Posted by Barbara Bontemps on Mar 30, 2014
It was a full house at the Orinda Community Center as Rotary welcomed mayor Sue Severson, Councilmember Victoria Smith, County Supervisor Candace Anderson, and Justin Barber (representing State Senator Mark DeSaulinier) to our annual State-of-the City luncheon.
Preseident Sue welcomed everyone and introduced Sylvia Jorgensen and Candace Kattenburg, President and Executive Director of the Orinda Chamber of Commerce, who presented Rotarian Cyndi Girgis with their "Businessperson of the Year" award. Supervisor Anderson and Mr. Barber each honored Cyndi with a certificate of recognition from the county and state, respectively, thanking Cyndi for her years of service to our community. Cyndi has lived in Orinda for 37 years and opened Hilton House in the year 2000 after realizing there was a need here for an upscale consignment store featuring name-brand furnishings, home decor and accessories, as well as vintage estate jewelry. Her business thrives thanks to her personalized service and a dedicated staff that includes: Dee, Rita, Jan, Kesha and Cory.
President Sue then introduced Mayor Severson, who took a moment to recognize her fellow elected officials (previously mentioned), as well as OUSD dignataries, Superintendent Joe Jaconette, former Superintendent Frank Brunetti and board member Tyson Krumholtz. She then briefly turned the program over to Steve Harwood, who introduced 2014 Lamorinda Idol runner-up and Miramonte student, Eleanor Roder, to sing the uplifting "We're All in This Together." She had us all on our feet and singing along -- a perfect mood setter for Mayor Severson's presentation.
Highlights from the past year included Orinda's ranking as the 2nd "Friendliest City in America" by Forbes magazine, the beginning of construction at the new Eden Senior Housing Project and Orinda Grove, continued growth at the Wilder development, as well as the opening of the long-awaited Manzanita bridge replacement.
The Eden Housing Project will include 67 units for which there are already over 700 applicants--152 of whom are Lamorindans. Pulte's Orinda Grove is well underway with a planned 73 homes (8 below market rate), new ball fields and a new Orinda Union School District office. Wilder has five homes occupied, with an additional five under construction and 20 more to be completed by year-end. Three out of five of the community ball fields are also in use at Wilder.
Posted by Barbara Bontemps on Mar 30, 2014
Orinda Rotarian Linda Delehunt has tossed her proverbial hat in the ring for a run at becoming the next Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools. Linda has an extensive background in education, having served at both the state and local levels and is hoping, if elected, to make positive changes while facing some major challenges.
Linda, a Cal graduate, received her Masters in Education at Cal State East Bay and subsequently obtained her Doctorate (Ed.D) at the University of the Pacific in Educational Leadership and Administration. She went on to a challenging career as an elementary school principal in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, followed by postions managing state and federal projects for Berkeley Unified and as a consultant for the California State Department of Education. She has published several articles about effective leadership and its influence on the academic performance of low-income students and school communities.
Her platform has three primary planks: "Trounce Truancy," "Find and Fix Faulty Systems," and "Meet the Unique Needs of Each Child."
"Trounce Truancy" recognizes the devastating effect truancy has not only on students, but on school systems and communities, as well. Truancy has reached epidemic proportions in California and certain areas of Contra Costa:
- Truancy robs our schools of $1.4 billion a year in attendance-related funding
- It robs our economy of an educated and productive workforce
- It costs taxpayers in the form of numerous social services programs needed to deal with the effects of truancy (crime, drugs, gang activity, teen pregnancy, etc.)
Failure to address the truancy problem has long-term negative effects on the future of our country, state and nation.