Almost Daily Briefing
Local News Roundup for #Lafayette, California
Believe it! Fire Station 16 is under construction
The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District celebrated the groundbreaking of Lafayette Fire Station 16 with a gold shovel ceremony April 11, and the 22 gold shovels used for the event could have each signified one of the many obstacles the district had to overcome to finally begin the construction.
Blazin’ Jayz Smoke Shop opens third branch in Lafayette
Given the opportunity to promote themselves, new businesses are usually excited to run down the list of products or services they provide the marketplace.
Las Trampas School recognized on 60th anniversary
Orinda Mayor Amy Worth was delighted to present a proclamation recognizing the 60th anniversary of Las Trampas School at the city council meeting April 10. Mayor Worth called the school “one of the treasures of our community.” The school was honored for its efforts on behalf of the developmentally disabled.
City council to serve as planning commission during new commissioner search
While Lafayette prepares to get new planning commissioners in place as soon as possible, the council has adopted an urgency ordinance to allow the city council to serve as the city’s planning commission until a quorum of the PC is appointed. The ordinance also reduces the number of planning commissioners from seven to five, at least in the short term.
Jenkins honored as Citizen of the Year
Lafayette’s Citizen of the Year Don Jenkins was honored April 13 at a sold-out dinner attended by local dignitaries, friends and family all of whom agreed that Lafayette is a better place for all the time he has volunteered in so many capacities.
Lafayette’s native son among those honored in new memorial
Twenty-two fallen service men and women from Contra Costa County who lost their lives in the line of duty since 9/11 will be honored and permanently remembered on a new memorial to be installed at the front of the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Center. It will be the only monument in California to recognize the entire group.
Community urged to give the gift of green at this year’s Earth Day Festival
Lafayette’s annual Earth Day celebration will once again be offering fun for all ages but organizers Sustainable Lafayette also want to draw residents’ attention to its focus of the entire month - the 50th Anniversary Community Gift or the gift of clean energy.
Bear relocates to Lafayette
A rather large grizzly bear will be relocating to Golden Gate Way very soon. Lafayette will be hosting the bear sculpture for a two-year period in the city’s first experience of temporary public art.
Orinda City Council expresses outrage about EBMUD soil removal project
Orinda City Council members reacted with shock and anger when staff told them that the East Bay Municipal Utility District plans to move some 200,000 cubic yards of accumulated trench soil over Orinda roads and past Wagner Ranch Elementary School at the rate of 17 heavy trucks per hour in each direction from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. for seven months.
Hillside and Ridgeline regulation approved after 5 years of work
At its April 11 meeting the Moraga Town Council approved the updates and modifications of its regulations pertaining to hillside and ridgeline development. The process to amend local code started five years ago, and took that long to go through iterations, public discussion and forums, as well as several staff and elected official changes, until it was finally completed.
Staffing levels in Moraga discussed
During his short tenure as interim town manager, Jim Holgersson asked Management Partners for a report assessing staffing levels in town and improvements that could be made. The results show that Moraga has fewer employees than comparable Bay Area cities, and that progress could be made by using software to automate some tasks. New town manager Cynthia Battenberg hopes to use the report to improve her new team’s efficiency.
Storm drain fee vote: the business of ballots
All Moraga property owners by now should have received the ballots to vote for or against the storm water fee. The fee includes the 12 parcels owned by the town, which are assessed approximately $14,500 a year for the runoff from its properties into the storm drain system. The council decided to vote yes and Mayor Dave Trotter will sign the 12-vote ballot.
A new Finestra (window) opens at the Hacienda
A special town meeting was scheduled on Tuesday, April 17 to discuss a lease contract between the Town of Moraga and Jeff Assadi to open a restaurant on part of the ground floor of the Hacienda de las Flores. The meeting happened after this paper went to press. At the time Lamorinda Weekly discussed with stakeholders, all were hopeful that this contract would be approved as they saw this partnership as the best possible option for the building.
Debate continues over Orinda’s private road maintenance
Residents of private roads continue strenuously to press the Orinda City Council to alleviate their plight, which they say is unfairly burdensome on them for no logical reason, but Orinda staff have recommended that there be no change to the city’s policy on private roads.
Resident requests code enforcement; city responds, “sue your neighbors”
John Bilello lives in a lovely home on Lombardy Lane in Orinda, but he isn’t happy. Since he bought the house about two years ago, he is now facing $200,000 worth of work to his home to address water damage that he says is caused by neighbors who put in drainage systems and are diverting storm water from their properties onto his. The other properties are on Irving, a street that sits just uphill from Lombardy Lane.
Red-legged frogs and friendly goats welcome visitors to Wagner Ranch Wildlife Festival
Once a year the historic ranch and 18-acre nature preserve at Wagner Ranch Nature Area in Orinda opens to the public for its wildlife festival, which this year occurs on Sunday, April 22. From 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. visitors can enjoy a variety of activities for all ages, especially kids.
3 Orinda elementary schools among 7 distinguished schools in county
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson recently announced the elementary schools honored as California Distinguished Schools for 2018. Orinda Union School District’s Del Rey Elementary, Glorietta Elementary, and Wagner Ranch Elementary are three of the seven elementary schools designated as Distinguished Schools in Contra Costa County.
Will Landed help Orinda educators purchase homes?
Recognizing that attracting and retaining talented teachers, staff and administrators is of utmost importance to maintaining educational excellence, the Orinda Union School District board of trustees has taken steps to counteract the high cost of local housing and assist OUSD teachers and other employees to purchase residential property.
To avoid another ‘Sinky the Sinkhole,’ Moraga asks voters to OK new fee
The mail ballot proposes a fee ranging from $67.59 to $150.31 per single-family home
HOUSING AND SB827
Major California housing bill dies in first committee hearing
A sweeping bill that would have given the state unprecedented power over local development failed in its first committee hearing, crushing the hopes of those who saw it as the key to making housing in the state more affordable.
California Lawmakers Kill Housing Bill After Fierce Debate
Just before a committee of California state senators voted on a landmark bill to ramp up housing production by overriding local resistance, legislator after legislator talked about a dire affordable-housing crisis that demanded bold action and a marked increase in new building. Then they killed the bill.
California’s SB 827 ‘Upzoning’ Bill Dies a Noisy Death — for Now
A controversial California bill that would have swept away local zoning restrictions near transit facilities was killed at its first formal stop in the legislature this week. SB 827 was designed to address two of the state’s megaproblems: a severe housing shortage and an auto-heavy transportation system that makes achievement of ambitious greenhouse-gas-emissions goals highly problematic. By overriding local limitations on housing height and density near rail and high-volume bus stops, the bill aimed at “upzoning,” the construction of high-rise multifamily dwellings in some of the state’s core urban areas. The bill targeted California’s rampant culture of nimbyism (“not in my back yard”), an opposition to development that is (not coincidentally) most intense in the wealthy coastal communities that have the biggest affordable-housing shortages.
California lawmakers killed one of the biggest housing bills in the country
A robust effort to attack California's housing shortage was rejected Tuesday by a state legislative panel at the Capitol, felled in part by opponents who argued that it treated small cities and large ones like San Francisco the same way.
With only four (4) of the thirteen (13) members of the State Senate's Transportation and Housing Committee voting in favor of advancing Senator Scott Wiener's “transit-rich housing bonus” bill, the controversial SB 827is DOA this legislative year
The reason for that housing crisis is simple: there is not enough housing.
Transit Housing Bill Dies in Committee
Housing crisis continues, but "local control" and the "character of the neighborhood" are preserved
YIMBYs Defeated as California’s Transit Density Bill Stalls
SB 827 was killed in its first committee hearing. But for State Senator Scott Wiener and his YIMBY allies, the battle to increase California’s housing supply has just begun.
Bill pushing apartments and condos near public transit loses crucial vote
San Francisco Chronicle
How they voted on bill to build more housing near public transit
San Francisco Chronicle
SF supervisors pass law to regulate scooters that have descended on city
San Francisco Chronicle
“Horrible” interchanges abound in East Bay: Roadshow
Los Alamitos gives final approval to exempt itself from state's sanctuary laws," by LATimes' Cindy Carcamo: "More than 200 people showed up at Monday's meeting, with some lining up late into the night to address council members. Los Alamitos leaders heard from sanctuary supporters who called the ordinance divisive and a waste of taxpayer money. Others showed up to support the move." Story
Trump's tax cut not for everyone: 1 million Californians will owe $12 billion more next year," by SacBee's Adam Ashton: "Very wealthy Californians earning more than $1 million a year will pay the lion's share of that money, with 43,000 of them paying a combined $9 billion." Story
California risks losing $1.4 billion in federal train funds. Safety is the issue," by SacBee's Tony Bizjak: "The Federal Transit Administration took the unusual step Monday of issuing a public warning to California and several dozen other states of a looming deadline for those states to prove they have complete programs to oversee and promote rail safety." Story
With S.F. seawall crumbling, $425 million bond for repairs likely to make ballot," by SFChronicle's Dominic Fracassa: "A proposed $425 million San Francisco bond measure to kick-start vital repairs to the city's fragile Embarcadero seawall cleared an important hurdle Monday, pushing it closer to a spot on the November ballot." Story
California bill would make it cheaper to fix your smartphone," by Capital Public Radio's Sally Schilling: "Repairing a smartphone can be a hassle and is often expensive. Consumer advocates say that's because phone manufacturers have a monopoly on repairs. The advocates are pushing for a California bill they say would solve the problem." Story
Tax Day. Time to re-think the CA tax structure? Don't bet on It!" by Fox & Hounds' Joel Fox: "Income taxes are due today, which should give us pause to think about the state's rickety tax structure built on a narrow foundation of a few high end taxpayers. ForgetAboutIt! Hardly anyone seems to care, not while the current tax system is raining dollars into the state treasury like manna from heaven." Story
Why are schools in Sacramento seeing more homeless kids?" by SacBee's Cynthia Hubert: "At a time when affordable housing is scarce and rents are high, the number of students without a stable place to sleep surged 15 percent last year and has risen more than 20 percent since 2011, according to data collected by school districts in the county." Story
Dems and 'single payer' - a house divided?" by Capitol Weekly's Chuck McFadden: "The danger to Democrats is that disagreement over the issue could depress their turnout, with some more left-leaning Democratic activists refusing to support fellow Democrats who are not sufficiently enthusiastic about single payer." Story
Ranked-choice voting could come into play in SF mayor's race," by SFChronicle's Matier & Ross: Story
Willie Brown backs off renaming Lotta's Fountain for Ed Lee after public outcry," by SFChronicle's Rachel Swan: Story
New Stephon Clark videos raise questions about time taken to render medical aid," by SacBee: Story
State Bar charges SF prosecutor with misconduct in 2013 murder case," by Evan Sernoffsky: Story
THAT OTHER LAFAYETTE
A longtime pharmacy owner and his partners were granted on Tuesday the sole license to operate a medical marijuana pharmacy in the Lafayette region, breaking a first-place tie between two applicants.
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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PHOTO OF THE DAY