Governor Brown has signed SB 1405 by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to provide more stringent guidelines on the use of harmful, toxic pesticides in schools.

“Families should not have to worry about sending their children to unsafe school sites, they deserve to know that our young people will be protected from harmful pesticides on campus,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “Promoting the usage of preventative measures will ensure our young people are not exposed to pesticides unless absolutely necessary. If pesticides must be used on campuses, SB 1405 requires employees to receive proper training to apply them in the safest manner possible.”

The National Academy of Sciences reports that children are more susceptible to chemicals than adults and estimates that 50 percent of lifetime pesticide exposure occurs at a young age.

Under SB 1405, school sites will report all pesticide use to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Current law only requires professional applicators to report their use. This bill also requires anyone—including school staff and professional pest control applicators—using pesticides on school sites to undergo an annual training on integrated pest management and the safe usage of pesticides.

An integrated pest management plan focuses on long-term preventative measures to solve pest problems with the least amount of hazards to people and the environment. SB 1405 requires school sites to have a written integrated pest management plan in place. This practice has already been successfully implemented by the Los Angeles Unified School District and Santa Clara Unified School District, without significant cost burdens.

This is Senator DeSaulnier’s third attempt to regulate the use of pesticides on school sites. He previously authored SB 1157 in 2010 and SB 394 in 2011.




Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, that provides for a conditional examination of a victim or material witness in a human trafficking case when there is evidence the witness has been dissuaded from testifying.

Assembly Bill 1610 was sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, who said victims of human trafficking represent a highly vulnerable population and preservation of their testimony at an early stage of a prosecution is often necessary to ensure a just adjudication of the cases.

O’Malley said in a statement that trials are frequently delayed and cases may not go to trial for months or even years after it has been filed because victims are often not residents of the county in which offenses take place and are often trafficked by their exploiter from city to city and from state to state.

In addition, O’Malley said, victims may be subject to implied or actual threats from their exploiters as a means to coerce them into remaining with the exploiter or keeping them from testifying in court.

She said existing law provides that a defendant or the prosecution may have witnesses examined conditionally under certain circumstances.

AB 1610 amends current law to include “a victim or witness to a felony prosecution involving human trafficking, commercial sex acts or forced labor or services” to the category of persons permitted to conditionally testify, O’Malley said.

By allowing the defendant and the district attorney the opportunity to conduct examinations of a witness at an early stage, before a trial ever begins, the state ensures that the testimony is preserved if the witness becomes unavailable at the time of the trial, according to O’Malley.

Bonta said in a statement, “Victims of human trafficking are a very vulnerable population subject to being harassed, coerced, or physically harmed or killed to prevent them from testifying in criminal prosecutions. AB 1610 preserves testimony to ensure that offenders do not get away with abuse.”

In addition to signing Bonta’s bill on Sunday, Brown also signed six other bills that he said are aimed at better protecting victims of human trafficking and supporting education, prevention and law enforcement efforts to fight human trafficking.


On Monday morning around midnight, El Cerrito Police advised CHP that they were in pursuit of a possible DUI driver that had been traveling the wrong way on city streets and had just entered onto eastbound I-80.

The suspect vehicle, a 2013 Honda Civic, proceeded onto eastbound Hwy.4. CHP – Contra Costa units were able to get into position at eastbound Highway 4 near Franklin Canyon.

A spike strip was deployed near the Pacheco Boulevard off-ramp partially disabling the subject vehicle. The driver of the Honda exited Hwy.4 onto southbound I-680 at 20 to 40 MPH and ultimately exited the freeway at Willow Pass Rd. in Concord.

As the subject vehicle continued traveling eastbound on Willow Pass Rd., a CHP unit successfully utilized the PIT maneuver on the Honda near Market St.

The driver and another occupant of the Honda Civic was taken into custody. Their identities have not been released.


The Concord Police Department conducted a DUI Checkpoint on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m., as part of The City of Concord’s commitment to public safety.

This checkpoint was one of many that have been or will be conducted throughout the year in the City of Concord.  The location of Saturday’s checkpoint was on Monument Boulevard between Erickson Road and Oak Grove Road.  The goal of the DUI Checkpoint was to bring awareness to the public of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and remove impaired drivers from the roadway.

The results of the DUI Checkpoint were as follows:

  • 417 Vehicles passed through the checkpoint
  • 417 Drivers Screened at the checkpoint
  • 2 DUI Suspects Arrested
  • 2 Vehicle Impounded

These enforcement efforts were funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911!


Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – Every Monday at 2pm on

TRAFFIC JAMMER: Greetings, all! This column is for everyone who negotiates the highways and public transit of the Bay Area. It runs every Monday at 2pm and answers your commuting and transportation questions.

Email your questions to

COMMUTER: Is the Concord DMV office open yet after renovations? My driver’s license expired last Saturday on my birthday. I tried to do my due diligence online but Concord DMV website has not updated for months … still says, “Re-open in September.”

(After deciding to go to the Walnut Creek office) Took an hour once I got my ticket. Could have been much worse. I had my puzzle book with me so the time went pretty fast. Now to wait for the new mug shot in the mail.

–Pleasant Jenny



The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

In your opinion, are the common core standards good or bad for children? Also, do you think your child’s homework is more challenging than it used to be?

Talk about it….



A man killed in a two-car crash on Interstate Highway 680 near Martinez on Friday morning has been identified as 19-year-old Carlos Javier
Curiel of Pittsburg, a Contra Costa County coroner’s deputy said today.

Curiel was driving a Buick sedan on northbound Highway 680 near Pacheco Boulevard around 7 a.m. Friday when he collided with a Ford van,
causing his car to overturn, according to California Highway Patrol Officer John Fransen.

The teen was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Information about possible injuries suffered by the driver of the van was not immediately available.

Fransen said Curiel was apparently not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision.

The crash blocked several northbound lanes of Highway 680 on Friday morning, snarling traffic during the morning commute.

The cause of the collision remains under investigation. Anyone who witnessed what led up to it is asked to call the CHP’s Contra Costa area office at 925-646-4980.

RELATED STORIESUPDATE: CHP Investigates Fatal Crash on I-680 in Martinez

photo credit: Contra Costa CHP on Facebook



This is the Claycord BART crime report.

The information in this report is provided by the BART Police Department (BPD), and it will be posted on when it’s made available by BPD.





Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill to give $3 million to Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo, which has faced closure in recent months due to its ongoing financial problems.

Brown on Saturday signed Senate Bill 883, authored by state Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, in order to give the hospital funding while hospital and county officials seek long-term funding.

“Doctors Medical Center is the safety net hospital for Richmond, San Pablo and other West Contra County communities, it’s closure would leave a community in need without emergency care, cardio, dialysis and other critical hospital services,” Skinner said in a news release.

“The Governor’s support of this $3 million lifeline expands our window for pursuing solutions to continue to meet these critical healthcare needs,” she said.

The hospital’s ongoing fiscal issues have led the facility to divert emergency ambulances to other Bay Area hospitals and to drastically cut its number of inpatient beds in recent months.

At least one death has been linked to the diversion of ambulance service from DMC, according to the California Nurses’ Association and Skinner’s office.

Hospital executives have prepared for the closure of DMC as community activists, hospital staff and patients have protested against the closure.

DMC’s financial problems have persisted over the years due to a patient population that mostly receives Medi-Cal or Medicare, which gives the hospital lower reimbursement rates.

A May parcel tax measure designed to bridge the hospital’s $18 million structural debt failed, accelerating the prospect of DMC’s closure.

A hospital council consisting of health care providers from Contra Costa County and other Bay Area hospitals has been formed to come up with alternate, lower-cost hospital models that would allow DMC to stay open, such as a stand-alone emergency room.




A man suspected of driving drunk was arrested early this morning after crashing into the backyard a Concord home where a family of three was sleeping, a police sergeant said.

The crash happened around 3:40 a.m. when a 49-year-old Concord man crashed his car into a fence between a house’s front and backyards in the 4000 block of Concord Boulevard, Concord police Sgt. Jeff Ross said.

The car narrowly missed the house, where two adults and a child were sleeping, according to Ross.

Neighbors heard the crash and came to detain the driver until police arrived, he said.

The driver was taken to a hospital to be treated for moderate injuries and arrested on suspicion of DUI, Ross said.

The man, whose name has not been released, was the only person inside the car. No other injuries were reported.

photo credit: ConFire on Twitter – @ContraCostaFire




A motorcyclist was injured during a crash with an SUV on Cowell Rd., near Ygnacio Valley Rd. in Concord on Sunday just before noon.

The injuries are said to be non-life-threatening, but serious.

Further details of the crash are unavailable at this time.

Thanks to Dan for the pictures!



The leaves around Claycord are beginning to fall. Fallen leaves have much potential in our landscapes and gardens. They can be used as a main ingredient in the making of nutrient-rich compost. Composting is simple, and anyone can do it. Autumn is the perfect time to get started composting.


What is compost? Compost is the decomposition of plant materials. As the plant material decomposes beneficial bacteria, worms and other insects feast and live within the piles. These organisms turn the plant material into composted organic material. This process will take months to achieve, and the results are fabulous. You’ll have made rich, dark, crumbly soil. Spread the compost throughout your landscape. The compost will contribute to the overall structure of your soil. It will help lighten our heavy Claycord clay, as well as add needed oxygen and nutrients to the soil.

How do you create compost? What goes in? What should I leave out? The recipe for composting is easy. You will combine green and brown plant material, in a 2:1 ratio. You place these ingredients in a bin, or sac, with or without a lid. Brown and green ingredients are placed in the bin in layers.

Brown material can consist of fallen leaves. This time of year we recommend creating a stockpile of leaves for future compost pile layers. You can also add dead, or browning (cycling, disease free) plants, straw, pine needles, finely chopped woody brush, and shredded paper (not magazine type). The green material will be your grass clippings, spent flowers, garden pruning, fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells. There are things that you should never put in your compost pile. Do not add any dairy products, meat, cooked produce, diseased plant material, or dog and cat waste. A mix of a 2:1, brown to green will keep your compost pile from smelling. Sprinkling your pile with water occasionally will help speed up decomposition. Turn the compost often. Air circulation is also important for the breakdown of organic matter. During the cooler months of the year, add E B. Stone’s Organic Compost Maker. A compost maker will speed up the breakdown of plant matter while the weather is cool.

Many places are selling composting bins. Most are plastic, and will have long life spans. These are great for the garden lover that is just beginning to compost. Unfortunately, these bins have a limited amount of space and fill up easily. They also tend to be costly. Some people will choose to build their own bins. Using recycled pallets to build a three-sided box, and reinforce with chicken wire to keep the debris from falling through the slats in the pallets is a good idea. Wire framed composting bins are also available. They have larger area to build your compost, and have a latch that opens one side for easier removal of composted material.

The benefits of composting out weigh any of the effort it takes to make it. Plants, shrubs and trees absolutely love the essential nutrients that the composted organic material provides. This type of nutrition can’t be found in a bag or a box. Homemade compost is Mother Natures Fertilizer.

Happy Gardening.

Nicole Hackett is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio and Gardens, located at 6780 Marsh Creek Road in Clayton, 925-672-0207.

Nicole writes for the Clayton Pioneer Newspaper, and She is also the Clayton Valley Garden Club 2012 President.


Governor Brown has signed SB 1301 by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to encourage the formation of Social Purpose Corporations. This bill strengthens previous efforts by Senator DeSaulnier to encourage companies to incorporate with a special purpose.

“I thank Governor Brown for signing a bill that continues California’s commitment to encouraging the formation of businesses driven to do more than just maximize profits for their shareholders,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “By providing better corporate options for entrepreneurs, California can maintain its position as a leader in promoting socially conscious business practices. SB 1301 will only help the number of Social Purpose Corporations formed in California grow, attracting more socially conscious entrepreneurs to our state.”

Senator DeSaulnier carried legislation (SB 201) in 2011 to establish a new corporate form—a Flexible Purpose Corporation. This new corporate form integrated the for-profit philosophy of the traditional corporation along with a “special purpose” mission to encourage and expressly permit companies to pursue one or more charitable or public purpose activities in addition to creating economic value for shareholders. Washington and Delaware followed California’s lead in creating similar corporate forms.

SB 1301 renames Flexible Purpose Corporations as Social Purpose Corporations, to more accurately reflect the spirit of the law. SB 1301 seeks to strengthen and clean up the corporate code created under SB 201, by clarifying that directors of Social Purpose Corporations are required—and not just encouraged—to consider a special purpose. This bill also cleans up California code to better conform to other states’ guidelines and new corporate laws that have proven successful in encouraging companies to incorporate with a special mission.

According to the Secretary of State, a total of 62 Flexible Purpose Corporations have been formed since January 1, 2012.



Click on the photo above to read the weekly update from the City of Pleasant Hill.



The Clayton Police Weekly Activity Report:

The times shown indicate when the incident was reported to the PD.


  • Clayton Rd./Tara Dr. No Injuries. (09/23/14 – 0626 hrs.)
  • Keller Ridge Dr./Coyote Cr. Injuries. (09/24/14 – 1512 hrs.)


  • Clayton Rd./Mitchell Canyon Rd. Warrant. A 32-year-old Concord male was arrested after being stopped for Vehicle Code violations. He was released on his signed promise to appear. (09/19/14 – 0855 hrs.)
  • Marsh Creek Rd./Morgan Territory Rd. Use/Under Influence of Controlled Substance; Probation Violation. A transient male was arrested after responding to a call for service. He was transported to Concord Police Department for booking. (09/20/14 – 0547 hrs.)
  • Clayton Rd./Kirker Pass Rd. Possess Narcotic Controlled Substance. A 38-year-old Antioch female was arrested after being stopped for Vehicle Code violations. She was transported to Concord Police Department for booking. (09/22/14 – 0309 hrs.)


  • N. Mitchell Canyon Rd. Petty Theft. (09/23/14 – 1045 hrs.)


  • None reported.


craig_cannon_1 craig_cannon2

One woman was detained after a police pursuit in Martinez on Saturday evening.

The pursuit ended on Lassen Dr. in Martinez, just off Center Ave. The suspects, who were described as two women, fled the scene, and at least one was captured.

No injuries were reported.

Further details of the chase were not immediately available.

The pursuit involved the CHP, Martinez Police, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff and the Pleasant Hill Police.

photo credit: Craig Cannon – for use only on


In celebration of Teen Read Week, Contra Costa County Library invites teens to “Read Your Fines Away.”

Teens in grades 6-12 have the opportunity to clear late charges from their library card accounts during the week of October 13 – 19, 2014.

Contra Costa County Library wants every teen to use their library. “Read Your Fines Away” is an easy, no-cost program for teens to return books, CD’s, movies and anything else they may have checked out. As an added feature, teens can have overdue fines removed from their library account by reading in the library for one hour. After reading for an hour, teens will receive a certificate to have fines and late charges removed from their account. While the certificate will not cover lost items, teens are encouraged to return all overdue items and have their fines removed – no questions asked.

All Contra Costa County libraries will designate a day and time when teens can read in the library for an hour to earn a certificate to have fines and late charges removed from their account. Each teen must bring his or her library card or valid ID to participate.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for teens to enjoy an hour of reading in their community library, while at the same time clearing away their fines. The Library is pleased to provide an opportunity for our youth to use the library again without fear of fees weighing their cards down,” says County Librarian Jessica Hudson.

Visit the library’s website at or contact your local Contra Costa County Library for more details.