Town Crier: Oakland’s little storybook homes


To know them is to love them. Nine little storybook homes in Montclair’s quaint Fernwood neighborhood are being featured in a self-guided tour next month, put on by the Oakland Heritage Alliance. If you’ve never been inside one of these whimsical 1920’s homes, they are an architectural treat. They look like a page from a fairytale, with their secret gardens and picturesque bridges that crisscross Temescal Creek. For more information on the tour, see

Saying goodbye: Speaking of little storybook buildings, the Montclair library has lost its main man. Head librarian Leon Cho retired, Tuesday, after almost 25 years with the City. And yes, they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, so early retirement was a no-brainer. “They won’t hire someone to replace me at my salary level for at least a couple of years,” he shared, adding the library will have to get by with a roving head librarian – splitting his or her time with another branch. As for Cho? Turns out books aren’t his only interest. There’s photography and painting and a little woodworking business he hopes to start up with his wife. Look for Leon at a wood show near you – sometime soon.

Autumn evening: There’s nothing like a full moon on an autumn eve to set the stage for a nighttime farmers market. Jack London Square is hosting a Full Moon Buy Night on October 1 from 5:30 to 9:30 in the tradition of Italian village fairs. Not only will there be a German holiday market and a Moroccan bazaar, but local artisans, strolling entertainers and the kickoff of a holiday ice-skating rink. Check it out at

Email bag: It’s not bad enough that AC Transit is considering a major cut in service to Montclair, but apparently the busses they’ve got are creating a hazard for other drivers. Reader Kathy Castaldi says anyone trying to make a left turn out of the Montclair Safeway has to look beyond the parked buses to see oncoming traffic. “I spoke to a very nice AC Transit driver in the Safeway parking lot the other day, and she said she realizes it’s not a good place to park the bus(es) but they got booted out of the spot in front of Crown Liquor,” writes Castaldi, who urges anyone who’s irked to write a letter to AC Transit.

Animal tales: Talk about your fine feathered friends… hills singer Eda Maxym and her family have a new house guest named Cedrick.  The puckish Stellers Jay appeared one day, and decided to stay at the Piedmont Pines home. And why not? He’s got a yard full of vegetables, a garden snake for a friend, and live music (both Eda and her husband are musicians) to augment his squawking.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by phone at 510-273-9418, by email at or on the web at


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