BEAST MODE IN RICHMOND: When The Eye rose from slumber on a recent Saturday morning, he had no idea his quest would soon be complete.
After tracking NFL star, Oakland native and Point Richmond resident Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch for months unsuccessfully ("You see Beast Mode around here?" at Point Richmond watering holes), things were about to change.
The Eye attended the TK Day celebration at Nicholl Park, marking 10 years since the tragic death of former De La Salle High School football star Terrance Kelly and coinciding with the run-up to the Aug. 22 release of "When the Game Stands Tall," the film adaptation of former Contra Costa Times columnist Neil Hayes' 2003 book about coach Bob Ladouceur and De La Salle's record-breaking football program.
It was a great event, with kids tossing footballs and Kelly's parents and old football coaches talking about what an exceptional young man he was and the importance of reducing the kind of street violence that killed him.
At first, The Eye paid little notice to the husky guy in a hooded sweatshirt who was horsing around with a gaggle of kids.
But then, someone on stage mentioned something about "Marshawn." The Eye looked back. Double take. His hoodie had bright green words across his hulking chest. They read "Beast Mode." In 2003, Lynch and Kelly were prep stars from rough neighborhoods destined for greatness.
The Eye bolted toward him, undeterred by the Seattle Seahawks star's well-earned reputation of leeriness toward the media.
The Eye, wearing his standard weekend garb -- Raiders hat, frayed jeans -- approached, and Lynch suddenly stopped his playful shadowboxing with his young admirers.
"You good, boss?" Lynch said, straightening his back.
"Yeah, sorry to interrupt," The Eye sputtered. "Just wanted to say I'm glad to see you out here in the community helping out."
"That's how it is," Lynch replied, nodding.
Handshake with Beast Mode.
The Eye turned, then turned again. Beast Mode fixed his gaze on the hat. "I like the Raiders, that was my team," Lynch said, presumably referring to his days growing up in Oakland.
Raiders fans, hold out hope.
CAN YOU READ THIS NOW?: At the Concord City Council meeting Tuesday night, after members discussed the merits of asking voters to extend a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot, they turned their attention to a far bigger matter -- type fonts and sizes. At issue was the typography to be used for Concord candidate statements in the voter information packet distributed by the Contra Costa County elections department.
Vice Mayor Ron Leone thought that the standard 10-point type used by other cities was too small and hard to read, and several colleagues agreed. Councilman Edi Birsan, believing the increased type size would increase candidate statement costs from $1,525 to $2,261, clearly thought it was a needless expense (those fears were later allayed when the elections office decided there would be no added costs from the larger type size).
"Let me see if I can get this straight," he said. "Rossmoor (voters) can read 10-point font. Lafayette can read a 10-point font. San Ramon can read a 10-point font. Pittsburg. Clayton. But for some reason our citizens can't?"
If that's true, they'll never read this. It's in 9½-point type.
POLITICAL FORTUNES: During a recent interview with this newspaper, Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson shared his first forays into running for office and how they were regarded by his hometown newspaper.
"I was a deputy DA, that was my full-time job," Peterson said, "but I liked politics. So as a side interest, I ran for the Concord City Council in 1989 and lost. I ran in 1991 and lost. And then ran again in 1995 and won. And the headline from the paper at that time was, 'Two-time loser wins.'
"I go, 'Man, I can't get a break from the Contra Costa Times.' Show me some love. Shouldn't it be, 'Perseverance pays off'?'"
Peterson persevered for 15 years on the City Council, serving three terms as Concord mayor. He left the council in 2010 after running, successfully, for district attorney. He will soon begin his second term as DA, unopposed.
Staff writers Robert Rogers, Tom Barnidge and Gary Peterson contributed to this report.