Almost Daily Briefing
News Roundup for #LoveLafayette
Early Voting Location In Lafayette Eliminated This Year -Contra Costa County has drastically scaled back on the number of early voting locations for the November 2018 election. Two years ago there were 8 election sites around the county. (Patch)
Early Voting Location Added In Walnut Creek -Contra Costa County has drastically scaled back on the number of early voting locations for the November 2018. (Patch)
Contra Costa Fire Danger: Crews In Position -Firefighters are at the ready with increased staff and equipment deployed to high-risk areas during current conditions. (Patch)
BART users speak out on social media after passenger threatens riders with two chainsaws - BART riders have seen some wild sights on their journeys on the transit system, but a man wielding two chainsaws was a first. (BANG)
Thomas P. Campbell, the former director and chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, was hired to lead the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. (The New York Times)
What’s your Halloween costume this year? These people chose to show off their love of San Francisco. (SF Gate)
Lamorinda Officers Responding To Burglary In Progress Call Find Squirrel Ransacking The Home -A Moraga resident returning to her home on Corliss Drive Tuesday morning was shocked to find the house in disarray and suspicious noises. (News24-680.com)
From the Lamorinda Weekly
Judge sides with Save Lafayette Trees on CEQA appeal -The Court of Appeal for the First District has ruled in favor of Save Lafayette Trees, reversing the Superior Court’s previous dismissal of the case. The court must now rule on whether the city of Lafayette failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.
Panel examines state of downtown retail in second city-led workshop -Lafayette council members, members of the planning commission and members of the public had the state of downtown retail once again as their focus as a four-person panel of Lafayette business owners took a look at the pros and cons of doing business in the city. The hour-long workshop, held before the regular Oct. 22 city council meeting, was the second such event.
Springhill residents talk disaster preparedness on eve of National ShakeOut Day -It’s a nightmare scenario that no one wants to think about, but the audience heard the message loud and clear at a recent neighborhood meeting: have a plan, be prepared. In the case of a wildfire or large earthquake, residents need to be ready to evacuate.
Lafayette residential occupancy fire inspections nearly complete -The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District made several changes to its fire prevention bureau in order to catch up on past due fire inspections and Fire Chief Jeff Carman has assured Lafayette residents that all mandated residential occupancy inspections will have been completed by the end of the year.
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da ... Town Hall celebrates 50 years since Beatles’ White Album release -This year marks another notable 50th anniversary - in the same year that Lafayette became a city, a Liverpudlian band of some fame released The White Album. And Lafayette’s Town Hall Theatre will be celebrating that release in authentic Beatles-style on Nov. 2 and 3 with concerts put on by the Sun Kings, the much-loved Bay Area Beatles tribute band.
Bollinger Valley Project temporarily on the shelf -After a seven-hour marathon planning commission meeting taking place over the course of two days on Oct 15 and 18, Commissioner Karl Davis crafted a proposal to the town council with unanimous approval. “The planning commission is recommending to the town council that they strongly consider a revised project description, much in line with Alternate 3 or something very similar.
Moraga’s new administrative services director, Norman Veloso -The new administrative services director, Norman Veloso, comes to the town of Moraga after 22 years with the city of Fairfield and most recently the city of Cotati, where his job title may have been the same, but his responsibilities differed.
Nov. 7 declared Shelter-in-Place Education Day -Health officials and emergency response agencies such as fire and police agree that shelter-in-place is the best measure to take in the event of a chemical release emergency. Moraga Mayor Dave Trotter proclaimed Nov. 7 to be “Shelter-in-Place Education Day” and in the interest of public safety, urges “all residents to take part in this program.”
Moraga keeps Contra Costa County Animal Services busy -Countywide, Moraga represents 1.6 percent of the Contra Costa County Animal Services’ total service area and uses 0.98 percent of the total services provided. That’s a surprisingly low statistic given that wild critter sightings are common in Moraga - whether it be deer, raccoons, skunks, snakes, bats, coyotes and even the less wild variety, guinea pigs. But those are the ones that got away.
Moraga’s storm drain maintenance preparations -As the rainy season approaches, it was no surprise to see a Storm Drain Operations and Maintenance Program presentation during the Oct. 24 town council meeting. Edric Kwan, Moraga’s public works director, stressed the importance of taking preventive measures to insure minimal future costs to the town.
Former Moraga town manager cleared of wrongdoing -Jill Keimach, the former Moraga town manager, was exonerated by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office following a six-month investigation into the legality of a secret audio recording Keimach made of an Aug. 16, 2017 meeting with two Alameda city council members, Jim Oddie and Malia Vella, while Keimach was the Alameda city manager.
Public Works inspector honored for service to Orinda residents -Public Works Inspector Tod Fierner was honored for his dedication to the residents of Orinda by the City Council on Oct. 16. Homeowner Lee Munroe of Easton Court had written to City Manager Steve Salomon praising Fierner for interceding on his behalf with Pacific Gas and Electric Company regarding a dangerous tree on his property.
Orinda accepts 53 Rheem Blvd. easement; homeowners threaten suit -Despite an emotional plea from homeowner Dawnell DeSpain of 53 Rheem Blvd., the Orinda City Council on Oct. 16 voted unanimously to rescind its previous refusal to accept the offer of an easement path across the property and to accept the easement. A few days later, attorney Nathan L. Scheg wrote to the council and demanded that they immediately rescind that action.
ConnectOrinda launched in Orinda -Residents were served refreshments and asked what changes they want to see in downtown Orinda at the Oct. 13 launch event for ConnectOrinda, the city of Orinda’s Downtown Streetscape Master Plan project. Participants took time to write suggestions on a large map provided, and Planning Director Drummond Buckley and Assistant Planner Adam Foster and others conducted walking tours through the village.
Teen center soft open goes well -A somewhat surprised Recreation Coordinator Jackson Stearns watched teens chatting on soft furnishings, playing pool, foosball and video games on the first open day of the new Orinda teen center, located in the same space that earlier in the day hosts Kindergym. “I guess it is a case of ‘If you build it, they will come,’” he mused. The project had been a long-term goal of the Orinda Teen Advisory Council.
ConFire’s Carman named fire chief of the year -The California Fire Chiefs Association named Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Jeff Carman as its 2018 statewide fire chief of the year at its annual conference in Sacramento. The Ronny Jack Coleman award is named after retired State Fire Marshal Ronny Coleman and recognized Carman as a role model for all fire chiefs in the state as demonstrated through his leadership and management.
Poppies for Veterans Day raise much needed funds -Veterans Day will be commemorated this year on Sunday, Nov. 11. On the weekend before that day, and on the day itself, veterans wearing their caps will be distributing poppies in remembrance of those who have served and those who were lost, according to Terry Murphy, ...
PaperBox Bread & Pastry: new addition at Moraga Farmers’ Market -The year-round Moraga Farmers’ Market does not cease to diversify, attracting new vendors such as mushroom producers or unique grape growers (have you heard of “Thomcord” grapes?) as well as cooks, bakers and pastry chefs. One recent addition pushed the market toward the gourmet label: PaperBox Bread & Pastry, owned by Campo grad and now pastry chef Evan Ting.
Plenty of money and plenty of nastiness define MOFD board races -The 2018 election for the directorships of three Moraga-Orinda Fire District divisions features not only the most expensive district campaigns ever run but also lays claim to the nastiest, with the degree of campaign vitriol rarely seen in the 21-year history of the district.
Communing with nature in the outdoor classroom -Using the 35-acre Twin Canyon Girl Scout Camp in Lafayette at the end of Springhill Road that borders Briones Regional Park for its classroom, Wild Oak Education, a nonprofit home school enrichment program, offers a unique approach to education.
Students and disabled adults create crafts for 1st Annual Peace and Kindness Carnival -The local nonprofit Mindful Littles brought together 10 disabled adults from Las Trampas School in Lafayette and 22 students from Carondolet High School in Concord Oct. 10 to create mindful crafts, like beaded bracelets, lavender sachets, and painted pots, which will be sold at a Peace and Kindness Carnival on Veterans Day at Orinda Community Park.
Holiday magic at the Moraga Art Gallery -The quaint art gallery in Moraga’s Rheem Shopping Center has curated for the end of the year a show that combines beautiful objects, unique jewelry and diverse paintings. Always driven by a need to create uniqueness, the artists present a wide palette for art aficionados and people looking to give their loved ones - or themselves - something that will endure as a testimony of human creativity.
Talking to kids about race -Infants as young as six months old pay attention and respond to race, according to research performed by experts, including Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith, a Berkeley-based psychologist. Fed sugar water and their eye patterns tracked, babies shown someone of a race outside of their usual experience focus more and suck at higher rates.
Golfing for a good cause -Lafayette Rotary concluded it’s annual Charity Golf Event at the Moraga Country Club. The annual event was supported by 74 golfers, a record for this event, and an additional 20 people joined everyone for a dinner at the club that night.
Event focuses on many aspects of Congo -Congo Mission Team chair at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, Herb Long, says “It seems most of us did not learn much about Africa in school, an important area on the world stage.” Local residents will have an excellent opportunity to learn about one of its countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at Celebrate the Congo from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 4 in Fellowship Hall at LOPC.
Eagle Scout project updates Lafayette Rim Trail signs -Residents who hike the Lafayette Reservoir Rim Trail likely have noticed the hard work of Alex Mangoba of Moraga Boy Scout Troop 234. The East Bay Municipal Utility District, which manages the trail, has numerous Backcountry Regulations signs posted along the 4.7-mile hilly, unpaved terrain. But years of weathering had taken a toll on the signs.
NYT’s best-selling author speaks at LLLC -Approaching the two-year mark after the 2016 Presidential election, many people continue to puzzle over what happened, why it happened, and the impact Donald Trump’s presidency will have on the future of the United States.
LLLC Exhibit features Lafayette artist -The Lafayette Public Art Committee welcomes its newest exhibit “Travels with an Artist” by Lafayette resident Helen Ann Licht, who shares her colorful paintings based on her many travels through India and Burma. The exhibit runs through Dec. 31.
A walk to honor Jeanette Fritzky -Approximately 200 people gathered at the Moraga Commons Oct. 27 to walk in honor of former Council Member Jeanette Fritzky, raise money for the American Cancer Society, and increase awareness for the disease that claimed her life: lung cancer.
‘Child, Disrupted’ returns to the Rheem Theatre for an encore presentation -”Child, Disrupted,” the winner of the 2018 Best Short Subject Documentary at the California Independent Film Festival, returns for five encore screenings Nov. 3 (3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.) and Nov. 4 (5 p.m. and 7 p.m.). Filmmaker Krista Riihimaki will be in attendance and will conduct a question and answer sessions after each screening.
Scarecrows brighten downtown Orinda -The Orinda Garden Club’s annual installation of scarecrows in Orinda offer a colorful reminder of the season.
Tots search for treats at Halloween event -The afternoon of Oct. 25 was sunny and bright, the tooth fairy wore a gown of blue with a sparkling crown and led a sizeable contingent of tots around Orinda Community Park, with stops to collect treats offered by Orinda Parks and Rec folks, including one dressed as Chewbacca. In addition, the children, ranging from ages 1 to 4, got to meet and greet the Orinda police force, local firefighters, and tour a police cruiser and a fire engine.
Trick-or-Treat Street at Fiesta Square – Here are some photos.
Public Utilities Commission Demands Wildfire Plan from PG&E -PG&E and five other electric companies were ordered Thursday by the state utilities regulator to prepare detailed wildfire mitigation plans on a tight schedule for both the companies and the regulatory agency charged with approving and enforcing the plans. (Press Democrat)
HOUSING, TRANSPORTATION AND PLANNING
New Vital Signs Data: Sluggish Housing Production Tightens Bay Area's Housing Crunch -Vital Signs, a three-year-old Website, has added housing production data to its service of providing numbers of permits for new housing projects issued by Bay Area cities and counties. Data released last month showed that the number of newly built housing units is less than 30 percent of the 52,700 new jobs estimated by Cal EDD to have been added to the region last year. (Metropolitan Transportation Commission)
David Baker Creates Apartment Building for Low-income Seniors in San Francisco -American studio David Baker Architects took cues from West African culture while conceiving this affordable housing complex for people aged 62 or older. (Dezeen)
Farm- Fresh Housing in Silicon Valley: Innovative Plan to Combine Housing, Farmland Nears Vote -The "Agrihood" development plan heading for a Santa Clara City Council vote as early as next month calls for 361 homes and a small farm to be built on vacant land across the street from Westfield Valley Fair. Residents will have access to the farm's produce. 181 apartments will be priced below market rates; 165 of those units will be reserved for low-income seniors. (Mercury News)
Santa Monica Ballot Measure Would Require 'Supermajority' Vote for Taller, Denser Buildings -If Measure SM passes on November 6, for the next 10 years, developers wanting to build taller or denser than Santa Monica currently allows would need a "yes" vote from five of seven members of the City Council. Right now, the threshold is four votes. (Curbed Los Angeles)
How Should Cities Start Reducing Parking Requirements -From ride sharing and expanding public transit systems to the promise of autonomous vehicles, cities will likely need less parking in the future. (GlobeSt.)
California Has a Posse in Tug-of-War With Trump Over Electric Cars -Mary Nichols, the powerful clean-air regulator in California, can count on GM and more than a dozen states. Just don't suggest she's recruiting an opposition army. (Bloomberg)
Waymo will become the first company in California to test autonomous cars on public roads with no human driver. (San Francisco Chronicle)
When Electric Isn't Good Enough - A polluted haze hangs over California's Central Valley, partly due to agricultural processes and greatly due to vehicle emissions. "People don't understand the impact of the personal car," says Lezlie Kimura Szeto of the California Air Resources Board. (Curbed)
More California cops and firefighters are paying for their pensions. Is it too late? -Public safety employees in her city now contribute at least 12 percent of their wages to CalPERS. (Sacramento Bee)
Health authorities in California have more power to insist that a dog is vaccinated against rabies than to ensure that a child enrolled in public school is vaccinated against measles… Story.
A Novel Solution for the Homeless: House Them in Backyards… Story
Give them a place to park or force them out? City's RV residents under spotlight…Story
Before It Turns to 'Jello,' Embarcadero Seawall May Get Voter-Approved Upgrade…Story .
THAT OTHER LAFAYETTE
Halloween will be observed on October 31 in Lafayette, despite national petition -Lafayette does not have to set trick-or-treating hours, said Lafayette’s Mayor.
Some US towns ban teens from trick-or-treating. Teens face up to six months in jail and $100 in fines in Chesapeake, Virginia.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Contra Costa County has cut back on early voting locations. But you can drop your vote-by-mail ballots in the red ballot box at Lafayette’s city offices – even on Halloween. See Local News, above.
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