Green Neighbors: How Are Things in Guacamole?

By Ron Sullivan
Tuesday September 25, 2007

You old hippies, you probably remember sticking an avocado pit on some arrangement of toothpicks over a jar of water to make it sprout. The tree, if it survived to that stage, made a decent houseplant when it wasn’t turning sickly yellow and dropping leaves and getting all etiolated like a wispy fishing rod because it was stuck in a dark corner and watered too seldom and/or too often by turns and potted in a bucket of backyard clay in the first place and the only fertilizer it ever got was when the cat peed in the pot. -more-

Undercurrents: Director of Public Safety Should Seek Cause of Violence

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday September 21, 2007

One of the things I like least about our New Age Of Information Overload is that it seems to have birthed a sort of mix and mismatch trend in journalism in which a reporter—or columnist—does an online Google search of a subject of which they appear to know little, comes across two disparate bits of information that have some tenuous connection, slaps them together, and thereafter loudly announces that they have uncovered a “trend.” As a six-degrees-of-separation parlor game, this can function as an amusing distraction. As a way to conduct our community dialogue on social issues, it can be damaging, leading us into the realm of silliness, when it is seriousness that is called for. -more-

East Bay: Then and Now – Orchids and Industry Thrived Side-by-Side in Berkeley

By Daniella Thompson
Friday September 21, 2007

At the turn of the last century, wharves, lumber mills, farms, breweries, tanneries, and Victorian residences dotted West Berkeley. The largest employer south of University Avenue was the Standard Soap Company, which had occupied half a block between the bay shore and Third Street north of Allston Way since 1876. -more-

Garden Variety: The Orchid, the Legend, The Avowed Homosapiens

By Ron Sullivan
Friday September 21, 2007

This past Sunday I got a bargain, a cymbidium orchid in a gallon pot for five dollars. Nice healthy-looking thing, too. If I’d been willing to stagger around the crowded Sycamore Congregational Church bazaar conking innocent children on the head with a bigger pot, I could’ve had even more bargains. -more-

About the House: The Fight Between Old Houses and New Houses

By Matt Cantor
Friday September 21, 2007

If you stop and think about it, the notion that old houses are better is just as silly as the notion that new houses are better. The truth is that both things are true. Older houses are better in some way and newer houses are better in others. Construction is fraught with misconceptions. Another one is that the framing or “bones” of old houses is better than that of newer ones. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week

Friday September 21, 2007

Is Your Child’s School Prepared? -more-

Bungalow Details Revealed

By Steven Finacom, Special to the Planet
Friday September 21, 2007

Jane Powell is a bungalow and old house zealot. Every community should be lucky to have even one person like her. -more-