LIVERMORE

Theater building funds await judge's decision

The future of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center's planned regional theater is now in the hands of a Sacramento superior court judge.

Attorneys for the nonprofit and the state presented their cases Aug. 9 in a key lawsuit over more than $120 million in redevelopment funds. During an hourlong hearing, Sacramento County Superior Judge Eugene Balonon listened to oral arguments from lawyers for the performing arts center and Deputy Attorney General Kari Krogseng, representing the state Finance Department.

LVPAC is suing the Finance Department for the release of $122 million in future tax increments to help pay for its proposed 2,000-seat regional theater in downtown Livermore. The funding, the suit alleges, stems from agreements between LVPAC and Livermore's defunct redevelopment agency made before the state's dissolution of such agencies in 2012.

Last October, the Finance Department decided to deny any future tax increment money set aside for the theater project, saying that while Livermore did offer to take over responsibilities of the redevelopment agency, the "powers and duties" of the former RDAs could not transfer to the city. Judge Balonon has up to 90 days from the date of the hearing to render a decision.

"We're optimistic, but who knows?" said LVPAC Executive Director Len Alexander. "This has been dragging on for so long .... It's all up to him."

Alexander added it was "unlikely" the regional theater could be built without the tax increment money, unless one or more private donors fund the full cost of construction -- about $65 million.

-- Jeremy Thomas, Staff

PLEASANTON

New police officers sworn in on Aug. 14

Five new officers were sworn in Aug. 14 to serve the Pleasanton police department.

Before their hiring, the new officers took part in interviews, medical and psychological exams and extensive background checks. The new officers are Catrina Clark, Bradlee Middleton, Travis Oliver, Bradley Palmquist and Tyler Paulsen. They will fill positions vacated during the past year and will each have 16 weeks of field training before they are assigned to patrol the city on their own.

-- Kelly Gust, Staff

East Bay

Area Challengers to be in Little League series

Tri-Valley baseball players will be among those competing during the Little League World Series celebration and games in Williamsport, Penn.

Fifteen players and three coaches from Little League District 57's Challenger league will take part in an exhibition game Saturday at 1:30 a.m. PDT. The team of special needs children will compete against a Chicago-area team, said Frank Elliott, coach of a Danville Challenger team, who will take part in the game.

District 57 has nine Challenger teams with 150 players, said Elliott. The game will be shown live online at ESPN3.com and on the WatchESPN app. There are more than 30,000 Challenger Little League players.

-- Kelly Gust, Staff

DUBLIN

All you can eat lobster or a good set of causes

Lobstermania, this city's biggest block party and fundraising dinner, will be held from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Elephant Bar parking lot at 7202 Amador Plaza Road.

The Dublin Rotary Club organizes the event, which offers all-you-can-eat lobster, ribs and side dishes as well as band music and dancing. Tickets are $90 or $800 for a table of 10. To buy tickets, visit www.lobstermaniadublin.com or call Larry Damaser at 925-828-1688.

Lobstermania benefits several organizations, including the Dublin High School band and music program, Dublin Rotary scholarships for students and the CHP 11-99 foundation to help highway patrol officers and their families.

-- Denis Cuff, Staff