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Archive for February, 2011

Jewelry store owner fights back

A jewelry store on the 3500 block of Mt. Diablo Boulevard was entered by two criminals wielding hammers Friday around 1:45 p.m, according to the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office. The criminals began breaking jewelry store cases when the owner in the  back room of the store heard the noise. He came into the main room of the store and began firing shots.

The two criminals fled the store, and police believe that one of the men was wounded by a gunshot. A man arrived at Alta Bates hospital with a gunshot wound later in the day, and police spoke with the man in regards to the crime.

Posted on Saturday, February 19th, 2011
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

Dollar Tree hiring in Moraga

Have a knack for retail but worried you can’t keep track of hundreds of differently-priced items? The Dollar Tree has just the job for you.

The discounter is hiring a store manager and assistant store managers for its would-be Moraga location. The job postings are searchable through the Dollar Tree’s website here.

I think my favorite touch is their pitchline to potential employees: “Discover for yourself how far this DOLLAR can take you” (emphasis is their’s).

Dollar Tree’s application for the Rheem shopping center was one of last year’s bigger controversies, with several residents opposing the store for a range of reasons, including claims the store’s products pose a safety risk and worries its presence could lower property values.

The Planning Commission reluctantly approved Dollar Tree’s application in September, and the opponents immediately appealed to the council. They denied the appeal, approving the application, on Nov. 10. Applications are good for one year, so Dollar Tree has until this Nov. 10 to open. After that, the store will have to reapply.

Posted on Friday, February 18th, 2011
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

The Glass Menagerie

The Lafayette Town Hall Theatre will be presenting the famous Tennessee Williams’ play, The Glass Menagerie, February 19 through March 19.

During the play’s run, there will be showings each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. There will also be 2:00 p.m. matinée shows each Sunday during the play’s run.

Tickets are $29.50 for general admission and $26.50 for seniors and kids. Matinée ticket prices are $26.50 for general admission and $22.50 for seniors and kids. Tickets are available for purchase through the box office or online.

For more information about the performance or the Lafayette Town Hall Theatre, visit their website at

Posted on Friday, February 18th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Check out the Bay Area News iPad app

steve jobs ipadIt’s been a good week for technology. First, IBM’s super computer Watson showed us all why we may soon be conquered by computer overlords (complete with a sweet Kent Brockman reference by Ken Jennings), and now you can get all the latest from Bay Area News Group on your iPad.

Getting your local news without having to wander disheveled and sleepy-eyed to the driveway in your slippers?  Clearly, nothing Steve Jobs can come up with now will ever compare.

You can get more information about the iPad app from the Apple website here. To download, go to the App Store and search “Bay Area News.” The program features a front page with our featured stores, which I’m told will update twice a day, as well as a breaking news scroll. I believe with your download you get a free 30-day trial and then after that you can purchase a subscription.

Posted on Friday, February 18th, 2011
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Orinda International Film Showcase ready for second film

The Orinda International Film Showcase will begin showcasing its second film on Friday, Feb. 25, and it will have regular screenings through Thursday, March 3.

The film, “Illegal,” follows the story of an immigrant mother who becomes incarcerated in Belgium. The debut screening in Orinda will be the first time this film has been played in the United States. The film was part of the Cannes Film Festival last year.

The first film in the Orinda International Film Showcase, “Max Manus,” was such a huge draw that the Orinda Theatre chose to show it for an additional week.

Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Lafayette news of the day: Burton Valley remodel redesigned again, and crime down for 2010

Joe and Noelle Polichio, who’s proposed second-story addition to their Burton Valley home has run into opposition, have redesigned the project again. Just posted to the website:

LAFAYETTE — A Burton Valley couple looking to add a second story to their house have scaled their remodel back again. Whether or not they will get the chance to continue seeking the project’s approval remains to be seen.

Joe and Noelle Polichio have spent much of the past year trying to get the city’s OK to add about 1,800 square feet to their Lucas Drive house. Several neighbors have fought the addition, saying it would make the house unacceptably larger than others nearby.

In January, the City Council agreed with the neighbors and rejected the proposal.

The revised plans, which the city received from architect Ken Hertel on Feb. 4, would reduce the home’s total living area by about 200 square feet and move two upstairs bedrooms back to the first floor.

Here’s architect Ken Hertel’s letter to the city summarizing the changes: Ken Hertel letter. And here are the actual designs: Polichio revised project plans 2-4-2011. You can find the staff reports from the Jan. 24 meeting, which include designs for the project as they stood then, here (items 11A, B and C).

Also, from a story that will be in tomorrow’s Sun about crime taking a dip in 2010:

LAFAYETTE — The latest statistics from the police department contained good news for Lafayette, as crime fell in nearly every category from 2009 to 2010.

Police Chief Mike Hubbard presented the statistics in a report to the City Council on Monday.

Overall, calls for service were down 9 percent and arrests were down 8 percent, the report said.

Here are all the crime numbers for 2010, from the chief’s report:

Category 2009 2010 Change
Calls for service 22,816 20,547 -9%
Homicides 0 0 None
Rape 2 3 50%
Domestic violence 14 12 -16%
Narcotics 22 19 -13%
Robberies 7 7 None
Commercial thefts 40 39 -2.5%
Shoplifting 13 4 -69%
Residential thefts 106 95 -10%
Vehicle thefts 226 209 -7.5%
Stolen vehicles 40 54 35%
Stolen vehicle recoveries 21 26 24%
Arrests 284 261 -8%
DUI 107 84 -21.4%
Parking citations 11,062 10,593 -4.2%
Traffic citations 3,355 2,859 -14.7%
Traffic collisions (non-injury) 240 222 -7.5%
Traffic collisions (injury) 28 29 3.5%
Alarms 1,913 2,102 9.9%
911 calls 630 665 5.5%

Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

New Camino Pablo fields closer to construction

Camino Pablo field designThe design for the new sports fields at Camino Pablo school is beginning to take shape and construction is set to begin immediately after school gets out.

The project’s design group, Callander Associates, is hoping to send the project out to bid in the next couple of months and bring a contract back for Town Council approval in early May, Callander representative Matt Gruber told the council Wednesday night.

The goal is for the contractor to begin work the day after school ends and have everything finished before students return after summer break.

The current field will be completely torn up and regraded to improve irrigation, Gruber said. The new field will include a baseball diamond, softball diamond, and room for a soccer field.

Callandar is still trying to decide what type of grass will be used for the field, Gruber said, adding that the Moraga School District will have the most influence on that decision because they will be responsible for ongoing field maintenance.

Council members also asked that the various sports groups that have been consulted throughout the design process also be given a chance to provide input on the grass.

The project will cost about $600,000 and is being funded by Measure WW funds.

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Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Under: Moraga, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

NCS soccer first round update

The Campolindo boys soccer team, the number one seed in the NCS Division 2 playoffs, advanced easily with a 4-0 victory against Kennedy-Fremont. They will host Ygnacio Valley at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

The Acalanes boys soccer team, the number two seed in the playoffs, beat Kennedy-Richmond, 1-0. They will host Pinole Valley at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

The fourth-seeded Campolindo girls were shocked, 2-1, by the 13th seed, Berean Christian in a major upset.

The Miramonte girls won an all-Lamorinda NCS game, beating Acalanes, 3-1. They will travel to play at Piedmont, the third seed, on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

Posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Sister to Sister Summit coming in March

The very successful Sister to Sister Summit event returns to the Lamorinda area on March 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The all-day event will take place at the Bentley School in Lafayette.

At the event, high school girls from the Lamorinda area help bring middle school girls from the area together to discuss their lives and some of the issues they face. The event offers the young girls a chance to open up and connect with girls from other schools.

The deadline for registering is March 12. A brochure and registration form can be downloaded online.

For more information about the Sister to Sister Summit, visit

The event is sponsored by the American Association of University Women’s Orinda Moraga Lafayette Branch.

Posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

NCS soccer brackets released

Two local teams reigned supreme when the NCS Division 2 boys soccer brackets were released today. Acalanes received the number two seed in the playoffs, while Campolindo received the overall top seed. In the first round, the Dons will host Kennedy (Richmond), and the Cougars will host Kennedy (Fremont). Both games are Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The Miramonte boys did not qualify for the playoffs.

The Campolindo girls received the fourth seed in the NCS playoffs and will host Berean Christian at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The Miramonte girls earned the sixth seed and will host local rival Acalanes, who is the 11th seed, on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.

Posted on Sunday, February 13th, 2011
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »