Other ways to donate to Loving family

There has been an amazing outpouring of support for the Walnut Creek school teacher who lost his wife soon after they adopted four children.

Former students of Walnut Creek Intermediate teacher Jeff Loving have started a fundraiser and while donations are predominantly being collected online, former students who own the Blow Dry Bar salon in Walnut Creek will accept donations at their business.

The Walnut Creek community has joined together to help Loving whose wife died of cancer Nov. 9. Jeff Loving and his wife Brenda, had recently adopted four children from Ethiopia, when Brenda Loving was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The goal was to raise $60,000 and in 13 days $62,298 has been raised by 742. And hundreds have donated online. And now Alyson Walsh, one of the organizers behind the fundraiser says people who are not comfortable donating online can make checks payable to Jeff Loving and send them to their salon at 1639 N. California Blvd. Walnut Creek, CA 94596. And people can still donate at www.gofundme.com/5dscyw

Help shape the future of housing in Walnut Creek

Residents are being asked to help shape the next 20 years of housing in Walnut Creek.

The city is updating its "Housing Element" planning document for 2015-2022 "with the goal of supporting a wide range of housing types to meet the needs of current and future residents," according to the city website.

City housing organizers say it's important for residents to weigh in, either via the city's online Open Town Hall or by attending a community workshop Dec. 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at City Hall, 1666 N. Main Street.

Celebration of the century to begin

Walnut Creek incorporated on Oct. 21, 1914, so come the new year the city will be celebrating all year long its centennial.

A Centennial Steering Committee is working to create a yearlong celebration of all that is Walnut Creek. Partnering with nonprofits, city programs and other community members, there will be "100 Ways and More" to commemorate the 100th.

To learn more about this community-funded, community-led celebration, go to walnutcreek100.com.

Sandbag stations open for winter

Walnut Creek has opened its sandbag stations earlier than ever. Sandbags and sand are provided; bring a shovel.

Sandbag stations are at the following locations -- the Heather Farm Park Community Center parking lot; the Howe Homestead Park parking lot; Lancaster Road across from Orchard Lane; and the Larkey Park parking lot.

County Connection's annual food drive

County Connection is using its many bus wheels to collect food, as the transit agency asks its riders to donate nonperishable food to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

For two weeks that began Monday, County Connection buses will become rolling collection points for passengers wishing to spread some holiday cheer by donating food.

The annual tradition, which began nearly 30 years ago, brings much needed food to the community. Last year County Connection passengers and employees contributed over 1,100 pounds of food to the food bank.

All County Connection buses have plastic milk crates placed near the front of the bus to hold donations. Road supervisors will be on call to meet buses on the road and empty crates that become full. The most needed items are protein sources like peanut butter and canned meats; any canned goods; dried beans, rice, pastas and iron-rich cereal; tomato products; and 100-percent-fruit juices.

Food Bank officials ask that no glass container goods be donated, as they easily break during transportation and sorting.

"I'm very grateful to have a longtime partnership with County Connection," said Larry Sly, executive director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano in a news release. "The need for nutritious, wholesome food grows each year, and it's good to know that County Connection will help feed people at the same time they are transporting people."

Lounge going for later hours

Sports lounge and bar Blu 42 in the former Vice Ultra Lounge spot on Arroyo Way is trying to go late-night. Owners are set to ask the Planning Commission at its Dec. 12 meeting to extend the hours alcohol and food can be served from 11 p.m. to 1:15 a.m. Establishments wanting later hours has been a big issue for the city, with police saying they can't handle any more restaurants open past 11 p.m. because it strains police service.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in council chamber 1666 N. Main St.

Initiative petitions now available online

Petitions for two ballot initiatives backed by City Councilman Justin Wedel are available online as well as around the community.

One initiative by Wedel would undo part of the city's recently passed ordinance that prohibits smoking in multifamily homes. The other initiative would block the City Council from banning plastic shopping bags.

Wedel has 180 days to gather the more than 4,000 signatures needed to get the initiatives on the June or November ballot.

The petitions are posted on Wedel's website Speak Up for Walnut Creek. People can download the petitions, sign and circulate, Wedel said.

Wedel and others were at the Walnut Creek Farmers Market this past weekend collecting signatures.

For more information, go to www.su4wc.com.

All-abilities playground donation bricks available

Personalized commemorative bricks for the entry way at the new All Abilities Playground at Heather Farm Park are now available through the Walnut Creek Civic Pride Foundation.

This new playground is being designed to fully address the needs of all children, and is expected to open in October 2014. The foundation is raising private funds to complete the playground with benches, shade structures, and shock-absorbent, resilient surface designed to make the playground fully accessible and optimally safe for all children.

After the City Council widened the scope of the project, the fundraising goal has increased to $320,000, by March 31. The first $50,000 in donations will be matched by the Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation through a community challenge grant.

To make a donation, go to the foundation's website at www.wccivicpride.org. Or, send a check, payable to WCCPF, to WCCPF, P.O. Box 31156, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. The Walnut Creek Civic Pride Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and all donations are fully tax deductible.

Local student's poster in worldwide Lions contest

A poster created by an Alamo student is the Rossmoor Lions Club's entry in the Lions Clubs International 26th annual Peace Poster Contest.

Jeanna Shaw, a sixth-grader at The Dorris Eaton School in Walnut Creek, made the peace-themes poster that will now be judged in a district competition, one of several levels before it could be considered as a world finalist. More than 375,000 posters were submitted for the contest overall.

Jeanna's poster was selected by the school's faculty for its "originality, artistic merit and reflection of the theme "Our World, Our Future."

American Legion crab feed Dec. 15

A crab feed for area members of American Legion Post 517 in Lafayette will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, with a social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6.

The feed will take place at the Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette.

The cost is $40 per person. Checks can be sent to Americal Legion Post 517, Box 324, Lafayette, CA 94549. For more questions, call Dom Sidari at 925-376-1511.

-- Compiled by Elisabeth Nardi.