February 2010

after 2/11/10 here

Black History Month

Jimi Hendrix

Check out Tony Almeida's Jimi Hendrix --

the only page that routinely gets more hits than Scrambled Eggs.



VIK's new Chat House opens

Bob Kubik photo

very nice, new spiffy digs for their grocery and restaurant




Mmmm, . . just remembered

February 9, 1938 is Da Boz' birthdate



Kubik emails

There is a new "Vinyl Only" record store on the corner of Carleton and San Pablo - where the dressmaker used to be.
It seemed to sprout overnight - we first saw it Tuesday night.

Well, Ok then.

That would be "Dave's Record Shop" at 2634 San Pablo.RP



"Son keeps alive Reid's Records, founded in '45" Lee Hildebrand, Special to The Chronicle.

"When David Reid, manager of Reid's Records in Berkeley, told his mother that he was going to present a series of gospel concerts throughout Northern California in late January and early February in celebration of the 65th anniversary of the store she and his late father founded three months before the end of World War II, she initially balked.

'David, it's not until June,' Betty Reid Soskin pointed out to her son and business partner.

'My response was,' David recalls while standing next to her behind the counter of the Sacramento Street store they co-own, "When Disneyland has a celebration, it ain't one month, it's all year. This is just the start of my celebration." '

Reid's Records may not be the oldest still-active record store in the United States - George's Song Shop in Johnstown, Pa., launched in 1932, claims that distinction - but it's certainly the oldest in the Bay Area and probably in all of California. Mel and Betty Reid opened their store on June 1, 1945, in the basement of the duplex they'd been renting since they married three years earlier. Their landlord, Aldo Musso, was in the jukebox business and gave Mel a part-time job stocking them with 78-rpm records at local restaurants and bars. "




"Berkeley council delays vote on pot club" by Doug Oakley, Contra Costa Times.

"A Berkeley developer and a private school are threatening to sue the city if it allows a medical marijuana dispensary to move into their neighborhood on the west side of town.

Lawyers for Wareham Development, which owns 22 buildings in the area, and Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, told the City Council Tuesday night they would start legal action if the city issues a permit to Berkeley Patients Group to rent the former Scharffen Berger chocolate building at 914 Heinz Ave.

And in a twist of public opinion on the issue, a second private school, which is across the street from Berkeley Patients Group current location on San Pablo Ave, defended and praised the dispensary during the meeting."


Rumor has it that our Mr Darryl is one of those working behind the scenes to resolve the "medical" maijuana people/old chocolate factory problem.





"New Berkeley police chief sworn in . . ." by Kristin Bender, Oakland Tribune.

" The new Berkeley police chief was sworn in Thursday and then gave a no-nonsense and frank speech about what he expects from officers and how he plans to run the department, which deals with everything from petty drug crimes to hostage negotiations and a diverse community that often requires officers to be sensitive yet assertive."


our Jarad emails

After reading another glowing article about the new PD Chief in Oakland, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our new PD Chief is cut from the same fabric.


How bad could he be? I think he's an "Irish Cop" and so both culturally attuned and genetically tuned to law enforcment excellence . . . or not.

Or, maybe, just maybe, he has it in him to be like our first chief, August "Gus" Vollmer.*RP


*The City of Berkeley was incorporated in 1878. The City was policed by a elected town Marshal. In addition the Marshal was assisted by elected Constables.

Through these years the Marshal and Constables mostly served papers and seldom arrested without a warrant. Crime increased through the turn of the century.

In 1905, August Vollmer was elected town Marshal. In 1909, he was appointed as this City's first Chief of Police.

Chief Vollmer was instrumental in organizing this department, creating what we now call a 'Code of Ethics', which included eliminating the acceptance
of gratuities, rewards or favors.

Chief Vollmer demanded a high level of honesty, efficiency, interest and hard work by his officers. This has continued to this day, which has been the foundation for our world wide reputation in the law enforcement field.

Chief Vollmer is considered by some as the father of modern day law enforcement. His progressive thinking and use of new innovations in law enforcement became the foundation that our department has built on.








Merryll forwards friend Marty's email


A Sengoku warrior on horseback has been created from hundreds of thousands of rice plants

this photo was taken in Inakadate Japan


Stunning crop art in the rice fields of Japan is no alien creation.  The designs have been cleverly planted.

Farmers creating the huge displays use no ink or dye.
Instead, different color rice plants have been precisely and strategically arranged and grown in the  paddy fields.

As summer progresses and the plants shoot up, the detailed artwork begins to emerge.



Regan Bice stopped by

One of Regan's beautiful, AIA award-winning units is now available. A one-plus bedroom, 1700 square feet, three-level apartment, it's rent is $2950 a month. It is located at 925 Pardee. Regan can be reached for details at regan@reganbice.com.



Tak Nakamoto emails


When Janet and I walked over to the Bowl this [Saturday] afternoon, we noticed that there were 2 chartered tour busses parked outside. The tourists appeared to be from a Chinese speaking country judging by the signs on the busses.

I would never have thought of a grocery store as a tourist destination but ...



our Janine emails


This email is both to let you know all the roses have been spoken for, (and then some), and also a plea to please not forward my email to your friends, and if you have already, let them know there are no more roses available, so they don't send the note to their friends! This has taken off like wildfire and is a lot of trouble for me. Thank-you so much. It is nice people are so enthusiastic to rescue roses, and if the Gardeners do this again, you may hear from me again.

Best wishes,




our Ryan Lau emails

Meet Your West Branch Library Architect
If you weren't able to make it to the first meeting, the Berkeley Public Library invites you to join us as the architectural design team presents updates on the conceptual design phase of your West Branch Library Project:
February 6, Saturday, 12:00 PM at West Branch Library, 1125 University Avenue.
The design team Harley Ellis Devereaux / GreenWorks Studio presents an update on the West Branch conceptual design phase at a Special Board of Library Trustees meeting.

We value your input! Refreshments will be served. 
For accessibility info or other questions, go to http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/ or call 510-981-6195.
For opportunities to review the design for other branches, please visit http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/about_the_library/documents/22256_bpl.pdf



Take Charge California!
Learn to be smart, be safe, and be heard in the California marketplace. Come to this free consumer education event hosted by the California Department of Consumer Affairs and the Alameda County Consumer Affairs Commission.  See attached flyer for more info.

Thursday, February 11, 2010
6:00PM to 8:30PM
Berkeley City College Auditorium
2050 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704

Guest speakers:
Keith Carson, Alameda County Supervisor, District 5
Tom Vacar, Consumer Editor, KTVU Fox 2
Sonja Merold, Acting Deputy Director, DCA Consumer
and Community Empowerment Division

Keynote Speaker
Nancy E. O' Malley, Alameda County District Attorney



Berkeley Youth Alternatives Sixth Annual Crab Feed
It's that time of the year again!  Time to enjoy some delicious crab and support a cause you care about.  Berkeley Youth Alternatives is having its Sixth Annual Crab Feed on Thursday, February 25th from 7PM to 9PM at BYA, 1255 Allston Way.  Berkeley Youth Alternatives does a great job creating a supportive environment for our youth and helping to prepare them for life.  The Crab Feed helps them to keep doing their great work, so please come by if you can.  Here's a little more about BYA:
Berkeley Youth Alternatives, has served youth and families by providing comprehensive services in a supportive and bias-free haven.  During a period of soaring dropout rates, juvenile crime, drug abuse, and family breakdown, Berkeley Youth Alternatives has successfully helped thousands of young people sustain themselves on the difficult journey toward becoming productive and contributing adults.
For over thirty-five years, BYA has provided a safe growing space of the youth of Berkeley.  The agency's success lies in a dedicated board of directors, staff, and volunteers, and its commitment to fostering youth development.  BYA believes in the innate human potential of youth and their families and strives to provide a comprehensive network of services for children, 1st grade to pre-college.  BYA fosters the success of youth and families through prevention and intervention services catered to encompass the mental, emotional, physical and social dimensions of development.  For more information about BYA, please visit http://www.byaonline.org

Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore, District 2




"Daughter in mummified mom case runs for council" is a story from Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross at sfgate.com.

"Nancy 'Sunny' Bostrom, whom police briefly labeled a 'person of interest' last year after her mother's mummified corpse was found seated in the living room of her Piedmont home, is running for City Council in the East Bay town."

I'm told Ms Bostrom is also a Potter Creek property owner.RP


"Berkeley woman dies after being swept out to sea" is an AP report at mercurynews.com.

"Pacifica police say a Berkeley woman has died after being swept out to sea while walking along a beach.

Police say 37-year-old Amy Kellen Nicholson walking near the surf line when a wave knocked her down around 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

As the current dragged her into the ocean, a friend tried unsuccessfully to grab her.

She was unresponsive when emergency crews later found her on the beach a short distance away."



Definitely, check out this KQED program!

"Freeway Philharmonic

Freeway Philharmonic follows seven San Francisco Bay Area freelance classical musicians as they perform with regional orchestras across Northern California. Unlike musicians who have a permanent position with a major symphony, these musicians live from one season to the next. The film depicts their efforts to balance a love of music with a road-warrior lifestyle that often requires traveling hundreds of miles a day to rehearse, teach and perform. These individuals have an unrelenting desire to perform for a living, sometimes at the expense of their families and well-being. The film shows the dedication, perseverance and rigorous life of the musicians, while they grapple with their desire to succeed on a difficult career path and come to terms with their limitations in their quest for artistic accomplishment."










"Berkeley police motorcycle officer hit by car" by Kristin Bender, Oakland Tribune.

"A Berkeley police motorcycle officer was taken to a hospital after being struck by a car [Tuesday] afternoon, police said. 

The name of the officer and her condition were not immediately available. Lt. Andrew Greenwood said her injuries were not life threatening.

Police said she was struck on her motorcycle at the intersection of Ashby Avenue and Benvenue Avenue at 4:21 p.m. The driver stayed on the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Under department policy, the California Highway Patrol was called to the scene to investigate. Greenwood said he did not have details on what happened before the collision, but he said he did not believe the officer was involved in a pursuit.

The streets where the officer was hit were closed for about 45 minutes but have reopened now."


Merryll emails

Hi Ron,
Last night Marty, Leigh and I went to a dance recital at the saw tooth building where painter Ann and a family friend were dancing.  It was fun ­ they have events there all the time.  Across the hallway, was "barefoot boogey" people just dancing and having fun. 

I had no idea all that happens down there.  KInda fun to know this takes place in the neighborhood. 

Check it out.
See ya,


our Ryan Lau emails

You are invited to take part in a Brainstorming Workshop in creating a Participatory mural on the Southern Santa Fe Right of Way!

February 3, 2010 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

At the Frances Albrier Community Center in
San Pablo Park (2800 Park St, Berkeley, CA?, 94702)
Sponsors of the Santa Fe "Mobile Mural" Project:
Berkeley Community Gardening Collaborative (BCGC), Berkeley Partners for Parks (BPFP),
and the Office of Council member Darryl Moore  
Note:  This Workshop reiterates the brainstorming session we had last November 17.
Funded by: UC Chancellors Partnership Grant
Conveners:  John Steere (BPFP), Beebo Turman (BCGC), Alan Leon (Community-based muralist)
We're looking for neighbors and residents who are interested in positive, open space possibilities for the city-owned Santa Fe Right of Way (ROW) in South Berkeley (Oregon to Bancroft Avenues) to share their vision with us and one another at the Community Center in San Pablo Park.  We will learn about the history of the ROW and will brainstorm on what a future greenway and community around the ROW might be like.  This will be a first step in generating the ideas for a participatory mural that we'll paint this coming spring. 
Come, take part ­ help create and grow the potential for this hidden treasure in our community!
Refreshments will be served.   Workshop space is limited so please RSVP....
For further information and to RSVP your involvement; please email beebot@pacbell.net  or
call Beebo Turman at 510-527-3773.





"Blind Law School Grad Gets Say in Bar Exam Accommodations", Kate Moser, The Recorder.

"A legally blind law school graduate can sit for the bar exam using the technology she says she needs, a federal judge decided Friday, saying that there's no reason bar exam officials shouldn't accommodate her.

Stephanie Enyart, 32, who graduated from UCLA School of Law last spring, asked to take the bar exam using the assistive technology she used all through law school -- two screen reading and screen magnification software programs. Enyart said she has been relying on that kind of technology since she lost her vision as a teenager.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners had turned down her request and offered her different accommodations, granting her double the standard time to take the test and allowing closed circuit TV to magnify the test questions, a human reader to read the questions to her, a large-print test and an auditory CD version, among other things."




"Berkeley schools look to shift funds to help close achievement gap" by Doug Oakley, Contra Costa Times.

"After talking about the problem for years, Berkeley school officials are on the verge of shifting millions of dollars to underperforming black and Latino students, adding to an old debate about how to reduce the disparities between the top and the bottom."





"Grammy Awards 2010:Green Day Win Best Rock Album" is a report at ordoh.com.

"After putting on a show-stopping performance with the cast of the upcoming 'American Idiot' musical, Green Day walked away from the Grammys on Sunday night with a Best Rock Album win.

The California rockers beat out AC/DC, U2, Dave Matthews Band and Eric Clapton with Steve Winwood.

Green Day has already won three Grammy Awards prior to this year's win - Best Alternative Album for 'Dookie' in 1995, Best Rock Album for 'American Idiot' in 2005 and 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' in 2006.

Green Day is an American rock trio formed in 1987. The band has consisted of Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass guitar, vocals), and Tré Cool (drums, percussion) for the majority of its existence.

Green Day was originally part of the punk rock scene at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. The band's early releases for independent record label Lookout! Records earned it a grassroots fanbase, some of whom felt alienated when the band signed to a major label. Nevertheless, its major label debut Dookie (1994) became a breakout success and eventually sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. and 15 million worldwide. As a result,Green Day was widely credited, alongside fellow California punk bands The Offspring and Rancid, with reviving mainstream interest in and popularizing punk rock in the United States.Green Day 's three follow-up albums, Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning did not achieve the massive success of Dookie, but they were still successful, reaching double platinum, double platinum, and gold status respectively.Green Day's 2004 rock opera American Idiot reignited the band's popularity with a younger generation, selling five million copies in the U.S. The band's eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown, was released on May 15, 2009."










Potter Creek events of the decade


Will Wright and his Stupid Fun Club will be Swerve's new tenents--they will occupy part of Swerve's Potter Creek 7th Street facility. Very much sooner-than-later, Michael and Steven Goldin will be leasing space to these video game pioneers--good for Will Wright, good for Potter Creek, good for Berkeley, and good for the Goldins!


good for Ziggy, too

the Swerve family robot-- robots can get lonely


Merryll emails

Wil Wright was the best ice cream in Hollywood/LA growing up ­ real, rich, vanilla beans.  It was a special treat when my dad took us.
But the Swerve doesn't sound like that place.

Wil Wright Ice Cream








"Lee highlights public aid funded by stimulus cash" by Sean Maher, the Oakland Tribune.

"Almost $630,000 million in federal stimulus money has been directed into the East Bay in the last year, funding public service efforts Rep. Barbara Lee highlighted in a bus tour Monday morning.

Museum digitizing, community college job training, HIV/AIDS therapy and youth homelessness outreach were among the services Lee, D-Oakland, highlighted on the news tour, which stopped in Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley and Castro Valley."



"Personal health: rules worth following for everyones sake"
is a story at elpasoinc.com.

"In the more than four decades that I have been reading and writing about the findings of nutritional science, I have come across nothing more intelligent, sensible and simple to follow than the 64 principles outlined in a slender, easy-to-digest new book called 'Food Rules: An Eater's Manual,' by Michael Pollan.

Pollan is not a biochemist or a nutritionist but rather a professor of science journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. You may recognize his name as the author of two highly praised books on food and nutrition, 'In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto' and 'The Omnivore's Dilemma.' (All three books are from Penguin.)

If you don't have the time and inclination to read the first two, you can do yourself and your family no better service than to invest $11 and one hour to whip through the 139 pages of "Food Rules" and adapt its guid

ance to your shopping and eating habits."




"Girl Scouts cookie sales go viral" by Hilary Costa, Contra Costa Times.

"Ur a txt away from gr8 cookies!

That is just one of eight text messages that Northern California Girl Scouts are encouraged to send to drum up cookie sales.

Not to mention the business card templates, door hangers, marketing plans and e-mail invites that girls can download through their council's Web site as they become 'cookie entrepreneurs.'

No longer limited to a card table set up in front of the local market, the yearly push to sell Samoas, Thin Mints and the Girl Scouts' other signature confections has gone viral. Scouts - and their families - are'hitting the Internet, staging rallies and setting up phone banks to run their cookie sales "as a serious business."

"We don't even call it a cookie sale, we call it a cookie program,' said Dana Allen, communications manager for Girl Scouts of Northern California. The council encompasses the Bay Area and coastal counties up to the Oregon border. It has 50,000 scouts, 30,680 of whom sold cookies in 2009."




"What's a Degree Really Worth?" is a story by Mary Pilon at wsj.com.

"A college education may not be worth as much as you think. . . .

Dr. Schneider estimated the actual lifetime-earnings advantage for college graduates is a mere $279,893 in a report he wrote last year. He included tuition payments and discounted earning streams, putting them into present value. He also used actual salary data for graduates 10 years after they completed their degrees to measure incomes. Even among graduates of top-tier institutions, the earnings came in well below the million-dollar mark, he says.

And just like any investment, there are risks-such as graduating into a deep economic downturn. That's what happened to Kelly Dunleavy, who graduated in 2007 from the University of California, Berkeley, with $60,000 in loans. She now works as a reporter for a small newspaper in the Bay Area and earns $34,000 a year. Her father is currently paying her $700 monthly loan payments. 'It's harder than what I think I expected it to be,' she says.

'Averages don't tell the whole story,' says Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit group based in Berkeley, Calif. She points out that incomes vary widely, especially based on majors. 'The truth is that no one can predict for you exactly what you're gong to earn,' she says. "



"Fake ID can be ready in 20 minutes" by Eisen Teo & Phyllis Wan of the Straits Times at asiaone.com.

"It boasts the printing of fliers and brochures among its services.

But it is the PVC ID card business that is attracting teens to a small Bencoolen Street shop - where a passport to the previously inaccessible is only 20 minutes away.

The mere mention of 'ID cards' is all that is needed to get the middle-aged, bespectacled proprietor to reach under the counter for a well-worn catalogue of IDs.

IDs from the University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Los Angeles, are more popular, he said.

To 'register', a customer fills in his name and date of birth on a slip of paper. The proprietor then opens the relevant ID template in image editing software Photoshop, and asks the customer to enter the same information."






"What Should We Do About Medical Marijuana?" Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD

Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia; Past President, American College of Physicians, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

at medscape.com.

"You may well wonder what marijuana has to do with staying well. After all, the new report by the American Medical Association's (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health says that 'marijuana is the most common illicit drug used by the nation's youth and young adults.' Some people get hooked on it. If marijuana becomes more readily available for medical use, will increased nonmedical use follow? As a primary care physician and as the mother of 2 college students, this concerns me. In fact, I had a very negative view of physician organizations even talking about medical marijuana until recently, when I read this new report."



"A Brief History of Medical Marijuana" by Patrick Stack, with Claire Suddath at time.com.

"On Oct. 19, the U.S. Justice Department announced that federal prosecutors would not pursue medical-marijuana users and distributors who comply with state laws, formalizing a policy at which the Obama Administration hinted earlier this year. Currently, 13 states allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients suffering from ailments ranging from AIDS to glaucoma, and in Maryland a prescription can soften punishment if a user faces prosecution. But until now those laws didn't provide any protection from federal authorities. (Read "Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?")

Should Professors Cheech and Chong ever receive university tenure teaching the medical history of their favorite subject, the course pack would be surprisingly thick. As early as 2737 B.C., the mystical Emperor Shen Neng of China was prescribing marijuana tea for the treatment of gout, rheumatism, malaria and, oddly enough, poor memory. The drug's popularity as a medicine spread throughout Asia, the Middle East and down the eastern coast of Africa, and certain Hindu sects in India used marijuana for religious purposes and stress relief. Ancient physicians prescribed marijuana for everything from pain relief to earache to childbirth. Doctors also warned against overuse of marijuana, believing that too much consumption caused impotence, blindness and 'seeing devils.' "




"Decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States" is an article at wikipedia.com.

"Attempts to decriminalize cannabis in the United States began in the 1970s. Several jurisdictions have subsequently decriminalized cannabis (also referred to as marijuana or marihuana) for non-medical purposes, as views on cannabis have liberalized, peaking in 1978.[1] The decriminalization movement supports efforts ranging from reducing penalties for cannabis-related offenses to removing all penalties related to cannabis, including sale and cultivation. Proponents of cannabis decriminalization argue that a substantial amount of law-enforcement resources would be freed, which could be used to prevent more serious crimes, and would reduce income earned by street gangs and organized crime who sell or traffic cannabis. Opponents argue that cannabis on street level today has a much higher percent of THC with a stronger drug effect, the decriminalization will lead to increased crime, increased cannabis usage, and subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs."




"Marijuana could face strict regulation, big taxes" is a story at sfgate.com.

"Legislation is in the works at the state capitol that would dramatically change how marijuana is regulated in the state and bring in a good chunk of cash to California's beleaguered state budget.

It has not been introduced yet, but the plan would require everyone involved in the marijuana industry in the state, from growers to distributors to retailers, to register with the state and pay a licensing fee. Marijuana would also be subject to an excise tax, perhaps up to 41 percent, along with other taxes.

Just to help with the score keeping, this is not the proposal to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana, the Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, bill that died a legislative timeline death last month but that should be reintroduced in the next several days."



At 6:35 last night, Channel 4 News reported the the mayor of Los Angles signed the bill banning all but 70 cannabis dispensaries and those mostly in industrial areas. Depending on the source, LA presently has between 600 and 800 such facilities.





our Tak emails


A friend who now lives abroad, recently handed us the responsibility of disposing of her collection of art books. The collection was over 300 volumes. After sorting the special books to keep, we had the task of trying to sell the rest. The thought of trudging to Moe's and Shakespeare with this many books gave me a headache and an anticipatory twinge in my back.

Then I remembered that Black Oak Books is now in our neighborhood. I walked the couple of blocks over to the store and arranged for the owner, Gary Cornell, to come over to our house to see if he wanted to buy the collection. He did and gave us an offer. We took it. I don't know that we couldn't have gotten more at the other book stores, but the convenience of having the buyer come to the house was too good to pass up. And it was he who moved the books out of our house. Hooray!

Black Oak Books is a resource in our community. Don't just buy there. Sell them books too!

Tak Nakamoto









Cameron emails

Hello Ron,

Claudia and I dined last night at a new Emeryville restaurant on Hollis (between Powell and 59th St.) - we enjoyed our dinner there, it's a little more upscale than some other local Thai eateries but the portions are good, quality high, and the décor and service a notch above. Plus, they have a happy hour from 5-7 with $5 drinks and appetizers that are quite a bargain (the appetizers). When the weather warms up, they'll have seating outside. Plus, they are open til 10 pm. We'll be returning to sample their extensive menu.





David Snipper emails

more Japanese rice field art





"Solar firm moves HQ to San Francisco from Berkeley" is a report in the San Francisco Business Times by J.K. Dineen.

"Solar development company HelioPower is moving its Northern California headquarters from Berkeley to downtown San Francisco.

The company, which has designed and installed more than 1,000 solar power systems in the western states, is taking 4,000 square feet on the 10th floor of 100 Montgomery St."



"Essex Announces Fourth Quarter 2009 Earnings Results" is a report at cnn. com. "Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESS) announces its fourth quarter 2009 earnings results and related business activities. . . .

Initial Construction of Fourth and U (formerly known as 'Fourth Street'), a 171-unit development located in Berkeley, California, is nearing completion as interior finish installation and painting is ongoing. Initial pre-leasing will commence in the first quarter, and initial occupancy is expected in April 2010."



"Cal grad program applications booming" is a report in the San Francisco Business Times by Steven E.F. Brown.

"Graduate students continue to apply in high numbers to the University of California, Berkeley, despite 'a budget shortfall, hiring freeze and higher fees,' the school said Wednesday.




"A customer prepares to pump biodiesel into her car at the Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley, California.

A New Clean Economy - With Old Sources of Energy" by Bryan Walsh at time.com.

"Since his election, President Barack Obama has emphasized the importance of developing new sources of energy and cultivating the jobs that will come with them. 'I am convinced that whoever builds a clean energy economy, whoever is at the forefront of that, is going to own the 21st-century global economy,' Obama told a bipartisan meeting of governors at the White House on Wednesday.

But, increasingly, the President's new clean economy seems to rely on old sources of energy. "









Take a break from it all with . . .

a Judi Quan photo essay

Turkey 2008



but, dear, . . . here we go again



our David Bowman emails

Don't forget the meeting this Monday night 6:30 - 8:30 at the French School - agenda below:

Fall/Winter 2010
Monday the 8th of February
Call to order 6:30
1.   10 min. - Nominations for Executive Committee [Elections to be held at meeting in April].
2.   10 min. - Membership.
3.   20 min. - Announcements:
Day of Service.
Kava's plans for Husteads.
Public safety.
4.   60 min. - 10 min. (+/-) West Berkeley Project re: current status,height limits, massing, etc.
by Alex Amoroso and/or Claudine Asbaugh [Planners from the City of Berkeley]
followed by 50  min. Q. & A.
5.   10 min. - Member input about possible social events during the coming year.
6.   05 min. - New business. [possibly including, for example, a brief discussion of what's known about
the relocation of the pot dispensary from San Pablo to the ex-chocolate factory.]
Adjourn 8:30

All time limits are approximate



the medical cannabis people and the old chocolate factory

(what'll happen, in 25 words or less)

If the cannabis people get their permit and the city council approves it, there will be lawsuits. RP


A view of-it-all from an old, and former, doper and "grower."

In The Day, I was the security for grower-friends in Mendocino--as growing spread poaching became a problem.

(How good was the dope? You could get "f@#ked-up" walking through the drying shed. )


I believe in medical marijuana, I believe the medical-people should be welcomed in the community. I also believe recreational use should be decriminalized.

I DO NOT believe that marijuana should be grown and/or sold close-to schools. And I believe the spirit of the approved Berkeley ballot-initiative prohibits a medical marijuana facility within 1000 feet of ALL schools. If, indeed the two French School campuses and the pre-school are within 1000 feet of the proposed new location, its use for medical marijuana SHOULD BE PROHIBITED. RP

(Eventually, our chemist was awarded a Nobel Prize--but that's another story.)RP












our Gene Agress emails

Hi Ron,

Thought you might be interested in seeing our new joint in Santa Monica, my partner Dave Kent and I share time down there in our new studio at 1330 4th, St.

Its just four blocks from the ocean and definitely a beautiful town. We chose Santa Monica because we felt it was culturally similar to Berkeley but is NOT the town everyone loves to hate.

No one hates Santa Monica, the weather is near perfect, and the food is great.

I still think Berkeley has more to offer. But walking on the beach at night the sounds of the waves beating against the sand  is sure a plus, but hey who's counting.





 Our Angela forwards this email notice

Register now to join San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris for Prevention Institute/UNITY Web convening, February 10th.

San Francisco District Attorney Harris, renowned for her innovative approaches to public safety, will lead a webinar sponsored by Prevention Institute's UNITY (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth) initiative. Ms. Harris will highlight a "Smart on Crime" approach and strategies that resolve the underlying causes of crime while protecting victims and holding offenders accountable. Pre-register today to join us next week.
Ms. Harris's approach includes new creativity in law enforcement strategies, focused efforts to reduce elementary school truancy rates, and re-entry programs, including Back on Track, an innovative education and employment initiative focusing on reducing recidivism in young adult drug offenders. Howard Pinderhughes, UCSF Associate Professor, UNITY team member, and Prevention Institute board member will moderate the discussion.

The one hour web convening will take place on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at the following time:
 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PST       1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CST
 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MST      2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

In order to access the conference, you must pre-register here: https://calcasa.ilinc.com/public/preventioninstitute
1. Check the box for "UNITY Web Convening feat. SF District Attorney Kamala Harris" and click "Register" in the lower right-hand corner.
2. Enter your name and email address and click "Submit."
3. Upon registering, you will receive an email with instructions to join.
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"For UC's Commission on the Future, nothing is off the table. With California's public university system shackled to a shrinking budget, a group of chancellors, students and others considers ideas -- from banal to radical -- to keep quality up and costs down" is a story at latimes.com.

"Why not abolish student fees at the University of California? And in exchange, how about requiring graduates to pay the university a percentage of their income for a while after college?

That may sound outlandish at a time when UC is substantially hiking student fees and the state budget crisis has left the 10-campus system strapped for cash. But that's precisely why UC Berkeley public policy professor Robert Reich raised the idea to a commission trying to chart the university's course into the future.

'We've never been here before, not only the university but the state of California,' Reich, a former U.S. Labor Secretary, said in an interview. 'So, many ideas that would never before see the light of day are now being examined seriously.' "



"When Students Strike Back: The New Social Movement at the University of California" opines Bob Samuels at huffingtonpost.com.

"On November 20th, a group of Berkeley students held Wheeler Hall hostage, and their first demand was to rehire 38 custodians. The administration and the media were confused by this request; they asked themselves, why do the students care about janitors? From the perspective of the UC administration, students should only be protesting against the escalating fees they are being forced to pay; however, students, unions, and workers have begun to form a new type of coalition that cuts across traditional class and employment divisions. By uniting around a group of diverse demands representing different social groups, the UC activists have pointed to the future of progressive social movements.

While many pundits and politicians have been arguing that the only political movement on the ground these days is the loose band of right-leaning tea partiers, the protests at the University of California offer an alternative political force. On the one side, we have the libertarian anti-government tax revolt that often takes its marching orders from conservative talk show hosts and Fox News, and on the other side, a coalition of university students, faculty, and unionized workers supporting equitable taxes and a defense of public institutions. This battle demonstrates the real fight for the future of the country, and like so many other things, it all starts in California."



"UW-Madison continues distinguished Peace Corps legacy" is a story at wisc.edu.

"UW-Madison continues to add to its legacy as one of the top producers of Peace Corps volunteers.

With 77 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps worldwide, the university was ranked seventh in 2009 rankings, released Feb. 4. The University of Washington topped the list with 101 volunteers.

Since 1961, more than 2,906 UW-Madison alumni have served in the Peace Corps, making it the No. 2 university all-time producer of volunteers, surpassed only by the University of California, Berkeley, with 3,412."




"Berkeley-based Grocery Outlet expands as shoppers turn frugal" by Eve Mitchell, Contra Costa Times.

"Some have been coming for years to get the bargains while others are recent converts in response to economic hard times. Then there are those who just like to browse the aisles of a Grocery Outlet store, a place where the merchandise is constantly changing.

Whatever the reason, the Berkeley-based discount retailer with 136 stores in California and five other Western states has experienced a double-digit increase in business since the recession began in December 2007, according to the company. Last year, five new stores were opened, including ones in San Leandro and Manteca and a second location in Hayward. Plans call for opening between six to eight new stores this year, including a location in Pinole."



"Jack London Square wins new tenant: Sungevity" Robert Selna, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Sungevity, which started in Berkeley in 2008, uses satellite images and aerial photography to provide homeowners with options for installing rooftop solar panels. It then delivers the data and price quotes online, removing the need for home visits.

The company will begin to occupy new offices this weekend in the 66 Franklin building at the heart of Jack London Square."



"One of Berkeley's last bargains:For BART commuters, neighborhood one of the most affordable" Jennifer Liss at sfgate.com.

"Typically, public transportation is built to merely serve a community, not necessarily be the impetus for its growth.

But that is not necessarily the case with South Berkeley's Ashby Station subdivision. The turn-of-the-century "streetcar suburb" grew in large part because of the public transportation hub enclosed by Adeline Street, Ashby Avenue and what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Way that has existed for the better part of the last hundred years.

That hub would provide an easy commute for an emerging middle class that was looking to flee urban living, yet still be close enough to get to and from work easily."




"The fundraising Legislature" by Daniel Newman at sfagate.com.

"Lobbyist cash doesn't only infect Congress. California's Legislature suffers the same malady.

MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan nonprofit in Berkeley that works to illuminate the connection between money and politics, studied last month's vote in the state Senate on a single-payer health care bill."




"U.S. clean-tech investment falls 45% in fourth quarter" is a report at latimes.com.

"Clean-tech companies raked in just $564.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, a 45% plunge from the previous quarter, according to research released Monday.

But the number of deals jumped 21% to 62 total, according to analysis from Ernst & Young, using data from Dow Jones VentureSource. California dominated, with 32 deals over the course of the quarter, pulling in $333.72 million.

In all of 2009, investment in the clean-tech sector hit $2.6 billion with 193 deals, a 50% plunge in dollar amount and a 16% slide in the number of deals compared to 2008."





"Stress is good for children" is a story in the Times of India.

"Children who react strongly to stress or have more behaviour and health problems than their peers are likely to do well when raised in a children supportive environment, a new study says."











Kubik emails about Monday night's neighborhood meeting.

I dropped in on the meeting briefly.  There were 23 folks there - including me.
I was interested in the presentation by the city planners on The Plan..
However, the planners didn't show up! . . .
I left when Rick wanted to fill the group in.

Tuesday morning KTVU-TV reported that Monday evening our city council approved the "medical" marijuana people's request to move to the old chocolate factory.

But, reliable Berkeley sources say that the council "voted" to take no action--this done in closed session.




"Ban sought on city-issued traffic tickets" by Kelly Puente at presstelegraph.

"If you're caught running a stop sign or speeding in Long Beach, your ticket tab could be different from those in other cities.

Police departments in Long Beach and a handful of California cities, including Berkeley, Oakland, Riverbank and Roseville, have been writing tickets for certain moving violations under city municipal codes, rather than the state vehicle code.

The catch? Under these municipal code violations, which are similar to parking tickets, the city gets to pocket the revenue and drivers escape getting a negative point on their Department of Motor Vehicles record."









"Bill would boost CalPERS, CalSTRS election transparency" is a report at sacbee.com.

"Candidates running for spots on the boards of California's two largest public employee pension funds would be required to complete and publicly file more detailed campaign finance information under a bill introduced in the Senate today.

Senate Bill 1007, by Democratic Sen. Loni Hancock of Berkeley, would require candidates for board seats with the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System to file ongoing campaign contribution and spending reports during and after an election.

The bill would make pension-fund board candidates comply with reporting rules that already exist for other elected officials in the state, Hancock said."




a reader sends this Wikipedia link

"Hydrofluoric acid" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is a solution of hydrogen fluoride in water. While it is extremely corrosive and difficult to handle, it is technically a weak acid.[2] Hydrogen fluoride, often in the aqueous form as hydrofluoric acid, is a valued source of fluorine, being the precursor to numerous pharmaceuticals such as fluoxetine (Prozac), diverse polymers such as polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon), and most other synthetic materials that contain fluorine.

Hydrofluoric acid is best known to the public for its ability to dissolve glass by reacting with SiO2 (silicon dioxide), the major component of most glass, to form silicon tetrafluoride gas and hexafluorosilicic acid. This property has been known since the 17th century, even before hydrofluoric acid had been prepared in large quantities by Scheele in 1771.[3] Because of its high reactivity toward glass, hydrofluoric acid must be stored (in small quantities) in polyethylene or Teflon containers. It is also unique in its ability to dissolve many metal and semimetal oxides.

The danger in handling hydrofluoric acid is extreme, as skin saturation with the acid in areas of only 25 square inches (160 cm2) may be relatively painless, yet ultimately fatal. High concentrations of hydrofluoric acid and hydrogen fluoride gas will also quickly destroy the corneas of the eyes."





We have a chance to get a modern 21st century fiber optic network in Berkeley. I've asked the City Council to consider applying with Google for this program. Ultra-fast Internet connectivity in Berkeley would be beneficial for residents, businesses, students, researchers -- it would be a major draw that could promote job growth locally.

If it is something you are interested in, please take a look at the information provided below and voice your support to the city council via email.

All of their email addresses are listed below in my original email.




after 2/11/10 here



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.