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Archive for September, 2011

No West County community column on Sunday — here’s why

My plan on Thursday was to attend the reopening ceremony of the historic Maritime Center in Richmond, then rush back to the office to file a story on the event and write the community column for Sunday’s edition.
That plan came crashing down, when I came crashing down myself, tripping on the sidewalk and injuring a finger pretty badly. Instead of hurrying back to the office, I was hurrying to the emergency clinic at Kaiser Richmond, which, thankfully, was nearby.
This note is just to explain why there won’t be a column on Sunday as I recuperate and to offer my apology to all the readers and contributors who depend on it for their community news. I plan to be back at work next week, typing laboriously with the fingers I can still use.

Posted on Friday, September 30th, 2011
Under: Albany, Crockett, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Hercules, Kensington, Pinole, Port Costa, Richmond, Rodeo, San Pablo | 1 Comment »

Learn the basics of refinery operations at a Richmond workshop Thursday

A staff photo by Susan Tripp Pollard from October 2010 shows an aerial view of the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

As part of the Chevron Richmond refinery’s revised renewal project proposal, an educational session on “How a Refinery Operates 101” is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Richmond City Council Chambers at 440 Civic Center Plaza.
The session will cover such topics as terms commonly used in refining, the characteristics of crude oil that are important in the process and the appearance of a typical refinery and how it operates.

Posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Under: Richmond | No Comments »

A view of the Adachi Nursery in El Cerrito/Richmond

The Japanese-American flower-growing nurseries next to Interstate 80 in Richmond are coming down after more than a century to allow construction of the Miraflores housing development.
One of the highest-profile of the flower operations was the Adachi Nursery, which was on San Pablo Avenue and in later years had a retail store.
The property, which was partly in El Cerrito and partly in Richmond, is pictured here in 1992, as it was being dismantled for construction of The Home Depot store.
The Adachi name continues at the nursery location in El Sobrante.
Note the greenhouses on the other side of the freeway behind Adachi.

Posted on Sunday, September 25th, 2011
Under: Contra Costa County, El Cerrito, History, Richmond | No Comments »

Saying it with T-shirts. part 2: Point Richmond

We noticed these T-shirts at the Art Lounge in Point Richmond during the Sept. 9 summer evening concert. The design is the hyperlocal answer to shirts already out for "The City" (San Francisco) and "The Town" (Oakland).

Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Under: Richmond | No Comments »

Saying it with T-shirts, part 1: The Solano Stroll in Albany and Berkeley

There have been a lot of interesting T-shirts on sale at the Solano Stroll in recent years and our favorite this year was this softball-style number displayed at the California Shakespeare Festival booth.

Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Under: Albany, Berkeley | No Comments »

More free live entertainment coming up in Point Richmond

Point Richmond Music has celebrated its 10th anniversary with another great series of free outdoor concerts, including local Latin rock and salsa band Lava (above) earlier this month that had folks dancing in the street.
The final concert/street party is this Friday at Park Place and Washington Avenue, with jazz saxophonist Michael O’Neill and his quintet at 5:30 p.m. and Tom Rigney and Flambeau follows with Cajun and zydeco music at 6:45 p.m. Art galleries and restaurants will be open.
BUT WAIT — The Point isn’t done partying yet.
The third annual Point Richmond Fall Festival is a celebration from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 8 at Park Place between Washington and West Richmond avenues in the historic downtown district, which will have live music, arts, a food and drink pavilion, pumpkin patch, hay rides, children’s activities and surprises.
The music lineup features the Dave Mathews Blues Band, Walter Hand and the Blue Hand Band, Kickin’ the Mule with Patty Hammond and Major Powers & the Low-Fi Symphony.
Advance tickets that get you $30 worth of food, beverage, games and the like for $20 are available at the Dewitt Gallery, 121 Park Place, Up & Under Pub & Grill, and Smith Office Solutions.
The festival is a benefit for Parents Resources and More and co-sponsored by the Point Richmond Business Association, Point Richmond Music, and Arts of Point Richmond.

Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Under: Richmond | No Comments »

Free show of Cajun and Zydeco in San Pablo

Andre Thierry leads the lively group Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic, performing Thursday at the 23rd Street Summer Series in San Pablo.

We had the privilege of seeing Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic last year at the Spirit and Soul gala for Richmond Main Street Initiative and they had everyone up and dancing.
If you haven’t experienced their show, keep in mind you can see them for free Thursday at the next Summer Series concert and stroll event at 6 p.m. on 23rd Street in San Pablo, which will be closed to traffic between Market and Dover streets.
Expect some classic cars, too.
Details: or 510-215-3030.

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
Under: San Pablo | No Comments »

Richmond: Views while crossing the Bay aboard the SS Red Oak Victory

Riding along with the volunteers at the SS Red Oak Victory as the mighty World War II cargo ship was towed by three Foss Maritime tugboats to dry dock in San Francisco was a treat of a story assignment.
And the three-hour trip proved that San Francisco Bay is scenic in just about any direction and you should always take your camera.

Posted on Sunday, September 18th, 2011
Under: Richmond | No Comments »

Views of the El Sobrante Stroll

A large turnout came to San Pablo Dam Road for the El Sobrante Stroll on Sept. 18. We briefly considered taking a side street near the freeway to look for parking, but quickly changed our mind when we saw it was Va Verde, site of the famous Richmond sinkhole that swallowed parked cars last year.

Posted on Sunday, September 18th, 2011
Under: El Sobrante | No Comments »

Hoisting a home-brewed pint in El Cerrito

We wanted to be at the Thursday opening of Elevation 66, the new brew pub in El Cerrito.
We really did.
Deadlines and a morning community meeting kept us from attending, and we were on the clock and couldn’t have tried any of the draft offerings anyhow.

The long-awaited opening has been delayed and we didn’t realize that El Cerrito was so thirsty or that the Pyramid Brewery was so far away, but we do know many El Cerritans have waited a long time for a brew pub of their own.

Luckily, John Stashik, intrepid man about town, was there to record (and offer) his images and observations:

"A good crowd for Day One."

"People at the front door awaiting the 11:30 a.m. opening."

"Brian Kelly, president of the company, pours a glass of El Cerrito beer."

Pulled Pork sandwich and salad; delicious. My recommendation.

The city’s newest nightspot plans to stay open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and may open early for certain sporting events. As for the menu, owners say the emphasis will be on local and sustainable. We hope to try Stashik’s recommendation soon.

This may be the largest brewing operation in the city since prohibition was repealed.

Posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2011
Under: El Cerrito, Richmond | No Comments »