Posted in: Business, News | Comments (4)
By Allen Payton
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Antioch City Council will consider the appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval for a medical college in the AAA building and property, at 1700 Auto Center Drive at the corner of Costco Way. The appeal is being brought by Tom Nokes, the owner of the dealerships of the Antioch Auto Center, who owns the land next to the AAA building and parking lot.
He plans to open another auto dealership using the building, parking lot and the two adjacent parcels.
The building is currently occupied by the CSAA Insurance Exchange, which will be relocating to the former Johnny Carino’s restaurant at Slatten Ranch and has put their building up for sale.
Nokes says he was in negotiations with AAA, when they told him they accepted another offer, from the college, instead.
According to the city staff report for the Council’s agenda item, #4, at their August 19, 2015 meeting, the Antioch Planning Commission approved a Use Permit on a 6-1 vote for the Contra Costa Medical Career College. But Nokes appealed the decision to the city council.
While the zoning for the property is Business Park and Planned Business Center which allows for the college, the property is on Auto Center Drive and should have a focus of auto related businesses.
More importantly, an auto dealership will produce more revenue for the City of Antioch through sales and property taxes, as well as more jobs than the college will.
The current dealerships of the Antioch Auto Center generate more sales tax for the City than any other business in town. Those funds go into the General Fund which mostly pays for police. The Antioch Auto Center also currently employs about 250 people, according to Nokes, and he estimates the new dealership would create about another 100 well-paying jobs.
It makes no sense to me to have a medical college locate in the AAA building on Auto Center Drive, instead of another auto dealership. The college can locate in one of a variety of empty retail buildings, throughout the city, such as the current CVS location across the freeway, which will soon be vacant, as the store will be relocating to its new building on Buchanan Road, near Somersville Road.
We need the City Council to do whatever it can to approve Nokes’ appeal, deny the Use Permit of the college, work with them to find a more suitable location, and allow a new auto dealership to be located in the AAA building, instead.
The Council meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday and will be held in the Council Chambers between West Second and Third Streets in downtown. To read the complete Council meeting agenda item, click here: Appeal of college by Nokes ACC101315
Publisher @ October 12, 2015
Posted in: Politics & Elections | Comments (0)
Stockton, Antioch and Lodi Police Officers Associations, along with Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs and San Joaquin County Probation Officers all endorse Nance for Congress
In a strong show of support, the Kathryn Nance for Congress campaign announced, today, the endorsements of five law enforcement groups: the Stockton Police Officers Association, Antioch Police Officers Association, Lodi Police Officers Association, Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association and San Joaquin County Probation Officers Association.
“Kathryn Nance is exactly the kind of leader we need in Congress,” said Travis Rowe Jr., President of the San Joaquin County Probation Officers Association. “Her 19 years of experience as a member of the Stockton Police Department gives her the insight and toughness to fight for us back in Washington.”
“I am both honored and humbled to receive the support of my fellow peers in the law enforcement community,” said Nance. “They, like me, are sick of the politics-as-usual games that people like Jerry McNerney play on a daily basis back in Congress. The people of the 9th Congressional District are ready for a leader, not a career politician, as their Congressperson.”
The 9th Congressional District encompasses part of Antioch, far East Contra Costa County, the majority of San Joaquin County, the City of Galt in Sacramento County.
Born and raised in the Stockton area, Kathryn Nance is a 19 year veteran of the Stockton Police Department, currently serving as a Sergeant with the Department’s AB109 Task Force and as President of the Stockton Police Officers Association. She has previously served as a Field Training Officer and as a member of the Department’s Gang and Homicide units. She is married to her husband of 10 years, James Nance, who also serves as an officer with the Stockton Police Department. Together, they have a blended family of four children, ranging in ages of 16 to 23. Kathryn is an avid outdoors enthusiast and enjoys activities such as hiking, cycling, kayaking and CrossFit. Kathryn also serves as the Chairwoman of Stockton’s annual “Strides Against Cancer” relay.
To learn more about Kathryn Nance for Congress, visit us online at www.Nance2016.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @Nance2016.
Publisher @ October 12, 2015
Posted in: Police & Crime | Comments (1)
New Antioch Police Officer Justin Hamilton is administered the oath of office by Mayor Wade Harper as Chief Allan Cantando and Hamilton’s family look on, during a ceremony on Monday, October 12, 2015.
By Allen Payton
At a ceremony at the Antioch Police Facility, Monday afternoon, Justin Hamilton took the oath of office to be sworn in as Antioch’s newest police officer. Hamilton was administered the oath by Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, and then his badge was pinned on him by his wife.
Officer Justin Hamilton and Chief Allan Cantando.
“I’d like to thank the Chief and the command staff,” Hamilton said. “ I worked at AMR, out here for nine years,” referring to the American Medical Response ambulance company.
“This was always my end goal,” he added.
Then, Chief Allan Cantando offered his thoughts, directing them to Hamilton’s family.
“If I were to be going through the training program, again I would definitely want the men and women of this department to be the ones training me,” he stated. “They have his best interest in mind. Jason is an asset to us that we don’t want to lose. We want him to get through the field training.”
“We are hoping that Justin will be a very welcome part of our staff,” he added.
The brief ceremony was attended by Hamilton’s family members and fellow Antioch police officers, as well as Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock, Council Members Monica Wilson and Tony Tiscareno, and City Manager Steve Duran. It was followed by a brief reception that included a cake.
According to Cantando, that now brings the total of sworn officers on the Antioch police force to 90.
Publisher @ October 12, 2015
Posted in: News | Comments (0)
Sacramento, CA – Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1369, an important piece of legislation by Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D – Oakley) aimed at helping identify dyslexic children in California public schools.
“I applaud the Governor for signing AB 1369 into law,” said Frazier. “AB 1369 received strong bipartisan support in the Legislature because it provides an important first step in addressing a new model that facilitates learning for all students, particularly that of students with learning disabilities.”
The bill requires California to update the criteria for identifying dyslexic children for special education services by adding “phonological processing” to the identification process for special education eligibility. It also provides program guidelines to be developed by our State Superintendent of Public Education and the CA Dept. of Education to assist teachers, parents and professionals in identifying, assessing and improving educational services for dyslexic students.
“The dyslexic community has come together to bridge the gap of decades of knowledge surrounding dyslexia and the lack of action taken by our public education system,” said Tobie Meyer, Decoding Dyslexia CA Lead Legislative Member. “AB 1369 will allow proper identification and appropriate evidence-based remediation for dyslexic students. This is an important first step in getting our kids the help they need to learn to read, write and spell at grade-level and experience educational success.”
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability wherein individuals experience difficulties with language skills such as spelling, writing and pronouncing words. Approximately 20 percent of students in the education system have dyslexia, and as a result, experience difficulty in functioning academically.
“Over the past few months we have built a strong coalition of parents, teachers and supporters — together, our hard work and dedication has paid off,” said Frazier. “AB 1369 championed the voice of over 6,500 parents statewide who have voiced their strong support for giving dyslexic students the help that decades of research have shown they need.”
To contact Assemblyman Frazier please visit his website or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-513-0411. Follow him on Facebook and “Like” him for updates on events and happenings in the 11th AD.
Publisher @ October 9, 2015
Posted in: Business, Education | Comments (2)
Antioch High School juniors Kevin Roldan, Darian Quinn and Robert Gochenouer speak with Amanda Hauf, a chemical engineer with Dow Chemical in Pittsburg, while junior Hudson Preece works the laptop at the EDGE Academy display.
By Allen Payton
Thursday’s Pathway to Pipeline event allowed high school students from the nine Linked Learning academies in Antioch to share what they’re learning with local employers. In turn, it provided the opportunity for those employers to talk with the students and offer them potential internships at their companies.
Dozier-Libbey Medical High School juniors
Joshua McEvoy and Adriana Uritia share about their SportsMed class with Karen and Bob Martin.
Sponsored by the Antioch Unified School District, Antioch Chamber of Commerce, City of Antioch and the East County Business-Education Alliance, the event, held at the Antioch Community Center at Prewett Park, was held for the purpose of building the region’s future workforce. Launchpath, an effort of the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the Linked Learning Alliance, was instrumental in supporting the day.
During the morning, the students from the nine academies shared what they are doing and learning at school. Those academies include the Dozier-Libbey Medical High School, with booths about the school in general and their SportsMed class. The Business-Tech Marketing, Law and Justice, ACE Bio-Tech, Performing Arts Academies of Deer Valley High School were represented, as were the Environmental Studies, Media, Leadership and Public Service (LAPS) and Engineering & Design Green Environment (EDGE) Academies from Antioch High School.
ACE is an umbrella for other pathways, and stands for Academic Challenge and Enrichment. It provides students with opportunities to become expert in a STEAM field of their choice. STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
Deer Valley High students, junior Jafar Khalfani-Bey, center and senior Rahmat Omari, speak with Antioch business owner Ken Turnage at the Law & Justice Academy display.
Academies on Display
The EDGE Academy students had a 3D printer on display, creating a plastic toy from a design file found on a website, which they had downloaded to an attached laptop.
It took about 30 minutes to create the one-inch tall toy.
According to junior Hudson Preece, the students are trying to resurrect an older server to help make the 3D printer, that they can use to sell products they make, on a website they plan to set up, and to update the software to make metal objects, as well.
Also on display was an old robotic arm from the early 1990′s, from one of two inactive assembly lines.
“We’re looking to update it and integrate it into newer computers and software so that it’s usable for the freshmen to integrate it into their curriculum,” Hudson added. “We want everyone in the EDGE Academy to use these tools to further their education.”
“They’re little layers of plastic,” explained junior Robert Gochenouer. “It’s 0.5 of a millimeter per layer.
“The plastic is heated like in a glue gun,” said junior Kevin Roldan.
The students use designs they find online and sell their creations.
Hudson Preece, Kevin Roldan and Robert Gochenouer, juniors in the Antioch High EDGE Academy explain the workings of the 3D printer at their display.
“Or you can create your own design,” Robert added.
New to the school in Fall, 2014, the printer they had on display costs about $1,000 to $2,000.
“The teachers gave it to us and said figure it out,” Hudson said.
“They have a bigger printer that can print the larger items and more accurately,” said Darian.
“That one cost roughly $17,000,” Hudson added.
Students in the Business-Tech Academy are starting a new, virtual enterprise that will be international, buying and selling products, as part of an online simulated economy.
“We were doing college textbooks,” shared senior Miraya Finau, Vice President of the Virtual Enterprise. “But, we just decided this morning to switch to noble teen fashions.”
“The classes in there, right now, are researching marketing and what prices to charge,” she added.
The Marketing Academy students run their own on-campus store. On display they had ssome of the school-related products, and other items, such as sports-themed laniards, which they sell.
The half-day also provided the opportunity for those in attendance during lunch, to hear from Antioch Superintendent Dr. Don Gill and students who participated in an internships, this past summer.
“Linked learning works,” Gill stated. “When we had freshmen first come in to the EDGE Academy many of the students were underperforming.”
As a result (of their experience in the academy) those kids soared and those students reached the level of proficient and advanced,” he said. “Now, about 80% of students in the Antioch high schools are aligned to a link learning program.”
He thanked the James Irvine Foundation for providing $3.5M to Antioch’s linked learning program.
Gennie Barr, a Supervisor at Verizon praised the work of the three interns, over the summer.
“In 10 years I’m expecting them to be my boss,” she said. “I told them to give them work. Not just busy work. After six weeks I had everyone ask me ‘can we keep ‘em?’”
Antioch High senior Matthew Hilton speaks about his summer internship at Verizon during lunch.
One of her interns was Matthew Hilton, a senior in the EDGE Academy.
“I had to do a resume. It was like a real job interview,” he said about the process for getting accepted into the internship. “I got to see what it was like to be with these firms. I was looking at different designs for cell towers. I actually took the place of a project manager before she left on vacation. It was a lot of work, essentially.”
“For the most part I was actually working there. I was shoving a 9 to 5 into a 9 to 3,” Matthew continued. “I got to see and prove I could make it in the business world. There was never a dull moment.”
Matthew ‘s father, Rick Hilton, offered his praise for the EDGE Academy.
“I’ve never seen a group of teachers who are more dedicated to their students than in the EDGE Academy,” he shared. “It’s not just the engineering teachers, but the others associated with the academy like the English and math teachers, as well. They definitely believe in the team teaching approach.”
Dr. Sean Wright, the CEO of the Antioch Chamber concluded the lunch time presentations with his thoughts.
“This isn’t the future of education renaissance. It is education renaissance,” he stated. “We need the business community to continue to support this.”
Local employers participated in the Antioch Careers Expo offering internships to students who attended.
Wright mentioned aspects of Linked Learning academies.
“It must be rigorous…raising the level of education,” he said. “It must be relevant. It needs to matter. It must be work-based learning to engage with us as business owners.”
After lunch, that’s exactly what students had the opportunity to do, as local employers participated in the Antioch Careers Expo, hosting tables at which they shared information and offered internships. Participating employers included those in the fields of real estate, health, law enforcement, government, technology and media.
For more information about LaunchPath, visit www.launchpath.com.
Publisher @ October 9, 2015
Posted in: Opinion | Comments (4)
By Barbara Zivica
According to the Chief of Police’s recent report to the City Council, the most recent Part 1 violent crime numbers have dropped 11.5% and Part 1 property crime have dropped 12.4%. Combined, total Part 1 crime dropped 12.3% while total arrests are up 19.9%.
Before patting ourselves on the back, let’s look at one of the main reasons for the change in current stats compared to stats from last year. That reason is the passage of Proposition 47 which converts many nonviolent offenses, such as drug and property offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. The measure included exceptions for offenses involving more than $950 and criminals with records involving violence or sex offenses, and allowed for people currently incarcerated for crimes covered by the measure to petition for re-sentencing.
Among the most prominent arguments against the law was that possession of the date-rape drug would be punished as a misdemeanor rather than a felony and the $950 cap would downgrade the theft of most guns to a misdemeanor.
It was estimated that the measure would affect about 40,000 felony convictions per year, which would be reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, representing about one-fifth of annual convictions in California.
Opponents said that if Prop. 47, drafted as a way to help resolve Gov. Jerry Brown’s over crowded jails problem, passed it “would officially end California’s tough on crime era. Between the drug deals I see occurring around town when I go to the store and the shop lifting I see occurring in the stores, employees being unable to interfere if the loss is under $950, it’s obvious that any statistics claiming a drop in property crime statistics is due to Prop. 47, not better policing.
Incidentally, October is Crime Prevention Month.
Publisher @ October 7, 2015
Posted in: Recreation, Sports | Comments (0)
The old west returns
Since 1941 the Grand National Livestock Exposition, Horse Show & Rodeo has been one of the most prestigious western lifestyle events in the West attracting thousands of participants and fans from California and other western states. The Cow Palace team would like to invite all of you to participate in two weekends of excitement. We are sure there will be something for everyone.
On October 16-17, and October 23-24, 2015 the Cow Palace will come alive with cowgirls, cowboys, an array of livestock, horses, western exhibits, tasty BBQ and our ever popular rodeo! The Grand National PRCA Rodeo will be produced for the 47th year by Cotton Rosser and the Flying U Rodeo Company. Rosser and his team will be bringing top stock for the 600 plus professional cowboys and cowgirls competing in seven rodeo events. Rodeo performances begin each night at 7:30 pm.
The Junior and Open Livestock Shows are “must see” events where youth and adult exhibitors will enter their best stock and compete for top prize money and the honor of showing a Grand National Champion. The Livestock Show starts on October 15 and runs through October 18. Cattle, sheep, goats, dairy cows, hogs and even rabbits will be on display.
In addition to the Livestock Exposition and Rodeo, the make sure to visit the various horse show events, barrel racing, drill team competitions, and stock dog trials. For the Arabian horse lover, the costume class will be showing during the rodeo performances on October 23-24. Grace, beauty and strength are all combined in this lovely presentation.
Don’t miss the Western Marketplace which is open from at 11 am – 11 pm all four days of the rodeo. Tack, jewelry, clothing and special western mementos will be among the items not to be missed. While in the Marketplace be sure to save your appetite for the nightly BBQ which begins at 5 pm, prior to each rodeo performance.
For complete details and up to date schedule information please check our website at www.grandnationalrodeo.com.
Publisher @ October 7, 2015
Posted in: Delta & Environment, News | Comments (0)
Stockton, CA – On Tuesday, standing in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) held a press conference where he voiced his opposition to what he described as Governor Jerry Brown’s “WaterFix” tunnels plan, and explained why this ill-advised plan would devastate the Delta’s fragile ecosystem and hurt the families, farmers, and businesses in the region. He stressed his position while the public comment period for the plan‘s environmental review documents remains open through the end of October. The Congressman also highlighted why the plan is not the right solution for managing California’s water supply, and the need to pursue alternative, forward-thinking solutions.
“Red flags have been raised across the board on the Governor’s tunnels plan that does nothing to fix the state’s existing water supply management and severe drought problems. From the underlying science and environmental impacts to the projected financial costs, this ‘fix’ is riddled with uncertainty every step of the way,” said McNerney. “The only thing clear is that the tunnels are a repackaging of old ideas that waste billions of dollars and threaten the way of life for an entire region without creating a single new drop of water.”
The Governor’s plan requires the construction of two enormous tunnels, 40 feet in diameter and 30 miles long, and would use three intakes to get water from the Sacramento River. The plan also calls for additional water pumps to be built at an expanded Clifton Court Forebay, an existing reservoir near Tracy. The new and existing pumps would maintain optimal water levels in the forebay and move water from the new tunnel outlets, through San Joaquin County, to existing canals that distribute water across the state.
Yet, these environmental review project documents show significant financial concerns and negative impacts for the Delta region. At a cost of approximately $16 billion, the tunnels would yield a minimal return on investment when it comes to new water supply. Every water user in the Delta could be injured from the changes in water quality, quantity, and levels as a result of the tunnels. The potential increase in salinity and the resulting contamination to crops grown in the Delta region is also a major concern. State contractors are also making plans to acquire as many as 300 farms in the Delta in order to construct the tunnels.
“Construction from the tunnels would cause serious disruption and irreparable damage to farms, communities, and the environment. While we cannot afford to waste money on this wrong, outdated approach, we also cannot just say no,” added McNerney. “We should be using our resources to fund innovative, forward-thinking solutions that create new water and take pressure off the Delta by boosting regional self-sufficiency across the state.”
Speakers at the press conference included: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta; Jeffery Michael, Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at University of the Pacific; and Tom Zuckerman, third generation Delta farmer, among other regional stakeholders.
“Fourteen years of proposed tunnel construction will decimate the Delta’s $5.2 billion annual agricultural economy, and destroy family farms dating back to the 1850′s. 500,000 acres of Delta farms cannot survive dewatering & construction running 24-hours a day, seven days a week, for fourteen years,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. “Farming families cannot survive being left for fourteen years with homes with no water service, no access to their property, and no farming income.”
“According to the current documents, the Tunnels will deliver little to no new water, and that assumption is critical because it delivers little to no new water to those paying the $17 billion tab,” said Jeffrey Michael, Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific. “The Tunnels project described in the environmental impact report is not financially feasible. It makes no economic sense for the water agencies sponsoring the project, and certainly makes no economic sense for the state as a whole.”
“The current drought reveals the stupidity of blowing $15 to $50 billion on tunnels which don’t increase the water supply instead of conservation, groundwater storage in wet years, and recycling projects leading to regional self-sufficiency at a far cheaper cost,” said Tom Zuckerman, a third generation Delta farmer.
Last month, McNerney, along with Northern California House Democrats, sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown expressing their concerns with the “WaterFix” tunnels plan. The letter argues that the multibillion-dollar tunnels fail to increase water supply, devastate an already fragile Delta ecosystem, and divert funding from more effective statewide water solutions for California. The letter also urges the Governor to focus on forward-thinking solutions like conservation, efficiency, recycling, stormwater capture, and groundwater recharge.
In July of this year, McNerney also voiced his concerns over the irreversible damage the “WaterFix” tunnels plan would cause to the Delta region.
He has pursued and expanding bold, innovative, technological solutions that create more water and address the energy-water nexus as a part of a comprehensive approach to address California’s severe drought crisis.
In August of this year, McNerney hosted a California Drought Solutions Forum that brought together farmers, water technology innovators, policy makers, state government, academia, and others to discuss how to advance the crucial water and energy efficient technological solutions that are needed to respond to the ongoing drought.
He has also introduced bipartisan legislation to establish a smart water management pilot program meant to spur innovative projects. And, the Congressman introduced legislation calling on Congress to authorize 27 regional water recycling projects that can create water for irrigation, agriculture, conservation, and increase the potable water supply.
Congressman Jerry McNerney represents California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of Antioch, East Contra Costa County, and San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.
Publisher @ October 6, 2015