Archive for September, 2017

Antioch Police traffic enforcement stops reckless “side shows” cites 57 other violators

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Antioch Police Traffic Unit. Photo from 2016 courtesy APD.

By Sergeant Powell Meads, Antioch Police Traffic Division

Traffic related complaints are among the highest frequency of complaints received by the Antioch Police Department. This includes speeding, stop sign violations, reckless driving, and many others. The Antioch Police Department takes these complaints and traffic safety in general very seriously.

The Antioch Police Department has begun conducting proactive traffic enforcement patrols in an effort to alleviate traffic related issues and reduce collisions.

The most recent proactive traffic operation was conducted on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Officers issued a total of 57 citations for a variety of traffic violations including speeding, red light violations, stop sign violations, and cell phone use. More proactive enforcement operations will occur in the near future.

In addition, officers on regular patrol are providing extra patrol in known locations for reckless driving and side shows. On Friday, Sept. 23rd, an officer observed a 26-year-old Antioch resident “spinning donuts” in the parking lot of Kmart. The officer conducted a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle. The driver was subsequently arrested for reckless driving and his vehicle was impounded. Also on Friday, an officer observed a 22-year-old Brentwood resident “spinning donuts” in the parking lot of the Antioch In-Shape Gym. The driver was also arrested for reckless driving and his vehicle was impounded.

Anyone who witnesses reckless or dangerous driving is encouraged to contact the Antioch Police Department at (925) 778-2441.

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Antioch’s World Champion Cowboy Jack Roddy to be inducted into San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Jack Roddy sings The Last Cowboy Song with friend Jeff Severson (left) and the California Cowboys at Delta Advocacy Foundation’s 2012 Roddy Ranch Roundup on Saturday, September 29. Photo by Allen Payton

Jack Roddy. Courtesy of Wrangler Network

Joins Dwight Clark, Ken Caminiti, Mark Marquess, and Danielle Slaton

The cowboy, Hollywood stuntman, pilot and philanthropist to be honored at induction ceremony in November

By Allen Payton

The San Jose Sports Hall of Fame will mark its 23rd year of honoring South Bay sports legends when it inducts five new members on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the SAP Center at San Jose.  The inductees hail from the upper echelon of collegiate, professional and/or Olympic competition. Although from different sports in different eras, they have made a lasting impact both on and off the field of play.

The San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Inductees are:

  • Jack Roddy:  Rodeo Hall of Famer, Collegiate and Professional Steer Wrestling Champion
  • Ken Caminiti: Baseball All-Star, Gold Glove Winner and 1996 National League MVP
  • Dwight Clark: San Francisco 49er Wide Receiver, Super Bowl Winner and Humanitarian
  • Mark Marquess: All American Player/Gold Medal and NCAA Championship Coach
  • Danielle Slaton: National Champion Soccer Player, Olympic medalist

Roddy is a five-time champion steer wrestler, once in each decade of his life from his 20’s through his 60’s, and a six-time World Champion. He was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1979. Born Oct. 3, 1937, in San Francisco, Roddy competed in his first Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) rodeo at the age of 14 and won $90 in the wild horse race.

Jack Roddy at Salinas in 1978. by Brenda Allen

Early participation in rodeo was not unusual for the youngster who grew up on the family ranch in San Jose where he attended elementary and high school, and spent time on his father’s rodeo grounds near Colma, Calif., riding and roping with his father’s friends in the rodeo business. In 1956, he joined the RCA and competed around the country, entering all the events.

His lanky, 6-foot, 5-inch frame didn’t fit the usual cowboy mold, but it didn’t keep him from becoming college rodeo’s all-around Intercollegiate World Champion Cowboy in 1959 representing Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where Roddy has been instrumental in the survival of the Cal Poly Rodeo Team. That same year he was the World Champion Steer Wrestler, as well. Adding weight to his height, Roddy became a powerful force in steer wrestling in the early 1960s.

He went to the National Finals Rodeo for the first time in 1962. In 1966 and 1968, he won the professional world championship in steer wrestling, in 1966 set a record for total earnings in the event.

In 1991 and 1992 Roddy was the Seniors Steer Wrestling World Champion.

He went on to serve on the RCA as Steer Wrestling Director for over 16 years and in 1997 Roddy was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

He also won the Steer Wrestling title at the California Rodeo in Salinas in 1962, 1964 and 1966 and was inducted into the California Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2010, as well as the California State Fair Hall of Fame. Today, he mentors future rodeo champions and carries on the traditions of the West.

Roddy and his wife Donna are the owners of the Roddy Ranch just outside the Antioch City limits, where he continues to run cattle on the property he sold to the East Bay Regional Parks District a few years ago. He is the former owner of the Golf Club at Roddy Ranch where he could be seen golfing in his special pair of spiked cowboy golf boots. He has been very involved in the Antioch community through Rotary and the Delta Advocacy Foundation, among others. Roddy has been a singer, a pilot and as a Hollywood stuntman, he worked in four movies, two of which won Academy Awards.

Jack Roddy walking from his plane in younger years. Courtesy

He did the stunts and bronc riding in the movie, “The Horse With The Flying Tale” by Disney which won an Oscar in 1962. Another movie, part of which was filmed in Martinez, “The Great American Cowboy” was an Academy-award winning documentary about one of his bulls named Oscar which lived on his ranch in the Antioch and Brentwood area.

Roddy also had parts in the film, “J. W. Coop” in which, he did the “bull dogging” and then “Twister The Bull From the Sky” another Disney movie, in which he also had a small acting part. Finally, another documentary, “Cowboys in Ireland” about Roddy’s life was shown on TV three years ago. Roddy’s father was born in Ireland and it tells why a lot of Irish have been cowboys.

“It’s a great honor to be in the Hall of Fame with Ken Caminiti and Dwight Clark,” Roddy said when reached for comment at his ranch. “I think it’s the first time rodeo is being included in the hall of fame. I’m from San Jose so I’m very proud to be in there.”

In addition to the documentary, a woman is now working on a book about his life, he shared. Photos of Roddy’s rodeo career can be seen inside the bar at Vic Stewart’s restaurant in Brentwood and on a website someone else created about him,

Jeff Severson, a cowboy friend of Roddy’s and former NFL football player in Super Bowls 7 and 14, will be introducing the champion steer wrestler at the installation dinner.

Each inductee will be recognized with a bronze plaque permanently installed on the concourse at the SAP Center at San Jose. Including the 2017 inductees, there will be 106 South Bay sports icons enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The annual induction is an event of the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose Arena Authority, SAP Center Management/San Jose Sharks, and the City of San José. The event benefits Special Olympics Northern California and high school sports programs.

“San Jose’s incredibly rich and diverse sports history makes the Hall of Fame selection process very difficult each year,” said Charlie Faas, Chairman of the San Jose Sports Authority Board of Directors.  “The Class of 2017 is a wonderful representation of the deep and meaningful impact athletes and coaches with South Bay connections have made in their respective sports, locally, nationally and internationally. We are excited to welcome these five remarkable individuals into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.”

The November ceremony kicks off with a reception followed by dinner and induction ceremony. Individual tickets begin at $300 each; sponsorship and table packages are available starting at $3,000. For information and to purchase event tickets call (408) 288-2936.

About the San Jose Sports Authority

The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the City of San Jose’s economic development, visibility, and civic pride through sports. Serving as the City’s sports commission since its inception in 1991, the Sports Authority has provided leadership and support to attract and host hundreds of sporting events in San Jose and the South Bay.  The Sports Authority also supports and operates community, youth and amateur sports programs, including the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame and the REACH Youth Scholarship Program. To learn more, visit

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Antioch Police find young man shot at least twice Wednesday afternoon

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

By Corporal Matthew Harger #3305, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at about 4:00 PM, APD officers were dispatched to the intersection of the Lone Tree Way and Mokelumne Drive for several gunshots fired in the area. A 22-year-old male was located at the scene suffering from at least two gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital and is currently listed in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

This preliminary information is made available by the Field Services Bureau. There will be no further information released regarding this case at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925)778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Following long, contentious meeting Antioch School Board censures, disciplines Trustee Vinson

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Lasts until the end of the school year; claims of retaliation, racism made

By Allen Payton

During a four-hour Antioch School Board meeting on Wednesday night, Sept. 13, the members held three split votes on the censure and discipline of Board Vice President and fellow Trustee Debra Vinson for allegations of bullying and intimidating staff members, earlier this year. Each item passed 3-2 with Board President Walter Ruehlig and Trustees Diane Gibson-Gray and Gary Hack voting in favor, while Vinson and Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White voted no.

The first vote was for a letter to Vinson from Ruehlig directing her to communicate only through Superintendent Stephanie Anello. The draft letter limited that to six months. However, the final vote makes it last through the end of the school year, next June. Following is the draft of the letter:

“September 14, 2017

By U.S. Mail & E-mail:

Trustee Debra Vinson

Antioch Unified School District

510 G Street

Antioch, CA 94509

Re:       Directive Following Findings of Employee Complaints

Dear Ms. Vinson:

As you know, last month the Antioch Unified School District (“District”) completed its factual investigation into a complaint filed against you by two District employees and provided you with an executive summary of the findings prepared by the District’s independent investigator, Deborah Maddux.  Ms. Maddux’s investigation found that you engaged in intimidating conduct towards the two District employees, that you improperly attempted to exercise administrative responsibility and command over the services of the two District employees, and that you used your position to pressure the two District employees into making a decision that was contrary to Board Policy.

Based on Ms. Maddux’s investigative findings, you are hereby directed, effective immediately, to refrain from communicating directly with District Office and site-level administrators, other than the Superintendent, regarding District business for the next six months.  Should you require information from the District in your capacity as Board member, please direct your inquiries or requests for information to the Superintendent, who will communicate with the necessary staff members to get you information in response to any appropriate inquiry in a timely manner.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Walter Ruehlig

Board President”

The second vote was for a letter sent to all administrators at the schools and the district office that they are not obligated to communicate with her, either. The draft of the letter also contained a limit of six months, was extended to the end of the current school year, as well. Following is the letter:

“September 14, 2017

By E-mail

District Office and School Site Administrators

Antioch Unified School District

510 G Street

Antioch, CA 94509

Re:       Communications from Board Member Debra Vinson

Dear Administrators:

Last month the Antioch Unified School District (“District”) completed a factual investigation into a complaint filed against Board Vice-President, Debra Vinson, by two District employees.

Based on the findings of the District’s investigation, Ms. Vinson has been directed, effective immediately, to refrain from communicating directly with site-level and District Office administrators, other than the Superintendent, regarding District business for the next six months.  In the event that you receive any direct inquiries from Ms. Vinson within the next six months, please forward them to the Superintendent, who will respond to Ms. Vinson.  You are not obligated to respond directly to Ms. Vinson or provide her with any information.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Walter Ruehlig

Board President”

The third action was the actual censure of Vinson, in which it states, “That the Board does hereby censure, disavow and formally express its disapproval of Trustee Vinson’s conduct” and “direct Trustee Vinson to comply with state law, Board Policy, Regulations, and Bylaws; and cease and desist from engaging in intimidation of District employees, commanding the service of District employees, and/or exercising excessive administrative responsibility.”

The resolution also states that a “censure by a public body is a collective judgment of stern condemnation of one of its members for behaviors or actions that violate laws or policies” and that “it is a formal public act of disapproval of a member’s unacceptable conduct.”

The resolution also offers the board’s reasons for taking the action. Those reasons are based on two parts of the Board Bylaws, numbers 9005 and 9200:

“Board Bylaw 9005 states that ‘to maximize Board effectiveness and public confidence in District governance, Board members are expected to govern responsibly and hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct.’ Board Bylaw 9005 also sets forth…standards for ‘building unity and creating a positive organizational culture’…and “Board Bylaw 9200 states that ‘Board trustees shall hold the education of students above any partisan principle, group interest, or personal interest,’ and ‘individual members of the Board shall not exercise any administrative responsibility with respect to the schools or command the services of any school employee,’” as well as Board Bylaw 9000 and Police 4119.21, for which the resolution didn’t provide details.

The board determined that “the investigator made the following findings: Trustee Vinson engaged in intimidating conduct towards two District employees; Trustee Vinson improperly attempted to exercise administrative responsibility and commanded the services of two District employees; and Trustee Vinson used her position to pressure two District employees into making a decision that was contrary to Board Policy; and Trustee Vinson’s behavior towards the District employees and her conduct during the subsequent investigation exceeded her role and influence as a Board member; and “Trustee Vinson’s coercive behavior, language, and conduct toward District employees fail to meet the professional standards for an elected representative or the minimum standards expected of any District employee or trustee, and violated District Policies and Board Bylaws, including Board Bylaws 9000, 9005, 9200 and Board Policy 4119.21.”

Vinson Denies Intimidation, Opposes Board Actions

In a statement given during the previous board meeting on August 23, Vinson denied her actions were intimidating. (See related article) During Wednesday’s meeting, she denounced the actions as possibly retaliation and racism. Vinson is the black and the three trustees who voted to discipline and censure her are white.

Sawyer-White called the actions illegal stating the censure resolution referred to board policies that don’t exist.

Please check later today for more details including comments by the public and board members.


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Antioch Police arrests man with stolen firearm

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Stolen firearm discovered by Antioch Police during the traffic stop of a known felon on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. Photo by APD

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Antioch Police patrol officers contacted two occupants inside of a suspicious vehicle located near I Street and W. 7th Street. One occupant, who was known to be on parole, admitted to having a firearm inside of his vehicle. Officers arrested the male and recovered a firearm that was later confirmed to be stolen.

The subject was booked at County jail for felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammo, possessing a stolen firearm, and a parole violation.

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New Contra Costa DA Becton takes oath of office, begins her interim tenure

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Diana Becton was given her oath of office as the interim Contra Costa County District Attorney by Board of Supervisors Chairman Federal Glover on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 as the other Supervisors, John Gioia, Candace Andersen, Diane Burgis and Karen Mitchoff look on. Photos by David Fraser, Office of Supervisor Federal Glover

An overflow crowd of friends, family, colleagues and supporters gathered in the District Attorney’s Office Community Room for the ceremony.

By Allen Payton

Retired Superior Court Judge Diana Becton was sworn in as the new District Attorney for Contra Costa County on Monday, September 18th, at 4:30 p.m.  The oath of office was administered by Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Federal Glover in the District Attorney’s Community Room in Martinez.

“I am honored to have been chosen by the Board of Supervisors to serve the people of Contra Costa County,” she said. “With over two decades of experience in the administration of justice and the practice of criminal law, I am excited by this new opportunity to reform our justice system and restore integrity to the DA’s office. I look forward to serving alongside law enforcement and county prosecutors to promote public safety, equality, fairness, and confidence in our courts and legal system.”

The overflow crowd included friends, colleagues and supporters, as well as her new office staff including her Deputy District Attorney overflowing into and standing in the hallway outside.

A Bay Area native and an El Sobrante resident, Becton attended Oakland public schools and received her B.A. in economics from S.F. State University and her J.D. from Golden Gate University Law School. She worked as the Housing Finance & Development Supervisor for the City of Richmond from 1979 to 1987. Prior to that she worked as the Housing Finance Corporation Manager Becton then worked as attorney in private practice from 1987 until 1995, first as a partner of Alexander & Becton (Brown) Law Offices which had has many as nine lawyers. Later she operated her own law practice, which according to her application for the appointment, “focused on litigation in real estate, business, landlord tenant, personal injury and criminal cases.”

Although Becton has no experience prosecuting criminal cases, in private practice she “was responsible for both criminal and juvenile cases. I appeared at arraignments and bail hearings, analyzed cases, talked to witnesses to determine what happened, identified strengths and weaknesses, participated in plea bargaining and resolution, developed trial strategies, conducted jury selection, opening statements, questioned witnesses, prepared law and motion, and presented closing arguments,” also according to her application. DBecton DA apptmt application

She was appointed to the court in 1995 by Gov. Pete Wilson and presided over a diverse collection of misdemeanor, felony, civil, mental health and juvenile cases.

In 2011, Becton was elected Presiding Judge of the Contra Costa Superior Court. In this capacity, she was responsible for leading the court and managing its staff and resources, including an annual budget of approximately $56 million. In 2012, Becton received the Rose Bird Memorial Award for judicial excellence from the California Women Lawyers. She subsequently served as President of the National Association of Women Judges.

In 2013 she obtained her Real Estate Broker’s license which expired in January. In 2015, Becton earned her Master’s degree in Theology from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Upon her appointment, she became the first African American and first female Contra Costa County District Attorney.

“This job is a tremendous responsibility,” Becton said. “I am committed to restoring public trust in the DA’s office. The people of Contra Costa County need to be confident in their judicial system, and I will work tirelessly with law enforcement, deputy district attorneys, and public defenders to rebuild that trust. As District Attorney, I want to bring people together to improve our office’s accountability and encourage community engagement throughout Contra Costa County.”

According to a news release from the county, it was an informal ceremony at which the constitutional oath of office necessary for Becton to assume office was administered.  The ceremonial investiture proceeding that traditionally accompanies the District Attorney’s assumption of office will be held in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers at some point in the near future, for the public to witness. The election for District Attorney will be held next June.

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Antioch Senior Resource Fair 2017 this Friday, Sept. 29

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Want to know what services and resources Antioch has to offer its residents? Join us, as the City of Antioch presents its annual, “Senior Resource Fair in collaboration with the Antioch Senior Citizens Club. The “Senior Resource Fair” will be held at the Antioch Senior Center located at, 415 West 2nd Street, Antioch, CA. The date is set for Friday, September 29th, 2017. The event will run between 9:00-11:00 am.

This event will be full of information for seniors, such as senior services, housing, medical practices and various vendors that will display their products and provide informational pamphlets. We will provide refreshments and snacks to all attendees at no cost, although, a monetary donation will be asked, with all proceeds being donated to the Antioch Senior Citizens Club. While this is tailored to our older, mature residents, we welcome all interested residents to our event.

“The Annual Antioch Senior Resource Fair is a great opportunity for the community to meet and network with service providers,” said Anibal Hidalgo. In 2016, we had a great turn out and our goal is to always improve year after year. Among the many benefits of sharing resources within the community, Hidalgo says that “this event creates a bridge between residents of Antioch and local business and organization.”

As an incentive to those that visit us, free Tote Bags embroidered with the City of Antioch and the Antioch Senior Citizens Club logos will be available to the first 150 visitors.

The City of Antioch Department of Recreation strives in unifying and strengthening our community by creating quality experiences that inspire lifelong learning. Through our partnership with the Antioch Senior Citizens Club, we create year-round events that promote community engagement and fun-filled moments as well as hold strong to the values of the Recreation Department for the City of Antioch. The Senior Resource Fair is one of the many events that we coordinate to support and give back to the community. So please join us.

Interested in being a vendor at our Senior Resource Fair, please contact Anibal Hidalgo, Recreation Coordinator, at or 925-779-7076.

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7th Annual Nature’s Canvas Exhibit opens at Antioch’s Lynn House Gallery Saturday

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Pelicano by AnnMarie McGill and other works of Delta area artists will be on display at the Lynn House Gallery in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown beginning Saturday, Sept. 23

The Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch is proud to present the works of artists living in and around the Delta at the Lynn House Gallery. With the many hills and valleys, along with East Bay Regional Park properties, artists have an abundance of opportunities to capture nature and all its wonders in many art forms. The Nature’s Canvas Exhibit will have many works of art in clay, watercolor, oils, acrylic, mixed media and photography.

Greenery by Paulette Lagan

The Lynn House Gallery is located at 809 West 1st Street in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown in a quaint 1907 Victorian. The exhibit will showcase approximately 60 artworks and opens on Saturday, September 23rd, with a free artist reception from 2-4 PM. The exhibit continues through October 14th on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1-4 PM. The artist reception and exhibit are free to the public.

Registered artists are: Mahnaz Azarafrooz, Lori Azzolino, Gloria Cannon, Prudence Capelle, Anna Chunn, Eloine Chapman, Chelsea Colbert, Nina Collosi, Trudy Couch, Clyde Cox, Dianne Curtain, Becky Decierto, Paul Duggan, Michele Eakin, Betty Espindola, Chelsea Sarah Evans, Mary Evans, Linda Fead, Art Garcia, Yoshiko Gobbell, Easy Gonzalez, Catherine Hanson, Jennifer Johnson, Beverly Knight, Roswitha Kress, Paulette Lagana, Ellen LaVaccare, Ryan Lutes, Colleen Madge-Stevens, AnnMarie McGill, Sarah Moore, Beverly Prather-Martinez,  Mike Nelson, Barbara Rausch, Paul Schorr, Joel Summerhill and Beverly C. Turner.

For more information visit, call (925) 779-7018 or email

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