after 8/8/13 here after 8/15/13 here

Matthew Stromberg, the architect writes

story courtesy Steve Smith

Originally the home of the Oliver Screw Company, the renovation at 1819 5th Street will soon be occupied by "5th Street Machine Arts" - a metal arts and material sciences workshop that provides engineering and manufacturing support to the science and Industry communities of the Bay Area.  The renovation pays tribute to the light industrial fabric of the neighborhood by retaining and seismically retrofitting the original brick masonry and steel truss structure and also significantly increases the building's energy efficiency.  A new sawtooth roofline will support a 30 kW solar array while providing ideal northern orientation for daylight to stream into the reinvigorated shop space below.  A sculpture gallery and two new residences will add to the mixed-use character of the neighborhood.






"Mini-apartments are the next big thing in U.S. cities" at usatoday.

"Construction will start soon on an experimental New York housing complex in Manhattan with 55 "micro-sized" apartments, from 250 to 370 square feet each. The prefabricated units, which will rent for $914 to $1,873 per month, aim to help alleviate the city's shortage of less-pricey studios and one-bedroom apartments.

As more urban dwellers live alone, other U.S. cities are considering similar solutions.

Could you live in a single-car garage? That's about the size of tiny apartments popping up in major U.S. cities where many residents live alone. Inhabitants say the key is keeping When Gil Blattner hired a housekeeper for his elegant apartment with 12-foot ceilings, tall windows and marble fireplace mantle, the woman looked at the living room and asked, 'Where's the rest of it?'

There was no more. She'd seen all 250 square feet of his cocoon, located on a tony, tree-lined street in Chelsea near restaurants, art galleries and bookstores. His monthly rent: $2,500.

It's all that I need, says Blattner, 29, who moved in last year. 'I feel very happy when I'm in this space,' he says.'The name of the game is being selective about what you hold onto. It's helped me stay away from being a hoarder.'

Though tiny has long been typical in Manhattan, mini-apartments are popping up in more U.S. cities where land is finite, downtowns have regained cachet and rents have risen. In a digital age when library-sized book collections can be kept on a hand-held device, more Americans see downsizing as not only feasible but also economical and eco-friendly.

How small? Many anti-McMansions - also known as 'aPodments, 'micro-lofts,' 'metro suites' or 'sleeping rooms' - are about 300 square feet, which is slightly larger than a single-car garage and one-eighth the size of the average new U.S. single-family home (also shrinking in recent years).

City officials often welcome this mini-sizing, which is common in Tokyo and many European capitals, as a smart-growth, lower-priced solution to a housing phenom: people living alone. Nationwide, the share of households occupied by a single person reached 27% in 2010, up from 8% in 1940 and 18% in 1970. The number exceeds 40% in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington, according to Census data.

In Seattle, which has led the nation with hundreds of dorm-like 'sleeping rooms' as minuscule as 150 square feet, a backlash has taken hold. Boardinghouse-style buildings have replaced single-family homes in residential neighborhoods, prompting complaints by neighbors about parking problems, transiency and fire-safety hazards. Officials have responded by drafting building rules they'll publish this summer.

'It's an accelerating trend in the industry, especially where space is at a premium,' says Ryan Severino, senior economist at New York-based research firm Reis. 'You're seeing an urban renaissance,' he says, adding Millennials (typically younger than 30) are drawn to cities where they can both work and socialize.

They'll sacrifice space for 'quality' location, says Doug Bibby, chief executive of the National Multi-Housing Council, a trade group, noting apartments overall are getting smaller. He says young city dwellers manage with less room by renting rather than buying stuff. 'They rent everything,' he says - Zipcars, even wedding dresses.

Mini-sizing 'is not a fad,' says John Infranca, assistant law professor at Suffolk University in Boston who's studied projects in New York, Washington, Denver, Austin and Seattle. He expects demand for tiny apartments will continue as more people, young and old, live alone. Yet he says building codes - often requiring larger units - were set decades ago when households were bigger and haven't kept pace with 'radical' demographic shifts.
Boston, Chicago and other U.S. cities are experimenting with change:

In the Big Apple, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg - who once lived in a studio for nearly a decade - launched a micro-housing pilot project of 55 units that range from 250 to 370 square feet. The city usually requires apartments be at least 400 square feet.

Developer Patrick Kennedy, owner of Berkeley-based Panoramic Interests, finished a prefabricated building this year in San Francisco that has 23 micro-units, each about 290 square feet. The units have full kitchens, washer/dryers and window seats with a hydraulic pop-up table.

San Francisco, where new studio apartments rent for at least $2,400 monthly, recently approved a trial run of 375 micro-units as small as 220 square feet. In September, Berkeley-based developer Patrick Kennedy plans to begin building 120 units, each about 270 square feet, with rents starting at $1,800."








"On Henry Ford's 150th Birthday, His Greatest Insight Has Been Tragically Forgotten"

"Henry Ford, who was born 150 years ago [ July 30 ], is remembered as the guy who unleashed the full potential of the assembly line, beginning in 1913 when the Ford Motor Company cranked out Model T's much faster and cheaper than anyone could imagine.

But his business philosophy, known as Fordism, went beyond the implementation of mass production.

Ford argued that high wages were essential for economic and moral reasons. As he wrote in his autobiography . . ."




"Berkeley City Council to consider increasing minimum wage" Katie Holmes at

"Raising minimum wage is obvious choice for Bay Area.

Four years ago this week, we saw the federal minimum wage rise to a meager $7.25 an hour. The state minimum wage has been stuck at $8.00 for five years. For a full-time worker, this amounts to just $16,640 - far below the national poverty level for a family of four ($23,550) and much less a living wage in the Bay Area.
Over the past three years, our Raise the Wage movement has talked with thousands of Bay Area voters about this issue. When asked whether they support an increase in their city's minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, people overwhelmingly say 'Yes!' " 







"Tesla Motors eyes China market; skeptics call move a 'huge risk" Vincent Lara-Cinisomo,

"Tesla Motors is ready to take on China. But is China ready for an electric car?

Already popular in the United States, the Palo Alto-based carmaker's all-electric Model S sedan just began deliveries in Europe.
Now, CEO Elon Musk is "is really pushing for sales in China," Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain forecasting at LMC Automotive in Troy, Mich., told the San Jose Mercury News. Details leaked in the Chinese press suggest the company plans to open it

















" 'Hannah Arendt,' " a movie review by A.O.Scott at

(New YorkTimes Critics' Pick)

Barbara Sukowa

in "Hannah Arendt"

"My only real problem with 'Hannah Arendt' is that it's not a mini-series. Arendt was a writer of long books and a maker of complex arguments, so the two hours of Margarethe von Trotta's ardent and intelligent film about her are bound to feel somewhat superficial. And the movie, even as it answers a hunger for engagement with the life of an extraordinary mind, may also awaken an appetite for more. Arendt's work, a heady amalgam of philosophy, history, journalism and political theory, does not easily align with the academic fashions of the moment."

Hannah Arendt Movie Trailer (2013)

The film opens in Berkeley August 2nd at the Shattuck Cinemas.



"'The Origins of Totalitarianism, (1951)' "Hannah Arendt

"The Origins of Totalitarianism (German Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft, i.e. Elements and origins of totalitarian rule) is a book by Hannah Arendt which describes and analyzes the two major totalitarian movements of the 20th century, Nazism and Stalinism. Its original title was to have been 'The Burden of Our Times', and it was published as The Burden of Our Time [sic] in Britain in 1951. It was recognized upon its 1951 publication as the comprehensive account of its subject and was later hailed as a classic by the Times Literary Supplement.

This book continues to be one of the definitive philosophical analyses of totalitarianism, at least in its 20th century form." 


I read The Origins of Totalitarianism when I studied with Hans Gerth in Madison in the '50s. What I remember most of the work is Arendt's conclusion that athe reason for the conflict between the Jews and the Nazis is that they were "alike" -- simply, they both claimed to be The Chosen. But that's another story, really.



















In one month this year our website received visits from these over 90 countries

Listed from most visits to least visits

United States, China, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Germany, Ukraine, Spain, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Japan, Italy, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Finland, India, Poland, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Austria, Israel, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Romania, Belgium, Norway, Malaysia, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Taiwan, Hungary, Philippines, Singapore, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Chile, Thailand, Argentina, Bulgaria, Portugal, Hong Kong, Ireland, Slovenia, Denmark, Pakistan, Belarus, Colombia, Venezuela, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Egypt, Latvia, New Zealand, Croatia, Peru, Estonia, Lebanon, Mongolia, Macedonia, Kuwait, Costa Rica, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Bangladesh, Morocco, Dominican Republic, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, El Salvador, Malta, Georgia, Barbados, Ecuador, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Iceland, Cambodia, Tunisia, Reunion, Panama, Brunei Darussalam, Jamaica, Seychelles

After the U.S we've most visits from China.

Then there's Seychelles

The recorded history of Seychelles dates back to the 17th century. The islands were appropriated and settled by France in the 18th century. African slaves were brought to the island, and the characteristic Seychellois Creole language developed. Britain took possession of the islands in the early 19th century. The Seychelles became an independent republic in 1976 after two hundred years of European colonial rule. A socialist one-party state ruled the country from 1977 to 1993. The subsequent democratic elections were won by the same socialist party.


P.S. The month presented has over 160,00 hits.








Hannah Arendt - Biography

Hannah Arendt (1906 ­ 1975)

Hannah Arendt was born on October 14, 1906, in Hanover, Wilhelmine, Germany. Raised in Konigsberg, she was the only child of Paul and Martha (Cohn) Arendt, both prodigy of entrepreneurs from Russian-Jewish families. When she was seven, her father died of paresis (syphilitic insanity). Her mother married Martin Beerwald in 1920, bringing two older stepsisters, Eva and Clara Beerwald, into Hannah Arendt's home.

Arendt was an avid reader from a young age, and by her sixteenth year her literary interests included Kant, and Goethe. In 1924 she graduated from high school in Koenigsberg. Perhaps inspired by the theology and romantic thought of Kierkegaard's poetry that was also in her library, she decided to study theology at the University of Marburg with Rudolf Bultmann. Martin Heidegger was lecturing at Marburg on Existenzphilosophie, and writing what would eventually become Sein und Zeit [Being and time] in 1927. It was during her time at Marburg that Arendt began her long relationship with Heidegger, sparked by a brief and passionate affair. The affair ended when Arendt learned of Heidegger's involvement in the National Socialist party, but the friendship, however strained, would continue for years to come, and Heidegger's phenomenological method had a notable influence on Arendt's work.
Arendt went on to study the phenomenological method with Husserl, then became a student at the University of Heidelberg, studying with the existentialist Karl Jaspers. It is under Jaspers that she wrote her dissertation on St. Augustine's concept of Love (Der Liebesbegriff bei Augustin). Jaspers and Arendt maintained a close relationship throughout their lives.

Arendt's unique approach to political thought is derived from her education in and fidelity to the phenomenological method. Unlike typical political writing or philosophy which might begin with an analysis of general political concepts or empirical data associated with political science and impose conceptual structures on experience after the fact, she begins by prioritizing human life in its 'factical' and experiential character. By using the phenomenological method, returning to 'the things themselves', she attempts to reveal the fundamental structures of political experience, or political being-in-the-world, in its distinct existence apart from other ways of being.

In September 1929 Arendt earned her doctorate, and married Günther Stern (whose nom-de-plume was Günter Anders). Anti-Semitism was on the rise in Germany, and Arendt undertook a project that would help her understand the conflict between German Nationalism and minority status. The book Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewish Woman was a biography of a Jewish salon hostess in Berlin in the early 1800s who converted to Christianity. It remained unpublished until 1958.
In 1933, with National Socialism on the rise, Arendt increased her political activity. In association with the German Zionist Organization lead by Kurt Blimenfeld, she assisted the publication of information regarding victims of Nazism. She was arrested by the Gestapo for conducting research on anti-Semitic propaganda, but managed to escape her prison sentence and fled to Paris. In Paris she gained the friendship of Walter Benjamin and Raymond Aron, and continued her political activism through work with Youth Aliyah moving Jewish children from Germany to Palestine.

In 1939 Arendt divorced her first husband and remarried the following year to Heinrich Blücher who she had met in 1936. Blücher, a political refugee from Germany, was a communist, and had been a member of the Spartacus League run by Rosa Luxemburg. Only six months into their marriage in 1940 the couple was separately interned in Southern France, the fate of many other stateless Germans when the Wehrmacht invaded. Arendt managed to escape from Gurs where she was interned, she reunited with Blücher, and in May 1941 found safe passage to neutral America. During the rest of World War II, Arendt lived in New York, and worked on what would eventually be published as The Origins of Totalitarianism. This text was finally published in 1951, the same year she became a citizen of the United States. The Origins of Totalitarianism was received enthusiastically, and made Arendt an intellectual celebrity. It was reprinted as an expanded edition in 1958, having taken into account the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

In New York Arendt worked in two main intellectual circles. Her writing appeared early on in the journal Jewish Social Studies, and she became friends with the editor and his wife, Salo and Jeannette Baron. She wrote arguments for a Jewish army in other magazines like Jewish Frontier and Aufbau [Reconstruction]. She worked as an editor at Schocken Books, a German Jewish publishing firm that had been reestablished in New York and Palestine. Baron charged Arendt with the task of redistributing Judaic artifacts and salvaged treasures for the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction. Her other intellectual circle of activity included Dwight Macdonald and Mary McCarthy, and was associated with the Partisan Review. In this circle she met the critic Alfred Kazin who aided her with her writing of The Origins of Totalitarianism.

In 1952 Arendt received a Guggenheim Foundation Grant for the study of Marxism and totalitarianism. Her next three books came from this work: The Human Condition (1958); Between Past and Future (1961); and On Revolution (1968). In these texts we can read her desire to reconstruct political philosophy in phenomenological terms. The controversial text Reflections on Little Rock (1959) studied the emerging Black civil rights movement. She wrote articles for the New York Review of Books in the 1960s and early 1970s criticizing the abuse of executive power and what she calls the "imperial presidency" associated with military intervention in Vietnam. She became the first woman to hold a full professorship at Princeton University and she went on the teach at the University of Chicago, Wesleyan University, and the New School for Social Research in New York.

Arendt published the most controversial work of her career in 1963 with Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt covered Eichmann's trial in Isreal as a correspondent for The New Yorker in 1960, when Isreali security forces had captured the S.S. lieutenant colonel responsible for the transportation of Jews to death camps. Eichmann in Jerusalem is the collection of revised articles from her coverage of the trial. According to her text, Eichmann had not had a sadistic will to do evil, but had been thoughtless; he had failed to think about what he was doing. Her concept of the banality of evil caused considerable friction between herself and the organized Jewish community, as her book was read by some as an elevation of Eichmann's character and a questioning of Jewish innocence. Arendt was concerned that the ability to act according to conscience and rational thought was becoming obscured by partisanship and nationalism, combined with modernization. Most of her writing studies the sense of a shared world and the possibilities of freedom grounded therein.

Arendt's writing on the Eichmann trials lead to a series of lectures on judgement, the neo-Kantian meditation which were part of the work for The Life of the Mind (1978). While in Aberdeen, Scotland, delivering these Gifford Lectures, she survived a heart attack. The second and fatal attack occurred while entertaining the Barons in her New York apartment on December 4, 1975. The first two volumes of The Life of the Mind were published posthumously, Volume 1 Thinking and Volume 2 Willing, as her death cut short her work on the third volume, Judging.

Arendt's life became the inspiration for the novel An Admirable Woman (1983) by Arthur A. Cohen, possibly because her personal struggles and romantic life were so intriguing. Her romantic interests included Leo Strauss, Hans J. Morgenthau, and W.H. Auden. During her life she fiercely guarded her privacy, tending to resist doing interviews or appearing on television. Although she was one of the United States' most prominent intellectuals, she refused the Anglo-American philosophical tendencies of pragmatism, empiricism, and liberalism. Her texts have had an enormous impact on political theory, and many conferences, books and anthologies continue to celebrate her work. In 1975 Hannah Arendt was awarded the Sonning Prize by the Danish government for Contributions to European Civilization, an award that has never before been received by an American or a woman.






"Back to School:East Bay JCC starts new tot programs in Berkeley, Oakland"

"Starting this fall, East Bay parents with little ones will have more opportunities for play, Jewish education and music when Perachim, a new toddler and parent group, launches at both the Berkeley and Oakland branches of the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay."



"Berkeley: Provocative entries at 33rd Jewish Film Festival" by Lou Fancher,

"The 33rd San Francisco Jewish Film Festival marks its return to the East Bay with new venues in Oakland, a "Berkeley Big Night," an Oakland Art Murmur

piggyback screening, and defining films sure to ignite imaginations and inspire rigorous post-show conversations.
It all starts on Aug. 2, with white supremacists, suicide, hidden sexuality, civil rights activism, ballroom dance, baseball and the heart-rending charm of Sam Berns."





"Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart Star in Broadway-Bound NO MAN'S LAND at Berkeley Rep"

"Tony Taccone informed the guests that legendary actors Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will perform at Berkeley Rep in a pre-Broadway engagement of No Man's Land. Award-winning director Sean Mathias stages Harold Pinter's masterwork in the Roda Theatre for an exclusive and strictly limited run in August."





"Downtown Berkeley Association presents, 'Berkeley Spark'

Saturday, August 10, 11:00am-9:00pm, Berkeley

Berkeley Spark is a pre-Burning Man arts and music festival in Downtown Berkeley. FREE and open to the public - with giant art sculptures, mutant vehicles, great live and DJ'ed music, dancing, and fun interactive workshops.

Come see amazing Burning Man art and crazy art cars 'mutant vehicles' before they head to the Nevada desert: Pongo Lounge's UNAVERZ car, 'Arc of Reflection' from Amy Stabler (Burning Man, 2003), live painting from SF Freespace artist Michael Covington, and interactive painting with ArtIsMobilUs. "




900 GRAYSON'S Chris Sulnier took his older brother to Potter Creek's Riva Cucina last week. "It's pretty good!" exclaimed Chris. "Food's great! Really good service.I'm going to take Heather there when she returns from vacation." Chris found other Potter Creekers there that evening. "Andrew and Karen were present and other neighbors dine there often I was told."

I know that Doc Cedric and friend are week-end regulars.

More about Riva Cucina here.


"Secondhand smoke in bars, restaurants increases asthma, cancer risk" by Julie Chao,

In the first study to evaluate the health risks of exposure to secondhand smoke for patrons of restaurants and bars, researchers have found that the risks are well above the acceptable level. The study assessed the risk for lung cancer and heart disease deaths among both patrons and servers and also for asthma initiation-the first study to do so-among servers.

So probably does smoking pot. Still, if that's your pleasure, check out "CRAFT Collective Berkeley."








"Urban Agroecology: A Lighthouse of Sustainability:City farming illuminates a different paradigm" by Maywa Montenegro at

"Rene Zazueta and I had crossed paths numerous times on the UC Berkeley campus. Since he rarely uttered a word in meetings we both attended, I thought him as the 'silent sidekick' of Miguel Altieri, the UC professor and agroecology researcher who was recently nominated by Michael Pollan for Mark Bittman's 'alternative World Food Prize.'

But it turns out that Zazueta has a lot to say when transplanted to a vegetable patch. In his backyard on Berkeley's Haste Street, on land that was once a parking lot, Zazueta has designed what Altieri likes to call an 'agroecological lighthouse.' It is both a scientific experiment station and a community gathering ground, beckoning people to learn, take away, and pass along the knowledge of urban agroecology ­ that is, agriculture based in the principles of ecology."




"Solar energy could supply one-third of power in U.S. West"

"Low-cost solar power could supply more than a third of all energy needs in the western U.S., if the nation can hit its targets for reducing the cost of solar energy, according to a new study by researchers at the Univ. of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).

The UC Berkeley scientists used a detailed computer model they developed of the west's electric power grid to predict what will happen if the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) succeeds with its SunShot Initiative, which aims to make solar power more affordable and accessible to Americans. The model also considered the effects of enacting proposed carbon policies, such as a carbon cap."






"Engine lubricant could rev up medical imaging"

"Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have built a device that could speed up medical imaging without breaking the bank. The key ingredient? An engine lubricant called molybdenum disulfide, or MoS2, which has been sold in auto parts shops for decades."







"Specialized Program in Digital Photography"

"Digital technology dramatically alters the accessibility and possibilities of photography. The Specialized Program in Digital Photography explores the essentials of digital imaging, including getting the most out of new technologies. You also deepen your understanding of the aesthetics and pictorial strategies of photography. The curriculum provides the opportunity to expand your perceptual awareness and technical range so you can confidently produce images that express your artistic vision."





"Limbo lower now: 3D-printed STAR bot flattens itself to crawl under doorways"

"Nature has been the source of inspiration for a variety of different forms of robotic locomotion. Yet another example is the STAR, a 3D-printed robot modeled after an insect's ability to squeeze into even the tiniest spaces. Developed by students at UC Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab the STAR, which stands for Sprawl Tuned Autonomous Robot, is able to flatten its legs down to slip under a small gap and then raise them up again to climb over larger obstacles."










"University of California adopts open-access publishing policy"

"The faculty of the University of California, the largest public research university in the world, have adopted an open access policy in which they commit to make their research articles freely available to the public.

The policy, adopted on 24 July, was made public via a press release issued on 2 August. It covers 8,000 UC faculty on all 10 of the university's campuses, who commit to grant the UC a non-exclusive license to research articles they author, provide copies of their articles to UC, and to make the articles available through Creative Commons licenses."







"Electron Microscopes May Have Gotten as Good As They'll Ever Get"

"Electron microscopes have made it possible to see deeper into the fabric of matter than ever before, and they've only been getting better. But we might not be able to zoom in any further because the zoom lenses are making it impossible to see." 





"UC Berkeley seeks to expand security program to combat cyberattacks" Mary Zhou,

"Security breach affecting 4,500 Sutter Health patients still under investigation UC Berkeley updates data security through new contract AirBears2 to breathe new life into wireless experience New mobile app crunches researchers' data

Amid the increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks faced by universities, UC Berkeley is doubling its efforts and allying with other UC campuses to address security risks."




"Man shot dead in Berkeley" Henry K. Lee at

"A man was shot and killed Thursday night in Berkeley, not far from the scene of a homicide in February, police said.
The latest shooting happened shortly after 9:15 p.m., when a man was shot near the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Delaware Street not far from Bing's Liquors, said Officer Jennifer Coats, a Berkeley police spokeswoman. "



"KGO-TV news crew robbed in Oakland" Henry K. Lee at




"Protesters at historic post office warned to move off property" at

"People camping out around Berkeley's historic post office in protest of plans to close it have been warned to move off U.S. Postal Service property, officials said Friday, Aug. 2nd.

A group of postal inspectors and postal police visited the protesters Friday and warned them that they needed to remove their tents from the steps of the historic post office at 2000 Allston Way, U.S. Postal Inspector Jeff Fitch said."





"Violence in Humans Likely to Increase as Climate Shifts, Study Says" Perviz Walji,

"Violence in humans is likely to increase as climate shifts, a study says. The comprehensive study was published Thursday in Science.
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Princeton University looked at 60 previous studies from all major regions of the world. They found that even minor aberrations in climate can greatly escalate the risk of violence. They concluded that violence is linked to shifting climate. They said that the results of their study suggested that changes such as drought, flood, and high temperatures strongly augment the risk of clashes."




"Recycling firm settles in stolen metal suit" Vivian Ho,

"A recycling company will pay $4.1 million to settle a lawsuit in which San Francisco and Contra Costa County accused it of purchasing stolen metal, prosecutors said Friday.

Sims Group USA Corp., a nationwide company that has recycling yards in seven counties in Northern California, agreed to pay the settlement in a stipulated judgment issued Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court. The company did not admit wrongdoing."









"U.S. military drone surveillance is expanding to hot spots beyond declared combat zones"

"The steel-gray U.S. Air Force Predator drone plunged from the sky, shattering on mountainous terrain near the Iraq-Turkey border. For Kurdish guerrillas hiding nearby, it was an unexpected gift from the propaganda gods.

Fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, filmed the charred wreckage on Sept. 18 and posted a video on YouTube. A narrator bragged unconvincingly that the group had shot down the drone. But for anyone who might doubt that the flying robot was really American, the video zoomed in on mangled parts stamped in English and bearing the label of the manufacturer, San Diego-based General Atomics.

For a brief moment, the crash drew back the curtain on Operation Nomad Shadow, a secretive U.S. military surveillance program. Since November 2011, the U.S. Air Force has been flying unarmed drones from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey in an attempt to suppress a long-simmering regional conflict. The camera-equipped Predators hover above the rugged border with Iraq and beam high-resolution imagery to the Turkish armed forces, helping them pursue PKK rebels as they slip back and forth across the mountains.

As the Obama administration dials back the number of drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, the U.S. military is shifting its huge fleet of unmanned aircraft to other hot spots around the world. This next phase of drone warfare is focused more on spying than killing and will extend the Pentagon's robust surveillance networks far beyond traditional, declared combat zones."

















"3-D printers are beginning to make an impression:3-D printers, which can make plastic objects, have long been used in industry but are creeping into the consumer market" by Shan Li at

"Diego Porqueras' Deezmaker store in Pasadena is a geeky version of Santa's workshop, brimming with action figures, chess pieces and jewelry.
But instead of relying on elves, Porqueras has built his own one-man factory using 3-D printers capable of churning out plastic objects within a few hours. He sells the printers, which go for as little as $650, at the shop, which opened in September in a strip mall.

The 37-year-old entrepreneur is part of an emerging industry for affordable 3-D printers. The technology has long been used in the aerospace and automotive industries, among others, to create prototypes, but has slowly crept into the consumer market with simplified printers that can be had for a few hundred or thousand dollars.

'You can make so many things with them,' Porqueras said. 'People who have businesses buy them for making prototypes. Parents buy them to make toys for their kids. Hobbyists buy them because they like to tinker.'

3-D enthusiasts imagine a day when these printers are as ubiquitous as phones and people print out many household goods instead of stopping at a store. Small-business owners are already switching to these printers from more expensive industrial machines. Prices are expected to drop even further after key patents on 3-D printing technology expire next year.

Usually about the size of a microwave, these machines 'print' three-dimensional objects by melting plastic and depositing the material layer by tiny layer based on a three-dimensional computer-generated design of a necklace, say, or a fork. More advanced - and expensive - printers can use materials such as metal and chocolate.

For those who are less tech savvy, there are new smartphone apps that streamline the process of crafting or altering a design. Online markets have also popped up in which shoppers can customize and order 3-D-printed clothing, toys, gadget accessories and other products.

Industry experts say 3-D printing could revolutionize traditional manufacturing, much as the Internet upended the music industry, and fundamentally alter how consumers shop and how much they pay. Some tech companies are already foreseeing a day when every home contains a 3-D printer churning out custom furniture and clothes, or a Kinko's-esque store in every neighborhood where items can be manufactured on demand via printers.

It's also raised concerns among law enforcement professionals, who worry that criminals will be able to print untraceable guns and other weapons at home.
'The billion-dollar question is, how big will this become and when?' said Terry Wohlers, president of consulting firm Wohlers Associates, which tracks the industry.

'You see companies already making fashion garments and jewelry through printing. And we have seen demonstrations of 3-D printing food and living tissue.'
Wohlers said that by 2021, the U.S. market is estimated to hit $10.8 billion, up from $2.2 billion last year and $1.8 billion in 2008. The industry has been growing, on average, more than 25% a year for the last decade. The consumer side, which is in its nascent stages, is especially ripe for growth, Wohlers said.
Tech companies are already salivating at the opportunities.

Last month, 3-D veteran Stratasys Ltd., which for decades has made ultra-pricey printers for companies such as Boeing Co. and General Motors Co., announced plans to buy MakerBot, which specializes in affordable desktop printers. Rival 3D Systems Inc. launched two consumer-oriented models this year, the Cube ($1,299) and the CubeX ($2,499 and up).

Formerly headquartered in Valencia before moving to South Carolina, 3D Systems has deep roots in Southern California: Its chief technology officer, Chuck Hull, is widely credited with pioneering 3-D printing about three decades ago. He still leads a research lab in Valencia, where scientists such as engineer Scott Turner experiment with new materials in the chemistry lab and tinker on machine prototypes.

Turner said that healthcare is one of the biggest areas for 3-D printing; already, companies are testing living cells with a view toward making organs and other human parts such as ears. In March, a man in the U.S. had 75% of his skull replaced with a 3-D printed implant.

Another early adopter is the education sector: With a 3-D printer, students can make and play with models of cells rather than just study them in textbooks, or make custom robots in physics class.

The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena already owns seven 3-D printers and plans to order more. The machines give students the luxury of repeatedly tweaking their designs for products as varied as car fenders and kitchenware, said David Cawley, director of the school's rapid prototyping and model shop.",0,367796.story


our Merryll emails

At the craft fair Sunday, someone was selling jewelry done with a 3-D printer laser printers.  Said she went to Tyler and they were experimenting in the 80's. 

Look it up ­




"Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management"

"The Certificate Program in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management presents a strong instructional foundation for launching and successfully operating a small business venture."





"Shadows and light: Dartmouth researchers develop new software to detect forged photos"

"Dartmouth and UC Berkeley researchers have developed new software to detect faked photos, using a geometric algorithm to locate inconsistent shadows that are not obvious to the naked eye."




"Boost for Home Solar: East Bay Cities Adopt Standardized Permitting"

"Berkeley and the eight other cities in the East Bay Green Corridor have realized their three-year goal of developing a standardized permitting process for residential solar energy."







"Overcrowded housing"

"Berkeley student housing leaves students cramped Summer Housing.

"With the largest incoming freshman class in UC Berkeley history coming to campus this fall, the Residential Student Service Programs need to ensure that all students are guaranteed quality housing. Reports that the impending increase in the size of the student body might lead to a scarcity in campus housing is just unacceptable.

This year, 5,979 students submitted a Statement of Intent to Register to UC Berkeley - 614 more students than last year. RSSP spokesperson Marty Takimoto said that although the number could fluctuate, he anticipates that there will be 50 more students looking for on-campus housing this year than the typical occupancy in the residence halls allows.

To address the possible scarcity this year, like it has done in the past few years, RSSP has said that it may need to convert study lounges to four-person rooms and turn some double rooms into triples."





"Berkeley: Youth Spirit Artworks' 'art cart' provides teens, young adults with creative outlet, income, job skills" Kristin J. Bender, Oakland Tribune.

"Youth Spirit Artworks is changing young lives one brush stroke at a time.

In a cramped storefront on Alcatraz Avenue comes the smell of acrylic paint and sweat as homeless and near-homeless teens and young people, often struggling to find a couch to sleep on and a daily hot meal, work to create one-of-a-kind art to share and sell.

Making the art is therapeutic and a positive outlet for their emotions, the young people say. It's also fun, and a way to put a little cash in their wallets. And now, with a newly purchased "art cart" that they park outside of two Berkeley supermarkets and a farmers market, the level of exposure for the program, and, more importantly, the art, is increasing."



"Worker-Owned Alchemy Collective Prepares to Expand"

"Fast-food workers across the US have been staging strikes to demand a higher wage, and the issues that brought rise to the Occupy movement remain largely unresolved, but in Berkeley, the proprietors of one business believe they've found a way to successfully bridge the divide between workers and owners. The Alchemy Collective Cafe (3140 Martin Luther King Jr. Way) opened in a tiny storefront in South Berkeley last February with a simple business model. At Alchemy, the baristas would be the owners, so that each worker would have an equal stake in the cafe's success.

Now, as the cafe prepares to move to a larger location just a few blocks away, the collective ownership model continues to be a success, according to Chris Myers, one of the worker-owners."









"Sleep deprivation linked to junk food cravings" by Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations,

A sleepless night makes us more likely to reach for doughnuts or pizza than for whole grains and leafy green vegetables, suggests a new study from UC Berkeley that examines the brain regions that control food choices. The findings shed new light on the link between poor sleep and obesity."


















On MU-R Mixed Use-Residential District Provisions  from our CITY CODE

Chapter 23E.84
MU-R Mixed Use-Residential District Provisions
The regulations in this chapter shall apply in all Mixed Use-Residential (MU-R) Districts. In addition, general provisions contained in Sub-title 23C shall apply. 23E.84.020 Purposes
The purposes of the Mixed Use-Residential (MU-R) Districts are to:
A.    Implement the West Berkeley Plan's designation of a Mixed Residential District;
B.    Support the continued development of a mixed use District which combines residential, live/work, light industrial, arts and crafts and other compatible uses;
C.    Strengthen residential concentrations which exist within the District;
D.    Provide appropriate locations for a broad range of live/work activities to occur;
E.    Provide a transitional district between the residential districts to the east of the MU-R and the industrial districts to the west of the MU-R;
F.    Encourage light manufacturers and wholesalers which are compatible with a mixed use-residential district;
G.    Support the development of businesses of all types which contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the environment;
H.    Protect residents from unreasonably detrimental effect of nonresidential uses, such as noise, vibration, odors, smoke, fumes, gases, dust, heat and glare, to the extent possible and reasonable within a mixed use West Berkeley context;
I.    To the extent feasible, protect industrial uses, particularly light industrial uses, from unreasonable intrusions on their ability to operate lawfully;
J.    Permit retail and food service activities which are either limited and small scale, primarily serving persons living and/or working in the District, but not a citywide or regional clientele, or which are ancillary and designed to maintain and enhance the economic viability of manufacturers in the District.






And as to why.

First, it is my belief that city hall's primary interest in the West is a way to increase revenue. That is, to increase the tax base. Understandable, as it remains the "underused" part of Our Town. The most efficent way to increase revenue, or the easiest depending on one's view, is to encourage swift, massive change. Big biotech comes to mind. An important part of the mix, yet I believe that this process, not carefully monitored, can result in land, manufacturing, and/or business barons.

Then there's geography. The seat of power in Our Town is down-town-city hall, as far removed from the West as conviniently possible. "Out of sight, out of mind" it's said. City Hall's sometime misreading of our needs may be just that and not a conspiracy of the rich and empowered.

Corollary to this is that our council members are not paid a living wage, perhaps not even the minimum wage. If not comfortable, they need a real job and of necessity turn day-to-day operation over to staff. Not often an efficient arrangement.

Then we have the community activists, or former activists, who are in fact paid lobbyists for non-resident groups--artisans, business people, and manufactures come to mind. Ironically this group includes those who have the confidence of residents, though in fact are paid by others. You get what you pay for!

There's more--insufficient city staff, ineffective city division of labor, active commercial realtors, but this should do for now.




The page that contains 8/7/12 now has around 8,500 hits. Why? What is it about these entries that continue to draw visits? Check it out yourself here.











7/30/13--~7:30 AM--"hot metal/hot plastic odor" in warehouse front, Marsha headache, nausea. 9:14 AM--similar.

7/31/13--Off-and-on--irritant in warehouse front, dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation.

8/2/13--8:00AM--irritant in warehouse front, dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation. 9:00 AM--similar. 2:30 PM--similar, burning eyes, light head. 3:30 Pm--similar.4 :00 PM--odor in warehouse front. 8:25 Pm-similar.

8/3/13--12:00 PM--irritant in warehouse front, dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, burning eyes, light head. 1:06 PM--similar.

8/4/13--1:03 PM--irritant in warehouse front, dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, light head.

8/5/13--5:56 AM--irritant in warehouse front, dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, cough attack. 4:41 PM--irritant in warehouse front, dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, skin rash.

8/6/13--10:45 AM--irritant in warehouse front, dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation. 10:30 PM--similar.

8/9/13--12:09 PM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front, dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, light head, nausea. 8:15 PM--similar. 10:05 PM--similar.








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.