Published May 12th, 2010
Letter to the Editor

I have lived in Lafayette for fifty years and this is the paper that has the local news I like to read. The first two pages on the inside are all about Lafayette and are the pages I read first, but the fun pages are the Police Reports from all three towns. Keep up the good work!

Alpha Quincy


I wish to echo Shirley Gregory's letter of Wed. April 28,2010. For years I have been annoyed by the juvenile attempts at humor that have been the norm in your publication of local police reports. I can find no purpose in trivializing the police reports by attempting to inject humor into someone's misfortune. It is also a disservice to our law enforcement personnel. Hopefully, many others will also advise you of this ill advised practice.

Gerald Stroffolino


The words "offensive and unprofessional" to describe your paper's police reports have never crossed my mind. My husband and I find them delightful and hilarious--lighten up!

Charlie Gruebele


We want to thank everyone in the community for supporting our children and teachers in the Acalanes Union High School District . As Yes voters you proved once again that you value the high quality education that our children receive at Acalanes, Campolindo, Las Lomas and Miramonte High Schools. Thanks to you , teacher and support positions were saved and our high school students can continue to take the classes and courses that enrich their lives, allow them to be competitive college applicants and keep AUHSD the #1 school district in the state. We especially want to acknowledge the AUHSD Governing Board and Superintendent, our principals and teachers at the four high schools, our community and civic leaders, our wonderful campaign team and the many enthusiastic volunteers who worked their hearts out. Last but not least, a huge thanks to our amazing students who were with us every step of the way.

Joni Avery & Susie Epstein
(YES on Measure A co-chairs)


High Rises in the village of Orinda?
The new Proposed Plan under consideration by the Orinda Planning Commission, calls for raising the maximum commercial building height above its current 35' limit, in certain areas of the village of Orinda. The new proposal calls for a height of 55' plus the added height of recommended sloped roofs. This is a height which allows for high rise buildings to be constructed. I find such radical change to Orinda as unwelcome. Maybe you do, also.
There is an alternative, though special-interest insiders have chosen to dismiss it. For more than seven decades, the residential and commercial districts of Orinda have co-existed in relative harmony. The commercial district has evolved incrementally to serve the day-to-day needs of the residents. That has promoted mutual trust between the commercial and residential sectors, especially where they adjoin each other.
Accordingly, I submit that an incremental program of modernization, that is consistent with the form, fit and function of existing structures and compliant with the existing 35 foot height limit, is the best path for so-called "commercial district re-vitalization". Examples of such a form, fit and function-compliant approach are the Wells Fargo building (and parking) on the corner of Moraga Way and Camino Pablo, and the enlightened Orinda Park Pool design.
Beware of special development interests who seek to capitalize on the last virgin BART station, with high density structures in our commercial canyon, under the guise of commercial revitalization and the red herring of high rise, village residential living. I won't like the loss of my view. I won't like the lack of a traffic solution. I won't like the lack of a parking solution. I won't like what this could do to the value of our home and our quality of daily life. Maybe you share a similar viewpoint.
Don't let this fast-tracked change sneak in the back door. Demand that your elected and appointed public servants place this important issue on an Orinda-wide ballot.

Owen Murphy

To the Editor:

Like a gigantic IBM computer card rising out of the ground, the City of Orinda is planning to construct a large, senior-citizen housing complex in downtown Orinda (Lamorinda Weekly, April 28).
The plan calls for building 70 one-bedroom rental apartments. The apartments are for people who are 55 years of age or older and who have annual household incomes of $18,000 to $31,000.
The Orinda City Council has appointed an organization called Eden Housing to develop the property, which will have an entrance on Irwin Way. The entrance will be near the Orinda Community Church and not far from the Safeway across the street.
Your newspaper's article reports that Mr. Woody Karp of Eden Housing claims that "the costs associated with developing these sorts of facilities are high, up to 25% more than prevailing construction costs due to wage requirements mandated by the State [of California]."
This project must be scrapped. The proposed apartments will, if constructed, be in a heavily congested part of downtown, where parking is already severely limited.
The proposed housing, according to Mr. Karp of Eden Housing, will be too expensive, raising this question: Why isn't someone trying to get these excessive costs reduced?
Simultaneously, there are other plans to change the look of downtown Orinda. These other plans call for constructing buildings up to 55 feet high. There is even a plan for a new hotel.
Orinda is very nice the way it is. There is no need to change its downtown, village-like character. Many residents have chosen to live in Orinda because the city does not resemble Manhattan.
If Orinda wants to make any changes to downtown, Orinda residents must be able, in a city-wide referendum, to vote on such changes.

Richard S. Colman
Dear Editor:

I have read with interest all the discussion regarding leaf blowers and I am finally compelled to put my two cents in. I agree the noise is very constant and irritating; not a day goes by without hearing them. Regarding the issue of air pollution; with all the various types of air pollution we come in contact with, I think the leaf blower pollution issue is a Trojan horse.
In my neighborhood, we have a neighbor who runs a wood planer in his garage every once in awhile. If you think the leaf blowers are loud, you haven't heard anything yet. On the next block there is a dog we call the "woofing dog." His woof is so loud it travels at least a quarter mile, and he woofs 3 -4 hours daily. Half a block away there is a house with two yapping dogs. The point I am making is that as irritating as all these noises are, I hesitate to tell any of them they must stop it for my peace of mind; where does it stop?
I lived 25 years in The City before moving here with my family 3 years ago. Can you imagine if the leaf blower noise criteria were used in The City? Have you heard the MUNI buses outside at all hours? The recycle thieves at 3am outside your window? The partiers from the bar down the block, sitting on your steps for a few last calls? I know this isn't The City, but it helps to put it the noise issue into context, I think.
Finally, it feels to me in our internet society we too easily take our issues to the web rather than directly facing the people whom we may be in conflict with. It's so much easier to lob our objections from the other side of a wall than try to reason in person with those we may be in conflict with. Are there particular hours that our neighbors might refrain from using leaf blowers for the overall peace? Cooperation is a two-way street. Our forefathers were more courageous than we are, I think. Their only option was to try to work it out in person. I'm not suggesting you will always get what you want by discussing your issues with the neighbors you may disagree with, but I absolutely prefer the personal approach to the neighbor who calls in a complaint without discussing it with you first.
Ultimately, I hope this issue ends up with a public vote, and not by governmental fiat. I, for one, will vote for less governmental intrusion in our rural community.

David Kirk

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