Small Acts of Kindness Get Big Results


WISHES CAN come true, if you find the right “genie.” Just ask Michael Scott, an East Oakland school principal. He had a dream to energize the student body and beautify the campus at E. Morris Cox Elementary School. But without the money, he needed some magic to pull it off.

What came instead was divine intervention, from the Faith Network of the East Bay. The group hooked Scott up with Berkeley muralist Edythe Boone, who shared his mission and saw the benefits to the school and the neighborhood. The mural was unveiled on the playground this week and the sense of pride was heartwarming. You hear plenty of bad news about Oakland schools. But the good news comes from small acts of kindness like these.

Horsing around

For folks who don’t spend enough time with their four-legged friends, there’s a new horse camp at Lake Del Valle in Livermore. Complete with watering troughs and corrals, you can come down off the dusty trails and rest a spell, with your trusty steed nearby.

Since so many hills folks have horses, you may want to check this out: the town of Rio Linda hosts a cowboy-mounted shoot in which you ride horseback, shooting .45-caliber revolvers, racing the clock and firing at … water balloons. Someone should have come up with this 200 years ago. They could have tamed the old West a lot sooner.

One man’s trash…

Think of this as a Goodwill store for homeowners. At ReStore in San Leandro, you can buy everything from cabinets to doors, plumbing supplies to power tools — all donated by people with good hearts and the need for a tax write-off.

ReStore is the recycling shop run by Habitat for Humanity, and the money raised there goes to build new homes for low-income families. It’s a win-win for everybody. Contractors and business people can get rid of excess supplies (without dumping them in a landfill), shoppers get good stuff at great discounts, and Habitat for Humanity gets a new source of cash. For more information, call 510-251-2604.

E-mail bag

I apparently struck a nerve with last week’s story about a reader who found a nasty note on the windshield of her SUV in Berkeley.

Carol Siegal says she had a similar experience in Berkeley last summer when she left a bag on a broken meter, only to return and find a “venomous” note by someone who accused her of being too cheap to pay to park.

“I felt like the adrenaline was pumping through me in anger for the next hour!” she wrote, adding, “the meter really didn’t work.” Carol’s car seems to attract anonymous notes.

Now she’s getting them in front of her own house by a group claiming to be the Claremont Woodlands Neighborhood Association. The official-looking memos state there’s no street parking allowed, but Carol knows it’s not true. “What does all this say about our society?” she wonders?

Montclair on the air

The radio station that calls itself “the Bone” (107.7 FM) is looking for a few good dogs in Montclair.

The station will be broadcasting from the Village on June 18 (from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Crogan’s), and holding a mock election for a new canine mayor. Candidates will have to knock Percy the pug off his perch. The pug that holds court at Montclair Antiques has been the top dog around here for several years.

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