APRIL 2007


Don't be meek!

Make John Coltrane Park

in Potter Creek.



April is Jazz Appreciation Month.






Today is Berkeley's 129th Birthday.

Seems it's also the 50th Anniversary of the Oakland Hell's Angels.


"Hells Angels marks milestone" reports Angela Hill in our Times. "There's gonna be one long, asphalt-ripping, straight-pipe-roaring, Hell-uva party this weekend.

And you're not invited."


"Berkeley: democracy in action" writes Martin Snapp. "Berkeley has been called 'a small town that thinks it's the center of the universe,' but residents can hardly be blamed for thinking their city is special."

Get a grip Snapp!

Richmond Rambler, Cliff Miller once emailed me "You know you're really special--and so is everybody else."


Here is Gérard's website.

Gérard Laugier is a Potter Creek furniture-maker, wood-worker and member of the Heartwood Co-operative.


"Skaters hold out hope for Iceland: Owner plans to shutter rink, but enthusiasts hatch an effort to keep facility on its feet" reports William Brand in the Times. "At some point this weekend, they'll no doubt pull the plug on winter at Berkeley Iceland, and the twinkling lights outlining the pine trees on the giant, snow-filled mural at the far end of the historic rink will go out."


"Homeowners on the brink: Subprime borrowers face foreclosure, ruin" writes Eve Mitchell of the Times.


"U.S. honors Tuskegee Airmen: World War II pilots who battled racism as well as America's enemies receive Congressional Gold Medal" reports William Douglas. "The Tuskegee Airmen were called racist and hurtful names as they became the nation's first African-American military pilots during World War II."


Bob Kubik emails about a real cold-case, "Diary a Clue to Amelia Earhart Mystery."


~12:20 PM--irritant over and surrounding block bordered by 8th, 9th, Pardee, Grayson. Most noticable on north side of Grayson to corner of 9th and west side of 8th toward corner of Grayson. Breeze west by north-west. Dry lips, dry eyes, slight headache.

~2:35 PM--irrritant in front of 2743 8th warehouse, use mask.





A 900 GRAYSON photo heads the VISA Card Small Business Page on the Internet. Check it out!

But, . . . that's a faux chef in 900's kitchen.


Very early-on in a post on Scrambled Eggs, I asked if the owner of "Hyman Labs," once in the building at the corner of 8th and Heinz, was the Hyman of Julius Hyman and Company, the manufacture of insecticides. (Our Richard Finch said experiments with insecticides were carried on by "Hyman Labs" in that building here in Potter Creek.)

Today I received this email

"Three years later and I don't know if you are interested now but Julius Hyman was a relative of mine (distant Cousin) and I knew him well. Yes, he is the same Julius Hyman of Velsicol Chemical Corp. in Chicago--moved to Colorado and started up Julius Hyman & Company and produced insecticides at the Rocky Mountain site--sold the Co. in 1952 to Shell Oil Co. and moved to Piedmont, Ca. He operated a Laboratory in San Francisco. . . . "

And, a couple of years ago I received an email from a scientist researching the life of Julius Hyman. He confirmed that the 8th and Heinz building was the "Hyman Labs" of Julius Hyman.


"East Bay among state's worst for loan defaults" reports the Times' George Avalos. "The East Bay has become one of the worst-hit epicenters of the housing slump, and the aftermath is likely to slow the region's surging economy and job market, according to a report released today."


The Wall Street Journal asks "Fill up with Ethanol?" And replies "One obstacle is big oil. Rules keep a key fuel out of some stations. Car makers push back."







Bob Kubik emails

Give 900 GRAYSON a boost

If you go to Zagat Survey you can give 900 GRAYSON a boost by registering and giving them a good rating. (Which I think they richly deserve). Being rated by Zagat would be very good for them and will happen if enough people rate them. So far they aren't listed, but you can enter scores for new restaurants.


I saw my old friend, David Richardson last night. "I appreciate Jazz everyday" he said.


Zelda Bronstein's movie, "Made in Berkeley" features among others, Pacific Steel and Casting, John Phillips Harpsichords, and Adams and Chittenden Scientific Glass. "Made in Berkeley" can be seen here.


"I-House Exceeds Fundraising Goal of $10 Million" reports our Planet's Riya Bhattacharjee.


"Area median home price falls" reports Barbara E. Hernandez of the Times. "East Bay cities such as Berkeley, Brentwood, Clayton and Walnut Creek experienced a nearly 25 percent drop in median home prices from February of last year."


"EPA can regulate emissions, court says" write Mike Taugher and Douglas Fischer in our Times. "The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Bush administration and gave a boost to California's efforts to combat global warming, ruling Monday that federal regulators wrongly decided not to limit greenhouse-gas emissions from cars."






Is Dennis Cohen an unheard voice of reason in Potter Creek?

Maybe. . . maybe not.


Yesterday, a Scrambled Eggs and Lox Archive page had more traffic than a current page.This is the first time since launching Scrambled Eggs in 2003 that this has happened. This page can be viewed here.

Well, Ok then!?


"EPA reopens California's bid for cleaner air" reports the AP's Samantha Young in our Times. "The Bush administration has reopened California's stalled petition seeking to control greenhouse gases after the Supreme Court's ruling this week that the government can regulate emissions from cars."






Yesterday, February 2006 Scrambled Eggs and Lox received twice as many visits as this, the current page. Go figure.


CONGRATS to Claudia of Claudia and Cameron, and The Bark, who emails

I was invited by The New York Times to participate in a panel for their Sunday with The Magazine event held in NY on May 20. The theme of the event is The Way We Live Now, and the theme of my panel is human/dog interaction and our obsession with dogs. This is a great honor for Bark. Check it out on www.sundaywiththemagazine.com I will also be interviewed on Martha Stewart Living Radio about the same topic.

Cheers, Claudia



An Untitled watercolor by Sophie Gross.

And, check out the real one as you enter 900 GRAYSON. Then check out Sophie, she just might be your food-server.



In "The Truth About the Drug Companies" author, Marcia Angell writes that senior citizens commonly take five to six drugs a day. Prices charged for drug have little to do with the costs to produce them. The U.S is the only developed nation that does not regulate drug costs. R&D is a relatively small part of the budgets of big drug companies; most of their money goes for marketing, administration and corporate profits. Drug companies seldom depend on their own R&D to discover new drugs more commonly relying on universities and small biotech starts ups, funded by the National Institute of Health. Read more here.


The Wall Street Journal reports that "Payment woes worsen on riskiest mortgages. Late bills, defaults increase for subprime home loans; problem expected to deepen. . . . Subprime lending could decline by as much as 50% . . . The number of foreclosures in the U.S. is likely to reach a record 1.3 million this year . . . Foreclosures will cause more homes to be dumped on the market at discount prices . . ."






John and Sasha are regulars at 900 GRAYSON. "We come here two, three times a week" Sasha said. They both are in graphic arts at Leapfrog just down the street AND, John builds museum-quality 1/48 scale airplane-models. (Check out John's Greek Spitfire Vc. John's Spit recently won 1ST in a local scale-model contest. [Sasha took the photos.]) And, both have websites--John Korellis' is here and Sasha Houdek's is here.


One of Potter Creek's oldest family owned businesses now has a website. Check out The Victor's V&W Patio Door and Window.


Jerry Victor's Viper


Posted originally in 2004, Jerry's Viper was the first of what has become an irregular feature of car-art. Check out more of these original photos here.



"Building named for green pioneer; Work commences this week on complex named after former Sierra-Club executive director" reports Kristin Bender in our Times.Jerry Vicotr's Viper

"To some, it might seem ironic that a multimillion-dollar building complex -- not a park or a mountain -- will memorialize one of the country's foremost environmental leaders, David Brower.

But like Brower, first executive director of the Sierra Club and a leader in campaigns to establish 10 new national parks, the David Brower Center will be dedicated to environmental education and activism."



Is the biggest news of this week that according to Richard Brenneman of our Planet, "Panoramic Sells Off 7 Apartment Buildings"?



"Cody's Books to leave S.F.; Independent bookstore retreats to Berkeley after tough 18 months battling retail giants" reports Pia Sarkar in the San Francisco Chronicle.



"Pittsburg's philosophy that factories are beautiful helped the East Bay city on Wednesday land a $93 million complex that will manufacture steel pipes and could employ up to 200 workers" reports George Avalos of the Times.

"A joint venture of an American steelmaker and two South Korean industrial companies said they have agreed to build a factory in Pittsburg that would make large-diameter steel pipes. Among the uses for the steel pipes: to meet fast-rising demand for construction of natural gas transmission lines."






Today is Billie Holiday's Birthday.





Quote of the week from Mose Allison "Just between me and you, I'll be better in a day or two."




Last week, during Atlas Welding's delivery to Adams and Chittenden Scientific Glass their "hydrogen six-pack" accidentally dropped off the truck's hydraulic-lift and tipped over.

Within minutes, one of Atlas' Big-Boys was on the scene "taking care of business." Just how, . . . tomorrow.


Last week, a resident's vehicle was broken-into and vandalized on 8th and Pardee. Yesterday, Carol's SUV had a brick thrown thru its window as did her neighbor's. And there is evidence that locks have been "tampered-with" on some Potter Creek condos--more sophistcated than breaking windows?


3:35 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front of, and in, warehouse, usual symptoms.






Today is 900 GRAYSON'S First Anniversary. See April 2006 for opening photos--scroll to page-bottom.


Rebecca J. Whitney, Affordable Housing Associates


Dear Ron,

I would like to invite you, the members of the Potter Creek Neighborhood Association, and other individuals you may think would be interested to participate in a community art piece we are planning for the corner of Ashby Avenue and 9th Street. We are currently working with Berkeley students and the university to facilitate collaboration with neighborhood residents for the creation of a sculptural artwork. We would like your input, either in suggestions or in actual involvement creating a collective art piece! All ages are welcomed.

Affordable Housing Associates (AHA) is a non-profit affordable housing developer based here in Berkeley, California. AHA has just started construction on Ashby Lofts, which is on the intersection of 9th and Ashby Avenue in West Berkeley. The building will provide 55 units to low income residents and includes 3 retail spaces and a community center. There is a large courtyard/open space on the ground floor corner where Ashby and 9th meet. In addition to several trees we will be planting, we are looking to incorporate some public artwork in that space.

We would like to work with the nearby community to create a piece that embodies their neighborhood values and defines them. Our idea is that the art piece would give the corner a sense of discovery and make it something special for the residents to enjoy, of both the surrounding neighborhood and the new tenants of Ashby Lofts. The initial phase of the art project will start in August of 2007 and be completed in the spring of 2008.

We would love to have your input and involvement in the piece. If you or the members of the neighborhood association are interested, please contact me at rwhitney@ahainc.org. or (510) 649-8500

thanks, Rebecca


"You have any break-ins of employees' cars " I asked a Consolidated employee. "Regularly" he replied "and broken plant windows, too."


"Former Berkeley Councilmember John Denton Dies" writes Judith Scherr of our Planet. "Former City Councilmember, attorney, neighborhood preservationist and humanitarian John Denton died peacefully in his sleep Sunday night at the age of 93. . . . .

Denton's early life may have set him on his unique path. Born in a charity ward to an Irish mother who left him in a hospital in the Bronx, he was raised in an orphanage until he was 10 or 11, according to Josh Denton, one of John Denton's three sons.

He was then adopted by a wealthy childless couple. His adopted mother 'really looked after him,' Josh Denton said. Both adoptive parents died when Denton was in his 20s."

Josh used to hang out at the College Ave Deli across the street from the Buttercup. Good friends with the owners, the Navone brothers, he often came to The Cup with them. But, I hadn't seen him in years until late last year when he showed up at here at my door. We talked for hours catching up--he moved back here from the Pacific Northwest to take care of his Dad, his Dad was frail, Juanita, the Navones' Mom had died, the Navone boys moved to Las Vegas and are in the loan business, and lots of personal stuff. It was good to see him again.


"Cals deal with city stands, judge says. Residents sued over compact with university that created a panel to handle school's expansion" reports our Martin Snapp in the Times. "The last remaining legal hurdle to a landmark agreement between the city of Berkeley and the University of California fell last week when an Alameda County Superior Court judge threw out a lawsuit challenging the deal. On April 5, Judge Jo-Lynne Lee rejected a citizens' suit that sought to overturn an agreement stemming from the university's 2020 Long Range Development Plan."


"City May Moderate West Berkeley Zoning Restrictions" reports the Planet's Judith Scherr. "Developers can buy property in West Berkeley, jack up the rents and force out long-time tenants and nobody can stop them. While there may be little recourse for the filmmakers who work out of the Fantasy Building-recently purchased by Wareham Development-Economic Development Director Michael Caplan says there may be a way for the city to help artists in the long-term and control development in West Berkeley."


"Home-selling season slow for builder. Nation's largest builder of houses says orders are down 37 percent in recent quarter; drop is led by California and Southwest" reports the AP's David Koenig in our Times. "The peak spring home-selling season is off to a slow start, builder D.R. Horton Inc. said Tuesday, another sign that bad times in the housing market may last longer than expected. Horton, the nation's largest homebuilder by deliveries, said Tuesday that its sales order in the most recent quarter fell 37 percent, led by even steeper declines in California and the Southwest."








Bob Kubik received this email from Councilman Moore in reponse to Bob's concern about crime in our Potter Creek


Thank you for letting me know about these break-ins and vandalism. I will report them to our Area Coordinator, Officer Frankel in the Police Department. Also, I will request stepped up patrols in your area.

We have been experiencing a rash of car break-ins around the district and I have met with several neighborhood groups with Officer Frankel to address this issue and would be willing to meet with the Potter Creek neighbors at a time that is convenient for you. I think it is important for the Police to hear directly from the community about crime and safety issues and also allow the community to get to know Area Coordinator.

Again thank you, and let me know when would be a good date and time to meet.

Darryl Moore


Last week I ran into Jim during lunch at 900 GRAYSON. (He's a glass-artist in Active Space. Check-out his plates on display at 900.) And Jim reads Scrambled Eggs regularly. "I don't go to any neighborhood meetings but reading your newsletter I get a real sense of community" he said. We talked more about Potter Creek and west-Berkeley, and I mentioned that west-Berkeley has always been quite independent and that my memory is that we even thought of seceding once. "Right now might be a good time" he quipped.


"Landmarks Commission to Hold Special Meeting Monday" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet.


"Host of community access TV show dies unexpectedly: Beloved community activist hosted show on African-American history, culture and people" writes Kristin Bender in the Times. "Joy Holland, a community activist who hosted a community access television show about black history, culture and people, died unexpectedly last week. She was 72."


The West County Times reports "Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, will host a global warming solutions town hall meeting on Saturday in Berkeley.

Hancock has called for the forum, according to a news release, to explore strategies for reducing consumption of electric power and gasoline, to implement transit-oriented development, conserve natural resources and foster green businesses.

The meeting is free and open to the public. It will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Berkeley City College Auditorium Basement, Room 21, 2050 Center St. in Berkeley."


Barabara E. Hernandez of the Times writes "Home prices in Contra Costa County rose in March for the first time in seven months, DataQuick Information Services reported Thursday. Alameda County home prices rose 3.1 percent and Solano County prices fell about 3.3 percent, with March sales the slowest since 1997.

Sales in Contra Costa Country were still the lowest in 11 years.Andrew LePage, an analyst with DataQuick, said there needs to be a few months of a trend before anything can be made of the data.

A February city-by-city report released in late March showed a nearly 25 percent drop in home prices in Berkeley and Walnut Creek''The median wobbles, period, so we look for a multi-month trend,"LePage said. 'Right now it's unclear if this will be one or not.'

Contra Costa County also had a 24 percent rise in sales from February
to March, but saw a 31 percent decrease year over year."


Atlas' Big Guy carefully righting of six-pack "takes care of business."









Pete and Julie's next "Alternate Tunings" features the Didgeridoo. It's on KALX Wednesday morning the 18th at 9:00 AM. Their last program, "The Theremin" was brilliant--worthy of KPFA of old.








Hey,Hey What a Day! Found Meredith May is back. HOORAY!

Journalist and Chronicle reporter, Meredith May's stories are here.

Without knowing Ms May and her work, I wouldn't have thought of Scrambled Eggs and Lox.


Berkeley Parking Enforcement is aggressively patrolling Potter Creek.


Berkeley PD Harley-art


Josh Denton stopped by--said he had a couple rough weeks. And, he's moving back up North. "Nothing to keep me here."





An email excerpt from one of the owners of the our Italian restaurant, Riva Cucina at 800 Heinz, 510-649 5075 www.rivacucina.com.

Hi Ron,

We are looking forward to having you and your guest! Your site is
wonderful...what a resource! Thanks for sharing it with us.






"Home, Suite Home:
After buying defective units from Wareham Development, some displaced
condo-dwellers have spent nearly three years in an Emeryville hotel. It's no vacation." writes Lauren Gard in a detailed and almost too-long story in the East Bay Express. Our Rick Auerbach, WEIBAC advocate/activist is quoted.


"Committee approves bill for public campaign funding"
writes Steven Harmon in our Times. "As lobbyists shuffled in and out of the corridors of the state Capitol Tuesday, a bill to cut into their influence sailed through an Assembly hearing.

The bill, AB 583, would create a 'Clean Campaign Fund,' in which candidates could bankroll their campaigns with taxpayer dollars -- and match privately funded opponents. It was approved on a 5-2 party- line vote out of the Assembly Elections Committee.

It's not a coincidence, said Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, that two-thirds of campaign donations to California candidates come from political action committees and two-thirds of voters believe legislators are too influenced by their big-moneyed supporters."


"Area mortgage defaults skyrocket."
reports Barbara E. Hernandez in the Times.

"Contra Costa and Solano counties saw their mortgage default notices
reach an all-time high in the first part of 2007, with foreclosure
activity rising more than 200 percent from last year, DataQuick
Information Services reported Monday."


"Jump in gas prices trickles down. Increased transit costs force consumers to pay more for goods,
reports the Times' Janis Mara.


Miltiades Mandros is an architect, preservationist, former New Yorker, and 900 regular. But does he have too much time on his hands? Well, he sent this link to Overheard in New York where he spends time.


Pete and Julie's KALX "Alternate Tunings" on the didgeridoo was fact and music filled. One of the best yet, I learned alot.







A former member of Nexus says the remaining six or so members may have a space in Berkeley again.


Sophie's best friend just had her 24th Birthday. Sophie took her to dinner at Thai Noodle House on Shattuck and went walking.


Jeff, a worker at Consolidated, was in New York City over the week-end--slept for fourteen hours during a rainy day but then went to the Guggenheim.


"Panoramic Sales Net City $2.1 Million" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet.

"The sale of seven Berkeley apartment buildings will make the city richer by $2.1 million in the form of a one-time property transfer tax payment, reports Calvin Fong, an aide to Mayor Tom Bates.

The fee, assessed at the rate of 1.5 percent of the sale price, indicates that the seven apartments owned by Panoramic Interests sold for about $150 million."



Mayor Bates emails his April report

City Council Set to Give Final Approval for Five New Sports Fields on Tuesday
Construction is set to begin on five new sports fields at Gilman and the Frontage Road in June, pending final approval by the City Council on Tuesday. I have served as the head of a group of five East Bay cities that worked with the East Bay Regional Park District and the State Parks to plan for and raise the funds for the new fields. If all goes well, people will begin playing ball before the end of the year.


Two Great Environmental Events - Earth Day Fair and the Berkeley Measure G Climate Action Kick-Off Earth Day Fair on Saturday, April 21. Berkeley's annual Earth Day Fair will take place on Saturday from Noon - 5 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Allston and Martin Luther King. Food, music, cool stuff to buy and, of course, the Saturday Farmer's Market!

Berkeley Measure G Climate Action Kick-off on May 19th
Come hear concrete ideas and resources for reducing your emissions, pledge to do your part to meet our Measure G greenhouse gas reduction targets, get free stuff, and brainstorm policy ideas for our new greenhouse gas reduction plan. I am co-hosting the event with KyotoUSA, Sierra Club, Sustainable Berkeley, Shotgun Players, The Ella Bakers Center for Human Rights, the Ecology Center, StopWaste.org, the Transportation and Land Use Coalition, and the Community Energy Services Corporation. Event Details: Saturday, May 19th from 10 am - Noon at the Ashby Stage (1901 Ashby at Martin Luther King).


Mayor Bates Proposes Berkeley Look to Compostable Plastic Bag Law
San Francisco recently passed an ordinance banning the use of traditional plastic bags at grocery stores and chain drugstores. Under the new law, these stores would be required to use compostable, recyclable paper, or reusable bags in their place. This new law has received considerable attention across the nation. This may be a valuable tool in Berkeley's effort to meet our waste reduction goals, especially once Berkeley's food waste program begins operating later this year. It may also benefit our greenhouse gas reduction efforts under Measure G. I have put forward an item to the City Council asking that we direct our Zero Waste Commission to review the San Francisco ordinance and make recommendations to the Council for possible implementation.

Berkeley Celebrates National Disability Award
Berkeley was officially honored as the "Most Accessible City" in the U.S. for people with disabilities at a ceremony on March 27th. Over 150 people come together for the great event, which celebrated our past success and looked toward the next great leap in disability access - the creation of the Ed Roberts Campus (ERC). The ERC will be an international center for disability service and advocacy organization at the Ashby BART station.

Brower Center Approved and Underway!
Berkeley's first "LEED Platinum" green building is underway at Oxford and Kittredge Streets. When completed in 2009, the David Brower Center will house environmental organizations and businesses in one of the greenest buildings on the planet. Next door will stand the Oxford Plaza apartments - 97 units of housing for people and families with low incomes. The city owned parking lot will be replaced underneath the building.

Get Involved in the City's Budget Process
We will be hard at work on the City's biennial budget over the next couple of months. Here are several upcoming budget workshops.

April 24 - Community Development Block Grant/ Community Agency Public Hearing
May 22 - Budget Public Hearing #1
June 19 - Budget Public Hearing #2
June 26 -Budget Adoption



"Budget Adoption Mayor Bates Touts Berkeley's Green-City Initiatives"
reports Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet.

"Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates urged local businesses to help propel Berkeley toward becoming the greenest city in the country at the Sustainable Berkeley Commercial Property Climate Protection Luncheon gathering on Tuesday.

The event aimed to educate property owners and managers about free and subsidized services that would help save money and increase tenant satisfaction."




"Universal Health Care Bill Passes Committee" reports J. Douglas Allen-Taylor.

"A bill that would guarantee single-payer health care coverage to all Californians passed the California State Senate Health Committee Thursday, leaving at least one community advocate optimistic about 20
the bill's chances of becoming law.

Senator Sheila Kuehl's SB 840 now goes to the full Senate and, if it passes there, to the Assembly. Kuehl's bill would provide health care coverage for all Californians through a single, state-developed health care system, the so-called single payer system."







Pete's Potter Creek rain total from yesterday through today AM is .7 inches.


Quote of the week heard in Potter Creek.

"We really do need some adult supervision here."


A fine wood-worker/craftswoman is returning to Potter Creek. Merryl Saylan emails

So, hopefully, construction will start this summer. Did you see the posted plan? Will my car get broken into?  . . . . Oh what a wonderful studio I will have. [My latest piece] is a 4 ft. disk for a bank in Charlotte, NC.

NOT Merryl's 4ft disk--an earlier work



Interesting if true. Miltiades Mandros emails

In 1999 five expert base jumpers decided to leap off the top of El
Capitan in Yosemite National Park to protest the park's ban on such
stunts. Four of the five made the jump successfully.


"25 Ferrari 166MM Barchettas were made and nearly all still exist.
This one gathered desert dust for decades."
reports Michael Taylor, the San Francisco Chronicle Auto Editor

"Del Arroz had the car shipped to him and then took it to Berkeley Ferrari expert Patrick Ottis, who,
during the course of a complete mechanical rebuild (the car's body was left in its worn and wind-whipped desert cloak), found a hand- chiseled date on the motor of "6/9/49," which enabled them to figure out that the car had been raced by Juan Manuel Fangio. Yes, that Fangio.

So if you want to see an authentic and unspoiled piece of Ferrari racing history, hie thee to Palo Alto on June 24. There aren't many of these cars around."


"Brothers' Boys' return to St. Mary's: Members of the class of 1936 keep giving back to school that nurtured them" writes Martin Snapp."'Brothers' Boys' came back to St. Mary's College High School in
Berkeley last Saturday."


And, "East Bay cleans up for Earth Day" reports Nargis Nooristani.


"Cal Day draws thousands to campus: Annual open house gives prospective students, parents a taste of what college life will be like" writes Josh Richman.


Ms. May of the Chronicle is solving problems here.


"Hi-fi is dead, but can you hear the difference?"
writes Ron Harris of the AP in our Times. "Music lovers remember a familiar advertising image from the past: a man reclined in a chair, head back, blown away by music from his high-fidelity sound system."

My story on the "Early Development of the LP" can be found on the Internet in Wikipedea.


4:49 PM--SERIOUS irritant immediately in front of warehouse.

ACTUALLY, irritant off-and-on all weekend. Sometimes VERY SERIOUS--can you spell battery-acid-like--sometimes just irritating.





Consolidated Printing was broken into.


"West Berkeley Residents Monitor Pacific Steel Emissions" reports Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet. "A group of West Berkeley residents have set up an air monitor to detect emissions from Pacific Steel Casting (PSC) Monday. Setting up an air monitor has been the goal of community members for a long time. Denny Larson, director of the non-profit Global Community Monitor (GCM)-an organization that promotes environmental justice and human rights for communities-helped acquire funds for the project from the Bay Area Air Quality District (BAAQMD)."


And also in our Planet Mr. Rick opines about "The Proposed West Berkeley Community Benefits District."

Do take time to read it. His story is beautifully written. Reminiscent of Zelda B's work at its finest-- almost musical in its flow and continuity.

And, it is important to remember that Rick is a steering committee member of WEIBAC, another west-Berkeley business group often diametrically opposed to WBBA and its policies--of which the West Berkeley Benefits District is one.

In fact, it is my memory that in the last Potter Creek citizens meeting, at which two WBBA members appeared to present and explain this proposal, Rick was co-chair as our community activist. And, that he was sometimes restrained by others present from an accusative manner toward the WBBA presenters.


"State eco-activists contend public tide has turned in their favor" reports Harrison Sheppard of our Times.







This summer, the City of Berkeley will have a day-camp program for kids between 11-13. It's called the Adventure Team Camp and will feature among other activities, bike trips around town and art stuff. 900 GRAYSON'S Sophie Gross was involved in the planning for this program.


The Wall Street Journal reports that "Existing-home sales dropped 8.4% in March from February as tighter credit hurt the housing market. The monthly decline was the largest since 1989."

The Journal also reveals that "Krispy Kreme said that its finance chief is leaving and it's vice-chair is retirering."







David Snipper emails

"I agree, Rick's piece was well crafted and calmly, if not coldly, right on
target. I assume other eyes will see this and hopefully [others will comment] on
this subject.

Thanks to your and Rick's efforts we can actually know what's going on
behind the doors . . .
'Scrambled Eggs' really is (as I once described it 'much like a neighborhood
pub.') a great forum for local and community wide participation in dialogue
and the dissemination of pertinent info.

Our corner of Berkeley is brimming with nice folks who reside or work here.
The City already accepts our taxes in exchange for providing various civic
improvements and services such as street sweeping, law enforcement, fire
protection and graffiti abatement etc. Why would [we] want to pay
twice for those same services, . . . ?"


Rick spent a great deal of research, time and effort on his story and in a conversation wanted it known that he was greatly indebted to John Curl for his superb editing.

As well as his editing, I think I detect John's Quaker-like countenance.



Of course Rick and the WEIBAC steering committee meet behind closed doors and their public meetings seem semi-private. I've asked to be placed on their emailing list with no result. Also, their membership list is proprietary. (I've asked for it and been so told.)

On the other hand, WBBA's meetings are open and members have signed their communications. In fact, I appeared at one of their meetings, was cordially received, and was asked to speak about Potter Creeks' small home owners and the West Berkeley Benefits District. I did, and said many didn't understand just what benefits were being offered and why the city didn't provide them, that some felt that they were often at the mercy of surrounding business--and I recommended lining-them-out as a possibility if they so wished. And I've been told often by different members that Rick is welcome at their meetings.


The Marchant Building, 6701 San Pablo has been sold to developers by UC.


I'm told that the Tinker's Workshop at Aquatic Park rents their building from the City for $1.00 a year. Once-upon-a-time it was a sailing-club facility where old and young could learn how to.



Before Dwiight D Eisenhower there was Smedley D Butler.

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881-- June 21, 1940), nicknamed "The Fighting Quaker" and "Old Gimlet Eye," was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Butler was awarded the Medal of Honor twice during his career, one of only 19 people to be awarded the medal twice. He was noted for his outspoken anti-interventionist views, and his book "War Is a Racket" was one of the first works describing the workings of the military-industrial complex. After retiring from service, Butler became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, communists, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s. Butler came forward in 1934 and informed Congress that a group of wealthy industrialists had plotted a military coup to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. For more go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

One of the most quoted passages from his book "War is a Racket" is

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and
during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man
for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a
racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and
especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped
make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to
collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central
American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify
Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in
1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American
sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the
American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it
that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested."


Uncle Ronnie's history-post continues with

The "military coup to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.?" Read about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot





The following is quoted from Rick Auerbach's April 25 Planet editorial on the West Berkeley Business Association's West Berkeley Community Benefits District proposal. From his research and interviews, Rick understands that the proposal includes

"A significant assessment on every piece of residential and commercial property in the industrial zones (including mixed-use residential) from University Avenue south to the Emeryville border in order to create a Community Benefits District (CBD);

That this taxpayer-funded district act as a lobbying organization give input on proposed zoning issues and advocate on land use conflicts;

That this district be approved through a weighted petition and the voting process where the weight of one vote is determined by how much property one owns;

That the approval process provide no vote for businesses who are tenants, yet they can be required to pay the assessment if their lease, as is common, allows taxes and assessments to be passed through;

That this district address issues that are arguably the responsibility of the city, including security, parking, graffiti, sidewalk and street cleaning, tree planting, angled parking, storm system maintenance and social services to curb anti-social behavior in the public rights of way; . . . .


The now-complete first stage of this process, a WBBA commissioned survey to gauge support for a Community Benefit District, was sent to West Berkeley industrial zone property owners in February.

In the next stage, all property owners within the WBBA finalized boundaries will receive a petition. . . . . According to Mr. Li Mandri, this petition is mandated by the California constitution to be weighted, where the more property one owns the more weight ones signature receives.

The exact weight is determined by a formula (created by the WBBA CBD steering committee) potentially involving lot and building size, use, and linear feet of street frontage. If over 30 percent (by weight, not number) of property owners sign the petition, the City Council will vote on whether to conduct the third and final stage, a
mail-in ballot vote."

This vote is taken after City Council public hearings on the matter, Rick added in an interview. Rick has also mentioned that during his research, WBBA's consultant, Marco Li Mandri, has promptly returned his calls and has addressed all his concerns.


This afternoon, Kimar and I went to the catered opening of Riva Cucina at 800 Heinz in Wareham's Aquatic Center. By 5:00 the restaurant and its terrace were filled with guests, among them Harvey-my-mailman and his lovely wife. Servers circulated with wine and trays of food and the air was filled with conversation. Owner, Jennifer Boldrini took time to explain her and husband, Massi's dream and plans. This promises to be a SERIOUS Italian restaurant. Their first day open is this Monday. Their hours are 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM and they are serving a light breakfast, lunch and early dinner from Monday through Friday. Check it out and check out the Riva Cucina website here.

Jennifer and Massi have built a garden for the children next store at the Aquatic Park Preschool. They hope that together with the children they will grow herbs and learn about eating well.

During the hour or so we were there, Wareham security was plentiful--three uniformed foot patrols and a truck with a guard-driver that occasionally parked out front.





"Restaurateur slain in holdup: Victim had bought the Red Onion last year; police continue to investigate fatal shooting" report Karl Fischer and John Geluardi of our Times. John and Susan Griffin stopped by the Red Onion restaurant Friday to leave a final tip for Alfredo Figueroa: flowers, and their condolences. 'We know them, and we know how hard they worked,' Susan Griffin said. 'I can't believe someone would kill like this for a few hundred dollars. It makes me ill.'

Many patrons of the El Cerrito burger joint on San Pablo Avenue voiced similar sentiments Friday morning as word spread about the botched takeover robbery the previous night that killed the hardworking owner of a beloved community fixture."


"Hayward milk plant laying off about 60: Supermarket merger of Albertson's, Save Mart results in loss of
business for Berkeley Farms"
reports George Avalos. "A big supermarket deal in Northern California has imperiled dozens of jobs at an East Bay milk factory.

About 60 people at the Berkeley Farms milk plant in Hayward are expected to lose their jobs in early June, according to an official with Dean Foods Co., principal owner of Berkeley Farms. A representative of the union that represents the production and distribution workers at the milk plant on Clawiter Road, though, believes the employment cuts could be held below that number."


"Air quality trumps cozy hearth" reports Denis Cuff. "Three out of every four Bay Area residents support banning winter wood fires in fireplaces and stoves on dirty air nights, according to a poll commissioned by a pollution agency expected to vote on a burn rule later this year.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District now issues voluntary no- burn advisories on 'Spare the Air' winter nights, when it expects tiny particle pollution to make the air unhealthy to breath. The agency issued 30 such advisories last winter.

The poll result of 77 percent in favor of a mandatory no-burn rule has stoked momentum to take a stronger approach."


"Existing home sales slow in March: Economic data show consumer confidence sags to lowest level since August" reports the AP's Anne D'Innocenzio in our Times. "The economy provided a sobering reminder Tuesday that consumers are jittery and the housing market is still a major cloud over growth."


I ran into Tracy and family on my way to 900 this morning. "I'm finally getting your Scrambled Eggs email. It's a benefit" she said with a smile.

A reader from another East Bay neighborhood asked to be removed from this same email list after my Benefits District posts. "You're too provincial" he wrote.


Another email was received about my quote from Rick's commentary "What you have just written [quoted] has made it very clear, a very distilled factual no fluff statement."


Miltiades Mandros emails

There's a restored B-17 in the Bay Area for the next few days, and I plan to drive to the Hayward airport to see it. The group's web address is www.b17.org





An over-pass at the Highway 80 maze collapsed the morning after a 4:00 tanker fire.


Sarah, Byron and Milo have finally found the perfect veggie-burger. It's at The Smoke House, 3115 Telegraph, phone (510)-845-3650.


Martin Snapp of our Times reports on Potter Creek's own Meyer Sound.

"When the Dalai Lama spoke at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco this weekend, every word was heard clearly in every corner of the hall. That's because His Holiness uses loudspeakers by Meyer Sound of Berkeley. And he's not alone. So do the Dead, Rod Stewart, Norah Jones, the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Three Tenors. Ditto for Carnegie Hall, the Sidney Opera House, Zellerbach Hall and Yoshi's.

Meyer Sound speakers are de rigueur in top theatrical productions from Berkeley Rep to Broadway, in houses of worship from the American South to ashrams in India, and wherever large groups of people
assemble, from cruise ships to the Kremlin. And when the producers of the Discovery Channel's 'Mythbusters' show wanted to test whether a human voice really can shatter glass, they turned to Meyer Sound. (Answer: It can.)

'Meyer Sound is the absolute gold standard, the Rolls-Royce of our industry,' said sound engineer Dave Dennison -- aka 'Decibel Dave' -- who has worked with acts ranging from Pavarotti to Metallica. 'Nobody else even comes close.' "

Incidentally, Meyer Sound is an active member of the West Berkeley Business Alliance.


BBC News reports "Russian farewell to Rostropovich.

Thousands of mourners have bid farewell. The funeral of the celebrated Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav
Rostropovich has been held in Moscow.

The ceremony took place in the same grand cathedral which earlier this week staged the funeral for the former Russian President, Boris Yeltsin.

The cellist was then buried alongside some of Russia's best-known cultural and political figures in the Novodevichye cemetery.

Mr Rostropovich died on Friday aged 80 after a long illness."


Kimar and I often talk of food-memories from back east--the french fries at the Pig 'n Whistle Drive-in on Capitol Drive, the corn-beef back at Plotkin's on Farwell Avenue, a freshly poured tap-beer.

But a just had an irritant memory. My nose and eyes sting a little like they did when I got out of a too-chlorined-pool back at grade school in Wisconsin.

4:45 M--irritant in front room.

Hmm, last week at this time I posted

"4:49 PM--SERIOUS irritant immediately in front of warehouse.

ACTUALLY, irritant off-and-on all weekend. Sometimes VERY SERIOUS--can you spell battery-acid-like--sometimes just irritating."






Marvin's job-site is being vandalized. Most recently a power-saw and and extension-cord were stolen thru the open gate in broad-daylight.

Perhaps we have crime and vandalism in Potter Creek because, almost unconsciously, it is WE who tolerate it--not the city or the police. Recently, I've heard from a few longer-time residents "I really like it just the way it is down here."


The German news service, DW-TV website is here. Check out this European perspecitve.

An unexpected story and perspective is "Dutch Coffee Shops Close as Authorities Weed out Drug Tourists cannabis: Dutch authorities have come together to reduce smokers' opportunities.

Each year, thousands of German drug tourists cross the border into the Dutch town of Enschede, where soft drugs such as marijuana are sold openly. Now, a government crackdown is forcing many coffee shops out of business.A dense, sweet-smelling smoke fills the room in the De Molen coffee shop. Here in the Dutch city of Enschede, the streets are littered with places like De Molen, which openly sell soft drugs such as hashish or marijuana.

But dozens of coffee shops have had to close shop in recent months, reflecting a growing consensus in the Netherlands that the country's notoriously liberal drug policy is currently doing more harm than good."



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