Ask the locals what endears them to life in the 24/680 and – after the school test scores, sporty lifestyle and active cocktail scene – many might say: trees.
Despite the gradually increasing morass of traffic on our ill-equipped and formerly delightful back roads most folks will tell you they came/come here for the area’s “semi-rural” look and feel. And that, in our view at least, means trees. Apparently, there’s a sliding scale when it comes to the definition of semi-rural around here, with one person’s “semi” morphing into another’s “quasi” as battle lines form and the Suburban Viking War Cries sound across our valleys – aWHOOoooooo – on issues relating to our native species.
While new arrivals may cold-bloodedly order the removal of that copse of indigenous leaf monsters currently blocking their views and plans for Junior’s Media Room upon arrival in our blissful, semi-rural neighborhood, woe be unto the poor, unwitting bloke trying to remove trees from his cabin site. Uh-uh, ain’t gonna happen, not on my watch.
As we’ve seen, and are seeing, these contests for what many regard as our most valuable assets here in leafy semi-quasi ‘burbia are turning into knockdown, drag-out legal battles with lawyers unholstered like six guns and the law firm of Cheatem, Burnham and Billem on speed dial.
Plans for tree removal in Lafayette have sparked a full-bore legal firefight and we’re told Earth First had representatives at a meeting over tree removals in bucolic Canyon – where the occasional bobcat sighting passes for the big news in town.
The sad fact of the matter – to us, at any rate – is that our great big Human Family is growing at a pretty fair clip and we’re filtering into places previously reserved for cows, and those darn trees, and in the face of what passes for progress these days trees are going to lose out. There it is.
We were marginally surprised to hear about the arrival of Earth First on the scene in Canyon, having run with some of the more – how do we put this? – energetic members of that organization during our time in the wilds of Wyoming and Montana. They take their position on conservation pretty seriously, those folks, and despite some aggressive past behavior their ragtag little band may one day be hailed as stalwarts in the current drive to strip the planet bare of anything with branches and leaves and tusks.
Speaking of wildlife, we were pleased to offer our readers some time with Walnut Creek Beagle Boy Otis Stax (our thanks to his human servants for making him available to us) and that went over exceptionally well with folks hungry for something cute after a tough week.
Also this week we got a chuckle out of a local police response to reports of burglars on the roof of a local store – arriving to find that a flock of resident Turkey Burglars, all wearing masks and those sexy Tom Cruise tactical vests, apparently, were up on the roof of the target building, planning their entry. We couldn’t help but think of the scene in one of the Jurassic movies where the scientist determines that the dinosaurs are testing the park security, saying: “They’re learning.”
But what do the Turkburglars want from us? We’re investigating, and hope to meet with their leaders, soon.
We were also surprised by the response to a recent Flash Alert, issued to folks in Alamo/Danville Friday after a couple of players went down after a hard tackle at a local football game. With first responders on campus with lights and sirens we sent out a short news blast telling everyone why and were greeted by about a dozen reply texts – which always kind of catch us off guard. Readers very kindly began providing us with information on the condition of the two gridders and that was cool but we had this vision of all those phones going off at once in the relatively confined space of the stadium.
As a result, we’re experimenting with a digital alert that readers at sporting events will be able to hold up in future – much like the flash card sections you see at some games – that will spell out “Go Wolves,” or “NEWS24/680 Rocks” – something like that. We’re working on a suitable soundtrack.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who wrote back. That was fun.
We’re off, and hoping for a better week ahead.