after 1/17/12, here
"A123 says batteries for Fisker have potential
safety issue" Craig
Trudell, Bloomberg News.
"A123 Systems, the maker
of batteries for electric vehicles, said it found a 'potential
safety issue' in batteries it supplies to Fisker Automotive."
"New Fisker Karma hybrid ready for a road
test" by Patrick
May at contracostatimes.com.
"You could almost hear
them purring this week inside the Palo Alto showroom, the automotive
equivalent of cheetahs lined up behind the floor-to-ceiling windows,
each one ready to pounce.
The new Fisker Karma has
arrived. Hot off the factory floor in Finland, 14 of the sleek
electric hybrids are cooling their wheels at the corner of El
Camino Real and Arastradero Road. The design is curvy enough to
be X-rated. The 403-horsepower engine practically begs to be taken
out and driven hard. And despite a battery problem that Fisker
says will be fixed by Sunday, their environmental credentials
are beyond reproach.
You can drive one off the
lot for just north of $100,000, with a guilt-free conscience for
no extra charge.
But you better hurry. Because
earlier this week, the new dealership's managing director, Gary
Anderson, was slapping SOLD signs onto one Karma windshield after
'This is fun,' said Anderson,
a 27-year veteran of upscale car lots who has been walking around
on a cloud ever since the showroom opened in October."
POST FROM THE PAST
"California electric vehicle maker Aptera
closes doors" at
"Paul Wilbur, president
and CEO of electric vehicle manufacturer Aptera just announced
the company is closing today. The company was headquartered in
Carlsbad, Calif., the district of House Republican Darrell Issa,
a big critic of bankrupt Fremont solar manufacturer Solyndra.
Aptera hoped to make a three-wheeled
electric car in the $30,000 range but has been unable to find
private investors to match a conditional Energy Department loan
committment of $150 million."
"Special Report: Breakaway Wealth"
"An ongoing series about
how the rich are pulling away from the rest of America."
Kubik sends a
The Jive Ace's "Bring
remember 2012 is, also
The Year of the Dragon
POST FROM THE REALLY
at the grounds at the state fair,
Rutland, Vermont, September 1941
Library of Congress
photo courtesy Bob Kubik
"The electric car future that seemed so
exotic and so distant just a few years ago is here, and California
will again set the tone for the industry and the rest of the nation"
writes Mark Glover at
"Long the nation's top
auto market -- 10 percent to 12 percent of new-car sales nationwide
are made in California -- the state is even more of a leader in
environmentally friendly vehicles."
Last month I posted
"I just received an email from an old friend
who I thought had passed, 'As Mark Twain said, "The report
of my death was an exaggeration." ' Yes, I am alive and,
if not exactly kicking, walking about . . ."
When my friend hit Berkeley
in the'60s with all his belongings in a Ford van, on his first
night he wound up at a party in my Parker Street apartment and
then stayed the night "on a pallet on the floor". Over
the years we've become great friends."
is clearly alive and well
"Talented young musicians run the risk
of burning out early" by
Tim Page at washingtonpost.com.
"The author G.K. Chesterton
called the act of stealing a child's toy the cruelest crime of
all. But what if childhood itself is stolen away?
By now, some of you may have
run across a certain young soprano named Jackie Evancho. The 11-year
old from Pittsburgh, introduced to the public on the television
program 'America's Got Talent,' has since gone on to release two
full-length albums, which have collectively sold several million
units. PBS went so far as to present a filmed 'live concert' of
her album 'Dream With Me' on 'Great Performances,' once the domain
of Leonard Bernstein, Vladimir Horowitz and the Metropolitan Opera.
According to Evancho's Web
site: 'Her first on-air performance, in which she sung Puccini's
"O Mio Babbino Caro,"' delighted the judges. .?.?. 'I
can't believe that from this tiny body, this huge mature voice
you have,' said Sharon Osbourne. Piers Morgan said, 'This is one
of the most extraordinary performances that I've ever seen on
"America's Got Talent." ' Howie Mandel simply stated,
'You're an angel. You're a superstar.'?
Very well: By certain standards,
Evancho may now be a 'superstar,' as Andy Warhol would have understood
the term. But she has many years of work ahead of her before she
becomes any sort of musician - and I fear that this premature
and unwarranted exposure will ruin a genuine and valuable talent.
A sweet-faced child with a naturally pretty voice is being primed,
packaged and promoted as though she were a finished artist. And
she isn't - not yet anyway. Right now she reminds me a lot more
of JonBenet Ramsey than she does of Maria Callas."
I've known Tim off-and-on
through the years--we corresponded some when he was music critic
for the Boston Globe.
Personally, I've thought
the Jackie Evancho phenomena creepy.
"Electric vehicles' fast-evolving technologies
are unfamiliar to drivers, mechanics" by Mark Glover in the Detroit Free Press.
"Those electric vehicles
popping up in driveways look a lot like their gas-powered cousins.
But under the hood, they're different machines, and their potential
problems are foreign to many drivers and mechanics alike.
Any suggestion that they
might be more dangerous -- true or not -- could stop sales cold,
analysts say. That's why the industry shuddered last month when
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation
into the Chevrolet Volt's lithium-ion battery pack.
NHTSA said two Volt batteries
caught fire after crash simulations -- one three weeks after the
crash, the other a week later.
A nationwide survey by Bandon,
Ore.-based CNW Research showed a sharp decline in consumer consideration
of the Volt in the aftermath of the NHTSA investigation, even
though Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the Volt is safe
General Motors took the unusual
step of offering free loaner cars to concerned Volt owners during
the probe. It was characterized as a goodwill gesture, not an
admission of safety concerns. GM says it has had few takers.
GM insists that the Volt
-- which the automaker spent years and millions of dollars developing
-- is solid, wave-of-the-future technology ... not unlike early
internal combustion engine-powered cars that went through some
'This technology should inspire
confidence and pride, not raise any concern or doubt,' said Mark
Reuss, president of GM North America. . . .
'It's a huge challenge,'
said Doug Brauner, a certified mechanic who runs two auto shops
in the Sacramento area. 'We're just now after all of these years
seeing an acceptable number of techs that have the appropriate
amount of hybrid training.'
When it comes to fully electric
vehicles, he said, 'I have yet to see anybody in this marketplace
who has received appropriate and reasonable training.' "
Brauner said the auto service
industry was 'slow to react to hybrid training. I hope our industry
is a little more proactive' with EVs."
The full article appears
in the West County Times and ends,
"Bauner and other local
mechanics agreed on another break with the past: EV owners should
never grab a wrench and start tinkering with the electronic components
of their car.
'I don't want to scare anybody
but you could kill yourself by doing the wrong thing.' "
Which gives further credence
to Jerry Victor's comment that firefighters are concerned about
their safety when fighting electric car fires.
Kubik emails a speech by
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, The
Saving American Democracy Amendment.
An Independent in the senate,
he's also known as the former Socialist Mayor of Burlington Vermont.
Whatever your politics, this
video is a straight-ahead twelve minutes.
Tavis Smiley's conversation
with Harry Belafonte
is more than worth-a-watch
and is here.
Quite exceptional really,
Cliff Miller, Richmond Ramblers
MC member email
a video of the parallel universe
Beauty of Pollination
POSTS FROM THE
Reading printed material
involves all our senses. You see, feel, smell, even hear the medium.
And so sense its great variety--the crackle of magazine pages,
the roughness of newsprint, the smooth slickness of the glossy
magazine, the old of used books, the exploding color of the new
book cover. All this is part of reading the printed page. Computer
reading on the other hand is less fully involving, more a head
trip--all keyboards"the same" all monitors "glowing."
Does this mean you write differently for each medium? Maybe.
Things happened here in 2010.
While surrounding cities
and towns are in financial difficulty including bankruptcy, Our
Town is somewhat financially stable in large part because of the
policies and administration of our City Manager, Phil Kamlarz.
Yet unfunded liabilities loom large.
For the first time in over
thirty years, the new Police Chief was chosen from outside the
department. The full effect of this is yet to be felt.
Our West-Berkeley Bowl has
become wildly successful, as has its traffic plan largely drawn
up under the guidance of our city workers.
The composition of our City
Council has remained the same, for all incumbents were re-elected--boring.
The results of our West-Berkeley
Project affirm Leon Trotsky's axiom "A camel is a race horse
made by a committee." Apologies to the city workers who labored
long and hard to bring some sort of order out the political mishegas.
In less than a year our,
our Chamber of Commerce has gone through two Chief Executive Officers
and at last count had not yet found a third, proving that success
in business does not necessarily include "playing well with
And the Ed Roberts Campus
has opened, allowing its members to do their good works, affirming
that indeed "The meek shall inherit the earth."
And there is in 21st Century
Berkeley something to live-by in addition to "Do unto others
as you would have others do unto you." Which would be "That
which you resist, persists."
Yet, we all seemed to have
survived and are more or less well.
The Most Significant
Event of 2011?
Well, . . . a world ended.
Not as Harold
Camping predicted, in a grand apocalyptic
way, but personally, even quietly. There's not a person I know
who hasn't experienced a traumatic end to something taken for
granted, often dear.
Funny, the press missed it--
preoccupied I guess with ridiculing Camping.
"I'm sorry I can't hear
"I have a cigar in my ear."
Gordon and The Dorf about 1962
Crescent Moon Tower Skyscraper
'Time cloak' hid event in experiment,
"A team of physicists
at Cornell University has created a wrinkle in time. Actually,
it's more like a teeny tiny moth hole in time. Inside it things
can occur that are entirely undetectable, at least to ordinary
observers. It's as if they never happened.
This phenomenon, known as
'temporal cloaking,' is the latest addition to a world that once
existed only in children's literature and science fiction - a
place where objects are invisible and events are unrecorded.
The physics community let
out a small gasp six years ago when researchers reported the first
successful 'spatial cloaking,' in which light is bent around an
object in a way that makes it disappear from view. The new report
in the journal Nature shows how they can play with something that
would seem to be even harder to manipulate: the perception of
'We think of time in the
way that other people think of space. What other people are doing
in space, we can do it in time,' said Moti Fridman, a researcher
at the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University
'I think it's a big step
forward,' said Vladimir M. Shalaev, a professor of electrical
and computer engineering at Purdue University, who has worked
on spatial cloaking. 'It's another example of the beauty of "transformational
optics,'which is behind all these ideas.'
Temporal cloaking, like spatial
cloaking, is not magic. It follows all the ironclad laws of physics
and is to some extent a parlor trick, albeit performed in a highly
unusual parlor. Whether it will have a use isn't known, as the
hole in time created by the Cornell team lasts only 50 trillionths
of a second."
Of Potter Creek's XOMA
pharmalive.com reports in their Warnings feature,
"XOMA Streamlines Operations to Invest
in Value-Creating Activities.
XOMA Corporation (Nasdaq:XOMA)
today announced it has implemented significant organizational
and structural changes that are designed to sharpen the Company's
focus on value-creating opportunities led by gevokizumab (XOMA
052) and the Company's unique antibody discovery and development
XOMA plans to reduce personnel
by 84 positions, or 34%, including 50 positions to be eliminated
immediately and the remainder by the end of the first quarter
of this year."
our Cameron emails
You may already know about
the new barbeque joint named "Smoke" that opened on
San Pablo, next to the car wash and down the street from the Trieste
... it's a nice addition to the neighborhood. Claudia and I tried
their barbecued beef brisket sandwich and smoked salmon, both
get high marks. The real treat is their homemade chocolate pecan
pie! Check out what those foodies are saying on Chowhound.
Happy New Year!
here's more from chowhound
The address is 2434 San Pablo
and the phone is 510 548-8801.
Hours are wed-friday 11-2, sat-sun 11-4, closed Monday and Tuesday
The website is
Menu includes a Feta Leek
Tart, Salads and Texas Slow Smoked Beef
Brisket and South Carolina Pulled Pork plates, sandwiches and
Her Chocolate Pecan Pie won the Blue Ribbon at the Blanco County
and is to die for. She is serving fresh squeezed lemonade. No
The food is fresh and locally
sourced including the vegetables which
come from Catalon Farms.
Christmas Eve Day we went to our Everett
& Jones for to-go barbecue--every bit as good as I remember
with homemade hot-links, potato salad and store-bought white bread.
Off-and-on I've gone to an Everett & Jones since their opening
in the '70s.
Everett & Jones history
Also while waiting, we picked
up one of Berkeley's oldest (48 years) small newspapers, Berkeley
"Berkeley city manager not unique retiring
with bigger pension than salary" Daniel Borenstein, Staff columnist at contracostatimes.com.
"In November, Berkeley
City Manager Phil Kamlarz traded his $250,000-a-year job for retirement
with a starting pension of about $266,000 annually.
The deal highlights the city's
generous pension program, which is one of the better plans in
the state but by no means unique. The costly program is also $420
million underfunded, a shortfall equal to more than three years
of city payroll, according to the city's latest actuarial reports.
Kamlarz's hefty retirement
pay was predictable. Three years ago, Mayor Tom Bates successfully
persuaded his City Council colleagues to grant the city manager
a series of raises to keep him on the job. As Bates pointed out
then, Kamlarz could have collected just as much in retirement.
The irony was that the raises
didn't solve the problem. Rather, they ensured that Kamlarz's
pension would increase by roughly a like amount whenever he finally
walked out the door.
As a result, whereas he could
have left with a starting annual pension of $219,000 in January
2009, he left at the end of 2011 with 21 percent more a year for
the rest of his life. The retirement pay also comes with annual
It shows how absurdly lucrative some public employee pension programs
have become. While Kamlarz's salary was more than those of other
city workers, the pension formula is the same for most other Berkeley
employees. Indeed, about one-fourth of agencies covered by the
giant California Public Employees' Retirement System are at least
"Steel workers spend emotional last day
at plant--On his last day of work, David Herrera of Bay Point,
Calif., tells the story of getting fired. . . " Hannah Dreier, Contra Costa Times.
"Tuesday began like
any other workday for David Herrera.
Only his mother's grave,
distant expression as she cleaned their already immaculate Bay
Point home suggested this would be his last day at Pacific Steel,
where he worked for more than a decade.
A recent federal immigration
audit found that approximately 200 employees, a third of the foundry's
workforce, couldn't prove they are legal residents.
The company has been firing
those workers in groups each week since October; the most senior
employees worked their last day this week."
"As Population, Consumption Rise, Builder
Goes Small" reports
Christopher Joyce at npr.org.
"The planet may not
feel any different today, but there are now 7 billion people on
it, according to the United Nations.
That number will continue
to rise, of course, and global incomes are likely to rise as well.
That means more cars and computers, and bigger homes: the kinds
of things Americans take for granted. It's that rise in consumption
that has population experts worried.
Klaus Lackner, a physicist
at Columbia University's Earth Institute, says as economies improve
in places like India and Africa - where populations are growing
fastest - they're going to want to live more like we do.
'It's very hard to convince
people to stop consumption,' he says.
But maybe the world's next
billion will be happy with Hondas instead of Hummers.
'I would expect consumption
in the future gets larger, but we also learn how to do things
more efficiently,' Lackner says, 'so the raw material consumption
may well go down.'
But Lackner says consumption
will eventually go up again; you can only tighten your belt so
much. Physicist Daniel Kammen at the University of California,
Berkeley, says there just isn't much incentive for rich countries
to do that anyway.
'In many parts of the world,
energy - and I hate to say this - is simply too cheap,' he says.
Kammen, the head of an energy
laboratory at Berkeley, says cheap energy enables Western countries
to live high on the hog. And people want to copy us."
Patrick Kennedy is building
mini-condos in San Francisco and had planned the same for Berkeley
but plans fell through here.
office of Selgas
Cano in Madrid
land, go for high density" asks Times of India.
"Should Delhi go vertical?
Town planners believe it is a wrong question to begin with. The
question we should ask is how best we can house our people and
manage population densities within the city, says author and urban
studies expert Gautam Bhan, who is currently pursuing a PhD in
urban planning at University of California, Berkeley.
While talk of Delhi going
vertical - an idea mooted by urban development minister Kamal
Nath - conjures up images of gigantic highrises painted across
the Delhi skyline, experts in urban design say the best way to
solve Delhi's housing woes lies in high-density low-rises . "When
we think of Delhi going vertical, why are we thinking of going
from three floors to 45 floors? Why don't we think, instead, of
going from three to five floors?'' asks Bhan. He believes that
the debate about Delhi going vertical has more to do with the
image of the city as a worldclass metro like Manhattan and not
about filling the gap in Delhi's housing market."
"California's Medical Marijuana Morass"
David Freed at miller-mccune.com.
"In Northern California,
where the drug laws can change with the mile markers, a supplier
of medical marijuana risks going one toke over the (county) line.
In California, annual retail
sales of medical marijuana may be as high as $1.3 billion. But
to use it, people have to grow it, and deliver it, and the laws
governing the substance are anything but clear. What's more, the
feds' official position is: no marijuana is legal. And they're
cracking down. Writer David Freed takes us on a road trip
through the medical marijuana morass as part of the 'Medicine
on the Front Lines' report in the January-February 2012 issue
of Miller-McCune magazine.
We're riding south out of
Northern California's Humboldt County, pushing 75 miles an hour
along the 101 freeway in a tomato-red Toyota Matrix hatchback
with a tiny quartz figurine of Guanyin, the Chinese goddess of
compassion, glued to the dashboard. Stashed in the trunk, in a
cheap plastic gym bag, are two pounds of what many would say is
some of the best marijuana in America.
The Toyota's owner and driver
is 'Mr. X.' (His wife asked that his real name not be used for
fear that federal authorities, who recently began cracking down
on the medical cannabis industry, might target him.) He's a bespectacled,
sandals-wearing 57-year-old college graduate whose day job is
inspecting properties for insurance and mortgage brokers."
State Legislators Get A+ in College Education" reports
"California leads the
nation in the percent of state legislators who are college graduates,
according to a Chronicle of Higher Education study. Piedmont's
representatives in Sacramento are among those with college degrees.
. . .
A Chronicle of Higher Education
study reports that California leads the nation in the percentage
of state legislators who are college graduates. The survey found
that 89.9 percent of California solons have at least one degree,
compared to last-place New Hampshire with 53.4 percent. (Possibly
relevant is that California's 120 legislators are full-time, while
New Hampshire's 424 are part-time.)
State Senator Loni Hancock,
who represents Piedmont, has a BA from Ithaca College in New York
and an MA from the Wright Institute. Hancock will be up for reelection
this year. . . .
With redistricting going
into effect this year, Piedmont will be moving from the 16th Assembly
District to the newly configured 15th District. Much of that area
is currently in the 14th Assembly District, represented by Nancy
Skinner is among the 48 percent
of California legislators with college education beyond a bachelor's
degree. She holds a BS degree in natural resources and a master's
in education, both from UC Berkeley."
" 'Klez California' Klezmer Street Party
- Saul's Deli in North Berkeley"
is a youtube video.
Eric and Ruthie Shelton are
reopening their Sketch
Ice Cream parlor at a new location sometime in early Spring--they
have leased the corner shop at 2070 4th. Though offering mainly
ice cream they plan to also have pastries and confections.
900 GRAYSON has a mention in the Michelin Guide. Well Ok
then. Althogether seven of our restaurants are mentioned.
My server Earthlink went to a new program last mid-year
at which my site stats turned to s#%t--wide variations in volume
day-to-day, late reporting, a month with no stats, etc.
But toward the end of November the statistics stabilized
but . . . low-and-behold,
. . . readership has doubled, some times tripled. Except for the
dramatic increase, the pattern mimics that of the previous almost-decade.
of our existence---and still the same Ole Fart cutting and pasting,
and typing this stuff in a garage.
"Lure of Chinese Tuition Pushes Out Asian-Americans"
Oliver Staley at bloombergnews.com.
"Kwanhyun Park, the
18-year-old son of Korean immigrants, spent four years at Beverly
Hills High School earning the straight As and high test scores
he thought would get him into the University of California, San
Diego. They weren't enough.
The sought-after school,
half a mile from the Pacific Ocean, admitted 1,460 fewer California
residents this year to accept higher-paying students from out-of-state,
many from China."
"What It Takes To Get Into UC Berkeley"
by Jason Ma at forbes.com.
"My previous article
provided a little bit of guidance on what it takes to get admitted
to Stanford, an elite university. In this article, I'd like to
highlight a few topical issues and provide tips that might help
juniors and younger students in high school prepare for UC Berkeley
('Cal'), Stanford's healthy archrival across the Bay.
Although its ranking in America's
Top Colleges has been mixed, and although its alumni network cohesiveness
is no match to those of the better endowed private schools like
Princeton, Harvard, or even Notre Dame, UC-Berkeley was again
named one of the top five universities globally in the Academic
Ranking of World Universities 2011.
A record 52,966 students
applied for freshmen admission to Berkeley this past year, with
an overall admit rate of 25%. A range of undergraduate and graduate
programs, including business and engineering, remains top ranked.
UC-Berkeley College of Engineering (my alma mater)'s average weighted
GPA of the admitted freshmen is a supremely demanding 4.46, and
its freshmen admit rate is substantially lower than Cal's overall
admit rate. About 25% of the 16,018 transfer applicants were accepted,
but only 6.7% of the transfer applicants were admitted to the
Haas School of Business.
Expect competitive intensity
in admissions to rise for in-state Californians at UC Berkeley,
and increasing enrollments from out-of-state and international
Though Berkeley is a public
university, the State of California's funding to the school's
annual budget of $1.9 billion has diminished in recent years to
only 12%. Since 2004, state support has dropped from being Berkeley's
chief source of funding to its fourth largest, behind (1) federal
research funding, (2) philanthropy, and (3) tuition."
"From Homeless Barracks to U.C. Berkeley:
The Jamal Samuel Story"
"The road to U.C. Berkeley was
not an easy one for Moreno Valley's Jamal Samuel. It included
4:15 am treks along the barren landscape of the former March Air
Force base to catch the first of two buses that would get him
to Riverside's North High School.
Unbeknownst to most of his
fellow students and teachers, Jamal spent his junior and senior
year of high school living at King Hall -- a homeless shelter
on the base run by Path of Life Ministries. Once military housing,
the barracks have been converted into small one-room apartments
for the homeless."
"New Robot Design Gets Lizard Tail" Conner Flynn at technbob.com.
"To build a better robot,
researchers from the University of California, Berkeley are adding
lizard-like tails. They have created a new kind of robot inspired
by lizards. Leaping lizards use their tails to control the orientation
of their bodies when leaping through the air, and that's what
the new design is all about.
The video shows how both the lizards and the robot are able to
control their body orientation with the tail. The researchers
came up with a mathematical model to determine how much tail swing
would be necessary to compensate for various amounts of angular
momentum of the body."
"Berkeley city clerk dies after falling
down stairs in Oakland home" Harry
Harris and Doug Oakley, Oakland Tribune.
"Berkeley City Clerk
Deanna Despain, who was found dead Saturday morning in her home
in Oakland's Oakmore district, apparently died from injuries suffered
in a fall down a staircase, authorities said Monday.
Despain, 37, was found just
before 2 a.m. Saturday by her husband inside their home in the
4100 block of Lyman Road. Authorities said he found her upon his
return home from a business meeting.
She was pronounced dead at
the scene. Authorities believe she had been dead for a few hours
before she was found."
How can the dramatic increase
in my website traffic be explained? Largely by the power of social
media through linking, and by "computer accelerated-time"
witnessed the relative explosion of internet business and the
unusually rapid obcelescene of hard and software. Computer time,
like dog and cat time, is "faster-fast." Of course,
"RadiantBrands Creates a New Brand Experience
for Pet Food Express With Roseville Store Opening" is a story relase at sbwire.com.
Berkeley Creative Agency
Instrumental in Launching New Shopping Environment for People
and their Pets at Fountains Mall.
RadiantBrands, a full-service creative branding agency, recently
completed a new assignment for Pet Food Express with the opening
of a new store location at the Fountains shopping center in Roseville,
This is the largest Pet Food
Express location opened to date, featuring an integrated in-store
brand experience for customers and their pets.
The Fountains location provides
a unique setting for the new Pet Food Express store, with a dramatic
atrium. Radiant capitalized on this architectural feature by creating
a mural that wraps around three walls, depicting a whimsical view
of the Sacramento Capital and the Pet Food Express signature dog
snowboarding across the scene. Pet Food Express wants customers
to know that dogs are welcome at the store, so RadiantBrands designed
a dog park with grass, a park bench and a metal fence accented
with animal silhouettes. Other innovative features include new
signage and a special checkout area where customers can leave
purchases for pick up later. And the store features 'iPaw' stations
with iPads that can be used to access product information on the
company web site.
'We have been working with
Pet Food Express for a number of years to help them expand the
brand experience for their line of natural and holistic pet products,'
said Steven Donaldson, co-founder of RadiantBrands. 'Our objective
in created a branded retail experience for Pet Food Express always
has been to tie the store to the neighborhood, which we have done
with artwork depicting the local area and other features. We also
have extended the in-store experience to the web with the help
of the "iPaw" stations using an iPad customized for
Pet Food Express. The entire experience is designed to bring the
Pet Food Express brand to life for the visitor.' "
Steve's firm is here in west-Berkeley
and they have been known to throw "beer bashes" now
garners more seed funding for enterprise Bridge" by Barb
Darrow at gigaom.com.
"Flotype just scored
$1.4 million in seed money for ramping up an ambitious enterprise
software push. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition
Partners, Yuri Milner and Salesforce.com.
The Berkeley, Calif.-based
startup has set quite a goal for itself. It's building, as GigaOM
reported earlier, a 'massive scale, enterprise-grade bidirectional
communication between any server and any device, ' in the words
of CEO Darshan Shankar, CEO and co-founder. Now that technology
has a name: 'Bridge.'
Bridge, which Shankar said
is already being tested in the field by unnamed businesses, aims
to make it easier for software developers to build applications
that flow from any end-user device to and from corporate server-based
applications. To do that, it has to handle all the heavy lifting
and complicated work of real-time communications so developers
can focus on what they do best. Theoretically, developers could
also use Bridge to rebuild back end applications, but the initial
push is to foster fast communication, borrowing on lessons learned
from massively scaled web applications like Facebook and Twitter,
"Laying down the laws" by Jim Sanders at sacbee.com.
"New California laws
taking effect [January 1, 2012 ] target issues ranging from the
open display of unloaded handguns to the sale of shark fins as
well as recognition of societal contributions by gays and lesbians.
Here is a sampling
November ballot measures--SB 202 restricts ballot initiatives
and referendums to the November ballot, when turnout tends to
be higher and more advantageous to Democrats. (Sen. Loni Hancock,
"Tax break for students sought in Calif.
bill" Nanette Asimov,
Chronicle Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle.
"As tuition steadily
climbs at California's public universities, low-income students
turn to financial aid for help and high-income students to the
family bank account.
But middle-class students,
who do not qualify for financial aid, often have nowhere to turn
and simply don't enroll.
A state lawmaker is hoping
that a tax break of up to $500 per year for each student from
a family earning $80,001 to $140,000 would help."
"Bergeron Scholars Program for Women Expanded
to University of California at Berkeley" at businesswire.com.
"Sandra and Douglas
Bergeron Increase Commitment to $1.5 million to Fund Scholarship
and Mentoring Program for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering
Sandra and Douglas G. Bergeron
announced today the establishment of a scholarship-mentorship
endowment at the University of California, Berkeley, for undergraduate
women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and
mathematics. This extends the very successful program initiated
in 2006 at Georgia State University to assist high-potential women
with financial awards and a one-on-one mentorship program. Since
2006, 25 Bergeron Scholars have been named and several have already
graduated and begun exciting technology careers.
'We look forward to working
with them in recruiting some of the top women executives in the
Bay Area and Silicon Valley to participate in the unique mentoring
aspect of the program.'
At UC Berkeley, five women
will be selected each year to receive scholarship benefits, academic
support and pairings with executive level women mentors in their
chosen fields. Mrs. Bergeron will serve as chairwoman of the mentorship
committee tasked with the recruitment of successful female technology
"Bay Area biomedical firms seek financing
options" by Steve
Johnson at contracostatime.com.
"Finding venture capital
increasingly difficult to obtain, biomedical companies in the
Bay Area and elsewhere in California are seeking financing through
licensing deals, corporate investment funds and patient advocacy
groups, according to a survey released Tuesday."
Good Afternoon Ron,
I work for Center for Early Education located at 1035 Grayson
Street in Berkeley.
We have been experiencing a really bad chemical electrical burning
smell in the afternoons. We have determined that the smell is
not any electrical problem in our facility and is blowing in from
a neighboring source. I was wondering if you would have any insight
on who this may be? This happens in the afternoon starting at
about 2:30pm and does not occur every day (this week it has been
Monday and Wednesday).
Thank you so much,
Executive Administrative Assistant
CEID - Center for Early Intervention on Deafness
1035 Grayson Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
Let's be frank, there are
those in Berkeley who through arrogance or ignorance and perhaps
greed are "pissing in our environment."
Just who was that woman clad
only in a towel on the steps of one of our Potter Creek neighbors?
POST FROM THE PAST
"Berkeley Schools Top Bad Air Quality List" reports Kristin McFarland in our Planet.
"Last week's USA Today report that placed three Berkeley
schools in the first percentile of schools with bad air quality
has activists, community members and school directors in an uproar.
The report studied industrial
pollution outside 127,800 nationwide schools for eight months.
Thirty-nine Berkeley schools made the list, all within the worst
55 percent. The Black Pine Circle School, the Via Center and the
Nia House Learning Center, all located in West Berkeley, were
in the first percentile, meaning that the air outside
the schools is worse at only 377 other schools around the country.
Berkeley High fell in the eighth percentile, with worse air at
only 9,722 schools.
Since the article's publication,
the issue has received wide media coverage with all involved parties
pointing fingers at probable causes. For many, it's one more example
of the health hazards caused by Pacific Steel Casting Company;
for some, it's a sign that the Berkeley government should take
a more active role in improving its own environment. . . .
. . . the USA Today study
was more comprehensive than any study to date because it included
levels of manganese and other metals. The study, he said, was
not conducted by 'people running around with test kits,' as Pacific
Steel representatives have suggested to other publications, but
with science approved by the air-
However, Larson also said
that the study's results are limited because it monitored the
air quality for only eight months of the year; with a longer study,
more schools might have made the list because of changes in the
prevailing winds. . . .
California Sen. Barbara Boxer,
chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has
called for government action in monitoring the air quality at
Potter Creek's French School
was not mentioned in any west-Berkeley school air quality reports
that I have read.
Here is the full report.
Check it out!
"Toxic air and Americas schools" is a Special Report on USA Today.
Our French School was apparently
monitored at the 9th and Heinz campus.
Here are the results.
E Bay French/Amer/Ecole Biling.
National Rank 25th percentile
(So, 75 % of the schools
monitored had better air?)
31,506 of 127,800 schools
have worse air.
Exposure to cancer-causing
Ranked 5 of 10
Exposure to other toxic chemicals
Ranked 3 of 10
More and a School Finder
where can I get me one of
these niffty T-shirts?
Taken at last Summer at Berkelyside's
Jazz at Fourth Street booth, Lance is balancing the entire tent
on his head.
The California university
system is planning to ban smoking over the next two years--ganja
excepted. (I don't make this stuff up.)
Tired of potholes, bumpy
seams, and crumbling pavement? Take a drive down newly paved,
smooth as a baby's bottom, Sacramento Street.
Hostess, the maker of Twinkies
has filed for bankruptcy again.
POST FROM THE PAST
When Kimar, Moe, I and several
others flew to London in the '80s, Kimar, my old friend, had Pan
Pam's flight attendent serve me Twinkies as we flew over the North
Pole. I've loved Twinkies since childhood in Milwaukee.
"Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to
Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown,
Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into
What America Eats
END POST FROM THE
Located between the two existing
sturctures, it will be a fully modern facility.
Miss Evelyn and The Dorf on McGee
Street about 1962
just after arriving in Berkeley
to start a new life
"Wynton Marsalis: My relationship to MLK" is at cbsnews.com.
video is here
" As America celebrates
the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. today, Wynton
Marsalis makes his debut as CBS News cultural correspondent. Using
his words and music, the jazz great has created a stirring personal
essay reflecting on King's long-lasting impact."
Councilwoman Maio emails
of the MLK posts
I'm sending the Marsalis
link to my kids. We're lucky to have so talented and
decent a young person.
Sweet little photo of you
two back then . . .
our Cameron emails
San Pablo is becoming the
barbeque capital of the East Bay ... A
new restaurant from the chef at Brown Sugar Kitchen ... based
on her inventive, delicious cuisine at BSK ... should be good!
our Jarad emails
A New York Times Editorial
is a wonderful, a hysterical column that makes an excellent
point about the absurdity of America and American politics, which
we appreciate even more in my household since we understand well
the pros and cons of both Europe & the United States.
And, The Kubik emails
Great questions that won't
be asked at the run up to the elections. . . . at
Oh ma gosh! RP
Andrew Stanton, of the Disney
Studios in our Fantasy building, is working on the new Disney
Carter--the film to be released this March.
The peaceful end to our last
Berkeley Occupy? A result of fresh thinking at City Hall and innovative
planning at Berkeley PD.
LBNL's second campus? Word
on The Street is that its location will be announced next month.
"Protecting patients in the workplace" is a report by Ellen Komp at dailycal.org.
"Greetings, UC Berkeley
students. Are any of you graduating soon? Do you use marijuana
for medical reasons? Do you want to get a job when you graduate?
Many are unaware that the
California Supreme Court has ruled that employers may fire anyone
who fails a drug test, even legal medical marijuana patients.
"Lookout! Records is No More" is a story at mxdwn.com.
based record label Lookout! is officially closed for business."
Don Yost forwards a Shell/Ferrari
Commercial video from friend, James Furuich
"Though you might enjoy
this 2 minute video. Although it says there were no computer graphics
Here's a link to a Shell commercial shown in Europe .
Ostensibly, they're selling
gasoline, but the cars used in the video steal the show.
Ferrari pulled several of
their race cars from various ages out of storage, flew them around
the world and filmed them running through the streets of Rome
, Rio , New York , Hong Kong, Honolulu and Monaco . No computer
graphics these are the original cars on the original streets.
The best part is the sound
from the basso-profundo notes of the early, front-engine era,
each scene cuts to a later generation, ending with the wail of
a modern F1 car.
The sounds alone bring a
tear to the eye.
Even if you're not a gearhead,
this video will stir the soul. There's just something about 3
liters and 14,000 RPM ! "
"Chocolatiers Bring Latin American Flavor
to Elmwood" is a
"After Southern California
proved 'too hot' for chocolate, the founder of Casa De Chocolates
found success in a commercial kitchen in Berkeley. The chocolatier
will open a store in Elmwood mid-February."
You gotta love science when
"Liquor triggers pleasure-inducing endorphins" are the results of a new scientific study posted
Imagine, . . . "Scientists
have found evidence that liquor triggers the release of pleasure-inducing
endorphins in the brain."
Right now to buy Krispy Kremes,
I have to drive to Union City or Daly City. If the their city
council approves, Krispy Keme will open in Concord.
The 70 applicants for Berkeley
Planning Director have now been cut to under a couple dozen with
a decision to be made, hopefully, by late Febuary early March.
"11 More Solyndras In Obama Energy Program" is a CBS News video report.
The liberal mediamatters.org
believes that it is "a
misleading segment painting a skewed picture of the Department
of Energy's clean tech investments."
The Washington Post
reports of "A
welcome rise in manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
Fairly or unfairly , President
Obama gets blamed for economic disappointments on his watch. By
the same token, he gets to crow when things go well - whether
he deserves credit or not. So he was entitled on Wednesday to
trumpet the fact that U.S. manufacturing employment grew by 334,000
jobs over the last two years - the strongest two-year growth since
the late 1990s. That's good news for Mr. Obama's reelection campaign,
for the people who got jobs - and for the country, which had been
shedding manufacturing jobs even before the Great Recession.
But let's put the celebration
in context. U.S. manufacturing is hardly as weak as it is sometimes
portrayed. In 2009, U.S. manufacturing output was equal to that
of Germany, Italy, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Brazil
and Canada combined, according to the United Nations. In 2010,
U.S. manufacturers produced nearly $1.8 trillion in goods (in
constant 2005 dollars), about $100 billion more than China did."
from my log
in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, "burning
gas" odor .
12/31/11--7:32 AM---dry air
in front room, mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot
roofing tar" odor . 3:34 PM---dry air in and irritant in
warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse.
1/2/12--6:43 AM--dry air
in front room, mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot
roofing tar" odor.
gas" odor in front room, mucus membrane irritation, light
head, nausea. 3:11 PM--similar. 3:17 PM--dry air in front room,
mucus membrane irritation.3:32 PM--dry air in front room, mucus
membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot roofing tar"
odor. 7:54 PM---dirty dry air in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane
irritation. 8:20 PM--similar, Marsha has cough attack. 9:17 PM--dirty
dry air in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, burning
1/5/12--9:41 PM---dry burning
air in front room, mucus membrane irritation, overrides three
1/6/12--2:37 PM--dry air
in and irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of
warehouse, mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot
roofing tar" odor . 5:35 PM--dry burning air in front room,
mucus membrane irritation, overrides HEPA filters. 7:03 PM--dry
air in front room, mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot
roofing tar" odor.
Last 3 days ~ 7:00AM--short
of breath, Marsha light head, dizzy.
1/8/12--9:30 AM---dry air
in and irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of
warehouse, mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot
roofing tar" odor. Since ~ 5:45 AM almost all variant of
irritant and/or odor were experienced.
1/9/12--7:31 PM--dry burning
air in front room, mucus membrane irritation, overrides HEPA filters.
7:55 PM--VERY SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, short breath,
cough. Marsha similar.
1/10/12--9:50 AM--dry air
in front room, mucus membrane irritation, overrides two HEPA filter,
1/12/12--10:03 AM--dry air
in front room, mucus membrane irritation, headache. Off-and on
all day--VERY SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY
in front of warehouse, dry burning air, overrides HEPA filters.
amnufacturing odor in warehouse
1/15/12--9:00 AM--dry burning
air in front room. 2:17 PM---dry air in front room, mucus membrane
irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot roofing tar" odor .
manufacturing" odor in warehouse. 2:29 PM--someone is "pissing
in our environment."
1/17/12--12:04 AM--dry air
in and irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of
warehouse, mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot
roofing tar" odor. 5:09 PM--VERY dry air in front room, mucus
membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot roofing tar"
The mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot
roofing tar" odor continues periodically throughout many
nights, a byproduct I assume of Potter Creek night-shift manufacturing.