"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 for.

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 the story.

'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 in it.
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.' Melson said.
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. 

"Oakland first-grader 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.

Thirteen-year-old Missouri 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 Saturday afternoon.





"UC Berkeley Gym Plaintiffs Drop New Trial Bid" reports our Planet.

"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 economy.'

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 Mogulof said." 




 "Ashby 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 Campus.

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 Times.

"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.

Big deal.

I already know how to turn invisible: Just try hailing a cab in Times Square at midnight."










our Tameka Lim


Tameka emails

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 this along.
If you have any questions about the program don't hesitate to come talk to either Denise or myself.
best regards,
Tameka Lim
Manager, Customer Services
ActivSpace LLC
510 845 5000


Over the weekend, a car was broken into and vandalized in the parking lot behind Berkeley Mills.




"A Pinoy at Pixar" reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

"Chris Chua, 29-year-old Filipino-American animator at Pixar Animation Studios, makes things look easy.

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, was not.

"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. 21. 8pm.
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 will
be opening the MusicFest at Anna's Jazz Island this Thursday night
with the music of Louis Armstrong. What could be a more fitting way to
open an American music festival?  Here's a link to our Almost Sold Out

While gas prices climb and inflation goes up and rents get
higher and homes are foreclosed---the only folks  keeping our economy
stable are Dixieland jazz musicians. We are earning the same money we
did in 1962----$50 a gig. We want to keep it that way...and let's not
forget the club owners have helped us along this path. So drop the
politicians, fire the stock brokers, and keep Comcast out of your pad.
Who would you rather have guiding your future, Big Oil or Big Money?
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
from 3-6.
Sunday's at The No Name Bar continue from 3-6. Don't miss the new carpet.
See you this Thursday. Yes, you.

"Don't look at the trombones, it only encourages them"---Richard Strauss




"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, authorities said."

"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. government. 


"Are Medical Marijuana Riches Just a Pipe Dream?" asks Heather Murphy.
"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 Chronicle.

"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."



"US 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 NEWS.
"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 

Sensible  Observations  

'My Mom said she learned how to swim when
someone took
Her out in the lake and threw her off the boat.  I
'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to
--Paula Poundstone 


'If life were fair, Elvis would be alive  and
all the
Impersonators would be dead.'--Johnny Carson


'Sometimes I  think war is God's way of teaching
us geography.'
--Paul Rodriguez 


 'Everybody's got to believe in something.
I believe I'll have another beer.'
- W. C.  Fields


"Green 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 (http://www.adonkeyandgoat.com), 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, CA.

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 Faich emails

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 of him. 



"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 North Berkeley.

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 last July.

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 properties."


"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 the Chronicle.

"Dozens of people lining the Milwaukee River downtown cheered as a bronze statue of the 'Happy Days' character was unveiled Tuesday."


"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.

Go figure


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, right?"


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 live music.
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 www.downtownberkeleymusicfest.org
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 and others."


"Some eBay sellers frustrated with rule changes" writes 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 AP.
"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 renovation.

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 waste.
'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."

And "Sampling 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 feel threatened" 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 spokesman said.

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 one tree.
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 Mower Invention" 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 Berkeley. "


"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 receipt.
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 of concern

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 Chronicle.

"Barely a month after former City Administrator Deborah Edgerly was fired amid allegations of nepotism, federal criminal authorities are circling over Oakland City Hall.

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 cat passed.



Penelope Houston emails

Hi Folks,
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 Colin Gilmore; 
the club, Cafe du Nord -- try their dinner -- good food and the best seats; 
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, 2008
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 edge."
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 from Oakland. 
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   415.861.5016




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,  www.auroratheatre.org.www.auroratheatre.org.
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, www.berkeleyrep.org.
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 Berkeley." 



"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.

"Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Friday the economy continues to be in a recession, by his definition, and will continue to be for at least several more months.

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 the crisis.

'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 in Omaha.

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 official figures.
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 Derby.

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."



Eternally useful links

Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com


Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com


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 www.wunderground.com

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out http://sv.berkeley.edu/view/ This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor, Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets more hits than Scrambled Eggs.


Best gas prices in 94710, as well as all of US and Canada, are here at gasbuddy.com

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.


Richmond Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very

useful link

If you ever need to get a human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc., this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get you to a human being within a few seconds.



Markets is not just a reference for Berkeley-Hills radicals with 1.5 mil homes and considerable portfolios.


Our City of Berkeley Boards and Commissions page is here--redone and friendly.



Our Berkeley PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.

Crime Log for 94710 is here

This site is NOT affiliated with Berkeley PD.
Take time to report crime!


All reports of crime-in-progress should first go to Berkeley PD dispatch--911 or non-emergency, 981-5900. THEN make sure you notify EACH of these City people.

The contacts are below:

Our new Area Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 kbuckheit@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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

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

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


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

Journal of Recorded Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11



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