Library friends preparing book sale

Friends of the Albany Library are planning their big two-day Library Book Sale for Nov. 17 and 18 and are looking for volunteers.

The sale will have books for all ages and interests, as well as records, CDs, DVDs and tapes priced at 50 cents and Christmas, holiday and special gift-quality items priced at $1 and up.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 and 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Nov. 18 in the big room at the Community Center, 1247 Marin Ave.

The sale will conclude with a $3 bag sale from 3 to 4 p.m. on the final day.

A separate sale of vintage, collectible, adult, and unusual items, including vintage magazines, will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Edith Stone Room (these items will not be part of the bag sale later).

For more details or to volunteer to help with the sale, contact the Friends at 510-526-3720, ext. 26 or friendsalbany@yahoo.com.

Senior Center hosting Thanksgiving dinner

Sign-ups are open for the annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave., is 4 to 5 p.m. Nov. 21.

Dinner is $5 and includes food, entertainment, games and friendly company.

City facilities will close for holiday

El Cerrito city offices and the Recycling Center at 7501 Schmidt Lane will be closed for Thanksgiving on Nov. 22 and both will also be closed on Nov. 23. Curbside recycling collection will take place as usual.

Santa Claus will visit at annual breakfast

El Cerrito will hold its annual Holiday Breakfast and Scholarship Fundraiser from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 8 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane.

The festivities will include breakfast served from 9 to 10:45 a.m., a visit from Santa Claus from 9:10 to 9:40 a.m. songs by children in the city's preschool and after school/child care programs from 9:45 to 10 a.m. and a holiday variety show by the ClownSnotBombs Circus from 10 to 10:45 a.m.

Tickets, available at the Community Center or online at www.el-cerrito.org/recreation, are $5 children 10 and under; $10 for ages 11 and up or a Family 4-pack good for up to three adults and one child for $25.

Chorale will present holiday concerts

Fresh off its appearance at the Home Front Festival in Richmond, the Contra Costa Chorale will hold its holiday concert "Hallelujah!" in performances at two area churches.

The program of works by Handel, Berger, Mendelssohn and other composers will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Grace Lutheran Church, 15 Santa Fe Ave. in El Cerrito and at 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at Clinton Avenue Baptist Church, 3017 Clinton Ave. in Richmond.

Tickets, available at the door, are $15 general, $12 students/seniors/disabled. Children under 12 are free. Details: www.ccchorale.org.

WriterCoach Connection training

A training session has been scheduled for people who want to be WriterCoach Connection volunteers helping high school and middle school students in Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond and Oakland to develop their ideas and writing skills. For more details and to register, visit www.writercoachconnection.org or call Mona Kafoury at 510-704-0538.

Being a coach requires a commitment of one to two hours a week for the fall and spring semesters, but no previous experience as a writer or teacher is needed.

Supervisor holding toy and coat drive

County Supervisor John Gioia has kicked off his annual drive for donations of toys, coats and hoodies for students at Verde Elementary School in North Richmond.

The event, now in its 14th year, seeks to see that every student at Verde, which serves an extremely low-income area, has warm clothing and presents for the holidays.

The effort is expanding with a concurrent collection at the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond to provide toys and hoodies for young people in the area.

Donations of new coats and new, unwrapped toys can be made no later than Dec. 7 to Gioia's office at 11780 San Pablo Ave., Suite D, in El Cerrito, or at the RYSE Youth Center at 205 41st St. in Richmond.

Cash donations to purchase toys and coats to distribute are also welcome. Checks should be made payable to: "RYSE Center," c/o 2012 Toy and Coat Drive.

For more details, contact Luz Gomez at 510-374-3231.

Holiday sale set at Albany Senior Center

The Friends of the Albany Senior Center will hold a Holiday Market and Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at the center, 846 Masonic Ave.

The sale is a one-stop source of uniques gifts and homemade baked goods. Admission is free.

Museum of History seeking volunteers

The Richmond Museum of History is seeking volunteers to help with collections care, facilities management, office/administration and visitor services. Anyone interested in helping can contact the museum at 510-235-7387 or info@richmondmuseum ofhistory.org.

While all ages are welcome, students under 18 will need parental permission.

Albany seeks applicants for boards

Albany is seeking applicants for vacancies on city boards and commissions.

"In accordance with Albany Measure H, all board, commission and committee members' terms will end in November, even-numbered years, which coincides with the Municipal Election," the city states.

Panels include the Arts Committee, Charter Review Committee, Civil Service Board,

Community Media Access Committee, Library Board, Mental Health Advisory Board, Park & Recreation Commission, Planning & Zoning Commission, Social & Economic Justice Commission, Sustainability Committee, Traffic and Safety Commission and Waterfront Committee.

People interested in applying can contact the City Clerk at 510-528-5710 or apply on line at www.albanyca.org.

El Cerrito boards need applicants

Applicants are being sought to serve on El Cerrito boards, commissions and committees.

The city has 13 panels on which some 80 people serve as members, making recommendations on areas such as arts and culture, design review, aging issues, crime prevention, economic development, environmental quality, parks and recreation, trees and more.

Anyone interested in serving can get vacancy information and an application by contacting the city clerk at 510-215-4305 or downloading the application form at www.el-cerrito.org.

Applications must be submitted to the city clerk no later than noon on Dec. 10. The City Council will conduct brief interviews with applicants in December and January. For details contact City Clerk Cheryl Morse at 510-215-4305 or cmorse@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.

-- Chris Treadway