City makes temporary fix to storm damage
It may not have been as large a hole as the one that took out Mountain View Drive in Lafayette, but Tarabrook Drive in Orinda had its own major storm-related damage earlier this month.
A temporary fix to a damaged storm drain that caused a 15-by-20 foot sinkhole to form near Tarabrook Drive has been approved by city leaders who also have declared a local emergency.
Officials authorized Dec. 7 to appropriate $45,000 from the city's urgent road repair fund to pump stormwater after the drain failure earlier this month. City Manager Janet Keeter said the temporary fix is in place and a permanent repair will need to be engineered, designed and built.
"Our goal is to have the final project completed by fall 2013," Keeter wrote in an e-mail.
Officials don't yet know how much the permanent fix will cost but estimate it could run between $500,000 to $700,000.
Keeter said funds won't be appropriated until the council approves repair plans or awards a construction bid. The city is hoping it will be eligible for emergency funds through the California Emergency Management Agency or the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"Needless to say, this is an unanticipated, unbudgeted expense that will impact our bottom line," Keeter said.
Saint Mary's College's 'Jan Term' speaker
The theme of the 2013 January Term Speaker Series at Saint Mary's College is "Inspired,"and the featured guest speakers for the "Jan Term" lecture series explore black catholic gospel traditions, indie culture and the catholic church, modern day slavery and leadership to change the world.
Speakers include Jason Connell, who heads up Ignited Leadership, a dynamic Washington, D.C.-based human service organization dedicated to building a better world, one leader at a time,; Father Edward Branch, the Catholic chaplain for the Atlanta University Center; Kaya Oakes, the celebrated author of "Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture," with observations on popular culture and on how a lapsed Catholic rediscovers her faith; and humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine, author of "Slavery," who will share her stories about traveling the world for two years while documenting human trafficking and the horror of modern-day slavery.
The speaker series is an annual staple of Saint Mary's intense monthlong "Jan Term," when students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, explore new intellectual territory and take classes that often embody the Lasallian tradition of social action.
All lectures are free and open to the public and, unless otherwise noted, will be in the Soda Activity Center at Saint Mary's College, 1928 St. Marys Road, Moraga.
Town seeks volunteers
The town is seeking volunteers for a number of committees. commissions and boards.
There are openings on the following committees: ADA Advisory Committee; Audit and Finance Committee; Design Review Board; Park and Recreation Commission; Planning Commission and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee.
Applicants for the planning and park and recreation commissions and design review board must be qualified electors in the town. All other positions require town residency.
This year's 'Cycle Recycle' extended until Dec. 16
The "Cycle Recycle," now in its 15th year, is again collecting old, unused and outgrown bicycles to be repaired, refurbished and donated to groups which then give them to underprivileged kids.
The program is run by Tom and Bobbie Preston of Moraga, who each November collect gently used bicycles and tricycles to benefit Bay Area charitable groups.
This year, the collected bikes and trikes will go to Trips for Kids/The Recyclery in Marin County, and to the Marsh Creek Detention Facility near Clayton. The Recyclery repairs and refurbishes bike and trikes to sell at deep discount, to support their Trips for Kids and Safe Routes programs. The organization provides free bicycling trips for underprivileged kids.
The inmates at the low-security Marsh Creek Detention Facility for minor offenders repair and refurbish bikes, providing like-new models for the Sheriff's Department to distribute to charitable groups in the area to give to underprivileged kids.
Gently used repairable bikes and tricycles or usable bike parts will be accepted. They can be dropped off at the Prestons' home at 1307 Larch Ave. in Moraga. No scooters, skateboards or plastic bikes. Such drop-offs don't have to be arranged in advance, but for more information, call the Prestons at 925-376-8474.
Los Arabis Drive fire station set for closure
Contra Costa County supervisors voted Tuesday to shutter four fire stations, including Station No. 16 on Los Arabis Drive in Lafayette, in an attempt to keep the county's financially struggling Contra Costa Fire Protection District afloat.
All four targeted stations would close by Dec. 15; Lafayette would be left with two stations.
Contra Costa Fire Chief Daryl Louder explained that the stations selected for closure were picked taking into account response times, mutual aid availability and what would help the district's entire system maintain service. He added that ConFire would need to close an additional one or two stations by next fiscal year if no new revenue is found.
Lafayette's Station 16 has been closed anyway, after infestations of mold and rodents were discovered. The closure was to have been temporary.
The other stations to close are in Martinez, Walnut Creek and Clayton.
'Terraces of Lafayette' environmental review finalized
The final environmental impact report for the proposed Terraces of Lafayette development is available for public review and will be discussed at a meeting Jan. 7.
Developers have proposed a 315-unit apartment complex on a 22-acre lot on Deer Hill Road. Planning commissioners will be deciding with whether the project's environmental review meets the requirements of California's environmental quality law.
Commissioners will not be reviewing the project's merits. The city released a draft report in May.
-- Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards