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2009 Official City Guide
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Including: Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay, Knightsen
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JULY 3, 2009
Business is picking up for Poopsters by Ruth Roberts Staff Writer
It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it, and Emmanuel Arechigla and Omar Avila figured it might as well be them. That was the thinking last year when the childhood friends came up with the idea for Poopsters, a mobile pooperscooper business catering to pet owners looking to enjoy some quality time with their furry loved ones, but are less enthusiastic about the more down-anddirty aspects of pet care. “I came up with the idea because I have two bull dogs and never enjoyed picking up after them,” said Arechigla, 20. “And I figured someone might be willing to pay to have their dog’s poop picked up. Once I got a couple of houses, I knew I was on to something.” “At first our friends and families just shook their heads,” added Avila, 19. “Everyone was laughing at us.” But no one’s laughing now. As it turns out, the Brentwood residents have a nose for sniffing out entrepreneurial opportunities, and while the smell of success might not always be sweet, business is, well, regular. “We have probably a couple dozen clients,” said Arechigla, a full-time student at Los Medanos College (LMC) and a licensed Realtor. “It’s a pretty popular thing.”
Photo by Ruth Roberts
Young entrepreneurs Omar Avila, left, and Emmanuel Arechigla, are making a name for themselves as the Poopsters. And fairly profitable, too. For a charged to get a schedule on course. “One of the first questions I’ll ask minimal cost of $10 to $25 per visit – depending on the number of animals and someone is when the last time was they their fecal frequency – the Poopsters will picked up their yard, and how many pets come in, scooper at the ready, once a week they have,” said Arechigla. “If it’s been a or once a month. For first-time customers while and they’ve got a couple of animals, whose yards have gone 30 or more days we usually charge a one-time cleanup without a cleaning, a one-time fee is fee.”
The Poopsters estimate they bring in a few thousand dollars a month working approximately 20 hours a week – not bad for few minutes worth of work. Their motto – “They poop it, we scoop it” – has served them well. “After the first few visits, you get to know the lay of the land, where to look for the poop and roughly how much (poop) you can expect to collect,” said Avila, who’s also a student at LMC and full-time health care provider at Cortona Park in Brentwood. “I’ve gotten to where I can look around a yard and can tell by the smell if I’ve gotten everything,” said Arechigla. “I guess that’s a good thing.” And as they’ve honed their poopprocuring skills, the young men are finding it’s not so bad shoveling scat. “It’s an OK job,” said Arechigla. “I like being around dogs. Each one has its own personality. I bring them treats, get them on my side and it is kind of fun.” As for what the future brings, the dynamic-duo would like to expand the business and perhaps eventually hire some additional human help. Avila said he’d like to expand on the four-legged clientele as well. “It would be cool to get a horse,” laughed Avila. “But I’m not sure what we would charge for that.” For additional information, or to make an appointment, call 925-470-6676.
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TALK ABOUT TOWN rentwood musician Ben Benkert rocked the Streets of Brentwood last week with a collection of original songs and cover tunes, but it was 4-year old Madison Gambs, right, of Discovery Bay who stole the show. While Benkert crooned a soulful version of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” Madison danced on the stage and swayed her hips while sporting some classy sunglasses à la Chevy Chase. Her moves were simple, but she inspired other kids to get up and dance. Before you know it, everyone will be dancing at the Streets (there are concerts every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.), doing the Madison Mambo. • • • here’s no telling what thieves will think of stealing – or where. The Brentwood Police Department logs recently told the tale of three enterprising malefactors, one of whom stole two trees – a labor-intensive caper, to be sure. A second miscreant broke into a car and ﬁlched a ﬁre extinguisher. So, what’s the black-market value of a ﬁre extinguisher? But a third offender takes the cake for sheer nerve. Seems he stole purses, wallets and a cell phone from an unsecured room … during a church event. Investigators at the scene were hampered, no doubt, because the irony in the sanctuary was just too darn thick.
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iscovery Bay resident and biggame hunter Frank Middleton celebrated a birthday last Sunday in the company of friends, family and ace magician Peter Morrison, who mystiﬁed everyone with breathtaking acts of illusion and clairvoyance, but couldn’t do much to make the 100-degree mercury disappear into thin air. Frank himself is almost supernaturally well-preserved, so he didn’t need to pay Morrison extra to make wrinkles disappear. • • • ongs Drugs/CVS Pharmacy in Discovery Bay has lost its battle of the signage. The corporate giant petitioned the CSD Board to add two new signs to their storefront windows, advertising
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liquor and photo services. The board turned them down, citing fear that they might cheapen the look of the Sandy Cove Shopping Center. Guess they’ll have to go with those spiffy sandwich board signs, like so many others do. • • • ou might need a crystal ball to know when the recession will be ending. In which case, the Oakley Chamber of Commerce might have relocated to the right place. Its new ofﬁce, at 3510 Main St., was formerly occupied by a fortune teller. Hopefully, the Chamber’s spiritual predecessor left behind some tarot cards, tea leaves or chicken entrails by which the ofﬁcers will be able to divine a way out of the economic malaise.
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2009 CornFest to be bigger than ever by Samie Hartley Staff Writer When the sweltering summer heat surpasses the hundred-degree mark, one thing is certain: CornFest is coming. The popular festival will return to Brentwood next weekend to its usual spot downtown, bringing with it all the favorite activities that have made the CornFest a “staycation” destination. “The CornFest is back with more booths, food, arts and crafts than ever before,” said Harry York, Brentwood Chamber of Commerce CEO. “It will be a lot of fun this year, and there will be plenty of activities, so people will be able to have a good time without having to spend money on gas. There will be lots of corn and corn-centered activities like the corn-shucking contest. And of course, we have the fireworks show on Friday to kick things off.” York said that while other cities have canceled their fireworks presentations this year as a result of budget cuts, it was important to bring back the colorful light display that people have come to look forward to every year. “People love the fireworks,” York said. “People not only fill City Park, but they park out on Sellers (Avenue) to watch them. People come from all over to see our fireworks because they know we put on a great show – one of the best in the county, so it’s great that the city has sponsored the fireworks again this year.” Chamber of Commerce Board member Ken Seamann said 190 booths will line Second and Oak streets – a CornFest record. “A lot of events and festivals have been canceled due to the economy, and vendors are looking for places to set up. There’s been a great response, so we’ve got all
Press file photo
This year’s CornFest, complete with ﬁreworks, is expected to one of the brigthest festivals you’ll ﬁnd in Contra Costa County this year. our spaces filled up. It’s going to be a great year.” The biggest change to this year’s CornFest is the expansion of the Kids Zone. Sponsored by Kohl’s and Home Depot, the Zone boasts new activities to amp up the fun, such as the new petting zoo featuring more ani-
mals, and a guest appearance by Chuck E. Cheese and his pals, who will perform mini shows throughout the weekend. “There will be a lot of new things for the kids to do this year,” said CornFest committee member Lyle Miller. “There will be a video game booth sponsored by Best Buy, and we’ve got a lot of fun arts and craft type things for the kids, too. And the tractor races will be back. We want to make it fun for the little guys.” While the CornFest has brought joy to visitors of all ages for nearly 20 years, the future of the festival is unknown. The CornFest might go on hiatus during the anticipated two-year construction of the Brentwood Civic Center, but York said the city and the chamber are looking for ways to continue the CornFest tradition next summer. “We have every intention to have the CornFest next year,” York said. “We are looking at ways to keep it downtown. One of the biggest factors is figuring out what to do with the main stage because it won’t be able to go where we normally put it in the park. It’s a matter of timing and scheduling, but we’ll do everything we can to bring it back year after year.” If this is the last year for the main stage to be nestled in City Park, it’s going out with a bang, as an impressive lineup is planned for this year’s live entertainment. While favorites Public Eye and the California Cowboys will return this year, some new local faces will also take the stage. Far East County performers Jessica Bunting of Antioch, Shawna Lynn of Oakley, and The Big Fat Swing Company from Brentwood will perform next weekend, and this year’s CornFest will feature the music of Pablo Cruise, a band that rose to fame in the see CornFest page 10A
JULY 3, 2009
The East Contra Costa Historical Society Museum’s new Salute to the Military display will open this weekend in honor of Independence Day.
Museum marks Fourth with military display Staff Writer The East Contra Costa Historical Society is honoring America’s troops this Fourth of July with the unveiling of a new military-themed display at the Society’s museum this weekend. Museum docent Joyce De Cato said while some of the members were cleaning out a storage area, they discovered boxes filled with military artifacts and memorabil-
THE “NEW” MORATORIUM?
Photo courtesy of the East Contra Costa Historical Society
by Samie Hartley
ia, so the nonprofit group decided to put the discovery to use and design a new display. “We found all kinds of things in these boxes, from uniforms to old sleeping bags,” De Cato said. “Some of the uniforms date back to World War I, so we decided it was time to put them on display instead of hiding them in boxes.” The Salute to the Military display will be set up in the dining area of the Nail see Museum page 13A
I’ve had a lot of calls recently wanting to know if the “new” foreclosure moratorium will have an impact on the amount of foreclosures in the near future. We keep hearing that there is a large number of homes about to hit the market, but each month it seems a new moratorium comes out to slow that process down. Well, I hadn’t heard of any new moratoriums recently, so I was puzzled about this new moratorium that was supposedly out. I did some research and found tons of news agencies reporting on it, but they were very low on details. Then I noticed that the reports looked to be almost identical, as if one report came out, and then all the rest just repeated it over and over. I checked everywhere I could, and I couldn’t find any confirmation of any “new” moratorium. Here is what I believe the news agencies were reporting on. There was a moratorium that passed the California legislature about 3 months ago. It wasn’t to go into effect until 3 months AFTER the legislature adjourned. Bingo! So all this fuss
was just about the moratorium that had passed months ago and is just now becoming effective. I wrote about this moratorium back when it passed, but here is a recap. This moratorium does put in a 90-day delay on foreclosures in California. However, it has a MAJOR loophole, in that there is an exception if the lender who is about to foreclose has a formal loan modification policy in place. They don’t have to modify loans, they just have to have a policy in place for borrowers to apply. Well, I can’t think of many, or any, large banks that DON’T already have a loan modification program, so this moratorium will have zero impact, in my opinion. Just another chance for the politicians to say they are doing “something” but in reality nothing has really changed. 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
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Press File Photo
Natalie Rye gives her new choppers a workout at last year’s Brentwood CornFest. This year’s festival is expected to be the largest festival in its history.
CornFest from page 6A 1970s with the hit “Love Will Find A Way.” The Brentwood CornFest is open Friday, July 10 from 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, July 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, July 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors (65 and older), and children under 5 get in for free. For a complete list of this year’s entertainment schedule, visit www. brentwoodchamber.com.
Trevor’s Weekly Mortgage Matters By Trevor Frey
TAX CREDIT SAME AS CASH? (UPDATED) Although the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows “first time homeowners” who close escrow (on their primary residence) between April 8, 2009 and December 1, 2009 up to $8,000 in the form of a tax credit, I’ve recently received many emails asking if said credit can be used as a bridge loan or cash advance. According to the National Association of Homebuyers if this were to happen, “it would double the total number of home purchases stimulated by the 2009 tax credit program” so it is completely understandable why people want to know sooner than later. And although the idea of morphing the credit into ready to use “cash” was being played with, something has finally been set in stone, and the credit can now assist with closing costs or additional down payment money for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. The measure, however, comes with several key limitations. First, it only applies to Federal Housing Administration mortgages. More importantly, the short-term loans can’t be used to pay for the minimum 3.5 percent down payment that FHA loans require. Instead, the loan can be used for closing costs and to finance the portion of the down payment that exceeds the 3.5 percent threshold. The administration opted to have borrowers come up with the initial 3.5 percent themselves to ensure that buyers have “some skin in the game,” which may reduce the likelihood of default, says Howard Glaser, a mortgage industry consultant and a former HUD official. In so doing, federal officials had to strike a delicate balance. “On the one hand, you want to make sure that homes are affordable to first time home buyers, but you don’t want to
set the bar so low that people who can’t afford homes are buying homes,” Glaser says. In other words, as it now currently sits, all lenders approved to do business with the agency (FHA) will be authorized to provide bridge loans at closing – secured solely by the tax credit the borrower anticipates receiving from the IRS. This in itself causes issues and according to mortgage industry leaders, the federal credit may not be available through private lenders for some time. Among the key questions yet to be answered: where will non-depository mortgage companies get the $8,000 in advance money? If the FHA Guidelines clearly state the tax credit advances (“cash” on hand for the buyers) cannot be secured by a lien on the property, but rather only on the tax credit to be received by the purchaser, who will front the upfront bill? Overall the idea of converting a potential $8,000 tax credit into available cash on hand will bring more buyers to the table and truly help the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 live up to its name. And although even more provisions – such as expanding the tax credit to $15,000 for any home buyer regardless of income, or extending the current $8,000 until June of 2010 - are in the works, buyers should not sit around. They should actually do the opposite and shift into high gear shopping for a house – the current Cinderella date of November 30 is looming – regardless of if they’ll need a bridge loan to complete the transaction. If you have any real estate lending related questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me directly on my new cell phone, (925) 726-1444. – Advertisement
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Museum from page 7A House, which serves as the focal point of the historical museum, and will remain up for the rest of the season, which ends in October. The museum is open on Saturday afternoons, but since this Saturday is Independence Day, the museum will open earlier at 11 a.m. In addition to unveiling the new display, the historical society will host a car show. All cars are welcome, said De Cato. “There’s no registration fee, but there are no prizes, either. It’s just a chance for people to show off their cars.” The celebration concludes at 4 p.m. A DJ will be on site to serenade visitors, and light refreshments will be available for those touring the facilities, which include an
Prom from page 8A The evening started out the obligatory corsages and new dresses (“old age made us smart enough to buy something we could wear again,” said Butler) followed by a Hummer stretch limousine trip to San Francisco, where they hopped onto a Hornblower Yacht for a dinner/ dance cruise around the Bay. An elegant steak dinner and cocktails was followed by music (plenty of l970s hits, of course) and dancing as the ship made its way under the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz and through McCovey Cove, where a Giants game was in progress. The group wound up the evening at the Marriott Hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf, where they spent the following day
1878 farmhouse, old farm equipment, wagons and early tools. The Nail House also features displays in the bedrooms full of fun items of interest and history. Downstairs there are displays of an authentic parlor, office and kitchen, remodeled back to the turn of the 20th century. The yard adjacent to the Nail House features tractors, Model T’s, fire trucks, a covered wagon, and even a caboose. The museum’s schoolhouse will re-open following renovation. The event is free to the public, but as the Society receives no outside funding, donations are always welcome. The East Contra Costa Historical Museum is located at 3890 Sellers Ave. in Brentwood. For more information, call De Cato at 925679-1024.
as tourists, traveling to Coit Tower and driving down the world-famous Lombard Street, all the while enjoying the afterglow of a 40-years-in-the-making event. “It was a great night,” said Donnelly. “The food was great, the weather nice and there were stars in the sky. It was perfect. Better late than never, I say.” For Butler, late was definitely better. “I can absolutely tell you that I appreciated this now more than I would have then (in high school) – for real,” said Butler. “For one thing, we were legal to drink. But what was really special was that it was a family affair. This was the first time we’ve all had a chance to go out together and do something really special like this. It was really neat.”
MEDA L LD AWARD
JULY 3, 2009
It’s a Matter of Law By Barbara A. Frantz
A NEW ECONOMY – WHAT CHANGES MUST I MAKE IN MY REGULAR ROUTINE The past few months, I have been writing about a 12 point program created by Susie Carder of One Coach (susie.carder@ onecoach.com) that you can take action on to promote your business in this new economy. We’ve talked about your staff, your prospects, branding, and price structure. This month we are focusing on your relationships and your rewards. Point 8: Client Management. Do you have a referral program? What is your goal per month to receive referrals or new customers? Is your program in writing? Do you monitor results from the people who provide you referrals? I met with a company that had been paying for a prospective customer list and was sending thousands of materials at a significant cost, but they never monitored the results. They were losing almost $10,000 per month. Also, do you have an upselling system in place? All of the very successful chains like MacDonalds™, Starbucks™, and others have scripts for their staff, to give customers the opportunity to buy something other than what they originally came in for. While most of my business clients don’t expect birthday cards, they do like to receive a call every now and then just to stay in touch. Blogs are the new social networking way to do this, and then they can choose when and if they want to hear from you. Point 9: Compensation Structure. How are you compensating your team, and how does this relate to your break even analysis? (Oh, you haven’t done a break even analysis? Get to it, very important). All compensation should be results oriented. How do you reward or incentivize your team (including
you) to produce the result that you want. If you are an individual, you still have to have this system in place. If you are spending 4 hours on a job that someone else could do for one hour, will you make more money in doing your vocation for 4 hours? Hire people to do the things that are work for you and play for them. If you can’t afford it, put together an intern program for high school and college kids, who would love putting real company job experience on their resume. Point 10: Financial Management. Do you have revenue projections? Do you have a break even analysis? Meaning this is what you’ve brought in, this is your budget for operating your business day to day and this is what you are short or what is left over. You should be measuring daily, weekly, and monthly. Have an “absolutely must have” goal and have an “ideal goal” for your daily objectives. Don’t carry over the balance from a day that was short to the next day like compound interest. Refocus your efforts on your next day to achieve your planned results instead. Next time…the final points. The information above is not a substitute for seeking legal advice. Barbara Frantz, local resident for 16 years, has 32 years of legal experience, offering proven solutions for business owners to increase revenues and achieve their long range goals. For a free special report on “Sources of Business Plans”, please call the office at 925-516-1617 or email Barbara at barbara@ bfrantz.com. Law Offices of Barbara A. Frantz, All Rights Reserved – Advertisement
JULY 3, 2009
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America on the Fourth – liberty or tyranny? by Sean Ackley As we prepare for July 4, we should remember how our country used to be. The constitution shows us how our government is supposed to be run. The Bill of Rights outlines those things the government cannot do. It is generally thought we are given rights in the constitution, but in reality the constitution is the chain that binds the government’s actions. We must never forget this, UEST because when a government fears COMMENT the people, we have liberty, when the people fear the government, we get tyranny. The founders of this great country in 1775 took us in a totally different direction from where people were “ruled” by kings and queens. The idea was to tie up the tidal forces of avarice, greed and tribal aggression of humans, put it into a republic and divide the powers against each other to create a safe zone for individual liberty to grow. The individual is always oppressed by the power of government. Government is force, and can be used to protect liberty, but unchecked, it will create tyranny. Government is now raising taxes in the form of inflation, unfunded mandates, more fees and all new taxes. We need to send a message that we are not going to take it any more, and exercise our rights for a redress of grievances. We want our republic back, we want our states to be sovereign and work for the people.
Barack Obama in his state of the union address said, “I have told each member of my cabinet, as well as mayors and governors across the country, that they will be held accountable by me and the American people for every dollar they spend.” I wonder what form of government he thinks we live under? The president is beholden to the states, and is co-equal with the legislative and judicial. He doesn’t get to send bailout money, nor question states’ rights. The federal government was created by the states to form a republic, not a democracy. A democracy is mob rule and is not mentioned in the constitution. A democracy is when two wolves and a sheep sit down to decide what’s for dinner. A republic is when that sheep has a gun. The recent bailouts are often compared to socialism. Distributing $12.8 trillion of taxpayer money to corporations and banks is simply called theft. We were recently told by Sen. Dick Durbin “and the banks – hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created – are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill – and they frankly own the place.” Do you want to be governed by the financial oligarchs? Should our children be held in perpetual servitude, paying back the national debt that is created each time the Federal Reserve fires up the printing presses? If you thought our current bailout situation is unique, it’s not. The Federal Reserve is a private banking cartel operated by the largest banks in the country. This cartel wields influence and power to print money, create debt as
LETTERS Unfair civic center bidding Editor: The Brentwood City Council has announced the city is ready to accept construction bids for the new Civic Center. In a previous 3-2 vote, the council had approved the use of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) in the bidding process. Provisions of this PLA would require any non-union successful bidder involved to pay into a union pension fund. Further, it would require its employees to join a union and pay union
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dues. This not only violates the tenets of fairness, but places the government in a position of essentially favoring one set of bidders over another. The scale of justice is weighted in favor of union shop bidders over non-union shop bidders. This cannot be rationally denied. The fair bidding process is being thrown out the window. Those responsible for it are councilmen Bob Taylor, Chris Becnel and Brandon Richey, and their reason for supporting the PLA must be suspect. Voters should seriously consider casting them from office at the earliest possible time. Ben Cerruti Brentwood
A tip of Patriot Boosters’ hats Editor: On Saturday, May 9, the Heritage High School Patriots Athletic Boosters hosted its annual fundraising dinner at the Brentwood Vets Hall. Guests enjoyed a delicious pasta dinner prepared by Grazie Restaurant and served by the Heritage coaches. The bar was also tended by the Heritage coaching staff, and DJ Richard Flory filled the air with music. The ticket price for the dinner also included an annual pass that includes entry to all home games (yes, football too). Throughout the evening, silent
interest and manipulate exchange rates. In a chapter called “The Name of the Game Is Bailout” in the book “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” G. Edward Griffin writes, “The primary objective of this cartel is to involve the federal government as an agent for shifting the inevitable losses from the owners of the banks to the taxpayers. It is important to remember that banks do not really want to have their loans repaid. They make profit from interest on the loan, not repayment of the loan. One of the reasons banks prefer to lend to governments is that they do not expect loans ever to be repaid.” Thus you see the endless cycle caused by the Federal Reserve. We must understand how this process works, and question our government. We can wave flags and shout patriotism all day, but (as Scott Ritter once said) “I can train a monkey to wave a flag; that does not make the monkey patriotic.” I can’t train the monkey to read and live the Constitution. (Benjamin Barber said) “Spectatorship is an invitation to fear. Citizenship is how we fight the politics of fear.” Get engaged, talk to your neighbors, decide what you want from government and then follow-up with them; they really hate that. Please join us in front of Brentwood City Hall on July 4 at noon. We have the park reserved, and want everyone to enjoy a couple hours with song, speakers, fellowship and marching. For further information, visit www.brentwoodteaparty. org and www.meetup.com/eastcountycfl. Sean Ackley is a Brentwood resident and grassroots activist.
auction items such as golf foursomes, Letterman jackets, Heritage team-signed balls and pro sports memorabilia were available for bidding, as well as live auction items that included Homecoming 50-yard-line reserved seating and graduation tickets. A 50/50 cash raffle, jewelry raffle, and a lucky winner won the grand prize drawing for a 52-inch Sony 1080p HD TV! Other raffle prizes included Sony 32-inch and 40-inch 1080 LCD HD TVs, golf foursomes, auto detailing, family bowling passes, etc. The Booster merchandise trailer was parked out front, offering discounted spirit wear and gear. The Booster staff would like to thank the following for their support: the Swisher family, Brentwood Golf Club, Deer Ridge Golf Club, Shadow Lakes Golf Club, Marples Real Estate, Grad Nite Committee, Roddy Ranch Golf Club, Brentwood Embroidery, Casey’s Auto Body, Bill Brandt Ford – Steve Meister, Jalisco’s Restaurant, Digger’s Diner, Edible Arrangements, Discovery Bay Studios, Sports Bar & Steakhouse, the Goodson family, the O’Shea family, Maggiorre Ranch, the Kurtz family, Nines Restaurant, Rubia Hair Salon – Sherry Lindsten, Scrap Diva, Pat Cruickshank, C&R Memorabilia, Gent Jay Jewelers, Tao San Jin Restaurant, Harvest Park Bowl,
Club One, Andy Parsons, Enos Family Vineyards, American Electric, Miche Purses/Kara Lotz, Generations Photo, and Vic Stewarts. The monies raised from this very important event goes toward supporting Heritage Patriots sports programs and providing scholarship opportunities for our graduating athletes. Thank you again to all who helped make this night a success! We look forward to our May, 2010 fundraising dinner as an even greater success. Thank you, and Go Patriots! Kathy Morford and Heritage High School Patriots Boosters Board
Gracious gift Editor: On behalf of “Donna’s Troopers,” I would like to thank Johnson Heating & Air Conditioning for their kind, generous donation! We approached them seeking a contribution for the banner we would carry for American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. We assumed and would have been proud to advertise their business on the banner we would carry at the Relay. Instead, they created an awesome banner bearing only “Donna’s Troopers” and said they were just happy to help. Andrea Turturici Brentwood
JULY 3, 2009
FROM EMERGENCY SERVICES DISPATCH LOGS
An unidentified person stole two trees from a property on First Street. June 18, 10:42 a.m.
A sampling of recent law enforcement activity reported by East County police departments. BRENTWOOD June 17, 11:11 a.m. A resident of Sunflower Lane reported that an unidentified person was constantly sending her annoying text messages. June 17, 5:37 p.m. On Lone Tree Way at Brentwood Boulevard, a vehicle drove up to a man as he was walking down the street, and unidentified persons exited the vehicle and assaulted him. The assailants returned to the vehicle and drove away. The victim sustained a black eye and broken nose. June 17, 10:14 p.m. An unidentified person failed to return a vehicle to a business on Brentwood Boulevard following a test drive. June 18, 10:42 a.m. An unidentified person stole two trees from a property on First Street. June 18, 8:27 p.m. During a church event on Shady Willow Lane, an unidentified person stole purses, wallets and a cell phone from an unsecured room. June 21, 12:20 a.m. An unidentified person discharged a revolver in a parking lot on Lone Tree Way, aiming it toward another person, who fled without injury. The tire of one of the vehicles in the lot was struck by a stray round. The case is under investigation. June 21, 2:22 a.m. On Lone Tree Way, two subjects under the influence of alcohol and unable to safely care for themselves were found in possession of suspected cocaine. They were both arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. June 21, 2:38 a.m. On Woodfield Lane at Whispering Oaks Drive, a subject unable to care for his safety due to his intoxication level was also found in possession of marijuana. He was arrested and taken to the Martinez Detention Facility. June 21, 9:32 a.m. On Brentwood Boulevard at Havenwood Court, a driver stopped for playing loud music was found to be unlicensed. He was cited and his vehicle was towed. June 21, 9:15 p.m. On Putter Drive, two
unidentified persons drove past a group of children and began firing an airsoft gun at them. One of the children was struck in the arm. June 21, 11:50 p.m. On Sand Creek Road, a subject was arrested for obstructing officers during an investigation. June 22, 10:28 a.m. An unidentified person accessed the ATM card information of a resident of Valley Green Drive over the Internet and made fraudulent purchases on a PayPal account. June 23, 9:15 p.m. An unidentified person entered an unlocked vehicle parked on Windy Springs Lane and stole a fire extinguisher. 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. ANTIOCH June 23, 12:56 a.m. Antioch police officers stopped a 1994 Acura for a traffic violation on Banyan Way. The officers also recognized the driver as 22-year-old Francis Butler, on probation for drug possession and subject to search and seizure terms. Officers found that Butler’s driver’s license was suspended. When officers inquired about the identity of the vehicle’s owner, Butler became nervous and claimed he had just purchased the car a couple of
days earlier. Officers searched Butler’s pockets under the terms of his probation and located three credit cards in his pocket. The names on the cards were not Butler’s, and he claimed he had found them on the ground. He was told to be seated on the curb while officers searched his vehicle. Dispatch attempted to contact the registered owner of the car by telephone but was unsuccessful. One of the officers had determined that some of the credit cards on Butler’s person were stolen in a residential burglary in Oakley a few weeks earlier. The officer approached Butler and told him to place his hands behind his back. Butler was still seated on the curb and asked why. The officer told him again to place his hands behind his back. Butler leaned forward and grabbed a butterfly knife from his right ankle, jumped to his feet and turned toward the nearest officer. A struggle ensued and Butler dropped the knife. He was eventually placed in handcuffs. Neither he nor the officers sustained significant injuries. The registered owner of the car contacted police and advised the Acura was stolen from Pleasant Hill. Butler was booked for the crimes of Assault with a Deadly Weapon on Police, Vehicle Theft, Possession of Stolen Property, Possession of Stolen Credit Cards and Violation of Probation. He transported to the county jail in Martinez.
June 23, 10 p.m. Officers of the Antioch Police Department responded to reports of shots fired in the parking lot of an apartment complex on 2201 Sycamore Drive. Upon arrival, officers located the victim, a 19-year-old male Pittsburg resident, who had sustained non-life threatening gunshots wounds to both of his legs. The victim was found wearing a holster, and a stolen gun was found a few feet from the victim. Numerous shell casings were located around the victim and in other areas of the parking lot. The victim was transported to a local hospital, where he was admitted for treatment. He was also arrested for possession of the stolen gun and for firing the gun, but due to his injuries, he was released pending his hospital stay. June 26, 8:21 p.m. Officers of the Antioch Police Department responded to the report of gunshots fired at Taqueria La Sierra on H Street. Upon arrival, officers found a 29-year-old male Antioch resident suffering from numerous gunshots to his upper body and legs. It was learned that three black males followed the business owner – a 39-year-old female – into the business, produced handguns and demanded money. When the male victim entered the business, the assailants shot him several times, emptied the cash register and fled the scene with an unknown amount of cash. The male victim was life-flighted to an area hospital, where he underwent surgery for non-life-threatening injuries. The female was not injured during the robbery. Those with information regarding this incident should call the Antioch Police Department at 925-778-2441. June 28, 10:22 p.m. Officers of the Antioch Police Department responded to the report of a shooting on 5000 Lone Tree Way at Williamson Ranch Park. When they arrived, officers found an 18-yearold male inside his parked car suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries. The investigation is ongoing. For information on law enforcement in Antioch, visit www.ci.antioch.ca.us/ citygov/police.
JUNE 5, 2009
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Local doctor feels he has created the most unique and complete weight loss program that uncovers hidden health conditions leading to weight gain… Successfully shrinking LARGE people with BIG Weight Problems If you’ve ever tried to lose your extra weight and diet, you know how it feels to be deprived. Yet millions of Americans start diets each and every year, hoping that this time will be different, and that they will finally, magically, lose weight for good. Approximately $33 billion a year is spent on diet and weight loss programs, yet there are more overweight Americans today than ever before. The great news is, there are many of these people that have decided to close the door on all the Diet hype. Instead, a growing number of these people are turning to the advice of health professionals who are approaching weight loss in a completely different way that is safe, effective and helps people change the way they think about food, when they eat it, how they eat it and why they eat it . This breakthrough, not so diet approach that has already helped dozens and dozens of people lose weight successfully and long term, is Doctor supervised non surgical brain based weight loss treatment.
The Key to Long Term Change The subconscious mind often files away and stores not so positive thoughts or negative behaviors that can release tendency for destructive or unhealthy habits. For overweight people, a problem with their ability to modify these bad habits can be seen as they spend their whole life battling this problem. The most effective way to get around this problem is to change the way you think and the choices you make with new brain based weight loss treatments. In an ultra relaxed state that is similar to a hypnotic state, it is easier to incorporate new habits, explains Dr. James Martin D.C., clinic director of HealthSource Weight Loss Center in Brentwood, CA. People really aren’t dumb. They know what they should do, drinking more water, eating proteins and veggies, not eating late at
night, etc. They just can’t turn these desirable behaviors into permanent habits. By using brain based weight loss treatments to jump past your subconscious, we can help patients make changes and long lasting new habits… Dr. Martin says brain based weight loss is like being extremely focused and relaxed sometimes called “CVR” or creative visualization. With brain based weight loss treatments, we speed up your ability to take in new suggestions. Bad or undesirable habits that lead to your weight gain are traded effortlessly for smarter choices that lead to desirable behaviors and you start to finally lose weight and bust out of your bad habits. We help patients think and eat like a thin person by reprogramming their subconscious. They lose weight
automatically and have long term results because they’ve changed the way they think about what foods they eat, when they eat and why. As soon as you have successfully replaced your old habits with new good habits, you never have to actively think about diets any more because your weight is no longer an issue.
Break Through Your Weight Loss Barrier More and more who are looking for a smart, effective and new approach to long-term weight loss have found brain based weight loss treatments with amazing and lasting results. Dr. Martin has seen people who have received brain based type weight loss treatments, maintained their weight loss for more than 10+ years without even thinking about it. The real secret to looking and feeling how you want
is all about developing the kinds of habits that can help you live the life you want. Then, we help you make those new habits just happen without effort. Have you gained and lost weight multiple times? Do you lose some weight while dieting, only to end up gaining it all back and then some? Have you tried a number of different weight loss programs only to fail? Do you eat everything on your plate, even when you are already full? Do you eat when you are upset, angry or stressed out? Are you always thinking about food? If you said yes to any of these questions, brain based weight loss may be your solution. Brain based weight loss treatment is spreading across the country and some of the most well-respected hospitals have incorporated these brain based type of therapy into their treatments. And, because of its commitment to overweight Americans, HealthSource offices continue to receive patient referrals from doctors and private practices, and has opened over 242 franchised centers in the United States. If your weight loss center is not doing extensive blood testing and hormone testing to evaluate your metabolic internal function for roadblocks and guide you to correct any imbalances with natural proven supplements or botanicals or helping change your behavior for a lasting change you may want to call for more information, or to schedule a complimentary brain based and metabolic weight loss screening with our weight loss program director Dr. James Martin D.C. and a FREE demonstration treatment to find out if you are a candidate for simple and easy weight loss.
Expires July 10, 2009 HealthSource 2200 Sand Creek Road #B Brentwood, Ca
JULY 3, 2009
Torched mosque rises like phoenix by Dave Roberts Staff Writer The speakers at Saturday’s inauguration ceremony for the reopened Islamic Center of East Bay mosque, which has arisen like a phoenix from the ashes of an arson fire two years ago, focused on the positive that has emerged from the negative. The arsonist or arsonists have yet to be found in the torching of the center on Aug. 11, 2007, causing $200,000 damage and shutting down the facility for nearly two years. The fire followed on the hate-filled heels of vandalism, threatening phone messages and shots fired into the empty building at night. Mosque officials and members debated whether they wanted to rebuild or even remain in Antioch, given the violence and hostility they encountered. “Some opined that the place was unsafe, as women and children come here,” said center President Mohammad Ashraf Chaudhry to the standing-room-only crowd in the mosque meeting room. “Others suggested that a piece of land be acquired, and a new center be constructed there. There were others who advised that the money be donated to another center, and the Islamic Center here be closed. Very few of us saw any opportunity in the adversity that had visited us without any fault of ours.” However, a strong outpouring of community support in October of 2007, when 350 people marched from Antioch City Hall to the mosque on East 18th Street carrying signs reading “Peace,” “Stop the Hate,” “Not In My Town,” and “Coexist” might have convinced mosque leaders to stay and rebuild. “I, enjoined by a few, saw a silver lining lurking somewhere in the charred structure that once was our Islamic Center,” said Chaudhry. “Taking this unfortunate incident as an isolated and unfortunate happening, we kept seeing some bright stars even when the nights had been dark and bleak. In this adversity (we) found a huge fund of very caring and good friends like you.”
Flag from page 1A underneath it a yellow flag with his store name. “What’s up with the flag requirements?” Bucholz asked the council. “I fly my flag above the building. I also believe in ‘In God We Trust’ on the money. To me, even having this issue is a slap in our service people’s face; it’s a slap in America’s face. It’s about time that people take back America.” After Mammon raised his objections, Oakley Senior Planner Joshua McMurray backed off on the regulation, saying that it conflicts with the Oakley municipal code. That code allows for 20-foot flagpoles anywhere in the city unless they are attached to a building, in which case they can be no taller than 15 feet. In addition, he suggested that the American flag should be excluded from another regulation limiting the width of the flag to no more than one-quarter of the length of the flagpole. City Attorney Bill Galstan said that government code “does prohibit most restric-
Photos by Dave Roberts
Left, County Supervisor Federal Glover presents a proclamation at Saturday’s inauguration ceremony for the Islamic Center of East Bay. Above, marchers cover a fence outside the burned-out Islamic Center of East Bay with signs during the 2007 March Against Hate. The march was in response to an arson ﬁre that destroyed the mosque. One of those friends was Antioch Mayor Jim Davis, who was then a councilman when he heard a report on the police scanner about a fire on East 18th Street and drove right over with his wife to check it out. “Knowing some previous problems we had had in this area regarding this building, my heart sank,” said Davis when he heard the scanner report and saw that it was in fact the Islamic mosque that was burning. “Our hearts were torn, our pride was hurt and we were deeply saddened for all of you. Although a bad thing happened here … I’m so grateful you decided to stay here in Antioch. This is your home. You’re welcome here. You’re a part of our community. “I grew up in a household of very strong women, pioneer women. One of the things that was traditional in our family was that they made quilts. It takes each and every one of those patches together to make a strong quilt. You are all a part of that wonderful quilt of America. Without you, that quilt would not be as strong as it is today. We are indeed grateful to have you back in your home. With our sincere love and apprecia-
tion, congratulations.” Chaudhry said it had been a struggle to build the original mosque in the first place. “I started it with the help of a dozen friends from scratch without any money but with lots of hope – until it took us 10 years and over $300,000 collected virtually in the form of dollars and dimes until we got the place paid off,” he said. “Now once again I had to start all over again, but this time not from scratch but from a heap of debris and doubts.” He received appreciative laughter, particularly from the government officials in attendance, when he discussed the red tape he had to wade through to rebuild. “There was an endless challenge of meeting new fire and city department codes, which often appeared as an impossible task,” he said. “They always smiled when they would hand over a new set of obligations. Perhaps Shakespeare wrote these lines for them: ‘One may smile and smile, and yet be a villain.’” State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier also drew laughter when he picked up on that theme in his remarks. “When you went through those
tions on the display of the United States flag. Cities are allowed to have some regulations, not for aesthetics but for health and safety issues. I think in Brentwood many years ago there was an issue about a flapping flag causing some kind of noise in a neighborhood. One would think the higher up it is the less noise it would make. I’m not an expert on acoustics. In any event, the easy way to solve that is that the restrictions on the height of flagpoles would not apply to a flagpole that is used to fly the United States flag.” “We could add that in for sure,” said McMurray. “Thank you for adding that in,” said Mayor Carol Rios. “We certainly don’t want to hinder the flying of the American flag. I would think it would sound good to have it flapping.” While the U.S. flag will receive the exemption, it was not clear whether a different flag flying below the American flag on the same pole would also be exempt. “I’m glad you have amended your
(ordinance) to exclude the American flag,” said Cynthia Mammon to the council. “We also fly a ‘We honor those who serve’ flag. That is not an American flag. So will that be an issue? The question is: Is the issue the height, or is it the flag that you’re going to fly? Because if it’s the height and 20 foot is the limit, will you require people to top their trees? That’s what I want to know: if 20 foot is the issue.” No one answered her question. In a later interview, Roger Mammon was asked whether he’s concerned about city officials forcing him to remove his “We honor those who serve” flag. “I am not concerned, because I won’t do it,” he said. “We have people that fight for our freedom. And I would think that them trying to remove or get me to take it down are almost like squelching my First Amendment rights of freedom of speech.” The council did not adopt the flag regulations, which are part of a sign ordinance that will come back for a vote on Aug. 11.
trials and tribulations with the city and the county, they were just following state law, so it’s our fault,” he said. “There’s an old saying that we’re from the government and we’re here to help.” On a more serious note, Antioch Police Chief Jim Hyde summed up the feeling of many in his remarks: “It’s so wonderful to be here for the rededication, reopening of the Islamic Center of the East Bay. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in the Antioch community. You are the fabric of Antioch, the diversity of Antioch, the hard workers of Antioch. “It broke our hearts when the fire occurred, and the struggles and tough times you have been through. In helping folks through tough times, they first feel like they are a victim. Then they feel like they are a survivor. They are truly blessed when they become thrivers. Today you are thrivers. You’ve gone a great journey; you’ve done well; your home is beautiful. We stand shoulder to shoulder with you … to care for you and help raise your children. God bless you.”
Celebration from page 1A 1999. Community leaders felt that the supervisors did not always have Oakley residents’ best interests in mind when they approved new developments in the area and that services such as police protection were inadequate. As a result, they formed a group called Oakley Inc., which spearheaded the effort to raise funds, commission the studies and gain support for incorporation. Seventy-seven percent of Oakley residents voted for incorporation on the November, 1998 ballot. On the same ballot, the first five City Council members (out of a 12-candidate field) were selected. Pat Anderson received 11.9 percent of the vote and was appointed as the city’s first mayor – she is scheduled to become mayor for the fourth time next year under the city’s rotating mayoral system. Brad Nix came in second with 11.7 percent followed by Tinker Vanek (11.3 percent), Jeff Huffaker (10.7 percent) and Rios (9.6 percent). Only Anderson and Rios are still on the council.
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JULY 3, 2009
D O O W BRENT COMMERCE F O R E MB
WN RIC DO O T S I H
T. & S K A O T. S D N SECO
2 1 W 0 O H 1 S R A JULYUSIC s CARNIVAL sWC ORKS E R I PM F 0 3 T : 2 H G T I ON SAT. A N Y A D I FR UCTION
ACTOR R T , E S, ZON S FUNMICROBREWFTS, D I K , & OD RA EAT FO CAL WINES Y, ARTS & C RE! R G : & MO PLUS RACES, LO INFO ALLE
FRIDAY, JULY 10
PUBLIC EYE MALO A AL ALO R Rock
Latin R Rock
RALPH WOODSON Tribute to Jimi Hendrix,
THE GREAT OGLEE MOGLEE Blues, & FRIDAY NIGHT FIREWORKS
SATURDAY, JULY 11
SHAWNA AWNA LYNN BAND PABLO CRUISE Contemporary Cou Country
SUNDAY, JULY 12
CALIFORNIA CCOW OWBOYS COWBOY BOY OY CRUSH SH H
LA VENTANA Latin Rock, LIVE AUCTION, BIERNACKI AND THE ILLUSION Rock, BIG FAT SWING CO., SAVANNAH BLUE Southern Rock, JESSICA BUNTING Country & AC/DSHE Tribute to AC/DC
Contemporary rary ry Country C
LOS DEL PUEBLO Latin Banda, ADRIAN GORMLEY Jazz, THE HOOK Classic Rock &
SANGRIA Latin Jazz
Fri. 5 pm to 10 pm p Sat. 10:30 am to 9 pm Sun. 10:30 am m to 6 pm $10 General Gen Admission missio $$5 Youth & Seniors* missi rs* Kids 5 and under underr FREE F For more information mation o call c 634.3344 or visit brentwoodchamber.com. m. No Pets Pleas Please se. With special thanks to the following sponsors who help make this event possible: