Public Comment

Commentary; Stadium Stories Paint Sinister Picture

By Vince Tancreto
Friday February 23, 2007

I guess by now I shouldn’t be surprised by every slanted article written about the UC Stadium Project. Your Feb. 20, 2007 article (“Oak Grove May Be Native American Burial Site”) was no exception in the continued disingenuous anti-stadium project rhetoric and misinformation campaign using the BPD as their mouthpiece. Basing this article on the biased opinions of a plaintiff lawyer and an “activist” with obvious agendas presents only the story you apparently want your readers to hear. 

Your article paints the usual sinister picture of the UC and this project. However, several statements in your own article actually paint a different picture, one that you apparently don’t want to include or never bothered to verify. The EIR correctly states that “Cultural remains may have been impacted by prior construction”. How was that omitted from documents as you claim if it was in the EIR? Per your article, the EIR goes on to include the language “but does require work to be stopped if remains are discovered until impacts to the sites can be mitigated. Mr. Brenneman, that IS “standard operating procedure” today and the EIR meets the full disclosure requirement. An “archaeological survey” is impossible to do at a site such as the stadium because it has been a highly disturbed site for many years. You only do such surveys on virgin ground. Maybe the city of Berkeley operates in a different manner (which wouldn’t surprise anyone at this point), but that’s how it works everywhere else in the state. You refer to CEQA and several other codes and regulations as maybe applying, but only under circumstances not discovered in this “finding” if you read the text without adding your own interpretations.  

I previously used the word “disingenuous” to describe the anti-stadium project effort. With the possible exception of the California Oaks Association who at least started with a semi-coherent purpose (no longer), the other plaintiffs continue to hide their true intentions behind other “concerns.” I won’t even talk about the Tightwad Hill group since their issues are ludicrous. 

The city of Berkeley seems to be looking for a payoff based on the mayor’s implications that the city is still “willing to negotiate.” 

Is he kidding? Berkeley would be nothing without the university, and the university obviously puts far more money into city coffers than used in city services. The Panoramic Hill Association talks “safety,” but can’t seem to bring themselves to just come out and fully admit that they really prefer that the stadium just disappear in its entirety because they consider it a nuisance. Members of the association have stated this numerous times in the past. 

And if this is really about safety as they argue, when do these residents plan to move off the hill since their homes are in as much, and potentially more danger from natural threats than the stadium? Seems a little hypocritical, don’t you think? Not to mention that pictures from the 1920s show that very few homes even existed in the area at the time that the stadium was built. Seems to me that they all knew a stadium was there when they purchased.  

With regard to our Native American “activist” buddy, Mr. Running Wolf, can you ask him more about his heritage the next time you go to him for quotes?  

“Running Wolf” is a decidedly non- 

California Native American name so I was surprised to hear that “our” people could be in this supposed burial site. Or was he referring to Native Americans in general? Isn’t it odd that this “important archaeological discovery” was hidden for 80 years and suddenly comes up now? What timing! 

And Mr. Running Wolf suspected that this site existed all along but never bothered to check out his vastly important hunch. It’s also amazing that this took place with the world-renowned UC Berkeley Archaeological Department located right down the street no less. You’d think that they would have known about this site long ago, archives or not, if something truly remarkable had been there.  

Just more smoke for the smokescreen. 



Vince Tancreto probably doesn’t live in Berkeley.