Rachel Waldholz

Hearing opens Monday on Chevron’s $58 million property tax appeal

Chevron will present its case for a $58 million tax refund before an appeals board on Monday, as the company seeks to prove that it overpaid property taxes on its Richmond refinery between 2007 and 2009. Chevron believes the county has overvalued its Richmond refinery by nearly $2 billion per year.

If the company succeeds in its appeal, it would create a “brutal situation” for the county and cities, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said.

Major water pipeline proposed for 23rd Street

The East Bay Municipal Utility District, which supplies drinking water and water treatment to East Bay cities from Castro Valley to Crockett, has announced plans to lay new three-foot-wide water pipes beneath a stretch of 23rd Street. The project is part of a 10-year effort to expand capacity in the district’s pipelines and water treatment plants to meet rising demand for water. EBMUD does not plan to begin construction until 2021, but is seeking public input now. The project in…

“Occupy Wall Street” comes to Richmond

A group organized by Richmond SPOKES director Brian Drayton, and with the backing of the city’s progressive leadership, has taken the name OccupyRICHMOND and plans to gather downtown and march to City Hall this afternoon. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said Wednesday she’ll meet them there and express her support for the “Occupy” movement, a diffuse coalition of protest groups that has gathered in public places across the country to criticize economic inequality and corporate greed. The Occupy Wall Street protests started…

Residents told to expect flaring as Chevron refinery begins maintenance

Residents near Chevron’s Richmond Refinery can expect to see flames at the plant’s flare stacks over the next month and a half, as the refinery enters one of its occasional maintenance periods. On Monday, the refinery began work that will bring an additional 1,650 contractors into Richmond over the next four to six weeks. That work will include some visible flaring as excess gas is burned off during maintenance, according to an alert emailed to community members. Flaring at the…

Scenes from the grand opening of Richmond’s Spokeshop Bike Lounge

On Sunday, Oct. 2, the Spokeshop Bike Lounge — billed as Richmond’s first full service professional bike shop — officially opened its doors after three years of planning. The Spokeshop plans to offer new and used bikes, and will offer apprenticeships for Richmond youth. Richmond Confidential was there at the opening to bring you scenes from the festivities.

Richmond moves to ban the box

On the first page of the application to work for the city of Richmond, question 14 stands out in capital letters: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” By the end of the month, that question will be gone. The change is the first step in a campaign to “ban the box” in Richmond – the box in question being the one that people with a criminal record must check when they apply for jobs and housing, and benefits…

After three years of dreaming, Spokeshop bike lounge opens its doors

It’s not really about bikes for Brian Drayton.

This week, he’s opening what he calls Richmond’s first full service professional bike shop, the Spokeshop Bike Lounge. But, says Drayton, “I don’t want to be a bike shop owner. Retail’s not my thing.” Really, he’s out to change the world – or at least Richmond. Spend fifteen minutes with him, and you begin to think he might just pull it off.

Richmond finds support at LBNL meeting

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab representatives offered a limited update on their hunt for a second campus site to members of the lab’s Community Advisory Group Thursday. But while lab officials maintained their poker face, members of the CAG and public audience – few of them Richmond residents – were eager to recommend Richmond’s site. Richmond City Councilmember Jeff Ritterman appeared to be the only council member present from the cities vying for the lab, and the only speaker in the…

Richmond Art Center celebrates 75 years

The internationally renowned artist Richard Diebenkorn showed his drawings here. Tom Marioni, the conceptual artist known for the One Second Sculpture, was a curator here. Jasper Johns, credited with paving the way for both Pop Art and Minimalism

A look inside Chevron’s Richmond refinery

Visitors gathered in a parking lot off Castro Street, where they were greeted with balloons, candy, hand puppets for kids, information on Chevron’s Renewal Project and postcards of refinery workers through the ages – and asked to leave behind all bags and cameras, for security reasons.

Chevron offers a glimpse inside

Chevron’s Richmond Refinery will open its gates to the public Saturday morning, during its second annual Community Tour Day. Over 500 people from Richmond and surrounding cities have signed up to tour the refinery, an event that Chevron officials hope will help demystify its operations. “People have a lot of misinformation about the refinery, and are not sure about what happens behind the gates,” said Chevron spokesperson Melissa Ritchie. “We want them to know what’s happening here.” Local residents had…