Car catches fire, closes all westbound lanes
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
This morning (7/21/18) at about 9:02, an Orinda Police Officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop for vehicle code violations in the area of St. Stephens Drive and Tahos Road in Orinda. As the officer approached the vehicle, it fled at a high rate of speed leading the officer on a pursuit.
The suspect vehicle entered westbound Highway 24. The officer lost sight of the suspect vehicle and later came upon a single vehicle collision involving the vehicle on Highway 24 near the BART station.
First aid was rendered to the two occupants of the vehicle. They were taken to a local hospital, where one was pronounced deceased. They are not being identified at this time. The officer involved fatal incident protocol has been invoked. This incident is being investigated by the District Attorney’s Office, Office of the Sheriff and CHP.
According to an ABC7 News report the collision resulted in the shutdown of the westbound lanes of Highway 24 and “the CHP reported the overturned car was engulfed in flames and that an ambulance was called to the scene.” According to a tweet on the CHP-Contra Costa Twitter feed, all vehicles were being diverted to the Orinda Road offramp.
Anyone who has any information on this incident is asked to contact the Office of the Sheriff 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.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at approximately 10:46 PM, Bay Station Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to the 4800 block of San Pablo Dam Road, El Sobrante, for a report of a person shot at that location.
Deputies arrived on scene and located a shooting victim lying in a driveway. Deputies started CPR on the victim and requested the fire department and an ambulance to respond to the scene.
The 22-year-old male victim was later pronounced deceased at the scene. He is not being identified at this time. The investigation is ongoing and detectives are interviewing several people at this time.
Anyone with any information on this incident or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact the Office of the Sheriff Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ Transportation/Planning Committee will be holding a first of its kind, off-sight meeting to learn about an “Ultra Light Rail Transit System in the Alameda County East Bay Region” known as CyberTran. The meeting will be held at the U.C. Berkeley Global Campus in Richmond, where CyberTran International, Inc. has their headquarters and lab.
The meeting is being held in response to the recent action by the BART Board to vote down the extension to Livermore, as the Board of Supervisors looks for an alternative transit system from the Pleasanton BART Station east.
“Alameda County has critical needs when it comes to traffic congestion. We can help,” said Dexter Vizinau, President of CyberTran International.
The solar-powered CyberTran system has been tested including by BART’s engineering department, which determined it can be built for a fourth of the cost of a BART system and operate a fraction of the cost. It can move as many people per hour per direction as BART can through the Bay Tube, which is 17,000 passengers.
For more information about CyberTran, visit www.cybertran.com.
Editor’s Note: The publisher of the Herald has a financial interest in CyberTran International, Inc.Read More
As we celebrate the 242nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this year, I find myself writing to my fellow Americans in a rebuttal to Supervisor Federal Glover’s saddening attempt to smear our country.
As a former (for now) civil servant to a sitting public servant, I must vocally protest!
Mr. Glover, whenever I am confronted with liberal slanderous and ignorant platitudes. I must surmise which of two camps the offender stands in.
The first is the “forgive them for they know not what they do” populace that has yet to verify all the misinformation that has been pumped into their heads since grade school through college and even now through pop culture. Vladimir Lenin’s coined description as “useful idiots”.
The second and more insidious camp lies in the viperous pit of knowing perfectly well that misinformation and deceit is an acceptable means to an end.
“To make an omelet one must break a few eggs.” – Karl Marx
I will leave your dubious stance to the court of public opinion.
This new diatribe from liberals about the Trump administration’s positions and stands on major issues are “an affront to our America values,” is, in fact, an affront to the public’s collective intelligence, as it mocks us by being cute, by half.
Whos American values, sir? The liberal Socialist’s values? well, then you would be right!
This sad attempt to conquer by division is contrary to the very concept of America’s value.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr’s values of unification not division. where he declared at the Lincoln Memorial:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
There is but only one race, the human race. In all my journeys I have met albino Norwegians, yet they are not white. I have grown up around very dark-skinned brothers, yet they are not black. There is no such thing as a black or white person.
We are all flesh toned humans that bleed red, cry wet and dream in multi colors. Not until and when we unlearn this “adult” fairytale and embrace this self-evident reality, will we ever see the true color blind promised land.
We cannot be sliced and diced by way of sexual or psychological preferences.
That cannot be what separates us, that is very private and personal.
Not a tool to use as leverage for destruction, alienation, and kindling for an unsustainable ideology that feed off human subjugation and misery.
We cannot continue to be divided by economic class, age, sex, religion, thought nor skin color. For on this Independence Day:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain un-a-lienable Rights, (as in no man can take it from you, nor can you give it away.)
Which brings me to a more important point. Thomas Jefferson’s original draft stated:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain un-a-lienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of property.”
For his goal was to abolish slavery at the genesis of our independence. however due to immense pressure from the liberal southern factions. and the need to not fight a revolutionary war on two fronts. One being the world power of England as well as the slave colonies. But be unanimously united. He had to relent but not without a stern warning that the blood of this unattended injustice will be paid down the road in a tragic civil war.
We must not cower in the face of injustice especially not on this 4th of July.
As it has been said many times, if we do not learn the lessons of history we will be doomed to repeat it.
We are now faced with a new “slave race” that of the plight of the illegal alien.
For many amongst us are truly not free on this Independence Day.
For political gain, they have been exploited or decades on purpose and like some sick case of national Munchausen by proxy.
This ends now!
I present to you my fellow Americans a new Declaration of Independence.
Before you is a document created in the Spring of 2006 by Hispanic illegal youths as a written solution from their point of view. For too long the immigration conversation has been an A, B so “C” you later.
This one developed and drafted by the illegal community on how to constitutionally and fairly reboot the broken American Immigration system. not by pitting one group against another. but by locking arm in arm to fix it together.
Don’t believe the mouthpieces that ‘represent’ the illegal community. They do not. Ask them, for they live this unnecessary existence every day.
I give you “La Patria Declaration”.
LA PATRIA DECLARATION
In Peace and Justice… and Being of Good Courage…
We the people of the United States and of the whole AMERICA….
Declare on this (two thousand and six years) our intent of Union and
Support of the Constitution Of the United States, and our commitment to her peoples and her Laws……to take up our task, through our shed blood and drained tears, make fertile freedoms roots!
WHEREAS We ADOPT…
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Right to the pursuit of Happiness..”
WHEREAS We EMBRACE…
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
WHEREAS We DECLARE…
“FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST …..THANK GOD ALMIGHTY WE ARE FREE AT LAST”… AND THAT NO MAN BE JUDGED BY THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN, BUT BY THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER.”
WHEREAS We DOCUMENT ………
“NO MAN BE PROSECUTED OR BLAMED FOR THE CRIMES AND ACTS OF OUR PREDECESSORS
BUT BY THE FACTUAL ACTS AFTER ONE’s BIRTH…LET THE PAST BE!!!!
WHEREAS We SUPPORT ………
“TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY!!”
Our battle cry:
BORDERS. LANGUAGE. CULTURE.
********************** BORDERS **********************
WHEREAS … We recognize our status as “illegal”
We the signatories declare our desire to totally secure and close the southern border and frontiers…To support AMERICA’S SOVEREIGNTY … Protect Her people and her laws in the post-September 11th era.
“It is our mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers that are perishing in the wilderness.”
We also Declare that the legal portals be justly open and properly filtered to allow eager Immigrants to process orderly and be documented!
“Let us be “REBORN” legally under liberty’s watch.”
“For an attack of Mass Destruction does not discriminate LEGAL from ILLEGAL”
WHEREAS We DO NOT support an amnesty, but reform the immigration process!!!
WHEREAS we declare our union to STOP the black market of HUMAN, NARCOTICS and TERRORIST traffickers….AND Support all patriots that wish to aid on America’s domestic frontline.
********************** LANGUAGE **********************
We the signatories Declare that We come together to accept and adopt English as the official Language of the United States of America.
We also declare that our natural language, not be a burden on America, but that We take the burden upon ourselves to speak her tongue.
“He who knows MORE than one language is capable of more than one MAN.”
********************** CULTURE **********************
“TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY” is ours
The signatories Declare that they come together to embrace America’s mission of excellence and doing things right…TO NOT CUT CORNERS..
WHEREAS We embrace PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY….to accept and RECTIFY our discrepancies.
“FREEDOM IS NOT FREE, IT IS NOT FREE FROM ITS CONSEQUENCES.”
WE DECLARE OUR DESIRE TO MELT INTO THE FABRIC OF “OLD GLORY’S” THREADS…
Due to design or by OVERT CONSEQUENCES …We have been DENIED OUR OPPORTUNITY for the pursuit of happiness. And thus declare in good FAITH our commitment to PEACEFULLY and ORDERLY process our status into the sunlight.
Inspect our background, DOCUMENT our Genesis and invite us into the AMERICAN FOLD!!
WHEREAS We are a conservative people that SHARES AMERICAS VALUES. GOD, FAMILY and PATRIOTISM thusly…
WHEREAS We embrace the American concept of owning one’s actions and consequences and the concept of fairness of getting in line.
THUSLY To offset our influx we propose and endorse the following platforms:
WHEREAS We support VOTER I.D. Reform.
WHEREAS We support a FAIR TAX
WHEREAS We support School VOUCHERS.
AMERICA IS UNDER ASSAULT FROM ANTI-AMERICAN FORCES AND THAT CANCER MUST BE
CHALANGED……..WE ARE HERE TO HELP HER ….BUILD HER UP AND WAVE HER FLAG
….OUR FLAG TO THE ENTIRE WORLD.
This is our projection and timeline!
“BORON Y CUENTA NUEVA”
LET US START A-NEW………. We Propose the following GOALS
Immediately closure of the southern Border, be it by a physical structure or by a manned presence (military or federal, civilian)
Open the legal Gates…
We Propose processing facilities such as FORT ISLAS ANGELES,… FORT NOGALES,… FORT LAREDO AND POINT ELLIS.
Let us the “illegal” Immigrants process… go to these new “ANGEL” and “ELLIS Island” ports and DECLARE ourselves… Document us, To establish our official I.D.’s, to take our fingerprints.
“Let us be “REBORN” Legally and above board… become taxpayers.
Let us Prove ourselves to the American People.
Let us PAY as we GO.
“THE EGALITARIAN and AMERICAN SOLUTION!”
Let us own and earn our remedy!
Present us with two options.
1) If our goal is ultimately the American dream of becoming U.S. citizenship, they our penalty is for us to leave the country and get in line.
2) If our goal is only residencie then our penalty and path will be to BE PERMANENTLY BARRED from U.S. citizenship. Report to an immigration processing and orientation center.
A} Document and Start as a EXPLORE level migrant worker “ he who wishes to
work here after processing wishes to come and go, pays taxes but is not
eligible for any social assistance …no welfare, etc.
B} After 7 years an EXPLORE class immigrant can apply for a ENDEAVOR level Status “he who wishes to become a resident” can qualify for residency if migrant has kept his or her criminal record clean and learns English. They are now eligible for public assistance but cannot vote…
C} For illegal immigrants who opted for the goal of citizenship and have left the country and After 7 years an immigrant can apply for a ENTERPRISE level status “he who wishes to become a citizen” can qualify for citizenship if said migrant has still kept his/her criminal record clean. And must pass a thorough civil entrance exam.
“IT IS URBAN LEGEND THAT ALL MIGRANTS SEEK CITIZENSHIP… SOME JUST WANT TO WORK.”
********************** TIMELINE **********************
OPERATION “STAR FIELD”
The rebooting and reformation of the immigration process will take 1-2 years to complete.
DAY ONE. – Full deployment of national guard/ military to augment border patrols and to fully cover the Northern and southern borders.
DAY TWO – Start full construction of the double security fence with manned watchtowers from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.
DAY THREE – Announcement in advance of the NEW documentation process for undocumented/illegal alien migrants is to start. (orderly processing and documentation/filtering at the NEW border processing stations) Full public dissemination THAT THERE WILL BE A 1-2 YEAR opportunity TO DOCUMENT, That after that 1-2 year window, ALL IMMIGRATION LAWS WILL BE EXTREMELY ENFORCED AND APPLIED. “Anyone still holding out must have ulterior motivations to not come clean!”
DAY FOUR – THROUGH END OF DOCUMENTATION PERIOD… Migrants checking in at the border will be processed for criminal records, health screening, I.D. processing and RE-documentation. DEBRIEFING OF THE AMERICAN experience AND THE EXPLANATION OF RULES OF their STATUS.
WE NOW HAVE A SECURE BORDER. A DOCUMENTED POPULATION,(BIOMETRIC NATIONAL I.D.)… A REVERSE “MAGNETIC POLARITY” OR “SOURING OF THE MILK” FOR ANY ONE WHO IS STILL HERE ILLIGEALY… AND A CHECK VALVE AT THE BORDER. ANY ONE COMING TO THE U.S. TO WORK WILL WANT TO COME THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR AND IF ANY ONE PULLS OFF GETTING IN ILLEGALY (GETTING THROUGH THE U.S. PRESENCE) WILL FIND THEMSELVES BEING REPELLED NATURALY BY THE SYSTEM (NO NATIONAL I.D.). LET GRAVITY DO ITS JOB.
THIS IS OUR PLAN
THIS IS OUR COMMITMENT
THIS IS OUR SOLUTION
VIVA AMERICA……….. GOD BLESS AMERICARead More
By Allen Payton
Long-serving Antioch School Board Trustee Walter Ruehlig let it be known on Saturday, July 14 that he will not run for reelection and instead join fellow Trustee Debra Vinson and take on County School Board Vice President Jeff Belle in November’s election.
While Vinson, finishing her first and rather contentious term on the Antioch School Board, didn’t officially announce her campaign, she did ride in a car in the Antioch July 4th Parade with a sign indicating her decision to run for the county board. In 2017 Vinson was censured by her fellow board members for her interactions with district employees. (See related article). She was also passed over for the board presidency, following her year as Vice President. (See related article).
On one issue all three will most likely agree, which is approving private charter schools. Both Vinson and Ruehlig were two of the three board members who, earlier this year, voted in favor of the East Bay Tech Academy middle and high charter school petitions, and Ruehlig was one of the three who voted for the Rocketship elementary charter school petition in 2016. Belle has voted against one and approved five other charter schools while on the county board.
“I have decided definitely to run for Area 5 County Board of Education,” Ruehlig stated, following rumors of the possibility.
In his official announcement, he wrote:
I will be submitting my candidacy papers on Monday, July 16th to run for Area 5 of the County Board of Education, which covers Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Clyde, Knightsen, Oakley, and Pittsburg.
In June of 1968, I dedicated myself to public service and youth education when I taught English for the Peace Corps in Sultandag, a rural village in Turkey that had no electricity. Fifty years later, the idealism continues.
I believe that that my twelve-year service, with three years as President, on the Antioch School Board, and my experience with the Pittsburg Unified School District as a California Department of Rehabilitation Workability Program Director for adults with disabilities and as a career counselor, have given me useful insight into County Trustee duties. I am excited by the challenge of overseeing career training programs, special education, community day schools, and facilities for incarcerated juveniles.
I was a late-bloomer myself but, fortunately, had teachers who didn’t give up on me. I eventually caught fire and worked my way through college. My passion for sharing opportunity and persisting with high-risk, disadvantaged or under motivated students is my way of returning thanks.
Aside from counseling, teaching and administrative background, I feel I have the proven temperament and intangible skill sets requisite for good governance.
I enjoy communication and transparency. I am open, creative and innovative but believe in sober budgeting, no-nonsense classroom behavior standards and back to the basics core curriculum. I am pragmatic and put my ego at the door to focus on getting the task at hand done one building block at a time. In this age of divisiveness, I am proud to say that I can get along without always going along. I am a consensus-builder but no pushover. I cannot be bullied or bought.
I look forward to meeting the voters of Area 5, hearing their concerns, and presenting my vision. I welcome their scrutiny and would be honored by their support. I pledge not to let them, or their kids, down.
Candidate, Area 5
Contra Costa County Board of Education
Incumbent Jeff Belle
Elected in 2014, Belle has faced a variety of controversies before and during his term on the County School Board. In January 2016, Belle admitted to claiming he was a respiratory care practitioner even though he didn’t have a license and was fined $8,200 by the state. (See related article).
In December 2016, facing prosecution by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office for lying on his ballot statement, Belle admitted in court that he didn’t have a college degree which he claimed. He agreed to community service to avoid a trial and possible fine of up to $1,000. (See related article)
He and his wife had to move from their home in Antioch in spring of 2015 for failure to pay rent, due to a loss of his wife’s job and Belle not earning enough through his consulting business. They separated and Mrs. Belle moved to Sacramento. As a result, questions have arisen about Belle’s residency. He rented rooms in other people’s homes in the district. The two have since reconciled and Belle now splits his time between his wife’s place and a home in the district.
In 2017 Belle suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. Recently, he posted a fundraising effort on his Facebook page to help him pay off his medical bills. The total raised was $50 from former County School Board Trustee Richard Asadoorian.
Recently, Belle has served as a producer for a TV show entitled Modern Ageless Beauty for women over age 40.
Filing opens on July 16th and closes August 10th if Belle decides to seek reelection, which is expected. If not, the filing period will be extended to August 15th. The election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th.Read More
On Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 12:05 AM the Concord Police Department received a call regarding an auto vs. bicyclist collision on San Miguel Road near Systron Drive Officers arrived on-scene along with medical personnel from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
The bicyclist was pronounced deceased at the scene. The bicyclist was identified as a 60-year-old male from Concord. The identity of the deceased bicyclist is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin by the Contra Costa County Office of the Coroner.
The driver of the vehicle is a 57-year-old male from Antioch. He remained at the scene and was the caller who called in the collision. He is cooperating with the investigation. He was not injured during the collision.
Alcohol/drugs are not believed to be a factor in this collision at this time.
The cause of the collision is still under investigation. Preliminary investigation has revealed that both the vehicle and the bicyclist were travelling south on San Miguel Rd. at the time of the collision.
San Miguel Road between Systron Drive and the entrance to 1080 San Miguel Road was closed for approximately 3.5 hours to perform roadway measurements, collect evidence, and conduct the investigation.
Additional details are not being released at this time.
Anyone with information or who may have witnessed this collision is encouraged to contact Officer Lawrence at (925) 671-5097.Read More
By Luke Johnson
The XO Music Festival wasted an estimated $500,000, according to Director Sami “Styles” Habib.
The three-day event was canceled because World Class Entertainment did not provide proper insurance by this morning’s deadline, according to Joe Brengle, CEO of Contra Costa Event Park.
“We are the ones who are victimized here,” Habib said.
He added that his party supplied multiple sources for insurance, but they were rejected by Contra Costa Event Park. However, Brengle said those insurance agreements did not fulfill the park’s requirements.
The XO Music Festival faced several allegations online of being a scam over the past few weeks.
However, Brengle disagrees with those accusations and said the event’s management team was guilty of being too ambitious.
“I believe it wasn’t a scam,” he said. “I think they bit off more than they could chew.”
Brengle added that the negative media attention toward the event had nothing to do with its discontinuation.
The event organizers billed 100-plus artists — with marquee names such as T.I., Ludacris, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and the Bay Area’s own Mistah F.A.B. — to perform on seven different stages throughout the park. It also advertised stand-up comedy, carnival rides, roller skating and a foam pit, among other activities.
Habib said ticket sales were much lower than expected, but buyers were instantly refunded through the ticket agency, GrowTix.
Initially, Habib said the music festival lost approximately $750,000, but later said $500,000 was a more accurate number. He then said the financial loss was “definitely” in the six figures. He declined to comment when asked who provided those funds.
Brengle confirmed that Contra Costa Event Park kept $27,500 from the full rental agreement. He explained that money was already spent in preparation for this festival and it was too late to book another event for this weekend.
Habib is facing real estate fraud charges under the name Habidulla Qidar, according to CBS. He and his brother were identified by Fremont Police for being arrested in February involving a fraudulent home rental scheme.
Regarding the event’s authenticity, many people expressed concerns online about some artists’ performing schedules. Both Ludacris and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are promoted for the Chalice Festival in Southern California this weekend. However, Habib said musicians often book two shows in one day and it was requested by their agencies.
Habib said he plans to eventually produce the XO Music Festival, but at a new location.Read More
By Daniel Borsuk
Contra Costa County supervisors learned the City of Pittsburg is about to launch its own investigation into whether radioactive contaminated soil or material that may have been illegally deposited at Keller Canyon Landfill from the decommissioned Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and could potentially have spoiled underground water and air in the vicinity of the landfill.
The city’s investigation, according to Pittsburg Environmental Affairs Manager Laura Wright will be independent of the $150,000 study that the Contra Costa County Health Services Department will fund through Keller Canyon Mitigation funds. The county health department study will be confined to whether radioactive materials were illegally deposited at the landfill off Bailey Road from the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.
So far, city of Pittsburg officials pinpointed $10,000 to pay for its study, but do not know what the total cost of its study will be or how it will be entirely paid, Wright told supervisors.
In all likelihood, the city will tap the state for additional funds, but did not identify specific sources, said District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of San Ramon.
District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg mentioned Pittsburg could tap Keller Canyon Mitigation funds.
“We want to go and assure the public there is no risk,” Wright said. She said the city is responding to citizen concerns about potential health risks related to landfill management practices based on angry citizen reaction from a community meeting at the Ambrose Community Center on June 28.
In the meantime, the county will tap into the Keller Canyon Mitigation Fund to hire a consultant to conduct a study into whether radioactive material has been illegally dumped in the landfill off Bailey Road.
There have been at least two reported incidents one in June 2014 and another in February 2015 when truckloads of radioactive material or soil left the former San Francisco naval shipyard and were caught before the material/soil was dumped onto the Pittsburg landfill.
Lisa Dela Rosa questioned the county’s use of Keller Canyon Mitigation funds, which emanate from landfill operator Republic Services, to pay for the landfill study. “Would this be an illegal use of funds?” she asked.
County Counsel Sharon Anderson said it is appropriate for the county to tap into the mitigation fund to cover cost for the landfill study.
“We are not going to wait to determine who is going to pay for this study,” said District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg. “If necessary we’ll recoup the costs from the operator or the Navy. We want to assure the public that there is no risk in place.’’
Supervisors Prepare to Pass Commercial Cannabis Tax Measure for Voters
Supervisors set the stage to formally adopt at their July 17 meeting a general tax ordinance on commercial cannabis activities. If it is adopted, as it is expected to occur after supervisors unanimously passed the tax ordinance with scant public opposition at their Tuesday meeting, voters will get a chance to approve or reject the measure at the upcoming Nov. 6 election.
Should the ordinance get the final send off from the supervisors at next Tuesday’s meeting and county voters pass the measure in the fall, the tax measure would take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
Tax rates would vary based on the type of cannabis business one is engaged in. For instance, the initial tax rate for an indoor cultivator would be $7 per foot and would become $10 per foot at the maximum tax rate. For a distributor the initial tax rate would be 2 percent of the gross receipts and the maximum rate would be 3 percent of the gross receipts. For a retailer the initial rate would be 4 percent of the gross receipts and the maximum rate would 6 percent of the gross receipts. Other tax rates are listed for testing, manufacturing, and cultivators (i.e. nursery, greenhouse, outside).
First 5 executive director Sean Casey supported the tax ordinance proposal saying, “This will not be a significant amount of money to start, but it’s a first step.” Nonprofit educational organizations like Casey’s program and other social welfare and health organizations are expected to be monetary beneficiaries of the cannabis tax measure should it go into effect.
John Thiella of JGP Associates and representing cannabis businesses cautioned supervisors. “Lower taxes. Suspend action on the taxes until 2021,” he said.
Stand Together Contra Costa Progress Report
A year after the board of supervisors awarded a $500,000 grant to the Stand Together Contra Costa, a nonprofit organization designed to defend immigrants under the eye or arrest of the United State Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the board received and approved as a consent item a progress report.
Some of the STCC’s activities include: Conducted 582 immigration consultations; completed 35 intakes for legal representation; represented/representing 310 people in bond and removal proceedings; recruited and trained 108 volunteers as legal observers; reported, observed, verified 19 incidents of reported ICE activity; and launched a 24/7 hotline (925) 900-5151.Read More
In a press release from Joe Brengle, CEO of the Contra Costa Event Park (fairgrounds) today, he stated, “Due to the promoters’ lack of fulfilling contractual obligations between the Contra Costa Event Park and World Class Entertainment, Event Park Management in the best interest and safety of our facility, event attendees and the City of Antioch we have no choice but to cancel the XO Music Festival scheduled to take place at the Event Park July 12 – 15, 2018.”
According to event organizer Sam Styles, a nickname for Sami Habib, the fairgrounds informed him at 8:00 a.m. today that their insurance was denied and that it was done “by another office.” He also said the Event Park will not refund their deposit.
All refund inquiries should be directed to the event promoter: World Class Entertainment, Inc. 39962 Cedar Blvd. #279, Newark, CA 94560, Attn: Sami Habib, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please check back for updates.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston announced, today the end to the county’s contract to hold Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond. He was joined at a press conference by Board of Supervisors Chair Karen Mitchoff and Vice Chair John Gioia, in whose district the facility is located.
Following is the Sheriff’s complete statement:
“Today I am announcing that I am ending the contract with ICE to hold detainees at our dormitory buildings on our Richmond jail facility,” he said. “I recently notified ICE of this decision and asked them to begin the process of removing their detainees in a safe and orderly manner. The contract requires 120-day notice and they have told me they will try to resolve as many open-ended immigration cases as they can during this period of transition.
To be clear, the Sheriff’s Office does not do immigration enforcement. In fact, our policy prohibits it. These detainees are not arrested for immigration violations by us or any other law enforcement organization or agency in the county. They were instead persons ICE brought to us under the terms of the contract from all over Northern California and beyond.
There is not one single over riding issue that causes the termination of this contract. Instead there are many. And I am not here to comment on ICE’s enforcement policies or any of their federal partners’ policies. Instead I want to explain the reasons why we are cancelling the contract.
First, we have held an average of about 200 adult detainees a day. And that has generated about $2.5 – 3 million dollars in annual revenue. That revenue varies year to year. Losing it would likely result in the lay-off of Deputy Sheriffs and that was something I was unwilling to do. Instead, working closely with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board, and ultimately with the full board, we have found a solution that will backfill the expected budget deficit going forward including the use of state funds to minimize the impact on local taxpayers.
Second, the number of detainees constantly fluctuates. We cannot rely on budget projections and ICE could always decide to move their detainees to another facility.
Third, county employee and operating costs have risen over the years, But the reimbursement rate has not. Long term the contract is just not sustainable.
Finally, the outstanding work by the over 1,000 employees of the Office of the Sheriff have been overshadowed by the attention that the ICE contract brings, even though immigration is a matter of federal law. Managing protests in Richmond have become expensive and time-consuming for our staff.
And to be very fair, one must acknowledge a growing chorus of community groups and individuals from both within and outside the county, that have focused on undocumented immigrants’ issues. And they raise important concerns.
Obviously, this action today does not address the larger and more complex issue of federal immigration enforcement. Most of us have compassion for those to come here seeking a better life but we are a nation of laws. And to be sure, those who come here undocumented who commit new crimes while here will be arrested and processed into our jails as they are currently. That will not change.
My number one priority remains and will continue to be keeping Contra Costa County safe.”
Gioia, who has long publicly opposed the contract, spoke forcefully about why the policy was harmful to families and eroded trust with immigrant communities. He thanked both Sheriff David Livingston for ending the contract and the thousands of residents across Contra Costa who joined in calling for an end to the ICE contract. According to an ABC7 News report “The West County facility currently houses 169 ICE detainees, part of a longstanding agreement that netted the county up to $3 million per year.”
“This is an historic day in Contra Costa County,” said Gioia. “Sheriff Livingston’s decision to cancel his Federal contract to hold ICE detainees at the West County Detention Facility is an important and positive step to build greater trust with our hard-working immigrant families here in Contra Costa.”
“I appreciate and thank Sheriff Livingston for making this decision,” Gioia continued. I know that thousands of Contra Costa residents countywide also thank Sheriff Livingston for this action. To the thousands of our county’s residents who have passionately advocated for an end to the detention of immigrants at the West County Jail, thank you. Thank you for your consistent and loud advocacy. Your actions do make a difference. The Sheriff’s decision was based on a number of factors. Your voices were one of those factors. I thank Sheriff Livingston for listening to the opinion of the large number of sincere and passionate residents who believe that our County should not use our local jail to house ICE detainees.”
However, according to the ABC7 report, “Mitchoff opposes canceling the ICE contract, primarily out of concern about where current and future Bay Area detainees might be sent. ‘I’m sorry to be losing the contract,’ Mitchoff explained. ‘Unfortunately, with the closure of this facility, those individuals that ICE is not able to release through the normal process will be sent to other places throughout the United States.’”
“We don’t know ultimately what ICE will do with these detainees,” Livingston said.
Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA11) issued the following statement after the Sheriff’s announcement.
“Having called for the termination of the contract, I support the Board of Supervisors’ decision and look forward to working with them on making sure the concerns of the community and clients are addressed,” he said.
Following multiple and varying allegations of abuse by ICE agents at the West County Detention Facility, DeSaulnier called for the termination of the County’s ICE contract in March of this year, and he urged U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and California Attorney General Javier Becerra to conduct a third-party investigation of the West County Detention Facility. Contra Costa County is the only of the nine Bay Area counties that has a contract ICE.
Following accusations of mistreatment of ICE detainees, DeSaulnier and Livingston toured the facility, last November and the Sheriff’s investigation found the claims to be unfounded.
Please check back later for updates.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More