News from Around the District  - March, 2015
In This Issue
Committeesreturntotop

Candace currently sits on the following boards, commissions and committees.  

 

Click on the name to visit their webpage. 

 

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District 2 Staff
Gayle Israel
Gayle Israel
Chief of Staff
Field Representative;
San Ramon & Danville

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Jill Ray
Jill Ray
Field Representative; Canyon, Moraga & Orinda
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Lauri Byers  
Lauri Byers
Scheduler, Field Representative; Lafayette

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Jennifer Quallick
Field Representative; Alamo & part of Walnut Creek, including; Parkmead, Rossmoor & Saranap
 


District Offices

San Ramon Valley Office   

309 Diablo Road

Danville, CA  94526

 

Hours:

Monday - Friday

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

Phone: (925) 957-8860

FAX: (925) 820-3785

  

Danville Office
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Lamorinda Office

  Fire Station #15

3338 Mt. Diablo Boulevard

Lafayette, CA  94549

 

Hours:

Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.   

and by appointment, please call

 

Phone: (925) 646-6067

FAX: (925) 646-6068
 
 
Quick Links
City of Walnut Creek return5

City of Lafayette

City of Orinda

Town of Moraga

Rossmoor

San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District

San Ramon Valley CERT Training

Lamorinda CERT Training

 

Secretary of State - Register to Vote 


Contra Costa County Sheriff

Contra Costa County Public Works Dept.

Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority

Mosquito and Vector Control

Contra Costa Crisis Center

Contra Costa Sanitary District

Contra Costa Water District

East Bay Regional Park District

Bay Area Air Quality Management District

California State Association of Counties

 

 

 

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 March is Prescription Drug Abuse
Awareness Month


Today the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution recognizing March 2015 as Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month. Drug overdose has become one of the leading causes of injury death among those 25 to 64 years old, surpassing even motor vehicle traffic accident deaths. The non-medical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health-care costs. Surprisingly, as many as 70% of those who abuse prescription drugs get them from a relative or friend instead of a doctor.
Up and Away - Medicine Safety Campaign

Along with concerns about Prescription Drug Abuse, it's also critical that medications be stored safely so that toddlers cannot get into them. More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency departments every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking. 

Moraga Honors Businessperson of the Year

Dianne Wilson was recognized as the 2015 Moraga Businessperson of the Year on February 24, by the Moraga Chamber of Commerce. Dianne serves as the Executive Director of the Moraga Royale, a senior living facility in Moraga.  Dianne  actively supports the Moraga business community and local events through her direction and insight for senior citizens in the area.  

The Contra Costa Commission for Women

is Seeking New Members Interested in

Advocating for Women

 

On April 21, 2015 at 6pm, the Contra Costa Women's Commission is inviting the public to an Open House and committee meeting in Supervisor Candace Andersen's Lafayette Office located at 3338 Mt. Diablo Blvd.  

 

read more  

Drop-Off Boxes Return to Contra Costa
City Halls for March 17 Special Election

Residents will be able to save postage and time with expanding vote-by-mail program  

 

Contra Costa residents residing in the 7th Senatorial District will find it easier to vote at this upcoming March 17th Special Primary Election, as the County Elections Office and City Clerks are again teaming up to provide convenient "CoCo Vote-N-Go" drop off locations prior to and on Election Day.

 

Merrill Gardens Opens in Lafayette

On February 5, Supervisor Andersen attended the Grand Opening of Merrill Gardens, Lafayette's newest elegant senior living facility. Candace presented Bill Pettit, President and Chief Operating Officer, with a Certificate of Congratulations, while Lafayette Mayor Brandt Andersson and Lafayette's long-standing "honorary mayor" Ed Stokes joined in the festivities. Anyone interested in visiting Merrill Gardens can stop by at 1010 Second Street for a free tour. Click here to visit their website for more information.
Alamo Municipal Advisory Council (MAC)
Announces New Recreation Program
   

 By David Barclay, Alamo MAC Chair

 

The Alamo Municipal Advisory Council is proud to announce new recreation programs for our community. Over the past year, the Alamo MAC along with the help of Supervisor Candace Andersen's office and County staff has formed a partnership with the Irvin Deutscher Family YMCA that will start to bring recreation programs to Alamo.  

 

read more 

San Ramon Mayor's Report

Supervisor Andersen joined San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson and Host Terry Koehne on the televised February 9 San Ramon Mayor's Report.
 
read more
Town of Danville to Host Business Seminar
for Area Retailers on March 11

Danville area retailers are invited to attend an upcoming seminar, Navigating Business in an Ever-Changing Economic Climate. The session, scheduled for 7:45 a.m. on March 11, 2015, will feature an address by motivational speaker Jean Steel.

 

Supervisor Andersen Speaks to the Western States Petroleum Association
Candace was the guest speaker at the Northern California Chapter of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) luncheon on February 25 at the Contra Costa Country Club. She presented current economic statistics and gave an update on current issues effecting Contra Costa County.
Contra Costa County to Implement Laura's Law
Last month the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in favor of implementing AB1421, which is also known as Laura 's Law. It is an important tool to help reach the most seriously mentally ill through an Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program. Laura's Law was named after Laura Wilcox (pictured above), who was shot and killed in 2001 in Nevada County by a young man with severe and untreated mental illness.

  

Orinda Association Awards
Candace with Orinda Volunteer of the Year, Dick Burkhalter.
Supervisor Andersen presented a proclamation to Dick Burkhalter, Orinda Association 2015 Volunteer of the Year recipient. Dick has selflessly volunteered to help the community on several fronts, from his many different Rotary Club activities to his work for the Orinda Community Foundation.  Dick and his family have lived in Orinda since 1970.
Candace and Michael Randall, Principal of Orinda Intermediate School.
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Also presented at the evening's event, was  the William Penn Mott Environmental Award to Others First. Others First is a student organization at Orinda Intermediate School dedicated to building a volunteer ethic at an early age; its mission is "to remind students that a complete education includes a sense of community". 
The Expressions Project for San Ramon Teens
"How does San Ramon Shape who you are?"
Application Deadline March 27, 2015
 

The Expressions Project is a unique, creative outlet for teenagers, from 6th - 12th grade, to express their perspectives about San Ramon. The topic for 2015 is "How does San Ramon shape who you are?" Through poetry and visual art, participants  are  allowed   the opportunity to portray their views, opinions, and experiences as a teen growing up and living in San Ramon.  

 

read more 

New Family Justice Center Grand Opening

Contra Costa County is proud to announce the grand opening of the Central Family Justice Center in our network of Family Justice Centers.

Lafayette Honors Business Person of the Year

Congratulations to Leila Douglah of Douglah Designs for being named Lafayette's 2015 Marquis Business Person of the Year at the January 30, 2015 event at the Lafayette Park Hotel.

Comedy Night at The Orinda Theater


Lunar New Year Celebrations

Gayle Israel, Chief of Staff to Supervisor Andersen, joined other public officials on Sunday, February 15, for the SF East Bay Lunar New Year Committee and US Chinese Dance Association combined New Year celebration at the Dublin High School Center for the Performing Arts.

Supervisor Andersen enjoyed attending the Tri-Valley Chinese American Cooperation Council Culture Gala held on February 21, 2013 in Pleasanton. While there she enjoyed beautiful music and dance from China and India, along with a stunning display of martial arts by young children.   

 

 

On February 28 Supervisor Andersen was delighted to attend another Lunar New Year Celebration and grand opening of the Tri-Valley chapter of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) in San Ramon, where once again, she was entertained by lovely performances.  

 

The event also included remarks from our local Congressmen Swalwell and Desaulnier, and State leaders of Asian descent including State Treasurer John Chiang, State Controller Betty Yee, and Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma. San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson and Danville Councilmember Newell Arnerich were honored at the event for their mentoring of the organization as it formed its new chapter in the San Ramon Valley.

 

APAPA's mission is to empower Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in civic and public affairs through education, active participation, and leadership development. For more information about APAPA, click here.
East Bay Business Leaders Visit Sacramento

On Tuesday, February 24, Supervisor Andersen, who serves as the second Vice-President of East Bay Economic Development Alliance (EBEDA) joined other leaders from EBEDA, the East Bay Leadership Council, and the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group in Sacramento where they met with State Senators and Assembly-members to provide a unified voice regarding business issues. Topics discussed included land use and infrastructure - ranging from housing to transportation to water to broadband. Workforce development and education that leads to quality jobs, and job creation and retention policies including taxation and regulations.
Workforce Development Board Presents
Earn & Learn East Bay
 
In an effort to create summer youth employment and enrichment experiences, the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County, in collaboration with Contra Costa Economic Partnership and the Diablo Gateways to Innovation Consortium, recently introduced "Earn & Learn East Bay."

Contra Costa County Sales Tax Update

 

Contra Costa County posts the quarterly sales tax receipts report to their website. Some find these reports interesting. To see all of the latest report on the County's Sales Tax information, July - September 2014, click here

New Director Named for County Department of Conservation & Development

At the February 3 Board of Supervisors meeting, John Kopchik was appointed to the position of Director of the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development.
San Ramon Seeks Input for New Iron Horse Trail
Bicycle/Pedestrian Overcrossings

The City of San Ramon is seeking input from the community on conceptual ideas for Bicycle/Pedestrian Overcrossings along the Iron Horse Trail at Bollinger Canyon Road and Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon.  

 

read more 

Orinda Chamber of Commerce Awards
Candace congratulates the Orinda Chamber
of Commerce Award Recipients

On Friday, February 20, Supervisor Andersen joined the Orinda Chamber of Commerce as it held its annual luncheon at the Orinda Country Club honoring recipients for their outstanding contributions to the Chamber and the Orinda business community. Award winners included Chamber Member of the Year Morrison's Jewelers, Business Person of the Year Sue Breedlove (Breedlove Insurance Services), New Business Echo Grove, Local Business McDonnell Nursery, and Ambassador of the Year Tom Romaneck (Romaneck Painting Co).
Join The Watershed Council in
Caring For Our Creeks  

The Walnut Creek Watershed Council is hosting a March 19 evening gathering to introduce local creek groups, including Friends of the Creeks, Friends of San Ramon Creek, Friends of Pleasant Hill Creeks, and the Lafayette Creeks Committee.  Find out how you can care for YOUR local creeks. For more information, contact Heidi Petty, Watershed Coordinator at (510) 478- 7402 or click here.
February Board Actions

Ever wonder what your Supervisor does at that weekly Tuesday Board of Supervisors Meeting?  Here are some of the board actions from the month of February which impact the residents of District 2:    

 

Recognized February 2014 as American Heart Month.

 

Adopted a Resolution to implement Laura's Law and to certify that no voluntary mental health program serving adults and no children's mental health program will be reduced as a result of the expansion of Assisted Outpatient Treatment in Contra Costa County. To read the Board Order, click here 

  

Approved/Authorized an agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to establish a framework for evaluating the removal of trees as part of PG&E's Pipeline Pathway Project.

To read more click here: click here - and here  

 

Directed the County Administrator to return March 4th with a draft ordinance which would raise the Board of Supervisors' salaries by the same amount given County employees -- 7%, which is based upon the 4% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) granted last year and the 3% COLA being given this year. The Board also directed the County Administrator to bring back a Draft Resolution in March establishing an Ad Hoc Committee on Board of Supervisors Compensation. This Committee would meet between now and July and review the compensation of the Board of Supervisors; recommend any adjustment to the compensation (either lower or higher); and recommend a methodology and process for any future raises. Members of the committee are to include representatives from the: Contra Costa County Civil Grand Jury; Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association; East Bay Leadership Council; Contra Costa County Central Labor Council; Contra Costa County Human Service Alliance.

 

Approved the County Administrator's recommendation for appointment of John Kopchik to the position of Director of Conservation and Development-Exempt, effective February 4, 2015.

 

Recognized Dianne Wilson as the 2015 Moraga Business Person of the Year, as recommended by Supervisor Andersen.

 

Recognized Dick Burkhalter as the 2014 Orinda Volunteer of the Year, as recommended by Supervisor Andersen.

 

Honored Assistant Fire Chief Alan B. Hartford and Battalion Chief Clive Morgan Savacool on the occasion of their retirement from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

 

Received a report from Fire Chief Carmen on the Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) Program which provides emergency financial assistance to fire and natural disaster victims.

 

Considered report on the proposed strategies to improve the physical condition of the Housing Authority's public housing units in response to chronic federal funding shortfalls and provide direction to staff as necessary.

 

Recognized the participation and generosity of County employees in the 2014 Counties Care Holiday food fight.

 

Recognized the Pillars of Hope for their outstanding work in combating Human Trafficking.

 

Accepted report on options for setting Board of Supervisors member salaries.

 

Reappointed Roger Bass to the District II seat on the Contra Costa County Aviation Advisory Committee, as recommended by Supervisor Andersen.

 

Appointed Supervisor Candace Andersen to the Appointee 6 seat on the Contra Costa County Employees Retirement Association Board of Trustees effective February 28, 2015 to complete the unexpired seat term ending June 30, 2017; Accepted resignation of Supervisor Candace Andersen from the Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications System Board of Directors and Appointed Undersheriff Mike Casten to complete the unexpired term ending December 31, 2015.

 

Adopted Resolution to update the operating procedures for Board of Supervisors meetings in accordance with the Board's January 27, 2015 directives, as recommended by the County Administrator. To read the Board Order, click here.

The full text of the articles in this newsletter follow. We have provided a preview of the articles above for easier reading. Navigate by clicking on "read more" and "return to articles".
Prescription March is Prescription Drug Abuse
Awareness Month


Today the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution recognizing March 2015 as Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month. Drug overdose has become one of the leading causes of injury death among those 25 to 64 years old, surpassing even motor vehicle traffic accident deaths. The non-medical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health-care costs. Surprisingly, as many as 70% of those who abuse prescription drugs get them from a relative or friend instead of a doctor.

 

In Contra Costa the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse (NCAPDA), RxSafe Contra Costa, the Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board, the Contra Costa County CourAGE Youth Health Coalition, in cooperation with the Contra Costa Behavioral Health Division's Alcohol and Other Drugs Services, law enforcement, community based organizations, alcohol and other drugs service providers, and civic and business leaders will be coordinating Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month activities. The activities are designed to engage our citizens in demonstrating their commitment to prevention campaigns and education aimed at raising awareness about the abuse/misuse of prescription drug impacts, promoting prescription drug safe storing and disposal and using medications only as prescribed. A list of events taking place throughout the month can be found at the NCAPDA website by clicking here.

 

To kickoff Awareness Month, NCAPDA held their first annual "Dose of Awareness" 5K Walk and Health Expo on Sunday, March 1 at Iron Horse Middle School in San Ramon to raise community awareness about America's prescription drug abuse/misuse epidemic, and to raise funds to support NCAPDA's prevention work. Supervisor Andersen attended to congratulate the walkers and the hundreds of people who attended to support NCAPDA's efforts. April Rovero founded NCAPDA after the death of her youngest son, Joseph John Rovero, III, due to a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs. The organization was formed to reduce the impact of prescription drug abuse/misuse through community education, policy change and legislative action. To learn more about NCAPDA click here.

 

Event Emcee Cheryl Jennings of ABC 7 News, NCAPDA founder April Rovero, holding photos of her son Joey, and Supervisor Andersen at the Dose of Awareness Walk 

 

Also as part of the month's activities, NCAPDA will be partnering again with Gianni's Italian Bistro in San Ramon to raise funds to combat prescription drug abuse. NCAPDA held a Tips for Change event in November that was widely successful. The upcoming event will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 30. Call 925 820-6969 for reservations or click here.


Volunteers and supporters of NCAPDA will be the servers for the evening with all tips and 10% of sales going to support their organization. Gianni's is located at 2065 San Ramon Valley Blvd. in San Ramon. For more information about Gianni's Tips for Change program
click here.

  

You can help with the safe disposal of your unused and unwanted prescription drugs by dropping them in a pharmaceutical collection bin in your community.  Not only does it keep them out of the wrong hands, but it keeps drugs from entering our water supply through the sewer system. You should never flush medication down toilets. Take your drugs to the green drop box at any one of the locations in District 2 listed below.

  • City of Walnut Creek, City Hall Lobby, 1666 North Main Street, Walnut Creek
  • Town of Danville, Police Department, 510 La Gonda Drive, Danville
  • City of Lafayette, Police Department, 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd., #130, Lafayette (no liquids)
  • Town of Moraga, Police Department, 329 Rheem Boulevard, Moraga
  • City of Orinda, Police Department, 22 Orinda Way, Orinda
  • City of San Ramon, Police Department, 2401 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon

Click here for more information about pharmaceutical disposal.   

 

upandawayUp and Away - Medicine Safety Campaign

Along with concerns about Prescription Drug Abuse, it's also critical that medications be stored safely so that toddlers cannot get into them. More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency departments every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking. 

Any kind of medicine or vitamin can cause harm if taken in the wrong way, even medicine you can buy without a prescription. Walk around your house and find a storage place too high for a child to reach or see.

 

Tell your children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never tell children medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine.   

 

Call your Poison Help center at (800) 222-1222 right away if you think your child might have gotten into a medicine or vitamin. Program the number into your home and cell phones so you will have it when you need it.   

 

Up and Away and Out of Sight is an educational program to remind families of the importance of safe medicine storage. Click here for more information and to take the Up and Away Pledge.     

return to articles  

commissionwomenThe Contra Costa Commission for Women

is Seeking New Members Interested in

Advocating for Womenwomencommission

 

On April 21, 2015 at 6pm, the Contra Costa Women's Commission is inviting the public to an Open House and committee meeting in Supervisor Candace Andersen's Lafayette Office located at 3338 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Before the meeting begins, the public will have an opportunity to meet with Supervisor Andersen and commissioners to find out more about the purpose of the commission, its strategic objectives, as well as, how they can become involved. Refreshments will be served. For more information contact Commission Chair, Dr. Juliana Hynes by clicking here.

 

The Contra Costa Commission for Women, (the CCCW) was formed to educate the community and advise the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and other entities, as necessary, on issues relating to the changing social and economic conditions of women in the County. Particular emphasis is placed on the economically disadvantaged.

As such, the goals of the Commission are as follows:

  • To provide a focal point for issues related to women and girls in Contra Costa County
  • To offer referrals to resources for women who need assistance with issues such as sexual harassment, child support, child abuse, or domestic violence 
  • To legislatively advocate on behalf of women and girls
  • To organize and co-sponsor conferences, forums, and public hearings which address issues related to women and girls.

return to articles 

voteredboxDrop-Off Boxes Return to Contra Costa
City Halls for March 17 Special Election

Residents will be able to save postage and time with expanding vote-by-mail program  

 

Contra Costa residents residing in the 7th Senatorial District will find it easier to vote at this upcoming March 17th Special Primary Election, as the County Elections Office and City Clerks are again teaming up to provide convenient "CoCo Vote-N-Go" drop off locations prior to and on Election Day.

 

Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pittsburg, San Ramon and Walnut Creek are participating for the March 17th Election (these are all the cities that are in the 7th Senatorial District).   The secure, steel drop-off boxes will be in place at the listed city halls, starting the week of February 23rd - one week after permanent vote-by-mail ballots are mailed.  Days and hours of availability will vary by city.

 

The distinguishable red boxes will be available during normal city business hours. City staff members will also have the popular "I Voted" stickers upon request for those who drop off their ballots. Contra Costa voters can drop their ballot at any city hall, regardless of where they live. County elections officials will regularly pick up collected ballots.  Ballots may also be dropped off between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm at the County Elections Office in Martinez, located at 555 Escobar Street, or at any polling place on Election Day.

 

For more information about voting by mail, call 925-335-7800 or visit the County Elections website by clicking here.  

 

return to articles 

activelivesAlamo Municipal Advisory Council (MAC)
Announces New Recreation Program
   

 By David Barclay, Alamo MAC Chair

 

The Alamo Municipal Advisory Council is proud to announce new recreation programs for our community. Over the past year, the Alamo MAC along with the help of Supervisor Candace Andersen's office and County staff has formed a partnership with the Irvin Deutscher Family YMCA that will start to bring recreation programs to Alamo. This spring, the Y will be offering Youth Sports (soccer, tee ball, coach pitch softball), Adult Fitness Classes (yoga, beginner strength and balance), and Adult Group Day Trips. For more information or to register click here or call 925-687-8900.

 

The first Adult Group Day Trip is coming up fast in April. Join us for an exciting day at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The full day trip will include a guided tour of the Asian Art Museum, Dim Sum at Yank Sing restaurant and transportation to and from the city. Departure will be at 8:45 a.m. from Hap Magee Ranch Park, returning at 3:00 p.m. The cost is only $75 for Alamo residents. Space is limited, so register now!

 

The Alamo MAC meets at 6:00 pm on the first Tuesday every month at the Alamo Women's Club. Each meeting starts with comments from the public on any issue not already on the agenda. The MAC reviews land use matters and makes recommendations to Supervisor Candace Andersen's office and oversees the R7-A park and recreation district. If you want to stay informed of all MAC matters via an email distribution list, please contact Jen Quallick, Field Representative for Supervisor Andersen by clicking here.

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srmayorsSan Ramon Mayor's Report

Supervisor Andersen joined San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson and Host Terry Koehne on the televised February 9
San Ramon Mayor's Report. The Mayor's Report is videotaped and broadcast twice per month, and each report includes a segment called "Ask the Mayor," where residents can ask a question of Mayor Clarkson. Koehne and Clarkson engaged Candace in a conversation about County issues affecting the San Ramon Valley, including adjustments to the Bishop Ranch Tax Sharing Agreement, and the allocation of some Park Development fees collected by the County over many years that Candace would like to see reinvested in San Ramon parks.  To watch the video from this or any other taping of the Mayors Report, click here.

return to articles
danvillebusinessTown of Danville to Host Business Seminar
for Area Retailers on March 11

Danville area retailers are invited to attend an upcoming seminar, Navigating Business in an Ever-Changing Economic Climate. The session, scheduled for 7:45 a.m. on March 11, 2015, will feature an address by motivational speaker Jean Steel.

 

Steel, an engaging and enthusiastic speaker, will discuss the dynamics of generational diversity and look at how businesses need to adapt their model to stay relevant in a changing economic climate.  Steel uses humor to deliver insightful commentary, operating on her long-held belief that laughter and learning are not mutually exclusive.

 

The seminar will be held at the Village Theatre and Art Gallery, 233 Front Street. Schedule for the event is:

 

7:45 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. - Continental Breakfast and Coffee
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. - Keynote: Jean Steel Presentation
10:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. - Networking

 

Interested Danville based retailers are encouraged to register free online by clicking here. For more information, contact Economic Development Manager Jill Bergman at (925) 314-3369 or email Jill by clicking here.

 

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lauraslawContra Costa County to Implement Laura's Law
Last month the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in favor of implementing AB1421, which is also known as Laura 's Law. It is an important tool to help reach the most seriously mentally ill through an Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program. Laura's Law was named after Laura Wilcox (pictured above), who was shot and killed in 2001 in Nevada County by a young man with severe and untreated mental illness.

 

Shortly after I assumed office in 2012, I was approached by one of my constituents who implored me to help pass Laura's Law in our County. Her 36-year-old son and 89-year-old father had been bludgeoned to death in the Central Valley several years before. Their killer was severely mentally ill and had refused treatment. She did not want other families to suffer as hers had.

 

Over the past three years I have continued to meet others in our community with severely mentally ill family members and friends. They have felt helpless. They could only get assistance for their loved ones who were refusing treatment when things had deteriorated to such a point that the individual either committed a crime and was placed in jail, or posed such a danger that he or she would qualify for an involuntary "5150" psychiatric evaluation hold.

 

As I began doing further research I found that very often our severely mentally ill cycle through our justice system. They are arrested for conduct related to their mental illness, stabilized with medication while incarcerated, but upon release go off their medication as they don't believe they have a problem. The level of their psychosis is so deep; they do not understand that they are not well. They can pose a serious risk to themselves and others.

 

Implementation of Laura's Law in our County is going to be a carefully thought out process to ensure the needs of the seriously mentally ill will be addressed. While the program is being approved for three-years, this is simply a starting point to ensure that the outcomes match what other jurisdictions have experienced through their Assisted Outpatient Treatment programs.

 

People who will benefit from this program are the most seriously mentally ill in our County who are covered or cared for by the County Health Services Department. After reviewing department data, it has been determined that at any given time in Contra Costa County we are unable to reach 37 seriously ill individuals through our traditional voluntary programs. These individuals spend their time revolving through our Psychiatric Emergency Services, Courts, Jails, prisons and psychiatric hospitals. They have three or more 5150's per year, they are often homeless, are at an increased risk of suffering violence, and many have families who are at a loss to help them.

 

Under Laura's Law, a treatment team comes together to help individuals get the services that they need. No medication is forced, but a court can include a requirement to take medication as part of an agreement with the individual. The individual has the ability, throughout the entire process to opt out of the program. The consequence to an 'opt out' is the same they would face otherwise - a 5150/psych hold to evaluate, medicate and then release up to 72 hours later or they could continue to be held on a 5250 for up to two weeks.

 

Mental illness, like any other sickness or disease, is something that we need to continue to aggressively address while seeking improved methods of treatment. The devastation to the individual, their friends, and the families of the seriously mentally ill who go untreated, along with the impact on the victims of the seriously mentally ill who commit crimes is significant. I am confident that through our implementation of Laura's Law in our County, we will be much more successful in appropriately helping those who are severely mentally ill, and protecting our community. For more information about Laura's Law in California, click here

 

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expressions The Expressions Project for San Ramon Teens
"How does San Ramon shape who you are?"
Application Deadline March 27, 2015

 

The Expressions Project is a unique, creative outlet for teenagers, from 6th - 12th grade, to express their perspectives about San Ramon. The topic for 2015 is "How does San Ramon shape who you are?" Through poetry and visual art, participants are allowed the opportunity to portray their views, opinions, and experiences as a teen growing up and living in San Ramon. Their new, developing viewpoints will be able to illustrate the San Ramon experience as it is understood from one generation of teens to the next.  

 

Entries will be accepted March 16-27, 2015. The judging process will take place after the deadline of March 27th. Winners will be announced here on April 13, 2015.

 

Prizes: 

  • Winning visual art will be featured in the City of San Ramon Art Gallery Brochure.
  • Winning poetry will have the opportunity to be recited on stage at the Art & Wind Festival.
  • Winners and Honorable Mentions posted online at SRTeen.org and SanRamon.ca.gov.
  • Alcosta Senior & Community Center Gallery display for the month of May. Reception for all entries will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015, 9:30am - 11:00am.  

For more information about the Expressions Project and to download the application packet, click here.  

  

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familyjusticeNew Family Justice Center Grand Opening

Contra Costa County is proud to announce the grand opening of the Central Family Justice Center in our network of Family Justice Centers. Richmond houses the first Center with a third Center planned for East County. A Family Justice Center is a warm and welcoming one-stop Center for people affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, child abuse, and human trafficking. By locating many service providers in one place, the Center helps people in crisis to find hope, safety, and healing through a single door.

Please join us to celebrate the growth of the Family Justice Center to serve Central Contra Costa County on March 19, from noon to 2:00 p.m. at 2151 Salvio Street, Suite 201, In Concord. To learn more click here.

lafbpLafayette Honors Business Person of the Year

Congratulations to Leila Douglah of Douglah Designs for being named Lafayette's 2015 Marquis Business Person of the Year at the January 30, 2015 event at the Lafayette Park Hotel. Leila has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Lafayette Business community, and she and her design business have generously given back to local organizations through sponsorship and a company team supporting Shelter Inc.'s annual Hike for Shelter; and through additional donations given to Habitat for Humanity East Bay, Lafayette Partners in Education, Futures Explored, Youth Homes, and the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. The night also included Lafayette Mayor Brandt Andersson's State of the City address.
workforceWorkforce Development Board Presents
Earn & Learn East Bay
 


In an effort to create summer youth employment and enrichment experiences, the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County, in collaboration with Contra Costa Economic Partnership and the Diablo Gateways to Innovation Consortium, recently introduced "Earn & Learn East Bay." The goal for Earn & Learn East Bay is to connect hundreds of youth ages 16-21 to summer jobs, internships and other high-quality work-based learning experiences, such as industry-lead summer camps.  

 

To create these opportunities, the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership rely largely on the support of local employers and community-based organizations. Employers and organizations can help by hosting a summer internship or work-based learning opportunity for one or more youth; sponsor a youth for a summer experience at a rate of $1,500 per participant; or encourage colleagues to host a work-based learning opportunity.  

 

If you are a youth (age 16-21) or the parent of a youth and are interested in learning more about Earn & Learn East Bay, email wdb@ehsd.cccounty.us. To participate as an employer, or for more information about Earn and Learn East Bay, click here or call (925) 602-6800.

  

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kopchikNew Director Named for County Department of Conservation & Development

At the February 3 Board of Supervisors meeting, John Kopchik was appointed to the position of Director of the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development. Mr. Kopchik was named interim director after Catherine Kutsuris, who had served as director since 2008, retired last June. Mr. Kopchik holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He started with Contra Costa County 20 years ago as a planning intern and has held progressively responsible positions of Assistant Planner, Associate Planner, Senior Planner, Principal Planner and Deputy Director. To read about what kinds of programs the Department of Conservation and Development oversees, click here.
ironhorseSan Ramon Seeks Input for New Iron Horse Trail
Bicycle/Pedestrian Overcrossings

The City of San Ramon is seeking input from the community on conceptual ideas for Bicycle/Pedestrian Overcrossings along the Iron Horse Trail at Bollinger Canyon Road and Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon. The proposed bicycle and pedestrian overcrossings will enhance safety and reduce delays for both trail and roadway users alike. Submit your comments to "Open San Ramon", visit the City's website by clicking here.  The online survey will be available through April 7, 2015.      

 

The San Ramon Valley Iron Horse Trail Bicycle Pedestrian Overcrossing Project is separated into four phases.

 

Phase I - the Corridor Concept Plan, has been completed, and included the City of San Ramon, East Bay Regional Park District, Contra Costa County, Town of Danville, and Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Phase I evaluated the feasibility of constructing overcrossings to improve access and safety for bicyclist and pedestrians and evaluated bridge concepts, feasibility, and potential costs.     

 

Phase II - is a collaborative effort between San Ramon, Contra Costa County, and the East Bay Regional Park District, which owns and maintains the trail. This phase is funded by Measure J, the Contra Costa half cent sales tax approved by voters in 2004.  Phase II includes a number of public outreach and design activities throughout 2014 and early 2015.  Once completed, the City anticipates seeking additional grant funding for Phase III - environmental approval.


 

Phase III and Phase IV (final design and construction) is anticipated to take place following environmental approval and pending grant funding.

      

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 Volunteers Needed to Sit on
District 2 Advisory Boards
volunteer

 

Volunteer Opportunities:

 

District 2 vacancies available:

 

* Alcohol & Other Drugs Advisory Board - click here 

 

* Countywide Bicycle Committee - click here

 

* County Service Area P-5 Citizens Advisory Committee (Residents of: Roundhill, Regency Woods or Windsor Green)

   

In addition, Supervisor Andersen would like to draw your attention to the following list of countywide advisory bodies that currently have At Large Seats available:

 

  • Advisory Council on Aging
  • Advisory Council on Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Agricultural Task Force Committee
  • Airport Land Use Commission
  • Ambulance Service Selection
  • Arts & Culture Commission
  • Community Corrections Partnership
  • Contra Costa Employees Retirement Association
  • County Connection Citizen Advisory Committee
  • Developmental Disabilities Board
  • East Bay Regional Park District - Advisory Body
  • Economic Opportunity Council
  • Fish & Wildlife Committee
  • Hazardous Materials Commission
  • Homelessness Advisory Board
  • In-Home Support Services Public Authority Advisory Committee
  • Local Child Care & Development Planning Council
  • Managed Care Commission
  • Contra Costa Commission for Women
  • Workforce Development Board.

 

To apply for any of these seats, click here.

 

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