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Author: Icon News

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: 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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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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Downtown Properties Sold

Downtown Properties Sold

Two downtown Orinda properties were recently sold and will not be developed. On Nov. 16, 2017, the Rite Aid drug store and the Orinda post office (two adjacent parcels) were sold for $12.9 million.  The transaction was an all-cash deal.  Both properties are located on Orinda Way. The properties were owned by the Regents of the University of California.  The new owner is McNellis Partners a privately held real estate company.  For over 30 years, McNellis Partners has redeveloped shopping centers…

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EDITORIAL: BEDEVILED BY CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, DARLENE GEE SHOULD RESIGN FROM THE ORINDA CITY COUNCIL

EDITORIAL: BEDEVILED BY CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, DARLENE GEE SHOULD RESIGN FROM THE ORINDA CITY COUNCIL

Orinda’s voters must have elected officials who are free of conflicts of interest, especially any financial conflicts of interest. Sadly, Orinda City Council Member Darlene Gee has serious conflicts of interest that disqualify her from sitting on the city council. In view of these conflicts of interest, Ms. Gee should resign her seat on the city council immediately. During her 2016 campaign for a city-council seat, Ms. Gee, a vice president of the HNTB Corporation, an engineering firm, has taken…

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BIG-MONEY, PRO-DEVEOPMENT INTERESTS DOMINATE ORINDA’S CITY-COUNCIL RACE

BIG-MONEY, PRO-DEVEOPMENT INTERESTS DOMINATE ORINDA’S CITY-COUNCIL RACE

The traditional power brokers who have dominated Orinda politics for years have made substantial financial contributions to two candidates for the Orinda City Council:  Darlene Gee and Inga Miller. Contributions to Ms. Gee and Ms. Miller have come from individuals who are associated with real-estate development projects.  In addition, both Ms. Gee and Ms. Miller have received donations from contributors located outside of Orinda. Ms. Gee and Ms. Miller are running for two open city-city council seats.  Two other candidates…

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EDITORIAL – LET MY PEOPLE GO!

EDITORIAL – LET MY PEOPLE GO!

Think of New York City, Tokyo, and Calcutta. These cites are crowded — much too crowded. And what do these cites have in common with Orinda, California?  Simply this:  Orinda is becoming overpopulated. The nearby chart shows Orinda’s population statistics from 1960 to the present time. ______________________________________ ORINDA’S POPULATION (1960 – 2014) ______________________________________ Year                   Population _______________________________________ 1960                     4,712 1970                     6,790 1980                    16,825 1990                    16,642 2000                    17,599 2010                    17,643 2014 (est.)             18,390 ______________________________________ Source:  United States Census. From 1960 to the…

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COLONEL SANDERS: POSSIBLY ALIVE AND WELL IN A POSH ORINDA RESTAURANT

COLONEL SANDERS: POSSIBLY ALIVE AND WELL IN A POSH ORINDA RESTAURANT

By Richard Eber If fried chicken offered on the menu of fine dining establishments were a living thing, it would likely be placed on the Endangered Species List. It is virtually impossible to find this golden brown delight in restaurants not called Popeye’s or Church’s — or are named after a long-departed character sporting a white goatee. One significant exception is Casa Orinda, an Orinda restaurant that has been making this dish since this culinary icon opened its doors back in…

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