Reader Contribution Issue

Friday December 29, 2006

Happy New Year! -more-

Peace on Earth Disrupted By Series of Holiday Quakes

By Richard Brenneman
Friday December 29, 2006

It wasn’t holiday presents but a twitching reminder of its potentially destructive presence that the Hayward Fault gave East Bay residents this holiday season, ending—for the moment—with a weak Thursday morning spasm. -more-


By Esther Stone
Friday December 29, 2006

Seventeen years have passed since the day I signed the rental agreement on my one-bedroom apartment in November, 1989. The day before, my husband Ed and I had shared in the Thanks-giving festivities at my brother’s house, and chose not to reveal that we had decided to end our seven-year marriage. But, bright and early on the following day, I set about looking for a suitable apartment for myself. -more-

A Magical Visit to Davies Hall

By Maya Elmer
Friday December 29, 2006

The magic happens the moment I step forward into the acoustical ambiance of a music hall and I hear that first cacophonous onslaught of instrument and musicians. They’re not just tuning up although there’s that, too. Some violinist is frantically last minute practicing a difficult phrase, at the same time the flautist is re-doing a trill. I watch the kettle drummer bending his head to catch the tremors as he taps the taut drum head. The uncorralled musicians of this moment in contrast to the program’s promised presentation ! -more-

Finding Your Story in Writing Class

By Roopa Ramamoorthi
Friday December 29, 2006

I want to write a piece for my writing class but what can I write? It is 6 p.m. on Wednes-day, class begins at 7 p.m. No, I do not have to have something to show this week, after all it is an adult school class, no grades. I have finished with that when I finished with school, no more worrying about grades. -more-

The Fight to Desegregate Berkeley’s Public Schools

By Gilbert G. Bendix
Friday December 29, 2006

Both my wife Selina and I were strong believers in public schools. It seems strange therefore that, when the time came in 1958, we became private school parents. There were three reasons. -more-

Learning to Leave Lycos

By Edith Monk Hallberg
Friday December 29, 2006

I really wish that I didn’t have to leave Lycos. After all, it was my major source of information and was also a means of connections with family, friends, and political action for more than six years. From practicing on Lycos, I moved to a second account with Yahoo, and now a third account, also with Yahoo, as I must end this relationship with my friend Lycos, which is now my enemy. I had some problems with Lycos in the past. -more-

On this darkest night

By Mary Wheeler
Friday December 29, 2006

On this darkest night -more-

Four Social Poems

By Lowell Moorcroft
Friday December 29, 2006

Irene -more-

What is Peace on Earth?

By Fred Foldvary
Friday December 29, 2006

Peace on earth requires not just an absence of war among countries, but harmony among peoples. Social harmony requires the recognition of a universal ethic that prescribes equal rights for all, privileges for none. There is no peace when you impose your values on others. Let us abolish all laws restricting and imposing costs on peaceful and honest human action. Be at peace with nature and humanity by taxing pollution, not labor. Abolish poverty by sharing the surplus from land, rather than depriving people of benefits from enterprise. Do not mistake “silent night” for peace, for there is no peace without liberty. -more-


By Catherine Freethy
Friday December 29, 2006

The hat lands in a pail of green mossy water and sober felt. -more-

What If ...

By Andrew Rosenthal
Friday December 29, 2006

Hello everyone. I have a request. Please, I would very much appreciate the assistance of anyone computer savvy enough to send the following message around the world to as many newspaper editorial sections in as many languages as possible. -more-

I talk to God

By Myrna Sokolinsky
Friday December 29, 2006

I talk to God -more-

The Connection Between Learning and Teachers

By Marvin Chachere
Friday December 29, 2006

Whatever does not spring from a man’s free choice … does not enter into his very being, but remains alien to his true nature; he does not perform it with truly human energies, but merely with mechanical exactness. -more-


By Mertis L. Shekeloff
Friday December 29, 2006

You couldn’t find a better caregiver than my mother; she nursed my grandmother and two uncles to their end. Almost. Though unsurpassed at nursing, she could do it only to a point. A crucial point. She was incapable of overseeing a patient’s death. -more-

An Interesting Story

By David Vasquez
Friday December 29, 2006

I got on the bus in a major city just the other day. After loading my bicycle on the front rack, I removed my bike flag and carried it on board with me. I went to the back and found a seat facing the front. The pair of seats opposite me faced the back of the bus and there I saw a teenage boy. It was clear he was friends with another young man who sat on the opposite side of the bus. -more-


Friday December 29, 2006

I took this photo in south Berkeley in late November, 2006 ... not very "holiday," but pretty peaceful, don't you think? Photograph by Max Batts. -more-

Julia Child Entertains

By Maggie Morley
Friday December 29, 2006

I stew my goose in green Chartreuse, -more-

Space Ship

By Lenore Waters
Friday December 29, 2006

On the way to the kitchen at midnight -more-

DEAR earth commUNity friends

By Bill Trampleasure
Friday December 29, 2006

DEAR earth commUNity friends -more-

Getting Going in a Gallery

By Alta Gerrey
Friday December 29, 2006

At the tender age of 64 I decided to start a new art gallery. Did I realize what I was getting into? Well ... I did know two things: there are a lot of fine artists in the Bay Area, and while I feel good it’s best not to waste feeling good. I enjoy sharing beautiful work with others. And good conversation has always been a favorite pastime; Saturday afternoons are turning into conversation hour, with a couple of regulars who enjoy chatting about art and philosophy. That’s fun, too. -more-

The Hurrahs of War

By Mary Barrett
Friday December 29, 2006

My mother painted white lights with scarlet nail polish for Christmas during the war—I was just born, “fifth dependent” my father bragged since I kept him from active duty. -more-

An Exuberance of Whales

By Sherry K. Bridgman
Friday December 29, 2006

It was one of those sparkling September days here in the Bay Area, blue skies and warm with little or no wind. What fog there was had melted away by the time I reached dockside where the boat the Salty Lady was moored. -more-

Checking Out Chavez’s Venezuela

By Mel Martynn
Friday December 29, 2006

Last Spring I noticed that articles about Venezuela and its president, Hugo Chavez, began to appear more and more in the media. At first they were almost all negative, from attacks in the New York Review of Books, to snide comments in the New York Times. -more-

Night Storm

By Sandra J. Whittaker
Friday December 29, 2006

Still ... Still ... waiting for the storm -more-

The Return of Joe’s Nose

By Janis Mitchell
Friday December 29, 2006

My friend Joe had a nose that expanded during puberty to become the dominant feature on his face. It was long and beaklike with an unexpected wideness at the downward slope so that when you looked at him dead on you saw a diamond shape that was narrow between the eyes, wide at the midpoint and sharply narrow above the lip. -more-

The Old Routine: Hu’s on First

By Robert Marsh
Friday December 29, 2006

The Scene: The WHITE HOUSE GREEN ROOM. The PRESIDENT is briefed by his PROTOCOL OFFICER just before the summit meeting with the leaders of China, Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao and Zhu Rong Ji. -more-

The Four Forty Second

By Justice Putnam
Friday December 29, 2006

Thomas Matsui hadn’t slept for almost 46 hours. The Italians had long stopped the fight, but the Nazis kept at it. Mortar shells exploded nearby with a frightening consistency. The rocky Italian hillside bucked and rolled with each explosion. -more-