Archive for the ‘East County’ Category

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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Keller Canyon Landfill/Hunters Point Naval Shipyard radiation probe agitates East County residents

Monday, June 25th, 2018

By Daniel Borsuk

Some 400 Bay Point and Pittsburg residents exited a community meeting at Ambrose Community Center with more questions than answers Thursday night about stories that radioactive materials had been mistakenly delivered to the Keller Canyon Landfill, located in southeast Pittsburg off of Baily Road. (See related article).

With representatives from county, regional, and state agencies and the Navy in attendance, but no one on hand from TetraTec, the contractor responsible for the removal of nuclear waste material from the former shipyard, residents learned that TetraTec has rejected a request to pick up the bill to pay for an independent investigation into how radioactive material waste entered the landfill on at least two instances.

Those two documented instances where radioactive materials from the shipyard were delivered to the landfill included the January 2014 case when 42 trucks dumped tainted soil with elevated lead.  The case was not considered to be an RCRA hazardous waste situation.  “All contaminated soil was removed from Keller Canyon Landfill,” said    Scott Anderson a Deputy Base Closure Manager of the U.S. Navy Base Realignment. “The Navy wants the community to know that the public is safe.”

In another instance, February 2015, Anderson said the Navy cleaned up at Keller Canyon Landfill after 218 tons of radioactive asphalt that had been delivered to the landfill.   “All the asphalt plus 102 tons of dirt were removed,” he said.

Residents were uncomfortable with the responses that the Navy, and especially Rick King, general manager of Keller Canyon Landfill, offered.  King defended how the landfill properly screens trucks loads with debris from multiple departure points, including Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

Some speakers like Jeanette Burgess questioned if the landfill operator rigged the monitors at the entrance to allow truck laden with radioactive materials to enter.   “I question your testers,” she said.

“I don’t know where you get your information,” rebutted King, who defended how the Republic Services Co. personnel monitors the testers and that they meet regulations.

Contra Costa County Environmental Health Director Marilyn Underwood said while there is the possibility Republic Services, operator of the Keller Canyon Landfill, might have to redraft an environmental impact report, she said the county is in the midst of searching for an independent consultant to assess the two documented events as well as other potential radioactive deliveries.

Supervisor Federal Glover, whose District 5 includes Keller Canyon Landfill, urged attendees to ask questions.  “Don’t leave here without asking your questions,” he said.  “We’re trying to get an independent investigation. We’re trying to get the information.”

Since TetraTec has refused to pick up the tab to pay for the independent investigation, Dr. Underwood of the county environmental health department said Supervisor Glover is looking into other potential sources to pay for the investigation.

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Supervisor Glover wants investigation into possible radioactive materials deposited at Keller Canyon Landfill in Pittsburg

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Keller Canyon Landfill. Photo courtesy of Comanco.

Matter to be heard at next Tuesday’s Board meeting

Supervisor Federal Glover has directed Contra Costa County Staff at next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting to provide the Board with an update concerning the allegations of malfeasance by Tetra Tech EC Inc. at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. The allegations concern possible radioactive materials being deposited at landfills across the state including possible contaminated material that might have been sent to the Keller Canyon Landfill.
“I am very concerned about these allegations and want a full report from staff on this issue,” Glover stated.  Healso said that he expects County staff to follow up with further review of the issue after the Board meeting next Tuesday.

“I want staff to thoroughly investigate these allegations and determine whether or not the Keller Landfill was sent contaminated material,” Glover continued. “I want to make sure the residents of Contra Costa County are protected and that this matter is fully addressed.”

He said that the matter will be heard in front of the Board of Supervisors during its regularly scheduled session starting at 9:30 AM on May 1, 2018 in the Board Chambers at 651 Pine St., Martinez.

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2nd Annual Larry Damitz Memorial Race on tap at Antioch Speedway Saturday night

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Larry Damitz #15 after one of his wins in 2016. Damitz was a five-time Limited Late Model champion and was recently inducted into the Vallejo Sports Hall Of Fame. Photo by Paul Gould.

By Don Martin II

The Antioch Speedway roars back into action this Saturday night with an exciting six division All Star Series program honoring the late Larry Damitz. Featured divisions this weekend include the Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modified, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.

In recent seasons, the division of choice for Damitz, who was racing well into his 80s, was the Limited Late Models. In his final seven seasons at Antioch, he won five championships and finished second in those other two seasons. He won over 50 Main Events in his illustrious career at Antioch Speedway alone, and he was also recently inducted into the Vallejo Sports Hall Of Fame.

For The Limited Late Model racers, this event is for them. They spent many years trying to beat the orange and blue #15 car, wheeled impressively by Damitz. Last season, it was Kimo Oreta taking the wheel and making sure the Sun Drop Racing team maintained their championship status. Though he was very consistent and won multiple races, he still had to fight off the challenges of 2013 champion Jim Freethy and Mark Garner.

Freethy and Garner are both expected to contend for this year’s championship. Garner was doing double division duty last season, but he has put his B Modified up for sale in order to focus on his Limited Late Model effort. The man who has won more Main Events in this division at Antioch than anybody else, Mike Gustafson, will be another driver to watch out for. He was a two-time feature winner last season. Chris Long is anticipated in the John Keith car, and other drivers to watch for include John Evans, Lori Brown, Chad Hammer and Ryan Cherezian.

The A Modified division kicked off their 2018 season two weeks ago with Nick DeCarlo scoring the impressive victory. DeCarlo tends to bounce from track to track, but he has championships to his credit at Watsonville and Petaluma. A decision on Nick’s behalf to compete for the Antioch crown would certainly make him a top threat. Reigning champion Bobby Motts Jr notched the second place finish at the opener as he attempts a title defense. Five time division champion Scott Busby has his eyes on a track record 73 career feature wins, and other drivers to watch for this week include Sean O’Gara, rookie Buddy Kniss, hard charger Trent Wentworth, Mike Salazar and Bobby Montalvo.

Fred Ryland might have been a surprise entrant at the opener as he was the 2017 Merced Speedway champion. However, he picked up right where he left off with another Antioch win. The 2015 Antioch champion, who also has a Hobby Stock championship to his credit, is rapidly approaching 50 career feature wins. Ryland’s presence in the field makes things very interesting and helps make Antioch one of the most exciting B Modified programs in the state. Other drivers to watch for in the field include 2016 champion Trevor Clymens, 2017 champion KC Keller, past Street Stock champion Todd Gomez, past Hobby Stock champion Guy Ahlwardt and Tommy Fraser.

The Wingless Spec Sprint division enters its 20th season on the roster, and it appears as if 2004 champion Bob Newberry has his sights set on the championship. Newberry won more Main Events than anybody last season before settling for third in the standings. Another driver to keep an eye on is the only driver to have competed in all 20 seasons in this division, 2017 runnerup Rick Panfili. A competitive group of racers in this class includes Alan Miranda, Roy Fisher, Shannon Newton, Brandon Burd, Abigail Gonderman, Adam Teves, James East and Bryan Grier, who hasn’t officially said if he’s attempting a title defense this year.

The Hobby Stock division continues to have a strong presence at the speedway. In the opener, Michael Cooper looked very impressive in scoring the win, leaving the battle for second between reigning champion Cameron Swank and 2010 champion Chris Sorensen. Past Super Hobby Stock and Figure 8 champion Jim Robbins threw his hat into the ring this year and looked very fast in the opener. Likewise, Chris Bennett also figures to be in line for his first career feature win. Other drivers to watch for this week include Jordan Swank, Travis Tabucchi, Ricky Foster, Josh Leach, Russell Shearer and Haley Gomez.

There was plenty of disappointment to go around in the Dwarf Car community after the rain out canceled what was sure to be a big event last week. Regardless, Mike Corsaro enters the season as the reigning champion. Corsaro may very well be the driver to beat this year as he has become very consistent in recent seasons. David Michael Rosa is knocking on the door to his first career feature win and may be another driver to watch in the championship hunt. Other drivers to watch for this week include last season’s top rookie, Devan Kammermann, Brian Gray, David Rosa, Charlie Correia and 2016 champion Kevin Miraglio.

It looks as if the weather will open a window and allow this exciting six division program to unfold. For further information on this and other happenings, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.

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Los Medanos College to hold groundbreaking ceremony for new Brentwood Center

Monday, April 9th, 2018

Los Medanos College (LMC) will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Brentwood Center on Wednesday, April 18, at 1:00 p.m. at the site of the future facility.  The new site is located at Pioneer Square and Miwok Place in Brentwood (near the intersection of Vineyards Parkway and Marsh Creek Road, just off of Highway 4).  The public is welcome to attend and the event is free; RSVPs are not required, and complimentary parking will be available.

This groundbreaking ceremony celebrates upcoming construction of a permanent Brentwood Center, which will expand and enhance learning opportunities for LMC students and Contra Costa County residents in the easternmost part of the College’s service area.  The new one-story Center, designed by Ratcliff Architects, will be approximately 55,000 square feet.  The project will be constructed on a 17.5 parcel purchased by Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) in 2011.  It will feature instructional classrooms, science labs, student support services, library resources, tutorial labs, bookstore and food service areas, “linger and learn” space, faculty/staff offices, and more than 700 parking stalls.  The current Brentwood Center, located in a leased facility at 101A Sand Creek Road in Brentwood, first opened in 2001.  The existing space consists of 22,000 square feet and serves approximately 2,800 students – accounting for about one-third of LMC’s enrollment.

The permanent $65 million facility is made possible through funding from CCCCD Bond Measures A (2006) and E (2014), thanks to support from voters in Contra Costa County.  Construction is expected to be completed in 18-24 months, with the new Brentwood Center projected to open in Spring 2020.

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

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Contra Costa Taxpayers Association East announces inaugural meeting March 28

Friday, March 9th, 2018

The Contra Costa Taxpayers Association (“CoCoTax”) is pleased to announce the formation of a new East Contra Costa chapter. To celebrate, CoCoTax East will hold its inaugural public meeting on Wednesday, March 28 with a luncheon meeting at Vic Stewart’s Restaurant at 2270 Balfour Road in Brentwood.

CoCoTax promotes “good government at affordable cost” and is well known as a “tax watchdog” organization. But, according to Jack Weir, CoCoTax President, “CoCoTax is much more than a tax watchdog. Good tax receipts flow from well designed, developed and managed cities and counties. As such, CoCoTax seeks to work with residents, businesses, and local government to grow the tax base and provide for a quality lifestyle for residents through economic development, prudent zoning, and other strategic planning tools.”

The first CoCoTax East meeting will focus on Economic Development in East County and will feature three East County speakers:

Ron Reagan, is owner and President of Reagan Management Services in Brentwood and a member of the Contra Costa Airport Commission; Ron will address the issue of economic growth at and around the Byron Airport.

Gus Vina, Brentwood City Manager will discuss the economic development element of the City’s Strategic Plan.

Kevin Romick, Oakley City Councilman and member of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority board of directors, will highlight Oakley’s development progress and discuss the present and future infrastructure needs and plans in East County.

The luncheon is open to CoCoTax members and the public. People wishing to attend can register online at www.cocotax.org/event-2851592 or by contacting Denise Sheehan at denise@cocotax.org.

The cost to attend is $35; alternately, attendees can attend the luncheon for free by becoming a CoCoTax member for $37.50, a 50% discount on their first year’s membership.

For more information about CoCoTax or the luncheon, please contact Hal Bray at hal.bray@pacbell.net or 925-286-4905.

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County Public Works to make public safety repairs on Marsh Creek Road Feb. 12 – Mar. 1

Monday, February 12th, 2018

The Contra Costa County Public Works Department will perform work on Marsh Creek Road from Camino Diablo to the Clayton City limits, from February 12 through March 1, 2018. The work will occur between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m to trim back trees and vegetation along the road edge and make spot shoulder repairs.

The purpose of this work is to increase driver visibility, awareness and public safety. The work may be rescheduled based on weather conditions. Electronic message boards will alert drivers of the scheduled work. There will be traffic control through the work area and motorists can expect delays.

About Contra Costa County Public Works Department:

Contra Costa County Public Works Department (CCCPWD) maintains over 660 miles of roads, 150 miles of streams, channels and other drainage and over 200 County buildings throughout Contra Costa County.   CCCPWD provides services such as Parks and Recreation, Sand Bag Distribution and Flood Control throughout unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County.  For more information about CCCPWD, please visit us here.

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Lights of Christmas Family Cruise in East County Saturday night Dec 23

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

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