General

We’re off for the summer — see you in September!

Richmond Confidential is a project of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and now that it’s summer, our students are on break to work internships at other publications. We’ll be back to train a new class of student reporters in early September. Please feel free to explore the site and our past coverage. Our student journalists have been covering Richmond since fall, 2009, and have created more than 4,500 articles, videos, audio pieces and multimedia projects about life in the city. You can…

Richmond business hub opens with co-working spaces, pop-up restaurants

The newly-opened Richmond Business Hub stands on the first floor of the Richmond BART parking garage at the corner of 16th Street and Macdonald, across the street from the Rich City Rides bike shop. It was unveiled last month during a ribbon-cutting event attended by city councilmembers, residents and members of the Richmond Main Street Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the downtown. The 10,000 square-foot hub is a co-working facility: two working space ventures, Co-Biz and Oakstop, are part…

Council takes no action on proposal to charge fees for public records related to police misconduct

The fee, intended to charge enough to cover the actual cost of the service, applies only to previously private police misconduct records made disclosable by the recent and upcoming police transparency legislation Senate Bill 1421 and Assembly Bill 847. SB 1421, enacted in January, has made a number of formerly unreleased police misconduct records disclosable to the public, including records related to officer-involved shootings, uses of force resulting in serious injury, on-duty sexual assaults and police dishonesty.

Tales of Two Cities: Locked Up

Welcome back to the Tales of Two Cities podcast!  This episode is about being locked up. This week we’ll meet formerly incarcerated people who share their experiences behind bars and also learn about the ways they’re getting their lives back on track after their release. We’ll also look at a different kind of lock up as we hear about animals who are affected by isolation and confinement. We will follow rodent-trapping researchers in an effort to study mammals and also…

Richmond Art Center showcases the work of the Social Justice Sewing Academy

Bright, colorful quilts adorned the hallways of the Richmond Art center last Saturday. It quickly became clear that the meticulously crafted works of art carry meaning in every thread. A quilt embroidered with the image of a police officer choking a black person includes the stitched phrase ”I can’t breathe” on his face. Above the officer’s head hovers the question: Protect and Serve? The quilts are part of an exhibit titled “Empowering Threads: Quilts from the Social Justice Sewing Academy.”…

A final trustee-area map emerges as lawsuit resolves

The map, known as the January Map, was agreed upon in a 4-0-1 vote by the board in a closed session meeting on February 28, with board member Mister Phillips abstaining.The map was designed through negotiations between the district and Ruiz-Lozito. Both sides considered prior public feedback, represented in the map chosen in November. The January Map was approved by a Contra Costa County Superior judge on Wednesday, and further details of the settlement were presented at a board meeting later in the day.

Developers present plans for Point Molate to Richmond City Council

Orton Development, Samuelson Schafer, SunCal, and Point Molate Partners each presented plans, in 20-minute chunks, to both the council and a chamber filled with protesting members of the public. The crowd, many a part of the Point Molate Alliance— a coalition of residents which that seeks to halt development on the site—carried signs, pictures, paintings and an illustrated cloth banner that said “Save Pt. Molate.” Over 30 people spoke during the public comment period to criticize and oppose the proposed plans.

Western monarch butterflies could disappear

Each year, thousands of monarch butterflies from across the west make their way to the California coast where they spend their winter, including making migratory stops at East Bay parks. For the past two decades, volunteer citizen scientists have been counting them during the Annual Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, organized by the Xerces Society. Christina Garcia, a naturalist at the East Bay Regional Park District, has been counting butterflies at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont for over 20 years. This…