December 2008

after 12/7, here after 12/16, here after 12/20/08 here after 12/25/08,here




my thoughts

on a completely new Potter Creek Association

We don't need one?

Potter Creek is too diverse for one association?

One Potter Creek assocation is one too many?

Potter Creek needs an association not a political action group?

secret associations aren't transparent?

one member, one vote, democracy?

under the stake-holder system--a Berkeley concept de jour, those who have more atstake have more votes?

one member, one vote, democracy? oh, I asked that already.

more to follow










"Mixed day for rookies in Legislature" by Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau.

" 'If you asked why I ran six months ago or what I intended to do - it's a different day,' said Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. Skinner, who served on the East Bay Regional Parks Board and was a longtime Berkeley City Council member, said there can be nothing left off the table in terms of looking for budget cuts, but she said that she and her East Bay colleagues will work toward one goal: 'Do the least amount of harm.' "

our Angela emails about graffiti

Hi Ron,
Sending out troops for the public right of way (traffic signs, trees, electrical boxes) and your addresses are helpful for me to forward onto the right city staff. 
I will be going out to get the address for 8th and Parker today to get address. A helpful hint when people call in grafitti and for city staff to get out to public right of way sooner is to have the address in hand when you call in to 981-6620.The address is needed to direct staff (even though it might be obvious when we get there/ but also to log in into database for tracking) and especially important for when it is on private property to send property owner letter to remove.
thanks again for your continued work...

Ryan Lau emails

Hello Everyone,
I know that there are many people who are concerned about the situation with the 2240 9th Street, what is more commonly referred to as "The BOSS House."  I have attached a memo from the City Manager's office as to the City's plans for the use of this property.  As of right now, there have not been any decisions made about who or what type of use will be located at this property once it has been cleaned, and before any decision is made, there will be some sort of public process to solicit the concerns that the community.  We will be keeping everyone posted once we have more information and have been able to make arrangements for a community meeting.  Thanks everyone, and we will be in touch.
Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore, District 2



"Fund provides move-in money for blind woman" reports Elizabeth Fernandez, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"First her right eye went. Then, a few months later, just as abruptly, she lost vision in her left eye and Sheila Grant Bolanos became a blind woman.

That was last year.

She could no longer drive or use a computer, and had to give up her job in San Francisco as a manager of therapeutic recreation helping senior citizens.

Since then, she has spent little time bemoaning her profound loss - brought on by diabetes, a condition she had suffered from most of her life. Rather, she's devoted herself to learning to cope, to relearning how to use a computer, to acquiring the skills necessary to navigate daily life."



"Cal seems set for Emerald Bowl" reports Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"It looks like the Cal football team might be home for the holidays.

Emerald Bowl executive director Gary Cavalli said Sunday he's 'optimistic' that he can reach an agreement to leap-frog the Las Vegas Bowl and grab the fourth-place Bears for the Dec. 27 game at AT&T Park."

"UW to get close look at Jeff Tedford" reports the Seattle Times.

"Tyrone Willingham will coach his final football game for Washington at California on Saturday, against a coach on the other sideline who has been mentioned as a potential successor.

Tyrone Willingham will coach his final football game for Washington at California on Saturday, against a coach on the other sideline who has been mentioned as a potential successor.

But Jeff Tedford, in a conference call with Seattle-area reporters to preview the game, said he had not been contacted by UW and indications are that he won't be a candidate."


The LA Times has a story about a Cal alumni in "Muncie, who spends much of his time at his Bay Area home in Emeryville, also spearheads a mentoring program for athletes at his alma mater.

'Whenever we call, he makes himself available,' says Dr. Bill Coysh, director of sports medicine for the Cal athletic department. 'That's what's incredible about him. This is not a paid position. He does it because that's how he is.'
If a similar program had been in place when Muncie played at Cal, the former running back says, 'It would have made all the difference in the world.'

Or maybe not.

'Back in the '70s," says Muncie, noting that he started using cocaine in college, 'everything was about experimentation and Berkeley was a different place than it is now. It was a different time, and we didn't have the education we have now on drug abuse, so it's kind of hard to compare. It's apples and oranges.' "



"California's Ashley Walker Named U.S. Bank Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week" is a story at pac-10 org.

"Leading the #3/3 Bears to a 3-0 week at the Paradise Jam over the Thanksgiving weekend, CALIFORNIA's Ashley Walker was selected the U.S. Bank Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced.

A senior F/C from Modesto, Calif., Walker averaged 22.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists over three games at the holiday tournament in the Virgin Islands, also earning the event's Most Valuable Player distinction for the Reef Division."




"California, here she comes - Marin sailor Shana Bagley crews in around-the-world race" is a report by Michelle Slade in the Marin Independent Journal.

"The story of Marin native Shana Bagley being selected to crew the yacht California as the first West Coast entry in the prestigious Clipper Round The World 09-10 race is fascinating in itself. But there's more to her than meets the eye."



"UC Berkeley MBA Students Partner With National Lab Scientists to Commercialize Clean Tech" is a press release at

"Bringing clean tech innovations into the market place faster is the purpose of a new partnership launched this fall between scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and students of the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC), an interdisciplinary organization founded by MBA students at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business."



"Is empty nest best? Changes in marital satisfaction in late middle age" is a story on

"The phrase 'empty nest' can conjure up images of sad and lonely parents sitting at home, twiddling their thumbs, waiting for their children to call or visit. However, a new study, reported in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that an empty nest may have beneficial effects on the parents' marriage.

University of California, Berkeley psychologists Sara M. Gorchoff, Oliver P. John and Ravenna Helson tracked the marital satisfaction of a group of women over 18 years, from the time they were in their 40s to when they were in their early 60s.

The results of this study revealed that marital satisfaction increased as the women got older. Marital satisfaction increased for women who stayed with the same partners and for women who remarried." 


"Epigenetics: Plants Display 'Molecular Amnesia' " reports Science Daily.

"Plant researchers from McGill University and the University of California, Berkeley, have announced
a major breakthrough in a developmental process called epigenetics. They have demonstrated for the first time the reversal of what is called epigenetic silencing in plants."

You know, I was just wondering about this, yesterday.




"Companies push biking to work" is a report on USA Today.

"More and more companies are offering financial incentives for employees to ride bikes to work. In New York City, commuter cycling increased by 35% between 2007 and 2008, according to a 2008 report by the city's Department of Transportation.     

Julie Sheu, an employee at the Clif Bar food company in Berkeley, Calif., started biking to work this year, thanks to a one-time benefit her company offers to its employees: $500 to either buy or repair a bike if they pledge to use the bike a minimum of two times per month.
'It was the incentive and support I needed to get a bike that allowed me to get to work faster and do errands on weekends,' she said.
The program started in April. Almost half of the company's 227 employees take advantage of the bike program, company spokeswoman Sue Hearn said."  


"It's painful to watch passing parade of change" reports Carl Nolte at

"When times start to get tough, you begin to notice that some of the businesses and people you thought would always be around are starting to fade away.

Two old companies made big changes this month. One is a new car dealer on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco for nearly 60 years. The other is a ship company that has been operated out of either San Francisco or Oakland since the Gold Rush."


"UC Berkeley prof. speaks on microfinance" is a report by Colette Shade on

" 'We do it cheap/hide our money in a heap ... I got family, a friend in need,' M.I.A. raps on her 2007 album "Kala.'

'Cheap Moroccan got no credit ... y'all got less credit than me.'

M.I.A. may well be referencing the difficulty individuals in impoverished countries have obtaining credit.

While M.I.A.'s music may be well-recognized among UVM students, modern-day solutions to third-world poverty are much less familiar.

Dr. Ananya Roy, a professor at University of California, Berkeley, came to speak to students about this very issue on Monday, Nov. 17."


"A European-style tax? Get ready for it" is a story at

"Like it or not, there's only one way we're going to be able to pay for our ballooning deficit: a value-added tax.

It's highly possible, if not inevitable, that Americans will soon live under a radically different tax system - one that the pundits and politicians aren't talking about.

It's called a value-added tax, or VAT, and it's been used for decades to pay the bills and sustain the immense growth of governments around the world, from France to Mexico to Australia. Created in 1954 by a French economist, the VAT is the most potent, efficient machine for revenue generation yet invented."



"Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc. to Present at Wedbush Morgan Securities Ninth Annual California Dreamin' Management Access Conference" is a report at

". . . the premier specialty coffee and tea company in the U.S., announced that it will present at the Wedbush Morgan Securities Ninth Annual California Dreamin' MAC: Management Access Conference for

Micro-Small-Mid-Cap Companies, at 9:30 a.m. PT on Tues., Dec. 9, 2008, at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif." 


From Alaska's Radio Kenai we hear "
I never thought I'd live to see the day when having a bake sale would mean breaking the law. And it's all because some over-zealous nutrition nuts think they have the right to tell you how you should eat. Can you imagine the day when the almighty government dictates what you can and can't eat? But back to the bake sales. According to Dr. William Douglas, the California state legislature sometime ago passed new nutritional guidelines to limit the kinds of snacks that would be available for sale on public school premises, limiting sugar and calories. The true target of the guidelines were the vending machines at the schools, which used to contain the usual coin-operated fare of candy bars, chips, and sugary drinks. But part of the collateral damage of the law was the innocent tradition of the school bake sale. The left wing is turning the public school system into another battleground in their ongoing war against the 'evils' of poor nutrition under the guise of 'protecting the children.' And like all 'logic' from the left, it's driven to the extreme, with absolutely no exceptions. Honestly: who else other than an agenda-driven leftist lunatic could reasonably suggest that laws targeted at vending machines should be extended to short-term bake sales?"













Mayor Bates threw his annual Holiday party last night at our Viks.


a few more photos here


I tell ya, Da Boz hosted one hell-of-a buffet, . . . which Viks prepared with little apparent regard to cost.


. . . loved the Taj Mahal beer.


Lüchow's German restaurant, on 14th St. in New York City was, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a gathering place for musicians, artists, writers and not a few business men and politicians. They gathered for a little good food, good talk and companionship. Here the likes of Rachmaninoff, O. Henry, Helen Traubel, Toscanini, Mack Sennett, Lillian Gish, Theodore Roosevelt and others exchanged ideas, socialized and ate. William Steinway and his senior staff were regulars at the noon lunch. Gus Kahn wrote "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" there, on a table cloth, in 1912. There, in 1914, Victor Herbert and some friends founded "The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers," and J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie held dinners at Lüchow's that made culinary history. Fritz Kreisler and his wife dined regularly at Lüchow's and among their favorite desserts were German pancakes. Here's the recipe:


6 eggs
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pint milk

1/2 pound butter
Powdered cinnamon in shaker
Sugar in shaker
Juice 1 lemon
Preisselbeeren, huckleberry jam, cooked apples or chocolate sauce
Jamaica rum, kirschwasser (optional)

Beat eggs lightly; beat in flour, salt, and sugar, then milk. Beat five minutes in all. The batter should be thin and smooth. Melt enough butter in a wide frying pan to coat bottom and sides. When hot, pour in 4 to 5 tablespoons batter. Turn and slant pan to make batter spread to form large, thin, flat pancake. Cook until batter bubbles: turn, bake other side.
Slip onto hot plate. Makes 4 to 6 pancakes.


Walter Damrosch was one of the early conductors of the New York Philharmonic as well as a conductor of the Metropolitan Opera.
He ate regularly at Lüchow's and a favorite dish of his was:


2 pounds fillet of beef
4 slices freshly buttered toast
4 fresh raw eggs
8 sardellen
2 tablespoons capers

Remove all fat from beef. Grind meat fine. Arrange on toast; serve raw egg on top of each slice. Garnish with sardellen and capers. Serves 4.


Dr. Damrosch enjoyed the German red wine Assmanshauser with his Beef Tartar.
The recipe is from Lüchow's German Cookbook, Jan Mitchell (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co., 1958).




John and Suzana's friend, JungHae Kim emails

Dear friends and colleagues,
I would like to invite you to an exciting concert with New Century Chamber Orchestra Dec 11-14th, 2008.
I hope to see you there!

New century Chamber Orchestra with new director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg performing

Handel: Solomon, Overture and Entrance of the Queen of Sheba
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, No 5 and selection of holiday music.

Nadja Salerno-sonnenberg, violin
      Melody Moore, soprano
      Laura Griffiths, oboe
      Jan Ketchum, flute
      Bill Williams, trumpet
      JungHae Kim, harpsichord

Thu, Dec. 11 at 8pm, St. John's Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705 SOLD OUT
Fri, Dec. 12 at 8pm, First United Methodist Church, 2727 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
Sat, Dec. 13 at 8pm, Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102
Sun, Dec. 14 at 5 pm, Osher Marin JCC, 200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael, CA 94903

Tickets: please visit Tel 415.392.4400


Rick Ballard emails about his Groove Yard, 5555 Claremont Avenue Oakland, CA 94618 (510) 655-8400

I just bought a nice stash of jazz LPs. Lots of saxophone players.
Looking for a gift for a favorite jazzhead but don't know what they already have? Want jazz records or CDs for Christmas but your peeps don't know your tastes or what you already have? I have gift certificates. Lots of them. All you or they have to do is fill in the names and amounts.

Born on this day [12/3/08]: Barry Finnerty, Connie Boswell, Herbie Nichols, Joe Thomas, Lester Koenig. Happy Birthday!
This Day in Jazz: 1963-saxophonist Booker Ervin recorded The Freedom Book with Jaki Byard on piano.
They Said It: Eubie Blake "If I'd known I was going to live to be a hundred I'd have taken much better care of myself."

There is one CD by a local artist among the new CDs in stock at Groove Yard.

*Live at Yoshi's is the latest CD by poet/spoken word artist Avotcja & Modupue. Members of the group are Francis Wong, Sandy Poindexter, Jon Jang, Val Serrant, John-Carlos Perea, Jimmy Biala, Coto Pincheira, Hafez Modirzadeh, Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto, Sandor Moss, Ronnie Stewart and Tito Gonzalez. All tracks written by Avotcja except for those composed by Sun Ra, Francis Wong, Richard Rodgers, Jon Jang, Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto, Glenn Horiuchi and Coto Pincheira.
I have an open copy of this CD. Ask to hear it next time you're in the store.

[and Rick has for sale]

The Jazz Idiom: Blueprints, Stills and Frames
The Jazz Photography of Charles L. Robinson; Poetic Takes and Riffs by Al Young
Jazz Idiom showcases the intimate photography of Charles L. Robinson. A friend to many of the jazz musicians photographed, he often caught them in moments of candor: Charles Mingus, goateed and pensive, hunched over a Steinway, phrases dancing in his head. The legendary Earl "Fatha" Hines, in the groove-the original cool cat in sunglasses, famous for breaking piano strings. We see Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rushing backstage, talking about sometime back in the day. We see Milt Jackson and Dizzy Gillespie sharing a joke.
California Poet Laureate Al Young riffs, scats and bebops along with the photographs as he and Robinson provide poetry, anecdotes and insight into the players and moments in question. A beautiful medley of music, photography and poetry, Jazz Idiom pays homage to one of the most exciting times in American music history.
For the month of December, I am offering it at 20% off the list price. I should also mention that Charles L. "Chuck" Robinson is a longtime and valued customer of Groove Yard.


The Chronicle mentions our Art Walk Open House.
A sale of jewelry, paintings, fiber art, glassware and other wares by artists and craftspeople in Berkeley. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun. ActivSpace, 2703 Seventh St., Berkeley. (510) 845-5000.



"Allegedly tortured Tracy boy's aunt is arrested" reports Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"The aunt of a 17-year-old boy who escaped from a Tracy home where he had allegedly been held captive has been arrested in connection with the case, police said today.

Caren Ramirez, 43, pleaded no contest in a child abuse case last year, but authorities say the teenager wound up living with her in a Tracy home owned by Michael Luther Schumacher, 34, and his wife, Kelly Layne Lau, 30. The couple were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping, torture and other felonies.

Ramirez was found at a home on the 2600 block of College Avenue south of UC Berkeley about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, said Berkeley police Lt. Diane Delaney. Tracy police took her back to San Joaquin County, where she was being interviewed."


"Chabad-Lubavitch offers Jews abroad a home" reports Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Religion Writer.

"Members of the Bay Area's Chabad-Lubavitch community mourned Tuesday as the bodies of two brethren killed in the Mumbai terrorist attacks were buried in Israel.

Lubavitchers, as they are sometimes called, have made a modern mission out of creating havens for Jewish religious practice in far flung corners of the world - a tradition whose early roots include the Bay Area.


"Central Bank Devalues Ruble Twice During Course of Week" reports Tai Adelaja of Russia's St Petersburg Times.

"The Central Bank on Friday allowed the ruble to depreciate for the second time in a week and said it would raise key interest rates in an effort to reduce capital outflows.

The trading corridor of the dollar-euro basket was widened by 1 percentage point, or 30 kopeks, for the third time this month, continuing on a track of gradual devaluation widely criticized for encouraging speculation and depleting foreign currency reserves."














"Burden of multiple pollutants new focus of regulators" reports Suzanne Bohan of the Times.

"The health burden of the cumulative effects of environmental pollutants takes center stage at a community forum sponsored this evening by the Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Commission.

The gathering reflects the growing momentum by regulators to factor in the combined effect of various pollutants in their decision-making process, rather than just consider one at time.

'Right now, we are still regulating and managing pollutants mostly one at a time, without thinking too much about what happens when these things are close together or near vulnerable populations,' said Amy Kyle, an associate adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health, who will join the forum's panel.
Many pollutants, she explained, affect the same or similar biological pathways. By considering only one at time, the real health effects of the combined chemical cocktail can be missed. As an example, Kyle cited endocrine disrupters found in pesticides, plastics and other products and pollutants. These can act like hormones in the body, causing a cascading effect on multiple systems and organs.

In addition, Kyle said researchers have realized that 'many environmental contaminants have effects at far lower doses than we thought before, especially for susceptible populations like infants and children, or the elderly.' "

underlining mine!

As long as five to ten years ago, I told this to whoever would listen and to some who wouldn't, including local "environment experts" . 

I was met by polite smiles or dismissed with psuedo-science.



"The Energy Challenge:Energy Goals a Moving Target for States" is a story by Brian Harkin in the New York Times.

"In hopes of slowing global warming and creating 'green jobs,' Congress and the incoming administration may soon impose a mandate that the nation get 10 or 15 percent of its electricity from renewable sources within a few years.

Yet the experience of states that have adopted similar goals suggests that passing that requirement could be a lot easier than achieving it. The record so far is decidedly mixed: some states appear to be on track to meet energy targets, but others have fallen behind on the aggressive goals they set several years ago."


Kubik emails

Just two comments on the sculpture recently erected on our beautiful bridge.
The bridge is a fine example of engineering and artistic simplicity - the sculpture is busy and awkward. They just don't fit together.
The sculpture seems intended to commemorate important events in Berkeley's history, but it ignores the discovery and isolation of plutonium, the birth of the modern giant, corporate university, and the torture-memo by John Yoo - all from UC Berkeley.

Carol Whitman emails of the sculpture

Hear, hear. What were they thinking?



"San Pablo Condo Project Defaults, Forced Sale Scheduled" is a superb report with background by our crackerjack Richard Brenneman of the Planet.

"The latest chapter in one of Berkeley's more hotly contested buildings will unfold on the courthouse steps in Oakland at high noon on Dec. 16.

That's when the condo building at 2700 San Pablo Ave. will be sold at auction to pay for the $10.8 million incurred by its owner, Carleton Place, LLC, in May 2006.

Developer Charmaine Curtis told a writer for Apartment Finance Today magazine in April that the total cost of the project had been $14 million."

What Brenneman misses is that basically this project is of mediocre design and execution--Kubik commented after a tour that it reminded him of a cheap apartment building. And sadly, it blends in with the still slightly seedy part of San Pablo Ave--a more creative, innovative design could have changed the it.

The project is in a block often frequented by whores, their pimps, and drug dealers. So, imagine a prospective middle-class buyer of a more than half-million-dollar condo, after some difficulty finding a parking place, getting out of her car, and on her way to the condo office, walking past a whore strutting-her-stuff. I talked to one such woman who confessed only "Well, it's awful noisy there."

Then there's the racist component, never spoken or written of, that even I'm not getting into here and now.


our mayor emails

The Bates Update--News From Mayor Tom Bates

here are excerpts
 Berkeley's Solar Financing Program Hits Target in Nine Minutes
The City of Berkeley's innovative solar financing program, Berkeley FIRST, began accepting on-line applications on November 5th at 9 am.  Nine minutes later, 40 applications had been received. By the close of the application period, the number of applications reached 77.
The 40 properties selected for participation were the first five applicants in each of the City's eight Council districts.  Interest in the program has been high, with more than 300 property owners attending public workshops in October.
For more information:
Contact Gail Feldman, Sustainable Energy Programs Manager (510) 981-7494 or visit the City of Berkeley's FIRST Program website:

MTC Honors Berkeley for its Contributions to Bay Area Transportation
City CarShare and the city of Berkeley's AccessMobile received the Doris Kahn Accessible Transportation Award for providing the nation's first wheelchair-accessible car-share van. The AccessMobile, funded by a $25,000 award won by the city of Berkeley and matched by City CarShare, provides a new mobility option for wheelchair-bound residents. The van can transport two individuals using wheelchairs, plus three additional passengers and a driver. The AccessMobile launched in Berkeley on Earth Day, April 22.

Climate Action Plan 2.0 Public Comment Period Extended
The public comment period on Berkeley's Climate Action Plan has been extended to January 16th, 2009.

To access and comment on the report online please visit

  Thank You Berkeley Voters!
November 4, 2008 will be remembered as a landmark political election.  On a local level Berkeleyans passed Measure FF to improve our libraries as well as Measure GG to expand our emergency safety services.
I am also honored to be able to serve the residents of Berkeley for the next four years.
 City Encourages Input on Citywide Pool Master Plan
The City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) are preparing a Citywide Pools Master Plan to meet the current and future aquatic needs of the community. Public workshops are being held to better understand these needs.


The third and final community workshop will be held on Wednesday, January 28, 2009. Participants will comment on the Draft Citywide Pools Master Plan. This workshop will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the James Kenney Community Center, Community Room, 1720 8th Street, Berkeley.


City Council District Maps- In Color and Easy To Read!
The City Clerk and Information Technology departments have created beautiful new maps for the City's eight Council districts. Viewers can easily zoom in to see street names and precinct lines as well. The citywide map and all eight districts can be downloaded from the City Clerk page.

"Suit seeks database on bills, lawmakers' votes" writes Matthew Yi, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau.

"Open-government advocates filed a lawsuit against the state Wednesday, asking a Superior Court judge to order the Legislative Counsel to provide an electronic database containing information on bills and lawmakers' voting records.

The suit was filed jointly by the California First Amendment Coalition and, a nonprofit in Berkeley that operates a Web site that analyzes the relationship between campaign contributions by special-interest groups and how lawmakers vote on legislation."



a Richmond Ramblers M. C. reader sent this holiday recipe.

"This is a wonderful recipe, and it's just in time for the Holidays. Enjoy!

With the holidays coming, here's a fruit cake recipe that will help
take the stress out of this normally stressful time.

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
3 ounces lemon juice
1 cup of nuts

First, sample the vodka to check for freshness. Take a large bowl.
Check the vodka again to be sure it is of the highest quality.


Turn on the electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy
Add water, eggs and 1 tsp. sugar and beat again.

Make surr the vodca is still OK. Cry another tup. Turn off mixers.
Chuck in the cup of dried fruitt or something.
Mix on the turner.
If the fried druit gets struck on the beaterers, pry it loose with a

Sample the vodka to check for tonsistancity. Next, sniff 2 cups of
salt. Or . . . Who cares? Check the vodka. Now sniff the lemon juice
and strain nuts.
Add one Table.

Of sugar. Whatever.
Grease the oven.
Turn the cake ttin 350 degrees.
Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Whip the bowl out the window.
Check the vidka again.

Ah, . . . forget it. Nobody likes fruitcake anyway."


 "Alice Water's Zinfandel fascination" is at

"Next week, Chez Panisse begins another round of its Zinfandel festival, serving many of the older Zins in its cellar and offering a nightly flight of Zin to customers both downstairs in the dining room and upstairs in the Cafe."



"Winter Shelters Open Despite Grim Economic Outlook" is a report by the Planet's Riya Bhattacharjee.

"Despite the bleak economic scenario, Berkeley's winter homeless shelters have reopened for the winter, with a couple of them reporting a slight boost in funding and one witnessing record turnouts.

The city has typically offered at least four different kinds of shelter services to the homeless every winter, including the Winter Shelter program at the Oakland Army Base, the Winter Voucher program, the Emergency Storm Shelter program managed by Dorothy Day House and the Youth Emergency Assistance Hostel (YEAH!) at the Lutheran Church of the Cross on University Avenue, which caters to young adults.

According to a 2003 survey of Alameda County's homeless population, conducted by the Alameda County Continuum of Care Council, approximately 835 people are homeless on any given night in Berkeley, including 785 adults and 50 children."


"California's Jahvid Best lives up to his name in record-setting day" is a report by Ron Bergman in the Seattle Times.

"California football coach Jeff Tedford juggled a number of issues Saturday. Not the least of them was putting running back Jahvid Best back on the field when the Bears were trampling winless Washington."

And "Run and done: Bears ruin Willingham's exit" reports the Seattle Times.

"With a 48-7 loss to California the Huskies finished 0-12, the most losses in Pac-10 history, and became the first team in the conference to go winless since Oregon State finished 0-11 in 1980.

The Huskies spent the week invariably thinking about coaches coming and going. And on Saturday, they watched California running back Jahvid Best come and go.

It added up to a rather strange and all-too dreary ending to the worst season in Washington football history, as well as the four-year coaching tenure of Tyrone Willingham, as the Bears beat the Huskies, 48-7."



"Cal athletics doesn't drain as much, but deficit persists" writes Matt Krupnick of the Times.

"In the past two years, UC Berkeley has cut its athletic department's deficit in half, but the wall is looming.
University leaders had dreamed of making the department self-sufficient by 2016 or so. Though the school has made significant strides, administrators now acknowledge it may not be possible.


"UC chief changes buyout policy" is a story by Jim Doyle, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"The new president of the University of California system pledged Tuesday that employees in his office no longer will be allowed to collect full severance checks and then be rehired at other UC locations."


"Angry laid-off workers occupy factory in Chicago" is an AP story at

"Workers who got three days' notice that their factory was shutting its doors have occupied the building and say they won't go home without assurances they'll get severance and vacation pay.

About 250 union workers occupied the Republic Windows and Doors plant in shifts Saturday while union leaders outside criticized a Wall Street bailout they say is leaving laborers behind."



"Out-of-state enrollment sees significant increase at UC Berkeley" is a story at

 "Though UC Berkeley increased the number of admitted international students by threefold this year, the university hopes to attract even more international and out-of-state students, partially to reach a higher tuition target during budget constraints."



"Berkeley grandma sues over canceled embed" is a story by Kristin Bender of the Oakland Tribune.

"Berkeley blogger Jane Stillwater is suing the federal government for the cost of an airplane ticket to Kuwait and the cost of 15 mocha lattes from the airport Starbucks, where she spent two sleepless days because her previously approved embed with the U.S. Army suddenly was canceled.

Stillwater, a 66-year-old grandmother, embedded with the U.S. military twice last year and has gone to Iraq to hang out with troops and blog twice since her Starbucks layover. But in February she had an experience that prompted her to take the Department of Defense to small claims court."

"rrrauk, cough," hafta go now






Eternally useful links


Bay Area home prices from


Bay Area foreclosures from

Our City Council update is here.


Our Planning Commision update is here



You can find more information about our current weather conditions than is good for you at

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor, Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets more hits than Scrambled Eggs.


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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.


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

useful link

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


Markets is not just a reference for Berkeley-Hills radicals with 1.5 mil homes and considerable portfolios.


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



Berkeley Police reports at insidebay are here.


Our Berkeley PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.

Crime Log for 94710 is here

This site is NOT affiliated with Berkeley PD.
Take time to report crime!


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

The contacts are below:

Our new Area Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774

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

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

Journal of Recorded Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

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