The Weekly Roundup
Friday, March 8, 2019 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
Mayor’s Weekly Message
In today's message, Lafayette Mayor Cam Burks talks about this week's Tri-Cities special meeting as well as some of the important issues on the agenda for Monday's City Council meeting, including a discussion of flavored tobacco products. You can watch Cam's video here: https://youtu.be/eUE2lRNIFNA
Flavored Tobacco Products
As Cam mentioned in his Weekly Message, the Lafayette City Council is considering implementing a Tobacco Retailer’s License Program and a ban on the sale of Flavored Tobacco Products, or FTPs. The Council will consider the matter on Monday, March 11, 2019, at 7pm, at the Don Tatzin Community Hall, Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Boulevard. Many Bay Area cities and counties have adopted or are considering regulating or banning the sales of FTPs to restrict access of these products to children and youth. At the March 11 meeting, staff will present the City Council with policy recommendations.
Everyone is invited to provide comments at the meeting, and you can see the agenda and other details below. You can comment on this agenda item at Lafayette Listens here or you can also send written comments to Komal Agarwal. If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, you can see the live video of the meeting at http://bit.ly/LafayetteYouTube. The minutes of the meeting will also be available on City’s website. For more information, call Komal at (925) 299-3262.
Tri-Cities Meeting—It’s All about CASA, Almost
As many of you know, and as Mayor Burks mentioned, there was a Tri-Cities Special Meeting this last week, with the Lafayette City Council, the Moraga Town Council, and the Orinda City Council. The main focus was on the CASA Compact, a regional housing initiative that two representatives of the Metropolitan Transit Commission (pictured) presented to the councilmembers and the public. You might find the discussion of interest, and you can watch the meeting on the City of Lafayette’s YouTube channel here. But it wasn’t all in-the-weeds housing, transportation, and development policy talk at the meeting. The proceedings began with a reading by Amy Glynn, the Lamorinda Poet Laureate. She was followed by the Stanley Middle School Jazz Messengers, who put on one heck of a show. Don’t miss this great meeting. And you can see a photo gallery of the evening right here.
Park Theater Update: Are We Really Going to Finally Save the Park?
The Park Theater Action Committee has made a lot of progress. First and foremost, the preliminary seismic inspection revealed relatively minor damage to the building and that means upgrading the theater to modern standards is definitely doable. Now things get interesting as they start their search for Grant writers and Theater Programmers. We’ll keep you posted! For more information about how to get involved, contact Jana Corey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are You Ready to Go Green? Lafayette’s Awards of Environmental Excellence
It’s that time of the year again…the Lafayette Green Awards! Annually, the City of Lafayette recognizes the outstanding endeavors of residents, local businesses, schools, community organizations, and green buildings local businesses that make Lafayette more sustainable . Candidates that actively work to reduce their carbon footprint, help the City achieve its environmental goals, and/or inspire others in the community to do the same are eligible for an award. Know any candidate(s) that fit the bill? Please complete the following Green Award Nomination Form by Monday, April 1, 2019, by 5pm. Winners are announced at the Joint Meeting of City Council and Environmental Task Force in April. If you have any questions, please contact Katrina Lapira at KLapira@lovelafayette.org or (925) 299-3205.
Age-Friendly Lafayette: It’s the Transportation Focus Group
Seventeen people gathered Thursday, March 7 at the Lafayette Community Center for the first Transportation Focus Group Meeting arising out of the February 20th AARP Age-Friendly Community Kick-Off Event. When asked what they thought was most important to them about transportation in Lafayette for older adults, Focus Group participants responded by sharing that they felt that Transportation needs to be accessible and flexible as needed and cannot be a one size does not fit all model. Suggested improvements to the downtown and citywide crossings included a need for more parking (especially at BART to lessen neighborhood and downtown impact), a downtown trolley/jitney bus and prioritizing pedestrians over motor vehicles by allowing longer time at crosswalks or creating crosswalks at allow all directions to cross at once.
Through the discussion some learned for the first time about some transportation options that are currently available so the group the region needs improved communication and dissemination of information about what transportation is available. One participant suggested creating a Lafayette Transportation Guide similar to “Way to Go, Contra Costa” which describes transportation by city throughout Contra Costa County. Some looked to the future and utilization of technology by suggesting that the City consider embracing autonomous shuttles to offer routes that could help transport seniors. Some suggested that the City could build partnership with companies like Uber or Lyft to increase the number of available assisted and wheelchair accessible rides. Most everyone in attendance felt that curbside service was not enough to meet the safety and care needs of the community and stressed a need for specially trained through door service similar to that provided by Mobility Matters and the Lamorinda Spirit Van. Ride providers for those services stressed a constant need for funding and volunteers to provide rides was needed to keep those programs in the community. The next focus group meeting regarding Respect and Social Inclusion will be Wednesday, March 13th, 1-2:30pm in the Sequoia room at the Lafayette Community Center.
The Joy of Bird Houses
Bill Ridings writes: With the help of Boy Scout Troop 224 of Lafayette, Josh Ridings (my son) built bird houses to earn his Eagle Scout rank in 2014. Sixty five blue bird houses were constructed from salvaged redwood supplied by California Urban Lumber. Each member of Troop 224 took one home, others were handed out to family and friends around town and eight of them ended up on poles on the hillside above the community center. The objective of the houses was to help reestablish a healthy blue bird population around the Community Center and elsewhere. Bluebirds, as with many other animal species (including humans!), are having a difficult time finding suitable living and breeding sites. Each winter or early spring the houses need to be cleaned out so as to attract new occupants. We tweak the houses a bit each year (that’s Bill in the photo) to see what works best and in 2018 we had a 100% occupancy rate!
In 2015, four of the houses were taken over by the birds, four in 2015, six in 2016, two in 2017, and eight nests in 2018. To date we have seen Bluebirds, Titmouse and House Wrens take advantage of the houses. Each year while cleaning out the old nests, we oriented the unused houses a different direction. It seems NW was the winner last year. In 2019, we also chalked the seams of the homes to keep them dry. Initially we coated the inside of the houses with paraffin wax to discourage wasps, it has worked so far. Many thanks to the Parks Department and particularly Jennifer Russell for allowing Josh to place his houses around the community center. It has been a fun and rewarding experience for our family. Josh is currently living in Chico, working in construction, and attending classes at Butte College.
Volunteers Needed for Lafayette’s Evacuation Exercise
Bright and early on Saturday morning, March 23, Lafayette will hold an evacuation exercise for the Springhill Road area. Moraga and Orinda have both held Evacuation Exercises and everyone learned a lot from each. Now it's time for Lafayette to exercise and learn even more about evacuating when a wildfire is threatening our homes and lives. Springhill Road area is unlike those areas that have already exercised because of small, private roads and a Girl Scout camp at the end of the road. We need to find out, through exercise, what problems will arise and what we can do to mitigate these. Again, we will have contraflow traffic which requires a lot of CERT members to keep traffic flowing smoothly and safely. We also need CERT members to drive their cars from the end of the road to simulate evacuating the Girl Scout camp. Please join us in getting our community ready for wildfire by signing up to help. Find out how you can help right here: http://LamorindaCERT.org
Lamorinda School Bus Workshop & Route Changes
The Lamorinda School Bus Program is holding a series of workshops for parents regarding changes for school buses next year. The Lafayette Parent Workshop will be held March 13, at 6pm, at the Lafayette School District, Board Room, 3477 School St., in Lafayette. For more information about upcoming changes for next year, please click here. And there is something new: The Lamorinda School Bus Program now has e-notification for board meetings. This service is provided via the City of Lafayette website. Click here for a direct link. Questions? Call those wonderful folks who keep the buses running at (925) 299-3216, or visit www.lamorindaschoolbus.org.
New Art by Joel Tesch at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center
The Lafayette Public Art Committee welcomes its newest exhibit from Orinda Artist, Joel Tesch (February 24 - May 9). The “Celestials” and “Pop Art Portraits” series brings to life a vibrant world bursting with colors, movement and contrast from an otherworldly perspective. The pop art portraits include musicians, athletes and movie stars including Freddie Mercury from Queen, Princess Leia and Hans Solo from Star Wars and many more. See more of Joel’s art at www.joeltesch.com. The Library Gallery is open to the public on Monday evenings from 7pm to 9pm, and during the many public events occurring in the Don Tatzin Community Hall. For more information about the current exhibit or the City’s Public Art Committee, contact Juliet Hansen.
Report Card: Schools News
March 13 at 7pm, is the Monthly Governing Board meeting at which the District will recognize Teachers of the Year from each school, hear an update on the Measure C bond program, which is modernizing our campuses, and consider 2019/20 and 2020/21 school calendars. Also the Governing Board will approve its Second Interim Financial Report. Don’t miss it. The details will be published soon right here: https://www.lafsd.org/boardmeetings
Help Support our Students: LPIE's Online Auction is Open Now!
Our online auction is now open! Support us by becoming a bidder and looking at what we have available. Click here and go to the Start Bidding button in the upper right corner. Enter your email and follow the instructions to complete your registration. How to Bid: Now you can bid on packages anywhere, from your home to your office and even on the go! It is incredibly simple, and designed to help you easily manage your bids. Follow the steps below and get started now!
East Bay Regional Parks Looking to Hire Lifeguards for 2019 Swim Season
The East Bay Regional Park District is currently recruiting 40-60 new lifeguards for the 2019 swim season at its 11 facilities that include lakes, lagoons, and pools in the East Bay. The pay ranges from $16.15-$18.64 per hour. All new lifeguard positions are seasonal, full-time positions May through September. Anyone age 16 and over by April 20th, 2019 is encouraged to apply. There are six different testing dates scheduled on Saturdays/Sundays the last three weekends in March. Participants will be asked to swim 550 yards in under 10 minutes, carry a rescue board 50 feet, retrieve three dive rings under 4-7 feet of water, tread water for two minutes using only their legs, and retrieve a 10-pound brick from under water. There will also be a short interview after successful completion of the swim test.
Participants who pass the tests will be invited to the District’s Lifeguard Academy where they will receive paid training and certification in open water lifeguarding. The Academy takes place over five weekends in April and May, with the swim season beginning in May for most facilities. For more information about how to become a lifeguard call (510) 544-2154 or visit www.ebparks.org/activities/swimming/lifeguard.htm
Read All About It
The Friends of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center is a proud 10th Anniversary Sponsor of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center! The Friends of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center support the programs, collections (books and magazines), and services (including Sunday hours) of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. The Friends Corner Book shop is the primary fundraising vehicle of the Friends. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Corner Book Shop sells gently used books that have been donated by the community. Stop by today! Remember: "Support your Library...Shop at Friends Corner Book Shop!"
Save the Date: Town Hall on Hiring a New City Manager
The Lafayette City Council invites the community to participate in an upcoming Town Hall meeting to provide input related to the Ideal Candidate Profile for our new City Manager. The Town Hall meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 26 at the Don Tatzin Community Hall at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center from 7 – 8 pm. Avery Associates, an Executive Search Firm based in Los Gatos, CA, has been selected by the Council to conduct the recruitment. Paul Kimura and Sam Avery, from the firm will be present to facilitate discussion with the community.
If you are unable to attend the meeting, you will also have an opportunity to provide input on the candidate profile through an on-line survey. The City Council has arranged to have the on-line survey link available on the city’s website. This link will be posted on or before April 1 and is anticipated to remain on line until May 17. We look forward to your participation at the Town Hall meeting or through the on-line survey.
This Week’s Public Meetings: Council, Commissions, Subcommittees and Other Good Stuff
- The City Council, Monday, Mar. 11, beginning at 7pm, Lafayette Library & Learning Center in the Don Tatzin Community Hall. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
- The Design Review Commission, Monday, Mar. 11, at 7pm, Lafayette Library & Learning Center in the Arts & Science Discovery Room. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
- The Youth Commission, Monday, Mar. 11, at 6pm, at the Lafayette Community Center, Sequoia Room, 500 Saint Mary's Road, Lafayette, California 94549. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
- Parks, Trails and Recreation Commission, Wed., Mar. 13, at 7pm, at the Lafayette Community Center, Sequoia Room, 500 Saint Mary's Road, Lafayette, California 94549.
- Council Committee Goal 1: Develop Strategy to Maintain Local Control Land Use/Development, Wed., Mar. 13, beginning at 7pm, at the Lafayette City Offices, 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Suite 265, Lafayette, California 94549, Room 265. Read the agenda here.
- Emergency Preparedness Commission, Lafayette Police Department 3471 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, California, Wed, Mar.13, 7pm. Read the agenda here.
- Environmental Task Force, Thurs., Mar. 14, beginning at 7pm, at the Lafayette City Offices, 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Suite 265, Lafayette, California 94549, Room 265. Read the agenda here.
Comment on Monday’s City Council Agenda
The best way to let your views be known on issues facing the City is through Lafayette Listens, our online public engagement site. Comment on any agenda item using Lafayette Listens and others can see and support your stance on key issues. View the entire agenda and comment here: https://www.opentownhall.com/7302. Please comment by noon on Monday the 11the, so that we can provide your views to the Council for consideration at their meeting. Thank you for your participation in Lafayette’s public meetings!
Photo for the Week
Did you know that every one of these 15 Lamorinda councilmembers, including the mayors of Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda, are volunteers?
Quote for the Week
You can study government and politics in school, but the best way to really understand the process is to volunteer your time.
The Roundup is prepared each week for the Lafayette City Council, staff, and the Lafayette community. If you have thoughts about this week’s Roundup or a contribution for next week’s edition, please contact the City of Lafayette's Communications Analyst, Jeff Heyman, at email@example.com. You can subscribe to The Roundup and learn more about Lafayette’s publications and social media sites here.