Moraga

Town voices opposition to anti-contracting bill

The Moraga Town Council has sent a letter to Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan expressing strong opposition to a recently approved state House resolution that would restrict cities and towns in their ability to contract out for services.

Local leaders said House Resolution 29 would hamper Moraga's "well-documented and cost-effective success" in contracting many of its services including the Town's legal representation, police dispatch, plan check, building inspection, survey services, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) preparation and other services. Moraga, they say, does not have the financial ability to provide these services in-house.

The bill, introduced by Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), lists several reasons for restricting such outsourcing, including that it "frequently means that wages and benefits for public service workers fall and the local economy suffers while corporate profits rise." Buchanan is among the bill's supporters.

Lafayette

'Taste of Lafayette' event May 20

The 12th annual Taste of Lafayette, the event celebrating the city's Restaurant Row with the opportunity to sample signature dishes from the town's regionally popular restaurants and local caterers, takes place May 20 in downtown Lafayette, centered at Lafayette Plaza Park.

It starts with a hosted wine and beer reception for all at 5:30 p.m. at the Lafayette Plaza Park. This is where participants check in; entertainment at the reception will be a Red House Studios-organized Beatles tribute in honor of the band's 50th anniversary.

The "stroll" begins at 6:30 p.m., when ticket holders head out at their own pace with friends to stop any or all of the participating restaurants for sampling during a tow-hour period. Participating restaurants include Amarin Thai Restaurant, American Kitchen, Back to the Table, Chevalier Restaurant, La Finestra Ristorante, Mangia Ristorante, Patxi's Pizza, Postino, Round Table Pizza, Rustic Tavern, Susan Foord Catering, SusieCakes, The Cooperage, Uncle Yu's Szechuan and Yankee Pier.

Everyone meets back at Lafayette Plaza Park at 8:30 p.m.

The event is a fundraiser for the Lafayette Community Foundation, a long-standing local nonprofit that investing in programs and projects which promote and enhance the civic, cultural, educational and environmental health of Lafayette.

Tickets for this event are available online at www.lafayettechamber.org or at the

Lafayette Chamber offices, 100 Lafayette Circle, Suite 103, or call 925-284-7404.

Housing element meetings continue May 13

The second installment in a series of informational meetings hosted by the city of Lafayette to inform residents about a required portion of the general plan addressing housing needs will be held May 13 at the Lafayette Elementary School gymnasium.

The meeting will focus on topics including the city's housing sites inventory, the pros and cons of adopting a density bonus ordinance that will allow the city to take a "streamlined" review of its housing element, and density adjustments. The city is required by the state to adopt its housing element covering an eight-year period by Jan. 30, 2015. It will then be sent to the state's Department of Housing and Community Development for certification.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. For information, visit www.lovelafayette.org/HE.

Wireless information, safety event May 29

Information about wireless radiation, cell tower placement and safer cell phone use, among other topics, will be the focus of a 6:30 p.m. meeting May 29, at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center.

Sponsored by the California Brain Tumor Association, the meeting will feature Dr. Martin Blank, author of "Overpowered" and a retired lecturer at Columbia University. Blank has studied the biological effects of wireless radiation on people and the environment.

Call 925-285-5437 or e-mail cabta@ellenkmarks.com.

ORINDA

Orinda creeks lecture slated for May 14

A free public lecture on creek health, pollutants and other issues affecting the local watershed will be held at 7 p.m. May 14, in the Orinda Library Garden Room, 26 Orinda Way.

The event, sponsored by the Friends of Orinda Creeks, will feature speaker Dr. Donald Weston, an emeritus professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. Weston will address how insecticides used near homes infiltrate streams and will discuss their toxicity to stream invertebrates. He will also present data from streams in Orinda and Moraga along others in the East Bay and Central Valley.

Brown bag lunch series with Mayor Severson

The city is holding a series of informal brown bag lunches with Mayor Sue Severson on topics of importance in Orinda.

The first event will be held May 16 in the Sarge Littlehale Community Room at 22 Orinda Way. Police Chief Mark Nagel will discuss crime prevention and provide tips and answer questions. The session begins at noon.

No RSVP is needed.

Library's 100th anniversary celebration on May 17

A 100th anniversary celebration of the Orinda Library will take place from 3-5 p.m. May 17, at the library plaza at 26 Orinda Way.

The celebration will feature live music performed by A CaBella, the Miramonte Jazz Band and Miramonte Treble Makers, whose members are Miramonte High School students. There will also be games and craft activities for children of all ages; a video on the library's history and quilting with Liz Piatt, whose quilt "A Little California Town," hangs in the Orinda Library gallery. Raffle prizes and birthday treats are also planned.

For information, visit www.friendsoftheorindalibrary.org.

Orinda law firm offering internships for students

An internship program for local high school students is being offered this year at an Orinda law firm.

GJEL Accident Attorneys in Theatre Square is seeking applicants for their summer one-week internship program for high school students.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the legal profession and see firsthand what lawyers do.

According to the firm, students will experience daily law firm activities and learn about civil litigation while gaining insight into law careers.

The internship program begins July 21. For a downloadable application, contact internship@gjel.com.

-- Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards

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