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Andresen submits petition to Boy Scouts

Ryan Andresen, of Moraga, took another step in his fight toward earning his Eagle Scout honor from the Boy Scouts of America.

Andresen showed up at the offices of the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council in Pleasant Hill with a petition asking them to change their policy on stopping Andresen and other boys from receiving their Eagle Scout honors for being gay. The petition included more than 400,000 signatures from all over the world. The signatures were collected via the website

Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, was in attendance to honor Andresen for his work with the Boy Scouts.

Andresen also had a short meeting with Alan T. Young, the council’s program director, to share his thoughts on the matter. Young’s office issued a statement that Andresen will not get his Eagle Scout because he “does not meet Scouting’s membership standard on sexual orientation.”

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2012
Under: Lamorinda | No Comments »

Civil suit filed against Merrick, Brill and Schrag

The girl who was sexually abused by former Stanley Middle School teacher Michael Merrick is suing Merrick, Lafayette School District Superintendent Fred Brill and Stanley Middle School Principal David Schrag. According to the lawsuit, the victim is asking for money for past and future medical expenses, a punitive award and general damages.

The lawsuit states that previous accusations by students about inappropriate behavior by Merrick were made to Schrag and Brill, but that they did not report these accusations as required by mandated reporting laws. Brill denies that he or anyone else in the district ever received any such accusations.

Merrick is currently serving a sentence of five years and eight months in state prison after pleading guilty to six felonies involving the sexual abuse of a female student. He pleaded guilty on those charges to avoid going to trial on 25 total charges.

Posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2012
Under: Crime, Lafayette, Schools | No Comments »

Man arrested in Lafayette for kidnapping worker

Lafayette Police arrested Tod Morton, 51, of Walnut Creek, Sunday after Morton allegedly handcuffed a man he had hired to work for him. Police came after the handcuffed man got away and ran to a neighbor’s home.

According to police, Morton picked up the man at a home improvement store in Concord by telling the man he was going to hire him for the day to do some work on a home in Lafayette. Once at the home, Morton told the man he was a police officer and handcuffed him.

Morton was booked on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, impersonating a police officer and carrying a firearm in his vehicle.

Lafayette Police are asking anyone with additional information to call 925-283-3680.

Posted on Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

Lafayette Reservoir Run

The 20th Annual Lafayette Reservoir Run will take place on Sunday, Oct. 28, featuring three different runs.

A 2 mile fun run/walk will start at 8:00 a.m. Dogs on leash and baby strollers are ok for this.

A 5K certified, timed run will start at 8:30 a.m. for serious runners only.

A 10K certified, timed run will start at 8:45 a.m. Those wishing to do this distance for fun and/or with dogs or baby strollers are also allowed to participate. The 10K is the only run that goes around the Lafayette Reservoir.

Elementary school registration fees are $22 in advance or $27 on the day of the race. Adult registration fees are $30 in advance or $35 on the day of the race.

For more information about the run or to register, visit

Posted on Monday, October 15th, 2012
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

High school football update

Campolindo won their game against Las Lomas Friday night despite heading into the fourth quarter trailing. The Cougars 24-21 victory over Las Lomas bumped their record to 6-1 (3-0 DFAL).  The Cougars play at Alhambra on Friday. A win for the Cougars would put them two games up in the standings with only two games remaining. If the Cougars lose to Alhambra, the two teams will be tied for first.

Acalanes looked strong in a 38-7 victory on the road against Dougherty Valley. The Dons are 5-2 (2-2 DFAL).  They host Dublin on Friday.

Miramonte had a bye week. They are currently 3-4 (1-2 DFAL). They host Dougherty Valley on Friday.

Posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2012
Under: Lamorinda, Sports | No Comments »

Figuring out Props 30 and 38

The Educational Foundation of Orinda is sponsoring an Education Funding Town Hall this Thursday, Oct. 18, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Orinda Library Auditorium.

The event will feature a history of state school funding and an overview of Propositions 30 and 38 that appear on November’s ballot. The event will finish up with a panel discussion featuring AUHSD Superintendent John Nickerson, OUSD Superintendent Dr. Joe Jaconette and several other local educational leaders.

Diane Dwyer, NBC Bay Area News anchor and OUSD parent, will be hosting the event.

The event is open to the public.

For more information about the event, visit the EFO’s website at

Posted on Saturday, October 13th, 2012
Under: Schools | 1 Comment »

Lafayette’s Haunted House

The Lafayette Youth Commission will be putting together their annual haunted house again this year. This year’s haunted house is called “Camp WannaScareYa.

The haunted house will take place at the Lafayette Community Center on Friday, Oct. 26, and Sunday, Oct. 28.

The “not too scary” version of the haunted house will be available from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for younger children. Admission to this version is $3 per person.

The “very scary” version of the haunted house will be available from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. each night. Admission to the “very scary” version is $5 per person.

For more information or if you have questions, call 925-248-2232.

Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012
Under: Lafayette | No Comments »

Gay Moraga teen kicked out of Boy Scouts speaks on Ellen

Ryan Andresen, 18, of Moraga, made an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” today to discuss his situation as a gay Boy Scout and his troop’s refusal to honor him as an Eagle Scout despite completing all required tasks. Andresen was subsequently kicked out of the Boy Scouts for being gay.

The fallout has grabbed national attention, including a petition on with over 400,000 signatures.

As part of his appearance on the show, Andresen was given a $20,000 scholarship.

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will be broadcast locally today at 4:00 p.m. on NBC Bay Area if you’d like to catch the interview with Andresen in its entirety.

Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2012
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

Moraga foundations seeking board members

The Hacienda Foundation of Moraga is currently seeking board members to join in their mission to preserve and enhance the Hacienda de las Flores. Potential board members with backgrounds in finance or construction are particularly being sought after. For more information about the board positions or to express interest, email

The Moraga Parks Foundation is also currently searching for new board members to join in their mission of enhancing the town’s parks and creating more opportunties for residents to enjoy the parks. For more information about the board positions or to express interest, email Foundation President, Bob Reynolds at

Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
Under: Moraga | No Comments »

College admissions event at Acalanes

Stanley Challenge Success and Lafayette School District Parent Education are sponsoring the event, “The Scoop on the College Admissions Process: Develop Healthy Habits Now for Future Success!” this Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7:00 p.m., at the Acalanes Performing Arts Center.

The event will feature Bob Patterson sharing his insight into the college admissions process and how families can start preparing early on for it. Patterson is a former Director of Admissions at Stanford, UC Berkeley and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

The event will also feature a panel discussion and a Q&A session.

Tickets are $10 per person or $15 per couple and can be purchased online at

Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
Under: Lamorinda, Schools | No Comments »