Archive for the ‘Rivertown’ Category

2021 Rivertown Art & Wine Walk in historic, downtown Antioch Saturday, August 4

Monday, July 19th, 2021

For tickets and more information visit or

Click here for Exhibitor Agreement.

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Shop at Rivertown merchants on Independence Day Sunday, July 4th

Saturday, July 3rd, 2021

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Antioch July 4th fundraising reaches $40,500 mark, continues

Friday, May 28th, 2021

Make your contribution, today! See link below.

Make your contribution, today by clicking, here.

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Enter your car in the Rivertown Father’s Day Car Show June 20

Friday, May 14th, 2021

Register to enter your car – Rivertown Fathers Day Car Show Application

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Purrs and Paws Baby Shower in Rivertown Saturday

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Donations needed!

Happening: Saturday, April 24, 2021

Time: 12:00 – 3:00pm

Location: 708 West 2nd Street, Antioch

Sponsored by: Furry Friends Pet Relief Program

Spring has sprung and it’s “raining” kittens and puppies!

We get asked daily, sometimes multiple times a day, for help with abandoned, orphaned or found neonates. We know we can’t help them all, but we’d like to help as many as possible and that’s where you come in!

We’re excited to partner with Dirty Paws Animal Rescue for this Saturday’s (virtual & in person) puppy/kitten shower! Please swing by to meet some of our current fosters, get information on fostering for us, have a snack and take a tour of and what will soon become a low cost spay/neuter clinic right in downtown Antioch!

Can’t make it to the event? Here’s a link to our registry, any and all donations are greatly appreciated!



On Line Event

Furry Friends Pet Relief Program  Tax ID: 47-2163583

“Helping those in need with their Furry Friends, keeping pets in their homes and out of the shelters”

For more information visit or Like us on Facebook or call 925-481-2294.

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Antioch Mayor proposes formal apology, historic recognition for city’s Chinatown being burned down in 1870’s

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference with other local officials and community leaders denouncing anti-Asian hate and announcing proposals for recognizing the history of Chinese in Antioch, including the racist attacks against them in the late 1800’s.

Signs proclamation denouncing anti-Asian racism; also proposes youth mural project

By Allen Payton

During a press conference held Wednesday morning, April 14, 2021, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe proposed a resolution formally apologizing for the burning down of the city’s Chinatown in 1876, a historic district in the area of the city’s downtown where it was located and funding a permanent display in the Antioch Historical Society Museum, and an historic mural project by Antioch youth. In addition, he signed the proclamation adopted by the city council during last night’s meeting denouncing anti-Asian racism. (See video of press conference)

Thorpe also mentioned an incident that occurred, yesterday an attack against two Asian women outside the County Market, the city’s largest Asian grocery store. According to Antioch Police Chief T Brooks, it was a strong arm robbery. More details will be released, today.

Community College Board Trustee Andy Li is presented with the proclamation by Mayor Thorpe during the press conference on Wednesday.


Unanimously approved by the Antioch City Council on April 13, 2021

WHEREAS, Antioch is home to diverse communities and has been for many generations;

WHEREAS, we are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and frequency of hate crimes and race-based harassment against Asians and the Asian Pacific Islander Communities associated with COVID-19;

WHEREAS, the Asian-American experience in the Bay Area is a complex and multi-faceted history; WHEREAS, the first major wave of Asians came to the Bay Area during the Gold Rush and many worked on the transcontinental railroad in the nineteenth century and were met with racial hostility and animosity;

WHEREAS, in 1876, Antioch’s Chinatown was burned down and it later became Waldie Plaza. People of Chinese heritage were banned from walking Antioch City streets after sunset;

WHEREAS, during the late-nineteenth century, anti-Chinese sentiment resulted in conflict and extremely restrictive regulations and norms concerning where Asian Americans could live and in which occupations they could work, which were often enforced with violence;

WHEREAS, today, there are nearly 1.7 million Asians in the Bay Area, constituting nearly 24 percent of the overall population. We pledge to not repeat the egregious acts of discrimination in past and present history;

WHEREAS, having Chinese ancestry – or any other ancestry – does not make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19. No race, nationality or ethnicity is responsible for COVID-19;

WHEREAS, ignorance is the lifeblood of conspiracies that hamper our ability to fight the pandemic and endanger the most vulnerable; and

WHEREAS, the City of Antioch recognizes the negative impact of institutional and structural racism, past and present.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, LAMAR A. THORPE, Mayor of the City of Antioch, do hereby proclaim that racism against Asians and Asian Americans shall not be tolerated in any form, AND we stand in support of individuals and communities targeted by association with COVID-19, AND we urge everyone to interrupt instances of racisms and

intolerance by speaking up in support of equity, justice, and inclusion.


The mayor then presented the signed proclamation to Andi Li, Area 4 Representative on the Contra Costa Community College District Board of Trustees. Li thanked the mayor and council for the proclamation and shared some additional history of Chinese residents in Antioch and the U.S. helping build the transcontinental railroad and the levees in the Delta.

“Thank you, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe and the city council, for joining many other government entities and passing the resolution to condemn anti-Asian hate crimes. Thank you, Antioch residents for supporting the API community.  I am very honored to accept the resolution,” Li said. “In America, the overall hate crime rate decreased by 7% in 2020, but against Asian Americans, it increased by 160%.  It created hardship for many Asian families including my family. The resolution is very important for Asian Pacific Islanders, especially those living in Antioch.  It let us see the support from the community during this hardship. So, thank you very much.”

Thorpe’s Proposals

Dwayne Eubanks, president of the Antioch Historical Society spoke about a permanent display at the museum.

Thorpe proposed “funding some sort of permanent exhibit at the Antioch Historical Society Museum.”

Dwayne Eubanks, president of the society spoke of “a permanent program with exhibits to examine our past. May is Asian Pacific Islander Month and we will be having displays.”

According to Stan Davis, Treasurer of the Historical Society, as well as the city’s former Director of Public Works and City Engineer, who has lived here since 1964, no previous mayor or council has proposed an apology for the past anti-Chinese racism and burning down of Antioch’s Chinatown that he’s aware of.

The mayor also proposed the city “designate a Chinatown Historic District with appropriate signage and story which timelines what happened, here for residents to enjoy and others to come to our community to enjoy.”

Former Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts, who is president of the Rivertown Preservation Society, then spoke saying, “today we take the first step in recognizing a difficult part of our city’s history.” Following are her prepared remarks:

“On behalf of the Rivertown Preservation Society I am proud to be here today as we gather to ensure that the past and present story of Antioch is one that acknowledges our complex history and generations of diverse populations that built our community. Some may say that what happened in the past has no effect on who we are today. We believe this to be incorrect and that to the contrary, to not acknowledge the wrongs or intolerances of yesterday, can only make more plausible that they may happen again.  When we speak of atrocities such as 9/11 or Nazi concentration camps, for those that experienced these times, they will tell you to never forget.  To not remember, to not discuss, to not teach about acts that caused great pain, and human despair, we are most likely doomed to repeat.  Whether it effects a nation or a small community, memorializing difficult times and times of great celebration should be and frankly must be part of our story.

So, today the City of Antioch takes a first step in remembering a very tough part of our history, of our Chinese residents who were so instrumental in building our Antioch community and communities of the bay area and state of California. And what makes this acknowledgment and proclamation important and of even more significance is the intolerable hate that has most recently befallen our Asian communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Here, in Antioch, we will fight against racism and intolerance against people of all ethnicities and fight for equity, justice and inclusion and by doing so we will never forget.”

“Our Parks and Recreation Commission will play a role as well,” Thorpe said. Marie Arce, chair of the commission then spoke briefly of “acknowledging our wrongdoings”.

To “engage our youth” Thorpe then proposed “a downtown mural project that recognizes our Chinese American residents’ contributions to the community.”

Antioch School Board Vice President, Dr. Clyde Lewis spoke next, saying “in order for us to understand ourselves, where we want to be, we have to look at where we’ve been.” He wants to have an “encouraging conversation in moving our community forward.” Lewis spoke of his own family, his wife and children, who are of the AAPI community.

Thorpe then introduced District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker, and mentioned Lewis and Eubanks, saying, “as African Americans, we know the pain of not having your government acknowledge” and offering “no apologies, no reparations…for historical wrongs.”

District 1 Antioch Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker shared her thoughts during the press conference.

His fourth proposal was for “advancing a resolution that officially apologizes for the terrorizing of our Chinese residents.” That will require formal council approval and Thorpe said he will place it on a future council agenda.

Torres-Walker spoke next saying, “I stand here, today as a Black Latina in solidarity with the API community against all racial hate and harm. What side of history are we on in Antioch, in the Bay Area and across our country? We stand here before you to recognize a moment in time. We are not born hateful. Hate is learned. Antioch has chosen to rise from the ashes of a horrible past into a more inclusive future. To move forward in the future where we are not defined by our past. We have got to do differently in the City of Antioch for communities of color and poor communities.”

She then recited the Pledge of Allegiance, saying “when we say ‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…I cringe, because today we still do not have liberty, which is freedom…for people in dark bodies who face harm.”

“I’m happy to stand here, today in a dark body as a Black Latina to say ‘we see you’,” Torres-Walker added.

UPDATE: She later posted the following “Full modified statement from yesterday’s Mayor’s press conference” on her council Facebook page on Thursday, April 15:

“When you buy your first home, you don’t say I sure am going to fill it with hate. When you move to a community, you don’t say to yourself, I sure can’t wait to bring as much hate and harm to this community as possible. I stand here today as a black Latina in solidarity with the API community against all racial hate and harm,” said Torres-Walker. “I do not stand here today to apologize for whiteness. That is not my role. It is not my role as a person who has to show up every day in a dark body to apologize for white fragility, anti-blackness, transphobia, xenophobe, racism, classism, othering fear, white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism. That is not my role.”

Torres-Walker asked what side of history they were on today was the question where she highlighted people have been denied the privilege to walk freely on the streets and were forced underground.

“We are not born hateful. Hate is learned and passed down through generations and because Antioch has chosen to rise through the ashes of a horrible past into a more inclusive future we stand here before you all today united against racial hate,” said Torres-Walker. “We say that opportunity lives here in Antioch. Opportunity can only live here in Antioch when we all as Antioch residents fight just as hard for belonging as we have to get beyond our past and to move forward to a future where we are not defined by our past and we acknowledge our past so that everybody can belong.”

She thanked the Mayor for standing up today, but they needed to do better and differently for communities of color and poor communities.

“When we say I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America… I cringe,” stated Torres-Walker. “Today, we still do not have liberty which is freedom. We still do not have justice which is slow to come for communities of color and people in dark bodies who face harm.”

Thorpe then said he will be working with the historical society to develop the price tag for the permanent display at the museum and for establishing the historic Chinatown district.

Asked why this is being proposed now, Thorpe responded, “The impetus for this, now is we are all learning about this. As terms of this history of Antioch I learned about it when our former Mayor Don Freitas took me on a tour and told me about the tunnels. Eventually we would have gotten here because our council is very cognizant of culture and equity.”

Asked if there will be an effort to find the descendants of the owners of the land in Antioch’s Chinatown which includes Waldie Plaza and the two parking lots on each side of it that is now owned by the city, to compensate them, Thorpe responded that he will ask Eubanks to include that in the Historical Society’s research.

The funding will come from the General Fund, the mayor said, and the formal apology will be on the council agenda in early May. “I can apologize right here, right now but I think it’s more appropriate that the governing body do it…not just me,” Thorpe added.

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Antioch Council receives report on latest efforts to bring ferry service to city’s waterfront

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

By Allen Payton

A type of ferry boat operated by WETA that could eventually stop in Antioch. Photo: WETA

During their meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 the Antioch City Council received a report from a representative of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) on the latest information on bringing ferry service to the city’s waterfront.

Peter Engel, the Director of Programs for CCTA provided the presentation. Antioch Ferry Service presentation 041321

A financial feasibility study of Contra Costa County Ferry Service from 2015 through 2023 was completed in 2014. It sought to Create collaborative effort engaging Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), the cities, other interested entities and CCTA. Evaluate financial feasibility of expanding WETA’s ferry services to Contra Costa County.

Near-term expansion routes identified in the WETA Implementation and Operations Plan (IOP) and Short Range Transit Plan only includes a stop in Richmond. Additional expansion routes identified in WETA’s IOP include Hercules, Martinez and Antioch. The interlined routes include Antioch to Martinez, Martinez to Hercules and Antioch to Martinez to Hercules.

Engel spoke of a pilot program for ferry service in Antioch.

However, “there’s currently not a funding source for a pilot program,” he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson said, “my first term on council we were talking about ferry service and ridership. Back then we were talking about the traditional ferry. Former Mayor Wright talked about the water taxi. Hopefully, we’ll get more information and more studies on that. I like how the routes you discussed from Antioch to Martinez, Hercules and Richmond.”

“I know this was an issue with the WETA Board…if there is a Contra Costa representative on the WETA Board, it would be good to have at least a Contra Costa, hopefully an Antioch representative on that board,” she continued. “I just wanted to know if that’s changed since then.”

“The structure on the board hasn’t changed. Sacramento basically selects the members,” Engle responded. “Three by the governor, one by the Assembly Speaker and one by the Senate Rules Committee. The only one who represents Contra Costa who is Jim Wunderman, the CEO of the Bay Area Council and a resident of Contra Costa. That would be something that would have to be taken up through the legislature. It’s something that WETA staff would support.”

“If we do this very right it could be very good for us,” Wilson continued. “I know the Larkspur Ferry has been hurting.”

“Larkspur is operated by Golden Gate Ferry…strictly to the City operation. It’s been hurt by the pandemic,” Engle responded.

“I sit on the CCTA, so I’ve had conversations about this with (City Manager) Ron Bernal,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe said. “If there’s the possibility of a pilot program, we’d need to put some money behind it. Ron would need to show up to say we’re committed to doing something.”

“That’s fair enough,” Bernal responded. “Is the council still interested in moving forward and getting information on this?”

“The council is committed to moving forward. We are certainly 100% committed,” Thorpe replied.

“I’m concerned in a post-COVID world we don’t know what the commute will look like before we are committed,” District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica said. “Where are we going to be with commuters? We don’t know.”

“That is some of the conversations that we’ve been having,” Thorpe responded. “The money tied up in the courts, right now will be coming,”

“I’ve heard of this since I first moved here, and I’ve been very excited about this,” said District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker who represents the part of Antioch where the ferry stop would be located. “I get the concerns Councilman Barbanica is lifting up, as well. But I also think as we learn to live with the virus…and go back to as normal as possible…that we have a ferry in Antioch and I’m excited about that potential.”

That was enough direction for both Bernal and Engle to move forward on bringing ferry service to Antioch.

The next steps include looking at service opportunities with routing to Pittsburg, Martinez, Hercules and Richmond; partner with other terminal cities; prepare Request for Information/Interest from private providers; and identifying funding. Potential funding could be from the Regional Measure 3 bridge toll revenue and COVID Relief funds.


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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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