Columnists

The Public Eye: Obama Wins First Debate

By Bob Burnett
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

The 2008 presidential election’s initial debate was one of the best contests in recent memory. There were no memorable bon mots or gaffes, and both candidates had convincing moments. Overall, Barack Obama had the stronger performance. -more-


Undercurrents: AC Transit Deteriorated While Public Turned Its Back

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:30:00 AM

Every once in a while, you happen on an experience that serves to put in perspective a complicated situation. I cover AC Transit from time to time as a journalist, but this one came to me as a bus rider. -more-


Wild Neighbors—Amphibian Survivors: The Chorus Frogs

By Joe Eaton
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

Contrary to popular belief, not all frogs go “ribbet.” Frogs make an amazing and appalling variety of noises. The eastern green frog sounds like someone smashing a banjo against the wall, hard: “Spunggg!” Some peep like baby chicks, trill like songbirds, bleat like sheep, grunt like pigs, skirl like bagpipes, moan like lost souls in torment. A mixed crowd of a dozen or so species, each carrying on in its own fashion, is an aurally stirring thing. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: N’Dji Jockin

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:40:00 AM

I was born and raised here in Berkeley and have a deep love and respect for its residents, traditions, and culture. We have some of the most forward-thinking, progressive-minded people and policies in the country if not the world. We support organic foods and bilingual education in our schools to enrich our children’s bodies and minds. We support rent control and workforce housing to maintain and enrich the diversity of our residents. We support alternative energy and fair trade coffee. We have one of the nation’s most generous sets of programs to serve the homeless. We should be proud of these lofty principles and ideals we uphold. We are continually on the cutting edge of progress, but somewhere along this journey we have veered off course. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: Terry Doran

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:40:00 AM

The diversity, culture and beautiful neighborhoods of Berkeley make this a special place to call home. It's the reason I came here to attend Cal in 1960 and, upon graduation, never left. I started a teaching job at Berkeley High School right out of college, My wife Lenore and I raised our children in the same house we live in today on Sacramento Street and we are fortunate to have three generations of Dorans still living in District 41. My granddaughter recently started kindergarten at Washington Elementary School and my grandson will follow next year. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: Asa Dodsworth

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:41:00 AM

Berkeley needs change. But only by listening to, and increasing the voice and role of our citizens and our neighborhoods can we make Berkeley better. I am committed to increasing the voices of our neighborhoods in the city’s decision-making process. Too many important decisions are being made by professional municipal employees, working hand-in-hand with developers, but without enough input from Berkeley’s taxpayers. Too many of the decisions that negatively affect our lives, our neighborhoods and our businesses are being decided by the ‘Last Man Standing’ at Berkeley’s notorious late-night city council sessions. No one should have to wait for five hours to address the city council, especially about substantial and often negative impacts to their neighborhoods. These problems need to be resolved long before they get to the council. We need to create clear policies that are responsive to the community’s needs and abilities. We need to stick to those policies and not encourage every developer to appeal every aberrant proposal to the city council—where those same developers inevitably get permission to ignore both the rules and the community. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: Jesse Arreguin

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:42:00 AM

For 16 years, Dona Spring provided visionary leadership for the residents of District 4 and the entire city. Dona was an incredibly courageous person who, despite many personal challenges, devoted her life to serving the community. She was also on the cutting edge of many issues and worked successfully to pass groundbreaking legislation that has made Berkeley a model for other communities. She was also a tireless advocate for numerous progressive causes and was never afraid to stand up for what was right, even when she was the only one doing it. She was also an effective representative, helping each constituent get their questions answered or their problems solved. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: L A Wood

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:42:00 AM

As voters, we are once again being inundated with campaign banners, catchy phrases and promises from every candidate. This is especially true in our District 4 election. At each endorsement forum, the candidates seem to repeat the same mantra about being the champion for our seniors, disabled and youth, insuring our district receives its fair share of city services and, of course, creating more affordable housing while revitalizing our downtown. Few would disagree with these goals. -more-


District 5 City Council Candidate Statement: Sophie Hahn

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:44:00 AM

I have a sense of urgency about important issues affecting District 5 and the City of Berkeley. I am running for City Council to bring a new level of energy and excellence to our government, to enhance community participation in civic affairs, and to ensure that our city develops in harmony with existing neighborhoods and values. -more-


District 5 City Council Candidate Statement: Laurie Capitelli

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:44:00 AM

Four years ago you elected me to bring common sense, business experience and a pragmatic progressive approach to the Berkeley City Council. I am running for re-election to continue serving District 5 and all of Berkeley as I have done for the last 30 years. My priorities are fiscal responsibility, constituent service, education, sustainability, the health of our retail districts and housing. One thousand words are not enough to relate all I’ve done in four years on the Council, but I can at least hit the highlights. -more-


District 6 City Council Candidate Statement: Susan Wengraf

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:45:00 AM

I have a long history of community involvement, public service, and accomplishment in Berkeley. I have served as the aide to Council member Betty Olds since 1992. I am also the senior member of the Planning Commission. I was the chair of the University Avenue Strategic Plan Sub-Committee, which made recommendations to the City Council on development standards on University Avenue. In addition, I also chaired the Density Bonus Sub-Committee, which examined the very complex rules governing development in California. I served on committees that evaluated the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance, and established a Blight Ordinance that helps neighborhoods deal with abandoned properties in the City of Berkeley. -more-


District 6 City Council Candidate Statement: Phoebe Anne Sorgen

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:46:00 AM

I am Phoebe Anne Sorgen, running for retiring Berkeley City Councilmember Betty Olds’ District 6 seat. My slogan is “Sorgen for Safety and Sustainability." My sunflower logo symbolizes my determination to shine light on government, and to increase solar power as well as other economically and environmentally sustainable innovations to make Berkeley a model for the nation and a delight for those who live here. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—Will the Real William Heywood Stand Up?

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM
Built in 1917, the Heywood Building at 2014 Shattuck Ave. included offices for its architect, James Plachek, and its owner, William H. Heywood.

Lumber magnate Zimri Brewer Heywood was found dead in his bed on July 31, 1879. He was 76 years old and had spent the last two years of his life in Berkeley, presumably at 709 Delaware St. He was buried at Lone Mountain Cemetery in San Francisco, and his death and burial were duly inscribed in the ledger of the Church of the Good Shepherd, of which he was a founding member. -more-


About the House: Knobs, Tubes and French Resistance

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

As the noted theologian Matthew Fox was heard to say, after a year-long, papally-ordered vow of silence, “Now, as I was saying…” -more-