Archive for December, 2013

Happy New Year from the Antioch Herald!

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013


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Antioch makes list of Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.

Monday, December 30th, 2013

By Allen Payton

According to a study by Antioch, California is number 85 on their list of the most dangerous cities to live in America with a population of 25,000 or more. The ranking is based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

Four other nearby cities also made the list: Richmond ranked number 69, while Merced ranked 88, Stockton ranked 19th and Oakland ranked 9th, the state’s most dangerous city.

With the passage of Measure C, the city’s half-cent sales tax increase on last month’s ballot, additional police officers, Community Service Officers who support the police and Code Enforcement Officers are expected to be hired, starting in 2014. That will hopefully result in a safer community and removal from the list, next year.

For the complete list and more details of how the list was determined, click here.

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Letter writer thanks Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Dear Editor,

I want to thank Phil Robertson, patriarch of Duck Dynasty for contending for the faith!  In his interview with GQ, he spoke the truth that many of us God fearing Christians felt needed to be expressed.  Phil paraphrased the truth that can be found in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.  If the liberal media and the LGTB community are at odds with this message, they can take it up with God!  The hypocrisy in the liberal and entertainment media was futher exposed!  A & E loves the money, but hates the message!

The mega-popular Duck Dynasty series is so refreshing in this dark world.  Heck, you can watch it with your 3 year old.  Our founding fathers would have loved it!  A family with deep reverence for God, family and country is such a rarity in today’s media!  My suggestion to those who find this message to be offensive:  exercise your constitutional right and change the channel!  Perhaps you can find a Myley Cyrus special!

Silent no more!

Michael Pollard


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Should California raise the legal driving age to 18?

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

By Bradley Taylor

It isn’t fair to tar all teen drivers with the same brush, many young drivers are very responsible and are unfairly scapegoated. However; the facts, figures and statistics in California don’t lie. Both sexes aged 16-19 have the highest number of yearly crashes than any other age group. In fact, California is in the top 3 states for the amount of car crash fatalities including young people.

Safety researchers and administrators have been debating the topic for many years. It’s a topic that many people are passionate about; teens would obviously argue that they aren’t all the same, many are very careful drivers and know how important road safety is. Adults could argue that teens don’t have enough experience to handle the responsibility of a motor vehicle. The big question is; should California raise the legal driving age to 18?

First, let’s take a look at the reasons young drivers have both more accidents and more severe incidents than other age groups:

Poor hazard detection

It takes time for young drivers to acquire good hazard perception skills when in a real driving environment. The older a driver is, the more experienced they are and therefore the more efficient they are expected to be at identifying hazards.

Not responding to hazards appropriately

Young drivers are much more likely to overestimate their ability to avoid a risk and tend to underestimate serious crash risks. Although this could apply to any new driver.

Taking risks

Teenagers are much more likely to take risks when driving than older drivers. They tend to be overconfident in their skills and often practice things like speeding, tailgating, running red lights, making dangerous and illegal turns and failing to give enough space to pedestrians.

Not wearing their seatbelt

Teenagers are less likely to wear their seatbelt than adult drivers. Seatbelts help to save thousands of lives every year, so it should be the first thing a teen does when they get in the car.

Lack of experience

Young teenagers won’t have completely mastered handling a vehicle and have all of the driving knowledge they need to drive as safely as possible.

Driving unsafe vehicles

El Bolsón-Peugeot

Teenage drivers are typically much less affluent than other groups of motorists and with the large insurance premiums they must pay they, are left with less money to spend on a vehicle. They are encouraged to drive inexpensive vehicles to keep their insurance premiums down and therefore will often buy old and tired cars with few safety features and these cars are likely to have existing defects which could present risks while driving. Young drivers who are lucky enough to afford modern vehicles can benefit from the safety features and driver aids they provide.

Driving under the influence


This is one of the biggest causes of serious crashes with teens and the majority of them are fatal. Teenagers are more likely to take risks and consequently are more likely to drive whilst unfit. Regardless of a vehicle collision, a conviction for drink driving is a serious offence, even with a decent lawyer a young person could find themselves behind bars.

Peer pressure

As the number of passengers in a teen’s car increases, so does their risk of an accident. This is blamed on peer pressure and wanting to impress their friends. A USA study published in May 2012 shows the strong correlation between numbers of passengers and increased risk of fatal crash involvement.

Driving at night

Teens driving after 9 pm triple their risk of having an accident. Various motor insurance companies have considered offering discounted premiums to young drivers who do not drive at night, using “black box” vehicle tracking technology which informs the insurance company when and where the car is driven. It can also be used to inform the insurance company if the driver commits motoring offences such as speeding.

All teenagers are not the same and there are teens out there who wear their seatbelt religiously and practice driving in the safest way possible. It would be very unfair to considerate drivers to raise the legal driving age and the social and economic impact of raising the driving age must be considered. Young drivers need to be able to travel to work and school and raising the driving age could deny young people vital opportunities. However, by raising the driving age to 18 potentially thousands of accidents could be avoided and lives could be saved. Hopefully a compromise could be found to reduce the unacceptable number of incidents involving young drivers without removing them from the roads. These could include more driver education, stricter enforcement of drink driving for young drivers and further restrictions on young drivers.


This article was written by Bradley Taylor, a freelance writer from Derby, UK. Bradley is a motoring enthusiast who loves writing about cars and everything automotive but he is versatile and also writes across a variety of other topics. He loves travelling and new experiences. You can find him on Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

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Watchdog: As the new year approaches, it’s time to review decisions made by our City Council members since 2012

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Watchdog LogoBy Barbara Zivica

MARCH 2012: Council approved a Letter of Understanding with the Antioch Police Officers Association in which APOA agreed to contribute more to their PERS retirement in return for a 6% pay increase on the first pay period after March 1, 2012, a 3% raise after March 1, 2013, another 4% increase after September 1, 2013, a raise after September 2014 of between a minimum of 2% and maximum of 4.25% and a raise on September 1, 2015 between a minimum of 2% and a maximum of 5%. The deal also included acceptance of a two tiered system in which new hires could retire at age 55 with 3% of the average of their top 3 years of annual pay multiplied by years of service vs. the current 3% of their highest pay at age 50 multiplied by years of service. Council also granted them 2 extra days vacation.

NOVEMBER 2012: Voters elect Mayor Wade Harper, Council member Monica Wilson and re-elect Mary Rocha. Council then votes 3-1 (Agopian dissenting) to use an application process to select someone to fill Harper’s vacant council seat, ignoring a precedent to appoint the person who received the third highest vote (Jim Davis). Council selects Tony Tiscareno.

DECEMBER 2012: An accelerated swearing in ceremony is held in order to allow the Mayor and newly seated council members to amend the previously signed contract with APOA which changed the 3% at 50 pension calculation to a 3% at 55 formula. The so-called Urgency Ordinance of Public Peace, Health or Safety is quickly passed and adopted in order to avoid adhering to a new voter approved law which would take effect January 1, 2013 reducing the pension formula for new police hires from 2% at 50 to 2.7% at age 55 and freezing benefit formulas for lateral hires.

(All these actions took place during a time in which the City Manager was deploring the decline in property tax values and the city had millions of debt for under funded retirement benefits which continues to increase as more employees retire.)

JANUARY 2013: Council asks staff to explore ways to increase revenues via a sales tax, a parcel tax or business license tax. Because dedicated ballot measures require 2/3 voter approval to pass, council decides to go with a non specific sales tax measure which would need only 50% approval plus 1 vote to pass.

Council goes on an aggressive campaign to promote the ballot measure, Mayor Wade Harper acting as the principal officer of Citizens for a Safe Antioch. Numerous flyers are sent to voters stating that passage of Measure C, a temporary emergency ½ cent sales tax on non food items, would raise $5 million to hire 22 new police officers to decrease Antioch‘s homicide and home burglary rates, proactively deal with gangs and drug dealers and to address speeding and noise issues in our neighborhoods.

NOTE: The ACTUAL ballot measure states that the revenue would be deposited in the City‘s general fund. It could be used “to fund all essential city services including increased police staffing to reduce crime and gang activities and improve 911 emergency response time; restored code enforcement to clean up blighted properties; and local economic development and job creation.”

(Measure C passed with 68.09% approval. However, only 11,175 of Antioch’s 43,792 registered voters cast a vote.)

DECEMBER 2013: After several closed meetings and no input from the Economic Development Committee as done in the past, Council hires Steve Duran, the current City Manger in Hercules to replace retiring City Manager Jim Jakel. Fortunately, Duran has an impressive resume which includes time in the private sector in real estate and business management so this is one council decision I approve.)

DECEMBER 10th: Council passes a resolution establishing procedures for the sales tax citizens’ oversight committee: Committee to be composed of 7 residents serving staggered terms, one of which shall have a financial, accounting or auditing background. ( The part of the resolution I object to is that members of the committee are not prohibited from serving on other City Boards, Commissions or Committees.) Mayor Harper wanted to appoint all the committee members himself but fortunately, Councilman Agopian was able to persuade him to include a councilperson in the interview process.

Wonder what’s next. Will City Government still be closed on Fridays and the Animal Shelter remain a part time operation?

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Antioch woman and man shot on Saturday night

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

By Sgt. Mike Hulsey, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Saturday, December 28, 2013 at approximately 10:28 p.m. Antioch Police officers responded to a report of a female shot at a home in the 3700 block of Clayburn Rd. The female victim was located inside the residence with non life threatening gunshot wounds. The responsible fled the scene. According to witnesses, a male at the residence was also injured but left before police arrived. The male later arrived at a local hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound. Both are expected to survive. The case is still being investigated.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Antioch Police Department at (925) 778-2441 or they may also text an anonymous tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH in the body of the text.

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Orleans with the Citations

Friday, December 27th, 2013


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Boy Scouts offer Treecycling to recycle your Christmas tree

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Antioch Drop-off Locations: You can drop off your trees from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday,

Dec. 28-29, 2013,  & Jan. 4-5, 2014, at the Prewett Family Water Park parking lot and at the Antioch Marina Overflow Parking Lot at 2nd and L streets. Please remove tree stands before drop-off.

Boy Scout Treecycling: Scouts will pick up holiday trees Saturday - Sunday, Dec. 28-29, 2013, & Jan. 4 - 5, 2014. Have trees ready for pickup before 9 a.m. at the curb. Donations of $10 for unflocked trees or $1 per foot if taller than 10 feet or $20 for flocked trees, payable to BSA, would be appreciated. For more information call (925) 238-8900 or email

Any yard waste week: Place unflocked trees in yard waste cart. Branches must be 6 inches or less in diameter and 3 feet or less in length. Cut off tree top. Remove tree stand. Lid must be closed.

Flocked trees can be picked up for a fee of $40 or as one of your two, free, large-item pickups.

Questions? Call Allied Waste customer service at (925) 685-4711.

Antioch Multi-Family Info

The Boy Scouts will pick up trees in multi-family complexes.

A donation of $8 or $1 per foot for large trees would be appreciated. To arrange a pickup, call (925) 238-8900 or send an email to

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