Town Crier: Montclair’s going to the dogs


MONTCLARION: February 5, 2016

It’s not often the mayor of Montclair speaks out. Yet this is no time for our top cat to sit on his paw pads, especially when Montclair is going to the dogs. Stomper the cat has issued a plea asking dog owners to clean up the poop. This is no small matter. Here’s part of a letter that came to authorities last month:

“This morning, before I noticed, I had stepped in a huge pile of dog poop, tracked it in our office (ReMax) and had to do the cleanup inside as well as my shoes. Then when I went outside to look, there were blobs of poop the entire length of our office front.”

This is not an isolated incident. Stomper says there was dog doo not long ago in front of Chase bank in Montclair Village. It was a most unwelcome deposit.

“Some dog owners seem to have a lack of respect or lack of awareness of what their pet is doing,” Stomper says. The mayor cites a number of programs the Montclair Village Association has implemented to aid owners in caring for their canines.

He says that MVA bought and installed four dog poop bag dispensers last year with signage instructing people to clean up after their pets.

“We have also used our newsletter to help alert and educate the public,” says a clearly peeved Stomper.

No longer does the cat hold his tongue on the issue. The mayor’s decree is for dog owners to be aware and responsible. Things clearly have to change in Montclair or the fur will fly.

Other countries: Speaking of dogs, I’ve just returned from Romania, where stray dogs have been a problem for decades. Most of these homeless hounds are friendly, just looking for food and a pat on the head. They tend to hang out near the tram stops, where people leave kibbles and cake and other food scraps. And yes, all those dogs leave their mark on the sidewalks and streets, too.

Crime alert: Smash-and-grab burglaries continue to confound drivers in Oakland. Readers reported two incidents last week in which items had been left in cars and then stolen within minutes. Both happened in daylight on busy village streets. It’s as if evil eyes are everywhere — watching for you to slip up. It takes only a few seconds to break a car window, reach in and grab a backpack, purse or computer. Don’t be one of those people who falls victim to a crime of opportunity.

Post mortem: A Bay Area baby boomer icon, Paul Kantner, died last month at the age of 74. It was four years ago that I interviewed Kantner when Jefferson Starship played at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco. It was, at the time, his 41st year and 2,000th gig with the band he cofounded after Jefferson Airplane dissolved. He told me he was playing more acoustic gigs in his 70s, with a blend of Irish ballads and Civil War songs. But the best line of the interview was when he revealed his true feelings about his impact on music and pop culture. “In the words of a famous writer,” he said, “I couldn’t imagine the universe without me in it.” Now we’ll have to.

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



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