Tassajara Parks in the San Ramon Valley and Pantages Bays in Discovery Bay will add 417 single family homes in Supervisorial District 3 with support of environmental groups
Approve Ameresco Renewable Natural Gas Processing Facility and Pipeline at Keller Canyon Landfill
Flash green light for further study moving Byron boys ranch to former Martinez Juvenile Hall
By Daniel Borsuk
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors worked on solving the county’s complex housing shortage during their meeting on Tuesday by approving two major housing developments, the 277-single family housing unit Pantages residential project in Discovery Bay and the controversial 125-housing unit Tassajara Parks residential project near San Ramon, both in District 3, board chair Diane Burgis’ turf.
The more controversial Tassajara Parks Residential Project drew the support of major environmental groups like Green Belt Alliance, Save Mt. Diablo and East Bay Regional Parks District mainly because the developer’s moved to do a “fee simple transfer “of 727 acres of land to the East Bay Regional Park District.
“This fee simple conveyance to the EBRPD will ensure that the Dedication Area is protected and preserved in perpetuity for the following non-urban uses only: agriculture, open space, parks, recreation, scenic uses, wetland preservation and creation, and habitat mitigation,” the supervisors’ background information states.
Save Mt. Diablo Land Conservation Director Seth Adams called the land transfer “a great trade off” and will go a long way in the preservation of wildlife, especially raptors and eagles.
“It’s a 30-acre adjustment to the Urban Limit Line which is allowed by a four-fifths vote of the Board of Supervisors based on at least one of seven findings,” Adams shared with the Herald. “Here it was the creation of an ag preserve by two more agencies.”
The Danville city council opposed the project contending the open space trade offer was inadequate especially when California is in a drought. “The city council felt that the scope and magnitude of the project with 125 homes in exchange of open space was insufficient. The city council did not feel it was worth the trade off, “said City of Danville Manager Joe Calabrigo.
District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of San Ramon, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said she was concerned any action by the supervisors would require approval of the voters to adjust the urban limit line.
“I know we need the right mix of housing,” said Andersen. “If we move the urban limit line, that is up to the voters. I have strong reservations about the environmental impact report. Then there is no source of water for this project.”
Before supervisors approved the Tassajara Project on a 4-1 vote, District 1 Supervisor John Gioia successfully added to the board’s resolution several conditions, one that included that the developer must install solar panels and EV charging stations inside the garage or carport. In addition, he added the installation of high efficiency appliances and insulation to zero net energy and to meet the standards to be solar-ready as defined by the California Building Standards.
The developer agreed to Gioia’s additions to the project’s resolution of approval.
The Tassajara Parks project also garnered support from parents of Tassajara Hills Elementary School parents who were pleased the developer plans to make safety corrections to the school’s parking lot. The school is immediately west of the project’s northern side.
Dave Rehnstrom, EBMUD Manager of Water Distribution Planning, said contrary to the developer’s proposed water conservation efforts, “EBMUD finds this project’s water conservation measures are insufficient.”
Mainly because developers of controversial the Tassajara Parks Residential Project have proposed to dedicate 727 acres of land to the East Bay Regional Park District, that move won the support from a few environmental organizations especially Save Mt. Diablo.
After several failed attempts to obtain state and federal regulatory permit approvals since 2013, developers of the proposed Pantages Bays Project near Discovery Bay, the new project proposed would subdivide the same site into 277 residential lots, which is 15 lots less than the original 2013 project.
With two public trail systems providing 5,200 linear feet of trails and walkways, the proposed project consists of two lakes, Lake South approximately 23 acres in size, and Lake North, about seven acres in size.
Of the 277 units planned for Pantages Bay Project, about 42 units are required to be set aside as affordable housing units. Eighty percent of the affordable units, 33 units, would be affordable to Moderate income households and 20 percent of the required affordable units, 8 units, would be affordable to low-income households. “An in-lieu fee will be paid for the remaining 0.55 units,” the county planning department document states.
“This project will help alleviate a lot of the illegal dumping that occurs in that area,” Burgis observed.
Approve Amersco Natural Gas Processing Facility and Pipeline
Without receiving any public comments either in favor or in opposition, supervisors approved on a 5-0 vote Ameresco Renewable Natural Gas’s (ARNG) proposal to construct a new 48,000 square foot renewable natural gas facility on the Keller Canyon Landfill site in Pittsburg.
The publicly traded Ameresco that has been operating on the Pittsburg landfill site a RNG operation since 2009 now proposes constructing a newer RNG processing facility of about 48,000 square feet or 1.1 acres on a level pad of about 84,000 square feet. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the operation would be overseen by two operators for 40 hours per week.
According to a press release from Republic Services, which owns the landfill, “The dedication of the Keller Canyon Landfill gas-to-electricity project marks the second time this year that Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG) and Ameresco have partnered to develop and expand renewable energy sources for California and to provide power to residents of and businesses in Palo Alto and Alameda.”
“Most of the equipment would be less than 10 feet high except for the proposed enclosed flare, and a few larger pieces of equipment that would vary in height from 25 to 35 feet,” the Conservation and Development Department background document stated. “The proposed enclosed flare would be approximately 50 feet in height, similar to the two existing flares at the Keller Canyon Landfill enclosed flare facility.”
The project also calls for a new RNG underground pipeline to a proposed PG&E metering station located near the eastern edge of the Keller Canyon Landfill. The Ameresco project has drawn some concern from Concord-based Discovery Builders that the proposed pipeline will be near a proposed residential development in Pittsburg.
A spokesman for Ameresco would not answer how much the new RNG facility and pipeline will cost.
During the supervisors’ meeting, Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg said through his office, Ameresco has agreed to pay the county at least $50,000 a year into the Keller Canyon Land Fill Mitigation Fund to help moderate any economic or environmental impacts stemming from the RNG project.
Every year, millions of dollars collected from Republic Services, operation of the Keller Canyon Landfill, are distributed to nonprofit organizations in the Bay Point and Pittsburg area through Supervisor Federal Glover’s office.
Supervisors Seek More Information on Orin Allen Youth Rehab Center Closure
Supervisors also instructed Contra Costa County Chief Probation Officer Essa Ehmen Krause to proceed and collect additional information, including cost figures, about a proposal to potentially move juvenile inmates at Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Byron, (referred to as the Byron Boys Ranch) closing that facility and transferring the inmates to a renovated former juvenile hall on Glazier Drive in Martinez. The former juvenile hall facility is now used or storage.
The proposal was presented to supervisors who are attempting to figure out how to best use resources and address the educational and psychological needs of juveniles at the aged Byron Boys Ranch, constructed in 1960 and is now out of compliance with the American Disability Act.
Due to state legislation and local juvenile rehabilitation efforts, there are now about 15 youths housed at the Byron Boys Ranch, which is used for youths convicted of non-capital crimes. For youths convicted or charged for capital crimes, they are housed at the 209-bed John A. Davis Juvenile Hall constructed in 2005. There are now about 24 inmates at juvenile hall, Krause told supervisors.
Expect Krause to give periodic updates on the potential closure of Orin Allen and the reuse of the former juvenile hall facility.
The fiscal 2021-22 state budget signed into law Monday by Gov. Newsom includes a $20 million appropriation for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to underwrite the work of the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA). BAHFA, which is jointly managed by MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), plans to use this money to seed five new pilot programs designed to ease the Bay Area’s housing affordability and homelessness crises.
“BAHFA was established to transform how the Bay Area delivers on housing affordability and stability,” explained Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza, who also serves as Chair of both MTC and BAHFA. “We appreciate the Legislature investing some of the state’s budget surplus in BAHFA so we can start working immediately on the five pilot projects that take a comprehensive approach to solving the crisis. The state’s commitment will support many of the Bay Area’s most vulnerable residents today and put us firmly on the path to long-term change.”
The five BAHFA pilot programs include an online platform known as Doorway to connect residents with affordable housing opportunities throughout the Bay Area; financing and technical assistance to support and increase the acquisition and preservation of affordable housing to help combat the displacement of low-income residents; a database to track the development or “pipeline” of affordable homes across the region to help match available funding with projects in areas with the most urgent needs; establishment of an anti-displacement services network to link service providers focused on keeping tenants housed, share best practices and ensure the efficient and equitable distribution of rent-relief dollars; and a partnership with San Francisco-based nonprofit All Home to design and implement a regional homelessness prevention system.
Berkeley mayor and ABAG Executive Board president Jesse Arreguin emphasizes BAHFA’s regional approach to solving the Bay Area’s chronic housing affordability problems through what are known as the Three Ps: producing more new housing at all income levels, protecting current residents from displacement, and preserving existing affordable housing.
“The crisis is a combination of complex and inter-related problems that has been growing for decades. But by working together at a regional scale, our nine counties and 101 cities and towns no longer have to try to solve every problem on their own,” he said.
Established in 2019 by state Assembly Bill 1487, BAHFA is the first regional housing finance authority in California. While BAHFA is comprised of the same membership as MTC, its procedures also are managed by the ABAG Executive Board; and both boards must approve any decision to put a regional housing finance measure on a future ballot. Oakland mayor and MTC Commissioner Libby Schaaf serves as Chair of MTC’s BAHFA Oversight Committee.
ABAG is the council of governments and the regional planning agency for the 101 cities and towns, and nine counties of the Bay Area. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.Read More
By Pittsburg Police Department
THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW
Back in May, we investigated two separate shootings in the West 10th Street Corridor and in the El Pueblo Housing Complex. At first, there was little to go on to identify the shooters.
But, over the past few months, our Investigations Division and members of our VICE team developed new leads and took that information to the District Attorney’s Office and obtained an arrest warrant for one of the suspects involved in the shootings.
Early this morning, (Wednesday, July 14, 2021) our officers served a search warrant at a residence in the 300 block of Snowflake Way in the city of Pittsburg. They found 23-year-old Jesus Pina and placed him under arrest. They found a fully automatic Glock handgun in his home.
Detectives then served a search warrant at a home in the 2300 block of Sycamore Dr. in Antioch. 20-year-old Carlos Elizalde was placed under arrest as numerous firearms were found – including four AK-47 pistol variants and a fully automatic Glock pistol. Along with the illegal firearms, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, several high-capacity drum-style magazines, and almost two hundred conversation kits capable of making a Glock handgun fully automatic were located.
Both Elizalde and Pina were booked and transported to the Martinez Detention Facility. Pina is being held on an outstanding warrant. Elizalde is being charged with possession of an assault weapon, selling/converting a firearm, prohibited person in possession of ammunition, and a convicted person in possession of a firearm.
#ppd #pittsburg #allofthestreets #protectingourcommunityRead More
Will serve one year in county jail
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney
Martinez, Calif. – Yesterday, Monday, July 12, 2021, former Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder Joe Canciamilla pled guilty to perjury and grand theft, totaling nine counts, for illegal activity tied to his multiple political campaign bank accounts. The District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Canciamilla last year. Canciamilla resigned in 2019.
Canciamilla will serve 365 days in county jail per his guilty plea. Per the court, the Sheriff’s Office will determine how the custody time will be served. In addition, he was sentenced to two years formal probation by the Honorable Leslie G. Landu. Due to his felony conviction, Canciamilla will not be able to act as an attorney and he will report his criminal conviction to the California State Bar. Further, he may no longer hold public office or any other elected office.
Canciamilla committed felony perjury for his misstatements on campaign disclosure statements (Form 460s). Canciamilla signed these campaign finance statements under the penalty of perjury. The illegal activity was conducted from 2010 to 2016. The grand theft counts against Canciamilla related to the use of campaign funds for his personal use.
The personal expenditures made by Canciamilla’s campaign committees for his own personal use were:
- Personal vacation to Asia
- Airfare via Southwest Airlines and American Airlines
- Repayment of a Personal Loan
- Transfers from his Campaign Bank Accounts to his Personal Accounts
In 2019, Canciamilla was fined $150,000 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission in a civil stipulation for his inaccurate campaign finance statements, which concealed the personal use of campaign funds for his own benefit.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Steven Bolen. DDA Bolen is assigned to our Office’s Public Corruption Unit.
Case information: People v. Joseph Canciamilla, Docket Number 01-193934-7.Read More
With reps from Cal Office of Emergency Services and East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, and Federal Communications Commission
Devastating and deadly wildfires have blazed across our state last year. With over 4.2 million acres burned, 2020 was the largest wildfires season recorded in California’s history. With extreme hot and dry weather this year, wildfire activity may be more widespread, potentially putting even more people in danger. Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) will be hosting a virtual town hall on Thursday, July 15th from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM to discuss what you can expect this season and answer questions on how you and our community can prepare and stay safe. He will be joined by representatives from the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Featuring representatives from the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and East Contra Costa Fire Protection District and FCC
Who: Hosted by Congressman Jerry McNerney
Featuring Special Guests:
- Brian Marshall, Fire and Rescue Chief, Cal OES
- Steve Aubert, Fire Marshal, ECCFPD
- Justin Cain, Chief of the Operations and Emergency Management Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, FCC
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
To join online:
To join by phone:
Webinar ID: 825 9461 3212
Participants can join via phone or by using the webinar link above and can submit questions in advance here.
Consumers asked to conserve energy from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
With electric transmission lines from Oregon still unreliable due to the explosive Bootleg Fire and continued high temperatures across the West resulting in increased demand for electricity, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert for Monday, July 12 to help stabilize the state’s electric grid and deal with uncertainty created by the extraordinary conditions.
Consumers are strongly encouraged to continue to conserve as much electricity as possible between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday. Conservation is key to reducing stress on the grid during these peak hours.
In addition, the ISO issued a Restricted Maintenance Operations (RMO) for Monday that requires generators to postpone any planned outages for routine equipment maintenance, ensuring that all available resources can be dispatched to the grid.
The fast-moving Bootleg Fire tripped off transmission lines on Friday and again Saturday, limiting electricity flow from the Pacific Northwest to California and other states. Power supplies to the California ISO service territory, which covers about 80 percent of the state, have been reduced by as much as 3,500 megawatts because of the fire.
Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to quickly secure additional power that has helped maintain grid stability through the weekend. The executive order remains in place.
When a Flex Alert is in effect, consumers are strongly encouraged to take these specific actions from 4-9 pm:
- Set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if your health permits
- Avoid using major appliances, like dish washers and clothes washers and dryers
- Turn off all unnecessary lights
Earlier in the day, before the Flex Alert takes effect and when solar energy is abundant, consumers are encouraged to take these steps to be comfortable and help grid operators balance electricity supply and demand:
- Pre-cool your home by lowering the thermostat
- If you need to use your major appliances, do it before the Flex Alert is in effect, when solar energy is plentiful
- Close window coverings to keep your home or apartment cool
- Charge electronic devices and electric vehicles so there’s no need to do it later, when solar generation is down
If demand still outstrip supply after a Flex Alert is in effect, the ISO could take the infrequent step of ordering California utilities to spread power outages of relatively short duration to effectively extend available electricity as much as possible.
As California’s ability to store solar and wind energy with batteries or other technology continues to improve, those crucial evening hours will be less of a challenge and similar emergencies rarer. But for now, collective action to conserve is our most effective way to keep the grid stable.
For information on Flex Alerts, and to get more electricity conservation tips, visit the ISO’s Flex Alert website.
A Flex Alert is issued by the ISO when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures. Glossary of terms and acronyms
Click here to learn more about System Alerts, Warnings and Emergencies. Follow grid conditions in real time at ISO’s Today’s Outlook, or download the free ISO Today mobile app.Read More
Los Vaqueros Reservoir currently is about 77% of capacity.
Concord –The Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) Board of Directors endorsed a Stage 1 water shortage level at its July 7, 2021 meeting and is now asking customers to voluntarily reduce water use by up to 10%. Water stored in Los Vaqueros Reservoir will also help meet customer demands this year.
CCWD has a contract with the federal government to receive water through the Central Valley Project (CVP). Initial allocations provided in April 2021 indicated that CCWD would have adequate water to meet all customer needs, which are about 10-15% below demands seen prior to the 2014-15 drought.
Since April, contractors like CCWD learned that much of the anticipated inflow to rivers from snowmelt was instead absorbed by the dry ground. In May, CCWD was informed that its water allocation was reduced and would only receive enough supply to meet public health and safety needs.
Due to the reduced allocation and to preserve available water supplies, CCWD plans to use water stored in its Los Vaqueros Reservoir in addition to voluntary conservation to meet customer needs. Los Vaqueros currently is about 77% of capacity.
“Our customers are efficient water users and wise investors in water storage,” said Lisa M. Borba, CCWD Board President. “Asking customers to voluntarily conserve about 10% is appropriate in a year this dry. Without the water stored in Los Vaqueros for drought supply, we would be having a different conversation.”
In a unanimous vote on July 7, the Board approved moving CCWD into the first level of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan which includes the call for up to 10% voluntary conservation. The Board also noted the water waste provisions adopted during the last drought remain in place and will be enforced to prevent any wasteful use of a precious resource.
CCWD has resources and rebates available for customers to reduce their water use – all available at ccwater.com/drought.
You are cordially invited by the officers and members of the Liberian Initiative for Transformation and Enlightenment (LITE) to attend its fundraiser and Liberia’s Independence Day Celebration, which will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at Ambrose Community Center, 3105 Willow Pass Road, Bay Point, CA 94565, 6pm to 12am.
Liberia is a West African nation established by formerly enslaved African Americans. The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. We will be commemorating Liberia’s 174th Independence’s Day. This year’s Theme is: “Restoring HOPE for the less privileged”.
LITE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in California. LITE has been in existence since 2017, and during this period, LITE has provided services to members of the local communities and humanitarian projects in Liberia. Throughout the years, LITE continues to strive in expanding its program in meeting the basic needs of the people and communities it serves, especially in Liberia. We hope you will be able to attend the occasion and partake in this exciting event and to experience firsthand the pride we take in providing these services to the people we serve and to improve their lives. More importantly, to meet our program goals and objectives, we rely on the generosity of organizations and individuals like you.Read More
Workers, elected leaders to highlight understaffing, long patient wait times, worker safety issues
OAKLAND, Calif., July 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — During the month of July, Sutter Health caregivers and allies will be protesting at facilities across northern California to expose the threat to workers and patients caused by understaffing, long patient wait times and worker safety issues at Sutter facilities.
“While Sutter has been driving up costs, they’ve been driving down the quality of care, staffing and safety at our hospitals. Just about every department is understaffed. Workers are getting run ragged with no time for breaks, and patients are suffering with long wait times for the care they need,” said Stefanye Sartain, Respiratory Therapist, Sutter Delta Medical Center. “It’s time for Sutter Health management to put patient and caregiver safety first. Listen to caregivers. Stop short-staffing and lowering the quality of patient care.”
Despite making $189 million in profits in 2021, receiving $843 million in taxpayer money during the COVID-19 pandemic, and paying out millions of dollars in executive salaries and bonuses, Sutter Health has announced layoffs of workers and continues to short-staff their hospitals.
|WHAT:||Healthcare workers will set up a danger zone with large signs and other visuals,
caregivers in their uniforms, PPE and safety gear. They will hold a rally, give speeches, and hold signs in protest of Sutter Health’s understaffing, long patient wait times and worker safety issues.
|WHERE & WHEN: 11 am – 1 pm (Workers & Elected Leaders speaking at 11:30 am)|
|•||July 7: Sutter Delta Medical Center, 3901 Lone Tree way, Antioch, CA 94509|
|•||July 7: Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, 30 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403|
|•||July 14: Sutter Eden Medical Center, 20103 Lake Chabot Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94546|
|•||July 14: Sutter Solano Medical Center, 300 Hospital Dr., Vallejo, CA 94590|
|•||July 21: Sutter Roseville Medical Center, One Medical Plaza, Roseville, CA 95816|
|•||July 21: Sutter California Pacific Medical Center-Mission Bernal, 3555 Cesar Chavez Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110|
|•||July 28: Sutter Lakeside Hospital, 5176 Hill Road East, Lakeport, CA 95453|
|•||July 28: Sutter Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, 350 Hawthorne St., Oakland, CA 94609|
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a healthcare justice union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers, patients, and healthcare activists united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.
Jumps fence, enters home of sister of former Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission Chairman during family July 4th celebration; loses freedom on Independence Day
By Sergeant Rick Martin #3343, Antioch Police Field Services Division
On July 4, 2021, at approximately 3:15 P.M an Antioch Police Officer located a vehicle driving on Hillcrest Avenue near Highway 4 that was wanted by San Jose Police Department for multiple armed robberies in the City of San Jose. The driver of the vehicle (Cameron Conley) entered Highway 4 in the westbound direction. As additional officers arrived in the area, Conley fled and led officers on a pursuit. The pursuit continued westbound Highway 4 at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Conley exited Bailey Road and then turned back onto eastbound Highway 4 towards Antioch at speeds in excess of 100 mph.
Conley exited Hillcrest Avenue, continued south, and turned into the Hidden Glenn neighborhood. Officers followed Conley as he drove into a court. Conley then rammed three patrol cars, to include a K-9 car, in an attempt to escape. Conley’s vehicle became disabled, and he fled on foot into the neighborhood.
UPDATE: According to former Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission Chairman, and 2020 council candidate, Sandra White who posted on her Facebook page – “I want to thank APD for doing a fantastic job apprehending the thug that crashed my family’s July 4th celebration. My family and I were enjoying the day when the suspect scaled the fence and ran into the home and barricaded himself in a bathroom my cousin and her four-year-old daughter were occupying.”
It happened at the home of White’s sister.
“The police ended up knocking down the fence while pursuing the suspect. He had a hoody on and was covered up. He was basically trying to hide himself. He said to my cousin, ‘help me, the cops are after me,’” White shared with the Herald. “He went into the linen closet to hide under the comforters. I think he got bit by the K9 because there was blood on the wall.”
“The Gang Unit, SWAT, and K9 searched the house until they located the suspect and arrested him without significant incident,” White added on her Facebook page post. “APD was professional during the entire incident, and they went out of their way to make sure my family and I were okay. Thank you APD for all you do, and be safe!”
Officers and the K-9 apprehended Conley after a brief struggle. Conley was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, and later booked into the Martinez Detention Facility.
No further information will be released at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non- emergency line at (925) 778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More