Marrow donor match found for Baylor

An Albany child suffering from a rare blood cancer received a stem cell donation on July 30. Seven-year old Baylor has acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a very rare disease for someone so young.

A series of bone marrow drives was held in the Bay Area in May. However, due to Baylor's ethnic heritage (German and Japanese), his chances of finding a match were lower than average. A matching donor was found in Germany.

Baylor was first diagnosed in 2012. He was treated and the cancer went into remission. However, it returned earlier this year.

According to cancer.org, AML is uncommon before the age of 45. Just under 19,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed this year and 10,400 people are expected to die from the disease. Younger patients tend to do better with treatment than older patients.

Summer Luau fundraiser for senior center

The Summer Luau benefit for the Albany Senior Center will offer a full evening of island-themed entertainment at 5 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave.

The evening will include a Polynesian dinner from the Albany Lions Club, hula dancing and ukulele music. Tickets are $12 adults, $6 children, available at the senior center, 846 Masonic Ave., or by calling 510-524-8940.


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Electronic freeway sign installation starts

Construction crews this week began the highly visible installation of new "smart" electronic signs along Interstate 80 from the Bay Bridge to Carquinez Bridge. Motorists are advised that some nighttime lane closures on I-80 will be necessary over the next few months during installation of eleven 25-foot tall sign frames stretching part way across the freeway. The first sign will be placed in Richmond. Expected to turn on in early 2015, the signs will flash information about traffic accidents, blocked lanes and travel times on the busy stretch of highway between Emervyville and Crockett. The signs are part of the $80 million I-80 smart corridor project, said Ivy Morrison, a project spokeswoman.

The project is funded by state transportation bonds, and transportation sales taxes from Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

Transit study gets funding boost

An additional $300,000 has been committed to study ways to connect communities north of El Cerrito and Richmond to BART. The money, generated by Measure J, the Contra Costa County-wide transportation sales tax, was pledged by the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee, matching an amount pledged earlier by BART. That means about half of the money needed for the work is in hand and another $100,000 may be forthcoming in September when the committee meets to study the scope and cost of the study, said executive Director John Nemeth. He anticipates the rest of the needed funds will come from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Contra Costa Transportation Authority or other sources.

'Rules of the Game' screening at Cerrito

The next Cerrito Classics screening is the 1939 Jean Renoir film "The Rules of the Game," showing at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, 10070 San Pablo Ave. "Often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir's 'La Regle du jeu (Rules of the Game)' was not warmly received on its original release in 1939: It was banned as morally perilous during the German occupation and the original negative was destroyed during World War II." Tickets or details: www.rialtocinemas.com.

New art exhibit opens at City Hall

An exhibit of works depicting local scenes by plein-air painters from the El Cerrito Art Association opens this week and runs through Sept. 11 in the second floor gallery space at El Cerrito City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave.

Artists in the exhibit are Myung Bae, Ikuko Boyland, Charlotte Britton, Helen Burke, Sue Collins, Marie Cotter, Beverly Gilbert, Elizabeth Kavaler, Ling Liao, and Carol Sutton. The exhibit is open to the public during regular City Hall business hours. For more details about the association visit elcerritoart.org. For details on the El Cerrito Arts and Culture Commission and the gallery space, contact Suzanne Iarla at 510-215-4318 or visit www.el-cerrito.org/acc.

Class will show ballroom dancing steps

Learn ballroom dancing at an @the Center class that will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave. Veteran instructor Charlene Gullette Van Ness will teach the swing and the fox trot and all ages are welcome. A $12 per person fee covers lesson and demonstration, and after that you'll be set to dance "to tunes by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Connick Jr. and local favorite Lavay Smith. This lesson is for beginners and for those who want to brush up on their steps."

For more details visit www.albanyca.org/@thecenter or call 510-524-9283.

-- Denis Cuff, Damin Esper, Tom Lochner and Chris Treadway