Almost Daily Briefing
Local News Roundup for #Lafayette, California
Lafayette department of engineering to merge with public works
Lafayette’s engineering and public works departments are set to merge in early February in a minor reorganization.
Rheem Theatre closes its doors: Will the phoenix rise up again?
The Rheem Theatre’s lights went out for good on Sunday, Jan. 7. A fairly large number of residents came to the last evening and expressed their sorrow at seeing the only Moraga entertainment venue closed.
Emergency response training at schools includes active shooter scenario
”You are not helpless. What you do matters.” This is the main message from Lafayette police in their emergency response trainings, currently ongoing for all staff in Lafayette’s public elementary and middle schools.
Is Lafayette ready for cannabis?
With the legalization of recreational marijuana effective from the beginning of this month, does the wording of Ordinance 660, adopted by the city council at the end of 2017 to impose further restrictions, go far enough?
A transparent and ethical local government is of utmost importance to Lafayette’s ‘new’ mayor
As Don Tatzin starts his eighth term as mayor and his 33rd year on the Lafayette City Council, he discussed goals for the upcoming year (and years beyond), reflecting on the changes he has seen and lessons he has learned since he joined the council in 1985. This clearly isn’t his first rodeo.
Dana Green - at home in community
For Lafayette Realtor Dana Green, it is all about community. In fact it is her love and appreciation of community in Lafayette that drives all she accomplishes and is a large part of why she is so deserving of this year’s Business Person of the Year award.
Interim town manager brings a wealth of experience to Moraga
There must be something left of his adventurous Swedish ancestors in Jim Holgersson’s blood to explain the many adventures he lived as manager of cities in many states. From Texas to Michigan, from Illinois to California, Holgersson has lived the highs and the lows, the excitements and the challenges of the profession, keeping intact in his heart a desire for social improvement and building communities.
A day for West Commons
What do you do for a park that needs extra care in a town that has barely enough maintenance staff to do the everyday upkeep? If you’re the town of Moraga, you call on volunteers.
Trash talking with a techie accent
Orinda will soon be considering joining the ranks of those using “smart” trash cans provided by Bigbelly. The company, which has been in business for 14 years, uses technology to make trash and recycling collection greener and more efficient in cities, on university campuses and other venues.
2018 may bring surprises for Bella Oaks development
Last June Paul Ugenti, developer of the Bella Oaks project at 25 Orinda Way, was disappointed when the city council refused to grant a waiver that would let him lease a large ground floor space to Chase Bank. But now Ugenti has done a turnaround and come up with what might be an exciting project for the city, more in line with the concept of downtown development:
Art & Garden Center rises in Wilder
It has been a long time coming, but the Art and Garden Center at Wilder is taking shape and will open to the public this year. The Center is a 6,600-square-foot building that features a 3,150-square-foot room that can accommodate many different uses. Accordion walls enable this space to be subdivided into three separate studios, and the building also features an additional, separate studio to maximize programming potential.
Plenty of ‘new’ for MOFD in 2018
The Moraga-Orinda Fire District redefined the “new” of the new year Jan. 3 as new board president Brad Barber convened the first 2018 district meeting at a new time - 6:15 p.m. - in a new location - a conference room at the Orinda City Hall complex.
ConFire all-day training session preps first responders for medical emergencies
Contra Costa LAFCO seeks one special individual
If you made a new year’s resolution to become more active in local government, an alternate public seat with the Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission may be just what you are looking for.
EBMUD updated Watershed Master Plan available for public view
Each Lamorinda community presents a unique challenge to the East Bay Municipal Utility District as it manages the 29,000 acres of land and water under its jurisdiction. Many of those challenges are outlined in the EBMUD 2017 Watershed Master Plan, released for public scrutiny in December. Here are examples of district management directives for each local municipality.
First Lamorinda boba tea opens in Moraga
Boba tea, also known as pearl milk tea, is an interesting concoction that, according to CNN Travel, originated in Liu Han-Chieh’s Chun Shui Tang teahouse in Taichung, Taiwan in the 1980s. It has since spread to all the corners of the world, including the Bay Area for a few years and to Lamorinda since last November, with the opening of i-Tea at 1460 Moraga Road, in the Moraga Shopping Center.
Superintendent Zinn announces her retirement
After 38 years in education, longtime leader of the Lafayette School District, Rachel Zinn, announced her retirement as superintendent on Jan. 5. According to a memo sent to Lafayette families and community members, Zinn said she made the decision to retire at the end of August.
Kenneth Breslin, 69, may be soon facing new federal child porn charges.
How to fix the Bay Area's nasty commute? Locals weigh in
San Francisco Chronicle
Bay Area toll hike measure likely for June ballot
Marin Independent Journal
$3 toll hike for Bay Area bridges nearly set for June ballot
San Francisco Chronicle
Muir Woods: Supervisors move to ban long buses from road
Marin Independent Journal
SF grants first-ever permit for dockless ‘e-bike’ sharing
San Francisco Examiner
HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT
San Francisco Business Times
"When you look at all this opposition even to 100 percent affordable housing, it's very clear why the Bay Area has become so expensive," said Gabriel Metcalf, president of the urban planning think tank SPUR.
A new trend in statewide migration: Californians ditching coastal cities and moving inland
San Francisco Chronicle
2017 was costliest year ever in U.S. for weather, climate disasters
San Francisco Chronicle
Why California, not Iowa, could pick the next Democratic presidential nominee," by Daily Beast's Gideon Resnick: "California is not a customary playground for presidential aspirants. There are no historic caucus sites or snowy treks through New England hamlets. But operatives in the party are increasingly concluding that voters in The Golden State will have an immense, even oversized, role in choosing the 2020 Democratic nominee." Story
Can California preserve net neutrality? Lawmakers pledge to try," by SacBee's Taryn Luna: "Senate Bill 460 would make it illegal for broadband providers to block or limit internet service or interfere with customer access. The bill also requires the California Public Utilities Commission to establish new rules to enforce net neutrality." Story
Oprah for president? Sure, but Donald Trump always thought she'd be a great running mate: 'I think we'd win easily'," by LATimes' Nardine Saad: "The former talk-show host, who accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes with a rapturous speech on Sunday, was touted by Trump as a possible running mate long before he was sworn in as president." Story
Sexual harassment scandals give new momentum to legislative efforts to protect whistleblowers in California's capital," by LATimes' Melanie Mason: "Powered by the focus on sexual harassment gripping California politics, a long-stalled effort to extend whistleblower protections to employees of the state Capitol has taken on new life in the early days of the legislative session." Story
State watchdog urges prosecutor to charge Sacramento sheriff over early information release," by SacBee's Nashelly Chavez: "State Auditor Elaine Howle has urged Sacramento County's district attorney to file misdemeanor charges against Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones after he preemptively shared information last month about an unpublished audit reviewing how the county issues permits for concealed weapons." Story
California is sitting on a surplus, but don't expect a refund," by CALmatters' Judy Lin: "... In the months between now and the June deadline for a final budget, the governor and the Legislature will hammer out details. The focus this year: what to do with an expected surplus of $7.5 billion. Republicans say return it to California's 40 million residents as a nice tax refund. The governor's approach is typically save some and spend some. Democratic legislators mostly want to spend it." Story
Marin County has long resisted growth in the name of environmentalism. But high housing costs and segregation persist," by LATimes' Liam Dillon: "The December meeting on a proposed 400-home development played out as many have in Marin County. Dozens of residents approached the microphone to argue the project would hurt their quality of life. The Board of Supervisors killed the plan and told the developer what to expect when it tried again." Story
Editorial: Block Trump plan to pump Delta water south to the Central Valley," by Mercury News and East Bay Times' editorial boards: "Every scientific study of the Delta has yielded the same result: The only way to preserve its health and water quality is to allow more fresh water to run through it, not less." Story
Commentary: Senator's creative tax plan faces many pitfalls," by CALmatters' Dan Walters: "[Kevin] De León's plan would give California taxpayers the option of converting their state income tax payments into charitable donations to the state since the new federal tax law doesn't change the law on charitable deductions." Story
Is it finally time to allow California legislative staff to unionize?" by Cap Radio's Ben Adler: "Legislative employees are "at-will:" no job protection. And that's drawn particular scrutiny in recent months amid allegations of pervasive sexual harassment in and around the state Capitol." Story
Analysis throws cold water on California's federal tax cap work-around, but law professors deepen their case," by East Bay Times' Katy Murphy: "Letting Californians donate to their state instead of paying some of the taxes they owe is "unlikely to succeed" as a workaround for the new federal $10,000 cap on state and local deductions, a new report from a nonprofit tax policy group has concluded." Story
California storm follows fires, bringing new round of danger," by AP's Andrew Dalton: "The same Californians who had to flee from huge wildfires in recent months now have to handle hard rains that bring another type of danger. Storms dumped rain and increased the risk of mudslides in fire-ravaged communities. Northern California was hit hardest Monday evening, while Southern California was bracing for the worst to arrive overnight. Both regions have been plagued with destructive wildfires." Story
Did Jeff Sessions just increase the odds Congress will make marijuana legal?" by James Higdon for POLITICO: "Thursday may well turn out to be a pivotal moment in the marijuana industry's evolution as a political force. Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe in some form of legalized marijuana, but does the nascent industry have the sway to rewrite nearly 50 years of federal drug policy?" Story
Coachella bans marijuana, despite it being legal in California," by NME's Tom Connick: "The ruling comes after marijuana was legalised in California on January 1 2018. Despite the state-wide ruling, local jurisdiction still has final say, and the city of Indio - home of Coachella - has opted to keep the drug illegal." Story
Wine mogul Dave Phinney poised to transform Mare Island with distillery," by Esther Mobley for SFChronicle: Story
Environmental groups push for plastic bottle cap modifications in California," by ABC7: Story
Flu epidemic is overwhelming California ERs, as death toll climbs," by SF Business Times: Story
'Smoke and Stay' at Mike Tyson's Luxury Cannabis Resort in California," by 7x7's Jen Woo: Story
Democrats on both coasts cry foul after Trump administration exempts Florida from offshore drilling plan," by LATimes' Gray Rohrer and Matt Pearce: "Democratic officials in California and New York accused the Trump administration of unfair partisan treatment Tuesday after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke exempted Florida from expanded offshore drilling - under pressure from the state's Republican governor - without offering similar exemptions to other coastal states." Story
'Human source' in Trump orbit contacted FBI, Fusion GPS co-founder told senators," by POLITICO's Kyle Cheney: "Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Tuesday unexpectedly released the transcript of congressional investigators' August 2017 interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, whose firm was behind a controversial dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump and Russians." Story
Political agenda keeps Trump and Congress apart on a fix for immigrant 'Dreamers'," by LATimes' Lisa Mascaro: "A compromise deal that once appeared within reach - passage of the Dream Act coupled with some enhanced border security measures - now appears to have slipped as the administration backtracks on Trump's earlier agreement with Democratic leaders and piles on fresh demands." Story
Push to reverse FCC rollback of net neutrality rules gets Senate boost," by Levi Sumagaysay: "Since the FCC voted to repeal the rules last month, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, has led an effort to reverse the decision under the Congressional Review Act, for which he needed 30 sponsors. Monday, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, tweeted that she is that 30th co-sponsor." Story
For black immigrants here illegally, a battle against both fear and historic discrimination," by LATimes' Makeda Easter: "According to the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, black immigrants make up one out of five immigrants facing deportation on criminal grounds even though they make up only about 7% of the noncitizen immigrant population." Story
Trump's mass deportation of Salvadorans should force Congress to take action, says Elizabeth Warren," by Newsweek's Graham Lanktree: "Under the Safe Environment From Countries Under Repression and in Emergency Act (SECURE Act), sponsored by Warren and several other Senate Democrats last November, those with protected TPS status and their families would be able to gain permanent resident status and a path to citizenship." Story
Safety wasn't the only thing on Oroville Dam operators' minds as they responded to crisis, report shows," by SacBee's Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow: "California water officials have always insisted public safety was their only concern as they struggled with the crisis unfolding last February at Oroville Dam. The forensic team investigating what happened at Lake Oroville, however, has pinpointed another factor guiding the decisions made by the Department of Water Resources: the state's desire to continue shipping water to faraway farms and cities that rely on deliveries from the reservoir." Story
Oil giant ExxonMobil counters climate-change suits by SF, other governments" by SFChronicle's Kurtis Alexander: "In a court filing submitted Monday, the Texas-based company said the California communities quietly met in La Jolla (San Diego County) six years ago to concoct plans to use government investigations and legal action to force oil producers to respond to climate change." Story
California bid to sidestep federal tax overhaul would create 'the most generous tax credits' in state history, analysis says," by LATimes' Liam Dillon: "The legislation, Senate Bill 227 from Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), would create a state-run nonprofit to accept donations from residents concerned about their federal tax liabilities under the GOP-led federal tax overhaul." Story
Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger push for a 'new way' in California," by SacBee's Alexei Koseff: "Pushed out by party activists last summer for negotiating with Democrats on a climate change program, former Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes is doubling down on his fight to reshape the California GOP - with a key assist from former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger." Story
Roman Polanski won't face '75 child molest charge as L.A. prosecutor cites expired statute of limitations," by LATimes' Richard Winton: "Prosecutors in Los Angeles have formally declined to charge fugitive director Roman Polanski in connection with an allegation he molested a woman when she was a minor in 1975, saying the statute of limitations has expired." Story
Plan for a Starbucks in Yosemite gets some park lovers riled up," by KQED's Katrina Schwartz: Story
Women lawmakers join #WhyWeWearBlack protest at California Capitol," by SacBee's Alexei Koseff: Story
Three port truck companies exploited drivers, L.A. city attorney says in lawsuits," by LATimes' Andrew Khouri: Story
L.A.'s new recycling program has more than 28,000 complaints for missed trash pickup," by LATimes' David Zahniser: Story
12-year-old California girl dies from infection misdiagnosed as flu," by ABC7's Cory James: Story
Southern California assisted living homes cited for paying workers below $3 an hour," by OCRegister's Margot Roosevelt: Story
THAT OTHER LAFAYETTE
A lot of people know ramen as that cost-saving dish they consumed in college during late night study sessions or as a lunch on the go. But let's be clear, that is not ramen.
AND FINALLY. . .
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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