the West Berkeley Bowl--a model





Today is Berkeley's 128th Birthday.


 This week my site had more visits than any other since its launch.


 Raised as a Christian Scientist--a religion establish by Mary Baker Eddy in the 1800s--I was exposed to our newspaper the Monitor early on. I respected its then-policy of not reporting sensational crime and mayhem. As much as possible, I will follow this policy in my posts--but arrests will be posted as well as notices of possible community danger.


You can check out the Christian Science Monitor here.


 "Church event to serve area's young homeless: Dental exams, bike repairs and pet checkups will be among services" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "Berkeley police officers will grill the food, waiters from Cafe Venezia will serve it, and dozens of homeless young people will be sitting down at tables with tablecloths."


 One of Potter Creek's more successful retail establishments is the worker owned sex-cooperative "Good Vibrations" which is just down from Caffé Trieste. Check them out here.

And almost 'cross the street is the "marijuana store." 


"BERKELEY --SWAT teams nab 2 in party slaying. Suspects caught in Berkeley, Oakland" reports Henry K. Lee, of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Berkeley police arrested two suspects Wednesday in the slaying of a father who was shot and killed while hosting a party at his house for teens,. . . The Berkeley police SWAT team arrested James Freeman, 29, of Oakland on Wednesday morning. Later in the day, the Oakland police SWAT team arrested Antonio Harris, 18, after he barricaded himself inside a home near 83rd Avenue and Olive Street in East Oakland, authorities said."


"Berkeley Plans to Accept 'Free' Wind Turbine for Marina" reports Judith Scherr of Our Planet.


 Webster defines lobbying as "to try to influence . . . in favor of a certain policy by constantly seeking interviews, writing letters, bringing external pressures to bear" and lobbyist as "one who lobbies." Sounds like our Mr. Rick to me.

Rick strongly objects to the word lobbyist preferring advocate.


 Oligarchy is that "in which the power is in the hands of the few."


 And, according to my Professor at the Mary Poppins Institute of Behavioral Research

"It's all in the mind of the beholder."






 "Internet Injects Sweeping Change Into U.S. Politics" reports Adam Nagourney of The New York Times. " The transformation of American politics by the Internet is accelerating with the approach of the 2006 Congressional and 2008 White House elections, prompting the rewriting of rules on advertising, fund-raising, mobilizing supporters and even the spreading of negative information."


I've encountered some Berkeley Voluntary Associations lately--the West Berkeley Business Association, the Traffic and Safety Coalition, WEIBAC, etc--and find some not that transparent. This is surprising since an active member of one of the associations is mayor-candidate, Zelda Bronstein--an advocate of transparency through her writings.



"Family's best efforts didn't keep party safe. Text messaging seen as a culprit in event that took deadly turn" reports Jim Herron Zemora of The Chronicle.



Though never over-estimating our common-sense, I often naively believe Berkeley to be an informed, acceptant even sophistcated community. Sadly, I am often disappointed. For instance, it is well known, even in Turlock, that the legitimate motorcycle-clubs have a long history of individual and group volunteerism--including combating drug addiction, helping the disabled, the elderly, battered women and abused children.

Which brings me back to "We're not special, we're spoiled."



The fastest growing group of bikers, by-the-way are women. Of course, there is the pioneering Bay Area club "Dikes on Bikes."



The Nexus building is still for sale. Mike Korman of Korman and Ing is representing Nexus with Norheim and Yost representing the Society. Nexus has the right of first refusal. Mike, who I worked with at Campus Records in the '60s, helped the Ann Crowden School purchase their facility.



Sure we've had "record breaking" rain this month but the records being broken are not rainfall totals but the number of days of rain. Maybe not the real important records, huh?






Pete's Potter Creek rain totals.

Saturday to Sunday morning .85 inches. Sunday to Monday morning 1 inch.



From the West County Times

Starting this week, the Berkeley Public Library will host a Monday evening lecture series about the city's history.


Monday: Vista College history professor Chuck Wollenberg will provide a historical overview.


April 17: "A City of Neighborhoods -- Preservation and Development" by John McBride of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association and John Steere of Livable Berkeley.


April 24: "Edible Berkeley -- the Rise of California Cuisine" by restaurateur/KCBS food maven Narsai David.


May 1: "Partisans and Politics -- the Electoral History of Berkeley" by longtime local political activists Marty Schiffenbauer and Randy Silverman.


May 8: "Athens of the West -- Berkeley's Culture and Image" by writer Gray Brechin, author of "Imperial San Francisco."


May 15: "Town and Gown -- the university and the city" by UC Berkeley city planner Dorothy Walker.


May 22: "Multi-ethnic Berkeley -- Migration and Class in Berkeley" by Vista College African American Studies professor Faye Wimberly.


All lectures are free. The public is invited to drop in on as many as desired, and Vista College students will get one class credit by attending the entire series. The library is at 2090 Kittredge St. in downtown Berkeley.




"Officials plan disaster response. Bike messengers, ham operators could solve high-tech communications failures"writes Martin Snapp of the West County Times.






Less than a week after the Berkeley holdup at the Bank of America on Shattuck Avenue, the bank is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man who may have committed other area bank robberies. Anyone with information about this case or information leading to the identity of the suspect is asked to call Berkeley police at: (510) 981-5742.


My friend Takane Eshima emails

My wife Kiyo is planning another photo exhibit at Fertile Grounds Cafe here in Berkeley. She wants all of the proceeds to go to support Musicians in New Orleans--a legitimate source that is in need of financial support. Hopefully, she will be able to sell enough of her work to make some difference. (The buyers can take a legitimate tax write off.) Her exhibit will be from April 1 to April 30 with a reception on April 7th. Fertile Grounds is at 1796 Shattuck. Their phone number is (510)-548-1423.


"Making church music sing in the concert hall" reports Joshua Kosman of two Berkeley choral concerts. Read his San Francisco Chronicle review here.


"Berkeley Historical Society Spring Walking Tours" writes Steven Finacom in the Daily Planet. "Historic neighborhoods coping with change seem to be an informal unifying theme of most of this spring's Berkeley Historical Society's walking tours."


The Planning Commission will take comments on the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl recirculated traffic impact analysis and revised alternatives analysis of the draft environmental impact report Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave.


"UC Berkeley takes next step in organic dining. New salad bar is first on a U.S. campus to be certified" writes Matt Krupnick of the West County Times. "Long a bastion of progressive environmental politics, the Cal campus on Monday greeted students returning from spring break with the first organic-certified salad bar at a U.S. college or university. With an assortment of carcinogen-free spinach, carrots, cucumbers, kidney beans and other produce at the Crossroads dining hall, students said they noticed a difference."


Irritant in front room from 9:53 AM.







Pete's Potter Creek rain total.

Monday to mid-day Tuesday .65 inches.


"Likelihood of housing dip is building, report finds" writes James Temple of the West County Times.


You don't have to go to Oakland or Emeryville to find a sports bar. We have our own in Potter Creek. Check out the Missouri Lounge at San Pablo and Parker. Go watch an A's game on their 50" plasma TV and have a beer.


"Bill targets greenhouse pollutants" reports Edwin Garcia in the West County Times. "California is poised to become the first state in the nation to enforce a comprehensive limit on the air pollution that causes global warming, under legislation announced Monday."


"Disabled find frustration in job search. Advocates make efforts to open doors, but one says some employers still have 'fears and misconceptions'" reports Ellen Simon of the AP in a West County Times story. "Bruce Morgan knew he was in for a long job search. Morgan has a strong résumé and a master's in Business Administration, but he also has cerebral palsy, which affects his speech. After his company, Nabisco, was bought by Kraft Foods Inc., his 25-person department was laid off on the same day in 2004."


Only 35 % of the disabled between 18 and 64 are employed. Some studies put unemployment of the disabled well above 75%. By personal experience I've found these statistics to be accurate--and of course appalling.


In a story about our Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, Joe Garafoli of the Chronicle reports "Berkeley blogger finds his voice and fends off success."








4/5/06 11:50 AM irritant in entire warehouse; 12:10 SERIOUS irritant in entire warehouse; 3:35 SERIOUS irritant in entire warehouse; 5:50 irritant in entire warehouse with chlorine and melting plastic odor; wear mask all day; 6:33 PM burning lips, eyes, throat, leave.




Next CAL Noon Concert Friday, April 7th looks like a good one and it's free, of course.


Brahms Sonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano, 1st mvt-- Andy Joo and Joanne Lee

Mozart Quartet in F, 1st mvt--Christine Kyong, Garrett McLean, Jeffrey Kuo,Ting Chin.

Schubert String Quintet in C, 1st mvt--Kristine Pacheco, Natasha Ong, Michael Uy, Diane Lee, Leighton Fong


The concerts are held on campus in Hertz Hall.




I'm looking forward to Summer and sun and strawberries so here again from Mexico City is


Isabel's Strawberries:

1 pound of fresh strawberries
1/2-cup of sugar
2-cups of white dry wine
1/4-cup of freshly chopped basil

After washing the strawberries, put them on a large bowl and cover them
with the sugar, wine, and basil. Mix everything with your hands, being
Cover them and leave them a couple of hours--mix them
from time to time.

(I'm not very good at writing these kind of things in English, I
usually do it in Spanish.) Isabel



From my Log


3/1/06--6:40 AM irritant in front room; 6:32 PM irritant in front room, odor of burning gas; 8:35 PM same, burning lips, eyes, light headed. 3/2/06--4:33 PM irritant in warehouse, use mask; 5:39 PM same, burning eyes. 3/8/06 SERIOUS irritant in front room, light headed, use mask. 3/9/06 irritant in front room; 1:05 PM same, leave. 3/11/06 7:46 AM irritant in front room, eyes, nose burn, leave. 3/12/06 ~ 1: PM--2:00 PM irritant in warehouse. 3/13/06--7:39 AM irritant in front room, light headed, SEVERE headache; 8:49 AM irritant in front room; 11:39 AM irritant in entire warehouse. 3/14/06 8:41 AM VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, light headed, chills, dry skin, use mask. 4:51 PM irritant in front room, use mask. 3/15/06 4:59 PM irritant in front room, use mask. 3/17/06 8:50 AM SERIOUS irritant in warehouse, use mask. 3/18/06 4:20 PM irritant in front room. (A new irritant has arrived in Potter Creek--fumes, best described as a mix of acetone and alcohol. I noticed them yesterday--March 22--at 11:15 AM in front of 2741 and 2743 8th and Sunday when we came down from the hills at 2:27 PM in front of AND inside 2743 8th. Though my HEPA filters--at 2743 8th--had been running all day they could not clean the air. Unusual, for they immediately clean the air of any post-baked-bean-lunch gas in a 12' x 12' room. These new fumes linger.) 3/25/06 9:07 AM irritant in warehouse. 3/27/06 3:24 PM SERIOUS irritant in warehouse, cough, burning throat, use mask. 3/28/06 9:02 AM same. 3/30/06 10:30 AM entire warehouse filled with irritant, cough, etc; off-and-on all day. 3/31/06 same.





Children of the Sun is published privately by Nivaria Press, and edited by Gordon Kennedy and traces the Wandervogel movement from Germany to California. (Some of the last photos are of a very young Gypsy Boots--as an older Hippie he came into Moe's hoping to sell his health bars. Moe liked'em, so we sold his bars in a featured display on the upstairs counter--a box of bars.) The book is filled with beautiful photos and drawings of nude men and women interspersed with portraits of very stern Germans. With these photos, drawings, other historical material, and text the book convincingly maps the German nature movement from Germany to California--a movement that fed into our Hippies of the '60s. Ironically, it also greatly influenced Die Hitler Jungen of the'30s.


Seems somebody tore down my flag again--this time they just ripped it off one of its mountings leaving it hanging by the other.



Penelope Huston emails . . . thanks to all the people who are coming to the Fillmore this
Friday... the show is sold out and should be fun.

Moe and I backed a band that opened for her Avengers at the Mabuhay--XrayTed. Lost a few bucks, we did. Though they had one hit Xmas tune, Santa Claustrophobia.

Josh "Kornblum" interviewed Penelope some weeks ago on KQED--check it out in rerun or in archive.



Bay Area artist, Michael Beck emails

Please join us at FRESH, a lively art auction and fundraiser benefiting Visual Aid's programs for artists with life-threatening illnesses, and the Academy of Friends, helping HIV/AIDS service organizations.

Thursday, April 20th, 6-9:00pm, Live Auction begins at 7:00 pm

Clift Hotel,
495 Geary Street, San Francisco.
$25 admission
No advance ticket sales.
For info: call 415-777-8242 or visaid@visualaid.org.


I forgot that Mary Snowden, Bay Area artist and Chair at California School of the Arts, told Mike Haley in the'70s that The Buttercup--then just a coffee shop on the corner--was for sale.


Marvin and Ruth are now planning the demolition of the old house on their property so that they can go ahead with their new building.


Both Liposfsky and Ruth went to the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl Planning Commission meeting last night. Pretty much "the usual testimony from the usual suspects" they report.






A particularly informative Daily Planet today--sadly, of the many people at the Gilman Grill this morning, I was the only one reading it.


"There Were Always Uncles at Christmas" Becky O'Malley reminisces. "In the olden days, back around 1960, I first heard Dylan Thomas's recording of 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' on one of the Pacifica stations, in the period when they were not afraid to celebrate sectarian holidays like Christmas.'Were there Uncles like in our house?' Thomas asks in his child's voice. And the adult's answer: 'There are always Uncles at Christmas. The same Uncles... Some few large men sat in the front parlors, without their collars, Uncles almost certainly, trying their new cigars, holding them out judiciously at arms' length, returning them to their mouths, coughing, then holding them out again as though waiting for the explosion' The Uncles popped up a few more times in the tale, jumping and rumbling and 'breathing like dolphins.'"


"Rain Drains Cause Concern All Over Berkeley" reports Judith Scherr "In Berkeley, when it rains, it floods. 'During any moderate rainstorm, there are currently over 500 trouble spots throughout the city that have continual problems of blockages, failures, or flooding,' City Manager Phil Kamlarz wrote in his 2006 Budget Report."


Then Ms Scherr reports "Creeks Task Force Reports--Updating the Creeks Ordinance, the project a task force has been struggling with for about 18 months, is aimed at maintaining the city's natural waterways and surrounding habitat." Read her report.


And Zelda Bronstein comments on "Why I'm Running For Mayor."


From my Log

4/3/06--6:35 PM irritant in front room. 4/4/06--9:40 AM SERIOUS irritant in entire warehouse, use mask. 4/5/06--11:50 AM irritant in entire warehouse; 12:10 PM--SERIOUS irritant in entire warehouse; 3:35 PM--SERIOUS irritant in entire warehouse; 5:50 PM--irritant in entire warehouse with chlorine and melting plastic odor; wear mask off-and-on all day; 6:33 PM--burning lips, eyes, throat, leave. 4/6/06 11:11--AM irritant in front room, cough, use mask. 2:32 PM--irrtant in front room, use mask. 4/7/06--11:47 AM SERIOUS irritant in entire warehouse, cough, etc, use mask.






"Bill Seeks Disclosure of Tax Breaks," is Jessica Guyyn's story about our Loni Hancock's bill requiring corporations to disclose how much money they receive in state tax breaks. The report sheds light on corporation tax benefits from enterprise zones. It appears in today's West County Times.


"Women at Home at the Shooting Range" a report on the increase in female gun club membership and shooting range use by Danielle Samaniego also appears in today's Times.

(In the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution some of the fiercest fighters were the female, soldaderá.)






"No standard for cities on pot issue--In the East Bay, most dispensary ordinances consist of moratoriums" reports Tom Lochner of the West County Times. "Nearly a decade ago, California voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes. The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 allows patients to grow, possess and use marijuana on the recommendation of a doctor. It has meant relief to many who suffer from chronic pain and from illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, AIDS and many others. Today, city and county officials across the state say they are caught between the will of the voters and federal law, which classifies marijuana as an illegal drug with no medical use and a high potential for abuse -- the same as heroin."

My Mentor Al Braver, in his 80s, used to regularly toak-up with medical marijuana.


Jerry Landis emails

Even a jaded music junkie who catches a couple classical concerts a week can be surprised by a
special treat. Friday evening (April 7) I attended a concert in the intimate space of the Giorgi Gallery
(2911 Claremont Avenue) by two young women, violinist Iris Stone and pianist Eva-Marie Zimmermann, both
consummate artists who play with the rapport of close friends (their husbands are also both musicians,
playing in local string quartets). They began their duo concert with a richly romantic
reading of Prokofiev's Second Sonata, followed by three engaging pieces by Ned Rorem, and concluding
with a dazzling performance of Beethoven's "Kreutzer".

The Stone-Zimmermann Duo will repeat this program on Saturday, April 15 at Hillside Concerts, 2692 Shasta
Road, but seating is limited. Reservations: bob@cowart.com or (510) 540-6667.



"Italian icon scoots downtown this week--Vespa dealership opens Wednesday [in Walnut Creek] , promising style, affordability and ease in parking, traffic" reports Ashley Surdin of the West County Times. "First came the jewelry store Audrey Hepburn dallied at in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"; now comes the motorscooter she putt-putted on in 'Roman Holiday.'


In a very, very scaled down "On the Road," in The Day Mike Haley and I took a Vespa GS 150 from San Fancisco to Mexico--two adults and luggage for lots and lots of miles. Mostly I remember the scent of the lemon groves along 101. Mike remembers the rain dripping off my ears along Highway 1. And inspired by "Roman Holiday, Kimar rode her's around San Francisco.


Kruse long-range plans include moving all of their operation inside, leaving the yard space for parking--another well-planned, considerate and neigborhood-friendly move by the Kruse boys.

Those of the Kruse staff who wanted to go are now on a company ski-trip.


And then there's the neigborhood art school--check out jfku.edu.






"Commentary: Supporting the Bowl ... with Reservations" by Rick Auerbach et al in our Daily Planet is worth reading. (If you don't want to read it, simply, it advocates a smaller bowl.) It's also worth asking which Auerbach organized it. The passionate activist, the paid WEIBAC advocate or the self-appointed community leader?

And the beat goes on!


Kimar emails"Did you know the origin of the Easter Egg Hunt is German and the story goes that a white rabbit hides the eggs on the eve before Easter for good little boys and girls to find for their baskets."


When on hold for our City Clerk's Office I was treated to the slow movement from Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola K.364.


Pete's Potter Creek rain total for Monday to Tuesday morning .1 inch.


Judging by their song the spatzies are happy with the French bread thrown on my drive overnight.--soaked by the rain it's easy for them to eat and . . . thirst-quenching.







Yesterday's Scrambled Eggs pages received 246 visits and about 1500 hits. The average visit was one-hour.

all records!


Pete's Potter Creek rain total Tuesday to Wednesday morning 1.45 inches.


"Religion ranks highly among college students--Seven out of 10 say they worry about nation's moral path" reports Jennifer Martinez of the West County Times. "A majority of U.S. college students say religion is important in their lives and that they're concerned about the country's moral direction, a finding that could influence the way they vote in upcoming elections, according to a Harvard University Institute of Politics poll that was released Tuesday."


"Counties adjust pot club rules--Contra Costa imposes new moratorium, while Alameda to hire company to make pot ID cards" report Chris Metinko and Rebecca Rosen Lum of TheTimes.


Kimar emails

Country Cheese has a fabulous brie, usually$9.99 but now on sale for $3.99, called d'affinois. This is the creamiest brie I have ever eaten and the price is unbeatable. They had a small hand lettered sign advertising it on the front window or on the door.





If you need further proof that we're not in Kansas anymore, check out our new restaurant, 900 GRAYSON. And, you can do it now, for today's their first day. At present they are open from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday thru Friday, serving breakfast and lunch. (Hours and service will be expanded in May.) And with a coffee-bar you can get your morning latté or cappuccino and in the afternoon can have drink at their wine-bar. You can also get their food to take back home or to work. Partners Anthony and Chris were raised in the restaurant business--their Grandpa and Grandma owned the Chez Madeleine in Point Reyes Station, a regular stop on my motorcycle rides of old. Chefs Sophina and Josh are also partners. Not in anyway to be confused with the previous Home Cafe, 900 GRAYSON has the promise of a proper restaurant--good, fresh and seasonal. I'm going back now for coffee guided by the drifting aroma of their food.



Here's some selections from their extraordinarily creative menu.



Served 7am-10am

"I'm Not Belgian" 4.5 Buttermilk Waffle, Whipped Butter, Vermont Maple Syrup.

"Cheeky Monkey" 8.0 Banana-Stuffed French toast, Chocolate Butter, Candied Pecans Vermont Maple Syrup

"Tom Boy" 9.0 Poached Eggs, Potato-Apple-Celery Root & Corned Beef Hash, White Buttered Toast.



April Midday Meals

Served 11:30 am-2:30pm

"Ladyboy" 8.0 Kaffir Lime marinated Prawns, Mango-Pepper & Basil "capellini,' Dragon Chile-Lime Dressing, Toasted Rice Powder

"Cubaniche" 9.0 Pressed Roast Pork, Ham, & Provolone Cheese on Acme Rool, Mini "Salad Bar"

"Demon Lover" 10.0 Fried Spicy Chicken Paillard, Buttermilk Waffle, Old Fashioned Creamy Gravy

"The Were-Rabbit"11.0 Spinich-Parmesan Reggiano Bread Pudding, Saffron Carrott Nage Sauteed Spring Vegetables, Basil Oil

"Maharajah Mac" 11.0 Lamb Burger, Garam Masala, Sweet-Hot Cherry Pepper Relish, Garden Mint, Sriracha Aioli & Herbed French Fries


900 Grayson is already in The Chronicle with "Spring ushers in a bushel of egg dishes, traditions and uses that cross cultures" by Rachel Marshall. "Asian cuisines fully embrace omelets, with a sweet little twist. Chef Sophina Uong of 900 Grayson Restaurant in Berkeley, which is due to open this week, describes her Bitter Melon Omelet (see recipe) as 'home-style Cambodian comfort food.' The combination of bitter melon, salty-sweet Chinese sausage and a spicy-sweet sauce are brought together by the mildly sweet omelet."

Check out Sophina's recipe!



My Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl op-ed sentence or two.

50,000 square feet or 90,000 square feet, our Berkeley Bowl will dramatically and forever change our lives in ways we now can not even imagine. Personally, I'll make the leap of faith and assume they'll be good ones. (I wrote much the same thing almost three years ago when I first heard of the proposal.)






"California's sluggish housing market could undermine economic growth" writes George Avalos of The Times. "California's housing market is in a visible slump, and the erosion could undermine economic expansion in fast-growing regions such as the East Bay, economists warned Wednesday. Existing home sales have plunged, houses now languish on the market for longer periods, and the rate of home building has slowed, according to the report issued by Wells Fargo Bank."






Bob Kubik invited me to their place last Thursday afternoon, where, over tea and Carol's freshly baked biscotti he showed me his Fokker Triplane in a Bottle. I'd heard of model-ships in bottles but there was Bob's model, dangling-as-if-flying, in a bottle with a neck an inch in diameter. (Don't ask!) And a beautiful Red Baron scratch-built plane it is. I was also privileged to see Bob's book about his Dad--a career Navy man who joined the Navy in 1916 and served our country through the 1940s, except for a time when he worked for Consolidated building PBYs. Bob did most of his research for this biography in the same year Carol was going to school in the DC area. He spent that time in libraries and archives finding out about his Dad's life. Filled with photos, diagrams, drawings, reports and Bob's writings, this labor of love is a portrait of his Dad as well as a personal history of the Service. It is the most alive history I've seen for when I closed the book I felt I knew his Dad and had been with him in the Navy. What a marvelous tribute to his Father!

And, Carol's biscotti was exceptional!

(Oops, . . . when Bob and Carol lived in Marin they rented a house from 900 Grayson Chris and Anthony's Grandpa and Grandma.)

Bob's also a volunteer at our school for the infant deaf--he's their gardener.


And Pete Hurney is still volunteering at KALX where he continues to produce informative and original spots. His trans-gender public-service-announcement must be heard!

Pete's also working on his Website, animating it and making it more personal. Check it out at www.pohakuukulele.com



The San Francisco Chronicle's Dick Rogers writes "Ask the experts at top journalism groups such as the Poynter Institute and chances are they'll tell you that newspapers do a mediocre job of following up on stories. . . . In my experience, readers likely would say the same. In conversations about The Chronicle, readers often ask "Whatever became of ..." followed by a description of something or someone once in the news, but since forgotten. Most recently, a reader wanted to know about Saleh Khalaf, the boy who was severely injured in a schoolyard explosion in Iraq and brought to Oakland Children's Hospital for treatment. His plight inspired an award-winning series of Chronicle stories and photographs called 'Operation Lion Heart,' a title drawn from the nickname bestowed on the brave boy by doctors."


Pete's Potter Creek rain total for Saturday to Sunday morning is .6 inches.


One of our REAL hard-working Potter Creekers was at-it even today. The woman, the female-half of our recyclers-couple was pushing her full-up cart in heavy rain, under her umbrella, down 8th Street this morning. Grass-roots free enterprise in the Creek, I'd say.







The director of our school for the infant deaf emails
"Thanks again for all your efforts. Jill"


For this month's version of a story that's been written dozens of times in the last forty years, check out "Mixed feelings about future of Telegraph" by Dorothy Vriend of the West County Times. In my memory, the first version appeared long, long ago in the Berkeley Gazette based on interviews with Moe, Fred Cody, Al Braver, Sandy Schneider, et al. But, the simple fact is that in 2006 "the Ave's not happenin' any more." Just like local book and record stores, it's day is over. For what IS happenin' in today's Berkeley, check out the corner of San Pablo and Dwight Way, Caffé Trieste and the stores along OUR AVE-San Pablo; the Saw Tooth Warehouse on 8th; Acme Bread; VIK's, John Philips, harpsichord maker: Scharffen Berger the Chocolate Maker; 900 GRAYSON; Good Vibrations; Tippett Studio; Urban Ore; Regan Bice, architect-- and west-Berkeley in general.

Rumor has that Tippett is working on Pirates of the Caribbean Two.


Ah, delicious food smells in the air--must be makin' breakast at 900 GRAYSON.


Our Berkeley Public Library is hosting a Monday evening lecture series about the city's history.


Tonight: "A City of Neighborhoods -- Preservation and Development" by John McBride of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association and John Steere of Livable Berkeley.


Irritant filling front room--time to go.







Sgt Cary Kent of Berkeley PD pleaded guilty to the felony charges of grand theft, possession of heroin, and possession of methamphetamine last Friday.


"Toxic Richmond Sites May Trigger Change in State Law" reports Richard Brenneman in the Daily Planet. "Efforts by Richmond environmental activists are playing a major role in reducingdeveloper opposition to laws tightening regulations at contaminated sites."


And also in the Planet, Jerry Landis offers, "A Simple Solution for the Creeks Task Force."


"Foster youth would get free tuition in new bill" reports Janine DeFao of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, plans to introduce a bill, AB2489, to help . . . foster youth to enter college by offering them free tuition at state universities, increased financial aid and on-campus support."






Reliable sources confirm that the 8th and Pardee welding yard will be sold at close to its asking price of $150.00 a square foot or $1,750,000.00.


Bob Kubik reports that Berkeley PD continues to be responsive to the needs of Potter Creek citizens.


Two days ago, I posted that one of the happen' things in west-Berkeley is VIK's. Today the Chronicle's Amanda Berne seconds that in "Master of Spices--How one man's vision became the most celebrated little chaat house in the Bay Area."


And yesterday, I had lunch at 900 GRAYSON, and this morning breakfast. How good is their food? Go to 900 GRAYSON now and experience art-food at almost-hamburger prices. Because, . . . I predict that very soon they will be so crowded that you will not be able to get in without reservations and their prices will rise to their quality. THAT GOOD!


Updates from our Planning Department can be read here.







Potter Creeker, Janine Johnson emails, "Please put my fringe concert on your calendar, if you are intending on going to the Berkeley Early Music Festival!  It should be really fun and interesting.  Owen Daly has built a copy of the 1728 Zell harpsichord and asked me to play on it.  It has been really fun looking for music, and I hit a gold mine up at the UC Berkeley Library.  Telemann put together a book of his own works and those of many other composers entitled "Der Getreue Music Meister," and as one might expect, his taste is impeccable.  What a great bunch of pieces!  I will be doing works written for the harpsichord (the book contains all sorts of arias and chamber music as well). To top it off, this great collection was published in Hamburg (where the Zell was built) in 1728!  What could be more perfect? I am also performing Bach's 3rd Partita, which was published that year, and perhaps a suite by Mattheson. That is yet undetermined. So, . . . I am playing Friday, June 9th, at 5:00 PM at Trinity Chapel, 2362 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.  I hope you can come!  It will be a varied and wonderful program!"


Berkeley property owners will soon be charged a $150.00 fee for the "lateral inspection" of their sewer lines.


Da Boss is back in town and emails "On May 6th, the City of Berkeley will be hosting a community mobilization (http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/fire/pdf/may6flyer.pdf) to help deliver disaster preparedness information to neighborhoods throughout the City. Please join us at Francis Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park--2800 Park Street, between Ward and Russell Streets--from 10am 1pm. Berkeley Firefighters will grill up lunch and the City will provide useful disaster kit goodies to all volunteers. (RSVP to Carol Lopes at clopes@ci.berkeley.ca.us or 510-981-5584)."


"Housing market continues to slow reports" reports James Temple of the West County Times.


"Middle class flees U.S. cities, seeking affordable housing. A Census report says that, from 2000 to 2004, exurbs saw population growth as wealthy families took over urban areas" reports the AP's Stephen Olhemacher in the West County Times.



Go to 900 GRAYSON and have Sophina's Grayson Burger--I did.

It's hard to talk about the hamburger as art-food, but when fresh Angus ground beef combineswith smoked organic bacon, tasty cheddar cheese, homemade BBQ sauce, and crispy shoestring onions, the bun becomes a canvas of food-art.

Right now, in their first week, 900 GRAYSON is a cut above our highly praised Fourth Street, Café Rouge AND has almost-diner prices. Simply, their dining experience is a bargin--fresh, beautifully prepared and presented food, informed, courteous staff and quietly elegant surroundings.

If you want take-out, try their "Light Industrial" 7.5--Grilled Lemon Grass Chicken, Oakland's Chinatown Veggies, Dragon Chiles, and Mint & Holy Basil. Pick through it delicately and savor, and then put a fresh mint-leaf in your mouth and let it explode. (The "Light Industrial" that I had was enough for two and so was the "Grayson Burger.")


Why is the University of California Food Service now receptive to organic? Sources say because of student pressure AND because new administrators are willing to think "out side the box," get organic suppliers and negotiate hard for low prices.







"Can't we all just get along?"

Well, on the surface maybe. But that's not what's being planned in meetings.


"Court ruling reassures homeless" reports Sara Steffens of the West County Times."As long as a city has more homeless people than shelter beds, it cannot enforce a law that broadly bars sitting, lying or sleeping in public, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week."


"East Bay businesses optimistic" writes George Avalos of the West County Times. "Businesses in the East Bay remain upbeat about revenue and profit growth for the coming year, but have varying plans to hire new workers, according to a survey released Thursday by Richmond-based Mechanics Bank."


Keay Davidson of the San Francisco Chronicle writes "As much as 75 percent of low-lying fill land in the East Bay -- e.g. the Berkeley waterfront and Oakland airport -- might undergo liquefaction during another 1906-type quake, said researcher Thomas Holzer of the U.S. Geological Survey. The area is highly developed and includes facilities such as hotels, marinas, airport land and numerous businesses. Liquefaction occurs when quake waves ripple through loose or compacted soils, like the sandy fill that was poured into the bay over the last century to create new land for property development. During liquefaction, water in the ground rises and the soil becomes looser. Any buildings on the soil then tilts or sinks up to several feet." The full story is here.


Oh ya, . . .West Berkeley, including Potter Creek of course, will be a focal point of our Fall Election.





They're lots of neighborhoods in our town, but like it or not, in peace and quiet or not, for better or worse, the real Berkeley history is now being made here in our Potter Creek.



Last night, works-of-art by the workers at Amoeba-Records were celebrated at Nexus by their artists.








Last night's 900 GRAYSON opening-celebration overflowed with their friends, neighbors and colleagues--delicious hors d'oeuvres and fine wine mixed with lively conversation.


"Blossoming in middle age. It's not all about sex for women from 45 to 59" writes E. Kay Trimberger in the Chronicle.


"BERKELEY--UC offers community improvement grants" reports Rick DelVecchio of the San Fransico Chronicle. "Community groups in Berkeley are invited to apply for $200,000 in grant money set aside by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to fund neighborhood improvement and community development projects in the city. "


After a solid week in Potter Creek, this morning's shopping-trip to Emeryville's Pak n'Save was a welcome reality check.


This morning From the Top on KDFC-FM featured 18 year-old violinist, Katlin Kelly performing a movement from Leonard Bernstein's Serenade with unbelievable dexterity and feeling. And after that, she fiddled an Irish tune.


"In the mood for jazz?"asks Andrew Gilbert of the West County Times. "The East Bay is getting back into the swing of things. In restaurants, bars and cafes around the region, live jazz has increasingly become the soundtrack for dining, enjoying a drink or sipping a latte. And not just in Berkeley and Oakland, though those cities still boast a lion's share of spots that regularly host some of the area's leading jazz cats. From Alameda, Pinole and Richmond to Orinda, Lafayette and Walnut Creek, one needn't look far to find skilled improvisers practicing their craft."

Our Bay Area jazz station, KCSM-FM is looking to raise a couple hundred K for operating through donations--I, for one, will contribute. I you' want to, you can do it through their Website here.

"Fisher House offers haven for military families. More than $2 million in donations help build Palo Alto lodging for those with recuperating personnel" reports Mark Emmons of Knight Ridder in the West County Times. "When Tonia Sargent arrived at the Veterans Affairs Medical Hospital in Palo Alto during the fall of 2004, she was under terrible stress. She was worried for her severely wounded Marine Corps husband. Kenneth Sargent had been shot in the head by a sniper in Iraq weeks earlier and now was being transferred to the Palo Alto VA's unit for traumatic brain injuries. She was in an unfamiliar town and separated from their teenage daughters."






Over the top and out of the box with the Berkeley Bowl.

I know that there are computer models for determining traffic flow and traffic patterns. I'm sure in the real world you can punch in Super-Market 50,000 Square Feet and get results that are predictably different from punching in Super Market 90,000 Square Feet--like bigger facility more traffic. But this is quirky Berkeley and this is our own special supermarket, the Berkeley Bowl. (Berkeley, where it has taken almost three years to reach the stage we are at now. Where in a different world, the Albany Target--a chain--took a fraction of that time.) So , . . . maybe, just maybe, those models don't apply here, and maybe, even more maybe, a SMALLER market HERE causes GREATER congestion. Just my thought. Then again, I've been waiting along with Linus every Halloween now for the Great Pumpkin to rise out of His Patch.






Last week, the Barn Owl was named Berkeley's official bird.

And, last week a Hippie-guy on a bicycle pedaled past Auerbach's place wearing a filter mask--not just one of those throw-away white fiber ones but a serious, permanent rubber job with two screw-in double-filters--go figure.


Think $150.00 a square foot is a lot for the just the ground of the ex-welding yard at 8th and Pardee? How about $1087 a square foot for a less than 900 square foot cottage in Mill Valley, ground included of course.


"Youth movement at city halls across the nation -More municipalities are creating government seats for teens" reports Carolyne Zinko of the San Francisco Chronicle. "When not doing advanced biology or Latin homework, Megan Winkelman drafts resolutions against sweatshop labor and makes requests for nuclear accelerators to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Winkelman, 14, is a Berkeley High ninth-grader and a member of the city's Peace and Justice Commission along with her 13 grown-up colleagues."


"Honda strike ending" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "The strike at Berkeley Honda, which has dragged on for almost a year, ended Monday night when the members of International Association of Machinists Local 1546 voted 14-1 in favor of a new contract."


And Martin Snapp also reports"Berkeley Iceland stays open on borrowed time. A permit allowing Iceland to operate with a temporary refrigeration system expired last Saturday, but the city is in no hurry to shut down the rink. In February, Iceland's owners announced they were putting the rink up for sale, saying they can't afford the estimated $500,000 it would cost to install a new refrigeration system. The city, which is processing a new permit application by Iceland, is allowing the rink to continue operating as it seeks to find a buyer." Read his story here.

I took Kimar to lunch today at 900 GRAYSON. Kimar, a gourmet who studied with Marcella Hasan and who worked in food service all her life commented "This is a real find!"

And, we had two lunch entrees with drinks for just over $30.00 with tip. We've had similar meals--though not as imaginative or beautifully prepared and served-- at Sea Salt and Café Rouge for between $40.00 and $50.00.

There were quite a few Potter Creek workers there for lunch--Osby, John and Suzanne, some of Regan's staff and others that I recognized but don't know by name.

Sadly, 900 GRAYSON'S hours of 7AM to 3 PM Monday through Friday, keep those Potter Creek residents who work outside our neighborhood from savoring Sophina's creative dishes. Marsha Wacko, a Potter Creeker who works daily in a San Francisco law office for instance, constantly asks "But, when can I go?"






This week Sarah Klise et al submitted their Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl traffic mitigation plan to the City. With recent origins in meetings between Sarah, WEIBAC and some residents their flow-map reminds me of Margret Elliott's years-ago common sense effort. It's nicely placed between a Berlin Wall solution and nothing.

An update for our City Planning Department is here.


Last week Berkeley FD and PD were called to the Amoeba Records-Nexus celebration. Seems a neighbor complained about their hired Crucible explosion/fire belching machine. The same Crucible left west-Berkeley some years ago after violence at their events including murder.


Workmen replaced the old Fantasy sign with a new one. "This one will last longer" said a worker.


"Area businesses pitch in, donate wheelchair-accessible van" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "BERKELEY - Gigi Walker, president of the Martinez Rotary Club, handed the keys of a completely refurbished 1999 Supreme paratransit van to Rick Spittler, executive director of the Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program in Berkeley, at the Rotary Club's weekly meeting Tuesday. It was the latest chapter in a story that began last December, when thieves broke into BORP's warehouse and stole the specially fitted bicycles, handcycles and tandem bikes that BORP provides to disabled children."


"The Bay Area newspaper landscape will shift dramatically when Dean Singleton's MediaNews assumes ownership this summer of the Contra Costa Times and San Jose Mercury News" writes Sandy Kleffman in the West County Times.

Lets hope Martin Snapp continues his cracker-jack Berkeley reports.






CEID Director, Jill Ellis emailed this short, informative story from The Daily Cal.

"Mayor Tom Bates, who has used a hearing aid for eight years, received a
hearing test at the Center for Early Intervention on Deafness located
in North Berkeley yesterday to celebrate the center's new audiology
Staffers at the center, which is a school designed to diagnose hearing
problems early in a child's development, also administered a test to
3-week-old Roxanne Fox at the same time Bates was being evaluated.
Bates, 68, who speculated that his hearing loss may stem from his
service in the U.S. Army in the 1960s, found out he needs stronger
hearing aids. Roxanne did not exhibit any problems.
The center, a fixture in Berkeley for more than two decades, added the
testing device eight months ago through the newly created Pediatric
Audiology Program, said Jill Ellis, the center's executive director.
The equipment was partly funded by the city, which this year gave
$25,000 to the facility to help purchase the $31,000 device, Ellis
The new device allows the center to perform an automated brain system
test via three electrodes placed on the head, measuring how quickly the
brain registers sound, Ellis said.
'We've gone beyond the mark to make sure the equipment is adequate and
custom-made for children,' she said.
In addition to audiology tests, the center also started a hearing aid
loaner bank in recent months to provide hearing aids to patients who
are on waiting lists to receive permanent devices, Ellis said.
The center has also long provided speech therapy and sign language
lessons to about 40 children to prepare them for school, Ellis said.
Tammy Fong, a San Francisco resident, is the mother of a four-year-old
girl with profound hearing loss who is a new student at the school.
'At the beginning, (her hearing problem) was like entering a dead-end
world,' Fong said. 'But now, coming to this school is like seeing
Because the program exposes students to the English language and sign
language early on, students are able to assimilate into a mainstream
environment, Ellis said.
'It's a huge joy to me to see that their wings have spread and that
they are flying in whatever direction they want,' Ellis said. 'They are
person first and deaf second.'"



"Midsummer Mozart stars play mutts, meows benefit" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "The Berkeley City Club will echo with the sublime sounds of Mozart on May 6 at the second annual 'Mozart for Mutts and Meows' concert, a benefit for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society. The performers are stars of the annual Midsummer Mozart Festival -- oboist Laura Griffiths, flutist Maria Tamburrino, violinist Robin Hanson, violist Elizabeth Prior Runnicles and cellist Dawn Foster-Dodson. Maestro George Cleve, founder and artistic director of the Midsummer Mozart Festival, will be the master of ceremonies. The program includes Mozart's Oboe Quartet in D Major, Flute Quartet in D Major, and two Duos in G Major."


Look for my new page, Buildings of Potter Creek. It should be up in the first part of May.


Hi Ron,
Thanks for the tip. I had lunch at 900 Grayson yesterday and can't
wait to go back. I had a BBQ'ed pulled pork sandwich with fries. My
lunch mate had a cuban with garden salad. The food was fantastic,
presentation awesome, service wonderful, environment comfortable, and
just an all around great experience.
Steve Smith


The Potter Creek Fantasy property is now NOT on the market and, . . . the building is 80% tenent occupied.


With gasoline now at over $3.00 a gallon and moving up toward $4.00, check out west-Berkeley's own http://www.biofueloasis.com/ It's a worker owned co-op.

And then there's our west-Berkeley http://plantdrive.com/


There are plans afoot for a bio-diesel fill-up facility, possibly here in west-Berkeley. How 'bout dat--a New Age gas station next to a 750K condo.


A Potter Creek recycler reports a $1.50 per pound price for aluminum cans--about 12 cans per pound. "That's the highest price ever" he said.


There'll be a International Food Festival in west-Berkeley this Sunday in the blocks around the intersection of University and San Pablo. From Noon til 5:00 PM you can sample food, see cooking demonstrations, and do lots of other festive stuff. Read Riya Bhattacharjee's Planet story about it here and then check it out!

And next Saturday, we're having a food event here in Potter Creek as 900 GRAYSON opens for breakfast and lunch--9 AM till 3 PM. Check IT out!





Born April 29, 1899

today is

Duke Ellington's Birthday




From the consumer guide for the alternative life style--once actually an alternative newspaper--the East Bay Express comes a refreshing review of baseball books "Out of Left Field--As another baseball season begins, you could fill the bleachers with books on blunders, batting averages, and Barry Bonds" by Richie Unterberger.


Adjusting for inflation, the 35 cents a gallon my Dad for gas in 1955 is $2.64 in today's dollars. So this morning, when I paid $3.16 a gallon at the "Cheap Gas Store" I paid 52 cents more than the adjusted 1955 price--about 20% more.

In 1965 at Campus Records, a classical import LP sold for $4.76. Adjusted for inflation, today that is $30.60. So when I buy a classical import CD at $18.98 I'm paying $11.62 less than the adjusted 1965 price--about 30% less.

Make some more of your own calculations here.


Writing of percentages, President Bush's approval rating is in the 30s. Congress is in the 20s. So let's hear more about why we disapprove of Congress.






"GREEN GIANTS--Mega-producers tip scales as organic goes mainstream" reports Carol Ness reports of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Thirteen-and-a-half million servings of organic romaine, radicchio and baby greens. That's how much Earthbound Farm, the biggest organic produce company in the country, sends across America from its gigantic San Juan Bautista processing plant every single week."


"Housing is king in East Bay employment market. Residential boom fuels local job surge with finance, construction and education leading the way" reports George Avalos of the West County Times. "Housing has become a crucial pillar of an increasingly robust and strongly expanding East Bay economy. Whether that's good or bad is another thing altogether."

"2-wheel crazy" writes Michael Taylor of the San Francisco Chronicle."There are collectors and there are collectors and there is Stewart Ingram. He is a San Francisco Realtor, and he collects classic motorcycles."

I relate.


My understanding is that Ms Sarah, The Auerbach, et al are out again getting signatures for their west-Berkeley Bowl traffic mitigation plan. Mozel Tov! Not to confuse signatures on a petition with votes for office.






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