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El Cerrito announces upcoming road pavement work

ec streetwork

El Cerrito is planning to do pavement resurfacing work at a number of locations around town (see the map above) this week and next and advises that minor traffic delays could result.

The announcement from the city:

Roadwork Underway on various City Streets; Expect Temporary Traffic Impacts April 23, 24, 30 & May 1

El Cerrito, CA: Roadwork to improve a number of local streets in El Cerrito is underway. Weather-permitting, the pavement work planned for Wednesday and Thursday, April 23 and 24 will cause minor traffic delays (up to 5 minutes) for local traffic. The pavement work planned for Wednesday and Thursday, April 30 and May 1 will require temporary road or lane closures lasting 3-4 hours resulting in temporary detours and brief delays (up to 5 minutes) to local traffic.

This project is funded by the City’s Measure A Street Improvement Fund, (the El Cerrito Pothole Repair, Local Street Improvement and Maintenance Measure passed by voters in February 2008) and a $354,000 State-Local Partnership Program (SLPP) grant.

The street segments included in this project have moderately distressed pavement and will be resurfaced by applying an Asphalt Rubber Cape Seal treatment that is composed of a two-layer system of asphalt rubber chip seal with a slurry seal surfacing. Work has been underway for the last several weeks mainly constructing curb ramps at various locations associated with this project.

The streets included in this Project are:

· Bay Tree Lane

· Carquinez Avenue – Barrett to Lagunitas

· Cutting Blvd – Arlington to Junction

· Edwards Avenue – Barrett to Pointsett

· Jordan Avenue – Nason to Alta Punta

· Julian Drive

· Julian Court

· Knott Avenue – San Pablo to Key

· Lawrence Court

· Potrero Avenue – Arlington to Douglas

· Regency Court

· Scott Street

· Tamalpais Court

· Yuba Street – North City Limits to Zara

· Waldo Avenue – Pomona to Ashbury

More information, including a map of the project is on the City’s website at:

Posted on Monday, April 21st, 2014
Under: El Cerrito, transportation | No Comments »

Caltrans overnight paving work at maze will cause closures, detours

Caltrans issued the following news release today about paving work planned at the MacArthur Maze that starts April 24:

Caltrans Plans Polyester Overlay at Maze Structure Beginning April 24 with Full Freeway Connector Closure

ALAMEDA COUNTY – On April 24, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will initiate a paving project in the I-580/I-80 maze structure. Construction crews will lay down a fresh coat of durable, long-lasting polyester concrete.

The work schedule will be Tuesday night through Sunday morning every week for the course of the project. During the closure the MacArthur on-ramp will be closed and traffic detoured to Powell Street. The first closure will be westbound I-580 to eastbound I-80 connector (full closure). Changeable Message Signs and detour routes will be clearly visible.

Closure Times

Tuesday – Thursday

· 11:00 P.M – 5:00 A.M

Friday – Saturday

· 11:59 P.M – 7:00 A.M

Detour Routes

· Westbound I-580 traffic will be detoured on I-80 westbound to the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge Toll Plaza parking lot where commuters will be able to return to I-80 eastbound.

· The MacArthur on-ramp to I-80 eastbound will be closed and traffic detoured to Powell Street on-ramp to I-80 eastbound.

Motorists should expect delays in the area and are advised to use alternate routes during the closure period. Drivers are advised to remember that traffic fines are doubled in construction zones.

Please “Slow For The Cone Zone.” For real-time traffic, click-on Caltrans Quick Maps or follow us on Twitter.

Posted on Friday, April 18th, 2014
Under: Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, transportation | 1 Comment »

El Cerrito/Richmond then and now: A former drug store building enters the natural food age

Amerio Drugs in its neon sign glory days had an ice cream fountain counter and parking in the back, shared with neighbor El Nido Market.

The neon sign and soda fountain of Amerio Drugs on San Pablo Avenue are long gone, but the building (actually located on the Richmond side of the city limits) is still there.
Amerio succumbed to the fate of most independent pharmacies, eventually being replaced by a paint store and then sitting vacant for a number of years.
After an extensive remodeling it reopened earlier this year as The Annex, the prepared store of the El Cerrito Natural Grocery Company, which established a thriving location next door at the former El Nido Market.
The neon sign on the front of the former drug store has been replaced by a wood facade, with solar panels installed on the roof.

The El Cerrito Natural Grocery Company Annex has opened in the Amerio Drugs building, offering a salad bar instead of ice cream sodas.

Posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Under: business, El Cerrito, History, Richmond | 1 Comment »

Richmond Museum of History exhibit features home front-themed quilts, including three related to Japanese-American internment

Fourth grade students at Posten Relocation Camp in Arizona stitched their names onto panels they made while imprisoned during World War II.

Richmond Museum of History Director Melinda McCrary describes the quilt made by fourth grade Japanese-American students of teacher Masako Hirata in the Posten War Relocation Camp in Arizona, part of the “Quilts of the Home Front” exhibit at the museum through June 6.
The 70-plus-year-old quilt is one of three on display in the exhibit related to the Japanese-American internment during World War II.

Piecing Memories: Recollections of Internment

“Piecing Memories: Recollections of Internment,” a work by quilters of the Berkeley-based Japanese American Services of the East Bay, has panels of images of life in the camps, including guard towers, prisoners in uniforms and people huddling to shelter themselves from the harsh and dusty desert winds.

Threads of Remembrance

Threads of Remembrance done in three sections, with a middle panel showing a guard tower stitched into the background behind barracks denoting each of the camps.

The exhibit is on display through June 6 and there is a special admission charge of $3 along with the regular museum admission of $2. Museum hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more details visit or call 510-235-7387.
See video of the fourth-graders’s quilt and a description of it by museum director Melinda McCrary on the West County blog at

Posted on Monday, April 7th, 2014
Under: Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond | No Comments »

El Cerrito tree removal will close Cerrito Vista parking lot for two days

El Cerrito will close the parking lot at the Cerrito Vista Park tennis courts on Avis Drive from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 6 and 7 for work removing seven large dead Monterey pine trees on the park hillside. The public is advised to stay clear of the work area. For questions or concerns call the Public Works Maintenance desk at 510-215-4369.

Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Under: Cities, community, El Cerrito | No Comments »

El Cerrito shop’s Little Free Library is recovered


The Little Free Library that was stolen from in front of The Glenn Custom Framing shop on Stockton Avenue on Monday night or Tuesday morning has been recovered.
Shop owner Kathleen Glenn, who received the take-a-book, leave-a-book library last year as a birthday gift from her daughter, plans to have it back on the sidewalk as soon as weather permits and possibly with some modifications to make it harder to take.
The library had been secured to its post with long screws, but the perpetrator was able to pry it off.

Posted on Friday, February 28th, 2014
Under: business, community, Crime, El Cerrito | No Comments »

Views and mementoes from the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island 75 years ago

The Oakland Tribune ran this depiction of the Bay in 1936 with Treasure Island added by an artist to the aerial photograph.

In 1938, with the fairgrounds still under construction, a live remote radio broadcast was held featuring a band performing on a plane circling the Bay while their vocalist sang simultaneously from Treasure Island. Art Linkletter emceed for the broadcast originating on KSFO and sent out on the CBS radio network.

The Court of Flowers at night.

Here are the official lyrics to “The Bells of Treasure Isle,” the anthem of the Golden Gate International Exposition that was played a lot in 1939 and probably never heard again for decades.

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Chesterfield, semi-official sponsor of the World’s Fair on San Francisco Bay. Just ask your guide.

A nighttime view of Treasure Island from its Siamese twin, Yerba Buena Island.

San Francisco Mayor Angelo Rossi went on stage when “King of Swing” Benny Goodman and Goodman and his orchestra wowed a packed house in July 1939.

California Gov. Culbert Olson wanted to shake hands with Mr. Goodman.

Nighttime view of the statue of Pacifica.

A promotional card from the PG&E exhibit.

Postcard of Court of the Hemispheres.

Souvenir stamps.

Bet you’ve never heard the official theme of the GGIE.

The Tower of the Sun.

Posted on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, History, Richmond | No Comments »

El Cerrito: Don’t underestimate the selling power of a scantily clad woman


Looking for an investment idea for that extra income burning a hole in you pocket? Consider old matchbooks — particularly matchbooks with scantily clad women.
Two 1960s matchbooks from the It Club in El Cerrito were listed for bidding on eBay this month and attracted spirited bidding.
The most recent brought a final price of $20.50 (plus $1.50 shipping and handling) on Jan. 19.
Not a bad return for a free item someone picked up off the bar at a strip joint half a century ago. Two weeks earlier in January, a similar matchbook from the It Club, the longest running of the El Cerrito nightspots from the city’s era as “Little Reno,” did even better, selling for $38.50, plus shipping and handling.

Posted on Friday, January 24th, 2014
Under: El Cerrito, History | No Comments »

El Cerrito: Ohlone Greenway reopens


BART has completed seismic work on its elevated tracks in El Cerrito and sections of the Ohlone Greenway have reopened to pedestrians abd bicyclists. The transit agency is holding an informal celebration of the reopening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the Greenway at Fairmount Avenue next to the El Cerrito Plaza station.

Posted on Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Under: Albany, Cities, community, El Cerrito, transportation | No Comments »

El Cerrito: Musical Teens production of ‘Grease’ this weekend at Contra Costa Civic Theatre

The Musical Teens program at Contra Costa Civic Theatre will perform the 1950s musical “Grease” this weekend.

“Rydell high is filled with rebellious, thrill-loving students. Enter,
Sandy Dumbrowski, the new girl and things go crazy.
All of your favorite rock-and-roll songs with vibrant dancing and incredible voices will be on stage this coming weekend performed by the young actors from musical teens.”

Shows are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Jan. 18 and 2 p.m. Jan. 19 at CCCT, 951 Pomona Ave.

Tickets are $10, available at the door or online with more details at

The cast members are Abram Blitz, Aidan Mulqueeney, Amelia Meacham, Arianna Bertucco, Bella Mercurio, Chelsea McPheron, Devin Elias, Franny Beck, Gloria Leon, Hannah Miller, Jackie Davis, Jaya Pyne, Jenna Englund, Jordan Beck, Kyla Dullum, Lindsey Lam, Lucy Malamud-Roam, Marina Carlstroem, Mary Elsbury, Millie Kaufman, Natalie McCosker, Owen Storey, Sophia Acker, Terra Baer

Christina Martin directs and choreography is by Deirdre Ashby.

Posted on Friday, January 17th, 2014
Under: Art and entertainment, El Cerrito | No Comments »