Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday November 04, 2008 - 08:29:00 AM


Editors, Daily Planet: 

I think the Daily Planet-sponsored mayoral debate was a great idea. Next time, do it earlier so it makes a difference to the mail-in voters. 

Brian Reinbolt 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The thought has occurred to many of us—a thought so disturbing we try to put it out of our minds. Then comes newspaper and television accounts of the neo-Nazi skinheads' threat to behead 80 people and murder Barack Obama! 

I'm appalled by these stories, given the sick people and copycats in our society who might pick up on the assassination plot. In making public such demonic threats, the media are doing this country a disservice. To repeat, many of us do have fear of the unimaginable, but we keep those fears to ourselves. I would hope the media will show more restraint and publish no more sensational stories of the skinheads. 

Dorothy Snodgrass 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

An older person expressed concern to me yesterday about the "transit-based growth" article in the Daily Planet, and she asked me to send a comment. I just checked out the city's website, set up an account for posting comments, and read a good part of Chapter 3, Sustainable Transportation and Land Use. Well, my comment didn't appear to get posted. I'll give it to your readers here, just in case. 

Two issues with the transportation/land use section: 

I was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of detail in this part of the city's plan. But two issues occur to me. 

1. BRT is an example of favoring public transportation over "regular" multi-lane thoroughfares. If this trend continues, how are drivers supposed to manage? Suppliers of food and other items for sale in farmers markets and stores are included in that category, as are car-share drivers. It seems certain that hybrid and zero-emission vehicles will get snatched up as soon as they become cheaper and more widely available. But how will they fare on the streets of Berkeley?  

I watched a travel show recently, and noticed that the European city featured had both pedestrian-friendly areas and really wide thoroughfares for vehicles. 

2. Personal vehicles will be around for a long time. I'd love to buy a Smart Car, but I live in a multi-story dwelling (no place to plug in). Has the city explored the idea of making metered electric-charging stations available for apartment-type dwellers? I'm not saying the city would necessarily pay for such stations--although such stations might conceivably benefit the city, as in providing power to the grid. 

Thanks for listening. 

Jean Hohl 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

After all the ridiculous vituperation that rained down upon the Planet and myself following my Oct. 2 commentary on the shenanigans of Zionist promotions of the Jewish State of Israel, I was convinced that my Power Point presentation at the Unitarian Fellowship last night would be at least picketed. Sad I was that no Israeli flags appeared, no picketers, no provocative questioners, and the Planet controversy even failed to energize a sizeable audience. There were about 25-30 people present when I asked how many people attending were Jewish. About five hands did not rise. An almost all-Jewish 100 percent sympathetic audience. I'll tell you, dear reader, you missed a good presentation. Invite me to your school, church, community center and you'll see.  

I'm writing this letter, as I did my commentary, to make a simple point. Jews who oppose Zionism and its mythology and dishonesty had better begin to make themselves known and heard not just as individuals but as Jews. How else can other Americans know that Zionism does not represent the Jewish people? Zionism has no right to take away our voices, no right to intimidate us with their brazen accusations of anti-Semitism and self-hatred. Certainly the Zionists do represent most of the powerful and institutional sectors of the Jewish people, but very many Jews without power do not approve of this. We do not accept that Ashkenazi European, American and Russian Jews lay claim and lay waste to the land and subjugate the indigenous Palestinian people.  

Marc Sapir 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

We are beginning to organize the 40th Anniversary of People's Park, which is this April 2009. Talk of a week of events and a larger concert than usual are afoot. What would you like to see? Can you add your visions and energy to manifest this relevant reunion revitalizing revolution and responsibility through revelry? 

Please get involved. The first organizing meeting is on Sunday Nov. 9 at noon at the Cafe Med on Telegraph Avenue between Haste and Dwight. 

We are hoping to have a vibrant diversity of activities and encourage anyone interested in helping this manifest to come share your ideas and energies. 

Please come on Sunday or get back to us with your ideas and desires! Let us know if you want to be noticed for future meetings. 

Terri Compost 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

How about a story detailing updates on the Long Haul Raid and the UCPD investigation that ensued? It's been over two months and many of your readers would like to see an update on this seemingly illegal raid. 

Liz Dellums 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I got a call last Saturday from former President Bill Clinton. So did a few thousand other people. It was an automatically dialed recorded political message. If I am sure of how I am going to vote on the particular issue, I immediately hang up. If I am not sure, I listen to the message. Then I vote /against/ the position of the calling organization. I figure that this is the surest way of stopping this intrusive practice. 

Robert Gable 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I'm adding my voice to the chorus of those complaining about misguided curatorial censorship at the Addison Street Windows Gallery. I understand that the person in charge believes that she is exercising good ethical standards, but she fails in at least two areas. First, guidelines for participation in a public gallery should be transparent and open to review, and it appears that her control is neither. And more important, the notion that eliminating any images of weapons encourages a peaceful citizenry misunderstands the value of socially engaged critical art. The examples that have recently been censored in no way glorify violence, but in fact are good examples of art that challenges the acceptance of violence as public policy. 

This sort of private control has no place in Berkeley public art spaces. I suggest that such an approach is indefensible, and can easily be carried to the absurd level of prohibiting such imagery as the Seal of the State of California. 

I encourage city officials to review this matter and seek a swift and just solution. 

Lincoln Cushing