before 900 GRAYSON


there were the good old days

so let's bring back them good old fashioned manufacturing jobs and, . . . the "anthrax experiments," the soap factory, the foundry, the . . .




Jan Malo writes in the Morris Sun Tribune "I was reading an article in last month's Reader's Digest about our garbage. This has become a real problem throughout the world, what to do with it, nobody wants it, I don't know for sure, but it seems there is a boat full of garbage floating out in the ocean and no state wants to let it come into their landfills and they can't dump it in the ocean. Something is wrong with that picture, but garbage is nothing new, according to the article, in 500 BC, the first dumps were mandated one mile outside of Athens, Greece and in 1739, Benjamin Franklin petitions to end commercial waste dumping in Philadelphia and in 1973, curbside recycling begins in Berkeley, California." Read the full story here.



"Budget Agreement Puts California Dream on Hold" is an opinion in

"Even in the 1930s, Woody Guthrie warned America in a Dust Bowl song that the California dream could not be had on the cheap. Yet relative to other places, the state has historically been a pretty good bargain, with a low-cost, enviable higher education system, subsidized energy and an abundance of services for those down on their luck.

But three decades of staggering population growth - combined with three high-impact recessions, budgeting by ballot box, federal mandates, an unusual tax structure and the rising cost of social services - have finally combined for disastrous results, and the ramifications are now reaching across every aspect of life in this state. "




"San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has announced that San Francisco will adopt municipal financing that helps building owners add renewable power without the risk or the hassle of loans" reports

"The program is based on the Berkeley First program which allows homeowners to pay for solar installations through a 20-year assessment on their property taxes.

Newsom says 'We're going to adopt Berkeley's program but take it to a whole 'nother level.' "




6:36 PM. I have just reminded myself that there is a planning meeting and so am provoked to write to all involved. Stop what you are doing which is best characterized by my favorite militarist, Leon Trotsky as "a race horse designed by a committee, the camel."

Go get a grant or finagle some of the Federal billions, higher an outside professional consultant, tell 'em to make a west-Berkeley Plan, wait patiently while they do so. Pay 'em. Follow it.


There isn't the money you say. There's always the money. I'll tell you what there isn't. There isn't the will!














"Berkeley Iranian-American helps organize worldwide human rights rallies" by Matt O'Brien Contra Costa Times.

"Firuzeh Mahmoudi was supposed to take a quiet family vacation in the woods of upstate New York this week. Instead, she is helping to organize a worldwide protest from her Berkeley home."



"East Bay state senator reopens term-limit reform debate" by Josh Richman, Oakland Tribune.

"An East Bay state senator is leading a bipartisan effort to revamp term limits for California legislators.

State Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, introduced a state constitutional amendment that would reduce the number of years one can serve in the Legislature from 14 years to 12 but extend the amount of time one can serve in each chamber - that is, the 12 years total could be three four-year state Senate terms, six two-year Assembly terms or any combination thereof.

Lawmakers currently can serve no more than two four-year terms in the state Senate and three two-year terms in the Assembly; all current and former lawmakers would still be bound by these limits set by Proposition 140 of 1990."




"Tough Time for California College Students" written by Andres Chavez San Fernado Sun Staff Reporter.

"As part of the California State University Trustee's effort to slash $584 million from the 2009-20010 budget, no students will be admitted to CSU campuses for the 2010 spring term.Additionally, campuses on the quarter system stopped accepting applications as of July 6 for the 2010 winter term.

The decision may make sense on a balance sheet but to the people whose lives are being affected, it creates anger, frustration and hardship. Mission College student Brenda Zezatti is a 28 year old single mother of two children ages 4 and 6. She is one of the many students who planned to transfer to a CSU campus this spring but now she'll have to wait an extra year before she can fulfill her goal of earning a BA in Criminal Justice. She hopes to work in the probation field. The extra year to take the classes to reach her goal nowmeans taking more time from her children. The longer it takes her to get the full education she needs, delays her ability to start a career."




"Oakland voters approve a tax on medical marijuana. Shops selling pot in the cash-strapped city will pay $18 on each $1,000 in sales. The city administrator estimates that it could raise $300,000 in annual revenue" by Julie Strack at

"Oakland voters resoundingly approved a tax increase on medical marijuana Tuesday evening, the first such tax of its kind in the nation.

The measure will levy an $18 tax for every $1,000 in gross marijuana sales. Firms in the city now pay a $1.20 business tax on each $1,000 in sales. Other cities may soon follow suit. Voters approved the measure by a margin of 80%, according to preliminary results released by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters."



"Drive to make biofuels thrive" reports Janis Mara Mercury News Staff Writer.

"Within the next decade, drivers in the Bay Area and around the country may get around powered by fuel made from pecan shells, switch grass or even poplar trees, thanks to research at Bay Area universities funded by more than $700 million in grants.

And researchers say the plant-based fuels nurtured by these efforts could be widely available at the pump at a cost comparable to gasoline, but better for the environment.

Of course, as the price of gas hovers close to the $3 mark at local gas stations, that long wait may seem interminable."





"Meyer Lemons Don't Suck" is a story at

"Some foods, like Wagyu beef or toro tuna, are just so good to eat that when gourmands wax rhapsodic about them the praise is justified.

More often then not, it seems, such acclaim is more about showing how au courant a critic is than about the actual appeal of the delicacy. Take fugu, the Japanese puffer fish with a very acquired taste that can kill you if a chef handles it improperly. Talk about being tragically hip.

But the gastronomic world got it right when it elevated Meyer lemons to the foodie pantheon. Even if you're indifferent to most fruit, you might just get a jones on for this delectable citrus once you take a nibble."




posts from the past


Kruse guy, Kieron Yancy's

Corvette with the sweetest V-8 sound in recent memory

Tracy likes it but the girls aren't quite sure










900 Grayson makes it again. This time in the San Jose Mercury News.

"900 Grayson

900 Grayson St., Berkeley. 510-704-9900.

Concealed in a little red building is casual dining with an oasis of scrumptious breakfast and lunch fare. Classic American fare meets pizazz (buttermilk waffles topped with spicy fried chicken and cream gravy) and a few sophisticated touches (salad with omelet). Exquisite soups and salads blend fresh ingredients and new dimensions of texture. Despite a laid-back vibe and harried service during rush periods, the food shows a refined hand in the kitchen. $$." More food reviews here.



excerpts from Mayor Bates July update

 June 26, 2009: The East Bay Green Corridor held its second annual summit at the Oakland Museum on Friday, June 26th.  Serving as a model for other regions across the nation, the unique partnership has attracted more than $76 million in federal stimulus funds for job training, research, weatherization and other green projects. 
The summit was kicked off by a video introduction from Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and closed with the introduction of seven new Corridor partners (bringing the total to 13 members). 
Most recently, the East Bay Green Corridor Partnership and Peralta Community College was granted one of the 11 California Green Jobs Corps grants.  The $937,511 allotted for the East Bay Green Corridor will fund bridge programs from low-income residents to access training programs and community college courses to prepare them for green building trades, energy efficiency and weatherization jobs and green business careers. 

Another Success for Project BUILD

June 28, 2009
We created this program in 2004 to provide low-income children with the opportunity to read, learn, and be active over the summer.  Here I am this summer at James Kenney Park where we handed out over 300 books. 
Berkeley Reduces Chronic Homelessness by Half
July 8, 2009: According to the US Interagency Council on Homelessness  
Berkeley has the largest reduction in chronic homeless reported in the entire state of California.  From 2003, the last time the count was done, to January 2009, Berkeley's chronically homeless population was nearly cut in half. Chronically homeless are single people who have a mental or physical disability and/or an addiction to drugs or alcohol and have a long history of homelessness. Only San Francisco comes close - and that was 38% two years ago. 
While we have much work to do - especially in the area of what the Everyone Home calls "hidden homeless", we are on the right track! Thanks to the staff, commissions, community agencies, and those formerly homeless people who have worked so hard to stabilize their lives.
Berkeley's Green Awards
July 20, 2009: Berkeley recently received awards for its commitment to sustainable policies and practices. 
Environment California awarded the City of Berkeley with a "2009 Solar Champion" award for having one of the largest numbers of solar roofs in the state. According to Environment California, Berkeley has more than 648 solar roofs totaling 2821 kilowatts of solar power capacity. 
The City of Berkeley was also honored by NorCal Solar at the 2009 Intersolar Conference. We received the 1st place award for the number of solar systems installed/per capita in all of Northern California.  According to the report we have 1.06 solar systems installed per 1000 people.  This is 3 times as many installations as in Oakland and almost 5 times more than in San Francisco.

Finally, San Francisco Business Times awarded us the Green Municipality Award and Mother Nature News Network awarded us the 7th greenest city in the U.S. Mother Nature Network recognized Berkeley "as being a leader in the incubation of clean technology for wind power, solar power, biofuels and hydropower."
Biofuel Oasis Grand Opening

July 18, 2009: Dubbed the "most sustainable filling station in the nation", the Biofuel Oasis hosted its grand opening ceremony on Saturday, July 18th.  The refurbished historic gas station located at 1441 Ashby St. (@ Sacramento), will be open from 7am to 8pm daily (in 6 months they will be open until midnight). 
Their biodiesel is made from recycled vegetable oil, their pumps are powered by solar panels, and their store sells urban farming supplies. See the Biofuel Oasis website for more information. 

Oxford Parking Garage Open for Business
July 2009: Don't forget that the Oxford Parking Garage is open for business. The 99-space lot is located on the corner of Oxford and Kittredge, with the entrance on Kittredge.  The lot is open Mon-Sat from 8:00AM to 12:00AM, and Sun 8:00AM to 8:00PM. 
Berkeley Bowl West Opens
July 2009: The new 140,000 square foot Berkeley Bowl West is now open. The building includes a cafe, prep kitchen, wine tasting bar, warehouse and offices, all of which will ultimately employ about 150 people.  Berkeley Bowl West is located at 920 Heinz Ave. (at Eighth Street, north of Ashby).  It is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.




"California's Budget Deal a Win for Conservatives. After months of suspense, Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders come to an agreement" is a report by Queenie Wong at

"A deal struck between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California legislative leaders Monday evening to close the state's $26.3 billion budget deficit would significantly cut government spending without tax increases.

The plan comes after months of partisan bickering and nearly three weeks after the state began issuing IOUs to thousands of state contractors and vendors.

The government would also scale back on health insurance provided to low-income children and welfare checks issued to the poor.

'This is a sober time; there isn't a whole lot of good news in this budget,' said Darrell Steinberg, president for tem of the California Senate. 'We've cut in many areas that matter to real people, but we've done so responsibly.'

Schwarzenegger, who compared the last few hours of Monday's negotiations to a 'suspense movie,' called the budget agreement 'a great accomplishment.'

The deal is a huge win for conservatives, who favor a smaller government, says John Ellwood, a professor at UC-Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy. Taking the state back to 2005 spending levels, the plan would shrink general fund spending from $92 billion to $88 billion."





posts from the past



I'm featured on Scrambled Eggs!

son nikos, a steve smith photo


Potter Creek definitions of popular acronyms

WEBIAC: a small furry creature of Bolivia.

WBBA: a web-footed animal of South America, not unlike the platipus.











Berkeley is choosing a new Chief of Police. The application period has ended and a new chief will be chosen by September. It would be good to appoint a department veteran, an officer of long experience in our department and with our town. More important, in these times of turmoil, "time and grade" are paramount. A veteran captain would be a timely, perfect choice.


"Obama moves to dampen uproar over comment on race" reports Nancy Benac of the AP.

"President Barack Obama concedes his words-that a white police officer 'acted stupidly' when he arrested a black university scholar in his own home-were ill-chosen. But, while he invited both men to visit him at the White House, Obama stopped short of publicly apologizing for his remark.

The president personally telephoned the two men, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley, in an effort to end the rancorous back-and-forth over what had transpired and what Obama had said about it. Trying to lighten the situation, he even commiserated with Crowley about reporters on his lawn.

Hours earlier, a multiracial group of police officers had stood with Crowley in Massachusetts and called on Obama to say he's sorry."




posts from the past

from a Scrambled Eggs & Lox in 2005

Attacks on Guardians are worrisome

"A convicted felon shot and wounded a Berkeley police officer early Tuesday during a foot chase in West Berkeley, authorities said. The gunman shot Officer Darren Kacalek, 29, once in the chest. The bullet pierced Kacalek's badge, but his bullet-resistant vest protected him from major injuries, authorities said. Kacalek, a three-year veteran of the department, remained in fair condition Tuesday at Highland Hospital in Oakland " reports Henry K Lee in "Felon shoots, wounds officer during chase." 

We wish Officer Kacalek a speedy and full recovery


Uncle Don -- An Appreciation

In a time when tall men were 5'10" my Uncle Don was over six-feet. My Mom's oldest brother, Uncle Don was a Milwaukee policeman. But not just any policeman, he was a member of the Mounted Patrol--horse mounted police used downtown for traffic control. (Uncle Don had learned how to handle horses working for my Grandpa delivering ice and coal in horse-drawn wagons.) 

But that evening during the Christmas rush, when my Mom took me shopping with her at Gimbel's, I didn't know that he was in the Mounted Patrol. Gimbel's was on the busiest corner Downtown, and that night, a corner so filled with people that as a small boy all I could see were shoes, legs, pants, and skirts. My Mom pulled me through the crowd as we crossed the street, and as we reached the opposite curb, a dark figure appeared towering above not only those shoes, legs, pants, and skirts, but above all the people they belonged to. In a huge Great Coat, there was a man who seemed to be a policeman sitting atop a big brown horse. I stood there in awe. We stopped at the side of the horse and its rider, and my Mom asked "Do you know who this is"? Looking up not at all sure, I struggled for an answer. Uncle Don was big and was a policeman. Yet at first, no matter how hard I looked, all I saw was the big coat and the dark horse. But slowly the face above the coat became familiar. "It's Uncle Don" I said with some relief. I don't remember if he said hello, but I know he said that it was all right to touch his horse. After he and my Mom talked a little, we left --a lot of other kids, moms and dads wanted to pet his horse, too. 

Uncle Don moved to California some years later and I didn't see him for a long time. Then, one Summer afternoon as my cousin MaryAnn and I were sitting on our front steps, a tall man in a raincoat came up to the front of our house and asked. "Do you know who I am?" "You're my Uncle Don" I said.



In the last week, Potter Creek and surrounding neighborhoods have experienced what can best be described as maximum-enforcement by Berkeley PD, with stops on San Pablo Avenue, use of Special Enforcement units and a general increased police presence. The home, business and property owners that I've talked to applaud it.











Among the guests at 900 for lunch Friday were Captain Gustafson and Lieutenant Greenwood of Berkeley PD, and Councilman Darryl Moore, his new intern and aid Ryan Lau.

chefs, Eric and James

a Bob Kubik photo


Also Friday, Bayer was "conducting tours of Potter Creek" with a lot of suits and regular people, some seemed tourists of a sort.



In "California winemakers fall for Mourvedre" the Chronicle's Jon Bonné writes "But there's still time to figure out what exactly Mourvedre here should be - and perhaps more potential than for Grenache, the perennial Next Big Thing. That's a view shared by a Mourvedre loyalist like Jared Brandt of A Donkey and Goat Winery in Berkeley, who found young head-trained vines in the Sierra foothills. To Brandt, Mourvedre is in a similar spot to Cabernet in the 1960s, 'which means that the next 10 years will be really exciting.' " Read the full story here.




"Fading factories" by Patrick May is a story about the disappearing manufacturing jobs in the Bay Area at

"Sometimes the jobs moved to Arizona. Sometimes they moved to China. And sometimes, thanks to Silicon Valley's tech prowess and prolific workforce, the jobs just went up in a puff of smoke.

'It was scary,' said Kiranjit Banwait, let go in 2004 as an assembly-plant machine operator for a computer maker.

'They closed our plant in San Jose and outsourced like every other company to Singapore and Mexico. Everyone was getting laid off in manufacturing so there was no point in looking there anymore. The jobs had just disappeared.'

Along with keen innovation, intoxicating sunshine and world-class universities, one of the Bay Area's trademarks has been its steady erosion of manufacturing jobs. Decades of workplace detritus litter the region, from shipbuilding to aerospace to computer chips."



oops forgot

We still have some of them "good old fashioned manufacturing jobs" here in Potter Creek and Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass' are "green certified,"

you can tell by the little faded sticker in the window.




"Wall Street Reform and You" is this week's PBS NOW progam.

"This week, David Brancaccio sits with Zanny Minton Beddoes, economics editor for The Economist magazine, to review the proposal and its ramifications for America. Beddoes encourages streamlining the regulatory system, leaving fewer but more efficient overseers. But where powerful interests are at stake, nothing is a sure bet."

Minton Beddoes offers a refreshing view and analysis of our financial situation.


Also refreshing, and irreverent, is the Sarah Silverman Show. Of it one reviewer writes "The show features Sarah Silverman performing comedic songs in between some scenes." It's much more than that really. Check it out.



our West Berkeley Bowl produce

a Bob Kubik photo




"Barbara Lee Supports Transportation, HUD Appropriations Bill" is a release at

"Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) voted to help spur our economic recovery and create jobs with targeted investments in a modern transportation system and housing assistance for all Americans. The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act builds on the work of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and our long-term economic plan to provide short-term help in the form of housing and jobs for those hurt most by the economic downturn and long-term solutions like improved infrastructure to put our economy on sound footing for the future."




"Thank You, Sarah Palin. Is Alaska's (soon-to-be ex-)governor right about taxing polluters? A thought experiment" a story by Jonathan Rowe at

"Sarah Palin.Sarah Palin I think it's time to cut Sarah Palin a little slack. After all, not many of us would forsake the bright lights for more winters in Wasilla. Besides, with her opposition to a cap-and-trade policy to slow climate change, the soon-to-be ex-governor of Alaska-her last day in office is Sunday-has a point. Europe has tried this approach, and it was a bust. And does anyone really think it wise to entrust the fate of Earth's atmosphere to another Wall Street circus of kinky new "investment vehicles"? (That's the "trade" part of cap-and-trade.) "











On the ABC Sunday Morning Roundtable, Arianna Huffington said that while 15% of African-American men are drug users, 75% of the US prison population are African-American men there on drug related convicitions. The Roundtable discussion was about police profiling of men-of-color, a spin off of the recent Cambridge black-professor-in-his-home-arrest.

For reasons best known to my spiritual advisor read Tony Almeida's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets more hits than the daily Scrambled Eggs.


Heard in passing while sitting in front of the warehouse. A family going by on bikes on a morning ride admired Merryll's house and studio and as they passed the dad said "Look at the beautiful house behind." (Morgan and Tracy's. ) A self-identified Republican stopping to ask directions, left with "You know, it' looks pretty good down here." And a neighbor walking by with two-Berkeley-Bowl-bags-full said "Sure is convenient."


Steven Goldin emails 7/26


Good afternoon.  By the way, I stopped by yesterday morning to drop off your movie - thanks again - and as I parked across the street, I had to avoid a used condom as I stepped out of the car . . . and another on your side of the street . . .

the "rubber"

a Ron Penndorf photo

There must be something sexy about your block . . .



Certainly not the City Hall's lack of will.

Com' on Boz, this street is one of those increasingly used as a pedestrian/bicycle path to the Bowl. It's used more and more regularly by Potter Creekers AND folks living north of Dwight. I'd say this traffic, especially on weekends, has easily quintupled, or more.

Also perhaps our reactivists could become active, spending more time on every-day matters. RP

And what happened to the street cleaning? MW [Masha Wacko]


Had a little Sunday brunch at the Bowl's Café W before shopping. Ordering was a little confusing--you order at the register though the menus are at the food service area. After ordering and paying you get a number and they bring the food to you. I had the grits with cheese and ham--a lot, and delicious with a good cheddar and smokey ham at $4.50. I'd do it again. And Marsha had the breakfast burrito--fresh and a lot for $5.95. She'd definitely have it again. Both dishes were tasty, ample, light and fresh.


Berkeley Bowl Café


Steven emails an only just a slightly self-serving link to "Collaborating for Profits in Nanotechnology" by J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times.

"The economic news in California has been pretty bleak lately. Its businesses, small and large, are becalmed by the recession. The state has taken to issuing i.o.u.'s in the wake of political wrangling over how to resolve a $26 billion budget deficit. Most ominous, the state's once-great public universities and its community colleges and local schools face budget cuts that amount to critical surgery.

Yet in the midst of all that, there is a promise for the future in the collaboration by California's university research centers, small companies and venture finance firms in an emerging area called nanotechnology. "


Still, I'm wondering why after allowing, even encouraging the Bowl, an apparent instant success and SERIOUS retail magnet, Planning is now excitied about bio-tech and seems to have no interest in furthering retail in Potter Creek--a natural, and so an easy progression. It doesn' t take much other than a little nurturing.

And you know with all the talk of promoting arts-use in Potter Creek, a just-only retail art-gallery cannot be opened here. A gallery as an adjunct to a studio could or you could finesse it.

Another reason the throw out the out-of-date, now even mean-spirited Plan and start a fresh? Probably.

Early in reporting on Scrambled Eggs, I was told by one of the Plan originators that it was put together largely as a counter-balance to Denny Abrams-like Fourth Street change. This person is now involved in modifying the Plan. RP




More of a hype than a straight-ahead report is "Twitter co-founder selling Berkeley cottage" by Tracey Taylor, Special to The Chronicle.

"When Twitter co-founder Biz Stone tweets, a million people listen. So it wasn't surprising that when he recently posted a message about selling his home, the broker's Web site he linked to was so overwhelmed that it froze up.

'We loved our Wurster cottage in Berkeley but it's time to move - if you're into architecture, check it out,' read the tweet."














posts from the past


First blue-collar jobs, now white-collar jobs?

Carrie Kirby, Chronicle Staff Writer reports, More and More Tech Jobs Moving Overseas:
consultant calls trend permanent, irreversible.

And this will leave us with a service- and consumer-economy of fewer and fewer citizens with the means to be served or consume?


Especially during week-days, Berkeley Parking Enforcement is regularly patrolling Potter Creek. Tickets are being issued on restricted-parking streets and generally for infractions like blocking drives, improper use of yellow-zones, etc.

Testing for solvents in deep ground-water is now being done on Grayson Street between 9th and 7th.

The "old foundry building," in the what I believe to be the 2600 block of 7th street, has been gutted. I hope before this site is rebuilt extensive environmental testing is done.

Scharffen Berger has received "permission" for its restaurant with outdoor seating.

Kava is applying to the City for tree planting in front of his 8th Street property.

There is more and more commercial space for lease in Potter Creek.




"The Breakdown (and Lowdown) on Spudware" by Andrea Hart at

That plastic fork you're using to chow down your Chow Mein will be lasting longer than the yummy noodles - much longer. Plastics are a petroleum based product, which means not only are they not biodegradable, but also they remain in the environment for hundreds to thousands of years.

As a result, eventhough your lunch will be gone in 20 minutes, that one-time-use fork will see its 500th birthday.

Next time, avoid using plastic forks and instead, use Spudware! Spudware is a new kind of 'plastic' cutlery made from 80% potato starch and 20% soy oil that can biodegrade in 180 days under the proper conditions."



Tak emails


As I was walking my dog by the corner of 10th Street and Carlton, I saw the Berkeley Police loading somebody into a body bag at around 9:10 pm on Monday evening (July 27, 2009).

I assume that there was no indication of foul play as the scene was quiet and the police presence was minimal.

I'm becoming very leery of walking around here in West Berkeley at night. It was in January that I heard gunshots and then saw somebody mortally wounded just outside the BofA parking lot. It isn't that I feel unsafe, but it sure doesn't lead to pleasant dreams when I come across these scenes not long before I go to bed.

Tak Nakamoto


Viva Burrows is a young film=maker

Check out her webpage.

Also check her out at 900 GRAYSON, she's the compact food-server, works Monday and Tuesday right now.



"What is good for General Motors is good for America" certainly is no longer true.

Is "What is good for Norheim & Yost is good for west-Berkeley " still true?




All of the above

Some of the above

None of the above



Don Yost lent me a New Yorker, July 27, 2009, in which appears a review of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the K.G.B in America. The book and the reviewer reveal that Izzy Stone, "a mentor," was not a K.G.B agent. My Aunt Hattie, who in the '50s gave me a subscription to the I.F. Stone newsletter will be relieved--or not.



DEFINITELY check out Charlie Rose' conversation with Ross Douthat who at 29 is the youngest New York Times writer ever.

A conversation with Ross Douthat of "The New York Times"
Ross Gregory Douthat is an American conservative author and blogger.He was a senior editor at The Atlantic and author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (Hyperion, 2005) and, with Reihan Salam, Grand New Party (Doubleday, 2008), which David Brooks called the "best single roadmap of where the [Republican] party should and is likely to head." He is a film critic for National Review and has also contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, the Claremont Review of Books, GQ, Slate, and other publications."

When asked by Rose what he learned at Harvard, Douthat replied "I learned how the ruling elite think." Myself a working class kid from industrial Milwaukee, I learned in the late '50s and 60s at Madison and Berkeley how the middle class thinks. Not enamored of my discovery, I escaped to bohemia where I have happily remained.




"Campus environmental record earns top score in Princeton Review 'Green Ratings' " by Sarah Yang is a UC Berkely press release.

"The University of California, Berkeley, is one of only 15 colleges in the country to have earned the top score for environmentally friendly policies in an evaluation released today (Monday, July 27) by The Princeton Review, a provider of education services to help students get into college."



"U.C. Berkeley plans open source software for lecture distribution" is a report in the San Francisco Business Times by Steven E.F. Brown.

"The University of California, Berkeley, plans to set up an open source software project for widespread distribution of automatically made video and audio recordings of lectures and other events on campus."













Seen at the Bowl yesterday were Byron and Milo, Anthy Victor with Jerry Victor's beautiful daughter, and Don Yost and unknown friend, and hundreds of other people. I specially enjoyed the unreconstructed Hippie with pony-tail, bib-overalls, bandana, and heft.

Guests at 900 GRAYSON yesterday included Lt Greenwood BPD and BPD Detectives, Scott Robinson, Rick Auerbach, Kava's staff, and John Sharffenberger.



"Peet's Q2 profit beats Street" is a report at "Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc reported a quarterly profit that beat market estimates, boosted by tighter cost controls and higher sales at its specialty business, and it raised the lower end of its full-year earnings outlook range.

Peet's also said it entered into a licensing agreement with privately held Godiva Chocolatier Inc to sell and distribute Godiva brand coffees in supermarkets."


Just who is François Génin? He's the co-founder and CEO of Berkeley Advanced Biomaterials, Inc and he's well-ahead of the Potter Creek curve. He's also a good upstairs-neighbor to the French School and next door neighbor to a cooking school.




"Green Day's 'American Idiot' Musical Fills Out Creative Team" is a story at

"Green Day have rounded out the creative team that will help turn the band's 2004 rock opera American Idiot into a musical. Joining director Michael Mayer, who also worked on the Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening, are choreographer Steven Hoggett and music supervisor Tom Kitt. American Idiot the musical will run from September 3rd to October 11th at California's Berkeley Rep. Tickets are available now with a subscription to the Berkeley Rep's season, while remaining seats are available to the public starting August 16th."


And another version is "Tony Winner Tom Kitt Joins Team Behind New American Idiot" is a story by the Staff at

"Recent Tony Award winner Tom Kitt of Next to Normal is among the newly announced creative team for punk trio Green Day's musical American Idiot. Kitt will serve as music supervisor with Mayer helming the tuner, set to debut at Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Roda Theater in California beginning September 4. The limited engagement, directed by previously announced Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, will play through October 11.

The original American Idiot album was conceived as a rock opera centering around the life of an anti-hero called Jesus of Suburbia. The recording sold 12 million copies worldwide and features hit singles like 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' and the title song. It also was honored with a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album."


For a history of musical theater on record thru the early the Rock Operas read my Musical Theater on Record: a History of Recorded Music.



On the PBS Lehrer News Hour you can hear about musician Elvis Costello. Jeffrey Brown has a profile of singer Elvis Costello. Here's a preview of their conversation.







Oakland City Council action taken at 7/29/09 Council meeting. The Council approved

29 Subject: Enterprise Zone - Expand Boundaries
From: Community and Economic Development Agency
Recommendation: Adopt A Resolution Approving The Expansion Of The Boundaries Of
The Oakland Enterprise Zone Into Portions Of Emeryville And West Berkeley


City of Oakland Community Economic and Development Agency information on their Enterprise Zone.

Financial Incentives

Offering business incentives is one way Oakland remains competitive in the regional marketplace. The incentives range from Enterprise Zone tax credits to assistance with locating space and identifying workforce needs.

Oakland takes full advantage of state and federal programs to provide a full set of incentives and has a municipal lending unit to assist businesses looking for capital, technical assistance, and training. Incentives are also provided for environmentally-friendly businesses.

Enterprise Zone Tax Incentives
Industrial Development Bond Program
Manufacturers' Investment Credit
Retail and Entertainment Catalyst Tenant Improvement Program (TIP)

Enterprise Zone Tax Incentives

California's enterprise zone program is an innovative partnership comprised of state government, local government and private businesses. The State of California re-designated Oakland on January 31, 2008, for an additional 15 years. Oakland businesses in the Zone - from large manufacturing companies to small neighborhood restaurants - can reduce their state taxes by taking advantage of Enterprise Zone benefits.Tax credits and benefits available to companies locating in enterprise zones include:

Tax credits for sales or use taxes paid on up to $20 million of qualified machinery purchased per year;
A hiring credit of $37,440 or more for each qualified employee hired;
A 15-year carryover of up to 100 percent of net operating losses
Expensing up to $40,000 of certain depreciable property;
Lender income deductions for loans made to zone businesses; and
Preference points on state contracts.
Unused tax credits can be applied to future tax years, stretching out the benefit of the initial investment

For more information and forms required for claiming the Enterprise Zone Hiring Tax Credit visit our on line EZ Tax Credit Vouchering System at or call Susana Villarreal; Enterprise Zone Coordinator at 510-238-7794;

Industrial Development Bond Program

The program targets small and medium-sized manufacturing companies that are normally shut out of national credit markets and provides low-cost, long-term financing for real estate and equipment projects that retain or create employment in Oakland.

No public entity assumes any of the risk of the financing. A highly-rated bank relies on a Letter of Credit with the business for adequate collateral and repayment ability.

Oakland's Industrial Development Bond Program is administered by the Economic Development Alliance for Business. To learn more about the bond program including the eligibility criteria and application process, visit or call 510.272.3885.

Manufacturers' Investment Credit

The State of California has created a tax incentive designed to encourage manufacturers to stay and grow in the Golden State. Known as the Manufacturers' Investment Credit (MIC), this legislation allows California manufacturers to claim a six percent investment tax credit or a five percent sales/use tax exemption (for new businesses) on qualified property that is purchased, acquired, or leased for use in California. These credits can greatly reduce the amount of State taxes a company pays.

The principal categories of qualifying activities include:

Research and Development

For details on the MIC, visit or call 1.800.852.5711

Retail and Entertainment Catalyst Tenant Improvement Program (TIP)

The City of Oakland's Retail and Entertainment Catalyst Tenant Improvement Program (TIP) provides incentives to attract key entertainment and retail businesses to targeted locations in the downtown area. While downtown retail market has improved in recent years, in many cases the available spaces, buildings, or properties require tenant improvements to meet the needs of existing retailers.

Under the TIP, additional incentives are available to cover expenses such as asbestos abatement, compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), ventilation, off-site improvements, and other tenant improvements including demolition, mechanical, plumbing, electrical and interior historic restoration. The Tenant Improvement Program can be used with the existing Downtown Façade Improvement Program. Targeted areas include Uptown, the Downtown Historic area, the Latham Square area, Old Oakland, Chinatown, and Lower Broadway.

For further information, call Redevelopment at 510.238.3699 or email.


The Berkeley City Council has to approve the Enterprise Zone for it to be in Berkeley.




"Council Tables Measure Endorsing SCA 21" is by Rio Bauce Special to the Planet.

"Last Thursday, the Berkeley City Council tabled a measure supporting a bill in the state Legislature that would strip the University of California's Board of Regents of a certain measure of autonomy.

The bill, SCA 21, authored by state Senators Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield), would subject the UC system to laws and statutes passed by the state Legislature. Current laws are already in effect for the California State University system. "



"Berkeley's First Teen Center Planned for Downtown" is a saavy report by Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet.

"Berkeley teenagers may finally have a solution to their boredom.

Soon they may have a new place to hang out after school, get help with homework, meet up with friends or simply have some fun.

A building that formerly housed a PG&E service center at 2109 Martin Luther King Jr. Way is all set to become the Teen AMP (Aspirations Made Possible), Berkeley's first center dedicated entirely to teenagers."

In talking to a west-Berkeley "veteran gang member" about the difference in being a teenage then and now, he said "We had places to go. The City had centers for us and we had other places. They don't have that now."RP




"Counting Crows Swoop Down On Berkeley's Greek Theatre" is a review by Jane Wang at

"Nearly two decades ago, two men, Adam Duritz and Dave Bryson, came together to form an acoustic duo, gradually picking up more members and eventually receiving national attention. Now, after having crisscrossed America's highways many times over, last Sunday Counting Crows finally returned to the place where they were born-Berkeley, California-to share the stage with San Diego-based Augustana."




our Geralyn emails

Aloha Kakou!
I just wanted to remind you that the 15th San Francisco Aloha Festival is happening this weekend. The halau I belong to, Hui Hula O na Pu'u I Ka Noe, will be dancing on Sunday, August 2 at 10:30 am. Here's the link I hope to see you there!
You may have heard rumors that I will be going to Berlin and Prague, along with my hula sisters and brother, to participate in a hula competition and to do some exhibition dancing. Well, it is true and we're all very excited about it, as you can imagine.
But, like the song goes, "money's too tight to mention", so we're having a cookie sale to help subsudize our trip. Anthony and Christopher of our neighborhood's renown fabulous ( or is it fabulously renown?) cafe, 900 Grayson, have been very gracious to offer to sell our
cookies at the front counter. These are the Hawaiian "School Kine" cookies. Very "ono" and only $6.00 a bag! The flavors are: shortbread, vanilla macadamia nut, chocolate chip macadamia nut, and chocolate chip. Pop into 900 Grayson ( 7th St and Grayson in West Berkeley, Mon- Sat 8am-3pm) have a meal, and grab a bag of cookies for dessert. Or you can contact me with your order.
If you'd like to watch the festivities in Berlin, look for the link that will stream the action live on the internet at
I don't have much information on Prague except that we will be dancing in the Old Town's square on August 21.
Mahalo again for all of your support. I and the halau appreciate your "kokua".
A hui hou
Geralyn Keolani

I love shortbread and these are the best. RP



Ryan Lau emails

National Night Out
Just a quick reminder, National Night Out is fast approaching, Tuesday, August 4th.  If you haven't already done so, today is the last day to officially register your group's event with the City so that Fire, Police, City Manager's staff and our office can come around and meet the neighbors.  You don't have to be an official neighborhood watch group to register and it is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and City staff.  If you'd like to find out more about National Night Out or want a copy of the application, please visit <>.  If you are not able to send in the form today, try and get it in as soon as possible, sometimes they allow late submissions.  Also, please let us know as well.  If your event doesn't make it onto the official list, we'd still like to try and stop by.

Street Tree Planting
West Berkeley received some grant funding to mitigate some of the impacts of the freeway, specifically by reducing pollution by planting trees.  We encourage people to submit tree-planting applications so we can plant in the area. 
This year the City is focusing on a mutltidepartmental effort in a "Place Based Initiative" with a program called "Heart to Heart" in the block around McGee, Russell, Oregon and Dohr.  It is a special effort to address the problem of "premature death" from chronic diseases. The Parks Dept's contribution will be to focus on tree-planting in the area.  If you are interested in having a tree in front of your home please call 681-6660.

Ryan Lau
Council Aide
Councilmember Darryl Moore, District 2


Kubik emails Ryan

How about planting trees between the freeway and Aquatic Park?  Some thing was supposed to have been done there years ago and so far NOTHING! 


Ryan replies

Are you referring to the "Living Wall" project?  I'm not quite sure what ever happened to that, but I think alot of it had to do with CalTrans not liking the idea.  Since the project required a CalTrans encroachment permit, we were sort of stuck at an impasse.  I can check in about the project, but my understanding is that CalTrans was adamant that they did not want anything to do with it.  In any case, how have you been, Bob?  Pumpkin patch time is just around the corner, huh?


Bob replies

If Caltrans doesn't like the idea of trees what do they propose?  We need and have needed some separation.  Yes, would you check into it? 

 Carol and I are doing fine - shopping at the new Berkeley Bowl every day.  We were totally wrong about traffic congestion - what we have seen is many more folks walking and biking to get their groceries.  That has made a much more neighborhood feeling. 



The only source that got so-far-traffic right was Lipofsky. "Won't make much difference" he said. "Supermarket traffic trickles in and out, not like a school with traffic bunching up when kids are dropped off or picked up." RP

Who so far got it wrong in varing degrees? Rick, Sarah, John V, Ron P, Bob, Carol, etc, etc, etc.

And, the neighbors almost to a person figured the Yasudas hadn't learned anything from their experience of the Downtown Bowl and so somehow would repeat it.

Go figure!

Also, the traffic consultants hired by our city-workers got is right so far.



Ya know I' bin thinkn, maybe I'll run for mayor.

. . . hell, it's the fumes. I am a lttle light-headed.

I'll get back to you on this.





"SunRun Does Government-financed Solar Panels" is a report at

"In a move to avert regional government solar incentives like Berkeley, California-based Berkeley FIRST from capturing the solar panel financing market, San Francisco-based SunRun is using a new round of financing to capture a greater share of that market."




"Berkeley and the General Strike of 1934" is a story by Steven Finacom Special to the Planet.

"In spring and summer 1934 San Francisco experienced one of the most dramatic labor confrontations in 20th century American history. " 




Robert Shiller was one of Charlie Rose' guest last night. He talks about a new book of his and more.

Robert Shiller is an American economist and Yale professor. He is best known for his book "Irrational Exuberance," a "New York Times" bestseller, which predicted the burst of the stock market bubble in the late 1990s, and warns about the emergence of a housing bubble after the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.

He has organized a series of seminars about behavioral finance, and is the author of "Macro Markets", which won the first annual Paul A. Samuelson Award of TIAA-CREF. In 2003, he published another book, "The New Financial Order."

Check him out.



from my log

6/28/09--8:49 AM--irritant in warehouse front and SERIOUS irritant IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, nausea, light head. Off-and-on all day, irritant in warehouse front.

7/3/09--5:15 PM--irritant IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse.

7/6/09--6:54 AM--SERIOUS irritant in IMMEDIATELY front of warehouse, cough, light head.

7/7/09--Off-and-on all morning SERIOUS irritant in front room, light head, dry skin, wear mask, over-rides two HEPA filters.

7/8/09--6:22 AM--SERIOUS irrtant in front room, light head, eyes smart, over-rides two HEPA filters.

7/10/09--3:21 PM--irritant in front room.

7/13/09--6:02 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, wear mask. 11:29 AM irritant IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse and in front room, wear mask.

post from the past

7/12/01--~8:45 AM--dizzy with burning eyes and mouth.

7/14/09--8:31 AM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, headache, light head, burning eyes, wear mask, overrides 2 HEPA filters. 8:49 AM, leave.

7/15/09--5:36 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, light head, burning eyes, nausea, over-rides HEPA filter.

7/17/09--1:41 PM--irritant in front room, light head, head ache, wear mask.

7/18/09--7:36 AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse, air out.

7/19/09--6:45 AM-to-~8:00 AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse, light head, head ache, wear mask, continous off-and-on all day in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse.

7/21/09--6:11 AM--irritant in warehouse, air out. `10:45 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, eyes, mouth burn, light head, headache, nausea, leave.  11:20 PM--"amonia bleach" odor IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse. 8:32 PM--irritant IMMEDAITELY in front of warehouse, lights flicker.

7/23/09--11:47 AM--irritant in front room, leave.

7/24/09--7:50 AM--SERIOUS irritant infront of warehouse and warehouse front, eyes, mouth burn, light head, headache, nausea. Symptoms similar to those experienced some years ago when neighbor, Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass used its "gold process" without "filters." 1:58 PM--irritant in front room.

(In the last seven-or-so years, we have not experienced the level, or consistency, of irritation and accompanying symptoms that we have in the last weeks.)

7/25/09--~7:30 PM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse, friend working, has headache, light head, congestion, cough, leaves.

7/26/09--7:22 AM--irritant IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse. 4:45 PM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, similar symptoms to 7/25.

7/27/09--1:29 PM--irritant in front room, eyes, mouth burn, headache. And, off-and-on all morning. 7:19 PM--irritant in front room and "chlorine bleach" odor.

7/28/09--8:46 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, light head, burning eyes, mouth, leave. 10:59 AM--irritant in front room, wear mask.

7/29/09==~8:35 AM--lights flicker, irritant in front room, leave.



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.