in search of 'beast mode': Soon after the Seattle Seahawks secured their NFC Championship game victory over the San Francisco 49ers, The Eye's phone buzzed with text messages. "Did you know Seattle's Marshawn Lynch lives in Point Richmond?" a prominent local politician wrote. The Eye had heard for months the rumor that Lynch, nicknamed "Beast Mode" for his ferocious running style, lived in the upscale Brickyard Cove neighborhood of Point Richmond.

With Super Bowl week upon us, The Eye went on the hunt for Beast Mode. What followed was a series of visits to local Point Richmond hangouts and casual inquiries into Lynch's whereabouts. At first, the hunt came up empty. No posters or signs celebrating Lynch's accomplishments. At lunch at Little Louie's Cafe & Deli, no one who was asked knew they had a famous, football-toting neighbor.

Starbucks was another strikeout. Xtreme Pizza came up empty, too. But then, over a pint of beer at the Up & Under Pub and Grill, The Eye struck gold. The bartender said Lynch was a frequent topic of conversation among the bar's denizens. There were even rumors, unsubstantiated, that he had been seen in the neighborhood.

In the end, it was clear that Lynch, known for his media-shy persona, is every bit as elusive at home as he is on the football field.

EMU FOR ADOPTION: An uncommon guest has checked into Contra Costa Animal Services, where it is enjoying private quarters and customized meals.


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The Eye can't say "he" or "she" because no one knows the sex of the emu that county animal control officers plucked from Bethel Island recently after it strutted onto a resident's property.

Nor does the approximately 4-foot-tall bird have a microchip or other identifying information on it. And emus aren't known for their distinctive markings.

"They all pretty much look the same," Lt. Nancy Anderson said.

Officers took the wayward fowl to the shelter's barn, where several horses also have found temporary lodging; Edgy Emu ended up in a stall by itself when the presence of the large animals ruffled its feathers. Since taking up residence, it has been pecking at provisions specifically formulated for emus that the county obtained from a feed store.

Because no one claimed the bird within three days, it now legally belongs to the county, Anderson said. Freeing the emu from its confines will cost a $100 impound fee as well as a board and care fee of $29 per day. Alternatively, Anderson said the county would consider handing it over to a nonprofit animal rescue group that knows how to care for emus if the organization is registered with Animal Services.

FROM THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR: Retired Army Maj. Gen. Ron Lowe, subject of the most recent East Bay Profile, left a mark on a lot of people during his 25 years of working two careers -- one with the phone company, and the other in the Army Reserves. Here's one story The Eye found on the cutting-room floor.

It comes from Mike Slattengren, who worked at the phone company with Lowe and, like Lowe, is a Vietnam veteran.

"I tell a story about working with Ron," Slattengren said. "We were at a veterans meeting a few months ago. I had a pencil and paper, and someone said, 'I forgot paper.' I learned to be prepared from Ron. I walked into a meeting once without paper or a pencil, and he told me, 'You must think I don't have anything to say worth writing down.'"

Staff writers Robert Rogers, Rowena Coetsee and Gary Peterson contributed to this column.