Building demolition will mean street closures

The tall white building at 1500 Newell Ave. downtown -- once known as "the Peace Building" is being demolished over the next several weeks. Internal demolition was underway this week, with demolition of the exterior set to begin Monday, Nov. 5 and finish before Thanksgiving.

To ensure the public's safety during the exterior demolition, there will be significant lane closures around the Main Street/Newell Avenue intersection starting Nov. 5.

Specific planned closures include:

  • Main Street southbound will be closed between Broadway Plaza and Newell Avenue.

  • Newell Avenue eastbound between the Newell Promenade entrance and Main Street will be closed, except for one lane that will be right-turn only onto South Main Street.

  • Newell Avenue westbound will be closed between Main Street and the Newell Promenade entrance.

    The Kaiser Permanente Medical Center garage entrance on Newell Avenue will remain open. Also, Newell Promenade shops on Newell between Main Street and California Boulevard will remain open.

    Lane closures will be in effect between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Changeable message signs are now in place to alert drivers to the closures.

    'Bookfair' supports local college-bound foster youth


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    With the advent and boom of the e-Readers and more people having access to them for entertainment and education purposes, Kathie Cima, community relations manager of Barnes and Noble in Walnut Creek, said she reached out to Martinez-based Foster a Dream, a nonprofit that provides support to local foster youth, to see if Barnes and Noble can help support local youth's educational goals by giving them access to Nooks, Barnes and Noble's e-Readers.

    "There's a disparity between those who have access to everything and those kids who don't have anything," said Cima. "We challenge the community to bridge the gap that our fostered youth must overcome on their way to college life. Intervention must happen early. We will attempt to level the playing field by giving these youth access to the world via Nooks."

    The public can help bridge the gap by presenting a voucher as they purchase items at Barnes and Noble Walnut Creek during the Foster a Dream Barnes and Noble Bookfair starting Saturday, Nov. 3 and running through Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the downtown bookstore, 1149 S. Main St. in Walnut Creek.

    A percentage of their purchases will benefit Foster a Dream, and buy Nook e-Readers for young people.

    Customers can also support the cause online at bn.com/bookfairs by entering book fair ID 10816973 at checkout.

    Next 'Second Saturday' walk Nov. 10

    The final "Second Saturday" walk with Mayor Bob Simmons begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10.

    The theme for this walk is the art and architecture of downtown Walnut Creek.

    Walkers should meet at the steps at the corner of California Boulevard and Ygnacio Valley Road, adjacent to the Walnut Creek BART station. The walk is free, and no RSVP is needed.

    The Second Saturday walks are part of Simmons' "Walnut Creek Walks" initiative for 2012, designed to get people out and about, and to be a part of the local political process. For more information go to www.walnut-creek.org/walks

    City seeks vets' stories for Veterans Day ceremony

    The City of Walnut Creek is looking for veterans' stories in preparation for the 2012 Veterans Day ceremony, where they or family representatives will receive a certificate of appreciation from the city.

    The ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in downtown Walnut Creek. The Walnut Creek Concert Band will provide a musical tribute to the generous men and women who have served, or are serving, the United States.

    The stories may reflect current or recent military service, or a piece of family history passed down through the generations in writing or through the oral tradition. The names of veterans who step forward will be listed on the Veterans Day ceremony program.

    To share a story, or simply a veteran's name and service history (branch of service and dates), contact City Clerk Suzie Martinez by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 at smartinez@walnut-creek.org or at 925-943-5819.

    City offices to be closed Nov. 12, and Nov. 22-23

    Walnut Creek city offices will be closed in observance of Veterans Day, Nov. 11, which this year falls on a Sunday. City offices will reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 8 a.m.

    City offices also will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov, 22-23, in observance of Thanksgiving, and will reopen Nov. 26.

    Run the Thanksgiving morning 'Turkey Trot'

    The 20th Annual Forma Gym Walnut Creek Turkey Trot, a 5K and 10K run to benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and local schools, starts at 8 a.m. at Civic Park.

    The 2011 event included 4,600 runners and walkers in the 5K, 10K and Kids' Fun Runs, and as many as 6,000 may take part this year.

    Both the 5K and 10K courses will utilize Broadway and Main Street downtown; the 10K course extends north along the Iron Horse Trail to the Contra Costa Canal Trail.

    Registration cost, depending on date of registration and the participant's age, ranges from $25 to $40.

    More information is available by going to http://www.changeofpace.com/wctt_details.html

    Bancroft Elementary to compete in Kids Cook Off

    Four culinary teams of fourth- and fifth-graders in the Mt Diablo Unified School District will don crisp white chef jackets as they compete in the first Kids Cook Off competition Nov. 7, in the Concord High School cafeteria.

    The participating schools are Bancroft in Walnut Creek, Gregory Gardens in Pleasant Hill, Westwood Elementary in Concord and Mt. Diablo Elementary in Clayton.

    Their recipes, that must be cooked and plated within 90 minutes, will be judged based on taste, presentation, nutrition and the most kid-friendly entry.

    "We're looking for different ways to get kids involved in wellness and nutrition, to have a greater awareness of what food is all about," says Tim Watson-Williams, a nutrition services supervisor with the district.

    The Kids Cook Off awards ceremony begins at 5 p.m. that day at the school cafeteria, 4200 Concord Blvd.

    Murder mystery fundraiser for local libraries

    Walnut Creek Mayor Bob Simmons, news anchor Dan Ashley and County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff will be among the "celebrity suspects" at the upcoming "Murder in the Library" fundraiser at the Walnut Creek Library on Nov. 10.

    The murder-mystery event offers guests the chance to solve a mystery that occurs in the library -- namely, the murder of an unpopular mystery author. When the author drops dead at a book-signing party, guests must figure out who committed the crime.

    Sponsored by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation, "Murder in the Library" will benefit the local libraries. The evening begins promptly at 7 p.m.

    Tickets are $45 per person and include desserts and wine. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.wclibrary.org/mystery

    Garden Club meeting set for Nov. 12

    The Ventana Wildlife Society program, "Condor Reintroduction," is the main program of the Walnut Creek Garden Club's monthly meeting Monday, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. at the Gardens at Heather Farm in the Camellia room, 1540 Marchbanks Road in Walnut Creek.

    Guests and those interested in membership are welcome to attend this free event. Learn about the extreme efforts by the Ventana Wildlife Society to reintroduce the California condor back into the wild.

    Applicants sought for county commission

    Supervisor Karen Mitchoff is accepting applications for a District 4 resident to serve as a commissioner on the First 5 Contra Costa Children and Families Commission.

    Applicants for this position must live within the county supervisorial district six boundaries. District 4 includes the communities of Concord, Pleasant Hill, Clayton and parts of Walnut Creek. To verify which district you live in, call 925-521-7100.

    There is one opening on the First 5 Contra Costa Children and Families Commission. The appointment will be made to complete an existing term, which ends on Aug. 16, 2014. The Commission meets monthly on the first Monday evening of the month. Commissioners are also encouraged to serve on a subcommittee, which may regularly meet once a month.

    All meetings are held at the First 5 Contra Costa Children and Families Commission Main Office at 1485 Enea Court in Concord.

    Applications are available on the county's website at www.cccounty.us/index.aspx?NID=3418.

    For additional information, or to request an application be sent to you contact Lia Bristol in Mitchoff's office at 925-521-7100.

    Compiled by Elisabeth Nardi and Sam Richards.