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Category: Editorial

Editorial: Civil Rights Are Important

Editorial: Civil Rights Are Important

The Icon has always strongly supported civil rights.  In 1964, Congress passed — and the president signed — the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination, in employment, on the basis of color, race, sex, or national origin.  The act ended segregation in public places. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 took power away from state governments that wanted to prevent African-Americans from voting. In 1968, Congress passed — and the president signed — the Fair Housing Act.  This act prevents…

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Why Live in Orinda?

Why Live in Orinda?

Why do people move to Orinda?  What did they expect to find in such a warm, friendly place? Orinda has many assets:  excellent schools; a semi-rural environment; friendly people; a low crime rate; a salubrious climate; and beautiful homes. Rarely, if ever, does life get better than it does in Orinda. But are Orindans’ expectations being met today? The Orinda of 1960, 1970, or 1980 is being challenged.  The population has grown.  The schools are on the verge of overcrowding,…

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Is Suburbia Under Attack? Living Near Transit Stations May Not Be Safe

Is Suburbia Under Attack? Living Near Transit Stations May Not Be Safe

Whether it’s Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue or a tenement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, there are several things city residents — compared with residents of single, detached suburban homes — generally do not have:  lawns, gardens, more space, and possibly swimming pools. After World War II, millions of Americans decided to abandon such places as Manhattan, Chicago, and San Francisco for suburbia. Suburbia generally offered better schools and lower crime rates.  One could own a car and…

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EDITORIAL: GARBAGE COLLECTION IN ORINDA COSTS TOO MUCH

EDITORIAL: GARBAGE COLLECTION IN ORINDA COSTS TOO MUCH

Outrageous fees for garbage collection continue to plague Orinda. In a letter sent to some 2,700 Orinda homes, Republic Services, Orinda’s garbage-collection company, is announcing rate increases as high as 52 percent. In a form letter dated February 24, 2017, Republic Services is telling some residents that ” . . . you are on a route that requires a special hard to service vehicle.” For these residents, garbage-collection rates are slated to go from $90.00 per three months to as…

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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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EDITORIAL: LOCAL CONTROL IS VITAL

EDITORIAL: LOCAL CONTROL IS VITAL

Doomed may be the best way to describe local control in Orinda and other California cities. For years, government forces in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. have been usurping power from local communities. Local control in Orinda is in such jeopardy that city-council member (and the city’s mayor for most of 2016) Victoria Smith, on May 26, 2016, wrote two members of the California State Legislature stating:  “The City of Orinda opposes the recently-released proposal by the Governor [Jerry Brown] to…

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REPLACE THE PROPERTY TAX

REPLACE THE PROPERTY TAX

Toward the end of September, Orinda residents, as well as residents of other part of California, will be receiving their 2016-2017 property tax bills. What they will also be receiving is an example of economic tyranny. In Orinda, the property tax on a $1 million home is likely to be $117 to $220 more in 2016-2017 than the property tax of the previous interval (2015-2016). The higher tax rate is the result of Orindans’ passing Measure L, a $25 million…

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EDITORIAL: BRUCE LONDON FOR CITY COUNCIL

EDITORIAL: BRUCE LONDON FOR CITY COUNCIL

“You have been sat too long here for any good you have been doing.  Depart, I say, and let us have done with you.  In the name of God go.” Those words were uttered by the English dictator Oliver Cromwell when he addressed the English Rump Parliament in April 1643. Cromwell might as well have been speaking about the majority of the Orinda City Council. With the notable exception of council member Eve Phillips, the city council, over the last…

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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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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…

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