The Concord Influence

OH THE LUCKY RICH. We have everything in the hills — except air conditioning. “We don’t need it,” we boast, telling everyone who’ll listen about Montclair’s perfect weather. Well, the chicken has come home to roost. I’m not sure what that means, but the Town Crier is hotter than a pepper sprout and this column must be used to vent.

First of all, the Concord influence has got to go. If I had wanted Concord’s weather, I would have bought a place there for half the money with twice the square footage — and AIR CONDITIONING! But I chose to live here for the sea breeze and I want it back.

It just doesn’t make sense. In the winter, my place is freezing. There’s a draft coming from every room in the house. But lately, the draft had disappeared. Things seem tighter than a drum. The words “canned heat” come to mind. I think my house is combustible.

Or maybe it’s just me that’s combustible. I admit, I’ve been crabby lately. But I do have a plan. I’m headed to the store to buy a carton of bottle misters with fans on them. I will squirt myself silly and pass out misters to all my friends. That way, when I overheat again, they’ll be ready.

CAMPAIGN CLUTTER: Thanks to reader Betty Henry for pointing out that the hills are still peppered with City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente’s mayoral campaign signs. But there’s something else cluttering the landscape that she’d like to see removed — ribbons on the trees near Skyline High School.

“I’m a little disappointed because the teachers wanted our support and they tied these ribbons on the trees and just left them there,” she says, adding she put in a call to the school and they ignored it.

GRAND SLAM: Congratulations to Bishop O’Dowd graduate Stephen Singleton, who has been drafted by one of my favorite teams — the Minnesota Twins. The Trestle Glen slugger says his dad was his favorite coach, along with another Oaklander, Will Ash. (Will’s son Johnny was a senior when Stephen was a freshman at O’Dowd, and went on to play with the Houston Astros). And how does Singleton feel about playing for the Twins? “I wasn’t a huge fan,” he admits, “but once I was drafted by them I started looking into their history and got excited.” Two world championships in the last 10 years can do that for a player — even a kid from California.

E-MAIL BAG: Reader Pat Smyklo is miffed at the Oakland Animal Shelter. As a member of the group Fix Our Ferals, she says the shelter is not doing enough to save feral kittens.

“There are often over 50 kittens at the shelter and many are euthanized,” she writes, adding the agency doesn’t take enough responsibility to fix the mother cat, either. She wants animal lovers to call the shelter and demand that they work closer with her rescue group to save feral cats and kittens.

PORK PROJECT: You’ve heard about the little pig that went to market? Well that pink porker was raised by Montclair’s own Katie Ferguson, 11, for her 4-H project. Her mother, Tina, tells me the kids were supposed to find buyers for their animals before auction time at the Alameda County Fair and Katie called Piedmont Grocery owner Dave Larson.

“He (and his family) came to the auction, and very generously outbid himself, until he reached the price he wanted to pay,” she said. Now Larson is loaded with bacon and chops, and Katie has a nice little nest egg for her future endeavors. Everybody wins


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