APRIL 2013

after 4/12/13 here


Cassandra Wilson


April is Jazz Appreciation Month



By my reckoning today is Berkeley's 135th Birthday




Councilman Wozniak recently advocated taxing email. Here's an explanation emailed to us by the Councilman.

Arthur Cordell is Special Advisor in the Information Technology Policy Branch of the Canadian Department of Industry in Ottawa. This is the text of a speech delivered to the International Tax Program at the Harvard Law School on February 14, 1997.

"It's a pleasure to be here this afternoon as a guest in the International Tax Programme. I am here today to try to bring a new perspective on one aspect of taxes in a global networked economy.

In my talk today I intend to convey the following ideas: Tax revenues are falling because of downsizing, outsourcing, the rise of a temporary labour force';Tax revenues are threatened as commercial transactions move to the Internet; There is a case to be made for investigating the possibility of new taxes for a new economy; I will suggest one such approach, a bit tax."




"On The Distribution Of Income" Matthew Yglesias at slate.com.

link courtesy of Bob Kubik

"As there's some considerable conservative interest in my views on so-called 'income redistribution' (and conversely always a lively chorus of leftwingers upset about 'neoliberalism') so I thought perhaps a little random Saturday political theory. Crack open a really banal mainstream neoclassical economics textbook and you'll learn that free market solutions are generally the efficient ones (i.e., they create the biggest economic pie regardless of distribution) with a few minor exceptions."





"Making Do with More: Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Engineer Plant Cell Walls to Boost Sugar Yields for Biofuels" at lbl.gov.

"Genetically engineered Arabidopsis plants (#89) yielded as much biomass as wild types (WT) but with enhanced polysaccharide deposition in the fibers of their cell walls.

When blessed with a resource in overwhelming abundance it's generally a good idea to make valuable use of that resource. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant organic material on Earth. For thousands of years it has been used as animal feed, and for the past two centuries has been a staple of the paper industry. This abundant resource, however, could also supply the sugars needed to produce advanced biofuels that can supplement or replace fossil fuels, providing several key technical challenges are met. One of these challenges is finding ways to more cost-effectively extract those sugars. Major steps towards achieving this breakthrough are being taken by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI)."



 "Dreambox: UC Berkeley's 3D Printing Vending Machine" operating on youtube.


"3d printing with metal, titanium & aluminum demo by EOS @ MDM 2013" on youtube.

"Jessica presents two 3d printed metal samples made with EOS 3d printers--a Formula 1 race car custom heat exchanger and artificial joints."









"A guide to Scotch in Oakland from Johnny Walker to Laphroaig" by Angela Woodall , Oakland Tribune.

"I walked into the smoky 19th Street Station bar, pulled up a stool and asked for a glass of Scotch.

'Which one?' Roy Mejia asked. 'That's what I was going to ask you,' I said. "



Tak Nakamoto emails a response to my question

Janet and I think that the best dim sum place in SF is Ton Kiang out on Geary Blvd in the Avenues.

There may be others that are better. But that's theoretical speculation . . .




















Today Assembly member Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) will present her legislation, AB 48, which would require anyone selling or transferring ammunition to an individual in California to require the buyer's identification, to be an authorized firearms dealer, and to report the sales to the Department of Justice. Though I'm sure that the assemblywoman offers her legislation in good faith, lawmakers generally seem behind the curve.

Cody R Wilson, an advocate of firearm 3D growing, demonstrates in a youtube video the ability of his 3D printed assault rifle receiver to fire 30 some rounds, claims successfully firing 100 rounds and others claim 600 rounds.

a still from the video

demonstrating a 3D grown magazine

An informed law enforcement source comments"More than a little disturbing!" The video has had more than 1.5 million views.




In what I believe to be somewhat irresponsible reporting by Caleb Garling "Digital frontier mentality extends to guns" is at sfgate.com.

Glock g34 model parts made from plastic using 3-D printing process

an example of a new digital frontier in weapons


Based on my life-long familiarity with firearms, I don't believe that this weapon as shown, can be assembled and fired. The Austrian Glock barrel and slide are steel.







"Tesla Turns First Profit" at mashable.com.

Tesla Model S

"It only took a decade, but Tesla is finally profitable.

Tesla announced late Sunday that it achieved profitability in the first quarter of 2013 for the first time in its history after posting better than expected sales of the Model S sedan. The company sold more than 4,750 of the cars, compared to a previous estimate that it would sell 4,500."




















Some good info in "Body language savvy to close the sale" at troymedia.com.

"You may have 'sales; in your job title. But if you are a leader announcing an organizational change, an entrepreneur pitching to a venture capitalist, or an employee on a job interview ­ you too are in sales. And in any situation where you are selling a product, a service, or an idea, engagement and disengagement are the most important signals to monitor in your audience's body language."








our Cameron emails

Though it was April 1, it's no joke the California Golden Bears Women's Basketball team beat Georgia in a close game Monday night to qualify them for Cal's first Final Four appearance in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament!

The team is led by Sophomore guard Brittany Boyd, a hometown athlete who graduated from Berkeley High.

Cameron Woo, Publisher, The Bark 


"Golden West Invitational Moves to Berkeley's Edwards Stadium: The high school track and field invitational will be held in Berkeley for the first time in June"
at berkeley.patch.com.

"The Golden West Invitational is sharing a new home with the Golden Bears.

The nationally acclaimed high school invitational, which had been held in the Sacramento area every spring since 1965, is setting up shop an hour and a half away in one of track and field's most revered venues - Edwards Stadium on the UC Berkeley campus.

The 54th annual Golden West Invitational will be held June 8-9 in Berkeley."


Clay Pot is open now at the corner of San Pablo and Dwight Way. A Vietnamese restaurant, they open at 11 AM and close at 9PM except weekends.

Tak said EAT, opened briefly in the old Sea Salt location, has closed and that their website is down.




From the Mayor's March Update

Berkeley's Startup Community

With the Bay Area and Silicon Valley the home of many successful startups, Berkeley's own startups are starting to get recognition. Berkeley is home to 11 business incubators with about 140 startups specializing in everything from biotech to video games and semiconductors. To help these develop our own tech economy, Mayor Bates has been working closely with the Berkeley Startup Cluster--a collaboration between the City of Berkeley, UC Berkeley, the East Bay Green Corridor, the Downtown Berkeley Association, the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, and private-sector companies--on events and collaboration opportunities.
The Mayor will be giving the welcoming remarks at the upcoming Innovate@Berkeley Startup Fair at the Shattuck Hotel on April 11. He is also working with Alameda County to host a Hackathon at Berkeley High School on April 27. If you would like to be a part of the Hackathon and build apps that "benefit the community, whether that is improving civic engagement or promoting digital education" contact Hannah Greene.


Task Forces on the March

A center piece of 1960's social change, Telegraph Ave, its residents, and businesses are about to begin new changes to their world famous street. In response to the February 28 Community Forum, the Mayor is forming and convening two task forces: the Mobility Task Force and the Place Task Force. The Mobility Task Force will work on transportation for pedestrians, bikes, public transit, and cars. The Place Task Force will be concerned with the livability and experience of Telegraph and share ideas on enhancing arts, crafts, and music as well as lighting, signage, and sanitation. To get things started, the City Council will fund a new LED-light pilot program and is in discussion about making Durant and Bancroft avenues two-way streets.
To get involved, bring your ideas and volunteer for a task force by emailing the Mayor's office, or you can join in the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce brown-bag lunch sessions.


BPD, Public Information Officer Jennifer Coats emails

The City of Berkeley Police and Fire Departments will be conducting several training exercises designed to prepare first responders for a multi-causality incident (MCI). 
These exercises will take place at the Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Avenue starting April 1, 2013 and will conclude on April 5, 2013.  The training will start and finish at various times but will generally be between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The neighborhoods surrounding the Berkeley Adult School can expect to see police and fire vehicles and associated crews in the area throughout the week.  People should also expect to see members of our Barricaded Subject Hostage Negotiation Team as well as role-players made up to look like causalities.  Occasionally fake smoke may be visible as well as water from fire hoses. 
We would like to acknowledge and thank the staff of the Berkeley Unified School District for their assistance during the planning of this training exercise and the use of their facilities.



The Berkeley Police Association is conducting an email survey on police use of tasers. Just under 20k questionnaires were sent out last week.





"UC Berkeley updates data security through new contract" by Matt Trejo at dailycal.com.

"UC Berkeley entered into a contract with a different information technology firm in January to protect over 20,000 faculty and staff members from losing important files on their computing devices.

The firm, Druva, will provide its inSync software to back up and protect PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets used by campus affiliates in order to combat data and intellectual property loss caused by mobile device failure, damage and theft, according to Walt Hagmaier, a partner on the Druva contract and director of information services and technology at UC Berkeley."























Thursday evening a meeting of Makers was held at Swerve hosted by Steven Goldin. About 100 makers showed up including pioneer Chris Anderson. (Anderson who referred to west-Berkeley as THE gathering place for Makers, now has an office here in Potter Creek.) Pizza and beer were served before Anderson and a few other Maker pioneers gave short presentations.

But more interesting was the before-and-after interaction between the 100 some attendees, the air filled with enthusiasm, excitement, ideas and conversation. The crowd was diverse and young!


Chris Anderson and beer

our Michael Caplan, far left



Even with this infant new economy, Neil Irwin asks

"Fridays jobs report is a disaster. But why?" , washingtonpost.com.

"This is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad jobs report.

The 88,000 net jobs added in March, if that or a similar figure holds up through revisions, is a tragedy: Nearly four years into the economic recovery, with the unemployment rate still close to 8 percent, the nation recorded a month in which too few jobs were added to keep up with the growing American workforce (that number is more like 125,000). The headline read that the unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent, but it was almost entirely for bad reasons. A whopping 496,000 people dropped out of the labor force, and 206,000 fewer people reported having a job, meaning that the proportion of Americans currently working actually ticked down, not up."











"A Mini Sub Made From Cheap Parts Could Change Underwater Exploration" Brian Lam at nytimes.com.

"This month, NASA engineer Eric Stackpole hiked to a spot in Trinity County, east of California's rough Bigfoot country. Nestled at the base of a hill of loose rock, peppered by red and purple wildflowers, is Hall City Cave. For part of the winter the cave is infested with large spiders, but is mostly flooded year-round. Locals whisper the cave's deep pools hold a cache of stolen gold, but Mr. Stackpole isn't here to look for treasure.

He had, under his arm, what might appear to be a clunky toy blue submarine about the size of a lunchbox. The machine is the latest prototype of the OpenROV­an open-source, remotely operated vehicle that could map the cave in 3D using software from Autodesk and collect water in places too tight for a diver to go.

It could change the future of ocean exploration."


west-Berkeley's OPenROV

shop front, Aquatic Park west-Berkeley

ENTER here









Timing is everything, and whatever came before or whatever will come after, openROV has sized the moment. This is their time.

While the economy is struggling to reinvent itself, our openROV* is inventing itself "with ease." Reinventing underwater exploration with their inexpensive ROV--USD 850.00 for the kit--as well as making their research available to all, they present a new model of manufacturing with a democratic emphasis. Are they utopians, collectivists? Actually they remind me more of the early hot-rodders but that's another discussion.

And how timely are they? Hoping for USD 20K through Kickstarter, they have up to now received USD 100K.

All in their 20s, their optimism and energy can be seductive. Still I believe their innovation is revolutionary.


*Colin Ho, Zachary Johnson, David Lang, and Eric Stackpole


Look for David Lang on TED and keep an eye open for his forthcoming book.


openrov.com here

openrov on youtube here

openrov.com at wikipedia here





"Want to know how much your professor makes?" at dailycal.org.

"Curious about how much your professor makes? The Sacramento Bee has a nifty search engine that lets you effortlessly look up the salary of any state employee. Just search your professor's name, choose UC Berkeley as the department and choose 2011 for the year (there doesn't seem to be any data for 2012-13 yet).

So, who was the highest-paid in 2011? Former football coach Jeff Tedford - of course - who made a cool $2,884,880.25. How about some of our celebrity professors? Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich took home $235, 791.70, and our recurring NOVA guest astrophysicist Alexei Filippenko took $205,296.05 to the bank.

While the salaries we mentioned are on the higher end of the professor salaries, the average professor salary at Cal is $149,100." 








"Eight words. One big win in New Yorker cartoon caption contest"Carol Ness, newscenter.berkeley.edu.

"The prize doesn't come with a parking place. But University Librarian Tom Leonard is still tickled to win The New Yorker's weekly cartoon caption contest.
The cartoon in contest No. 371 depicts a cat facing a mouse, just outside a mouse hole. The mouse points a gun at the cat, but the cat holds up a paw.

Leonard's winning caption: 'Six rounds. Nine lives. You do the math.' New Yorker judges picked it as one of three finalists , and readers voted it their top pick.
As news of Leonard's win flashed around the Berkeley campus, the campus librarian spoke with the NewsCenter from San Antonio, Texas. He was there late last week for a session of the Coalition for Network Information, which, as he says, 'doesn't sound like a cartoon - and it isn't.'

When an email arrived announcing that he was one of three finalists, he says, he was with both of his adult children, helping his daughter paint the interior of a house she recently bought.

I showed it to them,Leonard recalls.My son said, 'I think the alternative was good.'

On the Sunday night when he knew the winner would be revealed, Leonard was at home in Berkeley with his wife. He downloaded the edition on his iPad, his favorite way of reading the magazine. Jumping right to the contest page at the back, he learned the good news. The cartoon also appears in the April 8 print edition."

Great caption, lousy timing!



Lieutenant Dave Frankel of the Berkeley Police Department is the Area 4 Commander and he invites anyone who wishes to have coffee with him to join him at:
Café Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave Avenue, Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, from 12 to 1pm
Officer Rashawn Cummings #34
Area 4 Coordinator
Berkeley Police Department




A virtual view of the Sistine Chapel is here. Click and move mouse around site. Must be seen to be believed!

link courtesy Don Yost





after 4/12/13 here







from our log


3/30/13-- Off-and on all day--irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation overrides HEPA filter, watery eyes, itchy dry skin, coughing, wear respirator. Marsha same.

3/31/13--7:27 AM--irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation overrides HEPA filter. Off-and-on all day---irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation overrides HEPA filter, Marsha same. Marsha same.


4/1/13--5:13 AM-- Same off-and-on all day.

4/12/13--5:54 PM---irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation overrides HEPA filter, only appearnt activity at neighbors manufacting facility.

4/13/13--8:00 AM---VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation overrides HEPA filter, SEVERE nausea, light head, dry skin.






eternally useful links


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

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



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

useful link

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




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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.



Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com

Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com


Our City Council update is here.

Our Planning Commision update is here




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



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

The contacts are below:

Our Area Coordinator, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.

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

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

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






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