Column: The Public Eye: A Pocket Guide to Supporting Democrats for Congress

By Bob Burnett
Friday April 07, 2006

Unless Democrats win control of either the House or the Senate, nothing is going to change in Washington. There will be no meaningful shift in Iraq, ethics, or economic policy until there is real debate on Capitol Hill. The good news is that the Dems have a reasonable shot at winning a majority of House seats. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: Oakland Fails to Deal with Violence Problems

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday April 07, 2006

For our 150th UnderCurrents column, let’s return to an old subject: the failure of the city of Oakland to address the problem of violence in an adult manner (I originally wrote “inability” instead of “failure” but crossed that out; inability means you can’t do something, while failure means you could, but don’t, for whatever reason; I also put “city” with a lower case “c” in order to make the point that we’re not just talking about the people at Ogawa Plaza as a source of this failure—it’s a citywide problem, not a city government problem). -more-

California’s Natural Bounty at the Oakland Museum

By Marta Yamamoto Special to the Planet
Friday April 07, 2006

Nature as science or nature as art? There’s no need to choose. Left and right sides of the brain combine their efforts heralding California’s native landscapes and wildlife at the Oakland Museum. The Natural Sciences shine in the comprehensive Permanent Gallery, unique art exhibits and the museum’s multi-tiered outdoor gardens. -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Architect Seth Paris Babson Gets No Respect In Berkeley

By Daniella Thompson
Friday April 07, 2006

Seth Paris Babson (1826–1907) was one of the most eminent Victorian architects on the Pacific coast. A native of Maine, he set sail for San Francisco a year after the discovery of gold in California. Having rounded Cape Horn, Babson arrived in the spring of 1850. -more-

About the House: Is a Home Warranty Right for You?

By Matt Cantor
Friday April 07, 2006

Buying houses is an expensive proposition as anyone who has ever done it can tell you and it doesn’t stop when you pay the closing costs and put your boat in the backyard (you really have a boat?) -more-

Garden Variety: It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than Your Corner Nursery

By Ron Sullivan
Friday April 07, 2006

Flowerland Nursery is the corner store of local plant shops. Evidently it’s been there for generations: the friendly worker there told me that that the current owner, Bob Wilson, has had it for some 30 years and the previous owners had run it “for, oh, 30 to 40 years” before him. -more-

Column: Going to the Movies: A Blair Witch Effort

By Susan Parker
Tuesday April 04, 2006

The Landmark Theatre Act 1 & 2 on Center Street is shutting down and I can’t say that I feel bad about it. Act 1 is inaccessible to wheelchair users due to stairs. Act 2 can be accessed by using a small lift located in the lobby. But the lift doesn’t always work. My husband and I were once refunded our money after getting trapped inside it, unable to go up or down. -more-

Creative Pruning Produces Some Bizarre Results

By RON SULLIVAN Special to the Planet
Tuesday April 04, 2006

There sure are some funny-looking trees in this town. Some of them are the results of whimsical pruning—there’s a big cedar in my general neighborhood, a traffic accident in waiting because I can’t be the only person who reflexively eases up on the gas p edal to stare when passing it. -more-