Congratulations are in order for Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti and his wife Stephanie. They are new parents following the March 21 birth of daughter Sophia Ruth Sbranti.

"The baby came three weeks early, so even though you know intellectually that a it could come early, it's still a big surprise," he said.

In fact, the mayor, who is running for the state Assembly, and his wife were planning to use the last couple of weeks to finish up the nursery and take care of a few other matters -- including figuring out a name. Because of the early arrival, the Sbrantis named their daughter about 24 hours after the birth.

"Sophia Ruth. We wanted something that was representative of both our cultures -- Italian and Greek. Sophia means wisdom. With both Stephanie and I being educators, we liked that. Ruth is the name of Stephanie's grandmother, who passed away in 2004, and we wanted to do something to honor her."

The little lady and mom are both doing fine, although young Sophia apparently enjoys sleeping through the day, as opposed to the night.

"Being sleep-deprived never felt so good," adds the mayor.

If legacy comes into play someday, you would rightly assume that Sophia would have a career in education and maybe politics, but Tim admits -- with tongue in cheek -- that his daughter was sufficiently influenced by what was happening on TV right after her birth.

"She was born on March 21, right in the middle of March Madness. She was inundated with college basketball on TV, so I'm hoping she'll be a good point guard some day and maybe help me with my brackets."

Kolb Elementary Wins: Kolb Elementary may be the new kid in town, but they'll be sporting a pair of "Platinum Sneakers" courtesy of an award from Alameda County designed to help reduce pollution by encouraging alternative transportation.

The county reports that, during the first two weeks in March, 72 schools participated in the third annual Pollution Solution Golden Sneaker Award -- which must have been originally created by someone from the East Coast or the South, where they call tennis shoes sneakers! Students kept track of the number of times they walked, rode their bikes or skateboards, carpooled or took some type of mass transit to and from school. Kolb students participated in a big way, which earned them the victory and the platinum.

According to the county's news release, "On a typical day before the contest, 39 percent of Kolb's students walked, biked or carpooled to school. During the Golden Sneaker Contest, 62 percent did. That means 175 additional kids increased their physical activity and helped reduce emissions from cars."

Overall, 34,000 children participated in this year's contest.

The Hike for Hope: If you would like to honor a friend or relative who has passed away while at the same time supporting a great local hospice, then mark your calendars for May 10 for Hope Hospice's fourth annual hike.

The event takes place at Del Valle Regional Park and provides an opportunity for your group to take an easy 2.6-mile or moderate 4.4-mile hike. You can organize a group of friends or encourage a little friendly competition between businesses or organizations. The cost is $30 per person through April 24 and $40 after. You can register online and get additional information at www.hopehospice.com.

Contact Alan Elias at elias2000@sbcglobal.net.