4th of July Options for East County Residents

I’ve compiled a list of activities in East County and Contra Costa County. The list can be seen on my new site.

http://eastcountytoday.wordpress.com/

Posted in East County | 1 Comment

I’ve moved!!!!

As you may have noticed, the last few months I’ve focused on many issues outside of the City of Oakley which was the purpose of my blog originally. Since my coverage has expanded, I to need to expand as I’ve noticed many local issues in East County are going uncovered.

My new site, East County Today, will provide coverage to not only Oakley, but include Brentwood, Discovery Bay, and Bethel Island.  I hope you continue to join me daily!

Thanks for all the support.

Mike

New Website:
http://eastcountytoday.wordpress.com/

Posted in East County | Leave a comment

Friends of Marsh Creek Awarded $60k EPA Grant

Congratulations are in order to the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed who were awarded a $60,000 grant by the EPA on June 26 to help improve urban waters and promote community revitalization.

EPA Selects Projects to Improve Urban Waters & Promote Community Revitalization.

Overview

The Environmental Protection Agency has selected 46 organizations in 32 states and Puerto Rico to receive grants ranging from $30,280 to $60,000, totaling $2.7 million for projects that will contribute to improving water quality and community revitalization. The goal of these Urban Waters Small Grants is to fund research, studies, training, and demonstration projects that will advance the restoration of urban waters by improving water quality through activities that also support community revitalization and other local priorities. The funding is part of EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve, and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Read full press release.

EPA received nearly 600 applications in response to this funding opportunity, a clear statement of the demand for this type of assistance. Full consideration was afforded to each applicant and many noteworthy proposals were reviewed. However, due to funding availability, EPA was not able to fund all the worthy proposals that were submitted.

All applicants are afforded the opportunity to obtain a detailed briefing from EPA regarding the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal, in an effort to provide helpful feedback for applicants who are interested in applying to a future funding opportunity. We also encourage all applicants to join the Urban Waters Network, where members are notified about new funding opportunities, other available resources for local efforts, and success stories about communities reclaiming their urban waters. To join, please go to www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/ and click on “Get Email Updates”.

Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed
Brentwood, California
The Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed proposes to restore water quality in the Marsh Creek Watershed through increasing understanding and awareness of water quality issues and advancing restoration and stewardship.

The main tasks proposed are:

  1. Project Management
  2. Water Quality Monitoring
  3. Agricultural Community Outreach and Technical Assistance
  4. Community Member Outreach and Training
  5. Leadership Training
  6. Green Infrastructure Restoration Planning.

The results of this project will lead to significant improvements in water quality, providing multiple benefits to the communities within the project area and the larger Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Award Amount: $60,000

To find out more about the Friends of Marsh Creek, visit their website.

Donations can be sent to
2063 Main St., #311,
Oakley, CA 9456

FOMCW is a public charity under 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal
Revenue Code and a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of
the Code,

We are qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers
or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.

Posted in Around Oakley, East County | Leave a comment

July 7: Oakley Cityhood Celebration

Just a reminder that this Saturday is the City of Oakley Cityhood Celebration at Freedom Basin.

 

Posted in Around Oakley | Leave a comment

Paddle For Fame Sets New World Record

Some good news in East County today as 621 paddlers were connected during the Paddle for Fame event today which set a new world record. Out of 719 possible in attendance, 621 paddles were connected beating last years record of 492.

According to Amanda Dove, the count was verified and captured in the photos taken by  photographer Leila Hauck.

Information Via Amanda Dove’s Facebook Post.

Posted in Discovery Bay, East County | 2 Comments

ECCFPD: Stations 54, 94, 95 Now Closed

Today is a sad day in East County as three stations have now been closed and are offline while we say goodbye to over a dozen wonderful firefighters who will be difficult to replace.

I took the opportunity this morning to join Fire Board Member Jim Frazier in visiting Station 93, 94, and 95  as a way to say thank you and show support while leaving the politics of the whole thing at the door as the political situation stinks.  We wanted to show support and let them know we care about what happens to them not only today, but also tomorrow and each day going forward.

This isn’t a situation of putting in your service and being forgotten about.  I hope others in the community feel the same way and will do whatever they can to ensure these guys are picked up by another District–I have faith Local 1230 will work hard to place these wonderful firefighters we have no lost.


(Station 95 in Bethel Island had its doors open for the last time this morning)

In speaking with Robert Ruddick this morning out on Bethel Island (Station 95), he explained some of the shifting of firefighters that was taking place from demotions that were set to begin at 8:00 am to where remaining staff will be located. He felt bad for the folks on the Island and over the last week or so helped explain some of their options for getting better coverage down the road–some residents even brought them a cake yesterday as a way of saying thank you.


(Station 94 in Knightsen at it’s doors open for the last time this morning)

In speaking with Sam Somerhalder in Knightsen he expressed a bit of disbelief that Knightsen was actually closing its doors at 8:00 am and some of the problems going forward such as increased response times.

In driving by Station 54 we saw news camera’s from Channel 2 so I kept driving as today is about firefighters, not anyone else. So we headed to Station 93 in Oakley instead.

At Station 93, it was a hard pill to swallow watching firefighters pack up for their last shift—what do you say to the guy? I felt horrible and helpless but this particular firefighters is a good man and I know he will land on his feet.

Sitting in Station 93 this morning while listening on the radio of Stations 54, 94, 95 signing off gave me chills while making my stomach upset. It was sad to hear and harder to see the faces of those in the fire station. The mood in the room was disbelief as I am thinking  “this is not right”.

Watching Channel 2 news in the station made me ill listening Fire Captain Craig Auzenne explain the response time and how 3-miles is a big difference during an emergency.

A perfect example of what just transpired is you have a Super Bowl winning football team that was just blown up due to cost controls put in place by ownership. Ownership (in our case the voters) could have paid $197 per parcel to retain the players, but chose not to.  Now East County is stuck with a team providing a level of service they are willing to pay for but this team will miss the playoffs by a mile and won’t be any fun to watch.

You can relate it to a basketball team trying to win a championship by playing with just 3 players on the court against 5.  It’s a losing situation as in our case, you have 3-stations now covering 250 square miles plus water.

This is one of those situations where the people of East County won’t appreciate how great it’s Championship team was until its players move on and the effects of losing seasons begin to pile up.

Could ownership have paid more? Yes! Did they want to? No!  The end result is a great team of guys were broken up with the fans (East County residents) paying the consequences.

It really is a sad day in East County as our team of wonderful firefighters has just been handicapped from providing services they are accustomed to giving just as we are accustomed to receiving.

No one wins going forward!

Posted in Around Oakley, Brentwood, Contra Costa County, Discovery Bay, East County, Fire Dept. | Leave a comment

Press Release: Firefighters Release Statement on Station Closures

Press Release Statement from United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County Local 1230 President Vince Wells on Station Closures

“As the representative of 6 different fire agencies in Contra Costa County – Contra Costa, East Contra Costa, El Cerrito, Moraga-Orinda, Pinole, and Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection Districts – we are deeply concerned about what’s happening to emergency services in the county. A lack of revenue has led to cuts to our fire service that are already having a dangerous impact on the safety of residents in our community, with more cuts to come.

This week, residents in these areas of Contra Costa County will see the loss of 4 fire companies and a significant decrease in the emergency services they depend on. Tomorrow, the East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District will close half their fire stations due to a lack of revenue – from 6 stations to just 3 stations serving 250 square miles and 105,000 residents. And on July 5th, the Contra Costa Fire Protection District will shut down one more company out of the City of Concord. Contra Costa residents are losing their fire and emergency services rapidly and, with it, the response times and critical care they need.

In 2008, these fire districts had 50 companies responding to emergencies, and after July 5th we will only have 41 operating companies with more cuts on the horizon. As firefighters, we are your front line of defense in an emergency. With every budget cut and station closure, we lose our ability to protect you and your home. Contra Costa’s firefighters are deeply saddened by these closures and greatly concerned about their impact on our ability to provide the quick and effective fire and emergency services our community depends on. We look forward to working with the fire districts to solve this budget crisis and stave off any more cuts.”

Source:
http://www.contracostafirefighters.org/index.cfm?section=1

Posted in Around Oakley, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, East County, Fire Dept. | 3 Comments