JULY 2008

after 7/12 here after 7/21 here


a Tameka Lim photo



our Dave Kruse emails

Hi Ron,

As a heads up to all of our neighbors we wanted to let you know that Kruse Co will be starting the renovations of our office space at 920 Pardee next week. We are really excited about this project and hope to make it one of the greenest work spaces in the area. We have registered with the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) for LEED Certification and will be including such items as on site renewable energy (PV Solar), rainwater harvesting and reuse, grey water systems, day-lighting and views (more windows and skylights), material reuse, certified FSC wood, recycled materials for finishes, and state of the art hybrid mechanical systems. Because we need to essentially gut the entire office space, all of our employees at 920 Pardee (not the 904 crew!) will be temporarily relocated to office trailers located within our yard space. We expect the project to take about 6 months. Our neighbor Matthew Friedman (Friedman-Brueggemeyer, 924 Carleton St, is our Architect and Builder. 

Dave Kruse, CEO Kruse Co



our Angela Gallegos-Castillo emails a summary of the joint neighborhood watch meeting

Neighborhood Services from Berkeley and Oakland hosted a joint neighborhood watch meeting on Monday, June 23, 2008 at St. Columba church on San Pablo Avenue.  This meeting brought together SouthWest Berkeley residents and West Oakland residents to discuss concerns along the border.  The meeting agenda focused on listening to residents' concerns along the San Pablo corridor and adjacent neighborhoods. Representatives from Oakland/Berkeley police departments and some city/county representatives were also present.
Residents attending the meeting identified various concerns, including but limited to: prostitution along San Pablo Avenue and Aquatic Park, the desire for a coordinated effort by police departments on prostitution, increased trash along San Pablo, robberies, crime/drug issues, lighting issues, just to name a few.  Additionally, solutions and strategies for these issues were offered and discussed. The Berkeley/Oakland residents decided they would like to meet again and they would also like to: 1)invite Emeryville representatives; 2)work with city reps to organize neighborhood watches on both sides of the border; and 3)set up a basic yahoo group for increased communication.  No meeting date was set for the next meeting, however Father Jason, pastor offered to again host future meetings.
This Oakland/Berkeley joint neighborhood resident meeting comes out of a larger effort to improve communication, and coordination between Oakland/Berkely city systems, especially as it relates to crime prevention and crime solving strategies. Building safe neighborhoods is the goal of this and the larger city efforts.  If you would like more information, please contact Angela Gallegos-Castillo,
Berkeley Neighborhood Services Liaison at 981-2491or Paul Brekke-Meisner, Oakland Neighborhood Services at 238-3102

Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Manager Office



"Proposed landscape assessment raises fairness issues in Pinole" reports Tom Lochner of our Times.

"Property owners along the Pinole Valley Road commercial corridor have until this evening to cast ballots on a proposed assessment district that would raise about $40,000 a year to maintain traffic signals and streetlights and landscape the median.

Ballots will be weighted in proportion to the proposed assessments of individual properties in what would be the Pinole Valley Landscape and Lighting Assessment District extending about a quarter-mile on either side of Interstate 80.

Zone A, north of the freeway, includes a Kaiser Permanente medical
building under construction and the undeveloped Gateway West parcels
where Alta Bates Summit has an exclusive negotiating agreement with
the city with a view to developing medical offices.

Zone B, south of the freeway, includes the Pinole Valley Shopping
Center, currently under a long-term ground lease to The Kivelstadt
Group, the Pinole Redevelopment Agency's partner.

The deadline for casting ballots is the close of a public hearing tonight before the Pinole City Council to consider formation of the district. If owners representing more than 50 percent of the total proposed landscape district assessment protest its formation, it cannot proceed.

The Red Onion shopping center is also in Zone B. The center is owned by Frank Zichichi, who previously argued that the process is rigged because the city and Kaiser between them own more than half the
property in the proposed district, making it virtually impossible for dissenters such as him to topple the
proposal. Furthermore, Zichichi has argued, the traffic signals, street lights and median landscaping will benefit primarily Kaiser and TKG."


"The Mixed-Use Mixed Message. Why is it so hard to get Americans to buy into building up, not out?" asks Lynn Vannucci in her SF Gate story.

"Whimsical. It was the least loaded word I'd heard critics muster for 'Old Downtown' Windsor, which is not old in any sense of the word; it is the brand-new brainchild of its developer, Orrin Thiessen, and it has whimsy to spare.

Located 60 miles north of San Francisco off Hwy. 101, Windsor is a town of some 22,000 residents. Its downtown core, which dated from the 1870s, had deteriorated in the last century into a motley collection of scarred buildings riddled with gang activity. 'It looked like it belonged in Bosnia,' one long time resident told me.

In 2001, Thiessen came along. He demolished the rotted buildings and began construction of Windsor Town Green Village, a project that was nothing less than the re-imagining of a community. If the resulting faux Victorian facades and cartoon color scheme don't put you in mind of Disneyland, you had a deprived childhood.

It is this architectural naivete - and its accompanying artifice - that galvanizes Windsor's critics, but there is something else about the town that is absolutely cutting edge. Town Green Village is a mixed-use development."


"Antioch residents band together to reclaim neighborhoods" reports Simon Read of the Times.

"They call themselves the 'Guardians of the Glen' and they want their neighborhood back. A group of residents in Antioch's Lone Tree Glen subdivision have formed a front against what they say are rowdy and destructive teens running roughshod through their neighborhood.

Their stories are disturbing: gangs of kids brawling in the streets, property vandalized or not properly maintained, houses burglarized and juveniles threatening neighbors. The community pool has been trashed repeatedly, the group said. Sun chairs and patio tables are often dumped in the deep end, and one resident said condoms have been fished out of the water."




"Motorcycles can help save on gas costs" is a really great report filled with sound advice about motorcycling by our Times' Eve Mitchell.

"As gas prices are rising, so, too, are motorcycle sales. But while the idea of riding a motorcycle to work to save money on gas is appealing, buying one is not something to rush into, experts advise.

Do some homework on the different bikes out there, take a California Highway Patrol-approved motorcycle safety course to learn the basics of riding and look into insurance rates before you buy, experts advise.

While a bike can save you on gas costs, don't look for insurance savings in that the premiums for a motorcycle that is suitable for commuting to work will be comparable to the cost of auto insurance. Not only that, but insurance rates can be much higher for a motorcycle if the policy involves a high-performance bike and a young, unmarried man.
'We always recommend a safety course. That way they get a better idea of what they can handle,' said Joe Bondad sales manager for Concord Motorsports."


AP Interview by Ken Thomas: Ex-Intel head pushes electric cars.

"Former Intel Corp. Chairman Andy Grove has a knack for sensing when circumstances should force changes at a company or an industry - and how to respond.

He even has coined a term for it: the 'strategic inflection point.' Now the retired chairman of the world's largest computer chip maker thinks the term applies to energy and transportation, where record-high gasoline and oil prices have spurred interest in alternative energy sources and next-generation vehicles."


"Tesla to build new electric sedan in Bay Area" reports Matthew Yi of the Chronicle.

"Tesla Motors, the maker of electric-powered roadsters, will announce today that it has chosen the Bay Area to build a manufacturing plant for its new model, an electric sedan that is expected to go into
production in two years.

The San Carlos company had been widely expected to build its new manufacturing facility in New Mexico, which reportedly had dangled an incentive package worth $7 million.

But the firm instead chose California because it offered a pair of its own financial incentives: a sales tax exemption on the purchase of manufacturing equipment and grants for training its new employees, state officials said."



"UC compromises on key stadium issues. University hopes concessions set stage for athletic training center next door" writes Carolyn Jones of the Chronicle.

"UC Berkeley made key concessions Friday in its long-running standoff with the city, tree-sitting protesters and neighbors of Memorial Stadium that the university hopes will clear the way for its plans to build an athletic training center next to the stadium.

In documents submitted in Alameda County Superior Court, the university says it will scrap all non-football events at Memorial Stadium and drop plans to attach a concrete support beam to the stadium's west wall, two roadblocks cited in a judge's interim ruling in the case last week."

Why am I reminded of the line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet "A plague on both your houses."








6/27/08--5:36 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room. 6/28/08--6:50 AM--irritant in front room, lights flicker. 6/29/08--11:29 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room. 7/3/08--7:14--AM VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, over-ride HEPA filters, cough, light-head, wear mask.


A workman said the yellow metal plates being installed at Potter Creek intersection-corners are to prevent wheelchairs from slipping as they move from road to sidewalk.

"New Layoffs Hit East Bay Papers" reports Richard Brenneman of our Planet

"It's been a good news/bad news week for the 235 newly unionized reporters and editors of the Bay Area News Group-East Bay.

Journalists who work for the MediaNews Groups East Bay papers-which include the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, Fremont Argus and others-won formal recognition for their union Wednesday.

Then, on Friday, came the announcement by BANG-EB President John Armstrong Friday that 29 Media Workers Guild staffers will be laid off on July 11.

In an email to staff, Armstrong said the layoffs were needed because of declining revenues and soaring newsprint prices.

'We are forecasting a 10% drop in revenue over the next 12 months,' he wrote, on the heels of a 17% drop in the current fiscal year.

One key culprit, he wrote, is the plunging real estate market, 'its ripple effects on virtually all segments of the East Bay economy and the continuing migration of ad dollars to the Internet.'

The new Media Guild chapter resulted from a June 13 vote at BANG-EB's papers. Some of the company's paper had been unionized, but MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton abolished the Guild chapter by merging the news
operations of union shops with the non-union Contra Costa Times.

Union members organized a new election and won a narrow recognition vote from members of the newly combined news operation 10 months later."



"Fourth tree-sitter comes down from stadium grove, three others vow to stay" reports the Chronicle's Carolyn Jones.

"Four of the Memorial Stadium tree- sitters left their perches today and Tuesday night, leaving only three protesters making a stand against UC's plans to build an athletic training center in the grove, UC Berkeley officials said.

But the holdouts don't plan to give up just yet, said Eric Eisenberg, who has been part of the tree-sitters' support crew since the protest began Dec. 1, 2006.

Three of the protesters came down to preserve more food and water for those who remain, Eisenberg said, while the fourth - Amanda 'Dumpster Muffin' Tierney, 21 - came down because she was suffering from an undisclosed medical condition, campus spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

The fate of the oak grove hinges on the outcome of lawsuits brought against UC by the City of Berkeley, the Panoramic Hill Association and oak tree supporters. A judge is expected to rule in the next few weeks whether the university can go ahead with plans to build a $140 million sports training center next to the stadium.

Three of the protesters climbed down from the trees late Tuesday night, Mogulof said. Drew Beres, 19, was arrested by campus police while the other two - Pamela "Olive" Zigo, 19, and Travis "Bird" Richey, 19 - climbed up a different tree, he said.

>After talking to police for about two hours this morning, Zigo and Richey came down. Tierney came down a few hours later. She was seen at the scene by her doctor and paramedics, who transported her to Highland Hospital, Mogulof said.

All four have been charged with trespassing and violating a court order to abandon the protest in the grove, Mogulof said."









Berkeley PD Officer, Andrew Frankel's

Harley Screamin' Eagle



Declaration of Independence


"WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great- Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World."



The Bill of Rights

Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.













Quote of the week

"Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't they'd be married too."


"Larry Harmon, who turned the character Bozo the Clown into a show business staple that delighted children for more than a half-century, died Thursday of congestive heart failure. He was 83" reports SFGate.


"Red wine ingredient slows aging process, study shows Resveratrol has heart benefits and leads to better bone density and fewer cataracts in mice" writes Sandy Kleffman in our Times.

"It's not exactly a fountain of youth, but a substance found in red wine, grapes and nuts can prevent many age-related problems in mice, an intriguing new study reveals.

The substance, resveratrol, led to healthier hearts, better bone density, fewer cataracts and greater motor coordination in the animals."


Bauman College:Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts at 7th and Grayson is having and open house July 11th. Check it out, more here.



Our Janine emails

This is super early notice for a very special and fun concert upcoming. Elizabeth Blumenstock and I are playing Saturday, September 6,  J. S. Bach Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord (1, 2, 3, & 5), plus a Telemann Fantasia for solo violin, J.S. Bach Fantasia and Fugue in a minor for harpsichord, and original music by one or both of us at Trinity Chapel, 2320 Dana St, Berkeley (at Bancroft). 8 PM  
$15 general, $12 SFEMS members, $10 seniors/students/disabled
I'll send another notice closer to this date, but thought you all might appreciate knowing about it early.  Hope you can come!


Our Tak emails


Do you know what became of Barret Woodworking, formerly at 9th Street
and Pardee?

They are gone.

I'm a "wood butcher" not a woodworker. I miss Barret's dumpster where
I collected castoffs that I used in my constant, feeble attempts at
working with wood. I always felt better that I wasn't ruining
pristine material in my "work" when I used dumpster salvaged wood.

I'll need to find a new dumpster to raid.

Tak Nakamoto

Kubik talked to Barret before they moved as was told they want to move to the valley. Bob says they went a month or so ago--decided to go after Wareham bought the block.

Lipofsky says "Dave Barret moved to west Oakland."




"New steel plant to rise in Pittsburg" reports Paul Burgarino in our Times.

"The curtain will soon rise on a new era in steel production in this Delta city, as a multimillion-dollar pipe factory
takes shape.

Since breaking ground earlier this year, crews have been working on the foundation for the United Spiral Pipe factory, a three-way joint venture involving United States Steel Corp. and two South Korean steel-makers, POSCO and SeAH Steel Corp.

Work on building the actual structure of the nearly $137 million project is set to start later this month, said M.S. Lee, president of United Spiral Pipe."




"Berkeley Finds Likely Animal Shelter Site" writes Judith Scherr in our Planet.

"After searching for almost six years for a new animal shelter site-one large enough for the animals and where barking dogs won't raise the ire of sleeping neighbors-it looks like the city has found the right location.

The council voted Monday evening 8-0 in closed session, with Councilmember Darryl Moore absent, to take the first steps toward the purchase of 1 Bolivar Drive, listed by MRE Commercial Real Estate as an 18,800 square-foot property for sale at $1.9 million."


And Scherr reports "Computer Book Author Buys Black Oak Books.

"Cody's Books was taken off life support June 20, taking its place in the beloved bookstore graveyard next to A Clean Well-Lighted Place, Avenue Books, Mama Bear's, A Woman's Place Bookstore and others.

So when people saw that Black Oak Books was closed, just three days after Cody's announced demise, and saw a worker changing the store's locks, some drew the conclusion that Black Oak had gone the way of

The opposite, however, is true. The 24-year-old bookstore at 1491 Shattuck Ave. was closed for one day only. The store's name and assets were bought by Gary Cornell, former University of Connecticut mathmatics department professor and author of some 30 computer books.

According to Cornell, Black Oak is on its way up."

I know Bob Brown, one of Black Oak's founders--or as we used to call Moe, the flounder--and some of the other folks at Black Oak.

Books and the love of reading are important to me, but lets get over it--times change.

Hope for the future?

Face it, the Kindle is not optimized for bathroom reading--something about holding cold plastic in your hands while on the crapper.











"Tilden Park carousel gets restoration" writes Denis Cuff of our Times.

"For 60 years, the hand-carved wooden bears, horses, frogs and cats and the jingle-jangle organ music of the Tilden Regional Park carousel have enticed children and adults to the Berkeley hills for a spin into fantasy and nostalgia.

Now the carousel, one of the Bay Area's best known recreation attractions, is getting a $700,000 restoration to undo decades of wear and tear and to make it more durable and comfortable.

The six-month project, due for completion in early August, is enclosing the open-air carousel with sliding wooden doors to keep out cold, fog and dew that chills riders and rusts or wears out antique parts of the 1911 merry-go-round."


"Is a Kindle to books as an iPod is to tunes?" asks Joe Garofoli of the Chronicle.

"Electronic books have been available in some form for a couple of decades, but the 7-month-old Amazon Kindle is flashing the publishing industry its clearest peek at the future of reading - even if analysts say the much-hyped e-reading device won't immediately upend the text business as the iPod has recently transformed the music world.

The 10-ounce Kindle, which holds 200 e-books and can also tirelessly download daily editions of 19 newspapers and 346 blogs, is fielding pretty heady praise for a device few have seen. Amazon hasn't released sales figures, which makes skeptics wonder about its market penetration. New York tech blog Silicon Alley Insider recently posted a photo of a subway rider holding a Kindle under the headline: 'Found! A Real Amazon Kindle User.'

'We were talking about (the Kindle's low public visibility) at the office the other day. Who's really seen one out there?' said Steve Weinstein, an analyst who tracks Amazon and other Internet commerce sites for Portland's Pacific Crest.

Nevertheless, Weinstein predicted that Amazon's global e-book sales could hit $2.5 billion by 2012. He estimates that the company sold 40,000 units a month this year at its original price of $399 (the price was recently reduced to $359, including wireless charges) and could sell between 700,000 and 800,000 by the end of 2008." 


"Fun, just like in the good old days" reports Laura Casey of our Times.

"As Valerie Zuffi peers into the newly opened Playland-Not-At-The-Beach's 'Circus World' display, her face lights up with expressions of delight.

'Oh! Look at her!' Zuffi says to her adult companions, her eyes fixed on what looks like a performer costuming and grooming area. 'Look at her washing her hair! And this one! She's tightening her corset! Isn't it amazing?'

Zuffi is a Redwood City resident, born and raised in San Francisco. She's in her 40s - old enough to have enjoyed the actual San Francisco seaside attraction Playland-at-the-Beach, which closed in 1972.'

'I remember being scared of Laughing Sal and going down that big slide in a burlap sack,' she says.
'This place,' she continues, referring to the museum homage to the old Playland, 'is just so fun to me. And it brings back so many memories of things we used to do.'

Playland-Not-At-The-Beach is the newest of four Bay Area institutions that cater to a nostalgic audience. The others are San Francisco's legendary Musee Mecanique; Alameda's Lucky JuJu Pinball; and San Rafael's video game hub Starbase Arcade." 




"Silent Film Festival Resurrect's History" writes Delfín Vigil of the Chronicle.

"The first time Stephen Salmons saw a silent film, his reaction was particularly appropriate.

'I was speechless,' recalls Salmons, artistic director and co-founder of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which opens its 13th edition Friday at the Castro Theatre. 'I was blown away. I was like, "This is incredible. Is this what I've been missing? Is this how people saw silent films? How is it that so few people have seen the first 30 years of film history?" '

OK. So maybe Salmons wasn't completely speechless - just as silent films aren't completely silent.

That first experience was during the early 1990s, when Salmons, then a film school student, moved to San Francisco and saw the 1921 silent classic 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,' presented by the San Francisco International Film Festival.

It was at the Castro, one of the few theaters with the right kind of projection equipment. Dennis James was on the Wurlitzer. The audience oohed and aahed." 



"Romance of the Rails: As train popularity steams ahead, is it time to give Amtrak another look?" asks Catherine Watson in the Chronicle.

"Aboard the City of New Orleans -- If I hadn't taken the train, I'd never have learned how to say 'Gunfight at the O.K. Corral' in Italian. Or had a Louisiana Cajun explain how to boil crawfish. Or met a veteran flight attendant who'd rather travel by rail.

I also wouldn't have gotten a refresher course in how varied this country is - and how pleasant it is to ride through it, for a change, instead of flying over it.

More and more people are discovering this lately. 'We've been seeing strong ridership growth for the past five years,' Marc Magliari, Amtrak's media relations manager in Chicago, said in June. In fact, Amtrak set a record in 2007, carrying more than 25,850,000 passengers.

So far this fiscal year, from October to May, 'We are up 11 percent for the period,' Magliari said. 'Our research indicates about half of the increase is due to drivers looking to avoid high gasoline prices.'

My trip started more as a whim. I wanted to go from Minnesota to New Mexico, to visit a friend in Las Cruces. But I didn't want to drive all that way and back, and I didn't feel like flying, either, mainly because there were no flights into Las Cruces, and alternate routes were complicated and expensive. I complained about this to my friend.
'You could take the train,' she said." 


"Ferrari to Open Base" reports Russia's St Petersburg Times.

"Ferrari SpA, Fiat SpA's luxury sports-car unit, will create a company in the next 15 months to oversee its vehicle imports into Russia, Vedomosti reported, citing Fiat Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.

Ferrari sold 65 vehicles in Russia in 2007, or 67 percent more than the previous year, according to the Moscow-based newspaper."


"Berkeley rapid bus plan faces uphill battle" Carolyn Jones of the Chronicle.

"Berkeley may be among the greenest cities in the nation, but it's also home to a budding backlash against public transit."




"Guerrilla gardeners dig in to beautify Los Angeles" reports the AP's Laura E Davis.

"More than a dozen people, some wearing orange protective gear, pulled rakes and shovels from a dingy shopping cart and started working on a parched patch of land along a busy off-ramp of the Hollywood Freeway.

It was a Saturday night and drivers whooshed past on their way to the Sunset Strip club scene.
But the crew was undeterred, and by the wee hours, they had transformed the blight into bloom with green bushes and an array of colorful flowers.

"City workers on overtime? Nope, no budget for that. These were 'guerrilla gardeners,' a global movement of the grass-roots variety where people seek to beautify empty or overgrown public space, usually under the cover of darkness and without the permission of municipal officials." 

I'm told that "guerrilla gardeners" are at work here in Potter Creek. Several neighbors have mentioned a nocturnal tree pruning in an "over grown" front yard.





"Berkeley police warn of imposter newspaper salesmen. 

Berkeley police issued a warning today about two men posing as newspaper subscription salesmen, after a recent incident in which one of the suspects exposed his genitals to a woman reports Marisa Lagos in the Chronicle.

The man is described as a male in his 20s, standing 5'8" to 5'10" and with a heavy build and dark hair. His companion was also in his 20s and stood about 5'10", 170 pounds with short black hair.

The incident occurred on June 28 on the 1900 block of Berkeley Way, according to police. The pair pretended to be salesmen for a local newspaper and were allowed into the woman's home. After a short discussion, one of the men left, then the other exposed himself.

Police cautioned residents to be wary of opening the door to strangers when home alone, and said anyone who sees suspicious activity should call 911. If anyone has information about the recent incident, they should call Berkeley's sex crimes unit at (510) 981-5735." 


"Missing Rice University Student May Have Changed Identity" reports Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet.

"Literature and notes on how to assume a new identity were found in the car, abandoned on a Berkeley street, of missing Rice University student Matthew Wilson, Berkeley police said last week.

Police found the material in Wilson's 2004 silver Dodge Neon on the 1200 block of Allston Way in West Berkeley on June 10. The car was locked and covered in dust and there was no evidence of any foul play to indicate any criminal activity.

Wilson, a computer science junior at Rice University in Houston, Texas, was last seen working in his room by his roommate Elliot Harwell on Dec. 14, less than a week before

Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Officer Andrew Frankel said the items in the car included a book on how to live cheaply in San Francisco, a can of beans, rice and instant noodle soup along with a couple of days' worth of clothing.

Frankel said fingerprints indicated that the property belonged to Wilson."




TofuYu Deli has opened on 9th and Ashby in the the new AHA facility. Not only does TofuYu make their tofu here in Potter Creek but now they retail it. Check it out! They're also opening a TofuYu Deli in El Cerrito on San Pablo Avenue.











Lt Greenwood, Berkeley PD emails

Berkeley Police Department 
2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 
(510) 981-5900, TDD: (510) 981-5799, police@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

Community Crime Alert

Detectives Look At Cases For Similarities              
Berkeley, CA. (July 8, 2008) ­ The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) is urging 
the community to employ the following crime prevention measures in response to several 
home invasions and sexual assaults:   
Despite the warm weather, community members should always lock and secure 
their doors and windows  
Be aware of locations and situations which make you more vulnerable to crime, 
such as traveling alone, and when walking through alleys, doorways, parking lots 
and stairwells 
Call BPD to report suspicious persons or activity 
Detectives are investigating a sexual assault that occurred this morning before dawn on 
the 1200 block of Milvia St. in north Berkeley.   
 On Tuesday, June 17, 2008, in the late morning hours, a woman was sexually assaulted in 
her home on the 2300 block of Derby St.   
 On Saturday, June 21, 2008, in the early morning hours, a residence on the 1800 block of 
Vine St. was burglarized.  This burglary is suspicious given the proximity and the suspect 
 In all three cases the suspect was armed with a deadly weapon.  Investigators are looking 
into the possibility these cases are related.  
If you have any information regarding these cases, please call the BPD Sex Crimes Detail 
at (510) 981-5735.   
The BPD is working in partnership with Bay Area Crime Stoppers who are offering up to a 
$2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the involved 
suspect(s). Callers may remain anonymous by calling Bay Area Crime Stoppers at  
1-800-222-TIPS (8477).   
For crimes in progress, call 911 or (510) 981-5911 from your cell phone.  To report 
suspicious persons or activity, call the BPD non-emergency line at (510) 981-5900.
 The victim described the suspect as: 
Black male, 20s, dark complexion, 6-02, thin build  
The victim described the suspect as: 
Black male, 20s, dark complexion, tall, muscular build 
The victim described the suspect as: 
Black male, late teens early 20s, 5-06 to 5-08, thin build   



The 99 cents Only store is now open on San Pablo just north of Everett and Jones. It stocks mostly food. Check it out!



From now till mid-August, there's jazz every Sunday afternoon in the Golden Gate Branch of the Oakland Library at 5606 San Pablo Ave. It begins this Sunday from 3PM to 6PM with performances and a lecture. Though in an Oakland Library, it's sponsored by the City of Emeryville.




"Dean Takes Out Papers for Mayoral Race" reports Judith Scherr of our Planet.

"Two-term mayor, 15-year councilmember Shirley Dean took out preliminary papers to run for Berkeley mayor today (Tuesday).

One of the 'grandmothers' active in the campaign to save the oak grove adjacent to UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Dean said she's running to fill a 'leadership vacuum' in the city.

Among the problems that need attention, she said, is the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's plan to build new labs in Strawberry Creek Canyon, which she's vociferously opposed, and a 'deepening feeling that nothing can be done' with the downtown.

Asked if she can beat the yet-unannounced-candidate Mayor Tom Bates, Dean said, 'I have absolutely no idea. He will have money and I won't; he will have endorsements which I won't have.'

Bates defeated Dean in 2002, with Bates getting 55.4 percent of the vote and Dean getting 42.9 percent.
Still, Dean said, 'I can elevate the debate.'

She said she's planning a grassroots, 'door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor' campaign."


My favorite Oilman, T Boone Pickens says the energy future for the US is natural gas and wind-generated-electricity. Says we can be the Saudi Arabia of wind-generated-power, eventually producing enough for our own use as-well-as exporting it to the world.

He figures the oil companies will go for it because they already own 50% of the natural gas production.


Speaking of wind and gas, I think there was a City Council meeting Tuesday evening.



"Air board to restrict fireplace use on bad air days" reports Denis Cuff of our Times.

"A clash between the public's right to breathe clean air and individuals' rights to burn wood in fireplaces comes to a showdown today when the Bay Area's air pollution board is expected to ban wood fires on bad air nights.

The rule also would limit the visibility of smoke from chimneys year round in an effort to protect people from odors, eye irritation, and respiratory problems aggravated by burning of wet wood, plastic or trash.

Adoption of the rule is likely after the Bay Area Air Quality Management District board holds a final public hearing on one of the district's most contentious proposals in decades."



"East Bay rationing plans calls for increase" reports Mike Taugher of the Times.

"The East Bay's largest water district will raise rates by 10 percent and impose surcharges on customers who do not conserve water as part of a plan to cut water use by 15 percent.

The new rates start Aug. 1 and will show up on customers' bills beginning in September and October."










Jarad is a resident of west-Berkeley on 10th, north of Dwight Way

I will post all reasoned, civil responses to this email

Today I read about the conclusion of a Grand Jury investigation <http://www.dailycal.org/article/102061> that I was told several months ago was initiated by another neighborhood watch group in Berkeley. I'm sure that all of us in West Berkeley would appreciate having the city respond to us in a direct fashion regarding how the Grand Jury recommendation will have affect the situation at 2314 10th Street as well as other properties in our area that have been havens for drug sales and abuse.
In fact, since it is an election year and our own Darryl Moore is up for re-election, perhaps it's time to have a meeting with everyone from our area of West Berkeley as well as the Potter Creek area and all local area business owners in West Berkeley so that all of us can sit down with the Councilman as well as the City Manager's office and BPD to find out when changes will be put into place so we can eliminate this plague rather than being forced to accept that moving this problem to another neighborhood is a victory (for those that do not know, the city has repeatedly said that moving the dealers to another neighborhood is a victory).
We've reached a time where we deserve answers about a long-term strategic plan of action to combat the open air drug market in Berkeley, starting with what laws our politicians intend to pass to help BPD fight the drug problem. In addition, it's time that we are given dates by which we can expect action. I for one and disgusted at the slow progress on this issue while the council debates Tree Sitters,  Burma & Tibet resolutions, and wastes BPD overtime budget on controlling CodePink protesters (at last count they've spend over $200,000 in BPD overtime budget on CodePink).
I would be happy to help organize this meeting with others that are interested in REAL issues affecting this city and our quality of life. If you are interested in organizing a meeting with the city, please let everyone on this email know.



our Ryan Lau emails

Hello everyone,
Actually, we are meeting with the Chief today about this exact issue..that of trying to find proactive policy solutions. We have been discussing various approaches that we can take in order to be proactive about these types of problems, but unfortunately we have hit a wall as of now.  The "loitering with intent" law that we were looking into that expired in 1996 apparently does not have much teeth.  There is a state law that is already on the books in much the same vein as the local law, but the burden of proof is so high that the police essentially have to make an arrest for the intent to sell and loitering might be an enhancement....after-the-fact.  We are meeting with the Chief to do some brainstorming on various ways we can provide more tools in BPD's figurative toolbelt.  Hopefully we come up with some functional ideas that we can put into policy. 
In terms of the slow progress, I would agree that it is very frustrating the rate at which this is going, but there are a number of different confounding factors that have made this a more difficult situation than others.  I cannot speak to the enforcement piece, because I do not know what is publicly divulgable and what is not, but I do know that BPD has doing all that they can to try and wrap this up as quickly as possible...I will let Officer Buckheit address long and short term since she knows better than I do what could be potentially jeopardizing to the case.  I know that she is currently pursuing a stay away order on the back of some recent arrests, which would likely benefit from letters from neighbors speaking to the fact that these particular individuals have been a nuisance to the neighbors and anything else the neighbors might want to add...and that the neighborhood feels that it would be beneficial to residents for the DA to pursue a stay away order...maybe Officer Buckheit might be able to provide more details on what should be included.  Another issue that has come up that has slowed the process is that complicated mess of tracking down property owners.  The single property owner that we have been in contact with, I believe the owner of 2314 10th Street, has been responsive and has filed a No Trespassing letter and BPD has been citing people for being on the property.  The other two have been quite a different matter.  The owners of 2318/2320 apparently is a bank at the moment, having been foreclosed on.  The owner of 2328 10th Street was the residence in San Leandro property that Angela and Ofc. Buckheit visited and found a foreclosure notice on the door.  I believe Angela said that she was going to try and work the a lead that she might have on the probate lawyer for the property and I am going to talk to a contact at our County Supervisor's office to see if there might be some more current information on the owners and how we might be able to get in touch with them. 
In regards to meeting to explore more proactive policy solutions with the neighbors, PD, and the City Manager's office, we would be glad to participate in such a meeting and hopefully after tonight's meeting with the Chief we will have a bit more of a direction in which to focus our efforts.  I really appreciate the neighbor's willingness to help us work through these issues and problem solve.  It is only through a collaborative effort that we are likely to find really effective solutions to these types of complex problems. 
Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore



Thank you for the update, Ryan! How did the meeting with the Chief go? 
I have read the Alameda County report (grand jury investigation) regarding the drug house on Oregon Street, that has existed for 10 years, and for 10 years no advance was made. The residents filed law suits in Small Claims, got verdicts in their favor, and the drug house is still there. I am sure you are aware that the Grand Jury found that the City of Berkeley has been negligent in resolving this issue, and they issued recommendations including the creating of new laws/codes if the existing ones do not allow you to take action.
I read the report, and got to a passage where it was noted that the residents found drug bags, empty liquor bottles and used condoms on their street routinely - well, that sounds like the 2300 Block of 10th Street. Just yesterday I picked up drug bags including one issued for medical purposes, and this morning when we took walk part to the street was littered with broken glass from liquor bottles.
I do not understand why the City of Berkeley has not taken action previously, as outlined in the report's recommendation, to help resolve these issues that exist in many areas in South and West Berkeley. Why have the Council Members from these two to three districts not worked together to convince the City Council, the Mayor, and the City Manager's Office to take action against the gangs, drug dealing and harassment of citizens? To create new laws/codes if necessary to address the issue? I find it highly interesting that our City Council members are willing to declare that the Tree Sitters face a Public Health Emergency but drugs, alcohol and crime do not seem to get the same attention?
It seems that certain activists are quite successful in getting their Council Member's and the Councils attention - we have many times offered to support Council member Moore on anything he can propose to make things better in West Berkeley - and I asked before that you help organize a much larger meeting that includes the residents, and the businesses in West Berkeley - not a piece meal meeting but one that allows us to move as a larger group that can be heard by those that can bring about change. I figured you might already have the resources and connections to make this happen? 
I realize that I don't have all the information, so please let us know what has been done/attempted in the last four years to address the problems in West Berkeley on a larger scale? Has any attempt been made to create new laws? Have these issues come before the Council for support and approval? If not, why not?  
Thank you again for updating us, and I don't mean to sound accusatory - this is what I think, these are the question that go through my mind and I am directly posing them.
Kind Regards,


our David Snipper

sends this photo recently taken by his fire-fighter friend

David McNew/Getty photo





"Oakland moves to cut nepotism, fraud" reports Christopher Heredia in our Chronicle.

"Oakland officials released details Wednesday of two proposed ordinances and three new rules that would crack down on the waste of taxpayer dollars, fraud and questionable city hiring practices - problems that have come to light with the ousting of City Administrator Deborah Edgerly."




"New rule bans burning wood some winter days. Burning wood in the Bay Area's 1 million stoves and fireplaces will be banned on winter days when health officials forecast dirty air, under a new rule adopted Wednesday" reports Jane Kay of the Chronicle.

"Air-quality regulators voted unanimously to enact the first mandatory controls on indoor residential wood-burning in the region to reduce fine particles swirling in the air. The microscopic pollutants are linked to lung and heart disease.

Under the new regulation, parts of which go into effect immediately, it is against the law to use fireplaces or stoves burning wood, pressed logs or pellets on days determined unhealthy by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District."





"Spike Lee set to film 'Passing Strange,' a Berkeley Rep premiere" writes Michael Kuchwara in our Chronicle.

"Spike Lee will film 'Passing Strange,' Stew's rock musical journey of self-discovery, during performances next week at Broadway's Belasco Theatre, it was announced Wednesday.

The movie, budgeted at about $2 million, will be shot July 19 at both the matinee and evening performances, Steve Klein, the film's producer, said Wednesday at a news conference. The stage production will also be filmed at two other times in the theater without audiences present.

'Musicians are the greatest artists on this Earth,' said Lee, a big fan of the musical since seeing it at the Public Theater last year. 'What we are really doing is really a hybrid. We are filming the play.'

Lee, director of such films as 'Do the Right Thing, 'Malcolm X' and 'She's Gotta Have It,' said there would be surprises in the film but declined to amplify. 'Then it wouldn't be a surprise,' he said.

Klein, also one of the producers of the Broadway production, said a distribution deal for the movie had not been set, either for release as a feature film or for showing on a premium cable channel.

'Passing Strange,' written by Stew and his longtime collaborator Heidi Rodewald, was workshopped at the Sundance Institute in Utah and was done at Berkeley Rep in California before coming to off-Broadway in 2007. The show opened on Broadway in February to enthusiastic reviews." 




Our Jennifer emails

Coppo Winemaker Dinner at Riva Cucina 
Please join us for an evening with winemaker Massimiliano Coppo as he visits from Italy to discuss his family's Piemontese wines. Chef Massimiliano Boldrini has selected five Coppo wines to be paired with the special five course tasting menu he has created for the evening.  
When: Thursday, July 31 at 7pm  
Where: Riva Cucina // 800 Heinz Avenue in Berkeley
RSVP: 510 841 7482 // jennifer@rivacucina.com

Seared Hawaiian ahi tuna thinly sliced with organic heirloom tomato, watercress, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon basil
Paired with 2006 Coppo Gavi "La Rocca"  DOCG 
Sautéed jumbo prawns with grilled organic yellow and white corn, zucchini and squash, lemon prawn butter
Paired with 2006 Coppo Chardonnay "Le Costebianche" DOC
Primo Piatto
Garbanzo bean and black pepper pasta sautéed with lamb ragu', mixed mushrooms, Parmigiano
Paired with 2004 Coppo Barbera d'Asti "Camp du Rouss" DOC  
Secondo Piatto
Grilled Niman Ranch NY steak sliced and served with roasted bell peppers and robiola stagionato coulis, roasted potato
Paired with 2004 Coppo Barbera d'Asti "Pomorosso" DOC 
Whipped mascarpone and cream with Brachetto d' Aqui marinated nectarines and berries, chocolate shavings
Paired with 2006 Coppo Bracchetto d'Acqui DOC 
Event Price: $75 for five course meal and Coppo wine pairings. Tax and gratuity are not included.





"North Beach old-timer lands in hospital" reports C.W. Nevius in the Chronicle.

"On June 5, an elderly man named Jerry Kulek was evicted from his North Beach apartment for falling two months behind in the rent.

He lived on the streets for three weeks before he collapsed on the sidewalk in front of Washington Square. He had pneumonia and was badly disoriented.

Officer Mark Alvarez, a beat cop who's walked the North Beach streets for over 10 years, heard the radio call and rushed over. He had a feeling it was Kulek, a classic North Beach character - a former Beat poet and hang-about at Caffe Trieste whom Alvarez regularly chatted up. He grabbed Kulek by the arm, straightened him up and called an ambulance.

'If you've got a guy and he's an old-timer,' Alvarez said, 'somebody should look into giving him some help.'"



My ex-Husband-in-law, Michael Beck emails about some of his stuff in an LA gallery. Check it out!

Ex-Husband-in Law-is not a male-lover, but my Ex's, Ex.











"Community Questions Berkeley Mayor About Pacific Steel Agreement" reports Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet.

"Almost five months after the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with Pacific Steel Casting to cut emissions and odor within a specific timeline, community activists met with Mayor Tom Bates and Councilmember Linda Mayo at the City Hall Wednesday for their first update on the process."



 "Search for missing Rice University student in Berkeley this weekend" reports Kristin Benderin the Tribune.

"New information about missing Rice University student Matthew Wilson and his links to Berkeley is emerging, said his mother, who this weekend will join volunteers to search the city where her son's car was found last month.
Wilson, 21, disappeared from Houston in December; his abandoned car was found in June on Allston Way in Berkeley.

But he has not been located, and an East Bay search-and-recovery group will lead a two-day search of Berkeley and San Francisco this weekend." 


"Landmarks Preservation Commission Criticizes Copra Warehouse Demolition" reports Riya Bhattacharjee of the Planet.

"The proposed project has changed considerably since it was presented three years ago. Plans to demolish the landmarked Copra Warehouse (Durkee Famous Foods) in West Berkeley to make way for the construction of a four-story, 106,795-square-foot research and laboratory building were criticized by the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission on Thursday.

San Raphael-based Wareham Development, the principal developers of the project at 740 Heinz St., asked the commission to review a preliminary proposal for the project, which would preserve only the northern facade of the building." 



"Sommeliers in the vineyard: At night they pour your wine, and by day they make it" reports the Chronicle's Janet Fletcher.

"That restaurant staffer who hands you the wine list may know even more about wine than you think. In what appears to be a burgeoning trend, several Bay Area sommeliers don't just recommend wine to diners; in off-hours, they're vintners, too."


Ken Bullock writes in our Planet "Ishmael Reed, Oakland novelist and founder of the Before Columbus
Foundation, will hold a conversation with Fae Myenne Ng, author of the prize-winning novel Bone, at Ng's reading and booksigning of her newly released novel, Steer Toward Rock (Hyperion) at Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave., on Monday at 7:30 p.m. Admission free.

Ng, a San Francisco native, writes of Chinatown, illegal 'paper' immigrants and-in her new book-of Chinatown in the McCarthy era and the '60s, gangsterism and the Chinese Confession program. Reed has
published Ng's stories in periodicals and has written commentaries on her work."




I read "Generation Kill" when it was published in 2004 and later quoted extensively from it on Scrambled Eggs. Check out May 2005 and following. I wrote in May 2005

As American citizens, we should know as much as possible about our Iraq War. Rolling Stone contributor, Evan Wright was embedded with the elite Marine First Reconnaissance Battalion in our war. He writes in Chapter Two of his book, Generation Kill. "War fever, at least among reporters, was running pretty high. . . . A Canadian wire-service reporter, bitterly opposed to the war, knocked down a loudly patriotic American photographer in favor of it. While stunned Arab security guards looked on, the Canadian peacenik clenched the American patriot in to sort of LAPD chokehold and repeatedly slammed his head into the back of a chair. The American was saved from further humiliation only after several tough women from Reuters and AFP waded in and broke apart the one-sided combat."

Wright describes Dartmouth graduate, Lt. Fick, the commander of the platoon in which he's embedded "Despite his cavalier humor Fick finished in the top of his class in Officer Candidates School and near the top of the Marine Corps tough Basic Reconnaissance Course. He's also something of a closet idealist. 'At Dartmouth, there was a sense that an ROTC program, which the school did not have, would militarize the campus' he explains. 'They have it backwards. ROTC programs at Ivy League campuses would liberalize the military. That can only be good for the country.'" To be continued

(Read these posts only if you want to FULLY know about our war as reported by Evan Wright. Many posts are graphic.)


Generation Kill 9 p.m. Sundays on HBO a Chronicle review.

"There's a lot of trust that viewers must place in the hands of David Simon and Ed Burns as the two writer-producers turn the gritty, tip- of-the-spear Iraq invasion book, 'Generation Kill,' into a miniseries for HBO.

The seven-part series, which starts Sunday, begins and ends the first episode in utter chaos. It's nearly impossible to tell anyone in the beefy ensemble cast apart. Military jargon flies everywhere without explanation. The direction - purposeful, we come to find out - seems to be telling 10 nonlinear stories at the same time. Confusion abounds.

And yet, two things to consider, in order: Simon and Burns are responsible for 'The Wire,' the best drama that's ever been on television, so viewers are in good hands. And the bold directorial experiment of the first episode fits well in the master plan of the brilliant miniseries; it creates the exact kind of confusion,
uncertainty and here-we-go-God-help-us mayhem of newbie troops heading into battle.

Rolling Stone writer Evan Wright was embedded with the Marines' 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, which, in the early days of the Iraq war, went from sitting around doing nothing (much to the foul-mouthed
frustration of the amped-up young troops) to perilous duty behind enemy lines, heading into Baghdad.

What Wright, Simon and Burns - and a wonderfully gifted ensemble of actors - deftly manage in "Generation Kill" is not to be scoffed at, dramatically. They portray various stages of war behavior clashing
against each other constantly: young men eager to kill for the first time (and the thrill and horror of that accomplishment); both scary bravado and patently false bravado meant to shield a thinking mind from what lies ahead; how boredom mixes with terror; and, perhaps most damning, the grunt's perspective of a war fought by the most powerful military on the planet but stymied by bad planning, inadequate supplies and the kind of confidence that leads to unnecessary risk.

You're not going to find that in your normal network drama (even the best of them).

'Gentlemen, from now on we're going to have to earn our stories,' says one commander to the smack-talking, fresh-faced troops, who have barely encountered resistance."



Makes about 24 slices

These tomatoes make wonderful additions to sandwiches and pasta sauces, or can be
served on their own as a side dish with fsh or chicken.

8 large tomatoes 4 tablespoons coarse or sea salt 3 tablespoons freshly ground black Pepper 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, chervil, sage (optional)

1. Heat oven to 250°. Slice tomatoes thickly, to yield about three slices per tomato. Eat or discard the ends. Place silces on a parchment-covered baking sheet.

2. Mix together salt, pepper, and sugar. Brush tomatoes with olive oil, and sprinkle a large pinch of salt mixture on each tomato. Sprinkle on herbs, if using.

3. Roast the tomatoes for 3 hours. Or roast for 2 hours, turn off oven, and leave overnight.

From Martha Stewart, Kimar



Kubik emails

David Bowman sent me this which has pictures made from a kite over the Berkeley Bowl construction site. I
saw the guy flying the kite over it several months ago.



"Man who shot, killed friend near Cal sentenced to 24 years in prison" reports Christopher Heredia of the Chronicle.

"An Alameda County Superior Court judge Friday sentenced a Hayward man to 24 years in state prison for
fatally shooting a 19-year-old friend who called him for help during an argument near the UC Berkeley campus three years ago.

Christopher Hollis, 24, of Hayward, expressed remorse for the shooting and pleaded for Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara's mercy in issuing his sentence for killing Meleia Willis-Starbuck."




"Office of Thrift Supervision shuts down IndyMac" reports the AP's Alex Veiga.

"IndyMac Bank's assets were seized by federal regulators on Friday after the mortgage lender succumbed to the pressures of tighter credit, tumbling home prices and rising foreclosures.

The bank is the largest regulated thrift to fail and the second largest financial institution to close in U.S. history, regulators said."

CNBC's "Mad Money" reporter, Jim Cramer said Thurday morning "Banking is in a state of collapse, caused largley by housing depreciation."




David McNew/Getty photo


"Berkeley Firefighters Fear 'Perfect Storm'" reports Richard Brenneman of the Planet.

"California firefighters are exhausting themselves as they battle blazes from one end of the state to the other.

Throughout the state, politics and housing policies are combining to create the conditions for the firefighting equivalent of a perfect storm."



Tired of the same ole shit?

Check out Pride!



Eternally useful links

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

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out http://sv.berkeley.edu/view/ 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 gasbuddy.com

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.


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 kbuckheit@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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

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

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


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 scanned material retains copyright. The material is used only to illustrate