On Saturday, January 20, 2018, the 2018 Board of Directors was sworn in during the Installation Dinner held at the Masonic Lodge. Newly elected board members Sonny Randhawa and Major John Hermanson joined returning board members Mark Croda, Bob Davis, Beverly Wallace, Maurice Abraham, Marie Carayanis, Jim Cowen, Nicole Donn, Susan McCloskey, Barbara Pendergrass, Bobbie Squellati, Bob Sharp, Judy Ward and me to serve for this year. Thank you Supervisor John Gioia for installing the board. Special thanks to Mike Rowland for being the Master of Ceremony for the evening. Mike’s energy and good humor made for a fun and easygoing time.
We also congratulated and awarded the Business of the Year Award to Lyle Miller, owner of El Sobrante Wheel and Brake, and Citizen of the Year 2017 to Mary Hill. Congratulations to you both.
Plans are already underway for this year’s Stroll, our Silver 25th!! Special things are being planned, and you can be a part of it. Call the Chamber office or come to the February mixer to find out how. Again this year we are sponsoring a contest for the t-shirt artwork with the schools in the El Sobrante Valley. The entries will be posted at Farmers Insurance at 5341 Valley View Rd. Jim Cowen is again sponsoring the contest. Thank you, Jim.
The February mixer will be at the Chamber office on Feb. 7 at 5:30 pm. We moved it from the second Wednesday of the month because it fell on Valentine’s Day and we know our members are all lovers not fighters (generally speaking). See you there!
Speaking of fighting, many in the community have expressed grave concerns over the proposed clinic on San Pablo Dam Rd. The representatives from Baymark Health Services, the corporation running the clinic, stated they were being forced from their current Cutting Blvd. location for “political” reasons. The Richmond mayor’s office refutes that, saying they have not taken any action towards the clinic. Rumor has it that the clinic’s current location is within the “Nystrom Urban Revitalization Effort,” actually referred to on the Richmond city’s website as “NURVE”. Well I say both sides have some nerve trying to move to the San Pablo Dam Rd. site; sounds like one side or the other isn’t being forthcoming, and when the parties are a corporation or a politician it is a challenge to find the truth, each using their own “alternative facts”.
Nevertheless, what is clear is that the proposed location is not better than the clinic’s current site, and in fact creates an additional negative impact on our community with more traffic, and a lack of clarity on the corporation plans to mitigate the potential security and health issues their clientele will bring to the location and surrounding neighborhood. The Chamber will be working with Sup. Gioia’s office to find a more suitable location for the clinic, one with local infrastructure already in place (police, fire, EMT, etc.). In the meantime, we urge the community members to continue to direct their opinions and concerns towards the City of Richmond officials, as they are currently the decision makers in this proposal.