Police chief retires, cites health issues
Citing health-related issues in a letter addressed to the mayor and City Council, Police Chief John Hardester retired Thursday, city officials said.
"It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Chief Hardester is leaving us effective today," City Manager Belinda Espinosa wrote in an email Thursday. "He informed me that he has health issues that are impeding his ability to continue in his position any longer ... John has been a good chief and we will all miss him."
An interim chief has not yet been named. In her email, Espinosa said finding an interim chief was a priority.
Hardester was hired at the department four years ago as a police commander. He then served as interim chief until he was appointed to chief.
Before that, he spent 26 years with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
"I did enjoy my career," said Hardester, who said he has worked in law enforcement for more than three decades. "It's been a long time working for the public and it's time to move on. I'm looking forward to the next chapter."
-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff
Park district adds 79 acres to Brushy Peak
Brushy Peak Regional Preserve is expanding by 79 acres, protecting land suitable for hiking and protecting wildlife habitat in grasslands north of Livermore.
The East Bay Regional Park District board agreed Tuesday to pay $550,000 for the land known as Eddie's Flat, located off Vasco Road.
The land will not open to the public for some time, until plans are made and carried out to provide public access.
Funding for the purchase comes from three sources outside the park district. They include: $250,000 from a fund supported by Altamont Landfill environmental fees, $250,000 from Livermore's Dougherty Valley development settlement, and $50,000 from an Alameda County surplus property fund to offset impacts of a development in the Staples Ranch area.
The new park land is adjacent to a 28,000-acre wildlife corridor that includes the Los Vaqueros Reservoir watershed and a preserve for vernal pools.
The new park land has highly alkaline soil that may be habitat for several species, including longhorn fairy shrimp, golden eagles, the California tiger salamander, burrowing owl, and the San Joaquin kit fox.
-- Denis Cuff, Staff
Schools seek input for new superintendent
The Pittsburg Unified School District is looking for community input to help guide the selection process for a new superintendent as a result of the June 30 retirement announced earlier by current Superintendent Linda Rondeau.
The search is being conducted by Leadership Associates, which wants to know what residents want in terms of the personal and professional characteristics needed in the new superintendent that will be selected by school board trustees.
Individual and small group appointments where people can share their thoughts with Leadership Associates representatives will be from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 9 at the district office, 2000 Railroad Ave. A community forum at 6:30 p.m. will follow. No appointment is needed for the forum.
Appointments will also take place April 10 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and April 12 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the district office.
To make an appointment, call or email Denise Briscoe at 925-473-2336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through April 23, residents can also complete an online survey in English or Spanish at www.pittsburg.k12.ca.us. Comments can also be faxed or phoned to 760-771-4277 or email Linda Hunt at email@example.com.
-- Eve Mitchell, Staff
Planners to consider housing versus offices
The Planning Commission will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the expected environmental impacts of two proposed housing developments for south Livermore.
At the hearing, planners will discuss a draft of the report for Sunset Crossing, a development of 49 single-family houses and 38 townhouses, and a 31-unit townhouse development called Catalina Crossing.
Two long-standing office complexes, the Sunset Office Park at 1712 Holmes St. and Livermore Financial Center at 1603 & 1773 Barcelona St., will have to be demolished to make way for the residential project.
The developments will also require a general plan amendment and zoning change.
The meeting takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the city council chambers, 3575 Pacific Ave.
-- Jeremy Thomas, Staff
Police, federal agents shoot armed suspects
Police and federal agents shot two suspects Thursday during a search for a person wanted in an attempted homicide, Fairfield police said.
According to police, a member of the federal task force made contact with the suspect behind a Walmart store in the 2700 block of North Texas Street, just before 3 p.m.
"The suspect was armed with a handgun and was shot by a member of the task force," according to a Fairfield police news release.
Police responded to assist the federal agents and about 30 minutes later made contact with a second armed suspect, also wanted for attempted homicide, in apartments near the Walmart.
The second suspect was shot by Fairfield police, according to the release.
No officers were injured. The conditions of the suspects were not immediately known.
-- The (Vacaville) Reporter
AC Transit takes meeting on the road
AC Transit is bringing its board meeting Wednesday to El Cerrito in an effort to encourage participation by residents in the northern communities the district serves.
The 5 p.m. meeting will be in the council chambers at City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave.
The tentative agenda includes regional planning for the next generation of the Clipper fare-payment system, assessment of route performance by service category, procurement for small transit vehicles, solar power installations at district facilities and planning for fare changes effective July 1.
-- Chris Treadway, Staff