Tawanda Kanhema

Richmond mulls legal action against Chevron Corp. over refinery fire

The Richmond City Council is 30 days from pursuing litigation against Chevron Corporation if negotiations fail to secure compensation for the August 2012 refinery fire. Legislators are seeking money from the oil company for damages and for expenses incurred by the city after the accident. Council voted 5-2 to hire Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, an…

Richmond city council fails to announce Bell vacancy as meeting ends in stalemate

A meeting that began with warm sentiments as the city council praised Salute restaurant owner Menbre Akililu for her Thanksgiving Day meal giveaway for the homeless quickly spiraled into arguing, showmanship and—at the very end—confusion. As the time ticked down for the meeting—which according to city bylaws officially ends at 11 pm, unless a majority…

Rift emerges in Richmond as Bell seat falls vacant

An empty chair sat on the dais of Richmond City Hall Tuesday night during the inauguration of re-elected councilmembers Tom Butt and Nat Bates. Outpourings of well wishes for its intended occupant, Gary Bell—who won the November race but is in a medically induced coma following a bacterial sinus infection—dominated public speeches and the hushed conversations in the gallery.

2012 Year in Review

From Richmond’s triumphant bid to host the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s second campus to worrying phases of gun violence earlier in the year and the historic November election, here are some of the stories that made the headlines on Richmond Confidential this year.

What now, Jeff Ritterman?

A month after the election, the departing Councilmember Jeff Ritterman can see the end of his term on the council, if not an end to the debate about public health.

Richmond-built solar car ’Impulse’ gets ready for Formula Sun Grand Prix

A shiny bean-shaped rolling contraption, barely three feet high, struggled up a steep gradient on a recent Saturday morning as it entered the streets of Richmond from El Cerrito, turning heads and slowing down traffic as two escort cars flashed their blinkers and carefully stewarded it through crowded traffic intersections. ”We are taking a right…

Citizens Outspent: Inside Richmond’s $4m Election Campaign

Take your pick: naïve anarchists, or corporate puppets. This is the face of Richmond’s hotly contested race for three council seats in the November 2012 election, at least going by the massive billboards and glossy mailers that have dominated the campaign season in this city of 100,000 residents. The majority of candidates running for council…

Protests mar Walmart Supercenter’s re-opening in Richmond

As managers at Richmond’s Walmart Supercenter prepared to launch a grand re-opening this morning, a handful of workers who have spent the last four months renovating the store walked out to protest what they said were ongoing cases of mistreatment by management. Shoppers were greeted by placard-wielding protesters, carrying signs reading “Stand Up, Live Better,…