February 2009

after 2/9, here after 2/13, here after 2/19, here




is a LEED "green" certified project in west-Berkeley at 1331 Seventh St--its builder is Adam Block. This is the first LEED private-new-building in Berkeley. Much more sooner-than-later.


"The Food Critic's Favorite" is a review at diablomag.com.

900 GRAYSON: Diablo checks in with San Francisco magazine food critic Josh Sens about the burger at Berkeley's 900 Grayson.

You included 900 Grayson's burger as one of your 50 favorite meals in the Bay Area. What's so special about it?
It's made with grass-fed beef, which, granted, is pretty much standard at any self-respecting restaurant around these parts. What makes it unusual is the range of toppings. Bacon, white cheddar, shoestring-style fried onions, and tangy barbecue sauce are great complements. Best of all, the bun-to-beef ratio is reasonable, so you don't feel as if you're just eating bread.

Did any fancy-pants restaurants that didn't make your list feel slighted that they were bested by a burger?
If anyone had hurt feelings, they didn't tell me. If anything, I imagine they have bigger things to worry about these days, such as an economy that threatens every high-end restaurant with the prospect of having to turn into a burger joint.

If you can't go to 900 Grayson, what's your backup burger in the East Bay?
It's far from a gourmet burger, but for nostalgia's sake, I like Oscar's, that old smoke-belching burger house in Berkeley at Hearst and Shattuck. It's a bare-bones burger, but it's charbroiled and full of flavor. And I like the throwback look to the place and the fact that they serve old-school malted milk shakes. Basically, it's hangover food for the college crowd, or hangover prevention food for people who find themselves awake late and still hungry.
900 Grayson, 900 Grayson St., Berkeley, (510) 704-9900, 900grayson.com; Oscar's, 1890 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 849-2164.



Taste some wine on Saturdays, 2PM to 6PM, here in Potter Creek at twomile wines. two miles wines, 2816 San Pablo (between Grayson and Oregon.)



"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."



Our Penelope Huston emails--here is an excerpt

Hope your new year is going well. . . . peruse our little interview in the SF Chronicle.

"Avengers return to Bay Area for concert" is a story by George Chen at sfgate.com

"When speaking with the singer of one of the original '77 punk bands on Inauguration Day, one is tempted to bring up lyrics from the song 'The American in Me.' The chorus twists the famous Kennedy mantra into 'ask not what you can do for your country / what's your country been doing to you.' "

"The Chronicle's Bay Area musical history tour" is at sfgatecom.

"Jimi Hendrix, shown as an infant, spent his boyhood in Savo Island Naval Housing in Berkeley."




"UC Berkeley's eucalyptus removal plan stalled" writes Carolyn Jones, the Chronicle.

"Pity anyone who tries to chop down a tree in Berkeley.

UC Berkeley has been haggling for four years with the federal government over a $5 million grant to remove eucalyptus, pine and acacia trees from the Berkeley and Oakland hills to reduce the threat of wildfire.

But a neighborhood group has stalled and possibly blocked the project, fearing it will leave the East Bay hills resembling a clear-cut moonscape."





This week, I've noticed a greater police presence in Potter Creek, including Special Enforcement units. I also saw one of our city's BIG street sweepers working on Grayson and San Pablo.

Sooner-than-later, thoughts--a result of last week's Planning Commission meeting.

"Non-revolutionary thought in revolutionary times."





"Obama calls recession a disaster" reports BBC NEWS.

"President Obama has called the contraction of the US economy in the final quarter of 2008 a "continuing disaster" for the US.

Speaking at the White House, he also announced a new task force to help middle-class." 


BBC NEWS also reports"Crisis may 'spark social unrest.'

Europe faces the risk of more social unrest unless measures are taken to quickly tackle the global economic crisis, France's finance minister says.

Christine Lagarde said trust in the financial system needed to be restored.

Leaders needed to send a clear, understandable signal to ordinary people about how governments were intending to act, she added.

She said that action should be taken by the G20 summit taking place in London in April.
'We're facing two major risks: one is social unrest and the second is protectionism,' she told the World Economic Forum in Davos." 



"Bay Area economy will get worse before it gets better" is a story by George Avalos, CCTimes Staff Writer.

"The tumbling Bay Area economy won't hit bottom until at least this summer or fall, economists predicted at a closely watched conference Thursday.

The Bay Area economy is expected to deteriorate until the third quarter of 2009, the July-September period, and a rebound will not materialize until 2010, an economist with the Association of Bay Area Governments said."


"Tesla's Plan For an EV Factory in San Jose Fizzles" by Chuck Squatrigliam is at blogwired.com

"Tesla Motors' plan of building an automobile assembly plant in San Jose appears doomed, done in by a faltering economy and little chance of federal funding for the project.

The Silicon Valley startup had hoped to open a factory that would employ 500 people and build the forthcoming Model S, an all-electric four-door sedan that company founder Elon Musk said Tuesday will be unveiled March 5 during a 'Hollywood-style event' in Los Angeles.

But Tesla failed to secure $100 million in venture capital for the project last fall and, according to the San Jose Mercury News, now realizes that the $450 million it had hoped to receive from government loans is intended to retrofit existing buildings, not erect new ones.

Tesla hasn't pulled the plug on San Jose, company spokeswoman Rachel Konrad told the paper, and still could move its headquarters and other operations to the city from nearby San Carlos. But, she said, the company also is looking for a factory site elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California."


"How Far Will Housing Prices Fall in 2009?" asks Prashant Gopal at businessweek.com.

"A Berkeley economist predicts that mounting job losses could push home prices down an additional 7% this year

The year 2008 was horrible for real estate and, according to some experts, 2009 could be worse. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Jan. 29, prominent housing economist Ken Rosen suggested home prices could drop an additional 6% to 7% this year.

Rosen, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, told the Associated Press that the decline in housing prices is only about three-quarters complete, and the cumulative slump could reach 24% this year. To offset such a plunge, Rosen is proposing a foreclosure moratorium to help stabilize the economy. He said as many as 8 million homes could go into foreclosure in the next three years without government action, the AP reported. 'I worry about the cumulative decline of all the job losses leading to a second wave of foreclosures. So we have to stop this downward spiral,' Rosen said." 


The Bates Update--News From Mayor Tom Bates
January 2009
Recent News:
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Save Money at the Same Time
New Year's Resolution: Lose 5 pounds. Lose 5000 pounds.
Start the new year on a low carbon diet. In just four weeks with relatively little effort, you can shed 5,000 pounds from your carbon footprint and cut your bills significantly.  To help with this process the City of Berkeley, The Berkeley Energy Commission and the Ecology Center have organized workshops to help people set up their personal Low Carbon Diet.
Four weekly consecutive sessions (1 - 2 hrs. each) to reduce your personal and community carbon footprint
Option 1: Host your own group and gather 5-10 friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, or congregation members. The Ecology Center will provide the materials you'll need to lead a group, and can offer meeting space if necessary. Using the Low Carbon Diet workbook as your guide, together you will:
·        Calculate your personal carbon footprint;
·        Create a measurable action plan to reduce your footprint;
·        Discuss ways to be a climate change leader in your household and community, green your workplace, neighborhood, school district etc.
Option 2: Join a group hosted by the Ecology Center
New groups start on a regular basis. Next groups will start in early January on a few weekday nights from 6-8pm. Call or write for more information.
Participation is free. For $10 you can purchase the Low Carbon Diet workbook. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Write to debra@ecologycenter.org or call 510-548-2220.
The City Budget
For those watching the headlines, the news about the economy and the state budget is unsettling. As we all grapple with the dramatic downturn in the nation's economy, the City of Berkeley is preparing for the upcoming two-year budget, which will take effect in July 2009.
Over the next six months, the City Council will have a series of workshops and Council meetings, exploring all areas of the City's budget. For example, the January 13 meeting included an update on how the State's budget crisis is affecting Berkeley, as well as a special workshop on the City's Housing and Community Services.  Visit this City Clerk's page for the budget presentation and the full Housing report, which covers homelessness, affordable rental housing and affordable homeownership. 
To see the full calendar, including the program focuses for each meeting, visit the calendar of public meetings. You can also learn more about the City's budget at www.CityofBerkeley.info/budget.
Berkeley retailers say "No" to teens buying tobacco
The rate at which Berkeley retailers sell cigarettes to minors has hit a new low, down to just over 4 percent in 2009 from 37 percent in 2003.
The Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey is a sting operation that tests how well Berkeley's tobacco vendors comply with the California law prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors. During the most recent operation, only 4.2% of merchants sold tobacco to a youth decoy- a quarter of the rate measured in June 2007.
"This is the lowest youth tobacco sales rate we've ever measured--thanks to the participation of Berkeley's neighborhood merchants," said Acting Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman. "We know that tobacco is an important revenue stream, and we are really grateful that so many merchants did the right thing, and said 'No' to teen buyers."
Berkeley FIRST, our new solar financing program, featured on American Public Media's Marketplace
Listen to report here.  "Financing green projects can be expensive, so cities are rethinking the economic model to fund renewable energy. A pilot project in Berkeley, Calif., will use city bonds to pay for the costs of installing solar panels, with money being recouped later through a surcharge on property taxes." Sam Eaton reports.
Berkeley Visitor's Guide Now Available in Online Format
The 2008-2009 Berkeley Visitor's Guide is now available in a fantastic digital format.
Join us to learn more about the California Cultural Data Project and how it can help your organization!
We are pleased to announce that on February 25, 2009, the California Cultural Data Project (California CDP) will offer a training session in Berkeley. This project is the most ambitious and comprehensive effort ever to gather and analyze information about the contributions of the cultural sector to California's economy and quality of life. The California CDP is also a part of many grant application programs throughout the state and will soon be a part of the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission's application process.
 February 25, 2009
10:00 am
Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre
Berkeley Space

"Buying glasses online offers clear savings" is a report by Ryan Wilk, of Kiplinger Personal Finance at dailyherald.com.

"More than a year has passed since your last eye exam, so you drop by your local boutique for a quick checkup. An hour later - and $500 poorer - you're out the door, wondering how a simple prescription framed in a piece of plastic stamped 'Made in China' could cost so much.

But thanks to some online retailers, getting a new pair of specs doesn't have to break the bank. The savings can be dramatic."













Ole Potter Creekers

Bob and Paul visiting from New Mexico

Here, yesterday lunching at 900 GRAYSON


After lunch with Bob and Paul yesterday, I posted "Today just before noon, several BPD radio-cars, a BFD rescue unit and pumper responded to an incident at the end of Grayson just before the tacks. Later a. . . helicopter appeared."

This morning sfgate.com posted "Man killed by Union Pacific train in Berkeley" reports Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"An Alameda man was hit by a train and died Monday morning in Berkeley, according to the Alameda County Coroner.
Mir Asadullah Bakhtary, 31, was killed at about 11:43 a.m. near the intersection of Grayson Street and the railroad tracks that run along Third Street, said Deputy Coroner Norman McAdams. He had been struck by a northbound Union Pacific cargo train.
'Our crew saw somebody lying on the tracks,' said Union Pacific spokeswoman Zoe Richmond, who said the crew followed procedure, blowing the horn and hitting the brakes.' "










"Time for public employees to feel the pain too" opines Daniel Borenstein, CC Times Staff columnist.

"Whether it's Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor Helen Benjamin's 18 percent pay raise approved Wednesday, the 8 percent increase for Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz finalized Tuesday or the two-day-a-month furlough state public employees fought unsuccessfully in court on Thursday, one must wonder whether public employees understand that they need to share the pain."




Two west-Berkeley residents email about last Tuesday's crime-workshop.

We won't know for a while whether the neighbors attendance at the meeting was helpful. We'll find out as this year's city budget is negotiated out.
We had several people from our "WestBerkeley" neighborhood group show up. Toni Mester and I spoke. What was interesting is that there were other people from our area who I don't know, who also came and spoke.
I couldn't stay for the whole meeting and I left during the Police Department presentation at about 6:30pm.
The message I was trying to convey was carried more by our attendance than our words.  I don't think in the overwhelming babble that these elected officials hear, our specific words can make that much difference. I do know that the same officials will remember who was motivated (scared and concerned enough) to make the effort to attend. I think the point got across that though crime in Berkeley might overall be quite stable in frequency, that our area is facing a big challenge.
Tak Nakamoto


Hey Ron,
Well, I think the best part was having youth from Youth Spirit attend.  A few of them spoke to council, and if nothing else, now they know that they are also entitled to two minutes of government time on council nights. . . .
Hope to meet you soon!  Say hi to Cindy Dickeson for me next time you see her (I still need to stop by her office at lunch sometime)















bird watching here in west-Berkeley

Steve Smith shot this with his phone-camera through field glasses



"Plant citrus now in the Bay Area" reports Erle Nickel, Oakland Tribune correspondent.

"Visiting our local market and picking out our favorite oranges and grapefruits often reminds us that these fruits come to us from the subtropical climates of Southern California or Florida. But we can grow a surprising number of citrus fruits in our cooler Bay Area climate.

At the Oakland Ace nursery where I work, we probably sell more citrus trees than any other. Seems that gardeners like harvesting their own lemons, mandarin oranges and even, yes, kumquats.

There are many reasons to buy a citrus tree - the fruit, its handsome evergreen form - but certainly one bonus to this addition to your yard is the flowers, among the sweetest smelling in all the plant kingdom. Their heady fragrance greets you on a winter afternoon before you're even close enough to see them. Certain citrus, like the Meyer lemon, will bloom for nearly eight months a year. The fruit is almost a bonus."




"Elephant Pharm abruptly closes its stores" is a story by Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Elephant Pharm, a small Bay Area drugstore chain known for its holistic approach to health remedies, abruptly closed all three stores on Tuesday and announced plans to file for bankruptcy.

Based in Berkeley with stores also in Walnut Creek and San Rafael, Elephant Pharm employed a total of about 190 people, including at its home office. A Los Altos location, which opened about two years ago, closed in the fall.
The company, which offered traditional prescriptions along with Chinese herbs, yoga supplies and other alternative products, cited the downturn in the economy for its decision to liquidate under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code." 


our susan Brook emails

Susan Brooks February Open Studio

Hand Wrought Jewelry & Works on Paper
2547 Eighth Street, 24, Berkeley
The Sawtooth Building

2 Weekends, plus extra days!
February 7-8, Saturday & Sunday 11-5
& February 12-13-14-15-16, Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun. & Mon. 11-5
Also open every Thursday, and the first Saturday of the month
 (12-5 & by appointment)

Hope that you'll stop by the studio for a relaxed visit and a look at my
new work
Light refreshments
Looking forward to seeing.
Hope this finds you doing well.

Susan Brooks
2547 Eighth Street 24a
Berkeley, California 94710
510 845-2612



"New Deal work boosted spirits, left a legacy in Sacramento" is a story by Mary Lynne Vellinga at sacbee.com.

"The last time the government came riding to the economy's rescue in a massive way, it paid for much more than building roads, sidewalks and bridges, although it certainly did plenty of that.

In the 1930s, an alphabet soup of federal agencies funded an array of programs to boost the economic well-being and psyche of the beleaguered U.S. population."



our Janine Johnson emails

Dear friends and colleagues. 

I'd like to let you know that my music is now being published, and the first set is out and available for purchase, if you are interested. It's perhaps a peculiar one to start with, (just a fluke, really) but I think people will enjoy it anyway, whether they take the challenge of playing the pieces with one hand only, or "cheat" and use two (I highly recommend the former!)  It is a set of Études for the right hand only, written after I'd injured my own left hand.  It might be useful to anyone who has an accident, or is simply wanting to free up their body in the lateral motion sometimes needed for the larger leaps.  Those of you who know my style, know the pieces are basically tonal, a bit jazzy, with a great deal of Baroque influence.  One can pick and choose, or play the entire set. They were conceived on harpsichord, but are fine on piano or fortepiano as well.  They are available as new releases at PRB Productions:  http://prbmusic.com/news.ivnu
Home page: http://prbmusic.com/

Thanks, and a belated Happy New Year


"Kronos Quartet, Hertz Hall, Berkeley, California" is a review and more by our Allan Ulrich at ft.com.

For the eternally-on-the-cutting-edge Kronos, a programme of commissions from international women composers might seem an almost conservative repertory conceit, but the quartet's latest project features other ties that bind. All four works embrace technology in arresting ways. All four disclose autobiographical elements. And all four extend the possibilities of the venerable quartet format.

The results sometimes reach out to envelop the listener. In her captivating ...hold me, neighbour, in this storm...,

Serbian-born Aleksandra Vrebalov asks the players to bow ethnic Balkan instruments, beat native drums, pound their fiddles and chant Islamic prayers while recorded church bells add another layer of cultural significance. A mournful cello yields to a frenetic village dance, interrupted by a series of repeated, boldly accented dissonances. Tense silences melt into aching string harmonies. Vrebalov might be offering an aural portrait of her homeland. The performance traded in the exploratory fervour that, over three decades, has made the Kronos Quartet nonpareil in contemporary chamber music."


 "Police Shut Down Another Gaia Arts Center Party--Shots Fired in Aftermath" reports Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet.

"The Berkeley Police Department shut down yet another party at the Gaia Arts Center in downtown Berkeley Friday night, after it attracted a large unruly crowd which blocked streets at Shattuck Avenue and Allston Way, and led to gunshots being fired in its aftermath, authorities said Saturday.

Lt. Rico Rolleri of the Berkeley Police Department said that the party had started out "OK" with 150 to 200 teenagers inside the venue, but turned uncontrollable when at least 100 others tried to crash the event by entering through the Gaia Building garage, climbing over a back fence and pushing their way through the front door.

Rolleri said that police officers patrolling the neighborhood had come across the large crowds and contacted the organizers-whose name Rolleri was not able to confirm- who admitted that they were unable to handle the situation."


"SWAT teams deployed in 911 fraud" is an AP story at google.com.

"Doug Bates and his wife, Stacey, were in bed around 10 p.m., their 2-year-old daughters asleep in a nearby room. Suddenly they were shaken awake by the wail of police sirens and the rumble of a helicopter above their suburban Southern California home. A criminal must be on the loose, they thought.

Doug Bates got up to lock the doors and grabbed a knife. A beam from a flashlight hit him. He peeked into the backyard. A swarm of police, assault rifles drawn, ordered him out of the house. Bates emerged, frightened and with the knife in his hand, as his wife frantically dialed 911. They were handcuffed and ordered to the ground while officers stormed the house.

The scene of mayhem and carnage the officers expected was nowhere to be found. Neither the Bateses nor the officers knew that they were pawns in a dangerous game being played 1,200 miles away by a teenager bent on terrifying a random family of strangers."


A new sidewalk is being laid on the northwest corner of San Pablo and Dwight--looks like some infrastructure work as well.


"Essex Announces Fourth Quarter 2008 and Annual Earnings Results" is a report at cnn.com.

Recurring Funds From Operations Increased 12.3% for 2008Also during the quarter, construction continued at Fourth Street, a 171-unit community featuring 15,500 square feet of ground-floor retail located on University Avenue in downtown Berkeley, California. Currently, framing is underway and the project is on-track for construction completion in February 2010."


"Pfizer's Wyeth Deal Perverts U.S. Bailout, Group Says" is a story by Alex Nussbaum at bloomberg.com.

"Pfizer Inc.'s Wyeth acquisition perverts the U.S. government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, relying on loans from five banks aided by the bailout for a deal that will cut 19,500 jobs, a California advocacy group said.

The Greenlining Institute asked the Justice Department and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to block the $64.6 billion transaction unless the companies lower consumer drug prices, said Bob Gnaizda, an attorney for the public policy group, in a telephone interview today. The letters, sent Jan. 29 by the Berkeley, California, group, ask whether the deal abuses taxpayer funds." 


"A road map to healthcare reform:If we heed lessons of the past, we can achieve universal coverage" opines Jacob S. Hacker of the Christian Science Monitor.

"The economic stimulus package just passed by the House contains much to jump-start our economy in the next few years. And congressional moves to expand Medicare eligibility and healthcare for children (through SCHIP) are commendable. But these steps still leave largely unaddressed the most fundamental long-term threat to economic security that President Barack Obama vowed to tackle during the campaign: our crumbling framework of medical financing.

Now is the time to fix it. The window of opportunity for comprehensive action is open wider than at any time for decades. But without quick action, it will close, and America's businesses, workers, and families will continue to suffer at the hands of a healthcare nonsystem that costs far too much, leaves far too many at economic risk, and does far too little to improve our nation's health.

The task is monumental, but it is not insurmountable. In fact, our current economic crisis makes it not just more pressing, but also more possible. The task is more pressing because the problems in job-based health benefits will only grow worse as the recession deepens: Businesses will continue to drop coverage and shift costs onto workers, and more and more Americans will lose their homes and their life savings because they lack insurance or their insurance doesn't shield them against runaway health costs.

Reform is more possible because the hastened erosion of our system is galvanizing Americans and their leaders, and also because we must spend aggressively now to keep our economy afloat, reducing the roadblocks to the up-front investments needed to get to universal insurance."


"Consume less, export more to end crisis" opines Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Recession doesn't begin to describe the crisis over which President Obama now presides. For decades Americans have been living beyond their means, financing consumption with credit that is no longer cheap nor easy to obtain.

We are not alone. European and Asian economies are slowing down as a worldwide credit bubble bursts, undermining the financial system that overheated things in the first place.

'This is not an American problem, this is a global problem,' said economist Nariman Behravesh with IHS Global Insight.

But it will be up to the United States, as the global leader, to pull the planet out of this tailspin and, to do so, experts say Americans will have to rebuild the engines that drive our economic growth. They say we'll have to throttle back on consumption and rev up production, borrow less and export more. We'll also have to figure out how to supervise global financial markets so they don't melt down again and make sure that, when prosperity returns, it is more broadly shared."




"Clearing the air on California emissions. The president may let the state regulate greenhouse gases - and effectively raise gas mileage standards. Is that the smartest way to go" asks cnn.com.

"Environmentalists and others say the industry is merely using scare tactics to avoid the changes, which they say are relatively inexpensive and necessary if the industry is to make cars people want to buy in a world concerned with global warming.

'Detroit has been wasting time for 20 years,' said Lee Schipper, a professor at the University of California Berkeley's Transportation Center.

Schipper pointed to groups like the Coalition for Vehicle Choice, an industry-funded lobby group, that spent millions fighting higher fuel standards, when the auto industry could have been putting that money to good use building more efficient cars."

Schipper, working at Moe's while in grad school, was the guy who hired me in The Day.






some moments from my Anarchist past


Jimi Hendrix' tune "When Six Was Nine" from Easy Rider is still a favorite

If all the hippies cut off all their hair-I don't care!
Ain't nobody know what I'm talkin' about.
I've got my own life to live.
I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die.
So let me live my life
the way I want to


me in The Day, posing, after unpacking my Sunbeam S-7 just shipped from England


the woman in the background is friend, Mary Francis Fry, Muffin.

Muffin's something-like Great, Great, Grand Father is Muckraker, Frank Norris.


some revolutionary thought in Revolutionary Times

One of the ironies of our financial collapse is that those responsible for it are those attempting to fix it . We have something similar in west-Berkeley. The parallel is not exact, though it is strikingly and frighteningly similar. Those who created the west-Berkeley Plan are, across the board, among the core Stakeholders now trying to fix it, the Plan now wildly out-of-sync and dysfunctional.

How dysfunctional and out-of-sync is it?

Good law, whether parking codes or building use, should be easy to obey. It should reflect the needs of the citizenry. I would rest my case with the numerous friends and neighbors here in west-Berkeley who do not now perceive the codes derived from the Plan as functional and so do not follow them.

And then , . . . the west-Berkeley Plan did not anticipate, meaningfully understand, or significantly incorporate computerization, the major cultural change of the Twentieth Century. Oops.

certainly to be continued





"Assemblywoman Skinner proposes sales tax for online retailers" is a report by Josh Richman at insidebayarea.com.

"Certain out-of-state Internet businesses making sales in California would be subject to state sales taxes for the first time under an East Bay lawmaker's new bill.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said Assembly Bill 178 is about "leveling the playing field for California's brick and mortar businesses" and raising about $55 million per year for the embattled state budget by requiring out-of-state companies "which maintain a network in California to collect sales taxes on orders received within the state.

Her bill is modeled closely on a law enacted in New York, which defines an Internet retailer's affiliates within the state as a 'physical presence' or 'nexus' - the U.S. Supreme Court's standard on whether a state's sales taxes apply."

Whatever the merits of this legislation, this is bad timing. And since timing is everything, bad legislation.


"California Heads Up Geographical Power Switch" writes Edward Epstein, CQ Staff.

"The Obama administration is ushering in what might be a new golden age for California's influence in Washington - almost a reprise of the start of the Reagan administration almost three decades ago."

"Many of nation's green leaders from Bay Area" reports the Chronicle at sfgate.com.
"A Bay Area jeansmaker clothed miners in the dusty Sierra Nevada gold fields, creating what would become a fashion staple around the globe.

Nearly a century later, two Stanford graduates birthed the high-tech age in a Palo Alto garage.

Today, Bay Area entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers hope to join the vanguard of another revolution - one that aims to reinvent the way people use water, power their cars, build their houses and live their lives."











I'm told Cafe Clem, in the ActivSpace building, is closing at the end of the month.


A "Statement from the Craft Chocolate Makers of America on the Closing of Scharffen Berger's Neighborhood Plant in Berkeley, California" is at emediawire.com.

"The Craft Chocolate Makers of America announced today that they are saddened to hear of Hershey Co's recent decision to shutter Scharffen Berger's neighborhood plant in Berkeley, California. An American chocolate revolution began in that small-scale production facility in West Berkeley.

Scharffen Berger was founded in 1996 by Robert Steinberg, a family-practice physician, and his former patient, winemaker John Scharffenberger. Together, the two created a strong legacy and helped increased the popularity of high-end American chocolate. Ultimately, Scharffen Berger fundamentally changed the way American consumers looked at chocolate." 



"Mayor of Claycord won't reveal his identity" reports Tanya Rose at contracostatimes.com.

"In the family room, Ollie the dog is chewing on a child's toy. Then his whim shifts, and he starts chomping on the corner of a turquoise couch - a big no-no.

His caretaker, a 32-year-old man who calls himself the 'Mayor of Claycord,' decides that putting a couple of end tables upside down on the cushions will keep the dog off the couch."

I think the guy on the right in the photo is my long-lost, half-brother, Zoot Klavich.


"High hopes accompany reopening of Nevin Park" is a story by Chris Treadway CC Times staff writer.

"Other than a balky microphone during the speeches, the official reopening of Nevin Park on Saturday was everything the Iron Triangle neighborhood and city officials wanted to see now and, they hope, in the future.

Play areas were used right away as children clambered over the extensive play structure standing over a surface of recycled tires, slid down the tall slide and waited for a turn on one of the four swings. Older youths quickly formed pickup basketball games, while on one of the lawn areas, children were hitting golf balls and kicking soccer balls."



"Changing how we live and eat, one fig at a time" writes Emma Brown, Special to The Chronicle.
"At 2 o'clock in the morning, most people in this college town are holed up studying, headed home from a bar or curled up in bed.

Asiya Wadud, however, is reaching for the weeping branches of a tree on the south side of the UC Berkeley campus, picking olives. A handful of her friends are helping. There is a little beer, a little wine; it's part merrymaking, part urban harvest.

'Don't worry about sorting them,' she says, dropping a handful into a paper bag. An alarming fraction of the fruits are mottled and a little wormy-looking. 'We'll do that tomorrow.'

Wadud, a bartender at Alice Waters' Chez Panisse, has become obsessed with saving city-grown fruit from being wasted, which is why she heads out in the darkness, stripping smallish green orbs from the branches of this unassuming tree rooted in a patch of grass between the street and a concrete wall.

She's also part of a growing movement of super-local eaters and activists interested in food not from the nearest farm, but from down the block. When she moved to south Berkeley four years ago from Ohio, she was struck by California's ubiquitous fruit and by the way people let it rot, as if backyard apples and figs were something unremarkable."


"Energy Secretary: Climate change could wipe out Calif. farming" by Eoin O'Carroll is in the Christian Science Monitor.

"Steven Chu testifies at his January 13 Senate confirmation hearing to become US Energy Secretary.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu warned that, if climate change continues unabated, California's agriculture could vanish by the end of the century.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who ran the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory before joining the Obama administration, said that warming temperatures could eliminate up to 90 percent of the Sierra snowpack, which provides water to many of the state's 76,000 farms.

'I don't think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen,' he told the newspaper. 'We're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California.' "    


"The 10 Healthiest Foods You've Never Tried:If these nutrition powerhouses are not on your plate, it's time to taste them" is a story by Cari Nierenberg at abcnews.go.com.

"Many Americans have an adventurous spirit, but perhaps not always when it comes to food.

People tend to eat what they know how to prepare, and they may be reluctant to invest in a new food if they're not sure if it tastes good, said Joanne Ikeda, a nutritionist emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley." 


"Oakland port truck pollution burdens public health, study says" reports Denis Cuff, Contra Costa Times.

"Air pollution from diesel trucks visiting the Port of Oakland places an economic burden on the Bay Area by increasing the risk of people getting sick; missing work, school and other activities; and even dying prematurely, according to a report commissioned by a coalition of labor and environmental groups."



"UC Berkeley rehires retired police chief again" is a story by Matt Krupnick at mercurynews.com.

"UC Berkeley has rehired its retired police chief for six more months, less than a year after state lawmakers criticized the school for bypassing guidelines to retain her."





"Look West, Obama" writes Jeff Goodell in The Rolling Stone.

"If the president wants an energy policy that creates jobs while protecting the environment, one state holds the answer: California."


friend Nick Despotopoulos emails

MarshallPhoto.com goes live!

Jim Marshall is pleased to introduce his new state-of-the-art website, www.marshallphoto.com.
Working extensively over the past seven months with the team at Groovy Collectibles LLC, Jim's goal was to build a high quality online home for the sale of his prints-both well known and not-as well as memorabilia and other related items.
At MarshallPhoto.com, you'll find 160 fine art images for sale. The collection includes a superb array of Jim's beautifully printed Silver Gelatin black & white images (think Jimi at Monterey Pop, or Cash flipping the bird); a stunning selection of black and white limited-edition Platinum prints (like Monk at his kitchen piano), and highly prized limited-edition Dye Transfer color prints (such as The Who rocking SF Civic Auditorium).

MarshallPhoto.com also offers a range of collectibles, ranging from one-of-a-kind signed magazines from Jim's personal collection (how about Rolling Stone issues 68 & 69!) to a variety of other music-related ephemera. In addition, signed copies of Jim's in-print books are for sale.

And be sure to check out the information on Jim's life and career, and details on the prints and printmaking process in the About Jim section.





"News Corp. loses $6.4 billion in 2Q" is a story by Ryan Nakashima at sfgate.com.

"News Corp., the global media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said Thursday it lost $6.4 billion in its most recent quarter because of a massive write-down in the value of its assets.

The New York-based company, which owns The Wall Street Journal and the Fox broadcast network, also forecast a 30 percent drop in operating profits for the fiscal year to June from a year ago, when it earned $5.13 billion.
News Corp. shares rose 5 cents to $7.50 in after-hours trading."


"Announcing a New Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy" is a press release at newsblaze.com.

"California has long been a bellwether and testing ground for emerging trends in policy and political developments, and its politics reverberate around the world. The Berkeley Electronic Press and the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, are pleased to announce the launch of California Journal of Politics and Policy, the first academic journal devoted to this unique state."


"More Bad News for East Bay, Los Angeles Journalists" reports Richard Brenneman in our Planet.

"The downward spiral of West Coast newspapers continues, with most East Bay reporters now scrambling to figure out just when to take an unpaid week off.

Workers at all the newspapers in Dean Singleton's Bay Area News Group-East Bay (BANG-EB) will be taking the unpaid leave over the next two months." 



"Resale shops are latest casualty of bad economy" reports Anne d'Innocencio, AP Retail Writer.

"The dust collecting on gently worn Prada shoes and designer overcoats is a sign of the times at the nation's secondhand shops."


And yet "Bugatti found in Britain gets big bucks at auction" is a story at sfgate.com.

"A car abandoned in a garage in Britain for half a century sold at an auction in Paris for euro3.4 million (about $4.4 million) Friday."













from my log

2/8/09--starting mid-day--off-and-on, SERIOUS irritant in front of warehouse and warehouse front, dry eyes, dry mouth, cough, slight "chlorine" like odor, guest for afternoon has headache, goes outside for a walk for "air".

2/9/09--off-and-on all day beginning at 6:00AM, VERY SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front, burning eyes, burning mouth, hacking cough, short breath, slight "chlorine" like odor, over-rides four HEPA filters, eventually leave.






Eternally useful links


Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com


Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com

Our City Council update is here.


Our Planning Commision update is here



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

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


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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.


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

useful link

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



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


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



Berkeley Police reports at insidebay area.com are here.


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

Crime Log for 94710 is here

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


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

The contacts are below:

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

Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491 agallegos-castillo@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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

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


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

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



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