Richmond restaurant Salute holding event Sunday to launch new charity fund

A public gala will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23 at Salute e Vita Ristorante, 1900 Esplanade Dr. in the Marina Bay area in Richmond to kick off a new charity being created by restaurant owner Menbere “Menbe” Aklilu.

Aklilu has already received recognition for holding free annual Thanksgiving feasts for veterans and others in need at the waterfront restaurant and the launch party on Sunday will benefit the new Menbe’s Way Fund.

Entertainment will be by Oakland-based jazz quintet the Clifton Street Regulars and several wineries will offer tastings, according to an announcement.

“Donations to support this year’s Thanksgiving meals are optional but greatly appreciated, and there will be a small silent auction at the event.”

Akilu has provided more than 3,000 free, Thanksgiving meals over the past four years and hosts free etiquette courses on manners and life skills for young people at the restaurant.
“She also donates to the Richmond Rescue Shelter, sponsors girls who attend Northern Lights School, and contributes to Delta Academy, which educates underprivileged boys and girls,” notes the event announcement.

The Menbe’s Way Fund will be managed by the nonprofit Richmond Community Foundation and will support current efforts in the community as well as new programs.

“Aklilu has suffered unspeakable hardships in her life, including witnessing the murder of her mother in Ethiopia, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and giving birth to her son in a homeless shelter.

“Today this remarkable woman is an inspirational community leader in the East Bay. Earlier this year, she was honored with the prestigious Jefferson Award for her outstanding achievements in public service.

“The Menbe’s Way Fund launch party is one of several events being held this year to raise funds for Thanksgiving meals and other programs. For more information, please call (510) 215-0803.”


Richmond: Entertainment, activities, classroom supplies at RPAL Back to School Carnival

rpal carnival

The Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL) and Richmond Police Explorer Post are hosting a Back to School Carnival and Festival today through Sunday (Aug. 21-23) at 25th Street and Barrett Avenue.
Today is opening day from 5 to 11 p.m., with games, face painting, food and vendors along with carnival rides from Helm and Sons Amusements.
The carnival rides will be offered all three days, with a 10-ride ticket book available for $20.
The carnival continues From noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, with a giveaway of backpacks and school supplies and a chance to meet community leaders.
“We plan to encourage youth to go back to school with a positive mental attitude and better prepared for school. PG&E and the Hotel Mac, along with other supporters, will sponsor the backpack give away, including school supplies and other important information and safety tips to help our youth succeed in school and feel safe,” write event organizers.
The event concludes with Family Day from noon to 11 p.m. Sunday, with a picture booth, games, more giveaways and other attractions.
For more details contact Richmond PAL at 510-621-1221.


Berkeley market hosting Aug. 26 benefit event for national park in Richmond


The Whole Foods Market on Gilman Street in Berkeley is hosting an event on Aug. 26 to benefit the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond.

This is the event announcement from the nonprofit Rosie the Riveter Trust:

You helped us bring over 1,000 people to the Rosie Rally…

so making a grocery run should be a piece of cake!

Please help spread the word! Whole Foods Market and the Trust are working together to support the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park!

WHAT: Community Support Day to Benefit the Park! Rosie the Riveter Trust will receive 5% of the store’s net proceeds for the day!

WHEN: Wednesday, August 26th from 8 AM to 10 PM… open to close!

WHERE: Whole Foods Market on Gilman St. in Berkeley. Driving directions here.

WHO: You! Support the Park just by making your regular grocery run.

Click the Forward to a Friend button below to help us spread the word!


Visit our table and you could win
a Rosie the Riveter Lunch Box with a
$25.00 Whole Foods Market gift card!

Please help us support amazing Park programs like the Rosie Rally, Rosie’s Girls Summer Camp Program, and the hundreds of ranger talks, docent lectures, expert presentations and documentary screenings that the Park provides to the public completely free each year!

No donation needed- all you have to do is shop, and Whole Foods Market will contribute 5% of the day’s proceeds to Rosie the Riveter Trust!


El Cerrito/Albany/Berkeley: East Bay Bike Party returning to area Friday

Video of EBBP riders at Del Norte BART in 2012.

The cacophonous mobile celebration known as the East Bay Bike Party returns to the on Friday, with more than 150 riders signed up for a rolling event that will gather at the El Cerrito Del Norte BART station at 7:30 p.m. and set out at 8 on a route that will pass through Albany on the way to the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

The theme for the August ride is something we are calling ‘A Gathering,'” the organizer of this month’s party says on the group’s Facebook event page.

I’m calling on all the bike crews that inhabit the bay area bike-o-sphere to come out and show your colors and rally around the flag. A flag of your own making. I’m sponsoring a flag contest. The best flag with the most righteous crew wins. Your tribe doesn’t have to be a bike crew. If you want to carry the Warriors banner, feel free, Maybe your tribe wants to carry the banner of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or even Slytherin, go ahead. Burners, Zombie riders, DC Comic fans, yoga practitioners, the list goes on. One of the best things about bike party is how this diverse community, that calls the bay area their home, comes together for the big group bike ride. Let’s celebrate it.

The Gathering Ride is all about building up the strength of the bike crews in the area. Group rides are and should be happening all the time with or without EBBP. This next bike party is your crews chance to step up identify yourselves and let the everyone know you are here, you believe in the principles of bike party and you are ready to lead in our biking community.

Remember our 6 rules, and make sure all your friends and fellow crewmates do too:
*Stay to the Right
*Stop at lights
*Ride Straight
*Don’t Hate
*Pack your Trash
*Don’t get Smashed


El Cerrito: Korematsu Middle School construction update meeting Aug. 13


The PTSA at Korematsu Middle School is holding a meeting at its current campus on Moeser Lane at 7 p.m. tonight, Aug. 13, where school district officials will update the community on the new campus at the former Castro School and have a discussion of the completion schedule.


Thursday, August 13, 2015
7:00 p.m.

1021 Navellier Street, El Cerrito

Korematsu Cafe’ (#35 on the Map)

Please join WCCUSD officials Thursday, August 13, 2015, 7:00 p.m., Korematsu Cafe for a construction update and discussion of the completion schedule. All welcome!

HOW TO FIND US: Korematsu Middle School is located on Moeser Lane directly across from Cerrito Vista Park (Pomona Ave and Moeser Lane). Park on Moeser or Pomona and enter the campus through the gate on Moeser.


Trees in East Bay hills will be El Cerrito Historical Society program topic

The El Cerrito Historical Society is presenting a timely talk about the trees in the East Bay hills on at 7 p.m. July 30.

The announcement from the society:

History program about the East Bay Forest will illuminate current issues

Trees are big news these days in the East Bay. Plans by the East Bay Regional Park District, the city of Oakland and UC Berkeley to remove thousands of eucalyptus trees because they pose a fire danger have outraged many tree lovers.

Opinions have blazed across the pages of local newspapers accusing Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf of planning the murder of squirrels by proposing to take away their habitat.

“When chainsaws decimate the vast forests which create their homes, reducing public lands once blanketed with their habitat to barren, empty hillsides, where, exactly, are these animals supposed to go?” one blogger demanded.

Proponents of the tree removal plan say it falls well short of clear cutting. According to the successful application for federal funds, the project, “would provide more effective protection over a large area by creating a continuous firebreak along the most vulnerable wildland-urban interfaces.”

“(The park district, Oakland and the university) propose to reduce fuel loads and fire intensity, primarily by thinning plant species that are prone to torching, and by promoting conversion to vegetation types with lower fuel loads. In many areas the proposed and connected actions would preserve oak and bay trees and convert dense scrub, eucalyptus forest, and non-native pine forest, to grassland with islands of shrubs.”

El Cerrito too has groves of eucalyptus trees, some of which help visually define such areas of our landscape as the Hillside Natural Area. The city also shares a large border with the East Bay Park District’s Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. Our city has many other trees that also present issues. Many of our trees are 50 years old and nearing the end of their lives. The city has already removed many.

To cast light on these issues and to get a deeper background the Historical Society, in conjunction with the city’s Environmental Quality Committee, is hosting Jerry Kent, former assistant general manager of the East Bay Park District. Kent’s talk, ‘How the East Bay Got its Forest,’ will take place Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. It is free and open to all and wheelchair accessible.

Of his talk, Jerry Kent writes: “Bay Area hills were mostly open grassland, with fringes of native trees in valleys when European settlers arrived in 1769. Large scale tree planting began in the West Bay in 1877 to forest Golden Gate Park, military posts, schools, and mountaintops.

“In the East Bay, one man began planting trees in 1895 to forest 13,000 acres for home sites in the hills and 3,000 acres for timber plantations. What became of his dream, and how do we deal with his legacy today, amid dense development, drought, changing climate, and wildfire risks?”
Kent retired after a 41-year career with the East Bay Regional Park District. A history lover, he has collected maps and photographs and researched many aspects of Bay Area nature and history. He will describe the history of large-scale tree planting projects, and discuss the benefits and responsibilities of owning planted urban forests.


El Cerrito: Former childhood home of rock greats Tom and John Fogerty is up for sale; open house on Sunday

fogerty house for sale

The earliest home where future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Tom and John Fogerty grew up in El Cerrito is on the market.
The three-bedroom, one-bathroom home at 7251 Eureka Ave. has an asking price of $729,000 according to the listing, but not because of its connection to music history, which isn’t mentioned.
The house has undergone extensive interior remodeling and exterior landscaping, including a backyard hot tub, since the Fogerty family lived there in the first years after the end of World War II and young John attended El Cerrito Preschool Cooperative.
fogerty 1947
Oakland phone book listing for the Fogerty family from 1947.
The family later moved in the early 1950s to a house on Ramona Avenue.
The Eureka Avenue location is scheduled for open houses on July 12 and 19, according to the listing.



El Sobrante dedicates streetside upgrades

el sobrante dedication
Mike Croda from the El Sobrante Historical Society, dressed up as a bartender from Ed’s, the oldest bar in El Sobrante, opened in 1938 at the dedication of streetside improvements July 8. County Supervisor John Gioia is at right, being interviewed. From the society webpage: “When Ed Banducci (Sr.) and his wife Teresa bought this place in 1938 it was already old. Legend has it that it served as a “road house” to travelers along the Dam Road (and before that, the San Pablo Creek Road). The couple quickly remodeled the structure and re-opened it as “Ed’s Tavern.” It was remodeled again in the early 1950s and has changed little since. It is located just west of the intersection at Valley View.” (Photo courtesy Sonia Bustamante)

Streetscape improvements on San Pablo Dam Road — including wider sidewalks, new bus benches and trash receptacles, landscaping and historic markers — were dedicated on July 8that businesses hope attract more visitors to the area.

The improvements cover about a 3/4-mile segment of the Dam Road between Appian Way and El Portal Drive and is the culmination of four years of planning. Four bus stops will also be relocated to improve transit access.

“The whole idea is to make downtown pedestrian friendly and encourage more people to use the downtown,” said Supervisor John Gioia.

The $2.3 million downtown walkability project was funded by Measure J, a county transportation tax approved by voters in 2004, and local county road maintenance funds. Planning for downtown’s face-lift started in 2011 and construction began a year ago.

The amenities will be shown off to a large audience when the El Sobrante Stroll is held on Sept. 20.

el sobrante marker 1
One of the historic markers and some of the trash receptacles when they were still awaiting installation. (Photo courtesy Lyle Ziggy Miller, El Sobrante Historical Society.)

el sobrante marker 2
This paver noting the location of El Sobrante Chevrolet service has now been installed. (Photo courtesy Lyle Ziggy Miller, El Sobrante Historical Society.)