Santa to pose with pets as fundraiser

What better excuse to show off your furry family member than in a Christmas card posing with Santa or the whole family -- or even if you just want a festive holiday photo to put on the fireplace.

The Homeless Animal Response Program invites all to bring their pets to Petsmart and Pet Food Express for pictures with Santa. Bring your smart phone or camera and take a picture of your pet for a donation of $5. If want to have the family in the picture, volunteers will be on hand to help you out.

The photos will be taken:

  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 14. Petsmart, 4655 Century Blvd., Pittsburg,

  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 and 22, Pet Food Express, 5829 Lone Tree Way, Antioch,

    Proceeds will benefit the program. For more information about HARP, go to or call 925-431-8546.

    -- Nan Hargis, Staff


    Comedians to perform at charity benefit

    Local comedians will perform at a charity benefit next week at the E.J. Phair Brewing Co. in Pittsburg.

    The Dec. 20 BrewHaHa event will raise money for Global Village for Healthy Families, an East County nonprofit that provides parenting classes as well as programs geared to youth.

    Tickets are $10 for the event, which starts at 7 p.m. at 300 Cumberland St. Doors open at 6 p.m.

    Comedians who will be telling the jokes are Nina G, Jesse Hett, Ben Feldman, Shanti Charan, Charlie Spink, and Johan Miranda. For more information, visit

    -- Eve Mitchell, Staff


    Black Engineers group receives Dow grant

    The East Bay chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers Jr. is the recipient of a 2013 Promise Grant bestowed by Dow Chemical's Pittsburg plant.

    The $9,780 grant will be used to buy robotic kits, laptop computers and printers as well as science and technology books that will be used next year in 24 STEM (science, technology, education and math) workshops hosted by the East Bay chapter.

    The workshops provide underserved students with tutoring in math, science, and language arts through classroom work and online tutorials.

    The mission of NSBE Jr. is to encourage more minorities to pursue careers in science and engineering through mentor-based programs that help build STEM skills. Dow's Promise program was created to support such endeavors.

    -- Eve Mitchell, Staff


    Meeting set for civic garden planning

    Have you always wanted to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers? Do you want to beautify, give back to Oakley?

    If so, you might consider attending a meeting Tuesday in an effort to create a community garden. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at 1250 O'Hara Ave. and is hosted by Promoting Agricultural Community and Equestrian (PACE).

    Special guest will be Shelley Somersett, chair of Slow Food Delta Diablo.

    For more information, go to

    -- Judith Prieve, Staff