Tom Roberts, the Puppet Man; A Matter of Mattresses; Flute Concert; Peace; UC Berkeley: Chancellor Treats Cal as Fiefdom; Take Care of the Children; Safety Net; Geography; Middle East; Disfunctional Government -more-
I appreciate Dr. Grossman’s thoughtful article about the Branch Libraries. It was forwarded to me as a member of the LeConte Neighborhood Association. I was preparing a letter to Dr. Grossman in response; since the Planet has printed his article, I will respond here instead.
Certainly some people would have voted for Measure FF to finance branch library improvements in 2008 even if they had known that demolition of the historic portions was a possibility. The question is whether the Measure would have passed if the entire electorate, including those who care about historic buildings, had known that demolition was a possibility. -more-
In the last 50 years Berkeley city politics have richly earned a reputation for an extraordinary intensity, sometimes flavored with personal animosity and a touch of paranoia. The current inflammatory issue is whether two of our branch libraries should be rebuilt from the ground up or rebuilt in large measure but retaining some of the earlier structure because of historical architectural value. Those advocating partial rather than complete renewal argue that Berkeley citizens are the naive victims of a deliberate plot by city officials and staff to hide the fact that total rebuilding was envisioned for the West and South branches. They argue that if we had only known that demolition was a possibility we never would have voted for the bond issue financing the branch improvements. -more-
The City Council is considering a measure to consolidate several commissions in order to reduce these commissions' demand on staff support resources.
This might be a valid cost-reduction strategy in general, but in the case of combining the Waterfront Commission with the Parks and Recreation Commission, it will have just the opposite effect. -more-
I teach at Berkeley Arts Magnet and the portrait painted by parent Ms. McCleary in a recent letter published by your paper bears no resemblance to the school as I know it. To post this under a "BUSD Dirty Laundry" headline was irresponsible and divisive. Ms. Collins has worked hard since she came on board to pull Arts Magnet out of its academic tailspin. -more-
The university would have people think that the Cal football stadium renovation will eliminate dangers to public safety in the case of the earthquake and make the stadium and its environs safe for intensive use. This is not true. The renovation of the stadium will not create a risk-free structure and there are other risks that cannot be mitigated by a retrofit.-more-