Pleasanton: Library's Open Mic nights provide writers creative outlet

The Tri-Valley branch of the California Writers Club's monthly events give audiences to the established or aspiring alike. 
Amputees in the Bay Area and across the nation say they encounter a stifling bureaucracy when trying to gain approval from insurance companies for their new limbs, which have price tags as high as $40,000.  
Biology instructor Nan Ho, the driving force behind the idea, became convinced that the use of sophisticated posters would not only allow for the presentation of research results but would teach her students how more advanced scientists routinely share their work.  
City Manager Nelson Fialho is getting a 5 percent pay increase to boost his annual salary to $206,877, the City Council decided last week. Fialho also will get five additional vacation days annually, boosting his time off from four to five weeks a year under his contract amendment.  
Attorneys for Danville and developer SummerHill Homes are asking the court to overturn a ruling last year by Contra Costa County Judge Steven Austin in favor of Save Open Space Danville -- a group of residents who sued to upend the development. The case goes to court Tuesday  
Partnering with downtown Danville's Role Players Ensemble, the Eugene O'Neill Foundation's 2015 season features O'Neill's "Desire Under the Elms" at Tao House (Sept. 18-27) and Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" at Village Theater (Sept. 4-19).  
Nathaniel Jackson
Valley Humane SocietyGo-go-gadget-nose! With his keen sniffer, Inspector Gadget will easily detect a friend. This 2-year-old terrier mix is always on the ball.  
Between El Niño and the drought, the East Bay's natural landscape is filled with oddities these days. Giant purple sea slugs are turning up on the shoreline, birds are migrating months earlier than usual and mammals appear to be few and far between. No place is better to observe these natural shifts than Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. The park offers an ideal vantage point to see how climate change, water policy and natural fluctuations in the weather and currents affect our region.  
San Francisco prosecutors Tuesday added a new weapons charge against a Mexican national accused of killing a 32-year-old woman at Pier 14 earlier this month in a case that has brought national interest to the city's immigration policies.  
Through Aug. 2 Summer Reading Program -- The Children's Librarian has unveiled the reading incentive program theme of Destination Read. Children of all ages welcome.  
J.J. Abrams broke his back filming 'Star Wars'

The 'Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens' director reveals to Jon Stewart how the Millennium Falcon door that injured Harrison Ford on set also broke Abrams' back.