Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Highway 4 construction full freeway and lane closures, Jan. 25-29, 2016

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES:

State Route 160:

There will be full freeway closures in the southbound direction of State Route 160 between Main Street/E. 18th Street and the State Route 4/State Route 160 connector ramp on Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am.

HIGHWAY LANE CLOSURES:

State Route 4:

There will be highway lane closures in the westbound direction of State Route 4 between Railroad Avenue and Contra Loma on Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

There will be highway lane closures in the eastbound direction of State Route 4 between Bailey Road and Contra Loma on Monday through Friday from 4:30 am to 12:00 pm.

State Route 160:

There will be highway lane closures in the northbound direction of State Route 160 between the State Route 4/State Route 160 connector ramp to Main St. off ramp on Tuesday through Wednesday from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am.

There will be highway lane closures in the southbound direction of State Route 160 between 18th St. on-ramp to State Route 4/State Route 160 connector ramp on Tuesday through Thursday from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm.

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

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BART to outfit every train car with cameras

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

This week, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost issued the following statement:

“BART has committed to install a working camera system on each and every train car as quickly as possible.  Staff is already working on funding options, a procurement plan, and deployment strategy.  Our riders and employees’ safety is BART’s top priority.

BART, like all forms of public transit, is a safe mode of transportation. Prior to this announcement, we utilized a robust surveillance system with cameras located in train cars, on platforms, in stations, and even on our individual police officers.  However, the ability of decoy cameras to deter crime depends on the principle of uncertainty.  Once that uncertainty was removed, our strategy was rendered ineffective.

BART’s new Fleet of the Future trains already have cameras on all cars.  Now, both our existing and future cars will have security cameras.”

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Antioch Council to consider new restaurant for former Humphrey’s location, Tuesday night

Friday, January 22nd, 2016
The building where Humphrey's on the Delta was located.

The building where Humphrey’s on the Delta was located.

By Allen Payton

After three years of dormancy, the building that used to house Humphrey’s on the Delta Restaurant at the Antioch Marina, may have a new tenant.

On an agenda filled with 14 items at Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Council will consider a Letter of Intent (LOI) for a lease with Everett & Jones Barbeque. Staff is recommending the Council approve the LOI.

Everett & Jones Barbeque from their website.

Everett & Jones Barbeque from their website.

According to the staff report, “Everett and Jones is a regionally well known restaurant brand, with four east bay locations…two in Oakland, one in Berkeley and one in Hayward. They also sell barbeque sauces that are carried in a number of supermarkets.”

Their other locations feature banquets, catering, live music and of course the food, including smoked chicken and pork ribs, beef brisket, homemade links, and their own Saucey Sistah Ale. Owned by Dorothy Everett and Jordan Jernigan, Everett started the restaurant chain in 1973 with her eight daughters, one son and a son-in-law, who is the one with the last name Jones.

If approved and once the LOI is signed, city staff will draft a lease and negotiate with the owners. The negotiated lease will then be brought back to Council for approval.

A contractor working with the owners estimated a cost of between $400,000 to $500,000 in improvements in order to prepare the building to reopen as a restaurant.

For more information on Everett and Jones Barbeque visit their website at www.eandjbbq.com. To see the full staff report on the Council meeting agenda item, #5, click here. Council meetings are held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 3rd and “H” Streets in downtown Antioch and begin at 7:00 p.m. They can be viewed on Comcast Cable Local Access Channel 24 or on the city’s website via live stream at http://ci.antioch.ca.us/CityGov/citycouncilmeetings.htm.

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Sen. Glazer introduces legislation to ban bullet button assault-style rifles

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

State Senator Steve Glazer, D-Contra Costa, announced Wednesday he introduced legislation to ban rifles with fixed magazines that are easily detached by a mechanism known as the bullet button.

Sen. Glazer is joint author with Sen. Isadore Hall, D-Los Angeles, on the bullet button ban, SB 880.

A bullet button assault-style rifle was used by the shooters who killed 14 people and wounded 21 in the San Bernardino terrorist attack last month.

“This isn’t about hunting or home protection,” said Sen. Glazer. “I believe everyone has a right to hunt and to protect their families from harm in their home. It’s about a mechanism on assault-style rifles whose sole purpose is to allow someone to kill a lot of people quickly.

“We need to make it more difficult for a deranged person to enter a schoolyard, movie theater, or workplace with a rapid fire weapon. This measure is another small but important step in making our communities safer.”

Existing law prohibits the possession or sale of assault weapons and limits magazines to 10 rounds. But a loophole in the law – allowing guns with fixed magazines to be modified with a simple “tool”– has led to the manufacture of assault-style guns with magazines that can be easily detached – contrary to the spirit of the assault-weapon ban. The magazines are equipped with a button that can be pressed by a bullet or other tool to quickly detach the magazine.

Since the magazine requires a tool, the magazine is considered “fixed” and therefore legal.

“For years, gun owners have been able to circumvent California’s assault weapon laws by using a small tool to quickly eject and reload ammunition magazines,” said Senator Isadore Hall. “These types of modifications have no legitimate use for sport hunters or competitive shooters. They are designed only to facilitate the maximum destruction of human life. Such weapons have been used in a number of domestic gun attacks including the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino that left fourteen Californians dead and 21 injured. SB 880 is an important step to further protect Californians from our nation’s gun violence epidemic.”

The modification has allowed military-style rifles like the AR-15 to proliferate in the state, according to news reports. They’re some of the most popular guns used at gun ranges for target practice.

“Gun makers have exploited a loophole in the law that expressly prohibits assault weapons in California,” Glazer said. “We’ve seen the horror of these weapons with mass murders. We should not allow weapons that are designed specifically for modern warfare to proliferate on our streets.”

Senator Glazer worked as a senior staffer for Sen. President Pro Tem David Roberti in enacting a ban, in 1989, on assault weapons in California, the first state in the U.S. to do so. As mayor of Orinda, he was a charter member of the national organization, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” Glazer represents Antioch and most of Contra Costa County and parts of Alameda County in the State Senate.

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Child abducted by father in Antioch, Sunday afternoon, dropped off in Stockton; father sought by police

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

By Corporal Powell Meads, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On January 17th, 2016 at approximately 3:33 p.m., Antioch Police Officers were dispatched to the 2600 block of Stanford Way for a Domestic Dispute involving a 1 year old child. Arriving officers contacted the child’s mother, a 37 year old Antioch resident. The child’s mother told police officers that her child’s father was Ricardo Sanchez-Gomez, a 27 year old resident of Richmond.

After being estranged for most of the child’s life, Sanchez-Gomez was spending time with them this week at her home in Antioch. An argument broke out which resulted in Sanchez-Gomez threatening to kill the child and mother. Sanchez-Gomez then fled with the child in a dark gray 2011 Subaru Forrester with California license plate 6RTV690.

Due to the potential risk to the child, and Amber Alert was issued through CHP. At approximately 7:56 pm, Stockton Police Department received a call from an un-involved person reporting the child had been dropped off at their residence in Stockton. Stockton PD responded and took custody of the child, who was unharmed.

After the child was safely recovered, the Amber Alert was cancelled.

At this time, arrangements are being made to reunite the child and his mother.

The suspect and vehicle are still outstanding and being sought by the Antioch Police Department.

Anyone who has any information or may have witnessed this incident is encouraged to contact the Antioch Police Department at (925) 778-2441.

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Antioch Council says no to marijuana cultivation, approves Heidorn Village housing development

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

By Nick Goodrich

During its first meeting of the new year, on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, the Antioch City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes within city limits, and approved a new development project on the City’s southeast side.

Medical Marijuana

When the issue of cultivation was discussed late last year, council members were led to believe that language in AB 243 and 266, the laws signed by Governor Brown, last year, would prevent cities from taking a stance on medical marijuana cultivation if they had not passed any laws on it by this March. Under that belief, the Council had ordered staff to prepare an ordinance to be passed before the March 1st deadline.

Assembly Member Jim Wood, who introduced AB 243 to the State Assembly, has since declared that language a mistake, and has moved to change it, saying local governments would remain the decision-maker on cultivation in their cities. But with an ordinance already drawn up and preparations made, the Council voted unanimously on Tuesday for the ordinance, banning marijuana cultivation within Antioch.

Code Enforcement will take the lead on enforcing the ordinance, with the Antioch Police Department to step in and assist when needed.

Council Member Tony Tiscareno wondered whether the removal of the March deadline would open the city to potential litigation on the matter, and was assured by the City Attorney that Antioch has express authorization to go ahead with the ordinance. Tiscareno also made sure that an ordinance now would not lock Antioch into it’s decision later, and that the city could readdress the issue later, if needed.

During the public hearing for the ordinance, Jeffrey Keiffer, an Antioch resident, spoke against the ordinance. Keiffer, who has been living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other serious medical conditions for more than 20 years, grows marijuana in his home to treat his ailments. He stated that many veterans in the community do the same.

“You don’t go after people who brew beer in their cellar,” he said. “I think it should be up to the voters.”

While no one stepped forward to speak out in support of the ordinance on Tuesday, several residents and Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando pushed for the ordinance last year. Many Antioch residents are concerned that legalized cultivation could lead to more burglaries, and were concerned at the thought of a grow operation next door. Cantando told the Council that legalized cultivation would strain the police force even more, during a rebuilding period that is not yet finished.

Heidorn Village site.

Heidorn Village site.

New Home Project

The Council also held a public hearing on the Heidorn Village Subdivision, a development project along Heidorn Ranch Road and Prewett Ranch Drive. The proposed project would subdivide more than 20.3 acres into 117 single family lots, and would include a park, two acres of open space, and a connection to the Mokelumne Trail in the north.

According to the staff report, previous development plans for the land never came to fruition, including one for 83 single-family homes approved in 1990, and another which was allocated 115 homes by the Council in 2008. The new project required a new approval by the Council to move forward.

Lot sizes will range from 4,000 to 8,086 square feet with an average of lot size of 4,564 square feet and he homes will be both single- and two-story ranging in size from 1,654 to 2,607 square feet.

The development agreement also includes a new, annual police assessment for each home and a homeowners association to maintain the open space and enforce parking rules.

Doug Krah, of Mission Peak Homes, the project applicant and third developer for the site, thanked the Council and city staff for the work they put in to make sure the project was a “viable and exciting option.”

“I think this is a good project,” said Mayor Wade Harper.

He stated that the developers had to come in to meet with the City Council on multiple occasions and were able to work out all the details to their and the city’s satisfaction.

The Council then approved the project by a unanimous 5-0 vote.

To read the details of the agenda item (#3) on the new development, click here. Then click on Staff Report.

The next Antioch City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall on West Second Street in downtown. Council meetings can also be viewed live on Comcast local Channel 24 or via live stream on the City’s website at www.ci.antioch.ca.us.

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Highway 4 lane closures and traffic information, week of Jan. 16-22

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

There will be highway lane closures in the westbound direction of State Route 4 between Railroad Avenue and Contra Loma on Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

There will be highway lane closures in the eastbound direction of State Route 4 between Bailey Road and Contra Loma on Monday through Friday from 4:30 am to 12:00 pm.

There will be highway lane closures in the eastbound direction of State Route 4 between Hillcrest Ave and State Route 160 on Thursday from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am.

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Rep. McNerney delivers State of California’s 9th District address

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Washington – Ahead of President Obama’s final State of the Union, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) today released a video message delivering the State of California’s 9th Congressional District. The Congressman highlighted some of what he’s accomplished on behalf of the district, discussed some of our biggest challenges, and outlined his goals for this year in Congress.

Excerpt from the State of California’s 9th District Address:

“We live in a unique region, home to the Delta and some of the richest agricultural land in the world. Our district is a transportation hub, making it a prime location for manufacturing and distribution. At the same time, there are several challenges we face… I’ve been a strong advocate for the region by fighting to provide more funding to create jobs improving our roads, bridges, and levees, to encourage small businesses to hire individuals previously out of work… managed to secure federal funding to build a veterans outpatient clinic and nursing home at French Camp… I recently became a grandpa, and my grandson reminds me that we must also take action now to protect the planet for future generations… As we move through the year, I want to hear from you. Please reach out to my offices in the district and in Washington,” said Rep. McNerney in his address.

Link to video of Rep. McNerney discussing the state of California’s 9th District: https://youtu.be/ZSvf1lUw1HE.

Full text of the State of California’s 9th District as prepared:

Hi.

As President Obama gets ready to deliver his last state of the union address, I’d like to review the state of our Ninth Congressional District… to highlight some of what we’ve accomplished together… discuss some of our biggest challenges… and to outline my goals for this year in Congress.

But before I get into specifics, I want to say that I’m honored to represent you in Washington.

Since 2007, I’ve given this job my complete commitment and worked in a bipartisan way to deliver real results for our district and our nation.

We live in a unique region, home to the California delta and some of the richest agricultural land in the world. Our district is a transportation hub, making it a prime location for manufacturing and distribution.

At the same time, there are several challenges we face, and I think the most important issue facing our district is the economy.

Too many people are unable to find jobs. Working families struggle to make ends meet. Things have improved, but not enough.

I’ve been a strong advocate for the region by fighting:

To provide more funding to create jobs improving our roads, bridges, and levees…

To encourage small businesses to hire individuals previously out of work…

To promote STEM education to prepare the younger generation for green jobs coming to our region…

To boost veteran-owned small businesses…

And to stop outsourcing jobs that should go to out-of-work Americans.

I’m working to make it easier for folks in our region to get ahead with a good-paying jobs that let them provide for their family, and put them on a path to own a home or see their child attend college.

I will also continue fighting for policies that ensure our families have access to affordable health care and family services.

California is home to nearly 2 million veterans; I’ve focused on improving the lives of our veterans since my first term in office.

Just a month ago, after years of bipartisan work, I managed to secure federal funding to build a veterans outpatient clinic and nursing home at French Camp, next to the San Joaquin County hospital.

This is an important step for a project that will eventually serve 87,000 veterans in our greater region, and employ 900 workers during construction.

I won’t rest until this clinic is built. We must take care of the men and women who served our country. We owe it to them to make sure they get the health care benefits they’ve earned.

The safety of our community is a top priority.

Over the past years, our community has been plagued by senseless violence.

I’ve worked closely with police departments across the district to better understand the crime and public safety challenges we face.

I’ve also participated in routine police patrols to get a feel for the situations that officers must respond to on the streets.

As a result, I’ve secured money for critical police programs such as the Byrne grants, and enforcement technology like the shot spotter system that enables police to instantly locate gun fire within feet of the source.

Safe neighborhoods go hand-in-hand with a strong economy. The 9th district is uniquely positioned to attract businesses and entrepreneurs from the bay area and beyond.

Our district is home to the California Delta. This body of water supports millions of acres of farmland and serves as a habitat for countless species.

We, more than most of California, are aware of the fragile state of our water system, and how it depends on the delta.

We’ve also seen and felt the effects of more than four years of extreme drought, and understand that we must do something to address this crisis and future droughts.

Unfortunately, Governor Brown and other leaders have decided that the best approach for our state is to guarantee that more water can be siphoned from the delta through two massive tunnels, no matter the consequences for the delta, our farmers, our businesses, and our families.

I oppose construction of the tunnels, and I’ve have been at the center of the fight at the federal level to halt their construction.  I’ve also organized members of congress from the delta region to oppose this misguided tunnels plan that does nothing to address our drought problems or create any new water.

We need forward-thinking solutions that will truly serve the entire state with a sustainable water system, not just serve the few who can afford the best lawyers.

I’m now finalizing legislation to improve and modernize our state’s water system that will be fair to everyone – and I plan to release it shortly.

Some of you might have heard that I recently became a grandpa. I’m excited to watch my grandson grow up.

He reminds me that we must take action now to protect the planet for future generations.

Climate change is a huge challenge that poses a specific threat to our delta region and demands a response from all levels of government.

The San Joaquin Valley has some of the poorest air quality in the state, and breathing this air has a direct impact on the health of our families and children.

In addition, a significant portion of our district is at or near sea level, and the heavy rains that are expected with rising sea levels and warming oceans will eventually threaten serious flooding in our district.

Consequently, I’ve been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide funding and approvals to improve the delta levee system.

But just preparing for natural disasters is not enough.

We need bold action to reduce carbon emissions and curb the effects of climate change. This is why I’ve introduced the Consumers REBAT Act.

This legislation puts a price on carbon to reduce emissions and distributes the revenue generated to consumers. You will have more income to purchase efficient cars, upgrade your homes, or save the money for a rainy day. This new income will boost the national economy, and especially the economy in our region.

The last challenge I want to talk about is the way that our election campaigns are financed.

Because of recent outrageous Supreme Court decisions, unlimited amounts of money from hidden donors, including corporations and possibly even foreign interests, are flowing into election campaigns at all levels of government.

This corrosive influence has contributed to the partisan gridlock we see in Washington and many state capitals, making it exceedingly difficult to tackle some of the most complex and pressing issues such as gun violence, immigration reform, and the grossly unequal distribution of earnings in this country.

This is extremely frustrating, and makes many people lose confidence in our government.

A majority of Americans believe with me that money has too much influence in politics, and that our campaign-finance system should be completely rebuilt.

For my part, I’ve proposed a constitutional amendment that will stop the ability of heavily-financed special interests to influence our elections.

In addition, I’m forming a bipartisan congressional caucus to fight for meaningful campaign finance reform, and hope that we can educate the people of this country on why achieving this reform is so badly needed.

As Americans, we have a lot to be proud of. We see turmoil in much the world, but as a country we’ve always risen up to meet our greatest challenges head on.

As we move through the year, I want to hear from you. Please reach out to my offices in the District and in Washington. Let me know what you think of my proposals and tell me what issues are important to you.

Thank you for listening to my vision for our district and our country.

Take care and I will see you around the district.

Also available on Rep. McNerney’s website at: https://edit-mcnerney.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-mcnerney-delivers-state-of-california-s-9th-district-address.

Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes most of Antioch and other portions of Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.

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