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Archive for December, 2009

Home meant for Pamela Vitale currently on the market

The home that was meant for Pamela Vitale and her husband, Daniel Horowitz, is currently on the market at an asking price of just under $4 million.

While the home was being built, Vitale and Horowitz were living in a mobile home on the same property. On Oct. 15, 2005, Vitale was murdered by her 16-year-old neighbor, Scott Dyleski, a student at Acalanes High School.

Police believe Dyleski murdered Vitale after she discovered him burglarizing her home. Dyleski was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

To view a profile of the home, located at 1901 Hunsaker Canyon Rd., visit this link:

Posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

A Lively recognition

Don Lively speaks after receiving a proclamation from the Lafayette City Council honoring his 90th birthday.

Don Lively speaks after receiving a proclamation from the Lafayette City Council honoring his 90th birthday. Former Mayor Don Tatzin is at left.

There were wisecracks aplenty as the Lafayette City Council honored longtime active resident Don Lively on Monday in celebration of his 90th birthday.

“I thought this was supposed to be an indictment,” Lively quipped as he walked up to accept the proclamation from Mayor Don Tatzin.

“You haven’t heard it yet,” Tatzin said.

Tatzin, who referred to the Lafayette Taxpayers’ Association’s founder as “proud to be Lafayette’s aging anarchist,” presented the proclamation recognizing Lively’s years of active involvement in the community.

Lively wasn’t done with the one-liners. Referring to his wife, he said, “This is the most gratifying thing that has happened to me aside from getting that woman to live with me legally.”

Posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

“Scrooge” at the Town Hall Theatre

The Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette is currently putting on the musical “Scrooge.” The musical is an alternative telling of the classic “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

There are six remaining shows of “Scrooge.” On Thursday, Dec. 17, and Friday, Dec. 18, there are night shows at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 19, there are shows at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The last two shows are on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

To order tickets for “Scrooge, ” call the Town Hall Theatre box office at 925-283-1557 or visit their website at Tickets are $29.50 for adults, $26.50 for seniors and $9.50 for children ages 12 and under.

Posted on Monday, December 14th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Music | No Comments »

Campolindo and Miramonte make “Gold Medal List”

Campolindo and Miramonte high schools were named to the “Gold Medal List” published by U.S. News & World Report. Campolindo is listed as the 86th best high school in the country, while Miramonte is listed at the 89th spot.

In terms of open-enrollment schools, Campolindo is the 27th highest ranked school and Miramonte is 29th.

The schools are ranked based on a formula to determine how well each school prepares it students for college.

To view the complete 2010 U.S. News & World Report “Gold Medal List” visit:

Although Acalanes did not make the “Gold Medal List,” the school did earn a silver medal.

Posted on Sunday, December 13th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Lamorinda school holiday concerts

Acalanes High School is having their winter choral concerts on Tuesday, Dec. 15, and Thursday, Dec. 17, at 5:30 p.m, at the Performing Arts Center on campus.

Miramonte’s winter choral concerts are at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16, and Thursday, Dec. 17, on campus.

Campolindo’s Holiday Wassail Concert is on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m at MVPC, while their winter choral concerts are Tuesday, Dec. 15, and Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m, at the Performing Arts Center on campus.

Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School’s orchestra and choir will be performing their winter concert on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7:00 p.m.

Stanley Middle School’s band and chorus are performing a winter concert on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Posted on Saturday, December 12th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Music, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Special screening of “White Christmas” on Saturday

The Orinda Theater will be showing two special screenings of “White Christmas” tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 12, at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.

Santa Claus will be at the theater from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. for picture taking. The Miramonte High School Chamber Choir will also be performing.

Tickets cost $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at the Orinda Theater, the Rheem Theater or at the California Independent Film Festival’s website at http//

All proceeds from the screenings will go to the Lamorinda Teen Center and the California Independent Film Festival.

Posted on Friday, December 11th, 2009
Under: Music, Orinda | No Comments »

Buy a tree, help the school

I know everyone thinks very carefully before they decide where to spend those dollars they’ve earmarked for Christmas trees, but here’s a message from Acalanes High School telling you where they’d prefer you go:

If you are purchasing a Christmas tree this season, think about purchasing them through Honey Bear Trees located across the street from Acalanes on Pleasant Hill Rd. 20% of all purchases will be donated to AHS to benefit our programs. Flyers are available in the Main & Attendance offices & at Honey Bear Trees.

Of course, as someone who spent many a childhood December in Livermore working at my scout troop’s tree lot, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention you can also help out the Boy Scouts at the lot on Mt. Diablo Boulevard across from the Veterans hall.

Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Schools | No Comments »

Another parcel tax? Not quite…

Those who stayed until the end of the Acalanes school board may have been surprised to hear board members discuss how some in the community are talking about another parcel tax. Voters in the district of course just approved a parcel tax in November — a continuation of the old one but without a sunset date.

But like all districts, Acalanes is facing devastating budget cuts, and school officials made no qualms about saying the parcel tax extension was not a cure-all. Last night they got more grim news: nearly $5 million in cuts, and about 50 lost jobs, over the next two years or so.

Given that, perhaps it’s no surprise that some people have started thinking about another parcel tax, one that would be lower than the current one and short term, designed to help the district weather the current storm.

But that doesn’t mean it’s completely on the table yet. Superintendent John Stockton told me today that such an idea is “very speculative” and “would only happen if there’s a huge community movement.” He did say, however, that it’s not unusual for a school district to have multiple parcel taxes.

There are, of course, worries about spending between $300,000-$600,000 in this economic climate for an election they may not win. Voters in the district are typically very supportive of schools, but there could be voter fatigue from having a parcel tax vote just a month ago, and of course a parcel tax requires a two-thirds’ majority, something that’s difficult to get.

The district’s current $189 yearly parcel tax received nearly 75 percent of the vote in November.

Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | 1 Comment »

Lafayette homes for sale forced to reduce prices at higher than average rates

According to data released by the real-estate company Redfin, 55% of homes for sale in Lafayette that have closed since mid-August have had their prices reduced by the sellers before a buyer was found. This is the sixth-highest rate for a city in the Bay Area.

The median ratio for citiesĀ in the Bay Area during that same time period is 30.4%, making Lafayette’s rate nearly double the average.

The majority of the Lafayette homes that have had to reduce their prices have been higher-end homes. With the economy the way it is, home buyers are not willing to invest in higher-priced homes, forcing sellers to drop prices to find a buyer.

Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2009
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Flasher in Moraga targets 12-year-old boy

A man parked near Camino Pablo Elementary School exposed himself to a 12-year-old Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School student around 2:30 p.m. today.

The boy was walking home along Camino Pablo when a man in a grey sedan asked the boy for directions. When the boy approached the car, the man exposed himself before driving away.

When the boy returned home, he informed his parents who called the Moraga Police Department.

Although a detailed description of the man has not been released, police do believe he is somewhere between the ages of 30 and 40.

If you have any information that could help police, call the Moraga Police Department at 925-376-2515.

Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
Under: Crime, Moraga, Schools | No Comments »