Town Crier: Oakland hills’ sunset sounds of animals warm the heart


MONTCLARION: March 18, 2015

The moon must be sending out signals. We’ve just finished hiking the East Bay MUD trail and are sipping some wine in the twilight.

A quiet evening? Hardly. High-pitched howls are punctuating our soft conversation. And now there are yowwws and a yip in the mix. And the occasional low, mournful moo.

The coyote call at sunset is soul-stirring. When a cow joins in, it’s comical. But aren’t we lucky to have these sounds as part of our symphony after dark? It’s why many of us move from the city. We’d rather hear the siren call of an animal than the siren call of a cop car.

Animal tales: Speaking of animals, The Oakland Zoo held a talk on mountain lions this week. Pumas are losing Bay Area habitat as we humans continue to build on ridge tops and in canyons. Luckily, an alliance of experts is working to protect California’s mountain lions. Check out this website for more information: http://www.californiatrail.org/partner.html.

Around town: Me, a bus basher? If it’s the AC Transit number 18, then I’m guilty as charged. I see no need for this behemoth bus to rumble through Montclair 68 times a day. And yes, I’ve ridden the bus — it leaves Montclair empty and makes a loop through downtown Oakland and Berkeley, picking up more and more passengers as it reaches the dense urban areas. My contention is we don’t need it coming through Montclair every 15 minutes. The buses back up to the point where there’s almost always one motoring in front of Safeway, creating a traffic hazard.

But this reader (who doesn’t want her name mentioned) takes me to task: “What is your real point? That we shouldn’t have a bus here? It is a perpetual struggle to get people to use public transportation, and your comments on the subject (again) are not helpful.” Or are they? Reader Sonia Orvik says she, for one, agrees with my observation that these big buses are like bulls in a china shop rumbling through the village so frequently.

“I was pulling out of a parking space in front of Starbucks when the bus came barreling toward me,” she writes. “The bus driver saw me coming out but did not put on his breaks, nor did he slow down for me.” Orvik says she quickly put the car in reverse, avoiding a “very bad accident.”

Flapjack fundraiser: The annual Boy Scout Troop 6 Pancake Breakfast is this Sunday from 8 a.m. until noon in the Corpus Christi School gym. It’s held every year in memory of outdoorsman and Scout leader Brad Shaw. The breakfast is yummy, and the proceeds help the troop, so please try to make it if you can.

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