Archive for November, 2012

Elections might be certified by Monday, December 3

Friday, November 30th, 2012

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Ballots are still being counted by Contra Costa County Elections workers, as of Friday, November 30, 2012, putting off the final tally until next Monday.

In an email received by this newspaper, at 3:36 p.m., today, Assistant County Registrar of Voters, Candy Lopez wrote “We will not be able to complete the canvass today but are fairly close. We anticipate being able to Certify the Election in the mid-afternoon on Monday, Dec. 3rd.”

The county has 28 days following the election to certify it, which gives them until next Tuesday, December 4 at 5:00 p.m.

As of the day following the November 6 election, there were approximately 106,000 ballots left to be counted. That number included 82,271 vote by mail ballots and 23,692 provisional ballots.

The final numbers could change the outcome of one race in Antioch, the second City Council seat. Currently Monica Wilson is leading Mayor Jim Davis by 458 votes.

The final vote count for all races in the county may be viewed at


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Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for Simone’s Double Double Day Spa on Saturday

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Simone’s Double Double Day Spa Grand Opening

Tomorrow, Saturday, December 1, 2012, 9am – 5pm, Ribbon Cutting: 11am

Join the Antioch Chamber in celebrating the Grand Opening of Simone’s Double Double Day Spa! Hors d’oeuvres will be served and express facials will be performed at this event.


Simone’s Double Double Day Spa Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

Date: Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Time: 9am – 5pm
Ribbon Cutting: 11am 

Location: 1614 A St., Antioch CA 94509
Contact: (925) 727-1458

Join us in celebrating the grand opening of this Antioch business!

We look forward to seeing you there. 

Thank you.

Antioch Chamber of Commerce

Learn more about the benefits of membership in the Antioch Chamber of Commerce by calling 757-1800 or visiting

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Antioch Council moves up induction ceremony for new mayor, council members to December 4

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Update: 11/30/12 6:20 p.m.

New council will decide how to fill Harper’s council seat

By Allen Payton, Publisher

The Oath of Office induction ceremony for Antioch’s new mayor and council members has been moved from Tuesday, December 11 to next Tuesday, December 4, by a decree signed by Mayor Jim Davis at this past Tuesday’s council meeting

The special council meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m., instead of the usual council meeting start time of 7:00 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, located at 3rd and H Streets in downtown Antioch.

UPDATE: When asked why the meeting date was changed and who made the decision, Davis said “[City Manager Jim] Jakel convinced us that the new council needed to be seated ASAP, for business on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday meetings.”

However, the fourth Tuesday in December is Christmas, so the council is considering holding meetings on either or both Wednesday and Thursday, December 26 and 27.

Mayor Pro Tem and Mayor-Elect Wade Harper responded “The swearing in was always planned for the 4th. I wasn’t aware of the time change until it was already posted. This created a little bit of a problem for me as I have invited guests and family.”

I think with outgoing speeches and a choir singing, there will be sufficient delay,” he added.

Councilman Gary Agopian stated the change in meeting date was for the reorganization of the council, the decision on how to fill Harper’s council seat – as he will step down to become Mayor – and to discuss the police pension issue.

Councilwoman Mary Rocha, who was re-elected earlier this month, and, as the top vote-getter, will be the city’s new Mayor Pro Tem, said she didn’t mind either way if the ceremony was held next Tuesday or on the 11th.

Newly elected City Clerk, Arne Simonsen stated “I don’t know why they are moving up the swearing-in to the first Tuesday at a special meeting.”

One challenge with scheduling the meeting on the 4th is that’s the day the County Elections Division will finalize the vote count and won’t have the election certified until 5 p.m., that same day. With the race between Monica Wilson and Davis currently separated by just 458 votes, or less than 1% of the vote, the final results could change who won the second council seat. So, it might be Davis being given the oath that night, instead.

At the meeting on Tuesday, December 4, the current council will first vote to accept the results of the election, then the ceremony will occur for Harper, Rocha, and currently Wilson, as well as re-elected City Treasurer Donna Conley. While the ceremony for Simonsen is scheduled for that night, he stated “I’m back on December 12 and being sworn in at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Decem 13th at city hall.”

Following next Tuesday’s ceremony, at the meeting the new council will vote in Rocha as the new Mayor Pro Tem, then decide how to fill Harper’s council seat for the remaining two years. They have three options: either make an appointment that night, approve an application process to fill the position by appointment or hold a special election on June 4, 2013 to fill the seat.

Past council practice has been to appoint the third-highest vote-getter in the most recent election to the vacancy. That would then mean either Davis or Wilson would be appointed, depending on who wins the second council seat and who places third in the election. However, that didn’t happen in 2008, when the council bypassed Simonsen, who was the third-highest vote-getter in that council election and appointed Martha Parsons, instead, who had not run for city council, prior.

Finally, the newly seated council, of either four or five members, will decide whether or not to rework the police pension benefit from the current 3% at age 55 for new hires, to 3% at 50 for hiring current police officers from other agencies, known as lateral hires.

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Maaco® and Meineke® Rev Up Commitment to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Targeting $1 Million a Year for CMN Hospitals Across North America

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Charlotte, NC – Maaco® and Meineke®, part of the Driven Brands family of automotive brands, today announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar fundraising commitment that will benefit 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) across the United States and Canada.  This commitment by Driven Brands to expand its longtime partnership with CMN Hospitals coincides with the newly established Driven Brands Charitable Foundation.   The Foundation is seeking to raise $1 million a year working in conjunction with Driven Brands’ franchisees, principals, vendors, customers and employees.

“For more than 5 years, we have proudly supported Children Miracle Network Hospitals in its mission to provide life-saving medical care to children in need across North America,” said Noah Pollack, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Driven Brands.  “We are proud to continue building on this positive partnership through our Driven Brands Charitable Foundation, which was established to support philanthropic efforts in the communities where our franchisees and customers live and work.”

The Driven Brands Charitable Foundation launched this new unprecedented fundraising effort earlier this month at the 40th Annual Maaco® Franchise Convention held in Florida. With the generous support of its franchise community, the foundation raised commitments for $410,000 in just 5 days.

“Our member hospitals are well known for the first-class care they provide,” said John Lauck, president and CEO, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “They are lesser known for the fact that they are nonprofit organizations and rely heavily on community assistance. We appreciate Driven Brands’ commitment to help the kids in their communities and look forward to the many miracles that will result from their generous support.”

Maaco® and Meineke® will continue to support Driven Brands Charitable Foundation’s efforts throughout the year with in-shop promotions at the more than 1400 locations. All funds raised from this campaign will help create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that will continue to save and improve the lives of millions of children treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in the U.S. and Canada each year.

About Maaco:

Founded in 1972, Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting ( repairs accident damage, dents and faded paint for close to 500,000 drivers annually. The 450 franchises have restored the safety and beauty of all types of vehicles for nearly 40 years. MAACO Franchising, Inc., headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, has been cited numerous times by Entrepreneur magazine as #1 in its category in the Annual Franchise 500 survey. The MAACO Auto Body Shop and Collision Center in Antioch is located at 1610 W 10th Street.

About Meineke:

Beginning in 1972, Meineke Car Care Centers ( has expanded its menu of product offerings to meet the demands of a changing marketplace. In 1986, the chain relocated from Houston, TX to Charlotte, NC. Demonstrating steady growth, both domestically and internationally with locations in Canada, Mexico, South Korea, the Mid-East, China and new openings scheduled for Chile and Caribbean, Meineke now represents over 900 franchised service centers, with an additional 100 licenses sold and in development. The American Association of Franchisees & Dealers recognized Meineke in 2001 as its first automotive industry Franchisor to earn the coveted Fair Franchising Seal. Meineke regularly appears in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Annual Franchise 500 (55nd overall and #1 in class for 2011), a list of the 500 best franchise opportunities in America. The Meineke Car Care Center of Antioch is located at 1701 Auto Center Drive.

About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals:

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 top and nonprofit children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.3 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at

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Watchdog: Don’t change police pensions back to 3% at 50

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

By Barbara Zivica

They dined on turkey, trying to pick the carcass clean and now remain looking for leftovers. Who am I talking about? I’m talking about elected politicians who remain in office year after year thanks to the union vote which also helps them pass tax measure after tax measure. Fortunately, some of the ones we got to vote on didn’t pass e.g. the Contra Costa Fire Department and the Contra Costa Community College ballot measures.

Others, however, did e.g. Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, increasing the sales tax from 7.25% to 7.5% for the next four years and the Antioch High School bond measure. For this reason, I suspect there will be a race to see which agency is next to propose a new parcel tax measure .

Will it be the Antioch City Council? Having just gotten an update from Police Chief Allan Cantando, I’m sure they’re already thinking about it and telling themselves that the most recent attempt to pass a parcel tax, requiring a two-thirds majority to pass, failed only because it did not guarantee the money would be used for the police department.

That doesn’t mean I’m not concerned that crimes in Antioch are up and arrests are down but the city is in the process of hiring 14 sworn officers and 6 community service officers and Pittsburg, Antioch and Brentwood will soon have their own deputy district attorney to prosecute crime. Obviously, more officers, CSOs and a deputy district attorney will have a positive affect on the current increase in crime so let’s not rush another parcel tax on the next ballot measure.

Incidentally, the Chief’s report noted that 15 sworn police officers have not been released to work full time. Some are off work completely and some are on modified duty because of an on-duty injury or other protected disability (working the front counter, records, investigations, etc.) Sound like the NFL weekly injury update? Found it interesting that one of the two lateral officers recently hired quit and returned to his last agency.

Speaking of hiring lateral officers, a staff report on the November 19th agenda from the new Human Resources/Economic Director proposes changing the September 1, 2012 contract amendment to local safety and misc. members. Reason? The City is having difficulty attracting enough candidates to fill all the vacancies, especially lateral police officers from other agencies, and thinks by going back to the old 3% at 50 full formula for safety officers and 2.7% at 55 for misc. will provide the city with an advantage to recruit quality candidates from other agencies. The report also discusses other incentives e.g. cash payment, deferred compensation contribution by city, and increased pay base.

NOTE: The new Public Employees” Pension Reform Act recently signed in California law requires ONLY EXISTING members of PERS hired after January 2013 (lateral officers) be placed in the 3% at 50 benefit tier, trainees and Academy graduate new hires be placed in a 2.7% at 57 tier.

Frankly, changing the recent contract amendment is a dumb idea. It will just mean more General Fund money going to CalPERS. Instead, the City could offer to pay into a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, since that would not have any long term obligations to the city once the employee retired.

Should Council take action and approve the proposed Resolution of Intention to approve an Amendment to the Contract between PERS and the City, they better NOT use the increased cost as an excuse to propose a parcel tax or increase in sales tax to pay for police!

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Man found dead of gunshot wound in Antioch

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Case deemed suspicious and under investigation

By Sergeant Morefield, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Monday, November 26, 2012 at approximately 4:52 PM, the Antioch Police Department received a report of a subject possibly dead inside a home off of Mira Vista Court. Officers responded to the residence to find the 52-year-old, male victim deceased from what appeared to be a gunshot wound. The circumstances surrounding this incident are still being looked into, and the case is currently being investigated as a suspicious death.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Stenger with the Antioch Police Department at (925)779-6894. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOC.

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Award-winning author Ying Chang Compestine to speak at Antioch Rotary this Thursday

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Award-winning author and inspirational public speaker Ying Chang Compestine will speak about her books to the Antioch Rotary Club, during their regular weekly meeting, this Thursday, November 29, 2012.

Ying is the versatile author of many children’s books, cookbooks and novels. Ying has been featured on many national television programs and she has been profiled in national magazines and newspapers.

Ying has visited schools throughout the U.S. and abroad, sharing with students her journey as a writer, how her life in China inspired her writing, and the challenges of writing in her second language.

Ying is the spokesperson for Nestle Maggi and Celestial Seasonings and a regular contributor to the national magazines Cooking Light, Ski, EatingWell, Self, Men’s Health, and Delicious Living and Diablo. She was the food editor for Body + Soul, a Martha Stewart magazine that focuses on healthy living.

Ying has lectured around the world on a variety of subjects at writer’s conferences and universities, at spas including Canyon Ranch, aboard cruise ships, on television and radio programs, and for numerous other organizations.

She was honored as one of the 2012 “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading,” by The Author’s Shop. Ying will autograph copies of her books, which will be available for purchase at the meeting.

The Antioch Rotary Club meets at the Lone Tree Golf and Event Center at 12:15 p.m.. Lunch is $15. Please RSVP Lindy Maynes at

For more information on Ying, visit her website at For more information about the Antioch Rotary Club, visit or their Facebook page.

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Third suspect arrested in murder of Antioch man

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

By Acting Sergeant Santiago Castillo, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Monday, November 26, 2012 at approximately 1:20 p.m., Antioch police detectives arrested a third suspect for the homicide of 32 year-old Juan Hernandez, following a short vehicle pursuit and then a chase on foot. Detectives had been conducting surveillance for this suspect in the area of Bryan Avenue and A Street in Antioch, when they spotted him as the driver of a Hyundai Santa Fe that was taken during a carjacking in Antioch, on Sunday.

A vehicle stop was attempted on the Santa Fe but the driver and his 21 year-old male passenger refused to stop and led officers on a vehicle pursuit South on A Street. As the vehicle approached the intersection of Lone Tree Way and Putnam Street, the driver lost control and crashed into a BMW that was traveling north on Lone Tree Way. No one was injured in the collision. Following the collision, the two suspects exited their carjacked vehicle and fled on foot into a nearby neighborhood. Following a short search, both subjects were arrested without incident.

Prior to this arrest, Antioch police detectives had arrested two other subjects in connection with this homicide. The arrested suspects names and photographs are not being released at this time as further follow up and investigation is currently being conducted. Antioch police plan to present this case to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office this week.

Hernandez was shot and killed on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 while at a friend’s house located at 2301 Sycamore Drive in Antioch.

Anyone with information regarding this case can contact Det. Joannides at 925-779-6931.

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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