Phase I of the Balfour Road Shoulder Widening Project is underway. Phase I includes widening the pavement for wider lane and shoulders from Byron Highway to Bixler Road. Eastbound traffic will be detoured via local streets. Westbound traffic will stay on Balfour Road.
The detour will be in effect from Monday July 31st through mid-September. Drivers can expect traffic delays due to construction. The contractor will start Phase II after Phase I work is completed. The project is funded by the Discovery Bay West Traffic Mitigation funds.
For project updates visit the Public Works website at: http://www.cccounty.us/pwdmap.Read More
Stockton, CA – As anticipated, the California Department of Water Resources issued the Notice of Determination (NOD) for CA WaterFix on Friday, July 21.
Executive Director for Restore the Delta Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla issued the following statement:
“We are not surprised that the Notice of Determination has been issued. The Brown Administration will celebrate this document as a type of victory regarding the advancement of CA WaterFix. But it’s not. The EIR and the plan for the tunnels are deeply flawed as the project will not create water supply reliability in a world with increased and prolonged droughts, but perhaps up to 75 years of debt to be paid back by water ratepayers as recently proposed by Goldman Sachs representatives.
“We, other environmental organizations, and other parties in the Delta are preparing for litigation. We will expand our fight in the court of public opinion. We are considering all possible legal and political options to stop the project.”
Supplementary Documents:Read More
By Bryan Scott
The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) provides an essential government service, responding to the best of its ability to calls for help.
The state of California describes these services as “critical to the public peace, health, and safety of the state.” (Health & Safety Code Section 13801)
Unfortunately, the district is unable to adequately provide these services.
They can’t, for the simple reason that the funding rate for the ECCFPD was set nearly four decades ago. It has not changed, even though the area’s population has gone from 8,000 to over 110,000 people.
Assemblymember Jim Frazier recognizes the dire situation, perhaps better than any other state politician, as he has served on the Board of the ECCFPD as well as the Oakley City Council.
“Please know I will do all I can to investigate solutions that do not involve raising taxes so we can properly fund our fire district and protect lives and property by reopening closed fire stations,” he said in a press release broadcast on July 7.
Funding the fire district with new taxes has repeatedly failed, as three tax measures proposed since 2012 have all lost. Voluntary reallocation of property taxes has been discussed, but local governments refuse to give up future revenue increases.
Assembly Bill 898, proposed by Assembly Member Frazier earlier this year, involuntarily reallocates $10.5 million from the East Bay Regional Parks District. It was withdrawn from discussion at the Assembly’s Committee on Local Government on April 17, 2017.
So as of today, no funding solution is moving forward.
All possible solutions need to be examined. One unexplored solution is an Emergency Services Additional Revenue District (ESARD), created by the state legislature for the fire district.
An ESARD could correct the fire district’s underfunding by providing money borrowed from the state in combination with a portion of the 1% ad valorem property tax revenues generated in unincorporated county areas.
An East Contra Costa Fire Protection District ESARD would be a distinct legal entity, and would be authorized to receive a declining share of unincorporated community areas’ property tax growth increment, borrow and repay money from the state treasury, and determine the adequate and necessary funding level for the fire district.
The ESARD Board would be appointed with elected and community stakeholders, reflecting both local and state-level oversight. Limited administrative costs and a local administrator may be needed to organize and operate the board until the ECCFPD administrative staff can take over these duties.
A comprehensive and fully acceptable financial model could be developed to illustrate that tax dollars would eventually exceed loan payments, and show that upon dissolution the ESARD would distribute excess ad valorem increments to tax receiving agencies. This publically interactive model would be available on both the ESARD and ECCFPD websites.
The ESARD would operate in a fashion similar to a redevelopment agency. This type of government entity dates back to the 1945 Community Redevelopment Act. Subsequent laws established “tax-increment financing” as a viable method of government funding.
The advantage of establishing a fire district ESARD is that the amount of additional funding would be flexible, established by its Board.
An “adequate and necessary” ECCFPD funding level, which might be six fire stations instead of the district’s current three, could be provided with the help of loaned money from the state.
The ESARD would eventually sunset out of business, once the amount of property tax increments being collected is sufficient to repay the state treasury money that had been borrowed, plus interest. The property tax increments will then be assigned to the ECCFPD to maintain adequate and necessary service levels, with surplus increments being returned to their source government entities.
California redevelopment agencies accomplished a great deal until 2012, when they were disbanded. Using the same principles in East Contra Costa could solve the public safety funding emergency.
Bryan Scott is a Brentwood resident and Co-Chair of East County Voters for Equal Protection, a non-partisan citizens action committee whose aim is to improve funding for the ECCFPD. He can be reached at email@example.com, or 925-418-4428. The group’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyVoters/.Read More
At the July 18 Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors’meeting, Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) employee, Derrick Kirk, was honored with the 2017 People Who Make a Difference Award. Annually, the Contra Costa Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board acknowledges both volunteer and non-volunteer individuals and groups that have significantly contributed towards reducing substance use in our communities.
Kirk is a youth development specialist for CCCOE’s Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program. In earning this special award, he was recognized for his work last year in training nearly 500 middle and high school students as TUPE peer educators throughout Contra Costa County. In addition, he’s co-coordinating the CourAGE Youth Health Coalition, along with the Center for Human Development’s Friday Night Live Program.
“Anyone who has had the privilege of working with Derrick is not surprised to learn that he is more commonly known as ‘Mr. Awesome’ among our middle and high school peer educators,” says TUPE Manager Emily Justice. “Since he began his work at CCCOE, the number of students in our county trained as tobacco prevention peer educators has increased from an average of 200 per year to 500 and those students reach 30,000 of their peers annually. Derrick’s enthusiasm, positive attitude, humor, and dedication are inspiring to those around him and I am honored to be his colleague.”
CourAGE is a youth-led group that plays a countywide leadership role in addressing issues such as tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use and misuse. He continuously encourages young people to “shoot for the stars.” With the training and ongoing support from Kirk, hundreds of local students have been given the tools and the confidence to present issues associated with underage substance use to their classmates.
The purpose of the TUPE program is to reduce youth tobacco use by helping students make healthful tobacco-related decisions through tobacco-specific educational instruction and activities that build knowledge as well as social skills and youth development assets. TUPE maintains a Web page for additional information.
The CCCOE provides technical assistance to school districts to develop and implement effective, comprehensive tobacco education programs. Training and technical assistance provided includes:
- Tobacco-free schools’ certification
- Annual countywide TUPE Site Coordinator training
- California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) administration and data sharing training
- Alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) curriculum trainings for teachers
- Grant writing support
- Quarterly district and community partner networking meetings
- Current research on adolescent ATOD use, as well as effective prevention and intervention strategies
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D–Discovery Bay), co-chairman of the California Legislative Delta Caucus, released the following statement Friday, July 21 after reports Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has given the green light to the proposed Delta tunnels project.
“I represent more of the Delta than any other member of the Assembly, and I will do everything in my power to stop this ill-conceived and destructive project,” Frazier stated. “The truth is, ultimately the disaster of an idea called the Delta tunnels would disrupt the Delta economy and significantly burden agricultural production, recreational activities, the natural migratory paths of endangered fish species and legacy communities. The governor needs to explore real options that communities throughout the Delta can support to achieve the co-equal goals of restoring and protecting the Delta’s habitat, and providing clean and reliable water to Californians. He must not green light the tunnels plan.”Read More
On July 19, 2017 at 3:00 p.m., Pittsburg Police Officers investigated a homicide that occurred in front of the Baskin Robbins on Century Blvd. During the investigation police detectives quickly identified 19-year-old Antioch resident Larry Neal, Jr. as the shooter.
Detectives later obtained a warrant for Neal’s arrest and officers served a search warrant at his residence. At the time of the warrant service Neal was not at home. Detectives were able to speak with Neal on the telephone; however, they were unable to determine his location. Neal refused to cooperate with detectives and an extensive search to locate him was unsuccessful.
On Sunday, July 23 near midnight, Pittsburg detectives were informed Neal had turned himself in to the Martinez Detention Facility, where he was booked for the outstanding warrant for his arrest.Read More
SALT LAKE CITY (Grassroots Newswire) July 24, 2017 – The following local residents have received their degree from Western Governors University (WGU). The university held its 33rd semi-annual commencement ceremony at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City on July 15 and celebrated the graduation of more than 10,000 graduates.
- Manjit Sooch of Antioch (94531) has received her MBA in IT Management
- Ritche Martija of Pittsburg (94565) has received his MBA in IT Management
At the commencement, the online, nonprofit university recognized 6,348 undergraduates and 4,140 graduates who have completed their degrees in business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and healthcare, including nursing. Clayton M. Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Founder of The Christensen Institute, delivered the commencement address, and joined President Scott D. Pulsipher in honoring the more than 1,000 new alumni participating in the ceremony. Students who were not able to attend the ceremony in person were able to watch the event via live video stream on WGU’s website.
WGU has made convenient and affordable higher education available to busy adults. Demand for its competency-based programs can be seen in the year-over-year growth of WGU’s national impact.
Forty percent of this year’s graduates represent the first generation in their family to complete college. The average time to graduation for bachelor’s degrees was two years, three months and the average time to graduation for graduate programs was one year, eight months.
Since WGU’s founding in 1997, the online, competency-based university has awarded more than 87,000 degrees; 20,000 of them in just the past year. Designed to meet the needs of working adults, WGU’s competency-based learning model makes it possible for students to fit studying into their busy lives. Students complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the subject matter, enabling them to move quickly through material they already know and spend more time on focusing on what they still need to learn. As a result, many students are able to accelerate their studies, finishing faster and saving money.
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves 82,000 students and 87,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 20 years, the university has become a leading force in changing lives of through education. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu.Read More
In accordance with the Contra Costa County Chiefs’ of Police Association Officer Involved Fatal Incident Protocol, Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston will hold an inquest into the death of 24-year-old Maria Gaglione of Pittsburg. This incident occurred on May 13, 2017 in Contra Costa County.
The Clayton Police Department was dispatched to a local shopping center for a suspicious vehicle call. Gaglione and another person were seen leaving the shopping center in a stolen vehicle. A Clayton police officer pursued the vehicle for approximately a half-mile until it collided into a wall on the 4900 block of Myrtle Drive in Concord. The driver was transported to a local hospital. Gaglione was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The proceedings will convene on August 24, 2017 at 9 AM at the A.F. Bray Courthouse, 1020 Ward Street, Department 30, Room 3012, Martinez, California.
The purpose of the inquest, which Sheriff-Coroner Livingston convenes in fatal incidents involving peace officers, is to present the facts of the incident to a jury for their deliberation and finding on the manner of death.
The inquest is open to the public and members of the media are invited to attend. However, no photographs or video may be taken during the proceedings.Read More
The Lafayette Police Department continues to investigate a fatal collision that occurred on Monday at Moraga Boulevard and Moraga Road.
At about 1:31 PM, Lafayette Police Officers were called to an “auto vs. pedestrian” call. A Ford F150 pick-up truck travelling westbound on Moraga Boulevard apparently struck a person walking in the crosswalk as the driver was making a left-turn onto Moraga Road. The victim was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he was later pronounced deceased. The driver remained at the scene.
The victim is identified as 60-year-old Sui Yuen of Lafayette.
Anyone who may have witnessed this collision or has any information is asked to contact the Lafayette Police Department at (925) 283-3680.Read More
Board of Supervisors to review applications on Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Twelve people have submitted applications to serve as the Interim District Attorney for Contra Costa County. The Board of Supervisors will begin the next phase of the process by reviewing candidate materials at the August 1, 2017, regular public Board meeting. The meeting starts at 9:00 a.m., and the agenda and supporting documents will be available online this Friday morning.
“We remain committed to an open and transparent process during the selection period of our next District Attorney,” said Supervisor Federal Glover, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “It is unfortunate the County is faced with this situation, but it important that the public have ample opportunity to provide input as we make this very important decision.”
The June 14 resignation of Mark Peterson from the position of District Attorney created a vacancy that will extend until the current term of office expires on January 7, 2019. The next election for the District Attorney will take place in June of 2018, with a potential runoff election in November of 2018.
The twelve candidates are:
- Diana Becton – Judge, Contra Costa Superior Court
- David G. Brown – Retired Deputy District Attorney, Contra Costa County
- John Delgado – Assistant District Attorney, San Francisco County
- Danielle Douglas – Judge, Contra Costa Superior Court
- Paul J. Graves – Senior Deputy District Attorney, Contra Costa County
- William H. Green – Director, Criminal Conflict Program of the Contra Costa Bar Association, criminal defense attorney
- Thomas J. Kensok – Assistant District Attorney, Contra Costa County
- Richard A. Madsen, Jr. – Criminal defense attorney
- Michael Martin Menesini – Assistant District Attorney, San Francisco County, former Martinez Mayor and Councilman
- Brad J. Nix – Deputy District Attorney V, Stanislaus County, former Oakley Mayor and Councilman
- Michael James Roemer – Retired Deputy District Attorney, Alameda County
- Patrick Vanier – Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara County
During the August 1, 2017, Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board will determine which candidates will be selected to continue in the process. The County Administrator’s Office will be conducting background checks on those applicants. The finalists will be invited to participate in a public forum to be held on August 15 at 6:00 p.m. At the forum, a moderated discussion will take place, with questions solicited from the public in advance, as well as during the forum. If you would like to offer a question, you can submit it online via the recruitment section of the District Attorney’s website. On that site, you can also offer public comment to be submitted to the Board of Supervisors and entered into the public record. The forum will be open to the public, televised live and streamed live online. More details about the public forum will be available after the August 1st meeting.
Following the August 15th public forum, the Board of Supervisors will interview the final candidates at the September 12th public meeting; a decision could be made that day, or possibly at the following meeting on September 19, 2017.Read More