April 2005


Baroque music pioneer, our Laurette Goldberg has died. Josh Kosman of the Chron writes "Laurette Goldberg, the harpsichordist, teacher and early music pioneer who founded Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and MusicSources, died Sunday of heart failure at Berkeley's Alta Bates Hospital. She was 73. " Read more here.


Tupper & Reed music store is closing after 99 years of doing business here reports Patrick Hoge of the Chron

And, "Pacific Steel Cited For Noxious Odor After Neighbors Complain" writes Matthew Artz of the Berkeley Daily Planet.

Finally, "Developer Will Move Forward Despite Landmark Designation" reports Richard Brenneman of the Planet. He writes further that one of the buildings is "Celia's restaurant, a structure recently declared a structure of merit by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission." Celia's is a lot of things, but a "structure of merit" isn't one of them. Rick Auerbach, now he's a structure of merit.

Did you know that an older Afro-American man dutifully polices Potter Creek? He carefully picks up our trash, places it in his cart and then puts it one of our trash receptacles. This man's certainly a nominee for Scrambled Eggs 2005 Hip-Citizen.

Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed .6 inch for Sunday and Monday's storm. We have a couple of new neighbors in Potter Creek and there's another beautiful waiter-person at Joe's.

And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to us! Berkeley's 127th Birthday was April 1st.




Bayer's testing their Emergency Warning System today. So if you hear a "loud warning noise," it doesn't mean they've accidentally released bugs into our atmosphere, . . . this time.




"On Sunday April 10,

Music at First Presbyterian will present

Wildcat Viols-
Joanna Blendulf, Julie Jeffrey and Elisabeth Reed-in
a concert of
luscious music for three bass viols by Hingeston,
Purcell, Nicolai, Marais and others.

We hope you can join us. And please come
chat with us at the
reception following the concert.

Wildcat Viols
Sunday, April 10, 5:00 pm, reception to follow
Suggested donation: Adults $15. Students & Seniors
$10. Children 13 & under free.
First Presbyterian Church of Alameda
2001 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda
Phone 510-522-1477
For further details on this concert
check this out."



So, the story's about a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer but the real first is the photo of the elusive Ms May. For that, and for many other reasons, check out PICTURE PERFECT: Chronicle photographer honored for sensitive work on 'Lion Heart' series. Maybe now camera-shy Ms. May will go on the Belva Davis Show and "make it real."






Congratulations to Claudia and Cameron!

Potter Creek's Claudia, The Bark Editor emails "What do sophisticated dogs read? The Bark's book 'Dog Is My Co-Pilot' according to this week's New Yorker cover. Look closely and you'll see a chocolate Lab reading a copy of Bark's best-selling anthology on the cover of this week's (April 11, 2005) New Yorker magazine. The cover depicts a mix of urbane canines posed amid an aerial view of Manhattan. The artist is Mark Ulriksen, a frequent Bark contributor and creator of the book cover art depicted. Mark's dog Ted is the model for the book reading canine. The New Yorker has a circulation of 1.1 million. Another triumph for Bark's leap into the public's consciousness and elevation to pop icon!"


Walkathon to Benefit CEID

Appropriate for all ages

The Center for the Education of the Infant Deaf (CEID), an inclusive sign language preschool and childcare in West Berkeley, is holding its 2nd Annual Walkathon on Sunday, April 17, 2005 at Moraga Commons Park.

This years fun event kicks off with our 9AM Registration, followed by the Walk, which begins at 10 AM, and Music and Entertainment provided by dancers, cheerleaders, music, clowns and sign language storytelling.

$100 registers an individual or sponsors a child to walk (you can get just 4 sponsors to contribute $25 each and walk on their behalf). $150 registers a family or team to walk (get your friends together for a beautiful Sunday walk for a good cause).

Remember, the steps you take today bring a brighter tomorrow for the over 60 Bay Area children with deafness and/or communicative disorders we serve every year. Please visit http://www.ceid.org or call Brandy McDougall at (510) 848-4800, ext. 318 for more information. Thank you!




A tractor semi-trailer and Saab accident

occurred this morning about 11:00 AM at 7th and Heinz--details to follow.




Sadly, our Margaret Breland has died. I can still clearly remember the community meetings she chaired last Fall with her no-nonsense vigor. Henry K. Lee writes Margaret Breland -- West Berkeley activist, 2-term councilwoman.

Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed .3 inch Wednesday night--Thursday morning.

The Chron's Meredith May again informs and entertains with"In Berkeley, fine dining starts early: Pilot program serves gourmet breakfasts in elementary school."





Zelda's Inkworks story continues

About half the owner-operators at Inkworks have been working there for over 10 years. Finding new people is becoming more and more of a challenge, due in part to the increasing technological sophistication of the printing industry.

Nishi joined in 1981. "When I came in, he recalls, "I didn't have any experience in pre-press. Somebody else came into bindery without any skills at the same time, and we were able to contribute fairly quickly to the shop. I think right now we would be very wary of bringing in people without any experience.

"The other side," says Marszalek, "is that computers are just second nature to everybody, so a lot of people have some level of skill. But still, the software that you need to know now is more demanding than simply hands-on."

Add to this the recent closing of the last local resource for training on large presses, the Graphic Arts Union's training center at the Printers Institute of Northern California. That closure reflects the outsourcing of printing and the consequent loss of local jobs in the industry.

The upshot of all these changes is that those who are most likely to be taken into the shop are older people who already have the experience in the field. "It's a big issue with us, says Nishi, 54. When I started, I was just over 30, and was probably the median age of the group at the time. Now, I'm still the median age! "To be continued.




Jerry Landis reports

"Friday evening, April 8, Mills Concert Hall was filled with elderly couples, Mills Students, and nostalgia. This was one of fifteen events making up Brubeck Festival 2005. The first half of the concert presented the new Quartet San Francisco, in residence at Mills College, performing eight jazz-fusion compositions, four of them by Dave Brubeck. The second half introduced the New Brubeck Octet, comprising the six Brubeck Institute Fellowship recipients plus two students from the University of the Pacific. For this occasion the Octet was joined by a special guest on clarinet - Bill Smith, a member of the original octet formed at Mills College in 1946 under the tutelage of Darius Milhaud. The New Octet performed the original scores of Brubeck compositions or arrangements. Brubeck, now in his eighties and looking a bit fragile, replaced the student pianist for the last three numbers, one of them a duet with Smith. They both played brilliantly and with youthful vigor, and received several standing ovations."




Zelda Bronstein concludes her Inkworks story

Training and technology aside, participating in the Inkworks collective demands a set of faculties and inclinations that can be hard to find. "Not everybody is cut out to be both into the craft of printing and the responsibility of managing and being a participant, observes Braun. "Sometimes you can do two of these things and not the third."

"It's also a privilege to do it," she goes on to note. "People struggle everyday to keep body and soul together, to live out their ideals. There's a message there. That people can do that."

And that they can do that right here in Berkeley, one would like to add. Inkworks, longevity is a testimony to both the vision and commitment of its participants, and the progressive character of the local community that supports its work. To be sure, these days the shop gets work from distant clients. So many thousands of people printed out the post-9/11 window signs from its website that Inkworks, Internet service provider warned that the shop would need to upgrade its capacity.

But Berkeley is home. "We want to be here," says Marszalek, "because people know where we are. We,re close to the freeway exit, which is important in terms of moving paper around. We want to be here also because we're close to another green printer, Consolidated, down the street, that does a kind of work we can,t do, on a web press... We complement each other. Being allied with the vendors in the area is good... Also, we're a union shop, and we like to promote union jobs, and we think it's important that Berkeley have a diversity of resources in terms of its tax base and its community... But mainly we want to be in Berkeley because we feel part of this community, in terms of Berkeley being in the forefront of promoting green businesses.

This last sentiment meshes nicely with Mayor Bates, green business initiative and the forthcoming establishment of a Sustainability Office under the Berkeley city manager.

But its greenness is only of the many ways in which Inkworks embodies Berkeley at its best: a community that is both humane and forward-looking, committed to justice and to quality endeavor, intensely democratic and imaginatively enterprising.


(But, is being a green-print-shop-collective like being the last buggy-whip maker? Let's hope not! RP)




Berkeley PD reports that the 18 wheeler /Saab collision on the morning of the 7th was an injury accident with Berkeley FD responding as well as Berkeley PD--injuries were treated on the scene.

Last week, during a break in the storms, Lipofsky and I were sitting out solving Berkeley's problems as a shapely female appeared across the street walking her dog. Without glasses I was unable to see more but the "Hey, Penndorf! Get to work" made it clear Anthy Victor was out with Nico. She came across, talked for a while and left. Taking the female perspective seriously, Lipofsky and I went back to work.

Channel 2 News reports a water geyser rising from the ground around 4th Street this morning




Expand manufacturing in Potter Creek?

Here are some entries from my log. Remember, I'm on a block that has from three to five hazardous material users--depending on your source--and about half-dozen manufacturers.

3/18/05--9:00 AM, strong mucous membrane irritant in "office" and in warehouse-front results in dry lips, slight burning of eyes, headache, slight nausea-some odor and irritant off-and-on all day. I use filter-mask off and on.

6/24/03--2:00 PM very heavy smell in warehouse front, irritant, dry cough.

5/21/02--9:00 AM, lips smart with headache.

Generally, the symptoms can vary from a slight dryness of the lips and eyes to burning of the throat, nausea, dizziness and chills. An article about the hazards of chemical use offers "Dizziness, hmmm. Nausea -- well, these are only symptoms, nature's little way of telling you that something is wrong. The danger we all face using these materials is chemical toxicity -- poison."


More quotes from the article to follow--and more of my log entries



Jerry Landis emails about a new interest in classical music at Sony BMG. Read about it in The Times.


At our Caffe Trieste this morning just after 8:30 AM, Channel 4 News Phil Matier interviewed a structural engineer about the Bay Bridge Project.

Check out Zelda B's"Governing Berkeley by Questionnaire and Fiat" in our Daily P. A story that reflects her passion and knowledge, the conclusions about west-Berkeley don't at all correspond to my 33 years experience here. And my offer to share my decades-old knowledge and even give a tour of Potter Creek was met with a polite "Maybe sometime." Ms B also offered the view that problems of the West-Berkeley Plan arise from the City's improper codification of it and not the Plan itself. But, the Plan itself "placed" the heavy industrial zone up-wind of our mixed-use zone and of all of Berkeley. You can experience Flint Ink's west-Berkeley emissions all the way up Marin, even into her million-dollar-a-home district.

(I thought Fiat was a car. So, that would really be "Governing Berkeley by Questionnaire IN A Fiat?")



A Potter Creek citizen forwards this emaiL

"On Thursday, April 14, 7-8:30pm, Mayor Bates and Linda Maio are holding a
community discussion that will address:

* Re-Inventing Berkeley City Government
* Pacific Steel Casting, Public Nuisance Citation by the Bay Area Air
Quality Management District, (persistent bad odors)
* Community Concerns and Issues in the Neighborhood

This meeting was called for by residents in the Oceanview neighborhood, but
some of you may be interested in showing up to ask questions about Mayor
Bates' West Berkeley development agenda, as well as to let the Mayor and
Councilmember Maio hear your own concerns about development along and to the
west of the San Pablo corridor.

Meeting Specifics:
Thursday, April 14, 7-8:30pm
James Kenney Park at the corner of Virginia and 8th Street."


Here's some common sense about Our Town and our Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl, online in The Eastbay Express. Chris Thompson reports"Why Berkeley Can't Do the Right Thing : A real-life tale of two cities; Albany can build a new Target faster than Berkeley can approve a much-needed grocery store." Neighbors, Marvin and Ruth dropped off a hard-copy of this thought provoking report.


Jill Ellis, CEID director emails "Ron, As always, I appreciate your time and insights - it's great to read about our neighbors and activities."

And, Patrick Kennedy, my favorite Irish developer, emails "Mr. Penndorf: Many thanks for your entertaining and informative efforts on your site. I am amazed at the energy you devote to it. Keep it up.Yours, Patrick Kennedy." On first meeting Mr. K, I remember blurting out something like "So you're that SOB."


More from the article about the hazards of chemical use.

"Most of these substances demand more respect than they receive. . . .

Terms. Sometimes it's hard to say which chemicals are dangerous New compounds are being produced at a fantastic rate, and toxicology research cannot keep up. Material not proven to be toxic may not be required to carry warning labels, or may be required to carry limited cautionary statements. Furthermore, any material not required to be labeled as toxic can be labeled as nontoxic! Obviously, manufactures are not always the definitive source for hazard information. What makes a substance toxic? Obviously , its composition is the prime factor, but the degree and the duration of the expossure to the material work into the equation, too. [The table tells of the dangers of the listed chemicals. Consider the table as illustrative --it is by no means complete or definitive.] What may be hazardous today could be determined harmless (or deadly) tomorrow." To be continued





More from the article about the hazards of chemical use--the underlining is mine.

'Throughout the table you'll see words that need explaining in layman's terms. First, "carcinogen"--no doubt you've heard this one on the news. It's a substance that causes cancer. There are no dosage levels for carcinogens-a single molecule may cause cancer, especially if it is a strong carcinogen. On the other hand, massive exposure may not harm you. Why? It depends on the carcinogen involved, your vulnerability, and a host of other factors. Any carcinogen may cause cancer, but it's difficult to say who, how, and when. We all know sunlight is necessary for good health, yet it is a known carcinogen--too much and you could get skin cancer. Sensible people avoid strong carcinogens, and limit their exposure to the weaker ones.

"Suspected carcinogen" is a material thought to cause cancer, but I couldn't find documented evidence for the claims.

"Possible carcinogen" describes a material that is believed to be carcinogenic, and has documented evidence to support the claim.

Materials labeled as "highly toxic" should be used with great care, as they may easily cause death or permanent injury at relatively low dosage levels.

Those labeled as "moderately toxic" usually don't cause permanent injury or death, although they may cause irreversible changes to exposed tissues, and could cause severe discomfort.

"Low toxicity" materials generally cause readily reversible tissue changes and some discomfort.

"Narcotic" describes the effect of a material on the body-these materials are not narcotics or drugs in the usual sense. Their effects can include symptoms resembling deep sleep and possible depression of vital functions.

An "allergen" is a substance which triggers an allergic response. A "teratogen" causes birth defects. The teratogenic properties of many chemicals are not well known. Pregnant women should consult a physician about exposure to any chemical. A "sensitizer" makes you more sensitive to itself and to other chemicals.

All of the information is for "acute" exposure unless other exposure conditions are given. Acute exposure means of short duration-seconds, minutes, or hours for skin absorption or inhalation, or a single ingested dose. I could find no studies on the combined effects of multiple exposures to many different toxins and carcinogens.

Other materials. I didn't list polyester (casting) resins as there are so many of them, and their toxicity varies. Since the uncured resins may contain toxic additives, and many of the hardeners are potentially dangerous, you should treat them as toxic substances. Always wear gloves and a proper respirator, and provide adequate ventilation when using polyester resins.' To be continued


Buy a field-ripened whole-pineapple at Costco, let it ripen for another week and you'll have the closest to the ones I had while living in Hawaii. Kimar

The sidewalk/driveway replacement along San Pablo is proceeding a pace with minimum traffic disruption. Someone gets big points!

Have you noticed our male Sikh citizens? They are noble and regal just walking down San Pablo Ave or standing in front of their vehicles. These are classy guys--warriors, I think.


An April update from Da' Boss!

Former Council Member Margaret Breland
As many of you have probably heard, Berkeley lost a truly wonderful person this month. On April 7th, former Council Member Margaret Breland passed away. Her years of service to this community make her a true Berkeley hero. Margaret will be greatly missed by all of us who were lucky enough to know her - and by countless others who have benefited from her leadership, her work, and her tremendous kindness. Margaret's funeral service will take place on Friday morning at 11 a.m. at the Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 997 University Avenue in Berkeley.

Bayer Health Care Moves Division Headquarters to Berkeley
Last week, I joined the President of Bayer Biological Products, Joseph Akers, in announcing that Bayer is moving its Biological Products Global Headquarters from North Carolina to Berkeley. The event also showcased plans to construct a new $50 million Clinical Manufacturing Facility at Bayer's Berkeley campus. Over the next few years, this move will bring as many as 150 new jobs to Berkeley. Their move represents a major investment of resources and people in our community and sends a strong signal that Bayer recognizes Berkeley as one of the most creative and innovative places in the world to do business.

Creeks Task Force Meets First Deadline
Thanks to the dedicated work of the Creeks Task Force and City staff, the effort to revamp Berkeley's creeks ordinance is moving forward on schedule. Earlier this month, the Creeks Task Force, which I helped establish late last year, voted unanimously to create a workplan and schedule for meeting its May 2006 deadline for issuing final recommendations. I would like to give special thanks to Task Force Chair Helen Burke for her leadership and to my appointee Jon Streeter who led the work plan drafting effort. Helen, Jon, and everyone on the Task Force have really done a remarkable job finding common ground on a difficult issue. Keep up the good work!




More from the article about the hazards of chemical use--the underlining is mine.

'I want to clear the air about cyanoacrylate glues-super glues. They are not typical of compounds containing the root word "cyan," which means a cyanide compound. Although these glues and their fumes can be irritating to the eyes, nose, and throat, they do not contain cyanide, nor do they decompose into poisonous cyanide compounds when they set or are heated. Cyanoacrylates were first developed for surgical applications-which explains why they are so good at bonding skin!

Safety and prevention. You should consider the information in the table carefully. I try to be conservative- take more precautions than the published toxicity information calls for. Do not assume that a material is harmless just because it is labeled nontoxic, and carries no warning labels. Exercise reasonable care when handling materials you know little or nothing about and great care with materials you know are hazardous.

Adequate ventilation, a respirator, rubber gloves, and hygiene are good inexpensive countermeasures.

How much ventilation is adequate Adequate ventilation is not two open windows, an open window and an open door, or a fan in the corner. A good rule of thumb is if you or someone else in the building can smell the material you're working with, the ventilation is NOT adequate. But, this rule doesn't work if the material is odorless. A respirator with organic vapor cartridge . . . is a partial fix for inadequate ventilation, since it protects only the wearer.

Since absorption through the skin is just as dangerous as inhalation, you should protect your hands from solvent chemicals. Wear nitrile rubber glove found in hardware stores when you use these solvents. Disposable surgical gloves don't offer enough protection-some of the chemicals easily pass through latex and to your skin.' To be continued


Advanced by a Potter Creek neighbor, one of the more creative solutions for satisfying the activists opposition to our West-Berkeley Bowl is for the activists to buy the property and do whever-the-Hell they want with it.

Recently, one of our activists expressed real concern over the way development is going in Emeryville and a deep determination to keep it from happening in west-Berkeley. The Chron's Chip Johnson has an opposing view. Check out his "Emeryville excels at the undoable."

And, . . . in these days of Consumer Capitalism gone mad with piece-of-shit million dollar houses, and with just a little too much Three Thives Italian White Wine, Janis's "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose" seems the most honest thing I've heard.

"Change to the Clean Air Act Is Built Into New Energy Bill" reports Michael Janofsy of the New York Times.


It's said that one of Berkeley's high-end developers is moving into one of his new Potter Creek condos. Well ok then.




John and Suzanne stopped by for a chat Saturday morning on their way to work. On seeing my photo book about WWII airplanes,Suzanne commented knowledgeably on the stability of early Kodachrome film and then offered an informative Donald Douglas DC-3 story--of full interest only to us airplane guys and dolls. "Penndorf, get to work" said John before they left.

On Friday, hearing that Bayer was bringing more workers to their Berkeley facility, Lyn exclaimed "Hey, maybe they'll want to live here!"

Milo's lookin' good!

Want to read about a Berkeley blogger? Check out .  "Kos makes the most of blogging, daily" by West County Times, Ellen Lee.

After re-reading Zelda's story about Potter Creek's Inkworks collective, I realized there are some decades-old, old-fashioned, family-owned businesses in Potter Creek that have had the same employees for years, pay them well, and give good benefits--increasingly difficult in these times. To quote Ms Z, they are "Berkeley at its best: a community that is both humane and forward-looking, committed to justice and to quality endeavor, . . . and imaginatively enterprising."




While stopped waiting for a light on San Pablo and University, an Aryan young-man came up to my truck showing me a Lyndon LaRouche news-sheet advocating saving General Motors and their manufacturing jobs. He explained more while I was stopped. That would put him in alliance with John Curl and his group of west-Berkeley manufactures, wouldn't it? Oh, the kid started his spiel with "Are you as bankrupt as General Motors?" A question I am not qualified to answer at 7:45 in the morning.


And, some heavy-duty manufacturing was going on near-by in Potter Creek all day Saturday.

From my log

4/16/05 Saturday 10:00 AM--strong odorless irritant in front of my warehouse--headache, slight dizziness, dry lips and eyes. Stronger in front of Adams and Chittenden. Not noticeable in street or surrounding area, only in immediate area in front of 2743 and 2741 8th.

Saturday 11:00 AM--friend sitting in front of warehouse sliding-door complains of slight headache and dizziness--this is goes on off-and-on all day, sometimes entering warehouse even with doors closed.



From my log

7/9/97 6:00PM Odor of "hot asbestos" heavy in the air between 8th and 9th on Dwight Way--winds out of west.

7/23/97 8:00PM "Sulpher-like" smell heavy in the air on 8th between Pardee and Grayson--slight breeze from west. Paul-a visitor-smells it, also.


An article in the West County Times,"Price hits prime for plum parcel" reports that a lot in downtown Walnut Creek sold for $8.5 million. But the real story is that its assessed value was $933, 000 which means the previous owner was paying taxes on less than 1/10 of its market value. Which reminds me of a decades old quote from comedian, Dick Gregory--I paraphrase "As a business man I can do stuff that I would have been put in jail for when I was on welfare." I wonder what would happen if property owners actually paid taxes on current market value?

Which brings me to the thought. Is California real estate more and more a Pyramid Scheme dependent for its survival on feeding the base in increasing numbers?


Reader, Judi Q emails "Today is Free Scoop Day at Ben & Jerry's from noon to 8pm: http://www.benjerry.com/ Not all locations are participating - check the site to see if the one near you is."




Only in Berkeley?

A month or so ago, Lipofsky bought an almost-fancy new bike. A couple of weeks ago, he left it unlocked in front of his warehouse to go in back for a few minutes. When he came out, his new bike was gone and in its place stood a not-as-new, of-lesser-value machine.

"West Berkeley Meeting Addresses Pacific Steel Odor" reports Matthew Artz of the The Daily Planet. Reassigned their Berkeley inspector to Martinez, Bay Area "Air Quality" did. Is that like reassigning an FBI agent to North Dakota?

Notice communication's easier lately--people a lot friendlier. Well, Mercury went Direct last Wednesday which explains it all--or not.

"City Mandates EIR to Cover Proposed West Berkeley Bowl" reports Richard Brenneman of The Daily Planet. And the Enviromental Impact Report won't be ready till Fall. I welcome John and Zelda's newfound "enviromental zeal."

After being lectured to by his young supporter at a Berkeley stoplight at 7:45 on Monday morning, I began to wonder just who is Lydon La Rouche anyway? Check out this page on his Website for their view. Here's another view.


The West Berkeley Association of Industrial Companies is John, Zelda, Rick, et al's voluntary association. It is abbreviated as Webaic, ie WE BACK. I would be more comfortable if it didn't speak of personal power, but were something like WE LISTEN or WE'RE CONCERNED. And in my most skeptical moments, I wonder if their issue isn't the Berkeley Bowl but a personal resentment toward our Mayor. "Is it sour grapes?" asked one Potter Creek citizen. If it is, justified or not, I wish they'd take it ta' Hell out of Potter Creek. And, if theirs is a genuine concern for our environment, they could find an issue more relavent than our grocery store. (And, Kimar wonders just what is it that Rick and Zelda manufacture?)

Speaking of manufacturing, I leave my writing area at 8:00 PM as it fills with a membrane irritant from somewhere. Rather than put on an organic-filter mask, tonight I choose to leave early.




So Boss, wha'd we learn last week about Bay Area Air Quality, the guardian of our environment?

a Environment laws are weak?

b Environment laws are hard to enforce?

c The agency's on the take?

d The agency's incompetent?

e All of the above?

f None of the above?

Now, it's my understanding that part of the Social Contract is the Rulers protect and the Subjects obey. So if the Rulers don't protect, does that mean the Contract's been broken? Just asking.


Richmond Rambler, Cliff Miller emails

A Cajun was stopped by a game warden in South Louisiana recently with
two ice chests of fish, leaving a bayou well known for its fishing. The
game warden asked the man, "Do you have a license to catch those fish?"

"Naw, ma fren, I ain't got none of dem, no. Dese here are my pet fish."

"Pet fish?"

"Ya. Avery night I take dese here fish down to de bayou and let dem swim
'round for a while. Den I whistle and dey jump rat back inta dis here
ice chest and I take dem home."

"That's a bunch of hooey! Fish can't do that!"

The Cajun looked at the game warden for a moment and then said, "It's de
truth ma' fren. I show you. It reallyworks."

"Okay, I've GOT to see this!"

The Cajun poured the fish into the bayou and stood and waited.

After several minutes, the game warden turned to him and said, "Well?"

"Well, what?" said the Cajun.

"When are you going to call them back?"

"Call who back?"

"The FISH!"

"What fish?"

We ain't as smart as some and we ain't as dumb as most.


So Boss, . . . ABC News did a report a few nights ago on the nation's traffic lights and found that generally they weren't properly timed--well syncronized. They gave the nation's system a D+. But a Mayor of one Southern town--Houston, I think--had all that city's lights retimed with a resulting estimated 20 % reduction in commute time, along with a probable saving in gasoline and reduction in pollution. Can't speak to the rest of the city, but I know Potter Creeks's 7th and Ashby intersection still isn't quite right.




"Chronicle staff writer Meredith May has won a national Society of Professional Journalist/Sigma Delta Chi award . . ." reports the Chronicle staff in "Chronicle reporter wins national journalism award."

And, here's Chronicle photographer Russell Yip's



Think Environmentalism isn't practical? Check out "Strange but true" by Mike Taugher and Lisa Vorderbruggen in the West County Times.

Jerry Landis emails "This evening, Thurs, I got a call from a man in Florida who was trying to reach my sister - a mutual friend from many years ago had passed away. He googled Jean's name, and of course came up with March 5 Scrambled Eggs. Since you mentioned my name and Berkeley, he easily found my phone number, and called. We had a pleasant conversation, and I gave him Jean's number so that he could pass on his news. What a small world it has become!"

Wednesday, a Potter Creek resident said to me "It's bad enough when elected officials tell you what to do in your own neighborhood but when self-appointed ones do, #%@& it."

"Berkeley Warehouse landlord to pursue evictions" writes Patrick Hoge of the San Francisco Chronicle.




It makes me feel dirty, like seeing a junky steal books from Moe's.

I'm a big believer in change. I even think it's one of the constants in life. I'll accept environmentally sound growth and even look at just pure development. But recently in Potter Creek and west-Berkeley, I feel the greed of a land grab. And a month or so ago I heard Potter Creek's senior architect say something like "Maybe it's gone far enough right now."


It's a small world all right--a couple of other people have been found through Scrambled Eggs. Most notably Mary Morris Lawrence. She was contacted by a TV producer and asked if her photos could be used in their Gypsy Rose Lee production. You can see her photos here.


According to my server, yesterday people from these countries visited this site--(United States) (Japan) (Germany) (Canada) (France) (Italy) (Netherlands) (Australia) (Switzerland) (Spain) (United Kingdom) (Yugoslavia) (Finland) (Czech Republic) (Argentina) (Brazil) (Israel) (Poland) (Chile) (Austria) (Denmark) (Georgia) (Portugal) (Turkey) (Mexico).


"Berkeley finds itself in Vogue" is a story in the WCT Berkeley Voice, so is "Berkeley Boards Face Ax: City commissions that have not met in years will go."


Sunday May 1st is Caffé Trieste Papa Gianni's 85th Birthday. So next week, Trieste's Music Afternoon will be Saturday, at 2:00PM NOT Sunday--and with Birthday Cake.




Deborah Sontag of the New York Times reports in the West County Times "End of assault weapons ban has had little effect on sales, crime." (Largely political was it Dapper Don?) Of course, it's easier to ban guns that to deal with the social and economic causes of our violence. Firearms control seems popular in our Liberal and Leftist urban Bay Area. Yet, I've always wondered what kind of Radical it is that supports disarming the populace--one that's been co-opted? But, if I were in Law Enforcement I'd want to face the absolute least firepower possible on my streets.

Want pizza like the Cheese Board's but don't to to go all the way in town? Go get some at Arizmendi's at 4303 San Pablo--similar, if not the same recipe and it's also a collective. Food-lore has that it's a spin-off.


From my log

4/24/05, Sunday. About 12:00 Noon front of warehouse fills with membrane irritant, results in coughing, dry eyes, lips. At 1:00 PM irritant present in driveways of 2743 and 27411 8th but not sidewalk or street. Mild odor in warehouse front. Irritant present off-and-on till about 3:00PM--sometimes strong. I leave at about 3:30 PM. (Irritation strongest on first sensing--lessens over time.)

10/21/96 About 7:00 PM "burning rubber" smell on 8th between Grayson and Pardee--also "chlorine" smell.




You can participate in the west-Berkeley land grab just like the Big Guys. Watch for a Big Guy development project. When it's approved and looks like it'll be built, buy a piece of adjacent property. When the Big Guys' gentrification project is finished, you should make out like a bandit. Of course, you could always loose your . . . . Well, you know what you could loose.

"Berkeley City Council members will meet an hour before their regular Tuesday night meeting to consider the new-and final-five-year-plan for the West Berkeley Redevelopment Area" reports Richard Brenneman in the Berkeley Planet's"West Berkeley Redevelopment Project Nearly Complete."


From my log

4/26/05, 8:45 AM Irritant in "office" with burning lips and nose--light-headed, use filter-mask. About 10:00AM irritation increases, disoriented, have to leave at 10:30AM.


Though my chemical-use postings--see 4/16/05 and above--sound as if they were written for commercial hazardous material users, they in fact were written about the use of thinners, paints and glues for model airplane builders by Ross Martinek in FineScale Modeler. If these precautions for the use of what are really household items apply to the hobbyist, certainly even greater precautions should be taken by Potter Creek's hazardous material users. When he wrote this Ross Martinek was a geochemist and material consultant for an engineering firm "His familiarity with paints and toxic materials stems from his background in chemistry and several years spent in quality control and research development within the coatings industry."

Understanding all this 'If you get paint on your skin, don't remove it with paint thinner-it takes the paint off, but the thinner may be even more hazardous. Wipe away as much of the paint as you can with a rag, then use a commercially available hand cleaner or an abrasive soap and a lot of elbow grease.

Wash your hands before and after working on a model. Don't eat or drink while handling toxic material. Don't smoke or use open flames around paint thinners, and other solvent chemicals. Many of these materials are flammable and that cigarette could cause a flash fire or explosion. When burned, many otherwise harmless materials produce toxic fumes. Make sure that everything is capped tight.'


As I get ready to leave Potter Creek at 7:30PM, a loud whining noise of a table-saw assaults me as I get into my truck on 8th just south of Pardee. I'm told that this saw is being used to make gourd-art in the back-driveway of the work spaces on 7th, between Pardee and Carleton. I'm one and one-half blocks away and it's annoying. What must it be like in the living-units right next to the driveway? "Don't harass my tenants" a resident was told on talking to the work-unit manager. A Chronicle story on these work-rentals some year or so ago reported a 50% vacancy. I wonder what it is now.





I'm told that last night our City Council removed Celia's structure of merit status. Wisely, they did not mess with Rick's. Tonight the Planning Commission is considering bringing Berkeley's Preservation Ordnance in line with the State's. Their meeting will be held at the North Berkeley Senior Center on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Hearst at 7:00 PM.


Sally emails about Arizmendi's "I asked when they first opened 'Why is this so much like the Cheese Board?' answer: they all trained there and are part of a large co-op organization! I have given up bread products for the month of April and can barely wait to go back. Also . . . no trouble parking"

From my log

Around 2:00PM this afternoon front room fills with irritant--put on filter-mask but eyes still smart.




Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed .45 inches for the last 24 hours.

Last night's Planning Commission meeting was largely taken up by citizens expressing their opinions on whether the Structure of Merit classification of our Preservation Ordnance should be removed. About forty people spoke. No decision was made by the Commission.

From my log

7:00AM, Front room fills with odor and irritant, throat slightly sore, some difficulty in breathing--use filter mask. Still present at 8:00AM--leave. Odor similar to that that on weekends often surrounds 2741-2743 building.

11/12/02 7:00PM, eyes, lips burn. Adams and Chittenden exhaust system on--system vents below roof-line into my north wall.




"Calling the Berkeley Bowl a produce market is like saying Chez Panisse is a place where you can grab something to eat" writes Harriet Chiang of the San Francisco Chronicle in her appreciation"The Bowl is a universe all its own." Check it out at sfgate.com

Then read "Berkeley: Pastry chefs whip up new bakery that blends well in neighborhood" by Carol Ness also at sfgate.com

One of Potter Creek's elder statesmen changed email addresses and emails "I very much miss the local goings on and have always enjoyed the commentaries and your humor. Please put me back on your list."


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