Stockton, CA (Jan. 13, 2021) – In response to Wednesday’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach President Trump on claims of inciting a violent and deadly insurrection that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, Congressman Jerry McNerney (D, CA-09) issued the following statement:
“Today, I voted to impeach President Trump for the second time to protect our nation and our democracy against a would-be tyrant. This is a moment that will define our nation for generations to come. One year ago, the House took up articles of impeachment against President Trump for abuse of power. The Republican-controlled Senate refused to seriously consider these charges and voted against impeaching the President. As a result, there were no repercussions for the President’s actions, which only served to further embolden him. He is a threat to our democracy, and yet Republicans in Congress have repeatedly excused and ignored his dangerous behavior and rhetoric.
“President Trump began his presidency speaking of American carnage, and as he ends his time in the White House, he has led his followers to lay siege at the seat of our government, directly inciting and provoking that carnage. In order to preserve our democracy, there must be consequences for sedition, and the rule of law must be upheld.”
McNerney represents the 9th Congressional District that includes portions of Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties in the U.S. House of Representatives.Read More
By MC2 Ethan Carter, Navy Office of Community Outreach, Media Outreach Department
PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 07, 2020) – Lt. j.g. Valerie Sandoval, from Walnut Creek, Calif., assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), checks the ship’s current heading on the bridge. Ralph Johnson is underway in the Third Fleet area of operations.Read More
By John Fout, Community & Media Relations Specialist, Contra Costa County Office of Communications & Media
In 2021, fifty-three years will have passed since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That sobering reminder will serve as a backdrop to Contra Costa County’s 43rd Annual Commemoration of Dr. King’s life and legacy. The Board of Supervisors welcomes the public to watch a virtual community celebration on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 11 am.
“Contra Costa County welcomes the public to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and help us honor a Humanitarian and Student Humanitarian of the Year. These honorees serve the residents of Contra Costa with dedication and heart. Together, we will commemorate Dr. King and commit to continuing our work together to address issues of racial injustice and inequality in our communities,” said Board Chair, Supervisor Diane Burgis.
The theme of the event is “Silence is Not an Option.” Countywide recognition will be given to the Adult Humanitarian of the Year, Velma Wilson from Antioch, and the Student Humanitarian of the Year, Kimyatta Newby, a recent graduate of Middle College High School in San Pablo. Their stories of leadership, advocacy, and service have impacted Contra Costa County, its residents and communities, and reflect the spirit of Dr. King’s work and achievements.
The celebration will feature the voices of inspirational speakers from the community, including Mike Anderson, former Mayor of Lafayette, Iris Archuleta, Co-founder Emerald HPC International, Merl Craft, Mayor of Pittsburg, Reverend Phillip Lawson, retired pastor and civil rights activist, and Shanelle Scales-Preston, Pittsburg City Council Member. The program also includes entertainment from the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts.
About Velma Wilson
In her actions, her words, and her example, Velma Wilson lives her life as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called us to live.
Velma is a selfless, tireless volunteer in the community and the county. She has served by leading her community and many organizations to promote and foster diversity, equality, and justice. She organized food distribution, school supply, and other drives in service to our county’s most vulnerable.
Velma has coordinated the annual Antioch MLK Day Celebration, the Antioch Veterans and Memorial Day observances, in addition to many other events. Her leadership skills and creativity bring together local, state, and federal elected officials, as well as the community-at-large.
Her list of leadership and volunteer roles includes serving as the parent and student engagement liaison for Antioch United School District, Vice President of Legislation and Education for the 32nd District PTA, 1st Vice President of East Contra Costa County NAACP, and Community Member for African American Male Achievement Initiative. Local service organizations have also benefitted greatly from her membership and involvement.
Her commitment to the Census 2020 effort led her to become a Census Bureau field supervisor. Her relationships and understanding of Antioch and Contra Costa County helped to ensure that both our homeless and unsheltered populations counted and our hardest-to-reach residents in some of the toughest neighborhoods.
About Kimyatta Newby
Kimyatta Newby serves on the San Pablo Youth Commission (SPYC). The Commission is a youth leadership and civic engagement program that increases youth participation in local government. During her tenure with the SPYC, Kimyatta demonstrated her passion to lead her peers and impact the community. Her passion is most evident during her facilitation of youth-led workshops.
Commitment to SPYC led to an election to multiple leadership roles, serving as Chair, Vice Chair, Interim Chair, and Event Coordinator. She grew the work of the Youth Commission by proposing ambitious goals to the City Council and worked diligently to fulfill each one. Through the expansion of ongoing youth recruitment, she brought in eight new members.
While at Middle College High School, Kimyatta was an active member of the Associated Student Union, Metas, Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, Leadership, the Dance Team, and Current Events & Debate.
In 2020, she became the West County young leader and organizer for Black youth and accelerated her efforts during the pandemic. She and her peers asked high school administration to address violence, injustice, and inequities for students of color. She began peaceful protests around the Bay Area. Kimyatta organized the George Floyd Solidarity Protest, which attracted over 1,000 participants in Pinole. Her interests include journalism. She wrote articles for the Richmond Pulse to cover black mental health, transitioning from high school to college, and the recent presidential election results.
Kimyatta is currently a freshman, studying remotely, at Howard University
The public can watch the virtual live-stream at http://www.contracosta.ca.gov/6086 or www.contracostatv.org. The celebration will also be broadcast live on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) channels, Comcast Cable 27, ATT/U-Verse 99, and WAVE 32. To learn more about the Dr. King Ceremony and past ceremonies, visit www.contracosta.ca.gov/5307 in the Community section of Contra Costa County’s website.Read More
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County, Office of the Sheriff
On Sunday, January 10, 2021, at about 12:39 PM, Bay Station Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to a report of shots fired at an apartment complex at San Pablo Avenue and Crestwood Drive in the Tara Hills neighborhood of West Contra Costa County.
Deputies arrived finding a man who appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound in a vehicle. Deputies immediately began life-saving measures on the victim until the arrival of the fire department and an ambulance. The victim was later pronounced deceased at the scene. He is identified as 30-year-old Charles Johnson of San Francisco. An autopsy this morning determined the cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600 or through Sheriff’s Office dispatch at (925) 646-2441. For any tips, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) will host a virtual town hall on Tuesday, January 12th at 2:00 p.m. PT to discuss the attack on the United States Capitol and provide an update on what Congress is doing to hold President Trump accountable, remove him from office and prevent him from running again. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other Members of Congress are proposing using the 25th Amendment process, in which the president’s cabinet members must vote unanimously to remove him. If not, the House will pursue impeachment, for which DeSaulnier has announced his support. (See related article)
However, should House members vote to impeach the president, which requires only a simple majority, the Senate must hold a trial before a vote to remove the president from office. That requires the approval of two-thirds of the Senators.
The Town Hall will be held live on Zoom and will also be viewable through DeSaulnier’s Facebook page. This will be DeSaulnier’s 121st town hall and mobile district office hour since coming to Congress. Contra Costa residents will have an opportunity to submit questions before the event and live during the town hall.
Virtual Town Hall on Impeachment and 25th Amendment
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. PT
This event is open to the public and press.
To RSVP, submit a question, or request special accommodations, visit: https://desaulnier.house.gov/town-hall-rsvp
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
Contra Costa County’s healthcare system is gearing up to provide as many as 7,000 vaccines per day in an effort to vaccinate all eligible residents over the next six months. The county expects to triple the number of vaccines offered this week as capacity grows.
Vaccination efforts in Contra Costa County have been in startup mode over the past month, building scheduling systems and putting the staff in place to meet demand. This is all being done during the biggest surge of the pandemic.
“We are at the beginning of the biggest public health immunization campaign in history and it’s going to take time,” Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) Director Anna Roth said. “At some point, everyone who wants a COVID vaccine will be able to get one. While we aren’t there yet, making vaccine available to everyone is our top priority.”
As of now, all but 1,400 of the 43,675 doses allocated in Contra Costa have been assigned to people in Phases 1A and 1B priority groups. All the doses are expected to be given within the next 14 days, Roth said.
With vaccine in limited supply now, immunizations have only been available to priority groups in high-risk settings, such as frontline healthcare workers and nursing-home residents and staff. As of Jan. 10, 30,245 doses have been administered in the county by various health providers, including Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) and John Muir Health, as well as the federal long-term care partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Safeway and Rite-Aid are completing their registration process with the state. Safeway will begin offering shots at one location this week with additional sites coming on board in the next two weeks.
Contra Costa County Deputy Health Officer and COVID Operations Chief Dr. Ori Tzvieli asked for the public to be patient as health systems build capacity to keep up with the flow of vaccine supply and meet demand.
“We continue to redirect every resource available to getting shots in arms,” Dr. Tzvieli said. “At the same time, we are developing partnerships and networks that will ensure every pharmacy and healthcare provider in the county can provide the vaccine as more and more people are eligible to receive it.”
The County has opened several vaccination sites across Contra Costa at health centers and other large facilities to vaccinate eligible individuals, and we are opening more sites every week. CCHS has also begun shifting staffing from COVID testing sites to vaccination efforts to increase capacity. We also have activated our volunteer Medical Reserve Corps to give vaccine, and the health department is working with fire agencies to use paramedics to administer vaccine.
County health departments aren’t the only ones who are stepping up. Private health systems such as Kaiser, Sutter and John Muir Health — who are the primary healthcare providers for the vast majority of Contra Costa residents – are all scaling up their efforts to vaccinate their own members and let them know when it’s their turn. Pharmacies are also coming online to provide vaccinations as more people become eligible. CVS and Walgreens are already vaccinating those living in long-term care facilities and their staff.
About 900,000 Contra Costa residents will be eligible for vaccine once the County reaches Phase 2 of the distribution plan. To reach community-immunity levels, 75% of those eligible (725,000 people) would need to be vaccinated in the county. In order to immunize 725,000 people over the next six months (104 business days), roughly 7,000 people will need to be vaccinated every business day on average. That will require a significant boost in vaccinations from current levels. During the first few weeks since a vaccine became available in mid-December, 30,245 shots have been given – about 1,200 a day.
Until a region’s four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%
The extended order, directs residents to stay at home except for work, shopping or other essential activities, such as medical appointments. Gov. recommends no non-essential travel more than 120 miles from home.
Latest total numbers for Contra Costa County: 46,618 cases, 389 deaths
In announcing the most recent statistics on COVID-19, including data on intensive care unit (ICU) capacity across the state, today, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) extended the Stay-At-Home order indefinitely. That’s based on the latest ICU data showing 3.0% of current available ICU capacity.
Once a region’s four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%, the order will be lifted for that area. The state will assess the region’s ICU projections in the coming days and announce a formal decision on whether Bay Area meets criteria to exit the order.
Current Available ICU Capacity by Region
- Bay Area: 3.0%
- Greater Sacramento: 6.4%
- Northern California: 27.5%
- San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%
- Southern California: 0.0%
* Today’s current available ICU capacity is based on numbers reported as of January 8, 2021.
Current Status of Regional Stay at Home Order in Affected Regions
- Bay Area: Remains under order; The region’s four-week ICU projections will be assessed in the coming days.
- San Joaquin Valley: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
- Southern California: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
- Greater Sacramento: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
ICU capacity projections for regions that are eligible to exit the order are calculated daily based on four factors: current estimated regional ICU capacity available, measure of current community transmission, current regional case rates and the proportion of ICU cases being admitted. Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region’s projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order. Read the full Regional Stay Home Order, Supplement to the Order, and frequently asked questions.
Due to high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations impacting the health care system, California is also under a Limited Stay at Home Order. The order applies to all counties that are currently under the Regional Stay at Home Order and those in Tier One (Purple) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The Limited Stay at Home Order will expire after the Regional Stay At Home Order has been terminated in all regions of the state.
Hospital Surge Order
On January 5, CDPH issued a public health order to reduce pressure on strained hospital systems. To preserve services for the sickest patients, the hospital surge order requires some non-essential and non-life-threatening surgeries to be delayed in counties with 10% or less of ICU capacity under the Regional Stay at Home Order where the regional ICU capacity is at 0%. Examples of procedures that may be delayed include carpal tunnel release and non-urgent spine surgeries. Surgeries for patients who have serious and urgent medical conditions will continue. Examples of procedures that will continue include serious cancer removal and necessary heart surgeries. The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks and will continue until rescinded.
The order requires hospitals statewide to accept patient transfers from facilities that have implemented contingency or crisis care guidelines as long as those transfers can be done capably and safely. On December 28, 2020 CDPH provided guidance to health care facilities on implementing the Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines issued in June 2020.
Counties Currently Impacted by the Hospital Surge Order:
San Joaquin Valley: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus
Southern California: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura
Statewide COVID-19 Data as of Today
- California has 2,621,277 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
- There were 52,636 newly recorded confirmed cases Friday.
- The 7-day positivity rate is 14.0% and the 14-day positivity rate is 14.0%.
- There have been 35,353,748 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 326,418 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
- As case numbers continue to rise in California, the total number of individuals who will have serious outcomes will also increase. There have been 29,233 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
- As of January 9, a total of 734,405 vaccine doses have been administered statewide. As of January 8, a total of 2,060,800 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped to local health departments and health care systems that have facilities in multiple counties.
Tracking COVID-19 in California
State Dashboard – Daily COVID-19 data
County Map – Local data, including tier status and ICU capacity
Data and Tools – Models and dashboards for researchers, scientists and the public
Blueprint for a Safer Economy – Data for establishing tier status
ADDITIONAL DATA & UPDATES
Updated Travel Advisory
CDPH has issued an updated travel advisory. Except in connection with essential travel, Californians should avoid non-essential travel to any part of California more than 120 miles from one’s place of residence, or to other states or countries. Avoiding travel reduces the risk of virus transmission, including by reducing the risk that new sources of infection and, potentially, new virus strains will be introduced to California. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California and should adhere to the state’s self-quarantine procedures for 10 days
Safe Schools for All Plan
Governor Newsom released his California’s Safe Schools for All plan, California’s framework to support schools to continue operating safely in person and to expand the number of schools safely resuming in-person instruction.
Vaccinate All 58
The COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most important tools to end the pandemic. California will distribute a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in a fair way to everyone who wants it in all 58 counties. Visit the Vaccinate All 58 webpage.
Health Care Workers
As of January 8, local health departments have reported 74,589 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 281 deaths statewide.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing inequities in health that are the result of structural racism and poverty, and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African Americans. California is committed to understanding these inequities to help ensure the best health outcomes for all Californians. View COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data and Cases and Deaths by Age Group. Visit the new Health Equity Dashboard.
Testing Turnaround Time
The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of December 27 to January 2, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.4 days. During this same time period, 60% of patients received test results in one day and 87% received them within two days.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
As of January 4, 161 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) have been reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening.
Your Actions Save Lives
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
- If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider.
- If you believe you have been exposed, get tested. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.
- Stay home except for essential activities and follow local public health guidance.
- Keep interactions to people who live in your household.
- Wear a cloth face mask when out in public.
- Avoid non-essential travel and stay close to home; self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival if you leave the state.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work, school or other people if you feel ill.
- Add your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
- Answer the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or local health department tries to connect.
Washington, DC – Today, with 13 days remaining in President Trump’s term in office, and following the lead of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blaming him for inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D, CA-11) issued the following statement about the attack and calling for Trump to be immediately removed from office.
“Yesterday, the United States Capitol was invaded by a mob that was quite deliberately incited by the current President of the United States. It is a miracle that there was not greater carnage and loss of life. Donald Trump should not be in office for one moment longer, and should never again be allowed to hold office. He has defiled his sacred oath.
The 25th Amendment should be immediately invoked to remove the President from control. If the Vice President and Cabinet refuse to take action, Donald Trump should be impeached as rapidly as possible. What we have seen from him over the last four years and beyond is a clear disrespect for rule of law and the Constitution except as it suits him. We cannot let this go. History will not forgive him, and if we are silent it will not forgive us.”
According to an NBC Bay Area report, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D, CA-9) and Mike Thompson (D, CA-5) who also represent portions of Contra Costa County, support removing Trump immediately, as well.
The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads as follows:
Section 1 – In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2 – Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3 – Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4 – Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
Bailey Road/State Route 4 Interchange Pedestrian/Bicycle Project contract approved
With threats streaming from several citizens hanging over Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors that they would be “voted out of office” unless the elected officials either rejected or further studied a request from Contra Costa County Recorder and Registrar of Voters Debbie Cooper to award a third contract extension to Barcelona, Spain-based Scytl at an additional price tag of $200,000, supervisors moved ahead and unanimously approved the contract extension at Tuesday’s meeting.
Moments earlier supervisors, who had elevated District 3 Supervisor Dianne Burgis of Brentwood to chairperson and District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg to vice chairperson for 2021, were unmoved by the threats. Several unidentified speakers requested supervisors to either pull the consent item for further consideration or to disapprove Registrar of Voters Cooper’s request to extend the contract of Scytl, formerly called SOE Clarity Suite when it was acquired by Scytl in 2012.
The contract with Contra Costa County has been in effect since 2015. The supervisors’ action boosted the payment to Scytl by $200,00 to a new total contract payment of $590,000.
Scytle, whose SOE Software division was founded in 2002 in Tampa Bay, Florida, filed for bankruptcy, last May. According to an October 22, 2020 article on Scytle’s website, “Service Point Solutions, part of Paragon Group, announces the acquisition of Scytl, the Barcelona based company leader in digital voting and electoral modernization.” Paragon Group is also based in Barcelona.
The article further states, the “acquisition unveils Paragon’s group strategy to position Service Point Solutions as a pan-european platform for high-growth digital business.”
Scytle has been accused of being part of the effort to change votes in the November elections from President Trump to President-Elect Biden, in coordination with Dominion Voters Systems machines, which have also been used in Contra Costa County since 2018. (See related article)
“You are not providing proper oversight concerning this contractor,” said one disgruntled caller. “If you don’t improve, we’ll vote you out of office.”
Supervisors were not bullied by the threat or appeals from other anonymous speakers. Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond said, “I will not let those promoting the election conspiracy line since 2015 to sway me.”
“We need to start to post these contracts,” said Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill, who is reportedly serving the last two years of her final term in office. “The public needs to see these requests for proposals.”
Supervisor Mitchoff reacted to one unidentified speaker’s complaint that this contract lacked adequate public notice.
In response to questions about Scytle software, Supervisor Candace Andersen wrote that she had her staff research it and that “It appears to be a non-issue. We’re not purchasing equipment – it is renewing contract for website software. European company bought an American company that we have been doing business with them from 2007. Web hosting and election night reporting. Software where we upload our results and changes to pretty graphics seen on the website. It does not have any impact on election integrity.”
Contra Costa County Clerk/Recorder and Registrar of Voters Debi Cooper also responded, “SOE (Scytl) does not provide any direct election services and is not connected to systems involved with tallying our election results. SOE provides our web hosting and election night reporting graphical support. Our election tally process is done separately on a system that is not connected to the internet. We take information from our tally system to upload information to the website. We originally contracted with SOE in 2007 after conducting an RFP process. SOE was the only respondent that met our needs for election night reporting. SOE was acquired by Scytl in 2014 while we were under contract with SOE. They continue to provide services to many state and local jurisdictions across this country.”
Some speakers charged the county is illegally doing business with a foreign-based company, allegedly operating out of Frankfurt, Germany, although according to Scytl’s website, “Scytl has no presence in Frankfurt, Germany.”
In response to the allegations against the company during the 2020 elections, Scytl posted information on their website stating the following: “The technologies implemented by Scytl in the US are both hosted and managed within the US, by a local subsidiary, SOE Software, based in Tampa, Florida.”
In addition, the Scytl website explains that the election data reporting company has “no political affiliations of any kind.” The statement further rebukes statements that it provides any electronic voting machines in the U.S. and “does not tabulate, tally or count votes in U.S public elections.”
Burgis Becomes Chair, Glover Vice Chair
Earlier Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D.- Concord) remotely administered the oath of office to District 3 Supervisor Burgis, who was sworn into office as Chair of the Board for 2021, and District 5 Supervisor Glover, who was re-elected to his sixth four-year term and will serve as vice chair.
Burgis and Glover, who commences his sixth four-year term of office, along with three other supervisors will oversee the disbursement of the county’s $3.98 billion budget in 2021.
Upon succeeding District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville as Chair, Burgis said, “I want to bring the Northern Waterfront Plan home.
I want to see the benefits coming from it,” Burgis said as one of her key platform issues along with development of the Byron and Buchanan airports, fire department consolidation, and countywide economic recovery during the upcoming post COVID-19 era.
In a prepared statement, Burgis said:
“I appreciate Supervisor Andersen’s unwavering commitment to keeping our residents safe and keeping the county moving forward while addressing the impacts of COVID-19. As chair, I intend to work with my colleagues to support our county health officer to get the coronavirus under control, move the county toward economic recovery for all residents and businesses, enhance mental health crisis response, reform our juvenile justice system, address racial injustice and inequality, protect the Delta, and proactively fight climate change, and, at long last, provide sustainable fire protection services to all areas of the county. I’m excited about our year ahead and ready to get to work.”
Glover said, “Dianne, I appreciate being your wingman, even though my chief boss is Janice Glover (Glover’s wife).” The veteran office holder said 2020 was a year where county workers, especially those in public health and first responders, had to learn on the go. “None of this is written in a book,” said Glover.
Outgoing chair Andersen, who was given a photography book by the Mt. Diablo photographer Steven Joseph, said 2020 was “a year unlike any other” marked by citizens sickened or killed during COVID-19 pandemic, left homeless, having to shutter small businesses, and a host of economic medical and social issues fanned by COVID-19.
Bailey Road/State Route 4 Interchange Pedestrian/Bicycle Project Contract Approved
In a consent action, Supervisors approved a $3.7 million contract with Bay Cities Paving and Grading Inc. to construct the Bailey Road/State Route 4 Interchange Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project. Bay Cities Paving and Grading submitted the lowest and most responsible bid from a field of six other construction companies competing for the federally funded project.
The Bay Cities Paving and Grading submission beat submissions from Granite Rock Co, $3,859,608; Ghilotti Construction Co., Inc., $3,930,295.50; Ghilotti Bros. Inc., $3,972,887; O.C. Jones & Sons Inc., $3,996,733; Gordon N. Ball, Inc., $4,123,732; and Granite Construction Co., $4,864,644.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Sand from the Port of Stockton is restoring a unique refuge
By Brandon Honig, External Affairs Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Over thousands of years, the shifting sands of time built dunes that reached 120 feet high and stretched for two miles along the San Joaquin River, about 35 miles east of San Francisco. Isolated from similar habitats, the Antioch Dunes slowly developed species found nowhere else in the world.
The gradual shifting of sand, however, was replaced by a rapid effort to turn it into bricks in 1906, after a devastating earthquake and fires demolished buildings in San Francisco. As industry depleted the sand over the next 70 years, the dunes’ unique species struggled to survive on dunes that eventually topped out at 50 feet.
Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) and Port of Stockton are trying to turn back the clock, one load of sand at a time. Since 2013, the Port has pumped nearly 92,000 cubic yards of sand — enough to fill more than 6,500 dump trucks — onto the dunes to support three endangered species: the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, Antioch Dunes evening primrose and Contra Costa wallflower.
“The population of Lange’s has been trending downward for a couple of decades now,” said Mark Hayes, a biologist with the Service’s San Francisco Bay-Delta Office. “We counted about 10 butterflies in 2020, and the total population is very likely less than 50 currently. This is precariously low.”
The orange, black and white butterfly with a wingspan of 1 to 1.5 inches, whose population likely numbered 25,000 less than a century ago, was listed as endangered in 1976. The white-petaled primrose and yellow-petaled wallflower followed with listings in 1978.
The Service established Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge for the three species in 1980, making it the first national refuge for insects and plants. At the time, the 55-acre urban refuge with two non-adjacent units was also the nation’s smallest.
“This is a very industrial neighborhood we’re tucked into,” Louis Terrazas, a wildlife resource specialist for the refuge, said of Antioch Dunes. “There’s a shipyard on one side, a gypsum-processing plant, an old water-treatment facility over there and two strips of land owned by Pacific Gas and Electric.”
As sand disappeared in the 20th century, non-native grasses and plants took hold, crowding out the primrose, the wallflower and the Antioch Dunes buckwheat, which is the only plant where the Lange’s butterfly will lay its eggs. In the early 2000s, a series of wildfires further cut the butterfly population, leaving only about 100 alive in 2010 — all on the refuge’s 14-acre eastern unit.
With no butterflies to protect on the western unit, the Service decided to overhaul that site and try to restore the conditions that had once enabled the dunes’ endangered species to thrive. Refuge staff began looking for sources of sand in 2012 and were soon contacted by the Port of Stockton.
The Army Corps of Engineers dredges sand from the San Joaquin River each year to clear passage for cargo ships, and the Port is responsible for finding sites to place the sand. The Port typically sent sand to nearby Sherman Island, but saw an opportunity to make a real impact at Antioch Dunes.
“Our board has been pushing us to reach out and find projects like this — ways we can go above and beyond the normal regulations to try to have a beneficial impact on the [Sacramento-San Joaquin River] Delta,” said Jeff Wingfield, the Port of Stockton’s director of environmental and public affairs. “It costs us a little extra in time and prepping the site and some other little work, but for us it’s important to beneficially reuse the material.”
Since the Port’s first delivery in 2013, the evening primrose has experienced a huge jump in numbers, Terrazas said, and the wallflower and buckwheat are also reappearing. Eventually the refuge hopes to re-establish the Lange’s butterfly on the western unit as well.
To fully restore the refuge’s dune system, the Service could continue taking sand deposits for a couple of decades, Terrazas said, which might not be possible without the Port partnership.
“We bought some sand from another site in 2009, but it was really expensive, and the sand material had some non-native species in it,” he said. “We decided it was not the best method of restoring the site.”
Under the current method, the Port provides and delivers clean sand, and it doesn’t cost the Service a dollar. USFW staff devotes a great deal of time to this project, but the sand itself and the labor to place it at the Antioch Dunes are donated.
“Restoring the dunes is vitally important to the refuge’s ecosystem and could be the key to long-term preservation of its endangered species,” Hayes said. “We value our partnership with the Port and hope this continues as we implement our restoration plan.”Read More