Column: The Public Eye: Downtown Plan: One Good Afternoon, Lingering Suspicions

By Michael Katz
Friday June 23, 2006

Last Saturday, the public finally got to speak at length to the city’s seven-month-old Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (or DAPAC—the only acronym you’ll need to read this column). One unexpected event at this “workshop” was that the inmates promptly took over the asylum. -more-

Column: Dispatches From the Edge: Gaza Shrapnel; Timor Haste; Turin Trouncing

By Conn Hallinan
Friday June 23, 2006

While the Israeli military is denying it had anything to do with the deaths of eight Palestinian civilians at Beit Lahia beach in the Gaza Strip, June 10, a former Pentagon battle damage expert says “all the evidence points” to an artillery shell fired by Israel. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: Hopes Soar as the Dellums Era Begins in Oakland

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday June 23, 2006

This is a time of euphoria for progressive Oakland—that small, special period between the promise and the practical reality of the Ron Dellums administration, a dizzy, giddy, magnificent time when hopes soar, the world appears as an incredible place, and all things suddenly seem possible. -more-

At Home in Northbrae

By Marta Yamamoto, Special to the Planet
Friday June 23, 2006

Morning dawns on a Berkeley summer day. Gray light filters into bungalow-style rooms, a shawl of mist moistens stately plane trees and palettes of roses. Knowing the sun will soon make its presence felt, this is a good time to set out with a plan for the day. Within walking distance are specialty food shops, cozy eateries, an inspiring nursery, a comfortable park and a wonderful neighborhood library. Welcome to Northbrae. -more-

East Bay Then and Now: An Enchanting Country House Echoes East Coast Follies

By Daniella Thompson
Friday June 23, 2006

When Maurice Strelinger, aka M.B. Curtis, built the fabulous Peralta Park Hotel, he envisioned it as a hostelry for theatrical companies passing through San Francisco. This dream never came to pass, but Curtis did manage to lure at least one stage star to his new subdivision. -more-

About the House: Paint Jobs: The Good, The Bad and The Best

By Matt Cantor
Friday June 23, 2006

In my job, I’m often asked to estimate what a particular job might cost. Mrs. Jones wants to know how much a new furnace might cost, or perhaps a roof. These aren’t too hard to roughly gauge and costs won’t vary by 100 percent (most of the time). -more-

Garden Vartiety: Corporations Budding In On Local Garden Shops

By Ron Sullivan
Friday June 23, 2006

We old coots play a game, based on how long we’ve been in Berkeley: You Shoulda Been Here When. In my circle it runs heavily to vertical samplings of bird populations, politics, public venues: often the interesting little store that filled a niche, got big, got bought, got corporatized, got bland. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday June 23, 2006

Take a Good Look Around -more-

Column: Rescuing Jeffrey and Gallicentral News

By Susan Parker
Tuesday June 20, 2006

Scanning through my recent e-mails, I came across one with the subject line “Gallicentral News.” It was from -more-

The Nature of the Cricket and Other Loose Ends

By Joe Eaton, Special to the Planet
Tuesday June 20, 2006

I’m always a little startled when I get a response to one of these pieces. Sometimes it’s about something that requires correction, like the incident of the owl in the Embarcadero BART station. Other comments call for amplification. -more-