Archive for February, 2012

24
Feb
12

A Murder In Montclair: Random Or Not?

There’s a little more news related to Joe Robertson’s death yesterday:  his murder may not be random.  Our City Council Rep Libby Schaaf spoke directly with Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan about the crime.  She then shared this update with Montclarions earlier today, and we wanted to make sure you read it:

I just received a updated briefing from Chief Jordan on the apparent homicide of Joseph Robertson on Thackeray.  While I’m not allowed to share most of what he told me, I may share that police have strong reason to believe this was a homicide but that it was not random.  I will continue to stay briefed on the investigation and share with you whatever is allowed.  Anyone with any information should call 510-238-3821.  If you have any trouble getting your information through to this number, don’t hesitate to email or call Dorie or me.  We know how unacceptably disturbing this incident must be.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do at this troubling time.

Your Councilmember,
Libby Schaaf
510-238-7004

Update: As of March 13th, Council Rep Schaaf reports about a person of interest who “remains in custody on an unrelated charge. This person does have a connection to the victim (thus is not a random intruder). I’m hoping there’ll be more to share in about a week. The investigation has been productive, but is not concluded and no charges have been brought yet.”

23
Feb
12

A Murder In Montclair: Joe Robertson

We don’t experience violent crimes around here, right?  Not anymore.  Sometime between last night and this morning, a Piedmont Pines resident was murdered.  Victim Joe Robertson was found dead in his home, early this morning.

While Robertson’s death hasn’t been officially ruled as a homicide by Oakland Police, all signs point to the crime.  The police will make things official, after the autopsy’s performed tomorrow.  In the meantime, we want to share this hearsay from Montclair Safety’s Yahoo board.

Piedmont Pines neighbor, Jane:   A 78-year-old man, Joe Robertson, was found dead and the word is it is a homicide.  He lived at 2339 Thackeray Drive (map) near Girvin Drive in the Piedmont Pines area. His neighbor told us that he was beaten to death.  Evidently he was found at 7:00 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 by a friend who was visiting and called the police.  This has really shaken us up in the neighborhood.

Of course, the death is getting well-covered by the press.  Check out this CBS5 report from Thackeray Drive, complete with yellow tape, an Alameda County homicide vehicle and key interviews.  Harry Robertson, the victim’s nephew, said “I’m concerned that he [Joe] could be an innocent victim.  There’s no reason to believe that anybody would want to hurt him.”

The  Tribune provided an early obituary about Joe Robertson, a good guy who loved movies and made regular visits to Fentons Creamery.  Before retiring a decade-plus ago, he had operated the halftone camera at the Montclarion newspaper.  Columnist  Ginny Prior said she spotted and waved to him last night, at their church’s Ash Wednesday service.

“A Murder in Montclair” doesn’t sound quite right.  “Burglary of the Week” is more our speed.  So it’s natural to put two and two together, and assume that Joe was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Let’s try to solve this mystery soon.

P.S.  We do experience violent crimes, albeit infrequently.  Back in 2006, Hans Reiser killed his estranged wife Nina and buried her near Redwood Regional Park.  It took two years to solve this case and sentence Hans.

18
Feb
12

Our Beloved Bay Bridge, In The Beginning

In honor of this weekend’s Oakland Bay Bridge closure heading westbound, we decided to remember the 75-year-old in better days.  As a newborn, she was an engineering marvel and the longest cantilever bridge in the world.

Let’s flashback to the four-day long, bridge opening celebration.  Julian Lozos, a San Franciscan, shared this cover art from the ceremony program itself.  The cover, which Lozos discovered and bought on eBay, is a thing of 1936 deco-beauty.  Though I wonder why all the people seem mellow and a bit snobbish.  Show some enthusiasm!

Next, we go to the Bay Bridge parade route.  Another local, Ward Ryan, digitized films about Bay Bridge construction and discovered this lovely parade float.  Who are these goddesses adorning the bridge?  Do they provide a classy touch or something more?  We think they have been replaced by our lucky troll, who currently resides on the bridge itself.

Last but not least, we present an image from the Little Miss Bay Bridge contest.  Pleasanton resident J. Boles shared this snapshot of his mother, who represented Emeryville and won the contest.  She was awarded a nice ribbon by actress Rochelle Hudson, a big deal at the time.  So we have proof there were contests well before the Toddlers & Tiaras era.

The Bay Bridge has done yeoman’s service, without major changes.  Her two decks were revamped over fifty years ago, to remove the trains and accommodate growing vehicle traffic.  And we know about the fixes since the 1989 Loma Prieta collapse, necessary but not sufficient for long-term safety.  The bridge could only last for a lifetime.

On Labor Day 2013, we will marvel at our brand-new, replacement bridge that moves with earthquakes.  She will become another shining beacon, complete with open views towards Oakland and the hills.  And we’ll all be there, this time.

P.S.  Tip of the hat, to contributors and posters on Facebook’s Bay Bridge memories.




February 2012
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