Contra Costa County

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According to the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, at approximately 12:15 PM, medical staff at the West County Detention Facility was on Building 4 to treat several female inmates.

While speaking to one of them, a 51-year old inmate became unresponsive. Staff started CPR and an ambulance and the fire department were called. The inmate, an Antioch resident, was later pronounced deceased at the scene.

She is not being identified at this time as next of kin have not been notified.

The in custody death protocol was invoked. The death will be investigated by the DA’s Office and the Office of the Sheriff.

No further information at this time.

All information provided by Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

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On September 4, 2012, at approximately 8:20 AM, California Highway a Patrol Officer Tyler Carlton performed an extraordinary act of heroism by approaching and fatally wounding the driver of a Jeep Wrangler who had just shot Officer Carlton’s partner. Officer Carlton then rushed to his partner side and courageously attempted to save his life.

Officer Carlton was traveling on interstate 680, south of Rudgear Road, in heavy traffic. He was traveling behind a Jeep Wrangler and was about to initiate an enforcement stop for an observed infraction of the California Vehicle Code. Officer Kenyon Youngstrom was standing along the right shoulder just ahead of Officer Carlton and was clearing a traffic hazard from the lanes. Officer Carlton radioed Officer Youngstrom that he was a preparing and intended to make an enforcement stop.

When Officer Youngstrom observed the Jeep, he directed the driver to pull over to the right shoulder, and the driver complied. As Officer Youngstrom approached the driver’s window to make contact, Officer Carlton pulled in behind and exited his patrol vehicle. After a short conversation with Officer Youngstrom, the driver reached behind the right front seat, pulled out a handgun, and fired one shot at Officer Youngstrom. Officer Youngstrom immediately fell to the ground into the traffic lane.

Officer Carlton observed this attack on his partner and fired several rounds at the driver, while he tactically moved toward his partner. As traffic came to a grinding halt, he vigorously performed CPR in an attempt to save his partner’s life. Officer Carlton continuously offered words of encouragement to help his partner and his fight to live. Officer Youngstrom was eventually transported to John Muir Medical Center and placed on life-support.

On September 5, 2012, Officer Youngstrom succumbed to his injuries. However, due to Officer Carlton’s heroic life-saving efforts, Officer Youngstrom remained alive long enough for his family to gather at his side and say goodbye. His life-saving efforts also allowed Officer Youngstrom’s ultimate wishes of becoming an organ donor to be met. Officer Youngstrom’s tissue and organs were donated to over 100 desperately in need recipients.

The state of California takes great pride in presenting Officer Tyler Carlton the Silver Medal of Valor for his exemplary act of heroism extending above and beyond the normal call of duty.

Information and photo provided by CHP-Contra Costa

Editors Note:
Nancy McFadden, Executive Secretary, presented the award to 52 employees from eight departments:

California Conservation Corps

  • Mark Allee

California Highway Patrol

  • Joseph Urrea
  • Michael Brush II
  • Jacob Moniz
  • John Banister
  • Joseph Heightman
  • Tyler Carlton
  • Dane Norem
  • Adam Garcia
  • Wesley Jones
  • Steven Lewis
  • Angel Arceo
  • Michael Burton

Department of Fish and Wildlife

  • Gary Combes
  • John Ewald
  • Doug Huckins
  • Kyle Kroll
  • Arthur Golden
  • Carmelo A. Spada

Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

  • Joshpae B. White
  • Joshua Potter
  • Jason Moorhouse
  • Joseph Walton
  • Elizabeth Marks
  • Robert L. Chesnick
  • Brian R. Cali
  • Jason A. Patterson
  • Matthew S. Reischman

Department of Motor Vehicles

  • Carrie Jean Stanton
  • Nedra Cartwright-May
  • Geoffrey L. Holmes
  • Kathy Myles-Daniels
  • Conrad Rivarde

Department of Parks and Recreation

  • Justin S. McHenry
  • Evan S. Walter

Department of Transportation

  • Victor Guerrero
  • Daniel Santacruz
  • Gary Hahn
  • Jamie Hill
  • Christopher J. Harvey
  • Stephen T. Elias
  • Gregory K. Englund
  • Brian Borella
  • Joe J. Martinez
  • Alberto P. Miramontes
  • Jose J. Linares
  • Barry Morrison
  • Jerry Bachmann
  • Johnnie James
  • James Murrieta
  • David Guerena

Department of Water Resources

  • Kevin Mefford

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WALNUT CREEK, CA – This morning, the City of Walnut Creek announced a new cutting-edge technology application that will allow all 100 of the city’s traffic signals to ‘talk’ to smartphones through a free application called EnLighten, available for Android and iPhone users.

A few seconds before a red traffic light changes to green, EnLighten will notify drivers through an audio alert that their attention should be refocused on driving. The functionality requires no driver involvement and conforms to local laws regarding cell phone use while driving. City officials hope this new technology will help smooth traffic and encourage drivers to pay more attention at busy intersections.

“We are pleased to bring this innovative technology to Walnut Creek,” said Mayor Bob Simmons. “It is a great first step in opening our roadways to technology that will make our streets safer in the future.”

The story of bringing EnLighten to Walnut Creek is an example of the power of public/private partnerships between cities, private business and regional and subregional transportation agencies. The application was developed by Connected Signals, a high-tech startup.   The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), helped facilitate the match between Connected Signals and the City of Walnut Creek, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission provided the grant funding for implementation.

Through a concerted effort by CCTA, Contra Costa is establishing itself as a hub for transportation technology research and testing. The agency recently partnered with Honda to test autonomous vehicles at the newly established GoMentum Station test facility. The launch of EnLighten in the City of Walnut Creek marks the first time the public can actively use one of the new technologies being tested in the county. Walnut Creek is only the second city in California—and the only city in Northern California—to make this technology available to motorists.

“The Contra Costa Transportation Authority is committed to supporting transportation innovation that will enhance safety,” said Jack Hall, Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Manager at CCTA. “The launch of EnLighten in Walnut Creek represents the first step in developing vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication in Contra Costa, and will accelerate the next generation of transportation infrastructure, making the future of driving safer in our community and beyond.”

The Walnut Creek launch of EnLighten for public use could have Bay Area-wide implications, said Andrew B. Fremier, MTC’s Deputy Executive Director for Operations. “We’re eager to see the benefits of this application, since this type of technology could be widely deployed around the Bay Area, if it proves successful in improving the efficiency and safety at intersections in Walnut Creek.”

City officials plan to use the initial deployment of this technology to improve traffic flow in Walnut Creek and evaluate how Intelligent Transportation Systems can be implemented to help better manage traffic for motorists in the City.

Enlighten is available for download from Google Play or the AppStore.

About The Contra Costa Transportation Authority
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts.  CCTA is responsible for planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs that connect our communities, foster a strong economy, increase sustainability, and safely and efficiently get people where they need to go. CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to keep traffic levels manageable. As a transportation leader, the CCTA is working to create a stronger economic future for Contra Costa County by building partnerships that make transportation safer, more reliable and increasingly efficient.  Rather than exclusively trying to “build our way” out of congestion, CCTA’s vision centers around the use of emerging technologies and public-private partnerships to meet transportation demands and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Contra Costa County.  More information about CCTA can be found online at ccta.net.

About City of Walnut Creek
Walnut Creek is a city of 65,000 in central Contra Costa County. Located at the intersection of two major highways, Walnut Creek’s robust downtown is a regional draw with extensive shopping, dining and arts options. At the same time, Walnut Creek has more public open space per capita than any California city, offering a unique balance between manmade and natural amenities. The city has long been at the forefront of implementing traffic technology.

About Connected Signals
Connected Signals is a high-tech startup based in Eugene, Oregon that collects real-time traffic light information and develops applications that increase safety at intersections, improve fuel economy and reduce emissions, and reduce driver stress. Connected Signals uses existing infrastructure to communicate with traffic controllers and vehicles, avoiding any need for the expensive municipal and in-vehicle equipment installations required with other approaches to vehicle-signal communication. They provide cities with a number of other advantages, including rapid deployment of low-cost, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) capabilities, data forwarding and analysis, and the opportunity to provide their citizens with state-of-the-art technologies that improve the driving experience.  For more information about Connected Signals please contact Matt Ginsberg at 541-654-5801 or mginsberg@connectedsignals.com.

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The BART Board of Directors meets Thursday, April 23, at 5 pm to consider topics including the Fiscal Year 2016 Preliminary Budget. This is one of several steps before the Board votes on the FY 2016 financial plan. A public hearing for the budget will be set for May 28, 2015 in the Board Room.

To address the highest levels of ridership in BART history that we are currently experiencing, the preliminary budget provides steps toward relieving crowded trains and general stress on the overall system while we wait for our new fleet of trains to arrive.

This includes efforts to introduce more cars during peak hours via extra repair shifts in the train shops, use of crossover tracks for turnback service, and “resurrecting” several heavily damaged cars.

Additionally, a number of positions have been suggested to expand station deep cleaning programs and train cleaning crews to keep up with the volume of passengers moving through the system.

The preliminary budget also seeks to address on-time performance issues, offering several solutions including but not limited to:

  • Increasing hours of stand-by paramedics for faster response of ill patrons/medical emergencies
  • Hiring more grounds workers to further address wayside safety and to be available to maintain free and clear tracks when obstructions occur
  • Hiring more train controllers

Other items on the agenda include the replacement of elevator flooring for easier cleaning and a presentation by the San Francisco Late Night Transportation Working Group on late night transportation.

The April 23 meeting will be held in the BART Board Room at the Kaiser Center, located at 344 20th St. in Oakland (pedestrian access is on Webster Street between the CVS and 24 Hour Fitness).  To take BART to the meeting, exit the 19th Street station in Oakland and make your way two blocks east on 20th St. / Thomas L Berkley Way.   The meeting will be streamed live at www.bart.gov/board. The full agenda is available to download as a PDF.

View the FY 2016 Budget Memo.  The budget assumes revenue from a January 1, 2016 inflation based, 3.4% fare increase to help fund the system’s extensive capital needs as called for in BART’s multi-year Inflation Based Fare Increase Program. This money is dedicated to our highest priority capital needs including new rail cars, an automated train control system, and an expanded maintenance facility.  BART is currently seeking input on this planned increase.  Find out more information and take the survey on the Title VI page.

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In an effort to connect homeless veterans in Contra Costa County to the services they need to get back on their feet, Delta Veterans Group is hosting a four-day “Stand Down on the Delta 2015″ event in Antioch this September.

“These men and women served their country and a lot of them want to serve their community as well, but their foundation needs to be supported,” says Gerald (J.R.) Wilson, President of Delta Veterans Group. “We can do that through the four pillars of veterans’ success and give them a pathway to serve their community.”

The four pillars include: health, education, housing and employment. In partnership with government agencies and community-based organizations, participants will be provided with food, clothing, shelter, counseling, and resources that will connect them to education and workforce training opportunities.

“Through the Employment Development Department, the Veterans Employment Committee and other partners, we will provide intensive service to those who have significant barriers to employment – one of which is homelessness,” said Brad Yoder, the program specialist for disabled veterans at EDD.

The health “triage” services will be provided by nursing students at Los Medanos College, which serves as an excellent work-based learning opportunity for the men and women in this program.

Sharon Goldfarb, R.N., M.S.N., the director of Los Medanos’ Nursing Program, is bringing the nursing students in to provide the “triage,” which serves as an excellent work-based learning opportunity for the men and women in this program.

“We are excited for this opportunity for our students to learn and give back to the community and the veterans,” she said. “We hope this is the start of a long partnership between the nursing students and the needs in the community.

While other East Bay communities have hosted successful Stand Down events in the past, this will be the first in Contra Costa County and organizers expect about 250 homeless vets to participate.

Although the event is still five months away, Delta Veterans Group is busy seeking volunteers (ages 16+) and donations to support the event, which is scheduled for Sept. 11-14. For more information, please contact (925) 222-7596

Source: Workforce Development Board Contra Costa County
http://wdbccc.com/press-room/wdb-news-items/2015/04/21/veterans-%27stand-down%27-event-planned-for-contra-costa-county

For more information on the Delta Veterans Group, visit their website.

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A Public Health Advisory for Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo was issued after flaring at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond.  The flaring began at 10:40 am and ended by 10:50 am.

Chevron called the flaring a normal part of operations.

The incident caused the Contra Costa County Community Warning System to issue the alert at 11:12 am saying an issue at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond could affect individuals with respiratory sensitivities. Most people will not be affected. Eye, skin, nose or throat irritation may be possible for some people in the affected area.

If people experience any irritation, advise them to go inside and rinse any irritated area of their body with water. Handle this as advisory information only. For more information go to www.cococws.us.
(7108745GW)

For more information go to: http://www.cococws.us

Update: Public Health Advisory has been lifted for the cities of Richmond, North Richmond, and San Pablo

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Invasive Weed Treatments for the week of April 20-24 from the California State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways where several spots in East County will be treated for Egeria Densa,  Curlyleaf Pondweed, Water Hyacinth and Spongeplant.

Treatment sites and schedules are subject to change based on regulatory requirements, weather conditions, plant growth and movement, waterway traffic, listed fish presence surveys, and other conditions.
Applications will be conducted during the hours of 7am to 4pm weekly, Monday through Friday.
Herbicide applications during the Notice of Intent time frame will utilize Fluridone (Sonar) only.
Contra Costa Intended Sites to be treated:
  • 18a – Korth’s Pirate Lair
  • 18b – Willow Berm Marina
  • 22 – Brannon Island SP
  • 87 – Kings Island
  • 88 – Italian Slough
  • 93 – Discovery Bay West
  • 97 – Holland Riverside
  • 107 – Piper Slough
  • 108 – Sandmound Slough
  • 109 – Sandmound Slough
  • 110 – Taylor Slough
  • 111 – Taylor Slough
  • 112 – Dutch Slough
  • 140 – Delta Marina
  • 209 – B& W Resort
Information provided by Supervisor Mary Piepho

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The Walnut Creek Police Department announced the arrest of a man who is suspected of placing a video camera in the bathroom of the Starbucks on Locust St. The suspect has been identified as 34-year-old Jacob Walter Turner.


 

On 2/16/15, employees of Starbucks at 1152 Locust St. reported that they found a video recorder that had been
secreted in the unisex bathroom at the business during the hours of 2:30PM – 4:00 and it had recorded
several customers using the restroom.

On Tuesday 4/14/15 Starbucks employees at the same location reported finding another video camera
secreted in the restroom. The camera had been in the restroom recording customers using the restroom
between 2PM- 3PM. Walnut Creek PD officers investigated the incidents and developed  evidence that indicated that Jacob Walter Turner, 35 of Benicia, was the suspect that placed the camera.

On Thursday, 4/16/15, WCPD detectives assisted by Benicia PD served a search warrant at Turner’s residence
on Oxford Dr. in Benicia. Turner was arrested on a warrant charging him with multiple counts of 647 J (3) (a) PC.

Walnut Creek PD detectives are attempting to identify the victims that used the Starbucks restroom during the
above timeframes that were unknowingly recorded.

Anyone with information should call Det. Gabe Mauro at 943-5881

  • Date / Time Occurred: 2/6/15 and 4/14/15 **Corrected date of Occurrence**
  • Crime Description / Code: 647 J (3) (a) PC Placing video recorder in a restroom.
  • Suspect: Jacob Walter Turner, D.O.B. 10/20/80, residence on Oxford Dr. Benicia Ca.
  • Press Release Prepared By: Sgt. Mike McLaughlin

Information provided by Walnut Creek Police

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CONCORD – On April 15, the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) Board of Directors unanimously approved an update to their existing drought program to now require 25 percent water use conservation and implement additional prohibitions deemed wasteful during drought times. This update responds to the Governor’s order announced on April 1 mandating a 25 percent reduction in water use statewide; this statewide mandate on water conservation is a first in California.

While California is experiencing serious continued drought conditions, local agencies are putting together updated programs to encourage conservation. The CCWD Board of Directors approved updates to their program requiring 25 percent conservation and implementing additional prohibitions on wasteful water use during a drought – such as limiting outdoor irrigation to no more than twice a week.

In addition, at a public hearing on June 3, the Board will consider a temporary pricing adjustment on the unit cost of water, a fine for violations of the prohibitions, and adjusting the baseline to 2013 water use -all in compliance with the state regulations.  As proposed, the temporary pricing adjustment would only apply to households using over 200 gallons per day and would end once the emergency order is lifted.

Beyond local conservation programs, the state is taking action to implement projects intended to encourage conservation. The Save Our Water campaign is being broadcast statewide.

In an effort to protect water quality in the Delta for water users and fish, the state is moving forward with a rock barrier that would physically help deter sea water intrusion into the southern part of the Delta. Why should CCWD care about this barrier? It all comes down to water quality. CCWD’s water intakes are in the Delta, and salinity intrusion from the Bay is an issue for water quality. With drought conditions, less fresh water is available to flow through the Delta. While this temporary barrier could cause temporary inconveniences for those using those waterways, CCWD supports the decision to install the barrier as the water quality implications could have longer term impacts on Delta water users, fish, the environment, etc…

The last time the state did this was during the 1977 drought.

What You Need to Know

All said, this drought is serious and agencies are implementing actions that are necessary to protect residents and the environment. Some are unprecedented, but so are the drought conditions statewide.

To comply with the state order for a 25 percent statewide reduction in water use, the Contra Costa Water District is implementing an updated drought program in a two-step process.

  • Starting Now: On April 15, the CCWD Board of Directors set a water conservation requirement of 25 percent compared to 2013 and adopted new water-use prohibitions to comply with statewide mandates that include limiting outdoor irrigation to two days per week.

You are strongly encouraged to begin saving water immediately and adjust your automatic sprinklers now. You will not face any temporary pricing adjustment charges until the Board has approved the plan on June 4.

  • Soon: To encourage all customers to meet the 25 percent reduction requirement, the Board of Directors will consider temporary pricing adjustments as called for in the Governor’s Executive Order. If approved by the Board, this will include a temporary pricing adjustment for households that use more than 200 gallons per day. This would temporarily increase the unit cots of treated water by 50 cents. The Board will also consider a fine for violating water use prohibitions..
    You will not be subject to the temporary pricing adjustment until the Board approves the plan. If approved on June 3, it would be most-likely become effective immediately.
    As proposed, if you use less than 200 gallons per day, you will not be subjected to the temporary pricing adjustment. Households that reduce water use by 25 percent will be able to lower their bills.
    The Governor has set a target of using 25 percent less water than in 2013. You will be sent a letter on June 4 detailing your 2013 water use. This information will also begin to appear on the back of your bill in June.

Find out more by checking this website, and subscribing to our Conservation Watersaver E-newsletter.

Prohibitions of Water Use

The following uses of water supplied by the District have been determined to be wasteful and are prohibited at any time when a 25% Drought Management Program is in effect: Violators could be subject to fines of up to $500 and suspension of water service subject to board approval.

Single Family and Multi-Family Residential Customers:

  1. Watering of outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excessive runoff such that water flows onto adjacent properly, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures.b. Watering of outdoor landscapes during and up to 48 hours after measurable rainfall.c. Watering of outdoor landscapes more than two days per week unless an exception is granted by the District. Examples include newly planted drip irrigated drought tolerant landscaping, and vegetable gardens.d. Watering of outdoor landscapes during the daylight hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    e. Watering of landscape of newly constructed homes and buildings that is not delivered by drip or microspray systems.

    f. Washing a vehicle, trailer or boat using a hose without a shut off nozzle.

    g. Washing paved or other hard-surfaced areas, including sidewalks, walkways, driveways, patios, and parking areas.

    h. Use of water for non-recirculating decorative fountains or’ filling decorative lakes or ponds. The District strongly suggests all fountains be turned off.

Non-Residential Customers:

  1. Watering of outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excessive runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures.b. Watering of outdoor landscapes during and up to 48 hours after measurable rainfall.c. Watering of outdoor landscapes more than two days per week unless an exception is granted by the District. Examples include newly planted drip irrigated drought tolerant landscaping, and vegetable gardens.d. Watering of outdoor landscapes during the daylight hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    e. Watering of ornamental turf on public street medians.

    f. Watering of landscape of newly constructed homes and buildings that is not delivered by drip or microspray systems.

    g. Washing a vehicle, trailer or boat using a hose without a shut off nozzle.

    h. Washing paved or other hard-surfaced areas, including sidewalks, walkways, driveways, patios, and parking areas .

    i. Use of water for non-recirculating decorative fountains or filling decorative lakes or ponds.

    j. Serving of drinking water other than upon request in eating or drinking establishments, including but not limited to restaurants, hotels, cafes, cafeterias, bars, or other public places where food or drink are served and/or purchased.

    k. Operators of hotels and motels shall provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily. A notice shall be prominently displayed in each bathroom.

    l .Recycled water must be used for construction and dust control where available.

Q&A

What is a Drought Emergency, and what impact does it have on me? Facing a fourth-consecutive dry year and severely reduced water supplies, Gov. Jerry Brown on April 1 mandated a 25 percent statewide reduction in water use. This unprecedented action reflects the severity of the drought and what is needed from all Californians to ensure conservation-minded indoor water used can be met. Everyone needs to step up and continue to conserve water.

How much do customers need to conserve? As mandated by the state, CCWD is asking customers to reduce 25% below their water use in 2013.

When will the CCWD Drought Program go into effect? CCWD is asking its customers to cut their use immediately. The Drought Program will roll out in two steps beginning with the 25% reduction goal and prohibitions on April 15th.  It is expected that all of the water use prohibitions will go into effect immediately. The new baseline and proposed fines and pricing adjustment will go through a 45-day notification and public review period with two public hearings on May 20th and June 3rd.  With approval on June 3rd, the new baseline and pricing adjustment go into effect immediately and the fine on July 4th.

How can I find my 2013 water use? You will be sent a letter with your 2013 water use on June 4 or call Customer Service at (925) 688-8044. This information will also appear on the back of your bill beginning in June.

When do I start watering twice a week? Right now. If you have an automatic timer, set it to water only on two days a week, or on specific days of the week.

Will there be a temporary pricing adjustment? To encourage all customers to meet the 25% reduction requirement, the CCWD Board will consider temporary conservation pricing adjustments as called for in the Governor’s Executive Order. These include a temporary price adjustment for households that use 200 gallons per day or more, a fine for violating water use prohibitions and adjusting baseline use to 2013.  Customers who achieve the requested reduction, will reduce their total bill even with a pricing adjustment.

Even if I save 25 percent, will my water bill go up? No, you will save money. A single-family home that used an average of 400 gallons per day that cuts it use by 25 percent will save $16 on its water bill.

Will CCWD impose fines for not complying with the water use prohibitions? Yes. If approved by the Board of Directors in June, CCWD would first issue a warning and work with customers to educate them about the prohibition and their violation. If after that the customer continues to violate the prohibition, the District would issue a $250 fine. At a second violation, the District would issue a $500 fine.  If the violation continues, the District may suspend the service and charge a penalty of $10 per HCF (748 gallons).

If approved by the Board, the fines would become effecting on July 4. Check back here, or subscribe to our Watersaver newsletter for the latest updates.
When do the temporary pricing adjustments start?
They won’t start until the Board of Directors approve them. A public hearing will be held on June.

Why is 2013 used as the baseline? Up to this point, CCWD has used a baseline of the average of 2005-2007. CCWD did this so customers who implemented conservation savings since then would see the benefit of their efforts.  However, the State has mandated that Water Agencies use 2013 as the baseline.

What about Excess Use Charges? CCWD is not intending to modify the existing excess use penalty at this time, which will remain at two times the cost of water for those exceeding 1,000 gallons per day or their established baseline.

Will we have enough water? CCWD can meet conservation-minded demands through a combination of its Central Valley Project allocation, Los Vaqueros Reservoir storage, groundwater supply, recycled water, and available water transfers. By targeting reductions in discretional water use, the District can manage overall water demands in order to preserve storage in LV Reservoir in the event of a continuing drought, while minimizing the impact on the economy within CCWD’s service area.

 

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With input and guidance from the Bay Area Suicide and Crisis Intervention Alliance (BASCIA), BART is launching a multi-pronged, continuous campaign to address the recent increase in suicides and suicide attempts on District property.

“We looked at what other transit agencies have done on the topic and with the help of local mental health experts, determined what steps would be appropriate for BART,” said Deputy General Manager Marcia deVaughn. “Posting a help line and providing training to our employees are some of the key things we can do as a transit agency.”

The centerpiece of the campaign launch is station signage directing troubled patrons to call the toll-free National Suicide Lifeline, with the phrase ‘Suicide is not the route’ included over the number. This phrase has been tested in a Long Island Rail Road campaign that has seen an increase in calls to the number.

The Federal Government administers the National Suicide Lifeline, providing a service that redirects calls based on the caller’s area code to the appropriate local agency for free, confidential help around the clock.  Signs will be rotated throughout the system across from the platforms.

Another key component is training frontline BART staff on how to recognize and help a person in crisis.  BASCIA will assist BART with this training.

BART will be distributing National Suicide Lifeline wallet cards provided by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration in all stations.  Each Station Agent booth will have the cards available.

Longer term ideas being looked at include printing the suicide lifeline number on BART papers tickets, permanent signage in stations, coordination of outreach events, and looking into the feasibility of and funding for platform screen doors.

“We are pleased that BART reached out to us for help with this important issue, and we appreciate their help in getting our Lifeline number out to the public,” said Nancy Salamy, Executive Director of Alameda County Crisis Support Services.

Also present at the campaign launch was Kevin Hines, a suicide attempt survivor and expert lecturer on tackling the subject in a way that reduces the stigma associated with mental health disorders.  Mr. Hines praised BART’s efforts, and encouraged a continued discussion on preventing suicides in the Bay Area.

BACKGROUND

At the end of last year, BART assembled a comprehensive task force to determine what could be done to offer help to people in crisis.

Incidents of a person hit by a train or nearly hit by a train at BART have risen from six in 2013, to 14 in 2014. This year has seen six incidents to date.

BASCIA (Bay Area Suicide and Crisis Intervention Alliance) was instrumental in helping craft the campaign response to these incidents, providing the District with a number of mental health experts and resources from across the region.  BASCIA includes Crisis Support Services of Alameda, San Francisco Suicide Prevention, Contra Costa Crisis Center, StarVista of San Mateo, Bridge Rail Foundation, and Suicide Prevention and Community Counseling of Marin.