John Coltrane Park
is Jazz Appreciation Month.
Today is Berkeley's 129th
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
Get a grip Snapp!
Richmond Rambler, Cliff Miller
once emailed me "You know you're really special--and so is
Here is Gérard's website.
Gérard Laugier is
a Potter Creek furniture-maker, wood-worker and member of the
"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
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
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
Bob Kubik emails
Give 900 GRAYSON a
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"
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
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."
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
Quote of the week from Mose
Allison "Just between me and you, I'll be better in a day
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
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
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
or (510) 649-8500
"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
"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
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.
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.
Commission to Hold Special Meeting Monday" reports Richard
Brenneman of our Planet.
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
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.
What a Day!
Meredith May is back.
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.
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.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
"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,
NOT Merryl's 4ft
disk--an earlier work
Interesting if true. Miltiades
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
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
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
Berkeley last Saturday."
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
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
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
Consolidated Printing was
"West Berkeley Residents Monitor Pacific
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
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
pub.') a great forum for local and community wide participation
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
improvements and services such as street sweeping, law enforcement,
protection and graffiti abatement etc. Why would [we] want to
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
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
for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I
racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and
especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I
make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank
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
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
that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested."
Uncle Ronnie's history-post
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
"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
"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
"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
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
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"
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
"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
Hmm, last week at this time
"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
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
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
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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