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Archive for December, 2008

An obsession with speed

It seems that Moraga’s alleged obsession with speed has turned into an obsession with stopping it. When the first few new stop signs popped up a few years ago, it appeared to be a step toward making the town safer for drivers and pedestrians.

As the last few years have passed, stop signs and speed bumps have become commonplace on Moraga’s roads. Camino Pablo has been a road, an obstacle course for cars and everything in between.

The Moraga Police Department does its fair share of stopping speed as well by handing out tickets to speeders all over town. There is no doubt they would win a game of hide-and-seek with the way they are able to hide their cars from oncoming vehicles. Just take a look in the trees off of St. Mary’s Road or the bushes off of Rheem Boulevard next time you drive by.

So, what is worse: the number of drivers who speed in Moraga or the town’s obsession with slowing everyone down?

Posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
Under: Moraga, Roads | 1 Comment »

Former Miramonte coach Hirashima dies

Former Miramonte High School girls basketball coach Darrell Hirashima died at the age of 56 on Friday. He had spent nearly two weeks on life support following a heart attack he suffered on Dec. 7.

Hirashima is survived by his wife, Theresa, his daughter, Trisha, and his two sons, Darrell Jr. and Dustin. Darrell Jr. is currently in his first season as a coach with the Acalanes boys basketball program.

During Hirashima’s 11 years with the Matadors, he compiled a 238-85 record. His team made the playoffs the past ten seasons and won four North Coast Section Division III titles.

While Hirashima will be remembered for the success his teams had on the court, his biggest impact was on the players who played for him. Hirashima is remembered as a kind, understanding coach who motivated his players to always do their best on and off the court.

Posted on Wednesday, December 24th, 2008
Under: Lamorinda, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

The wait for Whole Foods continues

An update in the opening of a Whole Foods in Lafayette has long been coming, but the most recent announcement is not what shoppers planned on hearing. The Whole Foods store will not open in Lafayette until early 2010.

As a result of the current state of the economy, Whole Foods has slowed down the opening of new stores, which pushed back the planned opening date for a store in Lafayette.

The store is still planned to be located in the vacancy left by Albertson’s in the same shopping center as Safeway. The current parking lot is not large enough to meet the demands for potential customers to the Whole Foods store. Whole Foods is in the process of finding options to meet the need for more parking.

The question now is whether Whole Foods will receive the same stream of customers that often flock to new store openings that it would have received had it opened shortly after the initial announcement of its opening.

Posted on Saturday, December 20th, 2008
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda | 1 Comment »

Campolindo and Miramonte battle in DFAL soccer openers

The Campolindo and Miramonte varsity boys soccer teams each entered their DFAL opener Wednesday night at Campolindo with thoughts of defending a title. Miramonte was DFAL champion a year ago, while Campolindo won last year’s NCS 2A playoffs.

Despite a fast moving game that featured four goals, both teams went home disappointed as the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Campolindo fell behind early as they lost senior captain Alika Okamitsu when he received a red card. Miramonte made it worse for the Cougars a minute later when Joe Clark opened the scoring.

Justin Chew of Campolindo tied the game on a free kick and then gave the Cougars the lead less than 10 minutes later with a high chip over Miramonte’s goalie. It looked like the Cougars would pull it off until a last minute goalie mistake by Campolindo turned into an open net shot for Miramonte’s Jordan Myers who tied the game at two with little time left on the clock.

The Campolindo and Miramonte girls varsity teams squared off at Miramonte Wednesday night where the Matadors fielded a senior-heavy roster who took home the DFAL and NCS titles last season.

The Matadors made a statement early as Kendall Pegan gave Miramonte the lead only nine minutes in, which would be all Miramonte would need. McKenna DeBack extended the lead 25 minutes in, and the Matadors held on from there, beating Campolindo 2-0.

Both Campolindo junior varsity teams won their games against Miramonte. The boys won 3-1, while the girls won 2-1.

Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2008
Under: Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Miramonte coach Hirashima suffers major heart attack

Former Miramonte girls basketball coach, Darrell Hirashima, is on life support at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Walnut Creek after suffering a major heart attack on Sunday. The former coach had a lesser heart attack just two months ago.

The heart attack comes during Hirashima’s first year not coaching Miramonte basketball in over a decade. Despite public support, he was not retained by Miramonte to coach the 2008-2009 season.

In his 11 years coaching the Miramonte girls basketball team, Hirashima compiled a record of 238-85 to go along with four North Coast Section Division III championships. Hirashima’s teams won 20 or more games in each of the past nine seasons and made the playoffs each of the last 10 seasons.

Hirashima’s son, Darrell Jr., is continuing the family tradition of coaching basketball at a local high school. He is in his first year with the Acalanes boys basketball team.

The work of Darrell Hirashima must be applauded. High school coaches aren’t in it for the money. They coach high school because they love the sport and want to see kids improve. For a coach to dedicate 11 seasons to one school the way Hirashima did is something that has to be respected.

As I am in the midst of my first season as a high school soccer coach, I only hope that I can have the same kind of impact on my program that Hirashima had on his.

My thoughts are with the entire Hirashima family.

Posted on Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
Under: Lamorinda, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Orinda police sergeant hit by car

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An Orinda police sergeant is expected to fully recover from minor leg injuries he suffered when he was hit by a car Monday.

The sergeant, whose name is not being released by police, was hit by a BMW 318 around 6:15 p.m. Monday night near the intersection of Moraga Way and Glorietta Boulevard. The driver of the BMW drove into a closed-off area where the sergeant was investigating a separate traffic accident.

After striking the officer, the driver of the BMW stopped and cooperated with police. The driver has not been cited, but the incident is under investigation by Orinda police.

Perhaps useful: “In wealthy Lamorinda, police departments scrape by,” Paul Thissen’s Contra Costa Times story from September 18, 2008

Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
Under: Crime, Lamorinda, Orinda | 1 Comment »