THAT'S ONE POWERFUL COMMISSION: At this month's Lodi Arts Commission meeting, commissioner John Callahan declared, "All of this rain has been so depressing. I make a motion that we get better weather starting tomorrow."
Lodi Arts Commissioner Cindi Inman seconded the motion.
The following day, it was sunny with a high of 72 degrees. Who knew the Lodi Arts Commission had such sway?
DYLAN IN LODI? Superstar recording artist Bob Dylan performed in Stockton not too long ago, but you can still find him in Lodi. That is, if you phone Randy and Robin Knutson.
Doing his best Bob Dylan impersonation, Randy Knutson sings bars to Dylan's early 1960s hit, "The Times They are a Changin'."
"This is Bob Dylan answering the phone for the Knutsons," he says in an exaggerated Dylan voice.
Then you hear some more from "The Times They Are A Changin' " before you hear the beep.
POOR LITTLE CRITTERS: While Twin Cities Road was flooding west of Galt recently, Peggy Johnson was concerned about her 40 female cows and their calves that had to move from their pasture to drier quarters.
The mothers and calves were grazing on some relatively dry land when one of the calves escaped through the barbed wire fence.
"Shame on you, No. 52. Go back to your mama," Johnson told the wayward calf, who was given a number so Johnson could tell who the calf's mother is.
After that episode, Johnson returned to her work room to work on some stained glass while watching "Dr. Phil" on TV.
"He's better than Jerry Springer," she said.
BASEBALL FAN: Former Congressman Pete McCloskey, who's running in the Republican primary against Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, is apparently a fan of the national pastime.
On a recent visit to the News-Sentinel office, McCloskey asked a reporter if he had a high school baseball schedule.
"There's nothing better than campaigning and watching high school baseball," he said.
FREEWAY SIGHT: Strange things are seen on area roads all the time, and Interstate 5 near Highway 12 is no exception: A caller to the California Highway Patrol recently reported seeing a woman in her 20s, "naked from the waist down." No word on whether her clothes were nearby.
GRAPEVINE was looking a little thin this week, so we thought we'd fertilize it with some of the Associated Press' off-beat offerings.
• WENATCHEE, Wash. - A state wildlife agent believes a cougar was being playful when it bit a man on the leg as he was playing stick-toss with his dog at his home near Leavenworth.
Searchers were unable to find the cat Tuesday night and nearby residents are advised to keep their pets indoors, said Sgt. Doug Ward of the state Fish and Wildlife Department.
Ward said the young cougar appeared more curious than hungry and it may have been excited by watching the game of fetch.
The man, Alex Schmidt, was treated for a puncture wound in his calf at Cascade Medical Center.
• LOS ANGELES - Hollywood officials say they want to stop a mysterious bird lady who hauls 25-pound sacks of feed and draws flocks of messy pigeons whose droppings have fouled cars, sidewalks and buildings.
Authorities say they've asked the woman to stop feeding the birds but they can't order her to quit. City law only bans pigeon feeding in a section of downtown.
Local residents aren't happy.
"I've collected birdseed bags she's discarded," said Laura Dodson, president of the Argyle Civic Association. "We calculate she spreads 112 tons a year above Sunset Boulevard, centering on Vine Street. We've spotted 29 spots she puts down food."
Dodson said the woman puts down 150 pounds of bird seed a day at a triangular traffic island the community wants to beautify with palm trees.
The feedings have interfered with an $80,000 landscaping project, officials said.
Some local leaders worry that the pigeons could spread avian flu but "wild pigeons don't seem to be a major source," Karen Ehnert, senior veterinarian for the Los Angeles County health department.
The pigeon poop also covers bridges and signs on the nearby Hollywood Freeway.
Items in Grapevine, which runs every other week on Mondays, are written by various reporters on the staff. If you have an item to contribute, e-mail Newsroom Assistant Pam Bauserman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 369-7035.
First published: Monday, April 24, 2006