Orinda’s Rite Aid drug store and nearby land may become sites for high-rise, high-density housing.

Sad Blueprint For Orinda

Sad Blueprint For Orinda

In its fall 2017 issue (volume 2, number 4), The Icon reported, “Orinda has many assets:  excellent schools; a semi-rural environment, friendly people; a low crime rate; a salubrious climate; and beautiful homes.” No one knows how long “traditional” Orinda will last.  But powerful forces want to destroy local control and transform the community into some sort of Tokyo or Manhattan. Developers and supportive political forces have plans to add additional housing to Orinda, a city which is full.  There…

Read More Read More

Town Hall Meeting

Town Hall Meeting

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon), pictured, spoke at a town-hall meeting in Orinda in September.  Also speaking were County Supervisor Candace Andersen and Orinda Mayor Eve Phillips.  All three elected officials support local control of municipalities and oppose Senate Bill 35, now law, which takes land-use authority away from local communities and gives it to the State of California.

The Orinda Grove/Pulte Homes development on Altarinda Road in Orinda squeezed 73 homes into 8.2 acres (one house per 0.1 acre)

Editorial: California Usurps Local Control in Orinda

Editorial: California Usurps Local Control in Orinda

Orinda no longer has control over the land inside the city’s borders. The State of California, using its vast powers, had made Orinda (and other cities) a colony of California. Orinda, in the area of building heights, zoning practices, and housing density (houses per acre), must now take dictation from Sacramento. Gov. Jerry Brown of California has shown that he and the state legislature are acting like emperors, not elected officials. Brown, a Democrat, signed 15 housing bills on Sept….

Read More Read More

Editorial: Civil Rights Are Important

Editorial: Civil Rights Are Important

The Icon has always strongly supported civil rights.  In 1964, Congress passed — and the president signed — the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination, in employment, on the basis of color, race, sex, or national origin.  The act ended segregation in public places. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 took power away from state governments that wanted to prevent African-Americans from voting. In 1968, Congress passed — and the president signed — the Fair Housing Act.  This act prevents…

Read More Read More

Drink Coffee, Live Longer?

Drink Coffee, Live Longer?

A coffee plant can live 100 years.  Could humans extend their lives closer to a century by enjoying a cup — or more — of the brew each day? Coffee beans are seeds of a red fruit called the coffee cherry.  Like all plant foods, coffee beans contain more than a thousand healthful chemicals. The benefits of drinking coffee are pretty impressive.  The roasted bean has been shown to enhance brain function, increase metabolic rate, and improve exercise performance.  Used…

Read More Read More

Parking situation in downtown Orinda

Why Live in Orinda?

Why Live in Orinda?

Why do people move to Orinda?  What did they expect to find in such a warm, friendly place? Orinda has many assets:  excellent schools; a semi-rural environment; friendly people; a low crime rate; a salubrious climate; and beautiful homes. Rarely, if ever, does life get better than it does in Orinda. But are Orindans’ expectations being met today? The Orinda of 1960, 1970, or 1980 is being challenged.  The population has grown.  The schools are on the verge of overcrowding,…

Read More Read More

Lafayette Reservior

California’s Phony Water Shortage

California’s Phony Water Shortage

By Richard Colman California does not have a water shortage.  The federal government, through subsidies, mismanages the water that is available in California. The impact financially is enormous. Orinda residents, who obtain their water from the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), pay about $7 per 1,000 gallons of water.  Growers who receive federally subsidized water in such areas as Fresno, can pay 42 cents for the same amount of water. Thus, an Orinda resident is paying 17 times more…

Read More Read More

Nourish Your Friendly Bacteria

Nourish Your Friendly Bacteria

By Dr. Laura Pawlak In a society of anti-bacterial warfare, who would imagine scientists touting the benefits of consuming foods fermented by living microorganisms? The organisms are called probiotics, which means “for life.”  Identified on the skin and within the body, these beneficial microbes are part of a community of healthful and harmful micro-organisms called the microbiota.  Most probiotics are located in your gut, particularly the large intestine (colon).  Probiotics aid the digestion and absorption of food, improve immune function,…

Read More Read More

Orindans Powerless to Stop Water-Rate Hikes

Orindans Powerless to Stop Water-Rate Hikes

By Richard Colman Water rates for Orinda residents and businesses are going up massively. On July 11, 2017, the directors of the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) voted 6 to 1 to raise water rates.  A 9.25 percent increase will take place from July 2017 to June 2018.  Between July 2018 and June 2019, there will be another rate increase of 9.0 percent. Thus, in a two-year period, water rates will be going up by 19 percent. How can…

Read More Read More

Can We Talk?

Can We Talk?

When is the last time the government of Orinda had an open exchange with the city’s residents? In the last 10 years, no one from the Orinda City Council has held a town-hall meeting or a press conference. In June 2017, The Icon asked the city council to put an item — an item about holding a town-hall meeting — on a council agenda. Interim City Manager Steve Salomon wrote The Icon on Aug. 1, 2017.  He said:  “I have…

Read More Read More