To be eligible to register, a person must be a United States citizen, be at least 18 years old by Election Day, and not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.
You must re-register if you have moved or changed your name (married, divorced, etc.).
To register, go online to http://registertovote.ca.gov, or pick up a paper card at any City Hall, post office, library or the Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Elections Office located at 555 Escobar Street in Martinez.
You can check your voter registration status online at www.cocovote.us by clicking on the “My Voting Information” button.Read More
Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) announced that the California Transportation Commission (CTC) has approved $34 million in funding for improvements of the Interstate 680 / State Route 4 highway interchange in Concord, one of the most congested freeway interchanges in the Bay Area.
“Anyone who has driven in the East Bay knows this interchange is notorious for gridlock, which is why I have been working for more than a year with the CTC, Department of Transportation, and Contra Costa Transportation Authority to secure the funding needed to get this project started,” Grayson said. “As a critical artery for the region, it is incumbent on us to ensure the conditions of this interchange are improved so commuters are able to navigate this interchange without the additional stress caused by standstill traffic and bottlenecks. I applaud the CTC for funding this project so that the people of my district, and the East Bay Area, will be able to spend less time sitting in traffic and more time at home with their families.”
The I-680/SR4 Interchange connects a major north-south thoroughfare for Solano, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties with the main east-west artery for Contra Costa County. In its review, the Commission concluded the existing I-680/SR 4 interchange has deficiencies that contribute to heavy traffic congestion and inefficient traffic operations. This project, one of several phases of improvements planned by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority for Highway 4, will construct almost 10 miles of new traffic lanes to ease congestion and will retrofit bridges to meet seismic standards as well as extend on-ramps to improve traffic safety. CCTA was awarded the funding through the CTC’s competitive Local Partnership Program.
Grayson represents the 14th Assembly District that includes the communities of Benicia, Concord, Clayton, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Vallejo, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek. For more information please visit the Assemblymember’s website, www.assembly.ca.gov/a14.Read More
Featuring T.I., Ludacris, and many more
ANTIOCH, Calif., May 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – XO Music Festival kicks off July 13-15, 2018 making its debut as the Bay Area’s premier music, art, food and fun festival at the Contra Costa Event Park in in Antioch.
With festivals across the country putting fresh names, faces, and genres on their lineups, XO Music Festival is looking to draw a plethora of music fans and create a unique experience through amazing art installations that encompass a variety of eye catching colors, design, and styles that have taken over social media, having been essential parts of festivals like Coachella, and Tomorrowland.
A lineup including mainstream and pop names does not fail to include rock, indie, and classic throwback names in the day to night festival, opening doors to a variety of fans that are a unique and cultured group in the music scene. It will invite them into an unforgettable world with XO’s ultra-luxury VIP rooms and elevated experiences, which includes bottle service, food service, and table dining. Then transitioning to a classy and timeless event with visuals and colored installations including graffiti, murals, interactive activities – just a few elements of the experience.
Artists confirmed to perform at this year’s XO Music Festival in Antioch, California are T.I., Ludacris, Rev Run of RUN DMC, The Diplomats – Jim Jones, Cam’Ron, Juelz Santana, Freekey Zekey, and Fabolous, Sugar Hill Gang and more. Also included are Survivor and the Canadian group MAGIC! Their hit song “Rude” has reached over 2 billion views just on YouTube.
Currently, the East Bay Area, boasts a short list of yearly music festivals that encompass such a variety of talent or any sort of elusive experience.
In addition to live music, the XO Festival will have comedy, culinary offerings and artwork. Keep your eye out for top rated chef’s and food celebrity hosts to be a part of the culinary experience at XO Music Festival. Some of the up-and-coming comedians who are confirmed for the festival include Drennon Davis, Jordan Cerminara, Irene Tu, Nina G, Emily Catalano, Matt Lieb, Stroy Moyd, Shanti Charan, Chey Bell, Mean Dave and Chad Opitz.
XO Music Festival has a great opportunity to make this the staple event for location, timeliness, classiness, and experience including celebrity hosted stages.
As far as food and beverage, expect the best in top tier beer and wine options and more. Fans should be sure to take advantage of dining and table service options available as part of the XO experience.
XO Festival’s arrival comes at an appealing time in music as producers and artists are collaborating across genres forcing festival and entertainment producers to be more creative, carving out the most extravagant fairy tale like experiences with visuals, fireworks, and large art installations being must haves.
With Bay Area fans always showing up to support hometown artists, expect no surprise or shortage of local talent, especially with the recent project success of artists like E-40, G-Eazy and Too $hort.
Over 150+ Performances will grace the seven stages at XO Music Festival. For full lineup and tickets visit: http://xomusicfestival.com/
Expect XO Music Festival to be a festival that is able to fit into the mold of the current music trends, while also establishing an identity for experience, location and attracting music fans of all ages and genres.Read More
This Saturday is Clean Slate Day in Antioch that allows individuals to apply for and receive a reduction or dismissal of a prior conviction. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office and Antioch Police Department are co-hosting Saturday’s event.
The event is open to the public. Residents can register for Saturday through Code for America at www.clearmyrecord.org
“Clean Slate Day will help remove barriers for members of our community trying to get a fresh start. With this partnership, we are able to assist hundreds seeking legal assistance,” stated Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton. “Prior convictions can leave a lasting mark on an individual’s record and life. We must continue to seek opportunities to bring law enforcement and the legal community together with the community to ease tensions and clear old convictions.” Becton initially organized a Clean Slate Day in Richmond, California when she served as a Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge in 2016.
The Clean Slate Program operates throughout the entire year and is managed by the Public Defender’s Office. Individuals can contact the program at 925-335-8150 for questions about seeking Proposition 47 relief, record sealing, legal advice and dismissals of convictions. Residents can also register on an ongoing basis for the Clean Slate Program through Code for America at www.clearmyrecord.org.
“Far too many people face barriers in accessing employment, housing, and education because of a prior criminal record. Having one’s record expunged can have a transformative effect by making it easier for individuals to reintegrate back into their communities,” said Robin Lipetzky, Chief Public Defender. “Our Clean Slate team specializes in assisting people with clearing their records and giving them a second chance at life.”
This is the first event co-hosted with a law enforcement agency. Clean Slate Day starts at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m. at Antioch Middle School.
“This event helps our community heal and thrive,” conveyed Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks. “We must work to reduce recidivism and assist individuals in navigating the criminal justice system.”
Other community partners offering services on Saturday will include the following organizations: Bay Area Legal Aid, Rubicon Programs, Contra Costa Reentry Network, and the Safe Return Project.Read More
ANTIOCH – Open Day May 17th, Is Dollar Day at the 2018 Contra Costa County Fair. Gates Open at 12 noon, and everyone can enjoy the Fair for just $1 until 5PM. Also you can enjoy $1 Carnival Rides until 5PM. The Contra Costa County Fair has partnered with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano to bring $1 Day to the Fair. Pay $1 to get into the Fair, and donate $1 to the Food Bank, $1 can provide 2 Health Meals to a needy family in Contra Costa or Solano County.
We look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Contra Costa County Fair. For the complete program, click here: CCCFair Program – Antioch Herald
For additional information about the 2018 Contra Costa County Fair visit our website at www.contracostafair.com, or like us on Facebook. The fairgrounds are located at 1201 West 10th Street in Antioch.Read More
Contra Costa County is one of 30 California counties that have filed litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors for creating an opioid epidemic in this state. These 30 counties represent approximately 10.5 million residents. All 30 counties are filing suit in federal court and expect their cases to be transferred to the Multi-District Litigation in Ohio, where more than 500 public entities have filed similar suits.
The lawsuit seeks reimbursement of taxpayer funds that already have been spent responding to the opioid epidemic in Contra Costa County; for ongoing costs of continuing the fight, including emergency response, prevention, monitoring and treatment; and for prospective relief to help the County undo some of the widespread damage that these drug manufacturers and distributors have caused.
“This litigation is an important tool to help us recover the taxpayer funds currently being used and desperately needed to intervene and try to counteract the opioid epidemic,” noted Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Karen Mitchoff.
According to the County’s complaint on file with the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Case No. 3:18-cv-02705, many of the nation’s largest drug manufacturers misinformed doctors about the addictiveness and efficacy of opioids. The manufacturer defendants include Purdue Pharma; Teva Ltd.; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson); Endo Health Solutions, Inc.; Allergan PLC; and Mallinckrodt. Drugs manufactured by these companies include, but are not limited to: OxyContin, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Nucynta, Nucynta ER, Opana/Opana ER, Percodan, Percocet, Zydone, Kadian and Norco. In addition to the wrongdoing by drug manufacturers, the lawsuit asserts that the nation’s largest drug distributors – including Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corp. – failed to monitor, identify and report “suspicious” opioid shipments to pharmacies, in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
The County Counsel’s Office and following six law firms comprise the County’s legal team: Baron & Budd; Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor; Powell & Majestro; Greene, Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey & Tweel; Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler; and McHugh Fuller Law Group. These firms currently represent over 300 cities and counties throughout the United States.Read More
By Dan Borsuk
Contra Costa voters could see a cannabis industry tax measure on the November 6 ballot after supervisors on Tuesday thrashed through statistics and ideas on what route to take in complying with the 2016 passage of state Proposition 64.
Determined to assemble a cannabis tax ordinance by an August 10 deadline in order to file a tax measure ballot for the November election, supervisors, under the guidance of Julie Enea of the County Administrator’s Office, presented a cannabis business tax levy proposal assembled by HdL, the Crescent City-based consulting firm hired by the county to assist the county in developing an ordinance in the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 64, the 2016 state initiative that legalized the sale of recreational marijuana.
The proposed cannabis business tax levy sets initial and maximum rates for eight license types. Those proposed rates are:
- Cultivator: Indoor, artificial lighting: 7/ft. initial rate, $10/ft. maximum rate.
- Cultivator: Greenhouse, mixed lighting: $4/ft initial rate, $7/ft. maximum rate.
- Cultivator: Outdoor, natural light: $2 ft. initial rate, $4 ft. maximum rate.
- Cultivator Nursery: $1/ft. initial rate: $2/ft. maximum rates.
- Manufacturer/Non-retail microbusiness: 2.5 % of gross receipts initial rate, 4% of gross receipts maximum rate.
- Testing: Not Available; initial rate: 2.5% percent of gross receipts maximum rate.
- Distribution: 2% of gross receipts initial rate; percent maximum rate.
- Retailer/Retail microbusiness: 4% of gross receipts initial rate and 6% of gross receipts maximum rate.
The supervisors’ cannabis tax ordinance proposal still requires a public hearing slated for July 10 when supervisors are expected to take official action on the tax ordinance proposal as well as the cannabis health ordinance. The cannabis health ordinance will not appear on the November ballot.
During the supervisor’s proceedings on Tuesday, citizens and supervisors alike were concerned the amount of money the county would raise from a cannabis tax might fall short of the mark in adequately enforcing the law, especially the health ordinance.
Since enactment of Proposition 64 beginning this year, the state has collected only $34 million in tax revenue of the anticipated $175 million. The state is considering shelving a plan to cut the excise tax from 15 percent to 11 percent even though cannabis sales are not as brisk as anticipated.
Board chair Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill said the board should model the tax ordinance measure so that it requires a two-thirds majority voter approval, have an oversight committee and be reviewed yearly for adjustments based on the consumer price index.
“We’re going to impose this tax to cover our costs,” said District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville, who represents a district where a number of citizens have aired widespread opposition to Proposition 64’s implementation.
Shawn Casey of First 5, a pro children’s organization, proposed that the county create with cannabis revenues a fund to aid children harmed by the effects of cannabis.
“I’m in favor of reasonable regulation,” said Vickie Norris of Friends of Proposition 64. “I’m in favor of a tax.” Norris noted Contra Costa’s tax proposal that HdL prepared won’t price out businesses like what occurred in Berkeley which had to scale back its retail sales tax which was 35%.
“The legal market is taking a piece out of the black market,” said HdL’s Mark Lovelace. “Thirty percent of the marijuana remains in the black market.”
Supervisors OK 2018-2019 Budget Proposal
In speedy action, supervisors voted 5-0 in approving a $3.5 billion 2018-2019 recommended budget without public fanfare. Supervisors will officially adopt the budget in September. The spending plan is an increase from $3.1 billion for the current 2017-2018 fiscal year.
482,055 Square Foot North Richmond Warehouse Approved
Without hearing any opposition, supervisors unanimously approved a 482,055 square foot warehouse-distribution project that could create up to 800 jobs in the North Richmond. Construction of the proposed Panattoni Warehouse project at 500 Pittsburg Ave. could get underway in the first quarter of 2019.
District 1 Supervisor John Gioia, who represents the North Richmond development site owned by Redus EL LLC, said the Panattoni Warehouse project is the first of at least two other similar warehouse distribution projects that are in the pipeline that will come before the supervisors in the near future.
Gioia refused to provide details about the other two warehouse-distribution projects.
“This is just not a warehouse,” the supervisor said. Upon commenting how the North Richmond area is in a stage of transition from residential to warehouse, the supervisor said, “North Richmond has become ground zero for the fulltime warehouse area that is patterned after AMAZON, the type of company the gets products out sooner.”
In approving the project at Pittsburg Avenue and Richmond Parkway, supervisors approved a number of “traffic calming measures” in order to minimize the environmental impacts from more than 100 truck trips during peak period AM and PM periods. Those traffic calming measures include “chokers and bulbouts.”
The developer will install solar power and plant 200 trees to replace 21 old trees that need to removed from the project site. A 1.3-acre area site has been designated for a gas station with a mini-mart that will be constructed sometime after the warehouse-distribution building is constructed.Read More
First pre-primary endorsement of non-incumbent candidate since Schwarzenegger in 2003
San Diego — Leading Republican Secretary of State candidate Mark Meuser is the first non-incumbent statewide candidate to earn the endorsement of the California Republican Party (CAGOP) at this past weekend’s convention in San Diego. Meuser is a Constitution and election law attorney from Clayton.
Meuser earned the endorsement with a vote of 803-51, something that has not been accomplished since former Governor Schwarzenegger received the party’s endorsement in 2003.
“The CAGOP recognized the importance of addressing increasingly-severe voter integrity issues throughout California,” said Meuser. “I take this endorsement very seriously and will take this critical message to the voters of California.”
He was the only Republican candidate who met the qualifications for consideration of an endorsement for Secretary of State by the CAGOP.
Meuser’s priority is to guide the Secretary of State’s office out of the antiquated 19th Century and into the 21st Century. The people of California deserve an open and accessible government that works for them, not against them.
California needs a Secretary of State who will fight to protect the rights of citizens to vote and petition their government. California needs a Secretary of State who will restore the people’s confidence in open, secure, and fair elections. California needs a Secretary of State who will utilize the knowledge and experience of Silicon Valley to modernize the way businesses register in the State.
To learn more about Meuser, please visit his website at www.MarkMeuser.com.Read More
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
On Saturday, May 5, 2018, at approximately 2:11 PM, Contra Costa County Marine Patrol Deputy Sheriffs responded to a report of a body on the levee at False River near the San Joaquin River. Deputies arrived on scene a short time later and recovered the body.
The Coroner’s Division took custody of the male body. He was later positively identified as 39-year-old Johnson Ng of Daly City. Ng is the missing boater who fell from a vessel on April 28, 2018.
According to an ABC7 news report, “Initial reports from deputies said two men were on a boat trying to set an anchor to start fishing when a wake came along. The wake hit the boat, the men fell off and they did not have life jackets on, according to sheriff’s officials. A passing boat rescued one of the men.”
An autopsy will be held to determine the cause of death.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More