Wednesday, 11:40pm: Concord Police are searching for a suspect in the neighborhood around Galindo & Laguna.

Few details are available, but we’re hearing the man might have a warrant out for his arrest, and he fled from police when they tried to make contact.

A helicopter is also assisting with the search.

UPDATE, 11:45pm: The suspect has not been located.

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Several people have emailed Claycord.com regarding this guy, who is going door-to-door in the neighborhood around Larkey Park in Walnut Creek.

At 6:45pm the doorbell rang. I assumed it was a package drop-off so I didn’t rush to the door. I was surprised to find a salesman waiting there since it had taken me so long. Right off the bat he just seemed off.

He said he was making deliveries in the area and had one for the homeowner. I didn’t fully understand what he was meaning and he said ”well I’m in a hurry I have a lot of deliveries so I have to go” and started to walk away. By this time my mother had heard the strange conversation and came to the door. He came back and said “do you know the neighbors? The guys next door said that you would be interested.” We know our neighbors, they would never do that. Plus he pointed to the house that he went to after ours. When he walked away we went outside and watched him go around the court. He seemed belligerent and was muttering to himself when he walked away.

Our neighbor noticed we were suspicious and came outside to chat with us. I walked a bit to the end of the street to see if he got in a car to get a plate number or something.

He noticed that and then proceeded to yell at us “You guys got a problem?!”. Real professional. He didn’t seem to go to any other houses just our court.

I believe this guy was casing houses. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the name of the company he’s supposedly selling for. It was a cleaning product. He had a spray bottle attached on his hip and a small pamphlet of products. He was about 6 ft. African american skinny guy.

Thanks for the note, that does sound suspicious.

 

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A fire has been extinguished on Glenside Dr. in North Concord.

The blaze started just before 8pm on Wednesday in the backyard of a home on Glenside, near Overhill Rd., and spread to the attic and the exterior of the house.

The fire was extinguished within a few minutes, and no injuries were reported.

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Hundreds of goats have been released to control the weeds in Pleasant Hill.

It’s always fun to see these animals, especially when hundreds of them are together.

Thanks to Susan for the pictures!

RELATED STORY: GOATS! Hundreds of Goats Helping with Fire Control in the Walnut Creek

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What is the City of Walnut Creek’s Plastic Bag Ordinance?

Starting on September 18, 2014, all retailers cannot distribute single-use plastic checkout bags and must charge a minimum of ten cents for a paper bag, made of post-consumer recycled materials. To avoid the bag fee, shoppers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags. Click here to read the Ordinance.

Why is the City banning plastic bags?

Data obtained from conducting trash hot spot assessment and cleanup since 2010 along the City’s creek bank showed that single-use carryout plastic bags were among the most commonly found litter. The littering of plastic bags is an increasing blight on land and poses water quality problems. Due to their expansive and lightweight characteristics, wind easily carries these bags airborne. They end up entangled in bushes, tossed around along streets and freeways and in our local creeks despite the City’s efforts to pick up trash regularly. Most plastic bags do not biodegrade but instead persist in the environment for many years. These issues prompted Walnut Creek City Council to adopt the Plastic Bag ordinance on March 18, 2014.

What are the requirements for public eating establishments?

Starting on December 18, 2014, all public eating establishments (such as restaurants, delicatessens, cafeterias and food trucks) cannot distribute single-use plastic checkout bags to customers for their take-out food. Customers can opt for no bag, paper bags may be provided to customer at no charge and reusable bags can be used at the discretion of customer and restaurant. Individual paper or plastic product bags without handle may be used around container of soups or stews to prevent spilling.

What about public eating establishment located within a retail establishment?

In this case, a café within a department store, or a delicatessen within a grocery store must follow ordinance requirements for public eating establishments when registers are designate only for the sale of prepared food (as a stand-alone restaurant would). If customer purchases a merchandise item along with prepared food, the entire purchase is subject to the ordinance requirement for retailers including a minimum ten-cent charge for paper or reusable bags. Please call (925) 256-3503 or email to bringyourbag@walnut-creek.org for guidance on unique situations.

What resources is the City providing to retailers and shoppers?

A free retailer tool kit with signage to help educate costumers is available on the 3rd Floor of City Hall at the Business License desk.  While supplies last,  a free reusable bag is available on the 2nd Floor of City Hall at the Permit Counter. City Hall is located at 1666 North Main Street in Walnut Creek.

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Schools column

If you have children, and aren’t planning to send them to independent schools, you’ll almost certainly care a lot about your school district when buying a home. But what if you don’t have kids, or your kids are grown? Just how much importance should you place on schools when shopping for a new home?

After all, there will always be many potential buyers just like you – for whom schools are not a factor. And schools may cycle up and down, just like neighborhoods – there’s no guarantee that today’s good school won’t be tomorrow’s Ridgemont High. Yo, Spicoli!

These two couples faced this choice and asked my advice:

  • The “Smiths” were great couple in their late 50s relocating here for work, excited to be in the Bay Area. Their children were grown, but they didn’t want to downsize – they wanted a large house to host adult kids and grandkids for years into the future. Large houses in the East Bay are expensive, and when they found one they liked and could afford – it was in an area where the schools have a poor reputation. Should this matter to them?
  • The “Kellys” were a young couple who had just gotten engaged. I asked them about kids and schools, and they said if they had children it would be 5-10 years into the future. They’d read an article by a real estate agent advising couples like them to get a nice and affordable house and not worry about schools – just buy up if/when the kids reached pre-school. What did I think about this?

For any buyer facing this decision, here’s my perspective:

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY....]

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Long-awaited rain is expected to arrive in the Bay Area this afternoon but likely won’t be much.

Light rain and drizzle will arrive in the North Bay this afternoon. move south across the region and should arrive in the Santa Cruz area overnight, National Weather Service officials said.

The most rainfall will be in northern Sonoma County, where Cloverdale is expected to have nearly a quarter-inch of rain. The rest of the Bay Area is only forecasted to get less than a tenth of an inch.

As the weather moves through the region, some isolated lightning is possible in the North Bay this afternoon and in the North Bay and East Bay on Thursday, NWS forecasters said.

The U.S. Coast Guard is warning that the weather could bring strong ocean swells and rip currents and is urging boaters to take caution.

The strong southwesterly swells are expected to impact the coasts of Marin and Santa Cruz counties most significantly.

Southwest beaches are most at risk and jetties, inlets and piers are particularly prone to stronger and more frequent rip currents, Coast Guard officials said.

Swimmers who get caught in a rip current should swim parallel to the coast to escape the current before trying to swim to shore, according to the Coast Guard.

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The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com 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!

Do you believe what you read on local city council campaign signs, or do you do your own research before you vote?

Talk about it….

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Campaign signs for a Fremont City Council candidate have popped up in Concord, on the corner of Cowell & Treat Blvd.

Not sure why they’re there, but they’re there.

Thanks to Chris for the picture!

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If you’re planning to go to Panda Express at Clayton & Ygnacio tonight, please bring a copy of this flyer to help raise money for Monte Gardens Elementary School in Concord.

20% of all proceeds will go to the school.

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A multi-agency task force led by Contra Costa District Attorney Mark A. Peterson served search warrants on four residential care homes today and arrested and filed charges against the owners of several other residential care homes based on previous and separate search warrants. Four owners and 19 homes were involved in the investigations.

The following is from the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office:

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office today filed two criminal cases against the owners of those 14 care homes. The first complaint alleges the owners of Abraham Rest Home Inc. and Sanchez Abraham Corporation committed eight felony charges, including wage theft, tax, and insurance violations. Two misdemeanor labor charges are also alleged. The owners Sara Abraham, Annette Sanchez and Julio Sanchez were arrested today on warrants with bail set at $300,000.

The enforcement actions are the result of a yearlong investigation by members of the Contra Costa Employer Fraud Task Force, including investigators from the California Department of Insurance, the Department of Industrial Relations, the Employment Development Department, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Businesses should not profit by stealing from their hard-working employees,” said Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson. “When a corrupt business owner commits wage theft, he or she almost invariably commits tax and insurance fraud. We cannot allow these unscrupulous businesses to gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding businesses.”

Today’s search warrants, arrests, and charges involve three separate cases. Two of the investigations started after the U.S. Department of Labor received complaints about Abraham Rest Home Inc. and Sanchez Abraham Corporation (Walnut Creek) and also Florin White Dove Care Homes (Brentwood).

The Department of Labor investigated both ownership groups and established that workers were not being paid minimum wage or overtime at 14 different care homes operated. The Department of Labor referred the matters to the Contra Costa Employer Fraud Task Force, which took over the investigation. Search warrants were served on six of the care homes on June 17 of this year, while the eight other care homes were inspected on November 26, 2013.

The second complaint also alleges wage theft, tax, and insurance violations against Florinda Yambao, the owner of Florin White Dove Care Homes, which led to the four felony charges and one misdemeanor.

The third case was the result of information discovered while investigating the other two cases. When previous search warrants were served at Florin White Dove Care Homes, information was developed about a third set of homes allegedly operated in a similar manner. That information led to today’s search warrant at Scienn Hall Care homes.

“Too often workers in residential care facilities are working long shifts, being underpaid and then are retaliated against when they exercise their rights in the workplace,” said Ruben Rosalez, regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. ”We’ll continue to work with our partners in Contra Costa County to put a stop to intimidation and coercion of these employees who make a living taking care of our elderly and infirmed friends and family members.”

Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su has made combating wage theft her top priority since her appointment in 2011. A key component of this effort is the partnerships with district attorneys, as in this case, where the labor commissioner’s office began an investigation of Abraham care homes in May 2013. Together with the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office, investigations of Abraham and Sanchez-Abraham care homes uncovered $497,536.13 in unpaid minimum wages and $497,009.95 in unpaid overtime wages. Fine and penalties totaling $623.984.66 will be divided among the 48 affected employees. Joint investigations of the Florinda Yambao care homes uncovered $320,687.01 in unpaid minimum wages, $156,281.52 in unpaid overtime wages, which results in $378,199.37 in fines and penalties that will be divided among the 12 affected employees.

“These violations, totaling more than $2 million owed to 60 residential care workers, reveal a deliberate indifference to laws of California and to the basic wage floor to which every employee in California is entitled,” said Labor Commissioner Su. “These employees worked 12 to 16 hours a day and were compensated with daily rates ranging from $50-$80. Wage theft is a crime that harms working people, undermines the safety and care of patients in residential care homes, and threatens our economy. It will be met not only with civil citations but criminal prosecution. We are grateful to the Contra Costa district attorney for their collaboration with us to bring these employers to justice.”

“We take payroll tax evasion very seriously and work with our partners to prosecute all underground employers to the fullest extent of the law,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning, Jr. “By breaking the law, these employers not only cheat the market, they’re also not contributing to California’s unemployment and disability insurance programs which provide critical benefits to hard-working employees at a time of great need.”

It’s estimated that employers operating in the underground economy evade billions in state taxes annually. Failing to file payroll tax returns with the intent to evade tax is a felony and has a maximum penalty of three years in custody and up to a $20,000 fine.

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Contra Costa Fire has sent Engine 22 (Crystyl Ranch/Clayton) to the King Fire, east of Pollack Pines as part of an engine replacement for a strike team.

Good luck to the Engine 22 crew!

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A vehicle fire was extinguished on Tuesday evening on SB-I-680, just sound of H-242 in Concord on Tuesday evening.

No injuries were reported.

Thanks to Erika Schuler for the picture!

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Join the National Park Service for a free campfire program to celebrate the creation of the park on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at John Muir National Historic Site (NHS) in Martinez.

The program begins at 7:00 p.m. and lasts roughly 1.5 hours. Frank Helling renowned John Muir impersonator will tell stories as John Muir.

Children from John Muir Mountain Day Camp, led by Jill Harcke camp director, will sing songs Ms. Harcke composed about Mr. Muir, one of the greatest naturalists and conservationists the United States has ever known.

No reservations are required. Meet at the front gate of the John Muir National Historic Site, 4202 Alhambra Avenue, in Martinez (at the Alhambra Ave. exit off Highway 4). Bring the whole family!

There will be something for everyone. Come with picnic blankets, lawn chairs, marshmallows and a desire to have a good time. Rangers will direct you from the gate to the fire ring. If it rains heavily, the program will be canceled.

Created in 1964, John Muir NHS preserves the home, landscapes, and gravesite of conservationist and national park advocate John Muir.

Muir spent his entire life exploring, studying, and writing about his experiences in the American wilderness, most notably the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

His writing set the stage for a conservation movement that would spur protection of nature nationwide and ultimately earn Muir the title “Father of the National Parks”.

Campfire programs continue through October. For more information, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/jomu or call (925) 228-8860.

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Governor Brown has signed a bill by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to help distribute funds in a timely and efficient manner from the School Supplies for Homeless Children Fund.

The fund will provide tens of thousands of homeless children with the basic materials needed for the classroom. Senator DeSaulnier carried SB 1571 in 2012 to establish the fund and allow taxpayers to designate contributions to the Fund on their personal income tax returns.

“For homeless children to have a chance of succeeding in the classroom, they need the proper supplies,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “SB 761 will ensure that we deliver tangible educational support for homeless children in an efficient and timely manner. I want to thank Governor Brown for signing this measure and supporting some of our most vulnerable children.”

SB 761 relocates the School Supplies for Homeless Children Fund from the California Department of Education to the Department of Social Services. This will create a more timely and efficient distribution process that will ensure all awarded funds go directly to the benefit of homeless children.

SB 761 is sponsored by K to College, a nonprofit operating the largest charitable school and dental supply program in California. Since 2010, K to College has distributed more than $14,500,000 of grade-appropriate school and dental supply kits to more than 230,000 students in more than 100 California school districts.

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1969 Dianda Plaza

This photo, showing the Dianda Plaza shopping center sign, is from a local high school yearbook in 1969. The sign was recently replaced with a new one after almost five decades.

Look at Clayton Rd. in the background, it’s almost empty, and the orchards you see are no longer there.

Also, check out the (half) building on the right hand side, is that Mr. Steak?

Thanks to Mike Dean for the great picture and memory!

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: news@claycord.com. It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

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The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com 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!

As we previously reported, a new shopping center is under construction at the corner of Oak Grove & Ygnacio Valley Rd. in Walnut Creek.

The new center’s main business will be Safeway, but there will be several other businesses located inside the shopping center.

QUESTION: What business would you like to see move into the shopping center?

Talk about it….

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The California Highway Patrol reminds motorists and cyclists that the “Three Feet for Safety” law goes into effect today, Tuesday, September 16, 2014.

Under this new law, motorists are required by law to give at least three feet of space between their vehicle and the cyclist. In cases where this is not possible, motorists must slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and must pass only when doing so will not endanger the cyclist.

The CHP’s primary message is to “Share the Road!” Motorists and cyclists alike have responsibilities to ensure everyone’s safety. Some safety tips include:

Bicyclists:

  • Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
  • Obey all traffic laws. Cyclists are subject to the same laws and fines as motor vehicles.
  • Be predictable, be visible, stay alert at all times.
  • When traveling slower than other traffic, allow faster traffic to pass when safe.

Motorists:

  • Watch out for bicyclists. Cyclists have the right to use all roads except where specifically excluded (freeways, etc.)
  • Give at least three feet when passing, or slow down to a reasonable and safe speed.
  • Be patient. If a roadway is too narrow for a cyclist to share with a vehicle, the cyclist has the right to ride in the center of the roadway.

Remember to have respect for one another on the road. Everyone deserves to get to their destination safely.

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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 Claycord.com when it’s made available by BPD.

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY....]

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