JUNE 2007

Kate and Sarah have a new book.

Find out about it here.


And find out more about Kate and Sarah here.





Da Boz emails

News From Mayor Tom Bates

[Here's excerpts]

City to Begin Collecting and Composting Residential Food Scraps
Late this summer you will be receiving a little green pail for your kitchen as the City prepares to begin collecting food scraps from residential customers. The scraps, which account for nearly a quarter of the average household's waste, will be composted. You can read more about it in the Daily

Mayor Co-Hosts Third Homeless Youth Connect Event
I joined with the Youth Emergency Assistance Hostel (YEAH!), the Suitcase Clinic, Fred Finch Youth Center and the City of Berkeley departments of Housing, and Health and Human Services to host our third Homeless Youth Connect event. Youth Connect provided 56 young people with a range of services, including housing, medical care, library cards, assistance to go home, transportation, legal advice, MediCal and Food Stamps enrollment, and personal hygiene. This is the only initiative of its kind focused on homeless young people in the country. Special thanks to Mario's La Fiesta for donating dinner for all attendees.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop 9% in Berkeley from 2000 - 2005.
An independent analysis of carbon emissions from residential, commercial, and transportation sources within the City of Berkeley has documented an 8.9% decrease in carbon emissions between 2000 and 2005. This decrease is one of the largest any city has documented in the United States and puts Berkeley on track to meet its goals under the voter-adopted Measure G, which calls for an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.

The City saw reductions in emissions across all sectors when compared to the year 2000 emissions inventory. Commercial and residential emissions both fell by over 13%. Both electricity and natural gas use fell by double digits. Transportation emissions dropped a modest 2.7%. Overall the reductions add up to 61,000 fewer tons of carbon in the atmosphere, or the emissions equivalent of taking more than 12,000 Ford Taurus sedans off the road.

City Expands Summer Youth Employment
I am working with Councilmembers Darryl Moore and Max Anderson on a plan to greatly expand the number of summer jobs available to Berkeley young people. Last year, the City received over 400 applications for only 120 slots. For this summer, we increased the number of jobs to 180 and are looking to expand it further in future years to accommodate all eligible applicants. Research shows that these types of summer jobs are one of the best ways to help young people stay out of trouble and provide useful work skills.

Council Continues to Discuss Mayor's Street Behavior Initiative
The City Council will continue to discuss my proposal to create a comprehensive and integrated new initiative to address street behavior problems through enhanced services, new diversion programs, clear rules for behavior in all city commercial districts, and improved enforcement at the June 12th Council meeting. Please be sure to take a look at the proposal and provide me with feedback and ideas.

Two Important Announcements from our Library
The Berkeley Public Library wanted me to share two important upcoming items.
Forum on Future of South Branch Library, Saturday, June 9th
The forum is to discuss South Berkeley Library needs and the possibility of moving into the Ed Roberts Campus at the Ashby BART station. The event is Saturday, June 9th from 10:30 a.m. to Noon at the St. Paul A.M.E Church.
Notice of Vacancy on the Library Board of Trustees
The Library Board of Trustees is the independent body that oversees the Berkeley library system.




"Berkeley merchants seek unity on Solano. Board votes to rejoin association controlled by Albany business owners" reports Justin Hill in our Times.

"The board representing the Berkeley businesses on Solano Avenue wants to get back together with the Solano Avenue Association."




"Shipyard, City Struggle to Reach Compromise" reports our Planet's, Richard Brenneman. "Berkeley's Shipyard has been granted a reprieve-but for some artists, it may have come too late.

City fire and building inspectors have ordered massive changes at the artisan colony, a font of creativity that had been housed in a nest of double-stacked steel shipping containers in a West Berkeley industrial neighborhood.

But serious violations of a host of city codes and failure to comply with earlier deadlines had led to demands that essentially forced the popular creative center to close for the time being, scattering its tenants to other sites throughout the Bay Area."


And Brenneman also reports

"DAPAC Endorses Priority Development Declaration. In a lop-sided vote Wednesday night, DAPAC members voted to urge the City Council to declare downtown Berkeley a Priority Development Area (PDA).

The Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee's action followed by a week the Planning Commission's refusal to make a similar endorsement."

Read the full story here.





Over the years, Kimar and I have had a running discussion about problems in Berkeley that always ends with "The Problem with Berkeley!" We've explored our radical past, nepotism, alienation, and even self-hatred. But yesterday we had an epiphany. "Berkeley simply lacks sufficient adult supervision."





A plate full of tacos were found in front of 900 GRAYSON on opening this morning.



Bay Area artist, Michael Beck is having a show at the Campbell Gallery. Check it out!








Today is École Bilingue La Place du Marche--also, open studio at Active Space.


June 9th is La Pena's 32nd Anniversary.


"Shamed, Yoshi's pulls CD, apologizes: Club hit sour note with lack of black musicians on record" report Jesse Hamlin, and Steven Winn of the San Fransico Chronicle.

The managers of Yoshi's jazz club said Friday that issuing a 10th anniversary CD with no African American musicians was 'a huge mistake' and 'a major oversight.' In the wake of complaints by some African American musicians and community leaders, the club issued an apology and withdrew the disc.



"Judge orders state to stop taking assets: Seizure of abandoned property forbidden until officials improve system for letting owners know" report Tom Chorneau and Paul Feist in the Chronicle. "A federal court judge Friday barred the state from seizing abandoned assets such as forgotten bank account balances or lost stocks and bonds until officials develop a better way to notify people that their property is about to be taken."



"Internee babies of Tanforan: Japanese Americans forced from homes 65 years ago were housed at San Bruno racetrack, where 64 children were born" writes Vanessa Hua of the Chronicle.

"Sixty-five years ago, thousands of Japanese Americans were forced from their Bay Area homes and into filthy stables and makeshift barracks at the Tanforan racetrack in San Bruno, where they lived before being shipped off to remote federal internment camps.

Even as whole families were uprooted, their lives continued, and about 64 babies were born between April and October 1942 at the racetrack, now a shopping mall."



This morning on TV Wall Street Journal's WSJ Report, oilman Boone T. Pickens said the future alternative-fuel is natural gas, not ethanol.





"Two Buck Chuck still making waves" writes the AP's Michele Locke in our Times.

"Round and round they go, hundreds of bottles of Two Buck Chuck rattling and clinking their way toward a big machine that deftly fills, corks and seals each one in a rhythmic dance of metal
and glass.

It's been five years since the first of these amazingly cheap chardonnays and cut-price cabernets started rolling off the line, released by maverick vintner Fred Franzia under the formal label of Charles Shaw wines. The full story is here."

I can't write about their Shiraz in wine-garble but I can say I love its full-bodied high. Not just a pleasant glow from the neck up pleasing, full-bodied relaxation.



"Dell plans to let go 8,000 workers: Job reductions in next 12 months represent 10 percent of workforce for computer seller that fell to No. 2 in market" reports Matt Slagle of the AP in our Times.

"Dell Inc. said Thursday that it plans to lay off more than 8,000 employees during the next year as part of an ongoing

Dell also said Thursday that earnings fell slightly in preliminary first-quarter results.

The layoffs, which represent 10 percent of Dell's global workforce of 88,100 full-time and part-time employees, come as Dell struggles to regain market share after Hewlett-Packard Co. ousted it from the top spot in worldwide computer shipments last year."


Anne-Marie Slaughter is the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton as well as president of the American Society of International Law. Slaughter was on the Charlie Rose show this afternoon.

One smart cookie, she wrote "New World Order" of which a reviewer writes "Breaking new ground in international relations theory, Slaughter urges readers to lose their 'conceptual blind spot' and see how the world really works.Scholars, pundits and policymakers, she writes, have traditionally seen nations as 'unitary' that is, as single entities that 'articulate and pursue a single national interest.'

In fact, she says, we would do better to focus on government networks, both horizontal and vertical. Horizontal networks link counterpart national officials across borders, such as police investigators or financial regulators. Vertical networks are relationships between a nation's officials and some supranational organization to which they have ceded authority, such as the European Court of Justice.

Networks, she says, are the solution to the 'globalization paradox': The world needs global governance to combat problems that jump borders, like crime and environmental degradation, and yet most people fear rightly, Slaughter implies the idea of a centralized, all-powerful world government.

The book both describes the here and now and plots a course for the future: Strengthening existing networks and developing new ones 'could create a genuine global rule of law without centralized global institutions.'

The author, who is the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton as well as president of the American Society of International Law, is steeped in these issues and offers genuinely original thinking."





Quote of the week, Mose Allison

"If you would be so kind as to help me find my mind."

"City attorney says advice was ignored by Berkeley managers" reports Doug Oakley of our Times.

"Berkeley's city attorney blasted city management 'at every level' Wednesday for ignoring her legal advice, which she contends could have prevented the housing authority scandal.

Meanwhile, the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected to arrive in Berkeley on Wednesday to begin its investigation into allegations that the housing authority mismanaged $25 million in federal funds, some of which were used to pay landlords rent for 15 dead tenants. The inspector general can refer the case to federal prosecutors for criminal charges.

In a memo to the Berkeley City Council, City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque blamed City Manager Phil Kamlarz, Deputy City Manager Lisa Caronna and Housing Director Steve Barton -- who resigned Tuesday -- for the fiasco in the housing authority."


"Berkeley housing chief quits amid scandal" reports Doug Oakley of our Times. "Berkeley Housing Department director Steve Barton resigned Tuesday, the latest person to leave in the wake of a scandal that has rocked the city since the disclosure that the housing authority mismanaged $25 million in federal funds, using some of it to pay rent for at least 15 dead tenants.

Barton, who worked for the city for eight years,'oversaw four divisions in the housing department including the Berkeley Housing Authority, which has been in "troubled status' with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since 2002.

Berkeley has been ordered to fix the authority by July 1 or step aside so HUD can take over the rent subsidy program for 1,800 low- income residents."




"Historic film building sold: Berkeley's Saul Zaentz Media Center goes for $20 million" writes the Times' Barbara E. Hernandez.

"Depending whom you ask, it's the house that either Jack Nicholson or Creedence Clearwater Revival built.

One of the biggest deals in the first quarter was the sale of the Saul Zaentz Media Center in Berkeley, a 130,000-square-foot compound housing recording and film professionals, sold to Wareham Development Inc. for about $20 million. Famed producer Saul Zaentz and his company were the sellers.




"Workers' comp rates due to decline: State Compensation Insurance Fund calls for 11 percent reduction beginning July 1" reports Marton Dunai of our Times.

Hundreds of thousands of California employers can expect their workers' compensation costs to decrease July 1, when the state agency that dictates the market reduces its premiums.






Wednesday, just after Noon, Don Batz pulled up in front of the warehouse and said "Hello." But I didn't know Don. Don's an air-conditioning man who owned CommAir and was in Potter Creek for a meeting with Dave Kruse. AND, one of the first locations of his company was in 1962 in this warehouse. Next door at the time was the early location of Dymo Labels.

I gave Don a tour and he pointed out that he built the back-office and put in some studs behind the roll-up door. And he remembers that on April 5, 1962 he was washing his Ford Sedan in the drive-way but left real fast in the middle of it--his wife was giving birth to their son. We talked for almost an hour.


Wednesday was Studio Day at our Heartwood Collective, members spending time cleaning the studio and its equipment.


Bob and Carol are back from their trip to England and Andrew and Kerstin are back from Morocco.


June 20, Sarah is hosting a meeting of childrens' book illustrators from around the country. Notice all the sprucing-up around Sarah, Byron and Milo's Victorian.

Sarah emails

On Wed, June 20th, the Mazza Museum (on the campus of the University of Findlay - in Ohio), which specializes in International Art from Picture Books, will be coming to tour the house and hear a little talk by moi about illustration. They host tours of the like each year. They go all over the world visiting folks who specifically make childen's book art. This year, 56 people will be in the Bay Area visiting 9 different studios. So, could I ask that the tour bus be able to park in front of the house that morning? Could I borrow the orange cones?



Thursday June 14 at 7:00 PM there is a Zoning Adjustment Board meeting about the 2747 San Pablo development. The meeting will be held in our Old City Hall, second floor Council chambers.



A community benefit district meeting was held at noon on Wednesday, May 30 in Aquatic Center. Eighteen-or-so attended, including our Darryl Moore and Ryan Lau, and Angela Gallegos-Castillo of the City Manager's Office. Our benefit district model was flushed out with agreement on a $600,000 budget cap. There was also a review of the actual district-benefits, with some prioritizing. Included in the budget is a homeless-care-program based on the innovative Sacramento plan. The meeting lasted about an hour and a-half.



Bacheesso's was featured last night on Channel 5's "Eye on the Bay." I had buffé-brunch there last Sunday, as good as ever.


The Wall Street Journal reports "General Mills is raising prices of its line of 'Big-G' cereals by reducing the size of the boxes. Shares fell 3.4% to $59.40."






Blood in the water?

"Troubled city manager could survive debacle: Although Kamlarz has the support of some council members, others question his role" reports Doug Oakley of our Times. "If interviews with the mayor and four City Council members are any indication, Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz may weather the storm whipped up by a housing authority scandal that has led to the imminent firing of 22 employees and the resignation of a department head."


"Housing Director Barton Resigns Under Pressure" reports Judith Scherr of our Planet. "For some, Steve Barton's an idealist who puts his principles into practice, advocating housing policies-rent control, subsidized housing, co-operative housing-aimed at keeping diverse populations in Berkeley.

Others say Barton, pressured to resign Tuesday as Berkeley's housing director, is an ideologue, practicing a political agenda rather than performing as a neutral bureaucrat.

And for City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque, perhaps the former housing director's harshest critic, Barton's chief failure has been a refusal over the years to adhere to her legal advice.

In a memo to the mayor and council released Wednesday Albuquerque not only chronicles details of alleged lapses of the former housing director, she criticizes City Manager Phil Kamlarz and Deputy City Manager Lisa Caronna for failing to follow her counsel."


Scherr also offers "The State of the Berkeley Housing Authority. Today, the Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA) is a division of the housing department that oversees federally-funded low-income housing.

A board currently consisting of the mayor and City Council and two tenants oversees the authority.

BHA is administered by a manager-Tia Ingram has been manager for nine months-who is supervised by the housing department director. The city manager serves as BHA's executive director.

The housing department director supervises the BHA, has oversight over other affordable housing projects, supervises grants awarded to community agencies and oversees the city's energy/sustainable development division." Read the full story here.

I smell it.






Friday PM/Saturday AM, a half-dozen-or-so Potter Creek buildings and vehicles were
defaced--BERKELEY PD has been notified.

Officers Waggonner and Freidman were the responding officers.





Early this afternoon, a thief walked thru the open steel-door at ADAMS & CHITTENDEN Scientific Glass on 8th Street next-store, into the open lunch-room, and stole an employee's knapsack with his personal belongings.


Ms Grossman has secured the ex-Lipofsky building on 9th which she recently purchased. Squatters were found in the building and its interior had been stripped.



Bob's favorite visit from Bob and Carol's recent England trip, All -Souls College Library, Oxford.




Bob Kubik emails

After the recent spate of tagging around 8th and 9th steets most of what was on buildings has been cleaned up promptly by businesses and residents. The exception, however, were several Penske rental trucks that I believe are rented by a Chris Rodrigues. These have been parked here nightly, and often in the day, and were badly tagged in the recent episode.

Seeking some information on the city's attitude and activities regarding tagging, I called the police number who referred me to another number that was no longer operational. Several calls later I spoke to a person in "Code Enforcement" who was less than helpful when he heard I was talking about a vehicle. I then talked to his supervisor Gregory Daniel who informed me there was no law governing tagging on vehicles. When I asked if such a law were created he responded "THAT THEY WOULDN'T ENFORCE IT ANYWAY"!

I believe we have here an opening for the taggers that they will exploite! From my conversation with "Code Enforcement" it is clear they do not see the big picture. Therefore, this deserves some thought by policy leaders in our city government.

And, there are ways to encourage folks to promptly clean up acts of vandalism other than creating laws - perhaps there is some room for creative thinking here.


Officer Frankel, Berkeley PD emails about my TAGGER ALERT

Thanks Mr. Penndorf, I appreciate your efforts.





A Potter Creek lot still over-run by graffiti is on the east side of 7th Street just north of the Xoma building at 7th and Heinz, 901 Heinz. This lot is owned by Aaron Vitali of Vitali Building and is now in contract for sale. The graffiti however, is on the north side of the Xoma building on 7th and Heinz and on the back of an 8th Street building facing the lot. The front of the building is on 8th just north of the 8th and Heinz corner. These walls are virtually covered in graffiti. The large shipping container in the middle of the lot has also been defaced.

It has been brought to my attention that several properties bought recently for possible development have, in fact, not been developed and have not been maintained. Not so with Wareham's Fantasy property which has been, and continues to be, upgraded and beautified.


Late-afternoon today about 4:20, the old Asphalt Products Oil Corp warehouse caught fire. It is now owned by the Berkeley Bowl, who plans to raze it for parking. Well Ok then! This warehouse is immediately north of the new AHA project.

APO was a well-known environment hazard with many city citations. It was said at one time to be the most sighted site in Berkeley.

The Bowl owners just yesterday paid for a demolition permit.


Two email were received after my recent Scrambled Eggs' crime and vandalism posts

one from a reader in New Mexico
"Sounds pretty grim."

and one from a Mexico City reader
"How are you? Hope you're all Ok !"





Bob Kubik forwards an Officer Andrew Frankl, Berkeley PD email

Mr. Kubik,

Spray painting a car or doing vandalism to it, is a crime. It is covered by the CA Vehicle Code under CVC 10852 - Breaking or Removing Vehicle Parts: NO person shall either individually or in association with one or more person, willfully injure or tamper with any vehicle or the contents thereof or break or remove any part of a vehicle without consent of the owner.

As you have learned from your conversation with Gregory Daniels it doesn't meet the City's requirement that it be cleaned up like the tagging of business. I would agree with you that it does constitute blight on a neighborhood and would encourage you to address those folks who make law in the City. It does appear to be a loop hole.

Ofc Frankel

A reliable source reports that yesterday there was a meeting of city officials about tagging in west-Berkeley and that at a future meeting motor-vehicle tagging will be discussed.



"Berkeley Council passes plan to stop bad street behavior" writes Carolyn Jones of the Chronicle. "Berkeley's City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to pass most of a sweeping plan to clear the streets of aggressive and disruptive behavior. The Public Commons for Everyone Initiative passed 9-0 after months of debate among the council, homeless advocates, merchants and residents. The council instructed City Manager Phil Kamlarz to develop details of the implementation, which he will bring back to the council for further approval."




A reliable source reports that on Thursday, June 14 in the afternoon/evening five west-Berkeley adult males were arrested on drug related charges and that this may have an effect on crime in Potter Creek.

The same source says that a City of Berkeley graffiti abatement program will be launched in July.


The old Asphalt Products Oil Corp warehouse has been razed to the ground.


Milo's Dad, Byron, emails

Hiya Ron,
It looks like I have my blogsite running and music available for
download and purchasing on the web. My musician's alter ego is b.p.
d'oiseaux and the site is



"Planners Approve Expanded 'Priority Development Areas'" reports our Planet's Richard Brenneman. "Planning commissioners voted Wednesday night to designate downtown Berkeley and five thoroughfares as targets for state-funded high-density development: Telegraph, southern Shattuck, University and San Pablo avenues and Adeline Street."



And our Planet's Judith Scherr reports "New Housing Authority Accepts City Manager's Plan."



"Housing lends no help to job market: Employment in East Bay is up in May despite real estate slowdown's drag on construction positions" writes George Avalos of our Times.

The housing market has gone from hero to zero and turned into a drag on the East Bay economy.

No question, job gains continue in the East Bay. The region bounced back in May from a slump in April, according to a report released Friday by the state's Employment Development Department

But for the first time in years, the expansion of the East Bay economy has taken place despite -- not because of -- the housing market."



"May home sales slide to lowest level in 12 years; prices up a bit. Fewer low-cost homes are moving in Bay Area market" reports Carolyn Said of the Chronicle.

"Bay Area home sales continued their downward slide in May, with fewer properties changing hands and the mix of sales tilting toward higher-priced houses."


"Foreclosures rise in state, nation; home supply is up" reports the Chronicle's Kelly Zito

"California's weakening real estate market helped push foreclosures -- particularly for speculators and others who took out subprime mortgages -- higher nationwide in the first quarter."





construction of the Potter Creek Swerve facility proceeds a pace


Film-maker, Robert Levi made an extraordinary documentary about the life of Billy Strayhorn, one of America's great 20th Century composers. It's called Lush Life.

Lush Life was shown on PBS. Its PBS page is here.



Bob Kubik emails

A week ago Friday night the taggers worked on our neighborhood - the residents and businesses promptly painted over all except the vehicles. Last Friday night they returned and repainted some of the same places - for instance, the Tippett Studio building between 7th and 8th on Grayson. It seems they like to work on Friday nights!





"Police find 4 dead in Tilden Regional Park" reports George Kelly of our Times.

"East Bay Regional Park District police are collecting evidence at the scene where four bodies were found in Contra Costa County's Tilden Regional Park Monday night, authorities said.

Bayer shares rose on the DAX on news of better projected profits for 2007-2009, a result of their take-over of Shering AG.


In a conversation during breakfast at 900, Alfonso, Acme Bread's Fleet Manager mentioned that he has twenty-four drivers and eighteen-or-so trucks. He also said Acme is getting ready to put up their roof solar-panels on their building. Well Ok then!


Former Scharffen Berger manager, Jan Leigner emails

Hi Ron,

Long time no talk. I hope all is well in Potter Creek, but I don't know who you could be possibly getting your information about 914 Heinz from these days . . .

Anyway, I'm wondering what Swerve is? Is this the construction that's going on on 7th St. at the old McNevin VW "holding pen"?

I'm living in SF now with my fiancee, but I still come to Berkeley on Saturday mornings for a yoga class and pass by the old 'hood.

It's funny but getting to know you, and working there for 5 years, it really makes me feel like an ex-pat now that I'm not there so much. These emails are great.

Oh, and I saw your entry on Wikipedia about the record album, and thought how perfect it was for the world to be educated by you on the subject.

Best regards,

Jan Leigner

Swerve, Goldin Design, is the manufacturing facility being built on the old Brass Foundry or "VW holding pen" site.


Coincidentally, John Scharffenberger and friend had lunch at 900 Friday--Anthony was their server.

"Berkeley looks to name priority areas: City council pushed to designate affordable housing spots in hope
of winning state bond money"
writes Doug Oakley of our Times. "Their eyes on a slice of $2.8 billion in bonds that soon will be available statewide for affordable housing, parks and roads, Berkeley officials are urging the city council to designate parts of the city as priority development areas."


Once again Berkeley proves my assumption right "Berkeley lacks sufficient adult supervision."

"Downtown Committee Meets Public In Sometimes Heated Session" reports Brenneman in our Planet. "Berkeley held its second public workshop on the downtown plan Saturday, a gathering as notable for heated tempers as for innovative visions."

Often, its seems we do not play well with others.





"Making an oasis in a gritty part of Berkeley" observes Laura Thomas keenly in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"On Ninth Street in Berkeley, where small working-class homes remain largely untouched by remodelers' zeal, one two-story house stands out for its clean paint job and simple front yard. And behind it sits an unusual garden, done by a man seeking an oasis for his wife, his family and his soul."

But it's not the only oasis in Potter Creek


Sarah hosts a garden get-together for fellow children's-book illustrators at her, Byron and Milo's, this morning.



The Wall Street Journal reports "Two big funds at Bear Stearns face shutdown as rescue plan falters amid sub prime woes. Merrill asserts claims. . . . Merrill Lynch said it would move to seize collateral much of it mortgage backed debt."

And, "Housing lends no help to job market: Employment in East Bay is up in May despite real estate slowdown's drag on construction positions" writes Avalos. "The housing market has gone from hero to zero and turned into a drag on the East Bay economy."

"Layoffs affect 325 East Bay workers: Mortgage, senior care, food manufacturing and health industries
among those forced to scale back"
reports George Avalos in our Times.


"Residents seek more police action: Recent robberies in [Berkeley in the] Bateman area spark cry for bigger presence; council searches for money to hire officers" reports Doug Oakley in our Times. "Marcy McGaugh has been a crime watcher in Berkeley's Bateman neighborhood since 1968, and she is convinced the past two years have seen the most muggings and assaults in that time.




On opening my Sarah's-get-together email, CEID Director, Jill emailed


Thanks! this photo was the best gift to opening my morning emails! This is beautiful!



Tracy, Morgan, Natalie and Ben are off to Norway and Italy of a few weeks--friends are house-sitting.

Pete's KALX Uke Minutes made up his entire half hour program last Wednesday--very entertaining!

Sally's Birthday is coming up.

The city has a new contractor from Potter Creek.

Acme has already installed solar panels on the old (bakery) building.

Quasimodo, a metal work-shop on 9th and Carleton, is out of business.

The City is re-painting some of our cross-walks.


Better late than never! I don't know how I missed this, probably out looking at another bike.

"General requirements: A man can't have enough motorcycles
Specifics: A man can't have enough Broughs"

writes Michael Taylor, the San Francisco Chronicle Auto Editor.

"There were a lot of pretty bikes at the recent motorcycle concours at Half Moon Bay -- old Excelsiors, old Harleys, shiny Triumphs and BSAs, not to mention a gaggle of lethal-looking Vincents -- but there was one motorcycle that stood out, stood in imperial isolation from the rest of the bunch.

It was a 1931 Brough Superior SS-100, with its 1,000cc J.A.P. engine (named for the enginemaker, J.A. Prestwich) and flashy, upswept tailpipes with the big triangular ends. This is the bike that will stop the true aficionado in his tracks, glue him to the manicured lawn of whatever venue is putting on a show worthy enough to have a Brough deign to come and be visible to mere mortals."

Harvey-my-mailman dropped off a copy of this as did a mysterious-someone stuff a copy thru my mail-slot.



Don Yost dropped off today's Daily Planet with a review of the new edition Criterion 2-DVD, "The Third Man" release. Check it out!


Rita Fatima Herrera is one of the managers at our Wells Fargo Business Center, responsible for its new warmth and friendliness, she has become its heart-and-soul--more later.


Realtor, Scott Robinson has become a 900 regular. And was that Geralyn and Gitty lunching at Grayson last week? And, Rick Auerbach? How bout Coz and daughter?



Claudia emails


Last night I had dinner for the first time at the Riva Cucina, the newest addition to our hoods growing gourmet grotto. We have had lunch there before, but never dinner. Definitely worth a visit for either mealssee the review in the East Bay Express
I had the best gnocchi I have ever had, as light and fluffy as clouds. Also had what the waitperson (and wife of the owner) extolled as the worlds best chocolate cake, she was right! They actually import it from Italy, the cake, in itself, is worth the visit. Very affordable menu too, only drawback is that they don't have a beer/wine license yet but, hey that means that the bill is even that much more affordable. I'm just afraid that its location might discourage visitors but that means that the locals should show their support, and go there before it is discovered by SF food fans.
It would be great if you can let your viewers know about the review in the Express, just caution them to skip through the first paragraph!

Cheers, Claudia

Claudia Kawczynska, Editor-in-Chief, The Bark, 2810 Eighth St., Berkeley, CA, 94710, 510-704-0827


Miltiades Mandros emails


Read your quick take on Riva Cucina - yummy. I think I told you I had one lunch there, a shrimp dish that was out of this world. It felt totally wrong to eat food that good without wine, so I am going to postpone a dinner trip until they get their alcoholic beverage license. Can't wait, though.



A Thai Restaurant is going to open next to Caffé Trieste on Dwight Way.


"Food Festival Spotlights West Berkeley's Cultures" reports Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet.

"Sunday's second Berkeley International Food Festival Sunday will celebrate the story of how a West Berkeley neighborhood overcame ethnic, racial and economic boundaries through food.

Faiza Ayyad, Shahid Salimi, Luis Arango and Jesus Mendes all came to West Berkeley in the 1980s and set up food shops there in search of a better life. Theirs is a story of survival; one of pride, but not prejudice. And it will be shared with festival goers on Sunday."


And Ms Riya also reports"City Offers Children Free Summer Lunch Program at Schools and Centers. In addition to the free Universal Breakfasts that Berkeley Unified will be serving children in the city all summer, the city will be treating them to free lunches."


"Programs would get more cash under Berkeley budget plan" reports Martin Snapp of our Times.

"With only a week to go before the Berkeley City Council approves the budget for the next fiscal year, Mayor Tom Bates unveiled some suggested last-minute tweaks at Tuesday night's council meeting, with youth programs, health programs and infrastructure improvements the major beneficiaries.

The mayor wants to allocate an additional $85,000 to youth recreation programs, $50,000 to summer employment programs for teens, $50,000 to health programs for children ages 0-3, and $100,000 to heart disease, stroke and hypertension prevention programs.

Homeless programs face a mixed future. Bates' plan would mitigate the city policy of favoring long-term housing programs over short-term relief programs by partially restoring funding to three non-profits
that provide emergency services -- BOSS, Berkeley Food and Housing Project, and the Dorothy Day Breakfast Program.

But the lion's share of the city's homeless spending -- $1.5 million -- would still go to the Housing Trust Fund to create more long-term, low-cost housing.

Another $1.5 million would be set aside for technical planning for streetscape, transit and pedestrian improvements along some of the city's major thoroughfares, including Adeline Street and University and San Pablo avenues.

Bates predicted the money would allow the city to leverage many times that amount."

Full story here.


"Going solar can pay off in the long run" reports Barbara E. Hernandez of our Times. "After receiving a $1,200 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. bill last summer, solar power began to haunt Robin Kneer's thoughts. Knowing the average power bill on her 2,900-square-foot house was more than $500, she talked with Next Energy, a solar energy provider, at a home show last year."


This week Wall Street Journal reported, "J.P. Morgan canceled plans to auction a Bear fund's mortgage-backed debt, a sign investment banks are having trouble finding buyers for the securities."

And that, "World oil demand is expected to grow twice as fast this year as in 2006, likely resulting in higher and more volatile prices."

Also that, "GE and Pearson abandoned their efforts to bid for Dow Jones, aiding News Corp, but raising questions about the strategies of the other three companies."

This morning's New York Times reports "$3.2 Billion Move by Bear Stearns to Rescue Fund. A hedge fund's near-collapse stems directly from bad bets on subprime mortgages and is the biggest such bailout since 1998.







Our Jerry Landis emails

After my dozens of letters . . . published in the Berkeley Daily Planet, I have made it to the "Inbox" page of the July 2nd Time.



Want to know the current betting odds on the 2008 election? Check out http://specials.slate.com/futures/2008/

Courtesy of Bob Kubik.



"US home sales continue downwards" reports BBC News. The US housing market remained sluggish last month, latest figures have shown, with sales of existing homes at their lowest level in
four years.

Sales fell 0.3% to 5.99 million units in May, the slowest pace of growth since summer 2003, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Sales are now 10% lower than a year ago, when 6.68 million units were sold.

The sharp downturn in the housing market, after years of stellar growth, has shown little sign of bottoming out.

The number of unsold homes rose 5% to 4.43 million units."


The Wall Street Journal reports "Problems at two Bear Stearns funds underscore--and aggravate--a growing fear that hard-to-trade investments may spur a broader market retreat."


And that "Syntroleum and Tyson plan a $150 million plant to convert fat from the chicken giant's operations into renewable biodiesel."


And Zelda, the BBC also reports, "Echinacea 'can prevent a cold.'"

"The flower, stem and root of echinacea is used in products. Taking the herbal remedy echinacea can more than halve the risk of catching a common cold, US researchers say.

They found it decreased the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of colds by a day-and-a-half.

The results in The Lancet Infectious Diseases conflict with other studies that show no beneficial effect.

Experts believe echinacea, a collection of nine related plant species indigenous to North America, may work by boosting the body's immune system."



And Bob emails about returning prostitution in Potter Creek

I left the house three times today, (Sunday). Each time I called in a prostitute on San Pablo - all of them between Grayson and Carleton. I expect there were others at other times. The weather is good and they are back again!


Tippet has been tagged again and there now is graffiti on the west-wall of the warehouse across from Consolidated on 8th.

And the graffiti on the back-side of the Xoma and Jones' buildings has not yet been removed by the building owners.


A west-Berkeley neighbor emails about gun-fire on 1100 block of Parker

Hi Ron

On Saturday morning at about 3:00 am, our dog alerted us just before we heard four shots right in front of our house.  By the time we got to the front windows, the street was empty and quiet.  We heard a couple more shots toward San Pablo Park. The next morning, the story unfolded that apparently there was a major argument and shoot-out on the 1100 block of Parker St.  One neighbor had four bullet holes in his car, another had three, and another had four bullet holes in her front windows.  No one on our street was hurt, thankfully. 

I've been noticing all the tagging also and it's hard to believe someone could do all of that without someone noticing.

Barbara Shayesteh, Café Zeste






Rita Fatima Herrera, one of the managers at our Wells Fargo Business Center is a native of Chile. Her family moved here to Berkeley when she was thirteen. A graduate of Martin Luther King Junior High and Berkeley High, she JUST, June 17th, graduated from California State East Bay with a degree in Business Administration. Well, Ok then!

Now a locked facility, the École Bilingue 8th Street Playground is STILL available to us, the neighborhood. Though a private playground, École Bilingue has made it available to Potter Creek residents for decades. Kava and Regan's kids played there. The "Juan Boys" have been regulars for years, playing ball and socializing.Their most memorable was Number 11, a short good-looking kid, who, for a couple of years would regularly shoot hoops. David now plays there with Gracie and often Tracy, Ben, Natalie and Morgan can be seen and heard playing ball on weekends. And some of Potter Creek's new residents have a basketball game Sunday afternoons. Milo is looking forward to some soccer practice there soon. For the combination to the lock on the gate-off-the-parking-lot call 549-3867. Rick Auerbach and other members of the original Potter Creek Home Qwners Association were the ones who years ago asked the French School to open the playground to all.


"Decomposing Body Retrieved from Bay" reports Bay City News. "A man's decomposing body was retrieved from the bay near the pier at the Berkeley Marina at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the Alameda County coroner's office reported."


"Declassified C.I.A. Archives Detail Illegal Activities" reports the New York Times.





"Mural Honors Maudelle Shirek" reports Judith Scherr in our Planet. "From Maudelle Shirek's roots in the soil of Jefferson, Ark., to the former vice mayor's seat on the city hall dais, the legacy of the 96-year-old "conscience of the council" and radical civil rights and human rights activist will live in a mural commissioned by the city and created by local artists Daniel Galvez and Mildred Howard."


"Berkeley Lab Wins Federal Biofuel Lab" writes the Planet's Richard Brenneman. "Berkeley's bid to become the biofuel research capital of academic and corporate America scored another major advance Tuesday, winning funds to start a second lab major lab."


Ms B. writes about George Orwell's Animal Farm, Da Boz, and more in our Planet.

"Like Orwell's beastly autocrat, Mayor Bates doesn't act alone. His imperious ways are expedited and legitimated by a compliant council majority, a fawning city attorney and other unctuous bureaucratic managers who do little to conceal their own disdain for public process."

Zelda, Zelda, Zelda.


Da Boz emails his June report, here are excerpts.

City Council Passes Balanced Budget
The City Council last night adopted a balanced budget for the next fiscal year by a vote of 8-1. The budget approves $308 million in overall spending for the fiscal year that begins on July 1st. After difficult cuts were taken from 2002 through 2005, this budget marks the second in a row that was balanced without major cuts to city services and programs. We were also able to restore some important programs and increase our investment in basic infrastructure.

Major Renewable Energy Push: Berkeley Wins 'Solar America City' Competition and Installs First Municipally-Owned Wind Turbine in U.S.

U.S. Secretary of Energy announced last week that Berkeley was one of 13 cities in the United States to be selected as a 'Solar America City.' The selection, which was based on a highly competitive national review, means Berkeley is in line for $200,000 in direct funding as well as technical assistance and other resources to develop and launch a comprehensive solar power and energy efficiency program in the City.

Yesterday, we broke ground on what will be the first municipally owned wind turbine in the United States. The turbine is a new small-scale wind generation system that will power the classroom building at the Shorebird Nature Center in the Berkeley Marina.

Mayor Bates Launches 4th Annual Reading and Exercise Program from 1,000 Low-Income Berkeley Kids.
Mayor Tom Bates, the University of California's Cal Corp Public Service Center, and the City of Berkeley launched the 4th Annual Project BUILD - Building Healthy Minds and Bodies. Project BUILD will provide free books, tutoring, and physical activities to approximately 1,000 young people.

Grants Awarded for Planning and Habitat Restoration of Eastshore Park in Berkeley
East Shore State Park received over $1.5 million in funds from the State Coastal Conservancy to restore wetlands and plan for a new 30-acre park along the Berkeley shoreline.


City Purchases Land for Final Link in Bike Path
The City Council authorized the purchase of a land in West Berkeley that will be the final link in a bike path from Emeryville through Albany.



"Berkeley ready to buy land that would connect bike path: City wants to spend $3 million on missing link for Albany to Emeryville trail" writes Doug Oakley in our Times. "Berkeley is poised to buy a $3 million slice of land that has been the missing link in a bicycle path from Albany to Emeryville."



"Riffraff blamed for eatery's demise: Owner of kosher Italian restaurant says city must act soon to improve downtown area" reports Martin Snapp in our Times. "Another small business in downtown Berkeley has bit the dust."





New Potter Creekers email

I'm sorry we haven't met in person yet but I wanted to tell you how much I have been enjoying your postings. We moved into the house on Grayson last fall and feel really grateful to have landed in such a wonderful neighborhood. And we've learned a lot more about it thanks to your website, which I check regularly -- so thank you!. In the nine months that we have been here (I can't believe it's already been that long) we've met so many wonderful people and feel part of a neighborhood and a community for the first time in many years. And we are eternally grateful to Susanna, who told Andrew about the house last summer (they used to be colleagues). We have some major projects coming up with the house this summer -- the roof, reshingling and painting, etc. -- but we're in it for the long haul and, again, are so very happy to be here. We hope to meet many more folks in the neighborhood this summer.

On your recommendation, we're off to Riva Cucina for breakfast (our 16th wedding anniversary).


Karen and Andrew


"Bateman Neighbors Say Crime Is on the Rise"
writes Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet. "Residents of Berkeley's Bateman neighborhood are spending a lot of time looking over their shoulders these days.

It's not your average car theft they're worried about. It's armed robbery, and in broad daylight. Three robberies in the last two months-one armed-have sent shockwaves through the neighborhood.

On June 11, at around 2 p.m., an area resident was walking her baby in a stroller when she was robbed at gunpoint on Woolsey at Bateman. . . .

Wesley Hester, Berkeley police spokesperson, said that drug usage was one of the main reasons for the current increase. . . .

'The strategy is to work with the police department. It's important to have adequate lighting in front of the house and clear overgrown vegetation so that perpetrators don't have a place to hide. It's really important that the neighbors are organized. Some years back Bateman was better organized.'

Lt. Hester told the Planet that crime was up over the entire Bay Area. "


A reliable source reports that a more robust treatment of San Pablo Ave prostitution is being considered.

About 3:10 this afternoon, two Berkeley PD officers were pursuing on-foot a running young-adult, north on San Pablo Avenue, in front of East Bay Nursery. Two all-black Berkeley Special Enforcement units appeared also to be involved. Well, Ok then.

Our Berkeley PD, Area Coordinator is Officer Andrew Frankel, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 AFrankel@ci.berkeley.ca.us


After 7:00 PM a power-line was knocked dowm on Grayson around 7th--it was, in fact, on the ground in front of 900. Berkeley PD responded and blocked the intersection with two black-and-whites. It is believed the downed-line was a result of a hit-and-run into the power pole.



Earlier this week, I posted an email from a reader
about increased California State traffic fines. I was scammed.
Matthew Yi of the San Francisco Chronicle has posted THE FACTS.

They are

-- Claim: Carpool lane -- First-time fine $1,068.50. The $271 posted
on the highway is old. Don't do it again because the second time is
going to be double, third time triple, and fourth time your license
will be suspended.

Fact: The first-time fine is about $380 and repeated offenses can be
higher, but not as high as claimed in the e-mail.


-- Claim: Incorrect lane change fine -- $380.

Fact: About $150.


-- Claim: Blocking an intersection -- $485.

Fact: About $150


-- Claim: Driving on the shoulder -- $450.

Fact: About $150


-- Claim: Speeders who drive more than 3 mph above the limit are
subject to tickets.

Fact: Law-enforcement officers can legally ticket drivers for going
even 1 mph over the posted speed limit.


-- Claim: Using a cell phone while driving through a construction
zone equals a double fine.

Fact: There is no law against using a cell phone while driving. The
new law that requires the use of a hands-free device kicks in on July
1, 2008. Traffic violation fines in construction zones are higher
than those committed elsewhere, but not quite double.


-- Claim: If passengers older than 18 don't have seat belts on, both
driver and passengers get ticketed.

Fact: Correct.


-- Claim: Driving under the influence will land you in jail.

Fact: Correct.


Matthew Lee's full story is here.


Ok, so Mercury's retrograde.


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.

Bob Kubik again stresses I believe it is up to each of us to report what crime we see, and/or are aware of, to the City in order to get and keep their attention. The contacts are below:

Officer Andrew Frankel, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 AFrankel@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491 agallegos-castillo@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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

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



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