Archive for June, 2016

Relatives find Antioch man suffering from gunshot wound in his house, Saturday night

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

By Sergeant Tom Fuhrmann, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 10:15 p.m. Antioch Police Officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of Biglow Drive on the report of residents returning home and finding their relative, a 43 year old Antioch man, on the floor inside the home and suffering from a gunshot wound.

The victim was transported by ambulance to an area hospital, where he is being treated. His status at this time is critical.

Antioch Police Detectives were called to the scene and are actively working the investigation. No further information will be released at this time as we are in the early stages of the investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Colley with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6922. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Another shooting on Highway 4, in Bay Point area, Friday night

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

On Friday night, June 24, 2016 at about 9 PM, Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to a shooting that had just occurred on Highway 4 in the Bay Point area. Deputies were advised the victim vehicle was located at a convenience store on Willow Pass Road.

Deputies arrived and spoke to the driver and passenger. The driver said he was heading westbound on Highway 4 just before the San Marco Boulevard exit when someone shot at his car. Deputies saw evidence that the car was struck by a bullet.

The passenger, who appeared to be hit by glass fragments, was taken to a local hospital.

This shooting is being investigated by the Office of the Sheriff and California Highway Patrol.

Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to call the Office of the Sheriff Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email: or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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Assemblyman Frazier honored by Special Olympics Northern California as Volunteer of the Year

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Assemblymember Jim Frazier 2016On Friday, June 24, 2016, Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D–Oakley) received the Volunteer of the Year award from Special Olympics Northern California.

“I am honored to receive this award from such an inspiring organization. As a volunteer at the summer games, each year I witness the confidence, self-esteem and dignity instilled in the athletes who have the opportunity to shine and showcase their talents,” stated Frazier. “Knowing how much they look forward to this event and seeing the smiles on their faces is reward enough for me. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Special Olympics Northern California to expand possibilities for the athletes of the future.”

Frazier has volunteered at the summer games for the past 12 years. This year he is carrying legislation, AB 2371, to help maximize opportunities for people to make donations supporting the Special Olympics. Frazier also worked to secure $1,000,000 in the budget to expand the Special Olympics Unified Strategy for Schools.

“Volunteers are essential to the success of Special Olympics Northern California. This year we chose to honor Assemblymember Jim Frazier as Special Olympics Northern California’s Volunteer of the Year. The time and dedication Assemblymember Frazier and his staff, have shown year-after-year as volunteers at Summer Games is extraordinary,” said David Solo, President and CEO of Special Olympics Northern California. “We thank Assemblymember Frazier for believing in the abilities of people with physical and intellectual disabilities and the importance that Special Olympics can have on their lives.”

Special Olympics Northern California is a free year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. There are 19,940 athletes who compete in 198 competitions throughout the region in 12 sports.

Included in that figure are 9,385 special education student-athletes who have Special Olympics in the classroom through our Schools Partnership Program. Special Olympics requires the extraordinary support and time of 20,000 volunteers and volunteer coaches.

Financial support comes almost exclusively from individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations. For more information on Special Olympics Northern California, visit

Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

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Free Community Awareness Course in Antioch starts Tuesday, June 28

Saturday, June 25th, 2016


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Antioch Council honors Leo Fontana with Key to the City, approves community cameras

Friday, June 24th, 2016

By Nick Goodrich

At the Tuesday, June 14th, the Antioch City Council met to recognize an Antioch resident for his community involvement, and approved cameras throughout the city, among other things.

The Antioch City Council opened the meeting with a proclamation in honor of Leo Fontana, longtime Antioch resident and involved community leader.

Fontana arrived in Antioch in 1942, and has since been known to be a pioneering businessman and caring resident. He served on the Antioch Parks and Recreation Commission from 1950-1963, the Planning Commission from 1968-1978, and City from 1982-1986. Some of his many other projects and activities in service to the Antioch community include Delta advocacy, the Antioch Senior Center, and the Antioch Historical Society Museum’s Sports Legends program.

Following the reading of the proclamation he was presented with a Key to the City.

“It’s a matter of recognizing your community and living to your community, and I think that’s what I try to do,” Fontana stated. “Antioch is really known as a community that has a lot of volunteers, and so I acknowledge all the volunteers, including the people that have served on the Council, and the different Commissions in the Community. They are the ones that really make the community.”

Council Approves Cameras

Later in the meeting, Police Chief Allan Cantando was once again before the council to speak on the issue of community cameras.

In previous council meetings, Cantando had proposed a plan to install a license plate reader camera system at certain Antioch intersections and on streets that have been known to be crime hotspots in the past. The council subsequently gave approval for him to move ahead with the camera request.

“These cameras, as we’ve talked about before, are going to improve our police efforts in the Sycamore corridor,” Cantando told the council members.

The camera systems, to be installed by Odin Systems, will cost the city a total of $161,171 for agreements with Odin Systems and Lear Auto and Electric.

Cantando also noted that the plan would call for fewer cameras than initially suggested by staff, saving the city some money that otherwise would have gone toward the project.

The plan will include camera installations at the corners of L Street and Sycamore Drive, Auto Center and Sycamore, and Auto Center and Mahogany Way.

“This is our first wave of community cameras, and we are going to evaluate this program after its implementation to see what our successes are, and any concerns that are identified,” he added.

Cantando, at the request of Mayor Wade Harper, explained that freeway cameras – which would cover off- and on-ramps – are being looked into by the APD, as well.

“I will bring that up toward the end, as a future agenda item,” Harper said.

City Manager Steve Duran added that the funds used to put the camera systems in place will come from Measure C, which has been a point of some tension between the council and Antioch residents in recent meetings, regarding ambiguities in the usage of funds by the city.

Placing camera systems in hotspots in an effort to help the police solve and prevent crimes could be argued an appropriate use of Measure C funds, however, as the measure emphasized bolstering police efforts.

The council approved the request for funding on a 5-0 vote, and the city will begin the process of installing the systems.

“We’ve been waiting for this, I think it’s a great idea,” said Harper. “About time.”

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Antioch School Board votes to hire Stephanie Anello as new superintendent on split vote

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
New Antioch schools Superintendent Stephanie Anello smiles to the applause of the audience following the vote to hire her by the Board, at their meeting, Wednesday night, June 22, 2016.

New Antioch schools Superintendent Stephanie Anello smiles to the applause of the audience, along with Trustee Alonzo Terry, following the vote to hire her by the Antioch School Board, at their meeting, Wednesday night, June 22, 2016.

By Allen Payton

At their regular meeting on Wednesday, June 22, the Antioch School Board finalized the process for hiring a new superintendent for the district by voting 3-1-1 to hire Interim Superintendent Stephanie Anello.

Four of the board members spent months working to fill the position made vacant by the early, what some believe was the forced, retirement of Dr. Don Gill, by hiring of a search firm at the cost of $29,000, reviewing 20 applicants and interviewing seven of them and multiple, closed sessions deliberating. They finally settled on Anello as the consensus candidate and spent more time in closed door meetings negotiating her salary and compensation package and announced their selection on June 13.

The newest board member, Alonzo Terry, was appointed in May but didn’t take his seat until June 8, after a required one month provisional appointment period had passed, so he was unable to participate in any board meetings until then. He was the one vote to abstain.

Before the vote, two members of the public spoke.

“At this point, as part of the city council…I think you made an excellent choice,” said Antioch Councilwoman Mary Rocha, who is a former school board member.

Another resident spoke about Anello, as well.

“She’s always willing to give you the time and listen,” said Nayeli Salazar. “She’s always kept her word. I just want to thank her for all of that.”

Then the board members offered their comments about Anello, the contract and the process.

“A lot of work went into this contract…given the budget numbers,” said Board Member Debra Vinson. “This board’s looking at a level of high accountability. I’m looking forward to working with Ms. Anello. We’re behind the eight ball. I’m hoping we can push the reset button.”

“I’d like to echo those words,” stated Board Vice President Walter Ruehlig. “The process was very rigorous…where neither party was really happy.

“That’s an indication it was fruitful. Stephanie has had a 24-year probation with the district,” he continued to with a chuckle, and laughter from the audience. “I’ve heard this was pre-ordained, rigged. All I can do is laugh. We all went in with a completely open mind. If we could have found a better candidate, we would have chosen them in a heartbeat.”

Terry stated he wasn’t on the board during the process and “I have to depend and count on my colleagues.”

Board President Diane Gibson-Gray argued in favor of the contract, comparing the financial components with those paid to Gill.

“I said the cream would have to rise to the top,” she said. “We spent $29,000 on Leadership Associates and it rose to the top.”

She then shared the figures of a $250,000 salary for Gill, compared to $225,940 for Anello; a car allowance of $5,400 for Gill compared to $3,600 for Anello, “tel com” expense of $1,500 and bonus of $7,500 for Gill compared to zero in both categories for Anello.

Vinson offered additional comments.

“We had several very qualified candidates,” she stated. “We tried to do what’s in the best interest of the district. We hope to…really move forward.”

Terry then offered more comments on the contract, as well.

“It was difficult for me,” he shared. “We did a comparison. We hit her with some hardballs. I was surprised she took it. I was shocked.”

Vinson also argued for the contract.

“Look at the contract,” Vinson added. “Look at the details. If there was a difficulty (with the previous superintendent) there was 24 months. We limited that to nine months,” referring to the severance package portion of the contract.

Ruehlig then stressed another difference in Anello’s contract.

“Stephanie agreed to a two-year contract,” he said. “Standard in the industry is four years.”

Navarro then offered a different point of view and a critique of the process.

“I’m the one vote that’s not in support,” he stated. “It was not a predestined decision. I did try to warn the board if we did have an internal candidate to save the money.

“We lost a board member. I asked the board…we should accelerate to appoint the seat,” Navarro added, referring to the vacancy created by former member Claire Smith who resigned abruptly in March. “We went along with a four-member instead of a five-member (board).”

“My support is a thousand percent with Stephanie,” he continued, but said his opposition “is because of the issue of the contract. I applaud the board’s austerity. The numbers are generous. Superintendent salaries average $149,000 to $189,000 nationwide. We’re temporary custodians making long term decisions. It’s very generous with regards to the district. We’re in decline (referring to declining enrollment, which was reported earlier in the meeting).”

“Mine’s more of a vote to a clear conscience,” he concluded.

Ruehlig responded.

“I respect that,” he said. “I’ve always respected Fernando. There was no guarantee Stephanie was going to accept the position. We truly didn’t know. We had a long, long final session…to get to the final decision. It was a prudent decision.”

Vinson also offered additional arguments in favor of Anello and the contract.

“We had several qualified candidates,” she reiterated. “I understand Mr. Navarro’s position because I was there.”

She then spoke of two other candidates presented by the search firm and that they had to “look at what’s in the best interest of the district” and “a fit for the district.”

“To be a team player, sometimes you have to let your ideas go,” Vinson added.

Navarro responded.

“This is a team operation,” he said. “To have a full board, to not rush into anything like this.”

Then following their comments, Gibson-Gray, Ruehlig and Vinson voted in favor of the contract and to hire Anello, Navarro voted against, and Terry voted to abstain.

“All I can say is congratulations,” stated Gibson-Gray, after the vote and during the applause of the audience.

Anello responded.

“I’m just really honored to serve the district in this capacity,” she said. “I thank you for the opportunity and look forward to continuing the work that is going on in the district and…some long overdue changes.”

“If at the end of two years, if we find we’re not good dance partners, then the board has the opportunity to make a decision, then,” she added. “I never want to be a block.”

“We look forward to two years, if not more,” Gibson-Gray responded, which drew laughter from the audience.

A press release from the district, on June 13th, announced the board’s selection:

“After a full search using Leadership Associates, the board selected Ms. Anello not only due to her extensive experience during her 18 years of employment with Antioch Unified School District, but also her seven months of on-the-job accomplishments as the Interim Superintendent.

Her experience in AUSD as a classroom Teacher, Vice Principal, Principal, Director, Associate Superintendent and Interim Superintendent, makes Anello uniquely qualified to lead the District.

Since taking the helm in November, Anello has successfully negotiated teacher and classified contracts, taken decisive action to integrate Special Education students into current and new AUSD programs by opening the Bidwell Center and has made several difficult decisions to better align spending with current revenues.

Additionally, during the last seven months she has successfully ensured that District initiatives are more publicly transparent. While doing so, she has adeptly employed positive social media, and established robust media relationships and city partnerships to highlight the many positive activities happening in our schools.

Ms. Anello has lived in the community since 1990. She has two adult sons, both of whom attended AUSD schools.”

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Prince Tribute skate, Friday night June 24 at Paradise Skate in Antioch

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Prince Tribute Skate ad

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Antioch Parks & Recreation Commission hears downtown event center proposal for Waldie Plaza site

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Top view from river

Top view from southwestFrom City Manager Steve Duran’s Weekly Report, dated June 17, 2016:

“Thursday evening, I attended the Parks & Recreation Commission Meeting to hear the item on the initial draft conceptual plans for the redesign and renovation of Waldie Plaza and the discussion of changing the name to Waldie Plaza & Event Center.

The Commission provided a positive reception overall and good feedback, which will inform a revised draft.

This item will be brought to the City Council for discussion and direction at a later date.”

To view the complete presentation slides, click here: Waldie Plaza presentation 0616

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