Putting the finishing touches on a rebuilt caboose at the rip tracks

at Proviso yard. Chicago, Illinois, April 1943

This image by a photographer of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, is one of the color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America's rural and small town populations.




Potter Creek's Wooden Duck is changing . . . is this the beginning of major use-shift? Understand that new west-

Berkeley rules allow for "protected space" to change to research and development. Mmm, . . . research and development, that's just what Rich Robin's Wareham does.

And could Albany's loss of Whole Foods be Berkeley's gain? I'd look for something in Berkeley a dinner-roll's throw from the Berkeley/Albany border.

Are these nibbles and bites into the old west-Berkeley from the new? Probably!



BPD Ofc Cesar Melero emails

The Berkeley Police Department has documented several commercial burglaries in which the suspect(s) are stealing money from cash registers.  These burglaries are occurring during the night hours when the businesses are closed.
We suggest that businesses that operate using cash registers take the following steps when they close for the day:
      Empty all cash registers,
Display the empty cash drawer(s) and make them visible from outside of front windows.
We believe that by taking these simple steps, would-be-burglars will be less likely to break into these businesses.
thank you, Cesar


"Coroner identifies motorcyclist killed in Berkeley on Wednesday" by Doug Oakley Oakland Tribune.

"A motorcyclist killed Wednesday after being struck by a car at Shattuck Avenue and Rose Street was identified as 32-year-old Stephan Jarjisian of Berkeley, the Alameda County Coroner's Office said Thursday.

Berkeley police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said Jarjisian died after being taken to an area hospital."







"UC Berkeley Receives $1 Million for Undocumented Students" Diane Dwyer and Lisa Fernandez, nbclocal.com.

"The University of California at Berkeley announced on Tuesday that it has received the largest single scholarship in the country for undocumented students."




















"Parolee gets life for killing 2 in Berkeley" Henry K. Lee at sfgate.com.

"A parolee was sentenced Friday to life in prison for the 2009 murder of his girlfriend at Berkeley's Aquatic Park and the killing of her infant son, whose body was found in the water days later."


After 35 years of service, BPD Sgt Guy Craig is retiring and BPD time keeper, Lisa Brignardello, is retiring after 40 years of service. Graig's retirment leaves open a sgt posstion.




Shasta dam under construction

California, June 1942.

This image by a photographer of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, is one of the color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America's rural and small town populations.



















General view of part of the South Water Street freight depot of the Illinois Central Railroad

Chicago, Illinois, May 1943

This image by a photographer of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, is one of the color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America's rural and small town populations.



Our Peace and Justice Commission is proposing that our city council

"Proclaim Berkeley a No Drone Zone and Enact an Ordinance to 
that Effect 
Adopt a Resolution and Proclamation proclaiming: 
1. Berkeley a No Drone Zone and instructing the City Attorney to perform the 
necessary legal tasks to transform this declaration of a No Drone Zone into an 
Ordinance for the City of Berkeley wherein drones are hereby banned from 
2. That drones will not be purchased, leased, borrowed, tested or otherwise used 
by any agency of the City of Berkeley over the City of Berkeley, including drones 
in transit. 
3. That exemptions will be made for hobbyists to continue to fly remote controlled 
model aircraft in specified areas, away from dwellings and the urban cityscape of 
people and buildings as long as those devices are not equipped with any kind of 
camera or audio surveillance equipment." 

Boy, then we can have some nifty "Drone Free Zone" signs made up and posted at our borders.




my-age cousin, Maryann

swinging thru the Costa Rican rain-forests last month







"A Guide to Mass Shootings in America" motherjones.com.

"There have been at least 62 in the last 30 years-and most of the killers got their guns legally.

(Update, December 14: On Friday morning, 27 people were killed in a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Among the fatalities are 20 children, six adults, and the shooter. We're following this story closely with regular updates. This guide and map have been updated with data from the Newtown massacre.)

It's perhaps too easy to forget how many times this has happened. The horrific mass murder at a movie theater in Colorado on July 20, another at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on August 5, another at a manufacturer in Minneapolis on September 27-and now the unthinkable nightmare at a Connecticut elementary school on December 14-are the latest in an epidemic of such gun violence over the last three decades. Since 1982, there have been at least 62 mass murders* carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. We've mapped them, including details on the shooters' identities, the types of weapons they used, and the number of victims they injured and killed."

















"Berkeley author plans publishing venture" Lou Fancher at contracostatimes.com.

"After delighting hordes of young readers with her intimate, hilarious, best-selling journal series, 'Amelia's Notebook,' Marissa Moss is spreading the joy beyond her usual followers to educators, artists, lovers of history and uniquely, to her peers.

Creston Books, the children's book publishing venture she is launching in 2013, aims to be a shot in the arm for Moss and her fellow writers. Mergers and acquisitions throughout the publishing industry have decimated creativity and positioned books as marketing vessels: trends she hopes to reverse by throwing open the gate on collaborative partnerships."



"Eye in the sky: Berkeley considers banning surveillance drones" Doug Oakley, Oakland Tribune.

"City leaders on Tuesday will consider a proposal to declare the air here a 'No Drone Zone" to prevent law enforcement from using small unmanned aircraft to spy on residents."


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) controls the air space over Berkeley NOT the Berkeley city council. Banning drones is simply an intellectual exercise which cost Berkeley taxpayer money with no practical consequence. It is a fully symbolic gesture or worse, barren politics.

Personally, I have reservations about the use of drones for civilian surveillance, but that's another discussion. The use of drones in war is also another discussion.


















Potter Creek's Swerve makes BBC radio!

In a piece about "the new manufacturing" our Michael Goldin is interviewed by BBC's Chris Anderson. If you want to hear just Michael, start a lIttle after 6 minutes.









Swerve's Ziggy has movie star cousins

penndorf photo

Ziggy's creator Fanuc, also made the robots in Iron Man





















during the Holidays our Rick Auerbach is selling his beautiful photos on Fourth Street

Hawaii by Rick Auerbach



a reader emails

Commission takes stand on drones, but not their own dronings. 

How about anti-droning legislation to reduce the number of city commissions?!  Talk about a cost savings measure . . . but it would never fly--unlike drones. Instead our multiples of commissions will drone on.











Some hard information from "A Guide to Mass Shootings in America."

The shooters' weapon of choice are handguns NOT assault rifles with more than twice the number of shooters using handguns than long guns. The concentration of shootings over the studied period is not in Alabama, Florida etc. but is here in the Bay Area/Northern California with a cluster of 4-5. View study here.
















Seems the Mayans are a little behind the curve.

The world as we knew it has already ended. Can you spell "New Normal?"



"Marine recruiter shot at while driving on Highway 85" Robert Salonga, mercurynews.com.

"A Marine recruiter was shot at multiple times while driving on Highway 85 on Wednesday afternoon but was not hit, snarling traffic in the area as authorities investigated the attack.

The recruiter was driving a government-issued Pontiac G6 sedan on southbound Highway 85 about 12:25 p.m. when the vehicle was hit by bullets near Stevens Creek Boulevard, said California Highway Patrol Officer D.J. Sarabia.
'He hears a pop and a back window blows out,' Sarabia said.

Sarabia said there appeared to be between three and four bullet holes in the car. Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, which is leading the investigation, said the two rear passenger windows were shattered.

The recruiter, who was in full uniform, exited at the De Anza Boulevard offramp, where he was met by CHP officers and the Sheriff's deputies."



our Councilman Darryl Moore emails

Please join Covenant Worship Center in a candlelight vigil to honor the victims and familiesof the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  The vigil will be held on the front steps of Covenant Worship Center at 2622 San Pablo Ave. this Saturday, December 22nd at 6PM.








































"Students Rising Above: Silena Layne" Wendy Tokuda reports at cbs5local.

"Students Rising Above first followed Silena Layne in 1998. While violence has claimed members of her family, Layne has found positive ways to contribute to her community and people in need."




Shepherd with his horse and dog

on Gravelly Range Madison County, Montana, August 1942.

This image by a photographer of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, is one of the color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America's rural and small town populations.






















The photographs of Russian chemist and photographer, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, show Russia on the eve of World War I and the coming of the revolution. From 1909-1912 and again in 1915, Prokudin-Gorskii travelled across the Russian Empire, documenting life, landscapes and the work of Russain people. His images were to be a photographic survey of the time. He travelled in a special train car transformed into a dark room to process his special process of creating color images, a technology that was in its infancy in the early 1900s. Prokudin-Gorskii left Russia in 1918, after the Russian Revolution had destroyed the Empire he spent years documenting.

Church in Vetluga settlement



the onion dome

Prior to the eighteenth century, the Russian Orthodox Church did not assign any particular symbolism to the exterior shape of a church. Nevertheless, onion domes are popularly believed to symbolise burning candles.





















Currier and Ives



Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed 3.4 inches from last Friday morning to yesterday morning,



















While watching football and channel-hopping Sunday I saw; an ad for the new NBC show called "Deception," a woman who described an event she'd just seen as "deliciously evil", a man who in a beer commercial summarized the results of a meeting as "I crushed it! ", the spot for the TV show "Animation Domination", a line from a TV-show-teaser "Your husband set me up and I'm going to get him for it!" AND an infomercial for the NutraBullet blender. Probably need something other than disarming the population to change our society.


"NY gunman set 'trap' for firefighters" John Kekis, AP report with video at sfgate.com.

"An ex-con gunned down two firefighters after luring them to his neighborhood by setting a car and a house ablaze early Monday, then took shots at police and committed suicide while several homes burned.

Authorities used an armored vehicle to help residents flee dozens of homes on the shore of Lake Ontario a day before Christmas."



Where does Quentin Tarantino and his work fit into this society. Watch Charlie Rose' December 21st conversation with him and decide for yourself.

"Quentin Jerome Tarantino is an American film director, actor, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. He rose to fame in the early 1990s as an indie filmmaker whose films used nonlinear storylines, and stylized violence. His films include 'Reservoir Dogs', "Pulp Fiction", 'Jackie Brown', and 'Kill Bill' ".


Kubik emails

"An amazing kite flying demonstration" on youtube

"The guy flying the kites is from Canada and is in his 80's. He
comes to the Washington State International Kite Festival every year.
. . . He flies two kites with his hands and the third one attached to his

Don't miss the end and the landing of that last kite!

And, make sure the volume is turned up - the music
is wonderful and reflects the soaring of the kites."



















Pete's Potter Creek rain total from the morning of the 24th to yesterday morning is 1.2 inches. The rain total for this season to date is 17.5 inches--that is from October 23rd through yesterday morning.




One Potter Creek resident already built an electric bicycle and another seems about to do something similar. Here's similar.

The Solex moto-bicycle was a French motorised bicycle from the 1960's that can still be seen on the streets of France today as people use a helping hand as they pedal their way around. The Solex has a single-cylinder, two-stroke engine on the rear wheel and is a symbol of nostalgia for many today.

This particular example though, is a kind of Solex tuning where the wheel and spokes have been removed. We haven't found any technical specs on the web, but from the photos it looks like it uses a kind of belt/pulley system on the inside of the wheel to drive them forward. An external frame houses the tyres and mounts small wheels on the inside to propel the bike. We like the innovation and look of the bike but we're not sure how we'd get one pedalling once the petrol runs out.




















"In the Bay Area, Bagels as Good as Brooklyn's" at nytimes.com.

link courtesy Claudia

"Dan Graf makes bagels in Berkeley, Calif. Mr. Graf, an East Coast transplant, founded Baron Baking in Oakland after working in a delicatessen."


Before Dan there was the Buttercup's Marty. Mike hired Marty not because he rode a serious chopper--Gordy thinks a Rat-Triumph--but because he was from New Jersey and made New York water bagels and did it with style. Though Buttercup bagels didn't precede Brother's, they were authentic and were delicious. I can see, smell, and taste one now, swimming in butter, next to the home fries, Farmer John's bacon and two eggs over-easy by Wayne.




 Juggler, Michael Davis performing at Ford's Theater during the Reagan presidency. In the audience are President and Nancy Reagan, House Speaker, Tip and Mrs O'Neal, and Senator and Mrs Howard Baker. Very, very funny stuff!

link courtesy Cliff Miller


Who is Michael Davis?














Is a country with the approval rating of its deliberating body at 18%, still a democracy? If, why? If not, why not?


Should Our Town's deliberating body approve the drone-ban, understand that enforcement could be a challenge.

So, . . . say that a young woman in Albany just got one of those nifty $300.00 drones from Amazon for Christmas. Flying her new drone along the bay in Albany, a wind gust blows it into Berkeley Air Space. Now Berkeley PD gets a call for service something like "There' s a drone over the Tom Bates Athletic Complex." Officers are dispatched.

Now, bringing down even the low flying drone with a service weapon is a hit or miss proposition. But you say, most BPD radio cars are equipped with shotguns--still perhaps difficult. "Mike, you gotta lead it. Lead it!" Ok, the drone gets away. So, score one for the bad guys--well actually, the girls.

The effective response to keeping drones from violating our air space? Simply install ground-to-air radar controlled anti aircraft guns along all our borders. (Absurd? Of course, yet in keeping with the like problem." ) Naturally our city council would have to approve this project and provide the millions of dollars to finance it.

Hmmm, . . . they weren't too excited about that lightly armored truck our police department wanted even for free.



Westside Café

photo by Dorf

Lieutenant Dave Frankel of the Berkeley Police Department is the Area 4 Commander and he invites anyone who wishes to have coffee with him to join him at: Westside Café, 2570 Ninth Street , Wednesday, January 2, 2013, from 2 to 3pm

thank you,




"Digital books leave a reader cold" Kathleen Parker at washingtonpost.com. "It is comforting to think of death as a passing rather than an end. In that vein, I prefer to think of Steve Jobs's final words as editorial commentary: 'Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.' If the Afterlife were unpleasant, wouldn't he have said something more profane?

Similarly, I have forced myself to think of the last print edition of Newsweek magazine as a transition rather than yet more evidence of The Death of Print. The last hard copy, which left the presses a few days ago, is merely the magazine's passing from this life to the next.

Dust to dust; paper to digital?

It isn't quite as poetic as our earth-to-heaven transmogrification, but it will have to do. What's the alternative? We printosaurs can mourn the loss of our medium, or we can frolic in fresh clover. Or so 'they' - the blogger-Twitter hordes - keep telling us.

Still. Frolic as we may, the celebrate-new-media prescription falls short of palliative. This is because, notwithstanding the obvious benefits of new vehicles for old passengers, there is something uniquely sublime about print that has nothing to do with content. Hard copy is a full-on sensory experience."










from our log

12/13/12--11:01 AM--acrid air in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, "hot metal" odor, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation.

12/14/12--Off-and-on all AM--acrid air in warehouse front, "hot metal" odor, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation.

12/15/12--11:05 AM--acrid air in warehouse front, "hot metal" odor, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, light head. Off-and-on all AM--similar.

12/16/12--12:15 PM---acrid air in warehouse front, mucus membrane irritation, light head.

12/18/12--7:16 PM--acrid air in warehouse front, "hot metal" odor, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation. 8:15 PM--similar, SERIOUS itchy skin. 10: 15 PM--similar. 11:16 PM--similar, nausea.

12/23/12--9:11 AM--acrid air in warehouse front, mucus membrane irritation, light head. Marsha, dry cough. Similar, all day.

12/25/12, Christmas--4:16 PM--SERIOUS irriant in front room, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, itchy skin. All day, similar.

12/26/12--10:02 AM--acrid air in warehouse front, irritant in front room, dry air, mucus membrane irritation. 8:25 PM--acrid air in warehouse front, irritant in front room, dry air, mucus membrane irritation.

12/29/12--8:02 AM--acrid air in warehouse front, irritant in front room, dry air, mucus membrane irritation.








eternally useful links


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.



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.




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.



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




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



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, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.

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

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

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






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