The Long And Winding Winter

CORRECT ME if I’m wrong, but isn’t it spring? I keep getting e-mails about new storms in Lake Tahoe and truckloads of snow falling in the Sierra.
An extension of winter may sound like a good thing, but it could put a chill on some of spring skiing’s best events. Like Squaw Valley’s bikini and boxer slalom this Sunday. If the weather doesn’t warm up, the racers could get frostbite. Many parts will be exposed to the elements.
Then there’s Sugar Bowl’s Hawaiian Luau party on Saturday. Skiing in a grass skirt doesn’t afford you much warmth, even with a mai tai in each hand.
And what about the long-standing tradition of pond jumping? You can’t jump a pond at the bottom of the ski run if there’s no snow melt.
If this is global warming — then I’d hate to see a really snowy winter.

ABOUT TOWN: It’s been almost a year since Montclair Produce closed its doors and the building’s only sign of life is the flower shop, which has taken over part of the space. But word is the landlord is trying to find partners for a Rockridge-style marketplace.
A likely tenant would be Montclair Bakery and owner Cheryl Lew says she’s considering the move next door but there’s a lot of money involved. “The landlord is pretty committed to trying to find a way to put in another market,” she said, adding he’s been approached by chains and mortgage companies and turned them all down. I think we’d all welcome a marketplace in this location, especially if they could open up more parking.
Meanwhile, Montclair Village has its own trouble keeping tenants. The latest business to say goodbye is Ps Home, which is expected to be out by the end of May.
Broker Ann Moody tells me the space will be split into three shops, and she’s looking at everything from a shoe store to an art workshop for two of the spaces. The third shop might be taken by an existing Montclair business –A Great Good Place For Books. As of this date, nothing is nailed down.

ON THE BAY: Thanks to reader Howard Smith for telling me the Potomac has launched its 2005 cruise season. More than 80,000 people have sailed aboard FDR’s floating White House since it opened to the public at Jack London Square in 1995. This ship is one of Oakland’s treasures and everyone, young and old, will enjoy the tour. For more information, call 510-627-1215.

HEAVENLY MUSIC: It may seem like an unlikely place for a concert, but Oakland’s Chapel of the Chimes has some wonderful live music events. Marilyn Kosinski at The Oakland Lyric Opera has put together an eclectic selection of songs for April 17 (2 p.m. Sunday), featuring a pianist and two sopranos doing French duets.
She calls these performances “opera light,” saying even the most die-hard opera haters will like them. The venue alone (Julia Morgan designed this historic structure) is worth the visit.

HOOP RIVALRY: It was a battle of the local Catholic Schools when grads from St. Theresa’s and Corpus Christi squared off in a basketball fund-raiser recently. The boys, all students at Bishop O’Dowd High School, packed the gym and raised $1,700 for tsunami victims.
Their moves may have been compromised by the skimpy uniforms (the guys were squeezed into their grade school shorts and jerseys) but it was a great game and St. T’s pulled out the win.


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