Posted in: Police & Crime | Comments (0)
By Acting Sergeant Mortimer, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau
On Monday, October 27, 2014 at approximately 3:00 PM, Antioch Police Department patrol officers responded to a residence in the 4600 block of Imperial Street on a report of a possible marijuana grow house. While on scene, patrol officers
found 39-year-old Lam Doan and 41-year-old Phong Ly, both San Jose residents, fleeing from the residence. Officers arrested Doan and Ly nearby and found the house was completely converted into an illicit, marijuana cultivation operation. Investigators were called and ultimately seized approximately 590 marijuana plants from the home.
The case is still being investigated by the Antioch Police Department’s Special Operations Unit.
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Colley with the Antioch Police Department at (925)779-6922. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.
Publisher @ October 30, 2014
Posted in: News | Comments (0)
By John Crowder
Questions and answers on law and order dominated the proceedings at the October 28 meeting of the Antioch City Council. Several residents spoke during the time set aside for public comments, most addressing student violence, both in and out of local schools. A few of the speakers who addressed the council had also spoken at the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) board meeting that took place last week. In addition, the council heard a report on the status of Measure C, and actions being taken to stem the violence at Deer Valley Plaza (DVP).
Comments generally followed two themes. One was that innocent students, and even adults, are being bullied, harassed, and are not being afforded adequate protection, from violent students who are out of control. The other theme was that the students who are acting out and causing the violence need the help of the community in order to redirect their actions. Some speakers touched on both themes.
Gil Murillo, who called for the removal of Principal Ken Gardner from Deer Valley High School (DVHS) at the last two AUSD board meetings due to a lack of confidence in his leadership, was the first to address the issue of student violence. “I’m here again to talk about the safety for our kids in the schools. It’s really hard to see 8-year old, 12-year old kids, being fearful of going to school,” he said. After acknowledging that the council was, “working on some programs with the school district,” he said, “but we really need some results sooner [rather] than later.” He said some kids were so scared that they were even dropping out of middle school. “I plead [with] you to visit a school board meeting,” he concluded, “your words speak louder than mine.”
Dorothy Marshall spoke after Murillo, saying she came forward because she was, “really concerned about our community.” Referencing DVHS, she said, “We have quite a few problems,” and went on to call for community help to resolve them. She said she sees students, “shooting dice, smoking marijuana, fighting,” and that, “they need to be introduced to programs that enlighten and enrich them.” With the police there, she said, “We’re just filling the jails with the students [who do] not have to go there if they’re shown the love and help they need.” She also said, “The mayor can’t do it by himself, we need help from everyone.” She volunteered her time to help, saying senior citizens, of which she is one, have a lot to offer, and could teach canning and quilting, among other skills, in order to help both the senior citizens and the troubled students feel useful.
Cindy Carter-Hodges said, “I’m here as a concerned citizen about my kids, they’re being bullied. There’s a serious problem going on.” “My child’s safety is in jeopardy each time I send her to school, and it seems like the officials at school, basically aren’t concerned,” she continued. “There is a mob of girls that continue to bully my daughter,” she said, referencing problems at Black Diamond Middle School (BDMS). “I don’t feel like the school district or the police department is really doing anything to resolve this issue,” she concluded, “and each day it’s getting worse.”
Victoria Lenihan concurred with Carter-Hodges, referring to an attack she said took place at Black Diamond on September 26 by a girl who had previously been expelled from another school.
“[BDMS administrative staff] pulled my daughter…out of the last period of school for three days, and said, ‘your daughter’s not safe, you need to come pick her up,’” Lenihan said. “I said, ‘my daughter can’t miss school each day, for a girl that has been expelled. This isn’t fair.’” She also said that on October 26, when she went to pick up her daughter at school, “we were attacked by 50 children.”
Lenihan said the children from Black Diamond have even come to her house and tried to kick down the door, that some have been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon for throwing rocks at her head, and that some of the mothers of these students have come to her house and threatened her life, and the lives of her children, and continue to do so over social media. She also said that the school had refused to honor restraining orders that had been issued.
“These schools have let down me and my children. I don’t know what else to do,” she added.
Mayor Harper responded to Lenihan, asking her to give her information to Captain Tammany Brooks, of the Antioch Police Department (APD), who was in the audience, waiting to give a presentation to the council. Harper also called for the community to come together to deal with the violence issue.
“We’re in this together guys,” he said, “we’ve got to work these problems out together.”
Jeffery Swietlik, a teacher at DVHS, was more positive about the matter than other speakers.
“These are good kids,” he said. “These students need a lot of love. I’m not excusing in any way, some of the behavior that’s happened inside Taco Bell and McDonald’s, it’s not excusable, but it is forgivable. I ask everyone to bear in mind the maturation of our children is the highest priorit.”
Other speakers also spoke on the two themes, some decrying the lack of safety at the schools, and others calling for more community involvement to help troubled students. One speaker, Velma Wilson, said that she had personally seen parents drop their kids off at DVP in order to start fights. “These are parents that are letting their kids fight like they are banshees,” she said.
Mayor Harper addressed the violence during the time set aside for Mayor’s Comments, saying there had been a recent meeting with fourteen people participating to address the issues at and around DVHS and DVP in particular. He again called for the community to come together to deal with the problem. Harper relayed how he has been spending time at DVP engaging students.
Measure C Status Report
At the conclusion of his remarks, Harper said that Captain Brooks would be giving a presentation on the status of Measure C. Harper also said that a lot of the information people had been receiving recently about the measure were, “flat out lies.”
Captain Brooks and Michelle Fitzer, Administrative Services Director, provided the Measure C status report.
After explaining that Measure C is a half-cent sales tax, Fitzer said that collections of receipts only started in April of this year. The measure is expected to generate $4.3 million in general fund revenue annually, and there is a citizen’s oversight committee that has been meeting regularly to ensure that the money collected is spent only on police services and code enforcement.
Fitzer said that 100% of the anticipated revenue is allocated to police and code enforcement. As of October 14, about $1.7 million has been collected (about six months worth of collections).
Fitzer said that as of October 15, one additional contract Code Enforcement Officer has been hired. From October 2013 to October 2014, police department staffing has increased by almost 20%. Sworn Police Officers actual headcount increased from 76 to 91, while total police department staffing increased from 97 to 116.
“We are recruiting as quickly as we can,” Fitzer said. The budgeted targets of Sworn Officer staffing are 97 by June 30, 2015, and 104 by June 30, 2016. Five additional new Officers are in process to be hired in November.” But, she said, with reference to people who question why it is taking so long to get additional Officers, “We cannot make people apply, and we cannot stop people from leaving.”
Fitzer also told the council that the state had recently provided a grant to help fund five additional Officers, and APD is doing continuous recruitment.
With respect to crime statistics, she said that, from January to September, 2014, compared to the same period last year, violent crime is down 9.8%.
In response to a question by council member Monica Wilson, Fitzer said that Antioch received its first check for Measure C funds in June, and it wasn’t until September that the full allotment began to be received.
Mayor Pro Tem Mary Rocha asked when traffic patrols would begin again. Brooks said the Chief would make that determination for such special programs. Brooks also said three priorities of Chief Cantando were, “areas with increased violent crime, schools, and traffic.”
Council member Tony Tiscareno pointed out that, “a good number of officers were hired over the last few months.”
Mayor Harper noted that city crime rankings always run a year behind, and that current ratings reflect data from before implementation of Measure C.
Brooks also noted the success of specialized details in removing criminals from the street.
Brooks specifically addressed the problems that have been occurring at DVP. He said that representatives of several groups, including Probation, the district attorney’s office, AUSD, the school board, APD, and DVP management, have all been meeting to resolve problems at the Plaza.
Brooks said that, from the police department perspective, they are looking at “enforcement actions that can be taken. We are responding on a daily basis, when calls for service allow, and providing security for the area, and taking a zero tolerance approach to any criminal activity that occurs. We’ve also streamlined the process of reporting people that engage in criminal activity, both to the D.A.’s office and to Juvenile Probation.” He said other steps included Juvenile Probation looking into getting a “stay-away order,” from the plaza, as part of their stipulation if a person is on current probation. DVP management is looking to increase and improve security and upgrade their video surveillance system. The school district has talked about after-school programs, conflict resolution groups responding out to the school, and educating and informing parents as to the problems that are occurring.
The next city council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 13, 2014. The meeting was rescheduled from the Tuesday of that week so that it would not conflict with Veteran’s Day. Meetings are held in the Antioch City Council chambers, 200 H Street, and begin at 7:00 p.m.
Publisher @ October 30, 2014
Posted in: Police & Crime | Comments (0)
By Acting Sgt. Mortimer Antioch Police Investigations Bureau
On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 11:00 AM, the Antioch Police Department conducted an undercover operation at the Massage Center massage parlor in the 2400 block of Sycamore Drive. During the operation, an undercover officer paid for a massage and was solicited by 49-year-old Antioch resident Shuping Gao, during the massage, to pay for sexual acts. Gao was arrested on the prostitution charge and was sent to the Contra Costa County jail.
The undercover operation was conducted after receiving complaints regarding the suspicious activity at the business as well as advertisements from the business on local internet escort sites.
The investigation is ongoing, Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Acting Sgt. Mortimer with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6941. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.
Publisher @ October 30, 2014
Posted in: News, Sports, Transportation | Comments (0)
BART is gearing up to carry hundreds of thousands of baseball fans to downtown San Francisco on Friday, October 31 to celebrate the Giants World Series Championship. BART will run its rush hour service all day–using every available train possible. To ensure that everyone can get home safely, trains will run until 2AM. Trains to and from the city will be at maximum length and frequency.
About 100 extra BART employees in yellow vests will be stationed throughout the system to help with crowd control and to assist passengers. BART Police will have extra patrols and extra train technicians were also on hand just in case. Ticket sales tables will be set up at Fremont, Dublin, Bay Point and Millbrae stations to help speed up ticket purchases.
Large crowds are expected and passengers should anticipate long lines and crowded trains. BART will have additional staff on hand to help customers who need assistance and offer crowd control. BART officials are urging fans to buy their round-trip tickets or load up their Clipper® cards before Friday’s ticker tape parade in San Francisco.
BART wants everyone to have fun and get to the parade safely. New riders need to know that everyone who rides BART needs a BART ticket or Clipper card to enter the system.
Here are other Giants parade day tips:
o Load your Clipper card with extra value or, if buying a BART ticket, purchase a round trip ticket before parade day.
o Avoid peak commute hours (6AM-9AM and 4PM-6PM).
o If possible, leave your bike at home or double lock your bike at the station. Trains will be very crowded.
o Allow extra time to get to San Francisco before the parade begins at 12 Noon.
o Parking rules and restrictions will be enforced. Consider getting to the station by alternative means such as carpooling, walking, biking (and parking your bike at the station) or taking a bus, as parking lots will fill up very early. Do not park in permit spaces if you don’t have a permit. (Even if you have a reserved space, we cannot guarantee eager fans won’t park there—we will be ticketing).
o Plan your trip using the BART QuickPlanner but for the most accurate information about the added service, use Real Time Departures.
o You can get automated BART Service Advisories (BSA) on your phone. BART offers both email and text options. To sign up for BSAs, please visit us at www.bart.gov/alerts.
o For on-demand service information, you can use our mobile site m.bart.gov or request BART real time departures, service advisories and more via text message. To get started text “BART go” to 468311 or jump right in and text “BART” + your station name. We’ll text you back in seconds. Follow us on Twitter @sfbart for news or @sfbartalert for automated service advisories.
- See more at: http://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2014/news20141030#sthash.TcFPJYbI.dpuf
Publisher @ October 30, 2014
Posted in: News, Politics & Elections | Comments (2)
Will use funds to hire more police, instead
By Allen Payton
In a news release on Wednesday, October 29th, candidate for the Antioch City Council in the November election, Lori Ogorchock stated, that she opposes the City Council’s unanimous decision to spend more than a third of the funds from Measure O, if passed, to eliminate Furlough Fridays. Instead, she will spend those funds to hire more police to help make Antioch safer, if elected.
During the September 23rd City Council meeting, the Antioch City Council, on a 4-0 vote, approved recommendations from the city staff, to spend $800,000 each year of the annual estimated $2.27 million from Measure O, to return city staff to a five-day work week.
“I will vote to spend those funds to hire additional police officers, if I’m elected,” Ogorchock stated. “To spend over a third of Measure O’s funds on anything but police to reduce crime in Antioch, is just irresponsible.”
According to the staff report:
If Measure O passes and provides $2.27 million in additional annual funding, staff recommends the following spending priorities:
Between January 2015 and the end of Fiscal Year 2015-16, use approximately $800,000 for the elimination of “Furlough Fridays” so that City Hall, Police Department reception, and the Public Works office can once again be open to the public for a five day work week. All field staff would also return to 40 hour operations. When implemented in 2009, the furlough program was intended to be a temporary fiscal solution to the downturn in the economy, not an indefinite service reduction to the public. Although a five day work week would be implemented, restoration of afternoon counter hours in Community Development and the Police Department will be dependent upon staffing resources. This will be an ongoing cost.
“If elected, I will work with the Mayor and the rest of the city council to reverse that decision and do what the people want the Council to do with the additional tax revenue generated by Measure O,” she added. “That’s to spend the majority of it to hire more police officers to fight crime.”
A longtime Antioch resident, Ogorchock is a Realtor, a former Police Reserve Officer and graduate of the Police Academy. This is her first campaign for public office. For more information about Lori or her campaign, visit www.LoriO4Antioch.com or call (925) 628-7764.
She is one of seven remaining candidates in the race for two seats on the City Council in next Tuesday’s election. One of the eight candidates, Steven Bado, whose name will still appear on the ballot, dropped out of the race on Sunday and endorsed Ogorchock for elction.
Publisher @ October 30, 2014
Posted in: Business, Community, Health, Recreation | Comments (0)
Evolve Aikido & Movement Center in Antioch announces it’s Grand Opening & Block Party this on Sunday, November 2nd from 11am to 2pm. It’s a “drop-in” day with free lunch, a raffle, giveaways, music, performances, classes and jumpies, so bring the whole family. The schedule is below for your planning convenience.
Please “like” their page on Facebook if you haven’t already – https://www.facebook.com/evolvemovementcenter
GRAND OPENING SCHEDULE
11:00am – Opening, Music, Jumpy, Registration
11:10am – Yoga Mini-Class, all levels
11:30am - Dance/Tumbling/Cheer Performances
12:00 - Free Lunch to first 100 registered guests
12:10pm - Jui Jitsu demo
12:30pm - Tour of Businesses
12:45pm – Tai Chi Mini-Class, all levels
1:00pm - Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting & Raffle
1:30pm - Aikido Belt Promotion
2:00pm – Finish
The location is 1211 Auto Center Drive in Antioch, between 10th & 18th Streets across from Midas. To attend the event, please contact Owner & Chief Instructor Brandy Lucky at (925) 207-8656.
If you’re on Facebook, please join their Grand Opening “event” by clicking here.
Publisher @ October 29, 2014
Posted in: Sports | Comments (0)
Alex Wampler prepares to shoot during a 2014 competition wearing RE Ranger sunglasses.
RANDOLPH, MASSACHUSETTS – RE Ranger, a high-performance eyewear made for the shooting sport enthusiast, is proud to sponsor Alex Wampler of Antioch. The RE Ranger shooting eyewear line is produced by American based company Randolph Engineering.
Alex was born and raised in Antioch, California and started shooting at age 12 with her father. Currently working through college to become a veterinarian, Wampler is also a Hunting Guide at Birds Landing Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clays, across the river from Antioch.
2013 World English Sporting Championships – Ladies 2nd
2013 NSCA Nationals – Ladies 3rd
2013 US Open FITASC – Lady Champion
2013 National Tour Lady Champion
2013 NSCA Lady Captain, Team USA Sporting
Nationals Lady High Over All Sub-Gauge Champion (last three years)
California State Lady Champion – multiple years
Western Regional Lady Champion – multiple years
NSCA Lady All-American – seven years
“Ranger has been sponsoring the sport’s top talent across the country for years. We pride ourselves in having a strong roster of sponsored shooters and believe Alex is a great addition,” said Peter Waszkiewicz, president and CEO of Randolph Engineering. “It’s exciting to be so involved in this growing sport and an honor to have these skilled shooters represent our brand as they continue their passion.”
Alex Wampler at the 2014 World FITASC in Portugal – Fédération Internationale de Tir aux Armes Sportives de Chasse. It is a type of shotgun sport shooting similary to sporting clays, trap and skeet.
ABOUT RANDOLPH ENGINEERING, INC.
Famed for its extreme durability and classic styles, Randolph eyewear is meticulously MADE in the USA using only the finest materials. Its sunglasses, optical frames, and shooting eyewear come with a lifetime warranty on the solder joints. As a further testament to its quality, Randolph is proud to have supplied sunglasses to the US Military and Air Forces world-wide since 1982.
Publisher @ October 29, 2014
Posted in: Opinion, Letters to the Editor, Opinion | Comments (0)
I am a 45-year resident of Antioch,a senior, a homeowner, a professional businesssman (Consulting Civil Engineer)and a member of the “Residents for Fairness – Yes on Measure O” campaign committee. I have been promoting a yes vote on Measure O by writing letters to both the Internet and paper news media, helping with placement of 200 small signs and 20 large signs about town, and distributing flyers to voters’ homes explaining Measure O. A total of 2,500 flyers were printed and distributed over the past week by our committee members. I personally distributed over 1300 flyers. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of volunteers to continue distribution, the program was discontinued after Saturday 10/25.
The “No on Measure O Coalition” has through 10/24 raised funds to out-spend the “Yes on O” committee by a ratio of 13 to 1. According to their Form 497 Contribution Reports filed with the City, they have raised $173,575 from eleven contributers with the funds mostly coming from out-of town real estate investors and associations located in Dallas Texas, Scottsdale Arizona, Los Angeles, Roseville, Sacramento, Oakland, and Walnut Creek. The California Apartment Association in Sacramento contributed $50,000 alone. Only two of the eleven contributing entities are located in Antioch: Oak Village Apartments and ENN Property Management.
In contrast, the Yes on Measure O committee has raised only $13,680 through 10/27 from Antioch citizens and local organizations. Fortunately, we do have a knowledgeable dedicated group of volunteers conducting a minimum cost campaign. I urge all concerned citizens of Antioch to jump-in and help during the final days until Election Day to get out the yes vote on O. Don’t let the big money outsiders tell us how to run our City with their slick cartoons, twisted facts, and outright lies!
Larry L. Harrison
“Residents for Fairness – Yes on Measure O” Campaign Committee
Publisher @ October 29, 2014