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A L A M O | B L AC K H AW K | DA N V I L L E | D I A B L O | S A N R A M O N A local resource guide published by

Education | Arts & Entertainment | Readers Choice Winners Looking ahead: San Ramon Valley in 2015



The East Bay’s premier real estate company.

Real Estate Is an Art Leave it to the Masters...J. Rockcliff Realtors

Serving Contra Costa and Alameda Counties ÂŽ

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J. Rockcliff has been named the #1 Real Estate Company in the East Bay for the third consecutive year!* 2 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

*By the San Francisco Business Times based on total sales volume

Thank You to our Amazing Sponsors! We’d like to give a huge “thank you” to all of those that sponsor this very successful community event! It is the support of our sponsors that has helped the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation to raise over 7 million dollars each year to support our schools... for the past 31 years! TITLE SPONSOR









2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 3



Keira and Tyler Lindauer, of Dublin, ride a tractor during Fun on the Farm at Forest Home Farms in San Ramon last summer.

INSIDE LIFE Quick reference directory Some useful numbers for newcomers and oldtimers ................................... 6

Outlook San Ramon Valley New development, activities and programs on the horizon ...................... 9

San Ramon Valley Readers Choice 2014 Readers picked their favorites in our annual contest ..................................10

Education Public school listings ................................................................................................16

Bella Vista in Dougherty Valley Valley’s newest elementary school set for 2016 opening ..........................17

Arts & Entertainment Live music, theaters, galleries and more...........................................................18

ABOUT THE COVER A recent sunrise over the San Ramon Valley, with light-beams illuminating the clouds in the sky. Photo by Richard Valenti.

4 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

Welcome to the 2014-15 edition of San Ramon Valley Life, which has all the information you need to live, work and play in Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo and San Ramon. It includes facts about the towns, cities and schools as well as locations of local amenities, information about arts and entertainment venues and programs and much, much more. It’s everything that only the area’s locally owned and operated news source can provide. In addition to being in the same state Assembly and Senate districts, San Ramon Valley communities share a school district, fire district, community college district and county services. Because of this synergy, we decided to make one place for readers to go to get all their San Ramon Valley news — We also combined the Readers Choice contests this year. It is an exciting time for the San Ramon Valley. In San Ramon, a new elementary school, Bella Vista, is being planned in the Dougherty Valley and the city broke ground on the new San Ramon City Hall building — part of the City Center project, which has been in the works for decades and will give San Ramon its long-awaited “downtown.” When completed, San Ramon City Center will have two “piazzas” and include retail space, restaurants, and an outdoor theater for concerts and civic events. Downtown Danville is also being transformed. Redevelopment of the Danville Hotel site includes the construction of retail, residential and restaurant space. While some mourned the demolition of the long-standing but deteriorating buildings at the site, the two historically significant structures on the site, the Danville Hotel and McCauley House, will be preserved and restored as a part of the project. The Danville Hotel is not the only topic of controversy in the Valley. The Faria Preserve residential development in San Ramon, a proposed cemetery in Tassajara Valley, ongoing litigation stemming from Danville’s approval of a housing project on Magee Ranch — and of course the continuous issue of traffic — will make for interesting discussions this year and next. But perhaps the highlight in the coming weeks will be the national, state and local elections affecting the San Ramon Valley. Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) is being challenged by Republican Hugh Bussell of Livermore in the 15th Congressional District that includes San Ramon. The Valley’s State Senator, Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), is facing retired Immigration Law Judge Tue Phan (R-Danville) in a runoff to represent the 11th Congressional District, which includes Danville. Pleasanton attorney Catharine Baker, a Republican, squares off in the Nov. 4 election against Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti for the 16th State Assembly District seat. Danville Town Council and San Ramon Valley school board seats are also up for grabs. Whether you’re new to our Valley or have lived here for years, we welcome you to San Ramon Valley Life and the communities we serve, and we urge you to vote on Nov. 4. —Gina Channell-Allen, Publisher Jeremy Walsh, Editor

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925.394.4208 2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 5

Call (877) 810-8670


Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Call 228-9500

Water Service

USEFUL NUMBERS FOR INFORMATION, SERVICES AND EMERGENCIES For an emergency: 911 Cell phones: Dispatch 646-2441 (Alamo Valley Station) Cell phones: Dispatch 646-2441 (Blackhawk Police Services) Cell phones: Dispatch 314-3700 (Danville Police) Cell phones: Dispatch 973-2700 (San Ramon Police) Contra Costa Fire Department: 941-3300 California Highway Patrol: 646-4980 Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department: 646-2441 Poison Control Center: (800) 222-1222

Alamo Sheriff’s Valley Station 150 Alamo Plaza, Suite C Alamo 94507 Call 837-2902

Blackhawk Police Services 1092 Eagle Nest Place Danville 94526 Call 736-1018

Danville Police Department

314-3383 Town Clerk, Marie Sunseri: 314-3401 Police Services: 314-3700 Recreation Services: 314-3400 Maintenance Services: 314-3450 Building Development Services: 314-3330 Engineering/Planning Development Services: 314-3310 Transportation Services: 314-3320 Financial Services: 314-3320 Human Resources: 314-3356

City of San Ramon Call 973-2500 City Manager, Greg Rogers: 973-2530 City Attorney, Robert Saxe (interim): 973-2549 Administrative Services Department, Eva Phelps: 973-2500 City Clerk, Renee Beck: 973-2538 Engineering Services Department: 973-2670 Parks and Community Services Department: 973-3200 Planning/Community Development Department: 973-2560 Police Services Department: 973-2700 Public Services Department: 973-2800

510 La Gonda Way Danville 94526 Call 314-3700

Danville Garbage Service

San Ramon Police Department

San Ramon Garbage Service

2220 Camino Ramon San Ramon 94583 Call 973-2700

San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District 1500 Bollinger Canyon Road San Ramon 94583 Call 838-6600

Town of Danville Call 314-3388 Town Manager, Joe Calabrigo: 314-3388 Town Attorney, Robert Ewing: 6 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

Republic Services Call 603-1144 Valley Waste Management Call 837-3356

Danville Recycling Service Valley Waste Management (VWM) Call 935-8900

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Call (800) 743-5000

CA Public Utilities Commission Consumer Affairs Division Call (800) 649-7570

Renewable Energy Choices - Greenpower

6300 W. Las Positas Pleasanton 94588 Call 462-7042

County Recorder’s Office For birth or death certificate or marriage license call 646-2517

East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Call (866) 403-2683 Dublin-San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) Call 828-0515

Child abuse

Danville Public Library

Elder Abuse Prevention Resources

400 Front St. Danville 94526 Call 837-4889

San Ramon Public Library 100 Montgomery St. San Ramon 94583 Call 973-2850

Dougherty Station Library 17017 Bollinger Canyon Rd. San Ramon 94582 Call 973-3380

U.S. Postal Service Call (800) 275-8777 Danville Main Office (has passport services) 2605 Camino Tassajara Danville 94526-9998 Call 736-0775 Diablo Post Office 1701 El Nido Diablo 94528-9800 Call 837-3800 Danville Square Post Office 23 Railroad Ave. Danville 94526-3881 Call 314-9650 Alamo Post Office (has passport services) 160 Alamo Plaza Alamo 94507-9998 Call 935-9953 San Ramon Post Office (has passport services) 12935 Alcosta Blvd. San Ramon 94583-9998 Call 277-0567

Department of Motor Vehicles Call (800) 777-0133 1910 N. Broadway Walnut Creek 94596 Call 935-4464

Contra Costa County Child Protective Services: 646-1680 or (877) 881-1116 Child Abuse Prevention Council: 798-0546

Adult Protective Services: (877) 839-4347 or 646-2854 State Attorney General’s Office: (800) 952-5225 Elder Financial Protection Network: (415) 956-5556 Long-Term Care Ombudsman: 685-2070 Public Guardian’s Office: 646-2901 Legal Assistance for Seniors: (510) 832-3040 Diablo Valley Foundation for the Aging: 945-8040

Amber Alert Call (800) 835-5247

Dog license Martinez Animal Shelter: 335-8310

Animal cruelty Call your police department

County Animal Control Call 646-2995

Donate something Goodwill Furniture Pick-Up: (510) 698-7200 Goodwill Donation Drop-Off (Dublin): 7232 Regional St., Dublin. Call: 833-8610 Salvation Army Pick-Up: (800) 728-7825 Hospice of the East Bay Thrift Shoppe: 444 Diablo Rd., Danville. Call: 838-7697 or 3162 Danville Blvd., Suite A, Alamo. Call: 820-6525 Discovery Counseling Center Thrift Shop, The Station 486 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville. Call 820-1988

National Do-Not-Call Registry (888) 382-1222

CAMPBELL 408.871.8890 CORTE MADERA 415.924.6691

DANVILLE 925.866.6164 MOUNTAIN VIEW 650.964.7212

SAN CARLOS 650.508.8317 16 LOCATIONS IN CALIFORNIA, NEVADA & TEXAS 2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 7

San Ramon Valley Life

8 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

San Ramon Valley Life

OUTLOOK SAN RAMON VALLEY Prominent projects, parcel tax, drought among key topics heading into 2015 By Jeremy Walsh

The San Ramon Valley appears ready for another year of significant change and lively debate in 2015, with prominent public and private construction projects, ongoing concerns about the water supply and school parcel tax renewal at the forefront. 2014 opened with a bang in downtown Danville, with the demolition of deteriorating structures at the Danville Hotel property in January. Private developer Castle Companies plans to create the town’s newest downtown destination by replacing rundown “Wild West” buildings near the historic Danville Hotel with modern restaurant space, storefronts and secondfloor residential units. The hotel itself, along with the McCauley House, will be preserved and renovated as part of the project. Construction is well underway, and the developer eyes a summer 2015 completion date. Down the road, neighboring San Ramon celebrated a city milestone in September with the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new City Hall project. Anticipated to open in 2015, the new two-story building will include large council chambers, public meeting rooms, offices and a large lobby in Central Park.

The project is a public-private partnership with Sunset Development, which also plans to build the long-awaited City Center adjacent to the new City Hall. Updated conceptual designs for the City Center were unveiled in June, with the complex set to consist of retail, dining, entertainment, residential, hotel and office space components. Still in the planning stages, developers hope to break ground on the retail portion by early 2015 and open at the end of 2016. Sunset has not yet announced a construction time-line for the residential side, known as “Phase 2.” Many San Ramon and Danville residents also noticed a big change between their communities in summer 2014 with the opening of the Interstate 680 auxiliary lanes between Sycamore Valley and Crow Canyon roads. The highway was widened as part of the project, which also included new sound and retaining walls. Landscaping and touch-up work is expected to wrap up during 2015. Officials hope the additions on each side of the freeway will limit congestion, ease merging and help alleviate the San Ramon Valley’s I-680 traffic headache. Riling residents in another area is a cemetery proposal in the


Crews knock down a deteriorating building at the Danville Hotel site in January.

Tassajara Valley, east of the San Ramon city limits in unincorporated Contra Costa County. Creekside Memorial Cemetery, proposed to sit on 58.7 acres at 7000 Camino Tassajara, would include four outdoor mausoleums, one indoor mausoleum, an administrative office and chapel building, storage building, corporation yard and space for more than 100,000 burial plots. Some 450-plus people protested the cemetery in August, expressing concerns about negative impacts on wildlife habitats, air quality, traffic, viewsheds and water. The Faria Preserve housing community in San Ramon is another development controversy likely to carry into 2015. The San Ramon City Council voted 4-1 in late September to approve the 740-home project in the northwest part of the city. The final decision came down after four well-attended council meetings during the summer and early fall. The development still awaits other regulatory agency approval and needs to avoid potential litigation, which some residents hinted at during council meetings. Danville town officials were dealt a courtroom blow in July when a county judge ruled the town acted improperly during its 2013 approval of a proposed 69JEREMY WALSH home development on the Magee The San Ramon City Council celebrates the new city hall groundbreaking in September. Ranch property at the corner of

Diablo and McCauley roads. The town council subsequently voted to appeal the judge’s unfavorable decisions, which found the town failed to address bicycle-safety impacts and improperly rezoned agricultural land at the project site without first seeking a general plan amendment to change the agricultural land-use designation. The court ruling was mixed for each side, as the plaintiff — advocacy group SOS-Danville — had a majority of its environmental challenges thrown out. The town’s appeal will likely extend into 2015. Another ongoing issue on many residents’ minds is the drought. The East Bay Municipal Utility District, which serves Danville and much of San Ramon, has asked customers for voluntary 10% water conservation to date, while the Dublin San Ramon Services District, which serves the Dougherty Valley, has said its customers must use 25% less water overall. As 2014 winds down, San Ramon Valley residents will likely hear more debate about extending a $144 parcel tax to benefit local public schools. The voter-approved, seven-year tax generates about $6.8 million annually and is set to sunset in June 2016. The San Ramon Valley school board is debating whether to ask voters to renew the tax, perhaps as early as a May 2015 ballot. Q 2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 9


can be overwhelming. That’s why RPM Mortgage employees are there to guide customers through every step. Best Mortgage Professional: Casey Doerlich, RPM Mortgage RPM Mortgage hires only the most professional agents in the loan agency, such as Casey Doerlich. He has access to the latest in marketing, technology and training in order to do his job quickly and easily. Clients state that Casey is knowledgeable and professional, and is always going the extra mile during the loan process.


Cottage Jewel in downtown Danville took home two Readers Choice awards: Best Antique Store and Best Place to Buy a Gift.


hings to do, places to see, pampering to enjoy and yummies to eat — once again, our readers have spoken. This year, for the first time, we combined the San Ramon and Danville Readers Choice awards into one hotbed of competition: the San Ramon Valley Readers Choice awards. We polled residents about their favorites in a panoply of categories, from food to nails and banks to dance halls. Thousands of votes streamed in over the month the ballot was online, and the competition was fierce. You may recognize some favorites of old and, perhaps, learn of something new in this year’s Readers Choice.

SERVICES Best Bank: Chase Chase has friendly, helpful tellers and competent financial advisers that you can build a solid relationship with. Our readers prefer Chase for all their banking business. 10 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

Best Credit Union: Patelco Credit Union The people of Patelco are anxious to serve, bright and well-spoken — and make sure to thoroughly explain the ins and outs of banking to all their customers. Best Financial Planner (Non-brokerage): Summit Financial Our readers can rely on Summit Financial for all their financial planning needs. They take the time to understand clients’ situations and explain in detail their solutions. Best Financial Planner Brokerage: Morgan Stanley Smith Barney It can be a risky business putting your trust into a company, especially when it comes to money. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney earns their clients’ trust through integrity and service, and helps individuals, families and institutions achieve their unique financial goals. Best Mortgage Company: RPM Mortgage Paperwork with buying a home

Best Real Estate Agent: Shannon Berger, Better Homes & Gardens Shannon Berger has built a successful referral-based real estate business. Her commitment to her clients has helped her receive numerous awards throughout the year. Shannon is dependable, resourceful and demonstrates a hard work ethic. Best Real Estate Office: J. Rockcliff With offices in Danville, Blackhawk, Pleasanton and Livermore, J. Rockcliff Realtors is one of the fastest growing companies in the state. Its relocation department provides home buying or selling assistance around the corner or across the globe. Best Real Estate Team: The Combs Team - J. Rockcliff Joe and Nancy Combs have a reputation for being assertive in both negotiating and closing, and they’re more than happy to spend some time talking with people about all their real estate needs. Best Travel Agency: Alamo World Travel & Tours Celebrating its 33rd year in business, Alamo World Travel & Tours assists clients plan their vacations — whether it’s booking a hotel, a tour or a cruise. The travel agency offers its clients valuable assistance and advice, as well as the most competitive prices.

HEALTH & FITNESS Best Acupuncture: San Ramon Acupuncture Clinic San Ramon Acupuncture Clinic


2014 treats patients with back pain, shoulder pain, insomnia, as well as women’s health issues. Protocols are individualized to fit the patient’s specific needs. The clinic offers a personal and caring relationship for each of its patients in a safe environment. Best Health Club: Danville Fit Danville Fit offers members new exercise equipment, group exercise classes, personal trainers and a spa. Members say the staff is friendly and the membership fees are the most affordable in the Tri-Valley area. Best Massage: Jolie Salon & Spa Our readers call Danville’s Jolie Salon & Spa a perfect balance of comfort and decadence, a place they can leave glowing and relaxed, thanks to the magical hands of the masseuses. Best Martial Arts Studio: Tao Sports Tao Sports in Danville focuses on character development, physical fitness and self-defense instead of fighting. The studio’s goal is to build the student’s self-esteem through a community that works together toward improved physical strength, focus and concentration, and self-discipline. At Tao Sports, the community practices martial arts by encouraging and supporting one another. Best Place to Buy Fitness Equipment & Apparel: Forward Motion Start with the shoes and build your perfect workout outfit from there. Forward Motion’s Race Club is the leader for recreational runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes. Best Place to Walk, Jog or Bike: Iron Horse Trail Get a breath of fresh air and spend some time outdoors. The Iron Horse Regional Trail is a 33-

San Ramon Valley Life

mile stretch of a former railroad with much to explore.

any vision into a custom-made piece of perfection.

Best Yoga/Pilates: Danville Yoga Center All levels of yogis practice at this wonderful studio. With challenging and inspiring classes and attentive instructors, our readers experience peace and serenity.

Best Medical Spa: Blackhawk Plastic Surgery Dr. Ronan and the staff of Blackhawk Plastic Surgery want to make their clients feel good about themselves. Our readers say that their care is professional and top of the line, and the courteous and competent staff put them at ease for whatever procedure they might undergo.

BEAUTY & STYLE Best Clothing Consignment Store: A Dress Change Our readers go to this beautifully organized boutique for current fashion from the best brands, reasonable prices, and the perfect condition of their merchandise. From scarves to coats, boots to jewelry, A Dress Change is an excellent shopping experience. Best Day Spa: Jolie Salon & Spa Each of the four rooms at this spa, including a couples room, has a tranquil environment to soothe your soul. Jolie has created the perfect place to relax away from the outside world. Best Facial Care: Jolie Salon & Spa Enjoy a beverage, treats and a luxurious robe while rejuvenating your skin. In the mood for true decadence? Try the 24-karat gold facial. Best Hair Salon for Men: SportClips Television, shoulder rubs and a clean cut — get guy time and a great ‘do at this male-focused salon, with locations in Danville and San Ramon. Best Hair Salon for Women: Tribez Looking for more than uptight up-dos and tired trims? Our readers visit Tribez on Town and Country Drive in Danville for the latest looks and the most professional staff — they trust Tribez for the best cut, color or style. Best Jewelry Store: Mark Kahn Jewelers Mark Kahn has been making and repairing jewelry for over 60 years. Not only does his store carry lines of bridal jewelry and fine jewelry, but they can turn

Best Nail Care: Polished Nail Bar & More Our readers love the fun, girly atmosphere at this nail salon. Even more than that they rave about the cleanliness, the enormous nail polish selection, and the excellent technicians who handle their nail care. Best New Retail Business 2014: Pieces of Chocolate Chef Barnes of Pieces of Chocolate specializes in custom chocolate designs and his now-famous wine tasting chocolates. With an exquisite array of flavors and beautiful craftsmanship, our readers can’t stop raving about this great new place to get your gourmet chocolate fix. Best Place to Buy a Gift (TIE): Cottage Jewel Sweet Celebrations Cottage Jewel is chock-full of unique vintage treasures, artisan pieces, and beautiful antiques that are perfect for one-of-a-kind gifts. The helpful, knowledgeable owner and staff make the experience of finding your treasure a breeze. Sweet Celebrations carries everything you need to throw a great party. From creative balloon designs to customized stationary, the staff will help you find whatever you need for that perfect event. Best Clothing Store: Anthropologie For an inspiring place to shop for clothing, shoes, and beautiful household items, Anthropologie is the place our readers trust. With excellent quality and truly outstanding service, it’s the place to dress for a party or dress up your house.

Best Shoe Store: Tootsies This home-grown downtown shoe sanctuary offers cute shoes and accessories as well as pedicures, all in a colorful and relaxing setting.

Best Barbecue: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit It’s a summer barbecue every day at Dickey’s. This restaurant smokes its own meats without any short cuts, and focuses on the best sauces and sides any barbecue lover could hope for.

Best Breakfast: Valley Medlyn’s Best American Food Restaurant: Have a tasty, sit-down breakfast Brass Door and enjoy some of our readers’ favorites: homemade hash browns, Established in 1955 when the perfectly crispy bacon and, of total population was a little over course, the Medlyn’s Scramble. 100, the Brass Door has been around since before San Ramon Best Brew Pub/Sports Bar: was San Ramon. Great steaks, The Fieldhouse Sports Grill fresh fish and salads, but no one & Tavern can remember why it was called the Brass Door, except that it has Munch on a delicious burger, sip on a cocktail or one of their one. numerous beers, and catch every Best Bakery: game from all the major premium Miglet’s Gluten Free Bakery sports channels on over 25 big screens. For the true fanatics, this Delicious chocolates, delectable is the best place to be. cupcakes and cakes made to order — and all of them are Best Burger: gluten free. Whether your diet In-N-Out Burger is restricted or not, our readers Burgers are all they do. The long keep coming back for more of lines just make finally getting that Miglet’s amazing desserts.


An escrow team that works as hard as you do Bay Area Escrow is a professionally staffed, full service company, licensed and independent serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1985, Escrows are our only business. Our goal is to provide a unique, professional service tailored to the particular needs of the professional. Our commitment is to fulďŹ ll your highest expectations and those of your clients for personal service. Our specialized services include: Business Opportunity Liquor License Syndications Corporate Computer and Software

Real Estate Personal Property Depository Mobile Homes and Floating Homes

2817 Crow Canyon Rd Ste 102, San Ramon   sWWW"AY!REA%SCROWCOM 2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 11

San Ramon Valley Life

Thank you for voting us

“Best Antique and Gifting Store”! Come in and enjoy combing through the sands of this collector’s paradise! ILLE SAN RAMO NV N DA


Award Winning  Designer & Boutique Vintage & Antique  Embellishments

100 Prospect Ave., Downtown Danville (925) 837-2664 • 2012




Larry Porteous D.D.S. + Linda Porteous R.D.H.

“Let Our Family Be Your Family Dentist” We are celebrating over 30 years in practice in the Bay Area. Our practice is dedicated to treating and preventing dental diseases in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. It is our philosophy to give each person the same respect, care and concern that we would want to receive as a patient.


Teeth Whitening

for new patients (reg $450)

(925) 736-9000 3840 Blackhawk Road Suite 110 Danville Across Blackhawk Rd. from Draeger’s Market

Independently Rated Highest in Quality

Best California Cuisine/ Innovative Dining: Esin Restaurant & Bar Esin Restaurant & Bar is consistently named our Readers Choice. Kudos to husband and wife chef team Curtis and Esin deCarion for their inventive use of fresh ingredients and their six dessert specials a day. Best Chinese Restaurant: Uncle Yu’s Traditional Chinese cuisine melded with modern styles, so you can get anything from hot and sour soup and Mongolian beef to contemporary specials like smoked salmon on a bed of cucumber noodle, baby spinach, and sauteed with a shitake mushroom soy vinaigrette. Uncle Yu’s has been our Readers Choice for years. Best Coffee House: Peet’s For all those who need a morning pick-me-up, Peet’s is the place to get your caffeine, from teas to lattes to the best coffees in the business. Best Grocery Store: Lunardi’s This place boasts a huge produce section, an ample selection of meats, and its own brand of salsa, pasta sauce and more. Healthy, tasty and reasonably priced. Best Ice Cream/Yogurt Shop: Yogurt Shack This family-owned shop has expanded to three locations, but the one on Hartz at Diablo Road is the favorite here. Its website lists the day’s flavors, which always include non-dairy, low-fat and no-sugar options.


If you have an aching tooth, want to maintain your good dental health, are interested in improving your smile or just have questions or concerns, please call our office. We look forward to meeting you. Providing Full Service Dentistry For The Entire Family


double-double with cheese or animal fries all the sweeter.

Best Italian Restaurant: Gianni’s Italian Bistro Owner and Italian native Gianni Bartoletti has designed a menu with delicious Italian dishes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Combine that with the classy and cozy interior and excellent service, and it’s our readers’ favorite place for a true taste of Italy.

Best Kid-Friendly, Non-Chain Restaurant (TIE): Zachary’s Chicago Pizza Fat Maddie’s Grille Zachary’s Chicago Pizza: With an easy, friendly atmosphere and scads of choices for pizza, Zachary’s is a great place to take the whole family — and order something the kids will happily eat. Fat Maddie’s Grille: Fat Maddie’s has plenty of kid-friendly options, with friendly service and more than enough delicious choices to satisfy the adult eaters too. Best Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Restaurant: Faz Restaurant & Bar Owner Faz Poursohi grew up in Tehran, where he learned to love cooking. Our readers crave the kabobs but in the summertime the redwood grove in the Hartz Avenue restaurant is also a draw. Best Mexican Restaurant: Los Panchos Mexican Restaurant For the yummiest, most authentic Mexican dishes this side of the border, our readers put their trust and appetites in Los Panchos. With huge portions and friendly service, there’s no better place to fill yourself up. Best New Restaurant 2014: Revel Kitchen and Bar Revel debuted this year as an upscale yet casual tavern with a beautiful atmosphere, extensive and clever cocktail list, and delicious food — from pork belly sliders to ahi tartar with avocado, and a salted caramel butterscotch pudding that people can’t seem to stop talking about. Best Pizza: Zachary’s Chicago Pizza With over 150 best pizza awards since it was established in 1993, it’s easy to understand why Zachary’s is our Readers Choice for best pizza. Zachary’s offers both Chicago-style stuffed pizza and a traditional thin crust. Best Place for a Business Lunch: Bridges Bridges Restaurant and Bar is a relaxed, urban-casual setting in the heart of downtown Danville. It offers a perfect location, tasty food, and a warm, noninvasive hospitality perfect for a meeting of minds or businesses.

San Ramon Valley Life

Best Romantic Restaurant: Bridges Couples can find a beautiful, romantic ambiance at Bridges. With comfortable, intimate seating, delicious food and cocktails, and scrumptious desserts that can be shared by two, it’s the place to go for a lovely date. Best Sushi/Japanese Restaurant: Kane Sushi Japanese Cuisine With an excellent selection of sushi and specialty rolls, as well as teriyaki and tempura on the menu, our readers love to treat themselves to Kane Sushi’s fresh and tasty food — with the bonus of a friendly and attentive staff. Best Take-out Restaurant: Great Impasta The Great Impasta has been making delicious Italian food for more than twenty years, and is the perfect place to get a quick meal to satisfy a hearty appetite. They also offer fresh, uncooked pasta dinners to take and cook at home. Best Thai Restaurant: Thai House Restaurant

Sweetie Face Kids has adorable, upscale clothing for toddlers and slightly older little boys and girls, as well as a selection of baby apparel and accessories. Our readers absolutely rave about this Danville store’s selection of special occasion clothing.


Readers named Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center as the Best Kept Secret Treasure of San Ramon.

Enter into a land of happy taste buds as you step into this rustic old house on Rose Street in downtown Danville. The food is tasty and each dish is arranged artistically and delivered with an extra dose of charm.

believe it’s good for you. Filled with all natural and organic ingredients, superfoods, glutenfree options, and jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients, a healthy lifestyle never tasted so good.

Best Vegetarian Cuisine: Vitality Bowls Try a big bowl of healthy eating that tastes so good you won’t

KIDS & PETS Best Children’s Clothing Store: Sweetie Face Kids

Best Party Place for Kids: Golden Skate Golden Skate in San Ramon is a super fun place for kids to have a party and groove to music while rollerskating or rollerblading the day away. They even offer pizza, ice cream and goody bags. Best Pet Groomer: Shampooches Dirty dogs get clean at this competitively priced, professional grooming salon. Cats, too! Pamper your pet with a custom cut from experienced groomers. Best Pet Store: Pet Food Express Express your love for your pets by attending Pet Food Express instore events, self-service pet wash, and checking out all the food that caters to every creature’s diet.

2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 13

San Ramon Valley Life

Best Place for Dance Lessons: Bella Dance The staff at Bella Dance in San Ramon believe that they are doing more than just teaching steps; they are mentoring children and sharing their love of dance. Our readers agree that along with exceptional dance instruction, the environment and instructors are caring, encouraging and inspiring. Best Tutoring School: Lafayette Academy From private tutoring to SAT and ACT prep, Lafayette Academy is all about helping your child succeed. Family owned and operated, with local instructors who care about their students, this is the place for success. Best Veterinarian: Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center Discerning pets and their people like the convenience of one-stop shopping. For food, pharmacy and emergency services needs, our readers visit Bishop Ranch.

Best Art Gallery: Blackhawk Gallery This gallery not only has artists from all around the San Francisco Bay Area in their 10-week long exhibits, they also donate a percentage of sales to the ADAS Art For The School Program Grants. Best Auto Dealership: Diablo Motors Get your next car at this local, “non-dealer-ish” and honest store. Our readers rave about Greg Meier’s personal service and knowledge. As they say at Diablo Motors, “Life’s too short to drive a crummy car.” Best Auto Repair: Auto Care of Danville Our readers take their cars to Auto Care of Danville to give their cars a proper checkup, to fix anything and everything with reasonable speed and prices, and for the competent and friendly staff that help get their vehicles into tip-top shape.

Best Auto Detail/Car Wash: Chamois Hand Car Wash HOME & VEHICLE Sure, you could wash the car MAINTENANCE yourself in the driveway but who wants to, especially during these Best Antique Store: drought times? And don’t you Cottage Jewel always miss a spot? At Chamois in This boutique has one-of-a-kind Danville, your car will come away treasures for the home and to positively gleaming and wellwear. These treasures are unique and change frequently — so make pampered. sure to stop by often.

Best Carpet/Flooring Store: Carpet One Locally owned and operated, Carpet One Floor & Home in San Ramon has a 100% guarantee that you’ll love your floor, and a Healthier Living Carpet Installation System to minimize allergens, mold, mildew and dust. Best Florist: East Bay Flower Company This shop is lovely inside and out. For special occasions or just because — say it with flowers. Best Hardware Store: Ace Hardware Get service with a smile, along with everything you need for home improvement and gardening. Best Home Improvement Contractor: Gayler Construction Gayler Construction has a welldeserved reputation for being on time, on budget, with professional management and staff. This award-winning, green-certified design and build firm in Danville has been our Readers Choice for years. Best Home Furnishings: Home Consignment Center As Home Consignment Center’s sales have grown, furniture factories have started to consign their samples, closeouts, overruns

or other products directly to the stores, meaning great deals on new furniture, too. Best Interior Designer: J. Hettinger Interiors These people have ideas galore and solutions for every design problem. Jerry’s mission is to bring joy and fulfillment to every client. Best Homebuilder: Shapell Homes Committed to excellent craftsmanship, innovative architecture and customer satisfaction, Shapell Homes takes care to design homes for the utmost comfort. Best Nursery/Garden Center: Navlet’s Plants from ground covers to trees to everything in between keep our readers returning to this anchor of the Rose Garden. Don’t forget to buy bird seed. Best Senior Living Facility (TIE): Diablo Lodge Sunrise Living Lush and plush, Diablo Lodge is the best place to relax and enjoy after a lifetime of labor. If raucous and rowdy are more your style, one reader suggests visiting Elliot’s Bar, but this is the place for tranquility. Sunrise Living offers residents all the comforts of home, freedom, and happiness. This is the place to make fast friends and engage in life-enriching daily activities with the benefit of experienced and attentive caregivers.

REST & RECREATION Best Girls Night Out Spot: Martini Sky Indulge in a well-crafted martini and great appetizers, including truffle macaroni and cheese or lobster potstickers. Upscale but not stuffy, Martini Sky in Danville is a lovely place to gab with the girls.


Osage Station Park took home the honor of Best Kept Secret Treasure of Danville. 14 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

Best Golf Course: Diablo Country Club Recognized as one of the most desirable courses in the Bay Area, the Diablo Country Club golf course has small, challenging greens and is perfect for a good game in the beautiful countryside.

San Ramon Valley Life


The 2014 Fourth of July parade in Danville won for Best Public Event.

Best Hobby/Craft Store: Richard’s Arts & Crafts We dare you to walk through this Alamo store without considering taking up a crafty hobby, from beading to artificial flower arranging to scrapbooking. Best Kept Secret Treasure of Danville: Osage Station Park This hidden treasure has a little bit of everything — rose gardens, little league fields, playgrounds, jogging trails and plenty of spaces to nap or relax. As an added bonus it’s dog friendly, so furry friends can enjoy the fun too. Best Kept Secret Treasure of San Ramon: Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center Our readers love the beautiful, upscale venue for everything from comedy shows to high school musicals. Both audience members and performers can enjoy good acoustics and clean facilities. Best Place for Dancing: Meenar’s Meenar’s is the place our readers like to get down on a Friday night, showing off moves to both live music and DJs playing 80’s, hip hop and rock and roll. Indulge in a drink and join the crowd.

Best Place for Live Music: McGah’s Pub and Pianos The dueling pianos at McGah’s are high energy fun — sing along, drink along, and request whatever song you want to hear. They now also have the Country and Cocktails music series featuring songs from chart-toppers and vintage country crooners. Best Place to People Watch: Hartz Avenue Lined with lovely shops and delicious places to eat, Hartz Avenue in the heart of downtown Danville is our readers’ favorite place to kick back and watch all the people enjoying their time out on the town. Best Place to Watch a Televised Ballgame: Fieldhouse Sports Grill With 25 screens playing all the premium sports channels, you won’t miss a single play at Fieldhouse in Blackhawk. The perfect place for a cold beer, an awesome meal, and all the games your inner fanatic desires. Best Public Event: 4th of July Parade Attracting over 40,000 attendees each year from the San Ramon Valley and beyond, the 4th of July Parade in Danville has it all — from dance teams to vintage cars, boy scout troops to drill teams. Celebrate Independence Day with a full day of fun.

We’re honored. Since 1948, we’ve been committed to making great-tasting, made-to-order burgers, fries, and shakes for our guests. It’s all part of our dedication to quality, freshness, and service. Thanks for thinking so highly of us. We look forward to serving you again.

2270 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon at Crow Canyon Rd. and the 680 Fwy.

©2014 In-N-Out Burgers

2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 15



San Ramon’s Windemere Ranch Middle School was named a National Blue Ribbon School, the only school in the Valley to receive the prestigious honor in 2014.

Principal: Donna Grim. • 855-5400 • Alamo Elementary School Greenbrook Elementary School 100 Wilson Road, Alamo 94507. 1475 Harlan Drive, Danville 94526. Principal: Stanley Hitomi. Principal: Rhea Murphy. • 938-0448 • 855-5300 • • Bollinger Canyon Elementary Hidden Hills Elementary School School 12995 Harcourt Way, San Ramon 2300 Talavera Drive, San Ramon 94583. Principal: Melodie Stibich. 94583. Principal: Shawn Wells. • 479-3800 • 242-3200 • • www.bces-srvusd-ca. John Baldwin Elementary School Country Club Elementary 741 Brookside Drive, Danville School 94526. Principal: Darlene Hale. 7534 Blue Fox Way, San Ramon • 855-5200 94583. Principal: Christy Glazer. • • 803-7430 Live Oak Elementary School • 5151 Sherwood Way, San Coyote Creek Elementary Ramon 94582. Principal: Nadine School Rosenzweig. 8700 North Gale Ridge Road, San • 803-3100 Ramon 94583. Principal: Michael • Biondi. Montair Elementary School • 735-1183 300 Quinterra Lane, Danville • 94526. Principal: Anthony LaRue. Creekside Elementary School • 855-5100 6011 Massara Street, Danville • www.mes-srvusd-ca. 94506. Principal: Aaron Tarzian. • 314-2000 Montevideo Elementary School • 13000 Broadmoor Drive, San Golden View Elementary School Ramon 94583. Principal: Tasha 5025 Canyon Crest Drive, San Snow. Ramon 94583. Principal: Christine • 479-6100 Huajardo. • • 855-2700 Neil Armstrong Elementary • School Green Valley Elementary School 2849 Calais Drive, San Ramon 1001 Diablo Road, Danville 94526. 94583. Principal: Lorna Monteith.


16 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

• 479-1600 • Quail Run Elementary School 4000 Goldenbay Avenue, San Ramon 94582. Principal: Mimi Quan. • 560-4000 • Rancho Romero Elementary School 180 Hemme Avenue, Alamo 94507. Principal: Skye Larsh. • 855-5700 • www.rres-srvusd-ca.schoolloop. com Sycamore Valley Elementary School 2200 Holbrook Drive, Danville 94506. Principal: Cher Situm. • 855-2800 • Tassajara Hills Elementary School 4675 Camino Tassajara Road, Danville 94506. Principal: Ann Dodson. • 648-7150 • http://www.thes.srvusd.k12. Twin Creeks Elementary School 785 Marsh Drive, San Ramon 94583. Principal: Barbara Mallon. • 855-2900 • Vista Grande Elementary School 667 Diablo Road, Danville 94526. Principal: Pat Hansen. • 314-1000 • Walt Disney Elementary School 3250 Pine Valley Road, San Ramon 94583. Principal: Curtis Haar. • 479-3900 •

MIDDLE SCHOOLS Charlotte Wood Middle School 600 El Capitan Drive, Danville 94526. Principal: Chris George. • 552-5600 • Diablo Vista Middle School 4100 Camino Tassajara, Danville 94506. Principal: Rebecca Ingram. 648-8560 • Gale Ranch Middle School 6400 Main Branch Road, San Ramon 94582. Principal: Sue Goldman. • 479-1500 • Iron Horse Middle School 12601 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon

94583. Principal: Joe Nguyen. • 824-2820 • Los Cerros Middle School 968 Blemer Road, Danville 94526. Principal: Phyllis Roach. • 855-6800 • Pine Valley Middle School 3000 Pine Valley Road, San Ramon 94583. Principal: Jason Law. • 479-7700 • Stone Valley Middle School 3001 Miranda Avenue, Alamo 94507. Principal: Shaun McElroy. • 855-5800 • Windemere Ranch Middle School 11611 East Branch Parkway, San Ramon 94582. Principal: David Bolin. • 479-7400 •

HIGH SCHOOLS California High School 9870 Broadmoor Drive, San Ramon 94583. Principal: Sarah Wondolowski. • 803-3200 • Dougherty Valley High School 10550 Albion Road, San Ramon 94582. Principal: Daniel Hillman. • 479-6400 • Monte Vista High School 3131 Stone Valley Road, Danville 94526. Principal: Janet Terranova. • 552-5530 • San Ramon Valley High School 501 Danville Blvd., Danville 94526. Principal: Ruth Steele. • 552-5580 •

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION Del Amigo High School Grades 10-12. 189 Del Amigo Road, Danville 94526. Principal: Joe Ianora • 855-2600 • Venture Independent Study School Grades K-12. 10540 Albion Road, San Ramon 94582. Principal: Matt Chamberlain. • 479-1200 •

San Ramon Valley Life

BELLA VISTA IN DOUGHERTY VALLEY New elementary school on track for 2016 opening By Jeremy Walsh


he still-expanding Dougherty Valley community in eastern San Ramon is on its way to receiving a new daytime home for some of its younger residents. Bella Vista Elementary School is slated to open for the 2016-17 school year on a 7.4-acre site in a yet-to-be-developed portion of southwestern Dougherty Valley. It will become the fifth elementary school in the valley and the San Ramon Valley school district’s 36th campus overall. The estimated $31.7 million campus, to be funded through the Measure D school facilities bond, is designed to include twostory classroom buildings, library, multipurpose room, administrative building, child care facility, playgrounds, public ballfields and state-of-the art technology. District officials hope the added school will help alleviate current and projected overcrowding issues at all Dougherty Valley elementary schools. With site work beginning in 2014, the new campus found itself at the center of two of the top school district debates of the year: what to name the school and what students would attend it. The district received more than 400 different names suggestions through an online public survey in the spring. Citizen ideas ranged from locally inspired names (like Dougherty Valley, Alamo Creek or Thomas Burnett) to historical references (such as President Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela or Albert Einstein) to more spirited options (including Hogwarts Elementary or Chuck


A design rendering of Bella Vista Elementary School, set to open in time for the 2016-17 term.

Norris Institute of Learning). Ultimately, the school board supported the naming committee’s recommendation in late-June: Bella Vista, which means “beautiful view” in Spanish and Italian. “All you have to do is go stand on that site; that is the first thing (you notice). It explodes into your mind, the view,” school board member Mark Jewett said, referring to the site’s picturesque panorama, which includes Mount Diablo and local hillsides. The monicker also honors the Latin roots of that area of San Ramon, officials said. Garnering almost as much citizen input as the name debate was the school board’s discussion of redrawing elementary school


Bella Vista indeed, as shown from the school’s site early in 2014.

attendance boundaries in the Dougherty Valley. Board members heard from dozens of parents at a handful of public meetings and considered nearly a dozen different attendance-area options before unanimously endorsing the new boundary lines on June 10. “This (boundary) plan provides for consistency and it provides for balance,” school board member Ken Mintz said before the approval vote. Students destined for Bella Vista include those who will live in homes planned, but yet to be built, in the southwestern part of the valley. The boundaries also include several existing neighborhoods, currently in the Live Oak Elementary attendance zone. The affected area is bounded generally by Bollinger Canyon Road to the east, Watermill Road to the west, Harcourt Way to the south and Joree Lane to the north. Most of the roughly 100 students living in those neighborhoods attend Live Oak, although some go to Quail Run Elementary because of previous diversions due to overcrowding. Any of those children currently enrolled at a school could stay there through fifth grade.

Bella Vista is also set to house all Dougherty Valley students in transitional kindergarten and the Academic Talent Program (ATP) for qualifying fourth- and fifthgraders. It could also host special education and diverted students as well as those in draw programs such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). When developing the boundaries, district officials and the school board considered issues like traffic congestion, balancing enrollment at all Dougherty Valley elementary schools and keeping neighborhoods at the same home-schools. The approved boundary lines received less community pushback than initial options presented in early spring. Still, several residents remained opposed at the June 10 meeting, expressing concerns such as their communities having to change zones, increased traffic on Bollinger Canyon Road and safety of students walking or bicycling to the new school. District officials said they might look at staggering school start times in the Dougherty Valley to address traffic congestion concerns. They estimate that the new campus will have 485 students enrolled in its first year and grow to 697 students by 2019-20. Q 2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 17


to 8 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday to Saturday; 1-5 p.m., Sunday. • 837-4889 • danville.html ART ASSOCIATIONS LITERARY Dougherty Station Library Alamo-Danville Artists’ Society 17017 Bollinger Canyon Rd., San ACTIVITIES (ADAS) P.O. Box 1034, DanChristian Science Reading Room Ramon 94582. The Dougherty ville 94526. ADAS is a nonprofit 650 Danville Blvd., Danville 94526. Station Library is a joint-use organization that fosters fine art 11,600-square foot library serving The Christian Science Reading appreciation and education within Room is both a bookstore and the needs of San Ramon’s growlocal communities, provides the ing population and the Diablo pray/read/study place for people opportunity for artists to further Valley College campus. Library of all faiths (or no faith). There their artistic development, and collections focus on the needs of is always a librarian on duty to supports the school art programs answer any questions, help you in children, teens and community through fundraising. Memberyour studies or guide you through college students. The library ship includes artists and patrons the computer resources. The sales includes seating areas for young who appreciate the visual arts area has many books, magazines, people and families, a commuand currently consists of over 200 children’s books, CDs and tapes nity room for library programs, professional and amateur artists study rooms, computer lab, free for purchase. of all levels. This group meets at wireless Internet access and 44 • 837-6639 7:30 p.m., on the second Tuesday computers for public use. Hours: • of every month (except in July and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, ThursreadingRoom.php August), at the Alamo Women’s • Email: day; 12-8 p.m. Tuesday, WednesClub, 1401 Danville Blvd. day; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Danville Library Bookstore • 683-1066 Saturday; closed Sunday. 400 Front St., Danville 94526. The • • 973-3380 Danville Library Bookstore is run • Contra Costa Academy of Fine by the Friends of the Danville dougherty.html Art P.O. Box 458, Alamo 94507. Library and offers something for • Email: The mission of the Contra Costa everyone including fiction, nonficAcademy of Fine Art is to nurture San Ramon Library 100 Monttion, children’s books or coffee artistic spirit and provide the art gomery St., San Ramon 94583. table books. The bookstore also education required for producing hosts large book sales during the The San Ramon Library includes the highest level of every stuyear when thousands of books are a large children’s area with a dent’s artistic potential. The acad- available for purchase. Hours: 10 separate story room, teen area, emy sponsors the joy of aesthetic a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday; 10 a.m. public access computers and free exploration and achievement by wireless Internet access. Collecto 5 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday; employing the highest degree of tions include materials in a variety closed Sunday. art academia taught by inspiring of formats that support the edu• 837-4455 and skilled art instructors. It meets cational and entertainment needs Danville Public Library 400 Front of the community. Programs for at noon, on the second Friday of St., Danville 94526. The Danville every month at Richard’s Crafts, children, teens, and adults are Public Library has a strong colUpstairs Meeting Room, 225 provided with the support of San lection of over 78,000 children’s, Alamo Plaza. Ramon Library Foundation. San teens and adult materials, six cata- Ramon is particularly proud of the • 837-5654 log computers, 33 public Internet jazz collection and annual jazz • workstations, including a public • Email: concerts. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ADA computer workstation. The Monday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 San Ramon Arts Foundation library also has new Early Literacy p.m. Friday to Saturday; 1-5 p.m. P.O. Box 403, San Ramon 94583. Computers pre-loaded with fun Sunday. San Ramon Arts Foundation was and interactive activities for chil• 973-2850 established in 2000 to encourage, dren ages 2-8. There is a variety of • support, and promote the arts in free programs for children, teens sanramon.html San Ramon and the San Ramon and adults. Children’s storytimes • Email: Valley. The Foundation grants include: Mother Goose Time, financial assistance to cultural Toddler Storytime, Preschool CONCERT SERIES arts, organizes special fundraising Storytime and different programs Alamo Summer Concert Series events, acquires funding through for children sponsored by the Livorna Park, Livorna Rd. and grants, individuals, business spon- Danville Library Foundation. SAT Miranda Ave., Alamo 94507. Alamo sors, leads expansion of cultural Strategy sessions are available for hosts the Summer Concert Series arts in the San Ramon Valley, and teens as well as a chance to serve from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Fridays, from supports development of new on the Danville Library Teen AdJune to August, at Livorna Park, cultural arts programs. visory Board. Programs for adults Alamo. Different sounds of music • 389-7529 include monthly book clubs and are played live free for residents. • programs hosted by the Friends of • the Danville Library. Hours: 10 a.m. 18 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

Blackhawk Plaza Summer Concert Series 4040 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville 94506. The Blackhawk Plaza Summer Concert Series hosts numerous bands during the months of July and August, at the Blackhawk Plaza. The series provides families and friends of all ages an evening of great music, plus shopping and dining. • 736-2751 • Music in the Park Oak Hill Park, 3005 Stone Valley Rd., Danville 94526. Town of Danville hosts its annual Music in the Park from 6-8 p.m. on Saturdays, July to August, at Oak Hill Park. Music ranges from tributes to famous bands, Motown, blues, R&B and Cajun. • 314-3400 • San Ramon Summer Concert Series 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon 94583. Bring the family for a perfect summer evening by enjoying great music at 5:30 p.m., Sundays, at San Ramon Central Park. Bring a picnic, blanket and/ or lawn chairs; wine, beer, soda and ice cream are available for purchase. These concerts are free. • 973-3200 • Thursdays @ The VT 233 Front St., Danville 94526. Series offers Tri-Valley residents an opportunity to enjoy a wide range of music and movies at the historic Village Theatre. • 314-3463 •

GALLERIES Bedford Gallery Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. The Bedford Gallery is the largest communitybased visual arts facility in the area and is dedicated to providing numerous opportunities for the public to learn about visual arts. The gallery exhibits work of historic, modern and contemporary artists. Lectures, workshops, panel discussions and other kinds of public programs are offered. General admission is $5 for adults, $3 for youth ages 13-17 and free for children 12 and under. Free admission is offered the first Tuesday of every month. Ticket holders to Lesher Center events receive free admission to the gallery on the ticketed date. Hours: 12-5 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday; 6-8 p.m. when

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Local News Arts & entertainment Blogs and opinions Real Estate and more VISIT TODAY Contact Mary Hantos at 925.600.0840 x222 for ADVERTISING information 2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 19

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there are evening performances in the Lesher Center for the Arts; closed Mondays. • 295-1417 • Lindsay Dirkx Brown Art Gallery 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon 94583. This gallery is located inside the San Ramon Community Center and offers a different gallery exhibit each month. The gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. • 973-3200 • Village Theatre and Art Gallery 233 Front St., Danville 94526. The Village Theatre is a cultural art center that features six to seven rotating exhibitions per year with an emphasis in contemporary Bay Area artists. The 245 seat theater offers plays, musical performances and more. • 314-3400 •

MUSEUMS & COLLECTIONS Alameda County Central Railroad Society 4501 Pleasan-

ton Ave., Pleasanton 94566. The Alameda County Central Railroad Society has a railroad exhibit at the Alameda County Fairgrounds featuring an O scale layout and HO scale layout. The layout is a permanent attraction of the annual county fair and is open all year long to the general public every Friday evening from 6:30-9 p.m. The layouts operate continuously during the annual county fair and during special events such as the Great American Train Show. Memberships are available. • • Email: Blackhawk Museum 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville 94506. The Blackhawk Museum is home to close to 100 classic, vintage and rare automobiles, an Automotive Research Library and bookstore. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday. • 736-2277 • • Email: museum@ Camp Parks History Center Camp Parks Blvd., Building 620, 6th St. and Fernandez Ave., Dublin



traffic safety safety education education program AAtraffic programtotochange changedriver, driver, cyclist, and pedestrian behavior. cyclist, and pedestrian behavior. 20 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

94568. The Camp Parks History Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday, Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Saturday . Group tours are offered by appointment. Photo ID is needed for each visitor to enter the base. • CpParks.html David Glass House Museum 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon 94583. The Glass House, San Ramon’s historic house museum built in 1877 that depicts life during the Victorian Era, is open on the second Saturday of every month. Admission is $5 per person; children under 5 and Historic Foundation members are free. • 973-3284 • Eugene O’Neill Commemorative The O’Neill Commemorative in Front Street Park, across the street from Danville Library, celebrates O’Neill’s life in Danville and his plays, the last six of which were written at Tao House, that earned him recognition as the playwright who reshaped American theater. Formal unveiling and dedication of the commemorative took place September 2005. Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House P.O. Box 402, Danville 94526. The mission of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, is to celebrate and promote the vision and legacy of Eugene O’Neill, America’s foremost playwright. To achieve its mission, the foundation collaborates with the National Park Service in restoring and preserving the Tao House. Transportation is provided to the Tao House, leaving from the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Ave., Danville. Reservations are required, except for Saturday. Hours: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday. • 820-1818 for information on the foundation • 838-0249 for information about Tao House • or www. • Email: taohouse@eugeneoneill. org. Forest Home Farms Historic Park 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon 94583. The valley’s agricultural history is featured at this 16-acre historical park where there are barns, ranch equipment and old tractors. The

farm is home to 21 structures including the Boone House built in 1900 and the David Glass House built in 1877. The David Glass House serves as a historic house museum. The Boone House serves as a retreat and meeting center. • 973-3284 • Lindsay Wildlife Museum 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek 94597. Visitors can listen to the cry of a red tailed hawk, go eye-to-eye with a gray fox and watch a bald eagle eat lunch. More than 50 species of live, non-releasable, native California animals are on exhibit. Admission is $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $6.50 for children 2-17 years old, and children 2 and under are free; group rates are available. Hours: 12-5 p.m. during the school year and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer months, Wednesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday to Sunday; closed Monday to Tuesday. • 935-1978 • Museum of the San Ramon Valley 205 Railroad Ave., Danville 94526. The museum is housed in the restored 1891 Southern Pacific Depot in Danville on Railroad Avenue at Prospect and is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the area’s rich history and heritage. The collections and exhibits reflect the human experiences, institutions and cultures that were shaped by the valley’s landscape, environment and early settlers. The museum also has a gift shop with unique items and historic photos. Museum docents offer walking tours through old downtown Danville and the historic Alamo Cemetery. Admission is $3 for adults; $2 for students with ID; $1 for children; and $5 for families. Hours: 1-4 p.m., Tuesday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday to Friday during the summer. • 837-3750 • • Email: Museum on Main 603 Main St., Pleasanton 94566. The museum is a local, regional history museum with rotating exhibits of historical artifacts from various time periods as well as permanent displays. It also has a gift shop that offers history books, miniatures, postcards and more. $2 donation requested.

San Ramon Valley Life

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday; 1-4 p.m., Sunday; closed Monday. • 462-2766 • • Email: info@museumonmain. org Niles Canyon Railway Sunol Depot, 6 Kilkare Rd., Sunol. 37001 Mission Blvd., Fremont. The Niles Canyon Railroad offers a ride through the beautiful Niles Canyon between Sunol and Fremont. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 for kids ages 3-12 and kids under 3 years old ride free. • 862-9063 • Tassajara School House 1650 Finley Rd., Danville 94506. The school is owned and maintained by the SRV Fire Protection District, has picnic tables and hosts the Museum of the San Ramon Valley’s third grade one-room school program each spring. School marms and masters provide a day in 1889 at the school. Students use slates, learn to cipher and recite from the McGuffey Reader. • 837-3750 •

Walnut Creek Model Railroad 2751 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek 94596. The Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society is home to 4,300 feet of railroad track and up to 10 feet high of mountainous layouts. The track features numerous track styles like modern diesel and electric traction lines. Cost is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and children ages 6-12, and free for children under 6 years old; special rates are available for Scouts in uniform. • 937-1888 •

MUSIC Blackhawk Chorus The Blackhawk Chorus performs two concert series every year, one in the spring and one during the holiday season. Tickets may be purchased by phone, online or at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. • 943-7469 • California Symphony 1475 North Broadway, Suite 420, Walnut Creek 94596. California Symphony brings world-class

music, renowned artists, innovative programming and awardwinning composers to the area. The symphony also is committed to providing music education programs for children and adults. The home of the symphony is the Lesher Center for the Arts located at 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. • 943-SHOW (943-7469) for tickets • 280-2490 for California Symphony Office • • Email: info@californiasymphony. org Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra P.O. Box 3087, Walnut Creek 94598. The Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra’s mission is to bring quality chamber music to the Contra Costa Community. Saturday evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., at Los Medanos College Recital Hall, 2700 E. Leland Road, Pittsburg. Sunday performances are held at Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. • 439-2181 for Los Medanos College Recital Hall • 943-7469 for Lesher Center for the Arts

• • Email: moreinfo@ contracostachamberorchestra. org Contra Costa Wind Symphony P.O. Box 2331, Walnut Creek 94595. The Contra Costa Wind Symphony is a first-class, 21st century symphonic band that seeks to provide an uplifting, aesthetic musical experience to both its volunteers and audience. It holds regular concerts throughout the year at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. • Danville Community Band P.O. Box 2276, Danville 94526. The Danville Community Band, under the baton of Robert Calonico, have proved to be one of the premier musical groups in the TriValley area. The Band’s members are volunteers from Danville, Alamo and surrounding communities. They are dedicated musicians who have a common interest in playing music and improving their skills while having fun. The group meets from 7-9 p.m., every Monday, September to June, at Community Presbyterian Church,

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November Spirit of Danville Extravaganza >ŝŐŚƟŶŐŽĨƚŚĞKůĚKĂŬdƌĞĞ 2014-2015 San Ramon Valley Life | 21

San Ramon Valley Life

Danville. • 372-8420 • • Email: Danville Girls Chorus P.O. Box 665, Danville 94526. The Danville Girls Chorus offers a complete program of choral music education through a variety of learning experiences and performance opportunities. Singers are taught the basics of vocal production and learn the fundamentals of musicianship and note-reading. Participation in this program develops a sense of responsibility, confidence and self-esteem in the singers. • 837-2624 • • Email: admin@ Diablo Symphony P.O. Box 2222, Walnut Creek 94595. Diablo Symphony is the oldest aggregation of volunteer musicians in Contra Costa County and also a valuable asset in the cultural life of the region. Concerts are performed at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. Tickets can be obtained by calling 943-7469 or visiting www.

SAN RAMON VALLEY • 676-5888 • • Email: info@diablosymphony. org Pro Art Symphony Orchestra The Pro Art Symphony Orchestra was formed to enrich the San Francisco East Bay Community by producing professional quality performances of classical music. The orchestra offers a variety of programs for people of all ages. The mailing address is P.O. Box 4241, Walnut Creek 94596. Concerts are performed at different venues. •

OPERA Danville Lyric Opera Danville Lyric Opera presents simple productions using Bay Area professional talent. It is attracting a devoted set of helpers, and is accumulating resources that make each production better than the last. • 964-9994 Diablo Theatre Company (formerly Diablo Light Opera Company) P.O. Box 5034, Walnut Creek 94596. Diablo Theatre Company


PUBLISHER Gina Channell-Allen EDITORIAL Life Editor: Jeremy Walsh Editorial Staff: Sierra Rhodes Cierra Bailey

BUSINESS Business Associate: Lisa Oefelein 5506 SUNOL BLVD, STE 100 PLEASANTON, CA 94566 (925) 600-0840

2014 -2015

ADVERTISING Advertising Representatives: Carol Cano Mary Hantos Karen Klein Advertising Coordinator: Jennifer Lindberg ART & PRODUCTION Life Designer: Lili Cao Advertising Designers: Linda Atilano Colleen Hench Rosanna Leung Paul Llewellyn

San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015 is a special project of Copyright 2014 by Embarcadero Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Printed by Southwest Offset Printing. 22 | San Ramon Valley Life 2014-2015

performs out of the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. • 944-1565 • • Email: Festival Opera Association 675 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Suite B215, Walnut Creek 94596. Festival Opera’s mission is to educate, enlighten and entertain; to preserve and advance the operatic art form, to make opera accessible to a diverse population, and to assist young artists, directors, designers and technicians in their pursuit of careers in the operatic field. Its shows are held at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. To order tickets, call or visit the box office. • 944-9610 Tickets, 943-SHOW (943-7469) • • Email: Livermore Valley Opera 3317 East Ave., Livermore 94550. Livermore Valley Opera combines the talents and expertise of professional music, stage and chorus directors, principal singers, musicians, and designers with dedication and practical abilities. The Opera promotes local talent and attracts outstanding Bay Area singers, directors and conductors. Performances are at the Opera’s new Performing Arts Theater. Tickets may be purchased by phone or by mail. • 960-9210 •

THEATER Black Box Theater Black Box Theater, produced by Role Players Ensemble, provides intimate, provocative and sometimes edgy performances at the Danville Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St. Tickets are available at the Community Center, 420 Front St., Danville. • 314-3400 • Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center 10550 Albion Rd., San Ramon 94582. The Performing Arts Center at Dougherty Valley High School includes a 600 seat theater with full stage, lobby, restrooms, City office, dressing rooms and a 3,500 square foot rehearsal room. The rehearsal room is designed to accommodate both city and school district rehears-

als as it duplicates the size of the main stage, leaving the theater for actual performances. • 973-ARTS (973-2787) • theater Front Row Theater 17011 Bollinger Canyon Rd., San Ramon 94582. The Front Row Theater is a state-of-the-art 90-seat community performing space. Registration to use the theater is required; visit the Dougherty Community Center between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. • 973-3343 • theater/frontrow Role Players Ensemble Theatre 233 Front St., Danville 94526. This theater group was founded in 1983 by a group of Danville residents who wished to establish quality community theater in the San Ramon Valley. The Role Players produce a few stage productions a year and provide provocative, high quality productions that both entertain and educate. • 820-1278 • • Email: mail@danvilletheatre. com Tri-Valley Young Performers Academy 1436 Waterstone Place, San Ramon 94583. The Tri-Valley Performers Academy holds summer theater camps and offers voice and acting training during the school year. At the end of each workshop, students put on a performance or recital. • 551-8238 • • Email: Village Theatre and Art Gallery 233 Front Street, Danville 94526. The Village Theatre and Art Gallery hosts many performances for the Role Players Ensemble Theatre and others as well as events throughout the year including the Danville Children’s International Film Festival. Tickets can be purchased at the box office one hour before every performance; tickets may also be purchased online or at the Danville Community Center, 420 Front St. The art gallery is home to local artists of fine arts which is displayed in the lobby area. • 314-3400 • • Email: vtboxoffice@ci.danville.


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