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Almost Daily Briefing

Post Date:11/28/2018 9:35 AM

News Roundup for #LoveLafayette


Chow Oakland closes after 8 months, marks third closure in 2018 -Comfort food eatery Chow, the restaurant-market hybrid, has closed its Piedmont Avenue doors after only eight months in business. (BANG)

East Bay bicyclists hoping to continue using a private pass-through road to avoid an even more dangerous thoroughfare on their way to Mt. Diablo were dealt a blow by a judge this week, but will the ruling actually be enforced if riders keep using the road? (BANG)

BART Delays Linked To Propulsion Problem On Train -Service is disrupted throughout the entire East Bay. (Patch)

Driver In Stolen Car Crashes Into Pole Following Pursuit: Cops -An Oakland man in a stolen car was arrested in Danville after leading officers on a brief pursuit Monday morning. (Patch)


From the Lamorinda Weekly

No final decisions made on filling empty council seat -Although the topic was on the agenda at the Nov. 13 Lafayette City Council meeting, no decisions were made regarding the process for filling a now-vacant council seat. Mayor Don Tatzin encouraged any residents who might be interested in serving to contact the city clerk for an application form. The decision will be up to the new city council when they are seated at the Dec. 10 meeting, with interviews taking place soon after.

Stanley flute choir serenades city council -In an ongoing series of performances before city council meetings, Stanley Middle School’s Julia Burke Flute Choir, directed by Lafayette Partners in Education flute coach Martha Uhey, brought its sweet music to the Lafayette City Council audience on Nov. 13.

Second right-hand turn on Moraga Road at Mt. Diablo Boulevard trial period underway -The long-awaited second right-turn lane from Moraga Road onto Mt. Diablo Boulevard is finally here, albeit just for a 90-day trial period. And the city wants to hear opinions on how it’s working out for drivers.

Santa to appear in downtown Lafayette, stay for breakfast, shopping -It’s a wonderful life in Lafayette and Santa Claus must agree because this year he’s sticking around, at least for breakfast, and he might even fit in some shopping as well at one of three scheduled events.

Local community bands together -It was a rainy night on a holiday weekend, but no one would have guessed it from the capacity crowd at the Roundup Saloon in downtown Lafayette who came together to raise over $6,000 in a few hours for victims of the Butte County fire at a benefit concert Nov. 23.

Bollinger Valley Project goes before the Moraga Town Council -A nearly five hour Special Town Council Meeting was held in Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School’s auditorium Nov 14 to accommodate the anticipated large crowd.

After an early Thanksgiving, holiday events dominate December -Now that the turkey and fixings are put away, Lamorinda residents can turn their attention to the many holiday events planned in the area, starting with the return of Holiday Magic at Orinda’s Theatre Square from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. There will be a free kids ornament workshop from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a performance by Lamorinda Theatre Academy at 7 p.m., ending with the 7:30 p.m. tree lighting.

Santa’s Bag Boutique, now in 28th year -In what has become a Lafayette tradition, the Santa’s Bag Boutique will once again be bringing a huge array of crafters and their wares to the Lafayette Community Center for the first weekend in December.

Students help teacher give Paradise hope -Angie Guidi, a second grade teacher at Donald L. Rheem Elementary School in Moraga, knows firsthand the devastation of the Paradise, California fires. She grew up there, and several of her family members lost their homes. Even though her aunt, uncle and cousins’ houses and possessions are gone, her parents’ home was spared. Guidi said, “Some businesses have survived.

Holiday toy drive looking to top last year’s success -In the spirit of the season, the Moraga Police Officer’s Association along with the Moraga Police Department is once again partnering with The Marine Toys For Tots Program, to bring joy to less fortunate children in the community and throughout the United States.

Orinda approves 9.2 percent hike in garbage fees -On Nov. 13 the city council approved an increase in garbage collection rates of 9.2 percent, to be implemented by RecycleSmart, the Joint Powers Authority to which Orinda is a member.  The fee increase, if adopted by the JPA, will be in effect from March 1, 2019 to Feb. 29, 2020.

Orinda joins other Contra Costa County cities in declaring a shelter emergency -At the urging of former Orinda city council member California Sen. Steve Glazer, Orinda adopted a resolution declaring a shelter crisis in Contra Costa County at its Nov. 13 meeting. The adoption of the resolution was required in order for the county and cities within the county to receive grant funding from the Homeless Emergency Aid Program.

New executive director of Orinda Chamber of Commerce is a familiar face -Cindy Powell, an Orinda icon, has taken over the job of executive director of the Orinda Chamber of Commerce from Sophie Braccini, who moved to a job at UC Berkeley.  Powell had been sharing the office with Braccini.  While Braccini handled the Chamber, Powell was often handling calls for the Orinda Association’s Seniors Around Town transportation service.

Orinda teenager dies in early morning house fire -A teenage girl died and three people were injured after a single-family home in Orinda went up in flames in the predawn hours of Nov. 18.

Halfway through, Alliance contract a financial and operational success -There were times when Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Jeff Carman felt unsure about the future of the Alliance, the business model that he spearheaded to provide ambulance transport service for most of Contra Costa County, which has performed better than critics expected.

Lafayette Police Blotter

Moraga Police Blotter

Orinda Police Blotter

Saranap General Plan proposals nearing completion -After three contentious projects roiled the Saranap community in the past decade, the County Department of Conservation and Development is nearly ready to finalize policies to be added for the Saranap Avenue-Boulevard Way Planning Process Study Area.

Keeping your hair Sharp in Lafayette -In movies like “Barbershop” and shows like “The Andy Griffith Show,” the barbershop was far more than a place to get your hair cut. It was a place for friends to meet, share ideas, debate the issues of the day and leave the shop looking better than when you walked in.

Dance for Kindness international flash mob spreads joy in Moraga -Approximately 50,000 dancers across 100 cities in 40 countries danced to the same song with the same choreography on Sunday, Nov. 11 - with 200 of those participants dancing right here in Moraga. The Dance for Kindness is an international event, founded seven years ago by Life Vest Inside (based in New York City) in celebration of World Kindness Day.

LAMA charity event raises $100,000 for local nonprofit -When two local, volunteer groups team up with the generous and caring community in Lamorinda, good things are going to happen. In this particular case local nonprofit, volunteer group Lamorinda Gives Back hosted a ‘Giving Back in Black’ fundraiser held to benefit Grateful Gatherings, a local organization which helps furnish homes of families transitioning out of homelessness or crisis.

Local author publishes emotional memoir of life with celebrity parents -In “Crave: A Memoir of Food and Longing,” author Christine Scherick O’Brien writes of her life growing up with her famous movie and television producer father, Edgar Sherick, and her mother, a former Miss Missouri and talented musician who was afflicted with health problems.  Her mother’s search for health through nutrition affected the lives of her four children, O’Brien and her three brothers, as they were growing up.

Looking Good in Lamorinda: Fashionable holidays -As a knitter I’m always looking for quality yarn and in Lamorinda we have Busy Stix, which is located in downtown Lafayette. The spacious shop offers an array of yarns in wool, cotton, silk, and blends in bright and subdued colors by top-quality brands like Shiburi.

Mighty Fine Guitars Nov. 30 benefit concert helps fire victims -One way to determine the humanitarian temperature of a community is the degree of difficulty required to convince people to take credit for their own good deeds and generosity.

Kiwanis starts 9th year of See’s Candy Fundraiser -Kiwanis of Moraga Valley is celebrating its ninth annual See’s Candy Fundraiser with two stores open in the two Moraga shopping centers.  Pictured with this year’s first customer, Chris Van Stralen, are John Haffner and Barbara Van Sickle.

Handmade dresses sent to Congo, Uganda and Dominican Republic -Lafayette United Methodist Church women show some of the 529 dresses handmade this year to give to girls through the Dress A Girl Around the World Association. Dresses this year will go to girls in Congo, Uganda and Dominican Republic. All dresses are made with love.

Campo musician offers unique class to strengthen breathing and improve lung functio -Many of us take breathing for granted, but for those suffering with respiratory issues, normal breathing is serious business. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease has the third highest mortality rate in the United States. Over 12 million Americans suffer from COPD as a chronic lung condition making breathing difficult. Emergency room visits have skyrocketed to over 1.4 million annually because of this difficulty.

Blind Date with a Book program raises funds for fire victims -As a way to help raise money for fire victims, Orinda Books owner Maria Roden is capitalizing on a unique idea: her Blind Date with a Book program. Book stores typically receive a free copy of a new book given by a publisher, for promotional purposes, to booksellers before the book is printed for mass distribution.

Boy Scouts Providing Fuel for Life -Orinda Boy Scouts Troop 237, from the Orinda chapter of Grateful Gatherings, helped lift a family out of darkness and into the light. In one day, hard-working Scouts and families were able to furnish a home for a single dad and his four children recently transitioning out of homelessness. This family has never had a home to feel comfortable or safe. Now they don’t have to sleep on broken beds and can have a family dinner together at one table.

Village Associates helps families keep Thanksgiving traditions alive -Village Associates, an independent real estate brokerage firm in Orinda, continued its Thanksgiving tradition of helping families in need with children at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland by preparing and providing over 75 meals, supplies and support.

The Peter Pan Foundation continues quest to help others -The Peter Pan Foundation started as an organization that inspired children of all ages to be creative and give back while producing several big stage musicals a year. Since adding a performance troupe and partnering with local charitable organizations, PPF is now involved in non-stop community service.

White Pony Express sends ready-to-eat meals and cash donations to Paradise fire victims -Starting Nov. 14, White Pony Express, the 2018 California Nonprofit of the Year in California Senate District 7, commenced sending a refrigerated truck daily with perishable ready-to-eat food and envelopes with donated cash to aid the fire victims in the Paradise area. WPE intends to continue making these runs until there is no longer an acute need for area fire victims.

‘Great Expectations’ realized at Town Hall Theatre for the holidays -The idea of a Charles Dickens’ play for the holiday season brings back memories of adaptations of “A Christmas Carol,” of Ebenezer Scrooge, of ghosts, of bad people turned good through the  miracle of the heart, and of very touching stories that end well. This winter, Lafayette’s Town Hall Theatre has decided to tackle another deeply moral Dickens’ story with “Great Expectations.”

‘Three’s Company Parody’ ignites Rheem Theatre’s new alliance with Classic TV nonprofit -The Rheem Theatre and the Classic TV Preservation Society nonprofit are aligning to bring live theatre productions and events to the Rheem Theatre, beginning with “A Three’s Company Christmas Parody,” set for Dec. 8 and 9.


Santa’s Bag Boutique 2018: Lafayette

Camp Fire Benefit Concert Camp Fire Benefit Concert

Holiday Teddy Bear Tea 2018: Heather Farm Gardens, Walnut Creek

100 Artisan Workshops & Galleries: A Free Self-Guided Tour

Lantern Light Festival 2018-19: Alameda Co Fairgrounds Pleasanton



PG&E's probationary status after a criminal conviction in the 2010 San Bruno explosion may be in jeopardy, as a judge has ordered the utility to detail its involvement in Northern California wildfires that caused death and widespread destruction in 2017. (BANG)

Could California’s ocean ranches solve a global food shortage and fix the seafood trade deficit? - Off the coast, ranchers are raising “livestock” in federal waters, a possible model for harvesting the world’s seas and boosting U.S. production. (BANG)

Apple launching tech camps for women in bid to diversify industry  -The camps will be held every three months. For each round, Apple will accept up to 20 app makers founded or led by a woman. (BANG)



Bay Area Transit Oriented Affordable Housing -The Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing (TOAH) Fund has relaunched as a new $40 million initiative to promote equitable transit-oriented development across the nine-county Bay Area. The initiative provides financing for the development of affordable housing, community services, fresh food markets and other neighborhood assets near transit lines throughout the Bay Area. (TOAH)

Communities That Fought Transit-oriented Development Are Now the Biggest Beneficiaries -It's common to hear San Diegans argue that auto-centric cities don't need public transit or transit-oriented development. (Voice of San Diego)

A Camp Mom, a Village Council: Homeless Community Takes Root at Modesto's Beard Brook Park -Since the city of Modesto sanctioned Beard Brook Park as a campground for the homeless over a month ago, it has taken on a life of its own, including developing a six-person village council. (Modesto Bee)

Silicon Valley's favorite designer created a line of tiny homes that cost just $280000 -.These new homes are a way to increase housing stock in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, which are undergoing a housing affordability crisis. (Danbury News Times)

Tiny Houses Multiply amid Big Issues as Communities Tackle Homelessness -Tiny-house projects are increasing from Seattle to Nashville, from Austin to Detroit to Upstate New York, where 15 "Second Wind Cottages" symbolize second chances in the small town of Newfield. (Washington Post)

In Effort to Boost Affordable Housing Stock, Sacramento City Council Oks Waiving Fees -Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday to stop charging most city-imposed fees to developers who build new affordable housing. The program waives such fees as those for infrastructure, parks, water, and sewer for developments with rent restrictions lasting at least 30 years. (Sacramento Bee)

Baby Boomers Are Living at Home. That's Bad News for Senior-Housing Developers -It seemed one of the surest bets in real estate: build senior-housing facilities that cater to aging baby boomers who will require more care. The problem is, boomers haven't much cooperated. (Wall Street Journal)

The Three Factors Driving Housing Affordability -A report by First American reveals the three key factors responsible for the rising real house prices appreciation and reducing affordability. (The MReport)



If Trump closes the border, regional economy could suffer 'catastrophic losses… Story.

How San Diego Is Pushing Back Against 'Zero Tolerance' at the Border…Story.

CA can't prove it would be hurt by census citizenship question, US says… Story.

Many more Californians likely to be without health insurance in next 5 years…Story.

40 Years After Assassinations, Assessing the Legacies of Harvey Milk and George Moscone… Story.

Can California's new boardroom diversity law withstand courtroom backlash…Story.

After lawsuit, Elon Musk's company drops plans for a tunnel under Sepulveda Boulevard… Story.

These four cities seek to unseat San Francisco as the top locale for tech talent…Story.

Affordable housing fund passes $50 million goal with help from Bay Area tech titans…Story.



Annual Christmas parade, tree lighting ceremony to be held Thursday  -The parade festivities will begin at 5:30 pm on Lafayette Plaza when the Mayor will light the city's Christmas tree.



Plaid: It’s hip to be square. Once a symbol of violent rebellion, it morphed into a signifier of diplomatic order and royal good taste. And that’s before 20th-century fashion designers got a hold of it.



Chows Contra Costa Times

After a string of closures, Chow Oakland is to shutdown, although the owner says the Lafayette location is doing well. See Local News, above. (Photo: Contra Costa Times)


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. Please note: At times we feature articles from sites that limit access for nonsubscribers.

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