MAY 2010

after 5/9/10 here, after 5/15/10 here, after 5/23/10 here

  Spring greetings to you all!

This coming Friday, we will be celebrating our 3rd anniversary.  We can't thank all of you enough for your incredible support over the years.  We truly believe our staff and our guests have made Riva the special place it is and we feel so fortunate to share it together with you.  To show our appreciation, we'll be throwing an anniversary celebration on Friday, April 30th, from 4-6pm.  Our kitchen will be serving small bites on the house and we'll set up a cash bar on the patio, where we'll offer our Pinot Grigio and Salento Rosso for $4 and select bottled beers for $3.  We hope you'll be able to join us! 

We'll have another special celebration in May, as we've decided to open for Mother's Day Brunch this year.  If it's a sunny day, the patio will be the perfect setting to enjoy your family.  Massi will be creating a special Mother's Day menu in celebration of La Mamma! 

We've got some changes coming to our normal hours of operation.  Since the days are growing longer, we've decided to extend our hours on Friday and Saturday nights to 9:30pm, starting in May.  Come June, we're pleased to be opening for Saturday brunch.  Delight in our blossoming garden, relaxing fountain and beautiful patio under the shaded sun as you enjoy our Italian version of brunch fare.  Massi's sformato, frittata and uova in nido will all be back...they're deliziosi! With our extended hours, we look forward to the chance of seeing you even more often.

We have been having a blast with our special Thursday night Emilia Romagna menus. We've got two stops left: Comacchio on May 6th and our grand finale, Ferrara, Massi's hometown on May 13th. We are serving three-course typical meals for under $30.  More details can be found here.

Finally, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who voted for us on Zagat. We are excited about the opportunity to be included in next year's Guide. And we'd also like to thank you in advance for casting your Baylist vote for us!  More details on this can be found to the left.

Grazie ancora for all your continued support over the past three years.  What a rewarding and fun adventure it has been.

Sending all our best your way,
Massi & Jen

P.S.  We love Spring for bringing us the apple blossoms above that are beautifying our backyard right now.  Look for torta di mele, preserves and salads on our Fall menu, thanks to these incredible little blossoms!  Mmmm...mele.


RIVA CUCINA The Italian kitchen where land and water meet
CHEF Massimiliano Boldrini
800 Heinz Avenue Berkeley, CA 94710  
Lunch Tues-Fri 11:30 - 2:30 / Dinner Tues-Sat 5:30 - 9:00
510 841 riva (7482)
510 649 5075






The new-to-west-Berkeley, soon-to-open Beehive is a green market

Beehive Market opens Saturday, June 12, 2010 in the Berkeley Adult School parking
lot, corner Virginia and San Pablo Ave, 1701 San Pablo Ave.
Hours: Every Saturday, 9AM vendor set-up, market hours 10AM ­ 2PM

Beehive Market contact info: Office phone: 510-644-9517
Market day cell contact: 415-717-4455




our Darryl Moore emails (excerpts)

You're Invited To A Party

You are invited to a party Sunday May 2, 12-4 PM
At the 10th Street Park
 Between Allston & Addison
Pot luck, & bring musical instruments
 We are going to talk about co-operative Garden Work Parties in Rosa Parks neighborhood & West Berkeley
So that we'll all be able to walk to our neighbors' yards to help grow fresh food.
If you need help in your garden, We can arrange a volunteer
Garden Work Party
Expert advice and perhaps a steady helper
Would YOU like to be the first person this year to host a garden work party in your yard?
As food prices rise,
We can grow our own good food,
 With our skills, land and labor.
Whether or not you have a yard,
We can garden together
Summer Program Kickoff & Bike Rodeo (all ages)
Saturday, May 8 
San Pablo Park, 2800 Park St
11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Get a taste of the amazing programs kids and adults can enjoy this summer through the City of Berkeley Recreation Division.  Play, eat, dance, and learn.  The Public Health Division encourages you to bring your bike, skateboard, scooter and helmet to cruise in the 'Mock City' and 'Slow Races'.  Get bicycle maintenance tips too.  Free helmets and event t-shirts for children while supplies last.  Enjoy youth arts and entertainment.  Learn about summer literacy programs.  Enrollment materials and scholarship applications will be available on site, and program representatives will be able to answer individual questions.


Who Are These Crooks?
Berkeley Police Department presents a new web feature to showcase recent crimes where community members can assist our Detectives with information.   During some BPD investigations, we are able to get surveillance or other photographs of crime suspects, but we do not know who they are.  If you're interested in helping out the Berkeley Police Department, click here or visit their new page at

I really appreciate you taking the time to learn about news that affect the District, and the City, and I hope to keep providing you with useful/interesting information.  If you have any information you'd like to share with the community, please forward it on over.  Thanks.
 Darryl Moore
Berkeley City Council, District





"Future is uncertain for Berkeley's Serendipity Books, one of the region's largest bookstores" Frances Dinkelspiel,

"Peter B. Howard, the owner of Serendipity Books, has been collecting antique tomes for 47 years and the results of his diligence can be seen in the stacks and stacks of books at his store on University Avenue in Berkeley.

A world-renowned book collector who has rescued a number of valuable archives from the Berkeley city dump and gotten them preserved at university libraries, Howard estimates that he owns one million books. Half are crammed into his store, where the piles of books make it tough to move around, and half are stored in his warehouse.

But all that is about to change.

Howard was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and he knows his time - and that of Serendipity Books - is short. He is trying to sell his massive collection, as well as his business, but does not think it will be easy. He predicts that the store will probably close upon his death.

'There's nothing to say,' Howard said by telephone. 'People die. We all die. Businesses end.'

Howard has long been famous for his blunt talk. That, and the quality of his collection."








"Greta Billinger & Jeremy Brautman" at

"Brooklyn. Greta and Jeremy were excited to arrive by boat for their wedding ceremony at the Prospect Park Audubon Center.

But the morning of the wedding brought drizzle. During a lull in the rainfall, Greta changed into her wedding dress to make one last attempt at a boat arrival.

'I went to go get changed, and in that time, lightning cracked,' Greta remembers. But the couple persisted with a postwedding boat ride, getting drenched in the process.

Jeremy, 33, a pop-culture writer, and Greta, 40, an artist and writer, met in 2006 at a California wedding. Jeremy was living in Berkeley and Greta in Brooklyn, and they flew back and forth for visits."




"Online privacy: the information you didn't realize you were sharing (and how to remove it)" is a story at

"We are sharing increasing amounts of information about ourselves on the internet with our friends and family, but how much of that information is actually being shared with advertisers or strangers?

Online privacy is an important topic of discussion in the age of social networks and geolocation services. A topic that should be raised with your friends and family (and followers).

A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania and published on April 14 showed that more than 90 percent of people believed that there should be a law that requires websites and advertising companies to delete all stored information about an individual. Almost 70 percent said there should be a law that gives people the right to know everything that a website knows about them."




Jim Motavalli writes about "Nine more myths about electric cars" at

"Auto exec says much of what you think you know about electric vehicles is wrong. Sure there are challenges, but the solutions are out there, he says.

"I recently went to Finland to drive the all-electric Think City plug-in car, which is already on European roads and coming to the U.S. later this year. To help it have a soft landing, Think CEO Richard Canny (who spent 25 years at Ford) put together these nine myths about electric vehicles (EV). I've had my own version, but Richard's list is quite different and well worth sharing. He's not an objective party, of course, but he has hands-on experience."


Jerry Victor, Potter Creek car-guy recently rented a Prius and was impressed with it's economy "On the highway the dashboard milage readout kept going up, 40 mpg, 50 mpg." He was equally impressed by its seamless acceleration. He did mention a concern with its potential danger in an accident with all that current.

And Jerry has been a hardcore "electric-guy" for years, advocating increased electrification of infrastructure, manufacturing, business, homes, vehicles.RP




"Inexpensive metal catalyst for generating hydrogen from water discovered" is a story at

" A team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley, has discovered an inexpensive metal catalyst for generating hydrogen from water."



"Ancient Egypt Crocodile Mummies Revealed" photos at


"Common cactus could be used to clean water" by Lin Edwards at

"Access to clean drinking water is lacking in many parts of the world but most technologies to clean water to make it fit for drinking are expensive and hard to maintain. Now researchers propose a cactus common around the world could be used to provide a cheap and easy solution. "


"UC Berkeley scientists sequence frog genome" is a report at

"For the first time, scientists have sequenced the genome of an amphibian. Scientists at UC Berkeley and the Defense Department teamed up on the project. They say the frog genome has more similarities to humans than you might think. "




"UC Davis to help re-open UC Center in Sacramento" by Jonathan Mendick at

"University of California and UC Davis officials announced in a press conference Thursday morning that UC Davis will take over operating the UC Center in Sacramento (UCCS). Initiated in 2003 and funded by the UC Office of the President, the center served UC students system-wide until it closed after the 2009 fall term due to lack of state funding."




"East Bay House members seek more than half a billion in earmarks" by Josh Richman, Oakland Tribune.

"The East Bay's five House members asked for well over a half-billion dollars in earmarks this year, with the bulk of the money requested for flood control, water, transportation and other infrastructure projects throughout the region.

Earmarks - sometimes knock- ed as "pork-barrel spending" - are legislative bill provisions offered by members of Congress to direct that money to be spent on specific projects usually in or near their own districts, bypassing the main federal funding process in which money percolates down through federal departments and agencies. U.S. House of Representatives members now are required to post their requests online, though many have been doing so for years.

Although earmarks accounted for only about 0.1 percent of this year's total budget, or about 0.28 percent of discretionary spending, they remain a hot topic in the nation's fiscal policy debate; foes decry them as wasteful, while supporters say they bring federal spending to worthwhile projects.

A California News Service analysis shows the state's Democrats requested a total of $7.5 billion for the coming year, an average of $220 million per member. The amount - not all of which will be approved - is more than twice as much as California received last year."




"Cigarettes for minors? Not in Berkeley" Tracey Taylor at

"Parents of teenagers will be heartened to learn that should their offspring want to buy cigarettes in Berkeley, they're going to have a hard time doing so.

In a recent tobacco sting operation, only one store out of 43 in Berkeley sold tobacco to a 15-year-old.

The operation tested how well Berkeley's tobacco vendors comply with the California Penal Code 308(a) which prohibits the sale of tobacco to minors. During the sting, a 15- or 16-year-old trained youth decoy attempted to buy a tobacco product while an undercover police officer looked on. If the merchant sells the tobacco product, the salesperson receives a $200 citation.

The rate at which Berkeley tobacco retailers sell tobacco to minors has fallen from 37% in 2002 to just 2.3% this year. "







"Are there chickens on the loose in Berkeley?" by Frances Dinkelspiel at

"Veteran investigative reporter Lance Williams of California Watch tipped us off to this caper: there was a chicken running lose in the Elmwood a few days ago."


Ah, Mercury the planet of communication is retrograde.*

*At 04:06 UT (Universal Time) Sunday, April 18th, 2010, Mercury the wise communicator-and universal trickster-turns retrograde at 12°37' Taurus, in the sign of the Bull, sending communications, travel, appointments, mail and the www into a general snarlup! The retro period begins some days before the actual turning point (as Mercury slows) and lasts for three weeks or so, until May 11, 2010, when the Winged Messenger reaches his direct station.



"Pioneering Chef Jose Andres takes Anderson Cooper's taste buds on a savory tour of his culinary laboratory, featuring his avant-garde cooking technique, molecular gastronomy" is a 5/2/10 60 Minutes feature.


Of particular importance to those involved with change in west-Berkeley is "Neural mechanism that help adapt to new situations discovered" at

"A new research has offered intriguing insight into the way humans approach novel situations.

The new study by David Badre, assistant professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences at Brown University, and colleagues at the University of California-Berkeley suggests that the brain's frontal cortex may have a larger role in decision-making in unfamiliar situations than previously believed."




"Three firms compete to design UCB museum" in the San Francisco Business Times by Blanca Torres

"Three architecture firms will compete to design the new space for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, a 100,000-square-foot project being developed by the University of California, Berkeley.

The university selected Ann Beha Architects of Boston, Diller Scofidio + Renfro of New York and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects of New York out of a pool of 10. Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects also designed UC Berkeley's C.V. Starr East Asian Library. The winning architect will be announced this summer and will work directly with EHDD, the local firm of record for the project."



"At the Movies" has just discovered and recommends"Sita Sings the Blues. "

In August 2009 I recommended

Sita Sings the Blues

an animted film by Nina Paley

from Wikipedia

Sita Sings the Blues

"Sita Sings the Blues is a 2008 animated feature film written, directed, produced and animated entirely by American artist Nina Paley (with the exception of some fight animation by Jake Friedman in the 'Battle of Lanka' scene)[2] primarily using 2D computer graphics.

It intersperses events from an episode of the Ramayana, illustrated conversation between Indian shadow puppets, musical interludes voiced with tracks by Annette Hanshaw and scenes from the artist's own life. The ancient mythological and modern biographical plot are parallel tales, sharing numerous themes."











"Santa Cruz police ask FBI to help investigate downtown riot" by Alia Wilson of the santacruzsentinel at

"Santa Cruz police on Monday asked the FBI to help investigate what they believe was a 'methodical and coordinated' attack on the city Saturday night."

Could it happen here? Well it has, but it didn't, . . . this time. RP


"Hunger Strike Occuring at UC Berkeley: Rally at 7PM" by JMZ at

"As of Noon today the Chican@/Latin@ community at Cal, which includes RAZA, Mecha, Xinaxtli etc have called for a Hunger Strike in front of California Hall in response to the new Arizona SB1070 Law and to the charges imposed on student protesters this year (many of whom will be suspended starting next semester). There will be a rally at 7PM and an organizing meeting at 4PM. We will be needing the most support tonight as they plan to camp out and police will most likely be involved."


"Little consensus on initiative to legalize pot", Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Talk about murky.

The economic impact, the potential social and legal landscape, even the split between the pro and con sides in the squabble over the initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California - they're all about as clear as smoke from a bong.

Most medicinal-marijuana advocates think it would be just fine if good-time tokers joined their legal crowd. Others worry it might ruin the purity of using pot as medicine.

Some associated with law enforcement think it's time to treat weed like liquor and give up trying to tamp down the trade. More think this approach will just lead to a dangerous explosion of potheads on the roads and at work."




"A proposal by a consortium of research universities, national laboratories and local governments and organizations would create a Northern California innovation cluster around energy-efficient building technolog" is story at

"It would be the first cluster of its kind in the nation, working to develop and commercialize the technology - and spur economic growth.

If successful, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory-led proposal would tap the expertise of members from the Bay Area and Sacramento region."



"Liberty Tire Recycling Praises Recent Manex and UC Berkeley Research Concluding Crumb Rubber Infill is 'Cost-Effective and Safe' " is a press release at

"Pittsburgh-based Liberty Tire Recycling, the premier provider of tire recycling services in the United States, is praising the findings of a recent study by the Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence (Manex) and the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability (LMAS) at the University of California, Berkeley. Published this month, the study focuses on the safety of crumb rubber infill used in athletic fields. The Manex/Berkeley research is among the most comprehensive reports to date, including reviews of existing studies from the past 12 years as well as independent analysis."


"'Smart dust' aims to monitor everything" by John D. Sutter, CNN.

"In the 1990s, a researcher named Kris Pister dreamed up a wild future in which people would sprinkle the Earth with countless tiny sensors, no larger than grains of rice.

These "smart dust" particles, as he called them, would monitor everything, acting like electronic nerve endings for the planet. Fitted with computing power, sensing equipment, wireless radios and long battery life, the smart dust would make observations and relay mountains of real-time data about people, cities and the natural environment.

Now, a version of Pister's smart dust fantasy is starting to become reality.

'It's exciting. It's been a long time coming,' said Pister, a computing professor at the University of California, Berkeley."



"In New York, a Tech Incubator Becomes a Hub of Collaboration" Jenna Wortham, The New York Times.

"In 2008, before most people knew what a tweet was, Iain Dodsworth, a programmer in London, cobbled together a software tool that reorganized his jumbled Twitter stream into neat columns. He named it TweetDeck.

Within a few months, it gained the kind of momentum most entrepreneurs only dream about. Tech bloggers praised it, and users flocked to it. Ashton Kutcher posted a video online showing him and his wife, Demi Moore, using the service.

It wasn't long before inquiries from investors began pouring in.

'It was fairly scary,' he said. 'I was a one-man company being thrown offers left, right and center from people I didn't know.'

But then Mr. Dodsworth received a message from a company he did recognize: Betaworks, a New York City technology firm known for its eye for emerging Web services. "




"Berkeley Lab to Receive $8.6 Million in Recovery Act Funding for 'Transformational' Energy Research Projects" is a report at

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has been awarded $8.6 million in Recovery Act funding for what the DOE calls 'ambitious research projects that could fundamentally change the way the country uses and produces energy.' The money will go towards four separate projects: one that will speed the development of materials that can absorb carbon dioxide emitted from power plants, another that will use a common soil bacterium to produce biofuels, and two that are aimed at developing new high-energy batteries for powering electric vehicles."





post from the past


"The house, by Bay Area architect Regan Bice, is done in what Moreno calls 'contemporary Mexican' style, rectangular and modern, with high ceilings and rooms that open on to each other" reports Carolyne Zinko in her wonderful "A Day in the Life of . . . Rita Moreno." Regan has also designed and built in Potter Creek. See his elegant design for Susanne Hering and John Phillips building in People and Their Places. And check out the side elevation of his current project on 8th and Pardee. The elegant Bauhaus building across the street is also his. Contact Regan Bice at







fire in the Gulf

don't fuck with Mother Nature




After decades in the Sawtooth, Bill and Carolyn are leaving Potter Creek. Stop by and wish them well.




"Home of Tikkun's Rabbi Lerner vandalized" is a report at

"The northern California home of Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the progressive Tikkun magazine, was vandalized.

"Posters attached to his door and the fence around his Berkeley home attack Lerner personally, and liberals and progressives, as being supporters of terrorism and 'Islamofascism,' according to a news release from the magazine.

The vandalism occurred late Sunday night or early Monday morning, and was discovered Monday morning."




"Berkeley developer thwarts pot club" by Doug Oakley, Berkeley Voice.

"A Berkeley developer snuffed out a plan by a medical marijuana dispensary to move into the old Sharffen Berger Chocolate building when he bought the edifice Thursday."


And if you read Scrambled Eggs very carefully you would have found in my 4/10 post

"And it is my understanding that the chocolate factory will NOT be used for marijuana growing and sales. RP"




"Green Technology -Alphabet Energy Receives $1 Million Grant from Claremont Creek Ventures and California Clean Energy Fund" by Madhubanti Rudra, TMCnet Contributor.

"After using up nearly all its non-renewable energy sources, the human race is in the maddening quest for alternative energies capable of carrying forward this huge civilization. But it is again the indomitable spirit of human race that inspires it discover new energy sources to tap. The relentless human quest for new energy sources is spinning out billion-dollar industries, such as the one that depends on the technology for the conversion of waste heat into electricity. Alphabet Energy Inc. is a new player that seeks to commercialize a waste heat recovery technology. The said technology was developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and makes one of the n inexpensive technologies for energy generation. "


"News from the schools, May 2010:Rolling news from the business campuses" at the

"Haas Business School, at the University of California, Berkeley, has launched a new MBA curriculum. It says it is looking to create "innovative leaders". The school has added new content to its courses including critical thinking and ways to foster creative ideas."











"Students Rising Above: Berkeley High grad escapes family with drug problems to attend Ivy League college" by Doug Oakley, Berkeley Voice.

"Samantha Carter doesn't like to be used as an example of someone who pulled herself up by her bootstraps.

That's despite the fact that she's now attending the Ivy League's Brown University 10 years after her family was deported to Curacao because her mother was selling crack."



"Essex Announces First Quarter 2010 Earnings Results" is a report at

"Essex Property Trust, Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!ess/quotes/nls/ess (ESS 109.10, -0.90, -0.82%) announces its first quarter 2010 earnings results and related business activities. . . .

Fourth & U, a 171-unit Build it Green certified community located in Berkeley, California, began initial occupancy in mid-April in the first of three phases. Overall, the community is currently 30 percent leased.

Joule Broadway, a 295-unit community located in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, began pre-leasing during the first quarter and commenced initial occupancy in Phase I (the north tower) in late March which is 89 percent leased. Occupancy of Phase II (the south tower) is expected to begin in early June. Overall, the community is currently 46 percent leased.

During the quarter, the Company commenced construction of the apartment and retail component of its Tasman Place development, located in Sunnyvale, California. Construction of a subterranean parking garage and retail pad is currently underway and the development is expected to be completed in December 2011. The community will consist of 284 residential units and approximately 46,000 square feet of retail space spread out over 3 five-story buildings. The contemporary Spanish-Mediterranean style property will have a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Amenities will include a fitness center, business center, recreation room and a pool and spa. The estimated remaining cost to complete the development is approximately $82 million. "




"Popular Northern California hot dogs now in O.C."
is a story at

"A frozen yogurt shop has become the unlikely home for Berkeley Dog, Orange County's only seller of the popular sausages served at the iconic Top Dog in the Bay Area.

Top Dog has been feeding hungry UC Berkeley students, staff and alumni for more than 40 years.

Berkeley Dog, which made its debut May 1, is operated out of Myogurt. Irvine couple John Chi and Patty Huang, who opened the yogurt business a year ago, thought to bring Top Dog home after the yogurt business slowed in the winter."


"Berkeley Rep's 'American Idiot' scores Best Musical nomination" by Karen D'Souza at

"Berkeley Repertory Theatre received a huge boost to its national reputation Tuesday when two plays that were born at the adventurous East Bay troupe before wowing Broadway received a total of six Tony nominations - 'American Idiot" and "In the Next Room (or the vibrator play).' "


"New director's coup: Tarnopolsky brings Vienna Philharmonic to Cal Performances" by Sue Gilmore, Contra Costa Times.



"Club That Launched Green Day in Danger of Closing" Aidin Vaziri,

"The small Berkeley, California punk venue where Green Day got their start, 924 Gilman Street, is asking fans for donations to help it cope with an imminent $2700-a-month rent increase.

According to a plea posted on 924 Gilman's blog, 'The club's rent has been increasing every year for the last twenty three years, and up until now we've been able to make the adjustments needed to compensate for those increases, but what we are facing now is the equivalent of having twenty years of rent increases condensed into one, and once it goes into effect the clock will begin to tick away as we struggle to generate the extra $31,000.00 a year needed to cover this massive rent hike.' "



"Fairmont, preservationists at odds over Tonga Room" Robert Selna, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"The Fairmont's owners say the Polynesian-themed Tonga Room doesn't fit their renovation plans.

The owners of San Francisco's Fairmont hotel say a city report's recommendations for saving the popular Tonga Room as part of a major renovation clash with their proposal for a boutique hotel, grand ballroom and condominiums, and that the tiki lounge is inconsistent with the 1907 hotel's history anyway."




"Cal gets $800K for master's in 'sustainability' " San Francisco Business Times by Steven E.F. Brown.

"The University of California, Berkeley, got $800,000 from the MacArthur Foundation for a new master's degree program for 'future leaders in sustainable development.' "


"Weird, ultra-small microbes turn up in acidic mine drainage" is a report at

"The microbes - members of the domain of one-celled creatures called Archaea - are smaller than other known microorganisms, rivaled in size only by a microbe that can survive solely as a parasite attached to the outside of other cells. Their genomes, reconstructed by a group at the University of California, Berkeley, are among the smallest ever reported."




"Wednesday by Riya Bhattacharjee" Planet's Wednesday in Our Town.

"In the news today: Berkeley City Council postpones new marijuana regulations, tables fine proposal for large daycares, approves a proposal for amendments to Telegraph late night zoning; hunger strike at UC Berkeley against Arizona immigration bill strengthens;Berkeley Rep plays get Tony nominations and Berkeley police ask for help on missing teen."












"I'll have a BLT - no bacon, lettuce or tomato" Janny Hu, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"It's the first rule of thumb when it comes to the hospitality industry - the customer is always right.

But what happens when that customer wanders into a high-end restaurant expecting a fabulous meal, without meat, fish, wheat, nuts or dairy?

It's happened to chef Joshua Skenes at Saison in San Francisco, despite his fixed menu.

It's happened at La Mar Cebicheria, the Peruvian restaurant specializing in ceviche.

It's even happened to Charlie Hallowell at Pizzaiolo in Oakland."


"In Praise of Embarrassment" is opinion at

"Today's idea: Embarrassment is good, an essay says; it's a social bonding agent. That's why you should worry about its decline.

Writing for the journal In Character, Christine Rosen ponders the 'death of embarrassment' in an age of desensitizing media, 'too much information,' exhibitionism, taboo-breaking and voyeurism. In our nonjudgmental, individualistic culture, she suggests, we've lost a valuable 'barometer for a society's notions of civility:' "




"Foundations help Aspire charter network expand" is an AP report.

"The Gates and Schwab Foundations are helping a California charter school network secure $93 million in tax-exempt bonds to help them expand and serve more than 4,000 new students."




"U.C. Berkeley Drops Charges Against Some Students" by Rachel Gross at

"After months of pursuing charges against students involved in the large-scale campus demonstrations last fall, the University of California, Berkeley has dropped charges against dozens of them. At the same time, it is undertaking an extensive review of its procedure for investigating and charging students. . . .

The administration has also received a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California last month asking U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to drop charges against students, The Daily Californian reported."








"Berkeley woman, dogs attacked by aggressive deer" abc7news.



Da Boz emails

In recent months, the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) has seen a spike in identity theft and credit card fraud.  These cases may originate in the City of Berkeley, but personal and credit card information is usually used by a larger national and international network of criminals. After community members' credit and bank accounts are compromised, suspects often use them at large retailers across the United States, with a high concentration in Texas, Louisiana, Michigan and Georgia.

BPD is investigating these cases and has some indications that they may be part of a larger data breach. Ultimately, BPD cannot confirm where the compromises originate.
In light of these reports, BPD suggests the community employ these crime prevention measures and take the listed action right away if they become victims of identity theft and credit card fraud.
Fraud Prevention Tips:
Regularly check your bank statements and credit card bills and look for fraudulent charges.
If you shop over the internet, use reputable retailers.
Do not give personal information to anyone over the telephone or internet unless you know who you are talking to.
If You Become a Victim of Fraud:
Report the issue to your bank/credit card company.
When You Talk to your bank/or credit card company, keep a detailed log of who you talk to and what was discussed.
Make a police report in the city or town where you reside.
The community is encouraged to visit the BPD website for a copy of a publication titled Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft, published by the Federal Trade Commission, or go to the FTC website at for more information.




Penelope Huston emails

Dear people,

2010 and May already.
My website has just recovered from a nasty malware attack and after many calls to my host network, it's got a clean bill of health, and Google has cleared up their warnings. Please visit and have a peek at our pink tees for women and men who are self-assured!
Why have I not written you in so long, you might ask?
Busy, busy, busy with a few non-music related things... school, yes I'm a university student now... moving all my money away for the corporate slimebanks... planning to record a new PH album this summer... and more soon-to-be-divulged activities.
You may have noticed that the "Pink Album" appeared on iTunes and Amazon. Not for long! And remember, if you want your hard-earned money to ever reach the band, buy it directly from us.

Shows on the horizon

May 25
I had so much fun reading poetry last month I'm going to do it again at
The Nervous Breakdown Literary Experience
May 25 Makeout Room, 7pm $5
Hosted by Tony DuShane
Readers: Penelope Houston, Stephen Elliott, Johnny Genocide, Paul Clayton, Thomas Wood, Lauren Becker Readers: Penelope Houston, Stephen Elliott, Johnny Genocide, Paul Clayton, Thomas Wood, Lauren Becker
July 22 Great American Music Hall
Farewell show for Jimmy Sweetwater
I'll be playing with Pat Johnson.
The line up includes Patrick Winningham
and a whole slew of other musicians
details and tix
July 30th
Avengers will headline the
Big Takeover 30th Anniversary Fest.
Bell House Brooklyn NY.
2 days of Jack Rabid's favorite bands.
tix here. Get them before this show sells out
Check my site for more info...
on our North Eastern and Canadian dates!

More news coming soon
Much appreciation,





"Honeywell Goes Open Source, Grabs Akuacom" by Katie Fehrenbacher at

"The smart grid shopping spree keeps going this week. Building automation giant Honeywell said on Friday that it has bought demand response firm Akuacom, for an undisclosed price. The news comes days after Swiss electrical giant ABB said it plans to throw down more than $1 billion for smart grid software player Ventyx (The Smart Grid Acquisition Tally . . . So Far).

Honeywell's purchase of Akuacom is particularly interesting because San Rafael, Calif.-based Akuacom's technology is based on Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) - the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's open source system for automating the way utilities do demand response. Akuacom has developed servers that translate OpenADR signals into actions within building control systems in California, and also has a pilot project in Canada."




"New Alarm Bells About Chemicals and Cancer" is a story at

"The President's Cancer Panel is the Mount Everest of the medical mainstream, so it is astonishing to learn that it is poised to join ranks with the organic food movement and declare: chemicals threaten our bodies.

The cancer panel is releasing a landmark 200-page report on Thursday, warning that our lackadaisical approach to regulation may have far-reaching consequences for our health.

I've read an advance copy of the report, and it's an extraordinary document. It calls on America to rethink the way we confront cancer, including much more rigorous regulation of chemicals."



"H2 Oh No! A hydrogen future is actually closer than you might think" by Mark Vaughan at

"Did you know that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe? That it powers our very sun? That everything in the hydrogen future is going to be so groovy that we'll need tranquilizer darts shot into our necks just to keep from screaming about how great it'll be?

There are politicians, plutocrats and pundits who believe that H2 is the future, that ramming it through the membranes of a fuel cell to make electricity is what will power cars in the not-too-far-from-near term. And there are companies betting big bucks on that, too.

All of these elements--people, private industry and government entities--converged this week at the annual National Hydrogen Association's Exposition and Conference in Long Beach, Calif. Even the governor showed up and bench-pressed a few atoms.

The news? One interesting thing was that Toyota chose this week to announce that the target price for its fuel cell-powered sedan, due in showrooms in 2015, will be about $50,000. That's a far cry from early fuel-cell-car estimates that were usually more like 'astronomical.' "











"Your Turn: Possible coup for Richmond" by Greg Feere at insidebay

"Recent news articles indicate that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories is seeking a location to expand its facilities outside of Berkeley. The lab currently employs 3,800 scientists and staff in Berkeley and has no more room at its current sites.

The laboratory, which is managed by the University of California, conducts unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines.

It's reported that a new facility outside Berkeley would be dedicated to alternative energy disciplines such as high efficiency photo-voltaics and advanced biofuels, cutting-edge fields of study for the 21st century.

The Laboratory has expressed interest in the 152-acre Richmond Field Station as a possible site for their expansion. Richmond has the highest unemployment rate of any industrialized city in California and is already facing a $10 million budget deficit. An expansion by the laboratory to the field station would be a coup for Richmond; it would produce much-needed jobs and enhance the Richmond economy."




"APNewsBreak: Series of failures deep underwater led to catastrophic rig blast" is an AP report by Noaki Schwartz And Harry R. Weber.

"The deadly blowout of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was triggered by a bubble of methane gas that escaped from the well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly as it burst through several seals and barriers before exploding, according to interviews with rig workers conducted during BP's internal investigation.

The timeline described in the documents provides the most detailed account of what may have caused the April 20 blast that killed 11 workers and touched off the underwater gusher that has poured more than 3 million gallons of crude into the Gulf. "





"The Last Days of the Dragon Lady" by Cholene Espinoza at

"Fifty years ago today, the Soviet Union announced that it had shot down an American U-2 spy plane and that its pilot, Francis Gary Powers, was alive.

It seems like a long-ago event from the cold war. That may be why, in this era of satellites and drones, most people are surprised to learn that the U-2 is not only still in use, but that it is as much a part of our national security structure as it was a half-century ago.

Every decade or so there is chatter about replacing the U-2. And yet, thanks to its remarkable technological and operational capacity and flexibility, the U-2 has in recent years been used to find homemade bombs in Afghanistan, drug lords in Colombia, mass graves in the former Yugoslavia and budding nuclear weapons programs in the Middle East. It has also been critical in non-military missions like measuring ozone levels and mapping disaster zones.

This time, though, it looks pretty certain that the Air Force will follow through on its plans to retire the U-2 as soon as it can field a Global Hawk drone retrofitted with electronic eavesdropping devices.. . .

I flew the U-2 during the 1990s, and I received this news as if I had learned that an old friend was dying. The U-2 is nicknamed the Dragon Lady for good reason. You never knew what to expect when you took it into the air, no matter how seasoned a pilot you were. This was an unfortunate consequence of its design. The trade-off of a plane built light enough to fly above 70,000 feet is that it is almost impossible to control. And 13 miles above the ground, the atmosphere is so thin that the 'envelope' between stalling and 'overspeed' - going so fast you lose control of the plane, resulting in an unrecoverable nose dive - is razor-thin, making minor disruptions, even turbulence, as deadly as a missile. The challenge is even greater near the ground, since to save weight, the plane doesn't have normal landing gear.

As I was told before one of my tryout flights, "Landing the U-2 is a lot like playing pool. It's not so much how you shoot as how you set up your shot." Or, as my former wing commander said, "We've all had moments when we could just as easily have made one tiny move the other way and ended up dead."

Getting the plane up and down was not the only challenge. Staying airborne - and alert - for countless hours, looking at nothing but sky, was another. I learned the hard way, for example, that you can get diaper rash from Gatorade.

Other risks were less benign, as I found when I was the ground officer for a pilot who radioed, 'My skin feels like it's crawling.' He had the bends so badly from changes in pressure that when he landed his body was covered with huge welts. Had the weather not cleared in time for him to land, these bubbles of nitrogen might have lodged in his brain or optical nerve - as they had in other U-2 pilots.

Were the risks worth it? Absolutely. "














"Betty White: golden hosting 'Saturday Night Live' " by Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer.

"Betty White demonstrated how it's done as host of this week's 'Saturday Night Live.'

Drawing on her six decades in comedy, she was the consummate pro at 88 years old - sweet, sassy, salty, charming and clearly game for anything. . . .

'When I first heard about the campaign to get me to host "Saturday Night Live,'"I didn't know what Facebook was,' White confessed. Then she exhibited her warm smile and a perfectly timed beat before marveling impishly, 'Now that I DO know what it is, I have to say: It seems like a huge waste of time.' "



"Alice Waters push for local, organic setting national agenda" Stacy Finz, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Food crusader Alice Waters is making the rounds to promote her new cookbook.

McDonald's, she told Bill Maher on his TV show, "Real Time," "is never the answer," not even for impoverished families trying to put food on the table. Then, in her signature breathy voice, she lambasted the microwave.

'That's not cooking,' Waters said, somewhat flustered that Maher would even ask about the common kitchen appliance. 'I don't know how to relate to it. I need a little fire.'

Last week on Martha Stewart's program she tried to impress the importance of learning how to chop an onion, peel garlic and make chicken stock.

Food bloggers responded with their usual snark. Waters' appearance on Maher's show was 'cringe worthy,' wrote Grub Street San Francisco, going on to describe her performance on 'Martha' as 'loopy.' When she roasted an egg on a giant iron spoon in her kitchen fireplace during an earlier '60 Minutes' interview, you could almost hear the nation gagging.

Yet, despite the scorn she sometimes evokes, Waters is steadfast. Her message is hitting its mark."


"Invasion of the Superweeds" is opinion at

"American farmers' broad use of the weedkiller glyphosphate - particularly Roundup, which was originally made by Monsanto - has led to the rapid growth in recent years of herbicide-resistant weeds. To fight them, farmers are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing."





"Tell-all generation learns not to, at least online" is a story at

"Min Liu, a 21-year-old liberal arts student at the New School in New York City, got a Facebook account at 17 and chronicled her college life in detail, from rooftop drinks with friends to dancing at a downtown club. Recently, though, she has had second thoughts about displaying that kind of information because it might hurt her career prospects.

She asked a friend to take down a photograph of her drinking and wearing a tight dress. She deleted a status update because she did not want others to know she was at a party they weren't invited to. When the woman overseeing her internship asked to join her Facebook circle, Liu agreed, but limited access to her Facebook page. 'I want people to take me seriously,"'she said.

And it is not just her behavior she is policing, but her sister's, too. Liu sent a text message to her 17-year-old sibling warning her to take down a photo of a guy sitting on her sister's lap. Why? Her sister wants to audition for 'Glee' and Liu didn't want the show's producers to see it. Besides, what if her sister became a celebrity? 'It conjures up an image where if you became famous anyone could pull up a picture and send it to TMZ,' Liu said.

The conventional wisdom suggests that everyone under 30 is comfortable revealing every facet of their lives online, from their favorite pizza to most frequent sexual partners. But many members of the tell-all generation are rethinking what it means to live out loud.

While participation in social networks is still strong, a survey released last month by the University of California, Berkeley, found that more than half the young adults questioned had become more concerned about privacy than they were five years ago - mirroring the number of people their parent's age or older with that worry."




"TheMacBundles Launches New Bundles and New Weekly Specials" is a press release at

"Berkeley, California - MacEase Software is pleased to announce today the launch of TheMacBundles' May bundle, two new Weekly Specials, and the addition of about a dozen new titles to its innovative BYOB (Build Your Own Bundle) stores. All of the titles in the TheMacBundles' stores are compatible with OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)."



"Cal breakthrough yields cheaper, greener hydrogen" by Richard Hart at

"A recent report names California the world leader in developing fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling stations. Of course, the technology has a champion in Governor Schwarzenegger, but fuel cell cars have a dirty little secret: The hydrogen they use is made from fossil fuel because it's too expensive to make any other way.

A breakthrough at Cal Berkeley promises to change that.

Little bubbles in a beaker on the Cal campus could be the future of transportation. They're hydrogen. Pure hydrogen doesn't appear in nature. One way to make it, we all learned in high school, to run electricity through water.

Oxygen comes out one side and hydrogen the other, but it's only worthwhile if you dope the water with platinum as a source of protons and platinum prices are going through the roof. An ounce of platinum currently trades at $1,650 an ounce. In the past year, it has approached $2,000 an ounce.

Now, there is a new substance that actually works better than platinum and costs a whole lot less. It's based on molybdenum. UC Berkeley chemist Hema Karunadasa says, 'This molybdenum metal is about 70 times cheaper than platinum metal.'

That's more like $20 an ounce."









"BART seeks information about death of Berkeley man found at Civic Center station" by Denis Cuff, Contra Costa Times.

"BART police are seeking help from the public in the investigation of the suspicious death of a 22-year-old Berkeley man found last week at the Civic Center BART station.

Konstantin Tomashevsky was found unconscious with traumatic injuries at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday at the foot of the escalator at the United Nations Plaza entrance to the rapid transit station. He died later at a hospital."


"California to play 2011 season at AT&T Park" is a report at

"The California Golden Bears football team will play its 2011 home games at San Francisco's AT&T Park, home of the city's Major League Baseball team, the Giants.

Cal will play its 2010 season in Memorial Stadium, but the structure will then undergo a retrofit and will be finished in time for the team to play its home games at the building in 2012."

from my log

4/30/10--7:41 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, dry heavy air, light head. 9:50 AM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry heavy air, light head, watery eyes, itchy skin, leave.11:20 AM--irritant n front room, light head, head ache, watery eyes leave. 6:45 PM--irritant in front of warehouse and "chlorine bleach" odor.

5/1/10--8:58 AM--lights flicker. 9:04 AM--irritant in front room, heavy dry air, wear respirator.

5/2/10--9:14 AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, heavy dry air, light head, watery eyes, wear respirator. 5:19 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front of warehouse, dry heavy air, watery eyes, nasal irritation, light head, Marsha similar, leave.

5/4/10--~12:noon until ~1:00 PM--irritant in front rLEm with STRONG "bad catalytic convertor" odor, light head, wear respirator. 7:46 PM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATLEY in fron tof warehouse with "bad catalytic convertor" odor, light head, leave.

5/5/10--10:00 AM--irritant in front room, heavy dry air, leave. 10:12 AM--VERY STRONG irritant in front of warehouse, watery eyes, itchy skin, neighbor has watery itchy eyes. leave. 12:32 PM--STRONG "chlorine bleach" odor in warehouse front. 7:07 PM--irritant in front of warehouse, dry heavy air.

5/6/10--8:11 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front of warehouse, dry heavy air, watery eyes, itchy skin.

5/7/10 7:32 AM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, burning eyes, mouth. 1:07 PM--STRONG irritant in front room AND front of warehouse with "chlorine bleach"odor AND "bad catalytic convertor" odor, watery eyes, dry itchy skin, leave. 2:14 PM--irritant in warehouse. 4:56 PM--lights flicker dim. 5:03 irritant in front room .7:34 PM--"You can smell that stink in here" says Marsha of the irritant in the front room.

5/9/10--7:11PM--SERIOUS irritant in front roomsinus irritation, wear respirator, VERY STRONG "bad catalytic convertor" odor, 7:38 PM--"chlorine bleach" odor IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse.



The irritants sometimes experienced cause coughing; dry/burning eyes, nose, mouth; light head; occasional short breath; occasional nausea.

Though the irritants we experience sometimes over ride as many as four HEPA filters, our SO Safety respirators with 8053-P100 Cartridges seem to filter "all" the irritant. These are filters for organic vapors, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride.

I am left to conclude that possibly (probably?) some of the irritants we regularly experience, those that our SO Safety 8053-P 100 cartridges successfully filter, are identifiable, ironically, by their absence when using the respirator. The HEPA filters don't remove them, the SO Safety filters do. So what they remove--chlorine, chlorine dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride--must be some of the irritant.

Though the respirator-filters largely prevent inhalation of the irritant, it is clear from "health effects" that irritants can enter the body's system through the skin.

"I feel like ants are crawling on me" said Marsha.


I've noticed recently some neighbors have similar symptoms, some more severe--redness of the eyes, nasal congestion. And neighhors stopping-by in front to talk have experienced watery eyes and coughing.



Eternally useful links


Bay Area home prices from


Bay Area foreclosures from

Our City Council update is here.


Our Planning Commision update is here



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

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


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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.


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.


Markets is not just a reference for Berkeley-Hills radicals with 1.5 mil homes and considerable portfolios.


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



Berkeley Police reports at insidebay are here.


Our Berkeley PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.

Crime Log for 94710 is here

This site is NOT affiliated with Berkeley PD.
Take time to report crime!


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 is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774

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


Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

Journal of Recorded Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

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