El Cerrito garbage fees clarification

Garbage and recycling collection fees in El Cerrito that were noted in a story in the Dec. 21 Journal were correct, but did not describe the total fee customers would pay, which has caused some confusion when East Bay Sanitary bills arrived in mailboxes this week.

"The 2013 City of El Cerrito Solid Waste Rate Sheet (http://bit.ly/12ZhxtC) lists the total monthly costs that subscribers will see on their bills, which include the garbage rates and recycling fees as reported," notes the city's Environmental Services Division. "The total monthly rate for all services is $29.99 for a 20-gallon garbage customer, $39.99 for a 35-gallon customer, and $79.99 for a 64-gallon customer."

Due to an editing error, the story also mistakenly referred to the city's Recycling and Environmental Education Center instead of the Recycling and Environmental Resources Center.

El Cerritans can recycle Christmas trees

Unflocked natural Christmas trees, which must be free of stands, ornaments, tinsel and the like, will be collected by East Bay Sanitary Company as part of regularly scheduled weekly green waste pickup between through Jan. 18.

Trees should be cut up and placed in the green waste cart if possible. Otherwise, they should be put next to the green cart on the regular collection day.

Officers shoot man pistol-whipping woman


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El Cerrito officers shot and critically wounded a man who was pistol-whipping a woman at a gas station Dec. 27, police said.

A 911 caller reported a verbal argument between a man and a woman about 6:40 p.m. Thursday, police said. As officers headed to the scene, other callers reported that the man was beating a woman behind the Chevron gas station at San Pablo Avenue and Potrero Avenue.

When two officers arrived, they saw the man pistol-whipping a woman with a handgun. They both fired and struck the man, who was taken to a hospital.

The officers involved in the shooting have a combined eight years of law enforcement experience, according to a police statement.

Join Play-a-Thon to benefit ECHS music

The music program at El Cerrito High School will have continuous live music by music students and community members at its Play-a-Thon benefit from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 5 at the campus, 540 Ashbury Ave.

The event is a fundraiser to buy new instruments for the program and music students will be getting pledges for the event that will go toward the program's goal of $75,000.

Anyone -- including students, families, friends, community members -- who plays a musical instrument is welcome to join the musicians. Details about the program and the benefit event are online at echsbands.com.

Classes enrolling at Contra Costa College

Registration opened this week for the spring semester at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, with classes set to begin Jan. 12.

Because voters approved state Proposition 30, the college has added more than 50 new classes to the course schedule. Offerings include courses transferrable to four-year institutions, classes for lifelong learners, career technical training courses and online courses.

Students can register online at www.contracosta.edu, where class schedules are available, or in person from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the new Student Services Center at the college, 2600 Mission Bell Drive.

Trail Trekkers plan several outings

The El Cerrito Trail Trekkers are kicking off the new year with a schedule of free wintertime hikes, starting at 10 a.m. Jan. 5 with a Welcome to Motorcycle Hill outing that will also cover nearby trails in the Hillside Nature Area.

Meet Dave Weinstein at Navellier and Blake streets and be prepared for portions that are steep and muddy.

A second hike is set for 11 a.m. Jan. 20 on Albany Hill. Meet Susan Hampton at Albany Bowl, 540 San Pablo Ave. and again, be prepared for sections that are steep or may be muddy.

A Kensington and El Cerrito Hills Ramble at 10 a.m. Feb. 2 will take hikers to "explore urban paths in Kensington and El Cerrito, enjoy some unusual architecture, and see several trails that have been blocked over the years and need reopening." Meet Dave Weinstein near Semifreddi's bakery, 372 Colusa Ave. in Kensington.

A three-hour hike walk on and near the UC Berkeley campus that starts at 10 a.m. Feb. 8 will cover three miles and take in historic and modern buildings. Meet Bob Flasher at the downtown Berkeley BART Station plaza at Shattuck and Center streets and bring a light lunch or snack.

For more details contact Dave Weinstein at 510-524-1737 or davidsweinstein@yahoo.com or visit www.ectrailtrekkers.org.

-- Daniel M. Jimenez and Chris Treadway