San Pablo project meets most of area’s concerns
It is quite obvious that Mr. Howie Muir (Letters, June 15) has not been listening to presentations of the project at 2700 San Pablo Avenue but is more willingly to follow and promote community propaganda relating to this project. The second iteration of the project design had mechanical space of 560 square feet on the roof top area, which is considered the fifth floor, and was described as “penthouse elevator mechanical space.” The third iteration of the project design shifted the massing of the building away from the residential facade or west side of the project to the San Pablo Avenue façade. The shifting of the massing with a double-loaded corridor scheme pushed units up a fifth story while maintaining a four-story height.
The project since its inception has in no way disguised or misrepresented development concepts. We are simply trying to help revitalize the street, where many properties are vacant or underused. The project will be a benefit to the surrounding community more than a determent. In saying that we have resolved 95 percent of what the neighbors object to is very clear from parking, traffic, too density near residential neighborhoods, small enclosed courtyard and environmental impacts. But then, perhaps we wouldn’t have to continue to explain project elements and curve Mr. Muir’s ignorance of this project’s design if he would listen more than he likes to speak.
Gordon Choyce II
Project manager, 2700 San Pablo Ave.
Nuclear-related work does occur here in Berkeley
Doug Finley (Letters, June 21) believes that the absence of classified research at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley means that “we know there’s nothing vaguely resembling nuclear weapons research going on in Berkeley.”
Unfortunately his reasoning is flawed; the so-called Stockpile Stewardship program ($4.5 billion per year and rising) includes a significant amount of unclassified nuclear weapons research.
Berkeley Lab is currently building one of the arms of the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility (DARHT) – a 3D X-ray camera which will allow weapons designers at Los Alamos Lab to film the implosion of the core of a nuclear bomb.
Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley are both involved in the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) whose goal is to develop supercomputer simulations of the explosion of a nuclear bomb for weapons designers at Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia Labs.
The U.S. Government claims that Stockpile Stewardship is intended to maintain the safety and reliability of US nuclear weapons now that underground testing has been prohibited by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Leaving aside the incompatibility of this aim with the U.S.’s obligation to complete nuclear disarmament under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the fact that so-called “sub-critical” underground testing is still going on, and the refusal of Congress to ratify the CTBT anyway, the reality is that Stockpile Stewardship is a means to attract a new generation of scientists to build a new generation of weapons.
And critical parts of this program are taking place right now in Berkeley.
Staff Scientist, Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley
Board Member, Western States Legal Foundation
One request for city in upcoming school bond vote
In asking the electorate to approve the proposed school bond and maintenance tax, the city of Berkeley has an opportunity to practice truly enlightened government; namely, by posting the proposed budgets for the $116.5 million school bond and the twenty year, $3.8 million annual tax on the city’s Internet web site. Preferably, the web page would include a “frequently asked questions” section. I know I am asking a lot of my city, but then, so is it of us.
Blame belongs to spay-neuter plan’s opponents
In response to your June 20 story “Cat fight over city ordinance”: The spay neuter ordinance became layered and more costly to implement because of Councilmember Diane Woolley and the animal breeders who back her campaigns. The ordinance has been weakened and made more bureaucratic in deference to her objections and I doubt that she plans to vote for it in any form. To Woolley’s delight, the ordinance has become more difficult to pass because of purported costs involved.
The ordinance started out as a simple low overhead ordinance that directly addressed the killing of cats and dogs at the Berkeley Shelter. Even this weakened and layered ordinance is still better than the status quo; at present we must all pay for the irresponsibility of a few who allow their animals to breed year after year swelling the numbers that end up at the shelter to be killed.
Your article states that Woolley and the animal breeders care about the problem; not one of them has volunteered to work with the Berkeley volunteer rescue groups or has volunteered to be part of the repeating, onerous task of killing the animals at the shelter. The rescue groups are composed of “hands-on” people who proposed the original ordinance. At least two of the main advocates of this ordinance are people who constantly work with our most impoverished citizens; this is a quality of life issue for both people and animals.
Shame of any councilmember who does not vote for the spay and neuter ordinance.
Listen closely: Derby neighbors aren’t NIMBYs
Re: Derby Street
As Mr. Paul Seeman well knows, common usage of “hardball” denotes baseball played with a hard ball, which needs a large field, as opposed to “softball” which is played with a soft ball on a smaller field (Perspective, June 14).
Many in my neighborhood want there to be a softball/soccer field on the site, leaving Derby Street open. The hardball team already has a place to play on a street that is already closed.
It really frosts me the Mr. Seeman who lives on quiet Santa Barbara, in North Berkeley and is rich enough to own the two adjoining lots to assure his privacy, wants to tell our neighborhood, which is overflowing with traffic and has overflow parking from Iceland, The Bowl, The Tool Library, etc., how NIMBY we are. I don’t think so. We welcome these students, their parents, their grandparents, their aunts, their uncles, their cousins, their friends coming to Derby Street to watch their boys and girls play softball and soccer on a field which leaves our street open.