A TASTE FOR ALLIGATOR: While driving down Pittsburg's Railroad Avenue past a row of eateries, the Eye didn't pay much attention to the usual advertisements for hamburgers or fried chicken.
A window advertisement for alligator, however, caused the The Eye do a double take.
Plan B A Taste of Soul restaurant says it offers "Louisiana Alligator meat." The gator meat is sold as a substitute option on a po' boy sandwich, and in other variations.
Nugget forms of the meat, called "Gator Bites," sell for $8.95.
Curiosity got the best of The Eye to sample the Gator Bites, along with the "Gator Sauce" dipping sauce.
The concoction of hot sauce plus other spices made The Eye's eyes water.
CAPTAIN KANGAROO APB: Heard on the police scanner in Contra Costa County ... A police dispatcher relayed a call to responding officers that a person of interest had a unique look to him.
According to the dispatcher, a caller reported a drunk man, red-faced and looking "Captain Kangaroo-ish." We're assuming he wasn't acting like a children's show host, but merely looked like the floppy-haired character in the long-running show.
project goes to the birds: The sinkhole that opened up on Via Verdi near El Portal Drive in Richmond in April 2010 was monumental, burying two parked cars, among other damage.
The June 15 City Manager's Report contained this environmentally sensitive update:
"A few weeks ago, a pair of Black Phoebes nested near the creek and laid several eggs. The construction team came up with the innovative idea of erecting a temporary straw bale wall in the vicinity of the nest to protect and minimize disturbance to the nest. After receiving concurrence from the California Department of Fish and Game, the on-site biologist oversaw this work. The eggs hatched, and the fledglings recently flew off."
OUT OF TIME: During Monday night's marathon Albany City Council meeting, which stretched into Tuesday, 67 people spoke about the University Village development project. It was obvious from the first speaker that it would be a long night.
Albany resident Maureen Crowley was first to the microphone for the public comment period. Mayor Farid Javandel had just explained that because of the number of speakers lined up, comments would be limited to two minutes each.
Crowley began detailing her objections to the University of California's development plan for the area south of the Gill Tract, including a Whole Foods store. A digital clock in front of Javandel counted off her time. When it reached 0:00, a beeping noise began. The clock began counting up. When it got to 40 seconds, Javandel interrupted Crowley and asked her to wrap up her comments.
Crowley gestured back with her notes and said, "I spent the whole week working on this damn essay!"
She continued with her comments and finished after speaking for three minutes, 45 seconds.
The council approved the project at 1:40 a.m., six hours and one minute after the meeting began and despite the opposition from the clear majority of those who spoke. The Gill Tract has been the site of the Occupy the Farm protest in recent months.
JAIL SEMANTICS: Whatever you want to call the $2.9 million prefabricated steel structure that Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston wants to build to house another 150 inmates at the West Contra Costa Jail in Richmond, don't call it a jail expansion, says one county leader.
"Expansion isn't the right word to use, because it sounds so nefarious," said District Attorney Mark Peterson.
Peterson made his remarks at a crowded meeting Friday to figure out how to spend $19 million the state is providing the county to accommodate the realignment of lower-level offenders from state prisons into county custody.
The sheriff wasn't among the more than 80 people at the Martinez meeting, but his surrogates described the plan for a "sprung" structure on a concrete pad attached to the existing jail. Which reminded Peterson, he said, of the "portable" classrooms he remembers from his school days.
Staff writers Paul Burgarino, Matthias Gafni, Chris Treadway and Correspondent Damin Esper contributed to this column.