Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday October 26, 2010 - 11:13:00 PM
Visual Blight on Berkeley's Solano Avenue
Visual Blight on Berkeley's Solano Avenue

Visual Blight on Berkeley's Solano Avenue

On a summer day evening 2007, I happened to be in the Berkeley City Hall for an Zoning Adjustment Board ( ZAB) hearing. A group of more than 30 angry south Berkeley residents protested in the chamber for the proposed Verizon & Nextel antennas permits at UC Storage Building. It was quite a sight! They claimed that City Of Berkeley unjustly discriminates against the relatively poorer area-South Berkeley, in terms of cell phone antennas distribution. As of summer 2007, there were about 15 antenna sites in S. Berkeley, while in North Berkeley; there was just one at 1760 Solano Ave. 

I did not pay much attention and left the hearing earlier and thought “what a fuss they are making!” We all use cell phones and we all have cell phones. 

On a January day 2009, when I caught T-Mobile installing a mega antenna immediately next to my house without permits, on the southwest corner of the Professional Building at 1760 Solano Ave, my thought on this has dramatically changed. 

Upon many local citizens’ complaints, on March 5, 2009 City’s building inspector Mr. Brad Ruldoph visited the site and issued a Notice of Violation and Stop Work Order for the ongoing un-permitted antenna installations at 1760 Solano Ave. As of today, the notice of violations is still not cleared. 

Throughout 2009, I have contacted the only neighborhood association in the area a number of times. Thousand Oak Neighborhood Association (TONA) claims to represent 1800 households in the area along Berkeley’s Solano, and yet it has been exceptionally “quiet” on this issue. The call to its president Elizabeth Sklut was never returned and its vice president Zelda Bronstein stated in one meeting that Federal law prohibits local government from denying the permit on the health and environmental grounds. 

The above photo was taken in front of the Peet’s coffee on Solano Ave. Looming above behind are about 20 unlawful cell phone antennas and its related equipments. 

The Zoning Adjustment Board of the City will hold a public hearing on the matter, to decide if T-Mobile can legalize its unlawful facilities on the site. The hearing date is November 4 (Thursday) at 7:00 PM at Old City Hall. 

Written comments, or request for Notice of Decision should be directed to the ZAB Secretary at: land Use Planning Division ( Attn: Steven Buckley) 2120 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704 OR at: 

Some may say that what a fuss I am making here. Two more wireless providers are applying to install 15 more antennas on top of this building, literally destroying Berkeley’s Solano Ave visually and ascetically! 

The abuse of the rule of law must end on Solano. It is a Disgrace to the City and it is Shame to the City of Berkeley. 

Yong Q. Liu 

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NPR Firing 

Concerning the dismissal of Juan Williams by NPR, when he commented on being worried if he saw a person in "muslim garb" on his plane, why would any terrorist wear muslim garb on a plane? 

Gerta Farber 

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Your Berkeley tax dollars at work  

I was at Ohlone dog park this morning when sirens a-blazing, a motorcycle cop came from the west and roared up to the intersection of MLK and Hearst, which he proceeded to block traffic at. He was soon followed by a motorcade of 3-4 more motorcycle cops and 2-3 patrol cars all making noise and with flashing lights. 

Well, I thought the President or somebody very important must be coming. But no, it was two charter buses that I assumed was the Arizona football team being treated like very important VIPs or something. 

What a waste of tax money and police resources and yet another example of the over glorification of football at Cal. 

Judi Sierra 

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Government is Indeed the Enemy 

As George Washington warned us government is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Throughout all of human history the state (government) has been the greatest violator of human rights. Government differs from all other institutions in human society in that its very essence is coercion, brute force. It arbitrarily assumes a monopoly of physical force over a given geographical area and collects it fees by force, taxation. Taxation is simply legalized theft. Any other group that tried to exist that way would properly be considered as criminal. 

In the last century government killed well over 200 million people throughout the world and this figures EXCLUDES both world wars. Professor R.J. Rumnel of the University of Hawaii has documented this in several books. 

The "welfare" state is simply a device whereby honest people are fleeced of their earnings to support politically connected others. In the USA the welfare-warfare state has been the dominant paradigm since 1939. The Republicans have now become the more rabid global interventionists while the Democrats increasingly fail to satisfy their hodge-podge of politically correct special interests committed to plundering each other. 

The idea that government should control something as valuable as education or medicine or banking or housing or drugs or roads or reproduction rights or capital formation or a thousand other crucial things to our very lives is beyond absurd. 

I've read Mr. Bruce Joffe's statist-collectivist letters for years and I've noticed that he does well enough to live in Piedmont. What I did not know until now is that his livelihood was dependent on ever increasing government. Most of the bureaucracy in private business is the direct result of governmental regulations which mandate the hiring of incompetents and increase the cost of doing business. The rich already pay well over 40% of all taxes. If that continues there will be no rich and you know who will pick up the rest. The banks were never unsupervised, on the contrary they were given unlimited license by the Fed to print money out of thin air for the purposes of creating artificial politically connected booms which always go bust. See The Mystery Of Banking by Murray N. Rothbard. This has been going on for a century now and you'd think enough people would wise up. You'd be wrong. 

"Government" like "God" is a pernicious myth because we need to feel that some Big Daddy or Mama really cares about us. Well, no such entity exists. The universe is utterly indifferent to us, whatever meaning exists is solely created by us in our unique capacity as private individuals. 

The really cheerful thing to contemplate is that for all of our strutting self-importance in the end none of it matters. Think of that. NONE. 

So let's get on with our lives and throw off that 800 pound baboon known as government. 

Michael P. Hardesty

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Tax the Rich 

You may be pleasantly surprised to hear: The charmed Large US corporations, “persons,” corps, quietly tightly clutch 2-4 trillion dollars, in just plain dirty old cash; meanwhile the charming upper one percent of us, one percent, individual ambulatory corporeal people, US citizens, supposedly taxpayers sit heavily on multiple many many trillions of dollars in similar smelly cash. Unused. Just waiting. 

And meanwhile multiple millions of frightened US citizens want to work but have no jobs, have underwater house mortgages, have no savings, have no prospects; tens of millions have nutrition issues in this country. 

Please tax the rich. Now. 

Charmed Companies are not hiring the frightened to make stuff because the frightened can not at this time in fact truly afford to buy stuff, or services. 

US and state governments must step in. Democrats must seize and weild power, which they possess, have been handed but only in theory and probably only for a moment or two longer. Demos who cringe, bow and scrape before wall street as is their usual habit are dinosaurs, dems in-name-only, dazed, hapless, doomed. 

The rich are attempting an “Atlas Shrugged” coup, takeover, which would enslave the 99% of us who have for centuries pitched, thrown our money and power up the hill to the rich, while the rich have emptied their sewers onto the heads of us 99%, cringing below. 

Terry Cochrell