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Volume 55, Number 22   February 18, 2008         

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April 2006 Newsmakers

Super-voters
In a Feb. 6 ABC 7 news broadcast about the lack of public knowledge about super-delegates, Professor of Political Science David Tabb explained the intricacies of the delegates who could decide the Democratic nominee. While Sen. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in California, the 71 California super-delegates may vote differently at the presidential convention. Tabb noted that "whoever wins the most votes in a congressional district gets a proportional number of  the delegates allocated to that congressional district." The role of the super-delegate "may be important because no one candidate, neither Obama nor Clinton, has a majority of the total delegates needed." 

The cost of gambling
In a Feb. 7 San Francisco Chronicle article about California's approval of expanding four Indian tribe-owned casinos, American Indian Studies Lecturer Phil Klasky offered his concerns. "It was a very complex issue placed in simplistic terms for the purposes of an election, and I'm concerned about the devil in the details in terms of what this means for tribes and for the state." Emphasizing that he doesn't pick sides in election issues, Klasky noted, "Gambling has finally given many tribes the financial resources to help make up for the injustices they have suffered over the years, but there is some collateral damage too, in gaming addiction and a focus on economics that takes Indian leadership away from concentrating on preservation of their culture. … We still have to see how this all plays out."

Winefor less
In a Jan. 19 article in The Oregonian about the three-dozen Pacific Northwest wineries attempting to make their mark with the prestigious UK-based wine industry, Professor of Management Rick Castaldi noted that the weak U.S. dollar may help the American wine industry thrive in the European economy. "That's a huge benefit right now," Castaldi said. "Buyers in London are getting American wine 10 to 20 percent cheaper than they were a year ago."

A breathof plankton
A trio of Romberg Tiburon Center researchers was featured in a Jan. 21 San Francisco Examiner article for their work in quantifying the amount of oxygen marine plankton produce as the ecosystem grows more fragile. "They're bringing the carbon dioxide down into the deeper water, so they're helping to slow global warming," Professor of Biology Ed Carpenter said, adding  that phytoplankton generate half of the world's breathable oxygen. Carpenter, along with Assistant Professor of Biology Jonathan Stillman and Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Tomoko Komada, received a $1.2 million research grant from the National Science Foundation. According to Stillman, the team plans to compare current plankton growth to conditions projected by 2100, "If there's going to be an adaptive response, we should see it by the end of two years," he said.

For more media coverage of faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs, see SF State in the News.

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Last modified Feb. 18, 2008 by University Communications.