Latest Tom Lochner Stories

2008-09-20 12:00:28

By Tom Lochner Pacific Gas & Electric cut down trees in a Pinole creekbed last month without a permit and could be forced to replace them, though where is another question, a state agency says. A homeowner on Sarah Drive blew the whistle on PG&E after a tree service hired by the utility clear-cut an approximately 80- to 100- foot section along a narrow stream known locally as Cole Creek, a tributary of Pinole Creek. The cutting, which took place Aug. 25, could lead to an order...

2008-09-09 15:00:34

By Tom Lochner Linnea Gullikson took a toy gun and shot a mousetrap, which pulled open the pop-up top of a drinking bottle, pouring water down a winding tube from where it dropped onto the blades of a water wheel fashioned from the hollow halves of plastic Easter eggs. The turning paddles emptied into a round container while a string wound around the axle gradually pulled aloft one end of a ramp, allowing a rubber duck to slide into the "pond," to applause. If it sounds like a Rube...

2008-09-08 09:00:24

By Tom Lochner The Hercules City Council has approved a "New Urbanist, Smart Growth" development concept for the waterfront, eliminating the need to place the issue on the November ballot. But the unanimous vote Tuesday -- to push forward the Hercules Bayfront project consisting of more than 1,200 homes as well as restaurants, stores, offices and an intermodal transit center -- does not spell an immediate end to years of stagnation on the waterfront. Much of the residential component...

2008-09-07 21:00:11

By Tom Lochner After almost a decade of fine-tuning, a plan to expand El Sobrante's Sikh temple to about four times its present size is ready -- or almost -- to go before the Contra Costa County Planning Commission. But some neighbors seem no more ready to accept the plan than they were when temple leaders first floated it nine years ago. Gurdwara Sahib, the Sikh Center of San Francisco Bay Area, wants to add a 33,000-square-foot community center, a 30,500-square-foot performing arts...

Word of the Day
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.