Page One

Friday March 09, 2001

Bailey throws paw into city’s 

political ring 


Bailey, a seven-month-old Labrador retriever, has announced he is throwing his paw in the Berkeley political ring by announcing he is a candidate for the Berkeley City Council.  

Bailey has been described as outgoing, well-liked by both children and adults, energetic and not afraid to do the work to dig into the issues. “He’ll be a very determined councilmember,” said guardian Doug Fielding, “He’s not afraid to tackle the dirty work, either. Just the other day, he was coming out of the backyard studio with a toilet brush in his mouth.”  

Bailey’s primary concerns are field space for pets and a new building for the East Bay Humane Society. “Have you seen that building? It should be a disgrace to every guardian in the city.”  

Although rather young for the city council, Bailey has already been doing community service. When they needed somebody to chase the geese off the new playing fields at Harrison Park, Bailey volunteered his services. When Bailey became aware of the overpopulation issue among his constituents, he set an example by getting neutered. 

Bailey has not yet decided which council seat he will pursue. “He spends a lot of time in Northwest Berkeley at Harrison Park and is well known by residents of Harrison House, but he also is a fixture on Telegraph Avenue because his other guardian, Laura Tibbals, works at Moe’s books.  

Bailey has decided he will not accept any monetary donations in support of his campaign and persons donating dog biscuits should know that their biscuits will be turned over to the East Bay Humane Society for the welfare of all animals at the shelter.  

Persons wishing to make donations or join the campaign should contact Bailey for City Council, 2149 Stuart Street, Berkeley, CA 94705 or they can e-mail Bailey at All those wishing to join Bailey’s campaign will receive a Bailey for City Council button.  


Bailey Tibbals-Fielding 

Doug Fielding (guardian) 



We need less control over all living creatures  


What a good beginning to redefine dog ownership as guardianship. The idea of at-pleasure ownership and control of living creatures needs relegation to the past. All mighty man is now in control of all life on this planet and he can continue to rule as a predator or rise to be a guardian.  

A man is the guardian of his wife, a woman is the guardian of her husband, a parent is the guardian of his child and his dog and the tree that grows in his garden and must care for them before he cares for himself.  

But worst of all ideas of ownership is the belief that the State owns its citizens and can order them around. The idea that the president and Congress of the U.S. have the right to send young men to die in World War I and II, Korea, and Vietnam and to force these young men to destroy these countries and the people living there, after labeling these people anti-American fascists and communists, is absurd.  

It is also absurd that the State can order our children to go to these public schools. This is imprisonment and brainwashing of children whose only crime is to be born in this ‘free’ country.  

We must rethink this whole idea of controlling other human beings before we get worked up over cats and dogs and endangered species.  


Jan H. Visser 



Mediocrity is in the eye of the beholder 


Mel Baker (March 7) oddly writes to your paper to urge the board of Pacifica to “move forward with bylaw chnges that would allow Pacifica to sell the licenses of KPFA and WBAI.” 

He accuses these stations of mediocrity and says that they have become vehicles for “the egos of individuals who are broadcasting ‘college level’ and 'amateur' broadcasting.” While the letter sounds much like a press release from the expensive new PR firm that Pacifica has used listener donations to hire, Baker identifies himself as former NPR producer and NBC editor in San Francisco. 

One doesn't have to work for commercial and “public” television (as did in the 1980s) to recognize mediocrity and worse, but it sure helps if one has any critical faculties left. Any reasonably intelligent person knows that since Tony Tiano inaugruated advertising (and the censorship that inevitably comes with it), KQED-TV has perfected mediocrity by ridding itself of local programming and news, icing out documentaries, and laying on such prime-time educational features as Antique Roadshow and competitive ballroom dancing. Meanwhile, commercial and “professional” television has steadily devolved into little more than pornographic mind poison and propaganda for an increasingly illegitimate power elite. Anyone who works in mass media quickly learns not to delve too deeply into the hidden structures of power lest they jeopardize their own careers. Ursula K. LeGuin calls such internalized censorship the “Stalin in the Soul.” 

As for ego-driven, Baker surely knows that TV networks do all in their considerable power to give their blow-dried teleprompter readers the status and salaries of movie stars and opera divas in order to cloak them with legitimacy. 

Tony Tiano used the same arguments that Baker and Pacifica are now using to suck the controversy out of what was intended to be public, educational television. Controversy and serious investigation of power are the oxygen of a fucntioning democracy, and within the increasingly castrated Pacifica network, only KPFA and WBAI now fullfil that role. Hence, Baker recommends their sale. Technically sloppy they may sometimes sound in contrast to the processed world of big-money media, but shows such as those produced by Dennis Bernstein, Larry Bensky, and Amy Goodman are our last breathing holes to reality, and that is precisely why those of us who recognize the need for oxygen will fight for the right to continue breathing. And that is why such hard-working producers are far more “professional” than the slickly-produced dope that now monopolizes the commercial airwaves. 

Gray Brechin 



Brechin worked for KQED and NBC-affiliate KRON 

Density creates more problems 


As an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, I have now been living in the city of Berkeley for three years. In this time, I have become increasingly exposed to problems that the density of our city creates. These problems are evident in the high demand for housing in the area, the traffic and parking problems, and the slow disappearance of nature within the city. Due to the inevitable influx of students every year and the popularity of the bay area, this will prove to be a continuous problem. In his book, Contemporary Urban Planning, John M. Levy suggests that a solution to this problem is growth management, which is “defined as the regulation of the amount, timing, location, and character of development” (Levy, p. 215). He states that the reasons for implementing growth management include “ensuring that community facilities such as schools, roads, utilities, and recreation will be adequate for future needs” (Levy, p. 215), and it is becoming increasingly apparent that Berkeley is in need of such certainty. 

In theory, growth management must take place in one of two ways: controlling residential growth, or limiting commercial development. Many cities have chosen the option of limiting residential development because it “produces tight labor markets and high housing prices” (Levy, p. 221). However, this type of housing market is already established in Berkeley, yet the density continues to grow. The solution, therefore, lies in the management of large commercial growth within our city and concentrating on accommodating our current population. Many cities, including Boulder, CO and Davis, CA, are examples of successful growth management. 

Known for its environmentally conscious population, Berkeley will benefit from growth management because “fewer tress will be cut down, less ground will be covered with impervious cover, and fewer sources of air and water pollution will be present in the area” (Levy, p. 217). A professor of Landscape Architecture, Anne Whiston Spirn, states that “all cities, by virtue of density and people and buildings . . . alter the character of their original environment” (Sprin, Stein ed., p.482). As residents, I hope that we can minimize this alteration by eventually slowing the rapid commercialization of our city. 

Kari Williams 


Increased supply will solve city’s housing woes 


Congratulations to the Daily Planet for its excellent coverage of last week’s public hearing on the Draft General Plan (DGP), including landlords’ en masse presentations. Chairman Rob Wrenn’s subsequent dismissal of “the myth of the wealthy tenant” was, however, quite misleading if it is not accompanied by an even stronger rejection of two other myths which permeate Berkeley’s thinking on the subject of rental housing. We refer to the popular misconceptions that tenants, as a group, are poor and exploited, while all landlords are wealthy profiteers, tainted somehow by the fact that they own rentals. The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle of this muddle of myths.  

The shortage of rental housing forces prices up — in Berkeley as elsewhere in the Bay Area. The way to bring them down is to increase supply, which could be accomplished by encouraging development and investment. Instead, the DGP offers a Ponzi scheme with the City buying up 6,500 rental units to keep them “affordable.” Where will it get the money for such an acquisition, and how would that increase the supply of rentals? 


Peggy Schioler