DeSaulnier announces winner of Congressional App Challenge


U.S. Representative Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, announced on Jan. 27 that Seth Raphael, of Walnut Creek, was the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge (CAC) for California’s 11th congressional district.

Raphael is a student at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek and designed LinkJoin, a virtual meeting management app that helps users stay organized by listing their virtual meetings in one convenient place, automatically opening meetings, and sending alerts reminder to users. This app is intended for use by educators, students, and organizations to make online communications simple and effective.

“It was such a pleasure to review all of the creative apps developed by Contra Costa students this year,” said DeSaulnier. “I am always impressed with the ingenuity and skill shown by the students in our district and I congratulate this year’s winner, Seth. In our increasingly digital world, its app can make life easier for hardworking students and teachers. »

This year’s winner was selected by a panel of three judges from the STEM and education fields. The CAC is a public initiative to encourage young people to learn to code with the aim of inspiring creativity and sparking interest in STEM education. Established in 2014, CAC has now reached over 14,000 students across the country, including those in underserved and rural areas. This is DeSaulnier’s seventh year hosting the CAC for the 11th District.

— Office of U.S. Representative DeSaulnier


Non-profit literacy group seeks volunteer English tutors

The Diablo Valley Literacy Council (DVLC) has a personalized approach to helping adults in the community who want to learn English. The council, founded in 1978, is sponsored by the Church of the Good Shepherd and is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization.

If you are 18 or older, enjoy working with people, and enjoy learning and sharing your knowledge, join us this spring. The March Tutor Training will get you started by providing educational materials and information to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) adults to read, write and speak English.

From March 5, after participation, an adult is assigned and individual tutoring begins. A $20 advance registration fee, which is required, covers training, materials, and the first year of DVLC membership. For more details or to register, visit online.



Register kids ages 3-7 for biddy T-ball by March 25

Biddy T-ball is a program like no other, and the age groups have been expanded to include 6 and 7 year olds. Boys and girls ages 3-7 will learn the basics of T-ball and develop their social skills in a fun, safe, family-friendly environment. The younger ones will hit a tee and take turns playing. The older group will hit an easy pitch from their coach and field the ball. The deadline for registration is March 25.

Fees include the price of a jersey each child will receive, and each class is one hour long and includes a fun group warm-up, practice with the child’s team, and a game. Duration can vary from one week to another, but it is always from one o’clock on Saturday mornings.

Parent volunteers are essential and encouraged to coach their child’s team – no experience is required and all training will be offered April 3rd. Sign up to coach the team when you register. For more details, visit online.

— City of Oakley


Apply by March 18 to serve on the county’s civil grand jury

The Contra Costa County Superior Court is accepting applications for civil grand jury service for the 2022-2023 term. The civil grand jury is made up of 19 members who serve for one year, from July to June, to oversee, examine and report on city and county governments, special districts and school districts.

Every effort is made to ensure that the grand jury reflects the demographics of the county. Approximately 75 applicants will be selected for interview by the Grand Jury Selection Committee, made up of county superior court judges. After interviews, the judges will appoint around 30 candidates to form a grand jury from which the final panel of 19 will be selected by a draw scheduled for June 10.

Those selected for service will be required to be available June 13-24 to attend an orientation session where they will meet with department heads, familiarize themselves with colleagues, learn about juror responsibilities and procedures, and select the committees on which they will sit.

Grand jurors must be U.S. citizens 18 years of age or older who will have lived in Contra Costa County for at least one year prior to selection and do not currently hold any elected office in the county. Applicants must have reliable transportation to Martinez and must be willing to devote at least 30 hours per week to civil grand jury service.

Candidates must have access to a computer, be familiar with Microsoft Word and be able to send and receive e-mail. Working citizens should only apply if they can be released from their jobs to perform jury duty. Candidates selected from the 30 nominees will be fingerprinted before the draw.

Jurors receive a stipend to attend full jury and committee meetings and are reimbursed 58.5 cents per mile for authorized jury travel. Parking permits can be provided to park in the town of Martinez while performing Grand Jury duties. Those interested in applying can contact the Civil Grand Jury Office at 925-608-2621 or visit online for an application or more details. The deadline to apply is March 18.

— Contra Costa County Superior Court


A group of libraries will host a talk by mystery writer Howzell Hall

“Live! from the Walnut Creek Library Foundation. From the Library” will feature award-winning mystery writer Rachel Howzell Hall, a prolific author of mystery novels that includes a series featuring Detective Elouise “Lou” Norton, an African-American homicide detective, and Howzell’s latest thriller. Hall, “These Toxic Things.”

Mystery writer and animator David Corbett will engage Howzell Hall in a conversation about his writings and experiences as a mystery writer in the Los Angeles area. Free and open to the public, this event will be held on Zoom from 7-8 p.m. on February 8. Reservations are required to receive the Zoom link and can be made online at or by phone at 925-935-5395.

A native of Los Angeles, Howzell Hall graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in English and American Literature. In 2002, her first novel, “A Quiet Storm”, was chosen as a “Gilmore Book Club” selection. Corbett is the author of six novels, including “The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday,” nominated for the Lefty Award for Best Historical Mystery.

The Walnut Creek Library Foundation (WCLF) raises funds to support Walnut Creek libraries and enrich the community through free public lectures, literary events, and cultural programs. Previous “Live! Library programs can be viewed online. For more information about library programs and how to support WCLF, visit online.



The City reminds that dogs over 4 months old must be registered

It’s a new year, so is it also time for a new dog tag? All dogs over the age of 4 months must be vaccinated against rabies and have a dog license from the city of Antioch, which must be purchased within 30 days of a new residence in Antioch or upon return from a new one. dog at home.

To purchase a license online, go to To purchase one by mail, send a current rabies vaccination certificate, sterilization certificate, and check for the correct amount to Antioch Animal Services, 300 L St., Antioch, CA 94509. To purchase a license in person , call 925-779-6989 to schedule one of the available appointments from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Bring a rabies vaccination certificate and sterilization certificate when you visit, and face masks are required.

City staff know it’s been difficult to get a vet appointment for a rabies vaccination during the pandemic, so they’ve waived the $34 late fee for not renewing on time and will continue to do so until July 1.

— Antioch City Manager’s Office

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