Town Crier: Trucks and other things that squeal in the night

MONTCLARION: April 18, 2014

Late at night — when a blanket of silence cloaks most of the land — there is mischief.

Last Friday it was a car spinning doughnuts in the wide intersection at Skyline and Shepherd Canyon roads. The driver was having his/her own private sideshow according to neighbors who were frightened by the screeching and burning of rubber.

But that’s child’s play compared to what some thugs are doing under cover of darkness. Reader Genny Greene says someone stole the Budget truck she had rented to bring back her mother’s belongings. It was parked outside her hills house when the thieves took it and dumped it on Skyline Drive.

“All the boxes inside were gone, including my grandmother’s china and my mother’s crystal,” she writes, saying hindsight is 20/20. “I never expected the entire truck to be stolen.”

Greene thinks — and I agree — that the rental companies should provide steering wheel locks.

Around town: You’re never too young to learn about leeks. Just ask the kindergartners at Montclair Elementary School, who take a field trip each spring to the neighborhood grocery store. Safeway’s Susan Rodgers has been leading the tours for over a decade, and takes her young charges behind the scenes to see how grocers stock shelves and do fun things like cut and package pork shoulders. Who knows? It may even inspire kids to eat their vegetables.

Behemoth busses: Speaking of Safeway, more than a few people are complaining about the number of Line 18 buses (68 a day) that pull up in front of the store. The AC Transit vehicles are oversized and almost always empty when they rumble into and out of Montclair on an average of every 15 minutes.

Village merchants have asked AC Transit to consider rerouting some of the buses, but it could take some time before management deals with the issue. In the meantime, the road in front of Safeway continues to fracture and sink.

Merchant news: Red Boy Pizza on Leimert had a really nice mixer the other night for the Montclair Village Association.

One of the new merchants I met was Janet Flint (, who helps clutter bugs organize their stuff. Flint says she likes to see people get more enjoyment from their home and office spaces. “Some people want to get very involved in the process and others just let me do my thing and bring them sorted piles for decisions,” she says.

In any case, it can be liberating to finally finish the projects that started years ago.

Take a hike: It’s spring on Mount Diablo, which means the peaks are awash in wildflowers. Showy displays include blankets of red maids, baby blue eyes, golden ear drops and California poppies and columbine. One of the best times to take a hike is next weekend (April 26 and 27), when Mount Diablo State Park celebrates its 40th anniversary. There’ll be all kinds of free programs and events at the summit, including photography hikes, geocaching and stargazing.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at or on the web at



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