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Deer Valley boys volleyball team stays unbeaten through 118 league matches, wins 9th straight title

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Heritage vs Deer Valley VB 05 15 15 Cathie Lawrence 0152 1024x1020 Deer Valley boys volleyball team stays unbeaten through 118 league matches, wins 9th straight title

Deer Valley players attempt to block the spike of a Heritage player during the match on Friday, May 15, 2015. By Cathie Lawrence

Face De La Salle for the NCS Championship, tonight

By Luke Johnson

2006.

That number represents the year in which Deer Valley High School boys’ volleyball last lost a match to a Bay Valley Athletic League opponent. The Wolverines would go undefeated 118 matches later, win nine consecutive BVAL Pennants and two North Coast Section Championships.

The team who beat Deer Valley in 2006 is not even in the BVAL anymore, and that’s De La Salle. The Wolverines have not even lost a single set in the past five years; a streak that has expanded to 143 sets.

Head Coach Lou Panzella said the reason behind his great success is because he has been blessed with great players such as Jason Agopian, Noah Lebonte, Marcus Lee and Derrico Kwa. Today the team is led by a quad of seniors: Jordan Ewert, Jared Stark, Jacob Evans and Jacob Brannon; all of which have received All-BVAL honors.

One of the most different things [about this season] is that this time I’m a senior, and instead of having all these people to look up to, there are a couple people looking up to me, which is kind of a strange feeling,” Stark said. “Playing [on varsity] as a freshman, I always had these really big players on the team to look up to, and now I kinda have to hold my own and show that I am someone to look up to.”

Outside of high school, Ewert is a National and World Champion. He signed his letter of intent to play for Stanford University in November, and is on the verge of becoming the first player with 2,000 career kills at Deer Valley (currently at 1,934).

The Wolverines (38-1) hosts East Bay rival De La Salle (25-5) tonight, Saturday, May 23 at 7 p.m. in the NCS Championship match; Deer Valley will attempt to go for its third straight title.

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Publisher @ May 23, 2015

Antioch Council approves water and sewer rate increases, Ogorchock votes against tiered rates

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By John Crowder

The Antioch City Council, on two votes, one split and one unanimous, voted to increase both sewer and water rates for Antioch residents, at the May 12 council meeting.

Following a public hearing at which Antioch residents spoke out against Water and Sewer Rate increases proposed by city staff, and Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock questioned the need for tiered water rates, the council approved both.

The first vote on the tiered rates was split, with Ogorchock casting the lone dissenting vote and the second vote, for capacity charges, passing unanimously.

According to a staff report by City Engineer and Director of Public Works Ron Bernal, “The proposed rate adjustments are necessary to maintain the financial stability and the structural integrity of the City’s Enterprise Programs.”

He also said, “If these enterprise funds run dry, the General Fund would be tapped to provide the funding necessary to operate the enterprises.”

According to Bernal, the rate adjustments were due to, “new regulatory mandates, as well as increased costs affecting both Water and Sewer operations.”

He listed operating and maintenance expenses including labor, utilities, supplies and materials, and capital expenditures for infrastructure. Bernal also referenced, “the rising costs of purchasing and treating water.”

This year, due to the high salinity levels in the river, from where Antioch usually pumps most of it’s water, the city is having to purchase 95% of its untreated water from the Contra Costa Water District.

Under California law, a city council is unable to increase water rates if half of those impacted by the new rates object in writing. In order to ensure compliance with the law, during a break in the proceedings, City staff publicly counted all written objections to the proposed rate increase that had been received, and at the conclusion of the process the council was informed that only 54 comments had come in. The threshold for preventing the increase, based on the 31,056 notices sent to the public, was over 15,000 comments required to be in opposition.

Tiered rates

In a lengthy discussion regarding the rate increases, council members, in particular Ogorchock and Rocha, questioned why a “tiered rate” was necessary, with Rocha pointing out that a larger family in a single household would be required to pay higher costs per person, even when they were using less water per capita.

At one point, Ogorchock put forward the idea of a motion that would allow for an overall increase, but with only one rate.

After comments by City Manager Steve Duran and City Attorney Lynn Nerland, however, with each pointing out that under her proposal the rate for the people who would have been under the lowest tier rate would be subject to a higher rate, it was determined that such a decision would require another notice be sent to the public notifying them of the new rate structure, and she determined not to pursue her idea.

Water and sewer funds used for police, other budget items

Another issue raised by Ogorchock dealt with money being transferred out of the water and sewer funds.

When I’m looking at the study, the sewer fund, Fund 621, when I’m looking at transfers out, and it has with rate increase and with no rate increase, what are the transfer outs for ‘15-’16 for $602,375? Then in ‘16-’17 they’re going to go up to $678,592, do we know that?” she asked.

Merchant responded to Orgorchocks questions.

So, there’s several transfers out that are part of there,” she said. “A few hundred thousand goes to pay for police services protecting the water and sewer enterprise. The sewer fund has the transfer out as well, There’s a hundred thousand dollars that goes toward capital project sidewalk improvements, which is paid for out of the capital improvement fund. Part of the transfers out go to pay for GIS services…mapping the water and sewer lines in the ground, so it’s broken up into several portions of that.”

In response to a further query by Ogorchock, Merchant said, “And in the water fund the transfers are of the same nature.”

Public Works staffing rejected

During an earlier special budget session, prior to the regular council meeting, Mayor Wade Harper was joined by Antioch City Council Members Tony Tiscareno and Monica Wilson in a 2-3 vote to reject a proposal by city staff to hire two new technicians requested by Antioch’s Public Works department. Council Member Mary Rocha and Ogorchock, who had made and seconded the motion to approve, voted for the positions.

Had the positions been approved, an additional expense of $131,000 per year would have been added to the City’s Water Fund and the same amount added to the City’s Sewer Fund, for a total of $262,000 in additional salary expense.

According to a staff report submitted to council members by Dawn Merchant, Antioch’s Finance Director, the positions were needed in order, “to make sure that data collected in the field is complete and accurately recorded to comply with State and Federal regulations as they apply to Water Distribution,” and so that reporting related to sewer management, “compliance is timely and accurate.” Other duties the positions would have assumed included coordination of training and providing education to the public.

During discussion regarding the positions, Harper, noting that only four months had elapsed since city worker furloughs were ended, asked why the duties to be performed under the new positions could not be done by current staff, perhaps through reclassification of certain jobs.

Mike Bechtholdt, Deputy Public Works Director for Antioch, responded to Harper.

It’s strictly volume of work,” he stated. “Our Admin Staff, which is attempting to do some of this, they’re overwhelmed with calls and they’re starting to fall behind. And when you have water and sewer calls, you cannot fall behind. One fine, will more than pay for both of these technicians for years. So that’s why, one of my first statements was, we look at this as a defensive position.”

We run the risk of liability and fines, and that’s the main reason for proposing this, basically trying to stay out of trouble and stay compliant,” he added.

Tiscareno expressed concern over the timing of the hiring proposal.

I support the positions,” he said, “I don’t support at this particular time.”

After Tiscareno’s statement, Harper added, “My feelings are similar, I support it but not at this time.”

We have to look at this in light of that entire department,” he added, and referenced the current salary negotiations being undertaken by the city and employees.

Wilson then stated she also felt the timing was wrong, and that, at this time, “we’re asking a lot of the citizens.”

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, at 7:00 p.m. Meetings take place in the City Hall Council Chambers, located at 200 H Street. They can also be viewed on Comcast Channel 24 or via live stream on the city’s website at www.ci.antioch.ca.us.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Publisher @ May 22, 2015

Warriors squeak a win over the Rockets, 99-98, lead series 2-0

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By F.D. Purcell

Antioch Herald

Golden State led by as much as 17 points in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, however they would find themselves battling down to the last seconds of Wednesdays game but would scrape a win by the score of 99-98.

After trailing early in the game the Warriors rallied to a 17-point lead, in the first half before heading into halftime tied at 55.

Steph Curry ended the game with a third of the Warriors points at 33, including five three-point shots, out of 11 attempts. Center Andrew Bogut had the next most points for the team, with 14, followed closely by Klay Thompson with 13 and Draymond Green with 12.

Head Coach Steve Kerr talked about Houston losing by a closer margin in the playoffs, as opposed to the regular season.

This is how the playoffs go. You’re playing great teams,” he said. “You’re playing teams that are generally a lot more in tune with game planning and preparation, and generally speaking healthier.” “Houston is healthier than what we saw in the regular season,” Kerr added.

Rockets center Dwight Howard who banged knees with teammate Josh Smith in Game 1 was listed as questionable for Thursday’s game but showed no signs of injury, finishing with 19 points.

I just tried to play as hard as I could, tonight,” he stated. “I didn’t think about it at all. See how it feels tomorrow, but I just wanted to play this game for my teammates – all I could give them, despite whatever happened with my knee.”

James Harden’s offense kept Houston in the game, as well as their strong defense.

Although they are up 2-0, Golden State fans best not get comfortable like Clippers’ fans did in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Houston climbed out of a hole doing what only a few NBA teams have done and rose from a 3-1 deficit to win that series.

We’re playing a lot better, as well, too,” said Harden about keeping their confidence in spite of trailing the Warriors 0-2 in the series. “We had plenty of opportunities to win both of the games, so we have all the confidence in the world.”

With Golden State’s consecutive 130th sell-out crowd of 15,596 at ORACLE Houston stayed in the Warriors rear view mirror throughout the second half. With the game winding down the Rockets went on a 6-1 run with a little over 40 seconds left. But Harden would end up coughing up the ball on the final play of the game.

It is just unfortunate that we didn’t get a shot up but they made a great play at the end of the game to get a stop and get a win,” said Rockets veteran Trevor Ariza.

In the NBA, as with all sports, a win is a win. However, Warriors forward Draymond Green feels the Dubbs haven’t played well.

“We haven’t played well, at all,” he shared. “We haven’t put it all together, yet. But it’s like that sometimes. To be up here sitting 2-0 that’s big.”

Houston looks to make up for the two losses at ORACLE in their next two games at home Saturday and Monday.

Follow F.D. Purcell @sportsinthebay_

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Publisher @ May 22, 2015

Antioch Council adopts new drought-water conservation policies, daily fines

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By John Crowder

In response to the current drought, new water conservation measures and penalties were adopted by the Antioch City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, May 12.

According to a staff report submitted by Director of Public Works Ron Bernal, the recommended action was necessary, “In order to meet the requirements of recent restrictions placed on water agencies by Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order B-29-15, and to comply with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Emergency Regulations for Drought Emergency Water Conservation.”

Noting that failure to take action could result in the City paying fines of up to $10,000 per day, Bernal outlined some of the prohibitions for residential water users, including:

  • Watering of outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excessive runoff

  • Watering of outdoor landscapes up to 48 hours after measurable rainfall

  • Watering of outdoor landscapes more than three days per week

  • Watering of outdoor landscapes during the daylight hours of 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

  • Washing paved or other hard-surfaced areas

  • Use of water for non-recirculating decorative fountains

  • Using a hose without an automatic shutoff nozzle

  • Failing to repair a controllable leak of water

Penalties for failure to comply with these, and other prohibitions for non-residential water users, range from $100 per day for the first offense and up to $500 per day for the third.

Only one comment was submitted by an Antioch resident opposing the proposed action, and it was read by Mayor Wade Harper, who then closed the public hearing. With nobody else from the public requesting to speak on the matter, a motion was passed on a 5-0 vote.

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Publisher @ May 21, 2015

Highway 4 Corridor Projects lane closures and traffic information for week of May 16 – 22

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*Revised on May 20, 2015

FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES:

State Route 4:

State Route 4 will be closed in the eastbound direction between the eastbound off ramp and the eastbound on ramp at A Street/Lone Tree Way on Saturday morning from 1:00 am to 5:00 am.

State Route 160:

State Route 160 will be closed in the northbound direction between the State Route 4/State Route 160 connector ramp and Main Street on Saturday morning from 12:00 am to 6:00 am. *State Route 160 will be closed in the northbound direction between the State Route 4/State Route 160 connector ramp and Main Street on Wednesday evening from 10:00 pm

to 4:00 am.

HIGHWAY LANE CLOSURES:

State Route 4:

There will be highway lane closures in the westbound direction of State Route 4 between Railroad Avenue and California Ave. on Tuesday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. There will be highway lane closures in the eastbound direction of State Route 4 between G Street and Hillcrest Avenue on Saturday morning from 12:00 am to 7:00 am.

State Route 160:

There are no highway lane closures of State Route 160 planned for this week.

RAMP CLOSURES:

State Route 4:

The State Route 4 eastbound on ramp at A Street/Lone Tree Way will be closed on Friday (May 15th) evening from 10:00 pm to 8:00 am Saturday morning. Please note: the on ramp will remain open while the adjacent State Route 4 eastbound full freeway closure is in place.

State Route 160:

There are no ramp closures of State Route 160 planned for this week.

For questions or comments please send e-mail to info@4eastcounty.org.

For detour maps, click here: Hwy 4 lane closures 5-16 thru 22-15

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Publisher @ May 20, 2015

New Smart & Final extra! store officially opens in Antioch

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Smart Final Antioch Store Mgr Robert Scholl 1024x682 New Smart & Final extra! store officially opens in Antioch

Smart & Final Antioch Store Manager Robert Scholl cuts the ribbon with members of the Antioch City Council and Antioch Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 to officially open the store. It’s located at 2638 Somersville Road in the Somersville Town Centre.

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Publisher @ May 20, 2015

Warriors rally back to beat Rockets 110-106 in first game of Western Conference Finals

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stephandriley 05 19 15 Warriors rally back to beat Rockets 110 106 in first game of Western Conference Finals

Steph Curry and his daughter Riley, at the press conference following the Warriors Tuesday night playoff victory.  photo by F.D. Purcell

F.D. Purcell

The Antioch Herald

The Babyface Assassin strikes again. It was the MVP vs. his runner-up in Stephen Curry and James Harden. ROARACLE was loud as usual, but Golden State started off slow with Game 1 jitters. Then, when they found their rhythm all systems were go. Curry would finish with 34-points and Harden with 28-points.

I think we finally realized it was the Western Conference Finals” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “Honestly, sometimes with Game 1 in a series, there’s kind of a feeling-out process.”

You play against a team that has a certain style, that first 24 minutes in this series is going to be a little bit different, and it took us a while to kind of figure out the pace,” Curry told The Antioch Herald.

The leagues MVP tallied his league-leading sixth 30-point game of the playoffs and his 11th career postseason 30-point game to add to his game-high 34-points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. On Monday he also added a 2015 BET Awards nomination for Sportsman of the Year.

Houston center Dwight Howard would leave the game in the first half after banging knees with teammate Josh Smith preventing him from running or jumping, he would not return. It is unsure whether he’ll be a go for Thursdays game.

I hope not. We get a day to rest and we will look at it in the morning. We will see how it feels tomorrow,” Howard said afterwards.

The small lineup Kerr implemented worked for Golden State and Shaun Livingston scored 18 from the bench. Forward Klay Thompson who finished the game with 15 points talked about what the smaller lineup provided for the team who they swept 4-0 in the regular season.

“The ability to push the ball in transition and switch up on defense, and we play with great length.” “They’ve obviously gotten better,” Thompson said of the team they swept in the regular season who came back from a 3-1 deficit over the L.A. Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals becoming the ninth team in NBA history to do so.

With a 1-0 lead in the series Curry brought his other leading lady to the press conference, his adorable two-year old daughter Riley who kept reporters laughing with her outspoken nature, telling her father he needed to lower his voice while speaking.

Clearly it was past her bedtime and as most two-year old’s would do she became bored and bolted from the risers heading for the exit as her exasperated father finished up his press conference mumbling, “I gotta go chase behind a two-year old,” as he walked up the aisles.

As Riley came into the press conference with energy it is no doubt the Rockets will come in with the confidence and defense they displayed in Game 1 in Thursdays Game 2.

Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday at ORACLE Arena.

Game Mentionables:

Shaun Livingston scored a playoff-career high 19-points, the most by a Warriors reserve this postseason scoring a half career-high 16-points in the first half.

Draymond Green secured his eight double-double of the playoffs (12th career in the postseason) with 13-points and 12 rebounds to go with eight assists in a postseason career-high 43 minutes.

Festus Ezeli rolled in with playoff season-highs of six points and four rebounds in 11 minutes.

James Harden finished with a team-high 28 points to go with a playoff-career high 11 rebounds and in assists, missing what could have been his second career postseason triple-double by one assist.

Follow F.D. Purchell on Twitter: @sportsinthebay_

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Publisher @ May 20, 2015

Antioch’s Lenard “the KYD” Jackson stars in movie at film festival in June

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Hat to the Back 1024x682 Antiochs Lenard “the KYD” Jackson stars in movie at film festival in June

Lenard “The KYD” Jackson

 

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Publisher @ May 20, 2015