Nuclear research not conducted in Berkeley
It’s misleading just to run a photo of the sign modified to “Nuclear Weapons Research Zone” without correction (Daily Planet, June 20). It’s even more misleading to run your headline “How nuke free?” above it and caption without attribution “...contend that contrary to the city’s policy, nuclear research continues to be conducted within city limits” below. As a matter of actual fact, we know there’s nothing vaguely resembling nuclear weapons research going on in Berkeley because the very last classified program at Lawrence Berkeley Lab ended in the early ‘70s, and there was none on the UCB campus for decades before that.
Most people confuse LBL with Lawrence Livermore Lab, which is of course operated by UC and where they do design weapons. For those who haven’t noticed, that’s a different operation in a different city.
I always took those “Nuclear Free Zone” signs to mean “this city is certified to contain no atomic nuclei,” a wonderful illustration of the anti-scientific ignorance of those responsible for them.
Don’t resort to public ridicule of city officials
The letter that Lucienne Sanchez-Resnik writes mocking Councilwoman Olds proposal to ban the use of cell phones by bicyclists drips of ridicule and contempt. (Letters, June 12). Though she assumes that it was Olds’ proposal that drew all the media attention, I believe that it is responses like hers that makes the media say, “there Berkeley goes again!” And as for her husband, Hank, who also wrote a letter, I really expected more. Mr. Resnik has well-developed intellectual and rhetorical skills and is fully capable of debating the issue on its merits. It is therefore even more disappointing when he chooses to level personal attacks, (“she’s out of her mind”) followed by the intriguing and far-fetched idea that she is engaged in a “deliberate and malicious attack on bicyclists.” (What is malicious about trying to improve bicycle safety?) Public officials are vulnerable when they put forth new ideas. We owe them the courtesy of responding to the content of their proposals with thoughtful and respectful dialogue.
Mr. and Mrs. Resnik have done their community a disservice by stooping to name-calling and ridicule. Our youth need good examples of how to engage in civil discourse on civic issues. Thankfully, the school board strives to set such an example.
When leaders in our community, like the Resniks, go public with their differences, I would hope that they could vent at home, and use the public venue to engage in productive and respectful dialogue.
BUSD School Board Director
EcoHouse seeks residents’ support in raising funds
Thank you for the excellent article, “An Ecological Neighborhood”, written by your staff journalist, Marilyn Claessens, which appeared in your June 17-18, weekend issue. It is amazing how rapidly the popularity of the Daily Planet has spread in the Berkeley community. When I tried to pick up another copy of the Planet on Saturday evening, I found that quite a few of your boxes were already empty.
Your consistent reporting on the EcoHouse, and the Peralta, Northside, and Karl Linn Community Art Garden Commons, which also feature ecofriendly technologies, has done much to broaden support by Berkeley’s citizens, government, and business community.
The response to this past weekend’s article was especially rewarding. People were eager to find out how they could contribute to our fund-drive to own the building outright. There are very few properties in our community that are commonly owned by citizens, making this purchase a precious opportunity. Owning the building will allow us to provide affordable educational and material services to the public and will help maintain the EcoHouse itself. With broad community support, we are confident we can raise the $240,000 to repay our lenders by spring of 2001.
At present Berkeley’s Ecology Center is our fiscal agent until our application for nonprofit status has been approved. Please make checks payable to Ecology Center-EcoHouse. Your fully tax-deductible gifts will make EcoHouse a reality, offering incalculable long-term benefits not only for the Bay Area, but for the environment of our planet.