Orinda News Briefs: What’s Happening Around Town – May 2022

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(Courtesy of Vanessa Hua)
Scheduled for May 14, just in time for American Pacific American Heritage Month, Orinda Books welcomes Orinda book author, Vanessa Hua, back to sign and read from her latest book, Forbidden City.

Closure of Vashell Way
    Vashell Way will be closed Friday, May 6, from 1 – 7 p.m. between Moraga Way and Davis Road for the local Makers’ Market. See the Calendar, Page 6, for information about the event.

Local Author Vanessa Hua at Orinda Books Signing Event
    Scheduled for May 14, just in time for American Pacific American Heritage Month, Vanessa Hua will sign and read from her latest book, Forbidden City.
    Inspired by true events, Hua’s 368-page novel is about Chairman Mao’s teenage protégée, lover and poster child for the Cultural Revolution. Eventually, she ends up in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
    “Years ago, a teasing glimpse of black-and-white documentary footage intrigued me – Chairman Mao surrounded by giggling young women in tight sweaters. As I would learn, the peasant-turned-revolutionary was a fan of ballroom dancing, and young women, who partnered with him on the dance floor and in the bedroom,” said Hua. “When I looked for more information about these ingénues, I couldn’t find much. In his memoir, Mao’s doctor called the experience ‘exhilarating’ for the young women. I suspected – I knew – the relationships had to be more complicated, and I was inspired to explore what happened through fiction.”
    An award-winning columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, Hua has two other publications to her name – a short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities (2020), and a national bestseller A River of Stars (2018).
    Recipient of an Asian/Pacific American Literature Award and a New York Times Editors Choice, her novel, A River of Stars, is a Washington Post and NPR best-book pick. Hua’s book signing is Saturday, May 14, at Orinda Books, 276 Village Square at 2 p.m. For more information, visit Hua’s website at http://www.vanessahua.com or Orinda books at https://bit.ly/3JIGEt0.

Lamorinda Community Emergency Communications Exercise
    The Lamorinda Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will team up with like-minded organizations to conduct a General Mobile Radio System (GMRS) radio exercise, May 4.
    The exercise, hosted by the Lamorinda Area Radio Interest Group (LARIG), Lamorinda CERT and Moraga-Orinda Fire District’s Support 245, will test the GMRS Communications Plan developed for the use of GMRS frequencies during an emergency. GMRS communication could be instrumental in conveying information within neighborhoods, as well as receiving reports from GMRS users on other neighborhoods following a disaster.
    During the exercise, users will be asked to call on their radios and report their name, location, city and evacuation zone. This information will then be recorded by volunteers at the control center and mapped to determine which neighborhoods have coverage and which need greater efforts to raise awareness and participation.
    To find out which evacuation zone you live in, visit www.community.zonehaven.com and enter your address.
    All licensed GMRS radio operators are welcome and encouraged to participate in this exercise.
    The CERT radio exercise will take place May 4, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. GMRS channels for participants to call in are:
    Moraga GMRS, LARIG channel 121, GMRS 20R, code 4
    Orinda GMRS, LARIG channel 122, GMRS 21R, code 4
    Lafayette GMRS, LARIG channel 123, GMRS 22R, code 4

    The control center for the exercise will be situated at the Orinda Community Center Plaza at 28 Orinda Way. All participants and interested community members are welcome to see the exercise net control in action.
    For more information, contact pio@lamorindacert.org.

Student From Tabor Needs Host Family
    Sofie, a 16-year-old student, who studies English, German and Italian, is a gymnast and runner and needs an Orinda host family. Orinda/Tábor Sister City Foundation (O/TSCF) members chose Sofie for their 2022 – 2023 visiting student from Tábor, Czech Republic to attend Miramonte High School.
    Sophie submitted her biographical essay in English to explain why she would love to study and stay in Orinda for six months. She also passed an in-person English interview in front of a three-member panel of English speakers in Tábor. The O/TSCF Board approved her over 15 – 20 applicants.
    She would like to live with an Orinda family with Miramonte students. Sofie needs her own bed, study area and three meals a day, and will be the 21st student sponsored from Tábor.
    To become a host family and for more information, contact Bobbie Landers at bobbielanders@yahoo.com.

Compiled by Charleen Earley, who can be reached at editor@theorindanews.com.

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