Developers want construction in Orinda’s Southwood Valley, a large, natural area in the city.

Development Proposed for Large Orinda Valley

Development Proposed for Large Orinda Valley

An engineering firm has outlined a proposal for the development of housing in Southwood Valley, a large, natural area in the midst of Orinda. The Southwood plan might not comply with Orinda’s General Plan.  Each city in California is required to have a General Plan, which is a document covering a city’s governance, especially in the area of land use. At a meeting at the Orinda Public Library on April 16, 2018, Design Resources, an engineering firm in Walnut Creek,…

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Is chocolate a healthy food for the brain?

Chocolate: A Smart Food?

Chocolate: A Smart Food?

There is universal agreement that chocolate is a feel good food.  Chocolate melts in your mouth, releasing its sweet, creamy, cocoa flavor, and the brain follows with a burst of “happy” chemicals.   Beyond the sensory joy of eating chocolate, there are claims that chocolate is a healthy food for the brain.  Most of us would gladly eat more chocolate if proven to benefit the brain.  Several ingredients in cocoa have been proposed to explain the possible cognitive benefits of…

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The State Wants More Control Over Orinda

The State Wants More Control Over Orinda

The State of California wants to dictate more land-use policies to Orinda and elsewhere. Additional state mandates for Orinda (and other cities) go beyond a recent plan to require high-rise, high-density housing in transit-rich areas. In February 2018, the Orinda City Council supported the sending of a letter by Amy Worth, a member of the Orinda City Council and the city’s current mayor, to State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). The letter stated that the City of Orinda opposes State…

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A free market in California’s housing might allow single, detached family homes like this one not to be surrounded by large, high-rise apartment complexes.

Housing & the Free Market

Housing & the Free Market

Economically, everything appears to be getting worse in Northern California.  The same situation may also exist in Southern California.  Housing in Northern California is drastically overpriced.  Try finding a decent home for less than $1 million or $2 million (or more).  Taxes are high.  California leads the nation in the sales tax, the gasoline tax, and the top-bracket of the state’s personal income tax (13.3 percent).  The freeways are jammed in Northern California.  There is limited parking, assuming one can…

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Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-Dublin), right, is definitely worthy of re-election to a third term in the California State Assembly. In the Assembly, Ms. Baker represents Orinda and other cities in the 16th Assembly District. Appearing with Ms. Baker is State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda).

EDITORIAL: Re-Elect Catherine Baker To The State Assembly

EDITORIAL: Re-Elect Catherine Baker To The State Assembly

In November 2014, Catherine Baker (R-Dublin) won election to a two-year term to the California State Assembly.  She was re-elected in 2016. Now running for a third term, Assemblywoman Baker deserves re-election.  Her name will appear on the June 2018 primary ballot. Assemblywoman Baker, whose 16th Assembly District includes Orinda, has been a tireless advocate of good government. Her district includes such cities as Lafayette, Moraga, San Ramon, Danville, and Pleasanton. Ms. Baker is hard-working, frequently holding town-hall meetings to…

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A bill pending in the State Senate could force local communities to build high-rise, high-density structures like these located near the Pleasant Hill, California, BART station.

Orinda Opposes State Land Grab

Orinda Opposes State Land Grab

A land grab of local communities’ territories by the State of California has drawn the opposition of the Orinda City Council. On February 23, 2018, Amy Worth, a member of the city council and the city’s current mayor, wrote that the City of Orinda opposes State Senate Bill 827 (SB 827), which, if enacted, would seize control of a local community’s land near transit stops. Specifically, SB 827 would give the State of California control over a given city’s land…

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Does water have special health benefits?

Water: The Fountain of Youth?

Water: The Fountain of Youth?

Based on the fact that about two-thirds of the body is composed of water, it seems obvious that consuming water is important for health.  Water requirements have been studied for decades.  Recommendations are narrowed to two alternatives:  Consume a minimum of eight cups of liquid per day or drink to quench thirst.  Research now reveals that drinking water when feeling thirsty boosts the brain’s performance in mental tests.  Dr. Caroline Edmonds, the author of a lead study, found that reaction…

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At the Gen Korean BBQ House, a new restaurant in Concord, tasty appetizers are served. The appetizers surround a silver-covered bucket in which customers can cook their own food.

Dynamic, New Korean Restaurant Opens

Dynamic, New Korean Restaurant Opens

As Korean food seems to be on the endangered species list in Orinda, it is necessary to venture all the way to Concord to experience the gourmet offerings of the Gen Korean BBQ House, which recently opened its doors at 1353 Willow Pass Road on the corner near the Water World Amusement Park. Once inside this small Southern California chain eatery, one is transformed into an art deco environment where blue lighting sets the mood for an extraordinary dining experience. …

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Garbage-collection rates have soared in Orinda

Garbage Rates Soar in Orinda

Garbage Rates Soar in Orinda

Garbage-collection rates in Orinda soared 9.75 percent between March 2017 and March 2018. A typical garbage bill that was $114.09 in March 2017 went to $126.22 in March 2018.  Garbage bills cover a three-month period. Between March 2007 and March 2018, garbage rates in Orinda increased 90 percent.  During this interval, bills went from $66.00 to $126.22. Recycle Smart is the company that provides solid waste services for Central Contra Costa County residents and businesses.  The company serves Orinda, Lafayette,…

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State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) has called Senate Bill 827, which gives the State of California control over a local community’s land use, a “crazy bill.”

EDITORIAL: Orinda Faces Imperialism

EDITORIAL: Orinda Faces Imperialism

To build so-called affordable housing, the State of California continues to threaten the sovereignty of local communities like Orinda. Senate Bill 827 (SB 827) in the California State Senate, if enacted, would allow the state government to grab a local community’s land near a transit hub. Specifically, SB 827 could require a local community to build high-rise, high-density housing within one-quarter mile of a frequently used bus route and within one-half mile of a train station (such as a BART…

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