Home NEWS Local Scene Burned Out Burners And The Orphans Of Divorce

Burned Out Burners And The Orphans Of Divorce


Our title today bears a couple of good names for a local rock band if not for our daily scribble and general observation on Life in The Numbers.

Readers have taken note of the apparent upswing in traffic mishaps in our area – some with fatal consequences – and local police are doing what they can to calm the ebb and flow of high-powered metal flying around our local roads and freeways. Police, as usual, find themselves taking fire from both ends of the spectrum – battered for aggressive ticketing and calming campaigns on one hand and, ironically, for not doing enough to address the issue on the other.

The upshot is that there are more of you/us out there than there are police and CHP officers on a given shift and, for some reason, there has been an noticeable uptick in poor driving and resultant mayhem on our roadways.

What’s to blame? We point, half-kiddingly, to those Fast & Furious comedies – which have half-convinced people that cars really can fly and no one gets hurt when they slip their Maserati under an 18-wheeler.

Speaking of traffic, there was lots of it in the mountains Monday as Burned Out Burning Man celebrants streamed out of Nevada and back home to Silicon Valley (what is it with sand and these people, anyway?). Locals caught in the resultant traffic jam noted the creative, rattletrap nature of some of the vehicles in the Burning Man Caravan and quietly made notes to check out the festival next year.

Speaking of an end to the party, NEWS24/680 receives frequent tales of formerly happy marriages dissolving into knife-fight legal battles over children (so sorry), property, art collections (even sorrier), cars and, sniff, favored pets. Unless these dissolutions are paraded on the public stage we leave them alone and wish participants the best but we’ve also noticed an offshoot of the D.I.V.O.R.C.E. bloodsport: the Orphans Of Divorce Movement.

Unrelated to the woes suffered by children impacted by divorcing parents – which we know is significant and, again, our sympathies – the Orphans we’re talking about are newly liberated adults shaking off former participation in weekend soccer parties and sleepovers and celebrating, with a capital “C” – their regained freedom; hooking up with abandon, taking trips to exotic locales in friendly, communal groups and melting down their wedding bands for the gold content. All mention of monogamy and matrimony is verboten and the watchword, we’re told, is to find and build a happy new life. And if you find someone to do that with along the way, that’s cool, but in the meantime the party light is lit.

If you’re a member of the Orphans, drop us a note and let us know how things are going for you.

And we know how things are going for the poor guys who happen to have trucks similar to one believed used by a man reportedly “annoying children” in Moraga Tuesday. Parents, understandably annoyed themselves about the incident, have been calling down the thunder on men who happen to look like the person described by two girls on Camino Pablo and who happen to have a truck matching the given description. Surprisingly, or perhaps not if you’re a grizzled old hand who has seen this before, there are lots of men and trucks out there who happen to meet that description and they are paying a price as police – duty-bound and never happy with child annoyers – check them out.

So, a cautionary word – if you’re going to drop a dime on someone you think is suspicious, a process not unlike the so-called “SWATting” phenomena – you may want to watch your target a little while to make sure they’re actually doing someone wrong before you call them in. It saves valuable police time, not to mention wear and tear on a person’s nerves when the officers light them up.

Okay? Party on, Orphans. Be safe, kids. Don’t hit anyone, drivers. Let’s see what happens today…



  1. marriage works really well for some people. others not so much. searching for a happy life, no matter what that means to you, is the most important thing you can do. If being single with lots of friends makes you a happy person I am happy for you!

  2. The last thing my former bride said to me as the papers were signed and I squeaked out of the house with all the things her lawyer never found out about was: You’ll regret this!!

    It’s just another in the long list of things she was wrong about.

  3. If any of the orphans are interested I’d be happy to supply a list of bars where the newly divorced hang. They seem to be having more fun now I think.

  4. Happily married thanks but I know lots of people who are just faking it and going through the motions until the kids hit college. Its really sad. People just change and grow apart. It does happen. We’re still together and I don’t see that changing soon – that I know of ha ha! – but its different for everyone and we hope everyone finds what is right for them.

  5. That cake pretty much says it all – she got the house and the animals and the kids. I got to keep my tux but for a minute I thought she would ask for that too. I’m single and I’m happy and I’m going to stay that way. The secret? Girlfriends. LOTS of girlfriends.

  6. 4:57 pm Good point Tim. I didn’t notice that. She (on the cake) got everything!
    I am still married. Next victim of the Cake Cleaver? Probably not. My wife still thinks I can be fixed. No not FIXED!. She thinks my behaviors can be fixed.

  7. Anyone get surprised by a Lafayette police officer who happens to be on a motorcycle so you can’t seem him before he nails you because he doesn’t liked how you stopped or how you were driving in your neighborhood? One of the joys that both my wife and I have gotten to experience a couple months apart. Now I worry about the lane splitters on the freeways and the cops off the freeways when it comes to motorcycles. Maybe one day I will get a be careful warning and thank you for being a tax paying resident from a local cop here like every where else I have lived.

  8. Tim E: I feel your pain. Spouse got a ticket for a rolling stop on a “T” intersection at 11 pm. You can look down the length of that “T” to almost the state of Nevada so there was zero safety risk. It was just annoying. If they want to do something real, I wish they would haunt some school buses in the morning and give tickets to those who pass despite the flashing lights and stop sign.

    • Getting lots of offline comments regarding driving/parking-pickup practices around local schools. Police – outnumbered – appear to be addressing issue on a rotational basis. We’re interested in the topic. Apparently some parents are getting really creative when it comes to dropping off/picking up their children.

  9. Good topic, Mr. News. The powers that be decided to keep developing, and one of the costs of that to the rest of us is traffic and congestion. I think its time for the respective councils and police to kick up the priority of traffic control because the streets were not designed for this. School bell times are an obvious place to start. Trying to drop off your kid at some schools in the morning is just too challenging. Spouse reports near misses with kids crossing the street filled with distracted drivers and sometimes poorly marked crosswalks. We need to station actual people, either police or specially hired traffic control personnel, to help at some schools. There is a cost to development, and the councils working with the police need to address the problems they’ve created.

  10. Hi. You hooked me with the headline but I see we’re also talking about traffic around local schools. There has been a definite increase in by parents picking up and dropping off at Rheem Elementary in recent years and it is getting worse with no sign of let up. Parents fed up with the traffic jams at the approach to the school must have google mapped the area because they have are using Ascot Court as an alternate route and have brought gridlock there during pickup and drop off times. I have often been forced to idle in the street when I come home to find a mom in my assigned spot wating for little Timmy. How can we keep adding homes to the area if local school are already packed and the spillover impacts surrounding neighborhoods?

  11. Kate: I wish I had a dollar for every time I complained here about the hidden costs of development, only to have someone tell me about the US Constitutional right of people to buy and develop as much as they want. The tone is that I must be anti-American or a socialist to question development. I believe the current development on Rheem Blvd will add to your congestion issues. The pear orchard development and whatever they are doing near Sanders ranch will not impact Rheem, but will impact other elementary schools.

  12. Single is working for me for now. Love and appreciate my married friends. We all go through bad times and good times and it’s how we react to those pressures and strains that makes us who we are. (Love that cake picture though!)

  13. Statistics show married men are the happiest. Then single women. Then married women. Then single men. I’m happily married (our kids are grown), but sadly, it’s hardly the norm for women. Men benefit more from marriage. And with women having higher education levels than men these days, women aren’t sticking it out for the income or the kids. I wish marriages would last forever like the good old days. Or did they stick it out and we’re miserable, men and women both? Either way, broken homes are sad for the kids. The heck with the adults.

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