Zach St. George

Infighting a challenge for City Council

Councilmember Tom Butt left the April 24 city council meeting around 9 pm, too frustrated to continue, followed a while later by Councilmember Jovanka Beckles, who had to work early the next morning. Down to five remaining members, the council debated and argued into the night, past 11 pm, midnight, 1 am. By the time…

Birds on the Bay Bridge

Of all the birds that nest on or around the Bay Bridge—gulls, terns, pelicans, pigeons, falcons, hummingbirds—Lauren Bingham is most concerned with the cormorants. It’s not that they’re worse, bird by bird, more onerous or unruly than the other birds; it’s just that there’s so many of them. Standing on the unopened new span of…

City Council votes to disburse Community Development Block Grant money

The City Council on Tuesday approved the disbursement of funding for low-income services, tentatively agreed to help support RichmondBUILD, and—after more than an hour of argument—voted to end the reading of its own Code of Ethics before each meeting.

The Reluctant Psychic

Perenna Fleming is psychic, but she’s not a psychic. That’s what she says.

At council meeting, protesters call for tougher treatment of assistant city manager

Before Tuesday night’s city council meeting, more than 20 people gathered on the chamber steps holding signs—“Richmond needs accountability,” “Investigate little luxuries in Richmond,” and “Richmond United Against Corruption”—in reference to assistant city manager Leslie Knight, who heads the human resources department. The results of a city-funded investigation released last week showed that she had…

Portrait of an empty house

A yellow cat runs up the steps of the house on 127 Chanslor Avenue, hopping over the weeds sprouting from the charred wood. It stops in the entryway and turns, shutting its eyes against the sun streaming down through the hole where the roof used to be. The house, on the corner of 2nd Street…

Chevron asks for new tax appeal judges

Chevron is worried that James Giacoma, Art Walenta and Clark Wallace might be holding a grudge. That’s one argument the oil company made in legal documents  filed in January asking that the three be removed from the county tax appeals board–the most recent maneuver in Chevron’s nearly decade-long battle with Contra Costa County over the…

Getting to four votes: The political math behind the appointment of Jael Myrick

After a month of arguing over how best to fill the seat left empty by Gary Bell’s illness, the Richmond City Council met on February 4 for a one-item agenda. The council could either choose to wait for a special election in June, or it could appoint one of the 12 people who applied for…

Giving North Richmond’s kids a safer place to play

With frantic little-kid energy, the Panthers under-10 boys basketball team races around the pavement lot next to the Shields-Reid Park in North Richmond. The kids are fresh from a 42-0 victory over the El Cerrito team, their third straight victory in their youth league. Some of the kids play a pick-up game against their coaches—older…

Jael Myrick appointed to City Council

The City Council appointed Jael Myrick to fill Gary Bell’s empty seat in a 4 – 1 vote with one abstention Monday, avoiding a special election. Myrick will be sworn in during Tuesday night’s council meeting. His appointment came at the end of a single-item meeting the council called to vet the 12 candidates who…

Council names Booze vice mayor

Tuesday night’s Richmond City Council meeting was short on substance but long on drama. Despite an agenda that included few controversial items, councilmembers and the public traded barbs and accusations deep into the night. In the nearly six-hour meeting, the council’s only decision was to choose a vice-mayor. Councilmember Corky Booze and Mayor Gayle McLaughlin…

Richmond upholsterer will save you a seat

Patrick McStravick runs his fingers over the bare bones of an old chair. “Look at the thickness of the wood,” he says reverently in heavy brogue. “Honduran mahogany.” Jute webbing, tacked and stretched from the bottoms of the outer wooden slats, forms the base of the seat. A half-dozen metal springs sit on top of…

Guns for Fun

  Buffy the cowboy glares at the closed door, his feet set apart, the bandolier round his belly loaded with red shot-shells. His ten-gallon is pulled down over his forehead, and his neckerchief is snugged up tight under a steel slide, which depicts a lewd act between two hogs. It is morning, and the sun…