Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Former Antioch student, Carina will perform as National Headliner for Brentwood Tree Lighting Festival, Saturday, Nov. 26

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
Carina sings, plays keyboards and guitar during her concert. See her live at the Streets of Brentwood, this Saturday night, November 26th.

Carina sings, plays keyboards and guitar during her concert. See her live at the Streets of Brentwood, this Saturday night, November 26th.

carina-closeupBy Carina Sherborne

I am coming back to the Antioch area on my first music tour, and am booked as the National Headliner at the Streets of Brentwood Tree Lighting Festival on Saturday, November 26.

I am 19 years old and live in a small town outside of Seattle. Both of my parents graduated from Antioch High School and all of my family, except my mom, Amy (Anderson) DeAngelo O’Hearn, still live in the area including my grandmother who is a teacher at Dallas Ranch Middle School and my father who is a resident of Brentwood. I attended Sutter Elementary in Kindergarten and Belshaw Elementary in first grade before attending 16 schools across the county as we travelled with my active duty military step-father. Through my struggle to settle in each new state, to fit in, and find friends, I held on tightly to dreams of being a famous musician.

After settling in Washington, I continued training, and began writing and was well on my way in the industry at 16 when my mother became very ill. Now a single parent family, we were faced with the news that my mom was dying, and I chose to put my dreams on hold on heels of having just made it through 4 rounds on American Idol. I left high school my Junior year and attended online school, was caring for my deathly ill mother, and raising my brother while also attempting to keep afloat my mom’s dream – the business we started together called Pop Star Kids which is a school that trains kids to sing and perform. In 2014, my mom had a life saving surgery at University of Washington and although had a very low chance of survival was able to pull through. Today, I have a healthy mom and we have a thriving business in our town which I run with her.

Following this tumultuous time in my life, I was apprehensive, and struggled with getting back in to music, but knew as I graduated High School in 2015 that this is all I have ever wanted to do. Going against the grain, I turned down acceptance letters to college, and invite from American Idol producers to join the shows last season, and once again began pursuing my dream of musical stardom. Through the help of my family members in Sacramento, and all of our supportive east county family residents I was able to release my debut EP on my 19th birthday on July 28th this year! The first week of sales put me on the national Pop Charts topping out at number 54 above Meghan Trainer and even Prince, while my debut video went viral with over 300K views in a week and my life was forever changed!

My music is now on over 50 radio stations nationwide, more than 15 worldwide, and available on every and any streaming site, as well as Pandora. I currently hold the #3 spot in Seattle Pop Charts and am ranked #83 nationally. I just got signed to a producer in Nashville who’s team will be producing my next single which we will release in early 2017.

That team has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, and feel this song is a “smash hit.” I will be debuting this song on stage at the Streets, along with all the original music off the EP and future releases.

The headliner spot at the Streets has spun off an entire West Coast tour which kicked off in Seattle November 19th with stops in Portland, Sacramento and the East Bay, along with more venues as we travel back to Seattle.

My show in Sacramento is the day before the Streets performance, where several big name reps will be in the house to hear me debut my EP, and I will be joined there by the producers who worked in kind on my EP, including Sammy-nominated Patrick Grizzell of Proxy Moon, Kai O’Hearn who graduated from Antioch High, and the legendary David Houston who has worked with Cake, The Deaftones, Club Nouveau just to name a few and was as an engineer on my EP project.

My music is currently on the desk of FM102.5 in Sacramento and I will be interviewed live on the radio in Sacramento while I am in town this week.

More than anything, I want people to know how thankful I am to have such amazing support and secondly to know that no matter how hard life gets, or how impossible it may seem to reach your dreams, it can be done and I am proof of that. To some this may look like an overnight success story, to me it has been a long and winding road that has lead me back full circle to my home in the East Bay.

You can find my music and all other information at www.facebook.com/officialcarinamusic and www.officialcarina.com.

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New Orleans Coroner may not release cause of College Board Trustee Nejedly’s death for two to four months

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016
John T. Nejedly

John T. Nejedly

By Allen Payton

In an effort to learn the cause of death of Contra Costa Community College District Trustee John T. Nejedly over the weekend, while he was in New Orleans following a conference, inquiries were made to both the New Orleans Police Department and New Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office, today.

“The New Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office releases the names of victims,” said Dawn Massey, Senior Public Information Officer of the New Orleans Police Public Affairs Division. “We’ve had a couple of unclassified deaths that came in over the weekend.”

Unclassified means there was no obvious signs of death, she explained.

When asked for information about Nejedly’s death, Gayell Johnson of the Coroner’s Office said, “Once the person is autopsied it takes awhile to determine the cause of death. That is not something we know at this time.”

The Nejedly case “came in as a UI which is ‘under investigation’,” she added.

When asked how many days that will take, Johnson replied, “You mean how many weeks. The usual time is eight to sixteen weeks” for the results of the autopsy to be released.

However, his body can be released once the autopsy is completed, which is within 24 to48 hours, so a memorial service can be held, she added.

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John T. Nejedly, Contra Costa Community College Board Member and scion of political family, has died

Monday, October 10th, 2016
John T. Nejedly

John T. Nejedly

The Contra Costa Community College District (District) sadly announces the passing of Governing Board (Board) member John T. Nejedly this past weekend.  Mr. Nejedly represented Ward 4 which includes Blackhawk, Byron, Danville, Diablo, Discovery Bay, San Ramon, and parts of Alamo, Antioch, Brentwood, Clayton, and Concord.

“Our prayers and sympathies are with the Nejedly family and friends,” says Board President Vicki Gordon.  “Mr. Nejedly’s long tenure on the Board demonstrated his support of the community college mission.  He will be missed.”

Mr. Nejedly was first elected to the Board in 1994, and was serving his sixth consecutive term of office.  He is only the fourth member to represent this area since the District was created in 1948.

“We are saddened and shocked by his passing and will miss his consistent, rational approach to issues facing the District.  The success of our students was his top priority,” Chancellor Helen Benjamin said.

After graduating from Cal-Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a degree in Construction Management, Mr. Nejedly completed his education at John F. Kennedy University School of Law, where he received his law degree.  In addition to being a member of the California State Bar, he was a California licensed Real Estate Broker and licensed General Engineering Contractor.

The oldest son of the late State Senator John A. Nejedly, he was the brother of County Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho and Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board Member James Nejedly.

He first ran for public office in 1992, but unsuccessfully for the Danville Town Council. He also ran for County Assessor in 2010, losing to incumbent Gus Kramer.

“Trustee Nejedly was the only Board member who worked on the passage of all three District bond campaigns, Measures A 2002 and 2006, and Measure E 2014,” said Board member John Márquez who has served on the Board with Mr. Nejedly for six years.  “His construction knowledge and experience provided a sound and critical voice as we modernized our campus facilities to improve the learning environment for students.”

A resident of San Ramon, Mr. Nejedly and his wife have three children and enjoyed spending time in the mountains and playing golf.

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Antioch cold case: Segment on 1980 murder of Suzanne Bombardier to air on KTVU Channel 2, Sunday night

Friday, September 9th, 2016

ktvu2newslogo

Suzanne Bombardier

Suzanne Bombardier

KTVU Fox 2 will be profiling the unsolved 1980 killing of 14-year-old Suzanne Bombardier at 10 p.m. Sunday, September 11 in the latest “Bay Area Unsolved” segment. Henry Lee, Crime Reporter for KTVU Fox 2, conducted the investigative segment.

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Antioch School Board hires new Associate Superintendent for Educational Services

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016
Dr Adam Clark

Dr. Adam Clark

At their most recent meeting on August 24, 2016, the Antioch School Board voted to hire Dr. Adam Clark as the District’s Associate Superintendent for Educational Services. He began his new position on Thursday, September 1 and replaced Stephanie Anello who was promoted to Superintendent, in June.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Clark to AUSD,” Anello said. “He brings with him experience leading change at the elementary, middle and high school levels and will be an asset to our educational program. Most importantly, he is excited to serve the students and families of the Antioch community.”

According to his contract, Clark will be paid $190,056 per year, a $300 per month automobile stipend and other benefits, which are received by and afforded to other certified management staff in the district. It also includes a six month severance package. To see the complete contract, click here: Dr Adam Clark contract

Clark most recently served as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services in the Liberty Union High School District.  Prior to that time, Dr. Clark served as principal for Miramonte High School for five years.  His experience also includes principalships at Adams Middle School and Krey Elementary School in Brentwood, as well as teaching positions with schools in Brentwood and Richmond.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the Antioch Unified School District,” he said. “I’ve been in far East County since 1999.”

In his position with Liberty he worked on various services, such as foster kids, homeless youth, and health and safety.

“When this position opened up with the Ed services piece, I was very excited to come on board to help with education, student services as well as special education,” Clark stated.

He also said he was excited to work with Anello.

“She’s very committed to the students in Antioch and the community at large,” Clark offered

He is diving right in, working to get up to speed on the Antioch district.

“Since starting last Thursday, I’ve been visiting with stakeholders and school sites,” he continued. “I’ve been learning about the various programs in the district and will be working to  implement the LCAP in our schools and making sure our community understands the LCAP and getting input from the community to make sure we capture their desires and expectations.”

Clark received a BA in Sociology from San Jose State University, and a masters degree and doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, which he completed in May.  He holds a multiple subject and an administrative credential.

Dr. Clark and his wife Michelle have three children. Their oldest son, Marcus, is 22 and recently graduated from Arizona State University.  Their son Rene, who is 19, attends the University of San Diego, and their daughter Jazmyne is 17 and a high school senior.

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Antioch High grad returns home to direct his next movie, includes locals as extras

Thursday, September 1st, 2016
Director Anthony C. Ferrante (in Ramones shirt) watches the shooting on a monitor with some of his crew outside the El Campanil Theatre in downtown Antioch, Monday night, August 22, 2016.

Director Anthony C. Ferrante (right, in Ramones shirt) watches the shooting on a monitor with some of his crew outside the El Campanil Theatre in downtown Antioch, Monday night, August 22, 2016.

Shooting in one of the rooms in the basement of El Campanil Theatre.

Shooting in one of the rooms in the basement of El Campanil Theatre.

By Allen Payton

While attending Antioch High School, Anthony C. Ferrante took a film course at Los Medanos College. The movie director, who gained fame with his four Sharknado films, has been back in Antioch, over the past two weeks, filming a TV thriller entitled Forgotten Evil.

“My very first film I shot at the El Campanil Theatre but the lights went out,” Ferrante said in an interview this week. “I shot a whole other horror film in the basement and at the Riverview Lodge.”

“I filmed a lot of different things in Antioch,” he added.

Besides his course at LMC, Ferrante earned his liberal arts degree in film studies from San Francisco State. He also used to be the entertainment critic for Antioch’s former Ledger-Dispatch newspaper, for years.

He shared how the idea of returning to his hometown came about.

“I actually had been trying to find something I could do in Antioch for awhile,” Ferranted stated. “We shot for a day in San Francisco for Sharknado 4. Then after I said ‘Let’s drive back through Antioch on our way back to L.A.’”

“I forgot how cool downtown was,” he offered.

That was earlier this year. Then he was asked to direct his latest film.

“When this project happened, they asked me where I wanted to shoot. I said ‘why don’t we look at Antioch,’” Ferrante said. “I got to revisit the place I did my first short films.”

“I wrote the script four weeks ago, and I kept thinking about Antioch and it was perfect,” he continued.

So, he and his crew arrived a few weeks ago and began recruiting family, friends and other local residents to be extras in the film

Shooting outside El Campanil Theatre.

Shooting outside El Campanil Theatre.

“We shot a few days at the high school. We changed the script to fit where we were shooting,” Ferrante explained. “We decided to call Antioch, Antioch in the script. But we’re also shooting in a coastal city.”

They also shot at the site of his first film, El Campanil  Theatre.

“One of our producers back in L.A. said they were stunned at how good the theater looked,” he stated. “It’s such a beautiful downtown. Film companies are always looking for places that are easy to do it without a lot of hassle.”

Ferrante said he is “hoping by setting the movie in downtown that other movies will be made here.”

“It still has a small town feel and attitude,” he added.

Ferrante offered his appreciation and thoughts about Antioch.

“Everything you’re trying to do to revitalize it, like the concerts,” he offered. “It looks like you’re looking at a town out of time. It’s just gorgeous.”

He wanted people to know “how supportive and how positive that everyone has been.”

“It’s been really cool,” Ferrante stated. “A lot of friends have been coming out and hanging out. Every time we’ve turned around there’s been generosity.”

He was grateful for the support of the Antioch Police, the Chief, the Antioch High School, the principal, Louie Rocha.

Family and friends of the crew, as well as other local residents served as extras for the audience scene inside the El Campanil Theatre.

Family and friends of the crew, as well as other local residents served as extras for the audience scene inside the El Campanil Theatre.

“We also used Martin Gonsalves’ law offices,” he explained. “Rick Carraher of the El Campanil has been amazing. City hall has been great getting us the permits and allowing us to shoot here. Lynn [Kutsal, owner] of Nature’s Bounty has been catering for us and making great food. The carrot cake with cream cheese on top has been the best thing ever. The enchilada chicken salad everyone just loved.”

“This all kind of worked out,” Ferrante continued. “We used the locals for extras. We’ve been low maintenance for the most part.”

On Monday, August 22nd they filmed inside and outside of the El Campanil Theatre, including in the basement in one of the “creepy rooms” in the front of the building, as described by a member of the film crew. That was also when they needed the most extras, to play members of the audience inside the auditorium. About 100 residents were there. A few were asked to remain for the shooting of the outside scenes. The extras were paid $10 per hour for their participation.

They also shot some of the footage at the Antioch Police Facility and the marina, this week.

Today and Friday will be their last days of filming, in Antioch.

“Then we’re done and start working on editing,” Ferrante said.

Extras wave for the selfie photo being taken by the stars of the movie inside the El Campanil Theatre.

Extras wave for the selfie photo being taken by the stars of the movie inside the El Campanil Theatre.

The main actors of Forgotten Evil include Masiela Lusha, who was also in Sharknado 4, but gained her fame as the daughter of George Lopez in the comedian’s TV series.

Ferrante shared more about his movie making.

“I started the [Forgotten Evil] script in mid-June,” he explained. “The company came to me with a bunch of thrillers. I picked out the one I was most interested in and gave it some treatment.”

Sharknado 4 we started in February and delivered it to the network in July,” Ferranted shared. “It was a very short time period for making a movie.”

Asked about when we can see Antioch in his new movie, he replied “I have to have it finished by the end of the year. It probably will air early next year.”

The movie will be sold, once it’s finished. Ferrante isn’t sure yet to which company that will be nor on which channel it will air. But, he hopes to let Antioch residents see it, first.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to do some kind of screening or something,” Ferrante added. “Possibly at the El Campanil Theatre. That’s where we’d love to have it.”

Ferrante is married. They have one daughter and live in Los Angeles. One of his sisters still lives in Antioch and the other lives in Napa.

So, expect to see him back in town, not only for the screening, but hopefully more movie making in the future.

The film crew converted the lobby of the El Campanil Theatre into their local office.

The film crew converted the lobby of the El Campanil Theatre into their local office.

 

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Assemblyman Frazier taps Antioch resident Stephen P. Todd as 2016 Veteran of the Year

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
Stephen Todd and his family with Assemblyman Frazier on the floor of the State Assembly.

Stephen Todd (in hat) and his family with Assemblyman Frazier on the floor of the State Assembly.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, announced today that Assembly District 11’s 2016 Veteran of the Year is Stephen P. Todd, an Antioch resident whose advocacy and exemplary leadership has galvanized the East Contra Costa veterans community.

“Steve Todd truly leads by example and it’s an honor to recognize him today. After serving his country, he continues to be hands-on and support his community,” stated Frazier. “It’s a privilege to work side-by-side with Steve helping veterans in need. The world needs more people like Steve Todd and I’m extremely grateful that he is part of my community.”

Todd served in the U.S. Army and California National Guard from 1986 to 1997 and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant. His tours of duty included overseas postings to the Middle East during the First Gulf War and to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy, and domestic deployments such as the California wildfires of 1987 and the Rodney King riots in 1992.

Following his military service, Todd was with the San Mateo Sheriff’s Department for seven years before beginning a federal law enforcement career with the U.S. Treasury Department. He later transferred to the Federal Protective Service and then became a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security. In this capacity, Todd traveled throughout the country providing protection and security in courtrooms, such as the Cary Stayner arraignment and the “Unabomber” trial; at political venues, including the Democratic National Convention; and during natural disasters, such as the San Diego wildfires in 2003 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

He earned the rank of police captain before being medically retired in 2007, as a result of a leg injury he suffered on the job. For his heroic actions, he received the Award for Valor and has been nominated for the Department of Homeland Security “Purple Heart Medal.”

Since 2010, he has served as commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10789 in Brentwood. Under his leadership, the post supports the outreach to homeless veterans and works to connect all veterans to the benefits they have earned and the care they need. The group also supports numerous community service projects: It sponsors a Boy Scout troop, an Explorer Post and a high school Junior ROTC program; works with the Brentwood Police Activity League and Liberty High School Band; provides security details for community events, including one that traveled to Sacramento to protect the Traveling Wall memorial to Vietnam Veterans when Assemblymember Frazier sponsored its presence in 2014; and participates in numerous fund-raising ventures for veterans and community groups. The post is also a clearinghouse for donated wheelchairs and electronic scooters, which Todd himself helps to restore, and its members are currently providing labor to veterans on fixed incomes who need help with home-repair projects.

A true advocate for veterans in his District and wherever the need arises, Todd works closely with other veteran and civic organizations to make a difference in his community.

He presently serves as the Veteran of Foreign Wars Post District 10 Junior Vice-Commander, is a member of the American Legion Post 202 and the Delta Diablo Marine Corps League Det. 1155 and a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans Post 7. He is also Second Vice President of the Brentwood Lions Club.

Todd acknowledged being “excited” to be named the AD11 Veteran of the Year for 2016, but was characteristically modest about the honor. “It’s not just me – our whole VFW post does a lot of work. I’m just the commander who facilitates stuff and fields the calls. They make me look good,” he said. “Our goal is to help as many people as we can, especially the ones who don’t have money. We want to let our veterans know that there are others out there who are like-minded and still care for them.”

Todd is married and lives with his wife, Margaret, and their three children (Briana, Corina and Kenny) in Antioch. He also has two older children (April and Stephenie) from a previous marriage and five grandchildren (Briana, Dillon, Kaylen, Santiago and Nathan).

Todd was among 80 service men and women who were honored today during the California State Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee’s 9th Annual Veterans Recognition Luncheon.

Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove. To contact him, please visit his website at http://www.asmdc.org/members/a11/ or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-513-0411. Follow Assemblyman Jim Frazier on Facebook and “Like” him for updates on events and happenings in the 11th AD.

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Assemblyman Frazier honored by Special Olympics Northern California as Volunteer of the Year

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Assemblymember Jim Frazier 2016On Friday, June 24, 2016, Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D–Oakley) received the Volunteer of the Year award from Special Olympics Northern California.

“I am honored to receive this award from such an inspiring organization. As a volunteer at the summer games, each year I witness the confidence, self-esteem and dignity instilled in the athletes who have the opportunity to shine and showcase their talents,” stated Frazier. “Knowing how much they look forward to this event and seeing the smiles on their faces is reward enough for me. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Special Olympics Northern California to expand possibilities for the athletes of the future.”

Frazier has volunteered at the summer games for the past 12 years. This year he is carrying legislation, AB 2371, to help maximize opportunities for people to make donations supporting the Special Olympics. Frazier also worked to secure $1,000,000 in the budget to expand the Special Olympics Unified Strategy for Schools.

“Volunteers are essential to the success of Special Olympics Northern California. This year we chose to honor Assemblymember Jim Frazier as Special Olympics Northern California’s Volunteer of the Year. The time and dedication Assemblymember Frazier and his staff, have shown year-after-year as volunteers at Summer Games is extraordinary,” said David Solo, President and CEO of Special Olympics Northern California. “We thank Assemblymember Frazier for believing in the abilities of people with physical and intellectual disabilities and the importance that Special Olympics can have on their lives.”

Special Olympics Northern California is a free year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. There are 19,940 athletes who compete in 198 competitions throughout the region in 12 sports.

Included in that figure are 9,385 special education student-athletes who have Special Olympics in the classroom through our Schools Partnership Program. Special Olympics requires the extraordinary support and time of 20,000 volunteers and volunteer coaches.

Financial support comes almost exclusively from individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations. For more information on Special Olympics Northern California, visit www.SONC.org.

Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

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