U.C. Berkeley announced, Wednesday that it has joined forces with Richmond-based CyberTran International (CTI), Stantec, a global architecture and engineering firm, and a group of small businesses to apply jointly to the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change grant competition. The grant would finance the development of the rapid, Ultra Light Rail Transit (ULRT) system technology pioneered by CTI.
UC Berkeley’s Partners in Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) has decades of experience in the automated vehicle field.
“We can definitely apply our automated vehicle system technology to ULRT,” said researcher Xiao-Yun Lu.
“ULRT has the potential to revolutionize how we travel and commute,” said CTI President Dexter Vizinau. “Automated rail shuttles that travel in a network up to speeds of over 100 mph will reduce the cost of building and maintaining transit systems while greatly increasing convenience and providing an alternative sustainable mode to today’s congested highways and roads, and reducing toxic emissions.”
The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s grant program, launched in June, will award only one grant applicant a year of $100 million. It is a “competition…to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time,” according to the organization’s website.
“Solving society’s most pressing problems isn’t easy, but we believe it can be done,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Potential solutions may go unnoticed or under resourced and are waiting to be brought to scale. Every three years, we plan to award $100 million to help make one of these solutions a reality. Through 100&Change, we want to inspire, encourage, and support other people’s ideas, here in our hometown Chicago, across the nation and around the world, about how to address major challenges and enable real progress toward a solution.”
“We believe that 100&Change can have a ripple effect beyond what a single $100 million grant enables,” said Cecilia Conrad, MacArthur’s Managing Director leading the competition. “Setting audacious goals is inspiring. Clear evidence of impact can encourage other funders to invest in solvable problems more broadly, and applicants who do not receive the $100 million grant will still receive valuable feedback on and attention to their ideas.”
“These funds will help us to bring this very important technology to market at low, medium and 100-plus miles per hour speed applications. Our team is ably skilled to succeed in introducing this radically innovative and effective technology to the globe,” said Neil Sinclair, CTI’s Chairman. “We are very happy to be teaming with UC Berkeley’s PATH group along with the rest of the team on this project.”
ULRT is a computer operated on-demand and direct-to-destination transit system using individual rail shuttles. Studies have shown the system to cost an order of magnitude less to build and operate. It was originated at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory. The program proposal is a three year $100M project resulting in the completion of the commercialization of the technology. CTI engineers compare ULRT to the Internet. Vehicles travel under computer control to off-line stations based on real time passenger demand. The demand can come from passengers in stations pushing a button, or through smart phone pre-scheduling.
CyberTran International’s offices are located at the UC Berkeley Global Campus Richmond Bay, in Richmond, California. For more information on CyberTran, visit www.cybertran.com. For more information on the 100&Change Competition, click here.
As a matter of disclosure, the publisher of this website is a part owner of a company with a financial interest in CyberTran International, Inc.
Company creates “Call to Action” during Breast Cancer Awareness Month for EMCOR’s 8th Annual “Protect Yourself. Get Screened Today” campaign
Performance Mechanical, Inc. (PMI) of Pittsburg, proudly announces that 40 of its construction workers at various job sites throughout the area are wearing EMCOR Pink Hard Hats in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as a “Call to Action” supporting breast cancer screening and awareness as part of EMCOR’s 8th Annual “Protect Yourself. Get Screened Today.” campaign. PMI employees will be seen by scores of people as they work at a host of client locations, ranging from commercial and healthcare, to manufacturing and industrial facilities.
A market leader in industrial mechanical contracting services, Performance Mechanical, Inc. is a subsidiary of EMCOR Group, Inc. (NYSE: EME), a Fortune 500® leader in mechanical and electrical construction, industrial and energy infrastructure, and building services for a diverse range of businesses.
“This is EMCOR’s 8th consecutive year of spearheading the national Pink Hard Hat initiative. Over the years people have come forward to say they believe this unique way of raising awareness of the importance of breast cancer screening has had a positive impact on their own lives or that of a
loved one,” stated Andy Hosler, President & CEO, Performance Mechanical, Inc. “Many of our employees wear hard hats on a daily basis for personal protection, and we’re proud of their commitment to wear an EMCOR/Performance Mechanical Hard Hat in October to raise awareness for breast cancer, reminding women and men they can help protect themselves by getting screened.”
PMI employees will be joined by thousands of additional EMCOR employees nationally wearing Pink Hard Hats during October at hundreds of work sites, ranging from hospitals to bridges, malls to military bases, and data centers to refineries.
The “multiplier effect” continues as even more people are reached with the “Protect Yourself. Get Screened Today.” message when EMCOR employees take the Pink Hard Hats home each night and they are seen by spouses, daughters, sisters, neighbors, and many others.
Millions more people will be reached nationally by EMCOR’s fleet of 7,000+ service vehicles, including PMI vehicles, which are displaying Pink Hard Hat posters during October with the “Protect Yourself. Get Screened Today.” campaign message.
Visit EMCOR’s Pink Hard Hat site: http://www.emcorgroup.com/pinkhardhat
About Performance Mechanical, Inc.
Founded in 1985, Performance Mechanical, Inc. (PMI) is a full-service industrial mechanical contractor providing process piping and equipment installation, civil, structural, instrumentation, and boiler installation and repair to electrical generating plants, food and beverage producers, pipeline compressor and metering stations, manufacturing facilities and water treatment plants. PMI’s expertise also includes mechanical maintenance service for industrial turnarounds and maintenance for refineries, terminals, and chemical plants. Headquartered in Pittsburg, California, PMI is a subsidiary of EMCOR Group, Inc. (NYSE: EME), a Fortune 500 company with estimated 2016 revenues of ~$7.4B. EMCOR is a leader in mechanical and electrical construction, industrial and energy infrastructure, and building services. A provider of critical infrastructure systems, EMCOR gives life to new structures and sustains life in existing ones by its planning, installing, operating, maintaining, and protecting the sophisticated and dynamic systems that create facility environments—such as electrical, mechanical, lighting, air conditioning, heating, security, fire protection, and power generation systems—in virtually every sector of the economy and for a diverse range of businesses, organizations and government. EMCOR represents a rare combination of broad reach with local execution, combining the strength of an industry leader with the knowledge and care of 170 locations. The ~33,000 skilled employees of EMCOR have made the company, in the eyes of leading business publications, amongst the “World’s Most Admired” and “Best Managed”. EMCOR’s diversity—in terms of the services it provides, the industries it serves and the geography it spans—has enabled it to create a stable platform for sustained results. The Company’s strong financial position has enabled it to attract and retain among the best local and regional talent, to undertake and complete the most ambitious projects, and to redefine and shape the future of the construction and facilities services industry. Additional information on EMCOR can be found at www.EMCORGroup.com.
Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) is co-sponsoring two free learning opportunities this month for businesses in Assembly District 11.
On Thursday, Oct. 13, business owners and operators can gain expert advice about worker’s compensation and paid sick leave laws during a Link and Learn session co-sponsored by the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce. Representatives from the California Department of Industrial Relations will lead the workshop, which will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Chamber office, 985 Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg. Register online at http://bit.ly/LinkLearn.
On Wednesday, Oct. 19, a Small Business Seminar & Resource Expo will be presented by the California State Board of Equalization from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.) at the Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak Street in Brentwood.
With a theme of “Strategies for Success in Today’s Economy,” the seminar will cover such topics as sales and use taxes; loan programs; forms of ownership; record-keeping; how to distinguish an employee from an independent contractor; and resources for marketing.
Invited presenters include the California State Board of Equalization; the U.S. Small Business Administration; California’s Employment Development Department and Franchise Tax Board; the Internal Revenue Service; the Small Business Development Center; and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
In addition to Frazier, the Small Business Seminar is co-sponsored by State Board of Equalization Members Fiona Ma and George Runner; Brentwood Mayor Robert Taylor, and the City of Brentwood. Register online at www.boe.ca.gov/seminars or by calling 1-888-847-9652.
For more information about either event, call Assemblymember Frazier’s office at 925-513-0411.
To contact Assemblymember Jim Frazier please visit his website at www.asmdc.org/frazier or call his District Office at 925-513-0411. Follow him on Facebook and “Like” him for updates on events and happenings in the 11th AD.
The Contra Costa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is conducting interviews of candidates in the November election throughout the county. The completed videos can be viewed on the group’s Facebook page or heard on SoundCloud.
Below is a list of the candidates who are participating in the video interviews and the release status of their videos.
“We’re aiming to get all the videos released before the ballots hit the mailboxes and Early Voting/Absentee Voting By Mail begins on October 10th,” said Evodio “Vo” Walle, President-elect and Chair, Government Affairs Committee of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Contra Costa County,
|Anamarie Avila Farias||Interview Pending|
|Federal Glover||Interview Pending|
|Ben Johnson||Interview Pending|
|Harmesh Kumar||Video Released|
|Carlyn Obringer||Release Pending|
|Edi Birsan||Video Released|
|Pablo Benavente||Video Released|
|Cesar Zepeda||Release Pending|
|Jael Myrick||Interview Pending|
|Catherine Baker||Interview Pending|
|Cheryl Cook-Kalio||Release Pending|
|Lamar Thorpe||Release Pending|
|Frederick Rouse||Interview Pending|
|Juan Banales||Release Pending|
|Jelani Killings||Release Pending|
|Wade Harper||Release Pending|
|Mister Phillips||Interview Pending|
|Sean Wright||Interview Pending|
|Cherise Khaund||Interview Pending|
|Fernando Sandoval||Interview Pending|
|Mary Rocha||Interview Pending|
|Carlos Taboada||Interview Pending|
|Antonio Medrano||Interview Pending|
|Laura Canciamilla||Interview Pending|
For more information about the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce visit www.hc5.org.
Sacramento, CA – On Wednesday, September 14, Governor Brown signed into law AB 326 by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley), which sets a 30-day deadline that the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) must reimburse a collateral deposit by an employer in a Division of Labor Standards Enforcement prevailing wage dispute.
“I applaud the Governor for signing AB 326 to bring fairness to the prevailing wage dispute process,” said Frazier. “As a former general contractor, I know first-hand that tying up cash can place innocent employers in jeopardy of losing their business or creating financial hardship.”
Current law requires that in cases where a contractor has been accused of prevailing wage violations, the contractor must post a cash deposit with the DIR equivalent to the full amount of the assessment plus penalties. AB 326 would ensure that the contractor is reimbursed in a timely manner.
“We cannot thank Assemblymember Frazier enough for stepping up on this issue,” said Tom Holsman, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of California. “There have been instances when contractors have not received their cash deposits back for months, even though a settlement had been arrived at, or the contractor had been fully exonerated.”
AB 326 had the support of the Associated General Contractors of California and San Diego, Associated Builders & Contractors of California, Construction Employers’ Association, Southern California Contractors Association, and California Association of Specialty Contractors. This bill passed through the Legislature with widespread bipartisan support and will become effective on January 1, 2017.
Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.
By Allen Payton
As a Registered Nurse for 35 years, Constance Tolbert knows what it means to serve the needs of others. She got an early start in health care by serving as a candy striper while a school girl in Connecticut.
“She was born to care for people,” said husband and co-owner James.
Her service in the Army Nurse Corps brought her to California in 1982 when she went on active duty. Then, after being in the reserves, her medical unit, the 6253rd, was activated and transferred to the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm in 1990. Constance served in Fort Carson, Colorado, replacing a nurse who had been deployed.
After briefly retiring in 2013 from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, she wasn’t done helping others and chose to work as a traveling nurse for a year.
Then in 2015, after being inspired by her mother who had owned a residential care facility for the elderly, Constance and James chose to buy a franchise of Seniors Helping Seniors.
“It was divine intervention,” Constance said. “We liked the mission of the company, which is based on Mother Teresa’s life work of serving others.”
The founder of Seniors Helping Seniors, Karen Yocom had worked with the soon to be Catholic Saint for 14 years in India.
“What also inspired us to go with this company is they have a different marketing model to reach seniors,” James shared. “Based on our previous work at our church, everyone we dealt with there were seniors. So, we liked the idea of hiring seniors to help other seniors.”
Their definition of senior is anyone age 50 or over for both the caregivers and the clients.
Since starting their franchise, which covers a territory of Concord to Discovery Bay, and including all East County communities, they’ve grown to a multi-cultural staff of 40. They include seniors from Puerto Rico, Guam, Fiji and Philippines, as well as others who are Japanese, African American, Hispanic and Caucasian.
“We can provide a caregiver so that people can be cared by those from their same culture,” Constance said.
“We cover the rainbow,” said James, who adds his years of experience and Masters Degree in organizational management. He’s also an Air Force veteran who currently works for the U.S. Department of Labor.
Most of the caregivers work part-time, as they’re either retired or in their second careers. Their clients range in age from as old as 98 and some as young as age 52.
“We try to match clients with senior caregivers with similar life experiences,” said James. “We had one client who was a Gulf War veteran. So, we were able to match her with a caregiver who is a fellow veteran and knows all about the VA in Martinez.”
They have a special program for low-income, military veterans or their spouses, called VetAssist which taps the Aid & Attendance benefits they qualify for.
“We’re able to access those benefits, quicker than if they were left to just go through the VA system,” James shared. “That could take six to eight months. We’re able to get it done in one or two months.”
“It’s critical for us to provide services to veterans, because they’re a forgotten group,” Constance said. “It’s definitely an honor for us to serve our fellow war time veterans who served this country.”
The services Seniors Helping Seniors provide include companionship, meal preparation, transportation for doctor appointments and others, light housekeeping, personal grooming and dressing, medications, showering assistance, and respite care for the main, family caregivers. Some seniors they serve have permanent disabilities, such as those who are blind, have dementia or are amputees, and are not ambulatory. Some younger seniors need help for temporary disabilities due to accidents, surgeries or injury.
“We have a transition program with hospitals, to reduce the readmission rate,” James shared.
“If a Medicare patient is readmitted within a 30-day period for the same diagnosis, they are responsible to pay the costs,” Constance explained. “With in-home care we are able to help them stay at home with the needed care, with such things as medication reminders, and proper nutrition. That’s critical, because so many who forget to take their medicine or don’t eat right, end up getting readmitted to the hospital.”
“Those costs can be as much as $5,000 a day,” she added.
“We’re able to help them avoid spending their savings and borrowing from their retirement account,” James said. “They could pay $30,000 at the hospital or just a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, with us. Plus, they’ll have someone who will provide them one-on-one care.”
The rates for the services of Seniors Helping Seniors are $26 to $28 per hour with a minimum of two hours per day, based on care needs. They also offer overnight stays and 24-hour care, seven days a week.
The Tolberts are also able to reach outside of their franchise territory to serve those who aren’t currently being served by a franchisee, such as in Martinez, and even San Joaquin Valley cities like Tracy, Manteca and Modesto.
Should you, a loved one or other senior you know have a need for in-home care, contact Seniors Helping Seniors 24-hours a day at (925) 698-6145 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free RN consultation and assessment. They are bonded, insured and licensed with the State of California, and are in compliance with the new regulations that went into effect as of January, this year. For more information visit their website at www.seniorcarebrentwoodca.com.
It is a great outdoor music festival and street fair. It is family friendly, has great arts and crafts, food, beer, wine and live entertainment. Stroll through a shady street, enjoying the food and wine, shopping the great arts and craft vendors while enjoying wonderful music, with two stages to choose from.
The Sugartown festival features two stages with well known artists. Seating and dancing spaces are available.
Lagunitas Brewing Company is the choice beer at the Lagunitas beer gardens. Wine and icey cold Margaritas are also sold to quench your thirst.
See the Arts Calendar at AC5.org for more information.
FContact the Crockett Chamber of Commerce at either P.O. Box 191, Crockett, CA 94525 or by calling 510-787-1155.
Nearly two hundred people joined the East Bay Leadership Council (EBLC) in Concord on Friday to celebrate the 16th Annual Small Business Awards in conjunction with National Small Business Week.
The Awards were hosted by the EBLC, along with Title Sponsor Wells Fargo, and honored twelve small businesses selected by their local Chamber of Commerce that exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship, hard work, and community.
“Today we honor a law firm, two auto shops, a theater company, a pharmacy, a clothing boutique, and many more. Each different but all grounded in the desire to help the community,” said Kristin Connelly, President & CEO of the EBLC. “The diversity represented by these businesses highlight the diversity that makes the East Bay so dynamic.”
See the entire list, below.
Honorees were recognized for inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, enduring a recession thanks to sheer determination and brilliant marketing, providing much needed services to the vulnerable, bringing world class performances to our backyard, getting to know each of their customers by name, serving the best pasta in town, and caring deeply for the communities they serve.
We are thankful to have many innovative businesses and growing opportunities here in the East Bay—something recognized by Alex Wilcox, the CEO of JetSuite, who provided the event’s keynote address.
JetSuite X, the newly-established program of JetSuite, chose Concord’s Buchanan Field as the location to help launch their new service.
“By far, the East Bay opened its arms the widest,” said Wilcox. “The community made clear that they wanted JetSuite X here and they did everything they could to help us bring commercial flights to Concord after more than 20 years.”
Congressman Mark DeSaulnier also took the stage and shared his unique perspective as both a longtime elected official and a former small business owner.
“Small businesses create more than 50 percent of the jobs in California, but they are also a very important part of the cohesiveness of a healthy community,” said Congressman DeSaulnier as he reflected on his time managing restaurants across the Bay Area.
The EBLC could not agree more with Congressman DeSaulnier. These determined, creative, and community-driven businesses make the East Bay an incredible place to live and work and we were thrilled to help honor them.
“And though she be little, she be fierce,” said Honoree Susie Falk of the California Shakespeare Theater during her acceptance speech.
A line worth repeating as Small Business Week comes to a close and we continue to honor the small businesses that make such a big difference in our community every day of the year.
ABOUT THE EAST BAY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
The East Bay Leadership Council (EBLC) is a private-sector, public-policy organization that advocates on issues affecting economic vitality and quality of life and represents leaders of business, industry, education, government, and the nonprofit community. For more information visit www.eastbayleadershipcouncil.com.
Winners are selected by local Chambers of Commerce
Brookvale Pharmacy – San Pablo Economic Development Corporation
Comerica Bank of California – Danville Chamber of Commerce
Connolly & Taylor – Martinez Chamber of Commerce
California Shakespeare Theatre – Orinda Chamber of Commerce
De La Housaye & Associates – Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce
La Strada Italian Cuisine – Richmond Chamber of Commerce
Moraga Motors – Moraga Chamber of Commerce
Tower Grille – Concord Chamber of Commerce
UPS Store – Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce
Wealth Management Associates – Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce
Venture Quality Goods – Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
925 Collision Repair – Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) honored ECOlunchbox as the Small Business of the Month for the month of April on Friday, April 22, just in time for Earth Day. ECOlunchbox was founded in 2009 by Sandra Ann Harris of Lafayette with the mission of helping people reduce their dependence on plastics by providing an ecofriendly alternative to the standard plastic lunchware.
“I am pleased to recognize ECOlunchbox as our April Small Business of the Month, and I thank ECOlunchbox founder, Sandra Ann Harris, for contributing to the vitality of our local economy,” said Baker. “Sandra is not only running a highly successful business in our community, she is also leading the way for a cleaner environment by reducing waste from our landfills and oceans one reusable container at a time, and doing so as a mom working from home.”
ECOlunchbox produces non-leaching stainless steel lunchboxes and cotton lunch bags, all of which are plastic- and waste-free. In addition to selling its products online at ecolunchboxes.com, ECOlunchbox uses its website as a resource to share information about the impact plastic has on our planet and advice for families about reducing exposure to toxins found in plastics.
“We’re a small, green, woman-owned social venture based in Lafayette,” said Harris. “What a thrill to get a call that we’re being recognized by Assemblywoman Baker as business of the month. Forward-thinking leaders, like Assemblywoman Baker, know that businesses like ECOlunchbox are good for the economy – as well as for people and planet.”
ECOlunchbox has sold more than 280,000 lunchboxes since it was founded seven years ago on Harris’ kitchen table, and is responsible for averting the use of tens of millions of pieces of plastic trash from use and disposal.
“It’s important we be good stewards of our environment,” Baker added. “Let’s treat every day like it’s Earth Day.”