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— While the State of California is threatening to slash funds for everything from school teachers to parks, higher-ups out at UCSD continue to party on. Local politicians and other favored VIPs have received a special invitation from Chancellor Marye Anne Fox: coveted free tickets to the U.S. Open golf championship, coming this June to the city-owned Torrey Pines Golf Course. According to the invite, the lucky public servants and other special guests will receive “complimentary” breakfast, lunch, and an “afternoon snack,” as well as “full bar service” inside the UC San Diego Hospitality Tent. For state and local politicos, who are required by state law to disclose the amount of their gratuities, the invitation advises that “the one-day ticket package is valued @ $280 for June 9–11, $400 for June 12–15.” Notes the invitation: “This is a sold-out event with limited tickets available. In order to accommodate your particular schedule, please select two (2) dates from the choices listed below.” The university is currently lobbying hard for construction of a massive new stem-cell research building near the city’s Torrey Pines Gliderport.

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