West Contra Costa district staff survey shows room for improvement

A 2014 survey of nearly 1,000 West Contra Costa staff members shows most employees get a sense of accomplishment from their work and understand their job expectations, but less than 40 percent believe their supervisors deal effectively with those who need improvement or that the district's communications are accurate, timely and useful. There was wide disagreement about whether administrators, teachers and support staff follow rules for dealing with students fairly and effectively. 
The public is invited to share in the milestone moment of 42 immigrants from 28 countries who will take the oath of citizenship at a ceremony at 11 a.m. March 3 at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South.  
San Pablo's latest offer, accepted by the board of the West Contra Costa Healthcare District, which owns the hospital, is for $7.5 million cash to buy some off-campus properties as well as a 2.5-acre chunk of the campus now used for parking by the Lytton Rancheria casino and encumbered by a 20-year easement.  
"Things are looking very, very austere," said school board President Todd Groves, who attributed the downward budget projections to a loss of income from students switching to charter schools and the cost of Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to bail out the State Teachers Retirement System, among other factors.  
Dan Honda
Newcomer to city's political scene, Vinay Pimple, is able to break stalemate over whom to appoint to seat vacated by Tom Butt's ascension to mayor  
Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group
Officials acknowledge that prospects for survival of West Contra Costa's only public hospital remain bleak despite deal with San Pablo  
Kristopher Skinner
Richmond planning commissioners set some conditions for the proposed five-story, 155-unit building at 5620 Central Ave.  
Two famous men are the subject of this travel feature. And if that doesn't intrigue you, the word "free" just might. The East Bay homes of John Muir and Eugene O'Neill are off-radar gems that make great day trip destinations.  
East Bay Municipal Utility Distr
EBMUD is continuing its program of offering rebates for residential landscape conversions. It has also developed new WaterSmart plant tags to guide consumers looking to convert to water efficient landscaping and is working closely with area nurseries.  
Albany Albany Senior Center -- 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. 846 Masonic Ave. At 1:30 p.m. March 3, there will be a movie; $1. Traditional circle dance class for women of all ages, 10:15-11:30 a.  
(LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)
Big Sur getaway: Where pampering and wilderness meet

A weekend getaway to Big Sur marries luxury and rugged wilderness trail when the day's delights include stops at the Ventana Inn, Big Sur Bakery and a trail that goes straight up.