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Gov. Newsom signs exec order phasing out gas-powered cars, passenger trucks sold in state by 2035

Posted in: News, Business, Delta & Environment, Economy, Government, State of California | Comments (0)

To “drastically reduce demand for fossil fuel in California’s fight against climate change”

Transportation currently accounts for more than 50 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions   

Zero-emission vehicles are a key part of California’s clean, innovation economy – already California’s second largest global export market  

Order also directs state to take more actions to tackle the dirtiest oil extraction and support workers and job retention and creation as we make a just transition away from fossil fuels  

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he will aggressively move the state further away from its reliance on climate change-causing fossil fuels while retaining and creating jobs and spurring economic growth – he issued an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector. (The text of today’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.)

The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80 percent of smog-forming pollution and 95 percent of toxic diesel emissions – all while communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country.

“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” said Governor Newsom. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”

Following the order, the California Air Resources Board will develop regulations to mandate that 100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035 – a target which would achieve more than a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80 percent improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide. In addition, the Air Resources Board will develop regulations to mandate that all operations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles shall be 100 percent zero emission by 2045 where feasible, with the mandate going into effect by 2035 for drayage trucks. To ensure needed infrastructure to support zero-emission vehicles, the order requires state agencies, in partnership with the private sector, to accelerate deployment of affordable fueling and charging options. It also requires support of new and used zero-emission vehicle markets to provide broad accessibility to zero-emission vehicles for all Californians. The executive order will not prevent Californians from owning gasoline-powered cars or selling them on the used car market.

California will be leading the nation in this effort – joining 15 countries that have already committed to phase out gasoline-powered cars and using our market power to push zero-emission vehicle innovation and drive down costs for everyone.

By the time the new rule goes into effect, zero-emission vehicles will almost certainly be cheaper and better than the traditional fossil fuel powered cars. The upfront cost of electric vehicles are projected to reach parity with conventional vehicles in just a matter of years, and the cost of owning the car – both in maintenance and how much it costs to power the car mile for mile – is far less than a fossil fuel burning vehicle.

The executive order sets clear deliverables for new health and safety regulations that protect workers and communities from the impacts of oil extraction. It supports companies who transition their upstream and downstream oil production operations to cleaner alternatives. It also directs the state to make sure taxpayers are not stuck with the bill to safely close and remediate former oil fields. To protect the health and safety of our communities and workers, the Governor is also asking the Legislature to end the issuance of new hydraulic fracturing permits by 2024.

The executive order directs state agencies to develop strategies for an integrated, statewide rail and transit network, and incorporate safe and accessible infrastructure into projects to support bicycle and pedestrian options, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

This action continues the Governor’s commitment to strengthening California’s resilience while lowering carbon emissions – essential to meeting California’s air quality and climate goals. In the last six months alone, the California Air Resources Board has approved new regulations requiring truck manufacturers to transition to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024 and the Governor signed an MOU with 14 other states to advance and accelerate the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Last fall, California led a multi-state coalition in filing a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to revoke portions of a 2013 waiver that allows the state to implement its Advanced Clean Car Standards.

Last September, Governor Newsom took action to leverage the state’s transportation systems and purchasing power to strengthen climate mitigation and resiliency and to measure and manage climate risks across the state’s $700 billion pension investments. To mitigate climate threats to our communities and increase carbon sequestration, the Governor invested in forest health and fuel reduction and held utilities accountable for building resiliency. The Governor also directed state agencies to develop a comprehensive strategy to build a climate-resilient water system and made a historic investment to develop the workforce for California’s future carbon-neutral economy.

 

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Publisher @ September 23, 2020

Frazier to introduce bill to combat major cause of greenhouse gas emissions in California – wildfires

Posted in: News, Delta & Environment, Fire, Legislation | Comments (0)

Challenges CA Air Resources Board to “pause and think” about effectiveness of Cap and Trade program

Jim Frazier

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield) announced today that he plans to introduce legislation in the upcoming session to fundamentally change the way California reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

  “While I believe the work the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has been doing is laudable, we need to shift gears and address the main cause of carbon emissions in California, and right now, that is unquestionably wildfires,” said Frazier. “The data is undeniable and staggering.”

  According the U.S. Geological Survey, in 2018 alone, the wildfires in California were estimated to have released emissions equivalent to roughly 68 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. By contrast, after seven years of reduction efforts from Cap and Trade funded projects to date, is estimated to be 45 million metric tons – at the cost of billions of dollars.

  Frazier went on to say that he believes CARB needs to “pause and think” carefully about their programs and overall efficacy of the resources devoted to them, and reprioritize Cap and Trade dollars to address the immediate threat and environmental devastation that wildfires are causing. In addition to the further advancement of global warming, these fires result in property damage, loss of life, economic peril, and long-term health issues.

  “The science and statistics of the devastation that wildfires are causing are not just limited to the land. These fires are pumping more pollution – far more toxic – than the burning of fossil fuels, and we must take a critical look at how we dedicate our precious financial resources to their reduction.  As we know, wildfires are a major contributor to the advancement of global warming.”

  Frazier will introduce a bill this December.

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Publisher @ September 23, 2020

Supervisors extend ban on evictions, rent increases through January 31

Posted in: News, Contra Costa County, Supervisors | Comments (0)

Provide additional protections, retroactive to Sept. 1

By John Fout, Community & Media Relations Specialist, Contra Costa County Office of Communications & Media

At their meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an urgency ordinance that continues a moratorium on certain evictions for residential tenants in the County through January 31, 2021. Urgency Ordinance No. 2020-25 also continues a moratorium on certain residential rent increases through January 31, 2021. The Ordinance is retroactive to September 1, 2020.

Contra Costa County’s urgency ordinance provides additional protections to the state’s COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 (the Act), which passed and took effect immediately on August 31, 2020. The Act extends eviction protections for residential tenants experiencing financial hardship related to COVID-19.

“The urgency ordinance demonstrates the Board’s continued commitment to protect residents struggling with the unexpected economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Supervisor Candace Andersen, Board Chair. “We continue to seek ways to support renters and landlords, and hope that all parties will resolve to work together during this challenging time.”

This law applies to properties in all 19 cities in the County and in all unincorporated areas. To the extent that a city has adopted a law on the same subject matter, then the city’s provisions would apply in that city.

Protections granted to residential renters:

  • Ban on No-Fault Evictions – A property owner cannot evict a residential tenant for any “no-fault” reason except to protect the health and safety of the owner or another tenant, to allow the owner or their immediate family to move into the residential unit or to remove the unit from the rental market.
  • Prohibits a landlord from terminating a residential tenancy on the basis that a tenant allowed an unauthorized occupant to live in the dwelling unit, if the occupant is the tenant’s immediate family member living in the dwelling unit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Moratorium on Residential Rent Increases – A property owner may not increase rent on a residential property through January 31, 2021. State law prevents this freeze from applying to commercial tenancies and to certain residential properties, including residences built within the last 15 years and single family
  • These prohibitions and the specified exceptions last through January 31, 2021.

Read the full document Ordinance No. 2020-25 (PDF). Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding this ordinance will be available and updated on the County website soon.

For information and resources, visit Contra Costa County at www.contracosta.ca.gov. For COVID-19 updates, visit Contra Costa Health Services at https://cchealth.org/coronavirus. If you have questions about the coronavirus, contact the multilingual Call Center at 1-844-729-8410, open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. For assistance after hours in multiple languages, please call 211 or 800-833-2900 or text HOPE to 20121.

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Publisher @ September 23, 2020

Community college board announces Dr. Bryan Reece to become next chancellor

Posted in: News, Education | Comments (0)

Chancellor Emeritus of California Community Colleges; former community college president; founder of organization using community colleges to address racism and discrimination in America

By Timothy Leong, Public Information Officer, CCCCD

Dr Bryan Reece. Photo: Norco College.

The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) Governing Board held a special public meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, and today is announcing their decision to begin contract negotiations with Dr. Bryan Reece to become the next Chancellor. The goal will be to place the contract for public review and approval at their regular meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

The announcement was made following a nationwide search that began in January 2020.  The selection process was paused in both March and April due to the transition to remote operations as a result of the pandemic and was restarted in September. Public forums were held last week for the finalist and a final interview was completed by the Governing Board.

Barrett praised the dedication and work conducted by the Search Committee and Collaborative Brain Trust Senior Consultant Dr. Brice Harris, a longtime California community college educator and Chancellor Emeritus of the California Community Colleges. In addition, the Governing Board acknowledged the hundreds of faculty, classified professionals, managers and community leaders who participated in the public forums and submitted comments to the trustees for consideration prior to their final decision.

About Dr. Bryan Reece

Dr. Reece with a Norco College graduate. Photo from his website.

Until last year, Reece was president of Norco College in Riverside County, California where he oversaw “approximately 450 employees, 15,000 students and a service area with over 300,000 residents. Expanded student enrollment by 9.6% and student completion of academic goals by 18.3% with transfers to the University of California (UC) system improving by 50%. Narrowed the equity gap with completion for students of color improving by 26%. Increased fundraising by 117%,” according to his website.

Also on his website, Reece shares about himself.

“I have been working in higher education for 30 years, with 15 years of senior management experience including a decade of community college administration (College President, VP of Academic Affairs, and Dean) and five years of private sector management. I hold a BA, MA and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC). I taught Political Science as a tenured community college faculty member for 19 years and have a documented record of moving community colleges in directions that improve the academic success for students across all groups and have particular expertise with student populations from historically under-served communities. I have worked extensively with legislative bodies and government agencies at the local, state and federal levels and have a record of success with public-private partnerships and fundraising.”

According to his LinkedIn account, Reece attended USC from 1984 through 1990 for his undergrad and master’s degrees, and returned to the school from 2001-2005 for his doctorate.

Dr. Reece at a Norco College soccer pep rally. Photo from his website.

Last year, he founded the National Policy Agenda for Community Colleges (NPACC) to use community colleges to address racism and discrimination in the U.S. According to his website, “The primary goal of NPACC is to address social justice and equity at the national level through the work of American community colleges. NPACC is supported by a grassroots group of over 50 volunteers, including trustees, college presidents, administrators, faculty, staff, CC alumni, community members, and elected officials. We believe racism and discrimination in America must be addressed through a national strategy that recognizes and supports the leadership role community colleges play in working with students from historically underserved communities.”

According to his Twitter feed, Reece is writing a book about community colleges. In a July 23rd tweet, he introduced a series of essays based on his book, entitled “Community Colleges: A Good Kind of Subversion – An Ongoing Essay Series on Educational Inequities and How to Solve Them.”

According to the About page on his website, Reece was a cow milker at a dairy throughout high school and college in the 1980’s, providing him with both the necessary experience for fundraising and a firm grip when shaking hands.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Publisher @ September 23, 2020

Parolee discovered with forged checks, Social Security cards, mailbox keys during Tuesday morning Antioch traffic stop

Posted in: News, Police & Crime | Comments (0)

Photos by APD.

By Antioch Police Department

Tuesday, at about 11:20 AM, #APDPOPTeam Officers Marcotte and Rombough conducted a traffic stop at L and West 18th Streets. They learned the driver was on a form of parole known as Post Release Community Supervision. Individuals who are placed on this type of supervision agree to subject themselves, their vehicles, along with homes and property, to warrantless searches by law enforcement. When officers searched his vehicle, they discovered numerous stolen checks that were forged and paid to the driver in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. They also discovered stolen identification and social security cards, along with several mailbox access keys. Said driver was fitted with chrome bracelets and received a courtesy shuttle ride from APD to the County Jail.

Many of you have installed locking mailboxes to help prevent mail theft, but individuals with access keys can still defeat them. If you can avoid it, try not to mail checks from your residential mailbox, and instead drop them off directly at the post office, or use online bill pay. You can also sign up for a free service from the US Postal Service called Informed Delivery, which will send you a daily email with images of the mail arriving in your mailbox that day. Here’s a link on how to sign up: https://informeddelivery.usps.com

You know your neighborhoods better than anyone, so please continue to call us if you spot anything suspicious. Our non-emergency Dispatch number is (925) 778-2441 or 9-1-1 if you think it’s an emergency.  #antiochpdca

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Publisher @ September 23, 2020

Quarantine 15? Not in Antioch – ranked among fittest cities in California study reveals

Posted in: News, Fitness, Health | Comments (0)

  • Overall fitness score of 83.58, ranked 87th in state out of 300 cities and communities

  • Contributing factors to fitness scores include exercise opportunities, access to healthy food, air pollution and drinking water quality.

  • Infographic showing top cities in California according to overall fitness score.

With the pandemic restricting our usual exercise regimes due to social distancing regulations, many Americans have had to adapt their fitness goals and align them with at-home workouts. Combined with the fact that many of us are comfort eating while in the midst of a global health crisis, this may have led some to gain the so-called, ‘Quarantine 15’ without even realizing. However, the good news about working or studying from home is not having to worry about your daily commute taking up too much time that could be used to achieve your at-home fitness goals for the day. But what happens if you don’t have adequate space in your home and don’t live near an open outdoor area in order to work out?

BarBend.com, the world’s leading strength training resource and news outlet, compiled a comprehensive list of the top fittest cities across California, using data backed by studies based on a variety of factors. These were combined to create an overall fitness score out of 100 for each city on the list. Fitness factors in this study include exercise opportunities, access to healthy food, air pollution, drinking water violations, physical inactivity, obesity and smoking, amongst others.

It was found that Antioch emerged in 87th position with an overall fitness score of 83.58. The city has a high rate of exercise opportunities at 970 (per 1,000 people) suggesting that the surrounding environment can play a key role in determining people’s fitness level.

According to the CHR’s county health ranking model, “individuals who live closer to sidewalks, parks and gyms are more likely to exercise”, therefore access to exercise opportunities is crucial in maintaining a healthy population. Additionally, residents who live in neighborhoods with access to grocery stores that allow them to obtain healthy foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, are more likely to have healthier diets than those who do not have access to these kinds of supermarkets. Considering the Golden State is abundant in national parks and natural landscapes, the great outdoors provides the perfect background for recreational activities, such as rock climbing, hiking, swimming and cycling. Additionally, Antioch was found to have low air pollution, low rates of physical inactivity, obesity and smoking.

View the top cities for fitness across California (including Antioch data)
“As you can see, there are a variety of external factors that can have an impact on a town’s overall fitness, which can be detrimental to the population’s health, especially where some don’t have access to sufficient space for their at-home workouts,” says Max Whiteside from BarBend.com. “If this is the case, you can still try and keep fit while going about your work for the day by standing, instead of sitting in front of your laptop, taking frequent breaks in which you can complete some lunges and squats, making mobility work a part of your daily routine. Remember your own bodyweight can also be a useful workout tool!”

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Publisher @ September 23, 2020

Antioch traffic stop leads to driver on probation with drugs, loaded gun and cash

Posted in: News, Police & Crime | Comments (0)

Photos by APD.

By Antioch Police

Monday night, Officer Milner observed a vehicle driving on Auto Center Drive that had mechanical violations. Recognizing this, Officer Milner conducted a traffic enforcement stop of the vehicle.

While Officer Milner was speaking with the driver, he noticed an empty gun holster on the seat. For the safety of both the driver and Officer Milner, the driver was asked to step out of the vehicle. The driver was identified and found to be on probation. Probation often has a “search clause” allowing officers to search them and their vehicle.

During this probation search, Officer Milner located a large amount of methamphetamine, cash and a loaded handgun.

The driver was arrested on multiple weapons and drug charges, including felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

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Publisher @ September 23, 2020

Council majority postpones decision on Delta Fair Village apartments indefinitely on a split vote

Posted in: News, Business, Growth & Development | Comments (0)

Rendering of proposed Delta Fair Village apartment complex.

Cite applicant’s history of code enforcement violations at site, and other properties he owns in Antioch; Project can be brought back to council sooner than a year, and as a possible condo project, instead;  Construction unions attempt “greenmail” to pressure developer for PLA

By Allen Payton

During their meeting Tuesday night, the Antioch City Council on a 3-2 vote, postponed indefinitely the proposed 210-unit Delta Fair Village apartment complex, proposed by the owner of commercial property in Antioch, because he has consistently ignored code enforcement issues and been fined for it multiple times. The applicant, Gabriel Chiu, who with his family through their Chiu Family, LLC, owns the property as well as the Deer Valley Plaza, where the former AMC Deer Valley Theaters were located, didn’t participate in the Zoom meeting. Instead, his architect was available to answer questions, but the council members’ questions were for Chiu, not about any features of the project.

Two of the council members mentioned wanting a union-only hire, Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the project.

During public comments, Kyle Jones, who said he was with an organization named Antioch Residents for Responsible Development, read a letter from the group’s attorney outlining a variety of concerns they have with the project, mainly over environmental issues. 2020-06-01-Attorney ltr from Antioch-Residents-for-Responsible-Development

They want an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project, for impacts on air quality and health, he said.

“Impacts to air quality will be significant without mitigation,” Jones said. The greenhouse gas impacts of the project were underestimated.”

During an internet search of the group’s name, a copy of their attorney’s letter was found on the website www.phonyuniontreehuggers.com. It refers to the tactic known as greenmail, which is used by labor unions to in effect blackmail a developer using environmental issues until the developer agrees to a PLA. That’s because the construction unions don’t really oppose the project, as they want it to be built, only as long as their members are the ones who are hired to build it.

According to their attorney’s letter, under the title “Statement of Interest” identifies the group’s membership. It reads, “Antioch Residents for Responsible Development is an unincorporated association of individuals and labor organizations that may be adversely affected by the potential environmental impacts of the Project. The association includes Antioch residents Nathan Deleon, Sunshine Kinder, and Anthony Lundberg- Palacios and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 302, Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 159, Sheet Metal Workers Local 104, Sprinkler Fitters Local 483 and their members and those members’ families and other individuals that live, recreate, work and raise their families in the City of Antioch (collectively “Antioch Residents’).the Antioch Residents for Responsible Development consists of three Antioch residents.”

One additional item that was mentioned during city staff’s presentation on the project, which wasn’t included in the staff report in the council packet, the conditions of approval “obligate the project to join the pending Contra Costa Fire District’s Community Facilities District (CFD),” to pay for additional fire service needed by the future residents. Other new development projects in the area are being required to be included in the CFD.

Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts was the first council member to speak on the matter, saying the property owner has had “an extensive history” of ignoring code enforcement issues. “In other words, these are impediments to economic development. Based on the lack of maintenance, these issues can dramatically affect surrounding businesses and residents.”

“Please tell me how this…applicant is going to be different,” she asked city staff.

“Our task before you, is to evaluate the project,” responded Forrest Ebbs, Antioch Community Development Director. “We’re sensitive to the fact that there are other issues. But I can’t introduce outside elements to this process.”

“Our analysis of the project is complete, and we can speak to that,” he added.

“Until I can have an answer on this, I don’t feel comfortable. I really don’t,” Motts stated. “We have a responsibility to the residents…we have a history of approving developments haphazardly.”

Thorpe then said, “Thank you for that. I think I share the same concerns.”

He asked if the applicant, Gabriel Chiu was on the line. But only the applicant’s architect was available to answer questions.

“I think we all have the concerns about the applicant,” said Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock. “But we need to move forward. This is an infill project and we’ve been asking for infill projects. The code enforcement issues have to be addressed before the project can move forward.”

“I like this project,” she continued. “We need apartments in the area. It will be nice to see the retail have a facelift.”

She asked that some of the units be reserved for seniors, and for a PLA.

“Will there be a manager on site?” Ogorchock asked.

“There is a condition of approval that there be a 24-hour manager on site of the project,” a city staff member responded.

Councilmember Monica Wilson shared her concerns saying, “although I’d like to see something on that side, I’m with everybody else. I just need some assurances the property will be maintained.”

“It’s already a very dense population in there, with apartments on San Jose Drive,” she continued. “How far back do those code enforcement issues go?”

“I’ve been on staff for over five years,” Ebbs shared. “When I first started with the city, that was one of the stops on a code enforcement tour.”

“I’m just not feeling confident of that applicant maintaining that site,” Wilson continued. “There definitely needs to be a project labor agreement. There just needs to be a lot of things before I can move forward.”

“We have an opportunity to take an area of town and see an investment,” Mayor Sean Wright said, urging the other council members to reconsider their opposition. “If we say no to this project, five years from now, we’re still going to have the same code enforcement issues.”

“We need to bring a project into that area to spur development,” he continued. “This is a crucial opportunity for Antioch. If we say no, tonight, we’re not just saying no to this developer, but to quite a few other developers.”

“I just don’t feel comfortable. If it was any other applicant,” Motts added. “I would need a broader conversation with the applicant before we go forward.”

“If we approve this project, this evening it might give the applicant a quick kick in the rear to fix up his other properties,” said Ogorchock. “All these conditions have to be met before he moves forward. Hopefully the applicant is listening, tonight and hearing the comments.”

Ogorchock made a motion to approve the project and Wright seconded it.

However, Thorpe offered a substitute motion. “My substitute motion is to postpone indefinitely,” he said. Motts seconded it.

“Is there a goal with the postponement?” Wright asked.

“It sounds like there are concerns of our colleagues and the applicant isn’t here to answer them,” Thorpe said. “This is about trust and I don’t trust him.”

“We’ve never had a project come before us in which the applicant wasn’t with us,” Motts said.

“I really think this is a project we need in town,” Wright said.

The council then adopted the motion to postpone on a 3-2 vote with Wright and Ogorchock voting no.

Following the vote, both Motts and Thorpe were asked if they had spoken with Mr. Chiu before the council meeting. Thorpe responded simply, “Nope.” Motts responded that she had not spoken with the applicant before the meeting and that usually developers approach her and other council members with their projects before the meeting, not the other way around.

Had the council voted on Ogorchock’s motion and it failed, the applicant would have had to wait at least one year to bring it back to the council for a vote. Instead, by approving the motion to postpone indefinitely, although unnecessary and a motion to table would have been sufficient and more appropriate, it will allow the applicant to return sooner than a year, and be available to answer questions of council members. It also offers the applicant time to submit a condominium application to convert the project from rental apartments, which both Thorpe and Motts mentioned they were supportive of, following the meeting. That could take four to six weeks according to Antioch Planning Commission member Manny Soliz. (See related article)

 

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Publisher @ September 22, 2020