Lafayette

Mt. Diablo Boulevard project preliminary review

The city council, and planning and design commissioners are scheduled to meet Sept. 23 to discuss a proposed residential development on three parcels along Mt. Diablo Boulevard in the city's west end.

The city council decided this week to hold a preliminary project review session with representatives from Lennar Homes, who have proposed developing the parcels at 3666, 3672 and 3682 Mt. Diablo Boulevard.

The developers are hoping to build 47 homes including a live/work "component" they say will add a commercial element to the project. Lennar is proposing a density of 23.5 homes per acre on the 2 acre site.

The developers have not submitted any permits or design plans, according to city planning staff.

The meeting will be held Sept. 23 at the Lafayette library auditorium.

Music workshop, scholarship competition

The Contra Costa Performing Arts Society is offering an intensive 1-day Music Ensemble Workshop and Scholarship Competition from 12:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Bentley School in Lafayette for talented classical and jazz high school musicians.

This workshop will include a practice period, in which participants will individually practice assigned repertoire in the weeks leading up to the workshop date. On Nov. 17, participants will meet at Bentley School and practice their pieces with distinguished, professional jazz or classical performers already familiar with the repertoire. That evening, at 7 p.m., participants will showcase their pieces in a free evening concert, where they may win scholarship prizes. Scholarship prizes will be offered to the top several groups, depending on the number of groups participating, with awards of up to $75 per member of the group.

Past coaches include members of the acclaimed Alexander String Quartet, the Cypress String Quartet, and the Stanford Wind Quintet. Snacks, dinner, and the evening concert's DVD will be provided to participants.

Applicants must attend high school or reside in Contra Costa County and may apply as a preformed group (encouraged) or as individual players willing to be assigned to a new group. Participation fee is $35, refunded to applicants not selected. An application form is available at www.ccpas.org under the "Student Chapter" tab; applications must be postmarked by Aug. 28.

MORAGA

Pest control workshop, demonstrations Oct. 1

Parents for a Safer Environment and the Town of Moraga will present a series of the most practical, cost-effective and least toxic pest control alternative demonstrations Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Hacienda de las Flores in Moraga.

There will be hands-on demonstrations by experts in their fields who will show long-term and economical methods for controlling gophers, moles and weeds on landscapes, and rats, mice, ants, fleas and termites in structures while using the least toxic methods possible.

These demonstrations are recommended for the staffs of schools, child care facilities, towns and cities, businesses, country clubs/golf courses, growers, churches and homeowners and renters. This represents eight continuing-education units approved by state Department of Pesticide Regulation for pesticide applicators and advisers.

The cost is $10 for each of the six, 1-hour demos or $50 for the entire day, with half off for additional registrants from public agencies, nonprofits, or businesses with six or fewer staff. Organic, gourmet lunch available with pre-orders. Preregistration deadline is Sept. 23; go online to www.pfse.net. Walk-ins are OK, space permitting.

ORINDA

Draft housing element discussion on Tuesday

A community group which has for months raised objections about the city's housing element has submitted to the city their updated "redraft" version of the state-required document that lays out how Orinda plans to accommodate future housing needs.

Members of the group Orinda Watch submitted to city staffers this week their edited draft housing element. According to a newsletter, the group's version contains edits reviewed at a Orinda Watch meeting this week.

The city is scheduled to discuss revisions made to the draft element based on recent direction from the city council, according to planning director Emmanuel Ursu.

After the council review the changes, staff plans to request further direction to draft any additional changes and complete an environmental review study. That study will be circulated for public comment and will go under planning commission review. The city council will then hold a hearing on the possible adoption of the environmental document and the housing element. The adoption process is scheduled to culminate in December, according to the planning director.

Staffers had not yet reviewed the Orinda Watch draft as of Thursday morning. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Orinda library auditorium.

Contra Costa

Restaurant Walk benefits girls' science education

More than 25 Walnut Creek restaurants will be providing delicious samples from their menus as part of the Walnut Creek Restaurant Walk, from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 1, sponsored by the American Association of University of Women.

This is essentially a progressive dinner party in downtown Walnut Creek, with ticket sales revenue to benefit the Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Tech Trek fund, which supports sending young women to science/math university summer camps designed to develop interest, excitement and self-confidence in young women who enter eighth grade in the fall. The camps feature hands-on activities in math, science and related fields.

Send checks, at $30 per person, to Gail Chesler at 2914 Fyne Dr., Walnut Creek, CA 94598. Checks should be made out to AAUW OML Community Outreach Fund, Inc.

Contra Costa

Get 'up close' at Lindsay Wildlife Museum

Lindsay Wildlife Museum introduces "Saturday Keeper Workshops" that let young animal lovers meet the museum's professional animal keepers, and learn how they do their jobs caring for the museum's resident animal ambassadors.

This two-hour workshop explores the world of the museum's animals and their human caretakers close-up. Young naturalists, ages 6-15, learn how animal keepers care for animals, clean enclosures, prepare diets, encourage exercise and activity and train cooperative behaviors. Workshops begin at 9 a.m. before the museum opens to the public.

The first workshop will be held 9 a.m. Sept. 28 and will focus on raptors. The second workshop will take place on Jan. 25 and will focus on mammals.

Both workshops will take place at the museum, 1931 First Ave., in Walnut Creek. The cost is $35 for members and $45 for nonmembers. For more information call 925-627-2913 or go to wildlife-museum.org.

-- Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards