Lafayette

Mt. Diablo Boulevard project preliminary review

The City Council, and planning and design commissioners are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss a proposed residential development on three parcels along Mt. Diablo Boulevard in the city's west end.

The city council will hold a preliminary project review session with representatives from Lennar Homes, who have proposed developing the parcels at 3666, 3672 and 3682 Mt. Diablo Boulevard.

The developers are hoping to build 47 homes including a live/work "component" they say will add a commercial element to the project. Lennar is proposing a density of 23.5 homes per acre on the 2 acre site.

The developers have not submitted any permits or design plans, according to city planning staff.

The meeting will be held at the Lafayette library auditorium.

Art and Wine Festival this weekend

The 18th annual Lafayette Art & Wine Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday in downtown Lafayette, with art, wine and four stages with live music from 20 bands.

In addition to the artists and wine crofters, there will be great food and the largest selection of wine, beer and ale of any Bay Area festival, organizers say.

This family- and dog-friendly regional event attracts more than 100,000 people over the weekend.


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Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, and 10. m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22. Admission is free, and free parking is available at the Lafayette BART station, with free shuttle service from that parking lot. There also will be free secure valet bike parking.

ORINDA

City moves ahead with master storm drain study

City leaders approved this week a $249,180 engineering services contract for a master study of the city's storm drains.

The move allows the Santa Clara-based civil engineering firm Schaaf & Wheeler to conduct a survey of the city's aging storm drain system. The city conducted a study in 1994 that identified existing drains; the plan is to go back and verify those findings and locate those most vulnerable to failure.

Public works staff said they plan to program a resulting list of compromised storm drains into the city's capital improvements budget.

School facilities task force looks for input

An Orinda School District Facilities Task Force will meet regularly from September through November. to gather

public input on updates to the district's updated Master Facility Plan. on issues related to the improvement of district facilities.

This plan contains recommendations for the use of funds from the recent sale of the Pine Grove property. It is anticipated that the task force shall present its recommendations to the school board this November.

The task force is made up of five parents -- Kirsten Odmark (Del Rey), Bruce Saldinger (Glorietta), Paul Dolan (Sleepy Hollow), Primo Orpilla (Wagner Ranch) and John Eddy (Orinda Intermediate School); and two school board members; Tyson Krumholz and Matt Moran.

These meetings will be scheduled in the evenings at the district office, 25 Orinda Way-Suite 200, plus one meeting per school site: Sept. 25 (Sleepy Hollow), Oct. 1 (Orinda Intermediate), Oct, 3 (Del Rey), Oct. 17 (Glorietta) and Oct. 24 (Wagner Ranch), All meetings -- at the school district office and at each school -- begin at 7 p.m.

For questions, contact the Superintendent's Office at 925-258-6201.

MORAGA

Moraga Night Out this Sunday

The town's annual emergency preparedness night will be held Sunday in various neighborhoods. Organized by the Moraga Citizen Corps Council, the Moraga Night Out event is designed to encourage residents to become more involved in emergency preparedness.

Local officials and public safety responders will also be participating.

For information, visit www.moraga.ca.us.

Discussion set on hillside, ridgeline protections

Town leaders are set to discuss rules governing open space and ridgeline preservation Wednesday in Moraga.

Officials plan to look at existing regulations and policies and will give direction to town staff about protecting hillsides and ridgelines, which the town council included in its annual list of goals.

Planning leaders last examined the issue at a meeting in August where they discussed whether the town has as many protective regulations as perceived. At that meeting, planning director Shawna Brekke-Read said some general plan "action programs" have not been implemented such as the creation of a "hillside overlay district" to regulate development on certain hillside sites. Other areas of consideration include slope calculations, grading at hillside construction sites and development permitting near existing slopes.

Officials are also planning to discuss a joint storm drain repair project with the city of Lafayette, among other issues.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School auditorium, 1010 Camino Pablo.

Pear & Wine Festival Sept. 28

The Pear & Wine Festival will be held Saturday at the Moraga Commons Park.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park, 1425 St. Marys Road.

This year's event includes a pear recipe contest and a poster contest. All recipes will be judged at noon at the festival in the following categories: dessert, appetizer and other. Winners will be announced at the bandshell at 1 p.m.

Local artists and Moraga residents who wish to enter the poster contest should submit artwork reflecting the spirit of the festival and the town's pear heritage by 5 p.m. Sept. 25. All entries must be 11-by-17 portrait-style and dropped off at the Moraga Parks & Recreation office at 2100 Donald Drive. Artists may use any medium, but paint, pastels and computer-generated art are recommended. The winner will be notified by Nov. 15, and the artwork used for next year's festival.

Pest control workshop, demonstrations Oct. 1

Parents for a Safer Environment and the Town of Moraga will present a series of the most practical, cost-effective and least toxic pest control alternative demonstrations Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Hacienda de las Flores in Moraga.

There will be hands-on demonstrations by experts in their fields who will show long-term and economical methods for controlling gophers, moles and weeds on landscapes, and rats, mice, ants, fleas and termites in structures while using the least toxic methods possible.

These demonstrations are recommended for the staffs of schools, child care facilities, towns and cities, businesses, country clubs/golf courses, growers, churches and homeowners and renters. This represents eight continuing-education units approved by state Department of Pesticide Regulation for pesticide applicators and advisers.

The cost is $10 for each of the six, 1-hour demos or $50 for the entire day, with half off for additional registrants from public agencies, nonprofits, or businesses with six or fewer staff. Organic, gourmet lunch available with pre-orders. Preregistration deadline is Sept. 23; go online to www.pfse.net. Walk-ins are OK, space permitting.

Livable Moraga Road workshops

A series of workshops to discuss proposed improvements to Moraga Road between Campolindo High School and St. Mary's Road will kick off Oct. 3 at the Hacienda de las Flores with a welcome meeting and open house.

The event will offer residents the opportunity to learn about the project and ways to get involved, according to a town newsletter. The town plans to address traffic flow, safety and connectivity in the project, as well as the design and character of the roadway as a "key gateway."

A walking tour of the project area will be held Oct. 5.

For information, visit www.moraga.ca.us/liveablemoragaroad.

Saint Mary's College Guild Italian Night

The Saint Mary's College Guild will hold an Italian night fundraiser Oct. 12 to raise money for financial aid scholarships.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. at the college's Soda Center and will feature accordion music by Gene Falcone. The cost is $35 per person. Checks should be made payable to the St. Mary's College Guild.

Contact Pat Wiegmann at 925-376-6088.

Contra Costa

Restaurant Walk benefits girls' science education

More than 25 Walnut Creek restaurants will be providing delicious samples from their menus as part of the Walnut Creek Restaurant Walk, from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 1, sponsored by the American Association of University of Women.

This is essentially a progressive dinner party in downtown Walnut Creek, with ticket sales revenue to benefit the Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Tech Trek fund, which supports sending young women to science/math university summer camps designed to develop interest, excitement and self-confidence in young women who enter eighth grade in the fall. The camps feature hands-on activities in math, science and related fields.

Send checks, at $30 per person, to Gail Chesler at 2914 Fyne Dr., Walnut Creek, CA 94598. Checks should be made out to AAUW OML Community Outreach Fund, Inc.

Get 'up close' at Lindsay Wildlife Museum

Lindsay Wildlife Museum introduces "Saturday Keeper Workshops" that let young animal lovers meet the museum's professional animal keepers, and learn how they do their jobs caring for the museum's resident animal ambassadors.

This two-hour workshop explores the world of the museum's animals and their human caretakers close-up. Young naturalists, ages 6-15, learn how animal keepers care for animals, clean enclosures, prepare diets, encourage exercise and activity and train cooperative behaviors. Workshops begin at 9 a.m. before the museum opens to the public.

The first workshop will be held 9 a.m. Sept. 28 and will focus on raptors. The second workshop will take place on Jan. 25 and will focus on mammals.

Both workshops will take place at the museum, 1931 First Ave., in Walnut Creek. The cost is $35 for members and $45 for nonmembers. For more information call 925-627-2913 or go to wildlife-museum.org.

-- Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards