Sunday, October 22, 2017

Last chance to buy Plunge-project pavers

   POINT RICHMOND - This is the final week for businesses or individuals to order an etched paver for the new walkway for the Plunge, Maryn Hurlbut, chair of the city Recreation and Parks Commission announced Sunday.
     "Instructions for making a donation are on the posters published with this story," she said.
     "To expedite a logo or wording on a paver, send a PDF vector file directly to me at Richmond Tennis."
     Hurlbut also said that etching is being completed next week with the project expected to be done in the next month.
    "If anyone ordered their paver and has not received a receipt, they should email or call me at 510-237-6880 or 510-596-8880," she said.

(For additional stories published on The Point click this link: THE POINT)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Parking plan for Pt. Richmond, artist lofts top agenda for Wednesday PRNC meeting

   POINT RICHMOND - Reports on a City of Richmond proposal to improve parking in the Point Richmond  Business District - along with discussion of a plan to build artists lofts and commercial space at the corner of Tewksbury & Washington - will be taken up Wednesday at the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council meeting.
     The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Point Richmond Community Center - not the usual 7:30 p.m. - to allow for extra time for presentations as well as questions and answers from the public.
     The PRNC meeting is open to the public.
Washington Avenue view
     The Tewksbury Artists Loft's will be discussed by the Land Use & Design Review Committee during the hour prior to the full PRNC meeting. A report of that session will be presented at the full PRNC meeting at approximately 7:15 p.m.
     The LUDRC meeting is open to the public, also.
     The combination housing, work space and commercial 4-story development is a project of Anthony Murphy of Monday Morning Development of Point Richmond.
     At 7:45 p.m., Denee Evans of the Richmond Department of Transportation will update the PRNC about city proposals to make Park Place and Washington Avenue one-way streets. The two streets would also be restriped for diagonal parking to add parking spaces.
     A city parking study of Point Richmond has been in the works since last fall. As late as Friday the city engineering staff was working on the draft plans, incorporating recent input from the fire department.
     Last month outgoing PRNC President David Schoenthal told the PRNC that the report contains a recommendation that paid parking in the business district should be implemented at some future date.
     The recommendation to implement paid parking is not specifically listed on Wednesday's PRNC agenda for consideration, but is expected to be part of Point residents' questions.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pt. Richmond's Milo Foundation begins returning animals to Sanctuary near Willits

   POINT RICHMOND - The Milo Foundation began taking animals back to its Willits-area Sanctuary Tuesday after having to evacuate the facility early last week because of wildfires.
     "We have good news," John Fonseca, Milo Outreach Coordinator said.
     "Staff have started taking most of the animals back to the Sanctuary. And some of the Sanctuary animals were even adopted while they were here."

     The Milo staff had to move the animals the day the wildfires began burning across Northern California. Some animals went to local shelters near Willits, well away from fire danger.
Sanctuary crates
     But many were brought to the Point Richmond facility.
     "People came out of the woodwork to foster, to help in so many ways," Fonseca said. "We received monetary donations,  donations of food and other items.        "We were overrun with help, and it was amazing."
     The shelter had to make space for the incoming animals, many of which - because of behavioral quirks - are often not adoptable.
     But Fonseca said a number of the Sanctuary animals found homes in this area.

     The evacuation of the Willits facility came just as the Point Richmond Milo facility was digging out from under dealing with animal refugees from the hurricanes that battered the Gulf Coast.
     But things are slowly going back to normal now, Fonseca said. Even so, the facility has a continuing need for food and other donations.
     For information about the Milo Foundation - and to donate - follow this link: MILO FOUNDATION.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Richmond City Council to consider paid parking, one-way streets in The Point

   POINT RICHMOND - A City of Richmond traffic survey & study of the Point Richmond Business District has just been completed, Point Richmond Neighborhood Council President David Schoenthal announced Wednesday night.
     The survey & study indicate that making Park Place a one-way street heading north and Washington Avenue a one-way thoroughfare going south around the triangle - along with instituting a diagonal parking scheme on both streets - is viable and should be pursued.
     "The city also recommends that we do paid parking," Schoenthal said.

     The news about the results of the survey reached Schoenthal just prior to the regular meeting of the PRNC held in the Community Center on Washington Avenue.
      He said he believes the next step in the process is for the results to be presented to the full Richmond City Council for action - possibly within the next month. The paid-parking recommendations are likely to be considered separately from the traffic pattern alterations.
     "Got some changes coming," Schoenthal said.
     Discussions about parking in The Point have been ongoing for months. In March, two city staff members outlined several proposals for re-striping the business district parking, instituting diagonal parking to increase parking capacity as well the idea of having paid parking.

     The PRNC also heard a report that the group's design review committee agreed in concept with a proposal from AC Transit to construct a restroom facility for bus drivers at the AC Transit bus stop at the turnaround of Castro and Tewksbury, adjacent to I-580.
     In addition to the locked restroom for AC employees, the proposal also calls for construction of bicycle lockers.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

PRNC to welcome two new board members Weds.; search underway for new president

   POINT RICHMOND - Two new board members will take their positions with the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council Wednesday night - Buzz Bayliss as first vice president and David Bleckinger as treasurer.
David Schoenthal
     The new members will take their spots at the PRNC meeting that begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Point Richmond Community Center on Washington Street in the Point Richmond Business District.
     The meeting is open to the public and scheduled to run until 9 p.m.
     At this month's PRNC meeting, the group is also expected to discuss the search for a new president.
     PRNC President David Schoenthal has announced he will be leaving the president's post and running for Richmond City Council.
     One person has already expressed interest in taking on the position.
     In addition to the shuffling of officers, the PRNC will hear a presentation about the impacts of sale of single containers of alcohol in communities. The presentation - set for 8 p.m. - will be made by Ryan Orihood, program coordinator for Discovering the Reality of Our Community.
     Also as part of the meeting, the PRNC Land Use/Design Review Committee will be reviewing a proposal from AC transit to construct a permanent operator restroom facility at the AC Transit bus stop at the turnaround of Castro and Tewksbury, adjacent to I-580.
     The restroom would replace a blue porta-potty currently on site.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Richmond-to-SF ferry to start next fall

   RICHMOND - The anticipated start of daily ferry service from Richmond to San Francisco for early 2018 will now be more likely beginning more than a year from now.
     "Project dredging is expected to begin in October," Ernest Sanchez, manager of public information and market for San Francisco Bay Ferry said Monday.
     "Construction of the land side portion of the terminal is expected to begin in January 2018.
     When that construction is done sometime late in the fall, ferry service is expected to begin.
     An earlier estimated time frame for beginning service - sometime in spring of 2018 - was discussed by Sanchez at the Dec. 6,  2016 meeting of the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council.
At that time, Sanchez said the ferry service was planning three morning departures and four afternoon trips, leaving and returning to a pier near the Craneway building.
     Parking for about 360 vehicles is planned for the Richmond side.
     In San Francisco, the ferry will dock at the SF Ferry Building.
     "For now, this will be a peak commute service," he said. Initially, there won't be any weekend or midday service."
     The 400-passenger ferry that will be used for the SF-to-Richmond run has room for 50 bicycles, will offer food and beverage service, and make the trip from Richmond-to-SF (and back) in about 30 minutes.
      The ferry - named Hydrus - is already in service ferrying SF Bay Area customers until it's needed in Richmond.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Seacliff Drive improvements - responsibility of City of Richmond or condo developer?

    POINT RICHMOND - A portion of Seacliff Drive - from Canal Street to the top of the hill - needs repair and possibly a major roadway re-engineering to solve several serious vehicle traffic safety issues, citizens told the Richmond Design Review Board Wednesday night.
Bottoms Quarry condo project off Seacliff Drive in Point Richmond
     But exactly what should be done - and who should pay for it - will likely be debated in coming weeks and months.
    The comments came as part of a DRB study session on the Bottoms Quarry condominium project proposed by New West Communities of Las Vegas.
    In its current planning incarnation, the project would have about 200 multi-family flats in 15 buildings  on 6.3 acres directly adjacent to Seacliff Drive.  Originally the developer sought approval for 270 units.
    The project would have about 300 parking spots with a mix of garages and outside carports.
    As currently designed, the entrance and exit of the project would be located directly on a Seacliff Drive curve, a spot several speakers labelled as very dangerous.
    "Seacliff Drive is categorically unsafe in its current configuration," Jeff Vines of the Brickyard Cove Alliance for Responsible Development said.
    "It was originally a fire road, then an EVA access road and then - without further engineering to accommodate community traffic - it morphed into a full service access road to the Cove Community."
    Vines' comments about safety were echoed by numerous speakers including Point resident Beverly Galloway.
    "We need a wider road," Galloway said. "We need to make the hill safe enough for the rest of us."
City of Richmond Design Review Board
    Although the Bottoms Quarry condo project will have the most immediate traffic impact on Seacliff, Galloway and several members of the DRB suggested any fixes may also be the responsibility of the City of Richmond.
    "This road needs to get fixed properly," DRB member Michael Hannah said. "It's not like this is the last residential development in this area."
    Two other developments are poised to add vehicle traffic to Seacliff - Terminal One and Shea Homes. Shea Homes on the bay side of Seacliff Drive is under construction and will have 60 housing units. Terminal One developers are still working out environmental remediation details with the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Construction on that 316-unit project on Brickyard Cove Road and Dornan Drive is expected to start sometime in the next year.
    In his presentation, Vines recommended that the Bottoms Quarry condo project not use Seacliff Drive at all but suggested the entrance and exit should be from an existing right of way to the north, connecting directly to Canal Boulevard. The land is owned by the city.
    Barring that, "access off Seacliff could happen if Seacliff is modified to provide turn and merge lands to allow safe passage for continuing traffic."
    Vines said BCARD believes a traffic engineering study is needed.
    "BCARD is prepared to, within reason, contribute along with New West to the cost of hiring a traffic engineering consultant to develop a preliminary plan and scope for modifying Seacliff Drive," he said.
   After the public's comments, Richmond City Planner Lina Velasco said a draft Environmental Impact Report on the condo project is expected to be done by the end of September. A 45-day public comment period will follow that.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Bottoms Quarry condo project up for review

   RICHMOND - The proposed Bottoms Quarry condo project on Seacliff Drive - a project of the New West Development Corporation of Las Vegas - will be up for discussion Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the City of Richmond Design Review Board.
     The meeting is open to the public and begin at 6 p.m. It will be in the multi-purpose room (basement level) at 440 Civic Center Plaza.
     The city staff contact for the project is Lina Velasco (phone - 510-620-6841, email: LINA VELASCO.)
     According to City of Richmond Planners, the project will consist of up to 200 condominiums - a mix of one, two, and three bedroom units. The buildings will be three stories with some four story elements with approximately 300 parking spaces.
     In earlier presentations to the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council the developers indicated that the project would have as many as 270 units.
    The project includes a recreation center, fitness center and swimming pool.
    "The Project may also include improvements to the right-of-way, including the addition of landscaping and lighting, and improvements to the San Francisco Bay Trail," the city staff review says.
    A general plan amendment to change the designation from Parks and Recreation to Medium Density Residential is also part of the proposal, as is a change in Richmond city zoning from Parks and Recreation to Planned Area District.
    The city is also considering letting the project exceed the legally allowed maximum building height.
    At earlier meetings a number of citizens repeatedly voiced concerns relating to safety issues of having the driveway for the project use Seacliff Drive for all outgoing and incoming traffic to the condo project.
   A link to the city notice of the Sept. 13 meeting is here: City to Review Quarry Condo Proposal.

The proposed Quarry Project, as shown on the current New West WEBSITE

Thursday, August 31, 2017

BART police chief tells PRNC his department needs more officers

   POINT RICHMOND - Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Chief Carlos Rojas - hired this spring after working as chief of police in Santa Ana for the past five years - told members of the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council Wednesday night the major challenge facing BART law enforcement is a lack of officers.
BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas
    "Ideally, I would like someone at every station," Rojas said.
    The chief gave a short presentation about the manifold challenges faced by BART police as well as plans to hire more officers.
    "This jurisdiction is very challenging. We police a microcosm of every city in each station and parking area."

    Rojas' department is currently responsible for 107 miles of rail, stations and parking lots.
    Earlier this spring Rojas announced a program to add 39 officers within 18 months. That program included a $10,000 hiring bonus.  He said he needs a "shortened timeline" to get qualified officers hired and working on the force.
BART Watch app
    The chief also addressed the ongoing problem of fare evasion, drawing a few laughs from the audience when he described police sometimes having to get between overzealous station agents and people jumping over the turnstiles.

    Several audience members described occasionally feeling unsafe when traversing BART parking lots and/or stations.
    Rojas said that anyone with a smartphone should download the app called BART Watch which allows users to send a message directly to BART Police about any suspicious or dangerous activity.
   He said the app has already assisted BART police in apprehension of suspects.
   The BART Police Chief can be contacted 510-464-7022. Or by email at: BART Police Chief.

(by Michael J. Fitzgerald)


PRNC hears report on Richmond-San Rafael bridge

    The PRNC also heard a report from the MTA and BATA about opening a third eastbound lane in December on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge. For the full story, click HERE.

Third eastbound lane on Richmond-San Rafael bridge likely to open in December

    POINT RICHMOND - A third eastbound lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge - part of an ongoing construction project of the Bay Area Toll Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority - will likely be in operation in December, BATA's Chris Lillie told the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council Wednesday night.
    In a brief, 15-minute presentation, Lillie explained that the third lane is designed to alleviate congestion during peak hours but will not be open around the clock.
   "There are no precise hours yet for when all three lanes will be open," he said.
   But BATA and Caltrans will be monitoring to ensure maximum use to keep traffic flowing. Signals on the bridge will indicate when the third lane is open or closed.
   On the upper, westbound deck of the bridge, BATA is working on construction of a third lane, but one that will be for bicycles and pedestrians, not vehicles. It is part of a larger bicycle/trail project.
   Several members of the audience questioned why BATA isn't opening the third traffic lane westbound right now to handle the increasingly heavy morning motor vehicle traffic.
   Lille said a major reason is need for changes in highway infrastructure on the Marin County side of the bridge. For the present, adding a third motor-vehicle lane to the westbound deck of the bridge is not part of the four-year pilot project, he said.
   The bicycle pedestrian lane will be cordoned off with a moveable barrier. Caltrans may also use it for maintenance and possibly for emergency vehicles to respond to westbound accidents on the bridge.
(by Michael J. Fitzgerald)

PRNC hears report on BART safety

    The PRNC also heard a report Wednesday night from BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas about BART policing. See the story here : BART safety

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Free online course about climate change

   ITHACA, NY - Cornell University will be offering a free online course about climate change beginning Sept. 11 and ending Oct. 1.

      University officials say participants should plan on about 3-4 hours of coursework per week.

Hurricane Harvey flooding
    Course materials will be delivered via video lectures and assigned readings. The learning management software Canvas will be used for all videos, readings, assignments and discussions. 

    There will also be a closed Facebook group for an optional discussion area.

  The course was designed for educators, volunteers, state and local governments and anyone else interested in an introduction to climate change science - and how to communicate effectively on the topic.

   For more information and a link to register, click here: CLIMATE CHANGE COURSE.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

PRNC to hear updates on BART safety and Richmond-San Rafael bridge improvements

   POINT RICHMOND - The Point Richmond Neighborhood Council will hear updates on Bay Area Rapid Transit safety and progress on improvements to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge when it meets Wednesday, August 30.

     The meeting - which is open to the public - begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Point Richmond Community Center on Washington Street.

     The briefing on BART safety will be presented by BART Chief of Police Carlos Rojas. He is scheduled to speak just before 8 p.m.

    The update on the bridge will begin at about 7:45 and will be given to the council by Chris Lillie, of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Bannon, Coulter and Yiannopoulos speaking at UC Berkeley in September?

   BERKELEY - Former White House strategist Steve Bannon, conservative columnist Ann Coulter and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos might be coming to the UC Berkeley campus in September, the East Bay Times reported this morning.

    The three would be coming at the invite of a student organization called Berkeley Patriot and would be speaking as part of a free speech gathering Sept. 24-27.

    Earlier planned speeches by Coulter and Yiannopoulos were canceled after protests were lodged.

For the full East Bay Times story, click here: Bannon, Coulter, Yiannolpoulos.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Authors' readings to benefit the SPLC

   POINT RICHMOND - A series of readings by writers featured in Speak and Speak Again (a resistance anthology published by Pact Press) will be doing free readings in the Bay Area in the wake of the Charlottesville attacks and the double-digit rise in hate crimes in California.

     The readings are a fund raiser for the Southern Poverty Law Center. All book sales proceeds will be donated to the SPLC.

     The Point Richmond event will be at Kaleidoscope Coffee Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. Other events will be at Book Passage (Tuesday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m.) and A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland (Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.).

   The writers who will be presenting include:

Laurie Ann Doyle, author of World Gone Missing and writing instructor at UC Berkeley:
Stephen D. Gutierrez, American Book Award winner and teacher at Cal State East Bay
Lily Iona MacKenzie teaches writing at the University of San Francisco’s Fromm Institute of Lifelong Learning and is author of All This (a poetry collection), and two novels (Fling! and Curva Peligrosa). https://
Cheryl A. Ossola, poet, dance writer, teacher, and editor; debut novel forthcoming from Regal House Publishing.
Rob Watersjournalist and travel writer who writes about health, science, world culture and criminal justice:

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Temple Beth Hillel school starts Aug. 20

   HILLTOP - Temple Beth Hillel will begin its religious studies school Sunday, August 20.
     The school offers an exploration of Jewish history, culture, holidays, customs and Hebrew from toddlers (2 1/2) through Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation and beyond, according to Marilyn Hertzberg.
     The classes begin at 9:30 a.m. with a special free class for toddlers (2 1/2 through four years old) beginning at 10 a.m.

     Parents and children are welcome to visit the school, meet the teachers and students, participate in classroom activities and learn more about the religious school's educational programs.

     For enrollment, more information, or to plan a school visit here are the contacts: 
    Temple Beth Hillel is located at 801 Park Central (I-80 Hilltop Exit), Richmond 94803.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Plunge West Project fundraiser a success

POINT RICHMOND - The July 15 fund-raiser for the Plunge West Project was a great success, organizer Maryn Hurlbut reports.

"Our cash gate was better than $1400. + advance sales that amount to over an additional $2000," Hurlbut said.  "This, plus our existing funds allow us to begin the construction phase of the Plunge West Project."

Hurlbut said etched pavers can still be purchased online or by sending a request directly to her at this email address: Maryn Hurlbut.

A story with more details about the Plunge West Project that was published prior to the event can be found here: Take The Plunge

Friday, July 14, 2017

Paramount TV comes to Point Richmond

Special to The Point
Story and photos by Laura Paull

Point Richmond residents out and about early Sunday July 9 found the town center and Ferry Point tunnel blocked off by orange cones, police cars, and lots of strangers standing around.
The reason? 
Paramount Television was filming scenes for the second season of Thirteen Reasons Why, a Netflix dramatic series  popular with the young set. It is based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and adapted by Brian Yorkey for Netflix.
Although email and other communications from the production company had led some to locals to imagine they'd see a motorcycle chase scene through the Ferry tunnel, the action mostly entailed two young actors on an old green Vespa putt-putting through the tunnel at the usual speed. 
As is the way of Hollywood filming, it took hours of preparation just to get those few shots. Many curious Point Richmond folks stopped and watched for a while, then moved on.
When the second season begins in March 2018  Point residents will have to wait to find out when the ferry tunnel shot will appear.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Richmond Planning Director outlines housing & other projects for PRBA

   POINT RICHMOND - The City of Richmond's Planning Director presented an overview of housing, the Richmond General Plan and a variety of other projects in Point Richmond and the surrounding environs when he spoke to the Point Richmond Business Association June 29.
     Richard Mitchell's presentation was given at the PRBA's monthly luncheon, held at the Up and Under Restaurant. (A sound recording of his full remarks can be found at the end of this story.)

     Mitchell gave updates on the several projects either under construction, approved but not yet building and others still in the application/approval process.
     The biggest of those - 316-unit Terminal One - is in the process of doing some environmental remediation, he said.
    "Hopefully by this time next year they will be starting to move the dirt relative to the development itself," Mitchell said.
     Mitchell also said that that new Richmond-to-San Francisco ferry - scheduled to begin service in early 2018 - will have a big impact.
     "The ferry is a game changer if we handle it right," he said.
     Handling it right means ensuring there is adequate ridership for the ferry to continue.

     In response to a question about the traffic expected to be generated by all the new housing , Mitchell said initially there will be issues to be dealt with.
     But he added that he believes the way people use automobiles is changing. He cited the impact of services like Uber and Lyft, among other considerations.
     And he said not to rely too heavily on traffic studies.
     "Traffic counts don't ever come up to the perceptions we have of traffic impacts," he said.

     Mitchell's full comments - including the questions and answers - can be heard by clicking on the video link below.

(Sound recording by Sylvia S. Fox)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Presentation on Point Richmond housing projects at Pt. Richmond business luncheon

   POINT RICHMOND - The City of Richmond's Director of Planning and Building will give an update Thursday at the Pt. Richmond Business Association luncheon on the status of four Point Richmond housing projects either currently approved, under construction, or in the application process.
   The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Up and Under restaurant upstairs board room. Discussion start at noon.
    Director Richard Mitchell is expected to talk about the already approved Terminal One and Shea Homes Waterline projects, a proposed project by Las Vegas-based New West for Seacliff Drive and the nearly completed project adjacent to Mechanics Bank in the Pt. Richmond Business District.

A question and answer interview with the architect of that business district project can be found here: Interview with David Trachtenberg
Apartments under construction adjacent to Mechanics Bank (Photo by Laura Paull)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Take 'the Plunge' at Sat., July 15 celebration

   POINT RICHMOND, Calif. - A party & fundraiser for the final steps in completion of restoration of the Plunge campus will be held Saturday, July 15.
    Events begin at 2 p.m. with ticket sales, kicking off a series of fun events that run well into the evening, concluding with a movie.
    The funds collected for the event will allow the Plunge West Project team to break ground on the west side of the building for a bocce ball court, new walkway, side and back gardens.

    The project will also include a sustainability teaching garden and a butterfly habitat, Maryn Hurlbut said.
    "The walkway will be made with etched pavers that you can buy right now," she said. "Your family and business can be immortalized by ordering your paver right now."
    Etched large pavers cost $275 each.
    The dinner is being provided by Saluté, Hotel Mac Restaurant, Up and Under, and Assemble with kid pizza by Raymond's. Adult dinners are $15. Kid's dinners are a $5 donation. Dinner includes a movie with popcorn. Dessert is being provided by Brezo.
    Beer and wine are available for purchase but not included in the ticket price.  
   To purchase the pavers and tickets go to:

    "Please print/save your receipt and bring it with you for entrance to the dinner and movie," Hurlbut said.

    "And please support this highly requested town improvement by buying your tickets right now. With everyone's help, groundbreaking will happen in July."

    For more information, call  510-237-6880

The Plunge Garden Celebration Program on July 15th kicks off at 2 pm with check in and free passes for a swim at either the Plunge (2-4 PM) or the Richmond Swim Center at any of their scheduled swim times.
At 3 p.m., there will be an opening magic act, face painting, fun photo op and music will continue throughout the day.  There will also be a special “no littering” sign drawing contest with awards!
At 4:30 Richmond Mayor Tom Butt will announce the winners of his Second Annual Garden Contest.
At 5:30 the dinner and a movie part of the program begins with appetizers, beer, wine and soft drinks being served behind the Plunge Building in the Picnic Garden Area.
At 6;30 p.m. dinner will follow in the Picnic Garden Area provided by Salute, Assemble, The Mac Restaurant and Up & Under.  Dessert will be provided by Brezo.
At 8:00, the evening entertainment starts with more magic and surprises.
At 8:30, everyone will settle into their own lawn chairs (or blankets) on the two tennis courts to watch a movie displayed on the back of the Plunge Building.
More details will be announced during the rest of June. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Celebration at Temple Beth Hillel in Hilltop honors service of Rabbi Dean Kertesz

RICHMOND - Temple Beth Hillel held a special celebration last month honoring Rabbi Dean Kertesz for his 10 years of service.

    Approximately 100 people attended offering tributes to Kertesz, including Michael Cohen president of the congregation and Holocaust survivor Sam Genirberg.

   The evening included a potluck dinner, numerous tributes to the rabbi, Israeli folk dancing, singing - and a Havdalah service.

    Kertesz is the son of European refugees, grew up in El Cerrito and still lives in the family home there.

    He graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and joined a kibbutz in Israel for several years. He and his wife Carla Cassler have a daughter and son.

    When the post of rabbi came open in 2006, Kertesz was selected from a large field of more experienced candidates.

    "His decades of life experience, work with Jewish organizations, relaxed intelligence and desire to serve this community made him the winning candidate," a Temple Beth Hillel member said.

Cantor Fran Burgess leads students in song at the celebration

PRNC to hear updates on parking and proposed Bottoms Quarry development

   POINT RICHMOND - An update on revised plans for New West Development Corporation of Las Vegas' proposed housing project off Seacliff Drive will be considered Wednesday at the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council.

     The meeting is open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Point Richmond Community Center on Washington Avenue.
New West Homes project site

     The 270-unit project has been discussed at several PRNC meetings, including a special meeting in mid-March. At that meeting numerous Point residents asked questions about the height of the buildings, traffic impacts and safety concerns about ingress and egress for the project off Seacliff.

     Residents also questioned whether rezoning the land from recreational use to residential was the best use of the property.

    A link to the March 16 story and photos is here: Bottoms Quarry project concerns.

   The PRNC is also expected to hear a presentation by Denee Evans of the City of Richmond about proposals to redo parking and make Washington Avenue and Park Place one-way streets.

   The parking presentation will be one of the first items of business. The proposed Bottoms Quarry development is on the agenda at 8:10 p.m.