Archive for December, 2017

County Office of Education to manage county’s EdTV Channel

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

CCCOE to partner with Contra Costa County in expanding community access television programming focused on local education

The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) announced Wednesday that the agency will begin to coordinate local education programming for the Contra Costa County Education Channel, EdTV. CCCOE, with support from Contra Costa Television (CCTV), will be providing more access of quality, local pre-K through College educational programming to residents, students, educators and stakeholders in Contra Costa County.

“We are extremely excited to begin promoting education in Contra Costa County through the power of community access television,” said Karen Sakata, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools. “This partnership with the County will enable us to provide a voice and a forum to students, schools, school districts and higher education in our County so they can effectively tell their stories through video.”

EdTV, an Educational Access channel, is a basic cable TV service on Comcast Channel 32 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99, and is available throughout most of Contra Costa County. Currently, EdTV is unavailable to cable subscribers in San Ramon as well as WAVE subscribers. EdTV is one of a handful of PEG (Public, Education and Government) Access Channels that operate in Contra Costa County. All of these channels are carried in Standard Definition. Contra Costa Television (CCTV) currently manages five PEG channels. Online streaming of EdTV and availability of online video on demand will also be explored.

“Contra Costa County is home to nearly 400 K-12 public and private schools, 18 school districts, as well as several institutions of higher education, said Terry Koehne, Chief Communications Officer for the Contra Costa County Office of Education. “Each of these local education agencies would have the ability to publish unique, locally produced content and bulletin board material to EdTV, thus providing direct access to a majority of Contra Costa County residents and businesses; that is our goal.”

The role of the County Office of Education will be to work in collaboration with CCTV to direct the overall content and programming schedule for the channel, approve video and bulletin board content through the development of content submission guidelines, and promote EdTV using all communication tools available.

“It is a natural fit for the County Office of Education to take on this role,” said Chris Verdugo, Interim Director of Communications and Media for Contra Costa County. “We look forward to more quality content that promotes and impacts our local education communities.”

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Antioch’s plans for $60 million Brackish Water Desalination plant move forward

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

Map of current and proposed pipelines for the Brackish Water Desalination Project.

City seeks state grant and loan

By Allen Payton

At their December 12, 2017 meeting the Antioch City Council heard a report about their efforts to build a brackish water desalination plant and obtain the estimated $60 million in funding needed. They also heard about the strong water rights the city has, how the plant will help attract businesses to town and the opportunity to be in the water resale business, to provide long-term funding for operations. See the complete staff report on the agenda item, here: Brackish Water Desal Project ACC Mtg Agenda 121217-2

Project consultant Walter Bishop, the former General Manager of the Contra Costa Water District, provided the background on the plant and efforts to get it funded.

“We have hopes Antioch will be on the state funding list, which is expected to be announced this month,” he said.

“Antioch has one of the strongest, historic water rights in the California Delta,” Bishop continued. “The state has granted twice the amount of water rights than it has water. You have real water. It’s not called paper water. Yours has been adjudicated. Your two sources of water are your particular water right and the Contra Costa Water District’s canal water.”

“The estimated value…is between $70 and 100 million. Your ability for you to exercise your water rights…saves the customers of this city about $4 million per year,” he stated. “The more reliable your supply is the more ability to attract economic activity.”

It’s not going to be a desalination plant, because “Desalination is associated with ocean water. This is brackish water. It’s fifty-time less saline than ocean water. It’s one-third the cost of ocean desalination.”

“Treating Contra Costa Water District water is $1,000/acre feet,” Bishop explained. The estimated cost of treating “brackish water is $920/acre feet.”

It takes treating 7.5 million gallons of brackish water to produce 6.0 million gallons of useable water, he shared.

“The city has to build a new intake and state-of-the-art fish screens,” said Bishop. “There is land at the city’s water treatment plant for a new facility. Plus, Antioch owns 50% capacity rights of the water recycling at the Delta Diablo Sanitation Plant. The plan is to run a new water pipeline from the city’s water plant off Putnam over to Delta Diablo on West 10th Street.”

“With the new pump the city will have a variable speed pump which will be better for the city’s needs,” he added.

“It will help with industrial and other businesses looking to locate here,” Bishop stated. “There is a potential of regional partners with the flexibility to expand the facility. The cost is estimated at $60 million.”

According to the city staff report on the agenda item, so far, the city has received a $1 million loan the “Drinking Water State Revolving Loan program for planning and preliminary design activities.” The city has also applied for a $10 million state grant. In addition, city “staff has met with SWCRB (State Water Resources Control Board) staff and has confirmed the project is eligible for low interest financing up to $50,000,000.”

Final design and permitting for the plant is expected to be completed in 2018 and the project could be online in late 2019 or early 2020, depending on securing funding.

Councilman Tony Tiscareno was first to make a comment about the project report.

“We know that water is the new hot commodity. It can be very expensive,” he said. “I’m getting very excited about this. I thought it was more of a pipe dream than a reality. But it’s turning out to be more of a reality…to protect our water rights. I’ve always been supportive of this. I hope the loan interest rate is something we can do. This is all good stuff.”

Mayor Sean Wright, who represents the city on the Delta Diablo sanitation district board said, “As far as Delta Diablo goes, they were questioning if they had the capacity for all the brine. One of the facilities we plan to build is a holding tank…to time discharges.”

The EIR (Environmental Impact Report) coming forward is for the 6-million-gallon desalination plant. Will a 16-million-gallon desalination plant fit on the site we’re looking at?” he asked.

“Absolutely,” Bishop responded.

Wright then asked, “The $50 million shortfall, your confident we can get a low-interest loan from the state?”

“We’d prefer grants,” Bishop replied. “For every $10 million in free money your costs come down $100.”

“We could be looking at the summer of next year for the funding?” Wright asked.

“You’re correct,” Bishop said.

“How are our relationships with the Contra Costa Water District?” asked the mayor.

“I think our relationships over there are fine. I used to be the GM over there,” Bishop shared. “We’re kind of suing the state,” he said referring to the city’s lawsuit over the proposed Delta tunnels “Contra Costa Water is responsible…Your staff was very careful to not name both parties,” meaning CCWD and the state.

Wright then asked, “Is there any potential for revenue generation? If we did a 3P (public private partnership) [will there be] any general fund revenue for the city?”

Bishop shared how “Gary Darling, when he was at Delta Diablo he had a vision of an ultrapure plant. If somebody, a high-tech company…they need ultrapure water, you’re providing the foundation for that. Second, during a drought, when costs go up 25% plus a surcharge, you’ll have the opportunity to have water that other people can use. The price of water during a drought is what the seller sets it at.”

Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe asked how the city can sell the water to create a revenue source for the city.

“Your water rights allow you to divert 16 million gallons of water a day,” Bishop responded.

The council then voted unanimously to receive and file the report.

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UFC 219 Fight Night at Tailgaters Saturday, Dec. 30

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

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Sheriff releases response to DOJ inquiry on immigration law compliance following Herald request

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

Sheriff David O. Livingston. From CCCSheriff website.

By Daniel Borsuk

Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston has provided at the request of the Contra Costa Herald a copy of his Dec. 1 letter to answer questions whether the department is out of compliance with federal immigration laws that entitled the Coroner-Sheriff Office to nearly $25 million in federal grants in 2016. CCSheriff ltr to DOJ re 8 USC 1373 Compliance 12-1-17

The sheriff’s letter was due Dec, 8, and he essentially informed U. S. Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson that the Office of the Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner is in compliance with federal immigration policy. That is in spite of the fact that beginning Jan. 1, 2018 California law enforcement agencies must begin to enforce Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act or what is better known as the sanctuary state law.

Livingston included with the letter his department’s draft policy on how it will and won’t cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which was issued Dec. 3, 2013 and updated on Nov. 16, 2017.

In his letter to Hanson, Livingston wrote:

“The California Values Act, with we must comply. That Act provides specifically that it does not authorize information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful of an individual, or from requesting from federal immigration authority’s immigration status information lawful or unlawful of an individual, or maintaining or exchanging that information with any other federal, state, or local government entity.”

Sheriff Livingston missed attending the Dec. 7 meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee meeting, disappointing a number of committee members who wanted to hear him comment and answer questions about the draft policy on ICE-undocumented jail inmates, but obviously were unable to do so.

“I am surprised and disappointed that the sheriff is not here,” said District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond at the committee meeting. “I don’t know if this has ever happened before where the sheriff has not appeared at a Public Protection Committee meeting.”

Please see related article.

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Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Monday, December 25th, 2017

“Glory to the Newborn King!”

Here are the words to the song that memorializes the most important herald that has ever been – the announcement by the angels of the birth of the Savior of the world, Jesus the Christ, the long-prophesied messiah, born in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago.  He was born to bridge the gap between humans and God, due to the sin in their lives, which breaks our fellowship and relationship with Him. This year, you can know the true meaning of Christmas by opening your heart to the message and reason for the season, the birth, perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Learn more by clicking here.  Enjoy the lyrics and song of “Hark the herald angels sing.”

Merry Christmas!

Allen Payton, Publisher


Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

To hear it sung, click here. 

"Hark the herald angels sing” Christmas Carol was written by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley founder
of the Methodist church, in 1739. A somber man, he requested slow and solemn music for his lyrics and thus
“Hark the herald angels sing” was sung to a different tune initially. Over a hundred years later Felix
Mendelssohn (1809-1847) composed a cantata in 1840 to commemorate Johann Gutenberg's invention of the
printing press. English musician William H. Cummings adapted Mendelssohn’s music to fit the lyrics of
“Hark the herald angels sing” already written by Wesley.
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G St. Mercantile wins the 2017 Rivertown Holiday Store & Window Décor contest

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

One of the winning decorated windows of G St. Mercantile at the corner of W. Second Street in downtown Rivertown.

By Allen Payton

The winner of the 2017 Antioch Rivertown Holiday Store & Window Décor Contest is G St. Mercantile. Congratulations to owners Michael Gabrielson and Brandon Woods. They edged out the two-time reigning champion Urban Jumble by just seven votes and will receive a free quarter-page ad in the Herald. Thanks to John Goodson for helping count the ballots and to Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe for picking the winning ballot entries for the prizes. Thank you to all the shops that participated in this year’s contest.

Winners of the prize drawings are as follows:

$50 Gift Certificate to G St. Mercantile from Jim Lanter State Farm – Donna Langer

$50 Gift Certificate from Urban Jumble – Denise Ridolfi

$50 Gift Certificate from East County Veterans Thrift Store – Kathy Kunz

Desk Clock from American Trophies – Christina Wilcox

Tickets to Maya Cinemas from Reign Salon – April Celosse

2 Tickets to the performance of choice from El Campanil Theatre – Tricia Roberts

Prize from Oddly Unique – Steve Perdue

Prize from Rivertown Treasure Chest – Mary Knight

Winners will be contacted by the merchant.

Take a drive this weekend to Rivertown and see all the decorated stores and windows. Take A Street, G Street, L Street or Auto Center Drive north toward the river.

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Two more chances to see Humbug! play in Antioch

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Frank Ballesteros’ production of the play Humbug! will have two more performances tonight, Saturday Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 24 at 1:00 p.m. at the Antioch Historical Society, 1500 W. Fourth Street.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for students and senior citizens, and $6 for children (ages 7-12 years old). There are no advance ticket sales.

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Eight remaining Candlelight Christmas Eve Services at Fellowship Church in Antioch, two Saturday night

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Fellowship Church is located at 4873 Lone Tree Way in Antioch between Staples and Walmart. Free tickets are available by clicking here. For more information visit www.tfcpeople.com. Merry Christmas!

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