Town Crier: Wild turkey’s gone mad in Montclair

MONTCLARION: June 11, 2010

The Wheels of change keep on turning in Montclair…with Wheels of Justice being the latest business to pull up stakes. The popular bike shop is moving to a new Montclair location to save money on rent, as the economy continues to put a strain on small business. Meanwhile, the venerable Raimondi’s Paint and Wallpaper closed suddenly, last week, leaving only a sign announcing the owner’s retirement. There’s already web chatter about how much the shop’s mascot (former pet mayor Hershey the dog) will be missed.

       Turkey talk: As I mentioned last week, not everyone is happy about the wild turkey population boom in the hills. Scott Seidman says he’s been attacked so many times on his trail runs, he carries a bat for protection. “They’re not cute, they’re not endangered…and they’re dangerous,” he says, adding one of his neighbors even fell and broke an arm during a wild turkey attack.

     Sylvia Sykora has gone so far as to contact the Department of Fish and Game about the belligerent birds. They gave her flyers to pass out, urging residents to avoid feeding neighbors. “Their aggressive behavior is caused by the fact that some people feed them,” she says. “They associate humans with food and will not be deterred.” At a neighborhood gathering on Melville Drive, almost everyone had a story to tell about being chased, cornered or attacked by a wild turkey. Residents want the City to get involved, but Sue Piper (Policy analyst for Councilwoman Quan) says it’s Fish and Game’s jurisdiction. “If you go to their website ( you can report wildlife that is a public menace or causing damage,” she says. There’s even a section on hunting the aggressive gobblers. You need a permit and a reason (i.e. property damage) and there’s a limit, depending on the season.

     The folks on Melville could consider bagging a few birds this fall – and having a neighborhood Thanksgiving.

       Breakfast break: It was an honor to speak to the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club, recently. The long-standing service organization is alive and well and holding court each Thursday morning at the Lakeside Garden Club. What a way to start the day – with a peppy morning meeting, a hearty meal and a healthy dose of laughter. I’m grateful to have been a part of the agenda.

       Around town: Never let it be said that I’m not up on my movies. After 44 years, I finally saw Georgy Girl, Friday, at the Paramount Theatre. It may as well have been opening night. The place was packed and the Paramount beamed like a Hollywood starlet. Lynn Redgrave’s 1966 hit kicked off the summer classic film series but tonight’s offering should have an even broader appeal. It’s the “monster hit” King Kong.

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


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