January 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

1/1/08

Christmas Evening--12/25/07--between 6:30 PM and 7:00PM my dark-blue 1979 Toyota 4X4 was stolen from my driveway. It was locked and parked in my fully-lighted-drive. Its license number is 1U51703. It is in excellent condition with some paint chipping here and there and with 210,00 miles.
Any information should forwarded to Berkeley PD Auto Theft at 981-5738.
Sadly, it took Berkeley PD two-hours to respond to my call. I reported the theft at roughly 7:10 and an officer arrived about 9:15 PM. The officer was courteous, efficient, well-informed and young. Congrats on all that!

 

Council Woman, Linda Maio emails

Sorry to hear this Ron. Very sorry.
Linda

 

I've received quite a few email saying how sorry the writers are. Well, Ok . . . now what are we going to do about it?

 

Andy Kruse emails

Ron- We are sorry to hear about your truck. I will forward your email throughout L.J. Kruse Co. We'll keep our eyes open for you.

Andy

 

A reader emails from Albuqerque, NM

Sorry to learn about this, Ron. . . . I looked at the crime
map for your zipcode, and was distressed to see how crime-ridden your
area is. I know you're very attached to the neighborhood, the
people, history, etc., but with the crime and bad air quality, have
you considered relocating . . . Just a thought. With my lungs harmed from 47 years of
smoking, there's no way I could tolerate the air you live in. . . . Also, while we have crime,
it's nothing like what you have there.

 

Our Councilman, Darryl Moore emails

Ron

I just read the email about your [vehicle] being stolen. I am very sorry to hear this troubling news. If I can help in any way please let me know. . . . I will look into the matter on the 2nd of January when I return to work.

Darryl

 

 

 

 

1/2/08

As the rainy season begins 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.

 

 

Sooner than later, some of my thoughts on the west-Berkeley Plan.

 

 

 

 

1/4/08

Darryl Moore, our Councilman emailed yesterday

As you may know, today's rain was the beginning of a rather large
storm headed our way, so I thought that it might be a good idea to
send out the information below that might prove useful during the
rainy season. Fortunately, although we are going to get quite a bit
of rain, we are in the last quarter of the moon so we will not have
the same tidal conditions that caused the disasterous flooding in
winter of 2005 and the City has put a great deal of effort into
trying to keep the storm drains clear for this winter season. But,
if you do see debris that is clogging up a storm drain inlet, please
call the Streets & Utilities division of Public Works at (510)
981-6620 or if you see leaves clogging up the surface of a
stormdrain, please try and rake them out to allow the water to
drain. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the
office. Thank you and keep dry.

Sincerely,
Councilmember Darryl Moore

 

 

"Stabbing victim dies in hospital: Victim of 2007 attack outside bar becomes first homicide victim of
new year"
reports Kristin Bender of our Times.

Berkeley has logged its first homicide of the year after a man who was stabbed in the neck outside a South Berkeley bar about two weeks ago died early Thursday, police said.

Kent Washington Evans, 44 of Berkeley, died at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he had been hospitalize since the stabbing on Dec. 22, said Berkeley Police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss.

'This would be the first homicide of 2008,' Kusmiss said."

 

"Hours after carjacking, police find Perata's vehicle: Oakland Democrat's belongings were in state-issued auto when Richmond officers found in late Saturday" report Kristin Bender and Harry Harris of the Times.

A sharp-eyed Richmond police officer on Saturday night located the candy-apple red Dodge Charger carjacked at gunpoint earlier that day from state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata.

Richmond police found the 2006 state-issued car in a residential area at Wiswall and Colette drives near the Hilltop Mall in Richmond at 11:11 p.m. Saturday.

Perata's cell phone and other property were still in the car, which was in good condition, said Lt. Michael Booker. The carjacking occurred about 1:45 p.m. Saturday in North Oakland."

 

"Jury stuck at deadlock on tree sitters' friend:No unanimous verdict reached on man who sent a bag of oranges up to Berkeley protesters" reports Kristin Bender.

"A jury has deadlocked on a misdemeanor charge against a man charged with violating a court order by sending a bag of oranges up a rope for the UC Berkeley tree sitters."

 

 

"City gearing up for next phase of bicycle path:Plan is to extend the Ohlone Greenway to Strawberry Creek Park"
reports the Times' Doug Oakley.

"Berkeley is preparing to finish the second phase of a bike path that eventually will connect the popular Ohlone Greenway to central Berkeley at Strawberry Creek Park."

 

 

"Cooking oil useful for fries and fuel:Oakland's Blue Sky Biodiesel is joining others in converting a waste product to a truck fuel that's greener than diesel" writes the Times' Janis Mara

Next time you buy french fries at McAfee Coliseum, pat yourself on the back. The oil that crisped your fries will soon be powering school buses in this city, as well as trucks at the Port of Oakland, thanks to a new local company.

Blue Sky Bio-Fuels Inc., founded 18 months ago by brothers Patrick and Ralph MacIntyre, collects kitchen grease from the Coliseum, UC Berkeley and other local sources and makes it into biodiesel, which
generates fewer harmful emissions when burned than conventional diesel fuel.

'It's a win-win,' said Ralph MacIntyre, a Sebastopol resident who fires up his 2003 Dodge truck, which runs on biodiesel, at 4:30 a.m. five days a week to drive to the company's 49th Avenue location near
the Coliseum.

'We give the restaurant owners free collection, and by selling within a 50-mile radius and keeping down our transportation costs we give buyers a better deal, he said. Normally, the restaurateurs must pay for the FOG (fats, grease and oil) to be collected.

Biodiesel from Blue Sky sells for around $3.80 a gallon. The brothers make 50 cents to 75 cents a gallon in profit. They sold 30,000 gallons in November and expect to make about 2.8 million gallons in 2008. Eventually, the plant will ramp up to 20 million gallons a year, Ralph MacIntyre said.

Blue Sky has five employees and expects to have 30 once it hits full production capacity. And the MacIntyres aren't the only ones in the biodiesel business hereabouts."

 

Steve Smith hipped me to this a couple of years ago--check back posts. Steve drives two bio-diesel vehicles and often uses processed vegi-oil in them.

Steve works at Norheim and Yost and the little boy whose picture has been featured on Scrambled Eggs is his son Jack.

 

 

 

 

 

1/5/08

Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed 1.9 inches from Thursday to Friday morning.

 

 

Ryan Lau forwards our Councilwoman, Linda Maio's email

The next major step pertaining to Pacific Steel Casting is the presentation of their Health Risk Assessment (HRA). The Bay Area Air Quality Management District required Pacific Steel to conduct this assessment in response to community and City concerns. The report has finally been delivered and the Air District has issued the following announcement:

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Community Meeting to Discuss Pacific Steel's Health Risk Assessment
Wednesday, January 9, 2008 6:00 pm
West Berkeley Senior Center (1900 6th Street)
The Air District and Cal/EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment have reviewed the HRA report and have preliminarily determined that it was prepared in accordance with the statewide Air District Hot Spots Health Risk Assessment Guidelines. The HRA report will be presented to the City and the community, and questions will be taken from the public.

Staff from the Air District and Cal/EPA's Office of Environmental Health will present information and answer questions regarding the HRA and risk assessment procedures.

The HRA report contains a description of the Air District Hot Spots risk assessment process, a comprehensive analysis of the emissions of toxic air contaminants from Pacific Steel, an overview of air dispersion modeling, an evaluation of the potential for human exposure, and a quantitative assessment of potential health risks associated with modeled levels of exposure.

The public review and comment period for the HRA began on October 11, 2007 and the Air District will accept comments on the HRA until January 31, 2008. Comments regarding the HRA and/or requests for the HRA report on DVD should be submitted to Scott Lutz, Manager of the Toxic Evaluation Section, by e-mail at slutz@baaqmd.gov.

We expect that the technical staff, including City toxics management staff, will do their best to make the Health Risk Assessment decipherable by the average person. Hope to see you there.
Linda Maio

 

 

 

 

 

1/6/08

Yesterday about Noon, Byron and Milo pulled up into our drive with Byron rolling down his window and exclaming "We found your truck! We found your truck!"

Indeed they had.

Pretty tight Neighbor, west-Berkeley.

 

 

Geralyn reports Pete's Potter Creek rain guage showed 1.75 inches from Friday AM through Saturday late morning--for a total of 3.65 inches as of Saturday night.

 

Channel 2 NEWS reports that our current storm is the strongest in 6 years, based on wind strength and amount of rain fall.

 

 

From today's San Francisco Chronicle's "Cook's Night Out."

"Joshua Pearle didn't have to wait for the fusion trend to hit the American dining scene. The Bay Area native grew up with a veritable smorgasbord of tastes and tidbits.

There was his mom's Norwegian and Irish heritage, his dad's Russian and Austrian Jewish eating traditions, and a host of other influences. His grandmother liked to take young Josh to iconic late-20th century places such as Dago Mary's and the Hot House, where she worked for a while, and he often shared meals with a close Russian family friend who favored the Eastern European establishments that used to flourish along the Clement Street corridor.

Pearle, now chef and co-owner of Berkeley's 900 Grayson, which serves breakfast and lunch, loved it all, whether he was living with his mother in the North Bay or his lawyer father in Berkeley. When we met for an interview dinner between Christmas and New Year's, the chef was preparing to leave for a family reunion in Carlsbad, N.M., that
included not only his parents and their current spouses but also his ex-partner in life and business, chef Sophina Uong (who now works at Maritime East), and their 5-year-old daughter, Roan."

Well Ok then!

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/8/08

David Snipper emails

Hi Ron,

I'm looking forward to dinners at 900. What with the Bowl and our now famous eatery, the neighborhood is finally beginning to come into it's own. Of course it's a mixed blessing but progress has its price. Now if only we had a decent local barbershop life would be perfect.

Great news about your truck. Alas, a virgin no more, hope it wasn't overly abused.

Best of the season,

David

 

 

Paul D'Orlean, one of the founders of the U.S.Velocette Owners Club, is a good friend of Potter Creek's Camille.

Camille owns magnet, 2508 san pablo ave

510.848.1966

www.magnetboutique.com

 

Paul is also one of the organizers of the Velocette owner's Montana Summer Rally which is covered in this January's Cycle World.So check out

"Never Give Up:1000 miles through Montana by Mark Hoyer.

"There are a lot of kinds of crazy in this world. There is the really whacko kind of nuts that leads to crime or politics. And then there is the kind of crazy you back into slowly, without really knowing it.

So when my neighbor walked up as I was loading my 1954 Velocette into the back of the CW van and asked what I was doing and I said that I was headed to Montana to ride 1000 miles, his reply of 'Are you crazy?!' probably wasn't a rhetorical question. I must admit that it did give me pause, but I knew I was sane because I was headed to Montana with 40 other like-minded maniacs from the American arm of the Velocette Owners Club for the annual Summer Rally."

 

 

"Fatal Berkeley fire may have started from candle lit for storm outage"
reports Katy Murphy of our Times.

"Richard Dury, a well-liked Berkeley grocery-store fixture, was inside his home early Saturday morning, shielded from the strong rain and winds that toppled big-rigs and knocked down trees and power
lines throughout the day.

But a candle lit by a caretaker during a power outage may have started a fire that killed the 61-year-old developmentally disabled man, Berkeley fire investigators reported."

 

 

"Nostalgia without the Sand:El Cerrito's Playland-Not-at-the-Beach revives a midway"
reports Shelly Meron of our Times.

When Richard Tuck and his business partner bought a building on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito about a decade ago, they agreed that a small portion would be used for their executive recruiting firm. The rest, according to Tuck, would be used 'for fun.'

Today, while some employees crouch over paperwork and answer phones in small cubicles, a few volunteers work nearby, helping realize Tuck's dream of preserving a piece of old-fashioned amusement parks. After almost 10 years of putting this place together, and getting through all the necessary red tape, Tuck is about to open Playland- Not-at-the-Beach, pending a final city inspection this month.

'We've been disappointed that it's taken this long,' Tuck said. 'But it also meant we could build a lot more than we planned.'

The 'fun' part of the building turned out to be half-museum, half- play area, a tribute to places such as Playland at the Beach and the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, both of which have long been closed."

 

 

"Tedford continues shakeup: He hires the 49ers quarterbacks coach as Cal's new play caller"
writes the Times' Jonathan Okanes.

"The next time Cal football coach Jeff Tedford has a teamwide issue to deal with, he'll have one less duty to worry about.

Tedford gave up his role as play caller Sunday by hiring Frank Cignetti as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Cignetti spent last season as the 49ers' quarterbacks coach and has 19 years of coaching experience on the college and professional level."

 

 

"Bey never repaid city loan for business: Your Black Muslim Bakery CEO borrowed more than $1 million for health care company" report Cecily Burt and G.W. Schulz of the Times.

 

"Buffett buys into industrial company: Tycoon's firm gives 'vote of confidence to nuts and bolts businesses'"
reports the AP's Samantha Bomkamp
.

When tycoon Warren Buffett's investment company said Tuesday that it would pay $4.5 billion for a 60 percent stake in industrial conglomerate Marmon Holdings Inc., he gave the U.S. industrial segment a much-needed vote of confidence.

Marmon has more than 125 manufacturing and service businesses and is owned by trusts of the Pritzker family of Chicago, which developed the Hyatt Hotel chain. The company has its collective hands in businesses across the transportation, energy and construction markets, with products ranging from railroad tank cars to metal fasteners."

 

 

Lee Iacocca has a newish book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone? Here are some excerpts.

"Had Enough?

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening?

Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course.'

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough.
How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

My friends tell me to calm down. They say, 'Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people.' I'd love to as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up.
These guys work for us."

 

 

Jan Leigner emails

Jan was a manager at Scharffen Berger before it was sold to Hershey.

Hi Ron,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I had the occasion to be in Berkeley for New Year's Eve and, in what I found to be a much livelier than expected debate, I was put to task as to whether or not the Berkeley Bowl is actually approved to be built and open it's doors.

Our host was adamant in that oh-so-Berkeley way that the BB2 was not actually going to happen.

I tried to tell her that I was keeping my thumb on the pulse of Potter Creek (she didn't know the neighborhood name) via a local "insider source", and that I've seen the "Berkeley Hole" in person but her fervor grew to such a pitch that I eventually ceded to her with a "well, maybe you're right" just because I didn't want to end 2007 in a land-use debate.

Now that I live back innacity, I'd almost forgotten about the rambunctiousness of the Berkeley-ite...

The exchange reminded me of this passage from Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton:

"If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason. The madman,s explanation of a thing is always complete, and often in a purely rational sense satisfactory. Or, to speak more strictly, the insane explanation, if not conclusive, is at least unanswerable. He is in the clean and well-lit prison of one idea: he is sharpened to one painful point."

So, as you like to say, well Ok then!

Is the Bowl a go? Or no? When is the projected opening date?

I am glad to read that your truck was recovered. I hope it is still in good working order.

Take care,

Jan Leigner

 

 

Our Councilman Darryl Moore emails

There is a Consumer Home Mortgage Town Hall & Resource Fair

Saturday, January 12, 2008 10AM-1PM with registration 9:30, Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, 3rd Floor, Oakland CA 94612

Credit counselors, loan services, and lenders will offer on-site assistance and information on available options with your mortgage.

Please bring your loan documents and other relevant financial information to the event.

Sincerely,
Council member Darryl Moore

 

 

Why were the pollster estimates off 10-15 % in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary?

Simple . . . racism.

White-folks lied about who they were going to vote for, either to the pollsters or to themselves.

Get a grip, this is still America.

 

 

 

 

 

1/10/08
"Air monitor placed near steel plant" reports Kristin Bender in our Times.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is spending about $750,000 over the next year or so to monitor the air near Pacific Steel Casting, the West Berkeley steel foundry that neighbors say emits a foul odor and hazardous toxins.

Last month, the air district put the mobile air monitoring trailer at Sixth and Camelia streets, about three blocks from Pacific Steel, in the wake of a bevy of problems related to the foundry.

'It's long overdue,' said Berkeley community activist L A Wood.

The foundry's problems have included three lawsuits regarding odor and emissions in the past few years and dozens of complaints from residents about headaches, nausea and tightness in their chests because of a foul odor.

'The goal here is to locate these trailers in various impacted communities over time so we can better quantify air quality issues in those areas,' said air district monitoring manager Eric Stevenson. The district has 31 air-monitoring sites in the Bay Area.

Stevenson said the cost of the trailer, a white boxy structure on wheels, was $250,000. Staff time and other costs for 12 to 18 months -- the length of time the trailer will stay in West Berkeley -- could run an additional $500,000.

The trailer is equipped with air monitors on top and computerized monitoring equipment inside. It is surrounded by a barbed wire fence."

 

 

"Hydrogen plans hit the brakes:Third agency turns down state funds to build vehicle fueling station"
reports Kimberly Kindy in the Times.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's vision of a 'hydrogen highway' -- 100 fueling stations by 2010 that would make it practical for California motorists to use non-polluting hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles -- has hit a roadblock."

 

"Mortgage firm sees more late payments:Uncertainty continues to circle hard-hit Countrywide as housing
struggles press on"
writes the AP's Alex Veiga.

Countrywide Financial Corp., its stock pummeled this week by rumors of bankruptcy and lackluster housing market forecasts, said Wednesday the percentage of borrowers who missed payments on home loans last month rose, signaling worsening trouble for the nation's largest mortgage lender and for the entire mortgage sector.

The company also reported that it had funded $23.5 billion in loans in December -- a steep decline from $42.8 billion in the year-ago period.

'Their new business is down roughly 50 percent,' said Sean Egan, managing director of independent ratings firm Egan-Jones Ratings Co. in Philadelphia.

'The market is fairly concerned whether the company is going to be able to correct the fundamental problems that it's faced with,' he said.

The new figures drove Countrywide stock down by more than 15 percent at one point in the day before it recovered to end down 6.4 percent, or 35 cents, at $5.12."

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/12/08

Our Councilman Darryl Moore's aid, Ryan Lau emails

As some of you may already know, the parking lot at 7th Street and Dwight Street will soon be closing, compounding the pre-existing parking issues in West Berkeley. We have been able to negotiate with Bayer, the owners of the lot, and they have been gracious enough to extend the lease through January and we are still in discussions about a possible further extension. Please come to our community meeting on Monday, January 14th to discuss West Berkeley parking issues and help us resolve parking issues in West Berkeley.
Who: Councilmember Darryl Moore, a Berkeley Transportation Planner, a representative from Bayer and concerned community members
What: A community meeting to discuss solutions to the parking issues at 8th Street and Dwight Way
When: Monday, January 14th, 2007 at 6PM
Where: The Sawtooth/Kawneer Building, Bay 1, 2525 8th Street (the entrance closest to Dwight Way)

Sincerely, Ryan Lau

 

Our Libby emails

Ron,

Foggy Gulch's first CD, "Fogged In" is now available at
http://cdbaby.com/cd/foggygulch We encourage you to buy it there, but
you can also buy one (or more!) from any band member, or email
eric@foggygulch.com for information on how to get a copy.

Foggy Gulch will be playing at Julie's Coffee & Tea Garden in Alameda
on the evening of January 29th and at The Music Store at 66 West Portal
Ave in San Francisco on the afternoon of February 9th.

Libby

 

I bought my copy from Libby, the groups' lead vocalist and the receptionist at École Bilingue--she's at the Grayson Street campus. As of this morning, I've listened to it a half-dozen or more times. I love Bluegrass and Country and this is what these folks sing and play. Simply, it is the most musical production I've heard in years--even for a first effort. Filled with melody and played and sung with feeling, this CD is AMAZING!

Buy a copy!

Then check them out live at Julie's.

(More about these folks later.)

 

 

Consolidated is now printing our election ballots--a big job that has gone on for weeks, regularly requiring a couple of shifts.

 

 

"Pacific Steel Health Hearing Packs Center" reports our Planet's Richard Brenneman.

"Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and City Councilmember Linda Maio vowed Wednesday night to reopen Pacific Steel Casting's use permit to force action on odors emanating from the company's West Berkeley plant.

Their promises came during a public hearing on a Health Risk Assessment report prepared by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and the state Office of Environ-mental Health Hazard Asses-sment.

Wednesday night's hearing provided the public a chance to register their views before the public comment period ends Jan. 31. And comment they did, to the standing-room-only crowd packing the West Berkeley Senior Center."

 

 

"Berkeley man gets 56 years for trying to kill police officer" reports Kristin Bender of our Times.

"A Berkeley man who was convicted of attempting to murder a Berkeley police officer more than two years ago was sentenced to 56 years and four months to life in prison on Thursday.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joseph Hurley sentenced Howard Street, 38, for shooting Officer Darren Kacalek on the morning of May 17, 2005, while Kacalek was chasing him in the area of Sixth and Delaware streets in Berkeley."

 

"Pedestrian's death riles council members:Three officials intend to seek information that will lead to =20
measures for reducing traffic accidents, fatalities"
writes Doug Oakley in the Times.

 

 

"Home market stifles furniture dealers" reports the Times' George Avalos.

"The collapse of the housing market has begun to produce some collateral wreckage, with the shutdown or downsizing of some home furnishings stores in the East Bay, including Thomasville Furniture.

Furniture Brands International Inc. has closed three Thomasville stores in the Bay Area, including two in the East Bay. Heritage House Galleries has shut its doors in Concord. Levitz Furniture has declared bankruptcy, is liquidating its operations and has decided to close its furniture stores, including five in the East Bay and one in San Joaquin County. Furnishings Concepts will close one of its two Pleasanton stores.

The housing troubles also have forced some developers to shift the focus of their retail centers. A shopping complex in Pleasanton has a number of home furnishings retailers, and the developer is seeking different kinds of tenants for some spaces."

 

And "Analysts disect Countrywide buyout" writes Barbara E. Hernandez.

"Bay Area mortgage professionals said Friday they believe Bank of America's $4 billion purchase of Countrywide Financial may be good for the financial well-being of the industry, but reduced competition could be bad for consumers."

 

 

 

 

 

1/14/08

Richard of Eighth Street emails Richard's Rain Totals

From Sep 21 - 07 to Jan 9 - 08
9.8" of rain on the north side of House.
From 1-3-08 to 1-9-08
3.0" of rain on the north side of House.
The north side gets a little less than the south side.

 

 

"Berkeley seeks pedestrian protection:Council members, upset by death of woman in crosswalk, look for
ways to protect residents from speeding drivers"
reports the Times' Doug Oakley.

"The Dec. 31 death of a 61-year-old Berkeley woman hit by a car while crossing the street was "the last straw" for Councilwoman Dona Spring, who wants some changes made to protect pedestrians and
bicyclists from errant drivers.

Spring said she and council members Laurie Capitelli and Betty Olds plan to introduce an item at their Jan. 29 meeting asking the city for statistics and locations on all the pedestrians and bicyclists who have been hit by cars in the past three to five years.

Spring said the information will help the council determine what kind of new safety measures the city can take to reduce accidents and deaths.

Four pedestrians were killed by cars in the city in 2007, according to Berkeley police. There were no pedestrians killed by cars in 2005 and 2006."

 

Well, Ok then.

My experience is that many drivers in the west of Berkeley are courteous above-and-beyond, stopping fro pedestrians at crosswalks--even stopping for cross-traffic-cyclists when the car has the right of way. On the other hand, Berkeley cyclists and pedestrians are often very assertive even careless when crossing the street. And then there are those few who believe street-crossing is a political statement against autos, the auto-makers and Capitalism.

 

 

"Air board targets pollution at ports" Agency proposes its first comprehensive rule to reduce emissions at
Bay Area facilities"
reports Denis Cuff of our Times.

Worried that air pollution from ports is threatening neighbors' health, the Bay Area's clean air agency has proposed its first comprehensive rule to reduce emissions from the ports of Oakland, San Francisco, Richmond, Benicia and Redwood City.

The requirements are likely to stir plenty of debate and questions.

Because ports are magnets for such a wide variety of mobile pollution sources -- ships, trains and trucks -- it's not clear yet what is practical and politically feasible to limit.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board, however, is determined to curb emissions from ports, especially at Oakland, a hot spot for concentrations of toxic diesel soot that can aggravate the risk of asthma attacks and heart and lung problems, regulators say."

 

 

 

 

 

1/15/08

Over the weekend, one of Merryll's buildings was broken into and a workman's tools were stolen.

 

 

Yesterday, sidewalks were laid at Ruth and Marvin's.

 

 

Yesterday Acme's new-flour-silo was installed with the help of a large crane--Pete's photo to follow.

 

 

Around 3:00 PM yesterday, there was a police action at 7th and Carleton. Lipofsky counted 9 patrol cars plus a Berkeley FD pumper and ambulance--details to follow.

 

 

Pete's next Alternate Tunings is this Wednesday, January 16th, at 9:00 AM on KALX. The program is co-hosted by Eliza Smith and is about the music of Harry Partch.

Lipofsky did a show with Partch at the University of Illinois in The Day.

 

 

Pete's Potter Creek rain totals--January 4, 1.9 inches; 5th, 1.25 inches; 6th, .85 inches; 7th, .20 inches; 8th, .50 inches; 10th, .10 inches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/16/08

Foggy Gulch's first CD, "Fogged In" is now available at
http://cdbaby.com/cd/foggygulch We encourage you to buy it there, but
you can also buy one (or more!) from any band member, or email
eric@foggygulch.com for information on how to get a copy.

Foggy Gulch will be playing at Julie's Coffee & Tea Garden in Alameda
on the evening of January 29th and at The Music Store at 66 West Portal
Ave in San Francisco on the afternoon of February 9th.

 

I bought my copy from Libby, the groups' lead vocalist and the receptionist at École Bilingue--she's at the Grayson Street campus. As of this morning, I've listened to it a half-dozen or more times. I love Bluegrass and Country and this is what these folks sing and play. Simply, it is the most musical production I've heard in years--even for a first effort. Filled with melody and played and sung with feeling, this CD is AMAZING!

Buy a copy!

Then check them out live at Julie's

 

 

So much for the gentler sex.

Monday-afternoon's police action at 7th and Carleton was a fight between two women. "Over half-dozen radio-cars, a fire-engine and an ambulance for that" I asked. "Apparently they were very aggressive" replied my compact, rather-than-small, female source.

 

 

 

"Price trumps taste buds:Researchers find that cost of wine is a factor in how much pleasure
drinkers derive from it"
reports Denise Gellene of the Los Angleles Times.

"When it comes to wine tasting, pleasure is in the price.

Using brain scanners to monitor the minds of wine drinkers, scientists found that people given two identical red wines got more pleasure from tasting the one they were told cost more."

 

"Retailers try to pick up the pieces:After a lackluster holiday shopping season, stores search for ways
to rebound quickly"
writes Sue Stock in our Times.

"The 2007 holiday shopping season is history, but the effects of the mediocre period will reach far into 2008.

Because of lower-than-expected sales, retailers are trimming costs, and that likely means less selection in stores, fewer employees to help customers, some store closings and fewer new stores this year.

Several chains, including Talbots, Macy's and Ethan Allen, have announced that they will close unprofitable stores to focus on high-profit areas."

 

 

Why Racism is f#%ked.

Racists got it wrong from the very beginning. White people are really pink, black folks more often are brown, brown folks are tan, yellow people are really white and red folks sure as hell aren't red. No wonder it sucks as a concept.


 

 

 

1/17/08

1/15/08--3:20 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, lights flicker. 5:23 PM-- irritant in front, cough, eyes smart. 6:43 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, lights flicker, leave.

 

 

"Native pickleweed offers a taste of the wild:Succulent thrives in salt marshes and adds punch to salad" reports our S.F Chronicle.

"What grows wild all along the edge of San Francisco Bay but fetches more than $5 a pound at the Berkeley Bowl grocery? That would be pickleweed, a remarkable native plant, a key component of the tidal marsh ecosystem and a tasty salad besides."

 

 

"Dozens in Texas Town Report Seeing UFO" reports the AP's Angela K. Brown.

"In this farming community where nightfall usually brings clear, starry skies, residents are abuzz over reported
sightings of what many believe is a UFO.

Several dozen people - including a pilot, county constable and business owners - insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/18/08

West-Berkeley pedestrians do, however, ignore my mom, Gladys' simple childhood advice "Ronnie, be sure to look both ways before crossing the street."

 

 

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/us/

 

 

 

 

It's time to open the west-Berkeley Plan FULLY to the light of the 21st Century

 

 

 

 

"Wild turkeys running afoul at Berkeley lab" muses Doug Oakley of our Times.

"They are breaking windows, defecating on public property and intimidating workers. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory are calling them a public safety problem.

Who would have thought that a bunch of wild turkeys could cause so much trouble?

At least 60 of them are reproducing like rabbits, raising concern among officials at the lab that someone is going to get hurt.

The hubbub started this past spring when the growing group of gobblers got bigger. At the time, they were a cute sideshow, occasionally interrupting a meeting with loud gobbles and chasing people on Segway transporters used to get around the hilly campus.

Then the real trouble started. In June, a wayward turkey wandered inside the lab's cafe and decided to exit through a plate-glass window. After that, another window in an adjacent building was smashed."

 

 

"County moves toward a ban on pot clubs:Marijuana dispensaries have not been allowed to open since a temporary moratorium in 2006" reports the Times' Ryan Huff.

"Contra Costa supervisors took the first step toward prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county on Tuesday, aiming to pass a new ban by March.

Such facilities have not been allowed to open since the county approved a temporary moratorium in April 2006. That moratorium lapses April 10, the reason supervisors have asked county attorneys to draw up an ordinance that bans land uses that violate state or federal law -- including cannabis clubs.

The only legal medical marijuana business in the unincorporated county -- MEDelivery of El Sobrante -- will be allowed to remain open since it applied for a land-use permit before a moratorium two years ago, supervisors said. However, it would be closed if it tried to expand.

Using marijuana -- even for medical purposes -- is illegal under federal law, according to a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. This conflicts with state law, which allows residents with certain medical conditions to use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

'There's a strange dance going on with medical marijuana laws in California,' said Contra Costa District Attorney Robert Kochly."

 

 

"Median home price sinks in Southern California:Research firm reports lowest sales for December in the past 20 years" reports the AP's Alex Veiga.

"The median home price in a six-county region of Southern California plunged more than 13 percent in December from a year ago, as the national housing slump kept eating away at home values, a real estate research firm said Tuesday."

 

 

"Citigroup loses almost $10 billion in quarter:Nation's largest bank slashes dividend and jobs, records huge write-down" writes the AP's Madlen Read.

"Citigroup Inc. lost almost $10 billion in last year's final three months, the largest quarterly deficit in its 196-year history, and slashed its dividend and 4,200 jobs as it recorded a mammoth write-down for bad bets on the mortgage industry.

The nation's largest bank wrote down the value of its portfolio by $18.1 billion and said it was setting aside $4 billion to cover U.S. consumer credit defaults. It signaled further problems in its consumer businesses as deflated home prices, high energy and food costs, and rising unemployment weigh on people's ability to keep up with their payments.

The reduction of 4,200 jobs in the fourth quarter is in addition to 17,000 layoffs announced in the spring, and Chief Financial Officer Gary Crittenden said during a conference call that more job cuts would be on the way."

 

And "IndyMac to slash workforce by 24%:Mortgage company will lay off 2,403 employees, including vendors in India, to cut costs" writes Alex Veiga.

"Mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp Inc. said Tuesday that it will slash its workforce by 24 percent, laying off 2,403 employees in a bid to cut costs as it tries to weather the worsening housing slump and sagging demand for home loans."

 

ABC NEWS reported Thursday morning that housing starts nation wide in 2007 were down almost 25% from 2006.

 

 

BUT " 'Hidden' jobs aren't that hard too find:Experts say the job market is still in pretty good shape, especially for those who put some extra wisdom into their search" reports our Times' Janis Mara.

"Recent college graduate Maureen Nelson of Pleasant Hill is looking for her first job in a new career, but she's not worried. Nelson is sure her nearly 300 contacts, online skills and determination will see her through.

Nelson is one of many East Bay residents who made finding a new job their New Year's resolution. The chance of succeeding isn't bad, experts say, especially if you take advantage of available resources and use the right approach."

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/19/08

6:24 AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and front of warehouse, cough, eyes smart, light head, warehouse lights flicker/voltage drop. 9:43 AM--irritant in warehouse front room and immediately in front of warehouse. 4:26 PM--lights flicker/voltage drop. 5:08 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, lights flicker/voltage drop.

 

 

Our Janine Johnson emails

Hi everybody! I have a fun and interesting house concert coming up,
which I hope you'd like to attend! I am playing all of J.S. Bach's
Inventions and Sinfonias, but with a bit of a twist. Along with the
relatively unadorned versions of these pieces we know so well, I am
augmenting the program with additional performances of many of these,
using known student ornamentation and also Bach's own from his final
autograph. Juxtaposing the simple and ornamented versions to me is
fascinating and also is a rare window into Baroque performance
practice. Some versions are rather lavish, and others more discreet.
Come and hear for yourself!

I am giving two performances on Saturday Feb.2, 10:30 AM (with coffee
and cookies), and Sunday Feb. 3rd at 3:00 PM (wine and cheese). . . .
Suggested donation is $10.00, with CDs for sale at the concert for
$12.00. Please
RSVP so I know how many chairs to set up. Thanks!

 

 

Tak Eshima emails

Hey Penndorf: 'Just found you on my email file. The big thing is That I saw
a photograph of you in todays Chronicle and was blown away. My first thought
was that another candidate for President. You look real good.I was having breakfast at Café 817 yesterday as a matter of fact. I hadn't been there for some time and I had some business back in my old office so I dropped by the
old haunt. Not the same. So you found another favorite place for breakfast.
I'll have to drop by and check some recordings. Take care and good hearing about you.

Best, Tak

 

&

 

Tak Nakamoto emails

Ron,

[Does anyone] know the person(s) who operate the Berkeley Crime Log site? It
appears to not have been updated with fresh data since 12/06/07. I
tried the site's email address and no one has replied.

Saw your mug in the SF Chronicle the other day. Janet and I must be
the only people from around here that haven't eaten at 900 Grayson
yet.

Tak Nakamoto

 

Yep, my half-page, color photo appears in the Chronicle's Thursday 96 Hours section above a story about 900 GRAYSON. If you look closely you can see I'm reading a copy of our Daily Bolshevik, aka Daily Planet. I think I was checking out my 'scope.

 

 

"Outrage Over Alcohol Inspection Fees Forces City to Halt Plans" reports our Planet's Judith Scherr.

"Faced with some two dozen irate small business owners, the Berkeley City Council reversed itself Tuesday, backing away from a December decision to charge bars, restaurants and liquor stores $467 each year to inspect for substandard conditions-graffiti, sidewalk drinking, sales to minors and the like."

 

 

And Judith Scherr reports "City Council Questions, Approves Green Corridor.

The mayors of Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville, along with the UC Berkeley chancellor and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, met under the TV cameras' glare in early December to unveil the East Bay Green Corridor Partnership.

At its meeting Tuesday night, a unanimous Berkeley City Council voted to sign onto the partnership that promises support for green industries and 'green collar' jobs."

 

 

"Lawmakers' flashy, fuel-sucking cars on road at the expense of taxpayers" reports John Simerman of our Times.

"When armed carjackers last month relieved state Senate Pro Tem Don Perata of his state-owned vehicle, it raised two eyebrows -- one for the brash daylight crime on a North Oakland street, the other for the flash of Perata's ride."

When I was a kid growing up in Milwaukee, our Mayor, Frank Ziedler, rode the bus.

Well, Ok then.

 

 

 

1/20/08

and following are

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:

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

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

Ryan Lau, aid to 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