MAY/JUNE 2006

 

RESTAURANT 900 GRAYSON

Check out their website.

Café Zeste's website is also worthy.

 

 

 

5/1/06

 

"More sites rotten to Apples--Operating system no longer 'bulletproof,' according to report" writes Benjamin Pimentel, of the San Francisco Chronicle. "While Apple's Mac operating system is considered more secure than Microsoft's Windows, the Cupertino company's software recently has become more vulnerable to attacks, according to a report coming out today on the top trends in Internet security. "

 

Hydrogen fuel far from ready for prime time" reports Carl T. Hall of the San Francisco Chronicle. "President Bush has pointed to hydrogen technology as the ultimate solution to the nation's fuel supply problems, but one big question waits to be answered: Where will all the hydrogen come from?"

 

 

 

5/2/06

 

 

Sarah Klise emails the dates and locations of meetings about the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl.

MAY 4 - ZAB (Zoning Adjustments Board) holds public
meeting to preview the project, allowing time to hear
public comment and consider the extensive project
information before taking action on May 11
(7:00 pm - Old City Hall- 2134 MLK Way - 2nd Floor
Council Chambers)

MAY 10 - Planning Commission holds public hearing to
consider making recommendation to the Council on the
General Plan and Zoning amendments and
EIR (Evironmental Impact Report)
(7:00 pm - North Berk Senior Center - 1901 Hearst at
MLK)

MAY 11 - ZAB holds public hearing to act on the USE
Permit and EIR
(7:00 pm - Old City Hall- 2134 MLK Way - 2nd Floor
Council Chambers)

MAY 23 - Council certifies ZAB action and sets
public hearing for June 13
(7:00 pm - Old City Hall- 2134 MLK Way -
2nd Floor Council Chambers)

JUNE 13 - Council holds public hearing to consider
acting on the General Plan and Zoning amendments, EIR,
and any appeal(s) of the ZAB action on May 11. The
regular Council meetings on June 20, July 11 and July
18 would be available for continuation of the hearing
and for the second reading of any Zoning amendments
adopted by Council.
(7:00 pm - Old City Hall- 2134 MLK Way -
2nd Floor Council Chambers

 

And the beat goes on!

 

The Ink Works Collective held their day-long May Day Celebration yesterday.

 

Wells Fargo Security Officer, Gianni LaRosa's beautiful photos of his trip to Italy and to his Father's village in Sicily will be featured here on a separate page this month.

 

A Chicago reader relays that she will be sure to stop at Restaurant 900 Grayson on her next visit to Potter Creek--she visits regularly.

 

 

 

5/4/06

 

In the last three days there have been between 800 and 1,000 visits to this site per day along with thousands and thousands of hits--go figure.

There is a Zoning Adjustments Board meeting tonight concerning the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl.

 

Group Leader, Sarah emails

The Bowl will likely define our neighborhood for the
next generation at least. These next few meetings are
our only opportunity to secure the amenity of having
the Bowl in our neighborhood while at the same time
preserving some quality of life and safety on our
streets.

MAY 4 - ZAB (Zoning Adjustments Board) holds public
meeting to preview the project, allowing time to hear
public comment and consider the extensive project
information before taking action on May 11
(7:00 pm - Old City Hall- 2134 MLK Way - 2nd Floor
Council Chambers)

About 4 neighbors have been going door to door
circulating a proposed traffic mitigation concept
around the neighborhood. (If you haven't seen a copy email Sarah.)

Finally, there is a conflict of another neighborhood
meeting for a new development on San Pablo, on the
site of the pot club (old Berkeley Rentals). Their
meeting is scheduled for May 10th. They're going to hold a second meeting another night
so that those of us who go to the Bowl hearing can
hear their plans. If you have
any questions about the traffic plan or any other
issues (please email Sarah.)

 

The second floor of the building on the south side of Potter between 7th and 9th has finally been leased to a computer firm.

 

"Foreclosures up; experts not worried--Despite rise, figure remains well below historic average; flat home prices blamed for defaults" writes James Temple of the West County Times. "Increasing foreclosure activity in California may be a sign of worse to come, but for now remains well below historic norms."

Temple also reports that "Home building slows statewide."

 

George Avalos of the Times writes "Venture capital trickles back into Bay Area firms
Funds still far below record numbers set during dot-com heyday in 2000. Venture financing appears to have bounced back in the Bay Area, a signal that the innovation economy in the region has recovered from the dot-com malaise."

 

 

5/5/06

From my Log

4/7/06--irritant off-and-on all day in warehouse. 4/8/06--irritant off-and-on all day in warehouse. 4/10/06--8:41 AM irritant in entire warehouse, cough, use mask. 4/11/06 1:31 PM SERIOUS irritant in warehouse, use mask, leave. 4/12/06--6:35 PM SERIOUS irritant in front room, throat, eyes, lips, nose burn, use mask. 4/16/06--7:40 AM, irritant in front room; 8:45 PM irritant in front room. 4/17/06--8:40 PM, SERIOUS irritant in front room. 4/19/06--10:47 AM, SERIOUS irritant in front room, use mask. 4/24/06--7:31 AM SERIOUS irritant in front room, leave; 5:54 PM, SERIOUS irritant in front room, leave. 4/27/06--7:00 AM SERIOUS irritant in warehouse. 4/28/06--5:46 PM, SERIOUS irritant in front room, throat, eyes, lips, nose burn, hacking cough, leave. 5/3/06--irritant in warehouse. 5/4/06--7:06 AM, irritant in whole warehouse; 1:03 PM irritant in front room; 5:47 PM, SERIOUS irritant in entire warehouse, throat, eyes, lips, nose burn.

 

 

 

5/7/06

Yesterday, Mr. Rick brought over a sheet of themes and variations on SHIT HAPPENS. I relate personally to "Christian Science: You only think shit happens."

And of Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science Mark Twain said "It's neither Christian or scientific."

But, for straight-ahead Chrisitans check out our Covenant Worship Center in the 2600 block of San Pablo Ave. Every Sunday morning they "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord."

 

"Center signals rise of area economy--Saint Mary's launches Center for Regional Economy to research the East Bay's million-job market" reports George Avalos of the West County Times. "Saint Mary's College is launching a center to study this region's economy, fresh evidence that the East Bay has arrived as a major hub that bustles with growth and commerce, the school said."

 

 

Pete and Geralyn recently returned from a trip to Washington DC where, while Pete looked at the sites, Geralyn lobbied Congress on behalf of the dental technicians.

 

École Bilingue is holding their annual Place du Marché on Sunday, May 21st. Check it out here.

 

KCSM-FM is now holding its annual pledge drive. Check IT out here.

 

Neighbor's filled 900 GRAYSON almost to capacity for last-Saturday's breakfast/brunch.

 

The Thursday night Zoning Adjustment Board Potter Creek meeting

After interviewing more than a few attendees, I'm left with the impression that the meeting's commentary was pretty much made up of the usual suspects--this time including Lipofsky who puncuated his three minutes with "Build it so I can use it before I die." About 20 people offered comments generally supporting a Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl given some sort of traffic mitigation. The commentary period went over an hour. A couple others want a smaller Bowl.

And the Beat Goes On!

 

MAY 10 - Planning Commission holds public hearing to
consider making recommendation to the Council on the
General Plan and Zoning amendments and
EIR (Evironmental Impact Report)
(7:00 pm - North Berk Senior Center - 1901 Hearst at
MLK)

There are so many new or proposed building projects in Potter Creek that I'm losing count. Just now I got to ten and then remembered a new house going up on 10th.

 

Tomorrow evening there is another History of Berkeley lecture at our Library.

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

Historically, Potter Creek has been isolated from larger Berkeley. Even now the residential core is basically a Eurpoean-American enclave surrounded by heavily Latin- and Afro-American communities.

 

Almost a year ago, the Channel 9 Lehrer News featured a story on the possiblity of dramatic increase in gasoline prices. Part of the story was a report concluding that our driving habits would not dramtically change until the price reached $4.00 a gallon.

Cliff Miller is considering talking to the other Good Ole Boys of his motorcycle club about buying equipment for processing used-vegitable-oil for use in their BIG diesels.

 

 

 

 

5/9/06

 

Gerard and Hannah just returned from two-weeks in Dubai. "It's very peaceful there" commented Gerard. Hannah was there for a business conference where her fluent Arabic was helpful.

Mike Korman is now vacationing in Spain.

And, Anthy just got back from a week in Italy, mostly for a wedding where Mario was best man.

AND, my friend Judi Quan just got back from a month in her ancestral-land, China. Check out here stunning photos here.

 

The welder's building sold for $788,000 and escrow will close on the welder's lot in July. Reports are that it sold for near the asking price of $150.00 a square foot.

 

"Humane Society plans to upgrade facility--Privately funded pet hospital and shelter are 'badly behind the times;' fund-raising efforts begun" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society announced plans for a major capital campaign this week designed to bring its outmoded facility into the 21st century."

Snapp also reports "Musicians to raise funds for animals--Classical, punk rock concerts to benefit Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society. What do classical musicians and punk rockers have in common? They love their cats and dogs"

 

ABC News reports that Brazil now produces enough ethanol to power half its motor-vehicles, at the same time making it independent of foreign oil.

 

 

 

 

5/10/06

 

"FAREWELL COMING FOR TELEGRAPH LANDMARK: Cody's to close book on flagship store
Independent bookseller bows to financial pressure as sales fall and area said to be in decline"
report Cassandra Braun and Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "Cody's, one of the Bay Area's legendary independent bookstores, will be closing its landmark store on Telegraph Avenue, owner Andy Ross announced Tuesday. The independent bookseller known as a stalwart witness to the anti-war and free speech movements has succumbed to the forces of the new global marketplace. Steadily declining sales in the last 15 years has forced Ross to shutter the store's Telegraph Avenue location near UC Berkeley after more than four decades, Ross explained in a news release."

 

 

There is a Planning Commssion meeting tonight about the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl.

MAY 10 - Planning Commission holds public hearing to
consider making recommendation to the Council on the
General Plan and Zoning amendments and
EIR (Evironmental Impact Report)
(7:00 pm - North Berk Senior Center - 1901 Hearst at
MLK)

 

And, CEID director Jill Ellis emails

CEID is hosting a meeting tonight, Wednesday at 7-8:30 pm
for the new developers of the new San Pablo-Grayson street "green" - condo
project.

I know there are important meetings for our neighbors, but we welcome
you and others to join us.
Jill

 

Tomorrow night there is a Zoning Adjustment Board meeting about the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl.

MAY 11 - ZAB holds public hearing to act on the USE
Permit and EIR
(7:00 pm - Old City Hall- 2134 MLK Way - 2nd Floor
Council Chambers)

 

 

 

LA Wood comments in our Planet "Pacific Steel Casting: ZAB 'em! Absent for over 15 years, Pacific Steel Casting (PSC) has finally made a return to the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board. The steel mill is requesting modification of their use permit No. 8957 for operating one of their three facilities on Second Street. A privately owned West Berkeley company, PSC has the distinction of being the city's biggest stationary air polluter. This fact is also reflected in its long history of neighborhood conflicts, odor nuisance complaints, and abatement orders."

 

 

 

 

5/11/06

A rogue sea-lion attacked a person at the Berkeley Marina.

 

Thanks to Kava the City is going to plant more trees on 8th Street.

 

John Curl emails

I will be reading from my new books

at

Black Oak Books,

1491 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Wednesday, May 17, 7:30pm

John Curl

"Ancient American Poets"

the first American poets

read in original Maya, Aztec, Inca and in my translations

and

"Scorched Birth"

(my poetry)

 

 

Penelope Huston emails

 

May 12th Friday, 111 Minna Gallery, S.F.

Art & Music Benefit for Damien Echols

of the West Memphis Three

speaking and reading: Henry Rollins, Jello Biafra, Jonathan Richman, Matt Gonzalez, Penelope Houston (reading), Jacob Pitts, dj's, art auction and bands.

all ages $15 6pm

 

"BERKELEY --Troubles on Telegraph
Closure of Cody's is only one of signs of 'The Ave's' decline" reports Patrick Hoge of the San Francisco Chronicle. "The closure of Cody's Books on Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue is the latest, and perhaps sharpest, blow to a famed but increasingly troubled area renowned for its intense pedestrian traffic, youth-oriented businesses, colorful street vendors and vagrants."

The late Moe Moskowitz, the Mayor of Telegraph Avenue, loved its color and carnival, and arguably was responsible for it. But one month, after falling receipts and another confrontation at People's Park, he said in frustration
"If we traded one of our Street People for two Village Idiots from Indiana we'd come out ahead." How a-tuned was Moe with The Ave? In The Day he never had any of his store-windows broken--a unique accomplishment.

 

 

Sources report that last night the Planning Commission recommended that the City Council approve the General Plan Amendment, the Zoning Reclassification, and the Final Environmental Impact Report to allow for the West Berkeley Bowl project at 920 Heinz Avenue.

If you add up all the in-progress and proposed Potter Creek building projects they total dozens. If you include those just now forming in peoples' minds or being sketched on napkins it's an overwhelming explosion.

Stopped by the Missouri Lounge last night on my bicycle ride around Potter Creek. Place was bopin' AND there's a City sign nailed next to the door saying they're planning to expand. Damn, a DEluxe sports-bar MY neighborhood. LIFE IS GOOD!

 

 

 

5/12/06

 

Want to spend $8.00 on food-as-art? Treat yourself to 900 GRAYSON'S "Ocean View 1853," a Tombo Tuna Confit, with Roast Peppers, Cannelini Beans, Lemon Braised Fennel, Smoked Spanish Pimenton, Fleur de Sel & Chive Oil. Eat it slowly, carefully mixing the flavors--they are many and varied. As a compliment, Chris recommends the Alma Rosa Pinot Gris--I agree, look for the mid-taste smoke.

Or experience Vegan Cuisine as art-food. Today Sophina prepared a three-scooter service of vegan soups--a carrot coconut milk with pineapple bits, an English pea and asparagus with a little spinach, and a raw gasppochio. Most memorable is the exploding pineapple bits among the sweet carrot coconut milk. Sophina honed her Vegan skills as a celebrity chef. "She was very particular" she said.

And check out the luscious new painting in the wine-bar.

 

There are many new blossoms on 10th between Dwight and Parker--check THEM out.

And on Sunday-afternoon, May 21st there's The Fourth Street Jazz Festival. It's free. The Berkeley High Jazz Band will play.

 

Did the immigration demonstrations have any effect? Well, it's reported the President is activating five to ten thousand National Guards to secure the Mexican-US border.

 

The City of Berkeley Zoning Adjustment Board recommends to the Berkeley City Council the approval of the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl 920 Heinz project subject to a 1.8 mill transportation mitigation fee.

Well Ok then.

 

 

 

5/13/06

Red Garland was born today

May 13, 1923

 

Folks partying outside the Missouri Lounge last night

 

 

Bob Kubik fowards a notice he received

"Charlie Group LLC has recently purchased the former
Yas Automotive property at 2720 San Pablo.

We are planning a mixed use development for the site
and would like your input before we start the project.

Please come to a meeting an Thursday May 18 at 7:30 pm
at the.

Frances Albrier Community Center 2899 Park St"

 

Not to confuse Potter Creek's hard-working Recyclers with The Ave's Street People of old.

 

Determining the relative value of the amount of money in one year compared to another is not as simple as it seems at first. Why and how is explained here.

 

"Lewinsky case lawyer faces stalking charge" writes Michael Powell of the Washington Post. "Robert Ray, the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, turned himself into the police Thursday on charges of stalking his former girlfriend."

 

 

 

 

5/14/05

"Malcolm X principal aims to educate the whole child" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "It's been a hectic but happy two weeks since Malcolm X Elementary Principal Cheryl Chinn received a call from state schools chief Jack O'Connell informing her that the Berkeley school was chosen for the 2006 California Distinguished School award."

 

"Homeowners in Berkeley are up a creek" reports Carol Lloyd of the San Francisco Chronicle.  "Joanna Graham remembers the exact moment she learned of Strawberry Creek's proximity to her West Berkeley home. Four years ago, a neighbor knocked on her door on North Valley Street with a petition from environmentalists requesting a study of the 300-foot culvert that surfaced just two houses downstream from her home. In the course of a creek restoration project, they had noticed huge chunks of concrete falling off the 6 1/2-by-8-foot pipe into the stream below. "I told her, 'I don't even know where the creek runs,' " said Graham, a small woman with salt-and-pepper hair and the seasoned gaze of someone unaccustomed to feeling sorry for herself. "And she said, 'Oh I do -- it goes right under your house.' "

 

US combat troops stationed in the Homeland, policing our border? That would be combat units on internal security missions. WHOA! Grandpa Penndorf left Germany because of stuff like that.

 

 

5/15/06

"Green groups see red over Pombo Web site" report Lisa Vorderbrueggen and Mike Taugher of the West County Times."Environmentalists allege the Republican is lying on his taxpayer-funded page; he says content counters myths."

Interesting, I've encountered arguments similar to Pombo's from Potter Creekers. But most memorable was the comment from a neighbor in a discussion of Potter Creek air quality that went something like "They have pollution at the North Pole too you know."

 

 

 

5/17/06

 

Jackie McLean was born today

May 17, 1931

 

Read Richard Brown's story about some of Jackie's records here. Richard worked with me at Moe's and later opened almost-Berkeley's DBA Brown record store.

 

Dave Kruse brought some of the family to 900 GRAYSON this morning for breakfast. I'm not saying his wife looks young for her age but at first I thought she was the college-age son's friend.

 

If you want perfect scambled eggs cooked slow and low in olive oil, have 900 GRAYSON'S Potter's Creek--$6.00 with toast, hash browns and garnish.

And if you want someting light to go with your morning-coffee ask about their sliders.

 

 

Another Berkeley food treasure is Café Zeste next to beautiful, relaxing, almost rural Strawberry Creek Park. It's in the historic Strawberry Creek Design Center at 1250 Addison Street, Berkeley, California 94702. For more information, including the menu and directions to their almost-hidden location, go here! Kimar and I have made the trip to lunch their many times and look forward to another visit soon.

 

 

 

 

5/18/06

 

"City has a balanced budget -- for now. City manager warns that some economic uncertainties could knock city's finances for a loop if it isn't careful" writes Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz had welcome news for the City Council on Tuesday as it began deliberating the budget for the 2007 fiscal year: After three years of belt tightening that slashed $20 million in spending and reduced the city's work force by 10 percent, the city's budget is finally -- but precariously -- balanced." Seems Da Boz balanced the budget!

 

Then Snapp reports"Berkeley mayor unveils plan for Telegraph. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates intends to present a multi-faceted plan to revitalize Telegraph Avenue at Tuesday's council meeting. The mayor's effort comes in the wake of last week's stunning announcement that Cody's Books will close its legendary Telegraph store, and underscores the growing concerns about business climate on the city's most famous street. At the heart of the mayor's plan is a proposal to radically streamline the permit process for businesses on Telegraph."

 

And Alex Davidson of the Wall Street Journal writes in the Times"Berkeley chain rethinks drug stores. Elephant Pharmacy captures niche market, investors with holistic approach to wellness. Elephant Pharmacy is positioning itself to challenge established chains such as Walgreen Co. and Rite Aid Corp. by pairing traditional aspects of pharmacies with alternative remedies, such as providing in-house acupuncturists and nutritionists, and substituting potato chips on aisle five with organic fruits and vegetables. Elephant is hoping its offerings and trained personnel will get baby boomers and mothers in their 30s to flock to its stores, hang out and, ideally, take a class."

 

Last night the Lehrer News featured a discussion about the use of the Guard to police our US/Mexico border. It involved three men of differing positions. Interesting, all three agreed that the Presidents move is primarily political, as 6,000 troops will have little effect--one participant suggesting the 50,000-60,000 would be necessary to make a real difference. And that the units needed--intel and surveillance--were already largely committed in Iraq. But they didn't address the issue that soldiers--whether Guard, Reserve or Regular--are trained to kill and wreck, where as Border Patrol are trained to secure the border.

 

 

 

5/19/06

 

"Pacific Steel Faces New Lawsuit From Environmental Group" reports Suzanne La Barre of Our Daily Planet. "An Oakland-based environmental nonprofit is threatening to sue Pacific Steel Casting in federal court. Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) plans to file suit against the West Berkeley steel foundry 60 days from May 5 for violating the Clean Air Act, federal legislation enacted in 1990 that sets limits on air pollution."

 

And Richard Brenneman notes "CHP Officer Is Injured in Crash. A California Highway Patrol officer was injured Thursday afternoon when his motorcycle was struck by a car on westbound Interstate 80 near Ashby Avenue. Officer Brian Land said his colleague sustained moderate injuries in the 3:37 p.m. accident, which briefly closed the number one lane. Land said the other vehicle, a light colored Buick Century, stopped after the incident. Land was unable to say whether any citation was issued, or to identify the officer and the nature of his injuries."

 

 

And I offer two Berkeley Bowl Op-eds

It's too big! No it's not too big! It's too big! No it's not too big! It's too big! No it's not too big!

&

There'll be too much traffic! No there won't be too much traffic!

 

 

 

 

5/20/06

 

"Wayne Dismuke -- Berkeley fire captain, 'drill monster'" passed reports Henry K. Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle. "About 200 friends, family and firefighters attended a memorial service Friday for retired Berkeley Fire Capt. Wayne Dismuke, a 36-year department veteran who was the first commander to arrive at the Oakland hills fire in 1991. Mr. Dismuke, who retired in 2003, died Sunday after a five-year battle with cancer. He was 64. Mourners at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Berkeley recalled Mr. Dismuke, who founded the Berkeley Black Firefighters Association and was its president until his retirement, as the creator of the group's slogan, 'Serving the Community and Not Ourselves.'"

 

I've known Dave since The Day, when occasionally he'd cut class at Berkeley High and come down to Moe's to buy jazz records. Dave's Mom just had a knee replacement and I wish her a speedy, safe recovery. Dave's now got a place around San Pablo Park.

 

Seems the movie guys and girls of Potter Creek are working on Charlotte's Web and a Disney production, Enchanted.

Pete Hurney is working on a pilot for KALX--it's a series about music instruments. Maybe he'll feature the neighborhood harpischord maker and the neighborhood harpsichord finisher.

Also, Pete reports .25" of rain yesterday till this morning--last rained April 16.

 

Claudia and Cameron were having breakfast this morning at 900 GRAYSON. So was Richard.

 

"East Bay nears 2001 job record" reports George Avalos of the West County Times. "The East Bay powered to job gains in April that placed it head and shoulders above the rest of the Bay Area employment market -- and left it just shy of the record number of jobs it had just after the dot-com bust more than five years ago."

 

 

 

5/22/06

 

"Mayor plans a rebirth for Telegraph. BERKELEY: Streamlining the permit process for businesses is one portion of proposal" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has a multifaceted plan to revitalize Telegraph Avenue in the wake of last week's announcement that Cody's Books will close its store there. The plan underscores growing concerns about the business climate on the city's most famous street. At the heart of the mayor's plan is a proposal to radically streamline the permit process for businesses on Telegraph. Currently, changes in business use -- for example, from a video store to a clothing store -- have to go through a public hearing in front of the zoning adjustments board, which often takes more than a year and costs more than $10,000 in permit fees. Under Bates' plan, businesses on Telegraph would be able to avoid the ZAB and apply directly to the City Council."

Da Boz was on Channel 2 TV this AM-early "explaining" his plan. Actually, he spent most of the interview "selling" The Ave. Boz, let's face it, our Beloved Ave is becoming a shit-hole. Make it better, please! Oh, and I'd think twice about doing those early morning interviews. I'm betting you're a night-person.

For myself, I remember the beginning of The Decline. One night in The Day, for no reason at all, a Street Punk lit a trash barrel a-fire and threw it on The Ave in front of Record City. No political demonstration, no nothin'--just mean!

 

Some of the CEID people lunched at 900 GRAYSON today.

 

Tracy and Ben were hitting a few balls yesterday morning on the school playground. Power-hitters, they lifted a couple over the fence. And, Tracy just got back from a week in Italy spent with her college room-mate of four-years. Great girl fun--she beamed recalling the trip. Ben's gotten reeeal BIG!

And, Pete and Geralyn were at the Saturday As/Giants game and saw The Bond Performance.

Went to Jazz on Fourth Street yesterday and got soaked to the skin--it was worth it.

 

 

 

5/23/06

Recently Gianni LaRosa spent three weeks in his Sicily and Italy.

Here are some of his photos of The Homeland.

 

Who is that Southern Belle on the arm of one of west-Berkeley's leading citizens?

 

Asked this morning how École Bilingue's annual Place du Marché was, Pete Hurney quiped. "It rained on their parade." Pete and Geralyn got there just as it down-poured.

 

Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl at City Hall tonight?

MAY 23 - Council certifies ZAB action and sets
public hearing for June 13
(7:00 pm - Old City Hall- 2134 MLK Way -
2nd Floor Council Chambers)

 

 

5/24/06

Da Boz' May Update includes

Mayor Bates Appointed to Bay Area Air Quality Management District
I am pleased to report that the Alameda County Conference of Mayors unanimously voted to appoint me to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board at its meeting earlier this month. The Air District is the region's air quality regulatory agency and is beginning a major effort to address greenhouse gas emissions. I view this as an important opportunity to aggressively pursue efforts to improve air quality and protect the health of the people in our community, and play a role in the Air District's new effort to address greenhouse gas emissions.

&

Council Moves to Allow 'Red Tape Free' Home Rebuilds
I was joined by three Council Members in recommending the City change its laws to allow homeowners to rebuild their homes after a disaster without the usual 6-12 month "use permit" process that is now required. The proposal would allow rebuilding in the exact footprint of the old house with a simple streamlined permit. Spending time now to create an expedited and workable set of rebuilding rules will prevent a great deal of heartache down the road. With this in place, homeowners will know what documentation they need to set aside now to speed the rebuilding process later.

 

Want to see and be seen? Well Betty Olds, Susan Wengraf and Patrick Kennedy lunched at 900 GRAYSON today.

 

You can lunch there too.

Be seen,

and have Sophina's creative cuisine.

 


5/25/06

Channel 2 Morning News had a story about a plan to revive Cody's on The Ave. Damn, if you're going to establish a Rejuvenation Program I'd start with Lipofsky--he's certainly worthy.

 

 

5/27/06

 

"I" win, Apple loses!

"Bloggers can shield sources, court rules. In setback for Apple, Internet journalists are protected by law" reports Ellen Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle. "This was a huge win for the First Amendment and for journalists who publish online,' said Lauren Gelman, associate director for Stanford's Center for Internet and Society, who filed a brief supporting the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 'The court recognized that in the modern era, one way journalists publish information is through the Internet.' . . . In their ruling, the judges said the online news sites should be treated as newspapers, television and radio broadcasts are. [Bloggers], they contended, were acting as traditional reporters and editors do: developing sources, collecting information and publishing it, albeit on the Web. . . . 'The shield law is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news, and that is what the petitioners did here,' the judges said in the ruling. . . . In addition, the judges ruled that, in the digital age, bloggers' e-mails should also be protected, just like a telephone call or written document. . . . In the end, the judges made little distinction between online journalists and traditional journalists. "

 

A story appeared in Our Friday's Planet the thread of which is that high-rents are responsible for The Ave's "economic turn-down." But since land value determines land-use I conclude that high rents bring high-end tenents. So to bring about an "economic up-turn" raise the rents higher? If Karl wouldn't agree I'm sure Groucho would.

 

900 GRAYSON had its best day ever Thursday. How good? Several times during lunch Anthony said to customers waiting to be seated "We have only one table right now."

 

 

Bob Kubik emails

Building plans for 2747 San Pablo

There is a notice on the pole in front of our
house for a meeting on Monday June 5 at the Center for
the Education of the Infant Deaf 1035 Grayson. The
purpose is to present preliminary sketches of a
planned mixed-use development with 40 to 45 homes for
purchase atop ground floor retail and live/work lofts.
The owner/developer says he wants feedback...

 

5/28/06

 

Harvey-the-Mailman stopped by this morning with John and Ken, two of his bicycling buddies. We talked for a while about recorded music from 78s to MP3 files--then they left for breakfast at the Gilman Grill. John has real knowledge about recorded music agreeing that recorded-music is becoming more mechanized. And Ken, after I said we were becoming more like machines, observed that my tool-and-dye-maker Grandfather made machines that made machines.

Last Tuesday night the Berkeley City Council lowered the fine for bike riders riding on sidewalks from $278 to $53, changing the violation from a misdemeanor to an infraction. Is this a prelude to a revenue enhancment program of issuing tickets for riding on sidewalks? If it is, remember you read it first in Scrambled Eggs. If it isn't, "Fageda boud id!"

 

"Homeowners lobby to revise ordinance limiting home repairs near creeks" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "When Stephen Pfeiffer bought his house in Berkeley's Claremont neighborhood in 2000, one of the main attractions was picturesque Temescal Creek, which runs through the property. But what he -- and hundreds of other Berkeley homeowners -- didn't know at the time was that an obscure city ordinance limited his ability to repair or rebuild his home, even after a disaster. The ordinance, enacted in 1989, requires a variance to repair any structure within 30 feet of an open creek or an underground culvert. Obtaining such a permit can take more than a year and cost up to $10,000."

 

And he also reports "Teenage trumpeter has performed alongside legendary musicians. Billy Buss' life hit another high note earlier this month when he was named a Presidential Scholar for 2006.. Billy, the lead trumpet player and soloist for the Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble, will travel to Washington, D.C., June 24 to receive the award, meet the president, and perform in a concert at the Kennedy Center."

5/29/06

 

Today is Memorial Day

 

"Mold-fighting teacher helps school district clear the air" reports Paula King of the West County Times. "It was a letter that arrived via certified mail from Erin Brockovich's law firm that convinced English teacher Tanya Smith to keep speaking out about safety and health issues on her campus. The letter from Masry & Vititoe Law Offices made Smith realize the urgency of dealing with the mold and asbestos exposure on Brentwood's Liberty High School campus. At the same time, Cal-OSHA was in the process of fining the Liberty Union High School District $14,690 and issuing 13 citations for this matter."

 

No longer Only in Berkeley, but still charmingly us--a bumper sticker on an ersatz Bug parked on 5th reads "Bio-diesel Dyke."

 

While listening to an instrumental on KCSM today, Masha Wacko enthused "It's that old favorite 'How are things in Guacamole?'" Yes it is, Gracy.

 

 

 

 

5/30/06

Grade A Vermont Dark--oldest buddy, W D

 

Read WD's The Unforgettable Encounter with Khansahib

 

 

A snappily dressed Orrel was seen with colleagues today for lunch at 900 GRAYSON.

 

And today Sophina made her coconut-milk corn soup. Flavored with Kaffir lime, yellow onion and galangal*, I've never tasted food so fully--it seemed alive. And damn, it was Vegan.

*A close relative of ginger, galangal is an important and popular ingredient in the foods of Indonesia and Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand. Ground Galangal (formerly called Laos powder) is easier to work with than whole Galangal and is commonly called for in recipes. The flavor is similar to ginger, but more flowery and intense. Its flavor combines with ginger and lemon grass in Thai cooking, and with white pepper and/or cayenne for seasoning fish, meat or poultry.

 

Sophina and the Guys and Girl at 900 GRAYSON may cause me to join Restaurants Anonymous.

 

An informed source tells me that the Humane Society sale/Nexus purchase of the Carleton and 8th property has been in negotiation for some weeks now by their respective lawyers and . . . God is in the details.

 

 

 

5/31/06

 

   "Telegraph needs lots of help" reports David Lazarus of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Desperate times call for desperate measures. It took the looming closure of much-admired Cody's Books on Telegraph Avenue for Berkeley to finally get serious about cleaning up what's become a four-block showplace for urban decay, drug dealing and homelessness -- right on the doorstep of one of the nation's most prestigious universities. . . . I've watched conditions in the neighborhood go from colorfully scruffy to cancerously filthy. . . . I asked Bates what he sees as the ideal situation. 'It should be a clean, safe place with interesting shops -- shops that are special to Berkeley,' he answered. 'I would like to see an Apple Computer store there. I would like a better grocery store.' At this point, he's ready to welcome virtually any major retailer willing to take a chance. Bates said Walgreens is interested in the vacant space across from the campus previously occupied by the Gap.'That would be terrific,' he said. How sad is it that a place like Berkeley would actually be excited about the possible opening of a Walgreens? And how sad that Bates is correct -- it would be terrific to get a tenant of that stature into a high-profile location that's been empty since January."

Sad Dave? I dunno, in The Day Rexall Drugs just up from Record City and around the corner from Campus Records was a great place--kind'a an Ave staple.

 

This morning, on the corner of 8th and Grayson, Regan Bice successfully wrestled a wild raccoon to the ground, pinning him there until the SPCA arrived. In doing so, he saved the lives of many small animals--not.

 

Orrel emails

Well Ron, you sweet thing, I had no idea you noticed. Always nice to
make your blog and get those 15 seconds of fame.

 

 

David M. Mayeri emails

Neighborhood Meeting #2:
Monday, June 5, 2006    7:00-8:30 PM
Center for the Education of the Infant Deaf, 1035 Grayson St.


The green, LEED* certified condominiums at 2747 San Pablo Avenue are part of a new mixed-use development with approximately 40 ­ 45 homes for purchase atop ground floor retail and live/work lofts.  The building is in an early phase of design. The owner/ developer and architects would like to introduce the design and vision for the project to the neighborhood and receive feedback.
 
Please join us for a community meeting, with agenda as follows:
 
7:00 ­ 7:15     Welcome and Project Overview,
David M. Mayeri and Laura Billings, San Pablo Avenue 2747, LLC
 
7:15 ­ 7:45     Presentation of Preliminary Sketches
                       Margaret Ikeda, Thomas Dolan Architecture
 
7:45 ­ 8:30     Questions and Answers
 
For More Information: Laura Billings, Project Manager
(510) 267-4325 lbillings@srmassociates.com
 
For More Information: David M. Mayeri, Managing Partner
(415) 819-5580  dmayeri@comcast.net
 
*The LEED certification system is based on a set of criteria established by the U.S. Green Building Council to help promote the development of environmentally friendly, resource efficient buildings.  The buildings are certified via third party review. Please visit www.usgbc.org for more information about the LEED.

 

 

 

 

 

6/3/06

 

After years of work and study MIlo's Dad is a fully certified teacher and has just been hired to teach in the Berkeley school system. HOORAAAY!

 

Kava has begun work on a set of drawings for his 2800-Block-8th-Street project.

 

More Potter Creekers were seen at 900 GRAYSON this week--Tracy and Morgan were there for lunch mid-week as were more of our Uncommon Grounders and Anthy stopped for a chat today.

And it was reported that Milo was "greeted by all" on his early week visit.

 

Canned Food has Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer in 12 packs for $2.99.

 

Our Public Library will host its 12th annual free jazz festival June 8-11. The films and performances are all taking place at the Downtown Library. Doors open 30 minutes before start times. Details here.

 

"Council takes moderate stance on creeks--City manager will ready an amendment to current ordinance, following the Creeks Task Force advice" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "The Berkeley City Council provisionally approved the recommendations of the Creeks Task Force this week, steering a middle course between property owners who want to loosen restrictions on construction near creeks and environmentalists who want to keep the restrictions as is."

 

"As gas prices rise, commuters opt for two wheels--
Motorcycle, scooter, bike sellers find drivers tired of high cost of fuel are turning to other forms of transportation"

reports Cynthia H. Cho of the Los Angles Times in the West County Times.

 

"Heat is on -- yet solar plan stalls. Business, consumer advocates back $3.2 billion program, but political bickering ties up bill writes" Sarah Jane Tribble in the West County Times. "Just months after lawmakers passed the nation's largest-ever solar power rebate program encouraging California residents to harness the sun and ease the summer energy crunch, the program enters summer facing an uncertain future."

 

Richard and Sally had an early breakfast at 900 GRAYSON today.We also saw Ruth having breakfast there with a friend. And Andrew came after we had gone--he was also there last Saturday with Kerstin. (By the way, Andrew left Regan's office and has opened his own. More later!) And during the week Rick picked up to-goes to eat at V&W.

Truth be known, 900 GRAYSON is a popular neighborhood destination. Gene from Berkeley MIlls is a regular, the crew from the Potter Creek Secret Movie Studio go there, as do workers from Tulip Graphics, Active Space, The Sawtooth, École Bilingue and most of the surrounding businesses. (Ooops, Doc and his friend were on there way there today, mid-morning.) Though, because of 900 GRAYSON'S restricted hours, Potter Creek residents who work outside the neighborhood cannot enjoy eating there during the week.

 

 

 

6/4/06

"Gay Men's Chorus carries on A quarter-century after the start of the epidemic, the group has suffered the deaths of 257 members" reports Meredith May in one of her rare stories in the San Fransico Chronicle. There is a common saying backstage before the curtain rises on the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus: 'I sing for two.' For each man standing, one chorus member has died of AIDS."

 

Penelope Huston emails

Hello peeps,

Come and see me play a full set including newer songs with my co-conspirator, Pat Johnson
June 7 @
The Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell St at Van Ness.
This is their Wednesday Night Hoot
featuring short sets by
Ted Savarese
Stephanie Finch
Nate Dalton
Liz Ross

and longer sets by
Monolith
Pillows
21+ $5

Hope you can make it. We're going to get quiet and noisy. Shhhh!

 

And our own Janine Johnson emails

A friendly reminder about my recital at 5 PM,
Friday
June 9th, at Trinity Chapel, the corner of Bancroft and Dana in
Berkeley. (Tickets $15/$12/$10) This should be a fun event.
The program looks long, but actually the suites in the first half are
short, and the movements quite varied. There is some truly
wonderful music there!

The Handel and Bach are of course, exceptional. I hope you can come!

Program and notes follow:

Janine

 

WORKS FROM DER GETREUE MUSIC MEISTER (Hamburg, 1728)

 

Trouble-fete..........................................Johann Valentin Görner

Partita a Cembalo Solo..................................Georg Philipp Telemann
Preludio
Aria
Rondeau
Menuets
Gigue a Angloise

Passacaille...................................................J. V.Görner


Fantasia furs Clavier..............................(Karl JohannFriedrich) Haltmeier


Suite................................................Kreysing the Younger
Courante
Sarabande
Menuet
Gigue

Ouverture a la Polonaise.......................................G. P.Telemann
Ouverture
Bourée
Loure
Gavotte en Rondeau

Suite de Clavecin............................................Christian Pezold
Allemande
Menuet
Courante
Sarabande
Giga
Gigue

 

~~~~~~~Intermission~~~~~~

 

Suite # 1 in A major (1720)................................Georg Friederich Handel
Präludium
Allemande
Courante
Gigue

Partita #3 in a minor (1727).................................Johann Sebastian Bach
Fantasia
Allemande
Corrente
Sarabande
Burlesca
Scherzo
Gigue

 

 

Girl Talk

"You put energy into something and that's what you'll get " said Marsha Wacko in an uncharacteristic Wu-Wu moment "I really believe that" she added. "So . . . ," I thought later "You worry about Potter Creek's development and you'll get worrisome development?" "I really believe that" I heard in my mind's ear.

 

 

 

6/5/06

Maybe THE example of building to surroundings can be found on 5th and Channing--Levitch not only kept the project to scale but designed it in the style of the immediately surrounding structures.

A Mensch

is that Levitch

 

"Farmers not reaping fruits of labor" reports Tanya Rose of theWest County Times. "Memorial Day weekend, typically the busy U-Pick season opener in far East Contra Costa County, came with a whimper, not a bang. The fruit just isn't ripe yet or is too sparse. For months, farmers have been predicting a late season this time around. They blame the schizophrenic winter, with its uncharacteristically warm days that tricked fruit into blossoming early, only to drown those same blossoms later on with too much rain. Also, there weren't enough "chill hours" throughout the January and February, which are needed so fruit can hibernate. And the frosts that did come came at the wrong times."

 

 

 

6/6/06

Last night the developers of the now-marijuana-store property in the 2700 block of San Pablo hosted a community meeting at the CEID School to explain their project and to get community input. Their 17,000 sq ft project of probably 40-45 units is five stories on San Pablo Ave at 50 feet dropping to 35 ft at the building back--this to accommodate the four houses to the rear. There will be retail space on the ground floor and the units will be for sale. The project is green in that, among other things, it makes use of solar panels and open interior green space. The meeting proceeded in an orderly fashion until a participant observed, passionately, that a "truly green project" wouldn't be that big, was out of scale, and would increase density and traffic and, I seem to remember, that he didn't want to live like he was in New York. This triggered outbursts of agreement, also passionate, by some participants--these better addressed to the City than to a green builder working well below code--they're building 40-45 units and could build 60. The meeting was attended by over 20 citizens, including many of the"usual suspects," several surrounding home owners, a guy from the City and Darryl "the Man" Moore. Nothing was resolved and there'll probably be another meeting and another meeting and another meeting.

Under current west-Berkeley building codes this conflict will go on, and on, and on.

 

For More Information from the builders contact Laura Billings, Project Manager
(510) 267-4325 lbillings@srmassociates.com
 
Or: David M. Mayeri, Managing Partner
(415) 819-5580  dmayeri@comcast.net
 
The builders hope to achive a LEED silver certification

The LEED certification system is based on a set of criteria established by the U.S. Green Building Council to help promote the development of environmentally friendly, resource efficient buildings.  The buildings are certified via third party review. Please visit www.usgbc.org for more information about the LEED.

 

 

And coming up, the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl City Council meeting.

JUNE 13 - Council holds public hearing to consider
acting on the General Plan and Zoning amendments, EIR,
and any appeal(s) of the ZAB action on May 11. The
regular Council meetings on June 20, July 11 and July
18 would be available for continuation of the hearing
and for the second reading of any Zoning amendments
adopted by Council.
(7:00 pm - Old City Hall- 2134 MLK Way -
2nd Floor Council Chambers

Faget boud id.

 

 

Claudia emails

Ron
You will be among the first to hear this news, but the Bowl withdrew their
application to build a supermarket in our neighborhood. I was informed
yesterday by the mayor's office. They still are going ahead with the
warehouse. So many delays have increased the cost of building, that plus all
the permits etc just pushed the price out of their reach. Along with the
union threatening to delay the process even more. So that's it.
Claudia

 

 

My favorite Irish developer emails

Mr. Penndorf:

Thanks for the update. Too bad. Only in "progressive" Berkeley could a
successful and venerated natural foods grocery be denied the opportunity to
expand on the site of a former asbestos roofing plant.

Yours,

Patrick Kennedy

 

 

Nicely put Mr. K.

Actually, I think congratulations are in order for those of Potter Creek who successfully opposed the West Berkeley Bowl market. Foremost are Potter Creekers Rick Auerbach and Sarah Klise and of course the fiery Zelda Bronstein--not of The Creek, but still . . . And then there are their supporters of varing degrees, Morgan and Tracy, John and Suzanne, Richard and Sally and others--I'm sure I've left out someone. Congratulations to all on your "success!"

And I wouldn't make too much of the fact that the news of the Bowl's withdrawal came on what some believe to be the Day of the Beast. For remember, the Sign of the Beast is 666 NOT 6606. And not to forget "The Devil is in the details."

'Course, it does seem "A Miracle" . . . of some dark sort.

 

Canned Food has 3 liter boxes--inside the box a filled plastic-bag with a spigot--of CASARSA PINOT GRIGIO/PINOT BLANC for $2.99. It usually sells for around $20.00. An Internet review offers "Floral aromas of wildflowers and acaia. Dry, full-bodied and evenly balanced. Wonderful with vege soups." I don't know about that but I LOVE its buzz. That IS full-bodied.

Canned Food also has pints of DREAMERY ice cream--2/$1.00--and every bit as good or better than Ben & Jerry's and in a variety of flavors. Try Black Raspberry Avalanche.

 

 

 

6/7/06

"Albertson's to close 11 East Bay stores" reports Marton Dunai of the West County Times. "Eleven Albertson's supermarkets will close in Alameda and Contra Costa counties by the first week of August, the grocery chain's new owners announced today. Management notified the 540 workers of the stores this morning. Albertsons spokesperson Quyen Ha said the quick move was possible because the stores are now privately owned by Cerberus Partners, a New York-based investment company. She said the closures were part of a strategy of culling unprofitable stores out of the chain's portfolio and focusing development on the remaining units. In the Bay Area, 31 stores will be shut down, and Northern California will see a total of 37 stores go out of business by August. Albertson's will have 131 stores left in Northern California, and plans no further shutdowns, Ha said."

Why build a Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl when you can take over an old Albertson's store or two?

 

 

 

 

6/8/06

I'm not going to post any more Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl email. If you're thinking of sending one, don't. Rather, I'd suggest spending your time asking yourself where are we now? How did we get here? What part did I play? And, . . . am I happy with it? OR write to our twice weekly daily. OR screw-it-all and have a couple beers--they're some great buys now at Canned Food. OR go to the Missouri Lounge and throw back a few. OR treat yourself to some fine wine at 900 GRAYSON at 2:00 PM after the lunch rush. AND PLEASE, spare yourself the "we didn't but they did; if only they hadn't but we could have" dialogues.

Yesterday Scrambled Eggs and Lox had its most traffic ever--well over 1000 hits.

 

Hopefully, my final Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl Op-Ed.

"It ain't over till it's over!"

 

 

 

6/10/06

 

Ron

You are so clever - and thanks for the smile as I close down for the
evening!
Jill Ellis

 

I'd like to thank whoever left the new Tamiya Messerschmitt bf109 kit on the warehouse flower-box this morning. I especially appreciate the included model-airplane glue. However, one of our community activists attributes my "sometimes original" thinking to my youth spent building model airplanes in an unventilated basement.

 

Richard is repainting his house on 8th, and it's said that the house on Grayson between Regan and Rick's is for sale.

 

Scrambled Eggs traffic on June 8th broke all records.

 

 

 

6/11/06

 

The Chronicle's Meredith May is back "in full force" with

"Quick, before Lou's closes, another box of doughnuts.

Inside Lou's Living Donut Museum in San Jose, each day 70-year-old Ralph Chavira and his two grown sons make 200 dozen doughnuts as a loyal line of customers stretches out the door.

Now that line is winding down the block, as three generations of customers learn Chavira has plans to close June 30.

For 50 years, Lou's has fought the Krispy Kreme-ization of America with patriotic zeal, insisting on cooking each doughnut by hand -- with its signature doughnut hole attached to the outside of the ring -- behind big glass windows so the customers can watch."

 

 

"Need for infrastructure repair grows critical--Costs of building materials continues to escalate to match global market's demand" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. Berkeley's infrastructure needs repairs. And city officials say it's a case of pay me now or pay me later. They delivered their warning to the City Council at a special meeting May 23. 'We're getting caught in a squeeze between inflated prices -- especially the price of oil -- and competition for construction materials from China and India,' said Public Works Director Claudette Ford. 'The longer we put this off, the more expensive it becomes.' For instance, she said road repair costs jumped by 40 percent in just 18 months between mid-2004 and the end of 2005."

And, brand-new sewer drains are now being installed on Dwight east of San Pablo.

 

 

"Voters to decide schools parcel tax. Board puts measure that would replace expiring levies on November ballot" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "The Berkeley school board voted Wednesday night to place a parcel tax measure on the November ballot."

 

 

"Thirty-three members of the Berkeley Rotary Club, plus family and friends, are heading to New Orleans to bring a historic high school in an African-American neighborhood back to life." writes Snapp. "The first work party left Tuesday; the rest will follow early next week. For two weeks, they will shore up beams, install fixtures, paint walls, repair the roof, and do whatever else is necessary to restore 162-year-old Warren Easton High, a designated national landmark that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina."

 

And, "BERKELEY: Special Olympics return home from Stockton, and the competition Saturday was spirited" reports Sophia Kazmi of the West County Times.

 

Fully in the spirit of "I told you so" and in keeping with my last Op-Ed

"It ain't over till it's over!"

 

Here's Claudia's email

Ron

The public hearing at the City Council is going on as scheduled for the West Berkeley Bowl--the Yasudas decided to not pull their application and see what happens at this meeting.

 

 

 

6/12/06

JUNE 13 - Council holds public hearing to consider
acting on the General Plan and Zoning amendments, EIR,
and any appeal(s) of the ZAB action on May 11. The
regular Council meetings on June 20, July 11 and July
18 would be available for continuation of the hearing
and for the second reading of any Zoning amendments
adopted by Council.
(7:00 pm - Old City Hall- 2134 MLK Way -
2nd Floor Council Chambers

Sarah emails

Tomorrow night is it. The Bowl West project will be up before the City Council. This meeting will be standing room only, so if you want to go and speak (I hope) you MUST get there early. The meeting starts at 7:00 but if you arrive then, I fear you will not be able to get in the door. This room WILL be mobbed! (The union will be there in force.) And, I would suggest bringing your knitting projects - you'll have plenty of time!

 

 

David B is setting up the blog, Potter Creek Berkeley.

"Hi - I'm setting up a blog for the neighborhood to share information
- come join up and contribute if you're so inclined."

 

Though not a blog there also is Potter Creek/West Berkeley Group.

 

There are also informative but irregular email from Sarah Klise, Bob Kubik and Jill Ellis,CEID director.


The city of Burlington Vermont offers a bundled info-service including DSL, telephone, and cable.

Well, OK then Boz. How 'bout Berkeley?

 

"Bliss by the bay: Cream puff makes a sweet comeback" reports Patricia Yollin of the San Francisco Chronicle, "Luigi Cruz had been trying to lose weight for quite a while but nothing seemed to work. Recently, however, he inadvertently found a way to drop 10 pounds. Cruz bought a cream puff shop. Now, as co-owner of Beard Papa's Sweets Cafe in downtown San Francisco, he's burning up calories working 13 hours a day. Cruz and his business partner, Yuan Ongpin, did not just acquire the master franchise in Northern California for the Japanese cream puff chain, which has about 300 outlets in Asia and 13 in the United States. They inherited its cult following as well and are hoping to capitalize on a nationwide revival of the centuries-old pastry. 'The first day, the line was 2 1/2 hours long at some point,' Cruz said. 'We sold more than 3,500 cream puffs.' Ongpin said life has been 'pretty crazy' since the store opened on May 12."

Network-news reported a week-or-two ago that an Illinois minor-league baseball team's concession stand served fried burgers topped with bacon and cheese and placed between halves of horizontally split Krispy-Kremes.

 

 

"Janine played beautifully" said John Phillips about his friend and co-worker's harpsichord recital at the Berkeley Early Music Festival. "She really played well." John, who exhibited his magnificent harpsichords, also attended other events and specially loved the Wednesday night concert of La poemè harmonique. Made up of three male singers and a female with continuo of harpsichord, lute and gamba they performed works by Lanande and Charpentier. "They were sublime" effused John. Clearly still much impressed, he also loved Capriccio Stravaganza's Sunday night effort at Hertz Hall. Made up of Josh Cheatham, gamba, Juliane Martin, recorder and Skip Sempé, harpsichord they played works of Marais, Dowland and Corelli among others. He was at a loss for words to describe the beauty of the Marais Chaconne.

 

 

 

6/13/06

"CHP officer shoots at motorcyclist" the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "A California Highway Patrol officer fired at a speeding motorcyclist who refused to pull over Sunday afternoon, authorities said."

 

"Leader of UAW promotes new path President of auto workers union says relationship to struggling domestic carmakers will have to shift" reports the AP's Tom Krisher in the West County Times. "With Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. facing market share declines and financial troubles, United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger told the union's convention Monday that it is time for new thinking. In a speech to about 1,300 members at the UAW's 34th convention in Las Vegas, Gettelfinger seemed to be preparing the union for a different relationship with the troubled domestic automakers as they face challenging times. 'Like it or not, these challenges aren't the kind that can be ridden out,' he said. 'They demand new and farsighted solutions -- and we must be an integral part of developing these solutions.' Gettelfinger, who also blamed many of the auto industry's problems on the Bush administration, said a concessionary health care deal with Ford and GM was the most difficult decision he has made as president."

 

 

 

6/14/06

 

Pete's work on his KALX pilot is moving a pace. It's a proposed series about music instruments-the pilot explores the harpsichord and is built around an interview with our John Phillips.

 

David Bowman emails

I've set up a blog for us to use to exchange information of interest to the Potter Creek neighborhood. It's at http://www.pottercreek.blogspot.com. It's set up so that you have to register in order to post to it - have a look at it and see if you'd be interested in joining in. If you are - send me, David Bowman, an email at dmbstudio@earthlink.net and I'll email you back an invitation to join which allows you to sign up.

Mozel Tov, Dave!"

"Web site gives voters voice in civic process BERKELEY: Couple envisioned an easy way for citizens to communicate with their city leaders about government issues" writes Dorothy Vriend of the West County Times.

 

The Berkeley City Council "approved the application" of the west-Berkeley Bowl.

"West Berkeley Bowl gets use permit" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "Ending a contentious battle that has dragged on for four years, the Berkeley City Council granted a use permit early this morning to the controversial West Berkeley Bowl project, a proposed 91,000-square-foot grocery store at the corner of Heinz Avenue and 9th Street."

 

"Telegraph Avenue Cleanup tab estimate" reports Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle.
"The city's plan to spruce up Telegraph Avenue will cost about $360,000 in the first six months it is in place, according to a report the city manager will present to the City Council tonight. The city's share will come to about $220,000.

 

"How has Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue changed over the years?" reports Heidi Swillinger at sfgate.com
"When I came to Berkeley in 1963, it had more Nobel Prize winners than potholes. Not only brains, shops too were excellent: Fraser's for furniture, Nicole for women, George Goode for men, . . ."

My memories of can be read at " Back in The Day: Selling Records on Berkeley's Telegraph Ave ."

 


WD emails from Burlington, VT about Burlington Telecom

"Get out your telephone, TV, and internet bills and add them up. Bet you won't be happy. Now you can reap tremendous savings off already low prices off our voice, video, and internet services. We've created some Triple-Play packages for you but you can make one of your own."

Check it out, Boz!

 

Where today David's backyard is filled with an almost unbelievable feast of color, this afternoon Rick's is filled with a feast of sound as horn, keyboard, bass, and drums play sophisticated, a little funky, and very hip, . . . jazz. So, I spent some time in the afternoon sitting in the sun listening to real music.

 

 

6/15/06

Talk about the usual suspects. Yesterday, Claudia and Cameron, Regan Bice and son, John and Suzanne, Andy Kruse, Don Yost and Steve Smith were all seen at 900 GRAYSON--eating and drinking or about to.

 

My memories of Telegraph Avenue can be read at " Back in The Day: Selling Records on Berkeley's Telegraph Ave ."

 

Potter Creeker, Cedric "Doc" Shackleton emails

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border
into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for
increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. . .

Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of
sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing
their fields at night.

"I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a
Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red
Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold,
exhausted and hungry. "He asked me if I could spare a latte and some
free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't
even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?"

 

Pete's been recommending movies lately. Last night's was "Chasing Amy." Check it out!

 

 

Steve Sullivan of Acme Bread sent a letter to neighbors asking for support of his project to incorporate his recently purchased 938 Pardee building into his bakery at 2730 9th. He intends to "connect the buildings internally via wall penetrations to expand production, storage and distribution into that space." The 938 Pardee building is 4000 square feet and combined with their present building would result in a 14,000 square foot facility. Sullivan is also "in the process of finalizing our purchase of the yard as well." He does not now have firm plans for the open yard, but in the near future wants to add solar panels on top of the former welding shop. His hope for the yard's future is that he "will build some production space and a retail shop on some portion of the yard." He has applied for a use permit to incorporate the 938 Pardee building into his bakery. Get more details by calling (510) 548-2978 or stop by my place and read the letter, the use permit application, and look at the plans.

What-ever-the-hell-Gaelic is for Mozel Tov, Steve!

I wrote of both these purchases some months ago--broke the stories, so-to-speak.

I'm betting on a more dense development of the yard--the purchase price is said to be well over 1 mil.

 

 

John and Suzanne's luncheon-guest today at 900 GRAYSON was harpsichordist, JungHae Kim. Read about her and her music at Scrambled Eggs and Lox July 2004--and make sure you scroll down to July 4th. Or check her out here--but you really should take the effort to go to July 4th.

Or, . . . just buy her CDs.

 

And, . . . there's information about her and Joanna Blendulf's Ensemble Mirable at Journal of Recorded Music.

 

Claudia emails

We just heard the good news that Bark was selected one of the top 50 best magazines in the US by the Chicago Tribune. We came in at #42, besting out two of Martha Stewarts titles! Only mag from Berkeley to be so honored too.
Claudia

 

 

 

6/16/06

 

Though late this year because of rain, tomato season is almost here. Kimar sent this in anticipation.

 

Uncooked Pasta Sauce

This is best made at the peak of the season when the tomatoes are juicy and ripe.

 

Ingredients

6 medium tomatoes (preferably heirloom)
2 cloves garlic crushed
10 or 12 basil leaves finely sliced or torn
10 T good quality olive oil (extra virgin) 1/4 C plus 2 T

Procedure
Place tomatoes in a bowl. Boil a few cups of water and pour over.

sit for 2 min or so. Pour off and fill bowl with cold water. (This makes it easier to peel the tomatoes.)
Peel tomatoes, slice in half horizontally and squeeze out the seeds.

Place tomatoes on a cutting board and dice.
Place diced tomatoes into a glass bowl.
Press garlic into bowl with tomatoes
Heat olive oil in microwave for 1 minute
Pour over tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and let sit on counter for 1 or 2 hours.
Boil 1 pound of vermicelli pasta.
Drain and place in pasta bowls or 1 big bowl.
Put basil in sauce and pour sauce over vermicelli.
(For a spicy sauce as served in southern Italy and Sicily add chili
flakes.)

 

Another way to savor the tomato flavor out of season is to roast and
freeze them.

 

 

Acme is expanding its product-line--now they are baking hamburger and hot dog buns and are considering marketing of pastries.

 

École Bilingue's Spring semester is over. So for the Summer, those at play will almost wholly be from the neighborhood.

 

You can watch the World Cup matches at Café Trieste these days--and have an espresso. Mexico plays this afternoon. How popular is Football in Potter Creek? Well Sarah is taping all the games for Byron so he can watch them in his spare time. Gerard won't even start watching the early game lest he get so involved he leaves late for work. And, yesterday in the street, I heard somebody yelling GOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLL!

 

Site grading has started on the old Kennedy property on San Pablo and the AHA site on Ashby has been graded. That ground is spungy and there was talking of mixing in other soil before construction. Weeks of work removed top-soil from this former asphalt-making site.

 

Those of us who have watched the hardworking welders over the years should read "Suit claims link between welding, diseases" by M.K. Kropko of the AP. "At issue is whether high exposure to chemical can cause tremors or shaking, difficulty swallowing." It's at cctimes.com

 

6/17/06

 

Here are two alternatives to community meeting, after meeting, after meeting, opposing "development."

 

Have a neighborhood group offer the property-seller a bonus for selling to a "good buyer"--the bonus coming from a fund made up of contributions from affected neighbors.

Take some development away from "developers." Form a collective--a partnership--of neighbors and buy FOR SALE neighborhood property yourselves. Property's a good investment--then rent it out or develop it.

Or not--remember, Groucho is the Marx that I most admire.

 

Would these work?

Well, if the energy spent "opposing" The Bowl were devoted to exploring these possibilities we'd sure-as-hell know--AND MORE.

 

I'd heard recently that the west-Berkeley Bowl will be the Yasuda's dream come true. Imagine, a American family's dream-store realized fully here in Potter Creek.

 

 

6/18/06

Juneteenth festivities continue today. Berkeley's 20th annual celebration is set for 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Adeline Street, between the Ashby BART station and Alcatraz Avenue. The event features food, live music, ethnic arts, cultural and historical presentations. Admission is free. For details, call 510-655-8008.


"Berkeley Landmarks ordinance in critics' crosshairs--2 measures jostle to limit commission, 1 tweaks current rule" reports Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Berkeley voters and officials will soon have a chance to unravel the legal spaghetti formerly known as the landmarks ordinance -- which in its heyday has protected everything from Bernard Maybeck masterpieces to a nondescript Mexican restaurant to a parking lot. Or they could make the quagmire even worse."

 

 

"Police chief outlines anti-crime effort--1,000 steering-wheel locks will be given away to residents with high-target vehicles such as Toyotas, Hondas and Acuras" writes Snapp. "Police Chief Doug Hambleton told the Berkeley City Council this week that crime in the city is down across the board. Violent crime from January through March declined by 5 percent over the same period last year, and property crime declined by 3.1 percent. That's an improvement over February, when the chief reported that property crimes -- burglaries, auto break-ins and car thefts -- were bucking the downward trend and actually increased slightly in 2005.

 

 

"Freight & Salvage celebrates 38 years" Snapp also reports. "Berkeley's Freight & Salvage Coffee House, the East Bay's preeminent folk music venue, celebrates its 38th anniversary tonight. Headlining the bill: The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band -- the same group that headlined the bill the night the Freight opened on June 16, 1968."

 

"Habitot finds new home in Emeryville" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "Berkeley is about to lose its hands-on children's museum, Habitot, which has been located in downtown Berkeley since it was founded eight years ago. Executive Director Gina Moreland said Habitot has signed a letter of intent with the Emery Unified School District to negotiate a lease for the old Ralph Hawley Middle School, just off Powell Street in Emeryville.

There are lots of reasons to see the movie, "Cars." It is state-of-the-art animation. There are great car sounds and scenes. Paul Newman plays a 1951 Hudson Hornet. Lots of NASCAR people play cars. Randy Newman does the sound track. "Emeryville" appears briefly. It's allegoric and a it's a metaphor. But for me, the best reason to see it, is its straight-ahead, old school message. And make sure you stay to the very end, for the movie actually continues half-screen during the closing credits.

"Factory air --That new car smell you savor is really an airborne soup of chemicals that could prove hazardous to your health" reports Marian Keele at sfgate.com.

 

Back to Brazil/Australia. Looking forward to Ronaldo, one of Brazil's players.

Well OK then!

 

 

 

6/19/06

 

On Tuesday June 20th our Berkeley City Council will consider, for action, a report of the City Arts Commission involving the sale/purchase of the Nexus building. It is No. 38 on the Tuesday Agenda. Read it here.

In short, it asks for the city involvement and, if the Nexus is evicted, a reasonable time for the members to find another space, and that comparable space by provided as required by the Arts and Crafts Ordnance. (The Arts and Crafts Ordnance prohibits sale of some arts and crafts property unless the buyer finds comparable space--a result of the west-Berkeley plan.)
The city manager recommends against any city involvement.

An the beat goes on!

I think it's called negotiation.

 

"Daylong festival for Juneteenth" reports the Chronicle. "On a sunny day, festivalgoers in Berkeley, above, crowd a celebration of Juneteenth, an annual observance that started after the abolition of slavery in Texas. Food, drink, music and fun are offered in the daylong festivities."

 

Last night, NBC Nightly News reported on an alternative-fuel-station complete with Willie Nelson's bio-diesel made from soybeans--but all alternative fuels are available. Where? Not in Berkeley, but in San Diego. And, they also have a classroom with hands-on, alternative-fuel-stuff for kids.

 

 

 

6/20/06

 

The Berkeley City Council meets tonight at 7:00 PM at 2134 Martin Luther King Way in their 2nd Floor Council Chambers. It will consider a report of the City Arts Commission involving the Nexus building. If you have interest in this neighborhood institution, attend the meeting. In short, the report asks for the city involvement and, if the Nexus is evicted, a reasonable time for the members to find another space, and that comparable space by provided as required by the Arts and Crafts Ordnance. (The Arts and Crafts Ordnance prohibits sale of some arts and crafts property unless the buyer finds comparable space--a result of the west-Berkeley plan.)
The city manager recommends against any city involvement.

Is an unreinforced brick building a good buy in earthquake Bay Area?

 

Pete's work continues on his KLAX music-instrument program pilot--he's burned a first mix onto a CD. And, carillons are in the pilot-programs' future.

 

Met Lipofsky at 900 GRAYSON yesterday. Lipofsky'd just returned from a week symposium in Moscow. He says there's now food for average Russians and a lot of big homes being built on Moscow's outskirts, a lot of new-car dealerships and a lot BMWs and Mercedes. Consumer Capitalism has come to Russia.

 

"Private sector keeps area job market humming" reports George Avalos of the West County Times. "The private sector has become firmly entrenched as the primary propellant for the East Bay economy." Read more about the particular private sector jobs here.

 

"Internet rewrites political playbook.Tech-savvy campaigns go online to find votes, volunteers, funds" writes Rachel Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle reporter. "Dan Wood describes himself as being 'politically inactive, other than voting'' until 2004. That's the year Howard Dean, the Democratic former governor of Vermont, ran for president and revolutionized a Web-based campaign strategy that raised money and organized volunteers."

Internet 1.75

I wanted Ensemble Mirable's new CD, so I went to magnatune.com,listened to their CD, down-loaded it for $8.00 and paid by credit card--half of which went to the musicians. Magnatune's slogan is "WE ARE NOT EVIL." 

 

 

 

6/21/06

 

Our own instument finisher and harpsichordist, Janine Johnson has two beautiful CDs of solo harpsichord available at magnatune.com. Check them out here. Here biography is also there.

 

Work on the 9th and Ashby AHA site is going a pace. The foundation-forms being placed--they are three feet deep.

 

Soon we'll be able to get local tomatoes. Read "Shoppers flock to fresh fruits, vegetables" at cctimes.com.

 

Last night, our City Council took our city manager's recommendation not to hear the Arts Commission report of the Nexus sale/purchase.

 

"Council expected to rein in sweeping landmark process.Critics say ordinance sometimes misused to stop development" reports Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Hoping to tone down one of the nation's most inclusive landmark ordinances, the Berkeley City Council was expected Tuesday to approve a plan that would impose stricter rules on the landmark process. "

 

"Affordable apartments pledged for big project. Community groups, developer applaud compromise plan" reports Carolyn Jones, "On the eve of a critical hearing, the developer of a proposed housing and retail project on the Oakland waterfront promised on Monday to set aside 15 percent of the 3,100 units for low-income families and seniors in a city where home prices have risen dramatically in recent years." That would be 465 low-income units.

 

"Pacific Steel Casting: At What Cost?" asks LA Wood in Our Planet. "The stacks of Pacific Steel Casting rise high above the northwest Berkeley skyline of Oceanview. Once surrounded by manufacturing and light industry, the foundry now finds itself constrained by residential neighborhoods and a growing retail presence. This move towards gentrification is on a collision course with PSC's massive expansion of its operations. Indeed, Pacific Steel, which claims to be the third largest facility of its kind in the country, has been the city's number one zoning conflict for over a dozen years."

 

 

6/22/06

 

European trained, Gerard is a woodworker in Active Space.

 

Maybe more than you want to know from Karola Saekel's informative San Fransico Chronicle's "Going beyond the Hass avocado." Saekel writes "Avocado, it proves again, is one of the most versatile of fruits. And why did the Aztecs call it ahuacatl? It's the shape. "Ahuacatl" means testicle." Read all of her wonderful story, including history anecdotes, recommendations--here.

 

 

"Culture may close the book on shops" reports John Simerman of the West County Times. "Andy Ross couldn't quite swallow it. The computer system at Cody's Books on Telegraph Avenue, a few blocks from the UC Berkeley campus, told him to ship back Emmanuel Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason.' The thing had sat too long on the shelf. 'When one of the greatest works of Western philosophy, if not the greatest, wasn't selling at Cody's, there's something wrong,' said Ross, who announced last month that the store, a legendary locus for Berkeley's free-speech spirit, would close July 10 after a half-century. 'I haven't figured out all the implications. If I do, I'll probably get more depressed than I already am.' Ross and many other independent booksellers in the Bay Area share a common lament over a grim or nonexistent future for some of the most cherished havens for book lovers and strongest venues for visiting authors."

 

"Bay Area sees home sales, building slump.Housing sales continue decline for 14th straight month while construction slows faster than forecast" reports James Temple of the Times. "California home buying and homebuilding alike continue to slump, according to a pair of reports released Wednesday. Bay Area home sales dropped nearly 20 percent in May compared with May 2005, marking the 14th straight month of year-over-year declines, according to La Jolla-based DataQuick Information Systems. The median price was $631,000, up 6.1 percent, the lowest annual increase since May 2003. East Bay figures reflected these Bay Area trends. Separately, the California Building Industry Association said home construction is slowing faster than it originally forecast."

 

"Landmark plan gets initial OK . But council wants comments from local, state panels" reports Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle. "The Berkeley City Council gave a tepid OK early Wednesday to a plan that would tame the city's powerful landmark ordinance, which some say is used as an anti-development tool but others say is fine the way it is. In the waning minutes of a marathon meeting, the City Council voted 8-1 to send Mayor Tom Bates' compromise plan -- a proposal to impose deadlines and stricter requirements on the landmark-designation process -- to the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission and the state Office of Historic Preservation for comments. The plan would come back to the council for a public hearing and final vote on July 11."

At the same meeting, our City Council took our city manager's recommendation not to hear the Arts Commission report of the Nexus sale/purchase.

 

 

 

 

6/23/06

 

"Global warming at a 'tipping point.' Sierra Club leader says debate is no longer about if changes exist, but how to lessen their blow" reports AP's Terence Chea in the West County Times. "The debate over global warming has reached a "tipping point" in the United States as more citizens, politicians and companies see climate change as a serious threat, said the leader of the country's most influential environmental organization. In an interview with the Associated Press, Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope said Tuesday that during the past year the debate has shifted from whether global warming was a real problem to what must be done to lessen its potentially devastating impacts.

 

"Techbridge engineers a new future for girls" reports Monique Beeler, of the Oakland Tribune. "Luci Tyndall (center) of Swinerton Inc. in San Francisco explains to Samantha Havassy, and Maria Salgado, 11, the energy-saving principles of multipaned window glass at a green building class held at Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland.. . . Picking out wallpaper made from recycled water bottles, installing solar panels on the roof and laying down bamboo flooring are a few activities Norma will be working on in the next two weeks. She's not part of a traditional construction crew, but Norma's getting experience in what it takes to build an earth-friendly home by designing a green dollhouse at Techbridge Summer Academy."

 

Save-the-Air-Day or not, Chris, wine-guy and one of the 900 GRAYSON owners, regularly bikes to work from his place in downtown Oakland.

 

Some of our town's "big boys" were at 900 GRAYSON for lunch yesterday.

 

"Tilden pony ride will remain closed" reports County Times Denis Cuff. "The Tilden Park pony ride, a children's recreation fixture for decades, will stay closed for a second consecutive year as crews toil to repair heavy rain damage there and in other East Bay regional parks.

 

Berkeley's Kent Nagano will be part of a DW-TV series about classical music-- the series begins on July 22nd on Channel 32.

 

And our Fat Dog will be the guest on the next Josh Korbluth Show. I still see his 1937 Plymouth sedan around town--it's the one with clouds painted all over it. I'm not saying invented "car-art" but he certainly pioneered it.

 

On the Charlie Rose show, Henry Kissinger talked about football-fusbol-soccer, his favorite sport. According to Kissinger, the best game ever played was between Germany and Italy in 1970 in Mexico. His favorites in this year's World Cup are, in order, Argentina, Brazil and Germany. And his reason for the sport's lack of success in the US is "There is not enough scoring." Oh, he says that Germany is good this year because they're playing like Brazil does.

 

Our Sally's Birthday is coming up again. You know, . . . not many 29 year-olds have a grandchild.

 

Recently Bob Kubik had a good look at the now-marijuana-store-property project in the 2700 block of San Pablo. Details to follow.

 

In the last few days this site has had around one-thousand visits and just under five-thousand hits per day.

 

 

 

6/25/06

 

 

Bob and Carol swapped houses last weekend and spent time in west-Marin, a placed they lived before moving to west-Berkeley. Carol, a resident there since the '70s, drove a school bus and helped set up their clinic.

Friday afternoon, Bob and I were looking out 900 GRAYSON"S window across to Bayer's corner and agreed that the growing trees have now made it an inviting place. And we thought that by removing all the concert and planting grass it could become a real mini-park--a place to picnic on the lawn in the shade. Right now its only "regular user" is a tenor player who practices there.

 

"Shattuck Cinemas Workers Get Union" reports Judith Scherr of Our Planet. "In a 22-0 vote last week, workers at the Landmark Theater-owned Shattuck Cinemas won their union.

 

And Riya Bhattacharjee reports"La Fiesta Owners Celebrate Life Together on Telegraph For almost half a century now, Mario's on Telegraph Aveue has built up a reputation for a lot more than its chile verde and grilled burritos."

Moe's Books is another decades old Telegraph Avenue institution. A family and employee owned business, the book store has survived and prospered when other local book stores have failed. Used and remaindered books and Internet sales have brought them success. To me, Moe's remaining on The Ave is more of a newsworthy story than Cody's leaving.

 

"Berkeley pub offers art, music and trivia" reports the Times. "The Albatross claims to be the oldest pub in Berkeley, dating from 1964. As far as we know, it's the only pub in Berkeley! This cozy and friendly spot offers a full bar, microbrews, free popcorn and bar food. (You're also welcome to bring in your own snacks.) We bring this up because, in addition to its July music series, the Albatross is showing recent paintings by Scott Petterson. His 'Buskers' series of street performers is reminiscent of Edward Hopper. "

 

"ON LOCATION: Fourth Street, Berkeley" is from the San Francisco Chronicle.

 

"Youths and adults can play with Wavy Gravy all summer at performing arts camp reports" Dorothy Vriend of the West County Times. "Known as the voice calling for breakfast in bed for 400,000 at Woodstock, Berkeley's Wavy Gravy is still on stage at his Camp Winnarainbow north of Laytonville. A summer camp for youths, it opens each year with a week for adults. After a three-hour drive north on Highway 101, campers leave the stresses of everyday life in the parking lot and are absorbed into a thick grove of oak and bay trees, where the motto is all play and fun. According to Wavy Gravy, adults come to "loosen up their head a little bit." More than 50 people signed up for adult camp this year. They spent a week learning stilt walking, magic, clowning, tap dance, trapeze arts, drumming, keyboards, dance and other pursuits, taught by professionals in each discipline."

 

And "Council Looks at Budget, Approves Garbage Hikes" writes Judith Scherr of Our Planet. "The draft budget Mayor Tom Bates presented to the council on Tuesday picked up only $900,000 worth of council and community wishes, leaving much of the rest of the $4.4 million potentially available-beyond approximately $300,000 in fixed costs for parks, police, planning and the like-to the city manager's plan to allocate the funds to street and storm-drain repair."

 

"Boutique' fuels not to blame for gas prices, study finds" reports the AP's H. Josef Hebert in the West County Times. "'Boutique' gasoline blends to help states meet clean air rules are not a factor in higher prices as President Bush has suggested, says a draft of a study ordered by the White House."

 

 

 

6/27/06

 

 

MartinSnapp of the West County Times reports "Former Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek, snubbed last year when a conservative Republican congressman from Iowa blocked naming the downtown Berkeley post office after her, will be honored by a public mural depicting her life and works. The city's Public Art Selection Panel has commissioned media artist Mildred Howard and muralist Daniel Galvez to create the mural, which will hang in the City Council chamber next to a mural by Romaire Bearden.The mural will combine archival photos, collage and oil painting to depict the arc of Shirek's career, from her early days as a civil rights and labor organizer in the early 1940s to her retirement from the City Council in 2004, after representing District 3 for 20 years. At the time of her retirement she was, at 93, California's oldest elected public official."

 

Bob Kubik was impressed by a 2747 San Pablo presentation that he personally received. Bob believes the builders are responsible, concerned about their neighbors, and are sincerely "green," and, that given the zoning, will build something "about as good as it'll get."

At a developer-sponsored community meeting earlier this month there was vocal opposition to the project--see my 6/6/06 post.

 

Café Clem of Active Space is expanding--they're taking over the unit to the north. (But now, for some reason, they can no longer serve alcohol.)

Supposed to provide affordable space for artists and craftspeople, some active space rents for $4.00 a square foot--that would be $400.00 for a 10' x 10' unit.

 

Not only is Richard painting his house but 906 Grayson is getting a new coat as well.

 

Last Sunday at Glide, former neighbors Bob and Paul had their "wedding picture" slide projected more-than-life-size as part of Glide's pride-service. The original appeared in the Chronicle. Well, Ok then!

And last Sunday afternoon, Sally had a gathering of friends and neighbors for cake and champagne. Not only were there the "usual suspects" myself included, but Bob and Carol and some of Sally's business associates were present. Though conversation was lively and the Mums bubbly, the hit of the afternoon was a La Farine chocolate-cherry cake. Among Sally's business friends were Stan of La Farine, Pat of Harmonique Home and the owner's of 1820 Solano's High Cotton.

 

 

"Court to rule on EPA role in limiting carbon dioxide. Decision, which is expected next year, may impact many industries" reports Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post in the Times.

 

 

 

6/28/06

 

Proposed Zoning Ordinance / Landmarks Preservation Ordinance Amendments at our City Planning Department site.

 

 

Our John Curl offers an opinion about Berkeley artists and crafts people in The Planet's "Defining Artisans Out of Existence."

Interesting, I'm told John and the other members discourage political discussion in their Sawtooth woodworking co-op.

 

 

"Ex-Berkeley cop may get home detention" reports Chris Metinko of the West County Times. "A retired Berkeley police sergeant who pleaded guilty in April to grand theft and two felony drug charges will likely receive a year of home detention instead of time in the county jail."

 

 

 "Home values more likely to drop, report says Risk of price decline in the East Bay over the next two years increases to 58.2 percent, analysis finds" writes James Temple of the West County Times. "It's becoming increasingly likely that East Bay home values will decline."

 

     
"Scrappy Oakland theater triumphantly revives gripping Malcolm X opera" writes Joshua Kosman, of the San Francisco Chronicle. "The Oakland Opera Theater has done it again. This resourceful little company, determined to revitalize contemporary opera by any means necessary, scored yet another triumph over the weekend with a mesmerizing new production of Anthony Davis' 'X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X' at the Oakland Metro near Jack London Square."

 

"Environmentally conscious offset their carbon emissions" writes AP's Seth Sutel in the West County Times. "Hadi Dowlatabadi is a reformed carbon emitter."

 

"For many, the ties that bind are falling away. More of us say we have fewer friends we can confide in" reports Shankar Vedantam of the Washington Post in the San Fancisco Chronicle. "Americans are far more isolated today than they were two decades ago, and a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide, according to a comprehensive study of the decline of social ties in the United States."

 

 

 

5/29/06

 

From my Log

5/9/06--7:21 AM irritant in front room. 5/10/06--12:17 PM irritant in front room, overrides HEPA filters, use mask. 5/11/06--6:30 AM SERIOUS irritant in front room; 8:46 AM irritant in front room; 5:00 PM irritant in front room. 5/17/06--3:20 PM SERIOUS irritant in front room, throat, eyes, lips, nose burn, use mask; 5:40 PM same. 5/18/06 9:58 AM SERIOUS irritant in front room, throat, eyes, lips, nose burn, use mask; 5/21/06--4:20 PM SERIOUS irritant in front room, throat, eyes, lips, nose burn, use mask; 5/22/06--10:59 AM--irritant in front room; 11:38 AM warehouse filled with irritant, use mask. 5/23/06--12:49 PM irritant in front room, use mask. 5/24/06--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front, use mask. 5/28/06--9:45 PM irritant in front room, leave. 5/30/06--10:59 AM irritant in front room, use mask; 11:42 AM irritant in front room, use mask; 11:51 AM SERIOUS irritant in front room, use mask. 3:38 PM SERIOUS irritant in front room, leave.

More to follow.

 

 

Bob Kubik reports

Tuesday night, I attended a meeting called by the developers of 2720
San Pablo, (ex-YAS automotive site).
Attendance was sparse and I was, I believe, the only
Potter Creek resident there. The owner and architect
for the "Clay People" site were also there scoping
things out.
The developers had a scale model and plans for an 18
residence and two or three commercial condo
development.
The height is slightly less than 2700 San Pablo
will be, density considering the size of the lot, is
about the same.
They seemed to be listening for constructive
comments in order to avoid neighborhood resistance,
but they want the 18 units.
I think it is a better-looking design than 2700
San Pablo. Although they are going after city
approval it may not be built any time soon if the
market for condos takes a dive - which I think is
happening.

 

And Tuesday just before 11:00 AM, Berkeley PD responded to a CHP pursuit in west-Berkeley. Berkeley PD units responded lights and siren, including three motor officers, northbound on 7th toward Aquatic Park. CHP lost contact before Berkeley units arrived. 

 

"Garamendi probes home insurance. The state commissioner is investigating whether companies are charging their customers too much" reports Blanca Torres of the West County Times. "State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has taken the first step to determine whether home insurance companies are overcharging consumers by demanding insurers to explain their rates."

     
"The hot dog goes upscale" writes Carol Ness of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Mustard or ketchup? Boiled or grilled? Skinless, or with skin's distinctive snap? When it comes to the great American hot dog, the one thing people seem to agree on is: Don't think too much about what's ground up inside them.Until now."

 

 

 

 

 

6/30/06

 

Ole Buddy WD

 

 

Patrick Kennedy emails

Mr. Penndorf:

I enjoy your blog very much and owe a particular debt to you for your tip
about 900 Grayson. I have, however, one question: Why do you put your most
recent listings at the end, rather than the beginning?

Most blogs that I have have seen seem to do it the other way around. I
wondered whether you had a deliberate reason, or whether this is merely the
way you have always done it.

Best regards,

Patrick Kennedy

 

 

Steve Sullivan emails

Ron--

I've enjoyed your site since Rick A. directed me to it a few months ago. . . .

It looks like everything is on track for us to take over possession on July 15. Of course we do not know what the future may hold but we know that we didn't buy the property with plans to sell it. We actually were not intending to buy the yard at all. We were happy developing plans to incorporate the building. One element of those plans was a solar array to be installed on the west facing plane of the (eventual new) roof. When we talked to Regan about what a developer would likely do on the adjacent site, he figured that three storey condos from property line to property line would be likely. At the allowable 35-foot height, this would have overshadowed our solar array. Already ugly, the array would have then become useless as well! So we decided to buy the lot. Of course, now we may not be able to afford the solar array until further down the road.

In any event, the only actual ideas that we have entertained for developing the lot involve using about 30% of it for a 30'-wide building that would run from the welding shop to 8th street along the southern edge of the property. Mostly production space if people still want bread or if we decide to expand pastry production, but with a retail shop at the 8th street tip. But that would only happen once we had seen for a couple of years how much empty space we had good use for.

Once I had (roughly) sketched that arrangement, though, my pencil kept going. I lost control of it as it drew a little box to represent a big brick pizza oven sticking out from the side of the simple rectangle that comprised the retail shop. I stared helpless as it traced a half-dozen or so smaller rectangles that I recognized as picnic benches. The horror continued as the pencil superimposed over the tables an array of wavy lines indicating a wire trellis with greenery and strands of twinkling lights attached. Ragged circles appeared to indicate trees encircling the tables and screening them from the trucks and equipment ranged across the remaining yard space. Aghast, I realized that I had in front of me the schematic layout for a pizzeria and beer garden that would encourage actual interaction between Acme Bread and neighborhood residents.

Could we see a pizzeria back at (or near) the corner of 9th and Pardee? Would anyone but me even want that? I guess we can't say for sure. It depends to a large extent on what happens over the next few years and how complicated the City would make it. But our thinking right now is much more pizza-centric than condo-centric. For what it's worth.

But I wouldn't care to speculate about the greedy spawn 30 years hence.

Best,

Steve S.
Acme Bread

 

 

931 Ashby has been bought by Tech Soft--TSA Real Estate. Tech Soft will occupy most of the building.

 

 

Our secret movie studio has quite a history--they've been in involved in the production of Robo Cop, Starship Troopers, The Stepford Wives, and Santa Clause .

 

 

Da Boz emails his June report--here's some of it

After cutting more than $20 million from the budget over the past four years, the City Council passed a balanced budget without any further reductions in city services or personnel. In addition, the City Council passed a package of revisions that will fully fund the Telegraph Avenue revitalization effort and restore full staffing to all fire stations during the high fire season.

 

The City Council gave approval to plans for a second Berkeley Bowl location in West Berkeley.

 

The City Council voted to move forward with changes to our Creeks Ordinance per the recommendations of the City's Creeks Task Force. The changes will both ease the burden on homeowners and improve protections for our creeks.

 

YEAH!, the only shelter in Berkeley for transition-age youth (18-25) living on the streets of Berkeley, is hoping to find community mentors for every youth who would like one. Mentors should be adults who have an interest in this age group and are willing to spend approximately 2 hours a week meeting with one young person -- having coffee, going to the movies, finding things to do around Berkeley of mutual interest, providing rides to appointments and the like.

 

Cesar Chavez Event at July 15th Berkeley Farmers Market
The Cesar Chavez "Fast for Life" Celebration includes performers, speakers, and information. The farmers market will also have its usual array of wonderful farm-fresh produce and other goodies.

 

 

BUILDINGS OF POTTER CREEK

 

 

 

 

 

Bleep, Bleep,

It's Summer

in Potter Creek

 

 

 

 

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