Pearl Harbor remembrance dinner Dec. 7

The Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii will be remembered by veterans groups Blue Star Moms and the Navy League of the United States at a Dec. 7 dinner in honor of Pearl Harbor Survivors.

Everyone is invited to the event, at which the guest speaker will be retired Rear Admiral Thomas A. Cropper, a high-ranking Navy aviator and current president of the California Maritime Academy at Vallejo. Cropper served in attack squadrons on five carriers, flew in 43 different aircraft, made over 1,200 carrier landings and flew nearly 5,000 hours in his career. A onetime Atlantic Fleet Pilot of the Year, his last assignment was as commander of the "Top Gun School" at Fallon, Nev.

The dinner will be held at Zio Fraedo's Restaurant in Pleasant Hill with social hour beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. The cost is $35 per person, including wine with dinner; reservations are required.

The event is sponsored by Contra Costa Council, Navy League of the United States; West Contra Costa Council NLUS; Oakland Council NLUS; Summerset Veterans' Club; Blue Star Moms; Livermore Military Families; Golden Gate Chapter, 1st Marine Division Association; Mt. Diablo Detachment 942, Marine Corps League; and the San Ramon Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 75

For more information, call Jeanne Sharkey at 925-228-1375 or email bjsharkeyiii@yahoo.com


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Dying oak tree in Civic Park to be removed

The city will remove a dying valley oak in Civic Park the week of Nov. 26.

The tree, more than 60 inches in diameter, is on the east side of the park's parking lot. Its branches extend over the travel lane, parking spaces, sidewalk and creek.

The city has been monitoring the tree's health since December 2010, and it has declined to the point the city's certified master arborist recommends its removal.

Mushrooms found on the tree are the fungus armillaria mellea, which kill the live tissue (inner bark) and the wood just inside the inner bark.

As the tree slowly declines, branches throughout the canopy die. In October, the arborist found the tree canopy extending over the parking lot and travel lane had declined significantly, and recommended the tree be removed for safety reasons.

Kiosks for 'Liberty Bell Pop-up Plaza'

A half dozen retail kiosks showcasing specialty retailers will be in place shortly at Liberty Bell Plaza, the open area (with fountain) on the northwest side of the intersection of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Broadway downtown.

The plaza is owned by the City of Walnut Creek, and making it a more interactive area is part of the City's Economic Development Plan. In addition to the kiosks, the re-christened "Liberty Bell Pop-up Plaza" will offer a variety of live entertainment.

A website with information about this new shopping area, www.popupplazawc.com, is expected to be live shortly.

Tea and Holiday Faire at Shadelands museum

The annual Victorian Tea and Holiday Faire at the Shadelands Ranch Museum will feature high-quality crafts and specialty holiday items for sale daily from Nov. 24 through Dec. 1.

Handmade gifts and quilts, clothing, jewelry, porcelain, and gourmet foods are only a few of the items available.

A "high tea" (really a three-course luncheon) will be served in the parlor and dining room daily at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for $30 per person. These limited-seating teas are already filling up fast, but some reservations are still available. Proceeds benefit the Walnut Creek Historical Society.

Admission to the house and vendors is free, and free parking is available.

Reservations are required for the high tea; call 925-935-7871.

Budd Mackenzie kicks off Acalanes High speakers' series

The Acalanes High School Speaker Series presents Budd Mackenzie, founder of Trust in Education, speaking on "Afghanistan: Gender Equality -- A Report From the Frontline," Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Acalanes HS Performing Arts Center, 1200 Pleasant Hill Road in Lafayette.

Trust in Education provides educational, economic and health care assistance to villages in Afghanistan. And Mackenzie, who in October returned from his 15th trip to Afghanistan, speaks from the perspective of how Afghan children -- more than half of whom are girls -- are being educated.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. They are available at the3 door.

East Bay Women's Conference March 4

The 2013 East Bay Women's Conference, with keynote speaker Marlo Thomas and featured speaker Lisa Kristine, takes place March 4 at the San Ramon Marriott.

Both women have had significant impact on the lives of women around the world and who continue to act and speak out for positive change.

Thomas is an actress and a social activist, and is national outreach director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Kristine is a photographer who has traveled the world for 25 years to tell human stories, including some human tragedies.

ABC 7 news anchor Dan Ashley will emcee this conference that blends premier keynote and featured speaker presentations; breakout sessions focused on contemporary issues; exhibitor booths; a fully stocked bookstore and author signings.

The conference is presented by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce and Chevron Corporation. The $195 ticket price includes continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon reception. Tickets for the conference, which has sold out its previous seven years of existence, will go on sale to the general public on Sunday. Go to http://www.walnut-creek.com and click of the Women's Conference photo on the face page.

'Peaceful Schools' conference Feb. 2

The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek will hold its second annual Creating a Peaceful School Conference Saturday, Feb. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Seven Hills School, 975 North San Carlos Drive in Walnut Creek.

This conference is designed for anyone who works with young people in classroom K through 12th grade, including parents, teachers, administrators, classroom aides, school personnel and after-school program providers. Participants will develop the skills they need to make the classroom, the school and the community a more peaceful place.

The keynote speaker is Ron Claassen, a professor of peacemaking and conflict studies at Fresno Pacific University and director of the Restorative Discipline Project. The focus of the conference this year will be the use of restorative justice in the classroom setting.

Workshops and classes will cover a variety of topics.

Registration is $35 through Jan. 7, and $40 thereafter. A delicious catered lunch is included. Continuing Education Credit will be available through Saint Mary's College for a small additional fee. Full descriptions of presenters and topics and related information will soon be available online.

For more information or to register, go to www.mtdpc.org; call 925-933-7850, or e-mail margli@mtdpc.org

-- Compiled by Sam Richards.