BART runs until 3 a.m. on New Year's Eve

BART is extending overnight service on Dec. 31 until 3 a.m. for New Year's revelers who don't want to drive.

The district announced it will have extra staff and trains on duty throughout its system that night, and that trains will run every 20 minutes after midnight with extra trains standing by in downtown San Francisco after the fireworks show.

From 8 p.m. trains on certain lines will use a "skip-stop" pattern at the system's busiest stations -- Embarcadero, Montgomery, and West Oakland -- to lessen crowding on the platforms.

San Francisco-bound trains on the Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond lines will not stop at Embarcadero Station.

Trains from the Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont lines will not stop at Montgomery Street Station, but will stop at Embarcadero Station.

After the fireworks end, East Bay-bound trains on the Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond lines will not stop at Embarcadero Station. Passengers on those lines should board at Montgomery Street. The Dublin/ Pleasanton and Fremont lines will stop at Embarcadero Station, but not at Montgomery.

Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont trains will not stop at West Oakland, instead making their first East Bay stop at Lake Merritt.

Passengers are advised to purchase round trip tickets in advance or have sufficient value on a Clipper Card.

"Trains will be full on New Year's Eve, which is why BART encourages customers to leave bikes and pets at home," the district announced. "Non-folding bikes are never allowed on a crowded car or in the first car of any train regardless of how empty it may be. BART riders are also reminded that there is no eating or drinking allowed on trains."

Service on Jan. 1 will be on the system's holiday/Sunday schedule.

Learn about life of Mayor J. Stitt Wilson

The life of former J. Stitt Wilson, who became the first Socialist mayor in the United States on his election in April 1911, is the topic of a free talk from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 11 in the thirdrd Floor Community Meeting Room at the Berkeley Public Library at 2090 Kittredge St.

"A former minister who preached the social gospel, his two years as mayor were only a small part in a life dedicated to creating a cooperative society in which 'every person in the world can attain to the highest development of his being,'" is the library's description of the mayor.

The speaker is author Stephen Barton, who is working on a biography about Wilson (1868-1942).

The program is presented by Friends of the Berkeley Public Library. Details: 510-982-6148.

Police association holding blood drive

The Red Cross bus will be in town when the Berkeley Police Association holds a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 2 at 1834 University Ave.

To schedule a donation appointment call 510-843-4319 or go to redcrossblood.org and enter the code BPA.

Free presentation on historic Hearst Ranch

The history and sights of the sprawling 82,000-acre Hearst Ranch in Central California, which includes the landmark Hearst Castle, will be the topic of a free discussion and slideshow presented by the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17.

The speaker will be Victoria Kastner, author of the book "Hearst Ranch: Family, Land, and Legacy."

Admission to the talk at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave., is by reservation only, which can be made at landmarkheritage@att.net.

Winter session classes at Berkeley Rep

A winter session of 47 classes available for youths, teens, and adults interested in the stage starts Jan. 6 at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, 2071 Addison St.

Classes are for all ages and abilities, from beginners to professionals. Financial aid is available for youths under 18.

For more details on classes or affordable outreach programs for local schools call 510-647-2972, e-mail school@berkeleyrep.org, or visit berkeleyrep.org/school.

New Year's celebration for young ones

The Albany Recreation Department is hosting a "Noon Year's Eve," a free daytime celebration for children 11 and under who can't stay up late, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave. The event will feature music, party kits, crafts and activities, along with a Times-Square-style ball drop at noon.

Winter class for young magicians

Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, 10979 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito, is holding a Winter Magic Camp Jr. over the winter school break that is "tailored especially for budding magicians of any level or ability aged 5 to 8 years old." Award-winning magician and second-grade teacher Mike Della Penna will lead the two-hour workshop.

Available sessions, limited to 10 campers each, are 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 27 or Dec. 30. Cost is $40, which includes a $25 value all-day pass for one adult and one child to the games and attractions at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach.

Details: www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org or 510-592-3002.

-- Chris Treadway