By E. CLARK
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BOY, this rain sure has been something. There was quite a lot of excitement and worry around town on Tuesday night as the creek crept farther and farther up, threatening to spill over into neighboring businesses and homes.
My family and I walked around the downtown, surveying the situation. From our vantage point, the creek seemed highest around the bridge near Escobar Street and Alhambra Avenue. Rushing water was just a few feet below the top of the retaining wall next to Creek Monkey Tap House, with that section of Escobar completely blocked to traffic. An excavator or tractor-like heavy equipment was parked near the bridge, and there were city officials on site. This was around 9 p.m.
Around that same time, the 500 block of Main Street was flooding, in part due to traffic. There were a lot of rubbernecks out and about, and according to a post by Linda Meza on the Martinez Raves Facebook page, Leanne Peterson of the Main Street Martinez organization, along with Travis and Candice Gliatto, Earl Dunivan and Bob Cellini, were all out directing traffic, trying to steer curious folks from driving near Main Street.
Later in the evening, some adventurous spirits even took to wakeboarding in front of the Amtrak station! There’s a funny video of that by Mac Thompson that we’ve shared to the Martinez Tribune Facebook page.
COULDN’T help but wonder as we watched Alhambra Creek rise this week, how the local beavers were faring. Thankfully, Heidi Perryman of the Martinez-based beaver organization, Worth a Dam, has been blogging about it at www.martinezbeavers.org.
Perryman said on the website the beavers “wisely thought to get outta town before all this flooding so they couldn’t be blamed.” She said rain doesn’t hurt the critters, and that she’s seen the local beavers swim “effortlessly upstream in a torrent.”
I hope they will all return, but as I said in this column last week, I also hope a solution is found to allow sufficient water flow through their dams so that southern areas of the creek can receive the much needed ebb and flow of ordinary tides.
STILL no word on what will ultimately happen to the Contra Costa County District Attorney, Mark Peterson, after he was found to be misusing campaign funds. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the guy. We’ve met on a few occasions and he’s always been pleasant. And many in his office say he’s a skilled leader. It’s just an unfortunate situation for all involved that easily could have been avoided.
The Fair Political Practices Commission will meet Jan. 19 to revisit the case, as only three members were in attendance at their Dec. 15 meeting. It takes three votes to initiate action, and at the last meeting, the vote was 2-1 in favor of penalizing the DA. He’s already, in recompense, voluntarily paid the $45,000 fine the FPPC could impose. So at this point, frankly I’m unsure what other punishment could be administered. I guess we’ll know after Jan. 19.
We can be sure of one thing, though. If Peterson continues to carry out his duties till the next election and chooses to try for another term, whomever steps forward in the race for the DA’s seat will have some ammunition to use. There hasn’t been much interest in that post, however. Surely Peterson wouldn’t run again unopposed, would he?
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