ALL IN THE FAMILY: The Pittsburg High School Show Marching Band not only got closer in its quest to play in London's 2014 New Year's Day parade, but also won the top prize in the Great Pittsburg Rubber Duck Race.
The top prize? A 1979 white Ford Ranchero restored by Pittsburg High students who take auto-body classes.
The band plans to resell the Ranchero to raise funds for the trip.
"It's sort of a double win for the band," said Tim Stone of the Pittsburg Kiwanis Club, which along with the local Rotary and Soroptimist clubs sponsored the recent fundraising race for the six-day London trip.
The happy coincidence came about after Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 342, which has contributed $5,000 toward the London trip, asked that part of the money be used to buy each of the 167 band members a ticket to sponsor a duck in the race.
The race was set up so that six colored ducks would compete in the final heat.
The band's color just happened to be the traditional yellow rubber duck color.
"A lot of people were really rooting for the yellow duck," Stone said.
About 4,000 tickets were sold for the race, and it's estimated the event raised about $16,000 after expenses.
While winning the top prize is a bonus for the band, additional funds still need to be raised to help get the kids to London.
Contributions can be made at www.pittsburgpiratesmusic.org.
LIKE A SCI-FI MOVIE: The Eye didn't see it, but apparently the historic section of Antioch resembled a science-fiction movie Wednesday afternoon as hundreds of cockroaches poured out of manholes.
Resident Edna Esposito told The Eye there were "just loads" of the bugs crawling from underground by her home at Fifth and * streets.
"I came home and saw them in my yard, and I was like 'What the heck are these?'" she said. "You could just hear them cracking as the cars drove by."
The cockroaches were colored white because of the insecticide they had been sprayed with.
Antioch, particularly the older Rivertown area, has experienced a cockroach infestation in its sewer manholes over the past year, so the city recently started a program to kill them, Public Works Director Ron Bernal said. The spraying, which coats the inside of the manhole with a product that looks like white paint, is supposed to curb the problem for up to two years, he said.
Wednesday's uprising was solved by the Public Works Department, which duct-taped the holes on the manhole covers.
"They were gone after that, but boy, it was a problem," Esposito said. "It reminded me of that movie with those mechanical bugs that have cameras on them."
Sour Grapes: A Rodeo winery plans to have its grand opening this month. However, it may not be able to serve its own wine at the festivities.
The reason: the federal government shutdown.
Four Fools Winery, located at the Rodeo Marina, is planning an Oct. 26 opening. However, its wine label cannot be approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau, because the federal website is shut down, said Marc Grisham, a partner in the winery and retired city manager from Pittsburg and Pinole before that.
"Went to the federal website for label approval for Four Fools Winery. Guess what, shutdown. No approved labels, no sales," Grisham said on a Facebook post Wednesday.
The winery is named after a pair of married couples and longtime friends, Marc and Dana Grisham and Marcia and John Conroy, the latter a winemaker.
"It's slowing us down," Marc Grisham said. "The folks at the (bureau) are very helpful, and they want to work like everybody else. Unfortunately, we're getting hurt by the political power play, and I'm just one of the millions of small-business owners that can't move forward."
The labels take about two weeks to process, so the wine could still flow for the opening, he said.
THE STORK PLAYS THE NUMBERS: The Trevors family, of Hercules, will have an easier time than most families remembering birthdays.
Dad Michael Trevors was born Oct. 5. Mom Sammy Roberts, Oct. 4. Baby Van, of course, was born Thursday, Oct. 3, weighing in at 9 pounds, 9 ounces at the Contra Costa County hospital in Martinez.
"I had never heard of this occurring before, but I am sure it has somewhere," proud Grandpa Joe Trevors said in an email to The Eye. "A sequence which is a consequence!"
Van's due date was actually Sept. 23, Trevors added.
Staff writers Eve Mitchell, Paul Burgarino and Tom Lochner contributed to this column.