Detectives from the Special Investigation Unit of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff launched an investigation into an alleged illegal gaming operation on the 5000 block of Pacheco Boulevard after receiving a tip from a citizen regarding a casino at that location.
Through their investigation, Detectives were able to corroborate the information provided by the citizen. Detectives later secured a search warrant for the location, which was served last night. Inside the establishment, they found 37 computer terminals, which offered slot machines, video poker, and other games of chance.
The computers were seized along with some cash. Detectives arrested 48-year-old Vinson Anies of San Mateo. He was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600 or call the anonymous tip line at (866) 846-3592. Tips can also be emailed to: email@example.com.Read More
Due to the unpredictable and poor air quality we are experiencing throughout Contra Costa County, the Contra Costa Community College District has decided to close all locations – Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College, Brentwood Center, San Ramon Campus and District Office – effective 3:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We will reopen all locations on Monday, November 19, 2018.
While the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is forecasting a significant improvement in air quality over the next few days, we believe this decision best serves the safety of our students, staff and community.Read More
Now that Contra Costa County voters have passed Measure R, the commercial cannabis taxation measure by a 72 percent approval rate in the Nov. 6 election, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors requested the county’s Conservation and Development Department (CDD) to present at the Board’s Dec. 4 meeting a refined process to select applicants for types of commercial cannabis businesses.
While supervisors heard favorable comments from speakers about CDD proposed regulations, there are concerns, particularly among cultivators, that the permit review process could take up to two years before a cultivator could even plant a crop.
In developing County Cannabis Zoning Regulations, county planners have reviewed cannabis zoning regulations that are implemented in Alameda County and in the cities of Alameda, Benecia, Emeryville and Hayward.
Anti-Litter Program Changes
Since launching in March, a program aimed at legalizing non-commercial trash haulers via a program where private haulers would become licensed, performance bonded operators through the Contra Costa County Health Department, the county agency entrusted to oversee the program has not received one applicant, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors revealed Tuesday.
Going on a recommendation from the supervisors’ Internal Operations Committee, supervisors learned from Dr. Marilyn Underwood, the county Environmental Health Director, about the status of the Solid Waste Collection & Transportation Ordinance.
“While extensive outreach has been conducted, no permit applications have been received. More than 40 phone inquiries were received, but mostly to confirm exemption from the permit program,” Underwood reported to supervisors.
Dr. Underwood reasoned that the current administrative penalties may not provide enough inducement for compliance, noting that the cost for a $50,000 performance bond of approximately $500 far exceeds the penalty for the first and second violation of the ordinance and is equivalent to the penalty for a third violation in a year. As a result, the Internal Operations Committee recommended that the performance bond be lowered from $50,000 to $20,000 to see if haulers will apply for performance bonds and qualify for permits.
Even with the Internal Operations Committee recommendation from supervisors Candance Andersen of Danville and Diane Burgis of Brentwood, not all the supervisors were onboard. Board Chair Karen Mitchoff resisted lowering the bond stating, “We need to put teeth into this ordinance. The bond should still be at least $50,000.”
District 1 John Gioia of Richmond voted to maintain the performance bond at $50,000 instead of lowering it to $20,000.
Supervisors also voted to seek a state anti-litter bill that would enact statewide penalties on anyone illegally dumping litter in California.
“We want to get the state involved in this problem,” Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg said. “If Sacramento does not want to establish anti-litter penalties on a statewide basis, then perhaps it can be addressed on a Contra Costa County basis,” he said.
Keller Canyon EIR Contract Extended
Supervisors voted 5-0 to extend a Keller Canyon Land Fill contract with Environmental Science Associates Inc. from Dec. 31, 2018, to Dec. 31. 2020 at no additional change in contract cost of $402,588.
The landfill operator, Republic Services, plans to increase daily maximum tonnage at the landfill located on the southwest side of Pittsburg, off Baily Road, from 3,500 tons per day to 4,900 tons per day. An environmental impact report will be required for that daily tonnage increase.
However, those plans have been temporarily shelved because of an investigation into allegations that shipments of radioactive material from the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco may have been deposited at the landfill.
In the meantime, Supervisor Glover told the Contra Costa Herald the Contra Costa Health Department will soon name an environmental consultant that will conduct an independent study of the landfill. The soils investigations will be paid through the Keller Canyon mitigation fund, a fund that annually distributes funds to Bay Point and Pittsburg non-profit organizations.
Veteran Affairs Administrator Jill Martinez Recognized for 39 Years of Service
After 39 years of service in Contra Costa County Veterans Affairs Office as an office administrator, Jill Martinez was recognized for her years of service to thousands of veterans during Veterans Day ceremonies Tuesday.
Well-respected among veterans because of her caring manner, Martinez told supervisors, veterans and the public attending the ceremony in the Board of Supervisors chambers in Martinez “I was fortunate that I had found my passion. We get calls from all over the county. The veteran community has grown so much that I’d work most weekends to keep up with the demands of the job.”
Martinez has no immediate plans of quitting.Read More
El Campanil Theatre Preservation Foundation presents “HAPPY 90th, El Campanil!” Celebrating 90 Years of Entertainment in the Heart of Antioch, California, this Saturday November 17, 2018 7:00 p.m. in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown.
A Live Retrospective of Shows & Stars* including highlights from The World of Webber, The Broadway Divas, You’ve Got A Friend: The Carole King Songbook, This One’s For You: The Songs of Barry Manilow, From Motown With Love, JOEL: The Band, and more…!
Featuring Performances By
With Pianist, Kenji Higashihama and Master of Ceremonies Antioch Classical Theatre Company’s Sean J. O’Neil
*FINAL PERFORMERS AND PERFORMANCES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Tickets: Reserved Seating – Gold Circle (1st 3 rows): All Ages – $50 (includes one commemorative wine glass per ticket)
Adults: $35 Seniors: (62 & Over): $30 Youth (Under 18): $25
We do not charge convenience fees ~ Save time – Buy Online www.elcampaniltheatre.com/anniversary.html
Box Office (next door to theatre) 925-757-9500 Tues – Fri 10am – 2pm and one hour before events at 602 W. 2nd Street (corner of 2nd & G Streets near the waterfront).Read More
Results from the November 6th General Election have been updated on the Contra Costa Elections website, as of Friday, Nov. 9th at 5:00 p.m. You can view the Update 1 here. The Contra Costa Elections Division has processed over 1.7 million ballot cards to this point.
Please note that the updated results are still unofficial.
The Elections Division estimates that there are about 82,000 Vote-By-Mail envelopes remaining to be counted, as well as 25,000 Provisionals and 1,000 Conditional Voter Registrations.
Our next scheduled update is at 5:00 pm on Friday, November 16th.
The Elections Department has 28 days to certify the election results. So, close races may not be decided until the beginning of December.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Chase began on Highway 4 at Bailey Road in Pittsburg
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
On Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 6, 2018 at about 2:55 PM, a Deputy Sheriff located a stolen vehicle on westbound Highway 4 at Bailey Road. The Deputy started following the vehicle but, did not attempt to stop it.
The vehicle suddenly sped away, leading the Deputy on a pursuit. The Deputy terminated the pursuit because of the suspect’s wreckless driving and the successful deployment of the StarChase GPS tracking technology.
The vehicle traveled at high speeds on Highway 4, Highway 242 and I-680 for approximately 15 miles before being located a second time by Deputy Sheriffs in the area of I-680 and Stone Valley Road.
The vehicle exited Stone Valley Road leading deputies on a pursuit again. The suspect vehicle crashed at the intersection of Danville Boulevard and Orchard Court, where it struck a Sheriff’s Office radar trailer and came to rest in the parking lot of a business.
The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody at that time. He is identified as 24-year-old Darryl Maiale, the only occupant in the vehicle. According to his Facebook profile, he is a resident of Livermore and attended Granada High School.
He was transported to a local hospital as a precaution. He will be booked at the Martinez Detention Facility for charges that include vehicle theft, felony evading, possession of stolen property, and resisting arrest.Read More
To address rising costs of meeting strict environmental water quality regulations, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Election Day, Tuesday, unanimously approved a way to pay for a $5 million permit with the Regional Water Conservation District.
With scant discussion from supervisors and zero comments from the public, supervisors approved Contra Costa County Flood Control & Water Conservation District Division Manager Tim Jensen’s recommendation to pay for the five-year permit through service reductions.
Some jurisdictions, like San Diego and Santa Clara counties most notably have refused to pay rising storm water permit fees, Jensen said.
Jensen informed supervisors the county has about $3.2 million in funds set aside for the RWCD permit, but the there are no other funds available from the County’s General Fund to fill in a $1.2 million deficit for the certificate.
Jensen said his staff identified $510,000 of road funds and $75,000 of flood control funds that could be spent for program activities but, noted the road funds might be unavailable should state Proposition 6, the State Gas Tax measure wins in Tuesday’s election. A Proposition 6 victory would deliver a financial blow to the county’s road fund. (NOTE: Prop. 6 failed)
The county flood control manager presented to supervisors a four-point service reduction plan that would help the county plug up the $1.2 million deficit to cover the RWCD permit. The plan consists of:
- Street Sweeping – Transfer street sweeping to the Road Fund even though this might not materialize if Proposition 6, the state gas tax measure, won at Tuesday’s election.
- Inspections – Reduce inspections by 50 percent.
- Outreach – Reduce the Public Information and Participation Program by 50 percent.
- Calendar – Eliminate the annual calendar.
County Agricultural Crop Production Down 6 Percent
In other business, supervisors approved, on consent, the county’s 2017 Agricultural Crop Report that showed a 6% decline in gross value of agricultural crops. During that year, agricultural crop gross value was $120,441,000, a decline of $7. 6 million from 2016, Humberto Izquierdo, Contra Costa County Agricultural Commissioner Sealer of Weights and Measures wrote in his report to the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.
Izquierdo’s report cited how high labor costs and an overall shortage of farm workers have been key factors behind the longstanding decline in the county’s asparagus industry. Today there is only one asparagus grower in the county who sells strictly at the Certified Farmers’ Markets. The total acreage in asparagus production has decreased to less than 50 acres. “The loss of (a 25% tariff) protection, combined with rising labor costs, have resulted in an increase in imported asparagus from 10.8 percent of U.S. consumption in 1980 to 91.2 percent in 2015,” he wrote.
The county crop report also showed that 2017 sweet corn harvested was down to 37,500 tons compared to 44,300 tons in 2016. That corn harvest produced $18.9 million in total value in 2017 compared to $23.3 million in 2016. Tomato harvest was up in 2017, at 209,300 tons valued at $23.4 million in comparison to 169,000 tons at a value of $19.9 million in 2016.
Shelter in Place Recognized
Contra Costa County Shelter in Place Week received official recognition from the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Supervisors passed a resolution recognizing the 17th anniversary of Shelter in Place Day that was held November 7 at Garin Elementary School in Brentwood with a drill. At the presentation Board Chair Karen Mitchoff presented the resolution to A. J. (Tony) Semenza, executive director of Community Awareness Emergency Response, and Michael Dossey, an accidental release prevention engineer with the Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Programs.
Adoption Awareness Month
Also, at the meeting, Supervisors recognized November as Adoption Awareness Month. Board Chair Karen Mitchoff presented a resolution recognizing the good deeds of the county’s Children and Family Services to Sandra Wohala of Concord who recently adopted two girls.
In order to adopt the girls, Wohala said that she had to move out of her 550 square foot condominium and into a house with a backyard. This year Children and Family Services placed its first ever non-minor dependent adoption. Some 2,000 children in the county receive adoption assistance.Read More
The investigation into yesterday’s officer involved shooting in Danville continues. Per the county officer-involved protocol, this incident is being jointly investigated by the Danville Police Department, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, and D.A.’s Office. The findings of the investigation will ultimately be presented at a Coroner’s inquest, a public hearing where a jury determines the manner of death.
On Saturday, November 3, 2018, at 11:03 AM, Danville Police Officers responded to a call from a citizen of a suspicious person near Cottage Lane and Laurel Drive in Danville.
The citizen reported seeing a person exit his vehicle, walk toward several homes with bags in his hands, go back to his car and circle the neighborhood.
Officers arrived on scene. The suspect ignored commands to stop and led officers on a pursuit. Twice during the pursuit, the suspect pulled over as if he was going to give up. As officers exited their cars, the suspect fled in his vehicle continuing to lead the officers in a pursuit.
At the intersection of Front Street and Diablo Road, the suspect steered his vehicle toward an officer and accelerated his vehicle. The officer was in immediate fear that he was going to be run over by the suspect’s vehicle and fired his weapon at the driver of the vehicle. The suspect was shot and transported to the San Ramon Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced deceased.
The suspect is identified as 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda of Newark. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
The officer who discharged his weapon in the officer involved shooting is Deputy Sheriff Andrew Hall. He has been with the Office of the Sheriff for 5 years. He is currently assigned to the contract city of Danville.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
On Saturday, November 3, 2018, at about 11:27 PM, Deputy Sheriffs in the intake area of the Martinez Detention Facility were alerted to a medical situation in a holding room.
Deputies found an inmate unresponsive and called for medical personnel at MDF to respond. Deputies and medical staff immediately performed CPR on the inmate. An ambulance and the fire department were also called and responded. The inmate was later pronounced deceased at the scene. The identity of the 26-year-old man is not being released at this time.
The investigation into this death is ongoing. Per the in custody fatal incident protocol, the investigation is being conducted by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Sheriff.Read More
Usually, I don’t recommend elected officials serving in the same office for 24 years, such as Joel Keller, who was elected to the BART Board on the same night in November 1994 that I was elected to the Antioch City Council. That’s because elected representatives tend to become complacent or arrogant in office and stop listening to their constituents, and end up doing the bidding of the powerful, special interests who support them and contribute to their re-election campaigns.
However, Joel is different. Having served on the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and three of the four transportation boards in East County, including as Chairman of the Bypass Authority in 1998 when we purchased the right-of-way for the State Route 4 extension (aka The Bypass) from Lone Tree Way to Balfour Road, I’ve learned the difficult lesson that infrastructure projects can take a long time. Too much time for most all of our liking. But, that’s another issue. My point is, it’s taken that time for Joel to get BART extended to Antioch.
Although it’s not full or “real” BART, as we Antioch residents would have preferred, the bottom line is Joel was able to wade through the funding limitations from BART and the federal government, as well as the opposition by other regions in the BART District and directors who represent those regions and make his promise and commitment a reality. Antioch has a BART station. During his next four years, if re-elected, I believe Joel will be able to help deliver further extensions in East County, first to Laurel Road – which will benefit Antioch’s economic development area for job creation and serve the residents of Oakley – then to Brentwood near Sand Creek Road.
Joel has done what he said he would do, and he listens to his constituents. Most recently, Joel heard the complaints about safety on the BART system. In order to ensure the rest of the board members heard the complaints from the people in his district who can’t attend their normal day time meetings in Oakland, had the board hold a night time meeting in Pittsburg. Then, due to the overwhelming response by riders to the opening of the Antioch BART Station, Joel heard the outcry for more parking spaces, and he delivered by getting the other BART Board Members to join him in voting to fund 800 more spaces.
I believe Joel has earned one more term on the BART Board, which most likely will be his last, and recommend we re-elect him.Read More