One wimpy winter

MONTCLARION: Feb 3, 2012

Wildflowers peeking through the forest floor, birds happily building their nests — you’d think spring had already sprung in the Oakland hills.

That’s why I had to get away.

As you read this column, I’m in Minnesota waiting for snowflakes to fall from the steel gray sky. It’s supposed to be 28 today with flurries. I couldn’t be more excited.

I, for one, hate wimpy winters. I grew up in a state where the words “snow days” and “frostbite” were part of our everyday jargon. We didn’t belong to gyms — we shoveled snow to stay fit. And we wore babushkas and mufflers and wool hats with ear flaps. And that was in May.

So you can understand why I’m miffed about Oakland’s mild weather. This month is like last month, which was just like last fall. I’m in a time warp with no way to distinguish the seasons.

I just hope Mother Nature comes to her senses in February.

Around town: Holy sprinkles, batman. It seems the doughnut machine stopped working at Colonial Donuts last week, forcing the shop to close. The whole thing caused quite a kerfuffle as the “regulars” had to hole up somewhere else for the day.

In other news, the wheels are in motion for Red Oak Realty to move into the long-vacant Wachovia Bank building at 6450 Moraga Ave. The real estate company needs a conditional use permit from the city, but has the blessing of the Montclair Business Association’s Beautification and Safety Committee.

Email bag: How long should a neighborhood have to put up with a bad smell? Reader Liz Klute says there’s been a gas leak near Gunn Drive since mid-January and PG&E still hasn’t been able to fix it. “We keep calling them, and they keep sending someone out who basically tells us the same story,” she says, adding that neighbors have been told it could take up to 90 days to find the leak and fix it.

Culture club: All the beautiful people are gathering on the east side of the tunnel, this month, for the California Independent Film Festival. This year’s event is Feb. 10 through Feb. 16, and the lineup includes 11 feature films, seven documentaries and 23 shorts at the Rheem and Orinda Theaters. The festival finale is a screening of Meet me in St. Louis with an appearance by star Margaret O’Brien. You can buy tickets at the box office or on the festival’s website at




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