SEEN ONE OAK...
Editors, Daily Planet:
I think the City of Berkeley should concern itself with more important matters than a few oak trees on the UC campus.
I estimate that California has over one million oak trees. I was born and raised in the country outside Salinas, near Monterey. There are oaks everywhere. I used to love playing in them—we used to be tag on the low lying branches.
Are we talking about a grove of ancient redwoods? If we were, I’d be out there supporting the tree huggers. But we are not.
So a few less oaks trees on the UC campus shouldn’t be a big deal. In fact, my understanding is that UC will be planting triple the amount of trees that they are cutting down. In 50 years, those oak trees will be as beautiful as the ones they cut done.
In the meantime, I will hike in Tilden Park and Strawberry Canyon enjoying nature, and on special days, walk up UC’s beautiful campus on the way to another great football game in the new stadium and sports center. Go Bears!
Editors, Daily Planet:
It took me a few years to figure out what is going on in this town, but it is clear it is being run by fascists, not progressives, and mostly whom are old bittys who used to be hippies and wimpy guys, both of whom have either consumed too much drugs or still are and have used their good education at University of California against it, which is really ironic. I didn’t attend Cal but did attend another major university and have done OK by my education. Also I know a little about football and the impact it has on not just the university and its endowments, but also the entire community. Ask the proprietors of restaurants in town as well as the hoteliers who pay ridiculous taxes if they agree. I believe the City Council are being buttheads needlessly and because most of the local grads who stick around town are the under achievers except for the hill dwellers so they bend over and do whatever the city says and earnestly believe athletics are not important to a world-class university. I say bull. The alums who are driving up in limos to Memorial Stadium on game day with their big hearts and bigger checkbooks and who are filling up the stadium regularly now, which is a big change, are not of this ilk. Cal has figured this out, and Becky, expect a fight to the mat on this, and guess which side I am on, even though I never attended Cal.
RETIRED ARCHITECT PLANNER RETURNS TO THE DESIGN BOARD
Editors, Daily Planet:
Well, not exactly, I do not intend to volunteer concept drawings for this concept, just the idea. I propose that the oak grove problem with the CAL Athletic Training Center (ATC) and the threatened demise of the Iceland Skating Rink (ISR) can be solved by relocating them both to the property immediately south of Edwards Practice Field across Bancroft towards Durant. That site is now occupied by a large surface parking lot and an old bank building (now used for UC Berkeley offices). The Edwards Practice Field site would be used to accommodate compatible elements of the other uses. Either an aerial or underground pedestrian way would connect the two sites.
This plan will save two cherished community assets: the oak grove just west of the Coliseum and the Iceland Skating Rink (ISR). The ATC functions can be fitted into a redesigned Edwards Field site plus parts across Bancroft. Both the ATC and the ISR are athletic sports in nature. Both embody some overlapping functions such as parking, offices, locker rooms, showers and toilets, offices, eating facilities, meeting/lecture rooms, and heating and cooling infrastructure. Both functions could be accommodated in a jointly designed complex. Solar collectors mounted on all the roofs can furnish much of the energy for electricity, refrigeration, and hot water.
This idea is so timely, fulfilling our obligation to reduce global warming by building compatible uses in compact urban clusters that are energy efficient and that relate to the existing urban pattern in an ecological, pedestrian and transit friendly composition. The above combined ATC and ISR project by a joint UC, City of Berkeley, and possibly private financing is what “community” is all about. I see CAL or the City buying and temporarily owning the Iceland Rink and leasing the operation to the present owner; then CAL building a new ice rink on the new site adjacent to the new CAL ATC; then when the old rink is vacated demolish it and redevelop the site for uses more compatible to the surrounding residential neighborhood. The new location for Iceland puts it in the heart of the city, serviced by downtown BART and many bus lines, and easily accessible by pedestrians and bicycles in a high-density location.
This is a win-win-win solution: for UC Berkeley Hockey Team, for Iceland and ice skaters, for the City of Berkeley, for down town, for the general public, and for the fight against global warming.