Cameron emails about The Bark's new book, Howl

Howl is a collection of the Best Contemporary Dog Wit published by Crown. Its our follow-up to our New York Times bestseller Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Howl is composed canine-inspired writing from a variety of contemporary humorists, literary authors, and comedians including Al Franken, Dave Barry, Margaret Cho, Kinky Friedman, Haven Kimmel and Roy Blount Jr. Nearly 70 contributors in all.

We invite people to join us for a reading at Codys Books on Fourth St. Sunday, November 18 at 4 pm. Dogs welcome, biscuits and treats served. Free admission.

Best regards, Cameron



Wednesday, November 21st, Pete's "Alternate Tunings" will feature the French horn. Paul Avril, French horn player with the Philharmonia Baroque will be interviewed. There's more and it will all be on KALX at 9:00 AM.



 Saturday evening at 6:29 PM, a grey column rose from the northwest around Dwight and 5th to only a few hundred feet and then, as a grey cloud, spread over Potter Creek. The air was heavy with moisture and by 7PM the cloud was down to ground level.



Last Tuesday, escrow closed on the Celia's/Brennan's properties--4th and University. The new owners, Essex Propertirs/Urban Housing, will build one-hundred-some live-units there.


A jewelry manufacture is moving into the Rodriguez brothers building on 9th and Pardee--they bought the building. And down the street, the Oceanview lightning building has also been purchased and the new owners are moving in their lighting business, Panache.


Swerve, the design and manufacturing company, is moving into their new office space on 7th Street over the weekend.


The shell of a structure on 10th immediately to the east of Fantasy is posted for demolition.


Escrow closed on Marvin's old building on 9th Street. The new owner, an electrician, is planning on moving his business there.


Seems that the current constuction in Potter Creek is very much in keeping with our mixed-use past, as are the current property purchases.



"Minority Communities Need More Parks, Report Says" writes Angela Rowen of our Planet.

"A new report takes aim at the East Bay Regional Park District for not doing enough to ensure that low-income minority communities have access to open space.

In 'Access to Parkland: Environmental Justice at East Bay Parks,' Paul Kibel, adjunct professor at Golden Gate University's School of Law and director of the school's City Parks Project, reviews published and unpublished reports on access to and usage of the EBRPD's holdings, which cover 100,000 acres of land in Alameda and Contra Costa counties and constitute the largest public park system in the immediate San Francisco Bay Area.

In the report, Kibel argues that a majority of the district's land, which comprises 14 parks, 19 preserves, nine recreation areas and 13 shorelines, is located in hillside areas, adjacent to affluent, white communities and often inaccessible to low-income minority residents living in the flatland neighborhoods of Oakland, Richmond, Berkeley, Hayward and Fremont."









"Counties told to reduce emissions: State attorney general says new projects must reduce greenhouse gases or else public leaders will face lawsuits" writes Ryan Huff of our Times.

Underscoring the urgent need to combat global warming, Attorney General Jerry Brown warned county leaders from across the state Tuesday that they must reduce greenhouse gases when planning new developments or run the risk of costly lawsuits."



"Foreclosure filings up in metro areas" reports the AP's Alex Veiga.

"Homeowners across the U.S. are increasingly having trouble making their mortgage payments on time, but borrowers in metro areas of California, Florida and other once-booming housing markets are accounting for the biggest spikes in foreclosure filings, =according to a mortgage research company.

An analysis of foreclosure activity in the nation's largest 100 metropolitan areas during the three months ended Sept. 30 shows seven cities in California and five each in Florida and Ohio were among the top 25 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates, according to the study being released Wednesday by RealtyTrac Inc.

The Irvine-based company calculates its foreclosure rate ranking by comparing the number of households in a metro area with the number of foreclosure filings, which include notices of default, auction sale notices or bank repossessions.

Stockton, about 83 miles east of San Francisco, had the highest foreclosure rate in the third quarter among the top 100 metro areas, with one foreclosure filing for every 31 households, RealtyTrac said."



"E-Loan to cut more than 400 jobs: Layoffs at Pleasanton firm can be seen as symptom of housing mess that continues to claim East Bay jobs" reports the Times' George Avalos

"The mortgage morass has engulfed E-Loan, an online loan firm that said Monday it intends to chop more than 400 jobs from its Pleasanton headquarters as part of a wrenching and broad restructuring.

Employees were notified they would be dismissed at the end of last week. E-Loan, a unit of Puerto Rico-based bank Popular Inc., gave employees 60 days' notice that they would be terminated. Popular Inc. bought E-Loan for $300 million in 2005."



"Gas prices 'likely to get worse' After 34-cent jump at pump, experts say drivers can expect to keep paying more as crude oil climbs" reports the Times' Janis Mara

"It's official: Bay Area gas prices zoomed upward in the past month, tracking the cost of crude oil as it soared to record highs, as most Bay Area motorists already know.

The price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline jumped 34 cents in the Bay Area, to a painful $3.53. Gas was up 35 cents in Oakland, to $3.52; 35 cents in Fremont, to $3.42; and 36 cents in Concord, to $3.38, AAA of Northern California said Tuesday.

Crude oil prices have set new records on the New York Mercantile Exchange, peaking at a record $98.62 a barrel last week, though prices fell in the past two days, closing Tuesday at $91.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude is the basic component of gasoline. When its price increases, the rule of thumb is that every dollar a barrel shows up as 21/2 cents at the pump.

Experts and motorists agree that the crude oil spikes have not finished trickling down to the gas pump.

'As bad as it is now, it's likely to get worse, at least in the short term,' said Sean Comey, AAA spokesman. According to the Oil Price Information Service, the percentage of median income spent on gas has doubled over the last five years."



Bill McDonough, architect and planner, spoke at the Paramount last-night as part of the Oakland Speaker Series.

Check him out here.

Find out about his film, The Next Industrial Revolution: the Birth of the Sustainable Economy, here.

"This film is an inspirational look at a hopeful vision of the future. It does an excellent job of presenting both theory and real world examples of a design revolution that has the potential to re-make our world." writes James Gustave Speth, Dean, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Is he a visionary? "They come and they go" quipped Lipofsky.








The City of Berkeley in-lieu-fee--the payment to the city of hundreds-of-thousands of dollars by builders in lieu of low income housing units--will be the subject of two city meetings--one, our Planning Commision, the other our Zoning Adjustment Board. One will be held on the 28th of November, the other December 12th. Both at the North Berkeley Senior Center beginning at 7:00 PM. The payment of an in-lieu-fee affects two Potter Creek 8th Street developments, Ed Adam's and Kava's.



"Man hit, killed by train in Berkeley" reports Doug Oakley in our Times. "The Alameda County Coroner's office identified a man hit and killed by a train at the Berkeley Amtrak station this [Thursday] morning as Scott Slaughter, 31, of Berkeley."



"Protesters throw liquid in eyes of UC workers, police say; three arrested" reports Kristin Bender in the Times.

"Two UC Berkeley police officers were taken to the hospital early Thursday after tree sitters and their supporters at the campus oak grove tried to damage a protective fence and tossed an unidentified
liquid into the officers' eyes during a late-night fray, a campus spokesman said Thursday.

The officers, whose names were not made available, were treated and released from an area hospital, said UC Berkeley assistant Chief Mitch Celaya. The liquid -- which burned the officers' eyes -- has not been identified, police said. "



"Business Improvement District For Solano Avenue Dismantled" reports Judith Scherr of our Planet.

"A three-year-old business assessment district that had become controversial with some of its members was voted off the Avenue at last week's Solano Avenue Association (SAA) board meeting.

The SAA is the nonprofit corporation that managed the Solano Avenue Business Improvement District, established by the Berkeley City Council to market businesses on Solano and to upgrade the street's appearance."



"Oil Spill Prompts City To Declare Emergency" writes Riya Bhattacharjee in the Planet.

"The only sound along the deserted shoreline at the Berk-eley Marina Wednesday was the clattering of pebbles inside Carole Rathfon's double-layered plastic bag."







Quote of the week from my young Potter Creek friend, after waiting in a long line, a long time, to see Barack Obama

"He ain't ghetto, but he cool, . . . like me."



Kimar's youngest son, Jeff has produced more Texas Intrument HD-TV commercials this year. Check out his "It's the Mirrors" TV-spots during college- and pro-ball broadcasts.



Friday evening's Channel 7 ABC News reported on two San Francisco south-of-market neighborhoods similar to Potter Creek, and going through similar changes. Both neighborhoods had active community organizations formed primarily to improve surroundings. And both had hired private services to supplement SF city services.


As far as I can tell, no one cleans up his property more often than Regan, except the guys at Juan's



Heddy Riss, Program Director: Center on Institutions and Governance
UC Berkeley, 130 Moses Hall, MC 2370, Berkeley, CA 94720, phone 510 643 4487

Our Heddy Riss has organized another event, a talk by Mark Schapiro the author of The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What is at Stake for American Power.

"Mark Schapiro's new book investigates how corporations intent on thwarting stricter environmental and health guidelines here in the U.S. are forced to meet new demands by the European Union to improve their products. The resulting global economic power shift places Brussels, not Washington, in the driverís seat."

This is a presentation in conjunction with the EU-California Regulatory Cooperation Project and the Center on Institutions and Governance. It will be presented November 28, 2007, 4 P.M in Harris Seminar Room, 119 Moses Hall, UC Berkeley.



"Spill puts bunker fuel under fire" writes Mike Taugher of the Times.

"The low-grade, tarry fuel that spilled into San Francisco Bay from the Cosco Busan last week is attracting scrutiny from regulators, lawmakers and environmentalists because of how badly it can foul
beaches and wildlife and the amount of soot and sulfur it puts into the air.

The fuel is favored by container ship companies because it is inexpensive -- about $1.65 a gallon.

But less than a month ago, state regulators got the green light from a federal appeals court to ban so-called 'bunker fuel' from the auxiliary tanks that power ships' generators.

Next year, the California Air Resources Board is expected to consider banning the use of bunker fuel completely so that ships will not use it to run their engines within three miles of California.

Meanwhile, California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein -- who say that more than half of the sulfur air pollution in Southern California comes from ships' exhaust -- have introduced legislation to remove sulfur from the fuel. And in the wake of the Cosco Busan oil spill, environmentalists have called for a worldwide ban on
bunker fuel."

Chris, Potter Creek's former Professor of Cars, hipped me to bunker-fuel-polution years ago and I wrote about it several times in Scrambled Eggs.

It's all about timing.


How to help clean-up the oil?

Berkeley is offering volunteer training on Saturday, Nov. 17
from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Berkeley Senior Center, 1900 Sixth



"East Bay jobs take dive: In past two months, housing, mortgage woes reflected in economy" reports the Times' George Avalos.

The housing and mortgage meltdown has begun to cast an ominous pall over the East Bay economy, which has now lost jobs each of the past two months, according to a report released Friday.

The East Bay lost 900 jobs during October, adjusted for seasonal changes. That comes on the heels of a loss of 1,200 jobs in September, the state Employment Development Department reported. And in three of the past four months, the region has suffered job losses."



"Take a tip from Buffett: Study shows investors could have made an annual return of 24.6 percent following the billionaire's advice" writes Josh P. Hamilton in our Times.

"Buying whatever billionaire Warren Buffett bought, often months after his share purchases, delivered twice the return of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index during the past three decades."



"Army desertion rate up 80 pct. since '03" writes Lolita C. Baldor of the AP in our Times.

"Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

While the totals are still far lower than they were during the Vietnam War, when the draft was in effect, they show a steady increase over the past four years and a 42 percent jump since last year."



BBC News reports "Saudi gang rape sentence 'unjust'".

"A lawyer for a gang-rape victim in Saudi Arabia who was sentenced to 200 lashes and six-months in jail says the punishment contravenes Islamic law. The woman was initially punished for violating laws on segregation of the sexes--she was in an unrelated man's car at the time of the attack.

When she appealed, judges doubled her sentence, saying she had been trying to use the media to influence them. Her lawyer has been suspended from the case and faces a disciplinary session. Abdel Rahman al-Lahem told the BBC Arabic Service that the sentence was in violation of Islamic law: 'My client is the victim of this abhorrent crime. I believe her sentence contravenes the Islamic Sharia law and violates the pertinent international conventions,' he said. 'The judicial bodies should have dealt with this girl as the victim rather than the culprit.'

The lawyer also said that his client his will appeal against the decision to increase her punishment."






Merryll emails

The Washington Post has published the winning
submissions to its yearly neologism contest in which readers are
asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

The [first ten] winners are:
1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly
answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run
over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.



I heard the first mix of Pete and Sarah's KALX "Alternate Tunings" French-horn program--one of their best, specially informative, droll, with well chosen, beautiful, music examples. And French hornist, Paul Avril's insights are wonderful. The program airs this Wednesday at 9:00 AM on KALX.



Activ Space is having an open house, December 8th and 9th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.



"Dog day afternoon for Cal: Bears get a chewing out from Tedford after their sloppy performance
in the rain at Washington"
writes Jonathan Okanes in the Times.

"There was a time this season when Cal was being discussed as a candidate to play in the bowl season's ultimate game. Now the Bears are in danger of not playing in a bowl game at all."



"Overflow crowd for cleanup class" reports Douglas Fischer in our Times.

" 7:53 a.m. Saturday and Angus Mullins was already running late.

The Berkeley resident had hoped to attend a free hazardous materials handling training class required before volunteers can participate in organized cleanups scouring the coast in the wake of the Nov. 7 San
Francisco Bay oil spill.

But he was on the wrong side of the door and among at least 50 people turned away after the room reached capacity."












Yesterday morning two more parked cars were side-swiped by passing vehicles--one on 7th south of Grayson, the other on the corner of Grayson and 7th. Both were legally parked. Am I missing someting here?



Several Potter Creekers have lately commented that Urban Ore's selection isn't is good as it has been and that their prices have been raised.



Fifi White emails about the San Pablo and Pardee project hearing--10 units

The project was so roundly panned by the neighbors and commissioners
that they voted the project down in this his first hearing, telling
him there was no chance it would ever be approved. They suggested
he go back to ZAB with his original project and apply again for the
waiver. so...good news on this round, . . . .


More from Merryll's email

The Washington Post has published the winning
submissions to its yearly neologism contest in which readers are
asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

winners 6 thru 16

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly
answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run
over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto
the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.



Tippett's artisans worked on Disney's Enchanted. Here's the Chronicle's review.

"The advance word on Disney's 'Enchanted' was that it's a star-making vehicle for Amy Adams, who plays a fairy-tale heroine plunked down in today's Manhattan, where things don't always turn out happily ever
Now the film is here, and Adams does offer quite a turn: Portraying a version of Disney's Snow White, she owns the character, down to every warble and twirl.

Adams' Giselle actually first appears as an animated figure. In fact, the whole opening sequence is in hand-drawn animation, and it's a nice summing up of a classic Disney fairy-tale motif: the captivating young woman who sings while she works and gets help with the chores from cheerful woodland animals."


Business Week's Catherine Holahan asks "Can Amazon Kindle Digital Book Fever?

If CEO Jeff Bezos has any say, bookstores could eventually be a thing of the past. Just turn on your Kindle and get the new Stephen King."


"Fence gap by tracks gets mixed reactions: Despite man's death, many say they will continue to use shortcut; city, federal officials call for its repair" reports Doug Oakley of our west-Berkeley crossing in the Times.

"A federal official said Monday that a gap in a fence people use to cross Berkeley railroad tracks should be fixed following a fatality last week.

In the meantime, employees of Truitt & White lumber yard who use the shortcut probably will continue to do so despite the death of their colleague, according to two managers who work there."



"Neighbors Win Nuisance Case Against Pacific Steel Casting" reports Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet.

"An Alameda County Superior Court judge awarded thousands of dollars in damages to a group of West Berkeley neighbors Friday who sued Pacific Steel Casting for loss of use and enjoyment of their property and mental distress.

Judge Dawn Girard ruled that nine of the 19 plaintiffs who filed the small claims case in August 2006 would each get between $2,100 and $5,100 because of the 'private nuisance created by Pacific Steel,' and 'a real and appreciable invasion of the plaintiffs' interests.' "

An important precedent.







machine room at the Goldin's new Swerve manufacturing facility in Potter Creek





an afternoon's entertainment on Russian Hill?

no, . . . immediately pre-party in Sally's dinning area here in Potter Creek




Silicon Valley reader, Nick Despotopoulos emails

NPR features a movie about jazz player, Art Pepper. It was produced by his wife, Laurie. Check out Straight Life.


"Markets remain jittery" reports BBC News.

"US and European shares plunged on Wednesday, damaged by a weak dollar, an oil price spike and continued fears for the US economy.

On Wall Street the Dow Jones index went into the Thanksgiving holiday having slumped by more than 200 points.

The UK's FTSE 100 closed 2.5% down while Germany's Dax index lost 1.5% and France's Cac slipped 2.3%.

The heavy falls came a day after the US Federal Reserve cut its growth forecast - stoking fears of a slowdown.

The central bank now sees the US economy growing by between 1.8% and 2.5% in 2008, compared to its previous forecast of between 2.5% to 2.75%.

And this saw the dollar hitting yet another low against the dollar against the euro, which hit a an all-time peak of 1.4870 dollars in Wednesday's trading."








work on Merryll's continues apace



Friend and North Berkeley reader,Takane Eshima emails

Check out the video, Korean Freestyle Slalom Rollerblading



"Winter wonderland of art in Berkeley: Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios"
writes Doug Oakley in our Times.

"A group of Berkeley artists is offering an alternative to brand-name, corporate holiday shopping with a self-guided studio tour over four weekends starting today.

The Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 16.

The event, now in its 17th year, has grown from 17 locations with 60 artists to 35 locations with 100 artists, a testament to the strength of the Berkeley art scene despite a purported exodus of artists who left for Oakland and cheaper digs."

WHAT: 35 locations and 100 artists selling handmade works of art. WHERE: Throughout Berkeley; map available online. WHEN: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 16. MORE INFORMATION: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com or 510-845-2612


And, there'a a lot more happening here in west-Berkeley. Check out wine.com, now open in the Peerless Building on 4th and Bancroft. Also, check out their web site.



"New technology tries to tag taggers: Montebello spends $1 million on system to fight graffiti vandalism"
reports Tami Abdollah of the Los Angeles Times in our Times.



BBC News reports "Oil reaches new record above $99.

Oil prices are creeping closer to $100 a barrel Oil prices came close to breaching the $100 a barrel mark on
Wednesday as the dollar remained weak, tempting traders towards commodities.

US light, sweet crude hit a record of $99.29 before slipping back to $97.29, down 74 cents on the days trading.

Brent crude, which hit an all-time high of $96.53 dollars, rose 50 cents to $95.99 a barrel.

Tight supplies and winter demand have also contributed to oil prices climbing by about 45% since August.

US crude oil inventories fell by 1.1 million barrels last week, the US Energy Information Administration said, surprising analysts who had predicted a rise of 600,000 barrels.

Federal Reserve predictions of slower than expected growth in the US next year have also boosted prices.





Does Berkeley have a new Waving Man on the west side of San Pablo just south of Dwight? I hope so!


Anchalee is a new Thai restaurant in Potter Creek on Dwight just west of Trieste. Check it out!


Berkeley Mills is one of Potter Creek's established businesses Check it out!

Gene, the owner, recently visited Viet Nam and hopes to establish a business relation with the Vietnamese. Gene says Nam now is friendly to Americans, is a young, energetic country and that he was taken to parts where no foreigner had been before.

Gene is also responsible for the delivery of 900's WSJ copies.



"The Return of the Jumping Fleas! Or how we learned to stop worrying and love the ukulele" writes Ian Lendler in the San Francisco Chronicle.


"It is, admittedly, a long way from Hawaii. Twenty-four hundred miles, to be exact. But if you were to sail from the postcard beaches of Honolulu to Berkeley, you wouldn't know they shared the same ocean. Landing on the shores of Berkeley, you would encounter a dispiriting swath of highways and warehouses dumped there by a society that no longer needs the sea.

Among those warehouses, however, you would find one building filled with evidence that the two cities are, in fact, long-distance next-door neighbors. In West Berkeley's Sawtooth Building, a faint smell of Hawaii lingers in the air. This is the workshop of Mike DaSilva, one of America's premier ukulele-makers, and the sawdust on his
workshop floor is koa wood, imported from Oahu. In the rafters, his pet parakeet flaps and squawks above the 30 or 40 people sitting below, chatting amiably and tuning their ukuleles. Or trying to.

This is the sixth meeting of the Berkeley Ukulele Club, and many members began playing only a few weeks ago, so tuning is a skill not yet fully mastered. Some of them picked up the ukulele on a whim. Some are here because a friend convinced them it would be fun. Few are aware that by playing the ukulele, they're joining a tradition
that has deep roots in the place-memory of the bay, harking back to a time when the ocean's presence defined this shipping port that was known as the Gateway to Hawaii."


Da Silva is just one of the two ukulele makers in Potter Creek, the other is Pete Hurney.

And it's Pete's uke in many of the story's photos--for instance, in this shot of Tippy Canoe by Chronicle photographer Chris Stewart.

This photo by Chronicle photographer, Chris Stewart

may be purchased through the story web page.




"Roller Derby's revival thrills fans" reports Martin Snapp in our Times.

" 'Whoa, Nellie!' as the late, great Roller Derby announcer Dick Lane used to say. After a brief hiatus in the late '90s, Roller Derby is back.

And so is the sport's most fabled franchise, the Bay Bombers, who will take on an all-star team from the rest of the American Roller Skating Derby on Saturday at Alameda High."


"Foreclosures ravage neighborhoods and communities" writes John Simerman of the Times.







Cameron emails

Hey Ron

Claudia and I thought you should give a shout-out to the . . . family who live next to Sarah ... The . . . Potter Creekers have an outdoor holiday light display. Very festive sight as you turn on to 8th St. off Heinz!



Also check out the other Potter Creek holiday lights just off Heinz on 10th, on the west side of the street.



Bob Kubik emails his obession, his popover recipe

In September we stayed in Woods Hole Mass. for two weeks and soon discovered a great cafe called "Pie In the Sky". Every morning we went there for americanos and popovers. The best popovers I had every seen and tasted!
I determined to make popovers myself. I tried recipes from Rombauer"s classic cookbook, from the "Cook's Illustrated" web site and other web sites. Non popped!
In desperation I e-mailed "Pie in the Sky" for help. The owner promptly responded with the following which really worked! I pass this on as a civic duty to those who love fresh popovers...
p.s. I used 1/4 the recipe to make six big ones.


Traditionally, popovers are steam leavened, there should not be any baking soda, powder, or other chemical leaveners. It's the steam generated from the water present in the milk & eggs that make them pop.




Don't take out too soon or they'll fall!, even in my big commercial ovens, they still take about 45 minutes.




"Council passes package of homeless benefits, restrictions: Members disagree about ban on lying on sidewalks, but curbs are approved in final vote" writes our Doug Oakley in the Times.

"Berkeley's City Council this week passed Mayor Tom Bates' package of social services for the homeless and laws banning smoking and sleeping on sidewalks as part of an effort to curb disruptive street

During four hours of debate, discussion and public comment Tuesday, the council generally was in favor of spending $1 million a year in services for about 800 homeless people but disagreed on the need for increased enforcement of people who sleep on the sidewalks.

Despite the disagreement on enforcement measures, the entire package, called the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative, passed in separate votes."



"Consumer Confidence Index slumps. Board says drop -- the sharpest since fall 2005 -- is fueled by high gas prices, housing crisis and erratic stock market" reports Anne D'Innocenzio in the Times. "

"Just when the economy needs them the most, consumers are feeling less confident than they have since hurricanes Katrina and Rita pummeled the Gulf Coast two years ago.

U.S. consumers face a multitude of problems -- higher gas prices, a volatile stock market and a slumping housing market -- that are fueling worries among retailers of a frugal holiday with only a month left of the critical Christmas shopping season.

On Tuesday, the New York-based Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 87.3, marking a four-month slide and a drop of almost 8 points from the revised 95.2 in October."


"Plot out a plan, shoppers urged: Debt happens because people don't have a system, experts say" reports the Time's Blanca Torres

" 'Tis the season of giving and, for many, racking up credit card debt.

Holiday shopping seems to come out of nowhere and find shoppers financially unprepared for the extra expenses and turning to their credit cards.

That leads to what's known as a 'holiday hangover' in January, when consumers open their credit card statements.

Overspending is a top priority for many consumers who want to do some gift giving but are worried about economic conditions such as the mortgage crisis, gas prices and inflation."

I'm reminded of a Soprano's episode, a flashback when Tony as a young man first learns of credit cards. He's annoyed that wise-guys didn't first come up with the idea of actively encouraging debt and charging people for it.



"Third-quarter home prices plunge. 4.5 percent drop is the biggest reported by Standard & Poor's since it began its index in 1987" reports the AP's J.W. Elphinstone.

"U.S. home prices fell 4.5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the sharpest drop since Standard & Poor's began its nationwide housing index in 1987 and another sign that the housing slump is far from over, the research group said Tuesday."



"State sues U.S. over eased EPA rules: Brown says new regulations allow companies to hide information on
the release of toxic chemicals"
reports Steve Geissinger in our Times.

"Attorney General Jerry Brown sued the U.S. government Wednesday, accusing environmental regulators of relaxing rules that require industry to report toxic pollution.

Silicon Valley electronics manufacturers, East Bay oil refineries and San Mateo County plastic producers are among those involved in the 'nationwide controversy.' "







The Cajun Savoy Family is giving a free performance in front of the 4th Street Down Home Music. It's Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM. Definitely check it out!



"Berkeley puts up balance of funds for disability center" writes the San Francisco Chronicle's Carolyn Jones.

"Somewhere, Ed Roberts is smiling.

A one-of-a-kind regional campus named in honor of the pioneering disability rights activist won its final round of funding Tuesday night when the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to pay the remaining $2 million.

The Ed Roberts Campus will be a Bay Area center for disability services, policy research and education. Ground will be broken in May or June, after 12 years of fundraising.

"Everyone's a little stunned," said Dmitri Belser, president of the Ed Roberts Campus. 'People are feeling pretty happy right now. But they're also feeling a lot of incredible gratitude.' "

Masha Wacko sent me the link to this story from her law office. Marsh got her first real job in California with the help of our Center for Independent Living.




"BioFuel Project Clashes with Kandy's Car Wash at Corner" reports Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet. "A vehement burst of community protest compelled the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) to postpone permitting BioFuel Oasis to establish a filling station at 1441 Ashby Ave. Thursday."



"Planners Tackle West Berkeley Density, Housing Rules" writes Richard Brenneman of our Planet.

Planning Commissioners began their trek through one of Berkeley's most complex and cabalistic arts Wednesday night-deciphering the city's policies on density bonus and inclusionary housing.

Spurred by a City Council request made last spring, the city planning staff was ready to propose a zoning ordinance amendment that would have changed the law applicable to West Berkeley's mixed-use residential (MU-R) zone, easing requirements (in that area only) for developers to provide low-income housing.

But a majority of the commission wasn't willing to schedule a hearing on the proposed ordinance without first considering its overall impacts on affordable housing supplies and its relationship to city policies designed to encourage development of less expensive housing.

The inclusionary ordinance requires that 20 percent of units in projects of five or more apartments or condominums must be allocated for lower-income tenants in the case of apartments, or in condominium buildings for buyers who make less than 120 percent of area median income.

In lieu of building the units, developers may pay a city fee that is supposed to be used to build affordable units elsewhere in Berkeley.

The impetus for the council's request for the West Berkeley zoning change was its rejection of an appeal by Berkeley developer Edward Adams to build a four-unit, three-story housing project at 2817 Eighth St."



"Spending and construction down" writes the AP's Martin Crutsinger.

"Consumers battered by a slumping housing market and a credit crunch slowed the growth in spending to the smallest amount in four months. In another sign of weakness, construction activity fell by a larger-than-expected amount.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in October, the weakest showing since a similar increase in June. Individual incomes grew by just 0.2 percent last month, the poorest showing in six months.

Meanwhile, a separate Commerce report showed that construction spending fell by 0.8 percent last month, the biggest decline since July. Activity in the besieged housing industry fell for a 20th straight month while nonresidential construction weakened as well."


And, "30-year mortgage rates take a dive: Number falls to lowest level in more than two years, averaging 6.10 percent" writes Crutsinge.


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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