A quick quake, the Campbell and other musings

Martinez Tribune

THIS WEEK started with a jolt, literally. The 4.0 that struck Piedmont early Monday morning was nothing Bay Area natives would bat an eyelash at, but quakes are still a new and fascinating phenomenon to this native Arizonan.

Monday’s quake was the first one I’ve actually heard coming. Strange.

Did anyone feel a second jolt Thursday morning? Apparently there was a 1.8 in Pleasant Hill, but I can’t imagine that’s what I felt. Can one even detect a 1.8?

I was sitting in our office building at 725 Ward St. Thursday morning – again, around 7 a.m. – when something banged into our building. It felt very similar to Monday’s quake. I immediately took to Twitter and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) website, but nothing popped up immediately. I even went outside to make sure our building hadn’t been struck by a wayward vehicle.

One of these days I’ll get used to these tremors, but hopefully not too accustomed. A small dose of fear is a good thing when it comes to potential natural disasters. Let’s all remember to keep extra water and food on hand, to pay attention to how we situate furniture and other decor within our offices and homes, and have an emergency back-up plan the whole family is aware of should any emergency come to pass.

CAMPBELL THEATER’S lease, was renewed at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, as well as the sublease for OnStage Repertory Theatre.

I wasn’t surprised – it was on the Consent Calendar, after all – but apparently some were concerned the lease for OnStage wouldn’t be renewed due to murmurings on social media.

There’s no shortage of pot-stirrers in Martinez, as many of us have experienced first hand, and hackles were again raised over flippant Facebook comments. The atmosphere at City Hall Wednesday night was that of many arts enthusiasts ready to take a stand and fight for their stage – a healthy reaction to a possible threat, but an unnecessary one. Council unanimously agreed to renew OnStage’s sublease, so a positive outcome for all.

Several council members did, however, express their displeasure at having to renew another lease on the Campbell Theater property instead of looking at a purchase, but as Mayor Schroder and City Manager Rob Braulik pointed out, the property owners aren’t ready to sell – in part, Mayor Schroder said, because the property carries with it a family legacy, with the patriarch of said family having passed away not so long ago.

Sometimes, no matter how much you discuss, mull over, stamp your feet or holler, you can’t make the impossible possible. Hopefully, one day the city will be able to more permanently invest in a property that will help harbor the arts in Martinez, but for now, a lease will have to suffice.

SPEAKING OF City Council, did anyone notice the new iPads Mayor Schroder and Councilwoman AnaMarie Avila Farias were sporting? I did, and thought, “Ooo, twinsies,” but it was revealed toward the end of the meeting the tablets are part of a new initiative City Manager Braulik is implementing to help the City go green.

Braulik sure is a go-getter, isn’t he? That’s my impression, anyway. He stopped by the Tribune offices for about an hour after we requested to interview him. Nice guy, and seems to be highly proficient at city management. For the first time since I came to Martinez, I feel there’s hope for the city to really improve, in large part to Braulik’s stalwart position.

By the way, is it just me, or does our new city manager look like Dr. Oz?

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