October 2010

after 10/6 here after 10/19 here

 

 

David Orth, retired BFD Vice Chief was behind the purchase of 3 pumpers and miles of hose in containers plus the engines to load and transport them.  

These allow the department to pump from the bay, lakes or even swimming pools in case of emergency.  He is pictured in front of one of the trucks.  These have been stationed at 10th and Pardee, but are moving to a new facility in the area of our West-Berkeley BPD sub-station.

Photos and text by Bob Kubik

 

 

 

10/1/10

in the spirit of "practice makes perfect"

we find our BFD at drill on Fourth Street in West-Berkeley on Wednesday last

 

In The Day, Marsha's uncle was the Fire Chief of Springfield Mass. RP

 

 

Expect a new data base to have glitches, even a police department's. A data base is only as good as the information that it contains and how the information that it contains is obtained. An old computer programmer friend is fond of "Bleep in, bleep out." For instance, if a dispatcher enters a "shots heard" call as a " noise disturbance" you get "doo-doo." RP

 

 

What is today, the exact nature of our Potter Creek and our West-Berkeley?

Simply, . . . it cannot be easily known because there are many swirling about West-Berkeley Myths that obscure our present.

 

But what are the Myths?

One is that West-Berkeley is poised to become a R&D Mecca. It's more likely that R&D will become simply a welcomed part of our rich mix. However, the arrival here of a LBL Campus would modify.

Another is that commercial realtors are just facilitators--that they simply bring owners, lessors and buyers together. In fact by their choices they determine to some extent the make-up of our mix.

 

more West-Berkeley Myths

That the West-Berkeley Project proposes changes that are deep and broad. I cannot speak to deep, time will tell. But I question broad, since only a relatively small amount of land is involved. From border to border and the park-to-San Pablo Ave a minority of surface is in play.* Just how much cannot be known for sure because the city does not have an accurate land-use data base. One source said "There simply is no commerial database."

*For instance, the area from Dwight to just south of Gilman and 6th to San Pablo is virtually "all " residential. And a secure, gated and fenced, four by five block area contains a bio-research facility. A world unto itself one might say.

 

That gentrification* is recent in West-Berkeley. Actually, in Potter Creek it began decades ago as "middle class" artist/crafts people replaced those of the working class. The beautiful, well-manicured block of Grayson is testamony to this.

Karl Marx would observe that the bourgeoisie** had replaced the proletariat***

*renovate and improve [esp. a house or district] so that it conforms to middle-class taste

**in Marxist contexts the capitalist class who own most of society's wealth and means of production

***in Marxist contexts the working class

 

 

 

Tuesday I was interviewed by NPR art/musicwriter, Tom Cole. He wanted to know about record size. Why is an LP, 12 inches, a 45, 7 inches, etc. His article should appear this week. Wednesday he offered at npr.org/blogs

"Who Will Save America's Vanishing Songs?

The 1951 recording of 'How High the Moon' by Les Paul and Mary Ford - made on the then-new medium of reel-to-reel tape - has a better chance of being around and being heard in 2151 than this year's Hope for Haiti Now - an MP3-only release featuring performances by Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, and Beyonce, among many others.

That's just one of the troubling points made in a study released today by the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB).

The study summary introduces the digital problem this way:

'The 10 years between the enactment of (the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000) and the publication of this study have seen sweeping changes in digital technologies that have democratized the ability of individuals to make recordings and to manipulate sound in digital formats. A succession of new platforms enabling distribution of sound recordings have been introduced.'

In other words, anyone can make a recording today pretty much anywhere on a laptop and send it out to the world via the Internet. That's kind of cool - what's the problem?

It's pretty serious if you're a fan of contemporary music - or an archivist. As one scholar quoted in the study pointed out, the default for digital information is not to survive unless someone takes conscious action to save it.

Who's going to save all of those digital songs the way record collectors hoarded 78s, LPs and 45s?"

 

 

 

 

Oligarchy* has come up recently in West-Berkeley Project discussions.

Of course, today's most notable oligarchy is the one that rules China. Post Stalin, the Soviet Union was ruled by an oligarchy. The English aristocratic oligarchy was perhaps the most successful of those in the 19th Century.

And I suppose you could make a case that Berkeley is now ruled by a kind of oligarchy, a left/ liberal group in power for some time in one form or another.

One could also say that several or more oligarchies are now vying for power in West-Berkeley. Probably why it's been brought up. After all, it's said "It takes one to know one."

*oligarchy
a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution · government by such a group.

 

So, to the nature of our West-Berkeley oligarchies. I believe they can be characterized by their socio-economic-class makeup. We have, for instance, the aristocrat/business oligarchy, who while players, also find time to play with their country properties and jet about the world. And then there is the old- money/old-radical oligarchy, an unlikely, and perhaps ultimately dysfunctional union. Still, Lenin would approve.

 

 

 

 

"Governor Schwarzenegger signs AB 2514 into law" a report at prnewswire.com.

"Ice Energy, a leading provider of smart grid-enabled distributed energy storage solutions to the electric utility industry, today applauded the signing into law of the landmark California Energy Storage Bill AB 2514 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Authored by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and sponsored by California Attorney General, Edmund G. Brown Jr., the new law directs the California Public Utilities Commission to set targets for utility adoption of cost-effective energy storage technologies. It is the first of its kind in the nation."

 

 

 

 

"'Aftershock' is Robert Reich's take on America's economic crisis" is a report/review at jacksonville.com.

"Robert Reich is a very smart fellow. He is the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and has served three U.S. presidents. If you want to understand what is happening to our country, read this little book before you dump the tea into the harbor.

In 'Aftershock,' Reich uses easy-to-understand language to discuss the current economic crisis. He is a regular contributor to the NPR broadcast, 'Marketplace,' so his name might sound familiar to many readers. Reich compares the ongoing financial crisis to the all-too-similar one the United States experienced during the 1930s. The main points Reich addresses are:

Why concentrating wealth is self-defeating and dangerous to our way of life.

Why the grand gambling casino we call the stock market should not be considered a barometer of the economy.

·How our government and political system is being manipulated and controlled by the mega-lobby that has turned Washington,, a city that produces nothing, into one of the richest in the country.

Why our biggest creditors will not bail us out.

He also offers a solution, a 'commonsensical' approach to a taxing system that could help us, and a warning:

There is an old Russian story about a suffering peasant whose neighbor is rich and well-connected. The rich neighbor obtains a cow, something the peasant could never afford. The peasant prays to God for help. When God asks the peasant what he wants to do, the peasant replies, 'Kill the cow.'

Reich contends that we might find ourselves in the peasant's situation with an uprising that is concerned with bringing down rather than up ... 'unless present trends are reversed.'

underlining mine

 

 

Robert Riech can be seen and heard talking about his book Aftershock, here.

And at pbs.org in a conversation with Jeffery Brown "Former Labor Secretary Reich: Bush-Era Tax Cuts 'Hurt Quite a Lot' " in both text and in abridged video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/2/10

Becky O'Malley emails that Pat Cody has passed.

our Karen Steeber emails

Folks should know that this is a pot luck and they should bring food and drink.  We'll provide the basics ­ plates, utensils, cups, napkins, paper towels, garbage bags, tables, chairs, coolers, ice, barbeques, and entertainment.
 
best,
Karen

 

 

 

 

Architectural Record

Berkeley Bowl West
Kava Massih Architects

Yasuda Family, Berkeley Bowl Produce, Inc.

View a slideshow for Berkeley Bowl West

A two-story, 144,217-square-foot retail grocery store, with a café, a community room, offices, staff facilities, underground parking, a warehouse, and a full commercial kitchen serving this store and Berkeley Bowl's Oregon Street location. 

 

 

 

 

The Grand West-Berkeley Myth is that the more traditional manufacturing will sooner or later return to Berkeley--grand not so much on merit but because it has been propagandized by one of our more vocal oligarchies.

Yet, long time West-Berkeley council woman Linda Maio has said "I waited around for this industrial thing to happen and it didn't happen.'' Is this a recent realization? Actually, Ms Maio said this 11 years ago in an sfgate story, "Berkeley Officials Say Zoning Must Change to Attract High-Tech Firms." Yet wishful thinking persists.

To be fair in the intervening decade, an argument has been made--weak I'm afraid-- that as labor and material costs increase in China, India etc, manufacturing capital will return to the States. ln fact, it is more likely to seek other locations with even lower production costs, Sub Sahara Africa comes to mind. Which is an area where international oil has already secure production and delivery facilities.

Interesting is that in the same sfgate story, reporter Debra Levi Holtz writes "Mayor Shirley Dean, frustrated by the city's missed opportunities in recent years, said Berkeley must broaden its definition of manufacturing to include cutting-edge companies involved in biotechnology, computer development, telecommunications and motion picture production.

Biotech firms and software developers have been eager to base research and development facilities in the industrial area along Interstate 80 just a few miles from the University of California, adjacent to a booming commercial area of West Berkeley that includes upscale cafes and stores.

In the past decade, several high- profile firms have considered building in West Berkeley, including Sybase, Chiron and Pixar. But the city's zoning laws for the area prohibit the kind of large-scale office development that these companies need -- reserving the land instead for industrial, manufacturing and warehouse uses.

The firms have located their corporate offices instead in neighboring cities such as Emeryville, Oakland and Richmond, where there are fewer zoning obstacles and more financial incentives."

Damn, Ms Shirley and Ms Linda had it figured a decade ago. RP


"Lessons from the California confab and the Catholic Health Service" at Ghana's news.myjoyonline.com.

"Sober and analytical are good adjectives for the lawyer, health services administrator and acting executive secretary of the National Catholic Health Service (NCHS), a service reputed to be responsible for between 27-30% of health care services in Ghana. What must have ruffled his cool nerves days after his return from the one week human resource for health labour markets training at the University of California, Berkeley must therefore have been nothing short of brutal."

 

 

 

"McGuire's Footprint Grows in the East Bay" marketwire.com.

"McGuire Real Estate has extended its regional coverage by acquiring Elmwood Realty & Investment Company, located at 2991 College Avenue in Berkeley, California.

Despite current economic challenges, Charles Moore, President and CEO of McGuire, finds that expansion opportunities still exist. Rather than stand by and weather the storm -- which hit in 2008 -- the company adjusted to the new market conditions by way of expansion. This is McGuire's fourth acquisition in two years."

 

"US Wind Power's Surge Finally Slows" renewableenergyworld.com.

"After another record year for US wind power in 2009, financial crisis and lower wholesale electricity prices dampen the outlook for 2010, finds a study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory."

 

"Bhava Communications Named a Finalist in PR News 2010 Platinum PR Awards" is a report at marketwatch.com.

"Bhava Communications, a leading-edge integrated marketing, public relations and brand identity agency based in Berkeley, California, today announced that it has been named a finalist in the PR News Platinum PR Awards Best Re-branding/Re-positioning category for its work with Overland Storage. The awards salute the year's most outstanding communications initiatives and programs in the highly competitive and dynamic business of public relations, and sets the industry benchmark for excellence across all categories of PR."

 

 

 

 

"CA Pedestrian Groups Gather For Conference on Improving Data and Advocacy" by Matthew Roth at sf.streetsblog.org.

"Pedestrian advocates, public health professionals and transportation planners and engineers will gather in Berkeley from Sunday through Tuesday to discuss how to improve pedestrian trip and injury data collection, both to inform pedestrian safety campaigns and influence the targets for walkable communities under California's SB 375."

 

 

 

 

 

10/3/10

Merryll sends this link to a thoughtful piece about our state and more in "Tom Joad Gave Up" by David Brooks at nytimes.com.

"Sometimes it's hard to remember what good government looks like: government that disciplines itself but looks to the long term; government that inspires trust; government that promotes social mobility without busting the budget.

That kind of government existed for decades right here in California. Between 1911 and the '60s, California had a series of governors - like Hiram Johnson, Earl Warren, Goodwin Knight and Pat Brown - who were pro-market and pro-business, but also progressive reformers. They rode a great wave of prosperity, and people flocked to the Golden State, but they used the fruits of that prosperity in a disciplined way to lay the groundwork for even more growth. They built an outstanding school and university system. They started a series of gigantic public works projects that today are seen as engineering miracles. These included monumental water projects, harbors and ports, the sprawling highway system and even mental health facilities.

They disdained partisanship. They continually reorganized government to make it more businesslike and cost effective. 'Thus,' the historian Kevin Starr has written, 'California progressivism contained within itself both liberal and conservative impulses, as judged by the standards of today.'

Most important, California progressives focused on the middle class. By the end of these years, California enjoyed the highest living standards in the country. The core of the state's strength was in the suburbs. Between 1945 and 1950 alone, the San Fernando Valley doubled in population. In one 12-month period, between 1959 and 1960, Valley residents applied for 6,000 swimming pool permits.

In fits and starts, California's progressive model has been abandoned. . . .

The answer is to return to the tradition of pro-market progressivism that built modern California in the first place. Except this time, it can't be about building up the '50s-style suburbs. It needs to focus on supporting the immigrant entrepreneurs, averting state bankruptcy and unleashing the industrial and agricultural base.

The antigovernment conservatives and the unions have built institutions and bases of support. The heirs to the pro-market progressive tradition have not. What's needed is not a revolution, but a restoration and a modernization of what California once had."

 

 

"What a press pass requires" by Rex Smith at timesunion.com.

"Trying to catch up on the news about the news business the other day, I stumbled across an ironic juxtaposition: Chicago journalists, it seems, no longer have to be 'of good moral character' to get a press pass, but to get one at the University of California-Berkeley, students now have to sign an honor pledge."

 

 

 

"Facing legalization measure, Schwarzenegger decriminalizes pot" by Josh Richman at contracostatimes.com.

"In November, Californians will have an opportunity to make marijuana legal. But a new state law is already doing everything but legalize it -- making possession of less than an ounce of pot no more serious than driving faster than the speed limit."

 

 

 

"Can a 20-Year-Old Help You Track Your Finances?" asks Adriana Gardella at nytimes.com.

"In the world of technology start-ups, young founders are nothing new. But 20-year-old Jessica Mah, chief executive and co-founder of inDinero in Mountain View, Calif., and a recent graduate of both the University of California, Berkeley, and Y Combinator's entrepreneurship program, isn't building the next social media sensation or gaming venture. Instead, she has set her sights on creating a simple, cloud-based software solution that helps small-business owners track their finances without any data entry (it pulls the information from your business's financial accounts)."

 

 

 

10/4/10

Let me be perfectly clear.

Our environment issues--irritants and toxins-- are NOT TYPICAL of Potter Creek or west-Berkeley as a whole. Ours is a "special "case.

Our environment problems IN NO WAY should be interpreted as an indictment of "radical mixed use," including dense housing.

Rather, it should put us ON GUARD for "cowboy" behavior of all sorts.

As to the cause, . . . it is probably the result of close-by facilities' inefficiency, incompetence or ignorance and arrogance.

10/1/10--4:09 PM SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front, light head, nausea, "melting plastic" odor. 5:15 PM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and front of warehouse, heavy dry air, head ache, light head, ringing ears, leave. 5:44 PM--similar. 6:57PM--SERIOUS irritant in wareous front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, similar symptoms and "clhorine bleach" odor.

10/2/10--7:01 PM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry heavy air, mucus membrane irritant, burning eyes, mouth, over rides, three HEAPA filters and air conditioner.

10/3/10--8:11 AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, light head, nasal congestion, wear respirator. Off-and-on all afternoon, similar, wear respirators. 1:11 PM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry dirty air, watery eyes, nasal irritation, Marsha similar, wear respirators. 7:00 PM--similar.

10/4/10--off-and-on all day, irritant in warehouse front, dry dirty air, watery eyes, nasal irritation. 8:00PM-same.

 

 

 

 

Jenny

Berkeley Bowl worker emails

Friday the 24th, Berkeley Bowl West Cafe held its second "Friday Nights at the Bowl" this time with music from Beat Beat Whisper. 

http://www.beatbeatwhisper.com/  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatbeat_Whisper

http://www.myspace.com/beatbeatwhisper

It was a surprising success that drew in shoppers, neighborhood regulars, and employees alike who all enjoyed a night of music, food, and adult beverages. The next Friday Night at the Bowl will be announced on the store's website and the cafe twitter page.

Thanks to all who came!

 

 

This Wednesday, the Westside Cafe will start serving dinner and drinks with a 5PM--7PM happy hour. Check it out. A Potter Creek Ole Timer now serving dinner, they're at the corner of 9th and Parker.

 

 

With all the new and soon-to be-new eateries and watering-holes in Potter Creek, 900 GRAYSON remains Our Class Act with food-as-art, high and consistent quality and attentive service. Their Grayson Burger remains my favorite and then there's the waffle, fired chicken and gravy.

"This is comfort food, not art?!"

Whoa, check it out!

 

 

 

"Former labor secretary to discuss new book" is a staff report in the Marin Journal.

"Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich will discuss his new book, "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future" at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at The Dance Palace at 503 B St. in Point Reyes Station.

Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, will appear in conversation with local author Peter Barnes.

Admission is $20. The event is a benefit for the Mesa Refuge Writers Retreat in Point Reyes Station."

 

 

 

 

"Coyotes keep their mystery living among us" by Carol Kaesuk Yoon, charlotteobserver.com.

"With howls and yips wild enough to fill a vast night sky, the coyote has ignited the imagination of one culture after another.

Yet as familiar as the coyote seems, these animals remain remarkably poorly understood. They have remained elusive despite fantastic ecological success, moving during the past century from their prairie haunts to colonize every habitat from wild to urban, from coast to coast. They have retained their mystery even as interest has intensified with increasing coyote-human interactions - including incidents of coyotes dragging off small dogs and cats, and even (extremely rarely) attacking people.

Laura Prugh, a wildlife ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley, said trying to survey a population of coyotes in Alaska was "like working with a ghost species." To even have a chance of catching a coyote, she said, traps must be boiled to wash away human scent, handled with gloves and then carefully hidden with all traces of human footprints brushed away. Even then, the trap is likely to catch only the youngest and most inexperienced animals.

Coyotes have remained so much in possession of their secrets that it was not until this year that the real identity of the coyotes living in the Eastern U.S. was revealed."

 

 

 

"Why we like the hues we do? is answered at thehindu.com.

"Scientists say that how we feel about a colour depends on our relationship with that particular shade. Photo: Raju V
The Hindu Scientists say that how we feel about a colour depends on our relationship with that particular shade. Photo: Raju V

Why do you end up buying almost every shirt in blue? Or why does the iPod in silver look better to you than other colours? Scientists say that how we feel about a colour depends on our relationship with that particular shade.

The findings may help explain why blue is pleasing to people everywhere, why Japanese women tend to like light colours, and why dark yellow is generally unappealing, among other trends.

'I might like purple more than you because my sister's bedroom was purple and I had positive experiences there,' Discovery News quoted Karen Schloss, a graduate student in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, as saying."

 

 

 

10/5/10

our Swerve

loaded for Ed Roberts Campus* production

*The Ed Roberts Campus mission is to ensure that people with disabilities can live independently and without discrimination.Located at a fully accessible transit hub, the Ed Roberts Campus will be a national and international model dedicated to disability rights and universal access.The Ed Roberts Campus will commemorate the life and work of Edward V. Roberts, an early leader in the independent living movement of persons with disabilities. Ed believed in the strength of collaborative efforts: He called it "working toward our preferred future."

 

 

Swerve reception desk

for the Campus

Four groups of the Campus' seven will be furnished by Swerve. They are Center for Independent Living (CIL), Computer Technologies Program (CTP), Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP), and Center for Accessible Technology (C4AT).

Swerve's designs were accepted because their flexiblity will meet the needs of many different people.

 

 

 

 

Re: West-Berkeley-manufacturing
And just what is the commodity that Berkeley possesses in abundance, that Berkeley manufactures in as great or greater quantities than anywhere else on the planet? Would that be brainpower? And how best to channel it in 21st Century West-Berkeley? Invention and innovation through research and development jumps to mind.

 

 

 

"High Sierra chipmunks have vanished" at upi.com.

"A species of chipmunk that roamed California's Sierra Nevada Mountains for centuries has apparently vanished, wildlife experts say.

The disappearance of the Inyo chipmunk, with its button-brown eyes, striped cheeks and a bushy orange-black tail, could be a symptom of a changing mountain range, The Sacramento Bee reported Monday.

"We have not been able to find it anywhere," said James Patton, a retired University of California, Berkeley, professor of zoology who has spent the last two years searching areas of the high Sierra for the elusive species."

 

"Scientists get public help in tracking oak disease" at mercurynews.com.

"University of California, Berkeley scientists are enlisting the public's help in tracking a disease that is killing off oak trees."

 

 

"Graphene Nanobubbles Could Mean More Powerful Gadgets" Megan Geuss, PCWorld.

"After some hubbub this summer about graphene-coated lithium batteries that charge in minutes, some scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have found another (cooler?) use for the single-atom-thick carbon material. It turns out that they've been able to make the electrons in graphene react as if they were exposed to a very strong magnetic field--something that has big implications for how we build the smallest, most basic parts of electronic devices."

 

 

 

"Celera chief financial officer resigns" is a report at businessweek.com.

"Celera Corp. said Monday that Ugo DeBlasi will step down as chief financial officer to pursue employment opportunities closer to his family in Connecticut.

DeBlasi, who served as CFO since April 2009, has been commuting between company headquarters in California to his primary residence in Connecticut. He plans to stay at Celera until Nov. 19 to get the company through its third-quarter reporting.

CEO Kathy Ordonez said a national search has begun for his successor.

Celera develops genetic testing used in clinical health care and medical research. Its business includes the subsidiary Berkeley HeartLab, which offers services to predict cardiovascular disease risk and improve patient management.

Shares of Celera fell 13 cents to close at $6.61."

 

 

 

 

"Why California is Still America's Future" by Michael Grunwald at time.com.

"California, you may have heard, is an apocalyptic mess of raging wildfires, soaring unemployment, mass foreclosures and political paralysis. It's dysfunctional. It's ungovernable. Its bond rating is barely above junk. It's so broke, it had to hand out IOUs while its leaders debated how many prisoners to release and parks to close. Nevada aired ads mocking California's business climate to lure its entrepreneurs. The media portray California as a noir fantasyland of overcrowded schools, perpetual droughts, celebrity breakdowns, illegal immigration, hellish congestion and general malaise, captured in headlines like "Meltdown on the Ocean" and "California's Wipeout Economy" and "Will California Become America's First Failed State?" (See pictures of the clean-up after California wildfires.)

Actually, it won't.

Ignore the California whinery. It's still a dream state. In fact, the pioneering megastate that gave us microchips, freeways, blue jeans, tax revolts, extreme sports, energy efficiency, health clubs, Google searches, Craigslist, iPhones and the Hollywood vision of success is still the cutting edge of the American future - economically, environmentally, demographically, culturally and maybe politically. It's the greenest and most diverse state, the most globalized in general and most Asia-oriented in particular at a time when the world is heading in all those directions. It's also an unparalleled engine of innovation, the mecca of high tech, biotech and now clean tech. In 2008, California's wipeout economy attracted more venture capital than the rest of the nation combined. Somehow its supposedly hostile business climate has nurtured Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Facebook, Twitter, Disney, Cisco, Intel, eBay, YouTube, MySpace, the Gap and countless other companies that drive the way we live."

 

 

 

 

"How to Stop Rogue Automatic Payments" by Tara Siegal Bernard at nytimes.com.

Many of us have at least part of our financial lives on autopilot. Maybe Netflix and your gym automatically bill your credit card each month. Or perhaps you've authorized your credit cards and cable company to pull money directly from your checking account.

It all runs like a well-oiled machine, until you've canceled your gym membership or another service - and the biller won't stop deducting money, long after you've asked it to stop.

What sort of rights do you have? James B. Rule, a sociology professor at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley, recently explored the issue in this article after his bank branch told him it could not cancel a regularly scheduled deduction from his checking account. Though his issue was ultimately resolved, he said he couldn't help wondering: What would happen if the company refused to stop pulling money from his account? Can your bank really refuse to cut off a rogue biller?

I decided to pose that question to several other large banks, as well as look up the Fed's rules governing preauthorized transfers, part of Regulation E. The rules, as Professor Rule also pointed out, are pretty clear:

Once a financial institution has been notified that the customer's authorization is no longer valid, it must block all future payments for the particular debit transmitted by the designated payee-originator."

 

 

 

 

"20 Years After Fall of Wall, Women of Former East Germany Thrive" Katrin Bennhold, nytimes.com.

"When the Berlin Wall collapsed and Germany became one again, women in the former Communist East seemed to be the big losers.

They lost their jobs and their maternity and child-care benefits. And they lost the form of equality that Communism had brought: Raised in a culture where women drove cranes and studied physics, they were reduced to clichés depicting them as oversexed.

The assumption was that as with everything else, East German women would become more 'Western' - more domesticated and somehow more docile.

But as Germany celebrates 20 years of reunification, it is Western women who, in many ways, strive to be more like their Eastern sisters.

Eastern women are more self-confident, better-educated and more mobile, recent studies show. They have children earlier and are more likely to work full time. More of them are happy with their looks and their sexuality, and fewer of them diet." 

 

 

 

 

 

10/6/10

Potter Creek Block Party

photo essay here

 

 

"Air pollution worsens asthma symptoms in children" sify.com.

"A joint study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley has found that exposure to dirty air is linked to decreased function of a gene that appears to increase the severity of asthma in children.

The findings come from a study of 181 children with and without asthma in the California cities of Fresno and Palo Alto."

 

 

"Couples With Daughters More Likely to Divorce" is at abcnews.com.

"Are Girls Splitting up Parents or Just Empowering Mom?

Little girls may be sugar and spice and everything nice, but having a daughter might boost a couple's risk of divorce, according to past census data.

Not only did researchers find that couples with sons are more likely to stick together, unmarried pregnant couples were more likely to have shotgun weddings if the baby was going to be a boy and divorced mothers of boys are more likely to remarry and stay remarried.

Does this mean that daughters are matrimonially risky and sons are marriage saviors? Not so fast, psychologists say.

In the original 2003 research on the topic, economists Gordon Dahl, from the University of California-San Diego, and Enrico Moretti, at UC Berkeley, found that couples with a first-born girl were about 5 percent more likely to divorce than parents of a first-born boy. When there are as many as three daughters that difference spiked to 10 percent."

 

 

 

 

"Pot shop clears first hurdle in Albany" by Steven E.F. Brown, San Francisco Business Times.

"A nuclear engineer who studies judo and another martial art at the University of California, Berkeley, has appled to open a marijuana dispensary in Albany.

Bret van den Akker, who's working on his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at Cal, applied on Oct. 1 with a relative, Erik, who lives in southern California, to open VitalGen Inc. in the East Bay City. The proposal has passed an early screening by the city.

Albany's Planning & Zoning Commission will review this application next Tuesday."

 

 

 

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

AND check out BPD feature "Who are these Crooks."

 

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 posted material retains copyright. The material is used only to illustrate.