Blatant self promotion

Ah, . . . illusion. I am not now, nor have I ever been, this sophisticated.



Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed 2.6 inches for the storm, 10/17 to 10/20.


Richmond Rambler Motorcycle Club member, Cliff Miller emails what can only be again described as a completely charming E- Card for Christmas.

Judi Quan emails of the e-card and more

Hi Ron,

Thank you!

Just got back from a long trip through Europe. And just in the nick of time;
my flight out of Heathrow was delayed over an hour while they de-iced the
plane on the tarmac, but the snow fall wasn't nearly as bad as it looks from
the news now. . . .

Happy Holiday's,

In the past I've posted Ms Quan's photos of her trips to China, South America, and Turkey.

Hopefully she will send some of Europe.


our Patricia Dreher emails

a Fall sunset

Patricia, a fine-artist, resides in the Durkee Building but can be found regularly having her morning coffee at 900. This photo, however, was taken through the window at Skate's bar--hence its impressionist tone.



our Janine emails

After the holidays are over, I am hosting what promises to be a very special viol duo concert at my house. This is a chance to hear these wonderful rich instruments in a very intimate setting.

Violists da gamba Shirley Hunt and Josh Lee join forces to present an exciting evening of virtuoso gamba duos by Schenk, Simpson, Telemann, East, Philidor, Somis, and Jenkins.  

This performance is a fundraiser for Shirley Hunt's efforts to purchase a rare viola da gamba by Johann Christian Hoffmann, who was a close friend and luthier to J.S. Bach.  
This extraordinary viol belongs to Mary Springfels, one of the most accomplished and respected performers of pre-1800 music.  In order to fund her retirement, Mary has decided to sell this incredible instrument and wishes to pass it along to a promising young player.  She has . . . loaned this instrument to Shirley, her former student, so that she can search for a sponsor, a group of investors, . . . in order to purchase it.

January 5th, 2011 7:30 PM in [ my home. ] Because this is a fundraiser for the viol, the suggested donation is $25.00, though more would be most gratefully welcome. I heard Shirley play at another fund raising concert, and was most impressed.  This will be delightful, so I hope you can come! 

Happy Holidays and my best wishes, Janine



"Two indy movies, two different types of activism" by Tracey Taylor at

"Two opportunities present themselves to watch interesting independent movies with Berkeley connections, in Berkeley, with the bonus of supporting Berkeley nonprofits as you do so.

Given Berkeley's top billing in many news stories recently, not always flattering, the Oaks Theater has pulled of something of a scheduling coup with its special screening of a movie focused on Berkeley politics. Power Trip: Theatrically Berkeley, directed by Emio Tomeoni, is described as "an unfiltered look at the frantic pace of the activist and reactionists, asking only one question: does anything actually ever get done here?" The movie will be screened on Saturday December 18th at noon at the Oaks Theater, 1875 Solano Avenue. Admission is $7.00 (a portion of which goes to the Berkeley Humane Society Shelter Fire Relief Fund)."

Tomeoni is a friend of Viva "X", videographer and sometimes server at 900 GRAYSON. My memory is that though Viva had no actual part in production she did have some input and went to the presreening. Viva loved it but thought it too long--it is currently 109 minutes. I've never seen the film since I lived here through-the-times. Viva said our Rick Aurebach is in it.



If the changes in the West-Berkeley Project are approved by our City Council in Potter Creek we will probably see as a result, a rise in property values later-than-sooner and so some will move on, development not too close "likely as seen from afar," and a more vibrant neighborhood.



end Miscellaneous Ramblings




posts from the past


Nemrut Dagi, Turkey by Judi Quan

more here


end posts from the past




"Early Christmas treat--2010's total lunar eclipse" by Alicia Chang of the AP at

'Twill be nights before Christmas and high overhead, the moon will turn orange or maybe bright red. The Earth and the sun with celestial scripts will conspire to make a lunar eclipse.

Weather permitting, sky gazers in North and Central America and a tiny sliver of South America will boast the best seats to this year's only total eclipse of the moon.

The eclipse will happen Monday night on the West Coast and during the wee hours Tuesday on the East Coast. Western Europe will only see the start of the spectacle while western Asia will catch the tail end."




"Phil Wood, founder of Ten Speed Press, dies at 72" Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Phil Wood - a bibliophile, gourmand and Asian antiques collector whose Berkeley publishing house broke new ground with its offbeat nonfiction and richly illustrated cookbooks - died Dec. 11 at his Nob Hill home after a long battle with cancer."




"Rory Root, Comic Relief And How The Comics Industry Works" is a story about our comic book store and more by Rich Johnston  at






Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

If the West Berkeley Project's MUPs (Master Use Permits) are approved by our City Council will " big developers" rush to west-Berkeley with massive projects? Well the present economic climate does not favor any development and if/when that changes, city approval of such a project would take several years so discouraging many, as would Berkeley's still "conservative" business climate.


Driving north last night after dark, I stopped for the stop sign at the corner of 9th and Parker. At the same time a driver going south, after stopping then starting and at first not seeing a crossing cyclist who blew his stop sign, missed the bike by inches. It was one of those AHHHHH moments. Call me selfish but my first though was "That kid's going to splat on my hood and make a big dent."



Our Berkeley PD Ofc Andrew Frankel, also an USAF Major, is being posted to Afghanistan.

After training in Texas, he will serve his six months tour of duty as security at Bagram Air Base.


This morning I had breakfast with Andrew at 900 GRAYSON. It went well with good conversation over good food in the hustle, bustle of Holiday Berkeley.

It took a while, for civilian Berkeley is seductive, but then I thought, "This guy's a real Warrior not some Hollywood, TV bullshit." And I was proud.



"Feliz Navidad" from New Mexico,

an email from Paul

Just to wish you a warm Christmas and the best for 2011.
Paul and Bob



Jerry Landis emails


I saw Power Trip: Theatrically Berkeley - this is my reaction: total waste of time. . . . Amateur film work, pointless erratic editing. Even the attempt to highlight words in the subtitles by making them red backfired - the red words were illegible. A . . . sop to Berkeley's old political junkies.




post from the past


I've known of Jerry Landis for decades, known him for 10 or 12 years, and we've been good friends for the last few years. A Berkeley citizen since the '60s, he's been actively involved in our community for almost as long. Jerry's older sister Jean was one of the first women to fly for the Army Air Force. She was a WASP ferry pilot during WWII and flew P-51s almost exclusively. Understand the P-51 was our hottest fighter, a challenge for a man let alone a "girl."


WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilot), Jean Landis c 1944

"In July 1943 the growing numbers of women pilots being trained for AAF service were consolidated in the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, the WASPs. By the end of the program 1074 women had flown for the AAF, piloting every type of military aircraft from the B-29 to America's first jet, the P-59. Fighter aircraft, particularly the P-47 and the P-51, were ferried in great numbers by the WASPs. These women loved single seaters and considered flying fighters the essence of what it meant to fly. One woman fortunate enough to be assigned fighters for most of her wartime carrier was Jean Landis. Landis was sent to Brownsville, Texas, for fighter transition training, and when time came for her first flight in a fighter, she drew a P-51. . . .

Jean also flew a number of other types, including the P-47: 'The P-47 was a bucket of bolts compared to the Mustang; it was too heavy and sluggish. But when you got in a Mustang, it felt like you had just strapped the wings on. You didn't feel you had any fuselage around your body, you were a part of the airplane.'

Jean had the good fortune to be stationed at the Ferrying Division at Long Beach, California, flying nothing but P-51s. The new fighters were picked u p at I nglewood and flown all over the country, particularly to Newark, New Jersey, where they were prepared for shipping overseas. Reactions to a woman climbing out of a P-51 were: 'Varied, mostly startled. Once I few into a field that was off-limits but the weather was bad and I had a slight mechanical problem so l called in and asked for permission to land. I kept radioing "P-51 ready to land; awaiting final landing instructions." It was sort of garbled and they kept asking me to call in again and again. Finally they said: "Waggle your wings if you receive!" So there I was waggling away and pretty soon they came back: "Lady, the only thing we see up there is a P-51! Where are you?" I replied: "That's me! I am the P-51!" They couldn't believe it-they were looking for a Piper Cub or something. Finally, when I landed, what a welcome I got. Word got around that a gal was flying that thing. They were darlings. By the time I had taxied up to the line, following the little Follow Me truck, there were lots of guys around to see what kind of woman was flying this P-51. They'd never heard of us, the WASPs.'

'We had to pay for all our clothing, had no medical or insurance benefits or many other military benefits,' Jean recalls. 'The WASPs were subject to military discipline and lived in the Officers' Quarters, but they were not allowed most military privileges and received less money than men doing the same job. But we were there to fly and loved every minute of it.'"


In keeping with '60s stuff like, "You don't always get what you want but always get what you need" and "Time is what we invented to keep everything from happening at once," I discovered this story by accident while researching the P-51"Mustang" fighter. A little bored at paging through a book about the P-51, I stopped at a photo of a good looking woman standing on the wing of this fighter. Three days later, Landis showed up at my door, Xerox in hand with "I got something you should read about my sister."

Jean Landis, now retired, divides her time between Idaho and Southern California.

(Jean his now 92 living in Southern California.)


end post from the past




"Scientist's new book will make you an instant physicist (maybe)" by Robert Sanders at'

"Richard Muller is a guy who thinks spouting fun physics facts will make you the life of the party. And his new book, 'The Instant Physicist: An Illustrated Guide," may just convince you he's right.

Instant Physicist book coverWho knew, for example, that liquor, by law, must be radioactive? Or that you really can get your clothes whiter than white? Or that the earth is travelling through space at a million miles per hour?

These are some of the astonishing facts Muller, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, explains with the help of witty cartoons by illustrator Joey Manfre."



"Strange new twist: Berkeley researchers discover Möbius symmetry in metamaterials"

"Möbius symmetry, the topological phenomenon that yields a half-twisted strip with two surfaces but only one side, has been a source of fascination since its discovery in 1858 by German mathematician August Möbius. As artist M.C. Escher so vividly demonstrated in his 'parade of ants,' it is possible to traverse the 'inside' and 'outside' surfaces of a Möbius strip without crossing over an edge. For years, scientists have been searching for an example of Möbius symmetry in natural materials without any success. Now a team of scientists has discovered Möbius symmetry in metamaterials - materials engineered from artificial 'atoms' and 'molecules' with electromagnetic properties that arise from their structure rather than their chemical composition."



"Nanolaser Heats Up" Joseph Calamia,

"Nanolasers just got a little toastier. No, we're not talking about the world's tiniest death rays. The surface plasmon lasers, or 'spasers,' that IEEE Spectrum described last year can generate visible light in a space only 5 nanometers wide. They seemed a promising step towards the age of optical computing, but the little guys had a serious flaw: The devices, which stimulate oscillating electrons near a metal's surface with electromagnetic waves, needed a frigid 10 Kelvin environment to keep the light from leaking out. In a paper, published on Sunday in Nature Materials, a University of California, Berkeley team reports that they've modified the laser so that it can now operate at room temperature."




"Tree disease linked to rise in Lyme ticks"

"Scientists say a tree disease killing large swaths of California's coastal forests may be linked to an increase of human cases of tick-borne Lyme disease."






Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Kava emails

end Miscellaneous Ramblings



posts from the past


Quote of the day

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Groucho Marx


You meet the nicest people at the Bowl!

Met David Richardson at the Bowl yesterday morning. I was having coffee and a breakfast bun at the table in front of food service and David was waiting for the grocery store to open. We talked about Mad Men and of jazz. I've known David since he was at Berkeley High and came to Moe's looking for jazz records. Our conversation was regularly interrupted by David's greeting to almost all the black-folks that past by--he was born in the San Pablo Park neighborhood. One of the people who stopped to talk was Randy Moore, David's friend, an old Moe's Records customer, and a jazz drummer, he plays at the Shattuck Cheese Board on Saturdays. Randy also has a program on KPOO-FM, 89.5 on the dial, called Moore Jazz. It's on Tuesdays 8-10 in the evening. Check it out.





Merryll emails

 Gracie  Allen's Classic Roast Beef Recipe      

Gracie  Allen's Classic Recipe for Roast  Beef

1  large Roast of beef
 1 small Roast of  beef
 Take the two roasts and put  them in the oven.
When  the little one burns, the big one is  done.  


end posts from the past




"Oakland Council votes to suspend implementation of cannabis cultivation ordinance until next year" by Cecily Burt, Oakland Tribune.

"The Oakland City Council voted in closed session Tuesday to suspend implementation of its program to permit and tax industrial-sized medical marijuana cultivation businesses and increase the number of dispensaries until the new cultivation law can be amended to address concerns expressed by law enforcement."




"Nordic Windpower leaving California" by Dana Hull at

"Nordic Windpower, a Berkeley-based wind turbine manufacturer that is currently spread among three locations, announced Tuesday that it is leaving California and moving to Kansas City."




"Art Rosenfeld on Energy Efficient Homes" is at

"Back in the 1970s, Art Rosenfeld, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (and Enrico Fermi's last grad student), determined that the power consumption in California and the nation would outstrip our ability to produce it. He kicked off a massive effort to get the state to pass efficiency regulations. Appliance makers fought vigorously, but California passed appliance and building regulations (Title 20 and Title 24) anyway.

'They all claimed it was the (expletive) end of civilization as we knew it,' he told me in 2006. 'Autos were getting 14 miles a gallon. Energy efficiency wasn't part of the American ethic whatsoever.'

The result? Per capita power consumption has remained relatively flat in California but nearly doubled in the rest of the country."




"Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition 2010" is a splendid photo essay of the auto show held in China. A show that may become the world's most important.







Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Nick Despotopoulos emails

James Brown Soulfull Christmas, Boston 1968


Best Wishes for the Holiday Season and for a prosperous and funky New Year!



The Salvador Dali Museum - Figueres, Spain

a Judi Quan photo


Salvador Dali

a Mary Morris photo

more Mary Morris photos



"Food Network's Guy Fieri to open restaurant in Dublin" by Sophia Kazmi,

"A Food Network star's restaurant is just the latest business that will be calling Dublin home.

Guy Fieri, who hosts 'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives' and NBC's 'Minute to Win it,' will be bringing his eatery Johnny Garlic's to Hacienda Crossings. The restaurant will occupy the space that formerly housed Fuzio's, and is slated to open in early 2011."


end Miscellaneous Ramblings



post from the past


the foodnet yesterday, setting up for the taping of

"Diners, Dives and Drive-ins" at 900 GRAYSON

photo essay here


end post from the past



"Under the radar: Checking out the Tonga Room" Michael Bauer at

"A $1 million renovation gave the Tonga Room a brigher veneer.

It was an instant outrage when it was announced earlier this year that the Tonga Room might close if the Fairmont got approval to tear down its 1960s tower and replace those hotel rooms with luxury condominiums.

While the project was put on hold in October, at least temporarily, the issue isn't resolved. At the time, I wondered why people cared, thinking that the Tonga Room was appreciated only by hotel guests and tourists who were enthralled when they walked into the Polynesian paradise with rain and thunderstorm effects every hour.

The boat that often serves as the stage for live entertainment

Yet, I stopped in on a recent weeknight and found the place nearly full. While there were several birthdays and office Christmas parties underway, I was surprised by the number of twosomes in their 20s and 30s. Clearly, the Tonga Room was attracting a diverse crowd, thanks in part to a $1 million remodel a few years ago and the current tiki bar craze.

While Trader Vic's is credited with starting the tiki trend in 1936, the Tonga Room was an early arrival at the party, having opened in 1945. It's the type of restaurant that puts a smile on your face . Just about everyone was pulling out their digital camera, smart phone or even disposable Instamatic."







Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Sadly with the new "explosion of restaurants" here, some will simply just explode and collapse.


The recent increase in west-Berkeley graffiti is in part the result of the increase of territory marking by our Norteños .

"The Norteños (Spanish: Northerners), also Norte, are affiliated with Nuestra Familia (Our Family), are a coalition of traditionally Latino gangs in Northern California. A member of these gangs is a Norteño (male) or Norteña (female); based on Spanish usage. Northern Californians who are not gang members, but feel a strong cultural affiliation with other'Southerners').The statewide dividing line between Norteños and Sureños has roughly been accepted as the rural community of Delano, California. Norteños may refer to Northern California as Norte, Spanish for 'north' ".


On Sunday at Merryll's open studio I ran into some of my north-of-Dwight neighbors, John and Sharon. We talked for a good while They've lived on 9th for decades and are now quite happy with their neighborhood. Not so at the beginning because of drug related crime. Though, John and Sharon felt that in the early days , BPD drug enforcement cared and did a good job given what the two believed to be a "policy of toleration" by the city. And, I do remember an early Potter Creek community meeting about neighborhood prostitution, in which our city representatives made the point that this was a "quality of life problem," and so was a low priority.



"Berkeley's bike dispute goes viral" by Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times.

"Trouble is brewing in the Bay Area bastion of bicyclists' rights.

University of California, Berkeley, students - already squeezed by steep tuition increases - are banding together to protest campus citations for bike infractions that run $220 a piece and exceed many vehicle violations.

UC Berkeley police say they have issued 103 bike citations from August to November, a 41 percent increase over the same period last year, nabbing students for riding through designated "dismount zones" and locking their bikes to railings instead of often-overfilled racks.

Students in sticker shock were sucking it up until social welfare senior Daniel Distante created a Facebook page called BikeBusters about a month ago, giving birth to a movement.

The forum has triggered a discussion across the Bay Area on the need for better campus bike conditions, education on existing rules, and the labyrinthine vehicle codes that enable UC Berkeley police to issue such fat tickets.

Bike enthusiasts from as far as Britain have cheered the fighters. But the hundreds of comments have run strongly against the students, with irked motorists and self-described 'responsible bicyclists' bashing them as 'whining brats' who should follow the rules."

Works for this ole fart bicycler. 


"Denver's Elaborate Plan to End Homelessness Sees Big Successes" is a PBS News report with video.

"Correspondent Tom Bearden looks at an ambitious plan to end homelessness in Colorado's capital. Denver's Road Home was launched in 2005 with the lofty goal of ending homelessness in 10 years, and its executive director says the program is on track to meet that goal."

Perhaps if we spent less time planning our "foreign policy" or even just a little more time thinking "out of the box" about our homeless we could move toward an innovative and comprehensive plan--but maybe it isn't really a matter of time-spent but of attitudes-held. And it seems with a more "business friendly attitude" we would find increasing support from that community.




The Oakland Museum's "PIXAR: 25 Years of Animation" show is ending January 9, 2011.

"Walt Disney's arrival in Los Angeles in the 1920s firmly established California as a magnet for animation artists in the decades to come. Home to a number of leading studios, the San Francisco Bay Area has emerged as a global center for animation today. PIXAR: 25 Years of Animation provides an unprecedented look at the renowned Emeryville-based studio (located just a few miles from OMCA) and showcases the creative work behind its wildly successful computer-animated films."  

Check it out before it closes!




Writing for the computer is very different from writing for the printed page, most simply because it's read differently. For instance, one is likely to savor when reading a book, or even a magazine or newspaper. But when reading from the computer or computer-like devices, one is most likely to scan. Then there's background difference--a relaxing off-white for print, a glaring electric lighted one from computer devices. 



end Miscellaneous Ramblings





post from the past


Andrew and Kerstin's Party


end post from the past






"Student Team from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley Wins Eighth Annual Innovation Challenge" at

"Leading skill-based contest agency and software provider, Idea Crossing, announced today that Team Haastile Takeover from the Haas School of Business from the University of California at Berkeley is the winner of the 8th Annual Innovation Challenge. The Innovation Challenge requires MBA student-led teams of 3-5 graduate level students from across all disciplines to clearly articulate imaginative solutions to real-world issues. Other finalists included teams from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and Emory University's Goizueta Business School. The 2010 Innovation Challenge, the largest competition of it's kind, was developed in partnership with forward-looking corporate sponsors like Samsung Electronics and Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (JLI).

The Berkeley MBA team, consisting of Rahul Bijor, Blake Holland, Brandon Piper, Nancy Unsworth, and Scott Van Brunt, competed in the business model innovation category. 'Our proposal was titled 'In Tune by Jiffy Lube®' and involved creating an online vehicle maintenance management portal for car owners,' said team leader Blake Holland."






posts from the past



Potter Creek gardens on Christmas Eve




our Tameka Lim

and friend

Tameka is the manager of ActivSpace


end posts from the past



Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Tameka Lim emails from Edinburgh

A lovely Christmas/New Years E- Card that is somehow familiar.

and writes

May the new year bring small pleasures, unexpected joy, a new friend, travel to a far away place, a little more wisdom, a little more peace, and a whole bunch of laughter. 

much love,



Créma, 7th and Heinz, continues their holiday baking apace though still has little apparent walk-in cafe business.


Monterey Market's Christmas Eve Day traffic is in stark contrast to our smooth flowing Bowl's with block-long backups, a packed parking lot with confused street over-flow and milling pedestrians.



Was marijuana on its way to legalization in California this year? My reading is that it had the momentum until Attorney General Holder "made it clear" that he would prosecute violators and The Schwarzenegger trivialized possession of small amounts. Until then polls showed a tie, or a slight lead for either side, and showed support increasing.

"TV evangelist Robertson's remarks on marijuana please legalization camp" at

"Television evangelist Pat Robertson has made inflammatory remarks in recent years that offend gays, Muslims and others, but a recent comment he made on his Christian Broadcasting Network was more notable for whom it pleased: people who want to see marijuana legalized."



"Call to Boycott Caffe Med Over Free Speech:Leaves Medheads Speechless" by Ted Friedman at

"A recent incident at the notorious Caffe Mediterraneum on Telegraph has led to calls for a boycott of the home of the Sixties Free Speech Movement.

It's a bizarre twist on history, but one of the complaints is interference with 'free speech.' Medheads will be left speechless.

'The Med needs to get the message,' the call to boycott begins,' that there will not be classism in the cafes on Telegraph Ave. Cafes are a site of gathering and free speech.' This in a coffee house scene where Nobel Laureates mix with hobos.

The article appears as 'Boycott Caffe Med,' at the indybay website, Dec. 20.

The charges gain momentum, blaming the Med's owner, Craig Becker, 59, with violent acts against the homeless.

As the Indybay posting reveals, the origin of the complaints stem from an incident in which three long time customers were asked to move from the Dustin Hoffman table, a window seat where Hoffman sat for the 1969 film, 'The Graduate.' "

I'm not exactly sure just what this is. It's not quite news but ya gotta love The Becky for publishing it. Surreal as Friedman' s account may be, it touches Our Town's heart-beat. Beyond that, our O'Malley just might be on to something--a venue for ordinary Berkeley people writing regular stories about Our Town.


end Miscellaneous Ramblings




"Paul from the Diamond Center interview: A Holiday Miracle" at

"Longtime readers of The Poop know about our obsession with Paul from the Diamond Center. We've always celebrated local commercials from our childhood -- from Ed Barbara at Furniture U.S.A. to Marty and George at The Saw Mill -- but none more than Paul. He's the Bill Russell of Bay Area pitchman. He wasn't just the greatest of his time, he changed the game. Want to know if someone is from the Bay Area? Just say the words 'Credit Man"'and see if they start singing the tune."




"Bin Laden's Lonely Crusade" is a very different view of "The War on Terror" written by Peter Bergen at His point that Bin Laden's loosing is slightly mind-messing though not unconvincing.

"A decade after White House aide Richard Clarke's famous memo warning against al-Qaeda, it's time for a reality check: the 9/11 attacks did not achieve what Osama bin Laden had hoped, and the list of his enemies is growing. Keeping the threat in perspective is the surest way to prevail."






our BPD Ofc Karen Buckheit emails

Dear Community Members,
As you enjoy this holiday season, the Berkeley Police Department would like to remind everyone that holiday treats and treasures left visible in cars and windows can be very tempting to criminals.   Attached are some helpful tips to aid in preventing burglaries from autos and homes.   Taking just a few minutes to follow these suggestions before leaving your home or car can help prevent you from becoming a victim of crime, no matter what the season. 
Also, please report suspicious and/or criminal activity to BPD at (510) 981-5900, as this information is often key in preventing others from becoming victims of burglaries or other crimes.

Berkeley Police Department

Community Services Bureau ­ Officer Buckheit # 135


The facts about Auto Burglary

In Berkeley, we average between 150 and 250 auto burglaries a month.
In most cases, auto burglars targeted cars that had valuables left in plain sight.
A great number of our auto burglaries can be prevented by following some simple tips
Always roll up your windows and lock all your doors.  Don't give an auto burglar easy access into your car.
·Hide your valuables.  Car burglars aren't exactly criminal masterminds.  Many simply act on impulse.  So keep your valuable belongings with you, or out of sight. Car floors, dashboards and seats are not good places to leave items like:
Purses and wallets
Laptop bags, briefcases and backpacks
Shopping bags
Cell phones and MP3 players
Loose change and CDs
If you absolutely can't take items with you, hide them out of sight in your trunk, but do it before you park.  Move valuable items, like shopping bags and laptops, to your trunk before you get to the parking lot.  Please remember though putting valuables in your trunk does not absolutely ensure their safety.
Keep your car visible. The last thing thieves want is a crowd of onlookers to witness their crime. You can help prevent a burglary by parking your car in crowded areas, such as:
Busy parking lots and designated spaces, near pedestrian and vehicle traffic
Well-lit spaces, especially those near a lamppost if you're out after dusk
Parking lots with an attendant
Trust your instincts.  If you see suspicious activity, find somewhere else to park.  Avoid confronting anyone.  If you're concerned, report your suspicions to an attendant or the police.  By reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities, you can help prevent others from becoming a victim of a car burglary or another crime.  Please make note of the following phone numbers: dial 911 to report an emergency from a "land-line", (510) 981-5911 to report an emergency from a cell phone, and (510) 981-5900 to report a non-emergency from any phone.


The facts about Residantial Burglary

In Berkeley, we average between 50 and 70 residential burglaries each month.
In nearly half of these burglaries, no force was used. That means the burglars got in through UNLOCKED doors and windows.
A great number of our residential burglaries can be prevented
Always lock your doors and windows, even when leaving for "just a minute."  The strongest doors and most secure windows do nothing to protect you and your home unless they are shut and locked.  Remember that even when you're home, it's safest to have all doors shut and locked.  An unlocked door or window will make your home a very tempting target for a burglar.
Never leave a house key "hidden" outside your front door: under a doormat, in a flower pot, or on the ledge of the door. These are the first places a burglar will look.
If you would like to make life even harder for crooks, remember the following tips:
Exterior doors should have "dead bolt" locks with a 1 inch strong metal bar extending into the door frame.
Sliding doors and windows should all have "ventilation" locks as well as auxiliary locks to bolster security.
Be sure to include quality locks for garage, cellar, patio, or other doors that lead out through storage areas or a spare room, and keep those doors locked at all times.
Going Out?
Lock all doors and windows.
Use timers so that lights, radio, and TV go on and off throughout the house to indicate someone is home.
For longer trips, be sure to stop mail and newspaper delivery or have a neighbor collect them daily.
In short, make your house look "Lived In."
Remember, if you come home and see a broken window or a jimmied door, don't go in.  Confronting a burglar can be dangerous. Phone your police department immediately.
Other Tips
Install a wide angle lens viewer in the front door. Never open your door to a stranger or unknown solicitor.  Greeting a stranger or solicitor through your closed door is a good way to protect your property by acknowledging that someone is home, while still maintaining your personal safety.
Consider alarm systems.
Whenever you move to a new home, have the locks changed.
Want to know the best crime prevention tool ever invented?  A GOOD NEIGHBOR!
Law enforcement officers can't be everywhere at once, but you and your neighbors can.  You're the ones who really know what's going on in the neighborhood.
Put that neighborhood know­how to work. It's simple: just use your eyes and ears, then your telephone. If you spot something suspicious, call the police immediately.
Don't try to stop a criminal yourself, it can be dangerous.
Neighbors working together in cooperation with law enforcement make one of the best crime fighting teams around.
Please make note of the following phone numbers: dial 911 to report an emergency from a "land-line", (510) 981-5911 to report an emergency from a cell phone, and (510) 981-5900 to report a non-emergency from any phone.
For more information on how to start your own NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUP, contact the Berkeley Police Department Community Service Bureau at (510) 981-5808.

Have a safe and happy New Year!
Ofc, K. Buckheit #135
Area 4 Coordinator
Berkeley Police Department
(510) 981-5774






posts from the past


So now just where is our namesake, Potter Creek? According to a City of Berkeley, Department of Engineering, 1990 Map it runs underground in a 2ft culvert entering Potter Creek, the neighborhood, at the southeast corner of San Pablo and Heinz, runs along Heinz and directly under the Scharffen Berger factory, turns southwest at just before the corner of Heinz and 7th, and leaves Potter Creek at Potter Street and the railroad right of way.

Thank you David, Peter, and Melody.




If you didn't yesterday, today check out Drop Me Off in Harlem.


Check out the Kwanzaa web site.



"Candidate's recollections differ from historians' views of a turbulent decade" writes the Washington Post's Paul Farhi in "Dean Tries to Summon Spirit of the 1960s." When reading this, remember that history is written by the victors, and it is my memory that Berkeley lost The Insurrection.

Someone set fire to a pine tree in the middle of the École Bilingue playground on Christmas night. Since this is Berkeley, I'm not sure if it was a prank by the neighborhood kids or part of a rite by Nature worshipers.

And a belated, Happy Winter Solstice to all!

Saturday afternoon, I took my bike to the "Canned Food Store"--they have a great price on double-boxes of Corn Flakes. As I was locking up my bicycle another old man was unlocking his. While locking and unlocking, we exchanged glances and then broke into smiles. "How are you" he asked. "Fine" I said "And how you doin'?" "Pretty good for an old man" he said. And then as old men will do, we talked about how everything has "gon ta hell in a hanbasket." Then, as he was ready to leave he stopped and offered "I worked in the shipyards but now I'm retired and do volunteer drug counseling. It can be real depressing, but sometime you reach someone--just sometime. Maybe one in hundreds. But, it's worth it." "Happy New Year" he said as he left. "Happy New Year to you, too" I said.


end posts from the past




Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Things happened here in 2010.

While surrounding cities and towns are in financial difficulty including bankruptcy, Our Town is somewhat financially stable in large part because of the policies and administration of our City Manager, Phil Kamlarz. Yet unfunded liabilities loom large.

For the first time in over thirty years, the new Police Chief was chosen from outside the department. The full effect of this is yet to be felt.

Our West-Berkeley Bowl has become wildly successful, as has its traffic plan largely drawn up under the guidance of our city workers.

The composition of our City Council has remained the same, for all incumbents were re-elected--boring.

The results of our West-Berkeley Project affirm Leon Trotsky's axiom "A camel is a race horse made by a committee." (Apologies to the city workers who labored long and hard to bring some sort of order out the political mishegas.)

In less than a year our, our Chamber of Commerce has gone through two Chief Executive Officers and at last count had not yet found a third, proving that success in business does not necessarily include "playing well with others."

And the Ed Roberts Campus has opened, allowing its members to do their good works, affirming that indeed "The meek shall inherit the earth."


And there is in 21st Century Berkeley something to live-by in addition to "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Which would be "That which you resist, persists."


Yet, we all seemed to have survived and are more or less well.




"Indian-American Kamala Harris 'female Obama' in making" is a story at that through its characterizations shed some light on our continuing racism.

"Indian-American Kamala Harris, California's next Attorney General, is the 'female Obama' in making and likely to be a national figure shortly, a media report said on Saturday. Daughter of an Indian mother and African-American father, Harris is being called the future of the Democratic Party, a
rising political star in the mold of one of her big supporters - President Barack Obama, the 'Politico' said in a lead story.

'At first glance, the President and Harris have much in common: Both are mixed-race children of immigrants raised by a single mother; both are eloquent, telegenic big-city lawyers with strong liberal credentials who catapulted from relative obscurity to the national stage.' "



end Miscellaneous Ramblings




"Apartment construction jumps, single-family home building plummets" staff and wire reports at




"Researchers develop reactor to make fuel from sunlight" is a report at

"Scientists raise hopes for a large-scale renewable source of liquid fuel with a simple reactor that mimics plants.

A simple reactor that mimics plants by turning sunlight into fuel has been demonstrated in the laboratory, boosting hopes for a large-scale renewable source of liquid fuel."




"Students being taught to talk things out" is at

"Restorative justice programs, an alternative to punitive treatment for student misbehavior like suspensions and expulsions is effective, U.S. researchers say.

Mary Louise Frampton of the University of California, Berkeley's School of Law's Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, says the dialogue-based restorative justice programs encourage young people to take responsibility for their actions, repair harm done to victims and improve and strengthen relationships. Zero-tolerance policies, typically lead to suspensions and expulsions, which increase the risk of going to juvenile hall or jail, Frampton explains."








Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Our Chamber of Commerce is holding a news conference this afternoon, Tuesday at 2:30, downtown at Revival Bar and Kitchen, 2102 Shattuck. 

They will announce their new CO-CEOs, one a "politician" the other a "business person."


end Miscellaneous Ramblings


"Facebook, PayPal tycoon embraces sci-fi future" by AP reporter Marcus Wohlsen at

"In the movie The Social Network, the character of Peter Thiel is played as a slick Master of the Universe, a tech industry king and kingmaker with the savvy to see that a $500,000 investment in Facebook could mint millions later.

Reality is a little more rumpled.

On a recent December night, Thiel walked, slightly stooped, across a San Francisco stage to make a pitch to an invitation-only audience of Silicon Valley luminaries - investors and innovators who had scored sometimes huge fortunes through a mix of skill, vision and risk-taking.

The billionaire PayPal co-founder didn't tell them about the next big startup. He wanted them to buy into a bigger idea: the future.

A future when computers will communicate directly with the human brain. Seafaring pioneers will found new floating nations in the middle of the ocean. Science will conquer aging, and death will become a curable disease.

If anything can transform these wild dreams into plausible realities, he believes it is the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley - the minds and money that have conjured the technological marvels that have already altered everyday life."




"The college transfer squeeze" by Rob Kuznia Staff Writer,

"Gerson Monzon wasn't exactly an overachiever in high school. Three years ago, he barely graduated from Narbonne High School in Harbor City with a 2.0 GPA.

But he buckled down as a student at El Camino College near Torrance, and this fall transferred into UCLA, where he majors in political science, and where the GPA of the average freshman is a sky-high 4.25.

The possibility of transferring into the school of one's dreams from a junior college has long been an option, but, thanks largely to the lackluster economy, awareness is growing. This means that while it's still easier to get into the top UC schools as a transfer student than as a freshman out of high school, the gap between those two methods is narrowing. In short, more students are pursuing the transfer option, which is creating more competition for the openings.

This story takes a close look at UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley in part because they are the state's most prestigious public universities, but also because they tend to provide more data on applicants and admissions than other schools."



"UC class melds photography, protest" Debra Levi Holtz, Special to The Chronicle.

"Think of it as a crash course in the culture of protest at UC Berkeley, or as an antidote to teenage apathy.

A new freshman seminar that combines photojournalism with political awareness was inspired by recent conflicts on campus over rising tuition and funding cuts. It is designed to teach students about the role of photography in political activism."

"Weighing the Risk of a Chemical in Tap Water" at

"Low levels of hexavalent chromium, an industrial chemical used in the production of stainless steel and chrome plating, have been found in drinking water supplies across the United States, a new study by an environmental group has found.

Those who saw the 2000 film "Erin Brockovich" will remember hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, as the chemical spreading in a plume beneath the town of Hinkley, Calif., from a disposal site run by Pacific Gas & Electric. The company ultimately paid $333 million in damages for the contamination after a class-action lawsuit.

The chemical has been linked to increased cancer risk. But Allan Smith, a professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, said the concentrations reported by the Environmental Working Group were probably no cause for concern."




from my log

12/23/10--2:05 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room dry dirty air with "burning gas" odor, mucus membrane irritation. 3:00 PM--similar.

12/24/10--2:39 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, dirty, dry air, nausea, light head. Marsha has cough attack. 3:29 PM--Marsha has cough attack.

12/25/10--2:00PM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry dirty air, cough, mucus membrane irritation. Marsha similar.



Eternally useful links


Bay Area home prices from


Bay Area foreclosures from

Our City Council update is here.


Our Planning Commision update is here



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

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


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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.


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

useful link

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


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


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



Berkeley Police reports at insidebay are here.


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

Crime Log for 94710 is here

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


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

The contacts are below:

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

AND check out BPD feature "Who are these Crooks."


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

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

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

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