our Fourth Street this year

make sure you visit

 

12/15/13

Our Rick Auerbach is selling his extraordinary photo prints on Fourth Street again. His display is just south of Peet's.

 

 



"Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair" at funcheap.com.

"Holiday shoppers to the Telegraph business district will be treated to an abundance of good cheer, great music, fine food, and unique and unusual handcrafts by some of Northern California's finest artists."

 

 

"Cashing in on the bitcoin boom" by Andrew Tangel and Chris O'Brie, latimes.com.

"Consumers are using bitcoins at coffee shops, hotels, online stores and even, in some cases, to run their businesses. And every day, dozens more firms are deciding to use the virtual currency."

 

 

 


"A Big Tiny Railroad Captures Hearts Old and Young" berkeley.patch.com.

"'It's the mystique,' says Jim Harrison, one of the adults drawn to the elaborate Walnut Creek Model Railroad with its 1,900-square-foot village and 4,300 feet of train tracks."

 

 

 

 

 

 

A special note from our mayor.

The Berkeley City Council will hold tribute to Nelson Mandela at Old City Hall, Tuesday, 12/17 at 6:30pm.

 

 

 

'Uruguay's president José Mujica: no palace, no motorcade, no frills" theguardian.com.

"If anyone could claim to be leading by example in an age of austerity, it is José Mujica, Uruguay's president, who has forsworn a state palace in favour of a farmhouse, donates the vast bulk of his salary to social projects, flies economy class and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle."

 

 

 


"UC Berkeley Gill Tract Development Approved by Albany Planning Commission" by Jeff Shuttleworth at berkeleydailyplanet.com.

"A commercial development plan by the University of California at Berkeley that calls for a senior housing complex and a grocery store on a plot of land it owns in Albany has cleared a major hurdle."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/16/13

Back in The Day: Selling Records on Berkeley's Telegraph Ave

by Ron Penndorf

Albert really wasn't capable of having a manager

I'm told that today Reese Holmandoller lives on an island off the coast of South America. I guess it's possible. I know that for years he lived on an island off the Greek coast.

Reese Holmandoller was the first manager at Campus Records that I remember. Manager isn't exactly right. I don't think that Albert was capable of having a manager. Reese came from New York and so did Albert. More importantly, Reese learned the record business in New York City. But in the end, Albert probably hired Reese because he liked him.

Reese was tall, thin, a little stoop- shouldered, and had a droopy Einstein moustache. Before the Beatles had longish hair, Reese had hair down to his shoulders.

Berkeley has always thought of itself as a liberal, tolerant and accepting community. But in the '60s, sadly, even in Berkeley, people thought something should be done about a man with a woman's hair. In particular, Reese's hair annoyed some members of the Telegraph Avenue Merchants Association. At a regular meeting, and with Albert present, they suggested that either Reese get a hair cut or that Albert fire him. Albert quit the Association, but I vaguely remember Reese's hair becoming a touch shorter.

Reese now began to make a point of smooching in public. In front of the shop, and with great gusto, he would kiss and squeeze his saftig lady for all to see. His lady was a good jazz piano player and Reese played alto. I remember waiting, along with him, for the release of Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch album. When the first shipment arrived from the distributor, work ceased for a moment and we all listened. We agreed it was "far out."

Reese, his lady, and some friends had regular "blowing sessions" at a warehouse just off Shattuck Ave.

I was asked to sit in.

I was just beginning to play classical 'cello, but the idea of playing jazz was tantalizing. The 'cello was much softer than the jazz instruments that surrounded it, especially the piano and drums. In the first session I couldn't even hear myself, but Reese thought the 'cello could be made louder by electrically amplifying it. So at the next session we rigged a guitar pick-up to the 'cello bridge and plugged it into an amplifier.

Now I could hear myself, but I had a hard time following the "changes," after all, I was being trained to sight read Bach, not improvise over chords.
I can't say that I was a very good jazz player, but I can say that I played with Country Joe and the Fish's drummer. Chick "Chicken" Hirsh was one of the people who sat in that night.

 

 

 

 

Holiday Sales and Bittersweet Tales

What I remember about working during the holidays at Campus Records in the '60s was that Albert didn't have central heat in the shop. Recently, when I mentioned to him that I was thinking of moving to Vermont, he reminded me that it gets really cold there and observed, perceptively; "Hell, in the shop you use to stand in front of that electric heater in Fall." I remember "the cold" more than the holiday madness.

Though I do vividly recall a late-Christmas Eve when Albert and I were selling records almost faster than we could ring them up-having begun celebrating with brandy in early afternoon we were, of course, happily drunk.

But generally the holiday rush worked against staff happiness and Albert's policy of careful attention to the customer's needs-accompanied by informed and slightly snobbish opinion. "Come back after the rush . . . and you don't want that Bernstein performance anyway," Albert would exhort.

You really couldn't take care of the customer's needs during those hectic weeks just before Christmas and I particularly remember ignoring my regulars just so I could sell pop Christmas albums to last minute shoppers.

Of course, the entire staff were non-believers-and cultural elitists-but that didn't stop us from aggressively selling those popular holiday albums. Mitch Miller Sing Along albums sold very well and, to ourselves, we justified selling these records by working in, "He's a classical oboist you know."

 

Few cared.

But much more importantly, the rush interfered with "hitting on the chicks." In these tense times of retail combat, often after a sale when you were just about to strut your music knowledge in front of some impressionable coed, Albert would bark in his best ex-infantry manner "Disengage!"

Of course he was much more understanding in ordinary times and only when he was fighting with Connie, his wife, would he so explode. It was during one of those times that the famous "Play Boy" incident occurred.

Campus Records was located behind Campus Smoke Shop-also owned by Albert-and the two shops were connected by a short, wide passage way. And at this passage way, on the Smoke Shop side, were the magazines. (Magazine profit was very small, for the there is little markup and magazine profit depends on large sales-and the return of worn, dog-eared copies could be difficult and cut dramatically into an already small profit.)

For months a fellow would come in on magazine-delivery-Thursday looking for the new "Play Boy"-not to buy, but to dog ear. Ordinarily, this just annoyed Albert. But one Thursday, after continuous phone confrontations with Connie, he'd had enough.

I can clearly see the fellow eagerly take up the new magazine and become absorbed in its pages-one can easily imagine his bliss.

But not Albert.

Albert could only imagine a difficult return and a difficult Connie. He quietly walked up next to the fellow, pulled his Zippo lighter from his pocket, and set the lower left-hand corner of the magazine on fire. The guy didn't immediately grasp what was happening-probably sensing only that his passions were hotter than he'd imagined. Eventually, forced back to reality by the flames licking his hand, he fitfully dropped the object of his reverie.

Albert stomped out the flames and I think Albert and Connie separated shortly after.

 

 

 

 

 

12/17/13

Posts from the Past

1/27/11

Bob Portnoy emails

Came across your e-mail address on one of your web pages. Do you still run your record store or have you retired to motorcycle racing? It would be fun to run into you one of these days. I hear from the Braver girls occasionally.

Along with Mike Korman, Bob Portnoy worked at Al Braver's Campus Smoke Shop at the same time I worked at Al's Campus Records. We all worked nights as I remember.

 

Al Braver

And just what is it that Albert's smoking in that pipe?

I had breakfast with Mike Korman recently--the Korman of the Berkeley realtors, Korman and Ng-- at 900 GRAYSON. Mike and I worked together in the '60s, Mike at Campus Smoke Shop and I worked at Campus Records--the shops adjacent on the corner of Telegraph and Bancroft. Mike also was part of the Berkeley Barb from its very beginning. As the business manager he claims to have hustled the first of their legendary want ads.

Now a a commercial realtor, he found the property for the Anne Crowden School and more recently was involved in the sale of the Hillside School property to the German School.

Great meeting of the minds on old and new times.

End Posts from the Past

 

 

 

 

Oh jeez "Support Revolutionary Books:Come to the Berkeley City Council Meeting 12-17-13" revolutionbooks.org.

"Come to the Berkeley City Council meeting on Tuesday at 7 pm and support Revolution Books in its struggle to reduce the unfair high rent it is currently paying to its landlord, the City of Berkeley!

Revolution Books and other tenants in the Channing Telegraph Mall, where the bookstore is located, have been fighting to reduce high rents that they are currently paying to the City of Berkeley.  Other related issues have also been raised.  These matters are on this Tuesday's City Council Agenda.

Come. Speak out. Bring a sign, wave a book & show the City Council what Revolution Books means to you.
If you cannot come but want to send a statement of support please send it to revolutionbooks@sbcglobal.net and to Mayor Bates at mayor@cityofberkeley.info

Speak out. Bring a sign, wave a banner!"

 

 

 

"BART Fares to Increase 5.2%" berkeley.patch.com.

"BART fares will rise on Jan. 1 as part of previously approved, periodic increases to pay for new cars to replace the aging fleet as well as other improvements.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2014, BART riders will pay slightly higher train fares to help pay for new train cars and other projects, according to BART officials."

 

 

 

 


"Moody's assigns Aa2 to City of Berkeley (CA) GO Bonds" moodys.com.

"Approximately $109 million in debt affected.

Moody's Rating

Issue: 2014 General Obligation Bonds (Street and Integrated Watershed Improvements); Rating: Aa2; Sale Amount: $15,000,000; Expected Sale Date: 12/30/2013; Rating Description: General Obligation

Opinion

Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Aa2 rating to the City of Berkeley's 2014 General Obligation Bonds (Streets and Integrated Watershed Improvements). We have also affirmed the city's outstanding long term lease rental and general obligation ratings.

Rating Rational

The rating reflects the city's large and growing tax base that benefits both from the institutional presence of the University of California and the city's proximity to the city to San Francisco. The rating also incorporates the city's fiscal position, which captured increased revenues, generated a surplus and is likely to remain stable. The city's debt profile, which does not include any variable rate debt and low general fund burdens was also captured in the rating. The bonds of the current sale are secured by the city's unlimited property tax pledge." 

 

 

 

 


"Federal Agency Proposes Big Shift in Refinery Regulation After Chevron Fire" berkeley.patch.com.

"As the U.S. Chemical Safety Board urges more rigorous refinery regulation in California, the Berkeley City Council will review a proposal on Tuesday for stricter public-notice requirements for toxic releases from refinery accidents."

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Dreams of the World: Flight Simulation of Robotic Birds with Cameron Rose, UC Berkeley" newswatch.nationalgeographic.com.

"My dream is to be able to contribute one day to advancing the field of robotics enough to achieve something even close to the level of maneuverability and control that animals possess in nature,¨ said Cameron Rose, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. ¨There is so much to be learned from behaviors and control surfaces of animals that can be applied to robotics."

 

 

 

 

"Great China, A Reborn Berkeley Classic" sf.eater.com.

"Two years after its original Berkeley location was destroyed in a kitchen fire, Great China has reemerged in a new, larger venue just a block away. The Yu family (father Ching and sons Tai and James), which owns Great China, had been looking at moving into the new location, which they already owned, for many years, but it wasn't until fate intervened in the form of the fire and the closure of then-tenant Looney's BBQ that the family was able to make the move. At 150 seats, it's 30 seats larger than the original location, with space for a lounge and for the acclaimed wine cellar (though much of the original stock was sadly destroyed in the blaze). The beer and wine license isn't online yet, but should be ready in a few weeks; the restaurant is also in the process of applying for full liquor, with hopes of serving a menu of mostly classic cocktails with a few tiki drinks thrown in.

Great China, 2190 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, (510) 843-7996 "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/18/13

"Consumer Price Index: Are high gas prices a thing of the past?" csmonitor.com.

"The US average gas price is $3.22 ­ and appears headed lower. The bad weather this winter was a factor, but 'fracking' is also driving energy prices downward. 
 
Gas prices have dropped almost every day for the past three weeks, and on Nov. 12, gas prices reached a multiyear low of $3.18 per gallon, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. The average national gas price this week is $3.22.  

Gasoline prices, adjusted for seasonal inflation, fell 1.6 percent in November, and 2.9 percent in October, according to the CPI report from the National Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

This winter will likely see the lowest gas prices since the winter of 2011-12, says Tom Kloza, the founder of Oil Price Information Service, a company in Gaithersburg, Md. 'Four dollars and higher are going to be rare and represent more spikes for the rest of the decade,' he predicts. 

The reprieve in gasoline prices is, in part, thanks to the increased supply of oil and natural gas from the 'shale revolution,' says Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. Drilling into shale reserves, a controversial process commonly known as 'fracking,' has insulated the United States from international spikes in energy prices, says Mr. Flynn. 

'The era of high energy prices, or at least high gasoline prices, has come to an end,' he adds."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/19/13

"St. Mary's beats Fortuna for NCS Division IV championship" at mercruynews.com.

"Seniors Ian Bonde, Liam Godfrey and Lorenzo Logwood all generated stellar offensive statistics for the St. Mary's High football team on Saturday.

But the defense of St. Mary's also shined in the Panthers' 49-21 win over No. 2 Fortuna in the North Coast Section Division IV championship game at Humboldt State University.

Fifth-seeded St. Mary's forced four turnovers and allowed just seven points after the first quarter to help earn the program's first NCS title."

 

 

The team celebrated their win here in Potter Creek. The following morning, a neighbor visiting Tracy found the living room filled with sleeping team members. Our Ben's number is 42--second from the right, bottom row.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

an on going series

Upcoming

The Top Five Types of Workplace Hazards
Definition of Workplace Hazards
How to Recognize Hazards in the Workplace
What Determines Initial Hazards in the Workplace?

 

"Workplace Hazards in Glass Blowing" chron.com.

"Glass blowers use a high-temperature furnace to transform glass and other materials into art pieces or scientific glassware. An accomplished glass blower can carve out a career producing intricate artwork sold from his own studio or through carefully selected galleries. He may also teach the craft at specialized art schools. Glass blowers face considerable workplace hazards along with these rewards, but proper preparation and constant vigilance can help reduce the risks.

Respiratory Hazards

Glass blowers face respiratory hazards from the materials used to make the glass. Hazards can take the form of fumes or inhaled particulates. For example, dirty glass and quartz produce harmful fumes when heated. Asbestos tapes present a particulate risk, while some minerals that give the glass its beautiful color are highly toxic no matter how they are ingested. While a glass blower's canopy hood may capture heat and very light gases, the hood does not offer protection against most fume and particulate inhalation hazards.

A glass blower can minimize his risks with a ventilation system that blows air through his work area and out of the room. Ventilating the work space with a window at each end, along with exhaust fans that suck out the contaminated air, are often reasonably effective. Wearing a respirator will further reduce inhalation risks when glass blowing. A respirator offers further protection against potentially toxic dust stirred up when he cleans his work area.

Heat

Heat represents an obvious glass blowing hazard, as glass blowers work around extremely hot furnaces and superheated glass. Even surfaces not directly in contact with the furnace or glass, such as metal work bench rails, can absorb enough heat to make them dangerous to touch. Equipment surface temperatures of several hundred degrees are common, meaning a glass blower must use proper protective gear and extreme caution at all times.

Burns and Cut

A glass blower can easily suffer first-degree burns, which cause skin reddening and a burning sensation, from lingering too long near the furnace. Second-degree burns produce skin blisters, while extremely serious third-degree burns result in skin charring and shock. Serious burns often occur when a glass blower accidentally picks up or brushes against a very hot glass piece. Prompt medical treatment is essential to help prevent further damage and potential infection.

Glass cuts also represent an occupational hazard for glass blowers. Cold glass exhibits very sharp edges that can easily slice a body part. A glass blower can help protect himself by wearing sturdy leather gloves, or, ideally, long padded welder's gloves. Welder's gloves must be replaced periodically as they harden from the heat. Gloves made with Kevlar or other dense material help minimize the risk that a glass cut would penetrate through to the hands. Gloves with rubber dots enable a glass blower to hold the glass more securely."

Ergonomic Hazards

Glass blowing requires precision work, meaning the glass blower may experience physical stress from working in uncomfortable positions for extended periods. An incorrectly adjusted work table or chair can lead to repetitive injuries, and sitting for too long can cause circulatory issues. Adjusting the table or chair height helps alleviate these problems. A glass blower should replace poor lighting that may cause eye strain and distort the glass's colors.

additional reading: Workplace Hazards for female glass blowers

to be continued

 

probably

wouldn't make part of an effective cross-ventilation system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/20/13

"Resources are available to help you quit tobacco use and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.  The [City of Brkeley} Tobacco Prevention Program offers FREE quit smoking classes to community members. "

The City of Berkeley also licenses the sale of marijuana and has actively supported its "medical" use.

 

But drugfreeworld.org offers "The Harmfull Effects of Marijuana.

Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke. One major research study reported that a single cannabis joint could cause as much damage to the lungs as up to five regular cigarettes smoked one after another. Long-time joint smokers often suffer from bronchitis, an inflammation of the respiratory tract."

 

 

 

 

 


"Bay Area's Steep Housing Costs Spark Return To Communal Living" keranews.org.

"This week, we're exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and the way income inequality is affecting the region. Check out the other pieces of the week, aggregated on this page.

It's no secret rents have skyrocketed in the San Francisco Bay Area, fueled by tight housing stock and the latest tech boom. But some young professionals have turned the situation into an opportunity with a return to communal living, or "co-living," as it's now called.

'It's absolutely a modern commune, but we prefer the term co-living,' Derek Dunfield says, as he tours a 7,500-square-foot San Francisc' o Edwardian mansion he shares with a dozen others. 'I think what it really is is an example of what the sharing economy can actually do.' " 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/22/13

Darryl Moore's Ryan Lau emails (excerpts)

Illegal Dumping Legislation

I know that your neck of the woods deals with illegal dumping quite often, so we put this together to give our enforcement agencies more tools to deal with the problem. I'll check in with them in the new year.

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/2013/12Dec/Documents/2013-12-17_Item_36_Revising_the_Berkeley_Municipal.aspx

 

Perhaps you can put something together to deal with emissions-enforcement.

 

 

Wipping down my car yesterday I found sparkles in the dust.
 

 

 

 

Berkeley Fire is now accepting "Toys for Tots" donations. WE can drop them off at Fire House No. 1 on 8th just north of Dwight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/24/13

Santa

needs refreshment too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/26/13

"Winter Spare The Air Ordered For Thursday" berkeley.patch.com.

"Air quality district issues a wood burning ban for the fourth straight day."




"Home gas ranges produce toxic gases, Lawrence Berkeley Lab study says" Lisa M. Krieger, contracostatimes.com.

"Air pollution isn't just an outdoor problem. Unhealthy fumes may be emitted inside your own home if you're cooking over an unvented gas stove.
Almost two-thirds of California households using gas burners in the winter without venting range hoods are exposed to gases that can cause breathing problems, according to a new study by a team at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory."

 

 

 

 

 


"West Berkeley hobbyist wins attention, funding for invention" Nellie Bowles, sfgate.com.

"When West Berkeley resident Lisa Winter started making robots as a kid, it was an eccentric hobby popular among punks and nerds.
Today, in an industry suddenly flush with venture capital, the 27-year-old Winter has become something of a rock star, and she's about to release her first consumer product: Bond, an interactive communicative bracelet for couples that comes out in the new year.

'I liked to build robots, basically since I was born,' she said. 'And now it's not so odd anymore.'

As West Berkeley becomes a hub for fringe technologies and Google continues to buy up robotics startups, offbeat hobbyists are suddenly finding themselves the center of attention. And their products, which were once theoretical toys thought up in machine-building clubs, are starting to be produced on a larger scale.
Bond, which Winter is building for a company called Kwame Corp., is a small, vibrating, color-changing module that's sold in pairs for couples. Discreet, white and magnetic, it can be worn as a bracelet or a necklace. If one person taps the Bond, the other person's Bond vibrates."

 

 

 

 

 


"UC Berkeley professor wins award for environmental studies" Jessie Lau, dailycal.org.

" UC Berkeley professor appointed as presidential adviser UC Berkeley senior and water rights advocate wins scholarship Lecturer at 'Winds and Literature' concert throws aesthetic analysis to the wind.

It was on an average day at MIT, sitting in a class about the Amazon rainforest his freshman year of college, that Solomon Hsiang was first struck by the intricate relationship between people and the environment.

Hsiang, an assistant professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, received the first Science for Solutions Award from the American Geophysical Union in late July for his significant contributions to the use and application of Earth and space sciences to solve social problems. On Dec. 11, he was presented with the award during a ceremony in San Francisco.

Hsiang's research involves using statistical models to study how environmental changes affect populations and vice versa - as well as how policy can combat climate change while supporting economic development."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/27/13

"Wharton Music Center Launches A Vinyl Listening Lab" njtoday.net.

"Wharton Music Center (WMC) has added a listening lab and extensive vinyl LP (long playing record) collection to its audio recording studio for listeners of all ages. With over 5,000 records of classical music, opera, rock, Broadway shows, and popular music, the listening lab is free and open to the public.

Funded in part by a grant from the Hyde and Watson Foundation, the WMC Listening Lab is a significant component of the Paul Jabara Audio Recording Studio, named in memory of Mr. Jabara, singer, songwriter, actor, producer, composer, and Grammy and Oscar winner, by a donor in 2009.

The listening lab contains an extensive and eclectic collection of records with a range of music genres from folksongs to musicals and including presidential speeches. Since 2009, educators, performing artists, and avid record collectors have been contributing their collections to make them available to students and faculty of WMC. In the past year, the collection has grown significantly, and has helped to establish WMC as a destination point for both casual listening and scholarly research."

 

 

 

 

and, Nick Despotopoulos is enthusiastic

about this Christmas present

 

"Verve: the Sound of America by Richard Havers" Mick Brown discovers how Verve records helped to bring jazz stars such as Ella Fitzgerald to a white audience at telegraph.uk.com.

"Commenting on the accusation that Louis Armstrong had 'sold out' by playing an Uncle Tom figure to gain the approval of white audiences, Billie Holiday once remarked that 'of course Pops toms, but he toms from the heart'.

Two of the greatest figures in the history of jazz, Armstrong and Holiday both recorded for Verve, one of America's premier jazz labels, quite late in their respective careers, at a time when jazz had long since left the ghetto of being 'black' music to become justly recognised as 'America's music'. As this exhaustive, weighty and beautifully packaged history of the label demonstrates, Verve ­ and in particular its founder Norman Granz ­ was to play a significant role in this transformation.

If we think of the Blue Note label as having the monopoly on modernist cool, embodied by such artists as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Lee Morgan, then Verve, by contrast, oozed a more swell-egant sophistication, building its reputation on 'heritage' artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson and Count Basie.

If Blue Note was the music of the clubs, Verve was the music of the concert halls ­ which was precisely Granz's intention. The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Granz began his career in Los Angeles in the early Forties, promoting club dates with musicians such as Nat King Cole and Lester Young, challenging the colour bar by negotiating with the non-integrated white and black unions to have musicians from both sides working together.

Granz's dream was to take jazz out of the clubs, to a wider ­ which is to say white ­ audience, and in 1944 he staged a concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium, the traditional home in Los Angeles of symphony concerts, as a benefit for alleged gang members who had been arrested during the 1943 Zoot Suit Riots. It was the starting point for his Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) tours, which would eventually travel all over the world, providing a stage for virtually every major figure in jazz of the time, from Fitzgerald to Dizzy Gillespie."  

 

 

 

 

 

"Tokay cuts 20-point deficit to 4 before St. Mary's of Berkeley pulls away for the victory" Mark Godi, News-Sentinel.

"Tokay's bid for a stunning upset Thursday came to a screeching halt with six minutes to play.

The Tigers took on St. Mary's of Berkeley in the first round of the Bruin Shootout at Bear Creek High. They trimmed a 20-point deficit to four in the fourth quarter before the Panthers pulled away for a 57-43 victory.

 

 

 

"Jack London tree won't come down as scheduled" mercurynews.com.

"A centuries-old oak tree that provided shade and inspiration to writer and adventurer Jack London when he lived in Sonoma County will be allowed to stand for a little longer after lab tests showed it is healthier than California park officials originally thought.

The decaying oak was scheduled to be taken down as a safety precaution last month because it is infected with a fungal disease. Officials at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen worried that a branch could fall off and injure a visitor or damage the cottage where London lived and wrote from 1905 until his death in 1916.

The end was so close that park rangers hosted several events this year to honor the tree, including a Native American blessing ceremony, a dramatic storytelling and having children harvest its acorns for replanting elsewhere.

But park boosters sought a reprieve, turning to a University of California, Berkeley expert in forest pathology who concluded that 'Jack's Oak' had another two to 10 years before it would have to be removed as long as it was regularly monitored. Three arborists had determined earlier that the tree was beyond saving. "    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/28/13

"Winter Spare The Air Alert Issued For Saturday" berkeley.patch.com.

"It's the sixth straight day the wood burning ban has been put in place."

 

 

 

 

The French School expansion of their 9th Street Campus is moving ahead. The property immediately north of the present campus has been repurchased and the proposed expansion has been posted.

original artist rendering of proposed development

 

The project is planned to be fully completed in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Berkeley hotel rising" bizjournals.com.

"A new hotel proposed for downtown Berkeley would feature 290 rooms, three floors of office space and ground-floor retail.

A shiny new hotel could be checking into downtown Berkeley, creating a much-needed source of tax revenue for the city and helping its credibility as a visitor destination.

At the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street, the proposed 16-story mixed-use property would include a 290-room hotel, three floors of office space and some ground-floor retail that will have a restaurant. Rooms will likely cost around $200 a night."

 

 

 

 

 


"Green Building" at ci.berkeley.ca.us.

"A green building is sited, designed, constructed and operated to enhance the well being of its occupants and to support a healthy community and natural environment. Green building and remodeling makes your home healthier and more comfortable, saves on utility bills, and improves resale values. While you can take steps to green your home any time, remodels offer opportunities to go deeper and make even more rewarding improvements. "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/29/13

"Make way for the Year of the Horse! " by Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Philippine Daily Inquirer.

"Galloping like a handsome stallion, the Year of the Horse is coming, and it will bring lots of good luck next year. There are just two days left in 2013 but still around 30 days left in the Year of the Water Snake.

Thanks to Marites Allen, the feng shui expert and entrepreneur behind www.maritesallen.com, I have some advance tips on how to harness the coming auspicious energy for the New Year. She shared these tips at my annual Christmas party a few weeks ago."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/30/13

In addition to yesterday's over 6,000 hits, our site received 2700 hits in error--gamin' the page, they are.

 

 

 


"The Rare Barrel, Sour Brews in Berkeley" sf.eater.com.

"The rising tide of sour beer's popularity now has a Bay Area home base with the opening of The Rare Barrel, a Berkeley brewery and tasting room dedicated entirely to sour brews. Now open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays, the new spot fills a niche market with a host of sour flavors, ranging from golden to amber to red and dark brews. Jay Goodwin, previously of Orange County's acclaimed The Bruery, is behind the project, along with his father Brad Goodwin and friend and homebrewer Alex Wallash.

Although the brewing takes place off-site, the Berkeley location will play host to the aging, blending, and bottling stages and will serve as a weekend taproom for visitors to sample the wares.

The Rare Barrel, 940 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA, Open Fridays and Saturdays"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Electric-vehicle convert Bob Lutz keeps plugging away--The former vice chairman of GM reflects on electric trucks, propellor airplanes and his legacy as an advocate of new auto technology" by Susan Carpenter, seattletimes.com.

"Bob Lutz has worked for BMW, Ford, Chrysler and, most famously, General Motors, where he served as vice chairman until 2009 before retiring from GM altogether in 2010.

He now serves on the board of Utah-based VIA Motors, which will soon start production on an extended-range electric truck, cargo van and passenger van using a similar powertrain to the Chevrolet Volt. The VIA Motors VTRUX can travel 40 miles as a pure electric vehicle and up to 400 miles using a gas generator.
The 81-year-old Lutz talked about his legacy and his latest business venture in a recent interview.

Do you think the Volt should have been a truck, not a sedan?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/15/13--3:45 PM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, burning dry dirty air, overrides HEPA filters.

12/16/13--6:15 AM--similar. 8:15 AM--similar. 2:15 PM--similar. 4:15 PM--similar 8:29 PM--similar, SERIOUS. 11:11 PM--similar.

12/17/13--7:15 AM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, burning dry dirty air. 8:20 AM--similar, SERIOUS. 10:01 AM--similar, SERIOUS with "gas" odor. 10:39 AM--similar, VERY SERIOUS with "gas" odor. 3:39 PM--similar with "gas" odor. 8:06 PM SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, VERY SERIOUS burning dry air. 9:17PM--similar, burning itchy skin, burning throat, SERIOUS cough, overrides four HEPA filters, wear respirator.

12/18/13--3:20 AM--similar. 6:15 AM--irritant in warehouse front, "hot plastic" odor. 9:58 AM---irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air. 6:!5 PM--similar. 7:20 PM--similar. 8:25 PM--similar.

12/19/13--1:14 AM--similar. 2:45 PM--irritant IMMEDIATELY in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air. 9:45 PM--irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, SERIOUS. 11:27 PM--similar.

12/20/13--7:18 AM---SERIOUS irritant IMMEDIATELY in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, over rides four HEPA filters, wear respirator. 8:28 AM--similar. Off-and-on all AM/PM, similar. Marsha unable to work in warehouse because of headache and nausea. 9:25 PM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, burning dry dirty air.

12/23/13--5:05 AM--similar, VERY SERIOUS with "chemical" odor. 10;19 AM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation. Off-and on all AM. 4:15 PM--similar. 5:15 PM--similar, SERIOUS. 7:15 PM--similar. 7:50 PM--similar, VERY SERIOUS, cough attack. 9:09 PM--similar, SERIOUS. 10:09 PM--similar.

12/24/13--9:02 AM-irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air. 9:40 AM--similar, VERY SERIOUS. 1:12 PM--similar. 2:05 PM--similar. 3:30 PM--similar. 9:28 PM--similar.

12/25/13--6:09 AM--irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation . 1:43 PM--SIMILAR.

12/26/13--7:11 AM--irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air. 10:15 AM--similar. 11:15 AM--similar. 7:30 PM--similar. 7:50 PM--similar, SERIOUS.

12/27/13 12:05 AM--similar. 3:15 AM--similar. 11:05 AM--similar. 3:00 PM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, burning dry dirty air. 3:19 PM--similar . All day--similar. 7:32 PM--irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, leave. 8:14 PM--similar, SERIOUS, 10:19 PM--similar.

12/28/13--9:50 AM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation. Off-and-on AM--similar. 12:45 PM--similar. 12:52 Pm--"hot burning metal" odor, IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse. 6:23 PM---irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation.

12/29/13--7:05 AM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation. 7:41 AM--similar, SERIOUS. 5:34PM--"heavy air" IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse feels like that of "Spare the Air Day." 6:34 PM--similsr, Marsha has cough attack. Off-and on all day, often on the quarter hours, similar. 11:55PM--similar.

12/30/13--2:04 AM--similar. 8:30 AM--similar. 9:30 AM--similar.

 

 

 

 

"Workplace Hazards in Glass Blowing" chron.com.

"Glass blowers use a high-temperature furnace to transform glass and other materials into art pieces or scientific glassware. An accomplished glass blower can carve out a career producing intricate artwork sold from his own studio or through carefully selected galleries. He may also teach the craft at specialized art schools. Glass blowers face considerable workplace hazards along with these rewards, but proper preparation and constant vigilance can help reduce the risks.

Respiratory Hazards

Glass blowers face respiratory hazards from the materials used to make the glass. Hazards can take the form of fumes or inhaled particulates. For example, dirty glass and quartz produce harmful fumes when heated. Asbestos tapes present a particulate risk, while some minerals that give the glass its beautiful color are highly toxic no matter how they are ingested. While a glass blower's canopy hood may capture heat and very light gases, the hood does not offer protection against most fume and particulate inhalation hazards.

A glass blower can minimize his risks with a ventilation system that blows air through his work area and out of the room. Ventilating the work space with a window at each end, along with exhaust fans that suck out the contaminated air, are often reasonably effective. Wearing a respirator will further reduce inhalation risks when glass blowing. A respirator offers further protection against potentially toxic dust stirred up when he cleans his work area.

Heat

Heat represents an obvious glass blowing hazard, as glass blowers work around extremely hot furnaces and superheated glass. Even surfaces not directly in contact with the furnace or glass, such as metal work bench rails, can absorb enough heat to make them dangerous to touch. Equipment surface temperatures of several hundred degrees are common, meaning a glass blower must use proper protective gear and extreme caution at all times.

Burns and Cut

A glass blower can easily suffer first-degree burns, which cause skin reddening and a burning sensation, from lingering too long near the furnace. Second-degree burns produce skin blisters, while extremely serious third-degree burns result in skin charring and shock. Serious burns often occur when a glass blower accidentally picks up or brushes against a very hot glass piece. Prompt medical treatment is essential to help prevent further damage and potential infection.

Glass cuts also represent an occupational hazard for glass blowers. Cold glass exhibits very sharp edges that can easily slice a body part. A glass blower can help protect himself by wearing sturdy leather gloves, or, ideally, long padded welder's gloves. Welder's gloves must be replaced periodically as they harden from the heat. Gloves made with Kevlar or other dense material help minimize the risk that a glass cut would penetrate through to the hands. Gloves with rubber dots enable a glass blower to hold the glass more securely."

Ergonomic Hazards

Glass blowing requires precision work, meaning the glass blower may experience physical stress from working in uncomfortable positions for extended periods. An incorrectly adjusted work table or chair can lead to repetitive injuries, and sitting for too long can cause circulatory issues. Adjusting the table or chair height helps alleviate these problems. A glass blower should replace poor lighting that may cause eye strain and distort the glass's colors.

additional reading: Workplace Hazards for female glass blowers

 

 

 

 

Workplace Hazards of Woodworking.

Wood is one of the most commonly used material in art, crafts,and home hobbies. Wood is used for framing and installations, as well as in the creation of sculpture, furniture, crafts, jewelry,theatrical props and more. Woodworking involves techniques such as carving, laminating, joining, sawing, sanding, paint removing, and painting and finishing.

Wood Hazards

Wood sculpture and furniture-making use a large number of different types of hard and soft woods, including many exotic tropical woods. Many of these woods are hazardous themselves. Sometimes woods are treated with hazardous preservatives or pesticides.

Hardwoods
Hardwoods are commonly used in wood sculpture and furniture making. Many rare hardwoods are imported from tropical countries. In recent years, there has been considerable controversy in the woodworking community about the ethics of using rare tropical hardwoods in sculpture because the market for them is contributing to deforestation of many parts of the world.

Hazards
1. Saps present in many green woods, and lichens and liverworts present on the surface of freshly cut wood, can cause skin allergies and irritation from direct contact.
2. Many hardwood dusts, especially those from exotic woods, are common sensitizers and can cause allergic skin reactions. Some hardwoods can cause allergic reactions in individuals working with or using finished hardwoods. Prolonged contact with rosewood, for example, which was used in making musical instruments, has caused allergic reactions in some musicians.
3. Contact with the dust of many hardwoods can cause conjunctivitis (eye inflammation), hay fever, asthma, coughing, and other respiratory diseases. Canadian and Western Red Cedar are examples.
4. Some hardwoods can cause hypersensitivity pneumonia (alveolitis), and frequent attacks can cause permanent lung scarring (fibrosis). Examples of these highly toxic woods include giant sequoia, cork oak, some maple woods and redwood.
5. Some hardwoods contain chemicals that are toxic, and can cause a variety of symptoms, including headaches, salivation, thirst, giddiness, nausea, irregular heartbeat, etc. A classic example is hemlock.
6. Inhalation of hardwood dust is associated with a particular type of nasal and nasal sinus cancer (adenocarcinoma). This type of cancer has a latency period of 40-45 years, and occurs to the extent of about 7 in 10,000 among woodworkers who are heavily exposed. This rate is many times higher than the rate of nasal adenocarcinoma in the general population. Over half of all known cases of this type of cancer are found in woodworkers.
7. Hardwoods such as beech and oak have been assigned a Threshold Limit Value (TLV) from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) of 1 mg/m 3.

to be continued 

 

 

On MU-R Mixed Use-Residential District Provisions from our City Code.

MU-R Mixed Use-Residential District Provisions

The regulations in this chapter shall apply in all Mixed Use-Residential (MU-R) Districts. In addition, general provisions contained in Sub-title 23C shall apply. 23E.84.020

Purposes

The purposes of the Mixed Use-Residential (MU-R) Districts are to:
A.    Implement the West Berkeley Plan's designation of a Mixed Residential District;
B.    Support the continued development of a mixed use District which combines residential, live/work, light industrial, arts and crafts and other compatible uses;
C.    Strengthen residential concentrations which exist within the District;
D.    Provide appropriate locations for a broad range of live/work activities to occur;
E.    Provide a transitional district between the residential districts to the east of the MU-R and the industrial districts to the west of the MU-R;
F.    Encourage light manufacturers and wholesalers which are compatible with a mixed use-residential district;
G.    Support the development of businesses of all types which contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the environment;
H.    Protect residents from unreasonably detrimental effect of nonresidential uses, such as noise, vibration, odors, smoke, fumes, gases, dust, heat and glare, to the extent possible and reasonable within a mixed use West Berkeley context;
I.    To the extent feasible, protect industrial uses, particularly light industrial uses, from unreasonable intrusions on their ability to operate lawfully;
J.    Permit retail and food service activities which are either limited and small scale, primarily serving persons living and/or working in the District, but not a citywide or regional clientele, or which are ancillary and designed to maintain and enhance the economic viability of manufacturers in the District.

Notice particularly PURPOSES F. and H!

 

 It is important to note that our district is "MIXED USE/RESIDENTIAL" not "MIXED USE/LIGHT MANUFACTURING" or "MIXED USE/COMMERCIAL."

An emphasis that in my 40 some years here has NOT REALLY been furthered.

And as to why.

First, it is my belief that city hall's primary interest in the West is a way to increase revenue. That is, to increase the tax base. Understandable, as it remains the "underused" part of Our Town. The most efficent way to increase revenue, or the easiest depending on one's view, is to encourage swift, massive change. Big biotech comes to mind. An important part of the mix, yet I believe that this process, not carefully monitored, can result in land, manufacturing, and/or business barons.

Then there's geography. The seat of power in Our Town is down-town-city hall, as far removed from the West as conviniently possible. "Out of sight, out of mind" it's said. City Hall's sometime misreading of our needs may be just that and not a conspiracy of the rich and empowered.

Corollary to this is that our council members are not paid a living wage, perhaps not even the minimum wage. If not comfortable, they need a real job and of necessity turn day-to-day operation over to staff. Not often an efficient arrangement.

Then we have the community activists, or former activists, who are in fact paid lobbyists for non-resident groups--artisans, business people, and manufactures come to mind. Ironically this group includes those who have the confidence of residents, though in fact are paid by others. You get what you pay for!

There's more--insufficient city staff, ineffective city division of labor, active commercial realtors, but this should do for now.

 

 

 

Light Industry at wikipedia.com.

Light industry is usually less capital intensive than heavy industry, and is more consumer-oriented than business-oriented (i.e., most light industry products are produced for end users rather than as intermediates for use by other industries). Light industry facilities typically have less environmental impact than those associated with heavy industry, and zoning laws are more likely to permit light industry near residential areas. It is the production of small consumer goods.[1]
One economic definition states that light industry is a "manufacturing activity that uses moderate amounts of partially processed materials to produce items of relatively high value per unit weight".
Examples of light industries include the manufacturing of clothes, shoes, furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances. Conversely, ship building would fall under heavy industry.
Characteristics
Light industries require only a small amount of raw materials, area and power. The value of the goods are low and they are easy to transport. The number of products is high. While light industry typically causes relatively little pollution, particularly when compared to heavy industries, some light industry can cause significant pollution or risk of contamination. Electronics manufacturing, itself often a light industry, can create potentially harmful levels of lead or chemical wastes in soil due to improper handling of solder and waste products (such as cleaning and degreasing agents used in manufacture).

 

Seems pretty clear that light manufacturing in MUR in order to be in keeping with the West Berkeley Plan AND its codification MUST "Protect residents from unreasonably detrimental effect of nonresidential uses, such as noise, vibration, odors, smoke, fumes, gases, dust, heat and glare, to the extent possible and reasonable within a mixed use West Berkeley context."

And what are the practical consequences? It is apparent that commercial realtors have a particular responsibility to insure that when selecting clients for the MUR they make sure to "protect residents from unreasonably detrimental effect of nonresidential uses, such as noise, vibration, odors, smoke, fumes, gases, dust, heat and glare, to the extent possible and reasonable within a mixed use West Berkeley context."

And what if they don't?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

http://gethuman.com/

 

 

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."

 

 

 

 

ronpenndorf@earthlink.net

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