Archive for August, 2017

Brentwood man dies in motorcycle accident on Antioch freeway Saturday night

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Fellow motorcyclists leave scene before CHP arrives

Saturday night, August 26, 2017 at about 8:28 pm, Contra Costa CHP was advised of a traffic collision on the southbound lanes of SR-160 at the Wilbur Avenue on-ramp. Upon CHP and emergency personnel arrival, the male rider of the motorcycle had been ejected into the lanes of traffic on SR-160 and hit by another vehicle. The male rider was pronounced deceased at the scene. The southbound lanes of SR-160 were closed for approximately two hours for the collision investigation while traffic was diverted to the Wilbur Avenue off-ramp.

In the initial investigation and with the help of several witnesses, it appears that the solo male driver of the motorcycle (a 54-year-old male from Brentwood) was traveling on the Wilbur Avenue on-ramp and entering southbound SR-160 with several other motorcyclists. It appears the male rider drove over the gore point on the on-ramp to enter SR-160 and collided with the curb, subsequently ejecting him from his motorcycle. He was catapulted into the lanes of southbound traffic where he was struck by another vehicle, while his motorcycle continued into the lanes of traffic as well and was also struck by another vehicle. The rider was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The other vehicles that were involved in this collision stopped and remained at the scene. But the reported other motorcyclists riding with the 54-year-old man left the scene prior to CHP and emergency personnel arrival and have not been located.

At this time, it is unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor in this collision but it’s still under investigation. If anyone witnessed this collision or the events leading up to it on Wilbur Avenue, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez, (925) 646-4980, and Investigating Officer T. Johnson.

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Antioch files lawsuit challenging Delta tunnels project

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

On August 17, 2017, the City of Antioch filed an action against the California Department of Water Resources challenging the Final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed California WaterFix Project – e.g. the Delta Twin Tunnel Project. The City’s action alleges the Final Environmental Impact Report violates the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

In the action, the City describes some of the significant impacts from the Project to Antioch’s water supply and notes that such impacts remain unmitigated. Among the unmitigated project-related adverse impacts to Antioch are increased salinity levels at Antioch’s intake in the Delta.

The City’s Petition further describes how the WaterFix Project’s proposed operations remain largely undefined, making it difficult to determine the full extent of the impacts from the Project on the Delta. The City further contends that the WaterFix Project violates the dual goals of the Delta Reform Act of 2009 which required projects to reduce reliance on the Delta. Instead, the WaterFix Project, as presently proposed, will allow for the diversion of more water from the Delta including the diversion of much fresher Sacramento River water before it ever flows into the Delta.

Antioch as a city depends on the Delta for its quality of life, its drinking water supply, recreation and economic future. As one of the largest cities located entirely in the Delta, Antioch has been closely aligned with the protection of the Delta and its restoration. WaterFix is in conflict with both of these critical goals.

The City expects to work closely with other public agencies and environmental groups in opposing the Final Environment Impact Report for the WaterFix Project.

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Stand Down on the Delta 2017 organizer thanks volunteers

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Volunteers assist veterans during a visit by Assemblyman Jim Frazier (center) during the 2017 Stand Down on the Delta at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds, Aug. 11-14. Photos by Genevieve Mann

Dear Editor:

Delta Veterans Group would like to thank all of the volunteers that served for Stand Down on the Delta, 2017.

With your help, our community was able to provide services for over 260 veterans and their families.

Over 1,150 volunteers came together over 10 days to set-up, serve and tear-down our encampment. Over 5,800 meals were served in just four days.

Veterans received much needed supportive services, medical services, dental care, vision care, and mental health services.  We also had barbers, beauticians, entertainment, spiritual guidance and much more over the four days.  Plus – their animals were cared for onsite by C.A.R.T. – the Contra Costa County Animal Rescue Team.

We were also able to take over 40 veterans fishing on our Delta Shoreline…and yes, they caught a lot of fish…The largest fish was caught by a female veteran for the second Stand Down in a row…

All of this could not have happened without you – the volunteer.

Respectfully,

Gerald JR Wilson, President/Executive Director, Delta Veterans Group – Stand Down on the Delta

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Contra Costa Medical Career College cuts ribbon on new location in Antioch

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

CEO Stacey Orozco (with scissors) celebrates the ribbon cutting of the new location of Contra Costa Medical Career College with Antioch Mayor Sean Wright (in white shirt), other community leaders, Chamber of Commerce leaders and members,, and college staff and students on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017.

By Allen Payton

On Friday, August 11 Antioch community and business leaders, and Chamber of Commerce members joined with Stacey Orozco, CEO of the Contra Costa Medical Career College and her staff and students to cut the ribbon to officially open their new location in Antioch.

The school relocated in town after trying to buy the former AAA building on Auto Center Drive in 2015. (See related article)

Richard Pagano, CEO of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce said, “We’re so happy for you guys with everything you’re doing and everything you’ve accomplished.”

Mayor Sean Wright was also on hand to share his and the City’s congratulations.

“Having taken a tour of this location and seeing how beautiful it is, I’m so excited to see where you are right now,” he stated. “The Lord knows better than we do. I’m glad Antioch got to keep you. So, on behalf of the City of Antioch we have a certificate of appreciation,” which he presented to Orozco.

She then shared her appreciation for the opening of the school in its new location.

“It wouldn’t be what it is without my staff or my family,” Orozco said. “Without my second family this business wouldn’t be in existence.”

A representative of Congressman Jerry McNerney presented certificates of recognition from McNerney and Assemblyman Jim Frazier. A representative of County Supervisor Diane Burgis presented a certificate of recognition, as well.

“We wish you nothing but the best and look forward to see what comes out of it,” Pagano added.

Then Orozco cut the ribbon to cheers from those in attendance.

Now located at 4051 Lone Tree Way at Blue Rock Drive in the Blue Rock Center, the Contra Costa Medical Career College “is a small, private vocational training institution that is fully approved to operate by the California state Bureau for Private Post-secondary Education” which opened in July, 2011 and became fully accredited in May, 2013, according to their website at www.ccmcc.edu. The school offers courses for those who want to become medical assistants, as well as in the areas of surgical technology, pharmacy technology, phlebotomy and more.

For more information call (925) 757-2900 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit their website or Facebook page.

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New County Sustainability Commission to help Supervisors make Contra Costa cleaner, healthier

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Includes one Antioch resident; next Mmeting Monday, August 28

The Contra Costa County Sustainability Commission will hold its second meeting on Monday, August 28, 2017, 5-7 p.m., at 30 Muir Road, Martinez. The Board of Supervisors created the Sustainability Commission earlier this year to advise the Board and County staff on how to make Contra Costa County healthier and reduce pollution, important goals of the County’s Climate Action Plan.  The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

Thirty-five people applied for the 10 seats on the Sustainability Commission. Given the high level of interest and the opportunity to include more voices, the Board of Supervisors created an additional At-Large seat and allowed each Supervisor to appoint an alternate from his or her district. The 15 members and alternates of the Sustainability Commission appointed to date come from across the County and represent a range of interests and professional experience.  The members include:

Nick Despota, Member, District 1. Nick Despota, a longtime resident of Richmond, has served on numerous commissions and non-profit boards. His professional career has included video production, writing for educational media, and web design. After retiring in 2016, he began volunteering with an environmental organization to develop its online media presence. Nick currently leads the communication team for the Alameda Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. 

Victoria Smith, Member, District 2. Victoria Smith is the former Mayor of Orinda and longtime City Council Member. Victoria served as Chair of the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority, RecycleSmart, which provides recycling, reuse and garbage services to the cities of Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Walnut Creek, Danville, and central Contra Costa County.  Victoria is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UC Hastings College of the Law, and practices real estate law.

Reid Edwards, Alternate, District 2. Reid Edwards is a retired senior public affairs executive who worked for many years on all aspects of energy and environmental issues, both locally and in Washington, D.C. He resides in Lafayette and has lived in Contra Costa County, with short interruptions, since 1963. He currently volunteers with a number of local institutions including White Pony Express and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. 

John Sierra, Member, District 3. John Sierra teaches AP Environmental Science and was the Freedom High School teacher of the year in 2013.  He is actively involved with multiple community organizations and frequently takes his students on adventures near and far including Yosemite and Nicaragua.  John is dedicated to protecting natural resources while creating a healthy living environment for all.

Gretchen Logue, Alternate, District 3. Gretchen Logue is dedicated to community civic engagement, and has a lifelong passion for environmental sustainability.  She is the co-founder of the Tassajara Valley Preservation Association, an organization dedicated to the sustainability of Contra Costa County.  In addition to serving as a board member on the Tassajara Hills Foundation, fundraising for educational programs, this mother of three is also a California Naturalist.

Wes Sullens, Member, District 4. Wes Sullens, LEED Fellow, is the Director of Codes Technical Development at the US Green Building Council.  Prior to joining USGBC, Mr. Sullens worked for a local government agency in Alameda County, California (StopWaste), where he provided green codes advocacy, building and product standards development, and green building policy support. Previous to StopWaste, he was an energy and sustainability consultant at a prominent firm in the US.

Travis Curran, Alternate, District 4. A lifelong environmentalist, Travis Curran has spent the past 11 years working in adult mental health.  The Administrator at Crestwood Healing Center in Pleasant Hill, Travis led a sustainability project that transformed facility practices, saving over 2 million gallons of water, and earning a green certification and multiple green awards in the process.  Travis is passionate about waste reduction, and the preservation and protection of our state and national parks.

Charles Davidson, Member, District 5. Charles was the lead community organizer for MoveOn East Bay during the housing crisis. He then became involved with 350BayArea and helped found the Sunflower Alliance, organizing for climate and environmental justice issues, opposing multiple planned large-scale toxic tar sands refinery expansion projects, and lobbying for Community Choice Energy and a fossil-free and inexpensive clean energy future.  Charles has studied cancer biology and medical physics at the graduate school level and holds a US patent in advanced medical imaging. 

Mark Thomson, Alternate, District 5.  Long-time Martinez resident Mark Thomson is Co-President of the John Muir Association, which works closely with the National Park Service to share the legacy of John Muir.  Mark is also Co-Facilitator of Thousand Friends of Martinez, an organization dedicated to defending parks, creeks, wetlands, open space and historic elements in the Martinez area. Mark has previously volunteered with the Boy Scouts, Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center, and other organizations. His professional background is in Information Technology.

Howdy Goudey, At-Large, Community Group.  Howdy Goudey has an Engineering Physics degree from UC Berkeley and has worked for 24 years in the research and development of energy efficient buildings, particularly windows, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has also been a member of the City of El Cerrito Environmental Quality Committee for 9 years, as well as a volunteer with community gardens and native habitat restoration.

Harry Thurston, At-Large, Community Group.   Antioch resident Harry Thurston is committed to furthering sustainable resource usage by Contra Costa County and the municipalities within. He received formal training in sustainable resource usage from Humboldt State University, receiving a BS in Forestry. He put this knowledge into practice as a Peace Corps volunteer, followed by 10 years of Commercial Forestry practice, receiving California certification as a Registered Professional Forester.  Most recently, over the last several years, he has been leading the East Contra Costa effort to implement a Community Choice Energy program for the County’s unincorporated area and for the incorporated municipalities within the County. Harry is a member of the Contra Costa Clean Energy Alliance.

Kathy Cutting, At-Large, Business.  Kathy Cutting is a Bay Area native, settling in Oakley in 1989, where she raised her family.  Over the last 20 years she has enjoyed working as a residential landscape designer promoting sustainable land options for homeowners.  As an alumna of Cal State East Bay, Kathy now works at the University’s Concord Campus, where she is a liaison for all sustainability programs within the Concord campus community. 

Nicholas Snyder, At-Large, Business. Nicholas Snyder is a Senior Analyst at Tierra Resource Consultants, an energy and natural resource consulting firm in Walnut Creek.  Most recently, he has served as a lead on the funding and financing of energy efficiency, renewables, and energy storage.  Before joining Tierra, he interned at Contra Costa County Climate Leaders and the Energy Division of the California Public Utilities Commission, where he supported regulatory oversight of the Energy Watch, Regional Energy Network, and Community Choice Energy programs.

Doria Robinson, At-Large, Environmental Justice.  Doria is third generation resident of Richmond, California and the Executive Director of Urban Tilth, a community based organization rooted in Richmond dedicated to cultivating urban agriculture to help the community build a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system. Doria is trained as a Watershed Restoration Ecologist, and is a Certified Permaculture Designer, Certified Bay Friendly Gardener, a Certified Nutrition Educator, and a Certified Yoga Instructor and the founder of Sanctuary Yoga. She was recognized as Environmental Advocate of the Year for Contra Costa County and as Woman of the Year for Contra Costa County in 2010. In 2011, she was presented with a Community Resiliency Leadership Award from Bay Localize.

Scott Warfe, At-Large, Education.  Scott Warfe is an Assistant Professor of English and Developmental Education Lead at Los Medanos College. In addition to work in the English Department, Scott is also one of the founders of the LMC Food Pantry and volunteers with The Trinity Center, which serves homeless and working poor people in East Contra Costa County. 

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Camino Diablo Road closure from Main Street to Byron Highway in Byron

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Construction of the Byron Highway and Camino Diablo Intersection Improvement Project is underway. The project will widen roadway pavement, install a traffic signal, sidewalk and upgrade the Union Pacific Railroad crossing on Camino Diablo.  Camino Diablo, from Main Street to Byron Highway, will be closed for the construction of the upgrades to the railroad crossing effective 3:00pm August 29th until 7:00 am September 28th.

Traffic will be detoured to Holway Drive for access to Camino Diablo and Byron Highway.  Drivers can expect delays. The project is funded by Federal Highway Safety Improvement Funds, Traffic Mitigation Funds, and Local Road Funds. Project completion is expected by the end of November. For project updates, visit the Public Works website at: http://www.cccounty.us/pwdmap.

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Antioch and Deer Valley High football season preview

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

By Jesus Cano

The high school football season kicks off on Friday, August 25. Deer Valley has the tough task of hosting the returning NCS Division 1 champion Monte Vista, while Antioch travels to Stockton to face Lincoln High. Following are previews of the teams:

Antioch

A 30-year hiatus from playoff football turned into three consecutive postseason appearances for the Panthers. Last year they went 8-5 and headlined the North Coast Section Division one final but unfortunately lost to Monte Vista 42-18.

Najee Harris was the poster boy not only for Panther football, but the entire NCS. With the absence of the current University of Alabama running back, many people believe that Antioch football will vanish into the shadows. However, this team carries a lot more players in their arsenal to win back the Bay Valley Athletic League championship.

Seniors Dalaan Green and Omari Harris are set to fill the running back position. Green is described to have incredible speed by his coaches, he recorded a 10.94 in the 100 mm NCS Meet of Champions finals. Harris has offer has multiple division one offers, but is currently committed to Cal.

Dudley says his offensive and defensive line are going to excel in strength. His two returning tackles Alberto Sandoval and Garrett Robinson. Defensively, Timmy Dorsey has had a good showing on the line. Jake Hope and Josiah Simmons will play along on the line with him

Junior Vinny Ballardo is praised by Dudley, stating that he is a key engine on offense. He will be playing tight end along with starting at linebacker with Green and Harris.

Antioch graduated four senior wide receivers, but have junior Gaudie Campbell and senior Isaiah Avery are the weapons Junior quarterback Willem Karnthong will have at his disposal. Campbell has offers from BYU and Eastern Washington. Both of these players will also be playing defensive back. Dudley also says that Dejuan Butler is going to be make a huge impact at safety due to his size and skill.

Deer Valley

The Wolverines have not won a single BVAL game since the arrival of head coach Robert Hubbard. If there were to better time to have a breakout season, it would this year.

A challenge that Hubbard notes is that all of the rosters in the Deer Valley football program reaches the low 30s. With that being said, he expects many of his players to be able to play both ways.

“It is a work in progress right now,” Hubbard said.

Senior quarterback Dior Walker is described to be a dual threat quarterback. He passed for 1,205 yards but only threw for six touchdowns. However, he did lead his team in rushing with 749 yards. He has two returning senior wide receivers in Evan Bittle and Gianni Parnell, they will also be playing both ways.

Patrick Robinson will be playing running back for Deer Valley, Hubbard says he was a talented athlete that was able to help the Wolverines offense.

Hubbard highlights that he returns a strong offensive and defensive line that feature the cousins Albert and King Matu.

Deer Valley will have entire new set of linebackers, where Hubbard highlights that the battle for these positions will be intense, but some top contenders for the position will be senior Evan Bittle and Jordan Pringle

Senior Josh Scott is coming off a solid season where he was able to claim a 2nd team All-BVAL slot at defensive back.

Senior kicker Ryan Redman is another key player for Deer Valley according to Hubbard. Redman was ranked as the nation’s 17th best kicker via Chris Sailer Kicking Camps. Redman was successful with 11/14 PATs along with ⅔ field goal attempts.

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Suspects in July burglary in Antioch arrested and also charged with identity theft, elder abuse

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Suspects in July burglary in Antioch. photos courtesy of Antioch Police.

By Sergeant Wisecarver, Antioch Police Special Operations Unit

On July 26, 2017, an Antioch family came home to find their house in the 3800 block of Oakley Road in Antioch had been burglarized. The victims contacted the Antioch Police Department in order to report the crime. The Antioch Patrol Officer who initially contacted the victims and started the investigation was able to locate and develop valuable leads.

An Antioch Police Detective took over the investigation and used these leads to identify two suspects. The first suspect was identified as 27-year-old Edwina Grunseth. The second suspect was identified as 27-year-old Max Wolfe.

The Detective uncovered additional evidence that led to a search warrant for Max Wolfe’s home in the city of Citrus Heights. Antioch Detectives served the search warrant at the home in Citrus Heights and found numerous pieces of property stolen from the Oakley Road home.

This case was presented to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office filed the following charges on Edwina Grunseth and Max Wolfe: PC 460(a) 1st degree residential burglary, PC 530.5 Identity theft, and PC 368 Elder abuse.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Tom Smith with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6876.

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