Column: Undercurrents:A Few Clues in the Oakland School Sell-Off Mystery

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday September 29, 2006

One of the things you learn in the business of journalism is that in trying to uncover the real meaning and purpose of a particular public policy, you rarely come across a smoking gun. -more-

Playing The Updating Game: Part Two

By Jane Powell
Friday September 29, 2006

If there is a phrase found in a real estate listing that fills me with even more horror than “updated kitchen,” it has to be “new dual-pane windows.” Dual-pane windows are probably one of the biggest scams ever foisted off on an unsuspecting American public. The lies and half-truths promulgated by window replacement companies should be right up there with other famous lies like “The dog ate my homework” and “Only one glass of wine with dinner, officer…” -more-

About the House: A Partial Upgrade for Reluctant Showers

By Matt Cantor
Friday September 29, 2006

This is one of those subjects that is both important and a real snoozer. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, stop now, rip this page out and take it to bed with you. Guaranteed snoring in 10 minutes or less. -more-

Garden Variety: A Transitional Season: Late September in the Garden

By Ron Sullivan
Friday September 29, 2006

This is a season that confounds naming, a season that also confounds immigrants, especially gardeners from eastern North America, who can be heard to complain, “There are no real seasons here.” Some of us figured out right quick that there are indeed seasons in coastal Northern California. After 33 years here I still haven’t come up with adequate names or even a satisfactory number for them, though. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday September 29, 2006

Do You Know Your Elderly Neighbors? -more-

Column: Fighting Aliens at Alta Bates

By Susan Parker
Tuesday September 26, 2006

Several years ago, my husband Ralph returned home from a stay in Oakland’s Kaiser hospital and insisted he’d been kidnapped by aliens. He e-mailed an acquaintance in Wisconsin and told her she was the only witness to his abduction. He asked her to write down everything she had seen for a lawsuit he planned to pursue. I called a Kaiser doctor to discuss Ralph’s mental state. -more-

Things with Feathers: Looking Back at Dinosaur Days

By Joe Eaton, Special to the Planet
Tuesday September 26, 2006

I’d like to be able to make some kind of Berkeley connection with the California Academy of Sciences’ new exhibit, “Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries.” But geology is against me. There was no there here during the dinosaur era: the coast of North America ended about where the Sierra Nevada is now. Westward, there were volcanic island arcs, ancient equivalents of Japan or the Philippines, then open ocean. -more-