Archive for June, 2018

Comedy Night at Lone Tree Golf & Event Center Saturday July 7

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

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Stage Right to hold auditions for “Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)” in Antioch

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Stage Right Conservatory Theatre will hold auditions for “Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)” on July 16th and 17th at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center, 213 F St. in Antioch.  “Heathers” is Presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. with book, music, and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy.

This dark comedy based on the teen film will be directed by Felicia Torrez, and there are many great roles available for actors ages 13-18.  No experience necessary!  To receive your audition time, you must register online at www.srctgrp.org.  Performance dates will be September 7th, 8th, 9th, 14th, 15th and 16th.  There is a $75 participation fee if cast.  For more audition and show information call (925) 216-4613.

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Rep. DeSaulnier to hold Town Hall on “Protecting Our Environment” in Moraga Monday

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Earlier this year, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) asked Contra Costa residents to vote on town hall topics, and environmental protection was at the top of the list. Mark will hold a town hall on “Protecting Our Environment” this Monday, July 2nd at 6:30 p.m. in Moraga.

At a time when California recently experienced one of the driest periods on record, and as storms are intensifying, sea levels are rising, and precipitation patterns are shifting, this town hall will explore the role government plays in protecting our environment.

During the town hall, DeSaulnier will discuss the major environmental laws that protect our air, water, wildlife, and open spaces, and constituents will have the opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts on this important issue.

Protecting Our Environment Town Hall

Monday, July 2, 2018
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Campolindo High School

Multi-Purpose Room

300 Moraga Road, Moraga
Doors Open at 6:00 p.m.

DeSaulnier represents portions of Antioch in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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CORRECTION: No pay raise for Antioch city manager

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Ron Bernal. file photo

By Allen Payton, Publisher & Editor

A sub-headline both online and on the front page of the July print edition of the Herald (which went to print prior to the June 26th council meeting), for the article about the June 12 council meeting was incorrect. It stated the city council approved a $20,000 pay raise for City Manager Ron Bernal.

At the meeting on Tuesday, June 26, Interim City Attorney Derek Cole announced that no amendments to Bernal’s contract would be made at this time, but directions were given to the city staff to develop a salary schedule for the city manager that involves a step system, which is tied to performance for future consideration.

During the June 12th City Council meeting the council agreed to bring the discussion of a possible $20,000 pay raise for City Manager Ron Bernal back to closed session for further deliberation. The decision came after hesitation from the council.

I apologize for the mistake.

Although Bernal has the highest base salary of any city employee, the decision leaves him as the second highest paid city employee with a salary of $234,914.17 per year, behind Police Chief Tammany Brooks at $261,917.78 which includes other pay, according to TransparentCalifornia.org. For the 2017 fiscal year, Bernal was the fifth highest city employee behind recently retired Police Captain Diane Aguinaga and two police lieutenants based on their overtime pay. He is the third highest paid government employee in Antioch, behind Antioch Unified School District Stephanie Anello who earns a salary of $238,583 per year.

Correct information provided by writer Alexandra Riva.

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Tri Delta Transit launches operation of their first electric bus

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Photos by Tri Delta Transit.

Following over two years of research, planning and testing, the Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority (Tri Delta Transit) recently began operating their first battery electric transit bus. “This is a big moment for both Tri Delta Transit and all of Eastern Contra Costa County,” said Jeanne Krieg, Chief Executive Officer of Tri Delta Transit. “This decision, supported by the Tri Delta Transit Board of Directors, is yet another example of the forward-thinking attitude towards technology and transportation. I am extremely proud of this progressive step.”

As part of a pilot program, Tri Delta Transit plans to launch a total of four battery electric buses by the end of the year. The first two electric buses you may see on the streets today are built by bus manufacturer, Protera, a leader in electric bus technology. An additional two buses should be delivered later this year by Southern California bus manufacturer, BYD Motors. “The pilot program will test the performance of these electric buses in our service area and results will be evaluated to determine future orders of all-electric buses.”

The new 40-foot electric buses will be used throughout Tri Delta Transit’s service area and can carry up to 38 seated passengers with up to another 18 riders standing. Like all Tri Delta Transit buses, the new electric buses are ramp-equipped to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility devices, have priority seating for seniors and people with disabilities, and exterior bike racks that can accommodate up to two bikes.

As part of their goal to stay ahead of industry trends, Tri Delta Transit is looking at new ways to lower their carbon footprint and minimize their impact on the environment. The introduction of these four electric buses is an important step forward in that overall goal and builds on Tri Delta Transit’ s dedication to being a green business. “Our decision to test electric goes beyond cleaner air and doing the right thing,” said Krieg. “These buses are whisper-quiet and will drastically reduce noise pollution along their daily routes. Additionally, they will save our transit agency tens of thousands of dollars in fuel and maintenance costs and enable us to begin other upgrades to our system.” The buses can drive for more than 100 miles on a single charge.

With a unique design that strongly supports Tri Delta Transit’s branding, the electric buses are eye-catching and have been overwhelmingly embraced by transit riders. The buses are being used on multiple routes, so regardless of which route you use, you may see one approaching your stop the next time you ride.

Tri Delta Transit provides over 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of over 250,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They currently operate 15 local bus routes Monday – Friday, five local bus routes on weekends, door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and shuttle services to community events. For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.

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Antioch Police arrest two gang members for attempted murder, search for third suspect

Friday, June 29th, 2018

By Lieutenant D. Bittner #3252, Antioch Police Investigations Division

On the morning of May 1, 2018 Antioch Police Department detectives learned of a violent assault which occurred earlier that same morning, at approximately 3:30 AM, at a gas station located in the 4100 block of Lone Tree Way. The victim of the assault had serious facial injuries.

Recovered firearms.

Detectives learned that the victim was attacked by five Norteño gang members as he sat in his car. The gang members displayed gang related hand signs, punched and kicked the victim and ultimately shot at the victim with a firearm as the victim drove away.

Marcos Torres and Adrian Nevarez, both 21-years-old, were identified as suspects in the case and are suspected as being Lone Tree Norteño (LTN) gang members. Charges of attempted murder, assault likely to produce great bodily injury, dissuading a witness, mayhem and firearm/gang enhancements were filed on both subjects. Both were taken into custody through the use of the Antioch Police Department SWAT team and the assistance of the Pittsburg Police Department. An illegal assault rifle and several handguns were located at the home of Marcos Torres.

Lone Tree Norteño gang graffiti.

During the investigation officers located graffiti in the Lone Tree Way corridor symbolizing the Lone Tree Norteno gang (see attached photograph). The graffiti has been removed and the Antioch Police Department is confident that the apprehension of Torres and Nevarez will stop any further crime involving the gang.

One suspect in this case is still outstanding. He has been identified as Ismael Viveros, 22-years-old. He is known to frequent the Antioch, Pittsburg and Concord areas. Anyone with any information regarding this investigation or Viveros’ whereabouts should contact Detective Hoffman of the Antioch Police Department at 925-779-6931.

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Despite continued opposition Antioch Council finalizes Cannabis Business District on 3-2 vote

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

The two areas of Antioch where recreational marijuana related businesses will be allowed to locate in Antioch.

Spends final $180,000 of one-time funds on traffic cameras,  youth programs; chooses not to give City Manager pay raise

By Alexandra Riva

The Antioch City Council met Tuesday, June 26, to discuss the Antioch Municipal Code establishing a Cannabis Business Zoning Overlay District in the city, among other issues on the agenda.

This agenda item was brought to the start of the meeting and received over 20 public comments, most of which were in opposition to the proposal.

A common theme among the public comments shared at the meeting was emotional appeal. Many members of the community shared personal anecdotes concerning the ills of cannabis, like Jessica Bennett.

Bennett began smoking marijuana 17 years ago, hoping that it would help with her depression, but soon realized that it was a gateway drug. Now, she says, she has found relief in religion, and no longer uses drugs or pills.

“I worship in the city of Antioch, and I outreach in the city of Antioch. I teach my Sunday school kids to be leaders, to be different than the world, said Bennett. And I am asking you to please vote differently than the other cities. Just because they voted yes to this doesn’t mean we have to do it too. We can be different, we can be the difference.”

Community member Demetrio Ramirez, who has been involved with the cannabis industry for over 20 years, spoke in support of the adoption of the Cannabis Business Zoning Overlay District.

“I represent the unseen. In this auditorium, what you see, is typical. A group of people, well represented, who are not in touch with the need of Cannabis…the ones who aren’t showing up tend to be the sick, and they need this care,” said Ramirez.

Despite the overwhelming opposition from the public I attendance, the measure was passed on a 3 to 2 vote, with Mayor Sean Wright and Council Member Lori Ogorchock in dissent. During a break in the meeting following this decision, members of the public thanked the two for their votes.

Code Enforcement Consultant Contract

When the meeting resumed, the discussion of a proposed extension to the expiration date of the Code Enforcement Consultant Contract with TRB to June 30, 2019 and an increase to the not to exceed amount by $250,000. This proposition passed with five affirmative votes.

The discussion of a 2018 to 2019 action plan, which would utilize Community Development Block Grant and Housing Successor Agency Funds was discussed next. This action plan includes a recommended investment of just above two million dollars in funding that would go toward providing services and improving neighborhoods in the city of Antioch.

“The city of Antioch, through this process, is putting $100,000 into helping the homeless. That the city of Antioch is putting $385,000 into downtown to help renovate and change some of the streets and improve downtown,” said Mayor Wright.

The item was passed with five affirmative votes.

Item five on the agenda, a public hearing to confirm assessments for landscape maintenance districts 1, 2A, 4, 5, 9, and 10, for the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year, was the next decision made. There were no requests to speak from the public, and a motion was made to vote. The assessments were adopted in a unanimous decision.

Council Spends $180,000 Traffic Cameras, Youth Programs

The council meeting concluded with the authorization of a final allocation of $180,000 for the Consideration of Projects Under the one-time Revenue Policy was discussed next. This money was to be given and spent during the 2017 to 2018 fiscal year, but it is recommended that it be moved to the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year budget. Some of the projects discussed, which fit under the one-time revenue policy, were traffic cameras, cameras for the police department, and youth programs. The vote, 5-0, affirmed the reallocation of the $180,000 to the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year budget.

Council Nixes City Manager Pay Raise

During their June 12th meeting the City Council agreed to bring the discussion of a possible $20,000 pay raise for City Manager Ron Bernal back to closed session for further deliberations. The decision followed hesitation by the council.

At the meeting on Tuesday, Interim City Attorney Derek Cole announced that no amendments to Bernal’s contract would be made at this time. However, direction was given to city staff to develop a salary schedule for Bernal that involves a step system, which is tied to performance, for future consideration.

EDITOR’S CORRECTION: A subheadline for the article about the June 12 council meeting stated the Council approved the $20,000 pay raise for Bernal. We apologize for the mistake.

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Coroner’s inquest finds Antioch man shot by Pittsburg police died “at the hands of another person, other than by accident”

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Terry Amons in July, 2017 from his Facebook profile.

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston announced that a Coroner’s jury has reached a finding in the January 12, 2018 death of Terry Dean Amons, Jr. who was shot by Pittsburg Police. The finding of the jury is that the death is “at the hands of another person, other than by accident.” See related Antioch Herald article.)

The Coroner’s jury reached a verdict after hearing the testimony of witnesses called by the hearing officer, Matthew Guichard.

A Coroner’s inquest, which Sheriff-Coroner Livingston convenes in fatal incidents involving peace officers, is a public hearing, during which a jury rules on the manner of a person’s death. Jury members can choose from the following four options when making their finding: accident,

suicide, natural Causes, or at the hands of another person, other than by accident.

See a KRON4 news report about Amons’ death.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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