Benefit gala to feature Sheen, Brosnahan

Actor and activist Martin Sheen and trial attorney James Brosnahan will discuss their work on behalf of social justice in the United States at a benefit for Options Recovery Services from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 28 in the auditorium of the Veterans Building, 1931 Center St.

The evening includes a buffet dinner and a silent auction featuring original artwork by Jim Brosnahan and Martin Sheen's signed memoir "Along The Way: The Journey of a Father and Son."

Tickets are $50, available by calling 510-666-9552 or online at www.optionsrecoveryservices.org. Proceeds will help Options Recovery Services expand programs to a larger building downtown.

Bay Bridge bike path will close for a week

The Bay Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path will be closed for up to a week beginning March 23 as work crews put the finishing touches on a key segment.

Since the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge opened last year, cyclists and pedestrians have been using a temporary roadway that connects the bridge path to the Oakland bike trail that feeds it.

But now that a section of the old bridge and adjoining roadway has been taken down, workers are ready to complete the permanent, much wider connector.

The project, which involves paving, striping and the construction of a plaza, will begin at 8 p.m. March 23. The bike path is officially slated to reopen 6 a.m. May 31. However, Bay Bridge spokesman Andrew Gordon said that weather permitting, it should open sooner.

Trailheads in Oakland and Emeryville will remain open during the construction work. Cyclists will still be able to connect with the Bay Trail but will not be able to access the bridge.

Crews also will be installing a temporary gate about one-third of a mile from the end of the trail on the Bay Bridge. The gate will be closed during the workweek and some Saturdays to make sure that cyclists and pedestrians don't inhale fumes and smoke as workers demolish the old bridge.

By next summer, the gate should be gone and bridge path should lead all the way to Yerba Buena Island. But that connection can't happen until crews remove additional sections of the old bridge, Gordon said.

Meanwhile, Caltrans is extending hours on the bridge path until 8 p.m.

Annual BAHA house and garden tour set

Tickets are now available for the 39th annual Spring House Tour and Garden Reception hosted by the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association from 1 to 5 p.m. May 4.

This year's edition of the popular tour focuses on Maybeck's Rose Walk and "will feature an eclectic mix of artistic and charming houses designed by Berkeley's most notable architects, including Bernard Maybeck; John Galen Howard; Julia Morgan; Ernest Coxhead; Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr.; Sidney, Noble and Archie Newsom; and William I. Garren," among others, as well as hidden gardens along the way.

Tour cost, which includes a map, illustrated guide book and refreshment, is $45 general, $35 BAHA members. Tickets and details available at berkeleyheritage.com.

Chapter holding forum on female trafficking

The Berkeley-based United Nations Association-USA East Bay Chapter is hosting a Women's Day forum on "Fighting Trafficking of Women" at 6 p.m. March 26 at the Alameda County Family Justice Center, 470 27th St. in Oakland.

Speakers will be Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley discussing local policies and methods for addressing trafficking and social justice issues and UC Berkeley lecturer Laura Fantone on governmental policies as they address international female trafficking and sex exploitation.

The program will include presentations, a question and answer period and refreshments.

Admission is a $10 donation for chapter members, $15 nonmembers and advance reservations are required at 510-717-5204 or unaeastbaydinnerforum@gmail.com. For more details on the UNA chapter visit www.UNAusaEastBay.org.

Gray Panthers holding talk about surveillance

Tessa D'Arcangelew, an organizer at the ACLU of Northern California, will give a talk on "Big Brother IS Watching You and How It Is Done" at a Berkeley-East Bay Gray Panthers program at 1:30 p.m. March 26 at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst St.

The talk is open to the public. Details: 510-598-9696 or GrayPanthersBerk@aol.com.

Women's History event to honor Skinner

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, will be the guest of honor at the free National Women's History Month celebration at 1 p.m. March 28 in the planetarium at Contra Costa College, 2640 Mission Bell Drive in San Pablo.

The event, co-hosted by the West Contra Costa Branch of the American Association, is themed "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment."

A reception with refreshments will follow the program. Details: www.westcontracosta-ca.aauw.net.

-- Denis Cuff and Chris Treadway