The Public Eye: A First Look at the 2006 Senate Races

By Bob Burnett
Friday April 21, 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. According to veteran DC prognosticator, Charlie Cook, there are seven Senate seats in play. In order to prevail, the Democrats will have to win at least six. -more-

Under Currents: Trying to Get a Handle on Violence in Oakland

Friday April 21, 2006

They adopted an unusual questioning format at this week’s mayoral debate at Skyline High School, which solicited an all-too-usual reply from one of the candidates. But at least it advanced a necessary dialogue. -more-

North Berkeley’s Epicurean Delights

By MARTA YAMAMOTOSpecial to the Planet
Friday April 21, 2006

One century ago the Bay Area was rocked off its foundations. Every year around this time we’re reminded that the next “big one” is just around the corner. For weeks we’ve heard survivor stories of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and received advice abou t how to be prepared when the ground again rattles beneath our feet. -more-

Escape to Folsom for Family Fun in a Gold Rush Town

By Carole Terwilliger Meyers
Friday April 21, 2006

Mention Folsom and most folks think of the prison. That connection has become even stronger since the Academy Award-nominated movie Walk the Line brought the town’s famous, scenically situated Folsom Prison to prominence once again. -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Hawaiian Sugar Family Made Berkeley Its Home

By Daniella Thompson
Friday April 21, 2006

In 1873, UC Berkeley’s first commencement exercises were held. It was on that occasion that California’s governor Newton Booth, who was considered one of the great public speakers of his day, called Berkeley the “Athens of the West.” The appellation stuck—not only in word but in practice. And so it came to pass that in 1914, a wealthy Norwegian-Hawaiian family brought its large brood to Berkeley to be properly educated. -more-

About the House: Using the Building Lessons from the Past

Friday April 21, 2006

My wife and I spent the night in Sacramento last night. Nice town, Sacramento, if a bit kitschy in parts. I guess that’s what you get with tourist towns. Some nice stuff. Some kitsch. The older part has some very beautiful older homes from the early part of the 20th century and more than a few buildings from the 19th century. One of the things that my wife, Este, and I share is a great love of old things, houses, cars, paintings, you name it. It’s part of why we live here. -more-

Garden Variety: Spring Garden Tours Around the Bay

Friday April 21, 2006

Maybe we’re going to get sprung after all. Maybe we don’t have to try raising duck potatoes and cattails in all our gardens, and who knows? The sun might even come out for a few days before the summer fog rolls in. -more-

Column: The View From Here: Not Just Another Statistic: Divorce From the Inside Out

By P. M. Price
Tuesday April 18, 2006

A few people have told me that they missed reading my column in this beloved rag. I’ve missed writing it. (Thank you, friends, for noticing my absence.) -more-

Column: A Scholarship That Will Get You Through Life

By Susan Parker
Tuesday April 18, 2006

Last week I received an important letter from the United States Navy. This is what it said: -more-

City’s Reunion of Trees Includes Ancient Dawn Redwood

By Ron Sullivan Special to the Planet
Tuesday April 18, 2006

The dawn redwoods don’t mind the soggy weather; they’re leafing out more or less on schedule. I suppose they evolved with wetter weather to begin with, so no surprise there. In other ways, this tree has been full of surprises. -more-