Danville Express

Cover Story - December 28, 2007

Looking back

Read all about the top stories of 2007

Moving right along … into 2008. Are you wondering where the old year went? Remember these headlines and you'll realize there really were 12 months in 2007.

JANUARY

* New law takes effect criminalizing driving under the influence for anyone under 21 with any alcohol in their blood.

* San Ramon Valley Unified School District doubles board members' salaries from $200 to $400.

* Danville Mayor Mike Shimansky begins monthly informal coffees to keep residents informed and to hear from them.

* Town of Danville opens its new Front Street parking lot, adding 81 spaces downtown.

* U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney is sworn in to represent District 11 in Congress.

* Charlotte Wood Middle School sets up fund to help Williams family with expenses for mother Debra who has been in critical condition and daughter Danielle who was killed in a car accident in December in Yolo County.

* Neighbors off I-680 rally Caltrans for rubberized cement when the freeway is resurfaced.

* District 3 Supervisor Mary N. Piepho is sworn in as chairwoman of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

* Danville holds workshops to understand senior priorities.

* Popular downtown Danville bistro Lisa B's closes its doors.

FEBRUARY

* Gazebo is completed in Hap Magee Ranch Park by Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary Club.

* Danville OKs plans for housing on Fostoria Way.

* School district OKs Mandarin language in high schools.

* Chris and James Edlund of Christe James Fine Jewelry Works named Danville Area Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year.

* Monte Vista boys and girls clinch East Bay Athletic League soccer titles.

* Tassajara Hills Elementary School opens tech center, financed by Measure A funds and parents.

* Diablo Black Men's Group holds Black History Month program of poetry and music at San Ramon Community Center.

MARCH

* Danville Planning Commission gives its OK for Davidon Homes to build 22 single-family homes on 15-acre Weber estate.

* Alamo R7-A Parks and Recreation Committee agrees to contribute $200,000 to aquatic center at San Ramon Valley High, under the condition that funds be secured by Dec. 31, 2007.

* Three district high schools host Track Invitational at Monte Vista High School, which draws thousands from 25 schools.

* Federal prosecutors charge Danville businessman Francis William "Bill" Reimers with defrauding potential investors. Reimers pleads guilty.

* College-age fake solicitors are reported to be asking for donations in Alamo and Danville neighborhoods.

* Legal counsel recommends that the school district adopt a policy regarding accepting gifts.

* Alamo Recreation programmer Valerie Matlock announces resignation; R7-A discusses how to handle position.

* Danville Police Department names Detective Paul Murphy as 2006 Officer of the Year.

* Caltrans opens southbound auxiliary lane from Diablo Road to Sycamore Valley Road.

APRIL

* Blackhawk Plaza plans revamping, including Draeger's market moving in to replace Gottschalks.

* School district sends out Measure J School Bus Program Parent Survey.

* New Danville post office on Railroad Avenue opens, at twice the former size.

* Alamo Rotary presents $1,000 checks to six schools for their music programs.

* Vally Medlyn's, a Danville favorite since the 1950s, reopens downtown.

* St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Danville bucks ultimatum on gays and continues to be welcoming to all.

* Danville Town Council OK's plans to develop Weber property.

* School district OK's special education ombudsman.

* Lunardi's Supermarket opens on Railroad Avenue in Danville in Andronico's old spot.

* Alamo Improvement Association mails board position ballots to all households in Alamo, hoping to involve more residents.

* Danville conducts a survey of seniors, which shows that older folks go to other communities for their recreation.

* Chinese American Mental Health Network hosts a panel discussion with healthcare professionals after killings at Virginia Tech by disturbed man who was Asian.

* School board OKs raising meal prices for children in the schools.

MAY

* Danville Weekly turns 2 years old.

* Danville requires owners of new homes and those doing remodels over $15,000 to install natural gas valves that shut off in event of an earthquake.

* Summer evening farmers market returns to Danville.

* Neighbors urge Danville to deny permission to Community Presbyterian Church to build youth center.

* New Home Depot Yardbirds opens in Alamo.

* Hospice and Palliative Care of Contra Costa changes it names to Hospice of the East Bay.

* YMCA kicks off community campaign to fund new 28,000-square-foot facility off Danville Boulevard.

* Rakestraw Books holds fashion show to benefit Princess Project to make sure all girls have prom dresses and accessories.

* County completes traffic improvements in Alamo, including island at north end of downtown and two lanes turning left from southbound Danville Boulevard onto Stone Valley Road.

* Danville man Curt Myers climbs to the top of Mount Everest.

* East Bay Regional Park District agrees to purchase of 228 acres adjacent to southern portion of Las Trampas Regional Wilderness.

* Kathy Moore is named Teacher of the Year for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

* Monte Vista, San Ramon Valley high schools share boys lacrosse title.

* Museum of the San Ramon Valley begins search for old photographs to be used in book celebrating town's 150th anniversary next year.

* Local animal shelters report record kitten season and ask for volunteers - and families to adopt the kitties.

JUNE

* Danville Town Council recognizes Tuskegee Airman Harold Hoskins for his achievements.

* San Ramon Valley Education Foundation hands out a record $110,000 in grant funds at its annual meeting.

* Danville resident Steven "The Cowboy" Johnson finds that his Fuzzy Duds are a local phenomenon.

* Alamo group launches drive for incorporation at a Wednesday evening meeting at Creekside Community Church.

* Neighbors of Weber property sue Danville over environmental report.

* Danville resident Evan O'Dorney wins Scripps National Spelling Bee.

* Monte Vista High science students Richard Li and Yuyang John Mei, who won the 2007 Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair sponsored by Livermore Lab in March, garner several awards at international event held in Albuquerque.

* Shelving, fixtures and equipment from the Albertsons grocery store on Diablo Road, which closed last summer, are auctioned off.

* Trustees discontinue busing in school district.

* Alamo coffee kiosk in front of Longs Drugs reopens as Casa Espresso.

JULY

* Beth Chaim Congregation opens synagogue on Camino Tassajara and Holbrook Drive.

* School district hires Todd Gary as the new special needs liaison.

* Trustee Joan Buchanan announces at Fourth of July parade that she is running for California Assembly District 15.

* Danville decides to turn decorative bricks in front of library on Front Street into a crosswalk, since everyone uses the area as one anyway.

* Danville doubles the size of the parking lot at Sycamore Valley Park and school.

* JanSport president Michael Corvino, 46, of Danville dies as he drives his 1970 Dodge Charger from Creekview Place left onto Camino Tassajara and crashes into a tree.

* County Board of Supervisors considers disbanding the San Ramon Valley Regional Planning Commission.

AUGUST

* Fire burns 11 acres in Magee Ranch after 15-year-old detonates a gopher bomb.

* Judge rules that Danville must reconsider plans for 7,124-square-foot house proposed by resident Jeff Britton, which was denied due to ridgeline policy.

* Alamo Chevron station begins massive upgrade, scheduled for completion in late November.

* Assemblyman Guy Houston announces he is running for the Board of Supervisors in District 3, an office now held by his protégé Mary N. Piepho.

* District 3 Supervisor Mary N. Piepho defends county's approval to study a development with 193 homes in the Tassajara Valley outside the urban limit line recently passed by voters.

* East Bay Regional Park District completes upgrades to portion of the Iron Horse Trail in Danville in record time.

* Danville Weekly reader steps up to pay a $2,089 vet bill for surgery to remedy a breathing disorder of Duke, the companion dog of quadriplegic Ken Quilici, after reading about his plight.

* Dougherty Valley High School opens its state-of-the-art campus.

* Assemblyman Guy Houston settles lawsuit against him, which alleged he defrauded seniors in an investment scheme.

* County Health Department tells Windmill Farms, popular open air produce stand, that it must build four walls and a ceiling or shut down.

* Danville Planning Commission makes homeowner take down home ball field's 14-foot practice fence, saying it interferes with the ridgeline views and needed a permit.

* Madison White of the USA Sharks Swim Team breaks girls 100 backstroke Western Zone's nine-year record for ages 11-12.

SEPTEMBER

* New, improved Danville Senior Services opens five-day program at Veterans Memorial Building in response to findings of senior needs survey.

* Alamo Incorporation Movement begins to collect signatures at Alamo Wine and Music Festival to present to the Local Agency Formation Commission for a feasibility study that could lead to incorporation.

* Contra Costa County Mayors Conference is first event held in new Oak Hill Park Community Center in Danville.

* Former Albertsons on San Ramon Valley Boulevard reopens as Lucky supermarket.

* After a year of legal wrangling, the Danville Town Council grudgingly votes 4-1 to allow Jeff Britton to build his home on a ridgeline.

* County supervisors vote unanimously to keep the San Ramon Valley Regional Planning Commission despite recommendation of the county planning commission to disband it.

October

* New Mustang sports complex opens on Camino Tassajara across from Tassajara Hills Elementary School.

* Alamo residents speak out against incorporation at meeting held at Alamo Women's Club.

* Longs Drugs Challenge hosts the LPGA at Blackhawk Country Club for the second year in a row.

* Veterans Memorial Building Development Committee decides it would be best to keep the Vet Hall at its current location on Hartz Avenue in Danville but wants to rebuild it. The Danville Town Council allocates $75,000 to hire a consultant to help create a plan.

* The new anchor tenant, Draeger's epicurean marketplace, opens at Blackhawk Plaza.

* Danville juggler Chris Hopkins, who had his left hand reattached after it was severed by a saw 23 years ago, rides his unicycle to the top of Mount Diablo to raise money to buy prosthetics for children.

* County health department decides Windmill Farms can stay open but it cannot sell bulk food or cut fruit in the open air.

* The 24th annual Primo's Run for Education draws record crowd to raise money for the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation.

* Developer Sid Corrie buys options to develop last walnut orchard in Danville, which is located on Camino Ramon and Fostoria Way and is owned by Armand Borel, 78.

* PG&E installs 500 new streetlights in neighborhoods along Camino Tassajara.

* San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District sends personnel to help fight fires in Southern California.

* The Alamo Danville Artists' Society opens the Pioneer Art Gallery at 524 Hartz Ave. in the former San Ramon Valley Times building, which is scheduled for demolition. Developer Brad Blake gave the group permission to use the location for gallery and work space for six months.

NOVEMBER

* Green Valley Center signs up Fresh and Easy for former Albertsons spot, which has been vacant for more than a year.

* Andrew H. Young Park in Alamo gets extra voltage in anticipation of the Christmas tree lighting next month.

* School Superintendent Rob Kessler announces he will retire at the end of the school year.

* Alamo Incorporation Movement gets enough signatures to apply for LAFCO study.

* Danville installs surveillance cameras at locations around town, including the new Oak Hill Park Community Center, to be monitored at the police station.

* County tells Danville it would consider transferring ownership of the Danville Veterans Memorial Building if the veterans develop a business plan and find funding for rebuilding.

* Street Smarts, a traffic safety program run by local towns and the school district, the county and PTAs, targets teens with its Web site, www.ithappens2u.com.

* Francis William "Bill" Reimers is sentenced to nine years in prison for mail fraud and money laundering.

* School district tries out School Loop, an online community that can be accessed by students, teachers and parents.

* Danville OKs 33 new computers at library.

* Save Mount Diablo completes its waterproof map named "Mount Diablo, Los Vaqueros & Surrounding Parks, Featuring the Diablo Trail," which was a two-and-a-half-year project.

* County tags footbridges on the Iron Horse Trail as illegal encroachments with instructions to owners to remove them.

DECEMBER

* Candace Andersen is named Danville mayor for 2008 at the Mayor's Installation and Community Service Awards on Dec. 4; the Blue Star Moms are given the special Danville Award.

* Dick Delfosse, owner of Richard's Arts and Crafts, is named Alamo's Business Person of the Year at the Alamo Tree Lighting Festival.

* Community Presbyterian Church and its neighbors present expansion plans to Design Review Board, showing they have worked together during the last six months.

* San Ramon Valley Wolves varsity football team wins North Coast Section championship.

* Culture to Culture Foundation makes plans to present its classes at senior clubs throughout the area rather than just at Alamo Women's Club where it has been based. Danville offers its classes all day Wednesday.

* Monte Vista High School 2007 graduate Chris Harvey is killed in a single car accident on Livorna Road at 2:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

* Danville Rotary gives ninth annual Peter Villa Award to Cal High football player Nick Rosato.

* Alamo's R7-A Parks and Recreation Committee votes to let its pledge for $200,000 for a new aquatic center lapse; it will reconsider the donation when plans and funding are more secure.

* Weber property lawsuit goes to court, where the judge expresses concern over the 126 trees to be removed and its impact on the environment; he has 90 days to reach a decision.

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