Column: The Public Eye: Alameda Holds Open House at Alameda Point

By David Howard
Friday January 26, 2007

On Tuesday night, Jan. 23, the City of Alameda held an open house for citizens to meet the developers vying for status with the city as official “replacement master developer” for Alameda Point, the former naval air station. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: Tracing Allegations of Racism at Dellums’ Inaugural

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday January 26, 2007

It is not at all unusual for newspapers, television and radio news outlets, and the various journalists who work for them to come away with a different story on the same event. Put five people in a room to witness the same event and, almost invariably, they will write five separate accounts of what happened—most often not because they are lying or because they are trying to cover something up, but because of differences in what they think is important, what they actually saw or heard, and what type of background they brought to the event that enhanced—or colored—their interpretation. Add to that the built-in biases of every news organization—what audiences they are aiming for and what areas of concern they are promoting—and you can easily see why a variety of news sources is necessary for an informed citizenry and a healthy democracy. If your news is coming from only one source, you will be almost as misinformed as if you got no news at all. It is only through sifting through several information outlets—looking at issues and events from several accounts and angles—that we can begin to discover what is fact, and what is truth. -more-

First Person: The Grandmothers Go To Washington

By Joan Levinson
Friday January 26, 2007

A lobbying group of 100 grandmothers from 20 states descended on Washington D.C. on Jan. 18, visiting all 100 senators and some representatives to protest the war in Iraq and to demand that American troops come home quickly. Four Berkeley/Oakland grandmothers were part of the contingent—Helen Isaacson, Marge Lasky, Renate Sadrozinski and myself. -more-

First Person: Amazon Customer Petition Wins Fairer Treatment for Carter Book

By Henry Norr
Friday January 26, 2007

Ten days after I began a campaign to protest Amazon’s hostile presentation of former President Jimmy Carter’s book on Palestine, and a day after the petition with more than 16,000 signatures was delivered to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the company responded by revamping the page in a way that puts the book in a completely different light. -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Sierra Club Pioneers Lived Near Pre-Stadium Strawberry Canyon

By Daniella Thompson
Friday January 26, 2007

The Save the Memorial Oak Grove tree sit-in is about to complete its second month. Among the campaign’s environmental supporters, which include the Native Plant Society and the Oak Foundation, the Sierra Club is the most powerful if not the most active. -more-

About the House: Singing the Praises of Linoleum

By Matt Cantor
Friday January 26, 2007

I am in love with old houses. When I get a chance to spend a few hours or a day in an older home that has been left unchanged over the decades, I’m really in something of a trance much of the time. -more-

Garden Variety: An Ecological Calamity Below Albany Hill

By Ron Sullivan
Friday January 26, 2007

We gardeners learn (or try to) that our work is worth doing despite disheartening setbacks. It’s the sort of nasty life lesson that somehow doesn’t stop hurting just as badly the tenth or hundredth time as it did the first. Still, we go on. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday January 26, 2007

It Won’t Be So Bad -more-

Column: The Public Eye: The Politics of Sacrifice

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday January 23, 2007

On Jan. 16, PBS News Hour host Jim Lehrer interviewed President Bush. This encounter told us a lot about Bush’s brand of conservatism, in particular, his feelings about sacrifice. -more-

Column: A Toast to Uncle Jack And the Dreamgirls

By Susan Parker
Tuesday January 23, 2007

My mother and I went to see Dreamgirls on Dec. 25, the day it opened in theaters across the country. It was the first time Mom had gone to a movie on Christmas day, the first time she’d experienced a sold-out theater and had to wait two hours for the next showing, and the first time she’d thought about The Supremes since spring, 1968. -more-

Green Neighbors: The Geographic History of the Bunya-Bunya Tree

By Ron Sullivan
Tuesday January 23, 2007

If Chez Panisse were to serve up a menu to match its guardian bunya-bunya, it would include roast haunch of free-range sauropod and a salad of braised organic tree ferns. Maybe some wood-roasted hearts of sago palm and a gingko fruit crème brulee for dessert. If it ever gets around to producing its infamously huge cones—I’ve never seen the big ones here—the bunya-bunya’s seeds are edible, too. How about it, Alice? -more-