after 2/13/13 here after 2/18/13 here

composer, conductor and jazz pianist, Duke Ellington

February is Black History Month

"The Jazzschool in Berkeley, CA Celebrates Black History Month with Performance" at nbcbayarea.com




"New West Berkeley Y to cost $25,000 in 1938" Steven Finacom, Berkeley Historical Society at mercurynews.com.

"Plans to build a $25,000 facility for the West Berkeley YMCA were announced 75 years ago, Jan. 29, 1938.
The new building will include a large modern gymnasium, which will be used for recreational and competitive activities. It will also be available for large social 'gatherings and motion pictures. Shower and recreation rooms will be part of the equipment,' the Berkeley Daily Gazette reported.

The West Berkeley Y was already 18 years old and had been initially organized by Hollis Thompson who, in 1938, was Berkeley's city manager.

'We call to the attention of the citizens of Berkeley the need which exists in this area and the opportunity which th'y have to participate in not just a drive for maintenance funds but for a capital expenditure which will serve the needs of young people for many years to come," the chairman of the fundraising committee told the press.

The West Berkeley 'Y' building would indeed be built, and still stands today on 10th Street, south of University Avenue."





"Cats kill billions of creatures every year according to new study" Tia Ghose, csmonitor.com.

"According to new research, cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds and between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion small mammals, such as meadow voles and chipmunks.

Though it's hard to know exactly how many birds live in the United States, the staggering number of bird deaths may account for as much as 15 percent of the total bird population, said study co-author Pete Marra, an animal ecologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Marra and his colleagues are looking at human-related causes for bird and wildlife deaths in the country, from windmills and glass windows to pesticides.
But first, Marra and his team looked at the impact of the feline population, one of the biggest putative causes of bird demise in the country. . . .       

'A lot of these cats may go outside and go to 10 different houses, but they go back to their house and cuddle up on Mr. Smith's lap at night, . . . ' "





"Apollo-Metropoulos Team Near Deal to Buy Hostess Twinkies, Other Cakes" at wsj.com.











"High-tech cargo airship being built in California" Raquel Maria Dillon, AP at sfgate.com.

"The Aeroscraft airship, a high-tech prototype airship, is seen in a World War II-era hangar in Tustin, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. Work is almost done on a 230-foot rigid airship inside a blimp hangar at a former military base in Orange Co. The huge cargo-carrying airship is has shiny aluminum skin and a rigid, 230-foot aluminum and carbon fiber skeleton.

The massive blimp-like aircraft flies but just barely, hovering only a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testing south of Los Angeles.
Still, the fact that the hulking 230-foot-long Aeroscraft could fly for just a few minutes represents a step forward in aviation, according to the engineers who developed it. The Department of Defense and NASA have invested $35 million in the prototype because of its potential to one day carry more cargo than any other aircraft to disaster zones and forward military bases.

'I realized that I put a little dot in the line of aviation history. A little dot for something that has never been demonstrated before, now it's feasible,' said flight control engineer Munir Jojo-Verge.

The airship is undergoing testing this month at Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, and must go through several more rounds of flight testing before it could be used in a disaster zone or anywhere else. The first major flight test took place Jan. 3.

The biggest challenge for engineers is making sure the airship will be able to withstand high winds and other extreme weather conditions, Jojo-Verge said. 'Their vulnerability is their large size,' said aviation expert and former Navy test pilot Pete Field. 'There's a lot of surface area so wind affects it tremendously.' "




















Las Vegas odds are "Ravens [+3.5] over 49ers."

Scrambled Eggs odds are "Harbaugh's team."



I stopped by our Swerve Thursday to find all bustling--the factory humming, offices brimming, and the parking lot full of worker-vehicles.



"Auto Servicing Shop Acquires Berkeley Location With $3.3 Million SBA 504 Loan" at fortmilltimes.com.

"Hustead's Collision Center, Inc. Receives Commercial Real Estate Financing from Bay Area's Top SBA 504 Lender"






"Berkeley City Council approves plan to green Downtown" Daphne Chen, dailycal.org.

"At its meeting Tuesday night, Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to approve the Downtown Streets and Open Space Improvement Plan as well as the fees to fund the project."




















"You might very well say that, but I couldn't possibly comment."

Netfix has produced and is now streaming their version of "House of Cards" starring Kevin Spacey. Worth a watch. Set in modern D.C.



from wikipedia

"The project was first announced in March 2011, with Kevin Spacey attached to star and serve as an executive producer. Fincher was announced as director for the first two episodes, from scripts by Willimon. Netflix ordered 26 episodes to air over two seasons.[8] Spacey called Netflix's model of dropping all episodes at once a 'new perspective'. He added that Netflix's commitment to two-full seasons gave the series greater continuity. 'We know exactly where we are going,' he said.

Kevin Spacey as U.S. Representative Francis Underwood (a Democrat from South Carolina's Fifth Congressional district) Underwood is the U.S. House of Representatives' Majority Whip.

When the new President appoints another candidate for Secretary of State, Underwood hatches a plot to bring down the new Chief Executive.


("This is the future, streaming is the future. TV will not be TV in five years from now...everyone will be streaming" Beau Willimon.")


Independent studio Media Rights Capital, founded by Mordecai Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, producer of films such as Babel, purchased the rights to House of Cards with the intent on creating a series. While finishing production on his 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, David Fincher was introduced, by his agent, to House of Cards, a BBC miniseries starring Ian Richardson. Fincher was interested in producing a potential series with Eric Roth. He said that he was interested in doing television because of its long-form nature. 'If you're working in the movie business, you're thinking in terms of you have this two-hour form that requires a kind of ballistic narrative that doesn't always allow for characterizations to be that complex, or that deep, or that layered, or that you can reveal slowly and be as faceted', he said. He added: 'I felt for the past ten years that the best writing that was happening for actors was happening in television. And so I had been looking to do something that was longer form.'

MRC approached different networks about the series, including HBO, Showtime and AMC, but Netflix, hoping to launch their own original programming, outbid the other networks.Ted Sarandos, Netflix's Chief Content Officer, looked at the data of Netflix user's streaming habits and concluded that there was an audience for Fincher and Spacey. 'It looked incredibly promising,' he said, 'kind of the perfect storm of material and talent.' In finding a writer to adapt the series, Fincher stated that they needed someone 'who would do the due diligence to transplant parliamentary politics to Washington.' Beau Willimon was hired and completed the pilot script in early 2011. He said of developing the series: 'I saw tons of great opportunities to make it our own, to make it contemporary, to broaden its scope and deepen its story.' "


"House of Cards" a review at slate.com.

"All 13 episodes of this Kevin Spacey-starring Netflix series premiere on Friday. Bet you can't watch just one.

Who was it that said, 'If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog'? Many attribute the quip to Harry Truman; others contend it was Olivia Pope. The maxim came to mind while watching the addictive Netflix original series House of Cards, 13 episodes of which will be available for bingeing on Friday. The show is dryly witty in its depiction of constancy and fidelity on the Potomac. And in the first scene, the protagonist, played by Kevin Spacey, kills a dog in cold blood.

To be clear, it's a mercy killing: On the last day of 2012, while slithering into his tuxedo and preparing to take his wife (Robin Wright) out to ring in another year of elbow-rubbing, back-scratching, and palm-greasing, Congressman Frank Underwood hears an automotive commotion and a plaintive canine wail. A hit-and-run driver has left a neighbor's dog whimpering in the street."



Then there's the "original"!

"House of Cards is a 1990 political thriller television drama serial by the BBC in four episodes, set after the end of Margaret Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It was televised from 18 November to 9 December 1990, to critical and popular acclaim. The story was adapted by Andrew Davies from a novel written by Michael Dobbs, a former Chief of Staff at Conservative Party headquarters. Dobbs's novel was also dramatised for radio for BBC World Service in 1996, by Neville Teller, and had two television sequels (To Play the King and The Final Cut). The House of Cards trilogy was ranked 84th in the British Film Institute list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes.

The antihero of House of Cards is a fictional Conservative Chief Whip, Francis Urquhart played by Ian Richardson. The plot follows his amoral and manipulative scheme to become leader of the governing party and Prime Minister.

It appears Michael Dobbs did not envisage writing the second and third books, as Urquhart dies at the end of the first novel. The screenplay of the BBC's dramatisation of House of Cards differed from the book and hence allowed future series. Dobbs wrote two following books To Play the King and The Final Cut which were televised in 1993 and 1995 respectively.

House of Cards was said to draw from Shakespeare's Macbeth and Richard III,[3] both of which examine issues of power, ambition and corruption. Richardson had a Shakespearean background, and said he based his performance of the scheming Francis Urquhart on the way Shakespeare portrayed Richard III. Urquhart frequently talks through the camera to the audience, breaking the fourth wall as in a Shakespearian soliloquy.

In the dramatisation, the camera frequently focuses on rats for the symbolic effect of filth and conspiracy."







Recently BerkeleySide took note of an upcoming Potter Creek event.

"FREE GOOD VIBES VIBRATORS Coming up in February, Berkeley's Good Vibrations location, which opened in 1994, will rejoice after a recent makeover. The party will feature free vibrators 'and a celebration of 18 years of pleasure.' Said Berkeley store manager Laura Rafferty, in a prepared statement, 'It's been amazing to see our little block grow and change over the years. Many of our customers are regulars who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. We are so thankful for their support and patronage. It has been an incredible journey and I look forward to the next 18 years!' The event takes places Feb. 7, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and will include drinks, light snacks and free vibrators. The Good Vibes Berkeley location is at 2504 San Pablo Ave."




CAL Noon Concerts

"Featuring the Music Department's varied and diverse performance activities, the Department of Music presents a series of free weekly concerts each semester in Hertz Hall. Inaugurated in 1953, these concerts are very popular and well attended by those on campus and in the wider community. Traditionally on Wednesdays, now expanding into Fridays, each concert begins promptly at 12:15 and ends by 1pm.

Priority for the limited number of concert dates is given to Music Department students, in particular music major soloists and chamber groups. Department ensembles and faculty performers are regularly featured. Guest musicians occasionally perform new works by student and faculty composers. Auditions for the Noon Concert Series are held each semester for the following semester."

Noon Concert: Chamber Music
Friday, Feb 8 12:15p to 1:00p
U.C. Berkeley, CA, Hertz Hall Berkeley, CA
Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat major, op. 20

Full Noon Concert schedule!



"BAM/PFA exhibit examines sound of 'Silence' " by Lou Fancher at mercurynews.com.

"Shriek and holler all you like, but no amount of noise will muffle the overpowering roar of thoughts provoked by 'Silence,' a vexingly simple exhibit that opened this week and runs through April 28 at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Co-organized by BAM/PFA and Houston's Menil Collection, the exhibit uses composer John Cage's multi-channeled life as a pioneer visionary and his groundbreaking composition '4'33' as the linchpins for wide-ranging, artistic enterprise. Cage's 1952, three-movement, no-music-except-ambient-sound composition rocketed the artist to contemporary art superstar status.

'Silence' includes paintings, sculpture, performance art, films, lectures, LATE: Friday Nights performances, extended learning courses and even public meditation sessions."








"New York Times says Chinese hackers hit its networks as paper investigated leader's wealth" at washingtonpost.com.

"Chinese hackers repeatedly penetrated The New York Times' computer systems over the past four months, stealing reporters' passwords and hunting for files on an investigation into the wealth amassed by the family of a top Chinese leader, the newspaper reported Thursday.

Security experts hired to investigate and plug the breach found that the attacks used tactics similar to ones used in previous hacking incidents traced to China, the report said. It said the hackers routed the attacks through computers at U.S. universities, installed a strain of malicious software, or malware, associated with Chinese hackers and initiated the attacks from Chinese university computers previously used by the Chinese military to attack U.S. military contractors."



"The Chinese attack against the New York Times worked to perfection" Farhad Manjoo, slate.com.

"Journalists are on notice. If you investigate the Chinese government, Chinese hackers will come after you. That's what you should conclude from the New York Times' disclosure that it was hacked for four months by attackers it suspects were associated with the Chinese military. The likely motive, the Times says, was retaliation against the paper for its investigation into the wealth amassed by the family of Wen Jiabao, China's prime minister. But this wasn't the first time Chinese hackers attacked journalists. They infiltrated Bloomberg News last year, the Times reports. They also hacked the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, and other Western news organizations."


"The New York Times fell victim to a four-month cyber attack by Chinese hackers who cracked passwords to more than 50 email accounts, including those of top reporters. Ray Suarez talks with Times reporter Nicole Perlroth and Grady Summers, vice president of the cyber security company hired to investigate the attacks" is a pbs video report well worth watching for color and detail not in the written reports! Video here.





"Chinese hackers suspected in attack on The Post's computers" Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima at washingtonpost.com.

"A sophisticated cyberattack targeted The Washington Post in an operation that resembled intrusions against other major American news organizations and that company officials suspect was the work of Chinese hackers, people familiar with the incident said.

Post company officials confirmed the broad outlines of the infiltration, which was discovered in 2011 and first reported by an independent cybersecurity blog on Friday. But they did not elaborate on the circumstances, the duration of the intrusion or its apparent origin."


















a restored

Austin-Healey 100-4

"The Austin-Healey 100 is a sports car built from 1953 until 1956" wikipedia.

"It was developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by Healey's small car company in Warwick and based on Austin A90 Atlantic mechanicals. Healey built a single Healey Hundred for the 1952 London Motor Show, and the design impressed Leonard Lord, Managing Director of Austin so much, he was looking for a replacement to the unsuccessful A90, that a deal was struck with Healey to build it in quantity at Austin's Longbridge factory. The car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100.
The '100' name comes from Donald Healey, who selected the name from the car's ability to reach 100 mph (160 km/h), as opposed to the Austin-Healey 3000, which is named for its 3000 cc engine.

Production Austin-Healey 100s were finished at Austin's Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich-in an arrangement the two companies previously had explored with the Austin A40 Sports.

The first 100s (series 'BN1') were equipped with the same 90 bhp (67 kW) engines and manual transmission as the stock A90, but the transmission was modified to be a three-speed unit with overdrive on second and top. The 2660 cc I4 engine featured an undersquare 87.3 mm (3.4 in) bore and 111.1 mm (4.4 in) stroke.
Girling 11 in (279.4 mm) drum brakes are fitted all round. Front suspension is independent using coil springs and at the rear is a rigid axle with semi elliptic leaf springs. The steering is by a cam and lever system.
A BN1 tested by The Motor magazine in 1953 had a top speed of 106 mph (171 km/h) and could accelerate from 0­60 mph (97 km/h) in 11.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 22.5 miles per imperial gallon (12.6 L/100 km; 18.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1063 including taxes."


More, including contemporary prices here.

An in-progress restoration is here.

And, an original 1954 BN1 waiting to be restored, plus enough original parts to begin another restoration are "buried" here in a Potter Creek garage.






"Round 2 for Sloppy Joe's bar, a Havana original" Peter Orsi, Associated Press at contracostatimes.com.

"A half-century later, Jose Rafa Malem remembers the balmy breezes blowing through the bar's arching porticos, the grain of the tall wood stools, the whiff of Pedro Domecq brandy on his father's breath.

And how could he forget the tangy ground-beef-and-tomato-sauce sandwiches synonymous with what was then one of Havana's hippest hangouts, playfully dubbed Sloppy Joe's? 'I ate so many, I got tired of them,' said Rafa, a 59-year-old Havana native who grew up to become a bartender.

Soon, Rafa will be able to relive those boyhood memories as the original Sloppy Joe's reopens in Havana's historic quarter, giving residents and tourists from all over the chance to belly up to the same bar that served such thirsty celebrities as Rock Hudson, Babe Ruth and Ernest Hemingway.

It's part of an ambitious revitalization project by the Havana City Historian's Office, which since the 1990s has transformed block after block of crumbling ruins into rehabilitated buildings along vibrant cobblestone streets.

The effort has helped finance Cuba's socialist present by drawing tourists fascinated by its presocialist past, from colonial palaces of the 18th century to celebrity hangouts of the 1950s." 


Well, Boz, . . . Next time!

Me, I'm going to the Dollar Tree on San Pablo an get a couple cans of "The Original Sloppy Joe's Sauce." Some good ground beef, the sauce, hamburger buns, just the thing during the game.

















Councilman Laurie Capitelli emails--excerpt

Family Art Day at Berkeley Art Center

Drop-in Art-making Day. Free. Saturday, March 2, 2013, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St. Berkeley in Live Oak Park

Enjoy a range of art activities for all ages, led by BUSD teachers in Berkeley Art Center's beautiful gallery space and reception patio. Light snacks and beverages provided. Program offered free of charge to the general public, no reservations required, simply drop-in for a fun afternoon for the whole family!

full email here





"Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" is an internet only show with Seinfeld hamming it up with old buddies while driving to restaurants and having coffee and eats. So far, I watched four episodes and at times was "on the floor laughing." (The featured Reiner/Brooks episode is really a homage.) I laughed hardest while watching Alec Baldwin, Brian Regan and Larry David. But the ten minutes with buddy, Joel Hodgson are particularly good. Seinfeld breaks up often and it seems genuine and is sweet. Something about old friends laughing together. There are ten episodes altogether. All can be viewed by clicking on ribbon of thumbnails under the Reiner/Brooks feature.


"Jerry Seinfeld: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" at telegraph.co.uk.

"Jerry Seinfeld's new comedy Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is an internet only show and has featured Ricky Gervais and Larry David."


"Jerry Seinfeld's 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' will return for Season 2" at examiner.com.

"Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has decided to move forward with a second season of his web series 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.'

The New York Times reported Sunday that Seinfeld and Sony Pictures Television will produce a total of 24 new episodes for Season 2, to be released this spring.

Unlike the first ten episodes, which were available for free without advertisements at Crackle and comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com, the goal of the new season is to actually make a profit.

'This next go-round we're going to have to figure out some sort of revenue stream, so it makes more sense,' Seinfeld told the Times.
Steve Mosko, the president of Sony Pictures Television, explained that some sort of sponsorship is likely to be attached to the new batch of episodes, as long as the advertising makes sense. 'What's missing in developing programming for the Internet is patience, trying to get it right,' he explained. 'We're both looking at this as a long-term investment.'

Each episode of the series features Seinfeld having free flowing conversations with other comics while traveling in vintage cars to a restaurant for coffee."


My sense is with these new episodes plus the Netflix "House of Cards" production we have reached a tipping point in video presntation--TV less and less the dominate source.





our Darryl Moore emails--excerpt

Give Kids A Smile Day

Lifelong Dental Care is having a free dental day on February 23rd between 9am and 3pm at their clinic at 1860 Alcatraz Ave for children up to 20 years of age.  Children can receive check-ups, cleanings, or other necessary dental work (X-rays, teeth cleaning, extraction, root canal treatment, fillings, crowns and bridges).  Government photo ID and insurance (if available) documentation is recommended to bring. To register/make an appointment, contact Vanessa Gutierrez at 510-981-4236.

full email here





"UC Berkeley students launch online marketplace" Virgie Hoban at dailycal.org.

"A group of UC Berkeley students recently launched an online marketplace for students in an effort to facilitate smoother exchanges within the campus community.
Buy Near Me - which uses the URL buynear.me - is a Craigslist spinoff tailored to students looking to buy and sell discounted items to other locals. The website has garnered more than 10,000 page views since its launch last December.

Looking to replace inefficient business dealings over Facebook, Buy Near Me instead uses Facebook to invite groups and friends to view what their friends are selling and share interesting finds to their walls."







"Man shot dead on busy Berkeley street" by Doug Oakley, Oakland Tribune.

 "A midmorning shooting left one man dead on a busy street here and police were canvassing the west side neighborhood for clues.
The victim was pronounced dead at an area hospital around noon after Albany paramedics worked on him for about a half-hour on the scene at 1080 Delaware St. between San Pablo Avenue and Tenth Street, police said."

When we arrivedjust after 11 AM, present were 4-5 radio cars, many uniforms, detectives, a crime scene unit, an ambulance, paramedics, and a crowd.

















Just THE startup for west-Berkeley?!

"Is This Solar-Powered Half-Electric Bicycle With A Roof The Future Of Transportation?" at fastcoexist.com.

"The Elf, which just finished a massive run on Kickstarter, combines the best elements of an electric car, a motorcycle, and a bicycle, and it's manufactured right here in the U.S. There's something for everyone to love.

It's part bike, part car, part solar power, part human power. And--thanks in part to a massively successful Kickstarter drive that ended this week--it's headed to a street near you.

The Elf is what's called a velomobile, a pedal-powered mini-car, typically in the design of a recumbent tricycle with a shell over it to protect you from the elements. While they're fairly popular for commuting and biking with cargo in bike-obsessed parts of the world like Northern Europe, if you haven't heard of them yet, don't sweat it.

'The U.S. market is really unaware of this type of vehicle--of velomobiles--and we are kind of bringing it to the masses,' explains Alix Bowman, director of communications at Organic Transit, the startup behind The Elf. The novelty--combined with the high price of gas, and need for more diverse solutions to environmentally friendly commuting--made the Elf a hit with the Kickstarter community who threw $225,789 at the product, more than twice its goal of $100,000.

The design boasts a bevy of features that could have persuaded urbanists, design enthusiasts, environmentalists, and cyclists to open their wallets. Like other electric bicycles, the Elf lets riders effortlessly switch between 100% pedal power, 100% motor power, or some combination of the two. 'I like to get going a little bit with the motor, and then I start pedaling, and let the pedaling takeover,' says Bowman. Or, you might let the motor kick in if you're headed up a hill or 'if you don't want to arrive looking like you just biked there,' she adds.

While the pedals work just like any old bike, the motor is activated by a hand throttle similar to a motorcycle. And it runs on a 480-watt lithium battery that recharges quickly--in two hours when detached and plugged in to the wall--or slowly, over the course of the day when left in the sun, thanks to the Elf's roof-mounted solar panels.

A fully charged motor will move the Elf 30 miles. Its recycled aluminum frame supports a whopping 350 pounds of cargo in a rear compartment. And since the Elf is technically a bike under federal law--its electric motor maxes out at 20 miles per hour to meet the definition--riders can use it on bike lanes, trails, and anywhere else bikes are allowed (although your state or city might have its own rules).

Produced by a team of designers led by CEO Rob Cotter, The Elf will be made in downtown Durham, North Carolina-- for now. 'What we're trying to do here in Durham is develop a model 'a-bike-factory-in-a-box' model, where we are trying to design a facility capable of producing 1,000 units a month. Once we see what that looks like, we want to be able to replicate that anywhere,' Bowman says. From Durham, the goal is to expand to a network of workshop-cum-dealerships assembling Elfs (Elves?) across the country and possibly the globe."







"Lawrence Berkeley lab evacuated over bomb threat" mercurynews.com.

"Authorities have evacuated an Emeryville office building used by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory after a reported bomb threat.

University of California, Berkeley Police Lt. Eric Tejada said lab officials notified police about the threat around 7 a.m. Wednesday. Officers were sweeping the building and have brought in five bomb-sniffing dogs.

Tejada would not say how the threat came in.

UC Berkeley runs the lab under a contract with the federal government. The lab's main campus is in Berkeley.
Tejada says in addition to UC Berkeley Police, officers from the Department of Homeland Security and the Emeryville and Oakland police [were] all at the scene."



"Girlfriend grieves for man shot and killed on Berkeley street" Doug Oakley, mercurynews.com.

"The girlfriend of a man shot to death Monday morning on a busy Berkeley street was grieving with her sons at home on Tuesday, a block away from where the man died.

Teena Alexander said the slain man, 34-year-old Zontee Jones, was comforted by her son and his friend as he lay dying on the pavement in front of an apartment complex on Delaware Street, near San Pablo Avenue. Jones lived in Berkeley and Richmond, she said. "




Berkeley PD Ofc Stephanie Polizziani emails--excerpt

The City of Berkeley Police
Department is announcing the arrest of James Craig Davis, 33 years old,
of San Pablo, for the January 6, 2013 armed robbery of Mechanics Bank
on Solano Avenue.

On Thursday, January 6, 2013, at approximately 9:23 a.m., BPD officers
responded to Mechanics Bank on Solano Avenue for a reported armed
robbery. Officers determined the suspect entered the bank, displayed a
handgun, and demanded cash from a teller. The suspect fled the bank
with an undisclosed amount of cash.

BPD Robbery Detectives immediately obtained bank security photos of
the suspect, and distributed them to law enforcement agencies in the
region. Within a day, a Deputy Sheriff employed by the Marin County
Sheriff's Office notified BPD detectives that he recognized the suspect
depicted in the bank security photos. BPD Detectives continued their
investigation, ultimately identifying the suspect in the case as James
Craig Davis, 33, of San Pablo. BPD detectives obtained an arrest
warrant, and had it entered into state and national databases on January
22, 2013.

Later that same date, a Deputy Sheriff contacted Davis during a traffic
stop in Platte County Missouri. The deputy determined Davis was
wanted for the Berkeley robbery, and placed him into custody without
incident, and notified BPD Detectives. Davis has been extradited to
California to face the robbery charge.

















Tomorrow our Mayor, the Honorable Tom Bates celebrates his 75th Birthday.









Tuesday evening, Berkeley PD gave their 2012 crime report to a City Council Special Meeting--the meeting lasted roughly an hour and twenty minutes. All council members were present except Jesse Arreguin and Chris Worthington--however, Councilman Worthington was on a phone-link from Las Vegas.

The meeting was cordial with all members expressing appreciation for the work of the Berkeley Police Department.

The report was given by Chief Meehan and Captains Greenwood and Upson. It was thorough and detailed. Sadly, citywide crime was up 11% from 2012, but was accounted for largely by the property crimes of larceny, burglary and auto buglary. Yet West-Berkeley experienced a drop in auto burglary mostly as result of private security in the Marina and, of course, the work of our Area Commander, Lt Dave Frankel.

Councilwoman Maio expressed concern over the homicide on Delaware Street feeling that it might have been prevented if proaction had been taken, as the victim was known to have frequented an area's "trouble house." (The Department has often advocated proaction though historically the council has lagged behind the Department.)

The session ended with an about fifteen minute presentation of recommendations by a community group. Among them the filtering of "burglar" alarm calls so officers would not be needlessly dispatched to false alarms. They also recommended that crime stats of the UC Police be combined with those of BPD so a fuller picture of crime in Our Town be available.

All in all, I thought it a productive hour and a half.








Tsk, tsk "Fox News Claims Solar Won't Work in America Because It's Not Sunny Like Germany," Will Oremus, slate.com.

link courtesy Bob Kubik

Just another sun-soaked afternoon

in Pillnitz, eastern Germany

"Thanks to Fox News and its expert commentators, millions of Americans now understand the real, hidden reason why Germany's solar-energy industry is so much further along than ours. Turns out it has nothing to do with the fact that Germany's government has long supported the industry far more generously, with policies like feed-in tariffs that stimulate investment in green technologies. No, the real reason is much simpler, explained a trio of journalists on Fox & Friends: It's always sunny in Germany



"Europe consuming more coal" by Michael Birnbaum at washingtonpost.com.

"Green-friendly Europe has a dirty secret: It is burning a lot more coal.

Europe's use of the fossil fuel spiked last year after a long decline, powered by a surge of cheap U.S. coal on global markets and by the unintended consequences of ambitious climate policies that capped emissions and reduced reliance on nuclear energy.

The new dependence on one of the dirtiest fuels shows just how challenging it is to maintain the momentum needed to go green, analysts and officials say, and demonstrates the far-reaching effects of America's natural gas boom.

In the United States, natural gas is now frequently less expensive than coal for power, so demand for the hard, black fuel has plummeted. "














Happy Birthday Boz!



"Berkeley Symphony review: Lutoslawski cello piece" Joshua Kosman at sfgate.com.

"Soloist Lynn Harrell and Berkeley Symphony were superb in Witold Lutoslawski's Cello Concerto.

The great Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski was born 100 years ago last month, and we can only hope for a centennial outpouring of his gritty, brilliantly theatrical music throughout the year. Music Director Joana Carneiro and the Berkeley Symphony got the ball rolling in Zellerbach Hall on Thursday night with a superb performance of the composer's 1970 Cello Concerto, with Lynn Harrell as soloist.

Written for Mstislav Rostropovich - like pretty much every work of consequence composed for the instrument in the latter half of the 20th century - Lutoslawski's concerto is at once richly expressive and oddly private. The tension between those two strains is established in the work's long cadenza-like opening, a stretch of several minutes during which the orchestra is completely silent."

The Rostropovich recording is available here.


A video of Nicolas Altstaedt playing the First movement with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra is here. Compelling!



"Gershwin musical comes to Berkeley Rep in June" by Karen D'Souza af the San Jose Mercury News.

"Who could ask for anything more? In 's wonderful news for fans of the great American songbook, Berkeley Repertory Theatre will present the musical 'George Gershwin Alone.'

Starring Hershey Felder as the iconic composer, this tuneful 90-minute show is a valentine to the life and work of the music legend." 




Why am I not surprised that "Intelligent civilizations rarer than one in a million" Robert Sanders, Media Relations UC Berkeley.

Lynette Cook photo

"Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have now used the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to look for intelligent radio signals from planets around 86 of these stars. While discovering no telltale signs of life, the researchers calculate that fewer than one in a million stars in the Milky Way Galaxy have planetary civilizations advanced enough to transmit beacons we could detect."





















Last month I posted I story about a San Diego owner of a "medical marijuana" facility who arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison for illegal sales. "Federal law enforcement" is still active is California with Berkeley no exception.


I was told recently that 40 Acres, an unregistered "medical marijuana" facility on San Pablo, was closing, though as of a few days ago its door was open with a guard in front.



"Laotians top growers of pot on Calif. farmland" Gosia Wozniaka, Associated Press at sfgate.com.

"Last fall, narcotics agents confiscated thousands of marijuana plants, many 10 feet tall, from a 140-acre farm just on the edge of Fresno - one of the biggest pot busts in the county's history. The pot grew hidden among rows of rotting peppers, tomatoes and bitter melons, tended by a dozen immigrant farming families.

Deputies detained 50 people, all of whom were lowland Laotians, a refugee population from southeast Asia that has made its home in California's Central Valley over the past three decades. Investigators say that some of these traditional vegetable growers have become increasingly involved in well-organized medical marijuana growing schemes, with the aim of selling the drug commercially.

The Laotians' involvement has expanded in recent years, with the move toward growing pot in California's agricultural heartland. Now, authorities say, people from this relatively small community account for much of the pot growing in backyards and on prime farmland, while Mexican drug traffickers dominate grows in the forests of surrounding mountains."




A week ago today, I was "attacked" in Orchard Supply.

While mid-day wandering down an isle shopping, I was confronted by a tall white man who stopped facing me blocking the isle with his cart, yelling that I was the devil that he would "turn my curse on him" back onto me, and he then proceeded with what can best be described as a wild eyed "incantation" often delivered "in tongues," arms flailing and punctuated with violent thrusts of his shopping cart, nicking me with it several times. This went on for a minute or so until I left. A few minutes later I encountered him again as I wandered further down the isle, the yelling, flailing and pushing repeated.

He looked very much like the man who a week before stopped in front of the warehouse while a half dozen or so of us were seated talking. He asked if this was a "check point" and then began lecturing about democracy in west-Berkeley and about a community meeting that he had recently attended where he felt "the people" were best represented by one of our Potter Creek activists. As his lecture became more rambling, Gerard interrupted him and walked him toward the Berkeley Bowl.

Veeery freakie!

The guy was white, over six feet tall, in his forties, with brown hair and was a bit scruffy.

By the way, one of the recommendations made at the Berkeley PD presentation to the City Council Tuesday was that mental health programs focus more on the potential violent and by doing so hopefully reduce violence.



This week most days, our site had between 5,000 and 6,000 hits.




"Emeryville Building evacuated after bomb threat given all-clear, streets reopened" by Doug Oakley and Daniel M. Jimenez,
Bay Area News Group.

"A biotechnology building evacuated early in the day was given the all-clear Wednesday afternoon after a bomb threat prompted a six-hour search. Police re-opened the EmeryStation East Building at 5885 Hollis Street, as well as streets surrounding the building, at about 1 p.m., after a bomb threat brought emergency crews from four agencies to the building.

Trains were halted on nearby tracks, and streets in a two-block perimeter around the area were closed to traffic and pedestrians.No details were released about the nature of the bomb threat but the threat was specific enough to be taken seriously, said UC Berkeley police Lt. Eric Tejada."





"Susan Crawford on Why U.S. Internet Access is Slow, Costly and Unfair" is a Bill Moyers video conversation.

"Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation, and author of 'Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age', joins Bill to discuss how our government has allowed a few powerful media conglomerates to put profit ahead of the public interest - rigging the rules, raising prices, and stifling competition. As a result, Crawford says, all of us are at the mercy of the biggest business monopoly since Standard Oil in the first Gilded Age a hundred years ago.

'The rich are getting gouged, the poor are very often left out, and this means that we're creating, yet again, two Americas, and deepening inequality through this communications inequality,' Crawford tells Bill."























is the Year of the Snake

Years of the Snake have not always been kind.

Year of the Snake 1941--after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the US enters WWII.

Year of the Snake 1989--the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army mobilizes, clears Tiananman Square of demonstrators and arrests students and others inflicting thousands of casualties.

Year of the Snake 2001--with al-Qaeda's attacks on the continental US at the cost of thousands of lives, the war on terror begins.



CBS News Face the Nation presents a chilling video-conversation about cyberwar with Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Wilson Center President Jane Harman, CSIS expert James Lewis and CBS News' Justice and Homeland Security Correspondent Bob Orr on the threat cyberattacks pose to the U.S.


And the Washington Post reports "U.S. said to be target of massive cyber-espionage campaign.
A new intelligence assessment has concluded that the United States is the target of a massive, sustained cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening the country's economic competitiveness, according to individuals familiar with the report.

The National Intelligence Estimate identifies China as the country most aggressively seeking to penetrate the computer systems of American businesses and institutions to gain access to data that could be used for economic gain.

The report, which represents the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, describes a wide range of sectors that have been the focus of hacking over the past five years, including energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotives, according to the individuals familiar with the report, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the classified document. The assessment does not quantify the financial impact of the espionage, but outside experts have estimated it in the tens of billions of dollars."





"Okay" pronounced as we do even in different languages, is a word known around the world. Yet there is no consensus on its origins. Several possibilities exist.





"Former Mill Valley Radio Producer Creates Documentary on Album Art called 'The Cover Story' " a video interview at nbcbayarea.com by Joe Rosato Jr.

"Who among us doesn't have a few old-school record albums squirreled away in the closet somewhere?  Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass with the naked woman covered in whipped cream? The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in all its psychedelic glory?

Does anyone even remember records?

It's hard for Eric Christensen to forget them, especially when he has more than 20,000 sitting as reminders in his Mill Valley home.
He's been acquiring them since he was first bitten by the rock-and-roll bug as a kid in the '50s. At first it was the bands that drew him in; the Beatles, the Stones.  But gradually, like the acceptance of broccoli, his tastes changed.

'I used to collect only for the music,' Christensen said this week, leaning on his wall of records. 'Now I collect for the cover.' "


Album Cover, is a history at wikipedia.org.



But before the 1960s rock covers, there were the Pablo Picasso covers.





















With the local coverage of Da Boz and Ms Boz' visit to the Communist Island Paradise of Cuba, I'm reminded of my favorite book about the island  "Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution." 

Though Meyer Lansky and his partners could figure out how to buy a country and to run it for profit, seems they missed the coming of its revolution.

Don't feel bad for the mobsters though. They lost a country but bought a state right here next store. And remember in their business . . . it's location, location, location.

Publishers Weekly "Old Havana mambos on the brink of the abyss in this chron'cle of Cuba in the decades before the 1959 revolution. True-crime writer English (Paddy Whacked) presents an empire-building saga in which the 'Havana Mob" of American gangsters, led by visionary financier Meyer Lansky, controlled Cuba. Empowered by permissive gambling laws and payoffs to dictator Fulgencio Batista, the Mafia poured millions into posh hotels, casinos and nightclubs, skimmed huge profits and sought to make Havana its financial headquarters. The results: exuberant nightlife, a giddy Afro-Cuban jazz scene, sordid backroom sex shows and the occasional grisly gangland hit. English revels in purple prose ("the island seethed like a bitch with a low-grade fever") and decadent details, including an orgy with Frank Sinatra and a bevy of prostitutes that was interrupted by autograph-seeking Girl Scouts and a nun. But his estimate of the importance of the Havana mob and its 'showdown' with Castro's puritanical rebels seems inflated. More supplicant than suzerain to Batista, the mob focused on internecine feuds and paid little attention to the brewing insurrection. The casinos, hotels and nightclubs were all the mob owned-but they sure threw one hell of a party." 

" Communist Party of Cuba" wikipedia.org

"The Communist Party of Cuba (Spanish: Partido Comunista de Cuba, PCC) is the governing political party in Cuba. It is a communist party of the Marxist-Leninist model. The Cuban constitution ascribes the role of the Party to be the 'leading force of society and of the state'. As of April 2011, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba is Raúl Castro, the President of Cuba, younger brother of the previous First Secretary and President of Cuba, Fidel Castro, and the Second Secretary is José Ramón Machado Ventura. . . .

Compared with other ruling Communist Parties, such as the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Communist Party of China and the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, the Communist Party of Cuba retains a stricter adherence to the tradition of Marxism-Leninism and the traditional Soviet model.

The Cuban party is more deeply committed to the concept of socialism than other ruling parties and has been more reluctant in engaging in market reforms though it has been forced to accept some market measures in its economy due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the resultant loss of economic subsidies. The Communist Party of Cuba has favored supporting revolutions abroad and was active in assisting the ELN in Colombia, the FMLN in El Salvador, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and Maurice Bishop's New Jewel Movement in Grenada.[citation needed] Their most significant international role was in Angola where the Cuban direction of a joint Angolan/Soviet/Cuban force that was involved in the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale. This led to the withdrawal of intervening forces and, in the following peace agreement, the independence of Namibia from South African rule.

It has largely been forced to retreat from this policy due to a lack of funds resulting from the halt of material aid from the Soviet Union. However, the party maintains a policy of sending thousands of Cuban doctors, agricultural technicians, and other professionals to other countries throughout the developing world. More recently the party has sought to support left wing leaders such as Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia."


Our Mayor, Tom Bates and his wife, State Senator, Loni Hancock will be talking about their visit on Sunday February 24th from 1 to 3 PM at Redwood Gardens, 2951 Derby St. Community Room, Berkeley, CA 94705.



I've taken the liberty of reposting my last week's [ 2/10/13 ] Orchard Supply encounter, my first draft not fulling capturing the "discomfort."

"While mid-day wandering down an isle shopping, I was confronted by a tall white man who stopped facing me, blocking the isle with his cart, yelling that I was the devil that he would 'turn my curse on him' back onto me, and he then proceeded with what can best be described as a wild-eyed 'incantation' often delivered 'in tongues,' arms flailing and punctuated with violent thrusts of his shopping cart, nicking me with it several times. This went on for a minute or so until I left. A few minutes later I encountered him again as I wandered further down the isle, the yelling, flailing and pushing repeated."

I haven't experienced this kind of hatred, laced with fear in years.





"Motorcycle lane-splitting rules unveiled" Will Kane at sfgate.com.

"Motorcyclists who slide between cars on crowded Bay Area roads and zip to where they're going faster than everyone else - while infuriating more than a few drivers - now have the official blessing of the California Highway Patrol.

The practice, called lane-splitting, has always been legal in California. But state authorities have never, until now, told motorcyclists how to weave the white line safely.

California is the only state in the country where lane-splitting is legal."


CHP's Lane Splitting General Guidelines

"Lane splitting in a safe and prudent manner is not illegal in the state of California.

The term lane splitting, sometimes known as lane sharing, filtering or white-lining, refers to the process of a motorcyclist riding between lanes of stopped or slower moving traffic or moving between lanes to the front of traffic stopped at a traffic light.

Motorcyclists who are competent enough riders to lane split, should follow these general guidelines if choosing to lane split . . . "

Guidelines here.


I never lanesplit. Always figured it was God's way of thinning out Human-kind.
























1948 Delahaye 135 M

photo courtesy of Clff Miller

Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet Narval 




BPD Sergeant Cesar Melero emails

Lieutenant Dave Frankel of the Berkeley Police Department is the Area 4 Commander and he invites anyone who wishes to have coffee with him to join him at, Berkeley Bowl West Cafe, 920 Heinz Ave., Berkeley, Friday, February 15th, 2013, from 1 to 2pm
Sergeant Cesar Melero
Berkeley Police Department
Operations Division




"Hurdles, rewards for neighborhood blogs" Caleb Garling at sfgate.com.

"Big media companies trying to cash in on hyper-local news - information that's sometimes specific down to a couple of intersections in a big city - have not found the endeavor very profitable.

But, despite navigating the same economic concerns, myriad hyper-local blogs run by citizen journalists are thriving in San Francisco - though mostly as labors of love, where the bottom line is not the primary concern.

In just the past week, two big, locally focused digital sites reported bad news.

On Thursday, EveryBlock, a network of neighborhood blogs owned by NBC, shut its doors. The site had received a grant from the Knight Foundation, an organization that promotes innovation in media. After EveryBlock's closure, NBC acknowledged that it was tough to make money.

Then, during an earnings call Friday, AOL reported that Patch, its competitor to EveryBlock, is losing money. But CEO Tim Armstrong said he remains committed to the business.

Patch does not have a network in San Francisco, but it does in South San Francisco and the East Bay. That may be at least partly because of the neighborhood blogs that already exist."




"Albany: Bay Trail property dispute leads to court" by Damin Esper at contracostatimes.com.

"For years, many have dreamed of the completion of the Bay Trail, encircling San Francisco Bay, giving complete, unbroken access to joggers, bicyclists and others. One key portion of the Bay Trail, a strip of land behind the grandstand of Golden Gate Fields, is the subject of an eminent domain action by the East Bay Regional Park District and the next court date, although not set yet, appears to be coming up soon."





Looks like A Bagels Inc is moving into the space at Dwight and San Pablo, and with a serious property upgrade--this is the former location of Bacheeso's.


"A la Carte: Sliver and Jules Thin Crust in Berkeley" Jackie Burrell, mercurynews.com.

"Just a sliver: There's a pizza renaissance unfolding in Berkeley, home of Cheese Board, Gioia, Emilia's, Zachary's and scores more. Danville's Jules Thin Crust will be opening an outpost this spring in the storefront previously occupied by Las Palmas (5804 College Ave.). Heather and Jeff Clapp's signature longboard-shaped pizzas are topped with colorful mixes of ingredients, including artichoke hearts, apple and asparagus, for example, or fig jam, Gorgonzola and prosciutto. Jules has been a big hit in Danville; now the Clapps are looking to score a similar success right across the street from Zachary's.

Meanwhile, in downtown Berkeley, the pizza de resistance is Sliver Pizzeria, launched by
Danville's Jules Thin Crust will be opening an outpost this spring in Berkeley."




"Early phases of construction begin for BAM/PFA" by Aimee Chang, newscenter.berkeley.edu.


"Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California (BAM/PFA)" announces two exhibitions, e-flux.com.

"Anna Halprin / MATRIX 246 and Apichatpong Weerasethakul / MATRIX 247"




"SF Symphony wins Grammy for music by Berkeley resident" at dailycal.org.

"The San Francisco Symphony and music director Michael Tilson Thomas received a Grammy Sunday night for their live performance of two musical pieces written by acclaimed Berkeley resident John Adams.

The symphony's modern rendition of 'Harmonielehre' and 'Short Ride in a Fast Machine,' composed in the 1980s, won for Best Orchestral Performance."




"Shotgun Players presents 'I Look Like An Egg, but I Identify As A Cookie' " at heathergold.com.

"A fabulous theatre that I've always wanted to play ­ Shotgun Players will bring my interactive baking comedy 'I Look Like An Egg, but I Identify As A Cookie' back to the Bay Area on April 8th and 9th, 2013.

Shotgun Players is an amazing theatre that has a huge following and sells out every show. They do really interesting stuff, really focus on younger and new audiences, keep tickets affordable and do unusually savvy stuff like repaint their entire building with a great design that goes with each major show in their season." 


Though the funniest are "serious ", still check out "Top 5 Berkeley-inspired humor websites" Erum Khan, dailycal.org.

"If you have a professor who doesn't mind laptops open during lecture, we know you've been tempted to open that AirBears connected browser and click the boredom away. So if you're going to take a bite of the forbidden Internet fruit, at least be more creative than just Facebook and open some fun sites! We at the Clog are offering a wacky version of school spirit with the following suggestions. . . . "








"Remedy Health Media and the University of California, Berkeley Partnering to Launch Online Health Resource BerkeleyWellness.com" at prweb.com.

"Remedy Health Media, America's fastest growing health information and technology company, announces the expansion of its 28-year partnership with the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) to launch BerkeleyWellness.com, an innovatively designed, expert-reviewed, online health resource providing trustworthy wellness information to consumers.

BerkeleyWellness.com, live today, focuses on wellness news and information, including fitness, self-care and nutrition. BerkeleyWellness.com features interactive multiple-page experiences that drive high-value engagement. The site incorporates quizzes and assessments, beautiful slide shows, email alerts and social media feeds, as well as roundtables and video chats with UC Berkeley's experts."  




"UC Berkeley researchers find connection between air pollution and lower birth weights" Alyssa Neumann, dailycal.org.

"A study co-authored by UC Berkeley researchers found that women who are exposed to more air pollution while pregnant have an increased risk of giving birth to underweight babies.

The study, Particulate Air Pollution and Fetal Growth, was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives last Wednesday and analyzed the effects of air pollution on more than 3 million babies born between the late 1990s and mid-2000s.

The data from the study were aggregated from 14 different sites, giving researchers more confidence in the accuracy of their findings, said Tracey Woodruff, a co-author of the study and director of the UC San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.

'What makes the study unique is that the bulk of (air pollution) studies are on cardiovascular disease,' said Rachel Morello-Frosch, a study co-author and UC Berkeley professor in the College of Natural Resources. 'Only recently have we started to look at birth outcomes. Mothers are a unique population that need to be taken into consideration.'

Morello-Frosch said the centers analyzed fine particulate matters from traffic, factories, power plants and larger particles that came from dust, roadways and fires.

With a pollution level of around 29 micrograms per cubic meter, California's air pollution was more than the state standard for particulate matter and more than that of Connecticut, New Jersey and Atlanta.

The study also found the highest levels of air pollution in Seoul and Sao Paolo, while the lowest pollution levels were in Vancouver.
Woodruff added that a low birth weight can have long-term medical effects on the infant."




"Scientists create automated 'time machine' to reconstruct ancient languages" Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations UC Berkeley.

"Ancient languages hold a treasure trove of information about the culture, politics and commerce of millennia past. Yet, reconstructing them to reveal clues into human history can require decades of painstaking work. Now, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have created an automated "time machine," of sorts, that will greatly accelerate and improve the process of reconstructing hundreds of ancestral languages.

Computer scientists have reconstructed ancient Proto-Austronesian, which gave rise to languages spoken in Polynesia, among other places
In a compelling example of how 'big data' and machine learning are beginning to make a significant impact on all facets of knowledge, researchers from UC Berkeley and the University of British Columbia have created a computer program that can rapidly reconstruct 'proto-languages' ­ the linguistic ancestors from which all modern languages have evolved. These earliest-known languages include Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Afroasiatic and, in this case, Proto-Austronesian, which gave rise to languages spoken in Southeast Asia, parts of continental Asia, Australasia and the Pacific."






"Days Gone By, Berkeley 1923, Hundreds of homes burn as fire races down the hills" by Nilda Rego at mercurynews.com.

"We must have been talking about scary things the day I visited my Aunt Rina on Kains Avenue in Berkeley, and she told me about the day a big black cloud of smoke headed toward her home.

Fire was roaring down the hills toward West Berkeley. She put her two infant sons in a buggy and raced toward the bay. She told me the story some 24 years ago, and the memory returned recently as I looked through old newspapers.
'1,000 Berkeley Homes Burned,' read the Oakland Tribune headline Sept. 18, 1923.

My aunt didn't tell me that. She only remembered the wind changed, and she could return home.











1923 Berkeley Fire

September 17, 1923

The 1923 Berkeley Fire was a conflagration which consumed some 640 structures, including 584 homes in the densely-built neighborhoods north of the campus of the University of Californiain Berkeley, California on September 17, 1923.

Although the exact cause was never determined, the fire began in the undeveloped chaparraland grasslands of Wildcat Canyon, just east of the ridgeline of the Berkeley Hills, and was propelled over the ridge and southwestward just south of Codornices Creek by a strong, gusty, and intensely dry northeasterly wind.

The fire quickly blew up as it swept through the La Loma Park and Northside neighborhoods of Berkeley, overwhelming the capabilities of the Berkeley Fire Department to stop it. A number of UC students fought the advance of the fire as it approached the north edge of the University of California campus at Hearst Avenue. The other edge of the fire was fought by firefighters as it advanced on downtown Berkeley along the east side of Shattuck Avenue north of University Avenue. Firefighters were rushed in from neighboring Oakland while San Francisco sent firefighters by ferry across the bay. The fire was halted when the gusty northeast wind was suddenly stopped by the cool, humid afternoon seabreeze.

As a result of this fire, the City of Berkeley established a fire station in the hills on Shasta Road just below Grizzly Peak Blvd. In the early 2000's, this station was replaced and relocated to a nearby site just above Grizzly Peak Blvd. on the interface between the residential area and Tilden Regional Park, very close to the putative origin of the 1923 fire.

Two minute film of fire here












eternally useful links


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

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



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

useful link

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




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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.



Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com

Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com


Our City Council update is here.

Our Planning Commision update is here




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



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

The contacts are below:

Our Area Coordinator, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.

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

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

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






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