Editorial: So Just March, Already...

By Becky O’Malley
Friday October 26, 2007

The weather forecast says that Saturday will be another one of those gorgeous October days we’re blessed with in Northern California. It looks like it will be a very nice day for a walk—a long walk, a walk perhaps in San Francisco. Yes, if you haven’t figured it out already, this is a restrained pitch for the peace march in San Francisco. It’s being sponsored by—oh, who is it being sponsored by? And why does it matter anyhow? There will undoubtedly be people there with whom you disagree on some part of the message, or who will behave in a way you might not want to endorse. Go anyhow, carry your own sign with your own message, act the way you want everyone to act. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday October 30, 2007


Commentary: UC and BP: A Step in the Wrong Direction

By Ignacio Chapela
Tuesday October 30, 2007

When our students look back in time, it will be easy for them to recognize this as a key moment in history. The signing of the “bioenergy” agreement between British Petroleum and the University of California, Berkeley for a reported $500 million will be clearly visible then, in the future, as a very big step indeed, a decisive step in the wrong direction. -more-

Commentary: Support Free Speech and Open Debate in KPFA Election

By Carol Spooner
Tuesday October 30, 2007

We fought a long hard fight to win democratic elections for KPFA’s Local Station Board (LSB). One of the most important reasons for that was so that listeners could be informed by the candidates of the issues and problems and their proposed solutions. Imagine, if back in 1999 we had had the ability to communicate with all the members and to elect—and recall—the board of directors (through our elected delegates on the LSB). -more-

Commentary: KPFA ‘Concerned Listeners’

By Sherry Gendelman
Tuesday October 30, 2007

Concerned Listeners very much appreciates the Berkeley Daily Planet’s coverage of the current KPFA LSB elections. -more-

Commentary: The KPFA Flap

By Matthew Hallinan
Tuesday October 30, 2007

When I was considering running for the KPFA Local Station Board, a number of old-time activist friends told me I was crazy. There is a sectarian fringe, they said, that has placed all their hopes for getting access to an audience by gaining control over KPFA. At the same time, they explained, there was a staff that had grown comfortable with the way things are, and that would resist any effort to change things. Anybody who would put him or herself in the middle of that minefield was just plain nuts. -more-

Commentary: Density: Cause or Effect

By Darren Conly
Tuesday October 30, 2007

In his well-researched Oct. 23 commentary on the cons of increasing the density of downtown and Berkeley as a whole, Neil Mayer provided me with two major negative points concerning increased density: 1) That it produces gritty, undesirable urban conditions, or 2) that increased density leads to gentrification and the ousting of working families. -more-

Commentary: A Moderate Position on Density

By Charles Siegel
Tuesday October 30, 2007

The debate about development in Berkeley has been polarized for decades, but a moderate position is emerging in the current debate over downtown height limits. The moderates support smart growth but oppose high-rises. I myself am a long-time advocate of smart growth. I have supported all the pedestrian-oriented infill projects built in downtown and on transit-corridors during the past 20 years, including the Gaia Building. But I am completely opposed to building 16-story or 12-story towers downtown, because I want to preserve downtown’s human scale. During the current debate over downtown density, both extremes—anti-development advocates and pro-high-rise advocates—have made misleading claims. -more-

Commentary: Underneath the Shady Tree (Again)

By Winston Burton
Tuesday October 30, 2007

I was sitting outside at a restaurant, on Center Street in downtown Berkeley, when my friend Martin the mailman approached. -more-

Letters to the Editor

Friday October 26, 2007


Commentary: West Berkeley BID is Not Mom and Apple Pie

By Dan Knapp
Friday October 26, 2007

In his Oct. 19 letter to the editor, Steven Donaldson didn’t mention that he is one of the West Berkeley property owners trying to set up a new tax to fund privatizing city services. He posed instead as just another interested neighborhood guy, who no doubt attended the “Town Hall Meeting” partly to register his support for the tax and partly to observe the antics of dozens of “folks” whose earnest and articulate arguments he professes never to understand. Indeed, in 12 paragraphs of Steven’s prose, he never engages his opponents’ arguments at all. It’s as if we had nothing to say. But of course we did. -more-

Commentary: An Open Letter to Captain Richard Lund

By Zanne Joi
Friday October 26, 2007

Dear Captain Lund, -more-

Commentary; A Public Comment Process Without Central Control

By Robert Vogel and Simona Carini
Friday October 26, 2007

Most of the world today has access to competing sources of news, each claiming to present a balanced version of truth. While the professional media reports from multiple primary sources and permits a variety of opinion in letters to the editor, no single source is truly capable of “balance” in reporting the news. At some point, an editor ultimately controls what gets published; at that point “balance” is compromised and the editor’s bias inevitably influences public opinion and policy. -more-

Commentary: BioEnergy Institute and BP Grant Are Already Archaic

By James Singmaster
Friday October 26, 2007

Regrettably, UC Berkeley, which just had a big opening show Oct. 22 for its Joint BioEnergy Institute, will soon see the bioenergy concept drop dead after so much hoopla from the University and BP on bioenergy having great “possibilities to save the world.” The hydrogen fuel future may be fast approaching as German scientists at the Max Planck Institute announced a few weeks ago their finding a catalyst that uses sunlight energy to convert water into hydrogen. Hydrogen for fuel and windmills for electric power have no pollution or residual junk problems and should be setup as fast as possible to give us clean energy, and most of the bioenergy concept will soon be laughed about for its shortsightedness. -more-