The Public Eye: Late Night Parties at the Gaia: An Open Letter to the Community

By Anna De Leon
Thursday October 30, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM

Patrick Kennedy outdid himself Saturday night, Oct. 24, at the Gaia Building. He rented the theater to Hip Hop party promoters, with no notice to the Police Department. The “party” became a melee in the street. I operate Anna’s Jazz Island, a music venue sharing the entrance lobby with the Gaia theater which is routinely rented out for huge private parties in clear violation of its Use Permit. -more-

The Public Eye: The Season’s Most Ridiculous Campaign Mailer

By Randy Shaw
Thursday October 30, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

This political season has seen many deceptive local campaign mailers, with several attributing a sense of absolute power to San Francisco progressives that they only wish they had. But the most ridiculous and politically counter-productive mailer appeared in Berkeley, and was endorsed by one of my favorite groups, the Sierra Club. As the accompanying photo shows, the Sierra Club wants Berkeley voters to believe that a ballot initiative (Measure KK) that would require voter approval when parking is removed for bus lanes endangers our efforts to combat global warming. The Club also wants voters to believe that defeating Measure KK will help save polar bears, while a yes vote heads them toward extinction. Identifying supporters of Measure KK as joining Sarah Palin in opposing polar bears is not a sound strategy for building a movement, and almost mocks the importance of local climate change efforts by linking Measure KK to the polar bear’s plight. -more-

Wild Neighbors—Redback Blues: The Spider’s Dilemma

By Joe Eaton
Thursday October 30, 2008 - 10:55:00 AM

Last week, inspired by some recent mantid encounters, I wrote about the dilemma of the male mantid. Female mantids are hungry little beasts, and a male may become a meal as well as a mate. All that is undisputed. What’s controversial is whether the male is complicit in his own demise—whether he behaves so as to increase the likelihood of being eaten—and what the evolutionary roots of such behavior might be. -more-

East Bay—Then and Now: Landmarks Preservation Ordinance: Taking Stock of 34 Years

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday October 30, 2008 - 10:52:00 AM
Slated for demolition, the Drawing Bldg., aka Naval Architecture Bldg., was preserved.

Our Landmarks Preservation Ordinance, which Tom Bates and his pro-development backers are so eager to emasculate via Measure LL, was enacted in 1974 as a direct response to the rampant wave of demolitions that overtook Berkeley in the 1960s. -more-

About the House: Realistic Negotiations: What You Really Really Want

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 30, 2008 - 10:54:00 AM

A client called me this evening to talk about a house he was in contract to buy and we became engaged in a rather long, intricate and complex conversation involving all the things that he and his wife were now facing that had formerly been a foggy and insubstantial tissue of details beyond their attention. The house was exciting and new a week ago and no thought of the finer issues had intruded into their reverie of the Dream Home. The inspection was fun and exiting and we chatted happily for hours about all the things that might be done and some harsh realities about what should be done. A water heater from the 1930’s (yes, no joke) was long overdue for replacement and genuinely unsafe. Some foundation issues were demanding attention and the need for seismic work also loomed harshly. -more-