The Weekly Roundup
The Weekly Roundup
March 9, 2018 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
Notes About Chief Christensen: He’s Going to Oakley
It is with a mix of sadness for us and excitement for him that we announce that Police Chief Eric Christensen will be leaving Lafayette at the end of this month to take a new assignment with the City of Oakley. During his six years with Lafayette, Chief Christensen has employed a variety of techniques and technologies to solve and reduce crimes, prepare the community for emergencies, address bias, and empower people and their neighborhoods. He’s done it with intelligence, humor, an unrelenting work ethic, and a generosity of spirit that he has extended to everybody he encounters. Eric and his deputies have lifted up the Lafayette community in ways both expected and unexpected and, in so doing, established a new benchmark for effective community policing in the City. The Chief has devoted the entirety of his professional life to public service, and he is a friend and a mentor to us all. We have been just so fortunate to have him in Lafayette for the last six years and the City is definitely a better place because of the work he has done here, so please take the time, when you see him, to wish him well. Regarding Chief Christensen’s replacement, City Manager Steven Falk is in contact with Sheriff David Livingston’s office, and the two will work closely together to quickly deliver a new lieutenant to Lafayette to fill Eric Christensen’s very large shoes.
City Loses Deer Hill Lawsuit, Places Referendum on June Ballot
On February 21st, the State Appeals Court issued an opinion which overturned an earlier trial court decision and ruled in favor of Save Lafayette. The group had sued Lafayette, stating that the City should have placed a referendum on the ballot that gives residents the option to vote on Ordinance #641 which, in part, amends the zoning for the Homes at Deer Hill Project, a 44-home subdivision and parkland development near Acalanes High School. Last Wednesday, March 7th, so as to comply with the court opinion, the City Council passed a resolution calling a special election on June 5, 2018. The yes-or-no question before voters will be:
- Shall the legislative actions in Ordinance #641 approving the Homes at Deer Hill Project, which include a rezone from Administrative/Professional Office (35 units/acre) to Single Family Residential District-20 (2 units/acre) and to Planned Unit Development to provide 44 single-family homes, and a Development Agreement to provide 11 acres, which include parklands, a sports field, a dog park, a tot-lot and a multi-use trail, be adopted?
Readers will recall that this is the same parcel and development plan for which Lafayette was also recently sued (unsuccessfully) by the SF Bay Area Renters Federation.
Council Continues Review of Downtown Congestion Reduction Plan on March 12th
At its last several meetings, the City Council has discussed portions of the Draft Downtown Congestion Reduction Plan, which is being considered for adoption. Most recently, on February 26th, it approved one of eleven recommended strategies, which is for future traffic signals at the Deer Hill Road intersections with Happy Valley Road and Oak Hill Road, should traffic congestion significantly worsen at those locations. At its next meeting, the Council will consider the balance of recommended Plan strategies and whether to approve and adopt the Plan as a whole. The pertinent staff report may be previewed by clicking HERE. More information about the Plan, including its process and background technical memos, is also available HERE and HERE. Funding for this Plan has been provided through a grant from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. If you have questions, please contact James Hinkamp, Transportation Planner, at 925.299.3229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Father-Daughter Dance Tonight
Boot Scootin’ Dads and Daughters will saddle up and ride down to the Lafayette Community Center for Lafayette Recreation’s annual Father-Daughter Dance. The annual dance is sold out, but moms and all can watch from home on Instagram @Lafayette_Rec and dance along while the cowboys and cowgirls two-step the night away. Yee Haw!
Lafayette Recreation’s Spring Registration is Open!
Registration for Spring is open! Check out the rec guide and register online at www.lafayetterec.org. You can also pick one up at the Lafayette Community Center any time. There is a lot going for all ages and even some brand new programs! Check them out and call 925-284-2232 if you have any questions or would like to enroll.
Installation of Public Art in the Roundabout scheduled for March 13, 218
Weather permitting, installation of the City’s newest public art piece will occur next Tuesday, March 13, 2018. “Resolve,” by local artist David Mudgett, features a 16 ft. tall arrangement of eight, corten steel dodecahedrons (doe-deck-a-heed-drons) dynamically balanced atop a concrete pedestal. Each module weighs 420 pounds! The piece caught the eye of the public art committee because of its commanding presence from afar and its intriguing beauty and complexity from all angles. If you’d like to watch the installation in action, the process will start at approximately 10:00 a.m. Don’t, however, stop to watch from your car…it is a ROUNDABOUT after all! Best to observe from a safe distance on foot. If you happen to be there, take some photos and share with us!
Saint Mary’s College will be showcasing itself to the local community next Saturday with a community fair event called "LaGAELrinda Day.” The event will showcase local merchants and Saint Mary’s College, and there will be booths local businesses, from the Moraga Fire department, and other community organizations. It is a family friendly event and an event for all ages. LaGAELrinda Day is intended to showcase our local college’s vibrant communities and a provide a chance to get to know our neighbors better. Put this on your calendars! Saturday, 3/17, from 9:00am-1:00pm on the St. Mary’s College campus.
As part of the difficult challenge to replace Rachel Zinn, who recently announced her retirement as Superintendent of the Lafayette School District, the District’s Governing Board now seeks input from students, staff, families, and residents to identify key characteristics desired in the new superintendent by the community. Barbara Young and Diane Siri of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates will be conducting a series of interviews, focus group meetings, and convening a community forum on Wednesday, March 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the Stanley Middle School Library. Additionally, an online survey to gather information from the community is open here until March 22nd. The Governing Board welcomes your input and hopes you will participate in the survey and attend the community forum. Based on the input it collects, the consultants will present a comprehensive Leadership Profile report to the Board at a special meeting on March 28th at 5pm. The community is encouraged to attend.
Five Shortlist Finalists to Contend for Annual $50,000 Fiction Prize
The five Shortlist Finalists for the 2nd Annual 2018 Simpson Family Literary Prize recognizing mid-career authors in fiction were officially announced this week. The $50,000 Prize is awarded to an author of fiction in the middle of a burgeoning career. The Prize is administered by the Simpson Project, which is the collaboration of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation and the University of California, Berkeley, English Department. The five Shortlist Finalists were selected by an anonymous jury from authors confidentially nominated by distinguished critics, authors, professors, booksellers, and book reviewers from around the country, and they are:
- Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco)
- Samantha Hunt, author of The Dark Dark (FSG)
- Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs (Penguin)
- Anthony Marra, author of The Tsar of Love and Techno (Hogarth)
- Martin Pousson, author of Black Sheep Boy (Rare Bird)
The Prize Recipient is expected to be named in early April 2018. The recipient will give readings in the Bay Area in October 2018, and participate in a two-week residence in Lafayette and Berkeley, California, during the Spring Semester 2019.
This Week at the Library
To see what’s happening at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center this week, click http://www.lllcf.org/program-calendar/. Support your Library - Shop at Friends Corner Book Shop, corner of 1st St. & Golden Gate Way!
Poetry for the Week
Nothing is accidental in the universe –
this is one of my Laws of Physics –
except the entire universe itself,
which is Pure Accident,
Joyce Carol Oates
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This weekly summary is prepared by City Manager Steven Falk for the Lafayette City Council, staff, and the Lafayette community. Do you have thoughts about this week’s Summary or a contribution for next week’s message? Forward it to him now! Do you have opinions about Lafayette? Share them at Lafayette Listens!