MARCH 2006


Harpsichord by John Philips, Berkeley, 2005, after J.H GRABNER, Dresden, c1740





Harpsichordist Janine Johnson



I am giving two house concerts in March, to introduce my new CD, "German Keyboard Masters". It's all Johann Pachelbel and Dietrich Buxtehude. I've become completely enamored with their keyboard music. It is no surprise to me that Bach walked for miles and miles to hear and study with Buxtehude, now that I have been playing so much of his music. Also, the similarity between Bach's music and Pachelbel's is remarkable. Pachelbel was Bach's brother's teacher, who in turn was Bach's. Anyone who loves Bach should love all of this too.

My concert will feature a few works from the CD, (those with *s) and other pieces, since I wanted to learn more. It will be a good
representation of both composers' styles.

The dates are March 11th, Saturday, at 10:30 AM (a "coffee" concert), and Sunday, March 12th at 3:00 PM ("high tea" afterwards). Of
course, tea and coffee, plus the usual home made cookies will be available at both. Suggested donation of $10.00. The CDs are
all $12.00. I'll have the other CDs out as well, of course.


Praeludium in C Bux WV 137, D. Buxtehude

Fuga in C Bux WV 174, Buxtehude*

Canzona in e Bux WV 169, Buxtehude*

Suite in G Bux WV 240, Buxtehude

Chorale Prelude "Auf das heilige Pfingstfest", J. Pachelbel*

Fuge in C, Pachelbel

Ricercar in C, Pachelbel

Fantasia and Fugue in a minor BWV 904, J.S. Bach

Chorale Partita "Alle Menscen müssen sterben", Pachelbel*

Ciacona in D, Pachelbel*

* on CD

Janine plays the "GRABNER" on her CD


For concert information and/or CD purchase details email Janine.

On first hearing Janine's CD I knew something was different. It sounds like a harpsichord in live performance NOT like a recording. "Voiced in quil, not plastic" quipped John, the instrument's maker. But Janine's playing has something to do with it, too--HER MUSIC FLOWS LIKE WATER. Buy a copy and listen yourself. Janine and John made the recording in one all-night session in John's workshop--a wonderful space for music. It was recorded with two mikes on Sony DAT equipment--Janine did the mastering. "It has a clean, clear, sustained tone" offered John about his instrument.

Check out John's Website.


"Berkeley early-music series includes onstage Carnival" writes Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle. "The Berkeley Festival and Exhibition, the early-music fest presented biennially by Cal Performances, will return in June after a four-year hiatus. The weeklong schedule includes a stage performance modeled on a 17th century Roman Carnival celebration, as well as appearances by harpsichordist Skip Sempé and the Capriccio Stravagante Trio, the vocal duo Asteria, and Le Poème Harmonique. "






Though not a Leni Riefenstahl effort, I'm told Zelda Bronstein's five-minute film, "Made in Berkeley" is effective propaganda. "Very professional" reported one viewer.


Wednesday morning around 9:30, the line was so long at Caffé Trieste that in 10 minutes, 10 people left the line or came in looked at the line and turned around and walked out. Moe taught "Never turn down money."


Pick up yesterday's East Bay Daily and read Sara Steffens "Lawmakers aim to reform foster care." Lots'a good stuff from Da Boss's Ms about her co-sponsoring of foster care reform-bills.


The 2700 block of Eight was blocked to thru traffic by two delivery vehicles yesterday morning. In fact, a Berkeley Fire Department emergency vehicle couldn't get thru. Fortunately they were not on a call. Unbelievably, the delivery drivers did not promptly move their trucks or immediately respond to a short the brap from the BFD vehicle. Bad Art!


Ed Hahn emails from somewhere. What if there were no hypothetical questions? Is there another word for synonym?



Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed .65 inches on March 1st through March 2nd AM



How about a uke?

Checkout Pete's website at





"Newcomer Takes On Pacific Steel Casting Pollution" reports Suzanne LaBarre in our Daily Planet. "It was with a small nod to irony that Willi Paul, a professional community builder, admitted he made a name for himself in Berkeley by splitting a community group in two. After moving to Berkeley about a year ago, Paul, 46, joined a neighborhood watchdog group to protest Pacific Steel Casting, a West Berkeley steel foundry accused of generating noxious emissions. And now, he says, he is so fed up with the city's inaction on the matter that he is considering challenging Linda Maio for her City Council seat."

The very same Pacific Steel Casting, Berkeley's environmental embarrassment, was featured in Ms. Bronstein's five-minute film "Made in Berkeley."

Is my favorite Irish developer, Patrick Kennedy, really buying Flint Ink for a large residential and retail project immediately downwind of Pacific Steel Casting?



"Death on the Lagoon" writes Judith Scheer of the Planet. "If you've been out recently for a walk beside the large lagoon at Aquatic Park -especially around the little wharf that extends into the water on the east side- you may have been struck by a very distinct, very bad odor. It was likely the stench of dead fish-about nine dead bat rays and a couple of leopard sharks have been reported, according to Mark Liolios, whose organization the Enviromental Grening, Restoration and Education Team (EGRET) supports the park.


Then Ms Scheer writes "Aquatic Park Awarded Grant to Protect Habitat. Egrets, coots, cyclists, Frisbee players, rowers, bat rays, leopard sharks, rats, squirrels-Aquatic Park offers something for the many species who live or hang out there. These human, animal and bird occupants of the nearly 100-acre park sometimes compete for space. At the same time they must confront pollution from the freeway, which borders the park to the west, the trains that rumble along the tracks to the east and the airplanes and helicopters that roar overhead. A $2 million grant from the Coastal Conservancy aims to protecting the park by improving water quality and natural habitat." Read the whole story here.


"Visitor steps into role, keeps dance students on their toes" writes Martin Snapp
of the West County Times. "Thirty dance students at Berkeley High School were treated to a class Wednesday from a distinguished visitor -- Dwana Adiaha Smallwood, one of the principal dancers with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which is appearing at Cal Performances' Zellerbach H'll through Sunday. 'Take off your jackets,' she instructed the students. 'We're going to get warm today.' "


Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed .6 inches on March 2nd through March 3rd AM.






Pete's Potter Creek rain totals

Saturday and Sunday thru Monday morning 2.55inches. Monday thru Tuesday morning .4 inches. March 1st to the 7th, 6.75 inches.

I sprayed my 1/48th scale P-47D airplane-model over the weekend. This morning, I found sparkles on the paint. Last time I found these, I had them analyzed with a microscope. "Silicon dust" came back the analysis. Webster offers "Silicon compounds are used in industry (eg. sand and glass making.)"

Next-store Adams and Chittenden are manufactures of glass. But, they appear to run a pretty tight shop--in fact were featured in the mini-film "Made in Berkeley." Check them out at


From my Log

1/9/06--8:11 PM irritant in front room. 1/10/06--6:55 AM SERIOUS irritant in front room; 5:00 PM same. 1/11/06--5:43 PM, irritant in front room. 1/12/06--2:03 PM irritant in front room; 2:44 PM same, cough, dry skin, use mask. 1/14/06 9:04 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, burning lips, mouth, eyes, mask, leave. 1/18/06--8:16 PM irritant in front room. 1/19/06--8:40 AM serious irritant in front room, light headed, dry lips, eyes, leave. 1/20/06--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, burning lips. eyes,throat. 1/21/06--11:02 AM irritant in front room. 3:00 PM irritant in front room, cough, throat burns. 1/23/06-- 9:07 AM--irritant in front room, light headed, dry lips, dry eyes, leave; 12:13 PM, SERIOUS irritant in front room, eyes, lips,throat burn, cough. 1/30/06--SERIOUS irritant in front room, use mask. 2/3/06--7:00--8:00 AM, SERIOUS IRRITANT in front room, cough, eyes burn. 2/7/06--irritant in front room, use mask; 5:24 PM, same. 2/8/06--afternoon, irritant in warehouse, lips, nose, mouth burn, 2/9/06--1:53 PM, SERIOUS IRRITANT in warehouse, leave. 2/10/06--8:43 AM, SERIOUS irritant in warehouse, light-headed, use mask. 2/14/06--9:52 AM, irritant in front room, use mask. 2/15/06--9:33 AM, irritant in front room, leave. 2/17/06--12:52 PM, irritant in front room, lips, eyes burn, use mask. 2/20/06-1:06 PM--1:55 PM, irritant in warehouse, cough, light-headed, use mask.6:47 PM, same. 2/26/06--irritant in warehouse off-and-on AM. 2/26/06-- ~9:00 AM, entire warehouse filled with irritant, headache, dizziness, continues off-and-on all AM. 12:40 PM, SERIOUS irritant in warehouse-front, nausea, headache, burning mouth, throat, eyes, use mask, 2:26 PM, same, use mask, continues off-and-on in afternoon. 6:02 PM, irritant in front room, leave.


Another music biz has left Berkeley. Mod Lang, dealer in Rock records and memorabilia, has moved to El Cerrito. Their phone is [510]-486-1880.


My German biker-friend emails

A Polish immigrant went to the DMV to apply for a driver's license. Of course, he had to take an eye sight test. The tester showed him a card with the letters: 'C Z W I X N O S T A C Z.' "Can you read this?" the tester asked. "Read it?" the Pole replied, "I know the guy."





I've known of Jerry Landis for decades, known him for 10 or 12 years, and we've been good friends for the last few years. A Berkeley citizen since the '60s, he's been actively involved in our community for almost as long. Jerry's older sister Jean was one of the first women to fly for the Army Air Force. She was a WASP ferry pilot during WWII and flew P-51s almost exclusively. Understand the P-51 was our hottest fighter, a challenge for a man let alone a "girl."


WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilot), Jean Landis c 1944

"In July 1943 the growing numbers of women pilots being trained for AAF service were consolidated in the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, the WASPs. By the end of the program 1074 women had flown for the AAF, piloting every type of military aircraft from the B-29 to America's first jet, the P-59. Fighter aircraft, particularly the P-47 and the P-51, were ferried in great numbers by the WASPs. These women loved single seaters and considered flying fighters the essence of what it meant to fly. One woman fortunate enough to be assigned fighters for most of her wartime carrier was Jean Landis. Landis was sent to Brownsville, Texas, for fighter transition training, and when time came for her first flight in a fighter, she drew a P-51. . . .

Jean also flew a number of other types, including the P-47: 'The P-47 was a bucket of bolts compared to the Mustang; it was too heavy and sluggish. But when you got in a Mustang, it felt like you had just strapped the wings on. You didn't feel you had any fuselage around your body, you were a part of the airplane.'

Jean had the good fortune to be stationed at the Ferrying Division at Long Beach, California, flying nothing but P-51s. The new fighters were picked u p at I nglewood and flown all over the country, particularly to Newark, New Jersey, where they were prepared for shipping overseas. Reactions to a woman climbing out of a P-51 were: 'Varied, mostly startled. Once I few into a field that was off-limits but the weather was bad and I had a slight mechanical problem so l called in and asked for permission to land. I kept radioing "P-51 ready to land; awaiting final landing instructions." It was sort of garbled and they kept asking me to call in again and again. Finally they said: "Waggle your wings if you receive!" So there I was waggling away and pretty soon they came back: "Lady, the only thing we see up there is a P-51! Where are you?" I replied: "That's me! I am the P-51!" They couldn't believe it-they were looking for a Piper Cub or something. Finally, when I landed, what a welcome I got. Word got around that a gal was flying that thing. They were darlings. By the time I had taxied up to the line, following the little Follow Me truck, there were lots of guys around to see what kind of woman was flying this P-51. They'd never heard of us, the WASPs.'

'We had to pay for all our clothing, had no medical or insurance benefits or many other military benefits,' Jean recalls. 'The WASPs were subject to military discipline and lived in the Officers' Quarters, but they were not allowed most military privileges and received less money than men doing the same job. But we were there to fly and loved every minute of it.'"


In keeping with '60s stuff like, "You don't always get what you want but always get what you need" and "Time is what we invented to keep everything from happening at once," I discovered this story by accident while researching the P-51"Mustang" fighter. A little bored at paging through a book about the P-51, I stopped at a photo of a good looking woman standing on the wing of this fighter. Three days later, Landis showed up at my door, Xerox in hand with "I got something you should read about my sister."

Jean Landis, now retired, divides her time between Idaho and Southern California.





"State Officials Order Radiation Tests for Campus Bay Site" reports Richard Brenneman of Our Planet. "State officials have ordered extensive new tests at Richmond's Campus Bay, looking for radiation, dioxin, asbestos, hexavalent chromium, cyanide, methyl mercury and other hazardous substances."


"Concert benefits hub for budding musicians. Jazzschool offers dozens of classes for beginners, hobbyists and professionals" writes Martin Snapp of The Times. "World-famous mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade always gets more requests for her time than she can possibly grant. But she's making an exception for one of her favorite institutions, the Jazzschool in downtown Berkeley."

Seems Da Boss has changed his tune on landmarks. Now he favors keeping the structures of merit catagory but tighening it up. Damn, there go Lipofsky and Auerbach.


"Berkeley again wins row with Sea Scouts.State's high court rules city legally took subsidy away from group because of Boy Scouts affiliation, possible discrimination" report Craig Lazzeretti and Martin Snapp of the West County Times.






"Greenbelt stresses vision in building" writes James Temple of the West County Times. "With the Bay Area population set to swell by nearly 2 million people over the next quarter-decade, few would dispute that more housing must be built. The ever-thorny questions are: where and how?"


"East Bay tops area job growth" reports George Avalos of the West County Times. "The freight car of the Bay Area economy has turned into its strongest engine. The East Bay has long been the home of blue-collar industries such as shipyards, steel mills, oil refineries and chemical plants. Its products have ranged from World War II Liberty ships to digital-age computer chips. It is an office center and a bedroom community. It contains inner cities and edge cities."


"Prisoner priest meets Berkeley congregation" writes AP reporter Justin M Norton in the San Francisco Chronicle. "Clutching a weathered Bible, the Rev. James Tramel arrived Sunday at the small Episcopal church where he'll serve as assistant pastor wearing a black robe and white collar instead of the blue denim he has worn for two decades in prison."


Am I dreaming? Two traffic studies of the Berkeley Bowl project are conflicting but both agree that there will be a lot more traffic with a build-up at the intersection of Ashby and San Pablo. (You know, I could have told you that--and did--two years ago.) Something about the Bowl traffic will probably be presented at the Planning Comission meeting on April 5th.

Ed Levitch has recently grown a beard and is looking good for 81--in fact, he's looking good for 61. But his objection to the Bowl as out of scale with its surroundings is hard to accept since it would be across from the old Heinz building which is two blocks long.







Pete's Potter Creek rain totals

Sunday through Monday AM .45 inches. Monday through Tuesday AM 1.1 inches.

The trees along Tenth are greening-up nicely. Ah, Spring in Potter Crik.


A recent bike ride around the Potter Creek area revealed over a dozen listings of property for sale, for lease or rent--more are not listed.

The old welding yard on 8th and Pardee is for sale--11,440 sq ft at $150.00 a square foot.


Affordable Housing is breaking up and hauling away the old foundations of the former Asphalt property on 9th and Ashby.


"Marion Nestle, the nutritionist and author the food industry wants to muzzle, is speaking freely at UC Berkeley" writes Carol Ness in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Café Cacao is now open for breakfast and lunch--it's often crowded.


Sportsman's Guide, my favorite surplus store, offers

E611A-89546 - 2-Prs. 30" Inseam Propper Pleated Pants
Compare at $60.00 Sale $9.97 Club $8.97 Khaki: 31
Stone: 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36


"Nanny, two children briefly kidnapped Berkeley police release suspect sketch" reports the Chronicle's Henry K. Lee.







Computer users from over sixty countries have visited this site this March.

The countries include (Germany) (Japan) (United Kingdom) (France) (Italy) (Canada) (Netherlands) (Switzerland) (China) (Australia) (Belgium) (Poland) (Philippines) (Finland) (Austria) (Mexico) (USA Military) (Czech Republic) (Hungary) (Argentina) (Sweden) (Singapore) (Spain) (Russian Federation) (New Zealand) (Taiwan) (Brazil) (Denmark) (Croatia) (Portugal) (Greece) (South Korea) (Norway) (Turkey) (Israel) (Estonia) (Malaysia) (Thailand) (Seychelles) (Chile) (Romania) (Malta) (Iran) (Uruguay) (Peru) (Morocco) (Hong Kong) (Benin) (Azerbaidjan) (India) (Colombia) (Slovak Republic) (Cayman Islands) (Zambia) (Indonesia) (Costa Rica) (Slovenia) (Ireland)



Marvin and Ruth are now going over interior plans of their building and hope to break ground by late-Summer.


YAS' Automotive at 2720 San Pablo has been sold.


And it's said that the old Drive-In on San pablo at the end of Grayson has been sold. It is now a medical marijuana store.

In Saturday's Chronicle "Police arrested seven men and seized about 5,000 marijuana plants in what officers described as one of the region's biggest pot busts in recent memory. In addition to the pot plants, more than 120 pounds of dried pot as well as handguns and stacks of cash were seized from seven locations in four cities, Berkeley police said Friday. The seven men, who have ties to Oakland, Brentwood and Castro Valley, were arrested Wednesday at a converted warehouse in Berkeley following a five-month investigation. The suspects face charges of possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana and weapons possession violations, said Berkeley police spokesman Ed Galvan. 'This is the largest marijuana bust that anyone can remember in recent history,' Galvan said. 'This was just huge ... and very, very professional, with state-of-the-art equipment.' Investigators believe the suspects had been running the operation for at least two years."


"Berkeley Police Re-Package Crime Data" reports Richard Brenneman of Our Planet. "People who turn to the Internet for information about Berkeley crimes will get both more and less information than they did before, but much more attractively packaged. In addition, the new mapping system will allow neighbors to get a quick look at events happening nearby, something the old system doesn't offer.The Berkeley Police Department has launched Crime View Community, a graphically rich online system that lists incidents on an interactive map that can be used to search for events by type, location and date."

Today at approximately 1:45 PM units of Berkeley PD--including two motor officers--responded Code 3 to a hit-and-run by a white Volvo 740--the driver heading east on 80.


"Council to discuss sewer lateral upgrades.City agrees pipes are failing, but parties differ over plans to fund and inspect reconstruction projects" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times. "Who should pay for inspecting and replacing the pipe that connects your home to the city's sewer mains? And how many inspectors does it take to supervise the job?"


And Snapp reports "Bates faces two liberal challengers."

"Bay Area housing market cools" reports James Temple of the West County Times. "House and condos sales were up last month over January, but well down from previous year; also, units are not selling as fast.


"Bay Area inflation a possible 'red flag'. Analysts call 2.9 percent increase modest, but note faster rate of acceleration" writes George Avalos of The Times. "Inflation in the Bay Area remains checked, but warning signs of pressure on prices have begun to flash. The Bay Area inflation rate as measured by consumer prices rose 2.9 percent during the year that ended in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. While considered a modest pace, it is a much larger increase than the 1.6 percent in December 2005."



Marvin's sister provides this link to the Palm Springs Desert Sun newspaper. In it is a story about Irvin Green the founder and the owner of MERCURY RECORDS--a pioneer, who among other things "invented," developed and refined aggressive product promotion.|&p_product=DSSB&p_ theme=gannett&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_text_search-0=irvin%20AND%20green&s_ dispstring=irvin%20green%20AND%20date()&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

"Musical Pioneer--Mercury founder instrumental in breaking barriers. Irvin Green of Palm Springs is still doing what he loves as he turns 90 years old today. 'I like to put something together and build it,' he says at his modest office near the Palm Springs Police Department. 'It's an interesting activity' He's talking about the real estate development business. . . . [But] Green started Mercury Records in 1944. . . . Recording legend Quincy Jones said Green broke racial barriers with him . . . . Green attributes his egalitarian attitude to growing up in the poor west side of Chicago with all types of people."

Irv Green was indeed a pioneer. Among other innovations was his MERCURY RECORDS Classical Division. A group of people that included Wilma Cozart, the Division's head in the 1950s and '60s and the first female record-producer. This Division was arguably the most creative in American recorded classical music and even today its production is available on CD.

Its Music Director, Harold Lawrence, has written many stories for my RECOLLECTIONS. They provide first-hand accounts of the record-biz in the 1960s. Read them in my JOURNAL OF RECORDED MUSIC 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11. And his wife Mary Morris Lawrence photographed many of the Mercury artists. Check out her work at MOSTLY MARY MORRIS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 

Record-lore has it that Mercury Records was set up by Chicago business men to produce records for the Juke boxes in their bars---ONLY IN AMERICA.


Look for my upcoming posts on our Potter Creek Hazardous Material Users. Interestingly, when interviewed many users assure me that the hazardous materials they use are good hazardous materials.

A lot of chattering between the spatzies out in front on the phone lines this time of year. Seems to be about whether or not to nest under Adams and Chittenden's eaves. They've chosen not to these past five years.





A potent new irritant has arrived in Potter Creek--fumes, best described as a mix of acetone, lacquer thinner, and alcohol. I noticed them yesterday--March 22--at 11:15 AM in front of 2741 and 2743 8th and Sunday when we came down from the hills at 2:27 PM in front of AND inside 2743 8th. Though my HEPA filters--at 2743 8th--had been running all day they could not clean the air. Unusual, for they immediately clean the air of any post-baked-bean-lunch gas in a 12' x 12' room. These new fumes linger and "feel cold" like evaporating acetone.






Don Yost has moved his residence to west-Berkeley.


The headline should read "Former Buttercup Baker Who Totaled Penndorf's Peugeot 404 Wagon Selected for Art Display." But, instead it reads "Noted muralist John Wehrle has won a public competition sponsored by the City Arts Commission to create a welcoming entrance into the West Berkeley Rail Stop and Transit Plaza Project, located near the Fourth Street commercial district." Another ex-Buttercuper makes good along with Suzy Orman, Nobel Prize Winner, Kary Mullis and Kimar.

Acme Bread's Sullivan bought the welder's building on Pardee between 8th and 9th--escrow will close April 15th. Sullivan also bought the11,400 square foot welding yard for bakery use. Does that mean more of his bakery-stink mixed with the delicious smell of baking bread? Com'on Sullivan just what is that crap? We never produced it in all the years we baked at the Buttercup.


The owner's contractor was surveying the lot in the 2800 block of 7th last week--it is a proposed "loft project."


The building behind YAS' Automotive is for sale.


"Buyers wary of adjustable mortgages. Allure of ARMs waning in state; rising interest rate raises questions about affordability for home buyers" reports James Temple of the West County Times. "The use of so-called exotic mortgages is plummeting in California as home buyers become less willing to use the riskier loans and lenders seem less eager to issue them."


"For the past four years I haven't been able to drive past the corner of Oregon Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley without feeling a twinge of sadness. That's because Mr. Charles isn't there anymore" remembers Martin Snapp of The Times.


Then Snapp reports "New parks director discusses goals. Finishing Eastshore State Park is her priority, but offering opportunities for youths to enjoy the outdoors ranks high, too."


"From bust to boom -- with a catch" writes George Avalos of the West County Times. "Led by a resilient 'innovation economy,' the Bay Area has rebounded from the dot-com cataclysm, according to a study released today. But the region's rally is imperiled by an erosion of its talent base, warned the authors of the report, titled 'The Innovation Economy: Protecting the Talent Advantage.' The study suggests skilled and innovative workers may defect to other communities because of the Bay Area's costly homes, creaky transportation infrastructure, and beleaguered public schools system."


And, Job market remains robust. East Bay employment jumps 2.3 percent in past year to outdistance Bay Area and state" reports George Avalos "The East Bay job market muscled up for strong gains in February, with a lot of the beef coming from construction employment, according to a state report released Friday."


I'm hoping to meet with Milo this afternoon to discuss his running for Mayor of Berkeley. At one-and-a-half he doesn't talk much, has a great attitude and a lot of energy. I figure those to be great qualities for a Mayor. And from my observation he's more mature than many.


If anyone can confirm that the Re-activists and the Semi-establishment made the deal "You get the Bowl, we get to keep west-Berkeley shabby" please email me.


Nexus' purchase of their building is still in limbo.







The Buttercup and The California Breakfast


And just what is The California Breakfast that Richards and Mike Haley invented? Well, it's most likely the eggs-breakfast that you now have when you eat out. (But, as breakfast is the lowly meal, you probably haven't even thought about that.)

Yet, it's important to remember that Richards and Mike Haley not only developed The California Breakfast but they made breakfast a proper and respectable meal out.

Mike, as long as I can remember, loved his morning meal best. When we lived together on Carl Street in San Francisco in the '50s, Mike would sometimes make breakfast for both of us, and I too came to love this meal.

Years later, when Mike and Richards lived together, Richards would make Mike's favorite, adding her own Georgian touch. An excellent cook from the South, Richards was well aware of the hearty country breakfast.

So in the '70s, when they bought the Buttercup Bakery and Coffee Shop on College Avenue and made it into a bakery and restaurant, it was only natural for them to make it into a breakfast-restaurant. (Understand, at that time there were coffee-shops and diners but not proper breakfast restaurants.) Simply, Richards knew about the Southern country breakfast and Mike loved breakfast best. This was the start.

If there was an exact moment when The California Breakfast Out came into being I suppose it was when Richard's started making Michael's favorites for the restaurant: Fresh-eggs, quality meats, home-fries with onions and sour cream, and a good toasted-bread were part of Michael's morning meal at home. (Occasionally I was at their house at breakfast time and it was always a treat.)

Then, I suppose if you own a bakery-restaurant it's natural to offer fresh baked-goods with the meal: And early-on you could substitute a pastry for toast. Bagels and croissants were also offered, but bagels and croissants were still popularly thought of as foreign food and breakfast is a very American meal. Also, it is important to remember that at this time breakfast out was pretty much a meal you had--often rushed--before your day's work. It was not so much a special meal--and social event--as it was just a way to get food before working. Kruse Plumbing was then down the street, and I remember some of the original customers were plumbers having breakfast before going to a job. There were also truck drivers who stopped before their run as well as milkmen taking their break.

(Perhaps the fruit garnish was added when it became apparent to all that breakfast was now social, even special.)

So there you have it; The California Breakfast Out. Was this just a variation of the country breakfast that, through good-timing, people found pleasure in eating in a restaurant? Is California Cuisine just fish and under-cooked vegetables?

Of course not.

Many people, other than Mike and Richards, were involved in making the Buttercup. Moe Moskowitz lent money and support, Mary Guenther provided heart and soul, Karl Mullis provided color and was a hard worker, Suze Orman found-herself and brought loyal customers, and Nancy Lawrence at Wells Fargo Elmwood was simply indispensable. She was always there. (Oh, Nick Victor, with failing health and eyesight, and preoccupied with his business and building two large warehouses, took time to give sound, solid business advice. ) Me? It was a place to hang out.



Lots of Oldies running for, or thinking about running for, Mayor. And pretty much "The Usual Suspects." How about some thirty-something Afro-American- or Latino-female, self-made, a mom, maybe ex-military?


The Times reports "East Bay housing construction fell nearly 20 percent in February."






Pete's Potter Creek rain totals.

Monday to Tuesday morning .6 inches. Tuesday to Wednesday morning .45 inches.


Event opens doors, minds for young girls. Annual event aimed at introducing students to role models in math and science fields. UC Berkeley swung open the doors of its hallowed halls to droves of West Contra Costa school district students Wednesday for the district's 17th Math/Science Conference for girls.


"Commentary: West Berkeley Bowl: Community Needs vs. Power of the Wealthy" writes Steven Donaldson in the Daily Planet.

But the last paragraph of Mr. Donaldson's story is vague.

"Lastly, let's take a closer look at the opposition to this project. It's primarily funded and supported by someone not living in the neighborhood, living in the Berkeley Hills, who can afford her own traffic engineer, her own lawyers and to put other individuals on her payroll to stop what she personally considers against her desires for the City of Berkeley."

Who is this person? Who is on her staff? How much are they paid? If paid, they're lobbyists.


What is the average age of our Berkeley Power Elite? I'd bet middle-age or older.


"Housing market slowdown forecasted" reports George Avalos of the West County Times. "One of the most bearish analysts tracking California's real estate market issued perhaps his gloomiest forecast yet on housing, a prediction that rekindled an incendiary debate about his outlook."


The thing about the wealthy in our counter-culture is they look like the rest of us--but they ain't.






The Potter Creek Oligarchy? I've confirmed reports of mayor-candidate, Zelda Bronstein meeting privately in Potter Creek with two of our community leaders and others to plan Berkeley Bowl strategy and tactics--neither of the leaders, to my knowledge, elected.

Camilla is a 1994 movie starring Jessica Tandy and Bridget Fonda. It's a movie about the Brahms Violin Concerto. It's "A warm, funny road movie." It's "Spunky!" Check it out! But be forwarned, Jessica Tandy's character talks dirty.


Pete's Potter Creek rain totals.

Wednesday to Thursday morning .1 inch. Thursday to Friday morning .15 inches.

March total 9.9 inches. Last March total 4.05 inches.


Tomorrow morning, Papa's celebrating his North Beach Caffé Trieste's 50th Anniversary. Go over and help him party.


Front room filling with irritant--time to go.






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