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Archive for June, 2009

Upcoming events in Lafayette

At 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, Sustainable Lafayette will be holding an event targeted at informing the public of how to conserve water in their home. Guest speakers will include an EBMUD representative and an Eagle Scout. The event is free and will be at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church at 1035 Carol Lane in Lafayette.

The Nurture Center at 3399 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette hosts a new parent support group every Tuesday morning from 10:00-11:30 a.m. The support group is focused on allowing parents with babies to discuss different issues and how to handle them properly. The support group costs $8 per session.

Lafayette’s Town Hall Theatre is currently putting on the play “One Night at the Hotel Grand.” Ticket prices vary. For more information, visit their website at

Posted on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

More information about death of Joel Aaron Yee

Police have confirmed that Joel Aaron Yee jumped from the passenger side of a car driving on Highway 24 Saturday night around 11:00 p.m. after being in an argument with the female driver. The 20-year-old Orinda resident died as a result of the impact.

A friend of Yee’s has set up a Facebook group in his memory. Friends can post memories and pictures. That group can be found here: “RIP Joey Yee”

The Contra Costa Times set up an online guest book through to leave messages for Yee and his family. It can be found here: Guest Book for Joel Aaron Yee

Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Orinda | No Comments »

Small earthquake shakes Lamorinda

A 3.7-magnitude earthquake was felt by people throughout Lamorinda today at 3:15 p.m. The earthquake was centered one mile outside of Danville, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

At 3:30 p.m., an aftershock centered at the same location measured a magnitude of 1.9.

No damages or injuries are expected as an earthquake this size typically does not do much harm.

It is the second earthquake in three days that Lamorinda residents have felt. On Saturday at 3:30 p.m., a 3.2-magnitude earthquake centered in El Cerrito shook enough for some residents of Lamorinda to take notice.

For more information on local earthquakes, you can view tracking information on the U.S. Geological Survey’s website.

Posted on Monday, June 8th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Another young Orinda death

Still mourning the loss of Miramonte High School student Joe Loudon, Orinda will now have to mourn the loss of a second young man. A 20-year-old resident of Orinda, Joel Aaron Yee, died Saturday night just after 11:00 p.m. after jumping from a moving vehicle on Highway 24.

Yee flung himself out of the passenger’s door near the Pleasant Hill Road exit in Lafayete, while a woman was driving the car approximately 70 miles per hour.

The woman driving the car stopped and called 911 as did a passing driver. The passing driver tried to resuscitate Yee, but the young Orinda resident died in the right hand shoulder.

Posted on Sunday, June 7th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Orinda | No Comments »

Mother of Joe Loudon asks for answers

It has been two weeks since the passing of Joe Loudon, the Miramonte High School student who died shortly after being found unconscious in the hallway of a home where students were having a party.

The Orinda Police Department has been involved in a very thorough investigation of the events that took place the night of May 23, yet few of the people who were at the party have been willing to discuss what went on.

Below is a copy of a letter that Joe’s mom, Marianne Payne, wrote to the community, hoping that someone with more information would come forth to help Joe’s family and friends understand what happened that night.

Dear Orinda Community,

Over the past week, I have been overwhelmed by generous offers of support from so many people — all or most have offered “anything, anything I can do to help you — just ask.” 

I am now asking — pleading – for your help. I need information — and the Orinda Police need information — and we need answers about Joe’s death.

It is estimated that there were 50 to 60 people at the Hamilton/Gabrielli house on the night of Saturday, May 23rd. To date, only a handful of these people have been willing to come forward and of this handful of people, most are unwilling to share what they know.

If you were at the party and know what happened please do not be silent.

If you are a parent or friend of someone at the party and have information about what happened, please come forward.

If you have knowledge of the whereabouts of Joe’s I-Phone — please contact the Orinda Police immediately.

If you have any information at all — please contact the Orinda Police.

We need answers. Answers that I am certain are out there.

The truth about what happened must be known. I have to know — we all need to know so that we can learn from this tragedy so that it will never happen again

Joe had more integrity than anyone I know. He was honest and forthright — and always believed in doing the right thing. Joe deserves this justice.

If you are a friend of Joe’s, you will come forward and tell the Orinda Police what occurred on the night of Saturday, May 23rd. Those of you who were at the party know. This is the hour when you are called to be your best selves, to stand for truth and not hide from your responsibilities.

Joe’s life has ended, you are all witnesses and your lives will be defined by your actions.

Marianne Payne

Mother of Joe Loudon

Posted on Saturday, June 6th, 2009
Under: Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Update on Cal Poly hazing case

Haithem Ibrahim, a 20-year-old Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo student from Lafayette, pleaded not guilty to charges of felony hazing causing death and misdemeanor furnishing alcohol to a minor causing death.

The charges stem from the death of Carson Starkey of Austin, Texas, another Cal Poly student who was a pledge in Ibrahim’s fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Starkey died after a fraternity event, in which pledges were allegedly forced to drink a mixture of alcohol from a bag. At the time of his death, Starkey had a blood-alcohol between 0.39 percent and 0.44 percent.

Another student and fraternity brother of Ibrahim, Zacary Ellis, 22, of San Luis Obispo, is also being charged and pleaded not guilty.

Posted on Friday, June 5th, 2009
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

Summer concerts at Moraga Commons and more Lamorinda music

The popular free summer concerts at the Moraga Commons are back in full swing starting tonight, June 4, featuring the Rossmoor Big Band. The concerts, provided by the Moraga Park Foundation, are every Thursday night at the Commons from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Next week’s concert, on June 11, will feature Stone Soup, a local rock and roll band.

Friday, June 5, is a night filled with musical options in Lamorinda. From 5:00-8:00 p.m., Lafayette will be hosting the First Community Celebration at Plaza Park. The Buzztones will be performing, and free barbecue will be provided. Starting at 6:00 p.m., Stanley Middle School will be hosting the annual Jazz Café, featuring local student musicians. Starting at 7:30 p.m., the Orinda Community Church will host a Jazz Cabaret Evening, featuring a jazz combo.

Posted on Thursday, June 4th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Music, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Stockton picked to replace Negri at AUHSD

The Acalanes Union High School District governing board has unanimously selected John Stockton, Associate Superintendent of AUHSD, to replace Jim Negri as the new superintendent.

The current AUHSD Superintendent, Negri, recently submitted his letter of resignation. It is effective June 30 and will end Negri’s five years as the superintendent.

Negri is leaving the district to take the only job he said he would consider leaving for. He will become the new superintendent of the Castro Valley Unified School District. Negri has lived in Castro Valley for 24 years.

Details of the changes will be discussed at an AUHSD board meeting at the district offices tonight, June 3, at 7:30 p.m.

Posted on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Local softball players make DFAL all-league teams

Acalanes, Campolindo and Miramonte were all well-represented on this year’s All-DFAL softball teams. The local players who made the teams are listed below including which of the three local schools they attend, their position and their grade.

Most Valuable Pitcher – P Hannah Wilbur (Aca), Jr.

First team – OF Ashley Borrelli (Aca), Sr.; OF Taylor Gatti (Cam), Jr.

Second team – SS Taylor Gray (Aca), Soph; P Allison Doering (Cam), Sr.; OF Ashley Wong (Cam), Jr.; DH Sarah Schultheis (Cam), Jr.; OF Bobbi Woodall (Mir), Sr.

Honorable mention – C Sheyenne Greer (Aca), Sr.; 2B Katy Trent (Aca), Jr.; Tara Wilson (Aca), Jr.; C Olivia Hirsch (Cam), Jr.; 2B Rose Fruci (Cam), Jr.; 3B Emily Streeter (Cam), Fresh.; SS Joanne Lim (Cam), Jr.; 2B Emily Stinson (Mir), Jr.;  CF  P Morgane Marlo (Mir), Jr.; Ut. Julianne Vanni (Mir), Jr.;

Posted on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Two teens injured in crash that closed Highway 24

A 19-year-old male from Daly City, a 19-year-old female from Pittsburgh and a male infant were all rushed to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek last night after being involved in a car accident.

While driving on westbound Highway 24 in Lafayette around 8:45 p.m. Sunday night, they lost control of their car, and it flipped multiple times. The car came to a stop on its roof, blocking two lanes. Police closed Highway 24 for a period of approximately 20 minutes, while emergency crews took the passengers to the hospital.

The infant was released to his grandmother after suffering no injuries. Injury updates on the other two passengers have not yet been released.

Posted on Monday, June 1st, 2009
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »