NEXT MEETING: October 6, 2017

The History of Richmond

Local Historian Karen Buchanan will present an entertaining slideshow on the early history of Richmond.

Ms. Buchanan is a Richmond resident and history hike leader. She is a very active volunteer in the Richmond Community, involved with many local organizations, including the Point Richmond History Association, the Women’s Westside Improvement Club, the Richmond Main Street Initiative, Visit Richmond CA, and Point Richmond Music. Ms. Buchanan is an autodidact with an insatiable curiosity and a lifelong love of history. She has had a long and varied career, including working as a United States Senate Page, a Stand-up Comedian, Legal Secretary and for the past 21 years, a public servant with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District, currently managing workers’ compensation and liability claims for the District.

MEETING OF September 29, 2017


Connie Tritt presided over the meetings at Café Soleil. Sid Chauvin in his usual sagacity, shared this sobering thought: “Alcohol doesn’t solve any problems, but then neither does milk.”

Rotarians with Guests

Jon Lawlis introduced Darlene Quenville,

Herb Cole presented his wife Norma

The “other” Darlene (Drapkin) introduced Leslie Lundin, from LBG Real Estate that bought the Hilltop Mall in July, 2017. Ms Lundin gave a quick report on plans for the mall. Sears, Walmart and Macy’s will remain in the improved, “Shops at Hilltop”. The complex will be an entertainment center, of sorts. LBG plans to add a movie theater. They will buy the presently dark JC Penny building. The coompany will bring in a grocery store, perhaps a spa, and two coffee shops, including Fast Track coffee. They’ll add popp-ups for the jolidays. Leslie invited Rotarians to refer any interested parties. They’ll visit the current layout to add future housing and optimize the existing 6,000 parking spaces.


• We’re back at the Richmond Country Club this week.
• Our Holiday Auction is December 8th and the Holiday Party is December 15th.
• The El Cerrito Rotary will host a Wine And Artisan Cheese event on Sunday, October 1, at Berkeley Country Club (formerly the Mira Vista Country Club).
• The El Sobrante Rotary is holding its Oktoberfest on October 21 at 6 pm, at the Berkeley Yacht Club. The event raises funds for sustainable education.


Happy and Sad Dollars

Norm’s Nonsense


Oakland’s Retail Renaissance: What’s the Scoop?

Keira Williams has been a retail analyst at the City of Oakland since 2001. Despite brick & mortar retail giving way to online shopping, restaurants and service businesses are gaining strength. “Experiential” shopping is popular. Locally owned businesses are growing the local economy. Small retail creates a sense of place. Keira advises working comprehensively to prepare neighborhoods to make them safer and more inviting. One litmus test of success: If woman feels safe moving about town, Oakland’s revitailization efforts are succeeding.

She offered several other observations: Retail doesn’t always need to occupy the bottom floor. Gentrification issue is overplayed since the improvements the bring are good for everyone. The current high lease prices are a bubble and are unlikely to persist into the future.

Darlene Drapkin, Rotating Scribe