Column: The Public Eye: One, Two, Three, What Are We Voting For?

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday October 31, 2006

When we go to the polls on Nov. 7, many of us will be voting against George Bush and a subservient Republican Congress. The majority of the electorate is outraged by Bush’s war in Iraq and the failure of his Administration to protect America. In many parts of America voters will also be protesting specific Bush policies that have depressed local economies, raised gasoline prices, and degraded the environment. Indeed, Americans have ample reasons to vote against George Bush and the GOP. Yet, it’s always healthier to cast a positive vote: to be for something. So, what are we voting for? -more-

Column: Kiss My Mortgage Payments Good-Bye

By Susan Parker
Tuesday October 31, 2006

I went to the Wells Fargo branch closest to my home in order to close Ralph’s checking account. I could have emptied it by using his ATM card, but our mortgage is automatically withdrawn from this account on a monthly basis. I needed to officially close it and get the automatic payments stopped. -more-

Ghostly Tree of Many Names Feeds Us and the Trickster Alike

By Ron Sullivan, Special to the Planet
Tuesday October 31, 2006

One fair day in mid-October, near dusk, Joe and I were strolling the first mile of the Mitchell Canyon trail on the east side of Mount Diablo. The sun was low; the shadows, long; only the west-facing ridgetops were glowing in the red-gold sunset, and we’d just about decided to turn back, when Joe whispered: “Coyote!” -more-

Dispatches From The Edge: Hunting Hugo

By Conn Hallinan
Friday October 27, 2006

There are times when the tensions between Venezuela and the Bush Administration seem closer to commedia dell arte than politics: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez compares President George W. Bush to the devil, right down to the smell of sulfur; Homeland Security responds by strip searching Venezuela’s Foreign Minister at a New York airport; Venezuela seizes 176 pounds of frozen chicken on its way to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. -more-

Undercurrents: Questions Persist Over OUSD Downtown Properties Sale

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday October 27, 2006

Sometimes, in politics, you come to a point where it is not possible to provide definitive answers, only questions. We seem to have come to such a point in the proposed sale of the Oakland Unified School District downtown properties. The question is: Why is that proposed sale still on the table? -more-

East Bay Then and Now: East Bay Buildings Inspired by Precedent, Part II

By Daniella Thompson
Friday October 27, 2006

If you’re looking for architecture inspired by precedent, there’s no better place to look than the University of California campus. Nowhere else in town is so much architectural variety concentrated within such a confined area. And the precedents are apparent in all manner of buildings, from the most prominent to the humblest. -more-

About the House: Smoke Decectors Can Save Your Family and Neighbors

By Matt Cantor
Friday October 27, 2006

One of the toughest parts of my job has always been finding the justification to support large expenditures on my client’s part. While it may be fun to spend someone else’s money, you won’t make much of a reputation telling everyone that they need a new foundation. You have to parse the good-enough from the doesn’t-cut-it and that’s often disconcerting (for me and for my client). -more-

Garden Variety: Waste Not, Fret Not: Even Composting Wrong Works

By Ron Sullivan
Friday October 27, 2006

The older and bumblinger I get—and believe me, I’m starting from an advanced baseline of bumblitude—the more I appreciate how forgiving a process gardening is. Composting is one of the more forgiving parts of it, and cheapest. It can stink if you do it wrong—but, if you do it wrong, it generally still works. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday October 27, 2006

How’s Your Earthquake Knowledge? (Part 3) -more-