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Archive for July, 2009

Former Campolindo baseball star traded to the Padres

Former Campolindo baseball standout Aaron Poreda was part of a trade today that saw him go from the Chicago White Sox to the San Diego Padres.

Poreda was drafted by the White Sox in the first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft and has spent most of his time since in the minor leagues, as the White Sox wanted to bring him up through the system slowly.

He made his major league debut this season, appearing in 10 games in relief. In the 11 innings he pitched, Poreda gave up only nine hits and three runs, while striking out 12.

The Padres are likely to move Poreda back into a starting pitcher role and may bring him up to the major league club this season.

Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2009
Under: Moraga, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Moraga Pear Harvest this weekend

The Moraga Pear Harvest will take place this Saturday, Aug. 1, and Sunday, Aug. 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on both days. The Harvest happens at the corner of Camino Pablo and Canyon Road.

The pears that are picked can be donated to the Contra Costa Community Bank or taken home.

Tools to pick the pears will be available all day. If you plan on participating, it is suggested that you wear sturdy shoes as the terrain is loose and uneven.

The annual Moraga Pear Festival is also not too far away. It will take place Sept. 26 at the Moraga Commons.

Posted on Thursday, July 30th, 2009
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Moraga Police Department upgrading their tasers

With the recent popularity of the use of tasers by police when trying to stop an unruly suspect, the claims of police using overwhelming force have become commonplace. Cell phone videos of taser incidents often find their way onto the internet.

The Moraga Police Department are trying to protect themselves from any false claims by upgrading their tasers. The new tasers will come equipped with video cameras that will record any action while the taser is on.

The Moraga Police Department is currently being trained to use the new tasers and will begin carrying them once the training is complete.

Posted on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Under: Crime, Moraga | 1 Comment »

Moraga fire may have been started by person

Investigators from the Moraga-Orinda Fire Department have called Sunday’s fire “suspicious” based on their initial investigation. It is believed that the fire that burned over five acres behind the Rheem Valley Shopping Center may have been started by a person.

More than 100 firefighters were called in to fight the fire. Helicopters and tanker planes were also used to contain the blaze.

If the fire was started by a human, charges of arson, among other charges, could be filed. Unfortunately, it can be very hard determining who started a fire, as the physical evidence is typically destroyed in the flames.

Posted on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Under: Crime, Moraga | No Comments »

Lafayette joins Orinda in temporarily banning pot clubs

The Lafayette City Council approved a 45-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries Monday night. The moratorium will give staff and the council some time to develop regulations governing, or prohibiting, dispensaries within the city.

Orinda passed a similar moratorium earlier this month, sparked by an informal inquiry to the planning department from individuals wishing to open a dispensary in town.

Assistant Lafayette City Planner Michael Cass has said this move has been discussed for awhile as the city looks to implement the downtown plan, but the Orinda decision was also a factor.

California state law allows for limited use of marijuana for medical purposes, but the federal government does not. Only two cities in Contra Costa County, Martinez and Pinole, have regulations allowing for dispensaries. Eight have regulations prohibiting them.

The moratorium is effective immediately and could be extended for up to two years.

Posted on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Update on the Moraga fire

The fire in Moraga Sunday afternoon burned over five acres of land on the hill behind the Rheem Valley Shopping Center.

The fire was reported around 4:00 p.m. and firefighters had it contained shortly after 5:00 p.m.

Local firefighters fought the fire from the ground, while CALFire brought in several helicopters and a tanker plane to drop water and fire retardant on the blaze.

Although the fire initially threatened several structures, it did not reach the shopping center or any of the homes in the area. There was no damage to any buildings, and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Posted on Monday, July 27th, 2009
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Fire on hill behind Rheem Shopping Center

The hill behind the Rheem Shopping Center was home to a fire this afternoon that led to many of the stores being evacuated, as well as some of the nearby apartments.

The fire has been contained and put out at this time, but helicopters and firefighters are continuing to hit the hill with water to ensure that the fire does not reignite.

The fire did get close to some of the apartments residing on the hill, but initial reports are that there was no physical damage to any of the buildings in the area.

Those in the area are suggested to remain inside as the smoke from the fire is still in the air.

Posted on Sunday, July 26th, 2009
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Orinda Police Department responds to Marianne Payne’s letter

The Orinda Police Department issued a statement Friday in response to the letter written to the Contra Costa County District Attorney by Marianne Payne, the mother of Joe Loudon. The statement said that the investigation into the death of Joe Loudon is still a high priority.

According to the statement, there are a series of interviews set up for next week in the continuing investigation. The statement also says that two detectives have been working and will continue to work full-time on the case.

At the end of the statement, the Orinda Police Department asks for anyone with information related to the case to call (925) 284-5010.

Posted on Saturday, July 25th, 2009
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

Safety fair and bicycle rodeo

The Lafayette Police Department,  the Lafayette Emergency Preparedness Commission and the Lafayette Crime Prevention Commission will be hosting a safety fair and bicycle rodeo on Aug. 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette.

The Contra Costa Fire Protection District and the East Bay Regional Park District will also be major contributors to the event.

The event will feature a bicycle safety course and bicycle inspections. Emergency vehicles from the different organizations involved will be on display as well. Food and drink will be available at the event.

Members from different organizations will be on hand to discuss how to prepare for emergencies, practice safety and what it’s like to work in emergency-related professions.

Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2009
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Lafayette also looking to temporarily ban medical pot clubs

Three weeks after Orinda passed a 45-day emergency ordinance placing a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, the Lafayette City Council appears set to do so as well.

Assistant Planner Michael Cass said the city had been discussing a moratorium for awhile, and that it was initially sparked by the district attorney’s announcement a few months ago that his office would not be prosecuting certain misdemeanors. The discussion was re-sparked after Orinda passed its moratorium.

But Cass said the primary reason for the moratorium relates to the downtown. One of the city’s tasks, he said, is to revamp “activity classifications” in the downtown area.

“This is one of the ones that we’re not sure of the direction the council is going to want to take,” Cass said.

While he said he is unsure what the council will ultimately do, he did say he doubts council members would want to allow dispensaries downtown so long as state and federal laws are conflicted on the issue. State law allows for a limited use of medical marijuana, but federal law does not.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lafayette Community Center. The moratorium would need a four-fifths vote to take effect, and could be extended for up to two years.

Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2009
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »