Public Comment


Friday June 08, 2012 - 12:51:00 PM

Tea Party's Finished; Fire danger in hills; Yes, consider the source, Steven Donaldson is not "West Bezerkeley" 

Tea Party's Finished 

Let's cut to the chase about the Tea Party. Isn't three and a half years of their hypocrisy, and hatred for our president enough for you, or do you need be taking orders these types after the fall elections before you get the message? 

Could it be that Republicans, the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh are getting away with their lies because their base and many Americans are simply dumber than they are? 

Half of the U.S. population seems incapable of acquiring, processing and understanding current events. This is for that half who are still in the dark about the Tea Party and have open minds. 

The Tea Party didn't arrive on the scene until after our first president of color was elected. The Tea Party is 99% white, with only the Klu Klux Klan and John Birch Society being whiter. Does this fit the profile for a multiracial America? The Tea Party is grossly racist. 

The Tea Party is composed of former remnants of the anti-abortion, anti-gay and anti-immigration movements. Notice how you haven't seen or heard much about these groups since the Tea Party came into existence? 

Tea Party principles - what principles - all I've heard are empty words and constant attack of President Obama by Tea Party purists. "Guns, God and Government" is the current Tea Party slogan. 

What about Tea Party leaders and supporters? Can you name any prominent figures other than Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. Though, of late, Mitt Romney has taking on more of a Tea Party glow. 

The gig is up for the Tea Party as more and more Americans see its true colors. 

Ron Lowe 



Fire danger in hills 


I just walked the area along Buena Vista, La Loma, Maybeck Twin, to see the Maybeck cottages and other buildings in the neighborhood. Seeing the buildings through the trees was always something rather difficult, but I was dismayed to see how intense the delusion among these select home owners has become, especially given the fire prone history of their neighborhood, and the recent history of epic, devastating firestorms in recent memory. Some of the houses were practically overgrown with shrubbery and trees, and one significant house in the Maybeck clan, right on the corner of Buena Vista and Maybeck Twin is engulfed in it's own private, non-native forest. 

If, or more responsibly, when, a fast moving fire strikes, that corner house won't stand a chance, but few of the others will have much hope, either. Are there no laws calling for a separation of foliage from dwellings within fire zones in Berkeley? If there are, what is going on? One Percent Prerogative? 

I'm well aware that property owners have their rights, and always try to skirt the attendant civic obligations that come with those rights, but these are not just big fancy homes of the One Percent: The cottages up there are historically and architecturally significant and represent the largest treasure trove of Maybeck's, anywhere. One fire like the one in 1923, or 1991, and this history will be erased, and for what, because a bunch of deluded home owners want to live in a make believe forest, a pretend english garden, all on the slopes of hills once covered by brush and all too often singed to bare earth by fire? 

Paul Tominac 


Yes, consider the source, Steven Donaldson is not "West Bezerkeley" 


Not to disappoint, but I'm NOT the person posting under the pseudonym "West Bezerkeley". Whether you were am English major or not you do need to get your facts straight before making accusations about folks, after all, that's what most reliable news sources do. 

However, I DO appreciate your reference to my 2005 commentary ( . Whether you like my "lubricious prose style" or not it's just as accurate today in 2012 as it was in 2005. For the most part West Berkeley has a disappearing to non existant manufacturing sector with underutilized and vacant warehousing and a declining manufacturing employment base (2010 census shows this). It's been seven long years and nothing has really changed in West Berkeley in terms of zoning or land use accept one very positive thing– the opening of the highly successful West Berkeley Bowl which was opposed by the same folks against the West Berkeley Plan. It's time to move forward with a plan that reflects the economic and employment realities of the 21st century. 

In the future, feel free to refer to me in writing anytime you want but please make sure it's me. I like the publicity after all in I'm in branding and marketing guy. 

Steven Donaldson 

:Editor's Note: In all honesty, I must admit that I made an incredibly stupid mistake tagging Steve as the author of an annoying anonymous post on, and at my age I should know better. Steve graciously accepted the letter of apology I sent him as soon as multiple people who knew the real author of the post told me emphatically that I'd gotten the wrong person. I published Steve's letter right away, but he also quite reasonably asked for a public apology, which he richly deserves, so here it is. At least when I do dumb things I do them openly, under my own name, so wiser folks can set me straight.