By Allen Payton
Former Moraga Mayor Ken Chew released his candidate’s statement early, so voters can know why he is running for BART Board in District 3. He is one of three challengers for incumbent Rebecca Saltzman, who is seeking reelection to her second term.
Following is his complete statement:
“We can make BART better. We can make BART safe, clean and run-on time. We can hold the BART Board fiscally responsible and accountable. I will work hard to make this happen.
With over 25 years’ experience as a transportation professional and having served three years on the Moraga Planning Commission before serving eight years as a councilmember, including two years as mayor, I have the expertise and public policy leadership experience to be your BART Director.
BART is an essential system in need of reform in many areas. BART employees are our assets and integral to the success of the entire system under strong leadership with a sound plan.
My top priority is to make stations and trains safe and welcoming with adequate staffing and training to transform BART stations to be clean, service-oriented and vibrant. I will pursue full staffing of BART police, and then push for smart technology solutions to force multiply their abilities on public safety effectiveness. For the few stations that are key opportunity hubs for ‘smart village’ development, I will work with stakeholders to attract community investments to develop transit villages of the 21st century.
Reform requires new leadership characterized by common sense and shared vision. With your votes, we can begin the process of getting BART back on track.”
Chew has the support of over 50 public officials, community leaders and business owners, including four of the five members of the Contra Costa County Supervisors, Candace Andersen, Federal Glover, Karen Mitchoff and Mary Piepho, as well a variety of mayors and council members. For a more extensive list of his endorsements visit www.electkenchew.com/endorsements.html.
District 3 includes the following BART Stations: Bay Fair, Downtown Berkeley, El Cerrito del Norte, El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, Orinda, Rockridge, San Leandro; and all or portions of the following cities and communities: Albany, Ashland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Cherryland, El Cerrito, Kensington, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakland, Orinda, Piedmont, San Lorenzo See map of District 3, here: www.bart.gov/sites/default/files/docs/bart_3.pdf
Chew is a long time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a professional engineer, is married and a father of two children. For more information about his campaign, visit www.electkenchew.com. The election is November 8.Read More
San Ramon – Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) announced that Governor Brown has signed her bill, AB 2486, making it easier for consumers to find and check for a licensed contractor for construction projects.
Under current law, California consumers are required to use a licensed contractor for construction projects costing more than $500. When an unlicensed contractor is used, consumers risk suffering financial loss, costly lawsuits, and shoddy workmanship with little recourse. Regrettably, the Contractor’s State License Board website only allows consumers to search for contractors by name or license number. As a result, consumers cannot utilize the Board’s website to find a licensed contractor. Instead, they can only look up a contractor for whom they already have a name or license number.
AB 2486 fixes this problem and requires the Board to update its website to allow consumers to search for licensed contractors by zip code. This important feature will help make it easier for individuals to find contractors working in their community and prevent consumers from falling victim to the underground economy and unlicensed contractor scams.
“Although it only makes a small change to the Contractors State License Board website, AB 2486 will have a significant impact on improving consumer protection and access to important information,” said Assemblywoman Baker. “At the four Senior Fraud Seminars we’ve hosted throughout the District, constituents made it loud and clear that they want easier ways to search for and screen contractors in order to avoid and detect scams from unlicensed contractors. Making government serve more efficiently is what I’m about, and I’m so pleased that this bill has been signed.”
When unlicensed contractors are used, they provide increased risk to consumers, undercut lawful employers, and contribute to the state’s unsafe and unlawful underground economy. The Franchise Tax Board estimates that the underground economy costs the state $10 billion annually in uncollected tax revenue. AB 2486 will help combat the use of unlicensed contractors in the underground economy by making it easier for consumers to get information about licensed contractors in their area.
AB 2486 received the support of Associated Builders and Contractors of California, California Landscape Contractors Association, Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange, the California Pool and Spa Association, and the Contractors State License Board.
Prior to being signed by the Governor, AB 2486 received unanimous, bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly.
Baker represents the 16th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.Read More
By Supervisor Federal Glover
FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, the United States suffered the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. 9/11 has become a date that will live in infamy. It is our generation’s equivalent to December 7, 1941. Who can ever forget the jetliners crashing into the New York skyscrapers, bursting into flames, people jumping from the upper stories, the last calls of those trapped inside.
Who can forget the office workers fleeing the burning floors above them and the firemen dragging their hoses with them, going up the stairs towards the flames.
Who can forget the towers toppling down on workers and the heroic first responders? The mayhem, the dust-covered office workers?
Who can forget other firefighters, policemen and other rescue workers going through the debris to find survivors?
Who can forget the people from all across the nation, including some from Contra Costa County, who dropped what they were doing and rushed to New York to help in the rescue efforts?
Who can forget Flight 93’s heroic passengers, including residents of the Bay Area, who fought the terrorists to prevent the jetliner crashing into the White House or Congress even though it meant their certain death?
The deaths of those 3000 people on 9/11 are seared into our collective memories. We will always remember what we were doing and where we were on that fateful morning.
But there is another memory I’ll always keep with me. I’ll remember the American people rallying around the towers, around New York, around the Pentagon and Flight 93 – that was perhaps among the finest hours of America. We didn’t think about the race of the victims or their rescuers. We didn’t ask if they were Democrat, Republican, liberal or conservative, rich or poor. For those few hours, those few weeks, after the horrible acts of terror; we were united as a country, we were all Americans.
That is what I’ll remember.
Glover represents District 5 on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.Read More
Detectives from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff have arrested 22-year-old Nicholas Daigle of Walnut Creek in connection with an alleged lewd conduct incident that occurred at the Alamo Safeway last month.
After the incident, the Office of the Sheriff posted surveillance photos and a video on social media. Several tips came in by phone and email identifying Daigle as the person in the images.
Detectives arrested Daigle at his home Wednesday morning without incident. After being interviewed, he was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on several charges: battery, indecent exposure, sexual battery, and engaging in lewd conduct.
Daigle is currently being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Anyone who has any information on this incident or Daigle is asked to 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.Read More
Detectives from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff are investigating a Deprivation of Custody case.
A relative was recently awarded temporary guardianship of 3-year-old Jahkai Smith by the Contra Costa Superior Court. The child’s father, 25-year-old Jahron Smith, has ignored the court order and refused to turn over the child. Jakhai is considered to be at risk due to age.
Jahkai Smith – Male, 3′ tall, 50 pounds, black hair and brown eyes.
Jahron Najee Smith – Male, 5’11”, 155 pounds, brown hair and brown eyes. Jahron may be in the Bay Point or Antioch areas and has ties to Oakland.
Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Jahkai or Jahron is asked to contact the Investigation Division at (925) 383-9795. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
The alleged suspect in the bank robbery that occurred at the U.S. Bank branch in Lafayette on August 23, 2016 was arrested. He is identified as 55-year-old Robert Keith Dennis of Oroville.
During the investigation, Lafayette police detectives, assisted by the FBI, determined the alleged suspect may be tied to a series of recent bank robberies in Northern California. Bank robberies involving a similar suspect were also being investigated by police in Brentwood, Napa, Roseville, and Sacramento. The Davis Police Department was also investigating an attempted bank robbery allegedly by the same suspect.
On Wednesday, August 31, 2016, an officer with the Butte County Sheriff’s Office saw a law enforcement bulletin with a picture of the alleged bank robbery suspect and was able to identify him as Dennis. He was already in custody in Butte County Jail for a drug violation.
On Thursday, September 1, 2016, Lafayette police detectives served arrest and search warrants at several locations in Oroville. They were assisted by the Napa Police Department, Oroville Police Department and Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Police arrested 47-year-old Elizabeth Fay Morse of Oroville after Napa police detectives were able to confirm her alleged involvement in some the robberies.
Dennis and Morse are currently being held at the Butte County Jail.
Morse was arrested on a Ramey Warrant for robbery and conspiracy. She is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail and will be transferred to Contra Costa County.
Dennis is in custody on unrelated felony drug charges. When he is released from Butte County Jail, he will be arrested on a Ramey Warrant and will be transferred to Contra Costa County.
Please join us and tour the new BART to Antioch Train!
Testing has begun on this new Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) vehicle – you may have already seen it traveling in the center median of Hwy 4.
This is your opportunity to view it in person at a public open house.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
BART’s Antioch Maintenance Facility
End of Slatten Ranch Road (formerly Sunset Drive), Antioch
Just east of the Park & Ride lot at the new Antioch BART Station at Hillcrest Avenue and Sunset Drive, Antioch, CA.
To RSVP please visit: eventbrite.com/e/bart-to-antioch-train-preview-open-house-tickets-27182466489 or call (510) 464-6257.
For more information about the project: http://www.bart.gov/about/projects/eccRead More
The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in a lewd conduct incident that recently occurred at the Safeway grocery store at the Alamo Plaza Shopping Center in Alamo.
On August 22, 2016 at about 9:07 PM, an adult female shopping in the store was followed by a man she did not recognize. At one point, this person masturbated next to the woman in the store aisle. When the woman turned toward the man and questioned him, he quickly left the store.
Please see the video and pictures of the suspect. The video can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se9JqsHV7Iw
He is described as a white male, early 20’s, dark hair, wearing a purple colored top, dark pants and carrying a backpack.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing. Anyone who can identify this suspect or 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.
The DSA was recently made aware of the below incident that occurred in the the City of Orinda, which is patrolled by Deputy Sheriffs. I am sharing this story with you to show Mr. Dewitt our appreciation, not to encourage the citizens of Contra Costa County to put themselves in danger. That being said, Mr. Dewitt thank you for being there for one of our brothers.
August 25, 2016
Mr. Jason Dewitt,
On the afternoon of August 19, 2016, Orinda police officers attempted to contact a subject that had just committed a theft from a local retailer. Officer Ladner began to chase the subject on foot through the Theater Square shopping center. As Officer Ladner closed the distance between himself and the suspect, the suspect decided he would rather fight with Officer Ladner. Rather than continue to run away or comply with Officer Ladner’s lawful orders to stop running and cooperate, the suspect turned around and assaulted Officer Ladner by punching him in the face.
Officer Ladner then engaged in a violent struggle with the suspect, the suspect continuing to physically resist and conceal his hands beneath his body. Officer Ladner was only able to apply his handcuffs to one of the suspect’s hands and was fighting with the suspect, attempting to gain control of the second hand and place him in handcuffs. It was at this point, while enjoying coffee at a nearby restaurant, that you heard the struggle and Officer Ladner’s commands to the suspect.
With complete disregard for your own safety, you approached Officer Ladner; actively fighting with the suspect, and asked if he needed help. Officer Ladner stated, “Yes.” Without hesitation you assisted Officer Ladner in gaining control of the suspect’s free hand and successfully placed him in handcuffs. Your assistance prevented further injury to Officer Ladner. Furthermore, without your assistance, the suspect’s continued fighting and resistance would have likely resulted in Officer Ladner having to escalate his own use of force. Your assistance prevented the escalation of force and likely prevented injury to the suspect.
The actions you took were nothing less than selfless and courageous. You took these actions not knowing if the suspect was armed with a weapon. Additionally, you took these actions not knowing that the suspect you were helping to detain had a long and violent criminal history. The Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association could never express how sincerely grateful we are for your assistance. Your actions are an incredible reminder of our community’s appreciation and support for our services.
Mark Peterson, District Attorney of Contra Costa County, is reminding residents to beware of widespread telephone scams. “The best way to ensure our residents are protected is to make sure they are informed and are skeptical of callers demanding money,” said District Attorney Mark Peterson, “There are many scams out there. The more aware people are of scams in general, the more vigilant they will be.”
Recently reported scams include:
- Calls from a person claiming to be a police officer stating that the victim has an arrest warrant pending and that the victim will be arrested.
- Calls from a person claiming to be a police officer stating that there is a problem with the victim’s Social Security Number or Identification Number and that an officer would be coming to the victim’s home within the hour.
- A “robocall” stating that the local county sheriff will arrest the citizen for criminal violations.
- A phone call from someone pretending to be a family member saying they were arrested or had an emergency while traveling in a foreign country.
- Fake IRS agents are calling taxpayers claiming they owe taxes and must make a payment immediately or risk going to jail, being deported, orlosing theirbusiness or driver’s license.
- Calls threatening the victim with prosecution for failing to comply with a summons for jury service in federal or state courts.
- Calls reporting that there is something wrong with the victim’s computer and the victim should give someone remote access.
During these calls, recipients are pressured to send money or prepaid credit cards, or to provide confidential personal information, which can lead to identity theft and fraud.
These calls can appear legitimate because the scammers may even know the last four digits of the victim’s social security number or other personal information, including a relative’s name.
Generally,the scammers rent or purchase phone numbers in bulk that can, in turn, be used by a software program that automatically dials victims. The scammers’ phone number can either be masked to make it appear that they are calling from the IRS or from local law enforcement, or the scammersuse the numbers for a short period of time and then get new numbers to continue their scams. Unfortunately, this makes the fraudsters difficult to locate and prosecute. Sometimes, the callers are even located outside the United States.
Here’s how to help protect yourself:
- Know that IRS agents usually contact individuals by mail first. They NEVER demand payment by debit card, wire transfer or credit card.
- Know that law enforcement agencies will NEVER ask for payment over the phone or offer to negotiate an outstanding warrant for a reduced payment, in lieu of arrest.
- Ask questions – When you receive a suspicious call, be skeptical and ask for details to find out why the person is calling.
- Verify the answers – If the person is claiming to be a relative, call the relative or their immediate family on a known phone number to verify if they were travelling and if they are ok. If the person is calling from a department or agency, call the public number for the department and see if the person really works there and whether there is really a warrant, etc.
- Never provide your social security number or other personal identifying or financial information to an unsolicited caller.
- Don’t send cash bymessenger, overnight mail, money transfer, or prepaid credit card. If you use cash or a money transfer — rather than a traditional credit card — you may lose your right to dispute fraudulent charges.
- Always check with a loved one or trusted advisor before sending money.
- If you get a call from a scammer, hang up the phone.
- Report scam calls to the Federal Trade Commission (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/) or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
- Report IRS scams to the federal reporting system. The IRS tracks complaints regarding IRS scams and is interested in the information gleaned from those complaints. Make reports at: http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml
For more information on IRS scams, please click here.Read More