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Archive for September, 2010

Send in the grammar police

drive slow cropped

Our PG&E workers are confusing children everywhere about the difference between adjectives and adverbs, and I, for one, don’t think we should stand for it.

Also, updated story about the gas leak in downtown Orinda should be posted here soon.

Posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Overnight gas line break in downtown Orinda

Will be posted to CCT website soon:

ORINDA — A natural gas line break in downtown Orinda forced the evacuation of 14 residents for about 90 minutes late Wednesday night.

Firefighters responded to a report of a break in a six-inch natural gas line on Moraga Way between Camino Pablo and Brookwood Road about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday, according to Moraga-Orinda Fire District Fire Marshal Mike Mentink. Fire, police and PG&E crews arrived on scene and secured the area.

The evacuation was lifted after crews discovered the leak was from a two-inch pipe and not as severe as initially reported, Mentink said.

No injuries or property damage were reported.

PG&E controlled the leak at 5:35 a.m. today and are working to repair the line, according to Mentink. There is no estimate for when the repair will be completed.

Moraga Way was closed between Camino Pablo and Brookwood until 7 a.m. today, affecting about 17 businesses, Mentink said.

Traffic is now moving freely but slowly along Moraga Way as PG&E repairs continue, said Orinda Assistant to the City Manager Monica Pacheco.

The city is currently repaving the road in the area of the gas leak, Mentink said, but officials are still investigating what caused the break.

“Thankfully the situation was not worse, and that it occurred during the night with most businesses closed and minimal impact to Orinda residents,” City Manager Janet Keeter said in a statement.

Posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Saint Mary’s students prepare for dance – so do neighbors

The Saint Mary’s College Program Board will be presenting the Oasis Dance this Friday, Sept. 24. The dance, which will last from 9:00 p.m. until midnight, is outside in Ferroggiaro Quad in campus.

The dance is the big welcome back event for Saint Mary’s students starting up classes again. It is an extremely popular event for students, who dress up in tropical gear from Hawaiian shirts to grass skirts.

The neighbors of Saint Mary’s aren’t always as excited about this event, as the loud music from the outdoor event is clearly audible from their homes.

Saint Mary’s has tried to respect the neighbors a bit more this year, while still holding the event. They suggest calling Tim Farley, director of community and government relations, at (925) 631-4830 or campus security at (925) 631-4282 with any complaints or issues.

Posted on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
Under: Moraga, Schools | No Comments »

Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year update

The Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year competition has selected its three finalists, but none of the Lamorinda nominees were named.

The three local nominees were Brian Mangold, of Stanley Middle School in the Lafayette School District, Alice Noyes, of Donald Rheem Elementary School in the Moraga School Distritct, and Mary Dolan, of Del Rey Elementary School in the Orinda School District.

Although the three local nominees will not have a chance at becoming the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year, they will be honored at an awards dinner on Thursday night for being nominated by their district.

Posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
Under: Lamorinda, Schools | No Comments »

Dollar Tree appeals Planning Commission decision

dollartreeIt didn’t take long for someone to appeal the Moraga Planning Commission’s decision on the Dollar Tree application. But the appeal has come not from residents opposed to the store, but from Dollar Tree itself.

Here’s the e-mail sent to Planning Director Lori Salamack by Dollar Tree attorney Scott Kipnis:

As you know, we are national real estate counsel to Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. (“Dollar Tree”). In reference to the planning commission hearing held yesterday, September 20, 2010, and in accordance with our conversation of today, Dollar Tree as applicant hereby appeals the conditions of approval imposed upon Dollar Tree’s approved permitted use. Dollar Tree will provide a detailed basis of the appeal within the time set forth in the Municipal Code, Moraga California, Title 8, Chapter 8.12 upon its receipt of the written details setting forth the scope and nature of the conditions of use which Dollar Tree finds objectionable.

Dollar Tree representative Linda Duncan on Monday said the store felt many of the conditions of approval were subjective and thus unfair, but declined to say specifically which conditions Dollar Tree found objectionable.

At least one resident opposed to the store had told the commission they would appeal if the application was approved, but now that isn’t necessary. The hearing before the Town Council will be a “de novo” hearing, meaning the council will treat it as a new hearing on the matter and all issues relating to the application can be raised. Because of that, said planning assistant Kelly Clancy, the town only takes one appeal.

But for opponents of the Dollar Tree, that’s an important distinction. If they had gotten their appeal in first, the opponents would be considered the formal appellants and thus granted allotted time equal to that granted the Dollar Tree (as applicants) at the hearing. But now the Dollar Tree is both applicant and appellant, meaning opponents will be limited to the public comment period (and its ensuing three-minute time limit) and e-mails or letters to the town.

Posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
Under: Moraga | 1 Comment »

Miramonte students perform for charity

A group of Miramonte High School students called Performers for Progress will be hosting a variety show in the Miramonte Theater on the nights of Thursday, Sept. 30, and Friday, Oct. 1. Both shows will start at 7:30 p.m.

The variety show will include acts as varied as music, dance, poetry and comedy.

Tickets to the performances, which can be purchased at the door on the night of the event, are $12 for adults and $6 for students.

Proceeds from the show will be donated to a charity called SchoolBox, which helps support schools and students in low-income areas of Nicaragua.

For more information, visit the Performers for Progress website at

Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2010
Under: Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

On the agendas this week

A meeting for every day of the week! Now you don’t have to watch all those television season premieres!

Moraga Planning Commission: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, 1010 Camino Pablo. The commission will take its third stab at evaluating an application from the Dollar Tree for the Rheem Center. And I’ll take a stab at not compulsively checking my iPhone. That’s okay. Not like I wanted to watch the stupid 49er game anyway…

Orinda City Council: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Orinda Library auditorium, 26 Orinda Way. The council will introduce new police Sgt. Neil Rafanan, who will take over for the departing Sgt. Andre Charles. The council will also consider a 3 percent raise for City Manager Janet Keeter. Keeter has declined the 2.5 percent cost of living increase in lieu of a mid-year performance bonus should the city’s economic situation improve.

Moraga Town Council: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Joaquin Moraga Intermedie School, 1010 Camino Pablo. The big star will be Jill Keimach, who will become Moraga’s next town manager assuming the council approves her appointment. The council will also consider:

  • Allotting $100,000 of projected state funding to hire an additional police officer
  • Awarding a $10,000 contract to Moraga-based Happy Pixel Studio to redesign the town’s website.
  • Authorizing the town manager to list a town-owned parcel on Devin Drive for sale, the proceeds of which would offset the purchase of the 331 Rheem building for use as a corporation yard. The council will also discuss subdividing town-owned land on St. Marys Road across from the college.

Orinda quad-agency meeting (City Council, Orinda Union School District board, Moraga-Orinda Fire District Board of Directors and Acalanes school district board): 7 p.m. Thursday, Orinda Library Garden Room, 26 Orinda Way. The four boards will discuss communication and disaster preparedness and provide updates on the latest happenings in their respective agencies. Agenda here.

Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Movie in Lafayette Plaza for Halloween

Free movies in parks have become popular events organized by cities throughout the Bay Area, and Lafayette will officially be doing a test run on Halloween Eve.

On Saturday, Oct. 30, the movie “Monsters, Inc.” will be shown in the Lafayette Plaza with a scheduled start time of 7:00 p.m. The movie screening will be free to the public. All those attending the screening are encouraged to come in their Halloween costumes.

The event has been jointly planned by the City of Lafayette and the Chamber of Commerce. If the event is successful, it is possible that movie screenings in the Lafayette Plaza could become a regular event.

Posted on Sunday, September 19th, 2010
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Orinda’s Silver Ball

Orinda’s Silver Celebration fine arts show and reception will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The show and reception will be in the Orinda Library’s Art Gallery.

The celebration will be one of the events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the incorporation of Orinda.

More than 20 local artists will have their artwork featured at the show, which will be available for purchase. The Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra will provide music throughout the event. Food and wine will also be served.

The event is free to the public, although donations to the Orinda Community Foundation will be accepted.

Posted on Saturday, September 18th, 2010
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Campolindo and Acalanes football improve to 3-0

The Campolindo and Acalanes football teams  both improved to 3-0 on the season with dominant performances Friday night.

Campolindo’s offense was on display, as the Cougars racked up 209 yards rushing and 165 yards passing in their 34-13 victory over El Cerrito.

The Dons’ defense once again proved to be too much for opposing teams to deal with, as they earned their second shutout of the season, beating San Marin, 21-0. The Dons have allowed only six total points in their three games this season.

Miramonte will be out to make all three Lamorinda teams perfect on the season, as the Matadors face off against Mission San Jose Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

Posted on Friday, September 17th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »