ANTIOCH

Animal rescue group seeks volunteers

An East Contra Costa animal rescue group is looking for a few kindhearted volunteers to help care for abandoned dogs and cats until they find new homes.

Homeless Animals Response Program is holding a workshop for new volunteers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Melo's Pizza and Pasta, 6580 Lone Tree Way. Participants will learn about volunteer opportunities in the nonprofit organization.

For more information, call 925-431-8546 or email karen.kops@harp-rescue.org.

-- Paul Burgarino, Staff

BRENTWOOD

Reception to highlight art banners

A Feb. 28 reception will highlight the art banners titled "Shifting Perception on the Urban Edge."

The banners include photographs and comments from far East County farmers.

Hosted by the East Contra Costa Historical Society and the city of Brentwood, the 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. reception will be held at the Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak Street. It will take place on the second floor, where the banners are being displayed as part of the Public Art Walls exhibit.

At 7:30 p.m., there will be an introduction of the local farmers and farm families that took part in this art project. For more details, call the city's Parks and Recreation department at 925-516-5364.

-- Paula King

BRENTWOOD

Flags to be lowered at half-staff for past, present city employees


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In addition to lowering flags around the city to half-staff to pay respect for national tragedies, events and public officials, Brentwood will now do the same to honor the death of any current city staff member, local public safety officer and present or past Brentwood City Council member.

The Brentwood half-staff flag policy was adopted by the council at its Tuesday night meeting this week. Deceased former council members will be honored in this way upon notification of city staff, according to the policy.

-- Paula King, Staff

BRENTWOOD

City to place more emphasis on combating blight

Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor this week convinced fellow Brentwood City Council members that the city should place more emphasis on solutions to combating blight along Brentwood Boulevard.

At first, Taylor called for the creation of a separate council subcommittee to delve into Brentwood Boulevard's ongoing issues. He explained that Brentwood Boulevard is a key area of focus in the ongoing update of the city's General Plan, which is a document that guides the city's future and development.

"I feel this part of the city should be addressed in depth," Taylor said. "That is such a necessity for our city."

Many of the past plans for Brentwood Boulevard lack funding due to the loss of redevelopment funding from the state, city officials explained this week. The council decided to look at additional sources of revenue through the council's finance subcommittee.

-- Paula King, Staff

OAKLEY

Registration for kindergartners begins soon

Parents of soon-to-be kindergartners in the Oakley Union Elementary School District can start signing their children up next month.

Registration dates for students entering school in 2013-14 are as follows:

Gehringer Elementary, March 15, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 925-625-7070;

Iron House Elementary, March 6, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 925-625-6825; Laurel Elementary, March 11, 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., 925-625-7090; Oakley Elementary School, March 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 925-625-7050; Vintage Parkway Elementary, March 7, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 925-625-6800.

Parents of children who will be attending Iron House or Gehringer should call ahead to make an appointment.

A child must be 5 on or before Oct. 1 to be eligible for kindergarten. Those who turn 5 any time from Oct. 2 to Dec. 2 will be placed in a transitional kindergarten class.

Parents must produce the following documents to register their child: current immunization records; birth certificate (original only, no copies); two current proofs of residence (utility bills, escrow papers, property tax bill, for example).

-- Rowena Coetsee, Staff