Two City Council seats, treasurer up for grabs in November

Filing for elected office in Walnut Creek opened Monday, July 14 and runs until Aug. 8.

Two City Council seats are up for election. Two-term councilwoman and former mayor Cindy Silva has already said she plans to run for re-election. And first-term Councilwoman and current Mayor Kristina Lawson has said she does not intend to run. If Lawson, as an incumbent, indeed does not run, the filing period will be extended by five days to 5 p.m. Aug. 13 for nonincumbents. Both of the council seats up for election are four-year terms.

Also up for election is the city treasurer position. City Treasuerer Ron Cassano is the city's 12th in the role since 1914, and is completing his fifth term. Cassano was appointed to fill an unexpired term on July 15, 1996. The general election will be held Nov. 4.

To run for city office one must be a resident of Walnut Creek, at least 18 years old and a registered voter of the city when nomination papers are issued. Candidates are asked to make an appointment with the City Clerk to obtain nomination papers.

For more information about the nomination and election process, contact City Clerk Suzie Martinez at 925-943-5819.

Host Lions provide a boost for playground


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The city's new All Abilities Playground received a welcome boost recently with a $5,000 donation from the Walnut Creek Host Lions Club to the Walnut Creek Civic Pride Foundation.

Club President Edward Szaky said the money was raised through the club's annual crab feed and through the club's Walnut Festival booth -- "both well supported by the overall community," he said.

Construction of the 30,000-square-foot playground, at Heather Farm Park, is underway. Designed to accommodate all children, including those with physical or developmental limitations, it is expected to open in October.

Shadelands business district in front of council Aug. 5

The drive to create an improvement district for the Shadelands Business Park is moving forward, as property and business owners there have joined to ask the city to form a special improvement district, which would levy fees on businesses in the park.

That money would be used to help pay for a shuttle to the BART station, wayfinding signs, security and advocacy concerning local issues including zoning changes that could affect them.

The property improvement district would bring in an estimated $400,000 a year. The rate would be .06 cents per building square foot for commercial properties plus .019 cents per parcel square foot.

The improvement district would have a five-year life beginning in January 2015. If enough property owners protest, the assessment cannot be levied.

A public hearing in front of the City Council, which must vote on the issue, will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 5, City Hall, 1666 N. Main St.

Civic Arts presents separate jazz band, 'young performers' events

"Sounds of Summer Extravaganza," featuring music by Mozart, Vivaldi and Schubert, as well as from "The Pirates of the Caribbean" and Disney's "Frozen" musicals -- including the world premiere of "Contrastare" by local composer in residence George Curtis van Liew, will be performed by the Young Performers Orchestra Aug. 5 at the Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek.

And two evenings later, the 24-member Civic Arts Education jazz band will mix cool jazz and hot swinging melodies with classical ballads as well, with Max Pricco conducting the multigenerational group of musicians.

The Aug. 7 performance also takes place at the Shadelands Auditorium.

Tickets are $10 for either show; for more information, call 925-943-5846.

Submit art for 'Walnut Creek 100'

In honor of Walnut Creek's centennial, the Bedford Gallery will host an exhibition titled "Walnut Creek Turns 100: Celebrating the City Through Art," which runs Sept. 21-Nov. 16 at the Lesher Center.

To be a part of this historic exhibition submit your artwork that reflects Walnut Creek's rich history, land, commerce, community and culture, both past and present, according to a news release. Walnut Creek Turns 100 is open to members of the community who live or work in town, and anyone else who loves Walnut Creek.

The exhibit is open to artists 18 years of age and older and includes painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, printmaking, collage, textiles, video and digital media. The online entry deadline is Sept. 4; in-person deadline is Sept. 5. For more information, go to www.bedfordgallery.org/artopportunities/wc100.shtml.

Grove to mark Walnut Creek Centennial

In another nod to celebrating Walnut Creek's 100 years, it's time to plant 100 trees.

Dubbed the "Walnut Creek Centennial Grove at Heather Farm Park," the public is invited to help make it a reality.

Individuals, families, businesses, community groups and non profits can be a part of the gift to future generations by making a donation of $250 to fund the project. The names of all supporters will be etched in stone on the Centennial Rock in the Centennial Grove.

"Designed to provide a peaceful place to relax and reflect, the Centennial Grove of 100 trees, adorned with a new piece of public art, will encircle the pond at Heather Farm Park," according to a news release.

Among the 100 trees in the grove will be both native varieties, such as coast live oak and western rebus, as well as trees from six different continents, according to the release.

"The mixture of native and exotic trees is designed to represent and pay tribute to the diversity of people from around the world who settled Walnut Creek and helped create and build the community residents and visitors treasure today," read the release.

Donations may be made online at WalnutCreek100.com, or by sending a check payable to Walnut Creek Centennial Grove/Walnut Creek Historical Society, 1630 N. Main St., Suite 118, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Call 925-943-5895 or go to the website.

'Healthy' skate competition this August

The first-ever "Healthy Walnut Creek Festival and Skateboard Competition" will take place on Saturday, Aug. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon at Heather Farm Park. More than 50 city programs, community sports groups and local partners will be on hand to provide healthy activities, food, games and more, according to city officials. For more information go to www.WalnutCreekRec.org.

-- Compiled by Elisabeth Nardi