Town Crier: Skateboarders in hills driving motorists crazy

MONTCLARION: October 16, 2015

You’ve heard the campaign slogan “Share the Road”? Since when does it mean sharing with skateboards? Roving bands of boarders have been using the Oakland hills for their own personal thrill park — and it’s driving motorists crazy.

“They’ve got no compunction (like cyclists) about skating into oncoming traffic,” says one reader, who’s seen them several times on Grizzly Peak and Skyline boulevards.

Others have spotted skateboarders flying down Shepherd Canyon Road. One pothole, one rock, one loose bearing is all it takes to lose control. The backward hat isn’t going to protect these skaters and neither are the baggy jeans and T-shirts.

The danger to motorists can’t be discounted, either. It’s stressful enough to share roads with bicyclists, who have every right to be there but are difficult to pass on blind curves. Now we’ve got a new group of free-wheelers to watch out for.

If Darwin’s theory of evolution holds true, hills motorists will someday have four eyes — two in front and two in back. And most likely, heads on a swivel.

Around town: Cal is gearing up for a big Halloween. The 5-1 football team hosts USC on Oct. 31 and fans smell blood in the water and — dare I say — a possible trip to the Rose Bowl. Piedmonter Ed Bartlett was on the team (1948 to 1950) when the Bears went to the Rose Bowl three years in a row under legendary coach Pappy Waldorf. Bartlett is still a big player — part of Pappy’s Boys — a group of Waldorf’s former players who has collectively raised over $16 million for the university.

Squash talk: Speaking of Halloween, Joaquin Miller School has opened its annual pumpkin patch (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Halloween). Guess the Great Pumpkin’s weight and you not only win the bulbous gourd, you get free delivery to the local address of your choice.

In the rural environs, the Canyon School on Pinehurst Road has the perfect “deep forest” setting for a Halloween ball and haunted house from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 24. You can almost see the headless horseman riding through the redwoods (

And you might want to bring your dog to the party Oct. 31 at Jack London Square. There’ll be a whole host of dog-related activities including paw painting, pooch photo booths and even a pet psychic (

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


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