Letters for the week of February 12-18, 2003 

The Express rethinks its entertainment listings; The Farallones Marine Sanctuary should rethink shark protections.

Beyond Ebonics
Y@ll R l337 4 d01n @ st0ry bout cS. cS rox0rz! TeamFallback PWNZ j00 !!!!!!!!!!!!! B3H0LD tH3 P0W3R 0f Innbr33diNG!!!

l0ve [TeamFallback] iNbrEd HicK

Y'all are elite for doing a story on Counter-Strike ("Baang! You're Dead," Jan. 22). Counter-Strike Rocks! Team Fallback owns you! Behold the power of inbreeding!

Love [TeamFallback] iNbrEd HicK, San Francisco

Multi-sided learning in a one-sided world
Helene Blatter, in her piece in the "7 Days" column of January 29, just doesn't get it. She missed the whole point of my comments and our resolution to have "education" on war and peace in the Berkeley public schools. Right now the public, including students, is dependent upon the "media" to try and understand the complexities of our government's policies and actions in the Middle East. The moral imperative is using my position as an elected official, whenever I can, to further the cause of helping our students make informed decisions. I feel a moral responsibility to do this, whether we are talking about going to war in Iraq, having a war against AIDs, fighting against poverty and homelessness in our society, or dealing with inequities in our school system.

When you quote me as saying during our school board meeting, "we're arguing over issues that I don't believe are significant," I was not saying we break any "rules" or board policies but that some of my colleagues on the board were, in my mind, diverting the discussion away from the substance of the teach-in resolution and raising issues extraneous to the content of the motion. What we are morally obligated to insist happens is that we provide a multi-sided learning environment in an often one-sided world.
Terry Doran, Berkeley School Board director, Berkeley

It's not nice to fool Mother Nature
White sharks are a protected species in California and within the federally protected Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary ("Farallon Feeding Frenzy," January 15). The reason that these sharks are a protected species is their importance to the marine environment, particularly their role as a pinniped predator. We at the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation have been conducting a study of white sharks at Año Nuevo Island since 1992 and have also had our share of problems with thrill-seekers who encroached upon and disrupted the sharks and our research.

Since late 1995, regulations have prohibited the pursuit or attraction of white sharks within the Monterey Bay Sanctuary without proper permits as a remedy to that problem. These regulations have been very successful in resolving that matter. Since then, similar problems have occurred at the Farallon Islands and the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and again the sharks are being pursued by recreational divers and "sportsmen" who have no permits and who have been clashing with the resident researchers there and disrupting natural feeding behavior as a sport. The sharks and related studies have suffered because of this.

As original sponsors of white-shark protected status in California, it is our hope that the Farallones Sanctuary will implement similar regulations to those presently in place at the Monterey Bay Sanctuary. The type of research being conducted at these sites is crucial to the protection of these sharks and the environment to which they are attached.
Sean Van Sommeran, Callaghan Fritz-Cope, Jeff Reinhardt, and Brandy Faulkner, the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, Santa Cruz


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