after 10/8/12 here after 10/21/12 here

2004 École Bilingue Halloween Parade




"PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING ON OCTOBER 3, 2012 HAS BEEN CANCELLED" emails Planning Commission's Debra A. Gonzalez.




"Elderly Woman Jailed For DUI After Hitting Berkeley Pedestrian" at cbslocal.com.

"An elderly San Pablo woman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on Sunday after she struck a man with her car near the University of California at Berkeley campus, leaving him in critical condition, a police spokeswoman said.

Berkeley police received reports of an injury collision at the intersection of Hearst Avenue and Spruce Street at 8:35 p.m., Berkeley police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said."




"More than 12,000 lose power in Berkeley" Bay City News Service at sfgate.com.

"Thousands of PG&E customers in Berkeley lost power Monday night, a PG&E spokeswoman said.

The outage began at around 8 p.m. when 12,425 customers lost their power, PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said.

PG&E crews responded to a substation in Berkeley believed to be where the outage began to try and determine the cause of the outage."





Councilman Capitelli emails


As the candidates knock at your door, the pamphlets arrive in the mail, the lawn signs appear (and some disappear), it is easy to question the efficiency of our electoral process. Despite my tired legs and moments of doubt, however, walking the district and talking with residents these past few months has been invigorating and reaffirming. We live in a wonderful city where the vibrancy of its neighborhoods is outshined only by the energy of its residents.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. It is an important election at every level of government including in Berkeley. Voters here will be deciding about the mayor and four council representatives and weighing the merits of ten local ballot measures. The outcome of these measures will not only determine available resources for streets, watersheds and swimming pools, but will set a tone and a direction for the future of Berkeley.

Added to our voting process is the relatively new rank choice voting or RCV. RCV will only be in effect in those races with more than two candidates: Mayor and Council District 2 (West Berkeley). As you may know RCV played a significant role in Oakland's 2010 mayoral election. The City Clerk has an excellent overview of RCV and I recommend that voters check it out before casting a vote.

In the middle of an election season it is easy to get swept away in the moment and forget that life continues outside of the campaigning. To that end, I want to encourage parents and school families to attend an important community meeting in October related to our children, the 2020 Vision Community Forum. The City Council has scheduled a special meeting about the proposed sale of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office which will include a presentation by the Postal Service. And for those of you who want to escape the campaign madness for one day and just hang out with your neighbors, there is Sunday Streets on October 14.

The campaign wrangling will soon be over (thirty five days and counting). We all look forward to the decisive moment in our democratic process when we can rest, hopefully celebrate, and then assess the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Don't forget to vote!




"Dan Ariely on the Truth About D ishonesty, Animated" by Maria Popova at brainpickings.org.

"'It's all about rationalization.'

From the fantastic RSA Animate series comes an illustrated distillation of behavioral economist Dan Ariely's new book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves, which you might recall. Here, Ariely highlights some of the fascinating psychological mechanisms that steer our moral compass - and often do so in directions different from our self-conception as righteous people - explaining everything from why we cheat on our diets to how the world ended up in a massive financial crisis, and offering lab-tested behavioral insights on what we can do about it all.

If you think about the whole financial crisis, we've taken people and we've put them in situations which basically are guaranteed to blind or, at least, to distort their vision. And we expect people to overcome that.

We all have a tendency to think of people as good or bad. And, we say, as long as we kick the bad people, everything would be fine. But the reality is that we all have the capacity to be quite bad, under the right circumstances, and I think in banking we've created the right circumstances for everybody to misbehave. And, because of that, it's not such a matter of kicking some people and getting new people in - it's about changing the incentive structure. Because, unless we change that, we're not going to get forward."












sunset in Potter Creek

evening, October 14


















Commercial Kitchen remodel of the former NEXUS building, 8th and Carleton



Skate's management resists placing security cameras in the adjacent parking lot claiming it's the city's responsibility. They give the same reason for not hiring security. Meanwhile, the lot remains one of the best places in the city for auto burglars.











The amended 1998 version of the West Berkeley Plan states in the Planning Director's Message, essentially the Introduction, "While professional planners played a ro]e  in facilitating the outcome, the work was done primarily in the community by an informal committee that included artists, laborers and representatives of organized labor. residents and environmentalists, manufactures, retailers, office developers, church groups and community service organizations."

I'm reminded of a 1930s Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland movie where the kids, often played by 20-to-30-year-olds, exclaim something like "Let's make a musical in the backyard." What follows, "produced by these amateurs" is a classy, professional Hollywood song-and-dance film.

But that only happens in the movies. In real life amateurs don't make professional productions.








"Women winemakers in California winning success, Santa Clara University study finds" by Michelle Locke at contracostatimes.com.

" In 1978, the first vintage that Cathy Corison made wine, she could count on one hand the number of women she knew of doing the same kind of work in the cellars of the Napa Valley. Without using all her fingers.

Nearly 35 years later, Corison needs a lot more fingers. Winemaking remains primarily a man's world, but research by Santa Clara University professors Lucia Albino Gilbert and John Gilbert has found that nearly 10 percent of California wineries now have women as the main or lead winemaker.

Their second finding: Women winemakers tend to be more highly acclaimed than their male counterparts."
















Berkeley PD has just undergone a major change in staffing. As of October 1st, officers will work 3 day, 12 hour shifts as well as the 4 day, 10 hour shifts. This change is the result of a year's planning and is the first major staffing change in decades. It was accomplished smoothly, Monday.


"Berkeley Police implement new limits on spying and mutual aid" sfbg.com?

"The Berkeley Police Department is undergoing some major policy changes after mounting pressure from the community to enact reforms, with new limits on its participation with other law enforcement agencies. . . .

Berkeley police will no longer respond immediately and automatically to mutual aid requests from other police agencies. 'The policy change that the council approved said that in a case in which there is not serious or violent crime or destruction of property, that our police will seriously evaluate whether or not to respond,' says Councilmember Jesse Arreguin. 'We won't automatically respond in cases of civil disobedience or peaceful protest.'

Mutual aid agreements were suspended last year while the city adjusted its policies.

'The Berkeley Police Department has a strong working relationship with other police departments,' writes Coats via email. 'We are able to review the need for services on a case by case basis and we look forward to continuing to work closely with other agencies.'

Other revisions include the end of surveillance and intelligence gathering of residents who participate in political activity or express First Amendment rights. Police must also have at least reasonable suspicion in order to submit a Suspicious Activity Report, which will then be reviewed by the City Manager for approval before being made available to other police agencies. . . .

There will be some extra reporting standards required, but procedures have been put in place for us to handle these new requirements,' BPD's Public Information Officer Jennifer Coats told us, although she did not provide details on how they will be implemented. .This will not affect the high level of service the Berkeley Police Department continues to provide the community.' "


BPD Chief Meehan has been attending an international gather of police chiefs in San Diego.




"Fourth Street" has just moved a block south with new tenants filling the retail spaces at 4th & U--the 2000 block of Fourth, this side of University Ave.

rehearsal set

at Waterfront Conservatory

These spaces are now occupied by Sketch, Haltha Yoga Shala East Bay, and the Waterfront Conservatory acting school. Soon to open are Ei-wear, Keter Hair Salon and the The Fourth Street Studio, an artist studio.


Sarah Henry's story in Bourgeois Side has give 900 GRAYSON a bump.









"Puente Project moves headquarters to UC Berkeley" at dailycal.org.

"UC academic outreach program for low-income and underrepresented minority students to collaborate with campus."




"The Effect Of Teachers' Unions On Student Test Scores" Matthew Di Carlo at shankerblog.org.

"The [2011] Wisconsin protests have predictably spurred a great deal of information-seeking, with union supporters and opponents alike searching for evidence that supports their cases. One of the most prevalent topics over the past week or so is the effect of teacher collective bargaining on student test scores. . . . most studies of union effects on teacher compensation and overall costs find at least some positive association , but it is not entirely clear the degree to which this is a direct causal effect of unions per se. For instance, besides the aforementioned measurement and contextual issues, it is tough to prove that unions increase costs or affect productivity unless you can look at outcomes before and after unionization, both within states and between them. One very influential study that examined the union/cost relationship (as well as dropout rates) over time found that unionization increased pay and overall expenditures, while also increasing dropout rates. A more recent, important study, in contrast, employed hand-gathered union certification data (which the authors argue is more accurate), and found little effect on either pay or dropout rates, along with only short-run effects on overall costs."

















The average teacher salary in Berkeley Unified School District is $55,714 according to teachersalaryinfo.com and according to primaryschoolteachersalary.com the starting yearly grade school teacher salary in Berkeley is $55,104 - $82,657.

The salary for Grade School Teacher in Berkeley is higher than the average Grade School Teacher salary. However the cost of living in Berkeley is also very high. The cost of living in Berkeley is 41% higher than the national average. 


"The Slow Death of California's Higher Education" Andy Kroll at motherjones.com.

Pimentel Hall at University of California, Berkeley

"It was the greatest education system the world had ever seen. They built it into the eucalyptus-dotted Berkeley hills and under the bright lights of Los Angeles, down in the valley in Fresno and in the shadows of the San Bernardino Mountains. Hundreds of college campuses, large and small, two-year and four-year, stretching from California's emerald forests in the north to the heat-scorched Inland Empire in the south. Each had its own DNA, but common to all was this: they promised a 'public' education, accessible and affordable, to those with means and those without, a door with a welcome mat into the ivory tower, an invitation to a better life.

Then California bled that system dry. Over three decades, voters starved their state-and so their colleges and universities-of cash. Politicians siphoned away what money remained and spent it more on imprisoning people, not educating them. College administrators grappled with shriveling state support by jacking up tuitions, tacking on new fees, and so asking more each year from increasingly pinched students and families. Today, many of those students stagger under a heap of debt as they linger on waiting lists to get into the over-subscribed classes they need to graduate."











École Bilingue

had its Halloween Parade today

more photos here









"Reports shows political preferences of California's Asian Americans" Public Affairs, UC Berkeley.

" Asian Americans, who account for 10 percent of registered voters in California, support a tax measure proposed by Governor Jerry Brown, are closely divided on the death penalty ballot measure, overwhelmingly support affirmative action, and support tax increases on high earners to close the federal budget deficit, according to two new reports from the National Asian American Survey (NAAS) released Tuesday, Oct. 2.

The survey was conducted by Taeku Lee, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of political science and law and an authority on Asian American politics, with Karthick Ramakrishnan, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside and director of the National Asian American Survey (NAAS).

The results are drawn from interviews conducted through Sept. 19, 2012, with more than 1,150 respondents residing in California. Among the fastest growing groups in America, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders grew by nearly a third in California between 2000 and 2010, and constitute nearly 15 percent of the state's resident population.

'Despite their growing numbers, party identification as a lifelong bond has yet to take root among most Asian Americans in California,' said Lee.  'Asians in California on net favor Democratic candidates and take more liberal positions on the issues, but this is not the result of vigorous outreach efforts from either political party.'  "



















early Fall sky

over Potter Creek

Symbol meaning of feathers

Symbol meaning of feathers deal with ascension and spiritual evolution to a higher plane. Feathers were worn by Native American Chiefs to symbolize their communication with Spirit, and to express their celestial wisdom. Also in the Native American Indian culture, feathers represented the power of the thunder gods, along with the power of air and wind.

Native American Pueblo Indians would pay homage to the Feathered Sun which is a symbol of the cosmos and the center of existence. Another symbol meaning of feathers also revolves around prayer, and the Pueblo use feather sticks as they dance in prayer for rain during solstice rituals. . . .

In Christianity feathers represented virtues. In fact, an image of three feathers were made into signet rings - each feather symbolizing Charity, hope, and faith. These rings were worn as a symbol of a virtuous soul - they were also used as wax seals. The ring would be dipped in warm wax then pressed against documents to seal the closure. The recipient would know the documents came from a virtuous man by the indication of the three-feather symbol in the wax.




"The Hunters and the Hunted: 'Subversives,' by Seth Rosenfeld" a more-than-a-book-review at nytimes.com.

"America never got over the '60s. The deep social divisions that emerged during that decade remain, for the most part, the divisions that define modern American politics. The battle lines are still so painfully visible that 50 years after the beginning of the Vietnam War and the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley, the presidential race this year will come down to a contest between a former community organizer pilloried for supposed ties to '60s radicals and a former Stanford student who protested against campus antiwar demonstrations."



"News Reporters Job Overview" at job-hunt.org.

"News reporters write and report news stories for newspapers, radio or television. They investigate news, look at documents, observe events at the scene and interview people. News reporters take notes and photographs and shoot videos. At their office, they organize material, determine the focus or emphasis of their story, write stories and edit video materials. Many reporters enter information or write stories using computers and electronically submit the material to their offices from remote locations. General-assignment reporters write about occurrences such as accidents, political rallies, celebrity visits or business closings. Some write on specific topics, such as crime, health, politics, foreign affairs, sports, theater, consumer affairs, social events, science, business or religion. Investigative reporters cover stories that may require many days or weeks of information gathering.

A reporter's median salary in San Francisco is $54,000. "








Meredith May's bitter-sweet "A death in Berkeley: Maria King homeless, vulnerable, when brutally slain" is at sfgate.com





















"The Effect of Tenure on Teacher Performance in Secondary Education" Elizabeth Phillips, Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell
Honors Thesis , May 2009 


This analysis suggests that teacher tenure does not have an effect on teacher performance, as measured by student test score gains. Even if we accept the point  estimates, the magnitudes of the estimates are too small a percent of the standard deviation of the gain scores sample distribution for tenure to have a truly meaningful impact on student achievement.  

With so much recent attention on how education policies can be used to improve teacher quality, it is important to research and understand the effects of policies, such as teacher tenure, that may affect teacher performance. Because these findings suggest that tenure does not impact teacher quality, the goals of a tenure program should be reevaluated. If tenure policies are meant simply to provide job security and protection for teachers, without affecting their performance, then it may be doing its job. However, if job security is meant to provide an incentive for teachers to improve by giving them the freedom to try more creative teaching styles or, this paper does not find evidence of such an effect.  

There may be additional costs and benefits of tenure policies that are not identified in my analysis but that may help explain the impact of tenure on teachers, students, and schools. If the cost to school districts to fire a tenured teacher is too large, then tenure policies may prevent schools from firing poorly performing teachers.

For example, a school may decide that it is not worth the time or legal fees to argue for the dismissal of a tenured teacher in front of a state tenure board and would choose to retain poorly performing teachers, possibly giving them easier classes or students to teach in order to minimize the negative effects of their low quality teaching. On the other hand, school boards may grant tenure as a substitute for wage increases for teachers of higher quality or more experience. Seen in this light, tenure as an alternative to higher pay may make available more of a school's budget for school resources or programs. A cost- benefit analysis may reveal the magnitude of costs and benefits associated with tenure policies and thus allow for a more thorough evaluation of the impact of the policies.  

With policymakers continuously examining how best to improve public education and teacher quality, research on teacher tenure is highly relevant. Tenure policies have long been implemented throughout the country, yet little is known about their impact on teacher performance. The results of this paper highlight the need for further research and consideration of a policy that has, for a century, has been a seldom-questioned status quo.  

This an apotical paper, appears well researched and is well written. and is, after all, an Honor Thesis.


Average salary range for a Catholic High School Teacher in Berkeley is from $63125 to $94687 and the starting range is from $51985 to $77978.




"Grants help scientists explore boundary between science & science fiction" Robert Sanders, Media Relations, berkeleyedu.

"Two University of California, Berkeley, scientists have received research grants to explore areas of science that bleed into science fiction.

Lasers in use by telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. If aliens elsewhere in the galaxy use lasers for astronomy or communications, we may be able to detect them from Earth. Courtesy of Keck Observatory.

Astronomer Geoff Marcy, who kicked off the search for extrasolar planets 20 years ago, plans to rummage through data from the Kepler space telescope in search of evidence for civilizations advanced enough to have built massive orbiting "solar" power stations.

Theoretical physicist Raphael Bousso will look for ways of detecting universes other than our own, and try to understand what these alternate universes, or multiverses, will look like.

Marcy and Bousso are among 20 innovative researchers who will share more than $4 million in New Frontiers in Astronomy & Cosmology International Grants that were announced Thursday, Oct. 4, by the University of Chicago. The grants were made possible through funding from the Templeton Foundation in the United Kingdom as a way to encourage scientists and students worldwide to explore fundamental, big questions in astronomy and cosmology that engage groundbreaking ideas on the nature of the universe."



"Timothy White to Leave UC Riverside to be Chancellor of 23-Campus California State University System" ucr.edu.











"What me worry?"

Gene Agress, owner of Berkeley Mills

his business located in one of the possible MUP sites


some thoughts on west-Berkeley

While the current focus of the West Berkeley Project is the Master Use Permit, there are other pieces of the Project, passed by the Council last year, which are having positive impacts on West Berkeley: 
The reviving of Flint Ink can be traced to the new regulation that allows for big builidngs to be split into smaller spaces, for smaller uses.  The up-tick in R&D can be attributed to bringing this use out of the shadows and into the zoning ordinance. 
Revised distance regulations for restaurants; allowances for a new set of uses that reflect this century including: non-store based retail (e-retail), alternative fueling stations, various visual and aural production uses beyond the old-school "movie production"; have all affected the area in a positive way.

Just think what might happen if:

a cohesive artists and artisans community took charge of their destiny and worked to purchase a set of core non-profit "arts colony" buildings, then let that generate an influx of other like minded and skilled folks.

a set of parking structures was developed at appropriate locations, topped with community gardens or solar farms; linked by an "emery-go-round" type shuttle, serving the workers of West Berkeley by weekdays and the Campus on Game days.

the creation of well placed and planned Master Use Permit projects: some supporting both housing and jobs, the others providing a solid core of new R&D and 21st Century manufacturing uses in a coherent form.

What if the West Berkeley Plan the "Next Generation" looked ahead and planned for the inevitable reality of cities, industry and life--change.








"California Launches Biggest Commercial Clean Energy Financing Effort in US" at SustainableBusiness.com.

"The long-term fate of residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs is still uncertain, but commercial programs are still emerging and California leads the way."


















Job Description for Community Organizer
"Develops and coordinates programs designed to promote the organization and its services to the community and the target population. Promotes activities and services through various forms of media. May be responsible for the recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, and scheduling of volunteer workers. May require a bachelor's degree in area of specialty and 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Relies on limited experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Works under general supervision. A certain degree of creativity and latitude is required. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager. " 


"The median expected salary for a typical Community Organizer in the United States is $32,124. This basic market pricing report was prepared using our Certified Compensation Professionals' analysis of survey data collected from thousands of HR departments at employers of all sizes, industries and geographies" salary.com.


"Average Community Organizer Salary in Oakland, CA: $43000" indeed.com.

"Average Community Organizer Salaries in San Francisco, CA in USD as of Oct 7, 2012, $51,000" simplyhired.com.




our Rick Auerbach is more an activist than an organizer

for what he lacks in salary, he makes up in enthusiasm

here are Rick and friends at our block party

a Tracy photo











CEID kids

to, from, and in Bob And Carol's Pumpkin Patch






after 10/8/12 here













10/2/12--2:11 AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and front of warehouse, WEAR RESPIRATOR. 7:12 AM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, head ache, ear ache, watery eyes, light head, nausea, chills, WEAR RESPIRATOR. 11:55 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room.

10/3/12--7:12AM-- irritant in front room.

10/4/12--8:40 PM--irritant in front room, strong "burning gas" odor.

10/8/12--7:54 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, dry dirty burning air, wear respirator.

10/9/12--7:05 PM-- irritant in front room, "hot asbestos odor." 8:05 PM--dry burning air in frint room, wear repirator. 10:37 PM similar.

10/10/12--1:26 AM--similar, STRONG "chlorine" odor in front room. 6:57 AM--irritant in front room, nuasea, light head, wear respirator. 8:18 AM--similar. 8:53 AM--similar.





eternally useful links


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

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



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.




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.



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




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



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, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.

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

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

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






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