Almost Daily Briefing
News Roundup for #LoveLafayette
BART Is Planning a System-Wide Surveillance Network - Following several high-profile crimes in recent weeks, including the horrific killing of Nia Wilson, the Bay Area Rapid Transit district is under intense pressure over security. (East Bay Express)
Transient arrested in BART double stabbing - BART police say Solomon Espinosa assaulted two men aboard a Richmond-bound train about 7:50 p.m. Friday. (BANG)
California's Chiang unveils a BART plan to boost green bond issuance -The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District issued $384.7 million in green bonds to beef up its public transportation network (Bond Buyer)
East Bay mourns 5 victims who died in SoCal plane crash -East Bay woman ID'd as one of Southern California plane crash, all worked together in the Pacific Union Real Estate office in Danville. (KGO-TV)
Missing San Ramon Teen Found Safe, Police Say -A San Ramon teenager who disappeared on July 30 has been found safe in Fairfield, police said. Taylor Cusick, 14, was last seen at a friend's house in San Ramon at about 8:30 p.m. Monday night. Police said she was reported missing the next morning. (Patch)
Concord: Vehicle Crash Sparks Vegetation Fire on Kirker Pass -At 12:37 pm Tuesday, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle off the roadway crash on Kirker Pass (Blog)
From the Lamorinda Weekly
Lafayette celebrates the past 50 years, enjoys the present and looks to the future -The “Love Lafayette” slogan seemed particularly apt at the party celebrating Lafayette’s 50 years of incorporation as a city. In the sunshine both young families and old-timers enjoyed the joyful celebration but at a meeting beforehand during which many shared memories and thoughts on the city, the recurrent theme seemed to be volunteerism.
Experts discuss state of retail in Lafayette -What is the state of retail in Lafayette and in the larger region? What is the cause of all the vacant stores in Lafayette? And how can Lafayette attract quality businesses to fill them? These were the questions posed to a panel of four commercial real estate experts at the July 23 city council meeting. Their answers touched on several considerations from high quality tenant mix to convenient parking.
Work progressing on Lafayette Fire Station 16, March opening still planned -The construction site may not appear to be a buzz of activity, but a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District official assured Lafayette residents that work on Fire Station 16 is moving along on schedule.
Campana Music closing its doors -After 71 years doing business in Lafayette, Campana Music will be closing its doors for good later this month.
Local authors underscore acceptance and share uncommon bond -Members of the Lafayette Rotary were quite moved by a presentation from Holocaust survivor Bernie Rosner at a recent monthly meeting. Rosner related the tale of not only surviving the Holocaust, but also of writing a double memoir with his German friend, Fritz Tubach.
Huge turnout for Lafayette Swim Conference Championship -The 7th Annual Lafayette Swim Conference Championship was held the weekend of July 28-29 at Acalanes High School. Bearing the moniker “Adventures on the Seven Seas,” the meet had over 1,000 swimmers ranging in age from 4 to 18. The participating clubs, LMYA (164), Oakwood (99), Pleasant Hill (136), Rancho Colorados (218), Springbook (251) and Sun Valley (139) came together to attempt to qualify for the county championships.
Emergency moratorium on accessory structure setback exemptions adopted -At a special meeting on July 31, all five members of the Orinda City Council voted to pass an urgency ordinance imposing a 45-day moratorium on exceptions to setback requirements for accessory structures pending a study of zoning regulations needed to alleviate a current and actual threat to the public health, safety and welfare.
Eight school board seats open up in LAFSD and AUHSD combined -This November there will be four seats up for election on the Lafayette School District governing board, with three four-year terms open, currently filled by Teresa Gerringer, Suzy Pak and David Gerson and one two-year term, currently held by Rob Sturm who was appointed to the position to replace Mark Kindhouse who left the area in a career move last year.
Trial turn restrictions on County Supervisors’ agenda -In an effort to ease congestion on Reliez Valley Road, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is expected to place the proposed pilot program for turn restrictions on the Pleasant Hill Road corridor on the Aug. 14 meeting agenda as a consent calendar item.
Teresa Onoda will not seek re-election -Vice mayor and former mayor Teresa Onoda said that she would not run again for her seat on the Moraga Town Council in the Nov. 6 general election, indicating that she felt her mission had been accomplished, and that she had other personal matters to attend. She plans to stay involved with the town she loves in creative ways.
Jeanette Fritzky resigns from town council-Jeanette Fritzky, who was elected to sit on Moraga’s highest body of the town a year and a half ago, resigned from her post on the Moraga Town Council for medical reasons at the end of July to focus on getting healthy.
Moraga chamber begins economic development plan roll-out -When Bob Fritzky took the presidency of the Moraga Chamber of Commerce at the beginning of the year he announced several new programs to materially support local economic vitality. The chamber is rolling out a new value card to set in place the first piece of a puzzle to boost local commerce by bringing more visibility and revenue to the local merchants while providing seed money to the chamber to support more local economic development.
Orinda considers options to fix ongoing parking problems -Orinda is again trying to solve its parking problems, this time focusing on commuter parking lots, a long-term shuttle program, and residential permit programs. The city council unanimously approved a new $12,500 contract with Harris & Associates to prepare a report on the proposed in-lieu parking fee and a $40,000 contract with Park Engineering, Inc. to provide as-needed parking program management.
Public asks city council to agendize gun safety; council agrees -After Elaina Ayers, representing Orinda for Gun Safety, on July 24 asked the Orinda City Council to put two proposed ordinances on an upcoming agenda, the council agreed to do so. One ordinance deals with safe gun storage, the other on the regulation of gun dealers, although currently there are no licensed gun dealers in Orinda.
Downtown Development Subcommittee gets ready for action on Streetscape Master Plan -Orinda residents have a lot of ideas about how the upcoming Streetscape Master Plan should be researched - so much so that the Downtown Development Subcommittee of the city council vowed to hold its next meeting in a bigger room.
Changes at Orinda Chamber of Commerce and Lamorinda Weekly -After serving as the executive director of the Orinda Chamber of Commerce for the past two and a half years, Sophie Braccini is leaving to take up a position with UC Berkeley. Braccini, who has been a staff writer for Lamorinda Weekly since its beginning 11 years ago, will leave her duties as civic reporter for Moraga, but will continue to contribute occasional feature stories about life in Lamorinda.
Indian Valley safety concerns frustrate Canyon residents -Canyon residents flocked to the July 18 Moraga-Orinda Fire District board meeting to speak out against the proposed Moraga development at Indian Valley, many arguing that the district is recommending an unsafe fire access road that enters the development too close to its main entrance.
Miner Road closure to end Aug. 10 after problem vegetation removed -To outline a vegetation removal project along Miner Road, the city of Orinda held a July 26 neighborhood meeting that included representatives from Pacific Gas and Electric Co., the city and the Moraga-Orinda Fire District. PG&E and the city explained that 110 trees needed either pruning or removal along the road in order to maintain a safe distance from electrical power lines and to provide adequate clearance for emergency vehicles.
Highway 24 gridlock: Why no local notifications or traffic control? -A single vehicle accident on Highway 24 near the Orinda BART station on July 21 caused a traffic standstill on the westbound freeway, with local residents complaining about two-hour delays to drive between Pleasant Hill and Orinda, gridlock on downtown Lafayette streets and no traffic control on either the highway or the on-off ramps in each community.
21st California Independent Film Festival opens Aug. 24 -Now in its 21st year, this year’s California Independent Film Festival will open again at the Rheem Theatre - something that had been quite improbable until just a few months ago - and will be held in a completely refreshed performance hall, with opening night bringing Lamorinda’s movie buffs together for a evening of celebration before viewing a modern fairy tale from Austria, “The Salzburg Story.”
Orinda student awarded pre-med scholarship -Sienna Marley, a recent graduate of Miramonte High School in Orinda, has earned a $12,000 scholarship to help her with the costs of undergraduate studies and medical school. The scholarship was awarded by the physicians at Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) who give out a few scholarships every year to deserving local students committed to becoming doctors. The scholarships help meet the need for future physicians.
Sixteen major fires across the state have spewed hazardous smoke throughout the West -The National Weather Service has released a map showing how the smoke is expected to spread well into Canada and deep into Colorado by Wednesday. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District extended an air quality advisory through Thursday. (East Bay Times)
A wildfire became the largest in California’s history. Dubbed the Mendocino Complex, it’s made up of two separate conflagrations that merged, covering 283,800 acres. It has already destroyed 75 homes and forced thousands to flee. With more hot and dry weather expected, it is threatening to spread. (Reuters)
Nearly 300,000 people in California work in industries that could be affected by Chinese tariffs. (The Fresno Bee)
California’s clean-air regulator blasted a Trump administration plan to relax car pollution rules, calling it “contrary to the facts and the law.” (The New York Times)
The planet could be entering an irreversible “hot house” state. A new paper from leading scientists argues that positive feedback loops could mean our warming planet reaches a point of no return. (Guardian)
HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION
Bill Would Let BART Ignore Zoning Laws In Quest For Transit Villages -A bill to allow BART to fast-track its own high-density housing developments is gathering steam in the state legislature. The assembly bill acts as a zoning end-around for the transit agency to put up housing near its stations. Individual cities would appear to have very little say in it. (KPIX 5)
Here are the California housing bills to watch - This bill would require the board to adopt by ordinance new transit-oriented development (TOD) zoning standards (San Francisco Business Times)
San Mateo fights over heights -For 27 years, San Mateo has maintained a strict five-story height limit across most of the city. (San Francisco Business Times)
Lamorinda High Schools Ranked High In 2019 Niche List -Acalanes Union High School District operates four traditional high schools. All four of them placed in the Top 100 (Patch)
15 years in prison for would-be ISIS terrorist from Modesto who plotted Pier 39 bombing…Story
Wish you could hire someone to wait in line at the DMV? … Story.
THAT OTHER LAFAYETTE
Lafayette announces final decision on city hall location –The mayor announced renovations will soon begin to make the Morton Center the official home of city hall.
Starbucks coffee has more caffeine per dollar than McDonald’s. 7-Eleven provides even more bang per buck, while Dunkin’ Donuts trails well behind. (Quartz)
PHOTO OF THE DAY
BART is planning to install a system-wide network of security cameras. See Local News, above. (Photo: Darwin BondGraham/East Bay Express)
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.