Spring Fling to benefit Albany Music Fund

Dancing to music performed by award-winning student musicians and vocalists is offered at the Albany Music Fund Spring Fling from 7 to 10 p.m. March 28 at the El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane.

Performing will be the Albany High School Jazz Band and Jazz Lab, Albany Middle School Jazz Band and vocalists from Albany High School's Rhythm Bound and Vocal Soul. A dance lesson will be offered at 7:30 p.m.

The evening will also feature appetizers and desserts, along with beer and wine for sale for adults,

Tickets are $20 general, $10 students available online at brownpapertickets.com or at the door as available.

Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Albany Music Fund, dedicated to excellence and equity in music in Albany schools.

McLaughlin to speak at Soroptimist event

The annual Every Woman has a Story speaker series hosted by the El Cerrito chapter of Soroptimist International will feature a talk with Richmond mayor Gayle McLaughlin at 7 p.m. March 23 at Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda in Berkeley.

McLaughlin is in her second term as mayor and many of her initiatives have put Richmond in the headlines. Richmond is the largest city in the United States with a Green Party mayor and McLaughlin has led a number of green and sustainability initiatives.

The evening opens with a 6:30 p.m. social time and refreshments will be served.

Tickets are $20 general, $10 students. For tickets or more details send an email to soroptivista@gmail.com or leave a message at 510-237-8918

Albany preparing general plan EIR

Albany last week issued a notice of preparation of a draft environmental impact report for its 2035 General Plan, the document that will guide development and other decisions for the next 30 years.

According to the announcement from the city planner, "The city is requesting comments from responsible agencies regarding the scope and content of the environmental document.

The public is also invited to submit comments regarding the scope of the EIR and issues that should be addressed as the document is prepared."

The city's current general plan was adopted in 1992 and "and does not address several issues of importance to city residents, such as climate change and sustainability," according to the announcement.

A 30-day comment period for public agencies ends April 14.

The community and public agencies can also comment at a scoping session for the preparation of the EIR scheduled for the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 7 p.m. March 26 in the council chambers at City Hall, 1000 San Pablo Ave.

Historical society program on John Marsh

Learn about "John Marsh and his Great Stone House" at a free El Cerrito Historical Society program at 7 p.m. March 25 in the Arlington Park Clubhouse, 1120 Arlington Blvd.

Marsh is described as "one of the most cantankerous figures in Northern California history, an Indian trader and self professed doctor who fought with the Sioux in the Black Hawk War, settled in eastern Contra Costa in 1838, prospered -- but met an unhappy end."

Gene Metz, president of the John Marsh Trust, will also discuss restoration of the 1855 stone mansion built by Marsh, located in what is now a 4,000-acre state park "with newly discovered archeological remains going back 7,000 years."

The talk is free and open to the public.

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

Women's History event to honor Skinner

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, will be the guest of honor at the free National Women's History Month celebration at 1 p.m. March 28 in the planetarium at Contra Costa College, 2640 Mission Bell Drive in San Pablo.

The event, co-hosted by the West Contra Costa Branch of the American Association, is themed "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment."

A reception with refreshments will follow the program.

For more details visit www.westcontracosta-ca.aauw.net.

Youth baseball academy sets free open house

The nonprofit Wheelhouse Academy of Baseball is holding an opening day party at its indoor facility at 5327 Jacuzzi St. in Richmond from 1 to 4 p.m. March 29 and includes food, refreshments, music and use of the batting cages and pitching lanes.

Instructors will offer free lessons on hitting, pitching and fielding and there will be a raffle drawing.

For more information visit www.wheelhouseacademy.com or call 510-525-2989.

-- Chris Treadway