Archive for the ‘Contra Costa County’ Category

Enjoy the 2024 Contra Costa County Fair May 16-19

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024
Provided courtesy of The Press.

The Contra Costa County Fair will be held at the Contra Costa Event Park, 1201 W. 10th Street in Antioch. For more information visit Contra Costa County Fair 2024 (

Contra Costa County renews partnership with CHP to launch Start Smart

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

Free class to develop responsible, young drivers

By Isiah Thompson, Departmental Community and Media Relations Coordinator, Contra Costa County Probation Dept. 

Martinez, CA – Contra Costa County Probation has renewed their partnership with California Highway Patrol (CHP) to prepare and develop responsible young drivers. The partners will host the CHP’s Start Smart classes at 50 Douglas Drive, Ste. 200, in Martinez. Dates will be offered in the future and will be posted on the Probation Department’s website and social media sites.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the leading cause of death for Americans 15-20 years old is motor vehicle collisions. The California Highway Patrol’s goal is to reduce the death rate among teenagers caused by these collisions. Start Smart provides teens and their parents/guardians with an interactive safe driving awareness class that will illustrate how poor choices behind the wheel of a vehicle can affect the lives of numerous people. Start Smart also focuses on the responsibilities of newly licensed drivers, the responsibilities of parents/guardians, and the collision-causing elements for new drivers, especially males, such as excessive speed, driving under the influence, and distracted driving. Start Smart teaches what precautions to take to stay safe, such as seatbelt safety, collision avoidance techniques, and what to do when involved in a collision.

“We are excited to host Smart Start. This partnership with California Highway Patrol provides youth in Contra Costa County with the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge, that ultimately creates safer drivers, and safer communities,” said Esa Ehmen-Krause, Chief Probation Officer.

The classes are FREE to the participants, who will receive a certificate of completion that may be utilized to reduce vehicle insurance fees.

City of Antioch clears out approximately 100 homeless from RV encampment on Wilbur Avenue

Friday, March 22nd, 2024
Before, During & After Wilbur Avenue homeless encampment cleanup. Campers and vehicles on March 4, 2024. Source: Video screenshot courtesy of RV towed and City of Antioch workers during clean up on March 19, 2024. Photos courtesy of Mike Burkholder. Photos following the cleanup. Source: City of Antioch.

“No other areas were suggested for them in Antioch or elsewhere.” – Acting City Manager Kwame Reed

Homeless advocates not happy they weren’t notified to be there to help the residents

“…they have just displaced these souls with absolutely no solution as to where they should go” – Nichole Gardner

By Allen D. Payton

On Tuesday morning, March 19, 2024, City of Antioch staff cleared out 70 vehicles and “approximately 100” people from the eastern end of Wilbur Avenue near Hwy 160, between the power plant and vineyards.

A post on the City’s Facebook page reads, “Teaming up to revitalize our community.

Today, numerous City departments partnered to clean up Wilbur Avenue. With a coordinated effort that included our Code Enforcement team, Police Department, Public Works, Public Safety & Community Resources Department, the Angelo Quinto Crisis Response Team (AQCRT), Parking Enforcement, and Antioch Animal Services the Wilbur Avenue area has been abated. In total, 70 vehicles were cleared, and support services were offered to people and pets at the location. Together, we can make a difference!

We would also like to thank our Contra Costa County partners for their support leading up to today.”

Questions were emailed Tuesday after work hours to Public Safety and Community Resources Department Tasha Johnson and Unhoused Resident Coordinator Jazmin Ridley. They were asked how many individuals were living there and how many of them were school-aged children.

They were also asked if another location in Antioch or elsewhere has been offered for the motorhomes and campers. Finally, they were asked what “support services were offered to people and pets at the location” as written in the post. But neither responded. On Wednesday, the questions were then sent again to them and Acting City Manager Kwame Reed.

On Friday, March 22, Reed responded there were “approximately 100” people moved from the Wilbur Avenue encampment. But he shared that information on the number of school-aged children “was not tracked.”

Reed also said, “No other areas were suggested for them in Antioch or elsewhere.” Yet, “over the past 2-3 weeks, staff in association with the Care Team and County’s CORE (Coordinated Outreach Referral, Engagement) Team, visited the location to provide assistance.” 

The Antioch Care Team (ACT) was formed in 2021 “to reduce non‐warrant arrests that result during a 911 response; reduce the number of individuals transported to the emergency department for non-life threatening medical-related issues that could instead be addressed in a prehospital care setting; and reduce the number of behavioral health and lower acuity medical calls traditionally responded to by Police and Fire.”

It’s now referred to as the AQCRT.

Advocates Not Happy They Weren’t Informed

In addition, local volunteer homeless advocates, Andrew Becker and Nichole Gardner were asked if they were aware of the cleanup before it occurred and for their comments on the City’s efforts.

Gardner responded, “No. It was unfortunate too because our team would have gladly helped with making sure that the folks that were there knew that the city was clearing out the area (if they did not receive a proper notice) and would have been there to support by supplying bags and helping them pack up their belongings. We could have also provided food, drinks and supplies as it takes a physical toll on folks having to move everything they had on short notice.”

“We know that these sweeps that the city does causes emotional and physical trauma to people in encampments who are dealing with mental illness and hoarding disorders,” she continued. “We have seen individuals break down in tears because they are so emotionally attached to their items.”

“One of the lieutenants at APD used to call us to let us know when there would be a big sweep such as this, we were surprised that he did not reach out after knowing such a large sweep was going to take place,” Gardner shared. “I was told that APD was there which I was confused about because we have the Mental Health Crisis Response team (purple people) for a reason. There was no crime being committed so therefore I don’t know why we are wasting police resources on clearing out encampments, especially when we are lacking so many officers. “

“I am not naïve to think that this area did not need a good cleaning,” she stated. “Some people in encampments tend to suffer from hoarding disorders and hoard things that others consider garbage, but I am disappointed that when these clean ups take place, they not only don’t have a place for people to go for shelter but no safe parking lot for these RV’s. What is more upsetting is that they show up with tow trucks to tow away the only place that they call home and leave them to be in the elements without shelter.”

“It was sickening seeing the City Facebook page about how they cleared the area. The city bragged about cleaning up the area to appease the community members while forgetting that they have just displaced these souls with absolutely no solution as to where they should go,” the local homeless advocate said. “We need a safe parking lot for these RV’s with staff to be sure that they are maintained and people are not bringing in anything that does not fit in their RV.”

“If the city spent more time focusing on being proactive by putting money into mental health, affordable housing, shelters, and safe parking with porta potties and dumpsters and stop spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year into cleaning up encampments all over the city we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Gardner added.

Becker responded, “I was not aware of the abatement that took place, no notice was given by the City to advocates, locally. We had multiple conversations with the City, previously regarding abatements. We had been told we would be notified as well as CORE.”

“When I arrived at the site at 12:30 pm, 90% of the individuals and their property had been removed,” he continued. “CORE was not on site, only APD and neighboring law enforcement agencies. Beyond the update the City posted online, I have no knowledge of what resources were made available. I also do not know whether individuals’ items were stored or disposed of. There were no alternative temporary encampment locations made available to the residents to my knowledge.”

Later, in response to the information provided by Reed, Becker asked, “Does that assistance mean placement? How many of those people were placed?”

“There were limited services. They said Animal Services was out there. But I had to wrangle two chickens, myself and took them to Animal Services,” he added.

Hear from “Inspiring Women in Non-traditional Jobs & Professions” during Making Herstory 2024 March 23

Saturday, March 9th, 2024

Hosted by Contra Costa Commission for Women and Girls

(Martinez, CA) – The Contra Costa Commission for Women and Girls is partnering with hosting Making Herstory 2024: Inspiring Women in Nontraditional Jobs and Professions on March 23.

The panel will feature women who have navigated careers seen as ‘nontraditional’, trailblazing in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), public safety, skilled trades, and beyond. The Commission encourages participation of women, supporters, and especially young women and girls.

Keynote Speaker: California State Treasurer Fiona Ma

Youth Speaker: Krisha Singhani, Entrepreneur and creator of FEmale, menstruation-induced anemia detection non-invasive device


Sabina Zafar, Founder and CEO of AI Cloud Consulting and former Fortune 100 Executive

Swati Mohan, Aerospace Engineer for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Shawnay Tarquinio, Firefighter, San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District

Eva Allen, Founder-CEO and Executive Chef of Full Belly Bakery

Faye Maloney, Police Sergeant and Chair, Contra Costa Commission on the Status of Women and Girls

Rachel Shoemake, Electrician, IBEW Local Union 302

Date and Location:

Saturday, March 23 – 11 am to 12:30 pm

Virtual event via Zoom

Register here:

For further information about the Making Herstory 2024 panel and the Contra Costa Commission for Women and Girls, please email

Supervisor Glover seeks people to serve on county committees, commissions, boards

Friday, March 8th, 2024

District 5 residents who want to get involved in improving their communities

Applications due March 29

Supervisor Federal Glover announced opportunities for District 5 residents to make decisions affecting their communities. “A lot of policies begin in these county commissions and boards,” said Glover. Commissions are appointed by the Board of Supervisors based on his recommendation. Interested individuals may apply online at: or they can contact Supervisor Glover’s office at (925) 608-4200. Completed applications must be received in Supervisor Glover’s office by close of business Friday, March 29, 2023.

Crockett-Carquinez Fire Protection District Fire Advisory Commission: reviews and advises on annual operations and capital budgets; reviews Fire District expenditures; advises the Fire Chief on district service matters; and serves as a liaison between the Board of Supervisors and the community served by the fire district. The seats that are open are: 1 Regular Seat (Appointee 2). Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at 746 Loring Avenue, Crockett, CA 94525. The current seat opening has a term ending December 31, 2024. For information call Dean Colombo at (925) 787-0790.

Emergency Medical Care Committee: Role is to review the County’s ambulance and other emergency services as required in State law; and serves in an advisory capacity to the County Board of Supervisors, and to the County EMS Agency, on matters relating to emergency medical services as directed by the Board. The Committee meets at the Contra Costa County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Administrative Office, 777 Arnold Drive, Martinez, CA, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The current vacancy is for District V – Consumer Representative with a term ending September 30, 2024. For information, call Rachel Morris (925) 608-5454.

Measure X Community Advisory Board: The Measure X Community Advisory Board was established by the Board of Supervisors on February 2, 2021 to advise the Board of Supervisors on the use of Measure X transactions and use tax funds. The current vacancy is for the District 5 Seat – Alternate seat with a term ending March 31, 2025. The meetings are normally scheduled for Wednesday’s at 5:00 p.m. For information call Adam Nguyen at (925) 655-2048.

Measure X Community Fiscal Oversight Committee: The Measure X Community Fiscal Oversight Committee was established by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year to advise the Board of Supervisors on financial audits of Measure X tax funds. The current vacancy is for the District 5 Seat with a term ending December 31, 2024. The meeting dates and times are to be determined. For information call Adam Nguyen at (925) 655-2048.

Mental Health Commission: The Mental Health Commission was established to review and assess the community’s mental health needs, services, facilities, and special problems, in order to advise the Board of Supervisors concerning local mental health services and programs. The current vacancies are for the District 5 Seat 3 with a term ending June 30, 2027. The Mental Health Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month from 4:30-6:30 p.m. For information call Angela Beck at (925) 313-9553.

Natural gas ban lifted for new buildings in Contra Costa County

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

Supervisors suspend all-electric requirements following U.S. Court of Appeals ruling

(Martinez, CA) – The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Tuesday suspended enforcement of its requirement that most new buildings be constructed as all-electric buildings.  The County’s all-electric building requirement, as part of the County’s building code, had prohibited the installation of natural gas infrastructure in most new buildings and required developers to use electricity as the sole source of energy in the building.  With Tuesday’s action, the County’s all-electric building requirement will not be enforced.

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit invalidated a City of Berkeley ordinance that prohibited natural gas infrastructure in new buildings. The court held that the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act precludes cities and counties from adopting building codes that prohibit the installation of gas plumbing in buildings.

Contra Costa County’s all-electric building requirement, like the invalidated City of Berkeley ordinance, prohibits the installation of gas plumbing in new buildings.  The County is therefore suspending this requirement in response to the Ninth Circuit’s decision.

At the same time, the Board of Supervisors remains committed to the goals that prompted it to adopt the all-electric requirement: improving public health and fighting what they believe contributes to climate change. The Board referred the topic of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings to its Sustainability Committee and directed staff to report on alternatives for advancing this objective at the Committee’s next meeting.

“Contra Costa County remains committed to reducing the use of fossil fuels in buildings and continues to support the construction of new buildings using all-electric technologies,” said Board Chair Federal D. Glover, District 5 Supervisor.  “We are eager to identify new and innovative ways to continue to pursue our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.”

The County encourages residents and businesses to continue to install all-electric building systems and appliances. There are many benefits of all-electric construction, some of which include:

  • Cleaner air and better health outcomes from eliminating the emissions associated with burning fossil fuels, particularly indoors.
  • Not having to pay to install gas pipes in new buildings.
  • Taking advantage of financial incentives and rebates for all-electric appliances.
  • Resilience against power outages, particularly when electric technologies are paired with battery storage.
  • Hedging against high electricity costs by being able to schedule electric appliances to operate at times of day when electricity costs are lowest.
  • Preparing for the potential discontinuation of gas appliances in the future that could occur from possible regulatory actions by regional, state, or federal agencies.

There are many good resources on the benefits of all-electric buildings, including:

The County’s sustainability web site has information on state and federal incentives, rebates, and other ways to fund all-electric upgrades.

The Bay Area Regional Energy Network has information on training opportunities, rebates and incentives, and contractors.  

MCE, the community choice energy provider for most of Contra Costa County, offers rebates and incentives.

The Switch Is On, sponsored by the Building Decarbonization Coalition, is a collaborative campaign to support all-electric home conversion by providing tools, support, and resources to Californians.

Rewiring America provides information about the benefits of all-electric technologies, and helps generate a personalized plan for individuals, including costs and savings.

PG&E also has resources on all-electric buildings, including rebates, incentives, rate plans, and design guides.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

Former Contra Costa Deputy Sheriff negotiates plea agreement on gun charge, filing false police report, preparing false documents

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

Matthew Buckley was charged with 6 felonies for actions while serving search warrant in Antioch; former Officer of the Year will serve 3 years & 8 months in prison

By Ted Asregadoo, PIO, Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office

Martinez, California – Today, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office reached a negotiated plea against 42-year-old Matthew Allen Buckley, of Pinole, for offenses that occurred when he was a deputy with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.

Buckley was charged in February 2023 with six felonies and one misdemeanor related to offenses that occurred in 2020 and 2022. In a negotiated disposition, Buckley pled no contest to three felonies, including possession of an illegal assault weapon, filing a false police report, and preparing false documentary evidence [PC30605, PC118.1, and PC134]. Buckley will receive a three years and eight months prison sentence, which he can serve on mandatory supervised release if he successfully completes a six-month drug rehab program.

The case began in September 2020 when Buckley, assigned to the Contra Costa County Anti-Violence Support Effort (C.A.S.E), participated in a task force executing a search warrant in Antioch. During the operation, Deputy Buckley seized two illegal AR-15s, phones, laptops, heroin, and drug paraphernalia.

After seizing the AR 15s, Deputy Buckley authored a police report where he falsely claimed to have booked the firearms into evidence. Instead of booking the illegal weapons, Buckley separated the upper sections from the lower sections of the firearm. He returned possession of the upper sections of the firearms to the original owner, but never returned the lower sections of the firearms.

As part of this investigation the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department discovered that Deputy Buckley created false documents and signed for a judge without his consent on multiple search warrant returns for unrelated cases.

In August 2022 as the investigation was concluding, Deputies with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office searched Buckley’s residence and found the lower sections of the AR-15s as well as a small amount of methamphetamine.

According to his Linkedin profile, Buckley worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 15 years, including his final three years and 10 months as a detective. Previously, he had worked as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Field Training Officer and then a Station Supervisor for ProTransport-1 ambulance service in Pleasant Hill. He started his work life as a Network Security Engineer for Bank of American in Concord.

In 2019, he was named the department’s Officer of the Year.

Pursuant to California Government Code, Matthew Buckley will be legally ineligible to serve as a police officer. Moreover, convicted of felony offenses, Buckley is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.

Contra Costa Advisory Council on Equal Employment Opportunity seeks three members

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

One Business member, two Community members

The Contra Costa County Advisory Council on Equal Employment Opportunity (ACEEO) has one vacant Business seat and two vacant Community seats open to applicants. The successful candidate for the Business seat must own a business within the county, and candidate(s) for the Community seats must either work or reside within the county. All candidates must have an interest in equal employment matters. The ACEEO meets on the fourth Friday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., except for holidays.

The ACEEO assists with the implementation of the County’s Equal Employment Opportunities and Contracting Programs and serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Supervisors. The ACEEO reviews the Equal Employment Opportunities Program and recommends actions to facilitate the attainment of the County’s goals for equal employment opportunities regardless of gender and race/ethnicity.

The Board of Supervisors established the ACEEO on July 9, 1991. The Council has thirteen (13) seats representing the following groups: 4 Community seats; 2 Labor seats; 2 Management seats; 1 Educational seat; 1 Disability seat; 1 Business seat; 1 Veteran seat; and 1 Labor/Trade seat.

Application forms can be obtained from the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors by calling (925) 655- 2000 or visiting the County webpage at Applications should be returned to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 1025 Escobar St., 1st Floor, Martinez, CA 94553. Applications can also be emailed to

Applicants should plan to be available for public interviews. For further information about the ACEEO, please contact Antoine Wilson at or (925) 335-1455. You can also visit the web page at Employment-Opp.