Town Crier: Scenic hills road becomes dumping ground


MONTCLARION: October 27, 2016

The old logging trail meanders through the forest, sun streaming through the redwoods like an enchanted meadow. The road ascends to a series of switchbacks, each one dramatic as it traverses the mountain in narrow swaths of roadway with occasional pullouts for motorists and weary bicyclists. And dumpers.

Scenic Pinehurst Road is being used as a personal garbage dump, and the problem is growing. As more motorists discover this shortcut between the Oakland hills and Moraga, more trash seems to appear. A sofa, a mattress, a mound of misplaced brush. And bags of somebody’s garbage, containing god knows what.

Some of this stuff is coming from unsuspecting homeowners who pay to have things hauled away. If the hauler isn’t legitimate, your things might end up along a rural road, instead of the dump. The best advice? Always ask for a receipt to show proof that your waste was dumped properly.

Around town: Piedmont Pines residents Ellen and Patrick Becherer were all smiles recently at a wine country fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. They got to schmooze with Bill Clinton at the home of Kathryn and Craig Hall of Hall Wines. (Kathryn Hall was U.S. Ambassador to Austria and was appointed by President Clinton.) And yes, the former president is every bit as personable as he appears to be — the kind of guy you’d like to have a drink with, despite your political bent.

Lil’ pumpkins: Is there anything cuter than a kid in a costume? How about dozens of kids, and even some dogs dressing up for one of Montclair’s most beloved events. The Lion’s Club Halloween parade steps off at 3 p.m. Oct. 28 from the Bank of America building. Twenty years ago, I dressed my kids as honeybees, and the photos still bring a smile. But do kids even know what bees look like anymore? Look for more superheroes this year as kids fantasize about saving the planet.

Speaking of memories, reader Bennett Hall tells me his Oakland history Facebook pages now has 10,000 members at Check out the site for some high resolution images shot the day after the Oakland firestorm.

Leaf peeping: Who says we don’t have fall colors like the Midwest and New England? You just have to know where to go. Moraga and Orinda have brilliant stands of red maples this week and farther north, leaf peeper John Poimiroo’s “Peak of the Week” is the June Lake Loop and Hope Valley “where a dusting of snow on Sierra peaks provides bright and beautiful contrast to brilliant stands of lime, yellow, orange and red aspen.” Check out the photos his leaf watcher’s network captures at

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


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