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Another mountain lion sighting reported in El Cerrito

Something to keep in mind if you’re out on a morning walk or jog, or even just rolling you collection bin down to the curb. An El Cerrito resident reported in an online neighborhood group that she saw a mountain lion while walking her dog a little after 6 a.m. on March 15 at Stockton Avenue and Balra Drive. The location is in the hills, but only a block (as the crow flies or the lion prowls) from Cerrito Vista Park and Korematsu Middle School, and about four blocks from El Cerrito High School.
Deer and turkeys are common in the area and could be attractive game.

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El Cerrito High School hosting spring bands concert on Friday

The spring bands concert at El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Ave., is set for 7:30 p.m. March 25.
The evening will include performances by the ECHS Concert and Symphonic bands, and Wind Ensemble, and will feature special guest guest conductor Jesse Leyva, director of bands at Kent State University.
Admission is $6.
Doors open at 7:15 p.m.

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Interstate 80 lane closures in West County planned today for Caltrans road repair

Via Bay City News Service:<img src="http://www.ibabuzz.com/westcounty/files/2016/03/interstate-80-300×197.jpg" alt="Traffic moves along Interstate 80 in Richmond. Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)
There will be rolling lane closures today on Interstate Highway 80 in Contra Costa County due to repair work, according to the California Department of Transportation.
The rolling lane closures will occur from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. between El Cerrito and Crockett.
The work is to repair potholes on the highway in both the eastbound and westbound lanes.
Crews anticipate working on the highway between the Carquinez Bridge and the Alameda and Contra Costa county line near Central Avenue in El Cerrito, according to Caltrans.
Multiple lanes of traffic may be closed at a time, and Caltrans plans closures to be in the non-commute direction outside of commuting hours.

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TBT: Can you ID this once-familiar El Cerrito building?

mammys tease

This building was once a familiar sight for a long time in El Cerrito, first at its original location and even longer at the property where it was moved and attached to an existing building and given a new use. By then in rundown condition, it was ultimately torn down during a major remodeling of buildings on the property that became its second home.
Can you identify its original and/or later locations, as well as its original name and use from this photo detail?
Feel free to click the comments button above and post guesses or memories of the building.

Our thanks to the El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce for sharing this photo from its archive.

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Richmond: Happy birthday Priscilla Elder, original Rosie and Pinole resident who turns 96 today

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Priscilla Elder.

Priscilla Elder, a Pinole resident and one of the group of original women war workers who relate their experiences each Friday at the Rosie the Riveter WWII/Home Front National Historical Park visitors center in Richmond, turned 96 today and was acknowledged by Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and other dignitaries at an event with National Park Service officials today at the Craneway Pavilion.

“I had a very busy morning” at an event that brought fourth grade children to the park for a presentation of National Park family passes as part of the national “Every Kid in a Park Initiative” being coordinated with the White House.

“It turned out very nice. They let everybody know I was 96,” Elder said. Mayor Butt, who shares the same birthday, presented her with a rose, and she was also given a bouquet of roses.
“I had all kinds of congratulations and kisses. I have people say ‘You don’t look 96,’ and I say ‘But I feel like it,'” she said.

Elder and the other Rosies who volunteer at the center keep busy.
They will be at a naturalization ceremony on Thursday at the Craneway and back at the visitors center for their regular time on Friday.
Earlier this month they went to Sacramento to meet Gov. Jerry Brown, the Women’s Legislative Caucus and other elected officials. There they had brunch with the governor and were honored by both houses of the Legislature.

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Rosies at the State Capitol in Sacramento in early March: (Standing) Marian Sousa, Marian Wynn, Kay Morrison, Agnes Moore, Mary Torres, Phyllis Gould. (Seated) Margaret Archie, Priscilla Elder. Photo courtesy Rosie the Riveter Trust.

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Phyllis Elder’s biography that she gives to visitors to the park.

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Richmond: Bay Trail and Point Richmond history hikes offered this weekend

bay  trail richmond

A pair of outings incorporating portions of the Richmond shoreline are being offered on March 26, and timed to allow more intrepid to take part in both.

County Supervisor John Gioia and environmental organization San Francisco Bay Joint Venture are hosting a free one-hour walk along the Bay Trail from 10 to 11:30 a.m. March 26 to discuss “wetlands, wildlife and the progress being made to protect our Bay Area shoreline,” say organizers.
The outing is “a chance to see and discuss the restoration work being done around the Bay and how both wildlife and the public benefit,” as well as learn about regional Measure AA, which will be on the June ballot in all nine Bay Area counties seeking authorization of 20-year, $12 parcel tax for the San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program.
The walk will set out from Shimada Park at the end of Marina Bay Parkway and go along the Bay Trail to Meeker Slough and then return.

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The Richmond Plunge public swimming pool in Point Richmond. Staff photo by Kristopher Skinner.

Karen Buchanan will lead a Point Richmond history hike from 2 to 5 p.m. March 26.

The 2.5-mile outing will start and end at the Point Richmond History Museum at 139½ Washington St. at West Richmond Avenue, next to the Point Richmond Library and Community Center.

Karen will lead a 2.5-mile hike through historic downtown Point Richmond, up to the top of Nicholl Nob, down to Keller Beach, then through the tunnel and back to downtown.

Learn some local history, get some exercise (there’s a fairly strenuous section going up to the top of the hill) and see some amazing panoramic views. There will be random trivia questions and the chance to win Fabulous Small Prizes! Hope you can join us!

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Crockett: C&H will douse the lights on its famous sign for an hour

Crockette American Sugar

C&H Sugar will turn off the large sign at its refinery in Crockett for an hour on March 19 in the name of promoting sustainability during the World Wildlife Fund’s annual Earth Hour.
The company, which installed lower wattage LED bulbs in the sign last year, issued this announcement:

LIGHTS OUT AT BAY AREA LANDMARK SIGNALS CALL FOR SUSTAINABILITY

C&H Sugar refinery joins thousands of landmarks around
the globe commemorating 10th annual Earth Hour

Crockett, CA (March 18, 2016) – On Saturday, the C&H Sugar refinery in Crockett will take part in the 10th annual Earth Hour by turning off its iconic “C and H Pure Cane Sugar” sign for one hour starting at 8:30 pm.

Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement in which people and businesses turn off lights to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and to inspire positive environmental action in their communities. An initiative of the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour has grown since its inception in 2007 to engage residents, businesses and governments in more than 7,000 cities and 172 countries across the globe.

“Earth Hour’s commitment to a more sustainable planet is consistent with our values and efforts here at the refinery, especially when it comes to conserving energy, waste and water,” said C&H Sugar Refinery Manager Derwood Brady. “We hope that our participation will encourage others across the Bay Area to join us in continuing to make sustainability a priority, not just during Earth Hour but throughout the year.”

Last spring, the C&H Sugar refinery, owned by ASR Group, replaced 900 40-watt incandescent bulbs in the sign’s 22-foot tall “C” and “H” letters with eco-friendly LED light bulbs that require 80 percent less energy, resulting in an annual reduction of 90,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

The C&H sign celebrates its 60th anniversary as a Bay Area landmark in April. The refinery in Crockett has been in operation for 110 years. It employs 455 people and produces 14 percent of the nation’s cane sugar.

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Berkeley District 3 council candidate Mark Coplan outlines his platform

Mark Coplan, retired spokesman for the Berkeley Unified School District and candidate for the District 3 City Council seat, has issued the following statement about his candidacy:

Berkeley Residents: My Platform for Your Review and Consideration

Dear Editor and Berkeley Voice Readers,
I was first asked to consider running for the Council by retired teacher and neighbor Ann Einstein whose endorsement reads, “You don’t have to be an Einstein to know that Mark Coplan is good for our community. You just have to know him.” I would love to have your endorsement as well, and endorsements from friends, neighbors and community leaders are as important to me as those of elected officials and other organizations usually considered critical to a successful campaign, maybe more.

I do not plan to run a traditional campaign, and in fact I am committed to not adding to the offensive stack of junk mail that will flood your recycling bin, and my volunteers and I will be knocking on your door with green-friendly literature to personally ask for your vote instead. I intend to serve District 3 residents diligently, but I’m reaching out to all Berkeley residents as I intend for my service to positively impact all of our fine city.

I am not a career politician, but I have spent my adult life in public service, and what I have to offer is very clear – Service and Commitment. As the Public Information Officer for the Berkeley Unified School District, my energy and passion has helped me to better serve parents and staff, who have always asked, “How can you be everywhere?” Deeply committed to my community, I will bring that energy to District 3 and will commit full time as a Councilperson. I have a reputation of working effectively with all sides of the issues, with a keen ability to listen to all viewpoints and identify mutual ground and consensus. I can work with people to collectively define and implement our best ideas – and I have a reputation for being trustworthy. I will state my positions clearly and vote decisively, insuring that my constituents always know exactly where I stand.

My 20 years of serving BUSD, as a very active parent and in the administration, have given me a solid, strong understanding of protocols, public process, transparency, and a foundation for a window into the workings of city government. I’m just beginning to look more closely at some of our city issues, and I’m seeing some practical solutions that I will be drafting up to share. Furthermore, I have established professional relationships with most of our elected officials, from the local, county, to the state level, their staff, and with City of Berkeley administrators and staff.

I am sensitive to the unique issues of south Berkeley, such as racism, shootings, police relations and the impact of gentrification and redistricting which have transformed District 3’s composition. We have people of all colors, conservative and progressive pockets of young and older families, hipsters, and university students. I will visit our District 3 businesses monthly and hold regular community meetings, and listen to my District’s concerns. I intend to adopt all of the schools in District 3 and participate in their school communities, and I’ll encourage the rest of the Council to do the same (Full disclosure – Daryl Moore did it first).

I have earned community respect on all levels, and I am known for respecting everyone, including those I may disagree with. I will not allow discord with fellow councilmembers to impact my desire to find equitable solutions or mar my positive attitude. Although I may debate passionately for my neighbors, I will not disparage or attack anyone with differing views, in public or in private.
I encourage you to contact me directly with your questions and your support at markcoplan.district3@gmail.com.

Sincerely,
Mark Coplan, City Council Candidate for District 3

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