Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Antioch Council approves city’s first transit oriented development project

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Rendering of the approved Wildflower Station project along Hillcrest Avenue. By SDG Architects.

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13, the Antioch City Council voted 3-1 to approve the first transit oriented development (TOD) project in the city’s history. Councilman Tony Tiscareno was the lone no vote, Mayor Sean Wright recused himself because he owns his chiropractic office which is located within 300 feet of the site. Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe took over as acting mayor to run the public hearing.

Known as Wildflower Station, the 23-acre, mixed-use project by DeNova Homes is located between Hillcrest Avenue near the intersection of Davison Drive and Deer Valley Road, and Wildflower Drive, near the KFC restaurant. It will include 98 condominiums, 22 single family homes and 89,422 square feet of retail, office and dining space, as well as 576 parking spaces.

The land is vacant and has mainly been used for the placement of community event and political campaign signs.

The single-family homes will have lot sizes ranging from 3,062 to 5,691 square feet and will be approximately 2,187 to 2,303 square feet in size.

Transit oriented development refers to commercial and residential development within a quarter-mile to a half-mile of a transit stop. The project site is located just over half a mile from the new Antioch BART Station which is scheduled to open in May. It is hoped that people who live there can walk to the BART Station.

Preliminary plans for the project were first submitted in 2015. At their Jan. 17 meeting, the Planning Commission voted 4-1, with two members absent, to recommend approval of the project, according to Paul Junker, contract planner for the city who presented the staff report.

Councilman Tony Tiscareno wanted a development agreement for the project. “It is my understanding it was not negotiated.”

Junker who presented the staff report responded with, “There is not a development agreement associated with the plan.”

Only the project proponent, Trent Sanson, representing DeNova Homes spoke on the item. No one spoke in opposition.

“We’re very excited to be before you tonight. We’ve worked diligently with staff. We concur with all the recommendations,” he said, referring to it as “a world class project.”

One sticking point arose over a project labor agreement sought by Tiscareno.

He asked Sanson, “All in all the project seems to be a nice project. It constitutes in my opinion a good quality of life for the City of Antioch. But quality of life also consists of jobs, taking care of our veterans. This is something that is very passionate to me. There is no project too big or too small to take care of our citizens, our local veterans, our folks that have an opportunity to work in our city. And one of the things that assures that for me is a project labor agreement. So, I’m very adamant about that. The reason I asked why there wasn’t a development agreement is because that probably would have been where you would have had negotiations on that. That concerns me quite a bit. I have mixed emotions about this. But do I like it well enough to not have my local residents to have the opportunity to prosper in a good job, prosper on a good wage, potential education through job training. I think I expressed that to you when we met. I don’t want to eliminate a good project knowing we can still work this out. But, if not I have no alternative to not support the project. This particular project is big enough to sustain that. If you can convince me differently, try. But this is where I stand.”

Sanson responded by saying, “I do not disagree with you on…local labor, local jobs and that everyone who builds are homes can prosper and thrive. As we mentioned before, in this day and age, with pre-negotiated labor agreements, we are experiencing…because we have the trades know and the unions choose to not come to that job as the first one because they know it’s always there, we are always struggling to keep the project staffed. If they can choose to go to larger projects, then they walk off the job.”

“We always prefer to go to our local trade partners, over the unions,” he continued. “We prefer to use union labor and will pay an economic premium to do so. But we need that competitive economic sustainability…we can go to another trade partner that isn’t under that pre-negotiated labor agreement. It sounds like you have your mind made up, unfortunately. But, I’m here to tell you that we will not be signing a PLA on this project.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s a total labor thing,” Tiscareno responded. “I want to see structure…local people, local veterans, which is negotiated in a project labor agreement.”

Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock added her list of requests saying, “I would like to see 50% of the hires at least locally with veterans and local hires. That to me is big for the city.”

She also wanted the park included in the project be all-accessible for children with all abilities saying,“I don’t think we should build a project without parks that all children can go to.”

“It’s a needed project in the city,” Ogorchock concluded.

Rendering view of the project from Hillcrest Avenue at Wildflower Drive.

Councilwoman Monica Wilson said, “I really like this project. You guys were very thoughtful on this project. This is the future and this is the trend. I like the single-family housing, the multi-family housing and commercial.”

“You were very thoughtful knowing how close you are to the BART station. This is a really good project. It’s something that the city really needs.”

Thorpe, who campaigned on supporting in-fill and TOD projects was also enthusiastic about the project, expressing “the importance of smart growth. We just have to be embracing smart growth…making public transportation available to people.”

“I’m all for PLA’s. I’m pro-union and all that stuff,” he said. “But, when we look at what is being built in the city…we are creating that synergy and that excitement about wanting to come to Antioch and I don’t think we need to hit the breaks on anything. We need to keep this project moving forward. I think we need to get this done, tonight.”

“I trust you when you say that you’re going to make local hire a priority, labor a priority,” Thorpe said to Sanson. “I want to echo Councilwoman Ogorchock’s sentiments that we do prioritize the importance of the trades and the importance of local hire. I think this project overall is much more important than those issues. I think getting this done, tonight…is critically important for the growth of this city.”

Ogorchock moved approval, Wilson seconded the motion and the council voted 3-1 approving the project.

To see more about the project, view the archived video of the Council meeting at and click on 3.) Wildflower Station.

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Antioch Chamber to honor winners of 2017 Citizen, Business, Youth, Veteran, Non-Profit awards at Inaugural Gala March 9

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Tickets for awards dinner available

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2017 Gala Award winners:

Citizen of the Year – Most Impact – Sandra Kelly

Citizen of the YearLifetime AchievementJim Bocci

Small Business of the Year – SERVPRO of Antioch

Large Business of the Year – Somersville Towne Center

Youth of the Year – Shagoofa Khan (winner), Sydney Palmer (runner-up)

Veteran of the Year – U.S. Navy, Vietnam Veteran and Antioch American Legion Commander Paul Scannell

Non-Profit of the Year – Antioch VFW

Chamber Ambassador of the Year – Denise Baquing

The winners will be honored at the Chamber’s Gala Award dinner on Friday, March 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lone Tree Golf & Event Center, 4800 Golf Course Road in Antioch.

Posthumous recognition will be given to Linda Fredrickson in recognition of her commitment to, and betterment of the Antioch community.

Gala tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 925.757.1800, or emailing

Read more about the winners in the March issue of the Herald.

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Food Truck Thursdays return to Antioch in March

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Back by popular demand…food trucks are returning to Antioch March 15

The Foodie Crew and the City of Antioch Recreation Department is thrilled to announce that Food Truck Thursdays is returning to Antioch. Our official kick off date will be Thursday, March 15th and we anticipate another fun and exciting season, bringing you 6-8 gourmet food and dessert trucks every Thursday from 5:00-9:00 p.m. until October 25th. In addition to the array of trucks, we also will have the well-known Lucky 13 Beer & Wine Truck keeping you refreshed with an assortment of craft beers and wines. Food Truck Thursdays will once again take place at the Antioch Community Center and Water Park parking lot located at: 4703 Lone Tree Way Antioch, CA 94531.

We’re excited to be bringing an extensive lineup of trucks serving many different global flavors each week. The Food Trucks will be rotated weekly, fulfilling all the different food cravings you may have. We will be posting the Food Truck lineup on a weekly basis, so make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated: @foodiecrewsf.

Food Truck Thursdays is a kid, family, and pet friendly community event with FREE admission. In addition to all of the delicious food and beverages; we will also have giant family friendly games, face painting on certain days and music…with occasional live music performances and DJ’s.

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Antioch resident launches effort to raise funds to buy and train one police dog

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

As of 1:30 PM on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2017 eight people had contributed $2,295 to the effort begun on Monday.

Dear Editor:

I understand how busy you are and appreciate the time you take to read this note, people can truly make a difference when they want to!

I know most people would want to help someone if they could, it’s who we are. I am committed to helping and I want you to hear about what I’m doing. K9 Officers (dogs) are vitally important in today’s police work. Look at some of these facts:

  • K9 officers (dogs) have been used in law enforcement for centuries! They can perform a wide range of duties and services that even their human counterparts can’t accomplish.
  • A Police K9 office has an average career of 6 to 8 years.
  • A K9 can differentiate between identical twins.
  • A dog team can search an area 50 times faster than a human and can smell up to 500,000 times better with a much-enhanced degree of certainty. A dog could smell a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water.
  • A Police Dog Can Smell A Human Buried Up To 12 Feet Underground
  • K9 Officers Keep Billions of Dollars of Drugs Off Our Streets. On June 25, 2014, IOL News reported that one of the biggest drug busts of all time was performed by a K9 Unit.
  • K9 Dog Training Takes Approximately 10 Weeks
  • K9 Officers Perform Tracking, Narcotic Detection, Explosives Detection, Cadaver Detection, And Public Enforcement
  • Recently, K9s Have Been Trained to Sniff Out Electronics Like Hard Drives, Thumb Drives, And Other Pieces of Technology to Find Illegal Data
  • Each Police Dog Costs Approximately $20,000 to Obtain and Train. This does not include security vests. (Bullet proof vests). These can cost as much as $8,000. per K9 officer.
  • These dogs are a very valuable asset to any and all police departments. Some departments have a very robust program, and some are trying to get their program up and running.
  • Funding for police departments is not enough for all the needs and for what we, the public, ask police departments to do for us.

So, what does this have to do with you? Help with these dogs is needed.  Please read this article:

During my training through a condensed police academy, I became aware of how much these K9 officers help a police department to protect and serve us, the public. Increasing the amount of working K9 officers WILL make a difference.

I have committed to purchase and train a new K9 and I’m asking you to join me in making this happen. Yes, donations are needed. Large or small, all will help. YOU can, save a life. YOU can find a missing child. YOU can, arrest a dangerous criminal.

You want to help? Great! By following this link by donating, you can make a difference! I appreciate all of you for being willing to partner with me in this very important fundraising need. My goal is to raise $28,000. and all money received from the GoFundMe Page will be donated. PLEASE DONATE.

Tim McCall


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Stage Right to hold auditions for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” play in Antioch

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Stage Right Conservatory Theatre will hold auditions for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on March 5th and 6th at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center, 213 F Street in Antioch.  This classic tale of Charlie Bucket on his adventurous tour of Willy Wonka’s world-famous chocolate factory is based on the book by Roald Dahl and produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Co.  Directed by Rio Teixeira, there are many great roles available for actors ages 8-18.  No experience is necessary. 

To receive your audition time, you must register online at  Performance dates will be April 20th, 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th & 29th.  There is a $75 participation fee if cast.  For more audition and show information call (925) 216-4613.

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Family fun at Community Car and Motorcycle Show in Antioch Sunday, Feb. 18

Friday, February 16th, 2018

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Los Medanos College seeks nominations for awards celebrating life of César Chávez

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Los Medanos College (LMC) is preparing to host its annual “César Chávez Celebration” on Thursday, March 22, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the college’s Recital Hall [Reception at 6:00 p.m., Awards & Recognition Ceremony at 7:00 p.m.].  LMC is located at 2700 East Leland Road in Pittsburg.  The public is welcome to attend the free event.

Los Medanos College hosts this event each year to honor the life of César Chávez and to recognize East Contra Costa County community leaders who continue his great tradition of service and social activism. A true American hero, César Chávez exemplifies service to community and non-violent social change.

The college is now seeking nominations for three recognition awards, which will be presented at the event.  The LMC César Chávez Award for Exemplary Community Service, established in 1995, is awarded to local residents who have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to service and who represent the core values established by César Chávez: Service to Others, Sacrifice, Help the Most Needy, Determination, Non-Violence, Acceptance of All People, Respect for Life and the Environment, Celebrating Community, Knowledge, and Innovation.  The East County Educator Award honors members of the educational community who demonstrate the above values and a commitment to student success and equity, particularly for low-income students and students of color.  The Chávez Spirit Award recognizes emerging/student leaders who are making an impact on East Contra Costa County in the areas of advocacy and social justice.

To submit nominations for the César Chávez awards, visit:  The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Adams, or (925) 473-7302.

Los Medanos College (LMC), one of three colleges in the Contra Costa Community College District, has served the East Contra Costa County community since 1974. LMC offers award-winning transfer and career-technical programs, high-quality support services, and diverse academic opportunities in an engaging and inclusive learning environment. With exceptional educators, innovative curriculum, growing degree and certificate offerings, strong regional partnerships, and state-of-the-art facilities, the College prepares students to succeed in their educational pursuits, in the workforce, and beyond. LMC’s Pittsburg Campus is located on 120 acres near the Antioch border, with an additional education center in Brentwood.

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East County black student organizations to host Youth Summit and Step Show Saturday, Feb. 10

Friday, February 9th, 2018

To celebrate Black History Month and empower tomorrow’s leaders

Join African American students throughout Eastern Contra Costa County during their 1st Annual Black Student Organizations Summit and Step Show. This free event is scheduled for Saturday, February 10, 2018 at historic Antioch High School in Antioch. The event will begin at 12 p.m. with a pre-summit kick-off.

Event organizers want to highlight important and increasing issues such as: college access rates for our African-American student population, College and career readiness and the preservation of student-led Black History Month events within our schools.


It is easier to build strong children,

than to repair broken men.

– Frederick Douglass


They believe that with the help of the NAACP, local artists, business owners, community members, fraternities, and sororities, we can light a fire and empower our students in an effort to show them that college is and can be a space where they can see themselves. Furthermore, we are committed to supporting students as they navigate leadership roles and acquire the necessary experiences to prepare them for a promising future.

This event has been primarily organized by students throughout East Contra Costa County High Schools to enhance a cohesive and united stand for equal access for all students. The pre-summit kick-off will be hosted by the East County Branch of NAACP Youth and College Division, then offer various workshops starting at 1pm and ending with a finale Step Show hosted by several African American fraternities and sororities from various colleges throughout the Bay Area. The first 100 student attendees will receive a free T-shirt, and all attendees will be entered into a drawing for two lucky students to receive a prize pack with a ticket to attend the Warrior’s vs Hawks on March 23.

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