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Daily Life

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

flickr-deanhochman-leaf
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?

pool-closeup

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

campolindo-solar-panels

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

walnut-creek-pay-by-app-meters

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 www.parkmobile.com. 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?

electrical-boxes

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?

https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/walnutcreek/

Daily Life

The Party’s Over – Broadway Plaza to Start Charging for Parking in Walnut Creek

broadway-plaza-garage-outside
Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

Ever since Broadway Plaza placed boxes at the entrances to the new Broadway Plaza parking garage in downtown Walnut Creek we knew the days of free parking were going to be over, and the East Bay Times confirms it noting that parking charges will begin on September 12th for any car parked over 2 hours. No word on validation offers but given the new dining options in Broadway Plaza that would be nice to have as lunch plus shopping could easily take over two hours.

From the article:

The first hour of parking beyond the first two free hours will cost $3. Three to four hours of parking will cost $5, and four to five hours will cost $7. Cars left beyond five hours will be charged the daily maximum of $25, according to Tracy Dietlein, a Macerich spokeswoman.

Considering the increased areas and times for pay parking in downtown Walnut Creek not to mention stricter enforcement, this comes as no surprise and I’m just waiting for the few private parking garages that offer 3 hours of free parking to also eventually start charging. I guess it’s time to start parking at the Walnut Creek BART garage and take the free shuttle to downtown?

 

Daily Life

Uh oh, is that what I think it is at the Broadway Plaza Parking Garage?!

broadway-plaza-garage-outside

The new Broadway Plaza garage behind Macy’s is looking great in downtown Walnut Creek. But has anyone noticed these boxes at the entrances? I hope that’s not what I think it is, but it sure does look like parking tolls to me. A valet parking attendant mentioned that Broadway Plaza will start charging in the new year. Anyone know what’s going on?

broadway-plaza-garage-inside