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Panas Honored for Work on Japanese-American Nurseries
By Charles Burress | 10/16/2012 |  The Patch
Tom Panas of El Cerrito was honored with an "Outstanding Leadership" certificate from the Contra Costa chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League for helping preserve and tell the history of local Japanese-American flower growers. ... Panas is a board member of the El Cerrito Historical Society who has devoted considerable time and energy to documenting the history of the Japanese-American nurseries that once flourished in parts of the Richmond and El Cerrito.
     He was at the library Thursday night for a screening of on the bygone flower-growing community and the ordeal of being uprooted by the World War II relocation of people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. His role at the event was to provide a historical overview of the nurseries and the families who operated them.  Complete article:

http://patch.com/california/elcerrito/feeling-its-oats-at-37-historical-society-drawing-crowds
West Contra Costa schools:
Familiar, fresh faces compete in November race


By Joyce Tsai | 8/18/2016 |  East Bay Times

Seven candidates will be competing for two open seats on the West Contra Costa school board on the Nov. 8 ballot. ...
Antonio Medrano, a former school board trustee who served from 2008 to 2012 before losing his re-election bid. He is a retired community college and high school teacher who remains active in the district.
Don Gosney heads the Ivy League Connection and is an ally of former board President Charles Ramsey. He has been an outspoken critic of spending $1 million for a forensic audit of the district's $1.6 billion school construction bond program.
Tom Panas, chairman of the district's Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.
He has advocated for the forensic audit, as well as increased transparency and accountability for the district.
... 

Complete article:
eastbaytimes.com/breaking-news/ci_30260169/west-contra-costa-schools-new-faces-compete-crowded
By Rick Radin | 9/24/2014 |  East Bay Times
EL CERRITO -- To say that Tom Panas was an obvious candidate for El Cerrito's Wall of Fame that honors residents for "above and beyond" contributions to the community is to risk understatement.
     Panas, who was named to the select group in July, has been a key instigator of the city's growing commitment to preserving its history, architectural and otherwise. He has also worked for years to improve residents' quality of life with his service on El Cerrito's New Library Committee that is trying to help the city build a larger state-of-the-art facility to replace the antiquated existing structure. 
  
    "I think Tom has been a remarkable asset to the community," said Grace MacNeill, a retired El Cerrito branch librarian and a colleague on the New Library Committee
    Panas, 63, moved to El Cerrito from his hometown of Santa Rosa in 1975, when he began working on his master's degree in business at UC Berkeley. Soon after, he began taking an interest in civic affairs, particularly historical preservation. ...
    Panas began fighting to preserve what was left of El Cerrito's historical resources, working with state and federal authorities to identify and protect significant structures.
    He was successful in placing the Chung Mei Home for Chinese Boys on Elm Street on the National Register of Historic Places. Although the building was modified in recent years to house a private school, its designation as a historic district preserves the integrity of the role it once played. ... Complete article:

eastbaytimes.com/west-county-times/ci_26599373/el-cerritos-newest-wall-fame-member-has-passion
Tom Panas presenting a teacher recognition award at Bright Futures fundraiser event
El Cerrito's newest Wall of Fame member has passion for city and its history
Gabe Quinto, Tom Panas and Grace Mac Neill at Loving Day Celebration in El Cerrito
Tom Panas receiving Hall of Fame Award