Page One

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday July 25, 2001

Bush tax relief is just not enough 


Dear Editor: 


Various letters to the editor have suggested what to do with the Bush tax refund. 

July 19, I received IRS Notice 1275. In big red letters is titled “Notice of Status and Amount of Immediate Tax Relief.” Then it says, “Dear Taxpayer:, blah, blah, blah. ... As part of immediate tax relief, you will be receiving a check in the amount of $13.50 during the week of 07/30/2001.” Then there is more information. 

I do not know if I received the “incorrect” IRS notice or the “correct” IRS notice. In either case, I will have to think long and hard what to do with my $13.50. Lets see, it will not pay my PG&E bill; or Pacific Telephone; or EBMUD. I suppose I could go to Starbucks and buy a pound of coffee. But since I am disabled, I guess I better apply the money toward a prescription. It might be nice to not have to make the decision of whether or not I eat or get my medication. 

If I really do get check for $13.50, the federal government has probably spent more than that in getting it out to me. 

What kind of logic is that? That is a waste of taxpayer’s money. 


John G. Cakars 



Worthington could do two jobs if elected to state Assembly 


The Daily Planet received this lettter addressed to Councilmember Kriss Worthington: 


It’s great that you’re looking at a run at a state legislative seat, and you can definitely count on my enthusiastic if mostly symbolic support, (Can I send a few local faxes to help your prospective campaign?). 

The council would suffer from your absence, and the warm pool remodel may fall into a slough of despond. The only practical solution may be to pass an emergency measure so you can hold both posts simultaneously. I know it means extra work for you, but I’ve full confidence you can swing it! 

Meantime, keep up the good work.  


Terry Cochrell 


City Manager did a good job 




I recently wrote a letter to the Daily Planet which I regret in part because I was critical of the City Manager based on my expectation that past behavior predicted future behavior. I am both happy and embarrassed to say that in this case I was wrong.  

I have been quite critical of city staff, and I feel it has been constructive. But, when someone does something good I think it’s important to recognize it.  

Mr. Rucker, our city manager, got his report on the cellular moratorium out about four days before the hearing on the 17th. It helped to have the information as it corrected a misconception I had and which found its way into my last letter to the Planet. So, though I am only in partial agreement with the recommendations, I want to thank Rucker for the good work on this report. We need the information to be good citizens, and we need it in time to digest it and to respond before things are acted on.  


Leonard Schwartzburd 




Let’s create our own personal pedestrian pledge 




I believe Harlan Head (in his July 18 Planet letter) hit the nail on the head as far as community use of Berkeley’s limited resource of streets and sidewalks. We all share those resources whether we are traveling by foot or by various configurations of wheels and/or power.  

My wife and I have many years experience as car-less pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit users. Till now I have all too often decided the “to cross or not to cross” question by my interpretation of traffic patterns rather than by signs and lights.  

No more, Harlan. I pledge to join my wife in her habit of observing and respecting all traffic signs and lights whether I think I have a “good reason” for ignoring them or not. I shall have to struggle with two places on my morning newspaper route where I think middle-of-the-block crossing is almost required.  

Here is my Personal Berkeley Pedestrian Pledge: I pledge to be courteous and respectful to my sister and brother pedestrians and wheeled friends and to obey all traffic laws and regulations. If I find myself forgetting this pledge, I shall begin again.  

Please, Berkeleyans, and other folks passing through, feel free to create your own Personal Berkeley Pedestrian Pledge. The lives we save and the damages we avoid may be our own.  


Bill Trampleasure 



Do not give any support to Reddy’s Pasand  



We support the letter written to Daily Planet by Dr. Diana Russell about the outrageously minimal sentence received by Lakireddy Reddy as a result of his guilty plea bargain. He should have received the maximum of 38 years as punishment for his crimes of sex trafficking of young girls for 15 years, enslaving and raping them.  

What is not known by the general public, but discussed by the Judge at the court sentencing, is that Reddy engaged also in attempts to obstruct justice. He attempted to bribe the young women he had raped (who had returned to India) not to return to testify against him. The young women told U.S. Department of Justice that they feared that their relatives would be killed if they testified. Department of Justice arranged for the women and their close relatives to return to U.S. into protective custody. They will be available to testify at the court trials of Reddy’s sons and for the civil trial that many of the women will bring against Reddy and the sons. During the sentencing hearing, the Judge also spoke of the tremendous harm which the raped women had endured and the psychological help they will need.  

As for the so-called “innocent” workers at Pasand Restaurant, if the police had done an adequate investigation at the scene on night of Nov. 24, 1999 when Reddy and others from Pasand Restaurant were interrupted in their get-away by Marcia Poole, the “innocent” workers from the restaurant could have been indicted for their part in attempting to cover up negligent homicide or as accessories to a murder conspiracy. The workers a Pasand’s, on call to Reddy, who ran to help Reddy cover up his plot to carry away the women, should have been indicted.  

In May, 2001, the Berkeley City Council voted to support, and to ask all citizens of Berkeley, to support the boycott of Pasand Restaurant.  

We ask you not to give your money to support the Reddys.  


BJ Miller 

Marcia Poole 

Grace Christie 

Jill Hutchby 

Charlotte Collins 

Carol De Witt