ANTIOCH

SOIL CLEANUP comments: The state Department of Toxic Substances Control is accepting comments over the next month on a study for the cleanup of contaminated soil on the 27-acre Contra Costa Power Plant facility.

The site, located just east of the city, is where a power plant by Mirant is slated to be built once the soil cleanup is complete.

Past investigations found low and elevated levels of some metals and toxic materials in the soils. PG&E is proposing to excavate the contaminated soil, dispose of it and backfill it with clean soil.

The public comment period runs through Nov. 19. Copies are available at the Antioch Public Library, 501 W. 18th St., or the state department's file room, 700 Heinz Ave., Berkeley.

For more information, contact Tony Natera at 510-540-3757 or tnatera@dtsc.ca.gov.

-- Paul Burgarino

Antioch

TRICK-OR-TREAT REPEAT: Those tired of wearing the same Halloween costume year after year or looking to get rid of it are invited to check out a city-hosted costume exchange.

The exchange will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Prewett Family Community Park, 4701 Lone Tree Way.

Participants can turn in costumes or individual items such as masks and wigs. Those who turn in individual items are eligible to pick out a new mask or wig. Similarly, those who turn in a costume can pick out a new costume.


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Free costumes will be available after 8:45 p.m.

For details, call Julie Haas-Wajdowicz at 925-779-7097 or the city's environmental resource line at 925-779-6137.

-- Paul Burgarino

Antioch

PROGRAM PROMOTES EDUCATION: A program for African-American youngsters that stresses the importance of education, family and community is set to start Thursday.

The Rights of Passage Academy is a 16-week training program for students ages 10 to 17 that teaches the importance of education, personal responsibility, family unity and being a productive member of the community.

The program is being organized by faith-based group RUAH Community Outreach Ministries.

The goals of the academy are to help students improve academic performance and maintain or learn positive behavior at home and in the community, director Carrie Frazier said.

Fewer than half of black high school students graduate and there is a 60 percent suspension rate for African-American students in the county, Frazier said.

"The statistics are off-the-hook. We're looking at how we can best address these issues," she said.

A parent orientation and registration session will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Rivertown Kids Club, 915 W. Fourth St.

For more information, call Frazier at 925-787-4827.

-- Paul Burgarino

ANTIOCH

HEALTH CARE ENROLLMENT: The Contra Costa First 5 center here will host a free event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday for those looking to apply for free or low-cost health care for their children.

The event will be held at the center, 512 W. Fifth St.

Assistants will help determine whether applicants qualify for Medi-Cal, Healthy Families or Kaiser Child Health Plan.

The first 200 families will receive a donated bag of groceries with rice, beans, fruit and tortillas.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 925-757-5303

-- Paul Burgarino

BRENTWOOD

SMALL BUSINESS boost: The city will hold training early next year for would-be entrepreneurs as well as those already running a small business.

The Entrepreneur Business Training Program is an intensive, 12-week course that will help participants develop a business plan as well as give them the know-how to carry it out.

Classes, which will run from January through March, will include presentations by a professional trainer, videos, guest speakers, group discussions and individual consulting.

The course is free to Brentwood businesses and residents, although students must pay a one-time, nonrefundable $250 fee for registration and training supplies.

Instruction will be 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Brentwood Education and Technology Center, 101B Sand Creek Road.

To apply, contact Hazel Wetherford at 925-516-5106 or hwetherford@ci.brentwood.ca.us.

-- Rowena Coetsee