Emerging from the hutch

As you can see from the lack of posts, we’ve taken a bit of a break from the blog. About three years to be exact.

So first things first: The activity listings below are seriously outdated. We’ve received a note from a winery who’se getting a lot of calls asking about their hunt this weekend. Well, that was back in 2007. So please, check your local papers for events and activities near you.

Second, Happy Easter to all. Unfortunately, WalNUT Creek still can’t bring itself to utter the words Easter Bunny.  He’s just plain ol’ Bunny, and it’s a plain ol’ egg hunt. I guess it’s mere coincidence that it happens the Saturday before Easter.

I hope you’ll find an activity near you with the Easter Bunny that features real Easter Eggs.

Happy Easter.

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Hello Baltimore: Coast-to-Coast Easter Bunny

WBAL in Baltimore is the latest radio station preparing to chide WalNUT Creek’s banning of the Easter Bunny. EasterBunnyDude is scheduled to be interviewed on the Chip Franklin show on Friday, April 6 at 10 a.m. Eastern time, which is the un-Easterly hour of 7 a.m. for those of us on the left coast.  For those of you pining to hear EBD’s voice, you can listen live from the radio station’s Web site. Special thanks to Easter Bunny supporter and Baltimore Sun sports columnist Peter Schmuck  (yep, that’s his real name) for setting this up.

Still looking for Easter-friendly activities in the East Bay? Here’s a list of events, courtesy of the Contra Costa Times, whose organizers aren’t afraid of the E-word.

Antioch Community Easter Candy and Egg Hunt.  Sunday, 2-5 p.m. Williamson Ranch Park. 925-778-0808. Free.

Easter Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt. Saturday, noon – 1 p.m. Cedar Mountain Winery, Livermore. 925-373-6636. Free.

Alice in Wonderland Easter Egg Hunt. Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Egg hunts and free golf clinics. This event is associated with the grand opening of the Lake Chabot Golf Course in Oakland.  510-314-3400.

Easter Eggstravaganza. Saturday, 9 a.m., Mountain View Christian Center at Liberty High School, Brentwood. 925-516-6700. Free.

Easter Eggstravaganza. Saturday, 10 a.m. Egg hunt and pancake breakfast. Todos Santos Plaza, Concord. 925-676-7177. Ext. 14.

Elephant Pharmacy Easter Egg Hunt. Sunday, 1-2 p.m. Elephant Pharmacy, Berkeley. Look for eggs hidden in nooks and crannies. 510-549-9200.

Livermore Easter Egg Hunt. Saturday, 1 p.m. It’s at winery; activities for kids and adults. Tesla Vintners. 925-606-9463. Free.

Pinole’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt.Saturday, 8:30-10:30 a.m. with multiple hunts. Photo opps with the Easter Bunny. Fernandez Park, Pinole. 510-724-8554.

Pleasanton Easter Egg Hunt.Saturday, 10 a.m. A $100 prize egg will be available for toddlers through 5th grade. Also, a $100 Hay Hunt for sixth through eighth graders. Amador Valley High School.

San Francisco Spring Celebration and Easter Parade.Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Union Street between Gough and Fillmore streets.

Cuddling Zoo and Easter Egg Hunt. Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Lots of activities: Cuddling with long-eared bunnies, baby chicks and ducklings. Easter Egg hunts at noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m. Free. Ritz Carlton Hotel, San Francisco. 415-296- 7465.

Dumb and Dumber Award: Seems that El Cerrito wants to compete with WalNUT Creek for the most clueless cities when it comes to naming the Easter Bunny. They offer a visit from a “very special bunny.” How sweet.

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What a Character!

Those wily Easter Bunny bashers at WalNUT Creek city hall still don’t get it. Apparently they’ve grown a little sensitive to the nationwide criticism of their arbitrary decision to ban the Easter Bunny from the city’s Easter egg hunts this weekend.

So in their most recent promotional announcements, they’re offering “pictures with a springtime character” — for a fee, of course. You can bet the kids are looking forward to that. “Mommy, can I have my picture taken with the springtime character?” Oh yeah, the city also urges people to “bring your own containers.” Apparently no Easter baskets allowed.  

A couple of area residents spoke up and criticized WalNUT Creek in letters to the editor that appeared in Sunday’s Contra Costa Times.  Beverly Dubrin sums it up nicely:  “I am not a Christian, but I enjoy an Easter basket filled with goodies as much as the next person, and I want it on Easter. If it were a Spring basket, I would have received it on March 21. ”

Contrary to the claims of WalNUT Creek officials, the Easter Bunny remains popular in other communities and hasn’t been banned. According to the CCTimes, kids in Brentwood had lunch with the Easter Bunny on Saturday.

And for those who want to see the Easter Bunny his weekend here are a few activities.

Saturday:

El Sobrante: Easter Egg hunt sponsored by the El Sobrante Manor Neighborhood Council  at 11 a.m., El Sobrante Elementary, 1060 Manor Road. Free. 510-222-5284.

Pinole: Multiple Easter Egg hunts at Fernandez Park 8:30-10-30 a.m. 

Livermore: The Easter Bunny is scheduled to make appearances at the Tesla Vintners Third Annual Easter Egg hunt at 1 p.m. Reservations requested: 925-606-9463.  For children 12 and under. Also: arts and crafts, live music, and wine samples for the adults.

Easter Sunday:

Livermore: Garre Winery’s Third Annual Brunch with the Easter Bunny at at the Martinelli Event Center. All you can eat buffet, $37.95 for adults; $17.50 for kids.

For those who want to avoid WalNUT Creek for Easter brunch, here’s a list of places that still welcome the Easter Bunny, courtesy of EasterBunnyDude’s friend VirgoBlue.

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Adding insult to injury

Walnut Creek pooh-bahs stubbornly blame everyone else for stepping in the rabbit droppings over this one. The growing list of excuses now includes:

  • We got a complaint five years ago. (Yeah, one! How many have you heard from in the last week?)
  • Everybody else does it. (Wrong, by the way.)
  • People are over-reacting. (In other words, we don’t want to hear about it.)
  • Media are over-reacting. (Always a convenient scapegoat.)

But the most telling and disturbing comment may have come this weekend from the city’s designated apologist, who told the story of a local girl whose mother complained about the city’s Ban the Easter Bunny effort and who took a principled stand, vowing not to attend the Walnut Creek event.

Asked for his opinion, the apologist said: “How sad for the little girl.”

Yes, sad indeed. The girl’s mother took a stand on principle. Something to be deeply ashamed of.  (And as if the Walnut Creek event is the only one around.)

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City: Waiting for this to go away

Walnut Creek poo-bahs appear to be taking the typical bureaucratic approach to problem solving: Hope it goes away.

“I keep waiting for this story to die,” the city’s anti-Easter spokesman said in a front-page story in today’s Contra Costa Times.

That’s government in action. Or more accurately: Government inaction.

The spokesguy also lamented “This thing has been blown way out of proportion.”  

Let’s talk about something being “out of proportion.” After about 16 years of having a popular Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny, the city gets one complaint from one  person and runs the Easter Bunny out of town. Yet when it receives dozens of angry letters and phone calls criticizing the decision, it’s all those nasty letter writers who are blowing things out of proportion.

And then there’s this gem. “We’re taking the bullet for all those cities that have done this same thing.” Ya gotta love the “everyone else is doing it” excuse. The last time I heard that, EasterBunnyDude’s daughters spent the night in time out.

What a way to run a city. Hope problems go away by themselves. Blame the letter writers. And say “everybody else is doing it.”

I think city hall deserves a time out.

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Walnut Creek nationally lampooned!

The chorus grows louder! And from unexpected sources! Stephen Colbert, host of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central took a few jabs at city hall poobahs, calling on them to Re-Easterfy the Bunny. Colbert even came up with a nice moniker for EasterBunnyDude, calling him Pro-Easter Walnut Creeker. Has a nice flow to it,  and much kinder and gentler than Easter Bunny Activist.

Is it my imagination, or did Colbert subtly pronounce the city’s name “WalNUT Creek” when he set up the story? You be the judge.

Do the math

In the form letter being sent to those protesting to city hall, city hall rabbit-rousters proudly note that their Easter Spring Equinox Celebration of Vernal Rebirth event has been a “wildly popular tradition for over 20 years,” and have acknowledged that the name change occurred four years ago  based on one complaint from one person. So I guess that means the event enjoyed wild success for 16 years, despite being burdened by the evil “E” word in its name.  Amazing.

Please keep writing!

Judging by the blog stats, a number of you are writing to City Hall. If you haven’t written, see below for contact information. It would be particularly great to get letters from Walnut Creek residents. While one complaint from one person a few years ago led to this silly name change, it appears it will take more than that to convince stubborn city officials to welcome back the Easter Bunny.

Contacting EasterBunnyDude

Responding to increasing demand — now totalling 3 requests — you can e-mail EasterBunnyDude directly at easterbunnydude@hotmail.com.

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The New WC Event: Spring Equinox Celebration of Vernal Rebirth

Walnut Creek began responding to letters from Friends of the Easter Bunny today and told one loyal follower that they don’t plan on welcoming the Easter Bunny back to the parks. In the process, they’ve come up with a new description for the Easter  Spring Egg Hunt.

It’s now: “The spring equinox celebration of vernal rebirth.”

You can’t make this stuff up! That’s actually how Brad Rovanpera described it in an e-mail that he sent, signed by city manager Gary Pokorny. 

Can’t you hear the excitement in homes across Walnut Creek?

“Hey, Honey. Let’s take the kids to hunt for eggs at the Spring Equinox Celebration of Vernal Rebirth.”

“Yay, Daddy! Will the Spring Equinox Celebration of Vernal Rebirth Bunny be there, too?”

“We can only hope!”

At first, EasterBunnyDude thought that city officials might consider letting the Easter Bunny back in town. It’s unbelievable at the lengths — literally — people will go to avoid the dreaded “E” word. When people dig deep into a thesaurus to find language like this, it shows they’re burrowed deeper into their postion than the Easter Bunny burrows into his hutch in the off-season.

No word yet on whether they’ll organize a Spring Equinox Celebration of Vernal Rebirth parade. I can just hear Bing Crosby crooning the lyrics: “In your Spring Equinox Celebration of Vernal Rebirth bonnet. With all the frills upon it. You’ll be the grandest lady in the Spring Equinox Celebration of Vernal Rebirth parade…”

So please keep writing. And tell your friends. Those of you in the Bay Area, please be heard. It’s time to take back the Easter Bunny.

Once again, here are the people to contact:

Mayor  Sue Rainey: mayor@ci.walnut-creek.ca.us

City Manager — Gary Pokorny: pokorny@ci.walnut-creek.ca.us, 925-943-5812

Arts Recreation and Community Services Director — Barry Gordon: bgordon@ci.walnut-creek.ca.us 925-943-5858 

Also, thanks to a Friend of the Easter Bunny who took the time and effort to obtain a more Easter Bunny-friendly domain name, making it easier to find this blog. You can also reach Friends of the Easterbunny at www.defendtheeasterbunny.com Two rabbit ears up for him!

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