Bradbury classic chosen for Walnut Creek book club

It's time for Walnut Creek's annual summer book club. And this year the classic Ray Bradbury "Fahrenheit 451," which dives into censorship and the burning of books, is the selection for the community's "One City One Book: Walnut Creek Reads" program.

"Published in 1953, the novel is timely in 2013 as communities continue to debate the value of literacy, libraries, and freedom of thought," according to a news release.

This is the eighth year for Walnut Creek Reads, which encourages community members to read the same book over the summer and then attend events related to the book in the fall. The program is spearheaded by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation and the Contra Costa County Library.

Kicking off this year's community events will be a special presentation by author Kevin Smokler on Monday Sept. 23, entitled, "Reading — Why Bother?" Smokler is best known for his book "Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School."

Other community events planned for the fall include a lecture and discussion on "The Metaphor of Book Burning," two community book discussion, and a workshop on writing a graphic novel.

Copies of "Fahrenheit 451" are available at both public libraries in the city, online through www.ccclib.org, and at the Rossmoor Library or at bookstores.

For more information go to www.WCLibrary.org, or ask at the local public libraries.

'2nd Saturday Spotlight' offers tour of Lesher Center

Mayor Cindy Silva will lead a free backstage tour of the Lesher Center for the Arts and the Bedford Gallery on Saturday, July 13.

"See the dressing room where Bob Hope prepared for the Center's Opening Night, check out the piano "refrigerator" and see how computers can make lighting and sound magic," according to a news release.

The tour will end at the Bedford Gallery, located on the first floor of the Lesher, where tour-goers can get a look at the "Larger than Life" exhibition.

The tour is part of the Mayor's Second Saturday Spotlight community outreach program, which runs through November. The program starts at 9 a.m. in the downstairs lobby of the Lesher, corner of Civic and Broadway, and will conclude by 10:30 a.m.

Space is limited so register at visit www.walnut-creek.org/spotlight.

Water-wise gardening using water-storing plants

Whether you are replacing your lawn with a drought-tolerant landscape or creating a stunning arrangement in a bed, learn how to landscape with succulents at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. Get tips on how to utilize succulents to the best of their potential. Ruth Bancroft Garden's Curator Brian Kemble will help attendees understand the initial stages of garden design. The class will take place 10 a.m. to noon on July 6 at the garden 1552 Bancroft Road in Walnut Creek.

The cost is $20 for general admission and $12 for members. For more information call 944-9352.

Regalia honored by Rotary

Former Mayor Gwen Regalia was recently honored for her "lifetime of service to the Walnut Creek community" by receiving Rotary International Foundation's Paul Harris Fellowship.

Regalia is a former Walnut Creek School District trustee, councilmember and five-time mayor -- the most of any other councilmember in the city's history.

Most recently Regalia was chosen by Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, to be the United States Congressional District 11 member of the Presidential Electoral College.

Though Regalia was never a Rotarian, the Walnut Creek Rotary Club decided to honor Regalia for her service as a Paul Harris Fellow, which is named after the founder of Rotary. The Walnut Creek club was established 76 years ago.

Joint chamber mixer to help troops

It's the mother of all mixers. Join the Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Greater Concord, Orinda, and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce for a "Seven-Chamber Mixer" on Wednesday, July 10. Each chamber will be hosting a food sample table, prepared by a restaurant in their city. Corners Tavern will represent Walnut Creek. The $5 entrance fee will be donated to Operation Marine Care to purchase items for care packages that will be sent to troops overseas. Raffle tickets will be sold for items donated by chamber members, with the proceeds going to Operation Marine Care.

The mixer will take place 5:30 p.m. July 10 at the Lafayette Events Center 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette.

Last fiscal sustainability meeting on July 2

The City Council will continue its work toward fiscal sustainability at its July 2 meeting. (It will not be discussed at its June 17 meeting.)

To deal with a $2 million annual deficit, the programs, services and facilities Walnut Creek provides to the community will no longer be possible at current levels beginning with the 2014-16 budget. The council has held a series of public meetings to consider the city's service priorities. Issues discussed have ranged from library hours to civic arts programs. On July 2, the council will receive updates on the performing arts and aquatics programs.

Fun Run for Peace and Justice Center

Runners, walkers and even those who simply stroll are invited to the June 30 Fun Run to support peace and justice.

This Alamo run is a 5K and will follow a circular route along Danville Boulevard and the Iron Horse Trail next to downtown Alamo. Proceeds from the $35 entry fee will go to supporting the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center.

No trophies or medals are planned for the event; however, the top male and female in each age group will receive either a gift certificate from a local merchant, or free dinners from local eateries.

Participants will assemble at the intersection of Stone Valley Road and the Iron Horse Trail. The starting gun will fire at 8:30 a.m., but anyone signing up that morning should arrive before 8 a.m. The cost for registration on day of race is $40. Free T-shirts will be given to those registering by June 20.

Online registration is available on Active.com. To register by mail, contact the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center at 925-933-7850. For questions, call Bob Hanson at 925-944-3366.

Contra Costa Centre part of pilot carpool program

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority has launched a smartphone-aided carpooling pilot program in partnership with the Contra Costa Centre Association adjacent to Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill.

Using the Avego smartphone app, the 5,000 employees working in and around the Contra Costa Centre Transit Village can find carpool matches in real time or in advance by searching for other Avego users at the village. If two people are going in the same direction at about the same time, the software helps them find each other, and also facilitates carpooling.

The transportation authority, as part of a three-county pilot program funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, is offering education and support to Contra Costa Centre employees to encourage their use of the Avego app.

"Real time software is the future of carpooling," said transportation authority Executive Director Randy Iwasaki.

DeSaulnier to lead Health Care Reform meeting

California state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, invites you to attend a Health Care Reform Town Hall meeting to learn more about how Californians will benefit from the Affordable Care Act.

The meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight, June 20 in the council chamber at Walnut Creek city hall, 1666 N. Main St.

Learn about how the Affordable Care Act and the Covered California Health Benefits Exchange will provide expanded coverage, with the goal of improving affordability and health outcomes for all Californians.

There is no cost to attend, but RSVP at https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/SurveysDirect.php?district=SD07&;survey=3387& For more information, call 925-943-6082.

-- Compiled by Elisabeth Nardi