Archive for May, 2015

Watchdog – Black only graduation ceremony in Antioch violates Supreme Court decision

Sunday, May 31st, 2015


Watchdog LogoBy Barbara Zivica

Brown v. Board of Education was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. Why, therefore, did Pamela Price, a Student Support Counselor at Dallas Ranch Middle School, send out a notification of an Antioch Unified School District 8th grade African-American Promotion Ceremony, held on Friday night, May 29th at the Delta Bay Church of Christ?

Plus, the contact person was Dr. Lamont Francies, a counselor at Black Diamond Middle School, whose AUSD phone number and email address were included in both Price’s notification and a flyer promoting the event.

This, folks is discriminatory. There should only be one ceremony endorsed by the school district for all the graduating middle school students. Period. End of discussion.

If you feel the same way about this as I do, notify the members of the Antioch Unified School District Board of Trustees:

Claire Smith, President – term ends 12/2016 –

Diane Gibson Gray, V.P. – term ends 12/2016 –

Barbara Cowan (married to Richard Asadoorian former trustee of the CCC School Board) – her term also ends 12/2016 –

Walter Ruehlig – term ends 12/2018 –

Debra Vinson – term ends 12/2018 –

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Free dinner at Rick’s on Second Friday and Saturday nights 5-8 pm, this weekend and next

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Server Appreciation – Simply tip your server 20% or more and the Entrée is on the house. Entrées are regularly $11.95 each.

Your Choice of Entrées – All Entrées served with Garlic Bread and your choice of Soup or House Salad

Tri-Color Cheese Tortellini – Our Fresh Three Cheese Tortellini is filled with Creamy Ricotta, Aged Parmesan and Romano Cheese served with your choice of Alfredo or Red Sauce (Add chicken or Meatballs add $3.00)

Fettuccine – Our Fresh Fettuccine is made with Flat Ribbons of Pasta covered with your choice of Alfredo or Red Sauce (Add chicken or Meatballs add $3.00)

Lasagna – Freshly made pasta layered between a rich Meat Sauce and topped with real Mozzarella Cheese and Italian Sausage (Add chicken or Meatballs add $3.00)
Cheese Ravioli – Our Fresh Ravioli is made Creamy Romano and Ricotta Cheeses served with your choice of Alfredo or Red Sauce (Add chicken or Meatballs add $3.00)

Drinks are Extra
Sodas, Tea, Lemonade $2.00
Side of Garlic Bread $1.99
Garlic Butter Togo $2.99

Bar Special
Wine – Compliment your pasta with the perfect wine.
(Whites) Chardonnay, Chablis, White Zinfandel $4.49
(Reds) Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy $4.49

Rick’s on Second is located at 619 W. Second Street, Antioch. Call them at 757-5500 or visit their website for more information at


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Antioch Police file charges against suspect in Wednesday’s carjacking and hostage standoff

Friday, May 29th, 2015

By Acting Lieutenant Tom Fuhrmann, Antioch Police Department Investigations Bureau

The Antioch police Department presented this case to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office this afternoon. The DA’s Office has filed the following 16 charges against Horacio Gutierrez:

– Kidnapping for Extortion (4 counts)

– False Imprisonment

– Carjacking

– Attempted Carjacking (4 counts)

– Brandishing a Firearm at a Police Officer

– Auto Theft

– Possession of Stolen Property

– Felon in Possession of a Firearm (2 counts)

– Enhancement for Prior Prison

Gutierrez’s bail is now set at $4,805,000.

No further information will be released at this time.

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Warriors advance to NBA Finals for the first time in 40-years with 104-90 victory over Houston

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
Draymond Green in the locker room celebrating the Warriors' victory, Wednesday night. photo by F.D. Purcell

Draymond Green in the locker room celebrating the Warriors’ victory, Wednesday night. photo by F.D. Purcell

F.D. Purcell, Bay Area Sports Reporter

The Antioch Herald

Former Warriors head coach Alvin Attles roamed the hallway leading to the basketball court at ORACLE Arena with a focused look on his face. When I went to say hello and congratulate him he answered in his typical unaffected nature his deep bellowing voice replying “congratulating me for what?” I said for making it to the finals for the first time since the 1974-1975 season.

His reply? “I like that hat, young lady.”

I tried to give him a look of pity, but it only worked for a future quote.

Call me if you need me, girl.”

This past Monday marked the 40th anniversary that his team won the only championship Golden State has won since moving from Philadelphia. But now a new era has been ushered in, and the Warriors are headed to the NBA Finals after a 104-90 win over the Houston Rockets, and will face the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Much like Attles is unaffected, current head coach Steve Kerr carries the same type of demeanor. It’s not about him, but everyone else.

I’m happy for everybody, especially our fans,” he said. “Forty years is a long time.”

Kerr was only nine-years old, the last time the Warriors won the championship and he said that he’s relieved now that they’re headed to the NBA Finals.

I always think of Pat Riley’s great quote: ‘When you’re coaching in the NBA, there’s winning and there’s misery.’ And he’s right,” Kerr added.

Rather than get into the stats of the game, it’s important to talk about the character of Golden State.

I expected to see bottles of champagne and wild partying, following the game, but amidst the sweaty locker room and filled with music, the players sat near their lockers with cell phones in hands, texting and tweeting fans and loved one.

The group was loose, relaxed. Yet, somewhat quiet for a team who’d achieved such a historical feat. Half of their parents probably weren’t even born then.

The player with the most visual and vocal swagger, forward Draymond Green donned his NBA Finals hat and could be held saying “the skies the limit” while a large group of media surrounded him as teammate, center Festus Ezeli played the role of photographer, snapping photos from his own his cell phone.

Everyone was smiling, but there was still a feeling of “we’ve still got work to do.”

We wanted to appreciate the moment, not take it for granted, because it was something that we’ve been waiting for and wanted to close out tonight,” said MVP Stephen Curry who finished the game with 26-points. “But you kind of take it for what it is. Because you have four more wins and you don’t want to get too ahead of yourself.”

After falling to the L.A. Clippers in the seventh game of the Western Conference Semi-Finals last year, the team went through a coaching overhaul when management fired Mark Jackson and hired Kerr.

Jackson, who was the color commentator for Wednesdays game, was a beloved coach among his players. After the game, Curry admitted it was a tough summer and that he didn’t agree with the decision to fire Jackson. But, obviously it was the right decision in hiring Kerr, who Curry called a “humble guy who exceeded all expectations.

On the court, Golden State is flashy with their precise executed passes and long jumpers. But much like their coach, they’re a humble group of guys. Cause and point: instead of basking in his teams monumental victory, Ezeli took the time to personally thank me for what I’ve done for him all season.

There was a time when you could go into a sporting goods store in another city, anywhere and not find a piece of Golden State paraphernalia. Most people didn’t even know where the team played.

Now Curry has the top selling jersey behind LeBron James. Hes part of a dynamic duo called “The Splash Brothers.” Golden State is the national favorite to win the championship, and with their winning record has given them home court advantage throughout the NBA Finals.

While I won’t pretend to know any about them personally, I can honestly say in all the years associated with the Warriors (1999-current), this by far is the best group of guys I’ve encountered.

The wait is over for the long suffering fans who’ve endured names such as Vonteego Cummings, Chris Mills and Victor Alexander, ownership and coaching changes and even a player who choked his coach.

They started from the bottom and now, they’re here. After three-straight years of making the playoffs the Golden State Warriors have beat all the odds against them and will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the big dance called the NBA Finals.

Golden State will host the first two games at ORACLE Arena next Thursday, June 4th at 6:00 p.m. All the playoff games can be viewed on ABC.

Follow F.D. Purcell @sportsinthebay_

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Antioch Police release name, photo of suspect, details in Wednesday carjacking and hostage standoff

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
Horacio Gutierrez

Horacio Gutierrez

By Acting Lieutenant Tom Fuhrmann, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 11:05 AM a black Nissan Maxima being driven by 35 year old Horacio Gutierrez crashed into a parked vehicle in the 1600 block of W. 10th Street in Antioch. The Nissan was an unreported stolen vehicle out of Walnut Creek. The owner was unaware at the time that the vehicle had been stolen.

After the collision, Gutierrez ran to Mike’s Auto Body at the corner of Auto Center Drive and W. 10th Street. Gutierrez forced an employee out of his personal vehicle (gold Honda Accord) at gun point and then took the vehicle and drove to Concord where he abandoned that vehicle. Gutierrez left an additional firearm behind in the vehicle at the crash on 10th Street.

At 1155 hours Brentwood Officers relocated Gutierrez now in Brentwood and driving a burgundy Honda Accord. Brentwood Officers initiated a traffic stop and a pursuit ensued with Antioch Officers assisting. Once CHP air support arrived, patrol units backed out of the pursuit. Gutierrez continued westbound by way of HWY 4 and surface streets to Pittsburg. After the deployment of spike strips on the vehicle in Pittsburg, the CHP re-engaged the pursuit eastbound on HWY 4 to Contra Loma Blvd. in Antioch where Gutierrez exited.

Gutierrez crashed into a wall under the overpass at that location. Gutierrez immediately attempted to car jack another motorist, but was unsuccessful. A CHP officer challenged Gutierrez, who then pointed his gun at the officer. The officer fired one shot at Gutierrez, but he was not hit. The burgundy Honda is suspected to be stolen as well, but investigators have yet been able to confirm this.

Gutierrez ran south on Contra Loma Blvd toward the ARCO gas station on the corner of Contra Loma Blvd and Buchanan Road. Along the way he attempted to carjack several other motorists, but was unsuccessful. Gutierrez ran into the ARCO station where he took the 75 year old owner and his 48 year old employee hostage in a back office.

Area streets were cordoned off and businesses in the area were evacuated by the police. Antioch Police Department’s SWAT team was mobilized and quickly took command of the scene. Contact was established with Gutierrez by Antioch PD Hostage negotiators. Gutierrez made demands to arrange his escape and eventually released one of the hostages. Talks continued with Gutierrez for a little over 3 hours and ended with Gutierrez ultimately releasing the remaining hostage and surrendering. With the exception of Gutierrez complaint of an injured shoulder from one of his collisions, no involved parties were injured during this entire chain of events.

Gutierrez was also found to be wanted on a $300,000 warrant out of the city of Tracy for auto theft, carjacking and brandishing a weapon.

Gutierrez was booked into the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez on an array of charges to include Assault with a deadly weapon, carjacking, kidnapping, auto theft and felony evading with a bail in excess of $1,000,000. Antioch Police Detectives plan on filing the case with the District Attorney’s Office tomorrow.

No further information will be released at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Vanderpool with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6988. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Carjacking suspect in hostage standoff in Antioch, Wednesday afternoon

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
Antioch Police at the ARCO gas station on Contra Loma Blvd and Buchanan Road for a hostage standoff, Wednesday afternoon. May 27, 2015. Photo by Luke Johnson

Antioch Police at the ARCO gas station on Contra Loma Blvd and Buchanan Road for a hostage standoff, Wednesday afternoon. May 27, 2015. Photo by Luke Johnson

By Luke Johnson

Antioch Police are currently involved in a hostage standoff at the ARCO gas station on Contra Loma Blvd. and Buchanan Road in Antioch. The SWAT is on site. Highway 4 is closed in the east bound lanes, in that area.

The Antioch SWAT team is on the scene. photo by Luke Johnson

The Antioch SWAT team is on the scene. photo by Luke Johnson

According to witnesses, a man was seen fleeing in a car from police and engaging in a shootout with them. He then crashed his car near the ARCO station and attempted to steal a car, but failed. He then ran into the gas station. One of the witnesses who spoke to the Herald, was the man whose car the shooter and hostage taker attempted to steal. There are about 15 to 20 police and CHP vehicles on site. Buchanan and Fitzuren are closed, as well as Contra Loma from Highway 4 to south of Buchanan.

According to other news reports the suspect is holding four hostages and is threatening to go out in a blaze of glory and will shoot it out with police.

Please check back for more details or follow this story as it develops, on Facebook at

Publisher Allen Payton contributed to this report.


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Watchdog: Belle may be in violation of County School Board Member residency requirements

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Watchdog-LogoBy Barbara Zivica

The current Contra Costa County Governing Board Member for District 5 is controversial Jeff Belle who, as reported by this newspaper, has a long history of legal problems both civil and criminal.

Unfortunately, his term does not expire until November 29, 2018. Is there anyway to boot him out of office prior to when his term in office ends? Perhaps there is.

One of requirements of holding office is that he reside within the district to which he was elected to represent. Hearing that he had moved out of Antioch, I contacted Karen Sakata, County Superintendent of Schools, and inquired as to his present address. She advised me that they currently only have a P.O. Box for Belle, which shows a lack of due diligence on their part.

I then contacted the Contra Costa County Elections Board to see if he had violated AB1676 requiring that a person elected to a non-judicial public office for a county, city or school district maintain his or her domicile within the jurisdiction within which voters are qualified to vote for the office during his or her term of office.

Any person who violates this provision is required to immediately forfeit his or her office and would be disqualified from holding any state or local public office for a period of four years. In addition, if persons serving terms of office that commence on or after November 2, 2010 violate the domicile requirement, such violation is punishable by either a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 or a fine not to exceed $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail for no more than 6 months, or by both fine and imprisonment.

According to the county elections office, if Belle’s registration card at the time he ran for office shows an Antioch address and he has not notified the elections office of his change(s) of residency within the district he has committed perjury, in addition to already lying on his ballot statement about having a college degree.

NOTE: Board members receive a stipend of $463.05/month, benefits and mileage. The total conference budget for the 2014-15 school year for all five board members is $10,000. The proposed conference budget for the 2015-16 school year is $15,000 for all five board members.

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Who needs a job? East County Career Fair in Brentwood, Thursday

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Meet with recruiters from over 45 companies

Local unemployment has reached an eight-year low, but just about everyone knows someone who’s still looking for a job. Already, 450 attendees have registered for the East County Career Fair to meet with recruiters from four dozen companies representing a variety of industry sectors, like health care, law enforcement, government, service and financial institutions.

Attendees will also have access to career counseling in this specific business climate.

WHEN: Thursday, May 28th, 10am-1pm

WHERE: Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak Street, Brentwood

It’s great to see so many local employers hiring for positions in industries like health care, finance, manufacturing and more,” said Stephen Baiter, executive director of the Workforce Development Board. “Enabling Contra Costa County residents to find work in the communities where they live enhances their quality of life and supports overall economic development in our region.”

The career far is co-hosted by the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County and the California Employment Development Department.

The Workforce Development Board (WDB) of Contra Costa County is a business-led advisory group that shapes and strengthens local and regional workforce development efforts. The purpose of the WDB is to align strategies and resources to help job seekers obtain the skills they need to compete in the 21st-century economy, and to help meet the workforce needs of California’s businesses.

The WDB oversees four America’s Job Center of California (AJCC)/EASTBAY Works sites, which provide businesses and job seekers with a wide range of services, including career planning, job training, and transition support at four locations across Contra Costa County – Antioch, Brentwood, Concord and San Pablo.

Employers attending include: AccentCare, BART Police Dept. ChildCare Careers, City of Brentwood, CLP Resources, Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Dept., Contra Costa County Human Resources Dept. , Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Dolan Lumber, West, Dow Chemical, Durham School Services,Eldercare Services, F.B.I., Federal Bureau of Prisons, Hoaglandz Solar Electric System, Home Depot, Home of Chicken & Waffles, Lowe’s Home Center, Mike’s Auto Body, New York Life, REPOWER by Solar Universe, Saarman Construction, Santa Clara County Sherriff’s Office.

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