Letters tothe Editor

You Go with those Fuel Cells

Published: February, 2002

Dear Editor: 

I recently read your excellent article on the fuel cell powered watercraft and I really liked the quote from Jules Verne. He was right on and I have been of that same mind set for many years now. I am an old NASA type and helped develop fuel cells in the early days. Now I am a consultant and develop projects and applications of fuel cell technology. One of the best I have going reduces organic material (garbage, tires, hazardous waste, etc.) and electricity is produced, but the best thing is we are eliminating the organic material and the fuel cell is paying for the processing. This all comes with ZERO pollution and 90+ efficiency. There are lots of ways to make hydrogen, but the biggest hurdle is overcoming the low prices of fossil fuels. This thing has prevented development for years. We really need government to help push it over the breakeven point.  

William D.Montjoye 

3511 Green Springs Dr. 

San Antonio, TX 210.402.0656


On the Berkeley Pier Ferry

Dear Editor: 

Terry Shore of Bluewater Network accurately characterizes the political split over a Berkeley Ferry in the January Bay Crossings: The local Sierra Club chapter is adamantly opposed to any ferry service to Berkeley, citing adverse affect on the nearby Eastshore State Park due to the proximity of increased car traffic - although it’s not at all clear whether car traffic near the park would actually go up or down, or if ferry-induced traffic in the Berkeley Marina would even be noticed compared to existing traffic levels. The “progressive” wing of the Berkeley City Council appears to be opposed on similar environmental grounds, although the distinction between fuel-hungry fast ferries and eco-friendly slow displacement ferries has not yet occurred to them. Meanwhile the Mayor, most of the Berkeley Waterfront Commission, and the vast majority of Berkeley residents seem to be in favor of a Berkeleyferry. Terry refers to my Berkeley Pier ferry proposal as calling for renovation of the old pier. This is not quite correct - while I advocate a ferry terminal location at or near the existing fishing pier, there is no renovation involved. The 3,000 ft long Municipal Fishing Pier is in good condition, while the remaining two miles of the old abandoned ferry pier has deteriorated way beyond any possibility of restoration. In any event,the attraction of this location is its proximity to a large supply of existing parking, existing and frequent AC transit service, and an existing developed location. This implies a terminal at or near the base of the pier, not out on the end. Also, the Berkeley Pier ferry is not “part of a Berkeley Waterfront development plan,” as Terry suggests. It is a stand-alone proposal, and would fill an existing niche in an already-developed waterfront. Details of the Berkeley Pier ferry proposal can be found at www.BerkeleyWaterfront.org

Paul Kamen 

Chair, Berkeley Waterfront Commission

Credit Due

Dear Editor: 

All of us at the Port of San Francisco were, of course, delighted at your bountiful coverage of the “Six Dollar Tour” and the wonderful sights available at such little cost. But we wish you’d made mention of the Port of San Francisco employees who worked so hard to come up with the idea. Claudia Davison, Nic Dempsey and others at the Port created the $6 tour and designed a “free” map for residents and tourist to enjoy. We’re very proud of them and your readers should know about what they did, too. The Port of San Francisco maps are available by contacting us at (415) 274-0400. 

Renée Dunn 

Manager, Public Relations 

Port of San Francisco

Editor’s Note: Bay Crossings regrets the oversight