The Public Eye: Obama’s Oil Opportunity

By Bob Burnett
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

It’s the price of oil, stupid! The most recent Gallup Poll shows three issues dominating the 2008 presidential election: “energy, including gas prices,” “the economy,” and “the situation in Iraq.” Oil connects these concerns and also the prospect of global climate change. To win in November, Barack Obama has to focus on America’s oil problem. -more-

Undercurrents: With Edgerly Gone, Are There More Witches Left to Be Hunted?

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

No one should waste sympathy on Ms. Edgerly for her abrupt firing from her job as Oakland city administrator by Mayor Ron Dellums. City administrators serve on an “at will” basis, meaning that they can be removed at any time by the mayor without cause. That’s the nature of the position, and anyone taking the job knows the risks. Also, if you can believe the local media accounts of Ms. Edgerly’s severance package—and if you’re a regular reader of this column, you know that I faithfully believe local media accounts of Oakland government—then the ousted city administrator has made for herself a soft place to land after being thrown out of her office. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Three Beers for The Olive-Sided Flycatcher

By Joe Eaton
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

Birding by ear is not one of my strengths. Every spring I have to learn to distinguish the songs of the American robin, black-headed grosbeak, and western tanager all over again. I have always envied people who can hear one hear one passing chirp and announce, confidently: “Pine grosbeak!” -more-

East Bay: Then and Now—The Shrinking Legacy of Volney D. Moody and His Heirs

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM
George E. Stone’s pioneering film laboratory was converted into a charming residence in 1926.

When pioneer banker Volney D. Moody died in March 1901, he left an estate worth over $600,000—the equivalent of many millions today. Moody’s will earmarked two-fifths of the estate to his second wife, Mary Moody, with the remaining three-fifths going to a son and two daughters from his first marriage. Displeased with their share, the three offspring contested the will. Some of the objections they cited were the unusually large portion left to the widow, the preponderance of choice properties she received, leaving them the dregs, and her two daughters being made beneficiaries of her share. -more-

Abou the House: Some Thoughts on Learning How to Surf

By Matt Cantor
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

In many ways my job is quite a joy. I get paid to do what many do on a free Sunday as their idea of fun. Looking at houses is both complex and deeply satisfying. Houses, especially those built in the early part of the 20th century (if not earlier) have so many pleasing features that it often feels more like art appreciation during my work day than data gathering. Then there’s the complex part. -more-