Mark Oltmanns

Richmond minister to march against gang violence

While police are saying that a longstanding feud between Central Richmond’s Deep-C gang and the Project Trojans gang in North Richmond may be heating up, a number of groups in the city are trying to address systemic violence by engaging the community to encourage non-violence. Operation Richmond, a faith-based collaborative organization that promotes non-violence, is organizing an event called “Making Noise for Peace” on April 23—a day before Easter—in response to the recent spate of shootings and homicides in unincorporated North Richmond.

Spate of city gang violence has deep roots

Police are saying that some of the violence that has been brewing in the city recently, which has left three dead and four wounded over the last two weeks, seems to be part of an escalating feud between gangs in North and Central Richmond.

With new $60,000 lab, Richmond High is training a new crop of engineers

Richmond High School now has a new state-of-the-art computer lab that will provide students with intensive engineering training. The lab is the result of a wide-ranging partnership between the school, the City of Richmond, the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Chevron, and Project Lead the Way—a national, educational nonprofit that helps schools to expand their work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Ford Point melds sharp, modern architecture with a rich history

In the time since the renovation of Ford Point—originally the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant—was completed in 2009, the site has won a string of awards that have helped return the historic landmark to its former stature. The building most recently earned architecture’s most coveted recognition: the American Institute of Architects’ Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture.

City fights to keep banks accountable for blight in foreclosed homes

When Richmond’s code enforcement manager Tim Higares realized his unit was bringing in less money this fiscal year than the last, he was actually happy. He said less money means more clean-up cooperation from property owners—mostly banks—who face steep fines for allowing foreclosed properties to fall into disrepair. “We need to stabilize these communities,” said Higares. “The drop in penalty fees means that we’re getting compliance.” Richmond was hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis. Higares said code enforcement receives…

Volunteers fan out across Contra Costa to tally County’s homeless

Dozens of community volunteers fanned out across Contra Costa County early Wednesday morning to help with the county’s 2011 homeless count. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all cities and counties receiving federal dollars for homeless services to conduct a count at least every other year.