"Citroen 2CV: France's iconic car" reports BBC NEWS.
"One of France's most
iconic cars, the Citroen 2CV, is celebrating its 60th birthday
this October. The BBC's Emma Jane Kirby in Paris has been looking
at how this vehicle revolutionised the French motor industry.
Some may dismiss it as nothing
more than an old tin can. The BBC Top Gear programme's Jeremy
Clarkson wrote it off as a 'weedy, useless little engine'.
But enthusiasts like Xavier
Audran who owns a dozen of them, worships the 2CV 'not just as
a car, but as a way of life'.
It may be 18 years since
the 2CV went out of production, but Mr Audran is adamant that
its charm has never gone out of fashion.
His maroon 2CV is illegally
parked in the middle of the pavement by the Paris canal but he
laughs when I suggest he is asking for a fine.
'Usually, 2CV owners don't
get tickets. Policeman just smile. Almost everybody in France
had a 2CV at some time in their youth - so they're nostalgic and
not angry with us,' Mr Audran says."
my 2CV model
Our Gerard and friend just
got his real 2CV Truckette running--hope to see it on-the-street
in Potter Creek soon.
"Once-missing Haworth man under psychological
evaluation in California"
reports the Oklahoman.
"For the family of missing
Rice University student Matt Wilson, news that he was alive and
well at Berkeley, Calif., was the happy ending they had hoped
But Bridget Melson, a psychotherapist
who has been working on Wilson's case, is concerned that the southeast
Oklahoman is not doing well at all - that this isn't the end of
'He wanted to be away and
he wanted to be missing,' the co-founder of Trinity Search and
Recovery said. 'And now that he has been found he is extremely
depressed, and that's why he is on suicide watch.'
When Wilson's car was found
in Berkeley in June, Melson said searchers knew he was living
All the clues were present, Melson said. There was food and clothing,
as well as notes and writings that indicated that the former Haworth
resident wanted to simply disappear.
'We told his mother a week
ago, that looking at the notes, it appears he wants to be gone.'
When Wilson was found on Wednesday, he had been sleeping behind
shrubbery planted outside the brick lecture hall walls of the
university - only about 50 feet from where Trinity Search and
Recovery ended its search."
"Bullying takes twisted turn for the worse" writes Regan McMahon in the Chronicle.
Zachary Cataldo suffered a skull fracture when a fifth-grader
allegedly slammed him against a tree in April as he waited to
be picked up after school at Piedmont Avenue Elementary.
Novato middle-school student
Olivia Gardner was bullied so mercilessly after having had an
epileptic seizure at school that her mother transferred her to
another school - twice.
eighth-grader Megan Meier committed suicide in 2006 after she
was victimized by an Internet hoax designed to humiliate her.
Lori Drew, 49, a neighbor who allegedly collaborated with her
daughter and a teenage employee to create a fictional boy to pursue
and then reject Megan on the social networking Web site MySpace,
was indicted in May for violating federal computer hacking laws."
Our Ben and friends were
playing-ball on the French School playground for quite-a-while
"UC Berkeley Gym Plaintiffs Drop New Trial
Bid" reports our
"Three plaintiff groups
who filed suit to try to stop the University of California, Berkeley
from building a new sports training center next to its football
stadium Friday withdrew their bid to have a judge reverse her
most recent ruling in the case.
The city of Berkeley, the
California Oak Foundation and the Panoramic Hill Association said
they're withdrawing their motion for a new trial or a reversal
of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller's July 22
ruling 'in the interest of the court, the parties and judicial
In a one-page filing, the
plaintiffs said UC Berkeley officials have complied with state
law in one aspect of the university's proposed 158,000-square-foot
project, which is projected to cost $140 million.
However, Michael Lozeau,
the attorney for the Panoramic Hill Association, which represents
homeowners who live near Cal's football stadium, said other important
issues remain and Miller will have a show cause hearing on Aug.
25 on whether she should enter an amended judgment in the case.
'We are very pleased' that
the plaintiffs withdrew their motion, UC Berkeley spokesman Dan
BART Parking Lot To Close Monday for Ed Roberts Construction"
reports Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet.
"Starting Monday the
east entrance and parking lot of Ashby BART will be closed for
18 months to allow construction of the $45 million Ed Roberts
Described as one-stop shopping
for disability services, education and research, the transit-oriented
campus will be built on top of the parking lot on the east side
of the BART station facing Adeline Street. It will include a dozen
non-profits, a child development center, a fitness center and
a cafe complete with a spiral ramp up to the second floor, accessible
meeting rooms and spacious elevators."
Darryl Moore has been our
Councilman for almost four years now.
During this time, serious
improvements have been made to the Potter Creek infrastructure.
Parker Street, Seventh Street, and Ninth Street have been resurfaced,
with the decades-old unused RR-Tracks ripped-up from Parker. Just,
check out these beautiful, black, smooth surfaces.
Perhaps more important, our
drainage system has been reworked and improved with broken culverts
removed and gutters deepened to efficiently increase run-off.
Well Ok then!
"No end in sight for budget battle" writes Steven Harmon in our Times.
"A vote will be held today sat on the state budget, but East
Bay lawmakers don't expect the standoff - now in its 48th day
- to end any time soon.
Heading into today's 3 p.m.
Assembly session, a wide chasm still divides Democrats and Republicans
on the major sticking points in negotiating a budget that must
pare down an estimated $15.2 billion deficit.
'I think it's a 50-50 chance
this could go into September,' said Assemblyman Sandre Swanson,
D-Oakland, 'because some of us are not willing to balance the
budget on the backs of children, and Republicans have not abandoned
their cuts-only approach.'
Assemblywoman Loni Hancock,
D-Berkeley, accused Republicans of pursuing a goal of "starving"
government and of being "intransigent" in holding out
for more spending cuts while avoiding any tax increases.
'It all depends on what Republicans
are going to do - whether they're willing to compromise at all,'
she said, 'or if they're bound by their Grover Norquist pledge
to demand a cuts-only budget.' "
BBC NEWS reports "Argentina
and Uruguay's tango row."
"Scientists take note - I'm ALREADY invisible" writes Jack Knox of the BC Victoria
"For the moment, the
vanishing act takes place on a nanoscale, measured in billionths
of a metre.
But there is no fundamental
reason why the same principles cannot be scaled up one day to
make invisibility cloaks big enough to hide a person, scientists
at the University of California at Berkeley say.
I already know how to turn
invisible: Just try hailing a cab in Times Square at midnight."
our Tameka Lim
I wanted to let everyone
know that after the unfortunate event of our Café Clem
robbery, Denise (Café Clem Manager) and I took the self
defense course at Hand to Hand and we HIGHLY recommend it! This
is a women's only self defense class (sorry guys) that really
helps you develop physical, verbal, mental and emotional techniques
to keeping your self safe in hostile situations.
Their next class is coming up! If you feel this may not be for
you but you know someone that this could benefit, please pass
If you have any questions about the program don't hesitate to
come talk to either Denise or myself.
Manager, Customer Services
510 845 5000
Over the weekend, a car was
broken into and vandalized in the parking lot behind Berkeley
"A Pinoy at Pixar" reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
"Chris Chua, 29-year-old
Filipino-American animator at Pixar Animation Studios, makes things
When we interviewed him at
Pixar's sprawling Emeryville office, Chris casually rattled off
things about his career.
Unintentionally, he made
his rise in the animation world sound simple-which, of course,
"I went to California
Institute of the Arts in Valencia for college, joined DreamWorks,
transferred to Pixar and then got assigned to do my first Pixar
movie, which is 'Wall-E,' " he said.
He added, 'I always look
forward to coming to work because the people I work with here
are just so passionate about everything.' And so is Chris.
'It's great working here,'
he stressed. 'Everyday, no matter how tired I am, I always look
forward to coming to work.'"
Mal Sharpe emails
Big Money in Jazz has been
selected to appear on the opening night of
the brand new Downtown Berkeley Musicfest. Thursday Aug.
Anna's Jazz Island. Two sets.
Fresh on the heels of our brand new, almost sold out CD, Firecracker
Baby--a live concert celebrating Louis Armstrong's' Birthday---we
be opening the MusicFest at Anna's Jazz Island this Thursday night
with the music of Louis Armstrong. What could be a more fitting
open an American music festival? Here's a link to our Almost
While gas prices climb and
inflation goes up and rents get
higher and homes are foreclosed---the only folks keeping
stable are Dixieland jazz musicians. We are earning the same money
did in 1962----$50 a gig. We want to keep it that way...and let's
forget the club owners have helped us along this path. So drop
politicians, fire the stock brokers, and keep Comcast out of your
Who would you rather have guiding your future, Big Oil or Big
More news---We've been held over for another year at the Savoy-Tivoli
on upper Grant Ave in North Beach. That is every Saturday afternoon
Sunday's at The No Name Bar continue from 3-6. Don't miss the
See you this Thursday. Yes, you.
"Don't look at the trombones, it only encourages them"---Richard
"Another restaurant robbery - this time
in Rockridge" reports
Henry K. Lee of the Chronicle.
"Armed restaurant robbers
struck again in Oakland, this time in the city's upscale Rockridge
district, police said today.
At least two men wearing
masks and hoodies robbed Pasta Pomodoro at 5500 College Ave. at
about 10:50 p.m. Monday, 10 minutes before the restaurant closed,
"Mayor wrong on cause of crime" opines Chip Johnson.
"When bank robbery suspect
Elmer Reyes crashed his getaway car on Interstate 880 in the East
Bay, he told the officers who arrested him that the bad economy
made him commit the crime."
"Wilson Released From Hospital, Charged
With Possession Of Stolen Property" reports KTVU-TV NEWS.
"IT workers pushed to the limits" reports TMC net.com.
"Tempers flared inside
a San Francisco datacenter on Friday, June 20, igniting the greatest
public spectacle pitting a lone tech worker against management,
media, and the law. Tension between network admin Terry Childs
and his managers had been simmering for years and reached a boiling
point on one of the hottest days of the summer.
Childs allegedly harassed a new manager on that day and, later,
held captive San Francisco's omnipresent data network. This landed
him in jail on charges of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse
Act; the judge gave him a punishing $5 million bail.
Like a match falling on dry
leaves, the Childs case spurred techies to the blogosphere bearing
angry messages and not-so-veiled threats: 'Many an IT worker has
been cursed with incompetent superiors,' 'I've seen no-win situations
in the past where management set me up to take the fall ? and
I protected myself, too,' and 'This could very well have been
written about myself if I decide to go rogue in my city.' "
"Exactly How Legal Is Medical Marijuana?" asks NPR's Madeleine Brand.
"In Los Angeles, billboards
displaying gigantic pot leaves are fairly common roadside attractions.
There are an estimated 200 medical marijuana facilities operating
in Southern California. With a doctor's 'recommendation,' a patient
can walk into any one of these and buy pot - legally.
But, California's medical
marijuana law conflicts with federal law, which says the cultivation
and sale of the drug is illegal. California already makes over
$100 million a year from taxes paid by medical marijuana facilities.
Marijuana advocates claim legalizing and taxing medical marijuana
could provide hundreds of millions of dollars more for the U.S.
"Are Medical Marijuana Riches Just a Pipe
Dream?" asks Heather
"In some parts of Hollywood, it seems there are more marijuana
dispensaries per square mile than Starbucks. With the price of
your average blunt far surpassing a Frappucino and no federal
tax on weed income - one could see how the seed of a get-rich-quick
scheme could plant itself in a passer-by's head.
Oaksterdam University, the
United States' only marijuana trade school, is the place where
these pipe dreams are cultivated - and imploded.
Univeristy President Richard
Lee often begins classes by warning, 'People who think they can
make a quick buck and get out of paying taxes, they go to jail.'
"Assembly Democrats' budget bill fails" write Matthew Yi and John Wildermuth of the
"A revised budget proposal
by Assembly Democrats failed Sunday night in the lower house of
the state Legislature during an unusual weekend session that quickly
morphed into nearly five hours of finger-pointing that didn't
end the 48-day budget stalemate. . . .
Assemblywoman Loni Hancock,
D-Berkeley, said she was 'sick at heart at what we've had to cut,'
and suggested that Democrats might wait until after the November
elections to reach a budget agreement, after Democrats had won
some more Republican seats."
bank 'to fail within months' '' reports BBCNEWS.
"The global financial
crisis is set to get worse, with a large US bank likely to collapse
in the next few months, a former IMF chief economist has warned.
Kenneth Rogoff's comments
came as shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sank on a report
that the home lenders would, in effect, be nationalised.
Despite hopes that the US
economy had turned the corner, Mr Rogoff claimed it was 'not out
of the woods'.
'We're not just going to
see mid-sized banks go under in the next few months,' said Mr
Rogoff, who held the IMF role between 2001 and 2004.
'We're going to see a whopper,
we're going to see a big one, one of the big investment banks
or big banks.' "
"Bail-out fears rattle US shares" reports BBC
"Shares in US mortgage finance giants Freddie Mac and Fannie
Mae have plunged again on fears that the government will be forced
to bail out the pair."
8/17/08--off-and-on all day, irritant in front of warehouse, wear
masks off-and-on all day.
18 August 1903 - German engineer
Karl Jatho allegedly flies his self-made, motored gliding airplane
four months before the first flight of the Wright Brothers.
Kubik emails some
'My Mom said she learned
how to swim when
Her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I
'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to
'If life were fair, Elvis
would be alive and
Impersonators would be dead.'--Johnny Carson
'Sometimes I think
war is God's way of teaching
to believe in something.
I believe I'll have another beer.'
- W. C. Fields
Winery, A Donkey and Goat, Opens Its Doors for a Green Harvest
Event that Celebrates Natural Winemaking" posts PRWeb.com.
"A Donkey and Goat winery
a wife and husband-owned winery producing sustainably crafted
artisanal wines, will open its doors on Saturday, September 13
from 1:00-5:00 PM for a unique wine tasting experience. Join the
winemakers, taste the latest releases, and celebrate the harvest.
A Donkey and Goat is located at 2323B Fourth St. in Berkeley,
It should cut down on waste
too since most souvenir glasses end up in the landfill, or are
retired into a cabinet never to be seen again.
For the first time, A Donkey
and Goat is hosting a green event featuring an eco-friendly wine
tasting experience through two promotions: Bring Your Own Glass
(BYOG) and Take Back the Tap.
Additionally, this harvest
event gives attendees the opportunity to taste newly released
wines from four wineries in two locations for one admission fee.
A Donkey and Goat will be pouring its releases at its winery (2323B
Fourth St. in Berkeley, CA) alongside dept. C Wines. At Eno Wines
(805 Camelia St. @ 5th), attendees can taste releases from Eno
Wines and Broc Cellars. "
Ole college roommate, Ron
Cherene and I volunteered
to help at a town hall meeting . . . in Albuquerque yesterday. I
got close enough to shake his hand and Cherene got a good picture
"Berkeley elder abuse suspect goes free
after victim dies" writes
Henry K. Lee of the Chronicle.
"An Alameda County
judge reluctantly dismissed all charges Tuesday against a man
accused of beating two elderly men - both of whom later died -
on the grounds that the defense wasn't done cross-examining one
of the victims at the time of his death.
Jahton Green, 21, is expected
to be released from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he was being
held on charges of robbery and elder abuse causing great bodily
injury in the January attacks of Robert Whitman and Tchang Hoang
at their Berkeley homes.
Whitman, 78, died May 1 of
bleeding in the brain. However, an autopsy by the Alameda County
coroner could not confirm that his death had been caused by the
attack Jan. 10, when Green allegedly beat and robbed Whitman of
his wallet outside his home on the 1300 block of Arch Street in
Whitman was left in a pool
of blood, suffering from a broken hip and femur, head injuries
and hearing loss.
Hoang, 93, was attacked Jan. 28 outside his home on the 1700 block
of Oxford Street. Green allegedly stole Hoang's wallet, $320 in
cash, credit cards and keys.
Hoang died six months later
in his native China, and his relatives said they didn't want an
autopsy performed, said Eileen McAndrew, a senior deputy district
attorney who prosecutes elder abuse cases."
our Byron, Milo's Dad emails
Wow. This is sickening. There
is no way that the authorities can or should take their eyes off
this guy. No remorse for his actions?! This is a real trip.
"Oklahoman won't face charges" reports the Chronicle.
"Prosecutors in northern
California have decided not to seek criminal charges against a
college student from Oklahoma who was discovered unharmed after
disappearing nine months ago.
University of California-Berkeley
campus police arrested Matthew Wilson after finding him in a classroom
after school hours with a laptop they believed was stolen. Wilson
was taken into custody but was transferred to a San Francisco
Bay-area mental hospital and placed on suicide watch.
The only evidence that could
have been used to charge Wilson were a pair of scissors he had
with him that apparently were university property, Norbert Chu,
senior deputy district attorney for Alameda County, Calif., said
Tuesday. Officials were unable to determine that the laptop was
stolen, Chu said."
"Restaurant holdups hit upscale Rockridge" writes Demian Bulwa of the Chronicle.
"In Oakland's Rockridge
district, where diners seek out braised lamb, deep-dish pizza,
oysters, crepes and curries of all kinds, the biggest challenge
can be choosing what to eat.
But restaurateurs and their
customers were struggling with a different dilemma Tuesday: how
to respond to a brash robbery, in which two gunmen in hooded sweatshirts
and ski masks held up workers at a Pasta Pomodoro outlet as they
prepared to close after serving their last patron.
The robbery just before 11
p.m. Monday - an hour after closing time - was the latest in a
string of restaurant holdups in Oakland in recent weeks that has
some merchants concerned about their bottom line.
In a tight economy, they said, customers don't need another reason
to stay home."
"Bay home prices plunge; foreclosures boost
sales" reports Carolyn
Said of the Chronicle.
"Bay Area home prices
plunged to a 53-month low in July as a brisk business in foreclosed
properties depressed prices and buoyed sales volume, according
to a real estate report released Tuesday.
The median price for both
new and resale homes and condos stood at $470,000, down 29.3 percent
from a year ago, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego. For
resale homes, the median was $485,000, a 34.3 percent drop from
A full 33 percent of all
resale homes were foreclosed properties, which banks generally
sell at a discount - further depressing prices in the vicinity.
In July 2007, just 4.2 percent of existing home sales were foreclosed
"Twice as many in state can now afford
a home" reports James
Temple of the Chronicle.
"A pair of reports released
Tuesday highlighted the upside of the real estate downturn: Housing
is becoming more affordable for more people across California
and the Bay Area.
The percentage of households
able to buy an entry-level residence in the state reached 48 percent
during the second quarter, double the level from a year ago, according
to the California Association of Realtors."
why is this woman smiling?
she's picking up lunch for
her V&W crew?
Overheard at 900 GRAYSON.
A 900 regular just
got back from the Olympics. Guest of the Gettys, she and her husband
flew there and back on the Getty's private plane. "It was
great, mnrmph, hmphruf, mn . . . " I overheard.
"US-based Pinay boxer fights for WBC
title" reports Jun
Medina in the Manila Times.
"Fast-rising Fil-American phenom Ana 'The Hurricane' Julaton
will face Dominga Olivo of the Dominican Republic
Thursday night for the vacant
World Boxing Council (WBC) International super bantamweight title
at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
Julaton, the unbeaten protégé
of world pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, is seeking to become
the first Filipina-and the first female American-to win the WBC
international super bantamweight crown, on just her sixth fight
since turning pro eight months ago.
'I'm excited, and I'm ready
for this title shot,' Julaton said during a break in training
at the West Wind Gym on University Avenue in Berkeley."
"Happy day in Milwaukee as the Fonz is
cast in bronze. They're giving two thumbs up to the bronze Fonz
in Milwaukee" reports
"Dozens of people lining the Milwaukee River downtown cheered
as a bronze statue of the 'Happy Days' character was unveiled
"Night of gunfire in East Oakland" reports Henry K. Lee of the Chronicle.
"A man was shot and
killed Tuesday night in East Oakland, hours before a separate
shooting prompted a large police response because of fears of
a sniper, authorities said . . . ."
A year ago, a retired left-activist
and Oakland resident, a woman-friend of a friend, felt then that
the National Guard should be patrolling streets of Oakland.
Ole Partner-in-Crime and
old 900 regular, Miltiades
Mandros Gives-em-hell in his letter to the Chron.
"I wish to thank Chip
Johnson for lambasting another idiotic pronouncement from the
mayor's office ("Dellums has it all wrong on the cause of
robberies at Oakland restaurants" Aug. 19). To hear our so-called
mayor blame criminal acts on the state of the economy is as far
off the mark as it is insulting to law-abiding citizens."
Because just this week I lost my part-time college teaching job
(due to insufficient enrollment), I guess I can now start sticking
up people with impunity. After all, I have the best justification,
During our Councilman Darryl
Moore's years in office, city services have improved in Potter
Creek. Most noticeable is the welcome, increased police presence.
But our streets are now swept more often by the street cleaners
and when dumping occurs, it is promptly picked up by city trucks.
And, other stuff by the city, often quiet and discreet, has improved
our quality of life.
Well Ok, then.
"Tasting the Wines of San Francisco's East
Bay" writes Vinography.
"Wine country is now
15 minutes from downtown San Francisco, thanks to the surge in
wine producers that are popping up all over the East Bay (and
in San Francisco proper, too!). Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley
are now home to more than a dozen wineries that range in size
from a couple of people and a couple of barrels, to some of California's
most lauded wineries."
Rick Ballard emails
Jazz at Pearl's
in San Francisco has closed. Two other restaurants, Pres A Vi
in San Francisco and Prima in Walnut Creek, have discontinued
Downtown Berkeley Musicfest August 21-24
The Downtown Berkeley Musicfest starts . . . , August 21. Including
over 30 free events, and musical performances spanning every genre,
the festival takes place at venues throughout the downtown area.
Jazz musicians scheduled to appear include: Scott Amendola, Wil
Blades, Mal Sharpe & Big Money in Jazz, Beep Trio, Dee Spencer's
Jook Joint Jazz, Joe Warner, Maya Kronfeld, Steven Emerson, Grace
Woods, 21 Flights, David Mathews Soultet, Junious Courtney Big
Band, Malachi Whitson, Lady SunRise, Karl Tingwald, Natalie Cressman,
Pete Yellin and eBlues. For a complete festival schedule go to
Hornucopia Festival Sept. 4-14
Beginning Sept. 4, the Hornucopia Festival will feature 35 horn
& brass fueled bands playing at 9 different venues in the
Bay Area. Local jazzers scheduled to appear include: Shotgun Wedding
Quintet, Marcus Shelby, Realistic Orchestra, Tin Cup Serenade,
Nice Guy Trio, Du Uy Quintet, Todd Sickafoose, Edmund Welles,
Mitch Marcus, Brass Mafia and Gaucho Gypsy Jazz. For a complete
festival schedule go to: www.hornucopiafestival.org
51st Annual Monterey Jazz Festival
This festival runs Sept. 19-21 at the Monterey Fairgrounds. Local
artists scheduled to appear so far include Ledisi, Jamie Davis,
Tuck & Patti, Rebeca Mauleon & Mary Stallings. For
complete festival info visit www.montereyjazzfestival.org
Sunday Matinees Return to Yoshi's
Yoshi's Jazz Club announces the return of Sunday Matinees beginning
Sunday, August 10. Both Yoshi's locations will now feature a special
Sunday afternoon performance at 2:00 PM. The Sunday matinees are
designed and priced for parents to introduce jazz to young ears.
For more information please go to www.yoshis.com
"Grover Landscape Services processes up
to 800 tons/day of yard trimmings and source separated food waste,
producing high quality compost for landscape and agricultural
markets" report L.
F. Diaz and L. L. Eggerth in BioCycle.
"Grover Landscape Services,
Inc. operates several composting facilities in northern California.
Its site in Vernalis receives yard trimmings and food waste from
various communities around the San Francisco Bay area, between
70 and 100 miles to the east. These include the City of Berkeley,
portions of Alameda County, City of San Francisco, City of Livermore
"Some eBay sellers frustrated with rule
the AP's Rachel Metz.
"Some people who sell things on eBay are fed up with new
rules the company has been imposing in hopes of making the auction
site more attractive to online shoppers. Now even more changes
are coming in the next few weeks, but this time eBay Inc. hopes
it can cool tempers."
"FDIC sets mortgage plan for IndyMac borrowers" reports Marcy Gordon of the AP.
"Thousands of troubled
home borrowers with loans from IndyMac Federal Bank will be able
to switch to fixed-rate mortgages under a new plan from federal
regulators, who seized the bank last month after it became the
largest regulated thrift to fail."
"Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac shares plummet" write Stephan Bernard and Alan Zibel of the
"Investors are betting that time is running out for Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac.
Shares of the mortgage finance companies lost more than a fifth
of their value on Wednesday as fears mounted that the companies
will soon need government support and any bailout would hang stockholders
out to dry."
"Prokhorov Villa Rumor Denied" reports Russia's St Petersburg Times.
"An official at Mikhail
Prokhorov's Onexim Group denied Sunday that the billionaire was
close to buying the legendary Villa Leopolda on the French Riviera.
French newspaper Nice-Matin
reported Saturday that Prokhorov would soon pay 496 million euros
($729 million) for the villa, which is owned by the widow of banker
Edmond Safra. The newspaper did not say where it got the information.
Villa Leopolda is located
in Villefranche-sur-Mer, a French Mediterranean seaside resort
between Nice and Monte Carlo, and is named after Belgian King
Leopold II, who built the house at the start of the 20th century."
8/20/08--8:41 AM-- irritant
in front room, skin itches, eyes dry, wear mask, leave.
Off and on all morning irritant in front room, wear mask. 1:24
PM--irritant in front room, wear mask.
"Berkeley Is Still a Great Bookstore Town" reports Joe Eaton in our Planet.
"The saga of Cody's
Books finally ended this year when its Fourth Street store (last
survivor of a series of venues that started north of the UC Campus
50 years ago, moved to Telegraph for several decades and was briefly
in San Francisco's Union Square) moved to a smaller space on Shattuck
Avenue, then closed for good. It's ironic that this followed the
closure of Barnes & Noble's Shattuck outlet by less than a
year. Clearly, both the independents and chains are hurting. But
the East Bay still has much to offer those of us who prefer to
buy from brick-and-mortar retailers: a whole constellation of
bookstores, generalist and specialist, used and new, with something
for just about everyone."
In the Seattle Times,
Bud Withers reports the slightly shitty story
"Cal football mending from 2007 slide.
"We interrupt your morning
Cheerios with this visual (Warning: You might want to put down
the spoon for a few seconds).
Zack Follett, a California
linebacker who is one of the Pac-10's best, recalls a scene from
earlier this summer. The Bears' weight room looks out on the oaks
surrounding Memorial Stadium, where Berkeley "tree people"
have been lodged for almost two years to protest a major facilities
As Follett tells it, attempts
were made with boom trucks to remove the protesters, ruled by
a court injunction to present a safety and health hazard. But
the protesters, he says, had been 'saving up in glass jars' human
'They were chucking bombs,' Follett said recently of the tree-sitters.
'It was pretty exciting.'
You can't really tell the
story of Cal football, 2008, without the background of its proposed
facilities project, just as you can't tell the story of this year's
Bears without looking at 2007's."
Riya Bhattacharjee elaborates
on a "story I broke a week or so ago" with "Vik's
Chaat Corner: On the Move" in our Planet.
"There's good news and
bad news for Berkeley's chaat lovers.
Let's start with the bad
news: Vik's Chaat Corner, where homesick Indian expatriates from
all over the Bay Area and beyond line up to get their whiff of
tamarind, rock salt and mint, and everyone else turns up-well-for
the chaat, of course, is moving from its nondescript West Berkeley
warehouse at 721 Allston Way.
The good news is it's moving two blocks south to Fourth Street."
the Fare at Berkeley's Tokyo Fish Market" is a report
by Anna Mindess in the Planet.
"Just as the islands
of Japan float like jewels in the Pacific, the two sister stores
of the Tokyo Fish Market are little gems perched in the middle
of northwest Berkeley."
"University trims Oak Grove trees, sitters
reports KPIX-TV CBS CHANNEL 5 NEWS.
"University of California,
Berkeley arborists are cutting branches from a grove of oak trees
on campus today in an attempt to confine four tree-sitters who
have been living in the trees as an act of protest, a university
The university ultimately
wants to cut down most of the grove of trees to build a new sports
training center next to its football stadium.
Protesters took to the trees
after the UC Board of Regents committee approved building the
center in December 2006.
Vice Chancellor Nathan Brostrom
said that cutting the branches would 'make it very difficult for
those who are illegally occupying university property to move
back into the trees they had formerly occupied.'
The protesters had previously
occupied multiple trees but have recently been living in just
A man who goes by the name 'Ayr' and says he is a spokesperson
for the tree-sitters, said the protesters feel threatened, especially
since the university agreed to warn them before they were 'attacked.'
Ayr said cutting the trees
violates a court injunction that prevents construction from starting
at the site."
"Henry S. Peterson and the Berkeley Lawn
writes Richard Schwartz in the Planet.
"'Mr. Peterson, who
lives on Dwight Way, has been offered $15,000 for his patent appliance
for a lawn mover. The invention consists of a pan which is attached
to the lawn-mower so as not to leave any grass on the lawn after
it has been cut. Mr. Peterson perfected his invention and obtained
a patent on it some two or three years ago. He has disposed of
a two-thirds interest in the invention.'
The legacy of African-American
inventor Henry Peterson has largely been lost save for this brief
1889 article from the Berkeley Advocate, the records of the United
States Patent Office, and his obituary in the Berkeley Daily Gazette.
But one might imagine the magnitude of his invention: The $15,000
he was offered for the final one-third interest in his lawn mower
tray could have purchased five nice houses in those days. But
even before they had access to such money, Henry S. and Caroline
Peterson had already made a lasting contribution to the city of
"A Quirky and Well-Loved Berkeley Library" reports Adam Broner in the Planet.
"Newcomers to Berkeley
often find the Tool Lending Library an unlikely institution, but
its regulars browse its bins with nonchalance. 'Hey, all your
shovels are rounded. How am I gonna dig with this thing? You got
any more hoes?'
'Try a pick or digging bar'" I offer.
He presents his library card
and reads off the four-digit number carved into the handles of
a well-worn shovel and hoe, spurning heavier tools. "See
you in a week," I say, handing him his card and the computer
Angel is helping the next patron, who trades his card for a right-angle
drill and a long self-feeding ship auger bit.
The line continues into the
afternoon, tools streaming in and out of the over-packed addition
to the South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library.
For over 28 years the residents
of Berkeley have been able to borrow construction and gardening
tools through Berkeley's library system. Pete McElligott began
this project with federal CDBG funds, and the collection has gradually
come to overflow its original portable building. It now fills
the nooks and crannies of its present building and shed with wheelbarrows,
demohammers, pipe stands, power snakes, pole saws, pruners, and
lots of garden tools."
Our Annie Kassof writes in
the Planet "Paradise
in the Oakland Hills
'Why a mule?' my mother asked
incredulously after I'd told her I was leasing one.
So I told my mother the story
I'd been telling everyone else late last year; that I'd started
horseback riding lessons again after a long hiatus, at a large
outdoor arena above Skyline Stables in Oakland. One day I'd asked
my instructor, whose pretty Arabian she made available for English
riding lessons, if she knew anyone who had a horse I could lease;
I wanted to ride more often. She didn't, not exactly, but she
did know a woman named Michelle who was looking for someone to
lease her beloved 4-year-old strawberry roan mule, named Pippi
Longstockings. Pippi is boarded along with approximately 80 horses
(she's the only mule!) at the beautiful Anthony Chabot Equestrian
Center on Skyline Boulevard, about five miles south of two smaller
stables, Skyline and Piedmont. With its rolling hills, three barns,
two large outdoor arenas, and an indoor one, Chabot's beauty to
me far surpasses that of the smaller stables."
"Investors pulling out of Russia"
reports BBC NEWS.
"Russia has seen foreign
reserves decline, a sign that the market is more nervous about
investing in the region since the recent conflict in Georgia.
Central Bank figures show
reserves were sharply down in the week ending 15 August, marking
a fall of $16.4bn (£8.8bn) from $597.5bn a week earlier.
Tensions with the west have
also been strained by Russia's objection to the US placing a missile
defence in Poland. Georgia has urged the west to invest in the
region as it seeks to rebuild.
According to the Financial
Times, the latest drop in capital reserves is the largest 'since
comparable figures began' in 1998, though similar funds were taken
out during the currency crisis."
Some November ballot measures
Measure FF, Berkeley: Authorizes
$26 million in bonds for seismic improvements at four neighborhood
branch libraries. Two-thirds vote required.
Measure GG, Berkeley: Levies a special tax on residential and
commercial improvements to fund fire station staffing and emergency
medical response. Two-thirds vote required.
Measure HH, Berkeley: Increases the city's annual spending limit
to accommodate previously approved taxes for parks, libraries
and other services. Majority vote required.
Measure II, Berkeley: Amends city charter to allow the city until
Dec. 31 following the 2010 Census to redraw city council boundaries.
Majority vote required.
Measure JJ, Berkeley: Amend city law to remove limits on medical
marijuana, form a peer review group for enforcement of rules and
eliminate the requirement for a special use permit for medical
marijuana dispensaries. Majority vote required.
Measure KK, Berkeley: Requires a vote of the people to dedicate
road lanes exclusively to transit.
7:55AM, cough, hack, wheez,
time to go.
"FBI issues subpoena to Oakland officials" reports H. "Chip" Johnson in our
"Barely a month after
former City Administrator Deborah Edgerly was fired amid allegations
of nepotism, federal criminal authorities are circling over Oakland
And based on a subpoena sent
to the city and whose contents I confirmed Thursday, it's clear
which people the FBI is looking at: Edgerly and three of her relatives
who work for the city, as well as Edgerly's former assistant and
her son, who also is a city employee.
In a federal grand jury subpoena
dated Aug. 6 and issued to the Oakland city attorney's office,
federal authorities asked for 'timesheets, leave slips for sick
leave, vacation, executive management or any other type leaves
and pay stubs' for Oakland's top nonelected official and the five
others from January 2004 to the present.
In addition to Edgerly, the
subpoena names her daughter, Erin Breckenridge, a police trainee,
and her son, Frank Breckenridge, a city computer technician.
It also names Edgerly's nephew,
William Lovan, a city parking-meter repairman who was among 50
suspects arrested two months ago after a lengthy police investigation
of a violent West Oakland street gang.
The feds also asked for payroll records for former Assistant City
Administrator Cheryl Thompson and her son, Damani Thompson, who
works in the city's Finance Department."
la bola en la calle
Regan got bonked while playing in the surf on his recent vacation.
Still stiff, he moves deliberately.
Bob and Carol's lovely ole
Penelope Houston emails
I just set up a benefit and I want you to come.
It's all good: The performers -- my band with JLL on cello! and
the club, Cafe du Nord -- try their dinner -- good food and the
some recycling -- yes, you bring it;
and the benefitees -- crazy people who think every school kids
deserves a chance to play music!
So with a good audience -- YOU -- it's going to be a great night.
An early night. Please help me spread the word... blog, bulletin,
phone calls, whispers, . . . .
here's her press release
Music in Schools
Benefit (and Instrument Recycling) Featuring Penelope Houston
and Colin Gilmore
Hosted by Café du Nord, San Francisco on Monday Sept 8th,
Local Punk/Folk goddess, Penelope Houston, is giving away her
childhood violin. "It was my introduction to playing music
but became an instrument of torture for me. Perhaps I should have
started with something more tuneful, like piano or guitar."
Luckily, Houston eventually discovered how to write her own dark
folk/pop songs using the easy-to-play autoharp, or a handy co-writer
such as Chuck Prophet, Billy Joe Armstrong, Steve Jones, Charlotte
Caffey, and most frequently guitarist Pat Johnson, who performs
with her band Sept 8th. Their set will include six new songs and
the addition of cellist Jeffrey Luck Lucas to the line up.
Also on the bill is Colin Gilmore currently on a US tour. Son
of Austin songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore, he describes his music
as "West Texas-style rock, with a country/punk/psychedelic/pop
A portion of the night's proceeds will go to Music In Schools
Today (MuST), a San Francisco non-profit organization supporting
music programs in public schools K-12, serving over 10,000 children
annually; and the Claremont Middle School Band & Orchestra
Bring your unused celloflutebanjo!
Donated instruments (in usable condition) will be given to the
Adopt an Instrument Program of MuST, which has distributed much
needed items to over 100 schools and community centers. This is
a great way to help save our landfills which are fast becoming
choked with old trumpets and piccolos.
Penelope is also giving 100% of sales of select CDs on her website
to raise even more money. http://www.penelope.net/Schools_benefit.html
Penelope Houston and Band at 10:30
Colin Gilmore at 9:30
Doors at 8:30
Ages 21 and over Ticket price $12
Café du Nord, 2174 Market St. San Francisco CA
Some live theater in Berkeley
from the Chronicle.
The Best Man: The Aurora
Theatre opens its season with an election year special, Gore Vidal's
timely 1960 political drama in which two candidates for president,
armed with some serious mud about each other, have to decide how
much to sling and where to draw some moral line. Aug. 28-Sept.
28. Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 843-4822,
Yellowjackets: Hot young playwright Itamar Moses, celebrated for
his Stoppard-like brainy wit ("Bach at Leipzig"), returns
to his hometown for the world premiere of a play about racial
and class collisions at his alma mater, Berkeley High. The new
play was commissioned by Berkeley Rep to open its 41st season.
Previews begin Aug. 29. Runs Sept. 3-Oct. 12. Berkeley Repertory
Theatre's Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 647-2949,
Vera Wilde: Radical lives collide as playwright-composer Chris
Jeffries concocts a meeting between the young Oscar Wilde and
the real-life subject of his first play, the nihilist turned attempted
assassin Vera Zasulich. Innovative director Maya Gurantz stages
the Shotgun Players' local premiere as an exuberant vaudeville.
Previews begin Sept. 17. Runs Sept. 19-Oct. 26. Ashby Stage, 1901
Ashby Ave., Berkeley. (510) 841-6500, www.shotgunplayers.org.
"U-Haul continues legal fight with city
of Berkeley" writes Doug
Oakley of our Times.
" It has been almost
a year since neighbors of the Berkeley U-Haul on San Pablo Avenue
rejoiced when the City Council revoked the rental company's use
permit. Residents hoped the decision would force the company to
move out of town.
But U-Haul is defiant and
is pulling out all the legal stops to keep renting trucks, even
though the city clearly wants it to leave.
For at least 10 years before
the council ruling Sept. 19, 2007, neighbors complained of moving
trucks taking up all the street parking, driveways that were blocked
by customers leaving trucks in the wrong places and all kinds
of trash, such as couches and television sets, left on sidewalks.
And even though Berkeley
has prevailed in an Alameda County Superior Court lawsuit brought
by U-Haul seeking to overturn the City Council's action, U-Haul
is fighting back with an appeal to state court.
It also has filed a second
lawsuit against the city in federal court. A motion by the city
to dismiss the federal court suit will be heard Sept. 3."
"Roots Music Has a Home in Berkeley" writes Joe Eaton in the Planet.
"Somewhere during the
Nixon years, a friend of a friend of a friend from San Diego showed
up in the Bay Area to explore his musical options, mainly by hanging
out in North Beach. We took him to the Freight & Salvage Coffee
House on an open-mic night, but for some reason he didn't manage
to sign up. We all stuck around, though; the Freight sold beer
in those days, and the acts were relatively painless. Then, when
the place had emptied out and the bar was shutting down, our guest,
Tom Waits, took over the house piano and picked out 'Closing Time.'
I would like to be able to report that he also played 'The Piano
Has Been Drinking,' but I don't think he did."
"Berkeley Square: From Transport Hub to
Urban Core" writes Daniella
Thompson in our Planet.
"Between Center Street
and University Avenue, Shattuck Avenue forks into two branches,
enclosing an island intersected by Addison Street. The rectangular
northern portion of this island is called Shattuck Square; the
wedge-shaped southern portion is known as Berkeley Square.
The entire island served
as the Berkeley terminus of the Southern Pacific railroad since
1878. It was Francis Kittredge Shattuck and his neighbor James
Loring Barker who provided SP a free right-of-way through their
lands along Shattuck Avenue, donating 20 acres for a station and
rail yard and topping it off with a $20,000 subsidy in order to
induce the railroad to build a branch line from Oakland to central
"eBay's biggest challenge is Amazon" reports Elise Ackerman of our Times.
"Walt Kolenda, also
known by the handle 'Auction Wally,' began selling antiques and
collectibles on eBay 10 years ago.
But when Kolenda shops online,
he goes to Amazon. Kolenda isn't one of those disaffected eBay
sellers who are upset about recent changes in the online marketplace.
He is just being practical.
'Almost without fail, the
best price will come up on Amazon,' says the longtime antiques
dealer and auctioneer, whose recent purchases range from office
supplies to a bass guitar.
EBay sellers made headlines
earlier this spring when they rebelled against policies put in
place by eBay's new chief executive, John Donahoe. The griping
continued this month, with the start of a new rule that prevents
identical listings from overwhelming eBay browsers.
But the disenchantment of
eBay sellers, vociferous as it has been, poses a much smaller
threat to eBay than the draw of Amazon holds for buyers. Like
Kolenda, these online shoppers are attracted by low prices and
a less cluttered, more predictable shopping experience."
"Buffett says economy's troubles will continue" reports AP's Josh Funk.
Warren Buffett said Friday the economy continues to be in a recession,
by his definition, and will continue to be for at least several
During a live appearance
on CNBC, Buffett said ripples of the credit crunch are continuing
to cause problems in financial businesses and the economy.
Earlier this year he said
a financial crisis reveals which players have been 'swimming naked,'
because the tide goes out. That picture has worsened along with
'We found out that Wall Street
has been kind of a nudist beach,' said Buffett, who is chairman
and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which is based
Buffett said activity at
businesses Berkshire owns, especially ones related to housing
construction such as Shaw carpet and Acme Brick, continued to
slow during the summer.
He's confident the nation
will be doing better five years from now, Buffett said, but the
economy could be worse five months from now."
"UK economy comes to a standstill" reports BBC NEWS.
"UK economic growth
ground to a halt between April and June, according to the latest
The Office for National Statistics said the economy stalled, showing
no growth from the first quarter of 2008."
"Demolition derbies take hit from high
scrap prices" reports
the AP's Vicki Smith.
"Mud is flying, smoke
and steam are rising, and the deafening roar of V-8 engines all
but drowns out 5-year-old'Shelby Scott's screams.
"Get out of there! Get
out of there!' she yells at the driver of a battered blue Ford
LTD spray-painted with the words 'Hillbilly Beer Wagon.' But car
No. 42 stalls in the center of the tire-ringed oval, stranded
while 11 others smash into each other, over and over, until only
one is moving.
Then Dave Cumpston climbs
out of No. 29 through the space where the windshield should be
and grabs a shiny trophy at the Valley District Fair Demolition
It's his first win in six
years, he says, and maybe his last: After a decade of building
then gleefully crashing cars, the 35-year-old mechanic from Buckhannon
is giving up his increasingly unaffordable sport."
Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com
Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com
Our City Council update is
Our Planning Commision update
You can find more information
about our current weather conditions than is good for you at www.wunderground.com
Want to see weather coming
in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out
This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor,
Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets
more hits than Scrambled Eggs.
Best gas prices in 94710,
as well as all of US and Canada, are here
Kimar finds Costco routinely
has the lowest price.
Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very
If you ever need to get a
human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc.,
this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get
you to a human being within a few seconds.
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
PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.
Crime Log for 94710
This site is NOT affiliated
with Berkeley PD.
Take time to report
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.
Our new Area
Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774
City Mgr Off - 981-2491 email@example.com
aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 firstname.lastname@example.org
City Councilman email@example.com
Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here
Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music
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
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