Archive for January, 2017

Sylvia’s Florist celebrates ribbon cutting with Antioch community, business leaders

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
Owner Sylvia Sandoval, her husband Valentin, friends, and Antioch community and business leaders celebrate the ribbon cutting of Sylvia's Florist on A Street, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. photo by Casey Quist

Owner Sylvia Sandoval with scissors, her husband Valentin (in blue suit), friends, and Antioch community and business leaders celebrate the ribbon cutting for Sylvia’s Florist on A Street, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. photo by Casey Quist, Studio 505

By Allen Payton

As their third anniversary draws near, on March 1st, Sylvia’s Florist held a ribbon cutting as a new member of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, on Friday evening, Jan. 27, 2017. Attended by members of the Antioch City Council and Chamber, the evening featured beautiful flower arrangements and refreshments, including a fountain of dark chocolate in which to dip fruit and marshmallows, a few speeches and a free red rose to each of those who attended.

Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe was first to share his thoughts, representing the City of Antioch.

“Thank you for opening your business here in Antioch,” he said. “It’s important for our economic vitality because it’s going to be small businesses that will help us move forward.”

“Certainly in addition I can’t express enough how we’re in a time of change,” Thorpe continued. “I’m delighted you’re here and offering diversity for our residents.”

“Sylvia is from Colima in Mexico. She came here 17 years ago to work hard but most importantly to give back to our country,” he added. “Thank you for making a difference and showing that everybody has a place in our community.”

Chamber CEO Richard Pagano spoke next.

“On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, thank you so much that you have opened a business in our community so we can do great things in our community,” he shared. “The community is built on the back of people like yourselves.”

That was followed by a presentation Colleen Isenberg of Congressman Jerry McNerney’s office with certificates from him and Assemblyman Jim Frazier.

Antioch Mayor Sean Wright then shared his thoughts.

“I’m so happy for you,” he said. “This is where I started (his chiropractic business in the same building) in Antioch. You have done an amazing turn around. It’s light it’s fresh. It’s just fun to come in.”

“We want you to be successful,” Wright continued. “Reach out to us.”

Owner Sylvia Sandoval who was joined by her husband Valentin Manriquez, family and friends, thanked all who attended.

“Thank you so much for everyone being here,” she said. “I’m so happy. It’s a really good feeling that I can count on you guys. I was nervous. I was excited.”

“Especially thanks to Jack (Monroe, the Chamber’s Membership Representative). He’s been a real blessing,” Sandoval continued. “Thanks to my pastor, my family they’ve been a real support for me.”

“I’m here to serve you,” she added. “I’m not just a flower shop. I rent table cloths, even Port-a-potties.”

Located at 2008 A Street in the ABC Building in Antioch, Sylvia’s is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To place your order for Valentine’s Day or any occasion, call them at (925) 755-0482. Learn more by visiting and “like” their Facebook page at.

 

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Coalition upset County Supervisors eliminated Community Choice Energy option

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Following is the letter submitted by a coalition of supporters of the Community Choice Energy program:

The CCE Draft Technical Study and the Need for Fuller Consideration of All Studied Options

Dear Members of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors:

We, the undersigned, represent organizations that have been following the progress made by the cities and County of Contra Costa as they decide how to implement Community Choice Energy. We do not share a preference for any one of the three options outlined in the Draft Technical Study, but we do share the following concerns about the adequacy of that study and the public process that has unfolded in its aftermath.

1) We are highly critical of the current Draft Technical Study prepared by MRW, as well as the very cursory presentations made by the county and the consultants. Neither the study nor the presentations include enough necessary information or the specificity of detail required in order for the cities and the County to make fully informed decisions with lifelong consequences. To cite one such example, when addressing the very basic question of risks associated with the startup costs, the study actually neglects to mention that to date, all CCEs in California have paid back their loans in less than a year.

2) We are, moreover, extremely troubled by the premature decision of the Board of Supervisors on January 17, 2017, to eliminate the stand-alone Community Choice Energy option, which the draft study identified (in Table ES-5) as offering the “greatest” amount of local governance and local economic benefit. The decision to exclude the in-county (stand-alone) option unnecessarily limits the choices offered to residents and businesses in unincorporated areas of the County, and preempts input from leaders, residents, and businesses in the incorporated cities before they have had the opportunity to question and comment on the study. Seven cities contributed to the study’s cost and are entitled to one that fully addresses the impacts to their respective cities—e.g., what amount of buildout is reasonably possible in the Concord Naval Weapons Depot over a ten-year period, and what its economic impact would be. We therefore urge you to reconsider your decision to remove the in-county option from consideration.

3) We would like to know why neither the Contra Costa study nor the presentations have answered this fairly simple question: Why did the study for Alameda County done by the same MRW Consulting firm give a much more robust analysis of the economic benefits of local buildout?

4) We would also like to know why, if the technical studies of six other Bay Area counties (Sonoma, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Yolo) show the stand-alone option to be superior, this would not also be the case in Contra Costa.

5) Unfortunately, the Draft Feasibility Study does not enable the reader to determine which option, in the choice between MCE and EBCE, might result in the greater buildout and job development within Contra Costa. In fact, the study does not indicate that any such buildout or job development will occur by joining either MCE or EBCE. We strongly encourage the county to communicate with both MCE and EBCE about these issues.

Attached is a letter from Scott Rafferty addressing in much more detail some additional concerns about missing or misrepresented facts in the current Contra Costa Draft Technical Study, including the paucity of current information about MCE. This is not an attempt to indicate that MCE is a bad choice, but rather to point out that relevant information about MCE that is available to the public is not included in the draft study. We understand that information about both a stand-alone option and EBCE is necessarily limited because neither yet exists.

Here are some of the points that Scott Rafferty makes:

a) He agrees with MCE’s criticisms that the analyst provides “scant analysis of MCE’s operational program,” and “no analysis” of MCE’s local renewable program, customer-sited solar, job creation, and other benefits. But despite some impressive claims about past performance, MCE doesn’t really provide much insight into its forward-looking plan. He suggests that MCE may bring more legacy costs than synergies to our county.

b) MCE wants credit for $4.6m in subsidies from the CPUC for energy development (that have already been fully committed to programs in Richmond or outside CCC). An independent CC-CCE program would probably be better positioned to seek equivalent subsidies from CPUC than MCE would be in getting them increased proportionally, which MCE does not suggest is likely.

c) He argues that the Supervisors have relied too heavily on the consultant’s analysis of the more obvious “first order” effects of piggybacking on MCE—less “effort” and greater risk on “start-up costs,” which the consultant concedes are small. The risk to which the BOS is averse, therefore, might be political. If things go awry, they can share responsibility with the existing local bodies.

d) He also rejects MCE’s notion that El Cerrito and Richmond have an identity of interests with the rest of CCC or that there will be brand confusion. On the contrary, they share the climate and rate structure of Marin and Oakland, which is very different from the rest of Contra Costa County and Alameda east of the I-680.

e) Neither MCE nor, at this stage, our BOS has clear direction on how to weigh competing objectives—low electric rates, GHG mitigation, progressive rate design (including low-income and residential preferences), job creation and economic benefits, worker and public safety and service reliability. MCE is self-regulating and subject to very significant shifts in voting power.

f) The jury is still out on MCE’s effectiveness in dealing with regulators. It settled very quickly with PG&E in a pending rate case, with limited concessions for clean energy or consumer rate relief. At the state level, two voices will likely have more clout than one—a statement MCE itself has made.

g) As the Governor’s attempts at CAISO regionalization have made clear, larger geographic scale does not always increase the GHG benefits. Neither MCE nor the consultants have yet developed a measure of environmental benefit that accurately accommodates displacement to PG&E and other utilities.

For all the above reasons, we strongly urge the Board of Supervisors to reconsider what we believe was a premature narrowing of the choices. We request that more complete information be shared in future presentations, especially as regards the potential for local buildout and the economic benefits of each of the three proposed CCE choices, and that the final technical study include far more concrete information which the cities will need to make a truly informed choice.

Very sincerely yours,
Peter Ericson
Contra Costa Clean Energy Alliance
Lynda Deschambault
Generation Green / Contra Costa County Climate Leaders (4CL)
Peter Dragovich
Contra Costa Progressives
Bill Pinkham
350 Bay Area
Shoshana Wechsler
Sunflower Alliance
Péllo Walker
Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce Green Group
Carol Weed
Contra Costa Chapter Organizing for Action
Jan Warren
Interfaith Climate Action Network of Contra Costa County

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Oakland man shot in Antioch, Saturday night, police seek shooter

Monday, January 30th, 2017

By Corporal James Stenger 3604, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at about 9:44 PM, APD officers were dispatched to the 1800 block of Cavallo Road for several gunshots heard in the area.  A 35 year-old male Oakland resident was located suffering from at least two gunshot wounds.  It was learned the victim was shot while sitting in a parked vehicle in the 1800 block of Cavallo Road.  The victim was transported to a local hospital and is currently listed in critical but stable condition.

This preliminary information is made available by the Field Services Bureau. There will be no further information released regarding this case at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non emergency line at (925)778-2441.  You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Two men from Oakley, Pittsburg arrested in Antioch following high-speed stolen car chase, Saturday night

Monday, January 30th, 2017
The stolen car recovered on Eagleridge Drive in Antioch by County Deputy Sheriffs and Antioch Police following a high-speed chase, Saturday night, Jan. 28. 2017. photo by Allen Payton

The stolen car recovered on Eagleridge Drive in Antioch by County Deputy Sheriffs and Antioch Police following a high-speed chase, Saturday night, Jan. 28. 2017. photo by Allen Payton

By Jimmy Lee, Spokesperson, Contra Costa County Sheriff

On Saturday, January 28, 2017, at about 8:22 PM, a deputy sheriff observed a stolen vehicle traveling in the area of Somersville Road in Antioch.

Office of the Sheriff helicopter STARR3 was overhead as the deputy followed the vehicle on surface streets. A traffic enforcement stop was initiated at Buchanan Road and San Jose Drive in Antioch once Antioch PD units were in position to assist. The suspect vehicle failed to yield, leading the deputy and officers on a pursuit.

STARR3 stayed overhead following the pursuit.

The pursuit continued onto eastbound Highway 4 and then exited onto Hillcrest Avenue. In the area of Eagleridge Drive and Eagle Court, the two suspects fled on foot trying to hide in backyards. One person driving by who called the Herald said it looked like there were about 10 police and sheriffs vehicles on the scene.

One witness said he saw Sheriff’s Deputies and Antioch Police capture the two men in the backyard of a nearby home after they ran from the suspect vehicle. STARR3 directed ground units to where both suspects were hiding on Owl Court. They were taken into custody.

They are identified as 31-year-old Herbert Williams of Pittsburg and 29-year-old Etuate Faiva of Oakley. Both were booked on numerous charges: vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, evasion, obstruction, and probation violation.

Both are being held at the Martinez Detention Facility without bail.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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County CASE Team seizes weapons from Pittsburg home, arrest couple, Tuesday

Saturday, January 28th, 2017
The cache of weapons seized by a the county’s CASE Team from a Pittsburg home on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. photo courtesy of CCCSheriff

The cache of weapons seized by a the county’s CASE Team from a Pittsburg home on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. photo courtesy of CCCSheriff

After an investigation into alleged illegal gun sales, the CASE (Contra Costa County Anti-Violence Support Effort) team on Tuesday served a search warrant at a home on the 5100 block of Kirker Pass Road in Pittsburg.

During the search of the residence, CASE team members recovered a .416 Barrett rifle, .308 rifle, and a .223 Colt M4 semi-automatic rifle.

Two people were arrested at the residence: 34-year-old Mitchell Coelho and 32-year-old Mehgan Coelho. Both resided at the home.

They were booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on the following charges: felon in possession of a firearm, illegal transfer of a firearm and child endangerment.

Both are being held in lieu of $310,000 bail.

The CASE Team is a joint effort by the Office of the Sheriff, California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, Contra Costa County Probation Department, Pittsburg Police Department and Walnut Creek Police Department. CASE was created in November 2011 as a collaborative effort to reduce violent crimes in Contra Costa, especially those related to illegal firearms.

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County Supervisors proclaim local emergency due to $18 million in road, other damage from storms

Saturday, January 28th, 2017
Damage to Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek Road and Castro Ranch Road. courtesy of CCCSheriff

Damage to Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek and Castro Ranch Roads. courtesy of CCCSheriff

Marsh Creek, Alhambra Valley Roads still closed; cleanup continues

During a special meeting on Thursday, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors ratified a proclamation of local emergency stemming from storm damage that took place during the first two weeks of January.  High winds coupled with continued rains over a short timeframe led to an estimated $18 million in damage in a number of unincorporated areas of the County, within our cities, and at water, park and sanitation district facilities.  The proclamation, along with the State’s declaration of a State of Emergency on Monday, will put the County and local jurisdictions in line for potential recovery funding.

Alternate routes for closure of Alhambra Valley Road.

Alternate routes for closure of Alhambra Valley Road.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA,) is doing site visits throughout the state this week, along with the State Office of Emergency Services.  It will take several months for the County, working with State and Federal authorities, to get a more firm total on the damages and what costs can be covered.

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen praised Public Works, the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services workers for their efforts to respond quickly to the storm’s impacts, noting that repairs are being made as quickly as possible.  Public Works Director Julie Bueren agreed, noting that months of work in advance by Public Works and Flood Control District staff helped to minimize the problems in the unincorporated area.  Two problem areas that were closed are now open:  Morgan Territory Road and McEwen Road.

Two major road closures are still in effect in Contra Costa County:

  • Marsh Creek Road between the Clayton city limits and Deer Valley Road
  • Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek and Castro Ranch Roads

Marsh Creek is open for local traffic only.  Caltrans and County officials are working jointly developing a plan to repair the sinkhole on Alhambra Valley Road.

With more rain expected next week, and the ground still very saturated from previous storms, you are encouraged to use any gaps in the rain to prepare for the next wave, checking rain gutters and storm drains for blockage.  If you’re concerned about flooding at your home or business, it’s not too late to visit one of the sandbag stations located throughout the county.  Please note that you’ll need to bring a shovel, but bags and sand are available for free.   Find out details regarding County sandbag sites at www.cccounty.us/sandbags.

County Public Works Maintenance road crews maintain the storm drain inlets through a program of annual inspection and cleaning. To report a clogged catch basin or drainage inlet please call the Public Works Maintenance Division at 925-313-7000 during work hours and after hours call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 925-646-2441.

Important phone numbers and webpages:

(925) 313-7000 Public Works Maintenance Division- For emergencies during normal business hours

(707) 551-4100 California Highway Patrol- For emergencies after hours

(925) 646-2441 Contra Costa County Sheriffs Dispatch- For emergencies after hours

http://www.cccounty.us/sandbags  – Contra Costa County Sandbag Locations

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Vehicle crashes through two yards, takes out parts of three fences, early Friday morning

Saturday, January 28th, 2017
The damage to the fence and backyard caused by an errant driver, early Friday morning, Jan. 27, 2017. The cactus, named "Mickey" by owner Sam Quintero, in the corner survived.

The damage to the fence and backyard of a home on the corner of Garrow and Mountaire Drives caused by an errant driver, early Friday morning, Jan. 27, 2017. The cactus, named “Mickey” by owner Sam Quintero, in the corner survived.

“Mickey” the cactus still stands

By Allen Payton

A driver caused damage to two yards on Garrow Drive and Mountaire Drive in Antioch, early Friday morning, when the vehicle he or she was driving veered off the road and through the yards and fences of two neighbors. The driver also caused damage to the shrubbery of both properties, as well as the property in the PG&E right-of-way between the homes.

“They made their own road,” said an Antioch Police Officer while she was interviewing the homeowners, Friday morning.

“Could you hear it?” she asked them.

The PG&E right-of-way between the homes sustained damage, including ruts from the tires and scrapes on the tree.

The PG&E right-of-way between the homes sustained damage, including ruts from the tires and scrapes on the tree.

“Yes,” said Teri Cali, who lives at the home on Garrow Drive with her father Gabe Montes. “About 12:40 or 12:50 (a.m.) I heard it. It was a truck.”

“I could hear him revving up,” she continued. “I was downstairs within five minutes and he was already gone. The license plate frame has metal studs on it. I assume it was a young male.”

“It was pitch black except for that light which isn’t very bright,” added Montes, who has owned and lived in the home since 1976.

Cali said she didn’t see the damage during the night.

“I didn’t think to call the police,” she shared. “All she heard was a bunch of noise. A couple of booms and squeals.”

“I thought they were spinning donuts down here, said another neighbor Ron Shielle, who was driving by during the interview and had also heard the collision.

However, the morning light revealed what had caused all the noise.

“I came out to pick up my newspaper and said ‘what the heck happened to my shrubs?’” Montes shared. “’Where’s my chain link fence?’”

There was no damage to either of the homes and no one in the homes was hurt.

“I wasn’t home. I was at my mom’s,” said Sam Quintero whose backyard and fence sustained most of the damage. “Gabe called me, this morning. Somebody ran through my fence, again.”

He’s lived in the home on the corner of Mountaire and Garrow Drives since 1976 and this was the second time somene has crashed through his yard. The other time was in 1983, when a driver landed in his house, next to his bed where he was sleeping.

“That one was a drunk girl who was passed out,” they shared.

A side view mirror and other vehicle parts can be seen lying in the PG&E right-of-way between the homes.

A side view mirror and other vehicle parts can be seen lying in the PG&E right-of-way between the homes.

Quintero tried to look on the bright side.

“They didn’t take Mickey,” he stated. “That’s the name of the cactus because it looked like Mickey Mouse when I first got it.”

As of Friday morning the homeowners were waiting for the police to let them know who the driver is so they can go after his insurance company.

Montes mentioned that he had asked the city about getting speed bumps on the street.

“They already said that’s out of the question,” he said. “So maybe they can put up signs that say ‘slow down.’”

Or an electric sign that shows your speed like the one on W. 2nd Street, it was suggested.

“How do we get one of those?” he asked.

The street is the only two-lane road in Antioch that continue from the waterfront and across Davison. It serves as a bypass, between Lone Tree and Hillcrest/Deer Valley Road.

“It’s a short cut,” Montes added.

A call into the Antioch Police Department was returned on Friday, but the night shift had no report, as the police officer hadn’t interviewed the residents until mid-morning. Check back later for any additional details, or should the police locate and identify the driver of the vehicle.

The driver also caused damage to the fence and shrubs in Gabe Montes' front yard on Garrow Drive.

A metal post remains where the driver caused damage to the fence and shrubs in Gabe Montes’ front yard on Garrow Drive.

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Delta Diablo wins Governor’s Award for Sustainability Leadership

Friday, January 27th, 2017
From Left to Right: Mike Bakaldin, Interim General Manager, Phil Govea, Engineering Services Director, Joaquin Gonzalez, Operations Manager holding the plaque, Amanda Roa, Environmental Programs Manager, and Robert Brothers, Environmental Compliance Specialist II.

From Left to Right: Mike Bakaldin, Interim General Manager; Phil Govea, Engineering Services Director; Joaquin Gonzalez, Operations Manager holding the plaque; Amanda Roa, Environmental Programs Manager; and Robert Brothers, Environmental Compliance Specialist II.

Delta Diablo was honored in Sacramento on Thursday evening, January 19th with a prestigious 2016 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA). GEELA is California’s highest environmental honor, administered by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state’s economy.

This award recognizes Delta Diablo for its commitment and achievements in sustainability. At Delta Diablo, sustainability is not just one project or program, but rather a mindset that is holistically expressed throughout the entire organization. This can be observed through the recycled water and renewable energy projects that we implement, the innovative technologies we pilot, and the regional coalitions we lead.

These projects and programs reflect how Delta Diablo embodies sustainability and excellence throughout the organization, achieving 12 consecutive years of 100% permit compliance, and awards at every level in the organization for public education, safety, financial reporting, human resources, labor relations, procurement, engineering, leadership and innovation. Delta Diablo is proud to help maintain sustainable facilities, practices, and communities, and desires to be a Utility of the Future to advance the state of the industry for water resource recovery, helping to create a sustainable California.

Delta Diablo’s Board of Directors’ Chair Pete Longmire confirms: “This award recognizes every aspect of Delta Diablo’s services and the efforts of all our dedicated employees across every department. It is a recognition of the daily work they do providing critical public health and resource recovery services to 200,000 people in Antioch, Bay Point and Pittsburg, as well as their leadership with several regional industry coalitions.”

Each year GEELA recipients are chosen from five categories and Delta Diablo was recognized under the “Sustainable Practices, Communities or Facilities” category.

Delta Diablo (District) provides water resource recovery services for the City of Antioch, the City of Pittsburg, and the unincorporated community of Bay Point, serving a population of nearly 200,000. The water resource recovery services consist of conventional treatment of wastewater, recycled water production and distribution, pollution prevention, energy recovery, beneficial reuse of biosolids, street sweeping, and household hazardous waste collection. For more information visit www.deltadiablo.org.

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