Round Two of “Touchable Stories” Captures Richmond’s History Through Richmond Voices

November 4, 2007

[splashcast KSID4742QC]

By Anna McCarthy

Bob Ellison has lived in Richmond since 1930, and has a treasure trove of stories about the city that have finally found an outlet.

“Some of these stories, I’ve never told anyone before,” said Ellison. “Shannon was interested, so I said, well, this is a good way for me to show my ego off a little bit. I knew I was an old guy, but being an old guy I know something. I’m an asset. A resource.”

Ellison is one of many voices featured in Shannon Flattery’s newly renovated oral history project, Touchable Stories, which opens on Friday this week near the Port of Richmond. The stories featured in the exhibit, which is sponsored mainly by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, are all about Richmond. And they’re not just “Touchable.” They’re also audible and edible.

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Richmond Shoreline Festival

November 4, 2007

By Nicholas Kusnetz



RYSE Makes Halloween Haven for Richmond Youth

November 1, 2007

By Nicholas Kusnetz

With a seemingly endless string of shootings plaguing Richmond in past weeks, youth organizers with RYSE were working hard Wednesday night to make sure all the blood was fake and all the screams were in delight. The organization’s youth center at 41st Street and Bissell Avenue was transformed into a Halloween haven, with scary rooms, pumpkin painting and a movie for the kids.

“We just wanted to do something for the community,” said Jay Siphanhtong, 18, who is part of the RYSE leadership team. “We wanted the kids to go somewhere that’s safe and fun.”

With plastic blood dripping down the walls and fake cobwebs covering doorways, kids passed through a series of rooms with frights and games. In one of the last rooms, a bowl of candy sat innocently on a table. Little did the children know that Greg Ollano, the 21-year-old co-chair of the leadership team, was hiding below.
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Historic Rail Building Reborn as Bank

October 30, 2007

By Nicholas Kusnetz

The Mechanic’s Bank opened its new Point Richmond branch in the newly restored Santa Fe Reading Room Monday, marking the rebirth of one of the city’s oldest buildings. Representatives from city and state government joined bank officials and community leaders to commemorate the event at the corner of Garrard Boulevard and East Richmond Avenue.

The opening marks years of work by Point Richmond residents and community groups, which moved the structure from its original place at the Santa Fe Rail Yards north of Point Richmond to its new spot at the gateway to the historic and wealthy neighborhood.

“This is one of those situations where the outcome is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Richard Mitchell, Richmond director of planning and building services. “From a planning standpoint, this works well.”

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Hundreds Flock to Richmond’s House of Terror

October 29, 2007

Halloween came early this year at Richmond’s Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. The House of Terror, a haunted house and Halloween festival sponsored by the city’s recreation department, was in full swing even before the sun began to set on Saturday afternoon. Friday was the opening night for the two-day event.

Exactly how terrifying is this House of Terror?

“We even had parents running out of here last night,” said Kymberlyn Carson-Thrower, recreation and program coordinator for the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on Harbor Way South.

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Renewed Focus on English Proficiency at School Meeting

October 26, 2007

MDAC Meeting

From left to right: Raul Morales, Harpreet Sandhu, Jorge Tovar and Jessica Tovar discuss parent teacher conferences at the opening meeting for the Multilingual District Advisory Committee

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Parents and teachers of English learners met Thursday night with the goal of doing more this year to help their children move quicker to English proficiency. At the opening meeting of the Multilingual District Advisory Committee, members discussed how to speed reclassification, when a student is no longer considered an English learner.

“Too many of our students are taking too long to meet our requirements,” said Susan Dunlap, district administrator with English language services, in an earlier interview. Read the rest of this entry »


Not Doing Anything Friday? Why Not Meet the Mayor?

October 26, 2007

Friday, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin will host Richmond’s first weekly opportunity to meet with the mayor.

“I want to hear from everyone who attends so there will be an opportunity to sign up to speak with a limited time to share ideas or ask questions,” said McLaughlin, in her most recent e-newsletter.

The Friday meetings are open to the public, and will be held at the Whittlesey Community room next to the Richmond Public library between 5:30 and 6:30 in the evening. In this hour, McLaughlin invites the public to speak, but also admits that not all questions will be answered on the spot.

“Some will likely require follow-up,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin is a member of the Green Party, and was elected mayor of Richmond on November 7, 2006. She has lived in the city since 2001.