Thanks for Everything, and Why

By Becky O’Malley
Tuesday November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving to all and sundry. It’s the custom of the place to gather together family and friends and enjoy a lavish meal, to celebrate—well, to celebrate having family and friends and lavish meals. My Puritan ancestors in New England usually get the credit for popularizing the custom, with occasional nods to the generosity of their Native American neighbors, though Virginians and even Canadians also had Thanksgiving events early on. When you think about it, it’s a Puritan kind of thing at its theological heart, a tribute to how nice it is to be among the Elect, to be one of those lucky souls predestined for salvation, as per the beliefs of the first settlers who landed on Plymouth’s rocky shores. Due credit is given to the creator for choosing the right folks to save, of course. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Friday November 23, 2007


Building on Sand and Goo Again, 100 Years Later

By Gray Brechin
Friday November 23, 2007

On Sept. 11, the Chronicle’s urban design writer, John King, an-nounced on the front page that an architectural jury had predictably chosen for the Transbay terminal site a 1,200-foot tower most resembling a titanic penis. A shaft the height of the Empire State Building thrusting out of the current plateau of glass and steel that now obscures the city’s hills would, correspondents to the paper opined, either wreck remaining views or assure San Francisco’s world-classiness. Can first-rate delis or Frank Gehry anythings be far behind for our retiring little city? -more-

Muddled Thinking About Evicting Kandy’s Kar Wash

By Jean Damu
Friday November 23, 2007

Does being pro-green mean being anti-black? -more-

A Free Speech Grizzly Sermon

By Michael Rossman
Friday November 23, 2007

This is a minimally edited transcript of a speech improvised on September 14, 2007, from the steps below the oak grove near Memorial Stadium, where a small group of protesters had been occupying the trees since last December. Several weeks earlier, the university had put a chain-link fence around the grove, ostensibly “to protect the protesters” from maddened football fans, but actually to further harass the protest, which it was also attacking in court. On this day, after I spoke, 40 members of a new student group supporting the protest—wearing blue-and-gold T-shirts proclaiming “Free Speech” and “Free Trees”—scaled the fence to bring supplies and moral support to the protesters. Twenty-one remained, choosing to be arrested. -more-

The State of Education

By Jonathan Stephens
Friday November 23, 2007

Did any of you have a chance to watch one or more of the countless You Tube segments about the failures of the American education system recently? If you haven't had the chance, I highly recommend that you view at least one lengthy segment as an act of good citizenship on your part. No greater social disease exists today than the demise of our public education system. As a nation we have not seen such a glaring detriment to the collective spiritual growth of our Republic since the days when Jim Crow ruled the social landscape of America. -more-

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday November 20, 2007

veterans day -more-

The Real Truth About Oregon’s BRT System

By Doug Buckwald
Tuesday November 20, 2007

Oregon has a Bus Rapid Transit system called the “Emerald Express” operating on a five-mile route between Springfield and Eugene. This bus system is generally regarded as a successful transit project, and transportation planners in Alameda County should pay careful attention to several important factors that have contributed to its success. Steve Geller mentioned some of these factors in his commentary “Bus Rapid Transit Success in Oregon” (November 2), but downplayed or neglected others. I think it is important to have a more complete picture. -more-

KPFA Dialogue Must Be Honest

By Henry Norr
Tuesday November 20, 2007

Sasha Lilley is right that KPFA needs dialogue, not demonization (Commen-tary, Nov. 13). But dialogue can be effective only if it’s honest; if not, demonization is sure to prevail. Unfortunately, parts of her commentary are anything but honest. -more-

Let’s Talk Turkey

By Suzan Bateson
Tuesday November 20, 2007

Have you ever debated which was more essential to your Thanksgiving table—the mashed potatoes or the stuffing? Have you gone without turkey dinner all together? This is the reality facing numerous families in our community. Thanksgiving brings families together to celebrate a bounty of food. For many low-income families, Thanksgiving brings lean fixings as they struggle with the high cost of living in the Bay Area. A recent report released by the California Budget Project stated that in order to meet basic needs including health care, a family of four needs to earn more than $77,000 annually. Most Food Bank recipients live on a fraction of that and are continually faced with harsh choices—food or gas? Food or rent? -more-

Dinner for 1,000 on Thanksgiving

By Colleen Miller
Tuesday November 20, 2007

In its normal holiday tradition, St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County has begun preparation of its annual Thanks-giving Day holiday meal. The SVdP’s Free Dining Room, located on 23rd Street in Oakland, is the oldest and only facility in Alameda County to provide hot meals to homeless and low-income adults and children seven days per week. During Thanksgiving, the SVdP of Alameda County prepares a holiday meal consisting of turkey with all the trimmings to provide a seasonal meal for those in need. Approximately 1,000 meals will be served with almost as many adults and children in attendance to partake of those meals. -more-