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 hindustantimes.com 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 mercurynews.com.




"Researchers develop reactor to make fuel from sunlight" is a report at guardian.co.uk.

"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 upi.com.

"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 news.yahoo.com.

"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, dailybreeze.com.

"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 nytimes.com.

"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."






Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed 1.7 inches for the storm of which 1.5 had fallen by 10 PM. By 11:30 PM the rain had turned to showers.

You can find information about our current weather conditions including real-time radar at www.wunderground.com

Of the local TV weather reports, Channel 2 is the most fact-filled, accurate and responsible. Channel 4 the least, often given to melodrama.


post from the past


"The Berkeley Public Education Foundation is celebrating its 20th year by giving teachers in the city's 17 schools $137,235 in classroom grants" writes Meredith May in her "School Notes" in the San Francisco Chronicle.


Who IS this guy's schneider?*


end post from the past

*tailor, Yiddish



Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Casa Batlo Barcelona, Spain

a Judi Quan photo


Browsing printed media is pretty much lineal, that is it's two dimensional. You go back and forth. Computer browsing, in addition, can easily be three-dimensional, links allowing you to move through space. Should you write differently because of this? Maybe.


end Miscellaneous Ramblings




"New yeast strain 'cuts major drawbacks of biofuel production methods' " at oneindia.in.

"Scientists at the University of California University of Illinois, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the energy company BP have found a new yeast strain that eliminates many major shortcomings of current biofuel production methods."







Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

A Tavis Smiley conversation not to be missed is his most recent half-hour with Quincy Jones. It's full of warmth, humor and good advice. Definitely check it out!


fes, Morocco

a Judi Quan photo


And the Charlie Rose hour with Spanish actor, Javier Bardem and Mexican director, Alejandro González Iñárritu is a refreshing journey to a fully Latin world. It's about about Spain, Mexico and their new movie 'Biutiful'."

RollingStone writes of "Biutiful".




"Quan's Journey:Many say it was her focus, tireless work to help those in need that boosted her to Oakland's top office" is a story by Cecily Burt in the Oakland Tribune.

Not to take anything away from Mayor-elect Quan but the immediately reason for her success was her savvy use of rank choice voting through an arrangement with another city council candidate Rebecca Kaplan in which they agreed to recommend each other as second choice on the ballot.

After the November election, Ms Quan appeared at a victory celebration for our council members Jesse Arreguin and Kriss Worthington.


California Watch explains "Ranked-choice, or instant-runoff, voting is supposed to save taxpayers millions by eliminating the need for local primaries and runoff elections. Advocates say it also boosts electoral competition, because candidates have to raise money for only one election per cycle, not two or three.

Here's how it works: In choosing, say, a mayor for Oakland, voters vote for three candidates, ranking them in the order of preference. A candidate who gets more than 50 percent of the first-choice votes wins outright. If that doesn't happen, the election department's computers then count up the second-place and third-place votes until a winner emerges."

More from californiawatch.org here.



"Berkeley co-ops cracking down on drug use" by Matt Krupnick at insidebayarea.com.

"Nine months after a UC Berkeley student overdosed on drugs, the university's 20 student-run cooperative houses are making it easier for residents to report substance abuse among their peers.

This month the Berkeley Student Cooperative, whose 1,250 members are largely UC Berkeley students, adopted new procedures to review whether a resident has a drug or alcohol problem. The new rules will streamline that review once a resident has reported a problem."

The co-op at which "UC Berkeley student overdosed on drugs" has a Potter Creek connection as they lease warehouse space here.


end Miscellaneous Ramblings





posts from the past


Tom Bates, our casually dressed, low-key mayor gave a friendly presentation Tuesday morning before a standing-room only audience at Caffé Trieste. In his forty-some minute talk, he covered issues he felt of interest to those assembled. (Many, it seemed, the "usual suspects.") The Mayor began by assuring all, that though times were tuff, fourteen million dollars in cuts had been made in the City budget, many the result of union cooperation. He then stressed the real need to expedite city permit issuance, while observing that permit applications had been up 50% and so issuance was slow. He also alluded to some structural problems, though not specifically. Crime, he said in Berkeley is at an all time low--although there have been some high profile cases, and assured us that though a new Chief will be appointed soon, "community policing" will be continued. He is excited about the development of San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, making it a first class business area, and mentioned that Caltrans money will contribute to the project. Against Measure Q, he offered "Bad for women, bad for the City." And the Berkeley Bowl issue he felt would be resolved next year. Finished with his talk, he opened the meeting to questions. John Curl wanted to know if, when, and how the West Berkeley Plan will be reviewed. (This development plan, drawn up in the '80s is, in some areas, now wildly out of sync with our time. It completely missed computerization and only through a revision mentions work-live development.) The mayor thought that it would probably be reviewed later than sooner. He concluded by stressing the need to support Loni Hancock and Maudellle Sherik's "replacement." My Caffé´Trieste espresso was excellent as usual.




the quiet but deadly Bob Kubik emails




"Bay Area mourns upcoming loss of Scharffen Berger" reports Janis Mara at contracostatimes.com.

" 'It's terrible,' said Marilyn Rinzler of Berkeley as she stood outside the soon-to-be-closed Scharffen Berger manufacturing facility here with an empty chocolate sample container in her hand.

Hershey Co., which bought Berkeley-based premium chocolate maker Scharffen Berger in 2005, announced plans this week to close the West Berkeley plant. Most of the chocolate will now be made at a Hershey plant in Robinson, Ill., which has actually been the case for some time, according to Hershey.

'This is a Berkeley enterprise. It should stay in Berkeley, just as Peet's Coffee is a Berkeley enterprise and continues to be in Berkeley,' Rinzler said."


end posts from the past









Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Marsha W's quote of the year, "Toe-Pick!"


Next month, "Harpsichord" John is going to Northern Europe on business. Ah, Denmark in Winter.


"Northern California fishing report" by Tim Goode at mercurynews.com.

"Berkeley:Boats have been tied up for two weeks. In the new year, there will be crab forays."



Aw s#%t, "UC execs demand more benefits" at San Francisco Business Times.

"Executives at the University of California are threatening to sue the university system if it does not spend millions to increase their pensions, a that that has sparked anger among state officials, the Mercury News reports."



Bacheeso's is no longer serving dinner.


Second time this week, I got a meatball sub at Subway on Hollis. And with everything on it for five dollars and change --good for two meals!



end Miscellaneous Ramblings



post from the past


our "secret movie studio" crew

partying after Beverly Hills Chihuahua rap


end post from the past




"Man wants Oakland Fox Theater builder to get full credit" Angela Woodall, Oakland Tribune.

"Having reached the age of 80, Jack Biringer has found a new purpose in life: to set the record straight. The record that needs straightening, according to Biringer, is the identity of the true architect of the Fox Theater.

He has combed through mountains of paperwork and written countless letters in the pursuit to prove that his mentor and family friend Maury Diggs is responsible for designing and building the movie palace more than 80 years ago. According to the official version today, Diggs designed everything but the theater; a team of two men, Charles Peter Weeks and William Day, deserve credit for that.

It is a notion Biringer refutes.

According to his version, Diggs had to hide behind Weeks and Day because of his checkered past including prison time. The very married 26-year-old architect -- and son of a politically prominent family -- had taken a 19-year-old mistress from Sacramento to Nevada for a romantic rendezvous, at that time a criminal offense known as white slavery."




"CSU assistant chemistry professor Amy Prieto's research sounds like something out of a science-fiction film or a comic book" reports coloradoan.com.

"A battery 1,000 times more powerful than any other battery on the market and that lasts 10 times longer. And, of course, what good would a super battery be unless it was cheaper than the standard battery out there?

These are lofty goals for the fledgling company - Prieto Battery - heading into its second round of investment funding and stage 2 of its prototype next year.

The battery, named after Prieto, is projected to perhaps one day revolutionize the cell phone, military, automobile and health-care industries by providing a steadfast, reliable power source that can capitalize on a battery with a larger surface area, resulting in a higher power density.

Born in Bogota, Columbia, Prieto, 36, moved to the United States at age 4 and grew up in Michigan. She attended Williams College in Massachusetts, where she earned degrees in chemistry and philosophy. She got her doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley, and completed her postdoctoral work at Harvard."







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.

12/28/10--5:46 PM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front front, dry dirty airm watery eyes, mucus membrane irritation, leave.

12/29/10--off-and-on all day, irritant in front room, dry dirty air, watery eyes, mucus membrane irritation.




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 Area Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 kbuckheit@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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


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.