10/14/08

the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Bates/Dean debate

Held at Skate's yesterday morning, I got to the debate late and came in as the mayor was talking about the need to clean up downtown. Ms Dean agreed, we need to clean up downtown. . . . 

boy . . . 

Skate's has a hell-of-a back-bar. . . . I mean, it was 8:45 in the morning but still, . . . 

 

Oh yeah, . . . the mayor's presentations were fact-filled--he's a quietly verbal guy and much smarter than I'd heard on the street. Ms Dean's positions were often stronger, often similar, but seemed to lack enthusiasm--she "spaced-out" a couple of times, once seriously.

Donuts and coffee were served--the donuts real fresh and the coffee good. I recommend the chocolate-glazed.

 

 

 

"Race Starts With Little Fuel, and Goes Uphill From There" reports the New York Times.

"It is a classic road rally, 600 miles from the liberal embrace of Berkeley to the anything-goes lights of Las Vegas. No speeding is allowed, or in some cases even possible. And if you stop to refuel, it had better be in someone's

On Saturday, five teams began the Escape From Berkeley, maybe the world's most eco-friendly motor race, driving all manner of alternative-fuel-burning jalopies, roadsters, and even a frying oil-fueled Mercedes-Benz, with a single goal: to complete the race using no petroleum.

'Gentlemen, start your whatever they are,' the M.C. shouted to begin the race, which offers the winner $5,000.
The final catch of the race is that participants - artists, environmentalists and even a cattle farmer from Alabama - have to find or scavenge their go-go juice, whether it is used vegetable oil from restaurants or twigs and sticks from the side of the road. All the vehicles, which had to be street legal, were allowed to start with a single gallon of whatever fuel they used." 

 

this 1952 MG-TD

was Bob Kubik's when he was a Cal student

 

 

In the Huntsville Times, sports columnist Bill Bryant writes "He does all his California dreamin' here.

The weather is, as he puts it 'a little more apocalyptic,' and more of the food is fried, but Tom Schneider is quite happy to be spending fall semester at UNA.

The 23-year-old Cal-Berkeley graduate and Walnut Creek, Calif., native is filling his weekdays kicking back in classes like art appreciation and social psychology and his Saturdays kicking field goals and extra points for the Lions, the second-ranked Division II team in the country.

He's staying plenty busy between the sidelines. Schneider leads the nation in field goals per game (1.83) and is sixth in scoring per game (11.0)." 

 

 

" Green Day: Punk Rock Masters Taming Mainstream Radio Their Way" offers SkyNewswire.com.

"Before they got together as Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool were merely three extraordinary hopefuls hoping and looking for their big break. The trio has no formal training and got their 'practice' from playing for free at punk clubs on Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Out on the streets is where the 3 talented individuals got their big break ­ they turned from punk rock's most unlikely success story to a remarkable band with a series of chart-topping hits. Together, they sold more than 10 million albums and won a Grammy Award in the process. It's been a long journey for the trio who started out singing out in the streets."


"Zeppelin coming to Bay Area for the first time in 70 years" reports Laura Casey in the West County Times.

"Before she even stepped inside the gondola of a 246-foot-long Zeppelin NT, Alexandra Hall fell in love with it. And she became the CEO of Airship Ventures, the company bringing a zeppelin to the Bay Area for tours and research."


 

"What to expect with Wells-Wachovia merger" opine James Temple,Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writers.

"Wells Fargo seems to have won the fierce battle with Citigroup for Wachovia, but the arduous task of actually integrating the companies may make that part look easy.

The two banks must successfully blend different cultures, systems and personnel, while changing the countless little things like signs, logos, software, mailings and checks at thousands of branches and for millions of customers.

The takeover would for the first time give San Francisco's Wells Fargo & Co. a retail banking presence in 15 primarily East Coast states, including New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. The combined company would have an estimated $713 billion in deposits, 6,675 branches, 12,227 ATMs and 48 million customers (before accounting for overlap).

Ken Crawford, portfolio manager with Argent Capital Management in St. Louis, said he's confident in Wells Fargo's ability to merge the operations but said acquisitions of this size are inevitably 'a mess' ."

 

"Credit crunch hits Bay Area housing market hard" reports Marni Leff Kottle, in the Chronicle.

"San Francisco may be 3,000 miles from Wall Street, but the crisis that has engulfed the country's biggest financial institutions is putting even more pressure on the Bay Area's real estate market, making it increasingly difficult for home buyers to get credit.

Cheap credit played a dramatic role in fueling the housing boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, particularly in places like the Bay Area, where buyers relied heavily on unconventional loans to purchase homes that would have otherwise been unaffordable, economists said. That cheap credit also played a dramatic role in toppling financial institutions like Lehman Bros., Washington Mutual and Wachovia Corp., which were saddled with growing piles of toxic loans as borrowers who took advantage of lax lending criteria have proved unable to pay back those loans.

Now, as the federal government has agreed to spend $700 billion to shore up the country's ailing financial institutions, economists and real estate professionals say that the aid may help stabilize Wall Street. The housing markets here and in other parts of the country, on the other hand, still have a long road to recovery." 

 

After watching our politicians and pundits on Sunday morning TV, Marsha Wacko asked in frustration "How could we have fucked-up the greatest, richest country in the world?"

One of the pundits exclaimed as if hearing Marsha "We're all socialists now!'

 

 

"Financial crisis can lead to violence" reports the AP's Kelli Kennedy.

"An out-of-work money manager in California loses a fortune and wipes out his family in a murder-suicide. A 90-year-old Ohio widow shoots herself in the chest as authorities arrive to evict her from the modest house she called home for 38 years.

In Massachusetts, a housewife who had hidden her family's mounting financial crisis from her husband sends a note to the mortgage company warning: 'By the time you foreclose on my house, I'll be dead.'

Then Carlene Balderrama shot herself to death, leaving an insurance policy and a suicide note on a table.

Across the country, authorities are becoming concerned that the nation's financial woes could turn increasingly violent, and they are urging people to get help. In some places, mental-health hot lines are jammed, counseling services are in high demand and domestic-violence shelters are full."

 

 

"Sunny outlook for solar industry:Bailout package offers incentives to install systems" reports Mike Lee
of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"Berkeley, for example, will be one of the first U.S. cities to help arrange financing for residential photovoltaic systems. By year's end, it will allow homeowners to pay for them over 20 years on their property tax bills.
'Everybody is talking about it . . . and I am confident that other (cities) will follow,' said Julia Hamm, executive director of Solar Electric Power Association, an industry group in Washington, D.C." 

"SunPower, Suntech Expect U.S. Tax Credit to Rescue Solar Power" reports Christopher Martin on bloomberg.com.
Whole Foods was the first national retailer to install a solar system at its site in Berkeley, California, in 2002 and has added systems on other outlets that get up to 24 percent of their needs from solar."

 

In their Business Mirror, Philippine Sen. Edgardo J. Angara opines about "Creating 'green jobs' in the countryside. .  

Producing renewable energy tends to be more labor-intensive than sourcing energy from fossil fuels, which rely heavily on expensive high-tech equipment rather than manpower.

A 2004 report of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory in the University of California, Berkeley, for instance, estimated that by 2020, a scenario of 40-percent biomass, 55-percent wind and 5-percent solar energy mix would produce 188,018 new jobs in the US, in contrast to the additional 86,369 jobs that would be created with a 50-percent natural gas and 50-percent coal energy mix."

 

 

Mal Sharpe emails about the Dixeland Band "Big Money in Jazz"

. . . we are going be at Armando's in Martinez this Thursday night for 8-10pm.
[Check out their community calendar for Oct. 16  and learn about all
the nooks and crannies of the band. (Note that Joe McKinley, of the Sun
Ra Arkestra, will be replacing Ari Munkres on Bass. . . . ] We are looking forward to this unique music
venue.
 Of course we will still be at The Savoy-Tivoli on Grant Ave. in North
Beach from 3-6 on Saturday.

Then again, it still is Sunday at the glamourous No Name Bar in
Sausalito from 3-6.

 

 

A literary calendar for the week of Oct. 12-18 from the Mercury News is here.

 

 

"To Moscow and back by Deux Chevaux" is a report by BBC NEWS.
"The Citroen 2CV was unveiled at the Paris Salon de l'Automobile on 7 October 1948. On its 60th birthday, Stephen Mulvey pays homage to a car that took him and a friend to Russia, Estonia and Ukraine, with barely a hiccup." 
full story

 

Photos of Sally in Paris are here.

Well, Ok then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/16/08

"Tilden Carousel Reopens" is a story by Riya Bhattacharjee in the Planet.

"After undergoing a $700,000 renovation which lasted nearly nine months, the rare 1911 Herschell-Spillman Menagerie edition merry-go-round has reopened in Tilden Park." 
 

 

Celebrating

the installation of the
East side of the Bridge Sculpture Installation
time&date: 11:30 am, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008
location: University Ave. Exit off I-80,
right on 6th, right on Addison
into Aquatic Park
speakers: Mayor Tom Bates and City Council
Member Darryl Moore, the artist
Scott Donahue and the Chair of
the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission,
David Snippen

 

 

the Mayor emails

(an excerpt)

The Bates Update

Public Art Sculptures for the I-80 Bike Bridge Unveiled - October 18

Two new sculptures will stand tall on each side of the I-80 pedestrian bridge, introducing people to Berkeley. The multi-figured sculptures are the product of the City of Berkeley public art program. The Berkeley Civic Arts Commission's Public Art Program held a national competition for artists to create entry sculpture to the City of Berkeley. Scott Donahue won that competition and created Berkeley Big People.
 
Installation of the 12-foot tall sculptures has already begun, and will be completed in time for the Opening Celebration on October 18th at 11:30 a.m.  The event is open to the public.  Please contact Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator 510/981-7533, mam4@ci.berkeley.ca.us with any questions.
 

"Berkeley: Re-elect Bates" opines the Chron.

"Nearly six years ago, newly elected Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates came into office to face a $20 million deficit and a deeply divided City Council.

Today, Bates is running for a third term by citing his ability to bridge that budget gap - it required a workforce reduction of 10 percent - while calming the political atmosphere. Seven of the eight council members have endorsed his re-election; the eighth, Kriss Worthington, remains neutral."

 

"Golden Bears visit Wildcats in Pac-10 action" reports sportsnetwork.com. "The last of the unbeaten teams in the Pac-10, the 25th-ranked California Golden Bears, head to Tucson to tangle with the Arizona Wildcats. Cal is coming off its second bye week of the season, which has given the Bears a chance to rest some of their walking wounded.

'With our second bye week of the season, we are taking advantage of the opportunity to work on fundamentals in practice, give our younger guys a chance to get in some extra work and allow some of our bumps and bruises to heal,' coach Jeff Tedford said.

Cal was last in action on October 4th, notching a 24-14 win over Arizona State. The Bears will return to Berkeley for two straight home games following this weekend's tilt."

 

 

 

our Councilman, Darryl Moore emails

(some excerpts)

Some upcoming events that I thought might be of some interest

Berkeley FIRST Workshops
In preparation for launching the Berkeley FIRST solar financing program on November 5th, the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development is hosting three public information workshops and one meeting for solar installers over the next few weeks. 

The public workshops for residential and commercial property owners are scheduled on the following dates:
October 16 7:00-8:30p.m. South Berkeley Senior Center 2939 Ellis Street
October 21 7:00-8:30p.m. West Berkeley Senior Center 1900 Sixth Street

We are also in the process of setting up another workshop for Southwest Berkeley.  When we get a date more secured, we will let everyone know. 

All-Storm Day
Public Works staff is doing their best to ensure that all of the storm drains are in good working order for this upcoming rainy season.  They are partnering with volunteers from Cal and other City departments will be conducting an All-Storm Day event on Saturday, Oct 18 in your districts, and we want residents to know!

Please come and help out this Saturday in helping to keep our storm drains and the Bay clean.  If you'd like to participate, please contact Shallon at (510) 981-7071 or sallen@ci.berkeley.ca.us.

Another way you can help keep your area flood-free, is to Adopt-A-Drain. For more information about how to Adopt-A-Drain or organize a storm drain sewer stenciling project, they can contact Josh Bradt at (510) 981-6418 or via e-mail at jbradt@ci.berkeley.ca.us.

Voter Registration Festival in San Pablo Park
Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action (BOCA), Black Berkeley Ecumenical Ministerial Alliance (BBEMA), South/West Berkeley Concerned Citizens (SWBCC), and the San Pablo Park Neighborhood Council, along with other neighbors in South/West Berkeley are sponsoring a voter registration festival and empowerment day at San Pablo Park on October 18th.  There will be basketball tournaments, soccer games, free food and much more fun!!!  This is intended as a proactive response to the escalated violence recently and it is the last Saturday to register to vote before November's election.  It is clear we have to create more opportunities for peaceful gathering and interaction between neighbors, families, community leaders, etc., so come out on Saturday and meet your neighbors. 

 

 

 

"UC assessment of wildfire risk to homes available in Spanish" reports the Merced Sun Star.

"To assess the risk of wildfire damage to their houses and communities, Spanish-speaking homeowners can use a new interactive Web site designed by University of California, Berkeley, fire researchers.
At http://firecenter.berkeley.edu, residents can find a questionnaire in Spanish. By answering questions about their home's construction and landscaping, participants can get a science-based assessment of their house's vulnerability to wildfire and suggestions for reducing their risk. The same tool is also available on the site in English.

Californians can also type in a specific address to see if they live in a region at risk for wildfires and obtain information about fires that have occurred in the area since 1950. For people living in fire-prone areas, tips and resources for recovering from wildfire have recently been added to the site."

 

 

"Portland Adopts Sweatshop-Free Ordinance" is a report by Kristan Foden-Vencil on del.icio.

"Portland became the first city in the Northwest to adopt a new sweatshop free ordinance Wednesday. The ordinance means the city will not buy police and firefighter uniforms from suppliers who use sweatshop labor.

It'll have little effect immediately -- as most city uniforms are already made in the U.S.  But Commissioner Sam Adams says, it's a good first step.

Sam Adams: "There's nothing magical or more important about sweat-free conditions for the procurement of apparel. The city procures a lot of other items. And after we figure out how to do this well, I intend to expand the sweat-free expectations to the procurement of other items."

That could include computers and other things made overseas.
About 180 government entities have taken preliminary steps toward the idea.

A few, like the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Berkeley, California, have already adopted ordinances similar to Portland's."

 

 

"Bellevue to Berkeley" writes Ben Williams at youthradio.org.

"Berkeley, California is a great place to live. I moved here from Bellevue, Washington about a year ago, and it was hard to adapt at first. But once I had lived here for a while I got the hang of it. The Bay Area reminds me of the Northwest in many ways, and the similarities of the two areas made my transition much easier." 

 

 

"FBI Investigates California College That Overpaid Financial Aid to Some Students, Underpaid Others"
is a report at nextstudent.com.

"A California community college is being investigated by the FBI and the Department of Education for overpaying students more than $327,000 in financial aid during the 2005­06 school year, reports the Contra Costa Times ("Berkeley City College Overpaid Financial Aid," Oct. 8, 2008).

Berkeley City College, under former financial aid director Robert Vergas, was also found to have underpaid Pell Grant recipients by nearly $40,000.

The federal government has ordered Berkeley City College to repay the Department of Education for the funds it overpaid to its students. The school has already repaid $40,000 and will pay about $37,000 per quarter until the balance is paid off."

 

 

 

"Think outside the box with cornbread mixes" reports Amanda Gold, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"There's something about the marriage of chili and cornbread that makes perfect sense. The stew-like blend of salty and acidic tomatoes, beans, meat and vegetables offsets the crumbly, savory-sweet bread beautifully. Together, they make a complete meal.

Whipping up a loaf from scratch is fairly easy to do - you can find a recipe for one with today's cover story about chili (see Page F6). But packaged cornbread mixes can be completed even faster. In most cases, it takes less than five minutes to combine the dry mix with water or milk, eggs and butter before baking.

Nevertheless, unless it's doused with butter, cornbread can dry out very quickly, and some versions will crumble against even the slightest pressure.

Today's panel - due to scheduling issues we convened Food section staffers instead of the regular panelists - tasted products that ranged from overly sweet to bland and savory. Some contained kernels of real corn, while others were more cakey.

We baked the cornbread mixes according to package directions, and served them at room temperature. For the most part, the results were less than satisfying."

 

And Amanda Gold writes "From vegetarian to double beef, one simple method produces countless chilis.

 Years ago, my friend Karin invited a small group of women over for a dinner party. She's one of those untrained cooks who churn out fabulously elaborate meals with little effort, so I eagerly anticipated a gourmet feast. As the evening approached, thoughts turned to rich coq au vin, osso buco, rack of lamb - restaurant-quality dishes she's made her signature.

As we pushed through the front door, we were hit by the aroma of cumin hanging languidly in the air. The table was already set with small bowls overflowing with garnishes surrounded a big, steaming pot of ... chili?

I was stunned - aside from being decidedly un-Karin, chili had always felt like 'man food' to me, something quick and easy that could feed a pack of hungry athletes. But as I tucked into her white chicken chili, it was impossible to contain my delight - each bite produced new levels of flavor, from smoky chile peppers and creamy beans to earthy oregano."

 

"Hunger's Diary" is a story by Lauryn Silverman at youthradio.org.

" 'Looking back in time, it's hard to unravel the mystery of my ongoing battle with anorexia'

Lauryn Silverman is a 16-year-old high school junior from Berkeley, California, and one of eight million Americans, seven million of them women, who suffer from eating disorders every year. Lauryn says she's beaten her eating disorder, but statistics show only half of those with anorexia fully recover.

Lauryn was recently recognized by American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) with a prestigious 2005 Gracie Allen Award for this piece on her struggle with anorexia." 

 

 

"Veggie-Oil Lotus Wins Alt Fuel Race to Vegas" reports Chuck Squatriglia from wired.com.

"A veggie oil-burning Lotus clone from Oregon beat a wood-burning pickup from Alabama in a madcap alt fuel race to Las Vegas that included a 200-mile detour and saw three of the five teams drop out before reaching the finish line.

Jack McCornack and Sharon Westcott rolled across the finish line at the Sahara Hotel-Casino 1,418 minutes after leaving Berkeley, California, having driven their topless Lotus 7 replica more than 800 miles to collect the $5,000 first-place prize in Escape from Berkeley.

'We signed up to do this before we even knew there was money involved,' McCornack, who sells the bio-diesel-burning cars through his company, Kinetic Vehicles, told the New York Times. 'It just seems like great fun.'

The race mashed up Mad Max and Cannonball Run and threw in a touch of the DARPA Grand Challenge and Burning Man. The only rules were you can't use petroleum and you have to scavenge your fuel along the way. Even the race organizers are amazed anyone finished at all."

 

"State presents bold plan to clean up air" is a report by Kelly Zito, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"California regulators, following the lead of Bay Area air quality managers, would impose fees on the state's worst air polluters as part of a bold proposal to slash emissions to 1990 levels.

The fees, along with green technology job training and a cap-and-trade system outlined Wednesday by the California Air Resources Board, would vault the state ahead of federal efforts to curb climate-changing greenhouse gases."

 


"Warehouses gear up for holiday sales" is a story about bargins by the Chronicle's Sally Socolich.

"In good times and bad, some things don't change - most people love a bargain. This is your first clip-and-carry column for the fall and holiday shopping season. Several sales take place this weekend, but some extend over one or two days or two or three weekends or may not occur for two or three weeks. (A few listings involve outlets that are open year round.)

Company Web sites often provide a glimpse of sale inventory and offer expanded information on products, sale directions and parking. Unless otherwise noted, assume that companies accept checks and major credit cards. Mark your calendars and prepare to bring home the bargains." 

 

 

 

"19th Annual Conference on Financial Reporting, Oct. 24; Hosted by UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business" is a press release at ascribe.org.
      
     "At a time when the integrity of financial reporting is more important than ever, the 19th annual Conference on Financial Reporting at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, Center of Financial Reporting and Management, gathers key global players - standard setters, enforcement officials, financial executives, practitioners, and academicians -- to address the critical role and future of financial reporting. Topics will include the SEC proposal for US companies to adopt international reporting standards; the impact of key regulatory proposals; and ways to improve financial reporting; and promote accounting practices that are useful to investors."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/17/08

our Jarad emails about the meeting of Berkeley neighborhood watch groups held this week

Attendees included:

Kris Worthington (city council)
9 representatives from 3-5 neighborhood watch groups in South and West Berkeley
Jim Smith - well known large property owner in W. Berkeley who actively fought these same problems 10-15 years ago in W. Berkeley
1 member of a business owners association for the Alcatraz / Adeline area

Topics discussed included:

Why the neighborhood watch program is outdated and ineffective.
How neighborhood watch divides the city into discrete pieces and effectively separates the city rather than joining it together in a concerted city-wide effort against crime.
Why there is a need to adopt the Community Involved Policing model as defined by the US Dept. of Justice (http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/default.asp?item=36) in order to bring a strategic city wide plan together to combat organized gangs (which is organized crime).
Why all cooperation between the city and the residents to fight crime should be based on quantitative metrics.
How officers used to be assigned to a beat for a full 12 months and under Chief Hambleton this has changed and officers are now rotated every 3 months.
How 3 month rotations prevent officers from learning all of the issues and players in the beats they are assigned to.
Why residents and business owners in West and South Berkeley want BPD to start using mobile survelliance cameras currently being used in Oakland, Milpitas, Redwood City, etc
The need to insist that the City Attorney start using state laws on the books to combat gangs in Berkeley (these laws are known as Street Terrorism, Nuisance, & Abatement Laws). Currently the City Attorney regularly refuses to use these laws stating that "Berkeley is different" and that the laws can't be used here (per email from Ryan Lau).
The need to rewrite eviction laws in Berkeley so that an eviction for just-cause, such as drug dealing, prostitution, etc. can be fast-tracked (following a successful police raid) and not cost a responsible and cooperative landlord attorney fees, court costs, and force the landlord to pay the tenant to leave (which has happened to a landlord on Dwight and 9th Street 2x in the past).
It was also discussed how the council and city employees (outside of BPD) like to color residents that insist on law and order as politically conservative and unprogressive.
Almost every person in attendance had been painted by the city as ultra-conservative people depite the fact that Social Democracies like Holland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, etc. that are progressive and tolerant also insist on law and order first and foremost above all else.
How street gangs are better organized than the police and residents & how it is now up to us to change the rules of the game.

Laura Menard chaired the meeting and with Ozzie had hammered out a starting document that will be presented to the city council. A signature sheet is currently being circulated by Laura Menard and a couple of other neighborhood watch organizers and it is being circulated in the business owners association in the Alcatraz / Adeline area.
 
All in attendance agreed that significant and far reaching changes needed to be implemented by the city to get crime under control and to ensure that it remains under control. Jim Smith pointed out that neighborhood watch "was a good concept in the 1970's when it was about preventing home break-ins, but the game changed in the 1980's with drug gangs taking over the streets."
 
As BPD points out to all neighborhood watch members, the gangs on the street know how to play the game. Since the gangs know the rules of the game, it's time to change the rules of the game in Berkeley by using legal and technical means that have not yet been leveraged by a highly reluctant city council and city administration.

Jarad

 

 

 

"'It Came From Berkeley': Wackiness in context" is a book review by Justin Berton at sfgate.com.
        
"If Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly ever reads local journalist and Chronicle contributor Dave Weinstein's book, 'It Came From Berkeley: How Berkeley Changed the World,' O'Reilly might be amused to learn that the lefty college town originally was founded on religion, as a moral retreat from that Sodom and Gomorrah across the bay, San Francisco.

'Berkeley was always meant to be a place apart,' Weinstein said. 'A really 'oral, quiet place, where intellectuals could meditate, surrounded by nature."
The description still fits, even if downtown is more crowded by men who wear pink tutus while riding unicycles.
But for anyone who has wondered how and why Berkeley became an adjective meaning zany-liberal-smarty-pants, Weinstein tracks down the historical and cultural dominoes that led to milestones such as the Free Speech Movement, bans on plastic foam cups, traffic 'calming' roundabouts and, of course, tree-sitting."

 

After growing up in socialist Milwaukee until eighteen, I came to Berkeley in my early twenties. For after graduating from the University of Wisconsin, I enrolled in graduate school at Cal. What I found was a fairly ordinary, and by Wisconsin standards, even conservative, college town.

My religious rights as a Christian Scientist were violated by the compulsory physical required as part of Cal's enrollment. I was required to sign a loyalty oath a part of enrollment at Cal--unheard of in Wisconsin. And the real bummer, Evelyn, the woman I lived with in Madison and came with to Berkeley, found that the job she had been offered at the University was no longer available when she showed up in person. Evelyn is African-American. That would be, . . . er, . . . Racist?

Forgot,. . . here bottled goods could not be sold within a mile of campus, at Madison, beer was served in the student union.

 

 

"Smoke Got in Their Eyes, And Now There's a Law" reports Richard Brenneman in the Planet.

"The persistent efforts of 30 to 40 Berkeley neighbors have given Berkeley a new law, one that proponents say promises relief from a chronic, unhealthy and all-too-frequent menace.

The neighborhood threat targeted by the recently passed ordinance? The particulate emissions otherwise known as smoke.

 

"UC Considers Owl Box for People's Park Rat Problem" reports our Riya Bhattacharjee in the Planet.

"People's Park might not get a free clothing box any time soon, but an owl box is more than welcome, especially if it acts as a rat patrol.

A drastic increase in rats in the 2.8-acre UC Berkeley-owned community park just off Telegraph Avenue in the last month has resulted in university officials brainstorming ideas to control the rat population.

Although the proposal to use the barn owl (Tyota alba), the City of Berkeley's official bird, to get rid of the rodents is still being discussed, the university's director of community relations, Irene Hegarty, said Monday that she was open to volunteers putting up an owl box in the park to see if it yielded positive results." 

 

 

 

"Jazz Violinist Jenny Scheinman Profiled:Eclectic musical taste yields marvelous results"  is a story in Strings by Robert L. Doerschuk.     
    
"Though she has won awards from jazz publications and been included for five consecutive years in Downbeat magazine's list of Top Ten Overall Violinists, Jenny Scheinman does little on her two latest albums to invite easy categorization as a jazz player. In fact, her recent instrumental project Crossing the Field seems better described as a marriage of chamber composition and lyric improvisation, sometimes driven, and sometimes not, by a jazz rhythmic engine. And her eponymous August release, Jenny Scheinman, goes a step further by diminishing or even removing the imprint of the violin."

 

 

 

"Crisis Shakes the Foundations of the Ivory Tower:Plunging Stocks and Crumbling Credit Are Rocking Long-Flush Universities and Threatening the Promise of Higher Education" report Craig Karmin and John Hechinger at wsj.com.
  
"The financial and economic tsunami that has ripped through Wall Street and the housing market is beginning to wash across the college green.

Higher education hasn't yet seen anything to compare with foreclosures and bank nationalizations in the private sector. But seized-up credit markets, shrinking endowment funds and a reduction in state subsidies are punishing universities from California to Vermont.

A campus construction boom is slowing, administrations are cutting jobs and faculty may be forced to pay more into their pension funds. The demise of a $9.3 billion investment fund used by 900 colleges has some schools scrambling to pay their bills.

It all brings a gloomy pall to what has been, until recently, a booming industry. Higher education has grown rapidly in the last half-century into a formidable slice of the economy. U.S. colleges and universities spend $334 billion annually, employ 3.4 million people and and enroll 17.5 million students.

The boom was powered by a growing stream of donations, strong returns on endowments, rising enrollments and tuition prices that climbed well above the rate of inflation -- paid, more and more, by families who borrowed heavily to meet the bills.

All of these wealth generators for the Ivory Tower are facing threats in the current economic turmoil. The cratering stock market has already hit endowments. Falling markets typically take a toll on gifts, many of which are made, for tax reasons, in the form of appreciated stocks and bonds. Analysts and schools are predicting even bigger tuition increases than those seen so far. But this time, families may be in no position to meet the higher bills. Falling house prices have sapped their ability to use home-equity loans for tuition payments, and the credit crunch has forced many lenders to stop making student loans."

 

 

But Daniel B. Wood, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor writes

"California eyes going 'green' despite slump. Although a new climate plan would boost utility bills, some predict it will stimulate the economy.

California moved ahead this week with plans to slash greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and foster a green economy, even as some business groups questioned the costs in difficult economic times. . . . 
It is possible that costs may rise in the short run and then level off or drop, says Dan Kammen, an energy expert with the University of California, Berkeley. "I suspect prices will rise initially then decline as diversity gets built into the system. Also, the reductions in external gas, oil, and imported electricity get replaced with renewables and [low cost]energy efficiency," he says."

 

 

And more than you might want to know about the "Global financial crisis" is at bbcnews.com. 

 

 

 


"Sculpture depicts Berkeley's biggest protests" is a report by Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Berkeley is immortalizing its greatest protests - from People's Park to disability rights to the tree-sitters' standoff at Memorial Stadium - in a towering sculpture of fist-waving demonstrators on a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over busy Interstate 80."

It's an angry and in your-face-work, and since "what goes around comes around," look for some "good ole boys" to 'torch it,' . . . sooner than later.

Our since-the-Sixties tradition of love and peace has deteriorated into anger and confrontation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/18/08

from my log

10/16/08--7:45 AM--off-and-on all AM--VERY, VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, dry eyes, dry throat, cough, VERY light head, nausea, wear mask. 10:14 AM--similar, leave.

10/17/08--7:36 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front of warehouse and in IMMEDIATELY warehouse front with "melting plastic" odor.
        
"Not all share in Bay Area's cleansing air" reports Kelly Zito at sfgate.com.

"Fog. Sun. Sun. Fog. Fog.

It's the cycle that defines and dismays San Francisco. But it's also part of the natural machinery that keeps Bay Area residents breathing some of the cleaner air in the state.

However, not all neighborhoods enjoy the same benefits of the Bay Area's famous, cleansing breeze.
'Yes, we have good air, but that's only a partial answer,' said Linda Weiner, spokeswoman for the American Lung Association in San Francisco. 'We have pockets of really serious pollution, and unfortunately they're in low-income communities and communities of color.'

Marine fog and the air currents freshen up Bay Area air in two ways, according to Eric Stephenson, air monitoring manager for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

First, if fog forms over the Bay Area due to air/ground temperature differences, those little tiny droplets often fall and remove particulates from the air. In the second instance, when fog blows in off the ocean, it brings in clean marine air and pushes more polluted air out toward the Central Valley.

The interplay between Bay Area air and Central Valley air is well-known and documented. The Golden Gate and bay essentially create a giant funnel - pouring fresh and polluted air into the 240-mile Central Valley, where mountains to the east act like a stopper. Bay Area air isn't the only culprit however - soil particulates, diesel trucks and huge generators also dump pollution into the air, Stephenson said.

The flow also reverses course. For instance, Stephenson said Central Valley air frequently cascades into the Bay Area during the winter; the opposite is true in summer."

And "Spare-air ban on winter indoor wood burning" is a sfgate.com story by Jane Kay

"This winter, for the first time, Bay Area residents won't be able to burn wood in fireplaces and stoves on Spare the Air Days and Nights.

 Regulators in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District are clamping down on wood burning between November and February as a way to meet a new federal law limiting the amount of breathable, fine particles.

During the winter months and under certain weather conditions, burning wood in households contributes up to one-third of the total fine particulate matter in the air on the worst Bay Area nights and threatens health, according to regulators."

 

"Hybrid cars not always as green as they seem" reports Michael Cabanatuan at sfgate.com.

"Read the glossy magazine ads, watch the slick TV commercials, listen to Hollywood celebs rave about their choice of cars on talk shows, and you'll get the idea that hybrid cars can save the planet.

While some of them clearly curb pollution, hybrids aren't the answer - at least not for everyone. Many folks can't afford one, don't like what's available, or want to drive a car that doesn't use gasoline and spew smog into the skies.

Hybrids may be billed as a pollution solution, but they still run on gasoline, and some models increase gas mileage only by 2 or 3 miles per gallon while adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a car.

'There's a lot of green-washing going on out there,' said Spencer Quong, senior vehicles engineer for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Experts say there are plenty of other options for motorists eager to combat global warming. Off-the-shelf options range from electric vehicles to conventional gas-powered cars to cars that run on compressed natural gas. For those willing to leave the fossil-fuel grid altogether, there's biodiesel or plug-in hybrid conversions.

Don't write off conventional cars, the experts say. Many gas-powered cars get mileage nearly as high as - or sometimes higher than - many hybrids. Auto manufacturers have begun producing higher-mileage compact cars such as the Honda Fit (35 mpg) or the Toyota Yaris (36 mpg). Of course, as the familiar auto dealer disclaimer says, your mileage may vary. Driven carefully - no quick starts, no high speeds - they can get squeeze more miles out of a gallon of unleaded.

Many used cars on the market also get respectable mileage, and at a far lower cost than even a used hybrid. The EPA Web site includes fuel efficiency ratings for used cars as well as new vehicles."

 


"Even eBay suffering in this economy" reports Verne Kopytoff, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Sales aren't what they once were for Peter Vasilev, owner of a consignment store that specializes in auctioning items on eBay.

More customers are coming in with cast-offs rummaged from their closets and garages. Now, with the economy slumping, their items are garnering far less money, if they manage to find a buyer at all.

'We're seeing a lot more people coming into the store who basically need money to pay bills,' said Vasilev, who operates an iSold It store in Pleasant Hill. 'Now, fewer items are selling, and the ones that are aren't selling for quite as much.'

Over the years, conventional wisdom among eBay executives was that a bad economy wasn't as painful for the online bazaar as for other companies, as shoppers trolled the site for bargains. That theory is being put to the test in the current downturn, at the same time eBay is dealing with unrest among many of its users over recent changes to the Web site and increasing competition from Amazon.com."  

 

 

 

"The War on Pot Is a War on Young People" is a story by Paul Armentano at AlterNet.

"74% of all Americans busted for pot are under 30 -- it's long past time young people joined ranks and helped end this drug war.

Paul Armentano delivered this speech at NORML's 2008 National Conference, 'It's Not Your Parents' Prohibition' in Berkeley, California.

Young people, in many cases those under 18-years-of-age, disproportionately bear the brunt of marijuana law enforcement.

Demographically speaking, the above statement is a 'no-brainer.' Yet this is hardly a fact that we as a reform community like to admit or emphasize. Instead, you'll hear reformers argue that the war on pot is a war on patients -- and at some level, it is. Or you'll hear advocates proclaim that marijuana enforcement disproportionately impacts African Americans and Hispanics -- and to some degree, it does. Attend enough of these conferences and you'll inevitably hear that our movement needs better representation from women and minorities, both of whom face unique hardships because of the drug war, and that criticism is appropriate too. But, one thing you'll most likely never hear is that our movement needs greater involvement from teenagers and young adults.

But we should -- because for the young people in the audience, the war on pot smokers is really a war on you.
According to a 2005 study commissioned by the NORML Foundation, 74 percent of all Americans busted for pot are under age 30, and one out of four are age 18 or younger. That's nearly a quarter of a million teenagers arrested for marijuana violations each year. To put this bluntly, we now have an entire generation that has been alienated to believe that the police and their civic leaders are instruments of their oppression rather than their protection."


"Coach Carter has a Satchel full of hope" writes Carl Steward, Oakland Tribune sports columnist.

"Alonzo Carter, one of the Bay Area's best high school coaches in any sport, is in the midst of a fascinating transformation of a school most agree has always had juggernaut potential.

Berkeley High's football program isn't there yet - Carter will be the first to tell you that in his own colorfully blunt way - but an afternoon with this tornado of a man in his new surroundings offers vivid signs of the progress he is making after just 11/2 years on the job.

It's well-documented that the 40-year-old Carter worked miracles at McClymonds High, his tiny West Oakland alma mater, building a nationally renowned program and getting more than 60 players signed to college scholarships during his eight seasons there.
Now, at a school five times the size in enrollment (roughly 3,400), he is employing many of the same methods not only to try to build a powerhouse but also to change a culture."

 

 

 

 

Eric Hughes emails

Bluegrass at Julies Tuesday 10/21 7PM

Greetings bluegrass fans,
 
Tired of thinking about the stock market? Want to get away from politics for a while? Need a great cup of tea and the best scone in town? Then join us this coming Tuesday, October 21st, at Julies in Alameda at 7PM. We'll be playing all your favorites from our CD: "Fogged In," and some new ones as well.
 
Julies Coffee & Tea Garden is at 1223 Park Street in Alameda, California. http://www.juliestea.com/
 
The Foggy Gulch mySpace page is at http://www.myspace.com/foggygulchband
 
and you can find our CD "Fogged In" at http://cdbaby.com/cd/foggygulch
 
We hope to see you Tuesday!
 
 Respectfully,
 
 Eric Hughes
Foggy Gulch Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/19/08

"Mad magazine to auction early works" writes Richard Pyle at sfgate.com.

"Alfred E. Neuman, the grinning face with the flapping ears, has gazed out from the covers of Mad magazine for half a century - becoming such a familiar presence that Charles, Prince of Wales, may have felt it necessary to deny that he looked like him."

 

Sally and Richard were guests at the "Gala Opening Celebration" of our Hotel Durant. The opening featured a swing band, wine bar, dessert munchies, grilled specialites, and (argh!) a live "Greatful Dead" jam band. (The hotel has been redecorated by Sally's friend, Steven Miller.) Richard commented that there were hundreds present and that one of the men's room had a red-painted urinal with the Stanford logo at its bottom. The Durant is part of the local chain, joie de vivre hotels.

Brennan's opened in its new location last week--in the converted old railroad -passenger-station behind its former location--with a fancier interior but the same old fashioned food, hofbrau and bar.

 

 

"Magic Theatre to Present Evie's Waltz Starting 11/8" reports broadwayworld.com.

"Loretta Greco has chosen Evie's Waltz to make her directorial debut as Artistic Director of the Magic Theatre. Evie's Waltz, written by Carter W. Lewis, marks the second play of Magic Theatre's 2008/09.
Gloria and Clay are living every parent's nightmare: their son has been suspended for carrying a gun to school.  As they wrestle with their predicament, an unexpected visit from their son's girlfriend turns their backyard barbecue into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. "Evie's Waltz is an unflinching play about the difficulties of parenting ­ and being ­ a teenager." Artistic Director Loretta Greco says. "There is no handbook for this.  Every American family will relate to this piece which poses more questions than answers.  It is sure to promote many vibrant discussions." Evie's Waltz performs November 8 ­ December 7, 2008 at Magic's Southside Theatre (Bldg D, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA ­ parking lot entrance at Marina Blvd. and Buchanan St.). Tickets are $20-$45 (with student rates at $15) and are available at (415) 441-8822 or www.magictheatre.org.

Evie's Waltz is sure to incite lively dialogue between generations. Young and old are invited to attend one of two special matinees scheduled for November 19 and December 3 (both at 2:30pm).  A stimulating conversation, facilitated by a member of Magic Theatre's artistic staff, will follow each of these performances."

 

"California asking voters to get on board the $45B bullet train" reports Eric Bailey in the Seattle Times.

"For a quarter-century it has been a California dream on one drafting board or another - a bullet-train system so novel, environmentally friendly and fleet that it could reshape transportation in the car-crazy Golden State

 

 

 

from my log

10/19/08--10:05 AM--irritant off-and-on all AM in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse with odor like "ozone-heavy-air" in a spare-the-air day, cough, wear mask. 


 

 

 

Eternally useful links

Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com

 

Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com


Our City Council update is here.

 

Our Planning Commision update is here

 

 

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

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

 

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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.

 

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

useful link

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

http://gethuman.com/

 

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

 

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

 

 

Berkeley Police reports at insidebay area.com are here.

 

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


Crime Log for 94710 is here

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

 

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

The contacts are below:

Our new Area Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 kbuckheit@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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

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

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

 

More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here

and

Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

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

 

ronpenndorf@earthlink.net

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