November 2010

after 11/18 here


CEID kids

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




"Second suspect held in Berkeley street shooting" Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"A second suspect has been arrested and charged in the shooting death of the son of a drug rehabilitation counselor in Berkeley, police said today.

Coleon Lee Carroll, 20, was arrested on an unrelated warrant Wednesday in Antioch, said Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss.

Alameda County prosecutors charged Carroll with murder and attempted murder in connection with a shooting on Sacramento Street near Russell Street on Tuesday that killed Gary Ferguson Jr., 35, of Oakland and wounded a second man.

Hours after the shooting, police arrested Brandon Wallace, 21, of Bay Point at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Richmond, where he had sought treatment for minor injuries sustained in the confrontation, authorities said.

Both Wallace and Carroll are being held without bail."


"Berkeley High student in critical condition after shooting"
by Kristin Bender, Oakland Tribune.

"The teen shot inside a South Berkeley apartment Saturday is a Berkeley High School student, police said.

The 14-year-old remains hospitalized in critical condition, police said."




our Darryl Moore emails

Make Medical Marijuana Safe
Move Cultivation Out of Neighborhoods

Medical marijuana is legal under state law, but leaves regulation to the local jurisdiction.  In 2008, Berkeley passed Measure JJ by voter initiative.  Since then, we have discovered some serious errors in Measure JJ.  Measure T closes these loopholes, and regulates cultivation and dispensing. 
Protects All Schools: Current regulations do not include protections for private schools. Under Measure T, any dispensary must be located at least 600 feet from any school. This brings Berkeley into compliance with State regulations under AB2650, which creates buffer zones of 600 feet for all schools. 
Locating Cultivation Sites: Currently, cultivation of medical marijuana and the production of products containing medical marijuana (baked goods and lotions) is unregulated. Measure T will require large-scale cultivation to be located away from neighborhoods, in the industrial zone of West Berkeley, and limits the number to six sites. 
Codes and Energy Offsets: Currently, there is no code and inspection oversight of cultivation sites, making grow houses vulnerable to electrical fires, mold, and property damage.  Measure T requires compliance with codes, requires energy offsets for high electricity consumption, and regulates pesticide and herbicide use.                
Crime and Safety: Measure T requires a police approved security plan before a dispensary and non-dispensing establishment, including cultivation sites, can open.
Oversight: Currently, the medical marijuana oversight body consists of 6 members made up solely of representatives of medical marijuana dispensaries.  Measure T, proposes having 9 members, appointed by each City Council member. This will allow for oversight from many perspectives, not just the medical marijuana industry.
Access to Medicine:  Measure T will help to ensure affordable access to medicine by requiring cultivators to provide medicine to low-income income patients.
It is most important to note that if Measure T does not pass, then regulation defaults back to those required under Measure JJ. Measure T would close some glaring loopholes and also allow the City Council to fine-tune the ordinance if issues arise in the future.
Vote YES on Measure T for Improved Patient Care and Neighborhood Protections!  
For more information, please visit
If you are a Vote-By-Mail voter, please DO NOT put your ballot in the mail. 

Thursday, October 28 was the last day to guarantee that it will reach your county registrar of voters by Election Day.  You can still return it in person to ANY polling place in your county or to the county elections office on Election Day. 
For poll voters, find your polling place at the Secretary of State's website:
The Entire Berkeley City Council


"Cannabis coffee shops? Sobriety stops for stoners? California pot measure brings new scenarios" is an AP report at

   "Imagine it's the day after the election, and California awakes to a brave new state where marijuana is the same as alcohol, at least legally.

Does that mean anyone over 21 can head to the nearest medical marijuana club and buy pot for personal pleasure? Will police set up sobriety checkpoints to snare stoned drivers? Can Giants fans step outside a sports bar for a quick sidewalk toke or nibble on cannabis-infused cocktail munchies?"





"Innovation: It Isn't a Matter of Left or Right" by Steven Johnson at

Authors quickly find a certain predictability to many of the questions they encounter on a book tour. But a few weeks ago, during the second stop on the tour for my new book, I found myself being interviewed in front of a Seattle audience and responding to an opening question that I had never been asked before: "Are you a Communist?

The question was intended as a joke, but like the best jokes, it played on the edges of an important and uncomfortable truth."


"Pop goes the baseball-card bubble" reports Rob Baedeker, Special to SF Gate.




Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

I found NIMBY Robot great satire but pasting NIMBY Robot stickers across "Viva Jesse" posters is well, . . . chicken-shit.

Dennis Cohen's daughter, Elena, is joining Dennis in property management and in his real estate ventures. Dennis is the founder and owner of Parker Plaza. Elena was previously with the commercial realtors, Collier Parrish.

A bay ferry landing has been approved for the Berkeley waterfront around His Lordship's

Sarah and Milo stopped by briefly yesterday morning while we were washing the car, Milo skillfully riding his red two-wheeler. And yesterday afternoon one of Berkeley's Finest stopped during lunch. We solved none of the world problems but had a good talk about life. I always learn something from this young officer.







"Berkeley's allure tugs faculty couple back from Texas" by Matt Krupnick, Contra Costa Times.

"They sold the house, took their son out of day care, packed up all their belongings and left for a new life at the University of Texas.

Then, a year later, Jennifer Johnson-Hanks and William Hanks turned around and came right back to UC Berkeley, a rare boomerang move for professors who leave a campus."








Cliff Miller, Richmond Ramblers Motorcycle Club emails

House Minority Leader  Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, pictured standing, far right, speaks while colleagues Rep. Barbara Lambert, D-Milford and Rep. Jack F. Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, play solitaire Monday night as the House convened to vote on a  new budget. (AP)

The guy sitting in the row in front of these two....he's on Facebook, and the guy behind Hennessy is checking out the baseball scores. 

Check other sources--or not. RP



Kubik does something he almost never does--emails a movie recommendation

I watched this movie"Carmen" last night for the n'th time.  By my book one of the great all time movies.  I'd recommend it.





a long-time reader in Mexico emails her photo from Yellowstone Park

Isa has returned from graduate work in Paris. Now teaching in Mexico, she will soon again send delicious recipes.




"For Colored Girls--Tyler Perry mangles Ntozake Shange's choreopoem" is a review and more by Melissa Anderson at

It's a long, long way from the women's bar outside Berkeley, California, where Ntozake Shange first presented her combustible choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf, in December 1974, to Atlanta's Tyler Perry Studios, where the impresario filmed much of this calamitous adaptation. Though striving for artistic legitimacy in bringing Shange's incomparable play to the screen, Perry indulges his worst instincts for melodrama in For Colored Girls, shoehorning her text into his own tawdry narrative - a process similar to watching Madea squeeze into a size 8 dress.

Hilton Als, in his critical essay about Perry in The New Yorker, presciently sounded the alarm this past April: "[H]e will likely emphasize Shange's sentimentality, rather than her force or her feminist radicalism." Perry, the most financially successful black filmmaker ever, has shown interest in moving beyond shopworn suffering-and-redemption tales only twice before: in Why Did I Get Married? (2007), which succeeded as an honest attempt to examine real adult problems, and in the treatment of Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard's interracial friendship in the otherwise awful The Family That Preys (2008). Translating Shange's work to the screen, Perry - whose films nearly all began as plays - is tone-deaf to its passion and courage. Her play, touted at the time as "a celebration of being black and being woman," is a collection of 20 prose-poems punctuated by dance and music and performed by a cast of seven women on a spare stage, each identified only by the color of her dress. Recounting rites of passage (losing one's virginity), horrors (rape, domestic violence), and pleasures (intellectual and carnal), Shange's text, whether seen live or read silently, soars with the power and precision of her language. Her women suffer and mourn, but they are never victims."





"Four East Bay men to stand trial in Berkeley slaying that lead to fatal Oakland car chase" Bay City News.

"Four reputed members of the North Side Oakland gang have been ordered to stand trial on three counts of murder each for a fatal shooting in Berkeley and a subsequent car chase that killed two innocent bystanders in Oakland last year.

The preliminary hearing for the four men spanned more than 10 days over the past several months and ended on Wednesday with Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta ruling that there's sufficient evidence to have them stand trial on the charges, which could result in the death penalty.

However, the Alameda County District Attorney's office hasn't yet decided if it will seek the death penalty or if it will seek life in prison without parole. That decision will be made before the case goes to trial.

'I'm gratified that this case will go to trial because this was a terrible incident that involved the deaths of three people, including two completely innocent victims not associated with any criminal activity,' Prosecutor John Creighton said.

The series of events began at about 6:30 p.m. on May 16, 2009, when a Berkeley police patrol officer heard gunfire in the area of Allston Way and 10th Street.

Responding officers found 25-year-old Charles Davis of Berkeley suffering from multiple gunshot wounds nearby on Allston Way, west of San Pablo Avenue. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Creighton said he believes Davis was shot in retaliation for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Nguyen Ngo of Pinole in the 800 block of 45th Street in Oakland three weeks earlier.

He said the North Side Oakland gang had a rivalry with a Berkeley gang, and the evidence in the case indicates that the four suspects in Davis' shooting believed that Berkeley gang members came into Oakland to shoot Ngo, who was affiliated with a subset of the North Side Oakland gang.

Creighton said his theory is that the four suspects went to Berkeley looking for Davis' brother because they thought he was one of those responsible for Ngo's death, but when they couldn't find the brother, they spotted Davis and shot him instead. He said he doesn't think Davis was in a gang. "


Tak Nakamoto emails

The report contains some interesting details such as the DA's allegation that the shooting of Charles Davis on Allston Way last spring was in retaliation for an earlier shooting by the Water Front gang in North Oakland. What is interesting is that the earlier victim was a Vietnamese American associate of the North Side Oakland gang. The gangs aren't necessarily composed of people of one race. They can be multi-racial.


Berkeley PD emails

"Suspect ID Needed

On Monday 10/11/10 at about 2243 Hrs., the above depicted black male was IFO the liquor store at Ashby and Sacramento St. arguing with his girlfriend.  The argument became violent and the female ran to a male standing nearby for help.  The black male gave chase and confronted the male who would then become the focal point of the black male's anger.  The black male violently battered the male, knocking him unconscious.  When the victim regained consciousness, he noticed his wallet, money and cellular phone was stolen." 





"Chronicle of Higher Education" report at

"The ranks of the most expensive colleges have grown again: 100 institutions are charging $50,000 or more for tuition, fees, room, and board in 2010-11, according to a Chronicle analysis of data released last week by the College Board. That's well above the 58 universities and colleges that charged that much in 2009-10, and a major jump from the year before, when only five colleges were priced over $50,000.
This year marks a milestone as the first public institution has joined that elite club: the University of California at Berkeley is charging out-of-state residents $50,649 for tuition, fees, room, and board. (The price for in-state residents is only $27,770.) To be sure, many students at the most-expensive institutions are paying significantly less than the sticker price, thanks to financial aid.""




"Congresswoman Doris Matsui visits campus and its Matsui programs" at

"When Congressman Robert Matsui (D-California) died in 2005, a significant part of his legacy was entrusted to UC Berkeley. In 2007, the Robert T. Matsui Center on Politics and Public Service was established at the Institute of Governmental Studies(IGS), and his collection of papers was donated to The Bancroft Library.

On Oct. 29, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-California) came to the campus for a first-hand look at the Matsui program and archive."




Daylight Savings Tme ends next Sunday, November 7th at 2:00AM. Set you clocks back an hour.







Berkeley City Council election results

Berkeley City Council - Dist. 1, Linda Maio 56.15%

Berkeley City Council - Dist. 4, Jesse Arreguin 53.44%

Berkeley City Council - Dist. 7, --Kriss Worthington 49.81%
(computer run-off will follow)

Berkeley City Council - Dist. 8, Gordon Wozniak 60.56%


Berkeley School Board election results





"Resounding' defeat for Proposition 19" Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"California voters on Tuesday soundly defeated Proposition 19, the nation's most sweeping proposal ever to legalize marijuana sales and use.




"A detergent safe enough for S.F Giants' lucky red thong?' " by Linda Zavoral at

"Talk about your fine washables.

When you've got a team's World Series success riding on a lucky thong, whom can you depend on to keep the red bright, the rhinestones shiny and the nylon stretchy?

It's Northern California, so it's got to be a company that makes eco-friendly detergents from botanicals and herbs, right?

Vaska, a Berkeley-based company that has now dubbed itself the 'Laundry Care Line of Champions,' says the San Francisco Giants have been using their Herbatergent, Herbasoft, Oxygenbleach and Spotoff products for a few years now."



"Algae biofuel business won't bloom soon" San Francisco Business Times by Steven E.F. Brown.

"Algae is considered a prime candidate to serve as feedstock for biofuels because of its high energy content and yield, rapid growth and ability to thrive in seawater or wastewater.

A report from Berkeley's Energy Biofuel Institute says developing and testing biofuel based on algae will likely take at least a decade.

Even though about 100 companies in the United States are seeking this particular grail, making oil from algae 'will be neither quick nor plentiful,' say authors Nigel Quinn and Tryg Lundquist.

A research team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (which is a partner in the EBI) worked with scientists at U.C. Berkeley and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to crunch numbers for this study.

While some companies have scored successes growing algae in closed labs, the know-how to grow strains that are stable 'under outdoor conditions, while achieving both high productivities and oil content, is still to be developed,' the report says."



"Grant launches Berkeley Economic History Lab" by Kathleen Maclay,

"The University of California, Berkeley's Department of Economics is the recipient of a $1.25 million grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) to develop a Berkeley Economic History Laboratory. The new lab will train economists to be more historically literate so they can better contribute to policy debates and help avoid devastating economic crises."





"Do Believe the Hype" by Thomas L. Friedman,

"The Hindustan Times carried a small news item the other day that, depending on your perspective, is good news or a sign of the apocalypse. It reported that a Nepali telecommunications firm had just started providing third-generation mobile network service, or 3G, at the summit of Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain, to 'allow thousands of climbers and trekkers who throng the region every year access to high-speed Internet and video calls using their mobile phones.'

I can hear it already: 'Hi, mom! You'll never guess where I'm calling from ...'

This is just one small node in what is the single most important trend unfolding in the world today: globalization - the distribution of cheap tools of communication and innovation that are wiring together the world's citizens, governments, businesses, terrorists and now mountaintops - is going to a whole new level. In India alone, some 15 million new cellphone users are being added each month.

Having traveled to both China and India in the last few weeks, here's a scary thought I have: What if - for all the hype about China, India and globalization - they're actually underhyped? What if these sleeping giants are just finishing a 20-year process of getting the basic technological and educational infrastructure in place to become innovation hubs and that we haven't seen anything yet?"





"Berkeley, San Francisco and Oakland have oldest housing stock in the West" by Matt O'Brien, Contra Costa Times.

"Judging by the age of their housing stock, Berkeley, San Francisco and Oakland are the oldest cities west of the Mississippi River region and among the oldest in the nation."









Our California State Representative, Nancy Skinner

was auctioneer, with translator, at the CEID Gala

Would you vote for this woman again ? Yoooouu Betcha' ! RP


Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Yesterday, the Disney "President" had lunch at 900 GRAYSON with a Pixar personality.

"Berkeley's Novella Carpenter of BioFuel Oasis is in the November issue of Vogue, a result of the visit by Vogue's European Editor, Hamish Bowles" emails Steve Smith.  

Vaska, the manufacture and seller of "The Laundry Care Line, which relies on herbs to clean and protect your clothing without harming fabric, people or the planet" is not only located in Berkeley but in west-Berkeley just north of Potter Creek.

Susan Brooks is having an Open House at the Sawtooth, 2547 Eighth Street #24a, Saturday November 6th, Noon-5 p.m. Some of the other Sawtooth artists will also be open. And Ms Susan has maps for the upcoming Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios.


Swerve has begun installing at the Ed Robert's Campus.


Many of the French School parents dropping their kids off at the two Potter Creek campuses seem to be in a real hurry to get there. Maybe you could leave a little earlier? Kruse has a driver training program.

The traffic lights are now operating at the Heinz and San Pablo intersection.


Security cameras are being installed in the Café Tomato building as promised by the owners after the last break-ins and the mugging.

There were four robberies overnight south of campus one around Telegraph and Parker. That suspect has been arrested.




"Lavender-Scented Laundry Care Saves the Planet and Your Clothes" is at

"What Is It? You and Vaska, a cleaning product company in Berkeley, California, have something in common. You both really want your clothes to live a long time. The difference between you is that Vaska actually did something about it. The researchers at Vaska created a new line of laundry care products called, appropriately, The Laundry Care Line, which relies on herbs to clean and protect your clothing without harming fabric, people or the planet. We think that was awfully nice of them."




"Berkeley District 7 race remains undecided as all three city ballot measures pass" by Doug Oakley at

"Two Berkeley ballot questions that would allow the expansion and taxation of the city's medical marijuana industry passed Tuesday evening as did a third measure offering a new development plan for downtown.

In addition, voters went to the polls to decide four City Council seats with 13 candidates running. One race remained undecided Tuesday but incumbents won in three others."




"Baby Boomers' dilemma: When should mom, dad stop driving?" by Larry Copeland,

(When you fall off your standing-still-motorcycle and you're not even "otherwise impaired"?)RP

"About five years ago, Frances Bright, 51, of Millbrae, Calif., and her three siblings grew concerned about their father's driving ability. He hadn't crashed or nearly crashed, but he was 80, so they started discussing the issue with him."




Groove Yard's Rick Ballard emails

Beginning Saturday, Nov. 6 and continuing through Sunday, Nov. 14, all records and CDs will be on sale at 20% off the marked price. Tons of new jazz LPs and CDs in the bins this  week. Well, maybe not a ton but a lot. The $3.00 jazz bins have also been replenished. Lots of new LPs in the international section including Brazilian, Latin, African, reggae, French, flamenco and east Indian.

Groove Yard Jazz LPs/CDs
5555 Claremont Ave. @ Forest           
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 655-8400
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11-6, Sun. 12-5








is opening in Potter Creek

The old Café Cacao location, 2865 Seventh Street @ Heinz, is becoming créma PATISSERIE.

Still a work in progess, today you can sample and purchase a few of their desserts.

Starting Monday, they will be open from 8 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon for dessert and coffee--they advertise single cup brewing. In two to three weeks they will open for breakfast and lunch probably from 7 in the AM till 4 in the afternoon.

Some of today's desserts are Chocolate Croissant, $3.25; Red Velvet Cupcake, $3.00; Coffee Cake Muffin $2.75; Croissant $2.75. Then there's the tmepting bag of Ginger Molasses Cookies.

The breakfast and lunch will be of a light fare.

And they do catering.


Their website is and an email is

Their phone is 510-220-1069.






"Unseen Beatles photos on view at UC Berkeley" by Sam Whiting, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"For 40 years, Stephen Goldblatt lugged around a box of film negatives. He never showed anyone until he happened to meet Ken Light, who runs the documentary photography program at UC Berkeley. Goldblatt mentioned that he had once been a photographer in London before becoming a cinematographer.

Oh, and not to make a fuss about it, but he'd spent two days on an exclusive photo shoot with the Beatles."



"Rebecca Romijn Enjoying Life As Wife And Mother" is a story at

"Rebecca Romijn has evolved from one of the top models to a successful actress, wife and mother.

The 37 year old Berkeley, California native is best known for her role as Mystique in the 'X-Men' film series and her role on the former ABC TV series 'Ugly Betty.' "





"New signs help drivers find best route from Provo to Lehi" is a report at

"A new technology out of Berkeley, California, is helping drivers get between Provo and Lehi in the fastest time available, whether it's on Interstate 15 or on State Street."



"BMW to build plug-in hybrid sports coupe" by Greg Kable at

"BMW has thrown its hat into the eco-supercar ring by confirming plans to place the Vision EfficientDynamics concept into production.

The futuristically styled plug-in hybrid was first revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in 2009. It is set to undergo an accelerated development program that aims to place the low-slung four-seater on sale in all of BMW's key world markets, including North America, by October 2013.

With performance targets similar to the M3--0 to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph--the new carbon-fiber-bodied coupe won't be BMW's fastest production model. That accolade will go to next year's redesigned M5 with a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8, according to Munich sources.

But with combined city/highway fuel economy of more than 62 mpg (U.S.) and a CO2 emission rating of just 159 grams per mile, it will be among the company's most frugal production cars."





"Proposition 19 defeat shows great divide over pot" by Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Trying to glean lessons from the ashes of Proposition 19, the measure that would have legalized marijuana for casual use in California, is tough.

California's premier pot-growing region rejected it, the tiniest county in the state embraced it, and overall the idea got more votes than any other attempt to legalize recreational marijuana use in U.S. history."





From the Big Boz "Exporting Our Way to Stability" by Barack Obama at

"As the United States recovers from this recession, the biggest mistake we could make would be to rebuild our economy on the same pile of debt or the paper profits of financial speculation. We need to rebuild on a new, stronger foundation for economic growth. And part of that foundation involves doing what Americans have always done best: discovering, creating and building products that are sold all over the world.

We want to be known not just for what we consume, but for what we produce. And the more we export abroad, the more jobs we create in America. In fact, every $1 billion we export supports more than 5,000 jobs at home.

It is for this reason that I set a goal of doubling America's exports in the next five years. To do that, we need to find new customers in new markets for American-made goods. And some of the fastest-growing markets in the world are in Asia, where I'm traveling this week.

It is hard to overstate the importance of Asia to our economic future. Asia is home to three of the world's five largest economies, as well as a rapidly expanding middle class with rising incomes."



Berkeley PD emails

Members of BPD gear up for Toys for Tots 2010 - In one of the many events throughout the year in which members of the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) give back to the community, BPD is again teaming up with the U.S. Marines Corps Foundation TOYS FOR TOTS Program 2010.




our David Snipper emails some important history

Where did Piss Poor come from [and more]?

They used to use urine to tan animal skins,
so families used to all pee in a pot
& then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery.
If you had to do this to survive, you were "Piss Poor."

But worse than that were the really poor folk
who couldn't even afford to buy a pot.


They "didn't have a pot to piss in"
& were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain
because the water temperature isn't just how you like it,
think about how things used to be.
Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June
because they took their yearly bath in May
and they still smelled pretty good by June.
However, since they were starting to smell,
Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet
when getting Married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of nice clean water,
then all the other sons and men,
then the women and finally the children.
Last of all the babies.
By then, the water was so dirty
that you could actually lose someone in it.
Hence the saying,
"Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high
with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm
so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs)
lived in the roof.
When it rained, it became slippery
and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.
This posed a real problem in the bedroom
where bugs and other droppings
could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top
afforded some protection.
That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt.
Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, "Dirt poor."
The wealthy had slate floors
that would get slippery in the winter when wet,
so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor
to help keep their footing.
As the winter wore on, they added more thresh
until when you opened the door,
it would all start slipping outside.
A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.


In those old days,
they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle
that always hung over the fire.
Every day, they lit the fire and added things to the pot.
They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat.
They would eat the stew for dinner,
leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight
and then start over the next day.
Sometimes stew had food in it
that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold,
peas porridge in the pot nine days old.
Sometimes they could obtain pork
which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over,
they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth
that a man could "bring home the bacon."
They would cut off a little to share with guests
and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.
Food with high acid content
caused some of the lead to leach onto the food
causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes,
so for the next 400 years or so,
tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status.
Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf,
the family got the middle,
and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.
The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out
for a couple of days.
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead
and prepare them for burial
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days
and the family would gather around and eat and drink
and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks
started running out of places to bury people.
So they would dig up coffins
and would take the bones to a bone-house
and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins,
1 out of 25 coffins
were found to have scratch marks on the inside
and they realized they had been burying people alive.
So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse,
lead it through the coffin and up through the ground
and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard
all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell;
thus, someone could be saved by the bell
or was considered a dead ringer.







Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Which city worker weeks ago predicted the city council election results to a woman?

Sunday around one o'clock, with a break in the rain, both the Bowl café and the Bowl grocery store were busy--the store, packed.

Look for the Bowl café to serve dinner sooner-than-later.

And dinner at the Westside is uneven, with our last meal just so-so. Where our opening night meal was "perfect" the last experience was less-so with luke warm meals, a gumbo with no real Cajun spice, and a slight dry bread pudding. Another Potter Creeker had the same experience. We're going again though. When we went last, the bar area was packed for Happy Hour. You had to push through a crowd to get to the bar itself.

Saw 900 GRAYSON'S Courtney last week in passing. She's more beautiful than ever.

In the last couple of months, I've noticed an increase in Potter Creek graffiti. On a Saturday morning ride through he Creek I took half dozen photos of tagging. There were as many more that I didn't shoot. Most noticeable is the graffiti on the back of the 7th and Heinz Xoma building. Yesterday I noticed and photographed the tag on Kava's 7th and Grayson building. I emailed all photos to the appropriate city departments. Be sure to remove graffiti immediately from your property but take a photo first.




"Three reasons Prop. 19 to legalize marijuana got the thumbs down" at

"The federal government's opposition to legalized marijuana, midterm election voter demographics, and the prospect of regulatory gridlock may have kept California voters from passing Prop. 19.

One of the surprises in Tuesday's election for some was the defeat of California's Proposition 19 ­ the initiative that would have allowed for possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.

The marijuana rights movement has been steadily expanding nationwide ­ supported by huge poll shifts of public acceptance of marijuana use ­ and the proposition had been leading in early polls.

So what happened?"




"Mark Twain, editor's nightmare" by Joshua Rothman at

"That is how long, according to a great article in California's East Bay Express, it took a team of 12 editors working in the University of California Berkeley's "heavily guarded, multimillion-dollar climate-controlled" Mark Twain vault to put the "Autobiography" together. The team used custom computer software to compare and collate the nearly half-million pages of typed and handwritten material associated with the book; the computer analysis revealed which pages were part of the 'master' copy and which were revisions or drafts."



"Mimicking Photosynthesis in New Electronics" at

"Thanks to a new investigation conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it may now become possible to design more advanced synthetic light-harvesting systems.

For many year, researchers have been working hard on replicating the process of photosynthesis, through which plants turn sunlight into energy. Doing so could result in efficient artificial systems capable of producing large amounts of electricity.

However, the goal has proven to be elusive, and existing conversion systems have only limited efficiency. The MIT team now proposes a new approach, that could boost conversion efficiency."





"A Vegan Chef Dishes Up Thanksgiving" by Tara Parker-Pope at

"The Los Angeles chef Chloe Coscarelli is best known for winning the Food Network's 'Cupcake Wars' with her dairy- and egg-free cupcake recipes. But Ms. Coscarelli, a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, also has a passion for vegan savory foods, particularly at Thanksgiving."



"N.Y. takes a new look at California wines" Talia Baiocchi, Special to The Chronicle.

"Call it the bicoastal standoff.

For many California winemakers, New York City represents a holy grail - a mystical place overrun with European wines and Europhile palates. For New York's wine buyers, California still symbolizes a culture of wine and winemaking that resonated with downtown bankers and Upper East Side Baby Boomers, and left everyone else disillusioned.

But as the market for cult Cabernet dangles off a cliff, the city's top wine shops and restaurants are crafting a market for new and interesting California wines - and with it, a novel enthusiasm among an elite, and often finicky, set of wine buyers.

'It's easy to write off California - I know I have - but I think now more than ever there's a reason to pay attention,' says Juliette Pope, wine director at Gramercy Tavern, one of the city's top wine destinations.

What's caught her imagination is a growing subset of winemakers 'dialing back' on ripeness and making more restrained wines."




"Job cuts bring out protesters to Pacifica's KPFA in Berkeley" at

"A major dropoff in donations to non-com KPFA-FM (94.1) in Berkeley, California brought news of job cuts, and that news brought out about 100 protesters who are against the proposed cuts."


"California's Bureaucrats: A Bargain?"

"Civil servants have emerged as political bogeymen, scorned for their supposedly outsize compensation packages. In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie wants to cap their raises at less than 3 percent, while New York Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo warns that current pay levels are "unsustainable." Support for state workers is perhaps weakest in California, where they were furloughed this year so the state could save about 15 percent in salaries. According to a new study, however, the wisdom of such policies may be lacking: the lowly government employee, it seems, is a pretty good deal."








"Berkeley High student shot to death is identified" by Sean Maher, Oakland Tribune.

"A 14-year-old boy killed in a South Berkeley shooting was identified today as Larry Malik Grayson, officials said.

The boy was shot around 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 in an apartment in the 1500 block of Alcatraz Avenue, police said. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he survived for five days, dying Thursday afternoon."



Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

This morning, Lipofsky stopped by for a moment to introduce

members of his Ole Farts Club

All, so far, glass blowers.


Also the morning KTVU NEWS did a small story featuring our Deputy Fire Chief, Gil Dong. The story was about underground fuel lines.

And yesterday, BFD put out a fire downtown aboard an East Bay Transit bus. No one was injured, the bus suffured damage, and it was exciting.


Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed just over an inch for the last storm.


Marvin also mentioned that Nordic House now offers sandwiches. Check out their Sandwich Board above the deli counter.

Also, one of our city workers emails about Potter Creek's Sea Salt "This was our second visit and the meals have both been great.  If you go, try the 'Gone Figgin' cocktail; mission fig puree, zaya rum (one of our favorites), lemon juice and some simple syrup."

(Several Potter Creekers have found the adjoining pizza place wanting.)


Information for this Holiday Season's Berkeley Artisans Open Studios can be found online. They charge several hundred dollars for "this membership."

I trust it is well spent--something beyond the holiday mention I hope.



In the last few months realtors Robinson and McNally have split their partnership. Now I see a few just plain Robinson signs in west-Berkeley.



The City of Berkeley won a statewide California Chapter American Planning Assocation award for the Climate Action Plan thanks to Timothy Burroughs, the staffer who shepherded it through its meandering path.



If you want answers to "Questions of the Day," find me at one of our watering holes or eateries and I'll answer what I remember, or more simply ask one of our Creek veterans--Marvin, Rick, Regan or Margret Elliot come to mind.




"Pacifica's KPFA fires their entire morning show staff" at

"On track to lose $500,000 this year through lower donations, and despite picketing by protesters unhappy with proposed cuts, the Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation that oversees non-commercial KPFA-FM (94.1) in Berkeley, California has dropped morning show co-hosts Aimee Allison and Brian Edwards-Tiekert. Morning show staffers Esther Manilla and Laura Prives were also cut loose. Ironically, the morning show was the biggest producer of revenue for the Pacifica-owned station."




"Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra review: Vivaldi", Joshua Kosman, Chronicle Music Critic.

"They say we don't have seasons in Northern California, but recent musical life has brought evidence to the contrary. On the heels of last week's sleek but slightly bland performance of Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' by Robert McDuffie and the Venice Baroque Orchestra came a more invigorating rendition of the same music by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra."



"Chris Chu Of The Morning Benders Performs Acoustic For Oregon Public Broadcasting" by Saxon Baird at

"In case you forgot, Berkeley, California four-piece The Morning Benders put out one hell of an album back in May. Produced by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, Big Echo shared an affinity with the producer's Brooklyn-outfit in its ability to blissfully blend a cacophony of sound with the more pop-oriented structure of the tracks."




"In 1978, Darth Vader's actor spoiled the Empire Strikes Back's ending to a local newspaper" is a story at

"In 1978, David Prowse, better known as Darth Vader's body, spoiled The Empire Strikes Back to a cheering crowd in Berkeley, California...two years before Empire came out. But did Prowse actually know the ending, or was this sheer coincidence?"




"UC Berkeley students help improve Wikipedia's credibility" by Andrea Hicklin, UC Media Relations.

"While searching for a quick fact one day on Wikipedia, Brian Carver, an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, came up with an idea to get his students more engaged in his intellectual property law course.

'The page was inaccurate,' 'he said, 'and suddenly I thought, 'I should have my students write this article!' "




"Minneapolis park design competition finalists announced" by Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio

"Design teams from New York, Boston, Beijing, and Berkeley, California will compete to revamp 5.5 miles of Mississippi riverfront north of downtown Minneapolis.

The area includes residential neighborhoods, industrial sites and parks." 




"Co-founder gives look inside Apple" Meredith Rutland, Alligator Contributing Writer.

"When Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer Inc., was a kid, he and his friends would ask to be paid for gardening work in spare electronic parts.

When he was in sixth grade, he coded a program that would make a computer win tic-tac-toe every time.

He spoke at the O'Connell Center Monday night, attributing his success in the computer industry to his education and desire to figure out problems.

'The [passions] that really drive you are the ones that you feel in your heart,' he said.

Wozniak rose to technological fame when he created the Apple I and Apple II personal computers. He withdrew from the University of California at Berkeley to found Apple Computer Inc. with his friend Steve Jobs in 1976. He went on to earn the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan and was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 2000."







Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

when women rule



On 9/25/10 I reported

"Quite a few years ago Gene, a retired city worker, lived on 8th across form David. Gene maintained that there was a jet-fuel pipeline that traversed Potter Creek.

Was this just rumor, or was there, in fact, such a line?

In 2006, in response to a city council request by Darryl and Linda, BFD reported there was a Kinder-Morgan jet-fuel pipeline running adjacent to the railroad tracks. But they felt it posed no danger."

Tuesday's KTVU NEWS report gives a different view.

"Also the morning KTVU NEWS did a small story featuring our Deputy Fire Chief, Gil Dong. The story was about underground fuel lines."

(This linked KTVU NEWS video is, in fact, the previous nights more detailed report from which the morning report was edited. "

Soon look for information about our Environment Action Group.


Kriss Worthington won the run off and is again the Councilman for District 7.





BPD Emails

Suspects ID Needed--photos and more here

7-eleven robbery

On 10-28-10 at about 0454 Hrs., the above depicted entered the 7-Eleven store at College Ave./ Russell St. and robbed the business via handgun. The black male in the black hooded sweatshirt gave the clerk cash and asked him to make change. When the clerk opened the register, the second black male in the red beanie cap turned around and produced a semi-auto handgun from his waistband. The two robbed the business of cash from the register.

An hour prior to the robbery, the black males cased the business which is shown in the top left picture. The suspect who was armed with the handgun is seen wearing a tan zip up sweater during the casing of the business.

The suspects are in their late teens to early 20's, 5-07, 150 thin build. The handgun is described as a black semi-auto handgun.




"Nominate an outstanding teacher for the Dennis Richmond Community Impact Award" by Theresa Harrington, Contra Costa Times.

"Know an outstanding local teacher?

The Ala Costa Centers in Berkeley and Oakland, which help children and young adults with developmental disabilities, are seeking nominations for the Dennis Richmond Community Impact Award for Outstanding Teachers."




"Here's how you could log in with your TV set" by Vidya Iyengar,

"So you don't have a computer or an Internet connection. Could you still access the internet? Sure thing, if you go by these three young entrepreneurs. Just one condition: you ought to have a TV set.

A second-year student at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Amarendra Sahu, along with two friends, Jitendra Jagader and Krishnan Varadarajan, struck upon an idea that could allow people to access the Internet over television. They've called their invention, which they have patented, Brizz TV. Soon, they'll be presenting their interesting new idea at the University of California, Berkeley, United States.

Teams from across the world will be converging at Berkeley for the International Entrepreneurship Challenge, between November 15 and 19."


Charlie Rose' conversation with Tom Friedman has some insight about our future, India, and China. And Friedman becomes Evangelically passionate about America's possibilities. Definitely check it out.



An "American future" through allegory is presented in "William-Blakes America" at






"Like It Or Not, Pot Taxes Are Coming to California" by Paul Armentano is a report at

"In the months leading up to California's vote on Proposition 19, several fringe activists ­ most notably the so-called 'Stoners Against the Prop. 19 Tax Cannabis Initiative' ­ argued against the measure, saying that it empowered local governments to impose new taxes on marijuana production and sales. Despite this outcry from certain members of the cannabis community, voters in nine California cities, including several of the state's most populated communities, overwhelmingly approved new ­ and in some cases exorbitant ­ taxes on medicinal herb.

All told, voters by wide margins endorsed citywide medi-tax ordinances in Albany, Berkeley, La Puente, Oakland, Rancho Cordova, Richmond, Sacramento, San Jose, and Stockton."




"Sara Lee slims down with $959M bread sale to Bimbo" is an AP report at

"Sara Lee Corp. is cutting the apron strings on its struggling North American bread-making business, selling it to Mexican baking giant Grupo Bimbo for $959 million.

The deal makes Grupo Bimbo the largest baker in the U.S. It also marks Sara Lee's last major planned sale of a business line and completes a series of moves to focus on its more-profitable businesses such Hillshire Farms meat and Senseo coffee.

'Sara Lee is indeed a simpler, stronger and a better company,' Sara Lee interim CEO Marcel Smits said Tuesday.

Sara Lee, based in Downers Grove, Ill., will still sell its signature frozen cheesecake and deli meats. Grupo Bimbo will have rights to the Sara Lee brand in fresh baked goods globally, excluding Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

It adds to Grupo Bimbo's presence as one of the world's largest baking companies. The company, based in Mexico City and traded on the Mexican Stock Exchange, sells brands such as Entenmann's, Tia Rosa and Thomas' baked goods."



"ANSI highlights current alternative energy initiatives" is a report with commonsense explanation at

"Scientists at Helios project are working to mimic photosynthesis, with goal of harnessing sun's energy to replace fossil fuels, and turn CO2 into ethanol or another alcohol for use in cars. It is joint initiative between University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, part of ANSI member U.S. DoE. ANSI is also convening standards-needs assessment workshop in 2011 to address electric vehicles, while IEC General Meeting in October covered various energy issues."







Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Merryll's, when women rule



Barbara Bowman took the BFD disaster course and has a photo essay of her experience up at their Potter Creek website.

Though we support this BFD program our Environment Action Group is about the formulation, establishment, and enforcement of environment policy through legislatiive and legal action.

Our city street-cleaner was cleaning streets in Potter Creek yesterday morning.

I'm told that the French School is planning to buy back the property to the north of their 9th Street campus that they sold-off some years ago.

Créma is hoping to open for breakfast and lunch early next week.

I had breakfast last week with Don Yost at which time we solved no world problems though we did a lot of underlining.



"Sidestepping Lignin's Challenges" is a story at about one of our west-Berkeley companies.

"Former hippy counterculture haven Berkeley, Calif., is home to Bio Architecture Lab Inc., a company working to convert weed-seaweed, that is-into second-generation biofuels and chemicals. The one-step process, known as consolidated bioprocessing, uses a microbe to break down sugars in seaweed to convert them into common metabolites, which can then be converted into a wide range of biobased products, such as ethanol and isobutanol."


And CNN's "Robot Used To Help Paralyzed Walk" is about a Potter Creek manufacture.

"Today's Big I is all about eLEGS. Its a wearable, bionic device that enables people who are paralyzed to walk. The technology was developed at Berkeley Bionics."



a Fall evening

in Potter Creek





"Is 'survival of the kindest' key to humankind's success as a species?" by UC Berkeley NewsCenter at

"Across America, Thanksgiving kicks off a holiday season of reflection, gratitude and sharing. These emotions are the focus of wide-ranging scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley, where researchers are investigating the science of happiness and compassion. In the video linked here, UC Berkeley psychologists Dacher Keltner, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Robb Willer and sociologist Christine Carter describe the work that supports the hypothesis that 'survival of the kindest' is the key to our success as a species.


"Berkeley eases auto impound policy" by Doug Oakley, Berkeley Voice.

"Illegal immigrants and anyone else driving without a license will no longer have their cars impounded for 30 days when stopped for minor violations, thanks to a new Berkeley police policy.

Police Chief Michael Meehan agreed to the change last month and is now training officers on the new policy, he said."




"The Issue of Fraud at California Certified Farmers Markets" at

"For the first time since California sanctioned farmers markets back in 1977, the state is reconsidering the rules for how the certified operations are run.

Recent accusations at markets in Southern California involving bogus organic products and items brought up from Mexico being passed off for locally grown, are being addressed by the Department of Food and Agriculture. KNBC, the Los Angeles Times, and the Santa Monica Daily Press have all covered the issue this fall.

A series of four state-sponsored listening sessions wrapped up on Monday, with the final one held in Berkeley. Previous sessions were held in Fresno, Sacramento, and Santa Monica."




"Recent California newspaper editorials" by The Associated Press.

"Pasadena Star-News: 'UC fee hikes at state's peril' . . .

These proposed tuition and fee hikes are hardly being proposed in a vacuum, or after a long period of remaining steady.

The 8 percent undergraduate tuition increase proposed for UC comes on the heels of the extraordinary 32 percent increase that went into effect just last year. The CSU system is looking at a midyear tuition hike of 5 percent for undergrads and graduate students alike. The state system would then seek an additional 10 percent . . .

But that isn't the whole story. The Daily Californian, the student-run newspaper at UC Berkeley, reports that of the $350 million in increased costs the UC system will face next year, more than half will go to fund university pension costs-an unfunded liability that already amounts to more than $20 billion in future payments."







Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

ole high-school buddy

WD emails two links


"Have Gun, Will Travel" a review of a book about the Kalashnikov AK 47 by Richard Overy also speaks to AK-47s' political and social significance. The reveiw is at

"The Gun" C. J. Chivers.

It is not always easy to understand what makes a particular weapon iconic, or whether such an icon is really something worth having. The twentieth century has few obvious contenders. The Spitfire is perhaps the most famous because so much hung on achieving victory in the Battle of Britain. The surviving myth of the Allied David pitted against the German Goliath has an enduring, if sentimental, attraction. The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is perhaps a modern-day equivalent, its awesome power and menace balanced by the aesthetic fascination of seeing the broad, black batwing fighter in flight.

Aircraft, of course, are fortunate. For more than a century, the evolution of modern planes, from flimsy wood and canvas biplanes to the modern fighter-bomber, has generated a persistent fascination with the air weapon; it is easy to understand why famous aircraft images are often instantly recognizable. But ask the average citizen to tell you the name of some piece of artillery or an armored car and you will get nowhere. Cans of poison gas or antipersonnel mines are not likely to end up as iconic images, and it needs little perception to understand why. The only other category of modern weapon that can match the appeal of the air is the handheld firearm. The Colt .45, the famous German Luger, the Bren gun and the Lee-Enfield rifle are not quite household names, but certainly close to the Spitfire in terms of recognition. Yet of all the handheld weapons across the world, from the age of industrial warfare on, there is one that stands out above the rest: the AK-47 assault rifle, better known as the eponymous 'Kalashnikov.' "



"The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution and the Twentieth Century" by Peter Watson is reviewed by James Buchan

who "enjoys an encyclopedic account of Germany's 'idealism with efficiency.' " All at


chocolate pot

He writes "For a while in the 1980s, I used to spend my Sundays in the Old Cemetery in the town of Bonn in the Rhineland. Wandering amid the provincial tombs, I was forever coming across some stupendous intellectual celebrity. Here were Beethoven's mother and Schiller's wife; Clara and Robert Schumann; August Wilhelm Schlegel; Mathilde Wesendonck, for whom Wagner wrote his most beautiful music; FWA Argelander, who mapped three hundred thousand stars. These Sunday excursions were for me an exercise in mental recuperation. Bored by the Third Reich and its uptight little successor republics in West and East Germany, I sought an afternoon's peace in an older and, as I thought, more German Germany.

Peter Watson's colossal encyclopaedia, The German Genius, might have been written for me, but not only for me. A journalist of heroic industry, Watson is frustrated by the British ignorance of Germany, or rather by an expertise devoted exclusively to Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. Watson wonders not just why the nation of thinkers and poets came to grief between 1933 and 1945 but also how it put itself together again and, in 1989, recreated most of the Wilhelmine state without plunging Europe into war or even breaking sweat.

Watson has not simply written a survey of the German intellect from Goethe to Botho Strauss ­ nothing so dilettantist. In the course of nearly 1,000 pages, he covers German idealism, porcelain, the symphony, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, telegraphy, homeopathy, strategy, Sanskrit, colour theory, the Nazarenes, universities, Hegel, jurisprudence, the conservation of energy, the Biedermeyer, entropy, fractals, dyestuffs, the PhD, heroin, automobiles, the unconscious, the cannon, the Altar of Pergamon, sociology, militarism, the waltz, anti-semitism, continental drift, quantum theory and serial music.

His approach is purely biographical, which may sacrifice depth but makes for clarity."

The author speaks of "The Final Solution" as "The National Treason." I've felt something like this for most of my adult life.

I've thought that murdering millions Jews by a nation who just earlier welcomed them "as their own", was of a midset similar to that of a family, who after adopting children, cast them out to a sure death in a winters' cold--the motivation itself as bad as the act.

end Miscellaneous Ramblings



"Berkeley bingo parlor may be shut down" by Doug Oakley, Berkeley Voice.

"Owners of a large concrete building on San Pablo Avenue at Gilman Street in Berkeley likely will lose their permit to run charity bingo games at a site described by one official as 'an illicit gambling operation.''

The council will vote on a resolution at its Nov. 16 meeting to revoke the permit of the George F. McDermott and the McDermott Family Limited Partnership to use their 10,000 square-foot-building at 1284 San Pablo Avenue for bingo.

In July, the city shut down a charity bingo operation running out of the San Pablo building that officials estimate brought in at least $10 million in revenue from July 2009 to July 2010.

Officials have no evidence that the bingo game, working under the charity Youth Actors Company, ever donated any of the profits from the estimated $10 million to a charity'

'Twelve eighty four San Pablo Avenue wasn't a bingo hall, it was an illicit gambling operation, ' said Berkeley Code Enforcement Supervisor Gregory Daniel."










"Veterans Day flag-raising launches a new tradition" at

"Berkeley started a new tradition on Thursday, Nov. 11 with a flag-raising ceremony to honor those who have served in the U.S. military. The Veterans Day event took place on the west side of California Hall at the main campus flag pole, and was led by LTC Jon Negin, professor of military science at the campus's ROTC program."




"Notorious Berkeley drug house sold" by Frances Dinkelspiel at

"For more than 20 years, the house at 1610 Oregon Street was an epicenter of Berkeley's drug wars, a place where dealers dealt crack openly, people were shot, and crowds and cars congregated.

Now the shingled house, once owned by Lenora Moore, is shuttered behind a chain link fence. The glass in the front windows is broken and two "No Trespassing" signs and a red 'Keep Out' sign are nailed by the front door.

For decades, Lenora Moore and her extended clan of Perrys and Robinsons lived in the modest, two-bedroom home near California Street. But they left in early 2010 after four court battles, a grand jury investigation, and finally, an injunction won by the city of Berkeley declaring the house a public nuisance.

Now the house has been sold to a new, unidentified buyer. A offer was accepted on the property Oct 29, just 10 days after the house went on the market for the low price of $199,000, according to a spokesman for Security Pacific realtors, which listed the property. The house had been in foreclosure."



"Berkeley to try speed tables to slow drivers" Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Berkeley found a new way to torment motorists: speed tables."




"International Body Music Mini-Fest on December 4th at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley"

"The International Body Music Festival Mini-Fest, a concert and day of workshops, will take place Saturday, December 4th at Freight & Salvage in Berkley, California.

Led by Artistic Director Keith Terry, the concert is a sizzling smorgasbord of contemporary and traditional Body Music featuring all California artists-an irresistible hand-clapping, foot-stomping, chest-whomping extravaganza.

Artists include Los Cenzontles, Cerro Negro, Danny 'Slapjazz' Barber, James Harding, Linda Akiyama, Elizabeth Strong with Dan Cantrell and Evan Fraser, Keith Terry and Evie Ladin, Khalid Freeman, and Sofia Lopez-Ibor."





"California's parent tax" is William T. Bagley's story at

"The state of California's budget has been in sad and worsening shape since 2004-5 but the University of California has been starved for more than 20 years. The state has abdicated its responsibility, leaving the greatest public research university in the world to receive just a slight public subsidy. This has forced the UC Regents to provide a massive student-aid program by imposing a more and more progressive parent tax on middle-class families, who can't qualify for tuition reductions.

Fifty years ago, student fees ranged around $120 per year; since then market price inflation has increased about 1,000 percent. Now tuition comes close to $12,000 a year, a 12,00o percent increase."



"Latino kids now majority in state's public schools" Will Kane, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Latinos now make up a majority of California's public school students, cracking the 50 percent barrier for the first time in the state's history, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Education.

Almost 50.4 percent of the state's students in the 2009-10 school year identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, up 1.36 percent from the previous year."





"Richmond California's Green Victory" opines david helvarg at the

"While the recent elections were seen as a setback for environmental advocates nationally, for the small city of Richmond in San Francisco's East Bay it marked a tidal shift in a seven-year battle to protect Point Molate, the last large undeveloped headland on the bay from a mega-casino. Here at least the election demonstrated that poor communities can assert their right to control their own shorelines and perhaps their own destinies despite outside pressure.

On the winning side were local activists of Citizens For a Sustainable Point Molate and the Richmond Progressive Alliance that includes the Green Party Mayor of this low-income predominantly African-American and Hispanic city of just over 100,000.

On the side that didn't win was a Berkeley developer with plans for a billion dollar casino resort at the headlands, a small band of Pomo Indians hoping to break into urban gaming, and an even smaller band of environmentalists willing to cut a multi-million dollar deal with them just before Richmond was to vote on the casino."





"IRLE's conference on "New Deal/No Deal?" by Kathleen Maclay,

" In the midst of forecasts of continuing economic woes and congressional gridlock, experts gathered recently at the University of California, Berkeley, to assess what worked and what didn't during the Great Depression-inspired New Deal, the Obama administration's still emerging efforts to ease the Great Recession, and prospects for relief, reform and recovery.

Much of the conference, 'New Deal/No Deal? The Age of Obama and the Lessons of the 1930s,' is now available online. Hosted on Friday, Oct. 29, by UC Berkeley's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE), the program was organized by IRLE director and UC Berkeley labor economist Michael Reich, also co-author of the just-released "Labor in an Era of Globalization," and Richard Walker, a UC Berkeley geography professor and the head of IRLE's California Studies Center.

The institute was founded in 1945 and is home to over 60 UC Berkeley professors from a variety of fields who are researching elements of labor and employment relations in the United States and around the world. The campus also is home to several noted economic historians of the Great Depression who participated in the conference."



"Thin chips speed up computing" is a report at

"Researchers in the US are working on a new generation of ultra-thin compound semiconductors that they say could bring about the next technological revolution for the computer industry.

The team, based at the University of California, Berkeley, set out to solve several problems limiting the operating capacities of the current generation of silicon 'chips', such as heat build-up and quantum mechanical effects.

According to new research published last week in the journal Nature, the trick to getting around the silicon impasse is to combine silicon technology with something a little more exotic - in this case, indium arsenide.

'The problem is that right now you're generating so much heat from the chip. You're putting a lot of power in and a lot of energy is being dissipated as heat and the chips get heated up,' says Professsor Ali Javey, one of the paper's authors."






Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Around Six yesterday morning Berkeley police talked a man down from a tree on Shattuck Avenue. He came down, was not injured and was wearing what appeared to be a dress--an attractive print. The street was reopened after the man was taken into custody.

Hopefully we will have video. 


Merryll's, when women rule



Also yesterday morning, our city street-cleaner was thoroughly cleaning the streets in Potter Creek. However our many over-night parked cars interfere with perfect cleaning.


Tuesday the head of our Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the national deficit is our number one national security issue, so I'd watch and listen real close to Charlie Rose conversation with"Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, Co-chairs, US Deficit Commission" of which one viewer wrote "This show concerning our country's deficit was right on. Difficult decisions must be made and our elected officials must listen and act now."


If you find Rose, Bowles and Simpson on the our deficit too heavy, then let stand-up Dennis Miller mess wtih your mind on the Tavis Smiley Show. Miller is one beautifully deranged man.


end Miscellaneous Ramblings




"Younger greens reject old ideas about urbanity" by John King at

" 'Generation gap' is a phrase past its prime, like a guy who thinks he's still hip because Levi's are still his look.

But it rings true in the Bay Area of 2010, especially with regard to attitudes about the shape our cities and suburbs should take.

More and more, there's a disconnect between the established view of how we should grow, and the values of people who weren't even born when activists first battled "Manhattanization." The (mostly) gray-haired guardians who radiate the certainty that They Know Best have dominated the debate for decades, but they can't defy the calendar. With every passing year, the old certainties look a bit more ... old.

Which brings us to Berkeley, where voters this month approved an advisory measure that would focus the city's growth downtown.

Measure R hit all the buttons of 21st century urban environmentalism: The ballot question framed the issue at hand as 'concentrating housing, jobs and cultural destinations near transit, shops and amenities' to 'revitalize the downtown and help make Berkeley one of the greenest cities in the United States.'

The measure also would make room for three buildings of 180 feet - equal to office buildings of the same height from 1925 and 1969 - and opponents responded as though Sears Tower was being shipped to Shattuck Avenue. The ballot arguments warned of 'empty promises with destructive proposals' and 'a developer-backed plan ... allowing outsized development to overwhelm surrounding neighborhoods.' Man the barricades!

It was vintage fight-the-power rhetoric. But this time around, Measure R captured 63.97 percent of the vote."




"Michael Rossman had a thing for posters" writes Shirley Lau at

"He liked them so much, in fact, that he amassed 23,500 progressive social movement posters throughout his life as a free speech activist who also dabbled in arts, politics and science. Rossman, who lived in Berkeley, died after a short battle with cancer in 2008, but his legacy will live on through his mammoth collection -- the Oakland Museum of California recently acquired it, and will be displaying it in a variety of ways over the next several years.

The posters range in scope from arty, colorful Andy Warhols to politically motivated drawings of Iranians struggling for independence in 1978. Some were made for a very specific purpose, like advertising the opening of local poetry readings or museum exhibitions. Others are national, even global in scale, such as David Lance Goines' 1991 poster of a faceless man holding a skull. The text reads: No War. There are a number of political posters from 1960s and 70s California, including a Jerry Brown campaign poster from his first run for governor. Next to an image of the young Brown, it says: 'The only used car you can buy from this man is his own.'

Lincoln Cushing, a poster artist and archivist who was a longtime friend of Rossman's, will be working with the museum to display the collection. As the first step in the museum-s five-year plan to make the entire enormous collection public, Cushing is helping to create an online catalog with information on each poster. Cushing is a poster artist himself, and many samples of his work made their way into Rossman's possession over the years."





"UC Berkeley gets $16.5 million for three children's environmental health centers" by Sarah Yang, Media Relations,

"Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health are getting $16.5 million to support three research centers as part of a federal initiative to examine the environmental factors influencing children's health.
UC Berkeley's School of Public Health is receiving $16.5 million to support research on environmental health factors and children's health.

The grants to UC Berkeley are among $54 million recently awarded to 12 university-based centers across the country by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). UC Berkeley is the only institution to have received awards for multiple centers."






Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

You can seriously mess with your mind or just get some insight into some memebers of our rulling class by carefully watching Charlie Rose converstion with authors Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean, [See below about McLean]. They talk about their new book "All the Devils are Here:The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis" and more.

Rose is curiously ill-at-ease. Maybe because as he hints, McLean knows more than he does, or more darkly, because some of "the Devils" are his friends and acquaintances.


On 8/10/10 I posted.


"Following is a link to Bethany McLean's Miller Center Forum and her 2001 Fortune article 'Is Enron Overpriced?' that helped bring Eron down.

For some insight into Ms McLean, watch her eyes dart around the room while being introduced before her lecture at the Miller Center Forum.


'Is Enron Overpriced? In March 2001, Fortune pointed out that Enron's financial statements were nearly impenetrable.

(Editors note--Remember when it seemed outrageous to suggest that Enron shouldn't be the golden child of Wall Street? Before the congressional hearings, before Arthur Andersen was indicted, before the SEC and the DOJ got involved, Fortune's Bethany McLean asked whether a company that traded at 55 times earnings should be so opaque. Here is what she wrote.)

"Is Enron Overpriced?

It's in a bunch of complex businesses. Its financial statements are nearly impenetrable. So why is Enron trading at such a huge multiple?

In Hollywood parlance, the 'It Girl' is someone who commands the spotlight at any given moment -- you know, like Jennifer Lopez or Kate Hudson. Wall Street is a far less glitzy place, but there's still such a thing as an 'It Stock.' Right now, that title belongs to Enron, the Houston energy giant." ' "




Eternally useful links


Bay Area home prices from


Bay Area foreclosures from

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

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out 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

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 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

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


Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman


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.