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This Weekend: Events, Events, Events!
April 25, 2003

CHRISTMAS IN APRIL: Join Tom Butt and other Richmond Rotary Club members doing "paint up - fix up" work on a home at 760 39th Street. Work starts at 8:00 AM on Saturday, April 26 and continues through the morning. Bring work clothes and gloves. Tools and materials provided.

EARTHDAY 2003 at the Integrated Resource Recovery Facility (IRRF), Saturday, April 26, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond. Bring the whole family. Entertainment, Tours, Prizes and give-aways. For more information, see www.recyclemore.com.

OAKLAND EAST BAY SYMPHONY FINAL 2003 WEST COUNTY CONCERT. The City of Richmond will present the Oakland East Bay Symphony in its final concert of the 2003 West County Series on Saturday, April 26, 2003, 7:00p.m., Richmond Memorial Convention Center, Civic Center. The concert is free and open to the public. Michael Morgan will conduct the symphony, which will feature choirs from Hilltop Community Church and St. John Missionary Baptist Church performing works for orchestra and chorus modeled after the Symphony’s enormously popular choral extravaganza, “Let Us Break Bread Together.” The Richmond concert program will include Mendelssohn, the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1, Intermission, and the presentations by the choruses ending with everyone together singing Jackie Hairston's "Spirituals Medley" and Ellen Hoffman's arrangement of "Walk Together Children". For information, please call (510) 620-6793.

RICHMOND ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND ANNUAL MEETING. On Sunday, April 27 from 5 to 7 PM, The Richmond Environmental Defense Fund (REDF) annual meeting will be held at Tom and Shirley Butt's house at 235 East Scenic, Avenue. The public is welcome. To get there, take a left on Oregon Street, just south of The Plunge on Garrard; turn left on Buena Vista, and follow it until it takes a hairpin turn and becomes East Scenic Avenue. The Butt's house is the first on the left on East Scenic.

The Richmond Environmental Defense Fund (REDF) is a citizens’ group composed entirely of volunteers working to protect the Richmond environment. The mission of the Richmond Environmental Defense Fund is threefold:

1) To ensure that development in Richmond is well planned, sensitive to the environment and in compliance with City, state and federal laws;

2) To work with other groups to ensure environmental protection and well planned development in Richmond and surrounding areas; and

3) To work toward reducing existing toxic contamination and preventing future contamination in the City of Richmond.

The REDF’s hope is that by speaking up on environmental issues, they will help create a City government in which responsiveness to citizens’ concerns, sensitivity to the environment, and respect for local and state law are of the highest priority. REDF works to increase public awareness and influence policymaking through participation in the public process. It submits written and verbal comments to local governments and public agencies on environmental issues, sponsors letter-writing campaigns, seeks legal assistance when necessary, and publishes a quarterly newsletter.

REDF has collaborated with a number of other environmental groups including the Urban Creeks Council, the El Sobrante Valley Legal Defense Fund, and Communities for a Better Environment on issues such as development of the North Richmond Shoreline, Chevron LPG spheres, development of Wildwood Creek in El Cerrito, the proposed Owens-Corning asphalt plant, and most recently, the proposed Breuner Marsh and Edgewater Technology Park paroject. REDF is not anti-growth or anti-development; its members just want projects that are well planned, recognize environmental justice, and what is best for the citizens of Richmond.  REDF has also spoken out on regional issues such as preservation of Contra Costa County’s greenbelt.


The Richmond Environmental Defense Fund formed three years ago when a group of citizens organized to oppose the Seacliff Estates development next to Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline. Many citizens felt that this project was poorly suited to the proposed site, and would have unacceptable environmental impacts, including harm to wetlands, creeks, historical resources, wildlife habitat, and rare native plants. We also felt that the City’s General Plan prohibited this kind of development, but was being ignored.

REDF members first tried to stop Seacliff by pressuring the City Council and the state and federal resource agencies not to approve the project as proposed, and second by litigating. While REDF was ultimately unsuccessful at blocking Seacliff, it did force the developer to agree to somewhat better mitigation measures for wetland and wildlife impacts. Nevertheless, REDF’s position is that badly planned, poorly sited projects like Seacliff should never be approved in Richmond again.

In the process of studying the Seacliff property, members of REDF discovered that portions of the area were contaminated with asbestos, and that a toxic waste containment facility nearby was falling apart. REDF contacted the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and learned that the asbestos contamination was a result of an inadequate cleanup effort, and the containment facility did not meet the specifications that DTSC had approved. Through REDF’s efforts, a committee was formed to work with DTSC to force a proper cleanup of the site. That cleanup was completed this year.

How to Get Involved with REDF

Citizen members are the heartbeat of REDF. If you would like to support RDF’s efforts, and be kept informed of REDF’s activities though a quarterly newsletter, you can become a member of REDF by sending a $5.00 membership fee to: Richmond Environmental Defense Fund, P.O. Box 70953, Richmond, CA 94807-0953. For more information email redf@robelia.com <mailto:redf@robelia.com>