Archive for the ‘Seniors’ Category

Teepa Snow returns to Antioch’s TreVista for virtual event Sept. 22

Friday, September 11th, 2020

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World Hall of Famer from Antioch 68-year-old David “Butch” Martinez not resting on his championship laurels

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

Dave “Butch Martinez” at the 2018 World Association of Bench Pressers and Dead Lifters. Photos courtesy of Antioch Historical Society Museum.

By Tom Lamothe

Here’s a new story from our Recreation Section of the Antioch Historical Society Museum.

While most 68-year-old retired men are looking for an easy chair to rest in, David Martinez, better known as Butch, is working hard lifting weights in his home gym here in Antioch. The 1970 Antioch High grad has always enjoyed lifting, but things changed roughly 20 years ago. He became serious about lifting, more specifically, about bench pressing. As a member of the Big C Gym in Concord, he entered his first bench press competition after being encouraged by a staffer and walked away with a nice 18-inch first place gold trophy cup. Encouraged by his newly found success, Butch entered the upcoming Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) power lifting contest and to his surprise, won the Gold again.

In the following two decades Butch continued to enter sanctioned competitions by the AAU, the International Power Lifting Association, and The World Association of Bench Pressers and Dead Lifters (WABDL). Sanctioned competitions are heavily regulated and have drug testing, age and weight classifications and smaller sub-groups. Such sub-groups as, the RAW classification- for those who don’t wear special wraps and uniforms to support the strain on joints when lifting. There’s also the Law-Fire classification, which is due to one of Butch’s job classifications at the Contra Costa Water District. In these decades he would enter the 47 to 67-year-old age groups, the 220-pound weight class, RAW, and Law-Fire Divisions. When recently visiting Butch he wasn’t training due to COVID-19 and didn’t enter the WABDL competition in Las Vegas. Noticing a paunch, but well developed arms, I wondered why he wasn’t more muscular, and in Butch’s typical sense of humor he said, “That’s the pretty boys in body building, in weight lifting we’re fat old bald guys!” All kidding aside, Butch’s 20 years of accomplishments speaks for themselves!

At the AAU level Butch garnered three World Records and four International Championships. In WABDL competitions, he lifted in over 40 meets and 20 State championships. During these competitions Butch won 16 State Championships, eleven World Championships, and set five WABDL World Records. It would be in 2005 at the WABDL California State Championships held in Monterey that Butch would achieve his greatest accomplishment, an All-Time Best, 435.2 bench press, establishing a World Record in his classifications. Today, his 297.5-pound bench press at the 64 year old, 220 pound weight class in the RAW, Law-Fire Division, stands a WABDL World Record.

In recognition of Butch’s years of endurance and accomplishments, he was honored by being inducted into the WABDL Hall of Fame at the 2018 World Championships in Las Vegas. Congratulations Butch on your career and you’re well deserving WABDL Hall of Fame Induction!

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Election 2020: Proposition 19 is latest assault on taxpayers

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

OPINION

By Jon Coupal, President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

The assaults on California property owners and taxpayers never stop. And once again the California Legislature has advanced a massive tax increase at the last possible moment when they thought no one was paying attention.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 11 (ACA11), approved by the California Legislature, takes away Proposition 13 protections that California families have under current law and replaces them with a billion-dollar tax increase. Voters will have an opportunity to reject this scheme come November, as ACA11 will appear on the ballot as Proposition 19.

After the historic passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, Californians finally had certainty about their future property tax liability because increases in the “taxable value” of property were limited to 2 percent per year. Property would be reassessed to market value only when it changed hands. To prevent families from getting hit with huge tax increases, voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 58 in 1986, changing the state constitution to ensure that transfers of certain property between parents and children could occur without triggering the sticker shock of reassessment.

Under Prop. 58, a home of any value and up to a million dollars of assessed value of other property may be transferred between parents and children without reassessment. Proposition 19 (2020) would repeal Proposition 58 (1986) and force the reassessment of inherited or transferred property within families. The only exception is if the property is used as the principal residence of the person to whom it was transferred, and even that exclusion is capped.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that the repeal of the “intergenerational transfer protections” guaranteed by Props. 58 and 193 will result in 40,000 to 60,000 families getting hit with higher property taxes every year. Prop. 19’s massive tax increase has been included in this initiative to offset another proposed constitutional change: the expansion of the ability for older homeowners to move to a replacement home and transfer their base-year property tax assessment from their previous home to the new property. While this “portability” expansion has some merit, voters rejected this idea in 2018. Oddly, the backers of the proposal think they can sell it again by adding a tax increase.

As ill-advised as Proposition 19 is as matter of policy, the contortions executed by the California Legislature to place it on the ballot were nothing short of bizarre. The primary sponsor of ACA11 was the California Association of Realtors (CAR) which first wrote a similar proposal as an initiative and gathered signatures to put it on the ballot. It appears CAR is motivated by the desire to churn more home sales, even at the expense of a multi-billion-dollar tax increase.

For reasons related to placating progressive Democrats in the Legislature as well as labor unions, CAR wanted to withdraw its previously qualified initiative and have the Legislature replace it with a similar tax increase proposal.

But something funny happened on the way to the ballot. CAR missed the constitutional deadline for withdrawing its initiative, so as a matter of law, it appeared that there would be two nearly identical measures on the ballot, causing confusion, not to mention additional costs. So, Secretary of State Padilla dutifully took the CAR measure off the ballot even though he had already certified it under the procedures set forth in the California Constitution.

Our current political establishment ignores all rules and laws when it comes to achieving a desired political end. And, as usual, the desired end here is billions of dollars in higher property taxes.

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Antioch, Contra Costa offer places to cool off on Saturday during extreme heat

Friday, May 29th, 2020

Employment & Human Services Department Opens Four Locations for Hot Weather Relief

The Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD) has partially re-opened four of its public lobbies where residents can cool off on days of extreme heat during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place health order. The places to get relief from hot weather are open to all, including individuals, families with children, seniors and disabled adults. Water and charging stations are available at each of the following locations, open for cooling off from Saturday, May 29, 2020, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

EHSD District Office 4545 Delta Fair Blvd. Antioch  
EHSD District Office 400 Ellinwood Way Pleasant Hill  
EHSD District Office 151 Linus Pauling Hercules  
EHSD District Office 1305 Macdonald Richmond  

Social distancing and face covering requirements are in place in the EHSD buildings, and capacity may be limited in order to comply with County health orders.  Community members should NOT go to any of these places to cool off if they have been exposed to or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or if they have been ordered to quarantine.  All visitors to EHSD offices are required to answer screening questions, per CDC guidelines, before they can enter the buildings.

During the COVID-19 shelter in place, EHSD’s regular programs and services are NOT available at these offices. County residents can call (925) 957-5647 or (925) 957-5648 (Spanish) for assistance with CalFresh, CalWORKs, Medi-Cal and other benefit programs.

Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services

Employment & Human Services (EHSD) partners with the community to deliver quality services to ensure access to resources that support, protect, and empower individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency.  Based on the core values of delivering an exceptional customer experience, encouraging open communication, embracing change, practicing ethical behavior, and embracing diversity, EHSD envisions Contra Costa County will continue to be a thriving community where all individuals and families can be healthy, safe, secure and self-sufficient.  More information about EHSD is available at www.ehsd.org.

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California federal prosecutors and FBI to hold telephone Town Hall Monday on COVID-19 scams

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

Seniors, public invited to listen – must register, first

SAN FRANCISCO – Prosecutors from the four United States Attorney’s Offices in California, along with representatives from the FBI, will participate in a telephonic town hall to help California residents identify and avoid fraudulent schemes related to Coronavirus and COVID-19.  The event is being coordinated by the American Association of Retired Persons (“AARP”).

The telephonic town hall will happen on Monday, April 20 from 10 to 11 a.m. PDT. During the event, a special agent from the FBI and a federal prosecutor will make presentations, and participants from across California will be allowed to ask questions to a panel of Assistant United States Attorneys from the four offices that serve California.

AARP’s Fraud Watch Network is providing the infrastructure for the event. Approximately 100,000 AARP members will receive a phone call Monday morning inviting them to participate in the town hall. Those who wish to receive an invitation may sign up here (https://vekeo.com/aarpcalifornia/).

During the current health crisis, federal investigators and prosecutors continue to fulfill their critical mission of protecting public safety. Federal officials have prioritized the disruption, investigation and prosecution of crimes related to Coronavirus and COVID-19, including fraudulent schemes, unapproved treatments, and scams related to stimulus money. During the town hall, federal officials will discuss the types of schemes currently being seen, along with tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

Soon after the town hall event, a recording will be available at https://vekeo.com/aarpcalifornia/.

REPORT COVID-19 CRIME.  Contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline: 866-720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov.

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Gov. Newsom launches campaign to protect health of older Californians during COVID-19 pandemic

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

To combat social isolation, ‘Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In.’ campaign urges all Californians to check in on vulnerable neighbors with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock.

In coordination with non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, California also launches hotline to help Californians answer questions.

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the “Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In.” campaign urging Californians to help combat social isolation and food insecurity among Californians who are over the age of 65 – a community that is uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19.

During California’s stay at home order, older Californians may need friends and neighbors to help them obtain basic necessities like groceries and prescriptions.

“The most important way for older Californians to stay safe is to stay at home,” said Governor Newsom. “No older Californian should be forced to go outside to get groceries or their medication. It’s on all of us across the state to check in on the older adults in our lives – our friends, family and neighbors – to help them during this outbreak. Each and every one of us must reach out in a safe way to make sure our older neighbors have someone to talk to and have enough food to eat during these difficult times.”

The campaign urges all Californians to check in on their older neighbors with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock to make sure they’re ok. In addition, the state is urging local non-profits and faith-based organizations to call to check in on all of the older Californians in their networks.

The Governor also announced the creation of a statewide hotline — 833-544-2374 — in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, so that Californians have a one-stop shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis. For example, the 2-1-1 system is able to help older Californians access grocery and medication delivery while staying at home.

The state, in partnership with AARP, will also send a mailer to older residents, 65 and older, with useful resources and information to help adapt to the stay at home order.

“Social isolation can be difficult for older Californians even in the best of times,” said Kim McCoy Wade, director of the California Department of Aging. “We have to help aging Californians feel connected – and we must ensure we all have access to any needed services right now. This work will save lives.”

The campaign builds on existing efforts by California Volunteers and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to help older Californians and those who need food assistance.

California Volunteers has launched their Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign, which calls on neighbors to be the first line of support for California’s most vulnerable residents who have been advised to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign is focused on older adults and promotes ways to safely check on your neighbors, family and friends.

To make the most vulnerable Californians more resilient to disasters, Listos California has pivoted to helping these communities stay safe during the pandemic. Leading the charge statewide are Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) comprised of volunteers with at least 20 hours of FEMA preparedness training. These teams are conducting welfare checks on seniors, as well as distributing essential food and supplies in Sacramento, San Diego, San Bernardino, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Napa counties to help them through the pandemic. Listos California has also partnered with trusted community-based organizations across the state and programs like Meals on Wheels and other local senior-serving non-profits to deliver services and preparedness resources.

 

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First coronavirus-related death confirmed in Contra Costa County, confirmed cases now at 42

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Christ Farnitano speaks during a press conference on Friday, March 20, 2020 as Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna, Deputy Health Officer, Contra Costa Health Officer waits to speak. Screenshot of YouTube video.

“More confirmed cases does not mean we are losing ground.”; “Go out with your friends, your family, go on a hike…” – County Health Officer;  “It’s up to each city to make a determination with regard to enforcement.” – Chair of the Board of Supervisors

Coronavirus. CDC image.

By Allen Payton

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) has confirmed the county’s first confirmed death linked to COVID-19.

The patient died Thursday in a hospital in the county. The Contra Costa resident was in their 70’s and had a pre-existing condition that put them at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and a history of recent overseas travel.

A media briefing by county officials to update the public was held this morning.

“Today we regret to announce the first death in Contra Costa County caused by the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, County Health Officer. “This person passed away at a hospital in our county on Thursday. They were in their 70’s and they had a condition that placed them at risk of serious illness, and they had recently traveled outside of the country.”

The individual traveled from Europe, but those were all the details he would provide. “Unfortunately, we do anticipate more deaths in Contra Costa County,” Farnitano said.

“This death underscores the urgent need for all Contra Costa residents to follow the stay at home order, maintain social distancing and the state order just issued by Governor Newsom, last night,” he stated. “Novel coronavirus is dangerous for older adults and people with certain medical conditions, including heart or lung disease, diabetes and those with weak immune systems.”

“We believe that by following these orders we can reduce the spread of the virus, right now in our community and that will save lives,” Dr. Farnitano continued. “The situation is very serious in Contra Costa. We expect more confirmed cases as our testing expands. So far, Contra Costa Public Health has confirmed 42 cases in our community. We believe that aggressive testing can help, and we are ramping up our testing efforts on a daily basis.”

Most testing is being done by private labs.

“Our public health lab is performing between 40 to 100 tests per day, but that’s a small percentage of the total testing being done across the county, right now,” he stated.

“As we’re expanding our testing, we really want to get to the point we’re able to test everyone who has symptoms,” Dr. Farnitano said. “We’re trying to prioritize our public health lab which can do rapid testing and get results in 24 hours or less to those folks we’re most concerned about.”

“The private labs can test anyone who has symptoms,” he continued. “The more folks we test with symptoms then the more we’re going to be able to understand the spread within our community, and more able to isolate more effectively those who test positive.”

“More confirmed cases does not mean we are losing ground,” he stated. “It means we are sharpening our focus and gathering data that will help us through this emergency.”

“As always, the best way to protect yourself is to practice good hygiene and social distancing,” Farnitano shared. “Because COVID-19 is new humans have no immunity to it and there is no vaccine.”

He then repeated the ways to protect yourself, such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face.

“If you are ill, it is imperative you stay home, even if you’re an essential worker,” Dr. Farnitano concluded.

Candace Andersen, Chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors spoke next.

“We recognize this order is disruptive. We would not ask any of you to do this if we didn’t think it was important,” she said. “During this difficult time, we are continuing to provide county services, virtually. We have county employees working from home, remotely, in offices and away from the public who can still assist you. Please go to the county’s website at contracosta.gov for the most updated information resources.”

“I want to assure you that Contra Costa is doing all it can to slow the spread of the coronavirus and reduce its impact,” Andersen continued. “The county’s emergency operations center has been activated and is slowing the virus and is now the primary focus of our local government actions in Contra Costa.”

“You can visit cchealth.org/coronavirus or call our help line at 1-844-729-8410 if you have any questions about this order and the virus,” she added.

Dr. Farnitano encouraged county residents to go out and exercise and take a hike in the East Bay parks.

“We do want to encourage people to get outside and exercise and enjoy our beautiful, natural setting in the East Bay,” he said. “Go out with your friends, your family, go on a hike, but stay six feet apart. So, do it safely.”

Asked about local enforcement and people going outside, “It’s certainly not recommended unless you can really do it from a safe distance,” Andersen responded, “It’s up to each city to make a determination with regard to enforcement.”

Specifically, about golfing she said, it’s up to each city “whether or not to say you can’t golf or not.”

“Clearly if you’re golfing with members of your household and you’re staying six feet apart from everyone else, I think that works,” Andersen shared. “But if you’re meeting up with your buddies and you all live in different households and you’ve all been out doing your essential shopping and other things, you have a good chance of spreading the virus, if you get together in that close circumstance. We expect people to use their good judgment and take this seriously.”

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Hillcrest Memory Care to hold Grand Reopening Feb. 5 following improvements and staff changes

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

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