our Berkeley hole




Mixed use in name only? I'm told my Potter Creek mail-route serves 17 "residences" and "way, way over 100" businesses.



Ryan Lau emails

I wanted to remind everyone that we have a Community Walk coming up on Wednesday, October 3rd but the time has been changed to 6:30PM at El Nopal, 3136 Sacramento St. A Community Walk might seem
insignificant, given all of the recent crime, but the concept of the Community Walks really came as a response to much of the crime issues that have arisen lately, ie. shooting incidences, graffiti, property crimes. We thought that the best way to combat crime in a proactive way is to help build community and this way, as a community, we can
approach the issue in a much more comprehensive manner, much the way that neighborhood associations function. The route is included on the flyer and is intended to increase the visibility of neighbors in
community to demonstrate solidarity. Remember, the best way to resolve problems is as a community, we hope to see you there.

The Berkeley Police Department need your help in the search for a suspect wanted in connection with the homicide last Saturday on the 1800 block of 8th Street.

The diligent work of our Berkeley Police Department has resulted in two arrests in connection with the Berkeley's first murder of the year. Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Homicide Detectives have arrested the two men responsible for the May 6, 2007 murder of Agustine James Silva Jr. at 2nd and Cedar Streets.

[The Crime Log for 94710 is here]

On a lighter note, Pools for Berkeley, a group of parents, lap swimmers, and pool enthusiasts, is sponsoring a meeting about the potential for an Aquatic Center at West Campus on Wednesday, October 10, 7PM, City of Berkeley Corporation Yard
Meeting Room, 1326 Allston Way. Berkeleys pools need more usage and popularity and an Aquatic Center at West Campus would be a big step forward. Come here our ideas and bring your own for an open discussion. Refreshments


Berkeley residents can get free energy-efficient light bulbs courtesy of Pacific Gas & Electric at three events hosted by the City of Berkeley.
Wednesday, October 3rd
10 a.m. --2 p.m.
Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza
Wednesday, October 3rd
5-6:30 p.m.
Francis Albrier Community Center
Saturday, October 6th
9 a.m. --- 12 Noon
Eighth Street Fire Station, between Dwight and Channing. Note: This event will also host a Lead Painted Toy & Jewelry Recall collection. Bring all toys, jewelry, or lunchboxes suspected of containing lead for proper disposal.


Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore



"Berkeley to modify graffiti notices: After property owners said citation and fine were too harsh, city will issue courtesy notices Oct. 8" reports Doug Oakley in our Times.

So, . . . you can verbally abuse our Council members and behave anti-socially in their Chambers but our City Administration has to honey-coat graffiti-removal notices sent to property owners?

You couldn't give me a city job.


Chris Readway writes about graffiti in our Times. "A communitywide effort in San Jose has resulted in a 99 percent-plus drop in tagging and other graffiti since 1997, according to Rob Boyles, who addressed the Richmond Beautification Committee this week.

Demand for the secrets and success of the San Jose program has been so great that Boyles and Rick Stanton, recently retired from that city's recreation department, have formed a consulting firm to start similar programs elsewhere. . . .

The reasons for an aggressive eradication program are well-documented, the two said. Graffiti lowers property values, instills fear, invites other crime and diminishes an area's self-worth. . . .

Boyles asked audience members at the committee meeting how they feel when they see graffiti; responses ranged from 'anger' to 'disgust' to 'violated' to 'sad' . . . [italics mine]

When Stanton was charged with setting up the San Jose program, his first step was to send city workers to every street to inventory all the tags. The initial count in 1997 was 71,541 tags.

'It was way more than everyone expected,' he said. By contrast, the 2006 survey counted 129 tags. Over that same time, the program grew from 124 volunteers to 3,221.

There is no single approach to tackling the problem and discouraging persistent taggers, they said. . . .

'If your strateg' is to paint it over as soon as it happened, it's not going to work," Stanton said. 'They're just going to come back over and over.'

What does work, he said, is a multifaceted approach that engages city agencies, outside jurisdictions such as BART and Caltrans, and strong community involvement. Stricter penalties for those caught tagging also must be enacted, they said. . . . [italics mine]

Asked if Richmond has the financial resources for such a program, City Councilman and Beautification Committee Chairman Tony Thurmond said, 'Personally, I do. If you can't use redevelopment funds to
eradicate blight like this, what can you use it for?'


In contrast to those asked who feel 'anger' to 'disgust' to 'violated' to 'sad' when they see graffiti, Rick Auerbach, one of our community activists, believes tagging sometimes inhances. A view shared by some in the Art Community.



How Berkeley Can You Be Parade's "founder becomes spectator: Wild, wacky parade began with a Piedmont man, but he has handed the reins to 'the next generation' " writes Martin Snapp in our Times.

And, . . . if the founder of our "How Berkeley Can You Be Parade" is a Piedmont resident, does that mean Patrick Kennedy, my favorite Irish developer, also a Piedmont resident, is as Berkeley as you can be?



"Bears a prime BCS contender: Upsets, win over Oregon should boost Cal to No. 3 in polls"
reports Jonathan Okanes in our Times. "History may show this was the weekend that changed
everything for Cal's football program."



Marin's Village Music is closing forever today. One of the great used-record stores, it's time has long passed. "The times they are a changin?" Actually, "The times they have changed!"

There is evidence too that Amoeba's day has passed.


Cameron emails

Hello Ron,

Knowing you are a jazz fan, and no doubt, an admirer of Max Roach ... Let me share a story.

Back in 1980s, a friend of a friend was the paramour of Max Roach. I visited her in New York, and came down to breakfast to find Max Roach having coffee. He was very gracious and warm. He invited us to see his double quartet at the Blue Note that evening and recommended we eat dinner at his favorite restaurant Sylvias (made more famous recently by Bill OReilly). Upon my departure, he kindly gave me two gifts a signed album by his double quartet and a book by Chester Himes. . . ., the music was phenomenal.



My memories of Max are here in

"I Learned to Love Records."




"Advanced biofuels: Everyone seems to think that ethanol is a good way to make cars greener. Everyone is wrong" reports the Economist.

"Sometimes you do things simply because you know how to. People have known how to make ethanol since the dawn of civilisation, if not before. Take some sugary liquid. Add yeast. Wait. They have also known for a thousand years how to get that ethanol out of the formerly sugary liquid and into a more or less pure form. You heat it up, catch the vapour that emanates, and cool that vapour down until it liquefies.

The result burns. And when Henry Ford was experimenting with car engines a century ago, he tried ethanol out as a fuel. But he rejected it, and for good reason. The amount of heat you get from burning a litre of ethanol is a third less than that from a litre of petrol. What is more, it absorbs water from the atmosphere. Unless it is mixed with some other fuel, such as petrol, the result is corrosion that can wreck an engine's seals in a couple of years. So why is ethanol suddenly back in fashion? That is the question many biotechnologists in America have recently asked themselves.




And, the Economist laments "Bip, the world's quietest clown, died on September 22nd, older than he seemed.

"When the spotlight faded on Bip last week, leaving not even a hand or a flower illuminated, it caused only a sigh of surprise. Bip had tried many times to put an end to himself. He would cut his wrists with a blade, nicking and wincing away from it, in case his copious blood gushed over his pure white sailor's trousers. He would shake out into his palm a handful of pills from a bottle, open his wide red mouth, and fail to swallow them. Stepping on a chair that wobbled under him, he would knot a noose round his scrawny neck, test it, yank it, gyrate his neck like a pigeon and step out into the void. Nothing worked. He went on living."








Yesterday, I heard Cajun-fiddle-music coming thru an open window at the French School. Libby says there's a new music teacher at the French School and that it was she playing.

Well. Ok then.



Another 18-wheeler didn't quite make a turn in Potter Creek--this time it was on 10th and Pardee Monday morning. About 9 AM, the car-carrier-trailer's 12 foot over hang seriously creased a pickup parked on 10th.

Late last month while making a turn, an eighteen-wheeler creased a car parked at the corner of 8th and Grayson.






The Planet elaborates on a story that I broke last month with "Two Alleged Gang Members Arrested in Berkeley Murder" by Richard Brenneman.

"Homicide detectives have arrested a pair of alleged gang members for the May 6 West Berkeley beating death of Agustine [CQ] James Silva Jr., 19, of Antioch.

The murder was Berkeley's first for the year. Three more have followed.

Two 19-year-old suspects-Juan Carlos Cruz of Oakland and Victor Lozano Ramirez of San Pablo-have been charged with the killing based on DNA evidence found at the scene of the crime.

Police have identified both the suspects and their alleged victim as members of Los Monkeys Trece, a Northern California subgroup of the Surenos gang."



"Not a good day to be a tree sitter: Judge sides with UC Berkeley, rules protesters' habitat
is illegal"
reports Kristin Bender in our Times.

"Despite a judge's order Monday that the Berkeley tree-sitters are living in trees illegally and posing a health and safety risk, UC Berkeley has no plans to forcibly remove the group.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Keller issued a preliminary injunction evicting one tree-sitter -- David Galloway, who has been served by the university, said spokesman Dan Mogulof.

If Galloway is, in fact, in a tree, he has to come down or face a $1,000 fine and up to five days in jail.

The judge's order opens the door for the university to serve others by name, forcing them down or sending them to jail. Tree sit supporters declined to say Monday if Galloway is in a tree.



"'In the Valley of Elah' an Honest Look at the Toll of War" reports Bob Burnett in the Planet.



"An Open Letter to Code Pink" writes Richard Lund in his commentary to the Planet.

"While the protest that you staged in front of my office on Wednesday, Sept. 26th, was an exercise of your constitutional rights, the messages that you left behind were insulting, untrue, and ultimately misdirected. Additionally, from the comments quoted in the Berkeley Daily Planet article, it is clear that you have no idea what it is that I do here. Given that I was unaware of your planned protest, I was unable to contest your claims in person, so I will therefore address them here."



"Bio-fuel getting a second chance: Despite previous troubles, City Council members want to make fuel alternative work" reports Doug Oakley in our Times.

"Two years after the city of Berkeley's experiment with bio-fuel went bang -- in a bad way -- city leaders want to bring it back.

When two truck engines using 100 percent bio-fuel exploded in 2005, the city cut back its use of the environmentally friendly fuel to a 20 percent blend of bio-fuel and 80 percent diesel in city engines.

Bio-fuel is a renewable resource that can be made from crops such as soy beans or from recycled vegetable oil.

At the time it converted its fleet in 2003, Berkeley was the only city of its size in the nation to use bio-fuel exclusively, city leaders said.

But 18 months into the experiment, trucks started breaking down. Fuel filters were clogged, fuel injectors gummed up, and then the engines blew."



"Hotel sales surge in East Bay: San Francisco company capitalizes on trend, hopes two purchases yield profits
writes George Avalos in the Times.

Boutique hotels in the East Bay have caught the eye of investors who are betting that the region's economy is robust enough to avoid a major downturn.

The Waterfront Plaza Hotel, located in Oakland's Jack London Square, and the Hotel Durant, on the south side of UC Berkeley, have been snapped up by a Bay Area hotel company.

Acting through a separate joint venture, Joie de Vivre Hospitality bought the Berkeley hotel in September and plans to complete its purchase of the Oakland hotel in November.



The WSJ reports "Auto sales showed signs of stability in September, generating hope among the industry's biggest players that rate cuts will spur a recovery. GM's sales edged up 0.28%, while Ford suffered a 21% decline. Chrsler posted a 5.4% drop."

"Hope" is the operative word here.






The back page of the current Bay Nature is an advertisement for green manufacturing apparently paid for by our Urban Ore. I'm all for green manufacturing, but the neat-green ad is in stark contrast to the Urban Ore facility, especially the vast expanse of used toilets and the bird-shit encrusted south-west side-walk section. But make no mistake, I've gotten many a bargain there.

(Bay Nature is located here on 6th Street and Urban Ore is here just south of Ashby off 7th.)

Interesting, the ad has a map of west-Berkeley next to "Help Save the Vanishing Habitat of Green Manufacturing." Now west-Berkeley is many things but the habitat of green manufacturing is NOT one of them. Green business here is a fraction of the total and my personal experience ranges from green-washing to green-beginners.

But one of THE pioneer green businesses is our Ink Works, though when years ago I asked for a tour so I might write a story and I received no reply.



Jim, glass-artist and former tenant at ActivSpace emails


About 3 1/2 years ago I was looking for studio space
in West Berkeley, wanting to settle in an arts-friendly
area. With the Sawtooth building having a two to three
year wait, I checked out the ActivSpace building.
After all, their signage read "Art - Hobby, and
Business". I talked to the then Manager, Jamie, and
she said 'we love artists here at ActivSpace'. She
said they had about 70 to 80 artists in the building
doing a wide variety of different artwork and
ActivSpace was all about supporting artists. I was
shown different spaces in the building and asked about
the spaces on the 7th street side of the building.
These were the Storefronts and the most expensive
spaces ActivSpace had. I was told that retail was not
allowed but as long as a person made the product on
site there would be no problem selling out of their
storefronts. Wow -- a dream come true, having a studio
to work and sell out of. The extra cost of the space
seemed a small cost compared to the benefits of
selling out of one's space.

It took a while for more artists and craftpeople to
make the move to the storefronts but things were
looking up. At one time there were 9 of us working
together utilizing display windows and keeping regular
business hours. We were attracting walk-in foot
traffic and people would stop, park and shop. We had
other artists in the building wanting to be a part of
doing business in the storefronts. When we lost an
active member of the group, another would take their
place to help us all collectively build our business.

The managers of ActivSpace assured us that they were
screening people to insure a good mix of unique and
one of a kind shops in the hopes of making ActivSpace
a destination not unlike 4th Street in the early days.
What happened instead was people would move in and
never be seen and the space would look empty.
Remember the cost of a storefront is charged at retail
prices so unless there's sales, it's hard to absorb
the cost. The managers seemed to be willing to work
with us on a number of issues but had to get approval
from the ownership and that's where things fell apart.

The suggestions offered were simple and of either no
cost or low cost to the ownership. 1) Public
directory, 2). separate list of rules governing anyone
wishing to rent a storefront, i.e., display, temporary
signage, regular business hours, etc. Also, many
people from a 2 to 3 block radius park their cars in
front of the building during the hours of 9:30 a.m. to
4:30p.m. because no one messes with their cars but
with little or no parking, customers stay away. The
ownership would not consider asking for a 1.5 hour
parking limit in front of the ActivSpace building.

ActivSpace has lost a lot of the artists over the last
2 years (partly due to rent increases) and is running
at about 75% capacity. There are about 4 or 5
vacancies of storefronts with several more being used
as storage space and another 3 spaces being used for
retail space. For a business promoting ART, it has
done little to support artists or the Arts. At a time
when many cities across America view the Arts and
Crafts movement as a valuable industry, why then is
the city looking the other way?

Best regards,



Ruth Okimoto lent me her DVD of Rabbit-Proof Fence. Of it imdb offers "This powerful film follows the journey of three young aboriginal girls who are taken from their family and forced to assimilate into an empty culture by the white settlers of Australia. This is known as the "Stolen Generation", a dark period in Australian history which the current prime minister of Australia refuses to say sorry for the past atrocities. But this is not to say that this film preaches or manipulates emotions for political gain. No! It just tells the story with powerful images that allows the viewer to enter the torment of the stolen generation. Dialogue is minimal as our heroes are taken from their family and driven to the other side of Australia. But their will and instinct to be with their strong culture has the girls escape the camp prison and follow the rabbit-proof fence back home. The rabbit proof fence was built down the centre of Australia to contain the plague of rabbits from entering farm land. It was this white-man built fence that lead the girls back home."

Definitely, check it out! This is NOT a preachy movie.



"Groups sue EPA over pollution from ships" reported Terence Chea last month in our Times. "Environmentalists sued the federal government Wednesday for failing to regulate emissions from ocean-going vessels that pollute the air and cause respiratory illness around ports nationwide."

Then yesterday he wrote "California, environmentalists ask EPA to regulate ship emissions. Environmental groups and California Attorney General Jerry Brown petitioned the federal government Wednesday to regulate on emissions from oceangoing ships that spew heat-trapping gases responsible for global warming.

In separate written requests, they asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt standards for carbon dioxide emissions from the thousands of cargo ships, cruise liners and other large vessels that dock at American ports each year.

Marine vessels are responsible for nearly 3 percent of the world's greenhouse gases equal to the amount generated by all cars in the U.S.and ship emissions are projected to grow by more than 70 percent by 2020 as global trade expands, according to the petitions.

Chris, Potter Creek's former Professor of Cars hipped me to this years ago--and I wrote about it here--with something like "Those ships idling in the Bay are as great a hazard to the environment as our automotive fleet." Some burn used-motor-oil as bunker-fuel and their engines are as large as trucks.



"150 homes up for bid: Auction will feature condos, houses that have been repossessed by banks" reports Sue McAllister of the Times.

Even during a drenching rainstorm two weeks ago, more than 30 groups of potential buyers toured an 814-square-foot condominium in West San Jose, seemingly defying conventional wisdom about the sluggish real estate market.

But it wasn't a normal open house; in fact, visitors had to tread warily through the darkened property on Weyburn Lane because the electricity had been turned off. The two-bedroom condo is one of about 150 bank-repossessed Bay Area properties that will be auctioned Saturday in San Mateo.

As foreclosures soar in California, large auctions of bank-owned properties are becoming more frequent. Saturday's is the third auction in the Bay Area in recent months, and similar ones have occurred in Sacramento and Modesto.







A not real happy Barbara Shayesteh emails

We live on the 1100 block of Parker St. I have been noticing arrows painted all over our sidewalks recently so I expected some sort of repairs to happen but I was not ready for the ugly clumps of asphalt that have been deposited all over our sidewalks. In many cases, they present more of a tripping hazard than the original gaps and they look lousy. There are asphalt crumbs at each patch that stick to shoes and get tracked into houses. This is the most amateur repair job I think I have ever seen. It has really degraded our block.

Barbara Shayesteh

Barbara is one on the owners of the Café Zeste



This morning, I noticed a long consist of vintage passenger cars pulling into Emeryville Station behind a couple of Vista domes and three Amtrak diesels. Later from my descripton, train-guy John Phillips identified these blue, cream and silver cars as the Orient, an ersatz Orient Express that travels to Nevada-quite impressive sight, really.



"Judge rules Berkeley election nullified" reports Chris Metinko in our Times.

"An Alameda County Superior Court judge has nullified the results of a hotly contested 2004 election because of mishandling of a recount by Alameda County election officials, and ordered Berkeley's Measure R -- a citizen-sponsored medical-marijuana initiative -- back on the ballot for a re-vote in 2008."



"Judge gets firsthand look at site of Cal's proposed athletic center:University shows off location of proposed athletics facility" writes Doug Oakley in our Times. "After hearing two weeks of technical evidence in a trial over the fate of UC Berkeley's proposed $125 million sports training center, an Alameda County judge heard an argument of a different kind away from the courthouse Thursday."


Ryan Lau first mentioned this late last month in one of his email to the Community

"PG&E kicks off Energy month with 1 million free light bulbs: Utility says it hopes campaign will help in preventing greenhouse gas emissions" reports Matt Nauman of our Times.

Pacific Gas & Electric is marking National Energy Awareness Month by giving away 1 million compact fluorescent lightbulbs, or CFLs.

The idea has a serious purpose:

PG&E says using 1 million CFLs instead of incandescent bulbs will save 400,000 megawatts of electricity and prevent 200,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from heating the atmosphere. That's the same
benefit as removing 31,000 cars from the road or planting 60,000 acres of trees.

It's part of PG&E's broader energy-efficiency strategy, which coincides with California's effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which cause global warming."






Marvin just got back from his 50th Anniversary High School Reunion, parade and all. Fifty of his original 100 or so classmates showed up.


Ok, so our Barry G is REALLY well-known. Check him out here!


A 900 GRAYSON irregular, please don't ask him for his autograph. On the other hand . . .



"Body shop sees green in every paint job: Oakland's Clean Green Collision uses creative techniques to reduce
carbon emissions by 30 percent to 40 percent"
writes Janis Mara in our Times.

"It's bad enough if your car gets bashed in an accident, but it's even worse if the repair job leaves behind chemicals that make you sick. Oakland's Clean Green Collision aims to help.

'I came up with the idea for Clean Green after I bought a car that had just been repainted,' said Jacques Andres, owner of the six-employee body shop on Mandela Parkway.

'I got sick after driving for 15 minutes. I realized the heating and air vents were full of paint dust," Andres said. 'The auto repair industry is notoriously dirty. I decided to do something about it.' "


"Mild summer provides smog relief for Bay Area" writes the Times, Denis Cuff. "A mild summer gave the Bay Area one of its least smoggy years on record, sparing residents a repeat of the dirty air that gripped the region during severe heat waves in 2006.

Ozone, the lung-burning ingredient in smog, violated the federal health limit on one day this year, and no further excesses are expected before the Oct. 12 end of the smog season, air pollution officials said.



A favorite artist of mine is reviewed by Robert Taylor in "Little boxes, big impact: Cornell's detailed art shines.

Don't throw anything away. That could be the deepest underlying message of 'Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination,' the breathtaking exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

It includes more than 170 collages and shadow boxes created by the New Yorker who was called a surrealist and a pop artist, but who rejected all labels.

The exhibit spans four decades of the 20th century, adding a sampling of Cornell's tools and resources, from boxes of marbles and clay pipes to sheaves of newspaper clippings and letters to and from Marcel Duchamp.

With all this material at hand -- stacked in carefully labeled containers -- you never know when your imagination might take flight as well.

If Cornell were your inspiration, you might create works from stamps and maps and mirrors and a restaurant menu from the 1940s that cautioned of wartime shortages: 'Please do not ask the waiter for a second pat of butter.'

Cornell (1903-1972) did not invent collages and assemblages. But he was the first artist to devote his entire career to those techniques, as Deborah Solomon notes in her fascinating 1997 biography. The book,
'Utopia Parkway,' takes its name from the street in New York's borough of Queens where Cornell lived.

He was 64 years old before a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum brought him major recognition, but he won the admiration of everyone from Willem de Kooning to Andy Warhol. Yet he remains, Solomon says, 'the most undervalued of valued American artists.' "


"Bit by the eBay bug (and how to heal it)" confesses Linda Milanese in our Times.

"I wasn't looking for eBay. EBay found me.

It started innocently enough with 'The Sopranos' -- a lucky hit in a Yahoo search. I'd scoured video stores for DVDs of the show as a Christmas gift for my son-in-law, when an online search turned up an eBay listing -- a listing that was about to close in 10 minutes. Somehow in those 10 minutes I managed to register with eBay, make a bid, and secure a new box set of all five seasons at half the video store price.

That serendipitous hit turned out to be a gateway buy that started my hard-to-kick eBay habit. I was hooked before I knew it'

Next, I moved on to buying clothing. I remember feeling pleased that eBay remembered me from the 'Sopranos" transaction, fillin' in my moniker and offering to help me recall my password.

'Be careful," warned a younger friend who'd been hip to eBay for years. 'It can be addicting.' "


"Logging is forcing tribes deeper into the jungle. A previously unknown indigenous group living in isolation has been found deep in Peru's Amazon jungle, a team of ecologists has said" reports BBC News.







Daylight Savings ends November 4th, now always the first Sunday in November.

More than you want to know about Daylight Savings is here.



As the rainy season begins you can find more information about our current weather conditions than is good for you at www.wunderground.com



Sally's published again. Her dinning area will be the featured back-drop for pet-presents in the Holiday issue of The Bark. Wednesday, the Bark crew were photographing there most of the day.



Annie K emails


Do you think anyone else besides me and my kids are calling the new Berkeley Bowl the "Berkeley Hole"?

Annie K.


Kava just called it "Now, an 8 million dollar hole-in-the-ground."

Annie asked for bowl photos--coming sooner-than-later. Annie's also putting some time in at The Barb, . . . oops, The Planet.


And, another Annie K email

Thanks for including my family's current name for the B. Bowl in your blog.
And I found this amusing-
"Annie's also putting some time in at The Barb, . . . oops, The Planet."- because I DID work at the Barb, too (in the art dept.) just for a few issues at the very end of its existence, shortly after I moved to Ca. in 1979.
In the nineties I also worked for nearly 8 years at the E. Bay Express as a graphic artist/illustrator before becoming a foster mom/writer. Now I'm back to doing design/production work at the Planet, ...
I continue to write on and off and will have an adoption-themed essay published in the Chronicle magazine next month. (Nov. is National Adoption Month.) I'll send you the link when it comes out.

Annie K.


Well, Ok then!


Last week, someone asked me if I liked Elvis. I had to think a little. I remembered that I'd seen him premier on the Ed Sullivan Show with just his bass player. Still, . . . understand that as a teenager I listened to Black Gospel Music, radio- broadcast most Sunday nights--and I went to Revival Meetings. I guess I felt Elvis was Ok.







In an interview this morning on Channel 2 News, Zachary Running Wolf announced that he will lead a recall of Mayor Tom Bates. Running Wolf believes he can get the 10,000 signatures necessary to place the recall on the ballot.




"Full steam ahead" writes Janis Mara in our Times. "At the end of a country road twisting 89 miles north
of San Francisco, black mud bubbles up from the earth and the wind carries the stench of sulfur.

Twenty-two geothermal power plants rise from the green hillside -- plants that generate more than enough renewable energy to light every house in San Jose.

Welcome to the Geysers, the largest single producing geothermal energy field in the world. Though the 47-year-old field is the country's largest geothermal producer, supplying almost 3 percent of California's electricity, it is virtually unknown to state residents."


"East Bay Then and Now: Bennington Apartments Evoke 19th Century Euclid Ave" writes Daniella Thompson in her beautifully evocative, informative Planet story.


"For sale: home in need of tough love. Victorians are poised to make a comeback, but are still hard to
sell partly because of the work needed to restore them"
reports Joanne Cleaver in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"Some Victorian houses might accept, however grudgingly, a coat of white paint that softens their three-dimensional details into a sculptural frame that lets furniture and art take center stage.

But some houses have an attitude about white paint. They don't like it, won't take it, and there isn't enough white paint in the world that can tame their ornamentation into a supporting role.

Long ago, Arne Vedum conceded aesthetic control of the Schuster Mansion, which he and wife Marie are renovating, to the house."

I grew up in Milwaukee and the Schusters were a wealth-Milwaukee family, the owners of Schusters' Department Stores--one was located on Third Street just south of North Avenue. Gladys, my Mom, worked there before I was born and again after I turned twelve. A former-Flapper, Gladys worked in the cosmetic/perfume department. But that's another story.






Tracy emails about a music movie/concert that she and Morgan saw in Santa Cruz. Morgan said when asked what kind of muisc "It's just fun" and added that it was a mix of styles from throught-out the world. It will be shown tonight in the City.


An amazing movie/concert Tuesday night 7:30 pm at the Clay Theater in San Francisco....Morgan and I saw this same Italian film in Santa Cruz about the creation of an orchestra--the Orchestra di piazza Vittorio-- made up of foreigners living in Rome. As the credits roll at the end of the film, the musicians take the stage and play a concert. 15 musicians from 11 countries and 3 continents, . . . thrown together to create an absolutely unique music. One description reads "What a dream to fall in love with the characters and then to see them perform in person!"

At the Rio in Santa Cruz, the whole audience got up and danced. There web site is here.



Last night there was a meeting of members of the ad hoc committee opposed to proposed Community Benefits District--it was held at Caffé Trieste. Roughly eight-to-ten people were present--one might say "the usual suspects." In addition to the issue of weighted representation, there was opposition to the use of the Benefit District to rezone west-Berkeley. It was agreed to attend the October 16 Town Hall meeting and to leaflet encouraging general attendance.



On a future Berkeley City Council agenda there is a proposal to add $100,000 to a contract with the East Bay Conservation Corps for, in part, graffiti removal.

"Graffiti Removal. EBCC crews are usually hired for five-day workweeks. A crew of 10-15 young people will provide consistency and the necessary focus to provide efficient graffiti removal. . . . This work will be coordinated with the work of the Neighborhood Services Committee and the Parks Recreation & Waterfront and Police Departments."








"Berkeley lauds whistle-blower: Officials say they need the kind of help that nabbed silversmith for violating toxic waste laws" reports Doug Oakley in our Times.

A 67-year-old Berkeley man's month in jail for violating toxic waste laws is encouraging news for city and county officials who want more workplace whistle-blowers to bring them environmental justice cases."


7:15 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, light head, nausea, chills.



"Food inflation worst since '90: China's economic boom, other global forces behind increase in grocery bills" reports the AP's Lauren Villagran in the Times.

This morning, your bowl of cereal and milk probably cost you 49 cents. Last year, it was 44 cents. By next year, it could be 56 cents. It's enough to make you cry in your cornflakes.

The forces behind the rise in food prices -- China's economic boom, a growing biofuels industry and a weak U.S. dollar -- are global and not letting up anytime soon. Grocery receipts are bulging because the raw ingredients, packaging and fuel that go into the price of foodstuffs cost more than they have in decades.

It's the worst bout of food inflation since 1990, but not yet worrisome to the economy, said John Lonski, chief economist of Moody's Investor Service. While high food prices can cut into consumers' discretionary spending, the 4 percent rate of food inflation is still far below the crippling double-digit levels of the 1970s.

Still, consumers anxious for relief in the checkout line may have to keep waiting."


"Ripe for change: dorm food. Can Cal sustain the city's foodie philosophy?" asks John Birdsall.

"It's planting day at the Clark Kerr student residence at UC Berkeley.

But what was supposed to be an initiative of student empowerment and Slow Food consciousness is starting out, well, lame. What ended up as these -- six wine-barrel planters on the patio outside Clark Kerr's dining hall -- was supposed to be something more ambitious: the kind of lush edible garden where bees crowd blue borage flowers and little plaques declare the Latin names of fig trees."


David Snipper's email gives some perspective to PG& E's current light bulb-giveaway

When public utility electric service was introduced in Southern
California by the Southern California Edison Company, part of the
service provided by Edison was free light bulbs. They were, I
believe delivered and installed by Edison employees.

I don't know how long it lasted.








FiFi's neighbors met last [Tuesday] night at her place to look at the plans for the proposed building next to her on Pardee Street. [Thid project is proposed for a narrow lot behind a San Pablo and Pardee corner lot.] On a small lot the plans have grown from four units and an office to a four story building with ten units. 12 folks were there and all are against it. It will come up before the planning commission soon.







CEID's Cindy D emails about an event for all you Potter Creek golfers


Center for Early Intervention on Deafness, 24th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament
Monday, October 22nd, 2007
Contra Costa Country Club
801 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

"You and your guests will begin a
spectacular day of golf at the beautiful Contra Costa Country Club
when you tee off at the CEID Annual Benefit Golf Tournament. Each
player will receive a tee prize and participate in challenging pre
tournament and on-course activities! Hospitality will be plentiful
as players are treated to appetizing food, snacks and beverages both
during and after the tournament. Our silent and live auctions will
entice you while we recognize your various achievements throughout
the day at our Awards Reception!"

Schedule and Format
9:30am Registration; Driving Range and Putting Green Open
11:00am Shotgun Start (Schamble format)
4:00pm Auction and Awards Reception; Cocktails/Heavy Hors oeuvres

There are a range of participation levels from individual golfers
($250) to hole sponsors ($2000) to Platinum Sponsorship ($15,000).
Folks can also join just for the auction and reception for $30.

More information, registration forms and other sponsorship levels can be
downloaded from www.ceid.org

Last year we raised nearly $75,000 allowing us to continue to offer
specialized, intensive family focused services for children with
hearing loss.

The work that CEID does truly is amazing and . . . this is one way we
can support it.


Thanks for your support Ron!

See you soon


"Police investigate death of 9-year-old boy as homicide: Mother had cuts on arms and neck, police say, but has shared little about what led to child's death" report Doug Oakley and Angela Hill of our Times.


And Doug Oakley reports, "Berkeley boy poisoned, suffocated: Sources say 9-year-old found dead Wednesday was suffocated, poisoned in his home."

Sadly, it was reported today that his mom will be charged with murder.



"The Chauncey Bailey Project: Did cops drag feet on bakery probe?" ask our Times' Cecily Burt, Harry Harris and Josh Richman

The young woman sits on a chair in a vacant East Oakland house, a plastic bag covering her face, hands shackled in front of her. Men she can't see tell her they've been watching her, that they know she has a lot of cash.

They hit her in the knee with a board, or maybe it's a bat. They slam her over the head again and again. Bleeding, the young woman thinks she is going to die. Her mother, abducted with her at gunpoint after leaving a bingo parlor at Foothill Square, sits shackled and terrified in one of two cars that brought them to the house.

'Where do you keep your money?' they demand of the daughter. She tells them she doesn't have a lot of money. One man asks whether she can 'smell that gasoline, that's the next thing that's gonna happen.'

They threaten to shove a hot curling iron in her vagina."


And "Motive still a mystery" report Josh Richman and Cecily Burt. "As the investigation of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey's killing broadens into a multiagency probe of Your Black Muslim Bakery and the Bey family, a key question remains largely unanswered.

What, exactly, was Bailey working on?"



"Housing downturn to persist, group says: California Association of Realtors predicts sales, prices will keep falling through 2008" reports the AP's Alex Veiga

"Housing sales and prices will fall further next year in California, as unsold homes keep piling up and many buyers hold out for lower prices, a trade group said Wednesday.

In its 2008 forecast, the California Association of Realtors said it expected statewide sales of existing homes to fall an additional 9 percent to 334,500 units.

Still, the association said that would be an improvement over the projected drop of 23 percent this year, compared with 2006."


"Countrywide mortgage fundings fall: Company may face federal investigation over the timing of stock sales made by its chief executive" writes the AP's Stephen Bernard.

"Countrywide Financial Corp. said Thursday that its mortgage fundings for September fell 44 percent from the same period a year ago, and the mortgage lender is now facing a potential federal investigation over the timing of stock sales by its chief executive.

Countrywide, the nation's largest mortgage lender, said total mortgage fundings last month fell to $21.2 billion from $38.1 billion a year ago."








Tak emails that

Janet needs to find new office space to practice estate, business and property law. It would be convenient if she could find it around Potter Creek somewhere.

Janet needs about 150 to 200 square feet. And it doesn't have to be Class A space. Her practice caters to clients that don't expect things to be very fancy. Her current office could hardly be called fancy. She knows many of the folks in Potter Creek as clients.

If you can help, email Tak/Janet at ronpenndorf@earthlink.net



Pete's Potter Creek rain-gauge showed 1.15 inches from Tuesday PM to Wednesday AM, .3 inches from Thursday night to Friday AM and .75 inches from yesterday AM through this moring.

David's gauage showed an inch Thursday PM and yesterday.



After reading "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" check out "From Here on Up, It's All Down Hill."



The San Pablo and Carleton development should have a unit open for viewing by November--perhaps in the adjacent trailer. At the beginning of the year, units should be on the market.



"Skies to be swept for alien life" reports BBC News.

"The switch has been thrown on a telescope specifically designed to seek out alien life.

Funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the finished array will have 350 six-metre antennas and will be one of the world's largest.

The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) will be able to sweep more than one million star systems for radio signals generated by intelligent beings.

Its creators hope it will help spot definite signs of alien life by 2025."



Quote of the week from 900's Executive Chef, Josh Pearl

"Ron's so old that when he dies they won't do DNA analysis, they'll use carbon-dating."


From Sophie Gross' Mom "How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?" "Never mind, . . . I'll sit in the dark."







PG & E is working at Tippett's 10th Street facility today--I counted over half-dozen trucks.


Folks on Grayson down from 900 are having a lawn party today--with women in bright saris bearing gifts and children running merrily about.


Merryll's upgrade is proceeding with workers stripping the old interiors.


Acme's major rebuild of the old welder's building is proceeding as well, though it seems now more slowly.




My memory is that the first "up-grade" of Potter Creek took place roughly 10 to 20 years ago when artists and crafts-people replaced working people--my working class neighborhood becoming more middle-class, arts&crafts. Interesting, with this "kind-of-gentrification"" virtually all our African-American families left.



CAL is playing Oregon State today in Memorial Stadium at 4:00 PM. It's being broadcast on Cable, Channel 75.





As an unreconstructed Marxist, I continue my emphasis on the economy with the Wall Street Journal reports "Citigroup and other big banks are in talks to pool together and financially back up to $100 billion in shaky mortgage secuirties and other investments."

And "GE's profit rose 14% on strong overseas revenue; retail sales increased a larger than expected.6% in September, but a consumer-confidence index showed a decline; and a consortium led by Branson's Virgin Group made a bid for Northern Rock that includesnew funding to stablize theU.K lender."




"Analysts Find Israel Struck a Nuclear Project Inside Syria" reports the New York Times. "A site attacked last month by Israel was a partly constructed nuclear reactor, according to Israeli and American intelligence."








Tomorrow evening from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM there will be an important "Town Hall Meeting" about west-Berkeley problems and their solutions. The meeting, hosted by our Councilman Darryl Moore, will be held in the Rosa Parks School at 8th and Allston Way.

Please attend.



Marvin's crew has begun sheet-rocking his buildings while Merryll's crew has torn off her house shingles.



The Guardian notes that the sister of Sally's friend has passed with

"Kitty Grime: A versatile writer and singer, her life skirted the London jazz scene of the 1950s and 60s."



"Berkeley/Berkslickerly" opins Ted Friedman in our Planet.

"While this year's How Berkeley Can You Be parade may not have been as Berkeley as it could have been (after all, Viagra Man and his disturbing side effect and the lawn mower display from Piedmont were missing), Berkeley remains obsessed with self-definition."







Over last weekend, PG&E replaced the two transformers servicing Tippett as well as the pole-to-box service. After some transformer and cable problems, Tippett seems to have fresh power. Tippett is removing their temporary generator.



Fifi and her neighbors are meeting tonite with the developer about his proposed four-story building off of San Pablo and Pardee.



"West Berkeley Tax District Off Table, City Staff Says" is a VERY misleading headline. Please read Judith Scherr's story in our Planet for the REAL story.



In 1973, in the "Introduction" to his book, We Have Met theEnemy and He is Us, Walt Kelly writes "The big polluter did not start out with smoke stacks. He didn't start pumping gunk into our waters when he was six years old. He started small. Throwing papers under foot in the streets, heaving old bottles into vacant lots, leaving remnants of a picnic in the fields and woodlands. Just like the rest of us."







Bob Kubik emails

My wife was leaving for the airport at 5:00 am yesterday morning and saw three prostitutes near Carleton and Pardee Streets on San Pablo, but wasn't able to call in to the police. At 6:00 am I was leaving the house one solicited me at Pardee and San Pablo and I called her in to the police. Then at 2:30 in the afternoon another one solicited me at Carleton and San Pablo, again I called the police.
That is 5 yesterday. I have also noticed more used condoms in the street.



Miltiades Mandros emails

Had a knock-your-socks-off lunch today at Riva Cucina. I slurped down a nice garbanzo bean soup followed by a breast of chicken entree with mushrooms in a wine sauce, which was simply superb. My friend Barbara started with the arugula salad and then tried the pasta with meat in a light red sauce. We both washed our meals down with a perfect pinot grigio, and topped off with coffee and a smooth as silk sorbet.

Lunch can't get any better than that. I understand why they are now so popular that they are soon going to expand into the adjoining space.







"Recruiting facility at center of storm" reports Kristin Bender of the Times. "Flag-waving demonstrators far outnumbered a group of peace advocates who were protesting a U.S. Marine Corps recruiting center in downtown on Wednesday.

But groups on both sides of Shattuck Avenue slowed traffic and jammed sidewalks as they shouted back and forth at each other.

Police kept the two competing groups across the street from each other; there were no arrests."



"Exhibit shows 100 years of California art" writes Robert Taylor in his Times' review.

"The new exhibit 'Artists of Invention: A Century of CCA' doesn't attempt to offer a historical survey of the California College of the Arts and the way it has juggled 'arts' and 'crafts' over the years.

But the story is at least as fascinating as the exhibit. The school was born from the ashes of the 1906 fire that destroyed much of San Francisco, founded by German immigrant Frederick Meyer, who had bounced around from Berlin to Fresno to Pennsylvania to San Jose before the turn of the 20th century."


"Wild Neighbors: Birds in Winter: Charles Keeler and the Summer Warbler"
writes Joe Eaton in our Planet. "If you want to look back at changes in Berkeley's bird life over the last century, the work of Charles Augustus Keeler provides a convenient benchmark. I have a battered library-discard copy of his
Bird Notes Afield, the second edition, published in 1907. Keeler notes in a preface that the bird collection of the California Academy of Sciences, where he did his research, had been a casualty of the San Francisco quake and fire the year before."


"AOL dumps 2,000 jobs to cut costs: Online company announces layoffs as part of plans to increase emphasis on ad-related businesses" reports the AP's Anick Jesdanun in our Times.


"EBay loses $936 million in 3Q due to Skype charges" writes Rachel Konrad of the AP. "EBay Inc. reported Wednesday a third-quarter net loss of more than $936 million, a rare plunge into the red for the e-commerce juggernaut caused by charges to its Skype telecommunications division.

But San Jose-based eBay still easily exceeded Wall Street's expectations for the quarter ended Sept. 30, thanks to record revenue of $1.89 billion, up 30 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Executives credited record revenue at the PayPal electronic payment division, and brisk sales outside of the United States and at ticket broker StubHub.com. "






Meridith Lear-Zugel emails

Mr. Penndorf, I have learned about many wonderful restaurants through your web site. I would like to introduce you to a new restaurant, Digs Bistro, that opened Monday night October 15th. Digs is located at the corner of Dwight and Sacramento, just west of Homemade Cafe, in the site of the former Olivia. Not too far of a trip from Potter Creek.

My friends and I went there Tuesday night, and it was wonderful. The food was delicious, the wine was fantastic, and the service was impeccable. I had the Oxtail Raviolo, yum! Check out their
website and their restaurant sometime, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Hope all is well! Still enjoying reading you.
Meridith Lear-Zugel



Bob forwards a reply from the City to his "prostitution increasing again" email

Thanks for the info . . . We'll pass it on to patrol for extra attention on the graveyard shift, and my unit will take a look to see if they are setting up in that area again. Last time we had some activity, it was centered in Oakland just over the line. Keep me posted, especially if you start to see the same girls day after day.








Last Tuesday I attended a Town Hall Meeting hosted by our Councilman, Darryl Moore. Crafted to communicate west-Berkeley's problems and solutions, the meeting was often dominated by some of our "activists." As surely as storm-troops, with the thuggery of truncheons, took over the democratic-forums in Weimar, these people at times controlled the meeting with the thuggery of mouth. What should have been a meeting to communicate and exchange ideas was, when not used by some to put forth their agenda, often reduced to personal attacks on our Councilman, our Mayor and Michael Goldin. By its end it had, in part, become a mob, harangued by agitators.

Shame on us all!


Our Andrew Fischer, architect, now has a website.
Check it out!



One of Potter Creek's young artists, a recent Cal graduate, loves the work of Darren Waterston.

Check his work out here.



"Celebrating a life well-lived for more than 103 years" writes Martin Snapp in our Times. "One of the most extraordinary people I ever met was Marion Martin of Berkeley."



"Air District Releases Health Assessment of Pacific Steel" writes Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet. "The Bay Area Air Quality Management District released Pacific Steel's long-awaited health risk assessment report to the public last week and will be accepting comments until Jan. 31."



And, our Zelda B opines "The Public Eye: More Pay for City Staff: Can the City Afford It? Berkeley is in a fiscal crisis. The current budget was balanced only after the council made deep cuts in staff and services. The city has $160 million of unfunded liabilities. Meanwhile, our roads, sewers and drainage system (where there is a drainage system) are in bad shape; it looks as if the coming winter is going to be a wet one-good for the snowpack, bad for deteriorating infrastructure. This past spring, the council nickel and dimed basic services for the homeless, cutting $23,000 out of the respected Quarter Meal program run by Berkeley's Food and Housing Project-50 percent of the program's modest budget."



"Beverly Hills-based auctioneers Kennedy Wilson will be auctioning off 24 townhomes Sunday in Berkeley." The 24 townhomes are part of Devon Square, a San Pablo development by Pulte Homes, and will be starting off with minimum bids of $250,000, approximately $100,000 less than their original asking price.



Then Daniella Thompson offers in the Planet, "The Shattuck Hotel: Berkeley's Once and Future Jewel?"



"Housing holds back economy: Downturn in mortgage, construction industries tempers strong East Bay job growth" reports George Avalos of the Times. The implosion of the mortgage and housing industries has caused the East Bay's job market to stall."



"Living paycheck to paycheck gets harder" reports Anne d'Innocenzio of the AP in our Times.

The calculus of living paycheck to paycheck in America is getting harder. What used to last four days might last half that long now. Pay the gas bill, but skip breakfast. Eat less for lunch so the kids can have a healthy dinner.

Across the nation, Americans are increasingly unable to stretch their dollars to the next payday as they juggle higher rent, food and energy bills. It's starting to affect middle-income working families as well as the poor, and has reached the point of affecting day-to-day calculations of merchants like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 7-Eleven Inc. and Family Dollar Stores Inc.

Food pantries, which distribute foodstuffs to the needy, are reporting severe shortages and reduced government funding at the very time that they are seeing a surge of new people seeking their help.

While economists debate whether the country is headed for a recession, some say the financial stress is already the worst since the last downturn at the start of this decade.

From Family Dollar to Wal-Mart, merchants have adjusted their product mix and pricing accordingly. Sales data show a marked and more prolonged drop in spending in the days before shoppers get their =paychecks, when they buy only the barest essentials before splurging arou'd payday.

'It's pretty pronounced,' said Kiley Rawlins, a spokeswoman at Family Dollar. "It seems like to us, customers are running out of food products, paper towels sooner in the month.' "



'Outspoken economist doesn't talk like one" writes Barbara E. Hernandez of in our Times.

"At 6 feet 6 inches tall with a broad-shouldered frame that makes him literally stand above the crowd, Christopher Thornberg looks more like a linebacker than an economist.

He also doesn't talk like one. 'There are three types of housing markets: abysmal, bottomed-out and booming. ... We're in abysmal,' he told the Times in June. Or his comment last August: 'Rich people will feel the pinch. The top end will take a whack as well,' on the housing downturn affecting high-end homes."



"Marijuana: Home-grown" headlines the Economist. "Forget wine! California's biggest crop is bright green and funny-smelling."


"Bob Denard, mercenary and coup-master, died on October 13th, aged 78" the Economist reveals.

"There were usually several versions of any story involving Bob Denard. To explain how he came to be found, in the early hours of November 26th 1989, standing over the blood-soaked and pajama-clad body of the president of the Comoros Islands, there were three alternatives.

One: Mr Denard had shot him. (He denied it in court; though he had been in the same room, and very close to him, he had not pulled the trigger.) Two: the palace bodyguard had burst in wildly, filling the president with bullets. (Inexplicable, Mr Denard agreed, but true; an accident arising out of a general state of madness.) Or perhaps mad theory three, an army commandant had fired off an anti-tank missile by mistake, which had crashed through the window of the presidential bedroom."






One of the west-Berkeley business organizations is WEBAIC. If you want to join WEBAIC you can find an application blank here. Also, here are links to other WEBAIC pages.



Did Sophie's favorite painter of my 10/20/07 post inspire you? Thanks to Lipofsky you, yourself, can "paint like Jackson Pollock." Just go here.



And our Janine Johnson emails

Hi, I have a new CD on Magnatune.com of original harpsichord
suites. Please check it out.

Happy autumn! Janine




"Berkeley hopes signs will ease parking tangle: $2 million system will direct drivers to available spaces around town" reports Doug Oakley of our Times.


And, "'Renegade lunch lady' puts health first in school food" writes Katy Murphy.

"Even before the sun rose Tuesday morning, the smell of slow-cooked pork filled the school district's central kitchen and drifted out the back door, where delivery trucks loaded with fresh produce and other ingredients waited to be unloaded."



Potter Creek's young painter, Sophie Gross also likes minimalist, Eva Hesse. Find out about Hesse here.







The French-American School is having its Halloween Parade this Thursday.



Our Amy just got back from a Dubai vacation and will soon start writing about west-Berkeley places to eat



Ruth Okimoto lent me a copy of her soon-to-be-released documentary-film on our WWII concentration camps, Passing Poston: An American Story. A Japanese-American, Ruth and her family were incarcerated at Poston for the duration. This film, her first, humanized the experience for me. I've long known about the event because of my interest in 20th Century history. This is the first time I felt it.



World traveler and college buddy, thrifty Ed emails

I rarely endorse a website but Yapta.com is an exception. I just received a $59.00 voucher because Yapta warned me that United had dropped their price.

Here's my feedback to Yapta:

"After your warning, I logged on to the United website and discovered that there was indeed a reduction. When I phoned, the agent, at first, said, 'No, the price had gone up.' But I hung in there and after a 15 minute hold, she came back on and acknowledged that the fare had indeed been lowered on the internet but not in her computer. They issued a voucher mailed to my address and issued a new electronic ticket at the new price."

Two lessons learned: one, forget about phone reservations and ticketing sites like Travelocity. Always use the airline's website first. Two, do not let the agent's initial refusal deter you.

Yapta Email Alert System wrote: Yapta Price Change! Hello Ed, Good News!

Your trip. . . has dropped in price to $134.80. Our records show that you paid $193.80 per ticket. The rules for United say that you can have a voucher for $59.00







Kubik forwards an email he just sent the Planet about our 10/16/07 west-Berkeley Town Meeting

I was at the West Berkeley Community meeting on October 16 and was amazed at the rude behavior. People shouted insults from the audience. One fellow took hold of the microphone and wouldn't give it up. He continued his rant until the time ran out and others who were waiting didn't get a chance to speak. . . . It is time to get over any . . . hurt feelings about being disrespected, not informed, ignored etc. Let us get on with discussions about what needs to be done and who is willing to lend what kind of support. . . .

Earlier this week, Bowman emailed a long protest to my "Shame on us all!" post of 10/20. His email ends

"I believe you owe everyone an apology for your ugly and mean spirited characterization - and you owe the people you are trying to serve with your website more real information about important neighborhood issues."



"Lack of sleep linked to emotional imbalance, imaging study suggests" reports the Chronicle's Erin Allday, Chronicle.

"When Margaret Chau has a bad night's sleep, she knows to steer clear of loved ones the next day - she's cranky and impatient, and she tends to take it out on others.



"A retired Berkeley planner who wanted to create an innovative pedestrian plaza in the Gourmet Ghetto said Friday the plan isnearly sunk, due to bitter opposition from small-business owners and neighbors" reports Carolyn Jones of the Chronicle.

"'We were out-shouted,' said David Stoloff, a North Berkeley resident who worked for 21/2 years without pay to bring the North Shattuck Plaza to fruition. 'There were people who glommed onto this as their next big fight, and they vowed they weren't going to lose. They didn't.'

The plan was so mired in divisive community meetings that it never made it to the official city planning process. Now Stoloff, a city planning commissioner, said he's so frustrated he's close to abandoning it.

North Shattuck Plaza would have transformed the parking strip and a short portion of Shattuck Avenue between Vine and Rose streets into a park-like promenade with trees, grass, artwork, a farmers' market and benches where people could have slices of Cheese Board pizza and swill lattes from the original Peet's."


In light of the rowdyism at recent community meetings here, and in other neighborhoods, let me invite all out-side-agitators and carpet-baggers-of-any-stripe to

"Keep-the-hell out of my Potter Creek!"




"Berkeley City Attorney Albuquerque retiring Nov. 30" reports Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle.



The Department of Energy just held their Solar Decathlon which "joins 20 college and university teams in a competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house."

The winner was Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany.








at CEID Tuesday




Last week, in Bob and Carol's Pumpkin Patch

this CEID two-year-old was already taken with photographer, Cindy


Check out École Bilingue's Halloween Parade.






Saturday's concrete pour

at the Bowl







Jill Ellis emails that there will be a CEID Halloween Parade this Wednesday morning.



David Snipper forwards a link to photos taken during the Endeavor Mission. Check these out!



Our Janine Johnson, harpsichordist emails

I am giving another house concert in two weeks, this time all Bach. The inspiration for the upcoming program fell in my lap, so to speak. I'd purchased a facsimile of Bach's Clavierbung III for the Duets, only to discover a wealth of fabulous organ music, much of which I have heard and loved in concerts. The temptation was too great to not attempt these on the harpsichord. After a rather lengthy stretch of practicing (and stretching of hands) I am finally happy with the following program.

Much is written about the organization of these works (which I fear I changed for the recital), their symbolism, use of numerology, and so forth, but all that aside, these are truly Bach at his best and most passionate. Counterpoint lovers will revel in the complexity of many of these works, and those who love Bach's more lyrical side will also be moved. How Bach can interweave so many voices, often in strict canon, and yet produce a whole which is enjoyable with no knowledge of this, is of course part of his genius. I have been relishing this music myself, for many months now, and am eager to share it!!

I expect you have never heard these (except the duets) on harpsichord, so unless you frequent organ recitals, this will likely all be new. I promise it is fabulous on the harpsichord! Those pieces requiring pedals took some, but not much rewriting, and I made sure to keep the Cantus Firmus (chorale melody) intact. I think you will like the results.

The concerts are Saturday November 10th at 10:30 AM, and Sunday November 11th, at 3:00 PM at my house in Berkeley. Please RSVP, as space is limited. $10.00 suggested donation.



Preludium pro Organo Pleno
Fuga a 5 (St. Anne)

Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit (Cantus Firmus in Soprano)
Kyrie, Gott Heiliger Geist
Duetto IV

Allein Gott in der sei Ehr (CF in Alto)
Fuga super Jesus Christus unser Heiland a 4
Duetto II

Vater unser im Himmelreich
Kyrie Gott heiliger Geist a 5 (CF in Basso)
Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam (CF in pedal)


Duetto III
Dies sind die heilgen zehen Geboth (CF in canon)
Fugetta super Dies sind die heiligen zehen Geboth

Kyrie Gott Vater in Ewigkeit
Duetto I
Fugetta super Wir glauben all an einen Gott
Vater unser im Himelreich (CF in canon)




I've noticed an increased Berkeley PD presence in Potter Creek recently, even Special-Enforcement-Unit patrols.



The French School trimmed it Trumpet Vines this week.


And for years, Juan's has cleaned their sidewalks and street-gutters. For how many years?

Juan used to do it.



900 GRAYSON has a new menu, having added Organic Baby Spinach & Arugula Salad, Butternut Squash Ravioli, and Coq Au Vin AND White Chocolate & Banana Cream Pie & Chocolate Sauce, and Blackberry Bread Pudding & Cinnamon Whipped Cream.


And, how good is Josh's Vegetarian Chili? It would be a SERIOUS contender in a Texas Chili Cook-Off.



Excerpts from Mayor Bates email

Berkeley Breakthrough on Solar and Energy Efficiency Financing

Berkeley is set to become the first city in the nation to allow property owners to pay for energy efficiency improvements and solar system installation as a long-term assessment on their individual property tax bill. I will ask the City Council to approve the framework for a Sustainable Energy Financing District at their November 6th Council meeting. The Berkeley Plan eliminates the two major financial hurdles to solar electric and solar water systems the high upfront cost and the possibility that those costs will not be recovered when the property is sold.


Berkeley Receives Mixed, But Optimistic Economic Report

The City Council received an in-depth report on economic trends last week based on new data compiled by our Economic Development and Information Technology offices. The news shows continued improvement after the severe economic downturn that lasted from 2002 to 2005. For example, citywide sales tax receipts through March of this year are up nearly 9% since the middle of 2005. We are also now closely tracking commercial vacancy rates on Telegraph and in our downtown. While we still have a long way to go, our data shows that nearly a third of vacant commercial space in the Telegraph area is planned for occupancy soon with leases or permits pending.


Pacific Steel Casting Health Assessment Report Released for Review
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) required the Pacific Steel Casting Company to prepare a Health Risk Assessment to meet the requirements of their Air Toxics Hot Spots program. That report is now available for public review and comment through January. The City, the State, and the Air District will be conducting independent reviews and analysis of the data during that time period. A community meeting will be held during the month of January as well. Following those reviews, the Air District will decide whether any further research is warranted before taking action. The City will also then determine what steps it can and should take.


Mayor Bates Helps Lead Town-Gown Conference
Shortly after taking office, I joined with the Mayor of Riverside to create a new statewide partnership of cities that host University of California or California State University campuses. With support from the California League of Cities and others, we have now met a number of times at locations around the State. Earlier this month, we held the second annual joint meeting of cities and universities to discuss town-gown relations. Over 100 city and university leaders, including many from Berkeley, attended the meeting, which was held at UCLA. Presentations and other information from the conference will be posted here


Check Out the Berkeley in the 1930s Exhibit at the History Center

A wonderful new exhibit on Berkeley in the 1930s in now on display at the Berkeley History Center, 1931 Center Street. It explores both the Great Depression and the development of transportation, business and industry in our city.


You Can Now Call 211 for Social Service Referrals and Assistance

All residents of Alameda County can now dial 211 to be connected to a call center that will connect you with nearly any social service from food banks to suicide prevention counseling to health care.


"Berkeley could pay upfront for solar: Proposal to be presented to council Nov. 6 would have homeowners repay costs through property tax" reports Doug Oakley of our Times.

"Berkeley is hoping to become a model for cities nationwide with a plan to bankroll homeowners who want to install solar energy systems.

Mayor Tom Bates will introduce the concept, called the Sustainable Energy Financing District, to the City Council on Nov. 6. If the council approves it, the district could become reality by the middle or end of next year, said Bates' chief of staff, Cisco DeVries, who came up with the idea.

Berkeley would pay the upfront costs of installing solar systems and energy-efficient upgrades to a home or business. The owner would pay it back over 20 years as an add-on to property taxes. Homeowners would be charged interest, but DeVries said the rates will be lower than what a bank would charge.

The city will get its money for the solar projects by borrowing from banks or other financial institutions.

If the home is sold, the property tax assessment is passed on to the new owner."



"Housing forecast sees more dark days: Slump will continue to drag down economy for at least a year before market starts to improve" reports the AP's Martin Crutsinger.

The housing slump, which began in late 2005, probably has one more year to go before things turn around. Before it is over, home prices -- which had soared during the boom years -- will probably have fallen by the largest amount of any downturn in the post World War II period.

The problems in housing have been a serious drag on the overall economy -- slashing more than a full percentage point off growth in some quarters. And those adverse effects will get worse in coming months, many private economists say, reflecting the fallout from the severe credit crunch that hit in August."


"Foreclosures highest since '88: Falling prices, sluggish sales, credit crunch push California's
quarterly rate up 34.5 percent"
reports the Times' Barbara E. Hernandez.

"Fed by declining prices, slow sales and a credit crunch, California foreclosures rose to their highest levels in 19 years from July to September, and fewer homeowners in default are likely to escape foreclosure, according to a real estate information report released Friday.

A total of 72,571 notices of default, the first stage of the foreclosure process, were filed during the third quarter in the state, up 34.5 percent from the previous quarter and 166.6 percent from the third quarter of 2006 according to DataQuick Information Systems."



"Bidding for bedrooms" is also a Hernandez report.

The Kennedy Wilson auction of San Pablo townhouses at the Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center Berkeley Marina started last weekend with a 'practice auction' to get people familiar with the experience, the auctioneer said.

Everyone was encouraged to bid on the 'practice' property -- or perhaps it was a way to get adrenaline and momentum up.

It may have worked. The first townhouse sold for $395,000, the highest price of the day, with two bidders jacking up the price an easy $50,000. The last lot sold with the weakest momentum for $293,000, the lowest amount of the day in front of the least number of bidders.

As auctions become a more frequent choice for builders to move slow inventory, consumers are being drawn to these events in hopes of finding a good deal."



"All dressed up and nobody home" writes the Times' Tom Lochner.

"Houses sitting empty means it's auction time: Pinole development to auction off seven unsold units amidst a slumping real estate market."



"Lender post loss, sees profit in future: Countrywide CEO says turnaround will come in fourth quarter and 2008 despite losing more than $1 billion in third quarter" writes Alex Veiga of the AP.

Just a couple of months ago, worries that the home loan crisis would sink Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation's largest mortgage lender, sent customers bolting to yank their savings from the company's banking subsidiary.

Now, Angelo Mozilo, the company's chairman and chief executive, says the company is on the mend and predicts it will turn a profit in the fourth quarter and next year -- despite posting a more than $1 billion third-quarter loss, an ongoing housing slump, credit market chaos, rising foreclosures and a forecasts of a possible recession next year.

Why is Mozilo, who sold off some $130 million in Countrywide stock in the first half of the year, so optimistic?"



"Mortgage crisis claims 325 jobs in October" writes George Avalos of the Times.

"The mortgage meltdown has claimed the jobs of at least 300 people in the East Bay this month, an indication that the housing recession has yet to run its course.

Diablo Funding Group, BNC Mortgage LLC and Option One Mortgage Corp. are cutting a combined 325 jobs in the East Bay."

Berkeley Crime Log for 94710 is here

This site is NOT affiliated with Berkeley PD.

Take time to report crime!

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

The contacts are below:

Officer Andrew Frankel, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 AFrankel@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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

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

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



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