Opinion

Editorials

Editorial: The People Are Given More Bread, Bigger Circuses

By Becky O’Malley
Friday August 31, 2007

For openers, whining (or whinging, if you’re British). I very seldom try to take a whole week off, and even then I try to fill this space via e-mail if I can. In fact, the last time I tried this, I was in Oxford when the University of California at Berkeley suckered one of its devoted alumni into letting them off the hook on the City of Berkeley’s righteous lawsuit challenging just one of the university’s several mammoth expansion schemes which are proposed over the next 20 years. Planet reporters did a good job of covering the fireworks, but it would have been fun to see them close up. -more-


Editorial: Celebrating the Small Changes

By Becky O’Malley
Tuesday August 28, 2007

For many months, there was a bottle of champagne in our office refrigerator, being saved for the day Karl Rove was indicted. The donor wasn’t a member of the reporting staff, since they are expected to preserve the appearance of political neutrality, but I’m pretty sure that if and when Rove had actually been indicted everyone, including the reporters, would have accepted a celebratory glass with enthusiasm. It didn’t happen—Rove was allowed to slither off the scene without going to jail, an over-enthusiastic former sales manager popped the champagne cork for some petty triumph, and the focus shifted to Alberto Gonzales as villain-du-jour. (Meanwhile, the odious Rummy had also left the building.) -more-


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Friday August 31, 2007

MISREPRESENTING THE FACTS -more-


Commentary: Kitchen Democracy: The Great Pretender

By Steve Martinot
Friday August 31, 2007

The question of Kitchen Democracy (KD) has emerged in an important way in Berkeley over the last few months; and we need to understand its potential impact on what we are trying to do. Kitchen Democracy is a website that purports to constitute a connection between citizens and city hall. -more-


Commentary: Berkeley’s Misplaced Planning Priorities

By Paul Glusman
Friday August 31, 2007

I am so thankful to Dan Marks of the Berkeley Planning Department for pointing out how the planners know better than the citizens what is best for everyone. It is so relaxing just to be able to leave all the decisions to the professionals. Why should we criticize them for favoring big developers when only two or three of their 100 or so taxpayer-funded staff spends time on Big Projects? Of course the rest of them are busy handing out forms like the ones I filled out when I moved my law office from one office suite to another, asking how much food I would sell on the new premises and whether I planned to sell alcoholic beverages. One always has to watch for lawyers selling alcoholic beverages to minors in law offices close to the impressionable University of California students. I had, of course, thought that the admissions standards were too strict for the university to be accepting the kind of person who would walk into a law office looking to order a gin and tonic (and as yet, none have), but our city bureaucrats know better than we do about such things, and the best thing is to let them do their jobs (while envying them their health insurance.) -more-


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday August 28, 2007

VAN HOOL BUSES -more-


Commentary: West Berkeley Air Quality: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

By L A Wood
Tuesday August 28, 2007

The lyrics “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” have certainly been true in West Berkeley where foundry emissions and their noxious odors are a daily reminder of our local air quality crisis. Current levels of airborne chemicals and metal particulates have given zip code 94710 the shameful distinction of having some of the highest levels of asthma in the county. -more-


Smart Growth

By Steve Meyers
Tuesday August 28, 2007

In a recent editorial, Becky O’Malley described “smart growth” as “the unproven theory that making already-developed urban areas ever denser will prevent sprawl into the hinterlands.” While this is often cited as a benefit of smart growth by its advocates, it is only one aspect of smart growth, and the least important from the perspective of Berkeley. -more-