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Letters to the Editor

Pacific News Service
Tuesday September 12, 2000

Wild animals belong in nature 




Your Reptile Appeal article in the 9-11 issue misses the point, that wild animal belong in the wild, in their own natural habitat, not in pet stores nor people’s apartments.  

Animal dealers who take animals from the wild are not regulated, they destroy habitat and a variety of animals to get to their target animal. Many animals die in transport. 

The hard to find, high-priced animal, points out the need to leave them alone, their numbers are dwindling.  

In countries where too many snakes are taken, rodent populations can increase out of control.  

We need to be more mindful in this country about the impacts of our consumerism. 


Sue Cipolla  




Try alternatives to cars, ease the parking problem 




Parking in Berkeley is often a gnash-your-teeth affair. These days, parking downtown is in even shorter supply. Berkeley High School’s parking lot now holds temporary portable classrooms rather than cars.  

Due to a fire set by an arsonist earlier this year, one school building is out of commission and needs to be repaired. Hence the portable classrooms. 

The temporary loss of the large parking lot can’t be helped.  

However, this loss may result in endless searching and circling for parking.  

For some there is an added complication: A parking space, when found, needs to be a very short walk to the desired destination.  

The seniors and people with disabilities who use the warm water pool on the Berkeley High School campus for healing and exercise after school hours and on weekends have been particularly hard hit by the lack of parking for several weeks.  

To compensate, the school district is carving 19 parking spaces out of the girl’s softball field for parking and all 19 will be earmarked for disabled drivers during community swim hours. 

The city, for its part, has a number of alternative transportation solutions to offer to help limit the number of cars seeking parking. 

By the way, these solutions will work for all Berkeley seniors and citizens with disabilities, whatever the destination. 

There are several city subsidized transportation programs. First of all, qualified Berkeley residents can purchase East Bay Paratransit tickets for less than the usual price directly from the city. The limit is ten for calendar quarter and the cost is $1 instead of $2.25. 

Then there is a separate city paratransit program with its own vans that people can use in addition to East Bay Paratransit.  

Both services are door-to-door. This program offers 20 vouchers a quarter at $2.25 each for trips up to ten miles.  

Finally there is a city taxi scrip program for anyone with a mobility problem and seniors over 70.  

Scrip costs $1 - $2 (depending on income level) for a booklet with $10 worth of coupons that can be used with designated cab companies. Currently Berkeley residents may purchase 15 booklets each calendar quarter and an additional five booklets for $4-$5 each. 

Any income level can participate. To get more information about these three programs, please call 664-6607 Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon. 

The city has also contacted RIDES for Bay Area Commuters, the agency that links up commuters throughout the region. Warm pool users, and anyone with a commute, can sign up quickly and easily to access 12,000 other people interested in sharing rides.  

In the case of people using the warm water pool, RIDES has offered to set up a separate database for them as well. 

RIDES can be reached at: 800-755-POOL. 


Since parking in Berkeley is the issue, I can’t help but mention another alternative to cars, a bicyle. 


The city’s consultant on the warm pool project, for example, just bought a bike to overcome many of her work-related parking needs as well as running errands around town. 


This may not be an option for warm pool users, but it is an alternative others might consider that will alleviate some of the parking stress and dental bills resulting from gnash-your-teeth parking woes. 



Rene Cardinaux 

City of Berkeley 

Public Works Director