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Category: Editorial

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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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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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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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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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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EDITORIAL: Thank You, Mayor Phillips, For Your Excellent Work

EDITORIAL: Thank You, Mayor Phillips, For Your Excellent Work

Eve Phillips was mayor or Orinda from December 2016 to December 2017 and did an excellent job. In The Icon’s opinion, she is the best mayor Orinda has ever had. Ms. Phillips deserves enormous credit for her letter of August 18, 2017.  In that letter, Ms. Phillips wrote members of the California State Legislature, expressing her opposition to Senate Bill 35, which, Ms. Phillips wrote:  “. . .would pre-empt local discretionary land use authority . . .” For too long,…

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Editorial: California Usurps Local Control in Orinda

Editorial: California Usurps Local Control in Orinda

Orinda no longer has control over the land inside the city’s borders. The State of California, using its vast powers, had made Orinda (and other cities) a colony of California. Orinda, in the area of building heights, zoning practices, and housing density (houses per acre), must now take dictation from Sacramento. Gov. Jerry Brown of California has shown that he and the state legislature are acting like emperors, not elected officials. Brown, a Democrat, signed 15 housing bills on Sept….

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