"Messy" election: Someone's been stealing and vandalizing Measure L campaign signs in Orinda. Now a group of supporters is fighting back.

The Eye spied an email sent by a backer of the half-cent sales tax suggesting members of the Measure L "sign brigade" slather Vaseline on the edges of replacement signs. "We hope to make a gooey mess on the clothes and cars of those who steal them!" the supporter gleefully wrote.

Moraga also has had its share of election-related high jinks. In the past few weeks, residents have alerted local media to thefts of signs urging voters to "dump" a certain Town Council incumbent. Those stolen signs were replaced with updated versions that politely ask Moraga residents to "defeat" the candidate.

No word yet whether they're greasing up the replacements.

SPEAKING OF CAMPAIGN SIGNS: Pittsburg Councilman Ben Johnson, who is running for re-election on the November ballot, has the right idea when it comes to leftover campaign signs.

Instead of throwing away his old signs that said "Elect Ben Johnson," he changed them to read "Re-Elect Ben Johnson." Johnson, who was first elected to office in 2004, was reappointed in 2008 when he faced no challengers.

A PRINCIPAL OF HIS WORD: The Eye witnessed first hand an Antioch elementary school principal happily making good on a promise he made students if they excelled on their state test scores. Fremont Elementary Principal Jason Larson told his kids last fall if they improved their Academic Performance Index scores by 20 points, he would shave his head and have pie thrown in his face.


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As it turns out, Fremont's API scores went up 47 points, from 679 to 726. Eight hundred is the state's benchmark for proficiency.

So, in front of giddy students cheering, "Shave it!" and several parents taking pictures and videos, teachers from each class took turns wielding the clippers and lopping off hunks of Larson's hair, which he said he grew out during the summer.

Later, one student from each class got to celebrate Oakland A's-style by throwing a pie in the face of Larson and a couple other staff volunteers.

"I'll have to be more careful what I promise," Larson said. "This was not a fluke. We're not done. You guys will continue to show up and show off."

TALK ABOUT EARLY ARRIVALS: Wanting to get a good view of Game 4 of the World Series, San Francisco Giants fans Dorothy and her daughter Danielle Rosenbaum traveled from their Brentwood home to San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza about 11 a.m. Oct. 27 so that they could watch the game on a massive television screen with thousands of others. It was certainly worth the six-hour wait until the first pitch.

The two, dressed in Giants colors with Danielle wearing an orange Panda hat, were not disappointed as the Giants came back to beat the Tigers in 10 innings to clinch the Series with a 4-3 win. Dorothy Rosenbaum clutched, spun and shook an orange stuffed rally monkey during the game.

STUCK IN THE BIG MUDDY: East Bay Regional Park District rangers at Lake Chabot recreation area in Castro Valley got a puzzling call for help last month: Some people were stuck in mud in the lake.

Yep. Not a boat. Not a deer. But people on foot.

A park ranger responded by boat to the rescue and initially found nothing.

Upon further investigation, though, park officials found a man and two kids on the shoreline with signs of mud up their waist.

The trio apparently had waded into the lake (which is a no-no because swimming isn't allowed there), and gotten stuck in heavy mud because water levels had been lowered to do shoreline-erosion work.

They were able to free themselves before help arrived, park officials said.

"The teachable moment here," said park district spokeswoman Emily Hopkins, "is if there are high mud levels in a lake, don't wade in."

Staff writers Jennifer Modenessi, Eve Mitchell, Paul Burgarino, Susan Tripp Pollard and Denis Cuff contributed to this column.