VIRTUALLY CONNECTED: Residents who live in one Oakley neighborhood were unable to leave for hours Sunday as police investigated a drive-by shooting.
During the ordeal, The Eye spotted some residents in the locked-down area near Vintage Parkway and Walnut Meadows using social media to keep each other abreast of what was going on.
Samantha Semans said she saw the thread on a neighborhood Facebook group page that there had been a shooting and that the roads were completely blocked off.
"My daughter was sick with pneumonia, and her fever wasn't going down. I had posted something about that on the thread, and several women offered me Tylenol from their house," she said.
Councilwoman Diane Burgis lives near where there still was an "escape" from the neighborhood. She went and bought ibuprofen at the store and walked several blocks to deliver it, Semans said.
"She was a life saver," Semans said.
"A lot of people were needing to get to each other and had concerns. That's the beauty of social media. It can help people to be not quite as scared," Burgis said. "This is a community. We take care of each other."
Richmond's finest: The Eye has a distinct weakness for parties and free food. Hence The Eye's presence at a community reception hosted by For Richmond, one of the city's newest nonprofits. The Jan. 16 gathering at 3109 MacDonald Ave. turned into more than just a very well-catered soiree -- thanks to all the Chevron Corp. dollars that fund For Richmond. It was a brief, writ-large demonstration of all that makes Richmond such a colorful town.
Inside, fresh-faced teens in clean, white button-ups passed out hors d'oeuvres. The Eye snatched a handful of chicken wings from the first kid's tray.
Over the next hour or so, mingling was the activity du jour. Councilman Nat Bates, the city's elder statesman, held court while leaning on a table draped in soft linen, regaling a gaggle of smiling admirers with anecdotes about his recent visit to the Obama White House (which included a kiss from first lady Michelle Obama, he stressed).
Jeffrey Wright, Richmond's loquacious proponent of the banking and mortgage industries, livened up the scene with his staccato delivery and personal panache. At least one member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, a rival political faction, was seen sliding around the room. Perhaps a reconnaissance mission? Who knew? The Eye matriculated through the crowd, exchanging handshakes and small talk.
"Attention," someone boomed over a mic. The noise tamped down to a low roar.
Kyra Worthy, For Richmond's executive director, detailed the nonprofit's accomplishments since it was founded in 2012, which include helping kids go to college and posting cameras along 23rd Street.
Dr. Desmond Carson, wearing his white lab coat from his day job at Doctors Medical Center, urged the crowd to support the hospital, which is losing millions and faces possible closure.
As the party wound down, Councilman and political jester Corky Boozé showed up and ramped up the volume, chewing fat with everybody and slinging verbal darts toward every corner of the room, between mouthfuls of pasta drowned in Alfredo sauce.
Councilman Jim Rogers, the reserved, light-footed anti-Boozé of Richmond's political scene, slid in the back door for a few hellos but was quickly outed by Boozé's thunder rasp.
"Don't let Rogers in, he's liable to stuff all the free food in his pants and sneak out of here," Boozé yelled, laughing. Rogers returned a half-smile before angling his way to the farthest corner of the room.
Oblivious or optimistic?: Although a drought has plunged California into declaring most of the state a natural disaster area, the O.co Coliseum Twitter account (@OdotCoCOLISEUM) recently issued the following announcement: Don't get caught in the rain! Keep the kids warm & dry in a @MonsterJam luxury suite. You can thank PremiumSeating@coliseum.com later!
from dvc to the pro bowl: Aside from taking an occasional glance at Sunday's National Football League Pro Bowl to watch how the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers players are doing, The Eye recently discovered another local reason to watch.
Indianapolis Colts long snapper Matt Overton, an inside linebacker and long snapper at Diablo Valley College in 2003, was selected to the Pro Bowl.
Overton transferred to Western Washington University after one season on the community college gridiron at Viking Stadium in Pleasant Hill. After graduating, he tried out in the NFL and was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in 2007. The San Leandro native and Tracy High School graduate played in the United Football League for a couple stints.
Overton signed with the Colts in 2012.
"The path that I took to get here is pretty incredible. A lot of faith and patience," Overton said on the team's website. "Just a little over two years ago, I was kind of just bouncing around and didn't really think there was a future for me in the NFL.
"To get the Pro Bowl nod is just a huge honor."
As far as DVC historians can tell, Overton is the first from the school's football program to make a Pro Bowl.
Staff writers Paul Burgarino, Robert Rogers and Chris Treadway contributed to this column.