Archive for December, 2012

BART seeks applicants for Environmental Justice and Title VI Advisory Committee

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

2013 – 2015 Term

As part of BART’s Environmental Justice and Title VI compliance, the Office of Civil Rights is creating an Environmental Justice and Title VI Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee will serve as a forum for public participation for BART on issues related to its Environmental Justice and Title VI Programs.

The objective of the Advisory Committee is to:

  • Ensure that BART takes reasonable steps to incorporate Environmental Justice and Title VI Policy principles in its transportation decisions-making process.

  • Provide input on the most effective methods to engage and respond to Environmental Justice and Title VI populations.

  • Ensure meaningful involvement in BART’s transportation decision making process by promoting collaboration and problem solving on issues related to Environmental Justice and Title VI.

To start, the Advisory Committee will meet every other month. Members should be able to attend 50% of meetings, annually. The Committee will have up to 12 members, selected from community-based organizations (CBOs) within the District’s four-county service area. Applicants must be members or active participants of CBOs that are involved in advancing Title VI and Environmental Justice issues on behalf of low-income, and minority populations.

BART is currently seeking candidates for its Environmental Justice and Title VI Advisory Committee. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and a completed Advisory Committee application to:

Office of Civil Rights

300 Lakeside Drive, Suite 1800

Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 874-7333

(510) 464-7587 (fax)

Application Deadline: January 4, 2013.

The application is available by clicking here.

Completed application documents can be submitted either by email or regular mail. Applications can be downloaded from the BART website at For additional information please contact Seema Parameswaran, Senior Administrative Analyst, at or (510) 464-6189.

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East County’s BART Director Joel Keller is Board Vice President

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

The BART Board of Directors welcomed two newly elected members on Thursday, December 20, 2012 and voted to elect Director Tom Radulovich as President and Director Joel Keller as Vice President of the Board.

During today’s meeting, Rebecca Saltzman, elected by voters in November to represent District 3, was administered the oath of office by Oakland City Councilmember Libby Schaaf. Zakhary Mallett, elected to represent District 7, was sworn in by State Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose).

“It’s an exciting time to serve on the BART Board and as the newly elected President, I am pleased to welcome Directors Saltzman and Mallett to our dais,” said Board President Radulovich. “Both are transit advocates with years of experience connecting the dots between transit, the environment and a healthy regional economy.”

Rebecca Saltzman, District 3

Saltzman, who lives in Oakland, is a public transit and policy advocate who also works as a government affairs manager for a statewide environmental organization. Saltzman also serves as Vice-Chair of the Oakland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, where she advises the City of Oakland on pedestrian and bicycle policy and infrastructure. She graduated with a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Zakhary Mallett, District 7

Mallett, a Bay Area native residing in El Sobrante, is a City/Transportation Planner by profession. A transit advocate for more than ten years, he has participated civically in several transportation study initiatives while advocating for investments that allow transit to be a viable and competitive alternative to driving. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Stanford University and has a Master of City Planning (MCP) degree with a Transportation Planning emphasis from the University of California, Berkeley.

Keller joined the BART Board when voters elected him in November 1994. He was sworn into office on December 14, 1994. His colleagues on the BART Board of Directors chose him to serve as President in 2002 and 2005, and Vice President in 1998, 2001 and 2004. Director Keller represents the 2nd BART District, which includes Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Clyde, Concord (partial), Discovery Bay, El Sobrante, Knightsen, Oakley, Pacheco (partial), Pittsburg and Vine Hill (partial).

Director Keller serves as Chairperson of BART’s Engineering and Operations Committee and is a member of the Board’s District Security Advocacy Ad Hoc and eBART Policy Advisory, as well as other committees.

For more information on Keller, click here.

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McNerney’s bipartisan bill to support local fire departments passes House

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Will Give Local Firefighters and First Responders the Resources They Need for Five Years

Congressman Jerry McNerney’s (D-Stockton) bipartisan bill, the United States Fire Administration Act of 2012, passed the U.S. House of Representatives, on Thursday, December 20 with broad bipartisan support as a part of the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). McNerney introduced the bill in July to reauthorize the United States Fire Administration (USFA) for five years, allowing the USFA to continue administering grants, creating good-paying and critical jobs at fire departments across the country. The bill will also allow the USFA to continue to provide resources to train and educate the public about fire safety, prevention and preparedness.

The USFA provides our nation’s firefighters with the tools they need to keep the public safe and reduce the damages caused by fire and other emergency situations.  Not only is this legislation critical for public safety, it will ensure that we preserve and create good-paying jobs in communities across America,” said Congressman McNerney.

On December 5, 2012, Congressman McNerney wrote to Rep. Buck McKeon, Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, to encourage the committee to include the text of his legislation in the NDAA. Upon passage in the House, the NDAA will proceed to the Senate for consideration before traveling to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

Over the last decade, nearly $5 million has been awarded to the region encompassing Congressman McNerney’s district through programs administered by the USFA, improving public safety and education. For example, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants program created or saved the jobs of over 1200 firefighters across the country in 2009. The program allowed 566 workers who had been laid off to be rehired, prevented an additional 139 workers from being laid off, and created nearly 400 new jobs in our nation’s fire departments.

The USFA provides important public safety information that helps prevent costly and damaging fires. Increasing preparedness and keeping our friends and neighbors safe is a responsibility we all share. I am glad that this important legislation passed the House today, moving us one step closer to making sure our first responders have the tools and resources they need,” said McNerney.

The USFA was created in 1974 with the goal of reducing the number of fire-related deaths by half. This goal was met in 1988. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2010 there were 1,331,500 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,120 civilian deaths – down from 12,000 per year in 1973 – as well as 17,720 civilian injuries and $11.6 billion in property damage.

The United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2012, H.R. 6229, was originally co-introduced by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL).

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Antioch man arrested for making pipe bombs

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Frank Trout

By Sergeant Robert Quintero, Antioch Police Patrol Bureau

On the Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 1:56 p.m., the Antioch Police Department was dispatched along with Contra Costa Fire Department for a smoke investigation call at 1415 G Street. Witnesses also reported seeing the male resident walk out of this location with burns to his hands and leave in a car. The 53 year-old male resident, Frank Trout, showed up at Sutter Delta Medical Center a short time later with burns to his hands and face admitting the injuries were a result of an accident he caused while making pipe bombs.

The Antioch Police Department closed the intersecting streets at this location and evacuated all residents in danger, then called for the assistance of the Walnut Creek Police Department’s Bomb Squad. The bomb technicians located and disposed of an undisclosed amount of explosive devices and explosive making materials rendering the residence safe. Frank Trout was released from the hospital and transferred to the Sheriff’s Department’s main detention facility in Martinez.

If you have any information regarding this investigation, you may call the Antioch Police Department investigation’s Bureau at (925) 779-6926. You may also text an anonymous tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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The Real Story of Christmas

Monday, December 24th, 2012

The Birth of Jesus

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,

you may now dismiss your servant in peace.

30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,

31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

From the Book of Luke, Chapter 2, in the Bible, New International Version. For more, click here.

Merry Christmas!

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Man arrested for armed robbery of Antioch market early Friday morning

Friday, December 21st, 2012

By Lieutenant T. Brooks, Antioch Police Community Policing Bureau

On Friday, December 21 at approximately 12:54 a.m., Antioch Police officers were dispatched to an armed robbery at the Bonfare Market at 907 West 10th Street in Antioch. As officers were responding to the store an officer noticed a vehicle leaving the area. Officers lost sight of the vehicle, but found it moments later unoccupied, crashed, and on fire on Highway 4 behind the 600 block of West Tregallas Road.

Officers quickly set up a perimeter and located a male in a yard in the 2700 block of D Street. After a brief struggle, the male was taken into custody and later transported to a local hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries. The male will be booked at the Martinez Detention Facility on charges of robbery and assaulting a police officer. The investigation is ongoing.


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Ruehlig: Council appointment a charade of political payback

Thursday, December 20th, 2012


I avoided throwing my line off the pier for Antioch City Council appointment precisely so that I could not be blamed in post-derby comment for personal-driven sniping.

Hence, I could now easily just button the lip and get along by going along. Silent acquiescence is not my stripe, though. If the Emperor has no clothes, let’s call it.

As feared by many, this appointment was a charade. Applications, interviews and ‘whittling down’ were window dressing, my friends. The die was long cast for patronage.

In truth, I had my doubts about the wisdom of the appointment process. It’s not because the ideal is flawed; it is, in concept, a noble idea, like communism, that on paper works. Practice, though, is another kettle of fish. You see, if you don’t use an objective measure like next highest vote getter you leave yourself open to subjectivity. Likely to enter left stage, politics as usual, i.e., the buddy system, payback, and the temptation to stack the deck.

Again, in the abstract, picking someone who is the most experienced in governance, most involved in the community and most complimentary to the existing skill set of the Council is noble and conceptually doable. It’s just a darned hard assignment for most folks, human nature given what it is.

Case in point; by a 3-1 vote this Council took the subjective, lower and less enlightened road, choosing someone notable principally as a past union leader and political operative who worked aside them on many campaigns. Bless her family style, but Mr. Tiscareno also happened, from all accounts, to have grown up as a virtual third son to Mary Rocha.

Those are not “bad” things, but in doing so, though, the Council bypassed people overflowing with civic and governance accomplishment. The rejected resumes sported the likes of a Citizen of the Year, Stanford graduate with a Masters degree, past Mayors, Chief of Staff and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

Lost was more than experienced talent but a golden opportunity to show Council leadership, to rise above petty politics, and to do best for the City and 105,000 residents. After all, in a marriage or in a business partnership is it wise to favor a spitting image of yourself or, in fact, better to choose one complimentary, enriching and suitably challenging?

Don’t get me wrong, Tony Tiscareno seems a sincere, smart and determined chap who deserves commendation. I wish him nothing but the best. I simply bemoan favors trumping fairness and the process of like choosing like with dispassion forfeited. Yes, count me foolishly old-fashioned but isn’t public service allegedly a public, sacred trust, not tit for tat?

I already miss veteran Brian Kalinowski whom I always admired as an experienced, unvarnished, straight-shooting, unpredictably blue dog style democrat. We now have a Board with only Member Rocha having substantial Council experience. Agopian and Harper have two years each; Wilson and Tiscareno none.

Expect a highly partisan, public employee and union-dominated Council that will echo each other 4-1. Save lone wolf Agopian, where, pray tell, is a business community counter weight?

Is this Council a Solomon-like rudder for balanced, non-partisan decisions in turbulent waters? I fear not and, like legions of others, am rooting for courage. I hope my fears are baseless and am always eager to eat my hat if proven wrong.

Walter Ruehlig


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Man arrested by Antioch Police SWAT Team Tuesday morning

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

By Sergeant Morefield, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at approximately 8:02 AM, the Antioch Police Department SWAT Team assisted the Antioch Police Investigations Bureau in serving a search warrant at an apartment on Lemontree Court in the City of Antioch. Also taking part in this warrant service were members of the Contra Costa County SWAT Team with their Armored Tactical Vehicle. This search warrant was connected to some of the recent violent crime in the Sycamore area. The SWAT Team arrested a 25-year-old male at the location.

You may text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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