Four injured in five-vehicle crash on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito

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The scene Tuesday afternoon after a multi-vehicle collision on San Pablo Avenue at Moeser Lane in El Cerrito. (Photo courtesy of John Stashik.)

Four people were injured in a multiple-car collision between 4:15 and 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30 on San Pablo Avenue at Moeser Lane in El Cerrito, with one taken by helicopter to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

Michael Pigoni, Battalion Chief/Operations for the El Cerrito Fire Department, issued the following statement:

This evening at approximately 4:30 pm, Engine 71, Engine 72 and Battalion 71 were dispatched to a multi-vehicle accident on San Pablo Avenue at Moeser Lane. Initial reports were that there were 5 to 6 cars involved and possible two people trapped. Engine 71 arrived on scene to find multiple cars (5 total) in the south bound lane that were involved. Drivers were still in three of the cars.

A total of five patients were found at the scene, four adults and one infant. Four ambulances and two helicopters were ordered due to the apparent injuries with a landing zone set at Cerrito Vista Park. Engine 72 used their “Jaws of Life” to open the driver’s door of one of the vehicles to extricate the patient. The first patient was removed from the vehicle and transported to Cerrito Vista Park where REACH 3 had landed and was flown to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. The three other patients were all treated and transported by ground to John Muir Medical Center with serious to critical injuries. The infant was checked out at the scene and was not injured and was released to their family.

At this point in time, the updated condition of the patients is not known.

The photographs below of the accident scene are courtesy of the El Cerrito Fire Department.





San Pablo: Overnight closure on Interstate 80 at San Pablo Dam Road this weekend

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Interstate 80 will be closed in both directions from 11 p.m. Aug. 20 to 7 a.m. Aug. 21 for work on the San Pablo Dam Road interchange improvement project.
Temporary detours will be in effect (see the detour map above).
“Now that the roadway deck has been poured for a new pedestrian overcrossing at Riverside
Avenue, which will replace the current overcrossing, these closures will enable crews to remove
the falsework (support structures) that were previously constructed. When complete
later this year, the new overcrossing will extend across Amador Street, enhancing safety for
Riverside Elementary School students and the community.”
Motorists should follow instructions posted on all on-site signage during the closure.
For more details on the closure and the project visit www.ccta.net/sanpablodamroad or call the project hotline at 510-277-0444. Construction updates will be available on Twitter at @i80spdr.


Richmond police offer ice cream and conversation at downtown event


The Richmond Police Department invites the community to Chill with a Cop from 11am to 1pm Aug. 13 at the Community Green Space downtown at Harbour Way and Macdonald Avenue.
“No agenda, just a delicious scoop of free ice cream (while supplies last) and great conversation with your neighborhood beat officers.”
Beat officers will have crime prevention tips and there will even be free books to take home.
“Already have plans to go to the Rosie Rally? Do that first, then come downtown to celebrate, treat yourself, and Chill with a Cop,” say organizers.

The event is sponsored by Richmond Main Street Initiative, the Richmond Police Department and Lappert’s Ice Cream.

For more details call 510-236-4049 email admin@richmondmainstreet.org or visit www.RichmondMainStreet.org.


Pacific Coast League baseball reunion event returns Aug. 20

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Opening day ceremony at Oakland Oaks Ball Park in Emeryville during World War II.

The late Dick Dobbins, a Berkeley native and later a high school principal in Contra Costa who died in 1999, was among the foremost collectors and compilers of artifacts from the golden age of baseball’s Pacific Coast League from 1903 until the arrival of Major League Baseball on the West Coast in 1958.
Dobbins, then attending Berkeley High School, rescued records, trophies and other items of the Oakland Oaks after the team departed and its Emeryville ballpark was being torn down in 1956. It became a lifelong passion for Dobbins, and that love is carried on at an annual event named in his honor.
The 22nd annual Northern California Dick Dobbins PCL Player and Family Reunion will be held 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at Ryan O’Connell Hall, 575 West Estudillo Ave. at San Leandro Boulevard in San Leandro.
The day always includes players and PCL enthusiasts and a program about the history of a league that was good enough that many considered it “the third major league” at its height.
Admission is $25 with lunch (RSVP by Aug. 15) or $8 without.
To reserve a seat send a check made out to PCLHS to PCLHS, 420 Robinson Circle, Placentia, CA 92870. Or call Mark Macrae at 510-538-6245 for more details.

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Pitcher Charlie Gassaway of the Oakland Oaks.

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El Cerrito High grad Ernie Broglio, who pitched for the Oakland Oaks before advancing to the major leagues, is one of the organizers of the annual PCL reunion.


Vintage images of Richmond’s past as city turns 111 today

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A 1907 aerial illustration of the young city.

Richmond became a city on Aug. 7 1905 and turns 111 today. Here are some images of the city’s early years and an Oakland Tribune account about the death of Richmond pioneer John Nicholl on July 29, 1914.
Here is a quick summation of Richmond’s early years from the city website:

Early Industry (1895-1901)
In 1895, Augustin S. Macdonald visited Point Richmond and conceived the idea of a transcontinental rail terminal and ferry service to provide a direct route from Richmond to San Francisco. Macdonald presented his idea to the Santa Fe Railroad and in 1899 the railroad established its western terminus in Point Richmond. The first overland passenger train arrived in Richmond from Chicago in 1900. In 1901, Santa Fe moved its shops to Richmond and the Standard Oil Company built its refinery.

Industrial Growth 1900-1940
When Richmond incorporated as a city in 1905 it had a population of 2,150 and was already an established industrial town. The city charter was adopted in 1909, and by 1910 the town numbered 7,500. Within a few years the following substantial industries locate to Richmond: Winehaven, Pullman Palace Car Shops, American Radiator, Standard Sanitary Company, Stauffer Chemical Company, and several others less well known. Town sites began to emerge around these industries, as Rancho San Pablo’s vast grain fields were subdivided into uniform city lots.

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Point Richmond 1907.

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Point Richmond 1907.

Warning after the 1906 earthquake.

Richmond RE Brochure-image
Promotional real estate map.

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Standard Oil refinery in 1912.

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Early Richmond promotional brochures.

Read a first-hand account of the city’s early years by Henry Colman Cutting, who has a boulevard named in his honor, by clicking here.


Vintage views of El Cerrito Plaza, which opened this month in 1958

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The original El Cerrito Plaza shopping center was dedicated this month 58 years ago.

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The opening came two years after an arson fire destroyed the historic Castro adobe on the site that allowed construction of the shopping center to begin.

Here, through the courtesy of the El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce, are views of the center’s dedication on July 9, 1958, along with photos and promotional material from the center’s early years. Our thanks to the chamber for sharing its archives.

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el cerrito chamber plaza courtyard 1971

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el cerrito plaza fiesta 1961

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AC Transit holding board meeting in El Cerrito tonight

AC Transit buses drive along 20th St. in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

AC Transit buses drive along 20th St. in downtown Oakland, Calif., on June 1, 2016. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

AC Transit is holding this week’s board meeting in the council chamber at El Cerrito City Hall at 5 p.m. tonight, July 13.

Here is the announcement from the transit agency, including highlights of what is on the agenda.

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) Board of Directors wishes to remind Alameda and Contra Costa County residents that the third in a series of traveling summer Board meetings will take place in El Cerrito tonight.

When: Wednesday, July 13

Time: 5:00 p.m.

Where: El Cerrito City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA

Wednesday’s Board meeting will include a presentation by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on the Core Capacity Transit Study, a multi-agency effort focused on increasing transit capacity to the San Francisco core. Other agenda items under consideration by the Board include:

· An agreement with the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) to administer the Affordable Student Transit Pass Pilot Program

· A report on transit supportive elements for city-sponsored ACTC Comprehensive Investments Plan Projects

· An update on Richmond’s Division 3 Rehabilitation Project

The board agenda is online at http://www.actransit.org/about-us/board-of-directors/board-memos/


Richmond and greater community rally around 94-year-old park ranger with donations to Betty’s Fund


The community far and near has backed up its expressions of affection and appreciation for Betty Reid Soskin with an outpouring of financial support after the 94-year-old Richmond resident was attacked and robbed at her home on June 27.
Two different fundraising efforts were set up after news of the attack on the oldest active ranger in the National Park Service was made public.
A gofundme drive that was established by Nicholas Arzio of El Cerrito exceeded its goal of $15,000 in just two days and is now closed. Control of this fund was turned over to Soskin for her use.
The fundraising effort of the Rosie the Riveter Trust is continuing.
The trust issued the following announcement on July 2:

Dear Friend,

On Monday, June 27, NPS Ranger Betty Reid Soskin was robbed an assaulted in her home. The intruder even stole the special coin handed personally to Betty by President Obama at the 2015 National Tree Lighting Ceremony. We are all upset by this horrific news, but relieved to report that she is recovering well, with no major injuries.

The outpouring of love and support for Betty during this time has been truly moving. Obviously, she has inspired thousands across the nation with her powerful story, brilliant insight and incredible will.

If you have not already done so, we would like to invite you to make a contribution of any size to Betty’s Fund.

All funds raised beyond immediate needs will be used, as Betty has asked, to complete a film in progress that contains vital documentary information about Betty’s life and impact. This is the legacy that she wants to continue passing on to younger generations, and a remarkable testimonial to her strength of spirit. Go to www.rosietheriveter.org to donate, and to view the first clips from this important project. You can also mail checks to Rosie the Riveter Trust, PO Box 71126, Richmond, CA 94807, ear-marked “Betty’s Fund.”

You are welcome to send cards to Betty via the Park’s Visitor Center. Betty is not, understandably, taking calls or visitors, and has expressed that she does not wish to receive flowers at this time. Address cards and letters to:

Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park Visitor Center
Attn: Betty Reid Soskin
1414 Harbour Way South, Suite 3000 (Oil House)
Richmond, CA 94804

Thank you for your support during this difficult time.

Marsha Mather-Thrift, Executive Director
Rosie the Riveter Trust

The gofundme effort resulted in this response from Soskin, who turns 95 in September:

Here is a special thank you statement from Betty: “Your gifts will help me re-establish my home on the planet and that I am grateful for, because I do not want to move. I am going to reclaim my space from the violation. I could not have done it without your help! There will be fresh paint, new carpeting, a restoration.”


Overnight closure of I-80 in Richmond and San Pablo set for June 18

Interstate 80 will be closed in both directions between Barrett Avenue in Richmond and San Pablo Dam Road in San Pablo from 11 p.m. June 18 to 7 a.m. June 19, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority is warning.
The closure allows work on the major project to upgrade the congested San Pablo Dam Road/I-80 interchange.
“These closures will enable crews to grade (properly adjust and align) falsework recently constructed for a new pedestrian overcrossing at Riverside Avenue, which will replace the current overcrossing.When complete, the new overcrossing will extend across Amador Street, enhancing safety for Riverside Elementary School students and the community.”
A map of local detour routes around the closed portion is below.


For more details call the project hotline at 510-277-0444 or visit http://ccta.net/SanPabloDamRoad. Construction updates will also be posted to Twitter at @i80spdr.