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Archive for August, 2009

Knoxx Restaurant and Bar closing

Knoxx Restaurant, located at 3576 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette, is up for sale by owner Gary Singh. Knoxx took over the space previously occupied by Pasta Per Tutti a year and a half ago and has been a favorite restaurant of locals ever since.

“Personal issues” were the reason Singh is forced to sell his restaurant, according to the writers at The East Bay Daze blog (

Knoxx specializes in Italian “comfort” food and has a large selection of wines.

If you haven’t had the chance to visit this restaurant before, it is worth making a visit before it is sold.

Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Restaurants | No Comments »

The heat has passed

The strange summer weather struck again these past few days when highs reached triple digits. The high in Lafayette on Saturday reached 103 degrees, the all-time record high for Aug. 29 in Lafayette. The average high on that day in the past has been just 86 degrees.

The forecasted high for Monday is cold in comparison to this weekend, at only 74 degrees. There are even expected to be scattered clouds throughout the day.

The 10-day forecast shows the drop in heat, as the forecasted highs in the Lamorinda area are expected to bounce between the mid-70s and mid-80s.

For more Lamorinda weather information, visit this website: Lamorinda Weather Forecast

Posted on Sunday, August 30th, 2009
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

CCJDS set to start the school year in brand new building

The Contra Costa Jewish Day School will start the 2009-2010 school year on Monday in their brand new school building.

The new school has 11 classrooms and an 8,000-square-foot library. There are several specialty classrooms including a music and drama room, a science lab and an art room.

In the past, the school was run out of rooms at Temple Isiah, but the school has rapidly increased in the number of students. The school currently has 123 students enrolled for the upcoming school year.

CCJDS has classes for students from kindergarten through eighth grade.

CCJDS’s new school building is located on Mt. Diablo Boulevard, across the street from the Lafayette Reservoir.

Posted on Saturday, August 29th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Schools | No Comments »

Orinda Theater to host film festival

The California Independent Film Festival Association recently announced that it would move next year’s festival to the Orinda Theater. The film festival will take place April 22-25, 2010. The festival has been hosted in Livermore the past seven years.

The CIFFA made the move, hoping that more people would attend the festival in Orinda, due to easier access by BART.

The CIFFA is holding a fundraising screening on Sept. 18 at the Orinda Theater for the film festival. The screening, which will start at 7:00 p.m. will be of the famous Alfred Hitchcock film, “The Birds.” Tippi Hedren, who was a star of the film, will be in attendance at the screening.

For more information about the film festival or the screening, visit the CIFFA’s website at

Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2009
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Tales from Clayton Ross

Unable to make it into today’s article about Clayton Ross, a long-time member of the Sun Valley Pool in Lafayette, were some amazing stories about his time in the Navy and the Peace Corps. While in the Navy, he was stationed on the island of Attu in the Aleutians, which is, depending on how you look at it, one of either the easternmost or the westernmost points in the United States (it’s technically in the eastern hemisphere, closer to Russia than Alaska).

“That’s the last island out, and we had what we call williwaws, winds with gusts up to 160 knots, and they would cave in the side of a … hut, or depending on the orientation of a hut, they could blow right through, blow the ends out,” Ross said.

On a side note, I remember being puzzled once by a Snapple Fact that claimed Alaska was both the easternmost and westernmost points of the U.S. Now I know.

The other story I found interesting was about the “commerce” class he taught while in Papua New Guinea as part of the Peace Corps. Ross said most people out there have a hard time understanding the basic concepts of money, so he had to teach them. One class was called “How to Buy Things.” The second lesson was called “lease/purchase,” and Ross said he had to teach it in a way his students could understand:

The lesson starts out like this: You already understand how you can buy by lease/purchase because you know about bride price. You know what when the families agree upon a bride price, the man may take the woman for his wife before he has paid all of the price, but first there has to have been a down payment. And then, for the privilege of taking the wife before all the money is paid, there is an additional charge … And you know that if he fails to make the additional payments, the bride’s family can come and take her back. Repossession. So that was the lesson on how you buy on time, and it was all about bride price, which they know about.

Ross said he even had one student who’s parents both died, and his mother’s family tried to take his little sister from him because his father had not finished paying the bride price for his mother. Ross said he didn’t know how the student worked it out, but the sister stayed.

I’m sure many Sun Valley members have heard these stories before, but I found them fascinating. And he could probably outrace me in the pool any day of the week.

Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Uncategorized | No Comments »

New person could be charged in Loudon case

Alexandra Gabrielli, 19, of Orinda, may be charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with the death of Miramonte High School student Joe Loudon on May 23, police said today.

Gabrielli’s brother, Patrick Gabrielli, 18, was previously arrested on suspicion of similar charges. The party that Joe Loudon died at was at the Gabrielli’s home in Orinda.

Police also stated that they do not believe Loudon’s death was the result of criminal activity.

Loudon died as a result of choking on his own vomit. Autopsy results showed a small amount of alcohol in his system, along with the drug papaverine.

Police are continuing to look for the source of the papaverine.

Posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009
Under: Crime, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Campo Reunion and cooking class at the Lafayette Community Center

Campolindo High School will be holding its 40th Reunion for the class of 1969 at Terzetto Cuisine on Sept. 19, from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. The reunion event costs $35 per person, and reservations are required by Sept. 1. Email for more information or to make a reservation.

The Lafayette Community Center will be hosting a cooking class put on by Emeritus College on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The class will be focused on how to make a traditional Italian dish, pumpkin gnocchi.

Lucia Falcone, who will instruct the class, grew up in Murano, Italy.

The class costs $23 for memebers of Emeritus College and $25 for anyone else. It will take place in the Sequoia Room.

Posted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Schools | No Comments »

Video store vandalism

Here’s an interesting nugget from the Lafayette police logs: Vandalism, specifically graffiti, at Take One Video on Mt. Diablo Boulevard on Aug. 5.

I wrote about the video rental store earlier this month when the owner, Jason Wood, claimed unsecured contaminated soil dug up along with fuel tanks at the closed gas station next store permeated the area with fumes, forcing him to close the store for a few days.

Wood told me today that when he arrived to work about 9:30 on Aug. 5, he saw light-blue paint on the window, covering a sign on the door informing customers of the closure. (The story in the Times ran Aug. 6.)

He said he never found out who was responsible and that it could have been anybody. But given the situation, he said, “It’s pretty limited on who would be involved.”

The police report listed the estimated damage at $25 — the cost to clean the window.

Posted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

First day of school is tomorrow

The majority of Lamorinda’s students will get their first taste of the new school year tomorrow as the 2009-10 school year begins. The Lafayette School District, Moraga School District, Orinda Union School District and Acalanes Union High School District all have their first day of the new school year tomorrow.

For those Lamorinda residents who are driving through the area in the morning or afternoons, keep in mind that school traffic can cause delays, particularly heading into downtown Lafayette, on Moraga Road and on Moraga Way.

As the school year begins, so do high school sports. The local high schools’ football teams are all preparing to open up their seasons within the next few weeks.

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Roads, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Planned power outage in Moraga

Some Moraga residents and businesses should plan for power outages Wednesday as a result of PG&E work at Moraga Road and Lucas Drive.

PG&E will be relocating a splice box for a handicap ramp at that intersection. According to the Town of Moraga, residents on the following streets should prepare to be without power from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Moraga Road, Ascot Drive, Ascot Court, Ascot Place, Williams Drive, Haven Court and Lucas Drive. 7-Eleven, Mandarin Flower, Lamorinda Cleaners and Judy’s Nail Salon also will be affected. Those times are an estimate, however, and not all customers on a street will be affected.

For more information, contact Naomi Woerner with PG&E at 925-674-6571.

— Also, plan on Rancho Laguna park being closed Wednesday due to parking lot striping.

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
Under: Moraga | No Comments »