Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Antioch residents share concerns, ideas at city plan update meeting

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

By Allen Payton

About 100 Antioch residents attended a meeting on Wednesday night, November 12, 2014 regarding the Downtown Specific Plan and City-wide General Plan Land Use and Zoning Ordinance Update. Some shared their concerns and offered ideas to the city’s staff and a consultant.

In a presentation by constultant Dick Loewke, he stated that “Home values in Antioch are only 60% of what they were before” the economic downturn. “But they are stabilizing and growing,” he added.

One area of housing that is currently not in the city’s housing mix is transit-oriented development, which includes densities of up to 30 to 40 units per acre. That is expected to occur around the new eBART Station at Hillcrest Avenue.

Also in his presentation, Loewke stated that high-density an medium-density housing won’t work in Antioch’s downtown, at least not in the next five years, because the cost of “construction is greater than the price structure.”

What is feasible,” he stated, “is single-family, compact housing on small lots…with common walls…of 12 to 14 units per acre. That will work in today’s market.”

He mentioned potential job sectors, such as the service industry, such as boat and RV repair and maintenance as areas the city could expand its economy, as well as restaurants. Also, administrative and medical jobs are areas of potential expansion.

Following the presentation, residents had the opportunity to speak and provide their input to the plan updates, but only to Loewke, his son and Mindy Gentry, the city’s Senior Planner in the Community Development Department. None of the council members were in attendance, nor City Manager Steve Duran. However, Lori Ogorchock, who was elected to the council, last week, did attend the meeting.

Clay Baskin shared his concerns about crime, that it can’t be ignored as a factor, and how the city has been talking about revitalizing downtown for 20 years.

Others shared that the emphasis shouldn’t be on more housing.

I would like the city to not plan for people who are not here,” one woman said. “Not just more housing.” She advocated for “waterfront recreation for all, not carpetbaggers.”

Another resident said the downtown businesses need to be open longer.

Jim Lanter, who owns an insurance agency located in downtown, said there needs to be more events, downtown to bring people to the area.

Former owner of Lamothe Cleaners, which had operated in Antioch since the 1950′s, Tom Lamothe, said he there needs to be more businesses before more housing in downtown.

Bruce Ohlson, an advocate for bicyclists said the city needs at least one street north-south and one street east-west with a continuous bike lane for travel.

The next update meeting will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, next Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and will be a joint meeting of the Antioch Planning and Economic Development Commissions. For more information visit www.ci.antioch.ca.us or call the Community Development Department at (925) 779-7035.

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Fall Faire at County Fairgrounds, this weekend

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Fall Faire Fall Faire at County Fairgrounds, this weekend

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Antioch commemorates Veterans Day with annual ceremonies, parade, VFW lunch

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
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Antioch’s annual Veterans Day commemoration begins with ceremonies at the Marina.

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J.R. Wilson of the Delta Veterans Group speaks at the 2014 Antioch Veterans Day ceremonies.

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World War II veteran Clark F. Strickland speaks about American military history at Antioch’s 2014 Veterans Day ceremonies.

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Mayor Harper speaks at the Antioch 2014 Veterans Day ceremonies.

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World War II veterans Herb White and Dave Wick are honored with plaques by Antioch’s VFW Post 6435 Commander Henri Villeaux a the 2014 Veterans Day ceremonies.

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Huey helicopter

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Antioch to hold community input meetings on downtown development, city-wide planning updates

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The City of Antioch invites you to a community meeting for you to provide feedback regarding the Downtown Specific Plan and City-wide General Plan Land Use and Zoning Ordinance Update.

Two dates to choose from: Wednesday, November 12, 7:00 p.m., Prewett Park Multi-Purpose Room, 4701 Lone Tree Way and Wednesday, November 19, 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 200 H Street. That is also a joint meeting of the Planning and Economic Development Commissions

The City of Antioch is embarking on the initial steps leading to preparation of a Specific Plan for downtown and an update to the Land Use Element of the City’s General Plan and Zoning Code.

The Specific Plan will include policies and guidelines to enhance existing neighborhoods as well as to guide new development downtown.

The General Plan Land Use and Zoning update will focus on the types and locations of businesses and examine appropriate land use designations City-wide.

We are currently seeking community input help us evaluate the key opportunities and constraints which will influence this overall planning program.

Community Meeting Format:

Opening remarks from staff (10 min).

Opportunities and Constraints analysis presented by project consultants (20 min).

Remaining time for public feedback on the range of potential opportunities identified.

City decision makers want to hear your feedback on this initial planning work, in order to help shape the future policies that will guide land use and development, design/aesthetics, parking, circulation, transit, and the economic vitality of the community.

Come voice your ideas and opinions and tell us what you see in your city’s future!

For more information visit: www.ci.antioch.ca.us or click here for the announcement flyer about the meetings.

Or call the Community Development Department at 925-779-7035.

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Community members intercede at Deer Valley Plaza

Sunday, November 9th, 2014
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Newly elected Antioch School Board Trustee Debra Vinson, Velma Wilson and local youth at the Deer Valley Plaza, last Friday afternoon.

By John Crowder

A small group of parents has decided to be proactive in addressing problems at a local shopping center by taking steps to engage students as they pass through Deer Valley Plaza (DVP) at the end of the school day.

DVP has been at the epicenter of student violence and disruptive behavior over the past few months. As widely reported in the news media, a group of students involved in fights and other troubling actions at the center, just down the street from Deer Valley High School (DVHS), has led some of the businesses located there to lock their doors at the end of the school day. The businesses, mainly fast food restaurants and Starbucks, have kept their doors locked from the time school lets out until most students have passed through and dispersed from the area.

Velma Wilson, a youth education advisor with the NAACP East County Branch, and a parent of two students who attend Antioch schools, determined to act to change that. For the last few weeks, she and others from the community, including her husband, Clarke, and Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, have been stationing themselves in the parking lot of DVP under a blue tent. There, they talk with students who come by, offering them sodas and snacks, along with words of encouragement. Wilson said that the idea for meeting with students had come from Harper, and it was his tent they were using.

On Friday, November 7, Herald staff dropped by the Plaza, unannounced, to take a first-hand look at what was happening. On that day, Wilson was joined by her husband, her two children, and two other adults, Darice Ingram and Debra Vinson. Harper was unable to be there on that day, as, according to Wilson, he was visiting a security guard who had been wounded in a gun battle in Antioch outside a local Starbucks earlier in the week.

Darice Ingram, a founder of Parents Connected, and also a member of the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) personnel commission, invited students who were passing by to stop and talk. She encouraged those she spoke with to be serious students, and, among other things, to consider taking Advanced Placement classes and to focus on preparing for college. “Most students are just kids that need to know someone cares, someone holds them accountable, and expects great things from them,” she said. She also praised Wilson for taking the initiative, noting that Wilson had provided treats for the students out of her own pocket.

Debra Vinson, who was elected last Tuesday to the AUSD board of trustees, was also in the parking lot greeting students. As they approached, she would introduce herself, ask their names, and how their school day had been. She said that, as a school board member, she wanted to be visibly involved and make sure she was accessible to everyone with a stake in the schools, including the children who attend them. “Safety concerns are shared by everyone in Antioch,” she said, “and I want to see, first-hand, what is happening with our students.”

The impression left by observing these interactions was far different than the one derived from the recent news reports. First, not all students were from DVHS. Several students who came up to meet with the parents stationed in the parking lot were from Dallas Ranch Middle School, a bit of a walk from the site. Wilson said that students from four different schools routinely came by, or passed through, the center after school let out each day.

The students were also very polite. “I have one rule,” said Wilson, “that students look me in the eye and shake hands.” Far from the belligerence frequently attributed to teens, the students on Friday seemed more shy than anything else, only reluctantly taking the sodas and snacks offered by Wilson and the others.

Jesus said, ‘suffer the little children to come unto me,’ and that is what I want to do,” said Wilson. “We can choose community over chaos. It’s imperative that we come together as a community to be better role models for our youth.”

Wilson is in the DVP parking lot every Tuesday and Friday, from 3:00 until 4:30, when school is in session.

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Antioch to hold annual Veterans Day ceremonies and parade in downtown Rivertown, Tuesday

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

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Santa, shopping, crafts and food at Lone Tree Elementary’s Holiday Boutique, this Saturday

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Holiday Boutique 1024x795 Santa, shopping, crafts and food at Lone Tree Elementarys Holiday Boutique, this Saturday

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St. Vincent de Paul celebrates 50th Anniversary in Contra Costa County, this Saturday

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

On Saturday, November 8, 2014, St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County, (SVdP), will hold its 50th Anniversary Event at St. John Vianney Church and Mullen Commons, marking a half-century of service to the poor in the county. The 5:00 pm Mass on Saturday, November 8 will feature celebrant The Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ, Bishop of Oakland. Please join Bishop Barber and members of the St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County organization celebrating this significant milestone.

Date: Saturday, November 8, 2014,

Mass: 5:00 pm

Reception/Dinner: 6:00pm

Venue: St. John Vianney Church and Mullen Commons, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Rd, Walnut Creek

Tickets: $50/person available at www.svdp-cc.org

Our Services

St. Vincent de Paul assists more than 200,000 county residents annually, providing basic human services while families stabilize and work toward improving their situation long-term.

SVdP’s goal is to resolve the problems of hunger, homelessness, unemployment, suffering and low health outcomes in Contra Costa by providing a complement of services including:

Emergency Assistance and Benefits Access/Referral, (County-wide), 650 Vincentians, located at 27 conferences throughout the county, operate 21 food pantries, provide emergency assistance, (e.g. rental assistance, utility assistance, transportation, homeless prevention), and referral/access to additional community services.  Over 150,000 residents are served annually by Vincentians.

Free Adult Medical Clinic, (Pittsburg), the RotaCare Pittsburg Free Medical Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul, is a free clinic that provides care for the uninsured, providing over 3,700 patient visits since opening in 2011.

Free Dining Room, (Pittsburg) providing 40,000 hot meals annually in partnership with Loaves & Fishes of Contra Costa.

21 Free Food Pantries, (21 locations), providing food annually valued at $1.5M to hungry and low-income individuals and families in the County.

Free Clothing and Furniture, (Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg), via our Thrift Stores, providing over $100,000 in clothing and furniture to needy individuals and families annually.

Workforce Development Program, (Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg), providing job training, mentorship and paid, part-time transitional employment for those returning to society from incarceration, addiction, and/or homelessness.

Daytime Homeless Shelter, (Pittsburg), in partnership with Winter Nights Shelter, providing daytime shelter for up to 700 individuals annually.

One Warm Coat Program, (County-wide), distributing over 4,000 warm coats in the County per year.

Please visit our website at www.svdp-cc.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/svdpcontracosta/.

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