In East Bay, where pollution goes, health problems follow

Submitted by Staff on Tue, 12/22/2009 - 1:24pm
In an unusual move, Contra Costa Health Services employees have begun to advise low-income families on the best way to manage their finances. The innovative approach, dubbed BEST, is needed, health leaders say, to tackle the East Bay's widespread health inequities.

Three East Bay ZIP codes, life-and-death disparities

Submitted by Staff on Tue, 12/22/2009 - 1:17pm

On most Saturday mornings, Richard Angelis hops onto his bicycle to join his biking group, the Alamo Crazies, for their weekly ride through rural Contra Costa County. He lives in Walnut Creek on a tree-lined street in ZIP code 94597, where life expectancy is 87.4 years, the highest in any ZIP code in the East Bay.

"I always look forward to my Saturday morning rides," said Angelis, a fit 58-year-old who bikes about 70 miles a week. "It's a good stress relief after working all week."

Chevron in Richmond

By Ellen Choy and Ana Orozco

As oil reserves dwindle across the planet, the oil industry is seeking to exploit energy-intensive, dirtier, ‘bottom-of-the-barrel’ crude oil, such as can be found in the Alberta Tar Sands of Canada and the Orinoco Belt in Venezuela. Rather than shifting to renewable energy and conservation, the industry is pushing to “retrofit” 33 existing refineries, construct five new ones, and build thousands of miles of new pipeline in the United States. The Chevron refinery in Richmond, California is one of the battlegrounds in this global struggle.

Richmond and Chevron Choose Fork in the Road

Submitted by Staff on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:57pm
By Malia Wollan

Competing tours offer two very distinct ways to see the industrial city of Richmond in the East Bay.

A “Toxic Tour,” led by an environmental justice group, circles Chevron’s Richmond Refinery and passes through what the group’s local members call the city’s “petrochemical corridor.” On Chevron’s newly offered refinery tours, visitors don hard hats and safety glasses and hear of strict emission standards, exemplary safety records and jobs, jobs, jobs.

Declining revenue, state raid derails Richmond redevelopment dreams

Submitted by Staff on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:45pm

New landscaping, streetlights, benches and color-coordinated trash cans line portions of Richmond's Macdonald Avenue, but a three-quarter-mile stretch at the west end of this major corridor must wait.

So too will 23rd Street, another key commercial strip.

The economic downturn and the state raid on local funds is forcing some of the city's redevelopment plans to a standstill — and officials don't know when they can afford to move ahead.


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