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City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending November 21st, 2008


Mayor and Councilmembers:


This is the weekly report for the week ending November 21st, 2008.


1.            Meeting Notes


The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 25th, beginning with a Closed Session at 6:00 PM, and with the regular City Council agenda scheduled for 7:00 PM.


2.            Richmond BUILD Graduation Ceremony


The staff and partners of Richmond BUILD held a graduation ceremony for the 7th class completing the Pre-apprenticeship Construction Skills & Solar Installation training program.  The graduation event was attended by over 80 guests including city staff and friends and family members of the 32 graduating students.  Of the 32 graduating students, 9 already have a job or a job commitment.


In addition, Employment & Training staff learned that the Richmond BUILD program has been selected as the 2008 San Francisco FBI Directors Community Leadership award recipient.  This prestigious award goes to organizations or individuals involved in reducing violence and drug prevention and education.  A press conference has been scheduled for December 10th at 10:00 AM to announce the award.  The press conference will be held at the Richmond BUILD facility, 360 So. 27th Street.


One hundred thirty-eight (138) Richmond residents are on the waiting list for the Richmond BUILD class scheduled for January 2009 and another 35 are signed up for the May 2009 class.


3.            Update on Southern California Wild Fires


Last week Contra Costa County Strike Team 2025A, with Richmond Engine Company 67, was sent down to Southern California.  They assisted with the firefighting operation at the “Tea Fire” near the community of Montecito (Santa Barbara) for three days.   As this fire was controlled, the Strike Team was re-assigned to the “Sayre Fire” just north of Los Angeles.  After two days at this fire, the strike team was demobilized and arrived home safely on Tuesday night.  While most of the fires are now under control, it takes a tremendous amount of staffing and equipment from fire departments throughout the state to help in this effort.  The following web link provides a photo collage of these recent devastating fires.  http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/11/california_wildfires_yet_again.html .


4.            Extension of CCHE Grant for Rehabilitation of the Maritime Center


This past Wednesday, I attended a Board meeting of the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE), together with Councilmember Butt representing the Rosie the Riveter Trust, and Rosie the Riveter Park Superintendent Martha Lee, to support a request by the Rosie the Riveter Trust, as grantee, for a time extension on the $2 million CCHE grant to rehabilitate the Maritime Center.  As you may recall, the Maritime Center rehabilitation is part of the broader NURVE effort to revitalize the Nystrom area.  The request for an 18-month time extension for use of the funds, now through June 30, 2010, was granted without significant discussion.


5.            Richmond PAL “Sneak Peak” of New Youth Center


The Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL) hosted a “SNEAK PEAK” Thursday, November 20th, providing tours of the One-Stop Youth Center located at 2200 Macdonald Avenue.  During the tour, RPAL gave an overview of the NEW sports center and programs. The new gymnasium will begin scheduling programs in December 2008, with the official “Grand Opening” planned for February 2009.


6.            Sonia Nazario, Author of Enrique’s Journey


Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Enrique’s Journey, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of students and community residents at the Richmond Recreation Complex on Wednesday evening.  Her presentation was sponsored by the Richmond Public Library, LEAP, the Friends of Richmond Public Library, and the Richmond Public Library Foundation, in partnership with Contra Costa College Library, Friends of the Contra Costa Library, the ACLU Berkeley/North East Bay Chapter, the 23rd Street Merchants Association, and Concilio Latino.  WCCUSD made simultaneous translation into Spanish possible for those who wanted it.


Ms. Nazario’s presentation detailed the passage of one young man immigrating to the United States from Honduras in search of his mother, and highlighted the political and economic issues that face the United States and the neighboring countries to the South.  Many of the audience members were from Central American countries including El Salvador and Honduras.  In a dinner, prior to Sonia Nazario’s talk, one LEAP student discussed her own experience leaving her daughter behind to find work, and later paying six thousand dollars to rescue her daughter from an abusive environment.


Ms. Nazario spent five years investigating and writing about her journey and the journey of others.  Enrique’s Journey is now required reading in many high schools and colleges.


7.            Recreation Highlights


The following are highlights from the Recreation Department for the current week and recent weeks:


§  Co-ed Adult Volleyball:  The Recreation Department began a Co-ed Adult Volleyball League on Monday, November 17th.  Registration is open for 40 participants to play each Monday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM up through December 29th at the Richmond Recreation Complex.  


§  Senior Trip to the California Academy of Science:  Annex Senior Center staff and 30 participants visited the newly renovated California Academy of Science on Monday, November 10th.  One of the participants’ nephews volunteered as a docent during the excursion.


8.            Public Works Paving News


Public Works completed the resurfacing of Humphrey Avenue from 29th Street to 36th Street, Cerrito Avenue from 37th Street to 38th Street and Clinton Avenue from Wilson Avenue to San Pablo Avenue.


During the first five months of the fiscal year to date, the Public Works Department has repaved 907,023 square feet of roadway, which is equivalent to an area of nearly 21 acres, using approximately 11,000 tons of material, and at a cost of approximately $1.5 million.


9.            Temporary Closure of Swim Center


The Swim Center will be closed to the public from December 4th to the 10th to allow for forensic research and testing of the roof, electric, HVAC, and chlorination systems in preparation for construction plans for future facility repairs.


10.         Budget Update from the League of California Cities


The League of California Cities reports that the Legislature made little progress this week to resolve the shortfall in the less than two-month old FY 2008-09 state budget. While there has been some activity, there has been no major agreement, with time running out on the special session which ends on November 30th. Governor Schwarzenegger has stated that he will immediately call a special session of the new Legislature when it convenes on December 1st if the current Legislature does not take action.


When the Governor called a special session on the budget earlier this month, he announced that California already has a revenue shortfall of $11.2 billion for the current fiscal year.  Shortly thereafter, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) reported that this shortfall is projected to grow to $28 billion when combined with the FY 2009-10 deficit.


11.         Grand Opening of Trinity Plaza


Please mark your calendars for the grand opening of Trinity Plaza on Thursday, December 4th.  Formerly known as the Macdonald Avenue Senior Housing Project, this 66 unit low-income seniors housing project has been developed by the Related Companies and Labor and Love Community Development Corporation, a Richmond-based not-for-profit group.  The program is scheduled from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at 350 Macdonald Avenue.  Please call Jacqueline McBride at 307-8150 if you have any questions.



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!


Bill Lindsay

City Manager

City of Richmond

1401 Marina Way South

Richmond, CA 94804


Phone:  510-620-6512

Fax:      510-620-6542

e-mail:   bill_lindsay@ci.richmond.ca.us