Column: Dispatches From the Edge: Ballots, Bullets, Bizarreness and Bribery, By: Conn Hallinan

Friday March 17, 2006

Some elections to keep an eye on. Last month’s massive demonstrations in Bangkok demanding the resignation of Thailand Prime Minister Thanksin Shinawatra focused on the media mogul’s avoidance of $100 million in taxes. But underlying the charges of corruption is a growing allergy to Thanksin’s heavy-handed approach to any opposition, a result of his scorched-earth policy toward Muslims in the country’s southern provinces. -more-

Column: UnderCurrents: Oakland Postpones Putting More Cops on the Streets, By: J. Douglas Allen-Taylor

Friday March 17, 2006

In journalism, we are taught to look for social and political faultlines, the spots were the various forces of our society rub against each other, and sometimes collide. Usually, these are only tiny cracks in the social fabric that are barely visible, even to the trained eye. But sometimes they are a mile wide and if you lean over and peer inside, you can actually see what’s really going on. You have to look quickly, however. These things close up fast and even before they do, there’s folks running around with their smoke-blowing machines, trying to make you believe that what you are seeing is not actually what you are seeing. -more-

From Petaluma to Point Reyes: Cheese and So Much More, By: Marta Yamamoto

Friday March 17, 2006

“I hope this cheese comes from happy cows,” I overheard the customer ask at the Marin French Cheese Company. He’d just purchased pounds of Rouge and Noir in several varieties and was perhaps double-checking his investment. The cows and I were equally cont ent as I cruised country roads, tasting locally produced cheeses, gathering picnic goodies and basking in nature’s bounty. -more-

About The House: On Realtors and Inspectors, By: Matt Cantor

Friday March 17, 2006

Today was a good day. I started it off with the inspection of a gorgeous house. Did I say gorgeous? No, glorious. It was so true to the aesthetic of the period as to be a sensorial feast. It was actually a very simple house. Built in 1912, a “classic box,” aka, Classic Revival. One of those simple, almost-but-not-quite boxy designs that usually has a little bay front and almost always has a porch on one corner punctuated by a single classical column. There are thousands in the our area so I’m sure you know the one I mean. -more-

Garden Variety: Spiral Gardens a Cure for The March Muddy Blues, By: Ron Sullivan

Friday March 17, 2006

All right, up and at ’em. The only cure I know for the March Muddy Blues is time spent with eager green plants, and since it’s still too wet to mess in the mid in most of our gardens, the place to mingle is the neighborhood nursery. -more-

Prosperity Perspectives: Tracking the Mortgage Wolves, By: Russ Cohn

Friday March 17, 2006

We recently had a call from a woman who wanted some advice about her current home loan and whether we would recommend a refinance. After investigating her circumstances, hearing her story, and questioning her about the process she had gone through, I understood why there are consumer-rights groups wanting to regulate the mortgage industry. Her story spoke not only about a mortgage professional who was more interested in their own paycheck than the best interests of their client, but to a very popular loan program, that in my opinion, should be regulated very carefully. -more-

Column: An Apology to Dana Reeve, By: Susan Parker

Tuesday March 14, 2006

My friend Taffy called me Tuesday night to tell me Dana Reeve had died. “Get a pedicure,” she said. “You need to do something for yourself. Don’t let life pass you by.” -more-