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…

School board discusses charter school moratorium

The proposed resolution, inspired by several others—including one that passed last month following the teachers strike in the Los Angeles Unified School District—calls for a moratorium on charter school expansion from the California State Board of Education and seeks to establish additional oversight over existing charter schools.

WCCUSD hosts recruitment fair to find teachers

The fair, the first of several this year, attracted over 50 applicants in three hours. Most arrived early, though some filtered in steadily until the event ended at noon. A team of administrators worked to smoothly guide people through the application process, from registration—more than half had appointments, many walked in—to finding the right interviewer among a maze of wooden desks.

Unanswered questions about elderly woman’s death at homeless shelter show why people are choosing tents over beds

Vivan Nishi was best known for her daily bike rides across Richmond, where she made frequent stops to visit with her son and friends. Then suddenly one day in September, the 73-year-old died of a heart attack in Brookside Homeless Shelter. Because her face bore a shallow cut from her cheek to her mouth and bruising around both eyes, Nishi’s son and daughter wanted to know more about what happened before she died. Her children paid for a private autopsy…

Las Deltas

The Las Deltas Housing Project in North Richmond was built in the 1940s and 1950s, as part of the country’s low-rent housing program. Due to a lack of government funding, the Contra Costa Housing Authority was forced to close down Las Deltas and begin the process of relocating residents. Additional reporting by Barbara Harvey and Ravleen Kaur.

Climate change puts Richmond’s plant and animal populations in a state of flux

Faster-than-average warming is bringing changes to Richmond’s ecosystems. Temperatures and sea levels are rising. Fog patterns are shifting. Richmond’s plants and animals are facing a future of altered habitats. Anna’s hummingbird feeding on pallid manzanita nectar in a stand of maritime chaparral at Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve To the west lies 32 miles of shoreline, the longest of any city in the Bay Area. To the east lie the hills: Sobrante Ridge and Wildcat Canyon. These open spaces contain salt…

Richmond man who survived Camp Fire gifted RV by San Pablo teacher

Moving from Richmond to Paradise saved Bill Crossley. It gave him a life away from the drinking and the partying that defined his teens and 20s in the Bay Area. Crossley, now 51, never imagined that a chance meeting with a man from neighboring San Pablo nearly 30 years later would save him again — this time with the gift of an RV, after the deadliest fire in California history took everything else from him.   In Paradise, amid the…

Richmond schools slow to adopt Dual Language Immersion programs despite recent success

Why is it important to be bilingual? For some people, being bilingual means having a better chance to find a job or a bridge to understand another culture. For others, it means being able to succeed academically and socially in the U.S., where the domestic language is English, and at the same time being able to converse with their grandparents who only speak Spanish. There is a bilingual education program called the Dual Language Immersion program that almost everyone in…