Plans For Low-Income Housing May Violate California’s Constitution

Plans For Low-Income Housing May Violate California’s Constitution

State of California and Bay Area regional governmental agencies’ plans to force local communities to construct low-income housing may be violating California’s Constitution. In November 1950, California’s voters passed Proposition 10, which prohibits any public body in the state from authorizing a low-rent housing project unless voters in an affected community approve the project. Proposition 10 was presented to voters as an amendment to California’s Constitution.  The amendment is now known as Article 34 of the state’s Constitution. Specifically, Article…

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Nuts About Nuts

Nuts About Nuts

Americans love nuts. Their passion has led to an increased consumption by almost 40 percent in the last 15 years. Contrary to the belief that nuts are fattening, nuts are nutritious foods categorized as superfoods.  Nuts offer a wide variety of nutrients especially protective of the brain and cardiovascular system. A trio of nutrients in nuts — healthy fat, fiber, and protein — make them a satisfying snack that won’t affect your waistline, assuming the portion size is a handful…

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Big Money Pays Off

Big Money Pays Off

Candidates who received the most money for the Orinda City Council’s November 2018 election all won. According to the Orinda City Clerk’s office, three candidates — Amy Worth, Nick Kosla, and Dennis Fay — collectively brought in $57,241.  That total, when added to money from Orindans for a Better Downtown (OBD), came to $61,640. OBD was a special group that supported Worth, Kosla, and Fay. The total of $61,640 represents 88.6 percent of all city-council campaign monetary contributions. For all…

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California is All Wrong on New Housing

California is All Wrong on New Housing

The target is 3.5 million new California homes by 2025.  That’s what California’s new Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom wants to see in the Golden State. When it comes to housing, Newsom has things backwards. Instead of encouraging the construction of new housing, Newsom should give people who live in California — or may at some future time want to live in California — an incentive to leave the state or never try to enter. Newsom should be following the plans…

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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…

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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. …

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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…

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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,…

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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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