The Byrne Report: Looking into Blum’s Connections to UC Construction

By Peter Byrne
Friday March 09, 2007

I have reported elsewhere on the history of U. S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s 2001-2005 conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum’s former stake in two war contractors, URS and Perini corporations. Unfortunately, the senator is not the only one in her family with an ethics problem. In March 2002, Gov. Gray Davis appointed Blum to a 12-year term as a regent of the University of California. For the next three years, both URS and Perini benefited from construction contracts awarded by the regents. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: Some Thoughts on Race Now That Black History Month is Over

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

Interesting, isn’t it, how much of the country continues to react to the complications surrounding the issue of race like the little boy who finds himself amazed, after multiple trips to the zoo, that the zebra continue to have stripes. The zebras have always had stripes, since they have been zebras, and the stripes have been there on the zebras each of the times the boy comes to visit. But each time, upon viewing the phenomenon, the little boy’s mouth drops in amazement, his eyes open wide, and he stands on tiptoe and leans over the railing to get a better look at this wonderful curiousity which has never been pointed out to him before, except for all of the many other times it was pointed out in the visits prior to this. -more-

Just What Is a Bungalow?

By Jane Powell
Friday March 09, 2007

It really annoys me when I see a real estate listing with a picture of a bungalow which announces something like “fabulous Victorian”—you would think there are enough bungalows around here that agents would get a clue, but apparently not. So herewith I shall answer the question “What is a Bungalow?” -more-

‘So How’s the Market?’

By Arlene Baxter
Friday March 09, 2007

Lately I have been known to make outbursts over my Sunday morning cup of tea. It’s usually because I’m reading an article in a local paper purporting to give an update of our real estate market. Some of the articles come from wire services and describe a totally irrelevant national picture. Other times the article is describing the “local market,” but what they’re really discussing is the entire East Bay, from Hayward through Hercules. -more-

About the House: On the Matter of Open Floor Plans and Remodels

By Matt Cantor
Friday March 09, 2007

Okay Matt, I have been thinking about this for a while. There is a design feature I’ve noticed while looking at open houses these past years. -more-

Connecting with Nature at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum

By Marta Yamamoto, Special to the Planet
Friday March 09, 2007

Are you ready to make personal contact with your wild neighbors? Ready to go eye-to-eye with the swiveling head of a great horned owl, outstare a magnificent Bald Eagle, chuckle at an opossum burrowed head-deep into a cereal box, count the leaves being pulled out of a Trader Joe’s Indian Fare carton by a California ground squirrel? -more-

Column: The Public Eye: Ten Maxims for a Liberal Foreign Policy

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday March 06, 2007

The catastrophic occupation of Iraq is evidence of far more than the incompetence of the Bush administration; it is proof that the conservative worldview is fatally flawed. As the forty-third presidency staggers to an ignominious finale, liberals must prepare not only to govern America, but also to proclaim a new vision. Liberal foreign policy should be based upon 10 elemental concepts: -more-

Column: Wired for Life

By Susan Parker
Tuesday March 06, 2007

At a dinner party last week I announced to everyone at the table that I needed a job. Soon. Very soon. My guests nodded in approval. They had professional careers. A few were mothers who worked part-time. One was a doctor, another a nurse. At the table were several writers, a scientist, and a union member. I was the oldest person in the room, and the most minimally employed. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Coots, Hawks and Gulls: A Day in the Food Chain

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday March 06, 2007

I’ve been birding in California long enough that new species are hard to come by. Every couple of years, something exotic may blow in from Siberia, but I’ve met just about all the natives and regular visitors. There are still surprises, though. Familiar birds—birds you think you know reasonably well—keep doing unexpected things. -more-