Letter to the editor: Sense of irony

I found it to be quite ironic that an urban planner from UC Berkeley would appear on TV, six months to the day after Greenville was destroyed, to recommend the town not be rebuilt.  The irony is that UC retrofitted their football stadium, and added workout and locker facilities, the whole nine yards (pun intended), at a tremendous cost to the university, knowing that a major earthquake fault (Hayward fault, I believe) runs directly through that football field.   Wouldn’t it be exciting for the 60,000+ fans to be watching the Bears being beaten by Stanford, SC, or Oregon, and then have a major tremblor upend the stadium?  Did they not consult with their geology department regarding the wisdom of investing in refurbished and expanded facilities, before making that investment?  Maybe their history department could have pointed out that some shakers in 1906 and 1989 did substantial damage?

Assuming that this person lives in or near Berkeley, we know his housing cost is somewhere in the stratosphere, especially when compared with Indian Valley.  In effect, he would be raising his own rent: by eliminating land from consideration for housing construction, the cost of existing housing rises.  The concern about new, or rebuilt, housing in the interface between developments and forest is legitimate, but why was there so little concern about building in flood plains, avalanche-prone areas, coastal lots susceptible to sea water rise, and earthquake faults?  And I wonder if UC Berkeley’s math department could calculate, or roughly estimate, how much higher the cost of living would be if all of the disaster-susceptible apartments and houses were red-flagged, and every resident had to find another place to live?  Keep rebuilding Greenville, Doyle, Frenchman, Indian Falls, Canyon Dam, and any others.

Gene Nielsen

Crescent Mills