Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for May, 2007

Grass fire at the reservoir

Moraga’s Campolindo neighborhood was awakened early this morning as helicopters began hovering around 6:35 a.m. and sirens sounded in the distance. We suspect our Lafayette neighbors had a similar wake up call, because the Times’ George Kelly is reporting a single-alarm grass fire at the Lafayette Reservoir. Neighbors step outside, barefoot and in jammies, to sniff the air but there’s no smoke on the Moraga side, just one helicopter overhead … then two, then three hovering above the ridgeline.

George’s latest post on the Times’ home page adds that the 3-acre fire was contained at 6:59 a.m. Moraga-Orinda and East Bay Regional Park firefighters are still on site.
— Jackie Burrell

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

Orinda brush fire quickly contained

A brush fire off Bear Ridge Road in the Sleepy Hollow area of Orinda threatened three homes and damaged an outbuilding this morning before crews from the Moraga-Orinda Fire Department contained it.

Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer had this to say about the blaze:

“It is another example of how our city is living close to the edge in terms of fire safety.

We need our residents to exercise great care in maintaining fire safe conditions around their property.

We also need to upgrade our water pipes to ensure adequate water volume for emergencies.

If it had been a windy day, this hillside fire in the middle of a dozen homes could have been a citywide conflagration.

Our fire crews, with help from the county and state, did a great job in getting the fire under control before any life or property was lost.”

The fire started about 10:30 a.m., apparently from a mechanical failure on a drilling rig working in the area. The driver of the rig suffered minor to moderate burns and refused treatment, said Battalion Chief Bryan Collins.

Fifteen fire engines and two helicopters were called to the fire, which burned about one and a half acres, he said. Collins credited low winds and otherwise cooperative weather for helping firefighters contain it.

Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Elderly woman drowns in Orinda

Our cops reporter says Orinda police are reporting that an elderly woman drowned Sunday afternoon while swimming in a pool.

The victim, whose name was not released pending further investigation, died after paramedics and police responded to an Orchard Road home at 4:47 p.m., said Orinda police Sgt. Tim Hall.

The person who found the victim reported she was not breathing. She possibly had a medical problem while swimming, Hall said.

Police found no sign of foul play.

– Brooke Bryant

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2007
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

How’s your road?

Lafayette voters will decide on June 5 whether to approve a $150 annual parcel tax to fix neighborhood streets. Measure C requires a two-thirds approval.

Read about Measure C and view the list of 118 streets in “failing” condition that city officials say they would target with Measure C funds by clicking here. The list was compiled by the city.

Katherine Tam

Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2007
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Miramonte Open House Draws Police

Miramonte High School’s open house turned ugly Thursday night as school administrators butted heads with parents and students over suspended debate teacher Sandra Maguire.

Sophomore Cheryl Hori, 16, said Principal Raul Zamora escorted her and parent Yvonne Van Chen off the grounds because they were distributing fliers in support of the embattled debate coach, who was put on paid leave last Friday.

Hori likened the action to censorship.

“We’re not in a Communist country. We’re currently in America,” Hori said.

Debate team member Ali Karol, 16, said she was ordered not to pass around petitions in Maguire’s support either during school hours or at the open house.

After students were kicked off campus, parent Regina Giannini called the police, who later arrived on campus. No one was arrested or injured.

The turn of events was the latest bizarre twist in the battle to bring the much decorated coach back to the school. She has been reassigned and ordered never to teach debate in the Acalanes school district again after taking her students to Disneyland against district orders and sending home a student early from a tournament after he was caught cheating.

Read the Times’ Tuesday story about the district’s decision to suspend Maguire here.

Shirley Dang

Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2007
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Map: Worst potholes in Lamorinda

Check out an interactive map where readers can mark the locations of the worst potholes throughout Lamorinda. 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 17th, 2007
Under: Lamorinda | 1 Comment »

How to report Lamorinda potholes

On Friday the Lamorinda Sun reports on bond measures to pay for road repairs. We also offer resources on how to report a pothole for repair. Some of the information is below. Reporter Brooke Bryant is also putting together an online map for readers to map their worst pothole in Lamorinda. We’ll have the link on the blog later today.

Report state highway and freeway repairs to Caltrans:

Lafayette Public Works maintenance hotline: 299-3259.
Orinda Public Works: 253-4231 or e-mail
Moraga Public Services Department at 925-376-2521.

Aaron Crowe

Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2007
Under: Roads | No Comments »

A little taste of Philly coming to Lafayette

A tasty addition is on its way to downtown Lafayette.
The Cheese Steak Shop is slated to open this week on Mt. Diablo Boulevard near First Street, where the old Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant sat, city officials report.
The shop will offer its signature Philadelphia-style sandwich as well as vegetarian options.
Franchise owners Gerry Henkel and Gary Hart opened a shop in San Ramon last year, officials added.

Katherine Tam

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2007
Under: Lamorinda | 1 Comment »

Chocolate & science

Now that’s a science lesson we’d love to see, smell and taste. Hoping to make science more accessible to the average Joe, the American Chemical Society is launching a series of “Science Cafes” in Lamorinda. First up? A lesson on “Chocolate: Food of the Gods, Fact or Fiction?” at Shelby’s Restaurant in Orinda Theatre Square. It all goes down on May 22 at 7 p.m. when Bay Area chemists (and chocolate experts) Howard and Sally Peters discuss the chemistry of theobroma cocoa, current health study results on chocolate and the Aztecs’ fascination with the stuff. It’s free, there’s no final exam and yes, there will be a chocolate tasting.
No idea when the next one will be but we’re really, really hoping it involves the science of ice cream…
Jackie Burrell

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2007
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Coming in Friday’s Lamorinda Sun

On Friday the Lamorinda Sun takes a look at Lamorinda’s roads and the road bonds that come before voters next month.

One feature we’ll run is a list of Internet links that can be used as resources, so readers can learn more about the roads they drive on daily and know how to report a problem.

One link we won’t be running, but is one of my favorite road related Web sites, is from the Bakersfield Californian. It has a pothole map where readers can map their most hated pothole.

Send me your favorite road Web links.

Aaron Crowe

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2007
Under: Roads | No Comments »