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Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour in Contra Costa, Alameda counties highlights California's roots

40 gardens are pesticide-free, water-conserving, provide habitat for wildlife, and contain at least 60 percent native plants 
Despite concerns about high-profile 2002 trial, federal appeals court upholds Marjorie Knoller's second-degree murder conviction for the fatal dog mauling of San Francisco neighbor Diane Whipple  
'American Idol' wraps up Hollywood Week by naming its Top 24 finalists.  
"Love in the Wilderness" is the theme of a hike from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 14 at Sunol Regional Wilderness, led by naturalist Cat Taylor. The group will look for "amorous amphibians and rapturous raptors."  
Priebe assuming temporary role while town searches for new chief  
Roland Merullo's 'Buddha' a first year experience book at Saint Mary's  
Honors for individual who has improved life for residents  
Carnival Festival Carnival Festival: 9:30 a.m. Feb. 7, Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1035 Carol Lane, Lafayette. Festival service celebrating New Orleans tradition of Carnival.  
At the free First Tuesday family event at the Bedford Gallery in the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, Emilio Gaviria, 3, above left, of Walnut Creek, shows off his "Flash" superhero mask, as his nanny Gray Morales breaks out in laughter, while Felicia Conneely, of Moraga, left, helps her daughter Sinead Conneely, 4, make a Captain America drawing. As part of the gallery's current My Hero! exhibit of superheroes that continues through March 20, kids made masks and shields and took part in superhero activities Dan Rosenstrauch/Staff photos  
Walnut Creek City Council: 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, special meeting, third-floor conference room. Regular session 7 p.m. City Council chamber, 1666 N. Main St.  
( T. Charles Erickson )
Review: 'Satchmo' goes behind Louis Armstrong's happy facade

The solo show 'Satchmo' by Terry Teachout depicts jazz legend Louis Armstrong reflecting on his bittersweet life and music; it plays at American Conservatory Theater through Feb. 7