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Almost Daily Briefing

Post Date:04/03/2018 4:35 PM

Local News Roundup for #Lafayette, California


Lafayette: Council agrees to act as Planning Commission in wake of resignations

The Lafayette City Council, meeting in an emergency special session Monday night, decided to act as both the council and the Planning Commission on an interim basis in the wake of five resignations from the commission.


Interrupted Burglary In Lafayette Triggers Police Chase, Crash In Front Of Canyon Post Office Tuesday

A Lafayette homeowner arrived at her Los Palos Manor home Tuesday just in time to see a man running out of the residence and jump into a waiting car.


Lafayette commissioners’ mass resignation causes consternation for some
Within a couple of days after the city council’s 3-2 vote to adopt an uncompromising policy intended to end any impropriety or perception of impropriety in the planning and the design review commissions, five of the seven members of Lafayette’s planning commission had resigned. Whether or not that is cause for panic depends very much on one’s point of view.

AUHSD board revises policy banning interdistrict transfers, approves new calendar
A collective sigh of relief could be heard in the classrooms, hallways and offices of the Acalanes Union High School District after the school board voted to revise their policy to ban interdistrict transfers at their March 21 meeting.

Lafayette crosses landowner allowed lot line revision
The owner of the contentious 5-acre parcel of land that’s home to the Lafayette crosses is finally able to move forward as the city council agrees to his request to redraw the plot lines on the property, dividing it so that the two existing houses each sit on their own separate plot.

Lafayette has a new sheriff in town
While it seemed like an impossible task to replace Lafayette’s outgoing, larger-than-life Police Chief Eric Christensen, the new guy, Ben Alldritt, has a vote of confidence from top city officials.

Lamorinda groups help Grateful Gatherings tackle biggest project yet
Furnishing a 27-room facility is a huge undertaking, but that is exactly what the Oakland-based, nonprofit organization Grateful Gatherings is doing with help from many in the Lamorinda area. This particular project requires the help of all six Bay Area chapters, local groups and corporations, and volunteers as they help set up Claire’s House, a community home offering love, hope, ...

A taste of wine in Lafayette
For anyone curious about the wine made from some of the many vineyards scattered around the Lamorinda hills, at last there is an opportunity to enjoy some wine tasting in Lafayette.

Susan and Sam Sperry: Moraga Citizen(s) of the Year
While the Sperrys may not live in Moraga, and live in unincorporated county land that borders Moraga, the small town is in their DNA; they breath Moraga, and almost every day of their lives they have given something of their time and skills to the East Bay suburb. They will be honored for their multiple contributions over several decades during a dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the Saint Mary’s College Soda Center.

A fresh new face for Moraga parks and recreation department
Breyana Brandt joined Moraga staff in mid-March coming from the city of San Leandro, just like new city manager Cynthia Battenberg. In her former department, as assistant recreation and human services director, her budget was $5 million, more than half of Moraga’s budget, but she says that being the director in Moraga brings her back to the small town feel she was used to while growing up in upstate New York, and that she is looking forward...

Pros and cons of the stormwater fee
Strong debate continues regarding the stormwater fee ordinance proposed by the town of Moraga.  Lamorinda Weekly asked SOSMoraga members Mike Metcalf, John Haffner and Dale Walwark, and SmartMoraga members Brent Meyers and Scott Bowhay to respond to the same questions regarding the proposed ordinance. Their answers are below.

Orinda Mutual Appreciation Society: Salomon gets raise
Steve Salomon took over as Interim City Manager when former City Manager Janet Keeter retired, which happened to be about a month after the Miner Road sinkhole occurred.  The city council was so pleased with his performance that last October it offered him the job on a permanent basis, which he accepted with the proviso that he be allowed to work only 90 percent of full time as he commutes from Brentwood.

Wilder development agreement postponed indefinitely to allow sidewalk negotiations
Although some would have preferred a certain date to keep the pressure on to find a solution, the Orinda City Council decided to defer indefinitely further action on the approval of the eighth amendment to the development agreement for Wilder.  The main controversy concerns the elimination of planned sidewalks for a large part of the development.

Volunteers needed for Orinda Action Day
Orindans are being asked to volunteer for Orinda Action Day, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 21.  Starting at the Library Plaza, volunteers will undertake a number of tasks to beautify the city, from cleanup of Orinda Community Park (good for children) to work on downtown San Pablo Creek, a job that requires long pants and poison oak spray. Volunteers can sign up for specific assignments on Signup Genius.

Orinda Starlight Village Players announces its 35th season
The Orinda Starlight Village Players has announced the three plays to be performed during its 35th season of performances in Orinda Community Park, which runs June 1 through Sept. 29.

Orinda Academy announces new head of school
Author and educator Susan Eva Porter will become head of school at Orinda Academy for the term starting on July 1. Porter will replace outgoing head Ronald Graydon, who is retiring after 36 years. Founded in 1982, Orinda Academy is an independent, private high school serving grades 8-12.   - S. O’Doherty

Council meeting draws strong views against marijuana
Although there is some support for marijuana locally, Supervisor Candace Andersen received mostly negative feedback when she attended the March 20 Orinda City Council meeting.  Her presentation was part of an outreach effort to gather views on marijuana regulation in the unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County. The majority of those who urged the county to reject all types of marijuana-related activity were Chinese.

MOFD board awards Fire Station 43 contract. Again.
With little fanfare, the Moraga-Orinda Fire District board awarded the Fire Station 43 construction contract March 21 to the San Leandro-based Sausal Corporation, the low bidder at $3.8 million among four proposals submitted to complete the project.

MOFD firefighters share their passion for serving their hometowns
There is a good chance that one of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District firefighters who responds to your emergency call either lives in the district, grew up in the district or graduated from one of the three Lamorinda high schools. And to hear the firefighters talk, they could not be more proud of that pedigree.

A complex financing arrangement for MOFD Fire Station 43
To pay for the construction of Fire Station 43, the Moraga-Orinda Fire District considered various funding mechanisms, including direct placement and a public offering.  San Francisco-based investment bank Brandis Tallman provided direction to the district for the fire station financing, and recommended a direct placement.

New truck purchase
An early snapshot of the new truck purchased by the Moraga-Orinda Fire District. The truck should be put into service later this spring.  The truck was assembled in Wisconsin, and yes, that really is Lambeau Field.


Active Shooter At YouTube HQ, Police Warn; Injuries Reported

Police say an area of town is blocked off near the YouTube offices in San Bruno.


Mountain Lion Spotted In Berkeley

The cougar was sighted Monday morning.


Landlords in Seattle Can’t Force Renters to Pay for Parking Anymore

The Seattle City Council has approved a substantial package of parking reforms that aims to make housing more affordable and reduce dependence on driving.


As California Protects Immigrants, Cities Revolt

The Department of Justice is already suing California over its refusal to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Now, some small California cities are mounting an attack from within.





Land use rules were born out of racism and segregation. They're not worth fighting for.

SB 827 would relax some local density and height restrictions and parking requirements on land near busy transit stops.


California's Housing Reform Bill Is a Hot Mess. It Would Be Great If It Passed.

If it passes, SB 827could unleash a housing construction boom.


San Francisco lawmakers to debate California housing, transit bill

State Senator Scott Wiener's (D-San Francisco) latest housing bill SB 827—which would mandate taller, denser housing near public transit in California cities and and affect virtually every block in San Francisco.


Wiener endorses Breed as battle over SB 827 heats up

State Sen. Scott Wiener endorsed Sup. London Breed for mayor today, putting her squarely in the Yimby camp that supports SB 827


SF supervisor’s bill would ban pass-through rent hikes for debt service, taxes
San Francisco Chronicle


If rent regulation raises the rent, is it worth the cost?
Mercury News





Testing high-tech cameras where it counts: aimed at carpool-lane cheaters
San Francisco Chronicle


Cameras on Bay Area freeway look to catch carpool lane cheaters


Novato study counters complaints of parking shortage
Marin Independent Journal


California starts accepting applications for driverless car permits
Los Angeles Times $





Calling car pollution standards 'too high,' E.P.A. sets up fight with California," by NYTimes' Hiroko Tabuchi: "The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday took steps to challenge California's decades-old right to set its own air pollution rules, setting up a showdown between the federal government and a state that has emerged as a bulwark against the Trump administration's policies." Story


Trump administration moves on two fronts to challenge California environmental protections," by LATimes' Evan Halper and Joseph Tanfani: "The announcement came as the administration confirmed it is tearing up landmark fuel economy rules that formed a key part of the effort by the Obama administration and California officials to combat global warming - and as the Justice Department sued to block a state law that limits the federal government's ability to sell any of the 46 million acres it controls in California." Story


Trump administration sues California again, this time over rights to sell public land," by McClatchy's Kate Irby and Stuart Leavenworth: "In its latest legal salvo against California, the Department of Justice announced Monday it is filing suit against what it branded an "extreme'' state law that tries to give California power to veto sales of federal land to private interests." Story


Trump endorses states' rights - but only when he agrees with the state," by POLITICO's Michael Stratford: Story


State Attorney General Xavier Becerra on the federal government report filed Monday detailing numbers of Dreamers who have been able to renew their status - and are guaranteed two more years of DACA protection: "As a result of the nationwide injunction we secured, at least 30,000 Dreamers who have renewed their DACA status - our colleagues, our classmates, our teachers - can go home to their loved ones at night and keep helping build a better America. I'l keep fighting at every turn in court for Dreamers' rights and opportunities, so they may continue to make meaningful contributions in California and beyond."


State senators condemn fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark,'' by LATimes' Patrick McGreevy: "Lawmakers' tempers flared Monday as the California Senate adjourned in memory of Stephon Clark, an unarmed African American man who was shot to death by Sacramento police officers on March 18. Story.


Sacramento police chief struggles with change after shooting,'' by AP's Don Thompson: "Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn had his first major encounter with officers as a kid who witnessed a murder in a tough part of California's capital city. His second: as a teenager busted on allegations of assaulting an officer. "Nobody in my neighborhood thought about being a police officer," Hahn said in an interview last week with The Associated Press. Story.


California Supreme Court upholds controversial law allowing DNA collection upon arrest," by LATimes' Maura Dolan: "The ruling upheld a provision in Proposition 69, approved by voters in 2004, that said any adult arrested or charged with a felony must consent to have his or her cheek swabbed for DNA." Story


Goodbye, neighborhood polling places-5 counties switch to mega-vote centers," by CALmatters' Rhonda Lyons: "This election season five California counties are doing away with hundreds of neighborhood polling places and replacing them with fewer "one-stop vote centers"-an experiment sold by Democrats as a way to save money and boost anemic voter turnout from the last midterm elections." Story


California's housing crisis is so bad, families are squatting abandoned homes just to survive," by Mother Jones' Bryan Schatz: T"he right to adequate housing-not just four walls and a roof, but "a safe and secure home and community in which to live in peace and dignity"-is decreed by the United Nations, but you wouldn't know it by looking around California, where nearly a quarter of the nation's homeless people live...In Oakland, where buyers routinely offer hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking prices, there are nearly four vacant properties for every homeless person. It's not so much an issue of scarcity, but of distribution." Story


SF Mayor Farrell gives hints of political ambition," by SFChronicle's Rachel Swan: Story


Tale of the tape," by Mercury News' Tracey Kaplan: "In 1992, Laurie Smith took evidence in an investigation implicating her. Now, the key figures in a sexual harassment allegation against the five-term sheriff are finally speaking out." Story


Elon Musk, soccer guru want to bargain with Oakland for the Coliseum," by SF Business Times' Riley McDermid: "Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk's company Tesla and soccer team owner and well-known local real estate investor Mark Hall would also like a swing at negotiating with Oakland and Alameda County for the rights to redevelop the Coliseum site." Story


Class of 2022 has Stanford University's lowest admit rate ever," by SF Business Times' Riley McDermid: "Stanford said this week that it admitted 2,040 students to its incoming class this upcoming fall, out of 47,450 stuI amdents who had applied. It admitted 10 fewer students than last year, the school said." Story


Planned Parenthood office in Pacific Beach vandalized; group pledges to stay open 'no matter what'," by San Diego Union-Tribune's Karen Kucher: Story


So who could be the next Los Angeles schools superintendent?" by LATimes' Howard Blume: Story


Clippers Foundation to donate $10 million to renovate Los Angeles' basketball courts," by LATimes' Melissa Etehad: Story


13-year-old California boy who fell into a drainage pipe found alive," by AP: Story


Muni Metro stop at Warriors' new SF arena is one pricey platform," by SFChronicle's Matier & Ross: Story


The father of Prince Harry's future bride leads quiet expat life in Baja California," by San Diego Union-Tribune's Sandra Dibble: Story





Lafayette business owner to brew family beer recipe

David Thieme opened up the brewpub Thieme and Wagner in downtown Lafayette in 2017





Zoo offering visitors buckets of 'Detroit Zoo Poo'



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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