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Category: Volume 3 – Number 1

Taxes & Fees Rose, Often Sharply, in Orinda in 2017; Crime Up on BART

Taxes & Fees Rose, Often Sharply, in Orinda in 2017; Crime Up on BART

Orinda’s residents saw rises — in some cases sharp rises — in taxes and fees in 2017.  Almost all of the major increases were above the rate of inflation, which in 2017 was about 1.8 percent. In March 2017, garbage-collection fees went up 4.5 percent.  The average garbage bill is now $114.00.  In 2016, the average bill was $109.  Ten years ago, in 2007, the average bill was $66.  In 10 years, garbage rates have gone up 73 percent. In…

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New Fee on Orinda Business is Coming

New Fee on Orinda Business is Coming

A new mandatory fee — not called a tax — will be applied to many Orinda businesses in early 2018. The fee will be set by the Orinda City Council.  The council authorized the fee at a meeting on Nov. 21, 2017.  Voting for the fee were council members Amy Worth, Darlene Gee, and Dean Orr.  Voting against the fee was council member — and mayor at the time — Eve Phillips.  Inga Miller, another council member recused herself from…

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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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The Party’s Over

The Party’s Over

Holiday food and spirits may have disappeared, but those extra calories can stubbornly remain as body fat.  With each new year, an array of diets emerges, promising to restore your former shape. My suggestion?  This year, follow a new plan called Intermittent Fasting, that has captured the interest of both dieters and researchers.  Intermittent Fasting is a structured program without the drudgery of daily calorie deprivation. Although traditional reduced-calorie diets are certainly science-based, intermittent fasting is a sensible alternative.  Studies…

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Trump to Orinda: Drop Dead

Trump to Orinda: Drop Dead

The tax plan that President Donald Trump signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, is a dagger pointed at the financial heart of Orinda. According to real estate brokers and accountants, home values in Orinda will plummet 10 percent to 20 percent. Effective in January 2018, federal income-tax deductions that benefit Orinda homeowners will be reduced or eliminated. Orinda-based real estate broker, Alexander Gailas of AG Realty, said the new tax bill will put “a huge dent in real estate.” …

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