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Archive for December, 2009

Orinda crime statistics for November

The Orinda Police Department made 18 arrests during the month of November. Seven alcohol-related and two drug-related arrests were made. There were five arrests for drunk in public, two for driving under the influence, one for possessing dangerous drugs and one for possessing a syringe for narcotics.

Other arrests were for felony vandalism, petty theft, commercial burglary, robbery and probation violation.

Police responded to four calls for vandalism, five calls for petty theft, one call for grand theft, three calls for auto burglary and two calls for commercial burglary. One vehicle was reported stolen, and three previously stolen vehicles were recovered.

Police also responded to 97 false residential alarms throughout the month.

Posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

A ‘dome’ closer to home?

CrazyinSuburbia has a post here about the future of the “dome” theater in Pleasant Hill, spurred by this article by my esteemed colleague Lisa White about the murky future of the theater and the shopping center where it’s located.

The dome has played mostly independent and art films since the multiplex on the other side the freeway opened up and has taken the bulk of the customers.

Does that sound familiar? It should. One way Moraga residents, specifically seniors, have suggested revitalizing the Rheem Theatre is to show more art and independent films, and the dome has been specifically mentioned as an example by several people I’ve spoken with.

Of course, with no competition right in town, the Rheem would also retain the luxury of continuing to show first-run movies.

Posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Great video of snow at SMC

Seeing lots of snow pictures from Lamorinda all morning. Here’s the Times’ story from this morning about the regional dusting.

And here’s a pretty cool video from a St. Mary’s student, Bryan Navarro, of the snowfall last night.

Posted on Monday, December 7th, 2009
Under: Moraga | 4 Comments »

Snow…in Lamorinda?

Snow falling in Lamorinda is certainly a rarity. Every other year or so, snow will fall for a few minutes, only to melt as soon as it hits the ground.

This time it was different though. It snowed for more than just a few minutes over night, and the temperature was low enough to keep the snow from melting.

Most of Lamorinda woke up to snow in their yards and snow on their cars. The commute through the Caldecott Tunnel was especially slow this morning as drivers gazed off at the snow-covered Orinda hills.

For those of you who missed it, here is a picture of a yard sent in by one of our blog readers:

Lamorinda Snow

Posted on Monday, December 7th, 2009
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Caltrans meeting in Orinda about Caldecott Tunnel expansion

Caltrans will be hosting a public meeting to discuss the potential expansion of the Caldecott Tunnel this Thursday, Dec. 10, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Orinda. The meeting will take place at the Orinda Community Center, located at 28 Orinda Way.

Both state and local transportation officials will be on hand  to talk about the addition of a fourth bore. Officials from Caltrans and the two counties involved, Contra Costa and Alameda, will begin the meeting with a brief overview of the planned expansion before opening it up for public questions and discussion.

Construction of a fourth bore is scheduled to begin early next year.

Posted on Sunday, December 6th, 2009
Under: Orinda, Roads | No Comments »

Miramonte football comes up short in NCS semifinal

In most years, a 4-6 team would never make the NCS football playoffs, but the Miramonte football team made it this year as the twelfth seed. They beat the fifth seed and the fourth seed in the two opening rounds before meeting the number one seed Encinal on Friday night.

The Matadors came out with confidence, taking a 20-14 lead into halftime. On the second play of the third quarter, Miramonte struck again, extending their lead to 26-14.

After that, Encinal showed why they are the number one seed, scoring the next 27 points in the game. Each team added a late touchdown as Miramonte fell by a final score of 48-32.

Posted on Saturday, December 5th, 2009
Under: Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Cause of Joe Loudon’s death changed to “undetermined”

After the Northern California Transplant Bank announced that it had injected papaverine into Joe Loudon’s system after he died, the coroner’s office ran more tests to try and determine the true cause of Loudon’s death.

The original cause of death was determined to be that Loudon choked on his vomit after ingesting a mix of papaverine and alcohol.

According to a number of additional tests, nothing else Loudon ingested could have caused his death.

The corner’s office has changed the official cause of Joe Loudon’s death to “undetermined,” although Loudon choking on his vomit is still the most likely cause of death.

Posted on Friday, December 4th, 2009
Under: Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Teen rallies peers to save Rheem

The effort to save the Rheem Theatre is under way. That includes mobilizing one of movie theaters’ most important constituencies: teenagers.

A Moraga teen has set up a Facebook group, Don’t let Rheem Theatre Close, to galvanize support amongst her peers for keeping the old cinema open. As of Friday afternoon the group had more than 900 members.

Whether this virtual support turns into monetary support remains to be seen. But Chamber of Commerce President Edy Schwartz said the group’s creator, Campolino sophomore Jazmine Milbridge, attended a meeting yesterday of community stakeholders trying to come up with solutions for saving the theater.

The Rheem’s operators, Jim Sheehan and Tom Peterson, originally thought they would have had to shut things down by now, but Sheehan told me earlier this week that business has picked up.

Posted on Friday, December 4th, 2009
Under: Moraga | 2 Comments »

Lafayette girl honored with Threads of Hope Award

Eight year-old Gabby Wilson, of Lafayette, is one of five East Bay residents being honored with a Threads of Hope Award by Diablo Magazine.

Wilson was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of lung cancer that only 10 people in the world are diagnosed with each year.

During her fight against the cancer, Wilson has done what she can to raise awareness of lung cancer. She has raised money for lung cancer research in several ways, including handing out donation envelopes and setting up a lemonade stand.

According to her most recent test, she is cancer-free, although she has to continue getting new tests every six months.

Posted on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Open house at Orinda Academy

On Saturday, Dec. 5, the Orinda Academy will be holding an open house for prospective students of the school and their families. The open house will go from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Tours of the school will be available for all those attending the open house. Teachers, administration and students of the school will also be available to answer questions about the school. Prospective students can also apply for the school at the open house.

The Orinda Academy is located at 19 Altarinda Road in Orinda. For more information, visit the Orinda Academy’s website at The school can also be reached by calling 925-254-7553.

Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
Under: Orinda, Schools | No Comments »