Recent years have seen El Cerrito build a new City Hall, refurbish its swim center, rebuild its recycling center and add a new dog park, among other projects.
Civic boosters now turn their eyes to what appears to be the city's most pressing need: the aging El Cerrito Library.
A group called the El Cerrito New Library Campaign Committee is holding two meetings this month to hear the community's thoughts and suggestions about replacing the existing branch on Stockton Avenue behind Fairmont School.
Meetings will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 2 and 5:30 p.m. Aug. 18, both at the library, 6510 Stockton Ave.
"The staff at the current El Cerrito library does an excellent job serving the community from an outdated facility. Computers, e-books, automated checkout, Wi-Fi and other modern services are all available," writes the committee. "But a larger, more modern library and learning center would better serve the community and be a focal point of activity in town."
Members note that the current branch was built in 1949 and last remodeled in 1960.
Discussion will include assessing the need for a new facility, what features and new services it should offer, where it would be best located, whether the branch should be combined with other facilities and how to best organize a new library campaign.
"Comments on all aspects of the library are welcome," the committee notes. "The goal of the meetings is to learn what the community thinks and
Committee members Amalia Cunningham, Grace MacNeill, Al Miller, Tom Panas, Gary Pokorny, Steven Poulos and Amy Rogers welcome the chance to discuss the project and explain the reasons for replacing the current branch with a modern facility.
HIKE IN MEMORY OF JUDGE HUBER: William F. Huber is best remembered these days for the park in El Cerrito's hills named in his honor. Huber was a mover and shaker in West Contra Costa dating to the days before El Cerrito became a city. He served as justice of the peace in San Pablo and Stege Junction, speculated in real estate and helped organize a committee that almost led to the annexation of Rust (now El Cerrito) into Richmond in 1911.
After El Cerrito's incorporation, Huber was a longtime councilman and mayor, held benefits at Huber Hall, served on the first board of the Stege Sanitary District and ran the small traffic court as the city's justice of the peace.
Huber, a veteran of the Spanish-American War, died in 1965 and is buried at Sunset View Cemetery.
The William Huber Memorial Trail Hike is a free event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday will commemorate the longtime civic leader with an outing through Huber Park on Terrace Avenue and adjoining trailway.
The park, which was named in Huber's honor, was built in the 1930s by the Depression-era Works Progress Administration.
"This hike will take us through Huber Park with its WPA stone walls and on or near several city paths, including some that are temporarily 'impassable,'" said tour leader Dave Weinstein of El Cerrito Trail Trekkers.
This hike is described as "moderate, with some steep sections."
To participate, meet at 10 a.m. in front of Well Grounded Coffee and Tea, 6925 Stockton Ave.
For more details contact Weinstein at 510-524-1737 or email@example.com.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: Five young people from the Boys and Girls Club of El Sobrante got memories of a lifetime as special guests with VIP treatment Monday for the fundraising appearance by President Barack Obama at the Fox Oakland Theatre. The visit was arranged with the assistance of U.S. Rep. George Miller.
For details contact Nel Benningshof at 510-237-2036.