Undercurrents: Then and Now: Chron Columnist’s Take On More Police for Oakland

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday November 02, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, the Metropolitan Greater Oakland (MGO) Democratic Club held a journalists’ forum on the first 200 days of the administration of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums. -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Maybeck’s Boke House: Made by One Crusader for Another

By Daniella Thompson
Friday November 02, 2007

On November 14, 1901 an item in the Berkeley Daily Gazette informed: -more-

Garden Variety: Take a Nursery Jaunt Up Tomales Bay

By Ron Sullivan
Friday November 02, 2007

Mostly Natives is a classic, and worth a jaunt on a nice day. If you’re the sort of traveler who appreciates dramatic and various weather shows, that would include the average rainy spell; the rolling curtains and airborne leviathans of fog and cloud that unroll across the Richmond—San Rafael Bridge and lie in the folds of Marin County, alternately dazzling and shrouding you on the road are one of our particular local pleasures. -more-

About the House: A Few Things I Was Wrong About

By Matt Cantor
Friday November 02, 2007

This is for my wife. Actually, it’s for wives and girlfriends everywhere. Here it is. I was wrong. Wait, I’ll say it again. I was wrong. How are you feeling? Giddy? Lightheaded? Well, don’t lose control. It’s one of these construction things. Not anything important like bedspreads, hair-do’s or Angelina’s latest fling. -more-

Column: The Public Eye: Breaking the Public Trust (Three Cheers for Dona Spring)

By Zelda Bronstein
Tuesday October 30, 2007

It was after 11 p.m. last Tuesday, and the council chamber was nearly empty, when Dave Blake stepped up to the lectern and used his two minutes of public comment to warn the council that its secretive ways were undermining Berkeley’s ability to generate revenue at the ballot box. Describing himself “as a citizen who’s been involved in raising money for the city”—Blake has campaigned for measures to fund the city’s library, parks and warm water pool—the former Zoning Adjustments Board member obliquely referred to the failure of the four city tax measures in November 2004: “A lot of people think that the reason we’re no longer successful in passing items in this city,” he said, “is that we’re not generating the feeling of trust between the council and the people in the city … I don’t think we’re going to be passing any two-thirds measures in the near future, unless we start to be open and clear about big decisions like this one.” -more-

Column: The Public Eye: Depressed America

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday October 30, 2007

These are hard times in America. There’s broad agreement our nation has lost its way and the U.S. is no longer “the shining light on the hill.” We don’t trust our leaders or believe national politicians care about the common good. Americans are uncertain and depressed. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Birds in Berkeley: The Owls in the Oak

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday October 30, 2007

Eighty-one years ago Joseph Grinnell, director of UC’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, sat in his corner office at the edge of Faculty Glade watching a crew of arborists at work on a venerable coast live oak. Or, as he put it in his essay “Tree Surgery and the Birds,” “ ‘tree surgeons’ … under directions of a ‘landscape architect.’ ” His contempt is evident. Over the years, Grinnell had observed 46 species of birds in that oak. And he noted the removal of bits of the tree that had attracted particular species of birds: the decaying stub where the downy woodpecker drummed, the white-breasted nuthatch’s favorite foraging ground, the flycatcher’s perch. -more-