This is only a test: Some who subscribe to receive alerts from the town of Discovery Bay, including The Eye, received a pair of ominous warnings in the wee hours on a recent Monday morning, including one that said a giant squid was terrorizing the town.
"A giant squid has been spotted in Discovery Bay eating small boats," the message read. "Residents are warned to stay out of the water and to keep children, pets and small Volkswagens away from the water,"
The other message alerted the community about a sewage spill within the Lakeshore development in Discovery Bay West.
Don't worry, the warnings aren't real.
The town's Community Services District has been working on changing its website technology to a Cloud-based system. As a result, technicians working on the upgrade and performing tests inadvertently sent out messages made more than three years ago by the old company to everyone that receives the community notices, General Manager Rick Howard said.
People took the messages in stride, Howard said.
"People thought it was funny. One person called and said they caught the giant squad. Another said they were glad they drive a Mustang and not a Volkswagen," he said.
SUNDAY BESTS ON A SATURDAY: The white linen and elegant tableware was out, and most of Richmond's august African-American clergy members were in their Sunday bests, even though it was Saturday morning.
The occasion was a visit by Paul Monteiro, associate director of public engagement for the Obama Administration. He was hosted by more than 100 mostly African-American leaders at the Richmond Municipal Auditorium for the Saturday morning Prayer Breakfast on Jan. 26.
Monteiro dazzled the room with his charming presentation, detailing Obama's second inaugural address, highlighting the coming implementations of the Affordable Care Act and saying that the president's legacy would live on through his farsighted health care legislation.
But for all the glitz and pomp associated with a visit from the president's emissary, local stalwarts Corky Boozé and Nat Bates were not to be outdone. The councilmen both drew robust applause with turns worthy of the occasion.
Boozé brushed aside his breakfast plate and clutched the mic when his turn came. With a nod to his colorful, confrontational style in city politics, Boozé declared, "I'm a bull in a China shop!"
With Bates looking on a few feet away, Boozé thundered that Bates would be Richmond's next mayor in 2014, when the field is expected to be wide open with Mayor Gayle McLaughlin set to term out. Bates, who is 81 now and would be 83 by the time the 2014 victor would take the post, told the 69-year-old Boozé to "slow down young brother," but the crowd only clapped harder.
Days later, Bates said he appreciates his council ally, but it's too early to declare.
"It's a long time away," Bates said. "We'll have to wait and see."
COUCH SURFERS BUSTED: Three young men in a couch being towed behind a pickup truck were discovered by East Bay Regional Park police as the men trespassed onto restricted land west of Martinez.
The men's defense: They were celebrating the San Francisco 49ers' playoff victory taking the team to the Super Bowl.
Regional park police observed the couch towed by a rope attached to the pickup at an old brick plant site that the park district recently acquired off a road along shoreline bluffs between Martinez and Port Costa. Sure enough, the timing was Jan. 20, shortly after the 49ers clinched a trip to the Super Bowl.
"The men said it was all in good fun because they were celebrating," said Emily Hopkins, a park district spokeswoman.
Only problem: It's not legal to visit the fenced-off area until the park district completes a lengthy process to plan and develop public use facilities to make the area safe and accessible.
The park police officer cited the pickup driver for illegal entry into a restricted area. The three men on the couch got a stern warning to stay out of the restricted area where park police have stepped up patrols.
Hopkins sees a simple lesson to the story. "If you want to couch surf on Super Bowl Sunday, do it in the safety of your living room."
SPEAKING OF 49erS fever: San Francisco 49ers faithful fans in Danville were stoked after the Jan. 20 come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons that secured the team's first trip to the Super Bowl in 18 years.
It was celebration suburban style. Cheers rose from several football-watching parties in Danville homes after the game was clinched. A vintage fire truck drove through neighborhoods, blaring its old-style siren loudly to announce that the Bay Area team was headed to the big one again.
Staff writers Paul Burgarino, Robert Rogers and Denis Cuff contributed to this column.