Archive for March, 2011

Park Teacher Arrested for Lewd Acts with Minor

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Charles Redmond


On 3/28/11 Antioch Police detectives learned that Charles Redmond had crossed back over the US border from Mexico and was admitted to a San Diego area hospital. Antioch detectives traveled to San Diego where they interviewed Redmond and arranged for him to be arrested upon his release from the hospital.

On 3/31/11 Redmond was arrested by the San Diego Police Department on his outstanding warrant.  The Antioch Police will be meeting with the District Attorney’s Office next week to present charges and then arrange his extradition.


Park Middle School teacher Charles Redmond, 63, of Pittsburg, is being sought by Antioch police on suspicion of intending to commit lewd or lascivious acts with a minor.

On the evening of March 24 the Antioch Police Department was made aware of allegations of inappropriate comments to male students and the alleged illicit touching of an 8th grade male student by Redmond. The touching was over the victim’s clothing, according to police. After police began an inquiry and criminal investigation, Redmond left a note for his family and is believed to have fled to Mexico.

A $100,000 warrant for his arrest has been issued.  Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective Robert Green at (925) 779-6932.

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Help Plan Bay Area Growth

Monday, March 28th, 2011


You Choose LogoPlan Bay Area Logo
Help Build the Bay Area’s Blueprint for Sustainable Communities and a Prosperous Future  
You are invited to participate, to comment, to help innovate, as our region begins a public discussion on how to accommodate future growth. Plan Bay Area is a joint effort to create a prosperous, sustainable future by producing an integrated land-use/transportation plan looking forward to 2040.Plan Bay Area – one of our region’s most comprehensive planning efforts to date – is led by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in partnership with the Bay Area’s other two regional government agencies, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Additionally, the agencies are partnering with Envision Bay Area, a strategic initiative led by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and a group of nonprofits working to promote public participation on Plan Bay Area. An online tool – YouChoose BayArea – helps residents to understand some of the challenges and trade-offs associated with the housing and transportation needs of our growing region. Visit the online tool at:

Go a step further by attending a workshop in your county, where you can help build a better Bay Area using a fun, interactive Web-based visual simulation tool:  

·       Santa Clara County, April 21, 5:30-8:30 pm at Microsoft Corporation in Mountain View*

·       San Francisco County, April 25, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Milton Marks Conference Center in San Francisco

·       San Mateo County, April 27, 5:30-8:30 pm at the San Mateo Public Library in San Mateo*

·       Napa County, April 28, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Elks Lodge in Napa

·       Solano County, May 4, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Solano County Events Center in Fairfield

·       Contra Costa County, May 7, 9 am-12 pm at the Concord Senior Center in Concord*

·       Marin County, May 11, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Rafael

·       Sonoma County, May 18, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa*

·       Alameda County, May 19, 5:30-8:30 pm at the David Brower Center in Berkeley*

*Also a You Choose Bay Area workshop 

Space at each workshop is limited; early registration is strongly encouraged. Let’s plan together for future growth that enhances the economy, environment and social equity, and a community’s livability. 

For more information about all nine workshops and what’s happening in your county, visit the OneBayArea website at

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I See the Light

Monday, March 28th, 2011

By Harry Stoll

“He’s going to slit my eyeball!” screamed my mind, but the balm of the calm of Eye Guy Dr. Ivan Hwang soothed me. He does his good work at the California Eye Clinic on Sunset Lane in Antioch.

Over the past 10 years ophthalmologists told me I had slowly developing cataracts, so I should have seen it coming. Night driving became a horror movie nightmare with big caverns in the pavement ready to swallow and crunch me and  my Camry. Headlights in the mirror, ahead, and to the side, slashed and stabbed white flashes into my brain. Then came the evil halogens with an intense light so white it was blue.

In Dr. Ivan Hwang’s office I read the chart. “A-GR-C-14” and the next lowest line was “Man-Running Water-Tree-Friendship.” A line of Chinese pictographs. An eye dropper appeared and fingers held my eye still and open. My eye eyed the eye of the demon and I barely blinked a flinch when the drip hit.

Alone I waited. Knowing when my eye was ready, entered Dr, Ivan Hwang and I put my forehead against one curve and my chin against another. He wielded a white light saber. The eyes are the windows of the soul and his brilliantly bright white light saber looked deep into my soul. There was no escape. The eye drops had pulled back the curtain and every deed was recorded and shone brightly on the back of my eyeball.

I talked to several people who had the surgery, and they said, it wasn’t painful and recovery was rapid. So, let’s go. My Gatekeeper M.D. had to sign off and I had to come off my blood thinners a few days in advance.

Early in the morning we were all lined up in the waiting room. I looked for the take-a-number dispenser. A voice called my name, I mumbled me and walked numbly forward.

The engaging anesthesiologist, Dr. Vincent Sansoni, poked a needle into my arm, but he couldn’t get it to draw, which sucked. Bob seemed disappointed in me. But finally I went with the flow and entry was achieved. For some medical reason, he’s called Bob. Bob said, “Everything is going to be alright,” and ooh, it certainly was.

I could talk, be aware of my surroundings and all, but just as the anesthesiologist said, everything was OK. I knew this, but once more realized that people don’t take drugs to ruin their lives, they take drugs because it feels good.

Eye Guy Dr. Ivan Hwang strapped my head in to immobilize it, the way they did Dick Tracy in 1938 when the mad doctor was going to put a cat brain in him. My Eye Guy gave me some local pain killer in the eyeball but I was only aware of something going on there.

Soon, I heard a dental-like whirring, and thought, “That must be the emulsification the brochure talked about.” He was emulsifying my eye’s lens and I didn’t scream. Then more and different noises. I guessed, “Now he’s sucking it out,” and tried to say Eeeeew! But had no desire. More funny noises as he slipped in a plastic lens to replace the scattered shattered one.

Except for what they like to call a “sting” or a “poke,” when they slipped the IV in it was pain free.

Dr. Ivan Hwang (rhymes with gong) had patients lined-up for the surgery. He was calm and never seemed hurried, but wasted no time. He shook my hand, and while I was waiting to be helped off the gurney, I heard him giving the next patient the same pep talk he gave me.

When they took the bandage off the next day, I was getting bright flashes off to my right. All the medical people got that “Hmmm” attitude that I don’t find very comforting. It soon, but not soon enough, went away. “Hmmm,” I said. When they tested my eyes they were very pleased.

A pirate’s eye patch covered my eye at night to protect it and somebody who seemed to be me put in a row of drops, some to do certain things, other to do other things. It was all explained but who can remember?

I keep looking at an object, paintings, the tree across the street, … first with my so-so eye, then with my new-lens eye and delight at the sharp, well-defined edges of the grid over the heating duct and details of each vane.

Dr. Hwang told me to avoid rigorous exercise or heavy lifting for two weeks, so I restricted myself to pouring the wine. In two weeks I drove to the gym (how American to drive someplace to exercise) and resumed my routine amongst the grunting studs and women treadmilling with hair tied in back sweeping rhythmically shoulder-to-shoulder. Just like a little pony.

I passed my test of night driving. The caverns and the stabbings were gone.

This summer I’ll probably have the other eye done by my calm competent Eye Guy.

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Same Old Same Old in Sacto

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Perusing political files from 2003, I was surprised to see that many of the political issues being debated in Sacramento now are the very same issues being discussed back then: excessive public employee pensions and the need to cut costs in California government. Little progress has been made since then.

The reason things remain the same is because Democrat legislators, beholden to unions who can “get out the vote,” aren’t looking after the public’s best interests. That’s why, once again legislators like Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D), who represents Contra Costa County in the state legislature, are singing the same old refrain, which goes like this: “If you don’t vote for the proposed tax increase, tax extension, bond measure, etc. the legislature will have to make major cuts in social programs, which will affect Californians in need.”

I say bring it on. More and more taxpayers are waking up to the fact that we’re being played for suckers.

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D) said last week that the list of suggestions pertaining to tort reform, civil service reform and tax reform submitted by Republicans moved the parties further apart. Here are a few of the many proposals on the Republican list:

* State and local employee pension reform. Equal share of pensions costs between employer and employer, base pay (salary only) to determine final retirement benefits, no spiking and no double-dipping (drawing a full time salary and pension from the same employer).

* Cost-effective analysis of proposed major regulations and legislation.

* Sending cap based on CPI and population with revenues above cap going to pay down debt, and building of a 10 percent rainy day reserve.

* Education reform. Last in, first out reform, allowing layoffs, transfers, etc. to be based on teacher performance instead of seniority. Extend deadline to notify teachers of layoffs and tenure status, giving school districts more time to evaluate their budget situation and send out more accurate notifications.

* Realign policy implications for law enforcement as entire budget is based on saving $5.9 billion by shifting services to local level with no plan for how to fund locals after taxes expire.

A stumbling block for Gov. Jerry Brown should he succeed in putting his tax initiatives on the November ballot are several proposed initiatives now in the process of qualifying, which will give taxpayers the choice to limit the growth in state spending to the combined growth of population and inflation, institute a cap on retirement benefits and require state and local employees pay an equal share of pension costs.

Only question I have pertains to how the inflation rate in California will be calculated. The Federal Reserve Board is estimating the common trend rate of inflation for consumer prices – excluding food and energy prices!

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Muñiz Honored at Chavez Celebration

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Bill Muñiz sitting aside Carmen Ochoa, President of GATO, is honored at the Cesar Chavez celebration for his lifetime community work. Standing from left on the Beede Auditorium stage are AUSD President Diane Gibson-Gray, Superintendent Dr. Donald Gill, Trustee Joy Motts, DVC President Peter Garcia, Antioch Mayor Jim Davis, Trustee Walter Ruehlig and Mayor Pro Tem Wade Harper.

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Treasure in Our Own Backyard

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

I asked my wife to pinch me. Like the rest of the audience at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church on March 26th I was transported and could have been dreaming. Indeed, I wasn’t in a vaunted metropolitan cathedral or a celebrated concert hall.

Instead, for the price of a free will offering at the gem of a neighborhood church on Contra Loma Blvd.,  I was enjoying world class music and a cake and champagne  reception in the latest installment of the Friends of Music series.  I know of no other church in the East Bay offering this kind of program, an eclectic combination of religious and secular music that brings in blue-ribbon talent.

Though a dedicated following has built, the Series still remains the best kept secret in Far East County. Allow me, then, to dispel any possible apprehensions; it’s not a churchy or parochial event; the only thing being preached is the love of music and the openness to community.

The latest event was a concert in honor of the 326th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, arguably the reigning prince of all composers.
Kudos to the guest performers, superlative soprano Dawn Ferry, the versatile Chris Wilhite on trumpet, adventuresome Peter Graves on alto sax, and our own highly talented Joben Gonzalez on guitar and Don Pearson on the church’s magnificent Rodgers 958 three manual and pedal Trillium Masterpiece Pipe/Digital Organ. 

The organ alone made the visit worthwhile. It is equivalent to a 110 rank organ but has hundreds of additional sounds stored in the midi. Choosing  the incomparable Johann as a subject was a special treat on the instrument. The performance brilliantly underscored Bach’s intellectual depth, technical command and unsurpassed artistic beauty. Bach’s music creates not only puts the senses to flight but studying it creates awe at his integration of symmetry, numbers and pure mathematics.  

The evening featured a Concerto in A Minor, Cantata no. 51, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Fanfare, Minuet,  Sleepers, Awake A Voice is Calling, Prelude for the Suite Nr. 1 for Cello,  a breathtaking Ave Maria sung by Ms. Ferry and a surprising and scintillating rendition of Air played by jazz saxophonist Peter Graves.  Don Pearson put an exclamation point on the evening’s delight with an original composition written for the evening, a birthday Sinfonia.

The community is blessed by Don ‘s presence. He’s a superb organist and a renowned musical director who received national recognition for the music series he created in Denver at the nation’s fifth largest cathedral.  Thanks go to Rev Robert Rien, Parochial Administrator at St. Ignatius, accomplished organist and certified organ builder who had the vision to bring Don to our community and this exciting project to the East Bay.

Future Friends of Music events might include fun variations like silent movies with organ background. Expect the next performance in May or June. Check the Calendar of Events or Datebook or call (925) 778-0768 to be put on an email list. Don’t let this best kept secret remain foreign to you. It’s a treasure in our own backyard. waiting for you to simply open it. 

And to Johann, thanks for three and quarter centuries of joy. Happy birthday, Johann! Happy birthday, dear Johann! Happy birthday to you! 

Walter Ruehlig
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Motorcycle Run to Raise Funds for Mike Truitt Memorial Scholarship Fund at LMC

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Truitt was an Antioch Police Officer, Scholarships Benefit LMC Students

Mike “BEAR CUB” Truitt Memorial Run – Presented by Iron Spartans Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, Inc. Benefits Mike Truitt memorial scholarship fund via Los Medanos College. The run on Saturday, April 23, 2011, is to celebrate the life of Mike Truitt who died from cancer about six months after his retirement from the Antioch Police Department. Ride from Antioch to Ironstone Winery in Murphys. Entry fee includes lunch at Ironstone. Registration 8:30 – 9:45 am. Riders depart at 10 am. from the Antioch Police Department Community Room, 300 L Street, Antioch. Admission: Riders $25.00 Passengers $20.00.

Download the event flier here: Truitt Flier 2011 – 2

For more information, call or email Mike Schneider at 925-872-6461 or

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New, Healthier Food Restaurants Open in Antioch

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Fresh Choice, Muscle Maker Grill Offer Alternatives to Traditional and Fast Food Fare

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Antioch residents have the opportunity to eat healthier restaurant meals with the addition of two new restaurants that have or are opening this month. Both Fresh Choice and Muscle Maker Grill, located in the Golf Course Plaza Shopping Center at the corner of Lone Tree Way and Golf Course Road, have added Antioch to their list of locations.

Representatives of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, with restaurant owner Sandy Boyd and employees, Mayor Jim Davis and Councilman Gary Agopian, cut the ribbon officially opening the Fresh Choice location in Antioch.


After much anticipation, Fresh Choice is finally open in Antioch. Owner Sandy Boyd, as well as Mayor Jim Davis, were on hand for the ribbon cutting by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, on Friday, March 25. Boyd treated those in attendance to a free meal (including this writer – and it was all good), which included samples of their rotisserie chicken. Mmmm!

“This is the most warm welcome we’ve ever received from a community,” Boyd said.

They have their own farm and offer local, organic meals, with, as their website says, “enough options to satisfy the whole family. On average over 70% of their produce of over 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables is locally grown by over 20 local farmers, in addition to their own farm.

The restaurant features salads, soups, make-your-own dish pasta bar, bakery bar, pizza bar and a variety of desserts.

To learn more about Fresh Choice, visit their website by clicking here.

From left to right) Tony Shoman, Arthur G. Gunther, President of Muscle Maker Grill, Zee Dames and Sam Shaer in front of the new Muscle Maker Grill location in Antioch, set to open next week.


Muscle Maker Grill®, a chain of casual eateries that serves freshly prepared meals with your health in mind, announces it is expanding its reach to the West by securing a multi-unit franchise deal to develop five Muscle Maker Grill restaurants in the East Bay Area of California. This new agreement marks the chain’s first franchise deal in the Golden State and is a significant step towards the company’s national expansion plans. The first Muscle Maker Grill location in California is expected to open in Antioch in next week.

“We are excited to bring Muscle Maker Grill to California and are pleased to welcome our new franchise owners to our committed team,” said Rod Silva, founder of Muscle Maker Grill. “We are always looking to attract potential franchise partners with relevant experience who believe in our brand.”

Recently ranked as the fastest growing restaurant concept in the United States by Restaurant Chain magazine, Muscle Maker Grill currently has 30 restaurants open in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. New franchise owners Tony Shoman and Sam Shaer of Brentwood, and Zee Dames of Oakland decided to expand Muscle Maker Grill into their home state because they recognized the void in healthy restaurant franchise concepts in the area.

“California is a very active market and its residents are health-conscious, but it’s difficult to find fast dining options that fit into this lifestyle,” said Shoman, who is a restaurant industry veteran. “I ate at Muscle Maker Grill when I visited New Jersey and instantly knew its concept would be well-received in California.”

At Muscle Maker Grill, everything is prepared on premises with a menu that features lean, protein-based dishes, including chicken, seafood, pasta, burgers, wraps and entrée salads. It also offers a wide selection of protein shakes and supplements in an assortment of flavors, such as Tropical Paradise and Snappy Apple.

The atmosphere at Muscle Maker Grill is friendly, relaxed and casual. Each restaurant features an abundance of seating as well as TVs that provide a variety of entertainment programs. Muscle Maker Grill also offers take-out and delivery services.

Muscle Maker Grill was founded in 1995 by Silva with the goal of offering people a nutritious alternative to fast-food restaurants. A fitness enthusiast since he was 18, Silva recognized a void in the marketplace for tasty, healthy meal options. Silva’s vision has helped make Muscle Maker Grill one of the fastest-growing restaurant franchises in the country.

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