LAMORINDA

State budget town hall Monday with DeSaulnier

A state budget town hall meeting with state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier will be held Monday, March 10, at the Lafayette Community Center.

The discussion will center on improving state government budgeting, programs and tax systems. Residents are encouraged to share their ideas and concerns.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Manzanita Room, 500 St. Marys Road.

For information, call 925-942-6082 or visit http://senate.ca.gov/1565/march2014BudgetTH to RSVP.

Moraga

'Citizen of the Year' nominations being taken

Know anyone in Moraga who has made the community a better place to live, either for ongoing work in any number of arenas, or perhaps for a narrow but impactful accomplishment?

Nominate that person to be named 2014 Moraga Citizen of the Year. The chosen Citizen will be honored at a May 2 banquet reception at the Saint Mary's College Soda Center.

Potential honorees should have demonstrated a love of their community through service -- preferably volunteer service, but depending on one's job, it's possible for a nominee to have contributed largely through their profession. Sitting elected officials are not eligible.

This year's winner will succeed the 2013 honoree, Dick Olsen, a former Moraga-Orinda Fire District board trustee and involved with Moraga in numerous volunteer capacities over the years.

Nominations, with an explanation of why the nominee is worthy, can be sent by e-mail to srichards@bayareanewsgroup.com, or by letter to Sam Richards, Lamorinda Sun, 175 Lennon Lane Suite 100, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. Deadline for nominations is April 1.

Moraga's Citizen of the Year event is sponsored by the Lamorinda Sun, Saint Mary's College, the Moraga Chamber of Commerce, Lamorinda Weekly and Kiwanis of Moraga Valley.

Saint Mary's College Wo/men's Conference slated

Saint Mary's College will hold its annual Wo/men's Conference on March 8, at the Soda Center.

The theme of this year's event is "We Can Do It!" According to the college, the intent of the program is to bring women and men together to explore ways to "challenge injustice, racism and sexism."

Keynote speakers include Betty Reid-Soskin, a park ranger at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond; and Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant, and Cephus Johnson, founder of the Oscar Grant Foundation.

Three "breakout" sessions feature workshops on various topics such as human trafficking and modern-day slavery; health care and food activism. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are available online. Individual tickets that include meals are $25. Donation based tickets are also available.

For information, visit www.stmarys-ca.edu/womens-resource-center/events/womens-conference-2014.

Scholarship fundraiser dinner

Organizers of the Saint Mary's College Scholarship Fund are hosting a dinner with music, live entertainment and a silent auction March 9, at the college.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes an authentic Irish feast, a live performance by an Irish band and step dancers. The cost is $45 per person with proceeds benefiting scholarships for Saint Mary's College students.

For information, contact Billie Jones at 925-254-3645.

Lafayette

'Citizen' dinner coming up March 28

Toni McShane, the retiring Stanley Middle School vice principal, will be honored as the 2014 Lafayette Citizen of the Year at a March 28 dinner at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa.

No-host cocktails begin at 6 p.m., with the dinner itself to start at 7. Tickets are $59.50 per person; reservations are required, and are guaranteed. Register online at www.lafayettechamber.org or call 925-284-7404.

McShane succeeds Greg Moeller, the 2013 honoree known for his planting of daffodils around town, particularly in the Happy Valley/Upper Happy Valley area.

Housing element discussion March 10

City leaders will discuss March 10 updating the housing element, a required portion of Lafayette's general plan outlining how the city plans to accommodate -- but not build -- state-mandated housing for all income levels. The city is being required by the state to show it can zone for 400 very low- to above-moderate income dwelling units in the 2015-2023 housing cycle.

Among the topics to be considered by the council is whether to pursue a streamlined or standard update of the element, which is required to be adopted by Jan. 31, 2015.

Under a streamlined process, the city would focus only on sections of the document that have changed considerably since the last element was updated in 2011. In order to undergo the streamlined process, the city would need to adopt a density bonus ordinance that would give developers who offer a certain amount of affordable units in a development a higher density than allowed in zoning guidelines. Planning staff has suggested the city could reduce the current maximum residential density of 35 dwelling units per acre permitted downtown to allow developers to seek density bonuses that would not exceed the current maximum density.

Should the city fail to adopt the housing element by January deadline, it will have to revise the document every four years rather than every eight.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. inside the Lafayette Library & Learning Center community hall.

ORINDA

Police department sets up new e-mail for tips

The police department has a new e-mail address for anonymous and non-anonymous crime tips.

The department is accepting tips at orindatip@cityoforinda.org. Police are providing the service for nonemergency investigative information only, and say the line will not be used to generate radio calls or send police to reporting locations. Tipsters should report non-urgent illegal activity, vandalism, theft, suspicious vehicles and people or information about crimes being planned in the community or schools.

Photograph or video attachments will be accepted.

For more information, contact the police department at 925-254-6820.

-- Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards

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