Register for April spotlight in the open space
April's "Second Saturday Spotlight" will shine on the Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation with a guided walk to three restoration projects.
The 90-minute program begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 13.
Tour guides will stop at several open space restoration sites where foundation members will explain how sites are chosen, and the process they follow to plant, grow and care for native plants at those sites, according to the city. Participants will learn how to create dead shade to help plants make it through the summer, and get tips on the art of seed gathering and weed killing.
Check-in and parking will be in the Walnut Heights School parking lot, 4064 Walnut Boulevard.
The 1.25 mile walk takes place on unpaved trails and uneven ground, participants should bring water and wear a hat, sunscreen and sturdy shoes.
There will be an optional hike at the end of the tour along Indian Creek, where open space guides will point out native plants.
All spotlight programs are free.
The spotlight program is a yearlong community outreach effort led by Mayor Cindy Silva,
Share suggestions for celebrating Walnut Creek centennial
Suggestions for ways to celebrate Walnut Creek's 100th birthday in October are encouraged, and are being taken now at the website www.WalnutCreek100.com.
Walnut Creek officially became a city on Oct. 21, 1914 after residents voted 127-67 to incorporate as a way of raising money to pave the local streets.
A steering committee for the city's centennial celebration is co-chaired by Mayor Pro Tem Kristina Lawson and residents Steve and Mackenzie Lesher.
Margaret Lesher -- Steve's grandmother -- was co-chair of the city's 75th Diamond Jubilee anniversary celebration in 1989.
Also, updates and ways to become involved in the celebration can be viewed at the same www.WalnutCreek100.com website.
Egg hunt at Heather Farm Park
Walnut Creek's annual egg hunt, dubbed "Eggstravaganza" for kids of all ages, will be hosted this year by the Equestrian Center of Walnut Creek, with help from local youth organizations including Clayton Valley High School Cheer and Dance and Contra Costa County 4H.
The egg hunt starts promptly at 9 a.m. March 30 at Heather Farm Park, 301 N. San Carlos Drive.
Horse Faire at Heather Farm March 30
The Equestrian Center of Walnut Creek presents its 2012 Horse Fairer Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Heather Farm Park equestrian area.
Watch riding performances and drill teams, do horse-related arts and crafts, listen to live music, enjoy food and drinks are more.
Admission is free, and activity tickets are $1 each. For more information go to www.ecwc.org
Watch the 2013 "State of the City" on TV
The 2013 State of the City presentation by Mayor Cindy Silva will be aired on Walnut Creek TV at the following days and times throughout the month of March: Tuesdays, 5 p.m.; Fridays, at 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 11 a.m.; and Sundays, 7 a.m. and noon.
For other air times, visit www.walnutcreektv.org .
Walnut Creek TV is the City's government access channel, paid for through specific cable company fees. It is found on Comcast Channel 28 (incorporated Walnut Creek only); Comcast 26 in Rossmoor; Astound Channel 29, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. In addition, Walnut Creek TV is streamed at www.walnutcreektv.org, and original programming is available at Youtube.com/cityofwalnutcreek.
Learn about Mt. Diablo's plants on April 21 walk
Spot early blooming flowers, rare plants, the critters that pollinate them and learn the legend and lore surrounding Billy, the flower-loving dog on his visit to Mount Diablo in 1830 on a two-hour, three-mile hike up Mitchell Canyon on Sunday, April 21.
Hikers, led by Mount Diablo Interpretive Association naturalists Liz Watson and Ken Lavin, will learn to identify early blooming wildflowers such as Indian warriors, baby blue eyes, Chinese houses, lupine and learn how they got their names. Watch for the rare Mount Diablo fairy-lantern, which is endemic to California and rarely seen elsewhere.
The hike starts at 10 a.m.; meet at the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center on the northwest side of Mount Diablo State Park (accessed through Clayton), The hike is free, but it's a $6 entrance fee per vehicle. For more information, go to http://www.mdia.org/
City studying second-hand-smoke ordinance
The City Council has asked staff to study a prospective ordinance imposing restrictions on smoking downtown and in apartment buildings and other multifamily homes, along with other ways to cut secondhand smoke exposure dramatically.
In a recent statewide report, Walnut Creek received an "F" grade for its overall tobacco control from the American Lung Association. The city has received this grade since 2009 from that group, which uses three main grading criteria -- smoke-free outdoor air, smoke-free housing and reducing sales of tobacco products.
In the report to the council, city staff recommended restricting smoking at public events to designated smoking areas, and prohibiting smoking at bus stops, ATMs and ticket lines, and within 200 feet of gathering spots including playgrounds and sports fields. They did not recommend banning smoking downtown,or pursuing smoking restrictions in multifamily units. They did, however, recommend prohibiting smoking in all indoor and outdoor common areas, balconies and patios.
Another area of concern in the lung association report was ensuring that minors are not able to buy tobacco products. Walnut Creek already has an ordinance requiring retailers obtain a license from the county health department to sell tobacco, but the lung association recommends a renewed effort to enforce that licensing.
Grand jury applicants sought
The Contra Costa grand jury is seeking applicants for the 2013-14 fiscal year to oversee city and county governments, and school and special districts.
Grand jury members must be 18 years or older, US citizens and have resided in Contra Costa County for at least one year before selection. They can't hold any elected positions within the county and must be able to be released from their jobs to perform jury duties, among other requirements.
Sixty applicants will be selected to be interviewed by the grand jury Selection Committee. A final panel of 19 will be chosen by random drawing on June 14.
Interested applicants should contact the Office of the Civil grand jury at 925-957-5638 or visit www.cc-courts.org/grand jury.
Paint collection sites established
Several paint collection sites have been set up as part of the California Paint Stewardship Program, which requires paint manufacturers to develop a system to retrieve leftover paint from household and commercial consumers.
The program will be funded by a "recovery fee" attached to the purchase price of paint sold in California. That money will go to PaintCare, a nonprofit organization created to administer the state paint disposal and recycling programs. These fees go up to $1.60 per one- to -five-gallon container of paint.
Some collection sites include Kelly Moore, 2700 N Main St. in Walnut Creek; Glidden Professional, 2260 Commerce Ave. in Concord; Kelly Moore, 5600 Imhoff Drive in Concord; Sherwin-Williams, 1241 Diamond Way in Concord; Dunn-Edwards, 555 Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill; and Kelly Moore, 1725 Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill.
For more information about the California Paint Stewardship Program visit www.paintcare.org
-- Compiled by Sam Richards