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Archive for November, 2010

Fire in Orinda Tuesday afternoon

A power pole was reported to be on fire just before 1:00 p.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of Moraga Way in Orinda. A home near the power pole was also on fire when firefighters from the Moraga-Orinda Fire District arrived on the scene.

It took 30 minutes for the 22 firefighters on the scene to contain both fires. Fire investigators were initially unaware how the fires were connected, although the close proximity would make a connection seem apparent.

Fire investigators did discover the cause of the house fire to be backed-up lint in a dryer’s exhaust pipe. Initial estimates for damage to the home are $80,000.

Posted on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Lamorinda hearts voting

Voter turnout in Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda was high, which, although this is my first election season in Lamorinda, I’m sure is not really a surprise. There technically could be some additional votes added to the totals as elections officers count provisional, challenged and damaged ballots, but here’s your turnout by city (based on an Excel spreadsheet provided by the county, because I’m a glutton for punishment):

Lafayette: 74 percent
Moraga: 71 percent
Orinda: 75 percent

Voter turnout for Contra Costa County overall was 62.75 percent.

Posted on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Under: election, Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Moraga’s State of the Town Address tomorrow

ecctxxxxchewMoraga’s annual State of the Town Address is Wednesday evening. Mayor Ken Chew will talk about the town’s accomplishments over the past year and residents will have a chance to meet their elected officials, chat with their neighbors, enjoy some appetizers and sip some wine.

The address will begin at 6 p.m. at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church, 1700 School Street.

Posted on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Under: Moraga | 1 Comment »

Merrick’s bail now $1.2 million

Stanley Middle School teacher Michael Merrick’s bail has been “lowered” from $3.05 million to $1.2 million.

While the amount is less, $1.2 million is the actual bail scheduled by the court for the crimes Merrick was charged with. When the charges were officially processed, the court followed the standard schedule for bail to come up with the $1.2 million amount.

Merrick’s family has been in the process of securing a property bond to allow for his release. According Merrick’s defense, the drop in the bail amount should result in Merrick being released in the near future.  The bond would need to be for $120,000 (10% of the bail amount).

Posted on Monday, November 15th, 2010
Under: Crime, Lafayette, Schools | No Comments »

Thanksgiving events in Lamorinda

Couple of Turkey Day-related events happening in Lamorinda:

31st Annual Community Thanksgiving Breakfast (Lafayette)

  • 7 a.m. Friday, Nov. 19
  • Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1035 Carol Lane, Lafayette
  • Put on by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Breakfast catered by Green Latern Catering Company is $15. Reservations are required, call 925-284-7404, email, or download a reservation form.

Lamorinda Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Service

  • 7:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 24
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3776 Via Granada, Moraga
  • A service put on by a variety of Lamorinda churches. No particular faith is emphasized. There will be choral music, inspirational words, resfreshments and an offering for the Monument Crisis Center.

Posted on Monday, November 15th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda | No Comments »

Monday afternoon election update

The county released a fresh batch of vote totals today. The numbers in Orinda changed slightly, but the results didn’t.

The new numbers reflect the vote-by-mail ballots returned through Election Day. There are still about 15,000 uncounted ballots countywide, according to Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder Steve Weir, including about 11,000 provisional ballots. Not sure how many are from Orinda, but Weir points out that not all the provisional ballots will ultimately count.

Sue Severson’s lead over Scott Zeller for the third council seat has grown from a razor-thin 59 votes to nearly 500. Barring something uber-dramatic, Severson will return to the council. Amy Worth, of course, will return as well; Dean Orr will take Tom McCormick’s seat.

Tyson Krumholz’s lead over Bekki Van Voorhis-Gilbert in the school board has dropped from 177 last week to 159. Much closer than the City Council race, but it’s still unlikely the remaining ballots will have an impact. It looks like Krumholz will join fellow newcomers Julie Rossiter and Christopher Severson on the board.

Orinda City Council

Candidate Percent Votes
*Amy Worth (i) 25.58 5,240
*Dean Orr 20.28 4,154
*Sue Severson (i) 20.23 4,144
Scott Zeller 17.87 3,662
Tom McCormick (i) 16.04 3,287

Orinda Union school board

Candidate Percent Votes
*Julie Rossiter 22.62 4,214
*Christopher Severson 21.27 3,885
*Tyson Krumholz 20.05 3,734
B. Van Voorhis-Gilbert 19.57 3,575
Sarah Butler 17.29 3,220

Posted on Monday, November 15th, 2010
Under: election, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Campolindo girls, Acalanes boys win NCS water polo titles

In two all-Lamorinda NCS water polo finals, the Campolindo girls and the Acalanes boys came out on top.

The Campolindo girls beat Acalanes, 8-5, in the NCS Division II Championship Game on Saturday at the Soda Aquatic Center. It is the Cougars first NCS girls water polo title since their only other NCS championship in 2000. They lost to Monte Vista in last year’s championship game.

The Acalanes boys pulled off a dramatic 9-8 victory over NCS water polo powerhouse Miramonte Saturday. It is the first NCS water polo title for the Dons. The victory snapped Miramonte’s streak of five consecutive NCS water polo titles. The Matadors have won 11 of the 16 NCS boys water polo titles.

Posted on Sunday, November 14th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Scrooge! coming to Town Hall

The musical, Scrooge!, is returning to the Lafayette Town Hall Theatre this holiday season. The musical, which will run from Dec. 4 through Dec. 19, has been a hit at the Town Hall Theatre in the past. The musical’s previous director, Jessica Richards, will be directing this year’s performances as well.

Performances will be at 8:00 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 7:00 p.m. on Sundays. There will be matinée shows at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11 and 18, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12 and 19.

General admission tickets are $29.50 for evening shows and $26.50 for matinées. Discounts are available for seniors and students.

For more information, visit

Posted on Saturday, November 13th, 2010
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Miramonte wins DFAL; Acalanes and Campolindo on playoff bubble

With the DFAL title on the line, the Miramonte football team played one of its best games of the season by beating Alhambra, 49-28, Thursday night. With the win, the Matadors finished the regular season with a 5-1 record in league play and a 9-1 overall record. The Matadors will be one of the top seeds in the NCS playoffs.

Acalanes lost their final DFAL game of the season, 28-7, to Las Lomas. The loss knocks the Dons to a 5-5 overall record and puts them on the bubble for the NCS playoffs. With wins over Ygnacio Valley and San Marin, two locks for the playoffs, Acalanes should get in as a low seed.

Campolindo, who finished their regular season last week with a record of 5-5, is also on the playoff bubble. With no signature wins, the Cougars will have to hope the NCS committee takes some of their close losses into account.

Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Lamorinda week in review

The Orinda council and school board races continue to widen, and Sue Severson’s council seat appears to be safe.

The Dollar Tree is headed for the Rheem shopping center. So is the California Independent Film Festival.

Jill Keimach takes over as Moraga’s town manager.

Blood is found on a Lafayette ATM, and no one really knows how it got there.

The Lafayette council moves toward making more than $500,000 in budget cuts (background here).

The Matadors are DFAL champs. And there’s lots of Lamorindans in the NCS water polo championships.

Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2010
Under: election, Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »