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


Monday, September 17, 2018

Council candidates' forum, Terminal One review & Bridge Storage party this week

   RICHMOND - This week in Richmond there will be a city council candidates' forum tonight (Monday). Wednesday the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board quality will hold a public hearing on a proposal to clean up the Terminal One site in Point Richmond. And Friday evening Bridge Storage and ArtSpace will hold an open house to show off improvements and new additions.

Richmond Candidates' forum

RICHMOND - The East Brother Beer Company at 1001 Canal Boulevard will host a candidates' forum tonight for those seeking election to Richmond City Council in the November election.
     The East Brother event runs from 6-8 p.m. and is open to the public.
     A spokesman for the company said last week that nine of the 13 candidates running for three council seats have said they will attend.

Terminal One Public Hearing
 RICHMOND - The San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold a public hearing Wednesday on a proposed plan to clean up a variety of chemical contaminants on the Terminal One site in Point Richmond to pave the way for 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.
     The contaminants include chlorinated solvents, petroleum and hydrocarbons - and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the Dornan Drive property. The land is adjacent to the Richmond Yacht Club to the east and Miller-Knox Regional Park to the west. It abuts San Francisco Bay on the south and Brickyard Cove Road to the north.

Bridge Storage & ArtSpace open house

RICHMOND - Bridge Storage and ArtSpace on Maine Avenue will hold an open house and launch party Friday from 5- 9 p.m.
     The public is invited to the free event.
     The open house and party is to celebrate opening of some newly completed co-working facilities at the site.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Richmond's Bridge Storage and ArtSpace hosting open house & launch party Friday

   RICHMOND - Bridge Storage and ArtSpace on Maine Avenue will hold an open house and launch party Friday from 5- 9 p.m.
     The public is invited to the free event.
     The open house and party is to celebrate opening of some newly completed co-working facilities at the site.
     Attendees will be able to tour the new facilities, enjoy art exhibitions and meet with local arts and cultural organizations.
     There will be food and drink served, some short films shown and performances by a Taiko drumming group, among other events.
     For an online peek at the facility, visit the Bridge Storage site here: BRIDGE STORAGE.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Richmond council candidates' forum Monday at East Brother Beer Company

   RICHMOND - The East Brother Beer Company at 1001 Canal Boulevard will host a candidates' forum tonight for those seeking election to Richmond City Council in the November election.
     The East Brother event runs from 6-8 p.m. and is open to the public.
     A spokesman for the company said last week that nine of the 13 candidates running for three council seats have said they will attend.
     The Curbside Kitchen food truck will be selling food. Beer will be available in the company's tap room where the event will take place.
     The event is co-sponsored by the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council and the Point Richmond Business Association.
     Those groups have solicited questions for the candidates from members of the public that will be asked during a presentation.
The candidates for city council include:
Nat Bates
Diego Garcia
Carole Johnson
Demnlus Johnson
Eduardo Martinez
Vinay Pimple
Virginia Ramirez
Ada Recinos
Keith Rivers
Jim Rogers
David Schoenthal
Eleanor Thompson
Cesar Zepeda
The candidates for Richmond Mayor are Tom Butt and Melvin Willis.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Public hearing Wednesday on proposed cleanup plan for Terminal One project

   RICHMOND - The San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold a public hearing Wednesday on a proposed plan to clean up a variety of chemical contaminants on the Terminal One site in Point Richmond to pave the way for 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 land is adjacent to the Richmond Yacht Club to the east and Miller-Knox Regional Park to the west. It abuts San Francisco Bay on the south and Brickyard Cove Road to the north.
     The documented chemical contamination is a legacy of the property's history as a shipping and industrial site and has been the subject of study - and previous attempts and clean up - for 20 years.
     The water quality control board adopted a detailed cleanup order in 2004, But efforts to scrub the site were never completed because a previous developer abandoned the project in 2007.
     One suggestion expected at Wednesday meeting is that the regional water quality control board draft an entirely new cleanup order to take into account advances in pollution control remediation science since the 2004 order was issued as well as any new data about the site.
     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 watchdog group Brickyard Cove Alliance for Responsible Development has already voiced concerns that this latest iteration of a cleanup plan falls well 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.
     Among those concerns is that the proposed slurry wall is inadequate to prevent pollutants to escape into San Francisco Bay - a contention supported by environmental consultants GEI of Oakland.
     Also at issue is how to successfully mitigate possible chemical vapor intrusion from the ground below into homes - and the air.
     While the proposed cleanup plan calls for "Capping the Site" (see list above), BCARD is concerned that utility lines and various other underground infrastructure could provide pathways for toxins in the soil to waft to the surface.
     Last November, a community meeting about the proposed Terminal One project drew a crowd of at least 100 people to a Saturday morning session at the Richmond Yacht Club. (See Environmental problems, design issues and parking dominate Terminal One meeting.)

November meeting at RYC

CONTACTS:
City of Richmond, Lina Velasco, planner
EMAIL: Lina Velasco

Regional Water Quality Control Board, Jeffrey White
EMAIL: Jeffrey White

Laconia LLC (developer), Cleve Livingston
EMAIL: Cleve Livingston



Friday, May 11, 2018

McCrary to speak at Temple Beth Hillel

Melinda McCrary
   HILLTOP - Melinda McCrary, executive director of the Richmond Museum of History, kicks off a new Speaker Series Sunday, May 20 at Temple Beth Hillel, 816 Park Central.
     McCrary will be discussing the latest exhibition under development at the museum, Pioneers to the Present: Jews of Richmond and Contra Costa.
     The event begins at 2 p.m. and is open to the public. Donations are accepted.
     The exhibit is scheduled to open in November and will cover local Jewish history from the Gold Rush to the present.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Chevron officials say loud noise in Point was result of emergency steam release

   POINT RICHMOND - A team of Chevron officials confirmed again for the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council Wednesday night that the loud, screeching sound that alarmed hundreds of Point Richmond residents the night of March 29 was the result of only steam escaping from a pressure relief valve, not any refinery flaring.
     The escaping steam was under 500 pounds per square inch of pressure and had to go through a small diameter space, resulting in the screeching noise that prompted hundreds of phone calls to Chevron, police and Bay Area air quality officials.
     "We did not live up to our own expectations that night," Brian Hubinger, a Chevon representative told the PRNC. (For a KQED story about the incident published March 30, click here STEAM.)
(L-R) Claudia Graham, Winnie Kuo and Brian Hubinger of Chevron
     The technical details of what happened were outlined for the group by Winnie Kuo, a process engineer at the Richmond facility.
     Kuo said the steam is used in a turbine system that generates as much as 20 megawatts of electricity. Normal operating pressure is about 400 pounds per square inch. At 500 psi, Kuo said, the safety valve is designed to kick in, allowing the excess pressure to vent into the air.
     The piece of equipment blamed for the noise was installed in 2005 and is back in operation,  Claudia Graham, Chevron's utilities operations manager told the audience.
     "The manufacturer is investigating," she said.
     Local residents complained that the shrieking sound March 29 lasted as long as two hours, though Hubinger said he believe he actual incident time frame was shorter.
     Whatever the time frame, several residents clearly expressed their concerns over how the incident was handled.
     "You scared the crap out of a lot of people in the community," Point Richmond resident Bill Nadal said.
     The PRNC and the Chevron representatives also discussed the need for a better alert system to process more calls more quickly.
     In a normal week, Chevron dispatchers might receive just one or two complaint calls, Hubinger said.
     "That night we got about 100 in the first half-hour."

Michael J. Fitzgerald

The video below was taken the night of the incident by a local resident

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Chevron official to report on refinery flaring

   POINT RICHMOND - A representative from Chevron is scheduled to make a presentation Wednesday night - and answers questions - about a recent flaring and steam event at Chevron's Richmond facility.
     The presentation will be made by Brian Hubinger, a government relations specialist with the company.
     The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Point Richmond Community Center and is open to the public.
Hubinger 
     Hubinger's report is near the end the agenda and is scheduled to begin at 8:40 p.m.
     The Chevron report will be preceded by the election of PRNC president, vice president, secretary and treasurer for the next year.
     Incumbent PRNC president David Schoenthal is leaving the post and running for Richmond City Council. The sole announced candidate to replace him is Peter Thelin.
     The meeting is also expected to feature reports from various other Point groups and agencies including Arts of Point Richmond, Richmond Tennis and the Masquers Playhouse.



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Richmond officials promise to help mitigate parking and traffic issues in The Point

   POINT RICHMOND - A two-hour community meeting sponsored by the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council on parking and traffic issues Tuesday included a pledge from Lori Reese-Brown of the city transportation department that she would work collaboratively with Point residents and city departments to solve problems.
     "The city of Richmond has a lot of work to do," Reese-Brown said at the Community Center meeting.
     That work includes seeing how much city planners and others have considered the traffic and parking impacts of new residential developments - either constructed or in process.
Yellow and red striping near the closed El Tunel restaurant 
     Collectively nearly 600 residential units are expected to be built and occupied in the next few years: 27 units in the apartments already constructed adjacent to Mechanics Bank, 60 homes in the under-construction Shea Homes Shoreline development, 200 units at the city-approved Quarry Residential project, and more the 300 homes at Terminal One on Dornan Drive near the Richmond Yacht Club.
     Reese-Brown also pledged to talk with Richmond Police about a conspicuous lack of parking enforcement in The Point.
     In the last week, freshly painted yellow, blue and green curb striping - and a stop sign at on Park Place - appeared in the downtown business district. The restriping of existing parking spaces - which could include standardizing the size of each stall from the current mix of parking slot sizes - is also likely.
     Reese-Brown also suggested that the heads of various city departments - like planning - attend future community meetings to answer some of the many questions posed by the 25 or so persons who attended the meeting.
     The meeting was facilitated by Shawn Dunning who walked the audience through a series of exercises designed to elicit as many solutions to problems as gripes.
     Parking permits for residential, designated parking zones for merchants and spaces for additional parking on the perimeter of the downtown business district were all discussed.
     Reese-Brown and Denée Evans (also of the city transportation office) encouraged people to contact them directly with concerns.
    "If I hear one complaint, that sounds like 1,000 complaints to me," Reese-Brown said.
     PRNC President David Schoenthal indicated that in the wake of this meeting he would be setting up an online Google discussion group. He can be contacted about that here: Schoenthal email.

CITY OF RICHMOND PARKING CONTACTS:
Lori Reese-Brown
Phone: 510-620-6869
REESE-BROWN EMAIL

Denée Evans
Phone: 510-620-6869
EVANS EMAIL 

New stop sign on Park Place, heading north

Signage needs to catch up with new stripes in front of the Santa Fe Market


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Point parking & traffic meeting tonight

   POINT RICHMOND - A special two-hour meeting to discuss parking and traffic issues in The Point will be held tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Point Richmond Community Center on Washington Avenue.
     The meeting is open to the public.
     The session will be facilitated by Shawn Dunning and run similarly to collaborative solutions workshops conducted earlier this year by outgoing Point Richmond Neighborhood Council President David Schoenthal.
Evans
   In an announcement for the meeting, Schoenthal said he wanted people to understand that the event tonight is to get community input into how to solve parking and traffic issues in The Point.
     This meeting will not be a campaign event," he said.
      In addition to the facilitator and members of the public, Lori Reese Brown and Denée Evans of the Richmond Transportation Department are expected to attend, Schoenthal said.
    Community members will likely be asking questions about parking enforcement, how to get additional parking for The Point area, and what plans the city has for dealing with the traffic expected from four new residential developments coming on line. 
     One is already constructed - the apartments adjacent to Mechanics Bank. Shea Homes is in the early phases of construction of homes off Seacliff Drive. Another project is expected to break ground this year, the 200-unit Quarry Residential project on Seacliff Drive near Canal Boulevard. Still in process is the 300+ unit Terminal One residential project at the end of Dornan Drive.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Greenpeace blimp hovers over Chevron

The Greenpeace blimp floated over Point Richmond - and the Chevron Refinery today -
with a message pointed at Governor Jerry Brown.
The other side of the blimp says "Climate Leaders Don't Drill."
(Photo and caption information by Spencer Allen)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Richmond Police offer list of suggestions how to protect against property theft

   POINT RICHMOND - The Richmond Police Department's Crime Prevention Manager has offered a series of tips for people to help protect against theft of property.
Michelle Milam
     The suggestions from Michelle Milam come after RPD Capt. Louis Tirona told residents Tuesday night that they need to take steps to "harden" their homes against thieves.
   "We can't arrest our way out of the problem," Tirona said, part of his comments during an hour-long question and answer session with about 75 residents at the Point Richmond Community Center.
     The meeting was set up by local resident and activist Jessie West so residents could query police about property crimes in Point Richmond. The meeting also was called to set up the newly created Downtown Point Richmond Neighborhood Watch.
   
The ideas for home protection from Milam include:

•  If you have an alarm system, set it every time you leave home. 
Periodically test your system to avoid false alarms.

•  Garage doors should always be closed and locked. Do not leave your garage door opener in your car.  If your car is stolen, thieves may have access to your home.

•  Lock your garage door from the inside when not in immediate use, or when on vacation.

•  Consider installing motion sensitive lighting. Make sure the perimeter of your home is well lit.

•  Install deadbolt locks with a 1" metal bar on all non-sliding exterior doors.

•  Beware of inviting solicitors into your home where they have access to viewing your floor plans, or learning more about your schedule and living arrangements. 

•  Don’t assume that your personal items have no value to thieves; while you may consider certain items of minimal value, thieves may think otherwise.

•  Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened.

•  Never hide a spare key under the doormat, flowerpot, or any obvious location.

•  Store tools and ladders out of sight and locked away.

•  Keep shrubbery trimmed away from doors and windows.

•  Consider using doorbell cameras or active monitoring devices.

•  Start a neighborhood watch on your block to report suspicious activity to police.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MILAM

Michelle Milam  EMAIL  Phone: 510-620-6546

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Sail America boat show April 19-22 at Marina Bay and Craneway Pavillion

   RICHMOND - The Pacific Sail and Power Boat Show this year will run from Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22 at the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor and the Craneway Pavilion.
     New boats - power and sail - will be on display both in and out of the water for show attendees to check out.

Marine products such as engines, solar panels, life jackets and electronics will be available at the show for review - and on sale - too.
     "We are pleased to welcome so many exceptional exhibitors this year, Katie Kelly, Sail America Associate Manager said.
     "They are showcasing the latest marine products, boats, technology and services."
     There will also be seminars on a variety of topics including how to prep for a cruising adventure and understanding the basics about tropical cyclones.
     This the third year of the boat show in Richmond. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Sunday the show also opens at 10 a.m. but closes at 5 p.m.
     For full information about tickets, events, social events and registering for seminars, check the Pacific Boat Show website here: BOAT SHOW.

RPD police captain says Pt. residents need to 'harden' homes to protect against theft

   POINT RICHMOND - A Richmond Police Captain Tuesday night told a Point Richmond audience that to protect against the property crimes that have seemingly been plaguing the community for months, residents will need to "harden" their homes and properties to make it more difficult for thieves to steal items.
     "We can't arrest our way out of the problem," Capt. Louis Tirona said.
     Tirona's comment came during an hour-long question and answer session with approximately 75 people gathered at the Point Richmond Community Center.
     The meeting with Tirona and RPD's Lt. Tim Gray was organized by Point Richmond resident and activist Jessie West to get answers from the police about a perceived uptick in property crimes as well as to put together a Downtown Point Richmond Neighborhood Watch.
     Tirona, who heads up the Southern District policing area of the city, said part of the problem is that it's likely the criminals now stealing items and breaking into homes are not local to Point Richmond or even necessarily Richmond itself, but coming in from other areas.
     "Criminals no longer stay in their own neighborhood," Tirona said. "They have gone regional."
     In response, Richmond Police are taking a regional approach to apprehending thieves, too, he added.
     But the exception to that might be the influx of homeless people, Lt. Gray said. In the last few weeks, the RPD cleared one homeless encampment adjacent to the Plunge.
Homeless encampment, since removed from The Plunge
     While the RPD hasn't officially concluded the increase in Point Richmond crime can be directly attributed to more homeless people in The Point area, Gray said there seems to be a "correlation."
     Several audience members cited instances in which they believed the RPD was not sufficiently responsive to calls to police for help - either in timeliness or in investigating and/or arresting suspects.
     Tirona urged community members to contact him or Gray directly with their concerns about any cases - an offer several residents took him up on during a break midway through the meeting.
     (Phone contact information and email links for Tirona and Gray follow this story.)
     Tirona also said part of the problem is that the "consequences are fairly light" even if a person is arrested and convicted for property-related crimes.
     Gray suggested that the group ask for a meeting with a representative of the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office to explain the process and court outcomes for persons arrested and convicted.
    Tirona said he would ensure that a DA's office representative would come to The Point for such a meeting. RPD Crime Prevention manager Michelle Milam made the same pledge after Tirona and Gray's session ended and the group met for another hour organizing a new Neighborhood Watch.

RPD CONTACT INFORMATION:

Captain Louis Tirona: EMAIL LINK
Tirona telephone: 510-620-6940

Lt. T. Gray: EMAIL LINK
Gray telephone: 510-620-6926

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Uptick in local crime the subject of 7 p.m. meeting tonight at the Community Center

   POINT RICHMOND - A community meeting to talk about ways to combat the recent uptick in crime in Point Richmond will be held tonight in the Community Center on Washington Ave. beginning at 7 p.m.
     The event was organized by community resident/activist Jessie West.
West invited Captain Louie Tirona of the Richmond Police and Michelle Milam of the RPD Crime Prevention Department to attend and to hear concerns of residents.
     Tirona heads the Southern District (which includes Point Richmond) and allocates police resources.
     The meeting comes in the wake of numerous reports of crimes - many of which have been detailed on the social media site Nextdoor.
     The crimes have included an armed robbery, burglaries, auto thefts, bicycle thefts, computer thefts and other property crimes.
   
Michelle Milam
 Following the discussion with Tirona, residents are invited to stay and talk with Milam from crime prevention about organizing a Downtown Neighborhood Watch.
     West said she also hopes that existing Neighborhood Watch groups in the entire Point will send a representative to the meeting so the various units can determine how best to share information.



Thursday, March 29, 2018

Parking & traffic in Point Richmond topic of April 10 meeting at Community Center

   POINT RICHMOND - A special two-hour meeting - specifically to discuss parking and traffic issues in Point Richmond - will be held Tuesday, April 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Point Richmond Community Center on Washington Avenue.
     "The meeting is just to talk about parking and traffic," Denée Evans of Richmond Transportation Services said. "Prior meetings have been too short."
     Evans made her comments during a presentation at the Point Richmond Business Association luncheon Thursday at the Hotel Mac.
Irene Hightower (L) with Denée Evans
     Her appearance had been scheduled to discuss a wide range of parking matters relative to the Point and also to explain the mysterious appearance - and quick disappearance - of four parking kiosks installed on Park Place several weeks ago.
     The kiosks were part of a planned paid parking pilot program that had been under discussion for months at both the PRBA and the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council.
     But Evans said that particular idea has been taken off the table.
     "There will be no paid pilot," she said.
    The sudden installation of the kiosks was the result of what Evans called a "perfect storm" of miscommunications - as well as "liberties" taken by the vendor, a company called Parkeon.
     "That will never happen again on my watch," she said.
     Evans also lined out some ideas being considered by the city - all of which will be up for discussion at the April 10 community meeting. One is to standardize the parking stall sizes on Park Place, Washington Avenue and Richmond Avenue. The slots now are different sizes - some as large as 24 feet.
     Another is to strategize how to deal with the anticipated big influx of vehicles - and people - as various approved residential developments are completed in the next few years.
     Outgoing PRNC President David Schoenthal is helping organize the April 10 meeting. He said there will be a professional facilitator helping run the meeting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

PRNC set to discuss Pt. Richmond homeless issue at Wednesday meeting

A homeless encampment near The Plunge in February
   POINT RICHMOND - The Point Richmond Neighborhood Council is set to hear from three people about homelessness Wednesday - a report from city crime prevention officer Michelle Milam,  at 7:40 p.m., Richmond Police Officer Vincent Martinez at 8 p.m. and Daniel Barth, a homeless community advocate at 8:30 p.m.
     The PRNC meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Point Richmond Community Center on Washington Avenue and is open to the public.
     "The Richmond Homeless Task force ... has been working diligently and tirelessly to figure out action-oriented solutions to homeless in Richmond that can be implemented now," Outgoing PRNC President David Schoenthal said in his agenda comments.
     Milam will be talking about the city's Homeless Task Force.
     Martinez will speak about working with homeless encampments.
 
   The PRNC was also supposed to hear a report about the four parking kiosks that suddenly appeared on Park Place in the downtown business district several weeks ago. The kiosks were removed only days later after a flood of citizen questions and complaints.
     That report was canceled last week.
     However, Denée Evans of Richmond Transportation Services is expected to attend the Point Richmond Business Association meeting Thursday at noon at the Hotel Mac to update attendees on city plans for a paid parking pilot program that - if implemented - will include use of kiosks.
     (To read a commentary on parking in the point, see: The elephant in the parking space.)