The Weekly Roundup
Friday, November 30, 2018 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
Ready for Rain: Lafayette's Sandbag Stations
The rains have started and it looks like it could be a wet fall season. Our Public Works crew has already been busy cleaning out storm drain inlets and open ditches and will continue to monitor our streets and drains during storms. Property owners can also help minimize drainage issues and even flooding by raking up leaves and debris in yards and along property frontages. Please do not blow or rake leaves into the street or into gutters, ditches, tributaries, or creeks. This could cause a blockage downstream and possibly contribute toward flooding one of your neighbors. Additionally, if you have a driveway culvert (a pipe that goes under your driveway to convey storm water) it is your responsibility to clean and maintain that culvert. The City crews are not responsible for cleaning out blocked driveway culverts so if you need assistance please contact a sewer company, landscaper, or contractor that can help remove a blockage or replace the pipe if needed. Finally, if you know you have drainage issues and need to divert water around your home, the City does have two, fill them yourself, sandbag stations. The stations are located on Camino Diablo at Loveland Drive (immediately west of the Lafayette Corporation Yard) and Mt. Diablo Blvd. at Village Center (kitty corner of the Lafayette Veteran’s Memorial Building). If you see an area in the City that needs attention, please fill out a work request form right here or call our corporation yard at (925) 934-3908. Stay dry!
Diablo Foods Founder Ed Stokes Has Passed Away
We learned this week that Lafayette’s beloved Ed Stokes, who founded Diablo Foods 50 years ago, passed away. Ed was truly inspiring in his generosity and commitment to our community. Social media was abuzz with remembrances and it seemed that nearly everyone had their own Ed story. A trip to Diablo Foods on the day Ed died revealed a tribute to him over the entrance, as well as shoppers and employees sharing their stories of Ed’s life-long goodwill. The City of Lafayette issued a statement on Ed’s death, which you can read here.
City of Lafayette’s Longtime Financial Services Manager, Gonzalo Silva Dies
The City also learned that Gonzalo Silva, who served as the City of Lafayette’s Financial Services Manager from 1990 to 2014, passed away recently. Gonzalo was dedicated to Lafayette and tutored many staffers over the years. And he always kept the City’s finances in the black. He will be sorely missed. We do not have any information on services at this time.
The Town Turned Out to Honor Our Public Officials
The entire town turned out. And we mean the entire town. Well, at least 300 folks, anyway, and it was standing room only at the Veterans Memorial on a rainy Tuesday evening. Despite the downpour, it was a night to honor our public officials who are retiring or otherwise moving from their posts serving the community. Jay Lifson, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, excelled as Master of Ceremonies in a way that only Jay can. The honorees were Steven Falk, City Manager, City of Lafayette (introduced by Jay Lifson), Teresa Gerringer, Board Member, Lafayette School District (introduced by Ann Appert, Former Board Member, Lafayette School District), David Gerson, Board Member Lafayette School District (introduced by Rachel Zinn, Former Superintendent, Lafayette School District), Don Tatzin, Mayor of the City of Lafayette (introduced by Mike Anderson, City Council Member), Richard Whitmore, Board Member, Acalanes Union High School District (introduced by John Nickerson, Superintendent, Acalanes Union High School District), and Rachel Zinn, Former Superintendent of the Lafayette School District (introduced by Teresa Gerringer). The honorees were presented with resolutions from the California Legislature and from Contra Costa County Supervisor Candance Andersen, pictured with the honorees. It was a night to be remembered. Pictures and a video of the presentations from the evening will be posted shortly on the City’s photo gallery here.
It’s Now the Don Tatzin Community Hall
Last Monday, Vice Mayor Cam Burks revealed what everyone pretty much knew: The Lafayette City Council has officially named the Library’s Community Hall in honor of Mayor Don Tatzin, who served our city for 33 years. Mayor Tatzin is stepping down when his term ends December 10. It was truly a historic moment. The crowd was silent as Vice Mayor Burks pulled down the shroud and in bold, gleaming letters there it was: The Don Tatzin Community Hall. Applause broke out, people teared up and then – wait for it – refreshments were served as congratulations to Don were made. We share in congratulating Mayor Tatzin and thanking him for everything he has done for Lafayette over the decades. Click to see photos and a video of the ceremony and Mayor Tatzin’s gracious speech.
Citizens Police Academy Graduates Rob a Bank (Well, Sort of)
Chief Ben Aldritt presented this year’s Citizens Police Academy graduates to the City Council this week. And what a group of grads it was, a school principal, a future officer, a Chamber of Commerce official, a tailor – to mention just a few. The Academy is an opportunity for residents to learn how the police department functions and what some of our operational procedures are. The program is led by officers and staff members and this year’s class got to rob a bank – well sort of – and visit the coroner’s office, which, apparently was one of the highlights of the program. Oh, did we mention that the grads got to shoot guns and learn about firearms safety? That was a highlight too. This year’s grads are Timothy Kean, Petr Zhuravlev, Shirley Lara, Kathy Merchant, Roger Nys, David Quirk, Warren Lane, Carlos Gomez, Shayna Peeff, Elizabeth Morris, Rae Ecklund, and Azarael Pillay. If you are interested in attending next year, please visit our website here for details.
Safety Forum: Keep the Holidays Happy
Speaking of public safety, come join the Lafayette Police Department and the Lafayette Crime Prevention Commission for a panel discussion, “Keeping the Holidays Happy.” Topics will include protecting yourself and your family from identity theft and internet safety for parents and children. Ever wonder where your child is going in cyberspace? We will help you get the answers. Don’t miss this event on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at 7pm, at the Lafayette Veteran's Memorial, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Santa’s Bag Boutique! This Weekend at the Lafayette Community Center
Beautiful decorations, holiday gifts and the delicious smell of warm baked treats. It's the little things that make this time of year nostalgic. Don’t miss Santa's Bag Boutique, a Lafayette tradition for more than 25 years, starting today, Friday, November 30, 11am-7pm, and running Saturday, December 1, from 9am-5pm, and Sunday, December 2, 9am-5pm, at the Lafayette Community Center, 500 St. Mary's Road. Selected handcrafts, baked goods and treats from over 60 artists, fill the Live Oak Room at the Lafayette Community Center. Be sure to check out the holiday gift baskets donated by local business and families. All basket sales benefit the Lafayette Community Center Foundation. Thank you to our basket donors: Tot Drop, Amphora Lafayette, California Shakespeare Theatre, Camp Awesome, Carol Singer & Family, Diablo Foods, Don Tatzin & Ellen Reintjes, El Charro Mexican Dining, Izzy A’s Frozen Custard, Jennifer Russell & Family, Jim Taylor & Family, Judy Gregerson & Family, Lafayette Car Wash, Lafayette Senior Services, Lamorinda Music, Local Food Adventures, Maureen Neumann, Parks, Trails & Recreation Staff, Peter Read & Family, Ruth Kaiser & Family, Santa’s Bag Boutique, Sheri Woodruff & Family, Steve Robinson & Family, Sue Cross & Family, Susan Agnew, Native Plant Gardener, The Callister Family, The Great Wall Restaurant, The Nut Factory, The Winkles Family, Tiny Tots Preschool, Tricia Young & Family, Zoonie’s Candy Shop, and all the families that read our Nextdoor posts and brought empty baskets. We are still collecting empty baskets for next year!
Countdown to the Future: Time Capsule to be Sealed December 31
Remember our 50th Anniversary celebration in July? Yes, it seems like forever since then, but the good news is that our Time Capsule – which was presented to the public as part of the festivities – has now found its home! The Time Capsule, which received a lot of, well, very interesting donations at the 50th celebration, is housed at the Lafayette Historical Society, right there in front of Old Betsy. The Capsule will be sealed up for the next 50 years on December 31, the official end of our 50th celebration year, so if you or anyone you know has something to contribute – please do it now by brining your timeless offering down to the Historical Society. You can find out their hours, exactly where they are located and a lot more about all the great things they do to preserve our history on their website right here.
And the Winner is... City Council Recognizes Photo Contest Participants
Congratulations to First Place winner Chuck DeLeuw for his photo submission, “Thanks for Stopping in Lafayette,” pictured above. The photo was submitted to the Public Art Committee as a part of its “Day in the Life” photo contest featuring photos taken on July 29, 2018, the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Lafayette. Lafayette resident Christine Yarosh received Special Recognition for her photo “Tour de Lafayette.” Other contestants included Dana Anderson, Stu Selland, Michael Dawson and Erin Partridge. If you’d like to take a look at all the photos, they are on display in the Homework Room at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center. Nothing like seeing real photos in person – visit today!
A Little Rain Won’t Stop the East Bay Trail Dogs
They just keep at it: The East Bay Trail Dogs are hard at work and dedicated to training volunteers who assist public agencies within Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the design, construction, and maintenance of multi-use trails – rain or shine. Affiliated with Save Mount Diablo, this group has been helping blaze, maintain and restore trails for the East Bay Regional Park District, Mt. Diablo State Park, the City of Walnut Creek and the City of Lafayette. They usually work from 9am until 3pm, on Tuesdays. Some volunteers come to every event, and some come every once in a while when they can make it. The group recently helped restore sections of the Moraga to Reservoir Rim Trail, John Kiefer Trail and even tackled a multiple switchback project on the Silver Springs Loop after the rain. The Dogs are actively seeking new members. If you are interested, you can subscribe to their workday mailing list, or check out their upcoming project list and go to one or contact the group. For more info visit www.eastbaytraildogs.org
Status Update on Pilot Second Northbound Moraga Road Turn Lane at Mt Diablo Blvd
On Tuesday, November 13, City of Lafayette officially began testing a second northbound right-turn lane from Moraga Road onto Mount Diablo Boulevard as a pilot project. As reported in this publication, on social media, and in the Lamorinda Weekly, the project objective is to evaluate whether adding an additional turn arrow for right-turn movements in the middle northbound lane on Moraga Road can effectively reduce traffic congestion farther upstream (south of the intersection). Striping changes are now also in place on Mount Diablo Boulevard approaching First Street. Drivers will notice more dashed striping for the two eastbound left turn lanes, which are designed to facilitate merging after the turn from Moraga Road.Thanks to early community feedback in the first week of operation, staff are in the process of implementing several adjustments to the pilot. These include an additional overhead static sign on the traffic signal mast arm which will remind drivers of the new permissible lane turn movements. This new sign will supplement a similar, already-existing sign facing northbound Moraga Road drivers that is adjacent to the old La Campana building. A second adjustment will be to extend the existing turn lane striping, to reinforce the proper turning radius from respective turn lanes. Finally, a third adjustment will be to add signage discouraging pedestrians from crossing the east leg of the intersection, from Plaza Park to Bank of America; this particular crosswalk is officially closed.
In response to concerns about drivers deviating from the far right-turn lane, City staff wish to remind drivers that the California Vehicle Code Section 22100 and DMV Driver Handbook stipulate that right turns must be made “as close as practicable to the right-hand curb” and that it is improper to deviate from the assigned lane until completing the turn. Public cooperation in this matter is sincerely appreciated. This pilot project is slated to run 90 days, through early February 2019. Staff is interested in continuing to learn about users’ opinions of the test. Please feel free to submit feedback directly to James Hinkamp, City of Lafayette Transportation Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925.299.3229. Readers wishing to follow progress may also click here to view the dedicated project web page.
Volunteer Drivers – The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Would you like to make a difference? Would you enjoy the appreciation of your peers and older adults? Are you age 25 to 75 and in good health? Consider becoming a volunteer driver for 4 hours every week or two. Phone the Lamorinda Spirit Program Manager at (925) 284-5546 for more information. Training is provided. Your Class C California Driver’s License and a good driving record are all you need. If you are 60+ and live in Lamorinda, rides are available by calling (925) 283-3534.
Notice of Public Hearing for the Leland Reservoir Replacement Project Final EIR
We have learned that the Board of Directors of the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is scheduled to consider certification of the Leland Reservoir Replacement Project (Project) Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and approval of the Project, on December 11, 2018, at the regularly scheduled meeting which begins at 1:15pm, in the Board Room at EBMUD Administration Offices, 375 Eleventh Street, Oakland, CA 94607. The existing 18-million-gallon (MG), open-cut Leland Reservoir, constructed in 1955 opposite 1050 Leland Drive in the City of Lafayette, will be replaced with two new 8 MG pre-stressed concrete tanks in the existing open-cut basin. The 36-inch pipeline that traverses under the existing reservoir will be replaced with a total of approximately 3,650 linear feet of 36-inch pipeline in Windsor Drive, Condit Road, a short section of Leland Drive from Condit Road to Meek Place, and within the Leland Reservoir site. A new 30-inch storm drain pipeline will be installed on site and connect to the City of Lafayette’s existing storm drain system at the intersection of Leland Drive and Patty Way. The reservoir is at the end of its useful service life, and its replacement is necessary due to the deteriorated condition of the pre-cast concrete roof (including rainwater ponding), mature trees growing in the earthen embankment, obsolete mechanical and electrical equipment, and the reservoir’s criticality in serving the Leland Pressure Zone which serves portions of Lafayette, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek. The Project will replace aging infrastructure, improve water quality operations efficiency, and improve domestic and emergency water service reliability with an optimally-sized facility at the existing location. A Draft EIR was prepared for the Project and released for a 45-day public review on January 25, 2018. All comments received on the Draft EIR have been compiled and responded to in the Final EIR including any changes and clarifications to the Draft EIR. Copies of the Final EIR are available for public review at the EBMUD Administration Offices located at 375 Eleventh Street in Oakland, at the Lafayette Public Library located at 3491 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette, CA 94549, or by download at www.ebmud.com/lelandreservoir.
It’s a December Full of Chamber Events
“It’s a Wonderful Life in Lafayette” Holiday Celebration: Friday, December 7, 4pm-6:30pm, Lafayette Plaza Park – Join the community for this free, fun, family-friendly celebration – tree lighting, live music, community sing-a-long, kid's crafts, photo ops and more! Friday, December 7, 4pm-6:30pm. Santa parades along Golden Gate Way arriving at Lafayette Plaza Park at 4:30pm. Bring a canned food donation for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Get more information here.
Lafayette Stroll, Shop & Dine: Friday, December 7, 6pm-8pm, Downtown Lafayette – Everyone is excited that the Chamber has extended “It’s a Wonderful Life” Holiday event on Friday, December 7 by including a stroll down Mt. Diablo Blvd. from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Start your Holiday shopping by visiting our local businesses and take advantage of their special pricing. Restaurants are also joining in on the fun! Artist booths and musicians round out the evening. You may even run into Santa and Mrs. Claus! Canned food donations are being collected for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Bring your friends and enjoy the Holiday experience! Learn all about it here.
Ribbon Cutting at the New Philz Coffee in Lafayette: Be there for a ribbon cutting at this new Lafayette location on Saturday, December 8, at 9am. Philz Coffee will have giveaways, a photo booth and more! Their Lafayette location is at 3597 Mt Diablo Blvd. We can already smell the coffee brewing.
Third Annual Small Things Exhibition at the Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery
The Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery is now through December 22 presenting its Third Annual Small Things Exhibit. Over 35 artists have been chosen to display 3D and 2D artworks in a variety of media and styles, all priced under $500. Find the perfect gift or start your art collection with affordable works from local artists. Discerning shoppers will find an array of unique handcrafted items. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, Noon to 6:00pm, or by appointment. Check the gallery’s website for additional holiday hours and events.
Dicken’s Great Expectations at Town Hall Theatre for the Holidays
Now through December 16, Town Hall Theatre brings our holiday show to Lafayette: Gale Childs Daly’s energetic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ coming-of-age novel, Great Expectations. And opening night is tomorrow, Saturday, December 1! Find out all the details, including discount tickets for seniors and kids right here.
Monday’s Public Meetings
Monday is public meeting night in Lafayette and the City’s open meetings are held at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette, California 94549. Monday’s public meetings are:
- The Planning Commission, beginning at 7pm, in the Don Tatzin Community Hall. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
- Transportation & Circulation Commission, beginning at 7pm, in the Arts & Science Discovery Center. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
And remember, "Support your Library...shop at Friends Corner Book Shop."
Photo for the Week
How many of you saw this Rainbow over Mt. Diablo on Wednesday afternoon? We did. This photo, by Sean Sexton, captures it beautifully.
Poem for the Week
I saw the lovely arch
Of Rainbow span the sky,
The gold sun burning
As the rain swept by.
In bright-ringed solitude
The showery foliage shone
One lovely moment,
And the Bow was gone.
-Walter De la Mare
This weekly summary is prepared by City Manager Steven Falk for the Lafayette City Council, staff, and the Lafayette community. Do you have thoughts about this week’s Summary or a contribution for next week’s message? Forward it to him now! Do you have opinions about Lafayette? Share them at Lafayette Listens! You can subscribe to The Roundup here.