Editorial: Turning a Deaf Ear to the People’s Voice

By Becky O’Malley
Tuesday June 13, 2006

Have you ever had the feeling you’re sitting up on a hill observing two high-speed trains headed towards one another on intersecting tracks, with a collision all but inevitable? That’s the picture we’re getting of the ongoing interaction between Berkeleyans eager to preserve the city’s historic buildings and those who’d like to tear some of them down in order to make way for “progress,” variously defined as mall-type chain stores, lots of condos downtown, big new hotels or lebensraum for UC expansion. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Friday June 16, 2006


West Bowl Would Cause Traffic Woes

Daniel Knapp
Friday June 16, 2006

On behalf of Urban Ore, its customers and employees, I’ll accept Steven Donaldson’s “special thanks” in the June 13 Daily Planet for opposing the regional grocery store that Berkeley Bowl wants to build. Building such a Big Bowl in that location really is a bad idea despite its owners having left it “a wonderful derelict, trash-strewn lot,” according to Mr. Donaldson’s eyewitness review. -more-

The Downtown Berkeley Blues

David Nebenzahl
Friday June 16, 2006

Reading about the recent losses (first Cody’s, now Radstons), gives me a profound sense of déjà vu, as I saw essentially the same thing happen to downtown Palo Alto in the mid-’90s. A thriving central business district that had local shops which actually supplied real needs turned into a frou-frou boutique zone for the nouveau riche (aka “yuppie scum”). As in Berkeley today, the primary culprit was the same: rising rents that forced out long-time tenants. -more-

Berkeley’s Overground Railroad

Toya Groves
Friday June 16, 2006

The Ashby Community Flea Market represents a marketplace that existed over the ages in all of the seven continents. Upon walking into it you are greeted with the welcoming call of the drums played by people from all walks of life. Dancers move in the middle of the circle inviting guests to watch or join in. You are instantly surrounded by the sweet aroma of incense coupled with the smell of African and Caribbean food. Colorful cultural decorations and canopies filled with clothes from ancient places around the world, jewels from far away lands sparkle on table clothes, and handmade soaps and oils lure all who walk amongst this space. Within these clothed walls people are able to pick up Chinese chalk and fruits and vegetables while walking under the sunshine, mingling with friends and strangers, bargaining with vendors. This is not the average flea market selling old junk to those who find it to be treasures, this is a sacred space. This fusion of world cultural traditions gives the Ashby Community Flea market a sense of place—as if it has been here all along. -more-

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday June 13, 2006


Commentary: Bowling for Dollars: A Rush to Judgment

By Dave Blake
Tuesday June 13, 2006

I have a particular fondness for the Berkeley Bowl. I fought the chair of the Zoning Adjustments Board and the mayor when they tried to approve a MacFrugal’s Bargain Closeouts at the Bowl’s current Oregon site a decade ago. The neighborhood, reeling from the closing of their Safeway, begged the city not to allow anything but a grocery store. Staff responded by commissioning a $25,000 report that “proved” no grocery store would ever be profitable there! -more-

Commentary: Is the West Berkeley Bowl Dead?

By Steven Donaldson
Tuesday June 13, 2006

Well let’s stand up and cheer! The Berkeley Bowl maybe withdrawing it’s application to build a new store in West Berkeley. No fresh organic produce, no great prices, no community meeting rooms, no food court, no quality shopping for West Berkeley. -more-

Commentary: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

By Sonja Fitz
Tuesday June 13, 2006

I thought I’d never encounter another community as gleefully contentious on an endless cornucopia of issues as the City of Berkeley. -more-

Commentary: Administrative Crisis and Defamation at the Berkeley YMCA

By H. Scott Prosterman
Tuesday June 13, 2006

The Berkeley Daily Planet published an article about the administrative problems at the Berkeley YMCA, noting that I had been expelled for writing a series of memos about problems there. The article noted efforts on the part of the Y administration to disrupt efforts to unionize workers. This alone, characterizes the administration at the Berkeley Y, and should give the City of Berkeley concern about supporting this organization. -more-

Commentary: Denial is Epidemic at the Berkeley YMCA

By Joseph Covino Jr
Tuesday June 13, 2006

At the so-called “Downtown” Berkeley YMCA suspended member Scott Prosterman’s abysmal but utterly unsurprising below par experience is, I can personally attest, par for the course—as is the absent or empty response members typically receive from the organization’s administration to their most compelling cares and concerns! -more-