People

Remembering Richmond native and environmental leader Henry Clark: ‘a soldier on the battlefield, making things happen’

Family, friends, co-workers and community members gathered at Lucky A’s North Richmond Baseball Field on Saturday to celebrate the life and legacy of Henry Arthur Clark, a pioneer of the environmental justice movement in Richmond and beyond. Clark passed away on June 2, at 77 years old.  To a gathering of more than 50 people, speakers recounted the leadership that would be a hallmark of Clark’s life. He grew up in the shadow of the Chevron Refinery and Richmond’s industrial…

People of Richmond: How would you improve WCCUSD schools?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: If you were superintendent of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, what would your top priority be? “I would make sure that students have enough teachers. Right now, a lot of the classrooms are overfilled and the students don’t get adequate attention. It’s better to have more teachers or tutors in each…

People of Richmond: Should police be paid more?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: Should Richmond increase police pay to make it easier for the city to recruit officers? “Yes, but only if it goes to training. We shouldn’t be defunding the police. They should be given moretraining. You know, we can all use a little more training in our jobs. They should be trained in…

Rosie the Riveter park’s most famous ranger retires at age 100

America’s oldest active park ranger, Richmond’s Betty Reid Soskin, who weaved her real-life experiences in the 1940s into programs at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, retired quietly Thursday, six months after celebrating her 100th birthday. Soskin spent her last day on the job doing the work she has enjoyed for more than a decade — educating the public at the park, the National Park Service said in a news release. Soskin has been involved with the…

100-year-old park ranger Betty Reid Soskin feted by national media, honored by WCCUSD

It was a big week for Betty Reid Soskin, who turned 100 years old on Wednesday and was honored that day with the renaming of an El Sobrante middle school for her. Soskin has been an activist in the Bay Area and a park ranger in Richmond for many years and shows no sign of slowing down. She’s familiar to West Contra Costa school children who have taken her tours through Richmond’s National Historical Park, which has sites throughout the…

Mayor Butt says he’s leaving public life after term ends

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, who has spent more than a quarter century in public office, said Thursday that he won’t run for office again after his term ends in January 2023. “No, no, I’m done,” he told Richmond Confidential, when asked about his political future. “I have no plans to run for anything anymore when my term as mayor ends.” “I have been doing this 26 years. It will be 27 by that time,” he added. “It’s a long time.” The…

Biden gives shout out to Richmond crime prevention program, citing it as model

When President Joe Biden introduced his crime-prevention strategy to reporters in late June, he highlighted the community intervention efforts that DeVone Boggan launched in Richmond in 2010 and encouraged other cities to invest in such programs. Boggan, former director of Richmond’s Neighborhood Safety Office, started the Advance Peace nonprofit five years ago to introduce his Peacemaker Fellowship program to other cities. The program is similar to Ceasefire and Cure Violence in that it addresses the root causes of gun violence….

Biden taps former Richmond chief Chris Magnus to lead border patrol

The former Richmond police chief credited with drastically reducing the city’s murder rate is in line to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection. President Joe Biden on Monday said he will nominate Chris Magnus as the agency’s commissioner. Magnus led Richmond’s department from 2006 to 2015, when he took his current job as police chief in Tucson, Arizona. Pointing to Magnus’ time in Richmond, the White House said, “Magnus played a key role in rebuilding community trust in law enforcement…

PTSD: Still hard to talk about

Post-traumatic stress disorder discomfort affects 11%-25% of veterans. But, because of shame and neglect, the problem is often underestimated, risking serious consequences.