Spencer Whitney

New West County Health Center opening soon

On September 4, West Contra Costa County residents will have a state of the art, two-story, 53,000 square foot West County Health Center. Located in San Pablo, the new health center will be 30 percent larger than the current Richmond Health Center, with new examination rooms with greater capacity for patients and an additional three-level parking structure.

Backpack giveaway a success at Richmond PAL center

On Tuesday morning, hundreds of kids and parents descended on the Richmond Police Activities League (PAL) gymnasium for a giveaway of free backpack full of school supplies. Kids were able to play on the two inflatable jump houses while music was provided by band members from the Richmond PAL center.

Art of Ballet School thrives in Richmond

At the Art of Ballet School of Dance in Richmond, students of all ages and backgrounds develop into dancers through professional training. Its founder, Sylvia Townsend, has taught hundreds of children in the Bay Area for over 38 years and has given them opportunities to perform throughout California, including Disneyland in Anaheim and Great America amusement park in Santa Clara. The oldest of nine children, Sylvia Townsend grew up in the Seaport neighborhood in Richmond and spent her childhood practicing…

Richmond vocalist brings Bay Area talents to the East Coast

Chantler Townsend, originally from Richmond, moved to New York in 1996 to seek more exposure for his career in music and dance. Now his funk and soul his group New Music Race (NMR) are working hard on perfecting their sound for their debut album “Arrival,” set to be released in the early fall.

Democratic campaign kicks off at new headquarters in Richmond

The grand opening of the campaign headquarters for the West Contra Costa County Democrats attracted hundreds of Richmond residents on Saturday morning. Fresh fruit and breakfast burritos were served as people walked into the back parking lot of the office building in order to do tour the new headquarters, and meet with contenders for the November election. The day’s events consisted of introducing candidates to the voters, promoting healthcare, and showing party unity as they prepare for November.

Pow-Wow in Richmond honors Native American culture

On Saturday afternoon, members of over 50 Native American Indian tribes from across the country gathered to celebrate the 3rd Annual Richmond Native American Pow-Wow in Nicholl Park. The festival brought hundreds of local Bay Area residents to watch and participate in the dances and prayers as singer Wicahpuiluta Candelaria-Ohlone of the Muwekma Ohlone tribe started the day’s ceremony off with a blessing.

Officials showcase proposed Richmond commuter ferry

A potential commuter ferry from Richmond to the San Francisco Ferry Building could be in the works as soon as 2015. Marina Bay residents, and city officials gathered for a meeting at the Harbormaster Room at the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor on Thursday to view a presentation on the potential ferry terminal. “The ferry would start as a commute-only service and could potentially include weekends depending on the demand,” said Chad Mason, a transportation analyst for the Water Emergency Transportation…

Local heavyweight boxer seeks comeback in Richmond

It’s a Thursday evening at Polk Street Gym in San Francisco as Bomani “Warrior” Parker works his way around the punching bag, delivering blow after blow with punishing force. Around him are beginning boxers of all ages and professions; lawyers, dentists, college students, and teachers momentarily halt their warm up session before their training begins to watch Parker’s form. At age 44, the 6’3”, 250-pound heavyweight boxer from Richmond has been away from the ring for over a decade and…

WCCUSD pays off debt

After 20 years, on June 1st,  West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) was able to pay off its $47 million state loan to the state of California four years ahead of schedule. WCCUSD, previously known as the Richmond Unified School District, filed for bankruptcy in 1991 and became the first district in the state to enter receivership. By paying off its debt, the district will be freed from oversight by a state trustee and the $1.4 million in annual debt…

Track athlete awarded scholarship to Azusa Pacific University

Kennedy High School senior Allana Reames has been awarded an athletic scholarship to Azusa Pacific University for track and field. Reames is ranked in the top five students at Kennedy with a 4.0 grade point average. She was also offered positions at Howard University, Norfolk State, and Seattle University but she has decided to take the one at Azusa Pacific. “Allana is one of the only female athletes to receive a track scholarship at Kennedy High School in the last…

Ritterman hopes to raise money for soda tax campaign

In a country where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate roughly 90 million people are considered obese, some Richmond residents say that taxing soft drinks is an effective way to reverse the trend. On May 15, city council leaders In Richmond voted 5-2 to put a special tax on sodas on the November 6 ballot. The soda tax would add a one-cent per ounce surcharge to soda and other sugary fruit drinks with less than ten percent juice….