Dispatches From the Edge: Awards for the Year That Was

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 06:52:00 PM

Who’s On First Award? to U.S. intelligence for its analysis of al-Qaeda. According to CIA Director Michael Hayden, the organization is growing stronger and preparing to launch attacks in Africa, Europe and the Arabian Peninsula. He said there was a “bleed out” from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with al Qaeda operatives spreading into North Africa, which they could use as a springboard for attacks on Europe. -more-

UnderCurrents: Oakland’s Test in the Aftermath of Oscar Grant’s Death

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 06:50:00 PM

It is somewhat ironic, isn’t it, that it is the City of Oakland that is mostly being tested in these days following the shooting death of Oscar Grant, more so than the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, the BART Police Department, or the Alameda County Office of the District Attorney. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Parrots in Berkeley: The Readers Respond

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:27:00 PM
Berkeley mitred parakeet among persimmons.

Last week’s column, about Berkeley’s flock of parrots (or, depending on the source, parakeets or conures) drew a gratifying response. There are lots of keen observers out there, and I appreciate all your messages. Although some mysteries remain, it’s now possible to make a positive identification of the birds, map their cruising range, and draw a composite picture of their daily routine. -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Kingman Hall: a Microcosm of 20th-Century Berkeley History

By Daniella Thompson
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:06:00 PM
Kingman Hall today. The arched loggia has been enclosed in glass, and front-yard parking is now the norm.

Few houses in Berkeley (or anywhere, for that matter) can boast the picturesque setting and colorful history of Kingman Hall, the student co-op at 1730 La Loma Avenue. Perched above the oak-wooded canyon of Strawberry Creek, the building overlooks a sunken garden with a creekside amphitheater. Built in 1914 for Nu Chapter of the Theta Xi fraternity, the house has mirrored the history of Berkeley over the past 95 years. -more-