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Chevron must replace pipes at Richmond refinery, purchase supplies for Richmond Fire Department: EPA settlement

As Wanda Cooper biked home through the thick haze of smoke rising from a fire at the Chevron oil refinery, her eyes began to burn and her throat to close up. “I couldn’t hardly breathe,” she says. Six years after a pipeline fire at Chevron U.S.A. Inc.’s oil refinery in Richmond sent Cooper and thousands more to the emergency room, the company agreed last month to spend more than $160 million to make major safety improvements at all of its…

Community-oriented process to monitor air quality kicks off tomorrow

Richmond is about to begin a unique process to identify a group of community leaders to work with the state and local air resources boards to determine key drivers of the city’s pollution and put together a plan to reduce it. This Wednesday, Nov. 7, leaders of community environmental organizations and other members of the public are invited by County Supervisor John Gioia to attend a meeting on the new plan at the Richmond City Recreation Complex on MacDonald Avenue….

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…

Student ratios improve for district health professionals, but numbers are still overwhelming

When counselor Teresa Pamintuan arrived in the West Contra Costa County Unified School District more than a decade ago, hundreds of students would be trying to get in to see her every day. She would try to squeeze in dozens of seniors a day for 20-minute one-on-one meetings to help map out their career and college goals. She often skipped lunch. But as the district’s lead counselor in the past year, she has helped reform the overwhelming caseload for school…

Pending closure of Alta Bates a “perfect storm” for Richmond’s expectant mothers

First San Pablo’s Doctors Medical Center closed in 2015. Now Sutter Health’s Alta Bates hospital in Berkeley is planning to shut its doors. This means patients in Richmond, who already have fewer hospitals to turn to for critical medical care, could see the options shrink further. Pregnant women and new mothers could be the ones to most acutely feel the squeeze. Alta Bates hospital, expected to close in 2030, has by far the highest number of live births of any…

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