Did you hear the one about the pothole that was so big -- it had its own gift shop? I know ... potholes are no joking matter, but I couldn't resist a little David Letterman humor as Oakland prepares for its annual pothole blitz.

According to the Public Works press release, the city will fill literally thousands of potholes between April 29 and June 6. This is a rare chance to have your voice heard, folks, so let's take advantage of it. Phone in the location of your potholes to 510-615-5566 or email them to pwacallcenter@oaklandnet.com. There's even a See-Click-Fix app, if you want to use your smart phone to send photos.

Let's make this event a pothole palooza. We don't want Letterman telling fans they can ride a burro to the bottom of our potholes.

Email bag: The birding has been spectacular this spring in the East Bay and beyond. Reader Rebecca Eisen just got back from the Mexican village of San Miguel de Allende, where she saw vermilions, indigo buntings and a thousand white-faced ibises flying overhead each night.

Closer to home, the longtime birding group Tuesdays 4 the Birds is drawing 30 or 40 birders each week. Anyone interested in joining can grab their hiking clothes and binoculars and drop by. The club meets at 7:30 a.m. each Tuesday at a different East Bay park. On April 23, the group will meet at Quarry Lakes in Fremont, and on April 30, the group will meet at Briones in Martinez. My friend, Sue Oehser, has more information at soehser@earthlink.net.


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Around town: Still no word on why the longtime Lake Veterinary Hospital is suddenly shuttered. Eleanor Dunn, a 25-year vet at the hospital, says the closure came as a surprise to her, too. "We received a text on a Sunday night saying don't come to work the next day," she said. Dunn wants clients to know she is making house calls and looking for a place to set up a practice. You can reach her at 510-206-9477.

Reenie'S reTURN: The talented photographer and author of "My Town Montclair" is reopening a photo studio in the Village. Reenie Raschke has been working out of her home since her rent on La Salle skyrocketed in 2010 but says she "misses being down in the Village amongst all the sweet families and merchants." Everyone is invited to the grand opening from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at 1950 Mountain Blvd, Suite 2. See www.reenieimages.com.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by phone at 510-723-2525, by email at ginnyprior@hotmail.com or on the web at www.ginnyprior.com.