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Archive for December, 2009

Moraga’s home decoration contest winner announced

The home at 10 Hetfield Place was named the winner of the first annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest, sponsored by Moraga Parks and Recreation and Moraga Hardware and Lumber.

Several other winners were also announced. Second place was given to 83 Lynnwood Place, and 1320 Larch Ave. won third place. The home at 54 Merrill Circle North received an honorable mention.

Winners will be formally announced at the Moraga Town Council meeting on January 13. They will also receive gift certificates to Moraga Hardware and Lumber as their prize.

The winning homes were selected by members of the Moraga Women’s Society.

Posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

City hall closures

Have anything you need to do or get a city hall in Lamorinda? You might want to do it tomorrow.

Lafayette and Orinda city offices will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 1. Moraga town offices will be closed Dec. 25 through Jan. 1.

All offices will be open again Jan. 4.

Posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Marijuana warehouse owner’s appeal denied

Lafayette resident Thomas Grossi’s appeal of an earlier ruling regarding the proceeds of the sale of a warehouse he owned was denied today by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The $345,000 in proceeds from the sale of the warehouse came into forfeiture after law enforcement made the largest drug raid in Oakland’s history in the warehouse in June 2004. During the raid, more than 2,400 marijuana plants were  confiscated from the property, located at 2638 Market St.

In addition to the forfeiture of the funds, Grossi was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for his connection to the property where the drugs were grown.

Posted on Monday, December 21st, 2009
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

Quiet Orinda debuts new website

The group Quiet Orinda recently debuted their new website,, in hopes of educating more Orindans of the noise problems the city is facing. The group would also like more people to get involved.

Quiet Orinda is trying to fight against the use of leaf blowers in the city, basing their argument on the noise and air pollution resulting from the use of the leaf blowers.

Articles and research about leaf blowers is offered on the site to educate the public. A discussion forum has also been included on the site to discuss issues pertinent to Quiet Orinda.

Posted on Sunday, December 20th, 2009
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Craving for cupcakes?

If you enjoy cupcakes, then it might be worth your time to take a visit to Orinda’s newest cupcake shop, Republic of Cake. Republic of Cake, located at 2 Theatre Square, Suite 151, in Orinda, opened its doors on Dec. 5.

Visitors to Republic of Cake have already made it their “go-to” dessert location. A major factor that has been bringing back customers is the low prices. The average cupcake costs $1.75, while the most expensive cupcake, “Sam’s Very Messy Chocolate Cupcake,” costs $2.75. For their basic cupcakes, they also offer mini versions that are only 85 cents.

For more information about Republic of Cake or to take a look at their menu, visit their website at

Posted on Saturday, December 19th, 2009
Under: Orinda, Restaurants | No Comments »

Holiday charity events

The Willow Spring Church is hosting their sixth annual Bay Area Rescue Mission Wrapping Party on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Each year over 200 volunteers participate in the event, wrapping gifts for homeless children. The Willow Spring Church is located at 1689 School Street in Moraga.

The “Stuffed Animals for Emergencies” drive, organized by the Moraga Police Officers Association, runs through Dec. 27. Donated stuffed animals are provided to various police departments to be given to children in emergencies. To donate new or gently used stuffed animals, drop them off in the lobby of the Moraga Police Department. The MPD is located at 329 Rheem Blvd.

Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2009
Under: Lamorinda, Moraga | No Comments »

Songs of 2010 in Lafayette

Here are the full lyrics to the Lafayette Presbyterian Church chamber singers’ songs about new Mayor Brandt Andersson’s goals for 2010, which they sung at Monday’s council meeting:

Money Worries
Music by Karl Heinrich Graun (1703-1759)

Surely worries focus on money.

Our deputies may cost more,
So we’ll seek new options.

Libraries need funds to run.
Foundation financing,
Will run it two decades.

Roads still need more money.
Two thirds vote is difficult, is so hard,
But charters need only half, need one half.

We must keep on working, keep working, keep working.

Downtown Strategic Plan
Music by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612)

Downtown Strategic Plan
Should be finished quite soon.
Downtown Specific Plan
Could be done by late June.

Vibrant and active main street,
Move through on two wheels, two feet.
Spend money and enjoy life.

Build parks to stop by,
Clear creeks to stroll by,
We’ll string some new green space through the core.

We’ll add some street trees,
Just a few along the East End,
Just enough to add an accent.

More housing diversity results from more density.
How high will they be?
To install retail, must they be higher still
Or will lower heights allow it?
We will come, but will they build it?
We must decide that.

The downtown plan – complete and implement it.
The downtown plan – complete and implement it.
The downtown plan – complete and implement it.

Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2009
Under: Lafayette | 1 Comment »

Lafayette woman aiming to be “The Biggest Loser”

Patti Anderson, 55, of Lafayette, is going to be a contestant on the upcoming season of NBC’s competitive weight-losing program, “The Biggest Loser.”

Anderson will be on the show with her daughter, Stephanie, as part of “The Biggest Loser Couples.”

Anderson’s father died at the age of 55, so she wants to go on the show in order to get healthy and avoid putting her daughters in the same position she was in when she lost a parent.

To view Anderson’s official “The Biggest Loser” profile on NBC’s website, visit this link:

The season premiere is scheduled for January 5 at 8:00 p.m.

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

Second worst, three times over

How bad are Orinda’s roads? The total cost to fix them (and the storm drains underneath) in the next five years is $73 million, according to the city’s Citizens’ Infrastructure Oversight Commission.

But if that number still doesn’t give you a good grasp on the problem, here’s another way of looking at it.

The way roads are rated by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional transportation planning agency, is by using a system called pavement condition index, or PCI. It’s a scale of 0-100, and higher is better.

In the MTC’s most recent PCI report, from January of this year but measuring road conditions in 2007, Orinda scored the lowest in Contra Costa County, 47, putting it in the “poor” category. That’s also the second lowest in the entire Bay Area, ahead of Sonoma County.

For comparison, Lafayette’s roads are rated 70, or “good,” and Moraga’s roads are rated 60, or “fair.” The city with the best roads in the Bay Area is Brentwood, which scored 84, or “very good.” The Bay Area average is 65.

And then there’s this story in the San Francisco Chronicle, which says the Bay Area has the second-worst roads in California, behind Los Angeles. California in turn has the second worst roads in the country, behind New Jersey.

So how bad are Orinda’s roads? They are the second-worst roads in the second-worst regional road network in a state with the second-worst roads in the nation.

Posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

High school basketball update

The Campolindo boys team is off to a 7-2 start including impressive wins over Skyline and Monte Vista. The Cougars next game is on Friday against Pasadena as part of the Mission Prep Christmas Classic basketball tournament.

Miramonte’s boys are 3-4 after going 2-1 in the Granada Holiday Tournament. The Matadors host Terra Linda on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

The Acalanes boys are 2-4 on the season and host San Ramon Valley on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.

The Acalanes girls team is 5-2 including several blowout victories. The Dons travel to Hayward High School on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. game.

The Miramonte girls are 4-1 with their only loss coming to Healdsburg by three points. The Matadors are playing in the Walnut Creek Classic this weekend with their tournament opener on Thursday night against College Park.

The Campolindo girls are still undefeated at 5-0, dominating most of their games. They play in the Tournament of Champions this weekend with their first game on Friday afternoon.

Posted on Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »