Pay more to park at Walnut Creek BART stations

Parking fees have increased by around 50 cents per day at many BART stations in the Bay Area, including Walnut Creek.

Beginning Jan. 13, it will cost $2 to park at the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill BART stations, and those at Pittsburg/Bay Point, Lafayette, Orinda and Rockridge.

Parking lot usage is evaluated every six months.

"If the lot at a station is full, then the daily parking fee may increase by 50 cents. If the lot is less than 95 percent full, then the fee may decrease by 50 cents," according to a BART news release.

BART's parking fee policy includes a $3 parking fee cap, except at West Oakland. Single-day, monthly and airport/long-term reserved permits that were purchased in advance are covered by this policy.

The additional revenue from the fees will be used for programs to improve station access, including shuttle and feeders tuition services and needed station renovation, according to the release.

Broadway Plaza design guidelines up for vote

The Walnut Creek Broadway Plaza Long Range Master Plan may have been approved by the City Council last month but final design elements for phase one of the project have not yet been cleared. Those design elements include landscaping elements, storefront facades, parking structures and wayfinding signs.


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Broadway Plaza owners Macerich Co., will be in front of the Design Review Commission 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 1666 N. Main St. This is the final public hearing and approval consideration for the design guidelines which will shape how the major renovation and addition -- eventually 300,000 square feet -- will look.

The Macy's expansion, which will add to the retailer's main store and do away with a men's store across the street, will be considered under separate design review guidelines.

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

Walnut Creek ice skating ends Jan. 12

Walnut Creek on Ice will end its season Jan. 12 but not before a plethora of opportunities for some skating fun. Put on by the chamber of commerce and downtown business association, the seasonal ice rink is held every year from November to January in Civic Park. To end the year there will be several skating theme nights to draw skaters. Jan. 9 will be "Rock Night," Jan. 10 "Ugly Sweater Night," Jan. 11 "Characters Skate Day" which will bring A's Mascot Stomper to the rink.

For more information go to http://iceskatewalnutcreek.com/

Superintendent to discuss Common Core standards

Superintendent of the Walnut Creek School District Patty Wool will address the issues surrounding the implementation of Common Core Standards at the Jan. 14 meeting of a society of women educators. Common Core is the new curriculum approach to instruction in K-12 schools across the nation.

Wool is speaking at a dinner and meeting of Zeta Zeta, a local chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (DKG). The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Scott's Restaurant in Walnut Creek. Those who wish to attend should contact jgelwicks@sbcglobal.net

Bay restoration focus of library foundation public lecture

Marc Holmes, Bay Restoration Program Director for The Bay Institute, will discuss the institute's work in protecting and restoring the entire watershed which drains into the San Francisco Bay, from Sierra to the sea. The free presentation will take place 7 p.m. Jan. 29, in the Oak View Room at the Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek. Reservations are recommended and can be made online www.WCLibrary.org.

Holmes has 25 years of experience in wetland regulation and restoration and has served at state, federal and international level.

Live! from the Library, produced by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation, features free public lectures, literary events, and cultural programs at the Walnut Creek and Ygnacio Valley

For more information go to www.WCLibrary.org, or call 925-935-5395.

Women's conference registration going on now

Now in its ninth year, the East Bay Women's Conference will be held March 3, and Journalist Cokie Roberts has been tapped to be the keynote speaker.

Registration is now open for the conference, put on by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, typically sells out.

The 2014 lineup also includes guest speakers Rita Moreno and Leah Albright-Byrd.

ABC 7 news anchor Dan Ashley will emcee the conference that also offers breakout sessions focused on contemporary issues, exhibitor booths, a fully stocked bookstore and author signings.

The conference is held at the San Ramon Marriott. The cost is $195 per ticket, which includes continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon reception. For more information go to www.walnut-creek.com.

Martin Luther King celebration set for Jan. 20

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will be held at noon Jan. 20, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1924 Trinity Ave. in Walnut Creek.

This is the first time in years the celebration, open to all in the community, has not been held at the community center in Civic Park.

The event is hosted by the Social Justice Alliance of Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County and the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center. Music will be provided by Gospel Choir from St. Benedict's Catholic Church, Oakland and inspiration will come from the Rev. Kamal Hassan of Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church in Richmond.

AAUW to present talk by deputy DA Knox

Mary Knox, a deputy district attorney for Contra Costa County, will speak about "Homicides, Drugs and Gangs in Contra Costa County; My Life as a Deputy District Attorney" at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 30 at Diablo Country Club, 1700 Clubhouse Road in Diablo.

The event is sponsored by the Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek Branch of the American Association of University Women.

A graduate of Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, UCLA and Pepperdine University Law School, Knox supervises the DA's homicide unit.

A three-course lunch will be served. The public is invited. Mail checks before Jan. 20 for $29 to DAW-AAUW, PO Box 996, Alamo, CA, 94507, or reserve through credit card by going to http://daw-ca.aauw.net/jan2014/. For more information email daw.aauw@gmail.com.

John Muir Health donates $25,000 to food bank

John Muir Health donated $25,000 to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano this holiday season, specifically for the food bank's Community Produce Program.

That program distributes fresh produce twice a month at more than 50 sites in Contra Costa and Solano counties. A grant in 2012 from the John Muir Mt. Diablo Community Health Fund, funded by John Muir Health, enabled the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano to purchase a beverage truck that was customized to serve as a mobile distribution vehicle for fresh produce. After a 6-month pilot program, a second vehicle was added through Feeding America, a national organization.

In addition to financial support, John Muir Health employees have been participating in a holiday food drive to support the Food Bank. Since making its first holiday donation in 2008 at the suggestion of an employee, John Muir Health has contributed more than $200,000 to the Food Bank.

Diablo Dems host update on reproductive rights

Planned Parenthood Shasta-Pacific Public Affairs Director Susannah Delano will discuss "Pushing Back on the War on Women" at the meeting of the Diablo Valley Democratic Club at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road in Walnut Creek.

Delano will discuss the state of reproductive rights across the nation, efforts to limit them and how Californians can work to promote women's health and reproductive choice. Since joining the Planned Parenthood staff in 2010, Delano has assisted in the expansion of the affiliate and the development of its advocacy program. She is a member of Planned Parenthood's statewide Strategy Team and Legislative Committee.

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

Celebration of the century to begin with 'roaring' party

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.

The first celebration will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight Jan. 24, when the Lesher Center holds "Flappers and Flasks: Roaring in the Centennial." This adults-only party will re-create the Lesher into a 1900s speakeasy as a kickoff to the centennial celebration. Attendees can eat and dance the night away. Cocktail attire and festive costumes are welcome. The cost is $100 per person -- and free to anyone 100 years or older. Tickets are on sale now call 925-946-SHOW or lesherartscenter.org.

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.

-- Compiled by Elisabeth Nardi.