and his 1966 Chevrolet pickup
Gérard is a Potter
Creek furniture-maker, wood-worker and member of the Heartwood
Here is Gérard's website.
And here's an example
of Gérard's work.
(Photo taken at
I'm told that Barnes &
Noble is closing their Shattuck Avenue store. Flanked by much
larger outlets in Emeryville and El Cerrito, Berkeley's store
is closing-shop in its bleaker-than-not location.
"Siemens branch to cut Concord jobs: More
than 100 manufacturing positions will be eliminated as oncology
group consolidates in Germany"
reports George Avalos of the Times.
The Wall Street Journal reports
that "Mortgage defaults start to spread. New data show that
nontraditional loans are beginning to haunt borrowers with midlevel
credit. Prime still fine."
"Councilwoman wants more police transparency:
Push to make crime information more accessible sparked by violations
uncovered recently by Times reporter" writes Doug Oakley of the Times. "A
Berkeley City Council member says the city's police department
needs to make crime information more public following a news report
thatrevealed the agency violated state laws."
"A flowering American tradition of music" reports
Robert Taylor of the Times. "It's an early spring
for Berkeley composer John Adams. He has put aside the memoir
he's writing and postponed the premiere of a symphony based on
his opera 'Doctor Atomic,' which had been set for Carnegie Hall.
This week, the aura is sweetness and light as he conducts the
first American performances of 'A Flowering Tree,' his opera based
on an Indian folk tale and inspired by Mozart's 'The Magic Flute.'
"Senior housing for gays unveiled in East
Bay: Barbary Lane project, expected to be complete by fall, will
transform the historic Lake Merritt Hotel" reports Angela Hill in our Times.
"Berkeley in top five clean cities: Community
ranked No. 3 among areas working to create biofuels, renewable
Eve Mitchell of our Times. "Berkeley is already green.
Now it's clean, too."
Well, I knew Potter Creek
was green. After all, some my neighbors are Certifed, but clean?
Ok, . . . since Bob and Steve organized, there have been fewer
condums in the gutter.
11:13 AM--Sarah and Milo
leave as front room fills with smell of "burning natural
~8:40PM--4.2 rolling earthshake
centered in Lafayette
Ops, go boom! OR Can you spell atomized?
In rethinking the west-Berkeley
Plan I'd sure-as-hell severely restrict the hazardous materials
allowed in the Mixed Use Residential area.
A virtual tour of Potter
Creek's hazardous material users can be taken here.
There is more hazardous material use in Potter Creek than anywhere
else in Berkeley, except possibly UC. In this block alone, manufactures
use and store, hydrogen, propane and more--this among surrounding
Edwardians, bungelows, work-lives, condos, Victorians, and cottages,
. . . and of course, École Bilingue.
The Wall Street Journal
reports that "the manufacturing sector grew in February,
rebounding from a recent slump" and that "the EPA is
proposing rules to all but eliminate the soot and smog-related
emissions of locomotive and similar diesel engines used in ships."
"Most area residents favor law to cut greenhouse
gas emissions" writes
the Times, Mike Taugher. "Four out of five Bay Area
residents think global warming is a serious threat and about the
same number favor a new law that requires Californians to sharply
Recently, Johns Hopkins made
a detailed study of civilian casualties in Iraq. In the Johns
Hopkins Magazine Dale Keige writes
Johns Hopkins epidemiologists set out to study the war in Iraq,
they did not anticipate that their findings would be so disturbing,
or so controversial."
"Radio program returns home" writes Martin Snapp of the Times. "
'West Coast Live,' the interview/variety show that airs live every
Saturday on more than 100 radio stations across the United States
and Canada, returns Saturday to its home base, the Freight &
Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley, for an extended stay after being
on the road since the summer."
"Filmmakers Say Wareham Rent Hikes May
writes Judith Scherr in our Planet. "More than four
dozen writers, independent filmmakers, radio producers and technicians
who tenant the seven-story tower at 10th and Parker streets are
facing hefty rent hikes that could squeeze them out of Berkeley,
said screenwriter Karen Folger Jacobs, an 18-year tenant at the
Saul Zaentz Media Center, the only renter among several contacted
by the Daily Planet willing to allow her name to be used for this
story. Wareham Development of San Rafael, self-described as Berkeley's
largest commercial property investor and developer, recently paid
more than $20 million for the 2.64 acre property. On Jan. 24,
the day after the deal went through, Wareham immediately informed
tenants there would be two or three-year leases that would include
rent increases for most. "
And Snapp writes
"Council cedes housing power. The Berkeley City Council took
the first step toward creating a new governing structure for the
embattled Berkeley Housing Authority this week by firing itself
as the BHA's Board of Commissioners."
Michael Goldin's Swerve manufacturing
facility is moving to Potter Creek. Swerve bought the old foundry
property on 7th.(Plans and plan-views of the new building to follow.)
Also, check out their current
state-of-the-art manufacturing and office facility at Swerve,
2332 5th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710, tel: 1.877.644.1898, fax
1.510.644.0724 OR email
And, see a movie of their
router at their
5-axis CNC Router can machine
large three dimensional parts -- up to 120"x 60"x 31"
-- in non-ferrous metal, wood, composites and plastics.
Our John Curl has written
Memories of Drop City follows
a group of people and their radical movement, in the Southwest
and on both coasts, in the 1960s, a decade that shaped the rest
of the century. Of it, our Ishmael Reed, National Book Award nominee,
writes "John Curl's characters in Memories of Drop City aspire
to be years ahead of the rest of us, but Curl shows, through his
highly crafted and brilliant novelistic memoir, that they often
succumb to the same social flaws as the rest of us. This might
be the most balanced memoir or novel yet published about the Sixties."
And our Al Young, poet laureate of California, writes "With
this compelling evocation and portrayal of breathing people, John
Curl unpacks the boxed lunch myth of America's alternative lifestyle
Sixties, and restores the day to day flavor of a deeply fabled
era still key to understanding the way we live (and don't live)
Check out Memories of Drop
12:05 PM--SERIOUS irritant
in front of 2743/27418th, burning lips, burning throat, chills,
use mask. "Smells like kockah" remarks Marsha.
"Historical society works on Berkeley radio
museum: Group collecting antiques, memorabilia and refurbishing
KRE station building" reports
Doug Oakley in the West County Times. "A group of
radio buffs is transforming a 1930s radio station in Berkeleyfrom
a building of a bygone era into a museum housing radio antiques
dating back to the turn of the century. The California Historical
Radio Society has been restoring the KRE radio station off Shellmound
Street at the south end of Aquatic Park for three years. 'Our
purpose is to present in an educational way the history of radio
and the importance of radio to people who don't know anything
about it,' said Steve Kushman, president of the society. 'There
may be six generations of people who don't know what a vacuum
tube is and who Marconi is. They don't teach this in schools.'
(Hint: A vacuum tube is a glass instrument used inside old radios
that modified signals and was later replaced by transistors in
integrated circuits; Guglielmo Marconi was best known for his
development of the radiotelegraph system.) The building's control
broadcast room was the location for Wolfman Jack and Richard Dreyfuss
scenes in the 1973 movie 'American Graffiti.' The building is
owned by Inner City Broadcasting, which uses a back room full
of equipment and an outside radio tower to transmit signals for
its radio stations that broadcast from other locations. The rest
of the 4,600 square feet was left to the society."
The Wall Street Journal reports
on Chick Corea's five favorite jazz albums. In no order at all,
they are Blowin'
the Blues Away, Horace Silver; Out to Lunch, Eric
Ship, John Coltrane; Live
at the Five Spot, John Coltane and Thelonious Monk and Miles
Davis and Bill Evans,
The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings.
And check out our Groove
Yard and Amoeba for copies.
Member supported jazz station
KCSM-FM still needs some bucks.
Thanks to each and every
one of you who
pledged your financial support during our
Winter Membership Drive.
Although we all loved our experiment in
Less Talk and More Music, we fell short of our goal.
In order to pay our bills for the next few months
and keep our Spring Drive short, we are
asking you to pledge now and help us reach our goal.
So, . . . send
Zelda B makes some observations
about Our Town in our Planet with
"The Privatization of Berkeley Government."
12:12 PM--irritant IMMERDIATELY
in front 2743 8th Street, light head, headache, dry lips, dry
Marsha in her AOSafety R5700
I can't stress enough that
not only do the AOSafety R5700 filter masks keep out the nasties
of urban-air but that they also are a real fashion statement.
Notice again, how the purple stripes of the filters are enhanced
by the purple of the background tibouchinas, and that the black
rubber of the mask itself subtlely highlights Marsha's cleavage.
Of course, you'll be way ahead when high-fashion discovers the
12:55 PM--detergent "soap-flakes"
odor all up Grayson. Haven't smelled that one in a long time.
One Saturday afternoon years ago, it was accompanied by clouds
of "soap-flake-like" dust that settled over everything,
everywhere. At first, it looked like fog coming in on the deck
thru the École Bilingue playground.
Matt Krupnick of our Times
reports on one consequence of the sale of the Marchant warehouse
which is located just south of Potter Creek on San Pablo Avenue.
"From his damp former home under the UC Berkeley bleachers
to his gloomy abode in the bowels of a gargantuan warehouse, it
has been a long time since Kritios Boy was surrounded by anything
resembling comfort.But, with Miller spending most of his time
in Greece these days and the university's pending sale of the
former typewriter factory, it's unclear where the statues will
end up as the building's tenants are moved out during the next
three years.'I want very badly for these to be on campus,' Miller
said, surrounded by about three dozen statues in the basement
of the Marchant warehouse, at a point on San Pablo Avenue where
Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland meet. At least one city boundary
runs through the building." The complete story is here.
900 GRAYSON had its best day ever last Saturday. So for
that and just a little more
However, yesterday afternoon
a female pick-pocket stole a customer's wallet.
"Use of option-ARM loans on the rise: Experts
warn high-risk mortgages make sense for very few borrowers" reports
Barbara E. Hernandez of the Times.
"Possibility of meltdown in subprime loans
ravages financial stock prices"
writes Joe Bel Bruno of the AP in theTimes. "Mounting
concerns on Wall Street that mortgage lenders might be hurt by
increasing defaults and delinquencies sent investors fleeing Monday
from some of the biggest names in the industry."
"Study links air pollution to weather:
Scientists find that soot pumped into atmosphere by growing Asian
industry has caused an increase in storm clouds of up to 50%" reports
Robert Lee Hotz of the Los Angeles Times in our Times.
"Asia's growing air pollution -- billowing million-ton plumes
of soot, smog and wood smoke -- is making the Pacific region cloudier
and stormier, disrupting winter weather patterns along the West
Coast and into the Arctic, researchers reported Monday."
"Pacific Steel Casting Final Emissions
Report Released" writes
Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet. "The Bay Area Air
Quality Management District reviewed Pacific Steel Castings's
(PSC) final emissions inventory report and released it to the
City of Berkeley and the public on Feb. 23."
11:16 AM--irritant in front
room, dry eyes, dry lips, use mask.
KRON reporter and friend
of a leading west-Berkeley citizen, Wendy
Tokuda, talks about the personal effect of a young man's violent
death in "Ripples of a Homicide" in the Oakland Tribune.
In the print version there's also a photo of the beautiful Ms
Our comminuty activist,Sarah
Klise emails in cooperation with WEBAC advocate/activist, Rick
"There will be a Potter
Creek Neighborhood Meeting next week on
Tuesday, March 13th at 6:30 pm. We will meet at Ecole Bilingue.
enter on Heinz, coming from 9th, walk past playground and enter
gate. Look for signs - but meeting will be in a classroom straight
back on right side.
Topics: Recent letter establishing
a West Berkeley Business district.
What this means. (There are many opinions.) Also, updates on
neighborhood development. You may add agenda items that night
The proposal is actually
for a Community Benefit District. It is being put forward
by the West Berkeley Business Alliance. Since the letters were
received, I have spoken to dozens of people about them. It is
my understanding that, among other things, the District is a work
in progress and the letter does not now fully reflect its nature.
I would hope that someone from the Alliance can be present at
this meeting with more complete and up to date information. So
at this short notice, a member of the group has been informed
of the meeting.
Today at 3:30 PM in the City
Council Chambers of Old City Hall, eight of our police officers
will will be honored in an awards ceremony. The officers are Lt
Matt Morizono, Officer Jitendra Singh, Officer Darren Kacalek,
Sgt. Katie Smith, Officer Andrw Frankel, Officer John Lewis, Sgt
Erik Upson and retired Lt Russell Lopes. The public is welcomed.
Now, not only are my current
Almost Daily Posts being regularly browsed but my Scrambled Eggs
and Lox Archives and Features are also being read--often by more
readers than look at my current page. And yesterday, altogether
Scrambled Eggs pages received well over 200 visits or over 1000
hits. I record, I think.
5:40 PM--irritant in front
the 7th Street
Sooner than later, well-known
Bay Area artist Deborah Oropallo will move to her new studio in
Potter Creek. Check her out HERE!
Part of the new Swerve building
on 7th will be artist space.
7:05 PM--SERIOUS irritant
in front room, leave.
Quote of the week by Mose
Allison "I don't worry 'bout a thing, 'cause I know nothin's
gonna be aw right."
Birds are singing along with
Bix on KCSM this morning, though yesterday morning a new SUV was
broken into around the corner on Grayson.
12:24 PM--SERIOUS irritant
in front of 2743 8th, burning lips, throat, headache, birds stop
singing and leave. Probably just a coincidence.
I'm told that Ed Adams project
on 8th is on hold pending possible changes in the in-lieu-of-law.
There is now a City Parking
Lot on 8th across from the Sawtooth warehouse. (Before, it was
part of the Bayer lot.) Can't find a parking space, go there for
a couple of hours.
Our Cameron Woo emails
Claudia and I stopped by
the new Charles Chocolate tasting room/store at the
old Andronico's in Emeryville and satisfied our sweet tooth with
generous offerings and wide assortment of chocolates from tea-infused
chocolates to pate de fruit. Nice people and it is good to see
manufacturer move into that space. The person at the tasting room/store
that a cafe is in the plans.
Check out their tasting schedule
on the Charles
2:17 PM-- SERIOUS irritant
and odor IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouses.
11:14 AM--irritant in front
Our Zoning Adjustment Board
will hold a public hearing on Thursday, March 22, at the Old City
Hall about the Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl "to modify approved
plans . . . including increasing building footprint, changing
configuration of the retail and storage areas, changing parking
layout, without creating any new traffic or other environmental
And the beat goes on.
Were those The Activists
leaving Rick's Place this early-afternoon--looked like it to me.Yup,
Rick confirms it was the WEBIAC Steering Committee.
Last night, our City Council
unanimously approved a resolution urging Deutschland to indict
Rumsfeld for war crimes. Am I missing something here?
"In Ailey group, first
they dance, then they dine. Company holds annual cookout on university
campus after its show reports Martin Snapp. "The
sweet, smoky smell of barbecue wafted over the Zellerbach Hall
courtyard at UC Berkeley on a recent Saturday as table after table
groaned under the weight of freshly grilled ribs, chickens, shrimp,
salmon, turkeys, bacon, steaks, ducks, frog legs and vegetables."
"Peet's future is percolating" writes the Times, Blanca Torres "If
some coffee drinkers across the East Bay could just have one wish,
it would be to have a Peet's Coffee and Tea right down the street.
Some Peet's lovers complain
of having to drive to another town while for others, the problem
is having to wait in long lines during peak hours.
In either case, consumer
demand for more Peet's shops is clear, but whether the Emeryville-based
roaster can keep up amid concerns about quality and competition
from industry leader Starbucks Corp. is another question."
"Berkeley takes aim at loitering problem" report Martin Snapp and Kristin Benderin our
Times. "The Berkeley City Council took the first step
Tuesday night toward a sweeping plan to remove a small but often
aggressive group of loiterers from the city's commercial corridors,
which have suffered business declines in recent months.
The council approved the
Public Commons for Everyone Initiative, a proposal by Mayor Tom
Bates that aims to get people who sleep, stalk and yell at passersby
off the streets and into counseling or rehab programs."
And Snapp and Oakley report
violent crimes up, police chief says. Berkeley Police Chief Doug
Hambleton had a tip for iPod owners Tuesday night: 'Leave them
at home when you're out jogging at night.' "
"Foundation fights for right to information"
reports Josh Richman in the Times. "Digital sunshine
pours forth from an office near Washington's' Dupont Circle. Or
that's the idea, at least, behind the Electronic Frontier Foundation's
FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government Project. Created last
year, it exists solely to ask -- and then sue --the government
to release records on high-tech programs affecting Americans'
"Stocks plunge on mortgage fears: Floundering
subprime lending sector, slowing retail sales shake investors;
drop second largest in four years" reports Madlen Read of the AP in our Times.
"Stocks plunged Tuesday, driving the Dow Jones industrials
down more than 240 points to their second-biggest drop in almost
four years, as troubles piled up for subprime lenders.
Investors, bracing for a
wilting economy, fled the already-deflated subprime mortgage sector
on more news that lenders New Century Financial Corp., Accredited
Home Lenders Holding Co. and General Motors Acceptance Corp.'s
residential unit are facing financial problems.
The Mortgage Bankers Association
bolstered the belief that the struggles are widespread after it
said new foreclosures surged to an all-time high in the last quarter
But Monday, the AP's Marcy
Gordon reported Official
calls mortgage issue 'manageable' Market holds firm despite bad
news from key subprime lender."
Tuesday night there was a
meeting of Potter Creek neighbors. About two-dozen people came
to an École Bilingue classroom at 6:30 to hear Michael
and Steven Goldin of the West Berkeley Business Alliance answer
questions about their proposed Community Benefit District. The
neighbors were almost exclusively Potter Creek small home owners--"the
usual suspects"-- though the school was represented by Antoine.
The meeting began with Sarah's
introduction and notes, and Rick Auerbach's personal view of the
neighborhood and his fears for its future including the belief
that the Community Benefit District could be used to re-zone west-Berkeley
toward development. (Rick is an employee/advocate of WEBIAC, another
west-Berkeley group with views often different from those of WBBA.)
After a short introduction,
Michael answered questions. Over the meeting's roughly hour and
one-half, he spoke generally about the plans for Benefit District.
(Also available on phone for detailed answers was Michael's consultant,
Marco Li Mandri. Li Mandr has established over forty similar districts
around the country. Though Michael offered several times to refer
questions to Li Mandri none present felt this necessary.)
Michael made some important
points. WBBA have not yet absolutely decided to go ahead with
the District. The District plan is still in its formative stage
but all property owners in our MUR can join. The District would
provide services and benefits above and beyond the Citys'. (By
block, those who do not wish to join could be lined-out--though
they would probably receive residual benefits.) The District could
be an incorporated non-profit group with bylaws, officers, etc.
It could be non-political in nature. Members would having voting
rights and a financial obligations in relation to their property
size and use--bigger property more power and obligation. With
the formation of the District exactly what the city provides--or
should provide- would become clear. So then would what the District
provides. The District could deal with property issues.
Though generally civil in
tone, there was a confrontational undercurrent in the meeting
and I'm left with two neighbors' remarks "It's a power grab"
and "The neighborhood has once again shown that it's incapable
of accepting change."
I spoke briefly at the meeting's
end though frankly don't remember fully what I said. By then,
I was eager to leave so I could watch borrowed DVD's of Groucho
Marx' old TV program "You Bet Your Life."
Am I missing something here?
4:20 PM--SERIOUS irritant
in warehouse back.
7:07 PM--SERIOUS irritant
IMMEDIATELY in front of 24743/41 8th , leave.
The Wall Street Journal
reports that "Fallout from the imploding subprime-mortgage
market is spreading [to the] once torrid mortgage business-centered,
jobs-filled, office buildings. No place is this more apparent
than Orange County" and that "Most economic forecasters
. . . say recent turmoil in the subprime mortgage market is likely
to spread to the broader mortgage market [and that the] widely
followed index of home prices [will fall]."
Potter Creek's Martin Metal
"Martin Metal, a Berkeley
sculptor whose gates, lamps and free-standing pieces graced restaurants,
churches, commercial buildings and homes around the Bay Area,
has died in Berkeley.
His death, on Feb. 28 at
age 88, followed a brief illness.
Working variously in aluminum,
stainless steel, welded rebar, copper, wood and stone, Mr. Metal
created purely abstract and semifigurative works that were often
commissioned by architects and private clients."
Doc's Jaguar XK140
I didn't really know Martin
Metal, though I've seen him around town since the days I worked
at Moe's. And he was always a presence in Potter Creek walking
or biking around, in the past with his dog or in that damn big
truck of his. His passing's left a hole in my life though.
Recently, in talking with
citizens about the level of city services here in Potter Creek,
a neighbor said something like "I really have no complaints.
When I call the city after someone drops a truck-load of dirty,
used mattresses in the gutter in front of my house, the city comes
right out and picks them up." Am I missing something here?
"World-famous physicist gets rock-star
welcome. More than 2,000 fans turn out to hear scientist's take
on deep, dark mysteries of the universe" reports Betsy Mason of our Times. "Physicist
Stephen Hawking held a sold-out crowd rapt Tuesday night with
a brief history of man's quest to understand the universe."
What will be sold retail
over the Internet in the future? Everything! At a computer fair
in Germany, an interactive retail clothing-site was demonstrated.
The customer walked into a frame like one now used for airport-security,
was scanned for fit, chose items from a life-size monitor and
was shown her choices on an image of herself at the same monitor.
To which Marsha exclaimed
Today the Wall Street
Journal reports, and I paraphrase, that the finance sector
is in a precarious state of affairs because the subprime debacle
and the rise-of-inflation fear have put investors on the defensive.
Bob Kubik emails from The
"The Story of how Lewis Caroll's masterpiece
came to the Soviet Union."
11:21 AM--SERIOUS irritant
in warehouse plus hot-plastic and "chlorine" odor, definitely
leave. 3:12 PM--irritant in warehouse plus hot-plastic and "chlorine"
Quote of the week
"Whenever you see 'suits'
you know you're going to be paying too much for something."
John Victor on seeing the besuited-auctioneers get off their fancy
bus for the auction of the property on 7th just south of his V&W
San Jose recycler, American
Steel and Metal was raided this morning in a workmen's comp investigation.
The facility was closed while investigators took samples of some
12:38 PM--irritant in front
room. 5:13 PM--irritant in front room.
Wareham have started tiding
up their Fantasy property--even saw a guy policing the grounds.
Well, ok then.
Want an old-fashioned Berkeley
Buttercup Breakfast? Go the the West Side across from Wareham's
Mayor Bates emails a March
New Proposal to Address Problematic Street Behavior
Last week, the Berkeley City Council approved my proposal to create
a comprehensive and integrated new initiative to address street
behavior problems through enhanced services, clear rules for behavior
in all city commercial districts, and improved enforcement. The
proposal includes a broad, citywide effort to deploy mental health
and social services, economic development, and law enforcement
tools to improve the overall health and climate of all our commercial
districts and help get people the services they need.
The proposal now goes to the City staff and to our City commissions
to be further analyzed, debated and developed.
Invitation: Accessible America Award Ceremony on March 27th
Berkeley will receive the Most Accessible City in the U.S. award
and a check for $25,000 from the National Organization on Disability
(NOD) and UPS at a public reception on Tuesday, March 27th from
5 to 7 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. The award ceremony
will feature Berkeley's next major disability initiative - the
Ed Roberts Campus. The Ed Roberts Campus is a universally-designed,
transit-oriented campus that will be built at the Ashby BART Station
in South Berkeley. The ERC will house the offices of seven disability
service and advocacy organizations as well as fully accessible
meeting rooms, a computer/media resource center, a fitness center,
a cafe, and a childcare center.
Cesar Chavez Memorial Period
Every year, we celebrate the legacy of Cesar Chavez with events
throughout a Cesar Chavez commemorative period. The focus of the
commemorative period is on service to the community as the best
way to honor the labor leader and environmentalist. Please take
a look at the Ecology Center's Chavez website to learn more about
the Chavez legacy and keep an eye out for upcoming events. In
particular, mark your calendar for a speech by labor leader Maria
Elena Durazo at 4 p.m. on April 11th at Berkeley City College.
Old City Hall to be Renamed Maudelle Shirek Building on March
Please join me and other community members to "unveil"
the renamed Old City Hall as the Maudelle Shirek Building this
Thursday, March 22nd, at 4:30 pm.
Berkeley Named #3 City for
"CleanTech" Business Clusters
SustainLane Government analyzed U.S. cities to see which led in
combining Cleantech investments, infrastructure, and supportive
services into a physical "cluster." Berkeley was named
the third best in the United States.
"Berkeley Symphony Makes Everyone a Performer" writes Riya Bhattacharjee in our Planet.
"How many ways can a child experience an orchestra? Performing
with it-as the 'I am a Performer" concert at Washington Elementary
School illustrated Friday morning-is one."
"Berkeley Historic Walking Tours Start
reports Steven Finacom of our Planet. "A Maybeck home,
a new religious headquarters, an old stadium, two lesser-known
neighborhoods, and even a freeway interchange and municipal recycling
center highlight the spring 2007 walking tours offered by the
Berkeley Historical Society."
Zelda B herself delights
with "New Tapestry Delights Children at Berkeley Library.
Downtown Berkeley has acquired a delightful new attraction: Kaleidoscope,
the marvelous tapestry that was recently installed in the fourth-floor
Story Room of the Berkeley Public Library.
Based on original art by
North Berkeley children's author-illustrator Elisa Kleven, the
10-by-6-foot cotton hanging offers a vivid panorama of a verdant,
park-like Berkeley peopled mainly by kids in motion." The
whole story is here
in our Planet.
"Subprime loans going under" reports Barbara E. Hernandez of the West
County Times. "Realtor Christopher O'Brien is hoping
the fifth time is a charm. His $449,950 listing in Pittsburg has
been in escrow five times in the past three months after lenders
canceled the subprime loans of four would-be buyers. The lost
loans are part of the subprime market fallout, O'Brien said, something
many local agents and brokers know well."
See my various February and
March posts for more background.
Was that Good Ole Boy Willie
Nelson singing a jazzy "Rose of San Antonio" on KCSM
this morning? Sure as-hell was.
7:40 AM--SERIOUS F@#KING
I'm told that at last night's
ZAB meeting there were no objections to the proposed changes of
the Berkeley Bowl project.
"Filmakers fight to stay in studios: New
landlord wants movie makers to pay market rates after decades
of working under generous leases" writes Martin Snapp of our Times.
emissions pose great threat, new study says. International Maritime
Organization officials say if left unchecked, ships will emit
more pollutants than all land sources" reports Erik N. Nelson in our Times.
"All the world's cars, trucks and buses can't compete with
oceangoing ships when it comes to releasing acid rain- and smog-making
sulfur dioxide, according to findings released Thursday by a group
of international transportation and environmental regulators."
Chris, Potter Creek's former
Professor of Cars hipped me to this a couple years ago. (Browse
2005 and 2006 for his comments.) Or, . . . briefly he said those
giant maritime diesels--engines often physically as large as trucks--idling
up-wind from us in the Bay "put out lots o' bad shit."
Chris maintained that their bunker-fuel was often just used motor-oil.
"Booksellers see writing on the wall. Barnes
& Noble and Borders revise their business plans as they struggle
with both the market and competitors" reports Anne D'Innocenzio of the AP in our Times.
"A sluggish book market and intense competition from rivals
such as Amazon.com and Costco are forcing the nation's top two
booksellers -- Barnes & Noble Inc. and Borders Group Inc.
-- to rewrite the rules on the book business."
Within the past few weeks
a car was twice broken into and stolen while parked on Grayson
"Berkeley honors Shirek with building name.
Old City Hall is redubbed in recognition of civil rights leader
and former council member" report
Martin Snapp and Kristin Bender of the West County Times.
"Man sentenced to home detention for possession
of machine gun"
reports Henry K. Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle. "A
Berkeley man was sentenced to three years' probation and six months
of home detention Friday for possessing a machine gun in connection
with the discovery of a cache of weapons after a 2005 fire at
a liquor store below his apartment.
Leslie Tanigawa, 47, was
ordered by U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen also to perform
250 hours of community service and to pay a $4,000 fine. Tanigawa
must spend the six months of home detention under electronic monitoring."
And Rick DelVecchio of the
Chronicle reports "A
successful attack on carbon emissions will require leaps in energy
efficiencies at home, at work and in the car, as well as technological
breakthroughs in alternative fuels and painful political choices,
speakers said Monday at a UC Berkeley conference that drew 400
people from academia, government and industry."
"Parks bonds gain momentum" reports Denis Cuff of our Times. "The
East Bay Regional Park District is planning to ask voters to approve
a parks bond measure worth $400 million to $500 million after
a poll found the measure has broad public support.
About 76.5 percent of those
surveyed in Contra Costa and Alameda counties would likely support
the measure, an extension of a 1988 property tax to buy and improve
parks, according to the district-commissioned poll."
8:18 AM--SERIOUS irritant
in front room.
Some time ago, when Byron
Delcomb managed a coffee house in Pacific Heights, one of the
employees was Josh Pearl. So what? Well Byron is Milo's Dad and
Josh is the Executive Chef and one of the owners of 900 GRAYSON.
week Milo was SERIOUSLY sick with the flu--but judging by the
happy yelping in the background while talking on the phone to
Sarah, he's ok now.
Lipofsky was in the hospital and had a couple stents installed
in the heart but was released the next day with "If you ever
need a procedure, I recommend this one."
Tak has a new dog, his old
Malamute has passed, and now Tak can again be seen out walking
around Potter Creek.
Pete and Julie's KALX "Alternate
Tunings" program this week is about the Theremin. Check it
out this Wednesday at 9:00 AM. Pete has been working on a new
program intro. I heard an early mix. It's GREAT!
Want to see some of Wareham's
Potter Creek properties? Check out an ariel view here.
Two things strike me about Wareham--how vast the holdings
are and how well they're maintained. (The Wareham/Fantasy property
is not shown and neither are Wareham's Emeryville holdings.)
"Wells Fargo worker a teller of tales:
Man has spent 30 years at bank, keeping business running; experience
makes him a walking history book" reports Martin Snapp of our Times.
Is there really, really BIG
CHANGE in the wind in west-Berkeley? I again quote John Victor.
"I know nathing!"
Channel 7 News reports that
foreclosures in California are up 79% February 2007 over February
The 14th Annual 'Ukulele
Festival of Northern California will be on Sunday, April 29, at
the Hayward Adult School. It's the longest running 'ukulele festival
on the mainland, and of course, Pohaku & I will be there,
showing his ukes. The music is great, the food is ono, and the
weather is generally warmer down there than it is here in Berkeley.
It runs from 10am to 5:30pm.
An update from our Planning
Department is here.
"Wendy Tokuda back to CBS 5-TV as co-anchor"
reports Peter Hartlaub
of the San Francisco Chronicle. So what? Well, she's more
than a talking-head. She has a background as a working reporter
AND she's the best friend of one of our own.
1:54 PM--irritant in front
Barbara Shayesteh of Café
I met a young woman while
I was walking my dog this morning and she gave me this poster
of her lost dog. (I do not have enough memory to post this photo.
The dog looks like a small Shepard-mix-sort of.) Seems their car
was broken into at 5th and Bancroft a couple of days ago and the
dog was either stolen or let loose.She thinks it was seen yesterday
at Dwight and San Pablo, although I know there is an older woman
with a similar dog living in the new, . . . building on San Pablo
near Parker. Anyhoo, I thought I would pass it along in case anyone
locate Scout. Thanks.
"Council Addresses Filmmaker Tenancy" reports Judith Scherr of our Planet.
"Some 50 filmmakers, radio producers and writers renting
studio space at the seven-story tower at Tenth and Parker streets
hope that they will come away from the special City Council meeting
tonight (Tuesday) with hope of minimal rent increases over six
months or a year, rather than the significant increases the new
landlord is demanding."
My understanding is that
the proposed rents are in the $4.00-$6.00 per square foot range
for "improved offices" in building with theaters and
film-making facilities. Active Space now rents cubicles in a "corrugated
tin" building in the $3.00-$4.00 range. This Active Space
project was "supported" by Potter Creek activists as
affordable work space for artists and crafts-people. Ironically
some of these same people now oppose the new Wareham rent structure
as excessive. Am I missing something here?
"Commission Election Voided, Attorney Orders
reports Richard Brenneman. "While David Stoloff is out as
Planning Commission chair, there's no successor yet-despite the
group's election earlier this month.
That's the ruling from Berkeley
City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque, who said the election was void
because it violated noticing provisions of the Brown Act, which
governs meetings of public bodies.
That means James Samuels
is still vice chair, and not chair-despite the vote March 14."
For cripes sake!
"100 Condos Planned for Corner of Ashby
And San Pablo"
reports Richard Brenneman of the Planet. "A four-story condominium-over-retail
complex may soon be rising at the corner of two of Berkeley's
That's the hope of veteran
Berkeley developer Ali Kashani and a San Francisco firm who have
launched a joint plan to build a four-story building on a three-quarter-acre
lot at the southeast corner of San Pablo and Ashby avenues.
The building as currently
conceived will feature up to 100 condos built over ground floor
commercial space on a 34,200-square-foot lot."
"ZAB Passes Big West Berkeley Project on
reports Riya Bhattacharjee of our Planet. "The Berkeley
Zoning Adjustments Board approved a mixed-use project at 700 University
Applicant Urban Housing Group/Essex
Property Trust of San Mateo had requested a use permit to 1) demolish
Celia's Restaurant and Brennan's Restaurant buildings along Fourth
Street; 2) construct a mixed-use development with 171 dwelling
units (31 below-market), 9,995 square feet of new commercial floor
area and 213 vehicle parking spaces; and 3) rehabilitate and reuse
the former Southern Pacific train depot-a city landmark-as the
new location for Brennan's."
10:09 AM--SERIOUS irritant
in front room, dry eyes, dry mouth, light-head, over-rides HEPA
filter, use mask.
"Berkeley staff hear
out filmmakers, landlord reports Martin Snapp of the West County
The Berkeley City Council
wrestled once again with the ongoing dispute between the filmmakers
at the Saul Zaentz Film Center and their new landlord Tuesday
The 30-year-old structure
in West Berkeley -- popularly known as the Fantasy building, after
Zaentz's record and film company -- was sold in January to the
Wareham Property Group, a San Rafael-based developer.
Wareham gave the tenants,
many of whom had been renting month-to-month at rates below market
level for years, until March 31 to sign long-term leases at higher
rents or get out.
The company says it intends
to maintain the building as a center for film production. It claims
the rent increases would merely raise rents to market level, not
above it -- an assertion the filmmakers hotly dispute.
"There's no reason for
a rent increase while negotiations are going on," said filmmaker
Rick Goldsmith. "What do they need with our piddling 10 percent?"
Last week, under prodding
by the city council, Wareham partner Chris Barlow agreed to give
the tenants a 30-day extension, until April 30, to decide whether
to sign a lease or move -- provided they pay 10 percent more during
Read the full story here.
Why haven't these documenatary
film-makers made a documetary of this and flooded Internet with
it? Start with YouTube/Utube? Talk about raising hell.
"New sports fields on fast track: Desperate
soccer players may soon get a reprieve as ground set to break
on new multi-field complex"
report Martin Snapp and Doug Oakley of our Times.
"East Bay job market hangs on. Although
certain industries weakened by downturn in real estate, diversity
seen as key to avoiding collapse." writes the Times' George Avalos.
"Area home building bucks state trend.
California sees huge declines in new single-family construction
from last year, but East Bay rates rise" reports the Times' Eve Mitchell.
Should the All-Volunteer Force Be Replaced by Universal, Mandatory
(Excerpted from Congressional Digest, September 2006).
Read more here.
I can send a PDF of the full
Congresional Digest report to anyone who sends me their email.
However, it is a LARGE file.
I first heard of this last
year from Don Yost who in turn heard David Gergen advocate the
program at a World Affairs Council meeting. This is universal
service and is not just military service.
One of Potter Creek's leading
citizens and business owners has had his car broken into twice
in the last few weeks--not good.
While talking to another
Potter Creek business owner about his wants for the future of
our neigborhood, he said simply that he wanted Potter Creek to
be "safe, quiet and clean."
"Little Jan," former
owner of one of west-Berkeley's first fine restaurants, Britte
Marie's, was dining with his family today at 9G. (His former
partner, "Big Jan," whose wife's name became the restaurant's,
has returned to the Czech Repubic to raise a new-family.) "Little
Jan" was a BIG fan of Mary of Peter, Paul and Mary and when
the group played in the Bay Area they received the Royal Treatment
at his restaurant. He is now one of the Berkeley Bowl managers--and
I'm to give his regards to Kimar and Mary Kate. (Britte Marie
and I danced a great Strauss Waltz at Ashkenaz once-upon-a-time.)
8:10 PM--VERY SERIOUS irritant
in warehouse, over-rides three HEPA filters, headache, nausea,
John Coltrane Park
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