Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Governor signs tax credit bill to promote historic preservation, affordable housing

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Will create $800 million in economic activity and 1,300 construction jobs; Antioch city staff checking to see if program can benefit the Hard House, home of the city’s first mayor.

Sacramento, CA: On Tuesday, October 9th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 451, the California Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, adding California to the list of more than 35 states that have passed such incentives. The bill, which passed both the Senate and the Assembly with unanimous approval, will enable the renewal of aging structures and communities throughout the state, and promote the development of affordable housing.

The bill will create a 20% state tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic structures listed on the California Register of Historic Places.  An additional 5% bonus can be granted for certain projects, such as affordable housing for lower-income households and projects in transit-oriented developments or regions with high unemployment and poverty rates. All projects must be approved by the California Office of Historic Preservation and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee to determine if a project qualifies. The tax credit goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

“The California State Historic Tax Credit is an important tool that we can use to revitalize communities throughout California,” said Cindy Heitzman, Executive Director, California Preservation Foundation. “This is a major victory for every Californian who believes that our architectural and cultural heritage is worth protecting.”

The State Historic Tax Credit will help to address the critical need for affordable housing in underutilized historic buildings by providing an important financial incentive. Between 2007 and 2017 over 38% of all federal historic tax credit projects in California created new housing units or improved existing units. Of that amount over half were affordable housing projects, and SB 451 will make even more of these projects feasible.

Since February, the California Preservation Foundation (CPF) and the American Institute of Architects, California Council have led a major coalition to shepherd the bill through the legislature, working directly with California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins. The bill received broad support from organized labor, affordable housing groups, historic preservation organizations and local governments.  This effort built on the work CPF did in 2014 to pass AB 1999, the first version of this legislation. While it passed both houses of the California legislature, it was ultimately vetoed by then Governor Jerry Brown.

“This legislation will breathe new life into the buildings that give our cities and communities character and charm…Further, the Historic Tax Credit will increase the supply of affordable housing, support growth through infill development and encourage property rehabilitation and maintenance in economically depressed areas,” said Senator Atkins.

The Cannery Lady statue across W. First Street from the Roswell Butler Hard House. Photo courtesy of NoeHill Travels in California.

When asked if this is something that could benefit Antioch’s Roswell Butler Hard House, the home of the city’s first mayor, located at 815 West First Street, City Manager Ron Bernal asked Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs to look into it. The home is #93001020 on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information about the Hard House, visit the Wikipedia page or the Facebook page.

About the Federal Tax Credit

Since 1976, the Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) has offered tax credits equal to 20 percent of the qualified rehabilitation expenditures (QRE) for the rehabilitation of certified historic buildings, such as those listed on the National Register of Historic Places or architecturally contributing to a National Register district. Over the last 4 decades, more than 35 states have passed their own bills to boost this tax credit, making thousands of projects financially feasible.

From 2002 to 2016, $468.1 million in Federal Historic Tax Credits catalyzed 169 projects in California, totaling $2.8 billion in qualifying rehabilitation expenditures. This activity has generated:

  • 39,279 jobs
  • $2.8 billion in Gross State Product
  • $160 million in state and local taxes
  • $493.3 million in federal taxes
  • $468.1 million in federal tax credits

SB 451 will provide further incentive for historic rehabilitation, increase the supply of affordable housing, support growth through infill development, and encourage property rehabilitation and maintenance in economically depressed areas. Below are a few examples of the types of projects that will benefit from SB 451, but there are hundreds more stories just like these throughout California. The tax credit will make these kinds of projects more feasible, and will encourage meaningful investments in communities across the state.

For more information:

Bill Text: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB451

Images and additional information: https://californiapreservation.org/tax-credit-press/

Press Release from Senator Toni Atkins on the passage of SB 451: https://sd39.senate.ca.gov/news/20190912-press-release-atkins%E2%80%99-tax-credit-historic-preservation-passes-assembly

Preservation & State Historic Tax Credits overview from the National Trust for Historic Preservation: https://forum.savingplaces.org/learn/fundamentals/economics/tax-credits/state-htc

2017 Report from the National Park Service on the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit’s impact: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/htc2017.htm

Case Statement: https://californiapreservation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Case-Statement.pdf

Allen Payton contributed to this report. 

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Antioch man and woman charged in Sept. 1st drive-by shooting murder of Oakland man

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Suspects Tearri Richard and Lakia Poles. Photos by APD

By Sergeant James Stenger #3604, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2019 the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office charged 25-year-old Tearri Richard and 24-year-old Lakia Poles, both of Antioch, with murder, for the killing of 57-year-old Raul Garcia of Oakland. Richard was also charged with an arming enhancement and a special allegation of drive-by-murder. (See related articles, here and here).

On Sunday, September 1, 2019, at approximately 9:20 PM, an argument between several subjects started in the east driveway of the Chevron Gas Station located at 1235 California Avenue in Pittsburg. The argument appears to be over a road rage incident. The road rage incident continued into Antioch where Garcia was shot and killed in the 3400 Block of Rio Grande Drive.

No further information will be released regarding this case at this time. Any further information or additional press releases will be provided by the Investigations Bureau. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gonzalez at (925) 779-6923, or the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Byron man dies, two others injured in Oakley high speed 3-car crash Saturday night

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

By CHP-Contra Costa

Saturday night, Oct. 12, 2019 at approximately 11:26 pm, CHP Contra Costa responded to a three-vehicle collision on Delta Road, just east of Main Street, in unincorporated Contra Costa county. Upon CHP and emergency personnel arrival, an Infiniti sedan had crashed into a Ford pickup and then into a parked Dodge sedan on Delta Road, where it came to rest. The driver of the Infiniti (22-year-old male from Byron) unfortunately did not survive and was pronounced deceased at the scene. It was also determined he was not wearing his seatbelt. His female passenger (21-years-old from Oakley) sustained moderate injuries only and the solo male driver of the Ford sustained minor injuries only. The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office will be handling the release of identity of the deceased male.

Our preliminary investigation indicates the following; the male driver of Ford pickup was traveling east on Delta road and preparing to make a left turn into his residence. The male driver of the Infiniti was approaching the slower moving Ford, preparing to turn, at a high rate of speed. The driver of the Infiniti drove into the westbound traffic lane in an attempt to pass the Ford. As the Ford driver began his left turn, the Infiniti driver crashed into the left side of the Ford at a high rate of speed causing major damage. The Infiniti then continued east on Delta and then crashed into a parked Dodge sedan on the north side of the roadway, also causing major damage. Tragically the male driver of the Infiniti was not wearing his seatbelt and died as a result of the collision. The female passenger was wearing her seatbelt, sustained moderate injuries, and was transported by helicopter to John Muir hospital in Walnut Creek and has since been released. The male driver of the Ford sustained minor injuries and was transported to Kaiser hospital in Antioch and has also since been released.

At this time, it is unknown if alcohol or drug impairment were a factor in this collision, but speed certainly was a contributing factor. If anyone witnessed this collision or the events leading up to it, call CHP in Martinez at 925-646-4980. Thank you.

Fatality collisions and the loss of a young life are always tragic and especially if it was preventable. Seatbelts really do save lives so please buckle up every time you or passengers are in a vehicle. And please slow down at all times.

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Antioch Police K9 helps apprehend suspect in stolen car from Lafayette Saturday morning

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

Photos by Antioch Police.

By Antioch Police Department

Early this morning, Saturday, October 12, 2019, the Antioch Police Department received a call about a Mercedes Benz that they were tracking as a stolen vehicle taken from Lafayette and it was showing to be in our city. Officer Mayer and his K9 partner Dex located the vehicle, occupied by a 25-year-old male out of Antioch. The driver attempted to resist being arrested and K9 Dex was able to help Officer Mayer safely apprehend him.

The vehicle was towed from the scene and will be returned to its owner as soon as possible, and the driver was later sent to the county jail on a variety of charges related to the vehicle theft and resisting arrest.

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Police arrest two wanted for September 1st Antioch murder in Tulare Thursday

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

By Sergeant James Stenger, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

Members of the Antioch Police Department’s Investigations Bureau have diligently been working on this case since its occurrence. During the course of this investigation two suspects were identified, a 25-year-old male and 24-year-old female. It is believed the suspects fled the Bay Area after the September 1st murder of 57-year-old Raul Garcia. On Thursday, October 10, 2019, APD Detectives, with the assistance of Tulare Police Department’s SWAT Team, served a search warrant in the City of Tulare, at a residence in the 1500 block of Karen Avenue. (See related articles, here and here.)

During the service of the search warrant, two suspects were taken into custody for the murder of 57-year-old Raul Garcia and critical evidence was located. The investigation is on-going, and an additional press update with the arrested subjects’ information will be released once the case is reviewed by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

On Sunday, September 1, 2019, at approximately 9:20 PM, an argument between several subjects started in the east driveway of the Chevron Gas Station located at 1235 California Avenue in Pittsburg. The argument appears to be over a road rage incident. The road rage incident continued into Antioch. At approximately 9:36 PM, Antioch police officers were called to St. Christopher Court for a subject who had been shot in the 3400 Block of Rio Grande Drive. When police arrived, they located a 57-year-old male victim suffering from a gunshot wound. Officers immediately began providing first aid and called for Contra Costa Fire Department and ambulance paramedics.

The victim was transported to a local area trauma center where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

Detectives from the Antioch Police Department’s Investigations Bureau responded to the scene. During the preliminary investigation officers learned that the shooting happened in the roadway, at the 3400 block of Rio Grande Drive, after some sort of confrontation between the victim and an unknown suspect. Afterwards, the victim fled to St. Christopher Court where the police were called.

No further information will be released regarding this case at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gonzalez at (925) 779-6923, or the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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PSPS Update: PG&E issues weather “All Clear” in Contra Costa, other counties for safety inspections and restoration

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Only 5 customers in Antioch affected; Efforts to Begin in Many Areas; Continues to Monitor Weather Conditions in Many Areas including Bay Area; Restoration Progress Continues: 126,000 Customers Restored

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company reported that improving weather conditions in some parts of the areas affected by the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) have allowed for an “all clear” to be issued for safety inspections, repair and restoration efforts to begin in many areas.

Updates

  • As of 3 p.m. Thursday, the following additional counties were added to the “all clear” list for inspection, repair and restoration to begin: Alameda, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Placer, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and in portions of Yuba.
  • In a 2:43 p.m. email, PG&E Spokesperson, Tamar Sarkissian shared that “Antioch has approximately five customers impacted by PSPS.”
  • As of 2 p.m. all clears have been declared in the following areas to begin inspections and assess if equipment is safe to resume electric delivery services.

 

County Total Customers Notified Weather Event
Alpine 633 All Clear
Amador 16,041 All Clear
Calaveras 23,708 All Clear
El Dorado 51,396 Partial All Clear
Mariposa 1,812 All Clear
Merced 14 All Clear
Monterey 3 All Clear
Placer 51,641 Partial All Clear
San Joaquin 52 All Clear
San Mateo 14,766 Partial All Clear
Santa Clara 38,250 All Clear
Santa Cruz 36,940 Partial All Clear
Stanislaus 1,088 All Clear
Tuolumne 34,413 All Clear
  • PG&E crews will visually inspect power lines to look for potential weather-related damage to the lines, poles and towers. This is done by vehicle, foot and air.
  • More than 30 PG&E Community Resource Centers remain open throughout the service area to provide water, phone charging stations and air-conditioned seating for customers. To view the full list, visit here.
  • Resources supporting the restoration include more than 6,300 on-the-ground field personnel and 44 helicopters. Crews will conduct visual inspections and will make repairs as necessary if any damage is found.

Kern Update

Power was turned off for safety to approximately 4,000 customers in Kern County this morning.

Weather updates

Dangerous weather conditions are expected to continue in some parts of the Sierra Foothills and Bay Area until midday Thursday. Similar conditions in Kern County are beginning late morning Thursday and lasting through midday Friday.

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PG&E PSPS UPDATE: “All clear” for Bay Area not yet issued, restoration begins in some affected areas

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

126,000 Customers Restored; Current Impacted Count is 600,000

PG&E Continues to Monitor Weather Conditions; No Equipment-Related Fires Reported

Executes Final Wave of Safety Turnoffs in Kern County, Impacting Approximately 4,000 Customers

By Tamar Sarkissian, PG&E Spokesperson

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. 1:22 PM, Thurs., Oct. 10, 2019 — On Thursday morning, October 10, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reported that improving weather conditions in some parts of the areas affected by the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) have allowed for safety inspections, repairs and restoration in some areas to begin. Approximately 126,000 customers were restored by 6 a.m. Thursday.

There are still currently approximately 600,000 customers without power as a result of the PSPS event, which began on early Wednesday.

Updates

  • There were no reported fires related to PG&E equipment in the PSPS impact zone.
  • As of 6 a.m. Thursday, peak wind gusts — a major factor in the decision to implement a PSPS — have been recorded at 77 mph at Mt. St. Helena West in Sonoma County and 75 mph at Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County since midnight. Both of these areas were de-energized in the PSPS action.
  • The company has received many preliminary reports of vegetation-related damage to its equipment in these areas.
  • A third phase for portions of Kern County is scheduled for late morning Thursday. Due to changing weather forecasts, PG&E now expects this event to impact approximately 4,000 customers. Earlier forecasts predicted impacts to 40,000 customers in this area.
  • Safety inspections, repairs and power restoration will begin in specific areas once a weather “all clear” is given.
  • Customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this major event.
  • Resources standing by to support the restoration include more than 6,300 on-the-ground field personnel and 45 helicopters. Crews will conduct visual inspections and will make repairs as necessary if any damage is found.
  • The number of circuit-miles requiring inspection includes nearly 25,000 miles of distribution lines and 2,500 miles of transmission lines, a combined distance measuring longer than a trip around the circumference of the Earth.

“We faced a choice between hardship or safety, and we chose safety. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and the hardship, but we stand by the decision because the safety of our customers and communities must come first,” said Michael Lewis, Senior Vice President, Electric Operations.

Weather Updates

Dangerous weather conditions are expected to continue in parts of the Sierra Foothills and Bay Area until midday Thursday. Similar conditions in Kern County are beginning late morning Thursday and lasting through midday Friday.

For restoration to begin, the company must inspect its affected equipment to ensure no damage has occurred to its equipment. As of 10 a.m., the company has not issued an “all clear” for the Bay Area. Inspection patrols take place during daytime hours.

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PG&E provides update on Public Safety Power Shutoff, East Bay deenergizing to occur through midnight

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

50,000 Customers Already Restored from First Phase of Safety Shutoffs

Second Phase of Shutoffs Has Begun for 234,000 Customers in Sierra Foothills and Bay Area

Improving Weather Means Safety Inspections in Some Areas of Humboldt Have Started

Potential Customer Impacts in Kern County Reduced from 43,000 to Approximately 4,000

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is sharing important updates related to the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) that has been implemented across portions of its service area as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of wildfire during a widespread, severe wind event impacting its service area.

“In the East Bay, South Bay and Santa Cruz counties, shutoffs have begun and we will continue deenergizing through midnight tonight,” Katy Hernandez of PG&E’s Marketing and Communications shared.

The latest updates include:

  • PG&E has now restored power to approximately 50,000 customers in the Sierra Foothills since the shutoff began.
  • Improving weather means patrols in some areas of Humboldt County have started. PG&E anticipates being able to restore power to 60,000 to 80,000 customers tonight or early Thursday morning. Patrols take place during daytime hours and will resume at daybreak.
  • The second phase of the PSPS event began this afternoon and will to continue into the evening. Approximately 234,000 customers will be impacted during this phase in the following counties: Alameda, Alpine, Contra Costa, Mariposa, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne. Outages are expected to happen in two waves, with the East Bay, South Bay and Santa Cruz counties being impacted later tonight.
  • The first phase of shutoffs impacted approximately 513,000 customers in the following counties: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba counties. Some additional customers in Calaveras and Mendocino were included in the second phase.
  • A third phase is being considered for portions of Kern County. Due to changing weather forecasts, PG&E now expects this event to impact approximately 4,000 customers. Earlier forecasts predicted impacts to 43,000 customers.

Additional resources are poised to support the restoration process, including 45 helicopters and more than 6,300 on-the-ground field personnel. Inspections, repairs and restoration can begin once the weather event has passed and it is safe to do so. PG&E expects that the weather to subside around midday Thursday in the Sierra Foothills and the Bay Area/Santa Cruz. Weather conditions in the Kern/Bakersfield area are forecasted to improve into midday Friday.

The decision to turn off power was based on forecasts of dry, windy weather including potential fire risk.

“We understand that this power shutoff is difficult for our customers and communities. Please check on your neighbors, friends and family and know that we will work safely, and quickly as possible, to restore power across the region,” said Sumeet Singh, vice president, PG&E Community Wildfire Safety Program. “Our meteorological and operations teams are actively monitoring the weather and this evolving situation, and we are working directly with state and local agencies to help our customers and communities through this event safely.

Check PG&E’s new website for power shutoff area map.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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