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.
Along with so many national politicians these days, special education teacher (and non-politician) Jordan Rice is looking for many votes. But as all political parties will agree, Rice’s campaign is certainly worthy of everyone’s votes, because her “platform” will empower the special-needs students at her Turner Elementary Special Education School, in Antioch.
Due to her creative vision and impressive application, Rice is now a finalist of the 2016 Farmer Insurance’s Dream Big Challenge, under the $100,000 grant category. Out of hundreds of applicants, her Safety Town project is now a finalist, along with 14 other nation-wide submissions. When all of the national votes are tabulated at the end of this month, six of the fifteen $100,000 projects will be funded.
About Safety Town:
“Safety Town is a different and creative way to motivate and engage students who have significant learning needs,” says Rice. Housed on the school’s campus, Safety Town will be a miniature town that will feature about eight small playhouses that the students and adults can enter inside. Each playhouse will be designed as a miniature bank, police station, fire station, school, grocery store, etc. Safety Town reinforces concepts that begin in the classroom, by bringing them to life in a new relatable environment. This setting closely resembles one that they will encounter in the real word and allows for easier generalization, or transition, of the skills learned in class. “For example, the grocery store will include learning objectives such as money concepts, answering wh- questions, sorting, colors, matching, and collaborative learning.”
For additional information about Rice’s project, please view this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn7ppxWNYDc
About the Election:
As of October 1, 2016, those who would like to vote for Safety Town coming to Turner School can now do so. Everyone who is 18-years or older can cast their vote once a day, from the same email address. The online votes can be made, through October 31, at https://www.farmers.com/thank-americas-teachers/vote-for-a-teacher/vote-100k-proposal.
Remember, there are no district precincts in this national vote.
“Please vote for our Safety Town proposal. It will give our students the resources and skills they need to become meaningful and engaged active participants in our community,” Rice added.
Washington, D.C. – On Monday, September 26, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09), who serves on both the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, introduced legislation to increase broadband internet access for veterans. The Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016 (H.R. 6165) directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate a Notice of Inquiry examining veterans’ current access to broadband internet service and what can be done to increase access, with a focus on low-income veterans and veterans residing in rural areas.
“Broadband access is critical for the more than 20 million veterans living across the nation, with the highest population in California. Broadband access enables veterans to more easily apply for jobs and obtain necessary vocational training, connect with family and friends, get important information about their benefits and military records, and access health care services. Veterans, who fight tirelessly to protect our country, face many challenges when they return home. Not having internet access makes what is already an incredibly difficult transition process even harder,” said Rep. McNerney.
Veterans living below the federal poverty level or in rural areas are less likely to have broadband access. According to the Pew Research Center, less than half of Americans living below the federal poverty level have broadband internet access at home. Analysis by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce further finds that internet adoption in rural areas is lower than in urban areas.
“It is critical that we find ways to ensure that the more than 1.4 million veterans living below the federal poverty level and the 5.3 million veterans residing in rural communities have broadband access,” said Rep. McNerney. “By directing the FCC to examine current broadband access for veterans and what can be done to increase it, the Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act will pave the way for getting more veterans online. By further directing the FCC to focus on veterans residing below the federal poverty line and in rural areas, my bill will help make sure these veterans are not left behind.”
Congressman Jerry McNerney represents California’s 9th Congressional District which includes portions of Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.
Endorsed by Assemblyman Frazier, Brentwood Police Officers’ Association, County Prosecutors’ Association and Antioch community leader Iris Archuleta
With absentee ballots getting mailed out next week, Brentwood City Councilmember Steve Barr wanted to inform the public that he is running a strong campaign for County Supervisor, displaying his commitment to using tax dollars responsibly, and share some of his key endorsements.
Barr, who was the top vote getter in the primary election, is currently in a runoff that will be decided November 8th. As a Brentwood City Councilman he has made both fiscal responsibility and public safety top priorities.
“I decided to run for Supervisor because there is a lot of important work that needs to be done regionally such as providing regional public safety resources, making sure East County gets its fair share of transportation funding, andhelping our agricultural community,” said Barr. “And we need to do this in a fiscally responsible way, making sure we have money saved for when there’s the next recession or downturn.”
Barr has many accomplishments as both a City Councilmember and former School Board Trustee. From building the new Brentwood Dispatch Center that will improve public safety regionally, to helping manage a roads and paving program that was voted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission as the best in the Bay Area, Barr has found ways to provide great service while cutting excess, pushing community priorities, and saving money. This was a big part of why Barr earned the endorsement of the East Bay Times.
Barr’s direct style and honesty has helped him accomplish a lot, and it also has earned him the support of many individuals and leaders throughout the District. The Brentwood Police Officers’ Association, the County Prosecutors’ Association, and many other community leaders, organizations, and elected officials from across the district have all joined up to support Barr because they know he is someone they can always work with, even if they disagree.
“Steve’s openness, willingness to listen and his ability to be upfront and honest in his responses are refreshing,” said community leader Iris Archuleta. “He doesn’t pretend to know everything, but is clearly caring enough to learn.”
Assemblymember Jim Frazier agreed.
“Steve is a true leader who doesn’t crave the spotlight, but shows up for the tough assignments, is very direct and honest, and uses his financial skills to make sure our tax dollars are spent wisely,” Frazier stated. “He is the leader I trust and know everyone can work with.”
Barr responded to the comments.
“I appreciate the support of law enforcement and community leaders,” he said. “I look forward to working with them to improve things in our county.”
Barr’s background includes being a small business owner for 35 years and a former Liberty Union High School District Trustee. He is married, and he and his wife have two children.
Contra Costa County’s 3rd Supervisorial District includespart of Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Byron, Knightsen, Bethel Island, Diablo, Blackhawk, and Tassajara. Please visit www.SteveBarrForSupervisor.com for more information about the campaign.
A press release from County Supervisor Federal Glover’s office on Friday, provided the following information regarding the challenges facing and what transpired during an attempted inspection by Glover and other county officials in August, of the Bay Point Homeless Recover Shelter of Love-A-Child Missions.
The clock is ticking for Love-A-Child Ministries, a privately run shelter for women and children in Bay Point.”
“If necessary, the county is prepared to assist in making arrangements for housing” for the women and children currently living at Love-A-Child, said Supervisor Federal Glover.
The shelter’s executive director, Jerome Knott has defaulted on $216,000 loaned to Love-A-Child by the Sacramento-based Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Fund. The (Contra Costa) county is not a party to this financial transaction. In addition, the privately run shelter owes over $100,000 in back taxes and other debts.
At stake are the 70 beds and the people currently living at the shelter, who through no fault of their own, are in danger of losing their shelter.
After reaching an agreement with Knott for an August 10 inspection, Nehemiah and county officials, including Supervisor Federal Glover, attempted to inspect the facility only to meet resistance from Knott and his staff. Knott was emphatic – at one point shouting at Glover – that he would not allow the visit to continue as planned.
Fearing that the situation could get out of hand, Glover asked that (Sheriff’s) deputies be sent to the facility.
“The officers showed up within minutes,” said David Fraser, the supervisor’s chief of staff, who was among the visitors.
Fraser also pointed out that in order to avoid a confrontation, Nehemiah needed to obtain a court order, which the deputies would then be able to enforce.
The Nehemiah representative agreed to that procedure and the visitors, which included the county’s homeless services director and a Building Code Inspector, left the facility. Nehemiah plans to conduct an inspection of the facilities in October and start the process of foreclosure.
The lender agreed to work with the county so that the people currently living there will not have to seek alternative housing or move their belongings.
Since Love-A-Child has had numerous building code infractions in the past, there is a possibility the current facility might not meet the county’s health and safety standards for a shelter.
“There is a dire need for shelter beds in our county,” said Glover. “We don’t want to see the women and children become homeless because of the poor financial decisions by Love-A-Child’s operators.”
For more information about Love-A-Child Missions and their Bay Point shelter, visit www.loveachildmissions.org.
The 76-acre Hanson Hills property on the eastern slopes of Mt. Diablo, will become part of the future Deer Valley Regional Park, extending the park’s southern boundary to Marsh Creek Road. The East Bay Regional Park District purchased the former ranch land, located south of Antioch and west of Brentwood, from Save Mount Diablo for $730,000, its appraised fair market value. East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy contributed $547,500 toward the cost and funds from Measure WW covered the remainder.
“This beautiful property will be a tremendous asset for generations of East Bay residents,” said Park District Board Member Diane Burgis, whose ward includes the Hanson Hills property. “It’s also a critical part of the Marsh Creek watershed. We’re thrilled to be able to protect this ecologically sensitive area forever.”
The property encompasses canyons and ridges covered with blue-oak forests and native grasslands, as well as a seasonal stream that drains to Marsh Creek. The ridgetops provide panoramic views of Mt. Diablo, the Marsh Creek corridor and Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. It’s also home to eagles, hawks, coyotes, mountain lions, deer, foxes and other species. The acquisition secures important land links that provide habitat for a number of special status species including the California red-legged frog and Alameda whipsnake.
The acquisition represents an important piece in long-term efforts to preserve land around Mount Diablo. Save Mount Diablo acquired the property from the Hanson Family in April, 2014. The Hanson children, now all in their 80’s, remember fishing for steelhead with their grandfather in Marsh Creek, just across the road, and camping out on warm nights atop the tallest hill. It was important to the family that the land they love so dearly be protected forever.
Ted Clement, executive director of Save Mount Diablo, spoke to the importance of partnerships in conserving land in the region.
“We are thrilled to help ensure the permanent protection of 76-acre Hanson Hills through our partnerships with the East Bay Regional Park District and the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy,” Clement said. “With this transaction not only have we preserved essential wildlife habitat and ensured the protection of a strategic parcel that can later support outdoor public recreation and education, but we have also generated funds to protect more lands around Mount Diablo.”
“This acquisition is another positive step for conservation in east Contra Costa County,” said Pittsburg Councilman Salvatore Evola, chair of the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy board. “It is valuable to have a local land trust, the East Bay Regional Park District and the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy working together to conserve valuable landscapes for species while also providing park and recreation opportunities for the growing population.”
The land will remain closed to the public (“land banked”) until the Deer Valley Regional Park Land Use Plan is completed.
Save Mount Diablo is a non-profit 501(c)(3) conservation organization, which has been preserving lands on and around Mount Diablo and educating the public to the mountain’s natural values since 1971. Preserved lands have increased from 6,788 acres in one park to more than 110,000 acres in more than 40 parks and preserves. Save Mount Diablo continues to preserve, defend and restore the remainder of the mountain for people and wildlife to enjoy. Contact: Save Mount Diablo, telephone: (925) 947-3535, fax: (925) 947-0642, 1901 Olympic Blvd., Suite 320, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; www.SaveMountDiablo.org
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 120,700 acres in 65 parks including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning. www.ebparks.org
For information, please contact East Bay Regional Park District public information supervisor Carolyn Jones at (510) 544-2217, email@example.com.
Detectives from the Sexual Assault Unit of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Investigation Division have arrested 21-year-old Lafayette Thomas of San Francisco following an investigation.
Alleged acts of molestation that occurred in August in unincorporated Oakley were brought to the attention of the Office of the Sheriff. Detectives immediately launched an investigation and confirmed them. Thomas was arrested last Thursday, September 22, 2016.
Thomas was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on three counts of child molestation and one count of sexual battery. He is being held in lieu of $205,000 bail.
Thomas, who lives on Treasure Island, is known to frequent parks in San Francisco, including Golden Gate Park. Detectives believe there may be additional victims. Thomas is known to inappropriately contact children in parks.
Anyone with any information is asked to call (925) 313-2625. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
On Thursday night, September 22, in an energy-filled and packed Concord Hilton banquet room, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata, announced Shauna Hawes, of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and Gina Minder-Maldonado of the Oakley Union Elementary School District as the 2016-2017 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year.
Shauna Hawes teaches computer applications/technology to grades 6-8 at Valley View Middle School, in Pleasant Hill. The 18-year teacher has been with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District during her entire teaching career. Prior to her current position, Hawes taught 6th grade core (English, history, and reading) at Valley View. Before coming to Valley View, she taught 5th grade (all subjects) at Hidden Valley Elementary, in Martinez, from 1998-2007.
“I have worked closely with Shauna Hawes for the past several years,” says Foothill Middle School teacher Margaret Elliott. “Shauna does not work for awards or accolades, but simply to inspire and impact all those she comes in contact with each day. She believes that all students should have the same opportunities that her students have. Shauna is what you could call ‘open-source.’”
Gina Minder-Maldonado has recently begun her 26th year of teaching. For the past 18 years, Minder-Maldonado has taught at Oakley Elementary School, in Oakley. Currently teaching 2nd grade, Minder-Maldonado’s former teaching experience includes preschool through 5th, as well as adult education.
“For the last 25 years, Gina Minder-Maldonado has challenged the students in Oakley to dream big, do the best they can each and every day, and treat one another with kindness and respect,” said Oakley Union Elementary School District Assistant Anne Allen. “Her classroom is a magical place – a place where children and adults to go to breathe in an environment that makes learning anything possible, celebrating mistakes normal, and creating independent thinkers a goal.
Their pathways to becoming this year’s Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year:
After both teachers were named Teacher of the Year by their school districts, last March, Hawes and Minder-Maldonado successfully proceeded, with the other 17 eligible county candidates, through a rigorous countywide selection process, including an application screening, classroom evaluation and interview, and speech presentation. Their fellow finalists were Summer Rodriguez, Liberty Union High School District (Liberty High) and Joyce Rooks, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, (Creekside Elementary).
The impressively large audience was made up of the TOYs’ family members and friends, as well as numerous local educators, business partners, and elected official representatives. Kicking off the festivities were three songs performed by the tremendous Hillview Junior High Jazz Band. The Pittsburg school’s 23-piece band was led by their teacher Diane Klaczynski. Klaczynski is a former Pittsburg Unified School District Teacher of the year.
The evening also featured Sakata introducing the TOY class of 2016-2017, individually on stage, as she shared with the audience her visits to each of the teachers’ classrooms and the comments their students gave her about their teachers. In addition, each honored teacher told the audience about which teacher inspired them to follow a career in education. This was followed by speeches of the four TOY finalists on the topic: “What I have learned from my students.” After the finalists’ speeches were given, Sakata announced the two Teachers of the Year.
Hawes and Minder-Maldonado will now compete with all the other California county representatives in the California State TOY competition. The California State Teachers of the Year are expected to be announced in early October. The county TOY program is coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education.
For additional info and a complete list of this year’s TOYS, visit the CCCOE’s Teacher of the Year Web page.
The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office has filed formal charges against 31-year-old Gregory Williamson of Ohio in connection with a home invasion robbery that occurred in Bay Point on Tuesday. The charges include kidnapping, home invasion robbery, and two counts of assault with a firearm.
On Tuesday, at about 1:41 PM, Deputy Sheriffs responded to the 100 block of Crivello Avenue in Bay Point for a report of a shooting. When Deputies arrived, they found a gunshot victim outside the location. It was later determined that he was one of two suspects who had apparently come to the location to commit an armed robbery. He was later identified as Williamson.
Williamson and another suspect allegedly committed the robbery after kidnapping the homeowner at gunpoint in her driveway and forcing her into the home. Several of the occupants in the home were tied up and forced into a room.
During the robbery, gunfire was exchanged. One of the occupants in the home was allegedly shot by the suspects. His wounds were not life-threatening and he was treated and released from the hospital.
Williamson was located outside the home suffering from a gunshot wound and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. He was arraigned this afternoon and will be transferred to the Martinez Detention Facility upon release from the hospital.
One suspect remains outstanding at this time. The investigation into this incident is ongoing.
Anyone who has any information on this incident is asked to immediately contact the Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email:email@example.com or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.