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Archive for July, 2012

Welcome home veterans in Orinda

The group, Returning Veterans of America (RVA), has organized a two-part “Welcome Home” event for recently returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The events will take place on Saturday, Aug. 11, and Saturday, Aug. 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Orinda Library Auditorium, 26 Orinda Way.

Veterans will be welcomed home with an all-day transitional social event, which will also feature lunch, compliments of Whole Foods Market in Lafayette.

Representatives from several organizations will be on hand to meet with the veterans and their families, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Contra Costa County, Veterans Support Organization and RVA.

For more information about the event, contact RVA at or call their offices at 415-852-1642.

Posted on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
Under: Orinda | No Comments »

MOFD accepting nominations

The Moraga-Orinda Fire District is currently accepting nominations for new board members. The November election will fill three seats in Divisions 2, 3 and 5, which all cover parts of Moraga and Orinda.

The elected candidate for District 3 would only fulfill two years of the standard four-year term. Dick Olsen who held the seat stepped down in January, so the newly elected candidate would finish Olsen’s term.

Official nominations must be filed with all appropriate paperwork by Aug. 10.

For more information, contact the Contra Costa County Elections Division by calling 925-335-7800, or visit their website at

Posted on Monday, July 30th, 2012
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Australia basketball lead by Gaels

The Australian national basketball team that is currently competing in the Olympics has a few faces that have become popular in Moraga over the past few years. Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova, key members to the success of the St. Mary’s basketball program, are both stars on the Australian team.

The Australians faced off against Brazil today. The Brazilians are considered to be one the stronger teams in the tournament, but the Australians stayed even until the final seconds of the game, eventually losing, 75-71. Mills finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Dellavedova finished with six points and three assists.

Posted on Sunday, July 29th, 2012
Under: Moraga, Sports | No Comments »

Moraga sales tax increase going on ballot

The Town of Moraga is placing a one-cent sales tax measure on the November ballot. The proposed increase would bring in approximately $1 million annually to the town’s general fund, which the town plans to use on improving roads.

The call from residents for road improvements in Moraga has been going on for years, but the Town has only been able to allot $500,000 of their $6 million annual budget to repairing the roads. The Town estimates there are $25 million in repairs needing to be done.

Many local businesses are in support of the measure, as they believe fixing the roads could improve the town’s economy and could also encourage residents to shop locally to help support the road improvements.

Posted on Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Death penalty could be on table for Orinda man

Torture charges may be added to the murder charges against James Collin, 62, of Orinda, who is accused of killing his  girlfriend, Evangeline Cumbe Devera, in their Orinda home on June 26.

If Collin is convicted of the murder charges currently against him, he could receive a sentence of life in prison. If he is convicted of the murder charge with the torture charge as a special circumstance connected to the murder, the prosecutors could argue for the death penalty.

Devera was killed due to being hit repeatedly by a 2 1/2-foot-long machete, according to police.

Collin will return to court on Aug. 2 to enter a plea.

Posted on Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

New Moraga Town Engineer gets to work

The Town of Moraga’s newly hired Public Works Director/Town Engineer, Edric Kwan, started work for the town this week.

Kwan had been working as the City Engineer for Richmond prior to Moraga hiring him. While working for Richmond, Kwan was the manager of a sinkhole project that gained national attention and awards.

Also during his time in Richmond, Kwan received accolades for his work transforming his divisions to being completely covered financially from being subsidized from the General Fund and taxpayer money.

Kwan is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Home values on the rise

Home values in the Bay Area made a large leap in the second quarter, according to, which perhaps signals the turn of the housing market.

The Bay Area, as a whole, saw a 2.5% increase in property values, although Contra Costa County saw a slightly lower increase at 1.4%. While the report did not have a specific percentage increase for the Lamorinda area, an expert estimated the increase for the area near 2% for the second quarter.

As home values increase, more sellers will be willing to put their homes on the market, which will help turn the real estate market around.

Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Back to school donations being collected

Campolindo sophomore Sam Larson is collecting donations for a Back to School Giveaway Shop. The donated items become available for disadvantaged kids and families in the San Pablo area.

Any item that could be used by another kid or family is welcome; however, the items most needed include clothing, shoes, school supplies, toys and sports equipment. Donated items can be new or gently used.

Donations can be dropped off on the porch at 243 Paseo del Rio, Moraga, or you can call 925-284-8142 to set up a time for the donations to be picked up from your home.

Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Free college planning class in Lafayette

NewSpring College Planning will be presenting a free college planning class on Thursday, July 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center’s Arts & Science Discovery Center.

Representatives from the group will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about a variety of topics related to thecollege planning process, including how to be best positioned in the application and enrollment process and how to afford college tuition.

Although the event is free and open to the public, there is limited seating, so advance registration is required. To register for the event, call 415-322-4501 or email

Posted on Saturday, July 21st, 2012
Under: Lafayette, Schools | No Comments »

Former Moraga 24 Hour Fitness worker found guilty

Pornthep Suvanasarn, a former employee at the 24 Hour Fitness in Moraga and former Saint Mary’s College student, was convicted Thursday of indecent exposure, and annoying or molesting a child. The charges stem from an incident where he exposed himself to a 5-year-old boy while working in the 24 Hour Fitness child care center.

Suvanasarn was also charged with the same two crimes in connection to a 5-year-old girl, but the jury acquitted Suvanasarn on those charges.

Suvanasarn will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He will return to court on Aug. 13 when he will be sentenced to a punishment ranging from probation to one year in county jail.

Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2012
Under: Crime, Moraga | No Comments »