Columnists

Economic Outlook: The Depression in the Rearview Mirror

By Richard Hylton
Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

Every day now a new blow seems to send the world’s financial system staggering as it desperately seeks a chance to right itself. Congress passed the $700 billion bailout and things have gotten worse, not better. Now several states, notably California, can’t even raise the money they need to meet payroll because the bond markets are nearly shut down. -more-


News Analysis: Who Manages the Economy Better—Republicans or Democrats?

By Arthur I. Blaustein
Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:31:00 AM

Most Americans have one eye on the nation’s financial crises and the other on the presidential election. And they are asking themselves, “Is McCain or Obama, the Democrats or the Republicans, better for the economic health of the country as well as for my own financial well-being?” That is the defining question of this election. -more-


Dispatches From The Edge: Playing Chess in the Caucasus

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

The tale of what the Bush administration is up to in the Caucasus is slowly filtering out, although the U.S. media has largely deep-sixed the story. The recent Georgia-Russia war was just one move in a complex chess game aimed at cornering the energy reserves of Central Asia, extending the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to Moscow’s vulnerable southern border, and ending Russia’s control of the Black Sea. Georgia was just a pawn-an expendable one at that—in a high stakes game. -more-


Undercurrents: Criticisms of Dellums Lack a Certain Measure of Consistency

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

An African-American politician once told me that when he was newly elected to the South Carolina State Legislature in the early 1970s—making him somewhat of an oddity in a statehouse that spawned John C. Calhoun and Pitchfork Ben Tillman—a group of moderate white legislators offered to show him around the state capitol, and even to help him pick up a girlfriend. He declined the help with the girlfriend, saying he’d been doing that pretty well on his own since he’d been a sophomore in high school. -more-


District 2 City Council Candidate Statement: Darryl Moore

Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Southwest Berkeley community for the last four years on the Berkeley City Council. I have been accessible and active in District 2, working to improve residents’ quality of life. -more-


District 2 City Council Candidate Statement: Jon Crowder

Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

My great love for politics, which is based in love, has more to do with being in touch with people. Rather than go on and on here (I will see you as I make my rounds), I have instead taken this opportunity to present to you some information about myself. -more-


Mayoral Candidate Statement: Tom Bates

Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

It was almost six years ago that we embarked on a journey to set aside the old political divisions and work together to take on the tough challenges that face Berkeley in the 21st century. -more-


Mayoral Candidate Statement: Shirley Dean

Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

The first question that people usually ask me is after being Mayor (1994-2002) why would you want to do that again? Since leaving the Mayor’s Office I have talked with people across political lines all over this City. I find that Berkeley is a divided community; that people believe no one in City Hall is listening. That’s why I am running for Mayor. -more-


School Board Candidate Statement: Toya Groves

Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

My name is Toya Groves and I represent the population of Berkeley often criticized for their lack of political involvement. I represent whole heartedly the youth who come from these communities and their victimization by policies like No Child Left Behind. I represent the youth who has been suspended or expelled from this district as early as middle school, and who are forgotten about or shifted out of the district without proper representation, to maintain statistical mandates. Suspension and expulsion and large time spans of no education does not just mean the lack of higher education , or the lack of a job, it could very well mean destructive behavior and violent deaths. As adults we must take responsibility for all our children and deal with the threat of violence in our schools and community in a holistic way. This is a mental health issue similar to teenage suicide. Our suspension and expulsion policies must be re-evaluated because those kids we kick out of school do not just disappear they end up dead or incarcerated! -more-


School Board Candidate Statement: Priscilla Myrick

Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

Berkeley schools are at a crossroads. BUSD has made strides in improving achievement at our elementary schools, but too many Berkeley middle school students arrive at high school two or more grade levels behind. They are unprepared for a rigorous high school curriculum. -more-


School Board Candidate Statement: John Selawsky

Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

I am running for re-election to the Berkeley School Board because I have the energy, enthusiasm, experience, and knowledge to continue the impressive improvements that the Berkeley Unified School District has achieved since I was first elected to the Board in 2000. I have strong educational, fiscal, and operational experience, and I bring the additional perspective as an environmentalist and community liaison to the School Board. -more-


Wild Neighbors: West Nile Virus Hits the Yellow-billed Magpie

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

                  Yellow-billed magpie exploring plumbing in Dell Valle Regional Park.

No, this is not turning into the Magpie Column. But I just got wind of disturbing news about these birds that needs to reach a wider audience. The July issue of The Auk, published by the American Ornithologists’ Union, has an article entitled “Early Impact of West Nile Virus on the Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli.)” -more-


About the House: Some Cures for Noisy Neighbors

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

A friend of mine has a bass guitarist living upstairs who has been working out the chords to “In a Gadda Da Vida” for the past 12 years. My friend is a patient person but she’s begun to exhibit something of a tic and often looks dolefully into space for long periods of time, returning from her reverie only when the music has stopped for some short spell. -more-


Scholar Lecture Explores Seldom Seen Havens House

By Steven Finacom Special to the Planet
Thursday October 09, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM
The Havens House living room has ceilings that slant up and outwards to expand the Bay view, and original furnishings collected by Weston Havens.

High on Panoramic Hill, overlooking Berkeley and the bay, stands a pre-World War II house that became both a public architectural spectacle and a secret aerie. Next week, a scholar offers an illustrated lecture exploring some of the hidden dimensions and character of this striking structure. -more-