FROM DIABLO TO TOP OF DIABLO: A shout out to cyclists who let neither youth nor maturity stop them from riding 11.2 miles to the top of Mount Diablo last week in the annual Mount Diablo Challenge.

Both the youngest and oldest of the 700 riders were from the town of Diablo, where the ride starts.

Honor Warburg, 9, completed the ride in just over 2 hours and 9 minutes. A minute ahead of her was Shirley Osmer, 77, according to Save Mount Diablo, the ride sponsor.

We have to wonder: What's in the water in Diablo to raise such tough riders?

The true grit award of the day could have gone to a 31-year-old mom from Southern California who rode and walked the course in more than 3 hours and 21 minutes. She finished after most riders went home. Then she collapsed with exhaustion.

"She was so pleased to have made it to the top," said Julie Seelen of Save Mount Diablo. "We gave her a ride down the mountain in a vehicle."

TEENAGE HEROISM: Though they happen every single day, there are occasions where The Eye can't report or doesn't hear about each heroic act by a local resident.

But Brentwood's Sue May, who ran into The Eye at a recent school board meeting, made sure it knew about her teenage son Joshua's recent heroism.

May showed an iPhone picture of a large house fire Aug. 17 on Celeste Way in Brentwood that Joshua took while walking home from football practice at nearby Freedom High in Oakley.


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Sue proudly described how the quick-thinking sophomore banged on the front door to get residents out of the house, then called 911.

His quick response kept the fire from spreading to two houses, officials said.

This week, Joshua received a Certificate of Recognition from Brentwood for his quick action.

PAY THE PLUMBER: Fellow residents know him as Sal the Plumber, but at the Oct. 1 Pinole City Council meeting, Sal Spataro got public kudos -- not for his plumbing prowess, but for his stellar legal research.

Former Mayor Jack Meehan was commenting on a growing snafu over a lease for a 1,000-square-foot parcel in Pinole Valley Park with Verizon Wireless to build a cellphone tower. The project, wildly unpopular with park neighbors, seemed like a done deal when the council approved the lease in July -- until Spataro contacted the state and found out that a cellphone tower, as a commercial use, would clash with the conditions of a federal grant that helped buy the parkland back in the 1970s for public outdoor recreation. The council will discuss several options Tuesday, including

terminating the lease or finding an alternative site for the tower. Meehan told the council: "If you get a bill from a plumber for flushing out the facts that should have been brought out by diligent search by staff, by the applicant, by others involved in this whole matter, including the attorney, if you get a bill from the plumber, Sal the Plumber, I suggest you send the bill to Meyers Nave," the law firm that provides city attorney services to Pinole.

CITY COUNCIL BAD BEHAVIOR: Richmond's august governing body has held public meetings in recent months in a quasi-garrison arena, its packed council chamber prowled by armed police. Most see the situation as a necessary measure, given that packs of megaphone-wielding provocateurs recently have ground city business to a halt, and expletive-spewing troughs hurl invectives at the dais and each other.

Who is to blame? It would appear that both sides of Richmond's warring political factions bear some responsibility. On the one hand, loose-lipped Councilman Corky Boozé is an easy target, with his folksy flair and band of "Corky's Army" foot soldiers who specialize in chaos. But on the other side, among the preternaturally pious progressives, some blame may rest as well.

Police have issued seven official warnings to council meeting disrupters. The most prominent of the unruly was Juan Reardon, the fiery 62-year-old co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, the powerful volunteer political group that backs Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and has shaped city policy for years.

According to a police report, Reardon was ejected from the Sept. 11 City Council meeting after he "raised his arms in the air flailed them around in the air," and spat a series of obscenities at Boozé while the councilman spoke. The reporting police officer wrote that he tried to calm Reardon, but Reardon "looked at me and said 'You are not the governing body; the mayor is the governing body, and I don't have to listen to you!'"

In a curious twist, weeks earlier, Reardon himself used the public speaker's microphone to lecture residents who had been disruptive in prior meetings.

Staff writers Denis Cuff, Paul Burgarino, Tom Lochner and Robert Rogers contributed to this column.