Drum, Ireland named Hecht award winners

The recipients of the 2013 Arthur Hecht Volunteer of the Year Award are Bill Drum, posthumously, and Mary Ireland, the Piedmont Unified School District announced Monday.

The award will be presented to Ireland and the family of Drum at the May 8 school board meeting. The award is presented annually to individuals who have volunteered their efforts over a period of time and made a difference because of their involvement and commitment to Piedmont's youth.

-- Piedmont Unified School District

Piedmont holding tree survey April 27-28

Biologist and Councilman Garrett Keating is asking for homeowners to volunteer access to their properties for a Sudden Oak Death Syndrome (SODS) blitz on April 27-28 in Piedmont.

This is a crowd-sourced science project led by an SODS expert at UC-Berkeley. Volunteers are trained to recognize SODS disease and check California Bay Laurels (trees that harbor the virus but do not get sick from it). Over the next 24 hours, volunteers survey their town with sampling kits and GPS units.

Samples will be returned to UC-Berkeley for analysis and data is used to generate a map of SODS around California.


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City staff will be surveying the parks; Keating and other volunteers will be surveying the private lands. For more information, contact Keating at gkeating@ci.piedmont.ca.us or call 510-566-1481.

-- Linda Davis

Kehilla temple will hold book reading Monday

Kehilla Synagogue at 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont, is hosting a book reading and discussion open to the public at 7 p.m. Monday.

Rabbi Brant Rosen will read from and discuss his new book "Wrestling in the Daylight," which chronicles his break with his lifelong liberal Zionism to become a highly visible Palestinian solidarity activist.

The event is presented by the Middle East Peace Committee. A $10 to $20 donation is appreciated. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. Light refreshments will be served in the social hall afterward.

-- Linda Davis

Girl Scouts, Brownies to hold benefit book drive

Piedmont Girl Scouts and Brownies are holding a book drive through May 1 for the East Bay Children's Book Project.

Donate any fiction or nonfiction books in good condition for preschoolers through 12th grade to Beach Elementary School auditorium during school hours at the drop-off boxes there. Beach is at 100 Lake Ave. in Piedmont. For more information, contact Valerievillanueva@yahoo.com.

-- Linda Davis

PHS, PMS jazz bands to perform at Yoshi's

Piedmont High and Piedmont Middle School jazz bands will perform a fundraiser at Yoshi's jazz club at Jack London Square on May 20.

They will perform two concerts at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are $10-$15. Proceeds will help purchase instruments for the school jazz programs. For more information contact Jan D'Annunzio at janerley@aol.com.

-- Linda Davis

PAAC will present Chinese opera for free

Piedmont Asian American Club is offering its members an opportunity to attend a full-length Chinese opera for free presented by Red Bean Opera company.

The performance is at 1 p.m. May 26 at Chabot College Performing Arts Center, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward.

The first 25 respondents (child with an adult) can attend at no cost. Older teens may attend without an adult. Additional adults will pay $20 for a ticket.

Red Bean needs a list of attendees by April 30 with the name of the adult and child, the child's age and school. The troupe will present the Cantonese opera "Princess Changping," set in the last days of the Ming Dynasty. Changping undergoes many trials, but is saved by a Ming minister. She is reunited with her Prince Consort Zhou Shixian. The saga of the wedded couple ends tragically. RSVP to Mary Geong at 510-654-4417 or mmgeong@aol.com.

-- Linda Davis

League hosting Skinner at spring luncheon

The League of Women Voters of Piedmont will hold its annual meeting and luncheon on May 10 and the program will feature 15th District Assemblymember Nancy Skinner.

The event will take place at 216 Hampton Road, Piedmont at 11 a.m. immediately following the league's annual meeting. The free program is followed by the league's spring luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Advance reservations and payment of $25 for the luncheon are required. For reservations, call 510-547-0762 before May 6.

Skinner was elected to the state Assembly in 2008. Following redistricting last year, Piedmont became part of her district. Skinner currently chairs the Assembly Rules Committee and formerly served as chair of the Natural Resources Committee.

Skinner has a long history of public service and a record of environmental and social justice leadership. She served on the Berkeley City Council and the East Bay Regional Park District Board, owned a small business, and was active in student government at UC Berkeley. As a legislator, Nancy is perhaps best known for her E-Fairness bill requiring Amazon and other internet retailers to collect sales tax.

Center for the Arts hosting several events

Piedmont Center for the Arts will hold a tasting event of Piedmont wines from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 26.

Of-age participants are invited to sample the best homemade wines Piedmonters have to offer. Three qualified judges will conduct the tasting, and prizes will be awarded.

Tickets of $10 per person include a commemorative wine glass.

The event includes classical music, wine and cheeses at the center at 801 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont.

Vintners should register in advance at info@piedmontcenterforthearts.org. Describe entry and its category.

The Divertimento Ensemble appears at 4 p.m. Sunday, with a program "European Charm." They will perform works by Rossini, Beethoven, Ferenc Farkas. The ensemble includes violinists Joseph Gold and Debbie Dare, violist Raphael Gold, cellist Paul Rhodes, bassist Karen Horner, Clarinetist Larry London, Bassoonist Cyrle Perry, and hornist Janis Lieberman. Tickets are from $10 to $15 at the door.

-- Linda Davis

Program on chemicals in products Wednesday

Tracey Woodruff, a doctor from UC San Francisco, will present an informative program on chemicals in everyday products from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Beach Elementary School auditorium, 100 Lake Ave., Piedmont.

Woodruff is a national expert on environmental chemicals and their effects on early childhood development. She researches how exposure of pregnant women to environmental contaminants affects their baby's health. She translates her findings to health care providers, policy makers and community groups to improve clinical care and prevent prenatal exposures to harmful chemicals.

Everyday household and personal care products can contains ingredients such as lead, flame retardants and plasticizers that pose health risks.

All are welcome to this free program, sponsored by League of Women Voters of Piedmont, Piedmont Connect and the Beach Parents' Organization Green Committee.

-- Linda Davis

Piedmont Relays event to be at Witter Field

The Piedmont Relays annual track and field event for third- through fifth-graders will be from 2 to 5:15 p.m. Wednesday at Witter Field on the Piedmont High campus.

This fun event is sponsored by the Piedmont Recreation Department and the Tri-school Dads' clubs.

Advance sign-ups are $12 and include a T-shirt. You may obtain a sign-up at the schools, the recreation department, or visit www.piedmontrelays.com.

For more information, contact David Weisgerber at 510-420-3074.

-- Linda Davis

Prescription drug disposal day April 27

The Piedmont Police Department is holding a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at the department, 403 Highland Ave., Piedmont.

The service is free and anonymous. People are encouraged to rid their cabinets of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, which will be disposed of by the police department.

Unused drugs are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at 5,200 sites operated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and its local law enforcement partners. In five previous Take Back events, more than 2 million pounds of pills were turned in.

Statistics show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

Throwing unused drugs in the trash or flushing down the toilet poses safety and health hazards.

For more information, contact Officer Foster at 510-420-3000.

-- Linda Davis

City seeks use plans for 801 Magnolia Ave.

The Piedmont City Council invites interested parties to submit written proposals for future uses of the east wing (former Sunday school portion) of the city's building at 801 Magnolia Ave.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on this matter during its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. May 6 at in the City Council chambers. The deadline for written proposals is noon May 1. All proposals received will be published with the materials for the May 6 council meeting, which will be posted to the city's website on May 3. Interested parties will also have the chance to make brief presentations to the council on their proposals during the meeting.

Proposals should be submitted to the City Clerk's Office at 120 Vista Ave., Piedmont, CA 94611 or via email to jtulloch@ci.piedmont.ca.us. For further information, contact City Clerk John Tulloch at 510- 420-3041.

-- Linda Davis

Bike to school or work day is May 9 at Ace

Bike to work or school day is from 6:30 to 9 a.m. May 9 at Ace Hardware on Grand Avenue in Piedmont.

Piedmont Connect's Green Transportation Groups hosts an energizer station at Ace to provide cyclists with refreshments, "goody bags" and support. To volunteer, contact ricardoscott27@gmail.com.

-- Linda Davis

Girl Scout Troop 31526 to hold tea on May 11

Piedmont Girl Scout Troop 31526 will hold an elegant tea for grandmothers, sisters and parents alike from 1 to 3 p.m. May 11.

Girls will paint their own china tea cup. Cost is $38 per couple, which includes parent and child or other family member.

The tea will be held at Veterans Hall, corner Highland and Oakland avenues. For more details, contact yeh4mom@yahoo.com.

-- Linda Davis