JUNE 2005



"Berkeley's bohemia" by Lis Taggert of Sunset Magazine offers "Change your home (and yourself) along the city's now-thriving San Pablo Avenue." Well my Aunt Mae was Bohemian, actually I'm Bavarian. And the photo captioned Omega Salvage is actually Caffé Trieste.

Pete and I recorded my public service announcement Tuesday at the KALX studios. Adolph, my kindly old German professor has his roots in 1930s American film where a German male was often depicted as a slightly-off but always lovable professor, music teacher or shop owner. (This stereotype changed dramatically during WWII.) Pete's music, taken from 1940s Warner Bros cartoons, fits perfectly.

George Avalos of the West County Times reports "Double-digit rate cuts for workers' compensation premiums are headed for employers, who have been battered for the past several years by skyrocketing costs to cover injured employees" in "Workers' Comp Cost Cuts on the Way."

"LBNL Plans For Cleanup Challenged At Hearing" by the Berkeley Daily Planet's Richard Brenneman offers "Praised by citizen activists in Richmond, the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) got a less than friendly reception Thursday night in Berkeley." Well ok then!


From my log

6/1/05,12:35 PM warehouse front fills with "melting plastic" odor.

6/1/05,1:20 PM entire warehouse fills with "high plastic/chlorine" odor, over-rides my two CARBON/HEPA/CPZ filters.

Time to get fresh air and clear my head!




While government people from all around the world are meeting in the city about our environment, here are some phone numbers of local government agencies that deal with our environment.

City of Berkeley Environmental Health (510) 981-5310

City of Berkeley Hazardous Materials (510) 981-7460

Alameda County Environmental Protection (510) 567-6700

CALOSHA (510) 622-2891

US Environmental Protection Agency (415) 947-8000

Then there's Bay Area Air Quality (800) 334-6367. In keeping with "You get what you pay for," there's "no charge to calling party."




Today is Seychelles Liberation Day






Pete's Potter Creek rain-gauge showed about 3/4 inch this week.

From my log

About 1:00 PM today, computer room fills with irritant--headachy, light-headed, leave.

About 3:00 PM today, slight odor like hot brake-linings fills the air on 8th between Grayson and Pardee--medium west wind.

About 4:00 today, PM front-room fills with irritant, dry lips, mouth, skin.

Our City's Planning and Development Department has a Toxics Management Division. Check it out!


Berkeley's Penelope Houston emails "I'm just back from some screamingly fun Avengers shows in the UK. The highlight of the Wasted Fest was the hilarious TurboNegro of Norway (who asked me to sing a duet on their next record!)

May was a good month for international airplay of my last two CDs 'The Pale Green Girl' and 'Snapshot'
http://www.penelope.net/allcds.html http://www.penelope.net/allcds.html

Songs from each were played on these shows: DJ René Atilio Araya with the radio show EXTRAÑO REVOLTIJO in CHILE; Popism, an extraordinary rock and roll radio show hosted by Goran Obradovic, with a fantastic mixture of rock and roll broadcast every Thursday on both Radio MBI, Becej and Radio Fedra, Zrenjanin in Serbia.;'Alt-Country Cooking' is a show on Radio Winschoten, The Netherlands




"Burning Man at 20: Working for the Man
'Desert rats' transform desolate playa into festival city -- then back from wild land to badlands without a trace" reports Meredith May at sfgate.com

And, read about our Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc at sfgate.com here.

Then, read about our ex-mayor in "Berkeley ex-mayor touts Southern fare
  Steinbeck traveled with Charley, Harry traveled with Tonto, and former Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean has just returned after an 8,000-mile cross country trip with her husband, Dan, and their Labrador retriever, Ben. (They stayed at Motel 6 all along the way because the motel chain accepts dogs)" at cctimes.com

Finally, "City Fines Bring End To Arbor On Acton" by Richard Brenneman
"While many who live near the corner of Acton and Addison streets see it as a neighborhood delight, city officials see it as a code violation" is at berkeleydailyplanet.com

Doc's just had his Jaguar XK-140 resprayed


One of the ways Berkeley is changing is shown by the relatively new "No Parking at Any Time You Hippy Scum" signs along University west of the freeway. Bad art, Boss.




Yesterday, Kimar served an early Summer Farmer's Market Supper of deep-fired zucchini blossoms in a light batter and covered with Parmesan cheese and fresh Basil; grilled French bread topped with Brie and chopped tomatoes marinated in olive oil, fresh garlic and Basil; and deep-fried jumbo shrimp in a mildly spicy batter. Words fail but I'm still full and happy. Maybe it was the Italian white wine.




"E-retailers bookmark court ruling" by Kim Curtis of the Associated Press can be read atcctimes.com "A little-noticed appellate court ruling against Borders Group Inc. sets a precedent that could enable California to force some major Internet retailers to start paying state sales tax for books, music and other goods sold online to state residents, analysts said Monday." Andy's happy this morning!


From my log

8:00AM front room fills with irritant, dry lips, slight headache, slight cough, light-headed, leave.

"UC Staff Walk Out; Toxic Inquiry at Field Station" reports Richard Brenneman of the Berkeley Daily Planet. "Lichterman said the union has already identified one worker who has tested positive for mercury in her system and said a second case of possible toxic exposure is also under investigation." Read more at berkeleydailyplanet.com

And, "West Berkeley Residents Demand Quieter Train Whistles" reports Mattew Artz of the Daily Planet. I'm about a half mile down wind of the tracks and when there's a strong west wind the trains seem as if they're across the street. On the other hand, I love trains.

Jill Ellis, CEID's Director emails "Just wanted to let you know that Channel 2's news reporter, Renee Kemp showed
up at our door today to do a follow up story after reading recent articles in the news. It is expected to show tonight, TUESDAY at 5 or 6 pm on the evening news --CHANNEL 2."



is now open

2508 san pablo ave





I've always loved Twinkies and in the '80s when Kimar, Moe and a bunch of us few to London on Pan Am, as we got right over the Pole the hostess served me theTwinkies and milk that Kimar had slipped her on boarding. But "maybe Twinkies don't last forever after all. The manufacturer of the iconic American treat, Kansas City, Mo.-based Interstate Bakeries Corp., declared bankruptcy last year and announced plans last week to shutter two San Francisco factories. As it teeters on the brink of solvency, many local consumers bemoan the possible loss of the ladyfinger-shaped sponge cake" reports James Temple of the West County Times.The sad story is here.

"By parents, for parents; Ginger Ogle is a self-professed geek. The mother of three doesn't knit or make scrapbooks, or while away afternoons crafting elaborate meals. She also isn't a traditional PTA mom. She doesn't spend hours volunteering at school functions or hanging out at the local playgrounds. Ogle does have one interesting hobby, however. She maintains one of the most popular parenting Web sites in the nation, the Berkeley Parents Network." Read more in the West County Times report by Peggy Spear here.

In the New York Times, Dean E. Murphy reports "California Reins In Clinics Using Marijuana for Medical Purposes; Even before the Supreme Court upheld the federal government's authority over marijuana, San Francisco officials have been questioning how much of the drug is enough." Read more here.

 "Reddy victims sue lawyers who helped them win case" reports Lisa Fernandez in the West County Times story.

"Berkeley: Liquor store clerk arrested in sting; A liquor store clerk bought illegal merchandise from an undercover officer five times this year during a three-month-long law enforcement sting, police said."

There's new stuff at our Planning & Development Department site. Check it out!




Regularly, people tell me about cordial discussions and negotiations in west -Berkeley held in good faith between neighbors and property buyers and sellers and developers and architects. This is good. Sadly, the participants don't want their activities known. That's not good. They're afraid that "activists" will make an issue out of it. That's
really not good--fear's a bummer!

"Chiron revises flu-vaccine forecasts" reports Judy Silber of the West County Times "Back-pedaling on estimates made only six weeks ago, Emeryville-based Chiron Corp. said on Wednesday that it will produce fewer doses of flu vaccine than it had projected, causing Wall Street analysts to question the company's ability to deliver on its promises." Read more here.


From my log

Last night around 5:30 PM entire warehouse-front fills with high-end odor, seems to be "residue" of something stronger, leave.

7:30 AM warehouse filled with with high-end odor, seems to be "residue" of something stronger, air out.




Pete's Potter Creek raingauge showed .2 inch for yesterday.

Did our Zelda B overdo her hiking in Spain's mountains? Hey Z, when I emailed "Break a leg!" I didn't mean literally.

Jill Ellis, CEID director, emails "Thanks for including CEID in your communications - we really appreciate it!"

Another neighbor today said that Scrambled Eggs and Lox offers some of the most constructive thought in Potter Creek.




Zelda B reports that in the Daily Planet photo of Friday that's not a soft cast on her foot but she's standing behind her water bottle.

Berkeley PD's very visible presence in Potter Creek in the last few weeks--especially along San Pablo Ave-- is much appreciated. I've even seen some Special Enforcement units in Potter Creek, one driven by their unit Commander.

"Police Raid Telegraph Shop, Seize Stolen, Altered Bikes" reports Richard Brenneman "Berkeley police officers sorted through hundreds of used bikes Wednesday as they searched for hot wheels at a well known cyclery." Read more here at berkeleydailyplanet.com

Here's our city's Homepage.


From my log

2:00 PM orderless irritant immediately in front of 2743 8th, dry lips, etc.

About 3:00 PM slight "plastic" smell in air on Grayson between 8th and 9th, almost direct west wind, down wind of American Starch, and Tulip.

About 5:30 PM medium "new tire" smell in air on Grayson between 8th and 9th, almost direct west wind, down wind of American Starch, and Tulip.




"It's a dog's life here at the Pink, and that's the way we like it" reports the Chronicle's Joe Brown "A tip of the Pink baseball cap to Berkeley's own Bark magazine, which just put out a summer issue dedicated to dog humor, with contributions from Mo Rocca, Merrill Markoe and Patrick "Mutts" McDonnell, in addition to the usual wisdom about dog culture. David Sedaris chipped in a page of characteristically odd "Dog Poems," including this one:

Most ev'ry evening Goldilocks

Snacks from Kitty's litter box.

Then on command, she gives her missus

Lots of little doggie kisses."

Read about dogs and Potter Creek's The Bark at sfgate.com


Pete's Potter Creek raingauge showed .2 inches for yesterday.




Pete's "Men in Maine: Bring Condoms" public service announcement is now running on KALX.


Scharffen Berger has acquired a lease on a warehouse on Anthony and virtually all large truck pickups and deliveries will be made there considerably reducing delivery truck traffic on Heinz.

Café Cacao is now under new management with a new chef and new manager, and menu changes will be made soon.

And, four large planters valued at thousands of dollars have been recently stolen from their patio.

A second Scharffen Berger New York City store is in the offing and their Healdsberg store has just opened in Plaza Farms, 106 Matheson--it's on the square and on the Internet.


During the weekdays, 9th is often closed to traffic because of sewer work and 8th can be difficult with construction between Pardee and Carelton.



"What's the Matter with Berkeley?" asks Zelda B in the Daily Planet. Read her answers here. In a story about the new progressive cities reporter John Nichol's writes in the Nation, according to Z, that "Lawrence and Irvine are newsworthy; progressive Berkeley rates a yawn." That's probably because the new Radicalism hasn't been happening here. Whatever the new Progressivism is, or will become, we no longer are leading it. Why? We're too restricted by the long-out-of-date old one?

Recently a new Potter Creek building owner planted long-awaited saplings around his property. That evening one of his fresh, new walls was splattered with graffiti. That would be protesting the tree plantings? Redding has recently complete its functional, multi-use, artful Sun Dial bridge. We built a, in its fullest meaning, pedestrian, bicycle bridge.


Richard Brenneman of our Daily Planet reports"Meetings Target Concerns at Toxic Richmond Sites."

From my log

6/20/05, 4:15 PM, irritant present in front-room until 5:30 PM.

6/20/05, 7: 45 PM irritant in front of 2743/ 2741 8th with smell like "burning natural gas combined with plastic."

6/21/05, mild irritant in warehouse mid-afternoon and early evening. 7:00PM irritant in front of 2743 8th.


How do we know it's Summer in Potter Creek? Thieves are stealing garden benches and garden statues from businesses and residences instead of our bikes?




"UC Berkeley's admissions department chief looks for ways to reverse the school's recent decline in minority enrollment" reports Matt Krupnick of the West County Times.

He also reports "UC faculty to vote on program: University of California faculty leaders will decide today whether to recommend their campuses stop participating in the National Merit Scholarship Program."


And the Times reports "Google denies PayPal plans: Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt on Tuesday denied recent media and analyst reports that the online search engine leader is gearing up to compete directly with eBay Inc.'s pioneering PayPal service, although he acknowledged some kind of electronic payment product is in the works." The full story is here.

Finally, in "Found on eBay: Users unhappy over changes" it is reported
 "For years, eBay has been defined by its uniquely loyal 'community': the enthusiastic masses of sellers and buyers who have turned it into the world's largest online marketplace."




What's wrong with Berkeley? My sentence-or-four op-ed piece.

In The Day, our city was defined by Love. Sadly, we've become impotent. For myself, I'm going to make love more often.



What's special about Berkeley? Nothing. Kids are special. Graduating from college is special. Us? We're spoiled. It's easy to mistake spoiled for special. We're bright, funny, not bad looking, and talk well. But special? Get over it!



What can be learned from Matthew Artz' Daily Planet "report""City Receives High Marks in Mayor's Poll"? Well, to begin with Da Boss acknowledges "that the survey was not a validly accurate public opinion poll." So . . . . . . ?

Take heart Boss, " Google may not have all the answers" either reports Michael Liedtke of the AP. Read his story at cctimes.com

But "Health Officials Urge Changes at Field Station, Campus Bay" is a real story by The Planet's Richard Brenneman.

And, seems you don't have to be funky to by concerned about our environment. Check out "Decor for the earth-conscious" atsfgate.com

With my friend Nick Despotopoulos launching his recorded music auction sight and other niche auction sites springing up, reporting "EBay faces uphill battle to retain premier status" seems timely. Read about it at cctimes.com

Yesterday morning, Channel 2 News picked up Ms May's earlier-in-the-week scoop
"Berkeley: Ruby in the rough leads to riches." If you haven't already, read her story at sfgate.com

And, as if "the state" doesn't have enough power, our Supreme Court justices voted to expand eminent domain. "The Supreme Court gave cities broad power Thursday to bulldoze homes and small stores to make way for business development, a ruling the dissenters said puts shopkeepers and homeowners at the mercy of revenue-hungry governments" writes LA Times' David Savage. Read his report at cctimes.com


During the night, someone dumped a washing machine on the west side of 8th street directly across from Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass.

Wells Fargo security, Gianni La Rosa reports that Berkeley PD now has a female motor-officer. Also, seems Berkeley PD has removed some of the baffles from their Harley mufflers. Now we can hear that Harley Sound even with the siren on! That's not why they did it, however.

Gianni, who's spent much of his life in Law Enforcement, and whose Dad was a career San Francisco cop, believes that more than in other organizations, a police department head--the Chief--is most important in setting the organization's tone. He also remember's that Berkeley, a pioneer in training, had one of the first Police Academies.



"Chronicle wins 22 East Bay journalism awards
Series on wounded Iraqi boy wins 1st place" reports the Chronicle "Chronicle reporter Meredith May took the top prize in the series category for 'Operation Lion Heart,' about a wounded Iraqi boy whose family reunited in Oakland." Check all this out at sfgate.com


And, here's Chronicle photographer Russell Yip's

Meredith May


Milo's Mom thinks our diversity is special. And, while walking around Potter Creek with her new friend, she rediscovered our flowers. Shirley, who had never seen Potter Creek before, enthused. "Look at all the flowers, backyards are full, they're in front yards, they're on fences. They're everywhere!"

Kimar thinks all our fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, meats, are special.


Scrambled Eggs and Lox Staff has voted for "Hunk of the Year, January to June 2005." The vote is evenly divided. I'm gong to toss the coin next week.




Meredith May reports on a shooting at 60th an San Pablo in "Teen father of 2 killed on busy street."


"Feds offer state help in measuring toxic contaminants in people" is another story at sfgate.com

From my log

6/23/05, off and on all day smell in front of warehouse depending on wind, sometimes gets in front room.

6/26/05, 9:35 AM irritant in computer room, light-headed, dry lips, eyes sting, etc.

3:35 PM same as above

5:00 PM same as above but more serious with burning lips, eyes, chest, etc, leave.




On August 10, 2003 I posted "Potter Creek lore has it that pesticides were developed in the '50s by a Hyman Laboratory in a facility at the end of 8th Street. I have been able to confirm that a Julius Hyman invented the pesticides chlordane, aldrin and dieldrin. If any one can confirm that this Julius Hyman was the Hyman of Berkeley or that development was done at the Berkeley Hyman Laboratory, please email me at ronpenndorf@earthlink.net"

Today I received this email Edward Lorenz, Reid-Knox Professor at Alma College "I have been doing research related to Julius Hyman and just noticed a link to you on Google. I can answer the question you posed in 2003 but would like to see what information you have. Hyman was the 'inventor' of chlordane as well as three other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) - endrin, dieldrin and andrin. He was a founder of Velsicol Chemical in Chicago and was their general manager from 1931-1946 when he quit to found Julus Hyman and Co., in Denver. According to American Men and Women of Science 12th ed., vol. 3, p. 2937, he ran Hyman Labs from 1953-1964 and Fundamental Research Co. after 1958. His address at Fundamental was 2840 Eighth St., Berkeley 94710. I am coming to a conference in San Jose in early August and would very much like to meet you and see this site if you are interested."

Edward Lorenz follows up with an explanation of his interest in Julius Hyman "I hope the information on Julius Hyman helped. I have been interested in him because he was the General manager of Velsicol Chemical, which dumped many tons of DDT and other contaminats into a river here. We have the 5th most expensive superfund clean-up taking place there. Velsicol is being sold, and we're trying to get as many assets as possible."

I'll be meeting with Professor Lorenz here in early August.



Mattew Artz of the our Daily Planet reports "West Berkeley Carries City's Sales Tax." But in his story, he reports that the greatest increases in sales tax revenue have come from some of Berkeley's retail districts. Read the whole story here.

Chris of Christopher's Auto Repair on 9th and Carleton has his son with him in his shop these days. Chris is an Old School businessman--his son can learn much from that.

My flip-of-the-coin has determined Scrambled Eggs and Lox "Hunk of the Year, January to June 2005." Photo to follow.

Trader Joe's Emeryville has Pepper Wood Grove, 2001 California Zinfandel for $1.29 a bottle or fifteen and change for a case. Ordinarily, an-around $7.00 a bottle wine, it is a more than just a drinkable Zinfandel. Sandy and Linda, Kimar's gourmet friends here from Guadalajara offer "It's spicy, slightly sweet and not at all acidic. Highly acceptable."


Getting salittle woozy, time for some fersh air.


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