Where's the South Side?: Richmond's City Council meetings are a reliable source of unintended hilarity, and the Eye is compelled to share.
The latest spat between the council's grouchiest seniors -- Corky Boozé and Tom Butt -- devolved into mirthful absurdity reminiscent of the classic "Who's on First?" comedy routine made most famous by Abbott and Costello, but the tone takes a sharper edge in Richmond.
Boozé touched off the episode earlier this month by telling police Chief Chris Magnus he was "on notice" and that Boozé wanted to see more resources and services to his people on the "south side" of Richmond.
"I would like to ask the vice mayor (Boozé) where the south side is," Butt said. "I've heard this term used many, many times. I'm not sure where he's speaking of."
Boozé shot back that it was "ridiculous" that Butt needed an explanation after 18 years on the City Council, then entreated Butt to "come out of suburbia" once in a while, a reference to Butt's residence and business in upscale Point Richmond.
Rather than explain the location of the suddenly nebulous "south side," Boozé mentioned a few neighborhoods and motioned to table debate. The motion failed, and Butt continued to press Boozé for a definition, saying he needed to know where the south side was so he could ensure that it gets adequate resources.
Minutes after the meeting adjourned, Butt whipped out his smartphone and took to his favorite refuge, his popular e-forum, where he disparaged Boozé in a letter to thousands of subscribers.
"Ultimately, Boozé refused to define the 'Southside,' and I refrained from voting on the item out of concern that I might be depriving the 'Southside' of its just desserts," Butt wrote. "For now, the 'Southside' remains undefined except in Boozé's mind."
rep. rock star: Congressman George Miller was greeted like a rock star last month when he held his first town hall meeting in Danville since reapportionment put the town back in Miller's district after a long absence.
A standing-room-only audience of nearly 300 crowded into the Danville Community Center on Jan. 26 to hear the veteran Martinez Democrat talk.
Miller told the audience he was honored, but he recalled how not all his town halls drew so well.
Years ago, Miller said, he went to a town hall in Brentwood and discovered that no one was there except a building custodian. A mailer announcing the event apparently didn't get to locals.
Miller said he told the custodian he might as well leave because no one came, but the man objected. "I'm here," the man said. Miller recalled, "And then he sat down and talked to me for 40 minutes."
Who TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?: While memories of this month's Super Bowl still leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many Bay Area sports fans, one of its more unforgettable moments will be the fodder for jokes for some time.
The lights inside a meeting room in the Antioch Community Center went out during a news conference held Monday by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Caltrans and local officials.
"This is like the Super Bowl," transportation authority executive director Randy Iwasaki said.
The Eye heard a couple of media members and transportation staffers reply "Go Niners!" to Iwasaki's joke.
It turns out someone brushed up against the motion-sensor on the light switch.
PRANKSTER ALUMNUS: During the chaos of the Christopher Dorner manhunt Tuesday, an infamous telephone prankster affiliated with Howard Stern's radio show called a Los Angeles television station. The station was live and covering police surrounding a cabin.
One link in the chain of events was a Fish and Game warden spotting the stolen car that Dorner attempted to flee in, ending with Dorner and wardens exchanging gunfire.
So, the Stern fan called KCBS-TV and got through with the anchor, posing as a Fish and Game spokesman, using the identity of former Contra Costa Times reporter Mike Taugher. The former environmental reporter works as a spokesman for Fish and Game, but he clearly had no idea his identity would be taken as part of a prank during the highly publicized manhunt conclusion.
Staff writers Robert Rogers, Denis Cuff, Paul Burgarino and Matthias Gafni contributed to this column.