MAY 2012

after 5/8/12 here after 5/13/12 here after 5/25/12 here


Today is

May Day

May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to several public holidays.In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, a day of political demonstrations and celebrations organised by unions, communists, anarchists, socialists, and activist groups.

May Day is also a traditional holiday in many cultures.


May Day protests around the world in photos are here.

















Berkeley Patients Group is in negotiation for another space in Berkeley 

the details of which are now under review by attorneys





This afternoon BPD Lt Dave Frankel held his bi-weekly coffee-get-together--this time at the Westside. Attended by half dozen people, it was informative with input from both Dave and citizens. Particularly informative were the stats passed around by Lt Frankel showing a recent drop in crimes in our area--BPD Area 4--wth robbery down 50%, burglary down 38%, auto theft down 5% and auto burglary down 14%. All over last year.

These community get togethers have been so successful that all other area commanders will now be holding them.


BPD emails

On April 30, a new patrol began 
on and around Telegraph Avenue in the City of Berkeley. The University of 
California Berkeley Police Department (UCPD) and the City of Berkeley Police 
Department (BPD) have teamed up to create new walking/bicycle patrols. 
BPD Chief Michael K. Meehan says, "We have heard community concerns 
about ongoing problems and these teams are intended to help address those 
The partnership between the two agencies will be made up of one (1) police 
officer from UCPD and one (1) police officer from BPD. The officers will work 
together to patrol the busy Telegraph Avenue business district, People's Park 
and the surrounding areas.  The support of numerous stakeholders including 
students, businesses, neighbors and elected representatives contributed to 
the program.  
The teams will focus on the unique issues and needs of the immediate area 
around Telegraph Avenue and People's Park with the priorities of improving 
the quality of life, enhancing feelings of safety and reducing criminal 
The teams will patrol six (6) days per week. The officers' work hours will 
typically be in the afternoons and evenings with flexibility to address specific 
issues and focused enforcement projects as they arise. 
UCPD Chief of Police Mitchell J. Celaya III says "This project will develop a 
closer partnership and relationship not only between the two police 
departments but more importantly with the businesses and residents of this 
vibrant and diverse community."  

BPD Public Information 
(510) 981-5780 





the Nexus building interior

is being rebuilt, in part, as commerical kitchens that can be individually leased

for information call Noah at 510-684-0647

















His Honor, Da Boz's hat is in the ring

"I have decided to seek re-election as Mayor of Berkeley in November. I would be honored to have your continued support.  Please click through this my website to learn more about my vision for our city, my ongoing accomplishments, my growing list of endorsements and ways that you can help with my campaign--donate and volunteer."



Probably worth watching is " You know you're a real Berkeleyan if you . . . " at




Old friend, Nick Despotopoulos is fond of saying "Money talks and bullshit walks" and since a kid-in-college, I've been a fascinated believer in "The only constant is change."

These ideas are now at play in West-Berkeley and are basic to, and often in conflict in, the West-Berkeley Project--stay tuned.


"Don't Honk at Old People" video is a lesson still to be learned by some.

The video is a quick one .... watch it more than once. 

Aren't air bags great?































mixed, Mixed-Use

Potter Creek



"Latina Architect Makes Prefab a Dream Come True" by Rebekah Sager at

"Born in California and of Chilean decent, Romero is a Berkeley grad with a degree in environmental design and a master's degree in architecture.  Her work has been on display in national and international museums, including the Walker Art Center, MOCA, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Triennale di Milano."



"Sustainable ranching renaissance takes hold in Northern California" a photo essay at



"Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth and Lawrence Wright's Fallaci Will Play Berkeley Rep in 2012-13" Kenneth Jones,

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has added two new plays to complete the California company's 2012-13 season: the world premiere of Lawrence Wright's Fallaci, directed by Gregory Mosher, and the West Coast premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth, directed by Les Waters.

Both works will play the intimate Roda Theatre at Berkeley Rep in Berkeley, CA."



"California Chosen as Home for Computing Institute" at

"The Simons Foundation, which specializes in science and math research, has chosen the University of California, Berkeley, as host for an ambitious new center for computer science, . . . "








Aw jeez "Religious People Less Driven By Compassion Than Are Atheists And Agnostics, Study Says"



"Power really does corrupt as scientists claim it's as addictive as cocaine " at

"More than a hundred years after noted historian Baron John Acton coined the phrase 'power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely' scientists claim the saying is biologically true."




"RFK assassination witness tells CNN: There was a second shooter" by Michael Martinez and Brad Johnson,

"As a federal court prepares to rule on a challenge to Sirhan Sirhan's conviction in the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, a long overlooked witness to the murder is telling her story: She heard two guns firing during the 1968 shooting and authorities altered her account of the crime.

Nina Rhodes-Hughes wants the world to know that, despite what history says, Sirhan was not the only gunman firing shots when Senator Kennedy was murdered a few feet away from her at a Los Angeles hotel."
















Today is Cinco De Mayo

Cinco De Mayo commemorates the defeat of the French army by the Mexicans
at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. For more information see
Cinco de Mayo History.


Councilman Kriss Worthington emails

Cinco de Mayo in Berkeley
Chicano Achievements Highlighted
Remy's Mexican Restaurant
Sunday May 6 at 1pm
2506 Haste Street
The Alta All-Stars will be playing Latin Jazz
Mariachi Nueva Luz de San Marcos will be playing Mariachi music

Food is provided



"Hydrogen tank leak evacuates area near Pixar in Emeryville" at

"A leaking hydrogen tank that was reportedly on fire at one point forced the evacuation of the area near Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville Friday morning, but residents have since been allowed to return to the neighborhood.

The first sign that anything was wrong at the AC Transit yard was a noise described as a popping sound loud enough to wake up area resident Harjinder Singh at around 7:30 a.m.

'It was like boom when I was sleeping,' said Singh."


A reader emails

I heard from my friend who works at the City of Emeryville that the city employees were told to keep shelter--stay in.  Just after that announcement, she saw all of the Pixar employees being evacuated and standing out in front of their building.





One of the gas-cylinder incidents over the past years in Potter Creek. The most recent, a couple weeks ago.


The Atlas crew carefully and professionally righting the hydrogen 6-pack.
















old friend Cynthia emails

hi Ron,

Sifting through old things in a throwaway mode, I came upon a dream journal from back in The Day. It's given me many laughs and I thought you might like this one:

dated 9/12/76

"When I go to test out a flute in San Leandro, I blow on it nervously and it sounds like an organ. Penndorf is on a chaise lounge smoking a cigar. He says one should always buy a flute that sounds like an organ."

It doesn't state if I took your advice. 

be well! C


About the same time, Cynthia very pregnant, and over-due, asked me to take her for a ride on the Norton 850

hoping, it would coax out her boy-baby.



a regular and well-informed reader emails

The kitchen rental place is cool and the right kind of use for West Berkeley.  There are some of these in Oakland as well that seem popular and well used.



Councilwoman Maio emails of my "Don't Honk at Old People" post


















This evening there is an informational session in our city council chambers about the West Berkeley Project. 
[Personally, I prefer cirque du soleil.]

Much now is swirling around about the West Berkeley Project and proposed changes to it.

At one extreme we have "They are going to build 100 foot high buildings next to my beautiful workman's cottage and, if I'm not careful, maybe right up my tush." And on the other extreme we have well prepared finessers assuring everyone, from city hall to regular people, that "All that we want to do is to make a better future" and that "Land is underused in West-Berkeley." 

What hasn't been discussed is money.

Of all present possibilities, assume that the council approves four to six Master Use Permits to be phased in over 10 years. Given land value and building costs of between $200.00 to $500.00 a square foot, investment would total hundreds of millions over the 10 year period with an end-value into the billions, including,  increased land value, increased employment, more income including taxes, greater community benefits, ancillary building, . . . etc.

This is a major investment that, of course, will produce major change which now, certainly, can only be guessed at. Though it will probably result in greater density, taller buildings, eventually more wide-spread mixed use, . . . and a greener life style.

I for one am willing to take the leap of faith, as I did for the building of the Berkeley Bowl, and assume that all-in-all the change will be good. But I do so with some sadness, for many who pioneered the West Berkeley Plan decades ago will not see it fully evolved.



some ironic fallout from the years-and-years of discussion

 Even thoughtless resistance can produce thoughtful change. 

The first gentrifiers now oppose gentrification . . . with established residents opposing new residential building.

Of all the builders who qualify for an MUP only one is now really able to carry it out.




from our log

5/1/12 -6:42 PM mucus membrane irritation in front of warehous and warehouse front, 7:00 PM, similar. 9:37 PM--SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation in front of warehouse and warehouse front.

5/2/12--8:36 AM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in in front of warehouse and warehouse front, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, light head, burning eyes, throat.

5/3/12--3:45 PM--SERIUOS irritant in warehouse front, dry, dirty air, mucus membrane irritation.

5/8/12--3:23 PM--SERIUOS irritant in warehouse front, dry, dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, leave.





eternally useful links

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.



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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.



Bay Area home prices from

Bay Area foreclosures from


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

Darryl Moore, City Councilman

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.