Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Antioch Chamber to co-host annual East County Economic Development Summit February 27

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

To be held in Brentwood and focus on agriculture

EC2 2015 Antioch Chamber to co host annual East County Economic Development Summit February 27

The annual EC2 Economic Development Summit will be held on Friday, February 27th, 2015 from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Brentwood Community Center at 35 Oak Street in downtown Brentwood.

This year’s focus is on agriculture and attendees will learn about our county’s remarkable food industry. The day will include panel discussions and lunch keynote speaker will be Glenda Humiston, State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

Hosted By: EC2: The Collaborative, The City of Brentwood and BALT

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce is a member of EC2 (aka EC Squared) which stands for the East County Economic Collaborative.

Space for the summit is limited. So, to attend you must register.

For more information or to register, click here.

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Choose your favorite Antioch businesses in the 2015 People’s Choice Awards program, be entered to win prizes!

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

AH Peoples Choice 1st Place logo A Choose your favorite Antioch businesses in the 2015 People’s Choice Awards program, be entered to win prizes!A new awards program has been started to recognize those Antioch businesses, which the people of Antioch like most.

The 2015 Antioch People’s Choice Awards will honor the best businesses as determined by your votes.

Be sure to see the official ballot on pages 13 and 14 of the February issue, cut it out, write in your choices and mail or drop it off at our office at 101 H Street, Waldie Plaza, Suite 3 in downtown Antioch. Download the two sides of the ballot, here.  2105 People’s Choice Ballot Or you can download a ballot by clicking on the top banner on the Home Page of our website www.antiochherald.com.

Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, March 10 to be counted. One entry per person. Those who submit ballots will be entered to win gift certificates from local businesses!

Winning businesses will be announced in our April issue and be given special decals for their business windows, and be able to use one of the logos, above in their advertising, throughout the year.

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Postal workers stage on-going protest at Antioch Staples, want Postal workers handling mail

Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Staples protest 1024x768 Postal workers stage on going protest at Antioch Staples, want Postal workers handling mail

Members of the American Postal Workers Union protest Staples on Friday, January 30, 2015.

By Allen Payton

Holding signs that read “Don’t Buy Staples” and “The U.S. Mail is NOT for Sale” members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) were protesting in front of the Antioch Staples store, on Friday, January 30, as part of an ongoing effort to stop the office products chain from handling mail.

We are here to protest the partnership with Staples without postal workers behind the counters providing mail service,” said Alan Menjivar the Lead Stop Staples Organizer.

They are Staples employees without training, nor sworn to safeguard the mail and provide proper mail services,” he added

Postal workers are required to take 40 hours of classroom and 32 hours of on-the-job training to be qualified for the job.

We’ve been protesting for a whole year after they started a pilot program for six months,” Menjivar said. “Then they changed to an approved shipper program to confuse the American people. But they’re still doing the same thing.”

This is about the 20th time they’ve protested at the Antioch Staples store. The workers at the protest are from all over the Bay Area.

“They’re here about every other week,” said Staples Store Manager Toreano Norris. But, that was all he could share, as he is not authorized to speak for the company.

Post Office at Staples 300x225 Postal workers stage on going protest at Antioch Staples, want Postal workers handling mail

Members of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce joined Staples store staff for a ribbon cutting for the new postal service on November 18, 2013.

Announced in November, 2013, Staples began a pilot program in 80 stores, for an exclusive shipping agreement with the U.S. Postal Service.

The union warned Staples in a letter from the APWU President, in January, 2014 after the program was implemented.

But they ignored the letter,” Menjivar said. “So the protests began that same month.”

However, once the protests started, which included rallying their troops and enlisting the support of a couple teachers unions, Staples canceled the pilot program. All they do now is the same thing done at other stores, such as UPS stores, Postal Annex, Parcel Plus, and even Chevron gas stations, as well other office supply stores.

Now, it’s a national boycott. So, the protesters were attempting to get patrons from doing business at the Staples store. But, it didn’t appear to have any affect, as customers came and went, without any turning away.

Customers inside the store commented on the protest.

“It’s the unions. It’s just something they have to do to protect their benefits and their jobs. They have a very strong union. My wife worked for AT&T. She did the same thing for 35 years, with a protest every year,” said Joe Biernacki who lives in Pittsburg. “I like Staples and have been shopping here for years. That won’t stop me at all. I’m a union supporter. But no one’s going to stop me from getting my business done.”

“I came to do business and these people are trying to shove paper in my face. I’m getting sick of protests,” said Mike Steele from Discovery Bay.

The protesters admitted they don’t have a problem with the service being provided at Staples, as long as there’s a postal worker behind the counter. That’s because, according to Menjivar, the National Labor Relations Board has determined that mail dropped off at any Staples store is not considered U.S. mail until it’s in the possession of a postal worker.

Staples has been providing the service in lieu of postal workers who work the window at the post office,” Menjivar explained. “The postal service has been removing the vending machines, reducing staffing and operational hours and inviting people to go to the stores, as late as 10:00 PM, instead.”

The mail delivered to Staples after the one collection for the day will remain there all night, unsecured, by not being in a processing facility, by law.

However, staff in the store shared that Staples staff were trained by USPS employees for the pilot program and that the mail is kept in a locked box with security cameras inside the store.

Staples is closing stores nationwide, 225 in 2015,” he added. “So the impact is if the USPS reduces their service and then Staples closes their stores, then the people will have to go to the next closest post office or Staples in another community to get their mail handled.”

According to Menjivar, the current U.S. Postmaster General has been trying to privatize the postal service. The program with Staples was launched to determine if it would be cost effective to pursue a partnership with other retailers.

He’s been trying to dismantle the postal service. But he’s on his way out,” said Menjivar. “The protest is having an effect, admitted by the Postmaster General. Other retailers are not signing up.”

It’s [the Postal Service] in the Constitution,” said Ernest Johnson, a retiree from the Oakland Post Office. “What would a senior do, having to go two blocks, [to get their mail]. It wouldn’t make sense. This is a trend heading in the wrong direction.”

The first step has been to go after Staples, because they’re planning to expand the service into 1,500 Staples stores nationwide and because they’re the largest corporation involved in the mail business.

So in essence, we’re working from the top down,” said Robert Laney an automation clerk in San Jose. “We’ll expand the fight to other corporations who are in the mail business. “

Speaking of the Staples employees who handle the mail Johnson stated, “They’re not sworn. They haven’t taken the oath.”

Neither did they take the Civil Service Exam,” Laney added.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power states “The Congress shall have Power To…establish Post Offices and post Roads….”

It doesn’t say anything about privatizing the delivery of the mail nor contracting out the service to private companies.

The protesters plan to be out at the Antioch Staples again, this month.

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Antioch’s Jack London Elementary receives $5,000 Lowe’s grant

Monday, February 9th, 2015
Lowes grant check 1024x539 Antiochs Jack London Elementary receives $5,000 Lowes grant

From left: Cara Sawyer, Principal Dolores Williams, Vice Principal Laura Casdia (Vice Principal) and Charlene Vera, secretary at Jack London Elementary School in Antioch, show the check for $5,000 from Lowe’s.

Money Donated for Electronic Reader Board

Jack London Elementary School has received a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant for an Electronic Reader Board.

Lowe’s has awarded Jack London Elementary funding for an Electric Reader Board. Our grant application was based on the goal of improving parent and student communication at Jack London Elementary. We look forward to sharing the Reader Board with the Antioch community.

Lowes Toolbox 300x117 Antiochs Jack London Elementary receives $5,000 Lowes grantBy awarding Jack London Elementary School the Toolbox for Education grant, Lowes has provided Jack London Elementary the opportunity to focus more on an important aspect of school, parent interaction. Now we can better reach out to our parents and inform them of the various events and student successes at Jack London Elementary School. We expect this project will be completed by August 2015.

Our school and community will greatly benefit from this grant. We wish to thank our friends at Lowe’s for generously supporting this important project,” said Dolores Williams, the principal of Jack London Elementary School.

All K-12 public schools in the United States are eligible for the Toolbox for Education program.  More information is available at www.ToolboxforEducation.com.

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Antioch PAL’s Dining Etiquette for Young People class, February 7

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Sign Up Today – THIS CLASS WILL SELL OUT

Dining Etiquette for Young People sponsored by the Antioch Police Department’s Police Activities League (PAL) and The School of Etiquette and Decorum. This fun and interactive dining training is designed especially for children & teens (males & females).  Students enjoy a 4-course meal while learning the Do’s & Don’ts of Dining.  This training is guaranteed to increase your child’s dining confidence and provide the necessary skills to help young people shine in formal and informal dining situations.

To complete the enrollment process, please fill out the attached PAL enrollment and waiver forms.  The forms and $15.00 fee are to be mailed ASAP to The School of Etiquette and Decorum

4887 Cushendall Way, Antioch, CA  94531, Attention: Tina Haye

Please make checks payable to: PAL – Police Activities League

Payments can also be accepted through PayPal @ www.etiquetteschool.us/class-schedule

For questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 925-519-0354 or etiquette4decorum@yahoo.com.

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Antioch Produce now features butcher shop with halal meat

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Antioch Produce Haroon Sherzai in butcher shop Antioch Produce now features butcher shop with halal meat

Owner Haroon Sherzai in his new butcher shop inside Antioch Produce.

By Allen Payton

Recently opened Antioch Produce & Farmers Market now includes a butcher shop which offers halal meats, including lamb, goat, chicken and veal.

Owner Haroon Sherzai drives his truck early each morning to get the fresh fruits, vegetables and meats he offers in his store, which is located at 1625 A Street, behind Rite Aid and Wells Fargo Bank.

His produce is mostly from local farmers, Sherzai states. Halal meat is cut and prepared in such a way so it is permissible for Muslims to eat.

Antioch Produce is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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New indoor, vintage flea market opens this Saturday in Antioch’s downtown Rivertown

Friday, January 16th, 2015

By Marie Wirth

We are not just any flea market. G Street Flea is a unique indoor flea with a very specific idea. Rain or shine, we are the place to buy and/or sell antiques, vintage collectables, handmade crafts and beautiful art creations.

.Located on block from the river’s edge, in the historic downtown Antioch’s Old Masonic building, at 205 Second Street at the corner of G Street.

We offer a weekend destination for the treasure hunter in all of us. With restaurants, more antique stores, shops, and of course, the river just steps away, its a great place to come spend the day.

We are here the first and third Saturday and Sunday each month from 9am – 3pm.

For more information, updates and vendor application, please visit www.gstflea.com or like our Facebook page – G Street Flea – to get news feeds.

Please join us this Saturday and Sunday for our Grand Opening for some amazing shopping, drawings and more. We hope to see you, there.

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Antioch barbers give back during the holidays

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Antioch barbers 1024x768 Antioch barbers give back during the holidays

By John Crowder

On Monday, December 22, 2014, four local barbers came together at Ajja’s Barber Shop, to provide free haircuts and a Christmas gift to some of the underprivileged youth of the community.

Organized by Carl Rhodes, Director of Project 66 and former Dean of Students at RAAMP Charter Academy, the event saw about twenty local children receive a free haircut and a gift of either a football or a basketball. Family members waiting for the young boys to finish their haircuts snacked on cookies provided by the group. According to Rhodes, many of the boys were from single family homes, and with limited resources, obtaining a haircut was often considered a luxury they might otherwise have to go without.

Alex Fagalar, Sr., one of the barbers participating in the event, and the owner of Ajja’s, located at 508 W. Second Street in Antioch’s historic downtown Rivertown, said he had been cutting hair at his current location for five years, having first started in an apprenticeship program 25 years ago, while still in high school. He said that providing the free haircuts was a good way to give back to the community. His son, AJ, who is now his apprentice barber, and one of the four barbers participating, concurred.

Kalon James, co-owner of Ace of fades Barber Lounge in Somersville Town Center also participated in the event. James, who has been cutting hair for the last decade, said that he had heard about the event and thought it was a great way that he could use his skills to help others in a meaningful way.

Derek the Barber,’ also known as DTB, and who also works from Ajja’s Barber Shop, was the fourth participant in the haircutting event. Cutting hair since he was 12-years-old, DTB is truly an artist, with videos of his work posted on YouTube (with thousands, and in one case, over 100,000 views). He also competes in professional barber competitions.

According to Rhodes, the Christmas haircutting and gift event was not the first time these local barbers had come together to help out the community. Last August they held a similar event, at which they provided back-to-school haircuts, along with backpacks filled with school supplies. They expect to hold more such events in the future.

Rhodes also expressed his appreciation for the individuals and businesses who donated toward the back-to-school and Christmas gifts. These included Neil Case of Coldwell Banker Realty, Dr. Bob Cluff, Kobe’s Restaurant, Marcos Rodriguez of East Bay Furniture Outlet, Ryan Stewart Heating and Air, Stephanie Tran of Bagel Street Café, Togo’s, and Toys R Us.

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