after 9/10/12 here, after 9/18/12 here

America's Cup

Steve Smith forwards photos from his friend Cyril Guiraud

Cyril is a professional musician and a sailor.  He was lucky enough to get a ride last week with the French Team. He was smiling from ear to ear when he got back.  




Councilman Capitelli emails

One of our neighbors in the District asked that we announce the following event to be held in Downtown Berkeley

Alan Turing, Pioneer of Our Digital Age--A Century Celebration

Alan Turing, A Centenary Celebration. Free Lecture and Panel Discussion, Tuesday, September 4, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m at
Berkeley City College's Auditorium at 2050 Center Street, near the Downtown Berkeley BART



"Assembly Passes Bike Safety Bill" at

"A bill calling for cars to give cyclists three-feet of passing space moves to the state senate."

Well, . . . "Good Nutrition Improves Sperm Quality in Older Men" at

"Older men who consume a healthy diet rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and folate have improved sperm DNA quality, according to a new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility. Interestingly, a higher intake of micronutrients didn't improve sperm DNA in younger men." . . . Ok then!






"California's temporary workers face increased likelihood of poverty, says new study" Kathleen Maclay Media Relations, UC.

"California's temporary workers are twice as likely as other employees in the Golden State to live in poverty, receive food stamps and be on Medicaid, according to a new report from UC Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education."
















last week, our Pete and Geralyn

were on Mousam Lake, Maine





Berkeley PD Ofc Byron White emails (excerpts)

Beginning Aug. 27, a helicopter may be seen flying at a low-level altitude over portions of San Francisco, Pacifica and Oakland, Calif. The helicopter will be taking measurements of naturally-occurring background radiation. The helicopter will make daily flights between Aug. 27 and Sept. 1, 2012.

The flyovers are a part of a joint research project between the Department of Homeland Security's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to assess natural background radiation levels. The survey will cover approximately 69 square miles over the selected locations. NNSA's twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, operated by the Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measuring System in Las Vegas, Nev., will perform the survey. The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the locations about 300 feet above the ground. The flights will be limited to daylight hours and the survey is estimated to take about five days to complete.





"UC Safety Alert: Carjacking Near Dwight and College" at

"Earlier this week, two local police agencies sent out an alert to residents about a carjacking just south of the University of California, Berkeley, campus.

Police said that last Friday, Aug. 24, a man armed with a gun confronted a driver in the 2500 block of Benvenue Avenue, near Dwight and College avenues, just before 8 p.m.

The driver, an adult male, was in his car waiting for a friend, police said.

The gunman ordered the driver out of his vehicle, a gray 2006 Pontiac GTO."



Berkeley PD Public Information Officer Jennifer Coats emails

Starting in September, 
Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Parking Enforcement Officers (PEO) 
will begin enforcing laws related to the fraudulent use of disabled 
placards or plates when parking. 
Working with the input of the City of Berkeley Commission on 
Disability, the BPD Parking Enforcement Division have been trained to 
conduct disabled placard abuse enforcement. PEOs will begin 
enforcement efforts on September 4, 2012. 
BPD Chief Michael K. Meehan stated "It's an unfortunate truth, but the  
abuse of disabled placards is not unusual in Berkeley.  We hope people 
understand how much of an impact the fraudulent use of placards has 
on our community, and desire that people choose not to use them 
illegally.  By providing our Parking Enforcement Officers with the 
ability to enforce these laws, we are taking action to protect and 
preserve parking spaces for legitimate placard holders." 
The abuse of disabled placards and plates limits the number of 
available accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities and 
hurts local businesses by limiting the parking space turnover.  The 
fraudulent use of disabled placards and plates has become a problem 
throughout California. 
The recent passing of Assembly Bill 144 allows PEOs to issue citations 
for the illegal use of disabled placards or plates. Previously, only 
police officers were allowed to enforce the disabled placard law. 
Upon request persons must present their identification and evidence of 
issuance of the placard or plate in their name to an authorized 
authority.  The use of someone else's placard or plates, without them 
being present is a violation.  Violators can be subject to a $1,000 fine 
and confiscation of the disabled placard.  
PEOs are in a unique position to observe, monitor and address 
violations while performing their daily duties.  BPD and the PEOs are 
focused on the abusive use of disabled placards and making parking 
accessible to all community members. 





"The Tom Bates Update" from our mayor can be viewd here.


our Mary Ann emails

this vintage streamliner photo


"All of California Homeowner Bill of Rights approved by Legislature" at

"The final parts of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights have passed out of both legislative houses and have been sent to the Governor's'desk.

"The entire Homeowner Bill of Rights legislative package will ensure fair lending and borrowing practices for California homeowners,' says Attorney General Kamala Harris. "California has been the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis and this package of legislation will help affected homeowners, tenants and neighborhoods."

Senate Bill 1474 by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, gives the Attorney General's office the ability to use a statewide grand jury to investigate and indict the perpetrators of financial crimes involving victims in multiple counties. . . .

On the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown is Assembly Bill 2610 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, which will require purchasers of foreclosed homes to give tenants at least 90 days before starting eviction proceedings. If the tenant has a fixed-term lease, the new owner must honor the lease unless the owner demonstrates that certain exceptions intended to prevent fraudulent leases apply."











In "The Day" Al Braver, my boss at Campus Records, used to say "It's the Groundskeepers at Cal who should get the awards."

Maybe now something like that applies to Wareham.
















Wednesday evening our liberal establishment had what can best be described as a gathering in support of Mayor Tom Bates reelection. Held at Potter Creek's Berkeley Mills, over 100 attended. Most present were in their thirties and over. Along with the good food and conversation the Mayor spoke, emphasizing the need to get out the vote.


Potter Creek's Berkeley Mills


Also Wednesday in the late afternoon BPD Lt Dave Frankel held one of his "Coffee with the Commander" hours. Held at Tomate Cafe on 5th Street it was well attended. West-Berkeley citizens expressed neighborhood concerns from continuing problems at the 9th Street Alcala house to dice-games on 8th Street north of Dwight. Well aware of the Alcala problem, Lt Frankel expressed the department's continuing concern. Ms Thurman, an Alcala house neighbor agreed, praised the half dozen or so officers that spoke of the problem at a recent city council meeting. Lieutenant Frankel also had the recent city-wide crime statistics and though auto burglaries are more frequent in our district, other crime rates are about the same. The coffee was exceptional--not a little thing.









"2004 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, an AW Drivers Dog" is a story with video by Mark Vaughn at

"A word of warning up front: The Wiener theme will now be stuck in your head for the next two weeks. It's been one week since I saw the big beige and orangish-colored wiener wagon and the theme has haunted me since, wafting in and out of my medulla oblongata like a nitrate-laden poltergeist. You know the jingle.

'Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weeeee-ner . . .'

There, now it's planted in your brain like the earwig babies in that Twilight Zone episode.

'That is what I'd truly like to beee-ee-eeee . . .'

Don't try to fight it, just give in and sing.

'Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer weee-ner . . .'

Keep telling yourself that, soon, 'Everyone will be in love with meeeeeeeee . . .

And stop worrying about whether broccoli might have been a better choice for you than ground-up beef nostrils and chicken lips. Hot dogs are an American icon, dammit, right up there with baseball and the Chevrolet W4 medium-duty truck chassis on which this most recognizable of motorized main dishes rides, with a 5.7-liter Vortech V8 wedged between the buns."


The original Wienermobile was designed by Brooks Stevens, a Milwaukee industrial designer and a visionary car collector. Stevens collected Duesnbergs and Rolls when they were just used cars.

He also designed the Milwaukee Road Hiawatha passenger cars--his Sky Top Observation Car remains a classic today.





Mr. Peanut's New Planters Nutmobile

"As part of our sustainability journey, Planters is embarking on the 2011 'Naturally Remarkable' tour, encouraging Americans to grow stronger communities through service and conservation. The tour inspires people to become planters by volunteering with The Corps Network, the nation's service and conservation corps. As part of the tour, Mr. Peanut's new Planters Nutmobile, fueled by biodiesel and powered with solar energy, will travel to over 16 cities across the U.S. "








"Heatley headed to Berkeley" by Curt Yeomans at Clayton News Daily.

"Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Edmond Heatley was named late Friday as the sole finalist for the superintendent's job with the Berkeley Unified School District, in Berkeley, Calif., late Friday, Clayton News Daily has learned."



















"Classical Guitar In The California Breeze" by NPR Staff

" 'My first memories are listening to music and feeling my body tingle,' says Philip Rosheger, a classical guitarist who performs outdoors in Berkeley, Calif.

Weekend Edition's series on the sounds of street music winds down with a classical guitarist: Philip Rosheger, who performs on the corner of Vine and Walnut in Berkeley, Calif. Rosheger says he was keen on music from an extremely young age - which didn't sit well with his father, a bandleader in the U.S. Air Force."






Demicello's Story

I find the Bach Suites more spiritual than most religious works I've read and I've devoted years of my life to the study of the Suites and have performed the first five. The Sixth Suite is written for a five string 'cello, an instrument of Bach's time. And although I could play the Sixth Suite, I found its sound pinched and tight when played on a four string instrument-a result of playing much of the piece in the higher positions with half-stopped strings.

Just before I stopped playing, I bought a five-string 'cello, with the idea of learning the Sixth Suite on the instrument for which it was written. And one afternoon about that time, the auburn-haired Mary Kate Connor brought a five-string player to my apartment. She'd told me about him before: "You should hear this guy. He plays Bach on a five-string 'cello on Telegraph Avenue. I think he's good."

A few days later the 'cellist arrived at my door with M.K. Although from the street, he looked just like a regular person and after introductory pleasantries, he began removing his 'cello from its well-worn hard case. As he did, we talked about Bach and the instrument, which was a modern four-string that he'd had converted. The instrument was beautiful and well cared for. After tuning he asked what I wanted to hear. "Bach." I replied, expecting to hear the Sixth Suite. Instead he began to play the Partitia in d minor for Unaccompanied Violin. It is a difficult enough piece for the violin and I thought it was unplayable on the 'cello. Yet he played it perfectly. In the fast movements his fingers flashed over the fingerboard with ease, his bow moving in a graceful Baroque style. The slow movements were perfectly drawn out. When he finished, I was speechless. I had never heard or seen such musical virtuosity. I finally got out something like, "That's pretty good. It must be hard to play." After some talk about the score-his careful, loving transcription of the Urtext-he left.

I went to the Avenue several times hoping to see him, but I never heard or saw him again.

(Folklore has it that there are basketball players on playground courts in New York City and L.A. who are better than the best of the NBA-but they're
simply not interested in the professional game.)









"'No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden'" a book review by Peter Bergen,

"Even before the book went on sale, the announcement by the publisher Dutton that the pseudonymous Mark Owen, one of the SEALs on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, would be publishing an account of his role in the raid quickly propelled 'No Easy Day' to the No. 1 slot on Amazon, . . .

It was inevitable that one of the men on the bin Laden mission would eventually write a book about it. After all, we live in an open society. Anyone involved in this history-making mission would want to set the record straight about what exactly happened - given some of the nonsense that has been written about it - and also make a little money on the side. (To his credit, Owen - whose real name has been revealed to be Matt Bissonnette - is donating most of the proceeds of his book to charities that help the families of fallen SEALs.) . . .

Owen's account of the raid fits almost exactly with my own understanding of the operation, based on being the only outside observer allowed inside the bin Laden compound before it was demolished and interviewing dozens of American officials familiar with the details of the operation, as well as interviews with Pakistani officials who investigated the aftermath of the raid."


John Miller speaks to the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts about the controversial book, which claims bin Laden wasn't fighting back.


















"Berkeley research reveals importance of online reviews to restaurant bookings" at

"When two economists at the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed the relationship between online reviews and purchasing decisions, they found just how important online star ratings are to a restaurant's popularity and takings."



"Now anyone can have massive computing power through" by Quentin Hardy, New York Times at

"Within a few years,'s creative destruction of both traditional book publishing and retail may be footnotes to the company's larger and more secretive gambit: giving anyone on the planet access to an almost unimaginable amount of computing power.

Every day, a startup called the Climate Corp. performs more than 10,000 simulations of the next two years' weather for more than 1 million locations in the United States. It then combines that with data on root structure and soil porosity to write crop insurance for thousands of farmers.

Another startup, called Cue, scans up to 500 million emails, Facebook updates and corporate documents to create a service that can outline the biography of a given person you meet, warn you to be home to receive a package or text a lunch guest that you are running late.

Each of these startups carries out computing tasks that a decade ago would have been impossible without a major investment in computers. Both of these companies, however, own little besides a few desktop computers. They and thousands of other companies now rent data storage and computer server time from, through its Amazon Web Services division, for what they say is a fraction of the cost of owning and running their own computers." 










(Recently) during an email exchange with a Russian aviation-book collector, I mentioned that I majored in Russian Studies, took three years of the Russian language and was a great admirer of Russian culture--but that now I remember little of the Russian language. Gleb replied "I studied Vietnamese and do not remember much of it either. But when I was a student I said that basically you need to know just two phrases--but in as many languages as is possible.

'Do not eat me, I am a Russian specialist,' and
'Do not shoot, I surrender!' "

Which reminds me of my favorite quote from the movie, "Russia House." Sean Connery's character--a drunk and jazz playing, British book-publisher--offers, when interrogated by the CIA. "I love the Russians, they're just a corrupt as you Americans but with less bull-shit."





We've just discovered the Red Velvet Cake at Marita's Sweet Potato Pie Company in Hilltop Mall

"The best Red Velvet Cake I've had. A twelve on a scale of ten." says Courtney Bean, server at 900 GRAYSON.

I agee!

"This place blew us away!! It really is the BEST red velvet cake you're going to try in the Bay Area . . . "

Check out Marita's other yelps.

Marita's is now in the Hilltop Mall next to 24 Hour Fitness. They seem to just be getting organized at this apparently new location. Call before going.





"Tata Air Car Powered Entirely by Compressed Air. Blow Me Down!" at the Australian

"Tata Motors, once derided as the company with a name that sounds like it ought to be spread on a Fillet-o-Fish, has been making some serious forward movement in the past year or two.

Now, hot on the heels of its recent acquisition of Land Rover and Jaguar, and news of the impending assault on the European market with the Tata Nano, the Indian company is set to release a car powered entirely by air. But is it all hot air? (You see what I did there.)

Turns out it's very much a legitimate prospect. Sure, it looks bloody ordinary, but let's look beyond the styling for the moment. The MiniCAT (Compressed Air Technology), invented by French madman and ex-F1 engineer Guy Negre and his company Motor Development International (MDI), is a lightweight fibreglass urban car built around a tubular chassis which is glued together rather than welded. More importantly than that, and as you've no doubt gathered, it's powered entirely by compressed air."

An older report "Air Car by Guy Negre on The Science Channel" can be viewed on youtube.


One of Wareham's new tenants is involved in the "new compressed air/energy technology."





building size

portaits at Bayer










"In Italy, world's oldest bank faces uncertain future" Michael Birnbaum at

"Monte dei Paschi bank in Siena, Italy (is) the oldest bank in the world. The 540-year-old bank is struggling because of poor investment decisions and the financial problems of the Italian government.

Tucked away in this Tuscan city, the oldest bank in the world has survived the Borgias, pestilence and too many wars to count. Now, a mundane foe has proved far more dangerous: Italian government debt.

The 540-year-old Monte dei Paschi Bank, Italy's third-largest, is on the ropes as it struggles to deal with holdings of Italian bonds, once considered a prudent place to tuck cash."



"Mike Lofgren on Dysfunction in Our Political Parties" is a sometimes chilling conversation at

'Bill talks with Mike Lofgren, a long-time Republican who describes the modern dysfunction of both the Republican and Democratic parties. In Lofgren's view, Republicans have become overly obsessed with obstructing President Obama, and the Democrats suffer from political complacency. Lofgren's new book is The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted."





"SEAL tells 60 Minutes book is for honor, not politics" at with video.

"A retired Navy SEAL who was present at the killing of Osama bin Laden tells Scott Pelley in a 60 Minutes interview that his book about the raid is not a political statement, rather it is timed to commemorate the 9/11 attack and give credit to the hundreds of people whose work made the mission a success. The former SEAL Team 6 member, who uses the pseudonym Mark Owen, will appear in his first interview on 60 Minutes, Sunday Sept. 9 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT." 


















our Steve Smith emails

I took this picture this weekend at the Ardenwood Farm Preserve Regional Park in Fremont. . . .  All original paintwork.  Beautiful interior as well with oak benches and sliding oak doors.

This "horse drawn" car belonged to the Claremont University & Ferries Street Railroad Co. and was in service in the 1890s




"Peralta Park Hotel and Its Colorful Founder" at

"Open, expansive grasslands, streams meandering from oak-studded hills, a few rural homesteads and scattered livestock was the scene in the East Bay landscape north of the community of Berkeley in the 1890s. So it must have been a surprise to newcomers to look up and see a palatial, opulent building, festooned with turrets and gables, looming in the distance over the pastoral setting.

Completed in the early 1890s, the four-story Peralta Park Hotel had 60 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms, and was considered the height of luxury at the time. It was built by Maurice B. Curtis, a famous and flamboyant actor who arrived in Berkeley in the late 1880s and quickly became one of the East Bay's most notable, and later notorious, citizens. . . .

To ensure easy access to his hotel, which at the time was in an undeveloped area (much of the hotel site would later become part of Albany), Curtis convinced a local railway company to run a branch horsecar line out Sacramento Street to Hopkins Street, thus connecting the hotel to the more developed areas of Berkeley.

Unfortunately, his resort plans never fully materialized. In 1891, Curtis attended a theater performance in San Francisco. As the night wore on, he began drinking heavily and ended up having a run-in with the police. A scuffle ensued, a shot was fired and Curtis was accused of murdering a police officer.

Curtis maintained his innocence, and although evidence weighed against him, after a series of controversial trials he was found not guilty. "



Read a History of Berkeley From the Ground Up and read more about the Peralta Park Hotel.









"Berkeley's new Dharma College teaches happiness" Johannes Gernert, Oakland Tribune.

"There probably aren't too many colleges whose sole purpose is to make its students happier, more peaceful and less stressed-out. But Dharma College which will be starting its first courses in October in downtown Berkeley is definitely one of them, it might even be the only one.

The teachers at this new college at 2222 Harold Street, a freshly renovated block between the public library and YMCA, are lawyers, historians and political scientists. Their main interest, however, is Buddhism and the way it can help to explore "the experience of mind and how it presents things to us," said Robin Caton, a co-director.

'As we learn the mind itself starts to shift,' she explains. 'What we are interested in is more happiness, more peace of mind, less confusion and less stress.' "



















The San Francisco Symphony is celebrating its 100th Birthday.

Scrambled Eggs and its parent Recollections Journal of Recorded Music have been celebrating our symphony and Maître for years.

Pierre Monteux, Maître


The Monteux Era by Thomas Simone

Honorary Fire Chief

Hancock Maine VFA

The Monteux School was, and is, in Hancock, his wife's hometown.


Monteux's San Fransico Years by Ronald Penndorf









"Students victims of armed robbery south of UC Berkeley campus" Chloe Hunt,

"Two students were the victims of an armed robbery Sunday night near the intersection of Channing Way and Ellsworth Street."




"HVS Capital Corp announces Historic Hotel Durant in California to Be Sold" by Aria Munro,

"HVS Capital Corp has been exclusively appointed to sell the Hotel Durant in Berkeley, Calif. The 143-room property is a historic, contemporary, boutique hotel adjacent the University of California at Berkeley, within walking distance of all student housing, the newly renovated football stadium and the basketball arena.

In 1924, the Berkeley Hotel Corporation was formed and hired the firm of William Weeks, one of the most prolific and versatile architects of his generation, to design the hotel. The property's namesake, Henry Durant, was the first President of the University of California at Berkeley and a former mayor of Oakland. The Hotel Durant opened in 1928 with a gala celebration, music, refreshments and tours throughout this new hostelry."









"CHP officer critical, I-680 suspect dead" Henry K. Lee, Carolyn Jones and Kevin Fagan at

"A traffic stop gone horribly wrong Tuesday morning on commuter-jammed Interstate 680 left a gunman dead and a California Highway Patrol officer fighting for his life - and shattered the serenity of one of the Bay Area's most exclusive communities.

Scores of officers held vigil at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where the seven-year CHP veteran was rushed after a shootout on the side of the freeway in Alamo. I-680 was closed in both directions for much of the day so investigators could search for clues, trapping thousands of motorists and forcing cars onto suburban surface streets throughout the morning and evening commutes.

The tragedy began at 8:20 a.m. when the CHP officer, who was identified as Kenyon Youngstrom, 37, of Fairfield, pulled over a black Jeep Wrangler in the southbound lanes near Livorna Road. As the officer approached the car from the front, the driver opened fire and badly wounded him, said Jimmy Lee, a spokesman for the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the episode.

A second CHP patrolman had just driven up to the scene and opened fire on the Jeep driver, mortally wounding him, before rushing to help his fellow officer."


















"Officer's shooting a tragic loss for entire community" Contra Costa Times editorial.

"Most members of the California Highway Patrol who we know don't really fear too much. If they did, they couldn't do such a dangerous job. But in quiet moments, most will confide that the 'routine' traffic stop is one of those parts of the job that often gives them trepidation.

Once again, the reason for that wariness was driven home in tragic fashion Tuesday morning as California Highway Patrolman Kenyon Youngstrom was gunned down on I-680 near Alamo as part of such a traffic stop.

It is an unimaginable tragedy for the family of the 37-year-old father of four to receive such devastating news. The knowledge that this could someday happen is the special burden heroically carried -- but seldom discussed -- by the families of those who do hazardous and necessary jobs. That includes police and firefighters and, especially, those in the military, which Youngstrom had done as well.

We join the enormous chorus to offer our deepest sympathies, condolences and gratitude to his family."






Recently, the interior of the 2600 8th Street warehouse, north of Greener Printer, has been gutted and a new wall erected. This, after the previous tenants had been given 30 day notices.


the Mother of All Trash Dumps was made this week in front of the building's 2635 8th street unit.

Our Councilman's Aid, Ryan Lau emails of the dump

Yikes!  I'll get it taken care of.  Thanks for letting us know, Ron.


Across the street, Consolidated Printing has started on their Fall election ballot printing.


The French School Fall Semester has begun at both the 9th Street Campus and the 8th and Grayson Campus.



Councilman Capitelli emails

This month marks the one-year anniversary of my monthly Coffee with the Councilmember. Each time I have met with constituents, usually somewhere between ten and twenty attendees, I am impressed with residents' deeply felt concerns about the quality of our neighborhoods, the future of our shopping areas and the effectiveness of City government.

The most often-asked question is:
What can be done to invigorate Solano Avenue? Our 2010 Solano Avenue Survey told us that residents envision a neighborhood commons - a pedestrian-friendly boulevard lined with trees, sidewalk seating and vibrant businesses.

To that end we have accomplished the following:
· In late 2010 the Council adopted my proposed zoning changes for Solano that eased zoning thresholds for new businesses, suspended the restaurant quota and allowed a variety of uses. (Solano's newest business, Five Star Video, took only two days to get their permit.)
· The permit process for sidewalk seating has been streamlined.
· Berkeley received a California "Safe Routes to Transit" grant for Solano and Colusa to extend sidewalks and create bulb outs designed to make pedestrian travel safer. The project includes a bike shelter on the southeast corner. The added benefit will be room for trees and sidewalk seating. This is the work going on now and it is expected to be complete by the Solano Stroll next Sunday, September 9th.
· I initiated the renewal of the Solano Avenue Business Improvement District. Their first project is to plant up to 34 trees along upper Solano, funded through a Cal Trans Grant and a portion of their BID funds. Expect to see young trees by early November.

full email can be read here




 "Burger Battle: Suit Says In-N-Out Discriminates" at

"A Berkeley law firm filed a class action lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court Tuesday alleging that In-N-Out Burger discriminates on the basis of race, color and age."








"'Red Ink': A frank conversation on the federal debt" is a report with an audio link at

"If the United States of America came to you asking for a loan, would you say yes?

We recently spoke with David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of a new book, 'Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget.' Mr. Wessel explained how the U.S. went from record budget surpluses to enormous deficits, and whether the country is likely to get its fiscal house in order any time soon.

In the late 1990s, some analysts were concerned about what would happen to the bond market once the federal debt was paid off-in, say, 2010 or 2015. What happened? How did we get where we are today?

David Wessel: It's a really good point. I was there when Alan Greenspan warned Congress that we had to think about what was going to happen when we paid off the entire federal debt. That was in the early 2000s. Well, as it turned out, we solved that problem!

At that time, the Congressional Budget Office was predicting we'd have $6 trillion worth of surpluses over the 2000s. Instead, we had $6 trillion worth of deficits. They were off by $12 trillion. So what happened? Well, four things."



















"FBI releases more records on Richard Aoki" Seth Rosenfeld, Center for Investigative Reporting at

"Revelations that prominent radical activist Richard Aoki was an FBI informant have prompted angry denials among his supporters, but newly released records confirm he was secretly providing information to agents during the period he gave the Black Panthers guns and firearms training.

The documents from Aoki's FBI informant file - totaling 221 pages - were released after a court challenge under the Freedom of Information Act and show that Aoki was an informant from 1961 to 1977, with only brief interruptions. The records say that at various points, he provided information that was "unique" and of 'extreme value.' "





"I am woman, hear me rev: Female motorcycle riders on the rise" Jessica Yadegaran, Contra Costa Times.

"Some women get their nails done or go to book club. For Charlie Thayer, 'me' time is tearing through the Santa Cruz Mountains on her neon blue Kawasaki Ninja 250 sport bike.

'You're out there moving through time and space, present in your surroundings,' says Thayer, 31, of Santa Clara. 'There's also the thrill of going 70 mph. But don't tell my husband that.'

Thayer represents a growing trend: female motorcycle riders."

though, . . . womens' involement with bikes is not new

a female reader from the South of France emailed





"New high-tech airships taking shape" W.J. Hennigan of the Los Angeles Times at

"Not since the waning days of World War II have the mammoth wooden blimp hangars at the former military base in Tustin, Calif., seen as much airship manufacturing work as they do today.

Inside the 17-story structures that rise above southern Orange County, Worldwide Aeros Corp. is building a blimp-like airship designed for the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world.

'Nobody has ever tried to do what we're doing here,' Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said of the 265-foot skeleton being transformed into the cargo airship. 'This will revolutionize airship technology.'

In recent years, the affordability of airships as well as developments in high-definition cameras, high-powered sensors and other unmanned technologies have turned these oddball aircraft from curiosities of a bygone era to must-have items for today's 

And airships increasingly are being used for civilian purposes." 


. . . neither are airships

USS Los Angeles







our Councilman Moore emails (excerpt)

West Berkeley Project Master Use Permit (MUP) Community Benefits
Planning Commission Meeting Schedule
I am very committed to ensuring that the Community Benefits package that we get from developers through the West Berkeley Project Master Use Permit (MUP) process is the most effective and robust as possible and that it provides significant benefits to our West Berkeley residents.  As part of this effort, the City Council has charged the Berkeley Planning Commission to conduct a public process to solicit input from community members on what the Community Benefits package should look like.  I want to make sure that neighbors have every opportunity to weigh in on this, so I am providing the Planning Commission's schedule for their discussion of the West Berkeley Project's Community Benefits.

September 12, 2012 - Special Meeting: West Berkeley MUP Community Benefits Workshop, *North Berkeley Senior Center, 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
September 19, 2012 - Public Hearing: West Berkeley MUP Community Benefits, *North Berkeley Senior Center, 7:00 p.m. start
October 3, 2012 - Discussion: West Berkeley MUP Community Benefits, **City Council Chambers, 7:00 p.m. start

Full email is here




"Michael Chabon Journeys Back To 'Telegraph Avenue'" NPR Staff at,

"Michael Chabon's books include The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Manhood for Amateurs. He lives in Berkeley, Calif., with his wife, novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children. . . .

Michael Chabon's latest novel, Telegraph Avenue, is named after the famed road that divides Oakland and Berkeley in California.

In the book, that's also where two couples - Nat and Aviva, who are white, and Archy and Gwen, who are black - are struggling to get by. The two men are friends, partners in a vinyl record shop. Their wives work together as nurse midwives."

Many things divide Berkeley and Oakland but last I looked Telegrapgh wasn't one of them.







"Tapping Crowds to Track California's Weeds"

"If you have a sharp eye for invasive plants ­ and a smartphone ­ you can help a Bay Area non-profit in its effort to document the distribution and spread of invasive plants across California.

The Berkeley-based California Invasive Plant Council, or Cal-IPC, has found that weeds cost the state at least $82 million annually in terms of increased erosion and flooding, degraded agricultural land and reduced water supplies."


"Soon, bacteria-eating virus to power your mobile phone"

"Scientists in US have figured out a method to harness energy from a virus that eats bacteria, to charge a cell phone.

A team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have discovered how to generate electricity from a virus known as M13 bacteriophage."
















"SEAL's first-hand account of bin Laden killing" a conversation with Scott Pelley, on video, from 60 Minutes at

"His voice and face disguised and using the pseudonym Mark Owen, one of the Navy SEALs who participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden gives an exclusive interview to Scott Pelley. Owen, now retired, says the SEALs trained for the mission using a full-size replica of the bin Laden compound, and that a dress rehearsal was held for military top brass. And Owen refutes charges that he's trying to make a political statement with his book, 'No Easy Day.' "






"Albany suits try to block UC project" Damin Esper at

"Two lawsuits have been filed to stop the University Village project approved by the City Council in July.
The lawsuits seek to invalidate the project's environmental impact report by raising questions about the report's legitimacy because of alleged violations of the California Environmental Quality Act.

The University of California development would bring a Whole Foods Market and senior housing to land running along San Pablo Avenue."



"Peeping Ron:A long-awaited book on Ronald Reagan's secret alliance with the FBI" a pretend book review of Seth Rosenfeld's "Subversives" by Rick Perlstein, . . . with atitude.

"In January of 1965, FBI agents closing in on mobster Joseph 'Joe Bananas' Bonanno discovered that the hellion son of an FBI informant code-named T-10 was raising hell alongside Bonanno's own teenage son. Agents looked to exploit the two boys' relationship to help break the case-until, that is, J. Edgar Hoover ordered his underlings to instead warn informant T-10 that his son's mob associations might harm the confidential source's fledgling political career. The Justice Department never did manage to pin a decent indictment on Joe Bananas. But T-10-and his fledgling political career-did just fine. He later became the fortieth president of the United States."







From a little while ago on Amoeba Records blog.

"Really liked DBA Brown's in Piedmont. And then there's the great dragon, Ron Pendorf in his Recollections . . . , sitting on his hoard of Shaded Dogs over in East Berkeley.

Surprisingly Ron is still there, and still [an] activist in environmental local issues. . . ."


Yesterday, the last four blocks of my Potter Creek morning bike ride were spent talking and riding next to "Flash," Roger an African-American who I've know since the Buttercup--then a wild man but not so much any more. "I'm interested in world peace now " he said. "I'll settle for peace of mind" I replied. That's easy Roger said "Just keep it simple." I 'm working on that.



Milo's First Day of School

Milo drawings











8/29/12--8:03 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, burning dry dirty air, mucus membrane irritation, overides three HEPA filters. 8:54AM--similar, SERIOUS.

9/1/12--11:15 AM-- irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation. During Labor Day weekend, varieation from SERIOUS irritant in front room to VERY, VERY SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and front of warehouse, overrides HEPA filters, often some activity apparent at neighbors'. 9/3/12--3:02 PM--irritant in front of warehouse, mucus membrane irritation, "hot plasitic" odor, apparent activity on Labor Day at neighbors'. 4:23 PM-- irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation.

9/4/12--5:00 PM-- irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation, dirty dry air.

9/7/12--8:25 AM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, light head, since early morning. 6:34 PM--irritant in front of warehouse, mucus membrane irritation. 8:29 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, "burning rubber" odir, mucus membrane irritation.

9/8/12--7:36 PM--irritant in front of warehouse, mucus membrane irritation. 9:17 PM-- SERIOUS irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation.

9/9/12==11:13 AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front, "high end" odor, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, Marsha similar. 11:42 AM--similar, but like the worst "Spare the Air Day" with heavy air, head ache, ear ache, nausea. 1:45 PM--VERY STRONG "hot metal" odor in warehouse front.








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