Archive for April, 2018

Supervisor Glover wants investigation into possible radioactive materials deposited at Keller Canyon Landfill in Pittsburg

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Keller Canyon Landfill. Photo courtesy of Comanco.

Matter to be heard at next Tuesday’s Board meeting

Supervisor Federal Glover has directed Contra Costa County Staff at next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting to provide the Board with an update concerning the allegations of malfeasance by Tetra Tech EC Inc. at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. The allegations concern possible radioactive materials being deposited at landfills across the state including possible contaminated material that might have been sent to the Keller Canyon Landfill.
“I am very concerned about these allegations and want a full report from staff on this issue,” Glover stated.  Healso said that he expects County staff to follow up with further review of the issue after the Board meeting next Tuesday.

“I want staff to thoroughly investigate these allegations and determine whether or not the Keller Landfill was sent contaminated material,” Glover continued. “I want to make sure the residents of Contra Costa County are protected and that this matter is fully addressed.”

He said that the matter will be heard in front of the Board of Supervisors during its regularly scheduled session starting at 9:30 AM on May 1, 2018 in the Board Chambers at 651 Pine St., Martinez.

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Car and Motorcycle Show benefiting Relay for Life this Saturday at Somersville Towne Center

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

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Crucial program comes to Antioch High this week

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Antioch High School will host the vital Every 15 Minutes program on Thursday and Friday, April 26 and 27. The program challenges students to think about drinking, driving, personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved. There are 40 students participating in the event – angels, living dead and pall bearers.

About 900 juniors and seniors will see the presentation, which includes car crash victims, a variety of actual first-responders, including the Antioch Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Contra Costa Fire, paramedics and EMTs and even the county coroner.

National statistics show there is a fatality every 15 minutes due to driving under the influence; thus, the name of the national program.

Principal Louie Rocha feels strongly about what is offered in this program, which is timed to coincide right before prom and graduation are held.

The two-day event starts with “the crash” at 10 a.m. Thursday the 26th at the Contra Costa County fairgrounds. The student participants who play the “living dead” actually stay the night in Beede Auditorium with no contact with anyone outside the area. They’re reunited with their families at the assembly at 10 a.m. Friday the 27th in the AHS auditorium.

During this emotionally charged “memorial,” AHS grad Marcella Gomez will share her experience as a survivor of a major crash, which took the lives of her parents when she was just nine-years-old.

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East County Muscle presents The Novice III bodybuilding competition Saturday, April 28

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

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Three-car accident in Antioch takes life of 93-year-old Clayton woman Saturday afternoon

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

By Sergeant/Interim Lieutenant John Fortner #3264, Antioch Police Field Services Division

On Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 3:05 pm, Antioch officers responded with medical personnel on the report of a vehicle accident located on James Donlon Boulevard near Silverado Drive. Witnesses in the area reported that three vehicles were involved with one vehicle sustaining major collision damage. Upon arrival, it was determined that a Buick Regal sedan travelling northbound on Silverado Drive pulled out onto James Donlon Boulevard. A Ford F-150 pick-up truck was travelling eastbound on James Donlon Boulevard approaching the intersection. The Ford truck collided with the driver’s side of the Buick sedan pushing it into another vehicle on the roadway.

The Buick sedan was occupied by a 93-year-old elderly driver. The Contra Costa Coroner’s Office identified the driver as Clayton resident Betty James. The driver of the Buick had to be extricated from the vehicle and was taken to an area hospital for injuries sustained in the collision. The elderly driver was admitted into the hospital and subsequently succumbed to their injuries today.

The other involved parties were not seriously injured and remained at the scene until police and emergency personnel arrived. Alcohol and/or drugs did not appear to be a factor in this collision.

This preliminary information is made available by the Field Services Division. Any further inquiries into the status of this case should be done via the Media Access Telephone Line (925) 779-6874. Any further information or additional press releases will be provided by the Antioch Police Department’s Traffic Unit.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department’s 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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East Bay Regional Park District to purchase Roddy Ranch Golf Course

Friday, April 20th, 2018

East Bay Regional Park District Ward 7 Director Colin Coffey, Park Supervisor Rex Caufield, and East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy Board Member Keith Haydon visit the Roddy Ranch Golf Course on April 5th, 2018.

Purchase brings future Deer Valley Regional Park to 3,254 total acres

By Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor, EBRPD

Oakland, CA – On April 3, 2018, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously approved acquisition of the Roddy Ranch Golf Course. The 230-acre property is being acquired in partnership with the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy, which is providing funding for the majority of the purchase price. The total acquisition cost is $1,955,000 with the Conservancy providing $1,935,000 and the District $20,000, which covers the original purchase option. The District is also providing $205,000 for the purchase of on-site, non-land property. All District funds are coming from Measure WW, approved by voters in 2008.

The 230-acre golf course property, along with the previously acquired Roddy Ranch properties, are part of the envisioned Deer Valley Regional Park. Deer Valley Regional Park was included in the District’s 2013 master plan to protect habitat and expand recreational opportunities in East Contra Costa County. The purchase brings the future Deer Valley Regional Park to 3,254 total acres.

“The golf course property is the final step in acquiring Roddy Ranch, previously planned for development, and securing it as permanent open space for the community’s enjoyment,” said East Bay Regional Park District Director Colin Coffey. “Acquisition of the former golf course property is a unique opportunity to enhance public access in East Contra Costa County.”

“The property also includes existing infrastructure and utility services which will help accelerate development of the future Deer Valley Regional Park,” added Coffey.

The total purchase includes a 140-space parking area, three vault toilets, three retention ponds, and existing water and electrical service.

“Assembling the Roddy Ranch properties and bringing them to public use was a decades-long effort,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “Thank you to the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy, which is such an important and valuable partner in protecting and preserving open space in East Contra Costa County.”

“Thank you also to Donna and Jack Roddy for preserving this beautiful area and being good stewards of their property for so long,” added Doyle.

The 18-hole golf course announced its closing on August 11, 2016 after 16 years of operation. Many of the golf course greens and fairways have reverted to a more natural state. The golf course property and surrounding former Roddy Ranch properties, will continue to be grazed to manage vegetation and reduce fire risks.

Park planning is expected to take several years and requires substantial environmental evaluation and community engagement. However, assembling a majority of the Roddy Ranch and other recently acquired properties as one new contiguous Park District property represents a giant leap forward toward bringing Deer Valley Regional Park to fruition.

The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 121,000 acres in 73 parks including over1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.

 

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Contra Costa Supervisors examine $3.5 billion 2018-19 budget

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

In era of federal funding uncertainty

By Daniel Borsuk

Contra Costa County Supervisors are poised to approve on May 8 a $3.5 billion 2018-19 budget realizing that during the upcoming budget year there is the likelihood significant funding cuts out of Washington might especially hit human services programs.

“The current administration in Washington is likely to reduce funding to states and counties,” county administrator David Twa warned supervisors at Tuesday’s board budget hearing.

Even with that caution, supervisors did not blink an eye and proceeded to listen to six budget presentations from department chiefs about what is in store for the upcoming 2018-2019 fiscal year.  Supervisors did not comment about the prospects of federal or state cuts next fiscal year at the hearing, but neither did any of the meager number of persons who showed up to speak about the proposed 2018-19 spending plan.

The Employment & Human Services Department is subject to perhaps the most significant funding cuts from Washington, EHSD Director Kathy Gallagher told supervisors.  Since 2017, funding for the department’s CalFresh and CalWorks programs that deliver food and job training for 65,000 residents has had federal funding trimmed from $101.5 million in 2016 to $90.4 million to 2018.  More cuts are expected for the two programs in the upcoming 2018-19 fiscal year, she said.

Gallagher painted a bleak federal funding fiscal picture showing a watch list of human service programs that could potentially be hit with steep federal funding cuts.  Some of those programs include Medicaid, Community Service Block Grants, Child Welfare Services, and the Older American Act, which includes Meals on Wheels.

Federal funding uncertainty also hovers over County Health Services, but not as severely as what EHSD faces, Contra Costa County Health Director Anna M. Roth told supervisors, in presenting her department’s proposed $1.8 billion budget for 2018-19.  Next year’s budget includes $100 million in general funds.

Roth noted that expansion of the Contra Costa Health Plan with more than 200,000 members provides the county financial support, especially when there is financial uncertainty coming out of Washington.

Addressing only the $241,271,160 in general funds proposed for 2018-19, Contra Costa Undersheriff Michael Casten, who filled in for Sheriff David O. Livingston who was out of town, said a $5.6 million vacancy factor makes it “a very difficult for the Office of the Sheriff-Coroner to operate”.

Casten said the funding deficit means for 2018019 the Sheriff-Coroner will not fill 10 deputy sheriff slots worth $2.6 million, three mental health evaluation team deputies openings worth a combined $781,000, 7 patrol deputies worth $1.82 million and six sergeants worth $1.77 million.  The Sheriff-Coroner’s request for 15 recruit positions valued at $1.21 million was approved for the upcoming fiscal year.

For Diana Becton, the Interim Contra Costa County District Attorney appointed by the board of supervisors last year who is up for election June 5, budget priorities for 2018-19 include enforcement of Proposition 64 (2016 voter approval for the legalization of the sale of marijuana in California), hiring of additional clerical staff, the implementation of a case management system and pay parity.

For 2018-19, Becton wants to add 14 full-time staff worth $1 million.  Those positions include five mainline prosecution assistant district attorneys, five mainline prosecution clerks, two senior inspectors and one forensic accountant.

District attorney Becton wants to also distribute resources for bail reform, the East County Anti-Violence Coalition, the West County Anti-Violence Coalition, the Safe Streets Task Force and anti-truancy initiatives.

Public Defender Robin Lipetzky plans to hire 8 staff members to her department next fiscal year.  She plans to hire two attorneys, one investigator, pretrial attorneys, and clerical staff.  A new juvenile office in Walnut Creek will open in the next month, she informed supervisors.  Last year the public defender handled 501 juvenile cases.  Her department last year also handled 3,545 felony cases.

For 2018-19, Contra Costa Public Works will be busy filling 15 positions, Brian Balbas, Public Works Director said.  The department will need the additional staff as Balbas needs more staff to oversee a big increase in capital improvement projects, including the construction of a new $110 million county administration building and emergency communication center.

New West County Health Center Expansion Project Approved

On a consent item, supervisors awarded a $12.45 million design-build contract to C. Overaa & Co. for the design and construction of the West County Health Center Expansion Project at 13585 San Pablo Ave., in San Pablo.

When the project is completed, the new two-story, 20,000 square foot building will house the Behavioral Health Department, which will be relocated from a leased building.  The new building will qualify for a LEED Silver rating from the Green Building Council.

Other construction firms competing for the design-build contract were Vila Construction and Boldt Co.

College District – Sheriff-Coroner Contract OK’d

Supervisors also approved the $497,250 contract between the Sheriff-Coroner and Contra Costa Community College District to provide educational course construction at the Law Enforcement Training Center at Los Medanos College for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

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Contra Costa Public Works hosts Earth Day event at Upper Sand Creek in Antioch April 21

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Contra Costa County Public Works and Supervisor Diane Burgis will host an Earth Day event at Upper Sand Creek on Saturday, April 21 from 9am – Noon.  The event will take place at 6600 Deer Valley road in Antioch.  Antioch High School, Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed, Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District and Earth Team interns will also participate.

“I’m excited to see so many people come out to celebrate Earth Day by putting their hands in the dirt, clean up, and then learn about our watershed,” stated Supervisor Burgis.

Spend the morning in the beautiful Upper Sand Creek watershed, exploring an area that is usually closed to the public. In 2013, the Flood Control District held the first planting event to celebrate the completion of the detention basin. Come see for yourself how much the basin has changed!

The students will be showing off the skills they’ve learned over the year they spent interning with Earth Team.

Activities will include:

  • Trash Talking Showdown – Join a team to see who can pickup and properly identify, the most trash.
  • Help remove invasive species and plant the volunteer nursery with oaks – Since the initial planting in 2013, a lot has changed with the volunteer nursery, but we still need your help to keep it going!
  • Learn about your local creeks and why it is important to keep them clean!

You can sign up for this event at uscb2018.eventbrite.com.  Earth Day is celebrated around the world. It is a day celebrating environmental protection and raising awareness of how our actions affect the environment.

About Contra Costa County Public Works Department:

Contra Costa County Public Works Department (CCCPWD) maintains over 660 miles of roads, 150 miles of streams, channels and other drainage and over 200 County buildings throughout Contra Costa County.   CCCPWD provides services such as Parks and Recreation, Sand Bag Distribution and Flood Control throughout unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County.  For more information about CCCPWD, please visit us here.

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