Interesting 24 hours here in the 24/680 as our small squad attempts to nail down stories coming in through our digital transom like Rubles in an oligarch’s money counter.
First – and we know some of you dislike our little trips down memory lane but, well, too bad – a transom when not applied in the nautical sense is a bearing window over a door. Back in the day, when we were youngsters, you could open them and Midnight Callers would use the portal to slip manila envelopes containing “Dirty Laundry” through the space and into the Press Room, where we’d find them the next morning. The packets contained everything from photos of politicians knotting their ties after some illicit dalliance to the address of an after-hours gambling club.
Now, feet squarely planted back in the 21st Century, our “transom” is digital but no less full as police, politicians, cab drivers, and raging mothers push all manner of things “Through our Transom” – tips, photos, questions, observations – leaving us to leaf through and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Quite a lot of it is mundane, fodder for the neighborhood message boards where irate locals post pictures of pet feces in hope of finding the pooper desecrating their lawn. We’re sure that’s disconcerting but we’re not really interested in tracking down Muffy or Rex so those folks are on their own. But other tips are interesting, tantalizing, sometimes scary and could be considered of interest to the general public so we nose around.
It’s getting harder as official sources who used to supply basic information back in the day of transoms dry up, and we have to work much harder to mine those nuggets of truth.
Reports of a significant car crash and police presence near The Dead Fish in Hercules proved true as photographer Craig Cannon legged it out there late Thursday to find an active search underway after a pursuit drawing officers from as far away as Richmond ended in tangled metal near the restaurant. Two choppers and dog teams searched the area below the restaurant but were unable to find a fleet-footed suspect. Craig said police went so far as to stop trains passing through the area as they combed the brushy hillsides.
Earlier Thursday, we were informed of a frightening scene in Concord as tipsters reported two adults down and apparently incapacitated in their car at 2:19 a.m. in the 1900 block of Market Street. Now, in this age of Fentanyl abuse and sudden death associated with use of that drug that was pretty frightening on its own but the ante was upped by reports that an infant child – believed to belong to the incapacitated couple – was toddling around the car.
We’ve been able to confirm that a Con Fire crew and police did arrive on the scene and that the adult pair were transported to a local hospital under the auspices of police – so the adults apparently survived their exposure (we’ve since heard Narcan had to be used) but there was no word on what happened to the child. And, yeah, that bothered us.
Along with these tips we also received notes lamenting the conduct of some adults attending the CIF NorCal Division I playoff game between Miramonte and Clovis North Tuesday night – tipsters naming names and questioning the behavior of people who, ostensibly, should have known better.
“Disgraceful,” “Embarrassing,” “Shocking to see the kids exhibit more class than their parents,” were just some of the notations we received. We weren’t at the game but it sounded like a barn-burner, with Clovis North eking out the win and surrendering a few of their adult followers to the referee’s whistle after they, too, got “too involved.”
And here we’d interject something like: “C’mon, people, it’s a game. The kids are meant to have fun…” but it seems we’re waaaay beyond that now, with adults scrapping for the home team the way they fight for a parking space at Theater Square.
We’ll talk about local road rage and the not-so-gentle car-to-car exchange of bottles, golf balls, steel balls, chemical agents and more as folks fight for the right to pollute at a later date.
And, lest you think we’re picking on parents unfairly, some local kids haven’t exactly been angelic in their behavior of late.
We’re not sure if it’s part of this “Assassins” game sweeping the schools, the one sending kids armed with Nerf, BB, and Airsoft guns out into the neighborhoods to stalk other kids and now, apparently, innocent civilians with their arms full of groceries or younger kids in the car.
We’ve warned folks about this, about some close calls with police as furtive high school “Assassins” head-bob around area landmarks with often realistic-looking weaponry making older folk and officers jumpy. See, because toting a virtually indistinguishable Airsoft AK-47 near a schoolyard or in a neighborhood is prompting phone calls – and you don’t have to read very far into the pages of this site to understand why.
Tempers are rising. Charges are forthcoming. Some of the “Assassins” have been identified. And people are generally expressing their displeasure at being used for target practice. So you may not want to do it or let your kid do it or, if you do, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Let’s see… phone scams, we get a lot of mail but we’ve written about them. Oh, shifting to the use of real guns, we picked up some chatter about a high-stakes robbery on La Casa Via in Walnut Creek Thursday, with a crew of thieves getting the drop on a victim carrying a large amount of expensive jewelry, brandishing those real guns and absconding with said jewelry before escaping in a mini-van.
No one hurt that we know of, but we’re hearing those baubles were high dollar items and someone is going to feel that pain.
That’ll do it for this turn at the sluice box, looking for those nuggets as they come in through our transom(s). But with the way things are going it’s virtually a lead-pipe cinch we’ll be back with another one real soon.