RICHMOND KNOWS PARTY TIME: While many people outside Richmond might view the blue-collar town as home to a crime problem and a comically dysfunctional City Council, there is so much more.
Richmond knows how to party.
At the RYSE "Be a Kid" fundraiser late last month, The Eye showed up to buy a ticket to help the youth program and see all the innovative media arts and other programs provided there. However, The Eye forgot his dancing shoes.
Most did not. Soon, the packed building was the scene of a masterful hip-hop performance, as local kids showed off their microphone and beatmaking dexterity and the older folks cut up a rug.
Councilman Jael Myrick, the youngest member of the council, showed off some hip-twisting moves, much to The Eye's amazement.
"I grew up listening to good music," Myrick gasped during a break between songs.
Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia also was on hand, and while he wasn't seen dancing, he did appear to have some on-rhythm head-nodding moves.
Before the lights went down, the center had raised thousands for its programs, and social media was awash in photos of local leaders and youths having a great time.
Rebecca Brown, a resident who recently recovered from a broken leg in time to show off some "Soul Train"-worthy dance skills, reported on Facebook that "Tonight, dancing in my high heels on my recovered leg with the RYSE crew, alongside some of the people who keep RYSE achieving new heights and who nonetheless pushed things aside to ride to my rescue and support my healing; truly, wonderfully, inexpressibly priceless."
PRODUCT PLACEMENT: During a glance at The Eye's Facebook newsfeed, he happened to notice that a friend in pain had an astute observation about some poor product placement.
The picture showed a display at a Martinez Safeway of Icy-Hot and Ben-Gay products.
"Really Safeway, back pain relief on the bottom row," he wrote.
He also pointed out that there was an advertisement for Tylenol on the floor.
"Talk about adding insult to injury, I'm taking my business to Advil," he joked.
LIGHTS OUT: While the two sides at Wednesday's Contra Costa Board of Education hearing on a charter petition for Antioch's Dozier-Libbey Medical High School were at odds most of the night, The Eye saw one thing they could agree on.
One of the strobe lights at the Pleasant Hill Middle School multipurpose room kept flickering throughout the four-hour hearing. The problem eventually was mentioned by one Dozier-Libbey parent.
"I've been sitting here for about an hour and a half now, and that light is driving me crazy," said Jason Todd, drawing a chuckle from the entire crowd.
Additionally, the room went completely dark on several occasions when someone leaned on the light switch.
But the show must go on. At least that's what happened to Dozier-Libbey teacher Tom Gravert.
"It's a special school. It requires special policies. ... It requires the lights to be on," he said, as the room went dark.
Staff writers Paul Burgarino and Robert Rogers contributed to this column.