The Weekly Roundup, May 22, 2020
Friday, May 22, 2020 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
That Mammoth, Nearly 7-Hour Planning Commission Meeting
There have probably been only a few nearly seven-hour public meetings held over the course of Lafayette’s history. But we had one this week when the Planning Commission took up the Terraces of Lafayette matter. The Commissioners patiently listened to presentations, pro and con arguments, and some 90 public comments, emailed to the Commission before and during the meeting – each read into the record by City Staff. Get some background on the meeting by reading the Agenda and Staff Report and then, if you haven’t already, join the 943 viewers who have checked out this mammoth meeting by watching it on the City’s YouTube Channel. It’s a nail-biter to be sure and – spoiler alert – the matter has been continued to the Commission’s June 15 meeting. It’s one of the City’s most popular videos on YouTube and you won’t want to miss it. Plus, you don’t have to stay up until 1:40 a.m. to find out what happened.
Contra Costa County Allows Curbside Retail
This week, thanks to progress made in containing the spread of Covid-19, Contra Costa County relaxed restrictions in its shelter-in-place order to allow retail stores and their suppliers to reopen. It began on May 19, at 6 a.m., when retail stores in Contra Costa County started to offer curbside sales or other outdoor pickups of orders as long as they abide by certain safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Stores may not display merchandise for sale on tables or otherwise outside the stores. Customers may not enter the store or interior of any indoor shopping mall. Stores must also employ reasonable measures to require customers to comply with social distancing requirements at the pickup areas, including marking locations at six-foot intervals for customers to stand while waiting in line. Contra Costa will also allow businesses that manufacture retail goods and provide warehousing or logistical support to retail stores to operate, but they must limit the number of staff in enclosed areas so that personnel can comply with social distancing requirements.
CocoKids Provides Community Childcare Resources
CocoKids, formerly known as Contra Costa County Child Care, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of quality childcare and early education for young children and their families in Contra Costa County. During this pandemic, CocoKids wants everyone to know about the resources available for childcare providers and the families they serve including free childcare for essential workers, free childcare referrals for families, and funds for cleaning materials, PPE, and other supplies for childcare providers. Find out more about how to apply for free childcare. CocoKids is also the county’s resource and referral agency that helps families find childcare (including emergency childcare) that best matches their needs and preferences here. Find childcare now.
Licensed Family Child Care Providers and Centers and exempt providers that are currently open or intend to open can apply for the state’s Cleaning Supplies for Childcare Providers funds to purchase much-needed cleaning supplies, PPE, and other supplies. Apply for the CSCP funds. Cleaning materials, hand sanitizers, gloves, and other supplies are also available for providers. Just call CoCoKids Donation Supplies Coordinator, Monica Joseph, at (925) 787-1536, to arrange for pickup. For questions or more information about childcare resources in our community, please visit www.cocokids.org or email Letty Quizon at email@example.com.
RBK and MOFD Chief Discuss Wildfire Prevention & Preparation
This week, as the fire season approaches, California State Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, our representative, talked with Moraga-Orinda Fire District’s Chief, Dave Winnacker, on how residents can safeguard their homes against wildfire. The emphasis is on managing vegetation on each homeowner’s parcel to reduce fire spread, including practical tips that will help protect your home. The Chief goes through easy steps each homeowner can take right now, including details regarding homeowner walk-throughs of their yards and house perimeters, investigating and removing fallen tree branches and litter in gutters, and trimming of vegetation that can become fuel for a wildfire. Watch this important video on Facebook.
New Guidelines Proposed for Public Safety Power Shutoffs
The California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, has proposed new guidelines for public comment for electric utilities to follow when they conduct Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) events to reduce the threat of wildfires caused by their equipment. The proposal, formally called a Proposed Decision, is on the CPUC’s May 28, 2020, Voting Meeting agenda. It would supplement and update existing guidelines for PSPS events in advance of the 2020 wildfire season. Among other things, the proposal would require utilities to adopt new measures to effectively communicate PSPS events with impacted communities – before, during, and after – and minimize the duration and impact of any PSPS event, especially on vulnerable populations and critical infrastructure. The proposal also calls for convening quarterly regional working groups to share lessons learned, and to refine PSPS protocols. Learn more about these proposed PSPS Guidelines.
PG&E Roadwork Ahead For St. Mary’s Road
PG&E has informed the City of Lafayette that the utility will be replacing a section of gas pipeline at the bridge on St Mary’s Road, between South Lucille and Rohrer Drive, beginning June 1 with work continuing through mid-August. This section of St Mary’s Road will be closed Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - to 6:00 p.m. PG&E recommends that you plan ahead. If you have questions or concerns about PG&E’s work, please contact the local PG&E representative, Julian Lacson, at (925) 348-3532 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PG&E to Hold St. Mary’s Road Work Webinar
PG&E is holding a community webinar on Thursday, May 28, from 5-6:00 p.m., to discuss the work on St. Mary’s Road, their vegetation management program, and other topics, including:
- What the PG&E gas pipeline replacement project along St. Mary’s Road means for residents and the surrounding communities.
- What to expect from PG&E electric system hardening work along St. Mary’s Road
- Details on PG&E’s Enhanced Vegetation Management work planned along St. Mary’s Road
Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of PG&E subject matter experts. Register now for PG&E’s webinar here: https://primetime.bluejeans.com/a2m/live-event/adpsfgcv
Contra Costa Accessible Transportation Strategic Plan: Take the Survey
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), in coordination with Contra Costa County, is conducting a study to find out how to improve transportation services for seniors, people with disabilities, and eligible veterans who live or travel in Contra Costa County. We all want to make transportation convenient for older adults and people with disabilities and this survey will help chart the best path forward. Older adults, or those who have a disability or are a veteran, find transportation in Contra Costa County challenging. CCTA wants to identify ways to make it easier for everyone to get around, whether to an appointment, getting groceries, visiting family, or anything else. Participate now in helping shape Contra Costa transit by completing this online survey online. Participants will be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card! If you have any questions, you can call (857) 305-8004 or email email@example.com.
What’s the Latest on the Park Theater, You Ask?
The Board of Directors and the volunteers who make up the Park Theater Trust, colloquially known as TPTT, was grateful to receive a very generous grant from the Lafayette Community Foundation. LCF’s grant, which will go towards the purchase of donor management software, goes a long way toward supporting TPTT’s efforts to acquire and renew Lafayette’s iconic Park Theater. The community is extremely fortunate to have the support of a foundation such as LCF, the Trust says, particularly during these difficult times. As a new non-profit, TPTT faced the usual challenge of progressing its goals during the Covid-19 crisis. LCF demonstrated a belief in the TPTT’s vision and its wish to keep moving forward. For more information about the Park Theater Trust, please visit www.parktheatertrust.org.
Sign of Our Times: Assistance League’s Thrift Shop on eBay
The dedicated volunteers of Assistance League of Diablo Valley want to remind its faithful shoppers and supporters that although the thrift shop located at the Way Side Inn in Lafayette is closed, the ability to shop the store on eBay is up and running. Volunteers are eager to help you place orders, so let “their fingers do the walking,” as the saying goes and support the League’s worthwhile mission to provide assistance to the Contra Costa community. To initiate this retail coup, all you need to do is visit their website, www.assistanceleague.org/diablo-valley, and click on the Thrift Shop link. Then, click on the eBay logo to discover items for sale at drastically reduced prices. Maybe you’ll get lucky and pick up a carved gourd like the one shown above. The inventory changes almost daily, so shop the Way Side Thrift Store on eBay now – it’s a win-win.
Read All About It: Events at the Library
The Lafayette Library & Learning Center Foundation Distinguished Speaker Series presents Anne Raeff in conversation with Lori Ostlund on Sunday, June 7, at 4:00 p.m. Register today to receive a Zoom invitation prior to the program. Then join authors Anne Raeff and Lori Ostlund for an online discussion of Only the River, Raeff’s latest novel. Spanning generations and several wars, Only the River explores the way displacement destroys families and creates new ones, sparking a revolution that changes their lives in the most unexpected ways. Anne Raeff is a California Book Award silver medalist and Simpson Literary Prize finalist. She lives in San Francisco and is proud to be a high school teacher. For more information about this program, please call (925) 283-6513, ext. 102. Remember: "Support your Library...(When it opens) shop at Friends Corner Book Shop!"
- Support Stanley: A post on Nextdoor is calling all parents, neighbors, and community to show our Stanley 8th graders how much the community supports them. Step outside on May 28, at 5:15p.m., and make some NOISE! Let's get that energy level up and get the enthusiasm running for their virtual ceremony that starts at 5:30 p.m.
- Night at the Library: It’s a moveable feast with co-hosts Cameron Burks and Carrie Barlow for this year’s Night at the Library, a one-hour online fundraiser for the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, on Saturday, May 30, at 7:00 p.m. Bid now on Moveable Feast Dinner Packages donated by local restaurants and only available until May 25. Support the Lafayette Library and local restaurants and businesses when you participate in the silent auction. Register now.
- Town Hall’s Theatrical Archive & Thursdays Play Live Series: Twelfth Night is on now through June 14, on a pay-what-you-can-basis. Find out more info and how to view here. Each Thursday evening, local musicians play live on the Town Hall Theatre’s Facebook Page, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Don’t miss these performances in support of Town Hall.
- Lafayette’s Business Assistance Program: The City of Lafayette has collaborated with the Chamber of Commerce and Townsend Public Affairs to launch the Lafayette Business Assistance Program, a way for Lafayette businesses and non-profits to get help on Small Business Administration (SBA) loan and grant applications. The City designed the program to make it as easy as possible for our businesses to get the support they need during the Covid-19 crisis. Find out more now about the Lafayette Business Assistance Program and how you can benefit.
- Blood Donations Needed: There is a shortage of blood needed for lifesaving blood transfusions including those who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer. If you are healthy and feeling well, please make an appointment to donate in the weeks ahead by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All donations are in keeping with CDC Covid-19 safety guidelines.
- Contacting the City: During the Covid-19 emergency, City offices are being staffed virtually weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and staff is monitoring telephone lines, email, and social media. Here is a list of how to reach City departments: https://bit.ly/LafayetteCovid-19Contact.
- City of Lafayette Notifications: Sign up for Lafayette’s publications, including Covid-19 updates, here: https://bit.ly/LafayetteNotifications. You can also find the latest Information on Covid-19 on the City's coronavirus page: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.
In keeping with the County Public Health Order, all face-to-face public meetings in Lafayette have been canceled. Meeting are now held via Zoom conferencing and the City’s YouTube Channel. We will notify you of those meetings as they are scheduled, and provide agendas and instructions on how to provide public comment and participate in the meetings. You can sign up for meeting notices here. To view all of next week’s public meetings please visit our full calendar. You can find details on participating in public meetings and providing public comment here.
- City Council, Tuesday, May 26, beginning at 7:00 p.m., Location: City of Lafayette’s YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/LoveLafayetteYouTube. Submit public comments before or during the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read here the Agenda & Staff Reports.
Photo for the Week
We agree with Diane Kosak that it is indeed a beautiful spring. And to demonstrate just how beautiful it is in our corner of the world, she sent us this fine photograph. Thank you Diane.
Poem for the Week
A Prayer In Spring
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.
The Roundup is prepared each week for the Lafayette Community, City Council, and Staff. If you have thoughts about this week’s Roundup or a contribution for next week’s edition, please email the City of Lafayette's Communications Analyst, Jeff Heyman. Subscribe to the Weekly Roundup and learn more about Lafayette’s publications and social media sites here.