after 8/10 here

recently aus Milvaukee, German-Americans have more fun

cousins Barb and Mary Ann and, . . . hmm, . . . . Rob is Hispanic



our Pete Hurney's

soon to be installed at 900 GRAYSON, talking sculpture


Arrests have been made in the Magic Fingers Massage Studio armed robberies on University Avenue. Suspects were arrested in cooperation with San Mateo PD.

Auto burglaries continue to be a problem in west-Berkeley, especially in the open parking lots at Skates, Picante, Pyramid Brewery and the Tom Bates athletic fields. Berkeley PD is working with business owners to install cameras and provide private security.Though three suspects were arrested recently in the Skates lot, these burglaries continue.

Regan's office was broken into Monday night. Berkeley PD responded to the alarm and pursued suspects in a Silver Mazada. The pursuit was terminated because of the high speed of the suspect vehicle. A Brickside loft resident was a witness.


The ATF will be bringing Berkeley resident Emoru Obannya to trial soon--he is being charged in Federal court with possessing bomb-making materials.








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."



"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!

The complete video is here at







"JPMorgan subsidiary accused of manipulating California electric market" Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee at

"It's been a decade since companies like Enron manipulated California's electricity market to generate billions in excess profits.
Enron went out of business long ago, and California's energy market has been a place of relative calm. Now, however, another big power trader is being investigated for allegedly gaming the state's electricity system."
















Reader Meridith Lear emails"Literary Boroughs : Berkeley, California" by Andrew David King at

Sather Gate

"The Literary Boroughs series explores little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally.

There are two cities called Berkeley-the city of the nation's imagination, and the city as it actually exists-and they are constantly at odds. Popular media would have one believe that this suburb with a gaze through the Golden Gate's columns is filled with politicos who are so far left, they've come full circle back to right. There are activists and the socially conscious, but such a depiction isn't the only truth of this town; Berkeley is filled with as many stripes of ideology as flavors in the gelato stores that line Shattuck Avenue. And it is filled with histories humming alongside each other: that of the Vietnam War protests, the Beats, the Berkeley Renaissance, and the discovery of new elements of the periodic table. It's no coincidence that Berkeley is named for the poet and philosopher George Berkeley, whose idealist philosophy suggests that all exists only in the minds of perceivers. The city's made rich by the beehive of students at the University of California and those who, moved by art or history, make pilgrimages here. The campus sits at the base of the Mediterranean-looking East Bay ridges ('The ripened brown of these magnificent hills reminds me of my beloved Greece,' said University of California President Benjamin Ide Wheeler in an 1899 address to the student body), but it is not the center of town, per se; it is one center in a city that spins on countless axes.'"



"Potter Creek's XOMA bought" is a press release at

"CMC Biologics, a leading contract manufacturing organization known for its technical excellence in process development and cGMP manufacture, today announced the acquisition of XOMA Corporation's, large-scale manufacturing operations and affiliated assets located in Berkeley, California. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed."  



"Visiting professor's death highlights bike crashes in Berkeley" Zusha Elinson, The Bay Citizen.

"Shlomo Bentin, a world-renown neuropsychologist, bought a bicycle last summer to commute to UC Berkeley from his home two miles away. An expert on facial recognition, the 65-year-old Israeli was on a one-year research sabbatical at the university.
'He took up biking in Berkeley because people in Berkeley bike,' said Lynn Robertson, a friend and col' league. 'He was very cautious. He was the kind of bicyclist who would stop at stop signs and signal."



Councilman Kriss Worthington emails about

Thursday Dinner from 5 PM to 9 PM

at the corner of Haste and Telegraph--the food trucks















Perhaps, when all the dust settles, west-Berkeley citizens will grasp the irony of self-empowered community activists characterizing the Community Benefit District weighted-voting as not-representative.





Though cousin Mary Ann enjoyed their photo, she reminded me that Rob's Mom is Czech. And her and Barb's Mom, my Aunt Mayme--I kid you not--was Bohemian, sort'a Czech. That would make our Bob Kubik and our Don Yost those having the most fun?





"Wellness Programs: Is it Our Fault We Get Sick?" by Carl Finamore at

"Why do we get sick and how do we get well were the enormously complex and controversial questions explored by a gathering of labor and community activists, health policy experts and academics attending a one-day conference at the University of California Berkeley on July 27th. In particular, speakers critically reviewed corporate Wellness Programs that essentially blame personal habits like smoking and excessive eating for poor health and for ballooning medical costs. Under the soothing, holistic rubric of "Wellness,' these employer-sponsored programs are ostensibly designed to improve health. For example, most programs urge employees to stop smoking, lose weight, improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure. These goals appear quite laudable.

Seems like a good idea, everyone wins. Employees get healthier and companies save money on rising health insurance costs? However, opening speaker Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, dryly observed, it seems almost too good to be true. Get my drift?

It seems wellness programs are a mixed bag, some do better than others. But they are most ineffectual when following the uniform business model of faulting workers, in this case, for causing steep increases in health care costs.

There are several problems with this corporate blind spot. To begin with, as speakers pointed out, a genuinely comprehensive health care program must involve more than changing personal behavior."
















Our Sarah and sister Kate's "Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake'"is reviewed at

"The predicament of little Larry Lamb in 'Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake' will be familiar to any child who has ever quailed at the beaming approach of a loving, looming grandparent. The sisterly duo of Kate Klise (perceptive text) and M. Sarah Klise (charming acrylic paintings) here gives us a painfully honest account of Larry's agony when his enthusiastic grandmother comes to visit.

Grammy Lamby wears mortifyingly attention-getting clothes, has the loudest voice in church and loves to fantasize about exciting future adventures with her grandson on which he desperately does not want to go. Then there is her awful secret handshake, a squeeze-squeeze-squeeze that means 'I love you.'

Larry is counting the days until his grandmother is supposed to leave when a destructive summer storm sweeps through. It is only in the wreckage of the storm's aftermath that, almost despite himself, Larry begins to see what a force for good his grandmother really is. By the time Grammy Lamby must leave, he is finally ready to return her special handshake-with an extra, reconciled squeeze."


I spent an hour or so Thursday evening at Steve Donaldson and Partner's Shindig.

In among the "young moderns" hustling their green businesses and swapping their future plans was Oliver and his Graf Zeppelin windup toy.


of course, they're all in



with tech use

along the Aquatic lagoon


the new

Luna Dance, 605 Addison




the new residential development site

railroad tracks and Addison


And the yet to reopen Sketch Ice Cream at the corner of 4th and Addison--let's hope that Brennan's reluctance is not the reason.

more to follow



Our Kubik and Carol just got back from two weeks in Paris.

Proving among other things, Czechs have more fun? (I gotta stop racial profiling.)

More Kubik photos here.








"Berkeley takes novel approach to card game" by Chen Jia at

"A popular card game from China is in this fall's course catalog at the University of California, Berkeley.
Sanguosha is a role-playing card game with Chinese elements. Sanguo means Three Kingdoms, and Sha means killers. The game is based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a classic Chinese novel from the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644) that draws from events of the Three Kingdoms period (AD 220-280)."




Not an alarmist by nature, our Alex Amoroso emails "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math"

"Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is."













Counciiman Moore emails

National Night Out 2012 - August 7th

Just a reminder, National Night Out is this coming Tuesday, August 7, 2012.  Many of you have already signed up and I'm looking forward to coming by and joining your celebrations.  If you haven't already signed up, unfortunately the registration deadline has passed, but it is not too late to participate.  Find the National Night Out celebration closest to you and meet your neighbors!  Here is a list of the registered celebrations.
Hope to see you Tuesday evening!

Click here for webpage of Councilman's email--some computers cannot link.



Councilman Worthington emails

Have you heard?

will formally kickoff his campaign
for Mayor of Berkeley

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 FROM 5-7 PM

2650 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA
(Come early for Latin Jazz music and buffet)



Tony Almeida, author of Jimi Hendrix, recently completed a 600 mile bicycle trip through Montana including a 4000 ft climb to the Continental Divide. Here's some photos.



Our Sarah emails a link to a video about an unlikely friendship.



Cousin Mary Ann

emails a link to the GM Heritage Museum in Detroit.










Westside Café

Wednesday night's Dinner and Drinks Opening

















Patrick Kennedy's

Smart Spaces will be placed unit-by-unit at 38 Harriet St in San Fransico, south of Market, beginning this August 21st.

Twenty three pre-fab units will be placed on the 3750 square foot lot, six at a time, in four days. These Sacramento built units will be stacked to form a forty-five foot tall building. The exterior framing will take a little longer.




new reader Jim OMelia emails

you might enjoy this German "Miniatur Wunderland" video 








"Mortgage relief plan embraced in Berkeley has links to Occupy" at

"The Berkeley City Council has thrown its support behind a growing group of activists, public officials and entrepreneurs calling upon governments to seize mortgages to provide relief to financially troubled homeowners.

The idea of using governments' powers of eminent domain to help homeowners has been gaining traction nationwide. But Berkeley's plan is the first to gain impetus from the Occupy movement and from self-described Silicon Valley startup specialist Michael Sauvante.

Sauvante is urging local governments to seize mortgages in foreclosure, potentially with assistance from a nonprofit corporation he founded called the National Commonwealth Group Inc. Sauvante believes home loans could be annulled through government's power of eminent domain, which can apply to all sorts of property, including mortgage contracts.

'I don't think we could be doing this without Occupy,' said anti-Wall Street activist Susan Harman, who's been proposing Sauvante's plan to officials in Alameda County, San Bernardino County and elsewhere. 'It's just catapulted the whole issue into the public consciousness.'

The Berkeley City Council on July 31 unanimously passed a resolution to ask Alameda County officials to explore 'strategies including eminent domain to enable homeowners to stay in their own homes.'

However, the idea's Berkeley champion, Councilman Kriss Worthington, was unaware that Sauvante's background included significant financial instability of a different sort. Beginning in the 1990s, Sauvante founded a series of technology companies that a federal judge in a 2007 bankruptcy case declared were.created to defraud investors."




"7 dead in Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting" by Dinesh Ramde is an AP report with video at

"A gunman opened fire Sunday and killed six people at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee before he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with the first officer to respond to the chaotic scene, authorities said.

The shootings happened before 10:30 a.m., when witnesses said several dozen people were gathering at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin for a service."
















Nick Despotopoulos emails

"Facebook Insiders Who Dumped Stock Just Before It Crashed" at

Here are some highlights.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, sold 30.2 million shares for $1.14 billion
Accel Partners, an early Facebook investor, sold 57.7 million shares for $2.1 billion
Peter Thiel, a very early Facebook investor, sold 16.8 million shares for $638 million
DST Global, a Russian investment fund, sold 45.7 million shares for $1.7 billion
Goldman Sachs, a Facebook investor, sold 24.3 million shares for $923 million
Elevation Partners, a Facebook investor, sold 4.6 million shares for $175 million
Greylock Partners, a Facebook investor, sold 7.6 million shares for $289 million Group, a Russian Internet company, sold 19.6 million shares for $745 million
Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, sold 1 million shares for $38 million. Mr. Pincus also dumped stock in Zynga in April, right before that stock crashed.
Meritech Capital sold 7 million shares for $266 million
Microsoft, a Facebook partner and investor, sold 6.6 million shares for $250 million
Tiger Global, a hedge fund, sold 19 million shares for $722 million
Reid Hoffman, a Silicon Valley investor, sold 943,000 shares for $36 million

In aggregate, Facebook insiders dumped 241 million shares for $9.8 billion.
As of Monday these shares were worth $4.8 billion.



Alex Amoroso emails

". . . not an alarmist by nature . . ."

I'm alarmed, . . . if you're going to nudge me at least spell my last name right.

Ok, Alec, will do.



"UC berkeley buys $2.5M building for Daily Cal and journalism unit . . . " Steven E.F. Brown, San Francisco Business Times.

"The paper will pay $1 a year to Cal for rent."





















the faux Irish builder

in his smart space

Patrick pensing in his over two hundred square feet



CEID School director Jill Ellis emails "Preschool for deaf children showing great success" a Dan Ashley report with video at

"Three of every 1,000 babies in the U.S. are born with significant hearing loss and most of them are born to hearing parents who have no idea how to take care of a child who is deaf. Here's an update on a pioneering Bay Area preschool that's had phenomenal success helping both children and their parents. 

You might think a pre-school for children who are deaf or hard of hearing would be quiet, but you'd be surprised. There are several different approaches to teaching deaf children to communicate. Some focus on sign language, others on listening and speaking. This school does both. It's the Center for Early Intervention on Deafness known as C.E.I.D.

'Our model of communication is called total communication. We believe in using every avenue to help children develop their listening, spoken language and communication skills,' said Jill Ellis, the C.E.I.D. executive director." 




"Shadow of the Japanese housewife" Steven Vogel, The Japan Times.

"In 1978, my mother, Suzanne Hall Vogel, presented a paper on Japan's 'professional housewives' (sengyou shufu) at the Tokyo Symposium on Women."





















CEID director, Jill Ellis emails of the "Preschool for deaf children showing great success" story

I hope you enjoyed the story as well. As a result of some new donor giving,  two of the interns worked with us this summer and are headed to Georgetown and Pomona in the fall.  Hopefully we'll be able to offer similar work experience for other students in 2013.




Established Potter Creek's TWP just bought the property at 2833 10th Street.




Check out our City Manager's Berkeley News Page here.










Kubik emails a video-link to Theo Jansen's Strandbeests

"This is one clever guy!" Bob Kubik

Theo Jansen

"It's not every day that you run across an entirely new strain of life, which is exactly what Dutch kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen has created.

His Strandbeests are wondrous wind-powered automatons that exhibit an incredibly lifelike dexterity as they cascade in flowing waves down seaside sands. The elegantly articulated creatures are constructed using genetic algorithms and are constantly evolving to better suit their environment."


















I'm told an iconic west-Berkeley breakfast and lunch restaurant will finally be serving dinner.



our Carol emails


to Potter Creek



There were celebrity breakfasts served at 900 GRAYSON yesterday, with patrons Patrick Kennedy and guest, Greener printer Mario and guest, and last but not least, Sandra and Mel Sharpe all separately together enjoying the faire.

Our Pete Hurney's talking sculpture has now been installed.



Remember, this Saturday Bright Horizons at Bayer pre-school is having their Open House at their facility on 8th and Parker. It is from 10: AM to 1:00PM and the community is invited.



If you enjoyed watching Theo Jansen's Strandbeests, perhaps you'd like to build

a model of the rhinoceros.



"California needs more hydrogen refueling stations"

"With automakers set to commercialise fuel cell electric vehicles by 2015, California will need to ramp up its efforts to support hydrogen refuelling: according to the California Fuel Cell Partnership.

Its report suggests the state needs 68 hydrogen refuelling stations (pictured) across five clusters in which the early adopters are generally expected. They must be in place by the end of 2015 to support the first batch of around 20,000 fuel cell vehicles."






from our log

8/7/12--2:55 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, burning eyes raspy throat head ache, wear respirator. Third time today beginning around 8:15 AM. Similar all PM. Irritation between 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM is fairly regular.

8/11/12--late afternoon and PM-- irritant in front room, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation.

8/1312--2:45 PM-- irritant in front room, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, burning eyes, wear respirator.






eternally useful links


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.



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.



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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.



Bay Area home prices from

Bay Area foreclosures from


Our City Council update is here.

Our Planning Commision update is here



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



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, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman

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


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