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Archive for April, 2011

Police believe missing student could be in Orinda

A Sonoma State student was reported missing by friends in Walnut Creek on April 25, after the student, James Abriel, 19, left a note that made it appear that he was suicidal, according to police.

Abriel hasn’t been seen on campus at Sonoma State since April 14 and was last seen in Walnut Creek on April 21.

Abriel has family in Orinda, so Walnut Creek police believe there is a chance Abriel could be in the Lamorinda area and are asking the public for help in finding him.

If you have any information on the potential whereabouts of James Abriel, call Walnut Creek police at 925-935-6400.

Posted on Saturday, April 30th, 2011
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Lafayette Kitchen Tour

The 12th Annual Lafayette Kitchen Tour is set to take place on Saturday, May 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This year’s tour will visit six local kitchens, showing off a wide range of styles. The event is sponsored by the Lafayette Juniors.

Tickets for the tour are $35 ($25 of which is tax-deductible). A gourmet box lunch can be purchased for an additional $12.

Tickets can be purchased online through the Lafayette Juniors or at Douglah Designs (3586 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette) or Premier Kitchens (3373 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette).

All proceeds from the event will go to a number of local charities that the Lafayette Juniors support.

Posted on Friday, April 29th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Moraga Community Faire coming up

Here’s a good reason for a short trip to Moraga on May 14 or, if you already live there, to stay close to home:

MORAGA — The fifth annual Moraga Community Faire will be held May 14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Rheem Shopping Center.

Classic cars, arts and crafts, children’s activities, music and a chance to sample Lamorinda wines and local restaurant cuisine are all part of the faire. Music will include performances by some favorite local groups, including the East Bay Banjo Club, the Oak Grove Bluegrass Family and Littledog2, along with students from the Campolindo Chorus and the JM Ensemble. There will also be opportunities to buy arts, crafts and jewelry from a wide variety of artists, and to taste a variety of wines made by Moraga’s own Parkmon Vineyards and Captain Family Vineyards. Also, you can meet members of the Lamorinda Wine Growers Association and learn about how they grow grapes and make wine in their own backyards.

This year’s Classic Car Show, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will highlight trophy cars owned by area residents and introduce attendees to the owners who have so carefully restored them.

The Moraga Juniors is once again sponsoring a sidewalk chalk art contest, and up to 100 individuals or teams of individuals ages 3 to 18 can enter. Registration will begin at 11 a.m. the day of the event, and young artists can work on their entries between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The theme this year is “The Seasons of Moraga,” and prizes will be awarded to winners in each age group: 3-4, 5-8, 9-12 & 13-18.

In addition there will be a free climbing wall, two bounce houses and plenty of other activities for children.

The Moraga Community Faire is organized and sponsored by the Moraga Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Town of Moraga. The Moraga Country Club is this year’s premier sponsor. For more information, visit

— Sam Richards

Posted on Friday, April 29th, 2011
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Rheem Boulevard closure means after-school detours

Rheem Boulevard, arguably the most complained about road in Moraga, is finally getting some work done, but that doesn’t mean everything is perfect.

The roadwork is expected to begin in late May and will last for 20 days, during which the construction crew will be able to completely shut down the section between Saint Mary’s Road and Moraga Road during the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. That means there will be detours for families and students driving home after school for about three weeks.

Another item to note is that they will only be repairing parts of that section of road, specifically the ends. The major damage in the middle of that section will have to wait until some more money comes in.

Posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Under: Moraga, Roads | No Comments »

Moraga website gets a facelift

So long, old Moraga website. I’ll never forget you, or your “straight out of GeoCities circa-1997″ look.

Check out the new town of Moraga website here.

Posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Water rates on the rise

The East Bay Municipal Utility District is set to raise water rates once again this summer. Interestingly enough, the reason being cited for the rate increase is the fact that EBMUD customers are consuming 15 percent less water than they were in 2008, so the rate increase is to cover the costs that were previously covered by more usage.

The plan includes a 6 percent rate increase this summer and a similar 6 percent rate increase next summer. There have been 7.5 percent and 8.7 percent increases the past two summers.

There is a public hearing on the rate increase scheduled for June 14. Following the hearing, there will be a vote. If approved, the rate increase would happen on July 1.

Posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Orinda police looking for burglary suspects

OrindaBurgSuspectMaleOrinda police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a pair of  burglary suspects.

Officers responded to a residential burglary in Orinda on Monday morning in which an ATM card was stolen. The card was subsequently used twice by the individuals pictured to the right.

OrindaBurgSuspectFemaleThe male suspect, top, used the card at a Wells Fargo bank on MacDonald Avenue in Richmond about 12:36 p.m. Monday . The female suspect used the card at about 3:18 p.m. that same day at a Mechanics Bank on Fitzgerald Drive in Pinole.

Anyone who can help identify the suspects can call Orinda police Det. Danny Jeffries at 925-253-4233 or police dispatch at 925-646-2411

Posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

High school baseball and softball update

The Campolindo baseball team leads the DFAL halfway through the league season with a league record of 5-1. The Cougars are 10-6-1 overall. Miramonte is right behind Campolindo at 3-2 in the league and 9-4 overall. Acalanes is tied for fifth in the DFAL with a 2-3 league record and a 10-6 overall record.

The Campolindo softball team is the top in Lamorinda, currently sitting in second place in the DFAL with a 5-1 league record and a 6-6-1 overall record. Acalanes is tied for fourth in the DFAL with a 2-3 league record and a 6-9 overall record. The Miramonte softball team continues to have a tough season, as the Matadors are 0-5 in league and 1-11 overall.

Posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
Under: Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Moraga among top cities for education

Campo football field constructionSurprise! Schools in Lamorinda are among the nation’s best.

The latest to point out this fact is San Francisco-based, which provides an online director of schools throughout the United States and a variety of resources for parents. They, and, have listed Moraga among its “Top Cities to Live and Learn“:

The district’s API score of 945 placed them in the top 2 percent statewide, with Campolindo High School (CHS) ranking #86 nationally in US News & World Report. CHS offers video production and digital photography classes, as well as great sports opportunities. The 2010 girls volleyball team was tops in the Golden State, and Olympic star Matt Biondi grew his fins on the school’s buoyant swim team.

That API number is for the Moraga School District, which, ironically, does not include Campolindo (which has an API of 920).

The Bay Area as a whole is also listed among four “Clusters of Excellence” for 2011, with Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda mentioned specifically:

Community fundraising plays a big part, too. Orinda‘s Educational Foundation contributes about a million to the school district, funding enlightening assets like the library, language electives, and music, art, and environmental programs in its elementary schools.

Other “Clusters of Excellence” include “The Connecticut Panhandle,” and the greater Boston area and the greater Cleveland (The Cleve!) area.

Posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | No Comments »

Orinda Idol Auditions

Auditions for the 2011 Orinda Idol competition are right around the corner with the competition expected to bring in more talent than ever before.

Online registration for the auditions is open until May 1 via this link.

The audition schedule is:
K-2nd grade soloists – May 19, 4-7 p.m.
3rd-5th grade soloists – May 20, 4-7 p.m.
6th-8th grade soloists – May 21, 9-11 a.m.
9th-12th grade soloists – May 21, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.
K-5th grade groups – May 21, 1-2 p.m.
6th-12th grade groups – May 21, 2-4 p.m.

The Orinda Idol finals are Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Orinda Theater.

For more information about Orinda Idol, visit the Orinda Art Council’s website.

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2011
Under: Music, Orinda | No Comments »