'Civic Volunteer of the Year Award' announced

The City of Piedmont is seeking nominations for the inaugural "Piedmont Civic

Volunteer of the Year Award" to recognize a Piedmont resident for extraordinary service to the community.

This award will be given to a Piedmonter who has made significant cultural, political, health, safety, environmental, recreational, and/or social contributions that have enriched the community.

The intent of the award is to annually recognize an individual whose efforts have helped to improve the quality of life in Piedmont.

"This award provides an excellent opportunity for the city to formally recognize and express appreciation to an individual for his or her contribution to making Piedmont a better place," said Mayor Margaret Fujioka. "It is my hope that this award will inspire others to volunteer for the greater good of our community now and in the future."

The 2014 Piedmont Civic Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented at the city of Piedmont Volunteer Recognition Ceremony where those who serve on city commissions and committees and the winners of the annual Betty C. Howard Award for services to the Piedmont Recreation Department will be recognized. The recognition ceremony will be held at the Piedmont Community Hall in late spring.

The Piedmont Civic Volunteer of the Year will be chosen by the mayor and a selection committee. Volunteer efforts during the 12-month period commencing January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013, will be considered. Nomination materials are available on the city's web site at www.ci.piedmont.ca.us.

Submit nominations to the Office of the City Clerk, 120 Vista Ave., Piedmont, CA, or email to cityclerk@ci.piedmont.ca.us by May 16.

-- John Tulloch, city of Piedmont

'Magic of Play' program slated for Wednesday

The Piedmont Recreation Department presents an informative program for parents on "The Magic of Play: The Neuroscience of Child-Driven Play" from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave.

Stephanie Rafanelli will share her new research on neuroscience, education and psychology about the importance of free play in a child's life. Evidence links unstructured play with brains that are more emotionally attuned and more connected.

Discussions will include preschool, Schoolmates and summer programs where children can experience free play.

Cst is $10 per person; register online at http://bit.ly/1f15wLh ; call Erin Rivera at 420-3072 for more information.

-- Linda Davis

PLS holding annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Piedmont Language School's annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta will be from 5 to 7 p.m. May 1 at Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave.

Enjoy entertainment, margaritas, a taco truck and fun activities for the whole family while supporting language and cultural education in schools. Advance tickets are $50 per family for up to five people and $12 for children. Send checks to PLS, P.O. Box 11092, Piedmont, CA 94611.

-- Linda Davis

Seniors organization benefit set for May 1

Centers for Elder Independence will hold a fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. May 1 at Piedmont Community Church, 400 Highland Ave., Piedmont.

Catering is by Barbara Llewellyn. Carol Johnson, of St. Mary's Center, will be honored. Tickets are $150 each and proceeds support the program for all-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) for frail East Bay seniors. For more information, email imcdonald@cei.elders.org.

-- Linda Davis

Homeowners can have trees sampled for SODS

Join the effort on May 10 to help prevent Sudden Oak Death Syndrome by having your back yard trees sampled by University of California researchers.

Piedmont High students will survey bay laurel trees that are hosts to the pathogen and submit the samples to the UC lab for analysis with results provided later. The laurels do not die from the disease; they are carriers.

Contact biologist and former Councilman Garrett Keating for details at g2keating@gmail.com or call 705-3268.

-- Linda Davis

Summer school will offer Spanish classes

Buenos Dias Spanish classes are coming to the Associated Parent Clubs of Piedmont summer enrichment program.

Piedmont Language School and Viva el Espanol have joined efforts with the APCP summer programs to offer this fun alternative to summer school. You may register online at the listing under www.piedmontportal.org.

-- Linda Davis

Zionist, author Beinart to speak at Kehilla

Outspoken journalist, Zionist and author Peter Beinart will speak at Kehilla Synagogue at 6 p.m. Sunday.

The event at 1300 Grand Ave. in Piedmont is free and open to all, presented by Kehilla's Middle East Peace Committee.

Beinart's critique of Israeli policies has brought discussions of the negative effects that Israel's occupation policies have had on Jewish young adults. He is an associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York. He wrote "The Crisis of Zionism" (Times Books, 2012). He has appeared on numerous news programs including NBC's "Meet the Press," "The McLaughlin Group" and CNN.

Volunteers being sought to repair Oakland home

Volunteers are welcome to join Piedmont's Kehilla Synagogue and Oakland's Temples Beth Abraham and Sinai to repair a home with Rebuilding Together Oakland.

A workday will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday to repair a needy family's home off High Street near Foothill Boulevard in Oakland. Lunch will be provided; lunch items or snacks are welcomed. Project tasks include gardening, painting, plumbing and carpentry, but no specific experience is needed and minors 14-17 may participate with a consent form.

Kehilla has committed to raising $1,000 to support the project. Donations are welcome. To join the volunteer team, contact Beth Bittle at Kehilla at 510-547-2424.

-- Linda Davis

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