Walnut Creek News Briefs -- Earth Day fun Sunday and Samuel Merritt University eyes Walnut Creek

Appeared in: Contra Costa Time

By: Elisabeth Nardi

Published on: 04/18/12

Walnut Creek is celebrating Earth Day Sunday in the local open space areas, with a variety of activities planned for the 42nd anniversary of the first Earth Day.

The day begins with service projects in three open space areas. At Sugarloaf, volunteers will transplant native plants and clear vegetation. There will be a variety of tasks going on at Howe Homestead, including cleaning the creek bed and creating wells around trees. On Shell Ridge, volunteers will landscape a hillside at Hanna Grove Picnic Area to correct erosion problems.

All of those projects begin at 9 a.m. and groups will work until noon. Preregistration is required.

After the work, everyone is invited to bring a picnic to Hanna Grove at Shell Ridge at noon. The city will provide dessert and refreshments. Registration is required for that as well.

At 3 p.m. there will be environmental education activities for children ages 6 to 12 at Howe Homestead on Walnut Boulevard. Preregistration is required.

The day will end with a ranger-led campfire program under the stars at 7 p.m.; no registration is required.

For more information on Earth Day activities and to register contact the ranger staff by e-mail at dollard@walnut-creek.org.

New university may set up shop in Walnut Creek

Samuel Merritt University, the health sciences institution, with a main campus in Oakland may be coming to Walnut Creek.

The college, widely known for its nursing programs, wants to convert the three-story building at 590 Ygnacio Valley Road into a site for the university. To go into the 56,000-square-foot building, the university will must get a conditional use permit to operate a college from the city's Planning Commission. That hearing will take place at 7 p.m. May, 10 City Hall, 1666 N. Main St.

The Walnut Creek site would be the university's sixth campus and the first in Contra Costa County.

Chamber commends three for community contributions

The Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce recently announced the recipients of its 2012 "UXL Awards," given to three local individuals for their business excellence and contributions to the community.

The awards are given in three categories. This year's honorees are Ron Brown, executive director of Save Mount Diablo as Business Person of the Year; community volunteer Janet Abrams, who received the Citizen of the Year recognition; and Foothill Middle School teacher Peggy Shelby, who was honored as Educator of the Year.

All were honored at the chamber's installation luncheon April 3 at Scott's Seafood Restaurant in Walnut Creek. "These honorees exemplify excellence within our community," said Angela De la Housaye, chamber chairwoman of the board.

Arts and crafts festival downtown

Artists will arrive in downtown Walnut Creek April 28 for the 68th Semiannual Fine Arts and Crafts Festival. The event which runs all day on April 28 and 29, offers a spring collection of pottery, paintings, sculptures and photographs. The event will extend along the sidewalks of North Main Street, and Locust Street will be closed between Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Civic Drive.

Sponsored by the Downtown Business Association this festival is free and open to the public. For more information call 209-267-4394 or go to www.pacificfinearts.com

Another shot at 'Walnut Creek Walks' wildflower search Saturday

Join Mayor Bob Simmons on Saturday, April 21 for an afternoon hike through Lime Ridge Open Space in search of wildflowers. The 5-mile hike is offered as part of Walnut Creek Walks.

Some of this turf was to have been covered in this past Saturday's planned walk/hike, but that hike had to be rerouted because of muddy conditions.

Meet at 1:30 p.m. at the Bayberry Court entrance to the Lime Ridge Open Space. Bring water and a snack to enjoy while gazing at amazing vistas. Directions and details about the walk are available at www.walnut-creek.org/walks

Book sale at library starts Friday

Come buy some books to the help the library.

A book sale open to the public will take place form 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 21 at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road in Walnut Creek.

A day before on Friday, April 20 a "members only" sale will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Membership to the Friends of the Library can be purchased at the door for $10.

During the Saturday event there will be a bag sale from 4 to 5 p.m. where shoppers can fill a bag with books for $3.

All proceeds of the sale are given to the Ygnacio Valley Library for the purchase of materials and to sponsor programs. To learn about more events go to www.ccclib.org

Middle school needs donations for sale

The Oak Grove Middle School annual Spring Rummage Sale will take place May 4 and 5, rain or shine. But organizers needs some rummage for people to rummage through.

Items needed include housewares, home décor, clothing, bedding, furniture, small appliances, books, toys and luggage.

To donate, the drop-off times are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the school, 2050 Minert Road in Concord. For more information call Martha Potts at 925-682-1843, ext. 5306.

Event at Las Lomas to help fight sexual violence

"The Teal Ribbon," an event designed to help fight sexual violence, takes place Wednesday, April 25 from 6 to 9:15 p.m. at the Las Lomas High School theater in Walnut Creek.

Grace Alongi of Walnut Creek, the 15-year-old founder of The Teal Ribbon Project, has organized and coordinated the event, and will be one of seven planned speakers addressing various aspects of sexual violence.

There also will be clothing, including hats and shirts, for sale, with the Teal Ribbon logo. All the money made from clothing sales, and from a raffle at this event, will go to the Bay Area Women Against Rape crisis center. The event is free, and all are welcome.

March of Dimes' fundraiser walk April 28

A Walnut Creek family will be part of the March of Dimes "March for Babies" walking event in San Francisco April 28.

The event takes place at the Great Meadow at Fort Mason and will include a 6-mile walk followed by a day of festivities. Bay Area residents can sign up at www.marchforbabies.org and start a team with co-workers, family or friends. For information call 415-788-2202.

Source: http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20425941/walnut-creek-news-briefs-earth-day-fun-sunday

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