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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The Best Pizza in Town

The Best Pizza in Town

One of my favorite comfort foods is pizza. Locally, there is one restaurant that puts out a superior product. It is a small bakery-café called 54 Mint Il Forno, 1686 Locust St. in Walnut Creek.  It is the brainchild of Claudio and Daniele, who operated a white tablecloth restaurant of the same name at Treat Blvd. and Oak Grove for several years.  Their current Italian rendition is much more informal. Outside of operating a coffeehouse-like destination in the morning, 54…

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More Healthy Bread, Maybe Not

More Healthy Bread, Maybe Not

The vast variety of breads available in supermarkets and bakeries reflects the unquenchable appetite of Americans for this grain-based food.  Breads labeled as “whole grain” appear to be a smart way to add fiber to your diet. Whole grains improve regularity, slow digestion, reduce appetite, improve cholesterol, and prevent spikes in blood sugar — a major driver of obesity, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. A whole grain bread uses the entire grain seed:  the bran (an outer layer…

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Orinda: Going, Going, Gone?

Orinda: Going, Going, Gone?

Demands by the State of California on Orinda are seriously jeopardizing the desirability of living in Orinda. Essentially, the state, for years, has been usurping Orinda’s ability to control the city’s destiny. The state’s attack has been especially obnoxious.  Orinda’s schools, its semi-rural environment, and its open spaces are in jeopardy. Two state-mandated programs are depriving Orinda of local control. One program is the Housing Element.  According the website of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, “Since 1969,…

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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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