Archive for January, 2011

Antioch Mayor and Rotarians Join Chinese Consul General at San Francisco Reception

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Antioch Rotary President Darien Croce, James Shen, Gloria Martin, Chinese Consul General Gao, Antioch Mayor Jim Davis, Mrs. Gao, Allen Payton and Zhou Ming gather at the San Francisco Consulate for a reception celebrating the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit, on Wednesday, January 19, 2011.

Sister City Relationship Efforts Continue

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Antioch Mayor Jim Davis and members of the Antioch Rotary Club were invited by Chinese Consul General Gao Zhansheng to join him at a reception in San Francisco, celebrating the Chinese New Year, last Wednesday evening, January 19, 2011. It was the same night Chinese President Hu Jintao was the guest of honor at a state dinner with President Obama in Washington, D.C.

Davis and Rotary President Darien Croce, Past President Allen Payton and members Gloria Martin, James Shen and Zhou Ming enjoyed seeing General Gao and meeting his wife. They were then treated to a Chinese buffet dinner, following speeches by Gao and other dignitaries, including Davis, State Senator Leland Yee and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

This was the second time the group met with Gao. He was a guest speaker, last year, at a lunch meeting of the Antioch Rotary Club, arranged by Shen and Zhou. During the lunch, Davis and Gao discussed establishing a Sister City relationship.

Thanks to the efforts of Shen and Ming, a city near Shanghai, China has expressed interest in becoming a Sister City with Antioch. The Antioch City Council is expected to discuss sending a letter of interest during one of their meetings in February.

Chinese Consul General Gao gives his welcome speech.

Antioch Mayor Jim Davis adds his thoughts to the evening's event.

General Gao and Mayor Davis at Chinese New Year celebration reception in San Francisco.

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Antioch Business & Community Leaders Say Farewell to Devi Lanphere at “Irish Wake”

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Juan Chen-Olsen, Tom Lamothe, Kris Landry, Devi Lanphere, Allen Payton and Christine O'Brien gather for Devi's farewell party at Carpaccio Ristorante on Friday night, January 21.

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Many of Antioch’s business and community leaders gathered at Carpaccio Ristorante, Friday night, January 21, to say farewell to former Antioch Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Devi Lanphere, at what she labeled an “Irish wake.”

Lanphere, who served in the position for seven years, was very involved in the community, including membership in the Antioch Rotary Club, serving as Chair of the Antioch Economic Development Commission and overseeing the Antioch Community Foundation, among other things.

Her position was eliminated in December, when the Chamber Board made the decision to cut back on expenses. Lanphere is relocating to Mountain View, California.

Devi Lanphere speaks with Jack and Donna Roddy at her farewell party.

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Wayne Harrison Wins Comedy Show Ticket Contest

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 subscriber Wayne Harrison, the happy winner of tickets to the comedy show at El Campanil Theatre.

Antioch resident and subscriber Wayne Harrison won two tickets to last Friday night’s Best of the San Francisco Stand Up Comedy Competition show at the El Campanil Theatre in historic, downtown Rivertown Antioch.  If you subscribe you’ll be entered to win our next contest. Look for it soon, only on the – the paper of, by and for the people of Antioch!

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Police Layoffs Postponed, Negotiations Continue

Friday, January 21st, 2011

The following is from the Antioch Police Officers Association website:

The Antioch Police Officers’ Association concluded its membership meetings Tuesday and Wednesday nights with an agreement reached between the City of Antioch and the Police Association to continue the current police contract concessions until March 1st of this year.

The action averts the 6 police officer layoffs for that period of time.  Those officers were originally slated to be laid off on january 2nd. This is a direct result of productive talks at the table and a desire of all involved to work toward a common goal of keeping the City financially solvent during a time of economic crisis.

Tom Fuhrmann-President
Antioch Police Officers Association

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Neighborhood Cleanup Coming to Meadow Creek Park

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The Antioch Police Department is excited to announce the 21st installment of the Neighborhood Cleanup Program. This is a collaborative community effort, which involves active participation from United Citizens for Better Neighborhoods (UCBN), community volunteers and the Antioch Police Department Crime Prevention Commission, Neighborhood Watch Program and the Public Works Department.

Collectively, “We,” everyone who works and lives in Antioch, can make a difference and improve the quality of life. It’s our community and it’s our chance to make a difference.

The City of Antioch Neighborhood Cleanup program is not just for residential neighborhoods. It is a program that will change venues on a monthly basis and it will include business and commercial areas as well. Neighborhoods that are free of trash and refuse are inviting, and a clean community instills a sense of community pride. 

The 21st Neighborhood Cleanup event will occur on Saturday, February 5, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Volunteers should report to Meadow Creek Park located at 4707 Vista Grande Drive. Curb side parking should be plentiful. Volunteers will receive instructions and the equipment necessary to accomplish the goal. The targeted area is within walking distance.  Excluding inclement weather, future Neighborhood Cleanup events are scheduled for the first Saturday of every month and the locations will be announced in advance.

Remember, cleaning up your neighborhood can make life better for your family, your neighbors and your community!

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Arrest in Sycamore Murder

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Alvin Harvey

On Jan. 12 Antioch police arrested  Alvin Harvey, 22, of Pittsburg, for the murder of  Jason Reddic, 28, on December 29 at 1504 Sycamore Drive in Antioch.

Antioch officers spotted Harvey, who was wanted on a parole violation, riding as a passenger in a vehicle in Brentwood. The car was being driven by Harvey’s girlfriend, Jeffintae Westbrook, 22, of Concord, according to police.  The vehicle pursuit went from Brentwood to Pittsburg, where Harvey fled the car on foot.

Harvey was apprehended by assisting Pittsburg PD officers.  Westbrook was also arrested. Harvey was found to be in possession of cocaine. He was arrested and booked at Martinez Detention Facility for the parole violation and cocaine possession.

Harvey has since been questioned by homicide detectives about the murder of Jason Reddic. On Jan. 18 Harvey was subsequently booked for this murder.

The orginal report:

On December 29th 2010 at approximately 2004 hrs, Antioch Police responded to a report of a man shot at the aforementioned location. Upon their arrivals, police found a 28 year old man in front of the four-plex with at least one gunshot wound. At that time, the man was responsive but severely injured. Life –saving measures were taken and he was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police are currently interviewing several potential witnesses. At this time no arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact Det. James Stenger at (925)779-6894.

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Auditions for THE KING AND I

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

El Campanil Children’s Theatre and The Vagabond Players Announce Auditions for THE KING AND I.

Auditions will be held at El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. 2nd St. Antioch, CA 94509

  • Saturday, January 22, 2011  9:00AM-1:00PM  Dance Auditions
  • Sunday, January 23, 2011    1:00PM-8:00PM Vocal Auditions

Call Back will be held at El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. 2nd St. Antioch, CA 94509

  • Monday, January 24, 2011 – 6:30 – 9PM  

King & I will be presented at El Campanil Theatre as well as several senior facilities in the surrounding area.

Director – Sharon Redman
Musical Director – Joan Cifarelli
Choreographer – Cassandra Montgomery

Show opens on Thursday, May 5th and closes on Saturday May 28th with 10 performances.       


Principals: (soloists):
3 Women (Anna, Lady Thiang, Tuptim)
2 Men (King, Lun Tha)
2 Boys (Unchanged voices) (Louis,  Prince Chulalongkorn)

Minor Leads: ( Dialogue)
5 Men ( kralahome, Interpreter, Phra Alack, Edward Ramsay, Captain Orton)

Wives: 10 Women
Slaves/Etc.: 8 Males
Dancing Ensemble: 15 Female

King’s Children: 12+ Elementary or Middle School including I (one) kindergarten female.

More Information or register online:

(925) 689-3368

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Human Race the Winner on MLK Day

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Antioch’s third annual celebration of Martin Luther King Day, held this year at the Deer Valley High School auditorium, gave pause for stock-taking Antioch’s report card of tolerance and embraced diversity.  If you are swayed by TV and San Francisco print dailies, aggressive outsider advocacy groups, and a cluster of criminally-investigated citizens turned civil litigants, Antioch could appear dismally failing. It’s habitually smeared as a bastion of bigotry.

The proof, though, is in the pudding. We might start by asking, who do the good citizens of Antioch choose to lead them?  Our former Mayor, Mary Rocha, is Latino, as were council members Manny Soliz and Ralph Hernandez.  Reggie Moore, who recently lost a reelection bid, was defeated by a fellow African-American, top vote getter Wade Harper.  On the school board side of the ledger, Wade Harper moved on and African American Teri Lynn Shaw was defeated.  Tellingly, our two comprehensive high schools have Latino Louie Rocha and African American Clarence Isadore at the helm.  Our former A.U.S.D. Superintendent, Deborah Sims, is African American.  Two recent Antioch Citizens of the Year, Gary Gilbert and Iris Archuleta are African American. My wife, Cynthia., a Filipino-American, won 2/3 of the Antioch vote on her way to County Board Trusteeship. Seems, then,  the bigot designation simply doesn’t reconcile with Antioch’s  track record.

As for complaints of police targeting renters, I am not an expert on housing issues but find it interesting that two of the three filed cases have already been dismissed as spurious. Frankly,  I always felt that Section 8 was grossly mismanaged and in need of serious revamping. I, in fact, have several hair-raising examples of Section 8 behavior run amuk in my own neighborhood, one home with over 50 police calls.  It’s sad that a cry for agency oversight and neighborly accountability gets confused, then, with prejudice. The city argues, rightfully I think, that this is a behavior generated issue. If there is systemic Intolerance in Antioch it is intolerance not of groups but of  activity that abuses law and universal decorum. 

In the end, though, I believe that Antioch’s neighborhood angst goes beyond Section 8 and, in fact, lies in the wholesale buying and selling of Antioch by investor groups. Truth be, outsiders are gobbling up homes by the score. Where, we should fear, is the vested interest of these conglomorates in our city’s welfare and in the respectful behavior of all their tenants?

All this said, Martin Luther King Day is a heaven-sent occasion to remind us that there is decided room in this nation and in this city for greater love, tolerance and non-violence.The recent events in Tucson illustrated that. Yes,  Antioch, too, has its’ haters. Extremists aside, even the most enlightened amongst us are, to various degrees, victims of past conditioning. Universally, we are an admixture of light and shadow, with often untold recesses of bias. Heaven on earth has, after all, not yet arrived; the human race is still flawed.

Nationally, and locally, we have come a long ways, though.  Baseball was integrated in 1947, the military in 1948, schools in 1954 and 1959 landmark decisions, voting in 1964. Yet, we are still on a journey to achieve Mr. King’s dream of a world of universal brotherhood. We still strive to be unfailingly judged not by the color of our skins but by the content of our character.

Kudos, then, to those who made this worthy and inspiring celebration possible; Reggie Moore for pioneering Antioch’s participation; the program partnership of the City of Antioch; Antioch Unified School District, CCC Supervisor Federal Glover, Arts and Cultural Foundation of Antioch, Parents Connected, Digital Services and Dow Great Western Federal Credit Union; Mistress of Ceremonies Chandra Wallace and Darice Ingram; Pastors Kirkland Smith for the Invocation and Frederick Taylor for the Benediction; Keith Archuleta and Wade Harper for stirring special presentations; Mayor Jim Davis for acknowledgments; Diane Gibson-Gray for special recognitions; Dr. Donald Gill for scholarship presentation; entertainers Divine Voices, DVHS Show Choir, Cayson Renshaw, Naja Philipps, Kelhani Ross, Marshae Collins, Devonaire Bryant, Kevyn Butler and Brooke Sheffield; and to essay winners Brittany Bandy and Corrina Seeley.

On this day, in the transcendent spirit of Martin Luther King, we in Antioch celebrated one race: the human race!

Walter Ruehlig
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