50 years ago

State OKs local school unity plan: The way has been cleared for an election to determine if the five school districts of East Contra Costa shall be unified into one district, but the election can be as much as two years away.

The State Board of Education last Thursday approved unification plans submitted for three areas of Contra Costa County, including the Oakley, Brentwood and Knightsen elementary school districts and the Liberty Union High School District, to be brought under a single governing board and administration. Approval by the state board now leaves it up to voters of the district to decide whether or not they want the want the districts to be unified.

25 years ago

Pittsburg area for the birds: Nearly 110 species of birds were sighted in Pittsburg on Dec. 31, according to Dr. Maury Stein of Lafayette, unit registrar of the Audubon Society's Mount Diablo chapter.

Members of the conservationist group fan out across the country during the last week of every year to see how many birds, and what kinds, live in each area.

The 1,400 Contra Costa members of the Audubon Society counted about 153 species in the whole area study, a circle 7½ miles of Pittsburg radius centered in Concord. Most of Pittsburg, most of the Mallard Island and most of the Black Diamond Regional Preserve fell within the circle.

Stein said four Audubon Society members spent the day in the marshes by the PG&E plant, while 10 other bird watchers kept watch on the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

Tow birders spent the day in a boat near Mallard Island.

"Things were terrific," said Stein after tabulating the group's results.

Brentwood News and Ledger Dispatch news files.