APRIL 2012

after 4/14/12 here


Don't be meek!

Make John Coltrane Park

in Potter Creek



April is Jazz Appreciation Month






Today is Berkeley's 134th Birthday









 Rob Allen and his bike shop Blue Heron Bikes will be opening at 1306-1308 Gilman Street sometime in the next couple of months--he's hoping for May 1.  

Rob lives in Fair Oaks but grew up in North Berkeley.  He's been working with bikes and bike sales--mostly Raleigh--all his life and is excited about coming back to Berkeley to open his own shop.  

He describes the shop: "it will be a general bike shop with a specialty, everyday bike adventure, transportation for fun."



















"Drone use surges as FAA seeks to regulate unmanned aircraft" at chillicothegazette.com.

"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 . . . "





Around 7:30 AM, on Tuesday, 4/2/2012, I emailed the following heads-up

This morning Federal Agents, included, US Marshals, IRS Agents and Drug Enforcement Agents raided the Oaksterdam medical marijuana facility in downtown Oakland.

This is part of  part of an "on going criminal investigation."


Later that evening, abclocal.com aired the video report "Richard Lee's Home, Business raided."










"Berkeley Patients Care Collective Celebrates 10 Years" is a story-release at the420times.com.

"The Patient's Care Collective in Berkeley, California is celebrating 10 years in business on Monday, and if you're a patient in the area, they want you to stop by and celebrate with them."





In what I believe to be the true Potter Creek spirit of mixed-use, our David Snipper emails








"Stakeholders weigh in on UCB GMO complex" a report at richardbrenneman.wordpress.com.

"A forum critical of UC Berkeley's plans to ramp up genetic engineering research at a planned massive new second campus of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Richmond drew a capacity crowd to the David Brower Center Thursday night.

One speaker after another ripped into the potential consequences of the university's grandiose plans, including the human and environmental devastation certain to be wrought on Africa and Latin America."




"Genetic Sensor Boosts Biofuel Production" technologyreview.com.

"Designer microbes regulate their own pathways to optimize fuel production, boosting yields threefold."





"Lami opening 2 California Closets showrooms in St. Louis" at bizjournals.com.

"California Closets of St. Louis, the local franchisee of the Berkeley, Calif.-based custom storage company, is adding showrooms inside two locations of its parent company's Signature Kitchen and Bath retail stores. They're the first California Closet showrooms in the St. Louis area."





"States fight back against Amazon.com's tax deals" is a story at seattletimes.com.

"Amazon.com, the world's largest Internet retailer, currently collects sales taxes from customers in just five states, including Washington, giving it a price advantage of up to 10 percent in most of the country. But the days of tax-free Internet shopping appear to be coming to an end, something that Amazon itself has conceded in recent months."














Wareham has completed Spring planting on their properties along 7th Street.



"Downtown Berkeley increases 'ambassadors' on the streets"Doug Oakley, westcountytmes.com.

"The number of 'ambassadors' who roam the streets of downtown Berkeley reporting inappropriate behavior to authorities and assisting visitors is more than tripling to 16, representatives of the Berkeley Downtown Business Association announced Tuesday.

The newly revamped association, which started Jan. 1 with $1.2 million in new property taxes, held an official kickoff at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza.

The association took over for the former Downtown Berkeley Association, a fee-based organization that had a $300,000 budget, and will use its new money to make the area 'clean, attractive, safe and welcoming,' said CEO John Caner, who spoke before nearly 200 business people, city officials and residents."








"Founder plans to give up Oaksterdam after raid" latimes.com.

"Richard Lee, whose bid to legalize marijuana in California brought him international attention, plans to give up ownership of his Oakland-based marijuana businesses after a federal raid this week seized many of their assets, including plants, bank accounts, records and computers."










Jimi Hendrix' tune "When Six Was Nine" from Easy Rider is still a favorite

If all the hippies cut off all their hair-I don't care!
Ain't nobody know what I'm talkin' about.
I've got my own life to live.
I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die.
So let me live my life
the way I want to


me in The Day, posing, after unpacking my Sunbeam S-7 just shipped from England


the woman in the background is friend, Mary Francis Fry, Muffin.

Muffin's something-like Great, Great, Grand Father is Muckraker, Frank Norris.

















Look for change to northwest-Berkeley along the Albany border, the new Berkeley Rep facility as one of the anchors.



"The Berkeley Public Library North Branch in Berkeley, California, US is set to reopen on 7 April 2012 after a $5.9 million renovation and expansion" worldinteriordesignnetwork.com.




Councilman Kriss Worthington emails

Telegraph Improvements and Telegraph Livability Coalition
We are excited that a group of planners, architects, and engineers are volunteering their expertise
to conduct a Design Charette to propose a package of specific improvements for the Telegraph Project.
If you have any suggestions you would like considered, I would be happy to forward them to the group.
Also attached is a list of 21 action items proposed by the Telegraph Livability Coalition.

Short Term:
1. Request meeting with owner of Berkeley Inn site, to see if a complete housing
development proposal can be submitted in a timely way.
2. Monitor legal follow up of City initiation of non-judicial foreclosure.
3. Email Berkeley and UC Police Departments to discuss ongoing Walk/Bike the Beat
4. Advocate To Telegraph Property Business Improvement District to increase
Ambassador attention to the Haste and Telegraph intersection.
5. Recruit stakeholders to work with Telegraph Merchants Association on pedestrian
lighting and safety.
6. Work with partners to produce graphically appealing brochure to promote Telegraph.
7. Create roster of vacant storefronts and bring to attention of Economic Development,
& City Council.
8. Contact owners of vacant sites to identify obstacles, and offer assistance.
9. Continue to advocate to City on addressing dangerous Dwight/Telegraph right turn.
10. Paint new visible markings of sidewalk vending spaces to decrease conflict and

Medium Term:
1. Explore options for increasing and improving clean and accessible public toilet
2. Celebrate Street Vendors and explore ways to better facilitate and promote their
3. Work with student and community groups to schedule more family and community
events in People's Park.
4. Advocate for new student dorm and coop housing to be exempt from University.
5. Seek funding for transit improvements such as level boarding and prepaid fares.
6. Improve signage for Public Parking and increase awareness that customers can park
in UC lots at certain times (this gives businesses more parking options and UC more
7. Encourage installation of more murals, as well as more art in windows (vacant).
8. Meet with interested business owners to discuss getting a critical mass of businesses
open later.
9. Get cost estimate from Public Works on using under sidewalk hose outlets to clean
10. Promote a proliferation of musicians playing on the street all year long not just
during festivals.

Long term:
1. Consider replacing the sidewalk and/or installing a free speech walk of fame, to
recognize the many issues where Berkeley was first.





"UC report paints grim picture of California's job market" by Mark Glover at sacbee.com.

"California's labor market will not return to a healthy state until sometime between 2018 and 2023, according to a new report from the University of California, Berkeley's Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics.

The report, 'A Depressive State: Assessing California's Labor Market Four Years after the Onset of the Great Recession' by Sylvia A. Allegretto and Luke Reidenbach, shows that a huge jobs deficit remains in place compared with pre-recession levels."


"Mac hacker attack hits more than 600,000 computers" sfgate.com.

"More than 600,000 Mac computers were affected by a hacking attack, a sign that the once rarely targeted company is becoming a bigger focus for people intent on spreading malware, a security-research firm said.

The attack affects computers running Apple's Mac OS X software, according to Russian antivirus software maker Doctor Web."































a reader emails " Oh great DORF, where-art-thou?

doing taxes




This week's "UC Show and Tell" featured their plans for south-west Albany--the residential and commercial development close to the Berkeley-Albany border.

The new Berkeley Rep facility in northwest-Berkeley is close-by to the south.


The west Berkeley project MUP piece is moving towards the Council--could be there in June.




our Councilman Darryl Moore emails (excerpt)

Financial Literacy and Health Fair, Saturday, April 14th, 2012, 10:00AM to 2:00PM
Frances Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park
2800 Park Street (between Russell and Ward), Berkeley

I just wanted to remind you about this Saturday's Financial Literacy and Health Fair where you'll be provided a wealth of information to get your financial house in order . . .



from Kubik, a forward about Our Town's Financial House

The Berkeley FACTS Ordinance of 2012 for the November ballot

        The Committee for FACTS has begun a signature drive to qualify The Berkeley FACTS Ordinance of 2012 for the November ballot.  Committee for FACTS will need to collect about 2700 signatures of Berkeley registered voters by April 30 to qualify the measure.  They also need all the help they can get to meet the April 30 deadline.

        If you can help in any way-especially by taking a petition and getting a few signatures from friends-please notify Signature Committee Chair Jacquelyn McCormick at 510-843-0318 or the Committee for Facts at berkeleybudgetsos@gmail.com


        By unanimous vote on January 19, 2010, the Council passed a resolution, entitled "Requesting a Report of the City's Long-Term (30-Year) Financial Obligations."  The City Manager was to complete the report by May 1, 2010.  The Council's resolution has been ignored.  There is no report.
        The City's long-term, unfunded obligations for capital infrastructure and assets and employee retirement and benefits are well more than $1 billion.  
        Given this delay, and the massive problem, Berkeley Budget SOS prepared a ballot initiative--The Berkeley FACTS Ordinance.  It would require the City to prepare substantially the same long-term report called for in the Council's January 2010 resolution.  The proposed ordinance would require the City to prepare and publish by March 1, 2013, a Certified Financial Report ("Report") of the City's financial obligations for the next twenty year period for employee and retiree expenses, capital improvements and capital assets, and the productive capacity of City services ("Long Term Obligations").  It also requires an evaluation of the present value of these Long Term Obligations and the yearly expenses needed to meet them.  The Report must be updated every two years.  The ordinance would restrict the City Council's ability to incur debt financing or impose new taxes, assessments or property-related fees during any period the Report is not prepared.  

        To solve our billion dollar problem, we need a three-step process: first get the FACTS the initiative will compel, followed by comprehensive planning with informed public participation, and only then, application of the 30 to 40 solutions that must be used.




The April 16, 2012 issue of Autoweek is their GREEN ISSUE. Of interest among the stories about Green vehicles is John Katz "Alternative Fuels since 1899."

Of course, . . . also of interest is the six page feature of the new Dodge Viper

"Slithering Into a Brave New Viper."











Quote of the week.

"I know so many one liners, I can't speak in complete sentences anymore" Gene Agress.










"Electric vehicles: It's about more than cars" and "Startup announces big breakthrough for electric vehicle batteries" are by Dana Hull at contracostatimes.com.





"U.S. Economy Enters Sweet Spot as China Slows" by Rich Miller and Simon Kenned at bloombergnews.com.


Still, "World's longest and highest tunnel-to-tunnel suspension bridge built in China" at nydailynews.com.

in mountainous Jishou region



"The ouster of Chongqing boss Bo Xilai was 30 years in the making -- a long, sordid tale of elite families and factions vying for the soul of the Chinese Communist Party" is at foreignpolicy.com.





"Leftism at UC leaves many with unbalanced education, study says" at latimes.com.

"Especially in humanities, study of classics and rigorous analysis have been replaced by advocacy and teaching about minorities' grievances, a conservative group says. UC provost disputes the findings."




















A dollar store, the Dollar Tree, is opening in the old location of the bingo parlor on San Pablo at Gilman.


"Fix income inequality with $10 million loans for everyone!" Sheila Bair, Friday at washingtonpost.com.

"Are you concerned about growing income inequality in America? Are you resentful of all that wealth concentrated in the 1 percent? I've got the perfect solution, a modest proposal that involves just a small adjustment in the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy. Best of all, it will mean that none of us have to work for a living anymore."




"S.F.'s Scooter Tutor races to keep up with demand" Meredith May at sfgate.com.

"When the school day ends, Ramesh Shivdasani kicks his Piaggio Beverly 200 into high gear.

The retired mechanical engineer and financial analyst is in such demand as a private tutor that he needs a red scooter to zip to all his San Francisco appointments.

The Scooter Tutor has never advertised, but parents have been circulating his name since 2001, six months after he finished a 30-year corporate career."










"Independent booksellers ponder their fate as Amazon and Apple duke it out" by Patrick May and Eve Mitchell at mercurynews.com.






"Family of Murder Victim Criticizes Berkeley Police" Ja'Mein Beale at kron4.com.

"The son of a 67-year-old man who was killed outside his home in the Berkeley hills two months ago is disputing statements by Berkeley police that his father called a non-emergency phone number to report an intruder.
Peter Cukor, who owned a logistics consulting firm, was killed outside his home at 2 Park Gate Road at about 9 p.m. on Feb. 18.
Chistopher Cukor, 37, said, 'My father called the correct Berkeley police emergency number that is listed on their website.'
Cukor said he finds police Chief Michael Meehan's statement that his father only called a non-emergency number 'very disturbing' and said 'other citizens should be concerned as well.'
Cukor was joined by his brother, 34-year-old Alexander Cukor, at a news conference in the office of Oakland attorney R. Lewis Van Blois.
Christopher Cukor said his family hasn't yet decided whether to file a lawsuit against Berkeley police."




after 4/14/12 here






4/1/12--8:38 AM--dry dirty air in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, overrides three HEPA filter, wear respirator.

4/2/12--1:39 AM--dry dirty air in warehouse front and front of warehouse, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation.

4/3/12--2:06 PM--serious irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation, over rides 4 HEPA filter, wear respirator.

4/5/12--8:13 AM--dry dirty air in front room, mucus membrane irritation,

4/7/12--9:10 AM---dry dirty air in front room, "epoxy/asbestos/hot roofing tar" odor, mucus membrane irritation. ~10:00 AM--similar. 8:00PM--similar. 9:12 PM--similar.

4/9/12--11:07 AM--dry dirty air in warehouse front and front of warehouse, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation.

4/13/12 --12:42 AM--dry dirty air in front room, "epoxy/asbestos/hot roofing tar" odor, mucus membrane irritation. 9:14 AM--similar all AM, nausea, blurred vision, lighthead, OVER RIDES 4 HEPA FILTERS. 9:59 AM--similar. 10:52 AM--similar. 11:11 AM--similar. 1:57 PM--similar. 8:28 PM--irritant in warehouse front and immediately in front of warehouse, "epoxy/asbestos/hot roofing tar" odor, mucus membrane irritation.

4/14/12--2:14 AM--"raw natural gas odor" in warehouse front and immediately in front of warehouse. 2:41 AM--"raw natural gas odor" in front room. 7:52 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, dry dirty air in front room, mucus membrane irritation, nausea, blurred vision, lighthead, OVER RIDES 4 HEPA FILTERS. 12:03 PM--"raw natural gas odor" in warehouse front and immediately in front of warehouse.


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