Monthly Archives

February 2012

Daily Life

Sufism Reoriented Sanctuary in Saranap Approved

*Update* According to a reader, “Supervisor Uilkema has been too ill to attend the hearings.”

Last week there was a Sufism Reoriented sanctuary appeal to try to stop the 66,000 square foot sanctuary from being built in residential Saranap, located between Walnut Creek and Lafayette. According to the Contra Costa Times, the sanctuary has been approved. One point in the article stuck out to me:

Supervisor Gayle Uilkema listened to the meeting by phone Wednesday but did not vote. The sanctuary will be in her district.

Why on earth would the supervisor in whose district this will be built not even be present during this important vote? Is there some kind of conflict of interest? Or is it simply that she wasn’t available at the time? I wonder what this will do to nearby property values, lower, higher or make no difference? Enter your vote in the poll below:


Judging Boutiques – TRB Designer Outlet

Located at the former Fancy Pants location at 1509 Cypress Street in downtown Walnut Creek (the sign still says “Fancy Pants”), TRB Designer Outlet is a work in progress, but at 70% off, you just may be able to find a great deal on women’s fashion.

Crime, Uncategorized

Bank Robbery this Morning in Downtown Walnut Creek

From a Walnut Creek police report:

On February 29, 2012 at about 9:30 AM the below suspect entered Bank of the West on California Blvd. and demanded cash from the teller. The suspect was given an undisclosed amount of money from the teller and then fled the bank. He was last seen walking northbound on California Boulevard. No weapons were seen. Officers searched the area, but were unable to locate the subject. Anyone with information is encouraged to call WCPD at 925-943-5844.


Wed. Question of the Day – Favorite Coffee Shop

Downtown Walnut Creek has quite a few coffee shops to enjoy a cappuchino or iced mocha while catching up with the latest news:

  • Caffe La Scala
  • Cafe Leonidas
  • Pacific Bay Coffee
  • Pete’s Coffee & Tea
  • Saxbys Coffee
  • Starbucks

Lafayette offers:

  • Bookmark Cafe (next to the Lafayette library)
  • Panache Cafe
  • Papillon
  • Pete’s
  • Squirrels Coffee Shop
  • Starbucks

The Wednesday Question of the Day is about coffee shops.  I drink tea, not coffee and I’m partial to Pete’s and Caffe La Scala. Note the computer users at Caffe La Scala in the photo at top, has anyone had a hard time getting a seat there when it’s busy?

Of the those listed above, which is your favorite? Is it a chain like Starbucks, Saxbys or Pete’s, or is it something more unique and exclectic like Caffe La Scala, as seen pictured above? If I’ve missed any please comment and I’ll add them in as well.

Crime, Uncategorized

Walnut Creek Police Suspend Participation in Neighborhood Programs due to Budget Constraints

From the Walnut Creek police:

Due to a recent restructuring of the police department, our participation in the Neighborhood Watch program is going to be suspended until further notice. Our hope is that once the beginning of the fiscal year approaches we’ll have a better idea of staffing levels and can identify programs to be reinstated in the fall. For neighborhood concerns, please contact the on duty watch commander at 943-5844. Once the sector commanders are determined, their information will be listed on the PD’s website; You will also be able to find police activity via the daily bulletin on our website or through

Please continue to support each other and the crime prevention efforts of your groups, as well as being the eyes and ears for the police department. Remember to dial 911 for life and death emergencies or in progress crimes, or 935-6400 for all other non-emergency reports to dispatch. Please continue to remove all property from your vehicles and maintain the security features of your homes and businesses.

There is a wealth of information on the internet and at the library in regards to crime prevention programs and Neighborhood Watch. While there may not be a position dedicated to Neighborhood Watch at the Police Department, anybody can answer general questions or give advice. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you just aren’t sure about something.

Thank you for being a part of the program.


Looks like those extra resources going to patrolling downtown have forced cutbacks elsewhere. Does anyone see a connection with this?


Neiman Marcus vs. Nordstrom vs. Macy’s – Comparing Building Heights & Signs

In a previous post about the new Neiman Marcus building in downtown Walnut Creek there were some complaints about the (Mt. Diablo view blocking) height of the building, as well as the size of the letters of the sign itself which might encourage over commercialism, so with the help of the Walnut Creek planning department I was able to track down the exact building heights and sign sizes of all three departments stores in downtown Walnut Creek.

It turns out that as far as building heights are concerned, Neiman Marcus comes in at the lowest height of all, at 35 feet, and 47 feet high for the architectural element at the corner of Mt. DIablo Blvd. and N. Main St. Both Nordstrom and the Macy’s building height are 50 feet tall. The old David M. Brian building was 25 feet tall.

As far as sign size goes, the Walnut Creek planning department noted in an email that:

the wall mounted signs for Nordstrom vary in size from 19.5 square feet to 139 square feet. Each of the four wall mounted signs for Macy’s (women’s store) are 130.8 square feet, and the wall mounted signs for Neiman Marcus are 131.81, 172 and 268.9 square feet.

In this case the Neiman Marcus signs indeed are much larger than the other department store signs. Whether Macy’s and Nordstrom will petition to get larger signs installed remains to be seen.

Do these issues concern anyone? Are you happy with how Neiman Marcus turned out? Personally I think it looks cool from a design standpoint and am relieved it’s not a rectangular box like department stores tend to be.

See Nordstrom and Macy’s building photos after the jump Continue Reading


Walnut Creek Golfsmith Moving to Pleasant Hill – Tennis is getting Axed

Golfsmith, the golf and tennis store located at 1902 Mt. Diable Blvd in downtown Walnut Creek, is moving to Pleasant Hill and getting rid of their entire tennis section according to an employee I spoke with recently. There will be more tech gadgets featured and a large virtual putting green which sounds great for golfers out there. Now what do tennis players like yours truly do? This is a bit disappointing, anyone know of tennis stores that sells and strings racquets in Walnut Creek?