Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Antioch council approves forming new Rivertown Dining District and draft logo design

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Draft design of Rivertown Dining District supported by Antioch City Council. They requested changes to the type font and color.

By Allen Payton

During their meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 the Antioch City Council approved a new, Rivertown Dining District for Antioch’s historic downtown, promoting the current and future restaurants located there. They also had the option of either Downtown Dining District or Waterfront Dining District, or could have come up with their own, different name. Dining District Branding & Marketing Campaign presentation

The geographic area is within the existing Rivertown Business District, but a smaller area described as 5th Street to the River and E Street to the Marina.

Both District 2 and 3 Council Members Mike Barbanica and Lori Ogorchock said they preferred the design that included the paddle wheel with a fork, knife and spoon and the name Rivertown Dining District. But they wanted to Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson also liked the paddle wheel and naming it the Rivertown Dining District.

“I’m trying to get into it. Some people seem to be excited. Rivertown Dining District makes sense…it seems to be an existing brand of some sort,” said District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker, who represents the part of the city where the new dining district is located. She supported the paddle wheel design, as well.

According to Sean McCauley, who owns several buildings in Rivertown and has brought several restaurants to the downtown, “they’ve reached out to several” restaurant owners for input.

“It’s been a long time on this project with our ad hoc committee,” he added.

The council also approved an ad campaign with Evviva Brands, the company the council hired in 2018 to rebrand the city with a new logo. According to the staff report, the ad campaign will include:

  • Dining District Microsite: Develop a district microsite including the district story, restaurant features, openings and hours, promotional videos, etc.
  • Streaming Radio Ads: During the initial Opportunity Lives Here campaign the best performing ads were streaming ads. We will develop ads targeting potential diners within a short drive of Antioch.
  • Light Pole Banners: Develop six unique light pole banners with a unique call to action and using the new mark, the Antioch master mark, and dining district footage.
  • District Dining Map: Develop a city map highlighting Antioch dining establishments with a focus on dining district restaurants.
  • Dining Card Design: Develop district dining card suitable for a restaurant stamp on the other side. Details of card copy content to be determined in collaboration with Antioch.
  • Branded Take-Out Containers: Develop art for branded take-out boxes showcasing the district.
  • Suite of Promotional Ads (digital and print): Develop a suite of digital ads in the various sizes

The motion to approve the name of the new district and the contract with Evviva Brands passed on a 5-0 vote.

David Kippen of Evviva Brands said they will bring back another round of logo designs with reversing the colors, looking at the lighter, salmon color for the text and different typefaces for “more refinement before we’re done.”

 

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Contra Costa Library to host Women in Animation: A Conversation With Pixar Thursday

Monday, April 12th, 2021

April 15, 2021  3:30 PM – 4:30 PM  Online event

Join the Contra Costa County Library for a very special panel discussion with Pixar Animation Studios. Have you ever dreamed of working in animation or technology? Listen in as we discuss the highlights and challenges of being a woman in the business and get tips and advice from experts in their fields.

About the panelists: Jessica Tran is a Project Manager in the Tools Engineering department at Pixar. Emily Davis is a Feature Film Department Manager at Pixar. Becky Neiman Cobb is an Associate Producer at Pixar who has recently worked on the short film Bao and the feature film Onward.

Register with your email here. You will receive information on how to access the Zoom event on the day before the program. Closed captioning will be provided for this program.

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Raley’s grocery stores release first-ever annual Impact Report

Monday, April 12th, 2021

Details the company’s extensive initiatives to positively impact their people, communities and planet

Their seven Contra Costa County store locations donated 696,281 total pounds of food to local distribution agencies via their food rescue program – of that 32,902 pounds came from the Raley’s in Antioch

By Kevin Buffalino, Raley’s Public Relations & Partnerships Manager 

Raley’s, owners of 124 grocery stores, released their first-ever, annual Impact Report today, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, highlighting the organization’s actions in 2020 to support their purpose of changing the way the world eats, one plate at a time.

“Our first Impact Report exemplifies our team’s dedication to prioritizing purpose over profit and our commitment to serving multiple bottom lines,” said Keith Knopf, Raley’s President & CEO. “We are committed to being more than a grocery store, so it is both rewarding and humbling to see the progress we were able to make this past year to change the way the world eats and positively impact the communities we serve.”

“At Raley’s, we carefully balance purpose with profit and believe in serving multiple bottom lines,” he continued. “The success of our business relies on the vitality of the communities we serve.”

As detailed in the report, Raley’s efforts and initiatives in 2020 were aimed at nourishing their purpose, people, communities and the planet. Highlights of Raley’s inaugural Impact Report include:

Changing the Way We Eat:

  • Opened the first Raley’s O-N-E Market, an acronym which stands for “organics, nutrition and education”, is a unique shopping destination focused on wellness education and offering a highly curated assortment of products that meet high standards of health, nutrition and sustainability.
  • Continued outpacing the competition in sales of better-for-you items in categories such as clean label, grain free, non-GMO, keto, plant based, organic and nutrient dense.

Responding to COVID-19:

  • Invested more than $60 million in enhanced safety protections.
  • Hired and trained over 9,000 new team members.
  • Provided more than $15 million to team members through appreciation pay and bonuses.
  • Donated $200,000 to purchase devices and internet access to allow students in low-income districts to complete schoolwork at home.

Community Investment: 

  • Raised over $9 million, the equivalent of 6,482,118 meals, for 12 Feeding America aligned food banks through Raley’s Food For Families. 
  • Donated over $1 million in funds to causes and organizations to empower current and future generations to live healthier and happier lives. 
  • Issued $700,000 in Extra Credit grants to 48 schools and districts for programs that promote nutrition education, teach food literacy, address food insecurity, provide physical safety and directly impact students’ mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Sustainable and Responsible Operations:

  • Diverted over 70% of all waste companywide from landfills.
  • Donated 4.8 million pounds of food via Raley’s food rescue program.
  • Continued commitment to and focus on ethical supply chain practices.

In addition to detailing the impact made throughout the past year, the report charts Raley’s course for the future by setting goals for 2021 and beyond. Raley’s intends to publish an Impact Report annually moving forward to transparently report progress toward these goals.

In Contra Costa County, Raley’s stores:

  • Donated $22,064 to nonprofit organizations in Contra Costa County in 2020 through our charitable giving
  • Raised $483,825 for the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano during our Annual Holiday Drive
    • $17,932 of that came from our customers in Antioch
  • Food For Families gave $1,395,483.54 to the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano in 2020
  • Our seven Contra Costa County store locations donated 696,281 total pounds of food to local distribution agencies via our food rescue program
    • 32,902 pounds of that came from the Raley’s in Antioch

To learn more about Raley’s overall environmental, social and governance efforts and to download the full report, visit purpose.raleys.com.

About Raley’s

Raley’s is a privately-owned and family-operated customer experience grocery company headquartered in West Sacramento, CA. Raley’s stores are the destination for the best fresh products, affordable offerings and personalized service. The company’s commitment to infusing life with health and happiness by changing the way the world eats, one plate at a time, has made it a trusted source for food, nutrition, and wellness. Raley’s strives to enhance transparency and education in the food system in order to help customers make more informed, healthy food choices. Raley’s operates 124 stores under six banners: Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods, Raley’s O-N-E Market, Food Source and Market 5-ONE-5. Making healthier offerings accessible to everyone, Raley’s has expanded beyond the store to operate grocery curbside pick-up and delivery in their nearby communities. For more information visit www.raleys.com

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch council to consider requiring large grocery stores give workers hazard pay of $3-$5 per hour more Tuesday night

Monday, April 12th, 2021

Will also consider forming a “Police Reform Standing Committee of the Whole City Council” to handle complaints against police officers.

Also expected to hire San Francisco firm to handle branding of new downtown dining district without giving local companies the opportunity

By Allen Payton

During their meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the Antioch City Council will consider an urgency ordinance that will require large grocery stores pay their employees an additional $3.00 to $5.00 per hour for “hazard pay” during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s in spite of the fact Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker, who proposed the ordinance, is wanting to attract a grocery store into District 1 which she represents, north of Highway 4, where the now closed Lucky’s store was located on E. 18th Street. It’s also in spite of the fact that Governor Newsom has announced the state expects to completely reopen just two months from now on June 15.  (See entire agenda, here)

In addition, the council will consider formalizing the process for notifications by the Antioch Police Department of significant events that occur in the city. The council will also consider forming a “Police Reform Standing Committee of the Whole City Council to handle complaints against police officers and “review Antioch Police Department (APO) policies, including those that pertain to use of force.”

Also on the agenda is a $40,000 contract for branding the city’s proposed new waterfront dining district, with Evviva Brands, the same San Francisco-based company that was hired to rebrand the city with a new logo and advertising, for which the city spent over $400,000. The contract was not sent out to bid to give local advertising and branding agencies the opportunity to do the work.

Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

Modeled after Concord’s ordinance, the proposed Antioch urgency ordinance for grocery stores with over 300 employees to pay their workers “hazard pay” for 120 days or until Contra Costa County enters the lowest risk level – Yellow Tier under State Health orders whichever is later. According to the city staff report, the purpose of the ordinance is “to compensate grocery retail workers for the clear and present dangers of doing their jobs as essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.” Urgency Ord Lg Grocery Stores Temp Hazard Pay ACC041321

The ordinance was proposed by Torres-Walker during a previous council meeting. She was asked if she would also be proposing the same for garbage collectors, restaurant employees, hospital employees, dentist office employees and anyone else required to work in essential businesses that interact with the public during this time of COVID-19. Torres-Walker was also asked if the ordinance will hurt her efforts to bring another grocery store to her district, but she did not respond before publication time. (Please check back later for any updates to this report.)

The staff report also points out if the council adopts such an ordinance that “it is highly likely” the city will be sued by the California Grocers Association and “that the City will incur significant legal costs in defense of the ordinance, and potential exposure to attorney’s fees if the litigation is successful.”

The council meeting will begin with a study session for Fiscal Years 2021-23 budget development at 5:30 p.m. followed by the regular council meeting at 7:00 p.m. It can be viewed via Comcast channel 24, AT&T U-verse channel 99, or live stream on the city’s website at www.antiochca.gov/government/city-council-meetings/live/.

If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may do so any of the following ways by 3:30 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting: (1) Fill out an online speaker card, located at https://www.antiochca.gov/speaker_card, or (2) Email the City Clerk’s Department a tcityclerk@ci.antioch.ca.us.

To provide oral public comments during the meeting, click the following link to register in advance to access the meeting via Zoom Webinar: https://www.antiochca.gov/speakers. You may also provide an oral public comment by dialing (925) 776-3057. To ensure that the City Council receives your comments, you must submit your comments in writing by 3:30 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting.

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Contra Costa moving into Orange Tier Wednesday opening churches, restaurants, theaters to 50%, gyms to 25%

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

Source: covid19.ca.gov

The State of California announced today that Contra Costa County will be able to move into the less restrictive Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on Wednesday, April 7.

Contra Costa County currently has a COVID case-rate of 4.9 cases per 100,000 people and an overall testing-rate positivity of 1.8% (and 3% for the health equity metric). COVID-related hospitalizations are down to their lowest point since October. Meanwhile, nearly 500,000 county residents are at least partially vaccinated.

It has been five months since the last time the county qualified for the Orange Tier.

“This is great news for our community,” said Diane Burgis, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “The last few months have been difficult for everyone and it’s nice to see us make more progress in the fight against COVID.”

Contra Costa Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said people should not let down their guard yet. He noted that case rates have plateaued recently, suggesting a slowdown in the recovery. “We are still in a pandemic and people should continue to act accordingly: Keep wearing masks in public and get vaccinated as soon as you can. I still strongly recommend people to avoid most indoor activities with people outside of their own household until they are fully vaccinated,” Dr. Farnitano said.

Last week, Contra Costa extended vaccine eligibility to everyone ages 16 and over who lives, works or goes to school in the county. Currently, people between the ages of 16-49 must schedule appointments through Contra Costa Health Services at cchealth.org/coronavirus or by calling 833-829-2626. Other healthcare providers, including the state’s MyTurn system, do not yet offer vaccine to people below the age of 50.

Starting Wednesday, April 7 several business sectors and community services can reopen or expand capacity:

  • Places of worship: 50% maximum capacity
  • Restaurants: 50% maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
  • Gyms, fitness centers and studios (including at hotels): 25% maximum capacity and indoor pools are permitted; Indoor hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms continue to be closed
  • Movie Theaters: 50% maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer encouraged
  • Amusement parks: Overall park capacity and indoor capacity will be limited to 25%, including indoor dining.
  • Bars: Outdoors with modifications; no meals required to be served
  • Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries: Indoors at 25% maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer; no meals required to be served
  • Family entertainment centers: Indoors for naturally distanced activities like bowling, escape rooms, and billiards; 25% maximum capacity
  • Outdoor sports and live performances with fans/attendees: Up to 33% and with advanced reservations only. Concession sales will be primarily in-seat (no concourse sales). Designated indoor seated dining area capacity will be limited to 25%. Attendance will be limited to in-state spectators and guests must attest their reserved seats are only for one household.
  • Retail: Open indoors with modifications and food courts permitted with indoor dining restrictions

Contra Costa County must remain in the Orange Tier for at least three weeks before moving into the next, less restrictive yellow tier.

 

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Rep. McNerney to host Virtual Town Hall with Small Business Administration today

Thursday, April 1st, 2021

With the passage of the American Rescue Plan, more funding has been dedicated to programs that provide assistance and relief to small businesses and hard-hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congressman Jerry McNerney (D, CA-9) will hold a virtual town hall with Small Business Administration (SBA) officials on Thursday, April 1st from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM to provide updates on SBA programs to help small businesses including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). He will be joined by special guests Julie Clowes, District Director of the SBA San Francisco District Office, and Heather Luzzi, District Director of the SBA Sacramento District Office, to discuss these programs, answer questions, and share resources for small businesses.

Join Online:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82924454895?pwd=Nk94NXN6dmxnbGU0b3FCdVVIc05wUT09   

Passcode: 015998

Join by Phone:

(669) 900-6833

Webinar ID: 829 2445 4895

Passcode: 015998

Participants can join via phone or by using the webinar link above and can submit questions in advance here.

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Supervisors reverse Planning Commission decision on East Contra Costa cannabis micro plant farm

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

Diablo Valley Farms indoor cannabis cultivation site plan.

Bay Point Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project moves forward

Honor Deer Valley High student, other winners of annual Poetry Out Loud competition

Closeup view of greenhouses.

By Daniel Borsuk

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to permit longtime Brentwood grower Bob Nunn and land planner Lisa Borba, who also serves as a Contra Costa Water District commissioner, to proceed and develop two 10,000 square foot indoor cannabis cultivation greenhouses at 4425 Sellers Avenue over the objections of residents. DVF Business Proposal

According to the conditions of approval for the project, the use “permit is for the commercial cultivation of cannabis micro plants only” and “no mature cannabis plants are permitted on the site at any time.” DVF Findings & Modified COAs 03152021

The supervisors’ action reverses a January 27th county planning commission decision that had negated an earlier approval of the proposed cannabis development in Eastern Contra Costa County that had proposed only one 10,000 square foot greenhouse.

During the hearing, supervisors listened to six unidentified speakers oppose the proposed Diablo Valley Farms project on grounds it is nearby a youth center and it will breed crime, noise and odor problems into the environment.

In a Feb. 8th letter from attorney Shawn J. Zovod, the developers Robert Nunn and Borba, and addressed to Contra Costa County Planner Joseph Lawlor, Zovod wrote: DVF SZovod Appeal Letter 02082021 SZovod 030521 Letter to JLawlor Project Planner

“The owner of DVF, Robert Nunn, and the applicant, Lisa Borba (collectively “Applicant”) appeals the CPC decision on the following grounds:

  1. The CPC decision to deny the Permit was based on an erroneous finding that Sunset Park is a “youth center.” This finding is not supported by the evidence and provides grounds for appeal under Code Section 26-2.2404c (3) Sunset Park is a park and is not a youth center within the meaning of the Cannabis Regulation and Section 11353.1 of the California Health and Safety Code…The CPC’s finding that Sunset Park is a “youth center” and thereby a Protected Use is not satisfied by evidence and is a gross misinterpretation of the Cannabis Regulation.
  2. “…. Denial of the permit based on an inaccurate and inconsistently applied reading of the requirements of the Cannabis Regulation is denial of equal protection. The CBO cannot turn its back on the laws that it adopted after years of careful consideration. Appellant has invested significant time and tens of thousands of dollars in reliance on the county’s application of its standards on a fair and equitable basis.

Appellant requests the Board of Supervisors uphold this appeal of the CPS, reinstate the Permit as approved by the Zoning Administrator, and decline to add any additional conditions requested by the City of Brentwood to the Permit.”

While supervisors heard from six unidentified Brentwood residents about concerns that the proposed Diablo Valley Farms project will produce crime, odor and noise, Brentwood Police Chief Tom Hansen said the proposed development will bring more “serious crime” to the city and his “officers will be in grave danger.” The police chief recommended that supervisors keep the county planning commission’s January decision intact.

Board Chair Diane Burgis of Brentwood turned the table when she recommended that supervisors reverse the county planning commission’s January action and to approve the Nunn/Borba project.

“They have made it clear there will be no plants of value,” said Burgis. “There will be security. There will be no cash on site. The permit will be valid for five years.”

Supervisors approved the permit on a 5-0 vote.

Approve Engineering Contract for Bay Point Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project

Supervisors approved a $590,000 contract with MNS Engineers, Inc. to provide consulting services with the county Public Works Department for construction management services for the Bailey Road/State Route 4 Interchange Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project for the period March 23, 2021 to June 30, 2022 in the Bay Point area.

The project consists of constructing a retaining wall, widening the State Route 4 westbound diagonal off-ramp, installation and modification of traffic signals, removal of the SR4 westbound loop off-ramp, storm drain modifications, and installation of sidewalk along Bailey Road.

Funding for the project is from the Active Transportation Program (ATP), Bay Point Area of Benefit, Navy Mitigation Funds, Contra Costa County Measure J transportation half-cent sales tax, and the state gas tax.

Recognize 2021 Poetry Out Loud Winners

Supervisors passed a resolution honoring Pinole Valley High School Senior Jermaine Gitana who won first place honors in the Contra Costa County Poetry Out Loud 2021 Competition. Gitana topped second place winner Esmeralda Noyola, a junior at Antioch’s Deer Valley High School, and third place winner Tessa Brubaker, a junior at San Ramon High School in Danville. (See related article)

Initiated by the National Endowment for the Arts and run by the California Arts Council in the state and locally by the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County, the program, now in its 14th year, engages high school students in the presentation of poetry through memorization and performance.

Almost 1,000 viewers watched the students’ recitations that were viewed at the Virtual Screening and Awards Ceremony Facebook Live event.

Recognize Melody Hung-Fan and Eric Moe for Years of County Service

Supervisors passed two resolutions recognizing the years of service for Melody Hung-Fan, director of the Contra Costa County Public Health Laboratory, and Eric H. Moe, a 35-year Contra Costa County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office expert in automation and streamlining workflow of default-tax procedures.

Ms. Hung started her career at CCCPH in 1988 as a public health microbiologist and rose through the ranks to become director of the Public Health Laboratory in January 2013 where she has spent the last eight years planning, evaluating, organizing, and directing all activities and staff of the CCCPH.

She became a licensed Public Health Microbiologist (PHM) through the California Department of Public Health in July of 1988 after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Services and a Master of Public Health, both from the University of California at Berkeley.

Ms. Hung has been recognized for her background in research through the publication of various abstracts and journal articles, the most recent including articles published by the American Society for Microbiology, entitled: “A Population-Based Surveillance Study of Shared Genotypes of Escherichia coli Isolates from Retail Meat and Suspected Cases of Urinary Tract Infections.”

Her work has been credited in all phases of creating, running, and evaluating testing procedures for a variety of public health issues including HIV, West Nile virus, Zika virus, Influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and other diseases.

Moe is retiring from a long career in the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Officer where he became an expert in defaulted=tax collections, bankruptcy claims, and the annual sale of properties subject to the Tax Collectors Power to Sell. He began his career with the county in 1986 as a Clerk-Beginner. He rose up the ranks and his major accomplishment include automating and streamlining workflow of default-tax procedures to more accurately and expeditiously address and manage the many accounts that transfer to the Redemption or delinquent Secured tax roll annually, and the documenting and re-organizing of standard operating procedures of the tax-default program into a comprehensive electronic manual.  Moe has also been helpful in assisting the California State Controller’s Office with review and feedback to the “Annual Pre-Notice Guide”, the “Review and Taxation Code,” and “The County Tax Collectors’ Reference Manual.”

County Awards Contract to Labor Attorney Kramer

Supervisors awarded a contract with labor attorney Karen Kramer, who is not related to Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer, for workplace investigation and workplace legal advice.  Ms. Kramer specializes in employment law and litigation. She will be of assistance to the County Counsel in the county’s workplace investigations.

Kramer Workplace Investigations will bill the county at an hourly rate of $325 for legal and investigatory services and $400 per hour for testimony.

She is not related to Assessor Kramer, who last November had misconduct charges dropped against him by Superior Court Judge John Cope for accusations of making sexual comments to employees and at least one ethnic slur to a co-worker.

Approve Property Cleanup Cases in Oakley, Martinez and El Sobrante

Supervisors approved three abatement cases. No public speakers were heard on the cases.

The biggest case totaling $38,056.20 was charged to the owners of 2600 Dutch Slough Road in Oakley. The residential property is jointly owned by Darlene Joy Gargulia, Nguyen Ha and Long Hoang Le.

Another residential abatement action costing $4,306.70 occurred at 5321 Alhambra Valley Road in Martinez.  The property is owned by Carol M. Gainey.

Supervisors approved abatement action totaling $4,296.70 at 3870 Valley Lane in El Sobrante. Greg Fremont Livermore is owner of the property.

 

 

 

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Contra Costa to enter Orange Tier April 7, Supervisors extend protections for commercial tenants until June 30, accept rental housing grant

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

Will allow indoor worship services, indoor dining and movie theaters at 50% capacity, gyms at 25%

Sheriff: Jail Population Down 27% Due to COVID-19

By Daniel Borsuk

During their meeting on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors were given good news from the county’s health officer about COVID-19 restrictions, accepted a federal grant to assist residential tenants and extended protections for commercial tenants through June 30.

County to Enter Orange Tier on April 7

Contra Costa County Public Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano told supervisors that by April 7 the county should move from the Red Tier to the less restrictive Orange Tier as the county’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate begins to decline.  Dr. Farnitano said the county’s current hospitalization rate 5.8 percent per 100 persons is too high and must get to a 4.2 percent hospitalization rate.

When the county goes from Red to Orange Tiers, indoor worship services, indoor dining and movie theaters can increase from 25 to 50 percent capacity, and gyms can increase from 10 to 25 percent capacity with modifications.

Dr. Farnitano said that cutting the distance for student desks in classrooms from six feet to three feet “will provide additional flexibility for school districts to bring back students safely.”

Accept Federal Rental Housing Grant  

Supervisors unanimously approved a $514,445 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program grant that will assist households with up to 80 percent Area Medium Income with a priority for those up to 50 percent AMI with a funding focused to ensure rental arrears are addressed to stabilize households and prevent evictions.

The program will be administered by three non-profit housing organizations – RYSE Center, which convenes the more than 200 member West County COVID Community Care Coalition, the Family Justice Center that covers Concord. Pleasant Hill. Martinez, and the East Contra Costa Community Care Alliance.

Protections for Commercial Tenants Extended Through June 30

Supervisors unanimously approved Urgency Ordinance No. 2021-11 to continue the temporary prohibition on evictions of certain small-business commercial tenants financially impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. This protection now continues through June 30, 2021.  Protections for residential tenants were unchanged by the urgency ordinance and last through June 30, 2021.

“As we make progress together toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses in our community are still struggling and need help,” said Board Chair Dianne Burgis of Brentwood. “Today’s board action will extend that helping hand for small businesses even as we continue to help eligible renters and landlords during this time. Let us continue to work together to find resources and ways to move forward.”

The ordinance also bars landlords from charging late fees to small business and non-profit tenants, and extends to August 31, 2021, the grace period to pay back rent.

Sheriff ‘s Office Responds to Public Protection Committee/Racial Protection Committee Questions: Jail Population Down 27% Due to COVID-19

In a consent action, supervisors approved a Public Protection Committee report where the Sheriff’s Office and Health Services responded to questions about the treatment of inmates in jail facilities.   It marks the first time the Sheriff’s Office has responded to questions emanating from the committee with input from the Board of Supervisors’ Racial Justice Oversight Body.

Main Conclusion:  due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, jail population is down 27 percent.

In a Feb. 18 report to the Public Protection Committee, Assistant Sheriff Steve Simpkins reported as of Jan. 15, 2021, “We have released 1,574 arrestees who were eligible for $0 bail. This information was to comply with a request on information about how many inmates were detained because they cannot afford cash bail.”

The Sheriff’s report stated, “In January and February 2020 (pre COVID-19) the Sheriff’s Office received an average of 1,753 arrestees being booked at the Martinez Detention Facility. The monthly average of arrestees booked between March 1 2020 and December 31, 2020 (during pandemic) is 946, a drop of nearly 50%.” the report said.

“The average daily inmate population in February 2020 (pre COVID-19) of all physical facilities combined was 1,093.  The average daily inmate population in December 2020 (during pandemic) of all physical facilities was 795. That is a 27 percent sustained reduction in the average daily inmate population.  This morning’s population was 715 (1/22/2021).”

“Seventy Sheriff’s Office employees from the Custody Services Bureau have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.  All have recovered,” the report said, “and are back to work except for the most recent three who ae out for quarantine.”

 

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