Column: Dispatches From the Edge: Despite Stunning Success, China is a Troubled Dragon

Conn Hallinan
Friday May 12, 2006

The image of China in the Western press is less the dragon of the Celestial Kingdom than J.R. Tolkin’s Smaug, a beast of enormous strength and cunning, ravaging oil markets in Africa, copper ore in South America, and uranium deposits in Australia. “The world begins to feel the dragon’s breath on its back,” intones the Financial Times. -more-

Column: UnderCurrents: We Are All Immigrants, Legal or Illegal

J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday May 12, 2006

Sometime in the late 1970s, I drove with a friend to visit her family home in Gramercy, a small Mississippi River town not far from New Orleans. Fate takes odd turns. I knew less about my own family history at the time, but I later learned that Gramercy is in St. James Parish, the Louisiana county that my father’s people stopped in for a time on their way from Senegambia to Oakland. -more-

Planning a Point Richmond Getaway

Marta Yamamoto
Friday May 12, 2006

Ever get that midweek feeling of wanting to escape up the coast? Spend some time near the water in a picturesque town? Walk past quaint cottages and historic buildings? Roam the landscape allowing your eyes and mind to expand across open space? Discover a café, deli or fine restaurant and treat your taste buds to new flavors? Even without the time needed to reach Mendocino, a solution for the midweek blues is close at hand. -more-

About the House: Finding the Right Way to Repair an Old Floor

Matt Cantor
Friday May 12, 2006

Dear Matt, -more-

Garden Variety: Fun With the California Rare Fruit Growers

Ron Sullivan
Friday May 12, 2006

It’s been way too long since I’ve gone to a meeting of California Rare Fruit Growers. There’s one such meeting tomorrow (Saturday May 13) in Walnut Creek that is weirdly tempting because it will feature Dr. Robert Raabe, whose approach to plant diseases is of the gleeful sort, which can be fun but rarely works well as a bedside manner for humans. -more-

Column: Confessions of a Desperate Housewife

By Susan Parker
Tuesday May 09, 2006

Twelve years ago my husband had an accident that left him a C-4 quadriplegic, paralyzed below the shoulders. After two nights in Highland Hospital he was transferred to the Neurology Department at the Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City. While there, nurses from India, Sumatra and Sunnyvale cared for him. Ten days later he was sent to the Kaiser rehab center in Vallejo. He came under the supervision of a Pakistani doctor. The therapists who moved his arms and legs and taught me how to get him in and out of his new wheelchair were students enrolled in a nearby physical therapy school. They were from Holland, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. Filipino nurses gave Ralph his pills, took his temperature, and recorded his vital signs. The assistants who bathed Ralph, emptied his urine bag, and shifted him from his left side onto his right were African-Americans. -more-

Wildfire and Freeways: Why Did the Bobcat Cross the Road?

By Joe Eaton Special to the Planet
Tuesday May 09, 2006

I’ve seen only a handful of bobcats in my life, most of them in or around Point Reyes and the Marin Headlands. My one East Bay encounter was about a decade ago, while heading out to Briones Regional Park on a spring morning. The cat was crossing Bear Creek Road near the reservoir, not being in a particular hurry about it. The first reaction in such sightings tends to be “funny-looking dog,” and then you notice the pointed ears and the abbreviated tail. -more-