Illigitimus non carborundum



One held a handgun to the baker's neck while forcing her to open the safe. 

Four armed, masked-men robbed Cafe Clem last Friday afternoon around 5 PM. 
All the receipts were taken but no one was physically injured.
Cafe Clem is in the Active Space building on 7th Street


Libby's Foggy Gulch will be playing at Ecole Bilingue' Marché, June 1.

Foggy Gulch's first CD, "Fogged In" is now available at We encourage you to buy it there, but
you can also buy one (or more!) from any band member, or email for information on how to get a copy.

I bought my copy from Libby, the groups' lead vocalist and the receptionist at École Bilingue--she's at the Grayson Street campus. I've listened to this CD dozens of times. I love Bluegrass and Country and this is what these folks sing and play. Simply, it is the most musical production I've heard in years--even for a first effort. Filled with melody and played and sung with feeling, this CD is AMAZING!
And check them out live June 1 at Ecole Bilingue' Marché.


Our Viva's Dad won a pair of tickets at the Berkeley Library Auction. The tickets were to see "Chicago" at Meyer Sound's new Pearson Theater located in the Meyer Sound complex. A multispeaker, "shoe-box" floating theater, it seats 75-100, Viva estimates. "It's a sound-modifying, interactive space" She said. Viva went with her Dad and liked the evening's screening. She liked that her Dad asked her, too.



"Firefighter's Colleagues Recall a Memorable Man" writes our Planet's Richard Brenneman.

"While laughter at a funeral might seem incongruous, then so was Jay Walter. Speaker after speaker described a man both outrageously public and exceedingly private.

The Berkeley firefighter and paramedic remembered in an extraordinary gathering at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church was recalled as a sharp but gentle wit who could walk up to strangers and utter outrageous remarks.

Yet he was also a man so private that even his closest friends knew almost nothing about his childhood, nor that he had won one of the nation's highest military honors for gallantry in combat, the Silver Star."



" 'Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!' Deputy District Attorney Elgin Lowe shouted those words as he held a gun Monday morning during opening statements in the murder trial of Christopher Hollis, a Hayward teenager accused of killing his best friend, Meleia Willis-Starbuck, almost three years ago.

'Scared, crazy, young and too quick to use a gun,' Lowe said after waking the jury with his gunshot re-enactment. 'Those words will describe why Meleia Willis-Starbuck died.' The Times' full story here.



"Sports complex fields' grass getting greener" reports Doug Oakley of our Times.
"A $7 million sports field complex that will serve Richmond, El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley and Emeryville is scheduled to open in September, more than a year behind schedule.

Artificial turf has been installed on two soccer fields at the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex, just west of Interstate 80 at Gilman Street in Berkeley. The East Bay Regional Park District named the fields for Berkeley's mayor in February."


"Cal's Riley has the right attitude" writes Eric Gilmore of the Times.

"Cal's football scrimmage had ended Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, and a young Bears fan approached Kevin Riley on the field, seeking an autograph and offering an impassioned pro-Riley take on Cal's quarterback competition.

'You had a couple sick games last year,' the fan said, rapid-fire. 'You tore it up. ... You have to be feeling pretty confident about it.'

Riley listened patiently, an amused look on his face, then responded. 'That's just the way I am,' Riley told the fan.

Confidence has never been an issue for Riley. Not when he was growing up in Oregon as the youngest of four siblings and the son of a high school football coach. And certainly not now when he's trying to unseat Nate Longshore as Cal's starting quarterback."



"Gas prices shatter inflation ceiling" reports the Times' Janis Mara.

"Filling up at the Aisle 1 gas station in Alameda, Bob LaRue of Walnut Creek looked at his $70 tab and winced. 'This must be the worst ever,' he said, shaking his head.

LaRue was correct, figuratively and literally. Bay Area gas prices have not only broken all previous U.S. records for the average monthly cost of regular gasoline, but left them in the dust, even when adjusted for inflation.

At $3.86 a gallon, Bay Area prices top the all-time inflation-adjusted national record of $3.41 a gallon from March 1981 by a jaw-dropping 45 cents, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Meanwhile, national gas prices are still lower than they were in 1981 in today's dollars, at $3.33 a gallon, AAA reported Tuesday. Generally, California gas prices are higher than the national average, usually only exceeded by prices in Hawaii."


"Pneumonia 'linked' to pollution" reports BBC NEWS. 
"High levels of pollution may have contributed to the deaths of thousands of people in England from pneumonia in recent years, a study suggests.

A team at the University of Birmingham examined death rates from the disease and pollution levels in 352 local authorities between 1996 and 2004.

Writing in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, they reported a 'strong correlation' between the two.
But the researchers also conceded that social factors may be at play."


"Retailing Chains Caught in a Wave of Bankruptcies" reports the New York Times' Michael Barbaro.

"The consumer spending slump and tightening credit markets are unleashing a widening wave of bankruptcies in American retailing, prompting thousands of store closings that are expected to remake suburban malls and downtown shopping districts across the country.

To avoid bankruptcy some chains are closing stores. Foot Locker said it would close 140 stores over the next year.
Since last fall, eight mostly midsize chains - as diverse as the furniture store Levitz and the electronics seller Sharper Image - have filed for bankruptcy protection as they staggered under mounting debt and declining sales.
But the troubles are quickly spreading to bigger national companies, like Linens 'n Things, the bedding and furniture retailer with 500 stores in 47 states. It may file for bankruptcy as early as this week, according to people briefed on the matter.

Even retailers that can avoid bankruptcy are shutting down stores to preserve cash through what could be a long economic downturn. Over the next year, Foot Locker said it would close 140 stores, Ann Taylor will start to shutter 117, and the jeweler Zales will close 100."


"What Warren thinks...
With Wall Street in chaos, Fortune naturally went to Omaha looking for wisdom. Warren Buffett talks about the economy, the credit crisis, Bear Stearns, and more"
is an interview by Nicholas Varchaver of Fortune.









So, . . . my understanding is that an important part of the "Social Compact" is "our rulers protect us and we behave." Am I missing something here?


"Oakland may hire armed security guards" reportsChristopher Heredia of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"The Oakland City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved hiring armed security guards to patrol East Oakland commercial districts on foot, a move that would mark the first time the city has used public funds to pay for security guards in retail areas.

Unlike merchants on Lakeshore Avenue and in the Laurel district, merchants in parts of East Oakland cannot afford to hire their own security guards, city officials said.

The guards will be paid with $210,000 in redevelopment funds for one year, said Larry Gallegos, redevelopment area manager for East Oakland. Their schedules have yet to be determined. They will begin working sometime in the late summer or early fall.

Some of the city funds for the pilot project will also be spent on teaching merchants safety tips such as installing better lighting and security cameras, Gallegos said."



The Boss speaks, . . . no, not Da Boz.

"Bruce Springsteen endorses Obama for president" reports the AP. "Rock star Bruce Springsteen endorsed Democratic Sen. Barack Obama for president Wednesday, saying 'he speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years.' "


Our Berkeley Mills is sponsoring a benefit for the "Berkeley City Ballet" on April 24 from 6-8:30 PM at Berkeley Mills, 2830 7th Street. From 7PM to 8PM there is a performance by our City Ballet's Youth Ensemble. For reservations, call 510-841-8913--there is a $30.00 donation.



"Duma Ratifies Anti-Smoking Treaty" reports Max Delany of Russia's St. Petersburg Times.

"State Duma deputies floated radical plans on Friday to cut tobacco use after ratifying a United Nations anti-smoking convention.

Potential measures include dramatically increasing the cost of cigarettes and banning their sale in roadside kiosks, Nikolai Gerasimenko, deputy head of the Duma's Public Health Committee said Friday, Interfax reported."



"Bookstores bracing for the next chapter" writes John King in the San Francisco Chronicle. 

"Only a few years ago, bookstores helped define neighborhoods. They were physical and cultural markers on the landscape - showcases of what mattered, there and then.

Now, instead of perking up when I step through the doors of a good bookstore, I wonder morosely how long it will last.

'It's an antiquarian business model in a changing world,' admits Melissa Mytinger, manager of Cody's Books in Berkeley."

I don't know, . . . in Milwaukee our neigborhood was defined by Schultz the baker.



"Professors urge online textbooks" writes Matt Krupnick of our Times.

"Seeking to slow steadily rising textbook costs, about 1,000 U.S. college instructors have signed a petition vowing to choose less expensive - and even free - reading materials.

Prompted by a national student group, the petition in particular aims to increase the use of open textbooks, or those offered online for free. The average college student pays $650 to $900 per year on textbooks."



"Kosher wines come into their own" observes the Times' Jessica Yadegaran.

"This Passover, as you search for the perfect matzoh pairing, remember that kosher wines have reached a level of quality and prestige that is closer to Beaucastel than it is to cough syrup. . . .

'When they were still drinking water out of Macedon horns in Bordeaux, the Jews were making some of the greatest wines in the Mediterranean,' Morgan says"


"Heineken Sees Weaker Growth" report Maria Ermakova and Joram Kanner of Russia's St Petersburg Times.

"Heineken, the largest Dutch brewer, said Friday that growth in its Russian beer sales would weaken this year as the market's expansion slows.

'There won't be double-digit growth this year,' Viktor Pyatko, vice president of Heineken's local unit, told reporters after a news conference in Moscow. The company will aim to increase the amount of beer it sells in Russia 'at least at the pace of the market or slightly better,' he said." 


"Steep rise in Chinese food prices" reports BBCNEWS.

"Food prices have risen 21% in China so far this year, fuelling concerns about inflation in the economy and the affordability of basic staple goods.

The surge was confirmed by the National Bureau of Statistics, which also revealed that economic growth eased slightly in the first quarter." 


"Ukraine Poultry Producer Plans IPO" reprts the St. Petersburg Times.

"Mironovskiy Hleboproduct SA, Ukraine's biggest poultry producer, plans to hold an initial public offering in London to fund its expansion.

The company will sell global depositary receipts, Kiev-based Myronivsky said Monday in a statement. Morgan Stanley and UBS AG will be the joint global coordinators and bookrunners.

Ukraine, a country of 46 million people, has an economy that's expanding for an eighth consecutive year. Retail sales jumped 28 percent in the first two months of the year as the government increased social spending."



"SoCal home prices decrease 24 percent" reports Michael Liedtke of the AP.
"Southern California home prices plummeted 24 percent in March, jerking property values to a nearly four-year low amid the real estate market's deepening distress.

The median price of homes sold in a six-county region stood at $385,000 in March, a sobering comedown from the same time last year when the area's median had reached a record $505,000, according to data released Tuesday by DataQuick Information Services.

The 24 percent drop in value of homes represented the steepest one-year decline recorded by DataQuick since the research firm began tracking Southern California home sales in 1988.

More grim news could emerge Thursday when DataQuick plans to release March's home sales figures for the San Francisco Bay area and the entire state."

Kubik checked out some prices of houses recently sold in west-Berkeley and found a few at about 100k less than their purchase price and one that sold for half of what was originally paid, about $300k instead of $600.  



"Banks to Bid for Funds" reports Halia Pavliva of Russia's St Petersburg Times.

"The Russian government will allow banks to bid for as much as 600 billion rubles ($25.6 billion) in budget funds to shore up liquidity, said Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin."

The WSJ reports "One of the most important barometers of the world's financial strength could be sending false signals.

In a development that has implications for borrowers, from Russian oil production to homeowners in Detroit, bankers and traders are expressing concern that the London inter-bank offered rate, known as the Libor, is becoming unreliable."

On 3/16/08 I quoted Marsha Wacko on investment bankers.

"They're all playing games and they all know it, but don't know exactly what games the other guys are playing."

Surprisingly perceptive, especially considering Marsha's training is in the behavioral sciences--she is now the Dean of The Mary Poppins School of Behavioral Research.



"Aptera's 3-wheeler looks as if it could soar" reports the Chronicle.

"An airplane-inspired car that costs $10,000 less than a basic Volvo and gets 300 miles per gallon? Not quite yet, but San Diego robot builder Steve Fambro may be onto something with the Aptera ("wingless" in Greek) vehicle, which he built out of an airplane kit (his wife thought it too dangerous to fly, so he didn't put the wings on).

The three-wheeled, 1,500-pound prototype has 2 1/2 seats, and when the vehicle goes into production in October, Fambro expects that it will have an acceleration rate of zero to 60 mph in 11 seconds (a second slower than the Prius) and retail for less than $30,000. The Aptera will come in two versions: an all-electric that is expected to go 120 miles on a charge and a hybrid that will have a 600-mile range on a full charge and full tank."










Denise Ravizza, Café Clem manager writes "Ron, please post this."

Café Clem Robbery 

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last Friday afternoon about 5:30pm our Café Clem was robbed at gunpoint. This attack appears to have been premeditated; four men entered the café right after closing and demanded cash. The manager and one other employee was not hurt, however this experience has shown that while our neighborhood has always been considered relatively safe, anyone can become an unfortunate target.
In addition to this recent attack, we have experience a number of car thefts as well as our first break-in on a street front studio located on Carleton side several weeks ago.
In lieu of the recent events the manager of Café Clem and I would like to hold a neighborhood crime watch meeting next week, Tuesday 22nd, at our building located at 2703 7th Street.  The goal of the meeting is to share our experiences with crime in the last year, so that we can all better grasp what is going on in our hood, swap contact information in order to develop a communication line, and finally discuss some ideas on how we can affect the safety of our neighborhood.  We will be inviting our local community police officer to add insight and suggestions. 
We invite you to please come share your ideas and support!
Tuesday, April 22nd at 3:30pm at the ActivSpace Building 
Lastly, out of respect for the daily business of Café Clem and its employees please direct your questions about the robbery to the ActivSpace manager via email or phone. Thank you!
Denise Ravizza
Café Clem, Manager
Tameka Lim
ActivSpace LLC
510 845 5000 


 from Wednesdays' Oakland Tribune
"In the Berkeley incidents, a man with a gun wearing a black ski mask locked two employees of the Famous Foam Factory in a back room Tuesday afternoon and made off with $200, police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.
The business, at the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Channing Way, sells futons. Neither of the employees was injured, and no customers were there at the time, Kusmiss said.
On Friday, four men wearing black ski masks and carrying handguns ordered five employees of Cafe Clem on 7th Street to the ground and robbed a safe of $2,500, Kusmiss said.
The men entered the cafe at closing time around 5 p.m. and pointed guns at all the employees. One of the men forced a female employee to open the safe while holding a gun to her neck, Kusmiss said. None of the employees was injured.
Before leaving, the men told the employees not to get up until they counted to 100.
Kusmiss said she did not know if the robbery at Cafe Clem is connected to the robberies in Oakland." 
More about the Oakland robberies here.


KTVU reports 7:00 AM, Thursday

"Police in Emeryville are investigating yet another armed takeover and robbery of a restaurant Wednesday at an East Bay establishment near San Pablo Avenue, the latest in a growing string of similarly styled hold-ups that have been plaguing the area.
The establishment -- Restaurant Furenzu -- is located at 39th and Adeline streets near MacArthur Boulevard just across the Oakland city line.
Oakland police are putting more officers on the street and using undercover officers as they try to crack the recent rash of 'takeover' robberies in the city.
A customer told KTVU Channel 2 that two men armed with a gun entered the restaurant just before 9 p.m. and demanded cash and valuables from the manager and about 15 people eating dinner. They then reportedly fled on foot heading south on Adeline Street. No one was injured during the incident.
The suspects were described as black men in their 20s. The customer also said that the men cased the restaurant prior to returning with a firearm drawn to rob the manager and patrons.
Berkeley police are also reporting that armed robbers wearing ski masks held up two businesses in less than a week. But officials there don't know if the cases are related.
So far, no one has been hurt in any of the robberies.
In the Oakland robberies, police say the robbers have been getting away with only small amounts of cash.
But police in Berkeley say during one robbery last week, four men wearing ski masks robbed a safe of $2,500.
Since the end of March, there have been seven armed robberies of staff and patrons at restaurants in neighboring Oakland. Police would not indicate as to whether they thought this latest crime could be linked to the earlier takeover-style robberies.
Oakland police are offering a $7,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the men behind the hold-ups."


David W's car window was broken, as were others along 8th, Wednesday-night/Thursday-morning.


Wednesday afternoon around 4:00 PM, K.C Bar B-Q was held-up. They are at 2613 San Pablo.


"Foreclosures taking money from neighbors" writes George Avalos of the Times.

"Valerie Guerra's Livermore home has lost $100,000 in value through no fault of her own.
Guerra and her husband have paid their mortgage without fail. Yet foreclosures in her neighborhood and on her street have erased much of the equity in their house'

'I certainly believe my house is worth less than what we paid,' she said. 'But we're here for the long haul."
The Guerras are far from alone. Now that lenders have seized thousands of East Bay homes in default, the flip side of those failures has descended on the region's homeowners. Banks that have foreclosed on a property often unload the house at a discount to the loan amount.

No question, bank sales can be a great deal for buyers. But the same
transactions can erase years of equity gains for those who own houses near a bank-owned property."


"EBay posts 22 percent hike in 1Q profit" reports Amanda Fehd of the AP.

"Benefiting from a weak dollar, online auction company eBay Inc. beat Wall Street's expectations on Wednesday, reporting a 22 percent hike in first-quarter profit and raising its outlook for the rest of the year."


"Write-downs add to Merrill woes" reports BBC NEWS.

"Merrill Lynch has reported heavy losses from the first three months of 2008, after more write-downs linked to the embattled credit markets.

The firm said it lost $1.96bn (£1bn) compared with a profit of $2.1bn in the same period a year earlier - broadly in line with what analysts had expected.

And it unveiled plans to cut about 4,000 jobs worldwide.
The results included about $4.5bn of write-downs for subprime mortgages and other risky assets."

"S Africans march over food prices" reports BBC NEWS.

"Thousands of South African trade unionists have taken to the streets to protest against rising food prices. "








"Police putting together details of restaurant robberies:It's all about the money" report Harry Harris and Angela Woodall of the Oakland Tribune.

"It's not for thrills - although they probably get a rush out of what they are doing - but the belief that their targets are lucrative.

That's the take of Oakland investigators about why there has been a recent spree of takeover restaurant robberies in Oakland and Berkeley in the past month. On Wednesday, an upscale restaurant in Emeryville was hit, as was a home improvement store in Berkeley. . . . 

Also Wednesday, a masked, armed man robbed Ecohome Improvement at 2619 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley.
He walked in about 4 p.m., when store owner Taja di Leonardi said she and a customer were alone inside the store. The man pointed a gun at her and she gave him all the money from the register. He also stole the customer's wallet."


"East Bay restaurant robberies sow fear, anger" report Henry K Lee and Carolyn Jones of the Chronicle.

"Cynthia Fung sank nearly everything into opening her own restaurant two years ago, an Asian tapas place in Emeryville where she hoped to 'make customers smile.'

Her dream took a beating Wednesday evening when two men stormed into the dining room with a semiautomatic gun and demanded money from the 20 or so customers and staff.

'We all feel very violated,' Fung said Thursday as she prepared to open her place, Restaurant Furenzu on Adeline Street. 'We've all worked so hard to build something here. It makes me mad but it also makes me feel very vulnerable.'

Fung's restaurant became the eighth in the East Bay to be terrorized in a takeover robbery in the last three weeks. Police in Oakland, Emeryville and Berkeley and trying to determine whether the heists are related.
No one has been hurt in the robberies, but dozens of customers and workers have been robbed and threatened. The robbery at Furenzu happened about 9 p.m., when two men entered the restaurant waving guns and told everyone, 'Get your money out, and don't move,' Fung said.


And Chip Johnson writes in his Chronicle column.

"Armed, hooded bandits who have terrorized diners in Oakland restaurants struck again on Wednesday, just 100 yards across the city's border in Emeryville in an attack as harrowing as the others.

The takeovers mark a troubling escalation of urban violence that police have not been able to thwart.

The holdup at Restaurant Furenzu was eerily similar to one three days earlier in Oakland at Milano Restaurant on Grand Avenue, one of the city's finest places to eat. Milano was the latest in a half-dozen robberies at Oakland restaurants in the past three weeks.

Police in Berkeley are looking for connections into another robbery, at Café Clem, last Friday.
While the restaurant holdups seem to extend beyond Oakland, the city has borne the brunt so far, and police battling escalating crime are going to need some help - and fast. Consider a small sampling what's happened in just the past month."

italics are mine

"Sounds like Dodge City" emails a reader from the South-West.


In keeping with Chip's observation that the takeovers represent "urban violence that police have not been able to thwart."

It's time to at least think of citizen patrols. I'd suggest patrols of two on bikes with cells. Get volunteers, map out Potter Creek, assign routes and shifts.

And, I'm planning to attend the Café Clem meeting next Tuesday afternoon.


"Nano switch hints at future chips" writes Darren Waters of BBC NEWS.
"Researchers have built the world's smallest transistor - one atom thick and 10 atoms wide - out of a material that could one day replace silicon.

The transistor, essentially an on/off switch, has been made using graphene, a two-dimensional material first discovered only four years ago."









"Sourdough bread feeling pinch of high prices" observes Amanda Gold of the Chronicle. 

"Local salmon is off the menu. Fresh crab is getting scarce. And now the food perhaps most synonymous with San Francisco itself is taking a hit.

Sourdough bread, the legendary staple of the original Forty-Niners, may be headed for luxury status. An unprecedented spike in the cost of flour has meant prices for sourdough and other locally baked breads are surging upward. . . .

Steve Sullivan of Acme Bread Co. . . . says it costs him $140,000 more per month than last summer to make the same amount of bread. He's raised prices by 8 percent."


Margret Elliott emails

Do you know when the new Bowl is going to open?  Also, do you know what is going to be in the corner store, the one where the steel is going up? A coffee shop? Perhaps even a Peets?

I'm told that our Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl will open "sometime" next year. But I see even now that there is no real serious steel delivery. I believe a deli is planned downstairs on the corner with our community meeting room upstairs.


Sally just got back from Virginia. Says the Dogwood is in bloom.



Rick Ballard emails

Benefit to Save Music in Alameda Public Schools
Vocalist Natasha Miller, guitarist Terrence Brewer and saxophonist Dann Zinn will be among the performers at a benefit to raise funds for Music in Alameda's Public Elementary Schools. The event will be held on Friday, May 2, 7:00 PM at Kofman Auditorium, 2200 Central Ave. in Alameda. Tickets are available at


Montclair Women's Big Band at the Kennedy Center
As they mark their 10th Anniversary, the Montclair Women's Big Band is scheduled to appear at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on saturday, May 17th. They will be headlining this show as part of the 13th Annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.



"Danica Patrick makes IndyCar history by winning Japan 300" writes Jim Armstrong of the AP.

"Danica Patrick became the first female winner in IndyCar history Sunday, taking the Indy Japan 300 after the top contenders were forced to pit for fuel in the final laps.

Patrick finished 5.8594 seconds ahead of pole-sitter Helio Castroneves on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval after leader Scott Dixon pitted with five laps left and Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan came in a lap later."



"Former head coach will join revamped Cal basketball staff" reports Jeff Faraudo of the Times.
"John, who has 12 years of experience in the Pac-10, will be an assistant to Montgomery.'

"Two retail outlets on San Pablo Avenue became the latest victims of a spreading wave of 'takeover' robberies' reports KTVU.

"The most recent of the two robberies took place Wednesday at Ecohome Improvement.
Taja Di Leonardi, Ecohome owner, described the robber as about 6' 2", with a ski mask and a revolver." 
full story plus video of related KTVU-TV reports here.


"Berkeley man dies after slamming into parked cars at 80 mph" reports Henry K. Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"A Berkeley man died early today when he drove his car at speeds topping 80 mph into several parked vehicles in North Berkeley, moments after being thwarted in a possible attempt to kill himself by inhaling carbon monoxide, police said.

Jasper Summer, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened on Martin Luther King Jr. Way at Yolo Avenue shortly before 2 a.m., according to police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss and the Alameda County coroner's office.

The incident began at 1:50 a.m. when a homeless man flagged down police Sgt. Patty Delaluna near Bancroft Way and Fulton Street in downtown Berkeley, Kusmiss said."



Rick also emails

Duke Ellington's 109th Birthday
Duke's birthday occurs on Apr. 29 and in celebration, KRKD (103.3 FM) the Bay Area's other jazz station, will play Duke's music all day from 6:00 AM to 12:00 midnight. DJs from previous programs and new presenters and guests will be featured. One program will consist entirely of Duke Ellington 78s. For info regarding individual programs and times call (510) 444-1200.

Bassist Jeff Chambers at CubaCaribe Festival of Dance & Music
The 4th annual version of this festival commences Apr. 18 and runs through May 4. The CubaCaribe Festival presents a range of dance performances ranging from traditional folklore to experimental fusion. The Bay Area is a mecca for Cuban expatriots and the festival has received both critical and popular acclaim. Bassist Jeff Chambers will collaborate with choreographer/dancer Ramon Ramos Alayo in a piece entitled Grace Notes as part of a larger production entitled Blood + Sugar. This piece will be performed on the festival's last weekend May 1-4. The performances take place at the Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th Street @ Mission in San Francisco. For more info please visit


Second Annual Bay Area Jazz Poetry Festival
This festival will be held on Saturday, Apr. 26 7:00 PM at the Hillside Club in Berkeley. Featured performers include Upsurge!, Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) and Her Trio, Yancie Taylor Quartet w/poet Julian Carroll and Jessica Jones Quartet w/poet Arisa White. For more info on this event go to or




"Visiting the ghosts of Paris 1968"BBC report.
"Young people have been demonstrating again in Paris, 40 years after the riots which nearly toppled the French government. But John Pickford, who was studying there in 1968, says today's protests are a very different affair.

'I saw her at the entrance to a cafe in the heart of the student district of Paris - a woman of about 20 with ash-blonde hair and blood streaming through it.

This was the day when weeks of tension between students and the authorities finally erupted in violence in the streets around the Sorbonne university.

That cafe became my place of refuge for the next six hours as a surreal battle raged around it.' "



"Citigroup cuts value of investments by $14B in 1Q" reports Madlen Read of the AP.

"Citigroup's 9,000 job cuts and $14 billion in write-downs suggest that even if the worst of the credit market volatility is over, the industry is now in a conservative, cost-cutting mode.

With banks expecting more loans to go sour, people can expect tight lending standards for many months-perhaps years-to come. "


"Google shares soar 20 percent to record 1-day gain" writes Michael Liedtke of the AP

"Google Inc.'s stock soared 20 percent Friday, restoring $28 billion in shareholder wealth as Wall Street renewed its love affair with the Internet search leader after weeks of worry about an online advertising slowdown.

Driven by stellar first-quarter results that surprised industry analysts, Google shares surged $89.87 to finish at $539.41. It marked the biggest one-day gain since Google's initial public stock offering in August 2004, leaving the shares at their highest closing price since January."









Potter Creekers on a weekend-morning ride

my gosh, where's Natalie?

out in front of the pack, she's out of the photo



Canned Food has Johnsonville Beer/Brats, Mild Italian Sausage and Cherizo on sale--also Thomas Kemper Orange Cream pop for just over $1.00 for three. 


Geeez, Lipofsky's on youtube

No, . . . again?


In an forwarded email by Bowman, Julie Dickinson reminds all to show up at the Tuesday 4/22 City Council meeting to encourage them to vote to tie the rezoning of San Pablo Avenue (and other main corridors) to the passage of Prop 98 and to honor the Density Bonus Joint subcommittee recommendations to Council.


"Turning blue collars green" reports Barbara Grady of the Oakland Tribune.
"Edgar Perez fits a hose from a truck containing used vegetable grease into a ceiling-high tank holding methanol and sodium hydroxide. His timing in releasing the hose's content is key to whether the mixture will produce bio-diesel fuel to power fleets of 'green' trucks and buses.

It also is key to Perez's self-esteem. The 22-year-old Oakland resident with a high school education had been working in construction, living contract to contract, until he heard about this job at Blue Sky Bio-fuels Inc., one of Oakland's green businesses.

The job, Perez said, 'makes me feel like I'm part of something and I'm improving myself every day.' Perez could be the poster child of a movement started in the East Bay and then advocated in presidential campaign speeches and tucked into federal energy legislation: Train at-risk youths and people stuck in low-end jobs or joblessness to work in the millions of manual labor 'green economy' jobs that are emerging as this country tries to reduce global warming."

My first mention of the Green Collar Jobs Corp was in a 1/24/08 post




"Bank to detail £50bn rescue plan" reports BBC NEWS.

"The Bank of England is to announce details later of a plan to help prevent the credit crisis wreaking more damage on the UK banking system and economy.

Banks will be given the chance to swap their mortgages for about £50bn worth of government bonds to enable them to operate during the credit squeeze.

Ministers hope the plan will alleviate problems in the mortgage markets.
BBC business editor Robert Peston said the move could be seen as a "U-turn" by the usually conservative lender."

 Have fired up my "new' iMac and you should see the difference on Scrambled Eggs sooner than later.









really enjoy


for we have, last week

glimpsed the Abyss

the neighborhood crime watch meeting is today at 3:30pm in the ActivSpace Building
 2703 7th Street


"Berkeley business owner recounts takeover robbery" reports Roman Gokhman of the Times.

" A masked, armed man robbed a home improvement store Wednesday afternoon, one of the latest in a series of takeover style robberies at Bay Area restaurants and businesses."



"Oil hits $118 for the first time:A state of panic has taken over the oil markets, analysts say" reports BBC NEWS.

"Oil prices have touched fresh highs as traders bet that violence in key producing nations would hurt supply.

US light, sweet crude rose 57 cents to cross $118 a barrel, before dropping back to $117.77, while Brent crude peaked at $115 a barrel. "









Karen emailed Tuesday AM

Hi Ron -- We will miss the meeting this afternoon and look forward to reading about it on Scrambled Eggs.  Unfortunately, since we work full-time and commute outside of the neighborhood, it's impossible for us to to make a 3:30 afternoon meeting.  Can the group consider scheduling future meetings (if there are any...) at a more reasonable time after work hours?

Karen and Andrew


ActivSpace manager, Ms Lim emails

Good Morning Ron,

Yes I do [have another copy of the Berkeley PD handout]. You're welcome to come by my office . . . Oh, please add me to your email.

Best regards, Tameka Lim



Our Courtney went to the Mary J Blige and JZ show Monday night. Figuring it would be just ordinary, she exclaimed "But it was the best show ever! I danced all the time and knew all her words." "What was the best thing about it" I asked. "The music. I felt the music!" she laughed.



Our Councilman, Darryl Moore emails

West Berkeley Circulation Master Plan Suggestions
We would like to elicit ideas from the community for improvements to West Berkeley Circulation.  Please send your ideas to Amber Evans by Monday April 28th at
Amber will provide the collective response to WSA to review in preparing initial alternatives for current and future traffic congestion as reviewed in their work to access Existing & Future Conditions as found here:
Their final work will be to present an Implementation Plan for improving multimodal circulation in West Berkeley
Included to spur your thoughts is a list of possible categories for improvement: 
West Berkeley Circulation Master Plan Suggested Circulation Improvement Categories
· Physical Improvements
    ­ Interchange Redesign
    ­ RR Crossings
    ­ New Street Links
· Operational Improvements
    ­ New Signalization / Improved Signal Timings
    ­ Reassignment of Lanes
    ­ Adding/Removing Curb Parking
    ­ Implementing Turning Restrictions
    ­ Improving Truck Routing/Circulation/Loading
· Demand Management Strategies
    ­ Multimodal Improvements (Bus, Bike, Ped, etc.)
    ­ Transportation Demand Management Solutions
    ­ Managing Regional Traffic (Metering)
    ­ Wayfinding

Whether you care passionately about bike crossings at San Pablo Ave, think 5th St should have a on-ramp to University Ave, want to analyze the feasibility of using 2nd Street as a preferred truck route or have an idea you keep wondering would help us all get around more easily in West Berkeley - we want to hear your best suggestions.  Please pass this on to others who might wish to comment. 
RISE Program Crab Feed
Background: RISE is an academic support and college preparation program for low-income residents of West and South Berkeley who currently attend Berkeley High School. The program is funded through the City of Berkeley Housing, Health and Human Welfare department.  The program's goal is to help students graduate on time and encourage them to pursue higher education.  The program concentrates on reducing outside barriers that interfere with personal and academic wellness through our summer bridge program, after-school tutorial program, counseling component and enrichment activities.
The RISE program is putting up this fundraiser. RISE has received a cut this year of $25,000.00. We are expecting further cuts from the governor. This fundraiser will help make-up for the cuts.
WHAT:East Bay Asian Youth Center RISE Berkeley High School program Crab Feed.  All you can eat crab with pasta, salad, bread and drinks!  They will also be holding a raffle.
WHEN:Friday April 25, 2008 FROM 6:00-8:00 PM
WHERE:Berkeley High School 1980 Allston Way in the School Cafeteria
WHY:To Support the youth of the Berkeley High School RISE program!!!
Tickets are $35 and are available in BHS Building G Rm 111 call 510-849-4898
April is
April is Alcohol Awareness Month
At today's Council meeting, I will be issuing a proclamation to both the Berkeley Alcohol Policy Advocacy Coalition (BAPAC) and the City's Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) program for their work in the realm of alcohol abuse and the impacts of alcohol outlets on local communities. 
BAPAC is a collaboration of residents, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations and individuals from city and county agencies, working in Berkeley to reduce the negative impact of the over-concentration of problem alcohol outlets in our city by implementing an environmentally based, comprehensive alcohol policy in Berkeley and has been working to move this effort forward for the past four years; and
The City's AOD program is currently working to develop a more effective AOD service delivery system that would better coordinate existing resources and have established an extensive five-year work plan, including:  enhanced youth recreational and AOD prevention activities, staff trainings on alcohol, drugs, and prescription misuse and abuse by older adults, perinatal AOD screening, citywide systems for co-occurring and AOD disorders, implementing the Responsible Beverage Server training ordinance, day care services for parents in AOD treatment, and older adult medication review education and AOD screening.

April is also STD Awareness Month
Did you know that one in four American teenage girls have a sexually transmitted disease?  I've attached a couple of PDF's with some useful information on the subject.

Summer Employment for Residents ages 18-25
YouthWorks asked that I keep reminding people that residents ages 18-25 should keep bringing their resumes into the YouthWorks office.  There will be quite a few jobs in the City's Graffiti Abatement program, through Rubicon, UC Berkeley, etc.  Turn in resumes to 1947 Center Street, Basement, Berkeley, CA 94704 or for more information call 981-4970 or email



"Council Takes Up Sunshine, Density Bonus, Tax Survey" reports Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet.
"The Berkeley City Council will meet today (Tuesday) with a busy agenda, including putting tax measures on the ballot, the city's proposed sunshine ordinance, competing density bonus provisions, its position on spraying to thwart the Light Brown Apple Moth and a proposal to charge for evening street parking downtown. . . . 

Density bonus
Two different versions of a proposed municipal density bonus are on the council's agenda, one recommended by the Planning Commission and the other by the city planning staff.

The regulations would govern the size and shape of multi-story mixed-use housing projects of the sort now being built along the city's major traffic arteries."

Density Bonus vote on the Staff and Joint Subcommittee's recommendations.
Council-member Maio made main motion to support staff's recommendations, 2nded by Councilmember Anderson.  

Then Councilmember Olds made a substitute motion to support the Joint Subcommittee's recommendations, 2nded by Councilmember Spring.  Worthington and Spring voted for substitute motion.  Mayor Bates voted no on the substitute motion.  On the main motion, all Council except Olds voted yes. After the main motion was 2nded by Anderson.

Councilmember Capitelli made an friendly ammendment to the main motion to change the staff's recommendations from 25% on-grade parking to 10% on-grade parking.



"EBMUD may start rationing water if no rain" reports Meredith May of the Chronicle.

"Nearly 1.3 million East Bay residents could be forced to ration water as early as next month if rains don't increase.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District issued an urgent warning Tuesday that water levels are critically low and that its Board of Directors may be forced to vote for mandatory water rationing at the May 13 meeting."


"Pacific Steel Appeal of Court Decisions Begins" reports our Planet's Riya Bhattacharjee.

"Pacific Steel Casting's appeal of a small claims court decision which went against the company in November began last week and is expected to go on for the next two months, a spokesperson for the steel foundry told the Planet Friday.

On Monday Berkeley attorney Timothy Rumberger announced plans to file a class action lawsuit against the company." 


"Subprime Crisis Hits Berkeley, Exact Dimensions in Dispute" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet.

Foreclosures nationwide soared 57 percent in March, and rates may be running even higher in Oakland as East Bay cities are caught in the turmoil of the subprime mortgage disaster.

Figures for Berkeley are harder to come by, although, a site cited as accurate by a well-placed industry official, reports that 88 Berkeley homes have been repossessed by banks, another 31 are slated for public auction and 103 are in the process of foreclosure-though owners could still pay off arrears and retain title.

Other sites, considered less authoritative, list different numbers., a site that tracks the housing bubble, cites a report that 61 percent of Berkeley homes for sale-156 out of 255-are foreclosures, with the comparable figures for Oakland as high as 73 percent, compared to 59 percent in Los Angeles, and 57 percent in San Diego and 30 percent in San Francisco. claims 91 homes are in pre-foreclosure status, with 44 in foreclosure, while AOL's real estate pages cite 131 foreclosures. "


"Oakland: Teen held in restaurant robbery" report Jaxon Van Derbeken and Henry K. Lee of the Chronicle.

"A 16-year-old boy has been arrested and charged as an adult in connection with the takeover robbery of an Oakland restaurant, one of eight such holdups at East Bay establishments over the past month, authorities said Tuesday.

Tanom Dominique, who lives in West Oakland, was charged Tuesday with five counts each of robbery and false imprisonment in connection with the April 13 holdup of the Milano restaurant at 3424 Grand Ave. in Oakland, said Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Tom Rogers.

The teenager is accused of robbing five employees and diners, and preventing five other people from leaving, Rogers said. Dominique, who was arrested Friday, is being charged as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime, the prosecutor said."









Yesterday morning Kruse held a company wide meeting to hear Janell and Steve report on the ActivSpace crime-watch meeting.

Janell feels it's a good first step toward Potter-Creek-wide communication and understanding


Our Ryan Lau emails


The [ActivSpace crime-watch] meeting was fresh with new faces, which is important in organizing an active neighborhood group. If nothing else, the recent traumatic events have brought neighborhood closer together.

Sincerely, Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore



Our Janine emails

The Berkeley Early Music Festival approaches, along with all the concerts and recitals.  I am just writing to let you know about a harpsichord recital I am giving on Sunday, June 8th at 2 PM, Trinity Chapel - 2320 Dana Street. between Bancroft Way & Durant Avenue­(one block from the U.C. Berkeley) 
I'm playing on John Phillips' sparkling "Florentine" harpsichord, and am having the most fun choosing a program!  It is all music from Spain, and is most colorful and evocative. The tentative  program is below. It is approximately an hour long, with no intermission, so those who need to rush off to another concert have a chance to get there!
Tickets: $15 general, $12 SFEMS, WEKA and SEHKS members, $10 seniors/students/disabled. No one is turned away for lack of funds. 
Information:, 510-549-1520
Sonata #73 in D major, Allegro...........................................Padre Antonio Soler
Sonata #74 in D major, Andante............................................................A. Soler
Sonata K. 476 in g minor, Allegro.........................................Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata K. 477 in G major,  Allegrissimo............................................D. Scarlatti
Sonata #4 in g minor Adagio and Allegro ...................Manuel Blasco de Nebra
Fuga # 5 in g minor......................................................................... Juan Sessé
Sonata K. 532 in a minor...................................................................D. Scarlatti
Sonata K. 533 in A major...................................................................D. Scarlatti
Sonata # 5 in f# minor, Adagio and Presto...........................M. Blasco de Nebra
Sonata K. 499 in A major....................................................................D. Scarlatti
Sonata K. 599 in A major....................................................................D. Scarlatti









There was a community meeting Tuesday at 3:30 PM at ActivSpace on 7th Street. 

The meeting was called by ActivSpace manager, Tameka Lim and Café Clem manager, Denise Ravizza and was a crime-watch gathering. 

People began arriving at 3:20 and by 3:30 there were about 35 assembled on the side-walk in front of the cafe. 

The meeting began on time and after some opening remarks by the mangers, with Denise telling of the take-over robbery of Café Clem by four armed, masked men, the chair was handed over to Andrew Frankel, our Berkeley PD area coordinator. 

Andrew opened by asking the attendees to identify themselves. As we did, more people arrived spilling over the sidewalk, and we moved to the parking lot behind the ActivSpace building. 

The meeting proceeded as over sixty assembled. 

We were of greater variety than any community meeting I've attended-- a good mix of ages, cultures, races, occupations and sexes--a refreshing, real Berkeley Scene. And, we were by-and-large a young group, with, I'd estimate, a mean age of about 35--I was almost the oldest person there. 

We were hobbyists; business owners--retail, wholesale, trades, manufacturing; crafts-people; landlords; artists; and residents.

I'd estimate about one-third were from ActivSpace, well-over another third  were business-people, and the remainder, residents and interested citizens. Restauranteurs made up a large group with people from Cafe Clem, Riva Cucina, Café Trieste, the Thai restaurant west of Trieste, 900 Grayson, and even the owners of the Home Made Cafe on Dwight and Sacramento. People were also present from Bauman College. 

In addition to telling a little about themselves, the speakers almost uniformly talked with some passion about there concern about crime--peppered with stories about experienced break-ins, auto-robberies, and even armed take-overs. Andrew mentioned that there were at least four armed take-overs within one week on San Pablo Ave. The two managers from our Good Vibrations told of their armed robbery in some detail--chilling.

There was a pervasive sense of fear and not a little anger. 

With a show of hands, those present had experienced from 3 auto-thefts to 8 or more auto-burglaries. Andrew talked about crime prevention with some common sense precautions like don't leave stuff in your car. Denise handed out some info from the Berkeley PD website as well.  

Councilman Darryl Moore was present and spoke of his concern and his communication with Berkeley PD for more rigorous enforcement. His trusty-aid Ryan Lau was also there. 

Some present expressed concern about profiling at a time of panic--a real concern. Andrew made it clear that the suspect of the San Pablo Ave armed robberies was male, black, thin and over six feet tall. And said "If he's not over six feet, it isn't him."

By the end of the meeting there was a feeling that we need a greater sense of neighborhood and increased communication between all.

And, holding the meeting in daylight, out-of-doors was a new experience and affected the tone. Though the subject was dark, the tone was fresh, even lively. Sadly, the daylight hours prevented more residents from coming.
Was this just another west-Berkely meeting, this time built around frustration and crime? I don't think so. There seemed a genuine and deep desire for community and there were so many new faces.


ACTIVSPACE crime-watch-meeting photos are here.


According to the Crime Log for 94710 in the last 30 days, our ZIP code has had 31 stolen autos, 31 auto burglaries, and 22 thefts. Complete stats are here









Karen emails about the ActivSpace meeting

It sounds like an impressive gathering (I like your write up and the
description of the make up of the group) and this kind of information sharing is
clearly very important. Were there any "next steps" proposed?


P.S. Our car was broken into last Thanksgiving evening, we think around 11:00 p.m.
Nothing stolen (there was nothing to steal), just a big broken window and a big
mess. It was parked right in front of our house.


Our Councilman, Darryl Moore is planning to host another meeting.


Kubik emails about the Tuesday ActivSpace meeting

It was a better meeting than I expected. It was a varied turnout with many
from the Active Space who have never attended a community meeting.
As an aside - it seems to me they think of themselves as part of the
"Active Space" community and not part of Potter Creek. Perhaps they
will come to think of themselves as part of our community.
There were few from the new Condos, but perhaps they were at
work. A major problem in scheduling community meetings is that
residents prefer evening meetings and the business people -who live
elsewhere- would rather do it during the day.
I believe that as our community has attracted more affluent
folks recently it tends to attract more attention by those who find
more valuable things to steal.



"Berkeley has new accessible van available through City CarShare" reports Kristin Bender of the Times.

"Berkeley now has the nation's first wheelchair-accessible van available for use by any City CarShare member, city officials said. The city made good this week on last year's promise to put prize money from a national disabled rights organization to use for an additional transportation service for disabled people."


"Cal's Jackson in tough spot:Receiver is being touted for 49ers, but others note drawbacks" writes Daniel Brown in our Times.

"Jerry Rice, who knows a thing or two about NFL receivers, suggested this week that the 49ers would be wise to use their first-round pick on DeSean Jackson.

After being hired to work out with the Cal jitterbug during the offseason, Rice concluded that Jackson's dizzying array of after-the- catch moves make his small frame irrelevant.

'He's another Devin Hester -- but a better receiver,' Rice said, alluding to the Chicago Bears' special-teams dynamo. Hester is listed at 5-foot-11, 186 pounds; Jackson is closer to 5-10, 170."



"Another suspect arrested in restaurant holdup" reports Henry K. Lee of the Chronicle.

"Laron Williams, 18, was arrested about 6 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of being one of four young men who robbed the Milano restaurant on Grand Avenue on April 13, authorities said.

Tanom Domingue, 16, has been charged as an adult in the Milano robbery. Williams, who could be formally charged today, was arrested in the Acorn public housing complex in West Oakland, where Domingue lives.

A 22-year-old Oakland man was arrested on an unrelated warrant and is also being questioned as a suspect in the Milano robbery. The man, whose name wasn't released, can be seen in a surveillance video from the restaurant, police said."


And "Closing arguments in man's fatal shooting of friend near UC campus" writes Henry K. Lee.

"An Oakland jury heard sharply conflicting arguments today as to whether a Hayward man should be convicted of murder for fatally shooting a friend who called him for help after a run-in with Cal football players near the UC Berkeley campus.

Meleia Willis-Starbuck, 19, was not in any imminent danger when Christopher Hollis opened fire at a group of people outside the apartment building where she was living in the summer of 2005, killing her, Deputy District Attorney Elgin Lowe said in his closing argument in Alameda County Superior Court."



"UC Berkeley leaders granted improper perks last year to police Chief Victoria Harrison, who retired with a $2.1 million payout and was immediately rehired to the same position at a higher salary: UC Berkeley broke rehiring rules" reports Matt Krupnick of our Times.

In addition, she will receive $552,000 in the next 10 years from a deferred compensation plan.

A Times investigation revealed that campus administrators broke or bypassed University of California and federal rules while rehiring Harrison, including some that were reinforced after the university's 2006 executive-compensation scandal. Among the questionable decisions:

Vice Chancellor Nathan Brostrom offered Harrison the new contract
on June 11, before she left the campus, a violation of UC and federal
rules that prohibit employees younger than 60 from discussing
rehiring before retirement. Brostrom said the early offer to
Harrison, who is 54, was a mistake on his part and the university was
trying to correct it.

UC guidelines say rehiring should only take place when "exigent
circumstances" make it particularly difficult to replace an employee.
The Berkeley campus did not try to replace Harrison, either from
within the police department or from elsewhere.

The school allowed Harrison to keep 61 weeks of accrued sick time
when she was rehired, an exception to UC rules that limit such
rollovers to two weeks.

Top UC leaders also granted Berkeley an exception to allow Harrison
to work full-time, contrary
to a guideline that limits rehired retirees to just less than half-
time work.


"How bad can housing slump get? asks John Christoffersen of the AP. "Worse than in Depression, Yale economist says.

"An influential economist who long predicted the bursting of the housing market bubble cautioned Tuesday that the slump in the U.S. housing market could cause prices to fall more than they did during the Great Depression and that bailouts will be needed so millions don't lose their homes.

Yale University economist Robert Shiller, pioneer of the widely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index, said there'a good chance housing prices will fall further than the 30 percent drop in the historic depression of the 1930s. Home prices nationwide already have dropped 15 percent since their peak in 2006, he said.

'I think there is a scenario that they could be down substantially more,' Shiller said during a speech at the New Haven Lawn Club."


"Is inclusionary zoning providing our much needed affordable housing?" asks Carol Lloyd at SF Gate.

Now that the housing markets are softening, it's worth stepping back and looking at what we can learn from this insane boom-bust cycle.

Specifically - despite the madcap development rush in the Bay Area - where are we in terms of providing affordable housing?



"Many states appear to be in recession" reports Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the AP.

"The finances of many states have deteriorated so badly that they appear to be in a recession, regardless of whether that's true for the nation as a whole, a survey of all 50 state fiscal directors concludes.

The situation looks even worse for the fiscal year that begins July 1 in most states.

'Whether or not the national economy is in recession - a subject of ongoing debate - is almost beside the point for some states,' said the report to be released Friday by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The weakening economy is hitting tax revenue in a number of ways: People's discretionary income is being gobbled up by higher food and fuel costs, while the tanking housing market means people are spending less on furniture and appliances associated with buying a house.

The situation is grim in Delaware, with a $69 million gap this year, and bleak in California, with a projected $16 billion budget shortfall over the next two years, the report said. Florida does not expect a rapid turnaround in revenue because of the prolonged real estate slump there.

By mid-April, 16 states and Puerto Rico were reporting shortfalls in their current budgets as the revenue those budgets were built on - typically, taxes - fell short of estimates. That's double the number of states reporting a deficit six months ago."





Gun ownership isn't new in Potter Creek. I'm reminded of the business owner who keeps a loaded shotgun in his office, behind his desk. What is new, is an interest by folks I'd never imagined would be interested. I've had several conversations with residents and business owners who in the past have criticized gun ownership or have been neutral about it. They now express an interest in ownership with discussions about gun-laws, types of weapons, what's best for home protection, etc.

I'd think very carefully about a decision to own a gun. It is not a decision to be made lightly.



Our Tak emails


Thanks for your report on the meeting. I wasn't able to attend but I
just sent Darryl Moore the attached email. . .


I wasn't able to attend the meeting at ActivSpace but I'd like to
mention to you that there are many burnt streetlights in West
Berkeley. I live on the 2400 block of 10th Street and walk my dog at
night in the Potter Creek area as well as between Channing and
Dwight Way.

A couple of nights ago I saw two young people who looked like they
were trying to break into a car (Jeep Cherokee) at the corner of 9th
and Channing. I called 911 on my cell phone as I was walking away
and speaking to the dispatcher. The dispatcher asked for a better
description of the two young men but I realized I couldn't seem them
well because the light at the corner wasn't on. I tracked them from
across the street to 2435 9th Street where I lost sight of them in a
crowd of young people.

As I kept walking past Dwight into the Potter Creek area I noticed
that more than a few of the street lights needed servicing. There
seem to be areas which seemed completely dark.

Tak Nakamoto
10th Street

p.s. This morning a neighbor's car, with Federal Gov't license
plates, was stolen from in front of my house.



Our Ryan Lau emails, 
I thought I should send this out as soon as possible due to the time-critical nature of the matter.  . . .  Please keep your eyes and ears open and remember the following:
If you sense trouble in your business, or see the above described suspect, call 9-1-1. When reporting suspicious people or activity, in particular anyone who matches the general description mentioned above, be prepared to give the suspicious person's description and location.

Program the Berkeley Police Department's 7-digit emergency number, (510) 981-5911, into your cellular phone. Always use this number if you are calling BPD to report an emergency from your cellular phone.

If you are the victim of a robbery, immediately call the police. Be prepared to provide as detailed a suspect description as possible to the dispatcher taking the call. Also, try to give the suspect's "direction of flight" or last known location. An immediate report, along with a suspect description and direction of flight, gives officers the best possible chance at locating the suspect, making a good arrest resulting in a successful prosecution.

If you are alone at your business, be alert and aware of who enters your store.

Lock all doors at the end of a business day to conduct money transactions while at the business. Consider depositing receipts

Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore, District 2




"North Oakland Man Shoots Intruder" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet. 

"Oakland Police officers confer on the Shattuck Avenue sidewalk in the aftermath of a shooting at a 59th Street home when a resident reportedly shot and seriously wounded an intruder Tuesday morning.

Oakland Police are investigating a Tuesday morning shooting in which neighbors say a North Oakland man shot an intruder breaking into his 59th Street home. 

The injured man, who had staggered up to Shattuck Avenue and collapsed near Dorsey's Locker, a tavern at 5817 Shattuck Ave., was rushed to Highland Hospital for treatment of a serious gunshot wound, police said. 
The incident was first reported to police around 8 a.m. 

Oakland Police Sgt. Michael Polirier said the injured man, Nathan Cooper, 31, of Oakland, was on both probation and parole from previous convictions, including a narcotics arrest. 

'Burglary tools were found at the scene, and he was charged with burglary' as a result of the incident, Polirier said. 

The man who fired the shot, a resident of a home in the 600 block of 59th Street, was questioned by police investigators Tuesday, then released pending a review of the case by the Alameda County District Attorney's office."


Our Planet is going to a once-a-week street edtion with daily updates to its website.



"3 held in hostage drama at Oakland condo" reports Meredith May in the Chronicle.

Oakland police were trying to extract a gunman who had three hostages - two children and a woman - from a condo building at Jack London Square on Friday night, authorities said.

Police did not know, or did not release, the name of the man inside the building, and it was unclear what his relationship was to the hostages. The children inside were 3 and 5 years old.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but police cordoned off four blocks around the scene - a fifth-floor unit in the Sierra Condos at 311 Oak St. - and would let no one come or go late into the evening.

Sgt. Reggie Brown said police received a call from a security guard about 7:30 p.m. reporting some kind of domestic dispute in one of the apartments. The security guard said the man was armed with a large knife or a meat cleaver."



"John Schott Join's Moe's Poetry Reading" reports Ken Bullock in the Planet. 

"Guitarist John Schott will join poet Steve Dickison in an unusual 'back and forth, call and response' poetry and music improvisation as part of this coming Monday At Moe's reading series, 7:30 p.m. at Moe's Books on Telegraph Ave. Admission is free." 


"Off the cutting room floor" writes Mike Collett-White in Russia's St. Petersburg Times.

"A Danish choreographer has dug up a forgotten film score by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev and turned it into a ballet danced by Cuban star Carlos Acosta.

Kim Brandstrup, whose 'Rushes - Fragments of a Lost Story' premiered at Covent Garden in London on Wednesday, stumbled across an incomplete score Prokofiev wrote for a film version of Pushkin's classic short story 'The Queen of Spades.'

But the movie never made it to the screen, and the music, by one of the 20th century's greatest composers who worked both in ballet and film, had been left to languish in a Russian archive."









"Cal ends spring practice on high note:On-field leaders have emerged and the offense appears to be making strides" reports Jonathan Okanes in the Times.


Best gas prices in 94710 are here at


"Bubble or fact of life: Where's the price of oil headed?" asks the AP's John Porretto.

"Oil's meteoric rise to near $120 a barrel looks like more than just another economic bubble-growing demand and tighter supplies are likely to keep prices high. Some analysts say even $200 a barrel would not be out of the question.

The latest price surge-pushing crude to record heights in recent weeks, and to nearly double its level a year ago-has some key components of a classic bubble, when market prices climb far above their intrinsic value. The burst comes when investors realize the assets are overvalued." 


"Dollar's fall forces new standard of frugality" reports Sam Zuckerman of the Chronicle. 

"It's a global shift that some are calling the Great Reckoning.

For a generation, economists warned that Americans were living too large. With wallets crammed with credit cards and home equity loans available to any homeowner who could sign his or her name, consumers went on a debt-fueled buying binge. Living rooms bulged with the latest in snazzy electronics and garages filled with shiny new cars and trucks. Restaurants were fully booked, and airlines whisked happy passengers to dream vacations around the world.

Now, that shop-till-you-drop, I-want-it-all-and-I-want-it-now era may be coming to an end. It couldn't last because it was built on a mountain of money borrowed from overseas."



"Tools help homeowners go solar" reports Tanya Rose of our Times.

"Almost four years ago, fish shop owner and Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor installed a $60,000 set of energy-saving solar panels on top of his Tidewater Court home. He now runs his backyard Koi fish pond through the system - that's two water pumps going around-the-clock, plus indoor electric appliances, running off of solar power.
Last year, his electric bills totaled $538, down from about $6,000 per year in pre-panel days.
'I have no regrets, even with the panels being so expensive,' he said.

He got a $20,000 rebate as part of the California Solar Initiative, which was instituted in 2007 by the state and is available to every homeowner. That, plus other discounts, brought the cost of the panels down to $23,000.
Although solar power has grown almost 50 percent in the past couple of years, it makes up less than 1 percent of U.S. power generation, and that's because of the exorbitant costs, experts say. But financial tools such as rebates, tax credits and other creative partnerships are making going solar more appealing to homeowners."



"'Little Prince' opera comes to Berkeley" reports Steven Winn of the Chronicle.

"Rachel Portman was not an obvious choice to write an opera based on 'The Little Prince.' A noted film composer - her credits include 'The Joy Luck Club,' 'The Cider House Rules,' 'Chocolat,' 'The Manchurian Candidate' and a 1997 Academy Award for 'Emma' - she had exactly zero experience in opera.

Portman wasn't the first choice to create a new score for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's cherished 1943 novella, either. Operatic veteran Philip Glass ('Satyagraha,' 'Akhnaten,' 'Appomattox') had already mulled the project but decided to pass. When Glass' publisher, Jim Keller, approached Portman and asked if she might be interested, the idea seemed both daunting and irresistible.

'My desire to write an opera that you could take a child to see and enjoy was so strong,' Portman recalled by telephone from her home in London recently, 'that I overcame my fear of entering into the classical world.'
Her instincts have been affirmed by a stream of 'Little Prince' productions since the work's Houston Grand Opera premiere in 2003. Mounted by New York City Opera in 2005, the piece has been done in Boston, Milwaukee and Tulsa, among other places, and broadcast on British television. 'The Little Prince' lands in Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall on Friday for a six-show run (through May 11) co-presented by Cal Performances and the San Francisco Opera."


"Wikipedia to Become a Book in Germany: Wikipedia is as popular among German speakers as it is among English speakers" reports Deutsche Welle.

"German publishing giant Bertelsmann plans to publish the world's first reference book based on entries gathered from Wikipedia, the mammoth online encyclopedia written by volunteers.

Bertelsmann believes some people who would rather leaf through a hands-on, printed book than surf through the Internet.

The company said on Wednesday, April 23, it would publish a print, German-language version of free online encyclopedia Wikipedia based on the 50,000 most commonly searched terms on the Web site from the past two years."

"Historian Renews Calls for Annotated Edition of 'Mein Kampf' " reports Deutsche Welle.

"The Documentation Center at the former Nazi party grounds in Nuremberg has called for a commentated version of Adolf Hitler's infamous book "Mein Kampf" to be published before the copyright runs out.

Resistance against publishing a critical edition of Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' ('My Struggle') is a 'false taboo,' said historian Hans-Ulrich Wehler, curator of the Documentation Center in Nuremberg, this week in an interview with German radio broadcaster Deutschlandfunk."

"Standoff In Oakland ends - gunman gives " report Meredith May,Henry K. Lee of the Chronicle.
"A gunman who barricaded himself inside a condo building at Oakland's Jack London Square and held his wife and two children hostage surrendered early today after an all-night standoff, police said.
The suspect, a 41-year-old parolee whose name wasn't immediately released, gave himself up without incident at 4:25 a.m. and was being interviewed by police. His children, 3 and 5, were not harmed, and his wife was being treated for a minor injury, authorities said.

His arrest came after a nine-hour standoff at the Sierra Condos at 311 Oak St. "


"A suspect in the recent string of East Bay restaurant robberies was shot and killed by Oakland police today during a confrontation with officers near the Interstate 880 freeway" reports Jaxon Van Derbeken of the Chronicle.

The shooting, just before noon at East Seventh Street and 29th Avenue, near the Interstate 880 freeway, involved officers from the Oakland police. Officers from the California Highway Patrol were also present.

Officers from Oakland fired on the man, a robbery suspect, said Officer Vince Fratangelo. He was dead at the scene, Fratangelo said. Two suspects have already been charged in the robberies and a third has been identified, police said.

The robbers had hit restaurants in Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville."


This story was rewritten within hours of its posting at SF link for new version.

An informed police source said "Oakland is under great pressure to solve these [restaurant] robberies."

And I believe the press has put itself under too great a pressure to report them.




4/29/04 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

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out 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.


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


Our City of Berkeley Boards and Commissions page is here--redone and friendly.


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

Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


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

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