July 4 celebration set at Memorial Park

The annual Green, Red, White & Blue Celebration from noon to 4 p.m. July 4 at Memorial Park, 1325 Portland Ave. in Albany will have contests, games, food trucks, a diaper derby, music by Bangers & Grass, a pet show, reptile show, APAL classic car show, and more to celebrate Independence Day. The Albany Chamber of Commerce will give out free ice cream in the afternoon. Admission is free.

The Albany Recreation & Community Services Department event emphasizes fun in a sustainable way, with a goal of generating zero waste by recycling and composting.

The day starts with the annual Albany Lions pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. in the Veterans Building in Memorial Park.

The annual Diaper Derby opens registration at 1:30 p.m. and starts at 2 p.m., with categories for crawlers and toddlers to see who has the fastest baby in town.

Music, games, food on July 4 at Cerrito Vista

The free Fourth of July celebration and 16th annual worldOne Festival in El Cerrito will have world music and other entertainment, food and vendor booths, a children's ride activity area, Circus Imagination, community displays, games, an art show and more from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 4 at Cerrito Vista Park and on the adjacent block of Pomona Avenue, which will be closed to traffic.

Free bike valet parking will be available on Moeser Lane.

San Pablo Avenue plan meeting set

A public meeting to discuss the draft environmental report for the San Pablo Avenue area specific plan in El Cerrito will be held at 7 p.m. July 9 at Cith Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave. It will also be the topic of a Planning Commission workshop at 7:30 p.m. July 16.

The plan will enact new guidelines governing development, and circulation of pedestrians, bicycles and motor traffic. The plan area is along San Pablo from Baxter Creek Gateway Park at the north to the Albany-El Cerrito border at the south and includes Central Avenue from the BART tracks to Interstate 80.

The EIR is available online at www.el-cerrito.org/spaSP. Printed copies area available at City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave.; Richmond City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza; and the El Cerrito Library, 6510 Stockton Ave.

The deadline for submitting written comments on the plan is July 21. For more details on the plan visit www.el-cerrito.org/index.aspx?nid=396.

Project starts on Ohlone Greenway

Construction is set to start this week in El Cerrito on the Ohlone Greenway Natural Area and Rain Garden project along the BART path between the Albany border and Fairmount Avenue, with completion expected in late August.

The project, funded by a $900,000 grant from the California Natural Resources Agency, "will create a multiuse rain garden at Fairmount Avenue and the Ohlone Greenway to treat stormwater runoff, informal play/exploration and gathering areas, restored riparian and native vegetation throughout the project area, and new wayfinding and interpretive signage," according to the city.

The project area is about 2.5 acres along the greenway, and will include a new stairway leading to El Cerrito Plaza, subject to agreement with the shopping center's owners.

The greenway segment will remain open during construction, but pedestrian and bicycle traffic at the entrance from Fairmount Avenue will be rerouted to the western edge of the path and a portion of the southern sidewalk along Fairmount Avenue will be closed to pedestrians for up to two weeks.

Learn more about the project at www.el-cerrito.org/ohlonegreenwayraingarden.

Contra Costa Sheriff warns of phone scam

Authorities are warning the public about a man pretending to be from the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office who has been calling residents and trying to scam them out of money.

Several residents reported receiving phone calls from the scammer, the sheriff's office said. The caller, who claims to be with the sheriff's office, claims there is an outstanding traffic violation or arrest warrant, have failed to appear to jury duty or for a court case, and if they do not pay fines and fees they will be arrested. The caller then instructs residents to pay over the phone with a reloadable prepaid card and gives out phone numbers belonging to the sheriff's office, authorities said.

The sheriff's office does not collect fines or fees through reloadable prepaid cards. Anyone who receives such a call should hang up, and contact the local law enforcement agency to report the incident, the sheriff's office said.

Public encouraged to be part of Relay for Life

Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society's fundraising vehicle for cancer research and education, will come to several West Contra Costa County cities this summer. Relay for Life events in West Contra Costa include:

El Cerrito: 10 a.m. July 26, Cerrito Vista Park, 950 Pomona Ave.

Pinole: 9 a.m. Aug. 9, Fernandez Park, 595 Tennent Ave.

To sign up for Relay for Life, visit the organizations's web site at http://www.relayforlife.org/

-- Chris Treadway