Local businessman forms production company with Vegas partner to bring top-tier entertainment to East County

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First two shows in October: comedy in Antioch; the “swingin’est rock band” in Pittsburg

By Allen Payton

East County businessman George Cardinale recently formed Licata-Cardinale Productions with Las Vegas-based Michael Licata to bring top-tiered entertainment talent to the area.

“There’s no reason for people to have to drive to Oakland or San Francisco anymore to see A-list entertainment,” Cardinale said.

“We’re currently in advanced discussions to bring four to six high-level acts to the area for 2020,” Licata added. “But, first up on our schedule are two great shows to get the ball rolling and close out 2019.”

First will be New Jersey’s Bad Boy comedian, Mike Marino with special guest, Pittsburg’s own home-grown comedian, Johnny Steele, Oct. 5 at Antioch’s El Campanil Theatre. Their show is entitled “Make America Italian Again!” (https://youtu.be/8jqLeK6aP5s and https://youtu.be/8jqLeK6aP5s)

Louis Prima Jr. & the Witnesses: Oct. 26 at Pittsburg’s California Theater. This band sold out the El Campanil six years ago. (https://youtu.be/91-HjEKKVhU and https://youtu.be/91-HjEKKVhU)

George Cardinale

George Cardinale

After a successful management career at U.S. Steel, lifelong East County resident Cardinale has worked in the real estate sales and construction business for almost 50 years. The broker and owner of Cardinale Custom Realty, he started as a real estate agent in 1972, before forming Delta Bay Real Estate Company in 1974 with partners.

Then in 1976 he became a partner in Garrow & Cardinale Construction Company, which built several hundred homes in East County. Finally, in 1990 he formed the Cardinale Company, a currently active real estate company focused on land and commercial brokerage firm working with landowners and prominent new home developers.

Cardinale wants to give back to the community where he’s had his success. Due to his passion for the arts he is determined to bring higher quality and top tier acts to East County, to enhance the quality of life for local residents.

Michael Licata

Michael Licata

Licata has been a force in the entertainment industry for over 20 years and brings his experience as a manager, agent, drummer, writer, producer and musical director to the team. He has been involved and responsible for multimillion-dollar projects for major recording artists including Chris Brown, Blues Traveler, Plain White T’s, Ricky Martin, Drake, Ringo Starr, Rodney Jerkins, Jermaine Stewart, Lil’ Wayne, Rhino Bucket, T-Pain, Savage Garden, Rihanna, Bang Tango and many others.

Michael has performed in internationally recognized music videos, on prestigious concert stages and has been awarded 16 Platinum/Gold records.

Management: Grammy-winners Blues Traveler, Grammy-winners Plain White T’s.

Behind the Drums: Ricky Martin, Ringo Starr, Rhino Bucket, Jermaine Stewart, Bang Tango, Savage Garden, Boys Don’t Cry.

Show Producer: Jason Alexander at Harrah’s Las Vegas.

TV Creator/Executive Producer: Viacom/CMT’s ‘H2Overdrive.’

About Mike Marino

Mike Marino – affectionately known to millions of his fans worldwide as New Jersey’s Bad Boy – is one of the most loved comedians of our time. He has performed in every major comedy club, theatre, casino and event center from New York to Los Angeles and around the world. Mike has also shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the business.

Marino was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He entered the entertainment industry at an early age and has studied at some of the most prestigious acting schools in New York, the Herbert Berghof Studio and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Mike has appeared in over 200 national television commercials, including many endorsements and has received a Best Actor Clio Award Nomination. He has acted in many Prime Time soaps and television shows including: As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Becker, Nikki, Frasier and Party of Five. His film credits include Crooks, Pizza with Bullets, Hangin’ in Hedo and Steven King’s Lucky Quarter and Criticsized.

Adding to his great success in film, theatre, commercials and soaps, Mike Marino began touring the world performing and selling out at countless clubs, theatres and casinos. His stand-up material ranges from cutting edge observations of everyday life to his Italian family roots; which recently spun into a T.V. pilot called “Re-Constructing Jersey”. His comedic style has landed him guest appearances on The Tonight Show as a regular sketch player, The Martin Short Show, Canada’s Comedy TV, The Boomer Show, Wild Pitch, and Hand Held Comedy Radio. A clip of Mike’s appearance on Byran Allen’s Comics Unleashed earned him over 7 million views (and counting), which has led to his current web series “Marino 2016” – an original comedy based on Mike’s road to the White House and wise guy attempt to become the first Italian American President of the United States.

In the Fall of 2008, Mike Marino was inducted into the New Jersey Comedy Hall of Fame and in 2015 he won the USO Bob Hope Comedy Award for his many performances for the military. Mike has also been featured on numerous talk shows and has hosted some of the most prestigious award shows including The Beverly Hills Film Awards, Hoboken Film Festival, Montreal Quintus Film Festival and countless corporate events. Mike has been featured in the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Canada, seven years in a row.

Mike Marino has a tongue like a razor and a heart of gold. He has the incredible ability to perform in any arena, big or small, and can cater his material for all audiences, from strictly clean to down and dirty. He has performed in hundreds of corporate functions for companies including AT&T, United Airlines, American Express, Paul Mitchell, IBM, Wella, Merrill Lynch, Sebastian Intl., Toyota, L.A.S.D., N.J. Asphalt Assoc., The City of Hope, OSIA, and the LAPD. Mike Has performed for numerous charities including Aids Project – LA, Haven House, Team earthworks, and the Eric Davis Cancer Fund. When Marino is not performing, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family on the East Coast.

For more information visit www.mikemarino.net.

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Publisher @ September 20, 2019

On split vote by Supervisors county to temporarily stop collecting “discriminatory” adult criminal justice fees

Posted in: News, Police & Crime, Contra Costa County, Government, Growth & Development | Comments (0)

At former Antioch Councilman’s urging, Supervisors direct DA’s office to reopen 2005 Lafayette murder case; approve new land development fees

By Daniel Borsuk

On a thin 3-2 vote, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday slapped a temporary moratorium on the County’s collection and assessment of 14 Adult Criminal Justice Fees that will cost the county $1.8 million in revenue a year should the moratorium become permanent.

During Public Safety Committee meetings, Chairperson John Gioia of Richmond and Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg agreed with citizen committee members the fees are discriminatory to persons of color and likely result in longtime economic or financial hardship for persons who had a criminal record.

An “aye” vote from District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood meant the county will temporarily stop the collection of fees, including the Sheriff Central Administration’s Booking Fee that will generate about $40,000 in 2019/2020, and the Adult Probation Supervision Fee that potentially could have generated nearly $1.8 million in 2019/2020 revenue.

The temporary moratorium will be effective immediately with the Board expecting to reevaluate the moratorium’s progress no later than Dec. 31, 2019. Supervisors will reassess the value of the moratorium at a December meeting.

Even though the county’s coffers are plentiful, with supervisors also officially adopting on a 5-0 vote the county’s $3.6 billion 2019-2020 final budget, the county is spending funds at a rapid pace through newly inked employee-union labor agreements like a 3.44 percent pay hike for social workers, an 8 percent salary raise for county supervisors that went into effect in July, and tacking on an additional $7.5 million in costs to the new Administration Building and new Emergency Operations Center/Public Safety Building to improve the security and communication capabilities during emergencies.

During a three-hour discussion on the item, Board Vice Chair Candace Andersen consistently opposed the moratorium on grounds that by dropping the fees for all persons, individual with the financial resources will benefit the most. “There are a lot of people who are committing these crimes who have the ability to pay these fees,” said the supervisor from Danville. “There is no reason why we shouldn’t be assessing these fees.”

In arguing against the proposal, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff said the elimination of $1.8 million of criminal justice fees could financially impact social and health programs such as drug diversion programs that assist persons with criminal records. “I cannot support the moratorium at this time,” the supervisor from Pleasant Hill declared.

But there were a number of citizens in support of the proposal to eliminate the fees.

“There are many people I have represented who 15 to 20 years later did not know that they’d have their wages garnished or face the ongoing inability to pay even though they have jobs and families,” said Mary Sylla, an attorney at Rubicon Programs.

“We urge you to do the right thing,” pleaded Ali Saidi, head of the Contra Costa Public Defenders Association, “These fees impact people of color.”

Request to Reopen Lafayette Murder Case Referred to DA’s Unit

Antioch private investigator and former Antioch Councilman Ralph Hernandez’s pitch, to have the 2005 murder case of Pamela Vitale of Lafayette reopened, got the thumbs up from the board of supervisors. The case was referred to Contra Costa District Attorney’s newly created conviction integrity unit. In this instance, Scott Dyleski, who Hernandez represents, was convicted for the October 2005 murder of Vitale.

“Your assistance in directing such from your two agencies (D.A.’s Office and Public Defender’s Office) is more than warranted,” Hernandez said. “Fourteen years of Scott’s youth has already been denied him and he still faces many more if this very serious matter is just ignored by all. Pamela Vitale’s memory deserves that the truth be determined, not ignored.”

Supervisors did not comment openly about the case, but Gioia consented that at least the DA’s new conviction integrity unit review the case.

New Land Development Fees Approved

Without opposition from either supervisors or the public, supervisors unanimously approved new land development fees charged for services performed by the Department of Conservation and Development and the Public Works Department starting March 1, 2020.

Some fees like encroachment fees have not been adjusted since 1995 and in many instances, rates are decreasing “due to economy of scale,” John Kopchik, director of the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development told the Contra Costa Herald.

Supervisors withheld action on a proposal to charge a $1,000 fee for the time and materials needed to submit and process applications for nomination of a building or cultural resource for consideration before the Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee.

“The Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee believes that the current and proposed fees of $1,000 deposit and time and materials required to submit and process applications to nominate historical and cultural resources to the County’s Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) are a deterrent to public participation in the program.

“The HLAC voted at their meeting held on August 8, 2019 to make a formal recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to reduce these fees to encourage organizations or individuals to nominate potential resources to be designated to the HRI,” Historic Landmark Advisory Committee staff member Dominique Vogelpohl wrote on August 26.

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Publisher @ September 19, 2019

Oktoberfest at Lone Tree Golf & Event Center Friday, Sept. 27

Posted in: Dining | Comments (0)

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Publisher @ September 19, 2019

Corteva Agriscience, formerly Dow, providing community grants, Oct. 18 deadline to apply

Posted in: News, Community, Industry | Comments (0)

PITTSBURG, CA — Nonprofit organizations, municipal or government agencies or school districts in East Contra County are invited to apply for community grants of up to $5,000 in the areas of education and environmental sustainability and workforce development programs for local students through Corteva Agriscience – Pittsburg Operations. Deadline for submittal of applications is Oct. 18, 2019.

The Corteva Community Grants are reviewed and approved by the site’s Community Advisory Panel (CAP), members of the East Contra Costa community who serve as liaisons between the community and Corteva (formerly Dow), and learn about the site’s operations, support shared goals and voice any concerns on behalf of the community.

“Corteva Agriscience values the opportunity to provide charitable giving to communities where the company has a presence,” said Jose Carrascal, Corteva Agriscience Site Director. “This site has been involved with the community for many, many years, and our CAP members help us to be better neighbors and we look forward to continuing that tradition. We know the CAP strives to select sustainable projects that result in positive and definitive outcomes within the neighboring communities. We support this endeavor wholeheartedly.”

Applicants must be certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, schools, municipalities and county entities located in or which provides services in Pittsburg, Bay Point and Antioch. Ineligible organizations, per Corteva’s contribution guidelines, include funding for individuals, political organizations, religious organizations, and grants cannot be used to underwrite salaries, stipends, travel, fundraisers, meals, utilities.

To obtain a grant application, go to the following link: Application, Guidelines, and FAQ’s

About Corteva Agriscience

Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry – including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.

Follow Corteva Agriscience on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

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Publisher @ September 18, 2019

Tickets available for annual Kiwanis Antioch restaurant tour fundraiser Oct. 27

Posted in: Community, Dining | Comments (0)

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Publisher @ September 18, 2019

Third Human Trafficking Day of Action in East County set for September 19

Posted in: News, Community, Police & Crime, District Attorney | Comments (0)

Training session to be held at the Antioch Police Department

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County District Attorney

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton is proud to join Antioch Councilmember Monica Wilson, the Antioch Police Department, the Contra Costa County Family Justice Center, Community Violence Solutions, the Contra Costa Human Trafficking Task Force and the Contra Costa Human Trafficking Coalition in hosting East County’s third Human Trafficking “Day of Action” on September 19, 2019.

Inspired by California State Senate Bill 1193, the Day of Action intends to educate individuals on how to recognize signs of human trafficking and inform them on how they can help prevent it. Members of the business community are encouraged to participate by posting human trafficking awareness signs with resources for victims to reach out to. Our local businesses are the extra eyes of our community and can help significantly in combating the crime of human trafficking in Contra Costa County.

A training session will be presented from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the Antioch Police Department, located at 300 L. Street in Antioch. From there, attendees will form teams and talk with local businesses about putting up posters with resource information for people who may be experiencing forced or coerced labor or commercial sex. The outreach will occur from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend and join with law enforcement, city leaders and community organizers to make a difference in our community.

Co-sponsors of the event include Brentwood City Councilmember Karen Rarey, Oakley City Councilmember Sue Higgins and Pittsburg City Councilmember Holland White.

If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in an activity and cannot leave, whether it is commercial sex or labor – call the national Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or text “Be Free” or 233733.

Local resources include Community Violence Solutions and Contra Costa’s Family Justice Centers – with a new location at 3501 Lone Tree Way. Antioch, CA 94509.

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Publisher @ September 18, 2019

Two streets in Antioch’s northeast industrial area to close to public beginning Thursday

Posted in: News, Transportation | Comments (1)

By Antioch Police Department

Effective Thursday, September 19, 2019 both Wilbur Lane and Wymore Way will be closed to through traffic. Wilbur Lane will only have gated access to the warehouse complex and businesses from the Wilbur Lane side, and Wymore Way is to be closed permanently.

“It’s being done by the property owners to help prevent crime from occurring in the complex,” said Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks.

“Wilbur Lane and Wymore are both private streets,” added City Manager Ron Bernal.

This has long been a popular thoroughfare for persons getting from East 18th Street to Wilbur Avenue. Due to this closure, everyone is cautioned and should now use alternate routes between these two roadways. Alternate routes include A Street, Cavallo Road, Hillcrest Avenue, and Viera Avenue. The highlighted areas in green show alternate routes and the red show the closed roadways. Please see the map above.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Publisher @ September 17, 2019

Celebrating the U.S. Constitution’s creation 232 years ago, today

Posted in: History | Comments (0)

Today is Constitution Day, celebrating the U.S. Constitution which was created on September 17, 1787 and ratified on March 4, 1789. Read more about the celebration and document, here. Following is the Preamble with the original spelling and punctuation.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

To read the complete text, visit the U.S. Archives by clicking here: http://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript

The actual first page of the U.S. Constitution.

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Publisher @ September 17, 2019