JULY 2007

 

 

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.

 

 

Learned a lot with ole friend WD through the years

Read his The music was more impressive than the sound in I learned to love records.

 

 

 

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 20,500 careful miles. It has been take out of storage, inspected, topped up and is now for sale--US$2950.00. Email ronpenndorf@earthlink.net for details.

 

 

 

 

7/1/07

New Potter Creekers email

I'm sorry we haven't met in person yet but I wanted to tell you how much I have been enjoying your postings. We moved into the house on Grayson last fall and feel really grateful to have landed in such a wonderful neighborhood. And we've learned a lot more about it thanks to your website, which I check regularly -- so thank you!. In the nine months that we have been here (I can't believe it's already been that long) we've met so many wonderful people and feel part of a neighborhood and a community for the first time in many years. And we are eternally grateful to Susanna, who told Andrew about the house last summer (they used to be colleagues). We have some major projects coming up with the house this summer -- the roof, reshingling and painting, etc. -- but we're in it for the long haul and, again, are so very happy to be here. We hope to meet many more folks in the neighborhood this summer.

On your recommendation, we're off to Riva Cucina for breakfast (our 16th wedding anniversary).

Best,

Karen and Andrew

 

 

Now a locked facility, the École Bilingue 8th Street Playground is STILL available to us, the neighborhood. Though a private playground, École Bilingue has made it available to Potter Creek residents for decades. Kava and Regan's kids played there. The "Juan Boys" have been regulars for years, playing ball and socializing.The most memorable member, Number 11, a short good-looking kid, who, for a couple of years would regularly practice and play. David now plays there with Gracie and often Tracy, Ben, Natalie and Morgan can be seen and heard playing ball on weekends. And some of Potter Creek's new residents have a basketball game Sunday afternoons. (Milo is looking forward to some soccer practice there soon.) For the combination to the lock on the gate-off-the-parking-lot call 549-3867. Rick Auerbach and other members of the original Potter Creek Home Qwners Association were the ones who years ago asked the French School to open the playground to all.

 

 

Last evening, sometime after 7:00 PM a power-line was knocked down on Grayson around 7th--it was, in fact, on the ground in front of 900. Berkeley PD responded and blocked the intersection with two black-and-whites. It is believed the downed-line was a result of a hit-and-run into the power pole.

 

 

"Biofuel station could replace 'haven' " reports Doug Oakley of our Times. "Patrons of Kandy's Detail who oppose proposed facility, say it would close a safe place for the black community."

 

 

"Youth, streets back on track in Berkeley's budget" reports the Times, Martin Snapp. "Young people benefited the most when the Berkeley City Council passed the city's budget for the next fiscal year that begins July 1."

 

 

"University offers to scale back renovation plan. But shrinking parking garage, seismic test fail to sway city" reports Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle.

UC Berkeley officials offered Friday to scale back controversial plans to renovate the area around Memorial Stadium in hopes of avoiding a looming court date with the city of Berkeley, neighbors and oak tree activists.

Mayor Tom Bates immediately balked at the concessions, saying they didn't go far enough."

 

 

"City revokes drug-test ban" reports Kristin Bender of our Times. "Decision spurred by tampering case inside the Berkeley Police Department."

 

 

"Berkeley biofuel institute wins Energy Dep't funding" writes the Times, Ian Hoffman. "With heady talk of embarking on a Manhattan Project for biological fuels, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman unleashed three teams of scientists Tuesday on a national hunt for clean liquid energy derived from plants and microbes."

 

 

"27,000 eligible for property tax relief" writes Barbara E. Hernandez in our Times. "Average home values dropped 8 percent; 'we wouldn't attribute the reduction to any one thing,' said county assessor

More than 20,000 Contra Costa County residents and 7,000 residents in Alameda and Solano counties will be eligible for property tax relief this September, county officials said Wednesday."

 

 

"Subprime lending guidelines created: Banking agencies' rules require lenders to strictly evaluate borrowers' ability to repay home loans, verify consumers' incomes" reports the AP's Alan Zibel in our Times.

 

 

 

 

7/2/07

In the last week, Potter Creek and surrounding neighborhoods have experienced what can best be described as maximum-enforcement by Berkeley PD, with stops on San Pablo Avenue, use of Special Enforcement units and a general increased police presence. The home, business and property owners that I've talked to applaud it.

 

Xoma has still not cleaned the graffitti off the back wall of their building on 7th and Heinz--go figure.

 

 

Mr Rick dropped off a copy of The West Berkeley Business Alliance report on the "Results of Survey of Property Owners."

The copy offers "The focus of our study has been altered in the process of conducting this survey of the district. Though still extremely large, the CBD study area is now focused on those parcels north of Emeryville, south of University Avenue, west of San Pablo Avenue and east of Aquatic park. Many blocks of single family residents in this area have also been removed from the district proposal (italics mine) . . . . a CBD Steering Committee has been formed to begin looking at issues including the prioritized special benefit services as revealed by the survey, the annual budget, an assessment methodology, management structures, time lines, etc."

Well, Ok then.

It is my understanding that at a recent CBD meeting Rich Robbins added great and valued common-sense.

 

 

Former Buttercupper, Patrick Treadway emails

Hiya,

I hope this finds you well-

a photo album of pics I found and scanned of a couple of Hat Nights at the Buttercup in 1981:
http://picasaweb.google.com/ptreadway/ButtercupBakery1981
Ah, seems like yesterday- sort of

Patrick
(Derrek)

 

Miltiades Mandros entered this year's Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Contest. This is one of his entries.

Through the window of his sawbuck-a-month Los Angeles walk-up, the "Ames otel" sign blinked lazily on and off as Norris, a Camel at his lips and a half-empty bottle of Scotch by his side, pecked feverishly away at his ancient Smith-Corona in the desperate hope the producers would accept this version of his screenplay about a world-weary high school geometry teacher (to be played by Humphrey Bogart), entitled "Here's Looking At Euclid."

 

 

 

7/4/07

 

 

HAPPY JULY 4TH

 

Bob Kubik emails

The police presence and enforcement activities along San Pablo and in the Potter Creek neighborhood of West Berkeley last weekend were noticed and appreciated by we who live and work here - Thanks! We have needed that.

Berkeley PD Area Co-ordinator, Officer Andrew Frankel emails

Glad to oblige.

 

 

 

 

7/6/07

Ryan Lau , Council Aide to Councilmember Darryl Moore responds to my "Shooting on the 1100 Block of Parker" email

Ron,
. . . . From what I understand from BPD, the shooting incident on the 1100 block of Parker seems to be an isolated incident. It does not seem to be related to the series that we have been seeing further south and they are not quite sure as to the motivation. This is what I got from BPD.

Officers responded to multiple reports of shots fired on the 1100 Block of Parker St. It appeared to responding officers nothing was disturbed or damamged via gunfire. The following morning, BPD returned to the scene and officers recovered 4 shotgun shells and found damage to a residence and at least one parked auto.

[I did not respond earlier ] because we had a meeting with City Manager staff, neighborhood services and the police department over an official response from the City in regards to this recent series of shooting incidences, so I wanted to have that to give to you . . . . Thanks for keeping up the lines of communication. On that note, have you heard anything recently about any follow-up for another meeting. It has been about a month or so now and I really would like to keep up the momentum so that we don't let this positive energy go to waste. I will also get in touch with Bob to see if there have been any subsequent efforts to put something together. We'd be happy to lend whatever support that we can. . . . Thanks Ron.

Sincerely,
Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore, District 2

Ryan also forwards an email from our Police Chief, Doug Hambleton

 

July 3, 2007

Dear Residents,

In the past several weeks, there have been several shootings and robberies that have a lot of people, justifiably, nervous. Our department, as well as the Mayor, the City Council and the City Manager have all received letters and calls of concern about the crime in South Berkeley. I want to take this opportunity to share some of the approaches the Berkeley Police Department is taking and what you can do to be a partner in the safety of your family and your community.

We take shootings in Berkeley very seriously, and any string like this causes us to evaluate our short and long-term response plans.

In the short run: We are working hard to investigate these crimes. Since shooting victims generally know their assailants, we make strong attempts to work closely with the victims to identify why they were shot. It is not unusual, however, that victims are uncooperative. If you may have been a witness to any of these or may have any information, please call our Homicide detail at 981-5741. Since so much urban violence is drug-related, our Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) detectives and the Drug Task Force (DTF) officers spend most of their time in South Berkeley. This helps us solve crimes and, by interrupting criminal business, prevent crime as well. Additionally, in response to these shootings and other incidents, BPD will be adding additional patrols the area.

In the long run, we are working to increase the number of officers on the streets, build on our Community Policing efforts which involves coordinated problem solving projects, increase the number of community members participating in Community Policing and involvement in Neighborhood Watch and Crime Council groups, and are committed to detailing officers on an overtime basis to focus on crime trends like these.

There's also a lot that community members can be doing to ensure the safety of their neighborhoods.

Individuals can: Call 911 if you see a crime in progress; Call 981-5900 or (510) THE-COPS (an anonymous tip line) to give other relevant information Join or create a Neighborhood Watch group and reach out to new neighbors.

We're going to continue to work with the community on these and other issues of public safety. Please visit our website for more information about being safe on the Fourth of July, to connect with other neighbors or neighborhoods, or other issues, and please feel free to call the Community Service Bureau at 981-5806/5808 with your concerns.

Sincerely,
Douglas N. Hambleton
Chief of Police

 

Official response? Sounds like a drug war. Why is Berkeley PD not at full strength?

 

 

 

7/7/07

If this site continues to grow at the present rate it will reach 3,000,000 hits a year. Most of the new traffic is in the Scrambled Eggs and Lox archive.

 

Our John Phillips just returned from the American Music Instrument Society conference. Held on the Yale campus, John gave a paper on a Rukkers 1635 harpsichord.

The new Indiana Jones film was being shot at the same time as the conference--in fact in the same building. Though Harrison Ford was present, John found the film's old cars more interesting. Especially an early '50s Hudson.

 

There will be a Zoning Adjustments Board public hearing for a use permit to demolish the automotive repair shop and to construct a four-story, mixed-use building at 2720 San Pablo Avenue. It is to be held Thursday, July 12 at the Old City Hall in the second floor Council chambers beginning at 7:00 PM.

 

"Arrest Made in Series of Bateman/Halcyon Robberies" reports Rio Bauce of our Planet. "Residents of the Halcyon/Bateman neighborhood are breathing a bit easier since police arrested Marvin M. Johnson last week and charged him with a string of robberies targeting women walking alone during daylight hours in the neighborhood."

 

"UC Illegally Buried 'Thousands Of Truckloads' of Toxic Soil In Richmond, State Says" reports Richard Brenneman in our Planet. "UC Berkeley and a Swiss multinational must clean up thousands of truckloads of toxic-laden soil illegally buried at the Richmond site of a planned 1,330-unit housing complex, state officials ordered Friday."

'Toxic Questions Surround Two Richmond Sites" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet. "More questions are swirling around the cleanup efforts at two adjacent contaminated sites in Richmond this week."

 

"Activist chosen to lead state air board: Environmentalists, businesses hopeful that Nichols will enforce tough emissions standards while being mindful of economy" writes Steven Harmon in our Times. "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday named a staunch environmentalist with deep Democratic ties to take the helm of the
state's air quality enforcement agency, perhaps dulling criticism that he was stalling implementation of California's landmark global warming legislation as a way to appease the business community."

 

"Reconsidering nuclear power: Proponents turn to alternative form of energy despite ban on constructing new reactor" writes Sarah Jane Tribble in our Times.

"The nuclear power plant nestled on the cliffs of Central California's scenic coast has for decades been a remnant of our energy past, rife with memories of protests and lingering security concerns.

That is changing."

 

 

 

7/10/07

The vacant lot just north of the Xoma building on 7th and Heinz is now being cleaned up.

 

 

"Humane Society fundraiser on tap" writes Martin Snapp of our Times. "Bay to Barkers event expected to draw some 350 canines on Sunday

When the Angora fire ravaged the Lake Tahoe area, more than 50 pets were saved by volunteers from animal welfare organizations throughout Northern California, including Alex Militar, operations manager of the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society.

His job: sleeping in his car outside the chain-link fence that surrounded the evacuation area where the rescued animals were being sheltered, to protect them from bears and coyotes that had been driven out of the hills by the flames."

 

 

"Hundreds of goats die in Marin accident" reports the Times' Jim Staats.

"More than 240 goats belonging to an Orinda business died Friday morning - mostly by suffocation - when a truck carrying them tipped over in San Rafael's Canal area.

Onlookers reacted with horror as officials piled hundreds of the dead animals on the roadside while digging through the wreckage of the overturned vehicle for more than an hour. The dead animals filled a
Dumpster.

The Goats R Us truck taking 400 of the animals to a brush grazing job at the Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley may have been going too fast as it tipped over while making a left turn onto Kerner Boulevard, said San Rafael police Sgt. Mike Vergara."

Bummer!

Goats are Us cleaned up the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl lot a couple of times. Check out Sarah and my photos of them.

 

 

The Wall Street Journal reports "Alternative energy hurt by windmill shortage. While projects in U.S. stall, Europe's utilities expand their reach."

 

 

"US Iraq chief warns of long war" reports BBC News.

"The head of US forces in Iraq, Lt Gen David Petraeus, has told the BBC that fighting the insurgency is a "long term endeavour" which could take decades.

Speaking to the BBC's John Simpson in Baquba, Gen Petraeus said there was evidence that the recent troops surge was producing gains on the ground. But he warned that US forces were engaged in a 'tough fight' which will get 'harder before it gets easier'.

His comments come as US calls for a rapid troop withdrawal gather strength.

Gen Petraeus was keen to emphasise that the ongoing unrest in Iraq is not something he expects to be resolved overnight. 'Northern Ireland, I think, taught you that very well. My counterparts in your [British] forces really understand this kind of operation... It took a long time, decades,' he said.

The question is how can we gradually reduce our forces so we reduce the strain on the army, on the nation and so forth 'I don't know whether this will be decades, but the average counter insurgency is somewhere around a nine or a 10 year endeavour.' "

 

 

Last night, Channel 5 News reported on the recent shootings in South-Berkeley--a few-minutes report mentioned crime was up more than usual.

 

 

Miltiades Mandros' another-entry in the Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Contest--this one, a runner-up in some past year.

The ancient Peruvian Airlines DC-3 lumbered slowly over the snow-capped peaks far below as Gunderson turned to Ricketts and marveled at how their avian import business "Incahoots" had led them once again to the far reaches of South America in search of the elusive gray-spotted owl.

 

 

 

 

7/11/07

"People's Park Workshop A Success, Says UC" writes Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet.

"Sunday was a day of envisioning the future of People's Park.

While some park regulars basked in the sun or played a round of basketball, there were those who gathered inside the First Church of the Christ Scientist on Dwight Way to attend the first community workshop on the future programs and designs of this historic piece of land.

Mark Miller, principal planner of San Francisco-based MKThink-the firm hired by UC Berkeley to plan improvements for People's Park-brainstormed ideas with a group of 30 people who had turned up to share their thoughts.

'The idea was to use role-playing to make people think from a different perspective,' said UC Berkeley Community Relations Director Irene Hegarty."

 

 

 

 

7/12/07

Our Planet reports "Mark Rhoades Joins Exodus: Berkeley Planning Manager Mark Rhoades is headed for the private sector, the third high level city official to vacate his position in city government.
Full story
here.

 

 

 

Looks like the Potter Creek Bowl is breaking ground with heavy equipment on site as well as PG&E.

Sarah reports that, in fact, ground at the Bowl-lot has not been broken, but that the property has been fenced and there are piles of debris from a clean-up. However, there is a piece of heavy equipment present.

As of 8:20 this morning, the concrete pad is being broken-up, preliminary grading has been done, and shrubbery and grass have been cleared at the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl site.

 

Sarah also reports that the purple-house next to the CEID school is for sale.

 

 

 

Construction on the new Swerve building on 7th Street is going a pace with the steel girders and frames up.




 

 

7/13/07

Jim Nevitt is one of the artists in Active Space

here's an example of his work

more is on display in his shop-space at the 7th and Pardee corner of Active Space and at 900 GRAYSON

Contact Jim at katiejim@sbcglobal.net

 

900's Chris Saulnier believes red wine to be more relaxing than white because of its sulfates. Go figure.

 

Our Planning Department update is here.

 

 

 

 

7/15/07

A couple of us cleaned up the 2700 block of 8th Street between Grayson and Pardee yesterday morning. We policed both sides of the street, swept the gutters and side-walks and picked up trash. Took the two of us about forty-five minutes and we filled three large bags with trash. In addition to the mostly-leaves, we found two condoms, a lot of metal washers, a lot of broken glass, some empty to-go food cartons, and one empty Coke can. Felt good about it and the block looks great.

 

 

Remember, the École Bilingue playground is open to ALL Potter Creekers. For the combination to the lock on the gate-off-the-parking-lot call 549-3867. Rick Auerbach and other members of the original Potter Creek Home Qwners Association were the ones who years ago asked the French School to open the playground to all.

 

 

900 GRAYSON was packed yesterday--regulars, tourists, politicos, activists, developers were all present

 

 

Cameron reports that Riva Cucina will SOON have their beer and wine license.

 

 

Cheri Webster called me on Friday afternoon and then emailed me. I've known Cheri since The Day. I hired her at Moe's in the '70s--she was our first female employee. Cheri also was an accomplished flautist, a keyboard player with the Punk band, ExRay Ted, and lately, a bank vice-president.

Here's her email

Ron, it was wonderful to talk with you today. It sounds like you are keeping up the good fight, . . .

I took a few minutes to look at some of the more recent additions to your web-site and am duly impressed.

Check out a site called
"Wolfgang's Vault".com. This is the person who purchased ALL of Bill Graham's archives (memorabilia, posters, handbills, and ALL of thousands of hours of live soundboard recordings from all of Bill Graham Presents concerts (from coast to coast covering about 20 years). They play constant live streaming... I recently listened to an awsome live Miles Davis concert from the fillmore East circa 1972!

Love, . . . Cheri

 

 

"Neighbors fed up with homeless sleeping near People's Park" reports Doug Oakley in our Times.

"It's become a nightly ritual. People's Park officially closes at 10 p.m., and UC Berkeley police arrive soon after to roust more than a dozen homeless people who otherwise would spend the night there sleeping or socializing.

With nowhere to go, many end up streaming into the surrounding neighborhood, where they camp on sidewalks in front of homes. Park neighbors are getting fed up."

 

 

"Developer creates backers and critics " writes Martin Snapp of our Times. "Piedmont man who transformed Berkeley skyline is conscientious hero to some, villain to others. . . . .

But critics who are rubbing their hands at the prospect of a future without Patrick Kennedy had better think again. Kennedy plans to use the proceeds from the sale to build more developments. . . . .

'I'm a developer,' he said. 'I sold because I wanted to get out of the management business and concentrate on new projects. But this time I'm not going to be engaging in any more knock-down, drag-out battles. I'm going to pick my fights more selectively to preserve my rapidly diminishing youth.'"

 

 

And, Snapp reports "Berkeley council postpones vote on Iceland's landmark status.

In a dramatic last-minute move, cash-strapped Berkeley Iceland was sold Tuesday morning to a local developer, just hours before the City Council was scheduled to vote on whether to designate the 67-year-old Art Deco skating rink as a landmark.

The developer, Ali Kashani of Memar Properties, plans to demolish the rink and build townhouses on the site. But the sale is contingent on a favorable ruling by the City Council on the landmark proposal."

 

 

"Scientists find that pollution from economic powerhouse is flying across the Pacific and affecting air on the West Coast" reports the AP's Jeff Barnard in our Times. "In a frigid shelter at the top of Mount Bachelor, Dan Jaffe brushed the snow from a rough plywood table, laid out a clean tissue and unscrewed a stainless steel fitting from one of his scientific instruments.

The University of Washington at Bothell professor of atmospheric and environmental chemistry removed a one-inch disk with a hole in the center. There, on a shiny film of grease, five dull black dots made up of tiny soot particles appeared. He passed it around for the graduate students to see.'

Some of those particles came from Asia,' he said. At 9,000 feet at the crest of the Cascade Range, the air is some of the cleanest to be found anywhere in the United States. But each breath -- especially in the spring -- can suck in tiny amounts of pollution from China and elsewhere in Asia. Soot, dust and chemicals come from coal-fired power plants, cars and trucks, forest fires, desert dust storms and even wood cooking fires."

 

 

From Bob Kubik comes a link to the electric drag-bike site.

"8.168 @ 155.78 MPH--Getting close to the magic 7's"

This is a serious drag-machine

Check it out!

 

 

 

 

7/16/07

The purple house that Sarah saw for sale is a free standing live/work loft at 1029 Grayson. Steve Smith of Norheim and Yost is handling it and it is offered at $554,500. It is two stories with about 1300 square feet--there is an HOA fee which is the percentage of the annual insurance bill.

 

 

"Berkeley cops probe killing. City's second homicide of year result of multiple blunt force trauma injuries, authorities say" reports the Oakland Tribune. "Berkeley police detectives are investigating the slaying of a Berkeley resident, the city's second homicide of the year. Officers discovered Terrence Marlow Broadnax, 46, June 8 in his apartment on the 1000 block of University Avenue after the property manager of the multi-unit dwelling called police because he had not seen Broadnax for some time, authorities said."

 

 

"Two trees damaged in protest, UC Berkeley says: Redwood, cedar lopped off at site of demonstration"
reports Kristin Bender of the Tribune. "The tree sitters who have been living in a grove of historic trees they want to save are being accused of lopping off the top of a redwood and a cedar to make room for at least one sleeping platform.

'They have not been cited, because we don't know who the responsible (person) is. ... It's still under investigation,' said Mitch Celaya, University of California, Berkeley, assistant chief. 'The trees are permanently damaged. It's not like the top of the tree is going to grow back.' "

 

 

 

7/17/07

Pete Hurney's next KALX Alternate Tunings program is about cymbals. Check it out this Wednesday, July 18th at 9:00 AM.

 

 

And, Pete has some ukes in the Evolution of the Ukulele show at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art. The show is from August 2 to October 21 and the museum is at 51 Yerba Buena Lane in San Francisco. Their website is www.mocfa.org

 

 

Bay Area developer, [our?] Rich Robbins is quoted in The Economist, July 14th issue. In "City in a Bottle: The strange half-recovery of California's prettiest city," Robbins says of San Francisco's new demographic "another trend is towards pieds-à-terre that are empty most of the time. While building homes in Idaho for California clients, he was surprised to learn that many planned to do much of their work from the country, heading into the Bay Area only for the occasional meeting, or to catch an opera."

 

"Global broadband prices revealed: Countries with the fastest broadband use fibre optic networks" reports BBC News. "Broadband users in 30 of the world's most developed countries are getting greatly differing speeds and prices, according to a report.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report says 60% of its member countries net users are now on broadband. The report said countries that had switched to fibre networks had the best speeds at the lowest prices.

In Japan net users have 100Mbps lines, 10 times higher than the OECD average. Japan's price for broadband per megabit per second is the lowest in the OECD at $0.22 (0.11p), said the report. The most expensive isTurkey at $81.13 (A340.56)." The full story is here.

 

Bob Kubik emails of a new "more powerful" Google site, Google Analytics. Check it out!

 

 

My friend Nick Despotopoulos recently arranged with HIS long-time friend, photographer Jim Marshall, to help Jim sell some of his book and magazine archive.

Nick sends this email

This first offering is one of the more unique items. [Future offerings will be made as I sort thru the collection. . . .]

As this is the 40th anniversary of Monterey Pop, I'm starting with :

Monterey Pop by Joel Selvin, photos by Jim Marshall, published 1992 by Chronicle Books--long out of print.

I have a VERY limited amount of NEW copies--publisher copies that were sent in 1992 to Jim directly from Chronicle books. These are LIKE NEW copies and are signed by both Jim and Joel. [This is a great piece of Rock-Music and '60s history.]

They are $125 each + shipping cost [the book will be well packed in a FedEx box & sent via FedEx Express Saver]

If you are interested please contact me.

Thanks, Nick

 

 

 

 

7/18/07

John Coltane died 40 years ago, today.

 

Don't be meek

Make John Coltrane Park

in Potter Creek

 

 

 

A meeting of the West Berkeley Alliance Steering Committee was held yesterday, Tuesday, at Noon. Among other things, the committee decided NOT to line-out any of the Potter Creek residences but to cap the residences' obligation at $180.00 per year or $15.00 per month. And, full or partial refund of this assessment may be given because of economic hardship.

A budget of roughly $600,000 a year was approved as well. It breaks down to Security/Public Safety, Maintenance of Order, including a two person/vehicle, dawn-to-dusk patrol, $160,000; Weekend Maintenance, cleaning and graffiti removal, $80,000; Homeless and RV Camping, a pilot program will deal with encampments on private and public property, $35,000 matched by City-services for first six months; Employee and shuttle bus service from BART to West Berkeley job centers plus public rights-of-way enhancement, increased on-street parking, $165,000; Day-to-day part time staff, $40,000; District management, $60,000; Contingency, $58, 070.

So, for $15.00 a month Potter Creek, home-owners get $600,000 worth of sevices a year?

Well, Ok then!?

 

 

"Pacific Steel Prepares Health Risk Report" writes Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet. "West Berkeley-based Pacific Steel Casting (PSC) is scheduled to release its health risk assessment report (HRA) to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Monday."

 

 

"West Berkeley Car Sales Plan Nears Deadline" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet.

"Berkeley residents have until Aug. 10 to express their concerns about the environmental review of zoning ordinance and General Plan amendments to open up West Berkeley to car dealerships.

The proposal, strongly backed by Mayor Tom Bates, is designed to keep car sellers in the city, along with the sales taxes they generate.

While the EIR comment period closes in August, the city's Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposals next week, during their July 25 meeting.

The proposal calls for opening up all of the land now zoned for manufacturing (M) to car dealerships, along with a narrow parcel south of Ashby Avenue currently zoned for mixed-use light industrial (MULI) uses."

 

 

In 1934, rightist U.S. business leaders attempted a coup d'etat. Among those involved were Ford, General Motors, Morgan Bank and Dupont. In the book Trading with the Enemy, author Charles Higham writes of the attempted putsch.

Early in 1934, Irenee du Pont and Knudsen [of General Motors] reached their explosion point over President Roosevelt. Along with friends of the Morgan Bank and General Motors, certain DuPont backers financed a coup d'etat that would overthrow the President with the aid of a $3 million-funded army . . . , modeled on the fascist movement in Paris known as the Croix de Feu. Who was to be the figurehead for this . . . scheme, which would result in Roosevelt being forced to take orders from businessmen as part of a fascist government or face the alternative of imprisonment and execution? Du Pont men allegedly held an urgent series of meetings with the Morgans. They finally settled on one of the most popular soldiers in America, General Smedley Butler of Pennsylvania. Butler, a . . . hero, had been awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor and his brilliant career as commandant of the Marine Corps had made him a legend. He would, the conspiratorial group felt, make an ideal replacement for Roosevelt if the latter proved difficult. These business chiefs found great support for their plan in Hermann Schmitz, Baron von Schroder, and the other German members of The Fraternity.

to be continued


 

7/19/07

The San Francisco Chronicle's Carol Ness reviews our Riva Cucina with "Riva Cucina wades into restaurant business."

 

 

John Burns, Baghdad Bureau Chief of the New Your Times said on the Charlie Rose Show that the withdrawal of U.S troops from Iraq any time soon would result in cataclysmic violence.

 

Only 23% of Americans approve of our current Congress, according to recent polling.

 

 

"Burning Diapers Heat German Retirement Homes" reports DW-TV. "The Liebenau Foundation's care homes are heated by burning the soiled diapers of residents. The Liebenau Foundation's care homes are heated by burning the soiled diapers of residents.

Patents are pending on Europe's first furnace fired entirely by soiled nappies, which was constructed for the Liebenau Foundation, an operator of rest homes in the south-west corner of Germany.

Nurses and carers at the handicapped and old people's homes are proud that every disposable diaper helps save a little fossil fuel."

 

 

In the book Trading with the Enemy, author Charles Higham writes further of the attempted American putsch.

The backers of the bizarre conspiracy selected an . . . attorney, Gerald MacGuire, to bring word of the plan to General Butler. MacGuire agreed Butler would be the perfect choice. Butler had attacked the New Deal in public speeches.

MacGuire met with Butler at the latter's house in Newton Square, Pennsylvania, and in a hotel suite nearby. With great intensity the facist attorney delivered the scheme to the general. Butler was horrified. Although there were many things about Roosevelt he disliked, a coup d'etat amounted to treason, and Butler was nothing if not loyal to the Constitution. However, he disclosed nothing of his feelings. With masterful composure he pretended interest and waited to hear more.

When MacGuire returned, it was with news of more millions and extravagant plans, which included turning America into a dictatorship with Butler as a kind of Hitler. Once more Butler was infuriated but kept quiet. After MacGuire left on the second occasion, the general got in touch with the White House. He told Roosevelt of the entire plan.

Roosevelt's state of mind can scarcely be imagined. He knew that in view of the backing from high banking sources, this matter could not be dismissed as some crackpot enterprise that had no chance of success. He was well aware of the powerful forces of fascism that could easily make America an ally of Nazism even that early, only one year after Hitler had risen to power.

On the other hand, Roosevelt also knew that if he were to arrest the leaders of the houses of Morgan and Du Pont, it would create an unthinkable national crisis in the midst of a depression and perhaps another Wall Street crash. Not for the first or last time in his career, he was aware that there were powers greater than he in the United
States.

to be continued

 

 

 

7/20/07

 

Oops go boom!

At 4:42 this morning a 4.2 quake, centered near Oakland, was felt in mixed-use Potter Creek . Quite a jolt, the quake felt strong because it was shallow, about 3.6 miles under ground.

 

 

"Sisters in Rhyme" is a story in The Peoria Woman about Sarah and her sister, Kate. What a great story. Check it out!

 

 

It is my understanding that the City of Berkeley is paying for a use-survey of west-Berkeley. The survey, now being taken, is to establish a data-base of arts and crafts use here.

Another data base? I have concerns.

What will it be used for, who will have access to it, what information is being asked for, how detailed will it be, how accurate will it be, and just why is it being taken? As a model-airplane hobbyist, will I be part of it?

The Man already has too much data.

 

 

"Welcome to radio heaven" declares Pat Craig in the Times.

"The narrow road leads through a scrawny gate, across faded pavement to an Art Deco island in the middle of a bayshore marsh. It might be the most familiar place you've never been to before.

You've probably seen the old KRE radio station studios on Ashby Avenue a zillion times from the Eastshore Freeway. The old blue-trimmed white building and tall transmission tower have been on the same spot, straddling the Emeryville/Berkeley line, for 70 years.

On Saturday, you'll have a chance to see what the place looks like on the inside and learn about how some of the magic of radio in its heyday -- the sounds that soothed you through long, lonely nights, or kept you company on a long drive down a long, boring road -- was created.

Starting at 10 a.m., the former KRE studio, now home for the California Historical Radio Society, will open to the public for a celebration of the transmitter's 70th birthday. The event will include live old-time radio performances, an auction of vintage electronic equipment and a sneak peek at the society's planned radio museum, which will eventually be housed in the old building."

 

 

"Berkeley finally clears the way for Trader Joe's" reports Kristin Bender in our Times. "Council votes 5-3 to reject appeal by citizens group opposed to project on University Avenue."

 

 

And our Times' Martin Snapp quips "Berkeley makes skate rink landmark, putting development plans on ice: The Berkeley City Council handed a stunning victory to local ice skaters Tuesday night when it granted landmark status to Berkeley Iceland."

 

 

"Council shuts down dollar store" writes Doug Oakley in our Times. "Berkeley officials called business a public nuisance, which allegedly acted as a hideout for drug dealers."

 

 

"Agency to offer rebates for less wood smoke: Air district plans to offer homeowners as much as $600 if they install cleaner-burning fireplaces, stoves" reports Denis Cuff of our Times.

 

"Air board head seeks faster cleanup: New leader addresses concerns of lawmakers worried about emissions law's implementation" writes the Times' Steven Harmon.

"The new chairwoman of the state Air Resources Board assured Democrats on Tuesday that her mandate is to 'speed up, not slow down' the implementation of the state's landmark law to reduce greenhouse emissions.

But at a rare preliminary confirmation hearing -- a full year before Mary Nichols actually faces a vote from the Senate -- the longtime Democratic environmental lawyer also argued that industry's participation will be crucial to the success of the law, AB32."

 

 

"East Bay home sales slowest in years: Reports reveal relatively flat prices in Contra Costa, Alameda counties, significant drop in Solano County" writes the Times' Barbara E. Hernandez.

"East Bay home sales continued to slow, recording the slowest June in 19 years for Solano, 14 years for Contra Costa and 12 years for Alameda counties, a real estate information company reported Thursday."

 

"Bernanke comments hurt Wall Street: Federal Reserve chairman says some hedge funds are worthless and that inflation remains main concern" reports the AP's Joe Bel Bruno.

"Stocks retreated but managed a partial late-day recovery Wednesday as investors reacted uneasily to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments on the economy and news that two Bear Stearns Cos. hedge funds were essentially worthless."

 

 

"Anti-gang policies should focus on intervention, report says" writes Andrew Glazer in our Times.

"Anti-gang legislation and police crackdowns are failing so badly that they are strengthening the criminal organizations and making U.S. cities more dangerous, according to a report being released today."

 

 

 

 

 

7/25/07

Johnny Hodges

was born 100 years ago today

More jazz photos are here.

 

 

Miltiades Mandros' another-entry in the Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Contest.

For years Clipsringer toiled without complaint in the dusty backrooms of his mentor's Atelier de Rattan, slowly but steadily honing his skills as a master craftsman until that day when he felt himself ready to strike out on his own, but as his ability to spell was not equal to his talent as a furniture maker, he was dumbfounded by the torrent of witches, warlocks and assorted new-agers who descended on his tiny shop, the sign of which advertised "Fine Wicca Furniture."

 

 

Check out the Julio Caesar, new on the 900 GRAYSON menu. Described as sweet gem lettuce, Sherry vinegar infused dressing, toasted croutons and shaved Spanish cheese, it is a differently delicious Caesar Salad and, . . . it's extraordinary.

 

 

Neighbors have been complaining about the Acme Bread construction-noise. Ah, . . . . . . Potter Crik.

 

 

 

"Berkeley to consider muting train horns at crossings" reports Doug Oakley in our Times.

"Those train whistle blasts that shatter Berkeley's night time silence may snap some people out of their dreams, but they also save lives."

 

Train noise in west-Berkeley is greatly amplified by our west winds. I'm a good half-mile from the tracks but on a windy day the freight and passenger trains sound like they're right across the street.

And my sense is that train engineers "lay on the horn" while passing thru west-Berkeley because there is greater likelyhood of people on the tracks from traffic around, and to-and-from, Aquatic Park.

And our train-guy John Phillips says "They should make all the noise they can!"

 

 

 

"West Berkeley Nonprofits Get $300,000 for Community" reports Judith Scherr in our Planet.

 

 

 

"Group approves housing targets: Guidelines designed to spread a fair share of affordable residences
around the Bay Area"
writes the Times Eve Mitchell.

 

"East Bay employment lags behind rest of Bay Area: Slow job growth blamed on withering real estate market"
reports George Avalos of the Times.

"Fresh evidence surfaced Friday that the meltdown in the housing market has jolted employment in the East Bay."

 

"Lender Sees Mortgage Woes for 'Good' Risks" reports Vikas Bajaj in the New York Times.

"Countrywide Financial, the nation's largest mortgage lender, said yesterday that more borrowers with good credit were falling behind on their loans and that the housing market might not begin recovering until 2009 because of a decline in house prices that goes beyond anything experienced in decades."

 

 

 

"Venture funding down in East Bay. Investors, analysts think the slump is temporary and that the region is full of innovative activity" writes the Times George Avalos.

"Venture financing in the Bay Area drooped during the spring in a downturn that also eroded activity in the East Bay, according to a report released Monday."

 

 

The Wall Street Journal reports that the world's capital is going global. "In bid to land, ABN Amro Holding Barclays taps funding from China, Singapore." And "Qatar in U.K. play, shows its deal thirst. Where to put $1 billion."

 

And, the Wall Street Journal reports "Amazon reported that second-quarter profit more than tripled, boosted by soaring U.S. sales . . . "

 

The Journal also reports "UPS reported a 4% earnings increase, its lowest profit growth in nearly three years."

 

 

"U.S. pullout would be complex task: Many uncertainties complicate withdrawal of troops, equipment and ammunition from Iraq, despite years of planning" writes the AP's Charles J. Hanley in our Times.

"From crating up the bombs and bullets, to shrink-wrapping the helicopters, to counting up the endless tiers of port-a-potties, the pullout of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, when it comes, will rank as the longest-planned withdrawal ever."

 

 

And Doug Oakley reports that in Our Town "Shops cited after minors allowed to buy tobacco: Clerks at six stores fined $280 after sting, and merchants told to take products off shelves for up to 30 days."

 

 

11:15 AM--irritant in front room plus medium odor of "burning rubber," dry eyes. The adjective "burning" is disturbing.

 

 

 

 

7/26/07

In the book Trading with the Enemy, author Charles Higham writes further of the attempted American putsch.

Roosevelt couldn't quite let the matter rest. Under pressure from liberal Democrats he set up a special House committee to investigate. Butler begged the committee to summon the Du Ponts but the committee declined. Nor would it consent to call anyone from the house of Morgan. Then Butler dropped a bombshell. He gave interviews to the press announcing that none other than General Douglas MacArthur was a party to the plot. This again was dismissed by the press, and MacArthur laughed it off.

The committee hearings were a farce. MacGuire was allowed to get away with saying that Butler had ''misunderstood' his intentions.

Other witnesses lamely made excuses, and there the matter rested. It was four years before the committee dared to publish its report in a white paper that was marked for "restricted circulation." They were forced to admit that ''certain persons made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country . . . [The] committee was able to verify all the pertinent statements made by General Butler."

This admission that the entire plan was deadly in intent was not accompanied by the imprisonment of anybody. Further investigations disclosed that over a million people had been guaranteed to join the scheme and that the arms and munitions necessary would have been supplied by Remington, a Du Pont subsidiary.

 

 

 

7/27/07

Check out the Mechanical Contractors Association of America website.

Seems one of Potter Creek's own is their Prez. Among his goals are " to have MCAA's members become our industry leaders in green building and sustainable construction." Works for me!

And is this guy, along with Jerry Victor, one of the coolest-dressed men in west-Berkeley?

Well, . . . ever since Big and Tall closed, the dapper John Norheim is well up there.

 

 

And, helping keep Berkeley green, and safe from toxins, is our hazardous materials crew. Not pencil pushers in the office, the staff, of now five inspectors, is out in the field, working.

Well, Ok then!

 

"Gas facility explosions rock Dallas: Half-mile area evacuated, portions of freeways closed after malfunction triggers blaze near city's downtown" reports Paul J. Weber in our Times. "Flaming debris rained onto a busy highway during a series of explosions at a gas facility near the city's dense downtown area, injuring three people and rattling windows and buildings blocks away."

 

 

"Leader admits protesters cut redwood: Head of sit-in to protect trees at UC Berkeley says only dead branches removed" reports Kristin Bender in our Times.

"The leader of a UC Berkeley tree sit-in admits that protesters lopped off about four feet of a redwood tree and pruned other branches, but Zachary RunningWolf says they were cutting only dead branches."

 

 

Our "Housing Authority regroups after scandal: Three full-time employees remain as small staff tries to keep things running" writes Doug Oakley in our Times.

 

 

"Festival features kite kaleidoscope"
reports Matthew Cooper in our Times. "These are not the kites you can buy from the local toy store or Wal-Mart. This weekend at the Berkeley Marina, a plethora of colorful mammoth kites will shade the grassy areas of Cesar Chavez Park for the 22nd annual Berkeley Kite Festival and West Coast Kite Championships."

 

 

"Collection pays tribute to local jazz producer Orrin Keepnews" writes Jim Harrington of the Oakland Tribune. "The five grammy awards, including the Recording Academy's coveted Trustees trophy given in 2004, are the first things one notices upon taking a seat in Orrin Keepnews' living room. The very next thing is the impressive collection of records 'vintage' vinyl platters from an age when jazz music truly mattered. The bountiful assortment offers more than just some of the finest music in American history. The collection also tells Keepnews' own story, one that has been carved from more than 55 years in the music business.

To jazz fans, the 84-year-old El Cerrito resident is nothing short of a legend, an exalted record producer who has had a hand in numerous landmark jazz releases. His resume includes working with such key jazz figures as Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Art Blakey, Wes Montgomery and Kenny Dorham. He's also known for having run two of the more storied independent jazz labels in history, Riverside and Milestone."

 

 

"Mortgage defaults surge in Bay Area" writes Janis Mara in the Times

 

 

"Two Berkeley residents fatally shot in other cities
Contra Costa County, Oakland officers investigating killings"
reports the Oakland Tribune.

 

 

 

 

 

7/28/07

 

And just what city service is this?

Recently dumped trash in Potter Creek

 

 

 

 


7/29/07

Our Planning Department update is here.

 

 

"Councilwoman accused of violating election law: City attorney's report says official did not disclose all campaign contributions, loans" reports Doug Oakley in our Times.

"Berkeley Councilman Dona Spring failed to disclose about 30 percent of the contributions and loans made to her 2006 re-election campaign against candidate Raudel Wilson, according to a report by the city attorney."

 

 

"Hispanics expected to be state's majority by 2042: Alameda County to have top proportion of Asian Americans" reports Meredith May in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Hispanics will make up a majority of California's population by 2042, while the state's highest percentage of Asian Americans will live in Alameda County and Pacific Islanders will concentrate in Santa Clara County, according to projections released Monday by the state Department of Finance."

 

 

"Boxer, EPA face off over emissions standards: Senator says delayed decision on state's request for stricter rules 'hostile to the public health'"report Frank Davies in our Times.

"In a tense, rancorous confrontation with the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Sen. Barbara Boxer accused the Bush administration Thursday of already having decided to deny California's landmark request to enforce its own vehicle emissions standards."

 

 

"First shot in wine movie feud 'Bottle Shock,' one of two movies on the famous 1976 tasting, begins shooting" reports W. Blake Gray in the Chronicle.

Here's the soon-to-be-told cinematic story of how Chateau Montelena and its most historic Chardonnay were saved from destruction: actress Rachael Taylor takes her top off. Repeatedly."

900 regular and employee of an independent film group in the Fantasy/Warham Building is working on the movie finding 1970s period sites and dress. They're going to shoot in downtown Sonoma because of its '70s flavor.

 

"A tale of two Bordeaux: Aside from the top chateaus, the region's producers struggle to be
relevant"
reports Michael Apstein to the Chronicle. "Perusing the selection at a Cannes wine shop, I noticed a group of Japanese businessmen. Among the shop's selection of upscale wines -- such as Cristal and grand
cru Burgundies -- one gentleman selected two bottles of 1995 Cheval Blanc, one of Bordeaux's greatest wines (for just over $600 a bottle). The customer, visibly upset, explained to the clerk through his translator that he was unhappy -- not with the condition of the bottles -- but with the condition of the tissue paper wrapping them, which was torn.

So which was more important, the wine or the presentation?

While Bordeaux's best wines still carry a certain cachet, their influence is far less profound than it was 30 years ago. Though other winegrowing regions have emerged to knock Bordeaux from its perch as the world's leading wine region, its considerable economic impact, especially for the top 100 or so wines, remains."

 

 

"Wall Street decline continues: Dow and Standard & Poor's 500 index have worst week in five years" writes Tim Paradis in our Times. "Wall Street extended its steep decline Friday, propelling the Dow Jones industrials down more than 500 points over two days after investors gave in to mounting concerns that borrowing costs
would climb for both companies and homeowners. It was the worst week for the Dow and the Standard & Poor's 500 index in five years."

 

 

 

 

 

7/30/07

Our Sarah Klise wrote an Op-ed in the Planet called "West Berkeley Tax District Benefits Developers." Please, check it out before you read these excerpts and my fact-corrections, -additions, and comments.

Her comments are about the proposed Community Benefit District for west-Berkeley which includes our mixed-use-zoned, Potter Creek. The District founders propose services for this, our community, above and beyond those offered by the city. These services are to be paid for by a District assessment.

The Times fonts are quotes from her piece--the Helvetica fonts, my fact-corrections, -additions, and observations.

 

Sarah writes

Did you know that your neighbors can get together and decide that it is in your best interest to pay a supplemental property tax, all without your input or a fair voting process?

Though Webster defines tax as "a charge on a person's income or property" its popular usage refers to a government levy, the proposal is more an assessment by a private association.

And, I'm told it is legal under California law. Whether fair or, in fact, legal is another issue, which would have to be addressed in the courts.

 

 

I am a resident in Potter Creek (Heinz Street to Dwight/San Pablo to the train tracks) and went, uninvited, to a meeting of these developers last week. I asked why the corridor of Sixth Street (between University and Dwight)-almost entirely single family homes-was being red-lined out of this district. Their response: it is a residential neighborhood and this doesn't apply to them. Hmmm. Exactly what we think. This district does not apply to us. Second, why the "weighted" vote?They list their priorities as: street cleaning, sidewalk repair, graffiti abatement, homeless/encampment removal, 24-hour security (meaning two men in pickup trucks with walkie talkies? cell phones? guns?), and additional transit services.

It is a weighted-vote based on a weighted-assessment which, in turn, is based on owned-property-size. The more voting power, the more financial obligation--holders of large-vote-blocks pay large-money-amounts. And they do not get more services in kind.

Potter Creek is a mixed-use area, deeply different from a residential area--as any Potter Creeker can testify, SPECIALLY home-owners. In Sarah's block there are by my count, twelve businesses, seven residences and one work-live. By square footage, I would estimate business-use in her square block to be 70 % of the land. The blocks immediately to her north, south, and west are 100% business, excepting the French School in the north-block. The block to the east is truly mixed use.

Sarah in fact, WAS INVITED. In phone conversations with Marco, the District's paid consultant, she expressed interest in attending their next meeting. She also expressed that interest to me. I communicated it to members of the Steering Committee and was assured she was welcome. I told her that, and also told Potter Creek resident Bob Kubik that he too was welcome. We all three attended.

 

 

The biggest land owners on this side of town (in order: Bayer, Wareham Corporation and the City of Berkeley, along with developers Denny Abrams, Dennis Cohen, Steven Goldin, Doug Herst and Steven Donaldson) have decided that we need to "beautify and bring order" to our mixed use neighborhood of residences and businesses. They list their priorities as: street cleaning, sidewalk repair, graffiti abatement, homeless/encampment removal, 24-hour security (meaning two men in pickup trucks with walkie talkies? cell phones? guns?), and additional transit services.

The proposed security is from dusk to dawn.

You don't get "armed-security" for the salary the Benefits District proposes to pay and I believe that the founders understand armed, private-guards are often not a good idea. Can you spell Pinkerton?

The interest of the proprty owner and the developer are NOT NECESSARILY the same. An established owner of many condos may not have the same interests as a new developer. "I've got mine, f@$k you"?

Steve Donaldson owns two Victorians, one of which houses his business.

 

 

In reading the fine print, after I got home, I see that the much of that 25 percent is for land use issues. . . . They want to hire consultants, lawyers, and meet with city officials and rework that pesky document called the West Berkeley Plan . . .

The 60k management fee is actually 10% of the whole proposed budget of 600k, NOT 25%. And, it is for all facets of district management.

There is no fine print, either literally or figuratively--print in the budget section looks to be 12-14 points. In the budget section, proposed expenses are listed by category, according to size--the largest first, the smallest last. The smallest operations amount that is proposed is the management fee of 60k which includes "outreach to political reps." The actual last category is the emergency account of 58k--"Oh s#%t, we screwed up."

 

 

In other fine print we learn that the largest landowner, Bayer, has cut a special deal with the CBD planners. They will not have to pay their equal share of this tax as they will not have to pay the percentages on their taxable building square footage.

Bayer's assessment is less because they are a fenced, self-contained facility that already provides there own additional-to-the-city security and maintenance services. Still, their first year annual assessment will probably be tens-and-tens-of-thousands.

 

 

And the City of Berkeley's stance? Well, they are sitting at the same table. Why not get the people to pay an extra tax? What a dream concept for them. The thing is, City of Berkeley, I already pay you to clean my street, and pick up the occasional dropped mattress, arrange for city buses to pass by, and for the police to come when called and I think you do a commendable job of it. . . . . . Graffiti? Never had it in my 15 years here. And, the buses run on time.

Potter Creek has, in my 35 years experience, been a trash-dumping ground--sometimes more, sometimes less, but ALWAYS. See my 7/28/07 photo for Friday's.

Graffiti, recently has reached epidemic portions. The lot almost immediately behind Sarah's--roughly 50-75 feet by 100-150 feet is now filled with graffiti. The one-hundred-some-foot, bordering-south-wall is completely covered, as is the bordering, 50-some-foot, back fence/wall.

Berkeley PD response? Friday, within minutes of a "Dog locked in a hot-car, barking, and seems to have no air" call, an Animal Control unit and radio-car were on the scene. Our beat officer went into 900 GRAYSON, found the dog and car's owner. Problem solved!

Wisely, my earlier "Break the f@$king window" crack was completely ignored.

 

 

 

 

 

7/31/07

"Filmmaker Ingmar Bergman Dies at 89" reports DW-TV.

"Ingmar Bergman, one of the most influential film directors of the 20th century, died at his home on the Swedish island of Faaro . . ."

 

 

"The inspired road to 'Hot Rod'" exclaims Jessica Yadegaran in our Times.

"You may know them as the digital comedy pioneers who turned Natalie Portman into a potty-mouthed rapper and Justin Timberlake into an early-'90s R&B cheese ball.'

But the first collaboration among the multihyphenated team of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone did not involve A-list celebs and was not seen by millions on 'Saturday Night Live.'

Most likely, the only audience was their parents.

Back when they were scrawny freshmen at Berkeley High School, the boys made a lip-sync video to Hayward rapper Spice 1's '187 Proof.' Schaffer and Taccone shot it in Schaffer's living room, hanging upside down. They then flipped the image so they looked right-side up with their hair hanging upward.

'It was pretty innovative,' says Taccone, devouring a salsa-topped chip during a recent interview at Juan's Place in Berkeley, a favorite old haunt."

 

 

"Trying to create a greener dry cleaner" writes Douglas Fischer in the Times.

No sign touts the pile of cash Song Lee spent to switch his modest dry-cleaning shop to green technology.

He simply pulled aside a long-time customer, a Berkeley police officer whose perspiration-stained uniform would be the bane of any cleaner, to ask if he noticed anything different.

'Yeah,' Lee recalls the cop saying. 'It smells cleaner. There's no dry-cleaned smell. What'd you do?'

'I spent $90,000 for you,' Lee replied."

 

 

"Cities try new anti-gang tactic -- suing them: To fight plague of violence, local DAs are asking for legal bans on gang behavior and signs" reports the AP's Angela K. Brown in our Times.

"Fed up with deadly drive-by shootings, incessant drug dealing and graffiti, cities nationwide are trying a different tactic to combat gangs: They're suing them."

Take time to report crime!

All reports of crime-in-progress should first go to Berkeley PD dispatch--911 or non-emergency, 981-5900. THEN make sure you notify EACH of these City people.

Bob Kubik again stresses that "I believe it is up to each of us to report what crime we see, and/or are aware of, to the City in order to get and keep their attention." The contacts are below:

Officer Andrew Frankel, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 AFrankel@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491 agallegos-castillo@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Ryan Lau, aid to Darrell Moore - 981-7120 rlau@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Darrell Moore, City Councilman dmoore@ci.berkeley.ca.us

return

ronpenndorf@earthlink.net

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