Jeff Grey and his
Ford Rod--Jeff works at Consolidated Printing
Steve Smith emails
4th Street is hosting the 1st annual RetroMobile West Berkeley
Classic Auto Show this summer [in early-September]. I am helping
them put together the Alternative Fuels exhibition that will showcase
a number of electric, fuel cell, and veggie burning (biodiesel
and straight vegetable oil) vehicles.
In general, the show is being put together by Denny Abrams, Elliott
Abrams, Stephen Block and Martin Swig benefiting the Berkeley
Public Education Foundation. The bulk of the show (taking place
in the parking lot adjacent to the railroad) is made up of approximately
65 classic collectables from Europe and N America. We're talking
primo frame up restorations and race cars. It is going to be great.
Of course I'm working on
some of the electric big boys. I have a tentative yes from Ian
Wright of Wrightspeed with his X1. Check out his website
and look at the specs.
One of Potter Creek's Elders,
and business men, is John Phillips,
harpsichord builder. John not only builds harpsichords but
seems also to love them. Though, perhaps not as much as he loves
trains. John is a quiet, reserved fellow though has recently displayed
cahones of iron. So, here for him is something I wrote once-upon-a-time
about trains and claviers. (It's ostensibly a review of Ralph
Kirkpatrick's clavichord performance of J.S. Bach's Well Tempered
Clavier recorded in 1963, Archiv 198311/12.)
In the great American folk art model railroading,
the locomotive that runs the most slowly and quietly is the one
that is the most sought after. The severe test of locomotive
performance is just how slowly and quietly it can move, for slow
and quiet running are thought of as qualities of excellence. Running
a noisy engine around the track at breakneck speed is thought
of as child's play. The mature model railroader spends much time
and effort making his favorite locomotive creep along silently.
The mechanically minded may even disassemble and fine tune the
locomotive, and upon successful re-assembly and test running,
boast that their engine runs so slowly that its movement cannot
be seen. The like test for stereo equipment is to play quiet music,
and value the hardware that renders it most accurately. These
records of the Well-Tempered Clavier are of music, a performance,
and a recording that lend themselves to such a test: a test of
quiet excellence. This set of records sold well in the Berkeley
of the 1960s, a time and place of some sensitivity. When I worked
at Campus Records, I would often hear of their otherworldly beauty
from those who apparently had spent all night listening to them.
However, on casual listening in the shop they seemed boring; its
playing there did not convince. But time has revealed these records
to be music of subtle color and soft richness, and of a performance
and recording of quiet excellence. The recording, above all, beautifully
captures the clavichord's quiet rainbow hue and bell-like tone.
The performance too is beautiful, and deeply felt.
Kruse' yard is no longer
regularly vandalized. Perhaps, because as part of their last-year's
redo they moved everything inside. The yard is now used only for
parking. My memory is that just before the redo someone broke
in and stole a fork-lift.
Perhaps we have crime and
vandalism in Potter Creek because, almost unconsciously, it is
WE who tolerate it--not the city or the police. Recently, I've
heard from a few longer-time residents "I really like it
just the way it is down here."
Sally Swing is being published
again! This time in The Montclairian on this Friday w/article
by Sheila Sabine and Judith Glass of the Grubb Co.
I'm told that 900 GRAYSON
will be some-sort-of "Best Of" in Wednesday's East
Bob Kubik points out that "a
failure in generalship" by Lt. Col. Paul Yingling appears
in our Armed Forces Journal and begins with a quote from
Frederick the Great "You officers amuse yourselves with God
knows what buffooneries and never dream in the least of serious
service. This is a source of stupidity which would become most
dangerous in case of a serious conflict."
The German news service,
DW-TV website is here.
Check out this European perspecitve.
An unexpected story AND perspective
Coffee Shops Close as Authorities Weed out Drug Tourists cannabis:
Dutch authorities have come together to reduce smokers' opportunities.
Each year, thousands of German
drug tourists cross the border into the Dutch town of Enschede,
where soft drugs such as marijuana are sold openly. Now, a government
crackdown is forcing many coffee shops out of business.A dense,
sweet-smelling smoke fills the room in the De Molen coffee shop.
Here in the Dutch city of Enschede, the streets are littered with
places like De Molen, which openly sell soft drugs such as hashish
But dozens of coffee shops
have had to close shop in recent months, reflecting a growing
consensus in the Netherlands that the country's notoriously liberal
drug policy is currently doing more harm than good."
A reliable source reports
owner, Doug Hurst is negotiating with wine.com
for the lease of his 90,000 sq ft former-manufacturing building
on Fourth Street.
Well Ok then?!
There's a review of 900 GRAYSON
in today's East Bay Express. It's on page 35. Here's a
quote. "Sadly, one of the four partners (co-chef Sophina
Uong) has moved on, but a recent brunch sparkled just as hard
as earlier ones."
Regan Bice is the architect
currently renovating a 300 year-old stone farm-house on Menorga.
Menorga is an island in the Mediterranean off the Spanish coast.
Regan also has a flat for
rent. It is upstairs from his office, is 1400 sq.ft., has 3 bedrooms,
1 bath, full laundry, eat-in kitchen with Wedgwood stove and a
dining room with decorative fireplace. It is $2400 a month. His
phone is (510)-220-8182.
This year, the Fourth Sreet
Jazz Festival is May 20th.
The Wall Street Journal
reports that consumer spending rose 0.3% in March, slower than
the February pace, while personal income continued to post solid
gains. The PCE inflation index was flat.
The Journal also reports
that gasoline prices are nearing $3 a gallon on average and could
move even higher this summer depending on refinery output, weather
and driver demand.
The West County Times
reports "U.S. consumer spending between 2001 and 2005,
financing close to 3 percent of total personal consumption expenditures,
according to a paper co-authored by former Federal Reserve Chairman
Alan Greenspan. In a paper dated March 2007, posted on the Fed's
Web site Monday, Greenspan and Fed economist James Kennedy estimate
that between 1991 and 2005, equity extracted through home sales,
home equity loans and cash-out refinancings freed up about $530
billion per year in cash available for other uses, such as consumption
and debt repayment." Read the full story here.
900 GRAYSON isn't just mentioned in the current East
Bay Express, it is their Best
now holding its annual Spring pledge drive. Check it out here.
The Wall Street Journal
reports that "there's growing scientific evidence that global
climate change is linked to dramatic rise in allergies and asthma
in the Western world."
And the Journal reports
on itself in "Dow Jones board said it was taking no immediate
action on News Corps $5 billion offer, increasing the potential
for tension between the controlling Bancroft family and shareholders
pressing for a sale."
From a Chicago Tribune
One day, a Native grandfather
said to his grandson, "There are two
wolves fighting inside all of us -- the wolf of fear and hate,
the wolf of love and peace." The grandson asked, "Which
win?" The grandfather replied, "The one we feed."
"Pacific Steel Settles with Air Quality
Riya Bhattacharje of our Planet.
"SF JAZZ keeps Redman in touch with roots"
reports Jim Harrington
in the West County Times. "Joshua Redman's eyes grow
wide and his voice quickens when he speaks of New York. It's a
city that he dearly loves and clearly misses. Redman was born
and raised in Berkeley, but it wasn't until he moved to New York
City, the undisputed capital of the jazz universe, that his career
as a musician quickly took off. As he drinks a decaf coffee at
Caffe Trieste on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, not all that far
from his childhood home, he remembers how exciting it was to live
in the 'city that never sleeps.' 'When I was in New York, I thought
I was going to die in New York. I just couldn't imagine living
anywhere else,' the 38-year-old saxophonist says. 'When I first
moved back to the Bay Area, I swore that as soon as I could afford
it I'd be on the next plane out of here. But, thousands of planes
later, I'm still here.'
Yesterday and today's Duke
Ellington profile is the most informative radio of my recent memory.
It's on KCSM-FM.
Check out KCSM-M here.
" Zoning Board Backs Closing of B-Town
Store" writes Riya
Bhattacharjee of our Planet. "The B-Town Dollar Store
at 2973 Sacramento St. could be closed if the Berkeley City Council
decides to act on a recommendation passed by the Zoning Adjustments
Board (ZAB) Thursday. ZAB members voted unanimously Thursday to
recommend that B-Town should be closed as a public nuisance immediately."
Our Heddy Riss emails about
her Biological Diversity, Alternative Energy and Green Policies
The Carl Linnaeus Tercentenary
Commemoration Symposium will be on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 from
8:45AM to 4:30PM in the Lipman Room, Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley
This symposium commemorates
the 300th anniversary of birth of Carl Linneaus (1707-1778), great
Swedish natural scientist. Known as the founder of taxonomy, Linneaus
was not only a biologist but also an ecologist and environmentalist
far ahead of his time.
Development of Alternative Energy Sources and Green Technology
Extinction of Plant and Animal Species
Political Economy of Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation
Lunch Box lunches will be
provided to all participants
Concert Collegium Cantorum Choir of the Cathedral of Uppsala will
perform their American premiere of a piece composed for the tercentenary
of the birth of Carl Linnaeus.
Movie Expedition Linnaeus by Folke Rydén
A documentary film commemorating the tercentenary of the birth
"Steel shortage woes unfounded "reports George Avalos in our Times. "Speeding
tanker crash leads to fire, freeway collapse. Reports of a drastic
shortage of steel to replace the fallen section of the East Bay
maze appear to be overblown, steel industry executives said Wednesday."
Germany's DW website
offers "Germany's Cheap Beer Tradition Under Threat from
Biofuels. The popularity of biofuels is affecting the price of
Germany's most cherished beverage. The popularity of biofuels
is affecting the price of Germany's most cherished beverage
Germans will have to dig
deeper in their pockets to enjoy their beloved beer in the next
few months as barley is increasingly displaced in the country's
fields by heavily subsidized crops used for biofuels." The
full, sad story is here.
Motor News reports
in their June 2007 issue "Vintage Motorcycles Lead the Pack.
Collecting, restoring and riding has reached new levels of respectability."
1973 Laverda 750
This motorcycle is from my
private collection and was purchased by me in September 1974.
It now has 2156 original miles and is in mint original condition-I
am its first and only owner.
More of my collection can
be viewed at Fine Vintage Motorcycles
Berkeley's first 2007 murder
is in west-Berkeley.
The AP reports "Berkeley
police reported the city's first homicide of the year after a
man was found dead Sunday morning. An employee of a local business
discovered the victim in an industrial area near Interstate 80,
police said. The man, whose
name and age were not released, was pronounced dead at the scene,
Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.
His death is being treated
as a homicide because of the nature of his injuries, said Kusmiss,
who refused to go into more detail.
Police blocked off the street
and kept workers and owners from entering their businesses as
"Pacific Steel, air district settle lawsuit:
Berkeley firm agrees to pay $150,000, install device to curb pollution
from one of its plants"
reports Doug Oakley in our Times. "Pacific Steel Casting
in Berkeley has settled a second lawsuit over allegations it is
not doing enough to curb pollution at its Second Street foundry.
In the latest settlement,
the company agreed to pay the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District $150,000 and to install a hood to capture particulates
coming out of one of its three plants. After Pacific Steel gets
permits to install the new hood, it has nine months to complete
construction, according to the air district.
'Even though the lawsuit
is settled, we will be there to make sure the terms and conditions
of the lawsuit are complied with and to ensure they are not violating
any other emissions requirements through any of the permits they
hold with the district,' said Karen Schkolnick, a spokeswoman
for the air district.
Berkeley and Albany residents
have complained for years about a foul odor emanating from the
plant, an emission they suspect is unhealthy."
"Big plans for making [our] downtown a
cultural hub $150 million hotel, conference center, art museum,
more" writes Carolyn
Jones, of the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Budget proposal difficult to predict:
Fluctuating fiscal forecasts in recent months leave observers
unsure of what to expect from city manager, budget director"
reports Martin Snapp
of our Times.
Will the glass be half-full
or half-empty when City Manager Phil Kamlarz and Budget Director
Tracy Vesely unveil the 2008 fiscal year budget to the City Council
on Tuesday? In recent years it was easy to forecast what the budget
would look like. But not this time."
"Plan would give summer jobs to all city
residents, ages 14-23"
writes Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Every
teenager and young adult who lives in Berkeley would be promised
a summer job under an ambitious plan the City Council is weighing.
The council will take the
first steps Tuesday toward guaranteeing a summer job for every
resident 14 to 23 years old. Many details remain to be worked
out -- not the least of which is what the program would cost --
but if the plan ultimately is approved, the city expects to give
jobs to 400 people by next summer. That's about 250 more than
the city currently offers, said Julie Sinai, aide to Mayor Tom
"Social lending gains net interest" writes BBC reporter, Katie Ledger. "Pouring
your cash into the far reaches of the world wide web may sound
like a crazy idea.
Money Lending cash to others
online can cut out the middleman. After all, the internet has
seen its fair share of nasties from phishing e-mails posing as
a bank to key logging software pinching our passwords and personal
information, all in an effort to steal our identity and cash.
But now there is a wave of
sites trying to convince people that the web is the place for
The concept is called social
lending and the idea is to introduce people who need money to
people who want to lend some - cutting out the middlemen like
banks and mortgage companies."
Early Monday, two Berkeley
firefighters at Station No. 5 on Shattuck and Derby were stabbed
when a man came to the fire-house wielding a knife after ransacking
a nearby home. One firefighter was stabbed in the hand, the other
in the abdomen while attempting to subdue the assailant. Both
were treated at the hospital and released. The man, later found
hiding under a porch, was arrested by Berkeley PD.
Gérard Laugier is
a Potter Creek furniture-maker, wood-worker and member of the
Here is his hand-carved work.
And, Gérard's website
is here .
Gerard is now involved in
serious restoration and preservation work. Soon, his very major
"The uke man maketh" writes Jennifer Modenessi in the West County
Times. "You probably wouldn't guess it from the stacks
of wood piled almost to the roof of his Berkeley workshop, but
Michael DaSilva never set out to become a ukulele maker.
And, there's our own Pete
Hurney at Pohaku Ukuleles
jus' aroun' d'corner, in Potter Creek.
Steve Smith's Biofuel Oasis
Biofuel Oasis have [now]
secured a lease at 1441 Ashby--at the NW corner of Ashby and Sacramento--
the old gas station occupied by Candy-man, an auto detailer.
The Oasis is currently going
through the use permit process. David Arkin of Arkin-Tilt Architects
is providing planning and design services. The Oasis hopes to
have their use permit by mid-August.
I had been working with the
Oasis for over a year trying to find them a new location. It is/has
been particularly challenging to find a site for their use. Gas
station sites have either been leased up for a very long time
by big oil companies or have been sold for residential development.
We were fortunate enough to find a site owned by an environmental
engineer who doesn't plan to sell or develop.
I am especially happy that
we were able to have found a site in Berkeley, keeping them in
Berkeley. I hate seeing tenants leave the city, especially green
7:47 AM--VERY SERIOUS irritant
in front room, burning eyes, burning mouth, light head, nausea,
close door, use mask. So much for keeping the Dutch-door open
on a Spring morning.
9:16 AM--irritant in front
12:30 PM--irritant accompanied
by "gas" odor in warehouse front, groggy. "I'm
feeling a little sick" says Marsha. "I gotta get outta
3:30 PM--return, more than
a whiff of ganja at the door. Weeeeell, . . . Ok then.
Miltiades Mandros emails
Thanks for telling me about
that new place on Heinz - Riva Cucina. I was looking for a change
of place and pace so I tried it for breakfast this morning, which
turned out to be excellent. I sat in what I thought was a quiet
corner, but right next to me was what [appeared to be] an unused
door but turned out to be an entry into Wareham, the landlord's
office. Traffice was heavy and they didn't know how to keep the
lock unlocked, so for about a half hour there was a crowd standing
next to me at work on the lock. I could have moved to another
table, but I kept thinking the hubbub would end, which it didn't.
Mostly in self defense, I got up and offered to help them. In
about five seconds, I was able to manipulate the lock to remain
open. The landlord's agent said that they ought to buy me my breakfast.
I thought they were joking, but when I asked for the check, I
was told the bill had been paid.
"Vegans Sentenced in
Baby's Death" reports the AP's Greg Bluestein.
"[In Atlanta a] vegan
couple was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the death
of their malnourished 6-week-old baby boy, who was fed a diet
largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice.
Superior Court Judge L.A.
McConnell imposed the sentences on Jade Sanders, 27, and Lamont
Thomas, 31. Their son, Crown Shakur, weighed just 3 1/2 pounds
when he died of starvation on April 25, 2004.
The couple was found guilty
May 2 of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter
and cruelty to children. A jury deliberated about seven hours
before returning the guilty verdicts."
Andrew and Kerstin are in
Morocco on their Honeymoon.
Well, ok then!
Tak Nakamoto emails
I've harvested a lot of fresh fava beans from my back yard this
year. Despite my best efforts to eat them ourselves, give them
to our neighbors on the 2400 block of 10th Street, our close
friends, etc, we are becoming inundated with these beans. I'm
afraid our friends and neighbors are starting to run away from
when they see us coming.
I currently have enough favas to fill 2 case size beer boxes.
Help! Let me know if you know of anyone in Potter Creek interested
in taking some of them from us.
Contact us by email or by phone. I have a listed number.
This is Better Hearing and
CEID (The Center for Early
Intervention of Deafness) is having an Open House on May 18 from
5-7:30 PM. The open house is at the school, 1035 Grayson. Among
others, the beautiful director, Jill will be present.
"EBMUD proposes increases
for rates: The East Bay Municipal
Utilities District hopes to raise water rates
5 percent during the next two years to help pay for new dry-year
water supplies, various district upgrades and higher employee
wages and health benefits.
The increase is about 20
percent higher than normal, mostly because the first payments
are due on the district's hedge against droughts, the $460 million
Freeport Regional Water Project to tap the Sacramento River when
supplies from the Mokelumne River prove insufficient, according
to the district." Read the full story in our
"Retailers post weak April sales as gas
prices, housing market lead consumers to cut back" reports Anne D'Innocenzio of the AP.
"Rising gasoline prices and the
slumping housing market kept consumers out of stores last month,
leaving many of the nation's merchants with disappointing sales
As retailers released their
April sales figures Thursday, weak performers included Wal-Mart
Stores Inc., which recorded a rare drop in business, as well as
J.C. Penney Co. and Federated Department Stores Inc.
'Consumers are feeling pressured
by higher gasoline prices and a sluggish housing market, particularly
low and middle income consumers,' said Ken Perkins, president
of RetailMetrics LLC, a research company in Swampscott, Mass."
"Housing woes to continue, expert says.
Economist says downturn could weaken state's financial future"
writes the Times' George Avalos. "The
malaise in California home building will hound the state for a
while longer, a top state government economist told an East Bay
Even worse, California is
particularly vulnerable to ripple effects because the state depends
on housing and home building for a greater share of its economic
activity than other regions, said Howard Roth, chief economist
with the state's Department of Finance."
Don't fuck with Mother Nature!
Ron Faich, a New
Mexico reader, sends this photo of Katrina over Mississippi.
Kava and family are back
in Potter Creek for awhile while Dad and Mom are visiting the
sisters in Germany.
Our Janine Johnson emails
Just a note to let everyone
know that my latest CD, the
harpsichord solos from Telemann's "Der Getreue Music Meister"
available for download online at Magnatune.com : http://magnatune.com/
artists/janine_johnson The pieces contained therein are by
and his contemporaries. Some great music, and relatively unknown.
Worth a listen, anyway! Thanks and best wishes to all
Don Yost emails
This came off my Internet
accordion [discussion] group. They were talking about street buskers
(street musicians) and someone mentioned this Washington
And, my story about a street
musician is Demicello's Story and is here.
"Sales reshape Berkeley landscape: Leading
developer unloads mixed-use properties, generating millions for
city coffers" reports
Martin Snapp of our Times. "Developer
Patrick Kennedy sold most of his Berkeley properties late last
month, sending shock waves through the town's financial and political
"Alice Waters' captures vibrant spirit
of foodie revolution" writes
Susan Salter Reynolds of the Los Angeles Times in a book
review in our Times. "Alice Waters was 27 when she
decided that what she wanted most was a place where she and her
friends could gather around a few tables, eat good food, drink
a little (or a lot of) wine, inspire one another, fall in love,
talk and thereby divert the world from its terrible path toward
destruction, hatred, war,
commercialization and alienation. Chez Panisse -- in many ways
her baby, although she would insist it was a group effort -- was
the astonishingly successful result of that simple desire. From
the start, it was more than a restaurant; it was a quiet revolution,
fueled in part by a vision of life in a Marcel Pagnol movie, an
idea of France, an idea of what life should look like, an idea
of what it means to be human.
One of the most charming
things about Thomas McNamee's 'Alice Waters and Chez Panisse'
(which is just as much about the restaurant as it is about the
woman) is how clear it becomes that, in the 31/2 decades since
the restaurant served its first meal on Aug. 28, 1971, the original
ideal of building community by eating good food together has
become part of the culture of this country. It has rippled outward
geographically, first to include the small-scale farmers and artisans
working in Northern California, whose ingredients Waters always
has insisted on using; then to the schools around the country
that have benefited from the Edible Schoolyard, a program of the
Foundation to create school gardens that grow ingredients for
"Plan spews debate over diesel soot: California
construction leaders say it will cost too much to retrofit or
replace engines spouting pollution under proposed timeline" reports Paul Rogers in our Times.
Seeking to reduce the health
risks from diesel soot, California air regulators are proposing
to require thousands of bulldozers, backhoes, cranes and other
types of construction equipment that have been in operation for
years to have their engines retrofitted or replaced entirely."
Before and after a building-painting
"Strykers may no longer be the answer:
Vehicles can't survive roadside bombs" report the AP's Robert H. Reid and Anna Flaherty.
"A string of heavy losses from
powerful roadside bombs has raised new questions about the vulnerability
of the Stryker, the Army's troop-carrying vehicle hailed by supporters
as the key to a leaner, more mobile force.
Since the Strykers went into
action in violent Diyala province north of Baghdad two months
ago, losses of the vehicles have been rising steadily, U.S. officials
Our Zelda B reports "Staff
didn't have the audacity to remove the zoning ordinance's explicit
prohibition on retail that's unaffiliated with industry. Instead,
they were testing the waters, seeing how far they could go with
a sneak attempt to undermine the businesses that depend on industrial
zoning to keep their rents affordable: Berkeley's manufacturers,
artisans and recyclers." Read what Z writes before and after
"A group of parade participants-who
said they were out publicizing bicycling and oil-dependency reduction-accused
a Berkeley couple in their 70s of trying to run them over"
writes Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet. The full story is here.
"Cal will help clean up after students
take off: University hopes trash bins, recycling centers will
discourage dumping of items on city streets" reports Doug Oakley in our Times.
"It's become an annual
ritual: When many of UC Berkeley's 18,000 students leave town
for the summer, some inevitably dump couches, televisions, clothes
and other items all over city streets. Now, for the first time,
the university and city of Berkeley are joining forces to clean
up after them. Starting Wednesday, they will provide large trash
bins, extra trash pickups, a special recycling station and a trash
hotline staffed by university workers."
"Cherry industry upbeat this year: Growers
and packers anticipating a season with lots of good fruit" writes Reed Fuji in our Times.
"After two seasons in
which bad weather plagued California's cherry crop, this spring
offers hope for a strong supply of good-quality fruit, industry
officials said Monday. Processors are now packing early ripening
varieties and fruit from the southern San Joaquin Valley, while
farmers in San Joaquin County, the state's leading cherry production
area, expect to begin picking the premier Bing variety within
a week or so."
Deutsche telecom is on strike
in Deutschland. Read the DW/TV story is here.
"War-torn Iraq 'facing collapse'" reports the BBC. "Rival factions
are struggling for local supremacy in Iraq.
Iraq faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation,
UK foreign policy think tank Chatham House says."
"City aims to change climate: Saturday
event starts drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent"
reports Kristin Bender of the Oakland Tribune. "During
a five-year period, the city of Berkeley reduced greenhouse gas
emissions by 9 percent, the equivalent of taking more than 12,000
medium-sized cars off the roads.
But with a voter-mandated directive to reduce greenhouse gases
by 80 percent by 2050, Berkeley has a long way to go toward its
"East Bay home sales hit 12-year low: As
rates rise, first-time homebuyers priced out of area, as high-end
home sales skew market median"
reports our Times Barbara E. Hernandez in the best analysis
that I've read of these stats.
"Housing market remains in a funk" writes Martin Crutsinger in our Times.
"Home building posted a small gain in April, but permits
for future construction plunged by the largest amount in 17 years,
a sign that the nation's housing industry is still in a deep slump."
"Data indicate a slowdown ahead for the
U.S. economy: Slumps in housing and core industries suggest hiring
will decline as well" writes
the AP's Candice Choi. "A gauge of future economic activity
showed the U.S.
economy will slow in coming months, reversing recent gains and
suggesting that higher gas prices and a sluggish construction
industry are beginning to take their toll."
"The federal Department of Housing and
Urban Development required the city to create an independent board
the after HUD placed the Housing Authority under 'troubled' status.
That followed charges of sloppy reporting about the way BHA has
been spending HUD's money"
reports our Times.
"Dirigible's visit was
the talk of the town. Berkeleyans were afforded a brief glimpse
of the huge Navy dirigible Akron at noon today when the big ship
circled over the southern part of the city," the Berkeley
Daily Gazette reported May 13, 1932. The full story is here.
"Longtime official remembers
the early days. A May 10, 1932, Berkeley Daily Gazette article
profiled 74-year-old Chris Engebretsen, deputy superintendent
of streets for the city of Berkeley since 1899.
'Do you remember when -- Berkeley for the most
part consisted of West Berkeley?'
the article began."
"Renters who remodel:
Investing a little of your money in a rental can pay dividends
in better living.
When Maggie and Bryan Mason
learned that they were expecting their first child, they decided
to stay in their one-bedroom apartment. 'When I got pregnant,
I felt like digging in and nesting, not starting over,' Maggie
But realizing that changes
would have to be made before Hank's arrival, they converted a
breakfast nook into a nursery."
More from the San Francisco
"Chronicle to cut 25% of jobs in newsroom" reports the Chronicle's Joe Garofoli.
"To cut costs and try
to adapt to a changing media marketplace, The Chronicle will trim
25 percent of its newsroom staff by the end of the summer."
I had breakfast at Riva Cucina
Wednesday morning. Arriving about 8:30, there was just one other
person there and she seemed preoccupied with her lap-top. (The
restaurant is neat, fresh, woody, and well-lit.) But while ordering
from the polite, efficient server the place began fill. Miltiades
Mondros showed up and we sat together, and Regan and friend sat
down across the room--they had a light breakfast. (As Miltiades
and I sat and talked, others began coming in for coffee and food-to-go.)
I had Uova in nido, two poached eggs on top of bed of sauttéed
spinach over a toasted half-roll--perfectly presented and served
with grace, it was subtle and delicious. And the poached eggs
were done perfectly. I was also served a tall glass of good, fresh
water with ice and a lemon slice--ah, refreshing. Oops, the coffee
was ordinary. As I talked with one of the owners, more customers
came and sat down and others ordered at the counter. All-in-all
a VERY pleasant and civilized experience, and I look forward to
lunch and their early dinner. (The napkins are bright-white and
cloth, and my Uova in nido was $6.50.)
Check them out!
Also check out their website,
Yesterday, I took a bike
ride from Potter Creek a few blocks north to the 11th Annual Jazz
at Fourth Street. Music filled the air along with delicious food-smells
and a large, very hip crowed seemed to enjoy themselves on this
perfect day. It was sunny with a slight breeze and cool . . .
and very hip.
At 5:00 PM yesterday in 900 GRAYSON,
two dozen or so people, mostly from the Potter Creek business
community, attended a meeting about crime and vandalism in our
neighborhood. Bob Kubik chaired. Stories were told of regular
break-ins, car-vandalism, and muggings. Among those businesses
represented were Acme Bread, Tulip Graphics and V&W Door.
A member of Heartwood Collective was present as was a craftsman
from Active Space and one of Potter Creek's instrument makers.
People from the French School and CEID were also there. Two representatives
from the City listened. I left early.
Bob Kubik emails
There were about 20 residents
and business people at the meeting plus Angela and Ryan from the
In summary there were mentioned:
16 instances of vandalism/tagging
14 of theft
12 of burglary/break-in
10 of car break-ins
8 of garbage dumping
4 drug dealing
3 car thefts
2 dead bodies
This is not a scientific
compilation, but shows the perception that the group is seriously
concerned about crime in our neighborhood.
There seemed to be agreement
that we should report each instance as it occurs to Officer Frankel
(981-5774), Angela and Ryan - in order to get attention.
A Neighborhood Watch was
suggested by Angela. This has been suggested in the past and not
found fertile ground. If anyone wishes to follow up on this and
organize it - go for it!
"Berkeley dismisses Housing Authority staff
in wake of fraud allegations"
reports Doug Oakley of our Times. "Berkeley's Housing
Authority paid federal rent subsidies to landlords for 15 dead
tenants -- some for at least two years -- according to a pair
of scathing reports delivered to the Berkeley City Council on
Tuesday night. The council responded to the news by firing all
22 employees in the department.
City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque,
who prepared the other report, said that in her 22 years as city
attorney she had never seen such a large problem in any department.
'We have information that could constitute criminal wrongdoing
or fraud,' she said. Albuquerque said she has no idea how much
money was lost. She found fraud in every facet of the department,
everything the housing authority does.'We have evidence they were
just blatantly not following the rules, and it was very, very
Before dawn, someone hopped
the fence behind 900
GRAYSON and stole all of the morning's
butter and egg delivery.
Narssi David and friend had
lunch at 900 yesterday.
Last Friday I went to the
Open House at CEID, Center for Early Intervention of Deafness.
Arriving early, I wandered by myself through the school. What
a wonderful facility! Open, airy, light and colorful, it is filled
with state-of-art equipment--computers, tv-monitors, electronic
gadgets, all-sorts of play-stuff for kids, and testing equipment
for deafness. It's all built around a courtyard playground for
the children that is equiped with great and fun toys . . . and
a SERIOUS slide. Privately funded, it educates deaf-children,
has a day-care center on campus for both hearing and deaf kids
and runs a community program throughout the Bay Area for hearing
impaired kids. Certainly one of the loves of Jill the Director's
life, it has become a great Potter Creek institution. If you'd
like to make a donation or would like information email Becky
Nuckolls here. Or call her
at (510) 848-4800.
"A different twist on
'Oliver' Berkeley Rep gets creative with Dickens" writes
Pat Craig in our Times.
"When the tattered curtain
opens on a frighteningly serious cluster of spooky Victorian characters,
you may be momentarily put off, concerned that you will be either
assaulted by a Dickensian morality tale relevant to contemporary
life, or faced with some die-hards from last winter's Dickens
Fair, intent on administering a few more bitter doses of 19th
Fortunately, you are in for
neither in this wildly innovative and thoroughly engaging new
interpretation of Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' A dramatized
presentation much in Dickens' own words, it is staged as it might
have been in the early 19th century, when the author's novel about
the plight of an orphan boy, swallowed into the wicked underbelly
of London's criminal class, was the talk of the town.
Oh, and it's also as melodramatic
as a high school romance and dripping with a no-nuance style of
good and evil, which lets everyone know where they stand from
the start." Read this full review here.
"The Berkeley Art Museum decided to close
its doors." June
1, 1932. "Located in a building on Shattuck that still stands
just south of the Central Library, the museum was a brainchild
of local director, actor, businessman and impressario Samuel Hume."
"Greenspan fears China market fall"
reports BBC News. "Banking on China's
boom Chinese shares have fallen after former US Federal Reserve
head Alan Greenspan said its stock market was overvalued and due
His remarks had an impact
on markets in the US, Europe and Asia, fanning already prevalent
fears of a slowdown in China's booming economy.
Bob Kubik emails
I believe it is up to each
of us to report what we see to the City in order to get and keep
their attention. The contacts are below:
[AND, 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 people.]
Officer Andrew Frankel, Berkeley
PD - 981-5774 AFrankel@ci.berkeley.ca.us
City Mgr Off - 981-2491 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Lau, aid to Darrell
Moore - 981-7120 email@example.com
Darrell Moore, City Councilman
In response to Bob Kubik's
email about the Wednesday's 900 GRAYSON robbery, Angela Gallegos-Castillo
of the City Manager's Office emails
Thank you for the email Bob
and I'm sorry to hear of this incident.
I'm glad Ofc. Frankel was emailed but I do hope they reported
incident to the police.
I want to thank everyone
for their presence at yesterday's meeting.
I know that being a mixed use residential area makes it challenging
to organize but I want to again encourage you to formally become
neighborhood watch group, even if it's with with those that were
the meeting yesterday. There is always room for organizing more
residents down the line. Again, let us know when you're
ready and we'll be more than happy to go out again with Ofc.
Frankel..he's on board...
"Berkeley council meeting ends at late
hour amid confusion"
writes Martin Snapp of our Times.
"Tuesday night's Berkeley
City Council meeting dissolved in confusion and exhaustion shortly
before midnight when two council members walked out to protest
the lateness of the hour.
The lawmakers were debating
Mayor Tom Bates' Public Commons for All Initiative, a combination
of more social services and tougher law enforcement to curb anti-social
behavior in the city's commercial districts."
"Berkeley residents healthy, life expectancy
Kristin Bender in our Times.
"A health status report
released by the city of Berkeley this week shows residents are
living longer, healthier lives, but there still are startling
inequities in health based on race, where people live, income
and education. . . .
Asthma hospitalizations are
high, particularly among African-Americans and those living in
lower-income areas of southwest Berkeley."
And then Ms Bender offers
a vegan survey in "Vegans,
Seven days a week, bakers
at People's Donuts churn out blueberry, chocolate, vanilla cake,
lemon poppy seed and other sugary sweet doughnuts without using
any animal products."
"Local job market droops: East Bay workers
optimistic despite slump"
writes George Avalos in our Times.
The once-hot pace of job
gains in the East Bay slowed in April, according to a state government
report released [a week ago] Friday.
Today about 4:15 PM, five
Berkeley PD officers responded to a domestic complaint in front
of a parked camper on 8th and Heinz.
"The city of Berkeley offered a $15,000
reward Friday for information leading to the arrest and conviction
of the person responsible for the city's first homicide of the
reports the Chronicle's Henry K. Lee.
"About 6:30 a.m. May
6, Agustine Silva, 19, of Antioch was found dead near Second and
Cedar streets. An autopsy by the Alameda County coroner concluded
that Silva had been beaten, police said. Silva was found by an
employee of a business in the industrial area near Cedar Street
between Interstate 80 and the railroad tracks, said Berkeley police
Sgt. Mary Kusmiss."
Anyone with information is
asked to call Berkeley police homicide investigators at (510)
"Insurance geared for bikes: Shop for a
policy before buying a motorcycle" reports Eve Mitchell in our Times.
Hours can be spent debating
the merits of a Harley-Davidson, a Kawasaki or a Honda. But before
you fall in love with a particular bike, plunk down the money
and ride it out of the showroom, think first about getting an
insurance quote. It could save you a lot of grief."
Wareham continues to make
external, cosmetic upgrades to its Fantasy property--flowers,
newly striped parking spaces . . . oops, structural changes have
begun with many new windows in the west wall.
Rick Auebach reports that
École Bilingue has posted and closed its 8th Street Playground.
Neighbors wishing access should call Antoine at the school--(510)
There will be a meeting of
our Landmarks Preservation Commission, June 7, 7:30 PM at the
North Berkeley Senior Center, MLK and Hearst, to consider making
the 2747 San Pablo building a Structure of Merit. Don't know about
this building, but Auerbach and Lipofsky still are waiting for
Though the City of Berkeley
has offered a $15,000 reward for information about this month's
west-Berkeley murder, Oakland has raised a $22,000 reward for
information about the fatal shooting of 15 Goats-Are-Us, goats.
Am I missing something here?
"Sgt. Pepper's' still
turns us on. Beatles album forever changed way music is made,
played" writes Tony Hicks in our Times.
"'How could they top
('Revolver')? Little did we know that ... we would not only be
topping it, but sending all barriers crashing to the ground.'
said Geoff Emerick, Beatles engineer.
The barriers crashed all
right. It's probably no coincidence that the Beatles wanted the
last impression from the album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts
Club Band" -- the final, massive, slowly waning chord hit
simultaneously on six pianos -- to last 'forever,' Emerick wrote
in his book, 'Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the
Beatles.' It still rings four decades later, as the most memorable
ending of possibly the most significant rock 'n' roll album ever
Released 40 years ago this
week, (yes, go ahead and sing, 'It was 40 years ago today ...'),
'Sgt. Pepper's' changed ... just about everything. And it did
it in a way that, given today's striated and instantaneous cultural
landscape, can probably never be repeated." Read the full
And read my "Musical
Theater on Record" which includes Sgt. Pepper's here.
"NATO Sees Recent Cyber Attacks on Estonia
as Security Issue. Estonian government websites were allegedly
targeted by Russian cyber forces" reports DW-TV.
websites were allegedly targeted by Russian cyber forces.
The massive wave of cyber
attacks which have hit Estonia's websites this month are a security
issue which concern NATO, the Alliance's Secretary General Jaap
de Hoop Scheffer said Friday.
'These cyber attacks have
a security dimension without any doubt and that is the reason
that NATO expertise was sent to Estonia to see what can and should
be done,' he told a meeting of lawmakers from NATO member states
held in Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira.
"China shares fall after tax rise" reports BBC News. "China's main
share index fell 6.5% in Wednesday trading following Beijing's
decision to triple the tax on stock transactions.
With the government aiming
to cool the country's overheated stock markets, the main Shanghai
Composite Index closed down 281.8 points at 4,053.1."
A week ago I posted
"Greenspan fears China market fall"
reports BBC News. "Banking on China's
boom Chinese shares have fallen after former US Federal Reserve
head Alan Greenspan said its stock market was overvalued and due
His remarks had an impact
on markets in the US, Europe and Asia, fanning already prevalent
fears of a slowdown in China's booming economy."
The Wall Street Journal
reports that "consumer confidence rose in May as a strong
job market and rising stocks kept Americans upbeat despite surging
gasoline prices and weakening home values."
The Journal also reports
"Big Internet players are focusing on the new business of
trading in Web site ad space, hoping to create a dynamic market."
Part one of a Journal
series is "'Subprime Aftermath: Losing the Family Home"
by Mark Whitehouse. "Mortgages bolstered Detroit's Middle
Class until money ran out" he reports. Read the full story
in today's Journal.
"MGs set to roll out at Longbridge" reports BBCNews. "The Longbridge
plant Longbridge produced 110,000 cars a year before Rover's collapse
MG Rover's Longbridge factory in Birmingham is due to reopen on
Tuesday under the Chinese ownership of Nanjing Automobile Corporation.
Three new MG TF sports models
are expected to drive off the recommissioned production lines
at the opening ceremony.
The West Midlands plant has
been inactive since MG Rover collapsed in 2005 at a cost of about
But some critics have doubts
about how viable full-scale production will be."
A San Pablo Park neighbor
Thank you, I don't know how
I got on your email list, but I appreciate the
info you provide.
Look for some serious remodeling
from an Ole Time Potter Creeker, . . . sooner than later.
There are still squatters
in some unoccupied Potter Creek buildings.
"Food for Victory" writes Jackie Burrell in our Times.
"War cake relied on
the intense sweetness of dried fruit to cover the lack of sugar.
It was one of the ways home patriots copes when meat, eggs and
produce were scarce.
Long ago, U.S. citizens didn't
show support for their soldiers by slapping magnetic yellow ribbons
on their cars. They rationed their own meat, eggs a'd butter so
the military could eat. They replaced flower borders with vegetables
as liberty" and 'victory gardens" took root. And creative
cooks improvised 'War Cakes' and other recipes that used no eggs
and little leavening."
"Cup runneth over for Peet's chief President
and CEO discusses move to Alameda, new roasting facility and how
the company has grown"
writes our Times, Blanca Torres.
Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc.,
a Bay Area favorite among coffee drinkers, is growing, but at
it's own pace with as much care and consideration as the roaster
puts into its coffee.
The company officially unveils
today a $29 million roasting facility located along the Alameda
shoreline overlooking the Bay and San Francisco.
Patrick O'Dea, the company's
president and chief executive, said the new facility will help
the company double its sales from $250 million this year to $500
million in the coming years."
11:35 AM, VERY SERIOUS irritant
in front room, over-rides HEPA filters, leave. 2:06 PM, VERY,
VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, over-rides HEPA filters,
burning eyes, burning mouth and throat, nausea, leave.
time to report crime!
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.
again stresses I believe it is up to each of us to report what
crime we see, and/or are aware of, to the City in order to get
and keep their attention. The contacts are below:
Frankel, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 AFrankel@ci.berkeley.ca.us
City Mgr Off - 981-2491 firstname.lastname@example.org
aid to Darrell Moore - 981-7120 email@example.com
City Councilman firstname.lastname@example.org
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