Parked drivers must beware of cyclists

A friend was riding her bicycle down Benvenue Avenue around Parker Street in Berkeley a few days ago. The driver of a parked car suddenly opened his door. She struck the door, fell to the ground, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. She suffered seven broken ribs, a broken clavicle and a collapsed lung. At Highland Hospital, a tube was inserted into her chest to inflate the lung.

Another friend's experience involved driving down a narrow street when the driver of a parked car opened his door. Only by split-second response was this friend able to veer onto the oncoming lane to avoid slamming into the driver as he left the car.

As traffic on city streets increases, drivers should be made aware of the need for caution when leaving a car. It should be done with care and only after looking behind to see what is coming.

Dorothy Witt

Berkeley

Too many interests ensure lack of water

With the abundance of space in the June 22 paper dedicated to the California water conundrum, there were quite a few key points missing:

1. There are many more agencies and groups competing for water rights than were shown. Add to the list: national parks, Native Americans, the EPA and the environmentalists (Who can forget the Delta smelt?).


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2. Never underestimate the willingness of California politicians to sacrifice long-term infrastructure projects for short-term political gain. After all, thinking for the now is what keeps them elected. They never met a social program they didn't like. So as we ration our sustenance for lack of food and water, but still can feel good about ourselves.

It is a foregone conclusion; we will always be short of water. Even though the state's population has essentially doubled in the last 25 years, we've only added four reservoirs (of over 1,000 reservoirs) in California.

One would think that eating and drinking would be a higher priority.

Joe Loduca

Piedmont

Noise from aircraft must be curtailed

Visiting our East Bay regional parks for recreation, I experience daily disturbing aircraft noise created by smaller airplanes or helicopters, sometimes circling over parts of the Bay Area. The noise is so loud that you can't hear the birds anymore.

This isn't just one plane passing over, this happens at least once every five to 10 minutes, starting after 9 a.m. and going on all day. Same applies at my home, even when the windows are closed. The airplane noise is disturbing.

The FAA says that a maximum day-night average sound level of 65 DB is incompatible with residential communities. Communities in affected areas may eligible for mitigation such as soundproofing.

A German study concluded that aircraft noise clearly and significantly impairs health. For example, a daytime average sound pressure level of 60 decibel increased coronary heart disease by 61 percent in men and 80 percent in women.

The National Park Service is taking steps to ban drones, in addition to aircraft, in the Grand Canyon National Park.

We should ban any small aircraft creating more than 65 DB from flying in the Bay Area.

Hartmut Wiesenthal

Fremont

Another tax that has changed its purpose

If you are wondering about the Emergency Services Facility Tax on your water bill, you can dial the number listed in the phone book. If you ask how much money is in the account, you will be told it is unknown because all money goes into the general fund.

This money can be used for anything or everything or salaries. It has been collected for many years, and was originally collected to pay for retrofitting the City Hall on Foothill Boulevard, which was never done.

If you multiply $6 by about 44,000 residents in Hayward, the sum is $264,000 received every two months. If you were running a business, you would know how much money is in your account.

Maybelle Rasmussen

Hayward