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The Sunday Rumble

"The Kid" - pounding out the words.

It has only been a few days since we heard of the public caning of gay men in Banda Aceh, Indonesia and – while we believe we have enough issues to remedy right here at home – we also could not help but note that the very region mentioned was rocked by a thunderous 7.0 magnitude earthquake today.

Some sort of divine editorial comment? A warning to earthbound men from a higher authority? Perhaps. If so, there may be more of that in the forecast. We have a lot to answer for, apparently.

We have been quietly watching, and writing about, a number of issues impacting life right here in the 24/680 of late. We even went out on that ever-creaking limb to make a few predictions that, unfortunately, we’re seeing realized.

Some of those realizations seem almost allegorical, painful lessons inflicted on neighbors and others we know whose downfalls, injuries, and even deaths could be taken as harsh life lessons driving home broader messaging about real-world issues and concerns.

A highly regarded Pleasant Hill public official literally dies under the wheels of progress while on an afternoon bike ride. The “quiet kid” from high school vents his frustrations publicly in a Pleasanton grocery store and dies from injuries/conditions incurred during his subsequent arrest by police. A “super mom” addicted to opioids is found slumped over and unresponsive in a public restroom.

It doesn’t stop there. The “mega-fires” that roared through much of the North Bay last year and which were deemed the worst firestorm the state has ever seen – stand to be eclipsed by this year’s iteration as even more timber, and more homes, go up in smoke – a portent perhaps of things to come. Then the widow of an active Orinda man who dies prematurely while on a morning run receives at $9,600 bill from their health care provider 19 days after his death in a corporate effort to “balance our books.” This would seem like a case of excruciatingly poor timing, at least, were it not for the constant drumbeat on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle imposed by this company and others like it.

Now, we are commonly if rather unfairly (we think) referred to as “ghouls” and “catastrophe voyeurs” here at NEWS24/680, largely because we are usually the first to bring word of these and other events to our readership and beyond. Some people seem to feel we derive a deviant rush from what we do when nothing could be further from the truth. It’s why you’ll not find us joining in the traditional media “packaging” of local vigils and funerals. We have been asked to attend, and we’re sometimes asked why we chose not to – and it’s because we feel like interlopers in the presence of grief and would indeed feel ghoulish bringing that portion of the news stream to our readership. We’ll leave that to television.

A news event, however traumatic it may be as it’s unfolding and no matter how jarring it may be to some, needs to be covered and will be – at least by us while we’re here. The grieving must be done by friends and family.

So, we watch, write and wait – for the occasional kernel of truth or more of that divine commentary as it rumbles earthward – and we hope for the aid of some inner power to help us figure out what it all means. That’s all we can do.



  1. Hang in there.. Well said. I guess w
    e should tell you once in awhile that we do appreciate you and your work. What would Lamorinda be without you? I guess like a dust bowl. Quiet, but deadly.

  2. I know your view of the area is limited by your focus and I can imagine that would be restrictive if you give in to it. I also know that things are changing here and while some appear to be for the good many more are not. I have found your coverage to be fair and on the mark and you alert system has proven useful more than once. Newspapers are dying and it will be interesting to see if someone is able to fill that void. I for one enjoy reading your stories.

  3. Appreciate your work. But things have been so bad lately I almost hate to look at my phone when I get an alert. I agree that we can only understand the problems we face by holding them up to the light but I also am afraid we’re beyond our ability to fix or change things. We mourn and move on – lining up to do it all over again. If that’s the part that confuses you I’ll admit I’m confused by it too.

    • Thanks for reading, Carol! Sorry about those alert notifications – we realize they’re not always heralding good news.

  4. Took note of your ‘as long as we’re here’ phrasing and wondered if you’re being sold? We had heard there may be a changing of hands.

    • Who are your sources, Bryce? Eh? Eh? Actually, we do get periodic enquiries and we have had some recent ones lately. But no news to report to you all at this time.

    • We hear you, Amy. We have a dedicated two-wheeler here within our Merry Little Band and we caution him often.

    • You are very kind, Linda, and we thank you! Couldn’t do this Lamorinda La Cosa Nostra (Goog it) thing without you and others like you. You make it fun for us. And, between us, NO ONE could be as droll as us, ever! Gets us in trouble from time to time but, heh, whaddaya gonna do? ;-}

  5. Come to Santa Barbara please. I miss you. Especially after reading the following sentence…”A highly regarded Pleasant Hill public official literally dies under the wheels of progess while on an afternoon bike ride. ”

    • And hope the video didn’t make you blush. It represents my feelings towards the Bay Area in general right now, which of course you are a part of, and the better part for sure. But if it all gets too much, I think you would do quite well in Santa Barbara, and would find making lunch plans much more feasible here.

      • Jimmy Webb, songwriter and composer for this tune, shared a funny story about MacArthur Park. He participated in its production as well, and at one point during takes, politely pointed out to Harris that is was MacArthur Park, NOT MacArthur’s Park. Of course, the Talent had the final say on that…

    • Hey! First, Santa Barbara would never let us in. A short internet search would immediately ID us as the troublemakers and agent provocateurs we are and the powers that be would throw up their roadblocks. Second, yes, that reference just seemed to flow from our pen and though heart-breakingly sad, we thought it apt. Third, thanks for the musical interlude and Richard Harris Moment. Always good. Fourth, how are they treating you down there? We hear good things… Thanks for checking in!

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