Orinda’s High-Quality Schools Imperiled

Orinda’s High-Quality Schools Imperiled

Imperious and remote forces are placing the quality of Orinda’s schools in jeopardy. While the Orinda Union School District (OUSD) is in the top one percent of public school districts in California, the State of California is planning to bring demographic changes to Orinda.  These changes, if carried out, could lower educational quality. The one percent figure that rates the quality of Orinda’s school comes from the 2017-2018 annual report of the Educational Foundation of Orinda.  The foundation helps provide…

Read More Read More

Wine & Weight

Wine & Weight

The new year means new goals, and they include a fresh focus on body weight. People trying to lose weight, or not gain weight, are frequently advised to “lay off the booze.” The math is simple:  The alcohol molecule releases 40 percent more energy than an equal weight of sugar and is devoid of nutritional value.  The biochemistry is clear:  The alcohol molecule activates the production of appetite stimulants in the brain, promoting poor food choices and excess food ingestion. …

Read More Read More

California: A Failed State?

California: A Failed State?

The famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, once said, “America was tilted, and everything loose was sliding into Southern California.” If Mr. Wright were alive today, he presumably would be taking about all of California. What Mr. Wright might also be saying is that California is on the verge of becoming — or has become — a failed state. To stop the rot in California, groups like Livable California have come into existence. Livable California (www.livablecalifornia.org), which began operations in early…

Read More Read More

Regional Governmental Agencies Usurp Control of Local Communities

Regional Governmental Agencies Usurp Control of Local Communities

Unelected regional governmental bodies have decided to seek control over land use and other policies now governed by local communities. In December 2018, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted to have a 21-member steering committee support the Casa Compact, which is designed to ameliorate the shortage of housing in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. MTC is a regional governmental agency involved in transportation planning. The Casa Compact, which is also known as the Committee to House the Bay Area,…

Read More Read More

Big Money Influences Orinda City Council Races

Big Money Influences Orinda City Council Races

Mountains of cash helped influence the results of the November 2018 races for the Orinda City Council. For the city-council races, the table below shows how much money each candidate received between September 23, 2018, and October 20. 2018. The election may mean the return of Orinda’s traditional oligarchs to policy-making by the city council. Five candidates ran for three city council seats.  The winners were Amy Worth, Dennis Fay, and Nick Kosla.  The losers were Eve Phillips and Kathleen…

Read More Read More

The Holidays: A Time for Comfort Food

The Holidays: A Time for Comfort Food

The term comfort food can be traced back to 1966, when the Palm Beach Post used the term in a story:  “Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called ‘comfort foods.’  These foods are associated with the security of childhood, the relief of stress, and euphoric feelings.” Although the identification of particular items as comfort foods may be unique to an individual, patterns are detectable.  In a study of American food choices, males preferred warm, hearty,…

Read More Read More

Where Is Local Control?

Where Is Local Control?

Local control of land use in California is in jeopardy. The State of California is usurping local communities’ ability to handle matters relating to building heights, zoning, and housing density (houses per acre). Livable California, a group formed in early 2018, is creating coalitions with like-minded community leaders, elected city officials, and partnerships with statewide organizations. The goal that brings these people together is to strengthen local control, within a context of regional planning and funding driven by locally-identified problems…

Read More Read More

EDITORIAL: Free Fall in Orinda

EDITORIAL: Free Fall in Orinda

The City of Orinda is facing decline. Orinda, perhaps the nicest place anywhere to live, has gone from a community of 5,000 in 1960 to over 19,000 today.  While Orinda’s schools are still excellent, educational quality is likely to decline severely once more residences —  most likely high-rise, high-density residences — are built and more pupils arrive in a city that has no more classroom space. During the evening rush hour in Orinda, driving one mile from the city’s BART…

Read More Read More

EDITORIAL: Kathleen Jenkins for City Council

EDITORIAL: Kathleen Jenkins for City Council

Kathleen Jenkins is an excellent candidate for the Orinda City Council.  She has the background and experience to be a diligent and caring city-council member. Ms. Jenkins, a resident of Orinda for over 20 years, strongly supports Orinda’s excellent schools.  She knows very well that the quality and safety of Orinda’s schools are the main reasons families move to Orinda.  Ms. Jenkins pledges to do everything possible to protect Orinda’s pupils’ high-ranking achievements.  The city’s schools, she insists, must be…

Read More Read More

EDITORIAL: Eve Phillips for Re-Election to the Orinda City Council

EDITORIAL: Eve Phillips for Re-Election to the Orinda City Council

Eve Phillips is totally worthy of re-election to the Orinda City Council.  She will be on the November 2018 ballot. During her four years on the city council (from 2014 to 2018), Ms. Phillips has shown leadership and courage. She has paid close attention to important city-council matters. As mayor — the mayor’s job rotates among city-council members — Ms. Phillips supported local control, as opposed to State of California, control — of Orinda’s land.  On August 18, 2017, Ms….

Read More Read More