Column: Dispatches From the Edge: On the War Path in Iran, Nepal and Somalia

By Conn Hallinan
Friday May 26, 2006

Anyone who thinks the Bush administration is too far down in the polls to even contemplate attacking Iran should consider the following developments: -more-

Column: Undercurrents: The Pressing Problems of Public Transportation

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday May 26, 2006

Transportation—the stepchild of public issues—has suddenly resurfaced as a concern in certain Oakland political circles. -more-

A Tour of Richmond’s WWII Historic Sites

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday May 26, 2006

It’s not at all strange for a bus half-filled with important local officials to roll through the streets of a California city, pointing out tracts and plots and buildings along the way. It is unusual when the other half of the bus is filled with longtime city residents and community activists, and the purpose of the tour is not so much to plot the city’s future as it is to make sure its past is understood. -more-

Lingering in the Elmwood District

By Marta Yamamoto, Special to the Planet
Friday May 26, 2006

It’s a warm, breezy spring day. I’m sitting in the courtyard at Espresso Roma, lunching on a terrific spinach-mushroom frittata and watching the world of Elmwood pass by. Inside laptops silently hum while lattes are sipped. Though my meter is ticking I’m in no hurry to move. Once here, why would I want to leave? -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Pattiani House Emerges From Restoration

By Daniella Thompson
Friday May 26, 2006

In the 1880s and ‘90s, few East Bay architects were as fashionable as Alfred Washington Pattiani (1855–1935). Italian name notwithstanding, Pattiani, who was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, was descended from a well-to-do German family. His paternal grandfather, Alois Fahrnbacher of Landshut, Bavaria, was a tobacco manufacturer, commercial court assessor, and a member of the Bavarian parliament. -more-

About the House: Some Cures For Noisy Neighbors

By Matt Cantor
Friday May 26, 2006

A friend of mine has a bassist living upstairs who is still working out the chords to In a Gadda Da Vida after living there for about 12 years. My friend is a patient person but she’s begun to exhibit something of a tick and often looks dolefully into space for long periods of time, returning from her reverie only when the music has stopped for some short spell. -more-

Garden Variety: Some Tools and Tips for Bigger Gardening Chores

By Ron Sullivan
Friday May 26, 2006

I rarely venture into my garden with constructive intent but without my Felco pruners and my hori-hori. Most of the time those hand tools are enough because I have a very small garden. Sometimes, though, I need to do something that requires two hands and a bigger tool, and I have my favorites among those too. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday May 26, 2006

What’s Under Your Bed? -more-

Column: Summer Reading Suggestions

By Susan Parker
Tuesday May 23, 2006

I read in the paper a review of a new book entitled My Mother’s Wedding Dress: The Life and Afterlife of Clothes. Justine Picardie, former features editor of British Vogue, has penned a memoir on “how clothes express our personality and style, and also provide a view of how we live and what has passed.” -more-

Commentary: English-Only Laws Don’t Work, and Bush Knows It

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, New America Media
Tuesday May 23, 2006

In September 1999, then-Texas Gov. George Bush told an audience during the New Hampshire presidential primary, “English-only would mean to people, ‘Me, not you.’” The few times during his White House tenure Bush has seen moves to restrict the use of non-English languages by government agencies, the president didn’t budge from that position. -more-

The Sometimes-Mellower Gopher Snake: A Great Pretender?

By Joe Eaton, Special to the Planet
Tuesday May 23, 2006

Although I’m a Southerner by birth and upbringing, I’ve never handled a snake in a religious context. Our church didn’t even use tambourines. All I know of the spiritual side of snake-handling comes from books like Dennis Covington’s memoir Salvation on Sand Mountain and Weston LaBarre’s more scholarly They Shall Take up Serpents. -more-