No Hiatus from the Hospital

By Susan Parker
Tuesday February 12, 2008

After Alameda County voters resoundingly rejected Measures A and B—the $300 million parcel tax to fund Children’s Hospital Oakland’s (CHO) dream tower—my neighbors and I figured we’d have some time to relax. Or at the very least catch up on the Hillary-Obama race. -more-

The Theater of Gentrification

By Zelda Bronstein
Tuesday February 12, 2008

Danny Hoch’s new solo, Taking Over, is having its world premiere at the Berkeley Rep. I saw the show in January, my interest piqued by the rave review in the Chronicle. But what got me to buy a $49 ticket was curiosity about the play’s treatment of gentrification. I knew that Hoch’s latest piece dramatized the recent, wrenching transformation of his Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg. -more-

Hummingbird Mysteries: How They Make That Dive Noise

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday February 12, 2008

It may be cold outside, but it’s already spring to the Anna’s hummingbird, and courtship and nesting are well under way. -more-

Progressives Face an Embarrassment of Riches

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday February 08, 2008

I ran into a good friend of mine on Shattuck Avenue on election day, a longtime Berkeley progressive, hurrying to buy some Chinese food so he could get back home and watch the returns on television. He said that John Edwards had been his first choice, but after Edwards dropped out, he had agonized over who to vote for. He liked Barack Obama’s energy and promise of change, he said, but said that Hillary Clinton is closest to his positions on the two issues he cared for the most, nuclear power and universal health care. He said that even on his way to the polls, he was still agonizing over who to choose. -more-

The Rise and Fall of a West Coast Knitting Pioneer

By Daniella Thompson
Friday February 08, 2008

For seven decades spanning the period from the 1880s to the 1950s, San Francisco was an important hub in the American knitting industry. It became so thanks to one Swiss immigrant: John Jacob Pfister (1844–1921). -more-

Music to Your Ears

By Ron Sullivan
Friday February 08, 2008

I’m listening to the mow-n-blow couple working their way through the neighborhood. I’m about bored with things that roar and go bang, especially in the garden, especially at midday because, surprise, I work right here at home. To judge by the time they’ve spent on the token lawn in front of the apartment next door, the various gas-powered gadgets don’t save much time and they must make the work as hard with their weight as the average push mower, weed whip/scythe, or rake would with just repetitive motion. Don’t get me started on what errant weedwhackers do to tree trunks; I ranted sufficiently last week to keep my diastole high. -more-

The Care and Feeding of Floor Furnaces

By Matt Cantor
Friday February 08, 2008

One of the most common features in our early 20th century housing stock is that imperishable ruffian of the heating world, the floor furnace. -more-