Richmond was chosen by the National Park Service to represent domestic life the United States during World War II and people are being sought to help tell the story of that pivotal time.

The Rosie the Riveter World War II/Home Front National Historical Park is ready to train a new group of volunteer docents to help assist visitors to the Visitor Education Center next to the Ford Point building at 1414 Harbour Way South.

Candidates need to be 18 or older and have "a passion for history, education, and public service, who can make an ongoing minimum commitment to volunteer at least eight hours per month."

In return for the commitment, volunteers can expand their knowledge of local and national history and tell that story to the public.

Before beginning their duties, volunteers must first attend training sessions. Training unit 1, "Introduction to the National Park Service and our park" will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 8. Training unit 2, "Visitor Center operations and customer service," will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 22.

For details or to reserve a training spot, contact Lucien Sonder at Lucien_Sonder@nps.gov, or 510-232-5050, ext. 6622.

Those who are interested in volunteering but can't attend both sessions can request to be notified of future training.

MUSEUM SEEKS ARTIFACTS: The Richmond Museum of History, meanwhile, is looking for help telling the locally focused story, including World War II and the years before and after.


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The museum is asking people who have memorabilia related to the city to consider donating it to be part of the permanent collection where it can be shared with and appreciated by a wider audience.

"Now is the time to talk to the staff of the Richmond Museum Association about preserving your memorabilia and your memories forever by donating it to the place that will honor it, care for it and incorporate it into the story of Richmond," the RMA said in an announcement. "Memorabilia can be photos, clothing (uniforms?), paper items, toys, almost anything."

In particular the museum wants to reach out to those with connections to the city during the war.

"People may not realize we're a collecting institution," said Melinda McCrary, the museum's executive director. "We're not looking for material that has financial significance, but interested in items that are home front and Richmond related, that explain the experience in the city."

For more details contact McCrary at 510-235-7385 or info@richmondmuseumofhistory.org.

Plastic bag ban: Plastic bag bans at retail stores and restaurants go into effect on New Year's Day at businesses in El Cerrito, Richmond and San Pablo. Merchants in each city will no longer put goods in complimentary plastic bags. Stores will have paper bags available for a small fee, but consumers are encouraged to bring reusable bags.

The goal is to reduce litter and resource consumption. El Cerrito's new rules prohibit both single-use plastic bags and polystyrene food containers.

The bag ordinance prohibits city retail stores from providing customers with free single-use bags at checkout, while the food container ordinance prohibits restaurants from using containers made from polystyrene for takeout food in favor of containers that can be composted, reused or recycled.

In San Pablo, restaurants and takeout food establishments are exempt from the city's ordinance.

PROPERTY CHANGES HANDS: As El Cerrito readies plans for a mixed-use project next to City Hall, an existing project in the middle of town has changed hands.

Real estate investment and services firm Kennedy Wilson has purchased the Village at Town Center, a complex with 159 residential units on the blocks that formerly belonged to El Cerrito Mill & Lumber.

The El Cerrito property was one of three, along with properties in Spokane and Seattle, Wash., purchased by Kennedy Wilson from The Wolff Company for a combined $167 million.

Along with one- and two-bedroom units averaging 875 square feet, Village at Town Center has retail space on San Pablo Avenue.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The Matt Eakle Quartet performs at the next Point Richmond Jazz concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27 at First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St. in Point Richmond. Tickets are $20 at the door. Details: prjazz.org.

  • The Dan Damon Trio (Kurt Ribak on bass, Lincoln Adler on sax and Damon on piano) will perform at a New Year's Eve Service at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 at Epworth United Methodist Church at 1953 Hopkins St. in Berkeley.

  • Damon, who is pastor at First United Methodist Church, will have a busy New Year's Eve, performing at the service above and then back in Point Richmond for the Jazz Cabaret performances at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at the Masquers Playhouse, 105 Park Place. Each performance will have hats, horns, snacks and libations, and admission is $25 at the door.

  • Learn the secrets of tending your fruit trees when the El Cerrito Garden Club holds its first meeting of 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to noon Jan. 9 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane. Lindsey Jones of the Aesthetic Pruners Association will discuss "Demystifying Fruit Tree Pruning." Admission is $3 at the door.

  • Growing a winter garden is the program topic when the Pinole Garden Club meets at 1 p.m. Jan. 14 in the Alex Clark Room of the Public Safety Facility, 800 Tennent Ave. A certified garden specialist from Home Depot in Hercules will offer pointers for a successful winter garden and discuss cold weather varieties of vegetables. The meeting is free and open to the public. Details: 510-758-2309.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com.