Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday February 26, 2008







Editors, Daily Planet: 

Please let your interested readers know which landlord demanded the extraordinary rent increase which effectively ended Cody’s store on Fourth Street in Berkeley. This piece of information is often left out of the stories of businesses’ untimely exits, and would seem crucial to the success of a business district.  

If anchor stores can be booted to the curb without apology, undermining the district’s commercial viability, it would be important to know who is responsible for such a decision and why, especially so that the usual tradition of blaming panhandlers can finally be avoided. 

Carol Denney 


EDITOR’S NOTE: Peter O’Hara is principal of Pacific Property Assets of San Francisco, which owns the Fourth Street building soon to be vacated by Cody’s Books. 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Feb. 17 that Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates was comfortable with the $93,000 bill for policing the recent demonstrations because “we got publicity all over the world against the war in Iraq.” What our less-than-brilliant mayor does not grasp is the fact that the rest of the world is not the least bit interested in how Berkeley feels about the war. Further, much of Berkeley does not share the mayor’s antipathy toward the USMC. Of course, the $93,000 is not the mayor’s money, anyway. It belongs (belonged) to the poor downtrodden Berkeley taxpayers!  

Steve Schneider 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

After reading Kriss Worthington’s comments about the brouhaha surrounding the Marine action/reaction, I thought his idea about turning the phrase “we support our veterans” into action had merit. Letting the vets use the Berkeley Veteran’s Building certainly would help. Perhaps the city could take it a step further and partner with community groups and non-profits on projects which would show our support of the troops while making our objections to the war and the effects of the war clear. For example, the city could help a group like Veterans for Peace open up a coffee shop/bookstore/music club downtown that would give potential recruits the opportunity to hear another point of view and provide entrepreneurial opportunities for veterans. (Could this be considered a cultural use?) Or how about a low income housing project specifically designed for homeless vets? A job training program for those who areunemployed? Since post traumatic stress disorder is common in returning combat vets and suicide in all military branches has risen following the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan (suicide rates in Marines doubled in 2007) some special mental heath programs would also be in order. Or maybe we could do something more academic, like put together a symposium on torture along with some of the folks at UC. I am sure there are a lot more ideas out there we could try. 

After all, it shouldn’t just be about being polite but about doing something real. 

Joanne Kowalski 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Those ridiculing the Berkeley City Council’s stance opposing the Marine recruiting Station in downtown Berkeley are not only misguided; they are part of a chorus of scorn that amounts to bullying. I for one applaud those in the City Council that had the revolutionary courage and integrity to stand up to those who would recruit the young and naive into a preemptive war based on lies and greed. In bending over backwards to avoid disrespecting those who defend our rights and freedoms abroad, patriotic dissidents must reemphasize they are opposed to a standing army, not soldiers. These patriots echo a long-gone revolutionary forefather, who declared, 200 years ago: “The Greeks and Romans had no standing armies, yet they defended themselves. The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army.” The author of this passage happens to be the patriot who penned the Declaration of Independence, and something tells me he would recognize today the erosion of our laws and the spirit of the people that has given rise to the contemporary protests against this engine of oppression in downtown Berkeley. 

Robert Epstein 

El Cerrito 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Just as Iraq had no connection to 9-11, the Marines are not protecting my right to free speech or to be as Berkeley as I wish to be. They are protecting the profits of KBR and the manufacturers of WMDs as they have always done. 

However, much as I oppose this war, I’d like to see the recruiting station stay in Berkeley so we can support our dupes before they commit their young lives as possible suicides for the fat cats of empire. 

Our safety would be better protected if we were seen as a peaceful nation, one among many helping humanity and nature. Nobody loves a bully. 

Come to think of it, what right do they have to be in the halls of Montezuma or on the shores of Tripoli or in the town of Faluja? 

Ruth Bird  




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I’m very tired of the Berkeley bashing. To the chap who had a sign saying “.....Berkeley is the laughing stock of the nation” .....How about “Berkeley bashers and their ilk are themselves the laughing stock of the world.” 

Stephen Williams 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I shall boycott all businesses in your city and will actively support and campaign for others to do the same for as long as the majority of Berkeley residents and its representatives continue to support their despicable approach toward the Marine recruiters. The city has lost the privilege of federal funding. Those of you who hold such radical views have gone too far and do not deserve to benefit from the freedoms that our military has fought to preserve. This includes the freedom of the public to extract a high price from Berkeley’s business community and thereby reduce the city’s coffers. If you do not support their view, I strongly suggest you join like-minded forces to voice opposition and effect change in Berkeley among the radical liberal disorder which seems to run amuck your city. 

Tom Hartje 

Marin County 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I must apologize for my slow response to a letter recently published in the Daily Planet, but I rarely write such missives. 

The letter in question was written about the recent protest at the Marine’s recruitment center. This writer, a woman as I recall, believed unalterably that we must support the troops and called for the withdrawal (not of the troops but) of federal funding from related Berkeley-based social and cultural programs. 

The paradox is immediately apparent: In a country that prizes, above most things, the right to speech, to an opinion, this person wants to punish those whose opinions differ and by doing so squelch speech. If this were a fairy tale, her own mouth would vanish in the moment of her wishing someone else’s would. 

But this is a different kind of fairy tale. 

What seems to lie beneath this wish to suppress speech is the mistaken notion that the writer’s own opinion is somehow neutral, not an opinion at all, but more an organic truth. How else could the banishment of someone else’s right to share an opinion not threaten your own right unless your opinion is not an opinion at all. You might call this taking the higher ground, the sanctimonious position, or you might call it an unthinking mimicry of power. In other words, if your opinion simply repeats the ideological status quo its not speech because power in its purest form doesn’t offer itself up for discussion. There’s no two ways about it—power that is. 

In a democracy, speech assumes a process of critical, individualized, and even unpopular thinking. It is the personalized form of speech that promotes change through discourse and rejuvenates our social contract. 

If the writer of the letter succeeds in canceling federal funds and thus suppressing speech what would she accomplish but the lessening of her own freedom and the establishment of a system in which your “opinion” is just an official reflection of authority? Then perhaps she too would be wordless before power. 

As for the Marine recruitment center: I say let them stay, but never for a moment stop questioning the policies that deploy them. 

Steve Seid 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I write on behalf of nearly 200 police officers comprising the Berkeley Police Association. The men and women of the Berkeley Police Department are proud to work in this vibrant and diverse community. We applaud the courage of the city’s civic leaders who, as a matter of public policy, routinely illuminate and denounce bigotry wherever it resides. 

Likewise, the Berkeley Police Association denounces the views expressed by Allen Jackson, who claims to represent the Berkeley NAACP. In a letter published in the Feb. 22 edition of the Berkeley Daily Planet, Mr. Jackson is quoted as saying “It is apparent that the only thing in the mind of a Berkeley police officer is to kill any African American that they can.” 

While we respect his rights to an opinion, his statement has absolutely no basis in fact and is without any credibility whatsoever. During this difficult time for the community these remarks are needlessly inflammatory, and serve no constructive purpose.  

We are particularly offended by his use of the NAACP as a platform for his personal attacks. The NAACP has been and continues to be a source of inspiration for generations of Americans of all backgrounds. Mr. Allen’s invectives reflect an indefensible point of view inconsistent with the philosophy of the organization he claims to represent. 

Despite the obvious obstacles of ignorance and prejudice that still exist within some quarters of our community, the members of the Berkeley Police Association are unwavering in our commitment to provide quality police service. 

The Berkeley Police Association calls upon the leaders of our community to join us now in publicly rejecting the divisive views expressed by Mr. Allen Jackson. 

Henry Wellington 

President, Berkeley Police Association 

Shira Warren 

President, Berkeley Black Police Officers Association  




Editors, Daily Planet: 

J. Douglas Allen-Taylor reports that it is felt by many, that new mayor Ron Dellums is soft on crime—that he is “too philosophically addicted to violence prevention to take the tough-on-criminals stance” that Oakland needs. 

It has been reported that Oakland’s criminal families are on their third and fourth generations; that many of these absent fathers are in jail on drug-related charges. Do we really need yet more police enforcement for this endless waste of municipal funds? I was shocked to hear former presidential candidate Ron Paul actually mention the critically-needed change in our “drug war.” Obviously too unmentionable for a response from any of the other candidates, it remains the enormous “invisible elephant.” I suspect that prison and law-enforcement careers are dependent, after all, on keeping some of the billions we spend on this “war,” in the pockets of the “punishers.” 

Drug-related-crime is enforced by our drug-laws, as well as by the mystery of continuous blinders on the majority of our legislators. Will Mayor Dellums consider in his violence-prevention-program that decriminalization of drugs can be the beginning of healing? It would not only allow fathers to be “at home” for these hopeless young persons, but it could transfer these tainted-billions to the much needed education, jobs, and mental and physical health of these families. 

Gerta Farber 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

Fascists are mobilizing on the streets of Berkeley and David Kirp tried in his Feb. 18 Chronicle article, “Semper fi Berkeley,” to lower the tensions by outlining Berkeley’s years of achievements in various social areas. Zelda Bronstein replied in the Feb. 22 Planet with a rebuttal that detailed failure after failure of Berkeley officials on a wide array of problems. 

After a careful read of Bronstein’s piece I have to say that every failure of “government” that she lists appears to have been true. And Kirp’s list of pioneering work in school integration, ecology, disabled rights, housing for poor families and much more is also true. 

Wavy Gravy has written, “In my heart of hearts I know we are all assholes, and we are all Buddhas, yet even Buddha has to take a dump occasionally.” And when he does, Zelda Bronstein will be there to describe it in vivid detail. 

Ted Vincent 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The perspective of columnist J. Douglas Allen-Taylor is grounded in unreality (Undercurrents, Feb. 22). The bottom line for Allen-Taylor is that African Americans are being forced out of Oakland by in migration of Latinos and European Americans. He says Oakland should stop this out migration of African Americans. But even if locals could agree on the meaning of the term “affordable housing,” and on plans for providing “affordable housing,” the government could never make it work. Because as the foreclosure crisis begins to affect local government revenues, more and more cities are going to have to tighten their belts (nearby Vallejo is close to bankruptcy). There will be no money to build public housing or to subsidize housing construction. Even up to now, Oakland has done a wretched job maintaining existing stocks of public housing. No, Allen-Taylor should review Oakland history. Since the arrival of the Spanish colonists in the 1700s, Oakland has seen migration after migration as ethnic groups from around the world came and usually moved on. This process obviously continues despite the efforts of idealists who impractically fight the inevitable. 

Nate Hardin 

El Cerrito 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

Walking home late Friday afternoon, I witnessed the strangest display of force by the Berkeley police in riot gear to clear the sidewalk on Shattuck. It seemed very unnecessary and I could only assume that they wanted to assert their power, like an angry bully. 

As reported by the Daily Planet, other agencies may have been called to handle the situations that occurred this week. The police chief, in his message on the city’s website, writes “We pride ourselves in treating people with dignity and respect.” Perhaps there was miscommunication, somewhere? Otherwise, this city has ample resources within its borders to train the force and its management in non-violent behavior and communication. 

The best thing we can show the rest of the country is how we can live peacefully without resorting to violence. Then perhaps, one day, they will start questioning their wars. 

Guy Tiphane 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

This week, a delegation of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) visited Washington to tell lawmakers one thing: our newest generation of veterans deserves real educational benefits that make college tuition affordable. 

Now is the time for our Congress to take action on this, and pass a 21st-century GI Bill. 

After World War II, attending college gave veterans time to readjust to civilian life, and prepared them for careers as innovators and leaders. For every dollar spent on the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, seven went back into the economy in the form of increased productivity, consumer spending, and tax revenue. 

Today’s GI Bill only covers part of the costs of college. Tuition costs have increased faster than inflation, and many veterans must take out student loans or forego education altogether. 

In a time when we are asking so much of our Armed Forces, paying for college is one of the best ways to show our gratitude as a nation. Congress needs to pass a new GI Bill this year. 

Koreyan Calloway 

Union City 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Things aren’t going good. I mean, do you realize how many people are left in this nation’s mental hospitals without any or little contact with their friends and family? Let alone the prison system. There are stories of rape and violence inside our institutions that are widely accepted and people are locking away their own wives and kids without even thinking about the consequences. It’s just not right to leave people in a bad situation because our system doesn’t compensate for its own injustices. People fail in life, but when they’re kids they’re told there isn’t any such thing as failure, that we’re all playing on the same team and that success is the same as failure as long as you play by the rules and nobody gets hurt.  

But this isn’t realistic. When everybody’s in a mad dash trying to get famous or make a fortune too many people get tripped. And of course it’s always the same excuse that the winner wasn’t trying to trample on the loser and that that’s just the way it turned out but if you really think about it isn’t that just a dirty lie? If 14,000 homeless don’t have beds and are dying on the streets in San Francisco, doesn’t that make us all murderers? Albeit there are programs like 150 Otis, Providence, Glide Church, and such youth shelters as the Lark Inn for rehabilitation and housing, these places just aren’t enough.  

There are a ton of homeless out there, and if you’re walking down the main boulevards in San Francisco or Berkeley you cannot go two blocks without meeting ten to twenty homeless people without a job or sick or in need of a helping hand. And who is going to do it? The government is often on the side of the cops and that these are all just a bunch of dirty vagrants and criminals that need to be swept up and swept out of the way for the good citizens of our country. But if you talk to any number of these men you’d find out that there’s a lot more to the story of homelessness and what gets people kicked out of their pads and onto the streets. A lot of it has to do with family problems or even mental illness. And everybody can understand that. 

In short, give your brother a helping hand when he needs one. I know it may sound like only so much ranting and raving in this article. But if you’d just slow down for a second and talk to these people you’d find out that there’s a lot of ranting and raving to be done. And sickness and death just plain never make a difference, especially in what is supposed to be a Christian nation. 

David Wood 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

It is unfortunate that in her commentary “Does Berkeley Need Better Alcohol Regulation?” Ms. Lott fails to answer her posed question. We are informed that there are neighborhood nuisance issues in South and West Berkeley, and an “out-of-control party scene” in frat row at Cal. This is followed with some scary statistics from the current Surgeon General’s report on underage drinking. But none of this addresses the question, and lumping it all together confuses BAPAC’s goals. 

It seems like BAPAC is trying to cover three issues: nuisance liquor stores, college-age drinking, and underage drinking. 

I lived within two blocks of a North Berkeley liquor store for over five years without issue or complaint—thus I don’t believe a one-size-fits-all approach is reasonable. Positive action has been taken on many nuisance liquor stores: Grove, Black & White, Dwight Way, Brothers. If this is a burden to the complainants, I suggest their councilmember is not effectively serving their needs. 

I was at UC Santa Cruz in the late 1980s when the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) went into effect. My anecdotal evidence of the effects on college-age drinking are as follows: The level of drinking remained unchanged but because kegs were banned, we increasingly turned to hard liquor; because all alcohol was banned in public places, we drank before going out; because you could get in trouble, we became furtive; and it fostered an adversarial relationship between students, residential assistants, and the administration. I would argue that the regulations of 1986 set the stage for increased binge drinking—which is after all a (dimly) economically rational reaction to scarcity. 

BAPAC says their goals are about prevention, not prohibition, but with regards to underage drinkers their true goal is abstinence. I am unclear why, when sexual abstinence programs have been widely discredited, alcohol abstinence programs are not similarly questioned. 

At the risk of sounding like Timothy Leary, human beings have been altering their consciousness for the entirety of evolution. Cats jump on catnip, dogs and children run in circles, and humans have been brewing since long before Christ. Will a call for abstinence and increased regulation subvert this urge? Should Berkeley shoppers pick up the tab via increased prices from our local groceries, pubs and restaurants? Do we need “better” alcohol regulation? Will a single city employee charged with policing 309 sales points “reduce the harm and destruction to quality of life that will otherwise occur?” 

I remain unconvinced. 

John Vinopal 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

A few letters and articles have claimed that the Van Hool buses used for AC Transit’s RapidBus service on Telegraph Avenue are an essential part of its planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service on this street. This is not true. 

AC Transit began discussing BRT in the year 2000, before it purchased a single Van Hool bus. The BRT system has not been designed around the Van Hool buses in any way: BRT could use any low-floor articulated bus with three doors. 

Buses typically have a life span of 12 years. The Van Hools that AC Transit now uses for RapidBus will probably continue to be used on that route for the rest of their life span, whether or not BRT is implemented on that route. When these Van Hools reach the end of their lives, AC Transit will have to decide what type of bus to replace them with, and I am sure the debate over the replacement buses will be very similar, whether or not BRT is implemented. 

Bus technology is changing rapidly. Several cities are now using hybrid buses, and I expect that hybrids will soon be used by transit providers all over the country—including AC Transit. I also expect that there will only be one generation of hybrids before they are replaced by some new technology, such as hydrogen fuel cells. The infrastructure for Bus Rapid Transit will last for a long time, and during most of that time, it will undoubtedly use buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells or by some other advanced technology. 

When we decide to build BRT, we are not deciding what buses will be used on it. We are deciding to whether to build an infrastructure that will allow many generations of different buses to provide faster, more convenient, and more reliable service. 

Charles Siegel 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

There is a critical classroom and parking shortage at the Berkeley High campus. With up to 3,400 students and over 200 staff on only two city blocks of land, Berkeley High is bursting at the seams. As reported by the facilities director to the BUSD Board (Jan. 9), Berkeley High is lacking at least 15 classrooms to accommodate current and future enrollment. 

How does this affect the daily life at the high school? The teachers union (BFT) reports that over half of the teachers at Berkeley High must share classrooms or move from classroom to classroom. This makes it impossible for students to find teachers easily and disrupts instructional flow. Furthermore, the dearth of staff parking on or near a congested downtown high school campus is a constant issue—Berkeley High does not have adequate parking now, much less if BHS loses the Milvia site.  

Currently Berkeley High students attend classes in substandard classrooms on campus, and the high school has been forced to appropriate four portable classrooms from nearby Washington Elementary School on MLK Way. As a further stopgap measure to the classroom shortage, BUSD will be placing six portable classrooms on the BHS softball field at the corner of Channing and Milvia. Students will lose a field that’s in high demand year-round. 

Supporters of a warm pool to be located on the Milvia Street parking lot/tennis courts appear to be demanding that BUSD declare the site “surplus” or “excess school facilities.” This is a technical designation required before a school district can dispose of unwanted property. If BUSD has made any representations to the City that the Milvia site is “surplus,” such representations are inaccurate, misinformed and illegal. The Milvia site is far from “surplus.”  

The Berkeley City Council should not even begin to consider a $15 million bond measure for a warm pool (“Council Begins Discussions of November Tax Measure,” Feb. 19) until the city has secured a site that does not adversely affect the education of Berkeley High students. The Milvia Street parking lot/tennis courts are owned by BUSD and must be retained by the District to help remedy the desperate classroom and parking shortage at the high school. 

Priscilla Myrick 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The news of Fidel Castro’s resignation brought back memories of my November 2003 trip to Cuba. The following January, the United States placed further restrictions on travel to Cuba. I have mixed feelings about Castro. Many Cubans would probably agree, albeit covertly, that Castro was a welcome guest for dinner, but overstayed his welcome. The revolutionary became a dictator for life. 

What will happen after Castro dies? Will the United States take advantage of the uncertainty after his death to intervene again in Cuba? (Read Haiti.) I understand the United States is already planning for after-Fidel and Raul interventions. 

It might have been different. In April 1959, shortly after taking power, Castro traveled to the United States. The Eisenhower administration could have embraced Castro, offering him economic assistance. But remember this was during the Cold War and Castro smacked of socialism/communism. Eisenhower snubbed him. He met instead with Vice President Nixon for a few hours. No economic assistance was offered. The next year, Castro turned to Russia for economic assistance and the rest is history. 

Ralph E. Stone 

San Francisco 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

For its many diverse and stimulating programs (i.e., lectures, history of jazz, classical guitar, etc., etc.), the Berkeley Public Library is deserving of the highest praise. It outdid itself last Tuesday by featuring an extraordinary speaker—David Roche, a well-known humorist, motivational speaker and performer. 

Because of his severe facial deformity, described as a venous malformation, David’s left cheek is tuberous and misshapen, his bluish purple tongue is twice normal size. As an infant, his lower lip was removed as it resembled a bunch of Concord grapes. He was subsequently treated with extensive radiation, causing the lower part of his face to stop growing. It isn’t surprising, therefore, that seeing this man for the first time, one is tempted to look away. But that temptation passes quickly once you’ve heard him speak, never in self-pity, but with disarming candor and humor. 

As people entered the third floor conference room that afternoon, David greeted each one warmly, asked their names and engaged them in a lively dialogue. He asked to be called by his first name. Then, reading passages from his book, The Church of 80 Percent Sincerity, he gave an account of his early childhood in Indiana, his years as a seminarian at St. Lawrence Seminary in Wisconsin where he contemplated becoming a Catholic priest, and a brief period in the 1970s when he was a Communist, doing political organizing with San Francisco’s Grass Roots Alliance. On a more personal level, he discussed his two marriages, the last of which has brought him continuing happiness in the form of Marlena, of whom he spoke adoringly, and with whom he lives in Mill Valley. 

Throughout the talk, while referring to 60 years of rude stares, insensitive taunts and random acts of cruelty (and the belief that his disfigurement might be contagious!), David contended that what seemed to be his flaw has been revealed as a wonderful source of strength. “My face is unique, but my experiences are universal,” he claims. Because of his wonderful stage presence and the message he imparts, his one-man show, The Church of 80 Percent Sincerity has been seen in the White House, across the United States and in Canada, England, New Zealand, Australia and Russia. As a motivational speaker, it’s not surprising that he’s in demand at universities, organizations and corporations, such as Hewlett Packard and Lockheed Martin. 

In her foreword to his book, writer Anne Lamott sums up David Roche’s appeal far more eloquently than I could: “He lost the great big outward thing, the good-looking packaging, and still the real parts endured. They shine through like crazy, the brilliant mind and humor, the depth of generosity, the intense blue eyes, those beautiful ballet hands.” 

My hope is that the Berkeley Public Library will schedule another appearance by this wonderful man. 

Dorothy Snodgrass 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I have lived in Berkeley with my family for over 18 years and one of the things that attracted me to Berkeley to begin with was the very positive and environmentally healthy attitudes Berkeley showed to the rest of the country. From the Ecology Center to the recycling to the various healthy limits like the no pesticide spraying in Berkeley parks, Berkeley has stood out over and over again as a beacon to the rest of the country who need to learn to treat the Earth we all live on better.  

The proposed pesticide spraying, aerial or any other kind of pesticide applications, is unacceptable and doesn’t follow with any of the previously stated environmental policies or events that Berkeley has sponsored. Our family has serious health problems from painful neurological/migraine problems, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea to asthma, and pesticides could cause severe harmful effects on the health and well being of all of us, much less some of our elderly neighbors. We live near Gilman and Sixth Street and have had to deal with years of problems with some of the local factories as production schedules increased at some places with consequent increases in pollution be it air pollution or unpleasant smells, but have been reassured by the Berkeley government responding to complaints and trying to help get problems resolved.  

But add in pesticide and our day to day struggles to deal with severe pain and trouble breathing and sleeping will only get much worse. Our oldest son has gone through a dozen prescription medicines over the years to help cope with his migraines and nervous system problems which started when he was an infant. His health is fragile and has caused him to have severe learning problems so we have to homeschool him as we deal with operations and many doctor appointments. His younger brother has worsening asthma that interferes at times with him being able to perform in his Aikido classes. Where are we supposed to move to if the pesticide spraying isn’t stopped? My children were born here; they go to a local Berkeley park to meet with a homeschool group which meets in Berkeley specifically because we don’t use pesticide in our parks; my son volunteers at a local game store teaching people to play games; we ran a poetry reading in Berkeley for four years; we shop at local bookstores and other places trying to buy locally first; we helped put on the Berkeley Poetry Festival and have gone to event after event here in Berkeley.  

We need our representatives to stand up for all that Berkeley means to us and all the rest of the citizens who live here, especially for the children who can’t speak for themselves. Say no to any pesticide use of any kind in or above Berkeley. 

Debra Grace Khattab 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

When will media wake up? John McCain has already sold his soul pandering to the social conservatives, and yet, McCain is still heralded as the next coming of moderation. 

Is America going to give another conservative the keys to the White House? Look at the division and polarization Bush has wrought upon the nation with his autocratic rule. 

There is no difference between Republicans’ John McCain and George Bush and the sooner media informs America of this fact the better. 

McCain has so flip-flopped on every major issue that he now looks the part of the religious right of the Republican Party. 

If you are expecting a cessation of war under John “Bush” McCain as president come out from undr your rock. McCain has already declared that Americans should be prepared for another 100 years of war. 

Tha McCain is a further incarnation of the George Bush is as clear as the bright blue sky. Much of the media seems no to have noticed. 

Ron Lowe 

Grass Valley 



You found it was worthy to quote it, 

So then credit the person who wrote it. 

Remember Joe Biden 

Who sank the Poseidon. 

He steered it but just couldn’t float it. 



A slip can sure dunk what you’re seeking. 

A ship can be sunk just by speaking. 

We share the same boat 

And for now, we’re afloat, 

But I think maybe your side is leaking. 


—O.V. Michaelsen