Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for January, 2009

AUHSD parcel tax may increase

The Acalanes Union High School District is planning to survey residents on a potential increase to the current $189 annual parcel tax.

Over $1 million in donations last year allowed the district to not raise the tax, but state budget cuts are expected to make a tax raise necessary to keep the district’s current staff numbers. Declining enrollment will also affect the district’s budget for the upcoming school year.

Without similar funding to this past year, nearly 30 teachers could lose their jobs along with more than 20 other district employees.

In order for a measure to be placed on the June ballot, the district must decide by March 6 if the parcel tax should be raised.

Posted on Monday, January 26th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | 3 Comments »

Moraga hit-and-run driver loses appeal

A California state appeals court recently upheld the conviction and sentence of a man responsible for the death of a Moraga woman following a hit-and-run accident in 2005.

Gurdeep Kaur, 55, was the Moraga resident killed when she was struck by the convicted driver’s car while crossing Moraga Boulevard on her walk home from work.

The convicted driver, Lee Harbert, of Napa, received a three-year prison sentence following the conviction. Harbert has maintained that the reason he did not stay at the scene was that he believed he had hit a deer.

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009
Under: Crime, Moraga | No Comments »

Leanne McLaughlin, former Sun editor, dies

I learned Wednesday morning that the person whom I succeeded at this job, Leanne McLaughlin, died at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, after suffering an apparent heart attack. She was 59.

She served as editor of the Sun and of the Walnut Creek Journal for about two years, until February 2007, when encephalitis incapacitated her. She returned to work last July, working hard to continue her recovery. Most recently she had been an editor at the Alameda Journal, another Bay Area News Group weekly newspaper.

I most recently saw her at a holiday gathering of the weekly newspaper editors, writers and page designers, held at Back Forty BBQ in Pleasant Hill. She looked good and said she felt good, too. She enjoyed both the journalistic and the community outreach aspects of her job at the Sun, and at the Walnut Creek Journal and, most recently, in Alameda.

The Sun will run a story obituary about her in Friday’s edition.



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Posted on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Gigi’s in Lafayette plans to close in February

One of Lafayette’s top places to eat a meal will close its doors February 14. Gigi’s, located at 1005 Brown Ave., is a small restaurant that has been a favorite among local diners.

Owner Jeffrey Amber sold the restaurant to a new owner, as Amber plans to open a new restaurant in a larger location. While he plans to keep his new location in the Bay Area, the new restaurant will likely be on the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel.

Gigi’s will offer a special Valentine’s Day dinner menu the last night before their doors close. If you haven’t been there before, it is worth making the effort to eat a meal there before it closes.

Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Restaurants | No Comments »

Murderer of Lafayette woman pleads guilty

The man who killed Ann Elizabeth Vuori pleaded guilty Tuesday to the 2005 sexual assault and murder of the Lafayette resident.

Richard Craig McNew came to Vuori’s residence on Moraga Boulevard in December 2005 while selling magazines door-to-door. He was connected to the crime a month later when DNA found at the scene was matched to his through a national database.

The murder of Vuori came just months after the murder of Pamela Vitale in her Lafayette home. Scott Dyleski, an Acalanes student at the time, was later convicted of murdering Vitale.

The two murders in such a short time had many residents of Lafayette and the surrounding areas concerned for their safety in a way that had never been seen before or since.

Posted on Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »