January 2011

after 1/10/11 here after 1/19/11 here

posts from the past


Hawaii, a Rick Auerbach photo © from the Audubon calender





Anthony Saulnier's father-in-law is a Marine colonel stationed in Hawaii. While working out at the base facility this week he heard "Good morning sir" from the man on the next machine. Turning, he found Barack Obama and replied "Good morning to you, sir." Anthony is one of the owners of 900 GRAYSON.


end posts from the past




Chip Johnson's 2011 Oakland predictions include much kudos for Da Boz

"Berkeley as the model: Quiet as it's kept, the lovely City of Berkeley has not experienced the economic shortfalls that have afflicted virtually all of its neighboring East Bay cities. Three-term Mayor Tom Bates, who served two decades in the California Assembly, should receive his due as a city leader. Berkeley has retained its ultra-liberal image while providing some of the best services in the region."








Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Traffic to this web site is up 12%, 2010 over 2009. But more dramatic is the over 100% increase in traffic in the last months to Almost Daily Posts. Largely I assume, the result of my new Miscellaneous Ramblings.

Also, I've taken some time to browse a few websites-of-websites and found some serious errors. One site gives our November hits as around 2000 when in fact my server, Earthlink, shows just under 23,000. Another example, I suppose, that there is a lot of information on the Internet, less fact and even less knowledge.


Reading printed material involves all our senses. You see, feel, smell, even hear the medium. And so sense its great variety--the crackle of magazine pages, the roughness of newsprint, the smooth slickness of the glossy magazine, the old of used books, the exploding color of the new book cover. All this is part of reading the printed page. Computer reading on the other hand is less fully involving, more a head trip--all keyboards"the same" all monitors "glowing." Does this mean you write differently for each medium? Maybe.



Things happened here in 2010.

While surrounding cities and towns are in financial difficulty including bankruptcy, Our Town is somewhat financially stable in large part because of the policies and administration of our City Manager, Phil Kamlarz. Yet unfunded liabilities loom large.

For the first time in over thirty years, the new Police Chief was chosen from outside the department. The full effect of this is yet to be felt.

Our West-Berkeley Bowl has become wildly successful, as has its traffic plan largely drawn up under the guidance of our city workers.

The composition of our City Council has remained the same, for all incumbents were re-elected--boring.

The results of our West-Berkeley Project affirm Leon Trotsky's axiom "A camel is a race horse made by a committee." Apologies to the city workers who labored long and hard to bring some sort of order out the political mishegas.

In less than a year our, our Chamber of Commerce has gone through two Chief Executive Officers and at last count had not yet found a third, proving that success in business does not necessarily include "playing well with others."

And the Ed Roberts Campus has opened, allowing its members to do their good works, affirming that indeed "The meek shall inherit the earth."


And there is in 21st Century Berkeley something to live-by in addition to "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Which would be "That which you resist, persists."


Yet, we all seemed to have survived and are more or less well.


And what are the least interesting happenings here of 2010. Well, those that I haven't posted.



end Miscellaneous Ramblings




post from the past


Rumor persists that the San Pablo Ave medical marijuana people have an interest in the old chocolate factory--either in leasing or buying it. I'm told the present owner paid five-mil some years ago.


end post from the past



"See Burrowing Owls at Cesar Chavez Park This Weekend" is a story at albany.patch.com.

"For more than a decade, and by some reports longer, a small coterie of migratory Western Burrowing Owls has been spending the winter at Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley. So far this year at least four have returned.

These small ground-dwelling owls roost quietly during the day but are normally alert and looking around. They are very easy to miss and most casual park visitors never see them. Three years ago, after noticing that some of the owls liked the habitat available in the north-east corner of the park, members of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, in cooperation with the Berkeley Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department began a program of fencing off a small 'For Owls Only' area between October and April when the owls are present."



"Agriculture apps gaining momentum" by Pamela Kan-Rice, UCANR Green Blog.

"When the great outdoors is your research laboratory, gathering data can be a challenge. To get a broader perspective on the extent of damage caused by sudden oak death, a UC Berkeley Cooperative Extension geographer is using crowd sourcing to enhance her research on the disease that has killed over a million of California's iconic oak trees since 1995."




"Solar Plant to Generate Power After Sundown" by Rebecca Smith at wsj.com.

"Something new is headed for the Southwest desert: solar power plants that can make electricity whether or not the sun is shining.

Abengoa Solar Inc. expects to start construction in mid-2011 on a plant in Arizona that will store sun-generated heat to provide six extra hours a day of electric-generating capacity. The heat creates steam that is used to turn power turbines.

Rebecca Smith looks at solar power plants that can make electricity whether or not the sun is shining, including one scheduled to be built in Arizona in mid-2011."




"Kansas City Pays for First Renewable Energy Farm:Missouri Governor Nixon confirmed Nordic WindPower would move California facilities to Kansas City to create jobs, clean energy" Meaghan Clark at energydigital.com.

Nordic Windpower photo

"Former California based wind turbine manufacturer Nordic Windpower USA is moving to Kansas City International Airport, creating an abundance of jobs over the year six years. Nordic Windpower USA will be part of the latest renewable energy development project plan by way of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who fronted $5.6 million to help move the company to his state."



"Question for California's future: Should I stay?" by Alice Tu at sacbee.com.

"Thirty years ago my parents immigrated to California. They came for a chance to build a better future. In a few weeks I have an appointment with the embassy of another country to secure my passport and citizenship to a place I have never visited.

I recognize that I would be choosing a path that my parents were forced to take, but I suppose I share their impulse to carve out a life in a hospitable place. I am 22 years old, three months out of college and challenged by questions about my future in California. I haven't packed my bags yet ­ I'm working to build a business here, and yet I'm unsettled enough to plan for the possibility of a life beyond my native state."



"Tesla tying profit hopes to lower-cost batteries" Alan Ohnsman, Bloomberg News.

"Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc. says cheaper batteries will make its Model S sedan profitable with much lower sales than Nissan Motor Co. seeks for its Leaf car.

Tesla photo

The $57,000 electric Model S, which uses cells similar to those in laptops, is designed to make money for Palo Alto's Tesla at 20,000 annual deliveries, Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel said. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has said combined battery-car sales for Nissan and affiliate Renault SA may need to reach 500,000 vehicles a year to be profitable without government aid."





"Patois Records: The Little Label That Could" at jazzcorner.com.

"What do a radio promoter in Livingston, Texas, an entertainment lawyer in Berkeley, California, a publicist in Lincoln, Massachusetts, a sales rep who is a grandfather, and an operations & marketing director balancing her laptop in one hand and young child in the other have in common? They are all on the team of San Francisco-based Patois Records strategizing a campaign around the upcoming CD release and recent Grammy nomination of label head and Latin Jazz trombonist Wayne Wallace."





posts from the past


Tameka Lim

is now teaching in Spain



Da Boz et al, 11 o'clock Tuesday morning

touring our

Potter Creek Acme Bread

you know, I think Da Boz and the lady facing him are dancing together


"Dellums should take some cues from Mayor Bates" writes Chip Johnson at sfgate.com.


end posts from the past



Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Yesterday, driving past the Tom Bates sports complex off Frontage road it was good to see the facility in full use by among others, serious soccer players--four teams with proper uniforms.

Also yesterday, in my half dozen trips past the Bowl there were always 4, 7,10 vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians milling around expecting it to be open, wondering why it was closed.

And at OSH next to the Bowl, I found a great little halogen pocket-flashlight for $3.00--a bargain, but only a great value if they are long lasting. Well built, I bought several on the chance that they are.


Da Boz and his administrations' major focus on change is moving--has moved, will move--from west-Berkeley to downtown.


A work in the printed-word has happened, it's accomplished. A work in the computer-word can also be happening, a process. Sfgate, for instance will update a story so that under the same head-line it becomes, in fact, a different story. Whoa, . . . heavy!? Not sure, but this is another difference between printed and computer media. Does it require a different sort of writing, perhaps even thinking? Maybe.


end Miscellaneous Ramblings



"Book now!" at miamiherald.com reports

"The 44th International Antiquarian Book Fair at San Francisco's Concourse Exhibition Center Feb. 11-13, 2011, features a special music theme, including a special exhibit of rare musical books and manuscripts dating back as far as the 1300s from the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library of the University of California at Berkeley."


"Hallidie Building, Berkeley City Club need repair" John King, Chronicle Urban Design Critic at sfgate.com.




"BP Brews Up an Ethanol Breakthrough with Engineered Yeast" by Danny Bradbury, BusinessGreen.

"A BP-backed research project has produced a variety of yeast designed to process cellulosic material into ethanol more effectively than before.

Researchers at the University of Illinois, in conjunction with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Seoul National University, and the University of California, have engineered a yeast strain that can process two types of sugar at once."




"Women closing the job, wage divide" by Tom Abate at sfgate.com.

"The recession that began in 2007 accelerated changes that had already begun to reshape the landscape of labor in subtle ways that help women in their quest for earnings equality, while making it tougher for men to remain the family's primary bread winners.

'This has been a male recession more than a female recession,"'said Wesleyan University economist Joyce Jacobsen.

While the overall U.S. unemployment rate is 9.8 percent, 10 percent of men are jobless, compared with 8.4 of women, reflecting the fact that this recession hit guy-fields like construction and manufacturing harder than gal-industries such as health care and education."




"In Investing, It's When You Start. And When You Finish" at nytimes.com.

"The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has posted double-digit gains for the second year in a row. But the index is still below where it was in early 1999.

So what is the proper perspective?"





post from the past


Uncommon Café

is hidden away behind V&W Windows, 2813 Seventh Street, 510-845-5264

cold and hot sandwiches are served with freshly roasted coffee

(a truly superior coffee, it is also served in the deli-section of The Bowl RP)

a favorite is Italianova-two eggs, black forest ham, gruyere cheese and basil pesto on a sweet french panini

open Mon-Thurs 10AM-5:30 PM, Friday 10AM-3PM, closed weekends

(FREE coffee on Tuesdays!)




Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Créma Cafe, 2865 Seventh Street

is now open weekdays for breakfast 8AM-11 AM and lunch 11AM-4 PM


The University's Lawrence Berkeley Nuclear Laboratory Request for Qualification (RFQ) was just released. The 14 page document sets forth their qualifications for the Second Campus. West-Berkeley is the possible location if it meets these qualifications in a competition.

The RFQ Introduction includes

"The University intends to identify several sites from the responses to this RFQ and enter into 
more detailed negotiations with the landowners and/or land representatives ("Respondents"). 
The results of these more detailed negotiations would be the final selection of a preferred site 
for the second campus. It is the University's expectation that all short listed Respondents will 
engage an entity with appropriate development experience to participate in the detailed 
negotiations and that the third party developer will construct the infrastructure and facilities. The 
University intends to finance the development of the site. However, the University will also 
consider third party financing, or a combination of public and private financing, if such financing 
would be more beneficial.

Underlining of particularly significant and/or new information is mine.


Among the attributes the University seeks for its second campus are

"*1. The site should allow for the development of a state-of-the-art facility with a beautiful 
environment that will be the location of choice for internationally recognized researchers. 
It should allow for sustainable land use and circulation patterns, maximizing density to 
reduce overall building footprints and conserve open space. The site should allow for the 
placement and massing of buildings to maximize shared views. 

*2. The location should be within an approximately 20 to 25-minute commute from the 
existing LBNL main entrance at Blackberry Gate. 

*3. The site should have development capacity for approximately 2 million gross square feet 
of laboratory, office, and support facilities. 

?4. The site should be able to accommodate future large-scale research activities, including 
potential structures approximately 3,000 feet in length. 

5. The second campus should be located in a welcoming community with a positive civic 
expression of interest in development of the site and the resulting creation of high quality 

*6. The second campus should be located in a safe community to ensure that employees, 
visitors, and guests are safe when coming to/returning home from work. 

*7. The site should be readily accessible to a variety of modes of public transportation, 
inclusive of local buses, mass transit (BART, Amtrak, and AC Transit), and shuttle 
services. The site should allow for ADA accessible grade-level connections. The site 
should allow safe bicyclist access from a designated bike path such as the Bay Trail. 

*8. The site should be proximate to either existing or planned restaurants and cafes which 
offer a range in price and food types, preferably within walking distance. The site should 
be proximate to either existing or planned convenience stores, a post office, banks 
and/or ATMs, auto repair/gas stations, child care facilities, hotels, and motels. These 
establishments should be no more than a 10-minute commute. The site should be 
proximate to existing or planned publicly-accessed recreational facilities such as 
gymnasiums, health clubs, and outdoor fields. 

9. The site should facilitate efficient constructability of facilities (buildings, parking 
structures, bridges, etc.), infrastructure development (roads, underground utilities, 
pedestrian walkways, etc.), and open space. 

*10. The site should allow for the development of sustainable land use and circulation 
patterns which maximize bicycle, pedestrian and shuttle services.  

11. The site should allow for electrical, natural gas, and water utilities for the lowest possible 
12. The site should have, or it should be reasonably feasible to attain, unimpeded (not 
crossing public roads) access to public fiber optic paths (telephone, cable company or 
third party) and dual cable entrance facilities. 

13. The site should require minimal or no environmental remediation or have a funded plan 
approved to address remediation. Any prior decontamination of the site should have 
been in accordance with state and federal requirements.  

?14. The area surrounding the site should provide adequate separation from sources of 
vibration (e.g. railways, freeways, etc.) or electromagnetic radiation (e.g. overhead 
transmission lines or power substation) and the potential research facilities areas. 

15. The site should have minimal overdraft (groundwater depletion) and groundwater related 
subsidence. It should not be located in areas where there is the risk of flooding caused 
by storm-related events, potential dam failure, or coastal hazards (including sea water 
rise) that cannot be mitigated at a reasonable expense. If buildings exist on the site, they 
should include systems for appropriate storm water management and wastewater 
discharge related to existing aquifers, waterways, and storm water systems. 

16. The site should have minimal occurrence of highly-compressible ground surface 
conditions (e.g. areas known or considered prone to liquefaction). 

17. Any existing buildings that the Respondent proposes for use by LBNL must meet the 
current version of the University of California seismic requirements (or be rehabilitated to 
meet those requirements)."

Asteriks are mine and indicate those qualifications we well meet. Question marks are of questionable qualifications for us. Underlining is of important/outstanding/unusual qualifications.


end Miscellaneous Ramblings



"Xoma, Laboratoires Servier to Develop Diabetes Drug" by Rob Waters, bloomberg.com. 

"Xoma Ltd., an unprofitable 30-year- old biotechnology company, will get an initial payment of $35 million and may earn as much as $800 million more from Les Laboratoires Servier to share development of an experimental medicine for diabetes and other disorders.

Laboratoires Servier, France's largest closely held drug company, will get worldwide rights to develop and market Xoma- 052 for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the companies said in a statement. Xoma, based in Berkeley, California, will retain rights for use in Behcet's uveitis, a rare condition that inflames blood vessels in the eye and can cause blindness, and other inflammatory and oncology uses in the U.S. and Japan. "





Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

If LBL' s requirement for a new site that would accommodate a 2 million square foot facility and 3000 foot long buildings is firm, I'd hedge my bet on a west-Berkeley location. And if the 20-25 minute commute time from the present LBL site is firm, any location that includes rush hour freeway driving wouldn't get my big-money bet either.

Then again, perhaps the University's Request for Qualification can best be understood through Alice's Looking Glass. I've certainly found that helpful in understanding our West-Berkeley Plan.

And, in keeping with my understanding that an Internet story can be a "work in progress" see my above revisions to The University's Lawrence Berkeley Nuclear Laboratory Request for Qualification (RFQ).


I had breakfast with Patrick Kennedy at 900 GRAYSON Monday morning. Patrick is more interested now in building housing in San Francisco where he believes there will be more jobs and so more people. And he is excited about multi-famly prefabricated construction as it is very cost effective. As to my question "What is the one thing we should know about Berkeley in 2011?" He answered "That Berkeley is on the right track now."


And, what is the state of commercial real estate in west-Berkeley today? A year ago I could walk into Norheim and Yost and schmooze with Don, John and/or Steve at leisure. Today more than likely they are, one-or-all, out showing property, have desks filled with work, have busy schedules, and little or no schmooze-time. I can't even get John to take time and talk about sailing.


the kitchen

at Créma




Kubik emails

Nine Words Used by Women

(1) Fine : This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing : This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks : A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) Whatever : Is a woman's way of saying...Go to Hell

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.



Land use issues too tiring? Check out The Insider. Snooki's interview about her new book is worthy.

Insightfully lucid, it is not to be missed.



end Miscellaneous Ramblings



"David Brower Center - Integral Group's 8th LEED Platinum Building" is a press release at csrwire.com.

"Integral Group (formerly Rumsey Engineers) today announced that the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California was awarded a LEED Platinum certification by the USGBC. This is the firm's 8th LEED Platinum certified building. The project earned 55 out of a possible 60 points (42 points is the minimum for Platinum certification)." 


"Kay Kerr, co-founder of Save the Bay, dies at 99" mercurynews.com.

"Catherine 'Kay' Kerr, co-founder of the first environmental organization dedicated solely to protecting San Francisco Bay, has died. "







Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Vintage European Posters Hosts
David Lance Goines for Exclusive Book Signing in Berkeley

Vintage European Posters proudly welcomes David Lance Goines for an exclusive signing of his new book, The Poster Art of David Lance Goines: A 40-Year Retrospective.  Poster art is meant to catch your eye.  It is meant to make you want something.  No one understands this better than Berkeley Poster Artist David Lance Goines who has made people want to visit Pacific Film Archive and eat at Chez Panisse for more than 30 years with his tantalizing posters.  Guests are invited to meet the famed Berkley poster artist in the new showroom  of Vintage European Posters and explore his work through the context of the history of advertising.


Art enthusiasts, posters connoisseurs and collectors alike will have the opportunity to purchase an autographed copy of Goines' book while perusing his works and the extensive collection offered by European Vintage Posters.  Refreshments will be served.  

Vintage European Posters New Showroom 
2201 Fourth Street (corner of Allston Way) Berkeley, CA 94710 

Sunday, January 16, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. free admission. 

For more information about Vintage European Posters or the David Lance Goines book signing, please call 510 843 2201, visit us at www.vepca.com or find us on Facebook .  

The VEP Collection www.vepca.com consists of over 1,000 original posters from Europe and the US which touch on every topic from bicycles to wine and food to military recruiting.  All of the posters have been preserved by a paper conservator and are available for purchase and framing.   



The Berkeley Bowl Cafe is now open 'till 7 PM Monday through Saturday with the kitchen open 'till 5 PM. The menu is the same as the lunch menu so a light early dinner can be had. On Sunday the Cafe is closes at 6PM with the kitchen closing again at 5 PM.




 "An update on Afghanistan" is a Charlie Rose conversation with Alissa Rubin and Rod Nordland of the New York Times. I left the half hour better informed "It isn't about Afghanistan but about Pakistan" but more confused.


end Miscellaneous Ramblings




posts from the past


"Passive houses guard against waste of heat energy" is a report by Elisabeth Rosenthal in the International Herald Tribune.

"Nabih Tahan, an architect who worked in Austria for 11 years, is completing one of the first passive house for his family in Berkeley, California, and heads a group of 70 Bay Area architects and engineers to encourage adoption of the standard.

'This is a recipe for energy that makes sense to people - why not reuse this heat you get for free?' he said.
But ironically, when California inspectors came to assess whether the house met green building codes (it did) he could not get credit for the heat exchanger, a device unknown in the United States."


"India, US cos join hands to electrify Bijlee research" is a report in the India Times.

"Fancy owning cars painted with particles that will cool your vehicle drawing solar power and still not leave a trace of carbon in theair?

Or buildings that remain cool while consuming far less energy than they do now?

These and several other sustainable energy solutions for a wide variety of everyday needs could become a reality with India and the US deciding to bring together scientists in both the countries with support from corporate groups.

The ministry of science and technology is all set to launch 'BIJLEE' or the Berkeley-India Joint Leadership on Energy and the Environment, under which the US government will spare its top scientists and engineers to develop sustainable energy solutions for India, said an Indian government official, who declined to be identified." 


"Oakland's Fox Theater returning to life" is a story by John King, Chronicle Urban Design Writer.

"It's difficult to say what is more remarkable about the hallucinogenic interior of the Fox Oakland Theater: the Moorish details that flood the ceilings and walls, or the fact it survived decades of neglect.

'It's a wonderful glimpse of the past,' said Kurt Schindler, a principal of the Berkeley architecture firm ELS. 'These picture palaces were about glitz. They were designed to take you into another era, offering fantasy and escape.'"



Potter Creek's Maurice Levitch made the Chron with "Featured Property: 2 green condos in Berkeley" by Tracey Taylor.
"Every house has a story to tell, but when the home is newly built you don't expect it to be a very long one. Architect and builder Maurice Levitch is determined, however, that whoever buys one, or both, of his recently completed condos on Seventh Street in West Berkeley will know as much as there is to know about the history of the land and whatever it is that came before them.

'I like to acknowledge the past in a new home,' he says. 'It gives the structure a story and places it in the context of its location.' This focus on heritage also sits well with Levitch's desire to build homes that salvage and reuse materials as much as possible and have a minimal impact on the environment.

A visit to the two four-bedroom, three-bath townhouses at 1411 and 1413 Seventh St. therefore includes the opportunity to see a small display of the artifacts unearthed during their construction, as well as information on the 240-square-foot home that was built on the site in 1895. It is believed to have belonged to Jennie Morris, dressmaker, which may well explain the rust-encrusted hand iron that can be examined in the mini-exhibition."


end posts from the past





"Keeping Women in Science on a Tenure Track" by Steven Greenhouse at nytimes.com.

"More women are obtaining Ph.D.'s in science than ever before, but those women - largely because of pressures from having a family - are far more likely than their male counterparts to "leak" out of the research science pipeline before obtaining tenure at a college or university."





 "Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Issues RFQ" at nawindpower.com.

"The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with support from the University of California (UC), has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a second campus to consolidate current programs that are located throughout the Bay Area.

The laboratory's existing campus is located in the Berkeley hills above the University of California, Berkeley. The RFQ seeks expressions of interest for a site with a combination of attributes, including that it be located within 25 minutes of the original campus, have land capacity to accommodate any future growth and have easy access to public transportation and other amenities.

'Our lab has a significant need for a second campus to accommodate both current and future programs, as far as 30 to 50 years into the future,' says Paul Alivisatos, director of the laboratory. 'Berkeley Lab has been the home to some of the most innovative scientific research in the last 80 years. Now we need to ensure that it has the discovery space to meet today's needs and those that will certainly arise in the future.'

Most of the laboratory's 4,200 employees work at its main site, but approximately 20% of them are dispersed around the East Bay in four facilities: the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville, the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center in Oakland and the Life Sciences division in West Berkeley."







post from the past


"Being homeless in high school is tough" writes Doug Oakley of our Times.

"But a new bicycle will help lessen the sting for 90 Alameda County youngsters this holiday season, said education officials who handed them out at 16 homeless shelters Monday.

The Alameda County Office of Education spent $4,000 on new bikes and delivered 11 of them to kids at the Ursula Sherman Village, a homeless shelter for individuals and families, on Harrison Street in Berkeley."


end post from the past



Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Donna and Peter Christy, owners of Far Leaves Tea bought the 2626 San Pablo building for a tea warehouse and tea room. Specializing in imported Chinese teas, the tea room will be in front facing the street, the warehouse in back. 2626 San Pablo is south of Black Oak Books on the same side of the street.

Check out their website for who they are.



If the LBNL Request for Qualification (RFQ) is "cast in stone" the math and economics favor their Richmond Field Station location. Nice of them to offer, though.



"Photographer Alec Soth showcased his work in Minneapolis' Walker Art Center, including exhibits entitled '33 Movie Theaters and a Funeral Home' and 'Broken Manual.' Twin Cities Public Television profiled him, and it's part of our NewsHour Connect series highlighting public media reporting from around the nation."

Soth shoots with a vintage "plate camera" and his images are extraordinary because of this alone. He also has "The eye." Video is at pbs.org.





During this tumultuous time in California's history, it is more important than ever to have leaders who are willing to take on the difficult challenges ahead.  This Saturday, January 8th, you will have the opportunity to cast your vote to help move California forward. 
Assembly District 14 Election Meeting
1:00 to 2:55 p.m. on Saturday, January 8th, 2011
Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street in Berkeley
You will be asked to vote for 6 men and 6 women to fill 12 delegate positions for the 14th Assembly District of the California Democratic Party.  I am supporting the following people because I believe that they will work hard for the progressive causes that we value. 
Men: Ryan Lau, Nicky Yuen, Jael Myrick, Dan Kalb, Michael Barnett and Ron Bishop
Women: Nicole Drake, Karen Weinstein, Eleanor Moses, Cecilia "Ces" Rosales, Kathy Klein, and Janet Abelson
To be eligible to vote, you must be a registered Democrat as of October 18, 2010 and live in Assembly District 14 (which includes Albany, Berkeley, East Richmond Heights, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Kensington, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo, and parts of Oakland).



end Miscellaneous Ramblings




"New Imaging Method Makes Brain Scans 7 Times Faster" dailytech.com.

"Combining functional magnetic resonance imaging and echo planar imaging making MRI technology faster than ever.

Researchers from the University of California - Berkeley, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Minnesota, and Oxford University in the United Kingdom have discovered an advancement in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology that is capable of making brain scans seven times faster than before."





"Journal's Paper on ESP Expected to Prompt Outrage" by Benedict Carey at nytimes.com.

"One of psychology's most respected journals has agreed to publish a paper presenting what its author describes as strong evidence for extrasensory perception, the ability to sense future events."









Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

In my 1/2/11 Miscellaneous Ramblings I wrote

"Things happened here in 2010.

While surrounding cities and towns are in financial difficulty including bankruptcy, Our Town is somewhat financially stable in large part because of the policies and administration of our City Manager, Phil Kamlarz. Yet unfunded liabilities loom large."


Of our unfunded liabilites Daniel Borenstein now writes at contracostatimes.com "Berkeley benefit debt at least $310 million.

Two years ago, as Berkeley City Council members gave City Manager Phil Kamlarz a hefty salary increase, they credited him with running a fiscally sound organization.

'We are in better fiscal shape than virtually any other jurisdiction in the Bay Area and I would suggest even California,' Councilman Laurie Capitelli declared.

But a report by City Auditor Ann-Marie Hogan and new numbers from the California Public Employees' Retirement System show that the city has an unfunded liability for promised employee benefits of $310 million.

That's equal to more than two years of city general fund revenues. It works out to about $197,000 for every full-time city employee. Taxpayers must pay it off, at a cost of about $3,000 for every city resident.

The city has spent beyond its means, racking up huge debt that will be pushed onto future generations. They will be forced to choose between more taxes -- in a city that's already paying some of the highest -- and fewer services.

The biggest factors driving the debt are the city's unfunded liability for a pension plan that allows some workers to collect more in retirement than on the job; overly generous promises of health care coverage for police in retirement; and a ridiculous vacation and sick leave accrual policy that costs the city millions and enables employees to spike their pensions.

If anything, the estimates are conservative because the city's pension liability, the biggest part of the debt, is calculated by CalPERS. The state retirement agency's formulas don't yet include much of the investment losses of the past 2 1/2 years and make overly optimistic assumptions about future investment returns. Indeed, Berkeley's total debt might be as much as $200 million more."


Early last year, our Bob Kubik and others spoke at a council meeting warning of the "liability of unfunded liabilities."



Yesterday I emailed to subscribers that "U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords dies after a gunman opens fire at a public event in 
Arizona on Saturday, law enforcement tells NPR and CNN."

Thankfully the story has become"Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot and at least five people were killed during a rampage in Arizona.
Arizona Rep. Giffords Shot, At Least 5 Killed. At Least 10 People Wounded."


On 1/3/11 I wrote about the difference between reporting in the printed word and reporting on the Internet

"A work in the printed-word has happened, it's accomplished. A work in the computer-word can also be happening, a process. Sfgate, for instance will update a story so that under the same head-line it becomes, in fact, a different story. . . . this is another difference between printed and computer media. "



The attempt to assassinate U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has reminded me of the night in 1979, radical and attorney for the Black Panthers, our Faye Stender, was gunned down in her Berkeley home. She survived though, paralyzed by the six shots fired into her body and in constant pain, she later took her life.



Beethoven as you've never heard or seen before can by heard and seen at choralnet.org.



And certainly over the top, The Insider's Lingerie Football story is worth watching if only because it's so completely, insanely off-the-wall.

However, perhaps still over-the-top, I believe full-uniform, professional female football has a future.



end Miscellaneous Ramblings





"Sunshine on a plate:We savour three delicious takes on California cuisine" by Joanne Sasvari, Calgary Herald.

"The waiter sees me dithering over the menu and leans over to whisper, 'Alice would want you to have the tomato salad.'

Alice being Alice Waters, chef-owner of the famous Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse. Well, then of course I'll have the tomato salad. After all, Waters is the woman who for the past 30 years has led the North American culinary revolution from this funky arts-and-crafts-style eatery, encouraging us all to eat organic, local, fresh and delicious. Whatever she suggests is fine by me.

The salad arrives, thick, sweet, multi-hued slices of organic heirloom tomatoes drizzled in olive oil and scattered with just-plucked basil leaves. It tastes of sunshine. It is, in short, California on a plate."




"Chevrolet Rolls Out First Bay Area Volt" reports Steve Schaefer of the San Leandro Times.

"Patrick Wang of Berkeley was the first in the Bay Area to receive a 2011 Chevrolet Volt - 10th off the production line."






Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Yesterday, I posted

"Of our unfunded liabilities Daniel Borenstein now writes at contracostatimes.com 'Berkeley benefit debt at least $310 million.' "

Understand this figure is an estimate and an additional liability "The state retirement agency's formulas don't yet include much of the investment losses of the past 2 1/2 years and make overly optimistic assumptions about future investment returns. Indeed, Berkeley's total debt might be as much as $200 million more" is conjecture. And still I wrote "Yet unfunded liabilities loom large."



I've been browsing my archive of eight years and it seems clear that history will be more kind to our Mayor Tom Bates than we all have. And, we can be forgiven our myopia for we are altogether players in this sometimes Goetheian drama.




This story was written in 1991 and refects that and earlier times. Diana Russell writes of "Faye Stender and Politics of Murder."

"I have chosen to write about the death of Fay Stender, a well-known California attorney, because I was very deeply affected by it. In part this was because I knew her. Her lover was a close friend of mine. In addition, Stender lived in my neighborhood; I was with her only 24 hours before she was shot. As a political radical, I also identified with her. Consequently, I found the attempt to kill her for political reasons particularly horrifying.

Stender was shot six times at pointblank range in her Berkeley home by a man later identified as 27-year-old, exconvict Edward Brooks. One .38 caliber bullet hit Fay's head, narrowly missing her brain. Three other bullets stuck her in the abdomen and chest, damaging her spinal cord and right lung. The remaining two bullets fractured bones in her arms causing nerve damage. When Brooks ran from Stender's home, he 'left her for dead.' Stender was 47 years old at the time, a feminist, the mother of two children, Neal and Oriane, and had recently separated from her attorney husband, Marvin.

Stender was on the critical list for the next few days and in the intensive care unit at a Berkeley hospital for several weeks. When she was discharged, she was permanently paralyzed from her waist down.

Unable to endure the profound disillusionment and the relentless physical pain, Stender herself eventually completed Brooks' attempt to terminate her life. 'I'm just living for this [Brooks'] trial,' she told friends. 'I want to see him put away.' Three months after Brooks was sentenced to 17 years in state prison for attempted murder, an overflowing congregation of grieving family, friends and acquaintances attended Stender's funeral - a year to the day (May 28,1980) after Brooks forced his way into her home and shot her.

Stender died in Hong Kong from a drug overdose. She had fled there in an effort to quell the terror of another assassination attempt. But with the diminution of this terror, Stender's grief, disillusionment and anger came to the fore. Try as she might, she was unable to obliterate these feelings and the state of profound despair that accompanied them. She killed herself after less than two months in the country she had chosen for selfbanishment, half a world away from her home."



Gabrielle Giffords, a Jew is the first Jewish congress person from Arizona.



The city will not submit a plan for the new LBNL campus but will support any developers who do.


A downtown Business Improvement District (BID) has broad apporval of the busines community and looks likely to become a reality. And so, look for some version of a BID to be re-introduced in west-Berkeley?


end Miscellaneous Ramblings



post from the past


David Snipper emails his thoughts on my 1/24/08 post--my post follows

"Recently, when west-Berkeley could have made a real difference by challenging the constitionality of Benefit Districts in court, where a victory would have wide-ranging effect for citizens of California, our re-Activists chose to build their opposition around a [ pocket-book-issue ], sugar-coated in unfair-representation."

David's email continues

"For the average home owner or small non-residential occupant in southwest Berkeley the hit on our pocket books would clearly have been less than a drop in the annual bucket. The authors proposed removing most of us small players. . . . The objections didn't go away.
This was and is still a very strong negative response to our being cut out of the decision making process thereby leaving us with little or no say-so in determining the future of our neighborhood.
Challenging this issue in court as being un-constitutional may be an admirable alternative but I believe it would have less than a fifty-fifty chance against the combined money and legal might of the big players  . . .  and we would be looking at very large pocket-book hits for a long, long time. . . .


end post from the past




"Autopsy To Enter Studio Next Month" is a report at roadrunnerrecords.com.

"Resurrected U.S. gore legends Autopsy will enter Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California in early February with producer Adam Munoz to begin recording their new album, 'Macabre Eternal', for a spring release via Peaceville Records."




"Iconic Berkeley seafood eatery pairs with top California brewer" is a mention at examiner.com.

"Spenger's Fish Grotto, the iconic seafood restaurant on Fourth Street in Berkeley, is showcasing Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s best beers for a special Hawaiian-flavored dinner event on January 20. The five-course feast will match South Sea-styled seafood delicacies with Sierra Nevada's most well-liked brews, resulting in an unlikely but likeable luau at the famed East Bay eatery."





"UC commission's report seeks new sources of funds" by Sarah Duxbury at San Francisco Business Times.

"In November 2010, the University of California Board of Regents published its Commission on the Future report, intended to help the University of California system navigate the state's fiscal crisis and the forecast $5 billion more that the entire system will cost to run by the end of the next decade.

The 20 recommendations contained in the 41-page report touch on education and research, as well as the administrative and operational aspects of the University of California system.

They range from speeding time to graduation to exploring the feasibility of online education to increasing out-of-state enrollment and proportionally distributing out-of-state students across all 10 U.C. campuses. The recommendations also include recovering all research costs, getting campuses to find sponsors for new internships, fellowships and visiting professors, and increasing private fundraising."




"Dirty Business film debunks 'clean coal' myth" at guardian.co.uk.

"Documentary reveals the true cost of US dependence and the murky realities of marketing 'clean coal' technology."



1/11/11 and following





from my log

12/31/10--2:19 PM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, mucus membrane irritation, light head, nausea, chills, over rides HEPA filters, wear respirator. 4:31 PM--lights flicker. 4:41 PM--mucus membrane irritation. 4:44 PM--Marsha has cough attack. 4:49 PM--cough attack. 4:57 PM--SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation. 6:20 PM--similar. 6:35 PM--SERIOUS cough attack, short breath, overrides HEPA filter, wear respirator, leave.

9/8/11--5:21PM--dry dirty air, mucus membrane imitation, Marsha similar. 6:14 PM similar, 6:36 PM--similar.

1/9/11--7:11 AM--dry dirty air, mucus membrane imitation.




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.



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


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



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