Almost Daily Briefing
News Roundup for #LoveLafayette
ConFire dodges bullet at Station 16 site - The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District avoided a major headache pertaining to Fire Station 16 construction when the city of Lafayette agreed to issue a permit for the district to remove two oak trees from the station site. Had the tree removal not been approved administratively by the city planning department, a public hearing may have been necessary, which would have delayed construction for months. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Fire officials issue defensible space guidelines -According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, defensible space is the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs or wildland areas that surround it. This space slows or stops the spread of wildfire and it protects your home from catching fire - either from direct flame contact or radiant heat. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Del Rey custodian sweeps up accolades at his own retirement party -With the crowd, laughter, food, games and toasts, last Thursday’s reception was fit for a rock star. As far as Del Rey Elementary students, faculty and parents past and present were concerned, it was. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Lawyers battle over Measure L at Lafayette city council meeting -A key tipping point for Lafayette voters on Measure L, an ordinance approving the Homes at Deer Hill development, is whether failure of the measure will automatically trigger approval of the Terraces of Lafayette Apartment Project, a 315-unit affordable housing complex, or if approval of the Terraces project would be subject to a referendum. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Decongestion ahead for major Lafayette intersection - Drivers planning to turn right onto Mt. Diablo Boulevard from Moraga Road will soon have an added option as the Lafayette City Council unanimously authorized the temporary addition of a second northbound, right-turn lane at the intersection. The pilot project, part of the Lafayette Downtown Congestion Reduction Plan, will commence in August and run for 90 days. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Lafayette officials speak out on state and regional initiatives - A spate of ballot measures and proposed state legislation came to the Lafayette council members for endorsement at the May 14 city council meeting, but the bills received mixed reviews from the city officials. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Rock the Plaza back again Fridays in June -The Lafayette Plaza Park comes alive every Friday evening in June each year as the Rock the Plaza series of family-friendly, live-music concerts gets the community hopping. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Fire chief supports pipeline access, mum on Lafayette tree removal -The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District chief is all in favor of clear access to natural gas pipelines in Lafayette, but he stopped short of endorsing the PG&E tree-removal program in the city. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Town officials search for alternate sources of storm drain funding -During its May 23 meeting the Moraga Town Council and staff expressed their disappointment over the results of the storm drain fee measure that was brought for a vote by property owners in April/May. The measure failed by 137 votes. Nearly 60 percent of property owners returned their ballots; 48 percent voted yes, and 52 percent no. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Police charm offensive: Boba with a badge -The Moraga police department continues its outreach as a community-based policing service by mingling with residents at favorite hangout places around town. The latest, at I-Tea Moraga, called Boba with a Badge, was well received and allowed the officers to reach out to different demographics. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Two local groups look to revitalize Moraga from the ground up -One might call it serendipity, others a convergence of perception. Two groups have recently taken off in Moraga with different strategies, but a common goal: the revitalization of Moraga. “We Will” started as a women-led movement to purchase sculptures to beautify the town, while Viva Moraga was created to advocate for economic, community, and commercial development. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Town approves Hacienda lease agreement with La Finestra owner -The foretold opening of a new La Finestra at the Hacienda de las Flores has garnered large support of elected officials, staff, and residents alike. At its May 23 meeting the Moraga Town Council approved a five-year lease agreement with two five-year renewal options. Due to previously booked events, the new restaurant will not open until Dec. 1 of this year. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Rheem Theatre slated to reopen June 14 -Derek Zemrak and Tom Schnurr signed an agreement on Saturday, May 26 for the management of the Rheem Theatre in Moraga. Zemrak represents Zemrak Pirkle Productions, which used to manage the theater before it closed six months ago, and Schnurr is the president of the Moraga Community Foundation that is leasing the property from owner Mahesh Puri. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Orinda begins emergency evacuation planning for senior and special needs citizens -In an emergency such as the North Bay fires last year, there are always people who require assistance with evacuations. Recognizing this, the Orinda Police Department is trying to maintain a list of folks who would need support so that emergency services can quickly find them without the need for a call-in during an emergency. The OPD is encouraging people with medical disabilities or transportation needs to register. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Centenarians rule three-quarter century lunch -Brad Davis, a volunteer member of Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary, was the baby of the year at the 19th annual Three-Quarter Century Luncheon on May 16 at the Orinda Community Church. While at 75, he was the youngest of the 90 attendees, the king and queen were 101 and 100 respectively. There was almost a tie for longest married couple: Joe and June Haughin beat another couple by just one month; both couples having been married for 66 years. (Lamorinda Weekly)
OUSD approves water tanks for Wagner Ranch, Sleepy Hollow -It is a big ask, acknowledges Moraga-Orinda Fire District Chief Dave Winnacker, but he is out to convince parents of students at Wagner Ranch and Sleepy Hollow elementary schools to leave their children at school in the event of a sudden wildfire. The two schools are unique populations that are unable to self evacuate, with the largest populations and greatest exposure to risk, such as exposure to the open spaces in the Briones watershed. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Social host law amended to include cannabis -Orinda was an early adopter of an amendment to the city’s “social host” law to include underage consumption of cannabis, in addition to the existing prohibition on underage alcohol use, among the prohibited substances at loud or unruly parties. On May 14, the city council passed Ordinance 18-08, with the intention of prohibiting underage marijuana use at parties in Orinda. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Chief praises firefighters for improved MOFD turnout times -Firefighters from the Moraga-Orinda Fire District contained a May 16 structure fire to the garage at 199 Corliss Drive in Moraga, with minimal fire, heat or smoke damage to living space in the home. No residents or firefighters were injured. Because of the extensive fire damage the cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation. (Lamorinda Weekly)
MOFD firefighters save the life of a cyclist in Orinda -Saturday morning, April 21, a bicyclist alerted the crew at Moraga-Orinda Fire District Station 45 that a fellow cyclist was down on Camino Sobrante in Orinda. Before the call was even dispatched, firefighters arrived at the scene of a man who had suffered a cardiac emergency. (Lamorinda Weekly)
Orinda Police Blotter (Lamorinda Weekly)
Moraga Police Blotter (Lamorinda Weekly)
HOUSING AND TRANSPORATION
Berkeley to Oppose BART Housing Bill -Assembly member David Chiu's bill requires the elected BART Board to ... while aligning with non-rent controlled cities like Concord and Lafayette? (BANG)
New affordable condos take shape in Fremont, offering hope to future residents - Years of living in a cramped detached studio rented from her parents in San Jose and saving money still wasn’t enough to crack the housing market’s skyrocketing prices, Yesenia Ramirez said. (BANG)
Smart Cities Dive: Transit Leaders: Lack of Funding Leads to Negative Economic Consequences -On the conference call, leaders from five public transportation systems across the U.S. bemoaned the lack of investment that has left a major maintenance backlog, preventing cities from expanding services to keep up with explosive population growth.
San Francisco Chronicle: Frustrated SF Supervisor Ronen Wants Affordable Housing Projects Sped Up -The speed with which affordable housing projects are approved in San Francisco has increased in recent years, especially since 2017 when Planning Director John Rahaim issued a directive that developments with more than 30 percent below-market-rate units be given priority. But rapid approval doesn't necessarily mean rapid start.
PR Newswire: Mixed-use Project Approved on main Street in Downtown Huntington Beach -The heart of Huntington Beach will be getting 20 luxury residences and 5,000 feet of retail space.
Daily Journal: Redwood City Adopts Inclusionary Housing Law -Multi-dwelling residential developments in Redwood City must now include affordable units at a mix of income levels after the City Council voted unanimously to adopt an inclusionary housing ordinance.
National Mortgage Professional: Mixed Results in Latest California Housing Data -Single-home sales in California totaled 416,790 units in April, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR). This represented a 1.7 percent decline from the 423,990 level in March and a 2.2 percent uptick from the revised April 2017 level of 407,960.
NCSHA: House Passes Financial Regulatory Reform Bill -The U.S. House of Representatives on May 22 passed legislation, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155), that amends federal banking law and financial regulations.
CALmatters: Checking the Math on Cap and Trade, Some Experts Say It's Not Adding Up -As California accelerates its efforts to reduce greenhouses gases over the next decade, experts are pointing to vulnerabilities in its celebrated cap-and-trade system, weaknesses that could make the state's goals difficult-even impossible-to reach.
CalPERS' new investment plan – wise or risky? -By its own numbers, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) is scarcely two-thirds “funded.” (CALmatters)
CalPERS new plan — what could possibly go wrong? -As everyone knows – or should know – California's huge public employee pension system is very short of the money it needs. (BANG)
Pension Fund Tops List of Private Equity Earners -In terms of funds with the highest private equity allocations, the $326 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System. (Chief Investment Officer)
California's 'Top-Two' Primary: Here's How It All Works… Story.
Decision time: Supreme Court will soon rule on gay rights, gerrymandering, unions… Story.
California Eyes Data Privacy Measure…Story.
Cash-heavy race in Assembly District 15, one of the state's most competitive…Story.
Voters must decide if bridge toll hikes or traffic sucks more…Story.
The push to build around transit is pricing out residents most dependent on bus and rail…Story.
THAT OTHER LAFAYETTE
Trash, trash everywhere: Greater Lafayette seeks to clean up -Stories just keep coming in, on social media and elsewhere. Mattresses festering off county roads for months and years.
California has a town named "Cool," via Conde Nast Traveler: Story.
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. You can sign up to receive the Almost Daily Briefing by email here.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Get ready: PG&E set to begin St. Mary’s Road closures on June...Read More.