3/8/08

sisters

 

 

 

 

3/9/08

Just under ten years ago, 17 of the roughly 450 mail-deliveries on this route were residences--the remaining 400-some were commercial. Now, there are about 100 residential and about 350-400 commercial deliveries.

The pattern over the last 8-10 years, then, has been away from commercial toward residential occupancy. But, this is not in any sense a "scientific survey."

 

And it is my understanding, after talking to developers, investors, and realtors that the best return on building-investment down-here comes from putting up units of a mix of roughly 75% residential and 25% commercial use--all else being equal.

 

 

This afternnon, EBMUD is repairing the water-seepage on Pardee between 7th and 8th, pretty much in front of Andrew and Kersten's condo--at just after 4 PM the air-hammers began. Water has been bubbling up from cracks in the middle of the street for weeks now.

 

Just after this photo was taken a main burst. Unlike construction crews, the EBMUD crew knew exactly where the shut-off valve was and closed it within minutes.

 

two EBMUD workers take a brief break to pose

 

Ah, mixed use.

All those large trucks, often 18 wheelers, beat the shit out of our old streets and our infrastructure.

 

 

"Cal women hold on for win over Oregon:Bears jump out to a big first-half lead, only to see it dwindle before finally prevailing by seven points" reports the Times' Jennifer Starks

With the Cal women's basketball team up 16 points midway through the first half of Saturday's Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinal matchup against Oregon, one could forgive an outsider for peeking inside HP Pavilion and thinking a blowout was about to ensue.

It would be a safe assumption considering one team had spent most of the season parked in the top 10, while the other endured a seven-game losing skid and finished seventh in the conference. It would also be well off the mark."

 

"Survey says Bay Area is the greenest in countryBerkeley among top 10 most environmentally friendly cities in U.S.
writes our Janis Mara. Who's the greenest of them all? If a new national survey is any indication, it's the Bay Area.

Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco made the top 10 of a national survey by Popular Science magazine rating the country's 50 most environmentally friendly cities. Concord and Fremont made the top 50 -- numbers 43 and 44, respectively -- as did 13 California cities, enough to turn other states green with envy.

The survey combined data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Geographic Society's Green Guide, which collected survey data and government statistics for American cities with more than 100,000
people in categories including air quality, electricity use and transportation habits.

Portland, Ore., grabbed the top spot, while San Francisco was No. 2, Oakland No. 4 and Berkeley No. 7.

'It is wonderful to receive recognition for the pioneering work we are doing in Berkeley to reduce energy use and build a green economy,' Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates said in an e-mail to MediaNews. 'Most importantly, this ranking recognizes that the people of Berkeley are already making progress in changing habits, finding
innovative and creative ways to reduce their energy use, and saving the planet.'

 

Boz, damn, there ARE drugs in our drinking water.

 

"AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water.

A vast array of pharmaceuticals - including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones - have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

But the presence of so many prescription drugs - and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen - in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health."

 

"End to the Good Times (Such as They Were) "opines David Leonhardt in the New York Times.

"If history is a reliable guide, the recession of 2008 is now unavoidable.

The dismal jobs report released Friday showed overall employment to be lower than it was three months ago. Every time such a slump has occurred since the early 1970s, a recession has followed - or already been under way.

And if the good times have really ended, they were never that good to begin with. Most American households are still not earning as much annually as they did in 1999, once inflation is taken into account. Since the Census Bureau began keeping records in the 1960s, a prolonged expansion has never ended without household income having set a new record."

 

 

"A Family Tree of Literary Fakers" writes the New York Times' Motoko Rich.

"When the news emerged this week that Margaret Seltzer had fabricated her gang memoir, 'Love and Consequences,' under the pseudonym Margaret B. Jones, many in the publishing industry and beyond thought: Here we go again.

The most immediate examples that came to mind were, of course, James Frey, the author of the best-selling 'Million Little Pieces,' in which he embellished details of his experiences as a drug addict, and J T LeRoy, the novelist thought to be a young West Virginia male prostitute who was actually the fictive alter ego of Laura Albert, a woman now living in San Francisco.

But the history of literary fakers stretches far, far back, at least to the 19th century, when a slave narrative published in 1863 by Archy Moore was revealed as a novel written by a white historian, Richard Hildreth, and into the early 20th, when Joan Lowell wrote a popular autobiography, 'Cradle of the Deep,' about her colorful childhood aboard a four-masted ship sailing the South Seas; in fact, she had grown up almost entirely in Berkeley, Calif."

 

 

"The city of Berkeley offered a $15,000 reward Friday for information leading to the conviction of the person who killed a man this week in south Berkeley.

Ceron Burns, 25, of San Leandro was shot to death about 11:30 p.m. Monday in front of an apartment building at 1615 Russell St., police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.

Burns was found lying next to a parked car, Kusmiss said. He had been shot numerous times.

Burns was killed about seven blocks from where Brandon Terrell Jones, 29, of Berkeley was shot to death Feb. 24 on the 1500 block of Harmon Street. No arrests have been made in either case.

Anyone with information about either slaying is asked to call homicide investigators at (510) 981-5741." reports Henry K. Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle.

 

Wonder how long it will be before someone's gunned down on this side of San Pablo? Found out last week that you owe more on your home than you have in it in equity.Just saw $3.99.9 a gallon for Premium at a local gas station? Dropping markets got you down?

Marsha Wacko recommends you watch "Murphy's Romance.'

Check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/10/08

I just spent some time studying the staff report to the "Planning Commission, Increased Flexibility for West Berkeley Key Goals, Actions and Polices: December 12, 2007."

I am taken by its detailed nature, but am also reminded that if detailed economic planning worked, the Soviets would rule the world and we would be reduced to a market for cheap vodka and those damn chachki eggs, within an egg, within an egg, within an egg.

And, while reading this report, I now-and-then referred to the "color rendering of the [west-Berkeley] zoning map" which appears on February Scrambled Eggs as part my 2/25/08 post. The map is, in fact, not helpful . Indeed, it is non-helpful, for it obscures the dynamic of west-Berkeley dividing us into static, even rigid sections. Simply, it ain't real. It is an abstraction that freezes our day-to-day interaction and interplay, so obscuring vision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/11/08

The quarter-block-or-so between Parker and Carleton on 10th has been cleared of structures, ready, apparently, for building.

 

Our David Snipper emails

Hi Ron.
 
Regarding your recent question in Scrambled Eggs "Wonder how long it will be before someone's gunned down on this side of San Pablo?"
 
If memory serves, there was a shooting on the corner of 10th and Grayson about ten or so years ago which resulted in the death of the shootee.
David

 

About the same time, a shootee collapsed in the arms of Dave-the-mailman on the corner of 8th and Grayson.

 

 

David also sent this photo

 


"Is Salvia the Next Marijuana?" asks Jessica Gresko of the AP.

"On Web sites touting the mind-blowing powers of Salvia divinorum, come-ons to buy the hallucinogenic herb are
accompanied by warnings: 'Time is running out!' and 'stock up while you still can.'

That's because salvia is being targeted by lawmakers concerned that the inexpensive and easy-to-obtain plant could become the next marijuana. Eight states have already placed restrictions on salvia, and 16 others, including Florida, are considering a ban or have previously.

 

 

"Cal helpless against Wiggins, Stanford" reports Jennifer Starks in our Times.

"Cal women's basketball coach Joanne Boyle sat motionless on the bench, her legs crossed and a blank expression on her face as confetti rained down from the rafters at HP Pavilion.

Boyle was stunned, and based on what fourth-ranked Stanford had just done to her Bears on Monday night, she had every reason to be.

Despite its ability to advance to the Pac-10 Tournament title game for the first time, No. 8 Cal looked completely out of sorts once it got there. The Bears trailed from the start en route to swallowing a painful 56-35 loss to adetermined Cardinal team that showed it had no interest in sharing conference supremacy."

 

 

"Jobs get tossed out of stores" reports CNN.

"An economic downturn is eroding jobs in Columbus, a city where a vibrant retail landscape had been a key driver of economic growth.

As U.S. job growth hits the skids, a shrinking labor market means one thing for the nervous retail workers
who reside in Columbus, Ohio: Their job is on shaky ground.

The nation's labor market lost a much larger-than-expected 63,000 jobs last month.

Retailing was hit hard, accounting for 34,000 job cuts across department stores, building supplies and garden equipment sellers and auto dealers."

 

 

"Central banks plan emergency cash:Five central banks have announced co-ordinated action" reports BBC NEWS


Central banks, including the Bank of England, have announced a latest round of co-ordinated auctions to provide extra liquidity to financial markets.

The US Federal Reserve is leading the action, while the European Central Bank (ECB), and central banks of Canada and Switzerland are also involved.

They follow on from similar emergency auctions in December and January.

The aim is to cut the cost of lending between banks, which has been inflated by the credit crunch."

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/12/08

Sophie Gross now has a showing at Luka's Taproom and Lounge, West Grand and Broadway, Oakland. She has watercolors and oils up thru May. Check them out, and check out Sophie, she's a server at 900 GRAYSON.

 

 

 

 

"Fed takes on More Risk" reports today's Wall Street Journal in their "Financial Insight."

"The Federal Reserve suddenly is a big player in the mortgage business. It plans to allow primary dealers--the major banks and brokers--to swap mortgaged backed securities, or MBS, for as much as $200 billion of Treasury bonds."

If I read this correctly you can swap securities backed by subprime mortgages for United States Treasury bonds--up to $200 billion.

But nobody in the current market wants these securities . . . am I missing something here?

(Oops, . . it's a finessed bailout by our Central Bank!)

(us)

it's a village in Austria, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/13/08

" 'Juno Baby' brings Tchaikovsky (and Bach and Beethoven) to tots" reports Jackie Burrell in our Times.

"Young tots sit mesmerized by flickering images on the TV screen in households across the country. Some watch 'Sesame Street,' learning their ABCs and hearing Muppet-style opera. Other children gaze at
'Baby Einstein,' watching images flash by to an electronic Mozart-ish accompaniment.

But little Juno Adelman gets her Mozart from a different source -- the piano, the CD player and her parents' line of Emmy Award-winning children's DVDs starring Fraggle Rock-style puppets and real classical music performed by real musicians.

On this particular drizzly day, those puppets are draped over the family's grand piano, nestled among stacks of sheet music and the family's 2007 Emmy Award. The statue forms a glitzy capstone on an unorthodox career path that brought Belinda Takahashi, an avant garde composer at the Eastman School of Music, and her husband, a New York City hedge fund financier turned film producer, to the hills of Marin County.

Along the way, their musical progeny -- the 'Juno Baby' DVDs -- have become the newest, hippest kids on the children's video block."

 

 

"Building Reuse Is Green, Says Leading Architect" reports Richard Brenneman in our Planet.

"Want to build green? The best way isn't to build at all, but to retrofit an existing building, says architect and green building expert Sandra Mendler.

'In general, it's always better to reuse a building' than to tear it down and build a new one, Mendler said.

The reason? Over a 30-year span, 20 percent of a building's energy consumption is embodied in the building's physical structure itself, she said.

The San Francisco architect was speaking Friday as a member of a panel on Green Building and Development at the UC Berkeley Energy Symposium."

This would make Rich Robins Potter Creek's leading Green developer!?

 

 

"EPA tightens clean air rules:Regulators predict more Spare-the-Air Days; environmentalists say standards don't go far enough" writes Denis Cuff in our Times.

"The federal Environmental Protection Agency tightened the public health standard for smog Tuesday, but many environmentalists and California officials said the change does not go far enough to protect children, the sick and elderly from air pollution."

 

 

"Neighbor's foreclosure hurts you:Lost homes lowers values, makes refinancing difficult across community"
writes the AP's Alan Zibel.

"If your neighbors have lost their homes, you could pay the price when you try to sell or refinance -- even if your credit is good.

Neighbors matter when it comes to putting a price on homes. Appraisers use comparable sales data to calculate the value of a home, a number lenders require for selling and refinancing. And comparable sales in neighborhoods plagued by foreclosures knock down the value of homes.

The problem, which makes it much more difficult for borrowers to pull cash out of their homes, is another sign of how a sick housing market infects the entire economy, one neighborhood at a time. If borrowers are unable to refinance at lower rates, that could cause even more foreclosures, real estate experts say."

 

 

"The next shoe to drop in housing:Rising foreclosures and big losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making it harder for people with good credit backgrounds to get a traditional mortgage" reports CNN.

"The credit crunch has finally hit the traditional mortgage market.

Investors are now shunning mortgage-backed securities issued by government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have been critical in keeping the real estate market from completely
falling apart.

Some fear this development will make it harder for people, even those with strong credit histories, to get a home loan.

'Even if you have good credit, you don't know if they are going to give you a loan or not,' said Joseph Mason, a senior fellow at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

And for those who can still get a loan, the tremors in the mortgage-backed securities market has made loans more expensive for borrowers.

As the prices of mortgage-backed securities have fallen, their yields have risen, leading to higher mortgage rates."

 

 

"The next bubble:priming the Market for tommorrow's big crash " from Harper's, is long and detailed and perceptive.

A Bob Kubik link.

 

 

A "right-of-center-view" of our City, the Marines and Code Pink.

But from where-ever-on-the-spectrum, it's not flattering.

But it IS funny--almost on the floor, funny.

 

(Actually, it's a video-clip from "The Daily Show," Monday night 3/10.)

 

Quote of the week

"For 80,000 dollars, I hope she was a swallower not a spitzer."

 

 

 

 

 

3/14/08

On Thursday, March 20 at 6:30 PM WEBAIC (West Berkely Artisans & Industrial Companies) is presenting the Forum, "The West Berkeley Plan & Sustainibility: Economy, Environment, and Equity," dealing with "the future of West-Berkeley's industrial and cultural sectors."

I notice their handout mentions that Raquel Pinderhughes is one of the speakers. Ms Pinderhughes is the author of Green Collar Jobs: An Analysis of the Capacity of Green Businesses to Provide High Quality Jobs for Men and Women with Barriers to Employment. The report was funded by the City of Berkeley Office of Energy and Sustainable Development.

 

1/24/08 I posted

Though I am sympathetic to the report, Green Collar Jobs, it is terminally flawed. A beautifully presented study with color-photos, charts, graphs and text, I initially asumed it accurately presented the issues. Sadly, it may or may not. As conceived, it is simply the author's opinion. For such a survey to be really relevant, it must use random sampling of an accurately defined population--it must select at random the people interviewed and it must make sure those talked to are somehow involved with the issue. The twenty-one employers interviewed were self-selected from a group of originally over two-hundred, and just how the thirty-six interested employees were selected is unclear. Really bad social -science!

The report Green Collar Jobs cost us $8,000--$3,000 for the work and $5,000 for printing. It is my understanding the work is on-going.

In The Day, I was a grad-student at Cal in Sociology and did research at The Survey Research Center.

 

 

 

"Bear Stearns gets emergency funds:Bear Stearns is one of the best-known US Wall Street firms" reports BBC NEWS.

"US bank Bear Stearns has got emergency funding, in a move that raises fears that even the top Wall Street names are suffering amidst the credit crunch.

JP Morgan Chase will provide the money to Bear Stearns for 28 days with the Federal Reserve of New York's backing.

JP Morgan is also trying to get long-term financing for Bear Stearns.

Bear Stearns has been at the centre of the US mortgage debt crisis, and there has been speculation that it was struggling to fund its daily business.

Bear Stearn's creditors have become progressively concerned about Bear's exposure to mortgages, said BBC business editor Robert Peston.

'The rescue of Bear Stearns demonstrates that the worst of the global credit crunch is not yet behind us,' he said.

Bear Stearns shares dropped as much as 53% to $28 on the news."

 

 

"Boss rues collapse of hedge fund Carlyle Capital Corp" reports BBC NEWS.

"Private equity giant Carlyle Group has pledged to 'stand by' investors in the firm's failed billion dollar hedge fund, the
Financial Times has reported.

The firm's co-founder David Rubenstein told the newspaper that he was working on ways to address clients' losses.

His comments came after Carlyle Capital Corporation (CCC), a unit of Carlyle Group, said it was unable to pay back its debts and may be liquidated.

Some $600m (£295m) of clients' money will be lost if the fund fails.

The fund is the latest casualty of the widening credit market crisis."

 

 

"Intensifying Credit Fears Sink Stocks" writes the AP's Tim Paradis.

"Stocks plunged early Friday as investors worried that a plan to ease a liquidity crisis at Bear Stearns Cos. indicates how
severe credit troubles have become. Each of the major indexes lost more than 1 percent; the Dow Jones industrials fell about 140 points.

Investors were busy examining the plan from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the New York Federal Reserve to provide secured funding to Bear Stearns for an initial period of 28 days. The move offers Bear Stearns relief from a sudden liquidity crunch."

 

Monday, a DW TV reporter from the Frankfurt exchange said, off-hand, that there were rumors on-the-floor of a US bank failure.

Tuesday, a CNBC financial reporter told the Today Show interviewer that without Federal Reserve help we could see bank-runs.

Not much reading between-the-lines is necessary to conclude that, without central bank help, we are facing bank closures.

 

 

3/15/08 and following are 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