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
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
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
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
'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
'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."
'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
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
"Oakland may hire armed security guards" reportsChristopher Heredia of the San Francisco
"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
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,
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.
"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,'
"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.
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
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
"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
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."
especially considering Marsha's training is in the behavioral
sciences--she is now the Dean of The Mary Poppins School of Behavioral
"Aptera's 3-wheeler looks as if it could
soar" reports the
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!
Café Clem, Manager
510 845 5000 email@example.com
from Wednesdays' Oakland
"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
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
"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
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."
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
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
'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
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,'
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
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
"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
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
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
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 www.brownpapertickets.com/event/33135
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
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
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 www.cubacaribe.org
Second Annual Bay Area Jazz
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 www.hillsideclub.org or
"Visiting the ghosts of Paris 1968" a 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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
"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
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
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 Aevans@ci.berkeley.ca.us?
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: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=556
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
West Berkeley Circulation Master Plan Suggested Circulation Improvement
· Physical Improvements
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,
Transportation Demand Management Solutions
Managing Regional Traffic (Metering)
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
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
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
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.
. . .
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
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
Figures for Berkeley are
harder to come by, although Realtytrac.com, 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. Patrick.net, 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. Bargain.com 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
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
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: trinitychamberconcerts.com, 510-549-1520
Sonata #73 in D major, Allegro...........................................Padre
Sonata #74 in D major, Andante............................................................A.
Sonata K. 476 in g minor, Allegro.........................................Domenico
Sonata K. 477 in G major, Allegrissimo............................................D.
Sonata #4 in g minor Adagio and Allegro ...................Manuel
Blasco de Nebra
Fuga # 5 in g minor.........................................................................
Sonata K. 532 in a minor...................................................................D.
Sonata K. 533 in A major...................................................................D.
Sonata # 5 in f# minor, Adagio and Presto...........................M.
Blasco de Nebra
Sonata K. 499 in A major....................................................................D.
Sonata K. 599 in A major....................................................................D.
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
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
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
clearly very important. Were there any "next steps"
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
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
"Active Space" community and not part of Potter Creek.
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
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
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,
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
"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
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
trying to correct it.
UC guidelines say rehiring
should only take place when "exigent
circumstances" make it particularly difficult to replace
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
"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
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
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
night in the Potter Creek area as well as between Channing and
A couple of nights ago I saw two young people who looked like
were trying to break into a car (Jeep Cherokee) at the corner
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
well because the light at the corner wasn't on. I tracked them
across the street to 2435 9th Street where I lost sight of them
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.
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
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
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.
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
"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
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
"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
"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 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
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."
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
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
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,
The robbers had hit restaurants
in Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville."
This story was rewritten
within hours of its posting at SF Gate.com--read link for new
An informed police source
said "Oakland is under great pressure to solve these [restaurant]
And I believe the press has
put itself under too great a pressure to report them.
4/29/04 and following
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
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.
Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails A very
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.
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
PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.
for 94710 is here
This site is NOT affiliated
with Berkeley PD.
Take time to report
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.
Frankel, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 AFrankel@ci.berkeley.ca.us
City Mgr Off - 981-2491 firstname.lastname@example.org
aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 email@example.com
City Councilman firstname.lastname@example.org
Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here
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