Town Crier: Butterfly habitat coming to Montclair

MONTCLARION: January 14, 2011

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. The world is another story — but here in Montclair, things are rather rosy. Kindhearted neighbors are planting a butterfly habitat in Shepherd Canyon Park, folks are sprinkling wildflower seeds about town and five local Girl Scouts are getting their Gold Awards.

First, let me tell you about the butterfly garden, which neighbors are creating at the Escher Gate on the upper end of Shepherd Canyon Park. They’ll put in plants that offer nectar and safe cover for butterflies on their flights. It won’t take long to attract them and they’ll be a wonderful visual addition to this site, which was a city dump until Mike Petouhoff and friends “adopted” it.

If you can help with the planting on Martin Luther King Monday from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., e-mail Adrienne and Herb Bryant at If you want to track the group’s progress, see

As for the scouts, five members of a Corpus Christi troop (led by moms Lisa Zarri and Mo Woelffer) that’s been together since kindergarten are getting their Gold Awards. Elise Zarri, Anne Dupont, Mary Clapp, Emily Blemker and Shannon Powers have collectively put in hundreds of hours of work on their respective civic projects. Three more girls from the troop have earned Silver status — Erin Fieberling, Annie Woelffer and Lindsey Parrott. Congratulations to everyone!

TOUCHING MEMORIAL: Thanks to reader Shirley Campbell for requesting the story behind the beautiful marble bench that was erected in Shepherd Canyon Park over the holiday season. The bench was put up at the end of November by the Montclair Safety & Improvement Council as part of a memorial for the four slain Oakland police officers. It’s in a redwood and maple grove that was planted in March 2009 to honor the officers.

E-MAIL BAG: The holidays are over, but you can still get a good turkey sandwich in town. Reader Mary Ann Gilderbloom says Grille One Carvery (the old Jamba Juice location in Montclair) serves a turkey sandwich that is “nothing short of superlative — and available year-round.” She says the folks at the counter are terrific, too — a great addition to the Village.

Speaking of eating, reader Dr. Deah Schwartz has what she calls a “radical” response to my New Year’s resolution on weight loss: Instead of equating fat with bad and thin with good, she suggests working on self and size acceptance. She and another Oakland author, Anne Wilford, have a DVD and workbook on the subject, as well as an original theater piece about women and weight called “Leftovers.” See a snippet at

ANIMAL TALES: And on the subject of turkeys, reader Nancy Klein witnessed a horrific moment in nature last year when she was watching a family of wild turkeys feeding on her lawn. Suddenly a squadron of crows swooped down and snatched up the babies, sadistically and without warning. Nancy tried to shoo the birds away with a broom but they continued to attack like fighter pilots on a mission to capture and destroy. Nancy was mortified, but her husband was more matter-of-fact, saying “that’s nature.”

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


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