Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Antioch Police arrest three for car theft Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Two car theft suspects sit in handcuffs on the curb, while a third stands against a tree and speaks with an Antioch Police Officer, Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 28, 2017. Photos by APD

From APD Facebook page

On Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 28, 2017 an alert citizen spotted an APD motorcycle officer in the area of Empire Ave. and Neroly Rd. and alerted him to suspicious people seen walking away from a vehicle in the area of Laurel Rd. and the SR-4 Bypass. Ofc. Johnsen saw three people walking on Laurel Rd., now in the City of Oakley, and when he reached the car the citizen was concerned about, he quickly learned it had been reported as stolen to the Antioch Police yesterday afternoon.

Ofc. Johnsen was able to relocate the subjects he had seen moments earlier, and the investigation led to all three (a 35-year-old male from Antioch, a 21-year-old male from Antioch, and a 20-year-old female from Brentwood) being arrested for vehicle theft.

This is another example of an alert and concerned citizen taking the time to report suspicious activity to the police, and it not only led to arrests being made, but also helped the victim of this crime have their vehicle returned to them in just over a day’s time! Thanks to not only this person, but everyone that helps us in our daily responses to calls from the public. We rely on you, and without you, many of these incidents would go undetected!

 

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Antioch police, Harbormaster rescue man Antioch from river Monday afternoon

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Antioch Police officers on the Harbormaster’s boat prepare to rescue a man in the river, Monday afternoon, Nov. 27, 2017. Photos by APD

From APD Facebook page

Early Monday afternoon, Nov. 27, 2017 the Antioch Police Department received calls regarding a male that was seen in the water in the area of the river north of the Antioch Lumber building. The calls advised that the person was yelling for help, and appeared in distress.

Antioch Police officer with rescued man head back to shore.

Officers quickly arrived in the area, and found that the man (a 25-year-old Antioch man), was several hundred feet out from shore and appeared in need of assistance. Law enforcement water support wasn’t immediately available, so officers responded to the Antioch Marina, and contacted Harbormaster James Pflueger who immediately assisted with the use of his boat.

The man was successfully rescued from his predicament, and was transported to a local hospital for treatment of hypothermia as the water temperature was less than 60 degrees. The circumstances surrounding how the man ended up in the water remain under investigation, but a happy ending nonetheless to quite a scary situation.

According to Sgt. Dee described the man as Hispanic, shirtless and “5150”, a reference to a section of California state law which means he was a danger to himself and others.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

 

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Cypress Meadows sold, becomes TreVista offering Club Med-like experience for seniors

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

The senior assisted living facility formerly known as Cypress Meadows is now TreVista Antioch.

Working to make every day “magical”, one of 19 facilities by company that pioneer senior assisted living 

By Allen Payton

Opening their 19th location with their acquisition of the former Cypress Meadows Assisted Living facility in Antioch, Agemark Senior Living Communities has renamed it TreVista Antioch and is bringing a new approach of a Club Med-like experience for seniors to East County.

The 10-acre campus is “not a skilled nursing facility,” but offers “both assisted living and memory care to enhance the lives of our residents,” said Senior Care Consultant Amanda Stewart.

She mentioned “many changes are happening, including a new water feature, a new theater,” making the place “more resident friendly and focused.”

The entrance to TreVista Antioch.

They’re part of “a multimillion dollar renovation project that will truly establish TreVista Antioch as the Bay Area’s premier senior living community,” according to their website,

When asked why they chose Antioch, Agemark co-founder and CEO Richard Westin said, “There are a lot of people who need our services in town.”

The Orinda-based company is a pioneer in senior assisted living having introduced the type of facilities to the market.

“We’ve been doing this for 35 years,” Westin explained. “When we first began nobody knew what assisted living was. In the 1980’s it was educating the public.”

The only options were retirement homes of up to six beds or convalescent homes.

“The concept of vibrant, assisted living for people whose average age is 87 didn’t exist other than a convalescent home which was really no place that anyone wanted to go to,” he stated. “It gave senior housing a steep road to climb, because of the significantly, negative reputation that convalescent hospitals had. They (seniors) were just being stored, because people couldn’t take care of them at home.

“The world has changed,” Westin said. “We recognize every one of our residents has a story to tell and wisdom to provide the next generation. There are wonderful opportunities that assisted living provides that didn’t previously exist, that allows people to thrive.”

Agemark does things differently than other facilities. According to their website, their mission and the “Promise” includes the following: “It is our mission, privilege and responsibility to provide the kind of care we want for our own loved ones, fostering a healthy body, agile mind and joyful spirit. We promise to ‘Nurture and grow our communities and the people who work and live in them,’ ‘Actively listen, constantly innovate, and serve with pride and joy,’ and ‘Empower and encourage staff to respond to residents and their families with compassion and respect.’”

Richard Westin, Founder & CEO of AgeMark

“My background is Club Med,” Westin (who said he is unrelated to the hotel chain of the same name) shared. “I used to teach sailing in the summer and skiing in the winter in Europe. I was the first American to ever work for Club Med. It started in 1954 and I started working for them in 1961 at age 20.”

“I didn’t realize at the time I wasn’t teaching people to sail and ski,” he continued. “I myself was learning the hospitality business and 55 years later I’m able to provide a Club Med-like experience for 87-year-olds.”

“First it was for 20-year-olds now it’s for 80-year-olds,” Westin said with a laugh. “Fun is fun. Dancing and going to the zoo, high school and semi-professional sporting events, depending on the location.”

“Engaging with kindergartners and older folks in meaningful activities is really a valuable thing,” he added.

Westin then shared his philosophy of how the facilities operate, with the goal of making every day magical for their residents

“Whenever you say ‘good-night’ to one of our residents it may in fact be ‘good-bye’. So, it is our responsibility to make sure that their previous day was magical,” he stated. “And if we can do that every day we will have made a difference in the lives of the people we take care of and will have accomplished our goal.”

“I’m passionate about what I do,” Westin continued. “At 76 I get up every day and I’m delighted to go to work because I care about the wellbeing of our residents and their families because I know they’re going through a difficult time. We don’t just get a resident we get a family. They never need to call because we’re always ready to show them a clean, happy environment.”

Westin shared about an experience one of their facilities offered to a resident who had never been to a game of her favorite major league baseball team. She got to throw out the first pitch, meet the players after the game and was greeted with a

“We try to do that all the time,” he shared

They’re going through the approval process for six additional locations all in California.

It’s a family run business.

“My son (Forrest) is my business partner and it’s great,” he added.

His partner Jesse Pittore is retired but his son Michael Pittore, a graduate of De La Salle High – who was part of the football team that kept their winning streak going to 101 games – is also part of the ownership team.

“So, we have the two younger generation and me,” Westin shared. “And if I’m healthy I plan to work another 20 years.”

TreVista is located at 3950 Lone Tree Way across the street from Sutter Delta Medical Center. For more information call (925) 329-6296 or visit www.trevista-antioch.com.

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Antioch Council to consider signing bonuses for recruiting lateral police officers at Tuesday meeting

Monday, November 27th, 2017

An effort to increase number of sworn from current 96 to 103 budgeted and 111 promised

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 28 the Antioch City Council will consider offering signing bonuses of $10,000 each, to help attract and recruit police officers from other agencies to come to work for the Antioch Police Department. It is part of a proposed employee referral and recruitment program that includes signing bonus/incentives for qualified lateral police officers. The effort is expected to help increase sooner the number of sworn officers, which has been a struggle since the Measure C half-cent sales tax was placed on the ballot and passed in 2013. Police recruiting bonuses ACC112817 Item 9

Currently the city has 96 sworn officers on the force, just seven more than the 89 when Measure C was placed on the ballot in 2013. The staff report states that since Measure C passed, “forty-nine (49) sworn officers have been hired. During that same period however, thirty-five (35) sworn officers have separated employment, resulting in only a net gain of fourteen (14) sworn officers.” However, seven of the positions were funded in the 2013-14 budget, approved before the sales tax measure passed and collection of the additional revenues began.

The mayor and council at that time stated there were 89 sworn officers on the force and promised to hire 22 additional sworn officers immediately if voters passed Measure C to increase the total number of sworn officers to 111. However, the city budget only includes a total of 103 sworn officers in this fiscal year’s budget and 104 in next year’s.

The staff report explains that the “The fiscal impact will be determined solely by the number of lateral applicants hired while the program is in effect. Per lateral officer, the fiscal impact is estimated to be $23,253. This assumes the lateral officer is hired at Step E and is eligible to take

advantage of the full incentive package. However, financial incentives are distributed in three separate increments over the course of three years, and leave incentives would be taken in much smaller increments (if at all). lt is believed most, if not all, of the costs would be covered through salary savings from vacancies.”

The report further explains the reason for the proposed incentives. “The recruitment of qualified lateral applicants for the position of police officer is becoming increasingly difficult, as the job market is very open and competitive. Recently, the department scheduled interviews for five lateral officers from four different agencies, and none of them showed up. Additionally, we had two recent lateral hires (from Oakland PD) that quit and returned back to their agency in large part due to financial incentives Oakland offered for them to return. Many departments have adopted recruitment incentives to attract qualified laterals,” including Palo Alto, Modesto, Fairfield and BART. Incentives offered by those department range in size from $10,000 to $25,000.

The matter is the final item on the agenda for council meeting which begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, located at W. Third, W. Second and H Streets in downtown. You can also watch it live on local cable access channel 24 or livestreaming on the city’s website at http://www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CityGov/citycouncilmeetings.htm.

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Antioch Police force adds another officer, recruited from Brentwood PD

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks with Officer Morteza Amiri. Photo courtesy of APD

From the Antioch Police Department Facebook posted page on Monday, November 27, 2017

Please say hello to the newest member of the Antioch PD family, Officer Morteza Amiri. Pictured here with Chief Tammany Brooks, Morteza was sworn in today. He is a lateral officer from the Brentwood Police Department, and comes to us with 3 years of experience.

Morteza was born and raised in the Bay Area, and attended high school in Dublin. After high school, Morteza attended Los Positas College before working as a Loss Prevention Agent for both Old Navy and Target in Antioch.

Morteza is an Antioch homeowner, and is excited to be able to work with the community and his peers to combat crime in Antioch. He currently attends California Coast University, and is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree.

When he is not working, Morteza can be found hiking with his 18-month -ld Belgian Malinois. He also enjoys traveling and trying different types of food.

A fun fact about Officer Amiri is that because he has always admired the Antioch Police Department, he would sometimes switch his radio from the Brentwood radio channel and accidentally answer up to respond to the Antioch PD calls…….guess it was meant to be!

Congratulations Morteza and welcome!

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After over two years in the works Antioch Council may finalize Downtown Specific Plan update Tuesday night

Monday, November 27th, 2017

General Plan Land Use Update; changes to approvals for Sand Creek area new home project; bonus for lateral police hires also on agenda

Action may finally rid the waterfront of the old house on the barge.

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 28 the Antioch City Council will finalize the process and take a vote on the update to the Downtown Specific Plan, begun in June 2015. The council will also consider the update to the city’s General Plan Land Use, as well as changes to the approvals for the Promenade – Vineyards at Sand Creek new home development. In addition, the council will consider offering a bonus for recruiting police officers from other agencies, known as laterals.

Downtown Specific Plan Update – Downtown Specific Plan Update ACC112817

According to the staff report on the agenda item, “On June 2, 2015, a Joint Special Study Meeting of the City Council, Planning Commission and Economic Development Commission was held on the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) Update Program to review background information, provide input on three initial land use alternatives, and a preferred alternative for the DSP area.”

From that meeting and the input offered by the public, “a refined set of two alternatives was forward(ed) to the City Council for review.”

Specific Plans are regulated by California Government Code and must include:

1) The distribution, location, and extent of the uses of land, including open space, within the area covered by the plan.

2) The proposed distribution, location, and extent and intensity of major components of public and private transportation, sewage, water, drainage, solid waste disposal, energy, and other essential facilities proposed to be located within the area covered by the plan and needed to support the land uses described in the plan.

3) Standards and criteria by which development will proceed, and standards for the conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources, where applicable.

4) A program of implementation measures including regulations, programs, public works projects, and financing measures necessary to carry out paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).

5) A statement of the relationship of the specific plan to the general plan.

Antioch’s DSP Update covers the following elements: Vision, Guiding Policies, and Context; Land Use; Streetscape and Design Guidelines; Circulation and Access; Environmental Quality; Public Facilities, Services, and Infrastructure; and Implementation.

The proposed vision for downtown the council will consider is:

“Downtown Antioch will be a wonderful place in which to live, work, shop, dine and play. The community will take pride in Downtown as the historic heart of Antioch. Downtown’s unique waterfront setting, its historic and culturally rich character, buildings, streetscapes and open spaces will make it a successful, lively, fun and walkable special place that attracts residents and visitors of all ages.”

The plan is based on seven goals:

Goal I: Preserve Downtown Antioch’s Unique Character

Goal II: Preserve and Enhance Public Spaces

Goal III: Preserve Economic Vitality

Goal IV: Support a Housing Renaissance

Goal V: Support Mobility

Goal VI: “Park Once” Management Strategy

Goal VII: Sustainable Infrastructure

The plan update also includes descriptions and options for three “Opportunity Sites.”

Opportunity Site A

This site most recently contains Bond Manufacturing, which operates a light manufacturing facility on the 17-acre site. Due to the quality of its existing industrial buildings and infrastructure on the site, it is envisioned to house additional industrial users before any eventual revitalization. However, if proposed for revitalization, the site would offer a very unique opportunity due to its size. The site is limited by access, with only one modest entry from Auto Center Drive/W. 4th Street, so its development potential is limited.

Opportunity Site B

This 37-acre site contains a series of industrial buildings that are currently being used for RV storage and other miscellaneous uses. This is the site of a former major manufacturing facility and the smoke stack still stands. The site is directly adjacent to the Antioch Police Department and maintains frontages on W. 4th Street, L Street, N Street, O Street, and W. 2nd Street.

Opportunity Site C

This 10.5-acre site is the home of the former Hickmott Cannery and is currently vacant. The site is bisected by railroad tracks and access is to 6th Street and McElheny Road.

Along with the old Antioch Lumber Company lot, known as the Yard located between W. 2nd, W. 3rd and E Streets where a citizens have proposed an event center instead of housing or a mixed use development, the old Hickmott Cannery site has also been one of controversy. Owner Tom Trost has been battling with the city for years to get them to recognize that his property extends beyond the railroad tracks and out to the end of the piers. Up until now the city on their planning maps showed the railroad tracks as the edge of his property line. That’s why he moved a house and placed it on a barge next to the piers on the river, just north of the railroad tracks. (Author’s Note: Hopefully, once the city approves the plan update and agrees that Trost’s property extends to the end of the piers, he will move that eyesore from one of the main entrances to Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown).

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, located at W. Third, W. Second and H Streets in downtown. You can also watch it live on local cable access channel 24 or livestreaming on the city’s website at http://www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CityGov/citycouncilmeetings.htm.

See the complete council meeting agenda, here – http://www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CityGov/agendas/CityCouncil/2017/agendas/112817/112817.pdf

 

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FOG – the unwelcome guest in your home this holiday season

Monday, November 27th, 2017

With the holiday season upon us, it is a good time to remember the only people we want visiting our homes are family and friends – not plumbers and wastewater professionals. Disposal of unwanted food waste and fats, oils and grease (FOG) down your kitchen drain, dishwasher and garbage disposal can lead to overflowing pipes, sewage spills, and emergency calls to plumbers.

Traditional holiday foods such as turkey, ham, meats, gravy, potatoes, sauces, vegetable or olive oils, salad dressings, baked goods and dairy products are sources of FOG. With family and friends celebrating together, it often means bigger meal preparation and cleanup with a lot of scraps incorrectly disposed of though pipes that may already be partially clogged and go unnoticed until guests overload the system.

People mistakenly believe their garbage disposal and dishwasher are effective methods of dealing with food and FOG; however, these devices only shred it into smaller pieces or wash it further down pipelines where it hardens in areas which require professional plumbers or wastewater professionals to remove safely.

Grease is one of the leading causes of residential sewer blockages. These blockages can cause costly, unpleasant sewage overflows that can damage our homes, and potentially find its way into our local waterways damaging local fish and wildlife habitat.

Delta Diablo reminds customers that prevention is the best way to tackle an unpleasant FOG experience in your home, and offers tips for this holiday season and throughout the year to reduce overflows, backups and clogs:

•Never pour FOG down kitchen sinks, garbage disposals or into toilets.

•Keep a heat-proof container in your kitchen to capture all FOG after cooking. When cooled, safely secure it and bring it for proper disposal at the Delta Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

•Scrape grease and food scraps from plates, pots, pans, utensils and grills into a compost receptacle or the regular trash before washing.

•Wipe pots, pans and plates with paper towels to capture any leftover grease before handwashing or placing into dishwasher.

•Use a strainer or place paper towels over the kitchen drain to help keep grease and food scraps out of your plumbing system. Home garbage disposals and dishwashers do not help, not even with running hot water.

For more information about safely disposing of FOG, or services provided by the Delta Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, please visit www.DeltaDiablo.org or call 925-756-1990.

 

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Antioch Council approves creating new Economic Development Director position

Monday, November 27th, 2017

To help grow local economy, attract new businesses and jobs; will also serve as City’s public information officer

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on November 14, the Antioch City Council unanimously approved creating and filling the position of Economic Development Director, as the city has had in the past, who will work to attract new businesses and jobs to Antioch and help grow our local economy.

According to the staff report, the salary range (without benefits) is $127,392 – $154,836 and the total annual cost range for funding the position is $234,425 – $279,277. Staff “recommended that a budget for four months of cost be appropriated in the FY2017/18 General Fund budget and a full year of cost in the FY2018/19 General Fund budget.” ACC Mtg 11-14-17 agenda item on Econ Dev Dir

The staff report further included the following about the new position which his expected to be filled by March 1, 2018:

“At the June 27, 2017 City Council Meeting, during the discussion about approving and adopting a two-year operating budget for the fiscal years 2017-2019, Council Members stated that they supported a six-month timeframe for Council to consider funding for an Economic Development Director in an effort to market the City to increase revenue and job growth.

The Economic Development Director plans, directs, manages, and oversees the activities designed to promote community vitality and encourage efforts to expand the local economy and coordinates assigned activities with other departments and outside agencies.

Some of the duties of the Economic Development Director are:

  • Act as a catalyst to introduce new business to Antioch.
  • Negotiate development agreements related to economic development activities.
  • Coordinate consultants and City staff in securing funding for economic development projects and activities.
  • Attend and participate in professional group meetings; maintain awareness of new trends and developments in the fields of redevelopment and economic development; incorporate new developments as appropriate.
  • Develop a marketing plan.
  • Coordinate information activities on City programs and oversee a public information program.
  • Respond to and resolve difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints.”

The council voted unanimously to create the position and begin the search process to find the best applicant. That person will have “A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in public administration, business administration, planning, economics, or a related field” and Six years of increasingly responsible economic development experience including three years of management and administrative responsibility.”

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