The Public Eye: Obama’s State of the Union: 10 Lessons

By Bob Burnett
Thursday February 11, 2010 - 09:45:00 AM

A week after Democrats suffered a stunning defeat, Barack Obama bounced back with a memorable State of the Union address. After a year in office, Obama has to learn 10 lessons. -more-

Undercurrents: Oakland’s ‘Strong Mayor’ Charter Ambiguous As to Mayor’s Duties

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday February 11, 2010 - 09:46:00 AM

One of the challenges in evaluating the administration of an Oakland mayor in these days and times is that 12 years after the passage of Measure X, residents and local media outlets (new and old) still are not certain exactly what a “strong mayor” is supposed to do and be responsible for. -more-

About the House: When It’s Totaled

By Matt Cantor
Thursday February 11, 2010 - 10:00:00 AM
Just one example of the superlative maintenance employed in this home.

There are times when an economic model in the evaluation of a house is particularly vital. In fact, in times like these, the avoidance of this model could result in financial trauma. Most houses I see don’t seem to demand this metric, but some (and they’re not always obvious) absolutely do. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Meadowlark Messages

By Joe Eaton
Thursday February 11, 2010 - 10:01:00 AM
A Western meadowlark belting out his loud and complex melody at Isenberg Crane Sanctuary near Lodi, California.

Standing a couple of yards from a singing male western meadowlark a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by several things. First, the sheer virtuosity of the song: this bird is consistently ranked among the best North American singers, and I couldn’t argue with that. Second, the volume: western meadowlarks are loud. Their vocal performance is “often the only song that can be heard from a car driving at highway speed with the windows open,” writes Alvaro Jaramillo in New World Blackbirds: The Icterids. Couldn’t argue with that either. -more-