LAMORINDA

Free bus tickets for Lamorinda students

Students who attend school in Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda or San Ramon are eligible for 2, 12-ride county connection transit tickets through the Southwest Contra Costa County Student Transit Ticket Program. The tickets will allow students, between first and 12th grade, to get 24 free bus rides per school year. For more information, or to download an application, visit: http://511contracosta.org/schools/schoolpool-program/application/.

ORINDA

Council opts against Miner Road undergrounding

Citing the significant traffic impacts the planned work would cause, the Orinda City Council voted not to pursue the Miner Road Underground Utility District project.

The project, which would have placed underground what are now overhead utility wires, would have covered significant parts of Camino Pablo, Miner Road and Camino Encinas, would have lasted an estimated nine to 10 months. The projected road closures and one-way-traffic detours worried residents.

City staff will work with PG&E to close out this project and will look at other locations for future undergrounding projects within the next year. The work would have been funded through payments the ratepayers would have made to the utility.


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NorCal Kids Triathlon still taking sign-ups

Kids interested in participating in a triathlon (swim, bike and run race) still have time to sign up for the Sixth Annual NorCal Kids Triathlon, scheduled for Aug. 30.

The race will take place at Miramonte High School, with racers swimming laps in the pool, riding around the campus or surrounding streets and finishing up the run with a lap around the Miramonte track. The distances for each leg of the race will differ by age group, with the youngest kids completing a 25-yard swim, .75-mile ride and .33-mile run and the oldest taking on a 300-yard swim, 6.2-mile ride and 2-mile run.

Last year there were 325 participants, according to race organizer Charles Vollmar, and they're hoping to get the same number this year. Proceeds from the race, through entry fees ($40 and up for participants) and sponsors will go to cover the cost of the event and back to the organizer, the Orinda Community Foundation for future community events.

To learn more about the race, and how to sign up visit norcalkidstri.org.

Board-game Thursdays beginning Sept. 11

If you've got board games at home to spare, they can find a good home, with a new city Parks and Recreation program, "Thursdays Together: Games Galore!" set to begin Sept. 11.

Adults are welcome to drop in at the Community Center on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon to play various games and meet new friends. Bring a game to play for the day or donate your gently used board games to the Orinda Community Center

Lafayette

More prospective tenants approved for Plaza Way

City officials added 12 more names to the 17 they approved earlier this year for the Plaza Park shops tenant list.

A special zoning overlay in the area, approved by the council in 2012, created the Plaza Way Overlay District to allow the council to maintain stricter oversight over development in the area and ensure that the shops and restaurants who end up in the district will "preserve and maintain the historical character of the block."

Of the possible eateries added to the approved tenants list, the staff recommended six above the others -- Comal, Sushi Ran, Copita, Mixt Greens, La PanotiQ and Imperial Tea Court.

Owners of the affected buildings Bill L. Poy and Sheu G. Poy now have 39 retail stores and restaurants to chose from to fill up to six vacant locations. By the guidelines outlined in the agreement, however, 65 percent can be eating and dining -- with the remaining 35 percent reserved for retail.

A full list of the approved tenants is available under "Hot Topics" on the city's website: www.ci.lafayette.ca.us.

Home sought for Youth Exchange student

The Rotary clubs of Lafayette and Lamorinda Sunrise are sponsoring a Youth Exchange student from Paraguacu Paulista in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil for the 2014-15 Acalanes High School year. Gustavo de Carvalho Silva is 17 years old and will be a senior at Acalanes starting in August. While Portuguese is his native language, Gustavo speaks fluent English.

The Rotary Club of Lafayette and the Rotary Club of Lamorinda Sunrise are looking for a volunteer host family to host Gustovo from Friday, Oct. 3 until Saturday, Nov. 22. Host families come in all shapes and sizes that might include young children, older children or no children at all. Like other Rotary-sponsored Youth Exchange students, Gustavo will be provided a monthly allowance by Rotary.

Each year Rotary districts worldwide arrange more than 9,000 international youth exchanges for secondary school students. A primary goal of the program is to foster world understanding and peace through intercultural exchange.

For more information, contact Bob Shusta at 925 284-2408 or by e-mail at r.shusta@comcast.net

Local junior rower represents U.S.

Daniel Hogan, a local junior age rower (under 18) recently helped represent the USA in the four-oared-with-coxswain event at the 2014 World Junior Rowing Championships in Hamburg, Germany in June, his boat placing 11th.

Previously, Hogan -- who rows locally with the Oakland Strokes Rowing Club -- competed in the US Junior National Rowing Championships in June. The Strokes' Junior Eight won a silver medal by taking second place. Hogan was then invited to the U.S. High Performance Racing Camp in Pittsburgh, PA. where he was selected to be part of the US Junior National Team. The U.S. team worked out at Princeton, NJ before competing in Germany.

Daniel, 17, son of Sean and Lynn Hogan of Lafayette, is now beginning his senior year at De La Salle High School in Concord. He is currently deciding between several Ivy League colleges and which of their rowing programs to join.

Moraga

Saint Mary's Summer Wine Festival this Sunday

Saint Mary's College of California will host its 10th annual Summer Wine Festival from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, a student scholarship benefit at the college's Soda Activity Center that will feature 34 wineries and two brewers.

The event helps support talented, but under-resourced students by raising scholarship funds.

The festival also includes a silent auction of more than 30 unique items, such as private tasting parties, rare wines and romantic Napa Valley getaway vacation packages, with all proceeds benefiting Saint Mary's scholarships.

Tickets are $45 per person until Aug. 4, and $60 thereafter. Price includes SMC logo wine glass, appetizers and wine tastings. Tickets are $15 per designated driver, who receive appetizers and unlimited nonalcoholic beverages. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

For tickets, or information about sponsorship opportunities, visit stmarys-ca.edu/wine or call 925-631-8744 or email events@stmarys-ca.edu. The festival is sponsored by the board of directors of the College's Alumni Association.

Newly amended sign ordinance now in effect

The Town Council recently amending the Signs and Outdoor Advertising chapter of the Municipal Code, including revisions that clarify exempt and prohibited signs, organize design standards for commercial and noncommercial signs by zoning district, and amends the review process.

The staff report and ordinance from the June 25 meeting where the changes were officially approved are available on the town website (http://www.moraga.ca.us/).

-- Sam Richards and Jennifer Baires

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