Media committee has vacancies

Albany is seeking applicants for three vacancies on its Community Media Access Committee. Those interested in serving can call 510-528-5710 for an application that should be filed with the Deputy City Clerk in the Administration Office, City Hall, 1000 San Pablo Avenue, Albany, CA, 94706.

An application can also filled out and submitted online at www.albanyca.org.

Gioia named head of state counties panel

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia is the new president of the California State Association of Counties for 2014. He succeeds Del Norte County Supervisor David Finigan,

The association elected Gioia and installed him Nov. 21 at its annual meeting in San Jose, according to a news release. The association describes itself as the voice of California's 58 counties at the state and federal level.

In an acceptance speech, Gioia recommended that county supervisors put an emphasis on prevention.

"We know, and research bears this out, that the more we invest in prevention like health and wellness programs, youth services, and workforce training, to name just a few, the less we will spend down the road on medical care and criminal prosecution and jails," he said. "We either invest now or pay more later."

Gioia, a Richmond resident and El Cerrito High School alum, has been a Contra Costa supervisor since 1999 and an officer of the state association for the past two years.

Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa will be the state association's first vice president for 2014; Amador County Supervisor Richard Forster will be second vice president.

El Cerrito seeks input on smoking regulations

El Cerrito is asking residents to take an online survey at www.el-cerrito.org/smoking on types of regulations desired to protect the public from secondhand smoke.

The city, which received an "F" grade from the American Lung Association in 2013 regarding its tobacco policies, has made "Ensure the Public's Health and Safety" one of the goals in its strategic plan adopted earlier this year.

A community Smoke Protection workshop will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 27 at City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave.

Public input will be used to develop a draft ordinance for the City Council to consider in spring or early summer.

For more details or to request a hard-copy of the survey, contact Assistant City Manager Karen Pinkos at kpinkos@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us or 510-215-4302.

Donations sought for annual drive

The annual Donation Drive in Albany is accepting used and new coats, nonperishable food, and new toys through Dec. 20.

Donation locations are at City Hall, 1000 San Pablo Ave.; the Community Center, 1247 Marin Ave.; and the Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave. (food only).

Donations will go to Operation Dignity for distribution at the Albany Temporary Transition Shelter, the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond and the Alameda County Food Bank.

Library offers databases to grantseekers

The El Cerrito Library, 6510 Stockton Ave., is now offering The Foundation Directory Online, calling it a "valuable new resource" for nonprofit organizations and other grantseekers in West Contra Costa County.

The directory has online databases with more than 100,000 U.S. grantmakers and Foundation Grants to Individuals profiles available on all full-service computers at the branch.

"Established in 1956, the Foundation Center (foundationcenter.org) is the nation's leading authority on organized philanthropy, serving grantseekers, grantmakers, researchers, policymakers, the media and the general public."

Reservations for computers can be made at ccclib.org or by calling 510-526-7512.

'White Christmas' screening at Cerrito

The next Cerrito Classic at the Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, 10070 San Pablo Ave., is "White Christmas," the 1954 holiday musical starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen at 10 a.m. Dec. 14.

Admission is free with your donation of a new, unwrapped toy or game suitable for ages 0-12 for the annual Richmond/El Firefighters Toy Program.

Winter concerts set at El Cerrito High School

The El Cerrito High School music program holds its first Winter Concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 in the Performing Arts Center, 540 Ashbury Ave.

The program will feature seasonal selections played by the school's Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Workshop, Jazz Lab and Jazz Combo.

A second concert with the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony will be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Performing Arts Center.

-- Tom Lochner and Chris Treadway