Archive for April, 2016

Belle refused entry to Frazier’s Capitol office

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

By Allen Payton

Embattled Contra Costa County School Board Trustee Jeff Belle, was refused entry into Assemblyman Jim Frazier’s office in Sacramento, when Belle was in the State Capitol for the county school boards’ legislative action day on Tuesday, March 18th.

When asked if Frazier told him he wasn’t welcome in his office, Belle replied, “Yes, he did say that I wasn’t welcome and should leave.”

“I told him that I’m here regarding education legislation which affects our school districts,” Belle explained. “He stated that I recruited someone to run against him. I replied, this meeting isn’t about partisan politics, it’s about our children and the issues within our schools.”

“I further stated that I would leave out of respect for the people in the room and the process, but totally disagreed with him. I then walked out of his office,” Belle continued. “The situation with Frazier, in my opinion, is an example of party interest over the interest of the people. He is a big bully. Witnesses will support my story. There were four other people in the room. Two of the four were parents from Antioch.”

Belle said those parents were Nallely Malaspina, a member of the District English Learner Advisory Committee and Cindy Osborne of the Deer Valley High School PTSA.

Malaspina confirmed she was with Belle in Sacramento, that day and that he was denied entry into Frazier’s office.

When asked why, Frazier explained the reasons for his actions.

“I didn’t allow Jeff Belle into my office because I don’t want to be associated with someone who is dishonest with the public,” he stated. “He was fined by the state, last year for claiming to be a respiratory therapist when he wasn’t.”

“More importantly, he lied to the voters on his ballot statement, claiming to have a college degree when he didn’t,” Frazier added. “He was investigated and is now being prosecuted by the county  District Attorney’s office for that crime.”

When asked if it was partisan because Belle is a Republican, Frazier – a Democrat – responded, “No. It’s not a partisan issue. I just don’t trust him.”

Belle labeled it “State Capitol bullying in action.”

He is facing a trial in the ballot statement matter and can be fined a maximum of $1,000 if convicted.

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New Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse now open in Antioch

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

Pete's outside night

Pete's artichoke dips appetizer.

Pete’s artichoke hearts appetizer.

By Allen Payton

Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse chain has opened their 13th location in Antioch. They offer a variety of menu items including steaks, burgers, pizzas, pastas, flatbreads and sandwiches. Their pastrami sandwich is very tasty with just the right amount of creamy horseradish.

Plus, they offer a variety of salads, a daily soup and delicious desserts, like their monkeybread. Of course, Pete’s has over 40 beers on tap, as well as specialty drinks like a Roy Rogers and Shirley Temple for the kids.

Pete’s goal is to create a warm, welcoming environment for their unique concept of fine, contemporary family dining. Enjoy the fireside patio.

“It’s an honor to have created a new place for Antioch to thrive,” said owner Harman Grewal. “We are proud to say 85% of our staff are Antioch residents, as is the general manager.”

Pete’s R & B is the place to be for every occasion: date night, family night, events, meetings and celebrations.

They’re open for lunch and dinner and located at 2709 Hillcrest Avenue, off Larkspur. Stop by or call 522-2222.


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Benefit concert for Antioch Police Activities League at Leer Vineyards, Saturday, May 7

Friday, April 29th, 2016

PAL Benefit Concert

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Writer has problem with Barr being endorsed by Brentwood Police Officers, supports Hardcastle for Supervisor

Friday, April 29th, 2016


Brentwood City Councilman and Supervisorial candidate Steve Barr’s endorsement by the Brentwood Police Officers’ Association is a clear example of what is wrong with California politics and government leadership.

A city councilman and/or supervisor is on the management side of the negotiation for pay, benefits, pensions, working rules, etc. with labor groups.  Having their endorsement and, in all probability financial support, during the campaign, leads to the distinct possibility of a pay back or reward for that support during contract negotiations.  The second problem with this arrangement is that the only people left out of that negotiation are the taxpayers, the people who have to pay for the results of that negotiation.  It is especially easy to give pay increases and other benefits when you are negotiating with other people’s money.

I support Doug Hardcastle for Supervisor in District 3.  Doug and his wife Linda have owned and successfully operated Hardcastle’s RV in the county since 1972.  He was on the Ironhouse Sanitary District Board of Directors from 2000 until 2012 and a member of the Oakley City Council since 2012, serving as Mayor, last year.  He is Chairman of Transplan (the East County transportation board), Chairman of the State Route 4 Bypass Authority and is Vice Chairman of the Tri Delta Transit Authority. Doug is a successful, independent leader who understands the need for private sector economic development and jobs in East County and has proven his ability to lead in the public sector.  But, most of all, he is working for all the people of East County, not just a chosen few.

Hal Bray

Discovery Bay

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Applicants needed for Contra Costa County Disproportionate Minority Contact Task Force

Friday, April 29th, 2016

County Supervisors are seeking residents interested in reviewing data and discussing issues regarding disproportionate minority contact within the local criminal justice system. On April 12,

2016, the Board of Supervisors approved the 17 member Disproportionate Minority Contact Task Force composed of the following members:

  • ·County Probation Officer
  • ·Public Defender
  • ·District Attorney
  • ·Sheriff-Coroner
  • ·Health Services Director
  • ·Superior Court representative
  • ·County Police Chief’s Association representative
  • ·Mount Diablo Unified School District representative
  • ·Antioch Unified School District representative
  • ·West Contra Costa Unified School District representative
  • ·(5) Community-based organization (CBO) representatives (at least 1 representative from each region of the County and at least one representative from the faith and family community)
  • ·Mental Health representative (not a County employee)
  • ·Public Member – At Large

Following passage of Assembly Bill 109, commonly known as Public Safety Realignment, significant program infrastructure, both within the County and in the community, were put into place to support returning citizens with successful reentry into the community following incarceration; however, there remain factors that contribute to minority residents experiencing disproportionate levels of arrest, prosecution and incarceration. Cities and counties across the nation are grappling with the same issue, but precipitating factors and solutions are unique to each jurisdiction.

In Contra Costa County, the Board of Supervisors has charged the newly established Task Force with identifying these unique factors and recommending solutions to improve the experience of minority residents across the County. The Board is seeking applications for seven (7) of the seats above; five (5) community based organization seats, one (1) Mental Health representative seat and one (1) Public member At-Large seat at this time. Applicants for community based organizations seats must be affiliated with a community based organization operating within the County. Applicants for the Mental Health representative seat must be involved in the mental health community within the County, but cannot be a County employee.

Applicants for the Public Member At-Large seat may be any individual that resides or works within the County.

Applicants will be interviewed by the Board of Supervisors’ Public Protection Committee (Supervisors Candace Andersen, District II and John Gioia, District I) with appointment recommendations being sent to the full Board of Supervisors for action. Below is a timeline for the recruitment:

  • · June 15th: Application Deadline (7 week application period)
  • · June 27th: Public Protection Committee Meeting: Interviews
  • · July 12th: Board consideration of PPC nominations

Application forms can be obtained from the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors by calling (925) 335-1900, or by visiting the County webpage at Applications should

be returned to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Room 106, County Administration Building, 651 Pine Street, Martinez, CA 94553. Applications can also be faxed to (925) 335-1913.

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Relocated AAA Antioch Branch Grand Opening event, Saturday

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Fun- filled day to celebrate new “Next Generation” office design

WHAT:          AAA Northern California announces the grand opening of its new location and newly designed AAA Antioch branch office that is now open to the public. This “Next Generation” design features digital interative areas that make waiting more productive and informative for members. AAA Antioch is a full service branch office staffed with AAA insurance agents providing life, auto, home insurance, AAA memberships, and AAA travel assistance. Free maps and tour books will also be available free of charge to all members. DMV services are now available Monday through Saturday from 9am to 6pm.

WHEN:          Saturday, April 30, 2016

11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

11:00 am -Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

11:30 am.- 12:30 pm –Vida Blue, former A’s & Giants player Meet & Greet

12:30 pm -1:30 pm SF Giants Mascot Lou Seal Meet & Greet

WHERE:       AAA Antioch Branch Office  Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5799 Lone Tree Way, Antioch

AAA Antioch Grand Opening Event activities include:

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. with city officials and AAA executives.

Meet & Greet with Oakland A’s legend and SF Giants pitcher alum Vida Blue and SF Giants Mascot Lou Seal

Live broadcast  by 10.7.7 “The Bone” radio station

Food truck tastings – Road Dog’s Weenie Wagon

Contra Costa Fire Department representatives

Baseball games and giveaways throughout the day

WHY:             AAA is dedicated to servicing its members with the expertise and quality they have come to expect. AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to more than 4.5 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded 116 years ago.

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County Sheriff to hold National Prescription Drug TAKE BACK Day, Saturday

Friday, April 29th, 2016

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 10 AM to 2 PM, the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 11th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal at the following sites. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.


-Oakley Police Department, 3231 Main Street, Oakley

-Office of the Sheriff Muir Station, 1980 Muir Road, Martinez (Field Operations Building)

-Office of the Sheriff Bay Station, 5555 Giant Highway, Richmond (West County Detention Facility)

-Danville Police Department, 510 La Gonda Way, Danville

-Lafayette Police Department, 3675 Mt. Diablo Way, Suite 130, Lafayette

-Orinda Police Department, 22 Orinda Way, Orinda

Last September, Americans turned in over 702,000 pounds of prescription drugs at over 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its ten previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 30, 2016 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Office of Diversion Control website at:


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Writer opposes Harper and Wilson for Supervisor, not enough police, too much crime in Antioch

Friday, April 29th, 2016


Antioch’s Mayor Wade Harper and Councilwoman Monica Wilson are failures.  Antioch is no safer or better off since their elections.  Their impacts haven’t been positive in many ways.  Their visions for Antioch have allowed Antioch to be a crime plagued community under their leadership.  Don’t vote for them for County Supervisor.

Some of Harper’s primary election campaign platforms was to improve Antioch’s public safety.  He boasted “The City of Antioch will be a safer city on my watch” and “Stopping crime now starts with Police Lieutenant Wade Harper.” It additionally crowed “How about we elect a City Councilmember who has experience fighting crime – well beyond talking about it.”

Harper also promised “more police” and “less crime” in his overzealous support for a YES vote on tax Measure “C”.  What a farce that has also turned out to be, he was one of the main proponents for its passage.  Same Police, similar crime results since.  Monica Wilson was right there going along and not pointing out the farce it’s been.

Antioch’s Police manpower has really not been increased, even with Harper and Wilson at the helm, with almost the same number of sworn Officers as before.  But, they did give big salary and benefits increases to some employee groups instead.  Antioch’s crime rate hasn’t really been reduced, it’s been a misleading dog and pony show when publicly discussed by them and others.

As an example, where are the 20 plus “more” Officers that were promised?  And where is the “less crime” they promised?  Not kept.  Antioch’s high crime rate situation is still way too high!  Antioch’s documented crime rate is higher than the California average crime rate and is higher than the National average crime rate.  Antioch’s is about 46% more than California’s average and about 49% more than the National average.

Let’s face it, Antioch’s Wade Harper and Monica Wilson are failures and should not be voted for County Supervisor.  We can do better without them. There are four other Candidates to chose from and should instead be considered for your votes.

Ralph A. Hernandez

former Antioch Council Member, and

Chair Citizens For Democracy

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