Berkeleyside’s Op-Ed Section

Op-ed: Berkeley should revisit its balcony code changes

There are a lot of questions swirling around regarding the City of Berkeley’s handling of its investigation into the Library Gardens balcony collapse.

The recent new safety regulations passed by the City Council and believed by Berkeley Mayor Bates … Continue reading »

By Tim Hansen

Tim Hansen works as a project manager restoring buildings and has over 35 years experience in construction. He is a former member of Berkeley's Landmarks Commission and its Energy Commission, and was on the board of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association and the Hillside Club.

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Op-ed: Request to Berkeley is abuse of Public Records Act

One of the strongest safeguards of open government is the California Public Records Act, but like any powerful instrument, it can cause great damage when abused.

I was shocked on July 14 when I was informed that Shirley Dean, a … Continue reading »

By Tom Bates

Tom Bates is the mayor of Berkeley.

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Op-ed: Tobacco, smoking costs Berkeley in more ways than one

Tobacco’s deleterious effects are not confined to smokers, vapers, or second- and third-hand exposure. Tobacco waste devastates our environment as well. Every year over 5 trillion cigarettes are sold globally, with 360 billion cigarettes sold in the United States alone.[1]

In … Continue reading »

By Janet Berreman

Janet Berreman MD, MPH is the Health Officer for the City of Berkeley, and Manager of the Public Health Division for the City’s Health, Housing and Community Services Department.

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Op-ed: Let’s say ‘yes’ to a vibrant downtown Berkeley

As a long-time resident and member of the Downtown Area Planning Committee I have participated in ten years of planning, debate, initiatives, referendums and heated viewpoints on the future of our downtown. After two decisive votes, the hugely popular new plan … Continue reading »

By Dorothy Walker

Dorothy Walker is the former Chair of the Berkeley Planning Commission and a member of the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee.

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Op-ed: Berkeley should be the first city in the US to host the ‘Anything to Say?’ public art project

On Nov. 3, 1964 Mario Savio stood in defiance of the establishment on the UC Berkeley campus and called out words now embedded in history: “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so … Continue reading »

By Tom Miller

Tom Miller is the president of the Green Cities Fund.

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Op-ed: The Berkeley balcony tragedy and the American legal system

In recent days, much has been written about the tragic Berkeley balcony collapse and its victims – mostly Irish students visiting the United States on the U.S. government’s J-1 nonimmigrant visa. More than 150,000 Irish students have used the program … Continue reading »

By Daniel J. Callahan

California attorney Daniel J. Callahan, the founding partner of Callahan & Blaine, is one of America’s leading trial lawyers. He has been named to the Irish Legal 100 for five years, an award that recognizes him as one of the top Irish-American attorneys in the United States.

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Op-ed: Youth on the street, Berkeley anti-homeless laws, and the Supreme Court

On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court announced that LGBT couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. Households all over the nation either celebrated, stiffened, or wondered what it meant to their community and to history.

In … Continue reading »

By Carol Denney

Carol Denney is the Human Rights Editor for Street Spirit newspaper and a local Berkeley musician.

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Op-ed: A student responds to the AMPS yearbook incident

I am responding to the recent hateful comment in the Berkeley High School yearbook directed at the Academy of Medicine and Public Service (AMPS) small school.

My overall reaction was pure disgust.

Someone on the yearbook committee took the time … Continue reading »

By Tyler Traylor

Tyler Traylor is a 2015 graduate of the AMPS small school at Berkeley High School. She loves writing, poetry, healthy living, and advocating for social justice.

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Op-ed: City manager’s departure is big blow to Berkeley

The North East Berkeley Association (NEBA) recently convened a board meeting for the express purpose of discussing the sudden resignation of the City Manager Christine Daniel.

We believe the loss to the city of Ms. Daniel reflects a very … Continue reading »

By Isabelle Gaston, Barbara Gilbert, Cole Smith, Gloria Polanski, and Sharon Eige

Isabelle Gaston, Barbara Gilbert, Cole Smith, Gloria Polanski, and Sharon Eige make up the Board of the North East Berkeley Association (NEBA).

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Op-ed: Calling Le Corbusier as a witness in Berkeley

The Court of Public Discussion on current Berkeley development matters now evokes Time magazine’s ‘Architect of the Century’ for his take on things.

When the leaders of post-Great War Paris decided on massive ‘slum’ clearance—the second in 60 years—the rising, … Continue reading »

By Phil Allen

Phil Allen is a retired blue-collar worker living in West Berkeley, who dotes on supporting ‘lost’ causes.

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Op-ed: For college athletes, is graduation a celebration or a reality check?

Most people see graduation as a time to celebrate, a time for one to bask in one’s accomplishments. But for many college athletes, graduation represents a change in reality, a shift in their paradigm. For most of their lives collegiate spend … Continue reading »

By Delency Parham

Delency Parham is a Berkeley High alumnus who recently graduated from the University of Idaho, where he played cornerback for the Vandals. 

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Op-ed: Religious leaders support effective, compassionate services, housing, not criminalization of homeless people

To All Those Concerned: As Berkeley and Bay Area clergy and religious leaders of diverse faith traditions, we stand lovingly and firmly united in opposition to new proposed 2015 laws criminalizing homeless people. As we describe in this letter, we … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Berkeley Unified Superintendent responds to story on Berkeley Technology Academy

Last Friday, I stood in line to congratulate our graduating students at the Greek Theatre, including students from our continuation high school, Berkeley Technology Academy (BTA). As I watched them walk confidently on and off the stage, I reflected on … Continue reading »

By Donald Evans Ed.D.

Donald Evans is Superintendent of Berkeley Unified School District

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