Climate change program comes to library Jan. 23

Shelly Ryan of former Vice President Al Gore's Climate Reality Project will present the multimedia program "Climate Change: It's Not Too Hot to Handle" at the meeting of the Diablo Valley Democratic Club at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek.

The presentation highlights the status of climate change worldwide, measures being taken to remedy the situation and how every individual can make a positive difference.

Guided by the principle that climate change is real and solutions are available, the Climate Reality Project works to bring facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and help citizens take meaningful steps to solve it. Ryan, who was trained by Gore, has presented environmental, natural history and climate change programs at museums, including Walnut Creek's Lindsay Wildlife Museum and the California Academy of Sciences. She holds a master of arts degree in museum education from John F. Kennedy University.

For more information, call 925-946-0469 or go to www.dvdems.org.

Walnut Creek on Ice Gala' Jan. 19


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The second annual Walnut Creek on Ice Gala will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, beginning at 6:30 p.m., to mark the end of the rink's eight holiday season of operation.

There will be wine, beer, champagne and a no-host cocktail bar, dinner, and two ice-dancing performances -- one by US professional skaters and another by ABC7 News Anchor Dan Ashley and his skating partner Paulette Bleam. There also will be a performance by the rock band PUSH.

Tickets are $125 per person or $1,150 for table of 10. RSVP by Dec. 28.

The event will be fully tented and heated, and there will be valet parking.

City's 'Spotlight' series starts Jan. 12

Go behind the scenes at the Lesher Center for the Arts, the City's Corp Yard or the Lindsay Wildlife Museum takes care of injured animals as part of Walnut Creek's Second Saturday Spotlight program, which begins Jan. 12 with "The Inside Story of the Walnut Creek Library," a program going behind the scenes at the Walnut Creek library.

Future scheduled "Spotlight" programs are Feb. 9, State of the City address at Lesher Center for the Arts; March 9, "Keeping things running smoothly," behind the scenes at the Public Services Maintenance Corp Yard; and April 13, "Walnut Creek's Legacy of Open Space," led by the Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation

The city encourages people to register for each "Spotlight" ahead of time, so we know how many people we need to help with the tours and check-in each time. The online registration system is on the Spotlight web page.

All Spotlights will take place the second Saturday of the month from 9-10:30 a.m., and will be very informal tours of a community/city gems.

To register or for more information, go online to www.ci.walnut-creek.ca.us/thingstodo/second_saturday_spotlight/default.asp, or call Gayle Vassar, Walnut Creek's communications and outreach manager, at 925-943-5895 or email her at vassar@walnut-creek.org

Welcome to 'Open Town Hall' discussions

The City of Walnut Creek has activated "Open Town Hall," online forum for civic engagement, which can be reached by going on to the city's website (http://www.ci.walnut-creek.ca.us).

The first topic up for discussion is the city's "wayfinding" program, a nascent effort to create a series of signs whose visual elements -- including clear letters and simple messages -- will make it easier for residents and visitors to find the most efficient routes to what they're looking for in Walnut Creek.

While Open Town Hall is sponsored by the City of Walnut Creek, it is run by Peak Democracy, a nonpartisan company whose mission is to broaden civic engagement and enhance public trust in government. Peak Democracy will keep your information confidential, as required by a strict privacy agreement.

City officials will read the various posts to see what people are thinking.

Upon posting a first statement, suers are asked for their name and home address. This confidential information is used to identify which statements are from local residents.

Financial Peace University seminar in January

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, a family finance program using common-sense principles and small-group accountability, will be held Jan. 23 and 27 at Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, 1801 Lacassie Ave. in Walnut Creek.

Financial Peace University is designed to give people the tools they need to change their behavior and succeed financially.

Lessons include budgeting, relationships and money, getting out of debt, saving for emergencies and investing.

These dates are beginning points for FPU's weekly courses.

For more information on the Walnut Creek sessions, contact Richard Davis at 925-935-1574 for more information or to register. For more information about the program in general, go to www.daveramsey.com.

Saint Mary's College's 'Jan Term' speaker series

The theme of the 2013 January Term Speaker Series at Saint Mary's College is "Inspired,"and the featured guest speakers for the "Jan Term" lecture series explore black catholic gospel traditions, indie culture and the catholic church, modern day slavery and leadership to change the world.

Speakers include Jason Connell, who heads up Ignited Leadership, a dynamic Washington, D.C.-based human service organization dedicated to building a better world, one leader at a time,; Father Edward Branch, the Catholic chaplain for the Atlanta University Center; Kaya Oakes, the celebrated author of "Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture," with observations on popular culture and on how a lapsed Catholic rediscovers her faith; and humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine, author of "Slavery," who will share her stories about traveling the world for two years while documenting human trafficking and the horror of modern-day slavery.

The speaker series is an annual staple of Saint Mary's intense monthlong "Jan Term," when students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, explore new intellectual territory and take classes that often embody the Lasallian tradition of social action.

All lectures are free and open to the public and, unless otherwise noted, will be in the Soda Activity Center at Saint Mary's College, 1928 St. Marys Road, Moraga.

'Peaceful Schools' conference Feb. 2

The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek will hold its second annual Creating a Peaceful School Conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Seven Hills School, 975 N. San Carlos Drive in Walnut Creek.

The conference is designed for anyone who works with young people in grades K-12, including parents, teachers, administrators, classroom aides, school personnel and after-school program providers.

The aim is to help participants develop the skills they need to make the classroom, the school and the community a more peaceful place.

The keynote speaker is Ron Claassen, a professor of peacemaking and conflict studies at Fresno Pacific University and director of the Restorative Discipline Project. The focus of the conference will be the use of restorative justice in the classroom setting.

Workshops and classes will cover a variety of topics.

Registration is $35 through Jan. 7, and $40 thereafter. A catered lunch is included. Continuing education credit will be available through Saint Mary's College for a small additional fee.

Full descriptions of presenters and topics and related information will soon be available online. For more information or to register, go to www.mtdpc.org; call 925-933-7850, or e-mail margli@mtdpc.org.

-- Compiled by Sam Richards