MEAT'S NOT GREEN: Two members of PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, drew plenty of attention Monday for wearing green on St. Patrick's Day in downtown Walnut Creek.
Dressed wearing only strategically placed faux lettuce leaves, PETA's "Lettuce Ladies," Molly Vasa Bertolucci, of Berkeley, and Sherisa Andersen, of Oakland, distributed the group's "Meat's Not Green" leaflets and vegan recipes to lunchtime shoppers.
The Lettuce Ladies' point? Americans can help the environment by chucking meat, eggs and dairy products and going vegan. The beautiful California weather was a welcome change for the Lettuce Ladies, who PETA rep Lindsay Rajt said had to rotate taking turns wearing their lettuce wraps to avoid frostbite while demonstrating earlier this year in Minnesota.
PACKED HOUSE: Normally, a handful of people in attendance qualifies as a big crowd at Bradford Reclamation District 2059 meetings. Needless to say, board members were flabbergasted when more than 125 people packed into the tiny Bethel Island office Tuesday morning. The crowd spilled outside into the parking lot.
The reason: Department of Water Resources officials were discussing the potential installation of a temporary dam at False River.
Reclamation district officials quickly adjusted on the fly to the crowd, finding open space at the Scout Hall three blocks away.
MUCH ADO ABOUT 'I DO': At a recent San Ramon City Council meeting, Harry Sachs and other council members extolled the virtues of having a new City Hall that would be "the people's building," open to all kinds of public uses.
Its planned majestic glass rotunda could be ideal for weddings, he said.
After all, council members Dave Hudson and Bill Clarkson sometimes perform weddings in the current City Hall, Sachs said, noting: "I'd like to do that some time."
To which one of the council members said, encouragingly: "You'd be great at it."
But Sachs paused, and with just the proper amount of self-deprecation, said he might not have the right stuff for such a solemn and important job:
"They might want an annulment," he quipped.
PG&E SPIE?: As part of its gas-line inspection and repair process -- the Pipeline Pathways Project -- PG&E has indicated that it plans to fell hundreds of trees on its right of way in the East Bay, without need of local approval.
So The Eye was intrigued to learn that representatives from 14 Contra Costa cities, plus Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore, gathered Friday morning at Walnut Creek City Hall to discuss the merits of a multijurisdictional response to this disregard for municipal authority.
But after poking its head into the meeting room in hopes of learning officials' plans, The Eye was politely asked to buzz off. The meeting was closed to the public. You can't be too careful about spies when dealing with an adversary as powerful as PG&E.
Grumpy older councilmen: Richmond's City Council is always a place where manners are in short supply, but in recent weeks the orneriness has reached new heights. On March 4, Councilman Tom Butt, 70, yelled at Mayor Gayle McLaughlin to "shut up" his council rival Corky Boozé, 70, who was on another of his patented soliloquies. On March 18, with the council chamber packed with construction trade union reps who bawdily applauded every speaker who urged the council to greenlight a big project at the Chevron Richmond refinery, Butt told McLaughlin to order the audience to stop -- a directive that was met with lusty boos. McLaughlin then ordered the chamber cleared, and more than 200 people were relegated to the lobby. They soon came back, as McLaughlin was overruled by a 4-3 vote.
Councilman Nat Bates, 81, took to his email forum early the next morning, calling the move to clear the chamber a "travesty of justice and a clear violation of the First Amendment right."
Butt responded on his own e-forum: "Routine applause is a slippery slope that often devolves into verbal expressions that feed on each other as well as contests between rival factions."
The ill-will persists.
Staff writers Susan Pollard, Paul Burgarino, Joyce Tsai, Tom Barnidge and Robert Rogers contributed to this column.