Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again---

It's that time of year again--Looking for the location for your holiday cocktail party, staff event or awards dinner?  Consider the Julia Morgan-designed Berkeley City Club, with its brand new chef!  Gorgeous architecture and fabulous food:  a great combination.  Call 848-7800 to discuss your needs.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Rain Barrel, Anyone?

Did you read that flyer in today's Chronicle about free rainbarrel distributions to allay water flows and erosion?  The Urban Farm Store in Richmond sells a range of sizes and is managing the program.   Turns out that it's only available to Oakland residents.  But I've got one on order now that we have an Oakland property.  First respondent to ask gets this 60 gallon barrel, which is the only one that will fit in a car--

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Register to Vote or Change your Address NOW!

The deadline for registering for the upcoming election is nearing.

The state just yesterday set up a new, totally on-line registration process (rather than the old one in which you could fill in the forms online, but still needed to print, sign and mail the form).  

Here's the link:

Here's a link to a Contra Costa Times story on the new process:

Here's the link to the "old" site for Alameda County:

Contra Costa is driving everyone to the statewide site already.

Fall Plant Sale Schedule

It's that time again--fall plant sales abound, many specializing in native plants that help lower your water bills.  See this article from yesterday's Chronicle for all the details.  My favorite, the Merritt College horticulture department's sale, is coming up October 7th.  I got a great olallieberry plant for Inverness in the spring there.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What's Going on in the Unit Block of Highland?

Is it the water?  One by one so many homes between Moraga and Blair have been spruced up--starting on the west side and now spreading to the east side.  Bravo!  New owners over the last 15 years or so have poured money into homes that hadn't seen a dime of investment in decades.  And the City is benefiting too, through higher transfer taxes and assessments.

Many of those wonderful large and central homes have huge flat lots and nice Bay views.  Congrats on a never-ending job well done!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bathrooms in a Box

I was at an inspection today with Sal D'Onofrio, who's a contractor when he's not doing inspections (state law creates a bright line between the two businesses).  He, who I'd trust with my life, is now an authorized installer for BathSimple.  I think I wrote a blurb on this ''bathroom in a box'' concept a year or so ago--  He said he loves doing these baths because absolutely all the pieces are in the box, clients prefer not to have to pick out every single cabinet pull (I remember when I didn't know the difference between a pull and a knob), the quality is very high (Grohe, Duravit, etc.), and the process is very clean (meaning no changing of minds, miscommunication among architect/contractor/client, etc.).  Check it out--they are Bay Area based, and Sal says they work well with older homes with non-plumb walls.

Update--I went out with CEO John Crowley this week to see three baths they've installed--one up in a traditional home in Kensington, and two in a mid-century modern home in Berkeley.  Owners were there in both cases and raved about the process.  And Paul Cerami and Canyon Builders, two other contractors I know and love, are also certified installers for BathSimple.  I'm ready to invest, actually.

Green Insurance

I had no idea there was such a thing.  My insurer, Adrianne at ProInsurance, sent me an email noting that owners of hybrids can save 10% on their insurance (we just bought our third Prius in the household).  Some homeowner coverage is now allowing for eco-friendly upgrades when covering a loss--your kitchen fire (god forbid) may result in an upgrade to an Energy Star appliance.  So check yours out.