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Economy

Amid health concerns, Richmond officials consider a ban on coal storage and transport

The Richmond City Council will soon consider an ordinance that would restrict the handling of coal and petcoke, a byproduct of oil refining, on port terminals in Richmond. A draft of the ordinance, introduced in December, has been approved by the city attorney, and it is expected to go to the council for a vote, although according to that office, a date has not been set yet.  The ordinance, authored by Councilmember Eduardo Martinez, calls for “the prohibition on the…

Richmond residents welcome new ferry service to San Francisco

A month into the new ferry service between Richmond to San Francisco, residents are thrilled. Already, some 635 commuters a day—more than expected—are using the 35-minute service between Richmond and the Embarcadero. “It’s clean, easy, there are no homeless people and it’s faster than BART,” said Yu Matsu, a Richmond resident who now ­­­takes the ferry daily to get to work in the Financial District. It costs her $6.75 one-way on a Clipper Card, compared to $7.50 on BART. “I’ve…

Richmond teachers struggle to afford housing on “poverty level” salaries

Diane Maddox sold gold jewelry as a side hustle, just to get by during her 33 years of teaching in Richmond. The single mother raised her two daughters in an apartment above a garage. It took the 56-year-old Maddox more than two decades until she could finally afford to purchase a home. She currently teaches transitional kindergarten for English learners at Downer Elementary School. “I’m a single parent in the Bay Area, so then trying to make it on one…

How charter school, real estate and healthcare money helped Wicks outspend Beckles by 4 to 1

The race for California’s 15th Assembly district is one of the most expensive in the state. More than $3.75 million has been spent to support the candidacies of Buffy Wicks and Jovanka Beckles, with spending for Wicks exceeding Beckles by a margin of 4 to 1, a Richmond Confidential analysis of the latest campaign finance reports shows. The reports reveal that nearly 40 percent of Wicks’ support is coming from outside of California. Corporate executives and business interests are heavily…

Rodents, Roaches and Broken Elevators: Why it took nearly a decade for Richmond to fix public housing

By Betty Marquez Rosales and Ravleen Kaur The elevators inside a Richmond public housing building had been broken for about a week before city officials moved to have them fixed — an unusually rapid response for a building plagued by maintenance issues for years, where residents regularly endure long waits to have them repaired. This time, the fix was triggered not just by the usual residential complaints. This time, it took the outrage of residents who believe a death might…

UC strike organizer draws from immigration struggle in fight for campus workers

Maricruz Manzanarez grabbed tight to weeds and scrub brush growing out from the dirt ridge on one side of the tracks, bracing herself as the train approached, afraid. She worried that the train was going so fast it would suck her in as it went by. She felt its pull on her as it sped past. Caught between the railcars and the ridge, between Mexico and the United States, Manzanarez held on tight. Just a few years ago she had…

How Richmond rebuilds abandoned homes

The house on South 37th Street is the ninth one rebuilt under the housing renovation program that turns abandoned, uninhabitable homes into livable ones and sells them to local, lower to medium income, first-time homebuyers.

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…

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