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Archive for February, 2010

Campolindo presents Titanic: The Musical

With every spring comes the end of the winter rain, sunshine and the Campolindo Music Department’s high school musical production that puts many professional musicals to shame. This year, the Campolindo Music Department will be presenting Titanic: The Musical.

The opening night show will be Thursday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. Other performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 12, Saturday, March 13, Thursday, March 18, Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20. There will also be a 2:00 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday, March 13, and Saturday, March 20.

To order tickets for Titanic: The Musical, an order form is available online. Tickets for Thursday night shows and the Saturday, March 13, matinee show are $13. Tickets are $18 for all other shows.

Posted on Sunday, February 28th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Music, Schools | No Comments »

Lafayette woman named “First Princess” at pageant

Lafayette’s Kristina Owyoung was given the title of Miss Chinese Chamber of Commerce, also known as “First Princess,” at the 2010 Miss Chinatown USA pageant. “First Princess” is the title given to the first runner-up. The pageant was held Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

Owyoung is the second member of her family to compete in the event. Her aunt won the competition at the 1971 Miss Chinatown USA pageant.

Owyoung currently lives in Lafayette and grew up there as well. While growing up, she attended Springhill Elementary School, Stanley Middle School and Acalanes High School.

Posted on Saturday, February 27th, 2010
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

More on the Orinda Community Foundation

You can read here or in today’s Sun about a new nonprofit, the Orinda Community Foundation, which would serve much of the same purposes of the current Orinda Community Fund, which is run through the city.

Councilwoman Sue Severson said part of the reason for forming the nonprofit was that operating the fund was burdening staff’s time, but this staff report for next week’s council meeting shows there were also logistical and procedural concerns as well:

Council will note that along with the revenues from the events, there are also necessary expenditures related to the events. As the events have materialized, members of staff have expressed concerns that the events are being planned and implemented by volunteers who may not necessarily follow expenditure processes established through the City’s Purchasing Policy. Staff is very appreciative of the volunteers’ time and dedication to making the events successful but are also concerned that the current process of generating revenues for the Orinda Community Fund may not be the best model for the City for fundraising.

As such, staff discussed this concern with Council Member Severson and Mayor Thomas T. McCormick, who determined that the best approach might be through a non-profit foundation. … Staff is in concurrence that this would be a preferable model rather than having the funds come in and out of the City with no controls in place.

While Severson told me this week the Orinda Community Fund won’t go away, the staff report also indicates that the fund’s current nearly $12,000 balance will be transferred to the Orinda Community Foundation (confused yet?) with the exception of $100 to the Parks and Recreation Foundation.

If you’re interested in helping get the Community Foundation off the ground, there will be a meeting from 5-6 p.m. March 4 in the Community Room at City Hall.

Posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Orinda’s Citizen of the Year announced

The 2010 Orinda Citizen of the Year is Linda Landau. Landau has spent many years as a volunteer treasurer for Friends of the Orinda Library including countless hours spent during the process of funding the new library. Landau was also on the Orinda school board for nine years and has volunteered at other local organizations including Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and the Miramonte High Parent Board.

The 2010 Orinda Citizen of the Year award dinner will take place on Friday, March 19, at the Orinda Community Center. A cocktail hour will begin at 6:00 p.m., while dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the dinner are $45. Reservations must be made by March 12 and can be made by calling 925-254-7766.

Posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Gilroy woman will face charges in connection with teen drinking death

Here’s a story from our colleagues at the Merc about 18-year-old Kayla Dunigan, who will be charged with misdemeanor furnishing of alcohol in connection with her 15-year-old friend’s drinking death at a slumber party.

It bears striking resemblance to the death of Joe Loudon in Orinda last May, although Dunigan did not host the slumber party. Patrick and Alexandra Gabrielli, the hosts of the Orinda party, were sentenced this week to community service and probation for providing alcohol to minors. A 16-year-old was also arrested on the same charges, but prosecutors said they can’t discuss the details of that case. Loudon’s death was ruled to be accidental.

Like Loudon, Sarah Botill drank an unknown amount of alcohol, vomited and passed out. And as with Loudon, the coroner could not determine a cause of death for Botill.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office does not expect to file charges against anyone else.

Posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

NCS soccer and basketball updates

The three remaining Lamorinda high school soccer teams in NCS all lost their semifinal games. The Acalanes boys lost 2-1 to Bishop O’Dowd. The Acalanes girls lost 1-0 to Alhambra. The Miramonte girls lost 5-2 to Bishop O’Dowd.

The three local boys basketball teams in NCS all won their first-round games and advanced to play in the quarterfinals on Friday night. Acalanes beat Sir Francis Drake, 63-50, and will play at El Cerrito at 7:30 p.m. Campolindo beat Hercules, 59-33, while Miramonte beat Elsie Allen, 65-48. Campolindo will host Miramonte at 8:00 p.m. in the two teams’ third meeting of the year. Campolindo won both prior meetings this season.

In the girls bracket, Campolindo beat Hercules, 73-29, and will host Sir Francis Drake at 6:30 p.m. Miramonte had a first-round bye, but they will play at Analy at 6:30 p.m. Acalanes saw their season come to end, losing to Encinal, 83-53.

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Just in time for St. Patty’s Day

If you’re looking for a place to celebrate (around)  St. Patrick’s Day and the local Japanese-French fusion restaurant didn’t come immediately to mind, this might nudge you in that direction.

Local band Pladdohg will be bringing their Celtic party music, called “ceilidh” and pronounced “caylee,” to Fuz in Lafayette at 8:30 p.m. March 13.

The band originated in Lamorinda and plays gigs around the Bay Area (they’ll be in Dublin, naturally, on March 17). According to their Web site, Celtic party music is “a mixture of traditional and newer tunes from various Celtic nations.”

And if that’s not enough to sell you on the group, their album is titled “More Songs about Drinking and Fighting.”

You can find more about them at their Web site or Facebook page, but here’s a sample:

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Music | No Comments »

Lafayette’s Citizen of the Year announced

The 2010 Lafayette Citizen of the Year isn’t an individual citizen at all. The honor is being handed to “Team Library,” the group of workers and volunteers who helped in the process of creating the new Lafayette Library and Learning Center.

Since opening on Nov. 14, the library has become a major asset to Lafayette. In addition to its benefits as a library and learning center, city council meetings are now held in the community hall at the library as well.

The Lafayette Citizen of the Year dinner will take place at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa on Friday, March 19. The reception will begin at 6:00 p.m., and dinner will start at 7:00 p.m. The cost is $55 per person, and reservations are required. The Chamber of Commerce has made the reservation form available online.

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Acalanes parcel tax gets a letter

The 5-year, $112 annual parcel tax the Acalanes Union School District is seeking will be Measure A on your May mail ballots, although if you prefer a wordier version you can still go with “Emergency Education Act of 2010.”

The district is looking at a $4.8 million budget gap and earlier this month approved a preliminary program reduction list that could mean the loss of nearly 57 teaching positions.

This afternoon, Superintendent John Stockton released a statement saying the district will be reducing the school day from seven periods to six and cutting back on some of the course options for the six-period day that remains.

While some people may see this as a return to a basic education structure of several decades past, many view this as the decimation of one of the most respected high school districts in the nation. Although it is natural for most of us to have cherished memories of our high school years, it is clear that a 20th Century education does not meet today’s needs. The mastery of complex academic standards with fewer and fewer resources is simply not possible.

You can read Stockton’s full statement, titled “Eliminating the Competitive Advantage,” here.

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Local art update

The Lafayette Gallery is currently displaying their show “Treasures from the Heart,” which focuses on art-based gifts for loved ones. The show will be on display through March 6. The Lafayette Gallery is open 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The Moraga Art Gallery’s current show, “Three Continents,” features the artwork of Leslie Swartz and Mariann Mortensen of Moraga. Swartz draws and paints, while Mortensen’s art consists of glass and metal. The show will be on display through March 14. The Moraga Art Gallery is open 12:00-5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

The Hearst Gallery at Saint Mary’s show, ”Ralph Borge: A Symbolic Realist and His Circle,” will be up through March 14. The show will feature some of the top artwork by Borge, a former California College of the Arts professor, who passed away last year. The Hearst Gallery is open 11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Posted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Moraga | No Comments »