In 1920 they were trying for half a bridge to San Francisco

An illustration in the Sept. 29, 1920 Oakland Tribune of the proposed Key System ferry pier extension to Yerba Buena Island. I'm guessing this drawing was done by famed cartoonist Jimmy Hatlo early in his career (he started at the Trib doing auto section cartoons.)

Any idea of linking the East Bay to San Francisco was still just a pipe dream in the first quarter of the 20th century, when the only way to get to the city was by ferry. But there were ideas to ease the commute, including a proposal floated in 1920 that would have extended the Key System pier all the way to Goat Island (the popular name of the day for Yerba Buena Island).

The Key Route pier was once hailed as "the longest in the world."

The Key Route pier already extended fairly close to Yerbe Buena Island, as seen in this 1935 aerial view of the construction of the Bay Bridge.

The pier was already touted as the longest in the world at the time, and an extension would have closed the relatively short remaining distance to Yerba Buena.
Years before the design of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge came up with a similar idea, the pier extension plan called for a tunnel through the island, this one bored at a different angle and connecting train service with a new ferry pier on Yerba Buena’s western side.
From there it would be a mere 1.25-mile ride to the Ferry Building on the San Francisco waterfront.
The plan was hailed by Oakland business and elected officials, particularly for what the idea of making the daily commute not only easier, but safer.

“(Oakland) Mayor Davie, Mayor Bartlett of Berkeley, Joseph E. Came secretary of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, Rutus Jennings, head of the large project for the Berkeley waterfront and others today expressed themselves in favor of the plan as one that would bring the two great cities of San Francisco bay closer together and one that would eliminate duplication of certain public services as well as the danger of fog to transbay traffic.” the Tribune reported.

Ferries and competing rail systems were king as far as commuting at the time. There were thousands of East Bay riders making the train-ferry connection to San Francisco each weekday via both the Key System and the competing Southern Pacific rail and ferry lines. East Bay officials “strenuously” opposed an alternative plan that would have instead extended the pier of the rival SP.
In fact, the conservative officials of the time seemed to be calling for a consolidation of the two rail lines — not a coincidence as establishment of the state’s original highway system was well under way to accommodate all the new motor vehicles being purchased.
The golden age of public transit was ending, the rail operations (the Key System was the locally owned operator) lost money and interest, and just 17 years later the Bay Bridge opened.

This 1933 road map shows how many ferry lines criss-crossed the Bay in the days before the bridges.


Christmas in Richmond organizers need help providing for the needy on Dec. 25

Christmas in Richmond is a tradition that since 2005 has delivered food, presents and warm clothing to the city’s destitute on Christmas day.
The effort, which now has nonprofit 501(c)(3) status, was started by Burgundie Spears, then a college student who wanted to give back to her community.
Spears, her mother, Edna Campbell, and sister, Aaliyah Washington, have continued the tradition of devoting their Christmas to helping others, but they are making a last-minute appeal for community assistance to make this year’s event possible.
This year’s distribution will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Richmond Senior Center and at the Nevin Community Center.
Christmas in Richmond has the following wish list for anyone who can lend a hand:

Toys For All Ages​
Gift Cards
Gift Wrapping Paper
Clothes (new and/or slightly worn)
Shoes (new and/or slightly worn)
Non-perishable food
Roller Racks
Roller Bags
Gift Bags
To Go Food Containers (1000)
Eating Utensils
Hand Sanitizer
Bottle Water (40 cases)
Donations can be brought to the Courtyard Mariott Hotel at 3150 Garrity Way by Hilltop mall from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, or Spears can be reached at 510-932-6817 for more information. The Christmas in Richmond website is www.christmasinrichmond.org.


7th annual holiday toy event tonight at Richmond veterans hall

press release:


The 7th Annual Evening of Remembrance-Holiday Party




Veterans Memorial Hall


968 23rd Street Richmond CA. 94804


Friday, December 21, 2012. 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.



Please bring a Scarf or Hat set for Babies & Toddlers

for full flier click:2012 7th Annual Evening of Remembrance-Holiday Parrty & Toy Giveaway[3]


North Berkeley church holding vigil today for Newtown shooting victims

Epworth United Methodist Church in North Berkeley will hold a candlelight vigil from 6-7 p.m. today, Dec. 20, for the victims in the Newtown, Conn. shooting tragedy.
All are welcome to attend the event at the church at 1953 Hopkins St. in Berkeley.

The announcement from the church:

We will be holding a community vigil for the children of Newtown this
evening at 6pm followed by a community meeting with Susan Jardin, the Director of Family Ministries at Epworth United Methodist Church in North Berkeley.

THURSDAY 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Please come, light a candle for this hour of prayer and meditation.
Free Childcare during meditation and meeting.

7:00pm to 8:pm
Our Director of Children and Family Ministries, Susan Jardin will
lead a discussion for parents and concerned adults on how these
events affect us and our families and offer resources on ways to
comfort children in troubling times.

Bring your questions and concerns as we support each other in community.

Refreshments will be served.
Free Childcare available

1953 Hopkins Street (cross street: The Alameda)
Berkeley, CA 94707 ALL ARE WELCOME


Op-Ed: ONS Director DeVone Boggan on Newtown, Richmond, and violence

Remain Vigilant Richmond!

By DeVone Boggan

There is an African Proverb that I am fond of quoting.  It says: “The experience of one generation becomes the history of the next, and the history of several generations becomes the traditions of a people.”

On December 14, 2012 like many Americans and peoples from around the world, I found myself once again extremely grieved by the horrible reality that gun violence IS in many of our American, particularly urban communities.  We here in Richmond experience and understand that reality far too well. Much too much! Much too often!

Like in Newtown, Connecticut, too many Richmond parents have experienced a kind of nightmare that no parent should ever have to experience, and countless more have been traumatized by such evil.

My respected elder and friend Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington D.C. recently noted that “since 1979 when gun death data were first collected by age, a shocking 119,079 children and teens have been killed by gun violence. That is more child and youth deaths inAmerica than American battle deaths in World War I (53,402) or inVietnam (47,434) or in the Korean War (33,739) or in the Iraq War (3,517).” She further asks “Where is our anti-war movement to protect youth from pervasive gun violence here at home?”

In Richmond, fourteen families have lost a loved one to the unspeakable horror of gun violence this year (2012). Where ONE is too many, fourteen is a travesty and utterly unacceptable! Although Richmond has experienced a trend towards fewer firearm related injuries and deaths over the past 5 years, we cannot rest, become complacent or halt our efforts to ensure that our city is healthier safer and as prosperous as it can be for everyone – where firearm related deaths are as uncommon and unlikely as snowfall is in Richmond during the coldest of winter months.  We as a community know that there is still a great deal more to be done and accomplished to reach our ideal state – absolutely no firearm related incidents and homicides, year in, year out – sustained! 

To reach such a wholesome state in Richmond, each and all of us must do more to stop this intolerable and wanton epidemic of gun violence.  As a community, we cannot continue to solely talk about, be angry about it, be divisive about it, politicize it, want money for it, want credit for it, we must BE about it. This also requires that we must collectively agree that this is what we want and deserve, and then we must believe that it is possible.

Furthermore, we who are working towards this ambitious goal must understand and clearly operate in such a way that we communicate in our doing that we understand that not one of us working to end this epidemic can do it alone.  There is no one strategy, agency, church, preacher, community based organization or super-person that can create the new reality that we seek here inRichmond.  The answer lies in first our example and humanity towards one another, and then our combined efforts and resources, the integration of a multitude of services, whether public, private, philanthropic or the indigenous, grassroots Richmond community assets working together to create the conditions that will help to produce our new reality – Healthy Kids, Healthy Families and Communities – A Healthy City!

I must remind us that the community of assets referenced above must also include those often identified and/or suspected as being commonly associated with and/or responsible for gun violence in our city.  In partnership, I am grateful for many of these identified young men who have been intentional and courageous about making healthier choices regarding their responses to the daily barrage of conflict they must confront simply because they live in a particular geography.  More and more they are rejecting the onslaught of bad advice, bad information, bad example and bad instruction that they’ve received and lived for much of their lives. We all benefit by their resisting spirit and intelligent humanity.  They too are helping us to do something that we cannot do successfully by ourselves.

In response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the President of the United States Barack Obama reminded us that “whether it’s an elementary school inNewtown or a shopping mall in Oregon or Colorado or a street corner in Chicago these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children.” On the streets of North, Central, and South Richmond, THESE ARE OUR Neighborhoods and our Youth and Young Adults, our Kids, our Future! The state of each of these is a reflection of our traditions. Our LEGACY!

The footprints that we leave behind, tells the future something about who we were. What will the footprints that we leave behind tell the future Richmond about our character, our integrity, our priorities and what and who was important to us? How we prepared, strengthened and protected our kids, youth and young adults?

If we do not immediately work to further and more resolutely create lived experiences where healthy eldership and mentorship takes responsibility for refining and reproducing the best of itself in the next generation, the traditions we pass on will not be strong enough to keep evil and chaos from destroying our children, our families, our communities.

So I say Rejoice during this Holiday Season, cherish and hug those you love, rejuvenate and get ready to BE and DO your part – Remain Vigilant Richmond!

DeVone Boggan serves as Neighborhood Safety Director and Director of the City of Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety.



El Cerrito 7-Eleven driveway notches another stuck truck

The latest victim of the 7-Eleven driveway on Thursday morning.

The notorious steep side driveway at the 7-Eleven store on Stockton Avenue in El Cerrito claimed another truck victim on Thursday morning.

It was several years ago that we took our first photo of a truck beaching itself on the Albermarle Street entrance to the store (and we still have to look for the print of that incident to add to this collection).
The driveway claimed another victim truck in early April this year and a second one at the end of April.
These are just the ones we’ve noticed.
In the meantime, we assume the tow truck companies are happy and the store clerks are amused by the periodic truck beachings. Maybe truck drivers will learn to enter from Stockton Street.

A tow truck was having trouble freeing a beer truck that got stuck at high tide entering the parking lot of the 7-Eleven store in El Cerrito to make a morning beer delivery April 30.

A truck delivering soda to the 7-Eleven in El Cerrito got stuck entering the driveway April 13.


North Richmond toy giveaway set for Thursday at noon

Take you kids out today for Christmas celebration and giveaway:

The Center for Human Development will have a Toy giveaway on Thursday, December 20, 2012, from 12:00pm to 2:00 pm, at 1410 Kelsey Street, Richmond,CA (inside the Shields-Reid Community Center. Children must be present to receive a toy. First come first served. Any questions, call (510) 234-5359.

Richmond: We saw Santa feeding sea gulls

Sea gull Santa at Marina Bay.

Your intrepid West County Times staff took some time off Monday to have a holiday lunch at Salute e Vita Ristorante near our offices in Marina Bay. (Don’t worry, reporters were continually checking their newsfeeds via phone).
While there, we saw that even sea gulls have a Santa.
Sea gull Santa was on the pier visible out the window and he and his feathered friends were having a great time.



Chevron to unveil $1 million in grants to six Richmond nonprofits


News Advisory

For Immediate Release


Chevron to Announce $1 Million Investment to Support Education and Economic Development Programs in Richmond

Special Community Event Will Announce Six Grants to Improve Education, Prepare Residents for Jobs


WHAT:                       Chevron will unveil its selection of six Richmond-area nonprofit organizations picked to receive a share of $1 million as a grant from the company’s California Partnership Program, an initiative that invests in education and economic development in California.


WHO:                         Leaders from the recipient organizations will join representatives from Chevron Richmond, elected Richmond and West Contra County officials, nonprofit organizations and other community leaders to hear a brief overview of the selected grant programs and how they will make an impact in our community.


WHEN:                       Wednesday, December 19, 2012

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


WHERE:                    Lovonya DeJean Middle School, Multi-Purpose Room

3400 Macdonald Ave., Richmond


WHY:                         Chevron launched its California Partnership initiative in 2009 and each year since has invested funds to help nonprofit organizations geared toward economic development and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in California. These investments have benefitted more than half a million students and 6,600 teachers, provided 13,000 new STEM resources for students, helped train more than 10,000 people through job training programs, benefited 2,500 small business, and enabled 2,700 people to secure employment.


MEDIA RSVP:           Please RSVP Brent Tippen, Chevron policy, government and public affairs

510-242-4700 or Brent.Tippen@chevron.com.


**Note to Reporters      Breakfast will be available from 9:30-10:00 a.m. and any camera set up is requested to be completed before event begins.


Chevron meeting for public set for Dec. 19

From City of Richmond:

The City of Richmond has the responsibility for issuing construction permits for the repair of the Chevron Refinery crude unit in accordance with applicable building and fire codes.  As you may know, during the plan check process for the issuance of such construction permits, staff concluded, after extensive consultation with technical experts, that there needed to be a more detailed risk analysis before a definitive conclusion could be reached regarding the choice of pipe material in applying these codes.  There are several options in the code for pipe material that must be evaluated by permitting officials.

At its meeting of December 4th, the City Council stressed the importance of transparency in the permitting process, and directed staff to conduct a public meeting to provide information on the factors leading to a decision concerning pipe material before permits were granted for damaged process piping.  This meeting has now been scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Richmond City Council Chambers
440 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804

To move the permit process forward, but with the primary interest of public safety, staff initiated the following process:


  • As part of their permit application, Chevron was asked to prepare a detailed, risk analysis regarding the selection of pipe material for the repair.  This analysis was provided to the City on Wednesday, December 12th and is attached to this e-mail.  (Material Selection for Repair of Damaged Process Piping in High-Temperature Sulfidation Service in the No. 4 Crude Unit).  Since Thursday, December 13th, the report has also been available at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/chevronrefineryfire2012.  
  • The Chevron analysis has been submitted to the City’s metallurgical consultant, Mr. Jim McLaughlin, for evaluation.  Mr. McLaughlin expects to provide a written summary of his evaluation by the end of the day on Monday, December 17th.  We will advise you as soon as possible after we receive this evaluation.
  • All agencies that have been working on the investigation of the August 6th refinery fire are being specifically contacted to ask for their review of the pipe material selection.  These agencies include Contra Costa County, the Chemical Safety Board, Cal-OSHA, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • The City has also retained Mr. David Hendrix, a metallurgical engineering consultant, to provide a peer review of the analyses. 

Until all this work is completed, City staff has determined not to issue building permits for portions of the repair for damaged process piping in high-temperature sulfidation service in the No. 4 Crude Unit.

The City of Richmond will continue to provide material as it becomes available. Please also check the City’s website at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/chevronrefineryfire2012.