Contra Costa Supervisors select long time Deputy Attorney, current Chief Assistant as new County Counsel
County Counsel is the legal advisor for the County, including the Board of Supervisors and County officers, departments, boards and commissions, and certain special districts. Mr. Geiger has been an attorney in the County Counsel’s Office since 2001 and has served as Chief Assistant County Counsel since August 2022. He has significant legal experience in the areas of land use, code enforcement, real estate, public works, elections, emergency medical services, and Delta and water issues. Among his many accomplishments, he advised the Board of Supervisors, County Health Officer, and other County departments on legal issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic response.
“It’s a privilege to serve Contra Costa County in this role and to lead such an incredible team in the County Counsel’s Office,” Geiger said. “I am deeply honored to be selected as County Counsel and for the opportunity to help the Board of Supervisors carry out its vision of delivering quality public services that make a difference in the lives of people throughout our County.”
Geiger succeeds Mary Ann Mason, who retired as County Counsel in November 2022. As County Counsel, he will lead a legal team of 55 attorneys and staff who advise the County on civil legal matters and defend the County in litigation filed against it.
“Tom has a long history of public service in Contra Costa and has skillfully guided our County through complicated legal issues involving disaster response, land use and other significant community matters,” said Board Chair John Gioia, who represents District I. “We are grateful for his strong leadership, commitment to equity and transparency, and his ability to implement the Board’s priorities on the public’s behalf.”
Mr. Geiger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Stanford University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis, School of Law.Read More
By Andrei Iancu and David Kappos
Chinese President Xi Jinping is putting his money where his mouth is.
“We must regard science and technology as our primary productive force,” he recently said. He’s already raised his country’s research and development spending to unprecedented levels. Now, he’s filling the highest reaches of government with experts in such areas as artificial intelligence, biotech, and semiconductors.
The United States needs to take this challenge seriously. Many in Washington appear to. The Chips and Science Act, passed in August, directs $200 billion over the next few years into basic research in cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence and robotics.
But bankrolling basic research alone won’t lead to more innovation down the line. We also need robust intellectual property protections, without which new inventions wither away after the initial discovery for lack of further investment.
The last several decades have taught us that money isn’t everything. For example, the United States now spends about 3% of gross domestic product on R&D annually — a higher proportion than it spent at the height of the Space Race in the early 1960s. And yet, total factor productivity — the best measure of how much value innovation adds to the economy — has shrunk to an annual growth rate of just 0.5%, compared to 1% back then.
In other words, Americans used to get more for less.
This recent lackluster performance is a byproduct of ongoing assaults on IP law, which send a discouraging message to the companies and funds that invest in technology. Consider, for example, a proposal at the World Trade Organization to waive international patent protections on Covid therapeutics and diagnostic tools — most of which have applications far beyond one disease. This would amount to a hand-out of historic proportions to our biggest economic competitors.
The waiver is unnecessary on its own terms in a world where Covid tests and treatments are already in abundant supply. Plus, it would deal a devastating economic blow to the United States, undermine the development of new medicines, and set a precedent that invites even more attacks on IP rights. Other countries could insist on a “right” to U.S. patented technology in areas ranging from renewable energy to agriculture and beyond.
Another case in point: Dozens of members of Congress are urging the Administration to twist the law so that the federal government can seize patents whenever it has contributed so much as a cent to R&D.
It takes an enormous investment to move research from the laboratory to the marketplace, and we can be sure companies would stop funding product development if the government could simply nullify patent rights based on political whim. Kill patents and you kill private investment in innovation.
How can the United States keep its place as the world leader in scientific innovation? For a start, by resisting calls to tamper with patent rights. There is no surer way to cede technological leadership to China.
Andrei Iancu served as the undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 2018 to 2021, under former President Donald Trump. David Kappos served as the undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office from 2009 to 2013, under former President Barack Obama. Both serve as board co-chairs of the Council for Innovation Promotion.Read More
After rainouts, flooding, 63rd championship racing season opener set for Saturday at Antioch Speedway
2022 Champions honored at banquet were Nick DeCarlo (IMCA Modifieds), Fred Ryland (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Travis Dutra (IMCA Stock Cars), Misty Welborn (Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks), Shannon Newton (Wingless Spec Sprints), Jim Freethy (Super Stocks), Danny Wagner (Delta Dwarf Cars) and Tom Brown (Print Club Mini Stocks)
By Candice Martin, DCRR Racing News
Antioch, CA…This Saturday night, March 25, 2023, Antioch Speedway has a loaded program as the 63rd season of championship auto racing is set to begin. Weather permitting, the trifecta of IMCA, Modifieds, Sport Modifieds and Stock Cars, will be joined by the Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks, Delta Dwarf Cars and United States Auto Club Western States Midgets. Wet weather leading up to Saturday could postpone things again.
Antioch, like much of the state, has seen more rain this winter than has been seen in several years. The rain hit the track so hard that you could have had a fishing contest on the flooded racing surface back in February. With water pumps and a diligently working track crew, the track is expected to be ready on Saturday as long as the weather allows the six-division show to happen.
Back in February, the track did manage to make an awards banquet happen to celebrate last season. This has not been a given for the track in recent years. Due to COVID-19, the track couldn’t even have fans in the grandstands in 2020 when they held races, and the banquet was a non-starter. The banquet was set to happen early in 2022, which would celebrate the previous season, but COVID-19 regulations kept the gathering from happening again.
However, last year was the first season since 2019 in which fans were able to attend every race. There were no restrictions in place. A last minute effort was put together for the banquet, which took place at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds in February. With some sponsorship and teamwork from throughout the racing community, champions in eight divisions were crowned in February.
Drivers earning the big trophies included Nick DeCarlo (IMCA Modifieds), Fred Ryland (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Travis Dutra (IMCA Stock Cars), Misty Welborn (Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks), Shannon Newton (Wingless Spec Sprints), Jim Freethy (Super Stocks), Danny Wagner (Delta Dwarf Cars) and Tom Brown (Print Club Mini Stocks).
The Top 10 drivers in each division were honored along with Most Improved Driver and Rookie of The Year awards in all classes, plus special awards. Track Photographer Katrina Kniss also had some special awards for the Top 3 drivers in each class.
The gala event was nearly at capacity, and the interesting part was something was attempted that had never been done before. This was a free to attend event for the racing community, which also included a spaghetti meal and beverages. A live band ended the night on a positive note.
Drivers were speaking of their enthusiasm coming into the new season, It’s a clean slate. That means a new opportunity for drivers to run for points in the popular IMCA divisions, which always garner lots of attention from the fans. The Hobby Stocks were noteworthy last year in bringing the biggest car count week in and week out. If the five regular divisions on the schedule aren’t enough, there’s a special attraction on Saturday.
Promoter Chad Chadwick and Race Director Chris Bennett worked diligently to give the fans several special events of interest, and more open wheel racing will be a part of it. For the first time ever, the United States Auto Club Western States Miidgets will compete at Antioch Speedway, and this is just their first visit of the year. These fast wingless open wheel cars have been a popular form of racing in California since the 1930s.
Later on this year, the fans will be treated to NARC Winged 410 Sprint Cars, Sprint Car Challenge Tour Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Hunt Wingless Spec Sprints, among the many special events that will be a part of things in the weeks ahead.
The track’s website has the schedule listed along with other vital information, and it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the social media pages.
The IMCA Modifieds are the longest continuously tenured division currently in the lineup, having had championship seasons every year since 1990. DeCarlo enjoyed his second Antioch championship last year. The Sport Modifieds have a slightly bigger car count and will have intense competition this year, while the Stock Cars continue to gain more competitors among their ranks. They are poised to have a breakout season. Add in all the other elements, and Saturday night is a must-see event for racing enthusiasts.
The gates will open at 4:00 with the first race starting at 6:00.
Adult tickets are $20, Senior/Military $15, Kids (5-12) $15 and kids five and under free.
For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com for check out the Antioch Speedway by PROmotions Facebook page.
County, six cities benefit; $225 million for 282 projects, 155 local agencies statewide
Caltran announced Thursday, March 9, 2023, that it is awarding more than $225.6 million for local projects with $19 million in Contra Costa County designed to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries on city and county roads. Funding is provided through the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Cycle 11. In HSIP Cycle 11 Call-for-Projects, 434 applications from 206 local public agencies, requesting $521.1 million of HSIP funds, were received. A total of 282 projects from 155 local agencies will receive HSIP funds including Contra Costa County and six of its cities.
Safety enhancements will include pedestrian crossings, bike safety improvements and new traffic signals, roundabouts, turn lanes, rumble strips and guardrails. Caltrans awards these grants every other year to cities, counties and tribal governments.
“Safety is always Caltrans’ top priority,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “These projects will enhance systemwide safety features, including enhancing safety for people who walk and bike, and move us closer to our vision of reaching zero fatalities and serious injuries on roadways throughout the state by 2050.”
Caltrans is using the Safe System approach – which emphasizes multiple layers of protection, including safer road designs – to achieve its goal of reducing to zero the number of fatalities and serious injuries on state roadways by 2050. Caltrans’ adoption of the Safe System approach builds on its ongoing work to embed safety in the state’s transportation system, and for that reason all transportation projects the department funds or oversees now must include “complete street” features that provide safe and accessible options for people walking, biking and taking transit.
“True equity on our roads means creating safe spaces for all, where pedestrians and cyclists are valued and protected with the same care and attention as motorists, said Caltrans District 4 Director Dina El-Tawansy. “This critical funding for safety will bring us closer to achieving a sustainable and equitable transportation system for all Californians.”
District 4 includes Contra Costa, Alameda, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties.
Projects approved in Contra Costa County include:
- $2.5M in the city of Antioch for signal system upgrades at multiple locations.
- $828,000 to install Hawk signals at trail crossings to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety in the city of Antioch.
- $7.4M in street lighting and safety improvements in the city of Concord. The project includes installing new lighting, upgrading existing street and intersection lighting, installing pedestrian countdown signal heads, modifying phasing to provide a Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI) and installing three new Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) and four HAWK signals.
- $249,984 to upgrade existing uncontrolled crossing locations to enhance pedestrian safety with flashing beacon systems in the city of Concord.
- $249,480 to install bike lane buffer delineators to provide physical separation between bicycles and vehicles and install bike boxes at intersection approaches in city of Concord.
- $531,360 for traffic signal and intersection safety improvements in the city of Danville.
- $107,910 for Hartz Avenue corridor intersection safety improvements in the city of Danville.
- $445,860 for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements in the city of Moraga.
- $220,500 for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements in the city of Moraga.
- $239,040 for safety improvements on arterial roadways in the city of Pinole.
- $1.4M for Barrett Avenue Road improvements in the city of Richmond.
- $224,640 for MacDonald Avenue pedestrian crossing safety upgrades in the city of Richmond.
- $1.3M for Byron Highway safety improvements.
- $715,050 for Vasco Road safety improvements in the county.
- $249,415 for the county for Walnut Boulevard bike safety improvements (near Brentwood).
- $999,990 to replace guardrails in various locations throughout the county.
- $249,840 to install Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs), bulb-outs and a median refuge island in the county.
- $1.1M in the county to install bike lanes by widening and restriping the roadway and installing a centerline rumble strip.
More information on the program is available at Caltrans’ HSIP page, including a full list of approved projects.
Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.
Driver’s fiancé also arrested for being accessory, destroying evidence
By Ted Asregadoo, PIO, Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office
The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office has filed a four-count complaint against a 34-year-old Pittsburg man for his role in a hit-and-run collision that took the life of a 17-year-old female pedestrian, Brooke Jeffrey.
Roberto Matthew Sainez, Jr. was arraigned in Superior Court in Martinez Friday, on vehicular manslaughter, a hit and run that resulted in the death of another person, destroying evidence, and driving with a suspended or revoked license for a DUI conviction. The manslaughter charge comes with an enhancement of fleeing the scene after committing the offense.
The incident occurred around 7:15 pm on March 7th, 2023, near Black Diamond High School in Pittsburg. Pittsburg Police received a call about a pedestrian who appeared unconscious and likely hit by a vehicle. When police arrived on the scene at Stoneman Avenue near Briarcliff Drive, they found the teen lying in the center of the road. Police and medical personnel administered life-saving measures. However, the teen was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital.
Pittsburg Police initiated an investigation of the incident — which led them to Mr. Sainez as a suspect. He was arrested on March 15th and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility. During
the arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Jeff Kolko noted that Sainez not only fled the scene after striking the teen with his vehicle, but also took action to cover up the evidence. A family member of the victim also spoke in court asking Judge Nancy Davis Stark to consider the lack of
remorse in Sainez’s actions. After hearing from the victim’s family member and Mr. Kolko’s request to increase Sainez’s bail, the judge increased the bail amount from $200,000 to $1,000,000.
Case No. 04-23-00363 | The People of the State of California vs. Sainez, Roberto Matthew
Driver’s 30-year-old Fiancé Also Arrested
According to a Pittsburg Police press release on Thursday, March 16, The District Attorney’s Office filed the following charges in relation to the fatal hit-and-run crash of 17-year-old Brooke Jeffrey:
Sainez, Roberto Jr.
PC 192(c)(1) – Vehicular Manslaughter; enhancement of CVC 20001(c) – Fleeing Scene of a Crime
CVC 20001(b)(2) – Hit and Run Resulting in Death
PC 135 – Destruction of Evidence
CVC 14601.2(a) – Suspended License for DUI
Today, Pittsburg PD investigators arrested 34-year-old Roberto Sainez from Pittsburg for the hit-and-run collision that killed a teenage girl. Sainez’ fiancé, 30-year-old Vanessa Landeros, was also arrested.
Sainez was booked on the following charges:
- PC 192(c) – Vehicular Manslaughter
- PC 135 – Destroying or Concealing Evidence
- CVC 20001 Felony Hit & Run
- CVC 20003 Hit & Run resulting in a death
- CVC 14601.2 – Suspended License for DUI
- CVC 14601.4 – Driving on a suspended or revoked license and causing bodily injury
- CVC 14601.5 – Driving on a Suspended License due to DUI
Landeros was booked on the following charges:
- PC 32 – Accessory after the fact
- PC 135 – Destroying or Concealing Evidence
The two were arrested in the 3000 block of Gladstone Drive in Pittsburg where investigators were serving a search warrant.
On March 7th, Pittsburg police officers responded to Stoneman Avenue and Briarcliff Drive where a 17-year-old pedestrian was fatally struck by a vehicle, which then fled the area. From the onset, this case was handled with an all-hands-on deck approach and investigators worked diligently, following all investigative leads that led to these arrests. This included reviewing of countless hours of video surveillance, which aided in the identification of the suspect vehicle and ultimately the suspects. Investigators served several search warrants in this case to include two Pittsburg residences, a Pittsburg business, and a property in Sonoma County which also led to the recovery of the vehicle involved in the collision.
We are extremely proud of the swift and hard work our detectives, fatal traffic investigators and evidence technician put into this case to provide the family closure and justice. Please understand that there are times, particularly in sensitive cases, where we cannot issue information prematurely to protect the integrity of the investigation.
We would like to thank our community for their cooperation in this investigation. In the coming days, investigators will be presenting this case to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office for the filing of formal charges. This is still an active investigation. Anyone who has additional information related to this case should contact Detective Gutierrez at 925-252-4095 or Detective Elmore at 925-252-4875.
Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.
Denies request to review lower court’s decision, ends litigation, leaving in place earlier rulings that the City acted properly in approving the development
“This decision is a win for housing, but the fact that this project has taken so long is exactly why we have such a catastrophic housing shortage” – Sonja Trauss, President and Founder of YIMBY Law
By Suzanne Iarla, Communications Analyst/Public Information Officer
After more than two years, litigation against the City of Lafayette and developer O’Brien Land Company (O’Brien) regarding the City’s approval of the 315-unit Terraces of Lafayette development project has ended and is in favor of the City and O’Brien.
In 2020, Save Lafayette, a citizens group, sued the City and O’Brien to overturn the City’s approval of the Terraces of Lafayette. In November 2021, the Contra Costa County Superior Court rejected Save Lafayette’s claims and upheld the City’s approval of the Terraces of Lafayette. Save Lafayette appealed the Superior Court’s decision.
In November 2022, the Court of Appeal issued a unanimous opinion holding that the City’s environmental review complied with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and that the City properly followed the Housing Accountability Act in approving the project. Save Lafayette requested that the California Supreme Court exercise its discretion and review the Court of Appeal’s decision.
On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, the California Supreme Court denied Save Lafayette’s request for review, making the Court of Appeal opinion in favor of the City the final word in the long-running dispute.
“The Courts have once again affirmed that the City complied with the Housing Accountability Act and the California Environmental Quality Act in its environmental review and approval of this 20%-affordable housing project. The litigation is over, and we should now focus on welcoming new residents to our community,” said Lafayette Mayor Carl Anduri.
Now that litigation has ended, O’Brien will be able to proceed with the development of 315 for-rent apartments, including 63 below-market-rate units on a vacant a 22-acre site at the southwest corner of Pleasant Hill and Deer Hill Roads, adjacent to Highway 24 in Lafayette.
In response O’Brien Land Company issued the following press release regarding the court decision:
In a landmark victory for housing rights and state housing law, the California Supreme Court denied review of the unanimous California Court of Appeal ruling in favor of the Terraces of Lafayette
As the last step to finally end the litigation over the Terraces of Lafayette apartment community, the Supreme Court of California denied Save Lafayette’s request to review the First District Court of Appeal’s unanimous ruling that upheld the City of Lafayette’s project approvals. In a published opinion, the Court of Appeal rejected in full Save Lafayette’s lawsuit challenging the Terraces of Lafayette, a 315-unit apartment community by O’Brien Land Company. After nearly 10 years of processing and 120 public hearings, the Lafayette City Council had finally approved the project by a 4-1 vote in August 2020.
The Court’s decision can be found here. Project information can be found at https://www.terracesoflafayette.com.
The project site is in an urbanized area adjacent to Highway 24 and located one mile from the Lafayette BART station. With 20%, or 63, of its dwelling units set aside for lower income households, the Terraces is considered an affordable housing project under the Housing Accountability Act (HAA). This will substantially assist Lafayette in meeting its Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) for the lower income categories assigned to it by long-standing state law.
Despite the project’s robust legal protections under controlling state law, Save Lafayette has actively opposed the project and all development on the project site for years. The anti-development group also opposed a 44 single-family home compromise project the City approved in 2015 after the City and O’Brien contractually paused processing of the apartment project to consider an alternative the group might accept. Save Lafayette responded by filing litigation and a ballot referendum that overturned the smaller project. Once the voters rejected the smaller project, O’Brien and the City resumed processing the apartments.
“Despite the fact that the project, located on a former quarry site, is supported by the Sierra Club and Greenbelt Alliance, and provides critically-needed, affordable housing, it took 12 years to get to this point after finally getting the project approved and through this and other wasteful litigation,” said Dennis O’Brien, President and Founder of O’Brien Land Company. “It’s been disheartening the last few years to have to tell local residents and workers that we weren’t yet able to build the apartments the City approved. People have long been in need of housing like this for themselves, family members, and local workers, and all we could do was add their name to an interest list and ask them to be patient while we saw the project through an incredibly difficult and time-consuming process. We are elated that we can now move forward.”
Although the apartment project included a full environmental impact report, Save Lafayette’s lawsuit claimed the City’s approval violated the California Environmental Quality Act, a law frequently employed by anti-development NIMBY groups to challenge new housing. The lawsuit also claimed the project was not entitled to the protection of the HAA, which protects housing developments from changes in local land use laws after an application is deemed complete by, among other things, substantially curtailing the circumstances under which a housing project may lawfully be disapproved. As the Superior Court did in 2021, the Court of Appeal rejected Save Lafayette’s arguments and agreed that the City complied with the law in approving the project.
Matt Regan, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the Bay Area Council added his voice in support of the Supreme Court’s decision saying, “When anyone asks why we have a housing affordability crisis in California, I just show them the history of the Terraces in Lafayette. This is a site where the City said they wanted housing, a developer offered a proposal that met their requirements, and here we are 12 years later after multiple plan changes, referendums, lawsuits, delay after delay after delay, needless costs piled on top of needless costs, and still no homes,” he added.
“The team at O’Brien Homes should be given every credit for refusing to be bullied and sticking with this project.”
The Court of Appeal recognized the HAA’s statutory mandate to interpret and implement the HAA to “afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing” and accordingly held that the trial court “rightly refused to disturb the City’s approval of the project.”
About the decision, Sonja Trauss, President and Founder of YIMBY Law, stated, “This decision is a win for housing, but the fact that this project has taken so long is exactly why we have such a catastrophic housing shortage. The people involved with Save Lafayette should be ashamed of themselves. They have denied housing for more than 700 middle income people for the last 10 years while they fought this project. Imagine if Save Lafayette had spent their time and money actually helping people.”
Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.
One of seven Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s 459 semifinalists from Contra Costa County for highly competitive undergraduate transfer scholarships
Other college scholarship programs offered for middle, high school students
By Julia Florence
Lansdowne, Virginia – On March 9, 2023, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced 459 semifinalists for the highly competitive Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Brentwood resident Ryan Mattson, in his last semester at Sacramento City College, was selected as the only representative of the Los Rios Community College District to be named a semifinalist.
The native who grew up in Pittsburg, CA and is a 2006 graduate of Antioch High School is one of seven semifinalists in Contra Costa County. The six other community college students named semifinalists are Eliette Bustos Barocio and Hosna Ramzi from Los Medanos College and Ivan Hernandez, Jessica Kim, Karla Morales De Leon and Mayari Lanz Amezcua from Diablo Valley College.
The Foundation awards community college students who have demonstrated exceptional academic ability, leadership, service and a determination to complete their bachelor’s degrees at top four-year institutions.
“I was accepted into Columbia University in New York City and await confirmation or denial from Stanford, Yale and UC Berkeley,” Mattson shared.
He plans to study political science and history but has not finalized his major at Columbia.
Mattson has worked in the trades, specifically automotive repair and maintenance at Winter Chevrolet in Pittsburg and has a 15-year-old son who attends Liberty High in Brentwood.
“I believe the reason for my singularity comes from students not being informed of this scholarship opportunity,” he said. “If the community knew age did not matter and scholarships were available to the determined, I believe our community would garner not only the nation’s best minds but also the most driven individuals.”
This year’s semifinalists were chosen from a pool of more than 1,700 applicants and attend 215 community colleges in 38 states. Some of the latest research from the American Talent Initiative estimates that roughly 50,000 high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds could transfer to four-year colleges each year but don’t, often due to cost. The Cooke Transfer Scholarship is designed to create a clear pathway to a four-year degree by offering up to $55,000 per year along with academic advising and access to a network of peers.
“By lifting the financial burden of pursuing a four-year degree off their shoulders, our goal is to help students take full advantage of a four-year college experience without taking on student debt,” said Seppy Basili, Executive Director of the Cooke Foundation. “This year’s selected semifinalists reflect the deep bench of talent across our community colleges today, and we’re looking forward to getting to know them better in our final application review process.”
The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship offers unparalleled support to community college students. In addition to the generous financial support, selected Cooke Transfer Scholars will receive educational advising from the Foundation’s Deans of Scholar Support to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year school and preparing for their future endeavors. They will also have access to opportunities for internships, study abroad, graduate school funding, and the incomparable connection to a robust network of more than 3,000 fellow Cooke Scholars and Alumni.
According to the foundation’s website, scholarship recipients earned a 3.92 average community college GPA, 70% participated in an honors program or pursued honors coursework and 67% held a leadership role in a club or activity. They will be announced in April.
A list of this year’s Cooke Transfer Scholar semifinalists, their respective community colleges, and hometowns can be viewed here. To learn more about the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, visit the website here.
Named for and Funded by Canadian-American Businessman
According to Wikipedia, “Jack Kent Cooke was a Canadian-American businessman in broadcasting and professional sports. Starting in sales, Cooke was very successful, eventually becoming a partner in a network of radio stations and newspapers in Canada. Cooke moved to the United States and built a business empire in broadcasting and professional sports franchises. Cooke was the owner of the Washington Redskins (NFL), the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), the Los Angeles Wolves (United Soccer) and Toronto Maple Leafs (IL minor league baseball team). He also developed The Forum in Inglewood, California, and FedExField (named Jack Kent Cooke Stadium when it opened, months after his death) near Landover, Maryland.”
According to the foundation’s website, Cooke was born in Canada in 1912. “As a young man, he was an athlete and musician, with a love for ice hockey, the saxophone, and the clarinet. He dreamed of pursuing a formal education, but that dream was cut short when he left high school during the Great Depression to work full time to help support his family. Nonetheless, Mr. Cooke believed education was a life-long pursuit. He was a passionate student his entire life and was knowledgeable in fields as diverse as literature, music, sports, and architecture. When he died in 1997, Mr. Cooke left the bulk of his fortune to establish the Cooke Foundation and provide remarkable students with the chance to soar.”
More Scholarship Programs for Middle, High School Students
The foundation also offers three other scholarship opportunities. The Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program is the largest undergraduate scholarship program available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities. The high school seniors will receive up to $55,000 per year for up to four years to complete a bachelor’s degree. They will also be eligible to apply for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship after graduating with their bachelor’s degree, which is worth up to $150,000.
The Cooke College Scholarship Program is available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend and graduate from the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities.
This year’s 45 recipients entered the Cooke Young Scholars Program as 8th graders in 2019. As a cohort, they have attended two residential summer programs together. During the summer before 8th grade, Young Scholars spent three weeks at the University of Pennsylvania exploring social and political issues through project-based service-learning and academic study. This past summer, Scholars took part in an inquiry‐based enrichment experience at the University of Connecticut, participating in experiential research projects.
The Cooke Young Scholars Program is a selective five-year, pre-college scholarship for high-performing 7th grade students with financial need. It provides comprehensive academic and college advising, as well as financial support for school, Cooke-sponsored summer programs, internships, and other learning enrichment opportunities.
Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Dublin’s 39th St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will be held Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, 2023. The festival activities and entertainment will run 10am-5pm both days and is held rain or shine.
The 2023 St. Patrick’s Day Festival’s visitors will enjoy a variety of events such as:
- Firefighters Pancake Breakfast.
- St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
- Shamrock 5K Fun Run & Walk.
- Food and Drinks – International food stalls.
- Shopping – More than 250 booths selling crafts, food, jewelry and more.
- Carnival Rides & Games – Enjoyment for the whole family.
- Music – Live concerts.
- Entertainment – Irish Music and Dance.
Annual Firefighters Pancake Breakfast
Green pancakes anyone? Enjoy a delicious hot pancake and sausage breakfast served fresh off the griddle by the firefighters from Local 55. The cost is only $5.00 per person and the funds are used to support charitable efforts funded by Local 55. It’s a perfect way to start the morning before finding a seat for the parade or heading over to the festival!
- Saturday, March 18, 2023
- 7:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m.
- Fire Station #16, 7494 Donohue Drive in Dublin
- (At the corner of Donohue Drive and Amador Valley Blvd.)
- $5 per person
39th St. Patrick’s Day Parade
After a hearty breakfast at the Firefighters’ Local 55 Pancake Breakfast, residents and guests can find a spot in Downtown Dublin to watch the Dublin Lions Club St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which begins Saturday, March 18 at 9:30 a.m. The parade kicks-off at Dublin Boulevard and Amador Plaza Road, traveling east on Dublin Boulevard, north on Village Parkway, and west on Amador Valley Boulevard, ending near the Dublin Senior Center. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to watch from along the parade route. The parade features more than 80 entries, including festive marching bands and floats, Irish bagpipes, local dance troupes, equestrians, and more.
This is a rain or shine event, so be prepared with rain gear in case of foul weather!
2023 Shamrock 5K Fun Run & Walk presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Join in the fun and festivities of the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration by participating in the Shamrock 5k Fun Run and Walk. Lace up those running shores, put on your favorite green, and head out to run or walk.
- Sunday, March 19, 2023
- 8:30am race start time
- 1 Mile 5K course.
- Commemorative event t-shirt for all participants registered by March 3, 2023.
- First three finishers in each age group in the Competitive Division will receive a medallion and a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift certificate.
- Open to everyone! Run or walk our 5K route.
- Enjoy a post-race celebration with refreshments, entertainment, and prize drawings!
- Join the over 2,000 participants in this fun event!
- This is a rain or shine event!
The Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk is part of the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration which features three stages of Irish music and dancing; over 250 festival booths; and plenty of Irish food and drink!
For more information on the Fun Run including route map, parking and directions, and how to register, please visit the Event Registration Page. For questions, please contact Anthony Calvo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Things to Do at the Festival
Entertainment – Three Stages of Irish Music and Dance! (See schedule)
You’ll find everything from traditional Irish folk music to Celtic Rock and bagpipes performing throughout Saturday and Sunday on two stages. And don’t miss the Irish Dancers performing continuously on the Dance Stage.
Food and Drink – An International Food Court!
An expanded Irish menu will feature corned beef sliders; Irish bangers and mash; Guinness-marinated tri-tip on Irish soda bread; boxty; and, of course, fish and chips! Traditional festival favorites like kettle corn and corn dogs, along with international choices, such as teriyaki chicken and beef kabobs, will also be served.
Shopping – Over 250 Booths!
The Irish Marketplace will feature unique Celtic artwork, Irish tartans, hand knit wool sweaters, shawls, beautiful Celtic jewelry, and more! Other vendors will include arts and crafts booths, commercial vendors, non-profits groups, and sponsors.
Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Irish Tea Cottage
Enjoy lively Irish music along with a steaming cup of Irish tea, served with delicious shortbread and scones. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For the festival’s program, directions and parking, parade route and more details visit the festival’s website at www.DublinStPats.com.
The San Ramon Community Chorus is performing a free St. Patrick‘s Day Concert on Friday, March 17 start at 7:00pm at the Alcosta Senior & Community Center at 9300 Alcosta Blvd. This annual show will also feature performances by the McBride School of Irish Dance. We hope to see you there!
The Community Chorus is open to those who enjoy recreational singing in a friendly, stress-free atmosphere. We sing familiar tunes from Broadway classics and folk. No experience or auditions are required. Sessions end with a performance (optional participation).Read More
Following “illegal narcotics deal gone bad”
Police search for shooter
By Oakley Police Department
On March 15, 2023, at approximately 10:12PM, Oakley police officers responded to the 1000 block of Quail Valley Run for the report of three males fighting inside a vehicle and gunshots being heard. Oakley Officers started towards the area, and they were advised one person fled from the vehicle after the gunshots and the vehicle was driven away too. Oakley Police Officers found the vehicle at the intersection of Laurel Road and Teton Road. As the officers started making contact with the occupants, they learned the vehicle was stolen out of Oakley on March 11, 2023. Officers quickly contacted the occupants and found the driver was a young adult male and he was shot in the upper chest. Officers also contacted a juvenile male in the front passenger seat. Our officers provided medical care to the driver and had paramedics respond.
Our officers began their investigation and they found both the driver and the passenger to be completely uncooperative with them. The driver was transported to a local hospital for advanced care and our detectives were called in. the stolen vehicle was seized as evidence, along with many personal effects of the driver and the passenger. Our investigation led to the recovery of the firearm that was used in this shooting.
Our investigation has so far revealed this incident appears to be an illegal narcotics deal gone bad. We are still actively working on identifying the person who fled on foot, who at this point is only known to be a male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt.
The driver of the stolen vehicle, and the person who was shot, is identified as Nickolas Durham (18, Pittsburg). Durham was released from the local hospital into the custody of the Oakley Police Department, and we have arrested and booked him for:
- Possession of a stolen vehicle
The juvenile passenger in the vehicle was arrested and booked for:
- Possession of a firearm
- Assault with a deadly weapon
“This is the second major incident that occurred on Quail Valley Run in the span of just one day. At this point there is no evidence to suggest the two incidents are related in any way. Even though my detectives are still trying to identify the third party in this incident we have recovered the gun that was used, and we have taken two suspects into custody. I do not believe this incident still represents a threat to public safety due to the recovery of the gun and the arrests,” said Police Chief Paul Beard. “I do however acknowledge the good and hardworking residents of the Quail Valley Run area may be uneasy due to all of the recent activity. I want all of those residents to know I have issued an expectation to my officers to bolster patrols in that area for the next few days. I am also imploring everybody to call us if they see anything suspicious or out of place. The Oakley Police Department will always work hard to ensure the safety of our residents and our business owners. The more we know, or find out about, only helps us to do the best job we can do.”