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In brief: El Cerrito Fire Department offers risk reduction guidance

In brief: El Cerrito Fire Department offers risk reduction guidance

EL CERRITO

Are you prepared for fire season? With El Cerrito containing Very High Fire Hazard Severity zones, staying vigilant and prepared is important in the event of a wildfire.

The El Cerrito-Kensington Fire Department is continuing to actively identify and execute fire fuel management activities in the El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area this season by focusing on mowing tall grass along fence lines and access trails.

Residents can help by managing the vegetation on their own properties or by volunteering at work parties to remove invasive or highly flammable plants from the Hillside Natural Area. Sign up for the city’s monthly Green Happenings e-newsletter for information on upcoming work parties at el-cerrito.org/greenhappenings.

The El Cerrito-Kensington Fire Department also continues to conduct an annual inspection program to ensure that all properties are managed in a way so as to not create fire hazards. Residents can download a fire hazard reduction checklist (bit.ly/47MCPAv) to help eliminate fire hazards on their property, even without an inspection from the Fire Department.

Residents should also consider including fire-resistant plants in their landscaping. For more information on city standards, visit el-cerrito.org/vegetation-management online. For any questions about wildfire safety and reducing fire hazards, contact the Fire Prevention Office at 510-215-4457 or visit el-cerrito.org/133/fire-department.

— city of El Cerrito

City Hall gallery showing art made from recycled material

From now through Dec. 15, the El Cerrito City Hall Gallery Space will exhibit instruments created by El Cerrito Creative ReUse (ECCRU) Artist in Residence Steve Zwetsch, including his “Local Artist Guitar Series,” which he created in collaboration with other local artists during his residency.

An artist’s reception will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the gallery space in City Hall at 10890 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito. During his ECCRU residency, Zwetsch has created guitars and ukuleles using materials found at the El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center, performed for small audiences and conducted educational workshops.

“I started collaborating with local artists to bridge the isolation of the pandemic,” Zwetsch said about his work. “After joining the Arts of Point Richmond Artists Collective, I found artists interested in contributing their unique styles to the hand-built instruments.

“The project continues to grow with artists from all over the Bay Area showcasing their art on the guitars and ukes.”

Zwetsch is the first ECCRU artist who has served two years as its ECCRU artist-in-residence, and the Friday reception will be the first of its kind since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020. After a 2021 call for artists was completed, the city’s Arts and Culture Commission approved Zwetsch in January 2022 as that year’s artist in residence. In August 2022, the commission extended Zwetsch’s residence for another year, now ending Dec. 31.

The ECCRU program is intended to support local artists who work with recycled materials and to encourage environmental stewardship in the community through art that inspires people to think about sustainability and consumption.

The ECCRU artist residence provides a selected artist with a stipend, access to materials at the city’s Recycling and Environmental Resource Center and support for an exhibition at the end of the residence. For more details on the ECCRU program, visit el-cerrito.org/ECCRU.

— city of El Cerrito

BERKELEY

Berkeley Humane adopt-a-thon, street fair on Saturday

Animal shelters are filled to critical levels, so the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society (Berkeley Humane) is hosting more than 20 rescues and shelters at their Berkeley shelter from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to place more than 200 pets into loving homes. The 11th Annual Bark (& Meow) Around the Block Adopt-a-thon and street fair will take place at 2700 Ninth St.

“If you have been thinking about adding a new furry family member ,there has never been a better opportunity,” said Jeffrey Zerwekh, Berkeley Humane’s executive director. “This event is special in that every adoption makes room for another animal in the shelter, so you have the chance to save two lives.”

This family-friendly event will include live music, food trucks, vendors and a beer garden sponsored by Cellarmaker Brewing Co. Berkeley Humane will waive adoption fees for this event. Some rescue partners will also waive or reduce fees.

All animals available from Berkeley Humane will have received veterinary care, vaccinations, microchips and will be ready to go home after a brief adoption counseling session. For more details, visit berkeleyhumane.org/events/bark-and-meow online.

— Berkeley Humane

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