March on Walnut Creek: Fifty years ago on Aug. 28, Martin Luther King Jr. led a march on Washington, D.C., where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

The East Bay contributed to that historic day in their own way as illustrated by the Contra Costa Times' front page article on more than 100, mostly white, marchers walking from Las Lomas High School to City Hall, singing anti-segregation songs.

Photos show marchers holding signs, including one that read: "Walnut Creek U.S.A. -- A Quiet Little Segregated Community." An article announcing the march details a survey that found black families had a "difficult if not impossible" time buying a home in Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Concord. The report found only 15 black families lived in central Contra Costa County.

On the day of the march, Catholic clergy in the East Bay were instructed to preach a sermon on racial justice.

The Contra Costa Times wrote an editorial on the Washington march, calling it "right and necessary" and a "gesture."

"Out of many gestures will come an end to the evils of segregation and second-class citizenship," it stated.

EMINENT DOMAIN AND CASPERS: The battle over whether to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages from lenders and keep residents in their homes is heating up in Richmond.

So the pregame is going to the logical place: Caspers Hot Dogs, aka "City Hall West."


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The mudslinging has reached new levels in Richmond, as Wall Street-backed interests and local Realtor groups have jumped in with both feet to squelch the city's plan to partner with a San Francisco investment firm on the mortgage-seizure plan. If it proceeds, Richmond stands to become the first city in the nation to seize underwater mortgages through eminent domain.

One mailer alleges, "The City of Richmond is making national news with their plans to collude with Wall Street investors and use the power of Eminent Domain to seize underwater mortgages. If realized, this plan would benefit only a tiny portion of the community, while simultaneously damaging the real estate marketplace by making it harder for all citizens to purchase homes in Richmond."

Supporters of the eminent domain plan call those statements blatant lies.

Anti-eminent domain groups, led by local Realtors, are whipping up community support to meet at Caspers Hot Dogs at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday "to get organized prior to the council meeting. Then, we'll march over to the council chambers together and make our voices heard."

A band of people marching from Caspers has historically promised energy and outrage in Richmond.

TEACHING TERMINOLOGY: At the state Board of Education meeting in Sacramento on Wednesday, trustees discussed items laden with education lingo, including "Common Core State Standards," "Local Control Funding Formula" and "Next Generation Science Standards."

But at times, the meeting livened up, when some board members and presenters cut through their usual educator-speak and got their messages across with humor or straight talk.

When board President Michael Kirst asked consultant Janelle Kubinec how the board was going to communicate goals for the state's new funding formula over several months, she answered: "Magic!"

After another speaker gave a presentation about middle school science, Kirst asked: "Who are you?" She responded: "I'm Cheryl Tiegs in disguise."

Trustee Patricia Rucker said she uses the term "rastling" over the issues instead of "wrestling" to describe the science curriculum debate.

"I'm from the South," she said. "And rastling is a lot dirtier."

"Reasonable Doubt at a Reasonable Price": The recent trial of ex-Danville cop Stephen Tanabe, convicted of accepting payment for participation in jailed private investigator Christopher Butler's scheme to set up men for drunken driving arrests, was filled with salacious testimony.

But even the most juicy accounts of Butler's failed (and totally fake) reality TV show about his "PI Moms and their relationships to each other" and his team of temptresses who tried to get men blasted and behind the wheel paled in entertainment value to the giggle-inducing courtroom antics of Tanabe's Vallejo-based defense attorney, Tim Pori.

Pori, whose motto is "reasonable doubt at a reasonable price," bickered and badgered with a self-deprecating passion that lent context to last year's news report of him being jailed by an Alameda County judge for refusing to bend on a scheduling conflict.

Even more colorful is his blog, "Legal Advice For Stupid Criminals," where he writes about getting high and arrested in his youth. Check it out at www.timpori.com.

Staff writers Matthias Gafni, Robert Rogers, Theresa Harrington and Malaika Fraley contributed this column.