after 11/16/12, here



PG & E crew

working on the old gas service, Grayson between 7th and 8th




"Kinect system simplifies the art of puppetry" at

"Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley have created a system that can enable even inexperienced puppeteers to produce 3-D animations.

To use the system, a puppeteer physically manipulates physical objects in front of a Kinect depth sensor. The system then uses a combination of image-feature matching and 3-D shape matching to identify and track the objects. It then renders the corresponding 3-D models into a virtual set.

The system operates in real time so that a puppeteer can immediately see the resulting animation and make adjustments on the fly. It also provides 6-D virtual camera and lighting controls, which the puppeteer can adjust before, during, or after a performance. Layered animations can be used to help puppeteers produce animations in which several characters move at the same time."


Rank Choice Voting seems cumbersome to me, but is it constitutional? Well, my sense is that the qualities a person values for their 1st choice are different from the qualities for their 2nd and 3rd choices. After all, this is America where "Hey, she's number one with me," "He only came in second," and "sloppy thirds" are well known phrases.

Rank Choice makes no allowances for these important differences, assuming, I believe incorrectly, that the preferred qualities for all the three ranks are the same.



























Mayor Bates email (excerpt)

The entrepreneurial spirit is spreading in the City of Berkeley! 

Monday night I had the honor to speak at Berkeley's second EUREKA! event with an overflow crowd of 200 at the David Brower Center.  We created Eureka to showcase Berkeley companies as part of my commitment to local economic development. 

At EUREKA! ten local start-ups pitched to a distinguished panel of angel investors.  All companies were rewarded with  feedback and resources.  The winning company was a bike manufacturer called Revolights, which uses LEED lights as a safety feature.

full email here



Kubik emails

"One-Minute Animated Primers on Major Theories of Religion" by Maria Popova at

"From Karl Marx to Richard Dawkins in 60 seconds.

Last year, Open University brought us 60-Second Adventures in Thought - a fascinating and wonderfully animated series exploring six famous philosophy thought experiments. This season, they're back with 60-Second Adventures in Religion - four short informative yet jocular primers on some major theories of religious studies, offering a fine addition to these essential meditations on faith.

The first introduces Karl Marx

and his conception of religion as a vehicle of illusory happiness and a means of oppression and social control."









a Potter Creek























I support Mayor Bates bid for reelection. Simply, I believe that he is by far the most qualified candidate. A moderate progressive, I largely share his vision for"Our Town" and believe that he requires another term to fully implement it.

I also support Laurie Capitelli for reelection in District 5 and Darryl Moore for reelection in District 2. Both, I believe to be the most qualified candidates and certainly the most experienced. I also support Dmitri Belser for Councilman in District 3. Belser, a "relatively new face" in Berkeley politics is now President of the Ed Roberts Campus and was instrumental in its creation.


Finally I support Measure T, mostly because its passage would give our Rick Auerbach and associates years more work in opposing its implementation if they so choose.

"But, seriously folks!"

I agree with Councilwoman Linda Maio's wordy but well thought out approval of T "West Berkeley: Enables a property owner to choose a 'flexible' set of development standards in exchange for certain benefits to the City.  Requires public approval process for each proposal.  Applies only to properties under one ownership as of August 1, 2011 that also comprise a full city block.  Would not apply to sites adjacent to the northeast of Aquatic Park (think American Soil) until the Council adopts protection measures specific to Aquatic Park.  Applies to six sites over the next 10 years. After that there would be no limitation except that the Council could make amendments as needed.  Council, however, could not increase the aggregate amount of development allowed.  Heights could go to 75' with an average height across a site at 50' (Trader Joe's building is higher than 50').  Current height ceiling in West Berkeley is 45'. "


Ops, . . . please vote for Loni Hancock for State Senator and Nancy Skinner for State Assembly.

And, . . . our Measure S seems a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation!





Of our west Berkeley--all the commercial units in 4th and U have been leased and Title Nine (sports bras, yoga clothing, women's sports wear, athletic apparel) is moving into the Reed Building directly opposite 4th and U.




Berkeley PD estimates Sunday Street drew 40,00 people. A rousing success and largely the creation of Councilman Capitelli.





















Councilman Capitelli emails (excerpts)

In mid October I finished my knock-on-every-door-tour of District 5. Eighty miles and 15 lbs later, the walk provided me with a unique opportunity to enjoy the great beauty of our district while hearing directly what concerns you have about our neighborhood and our City.

Though many of you were not home, I was able to speak candidly with hundreds of District 5 residents. What were the most common questions?

How will the Council address unfunded pension and benefit liabilities? Pensions and benefits are contractual promises to our employees that have been negotiated and awarded over many years. It will take many years of adjustments to alter the course and I am committed to doing that. As we do, we must take care to be respectful of our employees. The good news: Berkeley's Police have signed a three-year contract that includes: a cap on retiree medical benefits, a different benefit structure for new-hires, an increase in the retirement age, elimination of "spiking", and increased contribution to retirement benefits by current and future employees. This does not solve the problem, but will set the stage for future contract negotiations with firefighters and our other bargaining units.

When will our streets be repaved? Because conventional resources from the state and the federal government have dwindled in recent years (outside of the one-time Recovery Act monies that paved University), the City's street repaving program has fallen behind. Voters have an opportunity to advance that program through both Alameda County Measure B1 ­ increasing bike and pedestrian safety resources and funding for road repair - and Berkeley's Measure M ­ for an unique approach to road rebuilding that integrates drainage and watershed amenities.

full email here




"Berkeley votes it values" by Linda Maio Contra Costa Times/Oakland Tribune guest commentary.

"This paper's editorial against Berkeley's November's revenue ballot measures mischaracterizes a great deal. If the writer lived and voted in Berkeley, she or he would know that Berkeley voters have, for years, made prudent investments in our city, at more than a two-thirds majority, for libraries, schools, parks, and adequate fire protection, to name a few.

Not all investment measures have passed, but most have. Berkeley residents' willingness to tax ourselves is an expression of the community we desire to live in. If Measure M, an investment in our streets and watershed, passes Tuesday, it's because residents have studied the ballot and realize that an investment now will prevent much more costly repairs in the future. It is our choice.

We can postpone the investment and watch the roads deteriorate to a much more expensive level, ruin suspension systems, and deliver sullied stormwater into the Bay. Measure M is a sound investment, which is why the Berkeley city auditor, for the first time in my memory, has come out in favor of a ballot measure.

It is true that Berkeley, like every other city in California, has substantial unfunded liabilities. As with every California city, contributions for pensions and benefits have skyrocketed."  



















"SF Chronicle: 'Tom Bates for Mayor' " from our Mayor's email.

"Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has piled up an admirable record. The city's budget is balanced, school scores are rising and its Berkeley-centric touches such as bike lanes and free transit passes for city employees draw praise.
Bates is the clear choice in this field. He gets our endorsement for re-election." 


our Councilman Darryl Moore emails (excerpt)

Santa Fe Right-of-Way Bio-remediation Garden Kick-off

Many District 2 residents are probably well aware of the Santa Fe Right-of-Way, the empty parcels that stretch along the District.  I am happy to announce that we've finally started to get some momentum behind converting these fallow lots into something that can serve the community.  

Sunday, November 18th from 3-4:30 pm, come learn about a joint effort between Berkeley Partners for Parks and UC Berkeley to extract toxic chemicals from this former railway track, and to create a haven of green gardens.  Celebrate the approval of this innovative project, using the Chinese Brake Fern to absorb toxins from the soil.  Enjoy Food, Music and Neighborly Conversation.

This research project is co-sponsored by Berkeley Partners for Parks and UC Berkeley (Environmental Science Dept) in cooperation with the City of Berkeley, the Berkeley Community Gardening Collaborative, and the Ecology Center; with funding from the Chancellor's Community Partnership Grant Program. 
Berkeley Partners for Parks and UC Berkeley Environmental Science Dept, Kick-off to the Santa Fe Right-of-Way Bio-Remediation Garden, Sunday, November 18th from 3-4:30 pm, Santa Fe Right-of-Way on Ward Street, 1 block west of Sacramento St.








"Georgia Museum of Art to present 'John Haley: Berkeley School Abstract Expressionist' " at

"The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will present 'John Haley: Berkeley School Abstract Expressionist' Nov. 10, 2012, through March 3, 2013. The exhibition, organized by the Monterey Museum of Art in Monterey, Calif., focuses on Haley's paintings, particularly those of the 1950s and 1960s.

'Never shown before in the Southeast, his works of the 1950s and 1960s, of which this exhibition is a selection, help illustrate the turmoil and excitement of this period in American art, a time when radical experimentation reinvigorated the visual arts after the disillusionment of the Great War,' said William U. Eiland, director of the museum, who is writing an essay on Haley for a companion exhibition catalogue.

Haley studied with Hans Hofmann in Germany in the 1920s. A great teacher of the visual arts, Hoffman had a significant impact on Haley's career as well as on other abstract artists of the time.

Beginning in the 1930s, Haley and Hofmann both taught at the University of California, Berkeley, which had one of the most innovative art departments in the United States. The school was an important site for Haley's career, and his influence through his work there was far-reaching."


















"On Winner-Take-All Politics" Bill Moyers talks with authors Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. "Hacker and Pierson - whom Bill regards as the 'Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson' of economics -detail important truths behind a 30-year economic assault against the middle class."

"Moyers & Company dives into one of the most important and controversial issues of our time: How Washington and Big Business colluded to make the super-rich richer and turn their backs on the rest of us.

Bill's guests ­ Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer - And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, argue that America's vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered.

How, in a nation as wealthy as America, can the economy simply stop working for people at large, while super-serving those at the very top? Through exhaustive research and analysis, the political scientists Hacker and Pierson - whom Bill regards as the 'Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson' of economics - detail important truths behind a 30-year economic assault against the middle class.

Who's the culprit? 'American politics did it­ far more than we would have believed when we started this research,' Hacker explains. 'What government has done and not done, and the politics that produced it, is really at the heart of the rise of an economy that has showered huge riches on the very, very, very well off.'

Bill considers their book the best he's seen detailing 'how politicians rewrote the rules to create a winner-take-all economy that favors the 1% over everyone else, putting our once and future middle class in peril.'

The show includes an essay on how Occupy Wall Street reflects a widespread belief that politics no longer works for ordinary people, including footage we took at the OWS rally from October ­ December 2011."







Remember VOTE!



Our Measure S seems a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation!






















Our Jeff Grey, a worker at Consolidated Printing, has just returned from a 12 day, 6,300 mile trip on his Harley around the South West and the South







Jeff Grey and his Ford Rod--Jeff works at Consolidated Printing








Charlie Rose discussion about the history and future of books with David Kastan, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jane Friedman, Ken Auletta and Tim O'Reilly is specially thought provoking.





















"Berkeley sit-lie ban supporters not conceding" an AP report. 

"Supporters  of a Berkeley measure that would ban sitting and lying on streets and sidewalks are not ready to concede defeat.
According to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, Measure S was trailing as of Thursday morning 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent. Officials, however, were still going through provisional and vote-by-mail ballots from across the county.

John Caner, a lead organizer of the 'Yes on S' campaign, told the Oakland Tribune that thousands of votes remained to be counted.
Measure S was trailing by about a thousand votes.

It would make it a crime to sit or lie on sidewalks from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in commercial areas of Berkeley.

Supporters say it would help businesses whose storefronts are often blocked by groups camping out.
Opponents characterize the proposal as Draconian. "  




"Berkeley fermentation process converts sugar directly to diesel" Robert Sanders,

"Graduate student Zachary Baer works with a fermentation chamber to separate acetone and butanol (top clear layer) from the Clostridium brew at the bottom. The chemicals can be catalytically altered to make a fuel that burns like diesel.

A long-abandoned fermentation process once used to turn starch into explosives can be used to produce renewable diesel fuel to replace the fossil fuels now used in transportation, University of California, Berkeley, scientists have discovered.

Campus chemists and chemical engineers teamed up to produce diesel fuel from the products of a bacterial fermentation discovered nearly 100 years ago by the first president of Israel, chemist Chaim Weizmann. The retooled process produces a mix of products that contain more energy per gallon than ethanol that is used today in transportation fuels and could be commercialized within five to 10 years."









growing up here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

at Christmas time

was "just like" growing up in Gary Indiana in Christmas Story

. . . but my Dad was a Ford Man


















Aw gee, Measure T . . . then and now

Wenesday AM November 7th , the MeasureT tally was "NO" ahead by about 100 votes but on Thursday 11/8/12 "YES" was ahead by one vote.


About 12:37 PM on Friday 11/9 this Information was on the Alameda County Registrar web site

Measure T - City of Berkeley
Needs majority Yes votes to pass
Total Precincts: 101 Precincts Reported: 101 Percent Reported: 100.00
Contest number of Votes percentage of Total
Yes 16640 50.00
No 16639


It is important to understand that Measure T is in the same situation as Measure S
"The final outcome of Measure S is still uncertain. By late
Tuesday night, Yes on Measure S was behind 16,356 to 17,411-a margin of
1,055 votes. This, however, was before the County began to count provisional
and dropped off mail-in ballots. There remain an estimated 10,000 to 20,000
provisional and absentee ballots still to be counted. Over the past two
days, the margin has dropped to 981 votes, with 17,273 YES votes, versus
18,254 NO votes, as of last count. Absentees appear to be trending toward YES.

The Alameda County Registrar hopes to complete the final vote tally by
November 21. Updated results are being reported daily around 4 pm, and you
can follow the results on the Registrar website as they are

Again, the Measure T tally has moved from NO being ahead by about 100 votes Wednesday AM to YES being ahead by one vote, Thursday PM/Friday AM. By Friday evening, 11/9/12, the MeasureT tally was YES 17850 votes with 50.01 percent and NO 17845 votes with 49.99 percent, YES being ahead by 5 votes.


The vote counting continues today, Saturday and tomorrow, Sunday. An update will be posted on the Alameda County Registrar site at 5:00 PM today with a major update posted tomarrow, Sunday after 5:00 PM. I'm told the counting is highly professional with checks and balances.




Happily the Potter Creek sour beer brewery construction is going apace--major interior remodeling being done now. The brewery is on Parker between 8th and 9th.



900 GRAYSON's Chris Saulnier is excited about our new Sketch Ice Cream!

Earlier this week he went to check it out, had a pork empenada and then soft ice cream with caramel sauce, and now recommends it highly! "Really buttery crust" he said of the empenada. Words pretty much failed him when describing the delicious soft ice cream with caramel sauce.





Aw s#$t really, "Author Reveals the Inner Spirit of Berkeley, Calif. at

Author Jack McLaughlin invites readers to experiences the colorful citizens of Berkeley, Calif., their issues and attitudes in his new novel, 'MR. BERZERKELEY II: Big Games, Big Lies, Big Decisions', the second installment in his latest trilogy.

'I wanted to create a series that expresses my love for Berkeley, Berkeley citizens, Berkeley institutions, Berkeley lore, Berkeley mythology and memories of the sixties and provides insights into situations and conflicts faced by a multitude of individuals in a humorous, light-read atmosphere,' McLaughlin explains.
In this lighthearted spoof, McLaughlin brings the 1960s into the 20th century. His story centers around a mythical, naked mayor and a cadre of fictitious boarding-house characters embroiled in political, controversial, sexual, mysterious conflicts."





"New pot push in California a high priority" Kevin Fagan at

"Historic votes in Colorado and Washington to legalize recreational use of marijuana have fired up California advocates to go before the state's voters again

"Colo., Wash. await federal response on marijuana laws" is an AP report at

"Should marijuana be treated like alcohol? Or should it remain in the same legal category as heroin and the most dangerous drugs?
Votes this week by Colorado and Washington to allow adult marijuana possession have prompted what could be a turning point in the nation's conflicted and confusing war on drugs."






















Though officially remembered tomorrow, today is actually Veteran's Day.

As Americans, we should know as much as possible about our Iraq War. Rolling Stone contributor, Evan Wright was embedded with the elite Marine First Reconnaissance Battalion in our war. He writes in Chapter Two of his book, Generation Kill. "War fever, at least among reporters, was running pretty high. . . . A Canadian wire-service reporter, bitterly opposed to the war, knocked down a loudly patriotic American photographer in favor of it. While stunned Arab security guards looked on, the Canadian peacenik clenched the American patriot in to sort of LAPD chokehold and repeatedly slammed his head into the back of a chair. The American was saved from further humiliation only after several tough women from Reuters and AFP waded in and broke apart the one-sided combat."

Wright describes Dartmouth graduate, Lt. Fick, the commander of the platoon in which he's embedded "Despite his cavalier humor Fick finished in the top of his class in Officer Candidates School and near the top of the Marine Corps tough Basic Reconnaissance Course. He's also something of a closet idealist. 'At Dartmouth, there was a sense that an ROTC program, which the school did not have, would militarize the campus' he explains. 'They have it backwards. ROTC programs at Ivy League campuses would liberalize the military. That can only be good for the country.'

One of the first men to greet me is Navy Hospitalman Second Class Robert Timothy 'Doc' Bryan. . . . Doc Bryan . . . is always pissed off at something, if not the presence of the reporter, then the incompetent military leaders or the barbarity of war. He's a self-made man, son of a steamfitter from a small town outside of Philadelphia, the first of his family to attend college. . . . In his younger days, Doc Bryan had a lot of ambient rage he used to burn off in weekend bar fights. 'I'm always angry,' he later tells me.'I was born that way, I'm an asshole.'

Top dogs in the platoon are the team leaders. . . . Sergeants Eric Kocher and Larry Shawn Patrick are the more obvious alphas of the pack. . . . Kocher . . . tells dirty stories that make everyone howl, but he has the kind of eyes that never seem to smile, even when the rest of his face is laughing. . . . Patrick, his fellow Marines call him .'Pappy,' and behind his back they speak of him in the most reverential terms. 'You'd never think to look at him' a Marine tells me 'but Pappy is straight up the coldest killer in the platoon.' Colbert, the platoon's top team leader, is in charge of Team One. The year before, he was awarded a Navy Commendation for helping to take out an enemy missile battery in Afghanistan. . . . There is about him an air of Victorian rectitude. [And] he can tell you the exact details of just about any weapon in the U. S. or Iraqi arsenal. He once nearly purchased a surplus British tank. . . but backed out only when he realized that just parking it might run afoul of zoning laws in his home state, the'Communist Republic of California.'"

Evan Wright reports of the build up in Kuwait "you begin to get a sense of the undertaking. . . . It has the feel of a monumental industrial enterprise. Somehow all these pieces are being put together--the people and the equipment--to function as one large machine. Though at the small unit level all I see is the friction among the moving parts--Marines shouting at other vehicles to get out of the way, guys jumping out to hurriedly piss by the road, people taking wrong turns--the machine works. It will roll across 580 kilometers to Baghdad. It will knock down buildings, smash cars and tanks, put holes in people, shred limbs, cut children apart. There's no denying it. For certain tasks, the machine put together in this desert is a very good one.

Fick repeats a mantra, echoed by every commander throughout the Corps. 'You will be held accountable for the facts not as they are in hind-sight but as they appeared to you at the time. If, in your mind you fire to protect yourself, you are doing the right thing. It doesn't matter if later on we find out you wiped out a family of unarmed civilians. All we are accountable for are the facts as they appear to us at the time.'

Following Fick's talk, Gunny Wynn addresses the men. Gunny Wynn serves as Fick's loyal executive. In Somalia he headed a sniper team and scored numerous confirmed kills . . . . Gunny Wynn describes himself as a as a 'staunch conservative' who never smoked marijuana. He almost never barks at his men the way platoon sergeants do in the movies. His conservatism boils down to a rigid adherence to his own personal code. 'The most important part of my job,' he tells me, 'is to care about my men.' His leadership philosophy is based upon 'building confidence in my men by respecting them.'

Both Person and Colbert have radio transceivers clipped to their helmets to communicate with vehicles in the platoon, as well as with the battalion and with pilots when there is air cover. It is arguable that comms--radio communications--are as important to a team's survival its weapons. But comms seldom work as they should. Dust, magnetism and sun spots all interfere with radios constantly. In addition, the radios in the various battalion networks rely on encryption codes that constantly need to be loaded and synchronized. The system is prone to bad connections, dead batteries, software crashes and as Person explains, 'retards in the battalion who keep changing the frequencies without telling us.'

At the beginning of the campaign "the US commanders are concerned only with fighting regular Iraqi forces. . . . It will take a few days before American Commanders realize there most dangerous opponents are the Fedayeen, who are gearing up to fight a guerrilla war.

The First Recon Battalion have already encountered foreign fighters, and the Iraqi regulars whose surrender to the Marines has not accepted are afraid they will now be killed by Fedayeen."

In some cases Wright does not use proper names in his narrative. Not a popular officer "Captain America revealed another side of himself which further eroded his standing among his men. He's prone to hysterics. . . . While it's perfectly fine for officers to shout dramatically in the movies, in the Marines its frowned upon. [Eventually] Captain America will lose control of his platoon when he is temporarily relieved of his command.

Colbert brings up a mutual friend in the battalion who listens to death metal and hangs out in vampire clubs in Hollywood. 'Remember that time when he went out dressed in diapers and a gas mask?' Person says, laughing appreciatively. Tombley, who seldom jumps into conversations between Colbert and Person, can't hide his disgust. 'That's sick. Can you believe we're defending people's freedom to do that.?' Colbert corrects him, delivering a sharp civics lesson. ' No,Trombley, That's good that people have the freedom to do that. We're even defending people like Corporal Person, too.'"



























our Measure T as of 6:00 PM, 11/12/12.

No, 23728, 50.50%

Yes, 23256,49.50%S


Measure S as of 6:00 PM, 11/12/12.

No 25857 51.69 %

Yes 24170 48.31 %



PG & E is laying new gas pipe on Grayson between 7th and 8th. They are new, coated, 8 inch steel. The will be welded together, the welds coated and tested at 60psi.





"Portuguese head to former African colony to escape euro crisis" Sudarsan Raghavan, washintton

"When Marcio Charata lost his well-paying job in southern Portugal two years ago, he fired off résumés to all his contacts. Determined to survive the economic woes strangling Europe, he secured 20 interviews - but no job. So he set his sights on a faraway and unlikely market: Mozambique, Portugal's once war-torn former colony.

Today, Charata is a senior executive at a Mozambican media company, joining thousands of his fellow Portuguese who have arrived here in recent months seeking refuge from the euro crisis. 'This is an oasis in the desert,' Charata, 33, said with a smile."











looking west

from our city hall roof


Yesterday I was given a tour of City Hall. A 1930s WPA building, it has recently been remodeled--in fact gutted and given a new a "bauhaus-like" interior

the simple corridors and office walls hung-full with donated art.


Its fifth floor was filled with activity and there I met Councilman Capitelli among others and saw Aide Ryan Lau. I spoke briefly with the Councilman.

After the half hour or so tour, I had lunch at the filled-to-overflowing Gecko-Gecko where my Peanut Curry was delicious with avacado slices a "California touch."

The best part of my visit?

The Berkeley High kids filling the grass around City Hall and Berkeley High eating lunch. A photo would have been "worth a thousand words" but a snap seemed intrusive.

The "new downtown" is wonderful with an upbeat bustle and hustle, thanks largely to the efforts of, among others, Da Boz.

















Measure T as of 6:00 PM, 11/14/12

No 24760 50.48%

Yes 24293 49.52%


Measure S as of 6:00 PM, 11/14/12

No 27228 52.04%

Yes 25095 47.96%




"California Historical Radio Society in Final Push to Buy KRE Building in Berkeley" by Jennifer Waits,

"California Historical Radio Society (CHRS) is in the process of fundraising in order to purchase the vintage KRE radio station building in which the society is housed in Berkeley, California."





"Nicholas Dirks, who is likely to become UC Berkeley's next chancellor, needs to be more visible on campus than his predecessor" Senior Editorial Board/Staff at

"UC Berkeley's next chancellor is tasked with navigating the campus through a particularly tumultuous and precarious moment in its history.
Though the passage of Proposition 30 offers some respite, as the University of California no longer faces a midyear budget cut, it is only a glimmer of hope on an otherwise bleak horizon."




"San Francisco area drivers 1st with algae biofuel" at

"Drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area have become the first motorists in the nation to fill up their gas tanks with an algae-based biofuel.

The fuel, known as Biodiesel B20, went on sale Tuesday at gas stations in Berkeley, Oakland, Redwood City and San Jose as part of a month-long pilot program, according to the San Francisco Chronicle."





"A 'Green' Gold Rush? Calif. Firm Turns Trash To Gas" by Christopher Joyce, National Public Radio.

"California starts the ball rolling Wednesday on a controversial scheme to keep the planet from overheating. Businesses will have to get a permit if they emit greenhouse gases.
Some permits will be auctioned today; the rest are free. The big idea here is the state is putting a ceiling on emissions.
It's a gamble. And for this top-down climate plan to work, it has to usher in a greener, more efficient economy.

Dan Kammen, an energy expert at the University of California, Berkeley, helped write the climate law. He says it will require businesses to be more energy-efficient and that will entail some pain."



"Californians Petition to Secede From Nation" at

"So far, more than 8,000 Golden Staters have joined an online drive to leave the union.

In more than 40 states across the nation, signatures are being gathered asking President Obama to allow states to consider seceding from the union, according to press reports over the weekend."










Still, . . . remember . . . the"Internet has same weight as a strawberry"

. . . a report at






















Our Andrew and Karen are having their Potter Creek home re-roofed and painted this week.




I had breakfast with Patrick Kennedy at 900 GRAYSON yesterday. And during our conversation Patrick mentioned that his San Francisco micro-units should be on the market next week and that a few units will be avaiable for under $1000 a month for tenants who qualify. Patrick hopes fo build more of these micro-units in and around the Bay Area.


Aw s@#t " 'Micro-apartment' plan may face limits" John Wildermuth at

"A political scrap over who should live in San Francisco is threatening to limit a plan to allow construction of tiny, 220-square-foot apartments to meet the city's housing crisis.

The new units could become magnets for young, high-paid tech workers looking for a place in the city even though they work elsewhere, said Sara Shortt, executive director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco.

The micro-apartments are designed as 'crash pads for people who work 24/7 in Silicon Valley and need a place in the city to sleep and party," she said. "It doesn't build a sense of community or neighborhood.'

The battle will be taken up Thursday afternoon by the Planning Commission, where the staff wants the commission to reject a Board of Supervisors plan to put a 375-unit cap on the number of new market-rate micro-apartments in the city.

'We don't see any policy rationale for the cap,' said Sophie Hayward, a city planner dealing with the issue. 'We need the housing.'

She won't get an argument from Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced both the original measure to allow construction of the micro-apartments and the proposal to limit the number that can be built."




Chris Saulnier of 900 GRAYSON received a phone call Monday from "The Mid-West." The caller had seen the 900 GRAYSON Diners, Drive-ins and Dives feature on the Food Network and complained that we here in the Bay Area didn't know how to throw a tailgate party, and then made some critical references to Bay Area residents' sexuality.

Later in the day he got a call from "The South" complaining that he--Chris-- didn't know that you put maple syrup on chicken and waffles. Actually, Chris knows and you could always get 900's Chicken and Waffles with maple syrup.











"Tiny apartments in S.F. worth a try" opines the Chronicle at

"San Francisco's lopsided housing market - sky-high rents and an invasion of young workers - has experts thinking: Why not drop the minimum size of new apartments to the equivalent of a one-car garage?

It's an idea worth exploring and encouraging, but the results will hinge on the appeal and convenience of the finished product. Financing, the job market and even housing politics could all play a role in a helping or hurting a promising idea.

Initial designs feature a foldaway bed, galley kitchen and bench seats along a window for a grand total of 220 square feet, below the city minimum of 290 square feet. In theory, there's a ready market since 41 percent of the city's residents live alone.

Putting more apartments into the same building space could lower costs and possibly rents or sales prices. As new construction, the mini-me apartments would be exempt from rent control. The snug quarters might take pressure off existing multi-bedroom housing that families and couples now compete for.

The city is already nipping at conventional housing rules via building loft apartments in industrial areas and dropping parking requirements. The next frontier could be super-small apartments for singles or very well-adjusted couples looking to live inside an Ikea catalog."


"Micro-apartments next for S.F.?" writes Carolyn Said about Patrick Kennedy's proposed project at

"Are itty-bitty apartments the next wave for urban dwellers in San Francisco?

The city is considering shrinking the minimum size of rental units, prompted by a demographic shift toward one-person households along with rising rents and an acute housing shortage.

'This seems like a logical, necessary response to housing in an extremely high-cost market like San Francisco,' said Tim Colen, executive director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, a largely developer-backed nonprofit that is 'solidly behind' cutting the size of the smallest allowable apartment by about a third."


I had breakfast with Patrick this morning at 900 GRAYSON. The man' s timing continues to amaze! I cannot fault his project, though I am skeptical of an economy that makes it timely. Still, his plan and what I believe to be his quality, will assure a project that will successfully, and with style, fill a need.








"Tesla electric sedan snags Motor Trend's 'Car of the Year' award" by Alan Ohnsman at

"Tesla Motors's battery-powered Model S sedan was named 2013 "Car of the Year" by Motor Trend magazine, a first for the maker of electric vehicles led by Elon Musk that's working to accelerate production.

Tesla's 2013 Model S, with a $57,400 base price, beat out competitors including BMW's new 3-Series sedan, Ford Motors Fusion sedan, Honda Motor's revamped Accord and Toyota Motor's 2013 Lexus GS, Motor Trend said Monday in a statement. The magazine said it's the first time the award went to an electric vehicle." 




after 11/16/12, here










from our log

11/3/12--11:06 AM--dry dirty air in front room, "burning gas" odor, headache. 11:33 PM---dry dirty air in front room, "hot metal" odor, ear ache.

11/9/12--8:24 PM--irritant in front room, dirty dry brubinbg air, only apparent activity at neighbors. Similar earlier evening.

11/11/12--6:40 PM--dry dirty burning air in warehouse front and front of warehouse,SERIOUS nausea. Similar off-and-on all weekend, 11/10 and 11/11.

11/12/12--8:21 PM--dry dirty burning air in front room,SERIOUS nausea. Similar off-and-on all day.

11/13/12--8:55 AM--dry dirty air in front room,SERIOUS nausea, Marsha has SERIOUS headache. Similar off-and-on all AM and PM!

11/14/12--1:11 PM--dry dirty air in front room,SERIOUS nausea. 2:30 PM--similar.

11/15/12--7:22 AM--dry dirty air in front room,SERIOUS nausea, Marsha has SERIOUS headache. Similar off-and-on all AM. 10:04 AM.--dry dirty burning air IMMEDIATELY in warehouse front and front of warehouse, nausea, headache. 10:24 AM--same wear respirator.

11/16/12--4:22 PM--dry dirty air in front room,SERIOUS nausea. Marsha has SERIOUS headache, dry cough. Similar off-and-on in the afternoon. 8:35 PM--similar.

11/17/112--2:57 AM--strong "burning gas" odor in front room. 9:47 AM--dry dirty burning air in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, "STRONG" hot metal odor, SERIOUS nausea. 10:00 AM--same.







eternally useful links


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.



Richmond Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very

useful link

If you ever need to get a human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc., this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get you to a human being within a few seconds.



Best gas prices in 94710, as well as all of US and Canada, are here at

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.



Bay Area home prices from

Bay Area foreclosures from


Our City Council update is here.

Our Planning Commision update is here




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



All reports of crime-in-progress should first go to Berkeley PD dispatch--911 or non-emergency, 981-5900. THEN make sure you notify EACH of these City people.

The contacts are below:

Our Area Coordinator, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman

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


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