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Your hometown weekly newspaper

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  • YOUR HOMETOWN WEEKLY NEWSPAPER

    Vol. 9, No. 42 Including Surrounding Communities www.thepress.net October 16, 2009

    Natio

    nalAwardWinning Newspapers

    THIS WEEK

    FOR MOVIE TIMES SEE PAGE 5A

    Falcons douse Patriot fire

    Heritage played better in the rematch, but couldnt match Freedoms aquatic athleticism.

    Page 1B

    Calendar ..........................27BClassifieds ........................16BCop Logs ..........................12AEntertainment ................13BFood .................................14BHealth & Beauty .............11BMilestones .......................10BOpinion ...........................13ASports .................................1BWebExtras! .......................1B

    INSIDE

    Patriotic processionWorld War II veterans will be front and center at a stirring East County parade on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

    Page 3A

    Creep-out calendar

    Dust off your coffins and tune up your broomsticks. Youll find our lineup of East County Halloween events a real scream.

    Page 4A

    A plan to construct more than 12,000 houses, apartments and condos along with more than 6 million square feet of shop-ping centers and business parks on the old Concord Naval Weapons Station property has East County residents and offi cials con-cerned it will signifi cantly worsen traffi c con-gestion on Highway 4.

    If East County does not act together and the Naval Weapons Station (develop-ment) comes on line in fi ve years, there is no bond money and there will be no improve-ments on that section of highway, Antioch resident Terry Ramus said to East County of-fi cials at the last Transplan meeting. Right now you back up on Willow Pass every morning even during a down economy. If the economy comes back, we will not be able to get out of East County to get to work. East County needs to take a position on it.

    The Antioch City Council on Tuesday agreed to join with other East County cities and the county to write a letter expressing concerns about the planned development and urging that adequate measures be put

    in place to lessen the traffi c impacts from the new residents and businesses that might move into the 5,000-acre site on the other side of the hill to Central County.

    Antioch Mayor Jim Davis has also spo-ken at one of the Concord planning meet-ings for the project. I stated then that I am concerned about the impacts on Highway 4 with a major subdivision or cluster of homes and villages, he said. If that dumps onto Highway 4 without mitigation, then traffi c in East County (will worsen).

    We have been trying to get BART out here and Highway 4 widened for the last 25 years. We are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. And here we see possible impacts of gridlock at the top of Willow

    Pass for everybody.I think we need to speak up. I think we

    can throw our wrench in it and make sure they will mitigate for Antioch, Oakley and Highway 4. I am not opposed to the develop-ment and their being able to plan their own land. But when it impacts Highway 4, it im-pacts us.

    The weapons station project is not yet a done deal. Its currently in the draft envi-ronmental impact report (EIR) stage; a fi nal EIR is expected next spring. The draft EIR confi rms that traffi c will worsen on Highway 4 east of the weapons station property if ei-ther of two projects is built out by 2030.

    The preferred alternative of clustered villages devotes half of the property to parks, recreation and open space. It would accom-modate up to 12,272 residential units and 6.2 million square feet of commercial and retail space.

    The other possible project, known as the Concentration and Conservation Al-ternative, places most of the housing, retail and commercial development north of Wil-low Pass Road. It would accommodate up

    Concern over projects impacts on Highway 4by Dave Roberts

    Staff Writer

    see Impacts page 18A

    City council seeks, and delays, input

    The Oakley City Council Tues-day said it needed more public input before deciding on one issue before it, but declined hear more testimony on another more contentious item carried over from September.

    During a work session for the Oakley Downtown Specifi c Plans draft environmental impact report, only one person spoke up when the public was invited to make com-ments regarding downtown devel-opment. Councilman Bruce Con-nelley said he didnt think that was enough.

    We have 33,000 more people, he said. I realize the focus of this meeting is to direct staff to conduct outreach programs to our down-town businesses and other stake-holders regarding the specifi c plans EIR, and were seeing it tonight that its obvious that we need to put forth

    a strong effort (to get public input.)The downtown affects every-

    body, not just the downtown busi-nesses, and if we have to go knock-ing door to door to let people know and encourage them to show up, then we need to bend over backward to let them know that we need their input. We need your involvement. I dont want to see anyone come back and say, You didnt tell us.

    Connelley said he understood time constraints make it diffi cult for business owners to attend council meetings but he advised staff to take whatever steps necessary to make sure everyone in town knows about the project.

    Councilman Jim Frazier agreed. He said its important to make sure everyone is aware of the project be-cause those who operate their busi-nesses from home might want to relocate to the downtown area once

    by Samie HartleyStaff Writer

    see Input page 18A

    If the economy comes back, we will not be able to get out of East County to work. East County needs to take a position on it.

    Antioch resident Terry Ramus

    Local kayaker Jarred Schubert didnt let the rainstorm last Tuesday dampen his spirits. When the Freedom Falcons water polo practice was canceled, Jarred went for a paddle on the schools submerged soccer eld instead. When asked whats his motive was, Jarred re-plied he was just getting in a little extra time in for my White Water Merit Badge!

    Rain floats his boat

    Photo by Heather Schubert

  • OCTOBER 16, 2009 COMMUNITY THEPRESS.NET | 3A

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    East County vets to parade in Antioch

    For the most part, Veterans Day doesnt feature the ceremonial pomp and circumstance of its more heralded broth-er, Memorial Day. There wasnt a Veter-ans Day Parade in East County until last year when a patriotic group in Antioch, after spending fi ve years raising funds for and building a war dog memorial near the Antioch Marina, was looking for a new project.

    I think it was Mayor (Jim) Davis who said, Lets have a parade, said his wife Susan Davis, who is co-chairing with him the committee organizing the second annual Veterans Day Parade.

    She said last years inaugural parade drew about 20,000 people to see veterans, classic cars, motorcycle riders, marching bands, Scout troops and others parade down Second Street in downtown An-tioch. She and fellow committee members are expecting a similar turnout this year. It begins, appropriately, at 11 a.m. on 11/11 near the Antioch Lumber Company and ends up at the marina.

    Hoping to make the annual parade an event for all of East County, com-mittee members have been drumming up support by speaking at community events, setting up a table at the mall, placing fl i-ers around town and issuing Chamber of Commerce e-blasts. So far, 20 participants

    from last year are on board for this years parade, including the Antioch and Deer Valley high school bands, numerous mili-tary vehicles, veteran motorcycle groups and community organizations. Front and center in the parade will be WWII veter-ans more of whom are still being sought followed by those from other past and current confl icts.

    I think its important that we honor

    all of the men and women who served in all of the wars and who have given their lives for us to enjoy the freedoms that we do, said Mayor Davis. We are expecting this year to be bigger and better. If its anything like last year, we are expecting a tremendous turnout.

    As many as fi ve veterans might serve as co-grand marshals for the parade, which this year honors prisoners of war.

    Antioch resident Vincent Silva, 91, was one of those prisoners, one of the for-tunate survivors of the Bataan Death March in the Phillipines in World War II. Despite the hardships, Silva looks back on his service as a great experience but adds I wouldnt go through it again for $1 million.

    by Dave RobertsStaff Writer

    see Veterans page 10A

    The Armys Steve Adams was one of many active service mem-bers taking part in the Veterans Day Parade in Antioch last year.

    Photo by Richard Wisdom

  • 4A | THEPRESS.NET COMMUNITY OCTOBER 16, 2009

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