That, in turn, caused us to wonder why some group of students at the University of California Berkeley campus haven't used the readily available material for an extensive study (say a psychological evaluation of the homeless) that would shed some new light on the local problem with similar challenges being present in many other American cities.
During the week, we heard a report on KCBS news radio that
the New York City
mayor, Michael Bloomberg, was going to offer some of his personal fortune to
help publicize and promote innovative and imaginative solutions to urban
Berkeley mayor Tom Bates has mentioned that his city leads the nation in providing services to the homeless. At specific times during the week, one of the municipal swimming pools (that is permanently closed for swimming) uses the locker room facilities to let the homeless take a shower. Could other cities adopt this program?
Unfortunately the fact that Berkeley has such programs tends to bring
additional homeless to the region and that carries with it a danger that the
innovative programs could become over used and thus (metaphorically speaking)
die of suffocation.
If the members of the Berkeley city council are very busy coping with this problem would it be logical to think that they might not have sufficient time to check to see if any programs Santa Monica used to cope with the same problem might be used in Berkeley?
In an era when information is available rapidly online, that
has created a new problem. How can
voters in Berkeley
know what progress has been made in other cities? If a class in Berkeley
studies solutions in Santa Monica
how can the students bring their knowledge to the attention of the Berkeley
If Mayor Bloomberg's cash awards help promote the cross pollination of urban ideas, he will have made a valuable contribution to the improvement of urban living.
Speaking of travel, while we were walking on Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, Kimberly reminded us that Environment California
is trying to draw attention to the fact that the tsunami trash that has
traveled from Japan to America's West Coast isn't the only junk
floating around in the Pacific Ocean.
[Note from the Photo Editor: we will use a sunset shot from Christmas week 2008, taken on the beach at Fremantle Western Australia at 9 p.m. because that is their summer time to illustrate our point about how different locations perceive things differently. Do folks in New York City think of a picnic dinner on the beach at Christmastime?]
While folks are reading this column, we gotta start
wrestling with next week's blank assignment sheet.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: "For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."
Now the disk jockey will play Johnny Cash's "I've been everywhere," Johnny Paycheck's "The running kind," and Waylon and Willie's "Clean Shirt" duet. We have to go check the rideshare section on Craig's List. Have a "the world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings" type week.
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