The Public Eye: Fixing California

By Bob Burnett
Thursday August 20, 2009 - 11:09:00 AM

Now that the dust has settled and Californians can see the drastic consequences of the state budget train wreck, it’s time to consider 10 actions to fix California. -more-

UnderCurrents: Despite Batts Appointment, Dellums Still Has Fences to Mend

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 20, 2009 - 11:09:00 AM

Incoming Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts won over the crowd at his coming-out press conference Monday afternoon with a bit of hometown theatrics. Asking himself the rhetorical question of why he chose to transfer to Oakland from a similar position in Long Beach, Mr. Batts reached down under the table, pulled out a Raiders cap, pulled it on his head, pronounced himself a lifelong Raiders fan, and began to name off all the old-school silver-and-black stars from the glory days, throwing in a couple of ‘7os Oakland Athletics for good measure. The collection of newsfolk and camerapeople and assorted curious and powerfuls and interesteds at Mayor Ron Dellums’ City Hall conference room roared with laughter and approval, and though he got a couple of pointed questions along the way, Mr. Batts had cemented himself then and there as a legitimate Oaktowner, a member of the club. -more-

Chapeau! to Green Neighbors: Congregation Beth Israel

By Ron Sullivan
Thursday August 20, 2009 - 10:53:00 AM

We were strolling under the paperbarks (irresistibly dubbed “fluffula truffula trees” by one Daily Planet reader) on Jefferson Street near Bancroft, and it occurred to me that it’s time for my unofficially annual tree rant. -more-

Architectural Excursions: Yosemite’s Wawona Hotel: ‘A Good Place to Stop’

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday August 20, 2009 - 10:54:00 AM
The main building of the Wawona Hotel opened in April 1879.

Legend has it that in the 1920s, a small plane crashed outside the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park. Taken to Moore Cottage, on the slope behind the main hotel building, the injured pilot is said to have expired before the doctor’s arrival. Hotel employees and guests have reported seeing a ghost descending the stairs in Moore Cottage, dressed in a leather jacket, pilot’s cap, goggles, and a white silk scarf. -more-

About the House: Why I Hate Norm Abrams

By Matt Cantor
Thursday August 20, 2009 - 10:53:00 AM

OK, I don’t actually hate Norm Abrams of “New Yankee Workshop,” “This Old House,” etc.; I sort of like the guy. It’s nice to see someone on TV who would never have made it based on his headshot and a screen-test. Those other folks on “Hometime”—so cute and all-American-looking and blond: them, I hate. (Kachunk, Blam, Kachunk, Blam.) Ah, that’s better. There’s nothing like large caliber gunfire to sooth the chakras. -more-