Archive for July, 2015

Restore the Delta offering bus rides to Sacramento for Tuesday public hearings on Delta Tunnels

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

By Barbara Barrigan-Parilla, Restore the Delta

One of two public hearings on the Delta tunnels project will be held in Sacramento on Tuesday, July 28. They are making it an open house so that they don’t have to listen to public comments or respond to the outrage of hundreds of thousands of Californians who oppose the destruction the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas.

Help us transform the open house.

Our goal: a video of how large we really are to share with the Secretary Jewell at the Department of the Interior and with President Obama. We will provide you with insightful questions to ask, help you craft your own thoughts, and plan some spirited, yet respectful activities to transform their dull open house into a party to oppose the tunnels. Let’s win this thing once and for all! We need to pack the “public hearings” on the Delta Tunnels!!

Mark your calendars for Tuesday in Sacramento — that’s where we will be from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown.

Restore the Delta is hosting buses to the “Open House”/Public Hearings on the new Delta Tunnels Environmental Impact Report.

Sacramento Hearing: Tuesday July 28, 2015

3-5pm Sheraton Grand Hotel, 1230 J Street, Sacramento

Buses to Event:

Antioch: 1:30pm – 115 Lauritzen Ln, Oakley

Discovery Bay: 1:30pm – 871 Marina Blvd.

RSVP to Jennifer@restorethedelta.org or 209-475-9550

If you cannot make the July 28 date from 3:00p to 7:00p, there is a second public meeting on July 29 in Walnut Grove (see here).

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BART to host online town hall Tuesday to answer questions about transbay shutdown

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Got questions about our planned Transbay Tube closure? BART officials will host a live online town hall meeting from Noon-1pm on Tuesday, July 28th to answer questions about the work taking place the first weekend in August and during Labor Day weekend to repair a critical section of track near the Transbay Tube.  BART officials from Operations and Maintenance and Engineering will take questions that have been emailed or tweeted in before and during the webcast.

Riders can ask questions about how the lifeline bus service will work, the closure of the West Oakland Station, what it means for the rest of the system, details about the work being performed and why it’s important, and any other related question.

How it works

  • Starting today and through the live event you can email your questions to BetterBART@bart.gov.

  • Starting at 9am on Tuesday, July 28th, you can tweet your question by tagging @SFBART. We will also monitor the feed during the event for those with questions once the town hall starts. We will not be responding via Twitter. You must watch the town hall to see if your question was answered.

  • The town hall will be held from Noon-1pm on Tuesday, July 28th. Watch it live at www.bart.gov/townhall. To watch the meeting, make sure you have Microsoft Silverlight downloaded on your computer. Google Chrome is not compatible with Microsoft Silverlight so you must use another browser to watch the event.

An archive video will be available at the same location immediately following the event for those who couldn’t watch it live.

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Antioch Police arrest man for 2012 murder at bar, Tuesday morning

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
Rudy Cuellar

Rudy Cuellar

By Allen Payton

On Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at approximately 5:50 AM, Antioch Police Detectives served an arrest warrant in the 10 block of W. 17th Street in Antioch for Rudy Cuellar.

Rudy Cuellar has been wanted for numerous warrants since 2012 to include a $1,000,000.00 warrant for murder. Cuellar was arrested inside of the home and later transferred to the Martinez Detention Facility.

On March 31, 2012 at 1:36 AM, Antioch Police received a 911 call from Cruisers Saloon reporting that a shooting had just occurred. It appears that a group of males who had been kicked out of the bar earlier in the night, returned with baseball bats specifically with the intention of starting a fight. The fight started inside the bar and then moved just outside the bar’s front door. One of the males, who had been kicked out earlier, pulled out a handgun and fired at least one shot inside the bar.

Lizandro ‘Tony” Bertolazzi, a 38-year-old married father of four, and Marine veteran was at Cruisers Saloon on A Street early that morning when he was struck by gunfire.

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Nationally touring Beatles tribute band returns to Pittsburg stage on August 21

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
Remake of a photo of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show (l-r) Nate Bott ("John"), Axel Clarke ("Ringo"), Jesse Wilder ("George") and Chris Paul Overall ("Paul")

Remake of a photo of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show (l-r) Nate Bott (“John”), Axel Clarke (“Ringo”), Jesse Wilder (“George”) and Chris Paul Overall (“Paul”)

Abbey Road performs at California Theatre as part of 125 city tour

PITTSBURG, CA – Almost everyone knows that The Beatles are one of the most acclaimed bands in rock and roll history because their music has the hypnotic qualities that made teenage girls scream and artists today and yesterday cite them as one of their influences.

While many of us don’t have the opportunity to see the two surviving Beatles Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr live in concert these days, the closest thing to watching an actual Beatles concert will be Abbey Road – A Tribute to the Beatles on Friday, August 21 at 7:30 pm at the California Theatre in Pittsburg.

With their tight harmonies, flawless note for note renditions of Beatles hits, custom–tailored costumes, vintage instruments, Liverpudlian dialect and precise attention to every detail, Abbey Road has honed their show to become one of the most musically and visually satisfying Beatle tribute acts in the world.

Three costume changes cover the full range of the Beatle experience and beyond, with authentic early black Beatle suits, Sgt. Pepper’s regalia and Abbey Road attire. Hear the piccolo trumpet solo on Penny Lane and the full orchestration of A Day in the Life. Relive the emotional intensity of Paul’s moving Yesterday solo, as well as the high energy of stadium songs like Twist and Shout and other Beatle hits.

The show delivers!” said the L.A. Times. “If you see one tribute show, see this one – smart and loads of fun,” said the O.C. Register. “This is the ticket for you,” said the Idaho Statesman.

The band recently concluded a three month run at the Harrah’s Reno showroom and will perform a 30 show residency at the Harrah’s Laughlin showroom this summer. Abbey Road also headlines Harrah’s Tahoe and Houses of Blues across the country. The Abbey Road band performs in musical biography of the Beatles called “In My Life,” which performed to a capacity audience at the California Theatre last year.

The show in Pittsburg is part of a 125 stop tour of the U.S. and Canada. The show has been touring since 2008.

For more information visit www.abbeyroadtributeband.com or www.facebook.com/abbeyroadtribute.

CALENDAR:

Abbey Road – A Tribute to the Beatles plays at the California Theatre in Old Town Pittsburg on Friday, August 21 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are  $25 – $45 and may be purchased online at www.PittsburgCaliforniaTheatre.com, by phoning 925.427.1611 or by visiting the theatre box office. The box office is open Tuesday – Friday from noon – 5 pm and one hour before shows. The California Theatre is located at 351 Railroad Avenue in Old Town Pittsburg, California. The show is appropriate for all ages.

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Antioch Speedway: Shawn DeForest takes IMCA Modified Main Event; Mark Garner wins one for his dad; Sorensen victorious in Hobby Stock battle

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
(071815) Antioch Speedway Action - Shawn DeForest of Livermore slides through the high-banked turns of the Antioch Speedway clay oval in route to winning the IMCA modified feature Saturday night.  (Antioch, CA)

(071815) Antioch Speedway Action – Shawn DeForest of Livermore slides through the high-banked turns of the Antioch Speedway clay oval in route to winning the IMCA modified feature Saturday night. (Antioch, CA) photo by Mike Adaskaveg

Antioch, CA – Watch the weather forecast if you want to know who is going to win at Antioch Speedway. When humidity rolls in, Livermore’s Shawn DeForest is the driver to beat in the International Motor Contest Association Modified stock car division.

We excel when the track holds a little moisture,” DeForest said after driving the car of Jim Reid from Knightsen to victory. “Don’t bet against us on a night like this.”

DeForest was untouchable in leading the feature event, Saturday night, July 18.. The battle for second between Petaluma’s Michael Paul, Jr. and Kyle Wilson of Salinas had the fans on their feet.

Wilson was challenging Paul, running second for ten laps, for the entire distance to the checkered flag. It was on the last turn of the last lap that Wilson snatched second from Paul, who was held up by the lapped car of Ed Daviess.

I just got sandwiched between Kyle (Wilson) and that lapped car,” Paul, Jr. said. “I had to slow a bit.”

We both stayed on the gas deep into the third and fourth turn,” explained Wilson of he and Paul, Jr.’s battle. “He just lifted his foot for a second and that was all I needed – I took full advantage of it.”

Paul, Jr. charged back to finish alongside Wilson, with Wilson taking second by a half car length.

Bobby Motts, Jr. of San Pablo was fourth, and Scott Busby of Martinez fifth.

Garner Wins for His Dad

Mark Garner of Antioch celebrated a win for his dad in the Northern All Stars Limited Late Model Division. Jerry Garner, battling cancer, was able to be in the stands to see his son bring home a hard fought victory.

It is an important year for us – I’ve dedicated the season to my dad, who is the reason I am racing,” Garner said. “To win with him in the stands is something I will always remember.”

Early leader Jim Freethy of Danville exited with s shredded tire, with Garner taking the lead. Veteran drivers Larry Damitz of Vallejo and Mike Gustafson of Concord then began chasing Garner.

He (Garner) was in the right groove,” said second place Damitz, who got alongside Garner a couple of times. “I tried to pass him but there wasn’t much I could do to get traction.”

Ricky Thatcher from Mariposa chased Gustafson across the line, with Mike Hynes of Suisun City following in fifth.

Sorensen Takes Hobby Stock Thriller

El Sobrante’s Chris Sorensen scored his second win of the season in the Hobby Stock Division, but the win didn’t come easy. Concord’s veteran figure eight racer, Jimmy Robbins jumped into a friends hobby stock to “shake it down” and wound up shaking up Sorensen.

I tried to get him on the low side, the high side and on the backstretch,” Robbins said. “Man, we had some fun out there.”

Sorensen echoed the excitement.

It was a thrilling race,” Sorensen smiled. “I couldn’t believe he could jump into a hobby stock that hadn’t been driven in a long time and make it perform like that.

Kimo Oreta of Vacaville, who finished third, had a bird’s eye view of the excitement in front of him.

I was ready – and I was worried that it could get ugly as those two battled it out, but everything went just fine,” Oreta said. “I stayed low on the track to get traction, but there wasn’t enough track to make a move.”

Michael Cooper of Bay Point finished fourth, with last week’s winner, Chase Templeton from Brentwood challenging.

Wingless Sprint Heartbreaker

Concord’s Keith Shipherd led the Northern All Stars wingless sprint car feature from the drop of the green until eight laps to go, when Chase Wood, Jr. of Milpitas stalled on the track.

Shipherd, hoping for a win on his birthday, wound up crashing hard at the start of the backstretch as he avoided Wood, Jr.

I had too much speed,” Lamented Shipherd, whose car was wrecked in the front and rear. “I was hit him or hit the wall, so I chose the wall.”

Jim Perry III from Concord passed Rick Panfilli of Antioch to take the win. Perry III overcame an early spinout to make it his third win of the season.

It is strange how things turn out in this division,” Perry said. “After I got bumped and spun, it didn’t look like a win for me. I’m happy I could turn it around and win.”

Marcus Smith of Manteca finished third, followed by Alan Miranda and James East of San Jose.

This Week At Antioch Speedway

IMCA SportMods and DIRTcar late Model Stock cars highlight the five division program at Antioch Speedway on Saturday night July 25. The Northern All Stars Wingless Sprint Car, Hobby Stock and Dwarf car division will also race in a complete program of qualification heats and feature events.

Antioch Speedway is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch, Calif. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for children 6-12. Children under six years old are admitted free. A family four pack of tickets is $40. Secured parking is offered by the Fairgrounds for $5. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information visit www.ovalmotorsports.com.

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Letter writer says transfers from Antioch city water and sewer funds for police, tiered billing illegal

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Dear Editor:

Following is a letter I sent to Antioch Mayor Harper and Council Members, City Manager Steve Duran and City Clerk Arne Simonsen, in response to a column in the Antioch Herald.

Dear Mayor Harper and Council Members,

It has now been more than three weeks since the June 23rd Council Meeting and more than two weeks since I sent to you all the Appellate Court Cases Mayor Harper requested at that meeting (copies attached, below). As of this date I have received no correspondence from the City, the Council, any Council Member, the City Manager or the City Clerk concerning the illegal activities of the City of Antioch involving the Sewer and Water Funds transfers and tiered billing.

Let me begin by saying that conservation, drought or no drought, is a good idea and the recycling and the maximum use of natural resources is worthwhile.

Not just for human beings but for all the creature of the Earth.

However noble an idea or desire may be including water conservation it does not rise to the circumvention or shredding of the California State Constitution. Irrespective of Governor Brown’s belief that he can persuade or browbeat the elected officials at the County or Municipal level he does not have the executive authority or right to sidestep the California State Constitution. Neither do you.

More than two hundred years ago we abandoned an authoritarian form of government and while democracy is often imperfect in many ways it represents the will of the citizen’s desires best.

I will not stand by and watch the Antioch City Council violate recent California Case Law, the California State Constitution and your Oaths of Office. This is unacceptable and you need to move not later than your next Council Meeting, July 28th, to correct the City’s position concerning transfers from the Water and

Sewer Funds and the tiered water rates placed in effect only to promote conservation. You will need to agenda these items for the Meeting, July 28th and correct your and previous Councils errors. As part of that correction the General Fund must be immediately required to repay and restore the illegal transfers from the Water and Sewer Funds and diverted to the Police Department during the past several years.

Transfers:

From information provided by the Finance Director, Dawn Merchant an initial transfer from the Water Fund began in 2010 with no transfer from the Sewer Fund. In 2011 both Funds were affected by transfers, with the Water Fund amount being transferred reduced from $265,000 to $240,000. When I asked Ms. Merchant for the Nexus Calculation Formula applied to the Water and Sewer Funds I was informed it is a percentage of the Police Budget (see attached email and accounting of transfers). There is no Legal Nexus or Formula according to your Finance Director.

Under Proposition 26 Cities are limited when transferring utility receipts into the General Fund. There must be a Nexus. In Citizens for Fair REU v. City of Redding, a State Court of Appeal held this year that the transfer of funds from the utility was a tax not approved by the voters as required by Proposition 26. Proposition 26 is an Amendment to the California State Constitution. Part of the reasoning by the Court was that the City of Redding was simply billing the utility a percentage and there was no connection to the cost of the service.

This case in facts and evidence closely parallels what is being done by the City of Antioch. Let me be clear. Billing the Sewer and Water Funds a percentage of the Police Budget is illegal, violates case law, violates the State Constitution and in voting to continue this illegal process of taxing the voters without a voter approval you are all and each individually violating your Oath of Office.

Tiered Water Rates:

Proposition 218, another amendment to the California Constitution in 1996, requires that government agencies charge only the cost of providing the service. Arbitrary tiered rates that do not correspond to the actual cost of providing the service are illegal. Not even in times of drought can you do this type of predetermined tiered billing. Not even at the browbeating of the current Governor of the State of California. Not at all.

In the case of Capistrano Tax Payers Association v. City of San Juan Capistrano a California appeals court ruled this year that tiered water rates must be based on cost. They cannot be based on predetermined usage.

The City of Antioch has adopted such a predetermined tiered usage plan in violation of California Case Law, in violation of Proposition 218 and in violation of the California State Constitution. In voting to approve and implement such a tiered billing process you all and each individually are violating your Oath of Office.

Oath of Office:

At the time each of you took office for the City of Antioch you swore or affirmed in part or whole the following:

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE 20 MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS

I, ______, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.

And I do further swear (or affirm) that I do not advocate, nor am I a member of any party or organization, political or otherwise, that now advocates the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means; that within the five years immediately preceding the taking of this oath (or affirmation) I have not been a member of any party or organization, political or other wise, that advocated the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means except as follows: __________________________________________________ (If no affiliations, write in the words “No Exceptions”) and that during such time as I hold the office of ______________________________________________ (name of office) I will not advocate nor become a member of any party or organization, political or otherwise, that advocates the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means.”

Therefore; be advised that on June 23rd, 2015 you were placed on notice prior to your vote that approval of the Budget, Item 7 of the Agenda without lining out the Water Fund and Sewer Fund transfers was illegal.

Know now that this action and each and every individual vote was a violation of your Oath of Office. A probable criminal offense against the voters and citizens of Antioch. Know also that your adoption by vote previously of the tiered water rates based on a predetermined usage was illegal. Also, a probable criminal offense against the voters and citizens of Antioch. Ignorance is not a defense and neither is pressure from the Governor of the State of California.

Conclusion:

Bad advice and counsel comes in many forms and from many persons. Good intentions are sometimes corrupted. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And, executives sometimes come to believe they are omnipotent. These all become challenges for democracy, the law and the citizens.

You are all being called to correct errors made by this Council and previous Councils. This is your opportunity to do what is right and just and to live up to your Oaths of Office and the California State Constitution. The citizens of Antioch expect nothing less from you.

Demand is made that you agenda not later than July 28, 2015, Transfers concerning the Sewer and Water Funds and Tiered Water Rates. Demand is made that you line out the transfers in the current Budget and terminate all transfers that have no basis in a Legal Nexus. Demand is made that the General Fund immediately repay all funds illegally transferred from the Water and Sewer Funds for all years including but not limited to 2010 through 2015. Demand is made that you revoke the predetermined Tiered Water Rates based on conservation and not on the cost of service and that amended water rates be immediately calculated for billing in August.

Should you fail to agenda the items noted above and should you fail to make the corrections outlined I would be significantly disappointed. The citizens of Antioch will be significantly disappointed. The challenge to our City would continue forward seeking a just solution.

This is not my first tussle with the City of Antioch concerning Constitutional rights. The result of that previous tussle did not go well for the City. Constitutional matters as in these issues tend not to be blurred on misunderstood and once adjudicated, as in Redding and San Juan Capistrano, become crystal clear to all. Is our City at that point of clarity yet?

I look forward to the City Council Meeting July 28th.

Sincerely,

Mark Jordan

Capistrano-Taxpayers-Association-v-City-of-San-Juan-Capistrano_Amicus-Brief(1)

Citizens v City of Redding

Merchant & Jordan communication

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Antioch teen and law office to hold annual effort to collect school supplies for Antioch students

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Stuff the Bus Give a way 2015

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Antioch teen plays basketball in Europe, helps team USA bring home the gold

Thursday, July 16th, 2015
The USA Basketball 16 and Under boys championship team.

The USA Basketball 16 and Under boys championship team.

 

Alan Lloyd Jr with his championship trophy.

Alan Lloyd Jr with his championship trophy.

By Allen Payton

Alan Lloyd, Jr., of Antioch, traveled to Europe for the United World Games, as part of the USA Basketball team 16 and Under boys and helped them bring home the gold.

They played a lot of good teams,” his father Alan, Sr. said. “And they came out on top.”

Alan, Jr. just celebrated his 13th birthday, this week and will be an eighth grader at Black Diamond Middle School, this year. The talented, young scholar athlete, who had a 3.6 GPA, this year, was the youngest player on the USA team. His teammates will be in 10th and 11th grade. 

He has been playing with high schoolers for the past five years,” Alan, Sr. added.

Now Alan, Jr. is preparing to play in the upcoming West Coast National AAU tournament in Las Vegas, this week, from Thursday to Sunday. Good luck to him and his team!

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