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Letters to the Editor

Tuesday January 06, 2004


Editors, Daily Planet: 

I read “a group of residents in Berkeley has been fighting to stop Sprint antennas near their residential area.” 

They are right. Many people throughout the world are in trouble and moving because of antennas in their neighborhood. 

The facts are there already, it’s not because they are anxious or worried, they move because their bodies are severely ill as a result of chronic exposure to pulsed e.m.-fields directly or indirectly (by interference) produced by low levels of microwave radiation. 

This is not my opinion, this is not to be discussed. It is real life and it is happening everywhere where antennas are installed near people. 

Please be sensible and keep the antennas away from the Berkeley neighborhood. 

Frans van Velden Msc 

The Hague, NL 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

While I often enjoy reading Zac Unger’s irreverent take on life in Berkeley, I was a bit alarmed by the phallocentrism in his recent column about baby names (“What’s in a Name?, Daily Planet, Jan. 2-5). I understand that choosing an appropirate name for a child is an important decision for a young family, but why deride the name “Alex” merely because more women are adopting it? And suggesting that a man named Alex should change his name to “Peter, Rod or Lance”—must all men be brainwashed by their testosterone? I think Mr. Unger should stick to talking about Hummers in the future and avoid subjects that might offend your female readers. 

Toby Millman 

North Oakland 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I’m writing as a board member of Berkeley Ecological and Safe Transportation (BEST). Our group would like to see the Library Gardens project become “car-free housing”. 

BEST notes that only 59 residential parking spaces are required for the number of units developer DeClerq is proposing to build. Yet, he is planning 105 residential parking spaces. This is not only more parking than is required; it’s also more parking than in any other housing project approved for construction in downtown in the last 10 years. 

Car-free housing means that residents have the option of signing a lease agreeing that they would not own a car, and therefore not require a parking space. The spaces for car-free units could then be made available as public parking. Library Gardens is an ideal location for car-free living; it’s downtown, in walking distance of everything, one block from BART and served abundantly by buses. The project could well exemplify transit oriented development. 

Car-free housing projects have been very successful in Europe and in San Francisco. 

Library Gardens is another opportunity for Berkeley to show some progressive leadership in transportation and housing policy. BEST suggests that a car-free project would be a win-win solution. The parking that is built could all go for shoppers, theater and movie-goers, and other short-term visitors. There are environmental benefits too, because car-free residents would not add to traffic or to air pollution. 

City CarShare is active in Berkeley, so car-less residents who have occasional need for a car could have access to one. 

City employees now get an ECOPASS for using public transit, The school district and Peralta College can do the same, rather than spend money on more parking spaces which will just make congestion worse. 

Car congestion doesn’t just happen; it is caused by public policy that deliberately encourages cars over transit. 

Steve Geller 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

After Paul Glusman did everything possible to alert the city officials to the imminent danger of this elm tree which has been “falling down in sections” (“Berkeley Officialdom Ignores an Impending Danger, Daily Planet, Jan. 2-5), the $1,800 he spent to repair the damage to his car may have gone a long way in hiring a company himself, or with neighbors, to remove the tree. It seems an obvious alternative to the many months of risking human life or injury. Being an attorney, he could probably even find a way for our compassionate city to reimburse this cost. Also, with his other frustration, if he didn’t wish to sweep up the “glass fragments all over the sidewalk” on Bancroft Way, downtown, himself, there are any number of persons who would have been happy to be paid to do so.  

Gerta Farber  




Editors, Daily Planet: 

During her broadcast on Dec. 16, Diane Sawyer asked President Bush about the still-not-found WMDs in Iraq. “What’s the difference?” Bush, responded, “the possibility [was] that [Saddam Hussein] could acquire weapons.”   

  Mr. Bush, the difference between a hypothetical “could” acquire weapons versus a genuine “has” the weapons is approximately 400 American lives lost, 4,000 Iraqi civilians killed, and 400 thousand million American taxpayer dollars wasted.   

  It is unconscionable that the president, the chief steward of the public’s trust, would deceive us so gravely. Even worse if the well-coordinated lies from the administration were actually a colossal, incompetent miscalculation.   

  While political pundits yammer about Bush’s re-election, citizens are calling for his impeachment and incarceration. 

Bruce Joffe