Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Annual Turkey Shoot Thanksgiving Day

   POINT RICHMOND - The annual Point Richmond Turkey Shoot will be held Thursday, Nov. 22 with the only real shots coming from bottles of either Wild Turkey whiskey or sparking cider.
     The annual event usually draws hundreds of area residents for an informal parade, music, and socializing.
     The event begins at about 10 a.m. in front of the Plunge, from which the crowd marches in a parade (of sorts) around the downtown area ending up near the back entrance to restaurants and businesses on Railroad Avenue.
     All participants are encouraged to bring their pets, party hats, musical instruments and a few dollars if they want to purchase a commemorative shot glass - and/or a beverage.
     The event is capped by the reading of the  Turkey Shoot poem, a piece of literature that grows by one stanza every year the event is held.
     Below is a short video of the 2017 Turkey Shoot event.









Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween Parade around The Point

   POINT RICHMOND, Calif. - The downtown business triangle was awash in ghosts, goblins and all manner of costumed children (with some adults, too) in the annual Halloween Parade Wednesday morning with students from Washington Elementary School scurrying all around The Point.
     Local photographer Spencer Allen documented some of the goings on as well as paying a visit to several of the fairy villages along Washington Street.
     His photos from today are below.










All photos by Spencer Allen









Community Hanukkah celebration invite

   RICHMOND - Temple Beth Hillel at 801 Park Central in Richmond has extended an invitation to the community to join with the congregation's annual Hanukkah celebration, Sunday Dec. 2 from noon to 3 p.m.
     The event will start with Beit Hillel Midrash students leading the congregation and guests in lighting Hanukkah candles and singing.
     The kitchen will open at 12:30 with a Latke luncheon and trimmings and other reasonably priced food.
     Crafts and cookie decorating will be part of the afternoon's festivities.
    The synagogue's gift shop will also be open for anyone interested in purchasing holiday candles, wrapping paper and other gives.
    For more information about the event, call 510-223-2560 or check the Temple website Temple Beth Hillel.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Comments on Terminal One pollution cleanup plan due Wednesday, Oct. 3

   POINT RICHMOND - Public comments about the latest proposal to clean up the remaining pollutants at the Terminal One site on Dornan Drive are due by Wednesday, Oct. 3.
     They should be sent to the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1515 Clay St., Suite 1400 Oakland, CA or directly via email to Jeff White of the water board: JEFF WHITE.
Terminal One site, adjacent to the Richmond Yacht Club
     This latest remedial action plan was the subject of a public hearing last week in Richmond. The proposal - which needs to be approved by the water board - is a prelude to actual removal of suspected toxic materials. If the cleanup plan is approved in its current form (or modified) it would then pave the wave for the eventual construction a proposed 316-unit residential project on the San Francisco Bay site. The developer is the Laconia Corporation.
     At the public hearing, representatives of the Brickyard Cove Alliance for Responsible Development raised issues and pointed out perceived shortcomings with the cleanup plan.
     This week, BCARD followed up with a letter to the water board, asking that the letter - and 11 prior sets of comments already submitted on the project - be taken into consideration by the state agency before it makes it a determination about whether to allow Laconia to move ahead with cleaning the pollutants from the former industrial site.
     The contaminants at the site include chlorinated solvents, petroleum and hydrocarbons along with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The contamination is a legacy of the property's nearly 100 years  as a shipping and industrial site.
     "In the last fifteen years, the city has only sampled groundwater site-wide twice while the science regarding what are 'safe" toxic levels has become more stringent," the group wrote.
      "The City's own data shows that discharges above the aquatic levels are being leaked into the Bay. It seems the City and the Developer have consistently attempted to avoid thorough measures required to protect human health and the environment."
     At the public hearing, BCARD representatives asked that the developer increase the size and scope of a proposed "slurry wall" to keep any remaining pollutants in the soil (underneath the homes, proposed park and development grounds) from leaking into the Bay. They restated that request in their most recent letter to the water board.
     The remedial action plan proposed by the City of Richmond and Laconia includes:

 • Podium construction of residential structures;
• Collection, on-Site treatment, and off-Site discharge of most stormwater runoff;
• Raising Site grades and import of clean fill;
• Capping the Site with buildings, roads, pathways, and other hardscape;
• Slurry wall construction to mitigate potential petroleum discharges to San Francisco Bay;
• Landscaping as either common area maintained by the homeowner’s association or public openspace/parkland maintained by the City, in areas not covered with permanent, hardscapedfacilities; and
• Institutional controls prohibiting residents and visitors from excavating on the Site.

A site plan from the developer displayed at the public hearing



Thursday, September 20, 2018

Terminal One pollution cleanup plan likely 'on track' for approval, regulators say

   POINT RICHMOND - The latest proposed remedial action plan on how to complete the clean up of lingering pollutants at the Terminal One site in Point Richmond may be close to winning approval from the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Jeffrey White
     "The RAP (remedial action plan) is on track for approval," Jeffrey White of the water quality control board said.
     White made his comment at the outset of a one and a half hour public hearing Wednesday evening on the RAP that included presentations by attorney Cleve Livingston (representing developer Laconia) and Frank Szerdy of the environmental consulting firm Wood of Oakland.
     The hearing was held at Richmond Public Library.
     The meeting was highlighted by close questioning from audience members about the cleanup plan itself, parking, scheduling of construction, dust control and particularly whether a proposed "slurry wall" is adequate.
     The slurry wall is supposed to keep remaining pollutants in the ground from flowing from underneath the proposed 316-unit condominiums and single family home development into San Francisco Bay.
Proposed slurry wall to contain pollutants on site
     Brian Lewis, a member of Brickyard Cove Alliance for Responsible Development said he is concerned that the 12-foot slurry wall won't be deep enough to stop flows from the property into the bay.
     Environmental consultant Szerdy said the slurry wall and other pollution control measures are part of a "conceptual plan" being presented with details the water board will consider before giving any final nod to the cleanup plan.
     "But it has to work," Szerdy said.
      Lewis also challenged the developer and consultant on whether there has been adequate sampling of the heavily polluted site. Terminal One's pollutants are a legacy of industrial use of the site beginning in 1913.
     The contaminants include chlorinated solvents, petroleum and hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the Dornan Drive property.
     "You are making a lot of judgments on very little data," he said. Lewis added that in the last 15 years, there have been only two site-wide samplings completed.
Cleve Livingston 
     Developer representative Livingston said that if the RAP - or a modified version of it - is approved by the water quality control board, it's possible that cleanup work could begin in the spring of 2019.
    The public comment period on the proposed remedial action plan will remain open until Oct. 5.
    Comments can be sent in writing to the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1515 Clay St., Suite 1400, Oakland, California or directly via email to the water board's Jeff White.






Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Terminal One cleanup meeting tonight

  STORY UPDATED:
See: Terminal One cleanup 

 RICHMOND - The San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold a public hearing tonight on a proposed plan to clean up a variety of chemical contaminants on the Terminal One site in Point Richmond.
   The cleanup is a precursor to construction of  a 316-unit housing development proposed by the Laconia Corporation to be constructed on the city-owned land.
     The meeting is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Richmond Public Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza.
Historical industrial use of the proposed site for housing
     The contaminants include chlorinated solvents, petroleum and hydrocarbons - and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the Dornan Drive property. 
     The remedial action plan proposed by the City of Richmond and Laconia include:
 • Podium construction of residential structures;
• Collection, on-Site treatment, and off-Site discharge of most stormwater runoff;
• Raising Site grades and import of clean fill;
• Capping the Site with buildings, roads, pathways, and other hardscape;
• Slurry wall construction to mitigate potential petroleum discharges to San Francisco Bay;
• Landscaping as either common area maintained by the homeowner’s association or public openspace/parkland maintained by the City, in areas not covered with permanent, hardscapedfacilities; and
• Institutional controls prohibiting residents and visitors from excavating on the Site.
     The  Brickyard Cove Alliance for Responsible Development watchdog group has said this latest  cleanup plan falls short of ensuring that the site would be safe. Members of BCARD oppose the current plan as designed and are expected to address the board with details their concerns.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Rent control law highlight of Monday's Richmond City Council candidates' forum


Richmond City Council candidates 
R
ICHMOND
- Differences of opinion by city council candidates over the success - or failure - of the City of Richmond's rent control law drew plenty of applause and audience comments at Monday night's candidates' forum at East Brother Beer Company.
David Schoenthal said rent control 
"exacerbates" the problem
     Approximately 75 people attended the forum, sponsored by the Point Richmond Business Association and the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council.
     A series of questions were posed to the 10 council candidates who attended, including one early on about whether Richmond's rents control law was effective, needed to be repealed, or should be amended.
    And if amended, exactly how.
    Candidates who said they thought the law needed to be repealed drew the loudest applause from the audience, though supporters among the candidates stood their ground in support of the voter-approved rent control measure.
    Most of the candidates indicated that whether the city has a rent control law or not, the shortage of housing in Richmond is a serious problem.
    The 10 candidates who participated in the forum were:
    Vinay Pimple
    Demnlus Johnson
    Virginia Ramirez
    Nat Bates
    Ada Recinos
    Eduardo Martinez
    David Schoenthal
    Jim Rogers
    Cesar Zepeda
    Eleanor Thompson