Home NEWS Local Scene Twenty Twenty-Four So Far – Some Steps Forward, Some Back

Twenty Twenty-Four So Far – Some Steps Forward, Some Back

"The Kid" - pounding out the words.

We’re keeping a close eye on our New Year as it unfolds, hoping for signs of progress.

So far, we’re off to a fairly rocky start here in the 24/680, with a rapid transit derailment and crime making the news – or not – depending on their jurisdiction and disposition of the victims.

Workers at the Alamo 7Eleven store on Danville Boulevard had their New Year’s Day rocked when a man and woman stickup team entered the store hours into 2024, ordered them to the ground and raided the cash register. No injuries but it was no way to ring in the year and we’d be willing to bet cashiers at all-night convenience stories around the Bay Area are wishing General Dynamics would hurry up production of those robot teller-tenders we’re hearing so much about.

And some folks made off with a large supply of champagne from Beverages & More in Orinda before the ball fell, ready to get their party on but not willing to pay the price – unless that hangover took a toll the morning after.

Other folks who have gathered their possessions, placed them in safes, behind panic room doors and inside formidable homes equipped with alarms and security systems have found out those defenses don’t always work, as crews of nervy, creative thieves are finding new ways to enter the homes and get what they want.

Interestingly, our readers are beginning to connect the dots, some forwarding observations about the thefts and who’s doing them. Love talking with you all and always enjoy the contact but we’re not cops and there’s only so much we can surmise. Here’s hoping we’re able to write the headline we’ve been hoping to be able to write sometime in the near future.

In the meantime, of course, local crime continues to remain a major topic of concern and discussion as crews both young and old, organized and – not so organized – continue to wreak havoc with retailers and other local businesses.

Critics both anonymous and transparent have taken aim at local district attorneys and other officials they deem responsible for the surge, with recall efforts underway and highly politicized online campaigns being waged. Some campaigns are taking aim at other state officials and, oddly, the state itself – the argument being that California’s hippie ways are to blame for its crime and other problems.

The originators of this California Sucks campaign often tender a list of preferred states with pro-business environments, favorable tax laws and a law-abiding citizenry – ostensibly happier because of their chosen state’s relaxed gun laws. The odd thing is our travels have taken us to many of the alternative states mentioned and our impression doesn’t exactly line up with the rosy selling points.

If you do end up going we wish you Happy Trails and good luck on the other end – but we’re sticking it out here, thanks anyway.

Some of you may be leaving because the City of Lafayette has taken an extra step and opted to ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers this year, with their City Council adopting a new ordinance to that effect in October and set to put it into effect in July – no doubt ticking off committed “blowhards” who see the move as another example of overreach.

We see a lot of advantages to the decision and hope the New Quiet inspires other civic leaders to do the same. We’ve been arguing for just such a move for some time and this strikes us as one of those steps in the right direction we were talking about – progress.

We’ll just have to see how it all plays out. There’s a lot of time left to go in the New Year and there’s a lot of room left for us to mess things up. Let’s hope not.


    • Linda –
      Thanks for the post. Longtime readers have been exposed to our dislike for widespread and creeping adoption of “Satan’s Whistle” for some time now. As civilians, we have taken our opposition to their use to official panels and been universally – and somewhat creatively – denied. It was refreshing to see this move from Lafayette, hope time will prove the wisdom of their adoption, and hope the idea catches on. Be well and thanks again for writing…

  1. I love my electric leaf blower but I wonder how professional gardeners could afford the number of batteries required to work all day. Is there some reason it’s not possible to manufacture a quiet gasoline-powered leaf blower?

    • Yeah. Combustion. It’s a contained explosion. And, noise is not the only pollution from a controlled fossil-fuel explosion. Others have observed this.

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