President’s Message – January 2020


Changes and Resolutions

    Happy New Year! We hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.
    We approach the beginning of 2020 with renewed vigor and a list of resolutions and changes. Let’s start with the changes in downtown.
    The building at 37 Moraga Way has been totally renovated. It includes a new façade with Tuscan columns, planter boxes, a decorative panel between the first and second floor and a large clock.
    This is such a major improvement to the entrance to Orinda that on Dec. 3 outgoing Mayor Inga Miller presented the owner of the building, Mo Mashhoon, the Mayor’s Excellence Award.
    In thanking the City Council, Mashhoon said, “Everything we have done is something I have been doing for many, many years. I’m so glad that I have had the opportunity to do the same in Orinda.”
    The other change you’ll see in the beginning of the year will be that the “R” on the iconic Orinda Theatre sign will be repaired and electrified. It has not been lighted for six months; the damage probably caused by birds. On Jan. 31, a contractor is expected to remove and fix the sign. The symbolic sign soon will be seen from Highway 24 with all the letters of Orinda shining brightly.
    Dereck Zemrack, operator of the theater, says, “For 78 years, the Orinda marquee has been the landmark for Orinda and the East Bay. It’s time to shine as it did on its birth.”
    Thanks are in order for these contributions in beautifying our downtown.
    As we look to new ventures and resolutions, I would like to acknowledge the current and continuing Orinda Association Board officers: Joe Garvey, Bill Waterman and Sally Hogarty.
    I have the honor of continuing as the president. The OA board would like to thank our donors and members for their continued support in 2019. The contributions and volunteer service have supported valuable events and programs in our community.
    Services include the Seniors Around Town program (SAT), the Fourth of July Parade , the Orinda Classic Car Show, The Orinda News (which is free and sent to every household) and the Volunteer Center.
    We would like to thank the many dedicated volunteers who worked tirelessly to run our programs and events. We would like to especially thank the 70 Orinda drivers that provide free, safe rides for Orinda seniors.
    If you are looking for a great New Year’s resolution, consider giving one ride per month to an Orinda senior. The SAT program provides transportation to Orinda seniors by Orinda drivers. If you are a senior in Orinda and need a ride to your medical or other appointments, or if you want to drive and help a senior, please call 925-402-4506.
    On the topic of helping out, now is the time to nominate someone who you believe has contributed substantially to the community. The Orinda Community Foundation (OCF) and the OA are seeking nominations for the 2019 Citizen of the Year and the 2019 William Penn Mott Jr. Environmental Award. The winners, as in past years, will be feted at a gala dinner in March at the Orinda Country Club.
    To nominate an individual or organization, email or send a note by mail to P.O. Box 97, Orinda, CA 94563. For more information, call the OA office at 925-254-0800.
    The New Year also is a good time to prepare a family plan for emergencies and possible evacuations. Take a look at the public service videos and other information regarding emergency preparedness at the OA website (, and

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