Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Park Happenings for September

Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

News from the East Bay Regional Park District

Learn about the untold stories of Somersville at the History Hike Above the Mines on Sept. 17 at Black Diamond Mine

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

Peak fire season – September and October – is fast approaching. The East Bay Regional Park District and its professionally trained fire department have been working throughout the year to reduce wildfire risks, including thinning and removing hazardous vegetation from parks and using cattle, sheep, and goats to keep grass in check.

Park District firefighters are always on the lookout for potential fires, and park visitors can help by practicing basic fire safety and reporting any suspicious or dangerous activity.

Fire safety visitor tips:

• Do not smoke in the regional parks, including vaping.

• Be aware of Red Flag Warnings and fire danger levels.

• Follow all fire safety rules.

• Do not drive or park on dry grass. Hot exhaust manifolds can start a fire.

• Be alert for any potential fire hazards and report them. If you see a fire, call 911 immediately.

Days of the Pioneers at Lake Del Valle in Livermore Friday, September 1. What was Del Valle like before the lake? Discover the valley’s history through hands on activities and stories during this family campfire.7:30-9pm, Friday, September 1st. Meet at Del Valle Amphitheater. Drop-in program, no registration. $6 Parking Fee.

For train lovers, join us at the Ardenwood Rail Fair in Fremont on Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy train rides, operating model trains, historic railroad equipment displays, and live music September 2-4, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Rail Fair is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Railroad Museum at Ardenwood Historic Farm, which is operated by the Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources. Entrance fee is $15/adults, $13/seniors, $12/children ages 4-17. Children ages 3 and under are free.

It’s calving season in East Bay Regional Parks. Be mindful of interactions that can create a danger to both calves and people. Grazing cattle play an important role in wildfire protection by reducing flammable vegetation and fire risks. Calving season runs from August to October in Regional Parks.

What to do around cattle for your safety and theirs:

  • Do not approach or touch baby calves. Do not take selfies with calves.
  • Do not get between a mother cow and its calf.
  • Do not worry if you see a calf by itself. The mother cow is usually nearby and will return.
  • Leash your dog around cattle and keep them away from calves.

An Orchard-inary adventure awaits at the annual Garin Apple Festival on September 9 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Take a bite out of local history and nature as you explore the historic apple orchard, enjoy live music, attend special talks and presentations, and participate in hand-on demonstrations at Garin Regional Park in Hayward. Parking is $5 per vehicle. For more information, visit

Learn about the untold stories of the Somersville at the History Hike Above the Mines on September 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Black Diamond Mine. From the 1850s to the early 1900s, the Mount Diablo Coal Field was the largest coal mining operation in California and the population center of Contra Costa County. Deep within the earth, miners excavated the valuable namesake of the park – “black diamonds” or coal – to support the state’s growing energy demands.

Somersville was one of five mining towns in the area and supported a thriving community of almost 1,000 residents. Although no buildings from the coal mining era remain, there is still evidence of the Somersville community, including artifacts, photographs, census records, newspaper articles, and oral histories.

Naturalists will lead the two-to-three-mile History Hike Above the Mines and provide information about the area’s coal and sand mining history. The program is best for ages seven and up. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a snack and plenty of water. Meet at the Upper Parking Lot. More programs are scheduled in October. For more information, visit and search “mines.”

Join the Park District in commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 with programs and events celebrating the contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans. Programs include a Hispanic Heritage Month Hike on September 17, at 10:00 a.m. at Garin Regional Park. For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month activities, visit

California’s 39th annual Coastal Cleanup Day is set for September 23. Each year, over 70,000 volunteers help clear debris and remove trash from California waterways, including lakes, creeks, rivers, and shorelines. The Park District has identified 10 cleanup sites within its parks: Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, Robert W Crown Regional Shoreline, Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline, Del Valle Regional Park, Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, and Hayward Regional Shoreline. For more information, visit

Celebrate International Day of Peace with the Park District at a community event at Lake Chabot Regional Park on Saturday, September 16, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This year’s theme is Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals – a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace. The UN established International Day of Peace in 1981 to encourage 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire, and to practice kindness and compassion.

Sign up for the Park District’s monthly e-newsletter for more information about park events, programs, and openings. To sign up, visit

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.

Stroll For Gold 5k/10k Fun Run and Walk fundraiser for Dillon’s Dream A World Without Cancer Sept. 23

Monday, August 28th, 2023

Sign up by Aug. 30 to receive a T-shirt

By Deanna Rundall

The 2nd Annual Stroll For Gold 5k/10k Fun Run and Walk will be held Saturday, September 23rd at beautiful Contra Loma Reservoir, starting at 9am. 100% of the net proceeds will benefit children and families affected by childhood cancer. Dillon’s Dream A World Without Cancer is a non-profit organization that brings awareness to childhood cancer, as well as supports children and families affected by childhood cancer by donating art supplies, crafts, activities the kids can do in the hospital, gift cards, and toys around the holidays.   

Stroll For Gold Fun Run and Walk will offer a 5k and a 10k option around Contra Loma. All participants who sign up by August 30th will receive a t-shirt. Day of there will be some music, booths, snacks will be provided as well as a bag with some goodies.

For more information about the run or to register you can go to the website at If you would like to volunteer, you can call the race director Deanna Rundall at 925-852-7457 or email   

12th Annual Delta Harvest Run September 10

Saturday, August 19th, 2023

Half marathon, 10K, 5k and 1-mile Family Fun Run fundraiser for Delta Realtors Community Service Foundation

By Patti Shaner

Runners and Volunteers are needed to participate in the 12th Annual Delta Harvest Run. 100% of the net proceeds goes to the Delta Realtors Community Service Foundation. The DRCSF is a non-profit organization run by local Realtors and affiliates.  Since its establishment in 2005, the DRCSF has been offering scholarships to graduating high school seniors at each of the high schools from Pittsburg to Discovery Bay.  It is estimated that the Foundation has awarded over $100,000 in high school scholarships since its inception.  In addition to scholarships, the Foundation consistently donates money to local food banks, Community Chests, Homeless Shelters, Elderly Make A Wish, and other charitable organizations in East Contra Costa County.   

The Delta Harvest Run offers a half marathon, 10K, 5k and a 1 Mile Family Fun Run. The DHR begins and ends at the beautiful City Park in downtown Brentwood at the corner of Oak and 2nd Streets. The flat route meanders thru the tree lined city streets and on the peaceful and scenic Marsh Creek trail. The run is facilitated by a professional race and timing company.  All participants will receive a finishers metal, a custom performance-shirt, a swag bag and snacks at the finish line. Back by popular demand the runners will receive a token for a free beer, an ice cream or a coffee. The DHR will also award age group metals as well as overall male and female trophies. 

The half marathon begins at 7:30 a.m., with a prerace warm-up lead by a professional instructor prior to race time.  The awards ceremony will take place at The City Park immediately following the race.    

For more information about the run or to registration as a runner or a volunteer go to the website at You can also call the race director Patti Shaner at 925-584-1614.   

Applications for scholarships will be available at each of the high school career centers by early December. Interested seniors can also call Tonia at the Delta Associate of Realtors at (925) 757-8283 to receive an application. The Delta Realtors Community Service Foundation is proud to support our community.

Hot August Cruise Night in Rivertown Saturday, Aug. 19

Friday, August 18th, 2023

UPDATE: Rebel Without a Cause movie will not be shown at El Campanil Theatre

For more information visit

Antioch Council continues second reading of tenant anti-retaliation, harassment ordinance on split vote

Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

To Aug. 22 meeting with one change; won’t have to start over

By Allen D. Payton

The renters in Antioch who have been seeking an ordinance on anti-harassment and retaliation from landlord will have to wait a little longer for it to pass and be implemented.

During their meeting Tuesday night, August 8, 2023, the Antioch City Council, with District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson absent and District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica recusing himself, voted 2-1 to continue the second reading of the tenant anti-retaliation and harassment ordinance with one change, so the process won’t have to begin again. That occurred after Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker refused any additional proposed changes by District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock, who again cast the only no vote as she did during the July 25th council meeting.

One change was requested by a representative of the California Apartment Association (CAA) and it was included in the motion.

Ogorchock also asked for changes saying, “I don’t want to start from scratch and see everyone come back.”

“I do think we need a due process when we’re talking about the burden of proof,” she stated.

“The burden is always with the tenant,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe responded.

“There are some things we wanted changed that weren’t changed,” he pointed out. “At this point I think we need to continue. If we make any changes outside of that, then we need to start over.

However, Acting City Attorney Ruthan Ziegler, who was contracted to serve in City Attorney Thomas L. Smith’s absence, rebutted the mayor.

“You can direct staff to make changes and then those can be brought back for another second reading,” she said “What you would be doing is treating this evening as another first reading.”

“Oh, then in 30 days it would be starting, anyway,” Thorpe responded.

Torres-Walker spoke next saying, “I spent my last, three years on the council, and have been in the process that have butchered some really strong policies. I do not plan to be a part of any more processes where we sit in front of the public…to participate in the process that butchers an ordinance.”

“Can you walk us through that one change?” Thorpe asked the CAA representative.

She offered a “clean-up item” regarding “the mandatory acceptance of rent in direct violation of state law…when a landlord is in the process of eviction.”

“I’m not supporting any new exceptions,” Torres-Walker reiterated.

Thorpe asked for a motion to postpone.

Ziegler explained the options of continuing the item or adding the one change and bringing back the ordinance for a second reading at the next meeting on August 22.

Torres-Walker chose to make a motion to amend the ordinance and continue the item for a second reading until the next meeting. It was seconded by Thorpe.

“There’s a lot of frustration in trying to get this done,” he then stated. “I think we need to get something down on the books as soon as possible. If there’s something that concerns me, I’m willing to sit down and talk.”

Torres-Walker then asked the acting city attorney to clarify how the council can approve the motion with two council members not available to vote.

“A resolution or ordinance must be passed by a majority of the council members,” Ziegler explained. “But a motion like this only requires the passing on a majority of a quorum.”

The motion was able to be passed 2-1 with Ogorchock voting against.

Body found in river identified as San Leandro man missing while boating last Friday

Tuesday, July 25th, 2023
A Coast Guard helicopter flies over the river searching for the missing boater along the Antioch waterfront Friday, July 21, 2023. Screenshot of video by Allen D. Payton

Recovered Monday morning; conflicting information from agencies of what occurred; no investigation by APD

By Allen D. Payton

According to Antioch Police Public Information Liaison Sgt. Price Kendall, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, the body of the man missing in the river last Friday during a boating mishap was found.

Con Fire spokeswoman, Assistant Fire Chief Tracie Dutter said, “Someone reported a possible deceased male on the rocks near Fulton Shipyard Road on Monday at 7:48 AM. We were requested by PD to assist in recovering the body. We were on scene assisting at about 8:20 a.m. and by 8:40 a.m. the recovery was completed.”

According to Deputy Gonzalez of the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office, the man was identified as 58-year-old Douglas Cross from San Leandro, based on his driver’s license information.

As previously reported, according to Jimmy Lee, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office Director of Public Affairs, “On Friday, July 21, 2023, at about 1:51 PM, deputy sheriffs from the Marine Patrol Unit were dispatched to assist the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and the United States Coast Guard with searching for a missing boater who was apparently trying to push his 20-foot vessel to shore near the Fulton Shipyard on the San Joaquin River. The U.S. Coast Guard and Sheriff’s Office drone team were also involved in the search. The missing boater, who is not being identified at this time, was not located. (See video)

The Marine Patrol Unit continued the search on Saturday, he added.

However, according to Coast Guard Public Affairs Specialist Schnabel, “We suspended the search after searching until around 7:30 pm. One man had fallen overboard from a recreational boat and the other man jumped in after him attempting to get him out of the water leaving the vessel unmanned. Neither had life jackets. One man was recovered by a Good Samaritan and taken to a local boat ramp.”

Asked if an investigation was being conducted to determine what occurred and if the other man had been interviewed to get his side of the story, Sgt. Kendall responded, “No investigation is being conducted by the Antioch Police Department.”

Lee was asked the same question but did not respond prior to publication time. Please check back later for any updates to this report.

Mt. Diablo State Park temporarily closes North Gate Road for emergency slide repair through mid-Sept.

Sunday, July 23rd, 2023
Storm damage on North Gate Road in Mt. Diablo State Park. Source: CA State Parks

Mt. Diablo State Park temporarily closes North Gate Road for emergency slide repair through mid-Sept.
California State Parks announced on May 17, 2023 the temporary closure of North Gate Road at Mount Diablo State Park to pedestrians, vehicles, equestrians and bicyclists. The road will be closed May 19 through mid-September to stabilize and rebuild a section damaged by the 2023 winter storms. (Apologies to our readers. The Herald publisher just learned of this, yesterday).

North Gate Road closed at the Junction Ranger Station near the intersection with South Gate and Summit Roads on July 22, 2023. Photo by Allen D. Payton

Visitors will be able to access the summit and developed areas of the park from the South Gate Entrance (2675 Mt. Diablo Scenic Boulevard in Blackhawk, 94506) on the Danville side of the mountain. Whether driving or riding your bike, please ensure you are travelling at a safe speed for you, wildlife, and fellow visitors.

For updates on the progress of the project, visit Mount Diablo’s Facebook page at

About Mount Diablo State Park

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area to the east of Walnut Creek, people have been drawn for generations to Mount Diablo for its spectacular views from the summit which extend over 100 miles in all directions on a clear day. Visitors have been attracted by the complex geology that has created amazing rock formations such as the “wind caves” at Rock City, and by the mountain’s variety of habitats which are home to over 600 species of plants and an amazing array of wildlife such as butterflies, bats and birds of prey, tarantulas, bobcats, lizards, snakes, and deer.

In 2021 Mount Diablo celebrated its 100th year as a state park. Though more than 100-years is a long history as a park, the importance of Mount Diablo was recognized long before that. For thousands of years Native Americans were the caretakers of this land. Many groups considered and treated the mountain as a sacred place and continue to do so today.

Since becoming a park in 1921, Mount Diablo has been protected as a natural area, and over the past 100 years the park has grown from only a few hundred acres to over 20,000 acres. Today it is a destination for those who would like to view wildlife and wildflowers, experience beautiful views, hike, camp, picnic, run, cycle, climb, ride horses, or gaze at the stars.

Antioch Water Park After Dark presents Christmas in July this Friday

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

Pre-sale tickets are $10/per person and can be purchased online. At the door tickets are $12 per person. They’re available for purchase at