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Star Quest's Annual Talent Show
Apr 22, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
For twenty-one years, Star Quest of Pleasant Hill has been bringing amazing performances by our youth to the community, and its 22nd show at DVC Performing Arts Theatre on April 26 & 27  promises t...

Join the Alhambra High School Drama Club for Cabaret . Performances nightly from Wednesday ,  April 23 through Saturday, April 26 . Doors open at 6:30 and curtain at 7 o'clock.  You may purchase ti...
Apr 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Martinez Citizen of the Year Awards Dinner
On Saturday, April 26, we will be honoring citizens from the community for their contributions to the betterment of Martinez. The event will take place at the Martinez Event Center, 524 Main Street...
Apr 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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Downtown Martinez Spring Wine Stroll
Come and enjoy the Wine Stroll in Downtown Martinez on Saturday, May 3 from 2-5:30pm. Spend a relaxing afternoon strolling from business to business in downtown Martinez. Stop in participating stor...
Apr 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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That’s right, the home of the Cubs, Da Bears, and the place where Second City was born is at the top of the charts.

The criterion was put together by the University of Colorado. Let’s be honest: Since the legalization of marijuana, they probably laugh at anything, but stick with me and we’ll see how they came to the conclusion.

The school's Humor Research Lab developed a formula that considered the following:

  • number of famous comedians born there
  • number of comedy clubs and comedy radio stations
  • number of "funny tweeters" living there
  • ratings of local audiences by traveling comedians
  • frequency of visits to comedy websites and comedy-related Web searches by residents

"We found humor often has a local flavor," lead researcher Peter McGraw told The Chicago Tribune.

>> Read more trending stories

The work says it’s that local flavor that leads those who live in the Windy City to poke fun at themselves.

"The jokes that Chicagoans do tend to tell often feature deadpan and quick-witted humor, much of it directed at the foibles and frustrations of living in Chicago," the study states.

"They prefer to mine observational humor from the situations in which they find themselves. Such remarks seem to fit with the city’s professional comedy scene, since the city is known as a mecca for improv and stand-up."

Finishing out the top five were Boston; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; and Portland.

More here, including the rest of the Top 10. 

2014-04-22 23:59:36 -0700

An East Bay Water District is considering deep mandatory cutbacks.

The Dublin, San Ramon Services District spent more than three hours Tuesday night debating two ordinances that would impact more than 120,000 customers in the district.

"Our underground aquifer is low, it's down to 60 percent," said Sue Stephenson, Dublin San Ramon Services District spokeswoman, "It's like a bank account. You can only take money out so long and then there's no more money to take out."

That prompted the board to discuss water rate hikes, a ban on car washing, and shutting down city fountains.

"It's an unimportant use of water and we're about to ask people to curtail 50 percent of their water use," said Richard Halket, a Dublin San Ramon Services District board member.

The board also worked on setting limits for outdoor watering. They discussed limits of once a week in the spring and fall, twice a week in the summer, and no watering through the winter.

"Most people think they use most of their water inside their home. That's wrong. If you're in a household with a yard, 50-75 percent of your water bill is irrigating your outdoor landscape," said Sue Stephenson, a Dublin San Ramon Services District spokeswoman.

The district is creating a new way to offer residents and businesses in the Tri-Valley and throughout the Bay Area more recycled water during the drought.

The district water recycling plant can produce up to 11 million gallons a day of recycled water. Usually, about 5 million gallons is used during peak summer months to water city landscaping and parks. The rest is released into San Francisco Bay. The district's plan is to use that resource this summer.

For the first time, the district has created a large tap for the public to access recycled water at the treatment plant for a small fee.

"You can use it for a lot of purposes, except drinking or taking showers," said Kapil Mohan, "This year, we are encouraging people to use recycled water as much as possible."

The tap will be open around the clock and the City of Pleasanton is already planning to use the recycled water for the Callippe Golf Course.

"They will be sending 80 trucks a week to get recycled water to water the golf courses," said Mohan.

Every recycled drop could save precious potable water for people in the Tri-Valley area, who won't get their usual sources from the State Water Project.

The board did not vote on the ordinances and rate hike Tuesday night. They are expected to make a decision at their May 5th board meeting.

If the board passes the measures, repeat violators could face fines of up to $1,000 or potentially have their water shut off completely.

2014-04-22 23:25:06 -0700

In San Francisco, there's a push underway to increase public transit during the overnight hours. Supporters say it's a regional issue that needs to be addressed.

Both BART and Muni service slow down after dark, but that's when some businesses ramp up.

"Yet public transit is just so difficult at night when so much is going on," said Laura Adkins who works as a BARTender at Virgil's Sea Room and as a waitress at another establishment.

She regularly gets off work around 3am.

"I'm completely alone on the street. I have no idea what's around the corner. It can be scary," said Adkins.

And it's not just those who work in the night life industry.

At Mission Pie, co-owner Krystin Rubin tells KTVU the lack of public transit between the East Bay and San Francisco early in the morning, especially on weekends, has made it difficult to hire bakers and other staff.

"We had one attractive resume after another but all of them lived in the East Bay and none of them could get here by 5am," said Rubin. .

BART currently starts service at 4 a.m. on weekdays and ends midnight.

The proposal is to launch a one year pilot program, using buses between downtown San Francisco to select East Bay cities that will operate from 12:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. on the weekends.

"I don't like to see my friends drinking and driving. And if you have to catch a train at 11 o'clock at night, if you miss the last train than you're stuck in the city," said Liz Bege of Oakland.

"It's a real whole in our system," said San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner.

He proposed a resolution Tuesday to form a task force to come up with solutions which he says will involve the help of BART, AC Transit, Muni and others.

"A lot of people would like to see BART run either 24 hours or at least later on Friday and Saturday nights at a bare minimum," said Weiner.

As for Adkins, she says long waits at the bus stop are a safety concern.

"Sometimes 45 minutes. That's just too long, especially at 3 a.m.,” she said.

Weiner says the region just can't afford to ignore a problem that affects many people living throughout the Bay Area.



2014-04-22 23:15:06 -0700

Contra Costa Health officials said they’ve seen an increase in whooping cough cases the last year and a half.  The latest case is a 9-year-old student in Martinez. 

Morello Park Elementary School principal Kate Besocke confirmed that a student at her school has whooping cough, and is doing well at home after treatment.  She sent a letter to parents on Friday, notifying them of the situation and asking them to watch their children for symptoms.

Parents picking up their children from an after-school program said they received the notification late last week.

“It's highly contagious.  It's good they let us know.  I really appreciate that,” said Darren Karg, parent.

“I just was hoping the inoculation that my daughter has had would be sufficient. I know they get another one before 7th grade -- hoping that's doing the trick,” said Cynthia Tria, parent. 

Whooping cough, also known as Pertussis, typically starts with cold-like symptoms, and then a severe cough can develop after one to two weeks. The disease is named after the hallmark “whooping” sound that some patients have.  Whooping cough is highly contagious.

“It is a miserable disease.  It can be weeks of coughing, gagging, and sometimes vomiting after these uncontrollable coughing fits,” said Paul Leung, M.P.H., Immunization Coordinator for Contra Costa Public Health.

Leung said health department officials are working with the school to see if anyone else should have follow up.  He said at least two young students at the school do not have all the recommended vaccinations because their families signed personal belief exemptions.  He also said the vaccine isn't 100 percent effective and can wear off over time.

Leung said one of the biggest concerns right now is with the youngest of patients.  Four babies have been hospitalized with whooping cough in Contra Costa County so far this year. That's twice as many as all of last year.

“In little babies -- they may not have a lot of coughing.  They can just have episodes where they stop breathing and turn blue or purple.  That's why we're so concerned,” said Leung.

Leung said because babies don't build immunity right away with the vaccine, the current recommendations are for pregnant women to get immunized with every pregnancy and everyone else to get one booster shot in addition to the initial vaccine. 

Contra Costa officials said they have had 19 confirmed cases in the county so far this year, and that whooping cough tends to be cyclical, peaking every three to five years.  They said 2010 was the worst year in decades, with more than 200 cases county-wide.

> More info on Whooping Cough and how you can protect yourself

2014-04-22 22:58:14 -0700

More than two dozen Santa Rosa middle school students forced the lockdown of a nearby high school Tuesday.

The students walked out of Lawrence Cook Middle School on the six month anniversary of the shooting death of Andy Lopez and marched to nearby Elsia Allen High School.

In October a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed Lopez. The 13-year-old was carrying an air rifle made to look like an AK-47. The Lopez case is an open wound for many in the Santa Rosa community and students say ongoing comments within the walls of their school is salt in that wound.

Alex Mendoza, an 8th grader at Lawrence Cook, said he gets emotional when people talk about Lopez at school.

“Mad, cause they still talk stuff about him even though he’s dead,” said Mendoza.

The students say they planned to walk out for part of first period to protest.

“We were going to do it for 30 minutes, but then they locked us out of the school. Out of our school,” said Antonio Guerra, an 8th grader.

From Lawrence Cook, which is located along Sebastopol Road, the students and several adults marched to nearby Elsia Allen High School.

The move prompted a lock down and police response. Santa Rosa police say the protesters knocked on doors and windows. Investigators are reviewing possible criminal violations for the adults involved, but no arrests were made.

“It’s been six months and half the kids their grades have dropped because they have so much going on in their minds,” said Nicole Guerra with Andy’s Youth Justice Coalition. Her son was involved in the protest.

The students finally gathered at the location of the shooting along Moorland Avenue trying to overcome sometimes hurtful comments made about their friend.

“Why does she need to say her opinion just out loud especially when it hurts so much,” questioned Daisy Flores, 7th grader, as she discussed how people talk about Lopez at school.

KTVU reached out to school administrators at Lawrence Cook and Santa Rosa City Schools district headquarters and was told the superintendent would release a statement Wednesday.


2014-04-22 21:26:39 -0700
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