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    Commentary: I want to caution against opposition to all chemical methods

    January 27th, 2008

     Albany resident Doug Johnson wrote a commentary on Albany’s opposition to a state pesticide spray program:

    “I respect the extensive work put into the resolution to stop the LBAM eradication program, as well as the desire to protect the health of our community. I also believe agencies should take more steps to engage public review for proposed programs like this one.

    However, as an environmental professional involved in invasive plant management, I also want to caution against opposition to all chemical methods. Counterintuitive as it may be, in some circumstances, such methods can have the lowest nontarget ecological impact. Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: The trees should be removed if they are a public safety hazard

    January 24th, 2008

    Albany resident Freyja Knapp wrote a commentary on the tree-cutting controversy, responding to previous comments on the issue:

    As a current Albany resident I’d like to add my comments to this discussion of tree removal. I agree that a comprehensive plan needs to be determined and made public – and with real community participation in the development of the plan. However, I also agree that sick trees should be removed – and now or in 10/20 years matters little to me. Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: UC is shortening the tree-cutting schedule to stifle community concerns

    January 24th, 2008

    Albany resident Bill Dann wrote a commentary on the latest dispute between Albany and UC-Berkeley on the tree-cutting plan at the Gill Tract:

    “The UC spokesperson who stood up at the 1/22 city council meeting to defend the university’s rush to clear cut the 317 pine trees (180 next week and the remainder soon after) admitted that the university is shortening the schedule to stifle any community concerns.

    First, as the Albany City Attorney Robert Zweben pointed out, the University claims an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that cannot be challenged for 30 days, by  which time the first 180 trees will already have been clear cut.  Once the first 180 are gone, then the remainder must follow (due to wind exposure). Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: Mayor Lieber is speaking for the majority of Albany residents

    January 20th, 2008

    Albany resident and Chairman of Albany Waterfront Committee Brian Parker wrote a commentary on the controversy over UC’s tree-cutting plan at the Gill Tract, responding to a previous commentary on Albany Today:

    “I am sure that Mayor Lieber is speaking for the majority of Albany residents when he asks the University to slow down the rush to log the Gill tract trees and to engage the community in looking at alternatives. The Gill Tract trees are one of the most recognizable features of Albany. Like Albany Hill they help define the community. I know I am home after a trip when I see the Gill tract trees. UC has had long term plans to develop the entire Gill tract property. Removing the trees removes one more potential roadblock to the development of the entire property. The trees have been on the property over 40 years and we now face a crisis that requires the removal of 200 trees now? Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: Mayor Lieber should listen to the experts on the tree-cutting issue

    January 18th, 2008

    Albany resident and UC employee Brian Parsley wrote a commentary on the university’s tree-cutting plan on the Gill Tract:

    I am an Albany resident who is also a UC employee. I am responding as a resident and not a spokesperson for the University. I find it interesting that mayor Lieber believes that not all the trees on UC Property need to come down. He has previously stated that he intends to “slow down” the process of the infected trees removal even though they may pose a hazard to people and property on nearby sidewalks and streets. It might serve the mayor to defer these matters to city staff before making comments to the press. Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: “Demand for admission to AUSD always exceeds capacity”

    January 16th, 2008

    Albany resident Ross Stapleton-Gray posted a commentary  on the residence-checking and overcrowding issues of the Albany school district in response to previous commentaries on the topic:

    With all due respect, “resentment for those ‘outsiders’ who are crowding into ‘our’ schools” is something of a red herring; I’ve met a parent who’s more qualified to be angry: the mom whose older child was admitted as a transfer to Cornell, but who was told that her son couldn’t start in Albany as a kindergartener, because there was no room.  And if that’s because someone’s “jumped the line” to get a kindergartener enrolled, despite the precedence system established by the School Board, they’re directly (and negatively effected)… neither you nor I have that concern, so long as there’s some capacity in AUSD to take transfer students. Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: “Demand for admission to AUSD always exceeds capacity”

    January 16th, 2008

    Albany resident Ross Stapleton-Gray posted a commentary  on the residence-checking and overcrowding issues of the Albany school district in response to previous commentaries on the topic:

    With all due respect, “resentment for those ‘outsiders’ who are crowding into ‘our’ schools” is something of a red herring; I’ve met a parent who’s more qualified to be angry: the mom whose older child was admitted as a transfer to Cornell, but who was told that her son couldn’t start in Albany as a kindergartener, because there was no room.  And if that’s because someone’s “jumped the line” to get a kindergartener enrolled, despite the precedence system established by the School Board, they’re directly (and negatively effected)… neither you nor I have that concern, so long as there’s some capacity in AUSD to take transfer students. Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: “Building a wall with barbed wire along the Albany border is not the answer”

    January 15th, 2008

    Albany resident Peter Lincroft wrote a commentary on the residence checking story:

    “As I am sure most Albany parents have, I have been following the news regarding the issues of overcrowding, inter-district transfers, and residency requirements. Its not a simple issue, but I just finished reading Miriam Walden’s blog article on the subject and it really struck a chord with me.

    My family is one of those that went to the very significant trouble and expense to move into Albany just for the schools. We are exactly the kind of people who ought to have the highest level of resentment for those “outsiders” who are crowding into “our” schools. Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: “Building a wall with barbed wire along the Albany border is not the answer”

    January 15th, 2008

    Albany resident Peter Lincroft wrote a commentary on the residence checking story:

    “As I am sure most Albany parents have, I have been following the news regarding the issues of overcrowding, inter-district transfers, and residency requirements. Its not a simple issue, but I just finished reading Miriam Walden’s blog article on the subject and it really struck a chord with me.

    My family is one of those that went to the very significant trouble and expense to move into Albany just for the schools. We are exactly the kind of people who ought to have the highest level of resentment for those “outsiders” who are crowding into “our” schools. Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: “There are no illegal children, students or people”

    January 12th, 2008

    Albany School Board Member Miriam Walden wrote a commentary on the residence checking story:

    “There are no illegal children, students or people. They all belong here on our planet. They all have a right to learn. The issue is only one of residency documentation — an artificial problem that is caused by our immoral system of state funding for education, not by parents or students on their own. For a full description of my concerns about this issue and my response to the “overcrowding” complaints, please see my blog at http://www.miriamwalden.blogspot.com. ” 

    Please post your comments directly or write an email to me if you’d like to share your opinions on the issue.


    Commentary: “There are no illegal children, students or people”

    January 12th, 2008

    Albany School Board Member Miriam Walden wrote a commentary on the residence checking story:

    “There are no illegal children, students or people. They all belong here on our planet. They all have a right to learn. The issue is only one of residency documentation — an artificial problem that is caused by our immoral system of state funding for education, not by parents or students on their own. For a full description of my concerns about this issue and my response to the “overcrowding” complaints, please see my blog at http://www.miriamwalden.blogspot.com. ” 

    Please post your comments directly or write an email to me if you’d like to share your opinions on the issue.