TIME TO KILL: The Eye hopes you caught last week's front-page story about naming roads and bridges after people. In case you didn't, or you wished it had been longer, we found this anecdote on the cutting room floor.
It comes from Rep. George Miller, for whom the northbound span of the Benicia Bridge is named. The second span -- the first was named for Miller's father, a longtime state legislator -- alleviated a chronic traffic bottleneck. While Miller takes no credit for improved traffic flow, he certainly enjoys its benefits.
"Remember how bad that used to get on weekends?" he asked. "It was terrible. For a while after the new (span) opened, I was showing up early at appointments in Solano County. I'd forget there was no backup. I was arriving an hour early.
"I didn't want it to look like I was that excited to take the meeting, so I was walking around the block, or going somewhere for a burger."
CITY COUNCIL SCUFFLE: A long-running battle over a proposed bike park got a little physical at a Lafayette City Council meeting last week when two residents scuffled over a T-shirt handed out by a bike park supporter.
The dust-up happened when a man apparently snatched a T-shirt emblazoned with a silk-screened BMX rider off the shoulder of a woman who had accepted the free garment. The enraged resident -- who is a bike park opponent -- and others near her immediately flagged down Lafayette police Chief Eric Christensen, who was sitting nearby. After listening to the accusations, Christensen took the T-shirt snatcher -- a bike park supporter -- and his young son outside for a little chat before returning to their seats.
The Eye is happy to report that the rest of the meeting went on without a brawl -- er, hitch.
Married to his wife, and to his work: May 4 was Concord Vice Mayor Tim Grayson's 25th wedding anniversary. But he wasn't spending that evening at a fancy restaurant with his beloved -- instead, he was at the City Council dais, leading a council meeting in the absence of Mayor Dan Helix, who is recovering from hip surgery.
At that meeting, Grayson complimented his wife for taking his civic duty in graceful stride. Afterward, he said he made up for his absence that evening with a series of surprises for her earlier that day.
OLDEST NO MORE: The National Park Service has to be unique among employers.
For several years, Betty Reid Soskin of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond has carried the title of the oldest active ranger in the park service.
Soskin, 91, seemed in no danger of losing her title -- until now. It seems the park service hired a 98-year-old as a ranger in the maintenance division, meaning Soskin is now the second-oldest active ranger and the oldest "interpretive ranger."
Soskin, whose tours of sites in Richmond are a popular feature of the Rosie the Riveter park, took the news of her changed status with good humor, posting the following June 7 on her Facebook page:
"Just learned from Martha Lee that I've lost my title as the NPS's oldest park ranger. They just hired a 98 year-old man in the maintenance division. I'm demoted to the 'oldest interpretive park ranger.' This should give all the senior centers in the country a boost, right? It's never too late. Keep workin' on those résumés, guys!"
We wonder whether the new 98-year-old ranger has a Facebook page.
A real gutter-ball move: The Walnut Creek Police Department log over the past few weeks has had its share of "normal" calls -- stolen vehicles, break-in burglaries, shoplifting at Broadway Plaza -- but one May 29 entry was unusual.
An unfortunate victim reported his lucky bowling ball -- one with which he bowled an almost-perfect game -- was stolen from his car parked in the 1300 block of Locust Street. The Eye hopes the thief achieves endless 7-10 splits ...
STANDING ROOM ONLY: During the 2013 commencement ceremony at Pittsburg High School on Wednesday, it became apparent that there were not enough chairs on the football field for all the graduates. Thinking quickly, members of the faculty got up from their chairs and offered them to the graduates, allowing more rows to be added as the last of the procession entered Pirates Stadium.
Principal Todd Whitmire later proudly announced during the ceremony that it was Pittsburg High's largest graduating class.
Staff writers Gary Peterson, Chris Treadway and Susan Pollard and Correspondents Dana Guzzetti and Danielle McNamara contributed to this column.