August 2010

after 8/8/10 here after 8/22/10 here


"A fadista for a new generation:Vieira revives and reinvents the dramatic song style" is a story at

a Boston Globe photo

Ramana Vieira

Berkeley, Calif. - When Ramana Vieira talks about the late fado queen Amália Rodrigues, her brown eyes shine and her voice takes on a worshipful tone. But her starstruck affect doesn't mean that Vieira feels constrained by Rodrigues's sanctified status as the embodiment of the convention-bound Portuguese song form, with its anguished disquisitions on loss, heartache, and the vicissitudes of fate.

'It must seem like I think Amália Rodrigues is Lady Gaga,' says Vieira, who makes her Boston debut Monday at Restaurante Cesaria. 'In my world, she's this huge entity. It's been interesting, knowing the legacy that she left us, and trying to live up to that in this time and place.' ''

(At Restaurante Cesaria, 266 Bowdoin St., Dorchester. Monday, 8 p.m. Tickets: $50 (includes dinner). 617-282-1998,



"Rereading: Vineland by Thomas Pynchon" is a review at

"Far from being 'a breather between biggies' as it was described by critics when it was first published 20 years ago, Thomas Pynchon's Vineland is one of his greatest achievements, argues Andy Beckett. Pynchon's novel is full of 'hippies and government agents'. "



"Shotgun Players stay busy in summer" Robert Hurwitt, Chronicle Theater Critic.

"An adaptation of Homer's 'Odyssey' might seem like quite enough to occupy a theater for a while. Then director-playwright Jon Tracy decided to warm up for his winter assignment with Shotgun Players by staging not just the 'Iliad' but the entire Trojan War outdoors with a cast of 35 actor-drummers.

And that was before Patrick Dooley, Shotgun's artistic director, got the bright idea to fill his indoor stage with a trilogy of interlocking Alan Ayckbourn comedies."




More about Officer 444 a 1920s movie serial with our first Berkeley police chief, AugustVollmer, playing himself-- with much more.

This is a ten part cliff hanger with episodes lasting about twenty minutes. The first episode, The Flying Squadron can be viewed here,free. (Check out the nifty Flying Squadron shoulder patches.) The full ten episodes are available on DVD from Amazon for $19.95 plus shipping. Used copies are available on eBay Buy Now for $7.95 or best offer.

(Filmed in Berkeley, see if you can recognize the locations. I think some of the first episode scenes are in here west-Berkeley.)

Of the movie, critic Hans J. Wollstein writes at

"The popular silent screen action team of Ben Wilson and Neva Gerber star in this rare surviving serial, released in 10 chapters by Goodwill Pictures in 1926. Officer '444' (Wilson) and his comrade-in-arms, Officer Casey (Jack Mower), go up against The Frog, an apparently disfigured master criminal out to steal the formula for Haverlyite, a secret and deadly gas invented by James J. Haverly (Arthur Bickel). The latter is killed along the way and his young heir (Phil Ford) disappears with the formula. Aided by The Vulture (Ruth Royce), The Frog will leave no stone unturned to get his hands on the secret ingredients but he is at all times opposed by Officer '444' and his legendary boss, Berkeley Police Chief August Vollmer, who use the latest in police detection to track him down. There are sundry other interested parties lurking about, including the obviously disguised figure of "Professor Kalium," who heads The Amalgamated Society of Scientists; the mysterious and sinister Dr. Blakley (Al Ferguson; Dago Frank (Frank Baker), another associate of The Frog; and Snoopy (Harry McDonald), a newspaperman who, a title proclaims, "didn't know what the word 'news' meant as he left school before they came to the 'Ns'." Officer 444 was the last of nine serials to star Ben Wilson and Neva Gerber, the latter a Chicago socialite. A tenth chapterplay, the talkie The Voice From the Sky (1930), has been rumored to exist but may actually never have been made.

Directed by Francis Ford, the older brother of John Ford, and produced by its star, Ben Wilson, Officer 444 is a great deal better than its tattered reputation. Although seemingly made up as the filmmakers went along, this action serial has everything a silent melodrama should have: a dashing hero, a beautiful and intrepid heroine, a bumbling sidekick, a femme fatale and a mystery master villain. The latter, complete with hideous glass eye and hunchback, is in the fine tradition of Lon Chaney and the actor behind the disguise -- whose identity shall remain a secret -- actually manages to give this legendary star a run for his money. And if all that weren't enough -- and it certainly ought to be! -- Officer 444 also features a Keystone Kop-like police force and a guest appearance by a true legend of American crime detecting, August Vollmer, the real-life Berkeley, California, Chief of Police from 1909-1932. Granted, Mr. Vollmer's scenes appear to have been filmed in one brief session but his presence added to the serial's topicality in 1926. The action is plentiful -- and as absurd as one has come to expect from such fare -- and if the fisticuffs aren't quite up to par with more polished later donnybrooks, well, they certainly are plentiful." (underlining mine)


Understand that as a kid I looked forward to the Saturday afternoon movie matinee at the Fern, a local theater that charged 10 to 25 cents for an afternoon of westerns, cartoons and cliffhangers.RP





"California Golden Bears 2010 College Football Predictions - BCS Odds 2011" by Matt Foust,

"California Golden Bears 2010 College Football Predictions - BCS Odds 2011: California had big expectations going into the 2009 season, but injuries and under achievement led to an 8-5 record and sixth place finish in the Pac 10 standings. Now the Bears are being overlooked with the departure of stars Jahvid Best and Tyson Alualu as 2010 College Football Predictions at have the team listed at +800 moneyline odds to win the conference championship.

California has always performed better as an under the radar team in Jeff Tedford's eight year tenure at the school, which California Golden Bears 2010 College Football Predictions - BCS Odds 2011means it may sneak up on a few teams this fall. Granted, the Pac 10 will probably be the most competitive conference in the country this season, but with 14 starters and 55 lettermen returning to Berkeley, the Golden Bears will have an opportunity to stand out."





Steve Smith's

Veg-G-Wagen is a Mercedes G-Wagen diesel that can also run on waste vegetable oil

an Overland Journal photo


Steve's vehicle is featured in the Spring 2010 Overland Journal.



"Biofuels left out as automakers go electric" David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"In the race to replace oil, electric cars seem to be leaving biofuels in the dust.

Five years ago, biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel looked like the best bet for breaking the world's addiction to oil. Biorefineries turning corn into ethanol sprouted across the Midwest, while startups trying to make fuel from wood chips or grass soaked up venture capital. Big automakers considered electric cars a lost cause.

Now the situation has been reversed."

Or not. RP





"Oakland's pot dreams could burst" by Cecily Burt, Oakland Tribune.

"Oakland rushed last week to raise medical cannabis business taxes and to be the first city in the nation to legitimize industrial-sized pot production. The cash-starved city is hoping to reap millions of dollars in tax revenues from medical cannabis businesses while positioning itself to capitalize on the explosion of recreational pot sales should state voters go that way in November.

But is it just a pipe dream? No one really knows whether Oakland will find that pot of gold in the cannabis industry. Growers and dispensaries are making money, to be sure, and the city wants its share. But competition, legal risks and the unknown economic effects from potential legalization make the sure bet anything but."




"Online degrees would ruin the UC:Providing bachelor's degrees via the Internet would be poor educational experience" by Asad Ramzanali,

"The value of the UC degree we are all pursuing will be drastically decreased if the UC Board of Regents decides to go through with a proposal to create a program to offer a UC bachelor's degree completely online.

This proposal, made by Christopher Edley Jr., dean of UC Berkeley's law school, will essentially lower the value of a degree from the University of California. It will be expensive in a tough financial time for the UC and provide a poor educational experience for those enrolled.

Edley presented the idea of the UC being the first prestigious research university to have such an undergraduate online degree. His effort should be commended because discussing novel ideas in education pushes the UC forward. But this specific idea is poorly conceptualized and does not make perfect sense."


"CU reviewing, trimming core curriculum:Boulder campus has eliminated 25 percent of required classes since 2006" by Brittany Anas, Camera Staff Writer.

"The University of Colorado is in the midst of reviewing the courses that comprise its core curriculum, and, since 2006, faculty members have eliminated about 25 percent of those required classes."




"MiCore Solutions Secures 10,000 Mailbox Google Apps Contract At Berkeley Lab" is a press release at

"Five-year agreement supports Berkeley Lab's goals of sustainability, efficiency & collaboration
MiCore Solutions announced today it has worked closely with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to facilitate a five-year contract deploying Google Apps™. The agreement marks the largest procurement to-date to deploy a cloud computing solution at the federal level."



"Execs explain how U.S. can boost manufacturing" Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Six Silicon Valley executives sat around a table in Santa Clara, lamenting how China and other Asian nations have used subsidies, incentives and trade barriers to build manufacturing and suck jobs out of the United States while U.S. leaders do little or nothing."








blow jobs in Potter Creek

found last evening  in front of the French School 8th Street Campus 

(Look closely to see a second condom stuck to the back of the Trojan box with semen)


our Jarad emails

As bad as finding condoms in front of a school is having your wife tell you many times over the past couple of years that she's been finding used condoms and condom wrappers in your drive way and in front of your house.
It would be nice to have BPD start rounding up the hookers and johns since we all know they are directly linked to the drug trade down here, which is directly linked to the use of firearms in the neighborhood.

I'm starting to feel that Chief Meehan has had his honeymoon & now it's time to get to work and start showing us measurable (quantifiable) results. I don't want to see our part of town backslide and end up like we were in 2007/08 with drug dealers taking over neighborhoods and intimidating residents. I hope the Chief makes an appearance at National Night Out.



Kubik emails before leaving for England

Will be opening our London Bureau Office on Wednesday August 4 the day I arrive. I'll waste no time!




Geralyn emails

Aloha Kakou!
Here are a couple of reminders of events that are close to my heart:
The Aloha Festival is next weekend Aug7-8 at the Presidio Parade Grounds. The group I dance with, Hui Hula O Na Pu'u I Ka Noe, ( will be dancing at 10:30am on Sunday. I hope to see you there! Here's the link to more information: Pay close attention to the driving directions.
San Francisco Opera's Opera at the Park will simulcast the opera "Aida" in September. Here's the link for more information and to register for free tickets:
And for all you IPhone users, here's a cool app mentioned in the bicycle photo spread in the current issue of Martha Stewart's Living magazine: The pictures look like photos taken with 60's-80's toy cameras, such as the Holga and Hipstamatic. I don't have an IPhone, or anything similar to it, but the photos in the magazine look super groovy! If you get the app, send me a picture you take with it.
I hope everyone is enjoying the coldest summer recorded in the Bay Area in 40 years! I just hope we get a gorgeous Indian Summer later on.
Take care,
 ps: Santa Cruz will have their Aloha Festival on August 15




"Spiral Gardens" at

"Just around the corner and down the street from where I live on a stretch of Sacramento Street that includes liquor stores and the dodgy characters who frequent such places, you'll find Spiral Gardens, a slightly disheveled verdant oasis on a fenced in corner of a formerly empty city lot.

It's a welcome addition to the neighborhood."


"Upton sculls her way to Berkley" Eliot Schickler,

Rachel Upton has developed into one of the top rowers in the area. A graduate of Staples in June and a former member of the Saugatuck Rowing Club (SRC), she has recently led the New Canaan Rowing Club (NCRC) to success and will be rowing for the University of California at Berkeley, a premier Division I rowing program."


"He lit Oakland's fire for pot factories" at
Retired builder Jeff Wilcox's vision of a 'business park of cannabis' stoked the council's appetite for the jobs, and tax revenue, such a thing could generate for the desperate city."

There were those in Our Town who recently tried to put together a 'business park of cannabis' in north-west Berkeley without success. Too much squabbling and ego, I'm told. Not to mention reluctant landloards. RP




"Carignane gets a shot at respect - quietly" Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle.

"The story of Carignane is the story of a down-and-outer, a Jake LaMotta. It is that most unloved of grapes - planted nearly everywhere, almost regrettably so, and respected almost nowhere."




"California axes $30m clean energy program after PACE row" by James Cartledge at

"The California Energy Commission has canceled a $30 million initiative that would have set up renewable energy programs in 23 counties and 184 cities in the state."



 "Strained Graphene Creates Pseudo-Magnetic Fields Stronger Than Any Before Seen" by Rebecca Boyle, 

""Putting the right kind of strain on a patch of graphene can make super-strong pseudo-magnetic fields, a new study says. The finding sheds new light on the properties of electromagnetism, not to mention the odd properties of graphene, according to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. When graphene is stretched to form "nanobubbles," the stress causes electrons to behave as if they were subject to huge magnetic fields, the size of which have never been seen in a lab before. The study is published today in the journal Science."








Patience Jarad! I'm assuming the Chief is reorganizing our department and that he knows what he's doing. After all, he's an Irish Cop, genetically predisposed to excellence in law enforcement, some would say. Perhaps the Patrol Division will have some community service responsibility. For who in the Department knows The Street better than its Patrol Officers?


"Some might say so."

" I couldn't possibly comment."


"California Dreamer" is another view of online degrees at

"Much of the news surrounding the University of California system has involved whether the network of universities will be able to survive its current budgetary crisis without shrinking in size or quality. In that context, it is no surprise that Christopher Edley Jr.Åfs plan to use online education to expand the universityÅfs footprint Ågfrom Kentucky to Kuala LumpurÅh has turned some heads -- and churned some stomachs.

Edley, dean of the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, has been using his position as co-chair of the education and curriculum working group for the UC Commission on the Future to advocate for an ambitious expansion of the systemÅfs online arm that could eventually include fully-online bachelor's degree programs designed to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars."


"D.C. schools names two vendors to provide healthful meals in pilot program" by Jane Black, Washington Post Staff Writer.

"With one-third of the nation's children overweight or obese, improving the quality of school meals has become a fashionable cause. Michelle Obama has made it a pillar of her national "Let's Move" campaign. In May, the D.C. Council passed the Healthy Schools Act, which mandates strict nutrition standards for school meals and provides schools with an extra 15 cents per meal to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables and local ingredients.

On Monday, D.C. Public Schools took its own step in improving school food when it announced the new vendors it has selected to provide more healthful meals for two pilot programs scheduled to begin this fall at 14 D.C. elementary schools. Revolution Foods, a California-based company that serves 25 D.C. schools from a kitchen in Glen Burnie, will provide prepackaged meals at seven schools that are undergoing renovations and have no student lunchroom."




"What ails Sino-US relations" is an interview at

"Sino-US ties have suffered some setbacks this year, with disputes over trade, Google, the arms sales to Taiwan, US President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama and the recent military exercise between the US and Republic of Korea (ROK). Why?"

(Yan Xuetong is the director of Tsinghua University's Institute of International Studies and an expert on Sino-US ties. Yan, w)o has a PhD from the University of Berkeley, California, shares his views on recent Sino-US disputes with China Daily's Fu Yu."


"Marvell Technology's Mobile Connector" in Forbes Asia Magazine.

"Marvell's Weili Dai takes her place on our list of entrepreneurs, innovators and businesspeople who left home and made their mark in the U.S.

Weili Dai arrived in Silicon Valley from China at age 17 in 1978, coming of age at the same time as the U.S. tech hub. She moved in with her grandparents before going on to study at the University of California at Berkeley. Today Marvell Technology, the semiconductor design company she went on to cofound 15 years ago with her Indonesian-Chinese husband and his brother, employs 5,000 worldwide and trades on the Nasdaq with an $11 billion market cap. The trio donated the funds for a building named after them at Berkeley."


"Berkeley's Teance Seeks to do for Tea What 'Sideways' did for California Wines" John M. Zukoski at

"Teance is the premier East Bay shop for artisanal tea products, tastings, and culture. Teance's tea sommeliers help to cultivate an appreciation for their collection of white, green, oolong, pu-erh, and red/black teas. The best and easiest way to appreciate fine tea is by tasting a cross-section of Teance's rich tea offerings. The Around Dublin Team recommends Jasmine Silver Needle from the white tea selection, Bi Luo Chun from the green tea selection, Phoenix Single Grove Honey Fragrance from the oolong selection, and Lychee Red Premium cold tea from the red/black tea selection."


"With a Glimmer of a Chance, Stardust Is Identified" by Kenneth Chang at

"Three specks of matter captured by the NASA spacecraft Stardust may be stardust that has just entered our solar system."









"More 'Smartest Guys in the Room' with Bethany McLean is a one hour lecture by the co-author of Smartest Guys in the Room, the book about the Enron collapse.

"Before joining Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in 2008, Bethany McCleann was an editor-at-large for Fortune magazine. In 2001, she wrote an article in Fortune that questioned the immense profitability of Enron, then a darling of the stock market. Her book about the scandal, The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron led to the energy company's collapse and was developed into an Oscar-nominated documentary in 2005."

Every once in a while I come across something that I believe if everyone read or watched has the potential to change us in a fundamental way. Ms McLean's lecture,"More 'Smartest Guys in the Room' is such an event.

It is a MUST see, do DEFINITELY check it out! RP

The complete video is here at




Jarad emails

Chief Meehan was at our National Night Out [ lTuesday evening ] and I think I may have found a bit more patience after speaking with him.

He brought his wife and 2 sons. I thought that was really nice.




"Tragedy puts UC Berkeley house in spotlight" Nanette Asimov, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"A once-promising UC Berkeley junior lies in his parents' San Diego home, a breathing tube down his throat and his imaginative brain destroyed.

This much is known: On March 18 at Cloyne Court, a co-op residence owned by UC Berkeley, 21-year-old John Gibson suffered a heart attack that caused irreversible brain damage during the three hours before anyone called 911. A hospital test found cocaine and marijuana in his blood.

Campus officials express regret. But they say students are adults, and the university has limited ability to govern the residence they lease to the nonprofit Berkeley Student Cooperative.

Students living at Cloyne Court refused to discuss what happened, and would not open the door to a reporter.

But Gibson's mother, Madelyn Bennett, blames Cloyne Court itself."


BSC leases warehouse space for its "Maintenance" facility on 8th Street, here in Potter Creek. RP




"Weed Wars: Donors lacking for initiative to legalize pot" by Peter Hecht,

"Marijuana in California may be a $14 billion cash crop. But a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults over 21 isn't proving to be a major lure to political donors."




"Essex Announces Second Quarter 2010 Earnings Results" is a press release at In the report are occupancy figures for their Fourth & U development.

". . . the following development communities were in lease . . .

Fourth & U in Berkeley, California (171 units), is currently 86% leased
and 80% occupied."

 Interesting, as this development was building, west-Berkeley neighbors, friends in the hills and even builders were offering, "It's ugly." Who would want to live there?" "It's right next to the freeway." It's way too big." "They'll never rent it." Seems all were out of touch with the economic reality of it . . . Karl Marx would not be amused. RP




"Zaytuna College-First Muslim School in America, opens in California" by Maryam Khan at

"Zaytuna College began their classes this summer in Berkeley, California. It is the first Muslim College in America "committed to demonstrating, through practice, teaching, and the free exchange of ideas, Islam's critical role in the modern world." The college's motto, "Where Islam meets America," expresses the great pride the school takes in creating an institution of knowledge based around Islam."





"Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico - Nothing Learned from Past Mistakes" is a feature at dw-world-com.

"In 1979 an oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico caused the largest accidental marine oil spill in history. The Ixtoc oil spill may have now been surpassed by the current Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, but there are many parallels between the two disasters. . . .

The Ixtoc leak took months to stop, with the oil company unsuccessfully trying out the same methods being used by BP today: the top kill procedure, drilling a relief well, installing a well cap. The company involved in the Ixtoc disaster later fused with Transocean, the firm that leased the Deepwater Horizon rig to BP."

At the time I watched and linked this feature, it was not available as the original video report, perhaps now it is. It certainly worth seeking out and viewing, if not. Chilling revelations. RP



"Like Being Blind on the Moon:The Trouble with Deepwater Oil Exploration" by Christian Wüst and Cordula Meyer at

"Last week the beleagured oil industry fought back: Despite the flow of crude oil still spoiling the Gulf of Mexico, they successfully protested a US moratorium on deepwater drilling. They're determined to continue exploration on oil's final frontier -- using high-tech methods they have not mastered.

Last Tuesday managers working in the international oil industry gathered for a gala dinner in London. Beforehand, though, they made a serious appeal to the US President. "Obviously we are concerned", says Steven Newman, head of Transocean -- the company whose drilling platform, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20 this year."




"For the First Time Ever, Scientists Watch an Atom's Electrons Moving in Real Time" at

"An international team of scientists led by groups from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching, Germany, and from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley has used ultrashort flashes of laser light to directly observe the movement of an atom's outer electrons for the first time."








Kubik reports from our London bureau

Having read all of `O'Brien`s 20 novels that chronicle the adventures of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturine during the Napoleonic wars
I've always wondered what the dessert "spotted Dick`' was.  It was a great favorite of theirs after months at sea.  Seeing "spotted Dick" 
on the menu at lunch I couldn't resist finding out.  My curiosity is satisfied and I will never try it again.  It is a very bad bread pudding with
raisins in it and a thin, meager yellow custard covering.



Snipper emails a link

Carrot clarinet

You don't always have to eat your veggies.




"Tomboy Shiloh Jolie-Pitt Makes A Splash In Swim Shorts" at

"The head strong four-year-old made a big splash by ditching a feminine swimsuit for baggy swim shorts, while playing by the pool during a family weekend in Berkeley, California."

"Angelina Jolie Turns Son Pax Into a Girl with Manicure Kit?" at

Nothing works as it should in Angelina Jolie's home! Her 4-year-old daughter Shiloh was turned into a boy, now 6-year-old son Pax is turned into a girl.

On Tuesday, part of the family (Angelina with Pax, Zarah and Shiloh) went to the Rockridge Kids toy store in Berkeley, California.




"Mandy Patinkin Will Star in NYC-Bound Compulsion at Berkeley Rep" by Kenneth Jones at

Tony Award-winning actor Mandy Patinkin will star in the world-premiere production of Compulsion on Berkeley Rep's intimate Thrust Stage Sept. 13-Oct. 31 in Berkeley, CA."




"College financial lesson: The eight lowest-paying majors" by Rosemary Black,

"Heading off to college to meet your roommate, sample the fab food and maybe even decide what you want to do with the rest of your life? Before you choose a major, check out's list of eight college degrees that don't really pay off. But remember, money's not everything: working in a fulfilling career may well be worth the tradeoff of a hefty paycheck."





"Secrets of the redwoods: HSU, UCB scientists work to unlock mysteries" Donna Tam, The Times-Standard.

"Humboldt State University professor Stephen Sillett marveled at the mystery locked inside the rings of a redwood tree.

'These trees store all this information in their wood. It's awesome,' he said, standing on a trail in the middle of the Rockefeller Forest.

Sillett, the Kenneth L. Fisher Chair in Redwood Forest Ecology at HSU, and a team of scientists from HSU and the University of California, Berkeley, have just completed their first year of a three-year research project to unlock the secrets of the redwoods."





"Selenium, the Future of More Efficient Solar Cells"

"A recent report in the American Institute of Physics (AIP) published journal titled Applied Physics Letters accounts the possibility of increased solar power harvest by utilizing the oxide substances that has a selenium compound.

This research aligns with most of the solar researcher's popular theory that light attracting matter when included with photovoltaic materials translates, more sun energy into power.

A team of researchers affiliated to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, tried with an attempt of implanting selenium in zinc oxide another known inexpensive element to discover the potential of the compound in utilizing sun's energy which proved to be amazing. The researchers discovered that just adding a miniscule quantity of 9% selenium with zinc oxide base radically improved the sun light absorbing efficiency of the material."










Last Wednesday four members of the community met with our BPD Chief, Michael Meehan and others. Personally invited by the Chief were a Berkeley religious leader, the head of the Police Review Commission and our own Steven Goldin.



"Berkeley police search for missing woman" by Doug Oakley, Berkeley Voice.

"Berkeley police are asking the public's help in finding a missing woman who is developmentally disabled and uses a wheelchair.

Heather Bloom, 33, has brown hair, blue eyes, is about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 140 pounds, police said Thursday.

Berkeley police said Bloom's mother, Phyllis Bloom of Brooklyn, N.Y., called them over a year ago and told them she had not been able to contact her daughter or Heather Bloom's care giver, who is also a daughter, since 2005.

In 2005, Berkeley police were called to an apartment at Carleton and California streets to mediate an argument between Phyllis Bloom and her caregiver daughter. Heather Bloom was present at the time and the argument was more or less resolved, said Berkeley Police Spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss.

That was the last time Berkeley police and Phyllis Bloom saw Heather Bloom. Authorities said foul play is not suspected in this case.

'We have no reason to believe Heather Bloom is injured or deceased,' Kusmiss said.

Police in March spoke with Heather Bloom's care giver who told police she was fine, but refused to let police see Bloom or enter her home, Kusmiss said."



"Oakland dispensary a major force in medical pot" Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Cementing its position as a cannabis capital, Oakland has moved rapidly in recent weeks toward a world of legalized pot, developing permits for what would be some of the largest sanctioned marijuana farms in the world and writing ballot measures that would create a bevy of cannabis taxes.

But at every step, notable opposition came from one group: Harborside Health Center, believed to be the world's largest medical marijuana dispensary."




Some of Little Potter Creek's neighbors are meeting tomorrow at 2700 Eighth Street.

The meeting is from 6:30 PM to 8:30PM.



"Dancing On Barnes & Noble's Grave? Not Yet" by Michael Corkery at begins with an interview of the manager of Potter Creek's own Black Oak Books.

"T'Hud Weber describes herself as being 'obsessed with books since I was four years old.' But she is no big fan of Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest book seller.

That should come as no surprise. Weber manages Black Oak Books, an independent book store in Berkeley, Calif. that has seen its business wounded by superstores like Barnes & Noble.

Now those superstores are on the ropes. Barnes & Noble is seeking to sell itself, as its bricks and mortar retail business is having a hard time competing with the internet and the rise of the electronic book.

Weber spoke to Deal Journal from Black Oak, which has gotten a second wind (and a restructuring by a new owner) after nearly closing its doors two years ago.

The Black Oak was mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article in 1998 about independent bookstores in California ­ which at the time was the largest book market in the nation ­ complaining that Barnes & Noble and Borders Group Inc. had unfair competitive pricing advantages.

Many of the book sellers mentioned in the article are no longer in business."



"If you've been hoping the stage version of 'Disney's Aladdin' would play soon in the Bay Area, your wish has been granted" writes Pat Craig at

"The musical gets its West Coast premiere . . . at Berkeley's Julia Morgan Center."



"Star recruit expected to excel on both sides" John Crumpacker, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Before he had so much as broken a sweat in his first college football practice, wide receiver Keenan Allen already had his coach's attention.

That's what five-star recruits are supposed to do.

In the parlance of high school recruiting, Allen was known as an 'athlete,' part fish, part fowl and capable of traveling by land as well. Cal coach Jeff Tedford is hoping the freshman from North Carolina will help the Bears on both sides of the ball.

In Cal's first practice of fall camp late Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, Allen wore a white 21 jersey, meaning he was on offense. However, it's likely Allen will also see some time playing in the defensive secondary as a safety or nickel back.

At a robust 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, he seems suited for both positions."




"UC's little-known Pavement Research Center results in smooth, safe and silent rides" by Lisa M. Krieger,

"Pavement Research Center knows it's done a good job when you don't notice."




"You just have to come to Santa Fe" by Dennise McCluggage at

(Ms McCluggagge is an automotive journalist and was a pioneering female and class-winning International rally driver.)

" I haven't the foggiest where you are right now, but I see clearly where you'll be in late September. Or most certainly where you ought to be. Mark that calendar: Sept. 24-26. That's when you'll either be at the Santa Fe Concorso or kicking yourself across seven counties.

Before you say it, I will: It's another car show. Ah, but different in important ways. First, it's in Santa Fe, N.M., that special place everyone either wants to visit or to revisit. And the Concorso is on a site unique even for Santa Fe. La Mesita is a lovely horse ranch north of town near Pojoaque Pueblo. The pueblo's elders chose to add this site to their holdings, which a year ago saw the grand opening of a luxury resort called Buffalo Thunder. The hotel, in turn, is hard by the pueblo's casino."









Following is a link to Bethany McLean's 2001 Fortune article that helped bring Eron down.

(What's Ms McLean about? Watch her eyes dart around the room while being introduced before her lecture at the Miller Center Forum.)

"Is Enron Overpriced? In March 2001, Fortune pointed out that Enron's financial statements were nearly impenetrable.

(Editors note--Remember when it seemed outrageous to suggest that Enron shouldn't be the golden child of Wall Street? Before the congressional hearings, before Arthur Andersen was indicted, before the SEC and the DOJ got involved, Fortune's Bethany McLean asked whether a company that traded at 55 times earnings should be so opaque. Here is what she wrote.)"

"Is Enron Overpriced?" Bethany McLean.

"It's in a bunch of complex businesses. Its financial statements are nearly impenetrable. So why is Enron trading at such a huge multiple?

In Hollywood parlance, the 'It Girl' is someone who commands the spotlight at any given moment -- you know, like Jennifer Lopez or Kate Hudson. Wall Street is a far less glitzy place, but there's still such a thing as an 'It Stock.' Right now, that title belongs to Enron, the Houston energy giant."



"Are the Poor More Charitable Than the Rich?" by Robert Frank at

"During a phone call with reporters last week to announce the billionaire Giving Pledgers, Mayor Michael Bloomberg . . . spoke about the generosity of the wealthy.

'I've always believed there's a connection between being generous and being successful,' Mr. Bloomberg said. He said the more you donate the more business opportunities come your way­not to mention that giving is the right thing to do.

It is a comforting idea, especially at a time of populist ire and envy over the wealthy. And it certainly has been true for Mr. Bloomberg and other top philanthropists

But is it true for the broader population of wealthy?

A new academic study published in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology suggests the poor are more more inclined to charity than the rich."





CEID's Director, Jill Ellis stopped by Sunday afternoon to talk about how best to reach the west-Berkeley community for CEID's up coming 30th Anniversary celebration.

We talked for about that and life for about and hour and a half.





our Marvin Lipofsky leading a group of American Glass Masters

at the Opening Ceremonies of the Hsinchu City International Glass Art Festival, Taiwan





"Mad Men Recap: Episode 3: The Good News" by Grace at

"How many markers of the 1960s can be squeezed into one Mad Men episode? I count 'the pill,' abortion, Vietnam, 'grass' Berkeley student protests and the youth revolution, hitchhiking-and that's all before the first commercial break."




"Best state colleges and universities in California" at

"When considering which of these state schools are the best in California, it is important not to simply look at academic standing or national ranking, the life in California is one in which there is an emphasis on actual quality of life and the college experience, which parallels academia respectively. Anyone who is searching for national ranking can simply look in a Newsweek magazine, what is considered to be the "best" schools in California should have both academic prestige and quality living, with such an abundance of options available in the state of California, there is no reason to require anything less."


"More colleges offering co-ed dorm rooms" by Laurel Rosenhall, McClatchy Newspapers.

"College students filling out their dormitory housing requests this summer are making decisions about their future roommate: Messy or neat? Smoker or non? Early bird or night owl?

Now many of them have a new question to ponder: Male or female?

Across the country, colleges are changing the roommate rules and allowing men and women to share a bedroom. Only a small portion of students are choosing the option, college officials say. And when they do, the arrangements almost always are platonic.

But the shift marks the next step in a decades-long evolution that's shrunk the space that once separated the sexes on college campuses."




"Mind-reading marketers have ways of making you buy" by Graham Lawton and Clare Wilson,

"Why ask people what they think of a product when you can just scan their brains instead? New Scientist explores the brave new world of neuromarketing

Take a look at the cover of this week's New Scientist magazine (right). Notice anything unusual? Thought not, but behind the scenes your brain is working overtime, focusing your attention on the words and images and cranking up your emotions and memory. How do we know? Because we tested it with a brain scanner.

In what we suspect is a world first, this week's cover was created with the help of a technique called neuromarketing, a marriage of market research and neuroscience that uses brain-imaging technology to peek into people's heads and discover what they really want."



"What I drove last night: Ford Fiesta" Natalie Neff, Auto Week road test editor.

"It's been more than a year since I first sat in a Ford Fiesta, and just as long since I watched a tow truck haul it away from the shoulder of westbound I-696, a mile shy of my doorstep.

As I walked across the parking garage last night, key in hand, I wanted to giggle. I wanted to skip like Dorothy and swing my arms and sing out 'La la la!' till the echoes wrapped around every concrete pillar. But as the back end peeked out from behind a large SUV, I did none of those things.

The story of the wayward tire and the squashed Fiesta is practically legend at Ford these days, at least in engineering circles, and at times I've felt like an actual rock star: 'Wow, you must be Natalie, the one who smashed the Fiesta! So glad to meet you!' I haven't given out any autographs, but I think I got close at least once.

When word got back to Ford about the incident, every engineer involved in small-car development or safety wanted to get their hands on my Fiesta, put their micrometers to every deflected piece of metal, pull the data off the OBD-II and run it all through their mainframes. I was only glad that some good would come from my interrupted Memorial Day, and not because of any trauma I still carry around with me. It just seemed such a waste of a giddily fun and happy little car.

In fact, I never suffered any posttraumatic anything from the accident."




"Korfhage: Red tape can kill green innovation" by Andrew Korfhage,

"Imagine putting solar panels on your roof for no money down. You partner with your city or municipality to cover the up-front cost of your new renewable energy system, which you pay back to the city as an add-on to your property taxes. You spread your payments out over 20 years and most likely the savings from your lowered electricity bill more than cover your higher property tax.

Not only do you become more self-sufficient in your energy generation, but also your city spurs development of new green-energy jobs. And everybody enjoys the benefits of shifting our society away from fossil fuels.

Sound like a good idea to you?"




"New Wave of Iranians Seek U.S. Studies" by Yeganeh June Torbati at

"Even as a teenager in Iran, Atefeh Fathi knew she would eventually study abroad. Now 30 and studying engineering at the University of Oklahoma, Ms. Fathi said that although she had applied to universities in Sweden and Canada, her first choice was the United States.'Ali Kamranzadeh, a student at the University of Southern California, said Iranians wanted to study in the United States.

'Everyone says the U.S. is easier for foreigners' to acclimate to, she said while on a break from working in her university's laboratory. As children, Iranians are taught English in school, making it easier for them to blend in immediately in the United States.

Ms. Fathi is part of a wave of Iranians studying in the United States in numbers not seen in more than a decade."







"Berkeley Chamber Launches on nuAlerts"

is a press release at

"The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce announced today the launch of their Business Community on nuAlerts, giving Berkeley Chamber members unprecedented free marketing exposure. Members now have a free nuAlert account to 'get the word out' about their upcoming events, promotions, and discounts quickly and cost effectively by posting alerts."



"Mapping California's Growing Green Economy" by Tim O'Connor, EDF Energy Program.

"The Chairman of the Federal Reserve recently called the nation's economic outlook 'unusually uncertain.'

Here's something that is certain: California has a growing green economy. Want proof? Check out an updated, first-of-its-kind map compiled by Environmental Defense Fund that features 3,500-plus entities providing green solutions or using sustainable practices to improve their bottom lines. The map is searchable by seven categories and by county and state legislative district."




"The Most Expensive College Dorm Rooms"

"Room and board at U.S. universities has climbed 11% over the past three years, nudged along by expectations that dorm rooms will have amenities like heated pools and plush lounges.

Those costs have helped contribute to the nation's outstanding student debt- at $829.79 billion- overtaking outstanding credit-card debt- at $826.5 billion, as the Wall Street Journal reports."


"Going the distance:With hard times and shrinking UC and CSU enrollments, is community college a viable alternative for the first two years?" by Dave Boyce, Almanac Staff Writer.

"Introductory chemistry for freshman science majors at the University of California at Berkeley enrolls about 1,000 students who take turns filling up a 350-seat lecture hall for the three sections of the class, according to a chemistry department spokesperson. At UCLA, the chemistry lecture hall seats 300.

Study the same essential course material at the hilltop campus of Canada College, located in Woodside and Redwood City, and you will likely have 35 classmates, and you're less likely to have to give up home cooking and your own bed."




"Governments Battle to Stay Ahead of Threats on Internet, 'The Great Leveler' " is a chilling report with video at

In the first in a series of reports about cybersecurity, correspondent Spencer Michels reports from Las Vegas on governmental and citizen-led efforts to stop online crime that could threaten critical infrastructure.



"Should Mosque, Islamic Center Be Built Near Ground Zero?" video at

"Jeffrey Brown speaks with four people who have been closely following the debate over whether to build a 13-story Islamic community center and mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks in New York. The builders say they want to promote positive interaction. But families of some victims don't consider it a peace offering."

At Record City, in The Day, I sold records with the guest, Mike Medved.




from my log

7/17/10--6:04 AM--VERY, VERY SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, heavy dry burning air ,EXTREME mucus membrane irritant, watery burning eyes, burning mouth, extreme nasal congestion, hacking cough, ringing ears, sinus headache. 8:24 AM--worse, over rides four HEPA filters and air conditioner, burning sensation increases,"chlorine" odor present. Marsha similar, nasal congestion, headache, light head, leave.2:54 PM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, heavy dry burning air, watery eyes, itchy skin. chills, light head, nausea, wear respirator. Marsha similar. 5:51 PM--"It's bad" said Marsha. "I have a head ache, I 'm coughing alot, my lips are dry and burning. It's really bad. I'm sick. I don't feel good." 6:34 PM--heavy dry burning air IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, leave.

This isworse than it's ever been in the last eleven years. RP

7/18/10--6:43 PM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMDEIATELY in front of warehouse, dry heavy burning air, usual sysmptom, over rides our HEAPA filter and air cinditioner, wear respirators. 10:19 PM--heavy dry air in warehouse front, Marsha, chills, dizzy, nauseous.

7/19/10--12:02 PM--SERIOUS irritant IMMDEIATELY in front of warehouse, nasal congestion, lighrt head.

7/20/10--6:21 AM--lights dim. 6:41 AM--dry heavy burning air in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, burning eyes, light head. 3:34 PM--irritant in front room, cough, dry eyes, nausea. 6:48 pm--irritant in warehouse front, dry heavy air, Marsha has coughing spell.

7/21/10 --7:30 AM --irritant in front room, dry heavy air.

7/23/10--12:16 PM--irritant in front room, burning eyes, melting plastic odor. 

7/24/10--7:25 AM--lights dim. 7:32 AM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry heavy air, light head.

7/30/10--1:11 P--irritant in front room, "hot asbestos" odor, watery eyes, nasal congestion, Marsha coughing. 2:21 PM--irritant in front room, dry heavy air, burning eyes, nasal congestion, Marsha nauseous.

8/1/10--7:03AM--irritant in front room, dry air, burning eyes, mouth.

8/6/10--11: 51 AM--irritant in front of warehouse, watery eyes, dry itchy skin, "chlorine bleach"odor. Early afternoon, irritant in warehouse rear, stinging eyes and whining sound.

8/6/10--7:39 AM--VERY, VERY SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry heavy air with SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, burning eyes mouth and throat. 8:20 AM--similar, wear respirator, leave.

8/8/10--8:41 PM heavy dry air in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, watery eyes, headache, nausea. 3:34 PM --VERY SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry air, burning eyes, throat. sinus irritation. Marsha has serious prolonged coughing attack, with serious sinus irritation, runny stuffy nose. Only apparent activity, neighbor George Chittenden working at Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass. 4:30 PM--SERIOUS irritant IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, coughing attack, burning watery eyes and burning throat.Similar irritant and symptoms off an on all Saturday 8/7 occurring at irregular intervals.

8/10/10--7:15 PM--heavy dry air in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry eyes skin, coughing attack, short breath. Only apparent activity, worker at Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass. 8:11 PM--similar a plus nausea.

8/11/10-- 11:13 AM-irritant in front room, dry air, watery eyes, cough.



The irritants sometimes experienced cause coughing; dry/burning eyes, nose, mouth; light head; occasional short breath; occasional nausea.

Though the irritants we experience sometimes over ride as many as four HEPA filters, our SO Safety respirators with 8053-P100 Cartridges seem to filter "all" the irritant. These are filters for organic vapors, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride.

I am left to conclude that possibly (probably?) some of the irritants we regularly experience, those that our SO Safety 8053-P 100 cartridges successfully filter, are identifiable, ironically, by their absence when using the respirator. The HEPA filters don't remove them, the SO Safety filters do. So what they remove--chlorine, chlorine dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride--must be some of the irritant.

Though the respirator-filters largely prevent inhalation of the irritant, it is clear from "health effects" that irritants can enter the body's system through the skin.

"I feel like ants are crawling on me" said Marsha.


I've noticed recently some neighbors have similar symptoms, some more severe--redness of the eyes, nasal congestion. And neighhors stopping-by in front to talk have experienced watery eyes and coughing.






Eternally useful links


Bay Area home prices from


Bay Area foreclosures from

Our City Council update is here.


Our Planning Commision update is here



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

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


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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.


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

useful link

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


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


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



Berkeley Police reports at insidebay are here.


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

Crime Log for 94710 is here

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


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

The contacts are below:

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

AND check out BPD feature "Who are these Crooks."


Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

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

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