Town Crier: Bay Area moms, put your feet up this weekend

MONTCLARION: May 10, 2012

It’s Mother’s Day Weekend. That’s right — we do way too much work to be honored on just one day — we deserve a long weekend like Washington and Lincoln.

They ran the country, but we run companies, households, churches and schools. Let’s put our feet up this weekend and, with any luck, we’ll come out of it with a pedicure and a foot massage.

Good neighbors: By now, you’ve probably heard the story of George and Alfred Janske, brothers who lost their family home to foreclosure this spring. Their misfortune was made more poignant by the fact that they were grazed by lightening as they took refuge in a campsite at Mt. Diablo State Park, the only place they could afford. Since the story came out in our newspapers, Glenview neighbors have raised more than $10,000, and organizer Heather Reloj has put together a fundraiser at Pacific Coast Brewing Company (906 Washington in Old Oakland) from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 20.

“This grass roots event is being used to keep the Janske family in our community, where they belong,” says Reloj. Music will be provided by the Gold Diggers, “a rocking twang trio that will have people tapping their feet and tossing a few brews back.” Contributions can also be made online at

Meanwhile, another tragedy has set our community in motion. I’ve written about the untimelydeath of father and friend, Brad Shaw, who drowned in a February fishing accident. Friends are hosting a benefit barbecue at Corpus Christi School from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. May 12. They’ve come up with some great auction items, too, such as A’s and Giants tickets and vacation rentals at Sea Ranch, San Diego and Clear Lake. The proceeds go to the Shaw Education Fund, and everyone is invited. For more information, contact Casey Bates at

Email bag: If you’re in a book club or looking for a good local author, Oakland journalist Regan McMahon recommends Berkeley’s Joe Di Prisco. He recently read from his new novel “All for Now” at A Great Good Place for Books. The who-dunnit takes place almost entirely in the afterlife, as a Catholic Brother tries to unravel a clergy sex abuse case. Serious stuff — but McMahon calls the story “intriguing, offbeat and even wryly funny.”

Little bits: Little soaps and shampoos — the kind you get in hotels — make the perfect hygiene kits for shelters. Just ask the student council at Joaquin Miller School. The kids put together 60 toiletry kits recently for the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond. It’s the first thing the guests get at the mission — a little something that shows people care.

Fit fad: The early-morning boot camps are more popular than ever at Lake Merritt these days. Or should I say bootie camps? It’s mostly women who pack these 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. classes that focus on everything from weights and core work to running up and down nearby stairs. Sunrise workouts — Great way to get rid of your winter body.



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