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Garamendi, CD10 get ‘Better Known’

Congressman John Garamendi allowed himself to be the latest victimsubject of Stephen Colbert’s “435-part series,” Better Know a District on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” last night.

No mention of Lamorinda in the roughly-six minute segment, but Fairfield’s Jelly Belly factory, Livermore’s centennial lightbulb and Walnut Creek (you’ll just have to watch) get shout-outs.

And Colbert rips into Garamendi for not actually living in the 10th Congressional District (Garamendi says his Walnut Grove home is right on the border).

Check it out:

All I can say is, as a native Livermorian (Livermoron?), thanks for ruining our lightbulb, Stephen.

Despite the ribbing on his residence and an awkward marriage proposal from Cobert, Garamendi didn’t make a fool of himself, which is about the best you can hope for in an interview with Colbert.

Posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2011
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Meeting notes: Orinda City Council

Quick hits from last night’s long session at the Orinda Library…

Martin Engelmann of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority gave the council a presentation on the Plan Bay Area “Initial Vision Scenario.” As in Lafayette last month, staff, council members and some residents were not happy with the amount of new housing units proposed for Orinda: 1,920. Engelmann said he does not believe the IVS is feasible — it admittedly does not take local constraints into account, only capacity. The folks behind the One Bay Area plan, the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, are working on developing five “detailed scenarios” that officials believe will represent a more realistic allocation of population growth over the next 25 years.

Councilwoman Amy Worth gave a final report on the year of discussions with Moraga and the Moraga-Orinda Fire District about the district’s funding. Folks from FAIR were there to encourage the council to form a citizen’s task force to continue looking into their claim that Orindans subsidize Moragans fire service. The council declines, with Worth the only member in favor of a task force.

Continued discussions on the budget. Here’s my story from earlier this week. Staff said the deficit in the second year of the two-year budget dropped by $89,000 after union representative Peter Finn found an accounting error during negotiations earlier that day. Finn told the council the error causes him to question the rest of the numbers in the budget and asks if an outside party can audit the budget. City employees repeated their position that they are willing to make concessions to help the city budget but only if there are no layoffs. That could become a sticking point in negotiations, as the city budget includes eliminating a planning staffer.

Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
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Joe Campana, 1920-2011

The Lafayette music community, and the community in general, lost Joe Campana Sunday. The owner and operator of Campana Music Co. since 1946 was 90 years old, and had worked a full day at his store Sunday. A celebration of his life will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Petar’s Restaurant in Lafayette ….

Posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
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Orinda fil fest takes it to ‘The bank’, through Thursday ….

film fest goes
to ‘The Bank’
“The Bank,” an Australian thriller about greed and avarice in the banking industry, is the May offering in the ongoing Orinda International Film Show, with showings scheduled May 20-26 at the Orinda Theatre.
Centabank CEO Simon O’Reilly (Anthony LaPaglia) plies his trade in a world rife with avarice and corruption. Jim Doyle (David Wenham), a maverick mathematician who has devised a formula to predict the fluctuations of the stock market, joins O’Reilly’s fold. He must prove his loyalty to the “greed is good” ethos — which way will he go, and what does he have to hide?
Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 1:30, 4:15, 7 and 9 p.m.; and Sundays and Mondays at 1:30, 4:15 and 7 p.m.

Posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2011
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Campolindo brings home more NCS titles

The Campolindo boys volleyball team were successful in avenging last year’s NCS final loss to Drake, by beating Drake Saturday in the NCS Division 2 final. The Cougars took care of the final quickly, winning 25-20, 25-12, 25-20.

The Campolindo boys swimming team did something Saturday it’s used to doing… winning the NCS title. The boys scored 243.5 points, giving them a fairly easy win with second place Granada scoring 205. Acalanes finished in fifth with 173 points, and Miramonte scored 170 points for sixth place.

In the girls NCS swimming championships, Campolindo finished third, Miramonte finished seventh, and Acalanes finished in 11th place.

Posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
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Jason Dunbar, RIP

Many media sources reported the deaths of two men recently in separate incidents in Yosemite National Park. One of those men, Jason Dunbar, grew up in Lafayette, and attended Acalanes High School. (He also attended my alma mater, the University of Montana, for a time). The May 27 Sun will have a short story obit about Dunbar; or read it now at

Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2011
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The Whole Foods conundrum

Usually, when a shiny new grocery store opens up in a community, it’s pretty much a win all around. But this isn’t exactly the case in Lafayette, where a new — and long-awaited — Whole Foods store opened Wednesday. Some locals say the parking situation there is far from ideal, and others fear WF will har existing local businesses like Diablo Foods and Open Sesame, both of which have devoted local followings. It may not be quite like the Wal Mart vs. Main Street battle of the past 20 years, but do you think all can co-exist for the long term?

Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2011
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A “Too Perfect” celebration of a premiere

The cast and crew of the new film “Too Perfect,” including writer-director Julie Rubio, glitzed it up April 29 for a real red-carpet premiere at the Orinda Theatre. It was cool to see this sort of celebration of our local arts, a fun event for all concerned. Read about it in Friday’s Sun, or go to the story through this link:

The movie “Too Perfect” will be shown again Friday night, at the Miramonte High School theater at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.

By the way, our theater columnist Sally Hoagrty has a part in the film ….

Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
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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
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Presidential debate team visits SMC

My colleague Lisa Vorgerbrueggn reports that presidential debate organizers have made two trips to Saint Mary’s College, which is hoping to host a debate in 2012.

You can read the details on her blog.

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2011
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