West Downtown Specific Plan workshop Feb. 6

The City of Walnut Creek will host a community workshop for the West Downtown Specific Plan from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 in the gymnasium at the Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, 1801 Lacassie Ave. (there is also an entrance on Trinity Avenue).

The West Downtown area runs from California Boulevard in the east, Interstate 680 on the west, Olympic Boulevard on the south and the BART station on the north.

At previous workshops, more than 150 community members told city planners what they like and don't like about West Downtown, what they believe could make it more successful and improvements they'd like to see. At the Feb. 6 workshop, participants can help map out where they want improvements. This is all in advance of crafting a draft plan for the area, and its houses and businesses.

For more information about the West Downtown Specific Plan, visit www.walnut-creek.org/westdowntown. or contact Andrew Smith at 925-943-5899 x2213 or at asmith@walnut-creek.org.

City's 'Spotlight' series continues Feb. 9

Walnut Creek's "Second Saturday Spotlight" program continues Feb. 9 with the "State of the City" address at Lesher Center for the Arts.

It's the second in a planned series of "Spotlight" events that will also allow the public to go to the nerve center of the Lesher Center for the Arts, the city's Corp Yard or the Lindsay Wildlife Museum takes care of injured animals

The "Spotlight" series in Mayor Cindy Silva's primary outreach program to Walnut Creek's residents, said Gayle Vassar, Walnut Creek's communications and outreach manager.

"This is the mayor's way to connect with the community for the year," Vassar said.

Future scheduled "Spotlight" programs are March 9, "Keeping things running smoothly," behind the scenes at the Public Services Maintenance Corp Yard; and April 13, "Walnut Creek's Legacy of Open Space," led by the Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation

Silva's "State" address will also be her second one; the first address was given Jan. 28.

The city encourages people to register for each "Spotlight" ahead of time, so the city can best accommodate those who want to come. The online registration system is on the Spotlight web page. That said, drop-ins are welcome, too.

All "Spotlights" will take place the second Saturday of the month from 9 to 10:30 a.m., and will be very informal tours of a community/city gems. To register or for more information, go online to www.ci.walnut-creek.ca.us/spotlight. or call Vassar at 925-943-5895 or email her at vassar@walnut-creek.org

Registration underway for 2013 Citizens Institute

Anyone with an interest in Walnut Creek government and the community in general is invited to sign up for the 2013 Walnut Creek Citizens Institute.

Citizens Institute participants learn firsthand how the city operates through tours, interactive exercises and presentations by key staff and City Council members. Since its inception in 2000, nearly 500 residents have participated in the Institute. Program alumni often stay involved with the city, serving on committees and commissions and volunteering for special events or ongoing programs.

The 2013 Walnut Creek Citizens Institute comprises seven Wednesday evening sessions, from Feb. 20 through April 3, with the final class taking place the morning of Saturday, April 6.

Space is limited to encourage discussion, involvement and interaction. Cost is $25. For a detailed schedule, visit www.walnut-creek.org/institute, or email community@walnut-creek.org.

Looking for love at the Lindsay museum

Love is in the air at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum from Valentine's Day through President's Day, with "Wild Valentines," a special, family-friendly presentation that explores how wild animals find mates, raise families and "love."

"Wild Valentines" will be presented Feb. 14 and 15 from noon to 5 p.m.; Feb.16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

These presentations are free with the cost of standard Lindsay admission: $7 for adults and $5 for children (free for museum members). The museum is at 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek, near Larkey Park. For more information, call 925-935 1978.

Paint collection sites established

Several paint collection sites have been set up as part of the California Paint Stewardship Program, which requires paint manufacturers to develop a system to retrieve leftover paint from household and commercial consumers.

The program will be funded by a "recovery fee" attached to the purchase price of paint sold in California. That money will go to PaintCare, a nonprofit organization created to administer the state paint disposal and recycling programs. These fees go up to $1.60 per one- to -five-gallon container of paint.

Some collection sites include Kelly Moore, 2700 N Main St. in Walnut Creek; Glidden Professional, 2260 Commerce Ave. in Concord; Kelly Moore, 5600 Imhoff Drive in Concord; Sherwin-Williams, 1241 Diamond Way in Concord; Dunn-Edwards, 555 Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill; and Kelly Moore, 1725 Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill.

For more information about the California Paint Stewardship Program visit www.paintcare.org

East Bay Women's Conference is March 4

The 2013 East Bay Women's Conference, with keynote speaker Marlo Thomas and featured speaker Lisa Kristine, takes place March 4, at the San Ramon Marriott.

Both women have had significant impact on the lives of women around the world and continue to act and speak out for positive change.

ABC 7 news anchor Dan Ashley will emcee the conference that blends keynote and featured speaker presentations; breakout sessions focused on contemporary issues; exhibitor booths; a fully stocked bookstore and author signings.

The conference is presented by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce and Chevron Corporation. The $195 ticket price includes continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon reception.

Tickets for the conference, are available http://www.walnut-creek.com and click on the Women's Conference photo on the face page.

'Peaceful Schools' conference Saturday

The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center in Walnut Creek will hold its second annual Creating a Peaceful School Conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Seven Hills School, 975 N. San Carlos Drive in Walnut Creek.

The conference is designed for anyone who works with young people in grades K-12, including parents, teachers, administrators, classroom aides, school personnel and after-school program providers.

The aim is to help participants develop the skills they need to make the classroom, the school and the community a more peaceful place.

Registration is $35 through Jan. 7, and $40 thereafter. A catered lunch is included. Continuing education credit will be available through Saint Mary's College for a small additional fee.

Full descriptions of presenters and topics and related information will soon be available online. For more information or to register, go to www.mtdpc.org; call 925-933-7850, or e-mail margli@mtdpc.org.

-- Compiled by Sam Richards