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Small businesses along Albany’s commercial corridors struggling to find employees

Located at the intersection of Albany and Berkeley, the Tokyo Fish Market is never empty. Customers buying salmon, sushi or Japanese rice desserts fill the large room, and workers carrying, cutting, and wrapping fish abound. Or so it seems. The market needs more workers, said Li Nakamura, who has been running it since 1990. “Every business has a hard time right now finding workers,” he said. “We do not know why.” Up and down Albany’s commercial district of Solano and…

Richmond small business owner kickstarts neighborhood party to boost childhood literacy

Reading is a struggle for many of Richmond’s youth. Almost half of students in West Contra Costa County Unified School District are unable to read at grade level.   To boost reading in Richmond, the owners of R&R Coffee hosted a party on Monday for local families at the Bridge Storage and Artspace, where food and books were given away. It was “like an adventure” for her children, said Richmond mom Sherab Osugi. She said the party made her children,…

Proposed housing developments promise to transform downtown Richmond

A series of recently proposed housing developments along Macdonald Avenue in downtown Richmond could spur a business renaissance in the struggling district if city and local business leaders’ predictions ring true. In a city desperate for affordable housing, the developments reserve only about one quarter of the total number of units for residents making below the median income. The rest of the apartments would be rented at market rates. Still, Richmond leaders are supporting the proposals on land that has…

The Tale of Two Cities podcast: Hooked

Kava, kratom and caffeine — the stories in this episode of our podcast dive into obsession, addiction and habits. We follow reporters Susie Neilson ad Padmini Parasarathy as they goes to Melo Melo Kava Bar where people consume Kava, a Polynesian root-brewed tea, helping people with their anxiety and overcome addiction. Alexa Hornbeck takes us to Sacramento as she speaks with a mother fighting to keep kratom, a controversial herbal supplement, from being made an illegal substance in the United States….

Judge rules on Point Molate development; housing to be built, but no casino

After almost eight years of grinding litigation that has brought proposals to develop Richmond’s controversial Point Molate area to a halt, the city and the developer who sued it over a plan to build a casino have finally reached a settlement. This means 13 years of political fighting since Richmond officially acquired the 270-acre parcel of land and former fuel depot from the Navy in 2003 may finally give way to a unified plan to make economic use of the…

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