Around Town: Orinda News Briefs

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Road Closures for Sewer Line Replacement on Camino Sobrante
    Contra Costa County Sanitary District will close Camino Sobrante weekdays March 2-25 and March 28 – April 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to replace aging sewer lines.
    During the designated hours, access will be maintained to addresses within the closure for residents, emergency vehicles, school buses, garbage trucks and delivery services. A detour route will be established for others. According to Senior Community Affairs Representative Chris Carpenter, the road is 16-feet wide, and the sewer line is right in the middle.
    “We need to close Camino Sobrante to keep sewage in the pipes to protect the environment,” said Carpenter.
    Completion of the project is scheduled this spring. For more information, call Carpenter at 925.229.7316.

DeSaulnier, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect, Support Children with Disabilities
    Representative Mark DeSaulnier (11th Congressional District), partnering with colleagues in the House and Senate, introduced the Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act (H.R. 6532) last month. The bipartisan, bicameral bill to restore full funding for educational and early-intervention services for children with disabilities was co-sponsored by Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jared Huffman (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH).
    “One of the most important things we can do to support children with disabilities and their families is ensure that every child has equal access to high quality early childhood and educational services that will set them on the path for success in education and developmental outcomes,” said DeSaulnier.
    The need for early intervention and preschool special education services has increased over the past several decades, but federal investments have not kept pace with the number of students requiring these services, according to DeSaulnier. The Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act (H.R. 6532) would assist states in providing this support.
    DeSaulnier is a member of the House Education and Labor Committee.

Senator Glazer Introduces SB 911 Supporting Local Journalism
    If SB 911 passes as written, it will allocate $50 million “to bolster the free press that is one of the pillars of American democracy.” Introduced by local State Senator Steve Glazer, the legislation will provide and distribute state grants, over a five-year trial period, to individuals and organizations to help cover issues of importance to their communities.
    Co-author Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), said, “Quality journalism tells the truth, no matter how uncomfortable or where it leads. America ignores the erosion of public journalism at its own peril.”
    According to Glazer, the closure of many local newspapers and the decline of most others over the past couple decades, “has created vast ‘news deserts.’” SB 911, “encourages independent, local public service news coverage, helps independent local news organizations or individual reporters to cover the cost of reporting local public service issues and promotes the employment of journalists for local, public service coverage.”
    Senator Josh Newman, (D-Fullerton) also co-authored SB 911. An 11-member board, appointed by the legislature and the governor, would manage the program.

Planning Commission Elects Ann Parnigoni Chair for 2022
    During its Feb. 8 meeting, Orinda Planning Commission members elected Ann Parnigoni and Willy Mautner chair and vice-chair respectively for year 2022.
    The seven-member, all-volunteer commission is appointed by the City Council for a three-year term. As Orinda residents, they serve the community to make decisions on land use applications and advise Council on land use policy matters.
    Current commissioners are Robert Hubner (Exp. 2025), Brandyn Iverson (Exp. 2025), Marian Jelinek (Exp. 2024), Lina Lee (Exp. 2024), Mautner (Exp. 2025), Parnigoni (Exp. 2023) and John Lynn Smith (Exp. 2023).
    Planning Commission meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday each month at 7 p.m., currently via teleconference. Visit www.cityoforinda.org for the accurate schedule.

Kathy Enzerink can be reached at kathy@theorindanews.com.

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