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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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….

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EDITORIAL: Preserve Orinda’s Schools

EDITORIAL: Preserve Orinda’s Schools

Orinda’s schools are under attack.  Their educational quality must be preserved. On the November 2018 ballot, there will be two measures to raise property taxes in support of the Orinda Union School District (OUSD). The Icon enthusiastically supports both measures.  The measures did not, at press time, have official ballot titles. One measure, the Health and Safety measure, would finance school facilities.  This measure would authorize the sale of up to $55 million in bonds.  The tax rate for this…

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Is There an Anti-Arthritis Diet?

Is There an Anti-Arthritis Diet?

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, a bone disease damaging the spongy tissue called cartilage that covers a joint.  As cartilage wears away, bones in a joint rub against one another causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness.  This degenerative disease impacts nearly 30 million people across the U.S. When searching for an Anti-arthritis Diet, pseudo-science abounds:  avoid nightshade vegetables, like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers; stay away from dairy foods; avoid acidic foods and beverages, but drink apple cider vinegar—which…

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Taxes, Fees & Prices Rise

Taxes, Fees & Prices Rise

Since the autumn of 2017, prices, taxes, and fees have risen — sometimes sharply — in Orinda (and elsewhere). On Nov. 1, 2017, the State of California raised taxes on gasoline by 12 cents a gallon.  Fees for vehicle registration also went up.  The new taxes and fees are designed to raise $52.4 billion for the repair and maintenance of the state’s roads, bridges, and freeways. In March 2018, the fees Orindans pay for garbage collection went up by 9.8…

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Housing, Overpopulation, & Taxes

Housing, Overpopulation, & Taxes

Anecdotal evidence coming from Silicon Valley goes like this:  A family earning $300,000 a year may not be able to obtain a loan for a house. Silicon Valley, which is about 40 miles south of San Francisco, is the home of many high-technology companies such as Apple, Facebook, Intel, and Google. An internet search shows that the Silicon Valley has a population between 3.5 million and 4 million. Homes in Silicon Valley often cost $2 million or more.  A 20…

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