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Wednesday June 13, 2001

Women in Black, same old phrases 


The Women In Black held their demonstration in San Francisco last week on the corner of Market and Montgomery. As usual they had the same old banners saying “Stop the Occupation and the Terrorism Will Stop.” Well, the occupation stopped in 1993 in 95 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak was even willing to give much more, but Arafat turned it down and “The Women in Black” continue with their time worn out catch phrases. 

The Israeli troops are present only to protect the Jewish settlers from being massacred by the Palestinians. But you must note that there is no need for Arafat’s army to protect the Israeli Arabs living in Israel proper. The Israeli Arabs serve in the Knesset, have their own papers and radio stations, live the good life without any fear. 

Aubrey Lee Broudy 


Adopt eco-pass now 

The Daily Planet received this letter addressed to the mayor and council: 

I write to urge your approval for the one-year trial, free AC Transit pass for city employees. I believe this proposal is the preferred transit plan for the following reasons: 

1) There has been much discussion and study of transit incentives here in Berkeley. I do not believe another study is necessary, and in fact I believe would only delay implementation of an important opportunity for the city.  

2) The proposed one-year trial is doable immediately, and indeed has been endorsed by the Green Party of Alameda County as the preferable option before the Berkeley City Council at this time. 

3) Though I believe business and other institutional support for this program is imperative, as far as I know at this time the Berkeley Unified School District has not been part of plans to implement any free or reduced transit program. In fact, due to the nature of the district's budget cuts and adjustments this year, it does not seem feasible to fund any additional programs at this time; our budget is in final form and will be approved as such at the June 20 School Board meeting. 

I want to emphasize that I would be glad to sponsor or co-sponsor District support for and implementation of the City's AC Transit pass program at a time later in the summer or early fall when the district's state funding is known and finalized, and additional program funding is possible. Clearly, however, it would be impossible for the district to fund and undertake the expense of such a program at this time. 

If further study is necessary to expand this AC Transit plan to include BART and other sources of transportation, these studies can and should occur while there is a model program in effect. It is important for the city to move forward on this issue, model and show the District, other institutions, and businesses that it is possible and will indeed reduce traffic, congestion, and parking pressures downtown and elsewhere, and that finally doing something is far better than doing nothing at all. I speak as a citizen and resident of Berkeley, as one School Board member, but not for the entire Board nor the District. 


John Selawsky 

Member, Board of Education