A medical marijuana facility in the old chocolate factory at 7th and Heinz would one block south of the French School campus at 7th and Grayson, one long block/two short blocks west of the French School's 9th and Heinz campus, and one long block east of the Aquatic Center pre-school. Schools triangulate the facility by roughly one block in all three directions. RP


posts from the past


Sweet potatoes are not yams. A sweet potato and a yam are two completely different plant species. True yams were brought to this country from Africa and are not grown in the United States on a commercial basis. Their flesh is white and not sweet at all. Occasionally a well-stocked Latin market may have a few yams, but generally they are difficult to locate. Louisiana and East Texas growers like to call their product yams in order to distinguish their potatoes from those grown in the north, a marketing technique that is confusing. And some canned sweet potatoes may be labeled yams, further complicating the issue.

2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 cup cooked sweet potato
2 eggs
1 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust, chilled
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and nutmeg in mixer bowl. Add the half-and-half, sweet potato, eggs and butter, one at a time, beating on medium speed about 30 seconds after each ingredient is added. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until filling is firm on the sides and just barely shakes in the middle. Cool on a wire rack. The pie may be served warm or cold and yields 8 servings.


Certainly not a sweet potato

but a sweetie--Milo is 1 year old





today is Beethoven's birthday



Moe's Books Documentary starring Doris on Heads Up Berkeley, Bay Area through December

Hi Ron

My Documentary about the history of Moe's Books, starring Doris[ including Eli] is being broadcast on Channel 28 Comcast Berkeley through month of December
The other Documentary that is on the program is about David Lance Goines our great local poster artist who specializes in posters on Berkeley businesses and has an international museum reputation.  David is also an author.

Heads Up Berkeley, Bay Area
Channel 28, Comcast Berkeley
Monday 12:30AM
Tuesday 10:30AM
Wednesdays 7:30PM 
Friday 3:00PM

Times will change in January

BB Simmons



Richmond Ramblers MC member emails a photo of his tike, . . . that would be trike

built it from a Honda Gold wing, he did


James Phillips emails

I bought your Vetter fairing about a year and a half ago. I'm finally getting it mounted. Slow I know, but quality takes time, at least that's my story.

I keep meaning to call & see if your interested in having coffee sometime. Time flys when your working for the man. . . . I enjoy the "Scrambled Eggs & Lox" frequently.




our Ryan Lau emails

Hi everyone,
some quick announcements.

Detectives Seek Public's Help With 2009's Only Unsolved Homicide
Berkeley, California (Tuesday, December 15, 2009) ­ The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Homicide Detail is asking for the community's help in closing its only remaining unsolved homicide for 2009.

At 11:29 p.m. on May 4, 2009, the BPD Communication Center received multiple calls from residents reporting shots fired in Southwest Berkeley. Officers responded to the 1300 block of 67th Street where they found the shooting victim, Maurice Robertson, 18, of Berkeley, lying in the rear yard of a residence. The Berkeley Fire Department
Paramedics responded and pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

Detectives are looking to speak with someone they consider "a person of interest" who was seen by witnesses near the crime scene prior to the shooting. That person is described as:

Black male, 16-19 years old
5'08" to 5'10" in height,
Wearing an orange Northface-style windbreaker

On May 21, 2009 the City of Berkeley offered a $15,000 reward and Bay Area Crime Stoppers offered an additional $2,000 reward, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for Robertson's murder.

Detectives are asking for the community's help in catching those responsible for this crime. Anyone with information can contact the BPD Homicide Detail at (51) 981-5741 (office) or (510) 981-5900 (non-emergency dispatch line). If callers wish to remain anonymous they are asked to call the Bay Area Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-800-222-TIPS



San Pablo Neighborhood Council Holiday Party
The San Pablo Neighborhood Council is ready to party.  We are inviting the neighborhood to join us for our Holiday Party on  Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 6:30pm to 8:30pm. There will be music and fun, bring your favorite holiday dish or a snack to share. The Art Room at San Pablo Park is the place. 


Volunteers Needed to Help Pack Baskets for Needy Famlies
The Berkeley Police Department and Berkeley Boosters Association/P.A.L. is hosting a holiday turkey basket distribution to selected needy families. Volunteers will meet on Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 6:30 a.m., in front of the Police Department to help assemble 250 food baskets.  The gift of giving starts with you!
For more information, contact Jen Louis via Email or phone at 981-5990 X4212.



Toys for Tots program needs donations
The Berkeley Fire and Police Departments along with the United States Marines Toys for Tots Foundation, needs your help in providing donations for the Toys for Tots Program.  Collection barrels have been placed in all fire stations and each station will collect toys until December 25, 2009.  New and unwrapped toys collected before December 19 will be used for the Toys for Tots program. Toys collected from December 19 to December 25 will be distributed to homeless shelters assisting families.

Toys will be distributed on Saturday, December 19 at the Public Safety Building by the Berkeley Police Department to families that have pre-registered through the Toys for Tots program.  Registration ends December 16, 2009.

For other information and toy barrel pick up, please contact Firefighter Tony Hall via Email or Lieutenant John Tarascio, via Email or at 510-981-5520.



South Berkeley H2H Community Advisory Board Vision
The South Berkeley Heart 2 Heart Community Advisory Board seeks new paths to healing through unity, cooperation, commitment, education, and growth.  The CAB will provide the necessary local knowledge and insight to develop effective, sustainable strategies that will work to lower the rate of hypertension and eliminate health disparities in their neighborhood.  The CAB's active participation in the Heart 2 Heart program will nurture a spirit of community-driven collaboration amongst residents, community-based organizations, and city government.  By engaging their neighbors and building relationships with Heart 2 Heart partners, CAB members will gain valuable skills and experiences to help them lead their community towards a connected, empowered, and healthy South Berkeley.  If you are interested in participating in the Heart 2 Heart Community Advisory Board, please see the attached information and application.  If anybody needs this information in Spanish, please email me back.  I would have included it, but they were large Microsoft Publisher documents.  Si cualquiera necesita esta información en español, envíeme por correo electrónico por favor detrás. La habría incluido, pero eran documentos grandes del editor de Microsoft.

Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore, District 2





"Mark Berson, formerly of Gulf Coast chamber, accepts job in Berkeley, Calif" by Kaija Wilkinson at pressregister.com.

"Mark Berson, former president of the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce in Gulf Shores, announced Tuesday that he has accepted the chief executive officer position with the Berkeley (Calif.) Chamber of Commerce. 

Mark Berson served as president of the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce for six years.Berson said he plans to move to Berkeley by the end of the year."


From "Business Briefs" at mulletwraper.com.

"Mark Berson, former president and CEO of the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce has been appointed to a similar position with the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce in Berkeley, California. Berson ,who served as the head of the Alabama Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce for over six years, previously served as the Director of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel in Montgomery, Alabama. "I am proud of the progress that was made by the Gulf Coast Chamber during my tenure. Membership numbers grew from approximately 730 to over 1000 and we produced many timely and valuable workshops and seminars for our members. The Chamber was and continues to be a strong advocate for the business community on the Alabama Gulf Coast," Berson said. Berson, who has many close relatives in the San Francisco Bay area, is looking forward to his move to Berkeley at the end of December. Berkeley is a progressive, world famous city with a population of over 100,000 and home to the University of California."



"State Approves Expansion of Oakland Enterprise Zone Into West Berkeley" by Riya Bhattacharjee, our Planet.

"The final hurdle for creating enterprise zones in West Berkeley has cleared, paving the way for more than 1,000 local businesses to receive tax credits.

Berkeley's Economic Development Manager Michael Caplan said the California Department of Housing and Community Development Department announced Dec. 1 that it had approved the expansion of the Oakland Enterprise Zone into West Berkeley, a little over two months after the Berkeley City Council voted in favor of it.

The Oakland City Council has also approved the plan.

Berkeley's primary motivation to pass the proposal was to keep Bayer Healthcare, the city's largest private-sector employer, from leaving town. The company had threatened to outsource some of its manufacturing, a move city officials feared would lead to the pharmaceutical giant eventually shutting down its Aquatic Park campus entirely."





"Californians flock to the 'Disneyland' of climate change" is a report at latimes.com.

"Hundreds of delegates from nonprofits, state and local government and businesses are making the rounds in Copenhagen, speaking on panels, schmoozing with fellow policy wonks and buying furry hats.. . .

Among those stranded without credentials Monday was Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D- Berkeley), who blogged about her experience. 'It's not looking good for those of us without badges to get in,' she wrote, adding, 'I'm a bit sad' to miss events at the center with fellow politicians.

But later she was off to dinner at the U.S. Embassy with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Schwar'enegger and other officials, wearing a Danish-made furry hat. 'I look like a wookie but my head and ears are warm," she wrote."





"Another Extreme Makeover home in trouble" is a report at sfgate.com.

"The curse of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has struck again. Five years after it was transformed for the TV show, the home of widowed father of eight Brian Wofford in Encinitas, California is facing foreclosure, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

This is not the first time a home that has been featured in the ABC program has run into trouble."








our Ryan sends an email ps

I wanted to make sure that everyone knew about this opportunity for members of the community to provide some feedback and insights to the architects and staff working on the new library's initial designs.
Planning Your West Branch Library Project
December 2009 / January 2010
Meet Your Architects
Harley Ellis Devereaux / GreenWorks Studio
Thursday, January 7th  
6:30 ­ 8:00 PM
West Branch Library @ 1125 University Avenue
Refreshments Provided

Harley Ellis Devereaux - GreenWorks Studio (www.harleyellis.com) is located in West Berkeley.  The firm is dedicated to developing and applying innovative solutions in sustainable design and construction, having worked on over 50 projects including one LEED Platinum-certified building.  The design team is excited to be working right in their backyard and engaging with neighborhood community groups.
For accessibility information or other information, go to berkeleypubliclibrary.org or call 510-981-6195.
Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore, District 2






post from the past


Our firehouse -- B.F.D. Fire Station 1 -- collects gifts for children during these Holidays. The firehouse is at 2442 8th Street and you can drop off gifts there anytime. You might also drop off something for our firemen and firewomen.








the cost of almost-clean air

The area covered here by HEPA filtering is roughly 15 X 30 x 8 feet or 450 square feet and 3600 cubic feet.

This area is served by six filter units at a purchase cost of roughly three hundred dollars ($300.00) a piece or a total of one thousand and eight hundred dollars ($1800.00).

Complete filter replacement, required roughly every 4 to 6 months, is about $100.00 per filter unit or $600.00. Replacement has run as high as $150.00 a unit.

Carbon pre-filters are replaced sometimes as often as every two to four weeks and is $40.00 for six pre-filters.

Our electric bill has doubled since the purchase and use of the six units, happily, our gas usage is only $16.00 a month for OUR small carbon footprint.





our Ryan sends an important email

Hi Everyone,
Something that just came in the mail and I wanted to make sure to give community members sufficient notice. 
On November 24th, the United States Postal Service held a community meeting to discuss their proposal to close the Park Station Post Office at 2900 Sacramento Street (at Russell).  Unfortunately, due to the lack of notice and the proximity to the Thanksgiving Holiday, the turnout was very low.  At this meeting, Councilmember Moore encouraged the Postal Service to hold another meeting to give the community an opportunity to voice their concerns.  The USPS agreed and is holding this community meeting on Thursday, January 7th, 2010 from 5:30pm-7:00pm at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street.  Park Station Post Office serves a great deal of seniors and other residents that find it difficult to use an alternate post office location, so it is extremely important to the surrounding community.  If this is something that you are interested in, please notify your neighbors . . . Thanks so much and please help to save our neighborhood post office!

Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore, District 2




"The Return of Black Oak Books" by Riya Bhattacharjee our Planet.

"Gary Cornell could have lived the easy life with the fortune he made publishing information technology books.

Instead, he decided to invest his time and money in rescuing one of Berkeley's best-loved treasures, Black Oak Books-a move some might call foolhardy at a time when hundreds of bookstores are suffering amid the rise of the Internet.

After Cornell and a group of local investors paid off the IRS in 2008 and bought the store from its previous owners, high rent forced the closure of the Shattuck Avenue storefront last June.

Coupled with closure of Cody's Books, the loss of Black Oak seemed to some Berkeleyans like further evidence of the city's slow descent into a future with no independent bookstores.

But Cornell, despite his tech background, believes in the printed word and promised that Black Oak would rise from the ashes. And today it will-with 20,000 new books added to its inventory.

Even before Black Oak went dark, Cornell believed that if he could own the building that housed the store, he could make it work. So in October he purchased the old Rountree's nightclub at 2618 San Pablo Ave., gutted the dilapidated roof, and set up a cash register where the old bar used to be. He spent the 48 hours prior to the store's Thursday opening getting the store ready for business. . . .

Walking along San Pablo near the new San Pablo Avenue store, Cornell examined the up-and-coming boutiques, gift shops and restaurants. APress, Cornell's former publishing business, was located just a few blocks from Rountree's until two years ago, so the move to San Pablo is something of a homecoming.

'It brings back happy memories,' he said smiling. 'It feels like I never left.'

'It's not the Gourmet Ghetto, but even Gourmet Ghetto wasn't the Gourmet Ghetto when Black Oak started there,' he said, referring to the stretch of north Shattuck Avenue where the previous store stood. 'I think of this area as being like Temescal. It's starting to get shoppers-each store benefits from new stores.'"




"Astonishing photos in Jim Marshall's book" is a book review and more by Joel Selvin of our great photo-artisit .

"Bay Area photographer Jim Marshall, whose unparalleled portfolio and uncanny eye made him the Cartier-Bresson of music photographers, has published a number of books, but he has never featured so extravagantly his brilliant color photographs as in his latest book, "Trust" (Omnibus Press $34,95). The captions are littered with his grumpy complaints about press agents and road managers, but every shot is astonishing.

Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash share a private laugh, leaning over their guitars on a TV soundstage. An impossibly young, improbably beautiful 22 year-old Joan Baez lets a beatific smile flicker across her lips at the Newport Folk Festival. John Coltrane and Miles Davis are in full flight at San Francisco nightclubs in the early '60s.

Marshall's work spans the history of American music in the 20th century - from tribal elders such as Bill Monroe and Mother Maybelle Carter to baby pictures of kids like Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin and Leonard Cohen. His concert photography captures birds in flight and his candid portraits are so unflinchingly intimate, catching moments so private and unguarded, they often look like no one else was in the room with the subject when the photo was taken."

Last I heard, my old friend Nick Despotopoulos was Marshall's agent for the originals.


John Coltrane

a Jim Marshall photo

courtesy Nick Despotopoulos



Charlie Rose December 17th show is all about the film Avatar with converstions with the director, and two film critics.




"University of California at Berkeley to Eliminate All Students on Jan. 1" opines the Huffingron Post.

"Responding to reduced State assistance and other budgetary pressures,
Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau announced that the University of California at Berkeley will eliminate all students beginning January 1, 2010. Rejecting the alternative of across the board reductions, the Board of Regents chose to preserve the 'heart and soul' of the University, the faculty and the administrative staff.

Birgeneau called the decision 'courageous and forward looking.''If the faculty and administrative staff continue in place, Cal-Berkeley will be well positioned to accept students if the economy recovers,' he predicted."






"Christian Scientists seek prayer provision" Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"If the final version of the health care legislation being hammered out in Congress requires all Americans to carry health insurance, Susan Breuer thinks it's only fair that the new law cover those who rely on her form of medical treatment: prayer.

'Why' isn't the question,' Breuer said. It's 'Why are we excluding it?'

A lifelong Christian Scientist, Breuer of San Mateo is a full-time practitioner, meaning she provides prayer professionally for the purposes of healing. Breuer was trained by a church-sanctioned teacher and is paid by those who come to her for healing.

With time running short for Congress to pass a health care bill by Christmas, Christian Scientists are lobbying lawmakers to include a provision that would ban discrimination against "religious and spiritual" health care and encourage private insurers to cover prayer as medical treatment."


Worked for me. Growing up in Wisconsin as a Christian Scientist I remember that my use of prayer through practitioner Herbert Frank was covered by the state workmen's comp medical insurance.



"Berkley's protest: coat hangers" is a brief report at baptistpress.org.

"By an 8-1 vote, the Berkeley City Council is sending coat hangers to 20 pro-choice members of Congress who voted to block federal funds from paying for abortions.

The council members from what is widely considered one of the country's most liberal cities took the unusual action Dec. 8 to express their disapproval after the representatives voted for a pro-life amendment to a health care reform bill. That amendment bars government coverage of abortions in the "public option" and prohibits federal subsidies for lower-income people in private insurance plans that cover abortions.

Sixty-four Democrats -- including the 20 pro-choice advocates cited by the Berkeley City Council -- joined 176 Republicans Nov. 7 in voting 240-194 for the pro-life amendment by Reps. Bart Stupak, D.-Mich., and Joe Pitts, R.-Pa.

Berkeley council member Gordon Wozniak was the lone dissenter. Wozniak said he believed the use of a coat hanger was improper and could harm the California city, according to the Associated Press."







"Commercial real estate on shaky foundation" is a report a sfgate.com.

" Optimism about a national economic recovery, fueled by rising stock prices and an improved residential real estate market, is tempered by the widespread belief that a raft of commercial real estate loan defaults is just around the corner.

Fears of a commercial real estate mortgage meltdown are bolstered by persistent unemployment, which has led to office and retail vacancies, rising commercial loan default rates and hundreds of bank failures - including two in the Bay Area in recent months."


How 'bout commercial real estate in Potter Creek?

Stopped by the Westside this morning, still not reopened. But, a serious remodel is taking place. As I was leaving, a big guy came up to me and asked "What's up?" "Wow, great remodel" I said "Check it our!" "I've seen remodels before" he grouched. "Yah" I said "just like trees, seen one, seen 'um all."

Then I stopped by "Books" on San Pablo, next to the church. They're still working putting up shelves and on stocking. Gave the manager my card and asked her to tell Gary I want to do some photos. Said she'll mention it to him. "Economics of it are you shouldn't succeed" I said "But my instincts are you're gonna make it! And I got pretty good instincts."



"Brooklyn Man, 34, Among Those Arrested in Violent Berkeley Protests" is an AP story at brooklyneagle.com.

"Eight people, including a Brooklyn resident, were arrested earlier this month after protesters broke windows, lights and planters outside the home of the chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley."


"UC Berkeley Extension Offers Undergraduate-Level Courses" is a report at prnewswire.com.

"In the wake of massive budget cuts to California's state universities and community colleges, UC Berkeley Extension provides solutions for students faced with decreasing acceptance rates and dwindling course offerings. The continuing education division of the University of California, Berkeley Extension offers undergraduate-level courses, as well as concurrent enrollment in conjunction with UC Berkeley, to help students get the classes they need this spring. "




"Berkeley's November Unemployment Rate Lowest Monthly Rate Since May" is a report at dailycal.org.





"Personality judged by physical appearance" is a upi.com report.

"People can accurately judge some aspects of a stranger's personality from looking at photographs, U.S. researchers suggest."

Would you vote for this man for mayor? Hold that thought.








Potter Creek's Barry Gifford has a new Christmas story at chicagoist.com.

"We have a real holiday treat for you: a previously unpublished Christmas tale by master storyteller Barry Gifford, a Chicago native and author of such books as Wild at Heart and, most recently, Memories from a Sinking Ship (Seven Stories Press.) He also co-wrote the screenplay of Lost Highway with David Lynch, and earlier this year he played Nelson Algren in a stage production at the Steppenwolf honoring the centennial of Algren's birth.

'The Starving Dogs of Little Croatia' will appear in Sad Stories of the Death of Kings, to be published next autumn by Seven Stories Press (and if you're hungry for more, here's another Christmas story to check out.)

Picture, if you will, a vanished Chicago. The stockyards are still open. Richard J. is in City Hall. And a fresh wave of Croatian immigrants is settling into the fabric of the city; Edward 'Fast Eddie' Vrdolyak, the son of Croatian saloonkeepers from the Southeast Side, is attending the University of Chicago Law School. Picture yourself on snowy West Chicago Avenue near Santa Maria Addolorata Church.

The Starving Dogs of Little Croatia by Barry Gifford

'Every man lives like hunted animal,' said Drca Kovic.
'You make this just up?' asked Boro Catolica.
'What is difference?' Drca said, 'if it is truth?'

The two men, both in their mid-thirties, were seated next to one another on stools at the bar in Dukes Up Tavern on Anna Ruttar Street drinking shots of Four Sisters backed with Old Style chasers. Brenda Lee was on the jukebox belting out 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree,' just as she did every December. Boro Catolica lit up a Lucky.
'Ten years now Chicago,' he said, 'and no truth more than Zagreb.' "



our Pete Hurney's major installation at the Oakland airport

is his Music Makers show about ukes and guitars



Pete's Potter Creek rain report

From this past series of storms since Dec 12 we've gotten 2.05" of rain and so far this rainy season I' have a total of 8.95". I think that our rainy season is almost 1/2 over.









"Search for extraterrestrial life gains momentum around the world" is a report at washingtonpost.com.

"The wide dishes, 20 feet across and raised high on their pedestals, creaked and groaned as the winds from an approaching snowstorm pushed into this highland valley. Forty-two in all, the radio telescopes laid out in view of some of California's tallest mountains look otherworldly, and now their sounds conjured up visions of deep-space denizens as well."

Viewers of Men in Black understand that alien contact has already been made.They're here. Its those people we see every day that aren't quite right. That just-too-perfect woman in the boutique, the old Hippie without steel rim glasses, the Good Ole boy with a manicure, the dog that doesn't pee on the bush. . . . Yup, they're already here.RP



"New Human Reproductive Hormone Could Lead to Novel Contraceptives" is a story ar sciencedaily.com.

"Nearly 10 years after the discovery that birds make a hormone that suppresses reproduction, University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientists have established that humans make it too, opening the door to development of a new class of contraceptive and possible treatments for cancer or other diseases."



"Record Release Show for The Prophesy" is an interview at examiner.com.

"I spoke with the members of Defiance at their record release show at Blake's On Telegraph in Berkeley about the release of their new album, The Prophesy, a talented new lineup, and getting back to their Thrash Metal roots."




The state of commercial real estate in Potter Creek?

I'm told by an informed source that the Rich Robins/Wareham biotech project at the end of Heinz is a go--a roughly 70 foot, four story building of 120, 000 square feet. One wall of the old structure will be incorporated into the new building.




"City's Health Dept. Director Retires After 30 Years" by Riya Bhattacharjee our Planet.

"Fred Medrano has been a constant presence in Berkeley civic life for the last 30 years. But this week Medrano will be stepping down from his position as director of Berkeley's Department of Health Services after 14 years, during which time he oversaw California's only independent health and mental health jurisdictions."









our Steven Donaldson emails


There's an older woman, 93 who now lives up on Monterey. I see her out gardening when I'm on my morning run on the weekends. She told me she grew up in Berkeley. I asked where and she said down on Hearst and 2nd Street. She said they lived above her fathers business, which was between some place that made wooden barrels and a sheet metal maker. Business, industry, manufacturing and just plan living was all mixed together. It was loud, dirty, full of smoke, smelly and she said wonderful as a kid. Everyone was foreign; half the folks were Portuguese, the other half Irish, German, Italian. All she know was she didn't understand what people said half the time.The streets were unpaved accept for the crushed shells and gravel they put down once a year. Other times it was all mud. At low tide packs of kids and dogs would go along the beach, which stretched roughly from Ashby to the where the racetrack with a giant wharf in the middle,  to gather fire wood for cooking at the long expansive low tide. She said the sunsets were great.




our Janine Johnson emails

Happy Holidays!  I hope you and your loved ones are well and looking forward to the new year!  I have not taken any photo this year that comes close to the beauty of this one NASA posted on the 19th: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap091219.html  
Take a moment to marvel at what is possible on our beautiful Earth!  Love,




our David Snipper emails





Our Cedric "Doc" Shackleton sent a photo taken in the early 1900s in Cardiff, Wales of his Grandfather astride a 1903 REX motorcycle. I'm scanning it and will upload it sooner-than-laler. Doc drives Potter Creek's red XK 140 Jag roadster.



Nick emails

Wishing You Peace & Happiness this Holiday Season 

Nick Despotopoulos



Some proper and well used commerical space in Potter Creek is 900 GRAYSON.

900 continues to prosper. Among the many holiday guests this week at 900 GRAYSON were Pete Doctor, Pete Hurney, Paul Bertolli and friends, Barry Gifford, John Philips, the Yasudas, Matt Phillips, Karen & Alec, Don Yost, Richard & Sally, Bob Kubik, Michael Goldin and guest, Berkeley's Finest, and many, many others.

Our Bowl keeps on "keepin' on" with both the new lot and the old filled and pedestrians streaming in for holiday shopping.


And buillding on the commerical structure between the Victors and Byron, Milo and Sarah on 8th continues apace with work now going on in the interior. A quirky project, I've come to love it.



"Black Oak store reopens across town" reports Carolyn Jones, Chronicle staff writer of our new-to Potter Creek bookstore.

"Santa arrived early for Bay Area bibliophiles, delivering a rare piece of good news for the beleaguered printed word.

Black Oak Books, the venerable Berkeley bookshop that closed last year, reopened across town in a former nightclub with 30 percent more space and ample street parking. The collection includes fewer treatises on socialist-eco-feminism and more books of humor."




Found in the New York Times Sampler

"Berkeley, Carefully, Considers A Ban on Plastic Bags | Berkeley may join other cities in the Bay Area in banning plastic bags and permitting stores to charge 15 to 25 cents for paper bags to encourage people to carry reusable bags. The City Council is expected to consider the proposal in February. Berkeley gave up pursuing a ban in 2007 after Oakland reversed its own ban after losing a suit against plastic bag manufacturers who claimed the city failed to consider the environmental effects. [The San Jose Mercury News].

Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open TV | Wood fires at home are likely to be banned in the nine Bay Area counties on Christmas Day, a decision that will be announced Thursday by air-quality officials. But it is possible to watch a fire: KTVU 36 will show a burning Yule log from 7 a.m. to noon on Christmas Day, with holiday tunes playing in the background. [The Contra Costa Times]"



"Christmas Memories" at sanfransicosentinal.com. by Bill Wilson.

"I don't know what is the most amazing part of my first Christmas in San Francisco - how much I recall, how much I don't recall or the fact that I survived at all! It was 1968. The new year would bring the summer of love and my cousin Susan was part of the hippie invasion. When she was two her mother divorced her alcoholic father and moved back to Elda Farm. At the time my family was living in the tenant house at Elda Farm. "




"Robert Reich feels the Bay Area's pain " is a story at wsj.com.

"Mr. Reich, an economist who has served in three presidential administrations, including as labor secretary under President Bill Clinton, bought his Bay Area home in 2006 -- just in time to see the local property market flounder and the regional economy tank.

Now a public-policy professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, Mr. Reich blogs about national economic issues including the stimulus package and health-care overhaul -- and has also developed some less-well-known views on the Bay Area economy."




"Audit Finds Lack Of Oversight for Mental Health Client Funds" writes our Riya Bhattacharjee" of our Planet.

"A new report warns that funds belonging to the city's mental health clients could be in danger of being lost, stolen or misused due to a lack of oversight by city officials.

Nearly $280,000 is at risk of being abused, the report found.

The average monthly Supple-mental Security Income for a mental health client is around $800.

The report, issued to the Berkeley City Council by the city auditor's office earlier this month, also indicates shoddy record-keeping and a failure of accountability in handling money."




"Getting Acquainted with Vijay Iyer" is at allaboutjazz.com.

"This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring pianist Vijay Iyer. Iyer is one of the most talked-about jazz musicians of this year, and will be making his St. Louis debut starting Wednesday, January 20 through Saturday, January 23 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Born in 1971 in Rochester NY, Iyer studied classical violin for 15 years while growing up and earned an undergraduate degree in math and physics at Yale when he was just 20. After moving to California to pursue post-graduate studies in physics at Berkeley, he got seriously involved in the jazz scene in Oakland and eventually shifted his focus to music."






"Dirty Air May Raise Pneumonia Risk: Study" by Lindsey Konkel at abcnews.com.

"Air pollution may double the risk that an elderly person will be hospitalized for pneumonia, according to a new study.

'We have shown that air pollution exerts a strong effect on hospital admissions for pneumonia,' Michael Jerrett, of the University of California, Berkeley, who was involved in the study, noted in an interview with Reuters Health.

About 600,000 people are hospitalized for pneumonia in the United States each year. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in the elderly."


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.