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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.

Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Under: Pinole | No Comments »

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

Posted on Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
Under: El Cerrito, Kensington, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo | No Comments »

Pinole: National Punctuation Day on Monday will celebrate the presidential election

The ninth annual National Punctuation Day, that event founded in Pinole that promotes correct use of punctuation (or in the age of texting, the use of any punctuation at all), returns on Monday with an election year focus.
Here is the official press release:

The ninth annual National Punctuation Day (NPD), the September 24 holiday that reminds America that a “semicolon is not a surgical procedure,” celebrates the 2012 presidential election with a literary challenge — vote for your Presidential Punctuation Mark in one, highly punctuated paragraph!

The rules for contestants competing for a box of punctuation goodies are: Write one paragraph with a maximum of three sentences using these 13 punctuation marks to explain which should be “presidential,” and why: apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, ellipsis, exclamation point, hyphen, parentheses, period, question mark, quotation mark, and semicolon. You may use a punctuation mark more than once, and there is no word limit.

Contest entries must be received by September 30 to be considered for prizes.

Founded in 2004 by former newspaperman Jeff Rubin, NPD is listed in Chase’s Calendar of Events and The Teacher’s Calendar, two directories published by McGraw-Hill.

The NPD website, in addition to highlighting the latest in literacy news and featuring incorrectly punctuated signs from all over the world, serves as a resource that helps educators teach good writing skills and helps students understand the basics of punctuation. Business people worldwide use it as a reference guide.

There’s even a punctuation newsletter! The Exclamation Point! contains articles on the latest literacy news from around the world, book reviews, and commentary.

NPD is celebrated in public and private schools, and universities, businesses, and corporations with activities, games, programs, and contests. It has inspired people to pay attention not only to their p’s and q’s, but also their commas, semicolons, and ellipses. NPD reminds us of the importance of proper punctuation for communicating clearly at home, school, or at work.

NPD has received worldwide media attention. Each year, Rubin is a guest on dozens of radio shows, and NPD receives significant newspaper coverage throughout the United States and the world. NPD has been covered in Canada, England, Korea, Australia, Ghana, and the Philippines.

“Casual shortcuts bred by e-mailing and text messaging have no place in school papers or professional business writing,” Rubin says. “In the business world, words have power and help decision-makers form impressions immediately. Careless punctuation mistakes cost time, money, and productivity.

“Successful people have good communication skills, and that includes knowing how to write properly. Punctuation counts. A misplaced comma can alter the meaning of a message.”

Visit the NPD website to learn how schools and companies can participate in National Punctuation Day and to schedule an interview with Jeff Rubin.

What can you do to participate in National Punctuation Day on September 24?
1. Visit the NPD website to become familiar with punctuation rules and issues.
2. Organize punctuation activities at your school, library, or office.
3. Share punctuation peeves with founder Jeff Rubin on his website.
4. Send photos of incorrectly punctuated signage to Jeff Rubin at his website.
5. Forward this information to spread the importance of proper punctuation.

Posted on Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
Under: Pinole, Schools | No Comments »

Free apple and cherry trees will be distributed Tuesday in Richmond

Fruit trees. Tomorrow. Distributed 5-6 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot at Civic Center Plaza on Macdonald Avenue.
The trees are being given out by the group Self-Sustaining Communities (, which has distributed almost 10,000 trees in the East Bay since 2009.
Most recently, there were 400 trees handed out at Richmond’s compost giveaway on Saturday.
The group was started in El Cerrito and is now based in Richmond and most of the trees have been directed to low-income communities in West Contra Costa as a way to help people provide for themselves.
The trees are donated by growers in the Central Valley.
This time there are no qualifications and almost 900 trees that need homes and may bear nutritional fruit with the proper care.
Here is the announcement from group founder Linda Schneider.

We were unexpectedly given 1308 apple and cherry trees, somewhat at the last minute. They are all bare root.

They are Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji apples, and Bing, Rainier, Van and Brooks cherries.

Thanks to Jennifer Ly with the City of Richmond, Eduardo Martinez and Tony Wolcott, 400 trees total were given out Saturday with the compost giveaway.

The City is having another giveaway between 5:00 and 6:30 in front of the Richmond City Hall, in the parking lot, tomorrow, Tuesday. Because we have so many, and time is of the essence, we would like to get these out as quickly as possible.

This will be open to all — the goal being we want as much local food and greening throughout entire neighborhoods as possible, and because it also creates meaningful social activity and community. These are not for resale or business.

Thank you so very much.

Posted on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Under: El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Pinole, Richmond, Rodeo, San Pablo | No Comments »

It’s the annual herring run in Point Richmond

If you haven’t been to Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in Point Richmond lately, word is obviously out among the sea gulls that this is the place to be.
The annual herring run is an event not to be missed, but so far this year the buzz (or squawk) is not as great as last year.
A few seal lions were around Saturday and the pelicans came out at sunset, but right now it’s the sea gulls’ show and all we can do is think of Hitchcock.

Posted on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Under: El Cerrito, Pinole, Port Costa, Richmond | 1 Comment »

West Contra Costa Science Fair award winners

The 55th annual West Contra Costa Science Fair awards ceremony was held Feb. 9 at Contra Costa College in San Pablo.
Of the 186 entrants, 65 middle school and 16 high school students won a total of 88 awards.
The eight West Contra Costa Unified schools participating in the fair were Juan Crespi, Lavonya Dejean, Helms, and Portola Middle Schools, Elizabeth Stewart and Mira Vista K-8 Schools, as well as El Cerrito and Pinole Valley High Schools. There were about 50 judges participating from the Alameda County CA Superior Court, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Chevron Corporation, Chevron Oronite, Cisco, Contra Costa College, CSU Northridge, Northwestern University, Synopsys Outreach Foundation, UC Berkeley, UC Extension, USDA Western Regional Research Center, and the West Contra Costa Unified School District. The judges evaluated the projects in the categories of Behavioral, Biological, and Physical Sciences for seventh through twelfth grades.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2012
Under: El Cerrito, Hercules, Kensington, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Schools | 2 Comments »

Pinole pauses to honor those who served

Scouts from Troop 86 in Pinole salute as a flag is retired.

We can’t conclude Veterans Day without a post about the annual the Fourth Annual Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony that brought some 300 people to Fernandez Park in Pinole.
The nearby senior center is home to the area’s Veterans of Foreign War post (No. 2798) and the event links generations by bringing together VFW members and others who served their country with residents and local Boy and Girl Scouts, Police Explorers and members of other groups.
If you haven’t been, the event is a worthwhile reminder of the need to honor those who have served for all of us.
Music was provided by the 94-member-strong marching band from Pinole Valley High School and the choir from St. Joseph School and flag retirement was done by Boy Scouts from Troop 86 in Pinole, led by Scoutmaster Bob Marieiro.
Because of the uncertain weather, ceremonies were conducted inside the Youth Center in Fernandez Park, followed by the flag retirement on the park lawn.
Here are some views of the ceremonies, courtesy of the Pinole Historical Society.

VFW Post 2798 Commander Carl Petersdorf speaks at the ceremonies.

Troop 86 Scouts retire a flag while Garrett Dibble plays "Taps."

George and Christie Vincent of the Pinole Historical Society honor the city's war dead.

Posted on Sunday, November 13th, 2011
Under: Pinole | No Comments »

Update on Veterans Day in El Cerrito, Pinole and Richmond

A flag flutters in the wind after being planted near a veteran's grave at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito in 2011. (Staff photo by Dean Coppola)

Here’s an update on Veterans Day activities in West County, including late word that the morning flag placement at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito, previously announced as called off because of predicted rain, will take place regardless of the weather.

The decision on the El Cerrito event was announced at the Herms District Roundtable meeting of local Boy Scout troop leaders on Wednesday night.
“Local Scout Troops and some Lions plan to post flags on Friday, no matter the weather, and will meet at Sunset View between 8 and 8:30 a.m. any way, any whether,” writes Dave Williams of the San Pablo Lions chapter.
Any volunteers who want to help place flags on the graves of deceased veterans are welcome to come to Sunset View, 101 Colusa Ave. at Fairmount Avenue.
Other events in West County:

Pinole: The annual observance and flag retirement ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Friday, rain or shine, at Fernandez Park, 595 Tennent Ave. The event will move into the Youth Center at the park in the event of rain.

Richmond: A re-enactment of the launch of the World War II ship SS Red Oak Victory will be part of the Veterans Day observance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Port of Richmond, 1337 Canal Blvd. Because of the rain prediction, ceremonies will be held in Hold 3 and 4 of the historic ship originally launched from the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond in 1944.

Posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2011
Under: El Cerrito, Pinole, Richmond | No Comments »

Halloween festivities for all ages set in West County

Here is a roundup of Halloween events in West County:

East Bay Waldorf School presents Wanderers’ Way, a seasonal event on Friday that will take children 10 and under and their families on a journey through the decorated grounds of the school at 3800 Clark Road in El Sobrante.

A guide will take visitors (no scary costumes, please) on the pumpkin-lit paths to see storytellers, fanciful creatures, and ethereal music, with small treasures offered along the way to children and refreshments available at the end.

The tour is $5 per person over age 2. Guided groups leave every 10 minutes from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and reservations are required. To reserve a time slot, call 510-223-3570, ext. 2101.

* Children age 4 to 7 can come in costume to the Hercules Halloween Fest from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday at the Teen Center, for a non-scary tour of the haunted house, followed by arts and crafts, activities, games, and more. Admission is $7 (residents) or $21 for a family of four. Proceeds benefit the Hercules Teen Youth Council.

* Weigh of Life is hosting Spooky Fun Raiser at 6 p.m. Friday at the Veterans Hall, 968 23rd St. in Richmond. The evening includes food, a DJ, performance and dancing. Proceeds from the $45 admission benefit Weigh of Life, a program promoting fitness and healthy eating in underserved communities. Details: 510-323-3052.

* San Pablo Recreation will hold its free Haunted House and Pumpkin Patch from 6:30 to
8:30 p.m. Friday at Davis Park, 1665 Folsom Ave. Brave visitors can walk through the Chamber of Doom, and all ages are welcome at the Pumpkin Patch for storytelling, crafts, face painting, and more. Details: 510-215-3204

* The Pinole Youth Foundation presents its Halloween Carnival and Haunted House from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Fernandez Park, 595 Tennent Ave. Along with the free costume parade and crafts there will be jumpers, face painting, balloons and carnival games for a fee, with proceeds benefiting youth programs. A mega pass is available for $5.

* Richmond presents its Hauntatorium from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center. Admission for those who dare to step inside to find Pumpkin Face is $5. A less-scary matinee version for children 10 and under is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

* An Adult Costume Ball will be held by Richmond PAL at its Hal Holt Gymnasium, 2200 Macdonald Ave., from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. The gala evening will feature dancing, appetizers, drinks, games and prizes for best costumes. For tickets call 510-621-1221.

* El Cerrito’s Halloween Carnival and Haunted House is 2:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane. The carnival will have games and prizes for all ages, with ticket sales ending at 6:30 p.m.
The Haunted House (admission $4) has a preschool, lights-on version from 3 to 5 p.m. and the scary, lights-off version from 5:15 to 7 p.m. Affordable food and beverages will be sold.

Canines can get in on the fun at the third annual Dog Parade and Costume Contest at 5 p.m. at Cerrito Vista Park at Moeser Lane and Pomona Avenue. Admission is $5 and there will prizes for entrants and winners.

* Downtown Rhythm and DVC Rock Rhythm and Review headline the Halloween Dance Fundraiser at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pinole Senior Center, 2500 Charles Ave. Come in costumes or casual/night club attire for an evening includes a cash bar. For tickets send an email to

* Come in costume to a Halloween Bike About Town starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Solano Avenue Cyclery, 1554 Solano Ave. in Albany. The Recreation Department and Albany Strollers & Rollers will lead an eerie ride around town in the dark and a limited number of front bike lights will be available for free, first come first served. At ride’s end a vote will be held for best bike-theme costume and best costumed family.

* County Supervisor John Gioia invites families to trick or treat at his office, 11780 San Pablo Ave., Suite D in El Cerrito, this week for alternatives to candy and other sugary sweets.
During open hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m.) this week, A sample bag will be distributed, one per household, while supplies last. For details contact Luz Gomez at 510-374-3231 or

* The dental office of Dr. Linh Cao-Chan will hold a Halloween Candy Buy Back from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Nov. 2 at 10110 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito. The office will pay $1 per pound of unopened candy “and throw in a goody bag with good stuff for teeth.”

Collected candy will be donated to Operation Gratitude ( to send to troops overseas, and donations of other care package items are welcome. Details: 510-526-4747.

Posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Under: Albany, El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo | No Comments »

The Faria family home in its original Pinole habitat

Pictured above, from the West County Times photo files, is a 1987 view of the Faria family home at its original setting overlooking Pinole Valley Road.
The 1880 house, originally built by Pinole pioneer Dr. Samuel Tennent for his newly wedded son, James, was moved to Old Town in 2005 and renovated.In the early 1900s Joseph Dutra Faria and his wife, Maria Nunes Faria, moved into the home, raising 11 children and overseeing a dairy ranch across the street.
The open land where the home sat is now the site of the Kaiser Permanente medical offices, where a plaque will be commemorated on the southeast corner of Henry Avenue and Pinole Valley Road by the Pinole Historical Society.
“George Vincent, PHS historian and storyteller, will be conducting the ceremony. Also speaking will be one of the Faria sisters, Dolores Lucas, and Vice Mayor Peter Murray,” writes historical society member Jeff Rubin.
“Three generations of Farias lived in this home, most notably William (Bill) Faria and his wife, Margaret. Bill raised dairy cows on his father’s ranch across the street from this home in the 1920s and 1930s,” Rubin notes. “Bill’s three daughters, Margaret, Deanna, and Dolores, will attend the dedication. Margaret and Deanna live in Pinole. Dolores lives in Benicia.”
As for the Faria house, “It now sits at 2100 San Pablo Ave., preserved as a historical landmark and, hopefully, the future home of the Pinole History Museum.”

Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2011
Under: Pinole | No Comments »