Archive for November, 2017

After over two years in the works Antioch Council may finalize Downtown Specific Plan update Tuesday night

Monday, November 27th, 2017

General Plan Land Use Update; changes to approvals for Sand Creek area new home project; bonus for lateral police hires also on agenda

Action may finally rid the waterfront of the old house on the barge.

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 28 the Antioch City Council will finalize the process and take a vote on the update to the Downtown Specific Plan, begun in June 2015. The council will also consider the update to the city’s General Plan Land Use, as well as changes to the approvals for the Promenade – Vineyards at Sand Creek new home development. In addition, the council will consider offering a bonus for recruiting police officers from other agencies, known as laterals.

Downtown Specific Plan Update – Downtown Specific Plan Update ACC112817

According to the staff report on the agenda item, “On June 2, 2015, a Joint Special Study Meeting of the City Council, Planning Commission and Economic Development Commission was held on the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) Update Program to review background information, provide input on three initial land use alternatives, and a preferred alternative for the DSP area.”

From that meeting and the input offered by the public, “a refined set of two alternatives was forward(ed) to the City Council for review.”

Specific Plans are regulated by California Government Code and must include:

1) The distribution, location, and extent of the uses of land, including open space, within the area covered by the plan.

2) The proposed distribution, location, and extent and intensity of major components of public and private transportation, sewage, water, drainage, solid waste disposal, energy, and other essential facilities proposed to be located within the area covered by the plan and needed to support the land uses described in the plan.

3) Standards and criteria by which development will proceed, and standards for the conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources, where applicable.

4) A program of implementation measures including regulations, programs, public works projects, and financing measures necessary to carry out paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).

5) A statement of the relationship of the specific plan to the general plan.

Antioch’s DSP Update covers the following elements: Vision, Guiding Policies, and Context; Land Use; Streetscape and Design Guidelines; Circulation and Access; Environmental Quality; Public Facilities, Services, and Infrastructure; and Implementation.

The proposed vision for downtown the council will consider is:

“Downtown Antioch will be a wonderful place in which to live, work, shop, dine and play. The community will take pride in Downtown as the historic heart of Antioch. Downtown’s unique waterfront setting, its historic and culturally rich character, buildings, streetscapes and open spaces will make it a successful, lively, fun and walkable special place that attracts residents and visitors of all ages.”

The plan is based on seven goals:

Goal I: Preserve Downtown Antioch’s Unique Character

Goal II: Preserve and Enhance Public Spaces

Goal III: Preserve Economic Vitality

Goal IV: Support a Housing Renaissance

Goal V: Support Mobility

Goal VI: “Park Once” Management Strategy

Goal VII: Sustainable Infrastructure

The plan update also includes descriptions and options for three “Opportunity Sites.”

Opportunity Site A

This site most recently contains Bond Manufacturing, which operates a light manufacturing facility on the 17-acre site. Due to the quality of its existing industrial buildings and infrastructure on the site, it is envisioned to house additional industrial users before any eventual revitalization. However, if proposed for revitalization, the site would offer a very unique opportunity due to its size. The site is limited by access, with only one modest entry from Auto Center Drive/W. 4th Street, so its development potential is limited.

Opportunity Site B

This 37-acre site contains a series of industrial buildings that are currently being used for RV storage and other miscellaneous uses. This is the site of a former major manufacturing facility and the smoke stack still stands. The site is directly adjacent to the Antioch Police Department and maintains frontages on W. 4th Street, L Street, N Street, O Street, and W. 2nd Street.

Opportunity Site C

This 10.5-acre site is the home of the former Hickmott Cannery and is currently vacant. The site is bisected by railroad tracks and access is to 6th Street and McElheny Road.

Along with the old Antioch Lumber Company lot, known as the Yard located between W. 2nd, W. 3rd and E Streets where a citizens have proposed an event center instead of housing or a mixed use development, the old Hickmott Cannery site has also been one of controversy. Owner Tom Trost has been battling with the city for years to get them to recognize that his property extends beyond the railroad tracks and out to the end of the piers. Up until now the city on their planning maps showed the railroad tracks as the edge of his property line. That’s why he moved a house and placed it on a barge next to the piers on the river, just north of the railroad tracks. (Author’s Note: Hopefully, once the city approves the plan update and agrees that Trost’s property extends to the end of the piers, he will move that eyesore from one of the main entrances to Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown).

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, located at W. Third, W. Second and H Streets in downtown. You can also watch it live on local cable access channel 24 or livestreaming on the city’s website at

See the complete council meeting agenda, here –


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FOG – the unwelcome guest in your home this holiday season

Monday, November 27th, 2017

With the holiday season upon us, it is a good time to remember the only people we want visiting our homes are family and friends – not plumbers and wastewater professionals. Disposal of unwanted food waste and fats, oils and grease (FOG) down your kitchen drain, dishwasher and garbage disposal can lead to overflowing pipes, sewage spills, and emergency calls to plumbers.

Traditional holiday foods such as turkey, ham, meats, gravy, potatoes, sauces, vegetable or olive oils, salad dressings, baked goods and dairy products are sources of FOG. With family and friends celebrating together, it often means bigger meal preparation and cleanup with a lot of scraps incorrectly disposed of though pipes that may already be partially clogged and go unnoticed until guests overload the system.

People mistakenly believe their garbage disposal and dishwasher are effective methods of dealing with food and FOG; however, these devices only shred it into smaller pieces or wash it further down pipelines where it hardens in areas which require professional plumbers or wastewater professionals to remove safely.

Grease is one of the leading causes of residential sewer blockages. These blockages can cause costly, unpleasant sewage overflows that can damage our homes, and potentially find its way into our local waterways damaging local fish and wildlife habitat.

Delta Diablo reminds customers that prevention is the best way to tackle an unpleasant FOG experience in your home, and offers tips for this holiday season and throughout the year to reduce overflows, backups and clogs:

•Never pour FOG down kitchen sinks, garbage disposals or into toilets.

•Keep a heat-proof container in your kitchen to capture all FOG after cooking. When cooled, safely secure it and bring it for proper disposal at the Delta Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

•Scrape grease and food scraps from plates, pots, pans, utensils and grills into a compost receptacle or the regular trash before washing.

•Wipe pots, pans and plates with paper towels to capture any leftover grease before handwashing or placing into dishwasher.

•Use a strainer or place paper towels over the kitchen drain to help keep grease and food scraps out of your plumbing system. Home garbage disposals and dishwashers do not help, not even with running hot water.

For more information about safely disposing of FOG, or services provided by the Delta Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, please visit or call 925-756-1990.


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In Memoriam: Antioch businessman, former county official Earl Robert “Bob” Brooks Jr. passes

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Bob Brooks

Memorial service this Saturday, Dec. 2

R. “Bob” Brooks was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on October 29, 1944 to Earl Robert Brooks and Lela Jeanette Drears. He is survived by his wife, Barbara J Brooks and son, David Michael Brooks, his sister, Valerie Powell and brother-in-law, Joseph; and brother, Kim Lamar Veasey and sister-in-law, Debra and a host of nieces and nephews.

Viet Nam War Veteran – U.S. Air Force.

Had many personal accomplishments: A licensed private airplane pilot, professional singer, received a Bachelor’s degree, cum laude, 2006 and MBA degree in 2007 at the age of 63. Embraced Judaism together with wife, Barbara in 1992.

He had a long business career as a Licensed California Real Estate and Mortgage Broker, Income Tax Consultant, acquired financing for the movie “The Grand Canyon and It’s Hidden Secrets” by, Oscar Winning Director, Keith Merrill.

Former Associate Professor – Real Estate, California State University, Hayward, former Member, Board of Directors, Antioch Chamber of Commerce, founded Antioch Bail Bonds and the Delta Gazette Newspaper and owner of O.T.’s BBQ Sauce,

Vice Chairman, Contra Costa County Assessment Appeals Board from 2004 – 2014.

Bob passed away October 24, 2017. He received military honors and was laid to rest at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery on November 7, 2017

Donations can be made in Bob’s name to the American Cancer Society or your charity of choice. A memorial service will be held on December 2 from 2pm to 4pm at Congregation B’nai Torah, 50 Sand Creek Rd Ste 140, Brentwood, CA 94513. Please join me as we pay our last respect and celebrate the life of Bob Brooks.

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Antioch Council approves creating new Economic Development Director position

Monday, November 27th, 2017

To help grow local economy, attract new businesses and jobs; will also serve as City’s public information officer

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on November 14, the Antioch City Council unanimously approved creating and filling the position of Economic Development Director, as the city has had in the past, who will work to attract new businesses and jobs to Antioch and help grow our local economy.

According to the staff report, the salary range (without benefits) is $127,392 – $154,836 and the total annual cost range for funding the position is $234,425 – $279,277. Staff “recommended that a budget for four months of cost be appropriated in the FY2017/18 General Fund budget and a full year of cost in the FY2018/19 General Fund budget.” ACC Mtg 11-14-17 agenda item on Econ Dev Dir

The staff report further included the following about the new position which his expected to be filled by March 1, 2018:

“At the June 27, 2017 City Council Meeting, during the discussion about approving and adopting a two-year operating budget for the fiscal years 2017-2019, Council Members stated that they supported a six-month timeframe for Council to consider funding for an Economic Development Director in an effort to market the City to increase revenue and job growth.

The Economic Development Director plans, directs, manages, and oversees the activities designed to promote community vitality and encourage efforts to expand the local economy and coordinates assigned activities with other departments and outside agencies.

Some of the duties of the Economic Development Director are:

  • Act as a catalyst to introduce new business to Antioch.
  • Negotiate development agreements related to economic development activities.
  • Coordinate consultants and City staff in securing funding for economic development projects and activities.
  • Attend and participate in professional group meetings; maintain awareness of new trends and developments in the fields of redevelopment and economic development; incorporate new developments as appropriate.
  • Develop a marketing plan.
  • Coordinate information activities on City programs and oversee a public information program.
  • Respond to and resolve difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints.”

The council voted unanimously to create the position and begin the search process to find the best applicant. That person will have “A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in public administration, business administration, planning, economics, or a related field” and Six years of increasingly responsible economic development experience including three years of management and administrative responsibility.”

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Tickets to Monday night’s Antioch Family Night with the Warriors still available

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

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Antioch School board approves hiring, contract for new Associate Superintendent

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Hires Sylvan Learning to provide tutoring to over 6,000 eligible students; discusses laptops for board members; livestreaming of meetings to begin in January

New AUSD Assoc. Superintendent Christine Ibarra from her LinkedIn profile.

By Allen Payton

At their regular meeting on Wednesday, November 15 the Antioch School Board unanimously approved the contract for new Associate Superintendent, K-12 Education Services, Christine Ibarra. At their previous board meeting on Oct. 25 the board approved hiring her to fill the position made vacant by the resignation of Dr. Adam Clark, who accepted the position of superintendent for the Vallejo City Unified School District in September. (Agenda Item 12.A.)

The contract includes an annual Senior Management Salary of $191,040 plus benefits, including a $300 per month automobile stipend.

According to her profile on LinkedIn, Ibarra has worked in public school education since 1992, and had previously worked as the School Support Administrator for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District since July 2013. Prior to that she was a principal in the district for eight years. She started her career as a Teacher and Program Specialist for the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

Ibarra earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from U.C. Santa Barbara and a Master’s of Education in Education and Counseling from St. Mary’s College in Moraga. Her employment with AUSD begins on Monday, Nov. 27.

Tutoring Offered to Over 6,000 Students Who Are Behind (Agenda Item 11.X.)

Also at the meeting the board approved a contract with Bay Area Education Support Systems, which does business as Sylvan Learning to provide tutoring services at a cost of $800 per student. During the district staff report, it was explained that Tier 2 “targeted students who are a year behind” in their school work “are given Sylvan as an option. Over 6,000 of our students are eligible for supplemental educational services, such as tutoring.”

“Tier 3 students are more than a year behind” staff further explained.

Livestreaming of Board Meetings to Begin in January (Agenda Item 11.F.)

During the mid-year budget update it was reported by Superintendent Stephanie Anello that video cameras for online livestreaming of Antioch school board meetings will be installed in the board room by January.

“Our goal is to begin livestreaming by our first meeting in January, Wednesday the 24th on the (district’s) YouTube Channel,” she said.

District IT Manager, Joe Gengler explained how to view the meetings live online.

“Link on the district’s website that currently contains the audio of the meetings,” he said. “An archive of the video will be ready to go the same night.”

Laptops for Board Members Requested (Agenda Item 13.A.1)

During the board member period of the meeting, Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White requested that each of the five be provided with laptops by the district.

She said that other districts provide them to board members “from day one, as soon as you’re elected, and a cell phone.”

Gengler offered to check with other school districts to see how they handle the matter.

Board Vice President Debra Vinson agreed with the request.

“I would really like a separate device rather than on my personal device,” she stated.

However, Trustee Diane Gibson-Gray wasn’t interested. “I just want to make sure I’m able to opt out,” she said. “I don’t want to have to carry two laptops.”

“I agree,” said Trustee Gary Hack.

Vinson explained further, “I do use my one personal cell phone. But, I would not load any of my personal information” on the laptop.

Sawyer-White shared how it could work and to avoid personal use of the machines. “At the end of your term you turn in your device and anyone can access and are free to search for any personal use, and free to track usage during our term,” she stated.

The discussion then centered on a request from a principal for a laptop, according to Sawyer-White and which platform to use.

“I have never heard of this request,” said Gengler. “I am building infrastructure to support these. The district needs to decide which. There’s Microsoft and there’s Google Chrome. We certainly don’t have the resources to support Google Chrome Books.”

“We can certainly reach out to the principal,” he added.”

Sawyer-White then mentioned Springboard.

Vinson then asked, “how many students have Chrome Books?”

Gengler replied, “Right now there are zero Chrome books. Right now, they are window-based laptops. Some folks use Chrome Classroom.”

“If we’re going to be a digital classroom it’s something to consider for the future,” Vinson stated.

“We’re hoping to have this ready by the summer,” Gengler explained. “We’re open to whatever platform…we just want to serve the kids.”

The next meeting of the Antioch School Board will be held on Wednesday, December 13 in the District Office Board Room at 510 G Street in Antioch. To view the agenda for the Nov. 15 meeting, click here. For further details about past and future board meetings visit

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See A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life films at El Campanil, Dec 2 & 3 for $5 each

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Win replica of the leg lamp “Major Award” from the movie

1983’s “A Christmas Story” The Movie 

Saturday December 2, 2017 2:00 pm

Enjoy the Lighted Holiday Parades after the movie.

Nine-year-old Ralphie Parker wants only one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and “this thing which tells time” (a sundial). Ralphie’s desire is rejected by his mother, his teacher Miss Shields, and even a Santa Claus at Higbee’s department store, all giving him the same warning: “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”

Christmas morning arrives and Ralphie dives into his presents. Although he does receive some presents he enjoys, Ralphie ultimately is disappointed that he did not receive the one thing he wanted more than anything. After it appears all of the presents have been opened, Ralphie’s father, who is referred to throughout the film as “The Old Man,” directs Ralphie to look at one last present that he had hidden. Ralphie opens it to reveal the Red Ryder gun he wanted. From this point on, hilarity ensues.

In 2012, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”

The leg lamp “Major Award’ as seen in the movie.

Runtime: 94 min, Rated: PG   Adults: $8 Seniors: $7 Students: $7.  No convenience fees with pre-purchase online

HOLIDAY SPECIAL – BUY TICKETS TO A CHRISTMAS STORY and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Sunday Dec 3rd at 2pm) AND ONLY PAY $5 PER TICKET.  Purchase for both shows must be made at the same time

For Tickets and Video Preview, click here:

It’s A Major Award … and you can win it!!!

We will be raffling an authentic 50″ replica of the famous “Major Award” Leg Lamp right after the screening of the film.  $5 per chance to win this beautiful window display. Must be present to win. Buy Raffle Tickets for $5 each along with your movie tickets online – or at the door.

It’s A Wonderful Life ~ The Movie 

​Sunday December 3, 2017  2:00 pm – Director Frank Kapra’s 1946 Christmas Classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”

George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George’s modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George, with the promise of earning his wings.


Runtime: 118 min, ​Rated: PG   Adults: $8 Seniors: $7 Students: $7.  No convenience fees when ordering online

​HOLIDAY SPECIAL – BUY TICKETS TO IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE and A CHRISTMAS STORY (Saturday Dec 2nd at 2pm) AND ONLY PAY $5 PER TICKET.  Purchase for both shows must be made at the same time

For Tickets and Video Preview click here:

El Campanil Theatre is located at 602 W. 2nd Street in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown. For tickets shop online, call 925-757-9500 or stop by the box office next door to the theater.

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Hotel California Eagles tribute band to play El Campanil Theatre, Friday Dec. 1

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

The Eagles tribute band Hotel California will perform at Antioch’s El Campanil Theatre on Friday night, Dec. 1. Herald file photo.

Concert is at 8:00 pm

HOTEL CALIFORNIA “A Salute to the Eagles” was founded with the intent of filling the void left by the demise of The Eagles in 1982. By blending their extraordinary vocal and musical talents, HOTEL CALIFORNIA faithfully and accurately reproduces the sound of the Eagles studio recordings while recreating a classic sound which undeniably transcends the boundaries of Rock, R&B, and Country while delivering a modern, action packed performance that brings this timeless music into the new millennium.

This band, comprised of five respected, multi-talented top music industry professionals, presents a dynamic exciting show saluting the music of The Eagles, a supergroup whose music has proven to have a staying power that few bands lay claim to. Finally, audiences can once again experience the energy and magic of this timeless music.

This concert presents an exciting showcase of The Eagles mega-hits such as “Take it Easy”, “Heartache Tonight”, and “Hotel California” as well as newer releases “Get Over It” and “Love will Keep Us Alive”. The group also performs select titles from the solo works of Don Henley, Glen Frey, and Joe Walsh.

This timeless music is appealing to audiences of all ages, bringing back memories and touching the hearts of every generation. So, join us now on a trip down a dark desert highway, feel the cool wind in your hair, and experience the Grammy Award winning sounds that defined a generation.

Relax…It’s time to check into the HOTEL CALIFORNIA.

All Ages. Reserved Seating ~ Tickets: Adults: $27, Seniors (62 & Over): $25, Youth (Under 18): $10  ​No convenience fees – Save time later – Buy Online Now.

El Campanil Theatre is located at 602 W. 2nd Street in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown. For tickets shop online, call 925-757-9500 or stop by the box office next door to the theater.

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