Registration Now Open For the 2017 Leadership Academy

Oakley Leadership Academy to Offer a Behind the Scenes Look at City Government

The City of Oakley is inviting residents to participate in the 2017 Leadership Academy. The academy is a free, interactive civic education program designed to provide those who live and work in Oakley with a breadth of background and knowledge of the intricacies of City operations and processes. The purpose of the Academy is to provide an interesting perspective into the working of Oakley, to develop civic leadership, and to build a stronger community through well‐informed and engaged residents.

Participants will meet for seven evening sessions, each two hours in length beginning at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. Each session will focus on a specific element of city government through an engaging presentation and discussion facilitated by top City staff. The Academy will meet for the first time on Tuesday, September 5th and thereafter twice a month on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, concluding with a graduation on December 12, 2017.

Class size is limited to the first 25 respondents, on a fist‐come, first‐served basis, but no later than 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017. A registration form may be found on the City’s website (www.oakleyinfo.com) or at City Hall, located at 3231 Main St. Oakley. To participate, an applicant must be at least 16 years of age, live or work within the boundaries of the City of Oakley, and commit to attending the entire series.

If you have any questions please contact Nancy Marquez‐Suarez at 925‐625‐7007 or marquez@ci.oakley.ca.us us

Click here to see the 2017 Leadership Academy Flyer and 2017 Leadership Academy Program Schedule. To register go to click here. Registration fills up quickly!

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Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Disposal and Reuse of the Former Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Detachment Concord, Concord, California

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (Public Law (P.L.) 91-190, 42 United States Code [U.S.C.] 4321-4347), as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) procedures implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Parts 1500–1508), the Department of the Navy (DON) has prepared and filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the potential human and natural environmental consequences associated with the disposal of surplus property at the former Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Detachment Concord (NWS Concord), in the City of Concord, Contra Costa County, California, and its subsequent proposed reuse by the local community. In March 2007, DON declared approximately 5,028 acres of property (subsequently revised to 4,972 acres of property) at the former NWS Concord to be surplus to the needs of the federal government, in accordance with P.L. 101-510, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990, as amended in 2005 (DBCRA). On February 7, 2006, the City of Concord was designated as the Local Redevelopment Authority for redevelopment of the former NWS Concord, and the city prepared and adopted in 2012 the Concord Reuse Project Area Plan (Area Plan) to guide the proposed reuse of the surplus property. The DON released the Draft EIS on October 10, 2014, followed by a 45-day public comment period. Comments received on the Draft EIS have been incorporated/addressed in this Final EIS.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For more information on the NWS Concord Final EIS, visit the Navy BRAC Program Management Office (PMO) website (http://www.bracpmo.navy.mil/), or contact Director, BRAC PMO West, Attn: Concord EIS, 33000 Nixie Way, Building 50, San Diego, California, 92147, telephone: 619-524-5096, e-mail: erica.spinelli@navy.mil

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Final EIS was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the DBCRA; NEPA; the CEQ regulations implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508); Navy procedures for implementing NEPA (32 CFR 775); Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) Manual M-5090.1; and other applicable Department of Defense (DoD) and Navy policies and guidance. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare the EIS was published in the Federal Register on March 14, 2013 (Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 50/Friday, March 14, 2013/Notices) and the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS was published by the EPA in the Federal Register on October 10, 2014 (Federal Register, Vol. 79, No. 197/Friday, October 10, 2014/Notices). The DON is the lead agency for the proposed action, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) serving as a cooperating agency for the preparation of the EIS.

The purpose of the proposed action is to dispose of surplus property at the former NWS Concord for subsequent reuse in a manner consistent with the policies adopted by the City of Concord during reuse planning that took place between 2008 and 2012. The need for the proposed action is to comply with the DBCRA and to provide the local community the opportunity for economic development and job creation.

The Final EIS has considered two redevelopment alternatives for the disposal and reuse of NWS Concord. Both redevelopment alternatives would be generally consistent with the policies developed by the City of Concord during the reuse planning process that took place between 2008 and 2012. Both alternatives focus on the preservation of a significant amount of open space and conservation areas, and sustainable development characterized by walkable neighborhoods, transit-oriented development, and “complete streets” that balance multiple types of transportation. Under both alternatives, most installation facilities would be demolished, and the western side of the property would be developed as a series of mixed-use “development districts,” with a higher concentration of development at the north end, near State Route 4 and the North Concord/Martinez Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station. Redevelopment under either alternative would include parks and open spaces and sustainable design and planning principles. A No Action alternative was also considered, as required by NEPA and to provide a point of comparison for assessing impacts of the redevelopment alternatives.

Alternative 1 includes the disposal of the former NWS Concord by DON and local reuse in a manner consistent with the adopted Area Plan. The Area Plan encompasses a total of 5,046 acres, and includes approximately 74 acres of non-Navy property. This alternative has been identified as the Preferred Alternative by DON. Under Alternative 1, approximately 70 percent of the property would be maintained as conservation, parks, or recreational land uses, and 30 percent would be mixed-use development, including a mix of office, retail, residential, community facilities, light industrial, and research and development/educational land uses. Development on the site would allow for up to a maximum of 12,272 housing units and 6.1 million square feet of commercial space within the development footprint. Two major conservation areas proposed include a 2,537-acre regional park, which would encompass the east side of the property along the ridgeline of Los Medanos Hills, and the Mt. Diablo Creek corridor.

Alternative 2 is also consistent with the policies adopted by the City of Concord during the reuse planning process, but it represents a slightly different land use pattern, increased residential development, and a higher intensity of use overall. Alternative 2 also has a slightly smaller development footprint than the Area Plan. Approximately 70 percent of the property would be maintained as conservation, parks, or recreational land uses under Alternative 2, and 30 percent would be mixed-use development, including a mix of office, retail, residential, community facilities, light industrial, and research and development/educational land uses. Development on the site would allow for up to a maximum of 15,872 housing units and 6.1 million square feet of commercial space within the development footprint. (The total area of commercial uses would be the same for Alternative 2 as Alternative 1.) Two major conservation areas proposed include a regional park and the Mt. Diablo Creek corridor.

The No Action Alternative is also analyzed in the Final EIS, as required by NEPA. Under this alternative, NWS Concord would be retained by the U.S. government in caretaker status. No reuse or redevelopment would occur.

The Final EIS addresses potential environmental impacts under each alternative associated with land use and zoning; socioeconomics and environmental justice; air quality; biological resources; cultural resources; topography, geology, and soils; hazards and hazardous substances; noise; public services; transportation, traffic, and circulation; utilities and infrastructure; visual resources and aesthetics; and water resources. The analysis addresses direct and indirect impacts, and accounts for cumulative impacts from other foreseeable federal, state, or local activities at and around the former NWS Concord property. The DON conducted a scoping process to identify community concerns and local issues that should be addressed in the EIS and considered public comments received on the Draft EIS following its release in October 2014. The Final EIS identifies significant adverse impacts to air quality and traffic, and significant beneficial impacts to land use, socioeconomics, and public services.

Federal, state, and local agencies, as well as interested members of the public, are invited to view the Final EIS. The Final EIS is available for viewing at the following locations:

Concord Library, 2900 Salvio Street, Concord, CA 94519
Pittsburg Library, 80 Power Avenue, Pittsburg, CA 94565
Pleasant Hill Library, 1750 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

An electronic version of the Final EIS can be viewed or downloaded at the following website: http://www.bracpmo.navy.mil/. A limited number of hard copies are available by contacting the DON’s Base Realignment and Closure Program Management Office (BRAC PMO) at the address in this notice.

Following a 30-day waiting period, after publication of the NOA in the Federal Register, the DON will announce its Record of Decision which will be published in the Federal Register and local newspapers.

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Dead birds, horse, chickens test positive for West Nile virus in Danville, Discovery Bay, Brentwood, and Knightsen area

The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District confirmed today that one dead bird each from Danville and Discovery Bay, a horse from Brentwood, and four chickens from the Knightsen area tested positive for West Nile virus.

“We monitor virus in insects and animals because it provides an indication that people are at risk of becoming infected,” said the District’s Scientific Programs Manager Steve Schutz, Ph.D. “Everyone should take all the recommended precautions to avoid mosquito bites. While the majority of people who become infected with West Nile virus do not experience symptoms, some develop West Nile fever or encephalitis, which can lead to paralysis, long-term disability or even death.”

District personnel are conducting extra surveillance and mosquito control in the areas where the virus activity was found.

The District urges the public to report dead birds to the state hotline: 1-877-968-2473. Birds are often the first sign of disease transmission. Even if the birds are not tested, the reports alone yield crucial information to protect public health.

Residents can reduce their risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:

  • Dump or drain standing water. Mosquitoes can’t begin their lives without water.
  • Defend yourself – use repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk.
  • Maintain neglected swimming pools. Just one can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away.
  • Report dead birds to the state hotline: 1-877-968-2473 or by visiting the California Department of Public Health’s website. All reports are crucial.

Since 2005, 56 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. For a current list of West Nile virus activity this year, visit this page on the District’s website. For human case information, please contact Contra Costa Health Services at 888-959-9911.

Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, an independent special district and public health agency, is located at 155 Mason Circle in Concord. Call the District to report mosquito problems at (925) 771-6195 or visit the office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to

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Final Plan Bay Area 2040 and EIR Approved by Regional Agencies

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) adopted Plan Bay Area 2040 and its associated Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on July 26th 2017.

The nearly unanimous vote – with 41 of the 43 officials from the two bodies voting in the affirmative on the Plan and 39 for the EIR – caps a three-year process of plan development and intensive public outreach.

The second such regional housing and transportation plan adopted by MTC and ABAG, Plan Bay Area 2040 is a long-range blueprint to guide transportation investments and land-use decisions through 2040, while meeting the requirements of California’s landmark 2008 Senate Bill 375, which calls on each of the state’s 18 metropolitan areas to develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy to accommodate future population growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.

The Plan shines a spotlight on the region’s housing crisis – in terms of housing availability and affordability – and calls on citizens to join with business, government, academia and the non-profit sector to solve it. The Bay Area must “pursue a multi-pronged strategy that emphasizes the construction of new homes for residents of all incomes, the protection of the region”s most vulnerable households, and the need to advocate for more financial resources to pursue local and regional solutions,” the Plan notes.

The Plan points to two recent developments that will improve the region’s ability to address its chronic housing and affordability challenges. The recent integration of MTC’s and ABAG’s staff into a unified team will lead to more effective long-range planning and strengthen the region’s housing policy resources. And the newly created CASA initiative – the blue-ribbon Committee to House the Bay Area – is bringing together diverse interests to develop a bold new strategy for housing production and preservation.

The Action Plan portion of Plan Bay Area 2040 also focuses on economic development, particularly improving transportation access to jobs, increasing middle-wage job creation and maintaining the region’s infrastructure. Another focus of the Action element is resilience in terms of enhancing climate protection and adaptation efforts, strengthening open space protections, creating healthy and safe communities, and protecting communities against natural hazards.

Leaders of ABAG and MTC applauded the Plan’s adoption.

“The ABAG Executive Board’s and MTC’s passage of Plan Bay Area 2040 recognizes the changes that have occurred to our region’s cities and counties and adjusts the actions we need to take to meet our shared challenges,” commented ABAG President and Clayton Councilmember Julie Pierce. “This successful second round of Plan Bay Area also highlights the good work that the agencies have done together in conjunction with the cities and counties.”

“The updated Plan charts a smart course by identifying the strategic investments and policy directions necessary to keep the Bay Area economy growing while maintaining a high quality of life,” stated MTC Chair and Rohnert Park Mayor Jake Mackenzie.

The draft Plan and approved revisions can be viewed at http://2040.planbayarea.org/reports. The final report integrating the comments will be available in the coming weeks at the same location.

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The Grape Harvest is about to start in Oakley

Have you seen those vines burdened with a heavy load of grapes? Yep, their nearly ready to harvest and it appears like another good year for California wine. Typically the harvest starts around Labor Day in Oakley, however; the hot summer has pushed the start of the harvest ahead a few weeks, starting perhaps this week or next. Growers and winemakers are checking sugar content weekly, if not daily.

Starting the harvest is determined in large part by the sugar level in the grape. The wine industry uses the term “brix” to designate sugar level. A small piece of testing equipment called a “refractometer” allows a winemaker to assess the ripeness of the grape. A grape is placed in the device and the percentage of brix is displayed on a scale seen through the eye piece. A brix level of 25- 26 is good for picking red grapes. Other varieties will have less or more. White wine and rosés require a brix level around 22 – 23. The winemaker will also use flavor as a determining factor of when to pick grapes.

The harvest will continue through the first of October so be wary of slow moving farm equipment on the roads. Oakley’s vineyards are dispersed throughout the community making the movement of vehicles including tractors, forklifts and trucks essential to a timely harvest and this means your friendly farmers will be sharing the road with you more frequently as they drive their “implements of husbandry.”

The California vehicle code defines implements of husbandry as a vehicles used exclusively in the conduct of agricultural operations. For a complete list of implements of husbandry, see Vehicle Code section 36000. They are generally identifiable by the a slow-moving vehicle emblem, a large orange triangle on the back of the equipment, and are exempt from registration, brakes, lights, size limitations (within specific guidelines and with the exception of weight) and identification plates when operated or moved over a highway.

When approaching one of these “implements of husbandry” do so with caution, they probably can’t hear or see you. Follow at a safe distance and pass only where appropriate and remember, that driver has the same legal rights as you do in your car.

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BART to Antioch Fare Outreach – Thursday, August 17, 2017, 6 to 8am, Antioch BART Station parking & Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30am, Pittsburg/Bay Point BART Station

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) is nearing completion of a new rail passenger service on approximately 10 miles of new track between the existing Pittsburg/Bay Point BART Station and Antioch at Hillcrest. The Pittsburg Center and Antioch stations are expected to open for service May 2018.

Here are some facts about the new stations and service:

TRAVEL TIME

Estimated travel time to board a train at Antioch and arrive at the Pittsburg/Bay Point Transfer Platform is 10 minutes.

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

  • Removes cars from highway and roads
  • Reduces vehicle miles traveled by 99 million/year
  • Carries as many people as an additional lane of Highway 4
  • Improves freeway operations
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 260,000 lbs/day
  • Reduces consumption of energy and petroleum

TRANSIT CONNECTIVITY

Access to Tri-Delta Transit and County Connection buses, as well as parking, taxi, and “kiss and ride” passenger drop off areas.

PROPOSED FARES

BART plans to extend its distance-based fare structure for the BART to Antioch extension.

PROPOSED SERVICE

The hours of operation are the same as the existing BART System. The BART to Antioch trains will connect with BART trains at the Pittsburg/Bay Point Transfer Platform.

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Teens (and their parents) take note: BART has new discount for your Clipper card starting Jan. 1

BART is ramping up outreach to teens, encouraging them to switch to Clipper and away from paper tickets.

Teens have until Jan. 1, 2018, to make the switch if they want a 50% discount, being expanded to teenagers 13-18, and to avoid paying a 50-cents-each-way surcharge for paper tickets.
Previously, youth discounts only applied to ages 5-12; those under 5 will continue to ride for free.

For a round trip Downtown Berkeley-Embarcadero journey, for example, the undiscounted fare for a teen now would be $4. If the Clipper teen discount were in effect now, that teen would pay only $2 for the same ride.

As my 18th birthday is in June 2018, I’ll have the privilege of enjoying a cheaper fare for a short but sweet one and a half years. Since I often use BART to commute to San Francisco, I’ll be able to travel farther, while putting less stress on my wallet.

This change will certainly be enjoyed by those in the teenage demographic who were missing out on discounts in years prior, but why did BART decide to change the rules regarding the discount? And what are the numbers currently for young BART riders?

To answer those questions, I spoke with Julie Yim, BART’s Customer Services Department Manager, and Samson Wong, a Customer Services Representative.

“It’s about time!” was Yim’s simple answer.

It is about time. With back-to-school just around the corner for most students, the change will help older teens who are more likely to use BART to get to class, extracurricular activities, jobs or just hanging out with friends. After all, most youth don’t have their own cars and the cost of driving, insurance, gas, etc., can be unaffordable for many.

“With this increase in ridership, BART hopes to instill a sense of independence in youth, to encourage environmentally friendly public transit use,” Yim added. “BART is a reliable way to get to school” for many students, she said.

“Who wants to carpool with their mom?” Wong asked.

Wong noted that at present, only 0.4% of the 68% of Clipper card users on BART take advantage of the current youth discount.

“That can either result from youth not taking advantage of the discount or simply not enough youth using Clipper,” Wong explained.

BART is phasing out orange paper tickets, previously available only through registered schools for a 50% student discount. Since anyone can sign up for Clipper, it becomes much easier for teens to take advantage of the discount, without needing their school to register. In addition, starting Jan. 1, there will be a 50-cent surcharge each way on using paper tickets, even more motivation to switch to Clipper.

“Hopefully with the expanded ages getting a discount, that 0.4% figure is going to become a much greater number,” Wong said.

BART staff were working at the 2017 Fremont Festival of the Arts this past weekend to inform riders about the discount and other issues and to facilitate transitions to Clipper. More events are planned for outreach to help get the word out.

The teen BART riders I spoke with were pleased to hear the news.

At MacArthur Station, 16-year-olds Amaya and Djay (who requested using only their first names) expressed their thoughts.

“BART is cheap already, so an added discount would make us even happier,” Amaya said as she waited for a train to Fremont. Even when they have access to a car, the expenses of insurance and gas — and hassles of traffic and parking — have made public transportation more attractive to teens.

“I’ll definitely use this discount to go more places,” Djay said, readying her neon pink bicycle as the train came. “Good job BART!” Amaya added.

Good job indeed. With ever increasing congestion and the expensive cost of owning and maintaining a car, who wouldn’t want to take BART?

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