Look out for the lady bugs


MONTCLARION NEWSPAPER – February 6,  2009

HERE IN THE HILLS, we do things differently. While the rest of the country counts on the groundhog to predict the ladybugs2arrival of spring, we look to the lady bug. Indeed, the gals have already gathered at their annual convention site in Redwood Park Girls Camp. One has to wonder if they pick this place to be gender specific, or for its dew-kissed, aphid rich soil. There’s also the matter of privacy, as the lady bugs are mating here and being ladies would prefer that the whole world weren’t watching. To this end, I would recommend that the Girls Camp trail be closed during lady bug mating season. The East Bay Regional Park District does this for newts in Tilden Park and newts aren’t nearly as cute.

If you feel as strongly as I do, call the park district today. Demand that they protect the lady bug, the symbol of spring in the Oakland hills. Your garden will thank you. 

E-mail Bag: The Town Crier struck a nerve with a recent item about parking tickets being issued to Montclair motorists even with valid receipts on their dashboards. Reader Barbara Berman says she’s been trying to deal with a wrongly issued parking ticket since late December. “It’s too bad that Oakland feels the need for revenue to be so pressing that people are treated with hostility and rudeness. One solution, says Roger Vickery with the Montclair Business Association, is to park in the garage at the top of La Salle. I know it means walking a bit farther than parking on the street, but the cost is the same and you never have to worry about getting charged for anything but the time parked. Some merchants even validate for up to two hours.

Around Town: There must be some kind of a baby boom going on in the hills, because another infant boutique has opened in Montclair. The Tulip Grove popped up a few weeks ago next to Peets on Mountain Boulevard, billing itself as the best from belly to baby. It’s catchy, but not catchy enough to make me go through nine hours of labor again.

Bar Talk: Reader Joan Diamond says she’s the one who nominated Crogans for the KQED TV show Check Please! Bay Area. After I mentioned the show was being taped in the Montclair watering hole, recently, Diamond came forward as the customer who went online to recommend the place where, like Cheers, everybody knows your name. She says taping the show was a lot of fun, and she was treated to a lovely array of snacks and wine at the KQED studios. They even had a make-up artist and wardrobe consultant available. I’m glad to hear not everybody is cutting their budget to the bone. Diamond and Crogans get their 15 seconds of fame sometime in April.

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