwin Chemerinsky, who is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at UCI, wipes down the classes whiteboard and chats with a student after teaching one of his classes in 2015. (Michael Goulding, Staff File)

  • Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of UCI Law School, makes a point while discussing "Marriage Redefined in One State or All? The Meaning and Impact of the Supreme Marriage Decisions" at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa in 2013. (Christine Cotter, Staff File)

    Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of UCI Law School, makes a point while discussing “Marriage Redefined in One State or All? The Meaning and Impact of the Supreme Marriage Decisions” at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa in 2013. (Christine Cotter, Staff File)

  • Erwin Chemerinsky, has a one-on-one discussion with Ronald Park of Irvine after teaching one of his classes in 2015. (Michael Goulding, Staff File)

    Erwin Chemerinsky, has a one-on-one discussion with Ronald Park of Irvine after teaching one of his classes in 2015. (Michael Goulding, Staff File)

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Erwin Chemerinsky, the founding dean of UC Irvine’s School of Law, will become the next dean of UC Berkeley’s law school, ending his nine-year tenure in Orange County during which he has taught courses on the First Amendment, published multiple books and law review articles and argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Berkeley announced the appointment on Wednesday, May 17. Chemerinsky will begin his five-year term at Berkeley School of Law on July 1.

“Dean Chemerinsky is an acclaimed researcher, gifted teacher, and accomplished administrator,” Carol Christ, interim executive vice chancellor at Berkeley, said in a statement.

“I believe he will be a phenomenal leader for our law school, someone who will ensure that Berkeley Law remains not only a powerhouse of legal scholarship and training, but also a community built on mutual respect and inclusion.”

L. Song Richardson, who has a law degree from Yale University, will become the interim dean when Chemerinsky leaves UCI, that university said in a statement.

Richardson joined the faculty at the UCI law school in 2014, and teaches courses on criminal law, criminal procedure, and law and social science.

“I want to express my enormous gratitude to Dean Erwin Chemerinsky for all he has contributed to the success of the law school and the entire university during his tenure as dean,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman in a statement. “I’m very grateful that Song Richardson has agreed to serve as interim dean, knowing that she will work with the law school community to maintain our extraordinary momentum.”

Richardson – who has also taught at DePaul University, American University and the University of Iowa – said in a statement Wednesday that she is “honored and humbled” to become interim dean and noted Chemerinsky’s role in turning the law school into an “extraordinary” institution.

“Through our collective leadership, I look forward to an exciting future for UCI law and to more continued success,” she said.

The university’s statement did not say when it will begin to search for a permanent dean.

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New Tustin principal Jon Tuin strives to convince all kids they can learn

  • Jon Tuin, who will take the reins at Tustin High as principal, leads an assembly at his current school, Larkin High in Elgin, Illinois. (Courtesy Jon Tuin)

    Jon Tuin, who will take the reins at Tustin High as principal, leads an assembly at his current school, Larkin High in Elgin, Illinois. (Courtesy Jon Tuin)

  • New Tustin High principal Jon Tuin, left, and his family: wife Heather, son Ty, daughter-in-law Anelys, son Jordan and daughter Jens. (Courtesy Jon Tuin)

    New Tustin High principal Jon Tuin, left, and his family: wife Heather, son Ty, daughter-in-law Anelys, son Jordan and daughter Jens. (Courtesy Jon Tuin)

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For Principal Jon Tuin, Tustin High is familiar territory on a couple of fronts.

First, he grew up nearby in Santa Ana. After graduating from Saddleback High, Tuin spent the next three decades in the Midwest – starting at Wheaton College.

Second, his current school in Elgin, Illinois, demographically mirrors his new place of employment.

Before applying, Tuin went on the Tiller website and studied the statistics, which show that 65 percent of the student population live beneath the poverty line.

“It’s so similar – that’s what got me excited,” he said. “If it were an affluent school, I wouldn’t have been interested. I feel it is my calling to work with students in poverty.”

Tuin, 55, will take the reins at Tustin this summer after tying up the school year at Larkin High – where he has served for eight years. He replaces Christine Matos, who will move to a district-level position.

“He is an experienced principal who has a proven record of leadership and commitment to the achievement of all students,” said Tustin Unified Superintendent Gregory Franklin.

Todd Duty, a division chair at Larkin High, agreed: “Tustin is getting a top-drawer leader. Jon wants nothing but the best for students.”

Tuin began his career as an elementary teacher, which led to his role as a K-5 principal and an assistant high school principal in the Elgin Area School District — 40 miles outside of Chicago.

In 2008, he received a call from the district’s new superintendent requesting a meeting.

“I thought he was going to fire me,” Tuin said.

After all, the district had just given notice to all 13 administrators at Larkin High, which was sorely lagging behind in performance.

But instead, Tuin was named the high school’s new principal.

“Over the previous 10 years, the demographics at Larkin had completely flipped, which caught everyone off guard,” Tuin said.

As an indication of increasing poverty and diversity, 70 percent of students qualified for free and reduced lunches in comparison to less than 20 percent a decade before, he said.

The school’s administrators became bogged down in a sense of hopelessness and negativity, recalled Duty, a fine arts teacher at the time.

“Those were dark days,” he said. “Morale was horrible.”

Tuin’s mission: “Bring back Royal pride.”

“The first two years were pretty tough, but we’re in a much better place now,” he said.

The new guy emphasized that all could find a path to college – adding AP classes and hanging university banners around campus. Every spring, he accompanied students on college trips – sometimes out of state.

“He truly believes that no matter what, all kids can learn,” said Donna Saurbaugh, Tuin’s secretary for 12 years.

Tuin rarely sits in his office but, rather, strolls around campus chatting with students, she said.

“I swear he probably knows the first name of each of our 2,000 students,” she said.

Tuin and his wife Heather, a sixth-grade teacher, started thinking about relocating when the oldest of their three children moved to Los Angeles. He still has family here and visits frequently.

“We love California,” he said.

What changes would he like to implement at Tustin High?

“Absolutely nothing,” Tuin said. “It is a high-functioning school with a lot of good things going on. I’m not coming in with any preconceived ideas. I’m just going to listen, learn and build relationships.”

His main goal as a principal is, he said, straightforward: “How do we reach even more kids? There’s always room to convince students that they can do more than they think they can.”

Tustin High’s gain is a big loss for Larkin, Saurbaugh promised, choking back tears.

“He is the most awesome person ever,” she said. “I know that sounds over-the-top. But there will never be another Dr. Tuin.”

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Off-road racing team at Cal State Fullerton prepares students for futures in mechanical engineering

  • Cal State Fullerton student Jason Klein sends sparks as he works on his team’s SAE Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton student Jason Klein sends sparks as he works on his team’s SAE Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Cal State Fullerton SAE Baja racing team pose for a photo with their car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Members of the Cal State Fullerton SAE Baja racing team pose for a photo with their car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton assistant professor Joseph Piacenza, center, helps Cameron Reiff, right, and Sarah Garcia with their Baja race car in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton assistant professor Joseph Piacenza, center, helps Cameron Reiff, right, and Sarah Garcia with their Baja race car in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton students Chris Huab, right, and Cameron Reiff work on their Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton students Chris Huab, right, and Cameron Reiff work on their Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Cal State Fullerton SAE Baja racing team work on their car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Members of the Cal State Fullerton SAE Baja racing team work on their car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton student Chris Huab sits in the driver’s seat of his team’s Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton student Chris Huab sits in the driver’s seat of his team’s Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton student Dustin Ferguson stands next to his team’s Baja race car in class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton student Dustin Ferguson stands next to his team’s Baja race car in class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Cal State Fullerton SAE Baja racing team pose for a photo with their car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Members of the Cal State Fullerton SAE Baja racing team pose for a photo with their car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s logo in the driver’s seat of their SAE Baja car in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s logo in the driver’s seat of their SAE Baja car in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton students Chris Huab, left, and Dustin Ferguson smile as they work on their Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton students Chris Huab, left, and Dustin Ferguson smile as they work on their Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton students work on their Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton students work on their Baja race car during class in Fullerton on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

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Cal State Fullerton’s Engineering Lab 21 is more garage than classroom, workshop than lecture hall.

In here, students are apprentices, learning on the job.

With an inconspicuous exterior, most Titans likely pay the building on the eastern side of the campus no mind walking from their car to kinesiology or business class. A display board hung outside showing the triumphs of the club inside goes largely unnoticed.

Over the past year, a group of students who too once ignored the lab have spent more than 2,000 hours sequestered inside, building a dune buggy.

Last month, CSUF’s Society of Automotive Engineers Baja racing team put its baby, “Atlas,” to the test in an off-road collegiate competition featuring more than 100 student teams from around the world.

For these college crews, the annual race – held this year up the 5 Freeway in Gorman – is the group’s Super Bowl, “the bridge between the classroom and practical application,” said Joseph Piacenza, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and the team’s faculty advisor.

In its third year back on campus following a seven-year hiatus, the Baja club seeks to “build on engineering principles,” Piacenza said.

“To go above and beyond the classroom, and bring the engineering process full circle, so when students leave here, they can get full-time jobs in the field.”

***An eclectic group

Joel Amposta was raised in the medical field, but always was called upon to help when something went wrong with his father’s 1993 Honda Accord.

The boy graduated from holding a light above the engine to fixing busted parts to changing oil.

“Before I knew it,” Amposta said, “I found myself here in Baja.”

Jason Klein, Dustin Ferguson and Cameron Reift had much more conventional apprenticeships, riding dirt bikes for years before entering Lab 21.

“A perfect fit,” Klein called the club.

With little in the way of on-campus advertising, CSUF students arrive at Piacenza’s lab because a classmate told them about Baja racing, or a friend of a friend, or someone on the team they happened to have a class with.

Be it the smell of metal and grease or the challenge of applying classroom knowledge to real-world problems, the newcomers, more often than not, stay.

“It took a while for me to get accustomed to everything,” Amposta said. “I’m a city kid from Orange, with no off-roading experience other than going to fairs. It was a culture shock at first.”

The team of 30 to 35 has students of all classes and majors. The upperclassmen are in Piacenza’s senior design class, for which one project is building the Baja buggy. Underclassmen join the team as they would a club.

Piacenza counted three girls in the crew, and said he hopes more come out in the future. This year’s team has more students with previous off-roading experience than teams past, the professor said.

Amposta, 23, is the operations team captain, in charge of bolstering the group’s profile on campus. Klein, 27, serves as chassis principal engineer and Ferguson, 23, leads all suspension operations.

Reift, 21, is the manufacturing lead and main driver.

The work required to get the buggy up and running “is something you take home with you,” Klein said. “The competition is over, and I’m still thinking of ways to help it.

“Once you start, you don’t stop.”

***Building a buggy

Each new Baja racing team takes the previous year’s design and improves it, with an eye on competing in the annual competition. (Long Beach State, Cal Poly Pomona and UC Irvine also have teams.)

Outgoing seniors and students who will return next year already are refining Atlas – itself a descendant of 2016’s Hyperion and 2015’s Cronus. The group will work through the summer, Piacenza said, trying to make next year’s buggy lighter – and by extension, faster.

“Always lighter,” Reift said.

Atlas, named for the Greek Titan of strength and endurance, was lighter than last year’s buggy, with enhanced ergonomics and other improvements.

This year’s team also designed and manufactured its own transmission – a club first, and by no means an easy task, Piacenza said.

“It’s one thing to build a buggy on a computer,” Reift said. “It’s another thing to bring it to life.”

Students build these buggies as though they will be sold to the masses. All cars use the same power engine, but design and manufacturing are left up to the teams.

The project is internally funded, requiring students to convince local companies to invest in their efforts, Piacenza said. The crew raised $4,000 throughout the school year, in addition to donations of time and gifts in kind.

At last month’s competition, CSUF finished high in two timed races: maneuverability and suspension. The team’s fifth place finish in maneuverability was a club record, Piacenza said.

A gnarly crash early and a critical mechanical breakdown late led to a disappointing finish in the marquee endurance race.

Still, Piacenza said his crew left the course proud of Atlas. Sunburned and a little tired, but itching to get back into Lab 21.

“Working with a team, leading a team, solving problems, working on the fly, that’s what I love,” Ferguson said.

“Before this project, I was introverted. I’d stick to myself,” Amposta added. “This project forced me to get out of my comfort zone, to get out of my shell.

“A total flip. Now I have a well-rounded skill set to bring with me into the work force.”

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Signature sauces by Huntington Beach teen with autism a big hit at Pacific City restaurant

  • From right, Julen Ucar and Executive Chef Danny Allen pose for a photograph at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

    From right, Julen Ucar and Executive Chef Danny Allen pose for a photograph at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Julen Ucar combines various ingredients in a mixing bowl to create Julen’s Non-Verbal Herbal Ausome Sauce at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

    Julen Ucar combines various ingredients in a mixing bowl to create Julen’s Non-Verbal Herbal Ausome Sauce at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Julen Ucar combines various ingredients in a mixing bowl to create Julen’s Non-Verbal Herbal Ausome Sauce at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

    Julen Ucar combines various ingredients in a mixing bowl to create Julen’s Non-Verbal Herbal Ausome Sauce at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Julen Ucar and Executive Chef Danny Allen pose for a photograph at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

    From left, Julen Ucar and Executive Chef Danny Allen pose for a photograph at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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HUNTINGTON BEACH Julen Ucar carefully measures the ingredients for his special “Non-verbal Herbal” marinade in the cozy confines of the Ways & Means Oyster House at Pacific City. The sauce, with just the right proportions of extra virgin olive oil, two kinds of vinegar, basil and other spices, has become a popular complement to the restaurant’s steak, fingerling potatoes and spinach dish.

After finishing the first sauce, he starts combining soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and enough red chili flakes to give it a little zing. At the restaurant, the sauce, called “Off the Charts,” is paired with an in-house aioli to flavor a tricolor cauliflower entree.

The 18-year-old Fountain Valley High senior with autism created two flavors of “Julen’s Ausome Sauces” that have been featured on the restaurant’s menu for the past year.

Ucar comes to the restaurant on Wednesday mornings to prepare his sauces for the day. During the rest of the week, the prep cooks prepare the sauces from recipes in a book they call “the bible.”

Executive Chef Danny Allen said when Ucar and his mother, Michelle, first brought in samples of their sauces for the restaurant to consider about a year ago, he realized they would pair nicely with the food.

“I’d put it up against anything that’s on the market,” Allen said of the marinades.

According to Allen, many cooks and chefs incorporate too many flavors into their creations. Ucar’s sauces hit just the right note.

“They’re simple, but they’re unique. It’s amazing,” Allen said.

The Wednesday morning visits, made before the restaurant opens, are clearly a highlight for the soft-spoke teen. Dressed in a T-shirt that reads “This is what ausome looks like,” he seems at home in the prep area, surrounded by jars of black pepper, paprika, minced onion and cumin.

Ucar says he likes the friendly atmosphere in the kitchen, particularly when the prep cooks crank up the music.

For years, Ucar and his sister, Isabel, have helped their mother prepare meals at home. Michelle Ucar said her son often liked to add ingredients to the salad dressing prepared for the family meal.

“We started watching him and he was really good a making sauces,” she said.

That’s when the idea of “Julen’s Ausome Sauces” began to percolate.

“We were looking forward and making a sustainable future for him,” his mother said.

After experimenting with different tastes, the Ucars, who live in Huntington Beach, winnowed their sauces to three versions of each of two sauces and held a taste-testing party for friends. They refined the selections and in February 2014 had the final recipes.

After they got Food and Drug Administration approval, the first batch was commercially bottled in October 2014 by a company hired by the Ucars.

Michelle Ucar said a chance meeting with the owners of Ways & Means led to a chance to have the sauces taste-tested at the restaurant and added to the menu.

Since then, the Ucars have produced three batches of 85 cases each of Non-verbal Herbal and Off the Charts. 

Although the sauces haven’t made the family any money yet, Michelle Ucar said she is looking to widen distribution beyond a few smaller stores in her home state of Ohio and to peddle the marinades at special events and fairs.

The sauce is also available online at ausomesauces.org.

Ways & Means donates $1 from each of its meals sold with Ucar’s sauces to New Vista School in Laguna Hills, for children with autism spectrum disorder. Ucar was a student there before transferring to Fountain Valley High.

“For us, it’s great to give back and give Julen a chance to do what he loves,” said Barbara Holder, general manager of the restaurant.

Michelle Ucar said when her son was an infant he hit all the normal benchmarks for a healthy baby. It wasn’t until he was 3 years old and in preschool that teachers said he had a speech delay. That was when others began to put labels and limitations on him, his mother said.

But Michelle Ucar has a different vision.

“This journey became not about what he cannot do, but about what he can do and finding a way to make that happen,” she said.

She said the family’s goals are to strengthen the brand and possibly expand the offerings.

Until then, she says her faith makes her believe in her son’s future.

Julen Ucar is now taking culinary arts classes at Fountain Valley and says he gets “Iike Bs and As,” in his classes.

He said he plans to study culinary art at Orange Coast College next semester.

It’s likely he will be the only one in his class with his own signature sauces.

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Far-right to rally in Berkeley after Coulter talk canceled

By JOCELYN GECKER

BERKELEY, Calif.  — Far-right supporters planned rallies Thursday to denounce what they called an attempt to silence their conservative views after Ann Coulter said she was forced to cancel a speaking event at the University of California, Berkeley amid concerns violence could break out.

The conservative social and political commentator and writer said she still might “swing by to say hello” to her supporters as police and university officials braced for possible trouble whether she shows up or not, citing intelligence and online chatter by groups threatening to instigate violence.

The tension illustrated how Berkeley has emerged as a flashpoint for extreme left and right forces amid the debate over free speech in a place where the 1960s U.S. free speech movement began before it spread to college campuses across the nation.

As far-right groups and a leftist group prepared for their protests, university police set up barricades as a precaution for possible use in crowd control on the university campus and city officers patrolled a park where two far-right groups said they would hold their protests.

KCBS reported (http://cbsloc.al/2qiK5yi ) that Gavin McInnes, founder of the pro-Trump “Proud Boys,” said he will speak in the afternoon at Civic Center Park and encouraged other groups to help make a large showing at the gathering.

The group describes itself on its Facebook page calls itself a fraternal organization aimed at “reinstating a spirit of Western chauvinism during an age of globalism and multiculturalism.” It said it support minimal government and is also “anti-political correctness, anti-racial guilt, pro-gun rights, anti-Drug War, closed borders.” Another group called the Orange County Alt Right Group planned a rally in the same place.

The International Socialist Organization said it planned an “Alt Right Delete” rally about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the right-wing protests and just outside the university campus to show support for free speech and to condemn the views of Coulter and her supporters.

In emails to The Associated Press on Wednesday, Coulter confirmed that her planned speech on illegal immigration, followed by a question-answer session, was canceled. But she remained coy about what she might do instead.

“I’m not speaking. But I’m going to be near there, so I might swing by to say hello to my supporters who have flown in from all around the country,” Coulter said in an email. “I thought I might stroll around the graveyard of the First Amendment.”

Officials at UC Berkeley said last week they feared renewed violence on campus if Coulter followed through with plans to speak.

They cited “very specific intelligence” of threats that could endanger Coulter and students, as Berkeley becomes a platform for extremist protesters on both sides of the political spectrum.

Efforts by the university to cancel or delay the Coulter event dealt a blow to Berkeley’s image as a bastion of tolerance and free speech.

Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks sent a letter to the campus Wednesday saying the university is committed to defending free speech but also to protecting its students.

“This is a university, not a battlefield,” Dirks said in the letter. “The university has two non-negotiable commitments, one to Free Speech the other to the safety of our campus community.”

Berkeley’s reputation as one of the country’s most liberal universities, in one of America’s most liberal cities, has made it a flashpoint for the nation’s political divisions in the era of Donald Trump.

Earlier this month, a bloody brawl broke out in downtown Berkeley at a pro-Trump protest that featured speeches by members of the white nationalist right. They clashed with a group of Trump critics who called themselves anti-fascists.

Similar violent clashes also erupted at the same site, a public park, on March 4.

In February, violent protesters forced the cancellation of a speech by right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who like Coulter was invited by campus Republicans.

The Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative group that had helped book Coulter’s campus speaking events, both pulled their support Tuesday citing fears of violence. They blamed the university for failing to ensure protection of conservative speakers.

“Berkeley College Republicans do not want to endanger people’s lives so because of the university’s unwillingness to do their job we are forced to cancel the event,” Troy Worden, president of the campus Republicans, said Wednesday.

Coulter echoed the blame on Twitter: “I’m very sad about Berkeley’s cancellation, but my sadness is greater than that. It’s a dark day for free speech in America.”

Capt. Alex Yao of the Berkley campus police force said police presence will be strong Thursday.

“You will see a high number of highly visible law enforcement. We’re going to have a very, very low tolerance for any violence,” he told a news conference. He said Berkeley police had reached out to local and state police forces “to let them know we might be calling for assistance.”

___

Associated Press writer Kristin J. Bender contributed to this report from San Francisco.

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Santa Ana teachers plan rally today in wake of layoff notices

SANTA ANA Hundreds of teachers, classified employees and their supporters plan to rally later today outside of the Santa Ana Unified School District’s office.

More than 300 educators were given pink slips last month, an official first step toward a possible layoff. The slips also could be rescinded; perhaps state funding ends up being adequate from district officials’ perspective.

“We want to let the district know that teachers are not where you should be cutting,” said Barbara Pearson, president of the Santa Ana Educators’ Association, the local teachers’ union. “The classrooms should be the last thing cut.

“However, what we’re seeing is that the classrooms are the first things being cut,” she said.

The school board had approved 287 layoffs, but the district can exceed that number with pink slips as long as they align with particular board-approved service reductions, Pearson said today.

Joining the teachers will be parents, students and members of other unions, including the California School Employees Association, Chapter 41. The teachers are expected to show up at 4, while the classified employees are to join an hour later, representatives said.

Representing classified employees, the Chapter 41 union said in a news release that district officials “refused to collaborate with or address the concerns of classified employees.”

The district is looking to eliminate 24 classified positions, according to Michael Leon, that union’s labor relations representative.

“This is a difficult time in the district as we are forced to consider possible reductions to balance our budget,” said Deidra Powell, a spokeswoman for Santa Ana Unified. “We value each and every staff member, and we realize that this process is uncomfortable and can cause anxiety.

” We will continue to work together as we always have to get through this difficult time and ensure that we remain focused on educating our students,” she said.

While demonstrators rally and stage a candlelight vigil, the school board has a meeting planned, beginning at 6 p.m.

Santa Ana Unified is one of at least two Orange County school districts facing potential layoffs.

The Anaheim Union High School District gave out pink slips last month to 78 employees, including 25 teachers.

The school districts said they are facing declining enrollment, partly because of competing charter schools — which are public schools but independently run and lure away students.

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