November election shapes up
Lamorinda voters will see several contested races at the polls this November. Last-minute filings for seats on the Moraga and Orinda city councils have jazzed up those races and five candidates, including current Vice Mayor Mike Anderson, are running for three seats on the Lafayette city council. Here's a list of candidates as of Aug. 15.
Canyon celebrates 90 years of postal service
A 90th anniversary celebration of postal service in Canyon featuring speakers, live music, a bake sale, face-painting and more will be held Saturday.
The event will also include a letter-writing campaign in which residents and others can express their thoughts on a United States Postal Service plan to reduce hours at the Canyon branch. The proposal is part of the POSTplan, in which the postal service hopes to cut services at 13,000 rural post offices in order to avoid their closure.
The festivities begin at 10 a.m. at 99 Pinehurst Road.
Council mulls fire district parcel tax
City leaders did not take a position this week on a $75 per parcel tax measure proposed by the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District despite a plea from firefighter and union President Vince Wells that they endorse the measure.
Wells asked officials to unanimously support the tax, whose failure, he said, would result in station closures and a loss in fire protection. He also outlined steps firefighters have taken to address the district's fiscal woes including pay cuts and changes to retirement benefits. But officials remained concerned that the district has not yet developed a sustainable plan to address their financial problems.
Leaders earlier had heard from county supervisor Candace Andersen who said she did not support the parcel tax.
They tabled the issue until September.
Art and Wine Festival downtown Sept. 15-16
The 17th Annual Lafayette Art & Wine Festival, featuring art, wine, beer, music and shopping, happens Saturday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in downtown Lafayette.
With more than 275 arts and crafts booths, the fair offers a unique variety of gifts and display pieces created by local and regional artists -- ceramics, photography, prints, paintings, blown glass, sculpture, jewelry and more. The "Local Artists Alley" features Lamorinda artists that are members of the Lafayette Gallery and the Lamorinda Arts Alliance. The Gallery and Art Room (next to the Art Stage) will be open throughout both days of the festival.
Equally important to the festival is the wine, which as in years past, will be focused on the Premium Wine Pavilion, with high-end selections. Wine Thieves and the Wine Chest will provide an assortment of wines that most connissuers rarely get a chance to taste.
New this year will be "Craft Beer Land" and "Food Truck Land."
The festival will host bands playing a continuous mix of jazz, blues, zydeco, bluegrass and rock on three stages -- the Bank of the West stage (3583 Mt. Diablo Blvd.), the Art Stage, sponsored by Diablo Foods (50 Lafayette Circle — in front of Chow restaurant) and the Premium Wine Stage, near the Hen House and the Round Up Saloon. And there will be a kids stage in La Fiesta Square near Cold Stone Creamery. And "KidZone," sponsored by Chevron, will feature party jumps, games, arts, crafts and entertainment. Lamorinda youth bands will play at the end of each day on the KidZone stage sponsored by Red House Studios.
Festival admission is free, but to drink the beer or wine that is poured "on the street" or in the Premium Wine Pavilion, a festival glass and drink tickets must be purchased. Free parking will be available at the Lafayette BART station, and there will be a free shuttle to and from the BART parking lots. There also will be free valet bicycle parking at 81 Lafayette Circle, just behind the Art Stage.
Lively Friday nights at Plaza Park
The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the city of Lafayette are working again to make Lafayette Plaza downtown a hotspot for Friday night fun.
This year's "Rock the Plaza" nights will feature Mixed Nuts today; and Night Fever on Aug. 24. The shows begin at 6 p.m. at the plaza.
Pear and Wine Festival set for Sept. 29
The 14th annual Moraga Pear and Wine Festival is returning to the Moraga Commons at the corner of Moraga Road and St. Marys Road, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 29.
It's a celebration of old and new -- of the Moraga area's 100-year history of pear orchards, and of the region's burgeoning wine industry. The Lamorinda Wine Growers Association has six member wineries, and that local industry is growing.
The orchards are no longer a commercial force, but there are enough trees remaining to yield an average of 8,000 pounds of pears each year, harvested by volunteers and donated to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, based in Concord.
The family-friendly festival will feature food (including the signature Pear Pies), wine, beer, live music, artist vendors, informational booths and kids jump-houses.
Festival admission is free. For information, go to http://www.moraga.ca.us/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=60863
Town council taking a break in August
Town officials are taking a break this month and canceled the town council meeting scheduled for Aug. 8, as well as the planned Aug. 22 meeting.
They will resume meeting Sept. 12.
-- Compiled by Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards
Volunteers sought for board spots
The town is seeking volunteers to serve on the Contra Costa County Advisory Council on Aging and the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee.
One volunteer is needed for each.
For information, visit www.moraga.ca.us.