THERE’S A SILVER LINING to everything in life. Take air travel. I’ve flown twice since the FAA banned liquids on planes. The security lines have been shorter than ever. With everybody checking their bags now, you can breeze to the gate in record time without tripping over a zillion and one rolling suitcases. And once on the plane, you can almost take a nap in the overhead bin — it’s that empty. Now if they’d just give out toiletries with those little packs of peanuts — flying could actually be civilized again.
HAPPY TRAILS: Matt Tinonga is leaving Montclair for the toasty Central Valley. After 14 years as the owner of Montclair Village Wines, he’s selling his business to move to Clovis.
“It’s been a great ride,” he says, “but it’s time to start a new chapter in my life.”
Tinonga and his wife are leaving his childhood home of Oakland to be closer to their grandchildren.
“The decision was agonizing,” he admitted, but after losing his sister last year, he wanted to spend more time with his family. Tinonga says he’ll miss Montclair — especially the friends and customers he grew to love over the years. Good luck, Matt. It’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
CRIME BEAT: Criminal activity is on the rise in Montclair. Even the highest streets in the hills, which typically see fewer thefts and assaults, are being hit. Police say a car was stolen from Manzanita Drive this past weekend, and abandoned at the Montclair Safeway. Minutes earlier, thieves had broken into another car on the street, but took off when they triggered the alarm. Officers say the best way to protect your vehicle is to buy an alarm system, and — when possible — keep your vehicle in the garage when not in use.
BIRD MAN: Glenview bird sculptor Wheatley Allen is waiting for a call from the big guy in Sacramento. He’s got a proposal in to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to create a bronze bird as an annual environmental award. Allen’s sculptures are well known in political circles. Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush senior, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter all commissioned his work when they were in office. But selling Schwarzenegger a bird could be quite a lofty goal. He seems more like a wild boar or water buffalo guy to me.
TASTY TIDBITS: The old Cesare’s Restaurant in Woodminster is getting a new lease on life. In fact, a Montclair couple has bought the venerable dinner house and is turning it into a Spanish/Italian eatery called Del Navio. Tedro Navio is from Spain and his family has been in the restaurant business since he was knee high. His wife, Marion, is from Italy and has all kinds of family recipes she wants to share.
“We want people to feel comfortable, like they just left my grandmother’s table,” she says. But comfort food isn’t the only thing on the menu. Look for a sports bar, of sorts, with two flat screen TVs and outdoor seating — complete with a dog friendly deck
TAXI TRAUMA: Next time you call a cab, you may want to have a back up plan. Reader Linda Stoneall says she’s had terrible luck trying to get a taxi to take her from her hills house to the village and back. And it hasn’t been just one company that’s left her stranded, but several of the big ones that you see in the Yellow Pages. The last time she was stiffed may have been the last straw. With a cast on her leg, (she’d gone to Montclair for physical therapy) Stoneall was forced to hobble up the trail along Shepherd Canyon Road until someone gave her a ride.
“If I didn’t have friends,” she says, “I don’t know what I’d do.”