Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

CA Boating and Waterways reminds public to boat responsibly over Labor Day weekend

Thursday, August 31st, 2023
Fishing at Lake Clementine in Auburn State Recreation Area. Photo: Division of Boating and Waterways.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— With the unofficial end of summer approaching this Labor Day holiday weekend, California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is reminding boaters and water enthusiasts to take extra precautions to stay safe and prevent tragedies on the water. Taking a boating safety course, wearing a life jacket while recreating in the water and actively supervising children when in or near a body of water are simple actions all can take to help improve safety on California’s waterways.

Here are some key safety tips:

  • Always wear a life jacket. Life jackets are the easiest way to reduce the chances of drowning and increase your chances of survival if you are involved in an accident.
    • By California law, all children under 13 are required to wear life jackets on a moving vessel, and DBW urges everyone on a vessel, regardless of age, to always wear a life jacket as a preventative measure.
    • Life jackets are also required on personal watercrafts, also known as Jet Skis, regardless of age. Paddle sports, including stand-up paddleboards and kayaks, are considered vessels and the same life jacket rules apply to people aboard the paddle craft.
    • Ensure each life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved, the right fit for the user and approved for the intended activity by checking the label. The label can be found on the inside of each life jacket along with the U.S. Coast Guard approval number.
    • If you don’t have a life jacket, borrow one through DBW’s Life Jacket Loaner Program.
  • Take a boating safety course and get your California Boater Card. Even the most experienced boaters can learn from boating safety courses. As of Jan. 1, 2023, all operators of motorized vessels on California waterways who are 50 years of age and younger are required to carry a lifetime boater card. By 2025, all operators of motorized vessels will be required to carry one, regardless of age.
  • File a float plan before you head out. Share a float plan with a family member or friend with the details of your trip in the event of an emergency.
  • Check the weatherKnow the latest weather forecast prior to going out and check regularly for changing conditions.
  • Leave the alcohol at home. Alcohol and boating never mix. It is against the law to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. You can be arrested even when the BAC is less than 0.08% if conditions are deemed to be unsafe. The sun, wind and wave action intensify the effects of alcohol.
  • Protect your loved ones:
    • Always supervise children by appointing a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults. Do not assume that someone is watching your children.
    • Know your limits. Swimming in a lake, ocean or river is different than swimming in a pool.
    • If someone is in distress, seek help from a lifeguard or call 911 if one is not available.
  • Stow it, don’t throw it. Keep your trash on board. Never throw cigarette butts, fishing lines or any other garbage into waterways. Take advantage of shoreside facilities to recycle plastic, glass, metal and paper. Avoid excess packaging. Used fishing line can be deposited at a fishing line recycling station.

Download helpful boating apps to your phone. The BoatCA App is a free mobile app with information on boating facilities, life jacket loan stations, laws, boat registration and more.

Subscribe to California State Parks News online at

The California Department of Parks and Recreation, popularly known as State Parks, and the programs supported by its Office of Historic Preservation and divisions of Boating and Waterways and Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Learn more at

CHP to participate in tri-state Labor Day Maximum Enforcement effort

Thursday, August 31st, 2023

California, Nevada and Arizona form partnership ahead of holiday travel

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In a collaborative effort to help ensure the safety of all road users as they travel this Labor Day weekend, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP), and Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) are joining forces for a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP).  The tri-state enforcement initiative begins at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 4. 

As Labor Day weekend approaches, marking the traditional end of summer celebrations, many people are gearing up for holiday gatherings and road trips.  The CHP, NHP, and Arizona DPS are dedicated to ensuring everyone reaches their destinations safely, especially given the surge in traffic that typically accompanies holiday weekends.

Throughout the holiday weekend, while law enforcement will be looking for traffic violations and assisting motorists, a special emphasis will be placed on identifying and apprehending those suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and/or alcohol.

“Alcohol-and drug-impaired driving continues to be a leading cause of traffic fatalities and injuries.  An impaired driver behind the wheel puts themselves and everyone on the road in great danger,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee.  “The CHP, along with our partners in Nevada and Arizona are committed to proactive enforcement throughout the holiday weekend.  We will deploy all available personnel to ensure the highest level of safety for everyone traveling.”

Last year during the Labor Day MEP, CHP officers made more than 900 arrests for DUI, in addition to issuing nearly 5,700 speeding citations.  Sadly, 52 people were killed in crashes on California’s roads. 

Avoid becoming a statistic and always designate a sober driver, utilize ride-share services, and always wear your seat belt. 

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

Con Fire responds to 69 July 4th fires, 11 caused by fireworks 51 more believed to be

Thursday, July 6th, 2023
Source: Con Fire

Limited response plan implementation ensures responses to exceptionally high volume of fireworks-caused fires

Antioch had most with 22 and worst structure fire destroying garage, damaging two homes in which four residents displaced, dog died

Martinez man loses part of hand holding an exploding firework

By Steve Hill, PIO, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District

July 6, 2023 – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District today made available details of the fire and EMS activity, much of it fireworks related, occurring across the district on the Independence Day holiday evening.

For the six-hour period from 8 p.m., July 4, to 2 a.m., July 5, the district dispatched crews to 69 fire incidents. This represents a more than 400 percent increase over other recent Tuesdays, which in June, averaged 20 fire dispatches for the entire day. Year-over-year, fire incidents were up nearly 60 percent.

The holiday evening’s 69 fire incidents point to the dangers of fireworks use in current heightened fire danger conditions. Eleven of these fires are known to have been caused, and another 51 suspected of having been caused by fireworks.

Source: Con Fire

While the cool weather was favorable and the midweek timing had the holiday falling on a work night, fires numbered some 60 percent more than 4th of July 2023’s 44 fire incidents for the same evening period.

In spite of more than 60 grass, vegetation and other exterior fires burning across the district on the

Four Residents Displaced, Dog Dies in Antioch Fire

evening of the Fourth, only four structure fires ensued. Of these, in three cases, fireworks could not be ruled out as the cause. In the worst structure fire of the evening, in the 2 a.m. hour in Antioch, a garage was destroyed, and two adjacent homes substantially damaged as a result of fireworks. In all, four residents were displaced, and a dog died, as a result of this unnecessary fire.

20% Increase in Emergency Medical Service Incidents 

Calls for emergency medical services were also up over normal, non-holiday periods with some of this increase likely attributable to fireworks activity. On the Fourth, 240 EMS incidents were dispatched with 64 of these occurring between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. the next day. Total EMS responses represent about a 20% increase over more typical weekdays. On average, Con Fire responds to just over 200 EMS incidents daily.

In one particularly egregious case, a 66-year-old male in Martinez was gravely injured in the 10 p.m. hour when he lost part of a hand while holding an exploding firework.

Source: Con Fire

Considerable preparation across the district, including upstaffing of additional dispatchers; two hand crews and equipment; two fire dozers; and the district operations center, staffed by multiple chief officers; resulted in rapid and overwhelming responses, which served to limit fire spread, and resultant damage when fires did occur.

All 60-plus grass and exterior fires were kept small, limiting potential for structure damage as a result of rapid and overwhelming responses as well as early notifications to 911 by residents.

Antioch celebrates America’s 247th birthday with parade, music and fireworks over the river

Wednesday, July 5th, 2023
All photos by Allen D. Payton

See photos from the celebration and parade winners

By Allen D. Payton

Hundreds of Antioch residents lined the streets of historic, downtown Rivertown to enjoy the annual Independence Day Parade on Tuesday afternoon, July 4, 2023. Beginning with Antioch Police motorcycle officers and the Delta Veterans Group, the parade ended with the Tamaborago Arrazador band and dancing horses. (See parade videos on the Antioch Herald Facebook here and here)

A crowd then gathered in Waldie Plaza to enjoy the sounds of Tony Lindsay, the longest-tenured lead singer of Santana, and band and Michael Jackson tribute band Foreverland. (See videos here, here, here and here)

Children also enjoyed the Kids Zone in the City Hall parking lot and folks enjoyed food from the Rivertown Dining District restaurants and the various food trucks and booths.

Thousands of people a gathered along the Promenade between G Street and Waldie Plaza, on the Compy Compomizzo Fishing Pier and at Monica’s Riverview restaurant (for a fee), as well as along the railroad right-of-way to watch the fireworks show over the river.

The fireworks barge arrived from Fulton Shipyard on the east end of Antioch’s waterfront to just across from the fishing pier and Monica’s the at the end of I and H Streets, as the pyrotechnics company staff prepared to launch the first shells of the show which began about 9:20 pm.

The fireworks show to end this year’s Antioch Independence Day Celebration and especially the finale pleased those who watched along the waterfront as they cheered, whistled and applauded. See videos of the fireworks finale, here.

Parade Winners

Most Creative: Delta Learning Center

Most Patriotic: Delta Veterans Group

Best Performance: Park Middle School Cheer

Best Vehicle – 1st: Councilmember Monica Wilson

Best Vehicle – 2nd: “Sassy” (1928 Pontiac)

Best Vehicle – 3rd: “Phatt Chance” (1950 Plymouth)

Shootings, sideshows, bear mace assault, illegal fireworks following Antioch July 4th celebration

Wednesday, July 5th, 2023
Video screenshots of second Antioch sideshow and fireworks at the Lone Tree Way and Bluerock Drive/Golf Course Road intersection early Wednesday morning, July 5, 2023. Source: ABC7 News Bay Area

Two males shot, one in the neck; woman arrested in separate shooting with cops in line of fire

By Sgt. Price Kendall, PIO, Antioch Police Department

At 11:21 PM, Tuesday, July 4, 2023, Antioch Police officers were dispatched to the area of 700 K Street on the report two males had been shot. One of the males was shot in the neck and life-flighted to John Muir Medical Center. Both persons are expected to survive.

There were also two large sideshows last night. The first one was at the intersection of Gentrytown Drive and Buchanan Road and first reported at 11:34 PM. Due to the shooting, officers were unable to make it to the first sideshow.

At approximately 11:45 PM, officers were dispatched to an assault with bear mace in the 700 Block of J Street. While officers were on scene and after they separated both parties, a shot was fired at the victim’s direction. Officers were also in the line of fire. After the shot, officers confronted the female, she complied and dropped the gun. She was subsequently arrested.

During the call on J Street it was learned the sideshow that had taken place on Gentrytown Drive had moved to the Lone Tree Way and Bluerock Drive/Golf Course Road intersection. The first call came at 12:40 AM. Officers were still on scene at both shootings. Officers were unable to respond to the sideshow until 1:40 AM. Upon arrival, the vehicles dispersed.

The debris from multiple, illegal fireworks, shot off during the sideshow, could be seen in the roadway Wednesday morning and was cleaned up by noon.

ABC7 News Bay Area reported “dozens of people around the intersection as cars do donuts, some people getting very close to those cars. People were also seen standing around a fire on the street. The flames were put out when firefighters arrived.”

According to Mayor Lamar Thorpe, police used drones to capture video of the second sideshow and cars will be impounded.

There were 40 calls for service, most with multiple callers for fireworks, with well over 100 actual calls into dispatch.

As of Wednesday morning, no arrests have been made regarding the first shooting.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

The Declaration of Independence – signed 247 years ago which we celebrate today

Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

Following is the text of the Declaration of Independence in celebration of Independence Day, July 4th, 2023:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1


Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

Column 2

North Carolina:

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

South Carolina:

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton

Column 3


John Hancock


Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton


George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

Column 4

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

Column 5

New York:

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

Column 6

New Hampshire:

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple


Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery

Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire:

Matthew Thornton

From the website:

Happy Independence Day from the Antioch Herald!

East Bay Parks Independence Day Safety

Monday, July 3rd, 2023

Enjoy parks safely and responsibly; no fireworks allowed in Regional Parks

The East Bay Regional Park District is urging Fourth of July visitors to enjoy parks safely and responsibly.

The Fourth of July holiday is typically one of the busiest days of the year for Regional Parks. Some of our more popular parks and swim areas are expected to reach capacity early in the day. Visitors are encouraged to carpool and arrive early. Parking lots may become full, though there are many Regional Park options to consider.

When visiting a Regional Park on the Fourth of July, visitors should know and follow these important tips and rules.

  • NO Fireworks – Fireworks are not allowed in Regional Parks.
  • Stay Cool and Hydrated – Plan ahead and bring plenty of water.
  • Beat the Heat – With hot weather, visit in the morning and early evening when it is cooler. If you do venture out, wear a hat and loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
  • Drink Responsibly – Drinking alcohol is only allowed at certain Regional Parks. Check before you go.
  • Follow Water Safety Rules if Swimming – Free loaner life jackets are available at all East Ba Regional Park District swim facilities as an extra safeguard for anyone concerned about their swimming abilities or their children.
  • Be Fire Smart – Be aware of Red Flag warnings, fire danger levels, and fire safety rules.

The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Celebrate Independence Day at Monica’s Riverview

Sunday, July 2nd, 2023
Paid advertisement.

No plans, this 4th of July? Come party with us!

-Entry fee after 5 pm: $10 for adults, $5 for kids. Includes beverage ticket

-Exclusive outdoor seating to view fireworks

-DJ’s all day starting at 11am

-Face painting and entertainment for the kids

-Cuco’s Tacos

-Special dining room menu

Monica’s Riverview is located on the water at 1 I (Eye) Street in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown. For more information see