Column: The Public Eye: More Pay for City Staff: Can the City Afford It?

By Zelda Bronstein
Friday October 19, 2007

Berkeley is in a fiscal crisis. The current budget was balanced only after the council made deep cuts in staff and services. The city has $160 million of unfunded liabilities. Meanwhile, our roads, sewers and drainage system (where there is a drainage system) are in bad shape; it looks as if the coming winter is going to be a wet one—good for the snowpack, bad for deteriorating infrastructure. This past spring, the council nickel and dimed basic services for the homeless, cutting $23,000 out of the respected Quarter Meal program run by Berkeley’s Food and Housing Project—50 percent of the program’s modest budget. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: Those Who Get Caught in the Back Wash of Past Discrimination

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday October 19, 2007

As the nation slowly—in some cases, very slowly, and almost always too slowly—does away with various practices of bias and discrimination in American life, we have begun to develop the phenomenon where members of a group which historically discriminated get extra props for ceasing the doing of something that never should have been done in the first place, while members of the group historically discriminated against get criticism no matter which way they turn. Call it a new twist on the old double standard. -more-

East Bay: Then and Now: The Shattuck Hotel: Berkeley’s Once and Future Jewel?

By Daniella Thompson
Friday October 19, 2007

If Berkeley has a heart, it must be located on the 2200 block of Shattuck Avenue between Kittredge St. and Allston Way. This is the site that Berkeley’s founder, Francis Kittredge Shattuck, chose as his homestead. -more-

The Dilemma of a Pink Bathroom

By Jane Powell
Friday October 19, 2007

By Jane Powell -more-

Garden Variety: A Cultural Oasis in Southwest Berkeley

By Ron Sullivan
Friday October 19, 2007

I took it as a Sign when the postcard came to the surface last week as I was attempting to get the paper stack on the office floor into order: a postcard appeared on the surface. I’d probably picked it up at the big fat garden show in the Cow Palace last month. “Gardensia: Archipelago Designs” with a southwest Berkeley address. -more-

Quake Tip of the Week: A Big Quake and Your Phone

By Larry Guillot
Friday October 19, 2007

After the next big quake, if your phones work, use the phone and not your car! A few tips: -more-

About the House: The Integral Urban House Book

By Matt Cantor
Friday October 19, 2007

Well, it’s happened! I’ve started a garden. Put up those slam-dancing shoes, shelved all the accouterments of an angry youth; frayed journal full of bad poetry (so bad), conga drums and King Crimson albums (in vinyl, yet!). I’m growing lettuce! -more-

Column: The Public Eye: Exploring the Politics of Trust

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday October 16, 2007

Most Americans don’t trust their government. A recent Gallup poll found “Americans generally express less trust in the federal government than at any point in the past decade, and trust in many federal government institutions is now lower than it was during the Watergate era.” Only 43 percent of poll respondents trust President Bush and 50 percent do not trust Congress. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Birds in Winter: Charles Keeler and the Summer Warbler

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday October 16, 2007

If you want to look back at changes in Berkeley’s bird life over the last century, the work of Charles Augustus Keeler provides a convenient benchmark. I have a battered library-discard copy of his Bird Notes Afield, the second edition, published in 1907. Keeler notes in a preface that the bird collection of the California Academy of Sciences, where he did his research, had been a casualty of the San Francisco quake and fire the year before. -more-