Residents hold meeting to oppose cell tower
Some residents are upset about a proposed new 70-foot cell phone tower on the property of St Luke's Lutheran Church, 2491 San Miguel Drive. The county planning commission will take up the issue April 15 at its meeting.
Verizon Wireless is the company planning to build the tower, which would be disguised to look like a eucalyptus tree. Neighbors are upset, saying they worry the effect the tower will have on their home values, habitat in the nearby Sugar Loaf Open Space and possible health effects.
Concerned residents are invited to attend a neighborhood meeting, held by those who oppose the project, at 6:30 p.m. tonight, March 21, at Murwood Elementary School multipurpose room, 2050 Vanderslice Ave.
Safeway project making the rounds
The 219,000-square-foot Safeway project proposed for the northwest corner of Ygnacio Valley Road and Oak Grove Road is making its way around various Walnut Creek city boards.
On Wednesday, the project -- dubbed The Orchards -- was in front of the Design Review Commission for a study session. The project calls for new commercial development on the 25 acres where Safeway offices and open fields currently sit. There would be a new 55,000 square-foot Safeway store, retail shops, a health club, open space areas and possible senior housing.
The next study session will be 7 p.m.
Rescue dog training sessions Saturday
The California Search and Rescue Dog Association is presenting a full-day training for local emergency response teams in Walnut Creek on Saturday March 23
Walnut Creek City Staff and Walnut Creek Open Space Park Rangers and CARDA Search Dog Teams will converge at Shell Ridge Open Space for staged emergency scenarios surrounding a simulated plane crash site, with victims and debris will be the epicenter of the training.
"Our goal is to improve communication between agencies, and increase our understanding of what each team has to offer in terms of knowledge, skills and special training," said Kathryn Stewart, CARDA's incident commander for this training exercise.
CARDA dog teams, searching with Walnut Creek park rangers, will help locate missing victims, debris and clues related to the mock crash. Medical scenarios will allow for practice and ongoing training in on-site emergency care of injured victims.
Setup will begin at 6 a.m. Teams will begin staging at 8, and begin searches at 9 a.m. Bob Tucknott, a 20-year member of the Alameda Sheriff's Air Squadron and past squadron captain, will speak from noon to 1 p.m.
Shell Ridge Open Space will be open to the public during the training, but pet owners are asked to keep their pets out of the training areas while visiting Shell Ridge during the day.
For more information about the upcoming training exercise, contact Stewart at 925-788-1258 or Nancy Dollard, supervising ranger with the City of Walnut Creek, at 925-943-5899.
Secondhand smoke law meeting May 25
As Walnut Creek continues to explore a new ordinance that would restrict smoking in the downtown and commercial areas, the city will hold its first stakeholder workshop 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday March 25, third floor conference room, 1666 N. Main St. This meeting is specifically for the business community who want to learn more about the proposed ordinance, ask questions and give opinions. The ordinance would prohibit smoking on public sidewalks in the downtown, all outdoor dining areas and outdoor services such as bus stops, within 20 feet of doorways and windows.
For questions contact Matt Huffaker, special assistant to the city manager, by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Re-imagine our creeks' meeting April 1
On Monday April 1 residents in the Diablo Valley are invited to a public meeting to envision the future of the creek corridors in central county cities and neighborhoods. Residents will have a chance to talk with civic leaders and urban designers about ways to beautify communities, ecologically restore the creeks and feature them as civic amenities, while still maintaining flood protection, according to a news release.
The numerous creek tributaries in the Walnut Creek Watershed were controlled and made into channels in the 1950s and 60s to protect from flooding. But now there are other ways to control creek that are more attractive and less hurtful to habitat.
Some cities in the state have developed sections of creek that have become an economic boon for "retail businesses such as creekside restaurants, or for neighborhood amenities like linear parks with jogging trails, while maintaining much of their natural ecology," according to the release.
Residents are called to help shape a future vision for the Walnut Creek Watershed from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 1, at the Walnut Creek Main Library, 1644 N. Broadway.
The meeting will showcase design plans and project concepts created by UC Berkeley graduate students in Environmental Planning and Landscape Design. The meeting is organized by the Walnut Creek Watershed Council, the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District and Friends of the Creeks.
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, featuring "behind the scenes" tours of various Walnut Creek programs and locations.
WC artists' market this Friday-Sunday
Shop the wares of local artisans at the Civic Arts Education Artists' Market.
The dates are March 22-24 at Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane. The hours for opening night are 5 to 9 p.m. with live music, appetizers and beverages. The sale continues on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Art for sale comes in many mediums including art to wear, ceramics, greeting cards, glass art, gourd art, jewelry, photography, paintings and textiles.
The Clay Arts Guild will also be having a warehouse sale at their studio in Civic Park Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Works include` original pottery including dinnerware, garden and wall art, raku, sculpture and vases.
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 March 30 at Heather Farm ...
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.
... right before the Horse Faire event
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
-- Compiled by Elisabeth Nardi