Archive for December, 2021

Analysis: with redistricting Martinez has it best, Brentwood is a close second

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Source: City of Martinez

Both offer a citizen-driven, transparent process; Martinez council has no say, Brentwood council will only make final choice; Antioch and Richmond get honorable mentions for offering online mapping tools

By Allen Payton

Comparing the redistricting process used by the county supervisors, cities, education boards and special districts in Contra Costa County whose members are elected by district, ward or area, it’s clear that just like the slogan they’ve been using for the past few years, it really is better in Brentwood – than most. But Martinez offers the best process in the county. Both have independent redistricting commissions and offer the same, easy-to-use online mapping tool for the public to draw and submit their own maps. While Brentwood’s process ends with the council only choosing from already completed maps, the Martinez council has no say and takes what their commission gives them.

At least Brentwood’s doing it right, this time. That’s because when the initial districts were drawn and approved in 2019 for the 2020 election and based on the 2010 Census, the Brentwood city council map for Districts 2 and 4 was obviously gerrymandered to benefit one if not more incumbents. Just look at the section of District 2 on the southwest side of the BNSF railroad tracks and you’ll see, that’s surrounded on three sides by District 4. But it really had no effect since those two seats aren’t up for election until next November.

Section of current Brentwood City Council Districts 2 and 4.

Besides Martinez and Brentwood, the following cities and school districts elect their members by district and are undergoing a redistricting process:

Antioch City CouncilDistrict Elections – City of Antioch, California (antiochca.gov)Antioch online mapping tool

Antioch School Board – Post Census Redistricting / 2020 Census Redistricting (antiochschools.net) – No online mapping tool.

Concord City CouncilRedistricting | Concord, CA (cityofconcord.org) – No online mapping tool, yet. Process started Nov. 2.

Richmond City CouncilRedistricting 2020 Census | Richmond, CA – Official Website – For online mapping tools click on “Draw Map”.

San Ramon City CouncilRedistricting 2022 – City of San Ramon (ca.gov)  – No online mapping tool.  The council will consider final redistricting maps on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

Contra Costa Water District – No redistricting page nor online mapping tool. The board was given a redistricting presentation during their Oct. 15 meeting. The next meeting will be held on Jan. 5 with expected completion by March 16.

Contra Costa Community College District www.4cd.edu/gb/redistricting – No online mapping tool. See below for process information.

In 2010, both the college board and the Contra Costa County Board of Education adopted the same exact map. But their website doesn’t offer a very detailed map for the public to see in which district they live and which trustee is their representative.

Source: City of Oakley

Oakley Council Converts to District Elections

The Oakley City Council just completed the process of converting to district elections and adopted a five-member map during their meeting on Nov. 9.

Most Gerrymandered Current District Map

So far, the current map in the county with the worst, gerrymandered districts I’ve seen is for the Contra Costa Community College District, and as a result of the above, the county Board of Education, too. It combines Lamorinda with Hercules, Rodeo and Crockett in one ward and all of the San Ramon Valley, sans Alamo, in the same ward as Byron and Discovery Bay. Plus, it splits six cities, as well.  Those trustee ward lines were clearly drawn in 2011 to protect the incumbents, at that time.

This year, the college district staff tried to present their board with only one map to consider – drawn by staff and an attorney, with minor changes to the current map, continuing to protect incumbents. Where the current council or board members live is not a required consideration for redistricting. However, it’s understandable why that it would happen since staff members have a conflict of interest and inherent bias in wanting to please their bosses, instead of drawing maps to serve we the people.  (See related article)

Fortunately, the college board wisely directed staff to open up the process for more public input and offer two more proposed maps and an online survey about those choices, although they aren’t offering an online mapping tool.

Current Contra Costa Community College District ward boundaries map approved in 2011. Source: 4CD

Different Deadlines

While school boards have a deadline of March 1, 2022, to complete the process and submit an approved map, city councils have until April 17. The supervisors had to complete their process sooner, because filing for the June Primary election for Districts 1 and 4 opens mid-February and closes mid-March.

While some cities, like Antioch were trying to complete their process by the end of January – which the council just extended by a month – Brentwood’s process, which began Oct. 14 won’t be completed until March 3 and possibly not until March 10.

While congressional redistricting is the most difficult because it requires no more than a one person difference between districts, all other districts can have a maximum of a five percent population deviation from average, referred to as ideal, to be legally acceptable.

Process in Martinez Started First, Includes Independent Commission

Martinez, which began their redistricting process way back in January, has a seven-member independent redistricting commission, not chosen by the council. In August four commissioners were randomly drawn by the Deputy City Clerk from different quadrants in the city. Then those commissioners selected three additional commissioners from a designated pool of applicants. Finally, another random draw was undertaken to determine the two alternates from the remaining pool of qualified applicants.

The commissioners are responsible for drawing council districts in Martinez and held their first meeting on Sept. 22. So, the council has no say. They get what the people give them.

Martinez offers residents an online mapping tool to draw and submit alternative maps, just like the county supervisors’ did, and Brentwood and Antioch offer. While the supervisors’ online tool was easy to use, the tool offered by Martinez and Brentwood is easier. Each of the proposed maps and even the draft maps drawn by members of the public are on the site and can be viewed by anyone.

City of Brentwood 2021-22 redistricting schedule.

Redistricting in Brentwood Better Than Most

Brentwood’s redistricting process also offers residents an online mapping tool. Like Martinez, each of the proposed maps and even the draft maps drawn by members of the public are included on the City’s redistricting website for all to see and review to maximize public input.

The Brentwood city council established an independent, citizens redistricting commission, whose five members and four alternates volunteered and were selected by retired Judge Thelton Henderson – not the mayor and council members – following an application process. All but the last step of the redistricting process was transferred to them. The commission is leading the redistricting process by holding public hearings, reviewing all maps submitted by the public and gathering “community input to ensure everyone’s voice is heard”.

When the commission’s part of the process is complete, it will submit two or more potential boundary maps to the City Council and – here’s the best part – the Council must then select one of the submitted maps – wait for it – without modifying!

Interestingly enough, many of the publicly submitted maps in Brentwood look similar in how best to create new, common-sense districts – drawn based on the principals of compactness, Communities of Interest, using natural and man-made barriers for boundary lines and one-person-one-vote, with the smallest population percentage deviation from average as possible. Unfortunately, some of the maps submitted for the Brentwood City Council process don’t follow the aforementioned principles and can’t be considered because they don’t comply with the maximum population deviation percent requirement.

Honorable Mentions

Both Antioch and Richmond also offer online mapping tools and while Antioch’s has had glitches, it appears those have been worked out. Richmond was using the same tool as Martinez and Brentwood, known as DistrictR. But it has been replaced with Dave’s Redistricting App (DRA) because DistrictR uses population estimates while Dave’s Redistricting App uses the official population. Dave’s is difficult to use.

Richmond also offers Maptitude, which is the same software app used by the consultant to the state Citizens Redistricting Commission. But both require someone to sign up in order to use them. People can use Antioch’s online mapping tool as a guest, which requires the map be drawn all in one setting because it can’t be saved without signing up and logging in.

Other Councils and Boards Should Follow Example of Martinez and Brentwood

I can often be pretty tough on candidates and elected officials in my media role and responsibility of holding them accountable. But I also believe it’s good to praise those who are doing it right.

Neither the council members in Martinez nor Brentwood can make any changes to the final maps, thus, they won’t have any ability to gerrymander their districts to benefit themselves. They’ve empowered the people to have control over choosing who they will have represent them instead of the other way around. Representative government in our republic. Hey, what a concept!

Why don’t all the other boards of government agencies in our county do the same? Martinez and Brentwood are the example for the Board of Supervisors, other city councils, school and college boards to follow for the best way to handle the redistricting process.

The Brentwood City Council should be congratulated for doing it right and the best, when it comes to redistricting, this year.

Hopefully, all the other cities and districts, and the supervisors in Contra Costa will duplicate what Brentwood is doing, 10 years from now, the next time they will redistrict. Actually, they don’t have to wait. Once the current process is completed for the 2022 elections, the other councils and districts will have plenty of time for a redo by the 2024 elections.

Unless that happens, then remember, folks, the district lines approved this time will be in place for the next 10 years. So, while the redistricting process may be technical and dry, the decisions made now can and will affect who we have representing us during that time, and making decisions affecting our lives, homes, schools, businesses, and communities. So, stay informed, engaged and give your input on redistricting.

 

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CHP highlights changes to state’s traffic safety laws starting Jan. 1

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Onnew law strengthens penalties for sideshow convictions

By Jaime Coffee, Information Officer II, CHP

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As we head into the new year, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is educating the public on traffic safety laws that were passed during this year’s legislative season and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.  The laws take effect January 1, 2022, unless otherwise noted.

Sideshow Definition and Penalties (Assembly Bill (AB) 3, Fong):  This new law strengthens penalties for those convicted of exhibition of speed if the violation occurred as part of a sideshow.

Beginning July 1, 2025, a court will be permitted to suspend a person’s driver’s license between 90 days and six months if the person is convicted of exhibition of speed and if the violation occurred as part of a “sideshow.”  Section 23109(c) of the California Vehicle Code (CVC) (exhibition of speed) will define sideshow as an event in which two or more persons block or impede traffic on a highway for the purpose of performing motor vehicle stunts, motor vehicle speed contests, motor vehicle exhibitions of speed, or reckless driving for spectators.

The courts will be required to consider a defendant’s medical, personal, or family hardship that requires a person to have a driver’s license before determining whether to suspend a person’s driver’s license.

Equestrian Safety Gear (AB 974, L. Rivas):  Requires a person under the age of 18 to wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet when riding an equestrian animal, such as a horse, mule, or donkey on a paved highway.  This bill also requires all riders or their equines to wear reflective gear or a lamp when riding after sundown.

A person riding an equestrian animal in a parade or festival, or crossing a paved highway from an unpaved highway, is exempt from all helmet, lighting, or reflective gear requirements.

Tribal Emergency Vehicles (AB 798, Ramos):  This bill provides that any vehicle owned or operated by a federally recognized Indian tribe is considered an authorized emergency vehicle as defined by Section 165 CVC when responding to an emergency, fire, ambulance, or lifesaving calls.

Class C Drivers Allowed to Tow Trailer (Senate Bill (SB) 287, Grove):  Effective January 1, 2027, drivers with a class C driver’s license may operate a vehicle towing a trailer between 10,001 pounds and 15,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, or gross vehicle weight with a fifth-wheel and kingpin or bed mounted gooseneck connection, provided that the trailer is used exclusively for recreational purposes for the transportation of property, living space, or both.

The driver will be required to pass a specialized written examination demonstrating the knowledge of the CVC and other safety aspects relating to the towing of recreational vehicles on the highway and possess an endorsement on their class C driver’s license.

Currently, this exemption is in place for drivers towing a fifth-wheel travel trailer provided the driver passes a specialized written exam and obtains a recreational trailer endorsement.

As a reminder, the following law took effect on July 1, 2021:

License Points for Distracted Driving (AB 47, Daly; 2019):  Using a handheld cell phone while driving is currently punishable by a fine.  As of July 1, 2021, violating the hands-free law for a second time within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driver’s record.  This applies to the violations of talking or texting while driving (except for hands-free use) and to any use of these devices while driving by a person under 18 years of age.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

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BART offers extended service for New Year’s Eve

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

For New Year’s Eve BART will run standard Friday service but with an extended closing time to help people celebrate the arrival of 2022 as well as to support workers who are relying on BART to get to and from their late-night shifts.

The regular last trains of the evening (Yellow, Blue, and Orange lines) will be dispatched from the end of their lines at midnight and then at 1:00am, we will run another set of last trains of the evening to serve 48 out of our 50 stations. The 1am dispatched trains will not serve the airport stations (OAK and SFO) but will stop at all other stations. These last trains will be timed to easily transfer to other lines to get home.

For those celebrating in downtown San Francisco, the last East Bay-bound train running through downtown San Francisco will be at around 1:30am and the last southbound train heading toward Millbrae will run through downtown San Francisco at 2:10am.

BART will offer overtime shifts to train operators to run extra event trains that can be dispatched between the one-hour gap in between the midnight and 1:00am dispatch.

Unlike previous years, BART will not run skip-stop service on New Year’s Eve. All trains will make their regular stops, except for the 1:00am dispatch which will not stop at SFO or OAK airports.

1:00 AM Extended Service Details

  • Only the Yellow line (Millbrae to Antioch) will run transbay. Riders heading from San Francisco towards Richmond, Berryessa, and Dublin will need to transfer. The train will not serve SFO.
  • Southbound Yellow line (Antioch to Millbrae) trains will run to Millbrae, stopping at all stations except SFO.
  • The Blue line will operate from Bay Fair to Dublin only. If travelling from San Francisco, Dublin-bound riders need to transfer at 12th Street to a Berryessa (Orange line) bound train and then transfer to a Dublin (Blue line) train at Bay Fair to complete their trip. These transfers will be timed meets to reduce travel time.
  • The Orange line (Richmond to Berryessa) will also run hourly to coincide with the other trains. Riders coming from San Francisco who need to transfer to a Richmond-bound train will do so at MacArthur; riders who need to transfer to a Berryessa-bound train (or Dublin) will do so at 12th Street. These transfers will be timed meets to reduce travel time. BART to OAK service will not be operating after regular BART hours.

Parking
Parking is free after 3:00pm on Friday. You can also leave your car overnight if necessary. Parking is free on weekends.

Stay Safe

Save these numbers in your phone:

  • 510-200-0992 to text BART Police dispatch to discreetly report criminal activity
  • 510-464-7000 to call BART Police in an emergency (It’s faster than calling 911)

We also offer the free the BART Watch app–a free mobile app available on the App Store and Google Play that allows you to quickly and discreetly report criminal or suspicious activity directly to BART Police.

You can reach the train operator using call buttons in each car. On old cars the button is at the end of the car, on new cars, the call button is by the side doors.

Note your train car number when contacting police or the train operator. The train number is located above the doors on the inside of each end of the train car.

BART will have extra safety staff working on New Year’s Eve to have more staff on trains, on platforms and inside stations.

Tips for Riding

Masks are required at BART, even if fully vaccinated. Spread out among all the cars. The first and last cars are often less crowded than those in the middle.

To save time and hassle, it is recommended you get a Clipper card in advance with round trip fare loaded. You can add Clipper to your mobile wallet and pay for BART fares with Google Pay and Apple Pay. All riders can immediately load funds through their wallet to their Clipper card.

Saturday Service on New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day, January 1, 2022, will be a regular Saturday schedule with service running 6am until midnight.

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COVID-19 boosters for the badge mandated in Contra Costa starting Jan. 10

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

Or weekly negative test in spite of mild omicron variant symptoms and CDC discontinuing PCR tests as of Friday; includes police, firefighters, paramedics, ambulance drivers, and workers in hospitals, jails, nursing or congregate care facilities, and homeless shelters.

By Allen Payton

On Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, Contra Costa County Health Officer, Dr. Chris Farnitano issued another order mandating county first responders and workers in homeless shelters to verify they have received a booster dose of vaccine or a weekly negative COVID test.

Contra Costa Health Services claims it’s being done, “to better protect the county’s health system from becoming overwhelmed by the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19.”

This requirement applies within the county to law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who work in or may respond to emergency calls at high-risk facilities such as hospitals, jails, nursing or congregate care facilities, as well as all workers in homeless shelters. It also applies to non-emergency ambulance workers who provide medical transport for such facilities.

The order, which takes effect on January 10, requires unboosted workers to test weekly with either a PCR or antigen test for COVID-19.

Yet, the CDC issued a Lab Alert on their website on July 21, 2021, that “After December 31, 2021, CDC will withdraw the request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, the assay first introduced in February 2020 for detection of SARS-CoV-2 only.”

In addition, the FDA posted on their website the CDC’s Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, dated that same day, which reported the tests do not necessarily work. It reads, “Positive results are indicative of active infection with SARS-CoV-2 but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all results to the appropriate public health authorities. Negative results do not preclude SARS-CoV-2 infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.”

CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel – Instructions for Use (fda.gov)

“The omicron variant is much more infectious than previous strains of COVID-19,” said Farnitano. “Boosting is necessary for the best protection from omicron infection and transmission. Our hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed if a large number of our must vulnerable residents get sick. Our goal is to ramp up the protection around places where there is an elevated risk of exposure, and people who are at high risk of serious illness if they become infected.”

However, as previously reported, according to reports from throughout the U.S. and internationally, symptoms have been described as mild, and “extremely mild” by Dr. Angelique Coetzee, the South African doctor who first discovered and announced the new strain.

The order requires applicable workers to test weekly for COVID-19 and provide the results to their employers, or if fully vaccinated, provide proof that they have received a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine within one month of becoming eligible. Employers are required to keep vaccination records for these employees.

Anyone 16 or older is eligible for a booster dose six months after they become fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two months after they receive a dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.

On Dec. 22, California added a similar statewide requirement for healthcare workers, home care workers, and employees of congregate care and detention facilities.

Omicron is already the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S. The average daily number of newly detected COVID-19 cases in the county has risen about 156% in the past week with an average of 313 new cases per day, a trend expected to continue and potentially accelerate throughout California this winter.

Contra Costa identified the county’s first patients infected by this variant last week – two of the three initial cases were fully vaccinated, but none of them had received booster doses.

According to the Health Services announcement, about 36% of Contra Costa residents aged 16 and older have received a booster dose, which they claim reduces risk of infection from the omicron variant and dramatically reduces risk of serious illness, hospitalization or death from all variants of COVID-19.

Farnitano was asked specifics about his new health order including, “how many of the newly detected cases of COVID-19 in our county are from the omicron variant?” and “how many people who have been diagnosed with the omicron variant in our county been hospitalized?”

In addition, he was asked, “why mandate a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for county first responders and workers in homeless shelters when both the vaccines and boosters are proving not to work, since people who have had both of them are still contracting COVID?”

Farnitano was also asked, isn’t this an unnecessary overreaction to the omicron variant, since the symptoms are being reported as mild.? He was then asked, with more than 1.3 million reported adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines, why continue to mandate them and the boosters, putting first responders at risk, especially since the symptoms of the omicron variant are so mild?”

The unelected county health officer, whose orders can’t be overruled by the elected county supervisors, was asked, why he was including the PCR test as one of the mandate options when they have proven to give false reports and have been discontinued as of Dec. 31.

Finally, Farnitano was asked “are you not aware the FDA posted on their website the CDC’s Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel dated that same day, which reported the tests do not necessarily work which is the reason the CDC discontinued their use?”

Dr. Farnitano didn’t respond. Instead, Will Harper, a spokesman for the county Health Services did, but he didn’t answer all the questions.

“Over the past two weeks, a growing number of lab samples in CoCo being sequenced are omicron,” Harper wrote in an email Wednesday afternoon. “We expect omicron to become the predominant variant in the county very soon. Check back in after the holidays.”

“Clearly, Omicron is extremely contagious as we see cases in Europe and parts of the U.S. spiking. While there are indications omicron is more mild than earlier strains, we don’t know that for sure. Even if it is milder, the sheer volume of cases from omicron could still have major impacts on our healthcare system,” he continued. “In Contra Costa, hospitalizations are up 39% from two weeks ago — a troubling sign, although still manageable right now.”

“The vaccines work — but we’re learning that their effectiveness wanes over time, which is why it’s so important for everyone ages 16 and older to get their booster shot, especially people in high-risk settings like first responders,” Harper added. “You can see on our vaccine dashboard that people who’ve gotten boosters have lower case rates.”

Additional questions were sent Wednesday night after work hours, asking, “but if the COVID vaccines wane in just months, while vaccines we received as kids, such as for smallpox, chickenpox and polio, etc. last a lifetime, how can anyone claim the COVID vaccines work? Or were they designed and developed with obsolescence so people would be required to get booster shots? What happens when the booster shots wane? Will people be required to get another, and another? When will it end?”

The text of the order is available at cchealth.org/coronavirus.

Please check back for any updates to this report.

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Two arrested for $2,500 alcohol theft from Antioch drug store Tuesday evening

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

Mask, gun, tools and alcohol recovered from burglary suspects on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Photos: APD

Pittsburg Police help nab smash and grab suspects in getaway car

Suspect’s vehicle. Photo by APD.

By Antioch Police Department

During the early hours of dusk, on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, a pair of burglars entered a CVS store at 4028 Lone Tree Way, and used hammers to smash the glass to an alcohol display case, in what could be only described as an attempt to stock up for New Year’s Eve 🎉🥳🎊. As the suspects ransacked the cabinet, one of the wrongdoers was described as having a firearm in their waste band. The brazen pair of offenders amassed approximately $2,500 worth of alcohol and fled the area.

Luckily, an alert citizen captured pertinent details of the getaway vehicle and relayed that info to our circulating officers. Fortified with the relevant information provided by our stalwart Samaritan, officers located the vehicle as it headed into Pittsburg. With the assistance of our friends at Pittsburg PD 🚔🚨, the suspects were safely detained and arrested.

After searching the escape vehicle, the stolen alcohol🍾 was located as was the described firearm and tools of their dastardly deed.

Thank you to the Pittsburg Police Department for always lending a helpful hand and a special thanks to our citizens that continue to be one of the largest contributors in the apprehension of those who commit crime.

Please be responsible this holiday season as we venture into the New Year.

 

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CHP, allied agencies combine efforts for New Year’s weekend Maximum Enforcement Period

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

Starting 6:01 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 2

By Jaime Coffee, Information Officer II, California Highway Patrol

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The ushering in of a new year brings with it the anticipation of a fresh start, positive changes, and healthy resolutions.  What it should not bring are headlines of tragedies caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

To encourage safe travel for those who are out on the road, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will conduct a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) starting at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, December 31, 2021, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 2, 2022.

“Ringing in the new year should be an exciting time filled with celebration and hope,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said.  “To help keep the roadways safe through the holiday and beyond, our officers will be out in force to deter, detect, and remove impaired drivers.” 

During the previous New Year’s Day MEP, 56 people were killed in crashes in California.  Sadly, half of the vehicle occupants killed in the crashes were not wearing a seat belt.  During that same 78-hour MEP, CHP officers made 709 arrests for driving under the influence throughout the state.

To help bolster this year’s holiday traffic safety effort across state lines, the CHP will again partner with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota state patrols in a Western States Traffic Safety Coalition for the “Drive High, Get a DUI,” campaign.  With the focus of the New Year’s operation to identify and remove impaired drivers from the road, the CHP will have all available personnel on patrol, including Drug Recognition Evaluators to conduct evaluations of suspected impaired drivers.

With 362 arrests for DUI during the 54-hour Christmas Day Maximum Enforcement Period, California Highway Patrol officers averaged a DUI arrest nearly every nine minutes.

For daily MEP updates and other valuable traffic safety-related information, follow @CHP_HQ on Twitter.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

 

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BART touts its top 21 accomplishments in 2021

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

2021 was the first full year we spent living in the midst of the pandemic. Despite the challenges, we accomplished many things to help serve the Bay Area.

Improvements to the Rider Experience:

Improvements to Personal Safety:

  • We launched our groundbreaking Progressive Policing Bureau that includes deploying Ambassadors and Crisis Intervention Specialists.
  • Our efforts to increase safety staff visibility is paying off with a 37% drop in violent crime in 2021 and 21% drop in crime overall- this comes as ridership has been increasing.
  • We launched the Not One More Girl campaign and changed our code of conduct policy to send a clear message that sexual harassment and gender-based violence has no place on BART.

Investments in Infrastructure:

  • We replaced 7.5 miles of track, 2 major interlockings, and 66 miles of power cables.

Improvements at Stations:

Leadership in the Region:

  • We offered our stations and parking lots for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing sites, and we made it easy for residents to take transit to get vaccinated.
  • We launched our Link21 Program to transform Northern California’s rail network with an eye on equity and how best to serve the mega-region.
  • Our Transit-Oriented Development program advanced with new homes at Pleasant Hill and MacArthur leasing up. Construction at Millbrae and Walnut Creek stayed on track for 2022 completion.  Projects at Lake Merritt and West Dublin were entitled.
  • Our electric power supply was certified as 100% greenhouse gas free.
  • We contracted $73.2 million dollars to a diverse group of small, minority, and women owned businesses.
  • We implemented a COVID vaccine mandate for all employees to help keep our workforce and riders healthy.

For more information visit BART.gov.

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Shooting in Antioch last Wednesday sends man to hospital

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

By Strategic Communications Officer Darryl Saffold, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, at approximately 9:13 PM, Antioch Police Department Dispatch began receiving numerous 911 calls of multiple gunshots being fired in the area of Vista Grande Drive and Catanzaro Way. When patrol officers arrived, they found multiple casings in the street and located blood on the sidewalk and on a vehicle that was parked in the area.

Moments later, a victim that had multiple gunshot wounds was dropped off at Kaiser Emergency Room and was immediately rushed into surgery. At the time of this release, the victim, a 27-year-old Black male was still in critical condition. No update on his condition was available as of Wednesday, Dec. 29.

Due to the ongoing and active nature of the investigation, no further information will be released at this time. This information is made available by the Support Services Division.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Whitaker at (925) 779-6890 or at wwhitaker@Antiochca.gov.

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