West Contra Costa school district's Bond Oversight Committee scrutinizes costs

As the district puts the brakes on approving new construction until a new master facilities plan is developed, its independent Bond Oversight Committee is ramping up its scrutiny of spending in the $1.6 billion bond construction program. At its meeting Wednesday, the committee discussed change orders, construction standards that include extras -- such as a retractable roof on a pool facility -- and community desires, which have driven costs higher than they are in some other districts. 
Police are looking for a vehicle linked to a March 21 gunbattle between a suspected gang member and a Richmond police officer.  
 
County Supervisor John Gioia is hosting a community forum on improving worker wages from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 28 at El Sobrante United Methodist Church, 670 Appian Way.  
 
For pension, the city has a long-term payment plan. But for retiree health care, the city is not making even the minimum payments and, as a result, the balance owed is growing rapidly.  
 
The hospital doesn't have an expenditure problem, it has a revenue problem. Hospitals like Doctors that serve primarily Medi-Cal and Medicare patients don't receive full reimbursement for the cost of care.  
 
Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group
The West Contra Costa Healthcare District board voted Thursday to close Doctors Medical Center in less than four weeks, after years of financial losses and unsuccessful attempts to find a sustainable way to keep it open.  
 
Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group
About 60 people gathered outside the Chevron refinery in Richmond on Thursday to push the refinery to pay more in property taxes, money that would result in more revenues for the city, county and state.  
 
The gala from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 3230 Macdonald Ave. in Civic Center Plaza, will honor museum founder Emma Jean Clark.  
 
District elections are a way to add more diversity to local politics and more fairly represent all residents, but the idea was nixed by the Richmond council, who said it was unnecessary. No cities in Contra Costa County use district elections, although Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro have recently switched.  
 
Police say the suspects, two boys, 15 and 17, and a man attacked the victim in the Fruitvale area of East Oakland.  
 
Travel top 10: Celeb chefs in airports

From Cat Cora to Heston Blumenthal, celebrity chefs -- or at least their dishes -- are popping up in airport restaurants around the world. 
'The Sopranos' Drea De Matteo loses New York home in explosion

'Modern Family’ actress Sarah Hyland grew up across the street from buildings that burned and collapsed in accident caused by gas and plumbing work.