2019 National Night Out - 8/6/2019



5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

The G.N.C will provide pulled pork and hamburgers.
You are welcome to bring your own beverage (we’ll provide water).

"$10 donation per family (with side dish), $15 (without a dish) for the
Greenbriar Neighborhood Council would be appreciated."

The best security for any neighborhood is to know your neighbors.
So let’s get together, get to know each other, and have a fun evening.

Home Invasion Incidents in our Neighborhood

March 15, 2018
Recently there were two home invasion robberies in our area. One was in Carriage Hills, the second on Fascination Circle. Apparently the thieves entered open garage doors and relieved the occupants of valuables. This has been extensively written about on Nextdoor.com.

Officer Bailey of the RPD has told me: '"We believe that these were crimes of opportunity. All 4 suspects are in custody. We don’t believe that this is an ongoing concern; however please remind your residents to be aware of their surroundings and to call 911 immediately if they see any suspicious activity."

In addition here are some security steps you should be aware of and follow:
  • Keep your garage door closed unless you're actually using the garage
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to cars and pedestrians passing by. Even when puttering in the garage.
  • If you feel a car may be following you home, pass by your house and see if they continue to follow. If they do, call the police.
  • Always carry a cell phone, have the RPD non-emergency number in your phone (510-233-1214), in addition to 911.
  • Do not hesitate to call the police with ANY concerns.
  • Take pictures/videos of suspicious cars and activities.
  • Do not leave your garage door opener in any car when parked outside.

2018 Greenbriar Annual Meeting

Greenbriar Neighborhood Council Annual Meeting

January 30, 2018 at 7-8:30 PM
El Sobrante Library

Please join your neighbors at El Sobrante Library! Our mission is to help residents determine the needs and problems of our neighborhood and to exchange ideas and information so we can resolve them. This past year, we helped in the successful effort to keep Olinda Elementary School open by sharing information and attending school district meetings to explain the school’s importance to our community.
Topics at the meeting will include:

1.                  Treasurer Report
2.                  Election of officers for 2018 – 2019

President         Will Plutte
Vice President (Communications)      Randy Felix
Vice President (Administration)         Bob Spampinato
Treasurer         Karen Springsteen
Secretary         Grethe Holden

3.                  Richmond Police Department – Crime in the area
4.                  EBMUD Speaker
5.                  East Bay Regional Parks Speaker
6.                  Neighborhood Watch (Jonee Grassi)
7.                  National Night Out (Valerie/Jonee/ Dave Zuckerman): National Night Out is scheduled for August 7th this year. Save the date! Several people volunteered to participate again this year.  

Questions? Please call Will Plutte, Greenbriar Neighborhood Council president at 510-222-9853.

August 1,2017 National Night Out

Greenbriar Neighborhood Council Annual Meeting - Olinda School January 5, 2017


 1. Welcome – President Will Plutte called the meeting to order at 7:02pm. He thanked everybody for coming and introduced the GNC board and invited speakers Lieutenant Brian Dickerson from the Richmond Police Department, General Manager Shawn Moberg from Republic Services, and Officer Kevin Tisdall from the City of Richmond Code Enforcement Department.

2. Approval of Minutes – Valerie Ridgers moved to approve the minutes from last year’s annual meeting as written. The motion was seconded by Joni Grassi and approved with one person abstaining (- she had not attended the meeting).

3. Richmond Police Department – Lieutenant Dickerson introduced himself and described the structure of the three police districts in Richmond. Each one has a beat and a captain.  We were reminded to call anytime we see something strange and not try to investigate on our own. We should always ask for a follow-up call, otherwise we may not hear back. He reported that there is little crime in our neighborhood. - Only two incidents in the last 4 months, one being a daytime burglary on Mason and another being a car burglary. Several police officers live in the Carriage Hills area.

The county and city boundaries can be hard to keep straight. In an emergency situation call 911, they will direct the call. You can always call the Richmond Police dispatcher, too. The Richmond Police often goes to areas outside their proper jurisdiction and collaborate closely with the county sheriff, particularly on serious crimes. 

Richmond Police Dispatch: (510) 233-1214

4. Treasurer’s Report – Treasurer Karen Springsteen discussed the income and expenses of the neighborhood council. A written statement was given to the secretary. Our income consists of annual donations of $10 per household and direct payments at the National Night Out. Our expenses include annual dues to the City of Richmond Neighborhood Council of $40, rental of tables for National Night Out $50, and mailers and expenses, for the annual meeting $100-200. Ending balance $294.11. Karen encouraged everyone to join the GNC and pay their dues.

5. Illegal dumping – Shawn Moberg, General Manager of Republic Services (formerly Richmond Sanitary Services): Illegal dumping is a big problem throughout the region. Republic Services contract and collaborate with several counties and cities, including Richmond and Contra Costa County. It is very costly to deal with waste and recycling appropriately, e.g. some waste is shipped overseas; therefore the high fees. When illegal dumping is reported, an operation supervisor goes out the next day to inspect the items. Republic Services collect every Monday in our area.   

They do their best to track illegal haulers. We can work with the City of Richmond to have a neighborhood clean up event. (This has been done by the GNC in the past. Two containers at no fee. Can collect white goods and E-Waste. Can be a good fundraiser.)

Kevin Tisdell, Code Enforcement Officer, City of Richmond: They have their own trucks and collect dumped items throughout the city as quickly as they can (within 48 hours). In certain city hotspots they collect up to a ton daily!  He handed out laminated cards with info about illegal dumping and hotline numbers. His department currently has a $500,000 grant, which allows them to implement sting operations and other efforts to curb illegal dumping. 

To report illegal dumping, call:

· The City of Richmond Illegal Dumping Hotline: (510) 965-4905

· The Contra Costa County Illegal Dumping Hotline: (800) 663-6874

Janna Covertson, Municipal Contracts Manager, Republic Services discussed free curbside pick-up for Richmond residents:

·  Twice per program year (November 1 – October 31).

· Up to 15 (35-gallon) bags of non-hazardous household trash, or ALL yard waste only

· One of the two annual pick-ups can consist of up to 3 eligible bulky items (including up to five E-waste as one bulky item) instead of plastic bags.

Call (510) 262-7100 for more details and to schedule a pick-up.

 Christmas Trees: Cut in half and place in green cart. If you place it at the curb, you get charged $16.50. You may have it picked up through a prescheduled twice a year free curbside pick up. You can also take it to the Golden Bear Transfer Station for free (offer ends the first weekend of February).

The number one complaint reported to the Richmond Code Enforcement Department is abandoned vehicles. If an immobile car is parked on a street, complain to the Parking Enforcement Department. If it is in a driveway, report it to the Code Enforcement Department.

Will Plutte thanked the three guests for presenting. He noted that, as he sees it, there are three aspects to stopping illegal dumping: a) Clean up, b) Enforcement/prevention (cameras, sting operations, etc.), and c) Affordable and accessible services (fees at the dump are high. Mattresses can be recycled for free in Oakland. In San Pablo residents get two vouchers per year for free dump-trips from the city.)

Shawn Moberg: The Joint Powers of Authority Waste Management Agency sets rates according to laws and regulations.) He suggested that we implement a neighborhood free clean up; such efforts help keep costs down. Contact Rochelle Monk.

6. Neighborhood Watch: Jonee Grassi brought up that mail theft is one of our biggest crime issues. She also encouraged others to attend the monthly citywide Neighborhood Watch meetings. We are required to attend six meetings per year to remain a valid group.

7. National Night Out 2017 (Dave Zuckerman and Jack Casetta): The 2016 National Night Out went well and is considered a well-established neighborhood event. The fire truck and the police turn up around 6:00pm. They welcome suggestions for making the event even better. We discussed the fact that the expenses were higher than the income (short $50). The next National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, August 1 at 6:00pm at the same location as last year.

8. Adopt-A-Road Project – Randy Felix described the program. The county will provide trash bags, gloves and safety vests for a group of volunteers to clean up a designated area, such as a section of Alhambra Valley Road or Castro Ranch Road. So far we have no one interested in leading such an effort.

9. Good of the Order:

· Food and Wine event in April at Contra Costa Junior College
· Randy will activate our dormant Greenbriar Neighborhood Council website
· The GNC will check into organizing a Neighborhood Clean Up fundraiser. Joni Grassi volunteered to help organize such an event.

 The meeting was adjourned at 8:32pm.

 Respectfully submitted,

Grethe Holtan
GNC Secretary

2017 Spring Clean up

Greenbriar Neighborhood Spring CLEAN-UP!
When: Saturday, May 27, 2017, 8:00 a.m. to Noon
Where: 700 Kipling Ct. (Corner of Kipling Ct. & Kipling Dr.)
Sponsored By: The City of Richmond, Republic Service, Sims Metal and the Greenbriar Neighborhood Council

Clean up your house and yard for summer! Any non-hazardous residential household wastes not prohibited from land filling, can be disposed of in the Neighborhood Clean-up. 

Drop-offs are to be from Richmond residents in the Greenbriar area ONLY. Please bring proof of residency (driver's license or addressed utility bill)
Examples of accepted residential household items include:

Furniture            Rugs/carpet/padding         Refrigerators            Washers/dryers      Stoves 
Toys                    Dishwashers                      Water heaters           Sofas                    Mattresses 
Box springs        Chairs                                Tables                       Radios                   Bicycles 

BBQ’s                Sinks, toilets                      Bagged yard wastes

Not Accepted
Commercial appliances                 Liquids of any kind          Cooking oil                      Tires
Paint, pesticides, herbicides          Oven cleaner cans             Motor oil/filters 
Empty gas tanks                            Car parts/batteries             Propane tanks Solvents
Glass – broken, window, mirrors             Tree stumps            Concrete, rocks, dirt

Not accepted-E waste:
TV’s    Microwaves     Computers       Monitors          CPU’s              Peripherals

Residents will be needed to check ID's for valid Greenbriar Neighborhood addresses and be at the
dumpsters. To volunteer to help please call Jonee Grassi (510) 681-6021

City Staff will be available to stop by homes to pick up garbage and stuff for seniors and disabled people who request their help. Please call Shanita Harris at (510) 621-1282 or Hugo Mendoza at (510) 231-3030 by Wed. May 24, 2017 for assistance.
For hazardous Waste Materials, call West County Hazardous Waste at 888-412-9277. Pick-ups could be done at homes.

Calling all Olinda Families & Neighbors!

Please attend the School Board Meeting on April 13,  2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Lovonya DeJean Middle School, Multipurpose Room

3400 Macdonald Ave, Richmond

The WCCUSD School Board is considering closures of some neighborhood schools, including Olinda Elementary, as part of their long-term facilities planning.
Let your School Board know NOW if you object to school closures, before it's too late!
For more info: SaveOlinda@gmail.com

Doctor's Medical Center Closes

eUpdate - April 21, 2015   
Doctors Medical Center Closes 
Health Care Resources in West County  
Earlier today, Doctors Medical Center (DMC) in San Pablo closed and is no longer accepting patients. The hospital, owned and operated by the West Contra Costa Healthcare District, has been running at a deficit of over $18 million per year, and lacked the operating funds to remain open.

The closure of DMC is a loss to all of us in West County and reflects the failure of our federal government to adequately reimburse providers of Medicare and Medi-Cal services.  Eighty-percent of Doctors' patients relied on these government plans, and the federal  reimbursement rate didn't cover the cost of providing services.

While many of us have fought to get these reimbursements increased, the situation hasn't changed. Hospitals nationwide are closing for the same reason.

Hospitals like Doctors, with few privately insured patients, struggle to be sustainable.  Survival is especially hard for stand-alone hospitals, such as Doctors, who aren't part of a larger healthcare system.

For the past decade, I've worked very hard along with many others to keep DMC open. When the hospital filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and was set to close, I advocated for the County to provide funding to keep it open. While we cut the hospital's losses in half and passed a parcel tax in 2011to bring in new revenue, this wasn't enough to stem the operating losses and debt.

Click here for a chronology of Doctors Medical Center.

I understand the frustration that efforts to save the hospital weren't successful. Up until the last minute, many fought to  find a viable solution that would keep Doctors open and on sound financial footing.

As DMC's  closure became more likely, steps were taken to make sure everyone in West County has health care. Resources are available.
  • Contra Costa Health Services has compiled a detailed West County Health Care Resources Guide (click on link or see below),and a resource website, which includes information in several languages.
  • A new urgent care clinic has opened at LifeLong Medical Care, which is located across the street from Doctors, at 2023 Vale Road, San Pablo. The clinic is open noon to 8 p.m., seven days a week. 510-231-9800
  • Anyone without private insurance (Kaiser, Blue Cross, etc.) needing health advice is urged to call the County's free Advice Nurse Health Line as a starting point for getting services. The  line is 1-877-661-6230, option 1. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 

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Hit & Run Accident On Amend Rd. March 12, 2015

According to the Richmond P.D. the hit & run accident on Amend that occurred on Thursday, March 12th at approximately 3:00 p.m. was the first of two hit & run accidents that day caused by the same driver of a Suburban at approximately the same time. However, the R.P.D. was first notified about the second accident that occurred on Valley View and Morningside Dr. and did not learn about the first one on Amend until several hours later.  A witness to the Valley View accident took the license plate number and followed the driver to his residence on San Pablo Dam Rd..  Due to an 11 year old in the vehicle the Richmond Police performed a felony arrest of the driver on suspicion of D.U.I..  It wasn't until after 7:00 that evening that the R.P.D. investigators arrived on the scene on Amend to assess the damage and have the car removed. On behalf of the Richmond Police Department, Officer A. Dejesus apologized to all parties for the confusion that day, adding that in his 20 years of service he has never seen anything like this.
John Oster
President, Greenbriar Neighborhood Council

2015 Annual Neighborhood Council Meeting Update

 The 2015 annual meeting of the Greenbriar Neighborhood Council was held at the El Sobrante Library on Tuesday, Jan. 27th.     The guest speaker was Inspector Eric Munson from the Richmond Fire Department who informed us about the condition and use of the fire access roads in the neighborhood, the previous status of the weed abatement program as it pertained to the storm drain issue, and numerous other fine points of interest regarding our community.   Not only does he have an expertise in fire prevention, he is savvy on city government, sparking much debate--to the delight of all in attendance.  He will be a welcome guest at any future Neighborhood Council meeting!
    After a Power Point presentation on the neglected condition of the storm drains in the area by John Oster, Inspector Munson encouraged the council to continue in our pursuit of calling attention to the drain problem and to work with Wayne Madison, the head of Veolia, the drain and sewer management system currently used by the City of Richmond.  The Executive Board will be meeting with Wayne Madison on the storm drain issue in the near future.

    Will Plutte also had a Power Point presentation and by using a variety of maps illustrated how close the EBRP is coming in its quest to close the gap in the Bay Trail.  The gap exists due to the parcels of private properties near the Naphan Ranch.  We all hope this becomes a reality soon.

The Neighborhood Watch group for Kipling, Maison Way, & Garrison (KMG) also spoke at the meeting.  Discussion included the suggestion that although some had complained, sharing your email address as part of their list was safe.  

Storm Drain Update:
On Tuesday, February 10th, the Executive Board met with Wayne Madison of Veolia and it was agreed that progress on the cleaning of the storm drains in and around Greenbriar would begin on Tuesday, Feb. 17th. Updates to follow.

"Only share your primary email address with people you know."

 "Sharing your personal email address puts you at a greater risk to receive fraudulent emails."

Interestingly, if you enter (Do not share your personal email address) into the search box of your  browser, you will get 75, 300, 000 results!

  1.)  Keeping your personal email address private is a generally accepted principal in the universe of internet security.  Some think it is sacred information to be used only when absolutely necessary.
   At the meeting we were told of  "only one violation" of the Neighborhood Watch email list, which involved a person who advertised his own business.  It was not mentioned that Jack Etherington had his email account with ATT hacked.  For weeks afterward, my wife, myself and others who were on Jack's contacts list continued to receive email that appeared to come from Jack but was actually from a Canadian Pharmacy or some other unscrupulous entity.  Jack had a web based email client which can be more susceptible to attack than private accounts. But the bottom line is that when one person gets hacked, everyone in their contact list is hacked.  The more you give out your email address, the more susceptible to being hacked you are.  Fortunately for us, this was only a pharmaceutical ad company looking for new addresses and not a virus related hack.

   2.)  If you want neighbors to have your email address, by all means give it to them.  It is your neighbors who will watch your house when you are not there, not the neighbors who live several blocks away.  As the email list grows so must your trust that all members guard your address as carefully as you do.

  3.)  In this age of electronic mail, the telephone is still the #1 choice for communication in an emergency.  Even a text message is quicker and more reliable than an email.  Unnecessarily adding your personal email address to any list increases the chances of it being hacked.

Greenbriar Neighborhood Council never shares your email address with anyone.

John Oster
President of Greenbriar Neighborhood Council


Why Are Our Storm Drains Being Neglected?

Every since we moved to Greenbriar in 2008 I have never seen the City of Richmond clean the storm drains on the hill behind my house.  And today they are choked with weeds, dirt and debris. In hiking around the hills in the area, I have discovered that ours are not the only storm drains being neglected!
Come to the annual Greenbriar Neighborhood Council meeting this coming Tuesday, January 27, from 7:00 to 8:00, at the El Sobrante Library and find out more about this serious issue.

This is looking South and is behind homes on upper Rain Cloud.

This is one of the culverts on the hill behind my home on Maison Way.

A 'drop inlet' (drain) almost totally hidden by an overgrown Redwood tree.

This is the drain I cleared myself. A fire in the 1980's damaged the leech lines that put water runoff into the culverts.

From a map of storm drains in the Richmond area. The four drains between Kipling Dr. and Maison Way are indicated at the end of the red line.


Storm Drain Call To Action Update:

The Greenbriar Neighborhood Council has recently asked the City of Richmond to resume its practice of annually cleaning the storm drains on the scenic easements between Kipling Dr. and Maison Way.  As it has been only 6 years since we moved to this wonderful area, I was unfamiliar with this custom. But I can say that in that in those 6 years I have never seen the City out here on a cleaning mission.  This information came to me in part because of a chance meeting with one of our residents on the day I walked the hillside with the City workers.  Over her back fence this resident asked me if the City was going to resume cleaning the storm drains "like they used to".  In small communities like Greenbriar, some of the best information is learned over the back fence! It also helps to check into this website from time to time!
   We are presently waiting for a response from the City of Richmond's Environmental Manager Lynne Scarpa for the final word on this important issue.  As soon as we hear from her we will let you know how the City has decided to handle this.

John Oster
President, Greenbriar Neighborhood Council

Call To Action!

Did you know that we have 4 storm drains on the hillside behind some of us?  They are choked with weeds and need to be cleared!

The weather report said we may get up to 2 inches of rain between now and Saturday.
I cleared the lower one last year and I just cleared part of it again today.  But it would be great to have some help!  I will be up there again tomorrow. (And again today if there is a break in the rain.)  If you want to join me tomorrow, meet me at my house for coffee at 9:00 and we will venture up the hill from my backyard at 10:00.  Please bring any shovels, small rakes, brooms and other garden equipment you have.   You can contact me by phone at 415-725-8394 or my email john@johnoster.com

The view up there is great so bring your cameras or you phones!