Bushed in California
Yes, G.W. Bush has probably written off California. Republicans don't do well here, these days, probably because of our state Republicans.
To me, the core group of today's Republican Party appears to consist of country club closet bigots, intolerant Christian evangelicals and executives of large corporations. I think of Republicans as anti-choice, pro-theocracy (evangelical Christian), anti-gay pro-monopoly, anti-environment and down on public transit (except for building more BART).
Surprise: I don't plan to vote for any Republicans this November. My problem with G.W. Bush is not that he's a core-group Republican; I think he's just not a leader. Bush has no goals, no ideals – only constituents to please; he's a lot like his dad that way.
This time, the Republicans rejected every real leader they had. I might even have voted for McCain. I think McCain lost the primary because the core group didn't think they could control him, like they can control Bush.
Berkeley (registered Independent)
Something rotten out west
Northwest Berkeley has been invaded by the vomitous smell of beer making for the past three or so years. Bay Area Air Quality Management District, 1-800-334-6367, has constantly been informed and has got Pyramid Brewery to mitigate partially, its offense, and Golden State Brewery to SAY that it would. Whether it has or will I do not know. However, there is still regular production of the overpowering, sickening smell along Gilman and Camelia streets, even as far up as Sacramento, even as far over as Cedar, at varying strengths.
The smell occludes the gorgeous garden smells that Berkeley is privileged to have. It is a disclosable factor for house sales in the area. While most people say it doesn't bother them, people will buy into the area and become disturbed at the unceasing event of sporadic, frequent interruption of pleasant smells by the wildly intrusive beer-making smell. With publication of the concern, further action might arise.
I won't go into the speculation over how this was permitted. Berkeley City regards itself powerless to do anything about it and remains completely unresponsive to complaints about it. Too few people are complaining. However, since it does invade MY experience constantly - I live with open windows, unlike many who close themselves in - my complaint will have to go forward.
And I submit this to let us know how the administration deals with us; that is, any way it feels like it under the rubric of bringing jobs to Berkeley. I'd like to research the sociological effects of that effort - but I have to work, in the stink.
Norma J.F. Harrison
Little trust for Peralta board
The Berkeley Daily Planet received this letter addressed to the Peralta Community College Board of Trustees:
We are writing to express our appreciation for your recent vote regarding the new Vista facility. The vote is an important step, but it is still not sufficient to overcome the doubts of many college faculty, staff and community members about the board’s commitment to this project. We understand, of course, that board resolutions can be reversed by subsequent board resolutions.
Old-time Berkeley residents still recall that similar pledges about a campus in the city were made and not fulfilled during the original Peralta bond campaign in the 1960s. More relevant for most current faculty members is the Measure B campaign in the early 1990s. After Chancellor Robert Scannel assured us that the college would get a fair share of Measure B funds, the bond was specifically written to exclude Vista. This breach of trust began a process that led to the deannexation drive. It also resulted in a situation in which the Peralta District must now spend far more for a new Vista than would have been the case had Measure B funds been used during the last decade, when construction and land cost were substantially lower. The lot on Center Street, for example, could have been obtained for about one-third the amount Peralta eventually had to pay.
Given this track record, the Peralta Board has a serious credibility gap with the Vista faculty, staff and community. Much of the distrust could be alleviated if the board provides a legally binding commitment to use new bond funds to construct the Center Street facility in a prompt manner, consistent with the district’s signed agreement with the Vista petitioners and the state chancellor. This could take the form of specific language in the bond or a contractual agreement with the city of Berkeley.
Without such a binding commitment, we fear that you will find little enthusiasm for the bond election among Vista faculty and staff and substantial opposition in the community at large.
Thank you for your consideration.
Neil Dunlop, Evelyn Glaubman, Chuck Wollenberg
Vista College Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Orbiting Berkeley brings out the best
Ambassador Bill’s Occasional Orbital Observations gathered 7-11 a.m., Monday through Friday, distributing the Berkeley Daily Planet.
I really love to distribute the Planet and I love to hear 90-plus percent of those who take individual copies from me tell me how much they love the paper.
I like to experience Berkeley awakening downtown. The street folks. The street cleaners, including BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency) folks. The bankers and brokers. The City government, scattered around during retrofitting etc. The Berkeley High School kids on and off campus. My fellow newspaper distributors. The large food and drink trucks servicing the ever multiplying eating places. The endless holes being drilled and dug and the countless steel, iron and concrete fingers reaching for the sky. The food of UC students and workers pouring out of the BART station and East up Center Street. The mixed bag of workers and students walking, bicycling, running, skate boarding and now scootering to public transit connections and elsewhere.
And the odds and ends of things that catch my eye. The very short and old-fashioned Haws drinking fountain inside the Wells Fargo Center Street entrance. I’m sure my Mom or Dad lifted me up more than once to drink out of it back in its American Trust days. Now Haws, one of Berkeley’s old family businesses, has moved to Nevada.
The rainbow flag flying briefly a few weeks ago in Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park, sharing the space with U.S., California and United Nations flags. Great! My pleasure at discovering the UN flag which has been flying with U.S., Canadian and California flags above the Allston Way entrance to the Shattuck Hotel Plaza is now flying under a larger U.S. flag on the very top of the Hotel. U.S. and UN Flag Codes notwithstanding, I love to see it flying, anywhere, any time.
The large “KRESS” high on the Shattuck side of the future home of the Aurora Theatre. Kress and Woolworth’s were two places my two brothers and I loved to have our Mom take us on shopping excursions, with the possibility of some kind of pause that refreshed. And the discovery that Newberry’s, across from its old Kress location, has a basement with oodles of 99-cent items and other stuff.
And each morning as I push my would-be transcontinental cart up Allston Way and get to Martin Luther King Jr. Way, I read once more the words on the BHS Science Building: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” What a promise and project all rolled into one!
A final observation: First editor Rob Cunningham and second editor Judith Scherr both deserve hats-off and kisses-on-cheeks for their parts in launching the Guardian’s “Best Daily Newspaper that Could.” Wave if you see my globe. And pick up a Planet if you haven’t already done so.