Archive for the ‘News’ Category

California Massage Therapy Council names Bonilla Legislator of the Year

Saturday, February 14th, 2015
Bonilla awarded Leg of Year California Massage Therapy Council names Bonilla Legislator of the Year

California Massage Therapy Council board members presented Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla Legislative of the Year award for the 2014 legislative session. From left: CAMTC Chairman Mark Dixon, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, and CAMTC Vice Chairman Keith Grant

Sacramento – The California Massage Therapy Council has named Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla as Legislator of the Year for the 2014 legislative session.

Bonilla is recognized for her leadership and commitment as Chair of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, and for working with the community and stakeholders to sponsor a legislative package to improve professional standards in the massage therapy industry. AB 1147, The Massage Therapy Act of 2014, strengthens professional standards for legitimate massage therapy professionals and helps protect Californians who rely on the benefits of therapeutic massage. 

All Californians should be proud of the work done by Assemblywoman Bonilla,” said California Massage Therapy Council Chair, Mark Dixon. “Assemblywoman Bonilla’s hands-on approach to understanding the issues that impact the safety and quality of life for many Californians is why we’ve named her Legislator of the Year. We share the same goals and commitment to protect the public and we are extremely appreciative of her willingness to tackle such a complex issue.

The Legislator of the Year is an annual award given by the Massage Therapy Council to lawmakers who show exemplary leadership on matters of public importance. Past legislators awarded were former State Senator Lou Correa and Senator Curren Price, Jr.

I am honored to receive this distinguished award and thank the California Massage Therapy Council,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla (D-Concord). “Their tireless efforts have helped strengthen regulations to professionalize the massage therapy industry, in addition to increasing the safety of local communities across the state. I am proud of all the work we accomplished last year to ensure that trained and certified therapists can continue to play a vital healing role in our communities.”

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was elected in November 2010 and represents California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County.She is currently a candidate for State Senate in the March 17 special election in District 7, which includes Antioch.

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Delta Diablo Sanitation District wins state Public Outreach Award

Friday, February 13th, 2015
CASA 2014 Public Education Award Delta Diablo Sanitation District wins state Public Outreach Award

CASA 2014 Public Education Award given to Delta Diablo Sanitation District.

Delta Diablo Sanitation District is proud to have received the 2014 Public Outreach and Education Award from the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA). DDSD is designated as the East Contra Costa Resource Recovery Agency.

Located on the Pittsburg-Antioch Highway, DDSD provides essential public health services to all residents and businesses in Antioch, Bay Point and Pittsburg.

In addition, the plant operates one of the largest industrial recycled water facilities in California producing an average of eight million gallons of recycled water for industrial power plant cooling, irrigation and landscape purposes, each day. They also manage the Delta Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility which serves 97,000 homes in East Contra Costa.

CASA Achievement Awards recognize extraordinary clean water services, programs, and projects of member agencies developing unique and innovative approaches to improving public health in the communities they serve. Delta Diablo was honored for creating the Jean-Michel Cousteau Global Water Education for Youth event. Held on February 12, 2014, the internationally-recognized environmentalist, explorer, educator and film producer, Jean-Michel Cousteau visited East Contra Costa and gave an environmental presentation to 1,200 high school students from three school districts.

The engaging presentation by Cousteau reflected his mission to explore our global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean’s vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet.

Antioch Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Donald Gill congratulates the local resource recovery agency for being publicly acknowledged by their industry peers for coordinating a unique event which included all logistics and raising sponsorship funds so there was no cost to students or school districts to participate.

“This special event allowed our students to interact with an internationally-recognized environmental steward and be inspired by his important messages about protecting their environment, our local waterways and pollution prevention. Moreover, it reflects Delta Diablo’s commitment to Linked Learning business-education programs in our high schools.”

Established in 1996, CASA Achievement Awards demonstrate the valuable commitment by wastewater agencies to provide clean water services for California communities. Roberta Larson, Executive Director of CASA said “Our members are dedicated to fostering public health through innovative solutions and unique approaches to ensuring effective engagement with the communities they serve. The awards program is an important opportunity to recognize their achievements.”

Cousteau’s presentation was filmed by Contra Costa Television and is next available for viewing at 4:00pm on Wednesday, February 25th under the title “Stewardship of the Oceans”.

For more information on Delta Diablo, visit www.ddsd.org.

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Postal workers stage on-going protest at Antioch Staples, want Postal workers handling mail

Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Staples protest 1024x768 Postal workers stage on going protest at Antioch Staples, want Postal workers handling mail

Members of the American Postal Workers Union protest Staples on Friday, January 30, 2015.

By Allen Payton

Holding signs that read “Don’t Buy Staples” and “The U.S. Mail is NOT for Sale” members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) were protesting in front of the Antioch Staples store, on Friday, January 30, as part of an ongoing effort to stop the office products chain from handling mail.

We are here to protest the partnership with Staples without postal workers behind the counters providing mail service,” said Alan Menjivar the Lead Stop Staples Organizer.

They are Staples employees without training, nor sworn to safeguard the mail and provide proper mail services,” he added

Postal workers are required to take 40 hours of classroom and 32 hours of on-the-job training to be qualified for the job.

We’ve been protesting for a whole year after they started a pilot program for six months,” Menjivar said. “Then they changed to an approved shipper program to confuse the American people. But they’re still doing the same thing.”

This is about the 20th time they’ve protested at the Antioch Staples store. The workers at the protest are from all over the Bay Area.

“They’re here about every other week,” said Staples Store Manager Toreano Norris. But, that was all he could share, as he is not authorized to speak for the company.

Post Office at Staples 300x225 Postal workers stage on going protest at Antioch Staples, want Postal workers handling mail

Members of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce joined Staples store staff for a ribbon cutting for the new postal service on November 18, 2013.

Announced in November, 2013, Staples began a pilot program in 80 stores, for an exclusive shipping agreement with the U.S. Postal Service.

The union warned Staples in a letter from the APWU President, in January, 2014 after the program was implemented.

But they ignored the letter,” Menjivar said. “So the protests began that same month.”

However, once the protests started, which included rallying their troops and enlisting the support of a couple teachers unions, Staples canceled the pilot program. All they do now is the same thing done at other stores, such as UPS stores, Postal Annex, Parcel Plus, and even Chevron gas stations, as well other office supply stores.

Now, it’s a national boycott. So, the protesters were attempting to get patrons from doing business at the Staples store. But, it didn’t appear to have any affect, as customers came and went, without any turning away.

Customers inside the store commented on the protest.

“It’s the unions. It’s just something they have to do to protect their benefits and their jobs. They have a very strong union. My wife worked for AT&T. She did the same thing for 35 years, with a protest every year,” said Joe Biernacki who lives in Pittsburg. “I like Staples and have been shopping here for years. That won’t stop me at all. I’m a union supporter. But no one’s going to stop me from getting my business done.”

“I came to do business and these people are trying to shove paper in my face. I’m getting sick of protests,” said Mike Steele from Discovery Bay.

The protesters admitted they don’t have a problem with the service being provided at Staples, as long as there’s a postal worker behind the counter. That’s because, according to Menjivar, the National Labor Relations Board has determined that mail dropped off at any Staples store is not considered U.S. mail until it’s in the possession of a postal worker.

Staples has been providing the service in lieu of postal workers who work the window at the post office,” Menjivar explained. “The postal service has been removing the vending machines, reducing staffing and operational hours and inviting people to go to the stores, as late as 10:00 PM, instead.”

The mail delivered to Staples after the one collection for the day will remain there all night, unsecured, by not being in a processing facility, by law.

However, staff in the store shared that Staples staff were trained by USPS employees for the pilot program and that the mail is kept in a locked box with security cameras inside the store.

Staples is closing stores nationwide, 225 in 2015,” he added. “So the impact is if the USPS reduces their service and then Staples closes their stores, then the people will have to go to the next closest post office or Staples in another community to get their mail handled.”

According to Menjivar, the current U.S. Postmaster General has been trying to privatize the postal service. The program with Staples was launched to determine if it would be cost effective to pursue a partnership with other retailers.

He’s been trying to dismantle the postal service. But he’s on his way out,” said Menjivar. “The protest is having an effect, admitted by the Postmaster General. Other retailers are not signing up.”

It’s [the Postal Service] in the Constitution,” said Ernest Johnson, a retiree from the Oakland Post Office. “What would a senior do, having to go two blocks, [to get their mail]. It wouldn’t make sense. This is a trend heading in the wrong direction.”

The first step has been to go after Staples, because they’re planning to expand the service into 1,500 Staples stores nationwide and because they’re the largest corporation involved in the mail business.

So in essence, we’re working from the top down,” said Robert Laney an automation clerk in San Jose. “We’ll expand the fight to other corporations who are in the mail business. “

Speaking of the Staples employees who handle the mail Johnson stated, “They’re not sworn. They haven’t taken the oath.”

Neither did they take the Civil Service Exam,” Laney added.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power states “The Congress shall have Power To…establish Post Offices and post Roads….”

It doesn’t say anything about privatizing the delivery of the mail nor contracting out the service to private companies.

The protesters plan to be out at the Antioch Staples again, this month.

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Bonilla co-authors bill to allow children to attend school where live-in working parents reside

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

In response to issue in Orinda

SB 200 will clarify that children of live-in employees such as caregivers, nannies, housekeepers and gardeners, can attend local schools where their parents live and work a majority of the work week

SACRAMENTO, CA —Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) this week introduced a bill to allow children to attend school where their live-in working parents reside. SB 200 would update California’s school residency laws to ensure that live-in workers, such as nannies, caregivers, maids, and gardeners, whose children live at their place of employment, are able to attend school in the district in which they work if they reside there for at least three days of the week.

Many workers are required to live part or full-time with their employers to fulfill their duties while caring for others,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “It is simply wrong to believe that certain workers are okay to hire for service-jobs but not okay for their children to attend local schools. This bill will keep families together and provide a fair shot for children of live-in workers to attend school conveniently where their parents work.”

I am proud to stand with my colleague, Senator Lara, to support parents in enrolling their children in the school district in which they live and work for the majority of the school week,” said Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord), the principal co-author of the bill. “This bill will ensure equal educational access for children under these circumstances, with the intent of reducing the number of intimidating and demeaning investigative practices.” 

In November 2014, reports came out of a second grade child of a full-time nanny who was kicked out of her school after the district hired a private investigator. The investigator determined that despite the girl, named Vivian, living and residing in the district five days a week, where her mother worked, she was not a resident and they proceeded to kick her out of school.

Despite the district’s ability to grant the child residency due to her mother’s employment, the district initially refused to let the child continue attending school. The district’s decision put the family in a difficult situation, where the child would have to be separated from her mother or the mother would have to quit her job. After community outrage, the district reversed its decision, but required the employer to become a legal guardian of the child.

 “It is in a child’s best interest to reside with their parent, and attend school where the parent resides, when the parent resides in an employer’s home,” said Miriam Storch, the employer of Vivian’s mother Maria. “In Vivian’s case, her mother is a single parent so there is nowhere else for Vivian to go. This situation is not unique to Orinda and I applaud the Senator for addressing this critical issue.”

This is not an isolated problem. Across the state caregivers, nannies, and other workers whose jobs require them to stay overnight are faced with challenges over where their children can go to school. Districts across the state handle these issues differently.

For these workers, the nature of their employment effects far more than their commute. They should have the option to keep their family together and keep their children with them during the work week.

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was elected in November 2010 and represents California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County.She is currently a candidate for State Senate in the March 17 special election in District 7, which includes Antioch.

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Pizza delivery driver kidnapped, raped by teen in Antioch Sunday morning

Monday, February 9th, 2015

By Sergeant Santiago Castillo, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Sunday, February 8, 2015 at approximately 11:20 AM, Antioch Police Officers were dispatched to the area of Bluebonnett Court and Bluebell Circle for the report of a kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault of a pizza delivery driver.

Upon arrival, officers made contact with the 22-year-old female victim who was visibly shaken. The victim advised she was delivering a pizza and had just exited her vehicle when she was approached by a male armed with a handgun. The male forced her back into her car at gunpoint and ordered her to drive to a secondary location approximately one-quarter mile away where he proceeded to sexually assault the victim. The male then forced the victim to drive him back to the original location where he fled the vehicle on foot taking some of the victim’s personal property.

The investigation led Antioch officers to a 17-year-old male juvenile who was positively identified by the victim as the responsible in this case. The juvenile was subsequently arrested on a variety of charges and sent to Juvenile Hall.

The case was forwarded to the Antioch Police Department Investigations Bureau for further investigation.

If anyone has any information related to this incident, they are encouraged to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441. They may also text an anonymous tip to 274637(CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH in the body of the text.

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Antioch City Manager report: City offices to close for President’s holidays, police call highlights, more

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Source: Antioch City Manager Steve Duran’s Weekly Report

City Hall and other city offices will be closed on both Thursday, February 12th is a City holiday in observance of President Lincoln’s 206th Birthday and Monday, February 16th for President’s Day.

Antioch Police Department calls for service highlights

On 2/4/2015 at 12:27 PM, police contacted 46-year old David Salazar in the 500 block of W.13th St. during a suspicious vehicle call. Salazar was found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine and concentrated cannabis. Salazar was booked at the police department and released with a citation.

On 2/3/2015 at 7:47 pm, officers were working a proactive detail when they saw a minivan being driving by 30 year old Travis Johnson. Upon running the plate they learned the vehicle was reported stolen. A short vehicle pursuit ensued which ended when Travis and the passenger, 32 year old Katie Johnson, parked the vehicle on Putnam St. near Polk Court and fled on foot. Katie Johnson was located and taken into custody without incident. Travis Johnson, who also has an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest, was able to flee from the area and was not located.

On 2/3/2015 at 11:22 pm, Officers responded to 16 N. Lake Dr. on a report of possible squatters inside the vacant home. Officers determined the side garage door had been forced open. Officers established a perimeter and searched the house. 22 year old Steven Cardoza and a second subject were located inside. Cardoza was found to be in possession of 4 shaved keys, which are used to steal certain makes of vehicles. Cardoza was arrested and booked at the police department. He was later released on a citation. The second subject was released at the scene.

On 2/2/2015 at 12:49 am, officers responded to a residential alarm at 56 E. Madill Street. Upon arrival, they located 29 year old Jose Escobar in the driveway of the residence. Escobar was not a resident at the house. It was determined there was no burglary at the residence but upon checking Escobar for warrants, he was found to have an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest charging vehicle theft and possession of a controlled substance. Escobar was taken into custody and later booked at the county jail.

Service Call & Arrest Data:

Time Period: 01/29/15 00:00:00 – 02/04/15 23:59:59 Number of Calls for Service:

1,479

Number of Case Reports:

280

Number of Arrests:

99

For Duran’s complete report, click here. City Manager’s Weekly Report 020615

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Highway 4 corridor construction projects lane closure and traffic information – Week of February 7 – 13, 2015

Monday, February 9th, 2015

FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES:

There are no full freeway closures planned for this week.

HIGHWAY LANE CLOSURES:

State Route 4 (SR4):

There will be highway lane closures in the westbound direction of SR4 between California Avenue / Harbor Street and Bailey Road on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm.

State Route 160 (SR160):

There are no highway lane closures of SR160 planned for this week.

RAMP CLOSURES:

There are no ramp closures planned for this week.

LOCAL STREET CLOSURES:

There will be single lane closures on Lone Tree Way/A Street in both directions between the SR4 on and off ramps Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. See the Detour Route Map on Page 2 of this week’s report, by clicking here LC WEEK OF 2 7 15.

Cavallo Road will be closed in all directions between Sunset Drive and East Tregallas Road underneath the State Route 4 overpass on Saturday between 7:00 am and 3:30 pm.

There will be single lane closures on Lone Tree Way in both directions between Canada Valley Road and Jeffery Way Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

For questions or comments please send e-mail to info@4eastcounty.org.

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Update on death of Antioch man, fatally shot by Deputy Sheriff on Tuesday

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

By Jimmy Lee, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department

The autopsy into the death of Dewayne Ward took place this morning. The cause of death is listed as multiple gunshot wounds of chest and abdomen. Toxicology tests are pending.

Detectives from the Contra Costa D.A.’s Office, Office of the Sheriff and Antioch Police Department continue to investigate the officer involved shooting that occurred in Antioch.

At about 12:40 PM on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, Deputy Sheriffs from the Civil Unit went to an apartment complex on the one thousand block of Claudia Ct. in Antioch to carry out a Domestic Violence Restraining Order/Criminal Protective Order, which included a move out order.

Wards knife 300x200 Update on death of Antioch man, fatally shot by Deputy Sheriff on Tuesday

The knife the County Sheriff’s office claims was used by Dwayne Ward before he was fatally shot on Tuesday.

Deputies contacted the occupant, 29-year-old Ward, who had prior law enforcement contacts. Ward had a no bail probation warrant. During the contact, Ward did not obey verbal commands from the deputies and resisted. Deputies then deployed force options that included pepper spray, a police K-9 and a Taser. They did not appear to have any effect on him. Ward continued to resist and charged at a deputy with a knife (see attached photo). The deputy fired his duty weapon striking the armed man. He was later pronounced deceased at the scene.

The deputy sheriff that shot Ward is Scott Pliler, who has been with the Office of the Sheriff for 13 years. He is currently a K-9 Deputy assigned to Patrol Division.

If anyone has any information on this case, Detectives can be reached at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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