Dispatches From The Edge: Targeting Unions in Colombia

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

There are lots of places in the world where you need to watch your step. You don’t want to be a Sunni in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad (or vice versa). It’s probably not smart to speak Tamal in southern Sri Lanka. You might want to keep being a Muslim under wraps in parts of Mindanao. But most of all you don’t want to be a trade unionist in the U.S.’s one remaining ally in South America, Colombia. -more-

Undercurrents: Revelations Tell More About America Than It Does About McCain

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

How much is the relationship—such as it is—between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain affected by the fact that Mr. McCain’s Mississippi ancestors once held African people in slavery? Is the palpable annoyance—barely disguising a seething underlying anger—which the public observed in Mr. McCain’s facial expressions and mannerisms during the recent series of debates an echo of the feelings old maw’se would have felt if one of the nigger house servants had stopped serving the dinner guests one evening and, primly tucking the swallowtails of his formal coat under his ass, sat down at the table to begin carving up a bit of the main course meat for himself? -more-

Wild Neighbors: Love and Death Among the Mantids

By Joe Eaton
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:23:00 AM

Lately I’ve been running into mantises, or, more properly, mantids. A friend in Vacaville has a sort of colony in the shrubbery outside her condo. On a recent visit she pointed out a mantid egg case, or ootheca, from which legions of miniature predators will emerge. On a hike near Mare Island last week there was a large brown mantid perched atop an animal dropping in the middle of the trail, not at all camouflaged. Waiting for flies? Preparing to lay eggs? Not a clue. -more-

Open Home in Focus: Kofoid House at 2616 Etna St. for Sale

By Steven Finacom
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:19:00 AM
From the street 2616 Etna sits solid and shingled, with the second floor under a gambrel roof.

There aren’t many houses in Berkeley over a century old that have never been sold on the open market. When one comes up for sale, it’s worth taking note, especially if it’s an original Julia Morgan design, relatively unaltered, and the family home of a renowned UC scientist. -more-

East Bay: Then and Now—Samuel Heywood and Sons: Lumber and Politics

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:21:00 AM
Emma Heywood built the flats at 1917-1919 Grove St. in 1909.

Samuel Heywood (1833-1903) was Zimri Brewer Heywood’s fourth son, the first Heywood to have settled in Berkeley, and the one most closely associated with the family’s West Berkeley lumber yard. -more-

About the House: Women and Their Buildings

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:22:00 AM

It’s a sad fact that women are significantly more likely to be overcharged at the auto-repair shop than their male counterparts. I remember reading these studies by consumer advocacy agencies in the 1970s. In the age of Hillary Clinton, this doesn’t seem right or fair but that’s the way it is. Men have been the initiates to the secret information of spark plugs and tire rotation for much of the last century while women have struggled to gain a place at the bull-session in which the arcane knowledge was shared. It is clear that this has extended to the building trades as anyone with eyes can tell you. Even in my profession of building inspection, a look around the room rarely reveals more than about 5 percent women. -more-