Today is Memorial Day



"Bridging the racial divide through religion" is a story by Shelia Byrd in our Times.

"Jesse McGee points to trophies he won in local marathons. He mentions his work with youth and volunteer school programs. He praises his church's efforts to deliver scripture lessons to inmates.

For more than an hour, the 84-year-old church deacon, who is black, chats about his life, largely ignoring the subject at hand: racism.

It isn't until his wife, Warine, sheepishly shares that their son's wife is white that McGee offers a confession: He had been uncomfortable with the union for nearly 30 years - until his Bible study class offered enlightenment." 


Learned a lot with ole friend WD through the years

Read his The music was more impressive than the sound in I learned to love records.

And, he just sent me a copy of "Sunshine State."

It's a movie in which real estate development of Florida property provides a background for stories just about people. It is a small film about black folks, white folks, . . . life.

Or, according to imbd,

"A woman and her new husband returns to her hometown roots in coastal northern Florida, and must deal with family, business, and encroaching real estate development."


In February, our Byron

sent this photo of his class




"Pursuing the best East Bay BBQ," a review by Nicholas Boer in the Times.
"Oh, Bo, must you be so delicious? After stuffing myself on barbecue all weekend - researching this article - I headed to Lafayette to see if Bo's was as good as I'd remembered (I raved when it opened in '99 and have visited several times since). It was all but empty on this early Monday night and I lingered in front of the serve-yourself refrigerator, choosing a Chimay Grand Reserve from a selection that is certified mind-boggling. (William Brand, our straight-shooting beer columnist, recently wrote, 'Bo's has won my heart.')

No sooner had I finessed the cork, yes, cork, out of the bottle, than my two-way ($15.95) brisket and rib plate arrived. Now you've got to understand, I wasn't craving barbecue.
This was my fourth plate in three days. But one bite from a fatty, crackling end bone was enough to make my own heart skip a beat."



"Cal shoots for the stars in athletics" reports Carl Steward in the Times.

"In 1987, former Cal chancellor Ira Heyman gave an impassioned speech before NCAA delegates that appeared to stamp the school's athletic identity forever.

Heyman warned of great dangers that Cal and all colleges faced pursuing an aggressive course in intercollegiate athletics while skewing academic priorities. He advocated a number of radical proposals, including freshman ineligibility for varsity sports, vast reductions in coaching staffs, salaries and athletic scholarships, and an eventual ban on postseason football and basketball games.

'The commercialization of big-time sports and the accompanying emphasis on winning requires engaging in activities that are not good for our institutions or students,' Heyman said.

Fast-forward a little more than 20 years. Not only did the NCAA ignore Heyman's admonitions, so did his own university. In the expanding world of high-priced and high-pressure college athletics, Cal has markedly accelerated its position in the past five years and hopes to shift into an even higher gear over the next five with the hiring of basketball coach Mike Montgomery, along with the construction of a $125 million athletic performance center and a $175 million Memorial Stadium renovation.

Beat Stanford? Absolutely."



"Property rights initiatives triggers rent-control clash" writes Steve Geissinger.

"Whether renting apartments in downtown Oakland or San Francisco, or mobile homes in Concord or Daly City, thousands of residents embrace caps on their rents in one of the most expensive regions in the nation, say opponents of Proposition 98.

The ballot measure would phase out current rent controls and ban new ones, raising tenants' living costs.
Supporters, however, say the measure's primary purpose is to bolster property ownership rights, not benefit landlords.

And therein lies the confusion, analysts say.

Proposition 98, under the umbrella of property rights, would do two significant things: eliminate rent control and limit government seizure of private property through eminent domain."

"Economist challenges government data" writes Sam Zuckerman in the Chronicle. 

"Oakland economist John Williams doesn't seem like the kind of guy to pick fights with the government.
He's slow moving and soft spoken, conservative in politics and personal habits, a pale and portly 59-year-old who favors Oxford shirts, Rep ties and sensible shoes. Williams is the sort who pays his taxes on time, waits when the signal says 'Don't Walk' and snaps to attention when the national anthem is played.

But don't be fooled. The New Jersey native is leading a one-man crusade to expose official economic data as grossly misleading at best and, at worst, a pack of lies.

His Shadow Government Statistics Web site (shadowstats.com) has become a magnet for those convinced that official data put a happy-talk gloss on the nation's economy. The growing popularity of the site, which costs subscribers $175 a year, is testimony to the deep suspicion many Americans harbor about government information as the economy falls into a swoon."


"Where Credit's Due in Capitalist Revolution" reports Peter Bakerin the St Peterburg Times.

"History is written by the winners, and so, according to the dominant narrative in Russia, the 1990s were a period of chaos and corruption that nearly destroyed a great nation before President Vladimir Putin came along to set things right. But what if, in fact, history is more complicated? What if some of what took place in the 1990s was actually responsible, at least in part, for the prosperity Russia enjoys today?

Anders Aslund offers this provocative attack on Russian conventional wisdom in his book 'Russia's Capitalist Revolution: Why Market Reform Succeeded and Democracy Failed.' One of the smartest and best-known among the Western economists who have specialized in Russia over the years, Aslund has tried to rewrite history in a way that challenges the easy assumptions, oversimplifications and prejudices that have built up about the early days of the new Russia."


Bob Kubik emails

On the invitation of an old friend and member of the Bohemian club, I had lunch there last Monday. It was a subgroup of older Bohemians gathered to hear an expert talk about "China, Tibet, and the Dali Lama".  Certainly an informative talk and there were insightful questions from the guys in their eighties and nineties.     

There were five round tables each seating eight in a room about the size of 900 Grayson.  The walls were paintings of men lounging in the Bohemian Grove.  Probably done in the 1920's judging from the clothing and very skillfully done.

Actually there is art everywhere in the club - portraits, sculpture, posters of past musical performances... thick rugs, substantial furniture, paneled walls... as I imagine an eastern establishment men's club would be.

Bob also reports the lecturer said the situation in Tibet is worse than reported in the western-press, with government sponsored re-settlement programs and unexplained deaths of Tibetan leaders. The lecturer also reported that Tibetans really want the Dali Lama to return home.



Berkeley Police Reports are now in our Times here.

Our Ofc Frankel's work, perhaps?


Last week, the Art Store-811 University-manager's Honda Civic was stolen around 11:00 AM from the store's parking lot in broad daylight. 

"Second arrest in Albany bowling alley shooting of bystander" reports the Chronicle's Henry K. Lee.

"Lamonte Pierre Brewer, 19, of Antioch was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder as he was visiting an inmate Wednesday at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, police said.

Terrell Franklin, 21, of Richmond surrendered at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, about 12 hours after he and Brewer got into an argument at the Albany Bowl at 940 San Pablo Ave., police said.

Both Brewer and Franklin pulled out handguns and opened fire. They both missed each other, but one of the bullets hit a 26-year-old man in the leg, police said.

The victim had no connection to either Brewer or Franklin, authorities said. His name was not released."



"Sex Toy Industry on the Rise in Russia" writes Miriam Elder in the St Petesburg Times.

"Glistening skyscrapers and fancy office buildings aren't the only things rising across Moscow these days.
Amid the oil-fueled boom that shows no signs of waning, the splurge in consumer spending has spread beyond iPhones and trips to Paris, to whips and vibrators.

'It was only three or four years ago that people started to use sex toys and speak about sex toys,' said Roman Glukharyov, imports manager for erotica chain Mon Amour.

Surrounded by neon pink dildos, lifelike blow-up dolls, and a massive structure called the "Pleasure Machine," which looked more like a torture device gone wrong, Glukharyov was one of hundreds of people who this weekend attended Moscow's main sex-toy fair, "X-Show: An Exhibit for Adults."

Nestled in the small exhibition hall above the Perekryostok supermarket on Tishinskaya Ploshchad in northern Moscow, the 7th annual X-Show was a far cry from major sex fairs like Berlin's Venus, which last year notched up nearly 30,000 visitors.

About 200 people bustled around the hall on Friday, the middle day of the three-day fair, hoping to seal distribution deals and sell to random customers as a rising middle class proves many Russians have money to spare - for all sorts of leisure items." 

"Read Meat" is a local honky-tonk band--worth checking out.











"twomile wines" is a Potter Creek winery. Check out their website here.


The owners of Sea Salt are opening a pizza place on San Pablo Avenue next to Sea Salt.


Bob Kubik emails a quote from Allen Lacy

"Gardening is not a hobby, and only non-gardeners would describe it as such.  There is nothing wrong with having hobbies, but most hobbies are intellectually limited and make no reference to the larger world.  By contrast, being wholeheartedly involved with gardens is involvement with life itself in the deepest sense.  Indeed.  For could it ever be said about, say, bridge that the way you play a hand has implications for the environment, American cuisine, biological diversity, drug policy, and national identity, not to mention the nature of time and the meaning of place?  A garden, whether we know it or not connects us to the world in many strange and wonderful ways"


"Greetings Foggy Gulch Fans" emails Eric Hughes.
This coming Sunday is not only the first day of June, but is also the day Foggy Gulch plays the Ecole Bilingue Marche in Berkeley! The Marché is an outdoor, authentic European marketplace complete with music, food and specialized vendors - all delightfully French...
 Time we play: 1:10 - 2:00PM (the Marché goes from 11 - 4)
 Place: Ecole Bilingue, 1009 Heinz (at 9th), Berkeley, CA
 Price: Free!
We are also delighted to announce that four new songs are available on our myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/foggygulchband:
"California Stars" is our first recording with the new members of the band John Milton (bass) and Becky Bart (fiddle). Some think this song is the best tune written by Woodie Guthrie you've never heard (apologies to Wilco fans).  It will be featured on a new 4-song EP we'll finish in the next month or so.
"Love Reunited," "Uncle Pen," and "Brand New Heartache" are from our first album, Fogged In , available at http://cdbaby.com/cd/foggygulch
We hope to see you Sunday!
(our next show is at Julie's Coffee and Tea Garden in Alameda on June 17th)
Eric Hughes
Foggy Gulch Band



And, check out the new CD, "Peace, Love & BBQ" by Texas vocalist, Marcia Ball.




"Racial conflicts surface at Berkeley school" reports Doug Oakley of the Times.

"It's been 40 years since Berkeley racially integrated its schools to foster "positive relationships across racial lines," but a group of black parents here claim they and their children are getting just the opposite.

Two of the parents at Oxford Elementary have transferred their kids to other schools since January, claiming racist treatment of their children.

It's a charge other black parents at the school support, but one which the principal and some black staff say is untrue."

Our Byron hipped me to this months ago when he called my attention to his letter in the Planet.



"Cal Performances hosts Robert Lepage's new work on Hans Christian Andersen" writes Karen D'Souza.

"First, Robert Lepage transported theatergoers to the stratosphere with his sublime solo 'The Far Side of the Moon.' Then he upped the ante on multimedia alchemy with Cirque du Soleil's phenomenally successful 'KA' in Las Vegas. Now, the avant-garde theater icon returns to Cal Performances with his latest fusion of high art and high tech, 'The Andersen Project.'



"Fewer protesters at Berkeley Marine recruiting center" reports Kristin Bender of the Tribune.

"It's so calm at the once-embattled United States Marine Corps recruiting center in Berkeley that a group of enlisted men and women were able to have a pizza party inside Tuesday afternoon.

And they didn't have to wade through throngs of screaming protesters to get into their downtown office.
"The interest in the (Marine recruiting center) has waned. (The protesters) have been pretty well-behaved lately," said police spokesman Officer Andrew Frankel."



There is an "Affordable housing controversy in Oakley" writes Paula King in the Times.

"The construction of 316 affordable housing units is nearing completion amid vineyards, light industrial businesses and a school. But some Oakley residents fear the low-income housing project opening this summer will result in more crime and adversely affect the quality of life."




"Big BANG Labor Boom: Union Vote Set for Bay Area Papers" is a report by Richard Brenneman in our Planet.

"Media mogul Dean Singleton's union-busting moves at his Bay Area newspapers have hit a major roadblock-a regional unionization vote scheduled for next month." 



"Teens sought for Livermore mural project" reports Eric Kurhi Staff of the Times.

"Teens with a streetwise sense of art are being sought for a weeklong program that will have them creating several public murals this summer.

'Pathway to Picasso' is the continuation of last year's 'Vandals 2 Vermeer' program, which took youths who had been in trouble with school or law enforcement for illegally creating graffiti and had them turn their talents into a three-piece mural with a global warming theme.

Oakland artist Andrew Johnstone took them to Pixar Studios in Emeryville, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, and a Mission District alley well known for its complex clandestine murals.

Their work was put on display at the city's Multiservice Center.

While the name has changed - 'Not everyone was happy about having their child labeled a vandal,' said Lynne Siwula, the city's youth and family services manager - the program is essentially the same."


"Bleak outlook for housing, credit" reports J.W. Elphinstone of the AP.

"Not since George H.W. Bush ran the White House have consumers felt so downbeat about the economy. And the catalyst for much of the gloom - the housing slump - shows no signs of abating, new data Tuesday showed.

With Americans losing sleep over rising inflation and tight credit, the housing market is unlikely to rebound soon, spelling more pain for the economy.
'The consumer has no more money to spend,' said Dan Alpert, managing director at the investment bank Westwood Capital. 'The only way the economy is not going to recede is if someone cooks the books.' " 







"Beyond Repair" has worked on my cars and trucks for over 30 years. I believe Mike and his crew are among the best, if not the best, independent shops for Japanese vehicles in the Bay Area. I can't say enough for his honesty, knowledge and top notch service. "Beyond Repair" is at 2147 San Pablo and their phone is 510-845-7700. DEFINITELY check them out!


Tomorrow, Sunday, is the French School's Bon Marché. It starts at 11:00 AM and it's FREE. Check it out at the 9th Street campus.There is music all day! Foggy Gulch plays at 1:00PM.


Kubik emails

The Regan designed condo at 919 Pardee is for sale at $849,000.  Open house . . . Sunday.  Two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, very minimalist design, high quality, but rather small...



"Man fatally shot is 6th homicide of year" reports the Chronicle's Henry K. Lee.

"A man shot and killed in Berkeley was identified by police Friday as 29-year-old Anthony 'Tony' Beamon.

Beamon, who lived in Berkeley, was found mortally wounded about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday in front of 1536 Tyler St., near Ashby Avenue and Sacramento Street at the south end of town, police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.

Beamon was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he was pronounced dead.

Bullets from the shooting hit a home and parked car, but no other victims were found, Kusmiss said.

No arrests have been made and no motive has been established in the slaying, Berkeley's sixth homicide this year."




"Berkeley student, 16, to test English Channel" writes Elizabeth Fernandez of the Chronicle.

Delia Salomon, a Berkeley 16-year-old, hopes to become one of the elite few.

The high school sophomore intends to swim across the English Channel, among the most daunting of all athletic endeavors. It's a feat so rigorous that more people have reached the summit of Mount Everest than have swum to the shores of France.

There's the current - if it's rough, which it usually is, you can wind up drifting toward Belgium.

There's the choppy water - for every forward stroke, you can lose two.

There's the jellyfish - numerous Channel attempts have come to painful, premature ends because of jellyfish stings.

And there's the cold - at 55 or so degrees, the water is so frigid it takes the air out of your lungs."


"Sprint star leaves anger of Richmond childhood behind" writes Jeff Faraudo of our Times.

"For most of her life, Charonda Williams replaced absent parents with something that seemed unlikely ever to leave her - anger.
'I just had so much anger and animosity toward teenagers who had both parents. I never had'that,' the 21-year-old Richmond native said. 'If anyone said something to me, I just snapped."

For years, Williams regularly found herself embroiled in fights, usually with girls. Not arguments, but knock-down,

'She got kicked out of every school she was at because of her temper,' said her grandmother, Mary Spraggins, who raised Williams. 'I spilled a lot of tears and said many prayers for that little girl.'

Those prayers, it seems, are being answered. And not just because Williams, a junior at Arizona State, won Pac-10 track and field sprint titles two weeks ago in the 100 and 200 meters."



"East Bay-Then and Now: Bohemian Jewish Butchers Dominated Downtown Meat Trade" writes Daniella Thompson in our Planet.

"Among the fortune seekers lured to northern California by the Gold Rush, the Jewish contingent was small but significant. Jewish immigrants would go on to play an important role in the economic and cultural development of the Bay Area, and Berkeley was no exception. Although early accounts rarely discuss Berkeley's Jewish community, some members figured among the young town's prominent citizens.

One pioneer Jewish family-the Fischels-established itself in downtown Berkeley in the late 1870s, gradually acquiring land around the Shattuck-University axis. A few of the buildings they erected are still with us today." 



"UN warns about higher food costs" reports BBC NEWS.

"Higher food prices may be here to stay as demand from developing countries and production costs rise, says the UN's Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

It warned that the current spike in global food prices was higher than previous records, partly because bad weather had ruined crops.

Although high prices will ease off, other factors, such as rising biofuel demand, will keep future costs high." 


"Dow: Country in 'true energy crisis'; ups prices" reports the AP's James Pritchard.

"Better start stocking up on diapers and detergent.

Consumers hit hard in recent months by sharply higher prices for gasoline and food should prepare to start paying more for various household items following Dow Chemical Co.'s decision to raise its prices by up to 20 percent to offset the soaring cost of energy.

The company, which announced the price increases Wednesday, took the unusual step of directing blame at the nation's energy policy makers." 


But, "Economy down, Spam sales up" reports Emily Fredrix of the AP.

"MILWAUKEE - Love it, hate it or laugh at it - at least it's inexpensive.

Sales of Spam - that much maligned meat - are rising as consumers are turning more to lunch meats and other lower-cost foods to extend their already stretched food budgets.

What was once cheeky, silly and the subject of a musical (as Monty Python mocked the meat in a can), is now back on the table as people turn to the once-snubbed meat as costs rise, analysts say." 




"Digital arts festivals take over Bay Area" writes Laura Casey of the Times.

"In the ever-changing world of digital arts, one thing remains constant: The Bay Area is North America's new-media hub.

At no time with this be more evident than next week, as two major Bay Area digital arts festivals welcome the public to admire, participate and enjoy.

Starting Sunday, the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive will host Berkeley Big Bang 08, a three-day event featuring talks, digital arts displays and an open house. Big Bang 08 is timed to precede a bigger event in San Jose, the biennial 01SJ: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge (June 4-8).

Both festivals are celebrating what is commonly known as 'electronic art,' which uses computers in some form to get a message across." 


"Sony launches clear, tube-shaped speaker" reports Yuri Kageyama in the Chronicle.

"Sony, the company that brought you the egg-shaped music player and the dog-like robot, has now created the transparent tube speaker.

Called Sountina - a combination of 'sound' and 'fountain' - the $9,600 acrylic speaker goes on sale June 20 in Japan with sales elsewhere still undecided."


My husband-in-law, painter Michael Beck has a new gallery. Check out Artzone 461 here.



"Unpopularity Irks Germans" reports Erik Kirschbaum in the St Petersburg Times.

"Germans fretted about being unloved in Europe on Sunday after their most popular band of the last decade got zero points from 40 of 42 countries in the Eurovision Song Contest and they ended up sharing last place.
'Why doesn't anyone like us?' asked Bild am Sonntag newspaper after Germany had yet another horrendous showing in the annual contest watched by more than 100 million viewers.



Eternally useful links

You can find more information about our current weather conditions than is good for you at www.wunderground.com

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out http://sv.berkeley.edu/view/ This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor, Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets more hits than Scrambled Eggs.


Best gas prices in 94710, as well as all of US and Canada, are here at gasbuddy.com

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.


Richmond Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very

useful link

If you ever need to get a human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc., this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get you to a human being within a few seconds.



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


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


Our Berkeley PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.


Berkeley Police Reports are now in our Times here.

Crime Log for 94710 is here

This site is NOT affiliated with Berkeley PD.
Take time to report crime!

All reports of crime-in-progress should first go to Berkeley PD dispatch--911 or non-emergency, 981-5900. THEN make sure you notify EACH of these City people.

The contacts are below:

Our new Area Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.

Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491 agallegos-castillo@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 rlau@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Darryl Moore, City Councilman dmoore@ci.berkeley.ca.us


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

Journal of Recorded Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11



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