8/20/13

"Results from 2013 Academic Ranking of World Universities" at oncampus.macleans.ca.

'Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, which annually publishes the Academic Ranking of World Universities, has released its 2013 list. The top 10 are once again all in the U.S. or U.K.

Canada has 23 schools in the top 500 this year, up from 22 last year and 21 five years ago. Canada's new entrant is Concordia University.

The top 10 are Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, University of Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Princeton University, University of Chicago and University of Oxford."

 

"Talking tuition with UC Berkeley's new chancellor" audio interview at kalw.org.

"The University of California system saw a major change in administration earlier this summer when Janet Napolitano was appointed president. When she takes office in September, the former Homeland Security Secretary will be the first woman to hold the presidential position.

UC Berkeley's administration also experienced a change this past June when Nicholas Dirks was sworn in as the university's chancellor, the faculty's highest ranking position. One of Dirks' primary obligations in his new role is to find new funding for the university. The numbers are stark. Ten years ago, a semester for a resident undergraduate cost less than $3,000 and about a third of the school's funding came from the state. This semester, the state provides only about 11 percent of the funding and tuition is two and a half times higher. "

 

 

 

 

" 'Smart Glass' Blocks Light, Adjusting To Wavelengths On Command With New Technology" by Jesse Emspak at huffingtonpost.com.

"Big windows provide light, and a view, but they don't always do much for energy efficiency or privacy. The glass transmits heat to the outside in winter and traps it inside during the summer. The only real solution: curtains or blinds.

But now there's a glass that changes, chameleon-like, from opaque to transparent, and can be adjusted for different wavelengths of light. It could boost energy efficiency in buildings with large glass facades, freeing homeowners from the chore of picking window treatments.

The glass is the brainchild of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California and the Autonomous University of Barcelona."

 

 

 


"Startup's Gadget Catches Smartphone Cheaters" Chad Brooks, BusinessNewsDaily Contributor.

"Teachers no longer have to rely on their eyes and internal instincts to catch cheating students.

In an effort to help educators take back control of the classroom, Berkeley Varitronics Systems has unveiled the PocketHound, a portable cellphone detector designed to let teachers covertly track cheaters.

The PocketHound works by vibrating and lighting up each time there is a nearby transmission from a mobile phone - a sign a cheater could be in action. Once the device is set off, teachers can nab the offender, Berkeley Varitronics Systems says."

 

 

 

 

"A drone of your very own: These aren't your average remote-controlled aircraft" by Michael S. Rosenwald, washingtonpost.com.

"Kevin Good thought there was an 80 percent chance he could successfully deliver his brother's wedding rings with a tiny drone.

'The other 20 percent is that it could go crashing into the bride's mother's face,' the Bethesda cinematographer somewhat jokingly told his brother.

His brother was okay with those odds, so he signed off.

A few weeks ago, sitting in the back row at the ceremony near San Francisco, Good steered the drone to the altar, delivering the payload in front of 100 or so astonished guests. His brother grabbed the rings, then watched as Good buzzed the drone off into the blue sky.

'At the end of the wedding, that was what everyone was talking about,' Good said. 'It was pretty awesome.' "

 

 

 

 

 


"UC Berkeley launches CalCentral to integrate online resources"

Sophie Mattson, dailycal.org.

"UC Berkeley is finally launching CalCentral, a new program aiming to simplify the way students navigate campus online resources.

CalCentral will launch Wednesday and combines bConnected, bCourses, Financial Aid, bSpace and BearFacts in one convenient portal. It will also include bConnected email, CalLink student groups, messages from professors, registration status, final grades, financial aid messages and bCourses assignments, among other features."

 

 

 

"UC Berkeley alumni to start Bollywood-themed fitness program at RSF" Dennis Vidal at dailycal.org.



"Three generations of UC Berkeley alumni, brought together by the campus's diverse dance community, will soon be starting a Bollywood-themed dance class at the Recreational Sports Facility."

 

 

 

 

"College of Engineering presents designs plans for new Northside building" at dailycal.org.




 

 


"BigLeap Launches First Crowd-Funding Challenge Platform for Social Good" digitaljournal.com.

"BigLeap, the world's first crowd-funding prize and reward network that allows passionate advocates to drive social change via competition-based challenges, today launched its first challenge: to make education more accessible.

BigLeap's first challenge is championed by Professor Silvia Bunge, a neuroscience and childhood learning expert at U.C. Berkeley, and Bill Ritchie, the CEO of ThinkFun games. The challenge will give children everywhere access to free games designed to improve their brain power by helping to develop their reasoning and logic skills via simple, interactive gameplay."


 

But "Stella Carakasi Launches Fall 2013 Collection" at digitaljournal.com.

SF Bay Area designer, Stella Carakasi, announced today that the Fall 2013 Collection is now available online at stellacarakasi.com and in boutiques across the U.S. and Canada, including Stella Carakasi's Stella Studio at 1370 10th Street in Berkeley, CA."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Police Warning: Beware of PG&E Scam" albany.patch.com

"Police issued a scam warning . . . about calls in the North Berkeley area from purported PG&E representatives saying you're behind on paying your bill and must transfer $500 to keep your electricity on.

Berkeley police issued a warning this morning, Friday, about a scam in which a caller pretending to represent PG&E tells people that they are behind on payments and must electronically wire $500 to keep their electricity from being shut off."

The department has received a number of calls in the past week about such calls in North Berkeley, police said. The man says the funds must electronically transferred and provides the telephone number (559) 800-7403 to call to make the wire transfer, according to police.

'This is a scam!' the police department said. "

 

"Misunderstanding results in many Berkeley post office protesters breaking camp" by Judith Scherr at contracostatimes.com.

 "Protesters camping on the steps of the Berkeley post office thought police were about to shut them down, so they took down their banners and most folded up their tents after nearly three weeks camping out to postpone the sale of the building.

Originally a group of a couple dozen, only about a half dozen said they planned to spend the night there late Saturday.

Activists had camped on the post office steps since July 27, hoping to stop the postal service from selling the historic building.
At around 9 p.m., protesters said they spoke to Officer E. Keene -- who declined to give his first name to this newspaper -- who came by the encampment and told the protesters they would have to leave, according to Mike Wilson of Strike Debt Bay Area, one of the groups supporting the encampment.

When asked how long they had before they would be forced off the property, the officer responded that they would have about an hour to break camp.

But that's not Keene's recollection of the conversation.

'I think someone's given you some false information,' said Keene, who was observing the protesters from across the street. 'I told [them] it's time to pack up,' he said, indicating that he did not issue an ultimatum. He said he told them that it was possible that the postal police would shut them down. No postal police were visible that evening, though according to protesters, they had seen two earlier in the day."

 

 

 

 

"Bill offers earlier parole to inmates serving lengthy terms for crimes committed as juveniles" Don Thompson, AP at therepublic.com.

"Criminals serving long prison sentences for offenses they committed as teenagers would have an earlier chance for freedom under a bill working its way through the Legislature.

The bill by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, expands on legislation signed into law last year that gives a second chance to inmates who committed murder before they turned 18 and were sentenced to life without parole.

Hancock's bill covers other offenders and requires the Board of Parole Hearings to give "great weight to the diminished culpability of juveniles" and to signs that they have matured in prison. Parole commissioners also would have to individually counsel offenders about the steps they should take to earn their freedom.
Under the bill, SB260, inmates who committed such crimes as voluntary and involuntary manslaughter as teenagers would be presumed eligible for parole after 15 years unless officials believe they present a threat to public safety."

 

 

 




"Berkeley Task Force on Homelessness holds first meeting Thursday"

Stephanie Petrillo, dailycal.org.

"Community group to be formed to address homelessness Biennial homeless count for Alameda County commences Council passes Compassionate Sidewalks proposal City to consider contract to provide shelter to Berkeley's homeless during winter County's homeless single adult population rises

City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin led a Berkeley Task Force on Homelessness meeting Thursday evening to bring the community together to address homelessness in Berkeley.

About 50 people gathered at YMCA Teen Center to attend the task force's first meeting, a community conversational process that anyone can join and participate in at any time."

 


"Grocery Outlet Once Again Helps Feed People Facing Hunger:Third Annual Independence from Hunger Food Drive Raises $300,000 to Support Local Communities" at prnewswire.com.

"For over 50 million Americans, food insecurity is a reality and doesn't take a break during the summer months. That's why Grocery Outlet once again stepped up with the company-wide Independence from Hunger food drive to help feed people facing hunger and dealing with food insecurity. On behalf of the over 180 participating independently owned Grocery Outlet stores, Grocery Outlet is proud to donate $300,000 in cash, grocery gift cards and/or food donations to help support over 200 local food assistance agencies in California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho Arizona and Nevada."

 

 

Yet here's "Extra virgin olive oil buying guide" at sfgate.com.

"Standing in a store faced with a phalanx of bottles filled with extra virgin olive oil can be a befuddling experience, made even more complex this year by the bumper crop of California olives. That's a good thing.

However, stores often bunch the extra virgin oil - which is made solely from the fruit of the olive tree, not mixed with other kinds of oils, such as seed or nut, and is not subjected to heat, solvents or refining - into shelves crowded with oils of every description, imported and domestic.

So, how is a consumer to choose? Succumb to a striking package design? Or be budget-minded and choose the least expensive?

Here are some guidelines to help you make an informed decision, along with how best to use your purchase . . ."


 

 

 

 

 

And then . . . "Here's The Story Of How AOL Fired 350 Patch Employees" at businessinsider.com.

"AOL began firing about 350 Patch workers . . . . That's about 40% of all Patch employees.

According to a source, here's how the firings went down . . ."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/21/13

"Berkeley Moves Forward with UC Student District" Sarah Burke, eastbayexpress.com.

"A new council district could result in the first student elected to the city council in decades - and it could oust longtime Councilman Kriss Worthington from office.

Berkeley is gearing up to become the first municipality in the country to create a city council district designed solely to represent the interests of college students.

The new district would encompass areas next to the UC Berkeley campus, and if the city council approves the plan next month, it means that a Cal student would have a strong chance of being elected to the council next year - the first time that's happened since a young Nancy Skinner (who is now in the state Assembly) won a seat in 1982. But for students to finally have direct representation on the council, longtime Councilman Kriss Worthington, who has often championed student causes over the years, will have to voluntarily leave office or be defeated in the 2014 election."

 

 

 

"Fired public housing chief seeks workers' comp" at sfgate.com.

"The tale of Henry Alvarez's departure from the imploding San Francisco Housing Authority has taken yet another twist, this one laced with irony.

You'll recall that when Alvarez went on paid medical leave back in February, before being fired in April, he took heat for setting up a restaurant in Berkeley while presumably too ill to do his day job as the executive director for the city's public housing agency.

Now it turns out that Alvarez has filed a workers' compensation claim contending he was injured from stress on the job - his full-time one at the Housing Authority, state records show. He is seeking disability payments, health care and a voucher worth up to $10,000 for job training."

 

 

 

 

"How Many Homes Are In Foreclosure In Berkeley" at berkeleypatch.com.

"New report says foreclosures nationwide are up slightly from the previous month but down significantly from a year ago."

 

 

 

 

 


"Goff named starter at quarterback for Cal" at marinij.com.

"Cal freshman Jared Goff, center, from Marin County, and back up quarterbacks make throws during practice at the Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. Cal head coach Sonny Dykes named Goff as his starting quarterback. "

 



"Pac-12 Preview: California" lindyssports.com.

"Everything about football at Cal-Berkeley is new this season: new coach, new quarterback, new offensive scheme, new defensive scheme.

And a true freshman starting at the key quarterback position.

Unless everything falls into place perfectly, the Bears are going to struggle this season, much like they did last year when they went 3-9."

 

 

 

 


"The Goat Rodeo Sessions with Yo-Yo Ma comes to Berkeley's Greek Theater" Andrew Gilbert, mercurynews.com.

"A couple of years ago, bassist extraordinaire Edgar Meyer and Nickel Creek mandolin star Chris Thile started plotting for a new project building on their passion for bluegrass. The first call went to Yo-Yo Ma.

'They had all done some recordings with Mark O'Connor and wanted to do something different,' says Nashville fiddle great Stuart Duncan. 'Chris called me up and said, "Would you be interested?" ' "Yeah, sure!"

'But I had this little voice saying, "What are we going to do?" Yo-Yo and I both play with bows, and we're not separated by our love of good music, but our worlds are so far apart. I don't read music. Yo-Yo rarely does anything without sheet music.'

Informed that they had nine months to develop a body of tunes, Duncan signed on, and The Goat Rodeo Sessions took shape. "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSTS FROM THE PAST

8/23/03

Brian Krebs of the Washington Post offers his excellent report "Experts Race to Contain SoBig."

I question the City of Berkeley Parking Enforcement policy of ticketing a business's vehicle while parked in front of their business after loading. Seems a contradiction, especially when another one of our leading businesses is allowed to effectively block all thru traffic on the street in front of their facility while unloading.

Are Berkeley's city polices controlled by a "good ole boy" network of ex-radicals? Nah, nobody controls nothin'.

 

 

 

8/22/03

The same school of thought that offers "If you can ask the question, you already know the answer" would suggest that "If in Berkeley everything is political, nothing is political."

 

 

 

8/21/03

Berkeley PD Motor-officer Ben Cardoza was the victim of a hit-and-run on the afternoon of 8/20/03. He and his motorcycle were run down on Ashby and Wheeler by a white Chevy Caprice. He was hit so hard "His motorcycle seemed to explode into the air" said one witness.

In Devil in the Blue Dress, one of my favorite fictional detectives, Easy Rollins, is offered some advice by a hardened hoodlum. It goes something like "As soon as you step out your door, you're mixed-up-in-it. Thing is to be mixed-up-in-it at the top."

 

 

 

8/20/03

I see that Bayer has a brand-new American Flag flying atop the old Colgate building. I've always thought of our flag as a symbol of the People and not the current government--notice that the flag doesn't change when one group of scoundrels leaves office and another comes in. I'd like to see the City of Berkeley Flag flying below Old Glory--seems even the Tribe of Berkeley has a symbol.

This morning, as I opened the carefully wrapped Czech-mil-spec shirt from Sportsman's Guide, I was amazed by the thought and care taken in packaging this new, but three-for-twelve-dollar, item. Stays, clips, pins, and cello-wrap protected the tan, cotton-blend shirt. As a kid, after WWII, one of the wonders of life was going through an Army surplus store. There was a lot of real good, inexpensive stuff then because after the War there was enormous surplus. Through the years the surplus store faded away in the Bay Area. But in Minnesota they have Sportsman's Guide and we have sportsmansguide.com. Definitely check it out!

 

 

8/19/03

Peter and Geralyn are relatively new to our neighborhood, yet they make maximum use of Potter Creek. They not only live here but both work here within easy biking distance, enjoy west-Berkeley's restaurants, study at one of our schools and generally are out-and-about. These, and other, new residents seem to fully use and enjoy Potter Creek.

In the way that the town-square "makes" a town, a park "makes" a neighborhood. We don't have one. And soon we won't even have the smallest green-space.

Perhaps a real solution to the parking problem in this area is an underground garage. With a park on top? Nah, this isn't Emeryville.

 

 

8/18/03

Somethings from a west-Berkeley Sunday bike-ride.

"The Bay Area's News Station," broadcast the sign on the side of the Channel 4 mobile-unit at the Marina--must be a different Channel 4.

And, "Positive. Thinking. Produces. Winning. Achievements. 63 Degrees." flashed a sign, word-by-word, in Bayer's Northgate parking lot.

Overwhelmed by the beauty of the bayscape just south of Skate's, I'm perversely reminded of a friend's comment as we drove through the Redwoods up at Kary Mullis'. "You see one tree, you've seen em all!" (Of course, his idea of nature is the grass-strip between his apartment building and the street.)

Have a crab sandwich with everything, and a Steward's--Since 1924--Root Beer at the Sea Breeze.

 

END POSTS FROM THE PAST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/24/13

The first six months of this year our site received over 1 million hits--1, 097, 276 to be exact.

 

 

Potter Creek resident Sajid Malik has passed. Sajid, also owner of Berkeley's House of Curries, lived on 8th Street for some time with his wife and children. He passed early this month and is survived by his family. His quiet presence will be missed.

 

 

 

 

 

"Berkeley Neighbors Fight Micro-Unit Proposal on Shattuck Avenue" by Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside.

"A 70-unit five-story building proposed at Shattuck Avenue and Derby Street faced steep neighborhood opposition at a recent zoning board meeting in Berkeley.

The proposed 30,079-square-foot micro-unit development at 2701 Shattuck Ave., at Derby Street, in Berkeley. Image: Lowney Architecture
The 60-foot-tall proposal, set to include 35 garage parking spaces, 81 bike spots and a 2,000-square-foot restaurant, has been designed by Lowney Architecture, and comes to the city from Axis Development Group in San Francisco. The project has been scheduled before the city's Design Review Committee six times since December. Units as currently designed range from 307 to 344 square feet. The project would result in a payment of $1.4 million into the city's affordable housing fund.

Proponents say these 'micro-units' - which have sparked fierce debate in San Francisco - are the way of the future, offering a more viable financial alternative to renters who otherwise would not be able to afford their own apartments. An attorney for the project, Rena Rickles, said at the Aug. 8 Zoning Adjustments Board meeting that micro-units ' have been lauded in every design review magazine,' adding that the Berkeley proposal would offer even more amenities than a similarly high-end project, 38 Harriet, in San Francisco (built by Berkeley-based developer Panoramic Interests): 'It meets the highest standards for this kind of housing in this area.' Rickles also noted that it would bring some much-needed vibrancy to the area."

 

 

Interesting if true.

A very well informed source believes the issue to be more of size than content, i.e the project is too big and massive for its surroundings. The Panoramic Interests' San Francisco Smartspaces passed 9 to zip on first hearing. And, Axis Development seems much too taken with themselves--maybe even a little arrogant.

 

 

Smartspaces have been merely accepted and/or enthusiastically promoted world-wide, from Europe to Asia.

 

"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."

 

 

"Tiny apartments in S.F. worth a try" opines the Chronicle at sfagate.com.

"San Francisco's lopsided housing market - sky-high rents and an invasion of young workers - has experts thinking: Why not drop the minimum size of new apartments to the equivalent of a one-car garage?

It's an idea worth exploring and encouraging, but the results will hinge on the appeal and convenience of the finished product. Financing, the job market and even housing politics could all play a role in a helping or hurting a promising idea.

Initial designs feature a foldaway bed, galley kitchen and bench seats along a window for a grand total of 220 square feet, below the city minimum of 290 square feet. In theory, there's a ready market since 41 percent of the city's residents live alone.

Putting more apartments into the same building space could lower costs and possibly rents or sales prices. As new construction, the mini-me apartments would be exempt from rent control. The snug quarters might take pressure off existing multi-bedroom housing that families and couples now compete for.

The city is already nipping at conventional housing rules via building loft apartments in industrial areas and dropping parking requirements. The next frontier could be super-small apartments for singles or very well-adjusted couples looking to live inside an Ikea catalog."

 

 

 

"Micro-apartments next for S.F.?" writes Carolyn Said about Patrick Kennedy's proposed project at sfgate.com.

"Are itty-bitty apartments the next wave for urban dwellers in San Francisco?

The city is considering shrinking the minimum size of rental units, prompted by a demographic shift toward one-person households along with rising rents and an acute housing shortage.

'This seems like a logical, necessary response to housing in an extremely high-cost market like San Francisco,' said Tim Colen, executive director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, a largely developer-backed nonprofit that is 'solidly behind' cutting the size of the smallest allowable apartment by about a third."

 

I had breakfast with Patrick recently at 900 GRAYSON. The man' s timing continues to amaze! I cannot fault his project, though I am skeptical of an economy that makes it timely. Still, his plan and what I believe to be his quality, will assure a project that will successfully, and with style, fill a need.

 

 

 

 

 

"Zhang Xin: China's real estate mogul" a video report at cbsnews.com.

"How did Zhang Xin go from working in a sweatshop to being a billionaire real estate developer? Lesley Stahl reports.
Zhang Xin: China's real estate mogul."

 

 

 

"China's real estate bubble" is also a video report at cbsnews.com.

"China's economy has become the second largest in the world, but its rapid growth may have created the largest housing bubble in history. Lesley Stahl reports.
China's real estate bubble."

 

 

 

 

 

 

"There's no medal for eighth-place finish" Leah Garchik at sfgate.com.

"Oh, this hurts, but nonetheless thanks to the Albany Patch for pointing the way to the tragic news: In the real estate blog Estately's rankings of the '17 best U.S. cities for hippies,' Berkeley is only No. 8.

The compilers of this list say that the rankings were determined by a formula 'based on marijuana availability and legality, number of stores selling hemp, local counter-culture icons, tie-dye availability, hippie festivals, progressive government, intensity of Occupy protests and Facebook poll.'

The No. 1 hippie city is Eugene, Ore., where 'traffic slows behind aging VW microbuses.' As to the Bay Area's home teams:

No. 8 is Berkeley ('The iconic hippie city still draws young trustafarians, tree-sitters and assorted eccentrics ... but the city has turned decidedly mellow')".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/26/13

"Elon Musk Announces Latest Invention: Gesture-Based 3D Printing" Betsy Isaacson, The Huffington Post.  

"Entrepreneur Elon Musk this week promised to deliver on the latest round of life imitating art, announcing that he would soon unveil a system that lets users make rocket parts with the wave of a hand."

 

 

"Oops there goes another rubber tree, oops there goes another rubber tree plant!" is a lyric in "High Hopes" from the Frank Sinatra 1959 movie Hole in the Head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/27/13

POSTS FROM THE PAST

8/13/08

Mid-morning yesterday, Berkeley PD and Berkeley FD responded to a call of a suspicious package at the east gate of Bayer. Well over half-dozen radio cars, and other BPD units, and almost as many Berkeley Fire Department units responded.  The area for blocks surrounding 7th and Parker was cordoned-off and those in surrounding buildings told to remain inside. 

Early afternoon, the package was successfully destroyed--a response in force by Berkeley disaster units

 

 

 

 

 

8/12/07

June Taylor makes and sells homemade preserves and she's here on 4th Street in west-Berkeley.

Check her out!

 

 

 

 

8/4/06

Pete and Geralyn together made this, their art-bed

 

Pete and Geralyn's inspiration"by" Marcel Duchamp

Read about Apolinère Enameled here.

 

 

 

 

 

8/7/05

Doc just finished redoing his Jaguar XK140 interior himself.

 

END POSTS FROM THE PAST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Homes burning in 7-alarm Fairfield fire" at ktvu.com.

"Five homes have burned in a seven-alarm fire in Fairfield and police are evacuating homes in the area of the blaze Tuesday afternoon, a Fairfield police spokesman said.
The vegetation fire was reported at 3:39 p.m. on Marigold Drive near Interstate Highway 80, according to Fairfield fire officials."

 

 

 


"NYTimes site inaccessible, 2nd disruption in Aug." is an AP report at sfgate.com.

"Readers who tried to click on the New York Times' website got nothing but error messages Tuesday afternoon in its second major disruption this month. A hacker group calling itself the 'Syrian Electronic Army' claimed responsibility."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/28/13

While Rome burns?

"Sometimes a cigar is just a good smoke" Sigmund Freud.

 

 

"GOP senator says Obama 'close' to impeachment. True?" Peter Grier, christiansciencemonitor.com. 

"The potential impeachment of President Obama has been a topic at a number of home-state meetings held by GOP lawmakers this month. Sen. Tom Coburn is the latest to discuss the possibility.

On Wednesday, Senator Coburn told a meeting of 300 constituents in Muskogee, Okla., that the Obama administration is 'lawless' and that Mr. Obama himself is 'getting perilously close' to the constitutional standard for impeachment.

'I quite frankly think he's in a difficult position he's put himself in, and if it continues, I think we're going to have another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the presidency,' Coburn said.

Impeachment has been a topic at a number of Republican lawmaker home-state meetings this month. Asked about the possibility of impeaching the president, Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas this week answered, 'That's a good question.'

Earlier in the month, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) of Texas said, 'If we were to impeach the president tomorrow, we would probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it.' In Michigan, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R) said that 'it would be a dream come true' to file impeachment charges against Obama but that right now, he does not have enough evidence to do so."

 

 

 

 

"ACLU Reveals FBI Hacking Contractors" by Pratap Chatterjee at ipsnews.net.

"James Bimen Associates of Virginia and Harris Corporation of Florida have contracts with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to hack into computers and phones of surveillance targets, according to Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.

'Bimen and Harris employees actively hack into target computers for the FBI,' Soghoian told CorpWatch."

 

 


"Hacker Pleads Guilty to Selling FBI Access to U.S. Supercomputers" David Kravets, wired.com.

"A 24-year-old Pennsylvania hacker pleaded guilty . . . to accusations he tried to sell access to Energy Department supercomputers he unlawfully accessed.
The defendant, who remains free pending a November sentencing date, faces as much as 18 months behind bars under a plea deal (.pdf) with Massachusetts federal authorities.

Among other exploits, Andrew James Miller pleaded guilty to propositioning an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent during an online chat to pay him $50,000 for 'root' access to the supercomputers at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab California.
Using the handle 'Green,' he pasted during the chat that he had proof of access, the government said in an indictment. The research center, which houses some of the world's most powerful computers, offers high-end computing power for Energy Department-approved projects.

The defendant, a member of the hacking group Underground Intelligence Agency, was arrested and indicted in June. A fellow member of the group, Robert Burns, who went by the handle 'Intel,' assisted authorities with the prosecution, court documents show."

 

 

 

 

Berkeley PD Ofc Byron White emails

On Thursday, August 22nd, between midnight and 8 am, an unknown person or persons climbed up two separate utility poles on the 1300 block of Curtis Street and stole about 30' of co-axial communication cable.  The theft interrupted telephone and cable television service to numerous homes in the surrounding area (BPD Case #13-48126).
 
According to AT&T, similar incidents have occurred in a nearby city--where witnesses reported seeing a white boom-equipped utility truck with workers wearing hard hats and orange safety vests that appeared to be doing legitimate work.
 
 Historically, thefts of copper increase along with the increase its price/per pound.  As the price of copper currently is on the rise, we must be more vigilant.  If you should witness suspicious activity around utility poles and/or utility boxes, please report this to the police department as soon as possible.
 
For Emergencies, dial 911.
For Non-Emergencies and to make police reports, dial (510) 981-5900.
 
 

 

 

 

"Three Chevrolets stolen from Monterey auctions" Kurt Ernst, hemmings.com.

"Despite the security one would expect where six-, seven- and eight-figure cars gathered for the weekend, three Chevrolets were reported stolen from the recent Monterey auctions, an event that California Highway Patrol spokesman Robert Lehman called "pretty rare," given that he couldn't recall any other collector car thefts during Monterey weekends past.

Taken from a fenced and secured area at Russo and Steele's auction in Monterey was a red 1961 Impala SS 409 convertible wearing Idaho license plates reading 'SS409.' Described by the seller as "the only all-correct, matching numbers example known to exist," the four-speed manual transmission car had recently undergone a rotisserie restoration, and was reportedly valued by the owner at $220,000. Offered for sale on Friday, August 16, the rare and desirable convertible failed to meet its undisclosed reserve price, and was taken from the secured lot some time after crossing the stage around 8:45 p.m.

Two Midwestern automotive dealers suffered the loss of cars consigned to Mecum's Monterey auction, located on the grounds of the Del Monte golf course in Monterey. On Saturday, August 17, a white 1961 Chevrolet Impala restomod, belonging to World of Wheels in Des Moines, Iowa, was reported stolen during the night. The car featured a recent restoration, and was fitted with a modified 383-cu.in. V-8 crate engine from Summit Racing, a TCI 400 transmission, a four-core radiator, new interior and exterior trim and a set of polished American Racing wheels. The car's value was undisclosed, but a high bid of $50,000 failed to meet the car's reserve price.

Reported missing from the Mecum lot on Sunday morning, August 18, was a pale yellow one-owner 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, said to be in unrestored condition after 42 years in storage. Though the exterior had benefited from a single respray in the original factory colors, the car's interior was said to be all-original. Previously part of the Richard Hubbard Collection, the car was being offered for sale by Sam Pierce Chevrolet in Muncie, Indiana. Reportedly valued at $65,000, the car received a high bid of $50,000 when it crossed the block on Friday, August 16, but also failed to meet the reserve price.

All three vehicles were likely targeted for the value of their parts, and the ease of which they can be sold to unsuspecting hobbyists. While far more expensive cars were plentiful at both auctions, parting out a 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta Coupe or a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder would prove both risky and challenging, while parts from the missing Chevrolets can be applied to a far wider range of vehicles. Those with information on the thefts should contact the Monterey office of the California Highway Patrol at 831-796-2100.

 


 

 

 



"Open Data conference in Berkeley attracting world wide audience" Ed Coghlan at cafwd.org.

"If you think you're hearing the term 'Open Data' a lot more, well, that's a good thing. The increase in emphasis on getting more public information into the hands of California residents is a key tenet for improving how the state is governed.  A big part of what we do at California Forward is to press for more access to data so that people can make sure their governments are being held accountable for results.

The Open Data topic will get a full hearing on September 12 at UC Berkeley as a full day exploring the importance that open data can have on improving governance. It is being organized by the Institute of Government Studies and CITRIS Data & Democracy Initiative in a unique collaboration between Berkeley's social science and engineering sectors.

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and the Vice President of Corporate Citizenship for IBM, Stanley Litow, will be among the featured speakers. A full day's agenda highlights 27 separate speakers and panelists at the event which will be held in the Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall at UC Berkeley. The speakers will represent all levels of government, software firms, nonprofit and public interest organizations, as well as academia.

'The conference features leading experts from the United States and abroad addressing all aspects of the open data movement as a means to increase transparency and civic participation,' said Kristin Connelly, who directs California Forward's public accountability programs.

Technology has created a great opportunity to increase transparency and the people's understanding of how their government and organizations work. The open data movement increases the potential accountability and citizen participation through greater transparency and by generating more effective, crowd-sourced solutions to public problems."

 

We might start by FULLY accepting that we are in a broad and violent global conflict, including constant and successful guerilla attacks in our country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/29/13

The History of Labor Day in the U.S.

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Labor Day Legislation
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states - Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York - created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. 

 

 

 

 

"Fast-food workers to stage walkouts in cities nationwide to demand higher pay" at washingtonpost.com.

"Fast-food customers in search of burgers and fries on Thursday might run into striking workers instead.

Organizers say thousands of fast-food workers are set to stage walkouts in dozens of cities around the country, part of a push to get chains such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and Wendy's to pay workers higher wages.

It's expected be the largest nationwide strike by fast-food workers, according to organizers. The biggest effort so far was over the summer when about 2,200 of the nation's millions of fast-food workers staged a one-day strike in seven cities.

Thursday's planned walkouts follow a series of strikes that began last November in New York City, then spread to cities including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. Workers say they want $15 an hour, which would be about $31,000 a year for full-time employees. That's more than double the federal minimum wage, which many fast food workers make, of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year."

 

"Oops there goes another rubber tree, oops there goes another rubber tree plant!" is a lyric in "High Hopes" from a Frank Sinatra 1959 movie.

 

 

 


Ofc Jennifer Coats Berkeley PD emails

Berkeley Police Department to Conduct
DUI Checkpoint

The City of Berkeley Police
Department (BPD) will be holding a Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
checkpoint, Thursday, August 29, 2013.

The checkpoint will be held on San Pablo Avenue at Haskell Street.
Participating Officers will begin operations at 8:00 p.m. and staff the
checkpoint until approximately 2:00 a.m. Funding for this program was
provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Driving impaired is extremely dangerous and the consequences are serious and
real. Impaired drivers can kill themselves and others, and the trauma and
financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired are significant.

During 2010, more than 10,000 people were killed nationwide in a motor
vehicle traffic collision involving impaired drivers.

BPD is urging the community to report drunk drivers, call 9-1-1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/30/13

"Obama administration will not block state marijuana laws, if distribution is regulated" by Brady Dennis, washingtonpost.com.

The Obama administration on Thursday said it will not stand in the way of Colorado, Washington and other states where voters have supported legalizing marijuana either for medical or recreational use, as long as those states maintain strict rules involving distribution of the drug.

In a memo sent Thursday to U.S. attorneys in all 50 states, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole detailed the administration's new stance, even as he reiterated that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/30/13

A "socialist democracy" with a lean, vibrant and growing capitalist economy presents "The Swedish model for economic recovery" C. Fred Bergsten, washingtonpost.com.

(C. Fred Bergsten is a senior fellow and director emeritus at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.)

"Europe has been the source of unremitting gloom and doom for four years. The euro crisis has threatened the global economy. Most Americans, and many Europeans, have become exasperated with European nations' failure to respond decisively to their troubles.

So it is a refreshing - and brilliant - decision by President Obama to visit Sweden and meet with Scandinavian prime ministers en route to next week's Group of 20 summit in Russia. Sweden escaped the crisis in its neighborhood, and it quickly restored steady and stable growth. It presents a proven model for the types of reforms needed in much of Europe and many other parts of the world, including the United States, and Obama should carry this success story to the full G-20.

Sweden was the world's third-richest country in 1968 but became a massive welfare state in the 1970s and 1980s and a prototype for how not to run an economy. It slid to No. 17 in the global income rankings and experienced a deep financial and real estate crisis in 1991, according to a 2012 study from the Research Institute of Industrial Economics. To its enormous credit, Sweden reversed course with consummate skill and political courage; it has become a paragon of sensible economic and social policy.

Sweden's economic growth has been much higher than that of the rest of Western Europe, or the United States, since 2006. Data from the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show that Sweden has one of the lowest inflation rates in Europe; it runs a budget surplus every year; its corporate tax rates are considerably lower than U.S. rates; and it spends more on research and development, as a share of its economy, than we do. Its firms are highly competitive in the world economy, and it runs sizable current-account surpluse."

 

 

 

 

Steve Donaldson emails from the Bay Bridge Retrofit website

The self-proclaimed Emperor Norton was a celebrated and highly eccentric citizen of San Francisco and the first to decree that a suspension bridge be constructed to connect Oakland to San Francisco. On September 17, 1872 he decreed:

"Whereas, we issued our decree ordering the citizens of San Francisco and Oakland to appropriate funds for the survey of a suspension bridge from Oakland Point via Goat Island; also for a tunnel; and to ascertain which is the best project; and whereas the said citizens have hitherto neglected to notice our said decree; and whereas we are determined our authority shall be fully respected; now, therefore, we do hereby command the arrest by the army of both the Boards of City Fathers if they persist in neglecting our decrees."

Well, this didn't happen until 1936 but he had a vision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/21/13--8:43 AM--Irritant in warehouse front accompanied by raw "natural gas" odor. Raw"natural gas" odor has occurred intermittently for the last week or so.

8/24/13--~8:!1 AM-SERIOUS irritant in in warehouse front, light head. 9:55 AM--VERY SERIOUS, similar.

8/27/13--12:11AM--Irritant in warehouse front, mucus membrane irritation. 1:07 AM--similar. 9:24 AM--similar. 11:59 AM--similar. 2:31 PM--similar with raw "natural gas" odor. 8:56 PM--similar, VERY SERIOUS. 9:32 PM--similar, VERY, VERY SERIOUS.

 

 

 

 

 

eternally useful links

 

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

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

 

 

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.

http://gethuman.com/

 

 

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

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.

 

 

Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com

Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com


 

Our City Council update is here.

Our Planning Commision update is here

 

 

 

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 rlau@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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

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

 

 

 

 

ronpenndorf@earthlink.net

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