Archive for August, 2012

Help Save Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, One of Antioch’s Endangered Species, this Saturday

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Supporter of Lang’s Metalmark Butterfly, enjoy a kite flying event on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at City Park in Antioch.

By Allen Payton, Publisher & Matti Switz

Rachael Van Schoik is part of a group working to conserve the Lange’s Metalmark butterfly, one of Antioch’s own endangered species. It is a beautiful animal only the size of a quarter and is found only at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, the only Wildlife Refuge set up for the protection of an insect.

Only 32 adults saw it last year” stated Van Schoik. She and her group want ensure more people can see one.

So following on the heels of the Metalmark Kite Festival last Saturday, August 18, they’re hosting a restoration field day this Saturday, August 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dunes.

The public is invited to “Come get your hands dirty and pull weeds to help clean the reserve where the butterfly is found,” Van Schoik said. “Attendees will be provided lunch and entered into a raffle for Bay Area museum tickets and other cool prizes.”

At the kite festival, Antioch families and friends joined together at City Park to show their support for the critically endangered butterfly.

Children painted kites and drew pictures of the butterfly, and Refuge managers came to talk about how people could help and ways to get involved. As parents, children, and neighbors enjoyed face painting, free kites, food and drinks, fake butterfly tattoos and magnets, they wrote and colored letters asking the California Energy Commission, GenOn, and PG&E to make sure that the butterflies and community remains healthy and safe. These letters will be delivered by the same Save the Metalmark campaign group who organized the festival, a team affiliated with the Tatzoo Bootcamp, a non-profit group that aims to bring attention to local endangered species in the surrounding bay area.

“In the past several years, the California Energy Commission has authorized three new power plants within one mile of the existing Contra Costa County Power Plant in Antioch. These approvals would leave Antioch with one of the largest concentrations of power plant emissions in the Bay Area. While the energy will be distributed to San Francisco and other urban areas, the concentrated emissions will threaten public health in nearby communities and push the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, whose last wild habitats will be partially surrounded by power plants, closer than ever to extinction.” http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2011/antioch-power-plant-12-20-2011.html

Attendees were asked to pledge their support to spend at least one day doing some much needed restoration work at the dunes. Those able to come to this week’s weeding party are entered in a raffle to win free prizes donated by bay area museums and various community organizations.

Lange’s Metalmark butterfly – photo by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


Though perhaps a small symbolic gesture, the 30 or so kites that flew in the air Saturday remind us that there is hope that the butterflies can still make a comeback. With a small investment of tender love and care, we can make sure these butterflies stay with us for the foreseeable future. Antioch, and the Contra Costa and entire Bay Area has a real chance to say “no to pollution!” and “no to extinction!” where the effect can be felt for generations to come.

According to the Antioch Dunes’ website, the refuge was established in 1980 and “provides protection for three endangered species: Lange’s Metalmark butterfly, Antioch Dunes evening primrose and Contra Costa wallflower. The refuge and a few acres of surrounding lands contain most of the remaining habitat for these three species and are all that remain of a nine kilometer stretch of sand dunes formed during glaciation periods.”

The butterfly and the primrose are symbiotic, meaning they both depend on each other, to live.

If you are interested in counting butterflies or volunteering at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, call (707) 769-4200, or go to www.fws.gov/sfbayrefuges/antioch. The Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public but docent-led tours are at 10 a.m. the second Saturday of every month.

If you would like to know more about the Save the Metalmark Campaign, or come to the restoration party, you can see their website at savethemetalmark.wordpress.com

You can also pledge your support to help at the dunes by clicking here.


 

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Give Your Home a Tune Up Before Putting it on the Market

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Home sellers with equity have one goal—to sell their home as quickly as possible for the highest market price. Most of the homebuyers in today’s’ market are looking for properties that don’t require a lot of work or “turn key”. Homeowners that are proactive and make needed repairs before putting their homes on the market help fill this demand. A home in move-in condition is almost always the most desirable and will command top dollar and multiple offers.

To accomplish this inspect both inside and outside the home. Take inventory of practical and aesthetic repairs. You may want to apply a fresh coat of paint on the walls, doors, and trim. Clean the carpet and buff and polish wooden floors. Power wash the sidewalks and driveways, and clean any stains on them. Clean or re-grout kitchen and bathrooms. Repair dripping faucets and drains or plumbing fixtures that aren’t operating. Take a look at the light fixtures, the bathroom and kitchen faucets. This is a great opportunity to update with minimal cost and excellent return. Replace burned-out bulbs and broken electrical sockets. Replace cracked windows and torn screens. Repair broken fencing and put a fresh coat of stain on the fences and the deck.

I recommend hiring a professional home inspector to thoroughly and impartially evaluate the property. A standard report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, and visible structure.

By obtaining the pre-inspection it avoids any surprises and allows you to review and prioritize the list of repairs. Many major remodeling projects will only return pennies on the dollar. Let your budget and your real estate professional guide you.

In addition to repairs or deferred maintenance, staging is an excellent way of showcasing the positive attributes of your home to maximize return. In order to accomplish this you need to de-personalize the home. This does NOT mean taking down and hiding every personal picture but it does mean to minimize. Start packing that rare clown collection or the special teddy bear room. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. The basics of staging are neutral but not plain, declutter less is definitely more, let the light in, and remember to review all the rooms.

A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to give your home a tune up will go a long way in making sure that your home is presented to potential buyers in its best possible light and will make the sale. Feel free to contact me for a free consultation and action plan.

Patrick McCarran can be reached at www.PatrickMcCarran.com or (925) 899-5536. Prudential California Realty is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. is a Prudential company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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A Better Kind of Clean from Capital Carpet Cleaning

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Travis Moorer and his carpet cleaning van

By Allen Payton, Publisher

You will get the Most Through Carpet, Upholstery and Tile Cleaning on the Planet, Or it’s FREE!” Now that’s a tough slogan to fulfill. Yet, it’s exactly what Travis Moorer and his Capital Carpet Cleaning & Repairs business do.

They want their customers to be “super pleased,” in fact, absolutely delighted with every carpet, upholstery or tile and grout cleaning job they do. 

Moorer offers a different kind of clean, a better kind of clean for his customers. That’s because he’s been tested and earned the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. In addition, he uses high-end equipment, such as the roto-vac which rotates 300 times a minute with two rotating heads and six jets, as opposed to two with most commercial cleaners. Plus, he’s knowledgeable.

There’s a science behind cleaning carpets,” Moorer stated. “You need to leave the carpets in a natural PH.”

They wash the carpet with cleaning solution, like all other carpet cleaners. But, then the Capital process includes washing out that soap to remove any residue which attracts more dirt.

If you don’t do that, your carpets will become dirtier, faster,” he added.

Travis Moorer using his high-end roto-vac carpet cleaning machine.


In addition, Moorer understands the impact on people’s health from proper cleaning.

One controllable culprit in the battle with allergens is the house dust mite, a microscopic insect which is found in our homes,” he points out. “ The bedroom is particularly vulnerable for allergy sufferers as we spend one-third of our life in bed.”

The fact is we shed skin scales – dust mite food – into our beds, collected by the linens, pillows mattresses, carpet and upholstery.  All these are ideal breeding grounds for the house dust mite. In the average home, dust mites can double their numbers in just 10 hours.  You get 100,000 dead bodies and thirty million pieces of feces added to your home every day.

Most people don’t realize just how soiled their furniture is and how much contaminated dirt, pollen, dust mite feces, pollution and grunge sits in the cushions,” Moorer pointed out. “If it’s more than a year old, the accumulated soil and biological matter is enough to feed an entire dust mite colony!”

But, there’s good news for the willies that information just gave you.

These allergens can be removed with our deep, most thorough carpet cleaning,” he proudly states.

Moorer started Capital in 2001, just a couple weeks after 9-11. Then in 2004 he bought out his partner. He plans to expand and add technicians to serve a more broader clientele.

The fact that he guarantees his work is the key to his success – satisfied customers. For example, if a spot reappears, it will usually happen in a few days. But, Moore gives customers 30 days to call him back and fix it free of charge.

If a customer is not happy with their work, Capital will reclean the are for free. They’ll even redo their competitor’s work for half-price.

If you had your carpets cleaned by a competitor in the last 30 days and aren’t satisfied, they’ll clean it for half the cost of what you paid their competitor. Now that’s confidence.

To contact Moorer and Capital Carpet Cleaning & Repair, call (925) 238-0025 for a free estimate or visit www.capitalcarpetcleaningpro.com.

 

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Bicyclist Hit, Killed by Truck in Antioch

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

By Sergeant Quintero, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Friday, August 17, 2012 at about 5:20 a.m., a 50-year-old male Antioch resident was traveling westbound on E. 18th Street near St. Claire Drive in his Dodge pickup truck. At that time, the truck struck a 34-year-old female Antioch resident on a bicycle in the westbound lane of E. 18th Street.

The drive of the truck stopped and phoned 911 for assistance. The bicyclist sustained severe injuries and was flown to John Muir Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries. The names of the involved parties are not yet being released pending notification of family members.

The driver of the truck is cooperating with the investigation and did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or has additional information is requested to call the Antioch Police Department at (925) 778-2441 or call the investigating Officer, Robert Solari, at 779-6000 x82372 and leave a message.

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Traffic Advisory: State Route 4 Westbound Lane Shift at Somersville Road Starting Sunday, August 19

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) are widening State Route 4 (SR-4) through Pittsburg and Antioch. Construction has reached a milestone with the completion of the westbound Somersville Road Bridge.

Traffic flow on SR-4 at Somersville Road will be modified over several nights during the week of August 19, 2012, and westbound traffic will shift to the newly completed bridge. During this time frame, all westbound lanes and several ramps in the vicinity will periodically be closed to traffic overnight to accommodate the work.

Once all the traffic modifications on SR-4 at Somersville Road are completed, construction will begin on the new eastbound permanent pavement in this vicinity. Eastbound traffic will be temporarily shifted to the new westbound bridge. There will then be two eastbound and two westbound lanes on the new structure. While this traffic detour is in place, the old/inactive eastbound bridge will then be demolished and construction will begin on a new eastbound bridge and an eBART bridge.

The SR-4 Widening Project includes over $570 million in State, Federal, and Contra Costa Measure J sales tax, and other local funds to widen SR-4 from four to eight lanes between Loveridge Road and SR-160. The combined effort of Caltrans and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority on projects in the SR4 corridor will reduce congestion, create a safer roadway, improve operations, and reduce traffic delays on this important east-west connector.

When completed, the SR-4 highway median will be used to extend BART service from Pittsburg/Bay Point to a new station at Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch.

The project web site at: http://widensr4.org will have updated lane closure information. Caltrans and CCTA appreciate your patience as we work to improve the highways

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Kaiser Permanente Awards $616,500 to Local Non-profit and Public Agencies

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Grants provide access to health care, reduce obesity rates and improve adolescent health

Kaiser Permanente in the Diablo Area is proud to announce its 2012 grantees. The grants, totaling more than $600,000 will provide financial support to local nonprofit, public health, and human service organizations that serve vulnerable communities.

Diablo Area grants are made to organizations serving East and Central Contra Costa County and the Tri-Valley Area of Alameda County and are for one year. Each of the grants will support the following one of the following objectives: increasing access to health insurance coverage and health care services; reducing obesity rates and improving adolescent health.

There are 40 grants being distributed to 38 local non-profit and public agencies.

Among the highlights (full list at the end of the release):

  • In East Contra Costa County, $259,500 in grant funding will help the community.

    • Brighter Beginnings will use $15,000 to decrease teen pregnancy rates and increase Chlamydia screenings.

    • The Bay Point Community Foundation will use $3,000 to start a biking club for teens, working with a bike specialist and exploring the trails around the community.

    • Meals on Wheels will be using $5,000 to provide low-impact exercise to seniors who live in Bay Point.

    • And $30,000 grant to St. Vincent de Paul supports their RotaCare free clinic which offers primary care and chronic disease management to low income residents who have no health insurance.

“Our mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Marianne Balin, community benefit manager for Kaiser Permanente in the Diablo Area. “These grants will help the underserved in our community gain access to health care services, learn ways to increase healthy habits while decreasing obesity, and improve adolescent sexual health. We are grateful for the work our grantees are doing in the community and we are glad that we can provide this funding and be a partner to help move their projects forward.”

For more information on Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit Program, visit: http://info.kaiserpermanente.org/communitybenefit/

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/newscenter

Kaiser Permanente Diablo Area Grants:

  • Ambrose Recreation and Park District: Non-competitive physical activity program for preschoolers ($9,500)

  • Axis Community Health, Inc: Support for eligibility specialist to help patients secure or maintain health coverage through public programs ($30,000)

  • Bay Area Communities for Health Education (BACHE): Workshops in East Contra Costa County to help parents talk with their kids about sex ($7,000)

  • Bay Point Community Foundation: Teen bike club in Bay Point ($3,000)

  • Brighter Beginnings: Teen peer education about pregnancy prevention and Chlamydia screening in East Contra Costa County ($15,000)

  • Center for Human Development: Development and deployment of Youth Nutrition Advocate team to serve as peer educators and policy advocates, with a special focus on decreasing soda consumption ($13,000)

  • City of Livermore: Community nutrition classes focused on healthy food choices and healthy cooking for senior citizens and teens ($10,000)

  • Community Child Care Council of Alameda County: Development of nutrition and physical activity policies for 15 child care programs that serve vulnerable families in the Tri-Valley ($10,000)

  • Community Resources for Independent Living (CRIL): Healthy Living & Aging Fair for Tri-Valley seniors & persons with disabilities – special focus on enrollment in public benefits ($10,000)

  • Contra Costa Child Care Council/Healthy and Active Before 5: Increase physical activity in child care and other settings using a framework for encouraging play ($25,000)

  • Contra Costa Health Services/Prenatal Care Guidance Program: Promote access to early prenatal care among African American and Hispanic mothers through outreach, case management and an education campaign on Presumptive Eligibility Medi-Cal. ($25,000)

  • Contra Costa Health Services: Develop a collaborative and a plan to replicate Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Initiative in East Contra Costa County. ($30,000)

  • Contra Costa Health Services – NEW Kids Program: A community-based comprehensive pediatric weight management program that includes family involvement, nutrition education, and physical activity ($25,000)

  • Desarrollo Familiar, Inc.: Health education for adolescents aged 12-17 to encourage responsible sexual activity and pregnancy prevention ($10,000)

  • East Bay Bicycle Coalition: Bicycle safety education to low-income families in the Monument neighborhood of Concord to encourage residents to make safe bicycling a regular part of a healthy active lifestyle ($12,000)

  • East County Faith Based Subcommittee to the Child Welfare Redesign: Distribution of kitchen starter kits to families and individuals entering transitional and permanent housing after a period of homelessness ($10,000)

  • East County Kids-N-Motion: Dance-based physical activity program serving low-income children, youth and adults in Bay Point ($6,000)

  • East County Midnight Basketball League Program: East Contra Costa County physical activity program to encourage physical activity and health education for youth and young adults ages 8-16 ($6,000)

  • Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano: Free fresh fruit and vegetables for families of students attending after-school programs at schools in low-income neighborhoods ($30,000)

  • Interfaith Solutions, Inc.: Comprehensive sex education and clinic linkages for middle/high school youth, using evidence-based curricula and “Baby Think It Over Dolls” (20,000)

  • Jewish Family & Children’s Services of the East Bay: Health benefit education and enrollment assistance targeting low-income, limited English-speaking refugees and immigrants ($15,000)

  • Livermore Area Recreation and Park District: Scholarships for swimming lessons and summer pool passes for low-income youth in the Livermore Area ($15,000)

  • Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District: Workshops for Latina youth and their mothers focused on health, physical and psychological changes, and sexual responsibility ($4,000)

  • Loaves & Fishes of Contra Costa: Core support for free hot lunch program in multiple sites in the Diablo Area ($20,000)

  • Marylin Avenue Elementary School: Health benefit education and assistance in applying for public health coverage programs targeting Marylin Avenue Elementary School families ($11,000)

  • Meals on Wheels by Senior Outreach Services: Weekly exercise program for seniors in Bay Point ($5,000)

  • Michael Chavez Center for Economic Development: Development and training for a Community Health Promotor program in the Monument neighborhood of Concord, in partnership with La Clínica de la Raza ($16,000)

  • Monument Community Partnership: Strengthen the capacity of MCP’s Neighborhood Action Teams and Service Network to address healthy eating and active living ($30,000)

  • Monument Crisis Center: Support for increased provision of fresh produce for food pantry program ($30,000)

  • Mount Diablo Unified School District – Teen Garden Corps: Six-week summer youth employment program in community garden for youth ($14,000)

  • Open Heart Kitchen: Weekend box meal program for low-income children in the Tri-Valley ($20,000)

  • Planned Parenthood Shasta-Pacific: Teen Peer Educator corps focused on pregnancy prevention and Chlamydia reduction in the Monument neighborhood of Concord ($15,000)

  • Richmond Community Foundation: Core support for community collaborative focused on identifying innovations to sustain and enhance food, health care, housing, and safety services for Contra Costa’s vulnerable communities ($10,000)

  • RotaCare Bay Area, Inc.: Provision of free health care services for low-income uninsured residents of Concord’s Monument neighborhood two evenings per week, including urgent and select specialty services ($30,000)

  • Senior Support of the Tri-Valley: Nutrition education and exercise classes at senior sites ($10,000)

  • Shelter Inc.: Healthy eating, shopping, and cooking classes for individuals and families in transition from homelessness ($15,000)

  • St. Vincent de Paul RotaCare Clinic County: Provision of free primary care and urgent care services one night a week for low-income uninsured adults ($30,000)

  • T.O.T.A. (Turn On To America): Core support for free food box program targeting low-income communities in Central and East Contra Costa ($5,000)

  • Todos Unidos: Walking program for elementary school students in East Contra Costa County ($10,000)

  • Tri-City Health Center: Teen peer educator-led street outreach and youth involvement program focused on pregnancy prevention and Chlamydia reduction in the Tri-Valley Area ($10,000)

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Another 19-Year-Old Man Shot in Antioch

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

By Sgt. Tom Fuhrmann, Antioch Police Field Services Division

On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at approximately 7:44 p.m., the Antioch Police Department received calls of a large fight in the 700 block of L Street and then a report of shots being fired and a subject down. Upon arrival, officers found a 19-year-old man down in the street with several gunshot wounds. It is unclear at this time who shot the victim or what his level of involvement in the fight was when he was shot.

At the time of the shooting, a Tri Delta Transit bus was northbound on L Street without any passengers on board. The bus was subsequently struck by several bullets, as well.

The 19 year old victim, Antioch resident, was transported to an area hospital where he was treated for his wounds, which were non-life threatening, and subsequently released.

Any further information or additional press releases will be provided by the Investigations Bureau at (925) 779-6939. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH

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Maya Cinemas Opens Third Location in East County

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Workers finish the sign at Maya Cinemas on Thursday, August 1, 2012

By Allen Payton, Publisher

East County has another place to attend the movies, now that Maya Cinemas opened in Pittsburg, where the Brenden Theatres chain got its start.

According to the San Francisco Business Times, Maya Cinemas “rejuvenated the dilapidated 54,760-square foot theater complex at Century Plaza in Pittsburg. This week, the group finalized a 20-year lease agreement with Sierra Pacific, which owns the retail center.”

For now 12 of the 16 theaters will be open showing new-release feature films. The reconstruction also opened up the entrance with a large lobby and snack bar.

Lifelong friend Irma Garcia with CEO Mocte Esparza at the new Maya Cinemas in Pittsburg, California.

A special pre-Grand Opening party was held on Thursday, August 2 for local dignitaries and community leaders. In attendance was Antioch Councilwoman Mary Rocha and her husband Louie, as well as Carmen Ochoa of Give Always To Others & Company. Attendees were treated to a free showing of either Batman: The Dark Knight Rises or The Amazing Spiderman movies following the reception.

That was followed by a Grand Opening on Friday night, August 3 for the public.

Moctesuma Esparza, CEO of Maya Cinemas was in attendance. Mocte, as he is known, has been involved in the movie industry for almost 40 years. He is an award-winning producer, with the movies “Salena,” as well as “Gods and Generals” and “Gettysberg” to his credit.

Tuesday is Family Day at Maya Cinemas when all seats are $5.50 and 3D features are $8.50 all day. Wednesday is Seniors’ Day, when Seniors age 60 and above enjoy $4.00 admission and $7 for 3D features.  Some limitations apply. See their website for details.

Maya Cinemas is developing a chain of megaplex movie theaters focused on providing the highest quality movie-going experience in new and redevelopment market areas. This is their third location, with others located in Salinas and Bakersfield.

By capitalizing on the expertise of its management team Maya intends to develop movie theaters in locations with a strong Latino presence.

Maya theaters offers first-run Hollywood movies, and in one screen specialty and Spanish language films, utilizing state-of-the-art technology and providing first-rate entertainment with superior customer service. For more information visit www.MayaCinemas.com.

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