Piedmont Center for the Arts holding events

Piedmont Center for the Arts is holding judging for Piedmont-originated wines from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at 801 Magnolia Ave. The $10 admission includes music, souvenier glass and cheese and crackers.

Art by Robert Davidson and Sallie Sadler features oils and watercolors and will be on view Friday through May 26 at the gallery. A free artist's reception is from 4:30-7 p.m. May 11. Gallery open noon to 3 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

There is a free screening of an informative documentary "Bag It," at 7:30 p.m. May 10. It was produced by Piedmonter Michelle Hill in 2010. Find out about the toxicity and biological damage caused by plastic bags, and why they are banned in some counties.

Children are welcome; non-alcoholic refreshments will be for sale.

The Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble will perform "Mighty Aphrodite: Music of Romantic Desire" at 4:30pm. May 19. Concert features flirtatious English madrigals, steamy duets from Italian and French opera and ardent German love songs. Works include those by Vaughan-Williams, Britten and Kodaly.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door and $15 for students. For information, call 510-531-8714 or visit www.vocisings.com.

-- Linda Davis

PHS hosting college admissions workshop

Piedmont High is holding a college admissions workshop for juniors and their parents with check-in at 6:45 p.m. on April 30.

Participants will meet in small parent or student-only groups to evaluate mock college admissions applications. A panel discussion will follow led by admissions officers. Participants can find out how schools evaluate essays, grades, test scores and extracurriculat activities.

Jennifer Thomas, college counselor and former NCAA division 1 coach will speak on college athletics at 7 p.m. May 1 in the Piedmont High library. She will speak on helping the athlete find the best college fit, explaining strategies for marketing oneself to programs, coaches and schools. Talk is for student athletes and their parents.

Both programs are free.

-- Linda Davis

Piedmont holding tree survey this weekend

Biologist and Councilman Garrett Keating is asking for homeowners to volunteer access to their properties for a Sudden Oak Death Syndrome (SODS) blitz on Saturday and Sunday in Piedmont.

This is a crowd-sourced science project led by an SODS expert at UC-Berkeley. Volunteers are trained to recognize SODS disease and check California Bay Laurels (trees that harbor the virus but do not get sick from it). Over the next 24 hours, volunteers survey their town with sampling kits and GPS units.

Samples will be returned to UC-Berkeley for analysis and data is used to generate a map of SODS around California.

City staff will be surveying the parks; Keating and other volunteers will be surveying the private lands. For more information, contact Keating at gkeating@ci.piedmont.ca.us or call 510-566-1481.

-- Linda Davis

Camron-Stanford House to open new garden

Camron-Stanford House, Oakland's landmark house museum on Lake Merritt, has planted a brand new garden -- and is throwing an opening party on May 4-5.

"This garden is the first phase of our full landscape plan. Like the historic house interiors, the new garden is designed in the 1875-1885 Victorian Decorative style," said noted Bay Area landscape architect Bobbi Feyerabend of Feyerabend & Madden Landscape Design, the volunteer board member who chairs the museum's garden committee. "Opening our new Victorian garden to the first visitors is exciting. We have dreamed and planned for this garden for more than three decades."

On May 4, the Victorian Garden Gala is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program features three talks by garden experts: keynote speaker Dr. Judith Taylor, author of "Tangible Memories: Californians and Their Gardens," Jill Perry, curator of the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden on "Old Roses in the Modern Garden," and, rounding out the program, a special tour of the new garden by Feyerabend. A gourmet luncheon will be served. Tickets are available for the Victorian Garden Gala at $75 each for museum members and $100 for non-members and guests. Proceeds benefit the Victorian Garden Maintenance Fund.

On noon May 5, Mayor Jean Quan and members of the Camron-Stanford House Board of Directors will officially open the garden with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Docent-led tours of the garden will start every half hour, noon to 4 p.m. with additional time allowed to tour the museum's elegant period rooms. Timed tickets are free but should be prereserved.

Tickets can be obtained by calling 510-874-7802 or online at www.cshouse.org. Parking is free at Alco Park from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on presentation of the tour ticket on the day of the event. Visitors must have a ticket and ticket times will be strictly observed.

Camron-Stanford House is an 1875 Victorian Italianate building which was the residence of five prominent Bay Area families in the 19th century, then in 1910 became the Oakland Public Museum, the first teaching museum west of the Mississippi River. The landmark house is owned by the City of Oakland and since 1971 has been administered and restored by the Camron-Stanford House Preservation Association, a nonprofit organization. The museum is located in Lakeside Park at 1418 Lakeside Drive (at 14th St.).

-- Ann Swift

Girl Scouts, Brownies to hold benefit book drive

Piedmont Girl Scouts and Brownies are holding a book drive through May 1 for the East Bay Children's Book Project.

Donate any fiction or nonfiction books in good condition for preschoolers through 12th grade to Beach Elementary School auditorium during school hours at the drop-off boxes there. Beach is at 100 Lake Ave. in Piedmont. For more information, contact Valerievillanueva@yahoo.com.

-- Linda Davis

PHS, PMS jazz bands to perform at Yoshi's

Piedmont High and Piedmont Middle School jazz bands will perform a fundraiser at Yoshi's jazz club at Jack London Square on May 20.

They will perform two concerts at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are $10-$15. Proceeds will help purchase instruments for the school jazz programs. For more information contact Jan D'Annunzio at janerley@aol.com.

-- Linda Davis

PAAC will present Chinese opera for free

Piedmont Asian American Club is offering its members an opportunity to attend a full-length Chinese opera for free presented by Red Bean Opera company.

The performance is at 1 p.m. May 26 at Chabot College Performing Arts Center, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward.

The first 25 respondents (child with an adult) can attend at no cost. Older teens may attend without an adult. Additional adults will pay $20 for a ticket.

Red Bean needs a list of attendees by April 30 with the name of the adult and child, the child's age and school. The troupe will present the Cantonese opera "Princess Changping," set in the last days of the Ming Dynasty. Changping undergoes many trials, but is saved by a Ming minister. She is reunited with her Prince Consort Zhou Shixian. The saga of the wedded couple ends tragically. RSVP to Mary Geong at 510-654-4417 or mmgeong@aol.com.

-- Linda Davis

League hosting Skinner at spring luncheon

The League of Women Voters of Piedmont will hold its annual meeting and luncheon on May 10 and the program will feature 15th District Assemblymember Nancy Skinner.

The event will take place at 216 Hampton Road, Piedmont at 11 a.m. immediately following the league's annual meeting. The free program is followed by the league's spring luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Advance reservations and payment of $25 for the luncheon are required. For reservations, call 510-547-0762 before May 6.

Skinner was elected to the state Assembly in 2008. Following redistricting last year, Piedmont became part of her district. Skinner currently chairs the Assembly Rules Committee and formerly served as chair of the Natural Resources Committee.

Skinner has a long history of public service and a record of environmental and social justice leadership. She served on the Berkeley City Council and the East Bay Regional Park District Board, owned a small business, and was active in student government at UC Berkeley. As a legislator, Nancy is perhaps best known for her E-Fairness bill requiring Amazon and other internet retailers to collect sales tax.

Prescription drug disposal day Saturday

The Piedmont Police Department is holding a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the department, 403 Highland Ave., Piedmont.

The service is free and anonymous. People are encouraged to rid their cabinets of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, which will be disposed of by the police department.

Unused drugs are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at 5,200 sites operated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and its local law enforcement partners. In five previous Take Back events, more than 2 million pounds of pills were turned in.

Statistics show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

Throwing unused drugs in the trash or flushing down the toilet poses safety and health hazards.

For more information, contact Officer Foster at 510-420-3000.

-- Linda Davis

City seeks use plans for 801 Magnolia Ave.

The Piedmont City Council invites interested parties to submit written proposals for future uses of the east wing (former Sunday school portion) of the city's building at 801 Magnolia Ave.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on this matter during its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. May 6 at in the City Council chambers. The deadline for written proposals is noon May 1. All proposals received will be published with the materials for the May 6 council meeting, which will be posted to the city's website on May 3. Interested parties will also have the chance to make brief presentations to the council on their proposals during the meeting.

Proposals should be submitted to the City Clerk's Office at 120 Vista Ave., Piedmont, CA 94611 or via email to jtulloch@ci.piedmont.ca.us. For further information, contact City Clerk John Tulloch at 510- 420-3041.

-- Linda Davis

Bike to school or work day is May 9 at Ace

Bike to work or school day is from 6:30 to 9 a.m. May 9 at Ace Hardware on Grand Avenue in Piedmont.

Piedmont Connect's Green Transportation Groups hosts an energizer station at Ace to provide cyclists with refreshments, "goody bags" and support. To volunteer, contact ricardoscott27@gmail.com.

-- Linda Davis

Girl Scout Troop 31526 to hold tea on May 11

Piedmont Girl Scout Troop 31526 will hold an elegant tea for grandmothers, sisters and parents alike from 1 to 3 p.m. May 11.

Girls will paint their own china tea cup. Cost is $38 per couple, which includes parent and child or other family member.

The tea will be held at Veterans Hall, corner Highland and Oakland avenues. For more details, contact yeh4mom@yahoo.com.

-- Linda Davis