For Sale: God’s House

A PIECE of prime property is up for sale in Montclair — the Montclair United Methodist Church at the corner of Mountain Boulevard and Shepherd Canyon Road. The congregation has merged with Trinity United Methodist in Berkeley and left hills parishioners with a bit of a drive to Sunday morning services. It’ll be interesting to see who buys the old church. With its uninspiring design, it seems well suited for an office complex.

NIGHT OUT: Readers have been raving about Rita Moreno in the Berkeley Rep’s version of “The Glass Menagerie.” Extended through July 2, Moreno does a fantastic job as the meddling mother in this classic Tennessee Williams play. Animated and engaging, she makes you alternately want to hug her and shake her, as she spreads her character’s southern charm like molasses over an audience that’s eager to lap it up. Everyone should see this performance.

E-MAIL BAG: After last week’s item on pet cats who roam in our regional parks, Susan Thorner writes: “Dog owners are required to be present and have their dogs under voice control in the parks. Cats and their owners should be subject to no less stringent rules.”

Meanwhile, reader Robb Lazarus has his eyes on the empty space in Montclair that used to be Round Table Pizza.

“Every time I visit the village I peer in the window, looking for signs of progress, but things seemed to have stalled long ago,” he said.

The reason for the delays probably won’t surprise you. The building at 2071 Mountain Blvd. needed considerable work to bring it up to code, especially for handicap accessibility. The landlord, Ed Hirschberg, tells me that Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant should be open for business in a couple of months. He says the restaurant owners are a hard working family with another location in a building he owns in the Fruitvale district.

BIG BURN: If the cost of a pack of cigarettes doesn’t get you, the fine for lighting up will. My mole in Montclair says a worker at one of the local eateries got burned with a $280 fine the other day for smoking within 25 feet of a public entrance.

LIBRARY NOTES: Fresh from the theaters, the Montclair Library is stocking its shelves with new movie titles. You can check them out for a week, but beware — the fine is a buck a day if you forget to return one. Measure Q money is also helping to fix the Internet access, which has been painfully slow in recent years.

INCREDIBLE JOURNEY: How do you celebrate retirement? If you’re like Montclair author Susan Alcorn, you grab your hubby and your backpack and hike across Spain. Alcorn shared her story Thursday night at A Great Good Place for Books, and says the adventure gave her a new sense of freedom.

“It never dawned on me that it was possible for me to just take off and walk across the country,” she says. Since that trek in 2001, the Alcorns have hiked more than 900 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. It keeps them fit for their other hobby — dancing Zydeco at the Eagles Hall in Alameda.


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