August 2005



There's a great story about the Berkeley Bowl in the New York Times titled "You think you've got tomatoes."

A Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl shopper longs for politic-free shopping.

A Potter Creek reader emails "I wanted to let you know that my husband has a new café at the Strawberry Creek Design Center at Addison and Bonar. My husband, Bahman Shayesteh, and Chef Ruben Ramirez were the operators of Santa Fe Bar & Grill and Santa Fe Bistro on Center Street for many years." Kimar and I are definitely going to check it out!

A "stone" garden bench was stolen off the porch of a house in the 2800 of 8th street earlier this week. Berkeley PD is using bicycle officers to patrol Potter Creek's San Pablo Ave. Also, I've recently seen their Special Enforcement Unit in Potter Creek.



magnet is having a Summer Sale

Camille owns magnet, 2508 san pablo ave



"Two Kazakh girls, abandoned at birth, find themselves in the same Berkeley home -- and discover they are sisters" reports Jackie Burrell, "Call it kismet or maybe an irresistible alignment of stars and planets. How else to explain the circumstances that placed two Kazakh orphans -- sisters abandoned at birth with no idea that the other existed -- in the same Berkeley home this summer." Read the story at


Don "Donnie Joe" Yost just hipped my to Podcasts. Is Podcasting the next generation of radio? Apple's answer is here. 6000 thousand podcasts in one place? Check this out. I like it because it's also about Blog radio.


The Mayor's Summer Update includes

"Mayor Leads Arts Tour of West Berkeley
Local artists and crafts people are a big part of what makes Berkeley such an innovative, interesting, and creative place. We need to find ways to make sure that artists and crafts people can always afford to be part of this community. With that in mind, I led a group of 20 artists, city officials, and community members in a tour of innovative West Berkeley arts and crafts studios, galleries, and theaters on Wednesday, July 20th. The tour was the first step in a major effort to bring attention to the vibrant Berkeley arts scene and to find ways to provide permanent affordable arts space in town." Well Ok then!

An' Da Boss keeps on talking about "innovative Berkeley." The last "important" thing I can remember we invented was California Cuisine or more personally, the California Breakfast--cynically described as a piece of fish and undercooked vegetables or a Southern country breakfast with garnish. Well, . . . there was the Scheer Campaign.




City Hall's takin' care of business.

"City, Pacific Steel Will Study Noxious West Berkeley Odor" reports Matthew Artz.
"Berkeley and Pacific Steel Casting have agreed to study the source of the burning rubber smell wafting from the company's West Berkeley plant." Read the story at

Patrick Kennedy's well-thought-out view and more in , "Developer, Zoning Board Debate City's Density Bonus Law" by Richard Brenneman. "A panel discussing Berkeley's application of the always controversial density bonus had a surprise visitor Wednesday-developer Patrick Kennedy, perhaps the city's foremost beneficiary of the law."

Kennedy's a lot better looking than his photo.



 " Cuss-free zone? There's no such thing" by Michael Brick of the New York Times "Across America, word-bombs are falling. In May, a New York television reporter who apparently thought he was off the air lit into two men who had intruded on his shot, broadcasting a word-bomb to the five boroughs. ... lips -- that undefeated heavyweight champ of profanity, that King of the Cuss Words -- is ..." Read the story at


Treat yourself, take a drive or ride down our newly paved San Pablo Ave--it's sweet and smooth. Someone's takin' care of business.

"Berkeley director retires" reports Martin Snapp "Friday was Berkeley Public Works Director Rene Cardineaux's last day on the job. Cardineaux, 63, is retiring after only six years. But in those six years he's transformed the face of the city, often fashioning compromise between competing interests. Read the story at


A down-wind-of-the-ink-stink Potter Creek resident said "You know, after breathing it awhile I have a scratchy throat like I'm getting a cold."


"UC labor studies in jeopardy" reports Matt Krupnick, of the West County Times "A blue-collar University of California program is tangled in some red tape. UC officials have yet to decide how they will pay nearly $4 million for a two-campus program in the Center for Labor Research and Education that was cut from the state budget by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last month."


"Search for marijuana field guard who fled raid halted" reports Meredith May of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Authorities have called off their search for an armed man who fled into the remote Los Gatos hills after a Friday shootout with authorities raiding a 3-acre field of marijuana." Read her story at


If you didn't follow my August 4 link to Apple's Podcasting pages, check out

"Radio just got a lot more portable" by Tony Hicks of the West County Times "If you can digest the following sentence, you're hereby certified to go forward into the 21st century of entertainment: Podcasting can be to radio what blogging is to books."

Then check out

"Plethora of podcasts: Searching for podcasting sites on the Internet is like searching for tie-dye at a Grateful Dead tribute show. So here some of the better sites, as decreed by the podcast masters at KYOU-AM 1550, as well as a couple of other offerings" at

Don "Donnie Joe" Yost hipped me to Podcasting last week. How hip is he!?


Doc just finished redoing his Jaguar XK140 interior himself.



I'm told that with the help of the Berkeley Humane Society the Nexus building has been given landmark status--something like an historic structure. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Nexus Collective could now buy it? Nexus has been a defining part of Potter Creek for decades.

Speaking of defining Potter Creek, haven't heard much from Rick Auerbach lately.


"More frequently, users get caught in criminal Web" reports Ellen Lee of the West County Times."Odds are one in three that a home computer hooked up to the Internet will be trashed by a virus or spyware, according to a Consumer Reports survey released Monday." Read the story here.

 " Workers' comp rates decrease 26 percent" writes Steve Lawrence of the AP. "Workers' compensation insurance rates paid by California employers have dropped an average of about 26 percent since lawmakers instituted a series of cost-cutting bills beginning in 2003, but bigger reductions are possible, Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi said Monday. " The story is at But, my understanding is that over the last years some rates have increased hundreds of percent.


7:55 AM Strong irritant FULLY SATURATES AIR in front of 2743-2741 8th, has accompaning "high-end odor," SERIOUSLY STRONG AND IRRITATING.


From my log

8/1/05 1:05 PM, irritant in entire warehouse.

8/2/05 8:25 AM front room fills with smell of brewing--not roasting--coffee, but I'm having green tea. 10:00 AM warehouse filled with irritant, cough, etc.

8/3/05 11:15 AM front room fills with irritant, lights flicker, mild irritant in warehouse. 1:30 PM "high end" odor in warehouse. 6:45 PM "high end" smell in front room.

8/4/05 irritant in front room, lights flicker, HEPA filters slow down, eyes burn, mask. 7:15 PM same.

8/5/05 9:30 AM irritant in entire warehouse, leave.

8/6/05 1:00 PM irritant in front room, mask. 3:25 PM same.

8/7/05 4:35 PM EXPLOSIVE whoosh behind Adams and Chittenden's roll-up door, lasts a few seconds.


Hey Boss, how about taking the environment function from the different city departments and put them all into one agency--possibly the already established Environmental Health and Protection Department, give it strong investigative and enforcement powers and finance it--in part--with money from bicycle licensing.

Then, . . . kick some ass.


"Hancock Bill Would Require Green School Construction" reports J. Douglas Allen-Taylor of our Daily Planet.
"Legislation by Assemblymember Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) that would require 'green' construction for new school buildings in the state may have minimal effect in Berkeley, despite the fact that several new school construction projects are pending in the city."

"Artists Thrive in Live/Work Lofts at 800 Heinz Ave" writes Richard Brenneman.
"If you're going to be a starving artist in Berkeley, then the place to starve is 800 Heinz Ave." The story is at


And, check this out!

"Berkeley director retires" by Martin Snapp of the West County Times is my favorite story of the year, so far.
"Friday was Berkeley Public Works Director Rene Cardineaux's last day on the job. Cardineaux, 63, is retiring after only six years. But in those six years he's transformed the face of the city, often fashioning compromise between competing interests."



Berkeley PD in Potter Creek

I take no responsibility what-so-ever for the background in this photo. Our officers chose to park their motors there.

Kimar likes the tile effect of the brick.




Yesterday, the East Bay Daily reported that our city and Pacific Steel Casting reached an agreement to study the their west -Berkeley emissions. Pacific Steel has agreed to study itself and to pay for it. Consider this make-believe story--Microsoft is suspected by the Federal government of stealing software from its competitors. They agree to investigate themselves and to pay for it. This is America--"the guy who pays the bill calls the tune" and, . . . "you get what you pay for."


Atlas Welding, the supplier of liquid oxygen cylinders to Adams and Chittenden Scientific Glass writes "These cylinders are designed to release excess pressure through a spring-loaded check valve. The amount of oxygen released into the air by the check valve is about two or three cubic feet . . . Adams and Chittenden's building has a volume of 300,000 to 400,000 cubic feet, so the effect is minimal. . . . After the check valve has opened and released the excess pressure, it resets This is a normal set of events and occurs with all containers of cryogenic products: oxygen, nitrogen, argon and carbon dioxide. . . . ,

(The letter does not address the specific equipment and/or safety issues of the sometimes more than occasional--"regular"--release of gas during past very hot weekends; the volume of gas released by this type recurring venting; the effect of the release in a confined, minimally ventilated area; the proximity of the vented gas to electric wiring regardless of cubic footage; the simultaneous use of unattended and computer controlled, electric annealing ovens.)

(300,000 TO 400,000 cubic feet volume? Adams and Chittenden just paid for a "ventilation study" and should have more accurate figures.)

The letter finishes "We have been supplying liquid oxygen to our customers since 1949. We have hundreds of cylinders in use and have had no safety issues or accidents in regards to their transportation, storage or use."

Atlas workers carefully righting and reloading a six-pack of hydrogen cylinders that they dropped during their "pickup" in October 2003


I have taken representative excerpts from the letter. If you want the original, email me.



"Ex-teacher arrested in '70 [Berkeley] slaying - Police cite new leads and say rookie officer was shot by Black Panther associates" writes Henry K Lee at




"Cop Killing Case Ends in Dismissal" reports Richard Brenneman of the Berkeley Daily Planet
"One day after Berkeley police arrested a retired Oakland high school teacher for the 1970 murder of a Berkeley policeman, the Alameda County district attorney's office refused to press charges." Read the story here.

"No Charges Filed Yet in Firearms Case" reports the Daily Planet's Richard Brenneman
"No criminal charges have yet been filed against a Berkeley man arrested three weeks ago after police and firefighters discovered a massive cache of firearms and an indoor marijuana-growing operation in his apartment above an Adeline Street liquor store." Read the story at

The busy Mr B also reports"Landmarks Commission Casts Wary Eye on 740 Heinz Plans: Berkeley Landmarks Preservation commissioners raised new questions about the fate of a vacant West Berkeley warehouse Monday night, which is potentially bad news for developers."

Meredith May and Deanne Fitzmaurice update Operation Lion Heart at

This good idea is the basis for a San Francisco Chronicle report by Carolyn Jones "Five more areas vote to form Community Benefits Districts--Neighborhoods will tax themselves to improve themselves: Joining their cohorts from Union Square, property owners in five other San Francisco commercial areas have voted overwhelmingly to tax themselves to pay for steam-cleaned sidewalks, flower boxes, graffiti removal, security and other amenities. The Castro, Noe Valley, Tenderloin, the 2500 block of Mission Street and Fisherman's Wharf will soon have their own Community Benefits Districts. The Board of Supervisors finished approving the new entities this week."

A new resident of Potter Creek wants to know what that intermittent high-pitched noise is that he often hears. We heard it last night at around 8:00 PM all over the 2700 block of 8th Street. I've heard off and on for years particularly when it's quiet--it's frequency is up there, certainly over 10,000 cps but women should easily hear it.





"1970 killing still haunts Berkeley: Officer's unsolved slaying divides city--and torments those who knew him" report Kevin Fagan and Henry K. Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle. Read the story here.


"A trust in housing: The pioneering effort is by public and private sectors" reports Dana Perrigan at Sadly, this pioneering effort is not in Berkeley.

A report from the West County Times on-going Bay Area housing series "A knack for loans, now trouble." Read the story at

"Research puts heat on naysayers of global warming" reports Betsy Mason of the West County Times."Though most scientists agree global warming is real and occurring as we speak, a few pieces of the puzzle have proved difficult to fit into place. Critics of the warming theory have clung to these last bits of evidence. But new research at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory is hammering another big nail into the naysayers' coffin."


Lucy Dukes, managng editor of the Bonners Ferry Herald in Idaho emails, "Jean Landis' brother told me you had a digitally-stored photo of Jean Landis standing on a P-51 wing. I'm writing a story about her and didn't want to take any of her photos back to the newspaper for fear they would get damaged or lost (it happens just often enough to make me nervous about taking keepsakes). He advised me to search your Web site for the picture." Ms. Dukes, just go here and down-load it.

Lipofsky and I met yesterday and as the discussion turned philisophical, he remarked "It's important to know history. That way you'll recognize the mistakes when you make them again."



Yesterday afternoon, Sally had a Birthday party for Richard's Mother, Norma. She's ninety, still drives, plays bridge, is observant, and is fully here. Sally's grandchild Ivy, also fully here, has grown into a beautiful little girl. Richard, Cameron, the other guys and myself were perfect gentlemen. The flourless chocolate cakes were superb and champagne was fine.



"Berkeley labyrinth plan steps closer to reality" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "The Berkeley Marina is about to get a new public sculpture: a 41-foot-diameter, 11-circuit labyrinth, made of high-quality paving stones installed flush to the ground." Read the story at

"In the past year; Berkeley adopted a zoning ordinance to limit the number of [medical marijuana] dispensaries to the three already existing there. Even the city and county of San Francisco approved a moratorium this year" reports the West County Times.


Yesterdays KQED LEHER NEWS included a story on global warming. Part of it was an interview with Seattle's mayor who outlined the problem of idling ships waiting for docking in their Sound. With diesel engines often the size of an entire 18 wheeler truck, no emission controls, and using bunker fuel--like old car-engine-oil--they present an environmental problem. Seattle prohibits this idling. (Chris, the Professor of Cars, hipped me to this problem a couple of years ago.) My sense is that if you see tankers, freighters anchored, they are probably idling--it's necessary in order to keep their systems operating

From my log

8/9/09 7:55 AM irritant in front room, leave. 2:35 PM serious irritant in front room, use mask. 4: 25 AM same.

8/10/05 10:35 AM irritant, "high-end odor" in front room, use mask. 10:45 AM irritant in warehouse front, light headed, chills, dry skin. 11:15 AM warehouse filled with irritant, "high-end" odor.

8/11/05 8:35 AM front room filled with irritant, headache, leave. 11:16 AM warehouse filled with "plastic" odor. 11:29 serious irritant in front room, over-rides HEPA filter. 11:47 AM warehouse filled with "high-end" odor, irritant leave. 9:30 PM light dimming, flicker, "high-end" odor in front room, leave.

8/12/05 10:15 AM irritant in front room. 1:15 PM lights dimming, irritant in front room. 2:00 PM "high end" odor in entire warehouse, leave. 3:00 PM irritant in warehouse. Lights flickering "all day long."

8/13/05 12:55 PM lights flickering, irritant in front room. 1:24 PM lights dimming. 3:10 PM warehouse fills with "high-end" odor and irritant, dry lips, dry eyes, lights flicker, use mask. 5:45 PM warehouse fills with odor like hot plastic insulation. *

8/14/05 11:50 AM lights dimming. Lights dimming every few minutes "all day," "high-end" odor off and on "all day."

8/15/05 9:53 AM lights dimming. 4:32 PM lights dimming, HEPA filters slowing down. 4:40 PM lights dimming dramatically, "high end" odor in front room. 4:53 PM lights dimming to 1/2 normal, HEPA filters slowing down, "high-end" odor. 5:49 PM lights flickering, eyes smart, lips burn.



Now here's some common sense!

"West Berkeley Odors Mandate Comprehensive Tests" writes David Schroeder in our Berkeley Daily Planet.

I highly recommend this editorial.



"Iceland Requests Extension" writes Daily Planet reporter, Matthew Artz "City officials are considering Berkeley Iceland's proposal to stay open while the embattled ice rink upgrades its antiquated cooling system."


More development for Potter Creek is in the air--there's talk of plans for mulit-unit rentals and condos, of property sales, and even of developers cruising the neighborhood on weekends. There's also talk of a neighborhood meeting in September.

Kava's new bamboo trees are planted within underground barriers to keep their roots from crawling. And they are many young trees--how wonderful.

Time to go. These flickering lights are giving me a headache.

Back again.

"Creeks Task Force Wades Through Complex Issues" reports Richard Brenneman of our Daily Planet "Waist-deep in the big muddy, Berkeley's Creeks Task Force (CTF) is slogging ahead with its efforts to come up with a new framework to address a highly turbulent issue." Read his story here.

Going through our City's listings in the phone book, I find NINE separate entries for environmental agencies. And, . . . City of Berkeley has FOUR columns of phone numbers; Albany has a quarter column; Alameda, a column and a-half and El Cerrito half a column. What can we learn from this?

My nose is running and my sneezing is interfering with typing.



I talked with David Snipper, one of Potter Creek's Elders, at the Caffé Trieste yesterday. I'm happy to report, we solved all of Potter Creek's problems within fifteen or so minutes and we then went on to solve many national and international ones. With Lipofsky present, the three of us could happily do the same in a few minutes.

If you've wanted a reason to shop at Potter Creek's Orchard Hardware, they're now selling 12"X14" grey rocks for $10.99.

In "Mao Spelled Backwards" Zelda Bronstein writes "One of my treasured mementos is a yellowing copy of the December 1971 issue of a Berkeley community newspaper called New Morning. Laid out like a tabloid, its 12 pages radiate the freewheeling exuberance of this city's political counterculture some 30 years past. The pervasive tone is sounded by the comic book-style narrative that occupies most of the front page. 'Friends,' it begins, 'this is a lesson in dialectics called OM is MAO spelled backwards.'" Read her full story at

"Prices at pump add to economic woes" writes George Avalos. "Consumers in the Bay Area face a triple whammy of gasoline prices, housing costs and higher interest rates as they struggle to stretch their paychecks." Read his story at

Also at is"Bay Area house sales down in July" by Rick Jurgens.
"The Bay Area housing market slowed in July, as the volume of houses and condominiums that changed hands fell 11 percent to 11,470, down from 12,862 a year ago."


A record collector from Santa Barbara phoned me yesterday and after some talk of old records, music and writing about music, said "You know, we like your writing about Berkeley as much as I like your writing about music." Well Ok then.




Pete's back in town.

Berkeley PD ticketed a junker on the corner of 8th and Heinz this morning and Huestead's "towed" it into their lot with a fork-lift.

Yesterday, Ben got a model airplane kit of the Travel Air Mystery Ship.

Also yesterday, a lot of folks cleaned up the 2600 block of San Pablo and Morgan and Regan cleaned up their part of Grayson.

(I think the end of Grayson Street at the RR tracks would be a good place to photograph Doc's Jaguar.)

(I also think that scale is important in real-estate development. You don't put a three-story, multi-unit in a block of workers' bungalows.)

And, I'd like to thank Buster's Dad for the hi-fi equipment stand. He had it out in front of his house marked "Free." We took it and put it to good use. And there were some free chairs out in front of Nexus yesterday.


Zydeco accordian player, André Thierry will be playing at Nexus Gallery next Saturday, August 28 from 8:00 PM until Midnight--a Zydeco Party. There is an $8.00 cover charge. Nexus is at the corner of 8th and Carleton. Check out Thierry's Web site.


The City of Berkeley 1990 Creeks Map shows Potter Creek entering the proposed Berkeley Bowl lot in an underground culvert at the corner of 9th and Heinz and moving increasingly south-west under their lot--it then proceeds under Scharffen Berger.


On Thursday, August 11 a man attempted unsuccessfully to rob a 33-year-old woman in the area of Tenth and Grayson streets around 9 a.m. by pretending to have a weapon, according to police reports.


I've alway thought of Our Town as really diversified--check out Campus at noon or any Berkeley business district and you'll see many different kinds of people. But check out IKEA on a Saturday or Sunday and you'll see all different kinds of people.



Dorothy Vriend writes in the West County Times "West Berkeley has long been protected as a haven for artists and light manufacturing concerns, but now city officials are considering whether it is time to take fuller advantage of retail potential there to help build the city's tax base." Read her story at Kimar sees this as a wonderful opportunity for artists and crafts people to form co-ops, buy some property, and have their own studios. There's much to be said for having studios close to retail stores. Mostly, it's easier to sell your art.

"Twenty-eight local points of light were honored by the West Berkeley Foundation on Tuesday night with the one award that really counts: cold, hard cash" writes Martin Snapp of the West County Times.


The Chronicle's Patrick Hoge reports "Plans for two grand monuments in Berkeley to honor the late environmentalist and favorite son David Brower -- one an office and housing complex, the other a huge sculpture -- have hit bumps recently as a result of ballooning costs and location problems."

"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory for the first time on Friday to show support for technological advances that often lead to the creation of new jobs and companies" reports Betsy Mason of the West County Times.


"Amazon helps the little guy get read" reports Elizabeth M. Gillespie of the AP "It's common for publishers to spend months waiting to get paid, then receive a shipment of unsold books returned -- often with an order for a new batch of books. That makes cash flow a big problem for the little guys. 'Basically, they get your inventory on consignment,' said David Cole, founder of Bay Tree Publishing in Berkeley. By comparison, Amazon typically orders books in fairly small numbers and rarely returns them." Read the story at


Last week, The East Bay Daily reported on the most Liberal cities in the States. We weren't first--Detroit was. We were third.The story goes on to say much information that comes from Our Town is discounted by the rest of our country.


"Burner survival - Taking the right stuff to Burning Man is an art and a science" reports Meredith May in her short-story-like Burning Man series. Read it at

Computer room fills with irritant. Time to take a walk.


For the last two weeks, I've experienced intermittent but regular drops in my electricity. It is characterized by dimming, flickering, and/or blinking lights, and reduced and/or varying RPM of my HEPA filters. Most severe, and occurring two or three times a day, is the off-and-on blinking of my high-intensity lights and the momentary stopping of all my HEPA filters--the RPMs drop toward zero for an instant. More regularly, the lights can flicker almost continually and the filters can run irregularly--variable RPM. I've talked to others on my PG & E service-block and they're not experiencing anything like this--if you have, email me.


At our Canned Food Store, Kimar found "Fashion Eyewear Accessories"--this is a large sealed-plastic package containing two beautiful designer glass-cases, a bottle of lens cleaner, a cleaning cloth and a visor clip. It cost $2.99. I bought three as future gifts--it seems to me this is a$10.00--$20.00 value.

Kimar also recommends last week's W Blake Gray's Cabernet piece, now at Gray writes "My favorite Cab on this proudly proletarian list is the 2003 Pepperwood Grove California Cabernet Sauvignon ($8), which is more likable than many Cabs I've had at four times the price" and of Kimar's favoite bandidts, he writes "The jokesters behind Three Thieves wines have helped once again in liberating wine for the masses. The 2002 Three Thieves Bandit California Cabernet Sauvignon ($7 for a 1-liter box) has a bright, appealing aroma of cherry, cherry candy and vanilla. On the palate, it's a simple and likable combo of cherry and vanilla flavors. The Tetra Pak box it comes in has many advantages." But what about their buzz, W Blake? (Weeks ago we recommended the Pepperwood Grove 2001 California Zinfandel when Trader Joe was selling it for a dollar and change a bottle. And before that, we recommended a Three Thieves Italian white and a Spanish red.)


Read West County Times' Nicholas Boer's appreciation of Potter Creek's new restaurant, Sea Salt and its owners', the Krikorians here.

Tara Duggan of the Chronicle wrote of Sea Salt on July 27 "Like a pretty shell washed up on the sand, Sea Salt quietly landed on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, in the increasingly hip area at the corner of Dwight Way. Casual but stylish, this 86-seat seafood restaurant is the latest venture from Haig and Cindy Krikorian, owners of Lalime's in North Berkeley and Fonda in Albany. The former Cafe Tululah space keeps the long brick wall but has been redone in shades of blue. Oysters, littleneck clams and a yellowfin tartare with orange and basil start things off raw. Salads are fresh and local -- most of the produce is organic. The fish and chips is a crisp, golden pile of rock cod over house-made fries. Grilled local sardines come saucily perched among cut cherry tomatoes, with a tangle of roasted red and yellow peppers."

On July 25, I wrote

"Probably the best thing about Sea Salt is their sea salt. My $18.00 steamed lobster sandwich was filled with buttery but rubbery lobster, the cold-slaw was best described as thinly-grated raw cabbage and the thin butterfly chips were perfect but precious. Kimar's $12.00 Po Boy was packed with freshly fried breaded-oysters but in a barely discernible sauce. And the torpedo rolls of each didn't at all compliment their fillings--they're too dense. The fillings squish out when you bite down. (I owe her another Birthday lunch.) The waiter was friendly and efficient, but the high-ceiling room noisy. The place was packed--a testament to Berkeley's uniformed taste?

Sea Salt, 2512 San Pablo"


Arrive in warehouse at 1:10 PM--it's filled with "high-end" odor. By "high-end" I mean residual or partial, as if it's part of some bigger, fuller odor.




Yale economist who once predicted worldwide stock market crash now predicts real estate boom is destined for similar fate. Read New York Times, David Leonhardt's report at

Visits and hits to this site are up 40% from last August and the time spent browsing has doubled.


Steve Smith of Norheim and Yost drives a beautifully maintained diesel Mercedes G-Wagen--a German Land Rover--that he runs on used vegetable-oil. You can find out more about this fuel and its use at This is contractor, Craig Reece's diesel conversion site. In addition to contracting, Craig sells conversion components and works with a mechanic who does conversions

Steve emails "The G-Wagen I drive is an '82 which I bought and converted about two years ago. Craig Reece of Plantdrive is responsible for turning me onto the concept. My wife (Cleo) and I have purged ourselves of all engines non-diesel. The G-wagen is my daily driver, Cleo's car is a MB diesel station wagon, and my other occasional cruiser is a '64 MB diesel finback (that I run on biodiesel purchased from the Biofuel Oasis on 4th I collect oil from VIK Distributers on Allston and filter the oil at home. Our fuel costs are next to nothing and our auto emissions are dramatically reduced. It is especially fun driving a "Green" SUV in Berkeley. Don't hesitate to call if you have more questions!
take care,
Steve Smith , Norheim & Yost, 510-527-3400 ext12"

Jerry Victor hipped me to biodiesel three or four years ago--how hip is he?



8/23 /05

Natalie, Morgan's daughter and Ben's sister, just had her fifth Birthday on August 15th--she got a new bike--pink, I think.


Sunday, David had a Potluck barbecue for the Diablo Dancers and Oaktown Eights--his square dance friends. It was held in is beautiful garden from 3:00 PM till 7:00 PM. Twenty to thirty friends shared food and drink. "What was the best part?" I asked David. "The fun!" he replied.

John Curl, Potter Creek Elder, and his friend were talking, seated at the table next to me this morning at Caffé Trieste. Damn, John is a good listener.

Want to experience the sandwich as art? Go to Café Zeste next to the Strawberry Creek Park at Addison and Bonar. It's actually in the Strawberry Creek Design Center, 1250 Addison. The Café is open for lunch Monday thru Saturday from 11:00 AM. Kimar's rave review will follow.

"Dead Trees at Campus Bay Raise Alarm" reports Richard Brenneman of our Daliy Planet."Trees are dying around two controversial sites in Richmond, and highly regarded UC Berkeley plant pathologist Dr. Robert Raabe thinks toxins are to blame."


"Penn writes accounts of Iran travels: Sean Penn is trading screenplays for a reporter's notebook yet again" at




Potter Creek's senior architect and his colleague, also Gerard one of Potter Creek's most visible Frenchmen and his friends, were having coffee and conversation at Caffé Trieste this morning-bon!

Kimball's East, Freight & Salvage, Magnes Museum,and University Art Museum are all planning to move Downtown. Read West County Times, Martin Snapp's story here.

"Starchy, gnarly corn makes for the best-tasting tortillas" writes John Birdsall of the West County Times."Taste one of Picante's warm tortillas -- minutes after the tortilla maker has pressed it into a thin disc and it's left the comal (the griddle), first puffed, then collapsed -- and you think something must be wrong."


Another Meridith of note--a Lear.

Here, here!

And with an i--my, my.

"Friday at 3: p.m. Fire Chief Debra Pryor, Deputy Fire Marshal, Wayne Inouye, Berkeley's hazardous materials management team of Nabil Al-Hadithy and MERIDITH LEAR, and Assistant City Attorney Zach Cowan conferred with Monte Tiedmann, Iceland's manager, and agreed to guidelines, practices and schedules that will temporarily replace the rink's cooling system with a much safer, more efficient and smaller portable system using only 800 pounds of ammonia on Sept. 23, and permanently replace the system at the end of the current hockey season. . . .It has been reported that Iceland will spend $5,000 per month on the short-term fix" reports Fred Dodsworth of the East Bay Daily News.





Janine Johnson emails "I am giving a little talk with a lot of playing at the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven studies, which is housed on the fifth floor of the gorgeous new library in San Jose. This free event is Thursday evening September 1st at 7:30 PM. " Details are here.

A female Potter Creek business owner quipped "As the Activists run out of causes they can turn to acting."

A Berkeley realtor said that business has not been this good in years, he has so many listings. What can we learn from this?

a Business has not been this good in years.

b He's in sales--divide by two.

c Sales have slowed--listings are pilling up.

d None of the above.

e All of the above.


"Hey, heard you were talking to Lipofsky about me" I said. "You bet" he smart-cracked "said you were a retread ex-biker."


Is Steve's dog one of the best mannered, well-trained animals in Potter Creek? Looks to me like he is--didn't run into the street when he could've and I've never, ever seen him bark at another animal--though he stands his ground.


Fred Dodsworth reports in today's East Bay Daily News "new Oakland Fire Chief accused Berkeley of goldbricking its fire fighting responsibilities and threatened to bill the city for mutual assistance services. . . .'The first I knew about this was when I read it in the papers' said Berkeley Fire Chief Debra Pryor.' I called the chief and suggested we should meet and discuss this.'"


Check out our City Planning Department site here.


Pete Hurney just subscribed to American Heritage magazine. He lent me his September issue with a story on Indian motorcycles "Indian, Can a Classic be Reborn?" A description and appraisal of the modern Indian motorcycles. Also in this issue is an article "September 11 : Looking Back and Forward. Are We Learning from the Past? Are We Honoring it?" In it, author Kevin Baker offers an almost historically-honest, appraisal of our Iraq War. "Too many Democrats have offered up clearly unworkable solutions to the War in Iraq from immediate withdrawal to posting a timetable for when we will go. The administration, in turn, has insisted that we can fight a vital, global campaign for freedom with no draft and with private contractors and with tax cuts for all."

Well Ok then.



I believe that distinguished older man touring Potter Creek with Kava is his Father.

The crew at Consolidated Printing cheered and applauded the large Bud delivery truck as it drove past their plant yesterday morning.

Want to find out where Potter Creek runs? Want to find out if the new city-creeks-map shows it running under the proposed west Berkeley Bowl property? Go to the Berkeley City Map Room and find out for yourself!



Rick Auerbach is back in town and loves his new neighbors.

Jerry Landis, a person who's spent a lot of time with Berkeley's creek issue, believes that we really don't know exactly where are culverted creeks are.


So now just where is our namesake, Potter Creek? According to City of Berkeley, Department of Engineering 1990 Map, it runs underground in a 2 ft culvert entering Potter Creek, the neighborhood, at the southwest corner of San Pablo and Heinz, runs along Heinz under the proposed Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl site and directly under the Scharffen Berger factory, turns southwest at just before the corner of Heinz and 7th, and leaves Potter Creek at Potter and the railroad right-of-way.


I first posted this map in 2003.

The Berkeley Bowl lot begins roughly where the Creek line parallels HEINZ and ends after it turns southwest.


Seems to me putting creeks in sewer pipes disturbs the natural drainage system. Gound water can't natually run off into our culverted Potter Creek. So is that one of the reasons why the water table is so high in here?

"Activist takes her cause personally" reports John Geluardi, of the West County Times
"Two years ago, Sherry Padgett was a very private person. She had never spoken in public, knew very little about public process and even less about inorganic toxins."

"City dwellers know what they grow is safe" writes Daisy Nguyen of the AP "The gray sky cast a gloomy shadow over Southern California one recent summer morning, but the Dervaes family was rejoicing. A light rain had fallen overnight, quenching the tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, basil and 400 other varieties of plants thriving in the front and back yards of their home 13 miles north of downtown Los Angeles." Read her story at


A bunch of people contacted me about the Creeks Maps at Berkeley City Map Room. About half were not able to open this PDF File. Of those able to, Zelda Bronstein confirmed that Potter Creek is roughly in the same location on this new map as it is on mine--on both it is shown to run under the Berkeley Bowl property.

Jerry Landis, who lives next to Blackberry Creek and who was able to open the PDF emails "Ron - I checked my section of Blackberry Creek on this map and found it to be a very crude approximation showing straight line segments running thru the centers of lots, with none of the actual twists and turns.




Natalie starts school tomorrow and Daniel is back in Potter Creek.

Kimar's Pete has a very hip photo site here.

"Want to learn about creeks in Berkeley? Here's a good place to start, Neighbors on Urban Creeks and the history of the Berkeley Creek's Ordinance is here.


A reader emails about Potter Creek and the west-Berkeley Bowl property "If you click on "Creeks Task Force" under Business & Development on the city's website, you'll come up with an option that lets you type in a specific address and see if it's subject to the city's creek ordinance. I typed in 920 Heinz, and came up with a statement that this parcel isn't. No explanantion given. That's different, of course, from saying that there's no stream or watercourse going through the property."


The original owner of all scanned material retains copyright. The material is used only to illustrate.