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Letters to the Editor

Wednesday February 28, 2001

Mail problems 


I moved to Berkeley in November, and opened a P.O. Box on Allston Way immediately. I have had problems with delayed mail and packages taking ages to arrive and arriving damaged. I have filed several complaints, but the local people say the problem must lie somewhere else. 

Am I alone in this? There must be others who are experiencing problems with the post office?  

A package sent to me via priority mail from Florida on December 27th arrived around February 10th. A package sent on January 2nd from New York arrived damaged February 21. 

A package from Oregon in January sent priority mail took TWO WEEKS to arrive. A package sent to my house via first class mail took 3 weeks to arrive. 

There must be a problem somewhere. 


Luther Miller 



Wozniak speaks for citizens 

The Daily Planet received this letter to the Community Environmental Advisory Commission: 

We have known Gordon Wozniak for more than 20 years. The idea that he would represent his employer, LBL, rather than the citizens of Berkeley is ludicrous. Gordon is a brilliant scientist, who has been active in the Berkeley community for several decades. He has nothing but the welfare of the people of this city at heart. He is knowledgeable, intelligent, an independent thinker. It would be a great loss to the city and the environmental cause if Gordon Wozniak were no longer involved in problems facing our city. We urge the city’s CEAC to not only retain Gordon as a member but to make him chairman as well. 

Thank you for your consideration. 

Linda Schacht 

John Gage 



Massage studio practices healing 


We are- writing in response to the Berkeley Daily Planet article entitled, “Temporary Ban On Massage Parlors in Works (Jan. 18).” We are quite upset at being referred to as a massage “parlor”. We realize you stated that we are a reputable business, but then we were referred to us as an “adult-oriented” business. Nowadays the terms “parlor” and “adult-oriented” business are used to refer to sexual/sensual services.  

We call ourselves Berkeley Massage and Self-Healing Center because we are a reputable, therapeutic establishment. Through the years we have endeavored to educate the public as to what therapeutic bodywork is and are very distressed when we are referred to as a “parlor” or an “adult-oriented business”.  

We feel that what is said in this article is a set-back to the work that we have done. We understand your concerns about the existence of massage parlors/adult oriented businesses in the downtown Berkeley area. However, we would appreciate being recognized for who we are. 

We have been offering bodywork and self-healing modalities to the community for thirty-two years, and consider ourselves to be a family oriented business. We work with parents, grandparents, children and pregnant women, and our clientele include local business owners, university faculty and students, teachers, lawyers, and computer programmers, to name only a few. Clients state that our work helps them to better cope with the stresses of our fast paced society, which in turn enhances their personal and work relationships. We also help to alleviate sports and work--related injuries. 

We have been a member of the Downtown Berkeley Association since its inception and are currently listed in their new brochure under the Health and Fitness section. We are also members of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. Enclosed is our brochure. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss this issue further. 


The Berkeley Massage and Self-Healing Center 


Editors note: We agree and regret the mischaracterization. 


Should have pardoned Peltier  


Criticism of Clinton’s pardons have focused on individuals believed to have received tainted pardons – but where is the outcry over pardons that were tragically passed over? Why, for example, didn’t Clinton commute the sentence of Leonard Peltier, whose case would have demonstrated the proper use of clemency power? 

Peltier has been wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years. He was convicted after a shoot-out on the Pine Ridge Reservation took the lives of two FBI agents and one Native man whose death was never investigated. Peltier was found guilty in a trial where witnesses were coerced, false testimony was utilized, and a ballistic test reflecting his innocence was withheld from the defense. Today the U.S. prosecutor admits, “We can’t prove who shot those agents.” The appellate court found that Peltier might have been acquitted absent the FBI abuses, but denied a new trial on a legal technicality. This appellate judge expressed firm support for Peltier’s release through executive clemency. 

Executive clemency for Peltier would have exemplified a proper use of the power, and an honorable decision to correct a terrible injustice and take a historical step towards healing relations between the U.S. government and native people. Instead, January 20, 2001 marked another betrayal of the first peoples of this land by a government who has yet to grant reparations for the many atrocities committed against them. Clinton’s legacy will be forever tainted by his abuse of the clemency process, both in the pardons he granted, and the ones he did not.  


boona cheema 



Bulldozed trees, organic gardens  


It’s beyond my comprehension that this has occurred in Berkeley: The city promoting organic gardens in it’s middle schools, creating a “Good Food Cafe” at the high school, the city considering re-surfacing it’s concrete-covered creeks, the city where people teach their children to care about the environment and encourage active participation is respecting and saving it.  

Where am I, then? And what happened to all these trees? To see them cut them down would have been bad enough, but one after another, they still stand tall - there are no stumps - stripped of their bark, mutilated horrendously. As if a giant claw had grabbed each of them and lifted it to some monster’s mouth to be gnawed and spit out. Lightning? But they are not blackened. Devastated and tortured, they have literally been torn up or down. Someone please put them out of their misery. 

I read the local papers often enough to have been aware of any publicized plan to remove these trees in order for construction work to begin at Berkeley High. I have seen nothing, no notification, no warning. When the city plan went through to remove trees along downtown Shattuck Ave. and replace them with others, the papers were full of it and protests went out loud and clear. But nothing about this.  

And I watched some of the trees being removed along Shattuck: They were sawed down quickly, cut up and taken away. The barren spots where they had stood were upsetting, but nothing like this scene of devastation. And why the trees on the sidewalk and those just inside the school grounds? Couldn’t construction have been planned around them? But the thing that left me with such a feeling of shock and anger is how it was done. And it is not done. The poor ravaged trees stand there testifying to the fact that no one gave a good god damn about the life that was in them. 

My daughter, who is a student at Berkeley High, is also upset.  

B. Jacobs