Opinion

Editorials

Editorial: Which of These Things Is Not Like the Other?

By Becky O'Malley
Friday March 07, 2008

There are people who can’t tell the difference between red wine and white wine if they close their eyes. Some can’t tell a pansy from a petunia. If you ask some others (perhaps mostly men) to get a blue towel off a shelf, they won’t be able to decide which is the green one and which is the blue one—and they certainly can’t distinguish between chartreuse and turquoise. Many people think Debussy and Mantovani sound pretty much alike. Half the world, perhaps, would say confidently that Andrea Bocelli is as good as Placido Domingo. And they’d be wrong. -more-


Editorial: How to Live Forever

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday March 04, 2008

When I heard last week from Ruth Rosen that Barbara Seaman had died at 72, an age that now seems much too young to me, I looked on the Internet for the many obituary reminiscences about her which I was sure to find. They were all there, some in the kind of prestigious papers that had once dismissed her work for women’s health in the most patronizing way. But the one that rang truest was on a blog devoted to feminist concerns written by Jennifer Baumgardner: “Thinking about Barbara, I realize that she was a one-woman social networking site. She remembered everyone she had ever met and tried to connect them with everybody else she had ever met. She recalled where you were from, whom you dated, your health problems, and your writings or accomplishments and then she introduced you to people you should know.” That was Barbara, all right, and I thought my experience with her was unique. It seems that she did it for everyone. -more-


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Friday March 07, 2008

PESTICIDE SPRAYING -more-


Commentary: Barack and Hillary Vs. King Crab

By Winston Burton
Friday March 07, 2008

I agree with J. Douglas Allen-Taylor’s (does he have a shorter name ?) recent column that progressives are left with an embarrassment of riches—two credible, serious candidates, either of whom would be a good choice for president. We are in a win-win position having two Democrats running for office against an opponent, John McCain, who has little or nothing compelling, professionally or personally, that would make someone vote for him besides his service in Vietnam. What might derail a Democratic victory would be unfair and untrue attacks on the part of the candidates and the unspoken competition that exists between different classes and groups in our society. -more-


Commentary: An Update on Nutrition, Gardens and Compost

By Beebo Turman
Friday March 07, 2008

March is “National Nutrition Month” in our schools. The city of Berkeley has long been committed to fitness and nutrition education as chronic disease prevention, and in September the council members kicked off a nine-month campaign to engage the community with their goals, calling it “Be Fit Berkeley.” For the past six years a group of gardeners, Farmers’ Market people, school nutrition advocates, and city staff have met to coordinate various nutrition-education activities. March 8, this Saturday, will be “Be Fit Berkeley Day!” with health screening activities at the Farmers’ Market. Later this month there will be cooking demonstrations at the Tuesday Markets with Kirk Lumpkin, as well as a special Berkeley High School lunch event on March 20th. Certain schools with grants from “Network for a Healthy California” will have events at their schools; for instance Malcolm X will have a Health Fair, LeConte will have a Spring Fair, and there will be mini-farmers’ markets at John Muir, Emerson, and Rosa Parks. Since I am a garden advocate (I run the “Berkeley Community Gardening Collaborative”) I want to encourage people to grow their own vegetables, and one way to help gardeners out is to give away city compost on Sat. March 29 at the Farmers’ Market (bring two buckets or one large bag). -more-


Commentary: The Real Facts About Apple Moth Spraying

By Robert Lieber
Friday March 07, 2008

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Kawamura’s recent dog and pony show that he has been trotting out before many city councils and commissions promoting the light brown apple moth (LBAM) aerial pesticide spraying of the Bay Area relies on blatant misrepresentations of the truth, fear-mongering and outright lies. The spray program he defends imperils California’s families, children, pets, and the environment, based on no real science and no solid facts. -more-


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday March 04, 2008

Commentary: A Way Out of the Spoiler Dilemma

By Steven Hill
Tuesday March 04, 2008

With the Academy Awards over, it’s time for a new year of thrilling cinematic chills. How about: “Spoiler Dilemma, Take Three,” starring Ralph Nader? -more-


Commentary: Some Planners Believe That BRT Will Work

By Erina Hong
Tuesday March 04, 2008

Imagine a bus route so fast that it’s like a vehicle free of tracks. It would be 10 times cheaper and ride along a 15-mile stretch from Bay Fair BART station in San Leandro to Downtown Berkeley. Each stop would be about half mile apart and bus drivers would have the ability to turn stoplights green using GPS technology and have an electronic sign informing riders when the next bus was scheduled to arrive. This $400 million budgeted project would provide elevated stops in the middle of the street and dedicated lanes free of cars. While the city of Berkeley does have a toned down version of rapid transit systems, they still have to drive alongside the traffic of regular cars. -more-


Commentary: Clinton’s Duplicity On Michigan, Florida Delegates

By Paul Rockwell
Tuesday March 04, 2008

A spectre is haunting the Democratic Party, the spectre of an ugly—albeit unnecessary—floor-fight over Florida and Michigan delegates at the national convention in August. -more-


Commentary: Must We Stamp His Footprint Into Nature to Remember Cesar Chavez?

By Alesia Kunz
Tuesday March 04, 2008

I’ve been walking at the Marina and Cesar Chavez Park for 14 years. My dog Grace loved our walks and runs around the perimeter and in the center where it was pure nature. In the early 1920’s the area was the city municipal dump and in the 1990s it was landscaped and converted to a public park, North Waterfront Park. Now, Cesar Chavez Park, it has become a beautiful haven for all manner of nature beings with a Wildlife Sanctuary at the northern end. Red tail hawks, black shouldered kites, hummingbirds, finches, crows, ravens, pelicans, burrowing owls, ground squirrels, rabbits, feral cats, gopher snakes, great blue herons, snowy egrets, Northern Harriers, sea gulls and more. There are beautiful native plants, sages, fennel, pampas grass, purple and white statice, pine trees, purple thistle plants, matilija, or, “fried-egg” poppies, and crimson clover. It’s wild with nature. I walk there every day to enjoy the sounds, scents and sights. -more-


Commentary: The Danny Hoch Incident

By Jean Stewart
Tuesday March 04, 2008

I’m standing at my desk as I type this; I’ve tilted the keyboard and nestled it inside a cardboard box, next to the mouse, which I’ve precariously propped at a steep angle on various piled-up objects. I’ve done this because of the pain I experience when I sit, but in fact standing seems only incrementally better than sitting. So I don’t know how long I’ll last before I give up and go back to bed. -more-


Commentary: A Planning Student’s Perspective on Bus Rapid Transit

By Janet Shih
Tuesday March 04, 2008

After reading the recent article about AC Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) proposal as well as being an attendee of early February’s planning commissioning meeting for Berkeley, I would like to support the argument for a positive response towards the BRT proposal. -more-


Commentary: Another Planning Student’s Perspective on Bus Rapid Transit

By Juju Wang
Tuesday March 04, 2008

I am a senior major in Civil Engineering and City Planning at UC Berkeley. I am very interested in transportation planning, especially parking policies. Recently, I came across a parking study "The Smart Parking Seminar" conducted by the Metropolitan Transportation Committee (MTC.) The allocation, use of limited on and off street parking resources, and parking policies continue to be highly debated issues both locally and nationally. The MTC's parking study identifies some local parking policies, requirements, and recommendations to "managing constrained parking conditions with smart growth and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) policies and programs." Here's my thought on the parking study. -more-