Undercurrents: Despite Media’s Mob Mentality, Dellums Should Answer Questions

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

I’ll be damned if I can figure out why Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums doesn’t appear to like question-and-answer sessions with the media. He is usually the brightest guy in the room and almost always well-prepared, with a better command of the details and the implications of various policies and decisions than the people asking the questions. He’s a good listener—rarely misunderstanding the point of the question—and knows how to deflect away from uncomfortable places with humor, usually humor that is aimed at himself. More than once, I have seen the mayor charm what could have turned into a hostile crowd of citizens by standing and patiently answering questions, one by one. He does it regularly at citizen meetings, and he’s one of the best at the business that I’ve seen. He does it at press conferences as well, but it doesn’t seem to be something the mayor feels comfortable with. But at Tuesday afternoon’s press conference announcing Deborah Edgerly’s retirement, he ducked out of questions when he shouldn’t have, and when a couple of answered questions could have satisfied most of the reporters’ concerns. -more-

Public Eye: Obama’s Challenges

By Bob Burnett
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

Now that Barack Obama has finally secured the Democratic nomination for president, it’s time for a candid assessment of his chances. To defeat John McCain in November, Obama must respond to three challenges. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Celebrating the Natural World of Point Reyes

By Joe Eaton
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

Where do you start with the University of California? Decades of happy accommodation to the military-industrial complex (see Gray Brechin’s Imperial San Francisco.) Construction mania: geographer Richard Walker calls UC and Stanford the two worst developers in northern California. Torture apologists on the faculty. -more-

East Bay: Then and Now—Weltevreden Was Berkeley’s ‘Premier Residence’ 100 Years Ago

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM
Weltevreden, the Moody home at 1725 Le Roy Ave., was Berkeley’s most famous residence in the early 20th century.

When banker Volney Delos Moody (1829-1901) married the widowed schoolteacher Mary Robinson in the mid-1880s, he gave up the house of his first marriage and moved to 838 Alice Street in West Oakland. The neighborhood, now on the southern edge of Chinatown, was considerably tonier in those days. The Canoe Club had its boat house at the foot of Alice Street, and one of Moody’s neighbors was Solomon Lewis, owner of a famed Oakland jewelry store and reputedly San Francisco’s first hotelier, who resided at 854 Alice St. -more-

Open Homes In Focus: Two Arts & Crafts-style Homes Open This Weekend

By Steven Finacom
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM
The shingled 2512 Russell St. has chimney, window boxes, and casement windows on the street façade.

Two local houses, both currently for sale, provide an enticing glimpse into the Bay Area’s Arts and Crafts past. -more-

About the House: Good Neighbors Make Fences

By Matt Cantor
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

Having browsed the local flea market for years, I have consistently observed that many of the dealers-in-miscellanea seem resolutely unable to confine themselves to the stalls they have been issued. -more-