Letters to the Editor

Monday January 03, 2005


Editors, Daily Planet:  

The Marin one-lane-each-way proposal needs support from the off-peak drivers who make up two thirds of the traffic. The proposal will serve these drivers better because it will be safer and easier to drive with the bikers and left turners out of the way and a full width lane to drive in 

Robert C. Chioino 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

As an old time Berkeley taxpayer, I am seldom amazed at some of the city’s waste of public funds. However, the Bicycle Boulevard really takes the cake. With gaudy signs and mileage indicators and street markings we now have a Bicycle Boulevard. I see families with their children take over both sides of Virginia Street, oblivious to auto traffic. I use to ride a bike, and I still drive, but I would like to find out if there’s a city ordinance governing the mutual use of the boulevard. 

I’ve not been able to get an answer from the bureaucrats. 

Ray Quan 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

We in Berkeley have absolutely no idea about the other half of America. The other half is deeply dedicated to bias, hatred, racism, born-again Christianity, and John Wayne machoism, and therefore, a loathing of homosexuality, atheism, intellectuals, Jews, Hollywood, sexuality, and so forth. They feel strongly that America is imitating the fall of the Roman Empire, with its licentiousness, its sin, its paganism, its groveling in the filth and evil of satanic sensuality. Do you get the feeling? That’s the way they think of us. I correspond with a high school friend in Columbus Georgia and she wants to save me from perdition. She likes me and wants to save me from the torture of the eternal fire because I didn’t vote for Bush. She’s not kidding! These are the folks that inhabit perhaps half of America today. This is the reason that Bush is president and the reason that we have so very much to fear what lies ahead. 

Robert Blau 



Editors, Daily Planet:  

I’m writing in response to the recent letter by Zelda Bronstein decrying the City Council’s approval of a use permit for the expansion of Jeremy’s clothing store on College Avenue in the Elmwood shopping district. Zelda as well as others opposed allowing the expansion of Jeremy’s on the basis that it exceeded the Elmwood commercial district quota system for clothing stores. The problem is this quota system has not been uniformly adhered to for some years. Therefore it would’ve been unfair for the council to have selectively applied it to the owners of Jeremy’s. (Courts of law have also consistently upheld that laws must not be selectively enforced.) 

The question is why wasn’t the quota system being adhered to in the last several years? The city staff report explains that when the use permit for Jeremy’s was first granted that the staff erred in not reporting that this use would exceed the quota on clothing stores in the Elmwood commercial district. The decision on this original use permit was not appealed to the City Council. So now it would be unfair to the owners of Jeremy’s, after so many years of building and investing in their business, to have denied its ability to expand on the basis that it should never have been granted a use permit in the first place. In the past few years, the city has allowed seven other Elmwood District businesses to expand (I recall only one of these expansions being appealed to the City Council and that was almost 10 years ago).  

The quotas established almost 20 years ago may need fine-tuning for today’s business climate. Given Jeremy’s success and its contribution to the vitality of the Elmwood District, the quota system seems to need to be more flexible.  

I support quotas to enhance the health and diversity of our commercial shopping districts. However, if the city does establish zoning rules they should be fairly and uniformly applied. I share citizens’ frustrations when this does not happen. 

Dona Spring 

District 4 City Councilmember 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

Berkeley liberals just crack me up. For years, Berkeley liberals have been among the strongest supporters of our insane level of mass immigration, whereby 3 million new people are being added to the U.S. population every year, almost entirely due to recent immigrants and their offspring (why, it’s “cultural diversity”). Now, these very same Berkeley liberals are all bitterly complaining about all the hideous, big, new buildings that are being jammed into every conceivable inch of spare space. Great. 

And here’s something else that I hope everyone in California is deeply considering: 18 million new immigrants are projected to come flooding into California over the next 20 years. That’s the equivalent of 20 cities the size of San Francisco! Does anybody out there happen to know where the endless millions of new homes are where these people are going to live? Well, we’re all going to find out, all right. 

Peter Labriola 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

Thank you for another fine reader’s edition. 

I note with pride your poetry entries, that included five from the Ina Coolbrith Poetry Circle, plus one by my friend, neighbor and Daily Planet postman, Bill Trampleasure. 

Adam David Miller 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

A psychiatrist shouldn’t be surprised at history repeating itself, at one more deja vu. Yet I am feeling nauseous that we are about to see a rerun of the opening of Fahrenheit 9-11; remember Al Gore gaveling down the Black Caucus as they tried to present evidence of the 2000 election fraud? Not a single Democratic senator would sign on—it only would have taken one to mandate a hearing. This wouldn’t have resulted in Gore’s winning the White House, but it would have generated much needed attention—and perhaps made it harder for a repeat wimp-out. 

In a week this unbelievable scenario will be repeated. The Black Caucus will present evidence of fraud, then they will be denied a hearing since no senator will sign on—as of this moment. Not Ted Kennedy, with a seat so safe nothing he did would defeat him; nor Robert Byrd, whose eloquent dissents stirred us, and who’s not even running this time. 

So, folks, let’s make the election theft of 2008 a little more difficult, and put some heat on the Democratic senators. 

Neal Blumenfeld