Contra Costa schools win Odyssey of Mind competitive divisions



Seven Contra Costa County public schools won their divisions in the recent Odyssey of the Mind NorCal State competition. In addition, 23 teams from Contra Costa County schools competed to compete in the World Finals May 25-28 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving competition hosted by parents for students and community group members of all ages and skill levels. Teams of up to seven students work together to develop solutions to long-term problems within general rules and guidelines in five categories (called “Problems”): Vehicle, Engineering, Classical Arts and Literature, Structure, and Performance.

Teams compete against other teams in the same divisions. The grade levels determine the division: Division 1 is grades K-5; Division 2 includes grades 6-8; Division 3 is grades 9-12. For more details and the list of winning Contra Costa teams, go online at

— Education Office Contra Costa


Addiction treatment group hosts health fair on April 30th

BAART Programs, which provides opioid use disorder treatment and supportive recovery services to patients across the country, is hosting a free community health fair on April 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at its Antioch Clinic at 3707 Sunset Lane. Several providers in the local community will be in attendance to share information about their services, including Family Justice Center, HealthRight 360, Re-entry Success Center and Bay Area Crisis Nursery.

BAART will also be providing free take-home COVID-19 testing kits, courtesy of Brighter Beginnings. In addition, there will be a Narcan demonstration of how to reverse an opioid overdose, and those interested will receive a Narcan kit to take home, courtesy of the MEDS Coalition. The group also hosts a food drive; Bring a non-perishable item to enter a raffle and win a prize. For more information, call 925-522-0124 or online at


Petty Officer 2nd Class Isaiah Harris of Pittsburgh serves with the US Navy at Sigonella, Italy, at Naval Air Station Sigonella. (Photo courtesy of Navy Community Outreach Office)


2004 Graduated from Riverside High while serving in the US Navy in Sicily

Petty Officer 2nd Class Isaiah Harris, a Pittsburgh native, serves with the US Navy at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sigonella, Italy. Harris joined the Navy eight years ago and now serves as an electronics technician.

“My mother served in the Air Force and was instrumental in promoting the benefits of the military,” Harris said. “It turned out to be a good choice for me.”

Harris grew up in Pittsburgh and attended Riverside High School, graduating in 2004. Today, Harris uses the same skills and values ​​he learned in Pittsburgh to succeed in the military.

“My hometown taught me that you can’t judge a book by its cover and that you should be open to the life experiences of my peers,” Harris said. “Everyone has different experiences in different aspects of life.”

These lessons helped Harris while he served in the Navy. Naval Air Station Sigonella is located in eastern Sicily, which at 10,000 square miles is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Navy, the station’s primary mission is to provide consolidated operational, command and control, administrative, logistical and advanced logistical support to US and other NATO forces. Naval Air Station Sigonella supports a rotation of diverse squadrons and multi-service, multinational transient aircraft.

– Navy Community Outreach Office


The association puts together Easter baskets and gives them away to needy children

The Walnut Creek Area Neighbors and Newcomers Club (WCANNC) Outreach Committee recently put together colorful Easter baskets filled with age-appropriate treats, toys and books for children residing at the Bay Area Crisis Shelter. For almost 20 years, WCANNC has provided Easter baskets to children in need.

In addition, the club has supported other charitable organizations including child protection services, the Winter Nights program, Trinity Center, St. Vincent de Paul, youth homes and others. A friendly and active women’s organization with approximately 120 members, the club is open to women living in Diablo Valley. Visit the club’s website at for membership information.



Knights of Columbus Sponsor Free Shred It Day

If you are looking for a very safe way to dispose of old tax returns, legal documents, canceled checks, etc., the St. Anne Council Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a complimentary “Shred it Day” from 8am to 12pm on April 30th in the parking lot of St. Anne Chapel at 2800 Camino Diablo in Byron.

This is the Knights of Columbus’ way of saying “thank you” for your support of our many community projects throughout the year. Donations are accepted to cover costs. If you are donating by check, make it “St. Anne K by C.”

– St Anne Council Knights of Columbus


Cinco de Mayo Celebration on May Day at the Farmers Market

The City of Martinez invites you to their celebration of Cinco de Mayo on May 1st from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at their downtown Farmers’ Market at 700 Main St. Restaurants nearby.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s bitter victory at the Battle of Pueblo in 1862 during Mexico’s War of Independence from France. Although Mexico’s true Independence Day is September 16, when the country began its War of Independence from Spain in 1810, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the United States today as a celebration of Mexican culture.

— Linda Olvera


Nearly $200,000 in Oakley nonprofit grants

The City of Oakley is encouraging local nonprofits to apply for $180,000 in grants of up to $15,000 each, which are now available to groups serving a wide range of needs.

The grants are funded from the city’s allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Last year, Oakley received $10.2 million in ARPA funding to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis. Of that, the city council allocated $180,000 to support local non-profit organizations.

The city is now accepting applications from registered nonprofit organizations for projects that meet funding guidelines and align with the city’s goals and priorities. The closing date for entries is May 19th. See for details.

Tickets for the May 14th Taste of Oakley event are on sale now

The annual Taste of Oakley will be held on May 14th at the Oakley Recreation Center, 1250 O’Hara Ave. This event gives Oakley restaurants and caterers a chance to showcase their cuisine and allows guests to sample dishes from a variety of regional businesses.

This event usually sells out, so organizers recommend buying tickets well in advance. The following restaurants, caterers and grocers will be participating and serving delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts: Girard’s Catering, Wanna Waffle?, Polar Bear Rolled Ice Cream, Sabrina’s Pizzeria, Lucia’s Baked Delights, Skipolini’s Pizza, Stacy’s Cakes, Sprinkle Cookie Co. and Hella Mas

Tickets cost $12 and are available at Tickets can also be purchased at the leisure center during regular business hours (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed every first and third Friday of the month).

— City of Oakley

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