ANTIOCH

CROP Walk is set for Sunday

Several East Contra Costa faith groups will be putting on their walking shoes Sunday to raise money to help stop local hunger and poverty.

The CROP Walk will be held on Sunday, beginning at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 2507 San Jose Drive, Antioch. Registration is at 2:30 p.m., and the walk begins at 3 p.m.

A quarter of the funds raised will go to the Antioch Food Pantry and Pittsburg's Loaves and Fishes, while the rest goes to global efforts through Church World Services, including in Haiti and areas in the U.S. hit by floods and tornadoes.

More than 2,000 cities and towns nationwide participate in the Hunger Walk. This year's theme is "Ending hunger one step at a time."

"The need is enormous, and we want to help meet the needs together and to show our concern," the Rev. Christy Parks-Ramage, co-pastor of East County Shared Ministry, said in a news release.

For more information, call 925-439-9361.

-- Paul Burgarino, Staff

ANTIOCH

Model train show is this weekend

The Black Diamond Lines Model Railroad Club hosts its annual spring show of its HO-scale model train from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The clubhouse is at 425 Fulton Shipyard Road. Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and children 6-12, free for those under 6.

Call 925-779-1964 or go to www.blackdiamondlines.com

-- Judith Prieve, Staff

PITTSBURG

Earth-friendly gardening talk is April 21

Those interested in learning how to garden in an earth-friendly way are invited to get the low-down from a horticultural consultant.

Shawna Anderson will give a talk at 6 p.m. April 21 in the Family Life Center at Faith Worship Center Ministries, 2170 Harbor St., Pittsburg.

Cost is $10, which goes to the church's building fund.

Anderson will explain how people can grow their own vegetables organically, make compost, water efficiently, and use plants that attract beneficial insects.

In addition to light refreshments there will be a raffle for organic vegetable starts and tools.

To reserve a seat, call 925-457-5422 or email Shawnasgarden@aol.com.

-- Rowena Coetsee, Staff

PITTSBURG

Courthouse clerk's office expands hours

Starting this week, those with traffic issues in East Contra Costa County will have more time during the day to handle their business.

A pilot program is being launched at the Pittsburg courthouse, where the clerk's office will keep one traffic window open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, except court holidays, to accept payments only on traffic cases, according to Contra Costa Superior Court officials.

The program applies only to payments on traffic cases at the Richard E. Arnason Justice Center.

Because of limited staff, the clerk's office will continue to close at 1 p.m. for all other court matters.

-- Paul Burgarino, Staff

ANTIOCH

Fish fry dinners during Lent at St. Ignatius

The Knights of Columbus of Saint Ignatius of Antioch is hosting its annual Lenten Fish Fry Dinners every Friday through April 11 at the church at 3351 Contra Loma Blvd.

This annual fundraiser will run from 4:30-7 p.m. each week. The community is welcome for drive-thru, take out or eat-in meals in the church hall. Cost is $13 and includes fish, french fries, coleslaw and a beverage. All proceeds benefit the new educational center.

-- Judith Prieve, Staff

PITTSBURG

Library to offer group read-a-thons

The library here will be celebrating books next month by inviting children to take part in a group reading activity.

Called "Kids Read -- Cats and Dogs," the project fosters youngsters' interest in literature by having them read the same books and participate in activities related to the stories.

Both of the books that will be showcased during April have the kid appeal of being animal stories: Preschoolers through second graders will read "Skippyjon Jones," the funny adventures of a little cat with big dreams. Children in grades 3 to 5 will read "Because of Winn Dixie," which chronicles the bittersweet experiences of 10-year-old Opal and the stray dog she adopted.

Pittsburg's library along with several community groups have teamed up to hold animal-themed events, including a pet parade, a stuffed animal sleepover and a movie.

The books are free for the asking, paid for by a grant from the Keller Canyon Mitigation Trust Fund.

Youngsters can pick up their copy at the library, Railroad Book Depot (650 Railroad Ave.), or at any of the Starbucks stores in Pittsburg except the one in the Safeway supermarket on Bailey Road.

For more information, call 925-427-8390 or visit ccclib.org.

-- Rowena Coetsee, Staff

East County

Public invited to apply for board openings

County District 5 residents have a chance to shape their communities by applying for seats on a variety of boards and commissions.

Opportunities for those who live in East County have opened up on the following advisory groups to the county Board of Supervisors:

  • Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board

    Members should have a professional interest in, or personal commitment to alleviating problems related to drug abuse and inappropriate alcohol use in their community. The board meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 3:45 to 6:15 p.m. in Martinez. The current regular opening has a term ending June 30, 2016. For more information, call Fatima Matal Sol at 925-335-3307.

  • Contra Costa County Fire Protection District's Fire Advisory Commission

    Members review annual operations and capital budgets, long-range capital improvement plans; serve as the appeals board on weed abatement

    matters and advise the fire chief on district service matters. They also meet jointly with the Board of Supervisors, communicate with other fire district advisory commissions on services and functional integration, and help with the fire chief's selection process as required.

    The opening is for an alternate seat. The board meets the second Monday of February, April, June, August, October, and December at 2010 Geary Road, Pleasant Hill. The current regular opening has a term ending June 30, 2016. For more information, call Shawn De Leuze at 925-941-3318.

  • County Service Area R-10 Citizens Advisory Committee

    Members advise the Board of Supervisors on the desires of the community pertaining to local park and recreation facilities and services. The openings are for two regular seats and two alternate seats. The committee meets the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at Lefty Gomez Field recreation building, Rodeo. The current regular opening has a term ending June 30, 2015. For more information, call Susan Cohen at 925-313-2160.

  • County Library Commission

    Members serve as link between their community and the county library system, providing a forum for residents at large to weigh in on the library's goals and operations. They also help the Board of Supervisors and the County Librarian provide services based on assessed public needs as well as come up with proposals for improvements such as ensuring stable and adequate funding for libraries. The current opening is for an alternate seat. The commission meets the fourth Thursday every other month from 7 to 9 p.m. at 75 Santa Barbara, Pleasant Hill. The current regular opening has a term ending June 30, 2016. For more information, call Corinne Kelly at 925-927-3206.

    County supervisors appoint applicants for any of these seats based on the recommendation of District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover.

    Application forms are available by calling Glover's office at 925-335-8200. The deadline for submitting completed applications is 5 p.m. April 7.

    -- Rowena Coetsee, Staff