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Archive for May, 2007

Readers: Lamorinda pothole map

Don’t forget to add your favorite Lamorinda pothole to our online map. Go to this link to mark the locations of the worst potholes. You can do it yourself, or (for the less-tech-savvy) e-mail the location to us, and we’ll do it for you!

Click here to map your pothole.

— Brooke Bryant

Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2007
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Thefts and burglaries, large and small

From the Lafayette police log:

Saturday, May 19
RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY — A North Peardale Drive resident reported his house burglarized overnight and $5,000 worth of items missing.

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCE — An officer responding to a residential alarm at 4:07 p.m. on La Canada Road found the gate ajar and a door near the house unlocked. Damage to the lock suggests it might have been pried. The house had not been disturbed.

Wednesday, May 23
RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY — A Sun Ridge Court resident reported someone removed pool equipment worth $2,550 from her pool shed between May 21 and 23.

From the Moraga police report:

Tuesday, May 22
AUTO BURGLARY — Officers were notified of a report of an auto burglary on Devin Drive. Between 10 p.m. May 22 and 6:45 a.m. May 23 someone removed a portable DVD player and a wallet from the front passenger compartment of the vehicle. Entry was made through a smashed front passenger window. The total loss was about $399.

Wednesday, May 23
LOST/STOLEN PROPERTY — Officers were dispatched on a report of a lost Toshiba hand-held computer in a black mesh carrying case. She said that the last time she saw it was at 4:30 p.m. while she was shopping at Safeway in Moraga. She realized she was missing her computer while she was driving home. She returned to Safeway and could not find it. The estimated loss was $1,500.

From the Orinda police log:

Wednesday, May 9
RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY — Charles Hill Road residents reported at 6 p.m. that their house had been burglarized. A laptop and checkbook were stolen.
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Tuesday, May 15
RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY — La Espiral residents reported that someone broke into a fire-damaged house and stole $2,500.

Thursday, May 17
RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY — La Espiral residents reported at 2:53 p.m. that someone broke into their house, most likely through a small door leading to the basement, and stole $32,150 worth of items.

Friday, May 18
RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY — Homeowners on La Espiral reported at 11:35 a.m. that someone broke into their house, which was under construction, and stole $1,180 worth of construction equipment.

Monday, May 21
RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY — Oak Road residents reported at 6:13 p.m. that their house was burglarized and $982 worth of items were missing.

Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2007
Under: Crime, Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Acalanes district reaches deal with teacher

We received a press release this morning from the Acalanes school district, announcing a settlement with popular Miramonte High School teacher Sandra Maguire. Here’s what we have so far …

By Brooke Bryant
Times staff writer

The Acalanes school district has reached an agreement with Miramonte High School teacher Sandra Maguire, who was suspended with pay on May 11 after taking a group of students to Disneyland.

The district will allow Maguire to continue teaching public speaking classes at Miramonte over the next two years, although she won’t coach the speech and debate club, instead assisting the new coach as a volunteer, according to a statement released today.

Maguire will also make an apology at today’s school board meeting.
The district suspended Maguire after she took a group of students to Disneyland as part of a trip to the state championships during mandatory achievement tests in April.

School officials had initially banned the 69-year-old, known for her tough coaching style and winning record, from district property, and reassigned her to a different campus next year with orders not to teach speech and debate, her specialty for the past 29 years. Maguire was allowed back at Miramonte last week and told she could take the award-winning team to nationals this year.

“The district is pleased that Mrs. Maguire has apologized and taken responsibility for her actions during the recent trip to Southern California,” said Laurie Juengert, attorney for the school district, in a statement. “The district is also pleased that the parties have developed a transition plan for the highly successful speech and debate program at Miramonte High School.“

Maguire’s attorney, Luke Ellis, said in a statement: “It would have been a tragedy if Sandy had been transferred from Miramonte and out of public speaking, and we are grateful to the District for working with us to resolve this matter. Only a handful of speech teachers in the nation have accomplished what Sandy has over the last three decades and this agreement is really a victory for Miramonte students.”

Staff writer Shirley Dang contributed to this story.

Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

3 walk away from plane crash

Three Lamorinda residents walked away with minor injuries from a single-engine plane crash at 7:35 Monday morning.

The Cessna 206 left Concord’s Buchanan Field Airport on Monday morning and crashed upside down in a marsh 31/2 miles southwest of the Napa County Airport after encountering engine trouble.

The pilot, 70 -year-old Norman Pease of Orinda, radioed Concord about 10 minutes after take-off that he had a “rough-running engine” but he wanted to try to land in Napa rather than turn around, said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Pease and his two friends, Ottis McCain, 62, of Lafayette and Kenneth Crain, 84, of Orinda were heading north to go fishing on the Mendocino coast, said Sgt. Chris Perry of the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Calling all campers

It’s not just about s’mores and canoeing — unless that’s what you want.

Summer camps around Lamorinda vary from all-day baseball camps to overnight adventure camps. And the Lamorinda Sun wants to hear about the best of the best summer camps being offered around town.

If you know of an overnight or day camp that absolutely should not be left out of our summer camp story, coming up next week, then let us now.

Reach Elisabeth Nardi at 952-2617 or e-mail at enardi@cctimes.com.

Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2007
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Governor coming to St. Mary’s

The governor is headed to St. Mary’s College next week for commencement. For details, click here.http://www.cctextra.com/blogs/politicsblog/2007/05/schwarzenegger_headed_to_st_ma.html

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2007
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Thieves target vehicles in Moraga

Moraga police report:

Wednesday, May 16
CAR BURGLARY — A Los Arabis Drive resident reported someone broke into his car between 3 and 5 a.m., and took an Alpine subwoofer and IPOD valued at $800.

Thursday, May 17
CAR BURGLARY — An Old Jonas Hill Road resident reported someone broke the window of her locked car overnight and stole her purse. The missing items were valued at $1,270 and repairs were estimated at $300.

Friday, May 18
BATTERY — Two Stanley Middle School students reported that a man made comments to them at 7 p.m. on the Iron Horse Trail near the school, including a comment about sexual orientation. The man reportedly punched a student in the back of the head and jaw. The man was described as 6 feet 2 inches tall, 200 pounds with sideburns, a heavy build, shaved head, black shorts and white T-shirt.
n DUI — A 24-year-old Moraga resident was driving under the influence at 1:21 a.m. on Mt. Diablo Boulevard.
Saturday, May 19
n POSSESSION OF UNLAWFUL WEAPON — A Fremont resident and a Lafayette resident were found shooting potatoes from a potato launcher at 7:12 p.m. on Phillips Road. They sprayed hair spray into the launcher and lit it so the hair spray ignited and the launcher expeled the potato. Police officers responded after residents reported hearing shots fired.
n VANDALISM — A Lafayette resident reported someone scratched a swastika on his car on Murray Lane. Repairs were estimated at $500.
n STOLEN CAR — A Los Arabis Drive resident reported a 1988 Toyota stolen. He left it parked in front of the house with the keys in the ignition.
n DUI — A 53-year-old Concord man was arrested for driving under the influence at 9:44 p.m. at Olympic and Tice Valley boulevards.
Moraga police report:

Saturday, May 19
n GRAND THEFT — Officers made contact with a pair of victims (husband and wife) of theft from two vehicles on Kingsford Drive. The victims unlocked cars had been entered and property taken. A gym bag with three $200 tennis rackets were taken from one vehicle and a set of work keys taken from the other vehicle. The keys were recovered a short distance from the residence. The total loss was estimated at $600.

PETTY THEFT — Officers made contact with the victim of petty theft at her mother’s house on Donald Drive. The victim’s unlocked vehicle had been entered and property taken. Among items taken were two pairs of sunglasses, a cell phone charger, a “Maglite” flashlight, a garage door remote control and the owner’s manual for the vehicle containing the registration. The owner’s manual and garage door opener were recovered a short distance from the scene. The total loss was estimated at $115.

PETTY THEFT — Officers responded to Newberry Place on a report of a theft from a vehicle. It was determined that between 10 p.m. May 19 and 9:45 a.m. May 20, 2 full bottles of prescription medication were unlawfully removed by someone from a baby bag in the rear compartment in the vehicle. The medications were valued at approximately $5 each.

PETTY THEFT — Officers were advised to make contact with a Donald Drive resident regarding stolen property he recovered in front of his residence. He found his neighbor’s stolen owner’s manual containing her vehicle’s registration. He then realized his unlocked vehicle had been entered and property taken. Among items taken were a small change purse containing some $10-$15 in coins and the remote control to his garage door. He had last seen his vehicle at 6 p.m. May 19. He returned to his vehicle at 8 a.m. May 20. The total loss was approximately $45.

AUTO BURGLARY — Officers responded to Rheem Boulevard on a report of an auto burglary. They determined that between 9 p.m. May 19 and 10 a.m. May 20, someone removed a purse containing identification, credit cards and cash and a digital camera from the front passenger compartment of the vehicle. Entry was made through a smashed window.The total loss was about $500.

AUTO BURGLARY — Officers responded to Donald Drive on a report of an auto burglary. It was determined that between 11:59 p.m. May 19 and 1 p.m. May 20 someone removed a wallet containing identification, a debit card and cash from the front passenger compartment of the vehicle. Entry was made through a smashed front passenger window. The total loss was about $399.

AUTO BURGLARY — Officers responded to Chalda Way on a report of an auto burglary. It was determined that between 10 p.m. May 19 and 1 p.m. May 20, someone removed an empty purse from the front passenger compartment of the vehicle. They entered the car by smashing a window. The total loss was approximately $399.

PETTY THEFT — Officers were advised to make contact with a Birchwood Drive resident regarding property stolen from his vehicle. Investigation revealed the unlocked vehicle had been entered and property taken. Among the items taken were a black nylon brief case and calculator. The total loss was estimated at $179.

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2007
Under: Crime, Lamorinda, Moraga | 1 Comment »

Suicidal man called ‘person of interest’ in fire

ORINDA — A 50-year-old Orinda man pulled from a ravine at the Lafayette Reservoir Recreation Area during an apparent suicide attempt Wednesday is being called a “person of interest” in the investigation into a grass fire near the site of his rescue.

Firefighters were called to the west end of the recreation area at the 6:14 a.m. to battle the single-alarm fire that burned three acres near the Rim Trail and Meadow Park Court. Five different fire departments worked to extinguish the blaze, using off-road vehicles and tankers to shuttle water in to the rugged trail land, Moraga-Orinda Battalion Chief Jeff Maxwell said.
Crews contained the fire at 6:59 a.m. and were still at the scene at 8:30 a.m., when police received a call from a woman who said her husband had left a suicide note at home and was likely at the Rim Trail, said Lt. Dave Dubowy of East Bay Regional Parks police.

A helicopter crew spotted the man in the ravine, 400-500 feet below the site of the fire. Dubowy said the man swallowed a number of pills in an attempt to kill myself before or after walking down the steep and rugged terrain to the bottom of the ravine, where they discovered the empty pill bottle.
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The man is considered is “a person of interest” in the investigation because of his close proximity to the fire at the time it occurred, Dubowy said.

_ Malaika Fraley

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007
Under: Crime, Lafayette, Lamorinda | No Comments »

Possession of potato launcher

From the Lafayette police log:

Saturday, May 19
POSSESSION OF UNLAWFUL WEAPON — A Fremont resident and a Lafayette resident were found shooting potatoes from a potato launcher at 7:12 p.m. on Phillips Road. They sprayed hair spray into the launcher and lit it so the hair spray ignited and the launcher expeled the potato. Police officers responded after residents reported hearing shots fired.

VANDALISM — A Lafayette resident reported someone scratched a swastika on his car on Murray Lane. Repairs were estimated at $500.

STOLEN CAR — A Los Arabis Drive resident reported a 1988 Toyota stolen. He left it parked in front of the house with the keys in the ignition.

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007
Under: Crime, Lafayette, Lamorinda | 3 Comments »

Literary night in Lamorinda on Thursday

Now that “The Office” is over for the season, a summer full of empty Thursdays stretches bleakly before us.

Starting next week, though — because this Thursday, there’s plenty for art and literature lovers to do.

Start your evening at Orinda’s Theatre Square, where the city is hosting Cal Shakes Day to celebrate the contributions of the popular theater festival with food, music and performances from both local students and professional thespians.

Councilman Tom McCormick, who helped organize the event, reported he has heard rumors a hot dog joint will be serving up their condiments with intriguing panache: They’re using those nifty chocolate fountain machines to dispense ketchup and mustard.

The evening will also celebrate the opening of the new Cal Shakes box office, where patrons can pick up both tickets and play merchandise, in Theatre Square.

The free event runs from 5-7:30 p.m.

If you hurry (without breaking the speed limit, of course — remember: Slow Down Lamorinda!), you can catch the Sweet Thursday’s presentation at the Lafayette Library by Marta Acosta, an Oakland-based author whose popular books combine romance and a Latina sensibility with vampire lore (a vastly underappreciated genre.)

That free talk begins at 7:30 p.m.

— Brooke Bryant

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »