Annual Fund A Wish drawing to benefit An Elderly Wish Foundation

Posted in: Community, Seniors | Comments (0)

$100 From You Makes a Senior’s Wish Come True.

It’s truly a win-win situation. Tickets on sale, now.

First Place Winner receives $1,000, 2nd Place – $500 and 3rd Place – $250.

Drawing will be held on October 10, 2019 during a reception from 5:30-7:30 pm at TreVista Antioch, 3950 Lone Tree Way.

Need not be present to win. For tickets: mail info@elderlywish.org or pay online at www.elderlywish.org.

Makíng Wíshes Come True for Seniors 50 & Over who have a life-threatening or chronic illness in Contra Costa County.

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Publisher @ August 22, 2019

Antioch High School wins award for exceptional career-focused education program

Posted in: News, Education, Youth | Comments (0)

Antioch High School’s Career Choices Silver Medal.

Antioch High School is being recognized with a Career Choices Silver Medal for its outstanding education program promoting college and career readiness.

As a Career Choices Medal School, Antioch High School is among the top five percent of schools across the nation that have exemplified an eagerness to promote student success with the Career Choices series curriculum. The school’s Get Focused…Stay Focused! efforts, alongside My10yearPlan.com, help students plot achievable 10-year plans for their future education and career goals.

Mindy Bingham, author of the Career Choices series, said being awarded a Career Choices Medal is a great accomplishment that requires solid leadership, top-notch teachers and a lot of hard work.

“After nearly 30 years, we know what it takes to implement a program that will result in increased student success and improved college and career readiness,” Bingham said. “Many of the schools we work with are committed to that level of excellence, and that is reflected in their careful planning, intentional implementation of our materials and dedication to ongoing improvement.”

The career-focused course at Antioch High School is administered to freshmen and sophomores, and it has been able to help students from all different backgrounds plan for their future, teacher Nick Wisley said. Specifically, one student who was struggling at Antioch High School was able to improve his grades after learning what kinds of careers were attainable if he attended higher education, Wisley said.

“His grades turned around, and he decided he wanted to continue to go to school after that moment,” Wisley said. “That’s what I love about this course. It’s teaching life.”

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Publisher @ August 20, 2019

Steak Night at Lone Tree Golf & Event Center Friday, Aug. 23

Posted in: Dining | Comments (0)

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Publisher @ August 20, 2019

Antioch towing company owner to be inducted into International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame

Posted in: News, Business, People | Comments (1)

Perry Shusta. Photo from his Facebook page.

The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee announced that it has selected seven recognized towing industry professionals for induction into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame, Class of 2019.

The 2019 induction ceremony, which celebrates its 33rd year, will honor:

  • Perry Shusta, owner of Arrowhead Towing & Recovery, Antioch, California, previously president of the California Tow Truck Association, who is a heavy-duty recovery instructor.
  • Quinn Piening, head of Central Tow & Transport in Fremont, California, president of the California Tow Truck Association.
  • John Coupland of Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom, who has spent a lifetime in the towing and recovery field, earning a Britannia Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
  • Michael Cherry, Land O’ Lakes, Florida, a towing and recovery equipment expert formerly associated with Jerr-Dan Corp.
  • Jamie Davis, Hope, British Columbia, Canada, the face of the Discovery Channel TV show Highway Thru Hell, about heavy-duty rescue along the Coquihalla Highway.
  • George Kuntz of Bismarck, North Dakota, owner of Ace 24 Hour Towing and Berg’s Towing and Crane Service, who has nearly 60 years of industry service.
  • Glenn Landau of Fryer’s Towing Service in Daytona Beach, Florida, president of the Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida.

Each inductee was nominated by members of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum for their many contributions to the towing and recovery industry, as well as service to their communities. Criteria for selection include towing equipment product innovation, exemplary dedication, industry leadership and professional achievement.

“Our Hall of Fame is not about single events but about celebrating those who have worked hard to support and grow our industry’s professionalism,” says Bill Gratzianna, president of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. “This year’s group of inductees is no exception, as they are known for their work on behalf of the industry and their leadership inside and outside of towing and recovery.”

The Class of 2019 will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held on October 12, 2019, at the Chattanoogan Hotel in Chattanooga. A full weekend of activities is planned to celebrate the Class of 2019. For more information on the induction ceremony visit towingmuseum.com.

About ITRHFM

The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, houses an array of exhibits showcasing the history of the towing and recovery industry. The rotating collection includes early equipment by Manley, Holmes, Vulcan and Weaver. The Museum includes a theater, a library and a gift shop. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have significantly advanced the industry. The Wall of the Fallen Memorial, located on the grounds of the Museum, is dedicated to towing operators who have died in the line of service. The ITRHFM Survivor Fund assists the families of the men and women who have died in the line of service by providing a uniform financial gift at the time of their loss. ITRHFM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and accepts donations for its programs and operations from individuals, corporations and groups.

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Publisher @ August 19, 2019

Antioch doctor working to reduce childhood obesity one family at a time

Posted in: News, Children & Families, Health | Comments (0)

Richard D Singer, M.D. Photo by Sutter Delta.

New Program Aims to Help East Contra Costa County Kids Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

By Meg Walker, Sutter Health

Making sure kids eat a balanced diet and maintain a proper weight can be a difficult task. Especially if the child is overweight, obese or a picky eater.

In Contra Costa County the problem is especially acute. Kidsdata.org, a program at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, compiled data in 2018 by grade level and found that in the county 36.1 percent of fifth graders, 35.7 percent of seventh graders and 33.4 percent of ninth graders are overweight or obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control, overweight or obese children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults, placing them at risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes later in life. They are also more prone to develop stress, sadness, and low self-esteem.

Richard Singer, M.D., a pediatrician with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF) based in Brentwood, had become increasingly concerned about the overweight children he sees in his practice and the lack of nutritional counseling services available in eastern Contra Costa County.

So, after careful planning, Dr. Singer recently started a pediatric weight management program at outpatient pediatric offices in Antioch and Brentwood. As part of the program, a registered dietician on the staff at Sutter Delta Medical Center sees patients one day a week at an SEBMF care center.

“There is an epidemic of childhood obesity and all of the complications associated with obesity,” Dr. Singer said. “Our community needs resources to help intervene and improve the quality of life of these children. The pediatric dietician will help parents and their children make better food choices as well as providing ongoing support and helping to monitor their progress.”

In June, Elika Vargas, a registered dietitian at Sutter Delta Medical Center, began meeting with parents and their children on Mondays, either in the SEBMF primary care clinic in Antioch or Brentwood. Children from 2 to 18 years of age are referred to her by primary care physicians.

Vargas reviews the child’s medical history and assesses the child’s eating patterns. Her goal is not to put the child on a diet but to guide the child and the parents on how to eat healthy meals. She also asks the parents and child about physical activity, as lack of exercise contributes significantly to being overweight or obese. Follow-up care is important to assess adherence to nutrition recommendations and weight trends.

“The idea is to promote a healthy lifestyle and gradual weight loss, and to teach families about nutrition so they can make these decisions on their own,” Vargas said. “I let them know why they should be eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables to get the right nutrition.”

Many barriers to healthy eating exist. The availability of convenience and processed foods, larger portion sizes and lack of physical activity are some of the contributors to obesity. Families are busy and eating fast food may be easier than preparing a balanced meal.

 

It can be difficult to get children to eat fruits and vegetables. Parents have to be willing to be role models by following their own healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and plenty of exercise.

Some of her advice to parents on how to help children adopt a healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Cut out sugary desserts and juices or try fruit-infused water.
  • Avoid processed and convenience foods. Cook meals at home so children are more likely to have enough vegetables and whole grains.
  • Encourage kids to get involved in preparing meals or in helping with grocery shopping.
  • Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables with different colors, flavors and textures.

“With kids you have to offer healthy choices such as fruit and vegetables multiple times,” Vargas said. “It’s persistence and communication.”

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Publisher @ August 16, 2019

Former Dozier-Libbey principal, Scott Bergerhouse moves to new role at Antioch School District offices

Posted in: News, Education, People | Comments (0)

New AUSD Director of Student Support Services, Scott Bergerhouse in his new office. Photo courtesy of AUSD.

Settles in as Director of Student Support Services.

By Charleen Earley

Scott Bergerhouse grew up attending Antioch schools before taking a teaching position at Park Middle School following college. After 35 years serving thousands of AUSD students as a teacher, vice principal and principal, – most recently for Dozier-Libbey Medical High School – it is rare for Bergerhouse to go anywhere in the community without running into a former student, parent, or colleague.

Bergerhouse’s work has also impacted current teachers and principals in the District including John Jimno, Principal of Park Middle School. “Mr. Bergerhouse was my sixth grade teacher at Park and later my Vice Principal at Antioch High School.” Although Mr. Jimno has many fond memories of Scott, he recalls one incident in particular that impacted him. “I only got in trouble one time in school and I had to go see Mr. Bergerhouse who was then my Vice Principal. I remembered being scared about what my consequence would be. But rather than suspend me or assign me to Saturday School, Scott talked me into becoming a camp counselor for fifth grade students that summer.”

“He taught me something that day that I will never forget and that helped shape the administrator I am today,” says Jimno. “You have people learn more when they do something that makes them grow, that shows that you believe in them. That day Scott showed that he saw something different in me and I try to do the same when students are sent to my office.”

Bergerhouse says he is excited about his new position as Director of Student Support Services.

“I was fortunate enough to work in this position for two months this past year,” he saidd. “I loved it because I love finding solutions that work for students and families.”

“I also love working with health and wellness and mental health supports, because that’s what some kids certainly need,” Bergerhouse added. “The tiered interventions are what truly support students and their variety of needs.”

Born in Arkansas City, Kansas, Bergerhouse moved to California in 1965. He’s the father of Nicholas, age 34, and Carly, age 23, and the proud grandfather of Kailiana Joy, age 6.

“My parents still live in the same house in Antioch that I was raised in,” said Bergerhouse, who currently lives in Discovery Bay with his Chihuahua named Cody. “I am a product of the Antioch Unified School District.”

Education, he says, is all about supporting students.

“It’s about playing an integral role in students’ lives to help them build the confidence and commitment to survive in a challenging society,” said Bergerhouse. “Not a day goes by that I have not been rewarded in some way from a student’s story, a student’s compliment to a teacher, a handshake, etc. I would never want anything more than that.”

“Education has been the best career that I could ever have imagined,” he added. “The lasting friendships, positive relationships and the unwavering commitment to students are things that are so important to me.”

His educational career includes attending Los Medanos College for one year, followed by a baseball scholarship to the University of Nevada, Reno, then onto Southern Utah State University, graduating with a BS in education.

“I taught school for one year in Utah before returning to California,” he said. “I received my administrative degree at California State University, Hayward.”

Growing up, however, Bergerhouse had a more glamorous plan for his life.

“When I was younger, I wanted to be a professional baseball player until my father influenced me that a ‘Plan B’ was imperative,” he said. “The best thing I ever did was following that advice.”
In his new role as Director of Student Support Services, Bergerhouse said some of his duties will include responding to school emergency calls, working with administrators to help provide support for students, keeping lines of communication open with all school leaders, and visiting schools to provide support.”

“Other duties will include overseeing Strategic Threat Management’s two officers; providing support for schools; producing monthly suspension and attendance data for all schools; overseeing the District nurse and counselors, as well as working with various support programs,” he said.
When he’s not working, Bergerhouse spends his time outdoors.

“I love to play golf, even though I’m not very good! I enjoy spending time with my parents and siblings, and I love the ocean and being around water,” he said.

He also spends his time volunteering.

“I have been the President of Delta Advocacy Foundation for approximately 15 years, helping individuals and families through short-term financial difficulties throughout East Contra Costa County,” he said. “This would also include situationally impoverished situations. This has been very rewarding, and I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a wonderful board of community leaders working toward truly helping to support individuals and families.”

With 35 years working in education, Bergerhouse is no stranger to an eclectic array of jobs along the way.

“I was a custodian during the summer during my first year teaching. I was a lunchroom monitor during college. I also worked on a factory assembly line producing onion and tomato fiber drums,” he said. “I mopped floors at a sausage shop and laundry mat. I worked for $2 an hour in a print shop. I also worked on a loading dock for Sears, the tomato fields picking tomatoes, I worked at SkyWest Airlines directing planes as they were taxiing down the runway. I even worked for AVIS car rental!”

He said health, happiness and enjoying what life brings, are the top three, most important things in his life.

Confidence in oneself, he feels, is also essential.

“My mantra aligns with a quote from Henry Ford,” he said. “‘If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.’”

There are two words, he says, that he uses to describe himself.

“Personable and approachable,” said Bergerhouse. “People and positive relationships are important to me.”

Republished with permission of AUSD. Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Publisher @ August 16, 2019

Kaiser Permanent responds to strike vote by SEIU United Healthcare Workers

Posted in: News, Health, Labor & Unions | Comments (3)

In response to the vote to strike by the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers (see related article), John Nelson, Vice President, Communications, Kaiser Permanente issued the following statement:

Kaiser Permanente and SEIU-UHW have been working together toward a mutually beneficial agreement as part of the national bargaining with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions that began in April. Unfortunately, UHW leadership has decided to use the threat of a strike as a bargaining tactic, designed to divide employees and mischaracterize Kaiser Permanente’s position, even though most of the contracts don’t expire until October.

We believe the result of the strike vote reflects obviously misleading ballot questions used by the union:

  • “I vote YES to authorize our bargaining team to call for a strike to protest Kaiser’s illegal behavior and unfair labor practices and to show my support for a contract with good raises, no take-aways and a ban on subcontracting.”
  • “I vote NO and am willing to accept a contract that increases our medical costs, cuts our pensions and retiree medical benefits, offers lower pay scales and raises that are less for Oregon and Washington than California.”

To be clear, Kaiser Permanente has presented a contract proposal that would provide annual pay increases that would keep our employees compensated higher than market averages and maintain excellent benefits. Contrary to the union’s claims, there are no pay cuts and no changes to our employees’ defined pension benefit, under our proposal.

It is important to understand that a strike vote does not mean that a strike is imminent, although it does place Kaiser Permanente in the position of having to spend millions of dollars preparing for the threat of a strike event. Our first priority is always continuity of care for our patients and members.

SEIU-UHW leadership is more interested in a power play to position themselves vis a vis other Kaiser Permanente unions – rather than focusing on what is best for their membership.  At a time when we are working hard to keep our care affordable, the Coalition’s demands are not fair to our members and the communities we serve. Coalition-represented employees are already compensated 23% above market rates—we pay well and we have markets where our wage rates are challenging our ability to be affordable. The Coalition’s proposal would actually increase our wages on average 32% above the market over the next five years, adding a billion dollars to our labor costs.

Despite the union leadership’s disruptive tactics, we are hopeful that our employees will value our proposal and SEIU-UHW and the other Coalition unions will move forward with us to reach a new agreement. Our goal is to continue to make Kaiser Permanente a great place to give and receive care.

Proposed Contract Offer

Kaiser Permanente’s bargaining proposal would provide employees with the following best-in-class conditions:

  • Solid wage increases. The average salary of Coalition-represented employees is already higher than market averages. Mindful of our goal to improve the affordability of health care and engage our employees in the effort, the current proposal provides guaranteed wage increases across the board each year through 2022 of 3% each year in Northern and Southern California.
  • Opportunities for new hires. Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition are proposing a $40 million Workforce Development Fund and creation of new-hire training positions, all part of the solution to address the national shortage of health care workers and help develop the next generation of unionized workers in health care.
  • Retirement security. The proposal preserves the existing defined pension plan along with other strong retirement benefits.
  • Career mobility. The proposal includes a more robust tuition reimbursement program for employees that allows more funds to be used for travel.
  • Affordable health care. The proposal includes a pharmacy utilization approach that incents employees to take greater responsibility for their health by rewarding them for increasing their use of mail-order prescriptions.

Just last year SEIU-UHW touted what it described as “strong wages and benefits” in the agreement it reached with Dignity Health, which included lower wage increases (13% over 5 years plus a one-time 1% bonus) than being offered by Kaiser Permanente, and only $2.5 million for workforce development, as compared to $40 million in Kaiser Permanente’s current proposal. (Source: SEIU-UHW press release, March 2018, http://www.seiu-uhw.org/archives/26114)

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Publisher @ August 14, 2019

Falafel Town – House of Mediterranean opens in Antioch, fulfills American dream

Posted in: Dining | Comments (0)

Falafel Town is located in the Raley’s Shopping Center on Lone Tree Way.

Chef Khaldoon Al Omari prepares a tasty chicken shawarma wrap.

By Allen Payton

Chef Khaldoon Al-Omari has been in the restaurant business and delighting Bay Area residents with his Middle East and Mediterranean cuisine for almost two decades. He opened his newest fast food restaurant, Falafel Town House of Mediterranean, in Antioch in July. Why?

“Because there’s not another Mediterranean restaurant in the area,” he said. “And for the opportunity to grow my business.”

A native of Jordan, in 2002 Khaldoon came to California to visit a cousin who worked in the restaurant industry. He had a dream of a better life and greater opportunity, so he   decided to stay and in 2009 Khaldoon became a U.S. citizen.

He has worked on-site in corporate dining at Google and LinkedIn, where they served as many as 500 people a day. Then, while working as a chef at a   Fremont restaurant he met his wife, Cathy, who was a customer. They     married and have twin daughters.

“Customers told me I should open my own place,” he shared. So, he did.

Khaldoon’s recipes and preparation are authentic, serving dishes he learned to cook as a teenager. His repeat customers will tell you that his love of food and consistency is what keeps them coming back. I agree. I’ve eaten there three times, already.

They offer a wide variety of menu choices, including falafel, of course, in wraps or plates. Plus, shawarma wraps and plates with choice of chicken, chicken salad, or lamb salad. Shish     kabob plates are also available, as are Philly Cheesesteaks and gyros, too. You can also have a burger and baklava.

Falafel Town is open every day from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Stop by and see Chef Khaldoon and enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean at 3712 Lone Tree Way Suite C in Antioch. He will welcome you with a warm heart and his cheerful   personality. Or call (925) 350-0159.

“We’re excited to be here and enjoy all our new customers,” Khaldoon shared. “We look forward to meeting and serving more.”

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Publisher @ August 14, 2019