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City of Richmond and Volta to Offer Free Public Electric Vehicle Charging

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For the first time in California, a local government is partnering with a private company to provide free charging for electric vehicle drivers without spending taxpayer money.

On July 29, 2020, the City of Richmond announced a partnership with Volta, the industry leader in innovative electric vehicle charging networks. Volta will provide the first free electric vehicle charging stations on a public right of way in California that are not funded by taxpayer dollars. The stations are located next to the BART parking garage at 1501 MacDonald Ave.

“We are proud to power Volta, whose mission to accelerate electric vehicle adoption aligns well with our city’s priority of cleaner air,” said Mayor Tom Butt. “Available infrastructure is a critical factor in the shift toward electrifying transportation and we are eager to equip our community with utilities that support this shift, beginning with free public electric vehicle chargers at the local BART station.”

Volta’s digital, place-based media allows forward-thinking brand partners to reach high-value audiences in historically unavailable locations while simultaneously driving the mission of sustainability forward.

“Volta is dedicated to making electric vehicle charging more accessible and we applaud the City of Richmond’s Transportation Services Division for taking the initiative to provide free and convenient stations to its community,” said Scott Mercer, founder and CEO of Volta. “The additional measure of providing the infrastructure without using taxpayer dollars highlights Richmond’s innovative approach to a cleaner, electrified future and we look forward to giving its residents the experience of free charging.”

The City of Richmond embraces emerging technologies and public-private partnerships that can improve service delivery, meet community needs, and reduce resource consumption with the potential to foster key quality of life improvements across sectors.

For more than a decade, Volta has been building a nationwide electric vehicle charging network to drive the world forward. Named after Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the electric battery, Volta’s award-winning charging stations benefit brands, consumers, and real-estate locations by providing valuable advertising space to businesses and free charging to drivers. Strategically located in places where consumers already spend their time and money, Volta is creating the sustainable fueling network of the 21st century.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Volta chargers are currently the most utilized electric vehicle charging stations in the United States.

 

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Bay Area

Planning Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Oakland A’s Real Estate Project

The Planning Commission will consider whether the Final EIR was completed in compliance with state law, represents the independent analysis of the city, and provides adequate information to decision-makers and the public on the potential adverse environmental effects of the proposed project, as well as ways in which those effects might be mitigated or avoided.

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By Post Staff

The Oakland Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the Oakland A’s Stadium and Real Estate Development. It will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m., according to a city media release.

“During the hearing, the Planning Commission will consider whether the Final EIR was completed in compliance with state law, represents the independent analysis of the city, and provides adequate information to decision-makers and the public on the potential adverse environmental effects of the proposed project, as well as ways in which those effects might be mitigated or avoided” according to the media release.

The 3,500-page report was released the week before Christmas 2021, leaving little time for community advocates to read and critique the report.

After the commission makes a recommendation, the Oakland City Council will consider certification of the Final EIR, likely in February. A “yes” vote by the council does not mean the project is approved but is a major first step toward approval.

Community advocates are asking the commission to postpone the meeting, so that the community has time to read and analyze the 3,500-page report in time to provide public comment. You can contact the commission at drarmstrong@oaklandca.gov or cpayne@oaklandca.gov.

The following are Planning Commission members:

• Clark Manus, Chair

• Jonathan Fearn, Vice-Chair

• Sahar Shiraz

• Tom Limon

• Vince Sugrue

• Jennifer Renk

• Leopold A Ray-Lynch

To read the Final EIR, go to:  https://bit.ly/32KZ3pT

 

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Bay Area

Port of Oakland Aims to Help Agriculture Producers Export Products More Quickly

“The Port — along with our federal and state partners — is ready to do everything we can to help provide room and relief to help our agricultural customers,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan in a statement. The yard is just one step the Port is taking to help agriculture exporters who have had fewer containers in Oakland with which to export their products.

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The Port of Oakland and the Oakland skyline in the late 2010s. (Photo courtesy the Port of Oakland/Kelly Patrick Dugan)
The Port of Oakland and the Oakland skyline in the late 2010s. (Photo courtesy the Port of Oakland/Kelly Patrick Dugan)

By Keith Burbank, Bay City News

The flow of agricultural exports may improve at the Port of Oakland after it sets aside quick-access space for containers, assists exporters, and if more cargo carriers restore service to Oakland, port officials said Monday.

Twenty-five acres will be used to operate an off-terminal, paved yard to store containers for rapid pick-up following their removal from chassis.

The yard, which may open in March, will allow trucks to turn around more quickly than is currently possible in the terminal. Agricultural exporters will also get help using the yard from state and federal agencies.

“The Port — along with our federal and state partners — is ready to do everything we can to help provide room and relief to help our agricultural customers,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan in a statement.

The yard is just one step the Port is taking to help agriculture exporters who have had fewer containers in Oakland with which to export their products.

But it’s not entirely clear the yard will make a huge difference unless more ships stop at the Port to pick up the exports.

“We need the shipping companies to immediately restore the export lines from Oakland to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said.

Port officials have restored one key route to Tokyo and China. Also, four carriers have recently made Oakland their first stop en route from Asia. But that may not be enough to relieve the shortage of export containers in Oakland.

An import surge in the U.S. has ships waiting to offload cargo in Southern California. When they do, they offload cargo that would typically come to Oakland and then turn around and immediately go back to Asia.

The containers that could be used for exports never make it to Oakland.

Port cargo volume is typically 50% imports and 50% exports so usually enough containers exist at the Port.

Many agricultural exporters and meat producers prefer to ship their products through Oakland because it’s closer than other ports.

The container shortage has been a problem for a year. The problem recently prompted a meeting between farm producers, transportation executives and Port officials and resulted in the steps the Port is now taking.

A solution is important because the state’s agricultural export industry is worth billions of dollars.

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Alton Thomas Stiles

California Adds Twist to New CDC Advice on Quarantines

California’s updated guidance differs from the CDC’s in one important way. The state is recommending that people who quarantine after a positive diagnosis take a follow-up test and get a negative result before ending isolation. The CDC’s guidelines do not include taking another test after quarantining.

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A masked worker stands behind a sign warning of a quarantine. iStock photo.
A masked worker stands behind a sign warning of a quarantine. iStock photo.

By Aldon Thomas Stiles, California Black Media

The Monday after Christmas, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shortened its COVID-19 quarantine recommendation by half.

That same day, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Twitter that California will follow suit, recommending a five-day isolation period instead of the state’s former guidance of 10 days.

“California will align with the CDC’s updated guidelines for isolation and quarantine time,” Newsom tweeted.

However, California’s updated guidance differs from the CDC’s in one important way. The state is recommending that people who quarantine after a positive diagnosis take a follow-up test and get a negative result before ending isolation.

The CDC’s guidelines do not include taking another test after quarantining.

The CDC said its decision, in part, is based on science that shows people are most infectious during the first five days of catching the virus.

In an interview with NPR, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said another rationale for the new shortened guidance is the concern for keeping industries that are critical to the national economy operating.

Sharing this concern, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian, along with the company’s medical advisor Dr. Carlos del Rio and Chief Health Officer Dr. Henry Ting, sent a letter to Walensky less than a week before CDC’s updated recommendation, requesting a five-day isolation period for Delta’s fully vaccinated employees.

The letter argued that the previous guidelines were out of date and did not account for vaccinations.

It also argued that the former 10-day isolation period would hurt business because with the spread of the Omicron variant, vaccinated workers who do catch COVID-19 would be out for a longer period of time.

“With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the 10-day isolation for those who are fully vaccinated may significantly impact our workforce and operations,” the letter read. “Similar to healthcare, police, fire, and public transportation workforces, the Omicron surge may exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions.”

In December 2020, the CDC shortened its previous recommendation of a 14-day isolation period to 10 days.

California Black Media’s coverage of COVID-19 is supported by the California Health Care Foundation.

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