Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for March, 2007

Spring has sprung

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood in Moraga, Orinda and Lafayette. The flowering trees are magnificent, even in the lowly median strip in the middle of Mt. Diablo Boulevard near Lafayette Reservoir. Check out the hues: bright pink, scarlet and purple flowering trees, all in a row.

Do you have a favorite “spring-has-sprung-spot” in Lamorinda, visible from a public street or road? If so, post the location below as a comment, or send an email to and we’ll post it for you.

Posted on Friday, March 30th, 2007
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Roads | No Comments »

Shoplifting at Safeway

In the Orinda police log:

Saturday, March 17
DRUNK DRIVING — Police arrested a 66-year-old El Sobrante man at 10:57 p.m. on Orinda Way on suspicion of driving drunk. He had a .20 blood alcohol level.

VANDALISM — A Loma Vista resident reported at 5:20 a.m. that someone shattered the front windshield and driver’s side window of the car. Nothing was reported missing.

Wednesday, March 21
SHOPLIFTING — A loss prevention agent at Safeway on Camino Sobrante struggled with a 46-year-old Livermore man who was attempting to steal food at around 2:57 p.m. The agent handcuffed him and received a minor injury in the process.

Thursday, March 22
SHOPLIFTING — A Safeway loss prevention agent flagged down a police officer in the parking lot at 5:32 p.m. for assistance with a combative subject. Agents were struggling with a 71-year-old Lafayette man who was lying on the ground. They recovered a brown paper bag of batteries taken from the store.

THEFT — An Alameda woman reported that someone had stolen her wallet from her unlocked vehicle around 10 a.m. on March 19.

SHOPLIFTING — Two suspects were cited at 4:16 p.m. for shoplifting at Safeway.

Posted on Thursday, March 29th, 2007
Under: Crime, Lamorinda, Orinda | No Comments »

Lafayette church vandalized

The Lafayette police log shows:

Tuesday, March 13
CREDIT CARD FRAUD — A Lafayette resident reported that from March 7 to 12, someone used her ATM card to buy $9,276 worth of items in New Hampshire stores.

BURGLARY A Lafayette man reported his car was broken into sometime between 2:50 and 6:10 p.m. in the Safeway parking lot. Repair costs were estimated at $300. Missing items were valued at $370.

Thursday, March 15
DRUG BUST — A Concord resident was arrested at 3:04 a.m. at Walnut Street and Dewing Avenue on suspicion of possessing dangerous drugs and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Saturday, March 17
VANDALISM — Our Savior’s Lutheran Church reported four plastic walkway light fixtures and a window broken. The cost for repairs was estimated at $350.

Sunday, March 18
BURGLARY — A Lafayette resident reported that between 4 and 5:30 p.m. at Springhill Elementary School, someone broke his car window and removed $500 worth of items. The cost of repairs was estimated at $500
Monday, March 19
CREDIT CARD FRAUD — A Lafayette man reported someone used his debit card to charge $652 in items in Concord and Oakland.

Tuesday, March 20
IDENTITY THEFT — A Lafayette resident reported someone opened credit card accounts in her name and charged $362.

Wednesday, March 21
BURGLARY — A Mountain View Drive resident reported that between 9 a.m. and noon, someone entered her home through a bedroom window and removed jewelry.

Thursday, March 22
VANDALISM — McCaulou’s department store reported two air conditioning units vandalized. Someone tried to steal the copper piping and damaged the piping in the process. Repairs cost $24,178.

Friday, March 23
CREDIT CARD FRAUD — A Lafayette resident reported someone used her credit card to buy $1,683 in items Feb. 2.

Sunday, March 25
STOLEN CAR — A Lafayette resident reported that between 8:10 a.m. and 11:20 a.m., someone removed her car from the parking lot of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. The owner said she left her keys in the unlocked car and returned to find the car missing. The keys to her house also were in the car and she later found her home burglarized.

Posted on Thursday, March 29th, 2007
Under: Crime, Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga | No Comments »

Thefts in Moraga

The Moraga police log reports the following:

Wednesday, March 21
GRAND THEFT — A man called to report the theft of two scissor lifts that his construction company used while remodeling a building for the new Homegoods Store. He said he last saw the lifts inside the store last October. He believed the rental company had picked them up. But he recently received another bill for the equipment. He contacted the rental company and learned they had never picked up the equipment.

Saturday, March 24
STOLEN VEHICLE — Officers responded to the Moraga Country Club on Andrews Drive on a report of a stolen golf cart. It was determined that someone had cut a steel cable tethering a golf cart near the club’s security office. The golf cart was located. The approximate loss for a replacement cable is $50.

AUTO BURGLARY— A woman called to report an auto burglary. She said she parked and locked her 1990 VW van on Ascot Drive at 5 p.m. March 23. At 9 a.m. March 24 she found the front passenger window had been smashed and a briefcase was missing.

DOMESTIC ABUSE— Officers responded to a residence on Ascot Drive on an anonymous report of a domestic dispute. Upon arrival, it was determined that both involved parties shared an intimate relationship for the past two years. As a result of the physical altercation, the woman suffered moderate injuries to her facial area as well as her left hand, and scalp, consisting of visible bruising. The male suspect was subsequently taken into custody for investigation.

Posted on Thursday, March 29th, 2007
Under: Crime, Lamorinda, Moraga | No Comments »

Court arguments heard today in Zander Drive claim

The city of Orinda was in court today over charges it owes Zander Drive resident Joseph Moran money for subjecting him to rats, mosquitoes, vagrants and other problems stemming from a nearby city-owned house that has been vacant for years.

Moran argued that the problems there have curtailed his ability to enjoy his neighborhood. The city said it has taken care of most of the problems on the property — trapping rats, killing mosquitoes, and discouraging trespassers — and is now waiting for the results of a study on how to stabilize the slide-prone land.

The court will make a decision and notify the parties by mail.

— Brooke Bryant

Posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Man tries, fails to rob Lafayette bank

A man tried unsuccessfully to rob a Lafayette bank Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The incident occurred shortly before the 5 p.m. closing time at Mt. Diablo National Bank, 3640 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

The man, who did not display a weapon, fled when he did not get any cash.

Police established a perimeter, including checking BART trains, said Lafayette police Sgt. Roxanne Gruenheid.

The man was last seen running toward Happy Valley Road. He was described as white, in his mid- to late 20s, 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, wearing a tan baseball cap, tan shirt and tan pants.

Anyone who saw the man is asked to call Lafayette police at 925-284-5010.

–– Scott Marshall

Posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

Slow down is rallying cry

Lafayette residents rallied Wednesday morning near the site of last week’s fatal six-car crash in a collective cry for drivers to slow down.

The group of about 40, half of them children, carried signs that read “No more killings” and “This is our town; Let’s slow down” at the corner of Pleasant Hill and Springhill roads. A police speed trailer nearby tracked drivers’ speed in orange numbers.

“We see people zipping by in a hurry to get to work and we just want to help people stay aware that there are children here,” said resident Lynn Barr.

The rally was held after the speeding driver of a BMW slammed into the back of a Mazda on Stanley Boulevard at Pleasant Hill Road last week, causing a chain reaction with four other cars. The Mazda driver, 55-year-old Dale Zenor of Walnut Creek, died and five others were injured.

Frustrated residents want the speeding to end. Too many drivers travel above the speed limit and run red lights in a neighborhood that’s home to three schools, they said.

_Katherine Tam

Posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Roads | No Comments »

Celebrate the Arts at OIS

The Education Foundation of Orinda is holding a Celebration of the Arts on Thursday, March 29.

The event at Orinda Intermediate will highlight the ways the EFO — and parents’ donations — supports music and visual arts in Orinda schools.
Here are some of the features:

* There will be an art exhibit from 6-6:30 p.m. and 7:30-8 p.m. in the multipurpose room, with a display of student art work in mixed media, woodworking, video production, computer graphics and advanced digital photography. The Miramonte Jazz Band will provide entertainment from 7:30-8 p.m.

* The Combined Elementary School Band, the OIS Strings and Concert Band and the Miramonte Combined Concert and Symphonic bands will perform from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Isola Gym.

* New this year: There will be public speaking and drama presentations from Miramonte in the OIS Drama Room from 7:30-8 p.m.

Admission to the event is free.

Brooke Bryant

Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Orinda headed to court over Zander Drive

Oh, rats! The skittering critters have Orinda headed to court on Wednesday to defend itself against a civil claim filed by a neighbor of the vacant, city-owned house on Zander Drive — which last hit headlines when residents griped that it was a rat-infested, mosquito-ridden neighborhood hazard.

Joseph Moran is asking for $7,500, plus court costs, due to the “loss of enjoyment of life, property and use of neighborhood street (Zander Drive)” from the state of affairs at 106 Zander Dr.
Neighbors said last year that the long-vacant parcel was breeding both rats and mosquitoes, and the city later approved a study on how to stabilize the three slide-prone Zander Drive lots it owns in the hopes of selling them. The lots would be sold on the condition that the buyer stabilize the slipping slope — and if no one buys them, the city’s insurer would pay for demolition and the creation of a park-like setting.

A small claims trial is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Walnut Creek Superior Courthouse, 640 Ygnacio Valley Road. Check back here tomorrow for an update, and read the full story in Thursday’s paper.
— Brooke Bryant

Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Congratulations, Ivor Samson

Ivor Samson is being feted tonight by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce as the 2007 Lafayette Citizen of the Year, To read a recent article about him, click here.

Posted on Friday, March 23rd, 2007
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda | No Comments »