Above, is an early 1939 promotional aerial view/map of Richmond and its surrounding area. Much of the Richmond shoreline in the foreground has yet to be reshaped for the Kaiser shipyards, including leveling a large hill.
In the background (below) are the West County towns past Richmond on two-lane Highway 40 and San Pablo Avenue, including the forgotten heavy industry company settlements, such as Giant (dynamite manufacturing), Oleum (oil refinery) and Selby (metal smelting).
Click on each photo for a larger view.
Police are circulating this flier explaining “skimming” and how to avoid falling victim to a thief when using a debit card at an ATM or a store checkout counter.
An incident involving a “shoulder surfer” was reported in Hercules last week.
Fairmount School crossing guard in front of Amerio Drugs on San Pablo Avenue.
Posted here are excerpts of home movies of El Cerrito in the 1940s and 1950s that the family of Arthur Lorenzo Hopkins shared with the El Cerrito Historical Society that show slices of life in a city was still early in its development and in many ways still rural. Living just a few doors north of El Cerrito High School, the Hopkins family raised crops and livestock in the double-deep back yard of their home on Pomona Avenue, including cows, chickens and turkeys.
A team of horses is seen plowing a vacant lot across the street (still there) to plant a World War II victory garden and student crossing guards from Fairmount Elementary School stop traffic on San Pablo Avenue (look for Amerio Drug Store and the old Bank of America location).
Home movies that seem to be of little interest to anyone outside the family that took them can be an invaluable to historical societies trying to record what life was like in different eras. They add a dimension different that complements still photographs and written records.
Maybe you have a reel of film or an old VHS or Beta tape tucked away somewhere that could be digitized and shared with future generations (the original returned, of course). Historical societies would love to find out.
Contact the El Cerrito Historical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org, the El Sobrante Historical Society at email@example.com, the Pinole Historical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Richmond Museum of History at 510-235-7387 or email@example.com.
Three of the four lanes on the eastbound Carquinez Bridge will be closed starting at 11:55 p.m. Dec. 21 and reopen no later than 6 a.m. Dec. 22, Caltrans announced Friday.
The closure is needed to repair a bridge deck joint and the project is being scheduled to minimize traffic disruption, but there still may be delays, the agency warned.
In the run-up last week to a possible BART strike (which has happened) and an AC Transit strike (which hasn’t happened — yet), a Bay Area broadcast outlet erroneously announced on social media that WestCAT, was also facing a strike.
Not so, emphasizes the agency, which issued the following statement:
WestCAT Buses Keep On Keepin’ On
July 1, 2013, Pinole, CA – Despite several unsubstantiated rumors of a possible WestCAT driver strike, which have been circulating since early last week, WestCAT drivers rolled out bright and early this morning as scheduled. In fact, additional transbay service to San Francisco was included with the morning rollout. WestCAT and MV employees woke up early this morning ready, willing and able to add their assistance to the thousands of commuters displaced by the BART work stoppage.
Everyone at WestCAT has been gearing up for the possibility of a BART strike for several weeks now. As confirmation came in, dozens of staff began arriving early at key locations from Hercules to San Francisco to assist displaced commuters, provide directions or just reassurances to those who might be unfamiliar with bus operations.
“A special thank you goes out to the WestCAT drivers, dispatchers and maintenance crew who are doing an incredible job today given the very demanding conditions, which are likely to continue for the duration of the strike,” said WestCAT General Manager, Charles Anderson.
It will not be known for at least a few days the impact the additional riders will have made to WestCAT’s overall ridership, but staff expects that it will be significant.
WestCAT will continue to place frequent updates to its strike contingency plan on the agency’s official website http://www.westcat.org/bart.html for the duration of the BART work stoppage. Customers can also call WestCAT information at 510-724-7993. For access to all of the Bay Area transit contingency plans go online at alert.511.org or call 511 for more trip planning options and travel needs.
WestCAT serves a West County area of just over 20 square miles that includes Pinole and Hercules and the unincorporated areas of Montalvin Manor, Bayview, Tara Hills, Rodeo, Crockett, and Port Costa.
An announcement from Caltrans about work tonight on the Carquinez Bridge:
I-80 Carquinez Bridge Fender Replacement Project
Eastbound Lane Closures Planned for Tonight
CONTRA COSTA AND SOLANO COUNTIES – Tonight, Caltrans will begin a concrete pour for the I-80 Carquinez Bridge Fender Replacement Project. Construction equipment will be deployed on the bridge which will require lane closures on eastbound I-80 just prior to the Carquinez Bridge and will continue onto the bridge itself and the toll plaza.
Lane closures will be as follows:
· Between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., one lane will be closed on eastbound I-80 beginning just before the Carquinez Bridge.
· Between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., a second lane of eastbound I-80 will be closed on the Carquinez Bridge just after the Crockett onramp.
· After midnight, if needed, a third lane of eastbound I-80 will be closed on the Carquinez Bridge.
· During these closures, at least one eastbound lane will remain open at all times.
· By 8 a.m., all eastbound lanes will be open.
The construction activities are weather dependent. If work is cancelled due to weather, it will be rescheduled.
Motorists may experience delays. Caltrans will use portable changeable message signs to alert motorists about the closures. The California Highway Patrol will also be on site to assist with traffic control.
Caltrans apologizes for any inconvenience this work may cause and asks that motorists continue to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”
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.
It hasn’t been an easy year for public education. For the John Swett school district, the state budget cuts have translated into layoffs, program cuts and elimination of basics like librarians and custodians.
Pastor John Wright of Full Gospel Fellowship Church in Hercules has decided some local help is needed. Wright has teamed up with Steve Trotter, principal of Rodeo Hills Elementary School in Rodeo, and launched a new web site: www.adoptyourschool.org.
The site has a general list of needed items (everything from colored pencils to glue sticks to disinfectant wipes) and drop-off locations. Right now Full Gospel is the only official drop-off point but more are coming.
Teachers in all grades at Rodeo Hills have also posted their personalized wish lists on the site.
So if you’ve got some extra school or office supplies around the house, or you don’t mind picking up a little extra while doing your back-to-school shopping this summer, check out the new site!
Vintage cars line Winslow Street in Crockett in this photo by Robert Williams. The film crew came prepared for the uncertain weather.
Maybe Crockett is finally ready for its closeup.
Last year Clint Eastwood brought a stealthy operation to the town to film scenes of his feature “Hereafter” in the C&H sugar refinery.
The crew, including the film’s star, Matt Damon, were gone before the outside world realized they had been there.
This week Hollywood returned in a much bigger fashion, parking some 40 large trailers Wednesday on streets of the town, many of them carrying vintage vehicles used in the filming on Winslow Street.
The filming permit was issued by the county and lasts through Saturday night, said Dale McDonald, general manager of the Crockett Community Services District.
So what is the production?
McDonald said there has been no official disclosure, but neighborhood scuttlebutt is that it is a feature based on L. Ron Hubbard starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The county filming permit is set to expire at midnight on Saturday, McDonald said.
At least 40 large trailers can be found all around Crockett. "It's amazing how many trailers they need," said Robert Williams who took the photo.
The extension of the Interstate 80 high-occupancy-vehicle lane from the Highway 4 connector in Hercules to the Carquinez Bridge will be dedicated with a ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, but there are more ramp closures until then to complete the work, Caltrans announced.
· Eastbound I-80 connector ramp to eastbound State Route 4/Willow Avenue will be closed tonight from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
· Eastbound I-80 Willow Avenue off-ramp will be closed tonight from 8 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Note: this work will not be performed concurrent will the connector ramp closure above. One ramp will remain open at all times.
· Eastbound I-80 Willow Avenue on-ramp will be closed tonight from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway off-ramp will be closed Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 8 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday.
· Eastbound I-80 Willow Avenue off-ramp will be closed Saturday night from 8 p.m. until 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
· Eastbound I-80 Willow Avenue on-ramp will be closed Saturday night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway on-ramp will be closed Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday.
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway off-ramp will be closed Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
· Eastbound I-80 Willow Avenue off-ramp will be closed Monday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
· Eastbound I-80 Willow Avenue on-ramp will be closed Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway on-ramp will be closed Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
· Eastbound I-80 Cummings Skyway off-ramp will be closed Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
· Eastbound I-80 Crockett Off-ramp will be closed Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Presiding at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday will be Caltrans District 4 Director Bijan Sartipi; Metropolitan Transportation Commission Vice Chair and Orinda council member Amy Rein Worth, California Highway Patrol Paul Fontana, Hercules Mayor Joanne Ward and Ghilotti Brothers President Mike Ghilotti.