New Year in Martinez Has Its Own Spirit

1999-12-24 04:00:00 PDT Contra Costa County -- The city of Martinez is sponsoring an alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration, with 15 downtown stages and fireworks at midnight.

Sally Hogarty, spokeswoman for First Night Martinez, said the fun begins at 4 p.m., with a children's party featuring clowns and fire-jugglers, followed by a people's parade at 6 p.m.

The evening's entertainment includes gospel, country music, rock 'n' roll and hip-hop for teenagers. Ticket buttons cost $7 in advance at Long's Drugs and Ace Hardware, and $10 next Friday. (925) 372-8295.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTSHOW: Livermore resident
Deacon Dave Rezendes could make the Guinness Book of Records -- he has illuminated his house and yard with 193,000 lights and 20 Christmas trees.

"I thoroughly enjoy the holiday," Rezendes said. "People slow down and are more tolerant of each other."

The dazzling display can be seen nightly from 5:30 p.m. at 352 Hillcrest Ave., off East Avenue.

FELLOWSHIPS: Four scientists at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory have won fellowships from the prestigious American Physical Society .

Michael Key, Stephen Libby, Kennedy Reed and Peter Young were hailed for their original research, including an X-ray laser and experiments with hot, ionized gases.

"I'm touched," said Libby, recognized for his work in condensed matter and plasma physics. "It's really a very pleasant thing."

NEW MAYOR: Clayton's new mayor, Chuck Escover , now has office hours every Thursday in City Hall.

Residents can make an appointment to see him at 100 Gregory Lane between 4:30 and 6 p.m., by phoning (925) 671-5267.