Pinole ribbon-cutting Friday will dedicate expanded restaurant

due Rose 2

A ribbon-cutting will be held at 5 p.m. March 1 to dedicate the expansion of Ristorante due Rose, which offers Italian cuisine at 1596 Fitzgerald Drive in the Pinole Vista Shopping Center.

The restaurant has expanded into space formerly occupied by Fabric Depo that almost doubles the eatery’s space, including the addition of a bar and private dining room.

As part of the opening celebration Ristorante due Rose will offer beer and wine specials from 5 to 10 p.m. this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as live music all weekend.


Planet Fitness opens in Richmond

RICHMOND — Welcome to Planet Fitness, Richmond edition.

A new 30,000 square foot facility opened this week at 4925 Macdonald Ave., giving the city its first Planet Fitness, a popular low-priced, nationwide gym chain.

After months of refurbishing, the gym opened in a building that for years was the site of a Safeway grocery store.

Planet Fitness representatives will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and Grand Opening at 11 a.m. Friday, with representatives from Mayor Gayle McLaughlin’s office.

The new fitness center is the third major gym in the city — along with a YMCA and 24 Fitness — but the only one not in the Hilltop Mall area.

The new Planet Fitness is open 24 hours per day during the week and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. People can join for just $1 down and $10 a month through March 27.

There are about 630 Planet Fitness sites nationwide. Planet Fitness is a national brand partner of NBC’s The Biggest Loser.


Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726 or rrogers@bayareanewsgroup.com and follow Twitter.com/roberthrogers



El Cerrito/Richmond: Hacienda Restaurant being demolished


The venerable Hacienda Restaurant, a mainstay at Macdonald and San Pablo avenues in Richmond for decades, is being torn down this week.
The Mexican Restaurant, known by generations for the fountain in its lobby and a design that included no windows, had actually closed a few years ago and is now being razed in preparation for the opening of a Grocery Outlet at a former Lucky/Albertsons store on the same property.
The late couple that founded and ran the Hacienda have left a greater legacy to the West County community in the form of a bequest made in their estate last year to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, as noted in the Times last November:

Contra Costa College in San Pablo is the recipient of a $1 million gift from the estate of Antonio and Trinidad Carrico, longtime residents of El Cerrito and Richmond who for decades owned the Hacienda Restaurant on San Pablo Avenue.

Antonio Carrico, a native of Portugal and veteran of World War II, was 91 when he died in Walnut Creek in June. Trinidad Carrico died in 2009.

The couple owned the restaurant at Macdonald and San Pablo avenues for 56 years.

The college was told about the gift by Mechanics Bank and the couple’s daughter, Magna Carrico, at a recent meeting of the CCC Foundation board. The board will manage the gift “based on the wishes and memory of the Carrico family.”




Richmond Library talk today on Huey Newton and ‘trial of the century’

The Grateful Dead performed at a 1971 Black Panther solidarity rally at the Oakland Auditorium.

The 1968 Bay Area murder trial of Black Panther co-founder Huey P. Newton and accompanying protests seeking his freedom exemplified the era’s tumultuous social divisions.

Retired Alameda County judge Lise Pearlman will discuss the trial and the times at “People vs. Newton: The Real Trial of the 20th Century,” a benefit program being presented at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium Bermuda Room,

2533 Nevin Ave.

Pearlman is the author “The Sky’s The Limit,” a book about the trial and the political climate of the day.

The talk is presented by the Richmond Public Library Foundation and proceeds benefit the library book van campaign.

Tickets are $10 general, $5 students with ID. Supporting sponsors can get admission and an autographed book for $100. Tickets and details are online at www.rplf.org.


Free fruit tree disribution in Richmond on Friday

Have a yard and want to grow your own fresh fruit?
Richmond and the nonprofit group Self Sustaining Communities are holding another giveaway of fruit trees and seeds starting at noon Friday at the Civic Center Farmer’s Market behind the Richmond Auditorium.
City staff members will join Tom Burchell of Burchell Nursery, which donated the 1,000 trees being distributed, to hand out trees and seeds and answer questions. The first-come, first-serve event will also have free home compost pails and reusable bags available.
“The giveaway is open to all members of the community.”


Richmond protest against banks set for Wednesday

press release:





David Sharples, 415-377-9037, dsharples@calorganize.org

Maurice Weeks, 973-494-2461, mweeks@calorganize.org

Rose Gudiel, 562-208-0049, gudiel_rose@yahoo.com


California Homeowners Denounce Hometown Wells Fargo for its Abysmal Performance in Keeping Californians in their Homes

ACCE Home Defenders League Launches Campaign against Wells Fargo


Richmond, CA

On Wednesday, February 27th homeowners with the ACCE Home Defenders League will descend upon Wells branches across the state and announce their campaign calling on Wells Fargo to enact a broad principal reduction program, reduce short sales and release data on borrowers helped by income and race.



What: Statewide launch of campaign to make Wells Fargo implement a broad principal reduction program

Who: Wells Fargo homeowners with the ACCE Home Defenders League and supporters

When: 11:30 am, Wednesday February 27th, 2013

Where: 4300 Macdonald Ave, Richmond (as well as San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland)

Wells Fargo is the largest mortgage servicer in California and is currently in the process of foreclosing on more homeowners than any other bank. Wells Fargo has resisted offering principal reduction as a standard element of loan modifications, and the dollar amount of principal reduction Wells Fargo is providing is paltry. According to recent progress report from the Monitor of the Attorney General settlement, Wells Fargo’s average amount of principal reduction was $74,837, compared to Bank of America’s $192,090. And Bank of America gave out nearly $1 billion more in principal reduction during this period, in California, than Wells Fargo did! Loan modifications with principal reduction will help homeowners stay in their homes and stabilize our communities and our economy.

“Wells Fargo, based here in California, should be a leader in the effort to rebuild California and restore community wealth” says Ross Rhodes, a Wells Fargo borrower and ACCE Home Defenders League member. “Instead, Wells Fargo is a community destroyer, with plans to kick over 3,500 families out of their homes next month. It’s time for Wells Fargo to invest in making California stronger and healthier.”

The ACCE Action Home Defenders League is demanding that Wells Fargo:

Make principal reduction a core front-end strategy when considering loan modifications; Release information on the race and income of the homeowners they foreclose on, evict or assist.

Stop all foreclosures and evictions stop until these steps are put into place.

ACCE Action is a statewide community organization of low and moderate income families and is a statewide anchor of the national Home Defenders League

a network of homeowners fighting back against Wall Street to save their homes.





Richmond meeting Wednesday re: Chevron Fire

Press release:



New Labor and Community Collaborative hosts first public meeting in the wake of the August 6, 2012 Toxic Chevron Richmond Refinery Fire.


August 6, toxic fire nearly killed 20 workers and sent 15,000 to local hospitals.


“What Happened at Chevron on August 6, 2012


Wednesday, February 27, meeting in the Richmond Community to take place in the Richmond community at St. Mark’s Catholic Church Gym 159 Harbour Way, Richmond, California, at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


The Collaborative is made up of United Steel Workers Local 5, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Blue Green Alliance, Communities for a Better Environment, Labor Occupational Health Program UC Berkeley and the Natural Resources Defense Council.


The meeting will be a community dialogue to discuss the findings of the Cal-OSHA Safety Violations and the US Chemical Safety Board Metallurgical Report. The following items will be discussed.


  • Emergency Response: Conditions to avoid disaster and unnecessary risks, right of workers to shut down unsafe operations.
  • Preventive Maintenance: Investing in refinery safety.
  • Incident Response: air monitoring, warning, and health care systems inadequacies.
  • Inherently Safer Technology: avoiding unnecessary hazards by design
  • Public Refinery Safety Audits: Because what we don’t know can hurt us.


There will be a Call to Action for attendees to participate in several upcoming actions.


This meeting will include simultaneous translation in Spanish, Lao, Khmu, and Mien.


For more information please contact: Andres Soto 510.2825363 or Andres@cbecal.org


Coverage of speech given 49 years ago today by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.in San Pablo

The Richmond Museum of History notes online that it was 49 years ago today that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Contra Costa College in San Pablo.

Here is the Oakland Tribune’s coverage of his talk, in which he declared that segregation was in its final throes, had praise for the (Byron) Rumford Fair Housing Bill and the national Civil Rights Bill being debated, and said that “We have come a long way and we still have a long way to go.”

‘Segregation Is On Its Deathbed’

SAN PABLO-‘Segregation is on its deathbed, but it remains to be seen how costly the segregationists will make the funeral.”

In an address before 2,300 at Contra Costa College, Dr. Martin Luther King, the Southern integrationist, called for “legislation, non-violent direct action and love” to enhance “the American dream.”

His talk was highlighted by accolades for California’s Rumford Fair Housing Law, which he termed “a great step forward.”

King said, “It would be a real tragedy if California went on record for repeal of its fair housing law.”

He referred to the Civil Rights Bill now before the Senate as “the greatest tribute to John F. Kennedy” and called on lawmakers to gird themselves for victory over an expected filibuster in the upper house.

At a brief press conference earlier in the day at San Francisco International Airport, King revealed that his Southern Christian Leadership Conference may attempt to cope with such a filibuster with “another march on Washington.”

He was one of the leaders of the huge civil rights parade in the nation’s capital last August.

King summed up the three basic attitudes toward progress in race relations, stating that he favors a “realistic position” in favor of “extreme optimism and extreme pessimism.”

King took the stand that “we have come a long way and we still have a long way to go.”

He included in signs of progress the end of the poll tax in federal elections, a rise in the number of registered Negro voters to 2 million, and a 12-fold increase in Negro income in the past 15 years.

King said there are still 6 million unregistered voters because of threats of “economic reprisal, physical violence and the literacy test.”

He told of one literacy test question in Mississippi which asked: “How many bubbles are there in a bar of soap.”

Forty-two per cent of the Negro population earns less than $2,000 a year and 20 per cent less than $1,000, King pointed out. He said the corresponding percentages for whites are 17 and 6.

The Nobel Peace Prize nominee also pointed to housing and health facilities as areas where much progress is needed. “Presdent Johnson’s war on poverty must be supported,” he said.

“If democracy is to live then segregation must die,” King remarked, “because segregation relegates persons to the status of things.”

He termed the theory that legislation cannot solve race reations a “myth,” adding that a law can’t make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me. Legislation changes habits, and habits change hearts.”

The Negro leader flew out of the Bay Area last night for five more speaking engagements in Los Angeles and Hawaii.