Page One

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday March 13, 2001

Olds’ first duty is to stand up for her constituents 



In your article on 2/28/01 about UC Berkeley's latest expansion plans for the northeast side of campus, you reported Betty Olds (the council member for District 6, as saying “A lot of the proposals I don't like, but I bow to the inevitable.” As a resident of district 6, this comment is outrageous and unacceptable. This is possibly UC's biggest expansion plan in its history and not only will it have a severe negative impact on my neighborhood (north of campus including “holy hill”), but it will also be felt like an earthquake throughout the city. 

It is the duty of an elected official to defend her constituents against threats to their quality of life. Betty Olds' statement sounds like a betrayal of the trust our community has placed in her. Betty Olds should be taking action to bring the whole community, including representatives of UC, together to talk about our issues and find positive solutions to our problems. Such an action would place Olds in a position of respect and standing in the community. Olds could follow the lead of San Jose council member Cindy Chavez, as an example of this type of leadership. Chavez has organized an annual neighborhood summit on Sat., 3/24, for neighbors in her district and others, to take part in interactive workshops on issues such as traffic calming, neighborhood development, parks and recreation, code enforcement and community leadership. Its all free and even includes complimentary lunch. (Reservations can be made by calling 408-277-5231.) 

At this time of unprecedented threat to our neighborhoods by UC expansion, our councilmembers must draw on their skills, courage and knowledge to help us protect our neighborhoods. We must embrace change, but we should not passively accept changes that are negative and damaging to the character and livability of our city. 


Roger Van Ouytsel 



Peace will come when people see the real enemy 



There will be peace in the middle-east, some day. And in East Timor and Kashmir and Sri Lanka and Kurdistan and Sudan and Congo and Kosovo and Ireland and Columbia, and all the other places in the world where nation fights nation, tribe fights tribe, neighbor fights neighbor.  

But it will not come from sitting around a conference table with the U.S. President.  

What the U.S. calls “peace” in the middle-east is for the workers and poor to accept the existing situation, that is poverty and exploitation, while the huge oil wealth of the region goes undisturbed into the pockets of the U.S. corporations.  

It is to this end that the United States long-ago armed the Israeli state to the teeth. And more recently recruited Arafat’s PLO as an additional police force.  

Peace will come when enough people understand how the world really works, and are ready to take their share of the responsibility for creating a more humane and democratic world.  

Some day the Israeli soldier, with his rifle, and the young Palestinian, with his rocks, will arrange their own cease-fire. And ask:  

“Why are we fighting each other? Our common enemies are the oil companies, the royal families, the imperialists, the priests, the politicians. They have brought us only misery and exploitation in a region of enormous wealth. Maybe it’s time to turn the guns the other way.”  

Of course, we are a long way from that point. How soon we will get there depends, in part, on us. Whether we will continue to support the great Democratic-Republican-Imperialist swindle, or take some small, serious steps towards building a movement that can eliminate the profit system. So that, some day, there will be peace in the middle-east.  


Marion Syrek 


UC Berkeley needs to practice IPM 


The Gill Tract isn’t the only place to which the University applies the toxic herbicide ‘Roundup’ (Parents Mad Over Herbicide Spraying, Feb. 16).  

Anyone seeking shade under a tree on the UC Berkeley campus ought to think twice. The university sprays the herbicide without even posting warnings. A groundskeeper recently told me “as soon as it’s dry, it’s safe.”  

Irene Hegarty, director of community relations, says it “dissipates into the soil,” and assures us that the College of Natural Resources (i.e. biotech giant Novartis) “believes...there is no danger.”  

Hogwash. The University owes it to the public to be more responsible by implementing an effective, non-toxic Integrated Pest Management system. At the very least, it should post warnings in sprayed areas.  


Philip Batchelder 






To the Editor; 

The teapot tempest in Berkeley’s Community Enviromental 

Advisory Commission (CEAC) over conflicting interests continues. Berkeley’s attorney has twice declared that senior scientist and general  

radiation booster Gordon Wozniak’s longtime employment at Lawrence  

Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) prevents him from voting on lab pollution issues without the appearance of personal benefit. Refusing to resign, Mr Wozniak is waving a writ from his own lawyer defending the right of public employees to serve in public positions like commissions.  

Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with the problem outlined by the city attorney. Mr. Wozniak is welcome to serve on any public body that is not regularly addressing controversial issues between the city and his employer, where his vote in the lab’s favor will alway’s be suspect. Presently, there are serious enviromental contamination issues with LBNL like their Tritium Labeling Facility, which has been regularly unloading radioactive waste on us in the form of tritiated water for decades.  

After the trees, groundwater and the next- door Lawrence Hall of Science were found to be radioactive enough to qualify for Super-Fund Status, the Berkeley City Council hired an independant science consultant whose first draft report just arrived. The report did not address all the concerns raised by the local watchdog group, the Committee to Minimize Toxic Waste, but it does demonstrate in numerous ways why the Tritium Facility should close immediately . Berkeley is depending on their enviromental commission to translate the report and recommend an appropiate course of action, which probably means huge clean-up and relocation expenses for LBNL and the Dept. of Energy (DOE) who run this circus. Mr. Wozniak claims that he is not rewarded for his 100% pro-Lab votes but I have to wonder whether he would have succeeded aswell as he has if he had joined the growing chorus of scientific voices critical of DOE’s self-serving radiation standards.  

Another CEAC commissioner resigned after the city attorney claimed conflict with his newly elected school board position. I’ve been unable to imagine the school board pittedagainst CEAC over a pollution problem, but I do respect the ex-commissioner’s sacrifice for integrity and less controversy for our enviromental process. It’s time to quiet this teapot .  


Mark McDonald 

(510) 849-1255 









Why Park on the Street? 


Tue, 06 Mar 2001 20:26:51 -0800 


Steve Geller  






I find it hard to sympathize with BUSD workers or neighborhood residents  

in their complaints about not having enough on-street parking. 


Here are some thoughts I had after reading Wendy Alfsen's letter (3/5). 


Residents with cars should have a parking space on their property. It they 


then they shouldn't expect the city to reserve them a free one on the street. 

People working at BUSD or nearby have no more right to the street parking 

than residents do. 


The street is public property, but I suppose people or carpools could be 

leased a parking 

slot for their exclusive use. This would put a price on scarce parking 



People working at BUSD really shouldn't be coming by car.  

The area is abundantly served by buses. People who come to work alone, 

carrying minimal baggage, and don't use the car during the day, really 

should be 

using our fine public transit. 


How much stuff do teachers and administrators have to lug with them? Is it 

so much 

that it can't be carried in a briefcase or a knapsack? Even people who 

have chosen to 

live far from transit, can find a parking lot for the car, and walk or ride 

the bus the 

rest of the way. 


I guess I'm biased, because I use the bus and my knapsack to get about 


I know it can be done.  


Steve Geller 

2540 College #311 

Berkeley 94704 






There is one thing missing in the ongoing debate over “integrity” and “function”; and that is if Gordon Wozniak is in conflict over his role with the Rad Lab and his civic functions, then why not is Becky O’Malley in conflict with the many things she belongs to vs. city commissions on which she sits like a mother hen.  

Let me give you an example of scientific “integrity”: “The mass poisoning of as many as five hundred thousand German human beings was given to Fermi, who swore (at Oppenheimer’s request) to secrecy within the larger secrecy of the Manhattan Project. This dust was mixed with other dust or liquid, then mixed with strontium 90 (Teller’s formula). “Oppenheimer created this dust with great enthusiasm.” - (pages 510-11 in Richard Rhodes’ book “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” 1988).  

But the Atomic Bomb “worked”, over 30,000 Japanese at Hiroshima (just for starters), so we didn’t have to use Oppenheimer’s dust. Who are we to speak of “integrity”? 



George Kauffman 





Anne Read Smith  

61 San Mateo Road, Berkeley, CA 94707-2015  

(510) 525-4434 FAX (510) 525-4708  



March 9, 2001  


Dear Editor,  


I think the Emperor has new clothes!  

How can President Bush justify giving back a huge amount of money to the rich when he doesn't have an approved budget in place so he knows how 

much he's going to spend?  

Are we all going to sit back and tell him what a marvelous new suit he's wearing?  




Anne Smith  



Bailey misquoted 


Fri, 9 Mar 2001 13:58:02 -0800 


Paul Klein  







I don't know a pet who isn't thrilled by Bailey the Labrador's run  

for Berkeley City Council, but I do know a few Malamutes,  

Rottweillers, Dobermans, etc who would like to have a word with  

Bailey's owner/guardian/belly scratcher/campaign manager, Doug  

Fielding, for his misstatement of the party platform (Berkeley Daily  

Planet, Forum, 3/9/01). 


There are two animal shelters in Berkeley. One is operated by the  

Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society. The other - the Berkeley Animal  

Care Shelter - is operated by the city. Pets are unanimous in their  

desire to see both supported by the community, but it is the latter,  

the municipal shelter, that must be replaced. Notwithstanding the  

ongoing efforts of its compassionate staff and volunteers, the  

facility is at best a marginally humane physical space for impounded  

pets. So, clearly, Fielding misquoted our candidate when he called  

for a new Humane Society building. 


Cats are singing it from moonlit fences. Dogs are digging up favors  

and fetching votes. Bailey is their man. Or at least their pup.  

His willingness to do the dirty work is apparent, as Fielding pointed  

out, in his scurrying about with the household toilet brush. No  

one's quite sure what it means when he does the same with the  

household's shoes and socks, but all are confident it serves the  



Again, persons wishing to join the campaign should contact Bailey for  

City Council, 2149 Stuart Street, Berkeley, CA 94705, or email 


Paul Klein 



510.643.7330 or 510.525.1593 



Bike Path at Aquatic Park 


Sun, 11 Mar 2001 13:59:57 -0800 


Alexandra Yurkovsky  






As an Aquatic Park fan, I've been please at some of the attention you've 

given the multi-use park. But I wonder if all of us realize what the new 

bike path on the west side is doing to the view of the horizon (yes, it 

can be seen beyond the cars on the highway), Mt. Tam, the sunset, the 

trees that are being cut down. A Friend of Aquatic Park has assured me 

that the loss of habitat is not affecting the birds, and that the Black 

Crowned Night Heron, for example, has always roosted mostly by the far 

pool near the road to Emeryville and the highway entrance-- but my 

amateur birding observations indicate they've been to an extent 

displaced. And as a biker, I could've found other ways of getting to 

nature trails.... 


Anyhow, I'll probably be sending you an editorial soon, and I plan to 

call the Parks Dept. myself for more info on exactly how much of the west 

side is to be denuded of trees, but I'm hoping you'd also like to do a 

story. A good picture of the fantastic tree silhouettes can be taken from 

Bancroft at Bolivar, or even at Addison or is it Alston at Bolivar, where 

you can contrast the trees w/the growing bridge. 


Thanks for considering this idea. 


Alexandra Yurkovsky 


Mr. Worthington: 


Do you have any clout with Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown ? 

Could you possibly use your influence with him to have a larger capacity  

water heater installed in the bowling alley (winter/overflow shelter) at the  

Oakland Army Base to serve the men's (and I presume, women's)  

restrooms/lavatories ? The present one is insufficient to meet the demands  

of the morning rush, and shaving daily with cold water is a most  

disagreeable experience. 


Thank you. 


John W. Bush 


Berkeley has a great reputation as a center of creative thinking, and in his  

letter published 3-9-01, Jan Visser has managed to push the bounds. 

For starters, while I respect Berkeley's decision to change the wording of  

certain laws from 'ownership' to 'guardian', I doubt this will have the  

desired effect of lowering neglect / abuse. Having worked for years at both  

animal shelters and veterinary hospitals, I have found that with those  

people who choose to treat their pet as an object instead of family are very  

loath to change their ways. 

He later statement, decrying "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,...  

to force these young men to destroy these countries and the people there,  

after labeling these people anti-American fascists". As I recall of  

history, 1) After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, more people VOLUNTEERED than  

our armed forces could handle, 2) Nazi Germany had done a good job  

supplanting the governments of Poland, Austria, France while massacring  

about 12 million of her own citizens and those of conquered countries, 3)  

many of the European countries attacked & threatened by Hitler requested far  

more help than we offered, and welcomed American troops, 4) Hitler was  

obsessed with the idea of the A-10 rocket, which would carry a large warhead  

from Germany to New York (america), implying that at least the leader of the  

Nazis was anti-American, 5) the Nazi government was, in fact, fascist. 

(I will concede that Korea & Vietnam were likely sizable blunders...  

though China, the USSR, N. Vietnam, & N. Korea were self-labeled communists  

at the time) 

(World War I was just a mess for all countries involved (as though the  

others weren't)) 

As for the state "ordering our children to go to these public schools",4  

words: 'Private School', 'Home Schooling'. 

Or shall our kids not have the abilities to make any sort of living for  

themselves as adults? After all, there are only so many McDonald jobs  


David Zucker 



Dear Mr. Banks,  


On February 16, I sent you a letter of complaint that the mail box in front of Walgreens on Allston Way has not been emptied since at least June 5, 2000.  

This is only one of the many cases that first class mail has been destroyed in Berkeley since August 1999.  

Will you please answer the letter and send back my mail because many of the letters are out of date. Among other things, there is a money order for $40.  

There is definite chance that the mail has been destroyed to suppress evidence. If I do not hear from you by March 7, I will press charges with the Federal District Attorney.  


Alfred Hartz, M.D. 





Since the inception of the U.S. Postal Service, no mail is forwarded, not even in Washington D.C. All change of address cards are destroyed. I am then informed in an undated and unsigned letter from Tennessee that my address is still the same. The mail to be forwarded is then destroyed. However, mail addressed to me from overseas is returned to the senders. They got this from the Mexicans.  

In October, 1977 my mail was at least held for three weeks and then delivered after intervention from my German family. The change of address card had allegedly been mis-routed. After that, no more forwarding took place anywhere.  

Postmaster Banks ( “I am big, bad black Berkeley boy Banks” as he introduced himself in 1986) can no longer be reached. He does not have his name on his door, nor does his assistant, secretary, or customer services. Customer service in Oregon give a telephone number that has long been disconnected.  

His very hostile secretary does not give her name. She does not wear a name tag. Her door does not carry her name. She refuses to surrender U.S. Postal Service regulations in defiance of federal law. She asks me pointedly how I got into the office. When I pointed that I came in through the door, the door was locked the next time and the bell was not answered. When I asked for an appointment or a telephone connection, that was denied.  

Banks refuses to answer letters. The postal inspectors no longer send complaint forms. I have asked Representative Lee to have Banks answer my complaint. I have asked Representative Pelosi to see to it that the postal inspectors send the complaint form. I have asked the mayor to hold a public hearing. 

To speed things up, I will contact the FBI. I have already written to the Universal Postal Service in Geneva.  


Alfred Hartz, M.D. 


(no phone #) 



(The following is a letter to Postmaster Banks from Alfred Hartz, who wrote the above letter)