Help support the Spirit Van

As you may know, the Lamorinda Spirit Van Program provides rides for older Lamorinda residents, ages 60 and up, so they can attend to medical and personal appointments, shopping, errands, social events, enrichment activities and the "C.C. Café" nutrition program.

There are now three Spirit Vans, supported by 14 drivers. The program provides 60 hours of service each week to residents in need in Moraga, and the Lamorinda community as a whole.

This service is especially appreciated by folks in their 80s and 90s who no can longer drive and thus are somewhat housebound.

For the past several years the manager of the Spirit Van program, Mary Bruns, has attended the Moraga Town Council's budget meeting and requested $15,000 in funding. The Town of Moraga is able to commit only $9,000. At our May 28 Council meeting, I agreed to try to raise $3,000 from the Moraga community to help defray a small portion of the program's additional annual costs. This is a worthy cause, for which I ask your support.

Moraga is a great community in which to live, raise a family and age gracefully at home -- and Moragans have always answered the call when the cause is right. So please support this important community service.

If you would like to help the Spirit Van Program, please make your tax-deductible check out to the "City of Lafayette" and write: "Lamorinda Spirit/Moraga" on the memo line. Checks should be mailed to Lamorinda Spirit, Lafayette Senior Services, 500 St. Mary's Road, Lafayette, CA94549.

Dave Trotter

Moraga Town Council member

Moraga

Solar power numbers don't compute

The May 26 (Times) column by Tom Barnidge entitled "PG&E bills show Mt. Diablo district's wisdom" is highly misleading. It might be better stated as the school district's "lack of economic knowledge."

Barnidge indicates that the school district's electric bill has been reduced by $3,132,367 during the 2009-2010 school year and that the new solar system cost the district $68 million to install. A simple calculation assuming a simple interest of 6 percent on the $68 million bonds would show that the cost to the district would be $4,080,000 per year, indicating that the solar power system is actually costing the district nearly $1 million ($947,633) more than if it had purchased its power from PG&E! (They would have had to have paid only 4.6 percent on their bonds just to break even on their power costs.) Where is the cost savings that the district claims?

The column does not account for the cost of replacing the solar system after 25 years, the end of its guaranteed life, and it will definitely not pay for itself in the 23 years as stated.

The column also indicates that the school district is getting 92 percent of its power from its solar system. Using the cost quoted in the article, the solar system provides only 82 percent of the power. Someone needs to calculate the true costs of the power to the district before making such claims as stated by Mr. Barnidge.

James E. Gingrich

Lafayette