Editorial: Whatever Became of the Commons?

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday July 17, 2007

"Public Commons for Everyone.” Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? The slogan, adopted by Mayor Bates for his re-run of the anti-panhandling ordinance which he’d supported once before, was probably coined by his house flack Cisco DeVries, formerly of San Francisco’s Staton & Hughes political public relations firm. It acquired Orwellian overtones when it became clear that the Bates ordinance’s real purpose was to keep unattractive persons away from the public commons, particularly from shopping districts. But the council approved it, in concept at least. -more-

Editorial: Does Anyone Know What’s Going On?

By Becky O’Malley
Friday July 13, 2007

President Bush increasingly inhabits a parallel universe. His Thursday press conference displayed a remarkable disconnect from the current thinking of most Americans and even of many elected officials in his own Republican party. Most Americans, from all parties, now understand that our main, our only, goal in Iraq is to get out, though there are still some differences of opinion as to the manner of our going. There has been approximately no progress toward the subsidiary goal of helping the indigenous Iraqis establish a civil society based on what in this country we call democratic values. Staying there longer won’t change much. It’s possible that immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces would exacerbate the factional war among Iraqis, but even that is not certain. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday July 17, 2007


Commentary: Mayor’s Proposed Public Comment Rules Violate Fair Play

By Dona Spring
Tuesday July 17, 2007

On Tuesday July 17, the City Council will take up the issue of how public comment at Council meetings is structured. We will be deciding who gets to address the Council and how long they will get to speak. -more-

Commentary: Berkeley Iceland: A Treasure that Should Not Be at Risk

By Gale Garcia
Tuesday July 17, 2007

I attended the hearings on the landmark designation for Iceland, our jewel in the heart of Berkeley. Those wishing to preserve Iceland spoke spiritedly on behalf of this well-loved asset—and they were brilliant. They paid tribute with eloquence and soul. -more-

Commentary: Thoughts on Berkeley Living

By George Oram
Tuesday July 17, 2007

One of my favorite songs from long ago begins “Why, oh why, oh why oh why did I ever leave Ohio?” -more-

Healthy Living: What Are We Eating and How Is Our Food Produced?

By Charlene M. Woodcock
Tuesday July 17, 2007

These essential questions are being raised more and more often, at least in California, and several local authors and filmmakers have addressed them recently in illuminating ways. -more-

‘Inquiring Mind’ Journal Throws 25th Anniversary Party

By Marty Schiffenbauer
Tuesday July 17, 2007

As the psychedelic ’60s morphed into the sour reality of the ’70s, many a dazed survivor was struck with the revelation that there was more to life than sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. For some, a search for enlightenment led to Buddhism, which had a particular appeal for Jewish hippie intellectual lefties—such as a fair percentage of my pals. Picking up on this trend, a local stand-up comic, Darryl Henriques, did a shtick where he inhabited the persona of the Swami from Miami, chief guru of the Bu-ish religion. -more-

Letters to the Editor

Friday July 13, 2007


Commentary: Smart Growth: Let’s Not Dumb it Down

By Rob Browning
Friday July 13, 2007

Those of us who advocate “smart growth”—siting new and denser housing near jobs, academic centers, services, etc., and on transit corridors—have a responsibility to help ensure that such developments are assets, not detriments, to their neighborhoods. -more-

Commentary: The Importance of Saving Iceland

By Wendy Schlesinger
Friday July 13, 2007

Anything that helps “Save Iceland” and specifically reopen it ASAP, including its landmarking, is on the mark and hopefully neither a day late nor a penny short. -more-

Commentary: Ode to Bus Rapid Transit

By Doug Buckwald
Friday July 13, 2007

It comes with a $400 million dollar bill -more-

Healthy Living: Happiness is a Choice

By Annie Kassof, Special to the Planet
Friday July 13, 2007

Some mornings my 18-year-old son tells me his dreams. “I dreamt I got some new multi-vitamins, and that I was locked up in a glass deli case,” he says matter-of-factly. He unscrews the cap from one of his orange prescription pill bottles while he talks. His eyes look guarded. He looks tired. -more-