after 1/15/13 here, after 1/27/13 here


"Take a card, any card."

Orson Welles and Carl Sandburg



The photographs of Russian chemist and photographer, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, show Russia on the eve of World War I and the coming of the revolution. From 1909-1912 and again in 1915, Prokudin-Gorskii travelled across the Russian Empire, documenting life, landscapes and the work of Russain people. His images were to be a photographic survey of the time. He travelled in a special train car transformed into a dark room to process his special process of creating color images, a technology that was in its infancy in the early 1900s. Prokudin-Gorskii left Russia in 1918, after the Russian Revolution had destroyed the Empire he spent years documenting.

Church in Vetluga settlement



the onion dome

Prior to the eighteenth century, the Russian Orthodox Church did not assign any particular symbolism to the exterior shape of a church. Nevertheless, onion domes are popularly believed to symbolise burning candles.




 Juggler, Michael Davis performing at Ford's Theater during the Reagan presidency. In the audience are President and Nancy Reagan, House Speaker, Tip and Mrs O'Neal, and Senator and Mrs Howard Baker. Very, very funny stuff!

link courtesy Cliff Miller


Who is Michael Davis?











Westside Café

photo by Dorf

Lieutenant Dave Frankel of the Berkeley Police Department is the Area 4 Commander and he invites anyone who wishes to have coffee with him to join him at: Westside Café, 2570 Ninth Street , Wednesday, January 2, 2013, from 2 to 3pm

thank you,




















Not having looked at my website statistics since September, I was surprised this morning to find the average hits in Fall and early Winter were 5,000 to 6,000 per day. In late Summer, last time I looked, the average hits per day were 3,000 to 4,000. Go figure!



"Deli Man" is a documentary-movie about the Jewish deli*.

link courtesy Marty via Merryll

Here's a MUST WATCH trailer for it.


*Seems the Jewish deli was brought to America by the Germans--which was long before the late 1800s' immigration of the Eastern Europeans and Russians.





"Longtime Berkeley appliance reuse business revamps offerings" by Chris Treadway, Contra Costa Times.

"A north side sustainability pioneer that brought warmth and comfort to many a local home is changing its identity after 26 years, and reopening in the same location.

Reliance Antiques and Appliance, a company that sold rustic farm tables from reclaimed wood and restored classic stoves, is reopening Jan. 1 in its present location as Reliance and Caseber Appliance. Owners Doug and Pat Harbo are ditching the farm table part of the business and focusing on selling reconditioned appliances and doing appliance repair.

The two entrepreneurs purchased an existing business, Caseber Washers and Dryers, in August, and will run that business out of their location at Gilman and Sixth streets. The Caseber business will operate out of the back half of the building, reconditioning washers, dryers and other appliances that will then be offered for sale, and also doing service calls on most appliances.

Meanwhile, the Harbos' son Matt will continue to do service calls on classic gas stoves such as Wedgewood and O'Keefe & Merritt.
Pat Harbo said the company's final month in its former incarnation as Reliance Antiques and Appliance was bittersweet."






"Thomas the Tank Engine to get a marketing push" Brooks Barnes, New York Times at

"One of the oldest preschool entertainment and toy franchises, Thomas the Tank Engine, is about to get a new marketing push."



















At his recent "Coffee with Commander," BPD Lt Dave Frankel said auto burglary has dropped dramatically in our area largely because of Skate's new security. And, crime generally seems to be down in our area.



In the spirit of "The best buy in new Rolls Royces " Steven E.F. Brown of San Francisco Business Times reports

"UC Berkeley, California schools rank high on list of best value in public colleges."




"Atul Kapadia of battery-maker Envia Systems" an interview by Dana Hull at

"The electric car industry faces two major challenges: the high cost of batteries and their limited range between charges. Envia Systems, a startup based in the East Bay city of Newark, made a big splash in February when it claimed it achieved a milestone: a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with an energy density of 400 watt-hours per kilogram, the highest "energy density" known.
Since then, the company has been pretty quiet and has yet to announce any customers. Atul Kapadia, Envia's chairman and CEO, recently talked with this newspaper. The interview has been edited for length and clarity."




In a story of two Als, Joe Garofoli and Carla Marinucci write at "Al Jazeera faces dubious U.S. public.

"Conservative America can't get enough of the story about liberal former Vice President Al Gore selling the Current TV network he co-founded to Al Jazeera. Or, as Fox News commentator Ann Coulter described it - 'a foreign company that hates America.'
Tweeted Coulter Thursday: 'Gore sold Current TV to Al Jazeera for $500 million. Al Qaeda could only come up with $400 million.'

Some people perceive Al Jazeera's journalistic reputation as tainted because it showed al Qaeda's anti-American video messages in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, but that view is largely undeserved now. Addressing that perception is just one of the challenges facing the new owners of San Francisco-based Current's coveted space on the TV dial."





"Why Can't We Have Glow-in-the-Dark Highways Like the Netherlands?" Will Oremus at

link courtesy Bob Kubik

"It's one thing for the rest of the world to have way cooler trains than us. America has chosen car culture, for better or worse. But now comes word that the Netherlands is building way awesomer highways, while ours are stuck in the 20th Century. The Netherlands! If this isn't a wake-up call for the United States to invest more in infrastructure, I don't know what is. (OK, maybe this.)

Wired UK reported in October that the Dutch design firm Studio Roosegaarde and infrastructure management group Heijmans have come up with a 'smart highway' concept that will replace standard road markings with photoluminescent powder that charges in the daylight and glows through the night. When the temperature drops below freezing, the road will automatically light up with snowflake indicators to warn drivers of possible ice, sort of like the Coors beer cans that turn blue when they're extra cold."














"White House weighs broad gun-control agenda in wake of Newtown shootings" Philip Rucker,

"The White House is weighing a far broader and more comprehensive approach to curbing the nation's gun violence than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, according to multiple people involved in the administration's discussions.

A working group led by Vice President Biden is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the sources said."





The Berkeley Bowl'a parking-lot light replacement seems going apace--concrete has now been poured for the new towers. The Bowl's temporary lighting, reminisiant of temporary freeway-construction lighting, is more than refreshingly bright, turning night into day.


Nick Despotopoulos sends a link to Harry Pearson's new website.

Harry Pearson (HP) is the founder of the recorded-sound High-End Movement.

"There is a well written article from Harry on his new site plus a lively comments section on the linked article--Neil Young, Fremer, even a beam-in from Mark ' I got other clients' Fisher, our former ad sales guy for The Tracking Angle.








Uncommon Café

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

cold and hot sandwiches are served with freshly roasted coffee

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

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



















the extensive Commerical Kitchen's remodel of the old Nexus property

continues while preserving the property's link with the past





"New performance halls expected to change cultural landscape" by Richard Scheinin,

a contracostatimes photo

It's a potential game changer on the region's cultural scene: Two new concert halls are opening in the Bay Area, Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University and the SFJazz Center in San Francisco. Add in Sonoma State University's classy Weill Hall, which opened in September, 45 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, and the startling total spent on new performance venues is about $325 million -- in the middle of a recession."







Harold Lawrence Interviews Derek Sugden, builder of halls of music

HAROLD: "Derek, you are a hard man to describe - Training in structural engineering, acoustical designer, builder and rebuilder of halls of music. Tell us a little bit about yourself, so that we can get a fix on you."

DEREK: "A bit about myself, where it all began? Well, I started structural engineering and the third job I had was with a firm called Ove Arup and Partners, and I had been interviewed by the great Ove Arup and I joined them in 1953, and did a lot of interesting work, a lot of interesting buildings. Never had done anything in music until out of the blue in 1965, I think it was October, Arup, he was Mr. Arup then, not Sir Ove had a letter from Benjamin Britten and the Aldeburgh Festival saying they had a malt house in Snape, a little village near Aldeburgh, and would we look at it and say if we could convert it into a concert hall. And that is how it all started. Arup was very busy on a job that was really taxing him and the firm. You may have heard of it, it is called Sidney Opera House, and at that time the roof structure was just about completed; but he was too busy to do anything else and he handed me the letter and said, 'You had better go and see them,' and I did."

full interview here








"Want to Fight Crime? Address Economic Inequality" Mark Buchanan at

link courtesy of Bob Kubik

" . . . decisive in determining crime rates are the more invisible barriers to crime set up by social norms and social cohesion. Indeed, one of the most robust statistical patterns known is that crime rates tend to go up with rising economic inequality, which itself tends to go along with erosion of social trust. "




"What the Baltimore P.D. can teach your office about multitasking and incentives" by Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan at

link courtesy of Bob Kubik

"On Oct. 29, 1999, Peter Moskos sat in the office of the acting commissioner of the Baltimore City Police Department facing a life-altering choice: sign up for training with Baltimore City Police recruit class 99-5 or return to the Harvard sociology department a failure.

Moskos was a sociologist, born and bred. His father, Charles, a renowned military sociologist, was best known as the originator of President Clinton's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. After graduating magna cum laude from Princeton with a degree in sociology, Peter Moskos enrolled in Harvard's prestigious Ph.D. program (rejection rate: 95 percent) and planned to study policing. Moskos wanted to follow in the footsteps of other sociologists by immersing himself in the lives of his subjects-in his case, the police officers who fought the war on drugs.

Police departments routinely let Boy Scouts, Junior Police Rangers, and Hollywood stars ride along. But Moskos is no Boy Scout, and he's certainly no Matt Damon. No one Moskos approached with his proposal would give him the time of day. And why would they have? What commissioner would let some potentially uber-liberal Ivy League do-gooder sociologist into his department to pick at old scabs, dig up trash, and document well-hidden skeletons in the department's closet?

A ranking police officer, a friend of Peter's father, whispered in the ear of Baltimore's police commissioner, Thomas Frazier, who knew he was on his way out. A mayoral election was just around the corner, and all the leading candidates save one were on the record saying that the police department needed new leadership. A commissioner who knew he'd be gone in a matter of months didn't need to give much thought to the wreckage Moskos's visit might leave behind. Frazier allowed Moskos to observe recruit class 99-5 during their time at the police academy and then to follow them out onto the streets.
Still, Frazier's replacement, Ronald L. Daniel-who would be stuck with any fallout from Moskos' work-didn't have quite so laissez-faire an attitude. (Daniel resigned after just a few months, but as Moskos notes in his book Cop in the Hood-on which, together with interviews of Moskos, we base much of this account-Moskos' ulterior motives were lost in the shuffle when Daniel's replacement came in.) Once informed of the situation, Daniel ordered Moskos into his office but didn't send him packing outright. Instead, he offered Moskos a choice. He could stay, Daniel said, only if he passed the hiring requirements of the department and was willing to become a real police officer. No ride-alongs, no observer status, no sitting back while others did the work. Moskos would get an almost unprecedented look inside the department if he took the full-time job, but he'd also have to put his life at risk policing the city's crime-ridden Eastern District."















I had breakfast with Mike Korman this morning--the Korman of the Berkeley realtors, Korman and Ng-- at 900 GRAYSON. Mike and I worked together in the '60s, Mike at Campus Smoke Shop and I worked at Campus Records. The shops were adjacent on the corner of Telegraph and Bancroft. Mike also was part of the Berkeley Barb from its very beginning. The business manager, he claims to have gotten the first of their legendary want ads.

As a commercial realtor he found the property for the Anne Crowden School and more recently was involved in the sale of the Hillside School property to the German School.

Great meeting of the minds on old and new times.


EAT + is now open for dinner in the old Sea Salt location at 2512 San Pablo Ave. Dinner is served from 6 PM to 10 PM with lunch soon to follow. The current dinner menu is a modified sea food offering.


The Rare Barrel has just installed the fermenting tank at their new Potter Creek location--Parker between 8th and 9th.


The new, to-be-permanent, Berkeley Bowl parking-lot lights have just had their concrete bases poured.


Da Boz just lost his chief-of-staff.










Last week's most important moment was

the innocence and energy at Milo's school assembly







"Berkeley legislator unveils bill to regulate California ammunition sales" Josh Richman at

"California's ammunition sales would be regulated and tracked under a bill rolled out Monday by an East Bay lawmaker, who anticipates a tough fight from the gun lobby, legislative Republicans and perhaps even rural Democrats."















A Note From Councilmember Capitelli

As my staff and I begin setting our legislative priorities for the coming year (we will share those next month), I can honestly say we are coming back to work with full hearts. I am honored and excited to be returning to the District 5 office and tremendously grateful to those of you who supported my re-election. Thank you so much. For those who did not support me, I look forward to hearing from you, to working collaboratively to address the many critical issues facing District 5 and our great city.

As we all gingerly step back from the fiscal cliff, and before the wrangling begins on the next round of budget negotiations, we have a brief moment to breathe and to sort through our personal New Year's resolutions to be safe and healthy. OK, I will be continuing my walks in the neighborhood. But am I prepared for the unexpected? We may have averted a man-made economic disaster (for now), but with the images of hurricane Sandy fresh in my memory, I worry about my own behavior and what I would do in a similar disaster. I, like I suspect many of you, resolve every year to prepare but never quite get there.

Here is an opportunity . . .

full email here



"Berkeley to review gunman-on-campus training in wake of Newtown, Conn., shootings" by Doug Oakley, Oakland Tribune.

"Berkeley's school district will hire consultants to re-examine safety procedures and gunman-on-campus scenarios at all 20 schools following the Dec. 14 massacre of 20 first graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., officials said Wednesday.

'What happened in Newtown has scared every parent in the country,' said Susan Craig, director of student services for the 9,000-student district. 'How do you prevent an active shooter from getting on campus? And if that happens is there some strategy to prevent death and serious injury?' . . .

Craig rejected the National Rifle Association's suggestion to put armed guards in all schools. But she noted Berkeley High's school police officer is armed."






"Bank hacks were work of Iran, officials say" by Nicole Perlroth and Quentin Hardy , New York Times

"The attackers hit one U.S. bank after the next. As in so many previous attacks, dozens of online banking sites slowed, hiccupped or ground to a halt before recovering several minutes later.

But there was something disturbingly different about the wave of online attacks on U.S. banks in recent weeks. Security researchers say that instead of exploiting individual computers, the attackers engineered networks of computers in data centers, transforming the online equivalent of a few yapping Chihuahuas into a pack of fire-breathing Godzillas.

The skill required to carry out attacks on this scale has convinced U.S. government officials and security researchers that they are the work of Iran, most likely in retaliation for economic sanctions and online attacks by the United States. "




"We've Already Done $2.4 Trillion in Deficit Reduction" Matthew Yglesiasat

"Washington, D.C. hasn't gotten the grand bargain that poobahs (wrongly) think America needs. But a very useful analysis from Michael Linden and Michael Ettlinger shows how much deficit reduction has already been enacted in a series of smaller deals.

It's quite a bit of deficit reduction, about $2.4 trillion worth, and just a hair over a quarter of it via higher taxes with the rest coming from lower spending. It would be great to do more if people have more examples of genuinely wasteful spending or of revenue ideas like a carbon tax or slightly higher alcohol taxes that have other social benefits. But don't let anyone convince you that nothing's being done. The economic recovery is reducing the deficit, and measures already enacted are bringing further deficit reductions."










this photo is of

the Avon Lady here from Walnut Creek

Marsha W




"I'm much too young to be this old" Milo F






















Berkeley Bowl neighbors report that the new Bowl parking-lot-lights are great with a quiet diffused light that illuminates the lot as well as its surroundings.


Though Berkeley' s west now displays a greater variety of commercial for sale and for lease signs, Norhien and Yost continue to set the turn-over tone.

Damn, misspelled Norhiem again.



Mark Numainville, Acting City Clerk emails

Invitation to Community Meeting About Berkeley City Council Redistricting

The League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany & Emeryville invites the public to a
community meeting to learn about the City's upcoming redistricting process.

Redistricting is the redrawing of City Council district boundaries every ten years to
ensure that districts are balanced with the same number of residents. This process
applies only to City Council districts and is not part of the state redistricting process for
congressional and state legislative districts.

According to the 2010 Census, Berkeley's population is 112,580, an increase of almost
10,000 people from the 2000 Census. The population shifts within each Council
district require revisions to City Council district boundaries to ensure equal
representation of residents.

The public is a critical part of the redistricting process. The League of Women Voters
will be moderating this meeting to introduce the community to the purpose of
redistricting, the City Charter's criteria for Council districts, and the timeline and

Community Meeting on City Redistricting in Berkeley , Thursday, January 24, 2013
6 p.m. ­ 7:30 p.m. , South Berkeley Senior Center Multi-Purpose Room
2339 Ellis Street, Berkeley.

For more information about this process, visit



Ole friend Josh Denton, John Denton's son, emails

I am way up here in great frozen Canada, but I read from time to time about Berkeley, my old home town.  Did Juan's family sell the restaurant?  (I was just searching around the net, and it seemed like the place has changed.)  What is the new Brenan's like? I can not imagine that it is the same.  All those good old working class places, now all yuppified....  It seems like a different town. 

How is Ron?  Got any motorcycles left?

be well, yours, Josh


(changed), much the same, . . . , same but different, Good, yes.










"Making furniture the old-fashioned way" is a report about Potter Creek's Berkeley Mills by Janis Mara of our Times.

a Times photo

"The door of the bamboo kitchen cabinet glides open smoothly as customer Rick Unvarsky pulls the knob at the Berkeley Mills furniture showroom here.

'The hinges are durable,' said Unvarsky. 'That's a sign of quality.'

In a field notorious for shoddy work and fly-by-night operations, it's unusual to find a 21-year-old shop of 40 employees making handcrafted furniture to the highest design and environmental standards. And though the economy isn't making it any easier for Berkeley Mills, its cofounders are determined to maintain their commitment to quality.

'We don't use particle board. None of our panels are manufactured with formaldehyde,' said Gene Agress, co-founder of the company. The bamboo, jarrah and other woods he uses are sustainably harvested and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, Agress said.

Late afternoon sunlight floods into the room through a red stained-glass window, throwing a patch of umber across the hardwood floor and a $2,090 cherry and birdseye maple harp dining chair. Not surprisingly, the company's goods aren't cheap.

'Everything's about labor and craftmanship and materials. Our average sale is probably around $12,000,' said Agress.

So far, the economic tsunami sweeping over the country hasn't pulled Berkeley Mills off its mooring, the cofounder said.

'We did borrow some money for the first time on our credit line. But we are still busy,' Agress said. 'It's just that
things are moving a little slower.' Though he wouldn't say how much the privately held company made this year, Agress said it was on a par with 2007."







 "Vehicle sales overtake Europe in 2012" Li Fangfang,

"China overtook Europe in vehicle sales in 2012 and is now in pole position after passing the United States in 2009.

China overtook Europe in vehicle sales in 2012 and is now in pole position after passing the United States in 2009. Sales of passenger vehicles increased 6.8 percent, from the previous year to 14.68 million units the China Passenger Car Association said on Wednesday. In December alone, passenger vehicle sales jumped 8.6 percent year-on-year to 1.56 million units. European passenger vehicle sales reached 12.5 million units, 1.1 million fewer than a year earlier.

The US registered the best sales growth since 2008, 13 percent year-on-year, but it still lagged just behind the Chinese mainland market after selling 14.5 million units.

Analysts said China's vehicle market will continue to grow."






















CIA analyst, John T. Whitman at SALT II


Carol Whitman's Dad--Carol of Potter Creek's Carol and Bob--was a CIA Soviet analyst during the Cold War. In his role as a Soviet analyst John was a CIA representative at the SALT II talks. This month, some of his memories


From John T. Whitman's privately-published memoirs--John was a CIA Soviet analyst during the Cold War.

The Cuban Missle Crisis

The Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 took me and my colleagues completely by surprise. As a Soviet expert, the CIA operators of this project had scant reason to bring me into the planning. But my fellow political analysts who specialized in Cuban affairs were kept equally in the dark. It was the rule in those times -- and remained the usual custom for a long time even after the rules were changed -- not to expand the chance of leaks by consulting analysts from the analytic side of the Agency. Nor was it a time when potential nay-sayers were gladly sought out. Thus we shall never know whether those analysts, freed of operational responsibilities, would have given emphatic warnings that little support for the invasion could be expected from the Cuban populace or armed forces. Given the operators' commitment to the project:, it seems unlikely that, were such warnings given, they would have been heeded. At any rate, I knew nothing more about the Bay of Pigs than the average newspaper reader and nothing more thereafter, save for an early indication, from an enraged planner, about John Kennedy's crucial perfidy in withholding air support from the stranded exile brigade.

Not so with the Cuban missile crisis in October of the following year, which posed entirely analytic tasks. The first reconnaissance photos of missile bases under construction came in on a Sunday, and I was summoned to an urgent meeting on Monday to look at them. We were all astonished, including myself. In fact, two of my senior colleagues, older and more experienced, spent the entire day arguing the photo interpreters conclusions. It seemed beyond belief that Khrushchev could hope to ship these missiles across the Atlantic, on open decks, construct their Cuban launch sites, and deploy them against the US Bay of Pigs fiasco and Kennedy's willingness to endure some bullying at their Vienna summit earlier in the year to mean that Washington would stand by powerless.

In fact, we were right to be astonished. Khrushchev's venture was in fact foolhardy and ended disastrously. Within two years it had entered the category of "hare-brained schemes" which the Soviet press used to explain and justify his ouster.But in the heat of the moment we could only surmise that the Soviet missile deployment be-spoke not only an extreme aggressiveness but also a dangerous contempt for the Americans.

That first meeting broke up with an agreement- -with two abstentions --that strategic missile deployments were in fact occurring in Cuba and a decision to produce a daily report on the progress-- locations of missile-carrying ships at sea, state of construction of their launch sites in Cuba, indicators of the presence of nuclear warheads, operational readiness. This report would include the most sensitive categories of intelligence and would be restricted to members of the ExCom, an ad hoc group of the President's most trusted advisors, set up to manage the crisis. Upon returning to my office, I check out a faint memory. Sure enough, I found in an editorial published some three weeks earlier in Pravda a long diatribe about Berlin, filled with dire threats if the West did not recognize East German sovereignty and allow it to regulate access to West Berlin. At the very end was a short paragraph, also couched in the blustering tones of Soviet propaganda, demanding that the United States keep its hands off Cuba.

Neither the tone nor the content of this editorial was unusual. What was odd was the mixture of two subjects, the abrupt swerve from a routine piece on Berlin to the topic of Cuba. It was this which had caught my eye at the time, but when no explanation offered itself I simply dismissed it and went on. Now its significance became clear. We had been given, inadvertently or not, a glimpse of an overall strategy. Since Khrushchev lacked the power and, confidence to confront us directly in Berlin, at the heart of Europe, he meant first to cow us in Cuba, bring new nuclear firepower to bear on the US itself, and in these dramatically changed circumstances, force his will upon us in Berlin as the first application of the new correlation of forces. This may well sound arcane to many, but it was an established method of analysis by Western Sovietologists. The extreme secrecy practiced by Moscow forced outsiders, and ordinary Russians as well, to search for seemingly far-fetched clues to Soviet policy between the lines, not only in Pravda and Izvestiya, but in many other more obscure publications as well.

Allen Dulles was able to make a great impression on President Eisenhower in 1953 when he reported that the name of Beriya, the secret police chief, was missing from a long list of Politburo members who had attended the opera; Dulles could not predict Beryia's fate, but it did not look good for him. Within a week Pravada announced that the traitor Beriya had been unmasked and shot.

This, of course, was a useless tour de force; there was nothing the US could do with Dulles' information, though it did contribute to his reputation within the administration.

Pravda's Berlin-Cuba linkage, on the other hand, was freighted with grave policy significance, and I cursed myself for not having seen this at the time, though I would have been unable to convince others of anything on such sparse evidence. Such are the frustrations of Sovietology.

A better opportunity arrived on the second day of the crisis when Pravda gave the first Soviet public response to Kennedy's challenge to the Soviet deployments. The United States was excoriated for concocting a crisis, for fabricating evidence and dragging the world to the brink of nuclear war. Toward the end came the key: in the face of this dastardly scheme, "The Soviet Union will not be provoked. Instead, as always, it will fight to expose the plots of the imperialists and struggle to preserve world peace."

"The Soviet-Union will not be provoked." I recognized this as a time honored formula employed when the Soviet Union, having itself provoked, found itself over-extended and forced to draw back. It was guidance to the Party elite and foreign Communists that a retreat would be necessary and should be portrayed as a contribution to peace, with Moscow's opponents branded as warmongers restrained by the wise policy of the USSR. From that moment I never doubted that the crisis would be contained, that Khrushchev knew he was outmatched and would find some way to satisfy US demands.

Later that day I was named as the CIA member of a small group of Soviet specialists, drawn from State and the Pentagon, to provide a daily intelligence analysis of Soviet intentions. There were five or six of us, and we all read Pravda the same way. Our conclusion was delivered to the ExCom by our chairman, who worked for Walt Rostow in the NSC Staff. I never knew how seriously it was taken--a common frustration for intelligence analysts-- but when, a day or two later, the Soviet missile ships stopped dead in the water, the meaning of "the Soviet Union will not be provoked" became clearer.

That evening I came home, tired and snappish, to discover that my childrens' school had conducted an air raid drill. Carol, Stephen. and Davie had all spent five minutes, with their classmates, crouched under their desks. They wanted to know why. I was furious. Why should all these children be frightened and bewildered? What sort of overreaction was this? Didn't everyone know that Khrushchev was going to back down, that there would he no war? It took me a while to realize that our school administrators didn't read Pravda. But more generally, I have never been able to shake the feeling that the Administration's stance on the crisis was partly intended to magnify the danger in order to heighten the President's credit in meeting and winning it. Granted that these were rattled men, confronted initially with a challenge that seemed both mortal and inexplicable. But the subsequent memoir-writing of Kennedy's associates has done little to curb this excess.

Finally, the role of Ted Walker deserves to be memorialized. Ted was the funniest man I ever knew, with an inexhaustible fund of down-home stories about the eccentric inhabitants of Cepawlpa, Oklahoma, where he was raised. Ted was assigned to the team which produced the daily intelligence report on the status of the deployments. Each issue contained a map of the United States, across which arcs were drawn to indicate the range of each missile site as it became operational in Cuba. For reference purposes, a few cities were indicated on this map--New York, Washington, St. Louis, New Orleans. On about the fifth day yet another arc appeared. It ran directly through a small circle identified as Cepawlpa, Oklahoma.

Years later, Ted Walker met a strange and sad end. He was working on the annual estimate of Soviet military strength, a complicated and hotly contested document which directly affected the size of the military budget that the Pentagon would recommend. It was a grueling process; one of the military participants regularly took a month's leave after its completion because, as he confided to a colleague, "all that Iying he had to do tore him up real bad." One afternoon, during a particularly fierce argument, Ted suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack at the table.






"The Real Cuban Missile Crisis" Sheldon M. Stern at

link courtesy Bob Kubik

"Everything you think you know about those 13 days is wrong.

On October 16, 1962, John F. Kennedy and his advisers were stunned to learn that the Soviet Union was, without provocation, installing nuclear-armed medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. With these offensive weapons, which represented a new and existential threat to America, Moscow significantly raised the ante in the nuclear rivalry between the superpowers-a gambit that forced the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear Armageddon. On October 22, the president, with no other recourse, proclaimed in a televised address that his administration knew of the illegal missiles, and delivered an ultimatum insisting on their removal, announcing an American "quarantine" of Cuba to force compliance with his demands. While carefully avoiding provocative action and coolly calibrating each Soviet countermeasure, Kennedy and his lieutenants brooked no compromise; they held firm, despite Moscow's efforts to link a resolution to extrinsic issues and despite predictable Soviet blustering about American aggression and violation of international law. In the tense 13?day crisis, the Americans and Soviets went eyeball-to-eyeball. Thanks to the Kennedy administration's placid resolve and prudent crisis management-thanks to what Kennedy's special assistant Arthur Schlesinger Jr. characterized as the president's "combination of toughness and restraint, of will, nerve, and wisdom, so brilliantly controlled, so matchlessly calibrated, that [it] dazzled the world"-the Soviet leadership blinked: Moscow dismantled the missiles, and a cataclysm was averted.

Every sentence in the above paragraph describing the Cuban missile crisis is misleading or erroneous. But this was the rendition of events that the Kennedy administration fed to a credulous press; this was the history that the participants in Washington promulgated in their memoirs; and this is the story that has insinuated itself into the national memory-as the pundits' commentaries and media coverage marking the 50th anniversary of the crisis attested."





Seems Da Boz and Ms Boz went to Cuba over the holidays.

"Senator Hancock and I recently returned from an amazing and educational trip to Cuba co-sponsored by the Chez Panisse Foundation and Green Cities Fund. The program's goal was to link chefs in the Bay Area with chefs in Cuba. While there we had the opportunity to meet with a wide range of the Cuban community, including artists, students, doctors, poets and political leaders.
While in Cuba we decided to add a visit to Palma Soriano, one of Berkeley's sister cities at the tail end of the trip. We were able to distribute soccer balls from Berkeley-based OneWorld Futbol. We also had a private dinner with President Raul Castro's daughter Mariela, her husband, and Ricardo Alcaron, the outgoing president of the National Assembly and the third most powerful man in Cuba. We discussed the possibility of getting the United States to lift its trade embargo and consider importing new drugs developed by Cuban pharmaceutical companies to help with Parkinson's and diabetes. We will discuss this issue with Barbara Lee next week. "

Da Boz' full email here.

Boy what a nifty idea! Next our First Family could check out the "foods" of Venezuela, Algeria, and maybe even Red China. Beyond that they could go, . . . . . mmmm? ! . . . . But Gus* already went to . . . .

* A former mayor who, by some accounts, was the originator of our foreign policy.



















    Operating V-12 diesel engine that fits in the palm of your hand is a 9 minute video that Kubik sent.

Took 1,220  hours to make the 261 pieces.  Note the end-loaded crankshaft into the block (like an  Offy)
*, 12 individual cylinder heads, TINY rods and pistons, dual "underhead" cams with  pushrods to  rockers in the heads.
And, he did break-in runs using an electric drill driving the crankshaft! 


"Spanish engineer crafts 'world's smallest' V-12 engine" is the story at



*Long ago in the 1930s/40s, Offy (Offenhauser) racing engine-blocks were cast in Potter Creek's Macaulay foundry.





"New Cars With The Highest Theft Rates" Jim Gorzenaly, at

"Is your car popular for the wrong reasons? It could be if you drive a Dodge Charger, which tops the latest list of most stolen new cars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Autos continue to be hot properties among thieves, with 379,677 of them pilfered last year according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Fortunately, NHTSA says increased use of parts marking, anti-theft devices and technology like coded keys, along with heighted public awareness and improved law enforcement have helped reduce this number steadily since 2001, with vehicle thefts now at their lowest rate since 1967."


photo courtesy Cliff Miller




















Bob' and Carol's old house

is for sale

According to the realtor's listing, the property sold on the first day of showing, the asking price 480k.





"Predictive Policing" Charlie Beck, Chief of Detectives, Los Angeles Police Department, and Colleen McCue, President and Chief Executive Officer, MC2 Solutions, LLC, Midlothian, Virginia at

"In the current economic climate, police departments are being asked to do more with less. In some localities, significant budget reductions are requiring police managers and command staff to consider reductions in the retention of sworn personnel. Personnel costs represent the single largest budget line item in most public safety organizations. The ability to use this resource more efficiently has become absolutely essential to police managers under current budgetary restrictions. Now, new tools designed to increase the effective use of police resources could make every agency more efficient, regardless of the availability of resources.

As these new budgetary restraints and limitations are faced, the question to ask with more urgency is 'Why just count crime when you can anticipate, prevent, and respond more effectively?' Predictive policing allows command staff and police managers to leverage advanced analytics in support of meaningful, information-based tactics, strategy, and policy decisions in the applied public safety environment. As the law enforcement community increasingly is asked to do more with less, predictive policing represents an opportunity to prevent crime and respond more effectively, while optimizing increasingly scarce or limited resources, including personnel.

Reporting, collecting, and compiling data are necessary but not sufficient to increase public safety. The public safety community relies heavily on reporting what has happened already. Annual crime reports, monthly summary reports, and year-to-date reports all focus on events in the past. Even alerts focus almost exclusively on incidents that occurred in the past, albeit with increasing speed and efficiency. The predictive-policing vision moves law enforcement from focusing on what happened to focusing on what will happen and how to effectively deploy resources in front of crime, thereby changing outcomes.

The law enforcement community is noteworthy for its openness to innovation. As a direct result of this openness to change, four distinct eras have emerged in policing over the last 40 years."



The New York Times reports "French fighter jets struck deep inside Islamist strongholds in northern Mali on Sunday, shoving aside months of international hesitation about storming the region after every other effort by the United States and its allies to thwart the extremists had failed.

For years, the United States tried to stem the spread of Islamic militancy in the region by conducting its most ambitious counterterrorism program ever across these vast, turbulent stretches of the Sahara.

But as insurgents swept through the desert last year, commanders of this nation's elite army units, the fruit of years of careful American training, defected when they were needed most - taking troops, guns, trucks and their newfound skills to the enemy in the heat of battle, according to senior Malian military officials."

Full story here.        

















From The Rejection Collection







"Bicyclist traffic school now in East Bay" Renee Rivera at

"The East Bay Bicycle Coalition is teaming with the city of Alameda and UC Berkeley to lead the way in a new kind of traffic school - for bicyclists.

People ticketed in Alameda or on the Berkeley campus while riding their bikes have a new option to reduce their fine by taking a two-hour safety class taught by certified bicycle safety instructors. The East Bay Bicycle Coalition will partner with the police departments in Alameda and on the Berkeley campus to offer these free classes, and is working to bring Bicycle Traffic School to more cities in the East Bay."







"Health Care and Profits, a Poor Mix" at

link courtesy Kibik

"Thirty years ago, Bonnie Svarstad and Chester Bond of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison discovered an interesting pattern in the use of sedatives at nursing homes in the south of the state.

Patients entering church-affiliated nonprofit homes were prescribed drugs roughly as often as those entering profit-making "proprietary" institutions. But patients in proprietary homes received, on average, more than four times the dose of patients at nonprofits.

Writing about his colleagues' research in his 1988 book 'The Nonprofit Economy,' the economist Burton Weisbrod provided a straightforward explanation: 'differences in the pursuit of profit.' Sedatives are cheap, Mr. Weisbrod noted. 'Less expensive than, say, giving special attention to more active patients who need to be kept busy.'

This behavior was hardly surprising. Hospitals run for profit are also less likely than nonprofit and government-run institutions to offer services like home health care and psychiatric emergency care, which are not as profitable as open-heart surgery.

A shareholder might even applaud the creativity with which profit-seeking institutions go about seeking profit. But the consequences of this pursuit might not be so great for other stakeholders in the system - patients, for instance."





"Mysterious fatal crash offers rare look at U.S. commando presence in Mali" Craig Whitlock,

"In pre-dawn darkness, a Toyota Land Cruiser skidded off a bridge in North Africa in the spring, plunging into the Niger River. When rescuers arrived, they found the bodies of three U.S. Army commandos - alongside three dead women.

What the men were doing in the impoverished country of Mali, and why they were still there a month after the United States suspended military relations with its government, is at the crux of a mystery that officials have not fully explained even 10 weeks later.

At the very least, the April 20 accident exposed a team of Special Operations forces that had been working for months in Mali, a Saharan country racked by civil war and a rising Islamist insurgency. More broadly, the crash has provided a rare glimpse of elite U.S. commando units in North Africa, where they have been secretly engaged in counterterrorism actions against al-Qaeda affiliates."















Blondie's and Rasputin's Owner Plans New Restaurant on Telegraph Avenue
Biondi's Cafe is slated for the old Wet Seal location.

· By Berkeley Patch Staff

The owner of Blondie's Pizza and Rasputin's Music, wants to open a restaurant on Telegraph Avenue. The new place would have a seating capacity of 150 and would serve salads, pizza, and pasta. 
Ken Sarachen's plans also call for serving beer and wine until 1 a.m. It will be called Biondi's Cafe.


UC Berkeley hires new chief information officer

Steven E.F. Brown
an Francisco Business Times

Larry Conrad will start work as chief information officer at the University of California, Berkeley, in February.
The university has been looking for a new CIO for some time -- at least eight months -- and during that period Lyle Nevels has been doing the job on a temporary basis. Nevels will stick around as deputy CIO in a "redefined" job, UC Berkeley said.





UC Police Arrest Fleeing Suspect in Campus Building Graffiti
A 23-year-old man suspected of spraying "hate crime" graffiti on campus was captured Saturday after he fell and cut his forehead while fleeing from UC Berkeley police, police said Monday. A suspected accomplice escaped.




Luxury apartments planned for downtown Berkeley
By Judith Scherr Oakland Tribune Correspondent
A developer has proposed an upscale 355-unit apartment project downtown with views of the Golden Gate Bridge, community rooms with Wi-Fi, a fitness center and rooftop gardens.

HSR Berkeley Investments, managed by Los Angeles-based Hill Street Realty, is calling the $200 million project The Residences at Berkeley Plaza.

The developer already bought the buildings for the project bordered by Shattuck Avenue, Kittredge Street, Harold Way and Allston Way for $20 million. If approved the project would be the first of three 180-foot buildings allowed downtown under the 2010 voter-approved Measure R.


"Some New Faces and Names on Berkeley Patch" at

"Starting this week you will see some new faces and names on Berkeley Patch.

Charles Burress, Analisa Harangozo and Dixie Jordan will be working as a team to manage Berkeley Patch and some other nearby Patch community websites.

Charles worked many years as a staff writer and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle before joining Patch as the editor of El Cerrito Patch.



"Colorflow Debuts New Facility in Berkeley, CA" right here in Potter Creek, a story Jennifer Wolfe,

"Colorflow has opened an all-new, state-of-the-art facility in the historic Saul Zaentz Media Center in Berkeley, California. The 7500-square foot facility features three color grading and finishing suites, and a DCI-compliant DI grading theater. Colorflow has recently provided color grading and finishing services for a number of films, including Heatstroke, a suspense thriller from Bold Films; and A River Changes Course, a documentary set to premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival."










from our log

1/2/13--6:00 AM and following, SERIOUS irritant in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation. 7:17 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation. 7:47 PM--similar, wear respirator, watery eyes, itchy skin.Marsha has SERIOUS hacking cough, symptoms similar to those in AM 11: 50 PM--similar, wear respirator, Marsha has SERIOUS hacking cough.

1/3/13--2:13 PM--7:17 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, overrides three HEPA filters. 7:47 PM--similar, wear respirator, watery eyes, itchy skin.Marsha has SERIOUS hacking cough, overrides three HEPA filters. 10:52 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, Marsha has VERY SERIOUS hacking cough, SERIOUS difficulty breathing, had to leave warehouse area for air. Worst incident in recent memory! Someone is dumping SERIOUS, SERIOUS stuff!

1/5/13--11:01 PM--irritant in warehouse front and in front of warehouse, mucus membrane irritation, wear respirator.

1/7/13--8:02 AM--irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation, wear respirator. 3:35 PM--similar.

1/12/13--9:30 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation, wear respirator. Off-and-on all afternoon, irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, mucus membrane irritation, wear respirator, only apparent immediate activity worker at neighbors. 8:09 PM--irritant in front room, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, itchy skin. 9:38 PM--similar.

1/13/13--4:31 AM--irritant in front room, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, itchy skin, overirdes 3 HEPA filters. 5:36 AM--similar. 9:38 PM--similar. 10:30 PM similar.

1/14/13..8:00 PM---irritant in front room, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, itchy skin, overirdes 3 HEPA filters.









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.