Mayor and Members of the City Council:
This is the weekly report for the week ending May 1st, 2015.
The next meeting of the Richmond City Council is Tuesday, May 5th, 2015, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:45 PM, the Housing Authority Board at 6:20 PM, and the regular agenda at 6:30 PM. To see the most recent City Council agenda use the following link: http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/CityCouncilAgenda.
- Cinco de Mayo – Festival in Richmond
The 23rd Street Merchants Association invites you to the 9th Annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in Richmond on Sunday, May 3rd on 23rd Street from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, between Clinton Avenue and Rheem Avenue. There will be food, music, and live entertainment for the whole family.
- Office of Neighborhood Safety is Featured on NPR’s This American Life
The Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) Street Outreach and Peacemaker Fellowship work was profiled on the latest episode of This American Life Public Radio Show. The ONS has received national and international recognition for its innovative approach towards reducing firearm assaults and associated injury in Richmond California since 2008. The efforts of the ONS and its Fellows continue to attract positive attention and inform the field of violence intervention and interruption through the development and implementation of promising practices.
To listen to the episode, click on the link below:
This American Life is a weekly public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to about 2.2 million listeners. It is produced by Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards. It is also often the most popular podcast in the country, with around one million people downloading each week.
- City of Richmond 2015 Community Survey -- The Deadline is Approaching and We Need your Feedback
One of the best ways to improve Richmond’s services is to ask the people that live here what they think. With this in mind, the City of Richmond is pleased to announce the 2015 Community Survey! During the past few weeks, you may have been notified that you have been selected to give input that will help the City improve the level of government services and the future of your community. Questionnaires were sent to a random sample of 3,000 Richmond residents, asking them to comment on the community’s pressing needs and city services.
The purpose of the survey is to help City officials evaluate services, measure resident satisfaction with current services, and to help plan for Richmond’s future. The results from the survey will be included in a final report available to all City officials, staff and residents.
If you were selected, please return the survey before the stated deadline. If you know someone that received one, please encourage them to fill it out and return it. Your input can help make the City of Richmond a better place to live, work and play. Feel free to contact the City Manager’s Office with your questions at 510-620-6512.
- My Brother’s Keeper Action Summit – This Monday, May 4th
President Barack Obama launched the “My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge” in February 2014 as a call for cities to improve the life outcomes of all young people by implementing a coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategy. This strategy ensures that young people can reach their full potential, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born.
Richmond accepted President Obama’s challenge at the behest of Vice Mayor Jael Myrick, and is asking the community to join in pledging to ensure positive outcomes for all youth. You are cordially invited to join the City of Richmond and community members in developing the city’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. The conversation will take place during Richmond’s My Brother's Keeper Summit on Monday, May 4th from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the Richmond Municipal Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza.
Participating in the summit is a great opportunity for interested persons to help shape policies, programs and philanthropic activities in Richmond aimed at improving life outcomes for youth, especially Black and Latino boys and young men.
Click here to register for the summit. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter: #RichmondMBK.
Please feel free to share this invitation with your network of colleagues, friends and neighbors. For additional information, please contact Lori Reese-Brown, 510-620-6869, or Misha Kaur. 510-621-1202.
- Grand Re-Opening of the Richmond Main Street Farmer’s Market
The Richmond Main Street Farmers’ Market returns for another season on Wednesday, May 6th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Nevin Plaza (Nevin Ave at 13th Street), featuring fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, artisan vendors, baked goods and treats, food booths, and live music.
Plus, Market Match for CalFresh recipients: spend up to $10 on your EBT card and get an extra $10 to buy fruits and vegetables.
For more information: Visit the Farmers' Market webpage, like our Facebook page, or call (510) 236-4049. Come Downtown to welcome back the market!
- Hacienda Tenant Relocation Update
In January 2015, the Richmond Housing Authority received approval from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the disposition of the Hacienda public housing development and approval of Tenant Protection Section 8 Vouchers to assist in the relocation of the residents. The Housing Authority has retained the professional firm of Autotemp to provide relocation assistance for the residents.
As of the week of April 27th,all but one household has participated in the interview process with Autotemp. Autotemp consultants are providing ongoing advisory assistance and referrals to the residents. To date, approximately 60% of the households have received their Notices of Eligibility and Informational brochures. Currently five (5) households have found a replacement home; three have scheduled move in dates of May 1, 2015. Autotemp consultants are continuing to assist with application and claim processing.
A Draft Relocation Plan has been provided to the Housing Authority by Autotemp and has been released for public comment. The plan may be accessed by the following link: Richmond Housing Authority Hacienda Relocation Plan. Autotemp will deliver Relocation Plan Letters to all residents on Friday, May 1st, and are providing ongoing advisory assistance and referrals to the residents.
Section 8 eligibility certification interviews have also been ongoing. As of the week of April 27th, ninety-four (94) of the one hundred-and-one (101) residents have been interviewed. Additional appointments have been scheduled for residents that have not attended prior scheduled eligibility certification interviews.
Tenant Protection Section 8 Voucher briefings are being held weekly in the Hacienda Community Center. A voucher briefing explains the Section 8 program, in detail, to the residents, and gives the residents a chance to ask questions they may have about the program. At the conclusion of each briefing the residents receive a Voucher Briefing Packet which includes a Request for Tenancy Approval and a Tenant Protection Voucher. As of the week of April 27th, fifty-four (54) vouchers have been issued. Three (3) Housing Quality Standards initial inspections have been scheduled for prospective Section 8 rental units. Four tenant requests to port out of the City of Richmond Housing Authority’s jurisdiction have been processed. There have been no vacates thus far.
- Fire Department Highlights
In recent months, the property at 2400 Nevin Plaza has experienced a rash of cooking fires. The Fire Prevention Services Division, led by Fire Marshal Terry Harris, met with the Richmond Housing Authority staff and the Nevin Plaza Commission to find ways to resolve this issue. As a first step, the Fire Prevention Services Division held a fire safety training focused on “safe cooking” at the property. As a result of this training, a member of the Nevin Plaza Commission, Jackie Thompson, proposed the utilization of a new “SmartBurner” technology, which is an intelligent cooking system that electronically controls energy to burners, helping to prevent fires and saving energy.
The Fire Prevention Services Division researched the “SmartBurner”, proposed it to Housing Authority Executive Director Tim Jones, and it has now been installed in each unit at Nevin Plaza. The Prevention Services Division is also looking into creating a city wide ordinance for any assisted living developments to implement the “SmartBurner” technology inside their electric stove appliances.
Fire Extinguisher Training at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
Inspector Govan of the Richmond Fire Prevention Services Division recently taught fire extinguisher training to more than 45 employees of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Each employee was taught how to P.A.S.S. (Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep) their fire extinguisher training. You may have any extinguisher available, but do you know how to use it? Contact the Prevention Services Division for your fire extinguisher training session.
- City of Richmond Housing Element Update Draft and Planning Commission Meeting
The State of California recognizes the vital role local governments play in the availability, adequacy and affordability of housing. State law requires every jurisdiction in California to adopt a comprehensive, long-term General Plan to guide its physical development; the Housing Element is one of the seven mandated elements of the General Plan. Housing Element law mandates that local governments adequately plan to meet the existing and projected needs of all economic segments of the community. The law recognizes that in order for the private market to adequately address housing needs and demand, local governments must adopt land use plans and regulatory systems that provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development.
The public draft of the Richmond Housing Element Update (2014-2022) is now available. To access the report please visit the project website at http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/housingupdate
Please send comments on the draft Housing Element to: Lina_Velasco@ci.richmond.ca.us
The Planning Commission will consider making a recommendation to the City Council on the adoption of the draft Housing Element Update on Thursday, May 7, 2015, 6:30 PM at the City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza. The Planning Commission Website can be accessed using this Link.
- South Richmond Transportation Connectivity Plan (SRTCP) Draft Now Available
In 2012, the City of Richmond was awarded a Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant from Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) to develop the South Richmond Transportation Connectivity Plan (Connectivity Plan). In coordination with the South Shoreline Specific Plan, the Connectivity Plan will identify key deficiencies in the local and regional transportation network and include specific recommendations to improve multi-modal connectivity between the City's Southern Shoreline and Central Richmond neighborhoods as well as adjacent communities including El Cerrito, Albany, and Berkeley.
The draft South Richmond Transportation Connectivity Plan (SRTCP) is now available. To access the draft report, please visit the project website at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/srtcp. Copies will also be available for review at the Richmond Main Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond and the Planning Division counter located at 450 Civic Center Plaza, 2nd Floor, Richmond.
Please send comments on the draft to Lina Velasco, Senior Planner by June 1, 2015 via email at Lina_Velasco@ci.richmond.ca.us or by mail at Planning Division, 450 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804.
I have listed below some of the topics for meetings that I have recently attended in the hope that it provides an idea of the varied issues with which our organization deals routinely.
Activities and meeting topics during the past week included:
- Met with the Richmond Promise ad hoc working group, including WCCUSD representatives, non-profit partners, a representative from Contra Costa College, and City staff, to review status of the program, and to discuss an organizational strategy for implementing and administering the program;
- Attended several meetings with Finance Department staff working to develop a proposed FY 2015-16 budget to be presented to the City Council;
- Met with the City’s financial advisor, along with Wastewater enterprise manager Chad Davisson and finance staff, to review options for financing wastewater infrastructure improvements;
- Met with staff from various City departments to review “just cause for eviction” program options to be presented to the community and to the City Council;
- Met, together with Mayor Butt, with Dean Stefano Bertozzi and Associate Dean Jeff Oxendine, of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and Dean Jennifer Wolch of the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, to discuss partnerships between the City and these two UC Berkeley academic programs;
- Attended the 6th Annual Northern California Summit on Children and Youth to make opening remarks;
- Attended the all-day senior staff strategic planning retreat on Friday.
These meetings were in addition to attending the regular management staff meeting, agenda planning, reviewing staff reports to the City Council, doing department head “check-ins,” having discussions on various personnel matters, and having short discussions with staff, community members, members of the press, etc.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the substance of these or any other topics.
- Officer Bradley A. Moody Memorial Underpass Project
The Bradley A. Moody Memorial Underpass Project involves 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. In early September 2013, Marina Bay Parkway was closed to traffic. This closure is planned to remain in place through June 2015.
During the week of April 27th, crews continued construction of bridge tower column formwork, and stripped formwork from the transition walls. Additionally, construction of the generator building and fabrication of cable railings commenced; both of these activities will continue for the next several weeks. For the week of May 4th, concrete pours for the raised sidewalks will continue, backfill will be placed behind the transition walls, and work on sidewalk, curb and gutter south of the bridge will be substantially completed.
For additional information and to be added to the project update contact list, please see the project website at www.moodyup.com. You can also follow the project on twitter: @moodyunderpass, or contact the project’s Public Outreach Coordinator Jacqueline Majors at (925) 949-6196
- Doctors Medical Center Closed as of April 21st
On April 21st, Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo officially closed and stopped accepting patients. On April 20th, Lifelong Medical Care opened a new urgent care center across the street from Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo (2023 Vale Road).
“Urgent care” centers treat medical conditions that require immediate medical attention (usually within 24 hours), but are not serious enough to require hospitalization and/or are not life threatening. (A life-threatening medical emergency should still generate a call to 911.) Lifelong Urgent Care is an alternative to the emergency room for minor illnesses and injuries, and is made up of emergency room clinicians that are ready to treat all types of medical conditions. No appointments or referrals are needed, and the clinicians can refer patients back to a primary care physician (PCP) for follow up care, or connect patients with a PCP if they do not currently have a provider. Lifelong welcomes all forms of payment, regardless of whether a patient is insured. They accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, Family Pact and most managed care plans including Covered California. Lifelong also offers a sliding scale discount based upon family size and income.
Lifelong Urgent Care will be open 7 days a week, noon to 8:00 PM and walk-ins are welcome. They can be reached at (510) 231-9800 or at www.lifelongmedical.org. Lifelong also has sites that offer primary care and non-urgent care with scheduled visits.
Individuals without private insurance can call Contra Costa Health Services’ advice nurse line for free health advice any time at 1-877-661-6230, Option 1. There are more health care resources for West County residents through the Contra Costa Health Services website.
- 2015 Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest
On Friday, April 17th, Mayor Tom Butt presented awards to winners of the 2015 Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest at an Awards Ceremony in City Council Chambers. The contest, sponsored by the Richmond Arts & Culture Commission, is in its 5th year. Every student who entered received a certificate of recognition and a copy of the chapbook containing all of the poems entered.
Mayor Butt Awards 2015 Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest Awards
(Photo by Ellen Gailing)
The 219 student poets came from fourteen West Contra Costa Unified School District elementary, middle, and high schools. They submitted both haiku and short poems. This year’s theme was Poetry in Motion. Nearly 600 poems were entered in Spanish and English.Here is an Honorable Mention poem:
Time moves by fast
Too fast to count the seconds in an hour
Or the minutes in a day
I feel like I lose power
Like there is just no way
I need to progress somehow
I can have a say
No better time than now
For things to go my way.
Mara Bravo, Coronado Elementary School
(Photo by Ellen Gailing)
This year’s poetry contest winners are:
1st Prize: Anthony Alvarez, Washington Elementary; Ariella Benavides, Caliber Beta Academy; Clarissa Castro, Washington Elementary; Silvia Coca Cruz, Washington Elementary
2nd Prize: Amelie Banuelos, Washington Elementary; Hannah Benavides, Washington Elementary; Sania Kaleko, Wilson Elementary; Citlali Mano, Washington Elementary; Gloria Zearett, Washington Elementary
3rd Prize: Angel Abreau, Bayview Elementary; Leah Ambernathy Saphon, Caliber Beta Academy;
Giselle Barragan, Washington Elementary; Reiley Dillon, Washington Elementary; Amitra Kellogg, Washington Elementary
Honorable Mention: Elementary School
Alicia Acosta, Washington Elementary; Carlos Acosta, Washington Elementary; Mara Bravo, Coronado Elementary; Aaliyah Castillo, Washington Elementary; Rogelio Contreras, Washington Elementary; Selenah Corona DesSilva, Wilson Elementary; Gloria Diaz, Washington Elementary; Asia Jacobson, Coronado Elementary; Melvin Lopez, Jr., Coronado Elementary; Antonia Mason, Bayview Elementary; Parker Mina, Washington Elementary; Jacqueline Plascencia, Coronado Elementary; Maryanna Preciado, Coronado Elementary; Daniel Rodinson, Washington Elementary; Savannah Qualls, Washington Elementary; Daniel Rodinson, Washington Elementary; Kylie Alyssa Velazquez, Washington Elementary; Jimena Villarreal, Washington Elementary; and Tyrah Weems, Washington Elementary.
1st Prize: Teressa T. Bigbee, DeJean Middle School
2nd Prize: Jade Synott Brandow, Fred Korematsu Middle School
3rd Prize: Santiago Sixto, DeJean Middle School
Honorable Mention: Juan Zamara, DeJean Middle School
1st Prize: Gabrielle Green, De Anza High School
2nd Prize: Yaritza Gomez, De Anza High School
3rd Prize: Angel Wiley, DeAnza High School
Honorable Mention: Eugene O. Gaines, III, Kennedy High School; Jasmine Gill, DeAnza High School; Chandandeep Kaur, De Anza High School; Yajaira Sandoval, Kennedy High School; Austin Williams, Kennedy High School
1st Prize: Teo Scura, LEAP
The enthusiasm for this popular Richmond poetry contest by students, teachers and parents alike is gratifying. Seeing students participate year after year shows us that poetry is alive and well in Richmond!
- Inventor’s Workshop at the Library
Families with children in grades K-8 are invited to an Inventor's Workshop at the Main Branch of the Richmond Public Library. Offered by staff from the Lawrence Hall of Science, Inventor's Workshops offer hands-on engineering activities designed to engage the entire family.
Using a few simple materials and a lot of ingenuity, participants will explore how engineering and physics come together to make a miniature catapult. Kids can work alone or collaborate to construct and fine-tune their launching machines. Best of all, they get to take their catapult home!
This event is free, requires no advance registration, and will be held on Saturday, May 9th from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM in the Madeline F. Whittlesey Community Room. The Community Room is adjacent to the Library, at 325 Civic Center Plaza in Richmond. To get to the Community Room, enter from the courtyard to the left of the main entrance.
For more information, please call (510) 620-6557 or visit us at www.richmondlibrary.org. The library is wheelchair accessible. Se habla español.
- More Library Events: “Music in the Library”
The Richmond Public Library is pleased to invite you to attend “Music in the Library” on Friday, May 22nd from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Main Library featuring Bay Area blues singers Rev. Rabia & Keizo. Rev. Rabia has been signing blues in the Bay Area for over 20 years. She hails from Sacramento where she began learning guitar at age 14 when her friend taught her a few chords and loaned her a guitar.
This is a free event open to all and is sponsored by The Friends of the Richmond Public Library.
- City of Richmond NEW Mobile APP Update
Great News!! The City of Richmond mobile app is now available. It provides Richmond’s community members with one-stop access to City services and information. You may watch the informational video for an overview of the app available for free at Apple App Store for IOS devices and at Google Play for Android phones.
The City has officially launched the City of Richmond Mobile APP and is looking forward to feedback from the community. We welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Friends of the Richmond Public Library and Richmond Public Library Teen Services are co-sponsoring a $1,000 scholarship to a Richmond resident who is a senior high public or private school student and will be attending a four-year college in the fall of 2015.
Interested applicants should:
- Provide a copy of a letter of intent/registration to the college they will be attending.
- Include the names of any service/social organization(s) in which they participated.
- Provide the names and amounts of other scholarships awarded.
- Submit a three-page, double spaced, typed essay entitled, Public Libraries in the New Millennium: Programs and Resources that Attract Teens.
Applications will be available in counseling offices at West County high schools and online at www.richmondlibrary.org. Entries must be received by Saturday, May 16th, by 5:00 PM at: Richmond Public Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, Attn: Angela Cox.
- Information Technology (IT) Department Updates
Website Statistics: Top 10 Webpage visits for the week ending April 28, 2015:
New LIKES increased by 100%
Bad weather did not keep the Adult Morning Program participants from collecting recycle items and then sorting and putting them together to take to the recycling center. Their goal is collect enough funds to take a weekend camping trip for the summer. They have solicited help from family and friends who donate their cans and bottles for their trip.
Each day, program participants take time to make sun catchers, bracelets, and earrings to sell and showcase at the 33rd Annual Senior Information and Health Faire. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 13th, from 10:00 AM to noon at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium.
The Therapeutic Interactive Recreation Program participants have been taking more responsibility for the gardening to help the Adult Morning clients. They hope to complete planting the fruits and vegetables while teaching the importance of saving water in other areas to use for watering. The first strawberry was sampled this week and it was very sweet.
Seventeen participants from the Shields Reid Afterschool Program took a field trip to visit Nevin Park and do activities with their neighbors at the Nevin Community Center. All the children had a great time. Having children visit community centers in other neighborhoods helps to break down some of the perceived neighborhood divisions of the past.
The participants of Tam’s Yi Jin class diligently practice each Tuesday and Thursday for all their upcoming presentations and were professionally filmed this week.
Annex Sr. Center
The Arts and Crafts Program is growing in popularity, many seniors are discovering a new hobby doing wonderful creations. Classes are every Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 AM to noon.
The Solano Community Church volunteered their time and energy to make a vegetable box for the Center. Participants are now eager to plant.
Two Recreation Program Coordinators attended the California State Park Outdoor Recreation Leader/Fam Camp Training last week. There were over 50 participants, from various municipal organizations throughout California, attending the training. The training was held at San Luis Creek Reservoir from Tuesday, April 21st to Thursday, April 23rd. Both Coordinators attended training sessions from 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM each day. By the end of the week, everyone had to demonstrate their ability to lead groups through activities such as setting up tents, lanterns, preparing meals and leading outdoor team building activities. With this certification, both coordinators will be able to take members of the community, at no cost to the participant, on camping trips to various state parks and all equipment will be provided by the California State Parks Department.
Great news on the progress at the Richmond Swim Center! The contractor has almost completed work on the new playground outside of the renovated facility, and the entire project is getting closer to completion on schedule.
Richmond Swim Center Playground
Facilities Mainenance Division: Capenters completed the kitchen upgrades to the May Valley Community Center and conducted safety inspections at 450 Civic Center Plaza.
Painters completed the kitchen at the May Valley Communtiy Center.
Stationary Engineers cleared the waste line at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, repaired the exhaust fan at Fire Station #61, and repaired the furnace at Fire Station #66.
Utility Workers attended asbestos training, cleaned the parking garage on Nevin Avenue, and maintained 29 City owned facilities.
Parks and Landscaping Division:
Crews completed the installation of the new sod at Shields Reid Park. The renovations of the park are closer to completion.
New Sod at Shields Reid Park
General maintenance crews perfomed maintenance on the Tiller Park tennis courts, lawn maintenance at the Main Library, cut trees and weeds on Valley View Road, cleaned and secured the pump house building at Nicholl Park, trimmed bushes at Nicholl Park, and dragged the baseball fields.
Hilltop District crews started weed abatement on Bay Vista Park, continued work on the sidewalk near AM/PM landscaping project, completed mulching at Vista Del Mar, removed graffiti, and began backflow repairs on Blume Drive.
Mowing on Richmond Parkway
Sweeping in Hilltop Area
Marina District crews performed weed abatement along the Marina Bay Trail and repaired the restroom at Barbara and Jay Vincent Park.
Weed Abatement on Bay Trail
Tree crews cut or trimmed trees on or around Barrett Avenue, Chanslor Avenue, Carlson Boulevard, Huntington Avenue, and Marin Avenue.
Tree Trimming on Valley View
Streets Division: Paving staff began set up for the Cinco de Mayo celebration, cleaned portable stage and worked on potholes and sidewalks from the outstanding pothole list.
Message Board Placement for Cinco de Mayo
Street sweeping performed commercial and residential sweeping services for the fourth Monday and Tuesday and the fifth Wednesday through Friday in the Santa Fe, Point Richmond, Marina Bay, Coronado, Metro Richmore Village, Pullman, Cortez/Stege, Park Plaza, Laurel Park, and City Center neighborhood council areas.
Signs and Lines staff installed 5 new signs and poles, repaired 10 signs and poles, fabricated 21 new signs, and placed pavement markers as requested by Engineering staff.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.
Have a great week!
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804
You can sign up to receive the City Manager’s weekly report and other information from the City of Richmond by visiting: www.ci.richmond.ca.us/list.aspx
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804