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Archive for July, 2010

Lafayette man in hospital after bike accident

A Lafayette man suffered several major injuries after hitting a truck during a bicycle ride Saturday. The man, whose identity has not yet been released, suffered a dislocated shoulder, broken ribs, a punctured lung and a cut to his head as a result of the accident.

The man was rushed to John Muir Medical Center to treat his injuries. He is expected to make a full recovery.

The man likely saved himself from more severe injuries by having a helmet on at the time of the accident.

The accident happened on Las Trampas Road in Alamo.

Posted on Saturday, July 31st, 2010
Under: Lafayette | 2 Comments »

Moraga Open Tennis Championships start Tuesday

The Moraga Open Tennis Championships start on Tuesday, Aug. 3, at 8:00 p.m. The tournament will field over 100 players in men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions.

The total prize pool for the tournament is $25,000, which will be divided up to top finishers in the five different competitions.

If the tournament sounds familiar, but the name does not, that is because the tournament was formerly called the Stead Open. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center recently agreed to be the new presenting sponsor for the tournament, which includes funding the event.

The tournament will be played at the Moraga Country Club. Admission is free.

Posted on Friday, July 30th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Sports | 1 Comment »

Moraga Junior Women’s Club makes impact on the community once again

The Moraga Junior Women’s Club announced that it was able to donate $24,000 to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s Farm 2 Kids program. The donation amount came from the money raised through the Moraga Juniors’ 7th Annual Garden Tour.

Over $5,000 in donations were also made by the Moraga Juniors to a variety of local organizations. Some of those organizations were the Moraga 4th of July Fund, the Moraga Parks Foundation, the Moraga Education Foundation and the Lamorinda SPIRIT van.

More than 100 women make up the Moraga Juniors. For more information about the group, visit their website at

Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Moraga council meeting notes

This reporter couldn’t help but laugh when, more than two hours into the Moraga Town Council meeting, Mayor Ken Chew said, “Next item, adoption of meeting agenda.”

Under the new order of things in Moraga, adoption of the agenda is actually the ninth thing on the agenda, following formalities like the roll call and not-so-formalities like presentations and the consent calendar.


Anyway, the reason why the meeting agenda was not adopted until 150 minutes into said agenda was the council got a rather lengthy presentation on the results of recently-conducted focus groups and surveys about residents’ knowledge and opinions of town affairs.

A lot of it wasn’t surprising. Residents like the town’s “semi-rural” environment and give high marks to schools and public safety. They also want to see more life pumped into the two shopping centers.

In the latter category, residents seemed to say they’re open to new businesses and even new development, but want it balanced with a respect for the “small-town” charm that draws so many people to Moraga.

Though few saw Saint Mary’s College as something they valued about the town, there were several comments that the town should partner more closely with the school and tap into its consumer base of some 4,000 students.

You can see the full presentation here: RECON presentation

Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Election filing update

Was busy filing a couple of stories today and I’m just minutes away from a long weekend that includes a trip to Napa to celebrate my fiance finishing the state bar exam. So no Lamorinda weekend reading this week.

But never fear, here’s your election update:

Lafayette City Council (two seats)
Filed: Brandt Andersson*, Don Tatzin*
Pulled papers: Traci Reilly

Moraga Town Council (two seats)
Pulled papers: Dave Trotter*, Ken Chew*, Dennis Wanken, Eleni Wanken

Orinda City Council (three seats)
Filed: Tom McCormick*, Amy Worth*, Sue Severson*
Pulled papers: Dean Orr, Bob Larsen, Scott Zeller

I’ve been told Richard Newman, who also pulled papers, will not file.

Acalanes Union High School District board (three seats)
Filed: Susie Epstein, Tom Mulvaney*
Pulled papers: Richard Whitmore*

Lafayette School District board (three seats)
Pulled papers: Art Kapoor*, Theresa Gerringer*, Berch Parker, David Gerson, Saveth Soun

Moraga School District board (three seats)
Pulled papers: Charles MacNulty*, Kym Leserman, Kathleen Ranstrom, Robert Lovelace, Shari Simon

Orinda Union School District board (three seats)
Pulled papers: Juliane Rossiter, Sarah Butler, Christopher Severson, Rebecca Van Voorhis

Moraga-Orinda Fire District board (three seats)
Pulled papers: Frank Sperling*, John Wyro*, Dick Olsen*

Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Orinda golf tourney photos

A few more photos below from the “Celebrate Everyday Heroes” golf tournament in Orinda on Monday, courtesy of Sue Severson. The event raised about $10,000 for local charities. Hero of the Hudson and protector of mankind Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was supposed to be the guest of honor, but he had another committment and couldn’t make it, which I was kind of bummed about because a picture with Sully would make an awesome Facebook photo. I know I would have felt at least 47 percent safer just standing next to him.

I spoke with Larry Sly, who’s the executive director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, one of the charities for which the event raised money. He said he really enjoyed working with the Orinda Community Foundation and absolutely wants to continue working with them to help the event grow. Another interesting thing he said: even though donations to the food bank hit their peak during the holiday season, the need is actually greatest during the summer months, when kids are out of school and no longer receiving free lunches every day.

Anyway, here are the photos.

From left to right: Moraga-Orinda Fire Engineer Mike Rattary, Firefighter Paramedic Laynne Cooley, Engineer Dan Dick, Acalanes school district Superintendent John Stockton, Miramonte High School principal Adam Clark, event co-chair Richard Westin and Eagle Scout David Fuhriman.

Everyday Heroes 2010

From left: Dick, Orinda police Officer Kevin Mooney, Fuhriman, Severson, Rattary, Cooley and food bank exec Larry Sly.


Bagpiper Nick Theriault, 14, who serenaded golfers as they came off the course.

Penskar putt

Mark Penskar (putting) and Avram Tucker

Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Local track and field athletes competing in Junior Olympics

Diablo Valley Track and Field has sent 12 of their track and field athletes to the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, which started Tuesday and go until Sunday. The event is taking place at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento.

The athletes competing in the Championships qualified by finishing in the top three in one or more events at the Region 16 qualifier in Modesto that took place July 9-11.

The local athletes competing from Diablo Valley are Johnleigh Dean (Javelin), Matt Thomas (Shot Put and Discus), Charlie Loudon (High Jump), Parker Lothamer (Triple Jump), Jordyn Bryant (Triathlon, Shot, and 4×400 Relay), Arianna “Mup” Gragg (Long Jump, 800M, and 4×400 Relay), Jackie McIntosh (High Jump and 4x400M Relay), Jenna Miles (1500M and 4x400M Relay), Avery Avina (4x800M Relay), Grace Brown (4x800M Relay), Raea Gragg (4x800M Relay), and Demi Hart (4x800M Relay).

Posted on Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
Under: Lamorinda, Sports | No Comments »

What happened to the summer heat?

Last summer, it seemed as if the triple digit temperature days would never end. That has certainly not been the case this summer. Temperatures have been dropping into the low 50s regularly at night.

Don’t expect to see the temperatures rising anytime soon either, as the 10-day forecast shows an overall high of only 78 degrees.

Even though the highs for the weekend are 75 on Saturday and 78 on Sunday, it is supposed to be sunny all weekend. The clouds are expected to creep back in from time to time next week though.

For a full 10-day weather forecast for the area, visit

Posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Lafayette council opts not to rebid trail project

The Lafayette City Council decided last night not to send the Murray Lane Trail project for another round of bidding and instead awarded a construction contract to the next-lowest bidder.

City officials asked the council to rebid the project after the “original” lowest bidder had to back out because it could not obtain financing for the project.

The difference isn’t insignificant. The “new” lowest bidder, Grade Tech, Inc., came in with price if $309,778. That’s $100,000 more than the original lowest bidder, Ameca Engineering. But the project is still under the city engineer’s estimate of $330,000, which is why the council opted not to rebid, said City Manager Steven Falk.

Engineering Services Director Tony Coe said the city will hammer out the final details of the contract with Grade Tech and construction should begin shortly thereafter.

Posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Under: Lafayette | 2 Comments »

Moraga-Orinda firefighter rescued this morning

David Mazaika, a firefighter for the Moraga-Orinda Fire District, was saved this morning by the same guys he usually works with to save others.

Mazaika was doing a safety and maintenance check of a fire trail in Orinda at around 9:50 a.m. when the truck he was driving rolled 200 feet down an embankment.

After Mazaika was freed from his truck by fire district personnel, he was lifted up the hill using ropes and pulleys. He was rushed by ambulance to John Muir Medical Center.

As of last report, Mazaika remains at John Muir in stable condition.

Mazaika has been a firefighter for the Moraga-Orinda Fire District for over seven years.

Posted on Monday, July 26th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »