Column: The Public Eye: Notes on NIMBYism Part IV: The NIMBY Manifesto

By Sharon Hudson
Tuesday August 22, 2006

In 1990, 60 percent of New Yorkers said they would live somewhere else if they could, and in 2000, 70 percent of urbanites in Britain felt the same way. Many suburbanites commute hours every day just to have “a home, a bit of private space, and fresh air.” But unfortunately, running off to suburbia or to the wilderness to find contentment is becoming environmentally and economically unviable. -more-

Column: The Public Eye: Toward a New Liberal Foreign Policy

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday August 22, 2006

Conservative foreign policy has failed and taken with it their dream of a new American empire. Unfortunately, in the course of its jingoistic pursuit of global supremacy, conservatism undermined the international institutions that both Democratic and Republican presidents struggled to strengthen, before the disastrous reign of George W. Bush. -more-

Column: Horse and Cart, Write and Attend

By Susan Parker
Tuesday August 22, 2006

I should have knocked on wood last week when I said I often use Kaiser’s Emergency Room as an office in which to get some writing done. As I e-mailed the essay to the Daily Planet, Ralph’s health took an unexpected and rapid slide downhill. I drove him to ER. I took a pen and notebook with me, but because his vital signs were alarmingly weak, he was rushed through triage and put in a room for patients who need immediate attention. -more-

The Tree of Many Names Scents Our Woodlands

By Ron Sullivan, Special to the Planet
Tuesday August 22, 2006

Up in the hills, in the parks and in the places next to them, are Monterey pines—imported from Monterey, and many now old and ill and tottering—and native trees: redwoods, the odd Douglas fir, oaks, and a tree of many names, its official binomial being quite a melodious mouthful, Umbellularia californica. -more-

Column: Dispatches From the Edge: The Deadly Tales We Tell Ourselves

By Conn Hallinan
Friday August 18, 2006

History is the story we tell ourselves in the present about the past, but how we punctuate the story, where we put the periods, the commas and the ellipses, depends not on everything that happened, but on who is telling the story, where we stand in the narrative, and what outcome we want. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: Keeping Watch Over Oakland’s Schools Was Not for Brown

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday August 18, 2006

When I was coming up, I used to attend Vacation Bible School, and faithfully study my daily passages, and then ask many questions that often seemed to annoy the teacher in charge of the class. -more-

Impressionism 101: Start in San Francisco

By Marta Yamamoto, Special to the Planet
Friday August 18, 2006

Radicals of the 1860s, they broke the rules and moved out of their studios. Away from poised portraits and still lives, they painted open-air scenes meant to capture everyday subjects in a passing moment. They painted with un-mixed vibrant colors in broad and daubed brushstrokes creating shimmering canvases bathed in light. The Impressionists turned their backs on academic painting, commanded attention and revolutionized the world of art. -more-

About the House: A Few Tips on the Dangers of Excess Water Pressure

By Matt Cantor
Friday August 18, 2006

Pressurizing the entire municipal water system is not an easy matter. I’m sure glad I don’t have to do it. Everyone’s bound to be unhappy. If you’re down in the flats or close to a pumping station, you’re pressure is going to be very high. If you’re waaaaay up at the top of the hills, it’s going to be much lower. We pump up the system to a pressure that will make sure that the person furthest from the pump will still have enough pressure to get a decent shower, even when her darned husband flushes the toilet (If I’ve told that man one time, I’ve told him…). -more-

Garden Variety: Work All Day? Plant a Night Garden to Welcome You Home

By Ron Sullivan
Friday August 18, 2006

Being a night person gives you a different look at things. Strolling at night or commuting to a night shift, especially when the moon’s out, you get to see gardens that no one else sees, even their owners. Silver leaves glow at night, and reshape a garden’s contours. White-flowered groundcovers make a garden float, changing perspectives and lifting a viewer off her own feet. Noises are damped, and what you hear is framed and given significance. There’s a feeling of privilege, of witnessing what mortals routinely miss. I can see where the stories of fairies in the bottom of the garden come from. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday August 18, 2006

Will Uncle Sam Save Us? -more-