School children across Contra Costa County will participate in the 16th annual countywide shelter-in-place drill to practice safety procedures in the event of a nearby hazardous material release or other incident requiring them to shelter-in-place. Directed by CAER, this year’s shelter-in-place drill will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 1st, and all public and private schools, and childcare centers throughout Contra Costa County are encouraged to participate.
“Each year we are encouraged with the increased number of participating schools CAER works with,” said CAER’s Executive Director, Tony Semenza. “Teachers and students should all know shelter-in-place procedures just as they are trained about what to do in case of a fire or earthquake.”
This annual safety event gives children and their caregivers an important opportunity to practice responding to the Community Warning System (CWS) alerts, which includes a series of sirens along the waterfront areas from Richmond to Antioch. The CWS sounds a siren when there has been a dangerous chemical release or other disaster that requires a shelter-in-place. These alerts are also sent via radio, TV, cell and land line calls and social media postings.
Hazardous material releases can result from many sources in Contra Costa County, including accidents at chemical treatment plants, wastewater treatment facilities, facilities that store and/or manufacture hazardous materials, refineries, but also from collisions involving trucks or trains that transport chemicals. The possibility of accidents, make it important for the county’s youngest members to recognize and respond correctly to shelter-in-place alerts.
CAER is a coalition of local agencies, businesses, industries, community groups and emergency response organizations. CAER works to improve emergency response planning and to actively enhance public health and safety.Read More
Workers speak out against unsafe working conditions that cause ‘disabling and disfiguring accidents’
BAY POINT, CALIF. – Protesting the heartless cancellation of health insurance for workers on strike, four injured workers of Henkel Aerospace Industrial Bay Point will share their stories of workplace injuries and deliver a letter from Valter Sanches, General President of the IndustriALL Global Union to the company’s 2850 Willow Pass facility on Tuesday.
More than 80 production workers at Henkel Aerospace Industrial Bay Point – a German-owned subsidiary –have been on strike since October 16, 2017. The workers manufacture industrial glue and adhesives for airplanes and other industrial uses, and organized with Machinists Local 1584 in 2013 after numerous safety violations on the job, including a workplace fatality of a temporary worker, a veteran who had recently returned from Iraq to settle in Antioch.
“It is not surprising – and completely in line with Henkel’s callous disregard for worker safety – that they would cancel our health insurance in an attempt to scare us back to into unsafe jobs,” said Will Morris, Henkel production worker and Shop Steward for Machinists Local 1584. “Scarier than us losing health insurance is what’s been happening to workers inside the plant: disabling and disfiguring accidents,”
“Henkel’s continues to refuse to address health and safety problems through better training & advancement and a reasonable grievance procedure at the bargaining table,” said Steve Older, Machinists Area Director. “The company’s ongoing animus toward the union workers – on the factory floor and at the bargaining table – will lead to more workplace injuries. We’ll be on strike until this corporation puts safety and fairness first.”
“As Contra Costa moves toward developing the Northern Waterfront into an advanced manufacturing sector, we need to ensure that the jobs created are quality jobs; safe jobs for workers and the community, with living wages, job security and advancement opportunities, so the region is truly sustainable,” said Margaret Hanlon-Gradie, executive director of the Contra Costa AFL-CIO Labor Council.
WHO: 80 workers on strike protesting unsafe working conditions, community leaders and allies
WHAT: Injured workers on strike will deliver letter to Henkel’s management. Picket line.
WHEN: 12 P.M., TODAY, OCTOBER 31, 2017
WHERE: In front of Henkel Aerospace Bay Point, 2850 Willow Pass Road, Bay Point, CA
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1584 represents more than 5,000 workers in manufacturing, automotive, shipyards, and public transportation, and other industries in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Central Labor Council of Contra Costa County, AFL-CIO represents working people in Contra Costa County.
Multiple attempts to reach someone at Henkel in Bay Point for comment for this article were unsuccessful. The voicemail for their reception desk is full and the message for the Human Resources Department states “your call cannot be completed at this time. Please try again later. Good-bye.”Read More
Detectives from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff continue to investigate a homicide that occurred in Discovery Bay early Sunday morning.
The victim is identified as 48-year-old Bradley MacHugh of Discovery Bay. The autopsy was completed earlier today. The cause of death is listed as multiple gunshot wounds.
On Sunday morning at about 12:43, Deputy Sheriffs responded to a report of a shooting near Keats Ct. in Discovery Bay. While Deputies were on the way, another caller stated a man was shot and laying on the street on the 1700 block of Wilde Drive. The victim, Bradley MacHugh, was later pronounced deceased.
Detectives say MacHugh was involved in a verbal altercation with occupants in two vehicles over reckless driving. It later became physical. A weapon was produced by an unknown suspect who shot MacHugh.
Two vehicles are believed to be involved in this shooting. One is a Mitsubishi Eclipse, red in color, with a spoiler and loud exhaust. It may also have a sun-roof. The second vehicle is described as a Ford Mustang, matte grey in color, with dark colored rims. The model year of the Mustang is possibly 2008.
Both vehicles were filled with occupants, males and one female, who were described as either Hispanic or Asian. They are wanted for questioning.
Anyone with any information on this case or who may have been in the vehicles is asked to contact the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Investigation Division at (925) 404-4200. For any tips, please email: email@example.com or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
Few are familiar with the term “tall ship”, but the Washington-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is on a mission to change that. Their historic sailing ships, the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, travel the west coast year-round introducing the public to maritime history.
“Some people imagine a modern ship, or a Navy cutter,” says Executive Director Brandi Bednarik. ‘Pirate ship’ comes pretty close, but it leaves out the truth of why ships like these sailed-mostly for trade, exploration, and in military action. Our mission is to share this history with the American public.”
From October 31st to November 6th, the Lady Washington will dock in Antioch City Marina (5 Marina Plaza, foot of L Street, Antioch). Dockside visitors can expect to tour the vessel and talk with the crew, while sailing passengers will experience the crew in action and the ship under wind power. The vessel’s public program schedule is as follows:
October 31 (Tuesday)
ARRIVAL in Antioch
November 1 (Wednesday)
Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
November 2 (Thursday)
Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
November 3 (Friday)
Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
November 4 (Saturday)
Tours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($5 donation)
Adventure Sail: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ($42-$49)
November 5 (Sunday)
Tours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($5 donation)
Adventure Sail: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ($42-$49)
November 6 (Monday)
Passage: Antioch to Monterey
Est. Trip Time: 26 hours
Aside from the rare opportunity to see a historic sailing vessel in action, a point of interest is often the crew themselves. The Lady Washington typically has a crew of 10-14, from paid officers to volunteer deckhands to participants in our two-week maritime training program. Some sail for the fun of it, others to learn the job skills of the maritime industry. The nonprofit recently announced a new job skills training program, Sea School, which will launch in 2018.
Launched in 1989 as part of Washington State’s centennial, the wooden-hulled Lady Washington has appeared in several motion pictures and TV shows, including Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, and Once Upon A Time.
If you’re ready to run away to sea, a full schedule of events, tickets, and volunteering information can be found on the organization’s website, www.historicalseaport.org. For the seasickness-prone but curious, free walk-aboard tours never leave the dock.
The vessel will be docked at Antioch City Marina, 5 Marina Plaza at the foot of L Street in Antioch.
Please call (800) 200-5239 for directions. For tickets visit: http://www.historicalseaport.org/public-tours-sails/sailing-schedule/antioch-california/Read More
Sunday morning, October 29, 2017 at about 12:43 AM, Deputy Sheriffs responded to a report of a “prom shoot” near Keats Ct. in Discovery Bay. While Deputies were on the way, another caller stated a man was shot and laying on the street on the 1700 block of Wilde Drive.
The victim was found unresponsive and suffering from gunshot wounds. The fire department and an ambulance arrived and started life saving measures. The victim was later pronounced deceased. The victim, a 48-year-old Discovery Bay resident, is not being identified at this time.
Detectives believe the shooting was a result of a neighborhood disturbance.
Two vehicles, each with several occupants in their late teens or early 20’s, are believed to be involved in this shooting. The occupants, males and one female, were described as either Hispanic or Asian. One car is said to be a newer matte-grey American mid-sized car, possibly a Challenger or Mustang. The other is described as a red colored Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Anyone with any information or who may have been involved in this incident is asked to contact the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Investigation Division at (925) 404-4200. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
By Daniel Borsuk
Contra Costa County Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance on Tuesday that will allow homeowners living in unincorporated areas of the county to cultivate, store, manufacture, transport and sell medical cannabis from their properties.
The hitch is that the homeowner can grow no more than six cannabis plants on each residential property.
The new law that met scant opposition will go into effect Nov. 24.
The ordinance requires that living cannabis plants in excess of 28.5 grams must be kept in a locked space, enclosed, and must not be visible to the public.
Only persons 21 years or older may be allowed to perform any of the activities included in the ordinance, such as cultivation, delivery, sales, and storage.
The ordinance is in compliance with the Nov. 8 2016 voter approved Proposition 64, which enacted the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (CRTAUMA).
The new residential cannabis ordinance is the county’s first salvo in how the county plans to regulate every aspect of the legal commercialized cannabis market.
Contra Costa County is not expected to complete implementation of CRTAUMA until at least after November 2018 when supervisors will place a cannabis tax measure on the ballot for voters to act on.
At Tuesday’s meeting, supervisors, reviewed a wide range of tax proposals presented by Mark Lovelace of the consulting firm HdL Companies.
Lovelace , who said Contra Costa like most other California counties is moving along in compliance with CRTAUMA, presented to supervisors a variety of tax scenarios set at 3 percent, 5 percent and 7 percent, but noted the cumulative tax impact on cannabis retailers, wholesalers and distributors the costs could be as high as 29.5 percent.
For Contra Costa, which could be a major cannabis manufacturing hub with 5 to 20 manufacturers, Lovelace said at a 3 percent tax rate the county could potentially generate $1.27 million in tax revenue a year. At 5 percent the county could draw $1.87 million and at 7 percent the county could ring up $2.75 million.
With that revealed, District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis commented, “Five percent is a good conservative number.”
But Supervisor Karen Mitchoff seemed she could go with a higher tax rate when the supervisor for District 4 remarked, “I want to do whatever needs to be done to maximize tax revenue.”
Business owner Ben Zachery warned supervisors to not go heavy on taxes and regulations during the public hearing.
“Sixty percent of your constituents approved Proposition 64,” he said. “Don’t slap on strict rules and big taxes on cannabis.”
But Jane Rich called on supervisors to not implement CRTAUMA.
“Make marijuana an unwelcomed drug in Contra Costa County,” she said. “It’s a real issue. You have to question about the delivery of marijuana to those under 21.”
Next month, county planners are expected to unveil a revised draft of the cannabis ordinance that will address issues like prioritizing requests for proposals, establishing buffer zones, and imposing restrictions on cannabis deliveries.
Supervisors Approve $47 Million Rehabilitation Project
Supervisors unanimously approved as a consent item a $47 million proposal from Monterey Venture Ltd. to acquire and rehabilitate the 324-unit apartment complex at 680 37th Street in Richmond. Monterey Venture Ltd. is a subsidiary of MRK Partners. Monterey Venture received tax exempt financing for the rehabilitation project through the California Municipal Finance Authority.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the national evaluator of health plans, has recognized Contra Costa Health Plan (CCHP) for delivering exceptional service and clinical quality.
CCHP, which offers a full range of health services to more than 200,000 patients in Contra Costa, became one of only four Medi-Cal plans to earn “Commendable” status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) this year.
“The NCQA is a standard-setter in the health plan industry, and it is gratifying to know we measure up well,” said Patricia Tanquary, CCHP’s Chief Executive Officer. “This new designation reflects the quality outcomes and commitment of our staff, and our organizational culture of improvement.”
The NCQA is a national nonprofit that accredits and certifies a wide range of healthcare organizations and medical practices.
To achieve this designation, CCHP submitted to a rigorous accreditation process from a team of doctors and health plan experts. The accreditation included how well the health plan managed all parts of its delivery system, with its doctors, clinics and hospitals and administrative services, to continuously improve the quality of care and services for its patients.
Accreditation standards include evaluation of service accessibility for patients, quality of care including how the plan uses patient feedback, services for wellness/prevention, and care coordination services for members who are living with chronic illnesses.
“Achieving an accreditation status of Commendable from NCQA is a sign that a health plan is serious about quality. It is awarded to plans whose service and clinical quality meet or exceed NCQA’s rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement,” NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane said.
CCHP has provided high-quality, affordable care to Contra Costa residents for 43 years, and was the nation’s first federally-qualified, state-licensed, county-sponsored HMO. Through the Affordable Care Act, CCHP has enrolled more than 70,000 people into Medi-Cal Managed Care since 2014.Read More
WALNUT CREEK, CA – On Thursday, Oct. 19 just prior to last weekend’s state Republican Party Convention, small business legal advocate, entrepreneur, and small business owner Mark Meuser announced his candidacy for California Secretary of State. The office, currently held by Alex Padilla, boasts a dismal national ranking of 43rd in voter turnout and is ranked almost dead last by The Pew Charitable Trust’s Election Performance Index. Padilla was elected in 2014 and can only run and serve for a second four-year term.
When asked why he was running for Secretary of State, Meuser replied, “A few months ago, I heard a news story that there are currently 11 counties in the state that have over 100% voter registration. I learned that it is the Secretary of State’s job to enforce all election laws in this state. As I studied the issue, I realized that the current Secretary of State has failed to enforce the basic election law requiring the removal from the voter rolls those who have died and moved.”
“If the Secretary of State has failed to enforce such a simple election law, what other election laws has he not enforced? Just how secure is our vote here in California?” Meuser asked.
“Participation in California elections remains criminally stagnant, relying on the appeal of current candidates or issues to buoy voter turnout instead of an innovative Secretary of State who uses every tool to enhance not only registration, but civic engagement,” he added.
Polling shows that 30% of Californians who aren’t registered to vote don’t bother, due to lack of confidence in elections and politics, while 36% of those actually registered cite lack of interest in politics, elections, or candidates for inconsistent voting.
“Californians continue to communicate clearly with their elected representatives and yet, nothing changes. My unique background and training have taught me to listen to people, craft simple solutions to the complex issues they’re facing, and work tirelessly to help them overcome those challenges,” said Meuser.
“Our Secretary of State needs to be someone who is looking out for all Californians by enhancing civic engagement in every community while increasing transparency. That’s why as Secretary of State, I will improve voters’ confidence in our elections, modernize the registration process for businesses, and enhance the People’s ability to use their initiative process.”
“The current Secretary of State’s office is antiquated and clearly still stuck in the Stone Age,” said Meuser’s spokesperson Derek Garner.
Mark Meuser is a small business legal advocate, native Californian, and a small business owner, committed to fighting for honest and fair elections.
From a young age, Meuser was an entrepreneur. At age 12, he would pick cherries in the morning and operate a street-side stand during the afternoon. He was also hard at work taking care of orphaned animals, bottle-feeding sheep, pigs, and cows. Meuser believes that these years of developing character through hard work were important, formative years in his life. By age 15, he was in a management position at a local restaurant and by age 21, he purchased his own pizza restaurant. While his restaurant business was thriving, Meuser began studying law. He graduated with honors from the Oak Brook College of Law.
To better help small business owners handle California’s complex regulatory environment, he opened The Meuser Law Group where he operated a diverse civil litigation team that represented both individuals and small businesses. The 43-year-old is now with the Dhillon Law Group in San Francisco.
According to Ballotpedia, Meuser ran unsuccessfully in 2014 against then-incumbent Mark DeSaulnier for the State Senate in the 7th District, which covers most of Contra Costa County. Then in 2014 he formed the Bay Area Republican Political Action Committee and funded it with $10,500 of his own money running ads in the Antioch Herald and TV ad production. It is no longer active.
For more information on Mueser’s campaign visit www.markmeuser.com. The election for Secretary of State will be held during the Primary, next June. Then the top two candidates regardless of party will face off in the November election.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.