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Archive for August, 2011

Time for high school football

The local high school football teams have been practicing hard during summer training camps and preseason practices leading up to their season openers this week.

Miramonte had an 11-2 record last season, as the Matadors won the DFAL and made it to the NCS semifinals. They open this season at Analy High School Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Acalanes finished the 2010 season with a 5-6 record and a first round loss in the NCS playoffs. The Dons kick off 2011 at Diablo Valley College on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. against Ygnacio Valley.

Campolindo struggled in 2010, earning only one win in DFAL play. Despite their poor DFAL record, the Cougars qualified for NCS, suffering a first round loss and finishing the year 5-6. They open the 2011 season at home Friday night at 7:00 p.m. vs. Moreau Catholic.

Posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Under: Lamorinda, Schools, Sports | No Comments »

Lamorinda schools still really, really good

The latest Academic Performance Index ratings are out, and once again Lamorinda schools are among the tops in California. The state uses standardized test scores to come up with the API, which ranks schools from 200 (low) to 1,000 (high). The statewide target is 800.

The Acalanes Union High School District increased its API from 897 to 903 from 2010 to 2011, but in the process lost its standing as the highest performing high school district in the state. The Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint High School District upped its API from 897 to 904.

The Orinda Union School District, with an API of 957, is the eighth-highest elementary district in California. The Moraga School District, at 955, is 11th, and the Lafayette School District is 31st at 922.

Full list of API ratings by school below:




Acalanes Union High SD




Acalanes High School




Campolindo High School




LasLomas High School




Miramonte High School




Lafayette School District




Burton Valley Elementary




Happy Valley Elementary




Lafayette Elementary




Springhill Elementary




Stanley Middle School




Moraga School District




Camino Pablo Elementary




Rheem Elementary




Los Perales Elementary




J.M. Intermediate




Orinda Union SD




Del Rey Elementary




Glorietta Elementary




Sleepy Hollow Elementary




Wagner Ranch Elementary




Orinda Intermediate




Posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Under: Lafayette, Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda, Schools | 1 Comment »

Merrick arraignment pushed back

Michael Merrick’s arraignment, which was scheduled for today, was pushed back until Sept. 8, as a result of Merrick’s attorney being unable to be present.

Merrick’s attorney, Elizabeth Grossman, has been visiting the East Coast and has been unable to return due to canceled travel plans from the effects of Hurricane Irene.

On Aug. 12, Judge Nancy Davis Stark determined there was enough evidence against Merrick to proceed to trial on 25 felony counts and one misdemeanor charge relating to an alleged sexual relationship Merrick had with a student he was tutoring in his Stanley Middle School classroom.

Posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
Under: Crime, Lafayette, Schools | No Comments »

Orinda Idol finals coming up

The 2011 Orinda Idol Finals will be held at the Orinda Theatre on Sunday, Sept 11. The contest, which is open to students from the Lamorinda area, features solo competitions in four age categories and group competitions in two age categories.

The finals will be broken into four performance sessions from 11:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. The awards for all categories will be announced at an awards ceremony from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m.

The Orinda Idol finals winners will also perform at the Orinda Car Show on Sept. 24 and at the EFO/Chamber of Commerce Dine Around Town on Sept. 27.

For more information and a full schedule of Orinda Idol events, visit

Posted on Monday, August 29th, 2011
Under: Music, Orinda | No Comments »

Campolindo student collecting clothes donations

Campolindo freshman Sam Larson is collecting items for disadvantaged families in the Bay Area. Items being collected include clothing, shoes and accessories for infants, kids and adults.

Items to be donated can be dropped off at 243 Paseo Del Rio in Moraga, or you can call 284-8142 to have the items picked up in the area.

Donated items will be used to fill a free clothing shop sponsored by the San Pablo Rotary with the items eventually going to disadvantaged families. Donated items must be received by October 8 when the free clothing shop will take place.

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2011
Under: Moraga, Schools | No Comments »

Books for the Barrios donations

Acalanes senior Michael Brady is organizing a local book drive for the charity organization Books for the Barrios.

Books for the Barrios helps collect donated books and then distribute them to low-income families and schools.

The majority of the books go to young children, so the best donations are children’s storybooks.

Barrels for book donations are set up at some local Lafayette schools. Donations can also be made by leaving the books on your porch and emailing Michael at with an address to pick them up.

For more information about Books for the Barrios, visit their website at

Posted on Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Girls Scouts in Lafayette

Lafayette Girl Scouts are getting set to start up new troops and add some new members to current troops.

On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Lafayette Girl Scouts will be holding an informational meeting for all new and returning girl scout families. At the meeting, new kindergarten troops will be formed, and older girls looking to join will be placed in existing troops.

Girl scout troops are now inclusive of all Lafayette schools and are no longer determined by school.

For more information about Girl Scouts in Lafayette, visit their website at

Posted on Friday, August 26th, 2011
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Orinda Starlight Players set for more performances

The Orinda Starlight Players are set to kick off a run of performances of the play “The Imaginary Invalid” Friday night at 8:30 p.m.

Shows will run from Friday night through Oct. 1 with four shows each week. Thursday night shows will begin at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday night shows will begin at 8:30 p.m., and Sunday matinee shows start at 4:00 p.m.

All performances take place in the Orinda Community Center’s Outdoor Theater. Tickets, which are $16 for general admission and $8 for seniors, are available for purchase at the box office. Reservations can be made by emailing or calling 925-528-9225.

Posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2011
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

Earthquake twins?

Yes, Lamorinda, the Earth is moving under your feet. Following the 3.6-magnitude earthquake that shook the area last night shortly before midnight, a 3.5-magnitude earthquake shook the area again this morning.

This morning’s earthquake was centered 3 miles northeast of San Leandro at the same spot as last night’s earthquake and struck at 9:57 a.m.

Although the earthquakes were both physically felt, neither was strong enough to cause any major panic. There have been no injuries or damage reported as a result of either earthquake.

Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Small quake shakes the area

A 3.6-magnitude earthquake shook the Lamorinda area at 11:36 p.m. Tuesday night. While it wasn’t as big as the earthquakes making national news today on the East Coast and in Colorado, it was definitely noticeable for anyone still awake.

The earthquake was centered approximately 4 kilometers northeast of San Leandro and struck at a depth of 9.1 kilometers.

A smaller 2.3-magnitude aftershock, which struck five minutes later at 11:41 p.m., was centered in almost the exact same location as the 3.6-magnitude earthquake.

For more information about local earthquakes, visit the United States Geological Society’s website.

Posted on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »