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Archive for March, 2011

Richmond museum gets into social media

Exterior of the Richmond Museum of History, posted on the organization's new Facebook page.

The Richmond Museum of History has a new page on Facebook and now needs some new fans to “like” it.

The museum’s home, the former Carnegie library building at 400 Nevin Ave., is the focus of a 100th anniversary exhibit set to conclude today.

The museum also owns and operates the historic SS Red Oak Victory at 1337 Canal Blvd. in the Port of Richmond.


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Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Under: Richmond | No Comments »

El Cerrito: Emergency readiness meeting rescheduled

An Emergency Preparedness Workshop for Seniors, originally planned to be held today by the El Cerrito Emergency Preparedness Network (www.ecepnetwork.com), has been postponed.
The free workshop has been rescheduled for 1-2:30 p.m. April 20 at the Open House Senior Center, 6500 Stockton Ave. behind the El Cerrito Library.
The session will cover the basics of preparing, including how to make an emergency plan and what you need in your emergency kit.
To register, call the senior center at 510-559-7677.

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Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Under: El Cerrito | No Comments »

West Contra Costa: County libraries will be closed on Thursday

If you were planning on going to a county library branch in Contra Costa on Thursday, well, don’t. The county library advises that “Due to Countywide budget cuts, all Contra Costa County Libraries will be closed on Thursday, March 31. During the closure, the book drops will remain open. Renewals may be requested online or by phone. Each community library will reopen on their next regularly scheduled open day.”
The main branch of the Richmond Library at 325 Civic Center Plaza isn’t part of the county system and will be open for its regular hours of 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Thursday.

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Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Under: Contra Costa County, Crockett, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Hercules, Kensington, Pinole, Richmond, Rodeo, San Pablo | No Comments »

Berkeley: The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter

Berkeley City College hosted a World Women’s History Month event March 19 that featured a screening and discussion of Connie Field’s “The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter.” The panel included a former Rosie, Betty Reid Soskin, a National Park Service ranger and longtime Richmond resident.

Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Under: History, Richmond | No Comments »

Hercules: Caltrans sets closures for highway work

Caltrans is planning to close Willow Avenue at Interstate 80 in Hercules from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. today through Thursday for falsework removal needed to widen the eastbound I-80 overcrossing as part of the HOV lane extension project. The eastbound I-80 Willow Avenue off-ramp will be closed from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and and 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. today through Thursday.
ADDITIONAL CLOSURES JUST ANNOUNCED:
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway off-ramp 10 p.m.-6 a.m. today
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway on-ramp, 8 p.m.-7 a.m. today
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway off-ramp, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, for paving.
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway on-ramp, 9 p.m.-7 a.m. Wednesday
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway on-ramp, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday for paving.
·Highway 4 to eastbound I-80 on-ramp, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday for paving.
For details about the I-80 Eastbound HOV Lane Extension project, visit www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/80ebhov/


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Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Under: Hercules | No Comments »

Sales tax going up in El Cerrito

Money 2

Photo credit to Flickr user borman818 under Creative Commons attribution license

Shoppers in El Cerrito will start paying more sales tax when the rate goes up to 10.25 percent starting Friday.

That’s when the new voter-approved rate kicks in, making it the highest in Contra Costa County. The tax hike is temporary and will end in seven years.

It’s not uncommon for cities and counties to boost the sales tax rate to help pay for public services, especially in tight economic times. In Richmond, city leaders have placed a measure on the June ballot to increase the sales tax from 9.75 percent to 10.25 percent, generating up to $6 million a year. We’ll see how it fares. A simple majority vote is required to pass it.

It will be accompanied by an advisory measure to direct half the funds to Richmond schools and the other half to programs for the low-income.

Most California cities charge less than 10 percent in sales tax, but there are a handful that charge more. Pico Rivera and South Gate, both in Southern California, charge 10.75 percent.

Posted on Monday, March 28th, 2011
Under: El Cerrito, Richmond | No Comments »

Jobless rates in West Contra Costa

Unemployed

Photo of unemployed man by Flickr user jronaldlee used under Creative Commons attribution license

The latest unemployment figures are out.

California released its jobless report today for the month of February. Have a gander at the West County numbers:

  • Crockett: 21.4 percent
  • El Cerrito: 9.8 percent
  • Hercules: 7.9 percent
  • Kensington: 4 percent
  • Pinole: 7.7 percent
  • Richmond: 17.6 percent
  • Rodeo: 15.7 percent
  • San Pablo: 21.5 percent

For some context, Contra Costa County’s unemployment rate is 11 percent. Statewide, it’s 12.2 percent. The numbers really haven’t changed all that much from 2010, although there have been some gains in the job market. Here’s hoping they will in 2011.

I’m eyeballing the report and there are cities in other counties including Fresno, Merced and Tulare counties with staggering unemployment rates approaching or exceeding the 40 percent mark. Yikes.

Posted on Friday, March 25th, 2011
Under: Contra Costa County, Crockett, El Cerrito, Hercules, Kensington, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo | No Comments »

Honoring Richmond’s history

CA Richmond 1913

Picture of Richmond 1913 by Flickr user SnapshotsofthePast.com used under Creative Commons attribution license

There’s a ton of history in Richmond, probably more than many of us know about.

The Richmond Historic Preservation Commission is taking nominations for its 2011 awards. It’s a chance to recognize the people and organizations that love local history so much that they go to great lengths to preserve and promote it.

If you’ve got someone worthy for a historic preservation award in mind, nominate them by filling out the form by March 31.

Historic preservation projects can include public buildings, private buildings, media, publications, exhibits, parks, art, oral history, theater, events and video presentations.

Winners will be presented with their awards in May, which is National Preservation Month.

Posted on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
Under: History, Richmond | No Comments »

Albany: A dusting of white on Solano Avenue

Lizz Bronson took this cool shot of the sidewalk along Solano Avenue in Albany after the unusual heavy fall of hail and ice on March 18. Note the footprints.

Lizz Bronson took this cool shot of the sidewalk along Solano Avenue in Albany after the unusual heavy fall of hail and ice on March 18. Note the footprints.


Our thanks to Lizz Bronson for sending in these two nice photos of Solano Avenue in Albany after the ice storm on Friday night.
This angle taken by Bronson shows the avenue itself got a good dusting.

This angle taken by Bronson shows the avenue itself got a good dusting.

Posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2011
Under: Contra Costa County | No Comments »

Richmond: Hail, the conquering weather

Hail on the ground at 25th Street and Barrett Avenue in Richmond, March 18, 2011. Photo by Christian Wimmer, a videographer and editor for the city and the Richmond Fire Department.

Hail on the ground at 25th Street and Barrett Avenue in Richmond, March 18, 2011. Photo by Christian Wimmer, a videographer and editor for the city and the Richmond Fire Department.

We’ve come to rely on predictable weather around here. Cool in summer/spring/winter/fall, with clouds clearing along the coast. Maybe going above 70 degrees during “Indian Summer.”
Heavy rain? Uncommon in our part of the world.
Thunder and lightning? Unusual, but it happens.
Hail? Sure, but it’s gone before you know it.
Except tonight, when all of those happened. Icy roads in central Richmond during March? Believe it.
Christian Wimmer, a videographer and editor for the city and the Richmond Fire Department, took these photos of an icy central Richmond this evening.
Similar conditions were also reported in the hills of El Cerrito and Richmond and the Up and Under Pub in Point Richmond posted photos that proved there was snow/hail even at that bayside location.
Do you have a photo to share? Send it to ktam@bayareanewsgroup.com.
Wimmer also took this photo of hail/snow all over the street just off Barrett Avenue.

Wimmer also took this photo of hail/snow all over the street just off Barrett Avenue.

Posted on Friday, March 18th, 2011
Under: El Cerrito, Richmond | No Comments »