Page 1

NO. 162

Community newsletter of the City of Walnut Creek


Wanted: 100 ways to

celebrate the 100th 2014 is Walnut Creek’s Centennial Year. Be part of this special time by submitting your organization’s special event (existing or new) for consideration for inclusion on the Centennial Calendar. Events must be open to the general public. Let’s see if we can come up with 100 ways to celebrate Walnut Creek’s 100th birthday! To submit an event for consideration, visit

A subcontractor creates holes as a first step to installing wireless parking sensors.

Making parking easier with technology Citywide book club In addition to showing spaces, the ooking for a parking place in selects cautionary ‘451’ sensors will provide “big picture” the downtown? There’s an

Fahrenheit 451, the Ray Bradbury classic dystopian novel about censorship and the burning of books, will be this year’s selection for One City One Book:Walnut Creek Reads. Published in 1953, the novel is timely in 2013 as communities continue to debate the value of literacy and freedom of thought. Copies of the book will be available starting in mid-June at both public libraries, online through www., at the Rossmoor Library and through local bookstores. Communityprograms and dialogs on the book’s themes are slated for the fall. For information about special programs, visit or pick up materials at the Walnut Creek libraries.


app for that! Wireless sensors installed this spring in 1,000 downtown parking spaces can transmit real-time information about open street spaces via the free ParkMe smartphone application (available at

information about parking patterns, which will help the City as it seeks to improve downtown parking options. For more information about the City’s downtown parking plans, email Matt Huffaker at

City considers widespread smoking ban


he City is exploring ways to limit exposure to second hand smoke by restricting smoking in specific areas. If approved, outdoor smoking will be banned in the core downtown; in commercial areas throughout Walnut Creek; at public events; and, in City-owned parks, recreation and open space areas. In existing multi-family housing, smoking would be prohibited in all indoor and outdoor common areas; individual balconies and patios; and within 20 feet of exterior entryways and operable windows. Designated Smoking Areas would be allowed.

Butt in! What do you think about the proposed smoking restrictions? Share your opinion on Open Town Hall,

Indoor smoking would be banned inside all new multi-family residential units, in addition to common areas, balconies and patios, and near entryways and operable windows. The City Council will consider the proposal June 4.

Fun for every age at Family Theatre Festival Summer picks Check cable listings for showtimes or go to

Graduation time Walnut Creek high school students reach a monumental milestone and Walnut Creek TV is there. We will record the Las Lomas and Northgate high school graduations for broadcast at a later date. Check listings for times.

Remembering those who served Watch the rebroadcast of the City’s Memorial Day Ceremony from May 27 at Civic Park. This year the City pays special tribute to those lost during the Vietnam War. Keynote speaker is Brigadier General Barton J. Gilbert, U.S. Army (Retired).

Public Meetings City Council and all Commission meetings are televised live and available on demand through the City website,

Channel information Walnut Creek TV is on Comcast Channel 28 (incorporated WC only), Rossmoor 26, Astound Channel 29, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. For streaming video and programs on demand, www.walnutcreektv. page 2


he Chevron Family Theatre Festival celebrates its 7th anniversary with a a fun-filled day of entertainment on Saturday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lesher Center for the Arts. Don’t miss headliner Aga-Boom, a highly acclaimed clown troupe led by Cirque du Soleil alum Dmitri Bogatirev. Other artists include Sesame Street star puppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph; Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble’s Robin Hood; and the New Jersey-based Emmy Awardnominated Pushcart Players. The festival features plenty of free activities, including making sock puppets in the Bedford Gallery, face painting and outside performances. Tickets are $5 per show and will go on sale in June. For more information, call 925943-7469 or visit

Acclaimed clown troupe Aga-Boom headlines the Chevron Family Theatre Festival on July 20 at the Lesher Center for the Arts.

Here’s what’s happening Art & Wine Festival Celebrate summer fun with the 32st annual Art & Wine Festival on June 1 and 2 at Heather Farm Park. More than 200 arts and crafts booths, two stages of music and entertainment, children’s area, wine and beer, food booths and more. Free parking and shuttles are available at the nearby Shadelands Business Park.

Antiques Festival at Shadelands The Walnut Creek Historical Society presents “Festival at Shadelands,” the 31st annual antique and craft show at the Shadelands Ranch Museum, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road. The free event is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9. Parking is available off Via Monte and Ygnacio Valley Road.

Sculpture in the Garden Ruth Bancroft Garden’s 19th Annual Sculpture in the Garden will take place June 14 through July 13. Thousands of blooming succulents serves as a spectacular backdrop for the work of more than 50 artists. All works are for sale. For information about hours, admission prices and more, visit www. or call 925-944-9352. The garden is at 1552 Bancroft Road.

Celebration of Champions The Walnut Creek Aquanuts’ Celebration of Champions Synchronized Swimming Exhibition will be held Saturday, June 15 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Clarke Memorial Swim Center, Heather Farm Park. Call 925-934-4792.

Independence Day Concert Let freedom ring with the Walnut Creek Concert Band’s free Fourth of July Concert. The music begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 4 near the Civic Park gazebo. Bring a picnic and enjoy.

Happy 100th to our libraries The Contra Costa County Library system celebrates its 100th birthday on Sunday, July 21 with a free Birthday Festival featuring arts and crafts, children performers, music, food, and more. Join the celebration from noon to 5 p.m. at the Pleasant Hill Park, 147 Gregory Lane.

Summer Pops Concert Internationally acclaimed trumpeter Allen Vizzuti will be the guest artist when the Walnut Creek Concert Band presents its Summer Pops Concert, “Spirit of America.” The concert will be held 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 23 at the Lesher Center for the Arts. Call 925-943-7469. Summer 2013 In a Nutshell

Get in the swim with WC recreation


wimming lessons are the ultimate “two for one” investment, combining water safety with a ton of fun. Walnut Creek Aquatics offers a variety of classes for all ages, from little ones just starting out as Guppies to teens and adults wanting to develop swimming skills at their own pace. No matter what the level, Walnut Creek Aquatics instructors make sure that each participant receives the best in swim instruction in a positive, safe and supportive environment. For a list of aquatics courses, visit Need help selecting the right level? Call the Clarke Swim Center at 925-943-5856.

Tristin Lowe, Dumbo Vinyl, acrylic paint, 2001

‘Larger than Life’ now at the Bedford

Make it a musical summer for youth


usicians ages 9 to 18 are invited to hone their skills this summer with one of Civic Arts Education’s orchestras or the CAE Jazz Band. The Young Performers String Orchestra for ages 9-13 focuses on teamwork and musical excellence while playing chamber music. The Diablo Regional Youth Orchestra for ages 12 -18 is a non-competitive symphony orchestra that will help musicians sharpen their personal technique while exploring a wide range of repertoire. No auditions are necessary for either orchestra. The summer session culminates in a performance on Aug. 6. The CAE Jazz Band is a full jazz

Shop the gallery ensemble performing works from the jazz masters of the 1930s to the present day in a fun, dynamic environment. Participants should know four major scales; sight reading is required. Call 924-676-8203 to schedule an audition.

Camp it up! Recreation programs for every interest


hildren 3 to 13 can find fantastic camp experiences this summer with Walnut Creek Recreation. Among the offerings: • Preschool Camps Ages 3-6: Halfday programs with themed activities • Personal Enrichment Ages 4-12: Chess, Spanish and carpentry • Science & Technology Ages 4-12: Design an app, be a secret agent, and much more! • Sports Camps Ages 4½ -16: Golf, baseball, soccer, volleyball and more • Day Camp Ages 6-12: All-day fun with a new theme each week • Teen Camp for Grades 6-9: Where every day is a field trip Summer 2013 In a Nutshell

The Bedford Gallery’s summer exhibition asks visitors to think big! Larger than Life brings together artists from around the United States who are playing with size in creative and uncanny ways. Come see outsized elephants, enormous heads, and unusual creatures made by artists who are thinking big! Through August 18.

Did you know the Bedford Gallery now has art merchandise for sale? While in the gallery, check out our new display case at the reception desk for affordable and distinctive artwork, jewelry like Mark Poulin’s delightful mother-andchild whale charm, above, and more—all hand-crafted by artists.

New kids program

Kids have a ball at Walnut Creek Recreation summer camps!

Registration is under way. Go to www. for a complete list of camps and online registration. Questions? Call 925-943-5858.

The Bedford Gallery is excited to announce a new program led by our experienced Docent Council. For each show the Bedford hosts, docents will offer a free Art Make project for children of all ages. The next Art Make will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 29. page 3

City Notes July 1 deadline for business licenses Business license renewal notices were sent out on April 12 and are due by July 1, 2013. For a quick and secure method of renewing your license, logon to www., click “Quick Links” and then choose “Business Licenses.” The Business License counter is closed on Fridays, as are all public counters at City Hall.

How to report problems with streetlights Street light outages and problems can be reported to PGE at 1-800-743-5000 or online at: customerservice/contact/streetlight/ single/index.shtml . It is helpful to know the pole/light number( look 7 feet from the bottom of the pole) and the location (for instance, the second pole from the northeast corner of 1st and Main Street).

Home improvement grants and loans The City has funding available for home rehabilitation loans and grants for Walnut Creek residents. These loans are available to low and moderate income homeowners for home repairs to bring homes up to current building codes, to make homes more energy efficient, or for other general improvements. Grants of up to $10,000 are also available for emergency repairs to address safety issues. Please contact Jesus del Toro at 925674-7886 in the County’s Neighborhood Preservation Program Office to ask for an application.

Playground sand replaced with mulch To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), sand was replaced with mulch at several City park playgrounds in early May. Affected playgrounds were at Civic Park, Tice Valley Park and Rudgear Park. page 4

Karen and Michel Pellegrino take Sir Lancelot for a stroll down Main Street. The City is getting ready to create its first Pedestrian Master Plan.

Walk this way, Walnut Creek!


plan to make walking safer, easier and more appealing to residents will be developed this year, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. The City’s first comprehensive Pedestrian Master Plan will also provide design standards for physical improvements to the pedestrian experience and recommend steps to encourage walking rather than car travel. The Transportation Planning Division

is drafting a work program and will then hire a qualified consultant team to develop a detailed scope and community outreach plan. Public input on the Pedestrian Master Plan is an essential component -- look for opportunities to weigh in later this summer. For more information, contact Jeremy Lochirco, Senior Planner, at or 925-9435899 ext 2251.

Grants for homeowner association fees In collaboration with the Contra Costa Association of REALTORS (CCAR), the City of Walnut Creek is offering grants to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. The “HOA Helper Grant” provides six months or up to $2,500 to cover initial homeowner association payments for successful applicants. To qualify, applications must meet the requirements for the City’s First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program, including: lived or worked in Walnut Creek prior to the home purchase; have a household income that does not exceed 120 percent of Area Median Income (1 person = $78,550; 2 person = $89,750; 3 person = $101,000; 4 person = $112,200); be first-time homebuyers; and, close escrow on a Walnut Creek

residence and have been in contract with a licensed REALTOR. Buyers are eligible up to 6 months after purchasing their home. Funding fis provided by the California Association of REALTORS Housing Affordability Fund. Contact Housing Analyst Margot Ernst at 925-943-5899 ext.2208.

Become a fan of Walnut Creek Recreation! Keep up with all the latest Rec news through Facebook. Share your photos, tell us what you think, and stay connected! Summer 2013 ~ In a Nutshell

Searching for solutions to fiscal shortfalls


Someday, a portion of the 25 acres at the corner of Ygnacio Valley and Oak Grove roads may hold an all-access playground and a community performance space. Today, the future of the entire site is being considered through two parallel processes: the Shadelands Gateway Specific Plan coordinated by the City and The Orchards development application submitted by property owner Safeway, Inc. The Specific Plan includes elements such as overall land use, development standards, design guidelines and infrastructure requirements for the property that, if approved by the City Council, will apply to the property regardless of the outcome of any particular development application. The City Council will hold a study session on the draft Specific Plan and the development application on July 16. Updated information about the proposed project and draft Specific Plan is available on the City website at

Play ball - and bring the repellent! Change of seasons marks return sports games and practices are being held. These mosquitoes can emerge of sports - and mosquitoes


onger days and warming temperatures are giving rise to springtime traditions including the seasonal kick off of sports like baseball, softball, and spring soccer. Ball fields that sat empty during the winter months are once again teeming with players and fans from day until night. But as the ball parks come to life with competitors and spectators, they are also coming to life with another sign of spring, mosquitoes. And this year, the mosquitoes are off to an early start. Consequently the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District is already actively working to prevent young mosquitoes that start their lives in water from developing into adults capable of spreading disease. There are two main mosquito species within the county that are known to transmit West Nile virus. Culex tarsalis and Culex pipiens prefer to be active around sunrise and sunset each day; the latter being precisely when many Summer 2013 ~ In a Nutshell

from water up to five miles away from a sports complex, and still bring the risk of mosquito-borne illness to the ball field. With this risk in mind, the District recommends any players or spectators attending practices or games within two hours before and after sunset should wear repellent to deter mosquitoes. Since 2005, 39 county residents are known to have contracted West Nile virus and two citizens have died. It’s important to make sure you are not providing mosquitoes with a place to lay their eggs on your property. Dump or drain any amount of standing water. Even a couple of tablespoons of water can produce up to 400 mosquitoes, so a bucket or wheelbarrow can produce thousands, and a neglected swimming pool can produce more than one million mosquitoes! Fewer places to lay their eggs, means fewer mosquitoes in Contra Costa County and that would make nightly ball games and other activities not only more fun, but healthier as well.

ecision time is coming. Due to the economic downturn and other contributing factors, the programs, services and facilities Walnut Creek provides to the community will no longer be fiscally sustainable at current levels beginning with the 2014-16 Budget. To navigate the challenges that lie ahead, the City Council has been holding a series of public meetings to consider the City’s priorities in providing services to the community as well as the facilities that support delivery of these services. The Council identified 13 program areas to evaluate. They are: •

Public Parking & Downtown Enhancements

Golf & Clubhouse Events

Clean Water

Fleet and Facilities

Senior Support

Parks and Open Space


Schools, Non-Profit and other Agency Support

Information Technology Infrastructure

Arts, Recreation and Open Space Classes and Camps

Facility Rentals


Performing and Visual Arts

While most programs were reviewed in April and May, Aquatics and Performing and Visual Arts are scheduled to be considered on July 2. Information from these meetings will be used as the Council considers future budget options. Meetings are broadcast on Walnut Creek TV; video of past meetings is available on the City website. To learn more, visit page 5

Open Town Hall asks:

Who should pay for Public Art?


he City is in the process of updating its Public Art Master Plan. Among the questions being considered is how to fairly assess the fees that make public art possible. For instance, new projects pay a public art fee based on 1 percent of the project bujdget. If the project includes a parking structure, should the cost of the parking structure be included in assessing the fee? Share your opinion on this and other key questions through the online “Open Town Hall” forum. It’s easy to use, and unlike City Hall, it’s open 24/7. Just go to and tell us what you think!

MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE FOUNTAIN Public Art Walking tours are led by trained Bedford Gallery docents the third Saturday of each month, from April through November. On July 20, the tour will include a guest visit with “Fountain Head” artist Seyed Alevi, who will talk about his conceptual ideas and the materials he uses to build an artwork. Tours are 60 minutes long and start and finish at the Lesher Center for the Arts. Tours start at 11 a.m.; cost is $5.

Getting creative with Arts, Adventures and Academics summer program.

Civic Arts’ “Triple A” summer for kids


rts, Adventures and Academics, Civic Arts Education’s summer program for kids in grades 1 through 9, returns to Walnut Creek Intermediate School June 17 – July 19. During the morning session, campers have a plethora of electives from which to choose. Cooking, ceramics, movie making, stained glass and Spanish classes are just a few of the highlights. The optional afternoon session is packed with field trips and activities such as sports, swimming and games. The program culminates with an open house for the public on Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m., at which students will showcase their summer projects. For more information, visit www.

page 6

Join us for free behind-the-scene tours the second Saturday of each month through November. Spotlights start at 9 a.m. and are done by 10:30 a.m. Summer Spotlights include: The Walnut Creek Garden Stroll from Heather Farm to Ruth Bancroft on June 8; Backstage at the Lesher Center and Bedford Gallery, July 13; and Behind the Gates at Rossmoor (bus tour) on August 10. Advance registration is requested. Details and registration is available on our website:

Summer 2013 ~ In a Nutshell

Service Day 2013 projects needed

C The Walnut Creek Concert Band performs at civic events and special concerts.

Strike up the band! Calling new members


f you played a musical instrument in high school or college and yearn to once again share music with others, then the Walnut Creek Concert Band is the place for you. The band has provided musical support for civic events such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day for more than 25 years. In addition, the band participates in the Civic Park Concert series on July 4 and Labor Day, and performs three concerts at the Lesher Center for the Arts. Band members range in age from 16 to 92, and come from all walks of life, all serving their community through the power of music. All interested Walnut Creek musicians

are welcome to join the band. The band is a non-profit volunteer organization not affiliated with any school district or adult education program; no grades, no tuition. So if you play a band instrument (percussion, trumpet, flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, French horn, trombone, euphonium or tuba), start practicing and join us! The band rehearses weekly on Tuesday evenings at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette. For more information, visit For information on rehearsals and audition requirements, email walnutcreekband@

WCPD takes aim at underage drinking


alnut Creek ranks 9th in the state for 11th graders who reported binge drinking, according to David Carillo, assistant director for the Center for Human Development. To address the problem, the Walnut Creek Police Department is teaming up with the Center for Human Development to reduce underage drinking. The program is being funded by a State Incentive Grant Over the next two years, WCPD will partner with schools, parents, youth, businesses and the community at large on a set of strategies to limit availability Summer 2013 ~ In a Nutshell

of alcohol to young people. A “shoulder tap” strategy conducted in late April resulted in positive results, Carillo told the City Council at a May 7 meeting. Underage decoys unsuccessfully tried to buy alcohol or asked adults to buy alcohol for them at five different locations. The unsuspecting citizens in both cases threatened to call the police, said Carillo. Similar undercover operations will be conducted throughout the next two years. In addition, Walnut Creek Police encourage residents to call them if they suspect underage neighbors are hosting a party where alcohol is involved.

ommunity Service Day is Saturday, Sept. 28. Local nonprofits, public schools and libraries are invited to host a project. Last year’s Community Service Day featured 45 projects for community gardens, open space and creek areas, social service groups, public schools, libraries and others. More than 1,200 community members volunteered. Good projects involve simple tasks that can be accomplished by volunteers of many ages. Projects must be located in Walnut Creek. For more information and to submit a project, visit Service. Submission deadline is June 21.

Donate old glasses, give the gift of sight


ions Recycle for Sight gathers used eyeglasses at the Walnut Creek Library at 1644 N. Broadway. Deposit old glasses in the Lions box in the Friends of the Library bookstore next to the Café in the library. The Lions support sight programs and services including vision screenings, eye banks and eyeglass recycling, so everyone can see a better tomorrow.

Empowering exploited youth through the arts


RM of Care (Art, Recreation, Movement) hosts “Summer Time is...” on Saturday, June 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Walnut Creek Library. ARM of Care uses creative arts therapies to empower commercially sexually exploited youth to live full and healthy lives. At the June 15 fund-raiser, a experts who work with this population will be on hand to share their insights. Enjoy summer time food, entertainment and a silent auction. Visit www. or call 925- 623-4696. page 7

City Directory

Benefits Manager Marie Anderson and Senior Custodian Marcello Prioste.

City honors Employees of the Year


he 2012 Employees of the Year are Benefits Manager Marie Anderson and Senior Custodian Marcello Prioste. Anderson joined the City’s Human Resources Division 14 years ago. She was commended for her honesty, integrity and compassion as she helps employees navigate through difficulties such as injuries and serious illness.

Prioste originally hails from Brazil, where he worked in hotel management and, specifically, customer service. He brings that sense of courtesy and diplomacy to his job every day, and is willing to take on any task. Prioste counts among his greatest moments becoming a United States citizen and voting for the first time.

CITY COUNCIL Cindy Silva, Mayor* Kristina Lawson, Mayor pro tem Bob Simmons Loella Haskew Justin Wedel

*For appointment: Call 256-3504



Published quarterly and mailed to Walnut Creek residents and businesses Editor: Gayle Vassar Communications and Outreach Manager

We welcome your comments and questions Call 943-5895 or For past issues, go online at


1666 North Main Street Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Arts Education classes Bedford Gallery Boundary Oak Golf Building Division Business licenses City Clerk’s Office City Hall main number City Manager’s office Facility rentals Flood zone info Foothill Gym Graffiti reporting Heather Farm Pool Human Resources Lesher Center Box Office Recreation classes Mayor’s Office Planning/Zoning hotline Police (non-emergency) Recreation classes Senior citizen activities Street maintenance Tree removal permit Tice Valley Gym

943-5846 295-1417 934-4775 943-5834 943-5821 943-5818 943-5800 943-5812 256-3575 943-5839 256-3539 943-5854 943-5856 943-5815 943-7469 943-5858 256-3504 256-3558 943-5844 943-5858 943-5851 943-5854 943-5839 256-3572

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Lorie Tinfow, Director/Assistant City Manager COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Sandra Meyer, Director ARTS, RECREATION & COMMUNITY SERVICES Barry Gordon, Director POLICE Joel Bryden, Chief of Police PUBLIC SERVICES Heather Ballenger, Director



Summer 2013 nutshell  

City of Walnut Creek "In a Nutshell" newsletter, Summer 2013 edition

Summer 2013 nutshell  

City of Walnut Creek "In a Nutshell" newsletter, Summer 2013 edition