May News

1. “Dumpster Day” on Saturday morning, June 18 – volunteers needed

“Dumpster Day” for east Richmond neighborhoods will take place on June 18th. It’s sponsored by the City, Republic Services, and Sims Metal with Neighborhood Council volunteers.

A postcard will come out by the end of the month with more details, but basically a dumpster is provided at Clinton (just below Tiller Park next to the freeway soundwall) for non-hazardous household discards.

The City asks the Neighborhood Council to provide volunteers to help direct traffic and talk to the people lining up. Participants will be wearing masks. The Neighborhood Council receives its only income through a rebate from the recycled metal that’s collected (not that much, but it really helps).

A total of eight volunteers are needed that morning – 2 volunteers paired for 1 & 1/2 hours each starting at 7:30, 9:00, and 10:30 to noon. Coffee and refreshments will be provided. Please let me know if you can lend some time that morning. It’s deeply appreciated!

Note: The City of El Cerrito sponsors a city-wide household recycle day where neighborhood blocks leave out their free stuff as well as hold garage sales. Sone neighborhoods above the Arlington recently put on a multi-block garage sale with many proceeds going to a nearby pre-school. If some East Richmond blocks wish to put out free things and/or have garage sales the Saturday before the dumpster day- June 11th – send us your announcement and we’ll also publish it on Next Door.

2. Details cleared up on Dollar Tree Conditions of Approval

Last month the Planning Department sent us their draft official Conditions of Approval (COA’s) to review. I noted that unfortunately the requirement for a commercial sound wall at the loading dock was described in the draft as optional, rather than required. Second, our requested language to control traffic to the adjoining neighborhood streets as part of the traffic-safety study was listed as only “Signage shall be installed to discourage added traffic onto adjacent neighborhood streets.” Third, the signage facing Barrett can only be a logo and green stripe at the very top left corner of the building, and I didn’t think that was not fully clear.

With several emails back and forth, I expect that the final Conditions of Approval will be as submitted to and approved by the Council in our 3/1 appeal of the Planning Commission’s action. I appreciate the Planning Department giving us the opportunity to review the final COA’s. (Note, the COA’s also gives us. an opportunity to review the Traffic Safety Study when it’s completed).

3. Expanding the Neighborhood Council’s name to include all

Two meetings ago I proposed updating the neighborhood council’s name to more fully represent all the neighborhoods who served by it, especially neighbors between San Pablo Ave and I-80 who also showed up and regularly contributed written and public comments on the two major issues from the last nine months.

There was a brief follow up discussion at our last meeting. Some additional names were brought up. To provide as many people as possible the opportunity to weigh in, I would like to send out a Google-based Poll for folks to vote on the name change and name choice (one is “East Richmond Neighborhood Council.”) If you have others you’d like to include in the poll, please send them in over the next week.

4. Vegetable Gardening resources, “What a Thief taught me about Fire” article

Trish Clifford, Contra Costa Master Gardener, provided this link to a Seasonal Gardening webinar. On the question of watering during a drought, Trish recommends having a mulch cover around the plants, ornamental or vegetable (i.e. compost, shredded bark, straw, or wood chips) There is a section on watering in the webinar at minute 23, and tips on what vegetables to grow at minute 46.

Also, I’m including the most recent “Neighborhood Updates” by Joanna Pace that includes an dramatic and insightful story about “What a Thief taught me about Fire.”

Please consider volunteering on June 18th and let us know if you can help.