Walnut Creek police target underage drinking

The Walnut Creek Police Department in partnership with the Center of Human Development has planned several projects aimed at reducing underage drinking in Walnut Creek.

Recently the police coordinated an undercover operation known as "shoulder tap" where police cadets under the age of 21 ask adults if they would buy alcohol for them, according to the release.

On April 27, five businesses that sell alcohol were randomly selected. Two different 7-Eleven employees who observed what was taking place told the undercover cadets to leave and some residents told them they were calling the police.

"This operation showed that people are aware of the dangers and liability of participating in such illegal activity and the (department) is very proud of both the actions of our citizens and the employees who got involved," according to the release.

Walnut Creek set an all-time high in the number of DUI arrests in 2012 and is working to proactively seek out impaired drivers, read the release.

International film festival coming to Walnut Creek

Tickets are now on sale for the first-ever Walnut Creek International Short Film Festival, taking place June 7-9.

The festival features an lineup of short films from across the globe, including selected entries from Tribeca, Cannes, Sundance and other top festivals. As Walnut Creek's only film festival dedicated to short films, the festival "showcases brilliant filmmaking in the short form — under 25 minutes — with the exploration of intriguing, thought-provoking and innovative films," according to a news release.

The festival will screen 70 films culled from the hundreds of entries submitted, including those with performances by Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

The festival kicks off June 7 with a red-carpet opening screening and after-party that will cost $15 per person. The festival will take place at the Cinemark Century 14 in Walnut Creek, with multiple screenings each day.

The festival also features a workshop exploring the short film and a showcase of Northern California filmmakers.

For tickets, a list of the films and more information visit: www.wcsff.com.

Walnut Creek wants to honor those lost in Vietnam

Residents who lost a family member in Vietnam are encouraged to contact the city of Walnut Creek so their family member may be remembered as part of the city's 2013 Memorial Day observance.

Residents should email Jennifer Ruane at ruane@walnut-creek.org no later than Friday, May 3.

Include the name of the service member; whether he or she was originally from Walnut Creek; the branch of military service; rank; and date of death or missing in action. The person doesn't have to have lived in Walnut Creek.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the gazebo in Civic Park, corner of North Broadway and Civic Drive. Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Barton J. Gilbert will be the keynote speaker.

Walnut Creek Police awards ceremony May 9

The Walnut Creek Police Department will hold its annual Awards Ceremony at the Lesher Center for the Arts, at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 9.

The department will honor all newly hired or promoted employees and announcing Volunteer and Cadet of the Year.

In addition, 11 officers will be awarded a Chief's Commendation and one officer will be awarded the WCPD Lifesaving Medal.

The police will also recognize four residents for their efforts and contribution to law enforcement who performed a "meritorious act to assist" officers, according to the release.

The ceremony is open to the public and admission is free.

Mother's Day event at Bancroft Garden

Take mom to the Ruth Bancroft Garden for a Mother's Day celebration May 12. Moms will be given free admission and garden tours, there will be family photos, tea and crafts offered. The event will go from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mother's Day at the garden, 1552 Bancroft Road in Walnut Creek.

Rochellez Photography will offer free family portraits, and moms who have children under 12 years old will get in free. The docent led tours will begin at 11 a.m. and 12:30 and 2 p.m.

At 12 p.m. there will be a special tea party which will include individual tea boxes with sandwiches, salad and sweet treats.

The cost is $20 for adults, $12 for children.

Reservations are required so call 925-944-9352.

It's time again to clean up the creeks

Volunteers are needed for the 24th annual Creek Cleanup to remove a year's worth of debris from Walnut Creek's three downtown creeks.

Meet at the gazebo in Civic Park, corner of Broadway and Civic Drive, at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, May 11. Crew leaders will take groups of volunteers to several nearby locations.

Volunteers are instructed to wear old sneakers, bring gloves and plan to get wet.

Children older than 12 are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 18 must have a signed waiver from an adult that allows the child to volunteer.

A free continental breakfast will be provided to all who volunteer. For more information or to request a waiver form, go to www.FriendsoftheCreeks.org.

ARC raffle offers $1,000 as grand prize

In an effort to raise money, the Contra Costa ARC is hosting the "Go for the Gold" raffle through of May, with a goal of raising $20,000 to help offset lost funding for the programs impacted.

The grand prize is a $1,000 American Express card donated by City National Bank. The drawing will be held May 31.

Founded by parents and family members of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and incorporated in 1965, Contra Costa ARC serves more than 1,000 children and adults countywide.

The program provides childhood intervention services, family support services for parents and family members of children with special needs, and employment and community access services for adults.

The state has slashed money to the program, creating need for the raffle. Many local companies have donated cash and prizes, including three $250 cash prizes, wine tasting for eight at Concannon Winery, a limited edition San Francisco 49ers "throwback" football, tickets to San Francisco Giants games and complimentary tickets to many San Francisco museums, local restaurants and attractions.

Raffle tickets are $1 each, or six for $5. Prize winners will be drawn every Friday through May, cumulating with the grand prize drawing May 31.

For more information, visit and "Like" ARC's Facebook page at "Go for the Gold Raffle, May 2013."

For more on Contra Costa ARC, visit http://www.ContraCostaARC.org or call Michele Ternes at 925-370-1818.

-- Compiled by Elisabeth Nardi