JULY 2006


Joe Slusky's "Helios" Chariot of the Sun at 7th and Grayson

just across from 900








Declaration of Independence


"WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great- Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World."



The Bill of Rights

Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.




Bleep, Bleep,

Time for John Coltrane Park

in Potter Creek






"Artificial lake offers real fun for all ages" reports the West County Times. "Lake Anza, just one of many family attractions at Tilden Regional Park in the Berkeley hills, is the modern equivalent of the old swimming hole. While temperatures cooled off late in the week after a torrid start, the lake was still the perfect place to seek refuge."


"Chinese School shuts new site under threat of fines" reports Alan Lopez of the Times. "A consultant to the Berkeley Chinese School said the school shut down its new site after being warned that it needed to submit an application for a license or be fined $200 a day.""


"It's rising and healthy: Three decades ago, a bunch of college students reported on and worried about the fate of Mono Lake. This month, they celebrated its recovery" reports Jane Kay of the San Francisco Chronicle.







"Movement Grows to Draft Shirley Dean For Mayor Run" reports Judith Scherr in today's Planet. "Former Mayor Shirley Dean didn't ask anyone to take out election papers in her name. But ever since community activist Merrilee Mitchell did it for Dean without consulting her, Dean said her phone has been ringing off the hook with people offering to go out and gather signatures."

On 7/18 I posted "Shirley Dean entering the Mayor's race? It's been said."


"Council Addressed Developer Fees" reports the Planet's Judith Scherr. "The Berkeley City Council debated a proposal to initiate transportation service fees Tuesday evening . . . The council made no decision but voted unanimously to continue the discussion with a workshop Oct. 10.


"New Landmarks Law Pulled. . ." writes Richard Brenneman of the Planet. "'We'll drop it this evening and see what happens with the initiative,' said Mayor Tom Bates, the driving force behind the tabled measure along with Councilmember Laurie Capitelli."

The initiative process is said to have been developed to break the hold of the railroads on California.


Our City of Berkeley Planning Department update is here






The 21st Berkeley Kite Festival is being held this weekend at the Marina.


"Berkeley council passes on Cal election ruling" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "The Berkeley City Council, which has a long history of speaking out on issues far beyond the city limits, declined to get involved in one closer to home -- the student body elections at Cal."


Zelda Bronstein will be featured guest at a private garden party on August 6th in Potter Creek.


A regular reader from Mexico emails

I'm in Culiacán right now; I came to visit my family, well, my mother's side
of the family. It's a small city in the northwest side of the country, right
in front the south side of the Baja Peninsula. It's like the hottest city
ever. It's something you can't imagine, 45ºC is a normal temperature for a
summer day. And right now we're having a hurricane, well, not that
close because we are 60km away from the beach, but we still have tropical
rains every afternoon. It's grey and cloudy out there, like we were in a
normal north winter day. But of course, if you open the door, expecting a
nice cold day, well . . . you are deceived, it's over 40ºC, with like a 100%
of humidity, it's so hard to breath !





Quite a lunch crowd at 900 GRAYSON yesterday, spilling out the door and out to the corner, they were. A lot of Potter Creekers, too: Gene and friend, a group from Fantasy, Adams, Chittenden and friend, Kava, Regan and friend and many, many other familiar faces.


Last Saturday afternoon, in broad daylight, a truck was broken into in V&W's parking lot.


This morning NEXUS received an eviction notice from the Humane Society--it is effective 6:01 AM August 2nd.

NEXUS' suit against the Humane Society is scheduled for trial August 18.


"Scientists split on heat wave cause. Some think culprit is global warming, but jury is still out" reports Keay Davidson, of the San Francisco Chronicle.





Laura Billings, Project Manager
2747 San Pablo Ave emails


Thanks for posting the Busted! entry in your newsletter. We were very frustrated by the public mislabeling of our building as a Mel's Drive-In, and her call to action to landmark the building.Wewere very glad she publicly admitted the mistake, although it's clear that she still intends to intervene based her opinion on the merits of the roadside architecture. We' ll see how it goes.


"Bay to Barkers is a family affair" reports Chris Readway in the West County Times. "Canines and families had their day in the sun at the Berkeley Marina on Sunday at Bay to Barkers, the annual benefit for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society. The event, the society's major fund-raiser of the year, brings dogs to Cesar Chavez Park for a fun-run and walk, as well as a Doggy Olympiad, Doggy Talent Show and a parade of dogs that are alumni of the humane society shelter. A Pet Expo area featured information booths for animal rescue groups, pet products and community groups. Proceeds from the event help fund food and medical care for animals at the society's shelter, located at 2700 Ninth St. in Berkeley."


"Blackouts don't scare cities with power firms. Alameda, Santa Clara and Palo Alto are among 50 communities in state who have own companies that purchase power" reports S.L. Wykes of the Mercury News. "With state officials pleading with California's residents and businesses to go easy on energy use and take some of the heat off power supplies, three Bay Area cities are calm and secure in the crisis."

I guess Berkeley never had time to establish its own power company. Busy as we were over the years with more important things like declaring the city a Nuclear Free Zone, voting to impeach Presidents, etc. Yet, I do seem to remember that we were involved with power suppy in The Day. But that was mostly confined to blowing up PG& E towers.



Learned a lot with ole friend WD through the years


WD emails

Based on the 1998 landmark exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Art of the Motorcycle at the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) explores the motorcycle as both cultural icon and design achievement and offers a thought-provoking challenge to conventional assumptions about art and popular culture in the modern age. Check it out!




The patio furniture was stolen from 900 GRAYSON over the weekend. Security measures are being taken now to protect the patio.


Our Sarah illustrates books that her sister Kate writes.

She emails

Our new book is reviewed in PEOPLE magazine this week--complete with
book jacket. It is called "Regarding the Bathrooms" and is due out Aug 1st. . . . The book is for the 9-12 year old set.

Check out "Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past."


Their current book is

Check it out


Cody's has--will-have--these books. And maybe you can find a used copy of "Why Do You Cry?" at Moe's.


Think Lebanon is just a TV event? A west-Berkeley friend's Mom and Dad just got out via Syria. They're home safe now.


I'm told that last week NEXUS lost the suit with the Humane Society--the jury ruling that the Society could evict NEXUS. Is the legal battle over?


Escrow has closed on the welding yard--the price paid by Acme Bread was just under 1.4 million dollars.






Quite a mix at 900 GRAYSON yesterday when Kimar and I arrived at 2:00--Rick was there, as well as Carol, Linda Miao and friend, and John and Suzanne--and I think saw Cameron and Claudia on there way there earlier in the morning.


Da Boz reports

Voters to Decide on Taking Aggressive Steps to Curb Greenhouse Gasses
At my request, the Berkeley City Council placed a measure on the November ballot that asks voters to set an 80% greenhouse gas reduction target and direct the mayor to work with the community to develop a plan to meet that goal. The science is absolutely crystal clear on this issue. We have about a decade to begin making major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or we face the prospect of a climate catastrophe.

City Council and Landmarks Commission Approve Landmarks Revisions. Earlier this month the Berkeley City Council voted 6-2 (with one abstention) to revise the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance. The new ordinance, which was also approved by the Landmarks Commission by a 7-2 vote, will help bring the City into general compliance with state law by requiring that decisions regarding landmarks be made in a timely matter as well as require that all new landmarks meet standards for integrity. It will also better protect historic properties by requiring proposed developments go to the Landmarks Commission for review at the beginning of any development process. It has been a challenging six year process to get here, but I am confident that the new ordinance will not only work well, but will also be broadly accepted as fair and equitable.

2nd Annual "Berkeley Reads Together" Gets Started
On July 18th I joined the Berkeley Public Library Berkeley Reads coordinator, Linda Sakamoto-Jahnke, to launch Berkeley Reads Together: California Stories with the distribution of free books to South and West Berkeley residents. This year we are reading two books, Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas and The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez. Both books are wonderful pieces of literature and are creative looks at the issue of immigration. I look forward to the many great discussions it will start. Free copies were distributed at City of Berkeley Senior Centers and all Berkeley Public Library branches thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Library. (Some locations may still have copies available.) Families with children participating in Project BUILD (Berkeley United in Literacy Development) will also receive free copies.

Piedmont Avenue To Get a Major Renovation
Detour alert - The City will begin a major renovation of Piedmont Avenue on July 22nd. The work is being funded through the city budget and with a federal grant. They hope to finish the work by mid-August.


"Berkeley considers developer transit fee" reports the West County Times. "Officials split on whether to tax builders for projects that create more traffic. Berkeley transit advocates want big developers to pay for the costs of increased traffic their projects create. The concept of a transportation services fee has split Berkeley city government, with the Transportation Commission backing it and the Planning Commission against it."


Sources estimate the proposed transit fee could cost the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl project between one and two million dollars. One source questions its legality.

Rumors persist of a wealthy Richmond developer aggressively courting the Berkeley Bowl Yasuda's.


"Oakland woos gourmet food industry. Growing businesses replace industrial chains, finding spacious, affordable sites to make goods" writes Marton Dunai of the West County Times. "Karen Robert Jackson always wanted to get into the food business. A successful filmmaker at Pixar with such hits as "Toy Story 2" under her belt, Jackson decided to realize her dream two years ago and teamed up with her husband to buy Crunchy Foods, the San Francisco-based makers of Suzy's Biscotti and other fine bakery products. . . . Crunchy Foods relocated to Oakland last year, joining a recent throng of small- to medium-sized food businesses. Driven by a lack of affordable, suitable or available space in San Francisco or Emeryville, many food companies have moved to Oakland."


"East Bay job market leader of the pack" Private sector fuels expansion as area accounts for 10 percent of new jobs statewide reports George Avalos in the Times. "The East Bay job market showed no signs of a slowdown in June, as it accounted for a huge chunk of the jobs created in the Bay Area and California during the past 12 months."


And Avalos also reports "Auto insurers sue to block reform. Three insurance groups filed a lawsuit Thursday to block proposals that would require the industry to use driving records as the primary way to set automobile insurance rates in California."

And finally "Home sales skid in East Bay."








On7/9/06 I posted this link

"East Bay Then and Now: Mel's Drive-In Saw Birth of Civil Rights Movement" writes Daniella Thompson in the Berkeley Daily Planet.

In today's Planet Ms Thompson writes "I thank David Mayeri and Laura Billings for their correction regarding the original use of the interesting building at 2747 San Pablo Ave. . . . , my error had its origin in the City of Berkeley's West Berkeley Plan. . . . Even though the building was never a Mel's Drive-in, it is a very good example of mid-century road-side architecture . . . "



Bob Kubik reports

Carol and I were walking around the neighborhood
about an hour ago when we saw two young prostitutes
soliciting along San Pablo Ave. We called the police
and officer Salas responded immediately. He called me
as soon as he found them and asked if I would identify
them and do a citizen's arrest form. Carol and I
walked up, identified them and I described what we had
seen and I signed the form.
The girls, (very young), had no identification;
and had condoms on them. They were handcuffed and
taken to jail.
Officer Salas asked me to follow up with the
District Attorney, because they don't bring charges on
these cases, much to the frustration of the police. I
will do so.
Summer and good weather are here and we are
seeing more prostitutes so please call 981-5900 when
you see them. No fair complaining about them if you
don't do something about it.


Cedric, from San Francisco Magazine, is doing a photo-shoot at 900 GRAYSON today. The story should appear in a September issue.


The Chronicle's John King writes of our Kava in "Kava Massih Architects took a dowdy cafe at University Avenue and Grant Street, stripped off the garish 1970s veneer, and turned it into a sophisticated-looking and thoroughly contemporary burger bistro." Read all of it here.





Cameron Woo emails

I've heard from a friend who works for Peets in the promotions dept that
there is a coffee and chocolate sampling at Scharffen Berger's (at the cafe)
this Thurs evening from 7 to 8:30. The neighbors are welcome.


A twenty-something woman who for awhile worked and lived just off Telegaph Avenue offers "You can't have our liberal laws with lax enforcement and expect Telegraph to florish." Living just a few blocks off The Ave she observes "Homeless kids used to sleep in our backyard."


"Neighbors sue steel company" writes Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "The long-running battle between Pacific Steel Casting Co. and its neighbors in West Berkeley ratcheted up another notch this month when a neighborhood group accused the foundry in a lawsuit of violating the federal Clean Air Act."


"Longtime Berkeley pianist, composer and teacher Julian White died June 23 at his home in Kensington. He was 75" reports Martin Snapp in the West County Times.


"Berkeley council modifies condo development rules" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times."The Berkeley City Council amended the city's Inclusionary Ordinance on Tuesday night, allowing condominium developers to pay a fee to the city's Housing Trust Fund in lieu of providing low-income units."

"Lack of impact report trounces shoreline plan" writes Alan Lopez of the West County Times. "Southern California-based firm likely to pursue other local projects, possibly in Berkeley or Richmond. High-profile Southern California developer Rick Caruso is quitting his effort to build an open-air shopping mall and housing project along the Albany shoreline, a representative confirmed Tuesday."


"Yahoo's stock falls 22 percent. More than $10 billion in shareholder wealth vanishes in firm's biggest one-day decline; analysts cite Google's revenue lead" reports AP's Michael Liedtke.






"Let Them Have Dinner" writes John Birdsall in the East Bay Express. "A gutsy addition to West Berkeley, 900 Grayson is stymied only by zoning issues.Combine a talented chef with kickass style, a couple of guys who honed their service chops as fancy cater waiters, and a bright, appealing space and what do you get? In West Berkeley, apparently, only half a restaurant. The three-month-old 900 Grayson is serving up some of the most delicious, quirky, and confident cooking spooned onto Berkeley plates since Olivia opened last year. Just don't expect to taste any of it past mid-afternoon." Read the whole review here.

Penelope Huston emails her schedule

July 21nd Friday
The Avengers play Cafe du Nord , 2170 Market St. @ Sanchez, San Francisco
w/ Mon Cousin Belge and Jonny Lives.
21+ over, $12
show at 9:00 we play at 11:00

July 22nd Sat
Avengers X-Fest
Devil in the Woods stage at 12th & J Streets
in downtown Modesto!
21+ over $20 .
w/Pedro the Lion's David B.
Numbers, Micah P. Hinson
Rademacher, Vanilla Ice(!) & more
show at 6:PM we play at 8:00 exactly!

Aug 5th Sat
Penelope plays a set with Pat at the
Uptown Nightclub Oakland
A memorial for Victor Ratto with Translator,
The Uptones, Cole Panther and Jayne Doe.
more info to come...


Aug 13th Sunday! 10 PM
Avengers headline the Death and Glory Festival
@ Plainfield Station, Sacramento CA
All Ages
big outdoor party with loads of punk bands
noon until midnight Sat and Sun, we play at 10






900 GRAYSON will be reviewed in tomorrow's East Bay Express.


A world-class Cajun music workshop in west-Berkeley? On September 2nd from 1:00PM until 5:00PM Ray Abshire, accordian, Courtney Granger, fiddle, and Andre Michot, guitar will hold a workshop here in west-Berkeley. From more information email

Don Yost, the host.


Shirley Dean entering the Mayor's race? It's been said.


"Telegraph Peet's Wins Approval at ZAB" reports Suzanne La Barre of our Planet. "Three days after one Berkeley institution closed its doors on Telegraph Avenue another won overwhelming approval to open."


"'Love, Janis' beautifully captures singer and her times" writes Pat Craig in his West County Times' review.


Does Dov Charney have his thumb on the pulse of Young Metropolitan Adult Generation--the next generation of adults? He thinks so. He has also built a world-wide 50 store retail clothing business, does 250 mill a year, has all his clothes made in the USA at a living wage, is cyber-savvy, has a social conscience, and has been sued for workplace harassment. Check him out.






"Kniess likes everything about this place [900 GRAYSON], spearheaded by Sophina Uong, a Cambodian-born woman who talked her way from a server's job into a position in the Larkspur Left Bank kitchen. He likes what Uong and partners -- husband Joshua Pearl and front-of-house managers Chris and Anthony Saulnier -- have done with the "40-year-old greasy spoon" they took over and redid with bright colors, contemporary art and simple wood furniture." Read more about 900 GRAYSON in the Chronicle's "Cook's Night Out" feature here.

Look for a full review of 900 GRAYSON in the East Bay Express.

When you're at 900 GRAYSON have a Drake's beer. It's a flavorful and floral pale ale. And is tasty enough to just enjoy by itself--a great example of beer as food.


Raw organic sauerkraut? Producer, Alex Hozven writes "When enjoyed on a regular basis . . . naturally fermented sauerkraut will energize the digestive system to increase nutrient absorption and eliminate toxins." Check out Ms Hozven's booth at the Saturday Berkeley Farmer's Market. And, she's making this healthful food in west-Berkeley at 800 Bancroft, Suite 105. Ms Hozven produces eight varieties from Original Cabbage to Tonic Kraut.


The city has broken ground on the corner of 8th and Grayson in preperation for the planting of three tees.


"Green buildings growing popular" reports James Temple in the West County Times. "Communities and developers are increasingly finding ways to construct affordable and sustainable housing projects not in spite of but because of green building practices . . . "



1987 Honda 700 Interceptor

This motorcycle is from my private collection and was purchased by me from the original owner in September 1994-the motorcycle is in excellent original condition and now has 20,404 careful miles. It has been take out of storage, inspected, topped up and is now for sale. Email ronpenndorf@earthlink.net for details and price.



Warehouse filling with irritant--time to go.





Think the only really big changes are happenin' in Potter Creek? WD emails this story from the New York Times "Chinese Company Intends to Build MG's in Oklahoma."

DW-TV reports that German auto workers at VW put in a full-time 28 hour work-week.


"Berkeley OKs landmarks law -- for now" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "The Berkeley City Council voted Tuesday night to approve Mayor Tom Bates' revisions to the 32-year-old Landmarks Preservation Ordinance. The mayor's plan now becomes law -- at least until November, when it could be trumped by a rival plan on the ballot."



"Clerks 2" will open in movie-theaters on July 21st.


You know that Warren Buffett plays the uke? Charlie Rose had a clip of Buffett doing "Anybody Seen My Gal?"


The times they are a changin'.

Capitalist, Buffett donates billions for "good works," Leftists, Ben & Jerry launch an new "activist flavor."

"Two big scoops of social activism--Ben and Jerry, founders of the ice cream company with the same moniker, emerge to help launch new flavor, old philosophy" reports Ross Sneyd of AP in the West County Times.


"Good Ole Boy" Don of Don's Tire Service replied "I'm sort of what you call an icon" when I asked what the secret of his success was--he's been in business at 820 Gilman for as long as I can remember. In fact, the last four sets of my truck tires I bought from Don. "People come to see me. If I'm not here, they think the place has been sold" he added. Don was giving tire-advice to some "Berkeley Ole Fart" in a vintage Volvo with bicycle-rack as I left.





Residents within a block-or-so of the 2700 San Pablo construction can not only hear but can feel the site's pile driver--it actually shakes some of their buildings.


The city is rebuilding the sewer across from Juan's on the corner of 9th and Carleton.


Bob and Carol rushed off to their jitter-bug class Sunday after an afternoon of gathering signatures.


"Group Takes Pacific Steel To Court Over Emissions" reports Suzanne La Barre of the Daily Planet. "Pacific Steel Casting, the subject of noxious odor complaints in West Berkeley for more than two decades, is headed to court."


And "Peet's Makes Pitch to Open on Telegraph" writes La Barre."A proposal to perk up Telegraph Avenue with a new Peet's Coffee and Tea is in the works. But developers must first convince Zoning Adjustments Board members to approve the project-though planning staff has recommended they reject it-on Thursday." 


"Cody's Books a page in history" writes Kristin Bender of the Oakland Tribune.

But Moe's is still making history, so go there more often.


"Worker burnout hurts [Berkeley] city clerk's office staff. Cuts in budget reduce ranks and increase workload for those who have stayed" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times.


"Berkeley man raising stink about city's advice on handling nuisance skunk" writes Chip Johnson in the Chronicle. "Berkeley residents are known for exercising their rights with vigor. But those who exercise their rights under a state law that allows the killing of nongame birds and animals wandering onto private property could land in hot water."


DW -TV reports beer consumption in Germany was up 10-15% during the World Cup four weeks.


Piaggio, the maker of Vespa, went public last Tuesday, encouraged by increased sale of their scooter.






Carol's kids are here for a mini-Wedding Anniversary . . . and her Daughter-in-law looks just like her--CEEEUTE.


Friday evening, a private dinner for five was held at Gene's Berkeley Mills. Prepared and served by the 900 GRAYSON guys and girl, the featured guest was the Counsel-General of Germany.


Sunday July,16, Todd, Chef of Berkeley's Liaison Bistro, will be interviewed in the Chronicle Date Book "Chef's Night Out" feature. AND, he will be interviewed at a favorite restaurant, 900 GRAYSON. It should appear in next Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle in the Date Book.


Rents for the film-makers at the old Fantasy Records building are said to have tripled.


"East Bay Then and Now: Mel's Drive-In Saw Birth of Civil Rights Movement" writes Daniella Thompson in the Berkeley Daily Planet.






Kimar reports "Bertolli's 'Fra' Mani Handcrafted Salumi' doesn't sell retail from their 8th and Gilman plant, . . . yet. But, go to their website and you can now order, and even pre-order, stuff. And soon, their products will be available at Andronico's and Whole Foods." (I wonder what-the-hell Henry, the old sauage maker who took me under his wing at Linz, would think of designer sausage? Generally, Henry didn't say much.)

"Estancia beef recently showed up in the meat case at the busy Berkeley Bowl Marketplace . . . . [And] Berkeley's Cafe Rouge sold it . . . but ran out and plans to offer it occasionally. Pricing is about the same as, or lower than, American grass-fed beef like Western Grasslands, and premium grain-fattened Niman Ranch beef. " writes Carol Ness of the Chronicle. Read the full story here.


"Landmark office supply store to close Radston's president says lack of shoppers in downtown area and rising rent prompted change" writes Martin Snapp of the West County Times."


"Landmarks initiative headed for the ballot. Measure would keep procedures as is; plan will confront mayor's measure" reports Snapp.


And Snapp reports "High cost of job burnout: another Berkeley city clerk. Long hours too much for Cox, who will take the same position for Napa. Apparently, putting in 60-hour workweeks wasn't to Sara Cox's liking. Cox resigned as Berkeley City Clerk last week, citing the constant deadline pressure of putting out weekly agenda packets for the City Council that often run to 500 pages or more. Her resignation came one year and four months after she succeeded Sherry Kelly, who also quit because of job burnout."


"Furnace was cause of fatal Berkeley fire. Items stacked on top of heater led to blaze that killed woman" reports the Oakland Tribune. "A fire that killed a 98-year-old Berkeley woman Thursday morning was caused by materials left on top of a gas floor furnace, fire officials said Friday."

"World cup a hit with U.S. fans" reports Meredith May,of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Soccer mania might not be shutting down factories in the United States like it is in Europe and South America. But more Americans than ever are tuning in to the World Cup, arguably the most-watched event on the planet.Twice as many Americans are expected to watch the final match Sunday, between France and Italy, as did four years ago. Worldwide, as many as a billion people are predicted to watch the game."

And then writes, "Where to watch the World Cup? That depends. Do you like brioche, cannelloni -- or Burning Man? In San Francisco, there's more than one way to watch the World Cup soccer showdown between Italy and France."


"Berkeley synagogue taps ancient custom to relax rules of Sabbath" reports Matthai Chakko Kuruvila of The Chronicle.


Impeach President Bush? Not my favorite cancer, but still . . . Mmmm, I didn't think our city council could do that.







Morgan and Ben shot some hoops at the playground over the 4th.


Singing along energetically right in front of the warehouse, birds seem to prefer Miles to Cannonball--really.


" Pyramid makes a change at the top. Brewing company, which has locations in Berkeley and Walnut Creek, chooses a new CEO from its board" writes Blanca Torres in the West County Times. "Pyramid Breweries Inc. announced Monday that its president and chief executive, John Lennon, resigned and was replaced by Scott Barnum, a longtime member of the company's board of directors."


"New and Collected Poems, 1964-2006," by Ishmael Reed reviewed by Joel Bouwer of the New York Times. "A Cowboy in the Boat of Ra."


"A showdown of manly burger joints" writes Nicholar Boer in the West County Times. "What's your favorite manly, single-store, independent East Bay Burger Joint? Inspired by the holiday, I launched an expedition to find the great American meal: cheeseburger, fries and a shake."


"Science of sausages is chef's specialty. Bertolli starts with freshest ingredients and adds dash of tradition to make handcrafted meats at his Berkeley factory" writes AP's Michelle Locke in the West County Times. "Hanging from racks like infant stalactites, Paul Bertolli's gourmet Italian sausages gently ripen inside a nondescript building on Berkeley's industrial West Side."

Science, schmience--let's make it perfectly clear. I worked at Linz Sausage in Milwaukee one summer during college--the plant filled with old Germans for whom sausage-making was a craft. I started work by stuffing brats the old fashioned way--boringly and by hand. But the Summer's most unforgettable moment was picking up blood for the blood-sausage from the slaughter-house right after the morning kill--the floor still awash in warm blood. (I think WD was working night-shift at the old Nash Motors plant at the time.)


"Homeowners Should Have Right to Rebuild" comments Shirley Dean in Our Planet. "The Planning Commission and City Council will soon be considering recommendations regarding revisions to the Creeks Ordinance. I am writing about what I believe is a core issue, the right to rebuild, affecting everyone in our city, but especially residents of properties with open creeks.


"Consumers feel pinch of higher rates, prices. More people in debt as rising cost of necessities, such as gas, eats up most of their paycheck" reports the AP's Eileen Alt Powell in the West County Times.


Check out "Russia Today" on Channel 32. A news and special reports hour, it's not your Mum's Ole Sov. A strong consumer capitalism thread runs thru it.


"Irving Green, 90, a Founder of Record Label, is Dead. Irving Green, a co-founder of Mercury Records, who helped break the industry's color barrier by promoting artists like Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and the Platters, died on Saturday. He was 90." Reports the AP in The New York Times. The Lipofsky's and the Green's kids sort of grew up together around Chicago.








"Stores selling German fare find sales on an upswing, and it's all thanks to the World Cup" writes Marton Dunai of the West County Times. "The day their adopted country celebrates its independence, the 30,000 or so Bay Area German-Americans will have to prioritize. Germany plays Italy in a critical World Cup match, and to top it off the game takes place in their former homeland. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of that semifinal game. The winner gets to play for the FIFA World Cup, the top prize in soccer -- and in most of the world outside the United States, the top prize, period. In the past month, Bay Area Germans, as much as anyone, have spent their early mornings glued to the TV screen, watching the 64 games of the world championship. For many, this meant getting to work late, taking conspicuously long lunch breaks or calling in sick. For some Germans, however, the World Cup has been a business opportunity. Bruno Frisch, owner of El Cerrito deli The Junket, is one of those. His specially imported German beers, meats, cheeses, breads and other German products have sold strongly in the run-up to the games Germany played and, so far, won." Check out The Junket after you go to Trader Joes or after the Farmer's Market. Kimar and I have regularly--I get my liverwurst there.






Yesterday afternoon Pete and Geralyn held a shindig. It started at 3:00 and by 5:00 o'clock their yard was filled with guests, at times overflowing into their kitchen and into Pete's shop. A varied crowd, there were people of all ages, sizes and colors--ahh, the US of A. Geralyn, with ease and grace, provided a feast of unbelievable variety and Pete and his ukulele friends serenaded all. During dinner Wacko and I found ourselves pleasantly surrounded by the Serna family, Mom and Dad here from Spain for a while to help with David and Diana's one-month old Isabella. In a mix of English and Spanish, with translations by David, we got to know a little about these wonderful people. And great fun was had by all!

Like ukes? Jerry Landis emails this Youtube link. Jake Shimabukuro plays "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

Ooops, . . . good conversations with guests, John and Suzanne, too.


Ms.S emails

Plans are proceeding--working on the shop. You'll be happy to know I'll put the compressor and dust collector in a sound proof room.


Some real good-lookin' Berkeley Firefighters had lunch last week at 900.


"Berkeley Council blasts UC proposal for campus projects. Environmental analysis called inadequate; mayor promises to fight 'with whatever means available.'" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times.


"Green? It's a bit of a gray area" reports Robin Martin in the San Francisco Chronicle. "Green, the symbolic color of the new millennium, is hot. But how do you know when green is really green? From clothing to cars to homes, the 'green' designation is used to indicate a product or practice intended to benefit the environment. But according to building industry watchdogs, not everything that glitters is really green."


"Environmental initiatives gain momentum. Greenhouse-gas caps and alternative-energy promotions top agenda" writes Judy Lin of the Sacramento Bee. "Whatever the cause, California environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers have embarked on an ambitious campaign to catapult the state ahead of the nation on a number of green initiatives."


"Berkeley center offers scholarly access and oral accounts of Jewish community" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times.


Maybe a pizza-joint an beer-garden on the corner? Life is good!





Bob Kubik reports

Tuesday night, I attended a meeting called by the developers of 2720
San Pablo, (ex-YAS automotive site).
Attendance was sparse and I was, I believe, the only
Potter Creek resident there. The owner and architect
for the "Clay People" site were also there scoping
things out.
The developers had a scale model and plans for an 18
residence and two or three commercial condo
The height is slightly less than 2700 San Pablo
will be, density considering the size of the lot, is
about the same.
They seemed to be listening for constructive
comments in order to avoid neighborhood resistance,
but they want the 18 units.
I think it is a better-looking design than 2700
San Pablo. Although they are going after city
approval it may not be built any time soon if the
market for condos takes a dive - which I think is



Patrick Kennedy emails

Mr. Penndorf:

I enjoy your blog very much and owe a particular debt to you for your tip
about 900 Grayson. I have, however, one question: Why do you put your most
recent listings at the end, rather than the beginning?

Most blogs that I have have seen seem to do it the other way around. I
wondered whether you had a deliberate reason, or whether this is merely the
way you have always done it.

Best regards,

Patrick Kennedy



Acme Bread's Steve Sullivan emails about the welder's yard and his plans


I've enjoyed your site since Rick A. directed me to it a few months ago. . . .

It looks like everything is on track for us to take over possession on July 15. Of course we do not know what the future may hold but we know that we didn't buy the property with plans to sell it. We actually were not intending to buy the yard at all. We were happy developing plans to incorporate the building. One element of those plans was a solar array to be installed on the west facing plane of the (eventual new) roof. When we talked to Regan about what a developer would likely do on the adjacent site, he figured that three storey condos from property line to property line would be likely. At the allowable 35-foot height, this would have overshadowed our solar array. Already ugly, the array would have then become useless as well! So we decided to buy the lot. Of course, now we may not be able to afford the solar array until further down the road.

In any event, the only actual ideas that we have entertained for developing the lot involve using about 30% of it for a 30'-wide building that would run from the welding shop to 8th street along the southern edge of the property. Mostly production space if people still want bread or if we decide to expand pastry production, but with a retail shop at the 8th street tip. But that would only happen once we had seen for a couple of years how much empty space we had good use for.

Once I had (roughly) sketched that arrangement, though, my pencil kept going. I lost control of it as it drew a little box to represent a big brick pizza oven sticking out from the side of the simple rectangle that comprised the retail shop. I stared helpless as it traced a half-dozen or so smaller rectangles that I recognized as picnic benches. The horror continued as the pencil superimposed over the tables an array of wavy lines indicating a wire trellis with greenery and strands of twinkling lights attached. Ragged circles appeared to indicate trees encircling the tables and screening them from the trucks and equipment ranged across the remaining yard space. Aghast, I realized that I had in front of me the schematic layout for a pizzeria and beer garden that would encourage actual interaction between Acme Bread and neighborhood residents.

Could we see a pizzeria back at (or near) the corner of 9th and Pardee? Would anyone but me even want that? I guess we can't say for sure. It depends to a large extent on what happens over the next few years and how complicated the City would make it. But our thinking right now is much more pizza-centric than condo-centric. For what it's worth.

But I wouldn't care to speculate about the greedy spawn 30 years hence.


Steve S.
Acme Bread



Da Boz emails his June report--here's some of it

After cutting more than $20 million from the budget over the past four years, the City Council passed a balanced budget without any further reductions in city services or personnel. In addition, the City Council passed a package of revisions that will fully fund the Telegraph Avenue revitalization effort and restore full staffing to all fire stations during the high fire season.

The City Council gave approval to plans for a second Berkeley Bowl location in West Berkeley.

The City Council voted to move forward with changes to our Creeks Ordinance per the recommendations of the City's Creeks Task Force. The changes will both ease the burden on homeowners and improve protections for our creeks.

YEAH!, the only shelter in Berkeley for transition-age youth (18-25) living on the streets of Berkeley, is hoping to find community mentors for every youth who would like one. Mentors should be adults who have an interest in this age group and are willing to spend approximately 2 hours a week meeting with one young person -- having coffee, going to the movies, finding things to do around Berkeley of mutual interest, providing rides to appointments and the like.

Cesar Chavez Event at July 15th Berkeley Farmers Market
The Cesar Chavez "Fast for Life" Celebration includes performers, speakers, and information. The farmers market will also have its usual array of wonderful farm-fresh produce and other goodies.



931 Ashby has been bought by Tech Soft--TSA Real Estate. Tech Soft will occupy most of the building.


New folks have seriously moved into the 2700 8th complex.


Sculptor, Joe Slusky has a couple of whimsical prints at 900 GRAYSON and employee, Sophie Gross has hung two of her beautiful works--a mono-type and a color etching. Check them out! Slusky did the sculpture "Helios" Chariot of the Sun that Bayer commissioned and installed across from 900. Joe eats at 900, too.

And those beautiful art-glass plates displayed there are the work of Active Space craftsman, James Nevitt. He's at 2703 7th Street, #152. His phone is (510)-665-7766


Our secret movie studio has quite a history--they've been in involved in the production of Robocop, Starship Troopers, The Stepford Wives, and The Santa Clause. 


Chip Johnson of the San Fancisco Chronicle writes "Many towns have one, the hole-in-the-wall cafe that is tight on space but generous on conversation, and the eggs are pretty good, too. In the Bay Area, where every square foot of land is worth gold, many of the 1950s-style breakfast-and-lunch counters have given way to fern bars or modern 'vintage' restaurants such as Bette's Oceanview Diner on Berkeley's tony Fourth Street. But a few of the old-fashioned places remain -- and Jodie's Restaurant in Albany, a six-stool breakfast joint on Masonic Avenue just off Solano Avenue and under the roar of the elevated BART tracks, is one of them. You've probably never seen it or heard of it even though it's been there for 17 years. The regulars, who loosely refer to themselves as the 'Breakfast Club, like it that way."

Harvey-the -mailman hipped me to this place a couple of years ago, seems he has breakfast there now and then.


"3 arrested in Berkeley pot farm case" reports the Oakland Tribune."Three arrests were made earlier this week in connection with a garden of 215 marijuana plants found along a fire trail on University of California, Berkeley property in the hills above campus, university police said Friday."


Mayoral candidate Zelda Bronstein offers her commentary in "A Pro-Business, Pro-Berkeley Agenda" as well
her agenda for Berkeley--her column is divided about 50/50. And, though not remotely commentary, she also lists her website
"Zelda Bronstein for Mayor."


Carol Whitman emails

Two years ago our neighborhood was in danger of being overrun by pimps and
prostitutes if Measure Q passed. Our councilwoman, Margaret Breland was
ill, and not able to work on our behalf. She asked her colleague Linda Maio
to step in and help defeat this ill-thought out measure.

Linda worked tirelessly, providing guidance on campaign logistics, and
contacts (such as the man who did the signs for free), so that Measure Q was
defeated. She really came through for the Potter Creek neighborhood.

Now it's our turn to do a little something to help her. Every valid
signature of a registered Berkeley voter on the Petition in Lieu of Filing
Fee document saves Linda $1 toward the $150 filing fee. I've offered to
walk the petition around the neighborhood to collect signatures. You do not
have to be in her district to sign and save her some money. I'll be coming
around in the next few days and hope you'll be willing to sign the

Linda was really instrumental in keeping our neighborhood from being
inundated with prostitution.













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