Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Antioch woman finds “hidden” money in state’s coffers, maybe some is yours

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Julie Carlson from her Facebook page.

By Allen Payton

Antioch resident Julie Carlson has been on a mission since she discovered there are billions of dollars owed to California residents that the state has been holding on to in various funds. She began doing research and found agency after agency with money in fund balances owed to thousands of individuals.

Michael Finney of ABC7 TV’s did a news report about Carlson’s efforts and it aired Tuesday night, April 23rd.

Part of the problem is the names of individuals and even cities are misspelled in the state’s records and it doesn’t appear anyone is responsible for correcting the mistakes or finding to whom the money is owed.

“The sad thing…is that California’s State Controller told Michael Finney that there was a law that prohibited them from correcting misspelled city names or any other errors found in property records and this is a down right lie. There is no such law that prohibit the State from making corrections to records that were received from another party. Of course, you save an original copy of the record, but once you have done that, you should be free to make any changes that are required in order to make that record reflect truthful or accurate information,” Carlson wrote in a Facebook post about the ABC7 segment.

“This department has been using that same sorry and lazy excuse for years just so they can continue to prevent people from finding money that belongs to them,” she continued. “People need to stand up to our state government and force them to present accurate information to us. It should not matter if a third party misspelled a city name, California should correct the spelling and be done with it!!! The state is preventing 1.6 million property records valued at over $365 million dollars from showing up in search results simply because the person’s property record contains a misspelled city name.”

“There are plenty of other more complex errors found throughout millions of their property records, at least, fixing a misspelled city name would be fairly easy to fix,” Carlson added.

If you or someone you know needs help finding property, send an email to HiddenMoney@att.net.

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Antioch couple raising funds for heart transplant for woman who received their son’s heart 21 years ago

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Jennifer Fuller of Antioch, left with Malysa Logan of Modesto, who is in need of a second heart transplant. Photo courtesy of Malysa Logan

By Allen Payton

Not long after Antioch Real Estate Broker Rick Fuller started dating his wife Jennifer, she lost her only son, Deon to meningitis in 1998 at the age of four. The couple donated Deon’s organs which saved the lives of four others. A two-year-old girl named Malysa was the recipient of Deon’s heart. Now, 21 years later, that heart is failing and Malysa is need of another transplant.

The Fullers weren’t supposed to know who received their son’s heart. But, a year later Jennifer met Malysa. Then eight years later, Jennifer felt her son’s heart beating in Malysa’s chest. Now, having learned of her need for another heart, since transplants usually only last for three to 10 years, the Fullers have launched an effort to help raise the $100,000 needed to cover Malysa’s medical care.

Now, having learned of her need for another heart, since transplants usually only last for three to 10 years, the Fullers have launched an effort to help raise the $100,000 needed to cover Malysa’s medical care.

In order to be listed for a second transplant, her family must raise the required funds needed to pay all expenses not covered by insurance. The largest expense being the requirement to relocate Malysa Logan and a full-time caregiver to the Stanford area for an unknown period of time following the transplant.

“I gave life to my Sweet Boy Deon 26 years ago today and I would be amiss if I did not share that we have been working on giving life once again,” Jennifer posted on Rick’s Facebook on April 24. “Through Malysa, Deon’s heart has beat these last 21 years and now she is in need of another heart transplant.”

Rick and Jennifer Fuller in a photo from Facebook posted earlier this month.

“Over $53,000 has come in, in less than two months,” Rick shared. “She told us in February that the heart she received from Deon was failing. When she was a child there were several grants that covered the costs. But now that she’s an adult there are no funds for her. That’s when we stepped up and launched our effort in March.”

A donation website has been set up at www.malysasheart.com.

In addition, a fundraiser, hosted by the Rotary of the Delta-Antioch, will be held this Saturday, April 27 at Afrique Restaurant in Antioch. The “Have a Heart” event will run from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and the restaurant is located in the Orchard Square at 2370 Buchanan Road. (See flyer above) Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.

“We’re real appreciative about people in our community, coming along side and helping. So, we’re super excited to be a part of that,” Jennifer said.

To learn more about Malysa, her first transplant, her current donor and her need for a new transplant by visiting: https://www.facebook.com/malysasheart/. You may also contact Rick Fuller at info@rickfuller.com.

To see more, watch the NBC Bay Area TV news report about the Fuller’s efforts to help Malysa and the video the couple posted on Jennifer’s Facebook page, on Tuesday night.

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Antioch Council approves city’s first recreational marijuana store on split vote

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

Example of the interior of a One Plant cannabis dispensary. Photos from the City staff report.

Requires two, armed security guards on-site during business hours

By Allen Payton

Following a few comments by only two members of the public and discussion by council members Tuesday night, April 23, and a vote in favor by the Antioch Planning Commission, the City Council voted 4-1 to approve the city’s first recreational marijuana retail store. Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock was the only dissenting vote.

The vote grants the company, One Plant, a Use Permit to locate a “cannabis dispensary with delivery at 2701 West 10th Street”. That’s the current location of the Goodwill Store at the corner of Verne Roberts Circle.

One Plant is the first applicant to go through the approval process since the Council adopted two “overlay districts” for cannabis-related businesses in Antioch, last year. One district is in the Verne Roberts Circle area near Costco and the other is along the Wilbur Avenue corridor in the northwest part of the city.

According to the city staff report, “The retails sales will be conducted in an approximately 2,500 square foot sales area. All customers must enter the lobby, first and present a valid identification to a security guard prior to entering the sales area.”

The business also plans to “sell vape pens, vape pen batteries, and chargers which are used to administer cannabis concentrates. They do not intend to sell rolling papers, pipes, bongs, etc.” The city’s “cannabis guidelines prohibit the sale of…paraphernalia unless explicitly authorized through the use permit.”

Example of a product display inside a One Plant cannabis store.

One Plant also “plans to begin delivery operations…during the same hours as the retail business hours” using one vehicle. They “may increase the number of delivery vehicles based on demand” but can “not have any marking or other indications on the exterior of the vehicle that may indicate the delivery employee is carrying cannabis goods.”

The Antioch Police Department is required “to conduct a site inspection to assess the security of the site prior to a certificate of occupancy being issued.”

In addition, the conditions of approval require “no fewer than two uniformed and armed security guards” on-site during business hours.

One Plant is required to have an online submission forum on their website or by using a comment drop box located at the dispensary, in which residents

They will also be hosting an ongoing series of public information meetings with residents about issues surrounding cannabis.

The business is also required to mitigate potential off-site impacts, such as odor “that demonstrates the measures they will take to ensure that cannabis odors will not be detected at or beyond the site.”

The city’s conditions of approval also prohibit the smoking or ingesting of cannabis products on-site.

According to other news reports, One Plant, “is an adult-use cannabis retail operation led by members of the Serruya Family, including Aaron Serruya, the president of (Canada-based) International Franchise Corp., which has over 4500 franchise locations in over 50 countries” including ice cream shops Pinkberry and Swensen’s.

Antioch resident Dr. Jeffrey Klinger was one of only two members of the public who spoke on the item, shared concerns about the sales of vaping products, which are being used by young people.

The council then took up the issue, asking questions of Chris Hester, Security Director for One Plant Antioch.

“I think everyone’s going to know my comment. A 600-foot separation from this spot to the (Babe Ruth) fields,” Ogorchock said.

In response to a question from Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts, Hester spoke of supporting local, community organizations.

“The additional space, what do you plan on doing with it?” Councilman Lamar Thorpe asked.

“In the future we might incorporate manufacturing or a distribution center,” Hester said. “On that lot size we could put another building there. In a similar size location in San Diego we have 350 employees.”

He also spoke of expanding their delivery service and plans to employ 20 to 30 people.

Asked about revenue projections, Hester estimated $4-5 million and up to $10 million, annually.

Thorpe asked about the issue of equity and the war on drugs.

“We can have starter programs for equity participants. We understand, basically that there was a plight on certain communities in the war on drugs, and we like to give those people opportunity in the business we thrive in,” Hester stated.

“Is it going to be safe, is there going to be blight,” asked Councilwoman Monica Wilson.

“My first answer to a lot of this, you wouldn’t know what we were doing if we didn’t have to go through this process,” Hester responded. “We go above and beyond what is required. We’re in it for the long-term. It’s an industrial park area.”

Mayor Sean Wright said, “I appreciate some of the things that are in here, the on-site security at all times…you’ve included all the items that the police department has given to you. No tinting. You’re not going to hide the front door.”

“What are you going to do to that front corner…the entrance to Antioch?” he asked. “You’re not going to write, ‘cannabis sold here.’”

“We’re kind of a destination. We really don’t have to advertise. It’s an online platform,” Hester stated. “We don’t need a bright, yellow sign that says, ‘come purchase your marijuana, here.’”

“In other areas we’ve done murals on walls, so it looks cool,” he continued. “We like to do whatever we can to make sure the building is presentable…set ourselves apart from dispensaries of five to seven years ago.”

“I’ve read online that of the dispensaries out there you are one of the highest class, out there,” Wright said.

Ogorchock attempted to insert language in the ordinance to make sure it is 600 feet away from the Babe Ruth baseball fields.

Forrest Ebbs, Community Development Director stated that the location is 2,450 feet away from the baseball fields.

The council then voted 4-1 to approve the use permit for the One Plant cannabis dispensary.

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With help of K9 officer, Antioch police arrest man for multiple weapons violations Thursday morning

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

Antioch K9 Officer Purcy with the gun found Thursday morning, April 18, 2019. Photos by APD.

Suspect arrested by Antioch Police on April 18, 2019.

Thursday morning, April 18, 2019 around 3 a.m., Antioch Police officers were dispatched to a suspicious circumstance involving a man with a gun in the area of Aster Drive. Officers located the man walking away into a nearby apartment complex and were able to quickly catch up and detain him.

During a search of the area K9 Purcy located a .40 caliber Glock handgun with an extended magazine in a nearby bush.

The man was arrested for multiple weapons violations and K9 Purcy was rewarded with his favorite toy.

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Antioch Episcopal church to hold first baptism on Easter Sunday following merger and under new name of St. Anna’s

Friday, April 19th, 2019

St. Anna’s Episcopal congregation with Rev. Jill Honodel (center right, back), in front of the church in Antioch. Photo courtesy of St. Anna’s.

Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander was born in 1865 to recently freed slaves and died in 1947. She ministered in rural Georgia, focusing on the education of poor black children. Photo: Diocese of Georgia.

Named for denomination’s only African American deaconess

By Allen Payton

St. George’s Episcopal Church in Antioch recently merged with St. Alban’s in Brentwood and together have taken on the new name of St. Anna’s. The congregation is the first Episcopal church in the nation to be named after an African American woman, Anna Ellison Butler Alexander. A daughter of freed slaves, she was also the denomination’s only African American deaconess, serving in Georgia in the early 1900’s. She is a new saint in the Episcopal tradition.

This Sunday the church will hold its first baptism since the merger and renaming.

“We are thrilled to baptize Wynter J’adore Smith on Easter Sunday,” said Rev. Honodel. “Not only is she related to Betty Smith, one of the members of the first board of Saint Anna’s (and the long-time leader of Antioch’s Rivertown Jamboree), Wynter will be the very first person baptized in St. Anna’s Episcopal Church named after Anna Alexander of Pennick, Georgia.”

“We are very excited, and we’ve planned some lively music for the service,” she continued. “We’ll also be reading a sermon from St. Chrysostom an early church Father from the original Antioch in Syria from the 4th century.”

“We are developing our relationship with the people of The Church of the Good Shepherd in Pennick, Georgia, the church founded by Saint Anna,” Honodel shared. “In fact, some of the members were taught to read by her directly during the era of reconstruction immediately following the emancipation proclamation.

Honodel has been invited to attend the renaming of a chapel in Saint Anna’s name at the Diocese of Georgia on May 3rd.

Deaconess Anna E.B. Alexander is shown with a group of her students in front of the Good Shepherd School, which she founded in Pennick, Georgia. Photo: Diocese of Georgia

Anna Alexander will be recognized as a saint of the Episcopal Church in Lessor Feasts and Fastswith which every seminarian and clergyperson in the Episcopal Church is well acquainted.  The book provides the Collects (prayers) and readings specific to the saint of their assigned day (their feast day). Saint Anna’s day is on September 24th.

“We will certainly have a special Feast Day planned for her,” Honodel stated. “We may start the day off with Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing known as the Negro national anthem written in 1900 as a poem by James Weldon Johnson and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1905.”

The church will also have a public, community celebration on July 21st. The public is invited to attend. St. Anna’s Episcopal Church is located at 301 E. 13th Street in Antioch. To learn more about Anna Alexander, click here. For more information about the church visit www.saintannas.org or their Facebook page.

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Supervisors review proposed $3.7 billion budget, discuss potential new tax

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

By Daniel Borsuk

The Contra Costa County Supervisors were presented Tuesday a proposed $3.69 billion budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 that sparked dialogue among supervisors of potentially developing a new tax source in order to support the county’s growing service needs, especially in the areas of health, medical, employment and human services.

The proposed 2019-2020 budget consists of $1.7 billion in county imposed general fund revenue that is approximately the same level of local tax revenue budgeted for the current 2018-2019 fiscal year. State and federal funds make up the other $2 billion in budget revenue.

Supervisors voted 4-0 to instruct county administrator David Twa to present the budget for adoption at its May 7 meeting. Vice chair Candace Andersen of Danville was absent at the time of the vote.

“After several years of relative stability, we now enter a period of needing to adjust our county budget to meet challenges due to uncertainties to countywide revenue streams (especially in the Health Services and the Employment & Human Services departments), compounded by sharply rising wage and benefit costs,” County Administrator Twa wrote in his 2019-2020 budget presentation. CCCo Budget Presentation 19-20 Draft

In the 2019-2020 fiscal year county officials plan to wrap up labor negotiations with the Physicians and Dentists Organization that represents workers in the Health and Human Services and at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Clinics, the District Attorney Investigators Association, the Deputy Services Association and the In-Home Supportive Services Association.

Even in a good economy, Contra Costa County employees find themselves underpaid on average 5 percent to 8 percent of what their counterparts earn at similar jobs in the Bay Area. Supervisors listened to a number of speakers representing the county’s health care system, Contra Costa CARES, that the county needs to boost salaries of its healthcare workers 8 percent if it expects to retain employees.

For next fiscal year, county medical director Anna Roth proposed that the supervisors approve a 3 percent cost of living adjustment, designate $135 million in county general funds, count on $1.6 billion in revenues, but expect expenses of $1.8 billion. The department plans to expand the West County Behavioral Health Center next year, she said.

“We’ve got some work to do,” said District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill upon noticing a projected a combined general fund deficit from health services and human services of at least $30 million.

Noting how other Bay Area counties like San Francisco, Alameda, and San Mateo can adequately pay county workers because of additional tax revenues streaming in from property and sales tax sources, board chair John Gioia of Richmond said, “Other counties have robust tax revenue resources. We don’t have that.”

“You say we need more money,” said District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg. “We have to be creative.”

Employment and Human Services Director Kathy Gallagher said to balance her department’s budget for 2019-2020 she will have to eliminate 67 positions. For next fiscal year, EHS will have 1,904 fulltime positions in order to operate its diverse operations such as Adult Protection Services that has undergone some criticism for alleged financial abuse of its clients.

Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston has proposed a $7 million increase for salaries and benefits for his 685 sworn officers and 350 non-sworn personnel. For next fiscal year, the sheriff plans to hire three additional sworn officers. Planning for a proposed 128 bed mental health facility for the West County Detention Center in Richmond is back on track after being sidelined for rising construction costs, mostly related to steel tariffs.

With $44 million proposed for the District Attorney’s Office, District Attorney Diana Becton plans to increase staffing in the human trafficking unit by $1 million. The DA Office has 222.5 positions on the payroll of which 102 are attorneys, 33 are investigators, 17 are victim/witness experts, and 70.5 are administrative support.

A $3.7 million project at Buchanan Air Field is one of the big tasks on drawing boards for the Public Works Department next fiscal year, department director Brian Balbas said, but the biggest challenge is retaining staff. With a $254 million budget and 545 employees, Balbas said his department is hampered by a high turnover rate of more than 20 percent when workers find better paying jobs at other counties or in the private sector. “The focus for 2019/2020 will be in recruitment and retention,” he told supervisors.

Public Defender Robin Lipesky said in addition to handling 6,900 misdemeanor cases, 3,747 felony cases, and 450 bail hearings, her department handled 600 Stand Together Contra Costa legal consultations, a new duty of her department. Citing a decline in the county’s juvenile population and a decline in the juvenile hall population, the department plans to cut 22 juvenile justice positions, she said.

Supervisors Salary Ordinance Approved

On a 3-2 vote, with supervisors Candace Andersen of Danville and Diane Burgis of Brentwood casting the dissenting votes, supervisors approved an ordinance that will raise their salaries at an established percentage, 65 percent of the annual salary of the Office of Superior Court Judge, effective January 1, 2021.

Effective June 30, each supervisor will earn a monthly base salary of $9,736.75, equivalent to an annual salary of $116,841.

From July 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019 supervisors will each earn an annual salary equal to 60 percent of the annual salary for the Office of Superior Court Judge as prescribed by the state legislature. Supervisors will receive another salary boost effective January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 at a base of 63 percent of a Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge. A third and final salary hike equal to 65 percent of the annual salary for the Office of Superior Court Judge in Contra Costa County would go into effect after January 1, 2021.

In addition to the pay increases, each supervisor will receive reimbursement for “reasonable expenses incurred in the conduct of such office” and “eligibility for an eighty-five-dollar monthly contribution to the county’s deferred compensation plan in the same manner as other exempt management employees.”

Each supervisor will also receive an automobile allowance of $600 per month and, in addition to the automobile allowance, mileage at the rate per mile allowed by the Internal Revenue Service as a deductible expense, for all miles driven by the supervisor on county business outside that supervisor’s district.

Supervisors OK Revised WCCTAC Transit Mitigation Fee

In other business, supervisors unanimously approved revised property transportation mitigation fees developers in unincorporated parts of the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee area of El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo that have been in place since 1997.

No one spoke either in favor of or in protest against the fees that are assessed to go towards construction of transportation projects.

Since the inception of the WCCTAC transit mitigation fees in 1997, $11.6 million has been raised to help alleviate transportation impacts from residential, commercial or industrial development, said John Cunningham of the Contra Costa County Conservation and Development Department.

Revenues from the transit mitigation fee cover 19 percent of the construction costs of transit projects in the WCCTAC area. Some of those projects include $9,672 towards a $50,903 San Pablo Avenue complete streets project, $156 for the I-580/Harbour Way Interchange pedestrian and bicycle access improvements, $10,175 for the Hercules Regional Intermodal Transportation Center, and $20,749 for capital improvements to the I-80 Express Bus Service.

Accessory dwelling units are exempt from the revised transit mitigation fees that will go into effect July 1, 2020 and will increase or decrease every July 1 thereafter based by the annual percentage change in the Engineering News Record Construction Cost Index for the San Francisco Bay Area for the 12 month period ending with the February index of the same year in which the increase or decrease will take effect

The new WCCTAC transit mitigation fees are multi-family residential, $5,439 per dwelling unit; senior housing, $1,469 per dwelling unit; hotel, $3,481 per hotel unit; retail/service, $6.59 per square foot; office, $8.12 per square foot; industrial, $5.56 per square foot; storage facility, 0.76 per square foot; and other, $7 per square foot.

Red Cross Community Services Award Recipients

As a consent items, supervisors adopted resolutions honoring Bryan Canty of Antioch as recipient of the 2019 Red Cross Good Samaritan Award, Samantha Barhouse, also of Antioch, as recipient of the 2019 Red Cross Disaster Service Award, and the San Damiano Retreat Center of Danville, as the recipient of the 2019 Red Cross Community Service Award.

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Antioch adds another officer to the police force

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

New Antioch Police Officer Ashley Crandell with Chief Tammany Brooks following her oath of office ceremony on Monday, April 16, 2019. Photo by APD.

By Antioch Police Department

On Monday, we welcomed Officer Ashley Crandell. Ashley was raised in Roseville and graduated from Wood Creek High School. After graduating High School, Ashley moved to the Bay Area and attended Contra Costa Community College. While in college, Ashley worked for the Contra Costa Community College District Police Department as a Police Aide. Ashley earned her Associates degree in Administration of Justice and graduated with honors.

Ashley attended Alameda County’s Police Academy and was a Deputy Sheriff for Alameda County for two years prior to joining the Antioch Police Department.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys hiking and backpacking, reading, and spending quality time with her family.

A fun fact about Ashley is that she has no fear of heights and is fascinated by bears. While backpacking, in Yosemite she got to see a mother bear and two cubs up close.

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Brentwood Police arrest two Antioch juveniles for stolen car, other crimes

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Stolen car from Antioch recovered, replica gun and metal knuckles seized from the suspects. Photos by Brentwood PD

By Brentwood Police Department

Posted on Facebook April 9, 2019

Recently an alert citizen notified dispatch of a suspicious vehicle driving around in their neighborhood. Officers responded to the area, located the vehicle and while contacting the occupants of the vehicle, officers observed a suspected firearm inside the vehicle. The occupants were removed from the vehicle and the suspected firearm was found to be a replica. Metal knuckles were located on the driver.

During the investigation, the vehicle was found to be stolen out of Antioch and was later reunited with the owner. Two of the occupants were arrested without incident and charged with various crimes. The third occupant was released. All three individuals were juveniles from Antioch.

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