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Wednesday October 25, 2000

Good food is better than supplements 



Your article on the dangers of so-called “natural” supplements never addressed why people turn to supplements in the first place: the failure of western medicine to successfully treat a wide variety of illnesses and ailments including, but not limited to, cancer, aids, heart-disease and diabetes (Daily Planet, Oct. 23). Unfortunately, the alternative health industries look very similar to western medicine, not only in terms of corporate profits, but more importantly, in their narrow-visioned attempts to treat symptoms, not causes, with pills and potions. While traditional peoples may have sometimes resorted to medicinal herbs and plants to treat disease, they always looked at food first. They understood the vital relationship between human health and natural foods. 

While we would all like to believe that their is a “magic pill,” yet to be discovered, that will “cure” not only minor ailments, but life-threatening ones as well. We have put all of our money and focus on finding a “cure;” a quick fix that will allow us to continue living our lives chaotically with absolutely no acceptance of any personal responsibility whatsoever. We have placed all of our faith in science, as if we are merely machines; as if modern science can explain life and health beyond cells and molecules; it obviously cannot as evidenced by the alarming lack of health today, by the failure of the “War on Cancer,” etc...etc... As human beings, we are much more than just a collection of genes and cells; we have emotions, imaginations and spiritual conditions that have an immense effect on our health. We have all freely chosen the physical, mental and spiritual conditions in which we now find ourselves (if not in this life, in past lives). Disease takes many years to manifest, so let’s stop investing our money and our lives in symptomatic, corporate solutions to disease...whether they be “natural” supplements or toxic drug therapy. There are no “magic pills,” no quick fixes. In these terms, disease can now be seen as a wake-up call; a teacher...and a friend. Make sure to listen carefully. 


Michael Bauce 



Breland should speak out about 2700 San Pablo 



Regarding the front page story of the Oct. 21 Daily Planet, I for one am glad Councilmember Margaret Breland has proposed that there be no fast food service in that part of Berkeley and applaud Ms. Breland’s efforts on behalf of her constituents on this. However, I am puzzled about why she has remained silent on behalf of other members of her constituency, namely the families in the area surrounding 2700 San Pablo Ave. We too have “quality of life issues” in regards to the size and scope of the Kennedy/Choyce project planned there.  

Under their current proposal this massive building of 48 apartments takes up nearly an entire block, at 4-5 stories, towers over the surrounding 1 and 2 story homes and businesses and is built to the very edge of the property in all directions. In addition, there will be parking for 61 cars adding to the air pollution and traffic in this area. The Kennedy/Choyce plan also currently includes a permit for a fast food service. Why aren’t our “health ramifications” important to Ms. Breland? Like this other group, we also have a petition signed by 400 plus people living in the area, but we had to do it ourselves. Margaret Breland did not offer her services to us and was extremely difficult to reach when we did ask for her assistance. I have personally spoken with many members of this community – particularly elderly African-American homeowners who are very upset about this project but who are either too ill or too busy to do anything. Where is Ms. Breland in all this?  

Why has she chosen to represent the developers not her community? Not surprisingly, her list of campaign contributors include Patrick Kennedy and his wife as well as the Rev. Choyce. 

Our neighborhood would welcome this building if Kennedy/Choyce would simply modify their design to be a 3 story building. This could be economically feasible for them, still provide a great deal of necessary housing, create a sustainable precedent for future building and help San Pablo develop into a great avenue. Between Dwight and Ashby, there are 11 large lots that developers like Patrick Kennedy will want to develop into massive projects and companies like Shell Oil and Carl’s Jr. will want to stake their claim to with mini-marts that sell fast food and liquor. We need to tell developers and corporations that we want more desirable development that benefits our community! 

Phyllis Kamrin 



Want to cross the street? try Fort Bragg 



While passing through Fort Bragg, there it was, in unmistakable glory, an outstanding piece of pedestrian crosswalk engineering. By pushing a button, a pedestrian activated not only flashing yellow lights on the crosswalk signs for approaching traffic, but flashing yellow strip-lights imbedded in the road surface along the crosswalk lines.  


Visible even in broad daylight. Such a feature not only provides pedestrians with an assurance that automobile drivers are made aware that someone is about to cross the road, but the driver receives an unmistakable and clearly visible signal about the location and imminent use of the crosswalk. Perhaps Berkeley could learn something useful from its cousin up north in its quest to improve pedestrian safety? 


Howie Muir Berkeley 



On United Nations Day I found myself wondering how my brother and sister Berkeleyans are observing this special day. Perhaps some of them could drop me a short note to tell me. (Contact me c/o the UN Information Center, whose address is below.)  

Perhaps some of them took time to notice the UN flag flying in its regular spot in Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center. Perhaps some of them noticed the plaque on the wall of the UC Printing Services building at Center and Oxford memorializing the Printing Services important role in preparing signatory copies of the UN Charter for the signing ceremonies in San Francisco in 1945. 

Perhaps some of them found their way to the United Nations Depository Library, part of the UC Library, or to the United Nations books in the Berkeley Public Library or to the small, but rich, collection of books and other materials at the East Bay United Nations Association Information Center at 1403B Addison, adjacent to the Adronico’s Market parking lot at University and Acton.  

My wife and I witnessed Oakland’s annual presentation of UN member nation flags and the raising of a new UN flag for daily flying at Jack London Square Saturday morning. We then heard Fred A. Lawson, professor of government at Mills College, speak eloquently and informatively on the United Nations and the Middle East.  

The next day we joined some 80 runners and walkers (plus supporters of various sorts) at the Berkeley Marina for the 2nd annual Run for Peace with flags flying. Pray for peace and the United Nations. It can’t hurt! 

Bill Trampleasure 



Food for thought 



As a resident of Berkeley for over 70 years I cannot resist writing, re: “Sharing our heritage.”  

Last Saturday evening, at a traditional clubhouse on Cedar Street, a one-man show was presented. It was a fundraiser for Berkeley’s Adult Education Program by a highly skilled and gifted author, actor, and dramatist who hails from three continents. He was erudite, gentle, fiery, and had a message of kindness above all kindness. The champagne reception was charming and the message was revealing, nay life sustaining.  

The rent for the few hours was around $100 per hour, I’d guess. After years and years of living for and by and with human rights, there was no monetary profit whatsoever. To this Berkeleyan this isn’t a business as usual laissez-faire event. Nay, it was food for mental well being, emotional enjoyment; inspiration if you will.  

Is this our culture of poverty and/or the poverty of culture? Let’s re-think our values and act accordingly, i.e.: Let’s revive the golden rule in this “Athens of the West!” Artists need to eat. We all need food for thought. 


Lucretia Prentiss de Herget 



It’s no park; let them build 


We live near the site where Congregation Beth El is planning to build its new synagogue, and we fully support the plan. 

We moved to this neighborhood because we wanted to be in an area that offered all the advantages of city living. We could have gone to the suburbs, but we deliberately chose to be near shops, offices and houses of worship. 

Though we are not members of any church or synagogue, we appreciate the contribution these religious institutions make to our community. We are particularly impressed with Congregation Beth El’s many social outreach programs, including its meals for the homeless. 

We are aware that the site Beth El has selected is zoned for the use it intends. It is not and never has been a public park. In fact, the city explicitly rejected the opportunity to acquire the property years ago. Much of the lot has remained open space until now only because the previous owners decided not to build the expanded church and school that was approved by the city. 

We think it is unfair and unwise for people who bought homes in this mixed use neighborhood to oppose the synagogue’s plan to move two blocks from its present home to a more appropriate location, and we urge you to support Beth El’s plan.  


Melvin & Dorothy Lemberger 




As a senior citizen and one of many to whom the passage of measure R will be a life saver, I am writing you concerning the warm-water pool run by the City of Berkeley as part of the Berkeley Unified School District. 

This pool has served the community for over 20 years and is now badly in need of renovation. Due to a spinal condition I swim there several times a week. I find it the one most effective pain reliever I have experienced so far, and it is the only place where I can get the weightless exercise essential to my general health.  

Of the people who I see there and who share my experience there are many who have serious disabilities, many who are in wheel chairs, some who are elderly, some who are quite young, and some obviously in pain. All of them find relief and healing in the warm water of this pool. 

Measure R, if passed, will provide the needed money to save this pool, as neither the City nor the School District reportedly have the funds available to do this.  

I can only have implicit trust in the compassion and humanity of my fellow voters in their support of measure R. We will be infinitely grateful.  


Augusta Lucas-Andreae 





I feel it is necessary for me to respond to the incident reported on the front page of Thursday’s Daily Planet, in which my wife, Carrie Sprague, was publicly singled out at the Berkeley City Council meeting by the President of the Berkeley Police Association. 

Later, in the hallway outside the Council Chambers, Carrie was surrounded by 20-30 hostile and shouting police officers. Towering one and a half feet above her, Randy Files, President of the Police Association, threatened her with arrest and shouted that all the members of the Police Association personally hate her to the cheers of his cronies. 

It is ironic that some police officers blame Carrie and other neighbors for their difficulties in finding parking for their personal vehicles. During many, many planning meetings for the new Public Safety Building, Carrie repeatedly addressed the need for adequate Police Department employee parking.  

Unfortunately, neither the Police Department nor the Police Association ever sent representatives to these meetings to discuss employee parking. In addition, Carrie sent a letter to the Berkeley Police Association more than a year ago requesting that they meet with neighborhood representatives to discuss mutually beneficial solutions to parking problems. No response was ever received.  

I believe that the personal hostility toward Carrie has come about because she has worked for effective enforcement of the Residential Permit Parking ordinance. She continues to insist that police officers may not disrespect our law or our neighborhood. 

As for the effort by some Police Association members to bully Carrie, I can assure all those who are concerned for her safety that she was not in the least intimidated. Having lived with me for 20 years Carrie readily recognizes bluster without substance when it occurs.  


Stan Sprague 





Dear Judy! 

Homeowners beware! Measure "Y" applies to you - just as does Section 13 

(Good Cause Required for Eviction) of Berkeley's rent law, which it 

modifies (= tightens). 


Say you're renting a room or an in-law suite to a student or other 

low-to-maderate income person. Under "Y" you would have to pay that person 

$4,500 "relocation expenses" if you wanted to reclaim the accommodations 

after a year for your own or your family's use. Worse yet, if your tenant, 

regardless of age or disability status, had been there for at least five 

years, he/she would have gained a lifetime estate, and you'd have to pay 

even more to dislodge him/her or hire a lawyer and go to court -whichever 

cost less - in order to regain full possession of your home. Not to speak 

of the nightmarish scenario which could arise, were you to leave for a year 

(Sabbatical?) and rent out your home while you're away. 


Read the proposed measure in all its details (2 and 1/4 full pages in your 

voter information pamphlet!). It applies to you! Vote NO on "Y". 


Peggy Schioler, 1530 Henry Street, Berkeley 94709. 848-1828 or 848-1131 





To often, Berkeley “Activist” groups work separately or take different approaches to solve the same problem. Your article about the southwest Berkeley neighborhoods opposition to a new fast food complex at 1200 Ashby Ave. appeared above an article stating that southwest Berkeley residents have a life expectancy of 20 years less than those residents in the Berkeley hills. 

There is a major connection here between these two groups of activists and they should be working to help each other. Those residents in southwest Berkeley ( read African American) die at a younger age not only because of a lack of healthcare but because of poor eating habits. A recent study on health showed that black youth get 40 percent of their daily vegetable intake from french fries. An article about the free lunch program in Oakland High schools revealed that very few of those eligible took part but instead bought fast food.  

Obesity among all Americans has increased more than 60 percent since 1990. There is more of a health crisis than a health care crisis.Those who want healthcare for everyone should think in terms of wanting a healthy life for everyone. Help people to enjoy their lives by improving their quality of life not just prolonging it. Berkeley is proud of the fact that it promotes the use of bicyles and not the automobile. It is time for Berkeley to promote healthy lifestyles and ban fast food.  

Caring about health is as important as caring about healthcare. 


Michael Larrick  

(510) 849-4572 



Hello, my name is Kinchasa Taylor and I am and have been a resident of Carrison Street for the past 23 years. I am upset by the article written about the block and how the people who live on the block are represented. 

I believe that the opinions in opposition to the plans to build a fast-food restaurant and mini mart are valid and I would agree with them. 

What I do not agree with is the way my new neighbors portrayed Carrison Street as a “street overrun with drug dealers and prostitutes.” I’d like to point out that Vicki and Mike Larrick have not lived on Carrison Street for eight year as stated. Drug dealers and prostitution has never been a problem on Carrison Street. 

Until they moved in, this street was filled by senior citizens. 

Actually the house in which they live was owned by a senior citizen until her death. They moved in her house maybe 4-5 years after she died. 

I know this because up until they moved in I watered the grass. I believe that my anger is mostly directed at this couple because of their portrayal of themselves as saviors to the community. 

The community expects people who move into the neighborhood to show respect for those that have lived here before and have raised successful families. It saddens me that we have lost our predominantly African American neighbors. 

But as people move in to clean up the neighborhood they must keep in mind that are new that they are joining the group that was already established and attempting to make a change themselves. 

It is really sad to see that my neighborhood is being represented as a bad black neighborhood until it was saved by it’s new white residents. Some of the arrivals of the migration to South Berkeley, do not respect the people, the community, or the residents they have joined with. 

Our land, our efforts, our homes are being taken over by people that have only one thing on there mind: how can I live here and make it the way I want it to be, not how can I become a part of this community and help with the efforts being made.  

If you want to write something about the community, write about the gentrification, genocide, and mentacide occurring in south Berkeley. It’s real and it’s occurring. 

If you don’t believe me ask my old neighbors, senior citizens with historically fixed rents, uniformed of there rights and Measure Y, why they had to move out there homes, and move after over 25 years of occupation.  

Kinchasa Taylor,