Molly Ivins Tribute: Of Swimming Pools and Levees

By Eleanor S. Hudson
Tuesday February 13, 2007

Molly Ivins would just love this story: her fellow Texan and journalist, PBS’ Jim Lehrer, reported on the NewsHour that billions are missing in funds allocated for Iraq reconstruction. According to inspector general Stuart Bowen, one item among the rabbit holes this money fell into was one leading straight to—get this—an Olympic-sized swimming pool in Baghdad. I can’t figure out if Baghdad is the Emerald City, Wonderland, or a WETA creation. -more-

Column: Finding Yourself at 55

By Susan Parker
Tuesday February 13, 2007

After Ralph died, I went to Scottsdale, Manhattan, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas (twice). I painted walls and furniture in my house, cleaned closets, and returned the downstairs furniture upstairs and the upstairs furniture to its rightful place downstairs. I perused farmers markets and street fairs, attended readings and spoken-word events. I took my niece and nephew to parks, museums, and Berkeley’s Iceland. I watched them perform wobbly somersaults at Head Over Heels and throw themselves, joyfully, into the plastic ball pit at the Emeryville Public Market. -more-

Towhee Duets: The Private Life of a Plain Brown Bird

By Joe Eaton, Special to the Planet
Tuesday February 13, 2007

Talk about your misperceptions: for years, I thought the California towhees in my yard were having boundary issues. Two towhees would fly toward each other, one or both uttering a loud squealing call that was nothing like their normal “chip” or “tsip.” It sure sounded like fighting words. The towhees would appear to confront each other with fluffed-out feathers. Then they’d break off and go back to scuffling through the leaf litter for bugs. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: Election Debate a Typical Multi-Cultural Oakland Mix

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday February 09, 2007

Let us begin this week’s discussion with the question where we ended a previous column: “So what actually happened at the Paramount, and how did the allegations of anti-Latino racism get blown up by some into the defining moment of that event?” -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Builder-Artist A. H. Broad Left His Mark on Berkeley

By Daniella Thompson
Monday July 07, 2008 - 10:51:00 AM

If you’ve ever dined in the rear portion of the Great China restaurant on Kittredge Street, you might have noticed that this space is markedly different from the front part. Redwood board-and-batten wainscots; redwood doors and window trim; a beamed tongue-and-groove ceiling with elegantly carved brackets; and a doorway incorporating a fan of Victorian spindlework all suggest that these rooms were part of a former home. -more-

Garden Variety: Another indoor garden shop — Are we ready for spaceflight yet?

By Ron Sullivan
Friday February 09, 2007

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Berkeley Indoor Gardens, an indoor gardening (surprise!) store down at the tidal end of University Avenue. I got to feeling bad because I hadn’t written about the other indoor gardening store across the street. This one even advertises on KPIG, my favorite radio station. (So does Memphis Minnie’s, home of the best Sunday brunch in San Francisco. Don’t take my word for it—go eat!) -more-

About the House: An Introduction to the AFCI Circuit Breakers

By Matt Cantor
Friday February 09, 2007

Breakers of the space-age: In 2003 there were over 73,000 electrical fires and nearly 600 resulting deaths, not to mention about a billion dollars in property loss. Most of these fires were caused by electrical “arcing.” -more-