Columnists

The Public Eye: Hillary Hits a Homer

By Bob Burnett
Wednesday August 27, 2008 - 11:51:00 AM

Tuesday - As she took center stage at the Denver Democratic convention, there was a huge amount of pressure on Hillary Clinton. She followed not only the keynote address of former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, but also the unexpectedly dynamic oration of Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. And many Dems felt Senator Clinton's presentation would determine whether or not Democrats united behind presidential nominee Barack Obama. Clinton proved equal to the task, responding with the best speech of her career. -more-


Dispatches From The Edge: Georgia On the Mind

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:18:00 AM

One of the major causes of the recent war in Georgia has nothing to do with the historic tensions that make the Caucasus such a flashpoint between east and west. Certainly the long-standing ethnic enmity between Ossetians and Georgians played a role, as did the almost visceral dislike between Moscow and Tbilisi. But the origins of the short, brutal war go back six years to a June afternoon at West Point. -more-


The Public Eye: McCain's Surge, Obama's Challenge

By Bob Burnett
Friday August 22, 2008 - 11:44:00 AM

Over the last six weeks, John McCain's campaign has gotten its act together. The latest Pew Research Poll indicates the 2008 presidential contest has tightened and Barack Obama's lead is now within the statistical margin of error. -more-


The Public Eye: The Return of Joementum

By Bob Burnett
Monday August 25, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

As Democrats trooped into Denver, they breathed a collective sigh of relief. After a roller-coaster week, the collective wisdom was that Barack Obama's campaign had gotten back on track. And that the selection of Delaware Senator Joe Biden had greatly strengthened the ticket. -more-


The Public Eye: Who is Barack Obama?

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday August 26, 2008 - 10:36:00 AM

Monday: Much of the opening night of the Denver Democratic convention was devoted to a reintroduction of Barack Obama. If you’re a loyal Dem or one of the millions who’ve read his autobiography, Dreams From My Father, you probably don’t need to be told who he is and what he stands for. But there are still a substantial number of Americans who don’t know the Illinois Senator; who are worried about him because they’ve heard he’s a Muslim or wonder what they have in common with a brown-skinned intellectual from Hawaii. This night was for them. -more-


Undercurrents: Public Safety Requires Dellums to Return to Original Plan

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:19:00 AM

If the administration of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums feels that its public safety accomplishments are not being fully appreciated by the public, or that it is being drawn into a silly, meaningless, back-and-forth media dialogue over crime and violence that does nothing to either calm the public’s concerns about the issue or advance the public understanding or lead us to a solution, the Dellums administration has only itself to blame. This is a self-inflicted wound. -more-


The Public Eye: Framing the Election

By Bob Burnett
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:09:00 AM

Three months before the 2008 presidential election, we know the parameters of the contest. McCain’s fear campaign will be relentlessly negative. Both sides will spend obscene amounts of money. Roughly half the states will be in play. And, the frames will be simple: age, continuity and scope of vision. -more-


About the House: A Very Rude Survey of Local Hardware Resources

By Matt Cantor
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:30:00 AM

When I graduated from Cal in 1981, I was summarily struck jobless by the haughty world of architecture and forced to seek refuge among the squalid functionaries of the city who toil by day repairing toilets and caulking leaky siding. These weary souls took me in as one of their own and showed me their simple ways. I learned how to reuse a paper face mask, how to stuff fix-all into the holes left by old deadbolts and the lost art of screw extraction. Fingers smeared with paint and grime, these ascetics showed me the arcane ways of the handyman, still mysterious to all but the indoctrinated. Some are now gone, like the lurid and brilliant Martin Metal and others remain who shall, for reasons of liability, remain shielded by circumspection. -more-


East Bay:Then and Now — Berkeley Square: From Transport Hub to Urban Core

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:28:00 AM
Berkeley Square, anchored by House of Harris, in the 1940s.

Between Center Street and University Avenue, Shattuck Avenue forks into two branches, enclosing an island intersected by Addison Street. The rectangular northern portion of this island is called Shattuck Square; the wedge-shaped southern portion is known as Berkeley Square. -more-