Brown recluse urban legend?: Think you've been bitten by the scary, deadly brown recluse spider? Well, the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District wants to tell you that you are likely wrong on many levels.
Most scientists don't think Loxosceles reclusa exist in the wild in California, and while the shy arachnids bites have some flesh-destroying properties, they are not deadly.
The spiders are native to the south-central states -- thank God, the arachnophobic Eye says -- so your weird, mysterious bite is not from the brown recluse, district experts say.
The district blames the fears on media hype and scaredy cats, such as The Eye. Most spiders' fangs (the Eye just fainted) are too small to even bite humans.
The East Bay does have black widows, which have venom that is neurotoxic and can cause severe pain, muscle spasms and cramps, but it is rarely fatal. The district says they are also shy, which makes The Eye thankful that arachnids are not more outgoing.
RIPPED FROM YESTERDAY'S HEADLINES: A play written by Rossmoor resident Bud Lembke recalls the trials and tribulations of a proposed events center in a retirement community dubbed Harkmoor. Sound familiar? Lembke wrote the play clearly based on the saga over the past few years of the 20,000-square-foot events center now under construction in Rossmoor. Residents of the gated community were split about the need and cost of the center.
Lembke apparently found great material in the controversy with his play, "Arthritis Be Damned." A staged reading will take place at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church on July 20, 21 and 27.
While clearly a parody, some have to wonder whether those so dedicated to the cause against the events center would crack a smile about good old Harkmoor.
Perhaps one day the ultimate irony can take place where the Drama Association of Rossmoor can perform the play at the events center in Harkmoor, er, we mean Rossmoor.
SPELL CHECK: A city whose leaders have made it a point over the years to remind The Eye that its name is spelled differently from its steelmaking Pennsylvania namesake recently committed its own slip-up.
While turning off Highway 4 onto California Avenue in Pittsburg (without an h at the end), The Eye spotted a sign directing patrons to its "Old Towne" area. In fact, several of the signs can be found around town.
Though the city's downtown has changed significantly the past few years by adding new restaurants and shops and rejuvenating historical landmarks, The Eye was still pretty sure the city spelled it Old Town.
It turns out the sign's spelling was a mistake that the city is working quickly to fix, City Manager Joe Sbranti said.
FOREVER YOUNG: During a recent interview with local rodeo icon and rancher Jack Roddy about the East Bay Regional Park District's purchase of the 1,885.2-acre property that bears his name, the 75-year-old "straight shooter" talked about feeling his age.
"Let's just say I don't buy green bananas anymore," he said.
The Eye finds it hard to believe that this cowboy will go riding off into the sunset anytime soon. Roddy wakes up at 5:30 every morning, rides his horse Dart every day and tends to about 1,300 cattle on his ranch nestled in the East Contra Costa hills south of Antioch. Oh, and he also will participate in a roping competition next week in Reno for a $1 million purse, and he will be in a rodeo in Salinas in July.
"I'm reminded of what Mark Twain said: 'The reports of my death have been quickly exaggerated.' I plan on staying busy as long as I can," Roddy said.
Staff writers Matthias Gafni, Elisabeth Nardi and Paul Burgarino contributed to this column.