Archive for July, 2014

Guest Column: Dozier-Libbey Medical Teachers Appeal Charter Conversion Petition to State Board

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

By Jeff Weber

Yesterday, [Wednesday, July 30, 2014] teachers from Antioch’s Dozier-Libbey Medical High School (DLMHS) filed an appeal to the California State Board of Education following the denial of their petition to convert their school to an independent public charter school last May by the Contra Costa County Board of Education.  The 351-page appeal rebuts each point made in the county board’s report for denial, and highlights significant improvements that will be made possible for Dozier-Libbey students when the school is under independent community governance.

Although Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) Superintendent Donald Gill publicly stated his desire to find “common ground” with the Dozier-Libbey community following the county decision, teachers involved in the discussions with AUSD leadership in June found his intentions to be insincere.  Teachers cited several factors that doomed any meaningful agreement with AUSD that would benefit Dozier-Libbey students:

-Parents, community members, and many DLMHS faculty and staff were not invited to the negotiations;

-AUSD removed faculty and parents from the planning process for the 2014-15 school year, in violation of normal Ed Code practice;

-AUSD replaced the principal of DLMHS without justifiable cause or input from the school community;

-AUSD leadership stated their refusal to begin planning for the 2014-15 Dozier-Libbey school year until teachers signed an agreement to abandon their charter appeal (the teachers refused);

-AUSD consistently used existing successful student programs as bargaining chips to try to force teachers to abandon their charter appeal;

-Strong recommendations were provided by legal counsel to reject AUSD’s final “take-it-or-leave-it” offer.

In general, an overwhelming number of Dozier-Libbey teachers and parents expressed a lack of confidence in AUSD leadership, and fundamental disagreement with AUSD priorities.

The removal of Nancie Castro as an AUSD administrator provided the clearest indication of the district’s insincerity in promoting improved academic success in its schools.  Ms. Castro has served as the principal of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School since its inception, and has earned the school numerous honors and national recognition.  She has been arguably Antioch’s most successful administrator by any measure.  Yet the AUSD school board opted to not only remove Ms. Castro from her Dozier-Libbey position, but bar her from holding any administrative position in the district.

Ms. Castro was also instructed by district leadership not to engage in any course planning for the 2014-15 year, with those responsibilities ostensibly relegated to newly assigned principal Scott Bergerhouse.  However, many teachers are only now learning of their teaching assignments that will begin in less than two weeks.  Certain critical courses such as the scaffolded “Medical Math” have been eliminated due to planning failures, leaving concerns that next year’s students will suffer from a loss of targeted interventions, particularly in math skills. 

Many observers suspect that the Contra Costa County Board of Education was swayed by AUSD threats of litigation rather than any meaningful evidence that the charter would fail to provide a sound educational program for its students.  The State Board of Education is expected to review the petition in line with California law, and therefore approve the charter based on its merits and proven potential for providing a successful alternative public educational program for Antioch students.

Public consideration of Dozier-Libbey’s future governance began last February when the vast majority of the school’s faculty signed a petition filed with AUSD, in accordance with the charter schools section of the California Education Code, to convert their school to a public charter.  According to the petition, the school would be managed by its own governing board made up of parents and community members, independent of AUSD’s board of trustees.  The teachers’ 121-page petition presented a strong case for significantly improving academic programs and fiscal management at this respected pathway school, however AUSD subsequently denied the petition and pressured the county board of education through threat of litigation to likewise deny the first appeal.  AUSD leadership attempted to thwart the teachers’ petition early on by filing its own petition to convert DLMHS to a “dependent” charter school, however this effort has been twice blocked by the California Superior Court.  Teachers are now exercising their right to appeal their own charter conversion to the state board.  The appeal is expected to be reviewed in the late fall.

Updates regarding the Dozier-Libbey Medical High School independent charter process are available at DozierLibbeyCharter.com and www.Facebook.com/dozierlibbey.

Weber is a teacher at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School.

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Antioch Man Arrested Following Stolen Car Chase, Tuesday Morning

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

By Sergeant Dimitri Barakos #2176, Antioch Police Community Policing Bureau

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at approximately 4:46 AM, an Antioch Police Officer saw a subject driving a stolen car in the area of Marie Avenue and Crest Street. Officers attempted an enforcement stop on the car and the driver. The driver failed to comply and he led the officers on a vehicle pursuit onto east bound Highway 4. The car had some type of mechanical malfunction and stopped on Highway 160 between Hillcrest Avenue and Main Street in Oakley. The driver, later identified as Marglin, fled on foot.

An Antioch Police K-9 tracked Marglin to a residence in the 2200 block of Philips Lane. Marglin had hidden underneath a pool house where the K-9 engaged him. Marglin fought with the K-9 and ended up stuck underneath the house. Officer tried to coax Marglin out, which met with negative results.

Officers contacted ConFire and they responded to assist. ConFire personnel dug a trench under the house to Marglin. Utilizing a rope the officers were able to pull Marglin out from under the house. Marglin was taken into custody without further incident. Marglin was treated at a local hospital for injuries sustained during the apprehension. After he was medically cleared for incarceration he was transported to the Martinez Detention Facility.

Any further information will be provided by the Investigations Bureau at 925.779.6926. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Sleeping Antioch Woman Hit in Neck by Gunshots into House Thursday Morning

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

By Act. Sergeant Wisecarver, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Thursday morning, July 31, 2014 at 4:01 AM, Antioch Police Dispatch received 911 calls reporting gunshots in the area of West 5th Street. A short time later dispatch received calls from family members in the 1100 block of W 5th Street advising their 23 year old daughter had been shot. Officers arrived on scene to find the 23-year-old female bleeding from a gunshot wound to the back of her neck.

Officers learned that several bullets were fired from outside of the home and that the bullets penetrated the home through the exterior wall. One of the bullets struck the female victim as she was sleeping in her bed.

The female victim was transported to an area hospital where she was treated for this non-life threatening injury.

This incident is still under investigation. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to contact the Antioch Police Dept. at (925)778-2441. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Tri Delta Transit Named Best Transit System in North America

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority, better known as Tri Delta Transit, has been named the best transit system of its size in North America by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for efforts to enhance service, efficiencies and overall effectiveness.

“This is the highest honor in our industry,” said Jeanne Krieg, Tri Delta Transit’s CEO. “This award is a tribute to our progressive and supportive Board of Directors as well as to the hard work and commitment of each Tri Delta Transit employee. The dedication, enthusiasm, and innovative spirit our employees show every day make me proud to lead our award-winning organization. We are very excited – and honored — to receive this award.”

Tri Delta Transit was ranked #1 in the four million and under passenger category.

APTA gives out the Outstanding Transportation System Achievement Award annually to honor transit systems demonstrating exceptional efficiency and effectiveness. Transit systems are judged on services and programs, safety, operations, customer service, financial management, attendance and employee costs, advancement of minorities and women, marketing, policy and administration, and community relations.
In achieving this award, Tri Delta Transit has demonstrated itself as a leader locally and across the nation with its environmental initiatives, innovative ideas and partnerships, and its responsive service.
Dedication and innovation are nothing new to Tri Delta Transit. In 2006, they were the first transit agency to create a dedicated stroller area on their buses to better serve their customers traveling with children. This progressive idea generated worldwide interest among transit operators and has since been adopted by other transit agencies. More recently, they were among only ten transit operators to be selected to participate in the Federal Transit Administration’s Environmental and Sustainability Management Institute. The result of this effort will be the implementation of a formalized management process that will analyze, control, and reduce the environmental impact of Tri Delta Transit.
Tri Delta Transit is a vital part of Eastern Contra Costa County and this award is a great honor for the entire community.

“We share this honor with all of our customers and the citizens in our service area,” said Krieg.
Tri Delta Transit’s efforts are also being recognized by their customers, who continue to use the system in increasing numbers. Fixed route ridership increased 3.4% between 2011 and 2012. It increased 12.7% between 2012 and 2013.

The award will be presented to Tri Delta Transit at the APTA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Houston, Texas on October 14, 2014. This conference brings together more than 10,000 transit industry professionals from across the world.

Tri Delta Transit provides nearly 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of 290,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County including parts of Martinez and Concord. Tri Delta Transit operates 13 local bus routes Monday – Friday, four local bus routes on weekends, express commuter service to BART, and door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities.

For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.

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Antioch Police Give Report to the City Council on Recent Crime

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

By John Crowder

The recent spate of shootings that have occurred in Antioch, along with media reports deriding the city as one of the most “stressed out” in California, took center stage at the July 22 meeting of the Antioch City Council.

The timing of the shooting incidents happened to coincide with the quarterly address on crime statistics usually given by Chief Cantando to the council. At Tuesday’s meeting the presentation was instead given by Captain Leonard Orman, filling in for Cantando who was recovering from surgery.

Orman began his presentation by relaying a message from the chief recognizing the “unwavering support” given to the police department by the council. He then moved to directly address recent media reports that have been highly critical of the crime situation in Antioch. He said the chief was, “Very concerned about the unfortunate perception we’ve had recently in the media, social media, and on the Internet, that we’ve suffered this upsurge in shootings in our community.”

Saying that he would be presenting facts that he claimed would, “hopefully aid the community’s perception of our true crime picture,” he noted that shooting incidents in Antioch stood at 50 for the year as of close of business the day before, as compared to 44 for the city of Richmond, to which Antioch has been compared in the media recently with regard to crime. He went on to say that, at the same time last year, there were 51 such incidents in Antioch, and that there were 57 at the same time in 2012. “So you can see, we haven’t had quite the surge in violence that is being perceived,” he stated.

Orman spoke to a slide presentation, showing statistics indicating that violent crime was down 15.7%, property crime was up 2.9%, and total crime down just under 1%.

Orman also addressed police staffing in his presentation. He said that Antioch was suffering from, “depleting police resources due to the recession,” and “unprecedented retirements and other separations from our police department,” while also indicating that the department was in the process of rebuilding and adding staff. According to the chart he presented, Antioch had 88 full-time positions filled, but of these, 3 were in field training, 14 were unavailable for full duty due to injury or medical condition, and two were on extended leave, allowing only 69 full duty sworn positions. Orman stated, however, that since the chart he was showing had been produced a week ago, there were now an additional 5 officers back on full duty.

Also addressed during the presentation was the slow rate at which new officers were being added to the Antioch police force. From January to June of this year, the Antioch Police Department (APD) has had 1557 applicants for police officers. Of these, 60 made it to the eligibility list, and 8 were hired, a rate that works out to just over ½% of applicants being hired. Orman said that since January 1st 2013 the APD had hired 26 officers, but that this has only resulted in a net gain of 4 officers to date.

Following the crime statistic presentation, Mayor Wade Harper asked about the underlying reasons for the shootings, with Orman confirming that it was related to gang and drug activity, as stated in the presentation. Harper also noted that the city manager, Steve Duran, had authorized the APD to use whatever money is needed on overtime to “make up the gap until we can get more officers.”

Mayor Pro Tem Mary Rocha suggested working with the school district to put together a grant to get some recreation around the Sycamore area. “I think what we need to do also, at the same time we’re trying to suppress, is try to do prevention, in trying to bring something down at Sycamore where we could have a recreational, something that changes the mind of kids and I think I’ll appeal to the school district again, that we get together and put a grant together, I’m sure that there’s availability, that’s number one.” She also requested that community members take down the license numbers of cars they don’t recognize in their neighborhoods.

Council Member Tony Tiscareno expressed concern that community members are not coming forward to report criminal activity. He blamed potential retaliation as a roadblock. Orman noted, in response, that Antioch has an anonymous tip line people can use to report crime, and that, when used, it had been very effective.

During public comments on the issue, several residents spoke out. Roberta Haynes said that the violent crime problem was not just restricted to Sycamore, but that the parking lots at both Raley’s and Walmart are unsafe. “There isn’t enough (police officers) to cover this area,” she said.

Will LeRoy expressed concern for what he said was, “Just a total disrespect for law in this town.” Attributing the crime problem to low-income housing, he asked the council to not, “build more of those types of communities,” which require a greater need for police services. He also stated that he understood Antioch had police pensions owing of between $50 million to $80 million, and that, “the public has a right to know if the city is going bankrupt paying these pensions, and how far these pensions are reaching into funds that we could use in other areas.”

Antioch businessman Ken Turnage pulled out bullets he said had been pried from stucco where shootings had occurred which the police never responded to. He went on to complain of prostitutes on 18th Street at all times of the day, and said he witnessed an incident of a lady being accosted on the same street and a police officer driving by, witnessing the event, but not stopping to intervene.

William Dee, President of the Antioch Police Officer Association, addressed the issue of police staffing. He said Antioch is, “the fourth most dangerous city in California.” He went on to call for more police offices, noting that Richmond, a city with an almost identical population size to Antioch, has staffing levels of over 190 officers. “Authorized positions and actual boots on the ground is far different,” he stated, “Investigation and administrative staffing accounts for 29 of those 88 positions.” Dee pointed out that with six shifts, “Each shift has approximately seven officers to respond to calls for service.”

The next meeting of the Antioch City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7th, at 7:00 pm. Meetings are held at City Hall.

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Update on Monday’s Officer Involved Shooting in Antioch

Monday, July 28th, 2014

By Lieutenant Tony Morefield, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

At approximately 8:34 AM on Monday, July 28, 2014, Antioch Police Department officers were dispatched to the area of the 4100 block of Folsom Drive, regarding a rifle that had been found in the street. When an officer arrived, he eventually had an encounter with a male suspect. The officer attempted to detain the male who fled from him into an open garage. At some point during the attempted detention, the officer fired his sidearm striking the suspect several times. The scene was eventually secured and the male was flown by helicopter to an area hospital. The male suspect has been identified as Timothy Sean Randolph, a 34-year-old, Antioch resident. Randolph has an extensive criminal history. He is still undergoing treatment at the hospital but is expected to survive.

We have invoked the Officer Involved Critical Incident Protocol. This case is being investigated cooperatively with the Contra Costa County (CCCo) DA’s Office, the CCCo Crime Lab and the Antioch Police Department. The officer involved in this incident was not injured and is currently on paid administrative leave, which is routine during these types of investigations.

This is an ongoing investigation and no further details will be released at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Vanderpool with the Antioch Police Department at (925)779-6988. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Antioch’s New County Market Asian Food Store to Celebrate Grand Opening Wednesday

Monday, July 28th, 2014

County Market Store FrontCounty Market Grand Opening

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Investigation Begins in Antioch Police Officer Involved Shooting, Monday Morning

Monday, July 28th, 2014

By Captain Leonard Orman, Antioch Police Department

This morning, Monday, July 28, 2014, our officers were dispatched to Folsom Dr. regarding a rifle that had been found in the street. When an officer arrived, he eventually had an encounter with a male subject. The officer attempted to detain the male who fled from him into an open garage. At some point during the attempted detention, the officer fired his sidearm striking the male several times. The scene was eventually secured and the male was flown by helicopter to a hospital. Although he was responsive when removed from the scene, his prognosis is unknown at this time. The officer, who is a veteran, was not injured.

We have invoked the Officer Involved Critical Incident Protocol. This case will be investigated cooperatively with the CCC DA’s Officer, the CCC County Crime Lab and the Antioch Police Department.

No further details will be released at this time. As this investigation develops we look forward to providing further information at that time.

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