Publisher @ April 24, 2014
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) are constructing two new connector ramps, one connecting westbound Highway 4 (aka the Bypass) to northbound SR-160, and one connecting southbound SR-160 to eastbound Highway 4. To enhance public safety during construction work, the contractor will be performing road repair on a section of Lane #1 of northbound SR-160. This will require the contractor to close Lane #1 of SR-160 in the northbound direction between SR-4 and the 18th Street/Main Street off-ramp on Thursday evening, April 24, from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.
The Highway 4 projects include improvements that will help revitalize eastern Contra Costa County. The projects expand Highway 4 from four to eight lanes between Loveridge Road and SR-160, add two connector ramps between Highway 4 and Highway 160, and add a BART extension from Pittsburg to Antioch (eBART). This will greatly improve transit accessibility for the region and help reduce traffic congestion and enhance the quality of life for the more than 250,000 residents of eastern Contra Costa County. The projects have been carefully staged to keep 130,000 vehicles per day moving as major construction and demolition work continue, and include over $1.3 billion in State, Federal, Contra Costa Measure C & J sales tax, regional bridge tolls, and other local funds.
Caltrans and CCTA appreciate your patience as we work to improve the highways. For the most current information on all SR-4 corridor closures please visit our website at: http://4eastcounty.org.
Publisher @ April 22, 2014
Ralph Ray Garrow, Sr.
November 16, 1917 – April 14, 2014
Born in Stockton with his twin brother Mel, the last of 11 brothers and sisters, Ralph graduated from Stagg High School and studied business after that. He came to Antioch before World War II to work for his brother Brag at the American Laundry and met his future wife, Eunice Higgins. He enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor in 1941 and was first stationed in Oklahoma. Eunice traveled to meet him in Kansas and they were married there on June 20, 1943. They were married for 61 years until Eunice passed away in 2004. After their wedding, Ralph served in the South Pacific Theatre on Eniwetok Atoll and the Philippines until 1946. On the troopship trip back after the war, Ralph read a real estate textbook and obtained his broker’s license after arriving home.
Active for over 50 years as a homebuilder, real estate developer and broker, he was instrumental in building over 5,000 homes in Antioch, Oakley and Brentwood plus brokering real estate sales. He helped launch the careers of dozens of real estate professionals with Ralph Garrow Real Estate and Delta Bay Real Estate. Ralph was a member of the Delta Association of REALTORS and its founding organization. The business he started continues today as Ralph Garrow Real Estate and is managed and operated by his family.
Eunice and Ralph vacationed yearly in the warm weather climes of Hawaii, Palm Desert and Boulder Creek and cherished their time spent with family and friends. Ralph loved playing golf and spent countless hours practicing his short game, fulfilling a dream when they moved from Antioch to a home on the fairway at Summerset in Brentwood in 2000. He and Eunice also enjoyed watching their thoroughbred horses race at Golden Gate Fields. His other hobbies were photography and the stock market. His drive, spirit, generosity and sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his son Ralph Garrow, Jr. (Laurie) of Antioch, daughter Joslyn Missy Vigil (Kim) of Brentwood, grandchildren Alex and Ian Garrow of Antioch, Jasmine Sexton (Andre) of Oregon, Beau Vigil of Brentwood and Taylor Vigil of Rohnert Park, plus 3 great grandchildren, Bailey, Ethan and Judah Sexton. Ralph was preceded in death by his wife Eunice, father Alex, mother Lena, brothers El, Brag, Jack, Bob, Bill and Mel, plus sisters Ethel, Ruth, Lucille and Laverne. The family would like to thank the staffs of Westmont Compass Rose of Brentwood and Vitas Hospice for the special care and attention given Ralph during his final months.
A celebration of Ralph’s life will be held on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at Brentwood Funeral Home, 839 First St. in Brentwood with visitation at 10:00 AM and memorial service at 11:00 AM. Burial will follow in the Garrow family plot at Stockton Rural Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Ralph would have wanted you to give generously to your favorite charity.
Publisher @ April 19, 2014
By Larry Adams
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, . . .1 Corinthians 15:1-4
We receive plenty of messages throughout our lives that are of great importance, but none more important than the message of Easter.
The good news of Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for our sins and His burial in a tomb is a vital part of that message. But the best news of all is that the grave couldn’t hold Him. Jesus rose again! He conquered sin, death the grave for all of us. He is alive and is offering hope, forgiveness and eternal life to all who believe and receive Him into their lives.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is our historical proof and guarantee that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the only way to God. His resurrection sets Christianity apart from every other religion and approach to God.
All the religions of the world except four are based in pure philosophy. They are the inventions of men.
The four religions that remain are based on the teachings of their founders, (Judaism/Abraham; Islam/Mohammad; Buddhism/Gautama and Christianity/ Jesus Christ).
All four founders died. Three are still in their graves. Only Jesus rose again and only Jesus lives to offer eternal life to all who come to Him by faith.
That’s why Easter is celebrated by millions of people worldwide. Easter is the celebration of life in Jesus Christ who died for our sins, conquered our death and rose again to give eternal life to all who believe and receive Him. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) This is still life’s most important message.
Larry Adams is the Senior Pastor of Golden Hills Community Church, which has campuses in both Antioch and Brentwood. He and his wife Karla are residents of Antioch.
Publisher @ April 19, 2014
By Allen Payton
Local personal trainers, Dion Powell and Santi Lopez are giving East County residents the opportunity to compete in a local bodybuilding, physique, bikini and figure show, known as The Novice.
“We’ve been wanting to offer the newby to the sport an opportunity to display the results of their hard work in shaping and sculpting their body in a low-pressure competitive environment – in East County,” Dion said.
The event, to be held this Saturday, April 19, 2014 will feature local competitors in the four categories.
“East County has a lot of talent in the fitness community and have represented well at regional, state and national competitions,” he added. “There hasn’t been anything like this out, here – even with all the health clubs in the area. Those who want to haven’t a had a place to display their physiques outside of those clubs. Now they can.”
“Plus, we’re hoping it will be another great event for people to look forward to, attend and enjoy, here in East County like the Seafood Festival and Corn Fest. You won’t want to miss it.”
Successful competitors in bodybuilding, themselves, both Dion and Santi train a variety of individuals at all levels of fitness, from the average person who wants to lose weight and tone up to the hardcore athlete who desires to take it to the next level in their chosen sport.
Spots are still available for competitors and sponsorships by local businesses, as well.
The event will be held at Brentwood Veterans Memorial Hall in two sessions, an afternoon pre-judge and an evening finals competition. For more information on or tickets call (925) 446-9632, visit www.facebook.com/EastCountyMuscleInc or email email@example.com.
Publisher @ April 17, 2014
By Acting Lieutenant Morefield, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau
On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at approximately 8:39 PM, Antioch Police Officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 4900 block of Country Hills Drive. The officers arrived to find a juvenile male incapacitated from multiple, apparent gunshot wounds. Life saving measures were taken by the arriving officers and medical personnel, but the victim was ultimately pronounced deceased at the scene.
This case is currently being investigated as a homicide by the Antioch Police Department Investigations Bureau. We are in the preliminary stages of this investigation, and no further information will be released at this time.
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Meads with the Antioch Police Department at (925)779-6884. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.
Publisher @ April 17, 2014
By John Crowder
The Trustees of the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) voted 4-1 at their April 9th meeting to close the RAAMP Charter Academy of Math and Science (RAAMP) at the end of this school year. According to RAAMP Board Chair Cheryl Cooper, there are no plans to appeal the decision.
The mood at the meeting was more somber than on previous occasions, where teaching staff, supporters, and parents of students at RAAMP had made impassioned pleas to keep the school open.
Karla Branch, one of the founders and the Executive Director of the school, spoke briefly prior to the vote being taken. Seemingly resigned to their fate, she nonetheless extolled the virtues of the program that she had worked to develop.
“The disenfranchised student population needs something different,” she said. “That is what RAAMP has always been about. I am for disenfranchised students. I know what they need, and I know RAAMP gave it to them.”
Branch, expressed her appreciation for the AUSD Board, the administration and, in particular, Assistant Superintendent Stephanie Anello, for their support and the opportunity they had given her to begin the school five years ago.
“I will walk away knowing RAAMP did amazing things…for a lot of people,” she concluded.
Following public comments, each member of the board spoke briefly about the decision they were about to make. While most expressed appreciation for the work Branch had done and for her passionate advocacy of the RAAMP program, nonetheless had determined that the data, specifically low academic performance scores, supported its closure. Trustee Gary Hack, who ended up casting the lone vote not to close the school, expressed how conflicted he was over the issue.
Dr. Don Gill, AUSD Superintendent, promised to work to assist those students displaced by the move, and emphasized the district’s African American Male Initiative as an avenue to help in the transition.
In another matter, teachers continued to voice their concerns with the level of violence in the Antioch schools. The situation at Dallas Ranch Middle School was brought up, as it has been for the past few months. Specific incidents were referenced, including a student having her hair caught on fire and a student being kicked in the face during another incident at the school.
Adding to the complaints regarding Antioch middle schools, for the first time in recent months, teachers from an elementary school, Carmen Dragon, came forward as a group to voice similar concerns regarding unruly students.
Patti Baggett, a fourth grade teacher at the school, read a statement outlining the problems while backed up by several teachers standing at the podium with her, and about a half-dozen more in the audience.
“I am speaking on behalf of my colleagues at Carmen Dragon Elementary and throughout the entire district,” she stated. “We have become increasingly fearful for our students’ safety and our own ability to successfully provide for a positive learning environment…We are extremely concerned for our own personal safety…”
She went on to characterize a “lack of clearly defined district policies” as a major factor that “has led to many students becoming empowered with a rebellious attitude which endangers everyone in our district community.”
Baggett then referred to a specific incident in which she claimed that a student had “pushed a well-respected, experienced substitute teacher, then went straight to the office and reported that she had pushed him.”
“These bullies, whose actions remain unchecked by your ineffective behavior policy, are stealing the rights of the majority of our Antioch youth to learn and be safe in our classrooms,” she added.
In other education news, teachers and supporters of the Dozier-Libbey Medical High School independent charter petition attended the Contra Costa County Board of Education meeting where several spoke in support of the teachers’ petition. That board is expected to take up the matter in early May.
Future meetings of the AUSD Board are scheduled for May 14th and May 28th and are held at the AUSD office at 510 G Street.
Publisher @ April 15, 2014
Golden Hills Community Church will host a Good Friday Service, this Friday night, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. at their Brentwood campus, which is located at 2401 Shady Willow Lane just off Lone Tree Way. Then on Sunday, they will host six services at their Brentwood campus and three at their Antioch campus, which is located at 1800 Woodland Drive at the corner of East 18th Street. For more information call (925) 516-0653 or visit www.goldenhills.org.
Publisher @ April 15, 2014