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Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010

Green Corridor

Partnership Attracts Funding, Advances Solar Initiative


A decision to work toward a uniform solar permitting process was one of several initiatives approved this week by principal partners of the East Bay Green Corridor, a regional partnership for green technology innovation and job training. Berkeley Lab, one of the founding members of the Green Corridor, will contribute to the solar initiative by providing technical and scientific assistance on photovoltaic technologies, said Lab Director Paul Alivisatos, who participated in a meeting of Green Corridor principals in Berkeley last Tuesday. The goal of the Green Corridor Solar Initiative is to establish a uniform permitting process for solar installations, thus streamlining the process for companies installing solar systems in Corridor member cities. More>

Inez FungPeople: Obama Nominates Inez Fung to Medal of Science Committee

President Obama announced last week his intent to nominate Berkeley Lab earth scientist Inez Fung to serve on the Committee for the National Medal of Science, which selects recipients of the nation's highest civilian honor. Fung, a UC Berkeley professor, is director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment. Her research focuses on the interactions between climate change and biogeochemical cycles. More>

Benefits: Dependent Health Care Coverage to Age 26

HealthA provision of the federal Health Care Reform that extends dependent health care to age 26 takes effect tomorrow. However, the law stipulates that the extension is effective for new plan years beginning on or after this date. Because the UC-sponsored new plan year is effective on Jan. 1, 2011, the implementation of the provision will coincide with this later date. Employees will have an opportunity during the annual Benefits Open Enrollment to add eligible dependents up to age 26 with a coverage effective date of Jan. 1. Lab employees who will "age out" between now and the effective date of the law will continue to have COBRA coverage available. Parents or the individual losing coverage can request COBRA by submitting a UBEN 109 form to the Benefits Office. Contact the HR Benefits Group (x6403) for more information.

UC News: Friday Web Town Hall on Retirement Changes

Employees are invited to participate in an online town hall meeting to ask University of California leaders questions about the recent proposed changes to the UC retirement plan. This live, interactive meeting takes place Friday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Berkeley Lab staff and retirees can watch the proceedings on their computer or gather in the Building 50 Auditorium to watch the live webcast. Detailed information on the proposed changes can be found on "The Future of UC Retirement Benefits” website.

EducationWorld of Science: Californians Want Better Science Education in Schools

[California Progress Report] Californians believe that science education should be a priority for the state’s schools and want it to be taught early and more often, according to new public opinion research by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning and its partners in the Strengthening Science Education in California Initiative. To strengthen science education, the public wants schools to have the labs and equipment they need, strongly supports providing teachers with specialized training and wants schools to spend more time teaching science. More>

HR Benefits: Fidelity Retirement Presentations Next Tuesday

Fidelity Retirement Services representative Joseph Hager will be at the Lab on Tuesday, Sept. 28, to give two presentations. The first talk, “Creating a Plan for Lifetime Income in Retirement," takes place at 9 a.m. The second, "Getting on the Right Path With Your Workplace Savings," starts at 10:30 a.m. Both take place in Perseverance Hall. Go here to register. He will also be in the cafeteria lobby from noon to 1:30 p.m. to answer questions on a drop-in basis.


EH&S: Radio Trunked System Down Briefly Tomorrow

The Lab’s current two-way Radio Trunked System will be replaced by a new system tomorrow. The old system will be down between approximately 10 to 10:10 a.m. Take appropriate measures for alternate communications during this period. After the switchover, the selector (blue arrows) on portable radios should be switched to “C” (red arrow). Failure to do this will render the radio inoperative and the radio may "bonk," indicating it’s out of service. For Mobile and Bases Station radios, push the #6 button once. Call x5186 or x6182 for more information.

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