Plans for new court complex discussed
A new Alameda County Hall of Justice complex featuring 13 courtrooms, judges' chambers and 40,000 feet of office space is inching a little closer to reality.
On Tuesday, the Dublin City Council will hold a public hearing to discuss the 197,000-square-foot facility, first approved in 2004. Despite the approvals, the project has been delayed for years. In that time, it has also been scaled down from 22 acres to 20 acres located next to the Santa Rita Jail on Gleason Drive.
The building will be five stories tall and have 818 parking spots. Once complete, it will relocate operations of the Alameda County Superior Court from its current location at 5672 Stoneridge Drive in Pleasanton.
"We've been waiting for this project for a long time and are definitely happy to see it move forward," said Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti.
The land is already owned by the county. It was purchased, along with the land that houses the jail and sheriff's training facility, from the military in the 1940s.
On Tuesday, the public will be able to speak about the project before the council votes on whether to approve the site development review for the facility. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 100 Civic Plaza, Dublin.
-- Karina Ioffee, Staff
Highway 160 closures at night through March
Nighttime travelers who rely on Highway 160 to get them to or from Rio Vista will have to find another route for the next two months.
Starting on Monday and lasting through late March, the freeway will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. between Wilbur Avenue in Antioch and the junction with Highway 12 east of Rio Vista, according to a Caltrans news release.
The closure is required for a $2.98 million project to do bridge deck and control house rehabilitation work at Three Mile Slough Bridge, Caltrans said.
Additionally, motorists can expect one-way traffic controls from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the bridge.
Roadside message boards will alert motorists of the closures and detours will be in place, but some commuters may be sidetracked up to 80 miles.
-- Paul Burgarino, Staff
Lunar New Year celebration on Sunday
Solano Avenue welcomes the Year of the Horse at the seventh annual Lunar New Year Celebration and Parade on Sunday.
The free event starts at 10 a.m. with live entertainment at the Albany Twin Theater, 1115 Solano Ave., headlined by the San Francisco Chinese Circus. There will also be music, dance, acrobatics, martial arts, snacks and refreshments, and the traditional lion dance.
Afterward, everyone is encouraged to be part of the parade that starts at noon outside the theater and heads east along Solano Avenue to Berkeley.
For details call 510-527-5358 or visit www.solanoavenueassn.org.
-- Chris Treadway, Staff
Kindergarten sign-ups begin Tuesday
Children who will be age 5 by Sept. 1 can preregister for kindergarten in the Mt. Diablo school district for the 2014-15 school year starting Tuesday. Those who will turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 are eligible to preregister for the district's transitional kindergarten program.
Preregistration takes place from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday for all campuses except Monte Gardens and Sequoia elementary schools, which have waiting lists. Registration for the Cornerstone Family School program is from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at Ygnacio Valley Elementary in Concord for students on the waiting list who have received phone confirmation.
The district requires proof of birth date, three documents verifying the child's address (one including a parent's photo identification) and immunization records. More information is available at schools, by calling 925-682-8000 ext. 4062, or by visiting www.mdusd.org/NewsRoom/Pages/transitional-kindergarten-information.aspx.
-- Theresa Harrington, Staff
Free talk examines beauty of Bay mud
Bay wetlands, now recognized as a vital part of the local ecosystem, were once dismissed as "mudflats," shoreline land best suited for filling and reclaiming.
The importance of mud, sand and gravel on the Bay and estuary shorelines will be discussed at a free talk by Jeremy Lowe, a senior coastal geomorphologist for San Francisco-based Environmental Science Associates, at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave.
Lowe, the sea level rise programming manager at ESA, will provide insight to the historic and vital role of mud, sand, and gravel in the Bay and estuary, and how people can harness dwindling supplies in the face of sea-level rise, say organizers with Friends of 5 Creeks, the Berkeley-based group hosting the talk as part of its Bay Currents.
The evening starts with refreshments and social time at 7 p.m. Seating is limited. Details: www.fivecreeks.org.
-- Chris Treadway, Staff
Peralta college district planning to divest
The Peralta Community College District will stop investing in fossil fuel companies within five years as it aims to reduce carbon emissions and become a better environmental steward, the district announced Friday.
Peralta is one of a small number of higher education institutions across the country to have taken such a stand, even as student environmentalists -- including at the University of California system and Stanford -- have pressed their leaders to do so.
The environmental justice group 350.org lists nine such commitments on its site, including Peralta, the Foothill-DeAnza Foundation and the San Francisco State University Foundation.
The 30,000-student Peralta district includes Oakland's Laney and Merritt colleges, Berkeley City College and College of Alameda.
-- Katy Murphy, Staff
Memorial concert to benefit scholarships
A special afternoon of classical music Sunday will pay tribute to a longtime and influential El Cerrito High School educator and benefit scholarships and the school's museum.
The Ben Rust Memorial Classical Music Concert takes place at 2 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at the school, 540 Ashbury Ave. It will feature the Kensington Symphony Orchestra performing works by Wagner and Brahms, joined by special guest soloist Lisa Houston, cellist Rebecca Rust and German bassoonist Friedrich Edelmann.
Rust was a longtime leader at the local and county levels of the California Federation of Teachers.
Tickets are $10, available at the door or in advance by contacting Donna Houser at 510-508-6830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Chris Treadway, Staff