Archive for May, 2011

Fitness Boot Camp

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Quesada Family Chiropractic & The Beeson Fitness Team Presents Fitness Boot Camp on Saturday, June 4th @ 9am at 2901 Lone Tree Way Ste B in Antioch.

Get In Shape NOW! Lose weight, Make new friends and Have fun doing it! The Boot Camp will be fun for all fitness levels. We will use weights, Resistance bands, Isometrics, Partnering exercises and Sports related exercises.

Pre-register today and get $5 off – ONLY $20. Then Bring a Friend and get an additional $5 off For Both of you! Join Us and get the BEST workout of your life.

This is a chance to meet with One of the Top Fitness Teams in the East Bay.

Quesada Family Chiropractic: 2901 Lone Tree Way Ste B, Antioch, CA 94509, (925) 777-0311

The Beeson Fitness Team: (925) 349-9691, thebeesonfitnessteam@yahoo.com, www.thebeesonfitnessteam.com.

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Council Adopts Anti-Global Warming Plan

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Could lead to higher costs, major lifestyle changes

By Dave Roberts

The City Council on Tuesday night adopted a plan designed to help fight global warming, but which will also likely increase costs for energy, new appliances and equipment and result in changes in Antioch’s car-oriented, suburban lifestyle.

There has been an ongoing controversy over how much, or even whether, the planet is warming and, if so, whether it’s man-made or due to the natural cycles of the sun and Earth.

The controversy escalated in the past year in the wake of the Climategate e-mail scandal that revealed falsified or unavailable data by leading global warming researchers and their campaign to silence warming skeptics. Polls have also shown increased skepticism by the public about the reality and dangers of global warming.

Despite that, Antioch’s Climate Action Plan begins by declaring, “The debate is over. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that human-induced climate change is among the most pressing environmental and social problems facing this generation and those to come.”

The plan’s goal is to reduce by the year 2020 Antioch’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below the city’s level in 2005, and reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Antioch released 358,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2005, according to the plan.

In order to meet the plan’s goals, Antioch residents and businesses will need to reduce that to 264,000 metric tons by 2020 and to 72,000 metric tons by 2050 – despite the city adding tens of thousands of new residents and hundreds of new businesses in the meantime.

The Climate Action Plan is part of a statewide effort led by two pieces of legislation, AB 32 and SB 375. Proponents argue that the state’s emission-reduction measures will be a boon to the economy, creating “green” jobs in renewable energy and saving residents and businesses money through more energy-efficient appliances and equipment.

But critics warn that higher energy costs from switching from cheap gas and oil to costly renewable energy like solar and wind and additional mandates on businesses will further stagger California’s economy, which is still reeling from the Great Recession.

Two Cal State, Sacramento economics professors concluded that AB 32 will result in California’s small businesses paying an additional $49,691, families facing increased annual costs of $3,857 and the state losing more than one million jobs.

Their study has been criticized by AB 32 supporters, but the impartial Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a national plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would cost taxpayers $1.2 trillion ($156 billion in California) between 2009 and 2018 and cost the private sector more than $90 billion per year from 2012 to 2016.

The Environmental Protection Agency agreed, saying it would result in a reduction in the U.S. gross domestic product by $1 trillion-$2.8 trillion ($130 billion-$364 billion in California) in 2050.

Antioch’s Climate Action Plan does not specify the costs to city residents and businesses of meeting the emission-reduction targets. But that was a concern of Councilman Gary Agopian, who asked to change the plan’s requirement that building owners make energy-efficient upgrades when they renovate or sell a building.

That requirement was estimated to affect 5,000 homes in Antioch that would be sold or renovated over the next 10 years. Requiring energy-efficient upgrades would reduce 4,131 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in the city, according to the plan.

“We have declining home values and a considerable amount of costs with (real estate) transactions,” said Agopian, who is a realtor. “Adding costs at the point of sale is not the most effective way to implement this strategy. I suggest we use the word ‘promote’ rather than ‘require.’

“I would hate to think of the potential requirements like replacing our toilets, shower fixtures, furnaces, air conditioning, appliances, windows or any number of things in order to hit this goal – that cost to the home buyer and seller would be astronomical, very, very expensive.”

None of the other council members objected to Agopian’s suggested change, and Julie Haas-Wajdowicz, Antioch’s environmental resource coordinator, said that “require” would be changed to “promote.” Although she added that it would make it hard to reach the goal of retrofitting 5,000 homes with energy-efficient appliances.

She noted that the Antioch Board of Realtors had also objected to the requirement in February. No one commented on the plan from the audience.

The plan lists dozens of strategies to meet the emission targets, focused on green building, renewable energy, transportation, land use, education, and waste management.

The main land use strategy is through high-density, transit-oriented development, such as the village being planned next to the Hillcrest eBART Station. The land use strategy also includes encouraging low-maintenance landscaping by getting away from grass lawns along with other water conservation efforts.

Transportation strategies include the construction of eBART, providing car-pool lanes in the widened Highway 4, ride-sharing, getting more kids to walk, bicycle or ride the bus to school, increased use of hybrid, electric, biodiesel and natural gas cars and more bicycling and walking by all residents.

Building strategies include energy-efficient mandates on new construction, loans for building retrofits and purchase of efficient appliances and increased use of solar, wind and geothermal energy. However, some council members have previously expressed concern about a windmill proposed by Delta Diablo Sanitation District that would be as tall as the length of a football field, becoming the most prominent structure in the city.

Strategies to educate residents and change their behavior include encouraging conservation, composting, recycling (including adding food scrap collection to curbside recycling) and walking once a week (a half-mile for every Antioch resident).

The city’s emissions will be measured every five years to monitor progress in reaching the reduction target.

In other action at Tuesday’s meeting:

• Lyle Chambers asked for the council’s help in stemming the violence and crime in the Sycamore Drive corridor. Mayor Jim Davis encouraged him to help beef up the community’s neighborhood watch group.

• The council extended the moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries for nearly two years.

• The council responded to a County Grand Jury report on city vehicle use and council member compensation. Antioch officials said they don’t have a problem with allowing 11 vehicles to be taken home for possible emergency uses.

The Grand Jury reported that Antioch’s council costs $112,591, which is higher than the $77,895 average for cities in the county. Council members receive $53,746 of that in salary or meeting fees, $1,922 in health insurance and $5,576 in pensions and deferred compensation.

The council’s response is that it’s unfair to compare cities of different sizes and budgets; however, the city will provide more transparency on council compensation during the annual budget review.

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Applications for Keller grants are now available

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Nonprofit agencies and government entities that seek grants from the Keller Canyon Mitigation Trust Fund can begin applying today. The Board of Supervisors approved on May 24 new procedures that will make the grants more competitive and focuses the services and programs for the benefit of a primary and secondary mitigation areas.

“The changes were spurred by the auditor’s report done last year,” said Supervisor Federal Glover, who has been charged by the board to manage the fund. “The fund had never been audited since it began 20 years ago so it time. I was not surprised that the auditor saw a need for increased monitoring and to improve the application process. I welcome the recommendations.”

The primary area includes Bay Point, most of Pittsburg and parts of Concord. The secondary area includes Antioch and the rest of Pittsburg.

The grants are mostly from $500 to $10,000. Generally, applications that fall into the following categories will receive additional consideration:
Youth Services, Code Enforcement, Public Safety, Community Beautification and Community Services.

Applicants must have registered nonprofit status. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a bidders’ conference on May 31, 2011 at 9 a.m. at the Pittsburg Senior Center, 200 Presidio Lane, Pittsburg. Staff will provide general grant information and some general technical assistance on the
submittal requirements, as well as the review and award process. Attendance is not mandatory.

Applications are available on the supervisor’s website: www.cccounty.us/supervisorglover. For further information, call Supervisor Glover’s office, (925) 427-8138.

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Restore the Delta Blasts Pumping Bill

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Recent massive fish kills at the water project pumps in the south Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta highlight the folly of H.R. 1837, Congressman Devin Nunes’s resolution to guarantee water supplies to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Nunes’s San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act would undo years of efforts to balance Delta restoration with water supply reliability and to restore the San Joaquin River.

Said Delta farmer Brett Baker, “H.R. 1837 is an end run around California’s water rights laws. It puts junior rights holders ahead of Delta agriculture, Indian tribes, and fish. Forget public trust protections.”

Recovery of the West Coast’s recreational and commercial fishing industries is threatened by operation of federal and state water projects, which create conditions hostile to fish. Since last week, close to three million Sacramento splittails as well as hundreds of endangered spring-run chinook salmon have died as export pumping continued, despite the fact that reservoirs are full.

Export contractors have refused to pay for fish screens at the pumps.

Nunes argues that federal endangered species protections have cost tens of thousands of jobs in impoverished San Joaquin Valley communities. But research by Dr. Jeffrey Michael of the University of the Pacific’s Business Forecasting Center has shown conclusively that San Joaquin Valley job losses are lower than claimed and have been driven by the housing construction collapse.

Unemployment in San Joaquin Valley communities like Mendota and Firebaugh has risen dramatically since water project deliveries for desert agriculture began in the 1960s. “These communities have been impoverished for decades regardless of how much water has been available,” said Restore the Delta’s Jane Wagner-Tyack. “Now their suffering is being used to justify actions that will destroy jobs in other parts of the state.”

Even with pumping restrictions to protect salmon and other species, average exports from the Delta are now similar to what they were in the 1980s and 1990s. Several years of dramatic increases in pumping during the past decade have driven some species of fish to the brink of extinction.

Millions of tax dollars have been spent on scientific reviews confirming the adverse effects of project over-pumping.

Restore the Delta is a broad-based coalition including Delta farmers, environmentalists, fishermen, business leaders, and concerned citizens. Restore the Delta advocates for a more comprehensive and thoughtful approach to address the state’s water needs, including projects that safeguard the Bay, the Delta, the environment, and the people of California.

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Sport Legends Program Meeting

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

The mission of the Antioch Sports Legends Program under the auspices of the Antioch Historical Society is preserving local sports history, honoring sports achievement excellence, and connecting local generations.

Adult volunteers interested in assisting with this program are invited to attend the Antioch Sports Legends Committee’s regular monthly meetings. These meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Antioch Historical Society Museum located at 1500 West 4th Street in Antioch. The next meeting will be on Wed., June 1st at 6:30 p.m.

For further information, visit Antioch Sports Legends.com or contact Eddie Beaudin (925.383.4979) or Tom Menasco (925.325.3255).

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Congressman Garamendi’s Latest Votes and Legislation

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

From Project Vote Smart (click for website)

5/5/11 – Rep. Garamendi voted “NO” on HR1230, “Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act” – bill text here – bill passed House

Project Vote Smart’s Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct offshore oil and gas lease sales.

Highlights:

-Requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct the following offshore oil and gas lease sales (Secs. 2-5):

    -Lease Sale 216 in the Central Gulf of Mexico no later than 4 months after the enactment of this bill;
    -Lease Sale 218 in the Western Gulf of Mexico no later than 8 months after the enactment of this bill;
    -Lease Sale 220 on the outer continental shelf offshore Virginia no later than 1 year after the enactment of this bill; and
    -Lease Sale 222 in the Central Gulf of Mexico no later than June 1, 2012.

5/4/11 – Rep. Garamendi voted “NO” on HR3, “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” Prohibiting Taxpayer Funding of Abortion – bill text here – bill passed House

5/4/11 – Rep. Garamendi voted “NO” on HR1214, Repealing Funding for School-Based Health Center Construction – bill text here – bill passed House

5/3/11 – Rep. Garamendi voted “NO” on HR1213, Repealing Funding for State Health Benefit Exchanges – bill text here – bill pass House

To repeal mandatory funding provided to States in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to establish American Health Benefit Exchanges

4/14/11 – Rep. Garamendi voted “NO” on HR1473, the 2011 Budget,  “Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011” – bill text here – bill passed House and Senate

4/13/11 – Rep. Garamendi voted “NO” on HR1217, “To repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund” – bill text here – bill passed House

Vote to pass a bill that repeals the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) and rescinds any unobligated funds.

4/8/11 – Rep. Garamendi voted “NO” on HJRes37 (House Joint Resolution), Disapproving FCC Rules Concerning Internet Providers, “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications” – bill text here – bill passed House

Vote to pass a joint resolution that disapproves a rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to open Internet and broadband industry practices.

4/7/11 – Rep. Garamendi voted “NO” on HR910, “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011” – bill text here – bill passed House

From GovTrack (website here)

Rep. Garamendi has missed 6% of his votes this year, 7% since he was elected in 2009.

“John Garamendi has sponsored 11 bills since Jan 6, 2009 of which 11 haven’t made it out of committee and none were successfully enacted. Garamendi has co-sponsored 244 bills during the same time period”. He has introduced the following, recent legislation

H.R. 486: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area Establishment Act
H.Res. 64: Honoring the life and work of Robert Sargent Shriver.
H.R. 487: Manufacture Renewable Energy Systems: Make it in America Act of 2011
H.R. 612: West Coast Ocean Protection Act of 2011
H.R. 613: Airports, Highways, High-Speed Rail, Trains, and Transit: Make it in America Act
May 24, 2011 6:45 PM Aye
Failed 182-232, 17 not voting
May 24, 2011 6:38 PM Aye
Failed 186-231, 14 not voting
May 24, 2011 6:30 PM No
Failed 14-397, 20 not voting
May 24, 2011 2:40 PM No
Passed 238-181, 12 not voting
May 24, 2011 2:32 PM Nay
Passed 233-179, 19 not voting
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Major BART delays on Weekends

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

On two weekends in May and June, there will be major delays for some customers traveling through BART’s Transbay Tube due to vital maintenance and repair work. The delays are necessary to accommodate work on the cables that provide power to the track.

BART’s best estimate is that delays for trains in both directions will be approximately 20 to 40 minutes on the lines requiring transfers (trains coming from or going toward Dublin or Fremont) and 5 to 10 minutes on the other lines (trains coming from or going toward Richmond or Pittsburg/Bay Point) during the hours listed below.

During the hours listed below, customers who are traveling from any San Francisco or Peninsula station toward Dublin or Fremont will need to take a Pittsburg/Bay Point-bound train to travel through the Tube. You will need to get off the train at 12th Street Station in Oakland and go downstairs to transfer to a special Dublin or a Fremont-bound train.

During the hours listed below, customers who are traveling from Fremont or Dublin to San Francisco and Daly City will need to board their usual train. These trains will be diverted to MacArthur Station. This diversion is necessary because the trains originating in Fremont and Dublin during the hours work is performed will not travel through the Tube. Customers should get off the train at 12th Street Station in Oakland and go downstairs to transfer to a San Francisco-bound train.

BART recommends that you adjust your travel plans accordingly to take into account these delays, and apologizes for the inconvenience.

SATURDAY, MAY 28: Work starts after the last train on Friday. Work ends at 7:30 am
SUNDAY, MAY 29: Work starts after the last train Saturday. Work ends at 2:30 pm
MONDAY, MAY 30: Work starts after the last train Sunday. Work ends at 2:30 pm (Also please note that BART will be running on a Sunday schedule on Monday, May 30, for the Memorial Day holiday)
SATURDAY, JUNE 4: Work starts after the last train Friday. Work ends at 7:30 am
SUNDAY, JUNE 5: Work starts after the last train Saturday. Work ends at 2:30 pm

If you need language assistance services, please call BART’s Transit Information Center at (510) 465-2278.

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Deer Valley’s Rhyan is AD of the Year

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Tim Rhyan, Deer Valley High School’s veteran Athletic Director will garner top honors from California Coaches Association (CCA) this year when he will receive an Athletic Director of the Year award at its June 11 awards dinner in Sacramento.

Rhyan was selected from Athletic Directors throughout the state for his professional contribution of time, service and dedication to his profession and athletics. His career spans 40 plus years of coaching and teaching at both high schools and junior colleges in Contra Costa County. For the past 12 years he has led Deer Valley High School’s Athletic Department where under his unique leadership one-third of its student body participates in athletics.

Rhyan’s emphasis on both academics and athletics equals success for not only him, but also the school’s varsity teams who won half of all the Bay Valley Athletic League Championships in 2009-10. Among his contributions that set him apart are his authorship and implementation of multiple sports policy guides for the Antioch School District. He has also served as site director for numerous North Coast Section events, and sits on the North Coast Section Eligibility Committee.

A Pleasant Hill native, Rhyan, 65, is a graduate of College Park High School where he was an all-league player who received a full scholarship to Utah State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. He later attended St. Mary’s College in Orinda where he received a Masters Degree in Athletic Administration.

CCA is a professional organization of California coaches, dedicated to maintaining the highest possible standards for athletic competition and coaching conditions in the State. Their focus is on leadership, education, training, ethics, goodwill and cultural diversity.

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