DUBLIN MEET DUBLIN: Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti had a good excuse for missing his town's big St. Patrick's Day parade and festival last week. He was doing the same events in Dublin, Ireland, along with other mayors from other Dublins in America.
Sbranti got an honored place walking in the big Irish parade alongside Dublin mayors from Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The mayors also made a joint visit to Dublin's famous Guinness brewery along with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland.
Sbranti, who paid for the four-day trip out of personal and campaign funds, called it the trip of a lifetime to soak up Irish culture and history and visit Bray, Dublin's sister city.
But he acknowledged that he hit one diplomatic rough spot. "They gave me a bad time," Sbranti recalled," for rooting for Italy in the televised rugby game between Italy and Ireland."
Junkyard or gemyard?: Eyes are always trained on the never-dull Richmond Councilman Corky Boozé, especially since news broke that the city is demanding that he clean up a junk-strewed property to which he is linked.
The city's attorneys say 22 Carlson Blvd. is a public nuisance and is being maintained in violation of a court order. Boozé disputes their conclusions but does concede that his metal fence is peppered with bullet holes.
Boozé holds a business license for "auto towing, storage, repair, restoration/painting and sales."
The Eye has taken several peeks at the 28,000-square-foot lot. There's a lot of rusty chassis there, but it doesn't appear that any "restoration" is on the agenda. On Thursday, The Eye went on a reconnaissance mission, acting on tips that Boozé was on site hauling away rust buckets ahead of an inspection.
Instead, The Eye spotted Boozé, who appeared to be giving City Prosecutor Trisha Aljoe and a code enforcement officer a guided tour of his yard, which resembles a 21st-century version of Sanford and Son's Salvage. The Eye couldn't decipher the conversation, but Aljoe appeared nonplused.
In an email statement, Aljoe said she has "confirmed that the responsible parties are actively abating the violations. ... We will continue to closely monitor and conduct compliance inspections on an ongoing basis until all violations have been abated."
ABOVE AND BEYOND: At the 2013 Orinda Citizen of the Year dinner March 15, Master of Ceremonies Steve Glazer and others spent the evening giving reasons why Pat Rudebusch was awarded by voters with three terms on the school board, and why she was worthy of the annual "Citizen" honor. Some reasons were based on true history; some, for comic effect, clearly weren't. Others blurred the line.
One example of the latter was that Rudebusch once took part in a school board meeting while on a vacation in Paris, calling in at what was an ungodly hour in Paris, eight hours later than Pacific time.
"And to satisfy the requirements of the Brown Act," the open public meeting law, "she kept the door of her hotel room open," Glazer joked.
He also presented a David Letterman-style list of reasons why some people didn't vote her in any of her elections. One reason: "She wants to put high-rise schools in downtown Orinda." In a city where building heights are a topic of lively, at times divisive conversation, this got a big laugh.
CHANGING THE TONE: After 31 public employees who were displeased with their current contracts had bombarded the Contra Costa County supervisors earlier this month with complaints about salaries and benefits, a soft-spoken female accounting manager stepped to the microphone and changed the tenor of the room.
First, she explained calmly, it's never wise to underpay an accountant, because an accountant is in a position to make sure all the numbers add up.
Second, she wished the supervisors wisdom in satisfying the needs of all the unhappy people in the room.
"God help you," she said, "you have a big responsibility. I've been praying for you."
Chairman Federal Glover, under withering attack until then, smiled warmly and said he'd be thankful for any divine intervention.
Staff writers Denis Cuff, Robert Rogers, Sam Richards and Tom Barnidge contributed to this column.