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Piedmont: Booker named new superintendent

Randall Booker, Piedmont Unified's assistant superintendent of educational services, will take up his post as superintendent on July 1. 
OAKLAND -- Two longtime Alameda County public defenders were appointed to judgeships by the governor Friday.Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Andrew Steckler and James Cramer to the Alameda County Superior Court bench to fill vacancies created by the retirements of judges Joan Cartwright and Hugh Walker.  
 
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Fox
Co-chaired by Cory Smegal and Leah Kjellen, this was a chance for the community to come together over cocktails, casino games and appetizers to raise funds for student campus life.  
 
Courtesy of Vanessa Hauswald
"While Berkeley High School has a team, Oakland has no school teams. Neither does Alameda, San Leandro, Castro Valley, Hayward nor Fremont," said Oakland Composite head coach Morgan Fletcher. "We have, and have had, kids from every one of those communities."  
 
New Recreation Director Sara Lillevand has taken steps to try to resolve a long-standing problem in which parents were driving down to the plaza in front of the Piedmont Community Hall to drop their children off at preschool in the morning and returning to pick them up at midday.  
 
A check was presented to the Piedmont Park Commission in early March to build a retention swale in the park and plant some redwoods to replace a few trees that had to be removed.  
 
Parents must go in person to the school their child will attend. To make an appointment for Piedmont High, call Melanie Reed, 510-594-2646; Piedmont Middle, Evangeline Walsh, 510-594-2669; Beach Elementary, Megan Nakahara, 510-594-2666; Havens Elementary, Cheryl Vaughan, 510-594-2680; and Wildwood Elementary, Christine Peterson, 510-594-2780.  
 
East Bay SPCA
Widget, a 5-month-old Italian greyhound mix, is the East Bay SPCA's pet of the week. She is elegant and definitely meant for speed and grace -- so ladylike, right?  
 
Courtesy of Megan Long
All four Robohawks teams qualified for the 2015 World Championship tournament, including one middle school and three high school teams. The 8000A (high school) and 8000C (middle school) teams already took the California State Championship title at the March 7 competition in San Jose. The other two teams made the cut for World's at the Second Annual East Bay Robot and Programming Skills Challenge hosted by Head-Royce on Feb. 28.  
 
Dan Balilty
No matter what news my grandmother, Myra Cohen, heard — whether it was "Grandma, there's been a terrible flood in India" or "Grandma, the Dodgers just won the World Series" -- she always had the same response: "Is it good for the Jews or bad for the Jews?  
 
'The Sopranos' Drea De Matteo loses New York home in explosion

'Modern Family’ actress Sarah Hyland grew up across the street from buildings that burned and collapsed in accident caused by gas and plumbing work.