Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Friday July 28, 2006


Editors, Daily Planet: 

In response to comments made by Wattie Taylor in the July 21 Daily Planet, I would like to clarify what is happening with the Elmwood Post Office. The District 8 Council Office has been working with the Webster Street residents and the Elmwood Post Office since January 2006, when we hosted a community meeting to discuss maintenance issues and neighbor concerns. We first learned of the lease negotiations in April when we met with the property owner, Earl March. Since then we have been tracking this issue by staying in regular contact with the Post Office staff; we have also asked Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s office to look into the status of the negotiations. The lease does not run out until July 2007, but it is our understanding, based on a recent statement from the Post Office, that they intend to renew the lease. However, they still need to work out the exact terms of the lease and maintenance agreement. Please feel free to e-mail me at if you have any questions or if you would like to be added to our e-mail list for regular updates on this and other issues. 

Gordon Wozniak 

City Councilmember, District 8 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Is anyone out there concerned that Malcolm X school is building a “flood wall,” not improving the flood drainage at all, and that this wall will undoubtedly cause more houses on Ellis and surrounding streets to be flooded, because the storm drains have been severely overtaxed by development of the uphill properties? (This was a byproduct of the Oakland hill fires; it makes me furious.) Presumably the city gave the school a building permit to do the work, and must have known it would push the water into homes, instead. This is worse that the BART development issue. This will cause a lot of damage here next winter. We are paying through the nose property taxes to support the school, and this is how they spend the money—to push the water over into our homes. 

It’s an utter shame, unless the city was planning to upgrade the storm drains before this October. 

Bonnie Maly 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Thank you, David Baggins and John Selawsky, for bringing up an issue many Berkeley parents are concerned about. Being the “gatekeeper” of a successful school district sandwiched between two large dysfunctional districts is a difficult task and I commend the people who take on this challenging job. While the procedures may have been tightened up, there is still a significant problem with families lying about their residency instead of getting the required interdistrict permit. 

Berkeley taxpayers have been extremely generous in continuing to fund Measure B which is one reason our schools are so successful. I hope they continue to do so. Voters will be asked to renew the measure in November including stipulated class size. Voters, parents and taxpayers need to feel confident that the scarce resources, Mr. Selwasky referenced in his letter, are helping Berkeley students first, then students from outside of Berkeley can be admitted as resources allow. 

Mr. Selwasky asked for suggestions on how to improve the admission process. The Albany school district requires a lease agreement or house title which would be pretty difficult to forge (FYI: utility companies don’t care whose name is on the bill as long as the bill gets paid). 

Continuing to allow families to skirt the process is a disservice to Berkeley taxpayers and to the many honest families who request interdistrict permits every year so that their children can remain in BUSD. 

Lorraine Mahley 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I would like to thank John Selawsky for responding to my letter. In the years that I and others who observe Berkeley public schools and have noticed that most of the problems have a root cause in the absence of a residency enforcement office, he is the first school official to acknowledge the issue.  

Albany enjoys a 90 percent pass rate in the California exit exam. Berkeley had a 68 percent and 69 percent pass rate (math and English). The crucial difference is that Albany, like Orinda and every other district that significantly taxes its local base to supplement the schools has an active residency validation office. Only in Berkeley will the presentation once of a PG&E and phone bill entitle the bearer to tens of thousand of dollars of taxpayer funds. There is simply no office with the responsibility to validate and enforce residency or other legal right to service. If the district absolutely knows who is crashing they will do nothing about it. Hence every time generous local tax payers raise funds they only increase the incentive to cheat.  

Anyone who wishes to validate the extent of this issue need only take one afternoon in September to stand at the bus stops along Shattuck and wait for Berkeley High to let out. You will witness police deployed to monitor hundreds of students returning daily to other districts. It would seem that Berkeley’s police department has a greater awareness of the schools in this regard than the school-board. 

Some commuting students may have perfect legal rights to BUSD service. Of course they should receive all the resources a generous city can bestow. My point is, in this age of cheap computers surely a city of 100,000 residents can keep an accurate active roster of who legitimately has rights to local service and enforce that list. PG&E should not continue to be used as the substitute validation office. 

I wish John Selawsky well in his bid to become city auditor. I know that he holds strong progressive values. I hope he agrees that responsibility to the tax payer is not incompatible with those values. Berkeley schools simply cannot progress without consideration of this crucial issue. 

David Baggins 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I read the story of the “mysterious telephone poll” with interest. I was contacted by a pollster. After I declined to participate, he called me again and again, telling me that I should participate because “we have a job to do.” I wonder if the organization that is behind the poll, whatever it may be, encouraged or authorized this harassment. 

Jenifer Steele 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

On June 14 the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board did a very curious thing. The School Board passed a policy that mandated school uniforms for all elementary schools and middle schools in the district. The School Board passed this uniform policy without establishing support from parents, teachers, or school PTAs and against the wishes of many parents.  

Moments before the policy was passed, the president of the Bayside Council of PTAs spoke out against the policy and reminded the School Board of the Bayside Council of PTAs’ resolution against the uniform policy (visit The president of Kensington Elementary’s PTA informed the Board that 400 or more students would choose to legally opt out of the uniform policy. Madera parents submitted a petition with 280 signatures requesting the School Board to rescind the uniform policy. (Madera Elementary enrollment is 350.)  

I have spoken with numerous parents at Madera, Castro, Fairmont, and Harding Elementary and Portola Middle School. A strong majority of parents are against a mandatory uniform policy for the school district. Here is why. On June 28 the School Board approved the final 2006–2007 School District budget that slashes funding for books and supplies by $1.2 million, reduces instructional materials by 15 percent, and eliminates staff development entirely. Rather than attempting to restore funding to these critical areas, the School Board proposes to reduce funding further by purchasing 2,400 school uniforms instead. Clearly, 2,400 uniforms will not come close to supplying enough uniforms for the 11,351 economically disadvantaged pupils in the District’s elementary and middle schools. 

I propose that parents opt out of the misguided uniform policy and, with the money saved, make a donation to their school’s PTA to restore funding to books, supplies, instructional materials and to enhance music and art programs. 

Robert Fox 

El Cerrito 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Susan Parker’s column is the first thing I turn to in the paper. She is a gifted writer who never takes herself too seriously. I admire how she remade herself in the aftermath of tragedy.  

Polly Strahan 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I know a bit what it takes to be a caretaker of a disabled person. It amazes me when people without an ounce of compassion dare to criticize Susan Parker. She has shown a lot of fortitude in her situation. I want to say to her: don’t let the bastards beat you down. Life is hard enough for you and your husband. The two letters in the same issue by Ruby Long and Ashwin Sodhi expand on this note of encouragement to her and respect for her. Thank you, Susan Parker, for doing what you’re doing and giving us the opportunity to see what it is to be a humane, compassionate person.  

Carmel Hara 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I too have a disabled husband. Mine has recovered greatly from a surgically induced stroke during a brain aneurysm repair, but we have been through hell and he is a different (do not think “worse”!) person that he was before. I too have been changed by his injury—I like to think for the better. All this is to say that Susan Parker’s articles have brightened and lightened my path during the past two and a half years. I was told at the beginning of his lengthy rehab about the high divorce rate that Susan mentions in her most recent column. I inwardly promised my husband and me, “Not us!” and I can honestly say I have never considered leaving him behind to make a separate life for myself. I’ve had help from therapists, but I’ve also had Susan’s role model to buoy me. What I face is so minor, although scary, compared to her daily work! Don’t let those who’ve never been on the journey get you down, Susan. You’re my hero. I love your stories, your compassion, your pragmatism, even the peeks you give us of your deep sorrow for the marriage you might have had. We all need your tales of toughness and tenderness—the ones who nitpick, the most! 

Karen White 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

A landmarked building, the Clara Ballard House, was demolished without a demolition permit! A landmarked building in a landmarked historic district was demolished! How does one “inadvertently” demolish a building? Why didn’t the contractor/architect/developer tell the city of this problem? Why didn’t the city inspector notice that this landmarked building was demolished? Why is it necessary for the neighbors to enforce the city’s rules?  

The developer claims that this demolition was “inadvertent.” If that is true, why the elaborate “cover-up” story? And, why is the city Planning Department so willing and eager to believe and promote the lies when the truth is in the city’s files?  

Environmental protection laws and procedures designed to protect historic resources have been ignored in the interests of “progress.” The MND was issued before the LPC had an opportunity to comment on the demolition. An EIR is required in cases where there is a significant impact on a historic resource. It can hardly be argued that demolition is not a significant impact, yet no EIR was prepared.  

A demolition requires an EIR. Did the developer intentionally demolish this landmarked building to avoid the EIR process and the additional demolition permits and fees?  

Demolition of a building without the proper permit is a misdemeanor—a crime. Why wasn’t this case referred to the city attorney’s office for prosecution?  

This developer has violated the terms of the original permit many times with no consequences; noise violations requiring police intervention, destruction and replacement of fences without LPC required approval and city permits, raising the backyard by two feet without proper permits and approval, etc. Demolition of this historic building was just another “minor” violation without consequence to this developer—and, apparently, to the Planning Department.  

Why would the city want to “legalize” an illegal demolition without a proper investigation? 

Does the mayor, the city, the LPC, and ZAB really intend that Landmarked buildings be “rebuilt” to look as if they were old—replacing 80-90 percent of the original building including interior and exterior walls?  

Questions must be asked so that a landmarked building is never again “inadvertently” demolished and replaced with a new “Disney-like” building.  

Those of us who live and work in the Oceanview-Sisterna District take pride that this is the foundation neighborhood to what later became the City of Berkeley. We believe that this working class Oceanview-Sisterna Historic District is a great asset for the entire city—for future generations to enjoy.  

Please ask the tough questions that need answers. A full hearing on this “inadvertent” demolition of a historic landmarked building is required so that this never happens again in this City of Berkeley.  

Jano Bogg 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am concerned that readers who did not read my initial letter (July 18) may be deceived by Barbara Gilbert’s ludicrous statement that I agree with her point that the Bush-Cheney impeachment measure was not geared to focus attention to important local issues. The debate regarding if Berkeley should speak out on national and international issues, which is at the very heart of point she made is a very important local issue, and is something we strongly disagree about. I believe that Berkeley should continue to help shape Americas national dialogue. She believes we should not support the Bush-Cheney impeachment measure. These are opposite positions. Any suggestion they are not is deceitful. 

Furthermore, I never called Ms. Gilbert names. What my letter said was that the cities bad policies offered “…no justification for Ms. Gilbert’s deplorable and reactionary opposition to the Bush-Cheney impeachment measure.” There is a difference between saying that opposition to a ballot measure is deplorable and reactionary, and labeling a person as such. Ms. Gilbert’s commentaries appears on these pages regularly, and your readers can decide without my help if Ms. Gilbert is deplorable, reactionary, or both. 

As for my own view, just to be clear, it is this: I believe that failing to vote for the Bush-Cheney Impeachment measure that will appear on Novembers ballot as a way to protest any bad policy decisions by the Berkeley City Council is reactionary. I believe failing to vote for a measure that will add Berkeley’s voice to those calling for the impeachment of George Bush is deplorable. I hope my point is clear enough so that no one else comes up with a way of misinterpreting what I have written. 

Elliot Cohen 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I can no longer stand by and bite my tongue. As a leftist and a Jew, I’m appalled that the most trenchant and accurate commentary of late comes from Pat Buchanan, who recently referred to the U.S. Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory.” 

And for once, the normally incisive and correct (if deadly dull) Noam Chomsky has the cart before the horse. Chomsky has long claimed that the United States uses Israel as in instrument of its geopolitical aims, but quite the opposite seems to be the case. 

David Nebenzahl 

North Oakland 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

What ill-informed alternative universe does Becky O’Malley inhabit? She claims, by right of the Geneva Conventions, that there are few voices in the world that support Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah. Does she not know that the Senate and House of Representatives have just voted in favor of a strong resolution of support for Israel’s actions in Lebanon. The vote was unanimous in the Senate and over 95 percent in the House. Even Barbara Lee, the House’s leading pacifist, did not vote against it. Israel has never enjoyed stronger support internationally for this war of self-defense. Even the Saudis, the Egyptians and the Jordanians have overtly cheered Israel on. The Germans and Brits are strong supporters as well. Outside of the mythical Muslim street, the rest of the world appears highly sympathetic, even if countries without a dog in this fight tend to keep a low profile. 

In facing down Hezbollah, Israel has killed civilians, some 300 or more to date. This is bad, and because “if it bleeds it leads,” we see a lot of it on TV. But the reality is that Israel has flown more than 5,000 bombing sorties against Hezbollah. The number of civilian dead is “only” 300 because of the intense care that Israel takes in targeting a Hezbollah that is deeply embedded among their civilian supporters (Hezbollah enjoyed overwhelming electoral support in Southern Lebanon) while avoiding those civilians. In short, when Israel hits a civilian it is a mistake; when Hezbollah or Hamas hit a civilian it is a triumph of their policy. This war began because their missiles were launched into Israel even though Israel has left every square inch of Gaza and every square inch of Lebanon. This is because both Hamas and Hezbollah, along with their sponsors, Iran and Syria, insist that Israel must be exterminated. We’re talking genocide, Becky. What do your Geneva Conventions say about that? 

John Gertz 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

J. B. Nielands’ (Letters, July 25) is to be applauded for engaging in the important inquiry of the “root cause of the strife in the Middle East.” 

For J.B., it’s “the continuing occupation of Palestine by Israel.” 

The root cause of that was the Sept.. 1, 1967 decision by the Arab League to reject Israel’s offer to return captured land in exchange for recognition of Israel’s right to exist. 

The root cause of that was the defeat of the Arab League in its 1967 war against Israel. 

The root cause of that was the defeat of the Arab world’s 1956 war against Israel. 

The root cause of that was Israel’s repelling the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel. 

The root cause of that was the Arab world’s rejection of partition plans in the ’40s and ’30s. 

The root cause of that was the violent rioters in that region around 1936 who carried signs reading “Palestine for Arabs.” 

The root cause of that was the same sentiment that led to the massacre of more than 100 Jews in Hebron in 1929. 

Neilands asks: “{A}m I missing something?” Perhaps the PLO covenant which expressly approves violence as a tactic for the declared strategy of destroying Israel. Perhaps the Hamas covenant which declares all of Israel sacred Muslim land which must be cleansed of infidels. 

But I digress. 

Those who do not search deep and broad enough for roots are left with half-baked, sterile dirt incapable of sustaining life, and susceptible to being tossed into chaos by the nearest random hot wind. 

David Altschul 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

What a wonderful group of columnists the Daily Planet has assembled for our community’s edification on international issues! Not only are we regularly treated to the wisdom of Conn Hallinan, former editor of the Communist Party’s Peoples Weekly World screed, but most recently the Planet published a refreshingly unbiased commentary by a Teheran based scribe who calls himself “Homayon.” Said commentator understandably writes under a pseudonym as it would embarrass anyone to acknowledge parroting the paranoid line of the Iranian theocracy. Doubtless waiting in the wings to pen the next illuminating op-eds scheduled by this font of international knowledge: David Duke and Kim Jung-il. 

Dan Spitzer 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

In J.B. Neilands’ July 25 note to the editor, I disagree whole-heartedly of his/her opinion: “The root cause of the strife in the Middle-East is the continuing occupation of Palestine by Israel. Or am I missing something?” 

I am not Jewish, Palestinian, Arab, Lebanese, etc. so have no affiliation with any of them—I am just a typical Anglo-Saxon European-based ancestry— who disagrees with the aforementioned comment. Israel gained the territories it currently has from the 1967 war where it was attacked. In war, contraband includes land acquisition. If I am not mistaken, Israel granted Palestine the Gaza Strip for their people/sovereignty—and yet they still bomb Israeli people. The Palestinians, Hezbollah Lebanese, Iraqi government (not people), Iranian government (not people!), Syrian government (not necessarily the people) all promote blowing up Jews. I do not see any Israel bombers anywhere—or any other religious sect of people blowing people up—except the Muslims. 

Personally I am sick and tired of this one-book theocracy seen around the world, whether it be Mohammedans/Muslims/Hezbollahs, Jews, (Evangelical) Christians. As far I am concerned those personages blowing people up (i.e. suicide bombers) are all fanatics, and as we learned in the last World War via kamikaze pilots, the only way to deal with a (religious) zealot is to kill them outright before they kill you. This is why all this “clean war” tactics will never succeed in the Middle East or anywhere else. You must annihilate completely, absolutely, with full measure—as we had to do to Germany and Japan—to eradicate the (religious, socialistic) zealots. And now these two respective countries are our allies, very civilized cultures, and apart of the Earth Society, and not outcast zealots, as apparently these suicide bomber Hezbollah, Mohammedans and on occasion, (Evangelical) Christians are (the latter towards abortion clinics in the United States). That is how I see it, and how it needs to be dealt with. 

So to answer your commentary, it is not Israel who is to blame. It is a bunch of religious zealots who are to blame, not Israel. In this current diatribe, Israel is merely replying en-force, protecting their people—as any country has the right to do. 

Mark K. Bayless 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Letter writer J.B. Nielands states that “the root cause of the strife in the Middle East is the continuing occupation of Palestine by Israel” and then asks if he is missing anything  

All that is missing is an explanation for why are there any Jewish-only colonies and roads on land illegally taken by force in 1967 and why American taxpayers are made to vastly subsidize those perpetual provocations to violence. To even ask such questions in public is to receive silence, evasion, or name-calling, but never an answer.  

Gray Brechin 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

It would be easier to find gold in garbage than to find restraint, much less reason, in the exchange of violence between Israel and Hezbollah.  

While neighboring countries and distant but influential ones call for a cease-fire, we who are the most involved justify our inaction with illogic.  

Secretary Rice says she will not call for a cease-fire until she can get one that is “lasting, permanent and sustainable.” This sounds like she’ll call for a cease-fire when there’s a cease-fire.  

Of course, Secretary Rice is closer to the problem that I am or want to be but I come from Alabama the same as Rice and down home we had to stop first and only then try to make the stoppage “lasting, permanent and sustainable”. 

Marvin Chachere  

San Pablo 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Finding beautiful, cooling fog outside my window this morning, I said “Thank God!” Then, picking up the morning paper I turned, as I’ve done all summer, to the weather page, looking for the temperature in Baghdad. Yesterday it reached 120! And my heart sank, thinking of our poor servicemen, burdened with heavy helmets, combat gear, and rifles. I also mourned for the innocent people in Iraq—no air conditioning for them as they’ve been without electricity, not just weeks, but years. Oh, but then, we are bringing them democracy, aren’t we? 

Dorothy Snodgrass 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

During the past heat wave, my cats would not leave their usual slumber spot, on top of my bed, even though it was in the hottest room in the house and they were all stretched out like furry noodles. So I took several ice packs, wrapped them in plastic, and distributed them under the blanket. The cats had a cool place to hang out, although they did not thank me, and when I got into bed, the sheets were delightfully chilly. 

Anne Wagley 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

Since Cheryl Taubenfeld has chosen not to do so in her letters to the Daily Planet (most recently in the July 18 issue), perhaps you should inform your readers that she is married to Albany City Councilmember Robert Lieber, who adamantly opposes any consideration of development on the Albany waterfront other than the nonsensical Sierra Club/CESP/CAS plan. That plan is an unworkable sham that seems designed only to achieve the longer term objective of creating obstruction and delay at any cost. And the cost would be borne by Albany tax payers. 

Ms. Taubenfeld is correct in asserting that Concerned Albany Neighbors was formed with the express purpose of opposing this “Takeover Initiative” and supporting City Council candidates who are similarly opposed. According to analyses by Albany City Staff and independent legal counsel, the initiative conflicts with the Albany City Charter and the California Constitution and other state laws. And there are many other good reasons to oppose it. Putting such a flawed initiative on the Albany ballot assures another divisive battle in our community and its passage would expose the city to expensive legal challenges, which it does not have the resources to defend. Further, its passage would expose the city to expensive consultant and other fees and expenses for which it also does not have adequate resources and for which initiative proponents do not provide in their flawed document. The term “unfunded mandates” comes to mind. And Albany taxpayers will be footing the bill for the entire folly. 

As for those who disagree with her, Ms. Taubenfeld implies that they are fomenting “disinformation.” She suggests, for example, that hosting coffees for Caruso Affiliated suggests approval of its now abandoned plan and promotes disinformation. Seems to me it is anyone’s First Amendment right to meet with anyone in order to gain and disseminate information about a proposed project. I am a person who has hosted such a coffee, but I can also assure you that I have also have given Mr. Caruso an earful on more than one occasion about aspects of his now abandoned plan that I do not like. And should the plan return in the form he has suggested, I will continue to do so. 

Of course, that is not enough for Takeover Initiative advocates such as Ms. Taubenfeld. They simply cannot tolerate the exchange of any information that does not fit their agenda. 

But whether she and her husband like it or not, Concerned Albany Neighbors will be aggressively disseminating information about the flawed provisions of the Takeover Initiative. We are deeply committed to defeating it in November. 

Sally Outis 

Concerned Albany Neighbors 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Good riddance to Caruso Affiliated, who indicated this week that they were dropping their plans for a huge development along the Albany shoreline. And kudos to the Albany City Council for their decision to deny Caruso Affiliated special favors in voting down their request for an up-front guarantee of an EIR. This request, written by Caruso, would have circumvented the standard city procedures for doing business. They should be held to the same measure as anyone else going through the Albany development process and the council recognized that fact. 

Our precious waterfront should not be developed and I was delighted to see that Caruso is leaving. It should be noted however, that Caruso has used this withdrawal tactic as a weapon to extract concessions from other cities where he wishes to develop. We must be alerted to this tactic and not be swayed. He deserves no more—or less—than the average citizen who wishes to do business in Albany.  

Paul Shain 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Berkeley Honda, on the corner of Shattuck and Carleton Street, is using city sidewalks to display their used cars that are for sale. In recent weeks, they have parked one or two cars on the bulb-out on that corner. One morning, their car was parked so close to the tree planted in the bulb-out, that I couldn’t negotiate my stroller up the wheelchair ramp and between the car and the tree, so I had to wheel the stroller around not only the car, but the tree also. When I pointed this out to one of the Berkeley Honda employees, he insisted that it was the tree that was in the way, and not his used car that was parked on the city sidewalk. 

Since when does the City of Berkeley allow it’s sidewalks to become a used car lot? This is particularly offensive considering all the effort that has gone in to making Berkeley a walk-able and bike-able city. Now I not only have to hope that the speeding cars don’t hit me as I cross Shattuck, but once I get across, I have to navigate through the used cars that are parked on the sidewalk. Berkeley Honda is not being a good neighbor, and the City of Berkeley is not protecting the interests of it’s residents that are trying to make Berkeley a better place by walking, instead of driving.  

Karla James 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Remember Kenny-Boy Lay and Enron’s fraudulent shenanigans in planning and carrying out their deception? All that happened when Billy-Boy Clinton was president.  

John Locke 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

Perhaps a sofa in good shape is a worthwhile find, but when does the torn, stained sofa, missing a cushion become an eyesore and an instance of irresponsible public dumping? How about the stove with the oven door off? Computer monitors? Or the box of Styrofoam peanuts left topless on the corner, with the wind gently scattering the peanuts up the block? Is this recycling or garbage? And how long should it stay out there? Twenty-four hours, five days, three weeks, or until the rainy season? 

Yes, the students have left, and as a long-term resident of South Berkeley, I am tired to seeing my community streets used as dumping grounds. As I ride my bicycle to downtown to go to the library, or to the post office, I grit my teeth seeing piles of contaminated recycling (recycling mixed with garbage or food) which the city refuses to pick up. And as the weeks goes by, the pile grows larger as it gets knocked over, as others conveniently add to this disgusting pile. 

On Wednesday, I reached my limit. Riding up Fulton at the corner of Haste, a pile that had been there for several weeks, had an ominous cloud of flies buzzing over it. As I looked down, someone had graciously added a dead cat on top of the now half empty box of Styrofoam peanuts. 

I have tried calling Public Works. What is the law in Berkeley? Is this type of irresponsibility something we cherish, or should we simply call it what it is, public dumping and garbage. I can see leaving something that is nice, out for 24 hours. But even something nice that’s left on the street for a week becomes an eyesore. 

Once upon a time, the city had city wide clean-up days, where this stuff was picked up during the summer. That program was stopped. I wholly support impeaching Bush, but I would also really, really like for the city to either pick up the garbage, or hold property owners responsible for cleaning up in front of their buildings. 

Yolanda Huang