Berkeley Bowl West the Sake Blessing on 5/30

kagami biraki, wooden casks of sake are opened with mallets during Shinto festivals, weddings, store openings, sports and election victories, and other celebrations


more Pre-Opening photos here


 "Berkeley Bowl West opens" is by Lynne Char Bennett of the Chronicle. 

"After several years in the planning, Berkeley Bowl West - sibling of Glenn and Diane Yasuda's Berkeley Bowl on Oregon Street - opened on Thursday in a 140,000-square foot facility close to Interstate 80.

Although the sales floor is about the same size as the original store, the space has a spacious, almost warehouse-like feel with open floor plan and high industrial-looking ceilings. The building includes a cafe, prep kitchen, modest wine tasting bar, warehouse and offices, all of which will ultimately employ about 150 people.

The produce selection - which 75-year old Glenn Yasuda will still personally oversee - is as wide-ranging as ever. For example, conventionally raised specialty fruit like California red velvet apricots - one of the 25 bins of stone fruit - shares space with green almonds and small green sour grapes. About one-quarter of the produce section is organic, with much of it coming from family farms."

Potter Creek's own Uncommond Grounds coffee is served at the Bowl deli.


Acme's Steve Sullivan was seen shopping at the Bowl , . . . didn't see any bread in his cart, though. Also saw Margret Elliot and Michael Goldin--Michael was shopping for dinner, Marget was picking up stuff after shopping at OSH.




Marsha's Berkeley Bowl West op-ed

Oh my gosh, . . . oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, . . . Oh my gosh, . . . Oh MY gosh.



Seems our Berkeley Bowl has generated the excitement of a newborn. "All that people are talking about is the new Berkeley Bowl" said a Potter Creek Elder who regularly walks in the neighborhood.

Patti Siri walking past from shopping at the Bowl with Jackson said "Very civilized. Not at all like the other Bowl."


Saw Tak Nakamoto just under a week after opening "This is my first time, I bet you've come a lot" he said.



In the dozen or so trips I've made to and around the Bowl in the days after openning, I've noticed a real increase in pedestrian traffic, a noticeable bicycle traffic increase and only a moderate motor vehicle increase--cars. And, I was more alert, biking.

The only real traffic problem I observed, and one not related to the Bowl, was the "eighteen wheeler" stopped on Grayson in front of Tracy and Morgan and John and Susanna's and across the street from Rick Auerbach's. It totally blocked the west-bound-lane for a good while--the street is very narrow and getting passed west-bound was a challenge.

And there was the SUV parked on the side-walk at the corner of 9th and Heinz, in front of the French-School-office, while loading or unloading.

David Snipper said "I'll wait for six months" when asked what his impressions of traffic were.

Margret Elliott feels we'll have a sense of the Bowl traffic in less time. "We'll know in about three months" she said.


I'm told on one of the days, a large truck also stopped west-bound on Heinz across from Café Cacao hindered traffic flow. Truck deliveries have long been a problem in Potter Creek, especially on the very narrow east -west streets. In fact, one truck can stop all thru traffic on Pardee, so narrow is the street with cars parked.

And a UPS driver has said the worst street is 9th because of deliveries, even though this is a wide boulevard.



When asked about the past opposition to the Bowl by some Potter Creek residents and businesses, a long time home-owner said in a tone reserved for conversations about a family's "unusual" aunt or uncle "Oh, we don't talk about that."









posts from the past


Kubik emails

The Regan designed condo at 919 Pardee is for sale at $849,000.  Open house . . . Sunday.  Two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, very minimalist design, high quality, but rather small...



"Postcards from the edge of Emeryville" is by John King at

"Five postcards from Emeryville, where there's more to the landscape than weekend traffic jams outside Ikea.

If all you know of Emeryville is the view from Interstate 80 (chunky towers, chain-store retail) or San Pablo Avenue (chunky clutter, lying low), nothing prepares you for the green extravaganza that starts at the north end of Doyle Street."


What I'm hearing around Berkeley these days as the concept de jour for change in west -Berkeley is the goodness of full-square-block-development and the beauty-of-biotech.

Damn, must be that LSD in the water supply from the '60s, probably there's still residue in the pipes.

Maybe you could check into this Mr Phil. I mean, . . . we gotta "get straight."




"East Bay tech jobs melting away" reports George Avalos at

"Hundreds of high-tech job losses this year alone are becoming a grim new challenge for a wobbly East Bay economy that's attempting to stabilize itself.

So far in 2009, employers have shed just under 1,850 jobs in the technology or telecommunications sector, according to information culled from state and regional agencies.

To be sure, technology and telecommunications job losses might not boast as much notoriety as the employment devastation unleashed by the implosion of the banking, mortgage and automotive industries. But tech and telecom cutbacks have also jolted the East Bay in a significant way."




And "Real estate woes not solely residential" by George Avalos, Staff Writer is also in the West County Times.

"A vast auto dealership is empty in Oakland, visible from the freeway. In Pittsburg, a big housing development looms over a downtown street, unfinished and vacant. Hotels in Brentwood and Oakland are isolated behind cyclone fences. A mammoth residential development is idle next to the Caldecott Tunnel.

These troubled projects all are mute testimony to a financial malaise that first sickened the housing market and has now infected a broader part of the wheezing regional economy.

During a half-year period stretching from October through the end of March, mortgages totaling $784 million have slumped into default for dozens of commercial or development properties, including some huge residential subdivisions, in the East Bay."





"Nobel Winner Krugman Sees US Recession Ending Soon" by Courtney Schlisserman of Bloomberg, here at

" The U.S. economy probably will emerge from the recession by September, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said."


Yup, I feel somethin' too.


"How green are trains, public transportation, and hybrid cars? It depends" writes Judy Lowe at

"Most of us assume that some things are givens when it comes to environment-friendly transportation choices. Among those assumptions: Taking the subway is better than driving an SUV, riding a train tops hopping on a plane, and a hybrid car is much preferred over a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle.

But that's not always true. Recent research points to just the opposite, sometimes.

Environmental engineers Mikhail Chester and Arpad Horvath of the University of California found that instead of taking a train into the city from suburbia, there are times when 'people would be better off traveling through town in a gas-guzzling, high emission SUV,' reports Red Orbit. Ouch!"



our Angela emails a Sgt Mary Kusmiss PIO, BPD release

Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Community Updates on Recent Cases & Bay Area Crime Stoppers
Shooting on the 1500 block of Oregon Street
BPD is not able to provide the names/status/condition of the 3 and 6 year old girls that were shot", as the information is protected by HIPPA & Govt Code 6254(f) et al. "BPD has not made any arrests in the case. We will offer more as the investigation develops. BPD is urging anyone with any information and/or may have been a witness to call the BPD Homicide Detail (510)981-5741 or Bay Area Crime Stoppers (BACS). BPD is a participating agency in BACS. ALL BACS calls are completely confidential. (see link below) It can often be a small, seemingly insignificant detail that a community member heard and/or saw that is essential towards an investigation and eventual arrest(s)."
BPD is consistently doing much work behind the scenes related to a number of significant cases of violence, including the 1500 block of Oregon Street investigation. With the support of the BPD Barricaded Subject Hostage Negotiation Team (BSHNT) (aka SWAT), BPD did a parole search of a home in North Oakland this morning. In the interest of the investigation, we have little more publicly that we can offer about that search. One male was detained. No arrests were made. (covered by KTVU 2 TV)



our Tak emails


You asked me to write about the recent very violent turn of events here in West and South Berkeley. I've been mulling over what to write and finding that I lack adequate words to express the concerns, the worries, the frustration and yes the anger that I have.

There have been meetings held and more to be held on this non-declared crisis. Words are being thrown about: enhanced patrols and enforcement; neighborhood watch; community building; reaching the "youths"; etc. I know that the people who use these words mean them to be a short hand for more complete thoughts. But having listened to these discussions for a long time now, I don't feel that any of these words capture the true depth of the problem or the complexity and difficulty of any possible solution.

As on every block in this area, my neighbors and I talk amongst ourselves and shake our heads. I was particularly struck by a comment by one of my neighbors who's a parent and a public school teacher here in Berkeley. He's said that it appears that some of us here in West Berkeley live in a parallel universe. By that I think that he meant that they live with a very different view of reality and have a moral system which conflicts with the mainstream. It struck me that this must make teaching very difficult.

One of the good things about living in Berkeley is that we have amongst us many people who are articulate, observant, contemplative and non-dogmatic who have written about these issues. I don't mean the academic types of writers who's work by necessity of their fields tend to desiccate the problems in order to partially understand them. I mean writers who can give us a true feel for the very many complexities of actually living within a neighborhood with these problems.

These authors partially relieve me of the necessity of explaining the issues involved. The book I recommend most to people is Melody Ermachild Chavis's "Altars in the Street." (


This is an account of the author living in and doing neighborhood crimewatch organizing on a real but un-named block in South Berkeley. I don't necessarily agree with the author on every point but I do admire her true effort to see her neighborhood world as completely as possible.

Gary Rivlin is another Berkeley author who's work is very germane now. His book "Drive by" is about the culture and society of crack dealers in East Oakland. But one suspects that what's happening now in South-West Berkeley and North Oakland is not much different.


Rivlin wrote for the East Bay Express under its original ownership and parts of the book appeared in its pages. I was told that at least at one time he lived here in West Berkeley.

One last book that I must mention but do so only with reservations is "Class
Dismissed: A Year in the Life of an American High School" by Meredith
Maran. (

The author follows the senior year of three very different Berkeley High students. One of them is an African American student from West Berkeley. The author omitted some key details in her portrayal of his family. He was found murdered a couple of years or so ago near San Pablo and Ashby. His killing as far as I know remains unsolved.

I realize that reading these books now might seem frivolous in light of the necessity for some concrete action. But I think that our reactions to these truly dangerous events have to be based on a deeper understanding of the issues.

I'll write something more directly on the issues very soon.

Tak Nakamoto









Da Boz not only takes the bus but apparently also "walks to work." Seen this morning briskly going past UC Storage, he waived to employees Eddie and Al.



"Bay Area has ample room to grow" writes Lisa Vorderbrueggen of the Contra Costa Times.

"The Bay Area has ample room within its existing communities to house and employ the 2 million new residents projected to call the region home by 2035, according to a report unveiled Wednesday.

Titled 'Grow Smart Bay Area,' the Greenbelt Alliance's new study makes the case that the Bay Area can say no to suburban sprawl and still accommodate new residents and jobs.

Alliance researchers consulted with planning experts and analyzed the development potential of some 40,000 vacant or underutilized sites located near existing transit and other public services.

Researchers identified seven 'smart spots' where they believe higher density development makes sense, including along San Pablo and Telegraph avenue corridors through Oakland and Berkeley, and swaths of low density swaths near BART stations in southern Alameda County. "

underlining mine




"Berkeley school integration challenge rejected" by Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"In a victory for advocates of school integration, the state Supreme Court rejected a challenge Wednesday to Berkeley's policy of considering the racial composition of students' neighborhoods in deciding where they will enroll."



an email from Sgt Mary Kusmiss, PIO, BPD.

Community Members,
This is the time of year that BPD and BFD receives increasing calls regarding fireworks. All fireworks are unlawful in the City of Berkeley including "Safe & Sane".

My Best,

Sgt. MC Kusmiss




"Hummingbirds 'faster than jets'" is a report at BBC News.

"A US researcher has captured the birds' dives with super-fast cameras. He lured them into their impressive displays using stuffed models of female birds.

The feathered acrobats reached speeds of almost 400 body lengths per second.

The findings are reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Christopher Clark from the University of California Berkeley filmed the courtship dives of male Anna's hummingbirds on cameras able to capture 500 frames per second."


Stuffed female models? Ya gotta love science.




"California leading growth in nation's green jobs economy, study finds" writes Marc Lifsher at

"New green jobs sprouted faster than the overall workforce expanded in California and across the nation from 1998 to 2007, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts."



" Supergiant star suddenly slims down, scientists don't know why" writes Chris Gaylord at

"You've probably seen Betelgeuse, even if you didn't know it. In the Orion constellation, it's the red dot on the archer's left shoulder. It's also one of the largest stars astronomer have ever found. In 1993, scientists compared its girth to the size of Jupiter's orbit around our the sun.

But 15 years later, the same measuring tools say that Betelgeuse (which sounds a lot like 'beetle juice') is about 15 percent smaller.

'The cause of the star's rapid contraction is a mystery,' writes National Geographic. 'But the team noted that they had observed an unusual big red spot on the star three years ago.' "





a reader forwards an email from a retired State Department friend

Often overlooked nowadays is that Palestinian Arabs, or at least their leader, backed the wrong horse in World War II.  The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Haj Amin al-Husayni, was a notorious supporter of Nazi Germany.  He was an Arab Palestinian nationalist who must have thought that the best way to tweak John Bull's nose and end the British Mandate in Palestine was to join forces with Britain's chief enemy, Nazi Germany.  He had long been a burr under the British saddle, so much so that after backing a Palestinian Arab revolt (1936-39), he became wanted by the British and fled Palestine in 1937, eventually reaching Germany, where he met Hitler in Berlin in 1941. 
Arnulfo Arias did almost the same thing in Panama.  A Panamanian nationalist, he must have thought that the best way to tweak Uncle Sam's nose and get the United States out of the Panama Canal Zone was to support Germany during the war.  Elected president in 1940, Arias was deposed in 1941 in a coup said to have U.S. support.
After the war the British Mandate in Palestine did indeed come to an end, but it left Israel in charge of most of the country after an Arab defeat in 1948 and a Palestinian exodus.  This left the grand mufti with little political influence.  He died in Lebanon in 1974.
The upshot of all of this was that the Western Allies, after a life-and-death struggle with Nazi Germany, were in no mood to support the Arab Palestinian cause.  The war was a watershed event that sealed the fate of Jew, Arab and Panamanian nationalism.  The United States would not leave the Panama Canal Zone for another 30 years.  The Jews would get their state of Israel.  The Palestinian Arabs would end up as refugees in other lands.  There was almost no Western concern that the Arabs had lost land in Palestine that they had occupied and owned for centuries.  Supporting the losing side in a war has its consequences. 

What remains is a lasting bitterness that has resulted in numerous conflicts and has eroded peace in the region for years.










posts from the past


Tomaso's is my all-time favorite Italian pizza restaurant, mostly because it's oak-fired-oven pizza is like the kind I have in Italy. A few weeks ago, I went there with my friends Velma, and Sylvia. Now run by Augustino and Carmen, it's a family owned place I've gone to since the '60s. Tomaso's is long and narrow with booths along either wall and a long table between, and is really comfortable. Velma, Sylvia and I got there early on a week night--Tomaso's is always crowded--and sat in one of their booths. We looked forward to an evening of talk and food. But before our pizza we had another of my favorites, a plate of assorted vegetables--lightly blanched broccoli, green beans, asparagus and roasted red and yellow bell peppers marinated in lemon, garlic and olive oil--a delicious and gorgeous dish. Just as we finished, our pizza arrived. It was a large, with roasted garlic and fresh clams on one half and Italian sausage and mushrooms on the other, beautifully presented with clams in their shells placed around the outer border. I had a house Chablis filled almost to the top of the glass for only $4.50. Talking between bites and sips we had a fun evening. Finally, full and caught up on "current-events," we left. By then there was a line out the door and up the steps--people waiting and talking, often as not with a glass of wine in hand. Kimar

Oh,. . . our pizza was $18.00 and Tomaso's is in San Francisco, down Kearny from Broadway.

Our Bowl's Mrs Yasuda and guest lunched at 900 GRAYSON yesterday.

Earlier in the week, Kava's Mom and Dad visited 900 for breakfast.




"Zoning Board Considers New Site for Animal Shelter" is a report in our Planet.

"It's been a long time coming. And if the city's Zoning Adjustments Board gives the green signal Thursday, June 11, the Berkeley Animal Shelter will have a new home after a decade-long battle.

The shelter, which has been running out of an 8,000-square-foot, one-story building in West Berkeley since the late 1950s, plans to relocate to the site of the old Helmet Building at 1 Bolivar Drive, thanks to a $7.1 million bond measure approved by Berkeley voters in 2002.

The Berkeley City Council-which added another $1 million to the bond money-voted last summer to buy the property which was on the market for $1.9 million. "



Tamsen Fynn's poem on the shooting of children

The birds keep singing

Even after the gunfire
They pause for just a moment
As the bullet bites through glass
Through flesh
They are a cacophony of sound
The mockingbirds, the finches
On power lines, in walnut trees
On chain-linked fences, and chimneys
The birds are wide-awake at 5 a.m.

While they sleep in their beds
Warm under the covers
Holding a stuffed bear, a doll
Wearing pajamas covered in trains

The birds keep singing

Even after the crying starts
The screaming and the bleeding
The trip to the emergency
The children wrapped in blankets

Nobody else wakes up
Only those two little babies
Their Mama, their Grandma
Not the neighbors
With two boys
Just a few years older
Their long brown hair
Their video games and bikes
Their Santa Cruz sweatshirts
Everyone is sleeping

One newspaper lands with a thud
On the sidewalk
A car rolls away

The birds keep singing



Tracy emails

Hi Ron,

This is my friend Johnny's film.  His studio is at Active Space and our kids went to preschool together.


"My latest social issue documentary, Ask Not, will broadcast for the first time this Tuesday, June 16th at 10 pm on PBS' Independent Lens. (Times may vary. Check your local listings here:

I hope you will make time to watch the television premiere of the film that's called 'Compelling' and 'startling' in the latest edition of Newsweek.

Ask Not exposes the tangled political battles that led to the discriminatory 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, and profiles young courageous activists determined to abolish it. As wars in the Middle East rage on, this film reveals personal stories of gay Americans who live, work, and fight under a veil of secrecy."


I saw Tom Bates and Loni Hancock at the Bowl last Friday night shopping.  

Ben's final baseball game is this Saturday for the NOLL-SOLL Little League Championship.  

That's my news.






"Clean Tech Creates a Home for Green Jobs" is a report at

""Two studies released this week reinforce the belief that the expansion of clean energy and energy efficiency is an effective engine for job creation."




"A Wake-Up Call on Water Use" is by Gloria Goodale of The Christian Science Monitor here at

" A long-running resource issue finally trickles down to more consumers.

Move over, carbon, the next shoe to drop in the popular awareness of eco-issues is the "water footprint.' "











posts from the past


Ray Charles has died

In the '50s and '60s there was a group called "The Ray Charles Singers." They recorded very mid-American material for American Decca--not unlike Lawrence Welk's. In Berkeley, in the '60s, we carried their records at Campus Records on Telegraph Avenue. They didn't sell at all in Berkeley, but we stocked them out of deference to our Decca rep--a former liquor-salesman immaculately dressed in Italian silk-suits. Also, Albert the owner, would sometimes try out some "straight-kid," from maybe Hayward, in an attempt to broaden sales. It was such an employee who took a well-dressed, elderly black-woman to the Ray Charles Singers section. "No" she protested "I want OUR Ray Charles." Actually, we all thought of him as our Ray Charles. Well, maybe not that kid.

Ray Charles taught me the meaning of soul.



In my long, filled-to-the-brim, and occasionally turbulent life, I have learned that timing is everything


So, . . . . . . why, when the Berkeley Bowl is bringing thousands, maybe tens-of-thousand new, hip and righteous consumers to Potter Creek and West Berkeley, is our Planning Commission fartsing around with bio-tech farms?

Possibly . . .

Because City Hall is miles from west-Berkeley? Because the stakeholders who "represent" west-Berkeley at Commission meetings are myopic? Because the stakeholders who "represent" west-Berkeley at Commission meetings are self-serving and/or self-absorbed? Because the economic judgment of the early 21stCentury has had the character of a cocaine high? None of the above? Some of the above? All of the above?


As a decades-long Believer in mixed-use with all it's richness, variety, and conflict, I've come to understand that balance is the governing component in the mix.

to be continued



"Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda County to Receive Recovery Zone Bonds" is a report at

"The U.S. Treasury Department announced $25 billion in bond authority available under the Recovery Zone Bonds program. Of that $25 billion, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) is pleased to announce that the Cities of Berkeley and Oakland and Alameda County will receive over $63 million in recovery zone bonds.

City of Berkeley - $13,774,000 (Recovery Zone Development Bond), $20,662,000 (Recovery Zone Facility Bond)."


"Berkeley woman injured in Highway 24 rollover" reports Roman Gokhman, Contra Costa Times.

"A Berkeley woman was able to walk away from a Highway 24 rollover crash in which she was thrown from a car window."



Cliff Miller, Richmond Rambler's Motorcycle Club emails

An Old Farmer's Advice

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

You cannot unsay a cruel word.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Don't judge folks by their relatives.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't bothering you.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain Dance.  

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.  

Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.  

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.

Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.






Chris Mullins and son had brunch at 900 GRAYSON yesterday.

Well, Ok then





"Mystery of 'Dark' Star Explosions Solved?" asks Ker Than at National Geographic News.

"Cosmic 'dust bunnies' hiding in corners of distant galaxies are taking the dazzle out of some of the universe's brightest explosions, new research suggests."














posts from the past


From last years Berkeley Baroque Festival? Hardly, . . . that's a modern piano.



"There will be an open house today for a University of California at Berkeley archaeological dig being conducted a few blocks from campus by 20 students as part of a field school" reports CBS5News.

"The dig site was once home to Berkeley entrepreneur John Hinkel's mansion and conservatory, which was called the 'Casa Hispana' and also served as a boarding facility World War II workers.

During the open house, which will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, students will explain and interpret for visitors the unearthed treasures and other remains, including pieces from an 1895 greenhouse and a 1910 garage, that reflect the city of Berkeley's early 19th and early 20th century residential life and community development."




"Two worlds, one worldly bistro" is by Dave Newhouse, Oakland Tribune columnist.

"Korea and France are worlds apart, but circumstance as much as distance brought Frederic and Emily Millot together as husband and wife - and as business partners at Cafe Noir, an Oakland downtown bistro.



"The Biblio File Short Notices on one man's life, religion and Indian tribes" are book reviews by Dan Barnett at

" 'One Hell of a Ride: The Life and Times of Lou Federico' ($24.95 in paperback from Adventure Publishing) is replete with black and white photographs. In a letter he writes that 'I lived in the Chico area for many years during the waterfowl seasons, starting in 1967 ... I am an outdoorsman and entrepreneur who pioneered Baja, California, in the 1960s and '70s in order to build resort hotels.' He became friends with John Wayne in the last days of his life and remembers that in 1961 his Club Aero Mulege fly-in hotel was popular with influential Chicoans.

Marysville-Yuba City resident David Hobbs became a Christian in 1974 after quite an extraordinary pilgrimage, told in 'Out of the Fire' ($15 in paperback from 4L Press). According to a news release, Hobbs worked for the U.S. Forest Service fighting fires starting in his college years. He 'spent four years on helicopter crews, two years on tanker crews, and two years on the elite Rogue River Hotshots. He was also in the first group of college students busted for drugs at Humboldt State University ... and spent the 'Summer of Love' (1967) in the drug scene in Berkeley."












posts from the past


Old German glass-workers believed drinking lots of milk was helpful when working with gold coatings. "Something about the calcium" said one of our neighborhood's old glass-workers.


"I see a lot of people with big smiles on their faces"

Quote of the week from Kubik when asked about neighborhood response to our Bowl.

Hey Ron,

Did you know that the City of Richmond is only one block long AND that one block is not a through street? Me neither. Weird huh. Traffic monitoring must be super easy.

Steve Smith


Kimar's impression is that customers are now pretty-well evenly-divided between the two Berkeley Bowls with no bumper-cart activity at either--just real good grocery shopping.



"West Berkeley Zoning Changes Stir Concerns from Neighbors" writes Richard Brenneman in our Planet.

"With changes in West Berkeley zoning rules on the Planning Commission's slate, residents of the area say they want a seat at the stakeholders' table.

Several residents of the city's only area zoned for manufacturing and light industry appeared at the June 10 commission meeting to say they wanted their own representation in discussions that could lead to a new process for building on larger parcels.

Another 50-plus members of the Fifth & Channing Neighborhood Group signed a petition questioning some of the proposals floated for the permit process to ease development on larger parcels."



"More are asking: Is it time to legalize pot?" is a story in the Seattle Times.

"The savage drug war in Mexico. Crumbling state budgets. Weariness with current drug policy. The election of a president who said, 'I inhaled.'

These are reasons why many proponents of legalized marijuana have unprecedented optimism."




"Dogging the Orange County Museum's surprise Redmond sale" is a story at

"Today's news that the Orange County Museum of Art surreptitiously sold 18 of its 20 early California plein-air paintings for a relatively modest price to an undisclosed private collector in Laguna Beach is remarkable on many levels. Not least is the private sale's clear deviance from professional standards for deaccessioning that guide the Assn. of Art Museum Directors.

The AAMD handbook states: 'Preferred methods of disposal are sale through publicly advertised auction, sale to or exchange with another public institution, and sale or exchange to a reputable, established dealer.' Private transactions with an anonymous local collector don't get mentioned. Why? The listed methods are there for the protection of vulnerable nonprofit art museums, which operate as public charities, by providing at least one layer of distance between buyer and seller. Art museums aren't commercial galleries.

While we're puzzling all this out, here's a slight diversion. The star painting in the transaction is probably Granville Redmond's 1918 "Silver and Gold" , a rolling coastal landscape that Laguna Art Museum director Bolton Colburn described to The Times as 'an A-plus, a perfect Redmond, one of the five best paintings he ever did.' The artist painted it the same year he appeared in his first Charlie Chaplin movie, 'A Dog's Life.'

Redmond, age 47 at his cinematic debut, wasn't an aspiring actor so much as an inspiration for Chaplin, who was in the process of refining a gestural repertoire for communicating on film without benefit of sound. Redmond was deaf, the result of childhood illness. He had learned sign-language (and much else) at the Berkeley School for the Deaf, and his expressive capacities were helpful to Chaplin -- who also admired his paintings."




"California Dreamers" is a story in the Atlantic.

"It was a magnificent run. From the end of the Second World War to the mid-1960s, California consolidated its position as an economic and technological colossus and emerged as the country's dominant political, social, and cultural trendsetter. Thanks to wartime and Cold War defense spending, a flourishing consumer economy, and a seemingly ever-expanding tax base, the state was at the forefront of the single greatest rise in prosperity in American history. In 1959, wages paid in Los Angeles's working-class and solidly middle-class San Fernando Valley alone were higher than the total wages of 18 states. This affluence ushered in an era of exhilarating if headlong growth and free spending. The state's public schools-the new, modernist elementary schools with their flat roofs, gleaming clerestory windows, and outdoor lockers; the grand comprehensive high schools (Sacramento, Lowell in San Francisco, and Hollywood and Fairfax in Los Angeles)-were the envy of the nation. Berkeley, the flagship campus in the UC system, emerged as the best university in the country, probably the world. It was a sweet, vivacious time: California's children, swarming on all those new playgrounds, seemed healthier, happier, taller, and-thanks to that brilliantly clean sunshine-were blonder and more tan than kids in the rest of the country. For better and mostly for worse, it's a time irretrievably lost."




"Cool roofs for hot climate is a story by Hilary Chiew at

"White paint might just be the solution to tackling climate change.

The stifling heat might have gotten some of us thinking about how best to cool our homes without pushing up the electricity bill in this time of financial crunch.

Dr Gary Theseira thinks he has the answer ­ simply reflect the light and heat back to the atmosphere. He suggests that we look at the potential of our roofs ­ that space that is directly exposed to the sun and absorbing vast amounts of heat during the day ­ as a reflector."












our Ryan Lau emails

I wanted to pass along an invitation for a unique opportunity to weigh in how you think that California can best solve its current budget crisis.  Difficult problems require inventive solutions, so Assemblymember Nancy Skinner wants you to help advise her on how to move forward in the current budget negotiations through a new tool that Next 10 has developed to allow legislators to get real-time feedback from participants.  Hope you can make it.

How Would You Balance our $24 Billion Deficit?
Join Assemblymember Nancy Skinner's Budget Summit
where you can take the 'Budget Challenge"
Thursday, June 18 6:30 - 8:00 pm Emeryville City Hall, 1333 Park Avenue, OR
Friday, June 19 4:00 - 5:30 pm State Building, 1515 Clay Street Room 1, Oakland
Next 10 has created an innovative Budget Challenge that mirrors the budget decisions Assemblymember Skinner will have to make in the next few weeks. At the Summit you will vote on budget options in real-time with instant response clickers. The interactive simulation contains accurate state data, the cuts the Governor is proposing, as well as alternatives.
Come decide how much you would spend on schools, prisons, the environment, and other state programs- and how you would pay for them. Your responses will give Nancy the feedback she needs to take back to Sacramento!
For more information or to RSVP, call (510) 286-1400
Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore




"Graphene's electrically tunable bandgap leapfrogs silicon" reports R. Colin Johnson for EE Times.

"Electrically tunable bandgaps could enable graphene-two-dimensional monolayers of carbon-to leapfrog silicon, according to researchers at the University of California at Berkeley.

Graphene holds the promise of 10-times faster speed than silicon chips, plus the ability to be integrated with exiting semiconductor fabrication techniques. Unfortunately, graphene transistor channels need to be less than 10-nanometers wide in order to open up a bandgap suitable for digital circuitry, delaying its entry into the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors to beyond 2017, when sub-10 nanometer lithography becomes available."



"Climate Change Already Having Impact On U.S., Expected To Worsen" is a report at

"Two researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Evan Mills and Michael Wehner, contributed to the analysis of the effects of climate change on all regions of the United States, described in a major report released June 16 by the multi-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program."



"Locally owned Tae Kwon Do company competes in Berkeley" is a story by Robert Hartsock, guest writer at

"Martial arts instructor and Lake California Resident Seong-Tae Kim took a group of 32 students from Redding Tae Kwon Do to Berkeley to participate in the 40th Anniversary University of California Tae Kwon Do Championships on May 30, 2009. Competing in Poomse (forms) and Gyoroogi (sparring), this group placed the majority of its members."



"How stress causes infertility" is a story at

"Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, say they found how stress causes sexual dysfunction and infertility."














San Francisco Chronicle photographer

shooting 900 GRAYSON for Sunday's food section, hopefully




"West Berkeley home has many faces" writes Tracey Taylor, Special to The Chronicle.

"People like to talk about flexible homes, homes that adapt to suit the evolving demands of their owners and the changing nature of how they go about their daily lives.

We may want the option of a studio or home office, a gym or separate guest quarters. We might look ahead to a time when spaces can expand or contract - after the kids have flown the coop, for instance, or if there's a need to accommodate elderly parents.

Most homes are not so malleable, however, and without actually building a house from scratch, it's often difficult to achieve such adaptability. Not so at 720 Channing Way, a striking home that is on the market in West Berkeley for $1.8 million.


Deborah Oropallo photo

Originally built as a machine shop in the 1960s, this 3,500-square-foot corner building elegantly wrapped in a curving wall of glass brick is eminently flexible, as its current owners - artist Deborah Oropallo, her husband, architect-designer Michael Goldin, and their two children - can testify.

'We've explored all the possibilities and enjoyed all sorts of permutations with this home,' said Oropallo, who moved there in 1991, and has since overseen a raft of upgrades and updating to the house. 'That's the beauty of a big box: You can have interconnectivity or privacy, open spaces or hideaway lofts.' "

Would this be the same Michael Goldin, fierce advocate of west-Berkeley mixed-use?



I ran into the French School's Antione Portales yesterday as he was going into the Bowl as I was leaving. I'd spent an hour over desert talking to Michael Goldin about west-Berkeley. Anointe mentioned that the school had bought their west-Campus property and that he is a new father. Life is good.





An elephant in the room?

Along with talk of bio-tech development in west-Berkeley, I hear how wonderful it would be to encourage Cal, with all its resources and funding, to come to west Berkeley, to Potter Creek.

Would this be the same university that the mayor sued a couple years ago, the same university that, arguably, exhibits cancerous growth, the same university that provokes love/hate from it's residential neighbors?

Just wondering.





Pete Hurney emails

June's Midnight Ukulele Express Show on Kalx June 18

Tune into KALX 90.7FM  this Thursday, June 18th  night at 11:59 PM to catch this months edition of Midnight Ukulele Express. One hour of all ukulele-centric music.
     I just returned from a cross country road trip on which I picked up a few new  ukulele CD's for this show from Greg Hawkes (keyboardist for the Cars), Melveryn Taylor & the Fabulous Meltones, Craig Robertson's new release as well as the new one from Bliss Blood & the Moonlighters in NYC.
    I may even have a special guest visit in the studio as well! That's  midnight on Thursday and for those of you out of our listening area tune in on the web at

remember; chocolate's not just for breakfast anymore



our Angela Gallegos-Castillo emails

hi Ron,
headed out on vacation . . . back on Wednesday, July 8th . . .
thanks again for all you do in the neighborhood!
see you when I get back



" launches shipping division for wineries" is a story in the San Francisco Business Times by Chris Rauber.

", an online wine store that already ships wine to its own customers, is launching a direct-to-consumer wine-shipping business for wineries just days after rival New Line Logistics apparently returned from the dead with help from a financial partner.

The San Francisco-based wine specialist said Wednesday that its new division, Logistics, will provide direct-to-consumer fulfillment services to wineries. The new business will operate out of's Berkeley warehouse, and will be headed by Mike Osborn,'s founder and vice president of merchandising and David Do, vice president of operations."




"Bay Area directors in spotlight at Frameline, nation's biggest LGBT film fest" is by Randy Myers at

"For about a week-and-a-half every June, Bay Area movie buffs receive a welcome respite from the bloat of summer blockbusters with the arrival of Frameline.

The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival kicks off June 18, ushering in its 33rd year of championing niche cinema that shuns Terminators, Transformers and titan-sized budgets.

What some of the 220 films lack in polish and star power, they make up for in passion and ingenuity. Three Bay Area directors with films in the fest say you have to be nimble and resourceful when working under tight budgets and rigid filming schedules, the trademarks of indie filmmaking."





"Renewable Power Requirement Could Jump Start Manufacturing" is a story at

"With new clean technologies being brought to light in the dim light of a global economic recession, a new study forecasts that an increase in renewable energy would help to get people back to work by creating manufacturing jobs. An alliance of non-profit organizations together called for economic stimulus through a substantially higher renewable electricity standard.

A new report released by the Blue Green Alliance, directly links the development of a renewable electricity standard to the creation of 850,000 manufacturing jobs. The figure takes several factors into consideration, linking renewable development to fossil fuels in terms of job production.

According to studies performed over the past seven years, by organizations California Energy Commission and the Berkeley Center for Renewable Energy, renewable sources generate greater employment, four to six times as many (per megawatt), when compared to equivalent investments in fossil fuels. The report postulates that a 25-percent requirement of 18,500 MWs of power from wind, solar, geothermal and biomass by 2025 would create jobs for a group that are the 'backbone of the middle class,' according to David Foster, the Blue Green Alliance's Executive Director."



Kubik forwards this link

"Suitcase With $134 Billion Puts Dollar on Edge" reports William Pesek at "It's a plot better suited for a John Le Carre novel.

"Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy, so naturally the global rumor mill is kicking into high gear.

Are these would-be smugglers agents of Kim Jong Il stashing North Korea's cash in a Swiss vault? Bagmen for Nigerian Internet scammers? Was the money meant for terrorists looking to buy nuclear warheads? Is Japan dumping its dollars secretly? Are the bonds real or counterfeit? "





from my log

5/15/09--3:35 PM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, over rides HEPA filter, wear mask.

5/16/09--5:54 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, over rides HEPA filter, wear mask, leave. All AM SERIOUS irritant IMMEDITATELY in front of warehouse and in warehouse front.

5/17/09--6:49 PM--irritant IMMEDITAELY in front of warehouse plus "chlorine" odor.

5/20/09--5:55 AM--irritant in warehouse plus "chlorine" odor, air out.

5/21/09--4:48 PM--irritant in front room.



6/4/09--11:00AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse and STRONG "chlorine bleach" odor, leave.

6/5/09--3:46 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, over rides HEPA filters.

6/9/09--1:47 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, over rides HEPA filters, wear mask, leave.

6/10/09--off-and-on all day periods of SERIOUS irritant in front room, burning eyes,mouth, overrides HEPA filter.

6/11/09--6:47 AM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in warehouse, air out. 10:06 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, leave.

6/14/09--Off-and-on irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse. 150 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, overrides HEPA filters, light head, headache, "chlorine" oder, leave.

6/15/09--off-andon all day serious irritant in wearhouse, wear mask.

6/17/09--6:15 AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse, air out. Off-and-on all day--irritant in warehouse wear mask.



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 new Area Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774

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.