Our Warriors are Winners!
The Golden State Warriors Basketball Team has just finished a very hard season, but once again because of them, many Bay Area kids have had another good year. Because once again, even when they are having their own troubles,
Our Warriors continue to give generously to Bay Area Schools, After School Programs, Youth Groups & Teen Programs, the American Heart Association... And so many more I could go on all day.
I know the gratitude of Bay Area Families first hand. I'm the President of the Berkeley PTA Council, and my whole community will always remember the time that Travis, vice president of public relations gave me 450 tickets to a December game to give out at a district-wide Family Reading Night.
What a night, and what a Christmas present as every family got four tickets; great seats in the lower stands. Many of us could not have afforded this great family night out. The Warriors won that night, but it wouldn't have mattered, because for so many Bay Area fans, the Golden State Warriors are always champions. And if the kids could forget that game, they would still remember Thunder passing out those tickets at Malcolm X School, telling kids how important reading is to success.
Last week my son David won first class seats to a game because he raised money for ‘Hoops for Hearts,’ along with kids from all over the Bay Area.
Just how many Bay Area Programs look to the Warriors for this significant support? Just how many Kids, Families and Communities have been saved because the Warriors cared enough to share the Magic of Warriors Basketball.
How many programs are enriched because of their generosity? You can see it in the stands, you can feel it in the air, as the magic that the Warriors organization creates so well eases our stress, excites us, makes us push our cares away as we watch our Warriors show us that even in the hardest of times, you have to love who you are and what you do.
Now that the last game of the season is over, more than 14,000 true fans attended, and many of them won't really remember that the other team won that game ... Just that they had a wonderful time.
Thanks Warriors. Next year, when you’re down on that court, look into the stands and you will see that we are there to support you, just as you have supported our kids.
Mark A. Coplan
President, Berkeley PTA Council
Civic Center park off limits as parking garage
The residents of the central Berkeley neighborhoods object to the suggestion in the work plan of the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) Advisory Board that DBA, “encourage city to study feasibility of underground parking in Martin Luther King Civic Center Park.” We request that this statement be removed from the Downtown Business Work Plan.
Civic Center Park is owned by the city of Berkeley and therefore by the people who live here. The park is not available for development. It is protected, As are all Berkeley parks, by Measure L, passed in 1986, which requires that any structure to be built in a Berkeley park only if approved by a vote of the citizens. This was attempted in 1996 when Measure X was placed on the ballot to try to build temporary buildings on the park to be used as city offices while the Civic Center Building was being retrofitted.
Measure X was defeated by 76 percent of the vote.
The park is also protected by the City of Berkeley Landmark status and is part of a State Historic District. Presently the park is in an extended planning process for restoration which will get the fountain functioning, replant missing trees and possibly move the children's playground away from the noise and pollution of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. When construction of the Civic Center Building is completed, the park will be extended closer to the building by removal of the parking lot west of the building.
People who live in Berkeley, especially those who live in the central residential neighborhoods value the Civic Center Park for the open space it provides in the downtown, for the gren lawn and soaring poplar trees which provide food, for swallowtail butterflies, for the memories of the designers of the park, for the memories of the many wonderful festivals and free concerts, and for the Peace Wall dedicated by Jesse Jackson. The park is especially valued by residents of census tracts 29 and 30 where there are few park resources and no public children's swings.
There have already been missed opportunities to create underground parking when Berkeley Rep built their new theater and when Berkeley High School planned construction of its new building at Allston and Milvia. Perhaps underground parking could be planned for the apartment building which will replace Hink's Garage.
An open letter to Police Chief Dash Butler
I am writing to you as the Neighborhood Watch Captain for the Fulton/Russell Neighborhood Association concerning the lockdown of the public park at Le Conte Elementary School.
Apparently, there was an assault in the park approximately two weeks ago during the early evening. As a result, the park, which is supposed to be open to the public until 10 p.m. as per posted signage, has been on lockdown.
The Berkeley Police Dept. notified the Berkeley Unified School District's security officer to lock the gates to the park at 6 p.m., monday - friday, except for one gate on Oregon Street which is locked at 8 p.m., and to open the park only 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on the weekends.
This is a public park. It's maintenance and security is a joint effort of the BPD, the BUSD and the neighborhood. We pay hefty taxes to keep our parks open and accessible. I have had many complaints this week from neighbors about the park being on lockdown. We have very little green space in this city to begin with. And now with Daylight Savings Time our kids need a place to play until almost 9 p.m. People want to use their park!
What kind of community will we wind up living in if every time some crime occurs, we put a fence around the crime scene and seal it off? We want the police to do their job and catch the criminals — not punish the neighborhood where the crime occurred.
In addition, why weren't the Neighborhood Block Captains notified about the assault? I thought that one of the reasons neighborhood associations were formed was to transmit information about our safety. We are on line and have telephones, easy to contact. There is no excuse. I want to be informed. My neighbors want to be informed. It is my job to let them know if anything is going on that concerns them. This does. And I don't have anything to tell them about keeping themselves safe. What actually happened? Have the criminals been caught? Why can't the park stay open? Do you expect these same criminals to strike there again? And, if so, why aren't the Police patroling the park?
I would appreciate some answers. So would my neighbors. And we want the park open immediately, please.