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Cover | Andrea Perman

Hopscotch (chalk pastel).  A senior at Piedmont High, Andrea Perman created this month’s carefree cover image as a celebration of childhood. Chalk pastel proved the perfect medium for her subject—hopscotch—since the game itself begins by etching boundaries in chalk. Perman’s piece was the winning entry submitted to The Monthly’s ninth annual student Cover Contest. The second- and third-place winners, their artwork, and more details about Perman can be found on the inside back cover this month. Award-winning work from the contest will be on display at Blick Art Materials, 811 University Ave., Berkeley, Wednesday, Sept. 2 through Sunday, Sept. 27. Monthly publisher Karen Klaber will present the awards Sunday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. For info: (510) 486-2600.



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2009 Issue:

Table of Contents

|  What’s the Deal?
As you read these words, our local cities and counties are busily bidding for a share of President Obama’s stimulus package dollars. Projects already approved include building a fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, repaving a strand of University Avenue in Berkeley, and giving a boost to low-income homeowners. But some argue that these stimulus projects pale in comparison to the grand feats of Franklin Roosevelt’s Civil Works Administration. Our reporter takes a look at some of the Depression-busting glories of yesteryear (the Berkeley Rose Garden and the Woodminster Amphitheater in Oakland, among others), and ponders the much plainer face of the post-stimulus future.  By Bonnie Wach

IN FARO’S GARDEN |  Out to Get Me
Some things never change—perhaps because we don’t really want them to. This month, the peace-loving gardener wrestles with conflicted feelings about a gun and a brother-in-law. At least he’s clear about what to do with dear old dad’s ashes.  By R.E. Faro

EAST BAY LIFE |  Literary Links
WriterCoach Connection, a nine-year-old in-school tutoring program, pairs volunteer writing coaches with kids in Berkeley, Albany, and Oakland public schools. In this from-the-heart story, journalist and tutor Tim Kingston chronicles the ups and downs of working one-on-one with kids who don’t necessarily (to put it mildly) share his love of the English language, and the “small miracles” that WriterCoach Connection is creating in our crowded classrooms.   By Tim Kingston.

SHOPPING AROUND |  Preschool Primer
Whether you’re a first-time parent or a more experienced one, the sheer multitude of preschool programs can be overwhelming. But not to worry if you don’t know a Waldorf school from a Waldorf salad, or wonder what “curriculum” can possibly mean to a kid who isn’t even potty-trained yet. Compiled by the preschool-savvy mom of four young children, our helpful plan-ahead guide provides a concise explanation of today’s many different preschool philosophies and highlights representative programs. You’ll also find advice from experts, teachers, and experienced parents about how to begin, where to find information, and exactly what to ask when you get there.   By Carolyn von Behren

The Kilduff File |  Jack Passion
For national beard-growing champ Jack Passion, a bad hair day is a bigger deal than for the rest of us. To avoid title-threatening beauty blunders, the gifted Walnut Creek hair-grower regularly brushes, conditions, and oils his belly-length red mane. Passion won’t reveal all his secrets (including his real last name), but he’s happy to share his trick for avoiding the icky crumbs-in-the-beard look, as well as his favorite technique for keeping a woman warm at night.  By Paul Kilduff
Beginning in September, hear a regular podcast of The Kilduff File at

The Monthly’s Ninth Annual Cover Contest


Editor’s Note


Be East Bay: Go, Meet, Shift, Create, Read
A short section of cool things to try, hot things to read and interesting people to meet in the East Bay.

Critic’s Choice

Shop Talk

Boutique Bazaar

Food for Thought

Dining Guide

Marketplace: Home & Garden

Marketplace: Personal & Creative Services

Kartoon Korner


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