Editorial: Clinton v. Obama Shapes Up

By Becky O’Malley
Friday August 17, 2007

First, let me vaccinate myself: “The left is ... easily distracted, currently by the phantasm of impeachment. Why all this clamor to launch a proceeding surely destined to fail, aimed at a duo who will be out of the White House in 16 months? Pursue them for war crimes after they’ve stepped down. Mount an international campaign of the sort that has Henry Kissinger worrying at airports that there might be a lawyer with a writ standing next to the man with the limo sign. Right now the impeachment campaign is a distraction from the war and the paramount importance of ending it.” -more-

Editorial: Cynicism Damages Tenant Cause

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday August 14, 2007

There’s been a lot of hoo-hah lately, including some in these pages, about the recent airing in the Matier-Ross gossip column of the old rumor that Berkeley Rent Control Board member Chris Kavanagh is seldom seen in the Dwight Way apartment which he rents, and that in fact he might really “live” in a charming cottage in Rockridge, just over the border in Oakland. Why the ironic quotes around “live”? -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Friday August 17, 2007


Commentary: Bus Rapid Transit Means Reduced Traffic, Reduced CO2

By Rob Wrenn
Friday August 17, 2007

In his latest attack on AC Transit’s planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, Doug Buckwald (Planet Aug. 14) once again misstates the facts, this time claiming that the environmental impact report (EIR) for BRT “shows” that BRT will not lead “many people at all” to shift from driving to taking the bus. -more-

Commentary: Planning in Berkeley: Doing Our Job

By Dan Marks
Friday August 17, 2007

Mark Twain is supposed to have said “never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” I have followed that adage for most of my career, choosing not to respond to articles and editorials in newspapers, and especially not the Daily Planet, which has shown antipathy for my department, my staff and my profession. Despite my concern with the forum, as the director of Planning and Development for the city, I feel compelled to respond to Ms. O’Malley’s editorials of Aug. 7 and 10 and Mr. Wollmer’s commentary of Aug. 10. -more-

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday August 14, 2007


Commentary: Psychologists Protest Professional Association Over Ethics

By Ruth Fallenbaum
Tuesday August 14, 2007

In an unusual expression of outrage, a coalition of psychologists will stage a rally outside the annual convention of the American Psychological Association at the Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, Friday, Aug. 17, at 4 p.m. -more-

Commentary: Criticisms of BRT Workshop Are Unfair

By Fran Haselsteiner
Tuesday August 14, 2007

When I was editing books for a major, Washington D.C.-based environmental organization, there was always a chapter on public process. The basic process is that participants work together in small groups and then report back to the whole group. It operates on the principle that community members’ coming together to discuss the issues and develop consensus results in good community decisions. -more-

Commentary: Local Communities Are Not Dumping Grounds

By Keith Carson
Tuesday August 14, 2007

On July 23, Judges Thelton Henderson and Lawrence Karlton called for the formation of a three-judge panel to develop recommendations to address the issue of overcrowding in California state prisons. The formation of the panel is essentially a no confidence vote in AB 900, the band-aid approach put forward by Gov. Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature. The legislation primarily calls for the construction of the 53,000 new jail cells. Judge Karlton has been widely quoted as saying “From all that presently appears, new beds will not alleviate this problem but will aggravate it.” -more-

Commentary: Your Black Muslim Bakery (Or What’s Left Of It)

By David Nebenzahl
Tuesday August 14, 2007

You’re gone now, it looks like for good. That’s a shame, at least for me personally. Let me explain. -more-

Commentary: Independence for Kosovo? Why?

By Fred E. Foldvary
Tuesday August 14, 2007

President Bush is promoting the independence of Kosovo from Serbia, but why? Kosovo has been under the administration of the United Nations. The Kosovars, as ethnic Albanians, seek to be an independent country, while the Serbs consider Kosovo to be an important part of their history and territory. Do the Kosovars have a natural right to independence? The answer becomes clear when we realize that countries and nationalities have no natural rights. All natural rights are inherent in individual persons. Each human being has the moral right to be sovereign, to be independent of the mastership of any other person. -more-

Commentary: Bus Rapid Transit Debate — Any Takers?

By Doug Buckwald
Tuesday August 14, 2007

Charles Siegel and Steve Geller certainly respond promptly and with great vigor to anyone who suggests that there might be flaws in the massive and expensive Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) proposal put forward by AC Transit. The problem is, these two men usually shed more dust than light on the issues involved. In their separate letters in last Tuesday’s issue of the Daily Planet (August 7), they both ignore two essential facts: First, there has not been any city forum held to debate the issue of the approval of the BRT proposal, nor has there been any decision by our City Council on this matter. Mr. Geller’s and Mr. Siegel’s efforts to assist groups like the Transportation Commission in squelching public debate on this important issue are profoundly undemocratic. They are just as guilty as the Transportation Commission in perpetrating the falsehood that BRT is a “done deal”—a cynical strategy intended to hoodwink the opposition into accepting the program. Second, it is AC Transit’s own study (the Draft Environmental Impact Report) that shows that BRT will not motivate many people at all to shift from driving cars to riding the bus. Therefore, Mr. Siegel and Mr. Geller should be criticizing AC Transit for failing to provide a better alternative to automobile transportation—rather than leveling their contempt and disdain at citizens who are struggling to find transportation choices that work. -more-