Antioch Paintball Park now offers low impact paintball

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Publisher @ June 27, 2017

New Rivertown Treasure Chest co-op benefits local non-profits, Grand Opening Sat & Sun, July 1 & 2

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Shoppers enjoy the variety of items at Rivertown Treasure Chest.

By Allen Payton

Another new store has opened in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown, incorporating the area in it’s name: Rivertown Treasure Chest. It’s a co-op that’s co-owned by three ladies, Debbie Blaisure, Toni Lincks and Earlene Lanter and a portion of the sale of some items will benefit three local non-profit organizations.

Blaisure and Lincks bring their retail experience from owning Oddly Unique, just down the street. But, this store was a result of a dream.

“I had a dream of mixing the new and old in a co-op,” Blaisure said. “Johnny Depp came to me in a dream and said to have a treasure chest theme,” she joked.

The tag line says it all – “Something for all ages from all decades,” Blaisure added.

They rent out space in their store to other retailers, who offer a wide variety of items, including clothing, candy and other sweets, plants – including carnivorous types, greeting cards, and gifts.

The three non-profits that the store benefits are Celebrate Antioch Foundation which runs Antioch’s July 4th Celebration and the Holiday Delites in December; An Elderly Wish Foundation which grants wishes to seniors; and Special Haven, also located on G Street, which provides a multi-sensory environment for the benefit and development of children and adults with Special Needs.

Folks can donate their used wood furniture, art, statures, vases and vinyl records and half of the proceeds from the sale of the item will be donated to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Two of the ladies who help manage the store, Naomi Paul and Mary Freeman said the reason they like the store, is it brings “something that downtown Antioch deserves.”

“A little kid just bought something and an adult bought something,” Mary added, supporting the slogan of something for all ages.

Stop by Rivertown Treasure Chest at 306 G St. in Antioch and browse through all the sections to see the interesting items “from all decades.” Learn more by calling 925-238-0090 or visiting www.facebook.com/RivertownTreasureChest.

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Publisher @ June 27, 2017

Jose Canseco returns to Bay Area to play for Pittsburg Diamonds

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Jose Canseco with a young fan during an autograph signing at Winter Chevrolet on Friday, June 23, 2017.

By Jesus Cano

America’s favorite pastime is alive and well in Eastern Contra Costa County. The Pittsburg Diamonds have played at City Park since 2014, and this week welcomed back to the Bay Area, former Major League slugger Jose Canseco, as he spent the weekend of June 23rd with the independent professional baseball team.

Canseco is best known for his tenure with the Oakland Athletics from 1982-1992, where nailed 209 homeruns and 647 RBIs. He and Athletic’s first baseman Mark McGwire formed the Bash Brothers. Along with that, he captured a World Series ring in the 1989 Battle of the Bay that was overshadowed by the infamous Loma Prieta Earthquake.

Canseco is no stranger to the city of Pittsburg, as this is his third year suiting up for the Diamonds. He states that his favorite part of being back in the East Bay is being able to be around the young players the Diamonds house.

“I try to help them out with all aspects of the game,” Canseco said. “A lot of players actually recommend coming out to Pittsburg to play so I’m really excited for this weekend.”

The Diamonds have been part of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs since their inaugural season in 2014 when they were named the Pittsburg Mettle. In 2015 when ownership switched to hands of Khurram Shah, they commenced under the Diamonds brand paying homage to the team that played in the same area back in the 60s.

Shah wants everyone to be aware that Pittsburg is home to a minor league baseball team. Even if he brings Canseco out for a couple games, he hopes to generate life-long fans after this unique experience.

“We’re trying to build a fan base,” Shah said. “We want to see a repeat of people coming to ballpark consistently.”

Pittsburg took two out of the three game series against the Vallejo Admirals during Canseco’s weekend with the team, where the Diamonds improved to 11-9 on the season.

Shah highlights infielder Vinny Guglietti to be one of the top guys on the team. The Connecticut native is batting .420 with five homeruns and 27 RBIs. Wes Wallace is another player that makes a huge impact according to Shah as he is hitting .364 and five homeruns. Shah states Tyler Stirewalt is starting to showcase his pitching ability. Stirewalt has 1.92 ERA so far, this season.

The Diamonds’ next home game is Tuesday night, June 27 at 6:30 p.m., to begin another three-game series also against the Admirals. To learn more about the Diamonds visit www.diamondsproball.com.

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Publisher @ June 26, 2017

A Call to Prayer for Antioch, Saturday, July 1st

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Publisher @ June 25, 2017

Antioch High graduates largest class in six years

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Deontay Currie and Kaeli Cavallo are all smiles as they head to Eells Stadium for the Class of 2017’s graduation commencement on Friday, June 9. Photos by Trine Gallegos / Antioch High School.

Antioch High Student Body President Chelsea Abillano speaks to her classmates.

By Luke Johnson

Associated Student Body President Chelsea Abillano was brought to tears at the end of Antioch High School’s commencement ceremony, when graduates formed the traditional “block A” on the football field.

“It was when I had one of my last encounters with a teacher who made a big impact on my life,” Abillano said.

She was referring to Student Government teacher Sean Taylor who embraced her with a hug while graduates threw their caps into the warm, nighttime sky over Eells Stadium.

“Mr. T was a teacher who always taught life lessons,” Abillano said. “It was always fun and memorable.

Approximately 368 students received their diplomas Friday, June 9. This was the most for AHS since 2011 – the last year before Dozier-Libbey Medical High School started graduating classes in the same district.

Najee Harris with Principal Louie Rocha.

Abillano said in her four years spent on campus she will remember athletes and coaches turning around the school’s athletic program.

When she was in 8th grade the boys’ basketball team finished 0-22, and when she was a freshman the football team went 1-9. However, before she graduated she witnessed the football team win a league championship for the first time in 31 years and the basketball team win a playoff game for the first time in six years. On top of that, the boys’ volleyball team won its first league title in two decades.

The school’s most famous member of the Class of 2017, who helped create some of that sports success, Najee Harris returned from the University of Alabama to walk with his classmates and participate in the commencement ceremonies.

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Publisher @ June 25, 2017

This year’s Relay for Life means something different for one Antioch woman

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Members of the Cruising for a Cure Team at this year’s Relay for Life: Melissa’s daughter Malea, mother Brenda, Aunt Vicky, Melissa and her friend Crystal at this year’s event on Sat., June 24, 2017.

By Allen Payton

The annual Relay for Life fundraiser in Antioch for the American Cancer Society was dedicated to a six-year-old boy, whose nickname is Squishy and was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer when he was just three. During the Opening Ceremonies on Saturday morning it was announced that the Antioch effort had already raised $30,000.

This is Melissa Warren’s third time at the annual 24-hour event. But this year is different, because one year ago today she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, which has spread to her bones. So she’s designated as a fighter, as well as a survivor.

Melissa’s husband Dave, Melissa and daughter Malea “cruising” around the Deer Valley High School track on Saturday, June 24th.

Her aunt Vicky Galloway has been participating in the Relay for years and started the Cruise for a Cure team. Not only do the “cruise” around the track, the effort raises money for her team by organizing an actual sea cruise every year and a half on Carnival Cruise Lines, with the help of Tammy Larsen of Almost There Travel.

Carnival pays a per cabin donation to the Antioch Relay for Life. The last cruise was a Halloween themed cruise on Oct. 30, 2016 and raised $2,430 for Vicky’s team, for this year’s relay.

“The money that’s raised here goes toward helping people in Antioch,” Vicky explained.

Her team’s effort isn’t benefiting Melissa’s battle, directly. But Melissa said “when I first found out I have breast cancer I received a check to help with rent from the American Cancer Society. So, it’s all connected.”

Melissa’s treatment for her cancer has included targeted radiation to her right femur, and just last month a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, at the same time. Melissa said she spent a week in the hospital and is still recovering. She is to have bimonthly scans to check and see if the cancer appears in any other area.

Joining Vicky and Melissa on Saturday were Melissa’s mom, Brenda Adams, and her daughter Malea and friend Crystal and other friends and family. They along with the other teams will be walking on the track until 10 am Sunday morning at the Deer Valley High School football stadium.

If you would like to attend Vicky and Melissa’s cruise to benefit next year’s Relay for Life, the next one is planned for May, 2018. The cruise will be in the Mexican Riviera for seven nights for as little as $677.25 per person. Call Almost There Travel at 925-238-0001 or stop by their office at 506 W. 2nd Street in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown.

Let’s pray for the complete healing for Melissa and other cancer fighters in Antioch.

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Publisher @ June 24, 2017

Dozier Libbey Medical High School says farewell to Class of 2017

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Antioch School Board Vice President Debra Vinson addresses the Dozier-Libbey Medical High School graduating Class of 2017 on Friday, June 9, 2017.

By Allen Payton

The 149 graduates in the Class of 2017 at Antioch’s Dozier-Libbey Medical High School and their families, friends, faculty and staff celebrated their achievement during commencement ceremonies on Friday, June 9. They heard humorous, inspiring and encouraging messages from top classmates, their principal, and a representative of the Board of Trustees

Antioch School Board Vice President Debra Vinson representing the trustees, shared her thoughts and offered encouragement to the graduates.

“Many of you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. I’m on my fourth career. So’ there is hope,” she said to laughter.

Vinson reminded the graduates of the Six Pillars of Character, from the Character Counts program, which is promoted in all Antioch district schools: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. https://charactercounts.org/program-overview/six-pillars/

She also referred to The Four Agreements, from the book by author Don Miguel Ruiz. The first is “Be impeccable with your word.”

“Only speak bright, positive things about your future,” Vinson said. “Don’t Take Things Personally” and “always give your best.”

“You are now the creator of your life,” she continued.

“Keep a list of loyal friends. Make sure your pastor is on that list. It’s OK to ask for prayer,” Vinson shared. “Learn to listen to your heart. It’s now your life. You’re responsible for it.”

She finished by reading the poem, “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” to some laughter from both the graduates and the audience and ended with “Congratulations graduates.”

Dozier-Libbey graduates receive their diplomas, displaying special messages on their caps.

Valedictorian Angela Geronimo, wearing “UCSD” on her cap, where she is college bound, spoke to her classmates about their shared experience.

“The fears, anxieties and mood swings have ceased for now,” she stated. “We all started out…in baggy scrubs.”

Geronimo spoke about the various teachers and what they taught the students and of “juggling AP (Advanced Placement) work with projects after project after project.”

She spoke of Raul Martinez a fellow classmate who had passed away, then lightened the mood by joking about “anxiety attacks and melt downs.”

“We struggled to gain extra credit points,” Geronimo shared, and “Mr. Libby’s depressing documentaries,” eliciting laughter from the grads.

She then thanked “our amazing staff, faculty, family and friends. We appreciate you more than we can think of.”

“We conquered the most difficult school in Antioch, California,” Geronimo declared.

Next to address the graduates was a fellow student, Erron Williams who had a different, interrupted experience at Dozier-Libbey.

“I left Dozier-Libbey in my junior year for a real campus experience,” he shared. “I realized the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

“I’m grateful and proud to be a graduate of Dozier-Libbey,” Williams stated. “The school has taught us to never give up. Never lose hope in who you want to become.”

He thanked the teachers, saying “you’ve made an impact deeply on my life. I see now you are our biggest ally.”

To his fellow grads Williams concluded by saying, “I want you to know you’re absolutely amazing.”

The final speaker was Principal Scott Bergerhouse, sharing his pride in the class.

“Tomorrow is the beginning of a brand, new future,” he stated. “I’m proud to stand before excellence.”

He spoke of the achievements of the students.

“We have three valedictorians and two salutatorians…55 students out of a class of 149 with a 3.5 GPA (Grade Point Average) and above. 26 with a 3.85 and above. And 14 of those 55 with an above 4.0 GPA” and “19 unbelievable students of mastering two languages.”

“You will be leaders of our future,” Bergerhouse continued. “All of you have touched the hearts of the teachers and myself.”

He mentioned a variety of students by name and the memorable things they did.

“Those valuable memories will never be forgotten,” the principal said.

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go to the wilderness of your intuition,” Bergerhouse shared, quoting actor Alan Alda.

“The teachers and staff are proud of each and every one of you,” he concluded.

The graduates were then presented their diplomas as each of their names was read aloud to the cheers from the crowd.

Congratulations to the Dozier-Libbey Medical High School Class of 2017!

 

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Publisher @ June 24, 2017

County Supervisors begin recruitment for interim District Attorney

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

Board seeks input; goal to fill position in September

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors met Friday, June 23, 2017, to determine the process for filling the vacant office of the District Attorney.  When a vacancy occurs in an elective county office, the Board of Supervisors has the responsibility to appoint a successor to serve for the duration of the unexpired term.   The June 14, 2017 resignation of Mark Peterson from the position of District Attorney created a vacancy that would extend until the current term of office expires on January 7, 2019.  The next election for the District Attorney will take place in June of 2018, with a potential runoff election in November of 2018.

The Office of District Attorney is provided in the State Constitution.  The District Attorney represents the people of the County in prosecuting all public offenses in the Superior Courts, including all felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile criminal offenses, and certain civil offenses, including high-tech crimes, environmental crimes, and many instances of fraud.

Although the Board of Supervisors has discretion in how to fill the position, there are some minimum requirements for the job.   To qualify, a candidate must be at least 18 years old, a California citizen, a registered voter in Contra Costa County at the time of appointment, and admitted to practice law in the California Supreme Court.   The Board of Supervisors is seeking candidates with experience in criminal law, familiarity with criminal justice issues in California, and the ability to effectively manage a County department with an annual budget of $19.5 million and more than 200 employees.

All applicants must apply online at www.cccounty.us/hr and submit the information as indicated on the job announcement no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2017.  NOTE that a background investigation/fingerprint exam will be conducted on all finalists, and a permanent job offer is additionally contingent upon the successful completion of a thorough background investigation, which will include a criminal records investigation and an economic disclosure (FPPC Form 700).

The legislature does not specify a deadline for making an appointment like this, but according to the California Attorney General, the appointment should be made within a “reasonable time.”   With applications due July 21, the Board of Supervisors will select finalists in early August.  The Board of Supervisors will host a moderated candidate forum at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.  Members of the public will be invited to submit questions for consideration that may be asked of the finalist candidates.   The Board will interview those candidates during a public meeting on Tuesday, September 12, with the goal of making a selection in September as well.

The June 23 meeting of the Board of Supervisors is available online in the video library found on the County’s homepage at www.ContraCosta.CA.gov.   It will also be replayed in its entirety on Sunday, June 25, at 6:00 p.m., Monday, June 26, at 5:00 p.m., and Thursday, June 29, at 6:00 p.m. on Contra Costa Television (CCTV.) CCTV can be viewed on Comcast Channel 27, Wave Channel 32, and AT&T U-Verse on Channel 99.

 

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Publisher @ June 24, 2017