It's difficult for emergency vehicles to pass through many of Berkeley's narrow streets. Photos: Bob Flasher
In one of several op-eds recently published on Berkeleyside, Bob Flasher argues Berkeley must restrict parking on narrow streets to prepare for potential fires. Photos: Bob Flasher

Spirited op-eds on a variety of topical issues continue to be published by Berkeleyside over in our Opinionator section. Every so often we like to flag up what you may have missed. So here goes…

Last month, James Shinn is a retired American diplomat who has previously been involved in downtown planning projects, argued that if Berkeley moves forward with the proposed Harold Way Project, it would sacrifice the character of “this unique, beautiful university town and its unusual place in American history, and instead transform this city into a generic replica of the sad, dehumanizing banality characteristic of so much of new urban architecture in America today.” A few days after we published the piece, the Harold Way project won the approval of the Landmarks Commission.

Meanwhile, after the Berkeley police responded to an armed robber with a borrowed, armored vehicle, Chris Stines, the President of the Berkeley Police Association, wrote about how he felt such a tool, as well as canine units, helicopters and drones, should be at the disposal of police in certain circumstances so they can do the best job. “With the potential for harm to the public, we want to have as many resources at our disposal as we can and as quickly as we can,” he wrote.

And we have two opinion pieces relating to the danger of fire in the East Bay hills. John Hitchen, a retired East Bay Regional Parks supervisor, argues eucalyptus trees, while magnificent and picturesque, are inherently dangerous and invasive, depriving native plants of the chance to thrive wherever they grow. Hitchen supports the Sierra Club’s management policy regarding the trees.

And Bob Flasher, a retired ranger/ firefighter, says Berkeley must restrict parking on narrow streets to prepare in advance of life-threatening fires so that loss of life and property in Berkeley will be minimal.

Share your views in the Comments section of the individual op-eds.

Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles. We ask that we are given first refusal to publish. Topics should be Berkeley-related, local authors are preferred, and we don’t publish anonymous pieces. Email submissions, as Word documents or embedded in the email, to The recommended length is 500-800 words. Please include your name and a one-line bio that includes full, relevant disclosures. Berkeleyside will publish op-ed pieces at its discretion.

Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Learn more about the Berkeleyside team. Questions? Email