Join Play-a-Thon to benefit ECHS music

The music program at El Cerrito High School will have continuous live music by music students and community members at its Play-a-Thon benefit from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 5 at the campus, 540 Ashbury Ave.

The event is a fundraiser to buy new instruments for the program and music students will be getting pledges for the event that will go toward the program's goal of $75,000.

Anyone -- including students, families, friends, community members -- who plays a musical instrument is welcome to join the musicians. Details about the program and the benefit event are online at echsbands.com.

El Cerritans can recycle Christmas trees

Unflocked natural Christmas trees, which must be free of stands, ornaments, tinsel and the like, will be collected by East Bay Sanitary Company as part of regularly scheduled weekly green waste pickup between Dec. 31 and Jan. 18.

Trees should be cut up and placed in the green waste cart if possible. Otherwise, the should be put next to the green cart on the regular collection day.

Circus Pub plans to rock in the New Year

Hot Rod Jukebox will play a free New Year's Eve show from 9 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31 at the Kensington Circus Pub, 389 Colusa Ave. in Kensington. The band, a local favorite that has entertained at the St. Jerome Church festival, has a repertoire that includes old time rock and roll, rockabilly, R&B, Latin and jazz.


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All ages are welcome and there is no cover charge. Details: www.hotrodjukebox.com or 510-524-8814.

Trail Trekkers plan several outings

The El Cerrito Trail Trekkers are kicking off the new year with a schedule of free wintertime hikes, starting at 10 a.m. Jan. 5 with a Welcome to Motorcycle Hill outing that will also cover nearby trails in the Hillside Nature Area.

Meet Dave Weinstein at Navellier and Blake streets and be prepared for portions that are steep and muddy.

A second hike is set for 11 a.m. Jan. 20 on Albany Hill. Meet Susan Hampton at Albany Bowl, 540 San Pablo Ave. and again, be prepared for sections that are steep or may be muddy.

A Kensington and El Cerrito Hills Ramble at 10 a.m. Feb. 2 will take hikers to "explore urban paths in Kensington and El Cerrito, enjoy some unusual architecture, and see several trails that have been blocked over the years and need reopening." Meet Dave Weinstein near Semifreddi's bakery, 372 Colusa Ave. in Kensington.

A three-hour hike walk on and near the UC Berkeley campus that starts at 10 a.m. Feb. 8 will cover three miles and take in historic and modern buildings. Meet Bob Flasher at the downtown Berkeley BART Station plaza at Shattuck and Center streets and bring a light lunch or snack.

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

Art association opening new exhibit

The El Cerrito Art Association is hosting an exhibit of paintings by artist Sarah Whitecotton from Jan. 2 to Feb. 28 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane.

The works by Whitecotton, an artist with more than 40 years of experience, show places she has lived or visited.

"I have always been surrounded by trees, gardens and open spaces which becomes the focus of many of my paintings," she said.

Whitecotton (wwwsarahwhitecotton.com) divides her painting time between her studio in Albany and Tucson, Ariz., where she works in plein air.

The public can see the exhibit during Community Center business hours

For more details about the El Cerrito Art Association visit www.elcerritoart.org.

Magic, comedy in show at Central Stage

Bay Area magician Brian Scott will pre sent Access to Oddities, a family show with a "carnivallike atmosphere filled with magic, comedy and pure fun" in performances on Dec. 29 and 30 at the Central Stage at 5221 Central Ave., A-1, by Interstate 80 in Richmond.

Both days there will be shows at 2, 4 and 7 p.m.

The venue is a converted industrial space that provides an intimate setting that brings the audience into the show. Seating is limited.

Shaw describes Access to Oddities as "a theatrical experience where the fourth wall is broken, pushed down and pushed aside -- allowing you to instantly become a part of a show where items will vanish, objects will float, and reality in general will be twisted."

For details visit www.BrianScottProductions.com. For tickets visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/227257.

Sewer work schedule on Key Route Blvd.

Albany has revised the work schedule for its sewer main and lateral replacement project in the 900 block of Key Route Boulevard.

Contractor Pacific Trenchless is expected to start work on Jan. 2 and be done by Jan. 11.

For more details call Greg Jacobs at 510-918-2322 or Scott Jacobs at 510-417-0037.

-- Chris Treadway