If Mass Transit Worked Here, It Might Look Like London

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:50:00 AM

For the East Bay’s many public transit groupies, London must seem like Nirvana. Cars are now taxed and otherwise restricted, so that in theory there are many fewer of them in central London. Parking, such as it is, is priced at premium rates, both on street in a few privileged neighborhoods and elsewhere. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:50:00 AM


Lab Snookers Council Over Tiny Laser Accelerator’s Big Wallop

By Gene Bernardi
Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:49:00 AM

With its typical modus operandi, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) mailed the BELLA High Energy Laser Accelerator environmental assessment notification such that it was received circa June 23, when many concerned citizens are vacationing. (Look for next lab environmental assessment at Christmastime!) The notice stipulated that the cut-off date for public comment is July 18, just 25 days after receipt of notice. Furthermore, the lab sent a contingent to lobby councilmembers prior to the July 7 meeting at which this proposed High Energy Laser Accelerator was on the agenda. The agenda recommendation was that residents near the project be notified, the comment period be extended, and that city staff comment on the project. -more-

Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You!

By Pamela Shivola
Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:50:00 AM

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) are proposing to build an experimental High Energy Plasma Laser Accelerator Facility (“BELLA”) just 448 feet from a residential neighborhood in Northeast Berkeley, and 516 feet from the Lawrence Hall of Science, a children’s school and museum. -more-

BELLA Project Slipping Through Under Cover of Summer

By Mark McDonald
Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:49:00 AM

It’s summer with hordes of folks heading out of town and once again Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) has decided this is the time to process their new controversial development projects like their proposed BELLA laser atom smashing accelerator. The Department of Energy (DOE) is skipping the normal environment impact review and instead have issued themselves an “environmental assessment” which means they have decided that the project offers “no danger to the public.” Proposed for site 71 which in the past has experienced unique seismic problems and located 500 feet from the Lawrence Hall of Science children’s museum should be enough reason to employ a normal review, but local folks have paid expert proof that they should be concerned about the operation of an accelerator in their neighborhood. -more-

The Real Issue is Freedom of Speech

By Joanna Graham
Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:47:00 AM

Although I am delighted and grateful that some person or persons took the time and trouble to produce the full page ad which appeared in the July 9 issue of the Berkeley Daily Planet and even more so that 138 members of the Bay Area Jewish community were moved to sign it, I am also relieved not to be one of the signatories, as I have some deep reservations about what the ad does and doesn’t say. -more-

KPFA: Ten Years After the 1999 Hijack Attempt

By Richard Phelps
Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:47:00 AM

After mass listener support rescued KPFA and Pacifica from a self-appointed Pacifica National Board (PNB) that was planning to sell KPFA or one of the other stations and take the “community” out of the network, new democratic bylaws were written and adopted. Pacifica’s bylaws state a commitment for peace and social justice, Article One, Section 3. It seems inconceivable that peace and social justice can even be approached with out a democratic process with transparency and accountability. As Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” -more-

The Homeless Count and Accountability For Results

By Ann-Marie Hogan
Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:47:00 AM

How did the City of Berkeley manage to reduce the 2003 rate of chronic homelessness by nearly half? They analyzed the data. They tried new approaches. This time, they had systems in place for setting goals, measuring progress, and establishing accountability for results. -more-

BRT’s Combined Service Will Benefit Riders, Drivers, Merchants

By Alan Tobey
Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:46:00 AM

The 27-mile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project proposed for the East Bay will move into another phase this fall as final project parameters begin to be established. BRT is expected to provide bus service that’s faster and more reliable than the existing system through the use of dedicated bus lanes, signal priority, rapid boarding and prepaid fares. -more-

UC Hubris

By Stewart Emmington-Jones
Thursday July 16, 2009 - 10:46:00 AM

Last Friday’s Berkeley Voice front-page article and picture flaunting the decimated oak grove and construction at the Memorial Stadium site really hurt. The picture in particular stung; it showed the cavernous pit dug along the west wall of the stadium where a year ago a grove of California oaks graced the stadium and historic Piedmont Way. Despite the personal pain it causes me, the controversy surrounding the oak grove demolition and the many remaining questions regarding the $100 million retrofit of a stadium sitting directly on the Hayward fault line are still of critical importance to the state-wide community and need to be talked about and explored by the media. Unfortunately the Voice’s article felt more like a UC press release than an investigative piece that could have explored ongoing concerns and responsibilities. -more-