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Watchdog: Antioch looking for new operator for Humphrey’s on the Delta restaurant

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Watchdog Logo 300x95 Watchdog: Antioch looking for new operator for Humphreys on the Delta restaurantBy Barbara Zivica

The City of Antioch is currently seeking bids for lease of a city owned restaurant space at One Marina Plaza, formerly home of Humphrey’s on the Delta restaurant. Bids from experienced and well financed restaurateurs, sufficiently capitalized to fund a complete makeover of the premises, are due by August 19th.

Back in the mid-1980s the city obtained $6.3M in loans from the state’s Dept. of Boating and Waterways to develop and construct a 285 berth marina. The marina, with an accompanying privately owned restaurant and public fishing pier (half of which was paid for by a state grant of $54,000) and four commercial lease spaces was expected to reach a break even cash flow within five years. Didn’t happen.

What did occur, however, was that past city councils made a number of unwise decisions e.g. deferral of state loan payments for the marina both during construction and during the first few years of operation. When the city finally decided to start repaying the state loans around 1990 it was discovered that payment was $234,000 more annually than had been budgeted and capitalized interest brought the loan to approximately $7.3M. The City has been playing catch up every since.

The City sunk more than $1 million in parking, decking and piling along the waterfront to support Humphrey’s, whose original owner signed a 35-year lease requiring he pay the city $2,500 a month or 2% of gross, whichever was greater, and receive a rent increase every five years, based on the rate of inflation in the preceeding four years.

Humphrey’s was purchased in 1995 by Eva and Gilbert Romero who sold it in 2009, taking it back in 2012 when the purchaser defaulted. Subsequently the Romeros, too defaulted on their loan for Humphreys and filed bankruptcy in 2012. The restaurant remained vacant pending a decision by Wells Fargo, holder of Romero’s loan, as to taking ownership of the property or turning it over to the city. The bank note was purchased by Antioch resident John Majidi, in 2013. But, he has yet to do anything with the restaurant.

Apparently the City of Antioch is, once again in charge. Good luck this time around.

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Publisher @ July 17, 2014

Meet Congressman McNerney in Antioch Monday

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Congressman Jerry McNerney will host an open house on Monday, July 21 from 4 to 5:30 pm at his Antioch District Office, located at 4703 Lone Tree Way, inside the Antioch Community Center.

The congressman and members of his staff will be on hand to provide information to residents of the Antioch area about the services and assistance his office can provide.

WHERE: Antioch Community Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, 94531

WHEN: Mon., Jul. 21, 2014, 4-5:30 pm

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Publisher @ July 17, 2014

America’s Tire Company Launches Fill the Barrel Food Drive to Benefit Salvation Army

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Collections to Help Hungry Families Throughout California

America’s Tire Company is partnering with The Salvation Army to host its first-ever “Summertime Fill the Barrel Food Drive,” which runs through July 31.

The employee driven “Summertime Fill The Barrel Food Drive” encourages America’s Tire Company customers to donate non-perishable food items to help feed hungry families in local communities with the help of The Salvation Army.

Collection bins are set-up at more than 40 participating America’s Tire Company locations in Northern and Central California. This includes:

2402 San Jose Drive, Antioch

5551 Lone Tree Way, Brentwood

Non-perishable food in greatest need this summer include canned meats, canned soup, canned vegetables or fruit, chili, peanut butter, pasta, beans, rice, or cereal.

Year round, The Salvation Army works to serve those in need, providing food boxes, hosting food pantries, and serving meals in communities around Northern and Central California. It relies on the generosity of the local community to help meet the needs of the less fortunate. Last year, The Salvation Army served nearly 6.4 million meals and helped more than two million individuals in California alone.

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Publisher @ July 10, 2014

Antioch man arrested in shooting of teen, last Saturday

Posted in: Police & Crime | Comments (1)

Charles Johnson III Antioch man arrested in shooting of teen, last Saturday

Charles Johnson III

By Acting Lieutenant Morefield, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Saturday, July 5, 2014 at approximately 4:50 PM, Antioch Police Department officers responded to a report of a shooting at Williamson Ranch Park at 5000 Lone Tree Way. The officers arrived to find a 17-year-old male, Bakersfield resident suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg. This victim was with two others (both 19-year-old male, Antioch residents) who were fired upon, as well, but not struck by gunfire. The injured victim was taken to a local area hospital for treatment and later released.

During the investigation into the incident, information was developed that helped to identify Charles Herbert Johnson III, a 23-year-old Antioch resident, as the suspect.

Several days later, on Wednesday, July 9th, Johnson was located by officers and arrested for this shooting. He was taken to the Contra Costa County Detention Facility in Martinez on charges of PC 245(A)(2) – Assault with a deadly weapon (firearm).

The case is currently being prepared for filing with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Hewitt with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6933. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Publisher @ July 10, 2014

One man murdered, another critically wounded during shooting in Antioch Tuesday afternoon

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By Acting Lieutenant Morefield, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at approximately 2:34 PM, Antioch Police Department officers responded to a report of a shooting at an apartment complex in the 3900 Block of Delta Fair Blvd. The officers arrived to find a 23-year-old Pittsburg man inside a vehicle in the parking lot suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.

At the same time, other calls came in of a second shooting victim down in a neighboring apartment complex on Hudson Court. Officers responded there, as well, and located the 28-year-old Antioch man also suffering from a gunshot wound. Medical personnel arrived on both scenes and tended to the victims.

The victim located on Hudson Court was transported to a local area hospital for treatment; however, the victim found on Delta Fair Blvd. was pronounced deceased at the scene. As initial information was being developed, it was learned the shooting actually took place in the parking lot of the apartment complex on Delta Fair Blvd., but the surviving victim had fled to the neighboring apartments on Hudson Court where he was ultimately located by responding officers.

As of this writing, this second victim is still in surgery. 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 Lowther with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6943. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Publisher @ July 8, 2014

Honduras Benefit Concert This Saturday in Antioch

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2014 Benefit Concert Poster Honduras Benefit Concert This Saturday in Antioch

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Publisher @ July 8, 2014

City Proposes New Antioch Downtown Development

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By John Crowder

At their June 24 meeting the Antioch City Council heard a presentation, and numerous citizen objections, on a proposed transit oriented residential development project for downtown Antioch.

City Manager Steve Duran provided the council with information supporting the authorization he was seeking to send out a “Request for Qualifications and Proposals to initiate the solicitation process for a development team to develop a residential transit oriented/infill project on sites owned by the City of Antioch.”

The sites are located on the east end of Antioch’s historic downtown and the development proposal is to include the construction of a new 10,000 square foot Senior Center on a city owned site to be determined,” Duran stated

The proposal calls for the solicitation of a “highly qualified development team” to essentially construct townhouses or similar “medium-density residential” properties on the east end of downtown, immediately adjacent to the Rivertown Business District.

According to Duran, this is an “opportune time to move forward aggressively with what will be a catalyst project for downtown revitalization” because the city controls the sites in question and there is currently an upturn in the housing market.

Duran indicated that the Planning Commission considered rezoning the area to higher density at 20 units per acre, but wanted to see a development proposal prior to making such a recommendation.

Duran called the area in question, “the one opportunity for a catalyst project that can move forward quickly.” He cited, as support for this contention, the location of the area, adjacent to the Rivertown Business District and with great river views, the fact that the city owned the sites and could move the project forward without assembling parcels, and the currently favorable economy.

If we want to get going on downtown revitalization, now is the time,” Duran added.

Members of the public speaking before the council on the matter, however, expressed opposition to the proposal. Fred Hoskins objected to the plan to tear down the current senior center in order to obtain more land for the project and to construct a new center elsewhere.

I don’t find our senior center inadequate,” he said. “The only thing that I find at the senior center that needs improvement is the kitchen.”

Kerry Motts, President of the Rivertown Preservation Society also opposed the project.

[It's| time to consider the views and desires of the community,” he stated “That is the opposite of what has happened.”

He characterizing the parcel at the corner of 3rd and E street, known as the old Antioch lumber company property, as, “arguably the most valuable piece of property in the city of Antioch.”

It has a singularly unique view, and access to the river delta, as well as being within a block of Antioch’s founding site. It sits at the heart of every event that has ever occurred in Rivertown. This property deserves to be a shared property of all the citizens of Antioch, not just the lucky few who would be residents,” he added.

Instead of housing, Motts wanted to see a park built there.

Joette Bright, a member of the Arts and Cultural Foundation of Antioch, echoed Motts’ concerns and request for a park. She quoted extensively from sections of the General Plan regarding development of the downtown area.

Housing is not a legacy anyone will remember you for,” she implored. “Set aside this parcel for posterity,”

Antioch School Board President Joy Motts, a lifelong resident of Antioch and Rivertown added her thoughts.

I’m extremely concerned about the City of Antioch’s proposal for the development of both the senior center parcel and the adjacent vacant parcel located at 2nd and E Street for the plans for high density housing,” she said.

She added that the RPS group had reached out to the city to talk abut downtown plans, but they were rebuffed.

Not one person from the City of Antioch has reached out to the Rivertown community for any discussion about this development,” Motts stated.

With reference to the vacant lot at 2nd and E Street, she noted the great view from the property.

It is surrounded by homes that also have that wonderful view. Many of these homes that surround that parcel have been there for over 80 years. It is the wish of these homeowners and the Rivertown community that this view be protected, not only for ourselves, but for the citizens of Antioch,” Motts continued. “A park on this property could host community events.”

She name several such possibilities, from summer concerts to farmer’s markets. She stated that a park on the site would provide a reason for people to purchase homes in Rivertown.

Chris Valenta, with the best reference to classic European literature we’ve seen in a while, stated that developing the vacant lot east of E Street would be, “like selling your soul to the devil.” He called the parcel, “Antioch’s heritage,” and stated that it should be developed in a way that would, “be a tribute to our veterans.”

John Reynolds also objected to further housing development, commenting that there is “nothing to do” in the downtown area.

Following the community input, council members asked further questions of Duran. Mayor Wade Harper asked about meetings with the Rivertown group, Duran responded that he had met with them once.

We can do all the outreach in the world, it’s not going to get the downtown revitalized,” he added.

Mayor Pro Tem Mary Rocha was particularly concerned that the community have input into any proposed development. In response to questions raised by Rocha, Duran conceded that something the neighborhood could use might be included in the project, but remained adamant that the area being discussed was the wrong location for a park.

Council Member Monica Wilson asked if it was cost prohibitive to continue operating the senior center. Duran told her that, while it was expensive to operate, old, and could use some upgrades, he shared the real reason for including a new senior center.

If the residential development came right up against the commercial space downtown, it would have more of an impact on the downtown in terms of people using the services downtown,” he said.

Rocha asked if the developer of the site would knock down the old senior center and build a new one.

That is an unanswered question,” responded Duran, “If it’s not financially feasible, then no. We think it’s feasible, but we can’t know until we test the water.”

Council Member Tony Tiscareno added his views.

I want us to work with the community,” he said. “But my biggest fear is we’re going to meet, and…there’s going to be no compromise.”

Duran responded that the council should seek more input rather than having just one group voicing their opinion.

You should have a wide outreach to the entire community, because everybody in town is a stakeholder to the revitalization of this downtown,” he said.

We want to make sure that all parties, and I’m not talking about the Rivertown community as a whole, but the entire community, has some input in what they want to see in their downtown community,” Tiscareno replied.

Harper moved the matter to conclusion, offering his thoughts.

We’re got to do something about the downtown area,” he stated. “A lot of community members want to know what we’re going to do about the downtown area…I don’t want another plan to be put on the shelf that doesn’t get done. I think the community that’s here is not the entire community. We need to listen to the entire community, but we do need to maintain the character of this community. Does a park do it? Maybe, maybe not. We can definitely look into it. Nothing is set in stone today. But I think we should keep the dialogue open as we move forward. I want to be a doing council.”

I don’t think that there’s any rush, but we do have to get things done,” he concluded.

Wilson then made a motion to approve Duran’s proposal, and with Rocha and Tiscareno assured that there would be community input, the council voted 4-0 in favor of moving forward in initiating the solicitation process.

With the cancellation of the July 8 council meeting, the next meeting is scheduled for July 22 at 7:00 p.m.

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Publisher @ July 7, 2014

Columnist: Illegal Youth Spread Rapidly Across US

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The Way I See It Lou logo Columnist: Illegal Youth Spread Rapidly Across USBy Lou Davis

As President Obama and the US Congress continue wasting time, NOT running the country, thousands of young children from Central American countries, including Guatamala, Honduras, and El Salvador. They are coming into this country, through Mexico, and are spreading across the United States like wildfire. Most of these kids have no parents.

Chicago-style politics didn’t work too well in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Egypt over the past five years, so while the president is trying to straighten out that mess, he’s paying little attention to America’s borders. Or, was it all planned like that, as an Obama-orchestrated Immigration by Amnesty program?

Since October, 2013, nearly 50,000 young Central Americans came to this country, illegally, Not only does this condition add to the continually swelling rolls of unemployment, but now there are more unaccounted for criminals on our streets, and children of all ages, in varying stages of health, will overcrowd our hospitals and medical facilities.

Democrats and Republicans have one thing in common; they cannot make a decision on an immigration policy that is best for the whole country. Republicans are working on a plan that is more in line with conservative and Constitutional principles. Democrats however, have all-inclusive ideals which enables new immigrant to enter the country with less stringent requirements. They also feel it will help build up voting blocs that keep them in power.

During a Democratic Party Senatorial fund-raising speech at Worcester, Tech., President Obama said “Our future rests on the success of DREAM kids.” In other words, he was saying the illegal children are our future.

For some ten years now, this children-smuggling through America’s southern borders has been going on. But, over the past five years, the numbers have increased from hundreds annually, to tens of thousands.

Smugglers have been kept informed about America’s ever-increasing acceptance of illegals by ultra-liberal media outlets in this country. They’re telling smugglers thar once children enter this country, they cannot be sent back to their original homes. The more they hear about increasingly laxed policies on our borders, the more illegal people they will send to America, their promised dream country.

Resources, used to house and feed these illegal immigrants, include old military buildings and schools, which would otherwise be used as storm shelters for legal residents, during tornadoes and other hazardous weather conditions.

While younger children are being cared for, with shelter, food and medical needs, older illegals are joining gangs in many of our cities, and being taken advantage of; increasing the numbers of prostitutes, drug dealers and other gangster types.

For the bottom line, listen closely to our president, and politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and even Attorney General Eric Holder.

They talk about voting rights, civil rights, and even used words like humanitarianism. What they’re really doing is walking in lock step with President Obama, and changing the Constitution as they go. They’re filling in another piece of the American transformation puzzle, which the president has promised to put together since his first day in office.

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Publisher @ July 7, 2014