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Lights could go out on BHS baseball

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Monday February 12, 2001

The Berkeley High School freshman baseball team’s season is in danger of being canceled due to California’s current power shortage. 

The Berkeley City Council will decide at Tuesday’s meeting whether Willard Park, where the team practices and plays, will be included in the shutdown of city sports facility lights. 

“If there were no lights at Willard, there would be no freshman season,” Berkeley head baseball coach Tim Moellering said. “All of their practices and home games are at night and at Willard.” 

Last week, the city decided to shut down all lights at city sports facilities during Stage 2 and Stage 3 energy crises, which have become common in the past months. But Moellering contacted city officials, who decided to let the lights at Willard stay on until a permanent decision could be reached. 

The city controls the lights at Willard, unlike the lights at Berkeley High and UC Berkeley, because it paid $153,000 to expand field use by upgrading the lights. The city pays the electric bill even though the lights are on Berkeley Unified School District property. The district pays the electric bill at Berkeley High. 

Moellering said the Willard situation is different than other Berkeley fields, which host recreational activities. 

“I think I could live if I couldn’t play softball at night, but it’s important to these kids to be able to play,” he said. 

Margie Gurdziel, whose child plays on the freshman team, thinks the city is being unfair. 

“I’d hate to see the season disintegrate because the city is making a political statement,” Gurdziel said. “It seems very unfair.” 

The Berkeley City Council meeting is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, second floor.