Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis will convene an East County non-profit roundtable on Monday, April 30, 2018 from 10:00AM – 12:30 PM at Kaiser Permanente Sand Creek Conference Center in Antioch, CA.
Supervisor Burgis recognizes the many needs that nonprofits fill in every community, as well as the challenges of running a nonprofit.
It is recognized regionally that nonprofits from other parts of the county receive more funding than in East County and Supervisor Burgis wants to help change that.
“I want to help our nonprofits access the funding that is out there by giving them access to training and learning opportunities locally,” she said.
The first meeting will bring local nonprofits together to identify priorities in how we can best help them meet their goals. We will work to identify common purposes, promote cooperation among groups, and offer opportunities for collaboration. The subject of interest to most nonprofits is fundraising, followed by volunteer, leader and board development.
“We need to support our local nonprofits and strengthen our support base here in East County,” said Supervisor Burgis. “Grant requirements and funding cycles are often changing and building a solid financial foundation can be a challenge for new nonprofits.”
All local nonprofits (any cause) are encouraged to participate and explore fundraising and volunteer options. The roundtable is intended for groups based in or serving East Contra Costa County and will continue to meet on a quarterly basis.
We have posted an online survey that will help us better understand our local nonprofits and their needs- we would appreciate all nonprofits fill out the survey even if they cannot attend this meeting.
Click for survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MYCS3TZ
There is an opportunity to RSVP at the end of the survey as well.
An Eventbrite event has been set up. Please share this event with other nonprofits. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/east-county-nonprofit-roundtable-meeting-tickets-45247371105
If you are interested in more information about the East County Nonprofit Roundtable meeting, please contact District 3 Representative Dawn Morrow firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More
Affects 56 workers at eight care homes in Walnut Creek and Concord
Last week, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office collected $1,153,695.88 on behalf of victims of wage theft at care homes in Contra Costa County. The defendants’ companies are Abraham/Sanchez Corporation and Abraham Rest Home Inc. The California Department of Industrial Relations will distribute the money to the victims. In total, 56 workers will benefit from this action and obtain these lost wages.
The defendants paid back all minimum wage and overtime amounts. The amounts were identified by the Department of Industrial Relations Audit pursuant to the defendants’ plea agreement. The recovery of these wages brings closure to a multi-agency investigative effort led by the District Attorney’s Office that included case agents and representatives from the Department of Industrial Relations Bureau of Field Enforcement and the California Department of Insurance.
The investigation began in 2012 and 2013 following complaints at the United States Department of Labor and California Department of Industrial Relations regarding labor practices at several care homes in Contra Costa County. In November of 2013, the Department of Industrial Relations and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office conducted a joint operation at eight care homes in Walnut Creek and Concord.
According to a 2014 claycord.com article, on Sept. 17, 2014, “A multi-agency task force led by Contra Costa District Attorney Mark A. Peterson served search warrants on four residential care homes today and arrested and filed charges against the owners of several other residential care homes based on previous and separate search warrants. Four owners and 19 homes were involved in the investigations.”
The District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges on September 15, 2014. On January 20, 2016, defendants Sara Abraham and Julio Sanchez pled no contest to wage theft in violation of California Penal Code section 487 and insurance premium fraud in violation of California Insurance Code section 11880. As part of the disposition, they agreed to pay back the employees the restitution that they owed and negotiated a jail sentence.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734).
Case information: People v. Abraham, et. al; Docket Number 05-152162-4
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
HAMMAMET, Tunisia (April 12, 2018) — Team USA notched its second medal in as many days as the World Taekwondo Junior Championships continued in Tunisia. CJ Nickolas (Brentwood, Calif.) took the silver medal in the male -68kg division on Thursday, April 12, one day after Anastasija Zolotic (Largo, Fla.) won gold in the female -52kg class. Nickolas is a student at Givans Taekwondo in Antioch, California.
Nickolas breezed through his first two matches of the day with a 29-1 win over Somalia’s Abdullah Fuad Dahir and a 23-5 victory against Italy’s Andrea Riondino to reach the round of 16. He then scored a 12-3 win over Afghanistan’s Rashid Sarwari and edged Chinese Taipei’s Cheng-Chi Wei in overtime to advance to the medal round.
In his semifinal match with Serbia’s Dusan Bozanic, Nickolas broke an 8-8 tie with a scoring kick in the final 10 seconds to prevail and move on to the final. The gold-medal match against Iran’s Mohammad Mahdi Emadi saw Nickolas fall behind 5-1 after two rounds and then 13-2 early in the third. The American would rally to pull within 13-8 in the final minute but Emadi held off the charge to win by a score of 18-10 and claim the gold medal.
“I am proud of him,” said Givans Taekwondo owner Ed Givans, who is also Nickolas’ father.
CJ has a 4.0 GPA…he also plays basketball, runs track and is on a dance team at his church called Generation of Praise. His favorite book is Infantry – Born to Fight by his dad, Edward Givans. favorite TV show is American Ninja Warrior…favorite movies are Planet of the Apes, The Incredibles and Kingsmen/Secret Service…favorite singer is Stevie Wonder…favorite foods are Korean barbeque, burrito bowls from Chipotle and Sprite…favorite athlete is Derrick Rose…favorite taekwondo athlete is Alexey Denisenko…his mother is his biggest inspiration…his proudest moment in Taekwondo to date is making the Cadet National Team for a second straight year in 2015 and competing at the World Championships…favorite quote: “Practice as if you are the worst, perform as if you are the best.” – Mahatma Gandhi. CJ was awarded the 2015 Stanford TKD Athlete of the Year. View his page on the Team USA website.
Contra Costa County Interim District Attorney Diana Becton signed her name to a supportive amicus brief supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The amicus brief, filed on March 20, 2018, is comprised of current and former prosecutors and law enforcement officials across the United States.
“Dreamers are part of our diverse and vibrant community here in Contra Costa. We must continue to build trust with all residents. Losing DACA jeopardizes community policing efforts that are proven to be effective at solving cases and helping victims of violent crime. We need individuals from all backgrounds to feel secure and safe when working with law enforcement,” said Becton.
The amicus brief underscores how important immigrants are to the fabric of any neighborhood. The brief goes on to review the critical nature of law enforcement work is strengthened by a strong connection with the immigrant community. Further, immigrants may often fear reporting crimes or seeking assistance due to their legal status.
In California there are 196,670 DACA recipients, which is the largest number of recipients in the United States. According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are an estimated 11,000 eligible individuals for DACA in Contra Costa County.
The case is Regents of University of California, et al. v. United States Department of Homeland Security, et al. (Filed September 8, 2017, 3:17-cv-05211)
The full amicus brief is available here.Read More
In 2016, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors established a 17-member Racial Justice Task Force to research and identify measures to reduce racial disparities in the justice system; to plan and oversee implementation of the measures; and to report on the progress made toward reducing racial disparities within the justice system.
The Task Force is comprised of the County Probation Officer; the Public Defender; a District Attorney representative; a Sheriff-Coroner representative; the Health Services Director (ret.); a Superior Court representative; a County Police Chief’s Association representative; representatives from the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Antioch Unified School District, and West Contra Costa County School District; 5 community-based organization representatives; a mental health representative; and a member representing the public at large.
The Contra Costa County Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF) formally launched on April 5, 2017, meeting monthly since that time to identify priorities, review data, discuss best practices, and develop recommendations related to racial disparities in criminal and juvenile justice systems and processes in Contra Costa County. In addition to meeting monthly, the Task Force last fall hosted the first of two rounds of community forums to increase residents’ awareness about the Task Force and solicit feedback on focus areas. The second round of community forums is now announced.
Three community forums have been planned to share information about the project work to-date, to present the draft recommendations, and to actively solicit input and feedback on the draft recommendations. The forums will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the following dates and at the locations indicated:
Monday, May 7, 2018, Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek;
Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Delta Bay Church of Christ, 13 Sunset Drive, Antioch;
Wednesday, May 9, 2018, Catholic Charities West County Service Center, 217 Harbour Way, Richmond.
For more information about the Racial Justice Task Force, please visit their webpage.Read More
By Don Martin II
The Antioch Speedway roars back into action this Saturday night, April 14 with an exciting six division All Star Series program honoring the late Larry Damitz. Featured divisions this weekend include the Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modified, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.
In recent seasons, the division of choice for Damitz, who was racing well into his 80s, was the Limited Late Models. In his final seven seasons at Antioch, he won five championships and finished second in those other two seasons. He won over 50 Main Events in his illustrious career at Antioch Speedway alone, and he was also recently inducted into the Vallejo Sports Hall Of Fame.
For The Limited Late Model racers, this event is for them. They spent many years trying to beat the orange and blue #15 car, wheeled impressively by Damitz. Last season, it was Kimo Oreta taking the wheel and making sure the Sun Drop Racing team maintained their championship status. Though he was very consistent and won multiple races, he still had to fight off the challenges of 2013 champion Jim Freethy and Mark Garner.
Freethy and Garner are both expected to contend for this year’s championship. Garner was doing double division duty last season, but he has put his B Modified up for sale in order to focus on his Limited Late Model effort. The man who has won more Main Events in this division at Antioch than anybody else, Mike Gustafson, will be another driver to watch out for. He was a two-time feature winner last season. Chris Long is anticipated in the John Keith car, and other drivers to watch for include John Evans, Lori Brown, Chad Hammer and Ryan Cherezian.
The A Modified division kicked off their 2018 season two weeks ago with Nick DeCarlo scoring the impressive victory. DeCarlo tends to bounce from track to track, but he has championships to his credit at Watsonville and Petaluma. A decision on Nick’s behalf to compete for the Antioch crown would certainly make him a top threat. Reigning champion Bobby Motts Jr notched the second place finish at the opener as he attempts a title defense. Five time division champion Scott Busby has his eyes on a track record 73 career feature wins, and other drivers to watch for this week include Sean O’Gara, rookie Buddy Kniss, hard charger Trent Wentworth, Mike Salazar and Bobby Montalvo.
Fred Ryland might have been a surprise entrant at the opener as he was the 2017 Merced Speedway champion. However, he picked up right where he left off with another Antioch win. The 2015 Antioch champion, who also has a Hobby Stock championship to his credit, is rapidly approaching 50 career feature wins. Ryland’s presence in the field makes things very interesting and helps make Antioch one of the most exciting B Modified programs in the state. Other drivers to watch for in the field include 2016 champion Trevor Clymens, 2017 champion KC Keller, past Street Stock champion Todd Gomez, past Hobby Stock champion Guy Ahlwardt and Tommy Fraser.
The Wingless Spec Sprint division enters its 20th season on the roster, and it appears as if 2004 champion Bob Newberry has his sights set on the championship. Newberry won more Main Events than anybody last season before settling for third in the standings. Another driver to keep an eye on is the only driver to have competed in all 20 seasons in this division, 2017 runnerup Rick Panfili. A competitive group of racers in this class includes Alan Miranda, Roy Fisher, Shannon Newton, Brandon Burd, Abigail Gonderman, Adam Teves, James East and Bryan Grier, who hasn’t officially said if he’s attempting a title defense this year.
The Hobby Stock division continues to have a strong presence at the speedway. In the opener, Michael Cooper looked very impressive in scoring the win, leaving the battle for second between reigning champion Cameron Swank and 2010 champion Chris Sorensen. Past Super Hobby Stock and Figure 8 champion Jim Robbins threw his hat into the ring this year and looked very fast in the opener. Likewise, Chris Bennett also figures to be in line for his first career feature win. Other drivers to watch for this week include Jordan Swank, Travis Tabucchi, Ricky Foster, Josh Leach, Russell Shearer and Haley Gomez.
There was plenty of disappointment to go around in the Dwarf Car community after the rain out canceled what was sure to be a big event last week. Regardless, Mike Corsaro enters the season as the reigning champion. Corsaro may very well be the driver to beat this year as he has become very consistent in recent seasons. David Michael Rosa is knocking on the door to his first career feature win and may be another driver to watch in the championship hunt. Other drivers to watch for this week include last season’s top rookie, Devan Kammermann, Brian Gray, David Rosa, Charlie Correia and 2016 champion Kevin Miraglio.
It looks as if the weather will open a window and allow this exciting six division program to unfold. For further information on this and other happenings at Contra Costa County’s only place to watch auto races live and in person, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.Read More
By Daniel Borsuk
Contra Costa Supervisors flashed the green light on Tuesday for county airport officials to ink a long-term lease with a Southern California developer to build a 52,000 square foot, single story mixed-use building at 550 Sally Ride Drive near Buchanan Field Airport in Concord.
The supervisors’ 4-0 action serves as a signal that more commercial and aviation related developments are in the pipeline on county owned property adjacent to the county’s two airports – Buchanan Field Airport and Byron Airport.
District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis was not in attendance because she was at a business meeting representing the supervisors.
The supervisors’ action on the consent agenda item means that Airports Director Keith Freitas can proceed to execute a long-term lease with Montecito Commercial Group, LLC for the lease of about 3.21 acres of unimproved county-owned property at the south end of Sally Ride Drive.
As part of the supervisors’ action, the developer will receive a mitigated negative declaration attached to the project’s environmental impact report. During the EIR procedure, the Contra Costa Water District submitted a letter about the developer’s water usage and an easement issue. Both issues were resolved according to the CCWD.
The county can expect to cash in on the proposed single-story office-warehouse-distribution building. During the two-year construction period, the county will be paid $1,000 per month, but once construction is completed monthly rent will increase to $4,247 and will be adjusted every year on April 1 based on the Consumer Price Index.
The Montecito lease calls the one-year period beginning April 1, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026 any adjustment will not be greater than 75 percent of the CPI factor. For the one period beginning on April 1, 2028, throughout the lease term, any adjustment to ground rent based on CPI may not be more than 4 percent of ground rent then in effect.
The Montecito development serves as an indication more projects near the county’s two airports are on their way for future supervisors’ review and action, Assistant Airports Director Beth Lee said. Supervisors are expected to soon consider two large developments proposed for the Byron Airport. One is a proposed building for aviation use and the other building is for non-aviation use, Lee said.
Lee noted the developer has yet to complete design and other procedural work before the Montecito project can get underway.
Before the Montecito -Buchanan Field development, the last development constructed on county airport property occurred in 2012 at the Byron Airport when the Patriot Jet Team building was constructed, said Lee.
When asked if real estate developers are finally recognizing how county airport projects can generate ideal real estate deals, Lee responded: “We sure hope so. This could mean a major new source of revenue for the county.”
Two State Grants Approved for Sheriff-Coroner
Supervisors approved two major state grants for the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office.
A $300,000 grant from the California Division of Boating and Waterways was awarded to the Sheriff-Coroner for the removal of abandoned vessels and the vessel turn-in program on county waterways. The grant goes into effect beginning Oct. 1, 2018 and remains in effect when grant funding runs out. Ninety percent of the funding comes from the state and 10 percent is an in-kind match.
Supervisors also approved a $97,100 grant for the Sheriff-Coroner from the Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Division of Law Enforcement Tobacco Law Enforcement Grant Program. The grant will be used from June 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020 to decrease juvenile access and use of tobacco products.
Both grants were approved as consent items.Read More
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) issued the following statement today after the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Board of Directors voted to finance the majority of the proposed Delta twin tunnels plan, known as the California WaterFix:
“Californians deserve comprehensive 21st century water management solutions in light of climate change and more frequent and devastating droughts, not a decades old plan that creates no benefit and picks the pockets of hard-working people.
The vote by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California shows that proponents of this project have been deceitful the whole time. There’s never been a “statewide” approach as they’ve claimed. It’s never been about sustainability but a foolhardy plan to overdraw the Delta to sell a limited and precious natural resource to the highest bidder.
This boondoggle uses antiquated methods for water delivery to degrade the water quality for all Californians and places greater burdens farmers in the Delta and Central Valley.
Just like the Colorado River Compact, this project is built on false pretenses of water availability. Met has already proven they are bad actors by overcharging San Diego for water many times. Given this history, my concern is Met may try to overcharge Central Valley farmers too.”
A press release issued Tuesday explaining their action, it stated, the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted today to provide the additional financing necessary to allow for the construction of the full California WaterFix project.
The board authorized $10.8 billion for the project to modernize the state’s aging water delivery system, making Metropolitan the primary investor in the project and more than doubling the agency’s initially planned investment to ensure the project is completed as originally proposed and studied. “For decades, we have sought a solution to the problems of the Bay Delta, problems that put Southern California’s water supply at risk,” Metropolitan board Chairman Randy Record said. “We finally have that solution, California WaterFix. We simply could not jeopardize the opportunity to move this long-sought and much-needed project forward.”
WaterFix will be paid for by the people and businesses that use the water it helps deliver via the retail water agencies and cities that serve those customers. Metropolitan’s financing of the full project is expected to cost households on average up to $4.80 a month, though that average cost would be reduced as Metropolitan recoups some of its investments from the agricultural sector. Metropolitan will be selling or leasing capacity in the tunnels to allow water deliveries or exchanges for other parties.
About 30 percent of the water that flows out of taps in Southern California comes from Northern California via the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. But the Delta’s delivery system is badly outdated, its ecosystem is in decline and its 1,100-mile levee system is increasingly vulnerable to earthquakes, flooding, saltwater intrusion, sea level rise and environmental degradation.
Attempts to help the Delta have led to regulatory restrictions that have reduced water exports from the region. California WaterFix would modernize the state’s water delivery system by building three new water intakes in the northern Delta and two tunnels to carry the water under the Delta to the existing aqueduct systems in the southern Delta that deliver water to cities and farms.
In October 2017, Metropolitan’s board initially voted to participate in WaterFix and contribute up to 26 percent of its $17 billion cost, or about $4.3 billion. But the majority of federal agricultural contractors who also import supplies via the Delta have yet to commit to investing in the project, leaving part of the project’s costs unfunded. In February, the state proposed building the project in stages instead–starting with two intakes and one tunnel, with a capacity of 6,000 cubic feet per second. An additional intake and tunnel would be added when funding allowed.
In today’s action, Metropolitan’s board chose between supporting this staged construction of the project or helping finance the full 9,000 cfs project all at once, with the hope of recouping the investment from agricultural interests once the project is completed. Staging the project also would result in potential permitting delays associated with the change in approach.
Under the staged approach, the cost of building one tunnel would be about $11.1 billion, with Metropolitan’s share of those capital costs coming in at $5.2 billion. The board ultimately voted to support building the full project all at once at an estimated cost of $16.7 billion, with Metropolitan’s investment at about $10.8 billion in today’s dollars.
“Two tunnels better accomplishes WaterFix’s co-equal goals of improving the environment and securing supply reliability,” said Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. “With them, we’re better able to capture the high flows of big storms that climate change is expected to bring. We’ll better address the reverse flows that disrupt the Delta’s ecology. And we’ll have more flexibility to operate the water delivery system.”
Kightlinger added that investing in WaterFix does not change Metropolitan’s commitment to local supply development and conservation.
“This investment is just one part of ensuring Southern California and its $1.3 trillion economy has a reliable water supply in the age of climate change,” he said. “We need a diverse portfolio, including water recycling, storm-water capture, and increased conservation. We will continue to work hard and invest in those projects.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.Read More
Los Medanos College (LMC) will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Brentwood Center on Wednesday, April 18, at 1:00 p.m. at the site of the future facility. The new site is located at Pioneer Square and Miwok Place in Brentwood (near the intersection of Vineyards Parkway and Marsh Creek Road, just off of Highway 4). The public is welcome to attend and the event is free; RSVPs are not required, and complimentary parking will be available.
This groundbreaking ceremony celebrates upcoming construction of a permanent Brentwood Center, which will expand and enhance learning opportunities for LMC students and Contra Costa County residents in the easternmost part of the College’s service area. The new one-story Center, designed by Ratcliff Architects, will be approximately 55,000 square feet. The project will be constructed on a 17.5 parcel purchased by Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) in 2011. It will feature instructional classrooms, science labs, student support services, library resources, tutorial labs, bookstore and food service areas, “linger and learn” space, faculty/staff offices, and more than 700 parking stalls. The current Brentwood Center, located in a leased facility at 101A Sand Creek Road in Brentwood, first opened in 2001. The existing space consists of 22,000 square feet and serves approximately 2,800 students – accounting for about one-third of LMC’s enrollment.
The permanent $65 million facility is made possible through funding from CCCCD Bond Measures A (2006) and E (2014), thanks to support from voters in Contra Costa County. Construction is expected to be completed in 18-24 months, with the new Brentwood Center projected to open in Spring 2020.
For more information, please contact Jennifer Adams, email@example.com or (925) 473-7302.Read More