Browsing Category

Daily Life

Daily Life

Broadway Plaza still not Charging for Parking

Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

It came as a surprise to me when I parked my car at Broadway Plaza a couple of weeks ago that they still hadn’t started charging for parking at their garages. They were supposed to begin charging September 12th but it’s still free to park. According to a text message from Broadway Plaza, they, “do not have a set date for when [they] will be adding the parking charge”.

Daily Life

“Living Areas” on the Iron Horse Trail – Civic Park to Safeway


Anyone else notice this?

From a reader:

While riding my bike back from Safeway in downtown WC, I noticed a number of large “living areas” that had been cut out and blocked off by homeless residents on the side of the trail opposite the canal between Safeway and Trinity Center. I don’t know how much patrolling that trail gets but my assumption is that if it doesn’t get any attention, it’ll only get worse.

Daily Life

Danville Livery – the “Twilight Zone” Shopping Center

Danville Livery

I’ve been to the shopping center Danville Livery quite a few times over the years, and yet, every single time I park my car, I can never find it when it’s time to leave. I look out at the parking spots, glance at the buildings, and begin a futile search. It’s gotten to a point where I just randomly pick a direction and start walking, hoping to find it. You see, every building in Danville looks IDENTICAL. I can imagine the designers back in 1982 (when it was built) discussing how to get a “captive audience” for this shopping center. “I know, let’s make every single building the same so people get lost and have to spend more time shopping”.

It is nice and shady so it’s enjoyable to walk around and around but a bit frustrating. Am I off base or has anyone else had trouble locating their car?


Daily Life

“I just want them to stop with the leaf blower”

From Flickr user deanhochman

A reader asks:

I recently moved into the new Agora apartment complex across from Kaiser in Walnut Creek. Tonight was my first night spent sleeping here after moving in, and while everything seemed great, I was woken up at 2am by a large noise. Looking out my window, I saw it was a man with a leaf blower in the Ross shopping center with a truck for cleaning up the parking lot. While I’ve seen those trucks before and they don’t make much noise, the leaf blower woke me up fast and was loud, even through my thick windows.

I researched further and the city forbids any kind of leaf blower or similar device, residential or commercial, from 8a to 7p (9a to 7p weekends). I’d like to know how to get in touch with the management company and/or owners of this shopping center, or who to contact with a noise complaint, but I’m not sure how to go about this process.

Any ideas? Definitely can’t sleep if this happens every night. I just want them to stop with the leaf blower, simple as that, as I’m sure someone is unaware of the ordinance (and/or that people are sleeping across the creek).

PS. It happened again tonight at 1am. The truck is almost as loud as the lead blower. They both seem prohibited according to the city code.

I’ve found what I believe to be the part of the city that is supposed to handle this, but I obviously would prefer to deal with the slow workings of government after just trying to tell the management company to tell the cleaners they can’t do what they’re doing.

Daily Life

“Insurance Inspector” Taking Photos of Pool – Legit or Not?


A reader writes:

Someone stopped by my building taking photos of the pool, said they were an insurance inspector but my landlord says it’s not possible. Handed me a plastic encased card that had a printout in it saying something about es inspections. Was driving a black sedan, maybe toyota. Super clean cut with a bright white shirt on.

Could this be some kind of scam or is it legit?

Daily Life

Acalanes Union High School District getting Solar Panels this Summer


I stopped by the Soda Aquatic Center at Campolindo High School in Moraga recently and saw these gigantic solar panels going up in the parking lot. It turns out all four high schools, Las Lomas, Acalanes, Miramonte and Campolindo are getting solar panels installed this summer. Read more about it in this Lamorinda Weekly article here.

From the project webpage:

We are pleased to share with the community that the Acalanes Union High School District will be initiating large solar projects at each of our comprehensive high schools this summer.  The installation design for the solar panels will be carports in the main parking lot at each of the schools.  The projects will allow us to substantially reduce our carbon footprint (the equivalent of pulling about 350 cars off the road), realize significant savings in general fund operating costs, contribute substantial energy to the “grid” during peak times (afternoon and summer), and model the use of renewable energy to our students.

The AUHSD Governing Board approved a contract to enter into a power purchase agreement with SolarCity in June 2015.  There will be zero upfront capital investment as SolarCity will finance, design, construct and operate the photovoltaic solar panels and battery products on each of the District’s comprehensive high schools. Only a few parking spaces (a precious resource) will be lost with the introduction of the carports.

Capitalizing on the latest technologies and current incentives, the District estimates it will save $110,900 in year one, and the net present value of the 20-year contract is estimated to be $2.3 million using a conservative 2% utility inflation rate.  Higher electricity inflation rates will result in greater savings for the District.

Daily Life

Pay by App Parking Now Available in Downtown Walnut Creek


This month the city of Walnut Creek introduced a new option to pay for downtown parking meters via cell phone app. Note there is an additional 35 cent charge for the privilege of paying via this method.

From a press release:

The City of Walnut Creek in partnership with Parkmobile, LLC, launched a pay by phone option for all 1,500 parking meters downtown. Customers can pay to park on-the-go using Parkmobile’s app for iPhone, Android, Windows, Amazon, and Blackberry phones, or by calling the toll-free number on the green meter stickers.

“The City is pleased to provide parking customers another way to pay for parking at the meter in addition to coins and credit cards.” said Carla Hansen, City of Walnut Creek Parking Manager.

Customers first must register by downloading the mobile app in their phone’s app store or online at Once registered, they may use the mobile app, internet, or the toll-free number listed on green meter stickers to pay for parking. After setting up their account, customers can immediately start using the system with their registered mobile phone.

Customers simply enter the zone and meter number located on the green meter sticker, select the amount of time they would like to park and “start parking.” The app allows parking sessions to be extended by phone without returning to the meter as long as the parking session has not hit the hourly limit. There is a $0.35 convenience fee paid by parking customers.

Other Cities throughout the Bay Area using Park Mobile include Oakland, San Rafael, Sausalito and Vallejo, San Mateo. The City plans to add the ability to use Park Mobile in the City’s three garages in the future.

Daily Life

MCE Clean Energy vs PG&E?


A reader asks:

I cannot decide between going with MCE clean Energy or staying with PG&E.  The rates are very similar.  In addition, I also have solar panels on my roof.  The automatic MCE 50% option goes into effect on September 12. See link below. Do you have any recommendations or comments?