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El Cerrito Historical Society Meeting Summary
Sunday, April 2, 2006

The president reported that the Society's book "Images of America: El Cerrito" was into its second printing.  He also reported that Arcadia Publishing had given him the quantity printed for each of the two print runs: 2100 for the first printing and 600 for the second printing.  In addition, we have been told that the May issue of the Contra Costa Marketplace magazine, which is distributed to 50,000 addresses in the West County area, is expected to include a 2-page feature story on the book and the Historical Society.

Richard Schwartz, the well-known Berkeley author, was introduced.  Richard gave an engrossing and entertaining presentation on the subject of his newly released his book, "Earthquake Exodus, 1906".  The book has received excellent reviews from a number of different reviewers.  Richard's presentation described what life was like in San Francisco just before and immediately after the earthquake, how refugees from San Francisco came to the East Bay after the earthquake, and how the local jurisdictions - in particular Berkeley - dealt with them after they arrived.  Richard researched and discussed this subject in a way that no one else has done.  More information on his book and research can be found at his website, www.richardschwartz.info.

The president presented the Historical Society's first-ever "Certificate of Historic Preservation" to founding member of the Society Art Schroeder.  Art served on the Board of Directors and as President for many years.  The President acknowledged Art's enormous contributions over the years and thanked Art for his many years of service.

The subject of a dues increase was discussed.  The Board had recommended to the membership the following new dues schedule:  Individual membership: $15; Household membership: $20; Sponsoring membership: $50; and Life membership: $200.  After considerable discussion, the membership modified the proposal and approved the following dues schedule, effective July 1, 2006: Household membership: $20; Sponsoring membership: $50; and Life membership: $200.

The final subject discussed was a proposed new "Historic Tree Ordinance" for the City of El Cerrito.  This subject has already come up before the Parks and Recreation Committee.  City staff is now drafting such an ordinance, based on a similar ordinance from the City of Berkeley.  From what is understood so far, the ordinance would cover only Live Oak trees (one of the few species of indigenous trees in El Cerrito) and place restrictions on the removal or significant alteration of trees older than a certain age (currently unknown). After discussion, the membership asked the Board to formulate a recommendation on this subject and present it to the membership at the next meeting.

 

   
PO Box 304, El Cerrito, CA 94530