Rainy Days and Fridays

NOVEMBER IS HERE and with it, the start of the rainy season. The Town Crier likes rain, as it gives her a dewy complexion. But it’s not just about moisture-kissed skin. The rain marks an obvious end to a nervous time for hills folks — fire season. With each passing storm, the landscape gets greener. Tinder-dry brush turns lush — and takes on the look of an Irish countryside. It’s nature’s time for transition.

BRAZEN BURGLAR: It takes guts, or stupidity, or both to smash a shop window during daylight hours and ride off on a $7,000 bike. Even more surprising is how the thug broke the glass, with a handgun he repeatedly rammed against the front pane of Montclair’s Wheels of Justice. The good news is the “smash and grab” was captured on a security camera across the street last week. The bad news is the guy hasn’t been caught. A sharp-eyed motorist tried to chase him down, but the thief got away. I guess a $7,000 bike makes a pretty good getaway vehicle.

E-MAIL BAG: Being a motorist is maddening enough without learning the nuances of Montclair’s new meters. Reader Cathy Sharp says you’d better plan carefully how much time you buy before printing out your parking voucher. “The receipt you put on your dash for an hour is not like BART tickets, which you can put back in the machine and add time to,” Sharp says.

Meanwhile, Joe Sullivan over at Montclair Pharmacy and the Book Tree says the new meters are downright confusing, and the city is taking full advantage of the situation.
“The meter maids are out here ticketing left and right,” he says. And what about those chopped off poles? How ugly are those? Apparently there’s some plan to use some of them for bicycle posts and pull out the rest. But right now, they stick out like a stumpy sore thumb.

HEAVENLY HARMONICS: Local musician Amy Brodo tells me she’s directing the Junior Bach Festival this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at UC Berkeley’s Morrison Hall. What a treat to hear Stephen Schultz, one of the most flawless masters of the baroque flute and Elizabeth Blumenstock on baroque violin. The price is right too. $5 for youth, and $10 for adults.

GOT GOATS?: You’ve heard of horsepower? Well a homeowner near Ascot and Mountain is using goat power to clear his brush. Two pot-bellied pygmies were grazing in the grass the other day, tucked securely behind a fence around the perimeter of the yard. It’s clear they


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