Enjoy a Living Nativity on Christmas Eve, December 24, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 11 White Horse Court in Walnut Creek. Presented by Sufism Reoriented and Francis in the Schools.
In addition to seasonal holiday music and refreshments, we will have a delightful host of animals, including a baby camel and alpaca, a cow, donkey, as well as sheep, goats and piglets.
Please extend this invitation to family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. There is no charge for admission.Read More
Love-A-Child Missions is sponsoring its 32nd Annual Christmas Carnival for the less fortunate families of our community of Contra Costa County. During this event of compassion, the true meaning of Christmas is shared with an invitation to become a Christmas Miracle, this is a special time to share your love and support for the community.
Can your organization be part of this ethnically diversified outreach? Can you be those loving hands of support so desperately needed this Holiday Season? We can certainly use your help and support. This year we are soliciting organizations to be a part of this Christmas compassion event that will make Christmas brighter for the less fortunate families of our county. Below are the service opportunities for the day of the event. Please consider whether you’d like to provide a financial contribution for this event or host a toy or coat drive prior to the event.
Listed below are the different types of services that are needed:
Qualified Leadership & Supervision Prize & Raffle Distribution
Carnival Booths Activities Food/Lunch Preparation and Distribution
Security and Registration Services Food Bag Distribution
Face Painting Balloon Distribution
Toy Distribution Coat Distribution
For further information, questions and/or concerns, please contact Courtney, Heather or Barbara at Love-A-Child Missions @ 925.458.9337 or 925.458.4496
Very truly yours
Jerome Knott – Founding Director
Love-A-Child MissionsRead More
Arrested on Oct. 27th
By Allen Payton
FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett of the Northern California District office and Interim Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton announced on Wednesday the Oct. 27th arrests of East County gang members suspected in two freeway shootings and other charges.
Bennett and Becton were joined by Pittsburg Police Chief Brian Addington and representatives from the Richmond Police Department, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department, San Francisco SWAT, El Cerrito Police Department, Contra Costa County Probation Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, San Pablo Police Department, Concord Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol.
Known as Operation Klap It Out, the joint effort resulted in the arrests of eight suspects and the seizure of a variety of firearms during the search warrants, according to FBI Public Information Officer Cameron Polan.
Seven suspects and alleged members of the Klap Sh**/Broad Day gang from Antioch and Pittsburg were identified as Darnell Keyon Lash age 24, D’Vance Jaquez Sumblin age 20, Javelle Cooksey age 19, Lester Gene Curry age 21 (as of Tuesday), Ezell Tommy Jenkins age 19, Dasheid Keyonta Lash age 21, and Larry Darnell Goines, Jr. age 32. An eighth suspect gang member, Giovante Boyd was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for murder, but was not included in the complaint filed by the DA’s office against the other seven.
According to the complaint they were charged with the following eight counts: conspiracy to commit a crime – murder, carrying a loaded firearm/street gang, possession of firearm by a felon – prior(s), dissuading a witness by force or threat, conspiracy to commit a crime – second degree burglary, carrying a loaded firearm/street gang, conspiracy to commit a crime – pimping, and street terrorism.
“All eight are currently in a preliminary hearing which has been ongoing since Monday,” Polan added.
12/21/17 UPDATE: Asked about the delay in announcing the arrests she replied, “The delayed announcement was due to new leads that were presented as a result of the search warrants executed. The investigators did not want to jeopardize the new information with a public announcement.”
See the charges filed against the seven suspects, here: Charges filed vs Operation Klap It Out gang suspectsRead More
Treatment will include administering psychotropic medications
By Daniel Borsuk
Unlike six months ago when Contra Costa County supervisors faced the rage of protestors opposed to the $95 million expansion of the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, supervisors approved without a whimper of protest a request by the Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston and Health Services Director Robert Walker to designate the expanded detention facility as a mental health treatment facility.
The item at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting was a consent item and did not draw either citizen or supervisor comment.
Supervisors unanimously approved the item.
That action was in sharp contrast to the time supervisors faced nearly 70 protestors opposed to Sheriff-Coroner Livingston’s proposal to expand the jail. Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve the sheriff’s proposal at that time with Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond casting the lone dissenting vote.
In Tuesday’s vote, supervisors were complying with their action taken in June by designating the West County Detention Facility and the future West County Reentry, Treatment, and Housing Facility as mental health treatment facilities in accordance with California Penal Code Section 1369.1. This will permit sheriff deputies or detention facility wards to administer psychotropic medications to persons in county custody who have been adjudged incompetent to stand trial due to mental disorder, refuse to take psychotropic medications and are unable to provide informed consent as recommended by the Health Services Director Dr. William Walker and Sheriff-Coroner Livingston.
“We have to be prepared to take all that comes regardless of their mental state, “said Sheriff-Coroner Livingston in June. “I don’t have a choice.”
“Without medication, symptoms such as increased aggression, self-destructive acts, and severe behavior outbursts can jeopardize the safety of the inmate-patient, the other inmates, and the detention facility staff,” Dr. Walker and Sheriff Livingston jointly wrote in a memo to the supervisors. “The Health Services Department, and the Office of the Sheriff remain committed to transferring individuals to treatment facilities in a timely manner. These facilities, however, are crowded and have long waiting lists. The recommended extension of this designation to the West County detention facilities can help the county cope with the effect of delays beyond the county’s control.”
County Zoning for Solar Energy Generating Facilities Gets Green Light
Supervisors unanimously adopted a zoning ordinance that will pave the way for commercial solar energy generating facilities primarily built by Marin Clean Energy (MCE), which this year inked contracts with county supervisors and city councilmembers of 13 municipalities to be their clean energy options commencing in 2018.
County planning officials presented a map and an ordinance that allows commercial solar energy generating facilities in industrial and commercial zoning districts in unincorporated portions of the county. Areas of the county’s northern waterfront stretching generally from Richmond to Bay Point were designated for the zoning designations. There were no speakers in opposition or in favor of the zoning proposal, but supervisors did receive a Nov. 12 letter addressed to the county planning commission from Howdy Godey of El Cerrito encouraging planning commissioners to approve the zoning proposal.
“I enthusiastically support the adoption of general plan zoning amendments regarding solar generation facilities.” he wrote. “These actions will support the Contra Costa County Climate Action Plan (2015) by providing opportunities to build solar generation facilities that will lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with electric power generation.”
In addition to the county, the city councils of Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek have signed contracts with MCE to serve as their clean energy option contractors.
In a related planning issue, supervisors directed Conservation and Development Department officials to budget up to $7 million to update the county’s General Plan that will require an update by 2020. Supervisors also instructed department officials to budget $1.5 million to bring the county’s zoning code into the 21st Century. The zoning code has not been updated since 1947 when the county had about 300,000 residents. Today 1.2 million persons reside in the county.
Supervisors also approved as a consent item a new county library commission composition as recommended by the Library Commission and County Librarian Melinda Cervantes. The reconstituted library commission was triggered mainly with the City of Richmond library leaving the county library system.
The new library commission composition will consist of 29 commissioners. Supervisors must select a representative to serve on the library commission that represents the Contra Costa Central Labor Council, the Contra Costa Community College District, the East Bay Leadership Council, the Contra Costa Friends Council and the Contra Costa County Office of Education. Library commissioners will serve four-year terms and serve in an advisory role to the board of supervisors and county librarian. The library commission will meet at least quarterly and no more than six times a year. There is no fiscal impact related to the newly reconstituted library commission.Read More
By Allen Payton
According to Supervising Producer Kris Wynn, the movie filmed in Antioch last summer, will air on the Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) next Thursday, December 28. It’s entitled Psycho Brother-In-Law and includes Antioch and East County residents as extras. (See related articles, here and here.)
It’s the second movie to be filmed in Antioch in as many years.
According to the Lifetime website, the movie stars Brittany Falardeau, Zack Gold, Mike Duff, Megan Ashley Brown and Samantha Bowling.
The description reads, “Kate is so thankful to have her brother-in-law David back in her family’s life as he’s been a blessing around the house while her husband spends long days at the office. But when his behavior starts getting out of line, Kate realizes that David wants to be the new head of the family, and will do anything to make that happen.”
So grab, the remote and popcorn, order some pizza and watch your local friends or family members on the small screen to see who made it past the cutting room floor!Read More
By Allen Payton
At 11:47 pm Monday night, emergency personnel from the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District responded to a single vehicle roll-over accident on Balfour Road east of Deer Valley Road, according to Interim Battalion Chief Ross Macumber. The accident took the life of a 51-year-old Hispanic woman from Tracy.
The Contra Costa Coroner’s office identified her as Ivette Montes.
“As our units were leaving CHP was actively investigating,” Macumber stated.
According to Officer Nathan Johnson of the CHP Contra Costa office, the victim was “partially ejected and declared deceased at the scene. Although it’s not been ruled out, alcohol does not appear to be a factor at this time.”Read More
SACRAMENTO—The Pittsburg High Pirates had the opportunity of winning its first state football championship in school history, but they blew a 21-point halftime lead.
Pittsburg lead 21-0 midway through the second quarter. The Pirates felt pumped and excited as they were in good position. But by the end of the night, they were disappointed with tears running down many of the players faces as they had to witness the Narbonne Gauchos, of Harbor City in Southern California, hold the CIF 1-A State title trophy high in the air after 28-21 loss against Narbonne.
“I’m disappointed for our fans and I’m disappointed for our kids,” Head Coach Victor Galli said. “We had a 21-point lead and with our defense we’re not supposed to lose.”
The game was won on a 70-yard touchdown return by Logan Taylor, off a botched field goal attempt by Pittsburg’s Miguel Romo, making it 28-21.
The game was tied earlier in the fourth quarter when Jalen Chatham hit Aaron McGee for a seven-yard touchdown pass.
With less than minute late in the clock, Pittsburg looked to be in business for a comeback, but were quickly shut down as junior Willie Harts III threw an interception straight into the hands of Demonti Peoples.
Pittsburg started off the game strong. Junior Willie Harts was by far the Pirates star player this ahem, and he made his presence felt at Hornet Stadium as he intercepted a pass in the first drive of the game.
It resulted in setting Pittsburg scoring first in a drive that ended with Darrion Bartley slamming in home for a one-yard touchdown run.
Pittsburg added another touchdown, Harts was involved in It as well. Harts received a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Boyd.
The Boyd to Harts connection struck again in second quarter for another touchdown, but that was the last time the Pittsburg offense got to sniff the end zone.
With the wind hitting hard, Harts was only able to punt the ball one yard. Narbonne took advantage of it, and after a few player Jermar Jackson found the end zone on a four-yard touchdown.
A field goal in the second quarter by Edgar Ramos had Narbonne going 21-10 into halftime.
A tough loss indeed, but many people stated this was going to be a rebuilding year for Pittsburg.
Instead, they won the Bay Valley Athletic League title in undefeated fashion, while also qualifying for state championship for the first time ever
“I would have loved to really prove them wrong with a win,” Galli said. “We’re going back to the drawing board as coaches and work hard for next season.”
Pittsburg has graduated top players like A’Jae Boyd, Timorese Finau, Michael Pryor and Justin Sanders, but they return a lot of young talent.
Justin Boyd returns for his senior campaign, and will battle it out for the starting position against Trey Turner who went down with an ACL injury earlier in the year.
Defensively, Linebacker Jack Lacy III and four staff recruit Jacob Bandes will continue to be forces for the Pirates.
“A lot of rookies from this year will look back at this year and say they could do it better,” Bandes said. “I’m going to lead those rookies next year, so we can do better.”
Outside investigation to begin
The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) has contacted CalPERS, the state government employee pension fund, to determine what actions, if any, are required to address a situation impacting some district retirees who are CalPERS members.
The district has identified a long-standing practice of converting unused vacation to sick leave which in some cases led to retirees receiving excess service credit upon retirement. An initial review indicates that corrections may be needed for a small subset of CalPERS retirees who retired after 2000. An external firm will be hired to investigate this matter including the extent of the reporting errors, what corrections are required, and how the corrections should be accomplished.
The CCCCD is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California serving a population of 1,019,640 people. Its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The district is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon. The district headquarters is located in downtown Martinez.Read More