Archive for October, 2016

Trying to scare up more votes, Contra Costa Elections Office gives residents more options, as early voting starts today on Halloween

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Regional Early Voting sites provide flexible timing and locations to cast ballots Contra Costa County voters don’t have to wait until Election Day to vote in person.

The Contra Costa Elections Division is hosting seven Regional Early Voting sites throughout the county, starting Monday, October 31st.

All registered Contra Costa voters will be able to obtain a ballot and vote at any of the locations. They will be open from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday October 31st through Friday November 4th, and 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday, November 5th.

“We continue to seek ways to make voting more convenient for our voters,” said Joe Canciamilla, Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters. The night and weekend hours are aimed at making it easier for those Contra Costa voters who commute or want to vote at a convenient site before Election Day, Canciamilla said.

“We have seen the use of our early voting sites double and expect the trend to continue,” Canciamilla said.

Regional Early Voting sites are structured so that any registered Contra Costa voter can vote at any of the locations. For example, a Concord resident who works at Bishop Ranch in San Ramon can vote at the site in either of those cities.

The sites are geographically balanced and are located in convenient, accessible locations.

  • Golden Hills Community Church, 2401 Shady Willow Ln., Brentwood
  • Pittsburg Library Community Room, 80 Power Ave., Pittsburg
  • The Salvation Army Church, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord
  • Bay Hills Community Church, 4100 Klose Way, Richmond
  • Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette
  • San Ramon Community Center at Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon
  • El Cerrito City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito

For more information on Regional Early Voting, visit

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Antioch School Board violated state law when President Gibson-Gray denied Navarro’s urgency agenda item effort

Monday, October 31st, 2016

By Allen Payton

At last week’s Antioch School Board meeting an attempt was made by Trustee Fernando Navarro to place an urgency item on the agenda, regarding the scheduling of meetings for the required public hearing and final vote for Rocketship Education’s charter school petition. Both of his attempts during the meeting were denied by Board President Diane Gibson-Gray in violation of the state’s Ralph M. Brown Act Open Meeting law.

Navarro’s efforts were blasted on social media by faculty and staff of the district, writing such things as how the meeting was difficult to watch and how they wished the meetings had been televised so the public could see how bad he was.

Yet, it was Gibson-Gray who was wrong in how she handled things. Navarro, one of the newest members of the Board and only serving in his first year in office, was actually the one who was doing things properly.

His first attempt at making the urgency item motion was during the discussion of the minutes from the previous meeting, was a bit awkward, but allowable. Gibson-Gray pointed out to him that it was not the right time for his motion, even though Trustee Alonzo Terry had seconded the motion and no other motion including one to approve the minutes had been made. Yet, it was in the minutes from the previous Board meeting on October 12th, that it was discovered a vote by the Board at that meeting on receiving the Rocketship charter petition, did not include the dates discussed for the public hearing and final vote.

So, Gibson-Gray could and should have allowed Navarro’s motion at that time, especially since it was seconded and no other motion was on the table.

A discussion, about the Rocketship charter petition meetings, was held at the October 12th meeting and it was understood that November 2nd was the date proposed by district staff for the public hearing and November 28th for the final vote, and at least verbally agreed to by Board members, including Gibson-Gray. This reporter included the dates in the article about that night’s meeting.

However, in an email response to questions sent to her following the meeting, last week, Superintendent Stephanie Anello claims the meeting dates were not included in the motion during the meeting on October 12th.

“No dates were agreed to at a previous meeting,” she wrote.

Therefore, with “the clock ticking” as Trustee Walter Ruehlig mentioned in his email response to questions of Gibson-Gray and the rest of the Board members, the matter was urgent. That’s because once the Board had received the charter petition, they had 30 days to set a public hearing and 60 days within which to schedule the final vote.

Yet, even after the vote on the minutes from the previous meeting was taken, Gibson-Gray didn’t immediately bring Navarro’s effort to make his urgency agenda item motion back to the table for discussion, as she should have. When he did attempt to make his motion, later in the meeting, she again denied him, being told by district staff that it violated the Brown Act.

Instead, the Board scheduled a special meeting for last Friday at 4:00 p.m. to discuss the matter of the Rocketship charter petition meetings for the public hearing and final vote. At that meting, the board approved the public hearing be set for Wednesday, November 9th and the final vote on December 7th.

Asked why Navarro’s urgency item couldn’t have been placed on the agenda on Wednesday night’s meeting, Anello responded, “Navarro wanted to discuss the issue tonight but the item was not agendized nor did he request that it be placed on the agenda prior to tonight’s Board Meeting. The Board is conducting the public’s business so the public must always be afforded the opportunity to provide input on the topics contained on the agenda. Since the public was unaware that Mr. Navarro wanted to discuss the item because it was not agendized, discussing it last night would have been a violation of the open meeting laws as outlined in the Ralph Brown Act.”

However, both Anello and Gibson-Gray, as were those who wrote against Navarro’s efforts on social media, were wrong.

Urgency Items Are Allowed

The fact is the Brown Act does allow for urgency items to be placed on an agenda during a meeting, as happens periodically at Antioch City Council meetings. They require a few things. First, that the matter meets the narrow definition of an “emergency situation”, with one meaning being that it arose after the meeting agenda was set. Second it requires a 2/3’s vote of members, which means four of the five members of the school board have to approve the urgency item.

According to a guide on the Brown Act, published by the League of California Cities, “The Brown Act generally prohibits any action or discussion of items not on the posted agenda. However, there are three specific situations in which a legislative body can act on an item not on the agenda:

  • When a majority decides there is an “emergency situation” (as defined for emergency meetings);
  • When two-thirds of the members present (or all members if less than two-thirds are present) determine there is a need for immediate action and the need to take action “came to the attention of the local agency subsequent to the agenda being posted.” This exception requires a degree of urgency. Further, an item cannot be considered under this provision if the legislative body or the staff knew about the need to take immediate action before the agenda was posted. A new need does not arise because staff forgot to put an item on the agenda or because an applicant missed a deadline; or
  • When an item appeared on the agenda of, and was continued from, a meeting held not more than five days earlier.

The exceptions are narrow, as indicated by this list. The first two require a specific determination by the legislative body. That determination can be challenged in court and, if unsubstantiated, can lead to invalidation of an action.

A legitimate immediate need can be acted upon even though not on the posted agenda by following a two-step process:

First, make two determinations: 1) that there is an immediate need to take action, and 2) that the need arose after the posting of the agenda. The matter is then placed on the agenda.

Second, discuss and act on the added agenda item.”

10/31 10:44 AM UPDATE: In an email response from Anello, she wrote, “You are correct that exceptions can be made to discuss a non-agendized item, but the scope of the exception is very limited as stated below. No emergency situation existed as evidenced by the fact that the BOE met 48 hours after the meeting and the issue was resolved. The purpose of a Special Meeting (distinct from an Emergency Meeting) is to discuss or take action on an item prior to the next Regularly scheduled BOE Meeting. I think the following statement from below sums it up nicely, ‘The prudent course is to place an item on the agenda for the next meeting and not risk invalidation.’”

10/31/16 3:10 PM UPDATE: An email was sent to Anello with the following questions: Who is the school board’s parliamentarian? Is it you? Is it the district’s attorney? Was the attorney in attendance on Wednesday night to advise President Gibson-Gray on the matter of Navarro’s urgency item? If not who made the determination that it wasn’t allowed?

Anello responded, “The Board’s President is the parliamentarian. The District’s attorney was not present at the regularly scheduled meeting.”

Yet, according to the National Association of Parliamentarians, a parliamentarian is to be someone who “is an expert in interpreting and applying the “Rules of Order” for meetings.  A parliamentarian’s main function is to give advice on parliamentary procedure to the president, officers, committees, and members of a group or organization. Parliamentarians also have knowledge of the nomination and election process, which can be of great assistance in close or difficult elections.”

The Board President who chairs the meeting, can’t effectively or objectively hold both roles.

Navarro’s Matter Was an Emergency Situation

Because Fernando’s motion was about adding an item to the agenda after it was discovered that the minutes did not reflect a vote on the schedule of meetings for the Rocketship charter in the motion and action by the Board at the previous meeting, after the agenda was set and distributed, and because the matter included the need for setting the public hearing prior to the next scheduled regular board meeting, it can easily be argued that the matter was one of emergency.

Plus, since the Board subsequently held a special board meeting to discuss the matter, just two days later, it was definitely a matter of urgency, and thus another argument to support it being an emergency item for being placed on Wednesday night’s agenda.

Gibson-Gray is now serving in her eighth year on the school board, and she previously served on the City of Antioch Planning Commission. Yet, it appeared she didn’t understand the Brown Act or how to run a meeting, and prevented Navarro, as a Board member – whom she voted to appoint – from making his motion and doing what he thought was necessary to properly represent the public.

This is the second time Gibson-Gray operated outside of the bounds of proper procedure for running a school board meeting. Earlier this year, during the matter of hiring the new superintendent, she was going to allow Navarro to offer his comments after the vote. This writer had to make a point of order and explain that Robert’s Rules of Order, under which the Board operates its meetings, does not allow discussion after a vote is taken. The proper procedure is a motion is made and seconded, discussion is held and a vote is taken. Then the agenda item is completed with no more discussion allowed.

There has been a concern that there was an effort to postpone the Rocketship charter petition vote to a date after the new board members will take office, following the November 8th election. When asked if staff was attempting to make that happen, Anello simply replied, “No.”

Board Member Responds

In response to questions about Navarro’s urgency item effort, why Gibson-Gray denied it, if they were they not aware of the Brown Act allowing them, and why they held a public Board meeting during a week day, twice emailed to all of the Board members, Ruehlig, who is the Board Vice President, was the only one to respond.

“Because we had future meetings and future agenda times still ahead of us on that night’s agenda and because I was determined come hell or high water to stay with the original direction, as was recommended by Staff, and given a nod of consent by Trustees, to calendar two public meetings before the Board changed composition I thought an emergency inclusion for that meeting might not be necessary,” he wrote. “That said, there is a good argument to be made that since it was a lingering ‘confusion’ from the past meeting and since by not clearing it up we would have to call another meeting it may have been an emergency.

“Certainly the clock was ticking on a public hearing and time was already lost,” Ruehlig continued. “Emergency or not, there is no doubt in my mind that we could have spared energy and avoided the messiness of:  a) all that meeting commotion; b) the irritating inconvenience of coming back yet for a meeting yet again when we thought direction was clearly set on who was to vote on the application; c) loss of citizen attendance due to short notice of a special meeting and one in the afternoon all by inserting right then and there.”

The Board members and Anello were also asked who the parliamentarian is, if it’s the school district’s attorney and if their attorney was present at last Wednesday’s meeting, and who made the determination that Navarro’s motion was not allowed. They were also asked why does it make sense to hold a meeting to discuss the matter at a time when most of the public couldn’t attend, instead of placing it on the agenda during a public meeting when the public is actually there to witness the discussion and possibly give input before the vote, and how is that keeping with the spirit of the Brown Act Open Meeting law. No responses were received as of the time of publishing of this report.

Please check back later for any updates.



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Shots fired, robbery, DUI, drugs and stolen cars among Antioch Police calls for week of Oct. 13-20, 2016

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Antioch Police calls for service highlights as published in City Manager Steve Duran’s Weekly Report dated October 21, 2016 and provided by Chief of Police Allan Cantando.

Calls for Service and Arrest Data:

Time Period: 10/13/16 00:00:00 – 10/19/16 23:59:59

Number of Calls for Service: 1,637

Number of Case Reports: 251

Number of Arrests: 72

Felony: 33

Misdemeanor: 39

Arrests with DUI charge: 7

The data is based upon unaudited CAD/RMS data at time of report generation.

  • ·10/20/2016 at 12:05 am, an officer was flagged down concerning a subject stopped at eastbound HWY 4 off ramp at Hillcrest Ave. in the left turn lane that appeared to be passed out. 28 year old Damon Rash was found sleeping in his vehicle. The vehicle was running and in drive with his foot on the brake. His vehicle was put into park and he stumbled out. He was found to be intoxicated and taken into custody without incident. Rash was booked into county jail for DUI after consenting to a blood draw.
  • ·10/19/2016 at 11:00 pm, 31 year old Steven Tricas was contacted during a vehicle stop at the Economy Inn located at 520 E 18th St. Tricas was found to be out of compliance with his sex offender registration. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into county jail.
  • ·10/19/2016 at 10:16 am, a male called dispatch and reported he was being jumped by drug dealers and gave an address in the 600 block of Doolittle Way. A welfare check was done at the house and 36 year old John Sanborn was contacted in one of the rooms. Sanborn was found to have two narcotics related warrants for his arrest. We did not locate any victim of an assault. Sanborn was arrested and booked into county jail.
  • ·10/19/2016 at 4:20 am, officers responded to a possible auto burglary in progress in the area of Brocatello Ct. and stopped the responsible vehicle fleeing the area. 33 year old Ashley Robins was the driver of the vehicle and she had a warrant for burglary in the system for her arrest. Robins was arrested without incident and sent to county jail.
  • ·10/18/2016 at 11:10 pm, officers were dispatched to 3915 Delta Fair Blvd. for transients trespassing in the laundry room. Officers contacted security, who was out with 19 year old Maritza Brizuela. Brizuela did not live in the complex and she was issued a citation for trespassing and released.
  • ·10/18/2016 at 9:20 pm, dispatch received several reports of a vehicle stopped in the roadway near E 18th St. and A St, with the driver passed out. Officers arrived and located 44 year old Jeffrey Canales sleeping in his vehicle, in the #1 lane of westbound E 18th St. The vehicle was running and in “drive”, but Canales had his foot on the brake. Officers woke Canales and noticed objective symptoms of intoxication. After several sobriety tests, Canales was determined to be DUI and placed under arrest. Canales consented to a blood draw and was booked at county jail.
  • ·10/18/2016 at 8:48 pm, officers contacted 59 year old Monte Parmenter during a disturbance call in the apartments at 2301 Sycamore Dr. Parmenter had a citable warrant for the possession of drug paraphernalia. He was issued a citation and a new court date.
  • ·10/18/2016 at 8:44, an officer was providing extra patrol at City Park and located 35 year old Christian Davis, 23 year old Wayeinesha Bridges, 34 year old Shadia Mitchell, and 34 year old Daniel Arnold inside the park after dusk. All four subjects were issued citations for municipal code violations and removed from the park.
  • ·10/18/2016 at 4:13 pm, a citizen called APD Dispatch to report his vehicle was stolen from his driveway this afternoon by an unknown responsible. Before an officer was able to respond for the report, the citizen located his own stolen vehicle on Wolverine Way occupied by two males. The subjects noticed the citizen following them and quickly parked the vehicle and fled on foot. Responding officers located 17 year old male on a nearby walking path which the citizen identified him as the driver. The male was arrested and found to be in possession of a key that operated the stolen vehicle. The other male was not located. He was released to his mother from APD with a citation.
  • ·10/18/2016 at 12:03 pm, 29 year old Brandon Hill was contacted during a check of a homeless encampment on the railroad tracks near Auto Center Dr. and Sycamore Dr. A records check revealed he had a no bail felony warrant for probation violation in the system for his arrest. He was taken into custody and booked into county jail.
  • ·10/18/2016 at 12:42 am, 35 year old Dawanna Hall was contacted during a pedestrian stop at Chevron located at 2413 A St. Hall was found to have several warrants for charges including drug possession, fraud, petty theft, burglary, and possession of stolen property. Hall was arrested without incident and sent to county jail.
  • ·10/17/2016 at 7:30 pm, 28 year old Leonard Munson was the passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for a red light violation in the area of Hwy 4 and Auto Center Dr. A records check of Munson revealed a felony warrant for weapons violations out of Alameda County (Arizona). The warrant and extradition were confirmed and Munson was taken into custody without incident. He was booked into county jail.
  • ·10/17/2016 at 11:32 am, officers responded to Wells Fargo Bank located at 1715 A St. for a report of a male attempted to cash a stolen check. 55 year old Anthony Oneal left the bank prior to police arrival but left his identification and the stolen check behind. Oneal had a listed address on Evergreen Ave. and showed to be on probation for narcotics. Officers contacted Oneal at the front door of the Evergreen address and he was detained. A probation search of his room revealed evidence related to the check fraud as well as clothing described by the bank employee. Oneal was subsequently arrested for forgery and a probation violation. During the investigation it was learned the victim was the victim of a home invasion robbery in San Mateo County on 10/14/16. San Mateo County detectives arrived to question Oneal and conduct follow up. Indicia and evidence related to the home invasion robbery were located in Oneal’s possession. Oneal was transported to the MDF.
  • ·10/17/2016 at 10:35 am, 30 year old Joseph Dalessio was contacted during a pedestrian stop in the area of E 6th St. and E St. A name check revealed he had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for his arrest. He was arrested without incident and transported to the county jail.
  • ·10/17/2016 at 2:45 am, 27 year old David Bickham was contacted during a pedestrian stop at Lowe’s located at 1951 Auto Center Dr. He was found to have a no bail warrant for failing to appear for the work alternative program. He was arrested without incident and transported to the county jail.
  • ·10/16/2016 at 9:46 pm, 39 year old Abinesh Kumar was DUI when he hit a parked car in the 2000 block of Mokelumne. Dr. Kumar was arrested without incident and transported to the hospital. Kumar submitted to a blood draw and was medically cleared for incarceration. He was transported to county jail.
  • ·10/16/2016 at 6:50 pm, 32 year old Elissa Montes was driving eastbound on Bluerock Dr. when she veered from the roadway and collided with a parked car. Montes showed objective symptoms of intoxication and admitted to consuming alcohol at Tailgater’s Sports Bar. She was found to be DUI during subsequent field sobriety tests. Montes was arrested and booked at county jail.
  • ·10/16/2016 at 6:05 pm, officers were dispatched to the 600 block of Doolittle Way for a report of gunshots heard. Upon arrival, two spent shell casings were located in the street. Two area residents were contacted and reported hearing gunshots and then seeing a male carrying a handgun get into a blue Ford Mustang and drive away. The Mustang was not familiar to the area. No victims were located and no vehicles or structures were hit by the gunfire.
  • ·10/16/2016 at 1:01 pm, an officer was in the area of Joe’s Liquor on D St. when he ran the plate of an occupied stolen Honda. As the officer was behind the vehicle near the intersection of C St. and W 19th St, the driver 20 year old Julian Ramirez sped off north bound. The officer activated his emergency equipment and the driver failed to yield and turned west on W 18th St, running the stop sign at that intersection. Ramirez quickly turned south onto D St and fled on foot through the Aracely’s market parking lot where he was caught by the officer. Ramirez was arrested without incident and found to have a felony no bail probation violation warrant for robbery. Ramirez was sent to county jail on the warrant and for failure to yield.
  • ·10/16/2016 at 12:26 pm, 27 year old Mack Faumui was contacted in the area of Delta Fair Blvd. and Fairview Dr. related to a suspicious person call for service. A check of his name revealed he had a no bail felony probation violation warrant for auto theft. He was arrested without incident and sent to county jail.
  • ·10/16/2016 at 6:38 am, 24 year old Troy Lyles was driving on Carter Way when he hit the curb and disabled his car. Lyles was determined to be DUI and was arrested without incident, and booked at APD.
  • ·10/16/2016 at 2:28 am, officers responded to the area of 3421 Hudson Ct. for a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers found an unoccupied vehicle with two bullet holes in the windshield. Officers also found (8) 9mm expended shell casings in the area. It appears as if the subject in the vehicle pulled up to the entrance gate to 3421 Hudson Ct. when unknown subjects began shooting at the vehicle and the subjects in it. The vehicle backed up to get away and it struck a parked vehicle on the street. All attempts to contact the registered owner met with negative results. There was no indication that anyone in the vehicle had been struck by the bullets. The investigation is ongoing.
  • ·10/15/2016 at 2:33 pm, a parking enforcement officer was in the Walmart parking lot conducting his day to day duties as a parking enforcement officer when he observed a physical fight between a security guard and two others in the parking lot where two subjects were bleeding heavy from the head. The parking enforcement officer requested officers respond Code 3 as it appeared the security guard was being forced into a vehicle. Officers arrived and contacted 60 year old Henry Harris, 61 year old Michael Whigham and the 72 year old victim. As it turned out, the victim was employed as parking lot security for Walmart but was not a direct employee of Walmart. The victim was flagged down by a Walmart manager who was requesting he obtain a license plate of a vehicle. The victim took it upon himself to attempt to detain the occupants by banging on the window to which he was assaulted by Harris. The victim attempted to remove the vehicle keys from the ignition and was assaulted by Whigham. The victim, Harris and Whigham fought each other up until officers arrived. Walmart loss prevention was contacted and stated Harris was observed stealing numerous items of food from the store valuing in excess of $1,000. These items were located in the back seat of the vehicle they were in. The victim sustained minor injuries to his head and refused medical attention. Harris had no injuries and Whigham sustained a small laceration to the back of his head. Harris was transported to county jail for the charges grand theft and battery. Whigham was released from the hospital on a citation for battery.
  • ·10/15/2016 at 12:55 pm, officers responded to a residence in the 5300 block of Catanzaro Way for a disturbance complaint. 39 year old Anthony Hernandez was contacted and found to have an outstanding no bail warrant for failing to report for the work alternative program related to a DUI charge. He was arrested without incident and sent to the county jail.
  • ·10/15/2015 at 12:31 pm, officers responded to a residence in the 3400 block of Lexington Way for a disturbance complaint. 31 year old Martel Norman was contacted and found to have an outstanding misdemeanor probation violation warrant for his arrest out of Alameda County. He was arrested without incident and sent to the county jail.
  • ·10/14/2016 at 10:25 pm, an officer conducted a records check on a Honda in front of him in the area of G St. and W 18th St. It came back a recently stolen out of Pittsburg. An enforcement stop was conducted and 35 year old Victor Adame was taken into custody without incident. He was found to be in possession of shaved keys and suspected Methamphetamine. He was booked into county jail and the vehicle was returned to its owner.
  • ·10/14/2016 at 4:04 pm, 53 year old Brett Moore came to the APD lobby to complete his monthly sex offender registration and it was determined he was 12 days late. Moore is on parole and his Parole Officer agreed to violate his parole. Moore was arrested and booked into county jail.
  • ·10/14/2016 at 8:55 am, the manager Contra Loma Estates called dispatch to report that the residents at 2212 Peppertree Way, Apartment 3 were legally evicted from the apartment on 10/13/2016. He reported that one of the residents returned and was inside of the apartment. 46 year old Leontuan Ward was contacted inside of the apartment and found to have a no bail warrant for his arrest for possession of stolen property and resisting arrest. Ward was arrested and booked into county jail.
  • ·10/14/2016 at 5:04 am, 23 year old Vanessa Uiagalelei was eastbound on James Donlon Blvd. just passing Blythe Dr. when she failed to negotiate the bend in the road. She drove over the south curb line, knocking down a city sign, going through the bushes, and coming to a stop on the walking trail. She had minor injuries and was also found to be intoxicated. She was transported to the hospital for treatment. Uiagalelei consented to a blood draw and due to an extended wait for treatment was released pending further investigation. Public works was notified regarding the damaged signed and clean up needed around the landscaping.
  • ·10/14/2016 at 2:13 am, 24 year old Lateef Omari was contacted near the 5100 block of Grass Valley Way after neighbors called to say he was acting suspicious in the neighborhood. He was found to have a warrant for his arrest for possession of drugs and taken into in custody without incident. He was booked into county jail.
  • ·10/13/2016 at 11:15 pm, 42 year old Jesus Bustamante was contacted during a traffic stop in the area of Tulip Dr. and Aster Dr. and found to have a warrant for his arrest for drug possession. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into county jail.
  • ·10/13/2016 at 8:10 pm, an officer was driving behind the Spirit Halloween Store located at 2511 Somersville Rd. and ran a plate on a black Honda Accord that was stopped behind the store. The Honda was a reported stolen vehicle out of Antioch. The vehicle started moving and the officer conducted a vehicle stop on the car. 24 year old Robert Stalker was contacted as the sole occupant of the vehicle. Stalker stated that he recently bought the vehicle and that the shaved key in the ignition came with the vehicle. The registered owner of the vehicle was contacted and stated that he did not know Stalker and he did not have permission to have the vehicle. Stalker was found to have one prior auto theft arrest. Stalker was arrested and booked into county jail.
  • ·10/13/2016 at 7:21 pm, officers were dispatched to 2900 block of Lone Tree Way for the report of a vehicle that had crashed into a residence. Upon arrival, they found a pickup truck had crashed into several parked cars and into the above residence. They contacted the driver of the vehicle, 55 year old Daniel Moss. Moss had the smell of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person and was slurring his words. He was detained while officers checked the residence for victims. They located a 23 year old victim who stated he was in his kitchen at the time of the crash. The truck came through his garage and into the wall of his kitchen. This caused his kitchen table to hit him and knock him down. He only had a complaint of pain but was transported to the hospital for observation. As a result of the crash a gas line was ruptured and natural gas was leaking heavily into the residence. Officers quickly evacuated everyone on the block to a safe location until fire arrived and shut off the gas main. Moss displayed symptoms of being under the influence and was eventually taken into custody after a result on the preliminary alcohol screening device. Moss admitted to driving and admitted to drinking alcohol prior to driving. He was medically cleared then transported county jail.
  • ·10/13/2016 at 5:40 pm, the loss prevention officer at Rite Aid located at 4100 Lone Tree Way observed 27 year old Sequoia Luster concealing two bottles of champagne into her large purse. Luster exited the store without paying for the items. The loss prevention officer stood in front of Luster to prevent her from leaving with the merchandise. Luster tried several times to walk around the victim. He was able to convince Luster to walk back inside. Luster again tried to exit the store with the merchandise. The victim blocked Luster from leaving by standing in front of her at the door. Luster swung at the victim and struck him in the right forearm. Luster then swung the blue bag, which contained the two glass bottles, and struck the victim in the right forearm. Fearing Luster would attack him with the bottles; the victim grabbed Luster and took her to the ground. The victim held Luster to the ground until the officers’ arrival. A system check of Luster showed she was on misdemeanor probation for burglary. Luster was taken to county jail for robbery and violation of probation.
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Realtors spend another $8,000 to support Ogorchock for Mayor, bringing total to $28,500 for race

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Wright challenges interview process and questions

By Allen Payton

In what appears to be an unprecedented amount of spending on behalf of a candidate for either Antioch Mayor or City Council, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) increased their support for Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock’s campaign for Mayor by another $8,074.01, this past week. That brings the total to $23,504 in independent expenditures (IE’s) the organization has spent to support her election effort.

The latest expenditure for a mailer, was reported on a state-required 496 form, for IE’s to support or oppose a candidate. Such forms must be completed and submitted to the City Clerk within 24 hours of spending $1,000 or more by an individual or organization.  ogorchock-realtors-496-10272016

The support by the national organization is in addition to a $5,000 contribution made directly to Ogorchock’s campaign by the California Association of Realtors’ (CAR) California Real Estate PAC. That brings her total support by Realtors to $28,504, which is more than the rest of the amount of funds raised and spent by her campaign committee.

A licensed Realtor, Ogorchock is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Delta Association of Realtors (DAR), and a member of the organization’s Local Government Affairs Committee. It was the Local Candidate Recommendation (LCR) sub-committee which handled the candidate interviews, which were used to determine how much to contribute to each of their campaigns.

When reached for comment about the money being spent by NAR, Ogorchock responded: “I’m very appreciative that they are spending the money on me, sending out the flyers and the online advertising.”

Asked if she was concerned that it appeared the organization was trying to buy the Mayor’s seat, she replied, “Are you kidding? Just because they’re spending money on me, they’re buying an election? I don’t think so.”

Asked about money coming from NAR, versus money from CAR or DAR, Ogorchock said, “CAR gave me $5,000 and everyone else got money who interviewed before them (the DAR sub-committee). The only person they didn’t give money to was Gil Murillo because he didn’t have an FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) ID#.”

However, Murillo stated he did have an ID#, but not at the time of his interview, and later provided it to DAR once he had obtained one. Murillo has since suspended his campaign and given his support to Wright.

She was asked why NAR was making the expenditures rather than CAR or DAR.

“I do know that NAR has done this before,” Ogorchock shared. “I believe it was a woman in Solano County two years ago who got some money. How they go about it, I don’t know. I didn’t get help from them last time,” when she ran for City Council in 2014.

“We had a different AE (Administrative Executive) at DAR, last time,” she continued. “So our management structure has changed at the local level.”

Candidate Interviews

Asked if she sat in on the interview for former fellow candidate for Mayor, Murillo, Ogorchock replied, “Part of it, yeah. He said it was all fine with him. He wanted me to hear what his platform was. I did not stay for the whole interview.”

Murillo confirmed that he invited her to stay during his interview.

Asked about the process for endorsements and contributions, she replied, “I was not endorsed by the DAR. DAR doesn’t endorse anyone. All I know is there is an interview process. DAR reaches out to every elected official and candidate. I interviewed like everyone else did. They were done for a contribution,” not an endorsement.

“I’m on the local government relations subcommittee that I’ve sat on for five years,” Ogorchock explained. “They made the decisions on the monetary amounts. Then that went to the board for final approval.”

Asked if she sat in on any of the Antioch City Council candidate interviews, she said “I believe I was there for Kenny’s (Turnage). I wasn’t there for Mary’s (Rocha), Monica’s (Wilson) or Lamar’s (Thorpe). I don’t believe Karl (Dietzel) interviewed. I can’t remember if I was there for Fred’s (Rouse).”

Asked about the amounts contributed to the various candidates, Ogorchock stated, “I don’t get into the financial part of it. When the board voted on how much to give I was excused from the room.”

One issue that was of concern to fellow candidate for Mayor, Dr. Sean Wright was the questions of how much he planned to spend on his campaign. dar-candidate-questionnaire

“I’m concerned about questions 8 & 10, of how much money do I think I need to win and how I was going to raise the money,” he stated. “If this organization is going to ask those kinds of questions and then go and spend $23,000 on behalf of a candidate, that calls into question an issue of ethics.”

Question 8 on the DAR questionnaire to candidates asked, “What level of funding do you think is required to run a competitive campaign?” Question 10 was two parts which asked, “What are the primary financial resources you anticipate for your campaign?” and “Are you willing to commit personal funds, if so how much?”

“Is it ethical to ask those questions of candidates and then use that information to help one of their competitors?” Wright asked.

When asked if Ogorchock sat in on his interview, he responded, “she didn’t sit in on my interview.”

“All these answers were typed up and submitted prior to the interviews,” Wright explained. “So they had access to all our answers. When we went in for questions, the committee members who were sitting there already had our answers.”

“It looks like they’re spending enough money to try and match what my goal was,” he added.

Asked what Wright told the committee his goal was, he said, “I told them that (Mayor) Wade (Harper) raised and spent $40,000, four years ago. So that’s what I think the goal is. But, my goal was to raise it with local funds and local residents.”

When asked who came up with the list of questions, Ogorchock replied, “Byron Bogaard, the AE. I did not participate in developing the questions.”

Antioch Councilman Tony Tiscareno is also a member of the sub-committee and sat in on the interviews. A concern was raised about that, both as a current council member and because he had already contributed to is supporting Harper’s re-election effort.

However, Ogorchock stated that Tiscareno asked each candidate if it was acceptable to them if he sat in on their interviews. He confirmed that, and added that he didn’t make any decision about the contributions.

According to Local Government Relations Committee Chairman Scott MacIntyre, it’s the LCR sub-committee, which he also sits on, that conducted the candidate interviews and recommended to CAR who to support and how much to contribute.

“Every candidate is invited to interview,” MacIntyre reiterated.

When asked if each candidate who interviews receives a check, he replied, “not necessarily. Generally we’ll throw them something. But, it’s not automatic.”


In contrast to the contributions to and amounts spent for Ogorchock, CAR gave $1,500 to Turnage’s campaign for City Council, $1,000 to Councilwoman Wilson’s campaign, $500 to Thorpe’s campaign according to their latest campaign finance reports. Wright, whose campaign received a check from CAR last week, after the latest reporting period ended, said it was for $250. Councilwoman Mary Rocha said she, too participated in the interview process and her campaign received $1,000 from CAR, also last week, after the latest finance reporting period had passed.

“That’s the first time ever that they’ve supported me,” she stated.

LCR sub-committee Chairman Aaron Meadows said Mayor Wade Harper did not participate in the interview process.

When asked if he had a comment about the amount of money being spent by the Realtors on Ogorchock’s behalf and the interview questions, Harper did not respond.

Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen was asked if he had ever seen this amount of spending by an organization on behalf of a candidate for either Antioch Mayor or City Council.

“Walmart may have back in 2004, as they did an IE,” he responded.

The election is Tuesday, November 8th.


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Community College District board to fill Nejedly’s seat through appointment process

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Applications now available to fill vacancy on Governing Board by Provisional Appointment-Trustee Ward IV

The Contra Costa Community College District (District) is accepting applications to serve as an appointed member for Ward IV of the Governing Board until the next regularly scheduled election for Governing Board members in 2018. The vacancy was created by the recent death of Trustee John Nejedly.

Applicants must be registered voters and residents of Ward IV, which includes Blackhawk, Byron, Danville, Diablo, Discovery Bay, San Ramon, and parts of Alamo, Antioch, Brentwood, Clayton, and Concord.

The Governing Board gave approval at its October 18, 2016, special meeting, to fill this position by provisional appointment instead of the more costly option of an election. Applications are being sought from candidates who have the ability and time to fulfill the responsibilities of being a member of the Board, which includes:

  • full participation in the work of the Board by attending all Board meetings and key college and District events, studying and discussing policy issues, and participating in trustee education programs;
  • knowledge of the communities served by the colleges and willingness to act on behalf of and for the benefit of those communities;
  • commitment to community colleges and their missions; understanding of educational, social, and economic policy issues;
  • balancing the needs of many diverse groups; being able to build consensus; and
  • contribution to effective Board functioning and supporting the authority of the Board as a whole.

Those interested in applying shall complete and submit a cover letter, application form, resume, and no more than three letters of reference by 4:30 p.m., November 15, 2016, to the Human Resources Department, c/o Mr. Eugene Huff, Contra Costa Community College District, 500 Court Street, Martinez, CA, 94553.  All forms are located on the District website at, or can be picked up at the District Office.

A special Governing Board meeting will be held on November 29, 2016, to review all applications and determine persons to be interviewed.  Another special Governing Board meeting will be held on December 1, 2016, to interview three finalists.  If a third special meeting is needed, it will be held on December 5, 2016.

The goal will be to administer the oath of office for the new member at the regular Governing Board meeting on Wednesday, December 14, 2016, at 6:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact the Communications and Community Relations department at (925) 229-6823.

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Enjoy safe trick or treating in Antioch at Somersville Towne Center, Halloween night

Saturday, October 29th, 2016



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One more showing of Peter Pan play by El Campanil Children’s Theatre on Sunday

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

peter-pan-artPresented By El Campanil Children’s Theatre

Sunday October 30, 2016  2:00 pm

General Seating

Based on the novel by J.M. Barrie
Adapted by  Craig Sodaro

This superb adaptation captures all the magic and charm of everyone’s favorite story.  The Darling children love to hear of Peter Pan’s adventures during his visits through the open window of the nursery.  Then one night after Nana has taken his shadow and Wendy has sewn it back on, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell whisk the children off to Neverland to be part of the adventures.  Wendy, John and Michael become friends with the Lost Boys and Princess Tiger Lily and Wendy becomes everyone’s mother. When the evil Captain Hook captures Wendy and the Lost Boys, Peter Pan comes to their rescue. Together with the ticking crocodile, Peter Pan puts Captain Hook in his place and returns the Darling children to their home.

Performed by the children of El Campanil Children’s Theatre.

Tickets: Adults: $12   Seniors (62& Over): $10   Youth: (under 18): $8

NOTICE:  Only Orchestra seats are on the ground level. All others require access by stairs.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Ticket Office 604 W. Second Street (next door to the theatre) Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 1 hour before showtime or by phone at (925) 757-9500 or online at

Convenience Fees: When You Buy At The Box Office: No Fees; By Phone: $2.00 Per Order; Online: $1.50 Per Ticket (Except films: $0)

Ticket Delivery Fees: Email Tickets: No Charge; Will Call: No Charge; Mail Tickets: $ 2.00 Per Order

602 West Second Street in downtown Antioch.

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Martinez councilwoman writes to support Glover for Supervisor

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Dear Editor:

As an 18-year employee of Contra Costa County and a 14-year member of the Martinez City Council, I have a unique insight into the two candidates for the District 5 Supervisor race, having worked with both for several years.  Consequently, I am supporting Supervisor Federal Glover.

Federal has demonstrated over many decades in office the ethics and temperament to be an effective leader; people trust him, unlike his opponent. He builds strong, lasting relationships and coalitions, proving that achievement takes collaboration and is built on shared goals and values—not mega-doses of ego or backroom dealings. Federal is a true public servant who believes in good governance and the causes he champions; not someone bent on using their position and influence to “feather their own nest,” climb the political ladder, or take care of their special interests. Federal also has a record of accomplishment and exciting initiatives for the future—not just campaign promises and empty slogans.

On the Board of Supervisors, Federal made tough decisions during the Great Recession, resulting in the County’s “AAA” financial rating, which should not be entrusted to someone with a record of bouncing checks and filing bankruptcies. Federal has demonstrated leadership on public safety issues including gang violence reduction. And I am inspired by the infrastructure projects Federal has advanced that will have a profound impact on our City, as well as the Northern Waterfront Initiative.

For these reasons and many more, please join me in voting for Federal Glover for District 5 Supervisor.

Lara DeLaney

Martinez City Councilmember 2002-present

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