First Street Play event of the year in El Cerrito

The event known as Street Play, which diverts motor traffic for a day to open a roadway for community recreation, returns to the north side of El Cerrito from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 28 on portions of Conlon and Key avenues near Baxter Creek.

The all-ages event is a block party-plus, with city organizers encouraging residents to come outside and hold games, take part in crafts and demonstrations, picnic and listen to live music.

Possible activities could include a car-free bike zone and bicycle obstacle course, volleyball, table tennis, chess, dodge ball, street soccer, tug of war, hula hoops, and chalk art.

A second Street Play event,"Alberrito Streets," is planned by Albany and El Cerrito for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29 on portions of Ashbury Avenue in El Cerrito and Key Route Boulevard in Albany.

To get involved as an activity leader, performer or sponsor contact the Recreation Department at 510-559-7000.

Kids Day at the Albany farmers market is July 31

The Albany farmers market will host Kids Day from 3 to 7 p.m. July 31 on the block of Solano Avenue west of San Pablo Avenue.

Activities will include a free bounce house, music, face painting, hands-on activities, and more.

Musicians and Albany school teachers Michael DeWall and Peter Elman will share songs and activities from their book and CD "Rhymes in Time." and the Green Branch Library for Young Change-Makers will have books available.

Details: 510-548-3333 or ecologycenter.org/fm.

Boyle to speak at St. Vincent de Paul benefit event

Father Gregory Boyle, the founder and director of Homeboy Industries of East Los Angeles, will speak at a fundraising event for St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County at 7 p.m. Aug. 8 at Saint Mary's College High School, 1294 Albina Ave.

Boyle, former chaplain at the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and Folsom Prison and the pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, is the author of The New York Times Bestselling book, "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion."

The lecture is part of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County's yearlong 75th anniversary celebration. Tickets are $40 for reception; $25 for general admission (program only); and $15 for youth, 18 and under (program only), available at http://svdpalameda.eventbrite.com/.

Learn more about St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County at www.svdp-alameda.org.

Annual reunion celebrates Pacific Coast League

The late Dick Dobbins, a Berkeley native, was among the foremost collectors and compilers of artifacts from the golden age of baseball's Pacific Coast League during its glory days from 1903 until the arrival of Major League Baseball on the West Coast in 1958.

Dobbins, then attending Berkeley High School, rescued records, trophies and other items of the Oakland Oaks after the team had left town and their Emeryville ballpark was being torn down in 1956. It became a lifelong passion for Dobbins, and that love is carried on at an annual event named in his honor.

The 19th annual Northern California Dick Dobbins PCL Player and Family Reunion will be held 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at Ryan O'Connell Hall, 575 West Estudillo Ave. at San Leandro Boulevard in San Leandro.

The day always includes players and PCL enthusiasts and a program about the history of a league that was good enough that many considered it "the third major league" in its golden era.

Admission is $24 with lunch (RSVP by Aug. 18) or $8 without.

To reserve a seat send a check made out to PCLHS to PCLHS, 420 Robinson Circle, Placentia, CA 92870. For more details call Mark Macrae at 510-538-6245.

Author to speak at upcoming bagel brunch

Author Barbara Leff will share selections from her debut poetry collection "And God Said ... A Brief History of Creation" at a Sunday bagel brunch at 10 a.m. Aug. 11 at Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central in Richmond.

The event is open to the community and there is a $5 suggested donation.

For more information, call 510-223-2560 or visit www.tbhrichmond.org.

City seeks applicants for commission openings

Residents are being sought for board, commission and committee vacancies in El Cerrito.

Upcoming openings include a seat on the Arts and Culture Commission, eight seats on the Crime Prevention Committee, a seat on the Economic Development Board, four seats on the Environmental Quality Committee, and an alternate's seat on the WCCUSD Bond Oversight Committee.

Commissioners are appointed by the City Council for terms of four years and meetings are generally held once a month during evening hours.

For details or an application contact the City Clerk at 510-215-4305.

-- Chris Treadway

Register for annual National Night Out

The police departments in Albany and El Cerrito are encouraging residents to participate in National Night Out, the annual anti-crime event on Aug. 6 by hosting or attending block parties in their neighborhood.

Neighborhoods host get-togethers as a way to strengthen community and police partnerships.

The registration form for Albany is online at www.albanyca.org/index.aspx?page=903, or residents can contact Karina Tindol at the Albany Police Department, 510-528-5755 or ktindol@albanyca.org.

Details and registration for the El Cerrito event is online at www.el-cerrito.org/index.aspx?NID=271

El Cerrito High classes of 1972-74 reunion

Tickets are available now for a joint 40th reunion for the classes of 1972, '73 and '74 at El Cerrito High School set for 6 to 11 p.m. Aug. 3. The cost is $50 per person for a four-course meal followed by music and dancing. Guests from other classes are welcome to attend. For tickets or details click the reunion link at www.echs1973.com or call Vicki Iacobitti Berndt at 510-525-8327.

Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Take excess veggies to the garden swap

The weekly Albany Local Garden Swap is the place to trade or donate the overabundance of produce grown in your yard. The next gathering is 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. July 30 in the patio of the Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave.

Participants are advised to come early for the best selection at the weekly event.

-- Chris Treadway