WHAT: Forecasting the Future – Navigating the Internet of Things: New Opportunities and Risks
This Thursday, April 21, The Internet of Things will intersect with philanthropy, when prominent insurance professionals gather in Walnut Creek to discuss technological disruption while benefiting local Alameda/Contra Costa charities. During the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s CAPP Educational Forum, local insurance leaders will gather to discuss opportunities/risks during a panel entitled, “Global Technology Platforms and their Role in the Disruption of the Traditional Employer/Employee Relationship: Employee? Contractor? Who Decides?”
WHO: Featured speakers and panelists include:
- Lex Baugh, President of Liability & Financial Lines, AIG
- Mark Locke, Vice President Worldwide Manufacturing and Government Contractors, Chubb
- Davidson Pattiz, COO, The Zenith Insurance Company
- Jeff Phelps, CEO, iWorkGlobal
- William Weissman, Attorney & Shareholder, Littler Mendelson
Proceeds from the IICF CAPP Educational Forum will benefit child abuse prevention programs serving Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.
WHEN: April 21, 2016 – 8:30 am to 12:00 pm (Continental Breakfast at 7:30 am)
WHERE: Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr. Walnut Creek, CA 94596Read More
The following four teachers have been named as the 2016-2017 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year (TOY) Finalists: Shauna Hawes, Mt. Diablo Unified School District; Gina Minder-Maldonado, Oakley Union Elementary School District; Summer Rodriguez, Liberty Union High School District; and Joyce Rooks, San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Two of these four finalists will be chosen in late September, and will represent Contra Costa County in the California State TOY Program.
Shauna Hawes teaches computer applications/technology to grades 6-8 at Valley View Middle School, in Pleasant Hill. The 18-year teacher has been with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District during her entire teaching career. Prior to her current position, Hawes taught 6th grade core (English, history, and reading) at Valley View. Before coming to Valley View, she taught 5th grade (all subjects) at Hidden Valley Elementary, in Martinez, from 1998-2007.
Gina Minder-Maldonado will soon be finishing her 25th year of teaching. For the past 17 years, Minder-Maldonado has taught 2nd grade at Oakley Elementary School, in Oakley. Her former teaching experience includes preschool and transitional kindergarten grades, as well as elementary after school and summer school instruction.
Summer Rodriguez has been an educator for 16 years at Liberty High School, in Brentwood. Rodriguez has taught all levels of high school English, AP English language and composition, and AP English literature and composition. In addition to her education duties, she has served as director of the school’s student activities.
Joyce Rooks began her career in teaching after serving as a senior programmer analyst/senior systems analyst for Mervyns, as well as an independent computer-training consultant. She is currently in her 13th year teaching for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, where she has served as an instructor for Dougherty Valley High, California High, and Coyote Creek Elementary. She has been teaching first and second grades for the past five years at Creekside Elementary, in Danville.
The county’s TOY program is directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the CCCOE’s TOY program uses a three-stage selection process, with a point and percentage system to determine the final candidates as follows:
I Application Screening:
On April 8, a committee of 14 judges, representing the county’s education, business, and public-sector partners meticulously reviewed the applications submitted by the school districts. This committee independently rated each application. After the application screening and scoring was completed, these four teachers were selected to advance to the next two phases as TOY finalists.
II Classroom Observation and Interview:
During the months of April and early May, a small committee of education specialists and business partners will observe the four finalists interacting with their students during class, followed by interviews with the TOYs. The committee and finalists will discuss topics such as their teaching philosophies and student-progress techniques.
III Speech Presentation:
On August 15, the four TOY finalists will each give a three- to five-minute speech to another panel of a dozen educators, business, and public-sector representatives who will judge the finalists on their speech and presentation skills.
On the evening of September 22, 2016, all 21 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (an audience of close to 500) will be honored at the annual Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration, held at the Hilton Concord. Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata, who serves as master of ceremonies, introduces the TOYs by sharing a special story that reflects her classroom visits of each teacher during the current spring and summer months. This will be followed by the four finalists giving their three- to five-minute speeches (same speeches given in August) to the filled banquet room. Finally, the night will come to a dramatic close with the announcement of the two 2016-2017 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year.
Currently, there are approximately 8,400 teachers educating more than 174,800 students in Contra Costa County’s public schools. To recognize their efforts and bring much-deserved honor to the teaching profession, the participating school districts in the county recently named their Teachers of the Year (TOY) representatives. (See entire list of the county’s TOYs on our earlier news release.) This year’s 21 TOYs represent 16 Contra Costa County school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). Twenty of these representatives, those who teach grades pre-K thru adult education, are eligible to compete in the Contra Costa County TOY competition. The two winners of the county TOY program will represent Contra Costa County in the California State TOY Program this coming fall.Read More
Here we go again, folks. Another giveaway contract to BART unions. After a 15.8% salary increase in 2013, the BART board has now agreed to another 10.5% increase.
For that, we taxpayers got very little in exchange except for an agreement not to strike while the contract is in force. What should have been a no-strike ever clause wasn’t part of the deal.
Unfortunately since its inception BART has been plagued by financial mismanagement. Among other things it has set little or nothing aside for eventual capital replacement. Instead it gave away all the money in wages and benefits making it the highest paid transportation system in the country. It also has the highest fares.
The outrageous benefits were left untouched. Total compensation (wages and benefits) for the average worker is over $100,000. For a system crying poor mouth this makes no sense at all.
This new contract is to set the stage for a huge bond measure on the November ballot. Claiming the system has reached the end of its useful life, BART says it needs $10 billion for capital improvements. BART claims “its cars are the oldest big-city fleet in the United States”. The truth, it’s the fourth youngest among fifteen similar system nationally.
And let’s not forget that they spent $486 million on a link to the Oakland airport replacing a completely satisfactory and efficient bus system.
To summarize, BART financial management has been a disaster from its inception. The BART board has rolled over to the unions, giving away outrageous wages and benefits. It has both the highest fares and wages/benefits in the country. It has set little or nothing aside for capital replacement. It expects the taxpayers to make up for its financial follies.
Until the BART board and unions wake up and renegotiate the contract it should not be given any more money to mismanage.
The Board must develop a reasonable financial plan and strategy (of which it has none). It must develop some “backbone” when dealing/negotiating with its unions.
We are giving enough taxpayer subsidies already in sales and property taxes. We shouldn’t give them any more to mismanage.
It’s time to vote no on any bond measure.
Ken Hambrick, Chairman
Alliance of Contra Costa TaxpayersRead More
Join us at a free community screening of The Empowerment Project, a documentary film of extraordinary women from pilot to astronaut, mathematician, four-star admiral in US Navy and many more. They did not let fear or struggle and especially not gender stand in the way achieving their dream. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Tiffany Harris the Executive Director of Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa County, film director Sarah Moshman and Wei Ling Huber, President of Unite Here Local 2850. In partnership with the Community Organizing Institute of Organizing for Action and Indieflix, the OFA Greater East Bay Alliance is hosting this event. The organizer’s goal is to bring young women together to begin a conversation around women’s empowerment in our world today.
The screening will be held on April 30, 2 to 5 pm, in Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. Space is limited. Please RSVP to: my.barackobama.com/empowerment-project-berkeley.
For more information about Girls, Inc. West Contra Costa County, visit www.girlsinc-wcc.org.Read More
April is Earthquake Preparedness Month! Feel like you’re being shaken up a bit? Over the past 6 months, you have been rocking and rolling due to a swarm of over 600 small earthquakes centered in San Ramon and Danville that continue to occur in the region. What are the latest strategies to safeguard yourself and your family in the event of a major earthquake or other disaster? It’s smart to plan ahead.
To help you and your family better prepare for a larger earthquake that could occur as well as plan for other safety challenges, attend the CIG Community Safety Saturday on April 16th. This fun, free family-friendly community safety event, sponsored by Capital Insurance Group, will provide important information about earthquake and disaster preparedness, and offer many more resources, demonstrations and important information to help keep the community safe.
Date: Saturday, April 16, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Onstads Insurance Agency, 3130 Crow Canyon Place #250, San Ramon, CA 94583
The event will feature many fun activities and demonstrations focusing on child, teen, family and community safety.
Free games, prizes, food and a wealth of safety information and resources at many different booths staffed by local and regional organizations, including KlaasKids’ Foundation, CHP Child Car Seat Inspections, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff demonstrations, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), East Bay Parks, California Office of Emergency Services, Boy Scouts, PG&E, FBI, and many more.
For more information, go to cigsafetysaturday.com.Read More
On Thursday, Contra Costa County, the Planning and Conservation League and Food and Water Watch, as well as two other Delta local agencies, Central Delta Water Agency and San Joaquin County announced they will file a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Met) over their plan to purchase several islands in the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.
On March 14, 2016, Metropolitan Water District had filed a Notice of Exemption under the California Environmental Quality Act for the purchase of the Delta islands, claiming the purchase was for Delta habitat restoration purposes.
However, Met’s General Manager, Jeff Kightlinger, admitted to the press at the time of the island purchase announcement that the islands could facilitate building the $15.7 billion Delta tunnels project championed by Governor Brown by “reducing eminent-domain needs and providing a storage place for construction dirt.”
At a rally in Stockton in support of the lawsuit, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta spoke.
“Based on this improper CEQA filling, we are calling on the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors to reverse the bad vote that they made at their General Manager’s urging to purchase the Delta islands,” she said. “Clearly, the purchase of the Delta islands is Met’s attempt to anchor the Delta tunnels in our region so that construction could begin, despite the fact that the plan is still not approved or financed.
“The $175 million purchase price for the Delta islands does not count the costs to Southern California ratepayers for the inevitable litigation that begins with today’s filing,” Barrigan-Parrilla continued. “If Met loses in court, they will not be able to ever sell these islands for the same price. That means Southern Californian water users will become owners of a very expensive duck habitat hundreds of miles to the north. Met will also be on the hook for maintenance of hundreds of miles of Delta levees, an ongoing cost that will be paid year after year by Southern California ratepayers.”
“Our 35,000 members from throughout California agree there are better ways for Southern California water agencies to plan for their water future. More than 7500 area residents have already signed letters that will be sent to Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors urging them to drop the Delta islands purchase and to instead invest the $175 million in solutions that build sustainability in Southern California like storm water capture and water recycling,” she added. “Met has already spent nearly $100 million on Delta tunnels planning, but the process at the State Water Board has recently ground to a halt, and there is no financial plan between Met and agricultural water districts, like the SEC fined Westlands, as to who will pay what proportion of the $15.5 billion construction costs.”
For more information on Restore the Delta and their efforts to stop the Delta Tunnels, visit www.restorethedelta.org.
State Senator Steve Glazer released the following statement, this week, about the agreement the BART has entered with its labor unions:
“About 60 days ago, 40 state and local elected leaders joined me in sending a letter to the BART Board and their unions calling on them to take steps to restore the public’s trust in the financial management of the BART system.
Specifically, we asked that BART negotiate an extension to its labor contract that would ensure that the trains would keep running without a work stoppage for the next five years and to do so in a financially responsible way.
Given what we know today, this proposed agreement takes a positive step forward in delivering on those requirements. If approved by the unions and the BART Board, we can be confident that there will be continuous train operations for the next five years without debilitating strikes.
The BART unions and management should be commended for doing this.
Strikes are too debilitating for BART riders and commuters. That is why transit strikes are banned in New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Boston and San Francisco.
There is still much more that BART should do to raise the level of confidence in the financial and operational management of the system. And I encourage them to continue the momentum with these confidence-building steps.
- Do not apply these cost of living raises to highly-paid managers. Their pay should be based on merit, not a “Me Too” clause.
- Commit to undertaking a salary study before the expiration of the next contract so that that we can closely examine each position’s compensation with the marketplace.
- Set up a capital depreciation fund so that savings for repair and replacement is funded every year rather than in a balloon payment through new bond proposals.
- Present clear projections of retirement costs and how they will be funded.
- Support legislation banning future BART strikes.
- Explore ways to train replacement managers to operate the system in the case of future work stoppages.
The financial elements of this proposed deal are not what I would have negotiated. BART workers are highly paid and system financial needs are great. However, I respect the collective bargaining process, and even if I disagree with some of the financial terms, I appreciate that compromise is required to bring all parties together.
This proposed contract represents the start of a turnaround for BART. We were going down the tracks, these past few years, in a very negative direction. The actions today have stopped that negative train and we are now heading in a positive direction. Let’s keep that momentum going with the confidence building steps that I have outlined.”
Glazer represents most of Contra Costa County in the California State Senate.Read More
The Lafayette Police Department is investigating a suspicious death that occurred in Lafayette.
On Wednesday at about 7:32 PM, officers were dispatched to the 800 block of Rosedale Avenue for a welfare check from someone who a relative had not been able to contact in days. Officers accessed the residence and found a deceased 66-year-old woman. The victim is not being identified at this time.
The investigation into this death is ongoing.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Lafayette Police Department at (925) 283-3680. For any tips, please email: 94549Tip@so.cccounty.us or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
From the Contra Costa County Sheriff-Official Page on Facebook, posted Wednesday, April 13 at about 9: p.m. – At about 2:31 PM today, Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to numerous reports of a shooting on the 800 block of Sandy Cove Drive in Rodeo.
Upon arrival Deputies found a female seated in the driver’s seat of a car suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. A man was located on the street next to the car. He was suffering from a gunshot wound. Deputies located a handgun at the scene.
Both subjects, who were in a dating relationship, were deceased. They are not being identified.
The investigation is ongoing. Detectives believe this to be a murder suicide.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Investigation Division at 925-313-2600. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
$50K program made possible by Tom Steyer
In a bid to buck the conventional wisdom that says millennials don’t vote, the Contra Costa County Young Democrats (CCYD) today launched one of the largest youth voter engagement project of its kind in California.
“Many people in politics assume that young people don’t vote,” said Jonathan Bash, President of the Contra Costa County Young Democrats. “That assumption is dead wrong. The truth is that those running most campaigns elect not to reach out to people under the age of forty out of sheer habit. This June, we’re going to change that.”
In partnership with the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County and the Contra Costa County Democratic Clubs Council, CCYD will lead the charge to turn out the youth vote in Contra Costa County with a major voter engagement campaign. The campaign is made possible by a $50,000 contribution from NextGen Climate President and Founder Tom Steyer, as part of his ongoing efforts to strengthen grassroots democracy and boost voter turnout in California this election cycle.
In the first phase of the project, CCYD will recruit three fellows from Diablo Valley College, Saint Mary’s College of California, and Los Medanos College, establish ten incentive grants for star volunteers, host on-campus events, and coordinate volunteers throughout the county to register voters — and convince voters to become Permanent Absentee Voters (PAV) – at public gatherings like farmers’ markets, concerts and community festivals
In the second phase, CCYD will turn out these newly registered voters and reach out to currently registered voters between the ages of 18-39. Each of the voters will receive a number of contacts encouraging them to vote in the June 7, 2016 statewide primary election. Additionally, the three fellows, volunteers, project partners and additional canvassers will execute a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign knocking on young voters’ front doors to convince them to vote.
In the third phase, CCYD will conduct a precinct-by-precinct analysis of its efforts to identify best practices and adapt them for the November 8, 2016 general election.
More information about the Contra Costa Young Democrats – and details for interested fellows and volunteers — is available at www.cocoyoungdems.org. Learn more about NextGen Climate at www.nextgenclimate.org.
The Contra Costa Young Democrats (CCYD) is a nonprofit organization chartered to educate young people about the political process and advocate for progressive policies. CCYD engages Contra Costa County’s many communities and empowers young people to take active roles in public life.
NextGen Climate Action is a San Francisco-based environmental advocacy organization. Founded by businessperson and philanthropist Tom Steyer in 2013, NextGen acts politically to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans. Working at every level, we are committed to supporting candidates, elected officials, and policymakers across the country that will take bold action on climate change.Read More