Berkeley citizens can now attend City Council meetings virtually or in-person — as long as they each wear a mask and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a verified negative test. If you are feeling sick, public health guidelines strongly recommend that you stay home. The council asks that everyone follow those guidelines. When sick, you can still attend via computer or phone and participate in public comment.
The new hybrid format increases public participation and interaction with the council in an environment with strong COVID-19 protections. Hybrid meetings began Tuesday and are the new standard going forward.
For details on how and when to comment, visit bayareane.ws/3l1azTt online. Those participating remotely will see little difference from the virtual meetings the council has held since March 2020. You can also watch or listen to meetings in formats that don’t allow for public comment, such as Cable B-TV (Channel 33).
The move to in-person meetings is in line with the state and local health and safety guidelines for indoor events. City Council policy committees and all boards and commissions will continue to meet in a virtual-only setting. For questions about the hybrid meeting format, email the City Clerk Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-981-6900.
— city of Berkeley
Opening of youth center’s expanded campus Saturday
From 2 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Richmond’s RYSE Youth Center will host a free community welcoming and celebration of the new RYSE Commons campus. The day will include tours of the new and renovated buildings, food, music, speakers, artwork, performances and family-friendly activities.
With plenty of photo opportunities and an inspiring program, the event will highlight the vision and creativity of Richmond and West Contra Costa County youth. Speakers and performers will include former and current RYSE members; Tony Iton, of The California Endowment; Contra Costa County District John Gioia, D-Richmond; California state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley; and RYSE co-founders Kimberly Aceves-Iñiguez and Kanwarpal Dhaliwal.
Since 2008, RYSE Youth Center has been a space for Black, indigenous and people of color ages 13-21 to experience and enliven safety, creativity, community, fun, new opportunities and justice. These young people have been designing RYSE Commons, a 45,000 state-of-the-art campus to better hold their dreams and leadership. Through more than two years of the global pandemic, construction is now complete, and RYSE is preparing to open the campus fully. Learn more online at rysecenter.org.
— Ryse Youth Center
Libraries eliminate overdue fees, expand main branch hours
The Richmond Public Library system has expanded hours at its Main Library, eliminated overdue fines and added multiple services, including charging lockers for patrons.
Since April 18 the Main Library has offered expanded hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The Bayview and West Side Branch libraries are each open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“We’re really pleased to be offering more hours for people to make use of all the resources the library offers!” said Melinda Cervantes, Library Director, “We used the pandemic shutdown to rearrange and refresh, and we’re eager for Richmond to come in and check it out.”
The library is also no longer charging overdue fines on materials. This removes a barrier for borrowing that often affected those least able to afford it and most in need of library services. Borrowed books and DVDs can be returned to any Richmond Public Library location and any fines that had been charged will be removed from the account.
Library accounts expire every two years, so long-time library users are encouraged to visit and update or replace their cards. There is no fee for a replacement library card. Replacement fees are still charged for lost materials.
The library offers many services beyond books, including access to computers and WiFi hotspots, Chromebooks and laptops that can be borrowed and used at home. The Library also offers access to state parks passes, houses the Richmond Grows Seed Library and lends Community Science kits. For mor details, visit richmondlibrary.org online.
— Richmond Library
California Jazz Conservatory to present concerts in May
The California Jazz Conservatory (CJC), celebrating its 25th anniversary throughout 2022, has announced a series of concerts and workshops highlighted by “JAMBAR Presents Chris Potter at The California Jazz Conservatory” and performances by noted local and visiting artists as well as CJC students, plus the debut of a newly formed quartet in CJC’s Emerging Artist series.
Special events will round out the upcoming weeks of jazz celebration at the CJC, the only private music conservatory in the country solely devoted to the study and performance of our country’s treasured African American art form. “JAMBAR Presents Chris Potter at The California Jazz Conservatory,” will showcase acclaimed saxophonist/composer Chris Potter in May in two concerts May 27-28 and in a May 28 workshop presentation. Potter is a Grammy nominee, a multiyear winner in the DownBeat Critic’s and Reader’s Polls and was named Rising Star as Best Tenor Saxophonist in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Another event, “Improvised Music” on May 21, will feature Phillip Greenlief (on tenor saxophone and Bb clarinet), Fred Frith (electric guitar and effects) and Jordan Glenn (percussion), three masters of improvised music from three generations, performing in an intimate trio setting. For more information, visit cjc.edu online.
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