November 2023

Vol 7: Issue 11


The Shadelands Scene

Your place for community news, updates, and insights





"'Jiu jitsu’ is a Japanese term that translates as 'gentle art,’” says Alex Canders, owner of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu and lifelong martial arts practitioner. “Still, jiu jitsu’s function is to resist an opponent with grapples, pins, and take downs, so it is a close combat sport.”

With no intent to do damage or incapacitate the opponent, jiu jitsu is designed to defend, restrain, and force a submission from opponents within a certain goal for sport. In a sense, opponents try to checkmate each other.

“The mindset is, 'My goal is not to hurt you; my goal is to make you give up using your strength to my advantage,'” says Alex. Iron sharpens iron.

Inspired by the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of the 1990s, Alex has been practicing martial arts since the age of 11, and instructing and competing since the age of 15. With a storied career in martial arts mastery, Alex opened 10th Planet Walnut Creek, which is part of the world-wide 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Association, in 2013—he’s been in Shadelands since 2015.

10th Planet offers a wide range of classes for children (ages 4 and up) and adults, MondaySaturday, (morning, mid-day, and late afternoon/early evening), with open-mat Sundays for members who want to spar or practice their moves.

Adults are drawn to jiu jitsu for its physical activity, self-defense, and competition components, as are children, who eagerly join in the fun for play and release of high energy.

“We are battling each other through positive physical contact, which is exciting, and there is thrill in the take down,” says Alex. “But there is structure in jiu jitsu—a systematic and strategic path of moves and choices for adults and for the youngest of students.

"One of the first things we teach is that we’re taking on someone else who will work against us for the sake of making us better. We respect that, because we cannot do this by ourselves.

“And, we're going to lose sometimes, and jiu jitsu tells us to take a deep breath and come back from that with a more strategic choice. It’s all a part of the process of getting better.”

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu

Walnut Creek

325 N. Wiget, Suite 150

Walnut Creek, CA 94598


Alex Canders instructs the Tiny Tigers, who take turns using jiu jitsu techniques to pin opponents.

10th Planet Walnut Creek is a positive, supportive, expert training gym, designed and developed by owner Alex Canders to be the kind of place where he, himself, would love to train.

Jiu jitsu, an ancient martial arts discipline dating back to the 1500s, is popular today for physical fitness, self-defense, and competition.

For a list of member classes, contact Alex via text at 210.802.6644, or fill out the adult application form or youth application form and submit online.


Food Truck Thursdays, located in the parking lot of Kaiser Permanente Park Shadelands Medical Offices at 370 Lennon Lane, continues through November and December.

Open to the public Thursdays, 11:30am–2pm, Food Truck Thursdays is presented by Taste of the World Market, whose motto is Taste International. Support Local.

In November, look for:

King Gyro & Kabob, Nov. 2

Crazy Empanadas, Nov. 9

Rosie's Food Truck, Nov. 16

Cousins Maine Lobster, Nov. 30

Bring your appetite, family & friends!

Food truck line-up and food truck appearance are subject to change.

Food Truck Thursdays


Kaiser Permanente

Park Shadelands Medical Offices

370 Lennon Lane

Walnut Creek

Los Rockeros, flavors of Mexico, October 19



"The last several years have been hard on many pets—puppies and young dogs in particular—who are suffering stress and anxiety as their guardians go back to work and school, and travel away from home for longer periods of time,” says Dana Thistlethwaite, DVM, Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital.

“Many people adopted pups during the pandemic and stayed home with them all day, keeping them in and away from other people and animals. These pups missed opportunities to both socialize and learn to be alone and self-soothe.”

Now that pet owners are returning to their busy lives post-COVID, many "pandemic pups," left alone at home, are demonstrating destructive, aggressive, or antisocial behaviors. Some otherwise calm pets are showing undue stress and anxiety when being handled during vet visits.

“It’s a lot to ask of a dog to say, ‘You’ve gone from having me all the time to now having to spend time on your own,’” says Dr. Thistlethwaite. “We need to be mindful of the cues our dogs are giving us and help them become happy, confident, and well-behaved dogs.”

Dr. Thistlethwaite suggests a mild sedative for anxious dogs prior to vet visits. And she encourages "happy puppy visits, outside of a medical exam, just for hugs and treats and pats on the head, so the pups see that coming to the vet isn't all bad.”

Allowing puppies and young dogs to meet new people and other animals is key to socializing, as is getting out for regular walks—once fully vaccinated—and experiencing a variety of human and animal situations.

To break up long hours alone, paid dog sitters can come in to feed, walk, and socialize with their charges; and neighborhood children can be asked to play with pups and dogs who crave the attention and company.

Puppies and dogs who act out may be experiencing anxiety or boredom.

Walnut Creek

Veterinary Hospital

540 Lennon Lane

Walnut Creek


Socialization helps puppies grow into confident dogs, able to play with others and self-soothe.

The Animal Rescue Foundation, in Shadelands on Mitchell Drive, offers puppy socials and group training classes for dogs of all ages that help them learn the fundamentals of good behavior.

A well-trained dog who will sit and lay down on command can help de-escalate stressful, disruptive situations at home and in public.


Artist Connect

Wednesday, November 8


Artist Connect is a networking event tailored for seasoned teaching artists and for people who are exploring careers in arts education. The casual setting provides a space for sharing insights, fostering relationships, and nurturing creativity as attendees exchange ideas with fellow artists, educators, and community members. Community Arts teaching artists will share their experiences and artistic journeys. Open to adults 18+. Register.

Handcrafted Holiday Sale

Saturday, December 9


Sunday, December 10


Enjoy a weekend of holiday shopping for handcrafted items created by Community Arts teaching artists and students. Find distinctive, one-of-a-kind gifts from artists who specialize in glass, painting, ceramics, jewelry, printmaking, photography, fiber arts, and more. Proceeds benefit Center for Community Arts, the Clay Arts Guild, and the Community Arts Foundation. Learn more.

Center for Community Arts

111 N. Wiget Lane

Walnut Creek



The Community Arts Foundation (CAF), which advocates for arts learning experiences through Walnut Creek's Center for Community Arts, and provides scholarships for art students in need, is actively seeking new board members.

"We work to raise funds for our county-wide scholarship program, which serves students of all ages who want to pursue their passion in the arts at Center for Community Arts," says Lee Oller, board co-president. "Together, we work to provide access to arts education for all, regardless of the ability to pay."

CAF is currently looking for individuals with experience in marketing and social media, as well as those with fundraising and finance experience. 

"Above all," says Lee, "we welcome voices and perspectives from all backgrounds—people who are passionate about the future of arts and culture in our community."

For more information and to apply, contact Development Director Cole Portocarrero,

Community Arts Foundation

1666 N. Main Street

Walnut Creek


Engage. Inspire. Motivate.

19th Annual

East Bay Women's Conference

HerStory in the Making

Presented by the

Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau in

Association with

Kaiser Permanente

Tuesday, March 5, 2024


Lesher Center for the Arts

1601 Civic Drive

Walnut Creek

The East Bay Women’s Conference is a premier, one-day conference designed to inspire and empower women from all walks of life.

Keynote speakers. Book signings. Networking. Exhibitors. Lunch. Reception. And more.

Save your seat today with early registration pricing, available through December 31, 2023.

The price goes up January 1, 2024.

Register Today

The 2024 East Bay Women's Conference will be held, once again, at the stunning Lesher Center for the Arts, March 5.

East Bay

Women's Conference

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The 2024 EBWC keynote speaker line-up


The annual food drive at Kaiperm Credit Union benefiting Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa, a nonprofit that's been feeding the hungry since 1983, continues through January 19, 2024.

The food drive barrel is located in Kaiperm's lobby, just inside the front doors at 325 N. Wiget Lane, Ste. 130.

Kaiperm Food Drive

Now–January 19, 2024

Benefiting Loaves and Fishes

Consider picking up a few extra non-perishables the next time you make a grocery run, and then visit Kaiperm on your lunch hour to help keep the pantry shelves stocked and our hungry neighbors fed.

Receive a free Kaiperm reusable tote bag for your donation!

Donation Wish List:

• Bottled water

• Peanut butter

• Oatmeal, cereal

• Pasta, pasta sauce

• Snack cups, snack bars

• Tuna, rice, beans, soups

• Canned proteins, fruits, veggies

Please, no glass or expired food.

Kaiperm Credit Union

325 N. Wiget Lane

Suite 130

Walnut Creek


Donating food is an easy way to make a profound difference in the lives of others.



Join the Walnut Creek Homeless Task Force for its 6th annual community forum, Affordable Housing: Busting the Myths, Monday, November 13, 68pm, in the Walnut Creek City Council chambers.

City leadership and housing developers, both affordable and market rate projects, will share insights, and dispel the myths that often cloud the discussion.

Attendees will gain an understanding of affordable housing programs and services in place that support housing efforts.

Free and open to the public, the Forum is a hybrid event.

• In-person: Walnut Creek City Council Chambers, City Hall, 1666 North Main Street, Walnut Creek.

• Via Zoom: Community Forum

Affordable Housing:

Busting the Myths

Monday, November 13


Walnut Creek Community Forum

Presented by the

Walnut Creek

Homeless Task Force

Registration requested.


Walnut Creek

City Council Chambers

1st Floor, City Hall

1666 North Main Street

Walnut Creek

Zoom Link

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