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Archive for January, 2010

Lafayette’s “Biggest Loser” goes home early

Lafayette resident Patti Anderson made a splash on the first week of the show “The Biggest Loser” when she set a single-week record weight loss for females on the show by losing 23 pounds.

During the second week, Anderson only lost four pounds and requested to go home to continue trying to lose weight there.

Patti entered the show as part of a duo with her daughter, Stephanie. Stephanie will remain on the show, trying to lose weight and win the competition without her mom.

Stephanie currently lives in West Hollywood, but she is a 1998 graduate of Campolindo High School.

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


One of my editors poses an interesting question: People from Orinda are Orindans, people from Moraga are Moragans, but what are people from Lafayette?

Lafayetters? Lafayettans? Lafayettians?

For guidance, this Facebook page for Lafayette, La. suggests the latter as well as Lafayettites (although someone throws out “Laffy’s” for short).

Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

High school basketball update

The Campolindo-Miramonte rivalry made its way to the basketball court Tuesday night as both the boys and girls programs faced off.

In the boys game, Campolindo proved why they are one of the best teams in the area, beating Miramonte, 56-41. The Cougars are currently 3-0 in DFAL play and 13-4 overall. The Matadors are 2-1 in the DFAL and 8-7 overall.

In the girls game, Miramonte won a thriller, beating Campolindo, 83-81. With the win, the Matadors improved to 3-0 in the DFAL and 12-3 overall. The Cougars dropped to 1-2 in DFAL play and 11-4 overall.

Acalanes had a league bye Tuesday night, but both the boys and girls will face off with Campolindo on Friday night. The Acalanes boys team is currently 2-0 in league and 7-7 overall, while the girls are 1-1 in league and 11-4 overall.

Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Another poll on another tax

A few weeks ago, Acalanes school district Superintendent John Stockton told me discussion about an additional, temporary parcel tax was “speculation.”

Now it looks like it’s closer to being more than that. The district’s governing board has scheduled a special meeting to be held at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, after their regular meeting. Staff is recommending they move forward with a poll that would gauge community support for a second tax (cost to the district: $26,750).

The district already has a yearly $189-per-parcel tax, extended indefinitely in November with overwhelming voter support.

Staff is now saying that funding cuts from the state could blow a nearly $5 million hole in the district’s budget for the next two years and mean laying off dozens of employees. Several members of the community have “strongly encouraged” the district to pursue a short-term parcel tax to help weather the storm, according to the staff report.

During the regular meeting Wednesday, staff will also recommend closing Del Oro High School, the district’s alternative high school.

Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

The rain has returned

Just when it seemed like this Lamorinda winter would be one of the dryest in recent memory, the rain has made its triumphant return.

The rain is supposed to continue through tonight and into tomorrow morning, stopping sometime tomorrow afternoon.

The forecast shows that the area will be rain-free for Thursday and Friday, but as the weekend comes, the chances of rain are at 40%.

Next week won’t get any dryer as the forecast predicts a 60% chance of rain Monday through Thursday of next week.

Temperatures will remain fairly consistent with what they’ve been with the highs being in the low 50s and the lows being in the low 40s.

Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Ring, ring: Would you like some new taxes?

If you live in Orinda, that phone call this week could be from a pollster, asking you how satisfied you are with city services and how much you’d be willing to pay to improve them.

The City Council last week agreed to go ahead with polling the community about its receptiveness to some of the recommendations of the Revenue Enhancement Task Force, and City Manager Janet Keeter told me Monday that the poll questions are being finalized and 400 lucky residents can be expecting calls as soon as this week.

Pollsters will ask residents about how happy they are with various city services, including police, planning and the library. In addition, residents will be asked about their willingness to support a number of ballot measures that would bring new taxes to pay for infrastructure or other city services. Those taxes would include a parcel tax, a general obligation bond (ad valorem property tax), a utility users tax and a real property transfer tax. Keeter said the phone call will take about 20 minutes.

Like other Lamorinda cities, Orinda officials are looking for ways to secure additional revenue that state legislators, looking to close California’s budget deficit, can’t take away. The RETF recommended those taxes as potential sources of new revenue.

While a property transfer tax would require charter city status, Keeter said the city will not be polling on that. Lafayette has a draft charter and is already surveying its residents about becoming a charter city, and the two cities have agreed to share polling results, she said.

The hope is the results of the survey would come back to the City Council on Feb. 2. They would have to make quick decisions if they wanted to put any measures on the June ballot.

Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Under: Orinda | 1 Comment »

Lots to do as Moraga kicks of new council year

Anybody who’s planning on joining me at the Moraga Town Council meeting Wednesday, be advised: you might want to bring a book, and maybe a snack, pillow and blanket.

If you’re a Town Council regular, you know they meetings are notorious for regularly running late into the night. That’s with a 7:30 start. Staff moved Wednesday’s meeting to a 6:30 start to accommodate the jam-packed agenda.

Here’s some of what’s on the docket: Recognizing the 30th anniversary of the police department, adopting the Moraga Center Specific Plan, adopting the housing element, declaring a seemingly-abandoned home a nuisance, amending town design guidelines, appointing council representatives to various commissions and setting a date for the annual goal-setting meeting.

Like I said, bring a snack.

Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Stanley administration warning students and parents of potential predator

The administration, and specifically Principal David Schrag, of Stanley Middle School, have warned their students and parents of students of a potential online predator targeting Stanley students.

An unknown individual has attempted to “friend” a large number of Stanley students on the online social networking site Facebook. The unknown individual has made repeated attempts to “friend” some students, despite the fact that the students had previously declined any requests.

The Lafayette Police Department is currently investigating the situation. The school also contacted Facebook officials.

The school wants parents to remind their children of the potential dangers of online predators and to not talk to people they don’t know on these sites.

Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Schools | No Comments »

Investigators looking for help

Sheriff’s investigators investigating the death of an 86-year-old woman in Lafayette are asking the public for any help they can get.

The woman, Eiko Sugihara, of Richmond, was discovered dead inside of her car when the car was discovered in flames on Hunsaker Canyon Road in Lafayette on Dec. 4.

The fire stopped investigators from determining the cause of death.

Sugihara was last seen in Richmond two hours before she was discovered in her car in Lafayette. Neither investigators nor Sugihara’s family know why she was in Lafayette.

Investigators are hoping the public can help fill in missing details that could help in solving Sugihara’s death. If you have any information, call 925-313-2632.

Posted on Sunday, January 10th, 2010
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Rip Van Winkle at Saint Mary’s

The play Rip Van Winkle will be put on at Saint Mary’s College for two nights at the end of January. The first showing will be Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7:00 p.m., and the other will be Thursday, Jan. 28, at 4:00 p.m.

The play is one hour long and is targeted as entertainment for the family. This version was adapted by Saint Mary’s Professor Michael Cook.

Both performances will be in the LeFevre Theatre on the Saint Mary’s College campus.

General admission tickets to either show are $8 each. To order tickets or for more information about the play, email or call 925-631-4670.

Posted on Saturday, January 9th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Schools | No Comments »