candy for the Holidays!
candy for the holidays--the kind you wished your mom had made?
some hand-made candy from Kimar!
Vanilla Cream Caramels, Chocolate Caramels, Butter Pecan Toffee,
Peanut Brittle, Pecan Brittle, Pistachio Brittle, Cashew Brittle,
Macadamia Brittle, and Chocolate Peppermint Bark and White Chocolate
Bark. 1 lb bags are $13.00 and 1/2 lb bags are $7.00. She hand
wraps and beautifully packages the candy herself. (Personally,
I love the Vanilla Cream Caramels--they're REALLY good!)
like some of her Biscotti? Kimar makes White Chocolate Macadamia,
Chocolate Pecan, and Triple Ginger Biscotti. They are $8.00 a
bag. And her Sweet-Hot Cocktail Pecans are $10.00 a bag.
she already has orders for fifty pounds worth!
"Changes to Berkeley's landmark status" reports Martin Snapp of the West County
Times. "That old building: Is it a 'structure of merit'
or is it a landmark? The distinction may seem fine, but Berkeley's
planning commission has been unhappy with what it considers the
Landmarks Preservation Commission's overuse for years of the designation."
And, Martin Snapp reports,
mayor proposes solution to 'landmark' debate--Berkeley Mayor Tom
Bates unveiled a compromise proposal on Tuesday to resolve the
ongoing impasse between two city commissions over Berkeley's Landmarks
I've noticed a couple more
American flags flying in Potter Creek in the last few days.
Power went out on this power-block
yesterday afternoon for a couple of three hours. After about ten
minutes and with a sense that it'd be out for a while, I fired
up my Coleman generator--had lights, heat, filtered-air, and a
working computer for the duration. PG&E restored power around
4:00 PM. "A fuse" said the lineman as he prepared to
climb the poll between 2741 and 2743 8th.
So, . . . it went out because
a-PG&E's service is old and inadequate.
b-Users are overloading the service.
c-Both of the above--it's the same thing.
d-None of the above--electricity doen't like storms.
"Artisans' holiday sale continues over
Fred Dodsworth of the East Bay Daily. "Approximately
1,000 people showed up for Open Studios' first weekend at West
Berkeley's Sawtooth Building at Eighth Street and Dwight Way,
according to event originator Susan Brooks."
"Chez Panisse at 35" appreciates John Birdsall of the West County
Times. "It's the first of a fixed four-course menu on
a recent evening in the ground-floor restaurant at Chez Panisse:
a little scrappy-looking salad of arugula leaves you can't get
from the bulk bin at Whole Foods, mixed with slabs of sauteed
porcini mushroom as warm and softly cartilaginous as pieces of
ear lobe. Tucked beside them, slices of cured foie gras look immodestly
pink and shiny on bits of crisp toast -- they recede like curls
of butter on the tongue."
"Sheriff appoints his son to key anti-terrorism
post" reports Jaxon
Van Derbeken of the San Franciso Chronicle. "Alameda
County Sheriff Charles Plummer has appointed his son to a federally
funded post in the Sheriff's Department to prepare for and handle
terrorist attacks. Larry Plummer, 56, a retired Mountain View
police captain who had been working at Cisco Systems Inc., is
scheduled to start Monday at his $111,674-a-year job, which is
paid for by the Department of Homeland Security."
When Larry Plummer was with
Berkeley PD he used to eat at the Buttercup and at the Navonne's
across the street. I got to know him as we shared an interest
in cars--I still remember his '55 Chevy. After he left Berkeley
PD for Mountain View I lost touch, but I'm glad to hear that he's
working for his dad.
"Black Muslim Bakery has had a long and
report Meredith May, and Jim Herron Zamora of the San Francisco
I was working on a story
late last night and like a scene from a B movie fell asleep with
my head on the desk. I was sleeping lightly when I heard the car
door slam. Down here at 1:00AM that's trouble more often than
not. As I was waking up I heard the loud voices of a man a woman
arguing out in front--mostly a man talking trash. I figure
yelling is alright and their problem, but when I heard the sounds
of pushing and shoving and her pleading, I did something stupid.
I opened the top of the Dutch-door and in my lowest, angry-voice
yelled "What's going on out here?" "We talkin'!"
came back a little surprised. "Talk down the street man,
you woke me up!" I yelled "an be cool!" The car
door slammed again and the car sped away. I closed the door top
and went back to my desk. It was time for a glass of wine, it's
cold out here in the shop with the heat off.
I'd like to thank Morgan
for being a more than good neighbor.
Wells Fargo's west- Berkeley
business office has a new manager. Denise left for a position
in the city.
Pete reports over an inch
of rain down here toward the end of the week.
"How neighbors see Muslim group--Some perceive
Bey's legacy of progressive action overcome by factionalism and
report Jim Herron Zamora and Meredith May of the San Francisco
Chronicle. "In the late '60s, Your Black Muslim Bakery
was one of the few businesses that took a chance on a blighted
North Oakland neighborhood, offering jobs to ex-cons, fixing run-down
storefronts and feeding the hungry. "
the Co-op--The quiet rebirth of a co-op on UC Berkeley's south
side" writes Sam
Whiting of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Hillegass-Parker
co-op has wide marble steps at the entry, perfect for the stoop
sitting that is incumbent upon all college students in Berkeley.
But the residents aren't allowed to hang around in front, and
it is Lauren MacKinnon's job to enforce it. Tough duty, that,
for a mild-mannered graduate student of ethics. "
Geralyn emails about her
I just wanted to let you know the the Northern California Luthiers
Association just opened its exhibit, 'Where do guitars come from?',
at the Berkeley Arts Commission's windows on Addison St., across
from the Berkeley Rep.
It's an educational and informational exhibit on the making of
guitars. Since Peter's involved, there's also a delightful section
on the 'ukulele. A braguinha and a rajao, predecessors of the
uke, are also on display.
The show ends on 15 Jan 06. I hope you all get a chance to see
Mele Kalikimake, Hau'oli Makahiki hou to all!
Geralyn Ke'olani Hurney
The silos at the former asphalt
company on 9th and Ashby have been razed!
"Drayage Building Struggle Ends With Sale" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet.
"The long-running saga of the Drayage is nearing an end with
the sale of the West Berkeley building to the development firm
Hudson McDonald expected to clear some time next month."
Tonight our City Council
will consider naming our Old City Hall for Maudelle Shirek.
My thoughts for the day.
"Gimmie an old Lefty
or Righty any day--you never no where those damn Liberals stand!"
You don't hav'ta be Freak
or even a Geek
to want a park in Potter Creek
Ramblers M. C. reader sent this holiday recipe.
is a wonderful recipe, and it's just in time for the Holidays.
With the holidays coming, here's a fruit cake recipe that will
take the stress out of this normally stressful time.
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
3 ounces lemon juice
1 cup of nuts
First, sample the vodka to check for freshness. Take a large bowl.
Check the vodka again to be sure it is of the highest quality.
Turn on the electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy
Add water, eggs and 1 tsp. sugar and beat again.
Make surr the vodca is still OK. Cry another tup. Turn off mixers.
Chuck in the cup of dried fruitt or something.
Mix on the turner.
If the fried druit gets struck on the beaterers, pry it loose
Sample the vodka to check for tonsistancity. Next, sniff 2 cups
salt. Or . . . Who cares? Check the vodka. Now sniff the lemon
and strain nuts.
Add one Table.
Of sugar. Whatever.
Grease the oven.
Turn the cake ttin 350 degrees.
Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Whip the bowl out the window.
Check the vidka again.
. . . forget it. Nobody likes fruitcake anyway."
many artists and crafts people in Potter Creek. They are now having
open studios. Check them out. Then buy something!
-- B.F.D. Fire Station 1 -- collects gifts for children during
these Holidays. The firehouse is at 2442 8th Street and you can
drop off gifts there anytime. You might also drop off something
for our firemen and firewomen.
ago, my friend Takane Eshima gave me a copy of the book Day
of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor. The
author is ex-Oakland Tribune reporter/photographer, Robert B.
Stinnett. The book's thesis is that it wasn't the Japanese who
were sneaky about Pearl Harbor, it was us. Although his case that
FDR knowingly let Pearl Harbor happen in order to get America
into war is not fully made, it seems clear Roosevelt finessed
us into World War II.
Jim Novosel emails about his 2817 8th Street project
too much architectural, planning language bs, I want to outline
to you why I feel this project should be supported from a neighborhood
perspective. It mostly goes to size and style, i.e., the project's
size is reasonable and significantly less than what the zoning
rules would allow, and the building looks like it belongs in the
The project is only 4 units whereas 6 units could be built.
2. The project is 6,228 square feet of building whereas nearly
square feet could be built. The zoning rules would allow a developer
construct a project that could have 1 1/2 times the square footage
its land size, where as our project is only .85 of its land size.
3. The project is two stories in the front and rear, and three
its center. A full 3 stories could be constructed across the property.
4. The style of the buildings fit the neighborhood's scale and
"friendly" to the historic look of adjacent homes. Our
front unit has an
entry door and living room on the street level that faces the
neighborhood similar to the older adjacent residences. The recent
projects at 8th and Pardee, though well designed in the "high
architecture" style, are closed off and have little street
the existing neighborhood context.
think that in most Berkeley developments, the zoning envelopment
is being pushed by developers to have bigger and denser projects
than would be allowed by the zoning rules. Here, the Potter Creek
looking at a housing project in reverse of that trend.
you, Jim Novosel. 510.420.1484
Rick Auerbach by
photo of the Northern California Luthiers Association exhibit
The Northern California Luthiers
Association has opened its exhibit, 'Where do guitars come from?',
at the Berkeley Arts Commission's windows on Addison St., across
from the Berkeley Rep. It's an educational and informational exhibit
on the making of guitars. There's also a delightful section on
the 'ukulele. A braguinha and a rajao, predecessors of the uke,
are also on display.
The show ends on 15 Jan 06. CHECK IT OUT!
I'm told that Scharffen Berger
is now installing new equipment and planning new product--thanks
to Hershey capital.
One of the
Buttercup favorites in the '70s, were Granny Fenster cookies.
Thought to be from a relative of mine, in fact, their recipe was
found by manager, Mary Guenther in a 1940s Wisconsin Gas and Electric
Cook Book--the Gas Company's. Further confusing their origin,
during one of the first bakes, Haley, unknown to me, taped a large
handwritten sign to my back reading GRANNY FENSTER
heat oven to 375
1 cup Butter (2 sticks)
1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Raspberry Jam, Dickinson's seedless (sometimes strawberry is used)
2 cups fairly finely chopped pecans
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in
yolks and vanilla. Gradually add flour and salt until blended.
refrigerate 1 hr.
Shape into 1" balls, roll in beaten egg whites (left over
from the yolks used in cookies), then roll in chopped pecans.
Place on lightly oiled cookie sheet, (I use parchment paper, you
can use nonstick spray also) about 2" apart, gently make
Bake 5 minutes, remove from oven, you may need to press the indentation
again, fill with jam and bake another 10 minutes. Makes about
"Berkeley refuses to close Derby street
for ballfield" reports
Martin Snapp of the West County Times."The Berkeley
school board struck out in its attempt to persuade the City Council
to close Derby Street in order to build a new baseball diamond
for the high school."
Andrew and Kerstin's
From Da Boss' December report
Mayor Bates Launches
Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Effort
I led the successful effort at the Alameda County Conference of
Mayors to create a regional greenhouse gas reduction plan last
month. The effort, which is being done in partnership with KyotoUSA
and the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives
(ICLEI), will guide city efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses and
provide a model for other regions to follow.
on Revisions to City's Landmark Ordinance
After four years of discussion at the Landmarks Commission and
another year at the Planning Commission, the City Council is now
discussing revisions to the City's landmarks ordinance in an effort
to bring it into compliance with state law and address other concerns.
I recently submitted a preliminary proposal to bridge the differences
between the Planning Commission and Landmarks Commission proposals.
The Council will take up the discussion again in January and has
tentatively scheduled a public hearing for February.
Update on Derby
Street Playing Fields
For years the community has been discussing the development of
multi-use playing fields and a regulation size baseball field
on the School District's property at Martin Luther King Jr. Way
and Derby Street. This has been a volatile and complicated issue
involving neighbors, sports field users, the Farmers Market and
two jurisdictions - the School District and the City. I support
a phased approach to developing playing fields. For the first
phase, the School District has already completed design and costing
for a multi-purpose field for soccer, rugby, lacrosse, field hockey
and a practice infield for baseball. This scenario does not require
closing Derby Street and BUSD has sufficient funds in the current
construction budget to begin. For the second phase, I have recommended
the district examine closing Derby Street to allow a full regulation
baseball diamond. The City Council unanimously forwarded this
recommendation to the school district.
Our Old City Hall will be
re-named in Ms. Maudelle Shirek's honor.
"Shadi Christmas sculptures to reappear
in El Cerrito" writes
Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "El Cerrito's
most cherished holiday tradition will receive its annual unveiling
Tuesday when the Shadi sculptures return to their traditional
spot at the corner of Moeser and Seaview. Firefighters from the
El Cerrito Fire Department will begin hauling them up the hill
at 8:30 a.m., and everything should be in place by noon."
Sweet potatoes are not yams.
A sweet potato and a yam are two completely different plant species.
True yams were brought to this country from Africa and are not
grown in the United States on a commercial basis. Their flesh
is white and not sweet at all. Occasionally a well-stocked Latin
market may have a few yams, but generally they are difficult to
locate. Louisiana and East Texas growers like to call their product
yams in order to distinguish their potatoes from those grown in
the north, a marketing technique that is confusing. And some canned
sweet potatoes may be labeled yams, further complicating the issue.
SWEET POTATO PIE
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 cup cooked sweet potato
1 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust, chilled
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Whisk together the sugar, flour,
salt and nutmeg in mixer bowl. Add the half-and-half, sweet potato,
eggs and butter, one at a time, beating on medium speed about
30 seconds after each ingredient is added. Pour the filling into
the pie shell. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until filling is firm on
the sides and just barely shakes in the middle. Cool on a wire
rack. The pie may be served warm or cold and yields 8 servings.
Certainly not a
a sweetie--Milo is 1 year old
"West Berkeley's Silent Majority Wants
a Grocery Store"
writes Christine Staples in Our Planet. "Welcome
to my neighborhood. We live in the block just east of San Pablo
Avenue. We describe each other's houses based on their "S.P.
Factor"-N. and her husband and 2-year-old, they're as close
as you can be to San Pablo, so they have the highest S.P. factor.
They mostly deal with the hookers. L. and her husband and 2-year-old
live up the block, where the issue is more the drug dealers and
the midnight 'donuts.' Me, I live in the middle of the block with
my husband and 5-year-old; I call about domestic violence and
gunshots. The east side of San Pablo is the 'tony"' side;
one block to the west is where things really get exciting."
My neighborhod Potter Creek,
is according to Ms Staples "where things really get exciting."
I ABSOLUTELY agree, AND many of my neighbors want a grocery store.
"BERKELEY--Theft of disabled children's
customized bikes discovered. Nonprofit's entire fleet of 30 vanished
reports Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Dozens
of disabled kids lost an exhilarating link to freedom -- and a
hallmark of childhood -- when thieves stole about 30 of their
specially-crafted bicycles from a locked storage room in Berkeley.
The bicycles, which were owned by a Berkeley nonprofit called
Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program, were snatched from
the north end of Aquatic Park, where the children often rode with
their able-bodied families and friends."
Pete reports 2.9 inches of
rain Saturday/Sunday morning and 1.4inches Sunday/Monday morning.
The former APOC "tin-shed"
has an "spilled" asphalt product all along its west
side at ground-level and running down into the ground.
"Strong job growth in the East Bay" reports George Avalos of the West County
"It's hard to
imagine a worthier cause than the Bay Area Outreach & Recreation
Program in Berkeley. For almost three decades, BORP has provided
recreation activities for a population that previously had been
left out -- the disabled" writes Martin Snapp of the West
County Times. Read the full story
Pete's Potter Creek rain
.9 inch; Wednesday/Thursday morning.4 inch; Thursday/Friday morning
1 inch. This week since Sunday, we've had about 7 inches. My belief
is that the water table is now at the surface--the many small
sink holes in our Potter Creek surface streets are allowing the
water to drain directly into the soil instead of running off into
Advance Heli Welders on 8th
and Pardee, one of Potter Creeks oldest manufactures, is moving
out at the end of January 2006--the property to then be sold.
Figures between 2 million and 3 million are heard. Marvin sold
his 2700 St building to Elizabeth Grossman, a Potter Creek business
person. The asking price was just over $700,000. And Kava is reported
to have paid $650,000 for the lot and its structures in the 2800
block of 8th Street just north of Hustead's. We definitely ain't
in Kansas anymore.
Judi Quan emails that Cost
Plus has a 20% off sale on People's Tea.
Our Rick Auerbach has a photo-feature
in the 2006 Audubon Water's Edge calender. The February photo
is his Makena Beach, Hawaii shot. He has allowed me to scan it
for my January 2006 graphic. Rick also will allow me to scan and
upload his a-pair-of-hummingbird-chicks photo--a marvelous effort.
And our activist Rick is
also now being paid for his WEBIAC work--a tireless effort.
While talking with Rick the
other night I reminded myself that I haven't posted anything From
My Log for a month and a half--lots of stuff comin' up!
Deborah Byrd reports in the
West County Times "Berkeley artisans turn out to showcase
wares--Telegraph Avenue's holiday street fair is a regular seasonal
event that celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year. Not even
rainy weather can discourage people from coming out to sample
the wares at a plethora of craft and arts booths. Every year,
the city closes Telegraph Avenue to traffic. The area between
Dwight and Bancroft becomes the scene of a vibrant street f It's
a chance for the distinctive Berkeley neighborhood to show off
its attractions. Craft sellers who are regulars on Telegraph turn
out for the yearly event, but many other artists make an appearance
just once a year for the event. The fair will continue today and
Saturday. The hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m."
Rick will be selling his
beautiful photos there--CHECK IT OUT!
"ZAB Gives Green Light To San Pablo Ave.
Richard Brenneman of Our Planet. "After years of wrangling,
heated neighborhood opposition and repeated design revisions,
the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) cleared the way Monday
for a five-story condominium complex at 2700 San Pablo Ave."
So Da Boss invented the Transit
Village, eh? Hell, if I could invent The Collectible LP, I guess
His Honor could have invented the Transit Village. Read Our
Planet Richard Brenneman's version here.
"Thoroughfare becomes hip place to
hang out" reports
Dorothy Vriend of the West County Times about Our Ave.
"For many, San Pablo Avenue has long been thought of as a
street full of auto body shops and grocery stores with bars on
the windows. But a transformation is under way along a stretch
of the busy thoroughfare. You can now eat upscale on San Pablo,
listen to opera on a Sunday or buy expensive lighting fixtures
for your home renovation there." Great photo of Arturo in
the newspaper version!
"Bay Area feels housing 'pause'" writes Rick Jurgens of the West County Times.
"A nationwide slowdown in the sales of new houses sent a
ripple through a Bay Area housing market already made skittish
by rising interest rates and concerns about the sustainability
of recent double-digit annual rates of appreciation."
After a survey-ride through
much of Berkeley last night the San Pablo Park neighborhood gets
my nomination for BEST holiday lights!
Pete's Potter Creek rain
inch; Sunday/Monday morning 1.25 inches.
More information about our
current weather conditions than is good for you can be found at
Jesse Hamlin of the San
Francisco Chronicle writes "Bruce
Jenkins is the only writer who could begin a book about his old
man this way: 'Frank Sinatra once told me that he and my father
were the two saddest men. I only knew the half of it. But then,
everyone knew about Sinatra.' Jenkins, the graceful Chronicle
sportswriter, knew little about the inner life and colorful past
of his quiet, upbeat father, Gordon Jenkins, the late composer,
arranger and conductor whose sweeping string arrangements for
Sinatra, Judy Garland and other stellar singers are steeped in
romantic despair and longing. The sportswriter never knew the
source of that sadness -- or, for that matter, the joyously swinging
music his father and mother made on live radio in the 1940s --
until he began researching his rich new book, 'Goodbye: In Search
of Gordon Jenkins,' published by Berkeley's Frog Ltd." His
full appreciation can be read here.
Wha'na change the direction
of development in Potter Creek? Simple, change the zoning in the
mixed-use area. Right now--correct me if I'm wrong--here you can
develop a site to 150 percent of its area. In residential you
can develop to 80 percent. It's a developers dream come true!
Hell, I'm thinking of developing and, instinctively, I hate the
sons-of-bitches--that is, until my head kicks and I realize that
like any group there are good developers and bad.
Pete's Potter Creek rain
total for Tuesday/Wednesday morning is .9 inch.
Yesterday, I needed sandbags
so went to BFD Firehouse No. 1. They had them and loaded them.
And sent me on my way. BIG points for the men at Firehouse No.1.
"Air quality district reaches settlement
with Pacific Steel"
reports Alan Lopez of the West County Times. "Pacific
Steel Casting of Berkeley has reached a settlement with the Bay
Area Air Quality Management District over odorous emissions that
have long been a source of complaint among nearby residents. As
part of the settlement, Pacific Steel will be required to install
a $2 million carbon filtration system on one of its three plants.
In addition, the company will pay $17,500 in fines and develop
an odor-management plan approved by the air district for the entire
Pete Hurney, my ukulele making
neighbor, should be WEBIAC's Poster Guy of 2005-6. In addition
to making beautiful ukes for a living for quite a while, Pete
has a state-of-the-art shop with tools and machinery some of which
he's invented. (Dad was a prof at MIT. Something about the apple.)
He also has a spray booth with an elaborate and efficient filter
system, a sealed drying room, and a shop-wide, state-of-the-art
system for vacuuming up and collecting sawdust--you won't find
much dust or irritants of any kind around his facility. Just beautiful
ukes. ALL MY OTHER manufacturing neighbors could learn A LOT from
him. (And Pete's cute in an Irish sort of way.)
Checkout Pete's website at
"Citizen groups fight over shoreline" reports Alan Lopez of the West County Times.
"Brian Parker expected no more than 50 people to show up
for the presentation on development at Golden Gate Fields. But
about double that number came to the Dec. 1 meeting, most signing
in as opponents of putting businesses and housing on what are
now the Albany racetrack's northwest parking lots. "
Check out Meredith May's
informative talk with Saleh Khalaf--the 9 year old Iraqi boy injured
in an ordnance accident.
"Saleh lost an eye,
his right hand, and most of the fingers on his left hand. His
intestines were blown out; in the first weeks after the accident,
his abdomen is held together by a surgical dressing. Chronicle
reporter Meredith May and photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice covered
Saleh's inspiring journey in a series called Operation Lion Heart,
which won numerous awards, including the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for
Feature Photography. Just weeks after the surgery, Saleh felt
well enough to visit The Chronicle and podcast with Meredith."
The sfgate page is here.
Meredith's podcast interview can be downloaded through the link
toward the page-bottom.
Pete's Potter Creek rain
guage showed 3.2 inches for Friday/Saturday morning.
The original owner
of all scanned material retains copyright. The material is used
only to illustrate.