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Almost Daily Briefing

Post Date:08/21/2019 9:28 AM

News for the #LoveLafayette Community



Infill Communities Add Beauty - When city planners and civic organizations give developers the green light to tear down the eyesores and add homes, light replaces blight. A small hill in Lafayette and a central piece of land in Union City are two perfect examples. (Mercury News)

Lafayatte Company Named Among Fastest Growing In Nation -Lafayette has exactly one company in the top 5,000. Moraga and Orinda had no entries on the list. (Patch)

Walnut Creek selects new assistant city manager –A woman with 20 previous years in high level administration has been selected to be the city's new assistant city manager. (Mercury News)

Wild Pigs Tearing It Up In The East Bay -He's seen kilometers of Mt. Diablo ridge lines rototilled by the animals. And mountain lions don't have a strong appetite for the pigs. (Patch)


From the Lamorinda Weekly

Emotionally charged discussion over housing bill -`Tis the season. Housing legislation bills are once again winding their way through various committees in Sacramento and Lafayette Council Member Cam Burks wants everyone to pay attention. In his view lawmakers in Sacramento are aiming to strip local land use control and he remains deeply mistrusting of their motives.

Srivatsa takes the driver’s seat at city offices -The Lafayette City Council voted Aug. 12 to award a three-year city manager contract to Niroop Srivatsa who has been serving as interim city manager since January.

Lady Gaga’s foundation to promote kindness in Lafayette -The Aug. 12 city council meeting got off to a positive start with Mayor Mike Anderson issuing a proclamation on behalf of the city that Sept. 1-21 be designated as “BeKind 21” days in Lafayette, as part of the Born This Way Foundation’s campaign. Schools, organizations, workplaces and communities are invited to make kindness a habit by performing an act of kindness daily for 21 days, culminating on the U.N. International Day of Peace.

Vice mayor announces intent to participate in Deerhill Road development decisions -Lafayette Vice Mayor Susan Candell surprised many in attendance at the Aug. 12 city council meeting with a statement announcing that having sought her own independent legal counsel, she now intends to participate in future discussions and decisions regarding the controversial Deerhill Road housing development known as the Terraces.

National Night Out - gaining popularity in community -This year’s National Night Out on Aug. 6 saw five separate events across Lafayette, with a total of 90 people attending gatherings on Mt. Diablo Boulevard, South Silver Springs Road, Solana Court, Black Forest Court, and at Lafayette Pointe. Several other events were held in Lamorinda.

Lafayette portion of North Orinda Shaded Fuel Break completed -Work began the week of July 20 on the North Orinda Shaded Fuel Break, a $4 million state-funded program managed by the Moraga-Orinda Fire District to remove hazardous fuels from a 1,500-acre stretch of land extending from Tilden Park to near Acalanes High School. By the second week of August, the seven-mile strip along Lafayette Ridge was completed, according to project manager Jim Call.

Proactive Lafayette property owners helped prevent a catastrophe -The drone shot from the Lafayette Police Department shows the aftermath of the Aug. 1 vegetation fire on Reliez Valley Road.  The charred, 1.5-acre circular area in the center shows that the fire avoided the homes that ringed the blaze.

New ‘safe route to school’ for Glorietta students, other roadwork underway -A new path has been constructed along the side of Glorietta Boulevard from Rheem Boulevard to Overhill Drive.  The path is a “safe route to school,” and was a top priority for the city of Orinda. DeSilva Gates Construction Company was selected as the contractor for Orinda’s 2019 Annual and Measure J & L pavement rehabilitation project.

Many 2019 town council goals achieved mid-year in Moraga -Moraga is bouncing back this year, shaking off the doldrums that took hold of the town beginning in 2016. The two biggest culprits, the closure of the Canyon Bridge and the first Rheem sinkhole, set the town’s finances into a tailspin. However, with the diligence of all the town’s departments along with their guidance and recommendations given to the town council, Moraga’s much needed facelift is beginning to take shape.

Campolindo Tech Club receives grant from Kiwanis for new equipment -Many people dream of becoming famous on stage or in front of a camera, but there are those who prefer to remain behind the scenes on the technical side of a production. Such is the case for the Campolindo students enrolled in the Tech Club, an after school volunteer program that began in 2011.

Town of Moraga receives excellence in financial reporting award -The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada notified Town Manager Cynthia Battenberg that Moraga’s Administrative Services Department was once again awarded The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for fiscal year ending 2018.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director - Moraga’s ambassador -Working out of the Chamber of Commerce’s tiny office, located in the Rheem Shopping Center, Executive Director Kathe Nelson makes big things happen for Moraga.

Orinda urges residents to plan for longer blackouts -Orinda has released a guide to assist residents in planning for potential two- to five-day PG&E shutoffs.  Because most of Orinda has been designated by the California Public Utilities Commission as “elevated” (Tier Two) or “extreme” (Tier Three) risk for wildfire, it is highly likely that PG&E may find it necessary to turn off the electricity as part of a Public Safety Power Shutoff.

OUSD receives $10K for wildfire mitigation efforts -Kyle McKibbin, Keenan, Account Executive for East Bay Schools Insurance Group, presents a $10,000 check to the Orinda Union School District board of trustees. The check from the Northern California Regional Liability Excess Fund is in recognition of the school district’s efforts to implement innovative wildfire mitigation and extinguishing techniques by purchasing and installing two 10,000-gallon water storage tanks at Wagner Ranch and ...

Orinda Classic Car Show bigger than ever -There have been some changes in personnel, but the Orinda Classic Car Show will continue into its 15th year with more cars on display than ever.  John Vaneck of Orinda Motors Classic Car Center, one of the original founders of the show, expects that there will be over 200 classic vehicles on display to the public on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ConFire responds to grand jury report on fire inspections -A Contra Costa County civil grand jury found that the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District had fallen behind in its mandatory fire inspections of schools and multifamily residences in 2018 and presented the district eight findings and six recommendations, mostly regarding the number of personnel needed to conduct more than 7,600 mandated annual inspections, incomplete record keeping and an obsolete records management system.

Homeless day care facility to open temporarily in Saranap -In a flurry of activity near the end of July, the Trinity Center announced that the temporary quarters for its homeless day care facilities would be relocated to the old Sufi Center/Holy Ghost Hall in the Saranap area.

BART weekend closures planned between Walnut Creek and Orinda stations -BART is making extensive repairs and upgrades to the track between Orinda and Walnut Creek stations on most weekends through October, including some upcoming full weekend closures with bus bridges.  Closure weekends:  Aug. 31-Sept. 2 (Labor Day Weekend), Sept.14-15, Sept. 28-29, Oct.12-13, and Oct. 26-27. Riders should expect delays of 40 minutes or more on closure weekends.

Pacific Chamber Orchestra season opens Sept. 14 in Lafayette -In celebration of 30 years of stellar performances, Pacific Chamber Orchestra Conductor Lawrence Kohl offers “a season of inspiring performances to travel the hero’s road, soar to the heavens, revel in the tango, marvel at genius and party!” With Kohl’s illuminating introductions to the music, every note, every moment is to be savored.

Film Festivals offer late summer entertainment in Orinda -With the temporary closure of the Rheem Theatre in Moraga, this year’s California Independent Film Festival will take place largely at the Orinda Theatre, except for the closing film and celebrations, which will be in San Francisco. The 22nd annual CAIFF will this year also host the Lamorinda Arts Council’s ShortDocs Showcase on Aug. 25.

Please, do touch the art -At the latest exhibit at the Museum of Art in Saint Mary’s College, not only is touching the art encouraged, it is required to fully experience each piece.  `’Significance Machines and Purposeful Robots’’ is an exhibit of works by Kal Spelletich, a San Francisco-based artist who utilizes robotics and reclaimed materials to create sculptures that move when you touch them.

Summer and wine at Saint Mary’s College was a perfect pairing  -Anyone who missed attending the 15th annual Summer Wine Festival at Saint Mary’s College should mark their calendars for next year. The Aug. 10 event was hosted by the SMC Alumni Association with proceeds benefiting the Lasallian Legacy Scholarship Fund created in the late 1980s by the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

2019 Lamorinda Idol finalists delight audience at Orinda Theatre -A happy audience was lavish with their applause at the 2019 Lamorinda Idol competition finals on Aug. 18.  Contestants came from local schools and the event was organized by the Lamorinda Arts Council, with the support of community sponsor the Orinda Community Foundation and local sponsors, including this publication.

Rabies awareness -Every year since 2007, World Rabies Day has been observed on Sept. 28.  This is a worldwide effort to raise awareness about this deadly virus and encourage prevention and control measures.  This year’s theme is “Share the message, Save a life.”  This disease is almost entirely preventable through vaccination.  In spirit of the theme, I’d like to share some information about rabies.

Meadows named new Campolindo Athletic Director -After heading an athletic department that led to Campolindo being named Cal-Hi’s Division III School of the Year, Shannon Rogers has stepped away from the athletic administration and will be devoting all of her efforts to her role as a special education teacher.

Lafayette Police Blotter      Moraga Police Blotter      Orinda Police Blotter


Movie In The Plaza

Cal Shakes’ ‘House of Joy’

Flywheel Sports Closing End of August in Downtown Walnut Creek

Sajj Mediterranean Coming to The Shops At Bishop Ranch in San Ramon



California Oil Industry Sounds Alarm Over Utilities' Power Shutoff Plans -Industry group warns that shutdowns contemplated to stem wildfire risk could knock refineries offline, leading to major releases of pollution and increasing the price of gasoline. (KQED) 

PG&E announces Public Safety Power Shutoff drill, electricity will not be impacted -PG&E has announced that a scheduled Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) drill will take place in Tejon and Poso Mountain. (KERO) 

Pacific Gas & Electric shares tumbled after a judge gave the green light to a trial over whether the state’s biggest and most embattled utility caused 2017’s Tubbs Fire. Previously, investigators said PG&E’s equipment did not start the blaze. (The Wall Street Journal)

Is recycling collapsing in California? Advocates call on lawmakers to rescue it -When rePlanet closed its doors at its remaining 284 California locations earlier this month, alarm bells went up among recycling advocates. Martin Bourque of the Ecology Center, a Berkeley-based nonprofit, argues that it is a symptom of a much larger problem facing the state. (Sacramento Bee)

22 Texas Towns Hit With Ransomware Attack In 'New Front' Of Cyberassault -Texas is the latest state to be hit with a cyberattack, with state officials confirming this week that computer systems in 22 municipalities have been infiltrated by hackers demanding a ransom. (NPR)



San Mateo's housing crisis response? Barracks for cops commuting two hours each way -Rather than slog back and forth from eastern Contra Costa County between shifts — a trip that ... a portion of an old fire station into a sleeping barracks for far-flung officers who can't afford the average $1.4 million Peninsula home. (San Francisco Chronicle) 

Council Votes Unanimously to Require That Developers Allocate 20% of Housing Projects to Low Income -A reduction of minimum parking requirements by up to 50 percent if the project site is located within the Central District Transit Oriented Development. (Pasadena Now)  

Citizens group sues over affordable housing project on Arden Way -An affordable housing project planned off Arden Way is facing legal action to potentially rescind the city of Sacramento's approval of the project. The property includes 2.81 acres located near a Sacramento Regional Transit District light rail stop. The site has been vacant for decades, and currently holds an abandoned lumberyard. (Sacramento Business Journal)

Santa Clara County to Study 5 New Sites for Extremely Low-Income Housing -Santa Clara County will consider five new sites on county property for affordable housing projects under Measure A, pushing toward its goal of creating 4,800 new homes by 2026. (NBC Bay Area) 

San Jose home prices drop 3.3 percent, Oakland home prices drop 2.6 percent -According to Redfin, the San Jose market has seen the second biggest drop in median sale price nationwide following Bridgeport, Connecticut. (KTVU)



CalPERS Board Member Wants Internal Investigation into Leaks Made Public -California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) board member Margaret Brown is demanding that the nation's largest retirement system investigate leaks. (Chief Investment Officer) 

Major Restructuring of CalPERS Investment Committee Could Become a Reality -A plan to restructure the investment committee of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) would remove as many as six of the current 13 members and more than cut in half the 11 annual meetings. (Chief Investment Officer) 



Cal State Fullerton stabbing leaves retired administrator dead; manhunt underway for suspect

Newsom's Finance Department opposes bills to require ethnic studies

A trailblazing plan to fight California wildfires

Cannabis restaurants are coming to California, with 'budtenders' and 'flower' service

California could be on the brink of its worst-ever wildfire season



Lafayette council considers 'urgent' Vermilion River dredging to reduce flooding – A Councilmember moved during a budget meeting last week to take $5 million from the Mayor’s recently proposed budget.



It survived a dot-com boom, bust and boom again. Now, after a quarter-century, the San Francisco State FogCam, which some say is the world’s oldest webcam, is set to be turned off forever.



Woodbury Highlands BANG

Woodbury Highlands in Lafayette will offer 99 luxuriously appointed homes throughout 16 buildings surrounded by landscaped grounds and common areas. See Local News, above. (Rendering: Mercury News)


The Almost Daily Briefing (ADB) is an aggregation of links to news articles from local and regional newspapers, magazines, websites, and other news sources. Its purpose is to alert readers to current issues and affairs that may impact Lafayette. The ADB does not promote, favor, disfavor, support, reject, or endorse any position, candidate, campaign, or proposition, and nothing about the ADB, including the selection, presentation, arrangement, or content of the links presented should be construed as an advocacy position. Please note: At times, the ADB features articles from sites that limit access for nonsubscribers. If you have questions about the ADB, please contact the City of Lafayette's Communications Analyst, Jeff Heyman, at You can subscribe to the ADB and learn more about Lafayette’s publications and social media sites here.

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