2/13/08

the quiet but deadly Bob Kubik emails

 

 

 

Mob behavior in our town reported by Carolyn Jones of the San Fransico Chronicle.

"Two thousand protesters began gathering as early as Monday night outside City Hall in anticipation of the Tuesday night meeting. By Tuesday morning, some confrontations had become physical, and police in riot gear moved in to separate the groups.

Three protesters were arrested for minor scuffles with other demonstrators - and a fourth for allegedly slapping a police officer - in what was one of the largest demonstrations in the city in years.

By evening, many demonstrators had squeezed into the council chambers - some telling the council to stand firm, others urging the council to apologize for insulting the military and the men and women who are serving their country. The council was allowing public testimony to continue for hours before making a decision. . . .

Outside City Hall, protesters could still be heard shouting. They had spent the day yelling, singing, chanting and flag-waving along Martin Luther King Jr. Way in front of Maudelle Shirek City Hall. At times, the arguments grew intense, as protesters stood face-to-face screaming obscenities at one another.

A 49-year-old man from Rocklin (Placer County) and two Berkeley teenagers were arrested in separate scuffles, police said. About 1 p.m., a man supporting the Marines ventured into an encampment by the anti-war group Code Pink and drew a knife. Police arrested Keith Donald Salvatore for brandishing the weapon. He told police he had taken out the knife in self-defense after war protesters wrapped him in a pink banner, said Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, a police spokeswoman.

Police arrested the teenagers, boys ages 13 and 15, for scuffling with Marines supporters.

At around 4 p.m., police arrested Luisa Romero De Los Angeles, an 18- year-old Berkeley resident who they say slapped a police officer who told her to back away as she demanded they release the two boys who had been arrested earlier."

 

And the Times' Kristin Bender reports of our town's mob behavior

"The left and the right squared off in an all-day protest Tuesday over the City Council's recent decision to call the U.S. Marines recruiting center uninvited and unwelcome intruders in what is being called the largest and most raucous protest in recent Berkeley history.
The City Council late Tuesday night was still considering whether to rescind or amend the proposal they approved two weeks ago with a 6-3 vote but the chanting from protesters outside was often so loud it was difficult to hear the council inside. . . .
In the few hours before the council meeting, the number of protesters in front of Old City Hall grew with at least 500 people yelling through bullhorns, chanting, singing patriotic songs, yelling at each other and playing musical instruments.

"The noise could be heard at least half-mile away. The number of pro-military supporters, at times, appeared to be about double that of anti-war demonstrators. Adding to the protest were union workers from Pacific Steel Casting who showed up outside of City Hall to protest a council item to put restrictions on the steel foundry. The item was heard by the council but a vote was not taken."

italics mine

 

 

Post, post-radical thoughts.

Work with artists, artisans and crafts-workers to form co-operatives now--organize to buy affordable-property in industrial Bay-Area areas for immediate use as studios, lofts and storage. Buy in areas that will appreciate--as proprties increase in value use as leverage for other investment, equipment, furnishings, real-estate, etc.

 

Work with the business community to set up small business classes addressing the needs of artists and crafts-workers.

 

 

In a different area, work with the business community to set up programs of micro-loans in low-income-neighborhoods.

 

 

 

 

Certainly not an in-depth report, still, John King's appreciation of our Potter Creek, "West Berkeley Builds Community," is worth reading.

"By their nature, cities and neighborhoods change. Buildings rise and fall, people come and go. Longtime businesses move away or close shop.

If we're lucky, the evolution includes a moment when all the different elements slide smoothly into place - as is the case today in a pocket of West Berkeley known to locals as Potter Creek. Poised for the moment between hard-edged and hip, it's a reminder that the best change is incremental."

 

"You've got to accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. Don't mess with Mister In-Between" Bing Crosby.

 

 

I'm told French School students are logging on to the Internet through--hacking into?--neighboring neighbor's computers.

Bummer!

 


2/12/08--6:38 AM--irritant in front room, cough, wear mask.

 

 

 

 

 

2/14/08

Bob Kubik forwards an email originally written to his friend

Marines and Berkeley

I'm surprised that you, . . . , haven't yet given me a hard time about the latest Berkeley "news event".  I will try to defend myself before you can go on the offensive.

1. The Berkeley City Council approved this ill-conceived motion by a vote of five to three showing that a strong minority did not support and indeed objected to it.
    2. The Council is now trying to worm their way out of this.
    3. Perhaps, to me the most stupid part of this was to attack the Marine Corps!

General Smedly Butler (1881-1940) who twice won the Medal of Honor and was the most decorated and influential Marine of his time perhaps best summed up the early history of the Corps."I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

The Corps since then has seen to its public relations in an exemplary fashion.  It has branded itself as the preeminent branch of the service - more selective, braver and more capable than the army, navy or air force.  Stunts like the reenactment that led to the iconic photo of raising the flag on Mt. Surabachi were pure PR genius.  
    After WWII when the Army, the Air Force and Harry Truman wanted to disband the Marine Corps the Corps defeated them soundly - (did the Berkeley City Council think the could win when the combined effort of the Army, the Air Force and the President couldn't prevail?)
    Now before you get me wrong I am not dissing the Corps.  I'm just saying they know how to handle perceptions.  Indeed, they have distinguished themselves as war fighters.  They did more than their share of the toughest fighting in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the First Gulf War.  The casualties they received demonstrate that.  Typically, in the First Gulf War the marines had the hardest job - attacking straight ahead against mine fields and prepared defenses - while the army did an end run around the defenders.  

Getting back to my main point - the ill-conceived motion by the Berkeley City Council - I take it as self evident that one should not get into arguments with large groups of people with guns and also not get into a pissing contest with a group that understands public relations better than Procter and Gamble.

 

Want to find out about General Smedly Butler's War is a Racket and more? Do it here.

 

 

 

With all the tsuris I forgot that February 9, 1938 is Da Boz' birthdate.

Zo, . . .

HAPPY 70TH BOZ

 

Boz, next time please pick a fight we can win--go after the Coast Guard.

 

 

"Berkeley Council takes the blame" writes Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Berkeley City Council members said Wednesday they learned an important lesson from the explosion of animosity following their attack on the Marine Corps: They'll spend more time reading the small print in their agenda packets before voting on such incendiary topics."

 

Maybe yes, maybe no. . . . maybe we need full-time help.

 

 

 

 

Kubik also sent an essay by our Robert Reich. I'm reprinting all of it.


We're sliding into recession, or worse, and Washington is turning to the normal remedies for economic downturns. But the normal remedies are not likely to work this time, because this isn't a normal downturn.
The problem lies deeper. It is the culmination of three decades during which American consumers have spent beyond their means. That era is now coming to an end. Consumers have run out of ways to keep the spending binge going.
The only lasting remedy, other than for Americans to accept a lower standard of living and for businesses to adjust to a smaller economy, is to give middle- and lower-income Americans more buying power-- and not just temporarily.
Much of the current debate is irrelevant. Even with more tax breaks for business like accelerated depreciation, companies won't invest in more factories or equipment when demand is dropping for products and services across the board, as it is now. And temporary fixes like a stimulus package that would give households a one-time cash infusion won't get consumers back to the malls, because consumers know the assistance is temporary. The problems most consumers face are permanent, so they are likely to pocket the extra money instead of spending it.
Another Fed rate cut might unfreeze credit markets and give consumers access to somewhat cheaper loans, but there?s no going back to the easy money of a few years ago. Lenders and borrowers have been badly burned, and the values of houses and other assets are dropping faster than interest rates can be lowered.
The underlying problem has been building for decades. America's median hourly wage is barely higher than it was 35 years ago, adjusted for inflation. The income of a man in his 30s is now 12 percent below that of a man his age three decades ago. Most of what's been earned in America since then has gone to the richest 5 percent.
Yet the rich devote a smaller percentage of their earnings to buying things than the rest of us because, after all, they're rich. They already have most of what they want. Instead of buying, and thus stimulating the American economy, the rich are more likely to invest their earnings wherever around the world they can get the highest return.
The problem has been masked for years as middle- and lower-income Americans found ways to live beyond their paychecks. But now they have run out of ways.
The first way was to send more women into paid work. Most women streamed into the work force in the 1970s less because new professional opportunities opened up to them than because they had to prop up family incomes. The percentage of American working mothers with school-age children has almost doubled since 1970-- to more than 70 percent. But there's a limit to how many mothers can maintain paying jobs.
So Americans turned to a second way of spending beyond their hourly wages. They worked more hours. The typical American now works more each year than he or she did three decades ago. Americans became veritable workaholics, putting in 350 more hours a year than the average European, more even than the notoriously industrious Japanese.
But there's also a limit to how many hours Americans can put into work, so Americans turned to a third way of spending beyond their wages. They began to borrow. With housing prices rising briskly through the 1990s and even faster from 2002 to 2006, they turned their homes into piggy banks by refinancing home mortgages and taking out home-equity loans. But this third strategy also had a built-in limit. With the bursting of the housing bubble, the piggy banks are closing.
The binge seems to be over. We're finally reaping the whirlwind of widening inequality and ever more concentrated wealth.
The only way to keep the economy going over the long run is to increase the wages of the bottom two-thirds of Americans. The answer is not to protect jobs through trade protection. That would only drive up the prices of everything purchased from abroad. Most routine jobs are being automated anyway.
A larger earned-income tax credit, financed by a higher marginal income tax on top earners, is required. The tax credit functions like a reverse income tax. Enlarging it would mean giving workers at the bottom a bigger wage supplement, as well as phasing it out at a higher wage. The current supplement for a worker with two children who earns up to $16,000 a year is about $5,000. That amount declines as earnings increase and is eliminated at about $38,000. It should be increased to, say, $8,000 at the low end and phased out at an income of $46,000.
We also need stronger unions, especially in the local service sector that's sheltered from global competition. Employees should be able to form a union without the current protracted certification process that gives employers too much opportunity to intimidate or coerce them. Workers should be able to decide whether to form a union with a simple majority vote.
And employers who fire workers for trying to organize should have to pay substantial fines. Right now, the typical penalty is back pay for the worker, plus interest -- a slap on the wrist.
Over the longer term, inequality can be reversed only through better schools for children in lower- and moderate-income communities. This will require, at the least, good preschools, fewer students per classroom and better pay for teachers in such schools, in order to attract the teaching talent these students need.
These measures are necessary to give Americans enough buying power to keep the American economy going. They are also needed to overcome widening inequality, and thereby keep America in one piece.

Whoooa, . . .

italic mine

 

Reader and contributor, Tony Almeida emails

let me be short

[I've always admired] Robert Reich . . .
Real intellegence is being able to grasp something complex, and explain it clearly and simply.
Women entering the workforce, everyone working more hours, borrowing on home equity - all now maxed out...YUP!
 
A little bragging:
Bobby, [Tony's youngest son] who you met, got accepted to the University of Michigan and is visiting there tomorrow. He also got into USC and won a Dean's scholorship.
 
Tony

 

Tony's Jimi Hendrix story is the only page that routinely gets more hits than Scrambled Eggs

 

 


 

 

2/15/08

Ok, let me see if I've got this straight.

This, from Carolyn Jones' story in the Chronicle about Berkeley and the Marines, "the arguments grew intense, as protesters stood face-to-face screaming obscenities at one another." Screaming obscenites isn't intense argument, it's intimidation. It's what you do "on-the-street" before you "knife-the-mutha-f#%ker."

 

Let's be perfectly clear.

This confrontation didn't take place within the 60s' background, "love and peace man." This is 2008, and if you want to know just what the background is now, read Robert Reich's essay above.

 

 

"Pacific Steel strikes deal with City Council:Berkeley business will voluntarily cut noxious odors as city eyes public nuisance charge" reports Doug Oakley of our Times.

"Pacific Steel Casting in Berkeley has agreed to voluntarily reduce noxious odors coming from its 2nd Street plants in the face of a City Council proposal to declare it a public nuisance.

After receiving a letter on Tuesday from Pacific Steel General Manager Joe Emmerichs agreeing to "cut odor and emissions while producing superior steel castings," Berkeley City Councilwoman Linda Maio pulled her proposal from consideration at the start of the council meeting."

 

 

"Top Officials See Bleaker Outlook for the Economy" reports the New York Times.

"With the credit markets once again deteriorating, the nation's two top economic policy makers acknowledged Thursday that the outlook for the economy had worsened, as both came under criticism for being overtaken by events and failing to act boldly enough."

 

"US consumer confidence plummets" reports BBC NEWS.

"Confidence among US consumers has fallen to a 16-year low, as fears grow about recession and job cuts, a closely-watched survey has found.

The University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell to 69.6 in February, from 78.4 in January.
The report said the index had only been this low during past recessions."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/16/08

mixed-use in Potter Creek

a Bob Kubik photo

Kids listen, Coach explains, at the École Bilingue 8th and Grayson playground, . . . and in the background, immediately across the street, Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass and behind Adams & Chittenden, the massive Acme Bread solar array.

 

 

In our Times Saturday Forum

"Readers oppose Berkeley City Council's Marine stance: Arrogance, ignorance.

 

 

 

 

 

2/17/08

"Country Joe still gives a damn:Fifty years after Woodstock.

Country Joe McDonald remains true to his causes, his music and Woody Guthrie" writes Jim Harrington of our Times.

"Country Joe McDonald sits in the kitchen of his Berkeley home, a few miles and more than four decades removed from where he got his start in the music business, hawking self-released EPs on the UC Berkeley campus.

There are relatively few mementos of his career on display. The most noticeable is a picture of the folk-rock star with the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia above the entryway. In all, the scene probably isn't that different from what one could find in any home in this area, north of the intersection of University Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way -- that is, until the topic turns to tunes.

McDonald, 66, is an absolute encyclopedia of music. You'd expect him to know a lot about the sounds of the '60s -- he became a part of pop culture history when he performed his 'I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag' at the Woodstock festival; and his old band, Country Joe and the Fish, emerged as one of the signature acts of the era. But he can
also talk intelligently about '80s hip-hop, modern electronic music, thrash metal and whatever else needs discussing.

Right now, the relevant topic is Woody Guthrie, the folk music great whom McDonald will salute with a tribute show on Friday at the Freight & Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley. The singer-songwriter has been paying tribute to Guthrie off and on for most of his career. His first post-Fish release was 1969's 'Thinking of Woody Guthrie,' which was recorded just two years after the honoree died, and he's been sporadically performing his Guthrie show since 2001."

 

Avenue Lore has it Moe helped Joe a lot by carrying and hyping the Fish's first record-a 45 RPM, EP. My memory is Moe's, even though then really just a book store, was first to carry the Fish's EP. Chick Hirsch, the band's drummer, was a record salesman for wholesaler Eric-Mainland. He also hung around Campus Records and jammed with Reese, one of our employees. I sat in one a couple of sessions. Check out "Back in The Day: Selling Records on Berkeley's Telegraph Ave" on Journal of Recorded Music 6.

When Joe and the band came into Campus Records, Albert sometimes recommended music. Seems I remember him playing an Original Dixeland Band record for them.

And, here's a photo of Chick "Chicken" Hirsch from The Day

Helen Schneider, one of the owners of Record City, found this among her old stuff.

 

 

 

"Tedford reflects:Disappointing season leads to changes" reports our Times' Jonathan Okanes.

"Jeff Tedford begins to speak, and you can immediately tell Cal's football coach is congested. He coughs every so often, confirming he's contracted a bad case of the flu.

'I'm much better today,' Tedford says. 'You should have heard me yesterday.'

An empty box of TheraFlu cold medicine sits on a desk behind him. Is it November all over again?"

 

 

Early AM, irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse plus "chlorine-like" odor.

 

 

 

 

 

2/18/08

The San Francisco Chronicle reports "Berkeley officer fatally shoots knife-wielding woman.

A woman who allegedly confronted a police with a knife is dead after an officer opened fire in what authorities are calling a case of self- defense.

Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said police were responding to a second domestic disturbance call Saturday night at a South Berkeley apartment complex when the shooting took place.

Kusmiss said the five-year veteran shot the woman to defend himself and a second person who was not named. The names of the shooting victim and the officer were also not released.

The officer was placed on paid leave pending an investigation - standard practice in officer-involved shootings.

The last fatal shooting involving Berkeley police occurred in 2003 when officers gunned down a bank robbery suspect near the University of California, Berkeley campus."

 

 

 

 

 

2/19/08

Kubik tours 2700 san pablo"Avenue West"

There are 18 one bedroom condos, 12 two bedroom units, four live-work lofts and a commercial space. The one bedroom units go for $400k and up, the two bedroom units up to $600k. Homeowners dues range from $283 to $358 per month. Three of the one bedroom units are in sale. From what I have seen of comparable condos in this area - these units are on the lower end of charm and amenities. It feels more like an apartment building.

 

 

"Tasers weighed after cop shoots woman" reports Kristin Bender of our Times.

"More than 450 police departments in California have equipped their officers with Tasers.

Berkeley isn't one of them.

But in the aftermath of a deadly shooting of a South Berkeley woman by a Berkeley police officer, city leaders said they may rethink their ban on the weapons.

'It's too bad that our police don't have other methods to subdue people,' Councilwoman Betty Olds said.

Anita Gay, 51, was fatally shot by officer Rashawn Cummings outside her home in the 1700 block of Ward Street about 8 p.m. Saturday after police say she brandished a kitchen knife at an officer and family members. She died at the scene. Witnesses say she was shot in the back but police officials say they are awaiting an autopsy report
from the Alameda County Coroner's Office, expected later this week, before releasing details.

The officer fired at least twice, police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.

Based on a preliminary investigation, after reviewing three witness statements and the statement of the officer, Kusmiss said Monday 'it appears the officer's actions were justified.'

The officer, who has been on the force for five years, is on paid administrative leave while internal affairs conducts an investigation, which could take a week or longer."

Another bad decision by our leaders? This time with delayed but deadly results?

 

"Neighbors: Berkeley cop didn't have to kill. Berkeley police say officer acted in self-defense against armed woman"
writes Anna Belle Peevey in our Times.

 

 

"Semper fi, Berkeley" enthuses David L. Kirp of our Haas Business School.

"The recent attack on the Marine Corps as 'unwelcome intruders' is just the latest example of Berkeley politicians behaving badly. Showered with ridicule, confronted with the loss of federal and state money, the City Council was obliged to withdraw its misbegotten resolution, though it wasn't prepared to apologize for its blunder. 'To err is human, but to really screw up it takes the Berkeley City Council,' one councilmember ruefully acknowledged.

But ask Standard & Poor's, the financial services company, what it thinks about Berkeley and you'll get a very different response. Last month, the firm upgraded the city's bonds to AA, which puts it among the top 5 percent of American municipalities. While cities across the country are watching their credit ratings plummet, Berkeley has convinced the green-eyeshade crowd that it can manage taxpayers' dollars." Full story is in the Chronicle here.

 

Buy this guy dinner, Boz!


 

"Catch a glimpse of lunar eclipse" writes Betsy Mason of our Times.

"Like she does every now and again, Mother Nature will play hide-the-swiss-cheese Wednesday night, and Bay Area residents can join in the fun'

If, that is, they find a good perch and train their eyes on what a poet once called 'Lozenge of Love!'

The lunar eclipse will start just as the sun is setting, and anyone with a clear view of the eastern horizon will be able to see it.

'If there are tall trees or hills or buildings in that direction, find a different place,' said Ben Burress, an astronomer at Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland.

Getting away from city lights is best, but the eclipse will be visible from anywhere in the country, if the weather cooperates. Cloudy skies and rain are predicted for Wednesday evening.

'We're hoping for clear skies, though,' Burress said.

The moon will already be in eclipse when it rises at 5:47 p.m., but it will be hard to see until about 6:15 p.m. The full eclipse, known as totality, will begin about 7 p.m. and last for 50 minutes."

 

last year February

 

 

Don Yost emails

Google "the kindle store" . Kindle is an amazon.com product. I was
alerted to this by an author/heavy duty reader. You can't buy one!
They can't keep up!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/20/08

Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed .7 yesterday through this morning.

 

And Pete's KALX-radio-players have their first 15 minute program in-the-can.

 

 

 

Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle writes of the head of Potter Creek's Secret Movie Studio

"Phil Tippett a special-effects pioneer

It's not hard to find Phil Tippett, who is waiting upstairs in the main building of his special-effects studio in Berkeley. Just follow the trail of Tyrannosaurus rex models, which are scattered liberally among the memorabilia from scores of science fiction films he's contributed to since his groundbreaking work on 'Star Wars.' 'Little boys diverge into two groups: One goes into trucks and the other goes into dinosaurs,' he says. 'I went into dinosaurs.'
Among the special-effects pioneers of his era, many of whom have settled in the Bay Area, Tippett is a bit of a dinosaur himself. The Berkeley native carried the stop-motion animation torch longer than anyone else, and was so despondent when computer graphics took over the industry in the early 1990s, that he became physically ill.
But a decade and a half later, his studio continues to thrive - known for its superior creature effects. Tippett Studio was responsible for the monster in 'Cloverfield,' and the studio teamed with Industrial Light & Magic to create various beasts for "The Spiderwick Chronicles." Tippett's resume already contained a toy chest's worth of science fiction geek icons, starting with the animated chessboard monsters in 'Star Wars' and the stop-motion AT-AT snow walkers in 'The Empire Strikes Back.'"

 

 

 

"Larger agendas stall city's best-laid plans" reports John King in the Chronicle.

"Some concerns are neighborhood based and genuine. In other cases, it looks as if some activists want to up the ante here so that when they move to the next fight - over a larger area known in planning circles as the Eastern Neighborhoods, which includes everything from Potrero Hill to portions of the Mission and the industrial waterfront - they can tighten the screws even more: kick up the fees an extra notch or require builders to add more subsidized housing to their projects. . . .

Now, neighbors and builders who don't like the activists' fiddling are raising a ruckus of their own. When the plan goes back to the committee next week, other supervisors might weigh in with revisions as well. . . .

I'm not saying there aren't legitimate changes that might improve the overall plan. But it's absurd that one small piece of the map - which evolved because of true community involvement - is jeopardized by the larger games.

Something eventually will get built. My fear is that the process will drag out so long the details won't matter. Whoever controls the land by then will just want to cut corners and move on."

 

 


Yesterday early AM, Kimar emailed from next-to-Campus

Hi Ron
At the moment it sounds as if there has been an invasion--there are at least 2 news helicopters
circling and have been doing so for about 20 minutes. I have just seen on the Channel 7 news that Cal has hired professional climbers to go up and get the tree sitters down without confrontation, Channel 7's words.  It is very loud here and I can only imagine the traffic jam on upper campus.
Kimar

 

Later in the day, Kristin Bender and William Brand of our Times reported

"Heavy rain sweeping into Berkeley ended a move this morning by UC Berkeley police to clear out equipment and supplies assembled by tree-sitters in a grove of trees in front of Memorial Stadium this morning. The effort by a university arborist, backed by campus police, was messy. At one point, a 'poop bucket' hanging from a rope from one of the tree platforms fell to the ground with messy effect.

University spokesman Dan Mogulof said police had no intention of arresting the tree sitters or pulling anyone down out of the trees, where demonstrators have resided since December 2006 protesting university plans to cut down the trees and build a $125 million sports training center on the site.

'The numbers of tree-sitters having dwindled to a hard-core few, we had an opportunity to address some safety and sanitary concerns with minimal risk to people,' Mogulof said. Only about three protesters were in the trees when police arrived shortly before 7 a.m."

Today, Kristin Bender reports "Arborist removes tree sitters' gear:." University officials say expert was called in for 'safety reasons'".

 

 

"Morimoto's design of Yoshi's evokes stillness" writes Eve Kushner in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"At the San Francisco Yoshi's, striped fabrics hang from the ceiling to the banquettes, perfectly capturing a paradox: movement and serenity. On the one hand, the jazzy stripes draw the eye to the two-story ceiling, making the space feel dynamic. On the other hand, the earth-toned fabrics have a calming effect. Separating the restaurant from the lounge, they make both areas more intimate.

Berkeley architect Hiroshi Morimoto, 66, who designed the interior, has worked with Yoshi's owner Kaz Kajimura for two decades, starting in 1985 with his first club on Oakland's Claremont Avenue. In 1997, Kajimura moved to an 18,500-square-foot space in Oakland's Jack London Square. This sister enterprise, measuring 28,000 square feet,
opened in November.

Kajimura said Morimoto has mixed calmness and vibrancy in all these designs. With the newest Yoshi's, 'you can really see that he was trying to bring in calmness. It's not all dancing and running around,' he said. 'Hiro's concept is based very much on the Japanese art philosophy. He wanted to have movement and serenity and lots of juxtapositions. I think it's a Zen idea that there's always one against the other, yin and yang.'

The use of curves helps create a sense of movement in both the San Francisco and Jack London Square nightclubs. Eye-catching soffits undulate across the large rooms, recalling the wavy forms of International Style architect Richard Meier.

Curves also appear in Morimoto's residential work. Elisabeth Siekhaus of Berkeley has hired him to renovate two houses. She believes that his curved walls provide a sense of flow, creating a gentle transition and an opening from one space into another. . . .

In the same vein, 'subtlety of detailing' provides delightful surprises, said Berkeley architect Jim Samuels, who worked with Morimoto at E. Paul Kelly Architecture/Planning in the early 1980s. Samuels cites thoughtful accents such as a Japanese garden beneath the stairs to the mezzanine sake bar, as well as a distinctive metal stairway railing."



Jim Samuels not only worked with Morimoto at Paul Kelly's firm, but my memory is that Ole College Buddy, Gary Guenther, Jim--now James of our Planning Commission--Samuels and Hiroshi Morimoto went to Architecture School together at Cal in the '60s. And, I seem to remember Guenther bringing Morimoto to Campus Records during night-session-breaks from work at Wurster Hall, and am sure he was among the guests at the Guenthers' famous Christmas parties. Jim--now James-- and Riet certainly were.


 



"A Baking Odyssey" to preserve old world baking recipes is a book review in our Times.

"One bite of Catherine Goodman's Italian Anise-Orange cookies told cookbook author Greg Patent that this recipe had lost connection with its past.

Patent gazes at a trio of glass cases filled with cream tortes and sugar-dusted Hungarian pastries at Crixa Cakes in Berkeley and shares a bit about his own connection to the art of baking.

'I am an immigrant baker myself,' he says, further explaining that he grew up in Shanghai with his Iraqi mother and Russian father. Patent started baking as a preteen and started winning awards. At 19, he won the Pillsbury Bake-Off and $1,000. He studied and even taught zoology before realizing that his real passion was baking."

 


 

"Air board considers limits on rebates:Homeowners who replace fireplaces with gas stoves and gas inserts may qualify for $600 rebates" reports Denis Cuff of our Times.

"The Bay Area's air pollution board today will consider restarting but adding more restrictions to a popular program offering $600 rebates to homeowners who replace smoky fireplaces and stoves with cleaner heating devices.
The first rebate program opened and closed abruptly last month when consumers from the nine Bay Area counties snapped up all $100,000 of the incentives in less than 48 hours.

Now a board committee recommends allocating $400,000 for more rebates but tightening eligibility rules.
Under the committee proposal, the $600 rebates would be restricted to homeowners who switch to gas stoves and gas fireplace inserts.

Wood-burning devices would be ineligible this time around -- even low-emission, EPA-certified wood stoves, fireplace inserts and pellet stoves, according to the plan."

 

 

"Newspaper offers staff buyouts:Bay Area News Group, parent to the Times, says layoffs will follow if insufficient number of employees accept offer" writes the Times' George Avalos.

"The operator of this newspaper and numerous others in the Bay Area has announced plans for across-the-board job cuts to be achieved through voluntary buyouts or outright layoffs.

The job cuts involve 23 Bay Area daily and weekly publications, including the Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune, the company said Tuesday.

Bay Area News Group-East Bay said Tuesday that it had decided to undertake the program to slash operating expenses in the face of an ongoing weakness in revenue. The papers are owned by a three-newspaper partnership that includes Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc."

 

 

BBC NEWS reports

"Obama extends lead over Clinton.

Barack Obama is riding a wave of momentum after a series of wins. Barack Obama has gained more ground over his rival, Hillary Clinton, in the contest to win the Democratic nomination to run for US president. . . .

The BBC's Jonathan Beale says Wisconsin was a significant victory for Mr Obama, eating into Mrs Clinton's support base.
It is a major disappointment for Mrs Clinton, the senator for New York, who had been hoping to restore momentum to her campaign.

Instead, Mr Obama was reported to have gained almost equal support from white women, and to have polled well from working-class Democrats - both groups which have usually supported Mrs Clinton.

Mr Obama also took the youth vote and six out of 10 self-described independent voters, according to exit polls for ABC."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/22/08

Cameron emails 

Hey Ron,
Did you see those turkeys walking down the sidewalk in front of your place yesterday about 12:50 pm? Yes, I mean real feathered turkeys, 4-5 of them taking a stroll down 8th St. Ask David Rowinski, he saw them too! Where'd they come from? Where were they going? And, no, I'm not referring to the Berkeley City Council 
Cameron


Anyone with more information please email me.

Claudia emails

Yes we saw them. Have no idea from whence they came. I just hope that they arrived "safe" to where they were going. Poor dears.

On another note, do you know anything about the building that is going up 7th in back of Sarah's and her neighbors. Funny that one hasn't come up for discussion, or did we simply miss it?
Claudia

Steve Smith emails

Ron, I see turkeys in Potter Creek all the time.  In fact, our city is riddled with them.  In fact, people have mistaken me for a turkey . . . seriously. Ain't no big thang. 
Sincerely, 
Steve Smith


the ordinarily reclusive JFN emails

They are great slow smoked with lots of herbs!
JFN

 

Merryll who is leaving her Marin home next to China Camp emails

Maybe I'm not leaving nature.

Merryl

 

Boz, they did put acid in the water.

 

 

 

An article about our Ruth Okimoto's "Poston Project" is in the Los Angeles Times, 2/19/08. Check it out!

 

 

"West Berkeley Zoning Tour Opens to Public" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet.

"Planning Commissioners and interested citizens will tour West Berkeley March 1 as the commission prepares to ease new zoning rules in the city's core industrial area.

Dubbed the West Berkeley Increased Flexibility Tour, the event will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.According to the official notice issued by the city planning department, 'The tour is a focused effort by the Planning Commission to better understand the types of businesses and uses that thrive and/or face obstacles in their attempts to locate in West Berkeley.

'Major landowners and developers have called for changes in the existing zoning ordinances, which they say are overly restrictive and bar needed enterprises from locating in the area covered by the West Berkeley Plan.The scope of changes would affect most of the land west of San Pablo except for properties zoned R-1A and C-W.

Anyone wanting to participate in the tour should send an e-mail by Wednesday to Melanie E. Beasley at the Planning Department, mbeasley@ci.berkeley.ca.us."

 

 

 

"Cody's Books to Move Downtown, Close Fourth St. Store" reports Judith Scherr of the Planet.

"Cody's is leaving Fourth Street for downtown Berkeley.

'We love Cody's,' Fourth Street developer Denny Abrams told the Planet through spokesperson Luma Cortez. 'We hate to see it go.

'While the move may hurt the upscale Fourth-Street area's careful mix of home furnishings and restaurants, with its toy, music and specialty shops, it will be a plus for downtown, said Michael Caplan, the city's economic development director.

Cody's plans to remain open on Fourth Street during most the transition, and will re-open March 24 at the corner of Allston Way and Shattuck Avenue, the site of the former Eddie Bauer's."

 

 

"Stanford offers free tuition to low-, middle-income students" reports Lisa M. Krieger of the Mercury News.

Stanford University is jumping into the competitive world of deep discounting. Tapping into its burgeoning endowment to make college more affordable, Stanford announced Wednesday that beginning next year it will offer free tuition - worth $36,000 a year - to middle-class students whose parents make less than $100,000 a year.
Joining a trend started by other elite universities such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale, Stanford is also eliminating student loans.

The move will make Stanford a better value than the University of California-Berkeley and San Jose State University for many students."


"Board limits fireplace rebates:Only gas-fueled devices will be eligible for rebate under new regulations designed by regional air quality district" reports our Times' Denis Cuff.

 

 

Solar panels a 'loser,' prof says" writes Matt Nauman in the Mercury News.

"Installing solar panels on homes is an economic "loser" with the costs far outweighing the financial benefit, a respected University of California-Berkeley business professor said Wednesday.

The technology, using photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, is not economically competitive with fossil fuels and costs more than other renewable fuels, said Severin Borenstein, who also directs the UC Energy Institute.
'We are throwing away money by installing the current solar PV technology,' he said."


"Fed downgrades 2008 economic expectations: Minutes from January meeting indicate board believed economy would deteriorate after rate cut" reports Jeannine Aversa in our Times.

 

 

"Two bankruptcy filings may signal more ahead" reports the AP's Mae Anderson.

A weak holiday season and a struggling economy led retailers Sharper Image and Lillian Vernon to file for bankruptcy this week, and analysts predict others could soon follow them as consumer spending worsens.
'You'll see a record number of bankruptcies over the next 50, 100, and 1,000 days,' said Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of the New York-based retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group. 'Consumers are cash and credit constrained. They're out of purchasing power.'

Both Sharper Image, known for its high-tech novelty gadgets, and Lillian Vernon, which sells low-cost gifts and gadgets through its catalog and Web site, have long been plagued with falling sales. But retailers across the sector have been laying off staff and closing stores as consumers cut back on discretionary spending.



2/23/08 and following here

 

Eternally useful links

In our rainy season you can find more information about our current weather conditions than is good for you at www.wunderground.com

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out http://sv.berkeley.edu/view/ This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor, Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets more hits than Scrambled Eggs.

 

Richmond Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails A very

useful link

If you ever need to get a human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc., this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get you to a human being within a few seconds.

http://gethuman.com/us/

 

Markets is not just a reference for Berkeley-Hills radicals with 1.5 mil homes and considerable portfolios.

 

Our Planning Department is here.

 

Our Berkeley PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.

 

Crime Log for 94710 is here

This site is NOT affiliated with Berkeley PD.
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.

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 Darryl Moore - 981-7120 rlau@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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

 

More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here

and

Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

Journal of Recorded Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

 

ronpenndorf@earthlink.net

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