I’m just now catching up from a weekend in Richmond that had a dizzying array of choices.
Bay Trail Landfill Loop Dedication
Saturday morning started with dedication of the 3-mile landfill loop of the Bay Trail.
The CC Times story appears below:
Richmond reaches next Bay Trail milestone
New Landfill Loop set to open Saturday after 20 years of planning
By Katherine Tam
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 04/26/2011 06:19:19 PM PDT
Updated: 04/27/2011 06:12:36 AM PDT
A closed chunk of Richmond's north shoreline, with its picturesque views stretching across San Pablo Bay to Marin and Sonoma counties, is about to open to the public for the first time.
After nearly 20 years of planning and waiting, the four-mile Landfill Loop Trail opens to pedestrians, hikers, bicyclists and bird-watchers as part of the San Francisco Bay Trail.
"This really represents the first opening of public access to Richmond's north shoreline," said Bruce Beyaert, chair of the Trails for Richmond Action Committee, which lobbies and seeks funds to close local trail gaps. "It opens up a new mile of access to San Pablo Bay."
It also brings the tally of completed Bay Trail in Richmond to 30 miles, Beyaert said. That's about 10 percent of the 310 miles of trail completed so far in the nine-county Bay Trail system that will ultimately grow to a 500-mile network.
Supporters will celebrate with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Republic Services, which owns the landfill site, built the path and funded its six interpretive exhibits. The company will be in charge of maintaining it. The East Bay Regional Park District plans to build a one-mile trail in the future that would connect the Landfill Loop Trail to the Wildcat Creek Trail.
The idea for the loop trail dates back to 1992 when Jay Vincent, an advocate for open space and public access, attended a meeting about the landfill and suggested building a trail there. Larry Burch, an avid hiker and then development director for the landfill, thought it was a good idea. The two began talking in earnest.
It would be years though before the trail would become reality. Officials wanted to close the landfill first for safety reasons. Getting the proper permits, conducting studies, securing the pipes and wells on site, and capping the landfill took longer than expected, Burch said.
"For people who wanted a trail at the landfill, the key word here is patience," Burch said. "There were times we thought it was just a while longer, but it took longer to achieve the permits and close the landfill" than thought.
Republic Services finished sealing off the landfill last year, paving the way for the loop trail.
"It's providing a viewing location across the bay on a trail that has never been available before," Burch said. "You can see some of the same vistas from Point Pinole, but you can get higher on the landfill hill and get a different perspective."
Locals also will see tidal marshes and ample bird life. The mud flats and wetlands along the North Richmond shoreline boasts about 138,000 birds comprising 93 species, including pelicans and the red-tailed hawk, according to a Golden Gate Audubon census from August 2007 to September 2008. At the Landfill Loop, they counted 58,935 birds composed of 69 species, including the endangered California Clapper Rail.
While the landfill is no longer active, the site is far from dormant. A transfer station sorts waste and trucks it to regional landfills. A power plant uses methane collected from the landfill to generate electricity. A composting farm turns yard waste into soil supplements. A recycling center handles construction and demolition leftovers.
The trail is the distance of two or three blocks from these operations. A fence will keep people out of areas where they shouldn't be, Burch said.
Katherine Tam covers Richmond. Follow her at Twitter.com/katherinetam. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.
Landfill Loop Grand Opening
· When: Bicyclists will gather at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Richmond Plunge at Garrard Boulevard and Richmond Avenue and ride the existing Bay Trail to the new Landfill Loop. Ribbon-cutting is set for 9 a.m. The Trails for Richmond Action Committee and the Audubon Society will lead hikes from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch will be served from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
· Directions by bicycle or on foot: Take Bay Trail from The Plunge to Parr Boulevard, turn west on the street to cross the bridge over Wildcat Creek where people will gather on the left.
· Directions by car: From Richmond Parkway, turn west on Parr Boulevard toward San Pablo Bay. Bear left to cross the bridge over San Pablo Creek and then left into the trailhead parking area.
· To RSVP: send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo started off with a Saturday morning parade on 23rd Street and ended Sunday with a street fair attended by an estimated 30,000 people. In contrast to its beginnings several years ago marked by confrontations between a few inebriated celebrants and police, Sunday’s celebration was a well-organized fun family affair remarkable for its civility. See the article below:
Thousands celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Richmond
The one mile long stretch of the 23rd Street in Richmond was filled to capacity with people who took part in the 5th annual Cinco the Mayo street festival on Sunday, which was organized by the 23rd Street Merchants Association.
The holiday has its roots in the Mexican victory over France at the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Many Mexican American communities celebrate this day as the symbol of Mexican culture and heritage.
"We don't celebrate it in Mexico," said Grizelda Moran, who emigrated to California in 1991. "Independence Day, which falls on September 16, is much more important. But it is nice to have this festival of Mexican culture here."
It seems that many Bay Area citizens think the same, as it was almost impossible to find an empty space on 23rd Street between Clinton Ave and Rheem Ave. Mexican culture was celebrated with three music stages, presentations by various local organizations and businesses including Richmond's police and fire brigade, the United States Marine Corps and the Boy Scouts, and countless food stands and stalls, where one could try burritos and tacos, buy Mexican souvenirs or get a free health screening.
Read the rest of the story, and see a photo slideshow by Kornelia Trytko at Richmond Confidential.
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Posted By: Richmond Confidential (Email) | May 02 2011 at 12:11 PM
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/incontracosta/detail?entry_id=88165#ixzz1LIS347BT
Richmond had half a dozen stops on this perennial favorite. While the really good stuff was often in backyards, it was the front yard and parking strip landscaping that fascinated me. Think about how Richmond could be transformed if everyone did this!
I had to take off Saturday to get my own garden in shape, and with Sunday such a warm day, I made my first harvest of honey from my beehives.
- 40 Years of Public Service for Loni Hancock
Sunday ended with a celebration of 40 years of public service by Senator Loni Hancock at the Craneway Pavillion with kind of a “This is Your Life.” format. I learned a few things, including that Loni’s real name is “Ilona” and how she emerged form the Berkeley poliitical cauldren of the early 1970s.