ROSIE the riveter LIVES ON: The familiar "We Can Do It" poster from World War II featuring a muscle-flexing woman is a familiar site in Richmond as the mascot of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, which opened its visitor center Saturday.
But the Rosie image is being adapted to other uses. Imagine the icon holding a cellphone or a bouquet of flowers or touting savings on car rentals and the motor club.
Rosie is now a spokesmodel for Union Plus, benefits provider for the AFL-CIO, which has a "Where is Rosie the Riveter?" campaign that offers free Rosie the Riveter cutouts that can be downloaded, printed and used in snapshots from "vacations or staycations."
Unlike the original painting used for the wartime poster, the cutouts feature Rosie's full body and make her look as if she's walking like an Egyptian to work, her never-before-seen left hand clutching a lunch pail. See the downloadable Rosie -- who apparently prefers AT&T service -- for yourself at www.unionplus.org/rosie.
SPELL-CHECK: The Eye discovered a couple spelling gaffes recently on signs advertising local businesses that made him wince and consider whether they should be passed along to Jay Leno.
An Antioch Chevron carwash tells drivers:
"For Best Drying Result: Exit Slowly Throw Dryer."
Hmm. The Eye doesn't think that chucking the machinery is the best way to dry a car. Guessing they meant "Through Dryer."
The sign also refers to windshield wipers as "Wipes."
Meanwhile, out in Tracy, Walmart has a large sign on the front of its store alerting customers that "Our Tracy Walmart is growning." We're guessing that made some high school English teachers groan.
The sign goes on to inform customers that groceries are coming in 2012 and that the store is open 24 hours.
That should provide plenty of time for Walmart brass to spell-check future signs.
AWKWARD MOMENT: Few things typically rattle Antioch Mayor Jim Davis during council meetings, but a comment made by one resident that was quickly taken out of context momentarily flustered the mayor.
During the public comment portion of Tuesday's meeting, Carol Thomas told the council about the hot conditions in her apartment at Hudson Townhouse Manor and the need for air conditioning. After she spoke, Davis assured Thomas and other Hudson residents the city would get to the bottom of it.
In an effort to show the sweltering conditions and need for quick action, Thomas said to Davis from her seat: "Come spend the night with me."
The crowd, the City Council and an embarrassed Davis burst into laughter.
"Are you OK?" Councilman Brian Kalinowski said.
Councilman Gary Agopian chimed in: "Yeah, you look a little red right now."
Davis tried to maintain decorum but kept smiling and cracked a joke at his own expense.
"You would have to take that up with my wife, who's standing in the back," he said.
a messy problem: Richmond's sewage system has been a high-cost, low-performance headache for residents for years, and it looks as if it could get worse before it gets better.
"It's like déjà vu all over again," Richmond Councilman Tom Butt said. "Ten years ago, all the experts said we had a plan with low costs and no odors, and that turned out to be bad information."
The City Council spent more than four hours Tuesday mulling a set of what everyone agreed were bad -- but necessary -- choices.
The city's wastewater treatment facility, built in 1953, is smelly, costly, prone to breakdowns and located near the Point Richmond neighborhood and an elementary school.
Staff presented the city with four options to fix its sewage systems, all involving huge costs and years of development.
"For the next four or five years, I just expect more of the same, which is not good," Butt said.
The council voted unanimously to take the lowest-cost option, a $120 million plan to build a 36-inch diameter pipeline through parts of the city that would deliver wastewater to East Bay Municipal Utility District's main treatment plant in Oakland. The plan would also decommission the city's facility, effectively ending Richmond's checkered history in wastewater treatment.
Staff is expected to bring an implementation plan back to the council later this year. The money would have to be raised by floating a bond, and could cost residents $200 to $300 more annually in sewer bills, staff said.
"These costs to residents are going to be a huge political issue," Butt said.
Staff writers Chris Treadway, Paul Burgarino and Craig Lazzeretti and corre-spondent Robert Rogers contributed to this report.