ward Winning News al A pa
JUNE 4, 2010
Teatime for survivors Relay For Life of Antioch/Pittsburg presents the third annual Hope Tea Survivor Celebration on Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m. in the Most Holy Rosary Parish Hall. Survivor royal-tea reservations required for the tea service and program. Enjoy a full afternoon of tea, relay royalty coronation, entertainment and raffles. All survivors will receive a special gift bag and their Relay for Life Survivors T-Shirt. Guest (non-survivor) tickets are available for $15. Most Holy Rosary Parish Hall is located at 1313 A St. in Antioch. For more information, call 925-757-0724.
Antioch Farmers’ Market expands to Towne Center Somersville Towne Center in Antioch will be the home of a Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association Certified Farmers’ Market beginning Sunday, June 6. The market will assemble Sundays through Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2556 Somersville Road in the Sears parking lot. “We’re excited about the addition of the Somersville Towne Center Farmers’ Market,” said PCFMA Director John Silviera. “The new market will provide the community with healthy produce options and live entertainment.”
Lori Abreu (925) 216-6317
see Market page 17A
1300 Central Blvd. • Brentwood
Cerelle Carstairs (925) 382-4307
Real Estate Agent
229 Valley Oaks Drive, Alamo
Local farmers and other producers will bring their best spring and summer produce, such as strawberries, stonefruit, cherries, salad greens, Asian produce and later on in the season, terrific melons, tomatoes, peppers and corn, all locally grown and straight from the fields. The market will also feature live music, featuring visiting bands to give each market week a special touch. Deja Blue will kick things off at the grand opening on Sunday.
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This wonderful 4 bdrm 3.5 ba 4401 sf home on over an acre is perched on top of a hill with great views and privacy. Master suite on first floor, backyard features nice landscaping, swimming pool and cabana. $1,399,999
Bank Owned 4 bdrm. 2.5 ba. 2,307 sf home near Deer Ridge off Balfour located in cul-de-sac. Kitchen has small breakfast island, counters with white tile and white appliances. Laminate floors downstairs. Soft colors, nice backyard. $341,000
Bank Owned two story condo with 2 bdrms and 2 ba, 1,354 sf. Cute in nice area. Wood deck that overlooks the courtyard. Good commute location.
1012 Maywood Lane #6, Martinez 1562 Ashwood Drive, Martinez 1505 Kirker Pass, #158, Concord
Two story condo with 3 bdrm, 1.5 bath and 1,217 sf. Granite counters in kitchen and fireplace in family room. Single car garage.
Cute 2 bedroom. 1 1/2 bath, 1,036 sf condo with private patio.
1505 Kirker Pass #115, Concord
91 Lozoya, Oakley PE
1 bdrm, 1 ba, 647 sf condo with granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Patio/deck.
202 Norcross Lane, Oakley
Good investment or starter home. Needs TLC. Bank owned 3 bdrm 1.5 bath, 1226 sf home has brick fireplace in family room and indoor laundry room. Carport and nice size lot. $120,000
3725 Willow Way, Byron
Hurry! Approved short sale with quick close! Darling country home on 3.5 acres with private road surrounded by nice custom homes. Huge barn/shop on property. $350,000
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2 bdrm 2 ba 833 sf condo priced to sell. Eat in kitchen open to family room. Nice size rooms and covered patio.
Darling two story home with 3 bdrms. 2.5 ba. 1,845 sf and pool in the back yard. Kitchen has white tile counters, oak cabinets and lots of cabinets. This you must see. $239,000
Location, Location, Location! Minutes to everything: boating, shopping, highway, yet private and secluded w/ views of Mt. Diablo. Custom home w/ barn and your own veggie garden! $729,950
PREFERRED VENDOR: Dan Peterson, Home Mortgage Consultant, FHA Specialist with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. at 5611 Lone Tree Way, Suite 150, Brentwood. Please call his office at 925-516-3367.
Become an Idol Last year, 10-year-old Kriesha Tiu, above, stole the show at the inaugural Brentwood Idol with her powerful rendition of Celine Dion’s “I Surrender.” This year, the contest has been expanded to two events: a qualifying round on June 10 followed by the ﬁnals competition on June 24. This year’s event will also feature Youth and Adult divisions. Winners in both competitions will take home the Brentwood Idol title, a trophy and $100 in prize money. Applications to participate in Brentwood Idol are available for download at www.brentwooddowntown.com. The deadline to sign up is Tuesday, June 8.
HARP and HALO play matchmakers Looking for a new furry friend to welcome into your home? Homeless Animals Response Program (H.A.R.P.) and Homeless Animals’ Lifeline Organization (H.A.L.O.) are participating in a blowout weekend adoption event to place all its dogs and cats in qualified homes as part of Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon. Free adoptions will be offered throughout the weekend at the following locations and times: H.A.R.P. locations: • Saturday, June 12 at PetSmart, 4655 Century Blvd. in Pittsburg from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (dogs and cats). • Sunday, June 13 at PetSmart, 5879 Lone Tree Way in Antioch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (dogs only). • Sunday, June 13 at Pet Food Express, 5829 Lone Tree Way in Antioch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (cats only). H.A.L.O. locations: • Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13 at PetSmart, 5879 Lone Tree Way in Antioch 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13 at H.A.L.O. Foster Home, 6231 Sellers Ave. in Oakley noon to 3 p.m. Thirty-eight shelters and adoption guarantee groups in Alameda and Contra Costa counties are participating in Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon. The event is sponsored by the Alameda-based Maddie’s Fund, the largest pet foundation in the country dedicated to sav-
JUNE 4, 2010
Nearly 40 shelters will pool their efforts next week to ﬁnd places for homeless animals.
Photo courtesy of H.A.R.P.
ing dog and cat lives by helping to create a nokill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home. To achieve this goal, Maddie’s Fund is investing its resources in building community collaborations in which animal welfare organizations come together to develop successful models of lifesaving. In an effort to help empty participating shelters, Maddie’s Fund will give the groups $500 for each adoption performed during the two-day event. The foundation hopes to donate more than a half-million dollars. The adoption event is being held to honor the memory of the foundation’s namesake, a miniature Schnauzer named Maddie, to increase awareness of shelter animals and their need for loving homes and to shed light on the tireless efforts of the shelters and adoption guarantee organizations in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that work so hard to save the lives of countless dogs and cats. “It is our hope that by 2015, all healthy and treatable dogs and cats will be saved in the United States,” said Dave Duffield, Maddie’s Fund founder. “We believe that the American people will lead the charge. Maddie’s Fund is investing in the fantastic work being done by
animal shelters and adoption guarantee organizations to help achieve the goal. Events such as Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon provide visibility for this very important cause.” Those wishing to adopt an animal must have a fully fenced yard. Renters will need a note from landlords on their letterhead. No adoptions will be granted to families with children under 5 unless the pet’s history with small children is known. If adopters currently own a dog, they must book an appointment for the potential dog and current dog to meet. H.A.R.P. is an all volunteer animal welfare organization dedicated to ending dog and cat overpopulation through community education, spay and neuter programs, and adoptions. H.A.L.O is run strictly by volunteers who give their own time, money and homes to foster animals until they find good homes. All H.A.L.O pets get spayed/neutered, vaccinated and micro-chipped. H.A.L.O. is also known for taking in many special-needs dogs and cats, paying for their medical needs and finding them loving homes. For more information, visit www. harp-rescue.org, www.eccchalo.org or www.maddiesadoptathon.org.
Bridge work will close Highway 4 Both directions of Highway 4 will be closed for bridge work at Middle River from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1 through Friday, June 4, and Sunday, June 6 through Friday, June 11. Flaggers and CHP will be at or near Tracy Boulevard and Discovery Bay during soft closure to allow local traffic through the work zone until the hard closure begins. Through traffic will be detoured onto local roads: • Eastbound detour: Byron Highway south, Contra Costa side: Grant Line east, a segment of I-205 east, exit Tracy Boulevard left, north on Tracy Boulevard, back to Highway 4 (San Joaquin side) • Westbound detour: Tracy Boulevard south (San Joaquin side): a segment of I-205 west, exit Grant Line/Naglee Road west), Byron Highway J4 north, back to Highway 4 (Contra Costa side).
Teacher of the Year
intage Parkway ﬁrst-grade teacher Debbie McElwain was recently named Vintage Parkway Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year for 2010. McElwain’s ﬁrst-grade class expressed appreciation for their dedicated teacher by presenting her with a memory quilt.
JUNE 4, 2010
JUNE 4, 2010
Special-ed program feels budget pinch by Ruth Roberts Staff Writer As the parent of a special-education student, life for Kasey Harvey has never been easy. “Getting Devyn up for school used to be an epic battle,” said Harvey of her bipolar daughter. “She’s a sensitive child and kids can be so cruel. One day I picked her up from school because another student had spit on her. You can’t imagine what it’s like to pick up your child and see a huge gob of spit on her shoulder. Talk about heartbreaking.” But that trend began to change last year when Harvey enrolled her daughter in the Matrix program at Freedom High School. “She’s like a different child,” said Harvey. “She’s the first one up in the morning. She’s cheerful, confident and successful, and it’s the Matrix program that has made all the difference.” Matrix programs are special-education classes for students who find it hard to learn in a traditional classroom setting. Matrix classes are small, and tailored to accommodate and enhance students’ individual needs while keeping them on the diploma track for graduation.
VINEYARDS UPDATE Brentwood has two main active-adult communities—Summerset and Trilogy at the Vineyards. Trilogy is the newer of the two, and is still building and selling homes. They opened to much anticipation and fanfare a couple of years ago. Since then, the general real estate market has taken a tumble, and there have been rumors about the viability of Trilogy. I checked in with Dan O’Brien, the Area President, to get the real story. How many homes are completed and occupied so far? We have 101 homes occupied, with another 25 homes sold and under various stages of construction. How are sales? Sales are exploding. We doubled our 2008 sales in 2009. We are on track to doubling our 2009 sales in 2010. The last time we sold as many homes as we just sold in March was June 2007. What is the status of the clubhouse? We will grand open the new member’s club in June. It is safe to say that there is nothing like it in the entire Bay Area. It is our best yet. Watch for the announcements.
How is the infrastructure coming along? We should have the last phase of Vineyards Parkway complete by summer. This will connect the community to Marsh Creek Rd. and the Bypass. How have you responded to the changing market? We have responded to the downturn by offering more, not less. We have introduced the Ultra Package which includes a 3KW photovoltaic system (solar power), Energy Star refrigerator, washer and dryer, solar-powered attic vent, tankless water heaters, satellite-controlled irrigation controller among other items at an unbelievable value. What about the rumors of you losing your funding and reducing staff? Laughable. We are backed by one of the largest pension funds in the world and we are adding staff to meet the demand. If you have questions on this or any other real estate topic, call me at (925) 240MOVE (6683). To search the MLS for free and view virtual tours of homes for sale, go to: www.SharpHomesOnline.com. Sharp Realty – Advertisement
see Program page 16A
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But due to budget constraints, the program – which also offers classes at Heritage and Liberty high schools – will be consolidated. And while Devyn and the other students at Freedom will remain in place for another season, the following year the program will be shifted over to Heritage. “I’ve spoken to all the parents in the class (at Freedom) and we are working to find a good solution to the transition,” said John Saylor, director of special services for the Liberty Union High School District. “We wanted to make sure that we are giving the highest-quality instruction to these students that we can, and most of the parents are very happy (about the changes).” But others such as Harvey, who credit the successes of their children to the program and its teacher – who it has been announced, won’t be returning to Freedom next year – feel differently. “The turnaround for Devyn and the other students is due in large part to their teacher,” said Harvey. “She has created an environment that challenges and nurtures her special students, building on their assets and not punishing their deficits. That’s why it’s so devastat-
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Excelsior club promotes tolerance by Ruth Roberts
Founding members of Excelsior Middle School’s GSA Club pose for a photo during one of their meetings last year.
Staff Writer Their watchwords are “Don’t ask, please tell,” but for members of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at Excelsior Middle School, the phrase is less about sexual orientation than it is about tolerance, acceptance and support. “You know middle school can be a tumultuous time for kids, and oftentimes name-calling that is seen as harmless fun can hit the core of a young person, and that’s not OK,” said Byron Union School Superintendent Eric Prater. “From my perspective, the GSA is an opportunity for our school to promote intolerance of bullying on any level.” Founded at the end of the school session last year, the GSA club at Excelsior was born of a desire by students to participate in the National Day of Silence: an annual event designed to bring attention to anti-gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender behavior. When teacher Matt Colbert noticed that some students wanted to continue on with the Day of Silence theme by forming an on-campus club, he offered to serve as the GSA faculty advisor. “I’ve been teaching for 21 years and this is easily the best thing I’ve been a part of,” said Colbert. “This is not a political group – we make no assumptions. It’s just a place to come and feel safe and socialize. These are an amazing group of
Photo courtesy of Matt Colbert
kids.” And it’s a growing group. At the beginning of the school year, one of GSA President Demi Neal’s goals was to increase the club’s membership. By the end of May, that membership had expanded from 13 to more than 20. But the changes, according to Demi, should be expressed in more than numbers. “I’ve seen a major difference in the attitudes on campus since the club began,” said Demi. “This (GSA) is about more than being gay; it’s more about non-hate and acceptance and feeling safe no matter who you are.” Haley Rollins, now a freshman at Liberty High School and one of the orig-
inal members of the Excelsior GSA, said that when the program first began, there was a contingent of students who didn’t support the club. “At first lots of people thought it (GSA) was dumb, but that’s exactly why we wanted to start it: to put an end to stereotypes and intolerance,” said Haley, who is straight. “I have lots of family members who are gays and lesbians and I don’t care. I love them just the same. And a lot of other students (at Excelsior) felt the same way. We felt very strongly about who we are, and who we love, and about acceptance.” see Tolerance page 16A
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JUNE 4, 2010
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JUNE 4, 2010
Seniors get the Willy’s s anxiety of the school-year’s end, ﬁnals and senioritis hit Heritage this week, Willy’s Bagels and Blends gave 2010 Heritage seniors lots of Willy big love. Every senior that purchased a bagel and a smoothie got a 2010 senior send-off Tshirt, putting Willy big smiles back on many faces. At left are members of the Heritage Class of 2010 sharing in that love. In the front row are Kayli Chirayunion and Jessica Crawford; middle row: Amy Velasco, Megan Ward, Jamie Carey and Heather Hanson; and back row: Meg Lyons, Scott Richardson of Willy’s, Kaylee Vernoy and Katie Dolan. In addition to supporting local seniors, Willy’s is generously donating to Grad Night and gearing up for the upcoming Relay for Life.
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Roy Ghiggeri, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services for the Liberty Union High School District, will retire this month after 36 years of work for the district. Ghiggeri was born and raised in Brentwood, and comes from a local and prominent farming family. After graduating from Liberty High School, he attended the University of the Pacific on a four-year basketball scholarship and earned his bachelor’s degree in history and physical education. Ghiggeri received his teaching credential, but was planning to go into the family farming business until education leaders Lou Bronzan and Jack Ferrill convinced him to try teaching and coaching. During his 36-year career in education, Ghiggeri has held many positions in the district, including teacher, coach and athletic director, plus a long list of administrative titles culminating in assistant superintendent of administrative services. His office is lined with plaques thanking him for his devoted service – among them a plaque commemorating his induction into the LUHSD Athletic Hall of Fame, a distinction he shares with his son, Joseph. After teaching in the Antioch Unified School District, Ghiggeri’s wife, Angela, now teaches in the LUHSD Adult Education Program. Both of their children graduated from Liberty High School, and his daughter, Stacie, teaches in the Antioch district. Joseph works for the family at the G&S Farms. The Ghiggeris have no detailed plans for how they will spend their time in the near future, but look forward to the opportunities that the next chapter of their lives will bring.
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he Panther Creed of Oakley’s Delta Vista Middle School exhorts students to “try to do something to make yourself and the school better.” Well, Andrea Bates’ after-school Craft Club has taken that creed one step further – helping to make the world a better place by creating and donating blankets to Project Linus, an organization that provides blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need. Great job, kids!
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Trevor’s Weekly Mortgage Matters By Trevor Frey
Reintroducing CalHFA “While the financial market turmoil continues and California faces unique challenges economically, there is perhaps no more important time for our agency to work on behalf of families statewide,” said Steve Spears, acting Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency, otherwise known as CalHFA. Since the agency’s creation in 1975, CalHFA has helped over 150,000 California families realize their dream of homeownership by using over $18 billion in non-taxpayer funds to secure low rate fixed mortgages, as well as offer down payment assistance programs. Now, in 2010, CalHFA is once again putting its money where its mouth is and bringing back their most popular down payment assistance program to date…the California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program. More commonly referred to as CHDAP, this junior or second loan/lien program, financed through voter-approved Propositions 46 and 1C, has been the most successful down payment assistance program in CalHFA’s history. Over the years it has provided more than 31,000 California families with the assistance needed to buy their first home and is once again becoming available after an 11 month hiatus. The program itself offers up to 3% of the purchase price, or the home’s appraised value - whichever is less - to the buyer for either assistance with their down payment, or to help with closing costs. Although the potential purchaser would first have to bring in their own 3% to match the funds being lent, the CHDAP loan has no repayment schedule until the new owner sells or refinances their home.
So what first loan out there can be paired with the CHDAP second lien program in order to allow the buyer to only bring in 3% of their own funds? For first time buyers – defined as a person(s) who has not had an ownership interest in their primary residence during the previous three years – CalHFA has also put in place (as of June 8, 2009) its new Cal30 program. This first mortgage allows for 95% financing at a 30 year fixed rate of 5.125%. Also, as an added benefit to the buyer, the Cal30 program allows for a maximum combined loan-to-value of 102% of the purchase price. What does that mean and how does it help you? Buying a home for $200,000 would result in a principal and interest payment of $1034.53 at 5.125% with an initial cash investment of $6000, 3% of the purchase price accordingly. The Cal30 principal loan amount would be $190,000 (95% of the purchase price), plus your $6000 down payment, plus another $6000 (or 3%) from the state via CHDAP to cover the remainder of the down payment, and assist with closing costs. According to Executive Director Steve Spear, “Because of the decline in real estate prices, the number of Californians who can now afford a home is twice what it was at this time last year,” now would be a great time to get pre-approved for this program and start looking for a new home. If you have any real estate lending related questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to write me at tfreymortgages@yahoo. com or call me directly on my new cell phone, (925) 726-1444. – Advertisement
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Learning something new – every day things. “I feel pretty good about it (earning perfect attendance),” Trevor said. “I don’t really think of getting perfect atTrevor Fletcher loves going to school. tendance every day. I just go to school In fact, Trevor, 11, hasn’t missed a day of and want to be there every day. My sisschool since first setting foot on the Tim- ter, Kendall, also got the honor two years ber Point Elementary campus as a kinder- ago, so I feel good about keeping it in the gartener. family. You’ve just got to To honor his six years make sure you don’t eat of perfect attendance betoo much junk food and fore he heads off to the stay away from sick peosixth grade at Excelsior ple, and try to stay healthy Middle School in the fall, and active. Also, luck has Trevor will be recognized something to do with it.” by the Byron School Trevor, whose favorBoard at its next meeting ite subjects in school are on June 17. math and social studies, Trevor’s mother, said he’d like to be an arAzita, couldn’t be more chitect or a professional proud. “We are very baseball player when he much looking forward to grows up. the special presentation at Azita said Trevor is TREVOR FLETCHER the board meeting,” she an active child who parsaid. “We’re so proud of him. Not only ticipates in a traveling baseball league as for his perfect attendance, but for being a well as basketball, football – and anything well-rounded, good-hearted kid, getting else with a ball: “He likes being active and straight A’s all throughout his elementary working out. He also likes to play with his school years and always trying to do his buddies, play video games, and he loves best at everything he does.” music.” For Trevor, earning perfect attenThe family plans to celebrate by takdance is just icing on the cake, but the real ing Trevor to dinner at his favorite restauprize is going to school and learning new rant, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
by Samie Hartley Staff Writer
JUNE 4, 2010
amuel and Licha Gonzalez of Oakley just returned from Valencia, Spain – with their Oakley Press – where they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They’re seen above with their Hometown Weekly Newspaper in front of the Science Museum in Valencia. Congratulations on your milestone, Samuel and Licha, and thanks for taking us along!
Program from page 7A ing that she won’t be there next year.” Freedom Principal Erik Faulkner said the elimination of Freedom’s Matrix classes and the replacement of the current teacher – are separate issues, and because one of them is a personnel decision, the details cannot be discussed: “But I can assure you the reasons (for the teacher’s dismissal) are legitimate and real.” Harvey and other parents, however, are concerned about the new arrangement. “It won’t be the same program – they are absolutely correct,” said Saylor. “It’s going to be better. We are trying to include the rigors of the program along with the high quality of instruction that
these students need. We want what is best for them in the long run, and we believe this is it.” Faulkner sympathized with the families of Freedom’s Matrix students, but said his eye is on the bigger prize – graduation: “Parents want the emotional support for their kids of course, and so do we. But we also want the high school diploma to go with it. And those families want that, too. So if you want to do that, we have to make some changes.” Saylor agreed: “We understand that this is an issue charged with emotions, but it’s not a punishment. We want what’s best for the students, too.” To comment, visit www.thepress.net.
Tolerance from page 8A The GSA was formed, said Prater, along the same lines as other Excelsior school clubs – under the education code and existing school board policy. The GSA meets once a week at lunchtime and for the occasional after-school activity and charity event. This year, the group spearheaded a food drive with the Brentwood-based Delta Community Services organization to provide needy families with groceries. But the group hasn’t been without its share of controversy. “There have been some conversations about the group by some parents who see it as a potential recruiting tool,” said Colbert. “But I have to say that it has always been a civil dis-
JUNE 4, 2010
course. On the other hand, I have had far more parents tell me how happy they are to have this club on campus.” “One of the things I liked about the club at Excelsior,” said Haley, who is also a member of the Liberty High GSA chapter, “is that it is a positive thing. I really felt like we were making a difference and bringing a positive aspect to campus.” Colbert agreed that the club’s purpose is purely positive and that the GSA is making an impact on students both gay and straight. “I believe that the tide has turned and ‘gay’ is no longer a bad word on campus,” said Colbert. “It’s been a ride, and I’d definitely say we’re breaking ground.” To comment, visit www.thepress.net.
JUNE 4, 2010
Have a superb summer Editor: On behalf of everyone at Barnes & Noble in Antioch, we would like to thank all of the Awesome Educators for a wonderful year. We wish them all a relaxing summer and look forward to seeing them all for the 201011 school year. The Staff at Barnes & Noble Antioch
Measure F area could benefit Antioch Editor: I had the honor to be a member of the Antioch City Council from 2000 through 2008 and I continue to speak out on issues facing our city and East County. Antioch is in serious trouble. Mayor Jim Davis recently announced that our city might be on the verge of bankruptcy. He mentioned the real possibility that we might not be able to make payroll within the next six months. We’ve already seen deep cuts in our police staffing as well as throughout city government. Our reserves have been depleted. When we were growing, Antioch avoided these problems by bringing in revenue and new investment. Unfortunately for us, this effectively stopped in 2006, before the downturn in the housing market, which began in 2007. Ever since we stopped growing, our financial situation has become worse. In 2005 we passed Measure K by a nearly 60-percent vote. I was proud to strongly endorse this initiative, which allowed us to bring Roddy Ranch into Antioch. It also gave us our own urban limit line, which the voters of Antioch control. We had had many fights with the county over land planning. Creating our own line put us in charge. This brings up Brentwood’s Measure F. The initiative area borders both Brentwood and Antioch. Currently, it’s within Brentwood’ sphere of influence (SOI). However, I believe a majority of Antioch residents would vote to annex this land if the people of Brentwood don’t want it. The extra funding it would provide would help us enormously with our budget issues. Additionally, this area
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would also build roads and utilities we need to allow our growth to continue in the southern part of our city. In fact, implementation of the Roddy Ranch development requires other areas to help pay for infrastructure. We know that a sphere of influence can change. We saw it when the City of Pittsburg successfully got LAFCO to change the SOI for the Baker property from Antioch to Pittsburg; and then Pittsburg annexed the Baker property. The Baker property is now developed and known as Century Plaza and Delta Gateway. Its sales and property tax revenues go to Pittsburg instead of Antioch. I can’t vote in the Measure F election. But many friends in Brentwood have asked me what I thought about the chances of the site coming into Antioch. Although I can’t predict the future, the bottom line is that it would complement Antioch’s plans for Roddy Ranch and FUA1, where Kaiser Hospital is located. Arne Simonsen Antioch
Measure F not a problem solver Editor: This letter is in response to Ms. Dieteman’s from the May 28 Brentwood Press. I am a senior at Heritage High School and I too have experienced the awful congestion and traffic that comes with attending Heritage. For four years I’ve driven to and from school in insane traffic, and yet, nothing has been done. However, I would like to encourage voters to vote No on measure F. If measure F passes, the traffic conditions will not be alleviated, they will only worsen. Brentwood is a commuter community. Heritage is at it’s full capacity. So why add 1,300 new homes and families into the mix? It doesn’t matter if the development is constructed now or later, measure F is poor planning. Sure, the traffic will be alleviated when American Avenue is extended and Balfour is widened, but when the housing development is finished and homes are occupied, we will be back to square one. The traffic itself is an effect of poor planning. I would like to know who decided it would be a fabulous idea to build a middle school right behind a high school! There are some days where Adams does not have school but Heritage does. It’s almost astounding how little traffic there is on these days. Poor planning doesn’t fix poor planning; it only creates more problems. On top of that, traffic is worsened by traffic violators. People will literally stop in the middle of a lane where traffic is supposed to flow so they can make a lame attempt to merge into the turning lane for American Avenue. Though drivers believe they’re cutting past all the traffic, they’re simply adding more to it. Not only that, but their violations make Balfour road extremely unsafe. It’s not even teen drivers that are driving in this manner it’s parents too. We need police officers in this
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EDITORIALS, LETTERS & COMMENTARY
area. The only time I’ve ever seen a police officer on the way to school was the first few days of each school year. Now that is ridiculous. Brentwood doesn’t need more housing. What Brentwood needs is businesses - people don’t want to live in places where they cannot find jobs. However, the land Measure F proposes we build on is not an adequate space for buildings of any kind, whether it be housing, retail, etc. for obvious reasons. Measure F supporters argue that if measure F does not pass, then nothing will ever be done to alleviate the traffic on Balfour. This is incredibly narrow minded. There are always other solutions. Ms.Dieteman, you are under the impression that Measure F will solve the problems on American Avenue and Balfour. You are mistaken. Measure F doesn’t solve any problems. It masks the current ones and creates more for the future. Vote No on measure F. Kiley Yeaman Brentwood
No on Measure F is a must Editor: Measure F and its supporters have persistently threatened that Antioch will take control over the proposed area if we don’t pass Measure F. Untrue. This land remains in Brentwood’s sphere of influence even with a No vote. The letters from the three LAFCO commissioners to the Brentwood Press were designed to intimidate voters as a favor to the Measure F campaign – an inappropriate and unethical act. The chairman of LAFCO, Martin McNair, released a statement at the Brentwood City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 25: “I’m upset and disappointed by the letters of the three LAFCO members. They were entirely out of line and they do not represent official LAFCO policy.” Just as disturbing was watching our current city leaders who support this measure stand by silently while those they represent were so disingenuously misled. Fixing American Avenue and improving Balfour Road will not solve the traffic problems. The same stoplight, stop signs and poorly designed high school parking lot will remain unchanged. Expecting people to drive an additional mile around the loop, deal with another proposed school site, 3,000 more cars, an additional 1,350 more students, let alone the overflow students that will be added to the elementary school, only compounds the problem. In addition, there are no plans in the near future to improve Deer Valley Road. 4,153 already-approved homes within our city limit translates into 12,000 new residents to be absorbed into our city. Measure F’s binding developer agreement guarantees up to 1,300 more homes, adding another 4,000 residents. And still funds will be lacking to widen the Highway 4 Bypass. Now 16,000 new residents will require access to the bypass with no improvements in sight. Measure F states that their jobs and sports-facility contributions will be “in lieu”
of having to participate in the city’s Residential Growth Management Program (RGMP). All developer projects in Brentwood require contributions that improve our infrastructure above and beyond what is required in developer fees through the RGMP. Measure F’s “in lieu” contribution toward improvements is only about 10 percent of what would be required of them if they did have to abide by the RGMP. What a huge discrepancy. In addition, the jobs contribution is vague and barely defined, while the sports-facility contribution does not guarantee that the facility will be built. Measure F disregards our General Plan for this area and rewrites it to their vision and profit margin. Their plan doubles the number of homes to 1,300 and decreases the open space by two-thirds of the original plan. Brentwood already has 4,153 new homes approved to be built, approximately 2,000 homes in some stage of default, 1,922 rental homes registered with the city as well as nondistressed homes on the market. Adding an additional 1,300 homes to this inventory will not improve property values. Don’t set a precedent for developer control over our city. Vote No on Measure F. Peggy Bridges Brentwood
Protect Brentwood Editor: After reading Ralph Strauss’ letter to the editor, I reviewed facts, removed myself from the emotional debate and considered what we may really be facing if we do not approve Measure F. Antioch desires Measure F to fail so it can bring both sides of Balfour into Antioch. Why? The Roddy Ranch area, just west of Measure F at Deer Valley, was brought in by Measure K five years ago, but Antioch cannot provide the needed infrastructure funds to develop that area. There are not enough homes to provide infrastructure funds on its own. Just like Measure K, Antioch must and will have another measure for the north side of Balfour and willing to include the Measure F area if that area is rejected by Brentwood. It doesn’t have to cost Antioch anything and that city at bankruptcy desperately needs the taxes and fees. Follow the facts: Antioch must bring sewer from Hillcrest Avenue, water from Kaiser hospital and improve Deer Valley Road before Roddy Ranch can be built. Sewer alone is probably over $12 million, water is about $6 million and Deer Valley Road improvement is probably over $20 million. If Antioch is broke and Roddy Ranch developers do not have enough home fees to pay these infrastructure funds, the only other choice is more development with a new Measure. More Antioch homes in this area will bring those needed funds. Roddy Ranch already has maps, the north side of Balfour is being planned and see Letters page 20A
JUNE 4, 2010
A sampling of recent law enforcement activity reported by East County police departments. BRENTWOOD May 24, 11:34 a.m. On West Country Club Drive, an unidentified person damaged a banner and signs promoting the Yes on F campaign. May 24, 11:39 a.m. On American Avenue, an iPod Touch cell phone was stolen from a locker. May 24, 3:46 p.m. Two subjects stole gum, candy bars and bottled water from a business on Second Street. They were arrested and released on Juvenile Affidavits. May 24, 4:50 p.m. On Roper Circle, a subject damaged a vehicle during a child custody exchange. May 24, 6:23 p.m. On Chatham Place, a subject with three outstanding warrants for his arrest out of Alameda County was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 24, 10:23 p.m. On Birch Street, an unidentified person stole a BMX bicycle. May 24, 10:35 p.m. On White Swan Street at Sycamore Avenue, a subject stopped for a vehicle code violation was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 25, 12:18 p.m. On Sand Creek Road at The Streets of Brentwood, a driver entered the intersection against a red signal and struck a vehicle making a left turn. No injuries were reported, and both vehicles were towed from the scene. May 25, 2:45 p.m. On American Avenue, an unidentified person stole an iPod and jeans from an unlocked gym locker. May 25, 4:51 p.m. On Roundhill Drive, a vehicle was towed for displaying registration expired in excess of six months. May 25, 8 p.m. On Balfour Road at Cortona Way, an unidentified subject was observed brandishing a firearm. May 26, Midnight On Lone Tree Way, a subject found in possession of a controlled substance while on school grounds was arrested, booked and released on a Juvenile Affidavit. May 26, 9:04 a.m. An unidentified person stole 330 feet of copper wire from light poles
LOGS on Concord Avenue at Fairview Avenue. May 26, 12:10 p.m. An unidentified person stole mail from the mailbox of a residence on Meadow Brook Court. May 26, 5:12 p.m. On Balfour Road at Brentwood Boulevard, a subject stopped for a vehicle code violation was found to be driving on a license suspended for DUI. She was cited and released. May 26, 6:30 p.m. A subject contacted on Balfour Road was found to have a felony warrant for his arrest. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 26, 6:59 p.m. A subject caught shoplifting items from a business on Lone Tree Way was detained by loss-prevention personnel, arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 26, 9:28 p.m. On Outrigger Street, a subject was arrested for possession of marijuana. May 26, 11:17 p.m. Two subjects were caught stealing copper wire from city light poles on Concord Avenue at Creek Road. One of the subjects had a no-bail warrant for his arrest. They were arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 27, 2:05 a.m. On Concord Avenue at Creek Road, a subject contacted during a theft investigation was found to have a citable warrant for his arrest. He was released on a Promise To Appear. May 27, 1:45 p.m. On Central Boulevard, a subject attended a school function in violation of a child custody order. May 27, 5:26 p.m. On Browning Court, a subject punched another subject during an argument. May 27, 5:30 p.m. Burglary tools were discovered on property in the vicinity of Pamilla Drive at Central Boulevard. May 27, 8 p.m. On Homecoming Way at Brentwood Boulevard, a subject was found to be a convicted felon in possession of mace. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 28, 1:30 a.m. On Lone Tree Way at O’Hara Avenue, a subject stopped for vehicle code violations was found to be a convicted felon and drug addict, and in possession of pepper spray, a methamphetamine pipe and shaved key. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility.
On O’Hara Avenue at Neroly Road, a subject made annoying comments. He was booked at police headquarters and released on a Promise To Appear. May 31, 8:52 p.m. in Brentwood May 28, 7:05 a.m. A resident of Middlefield Court received a suspicious e-mail. May 28, Noon On Sand Creek Road at Brentwood Boulevard, a subject was found to be intoxicated and unable to care for himself. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 28, 9:31 p.m. On Brentwood Boulevard, a subject stopped for vehicle code violations was found to be under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 28, 9:51 p.m. On Sarah Street, a subject involved in a verbal dispute left the residence prior to police arrival. May 28, 10:57 p.m. On Fairview Avenue at San Jose Avenue, a subject stopped for a vehicle code violation was found to have an outstanding warrant for his arrest and was driving without a license. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 28, 11:45 p.m. On Anderson Avenue at Lone Tree Way, a subject stopped for a vehicle code violation was found to be on probation, in possession of a concealed firearm and driving on a suspended license. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 29, 3:54 a.m. On Jeffrey Way at Lone Tree Way, a subject found to be intoxicated resisted the arresting officer while being taken into custody. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 29, Noon A vehicle was found parked in the middle of the intersection of Marsh Creek Road and the Highway 4 Bypass, creating a hazard. May 29, 1:04 p.m. On Havenwood Avenue at Brentwood Boulevard, a driver broadsided by another driver complained of pain in her legs and was transported to Sutter Delta Medical Center. May 29, 1:41 p.m. An unidentified person stole a vehicle from the front of a residence on Avocado Place. May 29, 2:02 p.m. On Adams Lane at Lone Tree Way, a stolen vehicle was located parked and unoccupied. May 29, 7:37 p.m. A four-vehicle pileup occurred on Balfour Road at Clairmont Drive. May 29, 10 p.m. On Sand Creek Road at
Shady Willow Lane, a subject stopped for vehicle code violations was found to be in possession of methamphetamine. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 30, 12:53 a.m. On Sycamore Avenue at Brentwood Boulevard, a subject observed walking in the middle of the roadway was found to be intoxicated. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 30, 5:59 a.m. A vehicle heading northbound on the Highway 4 Bypass at Sand Creek Road was struck by a southbound vehicle that crossed into the first vehicle’s lane. The first vehicle swerved to avoid the second vehicle, left the roadway, rolled over and ejected a passenger, who was airlifted to Oakland Children’s Hospital. May 30, 9:43 a.m. A boat and trailer were stolen from the driveway of a residence on Creekwood Court. May 30, 10:18 a.m. A bicycle was stolen from the front of a residence on Windy Springs Lane. May 30, 7:30 p.m. On Lone Tree Way, a subject contacted for panhandling was later identified as the perpetrator of a commercial burglary. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. May 31, 11:29 a.m. An unidentified person shattered the window of a vehicle parked on Villa Terrace. May 31, 4:32 p.m. An unidentified person stole power tools from the unsecured tool locker of a vehicle parked on Blossom Drive. May 31, 8:24 p.m. An unidentified person used a rock to break the rear window of a residence on Washington Street, and stole a 27-inch plasma TV. May 31, 8:43 p.m. A driver involved in a speed contest on Continente Avenue at Persimmon Way struck a curb and garbage cans, and fled without leaving contact information. May 31, 8:52 p.m. On O’Hara Avenue at Neroly Road, a subject made annoying comments. He was booked at police headquarters and released on a Promise To Appear. To view the Brentwood Police Department’s public logs on the city’s Web site, visit www.ci.brentwood.ca.us/department/ pd/reports/index.cfm.
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Letters from page 18A Antioch would prefer both sides of Balfour in a measure to Antioch. Antioch has passed one measure while Brentwood rejected one and Antioch is providing its future control while Brentwood may reject plans. These areas will be developed, if not by Brentwood, then by Antioch, and LAFCO will respect either Antioch or Brentwood residents’ vote. Do you think Antioch developers are going to care about Brentwood residents? No. Will a measure legally take precedence over any MOU between cities? Yes. Will there be more homes built in the Antioch plan than in Measure F? Yes. (Antioch’s average homes per acre is 4.5, creating 3,300 homes in the Measure F area next to Deer Ridge and another 3,800 across Balfour next to Shadow Lakes.) Will Measure F area remain in the Brentwood sphere of influence if rejected twice? No. Will cheaper homes and apartments to immediately compete with depressed probably be allowed in an Antioch measure so they can immediately build? Yes. If you were a landowner in Measure F and rejected by Brentwood twice, would you probably choose Antioch? Yes. Can Antioch afford to wait? No. Is a person lying if they say this can’t or probably won’t happen? Yes. Follow the facts and review the circumstances Antioch is facing. Do not let “opinions and lies” from the opposition lure you into thinking that a rejection of Measure F will not destroy what made Brentwood your choice to live. Every Brentwood voter must
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vote Yes on Measure F and protect Brentwood. Alex Sanabria Brentwood
Look out for the iceberg Editor: The opponent leadership of Measure F is a self-appointed captain of the Titanic in a desperate, selfish race to win personal recognition. Their negative, lying race campaign is disgraceful and has deceived a number of good people. They have total disregard for the future of any crew or passengers. The crew in this story is present and past leaders of Brentwood; the passengers are the citizens of Brentwood. Both groups are being ignored or openly lied to while being carried full speed ahead with illusions that hold only disastrous consequences. This is not “The Love Boat.” A negative vote is just one more iceberg in an ocean of control. Why would you let this group, almost devoid of leaders or captains of anything, steer your passengers into disastrous waters, against the recommendation of the crew of Brentwood? This is a direction that will leave the passengers of Brentwood drowning in an ocean of Antioch takeover. If this Titanic sinks, there will not be any life boats to save you or rescue your ship to change the history. A second rejection of this area will bring the coldest invasion in Brentwood’s history. Our boundaries, control and any choice this area will be frozen from us. You can change the course of this ship by voting Yes on Measure F. Carolyn Houston Brentwood
We do have alternatives Editor: I have read those favoring Measure F base their approval on the possible remedies for the traffic problems at Balfour and American Avenue; many simply because they feel no one else has put an alternative on the table to fix this intersection. So let’s examine Measure F’s solutions. First, Measure F’s proponents’ own campaign literature states: “If homes are built” or “this is assuming they’re ever approved.” Their own Web site adds: “There is no guarantee that any development will be built.” If fact, they are on record saying that housing starts are at least five years away. Cut to the chase: no homes, no roads. Why should we have to wait? Second, because Measure F contains an imbedded development agreement, “If” housing is never built, which is a major possibility for at least the next 5 to 10 years, American Avenue can never be extended. Plus, conditions within the development agreement permit the development (road improvements) to wait up to 20 years! Why should we have to wait? Third, as much of this discussion has centered on housing, it seems their 35-acre commercial plan has been quietly pushed to the back burner. Do you realize that while they wait for the housing slump to correct during the next five to 10 years, they could just go ahead and develop their commercial site? This part of the development does not in any way require the extension of American Avenue, and once again, making us have to see Letters page 22A
JUNE 4, 2010
It’s a Matter of Law By Amy Alvis & Barbara A. Frantz
HAVE YOU RUINED YOUR CORPORATE STATUS? The primary purpose of setting up an LLC or Corporation is to separate your company’s liabilities from your personal assets. That is, you don’t want to lose your home over a bad business deal. However, if the Courts think that you have created a “sham” company that really doesn’t operate legitimately, they will “pierce the corporate veil” and go after your personal assets. Take this test to see if you should make some corrections to how you do business. 1. How Do You Sign Your Contracts? 2. Do You know what a Statement of Information is? 3. If you made no profit last year, do you owe taxes? 4. Have you paid your house payment directly from your business checking account? 5. Do you need corporate minutes? The answers: 1. No matter how you receive a contract for signing, your corporate name should always be in the signature line, and your signature should be preceded by the word “By”, and you must always include your title when signing. Otherwise, you might be personally guaranteeing the contract unintentionally. This defeats the purpose of why you want a corporation. 2. Every year you must file a new Statement of Information with the Secretary of State whether you are an LLC or a Corporation. The fees are different, but and at present LLC statements must be mailed in, but they are required, and if you don’t file them timely, the Secretary of State will eventually suspend your company. 3. Every LLC or corporation is required to pay $800 per year in California for the privilege of being a separate entity, whether you made money or not. The amount is lower in other states, but if you do business here, you will need to qualify in
California to do business, and then you are subject to the tax. 4. “Commingling” of funds could subject you to having your corporation or LLC deemed a “sham”. Then you could become personally liable for the Company’s debts. In small businesses, owners often think it’s a pain in the neck to keep separate bank accounts, or write a check to yourself from one account to another, especially if you are the only owner. But it is important to keep the business separate from your personal expenses. 5. Yes, you need to do yearly minutes if you’re a corporation except in limited circumstances. LLC’s are not required to do yearly minutes. Some companies do the bare minimum, others use the minutes for public relations to show a potential purchaser how the company has grown from year to year. The above 5 issues are the bare minimum in running a corporation or LLC. The laws are constantly changing so check with your local business attorney for updates to these basic rules. Contact our office if you would like to know your status.
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Letters from page 20A wait. So, do we have any alternatives? Brentwood had no problem finding the millions of dollars to build their new city offices. If the council can locate funding for where they work, why haven’t they put in an effort to provide funding for a road extension? The cost of City Hall was projected to be twice the winning bid. I am sure in today’s labor market, the cost of this road extension is much less than indicated by city staff. The Vasco Road Improvement Committee and Contra Costa County have worked years to make significant and permanent improvements, only to be stalled by a lack of funding. However, through the joint efforts of city, counties, state and federal agencies, they recently received millions of dollars to correct and improve a section of the roadway that has claimed many lives. Once again, why hasn’t the city employed a similar joint effort to obtain the funding to extend this road? “If there is a will, there is a way.” A majority of the City Council, previous mayors and council members, and developers, all approve this measure. Most are also responsible for the overbuilding that took place in this city. I think we all know, based on what has happened in the real estate market in the past three to four years, that as a result of their approvals, we the residents have suffered the most. We do have alternatives. Don’t vote them away. Al Del Grande Brentwood
Thanks for supporting Measure F Editor: To all the past and present Brentwood
mayors, city councils, planning commissioners, city managers, department heads and city employees for the 25 years that I have had the privilege of watching you lead this city with your foresight, and for the hundreds of meeting you have attended: Thank you. To all the past and present school boards, superintendents, principals and teachers, your vision for the education for all has kept Brentwood schools ahead of the curve. Thank you. Lastly I wish to commend the community groups, workers and volunteers that are positive and planned for the city present and future. Thank you. Sadly, it has been my great regret that you have endured the negative letters to the papers about the poor planning of streets, the traffic and schools, especially around Heritage and Adams. Most informed and knowledgeable citizens of Brentwood: know it was not poor planning, but the political thoughtlessness of the County Board of Supervisors in 2000 when they decided without any thought to redraw the urban limit line. Their short-sightedness is the foundation that led to unintended consequences that we see today at American and Balfour roads. They did not think about the safety of children or future traffic that has caused the problems you and those who are in support of Measure F are trying to help solve. They did not think about the hundreds of thousands of dollars that had been spent over-sizing the utilities for that part of the city. You have had the strength to stand up for your visions and withstand the criticisms of the NIMBYs of the past, but you still planned for the good of the city. (Don’t you
wonder where all today’s NIMBYs and No on everything people would be living if you had given in when their houses and schools were being planned?) You have made Brentwood the city we want to be a part of. Thanks to you who are supporting Measure F. Thank you. To you that have not decided, Yes or No: You might want to ask the No people what are their plans for the future. Have they ever done anything constructive for Brentwood? If yes, what? What are their plans to build new streets and help solve the traffic problem and make it safer (where will they get the money)? What would happen in case of a disaster? What school site will they have when the students from Antioch’s Roddy Ranch and other areas start replacing your children at Krey and Ron Nunn schools? Ask if they have plans for more parks and extra sports fields. Do they plan on spending their money for scholarships, creating jobs, job retraining, paying for extra police services, or paramedics? If they say yes – which they won’t – will they say when? Please consider the future of Brentwood as you make your decision regarding Measure F. Lee Hancock Discovery Bay
What they’re not telling you Editor: My family and I have owned property that is part of the Measure F initiative for 45 years and I have lived on this property for 35
years. I am one of the five landowners supporting Measure F, as I am directly affected by the future planning of this area. It is the main reason I got involved in Measure F. I would like Brentwood to control this area’s future. A Yes vote on Measure F would secure this area’s future and allow the City of Brentwood to plan its development. I would also like to see Brentwood benefit from building permits and sales tax revenues, property taxes, jobs, sports fields and safe roadways for our schools and community. At the end of the day, opposition of Measure F is offering none of these benefits. What they are offering you is something they don’t have control of. The opposition of Measure F wants to save “our green hills.” What they’re not telling you is that these hills are privately owned and have been slated for development for over 20 years. I understand the concept of “saving our green hills,” but I think many people assume these hills are somehow controlled by the City of Brentwood, because it is in the city’s sphere of influence. In reality, these green hills are outside the city limits. Brentwood has no control over them. What you will really be saving these hills for with a No vote on Measure F is the ability for Antioch or the county to acquire to develop these hills as they see fit. Is that what you really want to save these hills for? Someone else? If the voters of Brentwood decide not the acquire this property into their city, the voters will have as much control in the future over these “green hills” as they do now – which is zero. The opposition has taken issue in the see Letters page 23A
JUNE 4, 2010
development agreement embedded in Measure F. This agreement provides for a very well-thought-out plan consistent with current Brentwood development. It provides many amenities over and above what is normally required for development projects. Proposed densities for this area would be among the lowest in all of Brentwood. If there were no development agreement in the initiative, I am sure the opposition would be screaming even louder about the unknowns and the possibility of high-density condos or apartments consuming the area. Your voting decision will carry great weight for the future of this area and who ultimately develops it. I urge you to vote Yes on Measure F – for the future of Brentwood. Mark Harris Brentwood
Gratifying campaign Editor: My name is Casey O’Hara. I have had the great fortune to work with the Yes on Measure F campaign. We have participated in the door-to-door canvassing, presentations to local agencies and nonprofit organizations, had a presence at our weekly Farmers’ Mar-
ket and had several parade walks through the streets of Brentwood. We all have learned a great deal about the election process and how involved you must be to be a real part of your community. Every member of our team was very passionate about their own reasons for supporting Measure F and it has been a wonderful experience for all of us to discuss our findings at the end of the day. We would like to ask Brentwood residents to vote Yes on Measure F on June 8. And we think “Peggie Rocks!” Casey O’Hara Brentwood
Leaders back Measure F Editor: Is it possible that all of these leaders could be wrong? Mayor Bob Taylor, Vice Mayor Erick Stonebarger, City Councilmember Chris Becnel, City Councilmember Bob Brockman, local newspaper the Brentwood Press, the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, former Brentwood Mayor Brian Swisher, former Brentwood Mayor Barbara Guise, former Brentwood Mayor Bill Hill, former Brentwood Mayor Mike McPoland, former Brentwood Mayor Catherine Palmer, former Brentwood Mayor Roger Moore,
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Letters from page 22A
former Brentwood Vice Mayor Annette Beckstrand, former Brentwood Vice Mayor Pete Petrovich, former Police Chief Mike Davies, Planning Commissioner David Bristow, Planning Commissioner Joe Weber, Brentwood Union School District President Emil Geddes, Brentwood Union School District Trustee Carlos Sanabria, Liberty High School District Trustee Steve Barr, former school Trustee Dr. Paul Krey, Brentwood Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry York, former President of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce Karen Spann, local farmer Lenny DelChiaro, Harvest Time Association President Ken Hagen, farmer Mike Arata of the Maggiore Family Farms, community leader and former school board member Isaac “Ike” Montañez, Summerset resident Alta Ackerman, community leader Bertha Ruiz, Brentwood resident and local business woman Dafne Swisher, and Cindy Cayou, our local traffic safety advocate of the American Avenue Task Force and concerned Mom. They all endorse and support Yes on Measure F. How about you? Vote Yes on Measure F on June 8 to Put Brentwood in Control. Sean McCauley Brentwood
Walmart’s labored propaganda Editor: “Free us from the grasp of greedy organized labor.” So said a Walmart supporter at the Antioch Planning Commission meeting, according to your May 28 article. The article goes on to describe the numerous Walmart employees who attended this meeting to show their approval of this company and their practices. So I ask myself if the folks at Raley’s and Safeway, where I shop, are included in this “greedy organized” group, since they are said to average $22 per hour instead of the $12 per hour paid to non-union Walmart workers? I want to believe that these Walmart employees really do not think that they would be overpaid if they were making $22 per hour. More likely, they were encouraged to attend this meeting to protect and defend their existing jobs. I doubt that a worker making $12 or $22 per hour and is the only income earner in a family can aspire to own a home or maintain one if they somehow happen to own it. Certainly, whether one owns or rents, they had better have a second job or live with another wage earner if they have children. see Letters page 24A
JUNE 4, 2010
Letters from page 23A The official U.S. poverty level for a family of five is $25,790, which is more than the $24,960 annual salary of the $12 per hour Walmart worker (assuming they work a 40-hour week). So let’s be honest. Walmart wages may be quite acceptable if you are supplementing the family income, you are someone else’s dependent, or have another source of income. Otherwise, you cannot independently survive on your own if you aspire for more that basic food, clothing and shelter. I suggest that the person who felt shackled by “greedy organized labor” take a look at the pay of all Contra Costa County workers that are listed on the Contra Costa Times Web site. Eighty percent of the 10,637 compensated workers made more than $24,960 in 2009. It appears that those making less than this Walmart threshold were not full-time county employees or did not work the entire year. I don’t think greed, speciously characterized as the motive of supermarket workers, is an exclusive attribute of organized labor. Case in point: the four heirs of the Walmart family have been able to collectively amass a fortune of $90 billion through the labor of its non-union employees. On the bright side, these underpaid workers know where to go to buy cheap goods. For the record, neither I nor anyone in my immediate family is a member of a union. Richard Ahern Oakley
Hold the line and no one builds Editor: Well, the Yes campaign, which previ-
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ously accused us of a “sleazy push poll” have paid high school students to knock on doors in Shadow Lakes this past week. Curiously, their message is similar to the very content they told everyone we said: “We have to vote Yes on the measure to prevent Antioch from building Section 8 housing.” When asked follow-up questions, they are unable to respond. Coincidence? I doubt it. A false statement, definitely! If you hold the urban limit line by voting No, no one can build on that land – no one. Brentwood has the area in its General Plan, one of the LAFCO criteria for deciding whose sphere of influence it is, and we meet the criteria of proximity of services. Antioch’s General Plan says the land is in our General Plan, so both general plans would have to be amended in a public process, taking years, plus Brentwood would never let Antioch take that land. No one can just apply for this land, as the proponents imply. We don’t have to accept this developerdriven initiative – they are pushing their own plans on our town, overriding our own General Plan. If their plan stood on its own merits, why have they spent $279,972 to date to promote it and why do they have to distribute threatening language mailers to our voters? It’s obvious: it’s a terrible idea for Brentwood. Adding 1,300 homes will further drive down housing values, which have fallen another 3.8 percent as of March, 2010, and will inundate services and infrastructure. Don’t be fooled by glossy mailers of piein-the-sky promises or knocks at your door to make your decision. Vote No on Measure F see Letters page 25A
JUNE 4, 2010
Letters from page 24A to uphold our town’s vision you can find on our City’s website: “The largely undeveloped hills surrounding Brentwood create a rural setting and add to the small-town feeling of the community.” Measuref-failsthetest@ comcast.net. Kathy Griffin Brentwood
Don’t torch fire protection Editor: Someone needs to pull the fire alarm! The May 21 Brentwood Press article “Fire station closures on horizon” reported that East Contra Costa Fire Protection District is thinking about shutting the door on fire stations due to a local budget problem. The burning idea of closing fire stations to make ends meet is an idea that needs to be put out. It would be simply crazy to do such a thing. Not only is it dangerous for the firefighters to lose their jobs, but it’s even more dangerous for the community. By adding seconds or even minutes to a response call, one can forget about having a possible chance of being saved. According to the United State’s National Fire Protection Association, only 58 percent of full-time fire departments meet the recommended response time: six minutes from alert to arrival. Do we really think we are going to rise the response time by lowering the number of stations? I believe citizens must be ready to bring the heat on administrators if they want to make sure they will solidify their safety. I understand there is a $2.9 million
deficit and that cuts need to be made somewhere, but are firefighters really the ones who should be taking a cut? We might as well make the police department take more cuts as well. After all, do we not agree that cops are like the Army, and firemen are more like the Marine Corps? We need to look elsewhere to take care of our fiscal dilemma. The possible savings of closure on fire companies are so small compared to the entire deficit. It is sad that we as a community hold such a high regard for firefighters but rarely reflect it in our municipal budgets. Zechariah Matis Brentwood
Thanks for backing the Buddy Editor: We the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #10789 and the Ladies Auxiliary wish to thank all the generous people who donated to our Buddy Poppy distribution days of May 21 and 22. It was greatly appreciated. Buddy Poppy proceeds represent no profit to any VFW units. All money contributed is used in the cause of veterans’ welfare or for the well being of their needy dependents and the orphans of veterans. We also want to thank the following Brentwood businesses for allowing us to use their storefronts: Raley’s, Safeway on Second Street, Safeway on Balfour, and Food Maxx. Nick Papadakos Commander of Post #10789 Joan Ortiz President of Ladies Auxiliary
JUNE 4, 2010
Hard house may be saved by Friends by Dave Roberts Staff Writer
He’s all but forgotten now, but at one time Roswell Butler Hard was one of the most powerful men in Antioch. He was a county supervisor, sheriff and the first chairman of Antioch’s town council – in essence, the city’s first mayor. Befitting his stature, Hard built one of the most beautiful and expensive homes in the county in 1869, a two-story brick structure that also served as the government meeting place when Antioch became the first city incorporated in Contra Costa County. After he died, the house was sold, upgraded and converted into three smaller units. But by 1979, when the City of Antioch purchased the property at 815 First St. (a scenic area along the San Joaquin River next to the Lynn House art gallery and across the street from the Cannery Lady statue), the house had fallen into disrepair. Now boarded up, occasionally occupied by the homeless, it’s become a weedy eyesore that might be in danger of collapsing. To prevent that from happening, a nonprofit group has formed, Friends of the Roswell Butler Hard House, which seeks to purchase the house from the city for $1 and raise funds to rehabilitate and restore it. The group, consisting of members of the Antioch Historical Society and headed by David Brink, made its pitch to the City Council last week. While city officials are glad that a group wants to save and restore the house, some were concerned about simply handing it over. “We should see some actual accomplishments by the group before we turn the property over to them,” said Arlene Mornick in presenting her staff report to the council. “The transfer would happen after phases of the (rehabilitation) work are done.” She also wants the group to obtain a $5 million insurance policy and absolve the city of liability in the event of a lawsuit. Brink said his group could agree to the insurance policy (although they were prepared to take out a $1 million policy), but the deal killer would be not getting possession of the building from the get-go. “We are convinced that we cannot raise the funds to do this if the city retains ownership of the property,” he
Budget from page 1A Although the CSD board did vote last year to raise rates by 3.1 percent, the increase was not sufficient to stay in the black, and the town is now facing a $400,000 shortfall. “By the time we are at the end of this fiscal year in June, I project that we will be nearly $400,000 in the red,” said Koehne. “We have had to dip into our cash reserve account and hopefully with this new budget we will be able to make up the difference soon.” Nearly half of the 2010-11 budget’s operating expenses come out of general services, such as the salaries of the new general manager ($118,000), landscape manager ($50,000) and Koehne ($98,000). But Veolia Water, which took over in 2008 from the beleaguered SouthWest Water Company,
The Hard House, once a jewel when built in 1869 by Antioch’s ﬁrst mayor, has become an eyesore. A group has formed to save and restore it.
Photo by Nancy Roberts
said. “Not all of our money would come from grants. The Sports Legends Committee raised $300,000 out of the community. If you asked (private donors) to give to the city, they would probably be more reluctant than to give to the nonprofit itself. “We believe if the city retains ownership it will drive the cost of the project up as well. It’s a bad deal on both sides: we don’t believe the city will get enough money, and the project will be more costly. I think we have the people in place to make this project happen. The city has owned this for 30 years. I guarantee you we will do a better job at it than the city has done in the past 30 years. If we mow the lawn, we will have done a better job. We are not willing to take on this job if the city requires that they have to keep ownership of the project.” Councilwoman Martha Parsons made a motion to hand the house over to the nonprofit group along with the provision that the city would not accept the house back if the group disbands in the future. Instead the house would belong to the Antioch Historical Society. But the motion failed when only Councilwoman Mary Rocha voted for it. Instead the council agreed to form a committee is the town’s largest expense at a projected $1,173,000. So with a projected revenue stream in 2010-11 of $4,777,000 and a current plan to spend $4,712, 800 – which includes the operating and capital improvements budgets – Koehne believes the board will meet its goals. “Overall I’m very pleased with the results,” said Koehne. “I would have liked to see a larger rate increase (around 12 to 13 percent) but with the economy the way it is and people losing their jobs, the board didn’t want to do that, and I understand.” The proposed budget will be presented to the board for final approval at the June 16 regular meeting of the CSD at 7 p.m. The water rate increase public hearing will also be held at the town offices on July 21 at 7 p.m. To comment, visit www.thepress.net.
of Parsons and Rocha to work out the details with Brink. Councilman Brian Kalinowski suggested the formation of the committee due to concerns about the fate of the house and possible costs and liability to the city if the nonprofit group disbands or is unable to rehabilitate the house. “I have some concerns that we simply turn over a building, that we don’t want it back at all and it becomes a burden on the Historical Society going forward,” he said. “It concerns me a little bit that we don’t have a final vision of what we expect to get from this project. If I was a grantor, what is it going to bring to the community? We don’t have any of those concepts firmed up. It
Advocate from page 1A together was brief, it was a match made in heaven: “I knew Ron for seven years and we were married for five. They were wonderful years. His enormous energy kept me going and we shared everything. He was a very loving, considerate and generous man; full of life. I was lucky. We were two peas in a pod.” In addition to Lilly, Beatty leaves behind his children, Brennan, Kevin and Carol; eight
needs to be a cooperative between the council and the Friends in terms of the collective vision of that. Ten years ago the thought was it could be the mayor’s office, even if it’s only ceremonial.” Brink responded, “The most important part of this project is to save the building. Second most is make it look nice for the downtown. The least important part is the actual use, because it is a small building. It will never have more than 20 people in it. It’s not going to be a big boon to downtown.” The one thing everyone agreed on is that the City of Antioch has no money to help save and rehabilitate the building. To comment, visit www.thepress.net.
grandchildren; three step-children; and seven step-grandchildren. His first wife of 43 years, Velma Jean, died in 2000. Services for Beatty will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Brentwood on Friday, June 4 at 11:30 a.m. Interment will take place in July in Hamden, Conn. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes contributions to the Brentwood Arts Society. To comment, visit www.thepress.net.
LEGAL NOTICES NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING Notice is hereby given that the Planning Commission of the City of Brentwood will, at 7:00 p.m. or as soon thereafter as the normal course of business permits on June 15, 2010, hold a public hearing to consider the following: A conditional use permit (CUP 10-004) to allow a wireless telecommunication facility consisting of an approximately 300-squarefoot ground base equipment area and a variance (V 10-003) to exceed the maximum 35-foot height limitation for nine antennas with support structures, to be located on an existing approximately 117-foot high PG&E power line tower within the 200-foot wide PG&E easement on property owned by the City of Brentwood, south of Saint Andrews Drive and west of San Juan Oaks Road, with access from San Juan Oaks Road (APN 007460-142). Applicant: T-Mobile / John Da Cruz Said hearing will be held at the City Council Chambers, 101B Sand Creek Road, Brentwood, California. Further information may be obtained from Assistant Planner Tim Nielsen [(925) 5165151 or firstname.lastname@example.org] in the Community Development Department of the
City of Brentwood, 118 Oak Street, Brentwood, California 94513. Before any court challenge of Planning Commission decisions, you are required to appeal the decision to the City Council no later than the time period provided under the City’s Municipal Code. In addition you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the Brentwood Planning Commission at, or prior to, the public hearing. Brentwood Press No. 02-1273 Publish Date: June 4, 2010 NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING Notice is hereby given that the Planning Commission of the City of Brentwood will, at 7:00 p.m. or as soon thereafter as the normal course of business permits on June 15, 2010, hold a public hearing to consider the following: A conditional use permit (CUP 10-003) to allow a wireless telecommunication facility consisting of an approximately 300-squarefoot ground base equipment area and a variance (V 10-002) to exceed the maximum 35-foot height limitation for nine antennas with support structures, to be located on an
existing approximately 104-foot high PG&E power line tower within the 200-foot wide PG&E easement on property owned by the City of Brentwood, north of Haddington Court, west of Tain Court and south of Eaton Court, with access from West Country Club Drive (APN 019-490-055). Applicant: T-Mobile / John Da Cruz Said hearing will be held at the City Council Chambers, 101B Sand Creek Road, Brentwood, California. Further information may be obtained from Assistant Planner Tim Nielsen [(925) 516-5151 or email@example.com] in the Community Development Department of the City of Brentwood, 118 Oak Street, Brentwood, California 94513. Before any court challenge of Planning Commission decisions, you are required to appeal the decision to the City Council no later than the time period provided under the City’s Municipal Code. In addition you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the Brentwood Planning Commission at, or prior to, the public hearing. Brentwood Press No. 02-1273 Publish Date: June 4, 2010
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BRENTWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESENTS
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