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Archive for September, 2009

Canyon on a sunny day

Took my first trip through Canyon (via Pinehurst Road) in a long time today (last time was when I was at St. Mary’s). Have a night meeting so went into the office a bit late, but had to stop at the Moraga History Center first. Seemed like a nice way to get from Oakland to Moraga on a sunny afternoon. I had forgotten what a nice little drive it is, when you’re not gripping the wheel maneuvering hairpin turns on a cliff.

But it’s actually a fairly quick (or at least different) way to get to Oakland, San Leandro and Hayward from Moraga, especially if you want to avoid Moraga Way traffic. Anybody out there actually commute this way?

Posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

More from the downtown development debate

Another article pushing for new suburban downtown development, this one from the Chronicle’s John King, and it hits close to home. He’s talking about Orinda, specifically endorsing Peter Hasselman and Bill Simpson’s vision for a downtown that includes new high-density development and a dramatic (or is it radical?) pedestrian pathway over Highway 24.

But read through the comments and you’ll find lots of negative feedback, much of it from Orindans saying “Thanks, but no thanks.” EastBayDaze also posts their take on it (they’re not impressed either).

King says changing demographics may mean changing attitudes towards high-density infill development in East Bay suburbs like Orinda, but judging by the reaction to his article, it’s either imaginary, small or just not all that vocal. It’s not new to anyone in government that people are more likely to speak out if they’re against something than if they’re for it.

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Things to do: Watch Diamond Dave perform

For those who participate in Lafayette’s “nightlife,” Diamond Dave is a legend. Every Wednesday through Saturday night, he performs at Petar’s Restaurant in Lafayette, starting at 9:00 p.m.

Diamond Dave Hosley can play more songs than a jukebox and is always open to playing requests. With his keyboard and microphone ready, he plays a variety of music ranging from the classics to contemporary rap music.

The atmosphere at Petar’s is always a lively one when he’s playing. Many people go to Petar’s just to see him play.

To get a preview of what Diamond Dave is about, visit his website: Petar’s is located at 32 Lafayette Circle. Visit for more information.

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Music, Restaurants | No Comments »

Fireside Chat with Maestro Lawrence Kohl

The Orinda Library will host a “Fireside Chat” with Maestro Lawrence Kohl, Music Director and Conductor of the Pacific Chamber Symphony of San Francisco, this Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 7:00 p.m. The event is open to the public and free for all.

Kohl, an Orinda resident, will discuss his job and J.S. Bach’s four Orchestral Suites. The Pacific Chamber Symphony will be performing J.S. Bach’s four Orchestral Suites this Friday night, Sept. 25, at 8:00 p.m., at the Orinda Library.

For more information about the Pacific Chamber Symphony, visit For a list of other events at the Orinda Library, visit

Posted on Monday, September 21st, 2009
Under: Music, Orinda | No Comments »

Wall Street Journal offers glimpse of suburbs’ future?

Lafayette City Manager Steven Falk sent out this article from the Wall Street Journal about suburban communities and the ways they are trying to design redesign their downtowns to be more accommodating to seniors and others wishing stay in town but finding it increasingly difficult to do so. Where have we seen this before?

With all three Lamorinda cities somewhere in the process of coming up with downtown plans, it’s a worthwhile read, although opponents of downtown high-density/multi-use development (a la Town Center III) likely will be disappointed that the article doesn’t present too much of a counter-argument to such development proposals.

Still, with the Association of Bay Area Governments projecting that we’ll need to find space for 1.7 million more people in the Bay Area over the next 25 years, the Journal piece may offer a glimpse into the future for East Bay suburbs.

And it’s also worth pointing out that a revised draft Lafayette’s Downtown Strategic Plan is available here for your viewing pleasure. The Planning Commission, Downtown Advisory Committee and City Council will be looking at it in the coming weeks.

Posted on Monday, September 21st, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Cougars, Dons and Matadors all suffer setback

All three local high school football teams lost their games this weekend with Miramonte and Campolindo each falling in close games.

The Miramonte football team traveled to Washington to play Glacier Peak-Snohomish on Saturday afternoon. The Matadors took a 10-7 lead into the halftime break but were unable to score again in the second half. Glacier Peak managed to score one more touchdown, winning 14-7.

Campolindo fell to El Cerrito, 30-28, on Friday night. The Cougars drove the ball down the field to the El Cerrito 10-yard line in the final two minutes, but an interception by El Cerrito sealed the victory.

Acalanes fell behind St. Mary’s early in their game Saturday. The Dons were never able to make a comeback, losing 22-7.

Posted on Sunday, September 20th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Litton pleads not guilty

Mark Christopher Litton, the Miramonte High School English teacher accused of having sex with a minor, plead not guilty to five charges against him.

Litton, 34, is accused of having sex with a 2009 Miramonte graduate in July at his home in Walnut Creek. The student was 17 years old at the time of the alleged sex.

The former Miramonte student recently came forward to report the crime. Litton was arrested shortly thereafter on September 10 at the Miramonte campus.

Litton is currently in jail, being held on $270,000 bail, while he awaits his return to court to set a preliminary hearing date.

Posted on Saturday, September 19th, 2009
Under: Crime, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Miramonte teen party continues to be investigated

A party hosted by a Miramonte student Saturday night has led to the arrests and citations of seven Miramonte students and a continued investigation into the events surrounding the party, including parent involvement.

Lafayette and Orinda police arrived at the party on Happy Valley Road near the Lafayette-Orinda border just after 12:30 Sunday morning.

The seven students were arrested for various reasons, including suspicion of driving while intoxicated, suspicion of public drunkenness and suspicion of possessing marijuana.

Police are now prepared to make charges against parents of students involved with the party. The parents of the host and parents who allegedly covered up a possible DUI hit-and-run could face charges.

Posted on Friday, September 18th, 2009
Under: Crime, Lafayette, Orinda, Schools | 2 Comments »

Metro Lafayette hires home-grown talent

Metro Lafayette recently hired Kirk Bruderer as their new executive chef. Bruderer, who grew up in Lafayette, has worked at some of the top restaurants in the area including French Laundry in Yountville and Oliveto in Oakland. He also spent time cooking in a high-class restaurant in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Bruderer comes in ready to work and not afraid to make changes. He has already started making changes to the menu, adding some of his specialties.

Metro Lafayette consistently receives positive reviews from critics and diners alike.

Metro Lafayette is located at 3524 Mt. Diablo Blvd. For more information or to make reservations, visit their website ( ) or call (925) 284-4422.

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Restaurants | No Comments »

Events this weekend

The Lafayette Art & Wine Festival is this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Over 200 booths will offer wine, beer, food and art. Live music will also be played throughout the festival on several different stages. Parking is free at the Lafayette BART station and shuttles will be available.

On Saturday, Orinda is hosting their Classic Car Show from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Classic cars and motorcycles will be on display. All proceeds from the event go to the Seniors Around Town transportation service.

The Holy Trinity Cultural Center is hosting a Country Western BBQ & Dance on Saturday night from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. For more information, call (925)376-6850.

Posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Music, Orinda | No Comments »