Ceremony at planned Concord Hills Regional Park will also include 75th Anniversary of Port Chicago explosion
After more than 20 years of community support and involvement, the East Bay Regional Park District has accepted 2,216 acres of former Concord Naval Weapons Station land from the U.S. Navy for a future regional park currently known as the Concord Hills Regional Park. An additional 327 acres are set to transfer to the Park District at a later date.
“Conveyance of the property to the Park District is the culmination of a decades-long community effort,” said Beverly Lane, who has represented Concord on the East Bay Regional Park District board since 1994. “This is a proud moment for the Park District and shows the great power of persistence and working together with the community.
“The U.S. Navy, National Park Service, City of Concord, and Save Mount Diablo have been tremendous partners in this effort,” added Lane.
On July 2, 2019, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously approved accepting the land from the U.S. Navy. The board action authorizes the Park District to accept conveyance of the property and fee title ownership. Transfer of ownership to the Park District is expected to take six months.
“This is a great day for the Park District and East Bay residents,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “The public will have access to great future park amenities, including a visitor center, staging areas, access points, and miles of recreational trails for hiking, biking, and nature viewing.”
“Park development is expected to take several years and will require significant financial resources. There is no timetable on development,” added Doyle. “With this new land, we will have a regional park that is larger than Tilden Park, that is protected for future generations forever.”
A public celebration is scheduled for Saturday, July 13th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. The event will also commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Port Chicago Explosion. Click here for the Concord Hills Regional Park event details.
The celebration will include a panel discussion hosted by the Friends of Port Chicago National Memorial and National Park Service, a conveyance ceremony, presentations, exhibit booths, lunch, and a music performance by the Acalanes High School Jazz Quartet. The event will also include walking and vehicle tours of the property, giving attendees a first look at the future regional park.
RSVP to Yulie Padmore at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 544-2002.
For more information about the July 13 event, visit www.ebparks.org/about/planning/cnws.htm.Read More
By Daniel Borsuk
In recognition of the East Bay Regional Park District’s 85th anniversary, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a resolution acknowledging how the park district has served the residents of Contra Costa and Alameda counties since the district’s founding in 1934.
At the presentation were from left, District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, East Bay Region Park District Ward 7 Board Member Colin Coffey, EBRPD Legislative Assistant Lisa Baldinger, District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis, EBRPD Governmental Affairs Manager Erich Pfuehler and Board Vice Chair Candace Andersen. Contra Costa voters approved a annexation to the EBRPD in 1964. Soon thereafter, Kennedy Grove and Briones were developed and opened as the first regional parks within Contra Costa County. In total, the park district consists of 122,278 acres, including more than 1,330 miles of trails, 235 family campsites, 40 fishing docks and 10 interpretative and education centers.Read More
By Joel Levin
I am a local public schoolteacher working with special education students from elementary age through young adults, and I am a dialysis patient who has suffered kidney disease for decades.
I’ve dedicated my career to helping those less fortunate in need. That’s why I’m disappointed that insurance companies are behind legislation that would cut off the charitable financial assistance I need to pay for the dialysis that keeps me alive.
Legislators will soon be voting on Assembly Bill 290, which would eliminate financial assistance that the non-profit American Kidney Fund provides charitably to more than 3,700 qualifying California dialysis patients like me.
AB 290 requires AKF to disclose confidential patient information in violation of the federal regulations governing the program. Because of these unreasonable requirements, AB 290 would force AKF to stop helping California patients altogether.
The losers are patients like me who depend on the financial assistance AKF provides to pay for the dialysis that we need to stay alive. The winners are insurance companies whose profits would go up if it passes.
Even as a kidney patient who must undergo the rigorous dialysis treatment process to stay alive, I feel like one of the fortunate ones. Most people on dialysis can’t work because of the exhausting process of dialysis. Thankfully I can continue working as a teacher while still receiving this time-consuming treatment three times a week for three to four hours at a time, after my workday.
It is not easy, of course. And for dialysis patients who require between 9-12 hours a week of dialysis treatments, our health care coverage is expensive. Although I’m on Medicare, it only covers 80 percent of my health care costs and Medicare also requires monthly insurance premiums. I also have copays for doctor visits and copays for my numerous medications because of my kidney disease.
On top of that, I must get an additional insurance policy, with additional monthly premiums, to cover the 20 percent “gap” that isn’t paid for by Medicare.
As a public schoolteacher, I’m certainly not rich. I have a finite amount of funds. Without the AKF’s assistance program, I’m not sure how I’d be able to afford these payments.
Only a small number of Californians on dialysis, about 5 percent, use financial assistance from a third-party, non-profit charitable organization like the American Kidney Fund to help pay their health insurance premiums. AKF has made premium assistance available for more than 20 years.
I’m extremely thankful they’re in existence and grateful for the help they provide me. For me, the program offers peace of mind that I can pay my expenses and receive the healthcare that I need. I can’t even imagine what would happen to dialysis patients who can’t work. How will they survive?
At its core, AB 290 is about increasing insurance company profits.
Lawmakers who are aligning with insurance companies and supporting the measure are not seeing how it would impact the patients in the long run.
I urge legislators to reject this insurance company scheme and vote no on AB 290.
Joel Levin is a dialysis patient and resident of Danville.Read More
From San Joaquin County Sheriff
Shortly after 4:00 A.M. on Friday, July 5, a 911 call was made by a boater, stating she found her fiancé and his daughter deceased on their boat. The boat was anchored near Ski Beach, east of Discovery Bay and west of Stockton in the Delta.
John LeBarre (57 years old) and his daughter, Denielle LeBarre (26 years old), both of Discovery Bay, were found unresponsive. This is potentially an accidental carbon monoxide death investigation, exact cause of death is not known at this time.
This is a very unfortunate case, please consider the following: Most newer models of houseboats have CO sensors and alarms to warn of CO buildup and pooling. Rerouted exhausts, emission control devices, and generator interlocks combined lead to a reduction of over 99 percent of CO buildup and pooling, according to the CDC.Read More
By Allen Payton
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D, CA-15) was the first candidate to drop out of the race for president, when he made an announcement during a press conference at the Swalwell for American headquarters in his hometown of Dublin, on Monday. He was one of over 20 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination.
Swalwell has represented San Ramon in Contra Costa County, as well as the Tri Valley and other portions of Alameda County, since he was first elected, after beating 20-term incumbent and fellow Democrat Pete Stark in the 2012 primary election.
A member of the House Intelligence Committee, Swalwell had been calling for President Trump’s impeachment for the past year, and his main presidential campaign issue was an assault weapons ban.
In a statement on his presidential campaign website, Swalwell wrote,
I ran for President to win and make a difference in our great country — a difference on issues of the future such as finding cures for our deadliest and most debilitating diseases, taking on the student loan debt crisis, and ending gun violence. I promised my family, constituents, and supporters that I would always be honest about our chances. After the first Democratic presidential debate, our polling and fundraising numbers weren’t what we had hoped for, and I no longer see a path forward to the nomination. My presidential campaign ends today, but this also is the start of a new passage for the issues on which our campaign ran.
I entered this race determined to elevate the issue of gun violence, and at the debate, three top-tier candidates embraced my idea to ban and buy back every single assault weapon in America. Putting this idea and this larger issue of gun violence front and center in the Democratic policy discussion is an accomplishment, dedicated to the students, moms, and other activists who tirelessly demand action to save American lives.
I thank my supporters and friends, my staff, and my family for making this journey possible. I’ll never forget the people I met and lessons I learned while travelling around our great nation – especially in the communities most affected by gun violence. Too many communities feel this pain. But in every community’s grief, I see people who love one another and have inside themselves the grit to get things done to end gun violence once and for all.
I will take those lessons back to Congress, serving my friends and neighbors in California’s 15th District while using my seats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees to make our nation safer and uphold the rule of law for all Americans.
The 38-year-old Swalwell will instead seek a fifth term in Congress. Rumor has it that former State Assemblywoman Catharine Baker might run for the Republican nomination in the same district to face Swalwell, next year.Read More
Peggy Cabaniss, a financial planner and investment advisor form Moraga, California, has been named to the Board of Directors of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a nonprofit organization that promotes equity and economic security for women and girls through research, education and advocacy.
“We are honored to have Peggy’s experience and expertise on our Board,” said Kim Churches, AAUW’s chief executive officer. “This is an important moment in time when we need to innovate a new approach to advancing gender equity, and Peggy will help us be at the forefront of breaking down barriers and building new pathways for girls and women.”
Cabaniss was the owner and co-founder of HC Financial Advisors, Inc., a fee-only financial planning and investment advisory firm in Lafayette. She has held leadership positions in the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, including a stint as chair of its national board.
The American Association of University has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Since its founding in 1881, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW’s fellowships and grants have helped scholars and activists overcome barriers to education and advancement for 130 years. Work Smart, its free online salary negotiation course, has trained countless women in negotiation skills. Learn more at www.aauw.org.
WHAT: Contra Costa Behavioral Health Services, a division of Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), invites anyone interested in discussing local public mental health services in relation to supportive housing to participate in a public forum on Thursday, July 18, in San Pablo.
The forum offers the community an opportunity to discuss its needs and meet with service providers to discuss current issues relevant to supportive housing. These discussions will help to inform future use of local Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding.
California approved Proposition 63 in November 2004, and the Mental Health Services Act became law. The Act provides significant additional funding to the existing public mental health system and combines prevention services with a full range of integrated services to treat the whole person. With the goal of wellness, recovery and self-sufficiency, the intent of the law is to reach out and include those most in need and those who have been traditionally underserved. Services are to be consumer driven, family focused, based in the community, culturally and linguistically competent, and integrated with other appropriate health and social services. Funding is to be provided at sufficient levels to ensure that counties can provide each child, transition age youth, adult and senior with the necessary mental health services, medications and support set forth in their treatment plan. Finally, the Act requires this Three Year Plan be developed with the active participation of local stakeholders in a community program planning process.
WHO: All members of the public are welcome, including people that have or are receiving supportive housing services, their families or loved ones, and interested members of the community. RSVP online at cchealth.org/mentalhealth/mhsa – click the “Supportive Housing Community Forum” button.
Other RVSP options include emailing email@example.com – please include “MHSA Forum” in the subject line – or by telephoning (925) 957-2617. Attendees may also mail RSVPs to MHSA, 1220 Morello Avenue, Suite 100, Martinez, CA 94553.
WHEN: Thursday, July 18th at 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Contra Costa College, 2600 Mission Bell Drive, Room GE 225, San Pablo, CA 94806
WHY: Contra Costa County’s current MHSA budget provides over $50 million to more than 80 mental health programs and services. Forum goals include identifying service needs, priorities and strategies to inform the county’s MHSA Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan for fiscal years 2020-2023.
The forum will include an overview of the MHSA and current funding use in Contra Costa County and will be livestreamed at: cchealth.org/mentalhealth/mhsa.
Visit cchealth.org/mentalhealth/mhsa to access the MHSA Three Year Program and Expenditure Plan Update and other information about the MHSA in Contra Costa.Read More
The Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail will be temporarily closed – south of the Glenside Bridge approximately 200 feet to Glenside Drive and north of the Glenside Bridge approximately 350 feet – for bridge replacement and safety improvements. Construction activities will begin on July 8. The bridge will be closed beginning July 15.
The existing 1976 wood-beam bridge will be replaced by a lighter and stronger corrosion-resistant steel bridge. The new bridge will be two feet wider, resulting in improved trail capacity and safety.
“The existing bridge is aging and deteriorating,” said East Bay Regional Park District spokesperson Dave Mason. “Bridge replacement is necessary for the health and safety of the community.”
The project is being implemented in the summer to minimize the impact to the public, especially students who use the trail to get to and from school.
“The Park District is proud to provide another improvement to Lafayette residents and appreciates the community’s support and patience during the temporary closure,” said Mason. “The Park District is making every effort to complete the project before the start of school on August 13.”
The Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail covers 7.65 miles and is part of the Park District’s Regional Trail system. The Park District manages over 200 miles of regional trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that serve as part of the region’s green transportation network.
The suspect in Friday’s homicide on Pacheco Boulevard is in custody. (See related article)
On Friday, July 5, 2019, at about 8:35 P.M. BART police contacted suspect Aaron Goode at the Concord BART station. He was detained without incident. Later Detectives and Deputies from the Office of the Sheriff took custody of Goode, a 41-year-old from Pacheco. Goode was then booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on a murder charge. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Homicide Detectives from the Investigation Division continue to investigate yesterday’s murder.
At about 12:12 PM, Sheriff’s Office dispatch was notified about a medical call with police needed on the 5900 block of Pacheco Boulevard in Pacheco. The caller stated that a man covered in blood was lying on the sidewalk.
A short while later, Pleasant Hill police officers arrived and performed CPR on the male victim. He was later pronounced deceased at the scene. The victim is identified as Erick Ousey, a 29-year-old Pacheco resident.
The Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab responded to the location. Detectives later identified Goode as the suspect. Detectives are still trying to establish the exact motive. They say suspect Goode and victim Ousey knew each other and that they appeared to have a dispute.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Office of the Sheriff at (925) 646-2441 or Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
Detectives from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Investigation Division continue to investigate a murder that occurred this afternoon.
At about 12:12 PM, Sheriff’s Office dispatch was notified about a medical call with police needed on the 5900 block of Pacheco Boulevard in Pacheco. The caller stated that a man covered in blood was lying on the sidewalk. The California Grand Casino on both sides of the street and Wendy’s are blocked off with yellow cautionary tape, according to witnesses.
A short while later, Pleasant Hill police officers arrived and performed CPR on the male victim. He was later pronounced deceased at the scene. The victim, believed to be a 29-year-old Pacheco resident, is not being identified at this time.
The Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab responded to the location. The investigation into this murder is ongoing. Detectives say this incident does not appear random and that the victim and the suspect knew each other.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Office of the Sheriff at (925) 646-2441 or Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, email: email@example.com or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More