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Archive for April, 2011

Crockett: Your West County vintage image of the week

From the West County Times files, we offer this photo from the 1991 memorial program for Aldo Ray, one of Crocketts favorites.

From the West County Times files, we offer this photo from the 1991 memorial program for Aldo Ray, one of Crockett's favorites.

It was 20 years ago last month that a memorial service was held for Aldo Ray, a former U.S. Navy Frogman who settled in Crockett to raise a family after World War II and served as the town constable until he was discovered by Hollywood.
Ray rang up a steady string of movie and TV credits — including acting alongside Rita Hayworth — and was doing roles right up until the time of his death on March 27, 1991 at age 64.

Posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Under: Crockett | No Comments »

Reminder from the El Cerrito Emergency Preparedness Network

The “tonight” reference is April 26:

Fire Marshal Michael Bond will present El Cerrito’s disaster response plans for earthquake, wildfire and floods/landslides.
Don’t miss it!
Tonight 7 pm
Arlington Clubhouse
1120 Arlington Blvd.
Free Raffle Prizes including a 3-day emergency kit!


View Larger Map

Posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Under: El Cerrito | No Comments »

Richmond: Long-awaited new trail opens Saturday

Richmond Bay Trail

Cyclists zip along a newly-opened stretch of Bay Trail near the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond in 2009. Photo credit: D. Ross Cameron

TWENTY YEARS IS a long time to wait for something.

But the wait is over for those who envision a trail at the old West County landfill. This Saturday, supporters will gather to celebrate the opening of the new 4-mile Landfill Loop Trail that will offer spectacular views of Marin, Sonoma and West Contra Costa  counties across San Pablo Bay.

Here’s our story with a nifty collection of Bay Trail photos.

For those itching to go, here are the details on Saturday’s grand opening:

  • When: Bicyclists will gather at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Richmond Plunge at Garrard Boulevard and Richmond Avenue and ride the existing Bay Trail to the new Landfill Loop. Ribbon-cutting is set for 9 a.m. The Trails for Richmond Action Committee and the Audubon Society will lead hikes from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch will be served from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Directions by bicycle or on foot: Take Bay Trail from The Plunge to Parr Boulevard, turn west on the street to cross the bridge over Wildcat Creek where people will gather on the left.
  • Directions by car: From Richmond Parkway, turn west on Parr Boulevard toward San Pablo Bay. Bear left to cross the bridge over San Pablo Creek and then left into the trailhead parking area.
  • RSVP by sending an email to tracbaytrail@earthlink.net

Posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Under: Richmond | No Comments »

A peek at Richmond’s financial picture

27/365: Money

Photo courtesy of Flickr user The Cleveland Kid under Creative Commons license

Your chance to get a preview of the city of Richmond’s budget and offer some input is coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

The city is planning a round of community meetings next month and trying to hit just about every neighborhood before the City Council adopts a budget for 2011-12.

Tough times are ahead for the city. A few months ago, Richmond projected a $4 million shortfall in the 2011-12 fiscal year that is expected to grow to $6.5 million the following year.

Officials say more revenue is needed to pay for public services, and they will ask voters in a special June 7 election to increase the sales tax rate from 9.75 percent to 10.25 percent. It would generate $5.5 million to $6 million annually, if approved.

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2011
Under: Contra Costa County, Richmond | No Comments »

A green day in West County, part 3: North Richmond

North Richmond celebrants and Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin join the Recyclemore and Panther mascots for a photo-op Saturday at Shields-Reid Park.

North Richmond celebrants and Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin join the Recyclemore and Panther mascots for a photo-op Saturday at Shields-Reid Park.

Green was the theme Saturday in North Richmond.
The unincorporated community welcomed the second annual North Richmond Green Parade, Celebration Garden Blessing, a daylong gathering that featured longtime community activist Fred Jackson as the guest of honor.

http://www.ibabuzz.com/westcounty/2011/03/15/richmond-may-rename-street-after-activist-fred-jackson/

A morning parade started followed a blessing ceremony at the new community garden, the second established by the North Richmond Green program of Neighborhood House.
The parade was led by members of the Straw Hat Band from UC Berkeley and members of the five Little League teams sponsored by North Richmond Green.
Also in the parade were classic vehicles from the La Raza Car Club, motorcycles, police and fire units, costumed mascots and riders from the Oakland Black Cowboys Association.
The parade route took the newly named Fred Jackson Way to Shields-Reid Park for an afternoon of free food, music and fun, along with three Little League games on the adjacent field.
“People think we don’t have enough positive things going on and we really need to make the most of the positive things we do have to show we can make things better,” said Carla Orozco, one of the organizers of the event for North Richmond Green.

Children take turns sitting on a horse from the Oakland Black Cowboys Association on Saturday at the North Richmond Green parade and celebration.

Children take turns sitting on a horse from the Oakland Black Cowboys Association on Saturday at the North Richmond Green parade and celebration.


Uniformed players from some of the five Little League teams in North Richmond play basketball at Shields-Reid Park on Saturday during the North Richmond Green celebration. Three baseball games were played on the neighboring ballfield.

Uniformed players from some of the five Little League teams in North Richmond play basketball at Shields-Reid Park on Saturday during the North Richmond Green celebration. Three baseball games were played on the neighboring ballfield.

Posted on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
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A green day in West County, part 2: Richmond

Compost is poured into a bucket for a resident to take home at the Earth Day compost event at Richmond Civic Center Plaza on Saturday.

Compost is poured into a bucket for a resident to take home at the Earth Day compost event at Richmond Civic Center Plaza on Saturday.

The emerging movement to promote locally grown produce and self-sufficiency in Richmond was in evidence Saturday at the city’s free compost distribution event at Civic Center Plaza.
Along with soil-enriching compost created at the West County Landfill from the green waste collection program, residents could get free vegetable plants, learn about the seed-lending program at the Richmond Library, get information on recycling, sign up for an energy audit and learn about the benefits of home composting.
During the event youth volunteers were tending the community garden next to the Richmond Main Library.
“This is the good part of Richmond right here,” said resident Michael Beer. “This is the future.”
The free compost event at Richmond Civic Center Plaza included free vegetable plants and information on home composting, recycling and reducing energy use.

The free compost event at Richmond Civic Center Plaza included free vegetable plants and information on home composting, recycling and reducing energy use.

Posted on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
Under: Richmond | No Comments »

A green day in West County, part 1: El Cerrito

El Cerrito resident and landscape architect Michael McFadden of Planted Earth Design Build Co. was among the volunteers shoveling new sand and doing other work April 16 at Huber Park during the citys official Earth Day observance. McFadden and his firm have also donated resources and labor to the community garden being constructed at El Cerrito High School.

El Cerrito resident and landscape architect Michael McFadden of Planted Earth Design Build Co. was among the volunteers shoveling new sand and doing other work April 16 at Huber Park during the city's official Earth Day observance. McFadden and his firm have also donated resources and labor to the community garden being constructed at El Cerrito High School.


El Cerrito always gets an early start on Earth Day, holding its citywide cleanup and planting day a week early.
This year’s official observance was on April 16, when volunteers fanned out to public areas around the city, then were treated to lunch and educational programs at the Community Center.
The city followed that up on April 22 with a morning distribution of free compost to residents at the Recycling Center on Schmidt Lane.
Volunteers load containers with compost that was distributed free to residents Saturday at the El Cerrito Recycling Center.

Volunteers load containers with compost that was distributed free to residents Saturday at the El Cerrito Recycling Center.

Posted on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
Under: El Cerrito | No Comments »

El Cerrito: Families get a hopping start on Easter at annual egg hunt

Excited children with baskets and equally excited parents with cameras flocked to Arlington Park in El Cerrito on Saturday for the traditional city-sponsored egg hunt. Here’s the start of the event looking at the area at the north of the park:

Posted on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
Under: El Cerrito | No Comments »

Resurrection in store for Richmond mural

The Gompers High School mural that was deemed graffiti and removed last year now has a chance to be revived.

The Richmond City Council this week gave the green light for the mural to be repainted. To make sure it stays up this time, the council approved a moratorium prohibiting the city from removing murals on private property where the property owner has given consent.

It means the students can put their mural back up on a privately-owned building on the Richmond Greenway before the school year ends in early June, when some will graduate.

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Photo courtesy of David Meza

The hubbub over the mural happened last fall. The students’ teacher said she got the landowner’s permission to paint the side of his building and a city official told her no permit was needed. City code enforcement officers thought differently. They construed it as graffiti and ordered its removal.

The city is crafting new regulations that will likely outline a permitting process for displays like these. We expect a draft to reach the City Council before summer. The moratorium is in force until a new law is approved.

For those interested, more photos of the original mural as it was being painted are on the Gompers Garden’s Facebook page.


Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2011
Under: Contra Costa County | 1 Comment »

Point Richmond: Frank and Mike make an appearance at the Hotel Mac

We can’t embed it here, but beloved radio personalities Frank Dill and Mike Cleary visited the Hotel Mac in Point Richmond not too long ago and posted a video on their Facebook page (yes, they have one).
Both are retired, but early in their careers, the eventual duo were once seen separately on local television. In the 1960s Dill hosted a late night sports segment on KPIX, while Cleary did a kids show on Channel 44.
Both later went into radio and were finally teamed at KNBR in San Francisco as hosts of the long-running Frank and Mike in the morning show during morning drive-time.
We should add here that the Hotel Mac, an establishment with a colorful history in a district teeming with them, the is currently celebrating its centennial year.

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Under: Richmond | No Comments »