Officials approve land exchange
The city is a step closer to creating more parking on the western portion of Mt. Diablo Boulevard following approval of a land swap with the East Bay Municipal Utilities District.
Officials ok'ed Jan. 14 an exchange with the district that will give the city EBMUD-owned land adjacent to the Ace Hardware store where the Diablo Vista Pumping Plant is located. The plant will be demolished and in its place, the city will build a public parking lot that will serve customers of the hardware store, the Lafayette Park Hotel and other businesses in the city's east end.
The utilities district will receive a vacant-city owned lot on Mt. Diablo Boulevard and will build a new pumping plant adjacent to the Lafayette cemetery. Officials estimate the work will be completed by 2015.
'Terraces of Lafayette' review continues Feb. 4
Planning commissioners will resume a hearing Feb. 4 on the possible impacts of constructing a 315-unit apartment complex on Deer Hill Road.
Officials took public comment Jan. 7 on an environmental review of a plan to build the Terraces of Lafayette on 22 acres formerly known as "the Christmas tree lot." Environmental consultants also made a brief presentation on the report.
Commissioners questioned staff and asked for more information about some issued raised before deciding to continue their discussion next month.
Attorneys for property owner Anna Maria Dettmer are critical of the review and the city's claim that a portion of the land is in a protected ridgeline zone where no development can take place within 400 feet of the ridgeline without an exception. They also believe the city is trying to rezone the project to reduce the size.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center community hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Boulevard.
Orinda Senior Apartments groundbreaking
The Orinda Senior Apartments project, which will provide 67 affordable rental apartments for seniors, will have its formal groundbreaking at noon today at the site, 2 Irwin Way.
Following the formal ceremony there will be a lunch at the nearby Orinda Community Center.
These apartments will be affordable to senior households earning at or below 30 to 50 percent of the Contra Costa County Area Median Income. Residents will pay 30 percent of their household income for rent. It is expected to open in mid-2014.
For more information contact www.edenhousing.org
College field lights appeal likely next month
The Town Council will likely hear an appeal in February by Saint Mary's College of a Planning Commission Oct. 1 directive to turn off its intramural field lights at 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.
Neighbors had expressed concerns with the lights and noise at the later hour.
Saint Mary's officials had asked the town officials for a delay in considering the appeal to allow college representatives to meet with campus neighbors. SMC to meet with neighbors. Commissioners had said they would consider reinstating the 10 p.m. lights-off time if the college could reach an acceptable agreement with nearby neighbors.
'Buy-a-Bulb' continues to glow
Yes, Christmas is over, but the local "Buy-a-Bulb" fundraiser to light the Holiday Tree at the Commons Park is ongoing, and contributions in any amount are accepted.
The town's goal is to raise $5,000 through community donations.
Checks can be sent to the Town of Moraga, Attn: Buy-a-Bulb, 2100 Donald Drive, Moraga, CA 94556.
Paint collection sites established
Several paint collection sites have been set up as part of the California Paint Stewardship Program, which requires paint manufacturers to develop a system to retrieve leftover paint from household and commercial consumers.
The program will be funded by a "recovery fee" attached to the purchase price of paint sold in California. That money will go to PaintCare, a nonprofit organization created to administer the state paint disposal and recycling programs. These fees go up to $1.60 per one- to -five-gallon container of paint.
Some collection sites include Kelly Moore, 2700 N Main St. in Walnut Creek; Glidden Professional, 2260 Commerce Ave. in Concord; Kelly Moore, 5600 Imhoff Drive in Concord; Sherwin-Williams, 1241 Diamond Way in Concord; Dunn-Edwards, 555 Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill; and Kelly Moore, 1725 Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill.
For more information about the California Paint Stewardship Program visit www.paintcare.org
East Bay Women's Conference is March 4
The 2013 East Bay Women's Conference, with keynote speaker Marlo Thomas and featured speaker Lisa Kristine, takes place March 4, at the San Ramon Marriott.
Both women have had significant impact on the lives of women around the world and continue to act and speak out for positive change.
Thomas is an actress and a social activist, and is national outreach director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Kristine is a photographer who has traveled the world for 25 years to tell human stories, including some tragedies.
ABC 7 news anchor Dan Ashley will emcee the conference that blends keynote and featured speaker presentations; breakout sessions focused on contemporary issues; exhibitor booths; a fully stocked bookstore and author signings.
The conference is presented by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce and Chevron Corporation. The $195 ticket price includes continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon reception.
Tickets for the conference, which has sold out its previous seven years, are now on sale to the general public. Go to http://www.walnut-creek.com and click on the Women's Conference photo on the face page.
'Peaceful Schools' conference Feb. 2
The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek will hold its second annual Creating a Peaceful School Conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Seven Hills School, 975 N. San Carlos Drive in Walnut Creek.
The conference is designed for anyone who works with young people in grades K-12, including parents, teachers, administrators, classroom aides, school personnel and after-school program providers.
The aim is to help participants develop the skills they need to make the classroom, the school and the community a more peaceful place.
The keynote speaker is Ron Claassen, a professor of peacemaking and conflict studies at Fresno Pacific University and director of the Restorative Discipline Project. The focus of the conference will be the use of restorative justice in the classroom setting.
Workshops and classes will cover a variety of topics.
Registration is $35 through Jan. 7, and $40 thereafter. A catered lunch is included. Continuing education credit will be available through Saint Mary's College for a small additional fee.
Full descriptions of presenters and topics and related information will soon be available online. For more information or to register, go to www.mtdpc.org; call 925-933-7850, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards