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Letters to the Editor

Thursday November 16, 2000

Progressives should hang in 


Ghandi says: First they ignore you/ Then they laugh at you/ Then they fight you/ Then you win. In my view “they” are the Leadership of the Democratic Pary and the “you” are the progressives “they” abandoned. If you are progressive, hang in there. The fight is just beginning and we will win. 

While Demo’s are telling me that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush, the truth is, in Florida, a vote for Gore is a vote for Buchanan. Wiener says: It ain’t the winner that counts when the loser weighs as much as 1/2 the voters in the U.S. Bush and Gore are still tied, but when the losers are declared, the declared losers better agree with the outcome. 

Harry Wiener 

South Berkeley  


Count double-punched ballots  


Two thoughts: 

1. The pollsters were actually right. People said how they thought they had voted, and that would have given Gore the election. Technical problems with the ballots were not expected by anybody.  

2. People who were used to voting separately for president and vice president, as we all did up until a few years ago, probably thought they were voting for Lieberman with the second punch. The fair settlement in Florida would be to count the double punched ballots and give both Buchanan and Gore a vote.  

Teddy Knight 



Need bonus for cultural uses 


The Berkeley Planning Commission has made a serious mistake by proposing to remove the cultural use height bonus from the Berkeley General Plan. 

Under current city plan, a project in downtown Berkeley can gain up to two floors of additional height, including up to ten thousand square feet of use by cultural organizations. The cultural user must be on the third floor. And although the city does not set any standard for rent to cultural users, any developer willing to build such space generally must offer below market rent in order to attract arts organizations.  

The Planning Commission has proposed eliminating this bonus just as it is beginning to be utilized. After a dearth of new construction in Berkeley during the early ‘90s, developers are now putting new projects before the city. One project already has made use of the height bonus, with two or three more projects in the works. As a result, each of those buildings will become a much needed home to an arts organization while also adding otherwise unachievable floors for housing. Tenants and artists are both winners.  

Throughout the Bay Area, artists and arts organizations are losing their spaces as rents skyrocket. In fact, San Francisco just established a $1.5 million emergency fund to subsidize artist rents.  

It is ironic that just as Berkeley is being recognized as a community that takes pride in our cultural resources, the planning commission would undermine these efforts by eliminating the only existing incentive that encourages cultural development.  

Susan Medak 

Berkeley Repertory Theatre 


Voters beware 


“Beware of the person who offers you fresh coffee in a dirty cup.” At least that’s what my father used to tell me when he came onto a suspicious situation or behavior that warranted inspection. The statement becomes very meaningful to me when it’s used in relation to this year’s Presidential Election.  

This voting incident just might be a blessing in disguise. Because it seems, we as a people may have become complacent in our present-day voting system. So complacent that nowadays, one thinks that the popularity vote is the only way to elect a President. 

Yet the true voting power is in the hands of our representatives. A lot of us may have forgotten, that it’s the electors in the U.S. that elect the President. To be exact, 538 electoral votes are needed. But does anybody know who the electors are or how the electors are chosen? Does anyone really care? 

Pointing fingers won’t solve anything; yet solving the mysterious discrepancies of the voting process that occurred throughout the whole United States is of the utmost importance. Getting rid of the Electoral Voting system is probably not the solution Increasing voting security at the polls by using state-of-of-the-art electronic voting processes might work. But I doubt it.  

I feel that the best solution for this Presidential Election is to discard all votes from all the troubled voting counties in Florida and any other place in the U.S.Then have a new election for those counties that reported problems. But until then, when someone offers you coffee in a dirty cup, take the cup. Pour out the coffee, wash the cup, and ask for a refill. Reason being, cleaning the cup ensures not getting sick later form the coffee. 


Aaron Daniels 




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