Page One

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday March 06, 2001

LBNL job not compatible with commission post  



In the interest of economy of words, is calling Gordon Wozniak “Head” rather than “Deputy Head” of Berkeley Lab’s Nuclear Science Division really a “blatant misstatement”? (Letter Misstates Wozniak’s Role inLabs… 2/27/01). 

I obtained my information regarding Wozniak’s Berkeley Lab employment from the Berkeley City Attorney’s January 2, 2001, opinion which concludes “Dr. Wozniak’s employment as a physicist and Division Head at LBNL in the Nuclear Science Division is incompatible with his role [as] a CEAC commissioner”. 

Evie Wozniak refers to her husband’s place of employment at the lab as the “National” Science Division whereas the City Attorney calls it the “Nuclear” Science Division. Who’s right – Wozniak’s wife or the City Attorney? 

On a higher level, I would like to conclude with the words of Dr. John Gofman, Professor Emeritus, UCB Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology, and former Associate Director of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory: 

“‘Credible assurance’ can not be obtained from anyone with a conflict of interest – like the Lab itself or DOE. It would be ridiculous for the Lab to tell the public and its state and local officials, ‘Just trust us’ …. The public always has a HUGE stake in the proper handling of hazardous wastes, both radioactive and non-radioactive.  

People who operate facilities with the POTENTIAL to pollute need the humility and goodwill to recognize that the public has every right to impose pre-emptive measures for self-defense against such poisons BEFORE they escape. 

“This is especially arguable when the potential pollutant is radioactive, since it is clear that there is NO threshold dose-level (no safe dose, no risk-free dose) of ionizing radiation.  

Thus, nuclear pollution, in the aggregate, causes premeditated random murder.” 


Gene Bernardi 

Committee to Minimize Toxic Waste 



City could better support labs 


I can't speak to the specifics of the 1974 California Political Reform Act and how it applies to Gordon Wozniak serving on the Berkeley Community Environmental Advisory Commission.  

I am familiar and wanted to speak in support of the environmental work being done at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

As a certified energy manager, I have been familiar with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (LBNL) work to reduce the greenhouse effect, improve indoor air quality, and save energy in buildings for more than 20 years.  

LBNL leads the world in improving building lighting, window research, reducing urban heat islands, and high performance fume hoods. 

I would like to see the Berkeley community better support and understand the pioneering environmental work being done up on One Cyclotron Road at LBNL. 


V.A. Neuman 




One more weighs in for Wozniak 



As a Berkeley citizen and personal friend of Gordon Wozniak I wish to express my support for his on-going participation on the Community Environmental Advisory Commission.  

I have known Gordon for about 15 years and know him to be an exceptionally intelligent and reasonable person.  

In dealing with complex issues he is always objective and able to listen to all sides.  

He is tolerant. He has a commitment to the environment which comes from a love of nature, the purest kind of environmentalism.  

All of his 34 years in Berkeley he has been an active citizen, participating at all levels of civic life, exemplary for his dedication and hard work, in a quiet and unassuming manner.  

I see the current conflict as having the potential to do us great harm.  

Gordon is exactly the kind of person we need in public life: decent, smart and dedicated (a Bill Clinton without moral deficiencies).  

I strongly urge you to give him your support. He deserves accolades not attacks. 


Beverly Cheney 




City attorney rulings blocks citizens from participation  


This letter was originally e-mailed to Mayor Shirley Dean:  



I just read the March 1 issue of the Daily Planet about the witch hunt against Gordon Wozniak.  

I don't know Mr. Wozniak or his opponents or even the issue they are fighting about.  

What I am concerned about is the growing abuse of conflict-of-interest laws by the City Attorney to stop talented Berkeley citizens from participating in city government.  

Conflict-of-interest laws are designed to prohibit those with financial conflicts from making decisions.  

In this case and in the case of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage members, the City Attorney has stretched the definition of conflict too far. 

It appears that anyone who works for a government agency, holds a scientific or technical degree or volunteers for a non-profit organization could be prohibited from participating on a city board or commission.  

This interpretation will greatly restrict the number of talented and committed Berkeley citizens who are eligible to be active in Berkeley government. 

That's a terrible direction for the city to take.  

This could have huge, negative impacts for the future of Berkeley.  

I urge you to give this issue your highest attention. 


Dave Fogarty