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Swapping parking spaces for playing fields

Gloria Wong Berkeley
Friday September 13, 2002

To the Editor: 

Shirley Dean has been on the Berkeley City Council for over 16 years, and now that she’s running for re-election as mayor, she suddenly has become interested in creating more playing fields, even though she knows there’s practically no room left for laying fields in our city. But wait, she says, there’s our waterfront, which is being transformed into a new Eastshore State Park. “We might start by eliminating some of the huge parking lots that are planned.” 

Surely you know, Mrs. Dean, that “huge parking lots are not being planned, and that any incremental increase in parking spaces would barely accommodate the current uses of the waterfront, let alone large new playing fields. 

So why is Mrs. Dean willing to take on the Sierra Club and other environmental groups with this nonsolution? My guess is that she figures these organizations will probably support her challenger, Tom Bates, since his credentials as a conservationists are impeccable and he was the prime mover in the State Assembly for the creation of the Eastshore State Park. So why not make a play for the soccer moms and dads? What is there to lose?  

Just our respect, Mrs. Dean. Oh, yes, and our waterfront. 


Gloria Wong