The Church at Antioch

McNerney issues statement supporting Thursday’s FCC internet regulation vote

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By Allen Payton

Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) who represnts most of Antioch, issued the following statement after today’s Federal Communications Commission vote to adopt new rules concerning broadband access in the U.S.:

“Today, the FCC took a historic step in voting to protect the internet as we know it. Reliable broadband access is essential for the future of commerce, education, and innovation in this country. The FCC clearly took into account the more than four million public comments they received in advance of their decision.

“Today’s vote is an important step in an ongoing process to keep the internet as open for innovation and economic growth as possible. The FCC is responsible for providing the framework for internet communications, and I look forward to the release of the order. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that we empower consumers and businesses as technologies change and advance.”

According to a Huffington Post article about the FCC’s vote, three of the five members of the commision voted “to approve a rule that reclassifies consumer broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC intends to use this new authority to ban ‘paid prioritization,’ a practice whereby Internet service providers can charge content producers a premium for giving users more reliable access to that content, as well as to ban blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. These rules also apply to mobile access.”

The complete, official news release from the FCC about the ruling can be viewed here.

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Publisher @ February 27, 2015

Highway 4 to go hi-tech

Posted in: News, Transportation | Comments (1)

CCTA receives federal grant to plan new Technologies for a multi-modal transportation corridor on Highway 4

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), and U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-5) and Jerry McNerney (CA-9) today announced that a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation was received to begin planning for an Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) program on Highway 4. The ICM program will build upon the work that’s already been done to improve the Highway 4 corridor and demonstrates CCTA’s commitment to finding innovative solutions to smooth traffic and help Contra Costa residents get where they need to go safely and efficiently. 

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) authorized the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to encourage Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) deployment on the national highway system through demonstrations and grant programs. The purpose of this program is to promote the integrated management and operations of the transportation system. CCTA has been awarded the grant to support planning for a multimodal transportation corridor along Highway 4.

“These funds will allow us to implement new technology to help lessen congestion on the I-80 corridor to the entire 31-mile length of Highway 4,” said Congressman Mike Thompson. “Commutes will be made safer and easier, and our region will be even more attractive to residents and new businesses. I am proud to have worked with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to secure this important grant.”

“The Contra Costa Transportation Authority, along with other agencies, have already invested over a billion dollars of mostly local and state funds to improve the heavily used SR-4 corridor. I am glad to support agency’s hard work and innovation by working with them to bring home this grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This grant funding will be used to reduce congestion and keep travelers informed of any delays.”

CCTA and its partner agencies have invested $1.3 billion to expand capacity on Highway 4, improve local connections to the highway, and to extend BART from Pittsburg/Bay Point to Hillcrest Avenue. This investment will dramatically improve the performance of the highway and parallel and connecting arterials, and adds a new transit option (eBART), HOV and HOT opportunities, along with facilitating increased local transit options. The improvements on the Highway 4 corridor are expected to be completed by early 2016; eBART is expected to begin revenue service in 2017.

The Integrated Corridor Management program is the next evolution of improvements along this busy corridor, and will preserve the mobility benefits gained by the Highway 4 widening and eBART project for decades to come.

“This ICM project redefines mobility in the 21st century,” said CCTA Board Chair Julie Pierce. “The Contra Costa Transportation Authority is committed to just this kind of innovation, as seen recently with the launch of our GoMentum Station Connected Vehicle/Autonomous Vehicle (CV/AV) program. In the span of 20 years, we’re working to take Highway 4 from the worst commute in Contra Costa to the best commute through our strategic investments and management of this corridor.”

CCTA, in collaboration with Caltrans District 4 (Oakland), Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), local cities, and transit agencies in Contra Costa County, has developed a Corridor System Management Plan (CSMP) to implement the Integrated Corridor Mobility solution along the Highway 4 corridor. The program will integrate several innovative key operational strategies for the freeway, ramps, local arterials, and transit to mitigate congestion and better manage traffic flow throughout the corridor. CCTA and its partners will utilize the lessons learned from implementations in San Diego and Dallas as well as the I-80 ICM programs being implemented in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

About The Contra Costa Transportation Authority

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts.  CCTA is responsible for planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs that connect our communities, foster a strong economy, increase sustainability, and safely and efficiently get people where they need to go. CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to keep traffic levels manageable. More information about CCTA can be found online at www.ccta.net.

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Publisher @ February 26, 2015

Writer says Bonilla has muddled record on gay rights

Posted in: Opinion, Letters to the Editor, Opinion | Comments (1)

Dear Editor:

Susan Bonilla must come out to voters on her gay rights record.

As a member of the LGBT community, I am appalled by Assemblywoman Bonilla’s muddled record on gay rights. Not once in her candidacy for the 7th State Senate seat has she explained why as Supervisor she voted for Contra Costa not to stand up against Proposition 8.

Bonilla’s deciding vote made us the only county in the Bay Area to not join the fight against Proposition 8, even though her district voted overwhelmingly against it. And while today she claims to be a support of gay rights, her endorsement of pro-life, anti-gay candidates flies in the face of her newly formulated positions.

There’s only one candidate on the ballot who’s consistently supported marriage equality since her first day in office, and that’s Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan. Joan opposed Proposition 8 when it was politically unpopular, and has a zero-tolerance policy for endorsing candidates who do not support equal rights.

Please join me in supporting Joan Buchanan for State Senate on March 17, 2015.

Robert D. Camacho, Concord

Camacho was a candidate for the Concord City Council in 2012 and a 2008 Hillary Rodham Clinton Delegate from the 10th Congressional District to the National Democratic Convention.

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Publisher @ February 26, 2015

East County Republican women will hear about terrorism from French immigrant at March meeting

Posted in: Politics & Elections | Comments (0)

East Contra Costa Republican Women Federated will be meeting Thursday, March 12, 2015, 11:30 a.m., at Discovery Bay Country Club, 1475 Clubhouse Dr., Discovery Bay 94505. Our speaker will be Al Sauvadon, he will be speaking about his experience as an immigrant from France and terrorism in the U.S. and France. Everyone is welcome. For information and reservations call (925) 266-7674.

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Publisher @ February 26, 2015

Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Posted in: Opinion, Letters to the Editor, Politics & Elections | Comments (0)

Why the Grassroots Democrats
are for Joan Buchanan

Four local Democratic Club Presidents say why they support
Joan Buchanan for Senate District 7 in the March 17th primary.

Submitted by Ellis Goldberg

Four Democratic clubs endorsed Joan Buchanan and are actively working on her campaign. Club members are sending personal notes to voters urging them to vote for Joan. This is what the club presidents are telling voters.

Brodie Hilp Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Brodie Hilp
President
San Ramon Valley Democratic Club

Joan has spoken at our club many times and each time we are amazed at her expertise on a wide range of issues such as California water issues and the California budget. If you attended the candidate debates, you heard the other candidates speak in platitudes and generalities. In contrast, Joan’s answers were thorough and at a much higher level than the other candidates. Another example of her intellect and commitment to high standards is when she rescued several legislative bills from erroneous wording which would have left loopholes and cost taxpayers money. Besides her intellect, equally undeniable is her passion for public education and compassion for the children in California. In summary, we at the grassroots level support Joan for State Senate. She may not be good at wooing big organizations with big money for campaigns, but she is has a big heart and the intellect to get the job done right.

 Ellis Goldberg Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Ellis Goldberg, President
TriValley Democratic Club

Joan Buchanan does her homework!State legislators consider 1700 bills in each two year session, they can’t have a good grasp of all of them. When state legislators need an analysis of the effects, costs and unintended consequences of a particular bill under consideration, they go to Joan. She is a highly respected, influential “GO TO” legislator known for insightful thought out analysis. When other legislators can’t get their head around an issue they come to Joan. That’s how she leads. It is not enough to vote on the issues, championing issues is required. Joan Buchanan is a champion.”

Karen Cohen Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Karen Cohen
President
Diablo Valley Democratic Club

Our club unanimously endorsed Joan because of her integrity and her grasp of complicated issues that is the result of diligent study combined with unusual intelligence. We know we can count on her to make decisions for the good of all citizens.Joan is committed to securing a positive economic future by passing responsible, performance-based, balanced budgets; supporting small businesses and innovative technologies; and prioritizing education in order to ensure a competent workforce.

Jane Walter Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Jane Walter
President
Democrats of Rossmoor

Our club has voted to endorse Joan Buchanan’s candidacy for the State Senate for many reasons. Joan has a special relationship to Rossmoor. She is a dues paying member of our club and a popular speaker at our meetings which she attends on occasion. Joan has held constituent meetings on our campus and understands the needs and interests of the Rossmoor community. As our representative in the State Assembly, Joan was especially effective in the areas of technology, fiscal planning, and education. She is a passionate advocate for our public schools. Joan always does her homework and has never failed to impress us with her deep understanding of the issues facing our state and region. We know that she deeply cares about the causes she supports and never acts or speaks out of political calculation. As our State Senator, Joan would continue to work for the causes which we as Democrats would like to see supported in the State Legislature. 
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Publisher @ February 26, 2015

Steve Glazer secures bi-partisan endorsements in his bid for State Senate

Posted in: Politics & Elections | Comments (0)

State Senate candidate and Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer has secured several key endorsements from prominent Republican and Democratic elected officials, including former Contra Costa County Sheriff and State Senator Dick Rainey and former Congressman Bill Baker, both Republicans and former State Senator and Democratic Majority Leader Gloria Romero.  He has also been endorsed by over two dozen local school and government leaders.

I support Steve Glazer for State Senate” said Rainey. “He is a rare leader who can constructively find common ground with Republicans and Democrats.”

“Steve Glazer is a public education champion. He will be a powerful advocate in the Senate for our public schools and universities,” said Romero.

Baker admitted that he broke with tradition by endorsing Glazer.

“Normally, I don’t endorse Democrats but Steve Glazer is the clear choice in this State Senate election. He is fiscally conservative. He supports pension reform. He had the courage to take on the BART unions and members of his own party and oppose the strike,” he said. “We picked up two Republicans in the Senate last year, and is he going to be the best by far, yes.”

I am honored to have received endorsements from community and state leaders that reflect the diversity of my district,” said Glazer. “Being endorsed by former Democratic Majority Leader Gloria Romero and retired Republican Congressman Bill Baker in the same week shows a broad coalition of support for my candidacy.”

I’m a socially progressive, fiscally conservative leader who can forge alliances with members of both parties. I’m a local Mayor who is focused on problem solving, not partisanship,” said Glazer.

“My opponents believe it is more important to please special interest groups and party leaders rather than the people who sent them to the State Capitol. They have voted for raids on our school district reserves, redirected transportation funds away from local highway and transit improvements and backed the BART union’s right to strike even after their eight-day strike crippled our economy and disrupted the lives of millions of commuters,” said Glazer.  “We need leaders who aren’t afraid to speak out and fight for our interests.”

Glazer also received the endorsement of the Contra Costa Times, which cited him as a “thoughtful centrist.”

Previously, the sole Republican candidate Michaela Hertle dropped out of the race and endorsed Glazer.  Hertle’s name will still appear on the ballot, so she released a statement to members of her party saying, “I’ll still be on the ballot, but I’m voting for Steve Glazer and hope you will too.”

Glazer currently serves as the Mayor of Orinda and a Trustee of the California State University 23-campus system. During his tenure on the Orinda City Council, Glazer has helped balance budgets while making improvements to schools, libraries and roads.

State Senate District 7 includes the communities of Alamo, Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Blackhawk, Brentwood, Byron, Clayton, Concord, Danville, Diablo, Discovery Bay, Dublin, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pacheco, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Sunol and Walnut Creek. 

The primary will be held Tuesday, March 17. 

For more information visit www.GlazerForSenate.com

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Publisher @ February 26, 2015

Get more money on your insurance claim with help from Antioch public adjusters company

Posted in: Business | Comments (0)

Independence team Get more money on your insurance claim with help from Antioch public adjusters company

The Independence Team – from left, Steve and Sandy Boydstun, Erin and Tony Astone, with little Nigel.

By Allen Payton

There’s a service being offered by a local business that property owners may not be aware of. I know I wasn’t, until now. Independence Public Adjusters, Inc. (IPA) can go to bat for you with your insurance company when you have a claim for fire or flood damage, to make sure you get the maximum settlement you deserve.

It was started in October, 2012, after company President Tony Astone spent 20 years in the insurance industry, including working for Safeco, as an adjuster handling multi-million dollar claims, and five years with one of the largest public adjuster companies in the nation.

He’s brought his expertise to Antioch, in this family owned and operated business, with his new wife Erin (they got married, last year), who works there part-time, and partner Steve Boydstun, who handles sales management, and Steve’s wife Sandy, their office manager.

For usually 10% of the total settlement, IPA is licensed by the state to handle property claims and represent a property owner’s interests, to ensure the insurance company fulfills its obligations in your policy and “have things put back the way they were before the damage,” Tony said.

Ninety-percent of what we do is residential,” he shared. “House and contents, mostly fire or cars that run into homes, or flooding from pipe breaks.” But, they also handle commercial claims, as well.

The insurance company pay to fix it, but not always the way it should be, according to the Fair Claims Practices with the California Department of Insurance, he added.

Get the most money you deserve from your insurance

IPA logo 246x300 Get more money on your insurance claim with help from Antioch public adjusters companyIPA has consistently been able to get clients a higher percentage of recovery by not allowing the insurance company adjusters to take short cuts. That’s because they take more time, do the detail work and have their own estimators, content specialists and forensic accountants who use their expertise for the property owner, not the insurance company’s bottom line.

The insurance company adjuster is overworked and underpaid, handling a high volume of claims,” Tony said, who knows from his years on the insurance company side of the business. “So, we take the time to get it right.”

For example, one of their clients was offered a $25,000 settlement by his insurance company, for repairs after experiencing a pipe break and flood damage to his home. Independence was able to get that homeowner a settlement of $213,000 in repairs, after doing their analysis of the damage.

On another claim, by a church, for water damage due to flooding from a pipe, Independence was able to increase their settlement from the initial offer of $75,000 to $320,000 instead. Why? Because they discovered the complete amount of damage to the walls and carpeting, as well as from mold that the insurance company’s adjusters had overlooked.

It’s best to get Tony and his team involved at the beginning. If people wait to hire them until after the insurance company gives them their estimate, it’s usually lower and too late.

You may have shot yourself in the foot, by saying something that becomes a coverage issue,” Tony said. “You won’t even know that you left money on the table and it will take longer to settle the claim.”

The company can even help those who have already settled their claim up to three years later. They can do an audit and determine if the settlement should be greater and they only get paid their fee if you get more money from your insurance company.

They deal with your insurance company for you

IPA not only adds financial value to your insurance claim, they also save you time by being the ones on the phone or at meetings with the insurance company.

It simply starts with signing a Letter of Representation, then Independence takes it from there.

The fact that they work on a percentage basis, means they have an incentive to get the maximum settlement for their client’s claim.

Now, after his years in the business, Tony has established credibility and good working relationships with insurance company adjusters by gaining their trust. That’s because Independence can always defend anything they claim on behalf of the property owner. Some times an insurance company adjuster, who has worked with Tony and the IPA team will just ask him what their settlement offer should be and go from there.

What Antioch residents say about Independence

They have many satisfied clients, whose testimonials can be read on their website at www.independencepublicadjusters.us.

One Antioch resident, named Helen had this to say: “Not only did they secure for me what was due on the insurance company; but they exceed my expectation in every way. Tony and Steve are A-1 professionals and awesome individuals; extremely helpful. I can’t say good enough for IPA.”

Antioch residents Robert and Tracie Hill shared their experience with Independence: “On Sept. 15, 2013, we had a fire at our home, which totaled my Garage and Laundry Room. Upon getting home to view the damage, I was met at my car by a person from a Restoration Company. He wanted me to sign this and that before I could even think about anything. A neighbor put us into contact with Steve from IPA right away. He told me to wait and think my options through. Steve told me what he does and represents with IPA. I felt comfortable with him not rushing me into a decision. The next day, my wife and I met with Steve and Tony. I was really impressed with their knowledge and experience. We signed with them, and it was the best decision that we made for our claim. Tony, took over the claim, and hit the ground running! He took care of everything and kept us informed of all things via email, texts and phone. He was able to get us an advance for living expenses and a place to stay right away. Tony was able to get us all that we were entitled to. My wife and I absolutely recommend IPA to anyone that is in need of some experts to work their claim.”

So, now that you know that this service exists, and right here in Antioch, if you experience property damage from a fire, accident or flood or know someone who has, do as their slogan states. “Claim Your Independence” and give Tony and his team a call at (925) 325-4989.

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Publisher @ February 25, 2015

Have you reserved your tickets for the 2015 Antioch Chamber of Commerce Inaugural Gala & Awards Dinner?

Posted in: Community | Comments (0)

Antioch Chamber Gala 2015 Have you reserved your tickets for the 2015 Antioch Chamber of Commerce Inaugural Gala & Awards Dinner?

The 2015 Inaugural Gala is fast approaching.

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce is hosting our Annual Inaugural Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Friday, March 13, 2015 at the Lone Tree Golf Course & Event Center. During our evening, we award and recognize our Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year, Youth of the Year and inaugurate our 2015 Chamber Board.

Event Details:

Date: Friday, March 13, 2015

Time: 6pm Social Hour, 7pm Dinner

Where: Lone Tree Golf Course and Event Center, 4800 Golf Course Road, Antioch

Purchase your ticket or table and secure your spot at the event!

We invite you to join us in this celebration and enjoy the festivities as we recognize those that have made an impact in our community. Tickets are now on sale at $75 per person and $575 for a table of 8. Tickets can be purchased securely online at the Antioch Chamber of Commerce website by clicking here.

No tickets will be sold at the door. Enjoy a premier event with a red carpet and local dignitaries recognizing the best of our community.

 

No tickets will be sold at the door. Enjoy a premier event with a red carpet and local dignitaries recognizing the best of our community.

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Publisher @ February 25, 2015