Hoffman’s radiation health risk factors not based on science
A city wide meeting was held on August 10 on the subject of releasing radioactive water into the air in Berkeley. At the meeting, Lawrence Laboratory’s environmental consultant, Mr. F. Owen Hoffman, belittled concerns for cancer production by radiation from tritiated water.
In his half hour presentation, one remark was worthy of note: He mentioned in passing that the National Institutes of Health, for lack of experimental data, have not assigned a health risk factor to radioactive water ingestion. So Mr. Hoffman took it upon himself to assign a health risk factor of two to radioactive water ingestion. (As a comparison, having one’s X-ray taken was assigned a risk factor of one.)
In his study, as it is with all scientific studies, so major an assumption must be demonstratively valid if one is to draw any logical conclusions. Unfortunately for Mr. Hoffman, his assumption cannot be shown to be based on science, thus invalidating his study and conclusions. Mr. Hoffman’s work is simply not up to the standard of our preeminent university.
City has a pattern of disruptive scheduling
Regarding the article about University Avenue being clogged by “improvements.” We all know that there is an operating rule devised by the geniuses in the Berkeley Public Works Department which requires all major street repair projects to be at their height of disruption in late August.
This assures visitors, students, and business people that the inconveniences to all parties will be maximized just as the University resumes classes.
Then the rains come and the city has an additional excuse for not finishing on time, on budget.
This, of course, bewilders returning alumni here for Saturday afternoon football games.
This is not a one-time event!
Intersection of Channing and Telegraph a disaster waiting to happen
The Daily Planet received this letter addressed to Police Chief Dash Butler:
I realize that it’s the custom in Berkeley, as in many other places, to wait until something disastrous happens before taking action, but I wonder if just this once we might break with tradition and prevent an accident.
On the corner of Channing Way and Telegraph Avenue, it is usual for many people to cross against the light. Possibly, they were absent from kindergarten the day “green means go and red means stop” was taught, or they’re making a statement against cars, or they still believe they’re immortal, or they’re just plain stupid.
Often the traffic is really close, not blocks away. If you’re driving, you have to stop short, risking being rear-ended by the next driver. At the same time, there are some cars speeding down Channing Way.
So far I’ve seen lots of near collisions, but I wonder how long luck will last. If this sounds familiar, it’s because my letter about this several years ago was printed in one of our local papers, but nothing changed.
Also, less dangerous, is the matter of the 24-7 whimsically enforced Telegraph Avenue loading zone. How about a 20-minute green zone, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily for delivery trucks, pizza eaters, shoppers, errand runners, on-or off-loaders, etc. At present, no one knows what to do.
Oh yes: clear, readable one-way signs. We have visitors and new people all the time who turn right on Tele and get embarrassed.
Ruth Joan Bird
Republicans share the blame for the Lewinsky scandal
Again the Republicans are trying to make a campaign issue of President Clinton’s lapse in regard to Lewinsky and in allowing himself to be entrapped by Counsel Starr.
Nobody mentions the GOP responsibility in the matter. It is time that it was stressed. The Gingrich Republican “revolution” shut down the government and paid employees had to be laid off. Monica Lewinsky was an unpaid intern and had free run of the area and by her own testimony to seduce the president.
Orrin Hatch, chair of the Senatorial Judicial Committee, had been sitting on Clinton’s judicial appointments so there were only Reagan and Bush appointees on the bench. One of these took the Paula Jones case, nursed it along until Starr brought in President Clinton, gave a misleading definition of “having sex” and Starr managed his questions to entrap Clinton into what could be claimed as a lie. Long after the Jones case had been dismissed on grounds that lay in the original plea, so it should never have come to trial, still months after that the judge hit Clinton with a fine way out of line for the alleged offense.