Recently, during an episode of the Charlie Rose Show dealing with our government's investment of billions in the auto industry, the experts speculated that the next large investment by our government will be in the commercial real estate market.


"Commercial renters may find bargains in 2009" reports James Temple, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"With office space piling up, rents ticking down and lots of leases rolling over, 2009 promises to be a good year for tenants in San Francisco. Just how good depends on whom you ask, however.

The incredible shrinking financial services industry and chilly economic climate pushed down office rents by 22 percent from the previous year, the largest decline in seven years, according to a preliminary fourth quarter report by Colliers International."


Last week, I was told by an informed source that until now the base line for commercial property in west-Berkeley was $100.00 a square foot. Now, it is more realistically $60.00 to $70.00 a square foot.


And weeks ago, I was told by one of Berkeley's most prestigious builders "I won't build in west-Berkeley any more. Land is too expensive."



"SoCal law school tempts students with free tuition" writes Linda Deutsch at google.com.

A new law school opening next fall in Southern California is offering a big incentive to top students who might be
thinking twice about the cost of a legal education during the recession: free tuition for three years.

The financial carrot is part of an ambitious strategy by Erwin Chemerinsky, a renowned constitutional law scholar and dean of the new school at the University of California, Irvine, to attract Ivy League-caliber students to the first new law school in the state in 40 years."



Mal Sharpe emails

This link includes one of the great lyric lines in the history of
music. The last line, "Haven't had a drink..............'"   Thanks
for all your warm feelings towards Big Money. Cheers

The Coyle and Sharpe Podcast----New
To listen to or download recent programs:

Don't look at the trombones, it only encourages them--Richard Strauss



"Renewal of Berkeley food basket tradition" is a reports at abc.com.

"The renewal of a 24-year tradition. Volunteers began the process [last]Tuesday of handing out more than 250 holiday food baskets in Berkeley."


"Miami Hurricanes must stop one of nation's Best" reports Susan Miller Degan in the Miami Herald.

"The Canes will have to deal with Cal running back Jahvid Best, the No. 5 rusher in the nation.

Two days before Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Rookie of the Year Sean Spence left for the Emerald Bowl, he was approached by a group of reporters.

''What about Cal keeps you up at night?' one asked.
Spence shot back: 'Their running back, Jahvid Best. He has speed and he can make a break if you give him any crease.'

Usually your nightmare chases you. But on Saturday at AT&T Park, Spence will be chasing his nightmare."


"Miami eager for West Coast action in Emerald Bowl" is a story by the AP's Greg Beacham.

"Although Jason Fox knew all about the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz prison from television, the Miami left tackle had never seen them in person before Tuesday, when a boat cruise took him right past the orange bridge and all the way to the Rock.

'That's a part of the bowl experience that's really great,' said Fox, a Texan who had never been west of Las Vegas in his life before Monday night. 'You get to go places and do things you might never encounter otherwise.'

While the Hurricanes adjusted to unfamiliar surroundings on their first day in the Bay Area, their opponents in Saturday night's Emerald Bowl worried less about culture shock and more about Miami's shocking speed.

California is staying home for the postseason, with the advantage of a friendly crowd far outweighing any disappointment in their familiar destination. Cal (8-4) is practicing at Memorial Stadium on its Berkeley campus before its showdown with Miami (7-5) at the San Francisco Giants' waterfront ballpark."


"All-state Cottonwood running back Isi Sofele will take his speed and skills to the University of California" is a report at desertnews.com.

"' I was kind of surprised,' said Sofele of his decision to commit during a recruiting visit this past weekend. 'When I went out there, it was all just positive.'

Sofele helped the Colts to a second-place finish in the 4A playoffs this year. He rushed for 1,916 yards and 30 touchdowns. He was offered scholarships by several other Pac-10 schools, as well as Utah, but said once he got on Cal's campus, his decision was easy.

'First of all, their coaches are close to their players,' Sofele said. 'Their academics are ranked very high, and the facilities were very nice. ... We spent a lot of time with the coaches and players, and I noticed they all got along very well. They're the real deal.'

He said coaches told him he could play as a freshman and they have plans to use him as a running back and as a punt and kick returner.

'It depends on summer camp,' he said.

Sofele might have surprised himself with the decision to commit, but it didn't surprise his high school coach."




"Why we are, as we are" is a story at economist.com.

"As the 150th anniversary of the publication of 'On The Origin of Species' approaches, the moment has come to ask how Darwin's insights can be used profitably by policymakers

Wealth, according to H.L. Mencken, an American satirist of the last century, 'is any income that is at least $100 more a year than the income of one's wife's sister's husband.' Adjusted for inflation since 1949, that is not a bad definition. But why do those who are already well-off feel the need to out-earn other people? And why, contrariwise, is it so hard to abolish poverty?

America, Mencken's homeland, executes around 40 people a year for murder. Yet it still has a high murder rate.

Why do people murder each other when they are almost always caught and may, in America at least, be killed themselves as a result?

Why, after 80 years of votes for women, and 40 years of the feminist revolution, do men still earn larger incomes? And why do so many people hate others merely for having different coloured skin?"


"Men more responsive to caffeine" is a report at BBCNEWS.

A strong cup of coffee has a greater effect on men than women, research shows.

In a study on 668 healthy volunteers, an espresso pepped up men after just 10 minutes. Women also became more alert after the beverage, but less so.

The University of Barcelona researchers say some of this effect might be psychological because decaffeinated coffee also worked to some extent.





"Berkeley Schools Top Bad Air Quality List" reports Kristin McFarland in our Planet.

"Last week's USA Today report that placed three Berkeley schools in the first percentile of schools with bad air quality has activists, community members and school directors in an uproar.

The report studied industrial pollution outside 127,800 nationwide schools for eight months. Thirty-nine Berkeley schools made the list, all within the worst 55 percent. The Black Pine Circle School, the Via Center and the Nia House Learning Center, all located in West Berkeley, were in the first percentile, meaning that the air outside
the schools is worse at only 377 other schools around the country. Berkeley High fell in the eighth percentile, with worse air at only 9,722 schools.

Since the article's publication, the issue has received wide media coverage with all involved parties pointing fingers at probable causes. For many, it's one more example of the health hazards caused by Pacific Steel Casting Company; for some, it's a sign that the Berkeley government should take a more active role in improving its own environment. . . .

. . . the USA Today study was more comprehensive than any study to date because it included levels of manganese and other metals. The study, he said, was not conducted by 'people running around with test kits,' as Pacific Steel representatives have suggested to other publications, but with science approved by the air-
monitoring district.

However, Larson also said that the study's results are limited because it monitored the air quality for only eight months of the year; with a longer study, more schools might have made the list because of changes in the prevailing winds. . . .

California Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has called for government action in monitoring the air quality at schools."


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. 12/21/08--5:52 PM--"burning gas" odor IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse and in warehouse front, cough.


My log is kept in a building not one hundred feet from the École Bilingue playground and a couple hundred feet from their classrooms. Immediately adjacent to this building is Ben and Natalie's home. And Pete and Geralyn's home, where Geralyn has slept on the living room floor because of irritant in their bedroom, is immediately behind this building.

(Last week, Natalie's school had Pajama Day. Most kids came in their pajamas but only one staff wore hers--Natalie's old second grade teacher.)

Potter Creek's French School was not mentioned in any west-Berkeley school air quality reports that I have read about.



Here is the full report. Check it out!

"Toxic air and Americas schools" is a Special Report on USA Today.

Our French School was apparently monitored at the 9th and Heinz campus.

Here are the results.

E Bay French/Amer/Ecole Biling.

National Rank 25th percentile

(So, 75 % of the schools monitored had better air?)

31,506 of 127,800 schools have worse air.

Exposure to cancer-causing toxics
Ranked 5 of 10

Exposure to other toxic chemicals
Ranked 3 of 10


More and a School Finder here.



How to clean up our west-Berkeley air!

Step one: Watch all the seasons of The Wire.

Step two: Re-watch all the seasons of The Wire.

Step three: Check back here in three to four weeks. It'll take that long to watch and rewatch The Wire.



"The Yule log may be killing us softly" is a story at sfgate.com.

"The Bay Area's air quality does not meet federal standards for the fine flecks of soot and vapor that can cause heart attacks and premature death, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

The region has three years to get its act together, namely by reducing wood smoke from fireplaces and exhaust from diesel engines. During the winter, the largest single source of fine particulate matter in the air is wood burning. The region must immediately present its plan for cleaning the air to the federal government. If it fails to comply, the region could lose precious transportation funding."

Zooo, . . . the question becomes probably endangering your and others' health, especially the kids, or ratting out your self-absorbed neighbors?







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