Sara Bernard

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia to join the California Air Resources Board

Governor Jerry Brown selected County Supervisor John Gioia on Tuesday to represent the San Francisco Bay Area on the California Air Resources Board.  The 12-member panel, a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency, provides state leadership and enforcement on air pollution standards and climate change regulations. “I’m excited to be working at a statewide…

Candlelight vigil for Lincoln Plair honors a giving spirit

Until his death, Lincoln Plair would show up each morning at 8 a.m. at the Elm Playlot in the Iron Triangle to pluck broken glass, syringes and other dangerous debris from the sandbox where local kids play. Then he’d leave his daily mark: a series of geometric patterns in the sand, “like a little Zen…

Refinery safety collaborative holds first Richmond forum

The microphone sputtered in and out as community members lined up for a turn to speak at the new Collaborative on Refinery Safety and Community Health’s public forum Wednesday evening. The meeting at St. Mark’s Catholic Church gym was the first of many conversations the group plans to have in Richmond and across the state.…

Labor and environmental groups join forces on refinery issues

The fire at Richmond’s Chevron oil refinery on August 6, 2012 wasn’t the only reason the United Steelworkers union and several environmental organizations—disparate groups that rarely work in tandem—decided to join forces in an industry-wide conversation about health and safety, but it was certainly an accelerating factor. “Absolutely, that spurred us,” said Charlotte Brody, national…

4th Annual Chocolate and Beer Festival

Hundreds of Bay Area residents flocked to the Craneway Pavilion on Saturday for a delicious end to SF Beer Week. Attendees sampled beer of all hues from nine different breweries and chocolates and other sweets from twenty confectioners. The event also featured live music, raffles, beer pong, a bouncy castle, and unseasonably warm afternoon sunshine.…

Contra Costa Health Services seeks community input on nutrition, physical activity

Of all the ideas brought up in the large conference room at Nevin Community Center on Wednesday morning, one rang true for everyone: to help solve the obesity crisis and help Richmond’s families live healthier lives, community programs need to stop duplicating services and start working together. “Doing one thing together would be better than…

Richmond’s Toxics

Decades of industrial pollution have left toxic contaminants in Richmond’s air, water, and soil. Click on the icons to learn more.

One woman’s quest to clean up 100 years of chemical waste

The site of a former Stauffer Chemical Co. plant in Richmond is still contaminated with a huge amount of toxic waste. Sherry Padgett, whose office is across the street, has spent the last decade trying to get the site’s current owners and environmental regulators to clean it up. Click the arrow to hear Padgett and…

Henry Clark and three decades of environmental justice

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin first saw Henry Clark, as so many have, at the gates of Richmond’s Chevron oil refinery. It was a blustery day in June 2003 and Clark was calling for environmental accountability from the oil company – as he has for many years – in front of an impassioned crowd of community…

Asthma hospitalization rates for children in Contra Costa County

Environmental health advocates have often linked asthma rates in Richmond to nearby industrial polluters like the Chevron refinery. But while science has established some strong correlations between air pollution and asthma episodes — such as in studies conducted by the California EPA Air Resources Board or published in scientific journals such as Current Opinion on Pulmonary Medicine —…

Bandwidth: Hip hop artist YSD makes waves in Richmond

Meet Young Shorty Doowop, or Y.S.D., one of Richmond’s rising stars — a female rapper and R&B artist who’s been writing her own songs since childhood. She performs around the Bay Area, dishing up beats from her first album, “I Love All My Fans: The Mixtape” and a new single, “Flexin’ on Em” (which comes…