Archive for September, 2018

Two other students hit by another car outside Antioch High School Monday morning

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

By Sergeant Rick Smith, Antioch Police Community Policing Bureau

On Monday, September 17, 2018, at approximately 8:06 A.M., Antioch Police Officers responded with medical personnel to a reported injured collision in front of Antioch High School. Two students were crossing West 18th Street when a vehicle travelling eastbound struck them. The driver immediately stopped and assisted in providing aide until Medical Personnel and Officers arrived. Both students, one adult and one juvenile, were transported to area hospitals for treatment as a precaution. Both had minor injuries and were later released. Speed is not a factor in this collision and neither is alcohol or drugs. The driver fully cooperated with investigating officers and it appears they had their vision obscured by the sun.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Antioch Police at (925) 778-2441. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Antioch High student struck by hit and run driver, Monday morning

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

The Toyota 4-Runner Antioch Police claim were involved in the hit and run at Antioch High Monday morning, Sept. 17, 2018.

By Sergeant Rick Smith, Antioch Police Community Policing Bureau

Monday morning, September 17, 2018, Antioch Officers responded to a reported hit and run collision involving a vehicle versus pedestrian in front of Antioch High School. A student was crossing the street in front of the school when she was struck by the pictured Toyota 4-Runner. The driver of the Toyota failed to stop and continued eastbound on West 18th Street. The juvenile victim of this incident was transported to an area hospital for treatment and was later released with minor injuries.

Officers were able to identify the suspect vehicle and are currently pursuing leads in locating it. The driver was described only as a young white male. See above captured images of the actual suspect vehicle. If located, please do not make contact and call Antioch PD Dispatch at the number listed below.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Antioch Police at (925) 778-2441. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

Read more details from ABC7 News, here.

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Writer opposes Antioch’s Measure W sales tax increase, challenges proponents to debate

Saturday, September 15th, 2018


Wrong is wrong no matter who supports it. Antioch’s proposed Transactions and Use (Sales) Tax Measure “W” is a trick on the voting public! The Mayor and Council Members, and other select employees, have much to personally gain by its passage! Measure “W” is really nothing more than more taxes you pay that only go into the general Fund, period, with no required funding for anything they promise (City Attorney’s analysis). The Council’s picked and controlled “Citizens Oversight Committee” cannot enforce where the money goes, nor be able to punish anyone if the money is used for other purposes.

Antioch’s public safety and lack of inadequate manpower issues can also be pointed out as contributed to by certain greedy employee groups primarily looking out for themselves and their pocketbooks. The public’s safety/”quality of life” has not been at their forefront. I’ve known for many years, and complained regularly, that our City’s public safety was being jeopardized by certain self-serving employee groups. They preferred increases to their own existing members’ wages and overall benefits, not using the money instead to pay for more Police manpower to make our city safer!

The Antioch Police Officers’ Association, in particular, when given the choice of more Police manpower, or increases in their wages and benefits, always instead chose only the latter for themselves! The APOA’s support is again therefore only very self-serving and hypocritical. Their support for passage of Measure “W” also is so that they will receive their guaranteed raise(es), as other top-level employees also expect to receive soon! They are due for another raise this month. It’s obvious why they want the voters to pass the Tax Measure “W”. Of course, the APOA supports its passage!
Voters, consider for yourselves their total reported 2017 wages / total Pay and Benefits of a Policeman;

Chief = $232,164 / $430,928
Capt. = $209,292 / $392,114
Lt. = $181,440 / $332,252
Sgt. = $143,592 / $362,904
Cpl. = $129,228 / $301,723
Off. = $114,864 / $284,948

The APOA has a very good retirement plan, for which they previously paid none of their traditional 9% share (the City paid it for them, at great expense). Then their Retirement Plan was enhanced to the costlier “3% at 50” Retirement Plan, with the City once again fully paying for their share and additional greater costs! The APOA chose for themselves, not for more manpower or your “quality of life”. That expensive one hundred million ($100,000,000+) plus unfunded pensions debt is another major reason why the City wants Measure “W” passed. Most of the Tax money will be used to cover up for the Mayor’s and Council’s incompetent decision makings!

The Mayor and Council Members have had the power to change things for the better of our community for years but, chose not to do so! The public’s safety and “quality of life” has not really improved as it should have long ago! Crime essentially has been ongoing and unmitigated for too long! They’ve just given the public ‘feel good’ lip service and made unkept promises, just to look good to you! Even when I personally spoke out at many Council meetings, and in person on a one-to-one basis with the elected Mayor and Council Member, they have chosen to ignore the facts and recorded data given to them.

The two incumbents running for re-election should not be voted for. And, the Mayor and Council Members as a whole should be ashamed and step down if all they are going to do is continue to mislead the public and fool you with this nefarious and underhanded Measure “W” just to cover for their behinds! I believe that they are nothing more than incompetent tricksters, charlatans, insincere, phony, and a disgrace to the public they claim to represent. Measure “W” is a perfect example of their attempt to betray you once again!
Norma and I hereby challenge to a public forum debate any two of the signed Proponents of Measure “W”. Let’s let the public see and hear both sides (which they coincidentally did not allow for a Rebutal Argument by us within the to-be published ballot guide).

Ralph A. Hernandez

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Supervisors to consider paying Public Defenders same as Deputy D.A.’s

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

Contra Costa County supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 11 proclaimed September 2018 as National Recovery Month, the 11th consecutive year supervisors have recognized the accomplishments of federal, state, county and local nonprofit organizations like Support 4 Recovery for work in the prevention, treatment and recovery of mental and substance use disorders. During the presentation, Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg , left, presented the proclamation to Tom Aswad, president and co-founder of the non-profit organization Support 4 Recovery, along with other supervisors and S4R supporters. Supervisors also paid tribute to S4R backer Harold Eugene Parsley of Concord, who died last April. Photo by Daniel Borsuk.

County to take over West Contra Costa Healthcare District

By Daniel Borsuk

After listening to a large delegation of financially disgruntled but professionally principled Contra Costa Public Defenders describe the woefully inadequate health benefits and salary conditions they endure in comparison to what attorneys in the District Attorney’s Office earn, County Board Supervisors said on Tuesday they will discuss the compensation parity issue as a closed session item.

“We are going into closed session and we’re are going to discuss this issue with our negotiator,” Board Chair Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill announced in a board chamber with more than 50 public defenders in attendance, voicing protests on how entry level Public Defenders attorneys are underpaid 20 percent less than their district attorney counterparts.

“We know there is a disparity,” Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond acknowledged.  Gioia said talks will begin for a wage increase for the Public Defender’s Office where the current one-year wait on health coverage will be on the negotiation table.

While newly hired DA attorneys instantly receive health benefits, Public Defender attorney’s, who represent the indigent, the uneducated and clients who are mainly black or Hispanic, must wait one year and pay $7,632 in annual health insurance premiums.  A Public Defender’s starting salary of $71,100 is 20 percent less than that of a beginning District Attorney’s salary, $89,088.

“The issue is true equity,” Brandon Banks, President of the Public Defenders Association said. “There is need to end the one-year wait for health benefits.”

Because of the pay inequity, entry level Public Defender attorney Blanca Hernandez said supervisors are “devaluing people of color.”  Furthermore, Hernandez said, “With low pay, no health insurance, and untenable workloads you are hemorrhaging Public Defenders.  It’s really harmful for our clients.  The vast majority are Black or Latino, and many have been profiled, so providing a solid legal defense is a racial justice issue.”

At Contra Costa Herald press time, supervisors were still in negotiations with the Public Defenders Association.

Hearing Set to Cut Airport Rental Fees

Supervisors set an October 16th hearing to adjust rental fees at the county’s two airports – Buchanan Field Airport and Byron Airport – to reduce rental costs for new and existing services in order to make the fees for county-managed hangars and tie-downs competitive with other airports in the region.  The rental fee reduction will result in a $65,514 a year decrease to the Airport Enterprise Fund.

The rates and charges for the county airports were last adopted on May 24, 1994, over 24 years ago.   At that time, the rates only applied to Buchanan Field Airport and included rental fees for tie-down locations plus itinerant landing fees for non-based aircraft and for two services that are no longer provided.

Burgis Requests Countywide Illegal Dumping Report

Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood has requested a report on what the county can do to turn around the illegal dumping problem in the county.  “The Illegal Dumping Forum we held in April made clear that this is a problem affecting county residents and multiple county departments.  I’ m pleased that our departments have come together to determine what they can do collectively to address the issue and I look forward to their report.”

Following the April forum, an Illegal Dumping “Think Tank,” consisting of county experts on the problem was formed to foster discussion about illegal dumping in far East County.  The five county departments represented on the Illegal Dumping “Think Tank” include the Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Public Works, the Health Services Department’s Environmental Health Division and the Department of Conservation of Development.

Supervisors to Take Over West Contra Costa Healthcare District

Without public opposition or public support, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to take over the governance duties of the financially troubled West Contra Costa Healthcare District.  Commencing Jan. 1, 2019, the existing locally elected five-member Board of Directors of the WCCHD will dissolve and the Board of Supervisors will assume the duties of overseeing the governance duties of the financially troubled district.

Under Senate Bill 522, authored by State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on August 18, Supervisors had the option to serve as Board of Directors of the WCCHD or to appoint a Board of Directors.  The Supervisors chose to take on the duties themselves.  The Health District had initially declared bankruptcy in 2006, but was never able to fully recover.  The District had to permanently close its doors and filed a second Chapter 9 bankruptcy petition in 2016.

By replacing the locally elected districted board with the Board of Supervisors, the goal is to reduce administrative costs, increase operational efficiencies, and maximize the use of health care funding though collaboration with the county, which is the only other public health agency provider in the district.

Supervisors Endorse Safe Schools for All Initiative

Supervisors unanimously endorsed and supported schools and the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s three-year partnership in Safe Schools for All initiative and active partnership with the Sandy Hook Promise.  SHP works on preventing gun violence before it occurs by educating and mobilizing youth and mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals

The supervisors will promote and support the success of the Sandy Hook Promise no-cost “Know the Signs” programs in high schools and middle schools throughout the county.

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Ogorchock announces Antioch Police Officers endorsement

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Dear Editor:

Improving public safety is my number one priority.

I’m honored to have the support of the Antioch Police Officers Association for my re-election as your Councilwoman. I have and will continue to work hard to make Antioch safe for all our residents. As your representative, I have supported the hiring of 58 new police officers, funded cameras in the Sycamore Corridor/Cavallo Road, and voted to put license plate readers on police vehicles to catch criminals in our neighborhoods.

I am especially proud to be working alongside Supervisor Diane Burgis to establish Antioch’s first Family Justice Center to provide much-needed support for victims of domestic violence.

If you should have any questions, or just want to talk, please feel free to email or call me anytime at (925) 628-7764.

Thank you.

Antioch Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock

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34th Annual Coastal Cleanup needs volunteers in Antioch Friday and Saturday

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018


The 34th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest volunteer event, is going to take place on Saturday, September 15th, 2018. The Kayak trip will be on Friday, 14th September 2018. The event is expected to draw more than 70,000 volunteers who will combat marine debris at over 800 locations throughout the state by removing the trash that has accumulated on California’s beaches and inland shorelines over the past year. Get out there, join the effort in Antioch. There are two locations to choose from: Antioch Marina and Prewett Park. Select your location when you complete your registration, here.

The 5th Annual Kayak Cleanup will be held on Friday, September 14 – click here for more information.

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Council chooses “Opportunity Lives Here” branding campaign to promote Antioch

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Slide from City of Antioch branding campaign presentation by Evivva Brands 9/11/18.

At Tuesday’s Antioch City Council meeting Evviva Brands, the City’s Brand Agency of Record, presented rationales and creative expressions for three powerful, compelling brand campaigns to position the City around the idea of “opportunity.”  (See the full PowerPoint presentation, here – Antioch_Branding_Campaign_Presentation_9_11_18-final)

Dr. David Kippen, Evviva Brands’ CEO and chief strategist, reiterated some of the reasons opportunity had been recommended to the Council at the prior Council meeting. “The story of Antioch is the story of California. The story of California is opportunity. And Antioch is one of the last places in the Bay Area—the heart of the Golden State—that offers opportunity to all.”

Graphic by Evviva Brands.

Senior Copywriter Marin Van Young outlined that “each idea consists of a tagline, which will ultimately be part of the new logo. I’ll also read an anthem or a credo, which is the thought behind the idea. Then we’ll show you how the idea plays out in various executions—with some short copy, as a BART poster, on the website, as a billboard, and as a street banner or banner series.”

However, she cautioned, “what you’re not going to see is finished ads. We’re using stock imagery, which can feel staged, and sometimes we’ve pulled a screen grab from a website, or an image from Antioch’s Instagram, which can be low-res and a little too gritty. What we’d like to do tonight is get a gut check on what’s working. And if something has gone way off the rails, we definitely want to know that too, so we can correct it moving forward.”

She added, “I also want to take a moment to reiterate the create challenges on this project. We want to express why people should come to Antioch. But we also need to express why people should stay in Antioch. And thirdly, we want to get Antioch to explore Antioch. We need to remind people—or educate them in the first place—of what the City has to offer its residents.”

The City Council deliberated over the three concepts presented and selected concept one, Opportunity Lives Here.

Economic Development Director Kwame Reed stated, “It was important for the Council and community to see and hear the amount of time and care being placed on this effort by the Evviva Brands team.” He added, “Several members of the public approached me after the meeting to express their positive feelings towards the overall presentation and message.”

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Antioch Council adopts environmental groups’ Sand Creek initiative on 3-1 vote

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Map of the area included in the environmental groups’ initiative showing projects already approved and The Ranch and Zeka Ranch projects they were working to stop.

Publisher’s Note: This article was published in the September 2018 issue of the Herald but, was not posted on this website, until now. Apologies for the oversight.

By Allen Payton

After sending to staff to study for 30 days and return with a report on the “Let Antioch Voters Decide: The Sand Creek Area Protection Initiative”, the Antioch City Council on a 3-1 vote chose instead to adopt the initiative. Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock voted no, preferring to send it to the ballot, and Councilman Tony Tiscareno was out of town on vacation. The initiative was backed by Save Mount Diablo, and other environmental groups in the county. (See related article)

The council had already adopted the West Sand Creek Initiative backed by landowner and developer Richland Communities on July 24. Conflicting language between it and what is in the environmental groups’ initiative will have to be worked out, later by council. Both restrict growth in the Sand Creek Area west of Deer Valley Road.

The staff report said the environmental groups’ initiative limited the total number of housing units to 2,100 in the entire Sand Creek Area. Since the past and current councils had already approved more than 2,300 homes, then no more homes could be built, including the proposed 301-unit, gated senior home community east of Deer Valley Road, known as The Olive Groves on the Albers Ranch property. However, both Seth Adams of Save Mount Diablo and the attorney for Richland said that the intent of each initiative was to only affect property on the west side of Deer Valley Road.

Both initiatives directly impact the proposed Zeka Ranch project (see related article), west of Richland’s The Ranch project, on the west side of Empire Mine Road, as well as three other properties directly south of Richland property. Each of the owners of those properties can either appeal to the city council for a finding of “takings” of their property and still be allowed to build some homes on their property. They can also sue the city within 90 days of the July 24th adoption of Richland’s initiative or possibly pursue their own initiatives to obtain voter approvals.


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