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Archive for March, 2010

Fore Our Schools Golf Tournament

The 3rd Annual Fore Our Schools Golf Tournament will be on Monday, May 3, at the Moraga Country Club. Registration for the event will begin at 9:00 a.m., and the “Shotgun Start” will take place at 11:00 a.m. A reception will take place from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. after the day of golf has finished up.

Golfers can register for the tournament online. Registration fees are $250 per golfer, and several sponsorship packages are available as well.

Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Moraga’s Elementary Schools: Camino Pablo, Rheem and Los Porales.

For more information about the tournament, visit the website at

Posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Under: Moraga, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

More on Moraga’s ‘Recall’ signs

Recall Town CouncilThe one consensus on the “Recall Moraga Town Council” signs remains that no one has any clue who put them up. There may be others, but I drove by the major Moraga intersections today and saw this one at Moraga Way and Moraga Road (below the “Go Gaels” sign) and another on Moraga Road at town limits right next to the “Town of Moraga” sign.

In ridiculously tiny print in the bottom-right corner of the sign, it reads But don’t waste your time typing that equally ridiculously long URL into your Web browser; the link doesn’t exist.

Recall Town council closeup

Assuming whoever is behind the signs is serious about a recall campaign (and, at this point, that’s a major assumption since the signmaster has yet to make him or herself known), it’s a little surprising that it’s someone advocating for a more progressive council. Most of the criticism lobbed at council members these days seems to stem from a feeling they’ve been a little too progressive.

If you’re wondering if and when the signs have to come down, yes, they do … eventually. Moraga’s sign code allows temporary political signs to remain up for 15 days before they require a sign permit.

Posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Under: Moraga | 1 Comment »

Lamorinda hearts the census

Good news Lamorindans. You’re returning census forms at some of the highest rates in Contra Costa County. Here’s the latest breakdown, courtesy of the Census Bureau’s interactive participation map:

  • Lafayette: 60 percent
  • Moraga: 63 percent
  • Orinda: 61 percent
  • Contra Costa County: 52 percent

The only other city in the mix with Lamorinda is Clayton, with a 61 percent return rate.

Within Lamorinda, the highest rate of return comes from the Country Club and Larch neighborhoods in Southern Moraga, where 66 percent of residents have returned their forms. But they don’t come close to Rossmoor residents, who have returned 75 percent of their forms, making them the top census tract in the county.

The lower return rates can be found in the western and eastern parts of the county, especially in North Richmond.

And in case you’re wondering, the state with the highest rate of return is South Dakota at 62 percent. The city with the highest rate? Bismark, N.D., with 68 percent of residents having returned their form.

For more information about the census, visit

Posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Who’s behind the ‘Recall Moraga Town Council’ signs?

No one seems to know who’s anonymously picking a fight with the Moraga Town Council. Residents have been reporting “Recall Moraga Town Council” signs showing up in prominent places around town, but who’s behind them remains a mystery. The signs are similar in message to ones that showed up around town last fall.

I haven’t heard any rumors of a formal effort to recall any council members, and I would imagine anybody leading such an effort would want to be as public as possible to get momentum going.

The Comment of the Day Award goes to the council member who said they were “insulted” at not being singled out for a recall.

Anybody know how’s behind the signs?

Posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Man who committed murder in Orinda sentenced

Robert Woods, 48, of Oakland, was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder of his former wife, Elnora Caldwell, who was 46 at the time of the murder.

Woods committed the murder in his truck in Orinda on Oct. 25, 2008, when he stabbed Caldwell in the chest and in the neck. He dumped her body on Fish Ranch Road, just off Highway 24. After the murder, Woods returned to Oakland and turned himself into police.

During the trial, Woods’ lawyer argued it was a “crime of passion,” as Woods was trying to convince Caldwell to return to him, and he snapped when she refused.

Posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

How much is the ‘school district premium’?

Acalanes school district officials have been arguing recently, as they did in November, that paying parcel taxes to support schools is a good investment. Higher quality schools, they say, result in higher property values which means more money if and when you ultimately sell your house.

Here’s a San Francisco Chronicle article that seems to suggest they’re right, dubbing this the “school district premium.” Some real estate agents believe a good school district can represent 10 to 25 percent of a home’s resale price, according to the article.

Posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

MOFD Spring Open House

The Moraga-Orinda Fire District’s Spring Open House will be on Saturday, April 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Open House will be at the district’s Orinda Fire Station 45, which is located at 33 Orinda Way.

Kids will be able to play in a bounce house, check out firefighting equipment and win prizes. They can also meet and take pictures with local firefighters and Smokey the Bear.

Firefighters will be doing demonstrations on a variety of safety topics, including bicycle, water and home safety. A simulator will be at the Open House to teach people how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

“Yes on Measure A” rally in Lafayette

Students, teachers and residents in favor of passing Measure A on the May ballot held a rally today in Lafayette Plaza. Measure A is a parcel tax for the Acalanes Union High School District that would be $112 per year. In order to pass, it needs two-thirds of the vote.

At the rally, students performed music, poetry and more, showing off the talents that they may not be able to use at school if certain programs are cut as a result of the budget deficit.

Teachers from the AUHSD also spoke about the importance of passing the tax to ensure the safety of faculty positions, as well as student programs.

Posted on Sunday, March 28th, 2010
Under: Lamorinda, Schools | 4 Comments »

Mother of Joe Loudon files wrongful-death lawsuit

Marianne Payne, the mother of Joe Loudon, the 16-year-old Miramonte student who died at a party in Orinda in April, has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against several people involved in the party that her son died at.

Patrick and Alexandra Gabrielli were the kids responsible for organizing the party at the home of their parents. Payne has named both of the Gabriellis, as well as their parents, Scott and Isabel Hamilton, in the lawsuit. Another teenager who purchased alcohol for the party with a fake ID was also named in the lawsuit.

Although the suit seeks an unspecified monetary amount, it does claim that it is for economic damages related to the burial of Loudon and that Payne is suffering from the lack of comfort, moral and financial support from her son.

Loudon’s father declined to be a part of the lawsuit.

Posted on Saturday, March 27th, 2010
Under: Crime, Orinda, Schools | 4 Comments »

MHS students go ‘Into the Woods’

There are three more chances to see “Into the Woods,” the spring musical at Miramonte High School. Catch the show tonight at 7:30 (after the Saint Mary’s game, of course) or tomorrow at 2 and 7:30. Shows are at the Miramonte High theater.

And I’m going to out myself as a former high school theater nerd and tell you that “Into the Woods” is a pretty cool show.

Check out the trailer for Miramonte’s version:

Posted on Friday, March 26th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »