HIGH-OCTANE GIVING: Some residents of Rodeo and Crockett might think Phillips 66 a bit of a grinch after the oil refiner declined to renew a $300,000-a-year Good Neighbor Agreement with their communities and the John Swett school district after 2009, and successfully fought schools parcel tax measures in 2010 and 2011.
But Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover paints a rosier picture of the Rodeo refinery, in a video posted on YouTube, recorded at the supervisor's annual turkey giveaway in November at New Horizons Career Development Center in Rodeo.
"It wouldn't happen unless we had the support of our sponsors, who pays the bills, in terms of making this a reality for our community and families in need," Glover says, introducing "the guy that's in the community every day: Mark Hughes," the Phillips 66 spokesman.
"I'm on the phone with Mark all the time, trying to get support for the community, and he hasn't turned me down yet," Glover says further in the video. "They do so much; we know they can't just continue to give, give, give."
The video is at http://bit.ly/1byTBza.
"This epitomizes how a community is supposed to function," Hughes says during his turn with the mike. "It's government, with your leadership, Federal; it's the not-for-profit New Horizons, which is led by Pastor Hodge; and then the for-profit, Phillips 66 in this case, coming together to serve the needs of our community. It's really that simple."
Anthony Hodge is New Horizons' executive director as well as the chairman of the Rodeo Municipal Advisory Council, which counsels the county on land use and planning matters.
Asked for a list of Phillips 66's local charitable efforts, a Glover staffer said Phillips helps pay for a grant workshop in Hercules and transportation to an annual Glover-sponsored youth summit in Pittsburg. Hughes, responding to a similar question, added an annual charity golf tournament to benefit the John Swett High School Careers Academy and New Horizons; the annual Phillips 66 "Walk of Honor" benefiting veterans; and a mentoring program in the John Swett schools.
SCARE-GEESE: Wandering geese making their way from the duck pond in the middle of Diablo Valley College to the sports fields have vexed the school's athletic department for years. But The Eye spotted a new tactic recently that officials say is doing the trick: movable coyote statues.
According to Marisa Greenberg of DVC's athletic department, the coyotes have been placed on the fields for the past six months.
The "scare-geese" are making a difference, as officials are noticing fewer patches of grass being ruined as the birds dig for bugs. Players have also noticed fewer geese dropping on the baseball, softball and soccer fields.
The statues have adjustable legs, tails and positioning, Greenberg said.
"Everybody thinks we have dogs on the field. We get calls all the time, or people will jump the fence to try and see," Greenberg said. "Then they're like, 'Oh, wait, they are not real.'It's been kind of amusing."
Other visiting teams have inquired about where DVC found the statues, as possible solutions for their own fowl situations.
Before finding the faux-coyotes, the athletic department had a reindeer statue on the field. But that didn't work.
"The geese started actually sitting on top of it," she said.
BIRTHDAY DO-OVER?: The Eye can relate to all the readers out there who have been waylaid by a nasty virus this year. After a visit by The Eye to the doctor's office last week as the virus stretched into its 10th day, the physician very kindly remarked that it was too bad she had to go the emergency room with a 102-degree temperature, hacking cough and no voice on her birthday.
Then she said, "I hope you got to do at least something fun for your birthday!"
Fun? The Eye hasn't done anything fun for 10 days. She hasn't done anything even mildly entertaining for 10 days. Even the thrill of the codeine-laced cough syrup has worn off.
The Eye wants a birthday do-over. Is there a prescription for that?
Staff writers Tom Lochner, Paul Burgarino and Lisa Vorderbrueggen contributed to this column.