Following is a letter from six groups in the county to the members of the Board of Supervisors:
Dear Chairman Glover and Supervisors Andersen, Burgis, Gioia and Mitchoff,
Our community was shocked and angered last week to hear that former District Attorney Mark Peterson pled guilty to felony charges related to the illegal use of campaign funds, leading to his resignation. This unethical and dangerous abuse of power by the elected District Attorney is deeply concerning to us and we write today in the spirit of working to rebuild trust between local government in Contra Costa, including law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office, and the community they are meant to serve.
We believe a critical first step to rebuilding trust is for the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors to engage in a fully transparent and community-centered process for appointing an interim District Attorney.
On behalf of Contra Costa County voters, we urge our Board to commit to a transparent, community-first process in making its selection of an interim District Attorney. In addition, we believe it is important for the Board to only consider applicants who have not filed to run in the June 2018 primary.
The District Attorney is one of the most powerful elected officials in county government and is the most powerful actor in our criminal justice system. The decisions made by the District Attorney impact every county resident, not just those who are directly involved in the criminal justice system. From determining when and what charges to file in individual cases; to making policy decisions that affect local communities as well as county and state budgets; to holding law enforcement accountable for unfair policies and practices, the Contra Costa District Attorney holds significant power and responsibility for the protection of our civil rights and freedoms.
For these reasons and more, it is critically important that our Board protect and uphold the right of the people of Contra Costa County to an inclusive and transparent process for appointment of an interim District Attorney.
In a transparent, community-first process, the Board of Supervisors should consider the following:
- Publicly post a proposed process and timeline for appointment of an interim District Attorney;
- Allow for public comment on the proposed process for appointment, consider comments, and post final process;
- Only consider applications for interim appointment from individuals who are not currently running for District Attorney of Contra Costa County in 2018;
- Solicit applications from lawyers in the community to apply for interim appointment and make submitted applications available for review by the public;
- Hold public hearings at times convenient to working people with commute schedules, to receive input about nominees and other recommendations; and
- Hold a final public hearing to vote for the interim District Attorney.
Due to the recent resignation and guilty plea by former District Attorney Mark Peterson, the people of Contra Costa County deserve transparency and fairness in the appointment of the interim District Attorney. It is incumbent upon the Board to begin to remedy the breakdown of trust between the community and government by taking the lead to ensure a fair and community-first process. We welcome the opportunity to support the efforts of our Board of Supervisors to achieve these very important goals.
Thank you,Read More
Owned restaurants including one in Brentwood
On Friday, June 16, 2017, the Honorable Charles “Ben” Burch sentenced defendants Yu Chen, Feng Gu, and Rongdi Zheng to three years and four months of state prison each and imposed a $6.1-million-dollar restitution order, including restitution for approximately $4.5 million in unpaid minimum wage and overtime, as well as approximately $1.5 million in unpaid taxes.
The investigation began in 2013 when investigators from the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, California Employment Development Department (“EDD”) and the California Department of Insurance (“CDI”) conducted surveillance of several restaurants in three counties.
On January 10, 2014, investigators from all three agencies, assisted by representatives from the Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”), Bureau of Field Enforcement, and law enforcement officers from Alameda, Contra Costa, and Placer Counties served simultaneous search warrants on nine locations, including four restaurants and several private residences. The restaurants were the Golden Dragon Buffet in Brentwood, the Golden Wok Buffet in Roseville, the Kokyo Sushi Buffet in Hayward, and the New Dragon Buffet in San Leandro.
Investigators interviewed the employees and seized business records. Many employees reported being recruited from outside the Bay Area. Once they arrived, the employer kept them in crowded housing and bussed them to work six days each week for twelve hour shifts per day. Auditors determined that the four restaurants underpaid minimum wage and filed tax returns that underreported payroll tax and sales tax.
In December of 2016, the Contra Costa County Grand Jury returned an indictment of several defendants related to the investigation. That same month, investigators from the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office arrested Yu Chen, Rongdi Zheng, Feng Gu, Shao Rong Zhang, and Zhou Xian Chen related to the indictment.
On May 23, 2017, Defendant Shao Rong Zhang pled no contest to a misdemeanor charge of enforcing a policy on behalf of her employer that employees not report minimum wage violations, in violation of Labor Code section 1102.5. Pursuant to the negotiated disposition, Judge Burch sentenced Ms. Zhang to one hundred and twenty days in jail and probation.
Also on May 23, 2017, Defendants Yu Chen, Rongdi Zheng, and Feng Gu pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to violate the minimum wage law, payroll tax fraud, sales tax fraud, and insurance premium fraud pursuant to a negotiated disposition that provided for the judge to choose the term of imprisonment in a specified range at the sentencing hearing. Each of these three defendants were alleged to be joint owners of either the Brentwood or Roseville restaurants during some timeframe of the charged conspiracy.
On May 24, 2017, charges were dismissed against defendant Zhou Xian Chen.
On June 16, 2017, in Martinez, Judge Burch heard argument and then announced sentence.
Attorney Tomas Margain who represents two of the workers submitted a letter to the Court for sentencing calling the “the most egregious case of wage theft I have seen” in nineteen years of handling these types of cases. He continued, “I was to commend the District Attorney’s Office and the law enforcement officials who worked on this case.”
Several workers from the restaurants spoke at the sentencing hearing and submitted written statements to the Court. Worker M.T. wrote, “We were always getting yelled at and nothing we did was ever good enough for them. They lived to instill the fear in us and they succeeded because we did not know any better and we did not know who to turn to. This experience has damaged me emotionally. I will never forget it. I truly do not wish this upon anyone. I would have family and friends ask me how my ‘experience’ in the U.S. was and I could not bring myself to tell them because I was so ashamed. I lived in shame for the situation that I was in but, I know that I have to move forward and not look back anymore.”
Worker E.F. also submitted a letter, “I will never be the same. At my current job there are moments where I must get a look on my face because my coworkers ask me if I am ok, If I need to go home, . . . I tell them all that I have lived through and that there is fear that this might happen to me all over again. I want justice to be served so that this won’t happen to anyone else. This shouldn’t happen to anyone else.”
Judge Burch cited the impact that these crimes had on real people in sentencing all three defendants to three years and four months in prison.
Deputy District Attorney Jeremy L. Seymour prosecuted the case. The prosecution is a result of a multi-agency investigation effort led by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office that included case agents and representatives from four different state agencies including DIR, CDI, EDD, and the Board of Equalization.Read More
Supervisors consider Grand Jury Report on East Contra Costa Fire Protection District
By Daniel Borsuk
Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston exited the County Administration Building in Martinez the victor on Tuesday when county supervisors voted 4-1 to spend $25 million in general funds towards the construction of the controversial West Contra Costa County Reentry, Treatment, and Housing Facility in north Richmond. Only District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond voted no.
As the Sheriff left the building, a cluster of opponents to the project, chanted, “We Shall Overcome.”
Supervisors had agreed to spend county funds of which $15 million comes from the General Fund Reserve, $4.5 million from the Sheriff’s Plant Acquisition Account, and $2.5 million from the 2011 Local Revenue Fund upon learning the county was awarded $70 million in Senate Bill 844 Jail Construction funding from the California Board of State and Community Corrections on June 8. In addition, $3.2 million of 2011 In-Kind Match Land Value funds will be allocated for the project.
Two years ago Livingston was unsuccessful in securing SB 844 funding for the jail project when the county’s application was disqualified by the state corrections agency, but this time around the county’s application sailed through without difficulty, he told supervisors.
“It comes as no secret that I will vote no on this project,” said Gioia. “Spending $15 million of general fund money is inappropriate.”
The supervisor said this jail project has started a movement to “shift money from enforcement to prevention” in the community, a statement a number of community speakers had pleaded supervisors do numerous times over the past several months.
See the Sheriff’s presentation to the Supervisors, here: West County Detention Facility expansion presentation
Obviously, the community push to spend county public money on community health programs instead on a county jail project that would provide mental health services for inmates fell apart.
Board Chair Federal Glover of Pittsburg disagreed with Gioia, saying, “I’m always on the prevention side. This will give those in our jail a pathway. They need programs where they can get another opportunity and find necessary tools to make it in the world when they are released.”
“We need to find ways to prevent and divert people from going to jail,” said District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood. “People want services, not jail cells. I understand that.”
Even then Burgis decided to spend the general fund money to construct the jail addition in north Richmond.
For five minutes District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville read a list of community based behavioral health organizations such as the North Richmond Center for Health, West County Health Center, Bay Point Family Health Center, Pittsburg Health Center and Willow Pass Wellness Centers which all receive a piece of the $253 million in public funds that the board of supervisors spends each year.
While Andersen listed the county backed mental organizations, opponents turned their backs to her in protest.
“I want you to know I have been out in the community,” said Andersen,” I’ve talked to people on both sides of the issue. There are many people who want this project to move forward, but are not here to speak. Those of you with your signs don’t want to listen to the truth.”
District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff concurred with Andersen. “I’ve been in public office 14 years,” said Mitchoff, “We have been listening. This board has been putting millions of dollars into mental health programs in our communities.”
Mitchoff also said the board of supervisors had nothing to do with the April 2015 closure of Doctor’s Medical Center in San Pablo, a topic that infrequently popped up sporadically during the public hearings. The San Pablo hospital closed in April 2015 when a parcel tax measure placed by the hospital’s owner, the nonprofit West Contra Costa Health Care District, failed to gain a two-thirds voter approval in a May 2014 ballot by mail election.
There were plenty of speakers voicing disapproval over the jail project. Sixty-five of the 70 speakers opposed the jail project. Some speakers urged supervisors to delay making a decision over concerns the supervisors were being influenced to approve the funding because Sheriff Livingston had secured the SB 844 funding from the state.
Supervisors did not elaborate, but they said they were not swayed by the Sheriff-Coroner Office to approve the local funding portion for the jail project.
Gordon Miller insisted public money should be spent on mental health programs outside the jail. “It’s like putting lipstick on a pig,” he said in reference to the planned West Contra Costa County Reentry, Treatment and Housing Facility project.
“I want to understand why four out five of supervisors are on the wrong side on this issue,” said Kaiser nurse Susie Riley. “Mental health is the civil rights issue of our time.”
But County Mental Health Commissioner Karen Cohen of Walnut Creek, a mother of a mentally ill child, called on supervisors to approve the $25 million allocation so that the county can build the 416-bed jail expansion. “Do the right thing and move the project forward,” she said.
The project will provide 416 beds of which 320 beds will be for high security prisoners and 96 beds for behavioral health inmates, Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston told supervisors. The new facility will replace 420 beds in the existing Martinez jail.
While informing supervisors his department does not conduct United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement sweeps or participate in any other ICE activities, Livingston said his department has since 1992 provided beds for ICE arrestees.
“We receive $6 million a year in revenue from the federal government for that ICE contract and I won’t walk away from that kind of money,” Livingston said.
Grand Jury Report on East Contra Costa Fire Protection District
County officials will respond to at least two recommendations and one finding the Contra Costa County Civil Grand Jury has requested the board of supervisors respond to concerning the financially troubled East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.
Supervisors accepted the report at Tuesday’s board meeting, but did not comment on the report.
After closing five of the eight fire stations under the ECCFPD’s jurisdiction in 2009, the grand jury listed nine recommendations of which the county is responsible to respond to two recommendations.
One recommendation states: “The County should consider adopting a policy to collect impact fees from all developers of residential and commercial properties to fund capital improvements that will be needed to open future stations.”
The second recommendation the county needs to respond to states, “The County should consider adopting a policy to enter into agreements with all developers to establish Community Facility Districts to provide operating revenue for ECCFFD.”
The Grand Jury also wants the county to respond to a finding, “The County does not always require developers of residential and commercial properties establish Community Facility Districts.”Read More
Will only affect 93 retailers in unincorporated parts of the county
By Daniel Borsuk
Expect Contra Costa County Supervisors to have on the agenda at either their July 11 or July 18 meeting an ordinance that will further prevent the sale of flavored tobacco products to customers under the age of 21 at 93 licensed tobacco retailers located in unincorporated parts of the county.
The proposed ordinance aims to increase enforcement of current state law that prohibits the sale of tobacco products especially flavored products to anyone under the age of 21. Although county officials claim three- to four percent of the 93 retailers in unincorporated Contra Costa County illegally sell flavored tobacco products to underage customers, District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond claims that figure could be as high as 10 percent.
The proposed Contra Costa County ordinance requires “identification from a person who reasonably appears to be under the age of 27 years without first examining the identification of the recipient to confirm that the recipient is at least the minimum age under state law to purchase the tobacco product or tobacco paraphernalia.”
The county has no plans of increasing the $287 a year retailer licensing fee should supervisors approve the ordinance, said County Public Health Director William Walker, who recommended that supervisors adopt the proposed regulation.
Should supervisors adopt the proposed ordinance next month, the county will join Yolo and Santa Clara counties and the cities of El Cerrito and Los Gatos to have passed ordinances enforcing the ban. Yolo and Santa Clara counties and Los Gatos have gone the extra mile to ban the sale of menthol flavored cigarettes that are a leading contributor to heart and lung disease related deaths, especially among African Americans.
Supervisors balked at acting on a proposed ordinance aimed to protect youth under the age of 21 from buying flavored tobacco products including e-cigarettes, vape pens, e-liquids, snuff, chewing tobacco, little cigars, cigarillos, hookah tobacco, and vapor solutions for electronic smoking mainly because they could not agree on some technical issues. Those included whether a retailer selling these products should be 500 feet or 1,000 feet from either a school, library, park, or playground.
County records show 48 of the 93 licensed tobacco retailers in unincorporated Contra Costa County are within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground or library. Some 57 retailers are located within 500 feet of another tobacco retailer and 13 of these 57 stores are also within 1,000 feet of a school.
Saying she prefers setting a 500-foot distance, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill said it is important for the board to draft an ordinance that supervisors can be satisfied with, so that elected officials on city councils in the county will be potentially interested in adopting similar anti-flavored tobacco product ordinances.
Supervisors heard more than 50 speakers including students, parents, and community organization leaders urge supervisors adopt the ordinance in order to protect the health of children.
“Smoking is a pediatric disease, “said Dr. Walker. “It is a leading factor for why this county spends $334 million a year in medical costs per year. Flavored tobacco products are the gateway products to being a habitual smoker.”
Ninety percent of United States smokers began to smoke on average by age 18, he said.
Walker estimates the county receives $30 million in all tobacco sales tax revenue a year, a figure that includes tax revenue from flavored tobacco product sales in the county.
Dr. Phillip Gardener of the University of California San Francisco encouraged the board to adopt the ordinance noting how menthol flavored tobacco products are a major contributing factor for a high death toll in African American community. “Menthol flavored tobacco products are starter products for our youth,” he said.
“While store employees try to keep these products out of the hands of youth, the reality of the problem is that these products do get into the hands of our youth,” said Rachel Lazarus of the Contra Costa Tolerance Prevention Coalition. “This ordinance will control this problem.”
With the prospect the tobacco industry might file a lawsuit to block the county from enacting the ordinance, Jag Sing, a board member representing 12 Contra Costa County 7-11 Stores, opposed the proposed ordinance saying “No retailer wants to sell to minors. Let’s work together.”
East Richmond Heights MAC Formed
In other action, supervisors approved the creation of the East Richmond Heights Municipal Advisory Council. The council will consist of five members and two alternates to advise District 1 Supervisor John Gioia on community issues. The MAC will cost $3,000 for administrative expenses per year.Read More
Pittsburg residents face up to 20 year prison sentences; eight others including three more Contra Costa County residents also indicted in conspiracy
OAKLAND – The U.S. Justice Department’s Northern District of California announced, today, Thursday, June 15, 2017 that former Antioch police officer Gary Bostick and his wife, Ana Bostick, pleaded guilty to their respective roles in a scheme to illegally obtain money from the United States announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf.
Also indicted in the conspiracy were nine others, including three other residents of Contra Costa County. The indictment, unsealed on Dec. 9, 2015, charges the following additional defendants:
- Hugh Robinson, of Richmond
- Devonnie Davison, of San Pablo
- Brandon Robinson, of El Cerrito
- Ronald Blake, of Fort Worth, TX
- Kyadrian Dennis, of Fort Worth, TX
- William Odom, of Berkeley
- Jamia Lewis, of Fairfield
- Janel McDonald, of Los Angeles
- Everardo Laurian, of Daly City
According to the indictment, from at least August 21, 2013, through April 27, 2015, the defendants conspired with one another to commit offenses against the United States, including theft of government money. The scheme involved obtaining the names of deceased individuals, filing false tax returns in the names of the individuals, obtaining false identifications, and illegally cashing U.S. Treasury checks.
Gary Bostick, 39, and Ana Bostick, 37, both of Pittsburg, pleaded guilty to their respective roles the conspiracy. The Honorable Jeffery S. White, United States District Judge, accepted Ana Bostick’s guilty plea on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, and accepted Gary Bostick’s guilty plea this morning. 6/16/17 UPDATE: Gary Bostick worked for the Antioch Police Department from July 30, 2007 to April 29, 2015 according to Nickie Mastay, Director of Human Resources for the City of Antioch. Ana Bostick is listed as a teacher at Black Diamond High School in the Pittsburg Unified School District. But there is no photo or information about her on the school’s webpage. On Friday morning, June 16, 2017, Nicole Mora, District Communications Public Relations Specialist said she had “learned about this, this morning”, was “looking into it” and waiting to speak with the principal and others before commenting. Please check back later for more details.
Then, in a later email received Friday afternoon, Mora released the following statement from the district: “Ana Bostick is employed by Pittsburg Unified School District as a teacher. Her current employment status for the 2017/2018 school year is a personnel matter and we have no other details to release at this time.”
According to the Bosticks’ plea agreements, between January and April of 2015, the conspiracy involved filing false federal income tax returns in order to obtain fraudulent federal income tax refunds and cashing stolen U.S. Treasury checks at Walmart stores throughout the United States. Specifically, Gary Bostick admitted that in January 2015, he assisted in filing false tax returns with the IRS in the names of deceased individuals. The defendants obtained names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers from websites such as www.rootsweb.ancestry.com and www.ssnvalidator.com. In order to receive payment, the conspirators directed the IRS to mail the fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks to addresses he and his co-conspirators could access. The conspirators cashed the U.S. Treasury checks at various Walmart stores.
Ana Bostick admitted that she aided her co-conspirators by, among other things, cashing two U.S. Treasury checks. Ana Bostick admitted she requested another co-conspirator to send her photos of the two U.S. Treasury checks so that she could use the information on the checks to obtain fake identification that matched the names. After obtaining the fake identifications, Ana Bostick cashed the two checks and kept the corresponding funds.
Gary Bostick’s participation in the scheme included traveling with two co-conspirators to Los Angeles to obtain stolen U.S. Treasury checks and then to Walmart stores in various areas, including Kentucky, to cash the checks. The former police officer acknowledged that he supervised other individuals in the scheme, including managers and runners, who were responsible for cashing the fraudulent or stolen U.S. Treasury checks. In sum, the conspiracy involved $720,530.40 in stolen U.S. Treasury checks.
On November 15, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Gary Bostick, Ana Bostick, and their co-conspirators. For her part in the scheme, Ana Bostick was charged with conspiracy to commit theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; two counts of theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641; and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. She pleaded guilty to all charges. For his part in the scheme, Gary Bostick was charged with conspiracy to commit theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; four counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343; and four counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. He pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and to the wire fraud charges. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the identity theft charges were dismissed.
Judge White scheduled Gary Bostick’s sentencing for September 19, 2017, and Ana Bostick’s sentencing for November 14, 2017. The maximum sentence for conspiracy to commit theft of public money is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum sentence for theft of public money is ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum sentence for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum sentence for aggravated identity theft is a mandatory minimum of two years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Newman and Jose A. Olivera and Trial Attorney Gregory Bernstein are prosecuting this case with assistance from Jonathan Deville of the Tax Division. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.Read More
The Warriors have taken care of business by bringing home another NBA championship and now it’s BART’s turn. We’re gearing up for an epic day Thursday when Oakland hosts a victory celebration starting at 10 a.m. We’ve put together some tips to help make your championship parade day safe and enjoyable.
Ten tips for riding BART to the victory celebration in Oakland
- Be patient, it’s going to get crowded; our busiest hours in 2015 were 8am-10am
- Use 19th Street Station, avoid the much smaller Lake Merritt Station
- Buy a Clipper card (clippercard.com) in advance to avoid extremely long lines at ticket machines
- Look for tables with cash only $15 Clipper card sales at 10 of our busiest stations
- Parking will be packed; think about taking the bus or walking to BART or getting dropped off
- “Permit” spaces in parking lots are for permit holders only, a citation will ruin the fun day
- When boarding trains, move to the center of the car so more can fit, remove backpacks
- Don’t jam a train door- it will take the whole train out of service and everyone will boo you
- Some trains may not stop at Lake Merritt if the Rally Zone has reached capacity or crowding
- Our service will not match the published schedule so listen and pay attention
First, know that BART is going to be crowded like you’ve never seen it before. On the day of the 2015 Warriors parade, BART carried 548,076 people – second only to the 568,061 people who rode BART when the Giants held a victory parade on Halloween 2012. If you’re not going to the celebration and will be taking BART to work or elsewhere, we suggest leaving home early – maybe even before 7 a.m.
Getting to the Station
If you must drive and park at a BART station, consider getting there very early. Parking will be packed so instead, if you can, we suggest taking the bus or walking to BART or getting someone to drop you off at your station.
If you do drive and park, remember that “Permit” spaces are for passengers who have paid for monthly and single day permits in advance. Those without a Permit may only park in the “Fee” areas, which are First-Come/First-Serve. If you park in the “Permit” area without a permit, you are subject to citation.
The Lake Merritt Station permit parking lot (located near Laney College) will be CLOSED all day.
Overflow Parking (NEW!)
BART staff is working to gain permission from parking lots located near BART stations that can be used as overflow parking. We will continue to update this information.
Fremont Station- Riders can use the upper lot of the City of Fremont parking garage located at 39701 Civic Center Drive in Fremont at no cost. Please use upper lot only; not library or police parking. Map: https://tinyurl.com/y8zp8qnj
San Francisco Stations- SFMTA has several public parking garages in San Francisco that are located within walking distance to BART stations.
From Antioch Park and Ride to Pittsburg/Bay Point BART Station- Lots A & C (lot B is still under construction) of the Antioch Park and Ride have 400 spaces available for use. Address: 1474 Slatten Ranch Road, Antioch, CA (this address drops the pin on the road that gives access to the lots for map apps) Enter the lot at Sunset Drive & Hillcrest OR take SR-4 Map: https://tinyurl.com/y9uckvqv
From there, take a Tri-Delta Transit bus to Pittsburg/Bay Point station. Routes that will take you to the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station: 300 (express), 380, 388, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394
Don’t be the person stuck in a line for the ticket vending machine while Steph and KD are waving to the crowd. We suggest you buy a Clipper card or ticket at least a day or two in advance.
Go to www.clippercard.com and find a retail location closest to you.
If for some reason you don’t, BART will be selling $15 Clipper cards at special cash-only ticket tables at the stations listed below. We picked these stations because they had long lines in 2015. Be sure to keep these Clipper cards and register them. They work on other Bay Area transit.
Stations with $15 cash only Clipper card table sales
· Warm Springs
· El Cerrito del Norte
· Bay Fair
· 12th Street
· 19th street
· Lake Merritt
Heading to Downtown Oakland
We are doing extra maintenance now so we can put every available train out to carry passengers, but you’ll be joining a half million or more fellow riders.
The Lake Merritt BART Station will be in the epicenter of the celebration so it’s best to avoid it. We strongly suggest taking BART to either 12th Street or 19th Street stations in Oakland. They are bigger and they’re right along the parade route so you’ll have more elbow room. They will also be your best options for starting your trip home.
Trains coming from Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont Warm Springs towards Oakland may skip Lake Merritt after 8:30am if the rally zone has reached capacity and has closed or if the station becomes too crowded. Listen to announcements and use 12th or 19th street instead.
Service changes to be aware of
The Pittsburg/Bay Point morning service WILL NOT match the regular published schedule. Some trains will be rerouted to other crowded areas in the system.
The following trains that originate at North Concord in the morning will be redistributed to other areas and will not run on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line: 6:59 a.m., 7:14 a.m., 7:29 a.m
The following trains that originate at Pleasant Hill in the morning will be redistributed to other areas and will not run on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line: 8:12 a.m., 8:27 a.m., 8:42 a.m.
After 8 am every other train from the Warm Springs to Daly City line will not go to San Francisco and instead go to Downtown Oakland to serve the parade route. These trains will terminate at MacArthur Station.
At any time, we may need to skip a station due to crowding, or hold riders outside the fare gates and wait until the platform clears to allow riders to enter the paid area. Listen to instructions from BART workers- we’re here to help.
What we’re doing to prepare
Besides getting all the train cars ready, we are staffing up to make sure we can quickly respond to any issues that pop up. We will have extra paramedics on standby and extra police officers on patrol including the Transportation Security Administration’s Vipr team.
We’ll have extra escalator and elevator technicians in our stations, and train technicians ready to respond to an equipment problem on a train.
Code of Conduct
Finally, it probably goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway: smile and have fun. We at BART enjoy serving you on what should be a joyous and memorable day. We only ask that you show common courtesy to your fellow riders, follow our simple rules and -if you start to get a little impatient- think about the folks in Cleveland who wish they had a parade.Read More
By Dave Roberts
Six hundred and thirty-five employees at USS-POSCO Industries in Pittsburg may be laid off July 10, according to a warning notice the company filed with the California Employment Development Department. The potential, temporary layoffs, which were filed under the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification system, comprise the largest chunk of more than 3,000 layoffs filed by 42 California companies in May.
USS-POSCO filed the layoff notice on May 9 and it remains to be seen whether it goes through with the layoffs.
However, Kevin Romick, a manager at the Pittsburg plant said “It is my understanding that there are no layoffs that are imminent. The business conditions dictate we are required by law to post this type of letter if we anticipate laying off more than 50 people.”
“We’re hoping and expecting business to pick up,” he added.
The plant filed a similar notice 3½ years ago. At that time, George Kunst, general manager of employee relations for USS-POSCO, told the San Francisco Business Times, “We have issued a WARN notice on a periodic basis due to economic uncertainty. We have no immediate plans to lay off anybody. We have had periodic layoffs for the last several years.”
The company processes hot-rolled steel so that it can be used for items such as office furniture, building materials, containers, conduit and automotive parts, according to the article.
The first Pittsburg steel facility opened in 1910 as a 60-man foundry under the name of Columbia Steel. In the 1920’s, the plant expanded to include the West’s first nail mill, and later, the first hot dip tin mill west of the Mississippi, according to the company’s website. Today it’s a joint venture company of U.S. Steel Corporation and POSCO of the Republic of South Korea.
The company receives mixed reviews from employees on the Glass Door employment review site. Positive comments include good pay, benefits and interesting work environment. Negative comments include lack of work, unmotivated employees and unfair management. Under the “advice to management” category, one worker wrote, “Treat everybody the same. Quit trying to police everyone and pay attention to Quality and Preventive Maintenance. There’s a reason we went from number one to the bottom of the totem pole.”Read More
As part of the ongoing review of a petition by Northgate Community Advocacy for our Public Schools (Northgate CAPS) and its proposed transfer of territory carving out five schools to form a new school district, the Mt. Diablo School District (MDUSD) is reiterating concerns that the territory for the proposed Northgate district includes two additional schools that are physically located within the proposed district’s boundary but have separate MDUSD attendance boundaries.
“The campuses of Oak Grove Middle School and Ygnacio Valley High School are clearly situated within the proposed territory for a Northgate Unified School District (NUSD) and this raises a number of issues which the Northgate CAPS organization has not addressed,” said Dr. Nellie Meyer, Superintendent of Mt. Diablo Unified.
“Last month, we mentioned in our preliminary response our concerns that the proposal, which would include Northgate High School, Foothill Middle School, and Bancroft, Valle Verde, and Walnut Acres elementary schools, creates an “island effect” by including the Oak Grove and Ygnacio Valley school facilities but not their attendance boundaries,” said Meyer. “The state’s education code is very clear on this: a school district shall not be formed or reorganized to include territory which is separated from other portions of one or more other school districts. This proposed secession prompts a number of questions.” (Reference: CA Education Code 35543)
“If CAPS’ intention is to include Oak Grove Middle and Ygnacio Valley High School in their territory, is it also their intention to retain those students? Or will these students – approximately 2,000 students – be displaced?” questioned Meyer. “What happens to Oak Grove and YV’s feeder schools? If the CAPS proposal was constructed knowing about these profound school facility and displacement issues, why were there no meetings held with the Oak Grove Middle School and Ygnacio Valley High School communities?”
At the previous public hearings conducted by the Contra Costa County Board of Education in its capacity as the County Committee on School District Reorganization, public testimony was provided to make clear the proposed NUSD boundaries would also include attendance areas for Highlands Elementary, impacting 53% of that school’s current student body and prompting associated staff reductions and program changes or losses.
According to MDUSD, the petition fails to substantially meet many of the legal requirements by which such petitions may be considered for approval. The District unequivocally opposes the petition for several key reasons, including the following:
- The proposed division results in a new school district that is far more racially and socioeconomically segregated, depriving students in both districts of an integrated educational experience.
- The proposed division results in an inequitable distribution of assets and assessed property values.
- The proposed division separates communities and would result in increased negative traffic impacts community-wide.
- The proposed division would reduce the size of both districts, resulting in the disruptive shuffling of teaching and staff assignments, including likely necessitating layoffs and the elimination of key District programs.
- The proposed division has a negative impact on both potential districts’ financial health and educational programs.
- The District has made great strides over the last few years that are now paying dividends in student achievement, teacher recruitment and retention, and the provision of innovative educational programs and opportunities for every student throughout the District. This petition would derail this progress and negatively impact the District’s students, families, teachers and staff.
The County Committee will have the remainder of the summer to review the Northgate CAPS petition to determine whether it meets the state’s required criteria. Additional hearings – potential leading to a recommendation to approve or disapprove the petition – are expected to take place in early fall.
For more information please see the following:
- Mt. Diablo Unified School District Preliminary Response in Opposition to Northgate CAPS Petition
- Video – MDUSD Presentation to the Contra Costa County Committee on School District Reorganization (May 2)
- Mt. Diablo Unified Board Resolution in Opposition of the District Reorganization of the Northgate Area (Jan 23)
California Education Code
An “action to reorganize districts” means either of the following:
· An action to form a new school district, which is accomplished through any of, or any combination of, the following:
o Dissolving two or more existing school districts of the same kind and forming one or more new school districts of that same kind from the entire territory of the original districts.
o Forming one or more new school districts of the same kind from all or parts of one or more existing school districts of that same kind.
o Unifying school districts, including the consolidation of all or part of one or more high school districts with all or part of one or more component school districts into one or more new unified school districts.
o Deunifying a school district, including the conversion of all or part of a unified school district into one or more new high school districts, each with two or more new component districts.
· An action to transfer territory, including the transfer of all or part of an existing school district to another existing school district.
(a) Within 120 days of the commencement of the first public hearing on the petition, the county committee shall recommend approval or disapproval of a petition to form one or more new districts or for the division of the entire territory of a school district into two or more new or acquiring districts, as the petition may be augmented, or shall approve or disapprove a petition for the transfer of territory, as the petition may be augmented.
On or after January 1, 1981, a school district shall not be formed or reorganized to include territory which is separated from other portions of the territory of the district by the territory of one or more other school districts.Read More
Contra Costa County Public Works Director awarded a contract to Flatiron West, Inc. to repair the section of Alhambra Valley Road near Castro Ranch Road and Pinole Valley Road intersection that was washed out during the 2017 winter storms. The work will start on June 12 and is anticipated to be completed by the end of September. The work includes installation of a 60-foot long bridge that will have shoulders for bicycles and pedestrians.
The new bridge over Pinole Creek replaces the 1930’s era 9-foot steel pipe culvert and will allow for unimpeded fish passage, specifically steelhead, in consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
For project updates visit the Public Works website at: http://www.cccounty.us/pwdmap.Read More
Culvert work on Morgan Territory Road is scheduled for June 14th through June 16th between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The work will occur approximately 8 miles south of the Morgan Territory Road temporary signal. Drivers can expect 30 minute delays and are encouraged to use an alternate route during this time. Signage will be placed in advance of the culvert work to alert drivers of the work and anticipated delays.Read More