Archive for April, 2019

Rivertown Art & Wine Walk Saturday, May 11 in Historic Downtown Antioch

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

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Former East Bay Congresswoman, diplomat Ellen Tauscher passes at 67

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Represented Antioch; also served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control under President Obama, and on U.C. Board of Regents

Ellen Tauscher. Photo by U.S. State Department.

By Allen Payton

Ellen Tauscher, who represented parts of Contra Costa County, including Antioch, in California’s 10th Congressional District during her six terms in Congress, died on Monday, April 29 at the age of 67, according to news reports. According to an L.A. Times report, she died of pneumonia after battling it since January.

Tauscher was elected in 1996, beating former Congressman Bill Baker, and served until 2009. She was considered a centrist and become a leader in two fiscally conservative Democratic caucuses, the pro-business New Democratic Coalition and the balance-budget minded Blue Dog Coalition, in the House of Representatives.

During her years in Congress, as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Surface Transportation Subcommittee, Tauscher helped secure $33 million in federal funds for projects in her district, including the widening of Highway 4 in Eastern Contra Costa County, as part of a total $2 billion in funding for regional transportation projects. She also helped create the first balanced budget in 30 years, that gave middle class families a much needed tax cut. She also served as vice chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

In 2009, during President Obama’s first year in office, Tauscher accepted a position with the U.S. State Department as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. In that position, she helped negotiate the New Start treaty with the Russian federation in May 2010. In February 2012 Tauscher began serving as Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense at the State Department until August 31, 2012.

She later served on the University of California Board of Regents and as chairman of the Board of Governors for both the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National labs.

According to her Wikipedia page, “Since leaving the State Department, Tauscher assumed a number of publicly held corporate and non-profit board positions, including serving on the boards of Edison International/Southern California Edison (EIX) in Rosemead, California, and eHealth (EHTH) in Mountain View, California. She served on the Board of Advisors of SpaceX, the Board of Directors of BAE Systems, INC., NTI, and the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council. She served as vice chair of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.”

According to her 2000 campaign biography, Tauscher “was born in East Newark, NJ on November 15, 1951. The first member of her family to attend college, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Seton Hall University in 1974.

Tauscher began her career on Wall Street. At 25 years of age, she was one of the first and youngest women to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. During her 14 years on Wall Street, Congresswoman Tauscher worked for Bache Securities and then joined…SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt to transform the American Stock Exchange…into a reputable rival to the New York Stock Exchange.”

Also according to Wikipedia, “In 1989, Tauscher moved to California and later founded the ChildCare Registry, the first national research service to help parents verify the background of childcare workers. She also published The ChildCare Sourcebook and headed the Tauscher Foundation, which provided funds for elementary schools to buy computers and Internet access.

In July 2010, Tauscher was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer, one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and one of the deadliest, with a survival rate of 18%. After a grueling regimen of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to remove her esophagus, Tauscher was declared cancer-free in December 2010.”

On Tuesday, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) released the following statement on her passing:

“Ellen was a public servant, fierce advocate, and glass ceiling breaker. From her early days as founder of the first service to help parents screen childcare workers to her 12 years as a United States Representative, she was always working to improve the lives of families. In the East Bay, Ellen was involved in every major transportation project including Highway 4 and the Caldecott Tunnel with the goal of helping people spend less time on the roads and more time enjoying life. As an Under Secretary of State, Ellen played an important in role in negotiating the reduction of arms with Russia. After leaving politics, she invested her time in the issues she most cared about including as Chair of the Board of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Foundation. Throughout her time in government, Ellen was an inspiration and mentor in our community especially for many young women starting their careers.

“Ellen lived a life in service to others. I am honored to have called her a friend. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones in Contra Costa and across the nation.”

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on the death of Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher:

“The passing of Ellen Tauscher is a loss for us all.

“Ellen was brilliant, gracious and generous and always did her level best to lift up those around her. Ellen was a best friend and I’ll never forget her.

“Ellen had a huge heart and was always ready with a story. She wouldn’t hesitate to help anyone in need, always with a kind word or quip to lift your spirits. My favorite times with Ellen were our weekend dinners in Washington where we’d laugh and trade stories over a glass of California wine.

“At heart, Ellen was a great human being and a wonderful mother to Katherine, a remarkable young woman herself who stayed at her mother’s side in the hospital and was steady, steadfast and warm.

“Ellen never backed down from a challenge and always stood up for what she thought was right. Before she entered the world of politics she was a trailblazer in finance, one of the first woman members – and the youngest – of the New York Stock Exchange.

“When Ellen put her mind to politics, she was a force. She chaired my first two Senate campaigns, and soon after went on to win her own seat in Congress where she served for 12 years. She would spend another three years as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. She was recognized as an expert in the field and really understood weapons of war. She was also appointed by Governor Brown to the University of California Board of Regents, another position at which she excelled.

“Ellen had a practical and effective way with policy. She had a knack for getting to the bottom of an issue smartly but also in ways that people could really understand. She truly loved her country and it was an honor to work with her. She remains an inspiration for all of us in Congress and I hope younger members will look to her as an example to emulate. She’ll always be remembered.”

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Antioch Police nab 7 suspects with guns during enforcement detail on Saturday

Monday, April 29th, 2019

Photos by APD.

By Antioch Police

Officers came in on Saturday, April 27 to conduct a proactive enforcement detail, and what a day they had! That day’s enforcement efforts lead to seven arrests being made and 3 guns, including a rifle, being taken off the streets! Of those taken into custody, five were gang members as well. All seven suspects will be facing various weapons charges.

Enforcement efforts like today’s have been a regular occurrence in recent weeks, and with how successful they’ve been, will be continuing into the foreseeable future.

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After 65 Years, salmon are returning to the San Joaquin River

Monday, April 29th, 2019

Spring-run Chinook. Photo by Bureau of Reclamation.

By Nick Cahill, Courthouse News Service

Surviving an exhaustive maze of manmade barriers and hungry predators, a hardy group of salmon have beat the odds and returned to spawn in one of California’s most-heavily dammed rivers.

Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River. The dam impounds Millerton Lake, 15 miles north of Fresno, California. (Nick Cahill/CNS)

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says for the first time in over 65 years, threatened spring-run Chinook adult salmon have returned to the San Joaquin River near Fresno to complete their life cycle. The return of the hatchery-reared fish marks a huge milestone for a billion-dollar undertaking to revive an ancient population of salmon that disappeared in the 1940s with the opening of Friant Dam.

Officials announced that at least five adult spring-run Chinook born in fish hatcheries and released into the wild several years ago, have made the 370-mile trek from the Pacific Ocean back to the San Joaquin River.

Don Portz, who oversees the fish restoration program for the bureau, says the salmon that have been caught in nets prove that the joint-effort by the feds and state is going in the right direction.

“This is monumental for the program,” Portz said in a statement. “It’s a clear indication of the possibility for these fish to make it out of the system as juveniles and then return as adults in order to spawn.”

For years California’s second largest river teemed with salmon, providing food for Native American tribes and then settlers during the 1800s. But as the Gold Rush died down, Californians headed south and found the Central Valley ripe for farming.

Chinook salmon equipped with tracking tags being readied for release into the San Joaquin River in California. (Nick Cahill/CNS)

In their pursuit of water, farmers and government agencies ended up damming the river dry in some parts by the 1940s. Water was divvyed up and delivered in canals to farmers for crops like almonds and cotton, but the native salmon species and their spawning habitat vanished. Today, parts of the river go dry during certain times of the year and other sections have manmade barriers that prevent salmon from reaching their spawning beds.

Thanks to a nearly two-decade-long lawsuit fought by the National Resources Defense Council, things are changing on the San Joaquin. A settlement reached in 2006 with the federal government set goals of restoring native fish populations to “good condition” without overtly damaging water suppliers’ take of the river; the state and federal government plan to spend over a billion dollars to restore flows, wetlands and fish to the river.

The five Chinook captured this month returned from the ocean on their own, but had to be transported by researchers in a 500 gallon tank to bypass manmade barriers. The biologists confirmed that the fish were from a California hatchery because they were missing a small rear fin.

The five adult salmon and any others that may return will hold in the cool water below Friant Dam for the summer, before hopefully spawning in the fall.

“Now, that’s worth a toast!,” tweeted Kate Poole about the salmon’s return, senior director at the NRDC.

The long-term goal is to update the barriers to allow fish to swim upstream in the future without being transported, Portz said. Restoration efforts are meant to help spring and fall-run Chinook, Pacific lamprey and white sturgeon.

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National Prescription Drug TAKE BACK in Antioch, throughout county Saturday, April 27

Friday, April 26th, 2019

On Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 10 AM to 2 PM, the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, local police departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your pills for disposal at the following sites. The DEA cannot accept needles or sharps, only pills, patches, and liquids sealed in their original container. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

DROP OFF LOCATIONS:

-Antioch Police Department, Front Lobby, 300 L Street, Antioch, CA

-Brentwood Police Department, 9100 Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood, CA

-Danville Police Department, 510 La Gonda Way, Danville, CA.

-Lafayette Police Department, 3471 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA

-Orinda Police Department, 22 Orinda Way, Orinda, CA

-Pittsburg Police Department, 65 Civic Avenue, Pittsburg, CA

-San Ramon Police Department, 2401 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA

-Office of the Sheriff Muir Station, 1980 Muir Road, Martinez, CA.

(Field Operations Building)

-Office of the Sheriff Bay Station, 5555 Giant Highway, Richmond, CA.

(West County Detention Facility)

-Office of the Sheriff Blackhawk, 1092 Eagle Nest Lane, Danville, CA

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Take Back event, go to the DEA Office of Diversion Control website at: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.

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A few tickets left for Rivertown Jamboree Crab Feed on Saturday, April 27

Friday, April 26th, 2019

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Antioch welcomes Frank Estigoy as new Postmaster

Friday, April 26th, 2019

Crystal Jones, Manager Post Office Operations administers the oath of office to Frank Estigoy to be Antioch’s new Postmaster on Friday, April 26, 2019 as Aron Jones, Executive Postmaster, San Jose, CA and Aron Jones, Executive Postmaster, San Jose, CA look on. Photos by Allen Payton.

New Antioch Postmaster Frank Estigoy speaks during his oath of office ceremonies.

On Friday, April 26, 2019 at 10:00 AM, Frank Estigoy followed a proud tradition dating back to a period older than the country itself to become a Postmaster. Although the style of shoes are different, Estigoy steps into similar shoes worn by Benjamin Franklin who served as Postmaster General before the Declaration of Independence was created.

Estigoy took his official Oath of Office as the new Postmaster of Antioch at 10:00 AM at the Antioch Post Office, 2730 W. Tregallas Road, administered by Manager Post Officer Operations, Crystal Jones.

Before the being sworn in, Estigoy displayed one of his talents by playing the ukulele with a small group of local postal workers that performed “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo`ole.

“It is the most prestigious position in the organization. It is the highest federal government official in each city in the U.S. unless a congress member resides in that city,” said Aron Jones, Executive Postmaster, San Jose, CA.

He then offered his thoughts about what it means to be a postmaster and about Estigoy.

“He cares about his people and develops his people,” Jones shared. “Frank being around asking how things are, how their family is. It’s not about numbers it’s about people. Frank walks in those footsteps. Frank is an excellent leader.”

Frank Estigoy plays his ukelele with a group of postal workers including singer Dayang De La Cruz during the ceremonies.

Estigoy was presented with a certificate of Congressional Recognition by a representative from Congressman Mark DeSaulnier’s office and a proclamation by Antioch Mayor Sean Wright. Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts and Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock were also in attendance at the ceremonies.

Estigoy then shared his thoughts.

“Real leadership isn’t about being in charge. It’s about caring for those of whom you are in charge,” he said.

Estigoy shared two quotes he has framed in both his office and in the break room from two of his superiors in the Post Office: “Stay focused and always lead people with integrity and support those you lead,” by Aaron Jones, and “Stay positive, the team will respond to your leadership just stay the course,” by Robert Reynosa, Bay Valley District Manager who was also in attendance at the ceremony.

The purpose of the Post Office is “to bind the nation together. The Post Office has always been there for the community, for the nation. For people to send letters, for loved ones to send notes,” Estigoy stated.

A ukulele-shaped chocolate cake was made by an Antioch postal worker and served in Estigoy’s honor during a luncheon following the ceremonies.

Estigoy began as a letter carrier in Orinda in 1988. A few years later he joined the management ranks as a supervisor at the Fremont Post Office. He was the station manager of the Blossom Hill Post Office in San Jose prior to his selection as Postmaster.

Estigoy is a numbers guy, studying mathematics and statistics at Hayward and San Francisco State University; and he is steeped in the belief that learning never ends and that building strong relationships with people is what matters most.

Jones offered some closing remarks to conclude the ceremony.

“I do appreciate your leadership. You do have this great, engaging personality. Whenever I come here your staff is friendly and engaged,” she said. “I know you will provide great leadership to the people of Antioch.”

As Postmaster of Antioch, Estigoy oversees 121 employees, 50 city routes, 26 rural routes with over 30,000 delivery points (addresses) to a population of 111,64.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Following violent struggle police arrest nude man inside Antioch church on Thursday

Friday, April 26th, 2019

Most Holy Rosary Church. Photo from their Facebook page.

By Lieutenant Powell Meads #3917, Antioch Police Field Services

On April 25, 2019 at approximately 1:59 PM, Antioch Police Officers were dispatched to the Most Holy Rosary Church at 1313 A Street in Antioch, for reports of a nude male inside the small chapel. As the first officer arrived on scene, he observed a fully nude adult male running through the parking lot. This male was later positively identified as 28-year-old Pedro Mares. Mares was acting erratically and appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. Mares briefly ran to a vehicle in the parking lot and then back into the chapel.

Additional officers were arriving on scene to assist and they entered the chapel in order to locate Mares. Mares was contacted inside the chapel. Mares continued to act erratically and ignored the officers’ commands. A violent struggle ensued as officers attempted to detain Mares, who was exhibiting extreme strength and no apparent reaction to pain. Three officers were eventually able to overpower Mares and place him into handcuffs. Two of the officers sustained minor to moderate injuries during the struggle.

After being treated at a local hospital, Mares will be booked at County Jail for PC 69 – Resisting arrest by violence and HS 11550(a) – Being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925)7782441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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