Undercurrents; In Wake of Haiti Disaster, a Look Back and a Look Forward

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday January 21, 2010 - 09:23:00 AM

The nation of Haiti—battered, bleeding Haiti—is on the minds and in the hearts of most of the world this week. Mark the moment well. It is fleeting. We are like the well-intentioned neighbors who crowd the home of the bereaved and the church on the day of the funeral but, except for a few loyal souls, leave the widow ever after lonely and alone in her house for long months on end ever after. Generous and sincere in the immediate aftermath, our attention span on great tragedies grows ever shorter. -more-

Dispatches from the Edge: Yemen: Terrorist Haven or Chess Piece?

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday January 21, 2010 - 09:24:00 AM

“The instability in Yemen is a threat -more-

East Bay Then and now: From Scavengers’ Social Club to Rock Music Mecca

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday January 21, 2010 - 09:44:00 AM

Oakland’s Temescal district is best known today for its demographic diversity, most visibly manifested in the variety of its restaurants. Only one establishment, the venerable Genova Delicatessen, stands as a reminder of the neighborhood’s Italian past. -more-

Wild Neighbors; Owls and Art at Berkeley’s Cesar Chavez Park

By Joe Eaton
Thursday January 21, 2010 - 09:47:00 AM
A burrowing owl keeps a wary eye on passing dog-walkers at the Berkeley Marina.

Sometimes this dysfunctional city actually gets it right. Last year I had a conversation and some e-mail exchanges with David Snippen of the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission about an environmental art installation that was being planned for Cesar Chavez Park. The donor had stipulated the site, which was right on top of a stretch of riprap where a small group of western burrowing owls spend the winter. It sounded like a high-minded instance of plop art (remember the Marina’s notorious Guardian statue?) -more-

About the House: The Ins and Outs of Sanding Wood Floors

By Matt Cantor
Thursday January 21, 2010 - 09:46:00 AM

Some things are a bad idea no matter how you shake ’em. Government lobbying, TV shows involving supermodels, and pretty much anything involving a lot of helium balloons and lawn furniture. Oh, yes, and trying to refinish your own floors while your partner is off for the weekend. -more-