It's WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2011. RIP Elizabeth Taylor, who was a stunning screen presence for so many years. We never really had movie stars in Martinez, as far as I know, except for Aldo Ray. If I'm wrong on that, I'm going to count on my fearless readers to speak up and set me straight. Martinez would make a great movie set, don't you think? Perhaps that could be the theme of our Marketing Martinez contest: "Lights, Camera, Action - Martinez!" Or, "Martinez is ready for its closeup!" Or even "Welcome to the real world — Martinez!" The town doesn't need a lot of makeup, and it's already had significant work done. Sure it's old, but it looks great for its age. We could be the main location for "The Story of Olives" or "Where Muir Lived" or even "Marina Blues." Or the big screen remake of "Leave It To Beaver," starring a real beaver. The possibilities are endless. Keep those Marketing Martinez emails coming, folks. The contest ends when March does.
- The Park, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission Parks Subcommittee meeting that was to take place Tuesday afternoon was cancelled after one of the subcommittee members called to say he couldn't make it. This resulted in your intrepid reporter sitting by himself in a conference room, notepad at the ready, feeling very lonely.
- That loneliness evaporated later Tuesday when the City Hall Council Chambers looked more like a Lady Ga Ga concert in terms of available seating as the Planning Commission heard and considered the controversial Alhambra Highlands plan. Read all about that later today in Martinez Patch. The sense of deja vu was thick, though — this reporter sat through similar hearings on the very same property in the very same Council Chambers in the 1980s, and the issues were the same, except no one then was aware of the Alameda whipsnake. At one point last night, Commissioner Paul Kelly tried to lighten the mood by joking that someone brought in a snake from Alameda and started all the trouble, which caused Bill Nichols to yell "that's absurd." It was a tense evening.
- The concerns of all the folks upset by Willows Theater reopening its main stage in Concord may be assuaged by the fact that the Campbell Theater is hosting Chicago, Bob Fosse's masterpiece musical, beginning in May. And all that jazz ...
- Public Works Director Dave Scola reports that there has been no major damage from the storms, at least so far. There has been some clean-up work for city crews, but nothing serious.
- Finally, if you were planning to attend today's Design Review Committee meeting, make other plans. It has been cancelled. This reporter knows what it feels like to be lonely at City Hall, so stay home and keep dry.