Workshop on less-toxic pest management

A free workshop on less toxic ways of managing household and garden pests will be held 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 27 at El Cerrito City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave.

The community event will include a panel presentation on integrated pest management methods to deal with common pests that are safe for wildlife, people, pets and the environment.

Specialists will then be available "to answer your questions about how to deter or get rid of common household pests like ants, rats, mice, bedbugs, termites, or garden pests like gophers, snails, slugs, aphids and weeds."

Participating agencies and organizations will include the University of California Cooperative Extension, Bio-Integral Resource Center, Contra Costa Master Gardeners, San Francisco Estuary Partnership, Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District, and the city's Public Works and Environmental Services departments.

To RSVP or get more details call 510-215-4350 or send an email to green@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.

School district holding town hall session

The next session in a series of town hall meetings on the West Contra Costa Unified School District Strategic Planning Initiative is at 10 a.m. April 27 at El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Ave. The session will be in the school's multipurpose room.

As the West County Times reported last month, "The final plan will be released in September and will be based primarily on input from the community on a number of subjects, including curriculum, school safety and facilities. But it is certain to include a strong emphasis on how to acquire and apply new technology to improve learning, said school board President Madeline Kronenberg."

Free collections of unwanted medications

Unwanted Prescription Drug Take Back events are scheduled in Albany, Berkeley and El Cerrito from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27.

The Albany event is at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave. The Berkeley event will be at the Mobile Health Vehicle, parked at 2830 Sacramento St. at Oregon Street. El Cerrito's will be at the parking lot just north of 10936 San Pablo Ave.

Drugs will be accepted, no questions asked, for safe disposal, preventing accidental poisonings, medication abuse or contaminating water by improper disposal.

Syringes and controlled substances will not be accepted.

Events nationwide have collected more than two million pounds of medications during the past three years.

Scoops for Schools has fun for community

The free annual Scoops for Schools celebration hosted by the Albany Education Foundation is 1 to 4 p.m. April 28 at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave. The AEF will have ice cream and other treats, there will be art and music by Albany students, and a silent auction to benefit the foundation and its efforts for the school district.

Free dance open house at El Cerrito High

As part of Bay Area Dance Week, the El Cerrito High School Dance Program is hosting a Studio Open House and Chldren's Dance Class from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 27 at its studios at ECHS, 540 Ashbury Ave.

Children ages 7 to 13 are invited to the all-levels jazz dance class taught by advanced students in the program, "followed by an informal, preview performance of their works in progress for their May dance concert." No dance experience is required.

Water color artist to speak at meeting

Water color painter Myrna Wacknov will give a talk and demonstration as the guest speaker at the El Cerrito Art Association meeting at 7 p.m. May 13 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane.

Meetings are open to the public. For more details contact Joanne Taeuffer at 510-526-6241.

Bargains, food, fun at senior center

Come for the bargains and stay for the eats and entertainment at the White Elephant & Polish Dog Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 27 at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave.

The sale will have household items, artwork, crafts, jewelry, books and toys, entertainment all day, and, of course polish dogs. Details: 510-524-9122

Albany shoreline cleanup for Earth Day

The Watershed Project, Citizens for East Shore Parks, East Bay Regional Park District and the city of Albany will hold a shoreline cleanup from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 27.

Volunteers will meet at the foot of Buchanan Street to pick up rubbish and create art from collected objects.

Organizers will provide refreshments and tools, but ask those that have gloves and buckets to bring them. Bringing a reusable water bottle is also advised, along with sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

The event qualifies for student service hours. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

To register visit http://albanyearthday2013cleanup.eventbrite.com/#. For more details contact Juliana at 510-224-4085 or juliana@thewatershedproject.org.

-- Chris Treadway

Free children's program at Kensington Library

Elementary school-age children can learn to make their own book at a free program at 3 p.m. May 9 at the Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Ave.

"Come design and create a simple blank book," says the library announcement. "You choose the cover, plus colored, lined, or comic book papers for the inside. Then decorate your cover and lace it all together. Use your book as a photo album, comic book, journal, scrapbook, baseball score book, or for anything else you can imagine."

Details: 510-524-3043 or ccclib.org.

Upcoming hike will take in hill views

The next outing scheduled by the El Cerrito Trail Trekkers is a Kensington-El Cerrito-Berkeley Top of the Hill Hike that starts at 10 a.m. May 25 at the Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Ave.

Hikers will "walk the edge of Wildcat Canyon, see a home by Bernard Maybeck and plenty of modern architecture, take some unusual trails, and see abandoned trails we hope to rescue," during the outing of two to three hours. There will be steep portions.

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

-- Chris Treadway