Mayor and City Council:
This is the weekly report for the week ending July 26th, 2013.
- Meeting Notes
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday, July 30th, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, and with the regular agenda commencing at 6:30 PM. This is the last City Council meeting before the traditional August City Council hiatus. Following this coming Tuesday’s meeting, the Council will next convene on Tuesday, September 10th.
- Natural Gas Leak at Marina Bay Parkway
On July 26, at 9:40 AM, Richmond Fire Department crews responded to a natural gas leak near Marina Bay Parkway and Jetty Drive. This incident occurred when a drilling subcontractor working on the Officer Bradley A. Moody Memorial Underpass Project accidentally struck a three inch natural gas distribution line near the sidewalk on Marina Bay Parkway and Jetty Drive. Upon arrival, Richmond Fire and Police personnel quickly secured the surrounding area, closing off traffic and evacuating nearby residents of the Anchorage at Marina Bay neighborhood. The residents either walked out of the area or drove their personal vehicles to a safe location. The Fire Department also had a shelter in place order in effect for the State Department of Public Health Building at 850 Marina Bay Parkway, which lasted about two hours. Pacific Gas and Electric (“PG&E”) responded quickly and took immediate action to mitigate the leak. As a precaution, the Fire Department set up protective hose lines around the leak until it was stopped at 11:30 AM. Chevron Fire assisted the Fire Department with downwind air monitoring during the incident.
According to Richmond Fire Chief Michael Banks, the incident response by PG&E, the Richmond Police, and Richmond Fire went very well. The community was kept safe and inconvenienced only for a short period of time.
Nevertheless, we do apologize to anyone who was in any way inconvenienced by this problem. We are also closely reviewing procedures to fully understand why this incident took place and how it can be avoided in the future. Utility facilities in the project area are known to be numerous and complex and it is typical to encounter unexpected utilities in and around rail corridors. The project team has taken steps to mitigate the risk of unexpected utilities. Additional field meetings with PG&E staff have been scheduled; periodic meetings with Fire Department, Police and utility companies are integral to project management procedures; the contractor’s emergency notification procedures have been tailored to the project and, in the case of this incident, these measures were found to be effective in mobilizing the City’s emergency response.
The project team is committed to safe execution of the project as its number one priority, and commits to keeping the community informed through frequent communication.
- Officer Bradley A. Moody Memorial Underpass Project Update
Notwithstanding the above incident, work is underway on the Officer Bradley A. Moody Memorial Underpass Project. This project entails the construction of a roadway underpass on Marina Bay Parkway between Meeker Avenue and Regatta Boulevard, and is intended to resolve long-standing access limitations to the Marina Bay Area caused by frequent train crossings.
On July 25th, a test section of Deep Soil Mix (DSM) wall was successfully completed. After a thirty day cure period, the section will be tested and, once confirming successful test results, the DSM work along each side of Marina Bay Parkway will commence. Meanwhile, utility relocation work will continue.
Please be advised that on Monday, July 29th and Tuesday, July 30th, evening work associated with the project is anticipated to continue at the intersection of Meeker Avenue and Marina Bay Parkway at the entrance to the Department of Public Health campus. Utility relocation work will be underway from 4:00 PM to midnight on these days.
As a reminder, Marina Bay Parkway is scheduled to be closed beginning the week of August 26, 2013 and will remain closed for approximately 18 months. Additional information and updates will follow.
For additional information and to be added to the project update contact list, please see the project website at www.moodyup.com.
- Belding Garcia Park: Chapter 3: Design Day
On Thursday July 11th, Livie & Luca, KaBOOM!, Pogo Park, and the City of Richmond hosted Design Day for the Belding-Garcia Park neighborhood. Working together, the team recruited families from the neighborhood to be a part of the design process for their new playground scheduled to be operational in October 2013. Children shared their ideas of their dream playground through illustrations and presentations. The team soon learned that swings and slides are a must have for the children. The team also learned of the request for simple skate park components as some of the youth voiced their opinion that “We do not need anything fancy, maybe just some simple ramps.” Following the youth’s presentations, KaBOOM! hosted an adults meeting during which the illustrations by the children were reviewed and discussed. The team will be hosting weekly planning meetings through the end of October to ensure the children’s dream playground is accomplished.
- RichmondBUILD Staff Joins U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Delegation to Brazil to Share Best Practices With City Officials
Less than two weeks ago, a delegation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) visited the “favela” of Morro dos Prazeres, a low-income neighborhood inside the city limits of Rio de Janeiro. Their intent was to understand the workings of existing recycling and solid waste treatment projects in the community. The tour was led by members of the UPP Social Programme of the Instituto Pereira Passos (IPP). The activity was part of the preparation for the workshop “Participatory Solid Waste Management in Pacified Communities of Rio”, sponsored by the IPP in partnership with the U.S. EPA that took place on July 10th and 11th at the Art Museum of Rio.
As part of the workshop/tour program, information regarding the RichmondBUILD Academy was presented to over 100 workshop attendees as a successful model to educate low-income communities in hazardous materials clean-up and provide local residents with jobs in the solid waste management industry. RichmondBUILD was chosen to participate not only because of its impressive outcomes, but also because it is part of a coordinated effort by public officials to effectively reduce violence and crime – an issue central to improving the quality of life in the favelas of Rio.
RichmondBUILD Facility Manager Nicholas Alexander delivered the presentation in English and it was simultaneously translated into Portuguese for non-English speakers via wireless earpieces. Mr. Alexander was one of three invited guests of the U.S. EPA delegation, which included Lisa Garcia, U.S. EPA Associate Assistant Administrator for Environmental Justice.
- South Richmond Shoreline Specific Plan – Second Workshop
On Wednesday, July 24th, the Planning Division held its second community meeting for the South Shoreline Specific Plan. The project team presented some initial concepts for improving multi-modal transportation access, and explained how those improvements could provide the best framework for the type and distribution of future land uses in the project area, including the Richmond Bay Campus. The meeting was attended by over 50 people representing area residents, businesses, and property owners.
The Specific Plan will facilitate the implementation of Richmond’s new General Plan by establishing specific planning policies, regulations, and urban design guidelines for an approximately 220-acre area located in the City of Richmond south of Interstate Highway 580. The Specific Plan will focus on ways that Richmond can take advantage of the planned Richmond Bay Campus, future ferry service, and other area assets to create a sustainable shoreline district providing jobs, housing, transportation options, and opportunities for entertainment and recreation. The City of Richmond was awarded a Priority Development Area Planning Grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to develop the Specific Plan.
The next community meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 28th, at 6:00 PM at the Richmond Field Station Conference Center (Bldg. 445) located at Egret Way in Richmond. Please visit www.ci.richmond.ca.us/sssp or contact Hector Rojas, Senior Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Rescue Incident at the West County Landfill
On Tuesday, July 23rd, at 3:00 PM, Engine/Rescue 68 (Richmond Fire), Engine 70 (Con Fire), Engine/Rescue 69 (Con Fire), and Battalion Chief 7 (Con Fire) responded to a call for a vehicle in a retention pond with a victim trapped inside. Upon arrival, firefighters found the vehicle almost completely submerged in water and could hear the victim inside. The first arriving Fire/Rescue Company and a Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Deputy quickly secured the vehicle with a winch cable from Rescue 68 which prevented the vehicle from sinking deeper into the water. Fire crews forced entry through the back window of the vehicle and found the victim trapped in an air pocket near the driver’s seat. Rescuers were able to pull the victim over the seats and to safety through the rear window. The victim was placed in a life jacket and lifted up the embankment. He was then transferred into an awaiting American Medical Response ambulance and transported to Doctor’s Hospital in San Pablo.
It was uncertain as to how the vehicle and driver ended up in a pond on West County Landfill property, but the driver was undoubtedly fortunate to have had the excellent first response by multiple Richmond and West County emergency personnel.
- 2013 S.A.T. Scholarship Awarded
Teen Librarian Angela Cox and Library Director Katy Curl presented the 14th Annual S.A.T. Scholarships at the City Council this past Tuesday, July 23rd. The scholarships were established by the Richmond Public Library and the Friends of the Richmond Public Library to assist with the education and development of West Contra Costa youth. Madeleine Lipson was awarded one of the $1,500 scholarships and will attend the University of Oregon this fall. The other recipient is Genevieve Simmons who will attend Yale University. Both recipients are recent graduates of El Cerrito High School.
- Richmond Art Center Coming Events
Watch Richmond Artist Jim Dewitt Painting Live at the Richmond Art Center
Jim Dewitt, Point Richmond artist, Artist in Residence for the 34th America's Cup and champion yachtsman, will set up his easel and be painting in the Richmond Art Center's Gallery this Saturday, July 27th from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at the Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue. Stop by and watch Mr. Dewitt paint, and view his other paintings of Bay Area yacht racing in the exhibition Race for the Cup. This is a great opportunity to see an artist at work – stop by and ask him questions about his work or the America's Cup races
Bilingual Art Tour and Craft Lesson
Join the Richmond Art Center for a free and fun-filled art hour perfect for the whole family. Kids will have a hands-on Mexican craft lesson and will then be led on a tour to see artist Jim Dewitt painting live in the Richmond Art Center's Gallery (see above). The craft lesson will be on Saturday (tomorrow), July 27th, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, at the Madeline Whittlesey Community Room at the Richmond Main Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza.
- Affordable Care Act Workshop (ACA)
On Wednesday, July 24th, in the City Council Chambers over 70 people participated in an Affordable Care Act (ACA) workshop titled “ObamaCare: What Does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Mean for You?” Participants learned about how the ACA will be implemented in California, an overview of the Low-Income Health Program (LIHP) and health services that are provided for all ages from LifeLong Medical Care. To access the PowerPoint and event photos, please visit www.richmondhealth.org
- Richmond Health Equity Partnership (RHEP) Meeting
On Wednesday, July 24th, the City of Richmond hosted the fifteenth meeting of the Richmond Health Equity Partnership (RHEP). The RHEP consists of representatives of the City of Richmond, Contra Costa Health Services, West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), University of California, Berkeley Associate Professor Jason Corburn and multiple community based organizations. The RHEP aims to advance health equity for children and families in Richmond. At the meeting there was a discussion of potential collaborations and overview of activities between Healthy Richmond and the RHEP. Healthy Richmond is one of 14 community efforts in California selected by The California Endowment to improve health systems and address physical, social, and economic issues in order to support healthy living and healthy behavior. To access the meeting materials click here. For more information on the RHEP and the City of Richmond Health Initiatives please visit www.richmondhealth.org.
- Recreation Highlights
Disabled Peoples Recreation Center: Adult Morning Program and Therapeutic Interactive Recreation Program participants continue to enjoy summer programs. Floor exercises and WII Band have become favorites as fitness activities. Everyone also enjoys competing in friendly games of Monopoly.
Annex Senior Center: The Annex Senior Center Sewing Circle received new sewing machines and has already begun making clothes for youth members of the community.
Gardening Project: Its harvest time at the Richmond Annex Senior Center! Participants are enjoying the fruits of their labor with summer salads and fresh vegetables.
Pool Tournament: The Richmond Senior Center hosted its annual pool tournament against the San Pablo Senior Center on July 22nd. Twenty-four participants competed for the coveted Shumaker Cup, which was donated by John Shumaker who started this event several years ago. The tournament ended in a tie and a play-off was played to determine the winner. Following the “best 2 out of 3” playoff format, the Richmond Senior Center pulled out another win, thanks to our very own Howard Hughes. This marks the 4th year in a row that Richmond has won the tournament. Congratulations to all the participants! Talks are building for a tri-city tournament with Pinole, San Pablo and Richmond.
Zumba: On Saturday, July 20th, Oscar Solano and company performed Zumba magic at the Richmond Auditorium. Approximately 111 avowed Zumba followers, from around the Bay, engaged in rhythmic dance movements to a combination of salsa and R&B tunes. The excitement of the event will certainly bring more Zumba festivities.
Karaoke: The Richmond Recreation Complex is host to karaoke every third Monday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Tennis: On July 22nd, the Kids ‘N Motion Tennis Camp participants attended a United States Tennis Association (USTA) sponsored Kids Tennis Playday at the Bank of the West Women's Pro Tennis tournament at Stanford University. Forty kids, four parent chaperones and six staff engaged in fun activities while interacting with children from other communities. The day was highlighted with a professional tennis match and our own Team Tennis girls, Aysha and Azaria Hayes, performed all girl duties on the stadium court during the match.
The USTA Team Tennis League Boys 18 & under team played at Foothill High School in Pleasanton and defeated Castlewood Country Club 4-1 while the girls team defeated Orinda 4-1. The boys team has an overall match record of 2-2. The girls team has an overall match record of 4-0.
Azaria Hayes, 11 years old, the Team Tennis League number 2 singles player on the girls 15 & under tennis team, is headed to Arizona on July 23rd as a member of the USTA West Coast Zonal team for 12 & under girls. She was one of 18 girls selected for the team and will play matches through the weekend.
The Plunge: The Richmond Plunge has won the East Bay Express Editorial Pick for Best Public Pool! On July 29th, the Express is hosting a party in honor the Best of the East Bay winners and Recreation Department staff are invited to share in the excitement, meet Express staff, and pick up the award.
Nevin Community Center receives an upgraded computer lab: Nevin Community Center received new computers in the existing computer lab. The Information and Technology Department and the Public Works Department were very instrumental in making this project happen. The computer lab will be utilized for current programs.
This Week At the Ranch: The youth from Parchester Community Center were tested on different types of horsemanship riding this week at the ranch. A young man who is only 12 years old who stables his horse at the Ranch, performed mini demonstrations of all the different types of riding. As he demonstrated, the youth were challenged by their instructors to identify the type of riding he was doing. The youth passed with an A+ as they were able to identify each type on the first try. Youth were also actively engaged in demonstrating and cleaning the horses’ hooves to prepare for riding. The instructors from Heritage Riders Horsemen’s Association conduct a simple lesson each week with the youth and then the youth have the opportunity to be ‘hands-on’ with what they have learned.
Youth are Taught Financial Literacy: The Drew Gooden Foundation introduced the City of Richmond to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Since the introduction, PricewaterhouseCoopers has formalized a partnership with the Recreation Department and launched their first session of classes this summer. PricewaterhouseCoopers has committed to send 17 volunteers for 6 weeks to teach financial literacy classes at each of the Summer Day Camps. The Summer Day Camp locations include Booker T. Anderson Community Center, Nevin Community Center, Parchester Community Center, Shields-Reid Community Center, May Valley Community Center, and the Recreation Complex. Volunteers are divided between two days each week, teaching 3 camps a day. Youth have learned about budget, expense, and income.
- Public Works Updates
Facilities Maintenance: Carpenters replaced concrete over a broken water pipe on Kelsey Street, and removed damaged flooring at the Shields Reid Cpmmunity Center.
Painters began painting the exterior of the Booker T. Anderson Community Center.
Stationary Engineers repaired the water supply line to a building on Kelsey Street, cleared the main waste line in the Starlight building, and cleared the waste line at Shields Reid Community Center.
The Utility Workers auto-scrubbed Civic Center Plaza, completed carpet cleaning in the Communications Center, and serviced all City-owned buildings.
Parks and Landscaping Division: This week crews completed landscape rehabilitation along the Esplanade Trail in the Marina, re-opened Lucas Playlot, completed the tennis court resurfacing at Tiller Park, performed landscape improvements in the Hilltop District, repaired drain near the Civic Center parking lot, continued with the Bay Trail lighting project, and completed vegetation maintenance on the Richmond Parkway.
Tiller Park Tennis Court Resurfacing
Lucas Playlot Re-Opening
Tree crews completed trim or cut down work on Cutting Boulevard, Chanslor Avenue, Solano Avenue, Macdonald Avenue, Creely Avenue, and in Marina Bay Park.
Streets Division: Crews continued with grinding and paving on Duboce Avenue, as well as worked from the outstanding pothole and sidewalk list.
Paving on Duboce Avenue
Signs and Lines Crews fabricated 34 signs, repaired five signs, installed pavement messages, and painted over 2,000 feet of curbs.
Street sweeping performed commercial and residential sweeping services for the fourth Monday through Friday in Santa Fe, Point Richmond, Marina Bay, Coronado, Metro Richmore Village, Pullman, Cortez/Stege, Park Plaza, Laurel Park, City Center, Richmond Annex, Parkview, Panhandle Annex, and Eastshore neighborhood council areas.
Have a great week!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.
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