( Chris Treadway )
Albany: Trees come down at Gill Tract site

Crews hired by the University of California cut down 53 trees on Thursday morning, part of the process of constructing a mixed use residential-commercial project on land at the university-owned Gill Tract. The controversial project, which includes a Sprouts Farmers Market store and senior housing, is slated for construction on both sides of Monroe Street at San Pablo Avenue, east of the University Village student residential complex.  
A long-standing disagreement over a 14-unit condo development plan for a historic site at 1715 Elm St. will be back before the Planning Commission on March 18 in an appeal of a final design review.  
 
The board also held a hearing on the renewal application of Manzanita Charter Middle School, founded in 2000 as the district's first charter, and is expected to make a decision on April 1  
 
courtesy of Maria Rodriguez
Almost all the animals at Children's Fairyland in Oakland live well beyond their normal life expectancy because of the TLC they receive. But there comes a time when they get too old or too frail to play with kids anymore, so they're eased into a luxurious retirement.  
 
As voter support for a parcel tax to save Doctors Medical Center San Pablo hovers well below the two-thirds required for approval, the West Contra Costa Healthcare District faces a delay in a tentative deal to sell some of its real estate portfolio to San Pablo.  
 
Elizabeth Rosner had been teaching college level creative writing and composition for a number of years before publishing a first novel of her own in September 2001.  
 
A former Vacaville man serving multiple life sentences for the rape of a Bay Area woman in 2011 had his hopes for an appeal of his conviction dashed recently.  
 
American folk hero Johnny Appleseed will be honored with a day of apple-themed activities Sunday at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont. Johnny's life story, apple lore, apple tasting, tree planting, cider pressing and crafts for kids will be among the activities, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  
 
Former Cal star hosts charity bowling event Lorenzo Alexander's ACES Foundation is holding its seventh annual celebrity bowling event on March 7 at Albany Bowl.  
 
SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD/STAFFMorris fuels 'Jackets playoff runBerkeley High School boys basketball player Bryan Morris (4) shoots in the third quarter of his team's North Coast Section Division I first-round game against College Park in Pleasant Hill on Feb.  
 
(Jordan Strauss/Invision for Ente)
'Being Mary Jane': Gabrielle Union relishes a career high point

Losing the role of Olivia Pope on 'Scandal' 'happened for a reason,' says Pleasanton native, who also talks of how Whitney Houston's death altered her focus. 
(JONATHAN ALCORN/AFP/Getty Images)
Update: Harrison Ford plane crash injuries 'moderate'; engine failure cited

The “Star Wars” actor crash-landed a small vintage plane on a Venice Beach golf course. Reports say he was taken to a hospital with bloody gashes on his head.