El Campanil Theatre will relaunch its Classic Film Series on Saturday afternoons beginning Nov. 7. The series was halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but now that Contra Costa County has entered the “red” zone of COVID-19 regulations, movie theaters will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity.
“We only wanted to do this if we could make absolutely certain we could keep patrons and staff safe,” theater manager Joel Roster said. “That has been our only aim since this pandemic exploded. Luckily, with the sheer size of our venue, we can seat a maximum of 100 patrons comfortably and safely.”
The venue, built in 1928 primarily as a vaudeville and performing arts touring house, boasts 640 seats, which have been meticulously replanned by Roster and Executive Director Rick Carraher to space out 100 people with more than 6 feet of personal distance between parties.
“It has been a lot of work,” Carraher admits. “But with everyone seeking some form of comfortable entertainment, we’re thrilled to finally be able to reopen our doors with these classics.”
The films are aimed at all ages. The series starts with “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” followed by “The Music Man,” “The Karate Kid,” “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s A Wonderful Life.” The series will run Saturday afternoons through Dec. 19 with the exception of Thanksgiving weekend. Tickets are limited to 100 people per performance and can be bought online at elcampaniltheatre.com or by calling 925-757-9500. A full listing of the theatre’s coronavirus precautions can be found at its website.
Playgrounds reopen under new virus safety guidelines
The city of Antioch has reopened its park playgrounds following state guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Public Works and Recreation departments will begin removing “closed” signage currently found at playgrounds, installing the swings that were removed for health and safety, and reactivating the regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for playgrounds, said city Parks and Recreation Director Nancy Kaiser.
“We welcome back all our parents and know that they will take the lead to ensure that kids learn and grow while playing in our parks,” she said.
Those planning to visit the parks must wear masks and observe social distancing — at least 6 feet apart — from people of other households and not eat or drink in the playground area. Limit visits to 30 minutes when other families are present, Kaiser said. For more information about park use, call the Recreation Department at 925-776-3050.
— Judith Prieve, staff
In-person voters can find precinct at candidate’s website
Locating your precinct can sometimes be a challenge for voters, who can find it somewhat of a maze and get lost navigating the county registrar’s website, cocovote.us. Fifth-generation Brentwood native and mayoral candidate Paul La Follette, 35, says he’s solved that problem by adding a link to his campaign website to make it easier for his constituents to simply click the link to find their polling location. The larger fonts are also helpful for seniors and those with vision challenges, he says.
Many voters will vote from the comfort of their homes, but there will still be those die-hard voters who prefer to cast their votes in person. If you live in Brentwood you can find your voting information at votepaulformayor.com/where-to-vote, where voters can also review La Follette’s positions on Brentwood’s major issues.
— Catherine Lemings
Center for Visually Impaired to host Halloween fundraiser
The Lions Center for the Visually Impaired (LCVI) will host a Halloween-themed virtual fundraising event called the “No Show Monster Ball” at 7 p.m. Oct. 30. Registration for this event is free, but donations are encouraged and will support the services of LCVI for its senior clients who are blind or visually impaired in Alameda, Solano, and Contra Costa counties. Participants who donate $25 or more to this fundraiser will be automatically entered into a raffle for four exciting gift baskets. To register, go online to bayareane.ws/34D80hC, call 925-432-3013 or visit lcvi.org for more information.
Cycle Recycle charity effort returns for 23rd year Oct. 17
For the 23rd year, Bobbie and Tom Preston will hold the Cycle Recycle, collecting repairable bikes to be refurbished and given to charitable groups. To date, more than 3,600 bikes have been collected. Deliver new or used working or repairable bikes and useable bike parts to the side driveway of 1307 Larch Ave. in Moraga from Oct. 17 through the month of November only. No skateboards, trikes or plastic bikes, please.
This year the recipient organizations include Oakland International High School’s Earn-A-Bike program, The Bike Charity Institute of Alamo, Keeping our Promise (supporting Afghan immigrants who helped the U.S. government in Afghanistan), Waterside Workshops (providing bikes, bike mechanic training and outdoor recreation for more than 250 youth low-income and disconnected youth throughout the East Bay), and the Lake Merritt Community Cabins (which provides transitional housing for previously homeless adults while permanent housing is arranged).
— Tom and Bobbie Preston
Virtual public forum about area homelessness on Nov. 10
The Walnut Creek Homeless Task Force is hosting a free virtual forum from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10, the third in a series of informational forums on homelessness in Walnut Creek.
The fall event is designed to give community members and business owners an opportunity to learn about the actions being taken in Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County to address homelessness. Expert speakers and panelists from the city, county and Trinity Center will discuss facts about homelessness, causes of homelessness, problems experienced by the homeless and the community and possible paths and solutions to issues that result from homelessness in our neighborhoods. During a question-and-answer session, panelists will take questions from virtual attendees through a session moderator who will monitor emailed questions.
The November forum will be held virtually via Zoom. While the event is free, registration is required by visiting wchomelesstaskforce.org, or e-mailing [email protected]. The Zoom link will be sent to registrants in late October.
— Walnut Creek Homeless Task Force
Leftovers Thrift Shop welcomes shoppers back with sale
Leftovers has reopened and is having a storewide half-off sale Oct. 27. Women’s and men’s apparel, housewares and linens, jewelry, books and a wide assortment of sundry items will be waiting for discerning customers. The shop’s former hours are back: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. COVID-19 precautions are in place, and masks are required.
Leftovers, a nonprofit shop, has been around for almost 45 years. Proceeds go primarily to the Contra Costa Crisis Center and to other community programs. The shop is at 2281 Olympic Blvd. in Walnut Creek (next to Il Pavone), its website is leftoversthriftshop.org and its phone number is 925-938-9393. Donations cannot be accepted on sale day. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can pick up an application at the shop.
Break a Sweat for Education run/walk virtual this year
It’s time to lace up your sneakers and Break a Sweat for Education. This year, the sixth annual Yours Humanly run and walk fundraiser, presented by Capital One Café, is 100% virtual and being held Oct. 18-31.
This means participants in the popular fall event can run, walk, hike or move in any way they’d like, any distance, any location. More than an athletic event, Break a Sweat for Education is a fundraiser for education and a fun way to help children in need around the world gain access to the quality education and equitable resources they deserve. No matter the distance or form of locomotion, supporters will make a difference in the lives of children in need.
Proceeds will help Yours Humanly provide the distance learning technologies so desperately needed by underserved students who are currently learning remotely. And later, as teachers and students move through recovery and back to classrooms, financial support will help Yours Humanly create safe and productive school experiences for the children. Learn more and register at bayareane.ws/2GAreMu.
— Yours Humanly
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Free help available with Medicare plan changes for 2021
Contra Costa County’s Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) is part of the county’s Aging and Adult Services agency. HICAP is here to help you figure out how these changes affect your coverage in 2021, so that you can make informed decisions. Our website, cchicap.org, has information on how to register for free one-on-one counseling, online talks, and updated Medicare plan information. Our phone number is 925-602-4163.
City reopens playgrounds after county enters ‘red tier’
Under the new state guidelines announced recently, the city of Concord reopened its 19 playgrounds Oct. 1. Public Works staff have inspected and prepared all playgrounds and installed new signage indicating usage rules designed to keep people safe from the spread of COVID-19. Parents and caregivers are responsible for protecting their children and themselves. Rules include:
- wear a mask;
- maintain distance;
- no food or drink;
- wash hands (remember to bring sanitizer to the playground);
- know when to stay home (if ill or if particularly vulnerable to COVID-19);
- and share our space (wait your turn, let others have a turn).
The city is asking all playground visitors to “stay safe and play safe.” Moving into the red tier also means the following sectors throughout the county can reopen with modifications:
- places of worship, restaurants, movie theaters and museums can operate indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer;
- gyms at 10% capacity indoors;
- all personal care services, including massage, can move indoors;
- indoor shopping malls can operate at 50% maximum occupancy (instead of 25%); food courts can also open following the state’s guidelines for restaurants;
- indoor retail stores can now operate at 50% capacity (instead of 25%);
- outdoor playgrounds
— city of Concord
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