LAMORINDA

Saint Mary's named to Service Honor Roll

Saint Mary's College in Moraga has been named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

This is the seventh year in a row Saint Mary's has received national recognition by the Oval Office for its commitment to social justice, community service and civic engagement. The honor is among the highest distinctions a school can achieve for its commitment to community service.

Saint Mary's will demonstrate its commitment to service on Saturday, March 16 across the Bay Area when it sends hundreds of volunteers to 22 Bay Area schools for the Great Bay Area Service Day for Schools. The day of service is part of a series of public programs and outreach efforts by Saint Mary's during the academic year to mark the College's 150th anniversary.

Launched in 2006, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually highlights the nation's leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. Saint Mary's was acknowledged for the more than 47,000 hours of community service that students performed with community-based organizations across the Bay Area, and for their participation in international service-learning courses where they provided a variety of disaster relief services such as helping hurricane victims in Haiti build homes.

Lafayette

'Crosses of Lafayette' persist at wars' anniversary


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Ten years after the war in Iraq and Afghanistan started, the Crosses of Lafayette adjacent to the BART station survive and thrive, and it doesn't look they're coming down anytime soon.

Part of that, Jeff Heaton said this week, is because there are still troops in active duty in Afghanistan. The idea, he said was that the crosses would remain as long as the United States is fighting there.

Also, the future of the land is uncertain now, said Heaton, a Lafayette resident who helped conceive the crosses memorial. The first crosses there were erected in 2006. Louise Clark, who owned the land when the project began, died in August 2011; the hillside is now owned by members of her family.

"The land is sort of in limbo with Louise gone," Heaton said. "But in some ways, our whole country is that way. There's the feeling that the whole country is in limbo about what our current foreign policy is."

ORINDA

Orinda Action Day

Residents wishing to help beautify Orinda can make a difference April 20 during the annual city-wide clean up day.

Projects will take place at schools and creeks on both sides of town. Participation by scout troops and community groups is especially encouraged.

Registration starts at 9 a.m. at Liberty Plaza on the day of the event. Food and free t-shirts will be available and pizza will be served around 11:30 a.m.-noon when projects are completed.

For information, visit www.orindafoundation.org or e-mail orindafoundation@gmail.com.

MORAGA

Bollinger Valley Draft EIR up for review

A draft report on the environmental impacts of a proposed 126-home development in northeastern Moraga is up for public review.

The town will be accepting public comment on the Bollinger Valley draft EIR during a 45-day period following the draft's release. A copy of the report will be available for review at the town offices, the Hacienda de las Flores facility, the Moraga Library and online at www.moraga.ca.us.

The project's developer is asking for several appeals including a general plan amendment to build on the 186-acre site.

The planning commission will hold an informational hearing on the draft report April 1 and will make a recommendation on the general plan amendment to the town council.

Garden Farm plant sales begins March 30

The Moraga Gardens Farm's annual plant sale starts Saturday, March 30 and continues on Saturdays and Sundays April 6-21. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each sale day.

The timing of the sale is ideal, as it is optimum to wait until April 15 to plant vegetables outdoors in Lamorinda.

More than 2,800 organic plants grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides will be offered. Plants include many hard to find heirloomn varieties, which have proven to do well in Lamorinda -- 20 types of tomatoes, four kinds of eggplants, eight peppers and nine different herbs.

Cost of the 4-inch potted plants is $2, and of 1-gallon plants are $5. Proceeds will help pay for the operating expensses of running the farm.

Moraga Gardens Farm grows a variety of vegetables and fruits, which are shared by the volunteer members, local markets, and local charitable organizations that fed the hungry, including the Contra Costa Food Bank. The farm is located at 1370 Moraga Road, just south of the Moraga Fire Department.

Contra Costa

Regional prayer breakfast March 29

The 24th annual Valley Leadership Prayer Breakfast takes place Friday, March 29 (Good Friday) from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the San Ramon Marriott Hotel, 2600 Bishop Drive in San Ramon.

This breakfast is patterend after a "prayer breakfast group" idea believed to have first taken hold in 1935 in Seattle, where businessmen gathered to face a critical situation in their city. It took on a higher profile in 1953, when President Eisenhower initiated the first National Prayer Breakfast, in large measure to receive spiritual uplifting not only from God, but from fellow government leaders.

The keynote speaker at the event will be Patti Rose, an addiction specialist at ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton, who overcame problems in herv own life to offer help to others, including inmates of the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, Deuel Vovational Insitution near Tracy and other prisons.

Gospel musicians Chuck and Jodi Aldredge will provide the music.

Although invitations are sent to previous attendees as well as to elected and appointed government officials and business leaders, the breakfast is open to everyone. Advance reservations are required, however.

Tickets are $27.50 per person. For information about tickets or about the breakfast itself, call Marsha Walker at 925-360-3476 or e-mail her at mcorbettwalker@sbcglobal.net

-- Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards