Oakland church mourns death of two parishoners

MONTCLARION: March 2, 2012

Sadness has settled over the Catholic community in the Oakland hills. Two Corpus Christi church parishioners died last week — one in a tragic shore-fishing accident and one at the hands of an intruder.

Joe Robertson was our darkroom manager at the Hills Newspapers for more than 40 years. He was a quiet older man who dutifully did his job up until his retirement in the late 1990s. His family and neighbors on Thackeray Drive are stunned that someone would have taken his life. It leaves us unsettled and wondering what kind of monsters live in our midst.

But in many ways, the death of hills husband and father Brad Shaw was even more shocking. He drowned when a rogue wave pulled him into a rip current off the coast of Aptos. Brad was an avid outdoorsman, which makes this tragedy even harder to accept.

There is no doubt that life is precious — and none of us knows when our time here will end. All we can do is keep these friends in our memory and live each day as if it’s the most important day of our lives.

Email bag: Reader Liz Taylor asks about the fate of a tree in front of the old Montclair Estates. “It looks healthy enough — why is it slated for death by chainsaw?” she writes, noting it’s been marked with “the dreaded red tag”. No worries, here, Liz. The tag should come off, if it hasn’t already. The Montclair Village Association’s Daniel Swafford says the new tenant has offered to “deal with the dying portions of the tree and be a steward — so it will likely remain.” He says a few dying trees in the Village need to be removed, however, keeping in mind that nature and accessibility are high priorities.

Happy campers: The summer camp sign-up frenzy is underway and here’s a new contender to add to the list. Native Montclarion Mike Dobson has started Urban Adventures Camps with a focus on Bay Area day trips. Credentialed instructors take inquisitive kids on trips all around the bay, using iPads to answer questions and enrich the experience. The campers even plan their own routes, using nothing but public transportation to navigate the cities.

Musical notes: Skyline High’s award-winning jazz band plays two shows Monday at Yoshi’s in Oakland. The students are raising money to compete in the upcoming Reno Jazz Festival — a venue where they’ve taken top honors. Skyline is the only public school representing Oakland, so if you want to support them, buy a $10 or $15 ticket to their upcoming show or email Jocelyn Wong-Rolle at wongrolle@hotmail.com to find out how to make a donation.

Local Scene: Monaghan’s on the Hill is the latest local watering hole to let “celebrity” bartenders mix it up for charity. Banker Dale Marie Golden kicked off the fundraising festivities by pouring drinks on Fat Tuesday for Womens Initiative. In the spirit of Mardi Gras, her friends even decorated her car with hundreds of purple beads and masks.


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