Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday June 29, 2010 - 02:40:00 PM

Walgreens Wants to Sell Beer and Wine; Supreme Angst;Wall Street Reform;Corporate Takeover; Take Down the Wall;Measure C Vote Explained; 

CEAC To Look at Restaurant Smoke;Obama Sacks McChrystal;Petraeus Replaces McChrystal;Think About It; Capitelli Letter;Obama’s War 


Walgreens Wants to Sell Beer and Wine 


I live on Oregon St near Berkeley Bowl and Walgreens. 

I thought you might be interested to know that Walgreens attorneys are having ameeting tonight, June 29th, at the Shattuck Hotel at 7pm.with neighbors (they’re only required to notify people within1000ftof the store) regarding a request to sell beer and wine. 

I know there are many neighbors in our area that are opposed to this. It isinteresting to note that there are many outlets to buy wine and beer in ourarea although the majority of them close relatively early. Walgreens is opentil 12am and no doubt will do the overwhelming majority of business afterBerkeley Bowl closes (between 8pm and 12am). 

Our neighborhood has enoughproblems as it is and having late alcohol sales does not seem wise and justexposes us to more treacherous conditions. 


Cindy Pascarello 

Oregon St resident. 


Supreme Angst 


The Supreme Court ruling of yesterday that effectively stated there can be no banning of guns by the government doesn’t make me feel safer at night. It doesn’t reduce the anxiety I feel when stepping out my front door, either. 

On the contrary, it is a ruling that raises my anxiety level. I am sure that many American citizens feel that way who, like I, will not be among the ones to start toting a firearm. 

As we can see, George Bush, by his ultra conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, has left an indelible mark on the face of our country, and it isn’t a pretty one. 

While I sympathize with people in high crime areas who would like to be able to protect themselves, I am sure that there must be a better way. I would rather leave it up to police and the military to do the gun carrying as they have had screening and training to do so, and are also held accountable for the consequences of their behavior. 

By ruling that any citizen has a right to carry a gun, (or, for that matter, why not a machete or a grenade?) it makes every citizen subject to an all pervasive terrorization that we could be mortal victims of someone’s bad day. 

There are numerous ways that a conscientious person can defend him- or herself including outwitting an enemy as opposed to the use of force. Allowing such a weapon into the hands of all citizens is unnecessary and it will lead to atrocities on our streets. It was not necessary for the Supreme Court to make this ruling. 

Can Supreme Court judges be impeached? Or what is the procedure for removing a bad one from office? 


Jack Bragen 


Wall Street Reform 

Your Paper needs to drum into its readers' heads the dire need for Wall Street REFORM - and support of our Government's proposed legislation. 

All of us need credit card and mortgage companies to be forced not to have hidden fees or pages and pages of fine print. 

The legislation cracks down on predatory lenders looking to mislead people into taking on irresponsible debt. 

Wall Street reform establishes an independent agency -- the Consumer Financial Protection Agency -- with one job: to protect consumers and enforce the new consumer financial protections, which would be the strongest ever enacted. 

Finally, American taxpayers must never again be asked to bail out the big banks that are "too big to fail." 

Christine Malina-Maxwell 



Corporate Takeover 


We must stop the insidious and ubiquitous corporate take-over of our elected officials, as well as our elections. 

Let's overrule inhumane corporate greed with our unified power, intelligence and generosity toward one another. 

Denise Bostrom  


Wall Street Reform needed now. To hell with these corporations running America. Small businesses are still the largest employers. Down with Wall Street and up with MAIN STREET!!! Give Obama whatever he needs!.. 

Antonio Flores 


Take Down the Wall 


There is an economic wall in this country between those who have abused their positions on Wall Street for gain and those of us on the other side: the everyday citizens of our nation and the economy at large. That greedy wall is still crushing us. Wall Street Reform is desperately needed to stabilize our economy and help everyday people get back their homes, retire, and be able to send their kids to college. Small businesses and community banks that have integrity and play by the rules should be able to thrive. We need consumer protection and no more bailing out of big banks who got us in this mess. 


Barbara Lubicz 



Measure C Vote Explained 


Measure C went down in flames not because of a secret cabal of hidden republicanism in Berkeley but because the "progressive" groupthink that dominates Berkeley politics can't do simple math. They wrote a mathematically inept bond and then attributed the failure to a political party that doesn't exist in the City. 

The math clearly states(as a previous editorial elaborates) that only 5% of residents are registered under the party of doom. The rest are Democrats or "other." The other parties usually assign the traditional Democratic Party the title of "fascist" anyway... 

What it sounds like is a total failure of the Berkeley Democratic party to rally their own troops. 

Or maybe a minority of the Democrats, Libertarians, Peace and Freedoms, Greens et al actually saw how BADLY this measure was written by the dunces at City Hall and canned the measure on its own merits. 

Kriss Worthington, the Mayor and the others need to stop trying to find hidden bogeymen and acknowledge the fact that they are politically lazy and act entitled. Ingenuity is needed in these economically devastating times- I suggest they dredge it up next go-around. 


Justin Lee 



CEAC To Look at Restaurant Smoke 

The City of Berkeley Community Environmental Advisory Commission will be looking into the issue of food smoke from small restaurants (under 400 lbs. of meat/week)and would like to hear from members of the community: those affected by smoke from restaurants, owners and managers of small restaurants, and any other stakeholders. 


Please join us on Thursday, July 1 from 7-9PM at2118 Milvia Street,1st floor.Contact Nabil Al-Hadithy,or (510) 981-7461. 


Greg Leventis 


Community Environmental Advisory Commission 



Obama Sacks McChrystal 

I applaud Obama's sacking of Gen. McChrystal. We don't need a cowboy with no respect for civilian control of the military running the show in Afghanistan. However, littlemention is made in the media about hisactive role in creating the impression that Cpl. Pat Tillman had died at the hands of Taliban fighters instead of beingaccidentally killed by his own troops. He signed off on a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star that suggested Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. Tillman's mother, Mary, in her bookBoots on the Ground by Duskwrote thatMcChrystal got away with it because he was the "golden boy" of Rumsfeld and Bush. Nine days after Tillman's death, McChrystal was promoted to major general. 

McChrystal was also involved in a scandal involving detainee abuse and torture at Camp Nama in Iraq. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, prisoners at the camp were subjected to abuse, including stress positions and being dragged naked through the mud. McChrystal was not disciplined in the scandal, even though an interrogator at the camp reported seeing him inspect the prison multiple times. 

Why did the media and Congress give him a pass during his confirmation hearings? Instead, he was sent torun the war in Afghanistan. 

Ralph E. Stone 


Petraeus Replaces McChrystal 


When will the U.S. finally concede that the Afghanistan war is unwinable no matter what general is in charge? We are and always will be an occupation force resented by the local populace. The U.S cannot force change. We imposed a corrupt, unpopular Karzai government on the country. Change will only come from within, but not by a Karzai-led government. We are only fighting Taliban tentacles in Afghanistan while the head is located in remote parts of Pakistan, an unreliable ally. Meanwhile we are sacrificing precious lives and wasting billions of dollars. As the late Senator George Aiken said to Lyndon Johnson about the Vietnam war, "You must declare victory, and get out [now]." 


Judi Iranyi 


Think About It 


I wonder how many of the dedicated volunteers who helped saving a pelican from the deadly Gulf oil have other birds for dinner or at a local fast-food outlet. 

They are not alone. Most people are appalled by the devastation of animal life by the Gulf oil spill, yet subsidize the systematic killing of other animals for their dinner table. They know that meat and dairy harm the environment and their family’s health, but compartmentalize this knowledge when shopping for food. 

And it goes beyond dietary flaws. We tolerate the killing of innocent people when our government and media label them terrorists; We ignore the suffering and starvation of a billion people, except when our government and media tell us to care because an earthquake or tsunami has struck. 

Our society would benefit greatly from more original thinkers, and our personal diet is a great place to start. 

Harold Kunitz 


Capitelli Letter 


This letter is in response to that of Mr. Burnstein regarding the decision of Mr. Capitelli to reconsider introducing a resolution regarding the illegal blockade runners to Gaza starting a brouhaha with the Israelis which resulted in the death of 9 of the rioting blockade runners. The issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict are diverse, complex, long standing issues of international policy and, locally, controversial. Mr. Capitelli showed good judgment by withdrawing the divisive and factually inaccurate resolution from consideration by the Berkeley City Council. The people of Berkeley are best served by having their elected officials focus on the issues that might improve Berkeley, rather making poorly coinsidered foriegn policy statements. 

Once upon a time, Palestinians were known for hijacking planes. Now it seems that the Palestinians and they and their terribly naive apologists have switched to hijacking the politcal agendas and priorities of others. Perhaps Mr. Burnstein, not everyone in Berkeley WANTS to have these particular opinions inflicted upon them, like it or not, as a matter of city policy. 

Rfael Moshe  


Obama’s War 


Obama basically continued with Bush’s policies. Let’s be blunt about this. In Afghanistan, he went beyond Bush. He escalated the war. He went along with this policy of the surge. And he ordered more drone attacks on civilians in Pakistan in his one year in office than Bush had done during his last term. So, for the people of that region, Obama’s presidency has been a total disaster. And it’s not working. 

They have a puppet leader, Karzai, who’s developing his own sort of dynamic, because he’s grown very wealthy through corruption and thinks that he has genuine support. 

One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, and what some governments consider potential terrorists are simply those who don't agree with government policies.  

And the ones who are saying that this is an unwinnable war are absolutely right. It’s a stalemated war. They can’t win it unless they destroy half the population of the country. So that is what people see. And then, why are they surprised that people are so hostile to the United States in that part of the world?  


Ted Rudow III,MA