East Coast retailer coming to Walnut Creek

The first retailer for the yet-to-be-built 1500 Mt. Diablo Boulevard project has been named -- Vineyard Vines, the clothing retailer known for a pink whale logo.

Started on Martha's Vineyard in 1998, it will set up shop in Walnut Creek on the corner of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Main Street next spring or summer, according to a news release.

This is part of the company's push for new stores in 2015, which will include storefronts in Columbus, Ohio and St. Louis. The company is best known for whimsical neckties.

For the 1500 Mt. Diablo Boulevard project, Vineyard Vines is a retailer not yet in the region in a project that will be half retail and half restaurants. In the early construction phase, BH Development is aiming to build a project that offers more than one restaurant including rooftop dining, a first in Walnut Creek.

Walnut Creek Downtown History Tour Sept. 13

What downtown street used to be called School Street because it was the way to get to the first school in Walnut Creek?

To learn the answer to this and many other intriguing questions about Walnut Creek, join the Downtown History Tour sponsored by the Walnut Creek Historical Society.


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This easy 90-minute guided walking tour brings to life the early times and development of what has become a Bay Area destination city.

The tours are held on the second Saturday of each month.

The next tour will be on Sept. 13. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. at the fountain at Liberty Bell Plaza on the corner of Broadway and Mt. Diablo Blvd. The tour begins at 9:30 a.m. and is free. A booklet with historic photos of the sites visited may be purchased at the tour for $5.

Registration in advance is required and space is limited. To sign up for the tour go to the Walnut Creek Historical Society's website at: www.walnutcreekhistory.info and click on "Walnut Creek Downtown Tours."

Vote for your favorite historic building

To honor Walnut Creek's Centennial, the Walnut Creek Action for Beauty Council invites the community to vote for their favorite downtown historic building. The voting is part of this year's People's Choice Awards.

The five nominees represent the most well-known of Walnut Creek's historic downtown buildings: The railroad depot, the old meat market, the oldest chapel, the first fire station, and the home and office of the town doctor.

To vote, visit the website of Walnut Creek Magazine (www.WalnutCreekMagazine.com). The website has photos and additional information on the People's Choice nominees. Online voting is open through Oct. 10.

The People's Choice Award recipient will be announced at the Action for Beauty Council's annual awards luncheon on Friday, Oct. 17 at Scott's Seafood Restaurant.

The community is invited to attend the luncheon and to celebrate our heritage buildings. Luncheon tickets are $55 and may be purchased by contacting Janet Abrams at 925-932-2746.

'Hand of Peace' unveiling in Civic Park

The public is invited to a celebration to welcome Beniamino Bufano's monumental sculpture, "Hand of Peace" to its new location in Civic Park. Walnut Creek Mayor Kristina Lawson will lead the unveiling 3 p.m. Sept. 16.

For 43 years the Hand of Peace, a 32-foot public art sculpture by world renowned artist Bufano stood tucked away in the Quail Court office park in south Walnut Creek. Public art tours visited the sculpture often, but the piece, made from copper, mosaic and stained glass, was mostly hidden from public view — many residents and visitors to Walnut Creek never knew it existed.

In June 2014 the completely restored sculpture was installed in Civic Park at the north entrance of the downtown Walnut Creek Library.

The sculpture is on loan to the city for 25 years by the William H.C. Chang family who acquired the work when they purchased the Quail Court property in 1967. Hand of Peace will continue to be a stop on the city's public art walking tour.

"We are grateful to the Chang family and to all the people who came together to bring Hand of Peace back to Walnut Creek," said Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions and Programs at Walnut Creek's Bedford Gallery in a news release. "This is a wonderful opportunity for Walnut Creek and the community — this piece will definitely be a place maker and one of those sculptures where people say: 'meet me at The Hand!'"

Ballot props focus of Democratic Club meeting

A panel from the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley will explain the propositions on the November ballot in California and present supporting and opposing arguments at the meeting of the Diablo Valley Democratic Club at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road in Walnut Creek.

Propositions about water, the state's rainy day fund, health care, crime and Indian gaming will be on the ballot. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization encouraging informed participation in government and influencing public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, call 925-946-0469 or go to www.dvdems.org

'Dog Day' at the Elks Lodge Saturday

"Dog Day" at the Walnut Creek Elks Lodge, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot at the lodge, at 1475 Creekside Drive in Walnut Creek, will feature competitions in various categories, all as a benefit for Guide Dogs for the Blind, inc.

The categories will include most sad/pitiful looking, most beautiful eyes, best costume, the dog most like its owner, best dog trick, the waggiest tail, most mixed-up breed, most obedient pooch and the "best six legs" (dog and owner).

A $15 donation is needed for a dog's first two competition categories, and $5 for each additional category.

Bring completed forms and payments to the on-site registration desk at the event. The handler and dog(s) will be assigned numbers. Make checks payable to WC Elks Lodge. Only healthy vaccinated and nonaggressive dogs will be allowed; dogs must be on leash and under control at all times. Advance registration requested but not required; to register, or for more information, email tchanderson@gmail.com

-- Compiled by Elisabeth Nardi