Pennies from …Heaven?

MONTCLARION: April 28, 2011

I don’t know what to make of it, but I’ve been finding a lot of pennies lately. Sure, a cent here and there doesn’t buy much, but there’s still something magical about the little copper coins.

Take my experience at the airport in Phoenix last week. My family and I were trying to get home from a wedding — on standby passes.

We’d seen several flights come and go when suddenly a trail of pennies appeared in our path.We each picked one up and, remarkably, found room on the very next flight.Was it a coincidence or is it true what they say about pennies from heaven?

WORDSMITH: Speaking of sayings, reader Beverley Polt points out that my recent use of the expression “the proof is in the pudding” was a little askew. The original saying, she writes, is “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Polt’s husband keeps a list of folks who’ve misused expressions and I’m on the list — along with President Obama. who once said something about being “green behind the ears.”

AROUND TOWN: It’s nice to see our new Oakland Councilmember Libby Schaaf on the social circuit. In the last couple of weeks she’s been the local celebrity at Farmstead Cheeses and Wines’ “Libations with Libby” and the guest of honor at Red Boy Pizza’s 10th anniversary party. One thing I’ve noticed, she’s much younger looking than I imagined. Let’s hope her time on the council doesn’t take its toll.

STREET TALK: The Shepherd Canyon Homeowners Association is asking the city for new fencing along the popular Railroad Trail that runs parallel to Shepherd Canyon Road. The fence was destroyed during recent storm drain repairs but the neighbors don’t want the same low-grade railing the developer originally put up. They’ve identified two sources of funding for a new fence they say will stand up to the heavy use and the weather.

EMAIL BAG: Readers continue to comment on efforts to strengthen Oakland’s vicious dog laws. On my blog, Sheridan Jackson writes that while pit bulls can seem friendly, his volunteer experience with the SPCA has shown him the dogs are dangerous.

“The pit bull breed was created specifically for killing, and the fact that they are cuddly when not engaged in fulfilling their deadly purpose should not lead anyone to naively think of them as suitable pets,” he writes. Jackson believes the breed ought to be phased out through normal aging and non-reproduction.

EARSHOT: And speaking of dogs “… reader Scott Sanders has recorded a heartwarming tale of his golden retriever’s rise to stardom as a model for Purina. The story has a delicious twist in that the dog manages to eclipse Sanders’ own success as an actor. The podcast is available, for free, on the popular storytelling website called Snap Judgment — a place that invites listeners to tell their own tales through audio, video and photos and text. Check it out at


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