0

Federal order in 1942 hits the Japanese American community in Richmond and El Cerrito

richmond independent enemy aliens 1942

The 75th anniversary of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast during World War II is today, Feb. 19.

The initial coverage of the upcoming removal plans from the Richmond Independent on Feb. 2, 1942, noted that the federal order would impact the substantial and long-established Japanese American flower-growing industry in Richmond and El Cerrito.

 

richmond independent enemy aliens 1942a

The story of the Japanese American nursery families is Richmond and El Cerrito and their experiences during and after the war is told in the documentary “Blossoms and Thorns,” which is shown at 2 p.m. Thursdays at the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center, 1414 Harbour Way South in Richmond.

 

 

0

Berkeley: Moe’s Books explains why it will be closed on Feb. 17

People gather in front of Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley Sunday 4/20/97 during a memorial block party for bookstore owner Moe Moskowitz who died April 1, 1997 at the age of 75. (WEST COUNTY TIMES/EDDIE LEDESMA) wmoe

Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley posted the following announcement on its Facebook page to explain why it will be closed on Feb. 17:

 

Dear Friends
Many of you know that a general strike has been planned for February 17th as a way of resisting the Trump administration. Our immediate reaction was to support this action in spirit, but it is difficult for a small business to forfeit even one day’s income. Still, after discussing this with the staff we have decided that we will close the store for the day. We do understand that not everyone can join the strike, but we urge you to spend some time on February 17th thinking about the state of the country, and that you consider resisting this regime in your own way.
Thank you
The management and staff at Moe’s Books
#radicalbookselling

0

TBT: BART Richmond line begins service Jan. 29, 1973

el cerrito chamber slides032 plaza bart

A color view of the El Cerrito Plaza station before the opening of the Richmond line in
January 1973. (Photo courtesy El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce).

elcerrito plaza bart 1st day 01 29 1973169

BART rolls into the El Cerrito Plaza station on the first (and rainy) day of service on the
Richmond line on Jan. 29, 1973.

The Richmond line of the BART system began operation 44 years ago this week, on Jan. 29, 1973.  The first portion of the system, Oakland to Fremont, opened on Sept. 11, 1972, and other legs were rolled out in succession, with the Richmond-Fremont line being the second. (Concord followed in May 1973.)

BART ran along the Santa Fe Railroad right of way through Albany and El Cerrito and Santa Fe service continued until 1979, meaning a double dose of train watching or disruptive noise, depending on your point of view.

Abandonment by Santa Fe of the right of way led to the creation of the Ohlone Greenway, cited by BART as an early example of cooperative development of the communities it would be serving: “BART’s widely-known ‘linear park,’ for example, was constructed under the aerial right-of-way through Albany and El Cerrito to demonstrate how function could combine with aesthetics to enhance community environments.”

The story of the transit district’s rather unlikely road to reality is told in the new book “BART: The Dramatic History of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System,” authored by retired transit district spokesman Michael C. Healy and published by Heyday Books of Berkeley.

Here are some views of the opening of the Richmond line and the development along the way.

bg downtown bart construction 1966

Groundbreaking for the downtown Berkeley station in 1966.

albany bart construction 1968

Elevated track under construction in Albany in 1968.

bart const shattuck 1969096

Excavation on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley in 1969.

Officials conduct a tree planting at the future Del Norte station in El Cerrito along what would become the Ohlone Greenway in 1969.

Officials conduct a tree planting at the future Del Norte station in El Cerrito along what would become the Ohlone Greenway in 1969.

 

richmond bart opening day 1973205

Passengers at the Richmond station await the arrival of the first train in January 1973.

richmond bart 1st day 01 29 1973236

The inaugural train on the line arrives at the Richmond BART station.

el cerrito plaza bart first day 01 29 1973218

Richmond-bound train arrives at the El Cerrito Plaza in the rain on the first day of service.

downtown Berkeley bart 1974

A postcard view of the downtown Berkeley station from 1974. The station is now undergoing
extensive remodeling.

albany bart 1968a (2)

BART under construction in Albany in 1968.

0

Albany activists planning local Women’s March on Saturday

albnay march

Plans have been announced via social media for Women’s March Albany from 8 to 10 a.m. Jan. 21, starting at Ocean View Elementary, 1000 Jackson St. in Albany.

 

ALL are welcome to march to show support for the rights of women, children, men, minorities, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and undocumented people, the environment, and anyone else who may feel threatened by our new administration.

Think globally, act locally.
Start off your day of demonstration close to home in Albany. We’ll walk from Ocean View Elementary School at 1000 Jackson St. to the Memorial Torch at the corner of Solano and Key Route. We’ll start early — 8:00 am — so you will be able to join other marches in the Bay Area, if you would like to.

Wear Pink (for Women’s Rights) or Purple (for anti-bullying) or Rainbows (for LGBTQ rights) and a Pussy Hat!

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Feel free to make signs that express your beliefs. Please be aware that we would like this to be welcoming to all families (so maybe limit the profanity . . . ). Meet at 7:30 am to make signs. Bring posterboard, pens, etc.

We are looking forward to gathering together as a community to support each other in the spirit of love, acceptance, and hope.

EVERYONE is invited, including people of all ages, all genders, all sexual preferences, all races, all religions, and all political viewpoints. Please feel free to invite local friends!

1

Richmond: High school student’s Christmas light show worth a visit (video)

 

RICHMOND — One of the most impressive Christmas displays you’ll see this season requires a trip to Nome — not the Alaskan city, but Nome Street, a small dead-end street in East Richmond Heights. That’s where Armando Epifani, a 17-year-old high school student, has an elaborate display that sychronizes lights and other effects — including water spouts and flame — to music.

The professionally done “Lights on Nome” production is all the doing of the young man, his father said, adding, “All I do is pay for the electricity.”

As the video below shows, the display incorporates elements of a nighttime show at Disneyland and maybe the fountains outside the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas.

Watch for yourself and consider making the trip to see it in person. Even though Christmas is over, the display continues through Jan. 6 and is in action on the hour from 5 p.m. to midnight.

 

nome street map

 

lights on nome1

 

 

0

TBT: Vintage and current views of the Heinz Building in Berkeley

The H.J. Heinz Co. Factory at 2900 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley has been called “Berkeley’s most elegant industrial building” by the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. The building was constructed in 1927-28 and it operated as a factory until Heinz relocated operations in 1956. A good description and history of the building is available on the BAHA website.

The building has since had other tenants and now is a retail and office center. The building was given city landmark status in 1986 and it is also listed in the California State Historic Resources Inventory.

san pablo and ashby 1940s

A 1940s view looking north of The Heinz Building at San Pablo and Ashby avenues.

 

san pablo near ashby  today2

The same view today.

 

san pablo near ashby  1945

Looking south in 1945 at the Heinz Building from San Pablo at Heinz Avenue. Note the two
lines of streetcar tracks. Update and correction: John Stashik, our resident rail expert,
points out that these are not streetcar tracks. “Those tracks in the photo on San Pablo Avenue
were Shipyard Railway tracks. Streetcar service ended in the 1930s north of Ashby. So the
tracks needed to be replaced for the Shipyard service from 1942-45 on San Pablo north of
Ashby and on Grayson Street.”

 

san pablo near ashby  today

The same view today, with the tracks long removed and a median and left turn lane added.

heinz building 1966 ad

A 1966 Berkeley Gazette ad for the Packaging Company of California, housed in the 
Heniz Building.