Ed Adams and Lou Brero Jr's Jaguar XK 140MC

recently found in a shed on 6th and Dwight, just north of Potter Creek

to car guys, a jewel in the rough





in 2007 I posted

Sally and Suzanna had a garden party on Sunday afternoon in January--sort of the celebration "My dinning pavilion was featured in House Beautiful." And by mid-afternoon, Sally's pavilion and backyard over-flowed with guests, among them movers-and-shakers of west-Berkeley and dressed-to-the-tens Bay Area interior decorators and designers. Champagne flowed and La Farine desserts dazzled on the dinning-room table. But in the midst of all this sat the demure Dorothy Mitchell-Irwin, now 91. Sally's cousin, she was down from Redlands for the party. A Redlands native, Dorothy went to school there from kindergarten to college, graduating from the University of Redlands in 1938. After meeting her first husband-to-be on a Hawiian cruise they married and shortly after moved to Honolulu. But they divorced within a year. "I thought I was so smart, but I was so naive" she said.

Dorothy remained in Hawaii and got a job working for a civilian contractor to the military. And so on December 7, 1941 she was there and remembers. . . .


When I think of December 7th, 1941 I usually also remember the Thanksgiving before. My boyfriend at the time, Hilbert Crosthwaite was a young Lieutenant on the submarine, ARGONAUT. He had duty on Thanksgiving night and invited me to join him and another officer on board for dinner. (I don't remember what we had, but the Navy was famous for good food.) While we were eating the teletype started clacking and we could hear it. The other officer took the communique and read it. The sense of the message, from Washington I think, was that the United States had lost track of the Japanese fleet but that it was still somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

December 7 was on a Sunday. When the telephone rang early that morning I ran downstairs to answer it. (Later on one of our boyfriends put an extension upstairs, but I was the one awakened and ran downstairs to answer it.) It was a roomate's boyfriend, Warren Gardner, and he said: "The Japs have bombed Pearl Harbor!" We had not been out with him the night before, and anyhow he was inclined to play jokes on us, so I said: "Stop yer kidding-and go back to bed." "No," he said, "it's true, If you don't believe me turn on the radio." So I did and this is what I heard Webbley Edwards say: "And if you do not live throughout this day, happy landings. The radio station is now going off air.`' All the radios were off air so no enemy planes could follow the beam into Honolulu.

Well! That got my attention. I ran upstairs to waken my roommates and met with the same unacceptance until out our upstairs window which overlooked the Ala Wai Canal and the golf course beyond, we-saw a small white plane flying low over the canal with a big red circle under the wing!

You can imagine we got dressed in a hurry. In order to calm my nerves and keep busy I decided to wash clothes in the kitchen sink. We did not have a washing machine and as a rule we took our laundry to a Japanese mamasan every week. I remember thinking: if I'm going to be a Japanese prisoner, at least I'll have clean clothes. Later we were advised to pack a bag and what we should put in it. We still had it at the end of the war but we hadn't used it.

When we heard what we thought was a bomb explode a block from our apartment we all ran out to see what had happened and while we were gone the sink overflowed and flooded the kitchen floor. That kept me busy too. Now I'd have clean clothes and a clean floor.

Some Japanese bombs did fall farther away from our apartment, but the one in question was an anti aircraft shell which misfired from Fort de Russey's Battery B anti aircraft Coast Defense gun. This was an Army Fort to protect Honolulu shoreline from Diamond Head to Fort Armstrong down town. Well fortunately that shell fell on an inter section of Aloha Drive and Lewers Ave. It made a hole in the pavement that was quickly repaired.

The Japanese bomb wiped out a low income area of mostly Japanese residents and we thought it was ironic they bombed their own people.

Now there's a beautiful hotel for service people at Fort de Russey and a museum on the site of Battery B, as it was called.

We kept ourselves busy all day. Early in the afternoon one of the room mate's boyfriends who lived in Manoa Valley came to see if we were OK. I think 3 or 4 fellows lived in the house. So we all piled in Fred Barnett's open air convertible and he took the 3 of us home. We were driving down Beretania Blvd. between the Honolulu Academy of Arts and Thomas Square when we heard a terrible racket that sounded like machtne gun fire, and we all DUCKED. A big PBY was flying overhead and we were thankful it was OUR plane. But the noise was caused by a flat tire. Auwe! We all piled out of the car while the tire was fixed.

Those fine fellows opened cans and fixed a tuna casserole that tasted mighty good. My two roommates worked for Hawaiian Electric Co. and one was a Home Economist, so I'm sure we must have helped. I'm not sure where everyone else slept, but I slept on the floor in my clothes.

I might add that we expected the Japanese would come ashore at Waikiki.

Next morning one fellow drove me to the Navy Recruiting office on Ala Moana Blvd . and I got a ride to the Submarine Base Gate at Pearl Harbor. Then I started walking to Kuahua Island (as it was called) where the Pacific Naval Airbase office was where I worked, when a Press Photographer picked me up and took me to the office. I'm sorry I can't remember his name because he became a famous photographer.

The PNAB office was across from Ford Island which actually blocks the entrance to Pearl Harbor. The scene was horrendous - water was burning because oil from the battleships had caught fire. They were still bringing in bodies, both dead and alive. All of our battleships had been destroyed, as they intended, but we still had aircraft carriers!

W. T. Owen was the manager of the PNAB Purchasing Department where I worked. There were 8 or 10 purchasing agents buying materials needed to build the Pacific Naval Airbases. There were 5 big engineering firms constructing these bases. Oleta Stevens was in charge of all the girls (20 or 30?) who typed the purchase orders for Midway, Wake and Johnson Islands. I called Oleta and she reminded me that on the 8th our wastebaskets were filled with sand in case there was a fire when the Japs returned. She said she urged us to work hard and fast to accomplish as-much as possible in case it was our last chance.

She remembered that the OKLAHOMA had capsized and by Tuesday the ship had been righted and all the officers and crew were rescued. The ARIZONA was never brought up from its watery grave.

The YORKTOWN aircraft carrier was badly damaged during the Battle of Coral Sea in May of 1942, and it was sunk during the Battle of Midway the following month. The ENTERPRISE was badly damaged too. More about that later.

On Monday I saw a Destroyer going out to sea that maneuvered back and forth like a car emerging from a tight place. They'd had word the Japs were attacking Hilo and were going out to protect the harbor.

The next day our friends gathered to help us black out our our apartment. It stayed that way till the end of the war.

The air raid wardens were very demanding - not one glimmer of light was allowed to show through.

Naturally we were all afraid. We really expected the Japanese to invade Oahu by walking in over the reefs to Waikiki. Now we know they planned to start with the Philippines and work their way across the Pacific. They made a good start to this plan. Lucky for us they didn't know how easy it would have been to invade Oahu.

Just before the Battle of Midway it was very impressive to be aware of bombers flying out from Hickam Airfield, next to Pearl Harbor, every few minutes. We knew something Big was happening. It was the Battle of Midway. At that Battle the Japanese lost 3,500 of their finest and best trained men.

Shortly after in June, 1942, the aircraft carrier ENTERPRISE, which had been badly damaged in the Battle of Midway, returned to Pearl Harbor with a GREAT hole in its side. Still, it was a magnificent sight to see this huge ship badly crippled come back home to Pearl Harbor - the crew and officers standing at attention on deck. It was thrilling, and we were very proud. Until then I don't believe we'd been confident about winning the war. But that was the beginning of the end of what had been started for us at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 194L Although it took 3 more years of fierce fighting and a terrible loss of life to come to a successful conclusion.


Some years ago, my friend Takane Eshima gave me a copy of the book Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor. The author is ex-Oakland Tribune reporter/photographer, Robert B. Stinnett. The book's thesis is that WE were sneaky about Pearl Harbor. Although his case that FDR knowingly let Pearl Harbor happen in order to get America into war is not fully made, it seems clear Roosevelt finessed us into World War II.

In Alliance of Enemies; the untold story of the secret American and German collaboration to end World War II, authors Hassell and MacRae write of Roosevelt's methods "FDR sized on information to use as a tool for power plays among his key advisors. Richard M. Helms . . . recalled that FDR also ignored 'intelligence that was inconvenient. . . . Intelligence was important to [Roosevelt] . . . but he tended to toy with it.' "





In August 2006, I posted

Sunday afternoon Sally had a party for Norma Finch, Richard's Mom. (Norma who turned ninety-one has just passed her drivers test.) Though the La Farine hazel-nut, almond, chocolate, cherry torte was unexpectedly delicious, Norma's story about meeting her husband, Dan was even more delicious. In the 1930s, Dan, an inventor, was driving around the country with his cousin testing a current invention, a multiple-fuel '36 Buick. (It'd run on whiskey, Richard chimed in.) Seems the boys stopped in Haywarden, Iowa to visit some of cousin's relatives. And, it happened at that time Norma was visiting back home from Takoma Washington, where she was working. During their stay down the street, the boys would often walk past Norma's house. But Norma says that it was her Mother who noticed them and asked Norma to invited them in. Well, she did. So, Norma invited Dan and his cousin in. They came in through the back--the kitchen--door. Lots of good food and talk were had in kitchens. Among other things, they decided they'd meet the next day at the Sand Pit--the swimming hole. They did, and over the days in Haywarden they got to know each well enough that they wrote to each other after they left--Dan went to Harvard and Norma back to Tacoma. After some time away they met again in Haywarden and then-SCANDALOUSLY--took the train together to meet Dan's parents in Glendale.


Dan and Norma


Norma passed this September at 93

and Milo just turned four


on 12/10/04 I posted

Scrambled Eggs Babe of the Year July-December 2004

Potter Creek's newest citizen, Milo




Ed Saylan, Merryll's late husband and my friend, was notoriously thrifty. His son Matt, emails

This reminds me of something Ed might have done.


John Allen Brown's obituary in the McAlester News.

"John Allen Brown, Jr., 73, of Roswell, New Mexico, passed away December 4, 2008 at UNM Medical Center in Albuquerque after a brief and sudden illness."



"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."


Last night at 9:00, Pete Hurney's Barrows Basement Theater premiered with the Earthquake Show. It was broadcast on KALX-FM and streamed at http:kalx.berkeley.edu




"Best and Maualuga are Pac-10 players of the week" is a story at kndo.com.

"California tailback Jahvid Best and USC linebacker Rey Maualuga are the Pac-10 players of the week."


"Miami Hurricanes to face Cal in Emerald Bowl" is a report in the Miami Herald.

"The University of Miami will travel across the country to San Francisco to play in its first bowl game in two years -- against Cal in the Emerald Bowl.

The University of Miami football team will be spending Christmas far from home -- far, far from home.
The Hurricanes happily accepted an invitation Sunday to play the California Golden Bears in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 27 at San Francisco's AT&T Park."

"T.C.U. Tops Unbeaten California" is a story in the New York Times.

"Rachel Rentschler scored 16 of her 24 points in the first half and also grabbed 10 rebounds, and No. 22 Texas Christian defeated No. 3 California, 82-73, in the final of the Colliers International Classic on Sunday at Berkeley."



"Farm Bureau reaches 90, going strong" by Steve Adler is a story at cfbf.com.

"The year was 1919 when two well-known organizations came into existence. One of them--the League of Nations--was short lived. The other endured. Ninety years after its formation, the California Farm Bureau Federation is stronger than ever.

Much has happened in California agriculture in the nine decades since 32 county Farm Bureaus met in Berkeley to adopt a constitution and pass bylaws, giving birth to the California Farm Bureau Federation. Over the near century that has passed since its creation, Farm Bureau has been on the forefront in protecting and projecting the needs and desires of the state's family farmers and ranchers. That effort continues today as CFBF is recognized as the leading voice of California agriculture.' 




"Berkeley's Solar Panel Program Garners Nationwide Interest--Program Allows Home Owners to Pay for Solar Panels Through Taxes" is a report by Amy Brooks, Daily Cal Staff Writer.

"Berkeley has championed many innovative programs? designed to help the environment, but this time, the rest of the country is taking note.

Since September, when the city began its novel solar panel financing program to reduce carbon emissions and save money on electricity, cities nationwide have expressed interest in starting similar programs.

The program, which allows property owners to pay for solar panels through their property taxes for up to 20 years, is the first of its kind in the nation." 


"California will create a green economic stimulus plan that will serve as a national model by implementing the historic Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), according to a new study released today" is a press release at marketwatch.com. 


"Air board to move on global warming proposals" writes Wyatt Buchanan of the Chronicle Sacramento Bureau.

"California will decide this week whether to adopt the nation's most comprehensive plan to combat global warming and to impose the most restrictive regulations on heavy-duty diesel trucks, a move that would impact nearly 1 million big rigs on the state's roads.

The California Air Resources Board will consider the landmark policies, each of which has generated significant controversy, at its meeting Thursday and Friday in Sacramento. Each of the plans would take more than a decade to be fully implemented."


"Why AB32 is a powerful economic stimulus" opine Margaret Bruce and Bruce S. Klafter at mercurynews.com.

"California is at a historic crossroads. We face three interrelated crises of global proportions: economic recession, energy insecurity and climate change. Because of economic uncertainty, some believe we cannot take risks or do anything differently. We know that doing more of what we have done will get us more of what we have gotten: recession, energy insecurity and climate change. From field to factory, laboratory to living room, Californians know now is the time for action. We need bold and comprehensive action that moves us from a 20th century fossil fuel-based economy to a new clean, secure, efficient and prosperous economy."


"Diesel truckers at cancer risk from exhaust" reports Jane Kay, Chronicle Environment Writer.

"Trucking company workers who have been regularly exposed to diesel exhaust from vehicles on highways, city streets and loading docks have a higher risk of lung cancer than other workers, according to a new national study.
The study, based on 31,135 worker records, found that drivers who do short-haul pickups and deliveries, including loading and unloading containers at ports and working at freight-delivery companies, had the highest rate of deaths and disease.

Dockworkers were also at a higher risk, according to the report by researchers at UC Berkeley and Harvard."


"Diesel truck rule debated before key vote Friday" is by Denis Cuff of the West County Times.

"California's air pollution board Friday will consider adopting strict new rules requiring cleaner diesel trucks to reduce the risk of health ailments linked to soot particles.

Truckers and public health advocates call the diesel truck rule a milestone in California's campaign for clean air, but they sharply disagree whether it requires reductions too soon."



"Is Your Zip Code Making You Sick? CIGNA Offers Communities of Health Nationally with Pilot in Las Vegas" is a report at newsticker.welt.

"Evidence shows that where you live has as much influence over whether you get sick as how you live. Mounting research indicates that community forces ­ such as social conditions, economic opportunity, food and transportation systems ­ are contributing factors in more than half of all disease and death.*

So today, CIGNA formally introduced Communities of Health to help cities, towns and neighborhoods consider the social and environmental factors that determine health and create community-based solutions. The first large-scale Communities of Health gathering will take place in Las Vegas on Dec. 11 where more than 200 community leaders will meet at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. Dr. Lyn Syme, professor emeritus of epidemiology and community health and human development at the University of California at Berkeley, will deliver the keynote address. He will draw on 50 years of research to challenge prevailing assumptions about what causes health and illness and what is required to change." 


Darryl Moore emails

South and West Berkeley Neighbors,

We would like to invite you to a Town Hall Meeting featuring the City's Climate Action Team who will present the details of the City's Draft Climate Action Plan. The Public Comment period for the Plan will close on January 16th and the Council will be asked to make some critical decisions about the plan when it is finally presented for a vote in early 2009. Since the Climate Action Plan will impact all Berkeley residents, we'd like to hear from you about the measures that are being recommended in the Draft Plan.
This challenge offers us an opportunity to build a more sustainable, equitable, and healthy community. Please review the Draft Plan and give us your ideas and thoughts so that we can move ahead together to meet our Measure G goals.
Hope to see you there on Thursday, December 18th (see details below).
Councilmember Darryl Moore

Berkeley's Climate Action Plan

A Town Hall Meeting with Councilmembers Darryl Moore (District 2) & Max Anderson (District 3)
Thursday, December 18th, 7 - 8:30pm
Frances Albrier Community Center, located in San Pablo Park at 2800 Park St.
Event is wheelchair accessible.
In November 2006 Berkeley voters issued a call to action on the climate challenge by overwhelmingly endorsing ballot Measure G. The mandate was simple but bold: reduce Berkeley's community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the year 2050. The City recently released for public review and comment an action plan to serve as a guide for achieving that goal.
Please join Council Members Darryl Moore and Max Anderson to learn about and discuss:

The City's recommendations for reducing local greenhouse gas emissions through policies that affect land use and community design; transportation and mobility throughout the community; energy use in homes and businesses; and residential and commercial recycling and composting
How to get involved in existing and emerging local efforts to combat climate change
How to take advantage of various existing programs to help you save energy and money and reduce waste
* The main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Berkeley
Note that the draft Berkeley Climate Action Plan is open for public comment until January 16th. To access the draft plan please visit www.BerkeleyClimateAction.org.
For questions about the upcoming town hall meeting and information about accommodations please contact Councilmember Moore's office at (510) 981-7120.

We look forward to your input!




"Brains of poor and rich kids vary" is a story in the Times of India.  
    "Socio-economic conditions play a major role in brain activities of children, with EEG images showing that poor children's brain resembles that of stroke victims.

Researchers from University of California, Berkeley, have shown for the first time that the brains of low-income children function differently from the brains of high-income kids. The research is to be published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience."


Read this Hurney!

"The Teasing of Christmas" is a story in the Washington Post.

"Charlie Brown gets mocked for choosing a sickly pine tree for Christmas.

Flick gets his tongue stuck on a telephone pole in response to boys daring him.

Rudolph's red nose is the butt of the reindeer jokes until it proves useful.

Ah, it's time for the Christmas specials. And that means lots of heartfelt stories that just happen to have teasing -- or is it bullying -- as part of the themes. And all that mockery is just what we're trying to stop teaching our children, right?

Not so fast writes Dacher Keltner in the New York Times. Keltner is a professor of psychology at the University of California-Berkeley. 'In Defense of Teasing,' he argues that schools and workplaces that aim to be tease-free zones are missing the point."




"F1 to hold landmark budget talks" is a story at BBC NEWS.

"Formula One teams will meet motorsport boss Max Mosley in Monte Carlo on Wednesday for landmark talks that could change the face of the sport.

FIA chief Mosley wants the teams to use a standard engine and gearbox from 2010 to help cut their costs by up to 80%.

The support of four teams will be enough to push the proposal through, the FIA says, and it claims there has been a 'very positive response' so far.

Yet BBC Sport understands the teams will oppose the proposal."




"Bottom drops out of recycling industry" is a report by the AP's P.J. Dickersheid.

"Norm Steenstra's budgeting worries mount with each new load of cardboard, aluminum cans and plastics jugs dumped at West Virginia's largest county recycling center.

Faced with a dramatic slump in the recycling market, the director of the Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority has cut 20 of his 24 employees' work week to four days from five, shuttered six of the authority's drop-off stations and is urging residents to hoard their recyclables after informing municipalities with curbside recycling programs that the center will accept only paper until further notice.

'The market is just not there anymore,' Steenstra said.

Just months after riding an incredible high, the recycling market has tanked almost in lockstep with the global economic meltdown. As consumer demand for autos, appliances and new homes dropped, so did the steel and pulp mills' demand for scrap, paper and other recyclables.

Cardboard that sold for about $135 a ton in September is now going for $35 a ton. Plastic bottles have fallen from 25 cents to 2 cents a pound. Aluminum cans dropped nearly half to about 40 cents a pound, and scrap metal tumbled from $525 a gross ton to about $100."



"US faces deep problems, OECD says" is by Steve Schifferes, Economics reporter, BBC News.

"The world's biggest economies have been hit by the credit crunch

The US economy is still facing 'sharp downside risks' to growth, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Paris-based organisation warns that the credit squeeze has been spreading to other forms of lending, and other financial firms could become insolvent.

It says that another fiscal stimulus could be needed if things get worse.
But it warns that longer term problems, including health care reform and the US budget deficit, must be tackled."


"World Bank predicts global gloom" reports BBC NEWS.

"Emerging economies will grow more slowly in 2009

The World Bank has forecast a significant decline in global economic growth in 2009 for both developed and emerging countries.

In a report assessing economic prospects, the Bank has predicted that the world's annual economic growth will slow to 0.9%, from 2.5% this year." 


"Oakley bans medical marijuana sales" reports Jonathan Lockett in our Times.

"There is officially no place in east Contra Costa County for medical marijuana to be sold legally.
Tuesday night, Oakley joined Pittsburg, Antioch and Brentwood in permanently prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries after more than a year long moratorium on the businesses."

Moe Moskowitz used to say "Expect the best, prepare for the worst."










on 12/7 I posted with comments

"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.



Reliable sources said today that the auction is being held by the new owner, the firm that originally gave a second mortgage to the developers. This firm now holds a discounted first mortgage after negotiation with the bank--the developers were in default to both lenders. In the auction, the new owners hope to recover their initial investment plus. Though figures of 10 to 12 million have been advanced as the project's worth, others estimate the current value closer to 6 to 8 million.

This is not a foreclosure auction.





"Energy secretary pick argues for new fuel sources" reports H. Josef Hebert at google.com.

"Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who is President-elect Barack Obama's choice for energy secretary, has been a vocal advocate for more research into alternative energy, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combat global warming.

Chu, a Chinese-American who currently is director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, has in recent years campaigned to bring together a cross-section of scientific disciplines to find ways to counter climate change.

If action is not taken now to stop global warming, it may be too late, he argues."



"Cal-Berkeley Center Mack Wins Draddy Trophy Award" is a report at allheadlinenews.com.

California-Berkeley center Alex Mack received the Draddy Trophy award Tuesday night at the National Football
Foundation and College Hall of Fame awards banquet."



"8 really, really scary predictions" is a story at money.cnn.

"Dow 4,000. Food shortages. A bubble in Treasury notes. Fortune spoke to eight of the market's sharpest thinkers and what they had to say about the future is frightening."


"Tangible fun at UC Berkeley's virtual projects" is a report by Patricia Yollin, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"You can chase a virtual butterfly in a simulated elevator. Or try to sink a battleship. Or pop the bubbles your opponent is blowing through a wand.

A UC Berkeley class will open its doors to the public today to glimpse the future of interaction - at least as imagined by the students in the course."












Susan Brooks emails

Susan Brooks Holiday Open Studio continues


Sawtooth Building 2547 Eighth Street, Studio 24a
(between Dwight & Parker) West Berkeley

2 More weekends

11-6 p.m.

December 13-14, 20- 21

(I will also be open Dec. 22-23 11-5 p.m. & Dec.24 11-2 p.m.)

Also open 11-5 pm Thursdays (except Holidays)
and by Appointment plus extra days during the week through the end of
the year.

new work--Jewelry & Works on Paper

Earrings, Brooches, Rings, Necklaces, Drawings, Paintings

Please join me @ the studio During
Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios
A Free Self-Guided Tour of Artisan Workshops
100 handpicked artists & craftspeople open their
studios during this annual event, 30 in our building.
Susan Brooks
2547 Eighth Street 24a
Berkeley, California 94710
510 845-2612



"Company Profile for Aquifer Solutions, Inc" is a press release in the International Business Times.

"Aquifer Solutions, Inc. is a full-service design-build environmental engineering services firm. Our experience spans a wide range of projects, from infrastructure and construction projects to vadose zone and groundwater characterization and in-situ groundwater remediation. Aquifer Solutions is a woman-owned small business with
two offices located in Evergreen, Colorado and Berkeley, California."

Aquifer is at 950 Gilman here in Berkeley



"Bayer USA Foundation Awards $279,000 Grant to Exemplary STEM Education Diversity Program" reports marketwatch.com.

"Grant to MESA Expands Reach of Bayer's Making Science Make Sense. Reaffirming its longstanding commitment to help strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and bring more women and minorities into STEM fields, the Bayer USA Foundation today awarded a $279,000 grant over three years to the nationally lauded Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program to help educationally disadvantaged students in the San Francisco Bay area to achieve and succeed in these subjects."





"Concern for Climate Change Defines Energy Nominee" reports Steven Mufson, Washington Post Staff Writer

"The next secretary of energy, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, recently compared the danger of climate change to a problem with electrical wiring in a house.

Suppose, he said, you had a small electrical fire at home and a structural engineer told you there was a 50 percent chance your house would burn down in the next few years unless you spent $20,000 to fix faulty wiring.

'You can either continue to shop for additional evaluations until you find the one engineer in 1,000 who is willing to give you the answer you want -- "your family is not in danger" -- or you can change the wiring,' Chu said in a presentation in September.

Because of the danger of climate change, he said, the United States and other countries also need to make some urgent repairs. He said governments need to 'act quickly' to implement fiscal and regulatory policies to stimulate the deployment of technologies that boost energy efficiency and 'minimize' carbon emissions."


"China cheers ethnic Chinese pick for US energy sec" is an AP report.

"China's media are cheering President-elect Barack Obama's pick of Chinese-American Steven Chu for the post of U.S. energy secretary, saying it bodes well for future cooperation between the two countries."





" 'Trout War' continues over fish planting" writes Tom Stienstra at sfgate.com.

"Lake managers fired a blast of their own this week in California's 'Trout War,' the fight over planting rainbow trout in lakes and streams to provide fishing - and whether or not those plants harm anything.

Four lake managers said they will defy the threat of a lawsuit from an environmental group, the Center for Biological Diversity, and announced they will keep planting trout at their respective lakes."




"California Regulators Adopt CO2 Regulation Plan" is a report at easybourse.com, Paris.

"California regulators formally adopted a plan Thursday to regulate and cut the state's greenhouse-gas emissions by about 15% by 2020.

The plan, approved by the California Air Resources Board, calls for expanding energy-efficiency programs, requiring utilities to use renewable sources for 33% of the power they sell, and developing a cap and trade program that will allow polluters to buy and sell emission allowances."




The Wall Street Journal reports "Fund advisor Bernard Madoff was arrested, accused in separate SEC and FBIpf a multibillion dollar fraud" and that "Son turned in Madoff after he allegedly told him his investment advisory business for the wealthy was a'giant ponzi scheme.' "

Well Ok then.








no Santa Claus?



"The Madoff fraud could be one of the biggest yet" reports BBC NEWS.

"The former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market has been arrested and charged with securities fraud, in what may be one of the biggest fraud cases yet.

Bernard Madoff ran a hedge fund which ran up $50bn (£33.5bn) of fraudulent losses and which he called 'one big lie', prosecutors allege.

Mr Madoff is alleged to have used money from new investors to pay off existing investors in the fund."


"For Madoff investors, big returns trumped risks" writes David B. Caruso, Associated Press.

"They had known him for years as a golf partner, a family friend. Some were neighbors or fellow members of country clubs on Long Island and in Florida.

Many had begun investing with 70-year-old Bernard Madoff decades ago, often after being referred by a friend or relative who had known the Wall Street veteran even longer.

There had been some warnings: Financial consultants had been suspicious for years about his astounding run of success.

They couldn't figure out how he managed to produce steady returns, month after month, even when everyone else was losing money - and leave almost no footprint while moving billions of dollars in and out of the markets.

'People would come to me with their statements, and I couldn't make heads or tails of them,' said Charles Gradante, co-founder of the Hennessee Group and an adviser to hedge fund investors.

'He only had five down months since 1996,' Gradante said. 'There's no strategy in the world that can generate that kind of performance. But when people would come to him and say, "How did I make money this month?" he didn't like it. He would get upset with people who probed too much.'

Those investors were scrambling Friday to learn whether they had been wiped out by what prosecutors described as a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The assets of Madoff's investment company were frozen Friday in a deal with federal regulators and a receiver was appointed to manage the firm's financial affairs.

According to the criminal complaint, Madoff estimates he lost as much as $50 billion over many years. If true, it would be one of the largest fraud schemes in Wall Street history."



"The Novel That Predicted Portland" is a review by Noah Berger for the New York Times.

"Sometimes a book, or an idea, can be obscure and widely influential at the same time. That's the case with 'Ecotopia,' a 1970s cult novel, originally self-published by its author, Ernest Callenbach, that has seeped into the American groundwater without becoming well known.

The novel, now being rediscovered, speaks to our ecological present: in the flush of a financial crisis, the Pacific Northwest secedes from the United States, and its citizens establish a sustainable economy, a cross between Scandinavian socialism and Northern California back-to-the-landism, with the custom - years before the environmental writer Michael Pollan began his campaign - to eat local.

White bicycles sit in public places, to be borrowed at will. A creek runs down Market Street in San Francisco. Strange receptacles called 'recycle bins' sit on trains, along with 'hanging ferns and small
plants.' A female president, more Hillary Clinton than Sarah Palin, rules this nation, from Northern California up through Oregon and Washington."


Kubik emails a review, "Decline, fall and then some" by Patrick Keeney, National Post.

"It is a literary curiosity that so many physicians write so well. From Anton Chekhov to Somerset Maugham to Williams Carlos Williams, to more contemporary examples such as Lewis Thomas, the late Michael Crichton or last year's Giller Prize winner, Vincent Lam, there is no shortage of doctors who excel at the literary arts. And none writes more elegantly and eloquently than the British essayist Theodore Dalrymple, the nom de plume of Anthony Daniels, a retired prison doctor and psychiatrist. The pseudonym was chosen, he tells us, to convey the sense of a curmudgeon's stubborn refusal to go along with the defining orthodoxies and pieties of his age."


"Power of Words: Mimicking mommy - a toddler's introduction to reading" is a story by Alison Fromme in the Ithaca Journal.

"The other day, I sat on the living room carpet reading the Ithaca Journal while my 1-year-old son played nearby. Suddenly, there he was, crouched next to me, holding a scrap of paper. He was imitating me reading.

Since Nathan was born, I always knew I wanted to inspire him to love reading. But what does that mean in daily life? What does that mean for a toddler who doesn't even talk yet? Of course I understand that reading to him every day is a good start.

During that special snuggly time, he hears words and sentences, practices turning pages, and looks at pictures and printed words. All of these are important experiences. But it wasn't until I saw Nathan mimicking me reading that I realized the importance of my actions beyond our family story time. And, if I'm conscious of those actions, perhaps he really will grow up to be a voracious reader."


"Lessons from that Tenderloin camera Web site" is a report by C.W. Nevius at sfgate.com.

"Last Saturday, we told you the story of Adam Jackson, who pointed a Web camera out the window of his Tenderloin apartment and created a hot Internet site.

Today, we tell you how it all went wrong, from a flurry of death threats to being targeted by cyberbullies. But just when it looked like the thugs had bullied Jackson into taking down his site, the community rallied behind the concept of neighborhood cameras. In fact, the interest may be stronger than ever.

There are lots of lessons here. For starters, Jackson has learned about privacy on the Internet: There isn't any. Second, neighborhood cameras work - for better or worse, they focus attention on life on the street.

And third, did you ever wonder why it is so difficult to get people to step up and try to make things better in troubled neighborhoods? It's because there are always some self-appointed guardians of the status quo who make it as difficult as possible."

"And third" . . . is certainly true of some of Potter Creek's New-Conservatives.



"ZAB Delays Decision on Kashani Condos" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet.

"Berkeley's Zoning Adjustment's Board delayed approval of developer Ali Kashani's five-story condo project at the corner of Ashby and San Pablo avenues on Thursday.

The decision came after Steven Wollmer, a land use activist, pointed to problem in the wording of the proposed use permit's handling of the project's affordable housing units.

The 98-unit, five-story project is being developed by Kashani and his partner Mark Rhoades, formerly the city's land use planning manager.

Board members also approved a three-story office building at 1906 Shattuck Ave., demolition of the former Twin Castle diner at 3020 San Pablo Ave., and a beer and wine sales and tasting permit for 2949
College Ave.

The board also approved architect Kava Massih's request to build a 777-square-foot quick service restaurant with outdoor seating at 1326 10th St., the site of a former nursery."


"Berkeley bazaar is a shopper's delight" writes Karen Aiello of the Modesto Bee.

"'Twas the week before Christmas and all through my mind, a tiny voice kept repeating, 'Your shopping's behind.'

I looked over my list and I studied them all and knew that these people wouldn't want gifts from a mall.

What they needed was something special, something really rare, so off to Berkeley's famed street fair I decided to fare.

Telegraph Avenue, near the University of California at Berkeley campus, has gained notoriety for its bizarre bazaar. At Christmastime, the area is decorated with festive lights and features vendor after vendor selling an array of items. There are leather goods, pottery, handcrafted jewelry, blown glass and tie-dyed T-shirts."



"Cal women come apart, blow big lead" is a report by Jennifer Starks of the Mercury News.

"When it was over, the result left Cal Coach Joanne Boyle stunned, embarrassed and struggling to keep her emotions in check.

'I've never as a coach lost a 30-point lead,' Boyle said, fighting back tears.

The No. 9 Golden Bears showed her the way Saturday night, blowing a 26-point lead by coming apart in the second half and losing 86-75 to No. 5 Oklahoma at the Basketball by the Bay tournament at the Event Center at San Jose State.

A mighty collapse or a miraculous comeback?

However you framed it, Cal suffered a crushing defeat after starting superbly in front of an announced crowd of 2,636, the largest ever to attend a women's basketball game at the Event Center."



"Alfa Romeo Giulia Super is the prize of one man's collection" is an appreciation at sfgate.com

"Andrew Watry works in San Francisco as an editor with a legal publisher. He lives with his wife and two teenagers in North Berkeley.

I have eight cars and won't apologize. I guess I inherited my interest in cars from my dad, who grew up in Glendale/Burbank - a hotrod hotbed in the 1940s - and raced and rallied a Crosley, MGA and Hillman in the 1950s. I was also influenced by my grandfather, who was a machinist, mechanic and truck driver in Idaho and Los Angeles
from the 1910s to the 1930s. Cars are in my blood. At the same time, I try to be a responsible citizen and take public transit to work as much as possible. Cars are for fun, not transportation!"



Glow woman

by Alexander Èelenky from the St. Petersburg Times

A pedestrian walks past a light display on Shpalernaya Ulitsa, close
to Smolny. Weather forecasters are predicting
clear, settled weather over the weekend, with temperatures at about
minus 3 degrees Celsius, though temperatures will fall at the
beginning of next week.



"Gradual Devaluation Of Ruble Continues" reports Russia's St Petersburg Times.

"Russia devalued the ruble for the fifth time in a month, widening its trading band against the dollar and euro after reserves fell $161 billion defending the exchange rate."



"California approves nation' strictest limits on diesel trucks" is a report by Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"One million diesel exhaust-spewing big rigs on California's roads face the nation's strictest emissions
restrictions under rules adopted Friday by the state air board, a move officials say is needed to save thousands of lives but that some truck drivers fear will put them out of business.

The regulations, approved one day after the California Air Resources Board's landmark vote to curb greenhouse gases, require all trucks and buses, whether or not they are registered in the state, to retrofit or replace their rigs starting in 2010."











"This was the year the global economy fell apart. Next year may not be that much better, as policy makers try to put the pieces back together" report Rich Miller and Simon Kennedy at bloombergnews.com.

"All the bulwarks crumbled: Investment banks went bust and credit evaporated. U.S. consumer spending crashed, pushing Detroit automakers to the brink of bankruptcy. And growth in China and other emerging markets nosedived. The government is essentially trying to save capitalism from the capitalists -- something that can't be accomplished quickly. After piling into risky assets, from subprime mortgages to junk bonds, investors and financial institutions have turned tail and are reluctant to lend even to creditworthy borrowers. . . . 

'We will be very lucky if we reach the bottom in 2009,' Harvard University professor Martin Feldstein said in a Bloomberg Radio interview Dec. 9. . . . 

The trouble is that policy makers have already taken significant steps to combat the crisis -- from cutting interest rates at an historic pace to committing hundreds of billions of dollars to battered banks. So far, they've failed to quell the turbulence in the markets or turn their economies around. . . . 

The trigger for the breakdown was the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. on Sept. 15. . . . 
The abrupt shift from greed to fear has turned the economy on its head. The U.S. Treasury last week sold four-week bills at an effective zero-percent interest rate -- even as it announced that the government's budget deficit swelled to a record $401.6 billion'in the first two months of this fiscal year. . . . 

'The financial markets have frozen up entirely," says Barry Eichengreen, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. . . . 

Institutions worldwide have recorded almost $705 billion in writedowns and credit losses so far this year and announced 217,070 job cuts. Highly leveraged investment banks disappeared, some into mergers, after investors pummeled their shares. . . . 

'There's no more Wall Street,' Alan 'Ace' Greenberg, former chief executive officer of Bear Stearns, said in a Dec. 8 Bloomberg Television interview. 'That model just doesn't work.' . . . 

Talk about a depression is no longer dismissed out of hand, though most economists still consider one highly unlikely. . . . 

'We've got an economy that is in deep trouble and the Fed has lost traction,' says Princeton University Professor Paul Krugman, who won this year's Nobel Prize for economics.

That is pushing the Fed toward unconventional policies similar to the so-called quantitative-easing strategy Japan used to fight deflation in the early part of this decade. . . . 

'We're facing a once-in-a-century problem,' says Harvard University professor and former IMF chief economist, Kenneth Rogoff. 'The global scale and magnitude of it is much greater than those we've seen before. We're going to face a deep downturn and slow recovery no matter what we do. The challenge now is to contain it to a couple of years and not a decade.' " 



"Wake Up, Little Susie" is a book review by Sam Anderson in New York Magazine.

"The early journals of Susan Sontag reveal a pretentious, insecure, surprisingly lovable narcissist.

After a semester at Berkeley, Sontag transferred to the University of Chicago, where, at just 17, she married a sociology instructor named Philip Rieff. They had a son. The marriage dissolved. She moved, alone, to Oxford, then to Paris, where-in a sad circularity-she fell into another love affair with 'H.' This time it ended in a painful anti-epiphany, after which Sontag had to be re-reborn. As the relationship goes sour, you can see her, in the journals, begin to berate herself toward a new persona: 'My 'I' is puny, cautious, too sane. Good writers are roaring egotists.' 'Weakness is a contagion, strong people rightly shun the weak.' 'Through the mask of my behavior, I do not protect my raw genuine self-I overcome it.' "



"U.S. May Need Stimulus of $600 Billion, Tyson Says" is a report by Matthew Benjamin and Kathleen Hays of bloombergnews.com.

"The worsening slump in the U.S. economy suggests the government may need to enact a stimulus package of $600 billion or more over a two-year period, said Laura Tyson, an economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama.
'I think $600 billion is not a bad current ballpark figure,' Tyson said today in an interview. 'I wouldn't mind seeing a package that was designed out with a number bigger than $600 billion,' she said, referring to an upper range of $900 billion.

Obama and his advisers haven't announced the size of their stimulus proposal, though some economists are advocating a program totaling $1 trillion. They include Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economist." 

"Moving Pictures: Three Versions of an Orson Welles Masterpiece" is a survey by Justin DeFreitas
of our Planet.

"Universal has released all three versions of Orson Welles' Touch of Evil in a two-disc 50th anniversary set.

Textual authenticity is a central issue in the work of Orson Welles. The director saw so many of his films altered in the editing room by his producers that only a few of his completed pictures can be said to represent his original intentions.

This has made the prospect of releasing 'restorations' of his films on DVD a bit complicated. Some of his films exist in multiple versions; some exist only in a single, bastardized version; and many of his films were never completed at all.

Criterion set the standard for Welles releases a couple of years back with the company's three-disc set of Mr. Arkadin. There was no single version of that film that could be said to represent the director's original vision, so Criterion released all of them, including a 'composite'[ version which attempted to recreate the film according to written evidence and best guesses as to the director's intent. None of these versions are the final word; Criterion simply put all the material out there for viewers to make of it what they will.

Universal's new 50th anniversary edition of Touch of Evil follows this model, and the two-disc set is precisely the sort of release that is sorely needed for the Welles canon. Containing all three extant versions of the film, it provides an excellent perspective on the shape and scope of this 1958 noir masterpiece."


Street sweepers are at work again in Potter Creek--hurrah!


"Horse racing industry betting on off-track wagers" reports Charles Burress, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"With a dark cloud of foreboding hanging over California horse racing, the industry and fans are hopeful that new rules allowing off-track betting at card rooms, sports bars and other businesses could provide some help.

The off-track expansion - up for adoption at today's meeting of the California Horse Racing Board at the Santa Anita track near Los Angeles - would authorize satellite wagering at up to 45 new sites in the state. The measure was approved in state legislation adopted last year, but the racing board still needs to approve the implementing regulations such as rules for background checks and the cost and duration of licenses.

Off-track bets currently can be placed at about three dozen locations in the state, including racetracks, racing fairs and a few tribal casinos. Fans can also place bets by phone or the Internet through the Advanced Deposit Wagering system."



"SIerra Nevada Yellow-legged Frogs Feeling the Heat" is a story at ens-newswire.

"Climate change is affecting the Sierra Nevada's high elevation lakes and the imperiled yellow-legged frogs that depend on them, according to scientists with the U.S. Forest Service and the University of California, Berkeley."




from my log

12/1/08--10:42 AM--"burning gas" odor in front room, leave. 12/2/08--6:31 PM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, cough, short breath, wear mask. 6:55 PM "burning
natural gas" odor in front room. 12/3/08--1:06 PM--ganja odor in front room. 1:45 PM--irritant in front room, dry eyes, dry mouth, "heavy"air, leave. 12/4/08--6:51 PM--"burning natural gas" odor in front room, cough,
nose runs, eyes tear. 12/5/08--7:16 PM--"heavy air" in warehouse, short breath, dry eyes,
dry mouth. 12/6/08--1:42 PM--serious IRRITANT in front room, cough, eyes burn. ~ 7:00 PM "heavy air" in warehouse front. 12/7/08--3:42 AM--STRONG "BURNING NATURAL GAS" odor immediately in
front of warehouse. ~6:00 AM--"burning natural gas" odor in warehouse, air out. 12/11/08--10:30 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, cough, burning eyes, mouth. 12/12/08--8:45 AM--irritant in front room, light head, dry eyes, dry mouth. 12:38 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, light head, nausea, chills, wear mask. 2:45 PM--irritant in front roomdry lips, dry eyes. 12/13/08--1:10 PM: warehouse filled with "burning gas" odor, air out. ~7:00--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room.



Eternally useful links


Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com


Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com

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 www.wunderground.com

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out http://sv.berkeley.edu/view/ 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 gasbuddy.com

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 area.com 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 kbuckheit@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491 agallegos-castillo@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 rlau@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Darryl Moore, City Councilman dmoore@ci.berkeley.ca.us


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