Making it official: During the San Francisco 49ers playoff run last season, The Eye started spotting fans wearing gold nugget-shaped foam hats on their heads.

As it turned out, the Noggin' Nuggets were made by Oakley resident Maurice Tuiasosopo Bell with homemade molds in his garage.

Now, as the 49ers stand atop their division and appear poised to make another run into the postseason, there will likely be even more hats in the Candlestick Park stands in the winter.

The Noggin' Nuggets are now an officially licensed product of the National Football League, Bell said last week.

"It's very validating," Bell said. "Growing up, I was always a dreamer and thinking through crazy ideas. To have one be an official product, and be connected with the 49ers and the fans, it makes me think maybe not all the things are so crazy."

After last year, Bell says the 49ers merchandise manager reached out to him and wanted to sell them at games.

"He absolutely loved the idea, especially that it was started by a local Faithful," Bell said.

However, the only merchandise they are allowed to sell needs to be NFL licensed.

As it turns out, the company that owns the NFL license for foam hats was started by former 49ers running back Jim Bell, no relation.

"He loved the idea, and we were able to partner," Maurice Bell said.


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For details about Noggin' Nuggets, go to www.nogginnugget.com.

Flight school: Former Navy WAVE Marilyn York, who died in her San Lorenzo home Oct. 4 at age 90, was eulogized last week at a memorial service held in the Alameda Naval Air Museum she cofounded. The museum is a wealth of relics and exhibits from World War II and beyond. One of the more fascinating artifacts was a placard bearing "Regulations for Operation of Aircraft Commencing January 1920."

A few of the more interesting Woodrow Wilson-era regulations:

No. 1: Don't take the machine into the air unless you are satisfied it will fly.

No. 14: Do not trust altitude instruments.

No. 16: Hedge-hopping will not be tolerated.

No. 21: Pilots will not wear spurs while flying.

CLERK QUIRKS: All of the candidates for political office were watching the results locally Tuesday night. Well, almost all of them.

Antioch City Clerk-elect Arne Simonsen was keeping tabs on the race from half a world away, in Scotland.

Before results came in at 8 p.m., Simonsen emailed The Eye.

"We are following the election results from Scotland, so you can always get me by email. But if you really want to spend the CCTimes money, you can call me."

The Eye did not make the international phone call.

As it turns out, Simonsen won the race with 57 percent of the vote. However, he will not be back in the United States to be sworn in Dec. 11. His trip home was originally booked for the day after.

Simonsen says he is arranging to be sworn in at City Hall on Dec. 13.

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION: Richmond's political progressives lost big Tuesday, as their sugar-sweetened beverage tax fizzled at the polls and they lost the seat of outgoing Councilman Jeff Ritterman to Gary Bell, one of the candidates who received heavy backing from their nemesis, Chevron.

But the progressives didn't go down without a fight. A large, glossy flier that resembled a place mat was distributed to households in the days before the election attempting to link incumbent Nat Bates, Bell and fellow challenger Bea Roberson to Mitt Romney via Chevron.

The flier, titled "Don't Vote for Chevron," featured a large photo of the company's refinery fire Aug. 6 accompanied by arrows pointing to Chevron-favored candidates, starting with Romney and including Bates, who won re-election easily, Bell and Roberson.

The other side of the flier featured photos of the candidates backed by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Eduardo Martinez and Marilyn Langlois, who both came up short at the polls, along with a plea to support the soda tax, which was rejected by nearly 67 percent of voters.

Voters who saw the flier linking Romney with Bates might have been justifiably confused, given all the Bates signs around town associating him with President Barack Obama.

Staff writers Paul Burgarino, Gary Peterson and Craig Lazzeretti contributed to this column.