Editorial: Remembering the Dead With Joy on Their Day

By Becky O’Malley
Friday November 02, 2007

Today, Nov.2, is the date called All Souls Day in my childhood. There was a two-tier system for remembering the dead in those days. All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1, was a Holy Day of Obligation, a day when everyone was supposed to go to church to honor the superstars, the church-certified superstars like St. Francis of Assisi. The next day, an optional church day, was for the regular folks, no better or worse than anyone else, who had departed for Heaven before our time, who might be there already or were perhaps having a temporary layover in Purgatory to get ready for the big time. We were supposed to try to speed them on their journey with our prayers on All Souls Day. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Friday November 02, 2007


Commentary: Children’s Hospital Bait-and-Switch

By Robert Brokl
Friday November 02, 2007

Thanks to J. Douglas Allen-Taylor for his ongoing coverage of the tensions between Children’s Hospital Oakland and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors over the private hospital’s unilateral—and successful—effort to get a bond measure for their seismic improvements onto the ballot, potentially jeopardizing the Supervisors’ own plans for a bond measure for Highland, the county’s public hospital. If the powerful Board of Supervisors feels blindsided by CHO’s tactics, which deliberately left them out of the loop as CHO quietly wrote a bond measure and hired signature gatherers to qualify for the ballot, imagine how the nearby neighbors of CHO are being treated. We were just as surprised as the supervisors at a recent public meeting called by CHO, where they announced their plans for a 12-story tower in the R-40, single family home area north of the hospital campus, between 52nd and 53rd and the parking garage on MLK and the freeway. -more-

Commentary: Bus Rapid Transit Success in Oregon

By Steve Geller
Friday November 02, 2007

From Oct. 8 through 11, I visited Eugene and rode their BRT. This is a brief summary of the longer trip report on my website, http://berkeleybus.mysite.com. -more-

Commentary: Political Criticism, Review of the Record Do Not Amount to Mud-Slinging

By Richard Phelps
Friday November 02, 2007

Exposing people for their true values and politics by showing what they have done versus their rhetoric is fair play in politics. Have you noticed that with all the hyperbole from Hallinan, Gendelman and their anonymous allies, they have not debunked any of the things we put in the campaign booklet. The reason that they are so hot is that they have been exposed for their duplicity. I have offered to debate any and all of them and they have declined because they are afraid of what the listeners will find out if their true positions are exposed. They like to stay with the controlled attack, e-mails behind our and the voters’ backs, and personal attacks with no facts, and the expensive mailer that says nothing in particular. -more-

Commentary: The KPFA Local Station Board Election

By Bob English
Friday November 02, 2007

The Pacifica Bylaws establish a collaborative, democratic process between listeners, staff and management with specified and shared powers and responsibilities, but not everyone gets the concept or wants it to happen. In fact, Concerned Listeners (CL) and their management/staff power allies are committed to the business as usual and status quo imposed by the old regime’s NPR/Healthy Station model and program grid, and are organized and funded to block and dismantle the transition to a democratic KPFA, to control what they can’t disable or destroy, including our elections. -more-

Commentary: KPFA Elections: The Real Issues

By Brian Edwards-Tiekert
Friday November 02, 2007

Carol Spooner’s Oct. 30 commentary in the Berkeley Daily Planet states that the “People’s Radio” candidate statements in the KPFA election “. . . are not attacks on anyone’s character. They are factual assertions and strong arguments concerning the positions and actions of other candidates. . .” -more-

Commentary: Disputing Gendelman, Hallinan on KPFA

By Virginia Browning
Friday November 02, 2007

First, I’ve been watching the board operate at KPFA for over two years. I’ve gone to almost every board meeting. I started this to try to figure out how much screaming to attend to. That’s not a style I appreciate, but sometimes I understand people express themselves in less-than-optimal ways under pressure. -more-

Commentary: The Struggle for Listener Democracy at KPFA

By Noelle Hanrahan
Friday November 02, 2007

The situation at KPFA radio, some encouraging signs notwithstanding, remains grim. The idea of participatory democracy was conceived as a response to the crisis of the ‘90s, but has yet to take hold. Many members of the KPFA staff, who embraced the concept when it helped save the station, do not support it now that listener members have been given real governing power. In other words, while the 'savepacifica' era was characterized by solidarity between staff and listeners, the 'save(d)pacifica' era has been characterized by polarization between these two groups. -more-

Commentary: Redaction and Consequences in the Board Election

By Marc Sapir
Friday November 02, 2007

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the original letter referred to by Matthew Hallinan in his Oct. 30 commentary in the Daily Planet. -more-

Commentary: Elektro-Smog and the Politics of Class Injustice

By Laurie Baumgarten
Friday November 02, 2007

Welcome to South Berkeley. With its 14 cell phone antenna locations and an unknown number of actual radiation emitters at each location, South Berkeley has become Berkeley’s elektro-smog ghetto. Any Berkeley resident who lives in a neighborhood without antennas is probably using ours! As far back as1996, the Communications Workers of America stated in their pamphlet called Your Community Guide to Cellular Phone Towers, “ In some cases, companies have chosen poorer sections of a town to build towers. Is this part of town being asked to house the eyesore and health hazard so the other side of town can use the phone?” -more-

Commentary: The Movement Against Cell Antennas in South Berkeley: Grassroots Democratic Activism Versus Verizon-Style Domestic Imperialism

By Michael Barglow
Friday November 02, 2007

As we come down to the wire at the Berkeley City Council this coming Tuesday evening, we face a dilemna that one city council after another around the country regularly faces. The telecommunications industry is shoving cell antennas into neighborhood after neighborhood with a very powerful economic and legal fist to back it up. The fist need only be raised when a community dares to seriously question a telecommunications companies’ corporate plan. This plan aimed at profitk results in pollution of our airways with continuous radio frequency radiation. In Berkeley’s case, Verizon threatens to eliminate our entire ordinance governing the siting of cell phone antennas, that is unless we bow down to their current demand for antennas at three separate Berkeley locations. Is this a form of economic blackmail? -more-

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-