Presidents Day newsflash from just outside the hallowed halls of academe: UC-Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza is (or was when we visited, anyway) a friggin’ mess. We’ve lived here a while–our passports mention a date in the ’70s–and we have never seen the plaza, the gateway to the pride of our state’s system of higher education, trashed to this degree. The main symptom: numerous overflowing garbage cans and lots of refuse strewn every which way (yes, you heard me right). Our guess (fact-finding has not been initiated) is that maintenance cutbacks at the university meant that no one was available to haul away the rubbish during the long weekend. Hell of an impression for visitors and townspeople alike, but a holiday feast for the pigeons.