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Archive for July, 2011

Outdoor movie for a cause

On Saturday, Aug. 13, the city of Lafayette will host an outdoor screening of a movie to benefit the Diabetic Youth Foundation. Starting at 7:00 p.m., the movie “How to Train Your Dragon” will be screened outdoors in Plaza Park.

Moviegoers are invited to bring blankets and chairs to sit on the lawn while watching the movie. Moviegoers can also bring along snacks to enjoy or purchase some of the concessions that will be available including BBQ, cupcakes and drinks.

Tickets for the event are $10 per person with all proceeds benefiting the Diabetic Youth Foundation.

For more information, visit the DYF’s website.

Posted on Sunday, July 24th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Local students earn art honors

A number of local students earned awards in the Annual Visuals and Voice Eco-Art contest. The contest is sponsored by the EarthTeam Network for Teachers and Teens. The students’ artwork was selected from 310 total submissions. The submissions were required to be “eco-friendly” artwork.

The local student winners were:

Riley Felt, Joaquin Moraga: Grand Prize
Lauren Kozicki, Joaquin Moraga: First Place
Rebecca Vaughan, Joaquin Moraga: First Place
Lilly Quintlaw, Campolindo High: Second Place
Tommy Yee, Joaquin Moraga: Second Place
Adam O’Camb, Miramonte High: Second Place
Alex Duryea, Campolindo High: Honorable Mention
Marla Wong, Joaquin Moraga: Honorable Mention

Posted on Saturday, July 23rd, 2011
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Smoke in the sky

Black smoke visible from much of Lafayette entered the sky tonight. The smoke was a result of a fire just past the Lafayette border in Rossmoor.

The fire broke out at a condominium complex in the retirement community of Rossmoor around 6:40 p.m. tonight.

A passerby saw smoke and helped ensure the building was evacuated by knocking on doors and yelling for people to get out of the building.

No injuries were reported, but over 50 percent of the outside of the building was burned.

Firefighters from the Moraga-Orinda Fire District assisted on putting out the blaze.

Posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2011
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

First Annual Moraga Jazz Festival

The New Rheem Theatre will be hosting the First Annual Moraga Jazz Festival on Sunday, August 7, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The jazz festival is worthy of a big city show with 18 Grammy-nominated musicians set to take the stage, covering a wide array of instrumental musicians as well as several vocal performers.

Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the New Rheem Theatre box office or online.

All proceeds from the event will go toward victims of the tornado in Joplin, Missouri.

For more information, visit the New Rheem Theatre’s website.

Posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2011
Under: Moraga, Music | No Comments »

Steve Meagher is still insane

Remember that guy who decided that, for his birthday, he really wanted to unicycle up Mt. Diablo? You know, this guy:

steve meagher

His name is Steve Meagher, he’s from Orinda, and he’s at it again. Steve has decided that for this year’s birthday, he wants to ride a penny farthing (look it up) across California.

He’s calling it the “Big Ass Bike Expedition,” or BABE for short. He’ll embark on Aug. 6 from the Nevada-California border near Tahoe and will end in San Francisco a week later. You can find out more about his trek here. You can also check him out on Facebook here.

I can’t wait until next year, when Steve will undoubtably be trapeezing across the Grand Canyon or recreating the flying house scene from “Up” or something.

Posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2011
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Lamorinda art update

The Hearst Art Gallery at Saint Mary’s is currently showing the exhibit “Pam Glover: A Life in Art.” The exhibit follows the work of artist Pam Glover from her early college work through many of her California landscape paintings. The Hearst Art Gallery is open Wednesday through Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Moraga Art Gallery is currently displaying the artwork of two local artists. The stoneware of Donna Arganbright and the acrylic paintings of Sharon Tama will be on display through August 13. The Moraga Art Gallery is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Posted on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Sweet: Fentons eyeing old Park Theatre

fentonsAnd now another reason for Lafayette to sing “neener-neener” to neighboring cities. It appears Oakland-based Fentons Creamery is looking to open another location — at the former Park Theatre.

Fentons, as you probably know, is famous for its cameo in the 2009 Pixar film “Up,” and hopefully will soon be making an appearance in my stomach.

In a letter to the city, Park Theatre property owner Greg Woehrle says the well-known creamery wants to open in the long-abandoned building, and that Lafayette even beat back Orinda, Walnut Creek, Alamo and Danville to earn the right to be the home of the eatery’s next location.

The only problem? Parking (of course). Woehrle says they cannot find enough parking spaces nearby to meet the city’s requirements, and along with other Plaza Way property owners will ask the City Council on Monday to ease the regulations.

The inability to work out a parking solution could cost Lafayette ice creamy deliciousness, Woehrle writes:

Fentons has given us a directive to either solve the parking issues timely or release them so that they may continue their search for a new location in other neighboring towns.

Translation: Ease your parking rules or kiss this sweet rocky road goodbye.

City staff appears amenable to working something out, suggesting the council “seize this opportunity to achieve the vision (for Plaza Way outlined in the General Plan) by appointing the planning subcommittee of the Council to work with the property owners to develop a parking solution for Plaza Way.”

You can see the full staff report, including the letter from Woehrle, here. The council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lafayette library.

Fentons also has locations in Vacaville and at the Oakland airport. And just for kicks, here’s a Bay Area News Group video put together shortly after “Up” was released:

Posted on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | 2 Comments »

Story poles up for Eden senior housing project

Eden Housing has put up story poles for its proposed senior affordable housing project in Orinda, which would put a 67-unit building on the old library site at 2 Irwin Way. The Planning Commission will consider Eden’s application Tuesday.

I drove by the site today to get a closer look. Much of the building, it appears, would be screened when looking up the hill from Orinda Way as well as downhill from Orinda Senior Village. The shot below is taken from Irwin Way across from Holden High School, right by the driveway to the old library.

Orinda eden story poles

I did swing around to Camino Pablo on my way back to the freeway and it looks like the project would be pretty visible as you’re driving along that street. But I don’t know what kind of additional screening, if any, Eden plans to put up.

The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. in the Orinda Library auditorium, 26 Orinda Way.

Posted on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
Under: Orinda | 1 Comment »

Rancho Laguna Park

The Moraga Parks and Recreation Commission hosted a meeting full of debate tonight at the Hacienda de las Flores, as the future of Rancho Laguna Park was discussed.

The main issue is that potential plans for a redesign of the park include a fenced-in dog park that is considerably smaller than the space dog owners currently use at the park.

The plans include putting in turf athletic fields that could help to allow for local youth sports programs to stop from overcrowding on other local fields.

While the plans are sure to upset some people in the community no matter what, there did seem to be a sense of compromise between the different groups at the meeting, looking for what is best for the community as a whole.

PDF versions of the renderings of the three different concepts for the future of Rancho Laguna Park are available on the Town of Moraga’s website.

Posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Movie in the Park in Lafayette

Lafayette is bringing the big screen outdoors with a movie in the park this Thursday, July 21. The movie will start at 8:00 p.m. in Lafayette’s Plaza Park, located at the corner of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Moraga Road. They will be showing “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

The event is free and open to the public. Seating will be available on the grass, so attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or a blanket to sit on. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Come early to the event to spend some time at the Farmers Market.

Posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »