Archive for October, 2020

Antioch Police release video of helicopter chase of stolen truck and female driver on foot following crash

Saturday, October 31st, 2020

Helicopter video sreenshots of truck chase and crash on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. Courtesy of CCCSheriff & APD.

Stolen truck driver flees to Taco Bell – arrested

By Antioch Police Department

On Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, Antioch Police were notified of a stolen pickup truck entering our city that failed to stop for our friends at the Pittsburg Police Department.

The truck was being followed from the sky by the STARR3 helicopter from the CONTRA COSTA SHERIFF.

Instead of engaging in a ground pursuit, we decided to let the helicopter follow the truck in the hopes it would park someplace.

Instead of stopping, the driver continued to drive erratically throughout our city until crashing into a vehicle at Lone Tree Way and Mokelumne Drive. The driver fled into a shopping center, but thanks to the deputies aboard STARR3, along with Dispatcher Lacy Scott, Officer Dibble was able to find and arrest her before she slipped into a Taco Bell.

Driver flees on foot first, rather ironically, to the Chase Bank branch, then to Taco Bell where an Antioch Police Officer arrested her. The damaged car struck by the truck in the crash on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.

The victim of the collision suffered minor injuries, but his vehicle was totaled. This case was presented to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, who charged the arrestee with multiple felonies, including hit-and-run causing injury, driving a vehicle without the owners consent, possession of a stolen vehicle, and enhancements for prior related convictions. Ironically, she had been released a few months ago on her own recognizance from another Antioch stolen vehicle arrest, which is still pending. Her bail from this latest arrest was set at $225,000 and she remains in-custody awaiting trial.

We are grateful for the assistance we receive from the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office with their Air Support Unit. This is how law enforcement works together to keep Antioch safe! Speaking of keeping things safe, did you know property crime in Antioch is down -32.8% since 2012 and auto theft specifically is down -44.3%. How ‘bout them numbers?

#antiochpdca

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Opponent says Wilson offers more talk no action on Antioch’s downtown Rivertown and homeless problem

Saturday, October 31st, 2020

Dear Editor:

Over five years ago, in 2015 the Antioch City Council approved the Downtown Specific Plan Update and finalized it in 2018. Yet nothing has happened to implement those plans since then. During Tuesday night’s Antioch City Council meeting incumbent Councilwoman Monica Wilson offered no action items for the rest of the council to vote on to help improve Antioch’s historic downtown Rivertown. It was just more talk from the council’s Waterfront subcommittee that she serves on.

Worse, the committee did not include all the business owners that have been trying to improve the downtown Rivertown or would like to upgrade their buildings. They have not publicized their meetings so that other Rivertown business and building owners can attend and give their input and ideas.

Monica has done more harm than good for our city’s downtown. Earlier this year she marched with protesters all the way down the middle of W. 2nd Street to the police station, blocking the road to traffic in front of businesses that were struggling even before the COVID-19 pandemic.  Some of those businesses boarded up out of fear of looting and damage to their store windows. But Wilson did not care about the Rivertown businesses and the impacts of the protests. She was trying to score points with the protesters for another future run for higher office, which is what she really wants. Wilson wanted to be mayor, this year, and was unsuccessfully when she ran for Supervisor in 2016.

What has Wilson accomplished in her eight years on the council? For Rivertown, only one thing, when she voted in August to spend $15,000 on barriers for the restaurants to have outdoor dining where the parking stalls are located in front of their businesses. They have barely been used so that was a big waste of money. But that is it. Plus, the portable toilets for the homeless who stay in Waldie Plaza and along the railroad tracks.

That’s another thing she has done nothing about, other than vote to apply for five FEMA trailers from the state which arrived in March but are still sitting in the city’s maintenance yard, and to spend our tax dollars on consultants and a new city staff member. Monica voted last December to allocate over $500,000 to do something about the homeless problem in our city but then voted to spend $73,000 of it to hire a consultant on homelessness to help develop a plan to hire an Unhoused Resident Coordinator at a cost of $100,000 per year. Then, before anything was done with the rest of the money, Wilson voted to spend as much as $1 million to create a homeless hotel on E. 18th Street.

We need people on the city council who are going to take action and quit talking about improving Antioch’s historic downtown Rivertown and actually do something about the homeless issue in our city. Plus, not promise us 22 police immediately then take six years to deliver on that commitment.

That is why I am running. If you want action and results and not just more talk and delays and kicking the can down the road, eventually getting around to it, I ask for your vote for Antioch City Council in District 4.

Thank you,

Sandra White

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa DA Becton supports one-sided bill limiting police union influence in elections

Saturday, October 31st, 2020

First-in-the-nation legislation labeled “Cure the Conflict” to require prosecutors recuse themselves from investigating, prosecuting police misconduct if they’ve received campaign contributions from police unions

Does not include similar provisions for contributions from criminal defense attorneys

Becton wants to take it further and ban contributions from police unions to DA candidates; refuses to answer questions

Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton. From CCC website.

By Allen Payton

In her continued effort to limit the influence of police unions in supporting and electing candidates for district attorney, Contra Costa DA offered support on Friday, Oct. 23 for the bill by California State Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) that will require elected prosecutors to recuse themselves from the investigation and prosecution of law enforcement misconduct if they accept financial contributions from law enforcement unions.  The legislation will be sponsored by the Prosecutors Alliance of California and co-sponsored by numerous District Attorneys.  It will be introduced when the new legislative session convenes in December.

“This is about trust in law enforcement, and trust in the independence of our elected prosecutors,” said Bonta.  “As people across our cities, states and our nation have come together to raise their voices and demand greater justice, we must cure the conflict of interest that gives, at minimum, the appearance that police are not held accountable due to the proximity and political influence of law enforcement associations and unions.”

“Now, more than ever, prosecutors have the responsibility to promote equal justice and build trust with the communities we serve. In order to do that, we must eliminate the conflict of interest existing when elected prosecutors accept police union support,” said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.  “It is only when prosecutors are not financially beholden to law enforcement unions that the public can be confident in the decisions prosecutors make about holding police officers accountable.”

“Law enforcement unions generally finance the legal representation of an accused officer, and when prosecutors receive financial support from the entity funding the defense a conflict of interest arises for elected prosecutors,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.  “To restore trust in law enforcement we must cure this conflict.”

Recently, the Prosecutors Alliance of California called on the State Bar to create a new rule of professional responsibility to preclude prosecutors from taking police union money.  The Alliance took this step in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in an effort to increase the independence of prosecutors from police. The State Bar is scheduled to reconvene tomorrow to continue discussions on the topic.

According to a June 1st press release from Becton’s office, “The Prosecutors Alliance of California is a non-profit organization that provides public education, support and training to prosecutors and their offices. The Prosecutors Alliance of California Action Fund is a social welfare organization that advocates for criminal justice reform legislation, engages and educates the public on criminal justice ballot measures, and supports candidates for state and local office who advocate for comprehensive reforms to our justice system.” (See related article)

The bill by Bonta to be considered by the Legislature will take a different path. Rather than precluding prosecutors from soliciting or accepting law enforcement union contributions as Becton supported earlier this year, it requires a prosecutor that accepts a law enforcement union’s contribution to recuse themselves from the decision-making process if one of the organization’s members is suspected of criminal conduct. In such cases, the State Attorney General’s Office would be asked to handle the case.  This will help reassure family members, community stakeholders and the public that decisions are made based on the facts and the law, not political horse trading and back scratching.

According to Becton and Bonta, “by closing this loophole, the Legislature will reduce the presence of conflicts of interest and ensure independence on the part of elected prosecutors. This legislation also aspires to help reestablish community trust in the integrity of prosecutors at a time when national events have damaged that trust.”

A question was sent to Becton on Oct. 23 asking her if she also supports DA’s recusing themselves from cases involving prosecution of public defenders or criminal defense attorneys who have contributed to the campaigns of elected prosecutors.

That was along the same lines of the questions sent through Scott Alonso, her department’s public information officer, earlier this year to which Becton never responded. She was asked specifically, will she try to ban political campaign contributions to DA candidates from criminal defense attorneys and public defenders and not just police unions?

Following is the email message with questions sent to Alonso for Becton on June 1 regarding her press release entitled, “LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADERS CALL ON STATE BAR TO CREATE NEW ETHICS RULE TO END THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PROSECUTORS AND POLICE UNIONS – New Ethics Rule Would Help Restore the Independence, Integrity, and Trust of Elected Prosecutors by Preventing Them From Taking Donations From Police Unions”

“Scott,

Please ask DA Becton to clarify her comment because it’s not clear what she’s trying to say and answer my questions, below.

“The legal representation of an accused officer is generally financed by their law enforcement union,” said Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton.  “It is illogical that the rules prohibit prosecutors from soliciting and benefiting from financial and political support from an accused officer’s advocate in court, while enabling the prosecutor to benefit financially and politically from the accused’s advocate in public.”

Is she saying that currently a prosecutor cannot solicit and benefit from financial and political support from an attorney representing a police officer accused of a crime while in court or during the court case? But the police officer’s attorney can support the prosecutor financially and politically when not in court or during the court case?

Please clarify who the accused is in her comment about the “accused’s advocate”. I assume it’s the same accused officer she refers to twice before in her comment. But, not sure.

Also, are she and the rest of the DA’s willing to forgo any financial contributions from criminal defense attorneys and public defenders? How about no financial support from any organization and only from individuals who live within their counties? How far should this go to ensure fairness in prosecutions? Isn’t this really one-sided? Also, if the police unions have so much influence in our county and they all backed Becton’s opponent in the last election how did she still win? Isn’t she in effect attempting to violate the free speech rights – which political campaign contributions have been defined as by the courts – of the police unions?

Alonso responded that because the questions were political, he could not respond, even though the press release was sent from the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office through his email account. Further efforts asking him to forward the questions to Becton and getting her to respond were unsuccessful.

The latest question about the proposed legislation by Bonta and the questions from June 1st were sent to Becton’s personal email address on Friday, Oct. 23

Previously, a phone call to her was made asking her about the issue, but Becton was watching a Zoom meeting and said she didn’t have time to discuss it.

To date, Becton has yet to answer any of the questions posed to her about her efforts to only limit the influence of police unions in elections for district attorneys and not also limit the influence by criminal defense attorneys.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Office of the District Attorney, Contra Costa County contributed to this report.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Antioch Police Officers endorse Soliz, White for City Council

Saturday, October 31st, 2020

Manuel “Manny” Soliz, Jr. and Sandra White have been endorsed by the Antioch Police Officers Association.

In emails received Saturday morning, Oct. 30, the Antioch Police Officers’ Association issued the following endorsements for Antioch Planning Commissioner and former Mayor Pro Tem and Councilman Manuel “Manny” Soliz, Jr. and Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission Chair Sandra White, completing the list of candidates they support for the Antioch City Council in this year’s election:

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

County health officials offer guidance on celebrating Halloween and Día de Los Muertos safely

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Joint Statement by Bay Area Health Officers to prevent spreading COVID-19 among family and friends

Bay Area health officials remind residents that many commonly celebrated Halloween and Día de Los Muertos activities carry high risk for spreading COVID-19. Focusing on decorations, limiting activities to the people you live with, and virtual costume parties or contests will help keep our communities safe this season, especially our children. Together, we all need to do as much as we can to protect ourselves and those around us.

For instance, trick-or-treating is a high-risk activity, because it increases contact with people outside of your household who may not be as careful about COVID-19 prevention. Parties are high-risk because mixing among people who don’t live in the same home introduces more opportunities for the virus to pass from one person to another. Bay Area contact tracing has shown that gathering and mixing are key contributors to infection.

These holidays are no different than the rest of the year when it comes to reducing the spread of COVID-19. Stay home if you feel sick or have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19; wear a face covering whenever you leave home; and keep your distance from others (even relatives) who don’t live in your household, and remember that being outside is safer than being inside, especially in combination with face covering and keeping your distance. Consider using a themed cloth mask, as a costume mask is not a substitute. Avoid wearing a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe.

Contra Costa County residents are reminded that local and State Health Officer Orders are still in effect. Halloween gatherings, Día de los Muertos celebrations, events or parties with non-household members are not permitted unless they are conducted in compliance with local and State Health Orders.

Local health officials highly recommend community members participate in lower risk activities to celebrate Halloween and Día de Los Muertos this year:

LOWER RISK: Stay home, keep it small

  • Celebrating Halloween traditions like carving pumpkins or a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in your home.
  • Visiting an outdoor pumpkin patch, while wearing a mask and maintaining distance from others.
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at least 6 feet apart while wearing masks, with a very small group of neighbors or friends. Fewer people with more distance is safer.
  • Having a virtual costume contest.
  • Dressing up your house, apartment, living space, yard or car with Halloween decoration or decorating homes with images and objects to honor deceased loved ones.
  • Preparing traditional family recipes with members of your household.
  • Playing music in your home that your deceased loved ones enjoyed.
  • Making and decorating masks or making an altar for the deceased.
  • Participating in vehicle-based gatherings that comply with state and local guidance like drive-in movies and drive-through attractions, or car/bike parades where participants do not leave their vehicles.
  • Avoid driving in areas where there are many pedestrians.
  • Spectators should watch from their homes or yards and not gather with people they do not live with.

MODERATE RISK: If you must

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to physically distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.
  • Ensure everyone is wearing an appropriate face covering and maintaining a physical distance from others.
  • Everyone participating should bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently AND wash their hands immediately after coming home.
  • Candy shouldn’t be eaten while outside the home because that would require both removing the face mask and touching wrappers.
  • Having a very small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade or movie night where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart and are wearing masks. Fewer people with more distance is safer.
  • Enjoying themed outdoor dining that complies with state and local guidance or takeout.

HIGHER RISK: Please avoid

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door-to-door. Although this activity is outdoors, it is higher risk because it brings multiple people from different households together.
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19. Doing so can bring COVID-19 into the area and threaten the residents’ lives.
  • If trick-or-treating is occurring in your neighborhood and you are at home and do not want to be disturbed, you may want to post a sign or turn off your porch light.

VERY HIGH RISK: Not permitted by State and Local Orders

  • Attending a crowded party held indoors or outdoors. Large gatherings, even if they are outdoors, are high risk for spreading COVID-19 and are associated with many cases throughout the Bay Area.
  • Sharing, eating, drinking, speaking loudly or singing amongst others outside of your household.
  • Haunted houses or indoor mazes
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.

To further protect yourself and your loved ones, be sure to monitor yourself during the 14 days after these holidays and pay particular attention from days 3 – 7 after the holidays when you are most likely to develop symptoms. If you don’t feel well or you learn someone you had close contact with tested positive, get tested immediately and stay home until your appointment and while you wait for your results.

To learn more about symptoms and testing, visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

ConFire to hold Virtual Fire Prevention Open House this weekend

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Fun, Educational Annual Event Taken Off Concord Training Grounds and Into Residents Homes to Ensure COVID-19 Safety

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 31, beginning at 8 a.m.

WHERE: Online at www.cccfpd.org/annual-open-house

WHAT: Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) hosts its Annual Fire Prevention Open House Saturday with a wide array of educational and potentially lifesaving presentations for every member of the family.

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking our normally live and all-day event off the Concord Training Grounds and into resident’s homes using a variety of information-packed videos.

Virtual open house content is available to media for reporting purposes ahead of public release. All open house content will be posted to the Con Fire website beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday.

We’ll appreciate media sharing this unique, COVID-19 inspired virtual event with Bay Area audiences using the attached flyer and linked video content.

ADDITIONAL INFO: Open house video here: http://bit.ly/2020OpenHouseWelcomeVideo

Images of past years’ attendees available here: http://bit.ly/2019OpenHousePics

CONTACT: Steve Hill, PIO, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, (925) 532-6512

About Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) — A recognized fire service leader — Con Fire provides fire and emergency medical services to more than a million people across its 304 square-mile District area, and through mutual aid, in and around the 20 cities and unincorporated communities of Contra Costa County, California. With few exceptions, county emergency ambulance transport services are provided by Con Fire through its unique sub-contractor Alliance model. In 2019, the District responded to nearly 78,000 fire and EMS emergencies and dispatched some 95,000 ambulances, providing expert medical care on more than 74,000 ambulance transports. The District, with 26 fire stations and more than 400 employees, is dedicated to preserving life, property and the environment.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Writers says Fernando Sandoval running for college board is an inspiring candidate and breath of fresh air

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Dear Editor:

Daniel Borenstein, in his editorial, endorsed candidate Fernando Sandoval for Contra Costa Community College Board of Trustees Ward 5. But he has left out very important assets and characteristics of Mr. Sandoval that I would like to mention for those who would like to hear of his good character and important background that he would bring to the college board which I have found to be very inspiring.

As a person of color, I’m excited to know that we have a chance to elect Mr. Sandoval who will bring equity, diversity and inclusion to everyone entering their first year of upper education in addition to faculty and staff. Mr. Sandoval’s priority will be to keep first year students engaged and motivated to move on to either universities or well-paying skilled jobs. I have worked on community education projects with Mr. Sandoval where he has displayed his motivation, passion, sensitivity, and creativity to work with youth or those wanting to go back to school to improve their jobs and careers.

He has also recently written a book that inspires those to move on and improve their lives. He has spoken on identity, motivation and achievement to young students using his book as his historical journey. He also provides this book as a gift to others. I am a retired person now and I was even inspired by his book.

In addition to his passion for education, Mr. Sandoval also has a 25-year career in information technology and finance consulting with worldwide banking institutions and research corporations providing management strategies and budgeting models for economic recovery.

With this background, Mr. Sandoval will increase fiscal accountability and transparency to manage District funding that will support our taxpayers’ investment in our community colleges.

With Mr. Sandoval’s background, he has inspired many of us to support him including Faculty and Classified Professionals including over 40 Community Educators and Leaders and many elected officials. These important individuals are gravely disappointed in the incumbent and are looking to replace him with all that Mr. Sandoval offers; finding a breath of fresh air, commitment and inspiration with Mr. Fernando Sandoval.

Linda Olvera

Martinez

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Candidate for Antioch Mayor Makinano adds Library, Prewett Park amenities and completion to his Vision 2020

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Invites Antioch residents to add their ideas to the list

Gabe Makinano, announced additions to his Vision 2020 for Antioch, including the new, long-planned library at Prewett Park, the completion of the 115-acre park and a concrete pad at the park  for the annual Big Chill outdoor ice skating rink.

“Antioch is the second largest city in the county, yet Brentwood has a nicer, larger library, and Walnut Creek has two libraries. So, it’s time we have a nice, new, large library for our residents, too,” Makinano said. “The location has been planned for the open land next to the Community Center at Prewett Park.”

Location of the proposed new library at Prewett Park on Lone Tree Way in Antioch.

“The addition of this library to our community will help with the education of our students and all residents,” he added.

Makinano wants to complete the 115-acre Master Plan for Prewett Park – the west side remaining land, from the parking lot to Deer Valley Road, including the library. He proposes requiring the new homes in the Sand Creek area and other parts of Antioch pay for it, like the Mello Roos District homeowners paid for the other portion of Prewett Park, including the Antioch Waterpark and Antioch Community Center.

“This is one of the city’s Community Parks and is supposed to serve the entire city,’ he said. “It needs to be completed. The Disc Golf Course can remain in that area. But there’s room for much more on the west side.”

Map showing the western portion of Prewett Park included in the 115-acre master plan.

Finally, Makinano wants the city to build a concrete pad to accommodate an annual outdoor Ice Skating Rink at Prewett Park on the eastern end near the Skate Park. He will work with Big Chill owners who are looking for a permanent location. The pad can be used for other, outdoor and tent covered events during the rest of the year.

Site of the concrete pad Makinano is proposing be used for the Big Chill outdoor ice skating rink and other events and activities.

“Let’s have more fun things to do for our kids and families, all year long, throughout the city,” he said.

Gabriel Makinano

Makinano’s vision includes a variety of items under the six areas he is focusing on during his campaign and will work on once elected: Increased Public Safety; Local, Quality Jobs; Improved Education; Housing for All; and a Revitalized Rivertown – Antioch’s Historic Downtown, and now, Parks & Recreation.

He will take his leadership skills, community connections and what he’s already been working on, along with the rest of the city council and staff to make the items in his vision a reality.

Vote Makinano for Mayor, the only candidate with a vision for a brighter future for Antioch and a plan to make it happen. To see his entire Vision 2020 for Antioch visit www.VoteGMakinano.com. If residents want to help add to the vision, they’re invited to email their ideas to Gabe at votegmakinano@gmail.com. If their idea is included in his Vision 2020, they will get the credit and have their name mentioned with their idea.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter