The Public Eye: Notes on NIMBYism Part III: A NIMBY Confronts Environmental Dualism

By Sharon Hudson
Tuesday August 15, 2006

Summer is here! Vacation time! Where shall I go? Usually I head straight for the wilderness—where I have spent much of my life—far from electricity, running water, indoor plumbing, and the teeming masses. But since I have spent even more of my life in one of the highest density parts of Berkeley, the more interesting question is: What has enabled me to stay in town most of the time? -more-

Column: How Writing Changed My Life

By Susan Parker
Tuesday August 15, 2006

I was not a writer before my husband Ralph had a bicycling accident that left him paralyzed below the shoulders. I worked at an international adventure travel company (located in Berkeley), leading bicycling trips to exotic locations like Tasmania and Bali. The only things I wrote were postcards, grocery lists, and, occasionally, copy for the company’s travel brochures. But in the spring of 1994 after Ralph’s accident, all writing, with the exception of completing medical and legal forms, became obsolete. I spent my days dealing with doctors, therapists and social workers. At night, I lay in bed alone, wondering what would happen to us. -more-

Forster’s Terns, Food Webs, And Flameproof Pajamas

By Joe Eaton, Special to the Planet
Tuesday August 15, 2006

Hovering over the shallows in search of a fish, the Forster’s tern embodies grace and elegance. Its long, pointed wings and forked tail combine aerodynamic function and esthetic appeal. John Reinhold Forster did not deserve this bird. -more-

The Public Eye: Notes on NIMBYism Part II: Density, Equity, And the Urban NIMBY

By Sharon Hudson
Friday August 11, 2006

Most urban NIMBYs in Berkeley who oppose new developments are not part of an insulated class trying to hang onto their privileges. They are part of a sacrificial class that already lives in or next to high-density areas or transit corridors. They mostly do all the “right” things: walk a lot, drive little, consume little, live in little spaces, have little gardens (if any), and tolerate being a little too crowded. High-income people consume much more, utilize many more resources, and contribute much more to global warming than low-income people. Yet all the detriments of man’s environmental abuse and atonement are borne by the poor and funneled into high-density areas. -more-

Undercurrents: Jerry Brown Adds Zeros to Justify Operation

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday August 11, 2006

In their 1948 American classic book about growing up in Oakland in the early part of the last century, Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey wrote in Cheaper By The Dozen that their father once discovered one of the more fascinating elements of the human mind—people could pass by a black typewriter every day without stopping or even thinking about it, but a typewriter painted white simply could not be resisted. “For some reason, anyone who sees a white typewriter wants to type on it,” Frank Gilbreth told his children on the day he brought one home and set it on the dining room table. “Don’t ask me why. It’s psychology.” (For those born in the 80’s and beyond and so didn’t live in those times, typewriters—which preceded computers as the thing on which we did our writing—used to come in one color, black. Same with telephones.) -more-

Head for the Berkeley Hills

By Marta Yamamoto, Special to the Planet
Friday August 11, 2006

“Bring your own” is a good motto to remember when visiting the neighborhoods of the Berkeley hills. With no shopping district or quaint cafes, there’s little to tempt your dollars. Unless you’re in the market for a home. Then you’re in trouble, big trouble, because what the hills area does offer is hard to resist: a showcase for architectural excellence, eye-filling views, rock outcropping parks, hidden pathways and an appealing sense of space within nature. -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Harris Allen: The Spirit of Individuality

By Daniella Thompson
Friday August 11, 2006

Architect Harris Allen had no cookie cutters in his professional tool box. No two of his buildings looked alike—each was designed for its particular site and stamped with the owner’s individuality. -more-

Tripping, Slipping and Falling Around Your House

By Matt Cantor
Friday August 11, 2006

I’m often amazed at the lack of attention paid to places where people can fall, slip or trip around the house (not to mention commercial or municipal buildings). Maybe other people aren’t as clumsy as I am. It is a plus, though, that in my job I seem to be admirably suited to finding any obstacle that might ultimately cause any other person at any future date to slip, trip or fall. No divination required; I’m just the poster boy for smacking your cranium. -more-

The Dirty Lowdown on Working With Our Lowdown Dirt

By Ron Sullivan
Friday August 11, 2006

One of the hardest things for new gardeners here—both experienced gardeners who move here and long-time locals who get inspired by the goddess Flora—is our dirt. Most of us have to garden on clay soil here, and those of us in the flatlands generally have the heaviest, the historically most stomped-on and sometimes most-contaminated clay. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday August 11, 2006

Head For The Doorway? -more-