Archive for August, 2011

Antioch Barbershops Foster Community Spirit

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Slick's Barber Shop boasts eclectic decor, including a large model car collection and several musical instruments.

by Amy Claire

Most people recognize a pole with red and white stripes as the sign of a barber shop, and more and more Antioch residents are enjoying the old-time community feel of receiving a haircut or shave from a barber who is also a friend.

One of the oldest local barbershops, Slick’s, has been open for 20 years at 727 W. 10th Street. Owner Ken Rivera decided to make a career change and opened the shop, offering barbering services for men and boys. Slick’s is decorated with an enormous collection of model cars and includes a special play area for children. “Once you step in the door, you’re family,” Rivera said.

Denny Gonzales, co-owner of International Barber Shop at 200 Rossi Ave., echoed that sentiment. He and his business partner Jerald Staughter strive to maintain a family-friendly, relaxing environment in their shop. International offers diverse services, including hairstyles from all nationalities. Gonzales learned to cut hair as a child by watching his neighbor. “There’s no such thing as a perfect barber because you’re always learning,” he stated.

Lito Soliven, owner of Lito’s at 11 W. 6th Street, also began cutting hair as an adolescent, giving his first cut to his younger brother at the age of 11. Lito’s offers traditional barbering services and short women’s hairstyles. Soliven enjoys his work and the flexibility of business ownership, which allows him to spend more time with his daughter. Soliven shared that he is also an inventor, and is currently looking into patenting one of his creations.

Brian Martin of Delta Barber Shop at 1631 A Street also enjoys his entrepreneurial life. “You can run your business the way you see fit,” he said with a smile. He described Delta, open since 1964, as “very traditional,” primarily offering shaves and men’s haircuts.

Of course, barbers face challenges. Al’s barber shop at 11 W. 18th St. was recently robbed, though shop manager Al Stewart says it isn’t going to slow them down. “We’re still going to conduct business in the city of Antioch because there’s great people here,” he said. Al’s offers both modern and past-decade hairstyles. Stewart appreciates the influence he has as a barber: “When they don’t feel good about themselves, a haircut changes everything.”

The popularity and customer loyalty experienced by all of these shops certainly suggests that people value their hairstyles, but more significantly, they value the friendships they develop with their barbers.

Denny Gonzales shares a laugh with a customer at International Barber Shop.

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School Board Starts the Year with Optimism

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

by Amy Claire

At the first board meeting since the Antioch Unified School District began its 2011-2012 session, positive attitudes abounded. After the flag salute and approval of the previous meeting’s minutes, superintendent Donald Gill took a moment to thank the district’s teachers, staff, administrators, parents and students for helping the school year kick off “exceptionally well.”

Part of the smooth beginning was attributed to the fact that the district’s 70 summer construction projects are all complete or nearing completion.

Several new administrators introduced themselves to the board, including two new vice principals at Deer Valley High School, Rachel Bartlett Preston and Susan Ceballos. Mark McCain, Antioch Middle School’s new associate principal, thanked the district for their support during the transition. Scott Bergerhouse, who had been the co-principal at Deer Valley High School, shared his excitement at taking over as principal at Carmen Dragon Elementary School, saying, “I’ve got to be the happiest man in the world.”

Angela Hotchkiss, director of the district’s special education program, gave a presentation in which she announced that the program has met all of its improvement goals and has found several ways to improve its fiscal policy. She also said about 40 special education students currently attending nonpublic schools will be unable to return to Antioch schools until the 2013-14 school year for legal and fiscal reasons.

After approving expulsion re-entries, human resources positions, a contractor’s bid for work at Antioch Middle School, interfund transfers and purchasing procedures, and discussing future possibilities for Brown Act compliance training, the board closed the open meeting and returned to a closed session.

Next month’s school board meetings will take place at 7 p.m. on September 14 and 28 at 510 G Street in Antioch.

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Highway Closure at Loveridge Aug. 31 and Sept. 1

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

The contractor for the Highway 4 Loveridge Road project will close all lanes on eastbound Highway 4 at Loveridge Road during the early morning hours of Wednesday, August 31 and Thursday, September 1.

The closures will take place between 12:30 am and 5:30 am each day. This work is to ensure public and crew safety while crews work to place rebar cages for the bridge columns at Loveridge Road.

The detour for this work will be as follows: eastbound motorists traveling along SR-4 will be directed off SR-4 at the Loveridge Road off-ramp and immediately back on SR-4 at the eastbound on-ramp from Loveridge Road.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and allow extra time for their commute. Please drive with caution through the detour and leave a safe traveling distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. Caltrans and CCTA appreciate your patience as we work to improve the highways. For the most current information on all SR-4 corridor closures please visit our web site at:

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Antioch Police Department Canine Unit Fundraiser

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

A fundraiser in support of the Antioch Police Department’s Canine Unit will be held on August 27 and 28 from 10 am to 6 pm Pet Food Express, 5829 Lone Tree Way.

All proceeds from the pet wash or purchase of pet wash tokens will go directly to the APD K-9’s and Canine Unit. Members of the APD Canine Unit will be on hand throughout the day. So come and meet the K-9s and their partner officers. APD Canine Unit T-Shirts will also be available for purchase.

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Teacher of the Year Dinner

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

The Antioch Schools Education Foundation will be hosting their Annual Teacher of the Year Dinner on Tuesday, September 27 from 5:00pm- 7:30pm at the Lone Tree Gold Course Event Center.

We’re looking for Corporate Sponsors: $1,000.00 (Seating for 6) Friend of Education: $750. (Seating for 4) Patron: $500 (seating for 2) Individual Seating: $45.

Flyers for the event are available on the Antioch Unified School District home page or the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, 101 H St., Suite 4.

The 4th Annual Mary Allan Fellows Award winners will also be honored at the dinner, along with this year’s Antioch Teacher of the Year, Tom Gravert, and runner up Bonnie Berquist.

The following teachers were nominated by peers, parents and students in their schools: Winners: Thomas Gravert, Dozier-Libbey Medical High; Steve Kish, Deer Valley High School;
Chris Mathews, Antioch High School; Margaret Ricklie, Belshaw Elementary School; Finalists: Julie Cullimore, Bidwell High School; Stacey Wickware, Dozier-Libbey Medical High
School; Nominees: Kristofor Freeman, Deer Valley High School; Heather Keeton, Deer Valley High School; David Porcel, Diablo Vista Elementary School; Deidra Sheehan, Belshaw Elementary School.

It’s been a tough year for those in education and it doesn’t look it’s going to get any better in the very near future. Having the support of the community makes a hard job easier when teachers know they’re not alone.

We look forward to seeing you at this very special event on September 17, 2011.

If you have any questions please contact: Barbara Herendeen at (925) 754-3014 or Martha Goralka (925) 706-1419.

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Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Golf Under The Stars on Friday, August 27 at 6:30 P.M. at the Lone Tree Golf Course in Antioch. Lighted tee markers, flags, greens, & golf balls. Casual Buffet Dining. Live Auction. Contest – closest to the pin. Golfers bring just 9 iron, putter, & a flashlight . Just $150 PER COUPLE; $75 FOR SINGLES. Benefitting – The First Tee of Contra Costa – Antioch

For additional information please contact Martha Goralka (925)  706-1419, Rotary Club of the Delta.

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Another BART Protest Expected on Monday

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

BART Explains Cellphone Shutoff

Passenger Alert: Protests may disrupt BART service Mon., Aug. 22. Please be advised that protesters may attempt to disrupt BART service during the afternoon commute in downtown San Francisco BART stations.

As always, BART’s primary mission is to ensure your safety and keep trains on-time. BART may need to close some stations temporarily or make other service adjustments on short notice.

Know your alternative transportation plans. Take some time now to plan your transportation options. Visit for more information about alternative commute options.

BART will use its website, mobile website, text alerts, email alerts and Customer Services phone line to update you on any changes we may make to BART service. You should also consider and the web, mobile, email and sms services provided there.

Regional travel information: or dial 511. BART website news/advisories: BART mobile website news/advisories: BART email and SMS advisories: BART SMS on demand: Text ‘BART service’ to 878787 or see for more info. BART Phone Center: 510-465-BART (2278). BART Twitter: @SFBART

For urgent matters on BART dial 911, call (510) 464-7000, use the train intercom or contact a Station Agent. Here are additional useful numbers: BART Police (non-emergency): 510-464-7000; San Francisco Police (emergency) 911 or 415-553-8090.

A letter from BART to our customers

By Bob Franklin, BART Board of Directors President
Sherwood Wakeman, Interim General Manager

BART’s top priority is to ensure the safety of its passengers. Prior to a planned protest on August 11, 2011, BART obtained credible information that led us to conclude that the safety of the BART system would be compromised. Out of an overriding concern for our passengers’ safety, BART made the decision to temporarily interrupt cell phone service on portions of its system.

We are aware that the interruption had the effect of temporarily preventing cellular communications for many BART passengers and their families; and we regret any inconvenience caused by the interruption. We want to take this opportunity to share some of the information that led to this decision.

Imminent Threat of Unlawful and Dangerous Activities on BART Platforms

On July 11, a group gathered at the BART Civic Center Station in San Francisco to protest the fact that, on July 3, a BART Police Officer shot and killed Charles Hill at that station.

During that protest, one person climbed on top of a train and many other individuals blocked train doorways and held train doors open. During the course of the event, which occurred during the peak of rush hour, individuals used BART trains to move between stations, and caused the shutdown or partial shutdown of other stations.

These actions violated the law by creating a serious threat to the safe operation of the BART system, disrupting the service of 96 BART trains (approximately two-thirds of the trains operating during the rush hour), causing the closing of stations, and putting at risk the safety of thousands of passengers and BART employees.

When trains are not able to move or pick up passengers, the platforms can quickly become overcrowded. This is very dangerous due to the increased possibility that people will fall from the platforms onto the trackway. The trackway is five feet below the platform edge and contains the electrified 3rd rail.

Also, when one train stops, all trains behind it must stop. In some cases, trains must stop in tunnels, which delays the arrival of emergency medical help for passengers in need of assistance. Additionally, self-evacuation by passengers in underground tunnels is another potential dangerous outcome of interference with BART service.

    Planned August 11 Protest

Early in the week of August 8, the BART Police Department received credible information that individuals were planning a surprise demonstration against BART police shootings at specific BART station platforms on August 11. On August 10, BART Police obtained further information regarding the individuals’ plans for color-coded teams to conduct lawless activity on the platforms. The additional information disclosed detailed organizational coordination among multiple “affinity groups” in addition to the organization that had sponsored the July 11 disruption.

The August 10 intelligence revealed that the individuals would be giving and receiving instructions to coordinate their activities via cell phone after their arrival on the train platforms at more than one station. Individuals were instructed to text the location of police officers so that the organizers would be aware of officer locations and response times. The overall information about the planned protest led BART to conclude that the planned action constituted a serious and imminent threat to the safety of BART passengers and personnel and the safe operation of the BART system, at a level that could far exceed the protest of July 11.

Based on that assessment, BART decided to interrupt cell phone service at targeted portions of its system for up to 4 hours, beginning at 4:00 p.m., the time that the individuals were scheduled to assemble. BART notified the affected cellular service providers shortly before it implemented the temporary interruption. Service was turned back on at 7 p.m., earlier than planned, when safety concerns abated.

At the affected portions of the BART system, there was no cellular service on the platform level, and service on the concourse level was also affected in some areas. Cellular service was fully available at the street level and at all above-ground BART stations and trackways.

BART took prudent measures to protect passengers during the time that cell phone service was unavailable. More than 120 extra BART uniformed Police Officers and Operations personnel carrying radios and wearing reflective vests were assigned to be in the four downtown San Francisco stations and on trains traveling between those stations.

Additionally, passenger courtesy phones on the platform were available to provide direct communication with Station Agents. BART also has intercoms at each end of each train car, allowing passengers to contact the operator for assistance. No passenger emergencies were reported to BART during the period of the cellular service interruption.

    First Amendment Issues

For more than 25 years, BART has had a policy regarding the exercise of First Amendment free speech rights in areas of its stations where it can be done safely and without interference with BART’s primary mission of providing safe, efficient and reliable public transportation services. To implement this policy, BART has designated the areas of its stations that are accessible to the general public without the purchase of tickets as unpaid areas that are open for expressive activity upon issuance of a permit subject to BART’s rules.

To protect public safety and provide safe and efficient public transportation, BART has restricted access to the “Paid” and “Platform” areas of its stations to BART station employees and ticketed passengers who are boarding, exiting or waiting for BART trains.

BART’s temporary interruption of cell phone service was not intended to and did not affect any First Amendment rights of any person to protest in a lawful manner in areas at BART stations that are open for expressive activity. The interruption did prevent the planned coordination of illegal activity on the BART platforms, and the resulting threat to public safety.

    BART’s Future Plans

At a special Board meeting on Wednesday, the Board will discuss the temporary interruption of cell service on portions of the BART system that occurred on August 11, and we invite the public to participate in this discussion.

Thank for your patience and we value your continued support.

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Teen Killed at Birthday Party

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

On August 20 at 10:17 p.m. Antioch police officers were dispatched to a residence in the 2800 block of Seville Circle on a report of several gunshots. As officers were responding, dispatch received other calls that a person had been shot.

Officers along with medical personnel arrived and began life saving efforts on a 16-year-old Oakley male. He was transported to Sutter Delta Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds.

A 17-year-old Antioch female, who was also shot while at the residence, was driven to the hospital by a friend. She had a single gunshot wound, was treated for her injury and later released.

The information provided was that the shootings happened during a birthday party with numerous people attending. The shooter and victim had words before the victim was shot. Police are in the process of determining what lead up to the shooting and how the female was injured.

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