Fourth fatal vehicle accident in Contra Costa, second on I-80, this month
By CHP Contra Costa
Yesterday morning, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, at 5:27am, Contra Costa CHP was advised of a three-vehicle collision on westbound I-80, west of Pinole Valley Road. The events occurred as follows, a Yamaha R6 with a single rider was involved in a collision with a GMC Terrain. This initial collision caused the rider of the Yamaha to be ejected from the motorcycle where he was struck by a Ford Excursion with one occupant.
The rider of the Yamaha was transported from the scene by emergency services, but ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased later that morning. Both the driver of the Ford and the GMC did not claim injuries.
It’s the fourth fatal vehicle accident in the county, and the second three-vehicle fatality on I-80, this month. (See related article)
This collision is still under investigation. If anyone witnessed it or the events leading up to it, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez, (925) 646-4980.Read More
By Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is looking for four suspects involved in assault with a deadly weapon incidents in Bay Point.
On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at about 3:20 PM, a 12-year-old girl walking home from school on the 3300 block of Willow Pass Road at Marin Avenue was shot at with a BB gun as a vehicle drove passed her. There were two other similar incidents later that day in the same area. The victims all suffered injuries.
The same suspects appear to be involved in each case. They were in a silver-colored 4-door, newer Kia Optima.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the vehicle or suspects is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at (925) 313-2667 or 313-2600. For any tips, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
Licata-Cardinale Productions & the El Campanil Theatre
International and PBS star
Pasquale Esposito “From Italy, With Love!”
with special guest star Anthony “Nino” Lane Band
Direct from headlining the Italian Festivals in Salt Lake City and Reno
Saturday, November 13, 2021 Doors at 5:15PM Show at 6PM
Tickets can be purchased online at the El Campanil website or by calling direct at (925) 757-9500.
The rescheduled concert from last year, due to COVID, is part of a series being brought to East County by Licata-Cardinale Productions, and partners Michael Licata from Las Vegas and local resident and businessman, George Cardinale.
“This is a guy who has been a PBS star and never been on this side of the Bay,” Cardinale said. “He’s performed all over the world. We’re happy to bring his talent to Antioch’s historic El Campanil Theatre in downtown Rivertown. You’ll enjoy the show very much. It’s really a treat for the people, here who have never seen him, before.”
PASQUALE ESPOSITO was born and raised in Naples, Italy. He immigrated to the United States winning the Green Card Lottery in 1998. He pursued his passion for music by studying at San Jose State University receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree where he was a distinguished alumnus in 2009.
He is an international crossover recording artist, acclaimed for his pop-opera delivery of songs. Esposito released 11 albums and began touring internationally with his first musical revue: Naples … That’s Amore in 2005. Thereafter, he toured with his CD of Original Compositions: A Brand New Me (2009) and Il Tempo (2011).
Following the success of spreading his rich Italian culture through music, he embarked on writing and producing his first PBS Special: Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso in 2015. The program was filmed in the historic Castello Giusso in Vico Equense on the Amalfi Coast. Esposito was accompanied by the Orchestra Santa Chiara conducted by Maestro Renato Serio. The docu-concert pays homage to Caruso by taking the audience on a musical journey in Italy highlighting the life, career and songs that made Caruso an international star. Maestro Placido Domingo collaborated in the program with an intimate interview. The PBS Special had over 220,000,000 potential viewers coupled with a live touring version. A CD, DVD and Bluray are available of the Special.
Esposito had his successful debut at San Francisco Opera in June 2015 with the premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women (an opera adaptation of the 1960s film La Ciociara –with Sophia Loren whom he had the pleasure of sharing the stage with in her recent US Tour). The New York Times stated that Esposito sang with “airy charm” for his performance of Ragazzo del Popolo while the San Francisco Chronicle described Esposito as “a charismatic and dulcet-toned singer.”
In Spring 2018, Esposito released his second, public TV special on PBS stations: Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Italian Piazzas. Esposito was accompanied by the Orchestra Talenti Napoletani conducted by Maestro Adriano Peninno. This docu-concert is a unique musical journey of culture, art, and tradition where Esposito dedicates a song to each of the beautiful piazzas (squares) performed in the prestigious Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy. A live concert version of the special followed with a robust 2018/2019 national tour.
In January 2020, Esposito filmed two new PBS TV Specials in Naples, Italy at the historic Teatro Politeama. The first a Christmas Special: In the Spirit of Christmas (August 2021 release) conducted by Maestro Adriano Peninno and the second is a special titled: Il Tempo (Time) (November 2020 release) conducted by Maestro Ettore Gatta. Pasquale is accompanied in both specials by the Orchestra Talenti Napoletani. The second special comprises of a collection of songs that have influenced Pasquale Esposito’s career and personal life.
Esposito established Notable Music and Arts Organization (www.notable-music.org), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit charitable organization promoting music education in Spring 2012. The organization provides music instruction to underserved students in the San Francisco Bay Area and develops and produces educational programming for public television. Esposito travels nationally to major universities and colleges offering Master Classes in vocal technique and also provides private instruction at his studio in San Jose, California.
For more information about Pasquale Esposito, visit www.pasqualeesposito.com
My Passion 2000
My Destiny 2004
Naples … That’s Amore 2005
Il Fornaio: Authentic Italy 2008
A Brand New Me 2009
Il Tempo 2012
Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso 2015
Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Italian Piazzas 2018
In the Spirit of Christmas 2019
Il Tempo 10th Anniversary Edition 2020
In the Spirit of Christmas 2021 – PBS Edition
El Campanil Theatre is located at 602 W. Second Street in Antioch. The concert was first planned for March 21, 2020 but had to be postponed due to COVID. (See related article with interview of Esposito, here)Read More
Won’t lift all mask requirements until county reaches 80% fully vaccinated which includes kids ages 5-11 who aren’t yet eligible for vaccinations; figure also includes those under age 5
“This will allow vaccinated people to FEEL safe removing their masks” – Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano (emphasis added)
By Contra Costa County Health Services
With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations declining, Contra Costa County will lift masking requirements on Nov. 1 in certain indoor settings where everyone is fully vaccinated
Eligible settings are in controlled spaces not open to the general public, including offices, gyms and fitness centers, employee commuter vehicles, indoor college classes and organized gatherings in any other indoor setting, such as a religious gathering.
Under the order, participating businesses, organizations and hosts must verify that all patrons, employees and attendees are fully vaccinated before allowing people inside their facilities not to wear face coverings. There can be no more than 100 persons present at these facilities, and the group of those present must gather on a regular basis. Those present should also not have COVID-19 symptoms.
“This will allow vaccinated people to feel safe removing their masks at the office and when they’re working out at the gym,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County. “Of course, people in these places can keep wearing masks if that makes them feel more comfortable.”
Indoor-masking requirements would remain in effect for the time-being in public settings, such as bars, restaurants and retail stores until other targets are met. Masking would also still be required in indoor K-12 school settings.
San Francisco and Marin County recently issued similar orders easing masking requirements as COVID cases and hospitalizations have steadily declined since their peaks in the summer. In Contra Costa County, COVID-related hospitalizations are down to 69 from a summer high of 227 in August. Case rates in the county have seen a similar decline over the past two months.
Cases and hospitalizations spiked in the summer after the state relaxed restrictions and the highly contagious Delta variant swept through the country.
Dr. Farnitano said masking requirements had to be reinstated in the summer to blunt the impact of the Delta surge and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. With the surge receding, Dr. Farnitano said it makes sense now to lift mask requirements in non-public places like offices and gyms for vaccinated people, who are less likely to get infected with COVID or transmit the virus.
“We’re in a safer place than we were two months ago,” Dr. Farnitano said. “My hope is that two months from now vaccinated people won’t have to wear masks in other places like restaurants, bars and retail stores. The way we get there is for those who remain unvaccinated to get immunized.”
The County will lift its indoor masking requirements for restaurants, bars and retails stores when certain criteria are met, including when 80% of residents are fully vaccinated. As of Thursday, 71.6% of all county residents were fully vaccinated.
Discrepancy in Fully Vaccinated Percentages Clarified
That 71.6% figure differs significantly from what is on the county’s COVID Vaccine Dashboard, which shows 82.5% of residents over age 12 are fully vaccinated, as of today, Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:30 a.m.
Health Services staff was asked, “which is the correct figure, the 82.5% as it shows on your Vaccine Dashboard, or 71.6%? Why the difference?”
Health Services spokesman Karl Fischer responded, “Both are actually correct. The higher percentage, found on our vaccination dashboard, refers to county residents who are vaccinated, and who are also 12 and older. (Younger people are not yet able to get vaccinate).
The other percentage, which we display on the front page, is our percentage of all county residents who are vaccinated, including those younger children who are not yet eligible for vaccine. We began displaying this metric last week, after we announced the criteria for lifting the county’s face covering requirement, because the percentage of the total population that is vaccinated is part of that criteria.”
The 80% requirement applies to the county’s total population, including all of those under age 12, both those ages 5-11 not yet eligible for vaccination as well as those under age 5. According to Fischer, the county uses California Department of Finance projections rather than the 2020 Census Data. Asked why, Fischer said he had to research that.
The statistic showing the percentage of total population fully vaccinated is not currently included on the county’s COVID Vaccine Dashboard. Fischer said he’d look into it and that it might already be in the works to add it.
Please check back later for any updates to this report.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
“The Board…declares that COVID-19 health misinformation is an urgent public health crisis” – from resolution
“You are spreading misinformation that the vaccine is the be all and end all…” – county resident Carolyn Stream
“We are going to be as loud as we can be and as visible as we can be to put out information that is correct…” – Supervisor John Gioia
County might enter the less health restrictive yellow ranking by the end of October, currently has less than 75 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in county hospitals. – Contra Costa Health Officer, Dr. Chris Farnitano
Discuss $110 million Measure X half-cent sales tax revenue wish list
By Daniel Borsuk
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, on a 5-0 vote, approved a resolution aimed at turning around rising public skepticism against the COVID-19 vaccines during their regular, weekly meeting on Tuesday. It is entitled “Declaring COVID-19 Misinformation as a Public Health Crisis”. (See resolution and below)
Supervisors listened to 50 speakers, mostly opposed to the resolution that “declares COVID-19 health misinformation is an urgent public health crisis affecting our entire community and the County of Contra Costa commits to combating health misinformation is an urgent public health crisis affecting our entire community and County of Contra Costa commits to combating health misinformation and curbing the spread of falsehoods that threaten the health and safety of our residents.”
“We are going to be as loud as we can be and as visible as we can be to put out information that is correct, science-based and corrects the general misinformation that’s out there,” resolution-co-author District 1 Supervisor John Gioia said.
“We are not making any judgement against anyone,” said co-author Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill. “We’re not infringing on anyone’s free speech rights. This is not the case. We are calling out the misinformation that leads some to not be vaccinated.”
One message in the resolution states: “The Board of Supervisors and County of Contra Costa is troubled by and actively discourages the spread of COVID-19 misinformation as it is a dangerous threat to public health.”
“There are ae people who don’t believe in public officials,” said District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville. “I will support this resolution because it conveys prudent decisions based on scientifically based information.”
District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover went right to the point. “Get your shot and protect yourself and your loved ones.”
But supervisors got an earful of criticism from the 50 speakers who viewed the supervisors’ resolution as a move in the wrong direction, a direction towards infringements of freedom of speech, “freedom of medical choice,” and “freedom of medical information.”
One such speaker, Lucy Busto of Oakley bristled at the supervisors for considering a resolution that would “infringe on our medical freedom of choice.” She said, “We have no idea what the long-term effects of these vaccines are.”
“You are spreading misinformation that the vaccine is the be all and end all when there are many unanswered questions about the vaccine,” said another speaker, Carolyn Stream.
But retired nurse Mary Schreiber urged supervisors to adopt the resolution saying, “This is really supported by our health care professionals.”
Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano, who also reported the county might enter the less health restrictive yellow ranking by the end of October, currently has less than 75 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in county hospitals.
“You are infringing on our rights to medical information,” said Lucy Busto of Oakley. “We have no idea what the long-term effects of these vaccines are”
“You are spreading misinformation that the vaccine is the be all end all”, said resolution opponent Carolyn Strum. “We should have the freedom for information. No one should have the right to control information.”
Supervisors’ Measure X Wish List
With the county expect to plow in $110 million in Measure X sales tax revenues, $23 million more than initially estimated prior to vote passage last November, supervisors began to reveal their funding priorities with the additional money that the county officials expect to flow into county coffers.
During a presentation from Measure X Community Advisory Board Chair Mariana Moore, supervisors indicated what county operations should receive Measure X funding priority for the upcoming 2022-2023 fiscal year.
Initially county officials expected the Measure X tax would drive in $87 million in revenues, but higher than expected consumer retail sales has pumped up the initial projection.
Code enforcement, transit, fire services, sheriff response and patrols were top Measure X priorities Supervisor Mitchoff listed. Mitchoff will serve as board chair next year, her final year in office.
Board vice chair Glover rattled off the office of racial justice and equity, the northern waterfront planning project, animal services, youth services center, and mental got top billing.
Trails and public transit were on District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Measure X list.
District 1 Supervisor John Gioia said county hospital, health clinics, transitionary housing and fire services especially in East County were on his Measure X list.
Improving fire services in East County, especially with the proposed consolidation for the Contra Costa County Fire District with the East Contra Costa County Fire District, was Chair Diane Burgis’ chief funding priority.
WHEREAS, Health misinformation has significantly undermined public health efforts and the unmitigated proliferation of health misinformation has created a culture of mistrust and has prolonged the COVID-19 pandemic, endangering the health and safety of all Contra Costa County residents and visitors; and
WHEREAS, The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in over 95,000 cases and 921 deaths in Contra Costa County as of September 25, 2021; and
WHEREAS, The spread of COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our health and safety, our regional economy, our elder residents, our communities of color, our mental health, the educational development of our children and every aspect of our lives; and
WHEREAS, In Contra Costa County, there are significantly lower vaccination rates for residents 20-29 years old, residents who identify themselves as White, Latinx (i.e. Latino/Hispanic), African-American, and more than one race/ethnicity, men, and in certain communities across the county and particularly in East and West County; and
WHEREAS, The COVID-19 vaccines have met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality and have been proven to be safe and effective; and WHEREAS, The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, brand name Comirnaty, has received full FDA approval and been proven to be highly effective in preventing serious disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and that its benefits outweigh its risks; and
WHEREAS, The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone in Contra Costa County at no cost, regardless of income, residency within the county, health coverage or immigration status, and is administered by health professionals, like nurses and doctors; and
WHEREAS, misinformation has caused confusion and has led to eligible people declining COVID-19 vaccines, rejecting public health measures such as face coverings and physical distancing, and using unproven treatments; and
WHEREAS, On July 15, 2021, the United States Surgeon General issued his first advisory describing the “urgent threat” posed by the rise of false information of COVID-19 – one that continues to put “lives at risk” and prolong the pandemic; and
WHEREAS, Recent surges in infections and hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Contra Costa have highlighted the importance of clear and unequivocal communications from public officials that vaccines are the best protection against severe illness and hospitalizations; and
WHEREAS, Urgent action is needed to curb the spread of COVID-19 by combating misinformation, thereby supporting our healthcare system and saving lives; and
WHEREAS, There would be substantial detriment on Contra Costa County and its residents and visitors if not acted upon immediately; and
WHEREAS, Trusted community members, such as health professionals, faith leaders, educators, and leaders of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other communities of color nationwide and in Contra Costa have spoken directly to their communities to address COVID-19 related questions by town halls, meetings, social media, and traditional media; and
WHEREAS, The Board of Supervisors and the County of Contra Costa is troubled by and actively discourages the spread of COVID-19 misinformation as it is a dangerous threat to public health; and
WHEREAS, Contra Costa Health Services continues to carry out its mission to care for and protect all Contra Costa County residents from COVID-19, especially our most vulnerable; and
WHEREAS, Contra Costa Health Services engages with our communities through building partnerships and trust with community organizations and residents, trusted messengers, and COVID-19 Ambassadors; and
WHEREAS, Contra Costa Health Services maintains a coronavirus website as a source of credible, up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 for Contra Costa residents at cchealth.org.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County declares that COVID-19 health misinformation is an urgent public health crisis affecting our entire community and the County of Contra Costa commits to combating health misinformation and curbing the spread of falsehoods that threaten the health and safety of our residents; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Board of Supervisors and the County of Contra Costa will develop and support policies and strategies that protect the health and safety of Contra Costa County residents through the promotion of evidence-based interventions, including face coverings and vaccination; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Contra Costa Health Services will continue to share facts and scientific information about COVID-19, to correct misinformation including vaccine myths, to identify and give a platform to culturally relevant medical experts and trusted messengers, to respond to questions and requests for information on social media, and to work with our media and community partners to reach a broad audience with factual, timely information.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Contra Costa County and nonprofits are responding to the challenge of the growing emotional and mental health impacts of the pandemic. Learn about the pathways to mental health resources the county and nonprofits offer and the challenges to improve mental health outcomes as we seek to create a healthier community for everyone.
Join a Zoom webinar on October 21 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., where a panel will discuss the resources available.
Dr. Cindy Mataraso, Director of Clinical Services at Crestwood Behavioral Health, will moderate the panel.
- Rebecca Bauer Kahan, Member, California State Assembly
- SuSun Kim, Director of the Family Justice Center, Contra Costa County
- Dr. Suzanne Tavano, Director of Behavioral Health Services, Contra Costa County
- Gigi Crowder, Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness, Contra Costa County
Register at https://tinyurl.com/lwv-mental-health
The program is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley, the League of Women Voters of West Contra Costa County and the Contra Costa County Library. The Library will provide closed captioning for this event.
The program will be recorded and posted on the following sites after the meeting:
For more information contact: email@example.com
By Alma Galvan, Marketing & Communications Manager, BBB of the Golden Gate
With the excitement that the San Francisco Giants are once again in the MLB playoffs. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of The Golden Gate is warning fans that scammers might be selling fake playoff game tickets online. “Thanks to the internet, there are countless ways for consumers to find tickets and connect with online marketplaces, ticket sellers, and resellers,” said Lori Wilson, President of BBB serving The Golden Gate.
BBB is warning consumers to be smart when searching for and purchasing tickets, and to ensure that they are purchasing from a trustworthy source. The BBB has received hundreds of complaints on BBB Scam Tracker about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theatre, and more.
Here are some tips for buying tickets online:
- Purchase from the venue whenever possible.
- Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling scam tickets.
- Check out the seller/broker on BBB.org
- Buy only from trusted vendors.
- Know the refund policy.
- Always use a credit card whenever possible.
- Be wary of advertisements promoting cheap tickets.
- If you’re unsure, verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate and show you how to tell if a ticket is fake.
Today, we celebrate the citing of land by a sailor on one of the three ships in the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World.
Excerpts from Christopher Columbus‘ Log, 1492 A.D.
IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Whereas, Most Christian, High, Excellent, and Powerful Princes, King and Queen of Spain and of the Islands of the Sea, our Sovereigns, this present year 1492…
Thursday, 11 October.
“as the Pinta was the swiftest sailer, and kept ahead of the Admiral, she discovered land and made the signals which had been ordered. The land was first seen by a sailor…”
“the Admiral directed them to keep a strict watch upon the forecastle and look out diligently for land, and to him who should first discover it he promised a silken jacket, besides the reward which the King and Queen had offered, which was an annuity of ten thousand maravedis. At two o’clock in the morning the land was discovered, at two leagues’ distance;”
By Maureen Parkes, Office of Communications & Media, Contra Costa County
The Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Committee is now accepting applications from individuals and groups interested in enhancing the fish and wildlife resources of the County. Grant applications must be received by Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at 5:00 pm.
The Fish and Wildlife Committee strongly encourages applications related to public education, improving habitat, scientific research, threatened and endangered species, and resolving human/wildlife interaction issues. In addition, the Committee wishes to fund one or more projects that increase collaboration with law enforcement agencies, the court, and community cultural organizations on enforcement issues and education, focusing on communities that may be unaware of local fish and game laws. Projects that provide multilingual signage and educational materials are encouraged.
The Fish and Wildlife Committee awards grants for prospective expenditures to non-profit organizations, schools and government agencies. The Committee generally does not recommend funding for operating costs and overhead, such as benefits or utilities, or ongoing staff support for an organization. Further, projects awarded monies from the Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund must meet the requirements of Section 13103 of the Fish and Game Code.
Funding for the grant program is generated from fines for violations of the Fish and Game Code and Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors receives the Committee’s recommendations and holds final decision-making authority over the awarding of grants.
During the 2021 grant cycle, a total of $60,830.71 was awarded to seven projects. The awards ranged from $4,973.00 to $16,000.00. Application materials may be obtained on the Fish and Wildlife Committee website or by contacting Maureen Parkes of the Contra Costa County Conservation and Development Department by phone at 925-655-2909 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.