Oakland Greek Festival 2012
May 18, 19, and 20 Ascension Cathedral once again
presents the annual Oakland Greek Festival.
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension
4700 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, California 94602
Huffington Post Stephanie J. Stiavetti's appreciation of the
2011 Oakland Greek Festival
A meal worthy of the gods.
For the next two days, Oakland's
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension is hosting their annual
Oakland Greek Festival. Besides being a gathering of some of the
East Bay's most enthusiastic Greek residents, the festival is
home to some of the best Greek food in the Bay Area.
Yesterday I hit up the festival's
opening day. I was completely bowled over by the amount of food
available -- up for grabs were every possible Greek delight you
can imagine, prepared by local cooks. Within the culinary booths,
you'll find everything from whole lamb on a spit to flaming cheese
(seriously -- stand back when they set it on fire!).
For those who love to cook,
Saturday and Sunday are filled with countless Greek cooking demonstrations.
If you're in Oakland this weekend, can you think of a better way
to spend a few hours?
END OAKLAND GREEK
there is an uprooted utility
at the Orchard Supply lot
Relatively new to Potter
Creek is Verducci Entertainment.
UCBPD have now
cleared occupiers from the
UC Berkeley Gill Tract
On this evening's council
agenda there is an item about BPD Mutual Aid agreements. Mutual
aid is a necessary part of modern law enforcement and in the past
Berkeley has benefited from receiving it more than it has from
giving it. Our "recent" history indicates it will be
so in the future.
"We keep our cops on
a short leash" someone recently said Downtown. "I don't
mind being on a short leash " said someone else Downtown
"As long as I have plenty of water and get fed regularly."
Also another one of the items
suggests that the Urban Shield exercises are something they are
not. They are simply competitions in which participating departments
each bring their own expertise and style to solve 24 problems
of modern urban policing.
"Navy christens cargo ship named for Cesar
Chavez" at sfgate.com.
"The military has christened
its newest cargo-ammunition ship for civil rights leader and labor
activist Cesar Chavez, who served in the Navy during World War
"IP network based on xylophones" is a report at tjdaily.com.
"A University of California
Berkeley researcher has created an IP network that runs between
a pair of xylophones.
Stuart Geiger, of the university's
Berkeley's School of Information, built the network using two
Arduino microcontrollers, some sensors and a pair of xylophones
with two people to play them, isolated in cubicles."
"Viruses can be tapped for electric power"
"U.S. researchers say
electricity generated by viruses could bring devices that generate
power from everyday human activities like walking.
A paper-thin 'viral' generator
embedded in the sole of a shoe could charge a person's phone as
they walk, scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
"Smartphones, Floating Robots Used To Track
Water Flow" story
"Researchers at the
University of California at Berkeley want to make tracking the
flow of a body of water as simple as tracking other phenomena,
like weather patterns or the flow of traffic.
In the pursuit of this goal,
they have developed the Floating Sensor Network project, a system
comprised of 100 motorized devices that measure temperature, salinity,
and other information as they drift along a water surface."
newly painted Potter Creek Workman's
I'm told Pete Hurney was color consultant for what
is as much an art piece as a repaint.
Jazz on Fourth Street is this Sunday, May 20th.
Mal Sharpe & Guys
from last year's Jazz on
Mal's the good lookiing guy
behind the bell.
And remember this weekend
2012 Oakland Greek Festival.
As in years past, Potter
Creek's John Victor of V&W
Window, grills the lamb!
This year John has ordered
850 lbs of meat.
POSTS FROM THE
Scoop, . . .
Superman is Asian!
Better late than never.
"Astronomers Start Search For Alien Life" reports
END POSTS FROM
In what is really a tiping
point for west-Berkeley, Doug Oakley reports "Berkeley
homeowners told to clean up act or face one-year eviction"
"The owners of a 9th
Street home in Berkeley may have to vacate it for a year and pay
fines if they don't put a stop to the crime, drug dealing, fighting,
loud music, and fireworks that have swirled about the home for
the last 30 years.
The City Council Tuesday
night voted unanimously to prepare paperwork declaring the home
at 1722 9th Street a nuisance and to draw up conditions for the
owners to follow or be kicked out of the house.
The owners, Roberto and Ramona
Alcala, also were told they need to tear down or legalize several
additions to the house, including a kitchen in an outbuilding
and two bedrooms in the main house city officials said were constructed
Six neighbors, who said they
overcame their fear of retaliation to testify, said at the meeting
that the criminals who come and go from the house have made their
lives hell for over three decades."
the only thing permanent
"Virginia, Florida have most well-read
cities in US" is
a chicagotribune.com report.
"New York and Boston
may strike many as more intellectual but Alexandria, a small urban
area in Virginia just outside Washington, D.C., is the most well-read
city in the United States.
Alexandria was one of three
Virginia cities on the Amazon.com list of the 20 most well-read
cities. It topped Cambridge, Massachusetts, the home of Harvard
and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Berkeley, California
to take the top spot."
Oh my gosh!
"Occupy Protesters Target Bayer For Declining
Bee Population" is
a video report at sanfranciscocbslocal.com.
"Occupy protesters gathered
at a Bayer facility in Berkeley on Wednesday, urging the drug
maker to stop making pesticides that may be killing bees. Don
But they don't do pesticides
"Berkeley murder suspect Daniel Jordan
DeWitt breaks deputy's jaw" by Henry
K. Lee at sfgate.com.
"The man charged with
murder for allegedly bludgeoning a Berkeley hills homeowner broke
the jaw of an Alameda County sheriff's deputy Wednesday, authorities
POST FROM THE PAST
just painting on Mia Tierra
Foods' south wall
Mia Tierra Foods, 2082 San
Pablo Ave, Berkeley CA, 510-540-8946
END POST FROM THE
Charlie Rose hour long conversation with Robert
Gates, former Secretary of Defense is not to be missed. A wise and perceptive man, Gates gives us a
glimpse into the corridors of power which is, having served with
President from Johnson to Obama, informed and revealing.
"Berkeley will spend up to $24,000 to revamp
media policies after chief sent officer to reporter's home"Kristin J. Bender, Oakland Tribune.
"The city is spending
$20,000 to review its police department's media policies after
the chief was widely criticized for sending a sergeant to a reporter's
home in the middle of the night to ask for changes to an online
in Irvine will spend the next six months auditing the department's
policies and procedures on releasing public information and making
certain the department is following state requirements for disclosure,
said company founder Bill Rams. The contract also allows the city
to reimburse Cornerstone for up to $4,000 in expenses.
'The goal here is to learn
and for the police department to do the best it can,' said Rams,
a former investigative reporter for the Orange County Register.
The move comes more than
two months after Chief Michael Meehan ordered department spokeswoman
Sgt. Mary Kusmiss to the home of Bay Area News Group reporter
Doug Oakley at 12:45 a.m. to ask that he change a story. The March
9 action was criticized by First Amendment experts who called
Meehan's actions 'an attempt at censorship by intimidation and
an abuse of power.' "
killled, two critically injured in solo car crash in Berkeley"
by Chris De Benedetti at mercurynews.com.
"A woman was killed
and two others, including a child, were critically injured in
a one-car crash early Friday morning, police said.
About 1:15 a.m., a Cadillac
carrying three Berkeley residents was northbound on California
Street when it struck a roundabout near Allston Way, then crashed
into a tree on the eastside of the intersection, Sgt. Mary Kusmiss
"The Berkeley City Council
voted at its meeting Tuesday to postpone further discussion of
the West Berkeley Project - a long-term plan that aims to expand
the area's retail and multi-use space - to a special meeting next
City residents and councilmembers
voiced mixed opinions during the meeting's public comment period
and ensuing public hearing regarding the lack of community benefits
and height limits of the project. . .
Mark Chekal-Bain, a representative
of State Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, read a statement
from Skinner expressing her approval of the project.
"I understand change
is not easy for us Berkeleyans, but I believe these changes will
help Berkeley thrive," he read. . . .
"(West Berkeley's) not
broke," said Berkeley resident David Snipper. "Why do
you have to change something that's not broke?"
The full story by Daphne
postpones further action on West Berkeley Project to special meeting"
is at at daily cal.org.
Saw our David, Margret and
their beautiful grandchild at the Oakland
Greek Festival 2012 yesterday morning. Also, while spending
hours in the sun, mostly eating, drinking and talking, ran into
some folks from our city hall. And all during that time, our John
Victor and crew were serving up delicious lamb chops.
"Watch the annular solar eclipse in Berkeley
this Sunday" Adelyn
Baxter at dailycal.org.
"A rare annular solar
eclipse will occur on Sunday, temporarily darkening the sky above
Berkeley in the early evening.
During the eclipse, the moon
will obscure most of the sun, creating a 'ring of fire' effect
as the sun's outer ring - or 'annulus' - remains visible behind
the moon's silhouette."
"TI donates $2.2 million for UC Berkeley
design lab" at eetimes.com.
"Texas Instruments Inc.
said Thursday (May 10) it donated $2.2 million to the University
of California-Berkeley to revamp the school's electronic design
"California lawmakers push for fracking
rules" at latimes.com.
"Nechodom said that
regulators were charged with ensuring the integrity of oil wells
under existing law and that the state had no "reported evidence
of fracking causing damage."
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner
(D-Berkeley) challenged that argument.
'If we haven't been inspecting
and we don't have an adequate set of criteria, then we don't know
yet if there's harm,' she said. 'We want to ensure that we've
caused no harm to date, and if any harm has been caused, that
we can remedy it as soon as possible, and that we don't cause
any harm in the future.' "
"Ferrari Myth exhibition opens in Shanghai" is a small photo story at autoweek.com.
The company hired by our
Berkeley PD to revamp
its media policies, Cornerstone
Communications, is a PR firm (Public Relations.)
Well, Ok . . . but
perhaps BPD should have considered
our own Radiant Brands
they are not only a branding
firm, not precisely a PR firm, but happily seem also to be a brewery.
And, they are the neighbor of one of our BPD officers--how convenient.
A missed opportunity?
is a fine,
Established by friend and Velocette authority Paul
D'Orlean, it has over 750 articles. Paul is also the friend of
a former Potter business owner, Camille
owned magnet, 2508 san pablo ave
"Sandpit becomes high-tech 3D display" at news.ninemsn.com.au.
"Playing in a sandpit
has been given a futuristic makeover with a mind-blowing use of
the most advanced 3D technology.
Researchers at the University
of California in Berkeley and the ECHO Science Centre in Vermont
have developed what they describe as an augmented reality sandbox."
Word on the street is that
some of the current politics-driven-changes to the West-Berkeley
Project would make this, the last part of the plan, "unworkable"
or at the very least, would result in unpredictable consequences.
The MUP (Master UIse Permit)
was originally designed to allow flexibility in development
rules and the kinds of uses, in exchange for a focused list of
things that West Berkeley and the community deparately needs:
coherent transit connection, jobs training, arts community preservation.
The Council is now looking
to attach rules, measures, standards and limitations in a haphazard
manner, to quell concerns from the community, but not in a coherent
way. Further, the focused on community needs is being diffused
by adding too many wants to the list, with the potential to bring
many small pools of money for many expensive wants; a recipe that
makes implementaiton of the benefits remote.
The unfortunate outcome could be a set of rules that confuses
all involved; limits development patterns on large sites in ways
that will cause "unitended consequences"; burdens development
with an array of costs beyond reason; in short a plan with little
chance of realistic implementation.
Potter Creek's Bob Kubik
and others making a difference in Carolyn Jones "Berkeley
citizens group, council try to curb debt" at sfgate.com.
"Berkeley is taking
a double-barreled approach to its looming debt crisis: a pair
of ambitious proposals aimed at curbing the estimated $1.2 billion
in future infrastructure and pension costs.
Both proposals - one initiated
by a residents group and the other by the City Council - would
require the city manager to put forth a full accounting of the
city's anticipated future debts, with a detailed plan to pay off
the debt and with progress updates every two years.
'Berkeley is incredibly generous
with its employees, which is great, but we need to start paying
it down. We need to get the monkey off our back,' said Jacquelyn
McCormick, a member of Berkeley Budget SOS, a residents group
formed to address the city's debt issues.
McCormick's group is asking
not just for a full accounting; it wants to stop the city from
incurring new debt and imposing taxes or other fees unless a complete
debt report is issued regularly.
The group submitted 4,000
signatures last week to place the initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The county requires 2,779 valid signatures."
Well over a year ago Bob
was meeting informally with friends who now call themselves "Berkeley
Is the University of California
Berkeley planning a presence in west-Berkeley? Yes.
Berkeley Patients Groups
most recent negotiations for a new Berkeley location have fallen
apart. They are now reorganizing.
"George Lucas might build affordable housing" Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnists
" 'Star Wars' creator
George Lucas could, indeed, make good on his idea of building
affordable housing right next door to the high-income NIMBYs who
blocked his plans for a production studio near his Lucas Valley
His Marin County neighbors
and conservationists have dismissed Lucas' musings as sour grapes,
and say low-income housing could never be built in such a remote
and environmentally sensitive location.
But those in the know disagree.
There's a feeling on the
Board of Supervisors, which has final say over the project, that
it fits into the county's desire for more low-income housing -
and by the way, the land is already zoned for residential use.
The real question may not
be political approval - it's whether Lucas can raise the money
to make the project work.
Building is something Lucas
appears to be very fond of doing, according to officials in San
Anselmo, who say he is constantly buying properties around his
home there and fixing them up.
He even buys commercial properties,
tears them down and replaces them with miniparks."
Finally, a way to bring all
of west-Berkeley together.
Follow Lucas' lead with Rich
Robbins and Rick Auerbach working together to build affordable
housing on one or two MUP (Master Use Permit) sites? The plan-tweaking
necessary to build just affordable housing on these large sites
would be well worth it?
Sunday afternoon many Potter
Creekers stopped by to visit, among them Sarah and Milo, another
Sarah, Regan, Steven Goldin, David, Tracy, and a young man who
assured me my chair was in the perfect place to view the eclipse.
Even our new Assistant City Manager walked by with his family
and stopped for a bit.
Quotes of the Week
"Maybe it's that democracy
is simple and it's that politics are messy" and "What
have you been smoking man?"
"Berkeley Police Chief calls on officers
to track down son's stolen iPhone in Oakland" Kristin J. Bender, Oakland Tribune.
"When Berkeley police
Chief Michael Meehan's son's cell phone was stolen in January,
10 police officers were sent to track it down, with some working
overtime at taxpayer expense, police said Monday.
A police report about the
theft of the teen's iPhone from a school locker was never written
and the Oakland Police Department was never notified that officers
on the department's drug task force were in North Oakland knocking
on doors looking for the phone. Three detectives and a sergeant
each logged two hours of overtime.
'If your cell phone was stolen
or my cell phone was stolen, I don't think any officer would be
investigating it,' said Michael Sherman, vice chairman of the
Berkeley Police Review Commission, a city watchdog group. 'They
have more important things to do. We have crime in the streets.'
The excessive use of resources
comes at a time when Meehan, 50, is under intense scrutiny for
his actions over the last several months. The city is spending
$20,000 to make sure its police department's media policies are
up to speed after the chief was widely criticized for sending
a sergeant to a reporter's home about 1 a.m. on March 9 to ask
for changes to an online story. The Berkeley police union criticized
the move, saying Meehan's actions "do not represent the will,
spirit or sentiment of the membership of the Berkeley Police Association"
and called for an independent investigation.
The city has paid Rennie
Sloan Holtzman Sakai law firm in San Francisco roughly $25,000
to investigate Meehan's move that March night. The results of
that probe have not been released."
And, in an indication that
the story has gone viral, the Atlantic Magazine offers "If
10 Berkeley Cops Can't Get the Chief's Son's Phone Back, Your
Vigilante Recovery Won't Work Either.
The iPhone comes with this
great little app called 'Find My Phone.' Launch it from a computer
and the software will use your phone's built-in communication
tools to locate the device on a map. This is great if you've simply
misplaced your phone. But what if it's actually been stolen?
Our own Jared Keller discovered
the perils of tracking down your phone. He knew roughly where
it was -- an apartment building in northeast Washington, DC --
but had no idea how to get it back. The Washington police were
not interested in going door to door in a big apartment building
looking for some kid's phone, and besides nine other cell phones
had been stolen on the same night."
In the May 9th East Bay Express
we find among the letters "Robert
Gammon Responds. Mr. Auerbach
and WEBAIC can't have it both ways."Read Gammon's response
and to-what here.
(Wow, . . . Rick's really
polished up his writing.)
The last few days I've been
tracking our Chief's "stolen iphone" story. I found
it mentioned by, among others: AP, CNN, FOX News, myfoxphoenix,
ABC News, The Atlantic Magazine, and even the San Gabriel Valley
Tribune. Seems quite a bit of coverage, so I don't understand
why our city is spending tens of thousands of dollars on a study
to determine how Berkeley PD can better communicate. Communication
doesn't seem to be the problem.
I've heard, specially now,
of peoples' disbelief about those in the radical community who
are also members of financial trusts worth millions, often including
real-property holdings. And yet that these radicals vigorously
oppose "the propertied."
Ironic perhaps, but not entirely
new. Understand that Communist, Vladimir Lenin, founder of the
Soviet Union, was a privileged child of the middle class.
POST FROM THE PAST
Comstock Read Aloud Book
" Stand Straight, Ella Kate: The True Story
of a Real Giant" written
by Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise.
"In this fictionalized
biography, Ella Kate Ewing tells her own story about growing up
to be a 'real, live giant.' By age seventeen, Ella Kate was eight
END POST FROM THE
Aw jeez, . . . read about
Very Own Jazz Band at smithsonianmag.com.
from our log
5/11/12-- 8:05 AM-- VERY
SERIOUS irritant in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation,
watery burning eyes, leave.
irritant in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, watery
burning eyes, leave.
5/16/12--8:05 AM--VERY SERIOUS
irritant in warehouse front and front of warehouse, VERY SERIOUS
mucus membrane Irritation.
5/17/12 6:45 PM--SERIOUS
irritant in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, watery
5/18/12 3:28 AM--SERIOUS
irritant in warehouse front and front of warehouse, SERIOUS mucus
irritant in front room, dry burning air, SERIOUS mucus membrane
irritation. 1:51 PM--similar. 9: 05 PM--similar.
in warehouse front and front of warehouse, SERIOUS mucus membrane
irritation. 7:45 PM--same.
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
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.
Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very
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
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
Our Planning Commision update
Our City of Berkeley Boards
and Commissions page is here--redone
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.
Coordinator, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.
aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 firstname.lastname@example.org
City Councilman email@example.com
AND check out BPD feature
are these Suspects."
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