Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Be Exceptional to hold Winter Ball for those with special needs Dec. 10th in Brentwood

Saturday, December 4th, 2021

Offers classes at two locations in Antioch

Be Exceptional is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to provide recreational classes and social events for people facing developmental, physical, and emotional challenges.

They currently hold classes in the following three locations:

  • Elite Dance Center at 304 G St., Antioch
  • Antioch Community Center at 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch
  • Brentwood Community Center at 35 Oak St., Brentwood

For more information visit their website.

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Antioch Council agrees to move forward with “community gathering space” proposal for lumber yard in Rivertown

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

River Town Square Site Plan from presentation at Antioch City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021.

“We’re celebrating our 150th anniversary, next year. It’s time.” – Save The Yard leader, Joy Motts

Torres-Walker supports a “green space”; using it for a “420″ pot smoking festival so Antioch residents don’t have to travel to San Francisco for the annual event on April 20th in that city

By Allen Payton

After years of advocating for a park and event center on the former Antioch Lumber Company lot in the city’s historic, downtown Rivertown, former Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts and members of the group, Save The Yard, got the go ahead from the city council. All five council members agreed to pursue the idea during their meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 23. The City’s downtown hasn’t had a large park, but only the smaller Waldie Plaza, since the much larger Barbara Price Marina Park was replaced with the marina boat launch and parking lot in 2012.

The former Barbara Price Marina Park and sign (inset) where the marina boat launch and parking lot are now located. Source: Yelp

Motts, local theater director Lee Ballesteros and Area 1 Antioch School Board Trustee Antonio Hernandez spoke about their vision of a Rivertown Town Square, bordered by W. 2nd, W. 3rd and E Streets, during the group’s first, formal presentation to the council. Rivertown Town Square presentation ACC112321

“Our ask this evening is that the city council decide on the disposition of this property…rather than leave it as an eye-sore,” Motts said.

Following the presentation, Thorpe said, “the goal is to have a conversation with Save The Yard folks.”

Joe Goralka spoke during public comments in favor of the project and against “selling a prime piece of property to a developer for a few condos.” He also said, “a few more residents isn’t going to bring about significantly more traffic to downtown businesses”…”The city should not sell out Rivertown businesses” and called the town square project “an asset to downtown.”

Antioch resident Martha Goralka speaks in favor of the River Town Square project during the Antioch City Council meeting, Tuesday night, Nov. 23, 2021. Video screenshot.

His wife, Martha Goralka said, “everywhere Joe and I have visited had gathering places.”

“There’s nothing that we can’t do as a united community,” she added.

Rick Stadtlander, wearing a “Save The Yard” T-shirt gave eight reasons for the council to approve the town square: beauty, walkability, ideal location, a focal point, pride, community, our voice, health. “Residents deserve much better than an empty lot,” he stated.

“Be the council that is bold and has vision. Let’s save the yard. Let’s build a town square,” Stadtlander concluded.

Former Antioch Planning Commissioner Kerry Motts spoke in favor of the project and suggested a farmer’s market at the proposed town square

“The City is not considering housing on this lot, right now and we do not have any applications for it,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe said. “I want the public to understand that.”

“Thank you, so much for the presentation and all the hard work you put into the presentation, tonight,” District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker said. “Not sure if the previous process included youth voice. Since the report in 2014…there might be more diverse opinions other than housing.”

“If this moves forward, it will be their park, too,” she said about those

“My concern about people not being policed in public spaces,” Torres-Walker stated. “I’m definitely not a supporter of building homes on contaminated land. But then I’m also concerned about building a space to bring children and their families on land that is contaminated,” mentioned by Ballesteros.

“Soil contamination is easily mitigated,” Ballesteros responded. “All of this is on the City’s website in the Downtown Specific Plan. It’s a 179-page report. You can look at cancer clusters…where people spend a length of time. There is mitigation that can be done if you want to put housing there. Green space adds positive air because of trees.”

“It’s just a vision. This isn’t the plan. We put this together to ask the council to make a plan,” she stated. “Give everyone in the city positivity. We’re coming out of two years of misery. Let’s make the river belong to everyone.”

“It’s just time for the whole community to gather together for events,” Joy Motts then said. “It will be an economic engine for downtown. We’re celebrating our 150th anniversary, next year. It’s time.”

Torres-Walker then mentioned people not having to “go to San Francisco for 420 fests”, which is a large, annual pot smoking event. “We should do it, here like we do all these other things.”

“I was one of the ones in the past who was unsure about this,” said Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson, then mentioned “equity in access to public spaces.”

“I’ve come to be open to this,” she said. “I’m glad to talk to you, Joy about this and Antonio, you’ve educated me about this, too.”

Joy Motts then publicly thanked Brian Halloran, a landscape architect, for drawing the site plan pro bono.

Rivertown Town Square rendering. Source: Save The Yard

“I don’t think it’s a secret that I’ve been a supporter,” Thorpe said. “I’d like to step back, because this isn’t a plan, it’s a vision. I believe if the public steps up and demands something, the government needs to look into it. I believe the council needs to make a decision about the direction we want to go. Do we want an RFP process…or direct our resources for a town square project?”

“I’ve had multiple people talk to me about this,” District 1 Councilman Mike Barbanica said. “What has struck me as odd is, I don’t know if this is the highest and best use of this land. This is the third time you’ve spoken to us about this but where are they? The people of our community are telling us this is what they want. We, as a city, have had years to do something about this, but we haven’t. I just believe we need to listen to the community.”

“You can sell me on anything, Lee but not this, yet,” said Lori Ogorchock to Ballesteros. “I’m looking at Waldie Plaza. I’m looking at City Park on A Street. I’m not sure I’m sold, yet. It is something I will hold open. At this point, I don’t know what’s the best use of this property. I will keep an open mind.”

“This is the first time you’ve presented to council,” Thorpe said.

“That’s correct,” Joy Motts said. “The mayor said he would bring it forward, this year. We didn’t have to think about it too hard because it’s in our heart.”

“In the past we’ve looked at housing,” Thorpe said. “We can look at a community gathering place. But I need direction in what we envision for this property.”

“I would envision a process that would include more voices,” Torres-Walker said.

“First, we have to decide what this process would do,” Thorpe responded.

“I’m saying, yes, this should be green space,” Torres-Walker stated.

“I would say some kind of gathering space,” Wilson added.

“I agree with that. I don’t believe we should decide, tonight on moving forward with a community space,” Barbanica said. “If we are going to build houses, then let’s build houses. But if this is what the community is asking for, then we need to move forward instead of just talking about it. If we are truly going to explore this idea, then let’s fully explore it.”

“I’m all for exploring,” Ogorchock added.

“Community gathering space is what we’re talking about,” Thorpe stated.

“We can begin a process for exploring a community gathering space, a green space,” City Manager Ron Bernal said.

“Congratulations,” Thorpe said to those in the audience to squeals, cheers and applause.

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Park district turning Black Friday green with FREE Park Day

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Special Visitor Center activities planned, one at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch

By Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor, Public Affairs, East Bay Regional Park District

For the past seven years, the East Bay Regional Park District has celebrated Green Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, as a healthy outdoor alternative to Black Friday holiday shopping. To encourage time in nature, the Park District is again making Green Friday a FREE Park Day, meaning all District fees are waived for park entrance and activities, including parking, dogs, horses, boat launching, fishing, as well as entry to Ardenwood Historic Farm.

“Time in nature improves physical and mental health and is a great way to relieve holiday stress,” said Park District Board President Dee Rosario. “The day after Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to get outside and spend time with family and friends.”

The fee waiver does not include State fees for fishing licenses and watercraft inspections for invasive mussels or privately operated concessions such as the Tilden Merry-Go-Round and Redwood Valley Railway steam train.

The Park District’s Green Friday is part of the “#OptOutside” movement that started in 2015 when REI closed its doors on Black Friday and encouraged its employees and the public to explore the outdoors instead of shopping. Millions of people and hundreds of organizations now participate in #OptOutside each year.

Visitor Center activities planned for Green Friday include:

To find a park or activity, visit www.ebparks.org/parks.

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.

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Kiwanis Delta-Antioch club to hold 4th Annual Holiday Run virtually

Sunday, November 21st, 2021

https://runsignup.com/Race/CA/KiwanisHolidayRun

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Free entrance, parking at East Bay parks for active and retired military on Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

The East Bay Regional Park District honors active and retired military members on Veterans Day with free access and parking at the regional parks, including Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont. Fee waiver only covers parking and park entry. Fee waiver DOES NOT include dog fees, boat launch or inspection fees, fishing permits, or concessions, such as merry-go-round, train, etc.

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.

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Delta Conveyance (tunnel) Project Case Study Workshop on community benefits programs Nov. 17

Saturday, November 6th, 2021

Proposed Delta Conveyance Project Facility Corridor Options. Source: Scoping Summary Report.

Learn from other projects

Haga clic aquí para ver este aviso en español.

As part of ongoing development of the Community Benefits Program for the proposed Delta Conveyance (tunnel) Project, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is holding a virtual workshop on Wednesday, November 17th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm to hear and learn from representatives of several different example community benefits programs around the country. (See related articles here and here)

Members of the local Delta community are encouraged to attend this event and hear firsthand experiences about the development and implementation of these programs, including different organizational structures, development timing, important milestones and lessons learned.

There will also be an opportunity to ask the panelists questions and engage in dialogue about their experiences and insights. Although these types of programs are not uncommon, there are various ways to go about setting them up. This workshop gives both DWR and the local community the chance to learn more about how it could be done for the proposed Delta Conveyance Project. (See details of the proposed system, here)

The workshop panelists represent a diverse set of projects and community benefits programs from different parts of the country:

  • Oakland, California, Partnership for Working Families 
    • Ben Beach, Legal Director
  • North Charleston, South Carolina, LowCountry Alliance for Model Communities Port Authority Redevelopment and Transfer Station
    • Omar Muhammed, Executive Director, LowCountry Alliance for Model Communities
  • Morro Bay, California, Castle Offshore Wind Project 
    • Scott Collins, City Manager, City of Morro Bay

While no other project or community benefits program exactly matches the specifics of the proposed Delta Conveyance Project and what might be most appropriate for the Community Benefits Program for this project, the example projects that will be discussed in this workshop offer different and valuable perspectives and examples with varying structures, locations and challenges. In preparing for this workshop, DWR researched community benefits programs for large infrastructure projects that had long-term construction impacts, where the benefits of the project were not local, but impacts of the project were, and where location and potential for environmental justice and economically disadvantaged community concerns were also involved.

Workshop Details & Registration

  • Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm | REGISTER HERE
  • Workshop will be conducted on Zoom with a call-in option available

Agenda

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Presentations from the three project representatives
  • Focused panelist discussion:
    • How did the idea develop in your project?
    • How did the community come together to provide input?
    • When in the project lifecycle did people come together?
    • How did you solicit priorities?
    • How did you formalize the program?
    • How are community benefit funds distributed?
    • How are you measuring and monitoring community benefits?
  • Public questions/discussion

Participation Accommodations & Additional Information

  • Closed captioning will be provided
  • Workshop materials will be available in English and Spanish, and a simultaneous Spanish translation will be offered
  • Workshop access information and materials will be sent out prior to the workshop through Eventbrite
  • If you cannot participate in the workshop but have questions, please email us at DeltaConveyanceCBP@water.ca.gov
  • A recording of the workshop will be posted on the project website, along with the background material, when available

To register, click here.

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33rd Annual Kids Free Fishing Derby in Antioch Oct. 9

Friday, October 1st, 2021

As Compy Compomizzo used to say, “Get kids hooked on fishing, not on drugs and gangs.”

For more information about and photos of the Antioch Pier, aka Uril E. “Compy” Compomizzo Fishing Pier, click here.

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Help shape plans for the Antioch Bicycle Garden online, first meeting Oct. 4

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

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