Whatever late-season rain the Tri-Valley received is not going to make up for the drought conditions the area is facing. This means that conservation isn't just a nice thing to do for the planet, it's going to be mandatory and will result from a big jump in the already-high water rates we pay in Dublin. In fact, the Dublin San Ramon Community Services District Board is expected to vote Monday to approve special "drought rates" for any household not reducing water use by at least 35 percent.

Previously, the district told me in an interview that they should have ample supplies, but would have to rely more on the high mineral content Zone 7 underground water supply. That said, the district is facing restrictions from the state and will need to do its part in helping to conserve the resource.

To help you reach those cutback levels, the city is hosting a "Water-Wise Workshop" from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Dublin City Hall. The schedule of workshops ranges from "indoor tips and tricks" at 9 a.m. to a "compost workshop" at 9:15 a.m., followed in order by "lose your lawn," a keynote speech by an ecologist and finally a "water-wise irrigation" workshop. You can find more information about the workshop along with water-saving tips at www.dublinprideweek.com.

Summer Academy: If your middle or high school student just can't get enough schooling or, in the case of high school students, needs to earn some school credits, then the Dublin Partners in Education Summer Enrichment Academy may be perfect for them.


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Classes that are being offered -- for a fee -- include world history, U.S. history, geometry, algebra II/trigonometry, biology, Spanish, speech, health and physical education. The courses are offered on a first-come-first-served basis, and some of these may already have been filled since this was written.

Most classes are held Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dublin High. The fees, which range from $250 for middle school tuition to $610 plus any lab fees for two three-week classes, are collected by DPIE in order to pay teachers, facilities rental fees and more. The classes begin June 23. Log onto www.dpie.org to learn more and sign up.

Autism Fundraiser: And a nice shout out to Dublin High School sophomore Matthew Romero-Salas for a great community project he put together as a member of the Pleasanton chapter of the Order of Demolay.

The 15 year-old's program led a fundraiser for autism called "Paint in Blue." Matthew chose a Tri-Valley organization called Creative Autism Solutions Team (CAST), which provides therapeutic services and social skills training to children hampered by the neurological disorder. For Matthew, there is also a personal motivation, as his brother, Inigo, was diagnosed with autism when he was just 3.

Matthew, with the support of CAST, put together a dinner and auction with all the proceeds donated to the foundation. They started with modest hopes in terms of the number of attendees and the amount of money they expected to raise.

Before the dinner, Mathew presented CAST with a check for $2,000 from the presale of tickets. But that was before the silent and live auctions, which apparently were very successful. When all the prizes were handed out and all of the money counted, Matthew's efforts to help autistic kids like his brother generated more than $5,000.

Well done, young man, well done.

Contact Alan Elias at elias2000@sbcglobal.net.