5/1/08, after 5/8/08,
Grainger Industrial Supply is moving into the building on 7th and Ashby
after an extensive remodel
including new sidewalks.
"Sometimes Berserkeley isn't so berserk
after all" reports
Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Many ideas spawned
in Berkeley - and roundly mocked by the rest of the country -
have taken root and have been adopted by cities everywhere. Among
them: police radios, a ban on Styrofoam, health benefits for domestic
partners and a switch to biodiesel for city cars.These and other
Berkeley firsts are part of a painstakingly researched show at
the Berkeley History Center that chronicles the city's long history
of civic innovation."
Hmmm,. . . biodiesel for
city cars? So that would mean we are in the forefront of a possible
world food crisis?
Ms Jones and our Historical
Society have missed several firsts.
Sometime in 1962, Al Braver,
the owner of Campus SmokeShop and Campus Records at Bancroft and
Telegraph, declared the Campanile to be the Center of the Universe--many
professors agreed. Some of our original feminists took exception,
In the 1970s, Moe developed
the used bookstore--it becoming not just a play-thing of otherwise
unemployable intellectuals--and so Moe's Books and Records becomes
a real business.
At Moe's in the 1980s, I
invent the collectible LP. I figure, if Baldock and Wong can sell
collectible books, I can sell collectible records. Customers protest
at prices of $4 and $5.
Also in the 1980s, Mike and
Richards Haley invent the California breakfast at The Buttercup.
They also develop croissants, proving Americans will eat, even
enjoy, foreign food.
"LSD inventor Albert Hofmann dies"
reports BBC NEWS.
"Albert Hofmann, the
Swiss chemist who discovered the hallucinogenic drug LSD, has
died of a heart attack at his home in Basel at the age of 102."
Before it was outlawed, the
best "acid" in Berkeley was made by grad-students at
the Biochemistry Department.
"El Cerrito man shows
you can fight City Hall" writes Chip Johnson in our Chronicle.
" Who says you can't fight City Hall?"
"Week's Second Shooting Alarms North Oakland
Richard Brenneman of our Planet.
"An early Monday evening running gun battle left one man
critically injured and police searching for a lime green car which
had struck several cars during an exchange of gunfire with a pedestrian.
The dramatic shootout happened
on Whitney Street, between 59th and 60th Streets, and apparently
concluded just doors away from the 59th Street home where a North
Oakland man shot a burglar last week after he broke a front door
Our ActivSpace, 2703 7th
Street, also has a website. Check it out here.
designs, and imports folkart
see it at ActivSpace 106
and email her here
to honor Latino culture and history advances:The House votes to
create a commission to look into building the National Museum
of the American Latino in the nation's capital." reports
James Hohmann of the Los Angeles Times.
"Four years ago, a museum
celebrating the history and culture of Native Americans opened
at the east end of the National Mall. Within a decade, one honoring
the contributions of African Americans will be erected on the
west end, near the Washington Monument. Yet Latinos, the nation's
largest and fastest-growing minority, have no museum of their
own in the nation's capital.
But the National Museum of
the American Latino came one step closer to reality Tuesday when
the House, by a vote of 291 to 117, approved legislation that
includes creation of a commission to study the feasibility of
building such a facility."
"Puppets, video are opera's new bedfellows" reports Carolyne Zinko in the Chronicle.
"There are no lions
and tigers and bears at the Berkeley Opera's latest offering,
a double-bill program of Maurice Ravel's 'L'Enfant et les Sortileges'
and Bela Bartok's 'Bluebeard's Castle,' opening Saturday. Nonetheless,
audiences are in for an "oh my" of the sort uttered
by Dorothy Gale in the land of Oz when they cast their eyes on
oversize frog puppets, cartoon-like singing teapots and Impressionistic
paintings that are projected and meld digitally in layers on a
14-foot by 24-foot screen behind the singers, doubling as moody
backdrop and stage set.
Such theatrics - enlisting
the talents of painter and computer artist Naomie Kremer for 'Bluebeard'
and the Berkeley artist Ariel Parkinson for the Ravel piece -
are not intended as mere technological antics, but to make the
stories come alive for viewers."
"Rundown homes may bring fine" reports Barbara E. Hernandez of oour Times.
"Homeowners tired of
foreclosed homes destroying property values with weed-choked lawns,
vandalism and squatters, may get help from the state Legislature
which could approve fines up to a $1,000 a day for those lenders
who don't keep up their bank-owned properties.
Legislation authored by Senate
President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, would give notice to
property residents that the foreclosure process has begun, provide
tenants additional time to move from a foreclosed property and
mandate maintenance of foreclosed properties to prevent harming
values of neighboring homes."
"The US economy grew
at an annual pace of 0.6% in the first three months of 2008, slightly
faster than expected" reports BBC NEWS.
"The US Commerce Department
figures exceeded analyst expectations of an annualised growth
rate of 0.2% and eased fears of a recession."
"Many ways to share slice of the stimulus
pie" report Anastasia
Ustinova and Jill Tucker, in the Chronicle.
"On the one hand, a
recession is looming; on the other hand, there's a sale on flat-screen
With the first federal rebates hitting bank accounts Monday, recipients
are mulling over what to do with the windfall:
The president says spend
it. Your mother says save it. And then there are those pesky bills
Canned Food has "Simply
Enjoy : dessert assortment" for around $4-$5--"European
pastries with custard, vanilla and cappuccino cream, enrobed in
Belgian chocolate." Made in Holland.
"Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan" is a Times observation.
"Some prankster must have pasted a Post-it note saying 'kick
me' on the back of Alan Greenspan's shirt. He seems to be getting
the blame for the sub-prime mess because he failed to consider
that unbridled capitalism has a tendency to eat its seed corn
His autobiography, 'Alan
Greenspan - the Age of Turbulence' starts out by discussing his
early days spent in the New York salon of Ayn Rand, the novelist
and philosopher who wrote 'Atlas Shrugged' and 'The Fountainhead.'
Getting only that far, I set Greenspan's book aside and picked
up a dog-eared 1,200-page copy of 'Atlas Shrugged.'
It was just as I remembered
from my first reading about 40 years ago. Philosophically speaking,
anyone working for the government is a bumbling idiot, and industrialists
working in collusion with the government to create dysfunctional
monopolies are even worse. The heroes are charismatic people who
work independently and who manage to succeed in spite of government
interference and the palace intrigue of what Eisenhower labeled,
'the military industrial complex.' In Ayn Rand's world, it was
collusion between government and railroad people."
"US deep in debt and still digging:You're
paying for the nation's debt addiction through both direct and
indirect taxes. And unfortunately, Uncle Sam is going to need
more money." reports
Jim Jubak of MSN.
"A not-so-subtle reminder
that nothing in life is certain but debt and taxes:The taxes you
paid on your recently filed 1040 included roughly $4,300 to cover
your household's annual share of the interest payments on the
$9.4 trillion in public debt owed by the U.S. government.
That $9.4 trillion is just
part of what we as a nation owe collectively. There's also the
$700 billion trade deficit we ran up in 2007 as a result of importing
more than we exported.
And then there's what we
owe individually. Like the $950 billion in credit card debt we
owed as of the end of March.
And the $1.6 trillion in
auto loans and other nonrevolving debt.
Face it: We live in a debt-addicted
One day, the bill for all
that debt will come due."
"Low Spending Is Taking Toll on Economy" reports Peter S Goodman of the New York
"Beleaguered American consumers appear to have succumbed
to the pressures of falling home prices and shrinking
"GM posts loss of $3.3B on weak US auto
market, charges" reports
"General Motors Corp.
struggled to a $3.3 billion first-quarter loss, due in part to
a weak U.S. market, a strike at a major parts supplier and plummeting
sales of sport utility vehicles and pickups.
The nation's biggest automaker
also cut its industrywide U.S. sales outlook for the year. The
company disclosed earlier this week it was cutting production
of some of its slow-selling trucks and SUVs."
The First and Last Chance
met at our Bakery Cafe before
their 4/27 Sunday morning ride.
Check them out here.
Our Dave Kruse now, now-and-then
commutes to work on his Vespa.
"Ansel Adams's Yosemite" by Miki Meek, Amy O'Leary and Tom Jackson is
in the New York Times.
"Hear the back story
on the photographer's iconic images from his former assistant."
Potter Creeker, Eva Brook
We met yesterday at the crime meeting. I have been reading your
Potter Creek updates and I love it . . . very informative and
I love your sense of humor!
Susan Brooks is having an
Open Studio this Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 5PM and this Monday
from12 to 5PM.
Susan Brooks' studio is at
2547 8th Street in 24a. Her phone is 510-845-2612. Check out her
work on her website here.
Her studio is always open on Thursdays from Noon to 5 PM and by
Susan emails "lots of
jewelry and art."
"Huge rally in Cuba marks May Day:Thousands
marched through Havana on May Day 2008" reports BBC NEWS.
"Hundreds of thousands
of Cubans are attending a May Day parade in Havana honouring the
"Iconic Berkely shop slated to close" writes Kristin Bender in our Times.
"For the better part
of a century, it was the place to go for a tuna melt and a chocolate
malt or a tube of toothpaste. It was a drugstore, a pharmacy and
a soda fountain all in one, and the place at College Avenue and
Russell Street was like no other in the Bay Area.
It was loved by old guys
who came daily for a strong cup of black coffee, youngsters sneaking
an after-school chocolate bar and neighbors who could walk over
to pick up some aspirin.
The pharmacy went first,
about four years ago, along with the white-coated workers, victims
of insurance company policies that had slowly cut back on reimbursements,
making it financially impossible to continue refilling
Ozzie's Soda Fountain with
its round, red vinyl seats and Formica counter where generations
of people had eaten grilled-cheese sandwiches and sucked down
lime rickies, closed last year.
In mid-May the drugstore, now called Elmwood Health & Mercantile,
will also close."
"One of the top nuclear engineering students
at UC Berkeley was fatally stabbed in the chest early Saturday
and within 12 hours investigators had arrested the man suspected
of killing him with a buck knife, police said."
reports Kristin Bender in the Times.
was slain in the rear parking lot of a Warring Street sorority
a few blocks from the Cal campus, and police said a 20-year-old
Berkeley man has admitted to the stabbing. Wootton, a member of
the Sigma Pi fraternity, was set to graduate at the top of his
class later this month, said Mark Hanna, the Sigma Pi chapter
Killings of UC Berkeley students
are rare, with only two others slain in the past 16 years."
"Class action suit filed against steel
plant" reports Doug
Oakley of our Times.
"Seventy nine year-old
Rose Evans has lived in west Berkeley for 47 years, but only recently
did she figure out that the awful smell in the air might be coming
from the steel plant down the street.
'Some times it smells so
bad you start feeling sick and your eyes start watering,' Evans
said. 'I didn't know what it was until those people came along
and left a flier on my doorstep.'
The flier, left by community
activists who are fighting Pacific Steel Casting, described the
symptoms that she, her late husband, seven children and five grand
children have experienced over the years: a dry cough, sore throat,
itchy skin and a plain old wretched feeling."
"Man using stolen credit
cards, police say" reports Doug Oakley.
"Police are asking for help in finding a serial thief who
is using stolen credit cards to withdraw cash and go shopping
. He has stolen $20,000 in cash and goods so far, police say.
Surveillance cameras have
captured images of the suspect withdrawing cash from ATMs in San
Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley.
The suspect is described
as an African American man in his 20s or 30s, between 5-foot-8
and 5- foot-10, with a medium build and possibly sporting a goatee,
police said. He also drives a gold Acura RL sedan.
Anyone with information can
call Berkeley police at 510-981-5737 or 510-981-5900, and mention
"Fed zeros in on credit card industry" writes the AP's Jim Abrams.
"The Federal Reserve
and other regulators initiated steps Friday to end "unfair
and deceptive" credit card industry
The proposed rules would
be the biggest clampdown on the industry in decades, aiming at
protecting people from credit card companies that arbitrarily
raise interest rates or don't give borrowers adequate time to
pay their bills.
The proposals would also
restrict such lender practices as allocating all payments to balances
with lower interest rates when a borrower has balances with different
The Fed board voted Friday
to approve the recommendations."
"Buffett sees credit crisis easing" reports BBC NEWS.
"Investment guru Warren
Buffett says the worst of the global credit crunch is over for
Wall Street, but not for the man or woman on the street.
The chief executive of Berkshire
Hathaway said there would be 'a lot of pain to come' for mortgage
And BBC NEWS reports
jobs data gives positive shock.
US job figures have surprised Wall Street, falling less than expected
and shifting the balance of opinion towards analysts not predicting
The US economy lost 20,000
jobs in April, according to non-farm payrolls figures from the
Earlier in the week, the
Federal Reserve cut interest rates, but reduced its stress on
the risks to the economy.
As a result of the upbeat news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
stock index opened more than 100 points higher."
"Baby boomers, Latinos leaving California:Census
data show groups increasing in numbers elsewhere" reports Mike Swift in the Times.
"California may be loosening its grip on two groups that
helped define the Golden State during the 20th Century - aging,
predominantly white baby boomers and Latinos.
New U.S. Census data being
released today shows that the state's white population is shrinking
- particularly in the Bay Area.
From 2000 to 2006, the San
Jose and San Francisco metro areas saw their white population
decline by more than 200,000, trailing only the New York City
Meanwhile, Texas has replaced
California as the leader in the nation's Latino growth surge.
California is still adding Latinos - but the growth of that population
in Texas from 2006 to 2007 outstripped California's by more than
What's happening with the
white population is not classic 'white flight,' demographers say,
but a departure of middle-income people for economic reasons.
'It's kind of an ongoing
middle-class flight in an area that's very pricey,' said Bill
Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer who analyzed the Census
numbers. 'I think the steady state for coastal California, especially
the Bay Area, will be people leaving that can't afford to stay,
given the housing prices and the cost of living.' Since the Bush
v. Gore election of 2000, whites have lost their status as a majority
of the voting-age population in California, with their share of
the 18 and over population slipping from 51.9 percent in 2000
to about 47 percent in 2007.
For Latinos, too, the California
economy is driving changes in migration patterns.
'California has become less of a magnet overall as Hispanics continue
to disperse to other states, including Texas,' Frey said. 'The
Texas economy has been strong during this period, and because
housing prices have been lower, (the state) attracted domestic
migrants as well as immigrants.' "
"Foreclosures leave long trail of blight:Richmond
City Council forms committee to tackle vandalism, trash, squatters,
drug use" writes
Katherine Tam of the Times.
"Overgrown weeds. Trash abandoned in yards. Vandals stripping
homes of copper and whatever they can sell for cash. Squatters
moving in. Drug use.
Foreclosed homes that go
dark and neglected are leaving behind a trail of blight that Richmond
officials and neighbors fear makes neighborhoods unsightly and
"France to double food aid budget" reports BBC NEWS.
"France is to double
its food aid for poor countries this year, to counter a sharp
rise in global food prices, President Nicolas Sarkozy has said.
President Sarkozy said the
emergency food aid budget would rise to 60m euros (£47.5m;
He said 37 countries were
'going through a very serious food crisis'.
Earlier this week, US President
George W Bush ordered the release of 127m euros (£100.5m;
$200m) of emergency aid to counter the food shortages."
Cinco De Mayo. Cinco De Mayo commemorates the defeat of the French
army by the Mexicans
at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. For more information see Cinco
de Mayo History.
Ryan Lau emails an important
The community crime meeting tomorrow will be a much broader
discussion about crime than the Potter Creek meeting. In
fact, Angela from Neighborhood Services, Officers Frankel
and Buckheit as our new and old Area Coordinator, a representative
from the Oakland Police Department and a deputy district
attorney have all confirmed. And we have invited Angela's Oakland
counterpart from neighborhood services and I believe Lt. Greenwood
from the Community Services Bureau is coming as well.
I think that it will be very useful information to people, partly
because of the number of recent incidents, ie. the Subway Sandwich
robbery that Ofc. Frankel mentioned at the Potter Creek meeting,
but there was also a shooting incident this past Friday at Bob's
Liquor on the corner of Sacramento and Oregon, but also for community
members to hear about all of the proactive steps that the police
department and the City is taking to address the escalation in
crime. Here are the meeting details again.
Community Crime Meeting at San Pablo Park
In response to the string of recent takeover robberies in the
District, Councilmember Darryl Moore will be holding a meeting
at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, May the 7th at the Frances Albrier Recreation
Center to address concerns of neighborhood residents and business
owners in the area.
Who: Councilmember Darryl Moore
What: Community Crime Meeting
When: 7:00 PM on Wednesday, May the 7th
Where: Frances Albrier Recreation Center in San Pablo Park, 2800
Park Street between Russell and Ward Streets
Why: To discuss the recent takeover robberies and general escalation
Tensions have been running high with a number of takeover robberies
throughout April and the seasonal spike in vehicle and home burglaries,
drug activity, graffiti and vandalism. Councilmember Moore
will be bringing representatives from Neighborhood Services and
the Police Departments from both Berkeley and Oakland as
well as a Deputy District Attorney to discuss crime issues,
including whether or not the recent string of robberies in Berkeley
is related to the series of robberies in Oakland and what type
of cross-jurisdictional cooperation is occurring to assist in
the resolution of the Berkeley robberies, as well as proactive
steps that the Police Department and the City are taking to address
the escalation in crime.
Sincerely, Ryan Lau council-aide
to Darryl Moore
Our Good Vibrations has posted
a private guard.
Two interesting observations
surfaced at last Thursdays' Potter Creek crime watch meeting--an
estimated 50% of Berkeley crime is committed by those outside
Berkeley-non residents--and crime was down from last years' in
the months just before the recent epidemic.
Natalie's First Communion
"Drunken row preceded student's fatal stabbing"
report the Chronicle's
Demian Bulwa and Peter Fimrite.
"Berkeley police are
investigating how an alcohol-fueled argument outside a UC Berkeley
sorority house Saturday ended in the fatal stabbing of a Cal student.
In the sorority's dark parking
lot before 3 a.m. Saturday, two groups of young men were shouting
profanities at each other, while women in the Chi Omega sorority
were watching and screaming, "Stop! Stop!"
But it didn't stop until
Christopher Wootton, a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity, staggered
out of the group, fatally wounded by a knife.
Like that, the events of
a few minutes ended the life of a promising engineering student
and put a Berkeley City College student in jail on suspicion of
"A useful business/government partnership" writes Chip Johnson in his Chronicle
"Merchants and property
owners on the north edge of downtown Oakland are tired of waiting
for scant city resources for security and streetscape improvements
- so they have banded together and decided to help themselves.
Former Mayor Jerry Brown's
vision to build an artsy uptown district packed with coffee shops,
wine bars and restaurants is starting to take shape, with private
citizens and businesses taking the lead.
One example is a unique arrangement
between business owners and city officials, who have granted a
new wine bar exclusive use of Franklin Square, a small piece of
land that city officials say is excess public property, in exchange
for $40,000 in city funds to improve and maintain it.
The deal was struck between
wine bar owner Rick Mitchell, who also owns the popular Luka's
Taproom & Lounge across the street."
"Pork, chicken prices may rise in next
wave of food inflation" reports
Ellen Simon of the AP.
"Americans may be getting
another helping of food inflation, and it seems likely to come
from higher prices for chicken and pork.
Overall food inflation could
double this year, lifted by the rising costs of fuel, corn and
soybeans, some analysts predict."
"What's cooking? Chili competition in Castro
"It's time for the annual
showdown to find the best of the Bay.
Chili, that is.
In a break from tradition,
the 17th tastebud-tingling Chili Cook-off - a prelude to the Rowell
Ranch Rodeo - will be held Friday in the rodeo grounds in Dublin
"US mortgage firm deal 'at risk'" reports BBC NEWS.
"A deal for Countrywide
Financial, the third largest US mortgage lender, to sell itself
to the Bank of America may be at risk, analysts have suggested.
The bank may renegotiate
the deal or walk away completely, some say."
Potter Creek crime-watch-meeting
Thursday evening May 1st,
there was a Potter Creek crime-watch-community-meeting hosted
by our Councilman, Darryl Moore. It was held in the new meeting-room
at the Ashby Lofts on 9th. The meeting began at just after 7:00
PM. Over 20 attended, about half of which were Loft residents.
Ryan Lau, Officers Frankel and Buckheit, and Angela Gallegos-Castillo were
Councilman Moore opened the
meeting with a short introduction and then turned it over to Officer
Andrew Frankel. Officer Frankel began by reading a Berkeley PD
report on west-Berkeley-crime that included a new restaurant robbery--the
Subway shop on University, east of San Pablo. He then introduced
our new Area Coordinator, Officer Karen Buckheit.
Officer Andrew then
opened the meeting to comments.
Most vocal were the half-dozen
or so loft-residents. They passionately expressed the belief that
the Lofts were being watched by "shady characters."
(An observation shared by employees of the Wells Fargo bank, immediately
across from the housing facility. In fact, I was told the previous
week by the employees that they noticed an increase in loitering
in the neighborhood and that Wareham Security, responsible
for patrolling the Wareham building and parking lot, had
"moved along" people sitting in parked-cars in the lot.)
The residents told of dumping, vehicles being broken into, vandalism
around the Lofts--including window-breaking and the theft of their
security cameras, the theft of a vehicle and perceived drug
dealing around the Lofts.
A few other Potter Creek residents told of similar experiences,
including a city truck giving a ride to "known trouble makers"
on 10th Street the previous Saturday.
The Loft residents were also
concerned about the vacant lot on the buildings east as it seemed
to draw "unsavory characters." They believed the
auto-yard (Husteads) and the parked campers did the same.
Angela then took the floor
and explained some of our city's outreach programs and the Neighborhood
Watch Program. Residents expressed great interest in the
Watch, one man exclaiming "Let's start this Saturday!"
(These folks like their brand-new facility and desperately want
a larger police presence and a reduction of crime.)
Our Rick expressed concern
over Charles, a Potter Creek icon who has lived in the empty
lot to the east of the building for years. Rick was assured by
the residents that, though Charles had been "moved out,"
he was now being helped by one of the residents.
The meeting adjourned
with most present wanting something-to-be-done, and done-now,
with many eager to help--not just talk.
a picture is worth a thousand
but this one doesn't show
the couple's child, where Andrew's looking,
having just burst into our
meeting with a really urgent problem for mom and dad
couple more pictures
of our Thursday
evening crime meeting are here
photos are here
Merryll's workshop PG&E
service was opened and its wires cut.
A while back the copper mailboxes
and downspouts were stolen from the8th and Carleton condos.
There is an increased police
presence in Potter Creek right now.
A reader emails
I am trying to locate a lady
mentioned in your posting for Feb 2007, Dorothy Mitchell-Irwin,
who attended a garden party and reminisced about her Pearl Harbor
experience. She was "down from Redlands," a 91-year-old
cousin of "Sally," who hosted the party. I am researching
the civilian contractor group that she worked for at Pearl and
would very much like to contact Dorothy. If you can give me any
other information about her, or perhaps a last name and contact
info for her cousin, Sally, I'd sure appreciate it.
I forwarded this to Sally
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.
Best gas prices in 94710,
as well as all of US and Canada, are here
Kimar finds Costco routinely
has the lowest price.
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
Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music
Journal of Recorded Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
The original owner
of all scanned material retains copyright. The material is used
only to illustrate