"The Comedian Harmonists were an internationally
famous, all-male German close harmony ensemble that performed
between 1928 and 1934 as one of the most successful musical groups
in Europe before World War II. The group consisted of Harry Frommermann
(tenor buffo), Asparuh 'Ari' Leschnikoff (first tenor), Erich
Collin (second tenor), Roman Cycowski (baritone), Robert Biberti
(bass), and Erwin Bootz (pianist).
The hallmark of the Comedian Harmonists was its
members' ability to blend their voices together so that the individual
singers could appear and disappear back into the vocal texture.
Its repertoire was wide, ranging from the folk and classical songs
arranged by Frommermann to appealing and witty popular songs of
the day by writers such as Peter Igelhoff, Werner Richard Heymann
and Paul Abraham (composer)."
In 1927, unemployed actor Harry Frommermann was
inspired by The Revelers, a jazz-influenced popular vocal group
from the United States, to create a German group of the same format.
According to Douglas Friedman's book 'The Comedian Harmonists'
in August 1929 both groups appeared on the same bill at the Scala
in Berlin and became good friends. Frommermann held auditions
in his flat on Stubenrauchstraße 47 in Berlin-Friedenau,
and, once the group was assembled, it quickly began rehearsals.
After some initial failures, the Harmonists soon found success,
becoming popular throughout Europe, visiting the United States,
and appearing in 21 films.
Comedian Harmonists singing "Wochenend Und
Harmonists (1997), a film
"Comedian Harmonists tells the story of a famous,
German male sextet, five vocals and piano, the 'Comedian Harmonists',
from the day they meet first in 1927 to the day in 1934, when
they become banned by the upcoming Nazis, because three of them
Berlin, Germany, 1927. Harry Frommermann is a poor,
but talented musician writing his own pieces and dreaming of the
big success. When he goes to the store nearby and listens to new
records he is so deeply fascinated by the tunes that he doesn't
even realize that Erna, the young employee, adores him. When the
day comes where he can barely afford the food for his parrot,
it is time to do something about his situation. He launches a
newspaper ad looking for company to found a singing group. He
gets to know Robert Biberti and both seem to be on the same level.
Soon four other fellows are found. A concept evolves and rehearsal
Berlin in 1928: Young actor and musician Harry Frommermann
has the idea of creating a German version of the American a-cappella
band 'The Revellers'. He then publishes an advertisement in a
newspaper and soon has formed a group out of singers Robert Biberti,
Erich Collin, Ari Leschnikoff and Roman Cyckowski as well as pianist
Erwin Bootz. After a long time of rehearsing and failures 'The
Comedian Harmonists', as the group calls her, achieve a huge popularity,
success and wealth in Germany as well as Europe and even the United
The group's trademark are not only brilliant singing
performances, it's mostly their talent to imitate music instruments
so that the audience gets the impression of listening to a whole
orchestra playing while indeed the only real instrument is the
piano. However, after years of immense success first problems
appear with the beginning of the Nazi period, because three of
the group's members are Jews and so soon are forbidden to perform
The movie portrays the rising of stars, the sparkling
side but also the shadows of their success and finally their fall,
being destroyed by politics and a mad government. Very entertaining,
very moving and brilliantly acted. "
Comedian Harmonists (Die Comedien Harmonists), (1977 documentary)
In the late twenties Berlin gave the world a singing
sextet whose popularity, in today's terms, would rival that of
the Beatles. Now all but forgotten, the Comedian Harmonists were
the rage until politics busted them up in 1935, when the group's
three Jewish members were forced to emigrate and the other three
musicians made the decision to remain in Germany. Like so many
riches from the cultural renaissance of Weimar Berlin, the legacy
of the Comedian Harmonists died with their music. Eberhard Fechner
has unearthed their story in the fourth and last film in his 'Panorama
of German History in This Century,' documentaries in which recent
German history is revealed in the lives of those who lived it.
It is not a series that focuses on the rich and famous, but if
the sounds of the much-loved singing troupe were entirely unique,
in a way their lives after 1935 were not: their story becomes
that of the German people-those who were to live their lives in
exile, and those who for reasons both complex and banal, remained
in Germany. Of the three Jews who emigrated, only one (a prominent
cantor in San Francisco and Los Angeles synagogues) achieved anything
remotely resembling the course of fame and artistic achievement
the Comedian Harmonists seemed destined to follow. But the three
who stayed made their own bargain with destiny: trying to accommodate
to the regime brought on their downfall as musicians and as menschen,
as their attempts to preserve the group with new members ended
in mutual accusations before the Gestapo, who in any case banned
their music after 1941. Fechner, in typical fashion, revives the
era through the eyes of the artists themselves (with the wives
of the two deceased members providing memories equally rich in
detail). "The Comedian Harmonists has to be experienced to
be believed," wrote Ronald Holloway in a 1977 Variety review.
'It pulls no punches and is highly critical without imposing a
private thesis upon the proceedings.'
Directed and Written by Eberhard Fechner. Photographed
by Rainer Schaeffer. Edited by Brigitte Kirsche. Music by the
The b&w photo is an early one of the original
"Wochenend Und Sonnenschein" is sung to
the tune "Happy Days are Here Again."
The Harmonists can be streamed on Netflix.
The Harmonists film and CD's of the Comedian Harmonists
for purchase, here.
The bald S.A character in The
Harmonists is Gauleiter of Franconia, Julius
The 1977 documentary, Die Comedien Harmonists ,
was shown at our Pacific Film Archive in the 1980s.
Baritone, Roman Cycowski immigrated to the U S and
was a cantor in San Francisco.
"Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking
Against U.S." at
"This 12-story building
on the outskirts of Shanghai is the headquarters of Unit 61398
of the People's Liberation Army. China's defense ministry has
denied that it is responsible for initiating digital attacks.
The building off Datong Road,
surrounded by restaurants, massage parlors and a wine importer,
is the headquarters of P.L.A. Unit 61398. A growing body of digital
forensic evidence - confirmed by American intelligence officials
who say they have tapped into the activity of the army unit for
years - leaves little doubt that an overwhelming percentage of
the attacks on American corporations, organizations and government
agencies originate in and around the white tower."
With increasing cyber attacks
on our Homeland and the counter attacks, and with the pending
use of domestic drones over the Homeland, we will fully experience
really for the first time at home, modern warfare.
"Synthetic biology: Stanford, UC Berkeley
engineering a new frontier" Lisa
M. Krieger at mercurynews.com.
"Most people look at the cedar in Drew Endy's front yard
and admire its graceful green boughs, heavy with needles, sap
and cones. Endy sees something much different: an industrial manufacturing
platform, waiting to be exploited.
'I dream we could someday
reprogram trees that could self-assemble a computer chip in your
front yard,' exudes the brilliant and intense Stanford University
scientist, who has emerged as a leading evangelist in the new
field of synthetic biology.
One gene at a time, Endy
and other elite teams of Bay Area scientists are striving to design
and build organisms unlike anything made by Mother Nature."
a reader from Germany writes
"Is there no revival
of this kind of music in the States?
On April 12th and 13th the
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester will perform at our new SF Jazz
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester
In the 1920s and early 30s,
Berlin was a roiling cauldron of creative energy where avant-garde
art movements intersected with popular culture, birthing theatrical
and musical forms that continue to influence our world today.
Walking a narrow line between madcap kitsch and sublime musicality,
Max Raabe and Palast Orchester evoke the heady, dancing-on-knife-point
mood of the Weimar Republic. A conservatory- trained baritone
besotted with the Weimar era vocal style exemplified by the Comedian
Harmonists, . . ."
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester
link courtesy Ron
and there always will be
Marlene Dietrich, die
POST FROM THE PAST
Weill and Bertolt BrechtThreepenny Opera.
January 11-15, 1958, at the Afifa Studio in Tempelhof, Berlin,
Columbia Records recorded a studio cast production of the complete
Kurt Weill and Bertolt BrechtThreepenny Opera. The recording
was done in German. Columbia released this recording as a two-record
set in 1958 as O2L 257 (Monaural) or O2S 201 (Stereo). Not only
was it the first 'complete' work of musical theater to be released
in stereo, but it also claimed to be the first complete recording
of the original Die Dreigroschenoper. The recording includes
music and linking dialogue.
Bertolt Brecht's politicized re-telling of John Gay's The Beggar's
Opera (1728). It is re-told to Kurt Weill's music, and Weill's
compositions make this a special event. Brecht's satire of decadent
society is set among beggars, thieves and prostitutes, yet some
of the songs- "Moritat," "Barbara-Lied"
and "Seeräuber-Jenny"-have virtually
become lieder. This recording presents these 'tunes' without
pretense. A colorful expressionist production, this is a world
filled with strongly drawn, often grotesque, cartoon characters.
It is a place where the singers irreverently belt out and growl
out their songs, and it is the home of a blaring honky-tonk band.
. . .
Weill and Bertolt BrechtThreepenny Opera. from Musical Theater on Record
END POST FROM THE
"UC Berkeley Study: Rich Get Richer, Poor Get
Kling at moneynews.com.
"While the rich got
richer during the economic recovery, most Americans saw their
Incomes for the top 1 percent
of earners increased 11.2 percent during the recovery from 2009
through 2011, and incomes for the other 99 percent declined 0.4
percent, according to report by Emmanuel Saez, an economist at
the University of California, Berkeley. "
"UC Berkeley researchers aim to revolutionize
e-books" at uwire.com.
"UC Berkeley students
in the campus's School of Information are collaborating to enhance
the efficiency of e-books in the hopes of revolutionizing the
accessibility of information among researchers and the general
Not interested in e-books,
then check out Caviar Communism,
Refecting on the Absurd in Berkeley--Or not.
"How Berkeley's Colorflow Graded a Sundance
at studiodaily.com is about Potter Creek's new film studio.
"The waterway referred
to in the title of A River Changes Course is the Tonle Sap in
Cambodia whose pattern of altering its course twice each year
has shaped the lives of local people for centuries. In producer-director
Kalyanee Mam's powerful documentary, which won the World Cinema
Grand Jury Prize in its debut at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival,
the river's ebb and flow also serves as a metaphor for changes
happening to three Cambodian families whose way of life is threatened
by globalization and environmental degradation.
Final color-grading and editorial
finishing for the film was completed at Colorflow, whose new Bay
Area post-production facility was designed specifically to meet
the needs of independent films like A River Changes Course. The
company pairs state-of-the-art post technology, including a 20-seat
DI theater with an Autodesk Lustre grading system, with a relaxed,
That combination provides
filmmakers like Mam with the tools to give their films a professional
finish in a setting that is free from the time and cost pressures
that often go hand-in-hand with finishing films in New York and
Los Angeles. 'The people at Colorflow were very supportive of
my film,' Mam says. 'It's wonderful to work with people who are
passionate about what they are doing.' "
"Oblivious walking, an unseen Berkeley
danger" at dailycal.org.
"So you are walking
to class through Telegraph, eating an ice cream sandwich from
CREAM, listening to music on your earbuds, texting your mom, wondering
if there will be a pop quiz today and rewording your newest thesis
in your head.
Some students in front of
you cross the street and you follow behind them, when all of a
sudden, you are staring down the front of a Jetta honking its
horn and coming 35 mph straight at you. Thank God you jumped back
onto the curb. According to data from the The Seattle Times, you
could have just become one of the 60,000 people that are in vehicle/pedestrian
accidents every year in the United States - or worse, one of the
4,000 fatalities that occur from such accidents.
We've seen these types of
scary incidents happen in Berkeley before. Last semester, a student
was hit crossing the street on the north side of campus.
We all do it, walking while
I'm a new rider from Berkeley.
. . . Hope to find a lot of good pointers from the veterans and
experienced riders here in the forum. Just signed the papers last
weekend and my new bike should be delivered by this weekend or
early next week.
Lt Dave Frankel emails
I am writing to inform you
that Berkeley Police Officer Rashawn Cummings has been selected
to fill the vacant Area 4 Coordinator's spot formerly occupied
by the newly promoted Sergeant Cesar Melero. His first day as
an Area Coordinator will be Thursday, 2/21/13. He can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 981-5774.
Officer Cummings has been a Berkeley Police Officer for approximately
10 years. During his tenure with the police department, he has
held special assignments in the Drug Task Force and the Bicycle
Patrol Unit. His collateral duties include Assistant Team Leader
on the Barricaded Subject Hostage Negotiation Team, Firearms and
Tactics Instructor and Field Training Officer.
Prior to joining the department in 2003, he attended Idaho State
University and graduated from California State University Hayward
with a Bachelor's degree in sociology.
I am looking forward to working closely with Officer Cummings
on Area 4 projects. Please join me in welcoming him to the Community
Lt Dave Frankel
Area 4 Commander
"Four beautiful moons, big mysteries, and
few answers any time soon"
link courtesy Bob
"During the last couple
of nights the moon and Jupiter have appeared close to one another
in the sky."
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester
"Dream a Little Dream" performance mit zeppelin
The Comedian Harmonists perform
Ellington's Creole Love Call, 1928.
"Peter Barnes' The Ruling Class" broadwayworld.com.
the third production in UC
Berkeley's Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
Main Stage 2012/2013 season, opens March 8 in Zellerbach Playhouse.
The work deals with Jack Gurney, a member of the upper class who
inherits his father's position of Earl. Jack's aristocratic family
expect him to use his new position to advance the household's
wealth and power, but Jack believes he's the "God of Love"
and wants to give the money away. Through increasingly brutal
means, his family attempt to cure him of his liberalism with hilarious
and terrifying results."
"A guy tells his psychologist, 'Nobody pays any attention
to me.' The doctor says, 'NEXT!' "
"Standoff ends; SWAT team leaves Berkeley
"A Berkeley Police SWAT
team ended a possible standoff early Thursday when it was determined
a person holed up inside a home was no threat to the public.
The incident began with officers responded to reports of shots
being fired from a car at that was driving on Addison St. around
After having been provided
the vehicle's license plate number, officers were able to trace
the car to the registered owner's home on Addison St. and Jefferson
Ave., just five blocks away from UC Berkeley campus.
Responding officers attempted
to contact the owner, but the man refused to respond. Around 10
p.m., a SWAT team was on scene and a police negotiator was attempting
to make contact with the man.
Once contact was made, officers
determined the man did not present a threat and the SWAT team
was withdrawn from the scene.
No injuries were reported in connection with the shooting."
" 'Secret Garden': Beloved children's book
now a Berkeley-bound opera" Richard
Scheinin at mercurynews.com.
"It's been more than
a century since Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote 'The Secret Garden,'
the classic children's novel whose themes strike such a chord:
a child's abandonment and fortitude and the way she finds health
and renewal by working the earth of, yes, a secret patch of garden.
The story tiptoes toward the sunlight, as Mary Lennox -- an orphan,
bratty and miserable -- is sent to live with a neglectful uncle
on his estate in Yorkshire, England. Gradually, she discovers
her own strength and happiness; she blooms along with her garden.
Adapted through the decades
for stage, screen and TV, this tale is now an opera, opening March
1 in Berkeley. "
POST FROM THE PAST
liked Grandma Penndorf's Victrola better than our Philco
as a four year old happily jumping up and down on the living room
sofa, pounding a pot with a spoon in time to march music blaring
from the large Philco. I also remember the Sunday afternoons at
Grandma and Grandpa Penndorf's, where cigar smoke filled the room
as grown-ups talked and laughed and drank Mogen David. Grandma
put old German 78s on the wind-up Victrola to keep me busy. The
machine, as much as the music, intrigued me.
the first records that I actually remember playing were 78s of
Duke Ellington, of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France and of
Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer. My father bought them right
after the end of the war when you could get records again. (I
remember that when feeling good, a little schnaps helped,
my dad could whistle along with the Bix and Frankie Trumbauer
solos quite skillfully.)
the war he also bought a 78 changer, a Philco, with a miniature
radio transmitter that broadcast the record's music to our big
living room radio ten feet away.
Philco changer had a felt covered metal platter, a substantial
grey metal base with a heavy tone arm and steel needle, and an
antenna that came out of its backside like a tail. Antenna placement
was critical. There was just one position for the best
sound. (My father labored long and found it.)
play the records through our Philco radio you turned the radio
on and set its dial to the frequency band on which the player
broadcast. (My dad was a Ford man, and Philco radios and record
players were built by a division of the Ford Motor Company. My
dad bought, or would have bought, anything made by Ford. Mr. Ford
was pro-German before and during The First World War, a time when
my then eleven year old father, a new German emigrant, was regularly
getting beaten up by kids at school. My father forgot neither.)
You then carefully put a stack of 78s on the player's spindle
and pushed the on-auto button. The changer-platter began spinning
madly, the first record clunked onto the platter, jarring it,
and the needle slammed into the record.
Ellington's band then boomed out of the big Philco speaker. (My
mother's favorites, Eddie Duchin's Piano Music of 1929,
could also be made to come through the Philco-I like to think
that I got my musical taste from my father.)\
and Grandpa Penndorf also had a 78 player. It was of an earlier
time, a wind-up Victrola that stood taller than I did. They placed
it prominently in their living room, right across from the piano.
(The record players and radio consoles of both my grandparents
were thought of in the same way they thought of their musical
instruments, and were given a place of honor in both their homes.)
I liked Grandma Penndorf's Victrola better than our Philco. It
was beautiful in its polished metal and wood, and it didn't boom.
On most Sunday afternoons we visited Grandma and Grandpa Penndorf's
and we often listened to the Victrola. On special afternoons Grandma
would play Axsel Schiøtz and Grandpa would serve pastries
and dessert wine.
stopped as the clear but far away voice sang songs in German.
Even though I didn't understand, I loved listening.
the grown-ups had finished playing records and eating pastries
they started talking again . . . maybe just a little sad about
far away Germany.
POST FROM THE PAST
"Tesla says profits will arrive this quarter
after losing more money than expected" Dana Hull, contracostatimes.com.
"In its first in-depth discussion with Wall Street analysts
since the electric carmaker's high-profile feud with The New York
Times over an unflattering review of a Model S road trip, Tesla
Motors (TSLA) promised the new sedan will spark a financial turnaround
even as the company continued to bleed cash.
CEO Elon Musk told investors and analysts Wednesday that Tesla
would be profitable for the first time in the current quarter
because it has ramped up its production to the target level of
Berkeley Downtown U. S. Post
Proposed Sale of Berkeley Post Office
USPS Public Meeting and Comment
Period for Proposed Relocation of the Berkeley Main Post Office;
Tuesday, February 26, 2013. 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Berkeley City
Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley.
The United States Postal Service
has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the proposal to sell
the Downtown Berkeley Post Office at 2000 Allston Way and relocate
From the USPS announcement:
"The reason behind
the proposal is the realignment of USPS infrastructure to a 26-percent
drop in total mail volume over the past three years, brought about
by the diversion to electronic communication and business transactions.
USPS does not receive tax dollars for its operations or facilities,
but covers costs solely through the revenue received from the
sale of its products and services.
"The Postal Service is in a very serious financial situation
and is facing insolvency. Every opportunity to reduce expenses
and generate revenue is being considered in order to maintain
universal service to our customers. If this relocation is approved,
USPS anticipates selling the current Berkeley Post Office building."
Berkeley Downtown United States Post Office
Oscar Wenderoth, Architect, 1914
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Berkeley's elegant Main Post Office is representative
of the Second Renaissance Revival style, also called Neo-Classical
Renaissance Revival. Government buildings constructed in this
era were designed to "educate and develop the public taste
and eventually elevate it to a higher plane." Classical motifs
decorate the building's exterior and interior. The exterior terra
cotta arches that are supported by plain tuscan columns are repeated
on the inner wall of the loggia and again in the wall between
the lobby and the main workroom. The mural over the door of the
original Postmaster's office, which depicts figures from California's
Spanish and pioneer periods, was painted in 19361937 by Suzanne
Scheuer for the Treasury Relief Art Project during the Depression.
POSTS FROM THE
a studious student
in Our Town, downtown
"West Berkeley--A cultural mashup"
by Nate Seltenrich in
the Eastbay Express, Insiders Guide.
an Express photo
browses for records
at Dave's Record Shop
"One of the more diverse
neighborhoods in the East Bay, West Berkeley is home to an array
of cultures, from one end of the socioeconomic spectrum to the
other. Warehouse-dwelling artists, recent immigrants, homemaking
young families, and innovative social and business ventures share
space in this 'hood, a quality reflected in its incredible variety
of restaurants and retail establishments."
"Former Quarterback Breaks Paper Airplane
Record" video by
Mary Grady is at avweb.com.
"The quiet world of
competitive paper airplane flying got some unusual attention this
weekend when Joe Ayoob, a former quarterback for the University
of California at Berkeley, set a new world record for distance,
226 feet and 10 inches, inside a 747 hangar at McClellan Air Force
Base, near Sacramento.
"The Secrets of the World-Record-Setting
with video is at popularmechanics.com.
END POSTS FROM
Some months after it was
reported that U S Special Forces were launching a Ben Laden like
operation against the leadership of Mexican drug cartels the AP
probing reports drug lord may be dead".
"Al-Qaida tipsheet on avoiding drones found
in Mali" is an AP
story that some of our city commission members also might
"One of the last things the bearded fighters did before leaving
this city was to drive to the market where traders lay their carpets
out in the sand.
The al-Qaida extremists bypassed
the brightly colored, high-end synthetic floor coverings and stopped
their pickup truck in front of a man selling more modest mats
woven from desert grass, priced at $1.40 apiece. There they bought
two bales of 25 mats each, and asked him to bundle them on top
of the car, along with a stack of sticks.
'It's the first time someone
has bought such a large amount,' said the mat seller, Leitny Cisse
al-Djoumat. 'They didn't explain why they wanted so many.'
Military officials can tell
why: The fighters are stretching the mats across the tops of their
cars on poles to form natural carports, so that drones cannot
detect them from the air.
The instruction to camouflage
cars is one of 22 tips on how to avoid drones, listed on a document
left behind by the Islamic extremists as they fled northern Mali
from a French military intervention last month."
"Drone use surges as FAA seeks to regulate
"Sharp-eyed dog walkers
along the San Francisco Bay waterfront may have spotted a strange-looking
plane zipping overhead recently that looked strikingly like the
U.S. stealth drone captured by Iran in December.
A few key differences: The
flying wing seen over Berkeley is a fraction of the size of the
CIA's waylaid aircraft. And it's made of plastic foam. But in
some ways it's just like a real spy plane.
The 4 1/2-foot-wide aircraft,
built by software engineers Mark Harrison and Andreas Oesterer
in their spare time, can fly itself to specified GPS coordinates
and altitudes without any help from a pilot on the ground. A tiny
video camera mounted on the front can send a live video feed to
a set of goggles for the drone's view of the world . . . "
GRAYSON Burger is
one of the best hamburgers in the USA--ZAGAT's picks in 25 cities
at USA Today
a Bob Kubik still-life of
the GRAYSON Burger is at 900
GRAYSON as is the burger.
Just how many burgers have
been rendered in still-life?
daughter of 900's
Chris and Heather at her French School Halloween Parade
Bob Kubik emails a link to
the original ZAGAT
story--scroll to photo 23.
"'Prepare to confess'
after meeting the 'Demon Lover', 'his 'funky' Californian's 'sinful'
version of chicken and waffles from a menu of 'classics with a
twist', plus an 'outstanding' burger; sure, the place is in the
'hinterlands" of Berkeley, and Saturday brunch lines are
'out the door', but it's 'worth squeezing' in for such 'comforting'
fare and 'warm', 'efficient' service; P.S. closes 3 PM weekdays
and 2:30 PM Saturday.
900 Grayson St; 510-704-9900"
Ashley, a worker at our Berkeley
Bowl Cafe, has just passed her CHP motorcycle written -test with
a 100% grade.
For an extreme view of full-drone-surveillance,
the BBC science fiction series "The
Last Enemy"* is worth a watch. (Though their T.I.A [Total
Information Awareness] is the product of just CCTV**).
*Set in London
beset by terrorism and illegal immigration, it features the introduction
of "TIA" (Total Information Awareness), a centralized
database that can be used to track and monitor anybody effectively
by putting all available government information in one place.
. . .
**Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is
the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place,
on a limited set of monitors. It differs from broadcast television
in that the signal is not openly transmitted, though it may employ
point to point (P2P), point to multipoint, or mesh wireless links.
Though almost all video cameras fit this definition, the term
is most often applied to those used for surveillance in areas
that may need monitoring such as banks, casinos, airports, military
installations, and convenience stores.
"Oakland's Lake Merritt Reconnected To
Bay, Boaters Celebrate" video
"For the first time
in more than 100 years, folks can now paddle under a new bridge
and into the Lake Merritt Channel, as part of a project to reconnect
the lake to San Francisco Bay."
"The Jewish Music Festival returns to Berkeley"
by Andrew Gilbert at
"Rather than taking
the easy road by focusing on Ashkenazi roots music, the Bay Area's
Jewish Music Festival earned an international reputation by spotlighting
traditions too often overlooked or ignored, presenting artists
from far-flung locales such as Central Asia, Argentina, Tehran,
Iran, and New Orleans.
This year, a confluence of
several anniversaries marking critical historical events related
to Poland have turned the festival's attention squarely to Yiddish
culture. While one might assume that means commemorating a once-vibrant
world destroyed by the Holocaust, the festival's programming makes
a persuasive case for the ongoing vitality of Yiddishkeit, the
old-world cultural roots of the vast majority of American Jews.
'I've always been committed
to showcasing Jewish culture from around the world, but this year
made perfect sense to focus on the history and culture and traditions
of this community,' says Eleanor Shapiro, the Jewish Music Festival's
longtime director. 'This culture is still so vibrant. People think
of Yiddish as a language of old people, and wonder whether it
has a future. We're doing our best to spread the word that, yes,
there is a future to Yiddish, a future to music that comes out
of this tradition.'
Produced by the Jewish Community
Center of the East Bay, the festival begins Saturday and runs
through March 9 at venues around Berkeley, opening at Berkeley
Rep's Thrust Stage with a fascinating double bill, 'The Future
of Jewish Music in Poland.' "
Big Money in Jazz is
now playing Sundays and Saturdays at Savoy-Tivoli
Mal Sharpe writes "We've
hit the jackpot! We'll be playing on both Saturday and Sunday
afternoons in one of San Francisco's most historic bars--The Savoy-Tivoli,
established 1907. It is in the heart of North Beach, on Grant
Ave---the birthplace of the Beat Generation---and it is a great
way to spend the day in The City By The Bay; Italian Bakeries
and restaurants and one of a kind shops and views. It is on the
side of Telegraph Hill and if you go up to Coit Tower, you can
still hear the band."
"U.S. sends troops to Niger for drone missions"
David S. Cloud and Kathleen
Hennessey, Los Angeles Times.
"President Obama says
the 100-troop deployment will help France in its effort to drive
militants out of northern Mali.
"About 100 U.S. troops have deployed to the West African
country of Niger to help establish a drone base for surveillance
missions, in the latest step by the United States to aid French
forces battling Islamic militants in neighboring Mali."
"Before the big screen was actually big,
movies were more personal: it was just you, a crank, and a few
hundred flipping cards. But the viewing WAS on-demand" is a video report at CBS Sunday Morning.
"Truth is, the very
first motion pictures could be watched on a handheld device, and
in the hundred-odd years since flip-books, it seems movies have
come full circle."
"Popcorn, the snack that saved the movies"
is a report at CBS
"The biggest moneymaker
at movie theaters last year wasn't from a comic book or Steven
Spielberg, and didn't involve werewolves or vampires.
Just like every year, the
number one blockbuster was the concession stand and its most bankable
Hunt: Towering talent in a small package" is a CBS News video interview.
"Linda Hunt won an Academy
Award for her second performance ever on film. Lee Cowan talks
with the diminutive actress about her life and career,"
"David Edelstein's Oscar predictions" cbssundaymorning.com.
"Last year, I sat here
and predicted every Oscar winner. Had I gabbed with Academy members?
Nope. Can I foretell the future? Sorry. Did I just love the big
winner, "The Artist"? Definitely not.
I'd simply read certain columnists
who'd been spun by certain publicists who'd been hired by certain
studios that had squired certain nominees around Hollywood to
screenings and cocktail parties to influence the votes of a few
thousand people -- most over 55, white, well-off and liberal.
This year it's even busier.
Harvey Weinstein, all-mighty poobah of Oscar buzz, got Dr. Mehmet
Oz to extol 'Silver Linings Playbook' for its insights into mental
Look, I like the movie. It's
a good, dark rom-com about a couple of cute depressives. Maybe
it's even therapeutic to see people crazier than WE are. I'm just
not certain of its medical efficacy.
Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg
brought in a master to spin for 'Lincoln': Bill Clinton! You hire
awards consultants like political consultants. You stay ahead
of the message. "
"The Ghastly Love of Johnny X (SF IndieFest)" Bernard Boo at waytooindie.com.
"There are some pacing
and narrative issues, but ultimately Johnny X is an enjoyably
wild and surprisingly slick-looking adventure that is worth a
A decade in-the-making, The
Ghastly Love of Johnny X is a retro-tinted window into the mind
of director Paul Bunnell, mashing together influences from sci-fi
B-movie flicks like Flash Gordon and musicals like The Rocky Horror
Picture Show and Grease. The combination of the two genres (with
touches of various other eccentric influences) works well, though
it's not quite as explosive as it should be. There are some pacing
and narrative issues, but ultimately Johnny X is an enjoyably
wild and surprisingly slick-looking adventure that is worth a
look, especially if you're a fan of over-the-top, genre filmmaking.
Johnny X is a too-cool-for-school
greaser a la James Dean and The Fonz who gets banished to earth
from a far-away world. Followed by his gang of goons, the Ghastly
Ones, Johnny chases after his ex-girlfriend, the sultry siren
Bliss (De Anna Joy Brooks), and a soda jerk with a heart of gold,
Chip, who have stolen his powerful "Ressurection Suit",
which grants its wearer with the ability influence others in a
powerful way. In their epic cat and mouse pursuit, they sing songs,
dance their asses off, and have a fateful run-in with an aging
former rock star, Mickey O' Flynn (Creed Bratton), who is mysteriously
linked to Johnny."
Soundtrack CD here.
Aging Services Division at
"Day Trips for Seniors
North and South Berkeley
Senior Centers provide a robust calendar of day trips to affordable
local activities and shows. Each senior center has an advisory
Trip Committee comprised of Senior Center participants."
Okay, doakey, . . . but where's
the information about cross-country motorcycle-club trips?
"Berkeley Places Fourth in Nation for Cities
That Bike to Work"
Sasha Barish at berkeleyhighjacket.com.
"The U.S. Census Bureau
recently published a survey showing that Berkeley has the fourth
largest percentage of workers in all of the United States, around
8.85 percent, who bike to work. Berkeley trails behind Davis and
Palo Alto, California, as well as Boulder, Colorado.
At Berkeley High School,
teachers are joining the trend and biking to school from their
homes around the Bay Area.
'Biking is great way to start the day,' Green Academy science
teacher Kate Trimlett said. 'It's good for your health, [and for]
the environment, and it's fun."
Councilwoman Maio emails
The U.S. Postal Service is coming to Berkeley next Tuesday, February
26, to hear from us about their sale of our beloved Main Post
Office. They are proposing to move staff and services to a storefront
(where they will have to pay rent) and then sell Berkeley's historic
main post office to the highest bidder. Many, many post offices
have already been sold and many others are on the chopping block.
They are serious.
Congress, in the Bush era, quietly passed a law requiring the
USPS to pre-fund its employee benefits for the next 75 years ...
for employees who are not even born yet. This huge debt has crippled
the agency and is forcing it to sell the public's assets. Lobbyists
helped write the legislation. Hence, the widespread sale of buildings
in the public trust -- choice buildings, often with historic
interiors, in highly valued locations.
These buildings were intentionally created in a grand style, by
our grandparents, as monuments to the public good. We must retain
our beautiful post office and work with other cities to do the
same. This is entirely possible if we join together to fight for
our public legacy and services.
On Tuesday, February 26th, Post Office officials will come to
the Council Chambers to hear from Berkeley, from all of us.Join
Tuesday, February 26th, 7 p.m. 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Visit savethebpo.com for background and much more information
about the privatization of our postal services,selling off of
assets, and what you can do to join the effort.
Councilmember Linda Maio
"UC Berkeley pushes stadium seat sales" Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, Chronicle
"Cal has sold about 1,900 of the 2,900 premium club seats
at its redone stadium, leaving the project $121 million short.
Slow seat sales have prompted
UC Berkeley to launch a fresh marketing campaign and look for
other revenue in an effort to keep pace with the $18 million a
year in debt it will soon owe for the Memorial Stadium makeover
and athletic center construction.
The redone stadium opened
last season, but only about 1,900 of the 2,900 premium club seats
- lifetime spots that cost anywhere from $40,000 to $225,000 each
- have been sold. And not everyone who bought a seat has fully
"Berkeley City Council lowers affordable
housing fee" by
Megan Messerly at dailycal.org.
"After lengthy discussion, Berkeley City Council voted nearly
unanimously to set a new, reduced Affordable Housing Impact Fee
at Tuesday night's meeting.
The fee, which passed by
a 6-1 vote, lowers the amount of the previous Affordable Housing
Mitigation fee approved by the council last October from $28,000
to $20,000 per apartment unit, which some council members hope
will provide a further incentive for development in Berkeley and
bolster the city's fund for low-income housing development.
Currently, developers in
Berkeley must make 10 percent of their apartment units affordable
to low-income tenants or pay a fee to the Housing Trust Fund,
a pool of federal, state and local funds for financing the development
of long-term affordable housing.
Since the previous $28,000-per-unit
fee was implemented, all of the six new rental housing developments
have chosen to include affordable housing in their project proposals
rather than pay into the fund."
Really revolutionary stuff
is Chris Anderson's "The
Makers Revolution" longnow.org.
"Chris Anderson's book
The Long Tail chronicled how the Web revolutionized and democratized
distribution. His new book Makers shows how the same thing is
happening to manufacturing, with even wider consequences, and
this time the leading revolutionaries are the young of the world.
Anderson himself left his job as editor of Wired magazine to join
a 22-year-old from Tijuana in running a typical Makers firm, 3D
Robotics, which builds do-it-yourself drones.
Web-based collaboration tools
and small-batch technology such as cheap 3D printers, 3D scanners,
laser cutters, and assembly robots, Anderson points out, are transforming
manufacturing. Suddenly, large-scale manufacturers are competing
not just with each other on multi-year cycles, they are competing
with swarms of tiny competitors who can go from invention to innovation
to market dominance in a few weeks. Anybody can play; a great
many already are; a great many more are coming.
'Today,' Anderson writes,
'there are nearly a thousand "makerspaces"- shared production
facilities- around the world, and they're growing at an astounding
rate: Shanghai alone is building one hundred of them.'
'Open source,' he adds, 'is
not just an efficient innovation method- it's a belief system
as powerful as democracy or capitalism for its adherents.' "
Maker Magazine is here.
"Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012: The Maker
Movement" at hackeducation.com:
Maker Movement isn't Just for Hackers Anymore" at venturebeat.com:
Maker Movement Lowers Consumption and Waste" triplepundit.com.
Helping these revolutionaries
settle here, the Maker's Revolution has active support in west-Berkeley!
Chris Anderson's "The
Makers Revolution" presentation is part of Long Now's Clock
and Library projects.
"The Long Now Foundation
was established in 01996 to develop the Clock and Library projects,
as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution.
The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today's
accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common.
We hope to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of
the next 10,000 years."
a Regan Bice photo
Is Collaboration Anyway?" Carrie Lozano at pbs.org.
"Tagged: collaboration, collaborative journalism,
collective work, investigative reporting, investigative reporting
Journalists, by nature, tend to be fiercely competitive, racing
to break the news before their rivals. Given that tendency, anyone
who's engaged in a journalism collaboration knows that it's an
extraordinary endeavor. That's why it's worth stepping back and
identifying what we really mean when we say we're collaborating."
our Councilman Darryl Moore
The Community Engagement
working group of the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition cordially
invites you to join us on Saturday, March 2nd from 9:30am-1pm
for a neighborhood walk and asset mapping day.
About the Neighborhood Walk and Asset Mapping Project: We
think that West Berkeley is top-notch and want to promote the
neighborhood's assets! The goal of the Neighborhood Asset Mapping
Project is to identify local resources, highlighting local businesses,
organizations, skills, and public spaces that are within close
walking and biking distance in order to reduce a reliance on driving
and support local businesses. With an estimated 30% of all car
trips are two miles or less, we can make a difference locally.
Mark your calendar: On March
2nd from 9:30 am-1 pm we will tour some of the neighborhood treasures. Join
us, as we:
Meet for free coffee and bagels at the Ecology Center (2530 San
Pablo Ave), and then walk around the neighborhood to various businesses
and other neighborhood jewels that make the neighborhood a sustainable
place to live. (Heavy rain cancels)
End with a community gathering,
with free snacks (free lunch is pending). During the gathering
we will highlight important neighborhood and community resources
available for further neighborhood engagement, including the NextDoor.com
website, Buy Local Berkeley directory of local businesses and
emergency preparedness resources.
About the Climate Action
Coalition: Bringing the Berkeley Climate Action Plan
to you! The Berkeley Climate Action Coalition is a group of local
non-profits, educational institutions, businesses, faith-based
organizations, public health organizations, neighborhood groups,
government agencies and committed individuals, all working together
to implement the Berkeley Climate Action Plan and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions locally.
Look forward to seeing you on March 2nd. Please RSVP to email@example.com
"Aging Services Division" at ci.berkeley.ca.
Support Groups for Seniors.
A variety of workshops and support
groups are offered at the North and South Berkeley Senior Centers.
Most are free of charge."
"Students at the Berkeley Student Cooperative
Turn Conservative on Labor Issues" occupyoakland.com.
In most ways, the Berkeley Student Cooperative - America's largest
student housing cooperative - epitomizes liberal Berkeley values.
The BSC boasts solar panels on its roofs, communal meals in shared
houses, hot tubs, LGBTQ, African American, and vegetarian theme
houses. Governing the organization and setting its annual $10
million budget is a Board of Directors composed of 28 students
elected by fellow housemates.
However, when it comes to
labor negotiations with its 20-person staff, student leaders of
the BSC take the conservative road.
Citing the need to minimize variable costs, the BSC's Board-appointed
labor negotiation committee - consisting of the President, the
VP of Internal Affairs, the Operations Manager, an alumnus, and
two members at large - have been pushing for significant cuts
to employee benefits. Their proposed contract would cut the BSC's
medical contribution for employees' dependents in half, increase
out-of-pocket medical costs by 1000%, and cut retirement contributions
in half. Mid-career employees will see their medical costs rise
by $500 per month and lose defined contribution retirement benefits
worth $300 per month or more."
"Anarchist Picnic - Berkeley CA" anarchistnews.org.
"From 8 days of anarchy
- Day 4 of 8 days
The evening of March 15th
will probably involve several marches (at least one in Oakland)
and actions against police brutality. It's important for anarchist
to understand the history of struggle against the police and why
March 15th is the day that anarchists do this.
Before that evening, before
the anarchist Café, before a night of jail solidarity,
we will meet for a picnic to discuss how best to meet the struggle
against the police. The picnic will be a potluck, there are many
good places to find food in the immediate area around our picnic
spot in central Berkeley.
Meet us between noon and
3 PM. Bring food. Bring friends. Bring your ideas.
Ohlone park (far east end near MLK) - for picnic only!
March 15th between noon and three
a picnic with new and old friends
Friday, March 15, 2013 - 09 to Friday, March 15, 2013 - 11"
"'Fear and Loathing'
in Berkeley, California" by James Armstrong II at opednews.com.
Armstrong II writes "I'm a homeless student, writer, and
activist... currently panhandling my way through school (and life.)."]
"The quotes I am posting are from Berkeleyside's nonsense
about the first murder of the year and a couple more isolated
incidents of low-level crime that occurs every year. There
is nothing new or spectacular about this information. Nothing
earth shattering. Nothing remotely out of the ordinary,
as highlighted by the words of (sic) officer Frankel, at the end
of this piece, . . .
But first, there is this:
'Residents asked police
about recent home burglaries, a pepper-spray attack of a woman
walking to BART, and how to come up with neighborhood solutions
Frankel said the best
approach for community members is to reach out to police quickly,
with as much information as possible, if they spot anything suspicious.
(For those with "quality of life'"concerns and chronic
problems in Area 4, he said the best contact is beat officer Rashan
Cummings at 510-981-5774. For time-sensitive issues, or reporting
crimes in progress, residents can call 911 for emergencies and
510-981-5900 for non-emergencies.).
"When the switchboard
lights up like a Christmas tree, we know something is going down,'"
he said. '" want you to call about all suspicious activity.
That's what I really need you to do: Pick up the phone."
My problem: these people
are not qualified to know what 'suspicious' means or even
looks like. Police even screw it up, and they are 'professionals.'
I'm out here all the time and I screw it up, quite regularly,
too. And I am someone who is always out here. So I have
more authority on these subjects, more than most. More than
those being told to 'report 'suspicious' activities.'
Again, I am not suggesting
people turn a blind eye to crime. What I am saying is sometimes
'suspicious' is relative and 'innocuous,' when given time to observe
that something deemed suspicious plays itself out. Also,
depending on the age of the person doing the reporting is also
a concern. Elderly people seem afraid of their own shadows,
because of the saturation of violence in the 'news' media and
(unnecessary) pressures being applied on them by people with (hidden)
"Santa Cruz police officers and suspect
fatally injured in shootout"
is a report at ktvu.com.
"The two Santa Cruz
police officers and the male suspect injured during a violent
shootout Tuesday afternoon have died, according to authorities."
"2 Santa Cruz officers shot to death"
Jaxon Van Derbeken, Vivian
Ho and Henry K. Lee at sfgate.com.
" Two Santa Cruz police
officers were shot and killed Tuesday afternoon in a gunbattle
with a suspect, who was also killed, authorities said.
Police Chief Kevin Vogel confirmed that the officers had been
killed while trying to arrest the suspect.
Struggling to contain his
emotions, Vogel told reporters, 'We lost two exceptionally fine
officers today. ... We need to figure out a way to bring our department
together and get through this. It's a horrible, horrible day for
the Santa Cruz Police Department and the community of Santa Cruz.'
The officers, identified
by Vogel as Detective Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Detective
Elizabeth Butler, were answering a call at 801 N. Branciforte
Ave., about a mile northeast of downtown Santa Cruz, at around
3:30 p.m. when the suspect opened fire, said April Skalland, a
spokeswoman for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department.
. . .
The suspect the officers
attempted to contact was identified as Jeremy
Peter Goulet, 35, of Santa Cruz.
Police wouldn't say why the detectives went to the house Tuesday.
Officers who responded to reports of shots being fired arrived
at the scene to find the two detectives, who were dressed in plain
clothes, shot outside the residence.
Police located Goulet nearby
on Stanford Avenue, neighbors said. The sheriff said gunfire was
exchanged at a second location and Goulet was killed. Police said
they didn't think anyone else was in the house at the time of
the shootings. Late Tuesday nearby residents were still not being
allowed to return home. . . .
California state records
show Goulet as a licensed pilot living in Santa Cruz. He had previously
been living with his twin brother at an apartment on Benvenue
Avenue in Berkeley. . . .
A man who lived below Jeremy
Goulet in the Berkeley apartment building described him as 'super,
Andrew Morrison, 22, said
Goulet had been living with his brother in the upstairs unit but
moved out not long after Morrison and his wife discovered his
Oregon conviction. They were doing research on him because of
his strange 'ehavior, Morrison said.
'I didn't know until recently
that he was a sex offender," he said.
Goulet had worked at Cole Coffee in Berkeley, he said, but lost
his job recently and moved away.
'He told me he was in the
military and was stationed in Guatemala,' he said."
Berkeley PD Monday arrested
a female, Trayana Shipman, in connection with an unspecified Berkeley
"Berkeley Man who died after struggle with
police was severely mentally ill" by Doug Oakley, Oakland Tribune.
"The stepmother of a
severely mentally ill man who died after a struggle with police
in his downtown apartment Feb. 12 wants to know if officers handled
the situation appropriately given his well-known problems.
Police have released few
details, citing an ongoing investigation.
Elysse Paige-Moore, who said
she cared for 41 year-old Xavier Moore along with his father since
Moore was a child, is devastated'
'I don't know if it was my son's time to die, or if he was not
handled with the level of care he deserved,' said Paige-Moore
of Berkeley on Monday. "I still don't know what happened.
There have been no police reports, but there's been a lot of speculation.
There have been some things that went very wrong and I would like
Paige-Moore said at first
she had no reason not to believe the police version of the story
'and what went down,' given Moore's physical and mental health
Her stepson, who weighed
347 pounds, was paranoid schizophrenic, a heavy smoker and used
alcohol, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, she said. He also
was transgender and passed as a woman, she said.
But after thinking about
what police told her of the incident in his apartment in the Gaia
Building on Allston Way, she wants more answers.
Berkeley police have said little publicly about Moore's death,
except that they responded to a disturbance and contacted Moore
who became agitated and started to scream."
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
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.
Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very
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
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
Our Planning Commision update
Our City of Berkeley Boards
and Commissions page is here--redone
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.
Coordinator, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.
aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 firstname.lastname@example.org
City Councilman email@example.com
AND check out BPD feature
are these Suspects."
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