A Candidate Answers: By LAURA MENARD

Friday October 08, 2004

These are responses to questions posed to City Council candidates by readers of the Berkeley Daily Planet. Questions can be sent to opinion@berkeleydailyplanet.com. 


1. For District 3: Do you favor closing Derby Street for a baseball field? 

I do not support the closure of Derby Street. Residents are already burdened with many public agencies and facilities in a small area; their concerns about scale and impact are compelling. I prefer the fiscally responsible choice of developing a multi-use field (with attention to the drainage problem, the field is often a bog in winter). A multi-use field will benefit neighborhood kids as well as boys /girls teams including rugby, soccer, softball, lacrosse etc. It is easy to understand the desirability of the Derby location for the BHS baseball team, but I have seen Berkeley teens playing team sports get to the variety of available fields without too much trouble. With the addition of a fence the San Pablo field constitutes a regulation hardball field. Possible locations for a second field for BHS team use should be identified allowing the San Pablo field to be properly maintained. 


2. For all districts: Do you favor enlarging the path around the marina to a width of 12 feet, plus four feet of shoulder, and the removal of 98 mature trees in order to accommodate more bikers? 

I walk the Marina several times a week, and for years my family has ridden bikes out to the pier. I do not see the need for such grand development.  

There is good bicycle access throughout the area now, so why spend millions of dollars on development, which doesn’t improve much? Walking the path  

along the sea wall you will see folks sitting in their cars protected from the elements. They come there to enjoy the peace and beauty of the bay, often picnicking, listening to music, reading, visiting with loved ones. These are the folks who don’t have a bay view from their homes and the parking strip offers them this delight. By moving the parking strip, we kill mature trees, spend a lot of money and take away this free pleasure for many residents. 

—Laura Menard 

District 3 City Council candidate