Green Neighbors: Tobacco on the Streets, With Diverse Digressions

By Ron Sullivan
Tuesday October 09, 2007

For a couple of decades at least, Joe and I have lurked around a few of the little stands of the weed Nicotiana glauca, tree tobacco, that are scattered along Del Puerto Canyon Road just east of I5. Short lurks are part of our usual spring day-trip itinerary along that route from Del Puerto Canyon to Mines Road because we might see Costa’s hummingbirds feeding on the tall shrubs’ tubular yellow flowers, and who knows what other hummers might show up while they’re migrating? -more-

Column: The Public Eye: A Good Meeting (in Another City)

By Zelda Bronstein
Friday October 05, 2007

On the evening of Sept. 19, I had a rare experience: I left a community meeting about a big new project feeling edified and even hopeful. Need I add that the event wasn’t run by the Berkeley Planning Department? Indeed, it wasn’t in Berkeley at all, but at the Albany Veterans Memorial Building. I was there because the project—the renovation and possible demolition and rebuilding of the Safeway at 1500 Solano—is a few blocks from my north Berkeley house. To judge from public comment, most of the hundred-plus people seated in the Memorial Building’s cavernous main hall were Albanians. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: Politics, Not Principle, Will Likely Dictate Fate of AB45

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday October 05, 2007

The battle over Assemblymember Sandré Swanson’s AB45 Oakland school local control bill has gone inside, behind the locked doors of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office in the state capitol building in Sacramento, where all pretense at open government ends, and a polite, uniformed California Highway Patrol officer always guards the hallway entrance, keeping the public away. -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Bennington Apartments Evoke 19th Century Euclid Ave.

By Daniella Thompson
Friday October 05, 2007

In June 1906, the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company released a three-minute film called “A Trip to Berkeley, Cal.” The short was filmed aboard a moving streetcar on the #4 line of the Oakland Traction Consolidated Company, a precursor of the Key Route System. The #4 line ran between downtown Oakland and the intersection of Euclid and Hilgard Avenues, four blocks north of the UC campus. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday October 05, 2007

Earthquake Tidbits -more-

About the House: Houses in Need of a Cold Compress

By Matt Cantor
Friday October 05, 2007

There’s a house in my neighborhood that’s back on the market again. You know the one. Been on and off the market for years and despite all reason, it’s listing for well over a million dollars. It has big problems: foundation, parking, odd use of space, geological issues and problematic drainage (let’s not even talk about the paint job), but there it is, asking more money than the last time and you know what? They’ll probably do all right. -more-