Oakley Power Plant Update – September 2014

We were recently notified by representatives of Radback that PG&E had terminated their agreement to purchase the Oakley Generating Station. At this time we are uncertain about a power plant in Oakley and which, if any, options Radback may pursue.

This has been a long and somewhat tortuous process that provided enough ups and downs, twists and turns to cause motion sickness in the most seaworthy of us. It all started in 2009 when Radback Energy applied to the California Public Utilities Commission (CUPC) for permission to construct a new 586-megawatt natural gas-fired power generation facility on a portion of the former DuPont property in Oakley to begin operations in 2014. When completed the power plant would be sold to PG&E. In July of 2010 this initial application was denied because the CPUC determined that PG&E had no need for additional capacity in 2014.

On August 23, 2010, PG&E filed a Petition for Modification (PFM). The PFM stated that changed circumstances support modifying the decision to approve a revised Oakley Project. PG&E and Contra Costa Generating Station LLC (Radback) had re-negotiated the project purchase and sale agreement. Under the amended agreement PG&E may not take ownership of the plant prior to June of 2016. The date for ownership in the previous agreement was June of 2014. With a 4-1 vote for project the CPUC determined that the Oakley project will help mitigate the risk of any capacity shortfall in 2016.

That decision was overturned by the Superior Court of California in March 2012 because it violated proper procedure. In the same month, PG&E resubmitted the Oakley project to the CPUC in the proper Application process to begin operations in 2016.

Meanwhile Radback had broken ground on the 22 acre site on the DuPont property. The construction project was expected to create 700 union jobs during construction. These jobs could provide a boon to local stores, hotels, restaurants and other merchants, when completed the facility will be staffed with 20 employees. The project enjoyed a tremendous level of support, from Oakley’s citizens, from the labor unions, and from electeds at the city, county, state and federal levels.

Back in front of the CPUC for the third time with PG&E’s resubmitted plan in August of 2012 hearings began again. In December 2012, the CPUC adopted the a proposal made by Board President Michael Peevey granting PG&E’s request to fund the Oakley power plant.

On February 5, 2014 the California Court of Appeals overturned the CPUC’s December 2012 decision approving the Oakley Power Plant finding that need for the plant is unsupported by evidence since the CPUC relied solely on uncorroborated hearsay to support its decision. This decision allowed PG&E to terminate their agreement with Radback if CPUC approval was not granted before July 1, 2014. On October 15, PG&E notified Radback they were terminating the contract.

What options are available to Radback, aside from finding a third party energy provider, I don’t know. What’s the long term future of a power plant in Oakley, I don’t know.

Freedom’s Joe Mixon reaches plea deal, avoids trial

Posted by John Taylor on October 30, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT – NBC Sports

Provided he can keep his nose clean over the next year, Joe Mixon‘s legal issues will officially be behind him.

Multiple media outlets reported Thursday that the touted 2014 Oklahoma signee has reached an agreement in which he offered up a public apology as part of an Alford Plea. Mixon had originally been charged with acts resulting in gross injury in connection to a late-July incident.

Mixon’s attorney, Kevin Finlay, released a statement addressing the development.

“Today, Joe has made the decision that entering an Alford plea to the misdemeanor and accepting the short period of probation was the best course of action at this point in his life. Joe does not want to be a further distraction to his family, friends, teammates and the University of Oklahoma.

“Joe would like to apologize to everyone affected by this unfortunate chain of events. Joe looks forward to continuing towards his goal of becoming a successful student and athlete at the University of Oklahoma.”

For those wondering, an Alford Plea allows the accused to maintain their innocence even as they acknowledge that enough proof exists that they could be found guilty by a jury of their peers. In exchange for the plea, Mixon was given a one-year deferred sentence, 100 hours of community service and cognitive behavior counseling.

In mid-August, Mixon was suspended by OU for the entire 2014 season, a punitive measure that meant the running back would be excluded from any and all team activities. The one-year suspension came about after Mixon was accused of punching a woman in a late-July confrontation, breaking four bones in her face and leaving her unconscious. Media covering OU viewed a copy of the security tape that caught the exchange, including the knockout punch, between the woman and Mixon; Mixon’s attorney had previously claimed the altercation was preceded by racial slurs.

Mixon was a five-star member of the Sooners’ 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 1 running back in the country and the No. 8 player at any position in the country. He was the highest-rated member of an OU class that was ranked 15th in the country.

It’s expected Mixon will remain at OU and play for the Sooners in 2015.

UPDATED 1:19 p.m. ET: In a statement, OU president David Boren confirmed that, despite the criminal resolution, “Mixon will not play for out football team in 2014, including postseason competitions.” As expected, “[h]e will have an opportunity to earn his way back on the team during the spring semester.”

BART Increases Service for SF Giants Victory Parade

BART is gearing up to carry hundreds of thousands of baseball fans to downtown San Francisco on Friday, October 31 to celebrate the Giants World Series seventh game win. BART will run its rush hour service all day–using every available train possible. Because it is Halloween, trains will run until 2AM. Trains to and from the city will be at maximum length and frequency.

About 100 extra BART employees in yellow vests will be stationed throughout the system to help with crowd control and to assist passengers. BART Police will have extra patrols and train technicians on hand just in case. Large crowds are expected and passengers should anticipate long lines and crowded trains. BART officials are urging fans to buy their round-trip tickets or load up their Clipper® cards before Friday’s ticker tape parade in San Francisco.

Travel Tips

BART wants everyone to have fun and get to the parade safely. New riders need to know that everyone who rides BART needs a BART ticket or Clipper card to enter the system. Here are other Giants parade day tips:

Load your Clipper card with extra value or, if buying a BART ticket, purchase a round trip ticket before parade day.

Avoid peak commute hours (6AM-9AM and 4PM-6PM).

Don’t bring your bike onboard trains or inside stations as they will be very crowded.

Allow extra time to get to San Francisco before the parade begins at 12 Noon.

Parking rules and restrictions will be enforced. Consider getting to the station by alternative means such as carpooling, walking, biking (and parking your bike at the station) or taking a bus, as parking lots will fill up very early. Do not park in permit spaces if you don’t have a permit. (Even if you have a reserved space, we cannot guarantee eager fans won’t park there—we will be ticketing).

Plan your trip using the BART QuickPlanner.

You can get automated BART Service Advisories (BSA) on your phone. BART offers both email and text options. To sign up for BSAs, please visit us at http://www.bart.gov/alerts.

For on-demand service information, you can use our mobile site m.bart.gov or request BART real time departures, service advisories and more via text message. To get started text “BART go” to 468311 or jump right in and text “BART” + your station name. We’ll text you back in seconds. Follow us on Twitter @sfbart for news or @sfbartalert for automated service advisories.

Oakley Honors Día de los Muertos Tradition

You, Me, We Oakley! (YMWO) in partnership with the City of Oakley will host a Dia de los Muertos Celebration (Day of the Dead) on Saturday, November 1 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at City Hall (3231 Main St). The celebration will kick off with an explanation of the Latin American tradition and the components of a Día de los Muertos altar, also known as an ofrenda. Attendees are encouraged to bring the photographs of their loved ones they’d like to honor, as well as an item representative of them to participate in the community ofrenda. After the interactive explanation, there will be dance performances
by local groups and activities including sugar skull decorating, making of tissue flowers, traditional face painting, tasting of pan de muerto (sweet roll), and enjoy a fun game of loteria (bingo).

This year’s workshop includes various ofrendas created by groups or individuals involved in the planning process. Groups contributing an ofrenda of their own include: Freedom High School’s Latinos Unidos, St. Anthony’s Sociedad Guadalupana, Art and Lidia Fernandez, Liberty High School’s Latinos Unidos, and others. For more information regarding the Cultural Workshop, please call YMWO program coordinator Gabriela Baños‐Galván at 625‐7011 or e‐mail her at gaby@youmeweoakley.org.

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City of Oakley to Sponsor Entrepreneur Training Program

Oakley Economic Development will be sponsoring an 11‐week Entrepreneur Training program for existing Oakley businesses and individuals that are serious about starting up a new business. The class is designed to walk students through the creation of a business plan to help them gain the tools needed to successfully establish or grow a business. The classes will be held in the Merlot conference room at City Hall (3231 Main St, Oakley) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. till noon. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend one of three informational sessions, the first of which is Tuesday, October 28, 2014.

The classes will run from January 13 to March 26. The class is limited to eleven people to allow for a manageable interaction between the instructor and the students. While the full cost of the program is $1,200 per student, training scholarships of $1,000 per student are provided by the City for Oakley residents or business owners. Each student is responsible for the remaining $200 to cover the cost of training materials.

For more information please email Dwayne Dalman at dalman@ci.oakley.ca.us.

Highway 4 Construction Work – Week of October 27, 2014

The SR-4 corridor construction area is a 55 mph zone and a double fine zone so remember to slow for the cone zone!

Full Freeway Closures

Eastbound:
All lanes of SR4 in the eastbound direction will be closed between the SR160 connector ramp and Laurel Road on Sunday evening from 11:59 pm to 5:00 am.

all lanes

Westbound:
There are no westbound full freeway closures planned for this week.

Highway Lane Closures

State Route 4:
There are no SR4 lane closures planned for this week.

State Route 160:
There are no SR160 lane closures planned for this week.

Ramp Closures

There are no ramp closures planned for this week.

Local Street Closures

Southbound Lone Tree Way/A Street will be closed between the SR4 eastbound on ramp and the SR4 westbound off ramp on Sunday through Saturday evening from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am.

Southbound A

Sand Creek Road Interchange/4-Lane Widening Closures

There are no Sand Creek Road Interchange/4-Lane Widening closures planned for this week.

Questions or comments can be directed to the Highway 4 widening hotline at (925) 756-0721 or visit our web site at http://widensr4.org.