November 2004





It seems that imacs have a design flaw. Not always well cooled, they sometimes over heat, in time the circut board fails, and then it takes a week to get them properly repaired.

Not happy with the outcome of the presidential election? Get involved in local Berkeley politics. Happy with the outcome? Still get involved--here you can see, feel, and even taste the difference you make.

I read that my old cello student, Republican Jerry Udinsky, was badly beaten for an assembly seat this year. Last election he was badly beaten by Barbara Lee. Well, he was a pretty good cello student.

Explaining to a Channel 2 reporter why Measure Q was defeated, a barely verbal young Berkeley male got out "Voters are more conservative now." Whaaat?

I know that many citizens were responsible for this victory-defeat but Potter Creek owes special thanks to Bob, Steve, Cameron, Sarah, and even Lipofsky.




Bill's back in Potter Creek, but this time without Barry and his Chevy/Jag and "Ole Man." Bill is the founder and owner of Mobility Systems, a company that for decades has given disabled men and women greater mobility through auto, van, and home modification. He's now at 2700 10th Street and his phone is 1-800-94-FREEDOM. Also check out his website Bill's also a sometimes race-car driver and . . . someone there now has a sweet, deep-red MG TD.

There's a "major art exhibit" right now in Potter Creek. Featured in the front page of the West County Times' "Time Out" section is Laura Gest Winder's "The Sacred Side of Cheap and Tacky." It's at the Arts and Concsiouness Gallery, 2956 San Pablo Avenue now through November 16th. Times' reporter, Robert Taylor writes that this an " artist who crafts with marshmallow puffs [and] hopes to cast them in an entirely different light in your consciousness." Check 510-649-0499 for times and days. "Ronnie, it's an art-joke" smart-cracked Kimar, University of Wisconsin art major.

"Well, ok then"

There's a fixer-upper in Potter Creek for 499K. Check out the house at 2817 8th. It's FOR SALE. So is the house and lot at 1014 Pardee.




Home-made candy for the Holidays!

Want home-made candy for the holidays--the kind you wished your mom had made?

Order some hand-made candy from Kimar!

She makes Vanilla Cream Caramels, Chocolate Caramels, Butter Pecan Toffee, Peanut Brittle, Pecan Brittle, Pistachio Brittle, Cashew Brittle, Macadamia Brittle, and Chocolate Peppermint Bark and White Chocolate Bark. 1 lb bags are $13.00 and 1/2 lb bags are $7.00. She hand wraps and beautifully packages the candy herself. (Personally, I love the Vanilla Cream Caramels--they're REALLY good!)

Perhaps you'd like some of her Biscotti? Kimar makes White Chocolate Macadamia, Chocolate Pecan, and Triple Ginger Biscotti. They are $8.00 a bag. And her Sweet-Hot Cocktail Pecans are $10.00 a bag.

Order early, she already has orders for seventy-five pounds worth!

Her email is




Moroccan Beef Stew



3T olive oil 2 1/2 lb boneless chuck roast, cut in 3/4" 2c chopped onion 3 garlic cloves, chopped 1T garam masala 1t paprika 1t ground cumin 1/2t turmeric 1/2 cayenne pepper 1c dry red wine 1/2 c sherry 2c beef broth 1 14oz can diced tomatoes in juice 1 1/2 c golden raisins



Heat 2 T olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Add meat to pot and sauté until no longer pink, About 5 minutes. Transfer meat to bowl.

Heat 1 T olive oil into same pot. Add onions and sauté until brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and next 5 ingredients, stir 1 minute. Add both wines and let boil until reduced to glaze, stirring occasionally. Add broth, tomatoes with juice and raisins, stir to blend.

Return meat and any accumulated juices to the pot, bring to a simmer, cover and simmer about 2 hours. Meat should be fork tender, if not cook a little longer and check again. Check seasonings if needed. Serve over couscous with yogurt and mango chutney. Kimar.



Liberal or Conservative? Who said "We should trade one street-person for two village-idiots from the mid-West. We'd be better off." It was Berkeley's unofficial Mayor-for-decades-of-Telegraph-Avenue while drinking sake at his favorite restaurant in Japan town. My memory is that was offered the week a junky locked herself in, threw up, and then passed out in his always-open-to-the-public restroom.

The garages at Emeryville's Bay Street are charging for parking again! Right now it's US$1.00 for four hours--tsk, tsk. Another reason to shop on the Internet or to buy books at Border's rather than Barnes & Noble--or Cody's for that matter. (Hell, Andy doesn't really carry airplane or car books.)

1970's, KSAN Noon-News-Chip "If you don't like the news, go out and make some yourself" was at Caffé Trieste on Monday. "I used to live at the one in North Beach" he said.





When you pay 500k for a Potter Creek fixer-upper or three quarters of a mil for your condo, you expect the City of Berkeley to provide adequate street lighting and not the long-ago-useless, half-light designed for a manufacturing area with little or no night street-activity.

Oh ya, about that survey paid for by the City to find how many artists and crafts people there are in Potter Creek and west-Berkeley--I could'a saved you the money, there are a lot!





The Election's over, relax with lunch at Café Cacao.




Or, celebrate the victory or drown your sorrows in chocolate.

"Well, ok then"



The ECOLOGY CENTER at 2530 San Pablo Avenue, 510 548-3402, has been in Potter Creek a long time. Go to their website, to find out more about them and go to their store on San Pablo and buy a book or magazine.

Then check out, punch in our Zip Code 94710 and read among other facts that "ALAMEDA county ranked among the dirtiest/worst 10% of all counties in the US in terms of the number of people living in areas where cancer risk from hazardous air pollutants exceeds 1 in 10,000" or "1,441,385 people in ALAMEDA County face a cancer risk more than 100 times the goal set by the Clean Air Act."

While at the Ecology Center, stop in at The Sierra Club right next store.


At the meeting at Kava's some weeks ago about the Berkeley Bowl, the small community group in attendance only wanted traffic into and out of the Bowl from Ashby or Potter. And, Kava's plans show an underground parking facility.

Last Friday one of the reporters on Belva Davis' "This Week in Northern California" said that fifteen percent of the gay community voted for Bush. As I remember this was followed by screams of anguish.


"Beautifully made" I thought. "It's real good, . . . chewy" quipped Kimar on tasting her Café Trieste latté.




Today is Veterans' Day--originally Armistice Day commemorating the end of World War I, it was established in 1920.

After years of exposure to Potter Creek's many hazardous material users and to our diesel and other carcinogenic emissions, a young friend has developed cancer--hey, it could be just genetic. Tired of reading this? Then check out "Byrd's Word."

This 1955 Bop LP features Donald Byrd on trumpet, Frank Foster on tenor, Hank Jones on piano, "Dave" Chambers on bass and Kenny Clarke on drums. They play Winterset, Gotcha Goin' and Comin', Long Green, Stareyes and Someone to Watch Over Me. It is Savoy release MG-12032 and is a Hi-Fi record. It's also one fine blowin' session.




"Gorgeous" George Chittenden does it again. While coming to Potter Creek down San Pablo this morning, I marveled at how the bicyclist in front of me blew right through the already red light at Allston and San Pablo without missing a pump. I stopped for the light and when it changed started up again, as I passed "speedy" some blocks later there was "Gorgeous G." Damn, I hope he's more careful with all those hazardous materials he uses. Well, he does use the "bubbly-water" test to check for leaks in those extensive gas-lines at Adams and Chittenden Scientific Glass.




One of Potter Creek's sweetest moments--Friday night, just after work and before their night-out, couples of all kinds come out of Good Vibrations with their brown paper bag of love-stuff. Though they might have an embarrassed look on their face, they are always arm-in-arm, hugging, or holding hands--and they park around the corner. Get your love-stuff at Good Vibrations, 2504 San Pablo Avenue, 841-8987 and/or check out their web site.




There's music every Sunday at Caffé Trieste.

Pappa Gianni, family and friends hold forth Sundays from 2:00 to 5:00 at his caffé.

Check out, Sunday Concerts at Caffé Trieste.


The Center for the Education of the Infant Deaf--CEID--celebrates it's 24th anniversary this year. New to Potter Creek, this kids' school is 24 years old. Unique to CEID is a new preschool that blends deaf and hearing children. The school is at 1035 Grayson, 848-4800. Find out more about them at


Berkeley' s MAC Store meets all your Apple computer needs. With competitive prices on new Mac equipment, great repair service at reasonable prices, and a friendly, informed staff it's the place for Apple users. Over twenty years old, this Berkeley family owned business is at 2010 Shattuck Avenue, 644-0500. They also offer tutoring so you can learn more than you want to about your Mac computer stuff. Check them out!


The Canned Food Store now has a wide selection of Johnsonville Brats on sale at about 20-40% off


You heard about it first in Scrambled Eggs, now read the detailed report, "Bay Street Parking Fee Irks Shoppers," a West County Times report by Jessica Guynn.




Operating out of their office on our Fourth Street, Gregg Perloff and Sherry Wasserman hope to continue the Bill Graham concert tradition. For more read, "Perloff: Man Behind the Music" by West County Times music critic, Tony Hicks. (Early in The Day, Graham himself delivered his tickets and posters in a VW bug. I remember him as a skinny kid coming to Campus Records and asking Al, the owner, if he'd put up a poster and carry tickets for a rock concert series he was starting. Al did it without taking a percentage. Read more about Al Braver and his Campus Records here.)




"On smoggy days, deaths from heart and respiratory ailments and other diseases rise, causing several thousand more people throughout the United States to die each year, . . ." writes Marla Cone of the Los Angeles Times in "Ozone, Death Rates Connected in Study" in the morning's West County Times.

Some facts about ozone levels from the Canadian site OZONE IN THE AIR

"0.300 ppm The ozone level at which some species of plant life began to show signs of ozone effects. Foliage injury appears as dark stipples, light flecks, dead patches and general discoloration. The stomata (pores) of adult leaves are the first areas to show signs of damage. [In the past five years some of my plants have shown these symptoms before dying.]

0.500 ppm The ozone level at which Los Angeles, California, declares its Smog Alert No. 1. Can cause nausea and headaches in some individuals. Extended exposure could cause lung edema (an abnormal accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue or serous cavity). Enhances the susceptibility to respiratory infections.

Experimentation showed that a 3 hour exposure at 12 ppm was lethal for Guinea pigs. Welders who were exposed to 9 ppm concentration plus other air pollutants developed pulmonary edema. Chest X-rays were normal in 2 to 3 weeks, but 9 months later they still complained of fatigue and exertional dyspnea (labored respiration)." [This a very high level.]

A close-by Potter Creek business routinely manufactures ozone as part of its production process. Understand that though ozone is a bi-product of the welding process, it is an integral part of some other manufacturing--scientific glass making, for instance.

And ozone test strips are available, they are chemically treated to react with ozone. Easy-to-use, you place a test strip in the area to be tested. After 10 minutes, compare the test strip with the color scale on the test strip package. Results display in four distinct colors from light yellow to dark yellow. Each represents a certain level of ozone concentration. Ranging from 0.045 ppm to over 0.105 ppm.


DW-TV reports that Bayer's world-wide reorganization is well under way with emphasis on the development of their pharmaceutical division.




At 5:30 this morning the air in Potter Creek was full of a plastic smell similar to the one that hits you when opening a fresh Band-aid--but bigger.

"Problems at Chiron's flu vaccine manufacturing plant are deep-rooted, extremely serious and will be hard to fix before production starts for the 2005 influenza season" reports Judy Silber in a really distressing report in the West County Times. The sight of lines of my fellow oldies in America waiting for hours for their flu shot is disturbing. This is a f#*king disgrace.




Café Cacao is having an open house on Monday, November 22 between 5:00 PM and 7: 00 PM. Café Cacao is at the corner of 7th and Heinz.

The San Pablo Park Neighborhood Association held a meeting on Thursday, November 18 at the Francis Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park, 2800 Park Street. Between thirty and forty peple were present to discuss the 2700 San Pablo and 2600 San Pablo housing developments. Our Bob Kubik and Lipofsky were there. The 2700 San Pablo development is thirty-some units to be made for sale, the usual portion below market. The 2600 San Pablo development is a proposed 110 unit low income rental property--many units to be rented to the needy. Both developers made presentations and neither were able to fully answer the neighborhood's concerns. David Baker is the architect for both projects. (For background, see my 9/11/04 and 10/25/04 posts.)

Marvin was impressed by the number of bright, young people in attendance. Oh ya, Marvin is buying the house and lot next to him.

And, it's believed that the house at 2817 8th has been bought by a developer. (See my 11/4/04 post for background.)


Seems Jubilee Restoration, the group interested in 2600 San Pablo, has some HUD problems. HUD is withholding funds until it has satisfactory answers to their report that "cited Jubilee for nepotism and misallocating federal funds that should have gone to its homeless youth program." The Berkeley City Council, however, just voted to give Jubilee 13K in emergency funding to sustain Jubilee while fighting its federal investigation. Matthew Artz writes a detailed report about all this in the Daily Planet,"City Council Gives Half Grant to Troubled Developer As Federal Investigation Looms."

The 13k was given to Jubilee Restoration while, as result of budget cutbacks, BFD Station 2 is still without the truck formerly used at night hours.


And, it seems like State Senator "Dapper Don P" just might get busted.





Café Cacao open house here





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