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Almost Daily Briefing

Post Date:04/19/2017 12:14 PM

Local News Roundup for #Lafayette, California


Every dog can have his day at Dogtown Downtown in Lafayette

All the coolest Lamorinda dogs are currently planning to attend Dogtown Downtown from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 29.


Lafayette wins Great Place in California award

As residents of Lafayette have long suspected, they are living in a pretty great city. Now the California Chapter of the America Planning Association has made that official with its “Great Places in California” award going to Lafayette.


Judge rules in favor of city’s position in lawsuit on Deer Hill housing development

A San Francisco-based housing advocate group suffered a setback in a recent Contra Costa Superior Court ruling regarding the potential development at Deer Hill in Lafayette.


Lafayette’s Downtown Creeks Plan continues to flow

While it continues to tweak the wording of the Downtown Creeks Preservation, Restoration and Development Plan, Lafayette’s Creeks Committee will be moving the draft to the Planning Commission with the recommendation to have a committee workshop to allow for more input.


Garden Club helps Lafayette bloom at Oak Hill Road off ramp

On a recent gorgeous Saturday morning, about 10 volunteers from the Lafayette Garden Club spent roughly an hour and a half beautifying a spot next to the City of Lafayette sign at the entrance to Oak Hill Road.


Designing woman: Local entrepreneur opens new shop in Lafayette

Leslie Price began her design career 17 years ago, while raising her two sons in Moraga. She started in real estate staging houses. Wanting to work with her hands, she developed an upholstery and a cushion making enterprise in her garage, before embarking in the next phase of her business life just a few weeks ago as she opened her first store front: Price Style & Design in Lafayette.


Lafayette’s Earth Day Festival targets ‘Sustainable Youth’

With a very “hands-on” approach this year, Lafayette’s 12th annual Earth Day Festival will showcase local youth groups as well as exhibitors.


Town Hall Theatre continues to lead by ‘green’ example in Lafayette

Joining forces with Sustainable Lafayette for an educational movie night, Town Hall Theatre continues to be a leader in “going green.” Sustainable Lafayette will be presenting a special showing of “A Plastic Ocean,” a visually stunning 90-minute movie about our global disposable lifestyle, the impact plastic is having on the oceans and how it affects marine life, ...


Local school districts anticipate possible budget deficits

The Orinda, Lafayette and Moraga school districts will be looking at ways to make ends meet as they face possible deficits in funding for the upcoming year.


Residents can take steps to deter crime, says Lafayette Police Chief

Crime tends to go in waves and Lafayette Police Chief Eric Christensen said that despite the perception that burglaries are up, in fact so far this year, residential burglaries in Lafayette are down from the same period last year.


Town of Moraga mulls tax for storm drain repair

Moraga has started preliminary work to propose a new tax of some form to fund its storm drain network repair and maintenance.


Full-day kindergarten to start in Moraga

Beginning next fall, Moraga School District will implement a full-day kindergarten, probably with the present first-grade schedule.


Group holds anti-war protest at Moraga Commons

Members of Indivisible Moraga braved a chilly north wind at the Moraga Commons April 13 and held a protest in tandem with nationwide vigils called by the organizers of the Women’s March for the people of Syria. “We stand with their suffering,” said protester Dolores Stratford.


EBMUD, parks district under town scrutiny regarding Moraga landslide

Every month the Moraga Town Council reviews the status of the landslide that formed below Augusta Drive last year that resulted in three families having to leave their homes and the closure of a portion of the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail.


Rheem Center Study Session

The Moraga Planning Commission and Design Review Board will hold a joint study session on the Rheem Valley Shopping Center from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 24 in the council chambers and community meeting room, 335 Rheem Blvd. in Moraga


Orindans eager to hear Urban Land Institute’s initial thoughts on city’s downtown development plans

An overflow crowd of about 150 came to hear a presentation on downtown development by the Urban Land Institute’s Technical Assistance Panel to a joint meeting of Orinda’s city council and planning commission.


Orinda police chief says crime is down, more solved

Residential burglaries are down in Orinda, perhaps owing to security cameras, and the solve rate for crimes has jumped by double digits from five percent to 28 percent. In other good news, there is no “blue flu” in Orinda as the Orinda Police Department completed 2016 with a total of zero sick days.


Orinda sinkhole repair clears high hurdle, work to begin this week

For the first time, the Orinda City council used an exception to the Brown Act to add an urgent item to its agenda that came to light in order to quickly begin repairs on the Miner Road sinkhole: permits.


New website debuts with announcement of photo contest winners

Orinda launched its new and improved website in April, and announced the winners of the Adore Orinda photo contest. A slideshow of the photos is available on the website, which can be found at


MOFD fire suppression rating improves, and lower insurance rates may follow for residents

Moraga-Orinda Fire District Chief Stephen Healy announced that the district achieved an improved rating from the Insurance Services Office for its fire suppression efforts, and that improved rating may help lower fire insurance rates for many district residents.


Former Moraga firefighter takes on a massive challenge as East Contra Costa County chief

Brian Helmick, the interim Fire Chief of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, never imagined that he would work in fire service.


Water pumping station gets a roof, but installing it may be noisy

Residents on the east end of Mount Diablo Boulevard might be hearing loud “popping” noises as EBMUD installs the new metal roof to the new Diablo Vista Pumping Plant.


Bridge connecting Moraga and Canyon closed indefinitely

A bridge used by motorists commuting from Moraga to Oakland is closed indefinitely due to damage from a nearby landslide.  The Canyon Road bridge connecting Moraga with the small community of Canyon was closed April 18, according to Moraga police. The structure is on Canyon Way between Constance Place and the Valle Vista Staging Area, which is also closed. The bridge is shut to all traffic, including vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.


Route between Moraga and Oakland shut down due to Canyon Road bridge damage

The Moraga-Orinda Fire District is working on a contingency plan for providing emergency response into Canyon.





BART: Fare cheaters costing up to $25 million each year; what can be done?
Mercury News


Bay Area’s first one-way car share debuts in Berkeley and Oakland


Mayor appoints former state Sen. Art Torres to replace retiring SFMTA board member
San Francisco Examiner


This senator wanted to fix potholes. Now Republicans want to take him out
Sacramento Bee


Study shows that people have concerns about flying cars for some reason
Washington Post





Plan Bay Area 2040 recognizes today’s immediate crisis: housing
San Francisco Chronicle


Assembly Democrats say addressing the housing affordability crisis is next, but hurdles loom (The Los Angeles Times)
Addressing California’s housing affordability crisis is the next priority of Assembly Democrats, nine lawmakers said at a Monday press conference at a downtown Sacramento low-income housing complex. Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) said that after legislators passed a major transportation funding package earlier this month, housing was the state’s most significant unresolved issue. But any major housing effort faces substantial hurdles in terms of prioritization and garnering support necessary for passage. Housing might not really be next. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) joined Chiu and his colleagues at the press conference. But afterward Rendon didn’t commit to putting housing issues ahead of re-authorizing the state’s main financial program to combat climate change, another major priority on legislative Democrats’ docket. Housing might not get addressed in upcoming budget negotiations. Last year, Assembly Democrats asked for more than $1 billion in low-income housing spending as part of budget talks. Gov. Jerry Brown whittled that number down to $400 million that would only be allocated if the Legislature agreed to his plan to loosen local rules for approving developments that included low-income housing. Lawmakers balked under intense pushback from labor and environmental groups, among others, and a deal never happened.

Democrats in state legislature turn attention to affordable housing issue (Capital Public Radio)
Democrats in the state Legislature are turning their attention to the issue of affordable housing in California. It’s their new focus, after passing a transportation bill earlier this month. Top Assembly Democrats announced their next big agenda item at an affordable housing unit in downtown Sacramento.  Last year lawmakers failed to reach a deal with Governor Jerry Brown to fund new housing in the state. This year, instead of one high-stakes bill, they’re floating dozens of new proposals. Assembly Democrat Laura Friedman wants to target rich communities that aren’t adding affordable homes.  It’s not clear how big a dent in the problem lawmakers can make. The state’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates it would take more than $10 billion to help every Californian in need afford a place to live.




L.A. retirees lose last-ditch appeal for pensions at CalPERS

Retirees from a defunct job-training program in Los Angeles County appealed to save their pensions Tuesday but did not persuade CalPERS.


Proposed state pension reform is hot topic at council meeting

The statewide pension issue was a hot topic Monday.







Golden State Warrior," by The Atlantic's Michelle Cottle: "Immediately upon being appointed, Becerra was welcomed to the fight by a number of his new colleagues, most notably New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is said to be picking apart Trump's business dealings. An effort of this magnitude requires 'teamwork,' Becerra says, with different states taking the lead on different issues. He is particularly primed to challenge Trump's assault on "sanctuary cities"-cities that limit cooperation between local police and immigration agents." Story


For many at violent Berkeley rally, it wasn't really about Trump or free speech: They came to make trouble," by the LATimes' Paige St. John: "When hundreds of activists on the left and the right converged here Saturday, things got ugly very quickly. It was billed as a "free speech" rally by conservative activists, staged in one of America's most liberal cities. But even before the event was set to begin, fists were flying and people were left bloodied. In the end, 21 were arrested and police confiscated an array of heavy sticks, knives, and Pepsi cans used as projectiles. But what appeared to be a political event that devolved into violence was actually something more complex." Story


Berkeley police chief defends handling of 'volatile' rally," by SFChronicle's Kimberly Veklerov: "Berkeley's new police chief defended his department's handling of a weekend political rally that devolved into a series of bloody street brawls, telling city officials in a memo that his officers tried to prevent violence without getting 'swept into the volatility of the crowd.'" Story


White supremacist who punched woman in Berkeley has military, criminal ties to San Diego County," by the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Nathan Damigo, the white supremacist who was captured on video Saturday punching a woman in the face and then running into the crowd during a violent confrontation in Berkeley, has military and criminal ties to San Diego County. Depending on whom you asked at the showdown, Saturday's rally was billed as a free-speech demonstration by alt-right groups, as an anti-racism protest by liberals and as a face-off between supporters and critics of President Donald Trump who converged from around the country." Story


A $10-million fund will help immigrants fight deportations. But should it help those with violent criminal convictions?" by the LATimes' Dakata Smith: "Fearing mass deportations under President Trump, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and County Supervisor Hilda Solis stood together in December to unveil a $10-million fund to hire lawyers to defend local immigrants without legal status. Modeled after programs in other cities, the L.A. Justice Fund will use city and county money and private donations to help those facing deportation proceedings." Story


Sen. Kamala Harris went to the Middle East for her first foreign trip as U.S. senator," by the LATimes' Sarah D. Wire: "Sen. Kamala Harris spent the first week of the April recess in Iraq and Jordan during her first trip overseas as a member of Congress. It is common for representatives and senators not to publicize overseas trips until they return, particularly if they are visiting a potentially dangerous area. In Iraq, Harris met with California service members." Story


State opens nepotism investigation at troubled tax board," by SacBee's Adam Ashton: "The California tax board Gov. Jerry Brown sanctioned last week is now facing an expanded investigation into alleged nepotism in its workforce. Board of Equalization managers must respond by Wednesday to a survey seeking information about employees who are related to other workers at the tax-collecting agency, which has 4,800 workers." Story


Amid California's pot business boom, most banks run away from all that cash," by the SacBee's Peter Hecht: "The recent gathering at the Sheraton Grand hotel in Sacramento would have been improbable just a few years ago. Marijuana farmers - clad in plaid shirts and jeans, and looking like, well, farmers - openly assembled for a meeting of the California Growers Association. But the trade group's agenda topic - about banks refusing cannabis business - still spoke of doors closed and cash transactions made in the shadows." Story


An in-home care program for California's elderly and disabled is constantly at the heart of budget battles. Here's why," by the LATimes' Melanie Mason: "California's program to provide in-home care for its low-income elderly and disabled residents finds itself once again at the heart of a state budget standoff. It is familiar territory for the workers, advocates and administrators of the In-Home Supportive Services program. The current flare-up - between the state and county governments over how to divvy up IHSS costs - is the latest example of how California's signature program, meant to keep people in their communities and out of nursing homes, has continually been the source of budget friction in recent years." Story


State awards $275 million contract for Oroville Dam repairs," by the Dale Kasler: "Kiewit Corp., a construction giant with extensive experience in dam projects, was awarded the massive repair job at troubled Oroville Dam on Monday. The California Department of Water Resources announced that Kiewit, based in Omaha, Neb., beat two competitors for the job with a $275.4 million bid. Kiewit had the low bid, although its offer was still higher than DWR's internal estimate that the project would cost $231 million. (DWR said on Saturday that it estimated the project would cost $220 million, but released a corrected estimate Monday.)" Story


Hunter's campaign pays new lawyers amid federal investigation," by the UT's Morgan Cook: "Rep. Duncan Hunter's campaign paid about $69,000 for legal services from three firms in the first quarter of this year, amid a federal criminal investigation into his campaign spending, according to a new report on file with the Federal Election Commission." Story


Republican Rep. Steve Knight fields questions on healthcare and Trump's possible conflicts of interest at town hall," by LATimes' Javier Panzar: "Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) told the crowd at his packed town hall in Simi Valley that he figured many of them wanted to talk about North Korea. Then the shouts of 'Russia' started." Story


Candidate's endorsement agreement with a former rival draws complaints in L.A. City Council race," by LATimes' Dakota Smith: "Los Angeles City Council candidates in tight races frequently seek endorsements from former rivals to broaden their base of support. But an endorsement agreement in the Council District 1 race in northeast Los Angeles is drawing complaints. Candidate and bike activist Joe Bray-Ali signed an endorsement pledge last month with Jesse Rosas, a Highland Park resident who ran in the primary election, but was not among the top two vote-getters." Story


Disabled placards for thousands of dead Californians part of program abuse," by SacBee's Jim Miller: Story


No progress seen on housing crunch for SF teachers," by SFChronicle's Heather Knight: Story


In a bid to ease student debt, California considers a role in helping refinance private loans," by the LATimes' Melanie Mason: Story


LA County coroner cuts body backlog, but request for more funding rejected," by the LA Daily News' Susan Abram: Story


Home sales and prices jump across the Bay Area, California," by Silicon Beat's Richard Scheinin: Story


Affordable housing bills hit California Legislature, but will they pass?" by KPCC's Josle Huang: Story


Judge slams fruit grower over 'bad faith' bargaining with farmworkers," by the LATimes' Geoffrey Mohan: Story


'Caravan Against Fear' makes a stop in downtown Los Angeles," by the LATimes' Ruben Vives: Story






Austrian town finds its hermit after international search



The Almost Daily Briefing is an aggregation of links to news articles from local and regional newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and other internet sources.  Its purpose is to alert readers to current issues and affairs that may impact Lafayette.  The Almost Daily Briefing does not promote, favor, disfavor, support, reject, or endorse any position, candidate, campaign, or proposition, and nothing about the Daily Briefing, including the selection, presentation, arrangement, or content of the links presented should be construed as an advocacy position.


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