Wendi Jonassen

Ride of Silence honors cyclists injured or killed on the road

He doesn’t remember the exact street he was on when he flew into traffic. But Najari Smith does remember riding in a shared lane—a section of road without a bike lane—when a truck behind him honked incessantly, signaling frustration with Smith’s slower speed. Smith tried to speed up, but his chain slipped off the gears,…

For those in detention centers, calling home can be an expensive problem

Roberto dela Rosa’s mother has been in detention centers for almost two years, trying to get refugee status to stay in the United States. During the first year, his mother was transferred to different detention centers several times, and all of the bouncing around and the expense of phone calls kept dela Rosa from being…

Housing plan sparks arguments on rent control, just cause evictions

After several hours of confusion and bickering, last week the Richmond City Council approved a housing element—a part of the general plan that will address land use and housing development throughout the city—just in time to meet a deadline to be eligible for a state-issued $44 million grant. But although the entire housing element contains…

Financially struggling Richmond hospital seeks partnership

Luis Moreno brought his 17-year-old stepdaughter to Doctors Medical Center last Monday after she missed two days of school due to flu symptoms. She is not a Richmond resident—she lives in Pinole—but Doctor’s Medical Center is the closest emergency room. And she is uninsured. Like her, nearly a quarter of the patients Doctors Medical Center…

Special meeting to discuss vacant City Council seat this Thursday

After running out of time to officially declare the council seat left by Gary Bell as vacant at last week’s city council meeting, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin announced a special meeting to be held this Thursday at City Hall to discuss the issue. The time for the meeting has not been specified yet. “This process is…

Urban Tilth to host 6th Annual MLK Day of Service

Even though Martin Luther King is technically a holiday, Urban Tilth is asking residents to spend the day helping beautify the city to celebrate the accomplishments of the civil rights leader. On January 21, Urban Tilth is asking volunteers to help plant seeds in the Greenway Community Garden, improve bike trail paths, create a mural…

Air Quailty District hosts informative session on refinery fire

A dozen Richmond residents, most donning shirts that read ‘Clean Air for All,’ rode a bus to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District office this morning to hear from the various agencies investigating the Aug. 6 Chevron refinery fire. Spectators filled the chairs and lined the wall of the quiet, wood-paneled room as each…

ACLU sues School District over alleged inadequacies

The West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Community Day School Program will start school in a new location at the Richmond Police Activities League this fall, a little more than a month after an ACLU-led lawsuit challenged the District’s funding and handling of the school. But the move didn’t placate critics, who argue the District…

Urban agriculture organizations want their soil tested after Chevron refinery fire

After the Chevron refinery fire sent plumes of black smoke laden with chemicals into the air, Urban Tilth, one of Richmond’s urban agriculture organizations, wants the soil it uses to grow food tested for heavy metals. Though the Contra Costa Health Services say Richmond-grown fruits and vegetables are safe to eat and that they don’t…

Particulates below state standard after refinery fire, testing proved difficult

Results from a Bay Area Air Quality Management District analysis of particulate matter in the air over Richmond following the Aug. 6 Chevron refinery fire show slightly elevated levels of elemental carbon, which is common after a fire. Those levels are still well below state and federal air quality standards, the BAAQMD announced Thursday. Although…

Veolia hires and trains two Richmond residents in wastewater management

In an effort to build better a more amicable relationship with the community, Veolia, the company that manages the wastewater treatment plant in Richmond, has instituted an internship program geared at employing local residents. The company is already through the first stages of selecting two interns, said Jamal Muhammad, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Veolia.

Salmon are coming back to the bay

There is great news for fishermen and salmon lovers. This year’s projected salmon count in watersheds around the bay is higher than it has been in years. Last year only about 115,000 salmon were counted swimming from the bay up the Sacramento River. This year the projected count is over 800,000.