Delta Thunder VII boat races, show on Antioch’s waterfront, this weekend, Sat. & Sun., Oct. 1 & 2

Posted in: Community, Sports | Comments (0)

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Publisher @ September 28, 2016

Letter writer says Harper, Wilson have failed on police, crime

Posted in: Opinion, Letters to the Editor, Opinion | Comments (4)

Editor:

Antioch is in trouble. Mayor Wade Harper and Councilwoman Monica Wilson are self-promoting failures.  They failed in their recent County Supervisor bids and are now running back to Antioch to keep their current elected positions.  They wanted out of Antioch, so let them stay out. Don’t vote for them.

Their impacts haven’t been positive in many ways.  Antioch is no safer since their elections. Their vision and actions for Antioch have turned it into a crime-plagued and increasingly crowded, unsafe community.

Some of Harper’s primary election campaign platforms were to improve Antioch’s public safety. He boasted “The City of Antioch will be a safer city on my watch” and “Stopping crime now starts with …. Wade Harper.”  He hasn’t kept you any safer.

Harper also promised “more police” and “less crime” in his support for more taxes.  What a farce that he has turned out to be. He was a main proponent for passage of the tax.  Same police, similar crime results since. Monica Wilson just went along and has had no solutions either.  Antioch’s police manpower has really not been increased, even with them at the helm, with almost the same number of sworn officers as before.  But, they did give big salary and benefit increases to certain employee groups, instead of using that money to hire more Officers (which they should’ve done), and they continually voted for more crime-contributing, uncontrolled growth.  That hasn’t kept you any safer.

Antioch’s crime rate hasn’t really been reduced. It’s been a misleading dog and pony show when publicly discussed by them and others.  As an example, where are the 20-plus “more” officers that were promised?  And where is the “less crime” they promised?  Nowhere is where.  Antioch’s documented high crime rate is much higher than the documented California and National average crime rates.

Let’s face it, Antioch’s Wade Harper and Monica Wilson are proven failures, and should not be voted for, again. We can do better without them.

Ralph A. Hernandez, Chair

Citizens For Democracy

Antioch

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Publisher @ September 28, 2016

Enjoy family friendly magic and comedy at El Campanil, Saturday, Oct. 1

Posted in: Arts & Entertainment | Comments (1)

ryan-kaneThe Magic & Comedy of Ryan Kane

Saturday, October 1, 2016 8:00 pm

Family Friendly

Ryan Kane is the current San Francisco magic champion, having taken first place when competing against the best magicians in the Bay. Known for his comedic edge, high energy, and original magic, Ryan has performed from New York to Las Vegas and his corporate appearance clients include such prestige names as Microsoft, Intel, and Louis Vuitton.

Ryan began learning magic in 1995 when he was six-years old. He would spend his childhood grasping the fundamentals of this sophisticated and complex craft.  In his early teens, Ryan began using his magic and bright personality to gather audiences on the streets of Old Sacramento. The results of these challenging early performances are evident today in the quick wit and charm he demonstrates as a featured performer at casinos in Reno and at the top tourist destination in San Francisco, Pier 39.

Watch Trailer: Get Tickets: http://www.elcampaniltheatre.com/ryan-kane.html or call (925) 757-9500.

El Campanil Theatre is located at 602 W. Second Street in downtown Antioch.

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Publisher @ September 27, 2016

Grand Opening of Bedford Center Expansion to serve seniors in Antioch, Tues., Oct. 4

Posted in: Community, Seniors | Comments (0)

bedford_grand_opening_flyer

The Bedford Center is celebrating the expansion of their facility and doubling of their capacity. The Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting ceremony will be held on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, from 4:30-6:30 at 1811 C Street, Antioch.

The long held dream of having a dedicated licensed program serving those with mid to late stage Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in east Contra Costa County is now a reality. For over 20 years The Bedford Center has been meeting the varied needs of the community’s most vulnerable members in order keep them vibrant and give their hero caregivers respite.

The community is invited to join in the festivities. The favor of an RSVP is required at http://tinyurl.com/zc7s7bo.

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Publisher @ September 27, 2016

Four school board candidates refuse to participate in Herald forum, answer questions

Posted in: News, Politics & Elections | Comments (3)

Angel Luevano, speaks representing candidate Alonzo Terry, as the other candidates, Fernando Navarro and Crystal Sawyer-White await their turns to answer the question at Friday's forum sponsored by the Antioch Herald.

Angel Luevano, speaks representing appointed Trustee Alonzo Terry, as the other candidates, appointed Trustee Fernando Navarro and challenger Crystal Sawyer-White await their turns to answer the question, while panelist and Associate Publisher Connie Woods looks on and City Clerk Arne Simonsen keeps time, at Friday night’s forum sponsored by the Antioch Herald. photo by Allen Payton

By Connie Woods, Associate Publisher

The Antioch Herald hosted a forum for the Antioch School Board candidates at the City Council Chambers, on Friday evening, September 23rd, to inform the public of their choices for in the upcoming general election.

The twice-rescheduled forum – to accommodate the schedules of a majority of the seven candidates – featured three of the candidates running in November’s election, including  appointed incumbents Fernando Navarro and Alonzo Terry, who was represented by Angel Luevano, and   tutoring business owner Crystal Sawyer-White.  All candidates were invited to the forum and given opportunity to send a surrogate to speak on their behalf, if they could not attend, and to submit answers to the questions emailed to them the Monday prior.

But four candidates, incumbent and Board President Diane Gibson-Gray, former school board members Joy Motts and Gary Hack who had stated they had previous commitments, and news website publisher Mike Burkholder, later refused to attend or answer the emailed questions. They cited a “perceived bias”, claiming that Herald Publisher and Editor Allen Payton had endorsed Navarro and they didn’t think it was fair that their answers would be used as the basis for determining the Herald’s endorsements. But, Payton stated he had not endorsed any candidates and wouldn’t until the publishing of the October issue of the paper.

The videotaped forum included  opportunities for the candidates to ask two questions of their opponents and offer two rebuttals, as well.

Questions of the evening from both the panelist and audience, ranged from the budget and deficit spending to retaining students, increasing graduation rates, and campus safety The event was upbeat, friendly, non-antagonistic, with lots of ideas about what could be done to take Antioch’s educational system forward.

Navarro, a husband, father of two, bilingual and bi-cultural says he can assist with “demographic changes” facing the district. An entrepreneur and business owner of 20 years, he wants to improve education, have safer schools, and higher graduations rates for students. Since his appointment Navarro has had the opportunity to see how the district works, and said he is “critically concerned”.

Crystal Sawyer-White says she has “a new vision that will meet college and career readiness and prepare them [students] for a global economy.”She has lived in Antioch for 12 years, and is a parent of a fourth grader in the district.

“Decrease of student enrollment is not acceptable,” she said. “Antioch has not been transparent.”

“Budget funds have been appeasing to the status quo,” Sawyer-White continued, then mentioned retaining teachers is crucial, and she “will advocate for teachers.”

Luevano, reading Terry’s statement, said he had19 years of service for the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department,  primarily working with youth and a former substitute teacher. The changes he wants are to make decisive action for academic achievement, teacher retention and mutual respect between students and teachers.

The forum can be viewed on TV in October, beginning Sunday, October 2nd on Delta TV (Comcast Channel 24 and AT&T U-verse on Channel 99) and the schedule is as follows: Sundays at 1 pm, Mondays at 11 am and Thursdays at 6 pm.

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Publisher @ September 27, 2016

Three candidates for mayor debate at forum, Harper attacks Herald, walks out in protest

Posted in: News, Politics & Elections | Comments (1)

Candidate for Mayor of Antioch Gil Murillo, far right, gives his opening statement as the other candidates, incumbent Wade Harper, Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock and Dr. Sean Wright await their turn, at the beginning of the forum sponsored by the Antioch Herald on Tuesday night, September 20th. photo by Allen Payton

Candidate for Mayor of Antioch Gil Murillo, far right, gives his opening statement as his opponents, incumbent Mayor Wade Harper, Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock and Dr. Sean Wright await their turn, and panelist Paul Burgarino looks on, and City Clerk Arne Simonsen keeps the time, at the beginning of the forum sponsored by the Antioch Herald on Tuesday night, September 20th. photo by Allen Payton

by Connie Woods, Associate Publisher

The four candidates for Mayor of Antioch gathered in the City Council Chambers to address the Antioch community during the a forum hosted by the Antioch Herald, on Tuesday, September 20th and to share their plans of how they would lead the City of Antioch if elected or re-elected.  Participants included Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchok, Dr. Sean Wright, Gil Murillo and a brief appearance by Mayor Harper who spoke for a few minutes, before exiting the forum. He did not stay to answer questions, although some in the audience had already submitted a few for him.

The candidates were seated in random order and gave their opening statements. Harper was the last to offer his.

“You know, I’m tired of the biased reporting in our city by the Antioch  Herald and I think it’s got to change,” he stated. “No more gotcha politics…I will not participate in a biased forum by the Antioch Herald…I am protesting this event. So, thank you for your time.”

Harper then left the dais and the Council Chambers, and did not participate in the remainder of the forum.

Each of the candidates had the opportunity to answer questions by panelist Paul Burgarino of the County Elections Office, the audience and each other, as well as offer two rebuttals, each.

Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock is a real estate agent, wife, mother of three, and a long term resident of 45 plus years of the city of Antioch who”works, play and pray in our community”.  She said she has built strong relationships in the community and is very excited about new ones. “I look forward to removing the negativity from our city, one issue at a time”. Ogorchock said she is the “best person to be the face of the community”, and that she’s here, all the time and won’t be an evening mayor but will be available at all times for the community.

Regarding the budget, Ogorchock stated that she stays within the city    budget. Although it is thick, and hard to read citizens can call her, the mayor or any council member if they have a question about the budget.

“I’m a team player,” she said and “want my community to be safe.”

Dr. Sean Wright, a local chiropractor and CEO of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce believe it’s time for a leadership change. He’s worked on Economic Development with “great success” and said they’re [the Chamber] is “filling in where the holes have been in the city”.  He’s proud of what the Chamber has accomplished on a budget of $180,000.  He’s worked collaboratively with schools, police department, and economic development.

Wright said he wants to be the mayor “because the city lacks that leadership right now”.  He spoke of the challenges of what Antioch can become and believes it to be “the diamond” of the county. Wright thinks the city budget needs to be simplified for citizens to understand and to know how money is being spent. In closing statements he said there are city problems that are unaddressed and he’s tired of the status quo. Wright spoke of the issues of crime, blight, number of police officers, and that he feels change has not occurred and he’s worked in collaboration with education, police, and regional economic development efforts with great success.

Businessman Gil Murillo wants to improve education, bring higher paying jobs, and start looking at strategic planning for the future of Antioch like how to bring business into our city.  He would like to address planning for the next generation.

“Tomorrow’s economy is here today and if we don’t plan for that today we are going to miss it again,” Murillo stated. Some other important issues that he spoke of were the jobs lost, businesses shut down, and said “we need leadership; someone to be on point,” and to take ownership.

“I can’t give the 40 hour a week that Lori can,” he stated. “But what I can give is the knowledge and expertise that’s necessary for this position.”

The forum can be viewed in its entirety in October, on Delta TV (Comcast Channel 24 and AT&T U-verse on Channel 99), beginning Sunday, October 2nd and the schedule is as follows: Sundays at 5 pm, Thursdays at 2 pm and Fridays at 11 am.

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Publisher @ September 27, 2016

Council candidates debate, Rocha defends record, Wilson a no show at Herald forum

Posted in: News, Politics & Elections | Comments (4)

Antioch City Council candidate Fred Rouse, second from right, answers a question, as his opponents, Lamar Thorpe, Karl Dietzel, Kenny Turnage and incumbent Councilwoman Mary Rocha look on, during the forum sponsored by the Antioch Herald on Tuesday night, September 20.

Antioch City Council candidate Fred Rouse, second from right, answers a question, as his opponents, Lamar Thorpe, Karl Dietzel, Kenny Turnage and incumbent Councilwoman Mary Rocha await their turns to answer, during the forum sponsored by the Antioch Herald on Tuesday night, September 20th. photo by Allen Payton

By Connie Woods, Associate Publisher

Five of the six candidates competing for two seats on the Antioch City Council, faced off Tuesday evening, September 20th in the City Council Chambers to present their ideas on issues facing Antioch and its residents at a forum sponsored by hosted by the Antioch Herald.

Challengers Lamar Thorpe, Karl Dietzel, Kenny Turnage, Fred Rouse and incumbent Mary Rocha participated in the lively debate answering questions presented by panelist Paul Burgarino of the County Elections Office, the audience and each other. The other incumbent in the race, Monica Wilson was a no show.

Some of the questions discussed at the forum included the budget and the hot topic of how measure C and O funds are collected and spent which includes tax monies already received for funding new police officers; how to attract more businesses and jobs to Antioch, and views on new housing development.

Lamar Thorpe, a former member of the Economic Development Commission and university administrator, said he loves being involved with policy.

Councilwoman Mary Rocha, who was recognized as Woman of the Year by the Contra Costa County Women’s Commission, feels crime is the number one issue facing Antioch. She spent much of the time defending her record from the     others’ comments and questions.

Kenny Turnage, is a local construction company owner, Economic Development Commission member, president-elect of the Antioch Rotary Club, and was named 2015 Antioch Citizen of the Year.

Fred Rouse is a member of the City’s Board of Administrative Appeals. He decided to run when the media started referring to Antioch as something that it wasn’t, and wants to make a change.

First-generation American Karl Dietzel has lived in Antioch since 1989 and says he wants his city back. He also says Antioch is number four in the Bay Area as the most dangerous city.

Crime: Thorpe said that at the beginning of Measure C there were 89 sworn police officers, so with an additional 22 officers that were promised, that should have brought that number to 111 sworn police officers, which was not done. Most of the other candidates also agreed that more officers should have been hired with Measure C funding.

New homes and commercial   development: Thorpe stated in bringing companies to Antioch “that the trade-off should be jobs not homes”.

Turnage said that the “city needs to negotiate better with developers,” and he would even like to see some eight-story high rises by the waterfront to encourage businesses to come in.

Dietzel did not support any new housing developments and said that the city needs to take care of the 120,000 residents that are already here.

Rocha supports development and some gated communities. We now have the road systems, she mentioned. Rocha also said she has had the opportunity to bring in subsidized childcare to Antioch, which brings in $50,000 to the annual budget.

Attracting more businesses:  Thorpe said there should be tax incentives, smart growth development, and good quality of life for employers. Dietzel said crime and blight needs to be addressed or no one will come.

Turnage said we should work on perception of the city. Rouse suggested the city identify a need that Antioch can fill.

The forum can be viewed in October, beginning Sunday, October 2nd on Delta TV (Comcast Channel 24 and AT&T U-verse on Channel 99) and the schedule is as follows: Sundays at 7 pm,  Tuesdays at  11 am and Thursdays at 4 pm.

 

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Publisher @ September 27, 2016

Free Senior Resource Fair at Antioch Senior Center in Rivertown, Friday, Sept. 30

Posted in: Community, Rivertown, Seniors | Comments (0)

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Publisher @ September 26, 2016