Town Crier: Corpus Christi first-grader helping spread kindness


Move over, Pet Rocks. Seven-year-old Alia Hsu is about to ‘one-up’ the once popular gag gift with her own crafty offering – the Rainbow Rock Project. The Corpus Christi School first grader has sold well over 700 rocks in her first two weeks of business. Her mission? To spread happiness throughout the land.

“I started painting rainbow rocks to leave outdoors as a surprise for people to find,” Hsu says. “I felt really good about spreading kindness through my favorite thing to draw — rainbows.”

Her mom, Agnes, who has her own creative children’s business, suggested the rocks could be painted for a good cause. The pair set up a website and donation button. For a $1 donation, you can sponsor a stone that is painted and sealed so the rainbow stays fresh. Once the sealant is dry, the rock magically turns into a rolling stone.

“For each rock I sell, I will place it out in the ‘universe’ for someone to find and bring a smile to their face,” Hsu says. “I will leave them in places we visit — on the beach, park benches, on hiking trails, even the Golden Gate Bridge.”

And the money she raises will go to the local homeless shelter — Bay Area Rescue Mission. It’s a rock-solid plan that leaves no stone unturned. For more information and to sponsor a rainbow rock, see

Around town: A few months ago, I wrote about the new retail and restaurant project planned for Montclair Village. The development at 1980 Mountain Blvd. will have ground-floor space for up to three retailers, a second floor for retail and/or office tenants and a rooftop restaurant with 360-degree views. If you want to learn more and see the architectural plans, log onto

Party venue: Thanks to reader Susan Edelman for the tip on Oakland’s Warehouse 416. She says it’s a great space where you can bring food, entertainment, alcohol — even multimedia slideshows. One of the recent Warehouse 416 parties was Barb Christianson’s event to celebrate an enviable achievement — the completion of 50 marathons in 50 states. Barb is in health education at Kaiser Oakland. You could say she walks the walk. (Or should I say runs the run?)

Happy holidays: Talk about the Christmas spirit. As I write this column, the holiday decorations are still up in Montclair Village. It’s not a problem for me. I live on a street where many of us keep our holiday lights on through winter. But it will seem a little strange if tinsel and wreaths are adorning the village when the Montclair Lions Club has its annual Easter egg hunt next month. Just saying ….

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at or on the web at http://www.”



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