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Archive for January, 2010

The fourth bore’s groundbreaking ceremony

Politicians and officials from federal, state and county transpotation agencies met today in Orinda for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Caldecott Tunnel’s fourth bore project.

The project, which may have been saved when $197 million was granted to it through federal stimulus funds after the state struggled to sell transportation bonds, is expected to be completed by 2014. Additional funding is being provided by the state, Contra Costa and Alameda counties, and bride tolls from the Bay Bridge.

Intense planning for the construction is set to begin in the coming weeks, as construction crews will dig from each side simultaneously until meeting in the middle. Major digging is scheduled to begin in May.

Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2010
Under: Orinda, Roads | No Comments »

2010 candidate for governor to speak in Lafayette

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010 republican candidate for California governor Meg Whitman will be speaking at the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Hall.

The event, which is sponsored by the Commonwealth Club, is set to start at 6:30 p.m. Those attending the event can check in beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $18 for general admission, $12 for members and $7 for students. Tickets can be purchased online here:

Whitman is the former CEO and president of Ebay and helped the company grow from a 30-employee company to what it is today.

The Lafayette Veterans Memorial Hall is located at 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

Posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

High school boys soccer update

The Acalanes boys are having another strong season, as they currently have an 11-2-1 overall record. Unfortunately for the Dons, both losses came to DFAL opponent Dublin, which almost ensures Acalanes will be stuck in second place.

Campolindo  has won their last four games, improving their record to 7-6-2 overall. League wins over Alhambra and Las Lomas last week pushed the Cougars into a tie for fifth place in league.

The Miramonte soccer team, a local high school soccer power over the last decade, has yet to collect its first win. The Matadors are currently 0-4-3. Ties against Alhambra and Las Lomas last week have the team moving in the right direction.

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Stormwatch 2010

Update #4 at 2:10 p.m.

January 20, 2010- Storm Alerts for Orinda, CA

Storm Alert #4 – Update on Donald Drive

Donald Drive is now open TO RESIDENTS ONLY (no buses, garbage trucks, etc). The tree has been cleared to allow for residents to pass. A private arborist , hired by the property owner, will be on site tomorrow to remove the remaining tree debris.  PG&E estimates power restoration between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. this evening.

Update #3, at 11:30 a.m. Public Works offices in Moraga and Lafayette saying no major storm-related incidents. If you hear anything else in Lamorinda, shoot me an e-mail at

January 20, 2010- Storm Alerts for Orinda, CA

Storm Alert #3

As of 11:00 am there are two updates on previously reported incidents.

1. Power has been restored at Glorietta Elementary School and OIS.
2. Power on Donald Drive is not expected to be restored until 6:00 pm.

Update 10:20

January 20, 2010- Storm Alerts for Orinda, CA

Storm Alert #2

As of 10:10am there is one new incident and one update:

1) There is a road closure at Las Piedras above Vista del Orinda due to a fallen tree.

2) UPDATE- Donald Drive and Avis Court continue to be closed. It is currently estimated to remain closed for 6 hours or longer.

Here’s the first e-mail blast of the day from Orinda, where last night power was knocked out for awhile. I’m sure there will be more during the day.

January 20, 2010- Storm Alerts for Orinda, CA

As of 9:30am there are two incidents to report:

1) Glorietta Elementary School and OIS are without power. Contact the schools for more information.

2) A Tree and wires down at Donald Drive and Avis Court. PG&E has been contacted and will respond to clear the wires. Public Works crew are on site working to clear the down tree. The road is currently closed.  Residents on the west side of th! e road closure will not be able to drive out.

* Call PG&E at 800 -743-5000 to report a power outage or to receive power outage updates.

* Call 911 for emergencies.

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Severe weather is causing major traffic problems

The rain has certainly made an impact on the commute for Lamorinda drivers already today and will likely continue to do so for the next few days.

Traffic was so bad that it was taking 30 or more minutes for drivers to get from Central Lafayette to Orinda on Highway 24 this morning. The same drive is currently taking around 20 minutes as of 1:30 p.m.

Don’t expect traffic on Highway 24 to get any better as the day goes on, as CalTrans is expected to close the third bore in the Caldecott Tunnel at some point this afternoon or tonight. The bore flooded due to some problems draining all of the rain water.

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Roads | No Comments »

Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore groundbreaking to happen Friday

The groundbreaking ceremony for the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel will take place this Friday, Jan. 22, at 11:00 a.m. The ceremony was originally set to take place on Wednesday, but it was rescheduled so that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger can attend.

The ceremony is invite only and will be held near Gateway Boulevard in Orinda.

Talks of a fourth bore have been in the works for years, and the idea will finally come to fruition. Early estimates are that it could take more than three years and $420 million to complete the project.

Posted on Monday, January 18th, 2010
Under: Orinda, Roads | No Comments »

Senior health information meetings

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, Lafayette Senior Services will be hosting a stroke information meeting at the Lafayette Community Center. The meeting, titled “Strokes – Are You or a Loved One at Risk?” will cover what causes strokes, how to recognize if a stroke is happening and what can be done to minimize damage. The meeting will go from 10:30 a.m. to noon and will cost $3 for non-members or $1 for members. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 925-284-5050.

On Thursday, Jan. 28, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Lafayette Senior Services will have a lecture by Dr. Mimi Salamat about hearing loss and new hearing aid technology. This event will also be at the Lafayette Community Center and costs the same as the stroke information meeting.

Posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2010
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Man accused of causing fatal Lafayette crash set for trial

The man accused of causing a fatal crash in Lafayette on March 22, 2007, will finally face trial beginning Feb. 1.

David Caspillo, 41, of Tracy, crashed his BMW M3 into a group of cars waiting at the light at the intersection of Stanley Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road.  Prior to the crash, police believe Caspillo continued to accelerate through the bordering neighborhood and through a stop sign.

As a result of the crash, Dale Zenor, of Martinez, died. Zenor’s car ended up on top of the car in front of it after being hit by Caspillo’s car. Several other people suffered injuries in the crash.

Caspillo has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the charge of felony vehicular manslaughter.

Posted on Saturday, January 16th, 2010
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

Saint Mary’s loses to Gonzaga in basketball

Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga battle for the West Coast Conference title every year. Saint Mary’s typically puts up a good fight, only to fall in the end to conference powerhouse Gonzaga.

On Thursday night, the Gaels hosted the Bulldogs in their first meeting of the season. Gonzaga came out strong from the start, jumping to a 45-33 lead at halftime.

The Gaels made a strong comeback attempt in the second half, cutting the score down to 84-80 with a minute left, but the Bulldogs made their free throws in the end to win 89-82.

The loss drops Saint Mary’s to 2-1 in the WCC standings, tied for third behind Gonzaga and Pepperdine, who are both 2-0. Saint Mary’s has an overall record of 15-3 on the season.

Posted on Friday, January 15th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Acalanes budget gap grows, big time

In case you missed it, here’s Times’ education reporter Theresa Harrington’s article about the latest round of budget cuts to school districts. The gist: There’s less money. A lot less. Even though the governor ostensibly said there wouldn’t be.

I spoke with Acalanes school district Superintendent John Stockton this morning, and he said the district is now looking at $1.4 million more in cuts than they thought they were, bringing the district’s budget deficit to $4 million. That’s about 50 teachers, he said.

Also, the board last night gave the go-ahead on a poll that would gauge community support for an additional parcel tax. This one would be short-term, aimed at helping the district weather the current economic storm.

Posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »