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Archive for March, 2010

Nominate Moraga’s Citizen of the Year

The Lamorinda Sun will continue to accept applications for the 2010 Moraga Citizen of the Year until March 25.

Nominations can be sent into the Lamorinda Sun either by mail or by email. Nominations should include the nominee’s name and details regarding their commitment to community service in the area. To send in a nomination by mail, send it to Sam Richards, Editor, Lamorinda Sun, 2640 Shadelands Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. To send a nomination by email, send it to¬†

The 2010 Moraga Citizen of the Year will be announced in April. A banquet honoring them will be held at Saint Mary’s on April 23.

Posted on Sunday, March 21st, 2010
Under: Moraga | 1 Comment »

Saint Mary’s into Sweet Sixteen

After earning just the second NCAA Tournament win in school history on Thursday, Saint Mary’s won their second NCAA Tournament game in a row today. The tenth-seeded Gaels pulled off the upset of second-seeded Villanova by a score of 75-68.

Omar Samhan was the star of the game for the second straight game as he compiled 32 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Mickey McConnell added 15 points and hit a huge three-pointer as the game was close late.

The Gaels will now play in a Sweet Sixteen game on Friday in Houston. They will play the winner of the Baylor/Old Dominion game, which is later today.

Posted on Saturday, March 20th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Schools, Sports | 1 Comment »

Spring Egg Hunt in Moraga

Moraga will be holding its annual Spring Egg Hunt all morning on Saturday, March 27, at the Moraga Commons. Two egg hunts are scheduled, with one starting at 10:00 a.m. and the other starting at 11:00 a.m.

A variety of games will also be available at the park for kids to play. The games will be open from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Tickets can be purchased at the Moraga Parks and Recreation office on Donald Drive or online through the Moraga Junior Women’s Club website. Tickets are $5 for the egg hunt, $5 for an unlimited games wristband, or $9 for both. Egg hunt tickets must be purchased in one of these ways. Game tickets will be sold at the event.

Posted on Friday, March 19th, 2010
Under: Moraga | 1 Comment »

Three vying for MOFD board vacancy

The public will have its first opportunity to hear from — and about — the three men who will be vying for the vacant seat on the Moraga-Orinda Fire District board of directors most recently held by Pete Wilson.

The panel of residents that will help select the next board member will read and dicuss written comments from each of the applicants.

But that’s not why you called. Let’s meet your MOFD board hopefuls:

First up is Dick Olsen, of Moraga. He was the chair of that town’s Revenue Enhancement Committee and presented that committee’s report to the Town Council last fall.

Next is Vince Maiorana, of Orinda. A frequent guest at fire board meetings, Maiorana was critical of the district during the Pete Nowicki pension spiking controversy and has now become a supporter of FAIR, the group that advocates dissolving the district.

Finally, Jonathan Goodwin, of Canyon. Another board meeting regular, he comments frequently to the fire board and other elected bodies in the area about the importance of up-to-date, coordinated emergency preparedness efforts.

On the panel are Troy Auzene, John Banuelos, Ellin Barret, Sharon Cahill, Steve Cohn, Cheng Liao and Betty Murphy.

Wilson’s replacement will ultimately be chosen by the fire board and will face re-election in November.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the board room at Station 41, 1280 Moraga Way, Moraga.

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Saint Mary’s advances to second round

The tenth-seeded Saint Mary’s men’s basketball team defeated the seventh seed, Richmond Spiders, 80-71, in their first round NCAA Tournament game today.

This is only the second win ever in the NCAA Tournament for the Saint Mary’s men’s basketball program. The first win came against Idaho State in the 1959 tournament.

The star of the game was Omar Samhan, the Saint Mary’s center, who was completely dominant. Samhan finished the game with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Both of those are single game NCAA Tournament records for a Saint Mary’s player.

The Gaels will now play second-seeded Villanova in a second round game on Saturday.

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Trivia night at Petar’s

Petar’s in Lafayette has always been a favorite nightlife hangout in Lamorinda thanks to their performer, Diamond Dave. The bar is quickly finding out that their trivia nights are another way to bring in a large crowd.

The trivia nights start at 6:30 p.m. and typically lasts around two hours. Teams can be anywhere from two to five players, and the winning teams at the end of the night are awarded prizes.

The next opportunity to compete in a trivia night at Petar’s is Wednesday, March 31.

Drinks and pub food are available throughout the trivia nights. If you have any questions about trivia nights at Petar’s, send an email to

Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Orinda says ‘thanks’ to Chief French

McCormick and French at retirement

Here’s Orinda Mayor Tom McCormick presenting a City Council proclamation to outgoing police Chief Bill French, who is retiring. His last day is March 26. Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jeff Jennings will take over as chief.

Over a lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers, city staff, the council and fellow officers lavished praise on French, who ran the department for three years. French even teared up a bit when offering his remarks about how much enjoyed working in the city.

Still, I thought the highlight of the luncheon was when City Manager Janet Keeter read off a list of nicknames French has gone by over the past three years, including “Boom-Boom French.”

Happy retirement, Chief.

Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Police logs, Shamrock edition

Was disappointed to find out today that McDonald’s decided to end it’s seasonal offering of Shamrock Shakes before St. Patrick’s Day. That just seems wrong. Plus, almost none of my reporter colleagues were wearing green today.

On to this week’s police log highlight:

The luck of the Irish (obligatory cheesy St. Patty’s reference) was not with one Lafayette resident last week. A burglar made off with $23,265 worth of property — and a Porsche Carrera — from a home on the 800 block of Acalanes Road on March 11. The burglar also did $4,600 in damage to the home as well.

If St. Patrick’s Day honors the man who drove the snakes out of Ireland, here’s hoping the Gaels can drive the Spiders out of Providence tomorrow.

Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Under: Crime, Lafayette, Orinda | No Comments »

Saint Mary’s acknowledged by accreditors

Two years after receiving a warning from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Saint Mary’s received acknowledgement from the same organization based on improvements they have made.

In 2008, Saint Mary’s received a warning regarding possible racism and sexism on campus. The WASC had also shown concern for similar incidents at Saint Mary’s in reports in 1990 and 2004.

Officials at Saint Mary’s have mentioned the goal of continued improvement in statements that have gone out since the college received the letter of acknowledgement from Ralph Wolff, president of the WASC.

Improvements to the college’s libraries and in other academic areas were acknowledged as well.

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Schools | No Comments »

El Balazo in Lafayette closes its doors

As part of a chain-wide closing spree, the El Balazo restaurant in Lafayette has closed its doors. All of the other El Balazo locations except for one have closed as well.

According to a report from one of the fired employees, the restaurants were closed as a result of tax issues. Employees were informed of the closure of the restaurants Wednesday, just hours before the restaurants were closed.

The state Board of Equalization filed a lien against El Balazo in November.

This isn’t the first time the El Balazo chain has experienced some issues from the government. In May 2008, 63 workers from 11 El Balazo locations were arrested during a raid by immigration officials.

Posted on Monday, March 15th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Restaurants | No Comments »