Broadway Plaza redevelopment plan comes forward

The long-range master plan for Broadway Plaza is finally coming before city officials for a vote.

The plan, which lays out development at the 60-year-old shopping center for potentially the next 20 years, will be in front of the Planning Commission Thursday. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at city hall, 1666 N. Main St. The council's final vote is expected in December.

At issue is whether or not to allow a 500,000-square-foot addition and remodel of the shopping center -- 300,000 square feet will be new. There will also be new parking garages and a complete redesign of walkways and areas throughout the center.

The owners of Broadway Plaza worked through local elected officials to get a portion of the Walnut Creek flood channel de federalized -- taken from the oversight of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- and placed under local control. As part of the approval of the plan and the final environmental impact report, the Walnut Creek City Council will also have to sign off on a development agreement, which will guarantee the city a minimum of $2 million.

For more information go to www.walnut-creek.org, click "quick links" and then "public meetings."

Extended 'Free Ride' hours start Black Friday

Beginning Nov. 29 County Connection's Route 4 Free Ride Trolley will run later evening service Monday-Saturday throughout the holiday season. The Free Ride Trolley runs between the Walnut Creek BART station and Broadway Plaza through the traditional pedestrian retail district.

Through Dec. 14, the final evening trolley will leave the fountain in Broadway Plaza at 10:10 p.m. Monday -Saturday. Beginning Dec. 16 through Dec. 23, service hours will be extended even further with the last trolley leaving Broadway Plaza at 11:06 p.m. Finally, between Dec. 26 and Dec. 31, the last trolley leaves Broadway Plaza at 10:10 p.m.

There will be no extended service hours on Sundays, Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve, and there will be no service on Christmas Day or New Year's Day. For a full schedule and map of Route 4 Broadway Plaza/Bart Walnut Creek, visit County Connection's website.

The extended service is paid for by Broadway Plaza.

Peace center to hold awards dinner Saturday

The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center annual Awards Dinner is the groups biggest fundraiser of the year and takes place 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Rossmoor at 1001 Golden Rain Road.

For the first time the event is being co-produced by the Democrats of Rossmoor club.

All proceeds will be used to fund the education programs of the center including the third annual Creating a Peaceful School conference and the 17th annual The Dennis Thomas Art & Writing Challenge.

This year's winners include Jane Loebel and Nancy Landfield, founders of Grandparents for Peace; Gavin Raders and Haleh Zandi, founders of Planting Justice www.plantingjustice; and Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez. Miller is receiving the "Justice Through Education" award for his many decades of work in promoting education.

There will be a full-course dinner, silent auction, raffle and wine bar, all for $50 per person.

Please also consider purchasing raffle tickets. One for $5 or five for $20.

Winners will get a choice of several prizes including a weekend at a La Selva Beach house or an iPad mini! Need not be present to win.

Railroad society to host holiday shows

Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society will allow families to ride the Diablo Valley Lines during their seven shows this holiday season. Featuring hundreds of model trains traveling over 4,300 feet of track on one of the world's most mountainous model railroad layouts, visitors can see the rails at a cost of $3 for adults and $2 for children and seniors. For more information go to www.wcmrs.org.

Dates and times are Friday, Nov. 22, 8 - 10 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 24, 11 am. - 6 p.m.; riday, Nov. 29, 2 - 10 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 30, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 1, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 27, 8 - 10 p.m.

Civic Park ice rink back now open

Strap on those skates, Walnut Creek on Ice is now open. In its ninth year, the outdoor holiday ice rink opened last week.

The free event includes figure skating, live skating performances, face painting, balloon artist, refreshments, live entertainments and giveaways.

The rink, located in Civic Park, is put on every year by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce and Walnut Creek Downtown. The rink's last day will be Jan. 12.

The rink will open at noon Monday through Friday and at 11 a.m. on weekends. It closes at 8 p.m. every day except Friday and Saturday, when it stays open until 11 p.m.

The price for admission depends on time and day and ranges from $11-$15 which includes a skate rental. Frequent skater passes are available. Birthday party and other private rentals are available for purchase. For more information and for holiday operating hours, go to www.IceSkateWalnutCreek.com or call 925-935-7669

-- Compiled by Elisabeth Nardi.