Tatzin new Lafayette mayor; Andersson VM
Lafayette leaders elected this week a new mayor to replace outgoing mayor Mike Anderson, who completed his one-year term this month.
The council unanimously voted to promote Vice Mayor Don Tatzin to mayor. City leaders also elected Councilman Brandt Andersson to serve as vice mayor. Andersson first served on the council in 2002 and was elected to a full term in 2006.
Tatzin is beginning his 29th year on the council, and this is his sixth turn serving as Lafayette's mayor.
After the council reorganization, the new mayor briefly outlined his goals for the coming year which include creatively addressing downtown traffic problems; looking at an alternate plan for the highly-criticized Terraces of Lafayette development (made public this week) and continuing to focus on the delivery of fire services in Lafayette. The new mayor also called for a celebration next year to mark the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, and an event geared toward the city's pet population.
City leaders also praised departing mayor Anderson for his leadership during a sinkhole emergency, downtown median improvements and other challenges. "We can always hope the right person appears at the right time and in the case of Lafayette this year, that happened when Mike was mayor," Tatzin said.
American Legion crab feed Dec. 15
A crab feed for area members of American Legion Post 517 in Lafayette will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, with a social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6.
The feed will take place at the Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette.
The cost is $40 per person. Checks can be sent to American Legion Post 517, Box 324, Lafayette, CA 94549. For more questions, call Dom Sidari at 925-376-1511.
City still seeks projects for vacant sites
The city has received a handful of project proposals for two vacant parcels near downtown that include the relocation of city offices and school district expansion. However, staffers are still accepting proposals for the buildings reuse.
City leaders are accepting ideas for the reuse of the former library building and a doctor's office at 949 Moraga Road. The city council recently decided to form a task force to study ideas for the "highest, best and most fiscally responsible" uses for the sites. Task force members are expected to be appointed this month and will begin analyzing proposals in January with recommendations to the council targeted for April or May, according to City Manager Steve Falk.
An application form is available on the city's website at www.lovelafayette.org under "Hot Topics." Proposals should be submitted to the city manager by Jan. 1.
Youth writing and photography contest
The Lafayette Youth Arts Society is accepting entries for their youth writing and photography contest through their website www.lafayetteyouthartssociety.com. Entries may also be dropped off at the Lafayette Library or Barnes and Noble in Walnut Creek.
There is a 1,000-word limit for written entries. Photos may be any size but should be submitted in a digital format. Additional information and entry details will is posted on the group's website. There are no entry fees. The contest deadline is Jan. 15.
Judges include author Daniel Handler, also known as "Lemony Snicket," and landscape photographer Gary Crabbe. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Town elects new mayor; vice mayor
Moraga town council members this week elected vice mayor Ken Chew as the new mayor to succeed departing Mayor Dave Trotter. They also elected first-term councilman Roger Wykle vice mayor.
Chew was elected to the council in 2006 and is serving his second term. He previously served as mayor in 2010.
Wykle's term expires in 2016. He previously served on the town's planning commission.
Volunteers sought for town boards, committees and commissions
The town is seeking volunteers for a number of boards, committees and commissions. Openings will soon be available on the town's audit and finance committee, design review board, park and recreation commission, planning commission and traffic safety advisory committee.
Applications, letters of interest and resumes must be submitted to the town clerk's office before 4 p.m. Jan. 10. The office is located at 329 Rheem Blvd.
Additional details are on the town's website at www.moraga.ca.us.
Town food drive now underway
The town is hoping to collect 500 pounds of food by Dec. 18 to feed the hungry during a food drive in support of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.
Donations of canned foods, peanut butter and jelly in plastic containers, powdered milk, cereal, 100 percent fruit juice in plastic containers and enriched rice or pasta may be placed in two collection barrels in the lobby of the town offices at 329 Rheem Boulevard.
Online donations are also being accepted at www.foodbankccs.org/moragafooddrive.
Police collecting 'emergency' stuffed animals
New and gently used stuffed animals are being collected by the Moraga Police Officers Association as part of a the Stuffed Animals for Emergencies toy drive.
Stuffed animals may be dropped off in collection bins located in the lobby of the Moraga Police Department, 329 Rheem Boulevard. The donations will be distributed by the S.A.F.E. organization to police, fire and selected military agencies to benefit children coping with fire, natural disaster, trauma or loss of a loved one.
The drive runs through Jan. 2.
Multiagency city food drive
The city of Orinda, the Orinda Union School District and Republic Waste Services have teamed up to host a food drive benefiting the Contra Costa Food Bank.
Residents may donate nonperishable canned goods and packaged foods along with fruits and vegetables, rise, pasta, peanut butter and other "shelf stable" items. Republic Services will donate a matching amount of food. Donated items can be placed in collection bins at city hall and the community center until Dec. 20. Items may also be dropped off at Del Rey, Sleepy Hollow and Wagner Ranch Elementary schools until Dec. 19 and Glorietta Elementary from Feb. 3-14.
For information, call food drive coordinator Aimee Stevens at 925-570-5654.
City seeking commissioners, other volunteers
The city is seeking volunteers to serve on a variety of commissions and committees.
Residents are needed to fill vacancies on the art in public places committee, the planning commission, parks and recreation commission, citizens' infrastructure oversight commission, traffic safety advisory committee, finance advisory committee, public works aesthetic review committee and historic landmark committee.
City liaisons are also being sought for the Contra Costa County Advisory Council on Aging and the County Connection Citizens Advisory Committee. A trustee for the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District and a Contra Costa County Library Commission representative is also being sought. Statements of interest forms should be submitted to the city clerk's office by 5 p.m. Jan. 3. The city council will hold interviews Jan. 11.
Helen Diller award nominations open
The Helen Diller Family Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2014 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, a $36,000 award that recognizes up to 10 Jewish teens who are spearheading volunteer service projects in their communities and beyond.
Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller--the quiet force behind the awards--started the prestigious awards program in 2007 to support California Jewish teens, and just last year expanded the program nationally. To date, the program has recognized 40 Jewish teens across the country with nearly $1.5 million dollars to support their education and philanthropic visions.
Talia Young, 18, of Lafayette was one of the 10 2013 winners. Teens may be nominated by any community member who knows the value of their project -- except a family member -- or teens can also nominate themselves. Complete a nomination form at www.dillerteenawards.org
For more information, email email@example.com or call 415-512-6432.
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.
The next workshop will take place on Jan. 25 and will focus on mammals.
The workshop 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