by Dave Scholl, Publisher – Dixon’s Independent Voice
First responders – police and firefighters – help rescue people in difficult, and often very disturbing, situations. They know their job is to protect and comfort individuals in distress – they do it every day.
They see death, horrible injuries, and conflict and the effects on real lives of real people.
It is often forgotten that those situations take an emotional toll on the first responders as well.
With 30 years experiences in public safety, Robert Duvall, is now a volunteer Chaplain for the City of Dixon Police & Fire Departments, has made it his mission to visit first responders during critical events and visit with them regularly during down times.
Duvall notes first responders have a tradition – a culture – of just “sucking it up” when they have experienced the stress and emotions of dealing with traumatic events. But PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a serious problem for police, fire, and emergency medical personnel.
With the urging of former Dixon Police Chief Jon Cox, Robert Duvall became both a chaplain and a K-9 handler. In late 2015 he and a specially bred dog – Kepi – went through training and graduated together in November of 2015 and official were on duty on December 1.
“K-9 KEPI is an awesome ambassador for the city and what we do as a Crisis Intervention Response Team for our First Responders is something no one else ever considered trying,” Duvall said, “As a dog lover, you can imagine the compassion and comfort she brings to horrible situations.”
Kepi is a half-and-half mix of Labrador and Golden Retriever – giving her a personality perfect for bringing comfort to people under stress.
Duvall and Kepi serve public safety agencies throughout Solano and Yolo counties. They regularly visit those agencies – on a rotating basis every couple weeks, but the most involved agencies they visit every week.
“They know I have actually lived it – what they are experiencing,” says Duvall, “Just being able to talk about it, or even just be there for them, makes a big difference. Being able to pet and play with Kepi is a big calming release for their stress.”
Since Duvall and Kepi graduate in November 2015, he has covered everything, food, grooming, using his personal vehicle and fuel.
“KEPI and I worked 115 hours for the month of April and that’s been pretty steady every month since going into service in December.” Says Duvall, “It’s the $200 plus per month I pay out of pocket that is tough.”
He has been getting help recently. The Winters Police Department has provided an unmarked vehicle. The Davis PD has donated a K-9 cage – which cost about $3,500.
Those cages include air conditioning to keep the dog cool and safe during transport and on scenes. A company which installs those cages in police vehicles is doing so for $400, versus the normal cost of $1,000.
The Dixon police and firefighters are donating the food for Kepi.
“As a volunteer, I don’t mind donating my time for our community,” says Duvall, “but I would like help for out-of-pocket expenses.
Still needed are a cooling mat for Kepi when on a scene. On hot days, the dark black dog has a hard time keeping cool. Duvall also would like a pop-up with some sides to shade Kepi as well.
Efforts are underway to set up a fund to help cover those costs. Donations from generous residents of Dixon and the other communities served by Duvall and Kepi will be greatly appreciated. Watch the Independent Voice for updates on how to help.
Duvall became a paramedic in Richmond in 1986. He signed on with a Bay Area city police department in 1994. In 1997 he joined the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department. He retired in 2012, then volunteered as a Chaplain in Dixon in 2013.
Kepi was born on May 25 in 2013. He is expected to be able to serve for six years. Upon Kepi’s retirement an organization which trains and provides service animals will provide Duvall with a replacement, while Kepi will become a “civilian.”
It can be discouraging to review the list of candidates on this year’s primary ballot. Almost all of them are addicts – not for alcohol or drugs, but lusting for Politics, Government and Power over every detail of our lives.
It’s an inside with the powers-that-be lining up to push one of their own kind for public office. We are supposed to be impressed when a candidate is backed by our “local leaders” – you know, the Mayor and Council members who thumb their noses at you when you repeatedly demanded a vote on the Sewer Fee hike and the obsolete technology it is funding and who kind hide their disdain for the members of the public who speak at council meetings.
One candidate for State Senate – and several “independent” committee backing him – has collected millions to foist him on us. Here’s a rule of thumb – any candidate sending you a stack of mail almost every day should LOSE your vote. He’s bought and paid for – and will represent those monied interests, NOT you.
Fortunately, there are a few candidates who really are ordinary citizens who will be the ideal of “Citizen Legislators.”
For State Senate, we have Dixon’s own Greg “Coach” Coppes. He’s a local businessman and an active military veteran. He has put in an immeasurable amount of time and effort for local veterans – including many years as commander of the local American Legion post and the Legion Riders.
Dixonites know Greg – and we know he will honestly represent OUR community’s real interests.
Greg “Coach” Coppes seen above carrying “Old Glory” while setting up for the Northbay Standdown has been active for years in veterans’ organizations.
For Assembly we back Charles Schaup – also a veteran and a farmer. He too is a regular citizen – not like the other candidates who are political climbers whose goals in life are to hold government offices.
For Congress, we support Eugene Cleek. He has been a surgeon and a Farmer. His purpose in running is to be a servant to the public, to represent the interest or ordinary citizens.
The incumbent, John Garamendi, has spent decades seeking whatever political office happens to be open. His whole persona is wrapped up in being “admired” by others – while serving the interests of power brokers and crony financial donors.
Vote Cleek, Coppes, and Schaup.
On the tax measures – those on this ballot are prime examples of how “they” never have enough of our money. And how they will unethically use any tactic to trick us into letting them have it.
Measure AA is a Bay Area wide parcel tax – which means YOU will pay as much for your home parcel as Apple will pay for its Silicon Valley complex parcel.
Worse, it funds a new and unelected – and thus unaccountable – level of government – a Regional Government over which Solano citizens will have no influence.
It sets a dangerous precedence that needs to be stopped NOW.
County wide, the politicians are pushing a sales tax increase – Measure H – and ask us to TRUST THEM for how it will be spent. But their tactics on the matter already prove they can NOT be trusted.
At the start, they set it up as a General Tax needing a simple majority to pass. Rather than a Special Tax for a dedicated purpose which would need a 2/3 vote. That was Scam Number 1.
Scam Number 2 is Measure G – a totally impotent measure with no force of law – which they put on the ballot just to lull us into trusting them. It doesn’t matter how you vote on G, it has no force of law.
Scam Number 3 was changing the deadline for filing their argument in favor of H – getting the Registrar of Voters to subvert his own integrity when the H backers missed that deadline.
Scam Number 4: Once an issue is on the ballot, governments – at any level – are not allowed to use public funds for or against. But once again the renegade officials in Solano County are worming their ways around that prohibition. They are spending Taxpayers funds on slick ads to brainwash the public into voting for higher taxes. We now hear they are even running TV ads. If they have the funds to do that, they don’t need more from our wallets.
Measure H? H____ NO!
Dixon High students proved again they really do walk on water.
The annual Walk on Water competition was held this past Wednesday at the city’s swimming pool The competition is organized each year by Dixon High teacher Kim McGreevey.
Twenty-eight teams participated, and 15 successfully made it all the way across the pool – length wise – and 8 teams did so in less than 2 minutes.
Of those 8 groups, 4 were pedal type mechanisms, 3 were shoes, and one was a “log-roller” type mechanism.
Each of the 15 successful teams earned performance points. The 8 teams which made it in 2 minutes or less are eligible for the Sink or Swim Clause to go into effect, which states that if they earn 85% or better on their group portfolio, the final becomes optional. (In practice, most will still take it because I offer them extra credit for earned points.)
The “Natural Selection” team comprised of Gabby Choe, Nikki Torres, Vanessa Bell, Maddy Larson, and Sophia O’Neal (shown above) was the fastest, making the trek in only 37 seconds using a pedal design.
The other seven teams with times of 2 minutes or less are (in alphabetical order):
Barred Boyz (BB) – Tony Martinez, Alex Duran
Nagasakis with “Sandstorm” – Cameron Bibby, Josh Padilla, Javier Castro, Bryce Nakamura, Brett Bello
Pink Flamingos – Shontel Forcier, Cheyenne Shipley, Jessica Anderson, Tony Rivera, Jordan Sweitzer
Sober Squad – Mac Dudman, David Martinez, JuanCarlos Munguia
Team Really Cute – Claire Mitchell, Kyle Katzenmeyer, Jacob Smith, Jaret Wedow, Josh Thompson
Teen Titans with “T-boat” – Brookyln Tamariz, Diana Salazar, Serena Baker, Isabel Sandoval, Robert Maciel
White Girls Plus – Aaron-Rebecca Ward, Kelsey Dana, Katie Mac, Aaron Cruz, Seryna Galvan
Comedy Night has become a signature fundraising event for Dixon Family Services (DFS) over the years. DFS is a community-based, one-stop-shop of social services for Dixon’s residents who are in need of a variety of assistance programs since 1984. The Comedy Night event is an opportunity for all community members to come out and support the non-profit organization, while having a great time.
The beautiful vintage Olde Vet’s Hall at 231 North First Street in Dixon is the location of this fun-filled event.
Jason Love, one of Hollywood’s hottest comedians, has appeared on Comedy Central, HBO, America’s Got Talent, and over 20 national TV broadcasts. Jason works clean and incorporates music, making him a favorite for companies like Google, Chevron, Pandora, True Religion and Farmers Insurance.
Says L.A. Weekly: “Jason Love is comedy that brings people together.”
From the Melrose Improv to Carolines on Broadway to the Comic Strip in Edmonton, Jason’s audience continues to grow. He has performed overseas for the troops and on the seas for cruise lines. Jason was a finalist at the Cabo Comedy Festival and at the World Series of Comedy in Vegas.
Dixon’s Kevin Johnson will be the host of the evening.
The evening begins at 6:00 with social time, no-host bar, a chance to see a large array of raffle prizes and to socialize. Then a tri-tip dinner, courtesy of Recology, will be served at 7. For dessert, homemade decadent desserts will be available in the Bake Auction. Then, at 8 pm “The Show” begins.
Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Tickets are available to purchase at Dixon Family Services at 155 N Second Street, Dixon Florist and Gifts at 150 East A Street and The Dixon Family Services Thrift Store at 1150 North First Street.
Each Board member is very involved and invested in making Comedy Night 2016 a huge success. They also have tickets for purchase. The current Board includes Jeanie Vanetti, Sarah Villec, Matt Swanson, Jack Caldwell, Cathy Alcocer and Jon Cox.
Additional support is needed in a variety of ways. Sponsorships, donations, baked goods and raffle prizes are all greatly appreciated. For more information contact Cookie at Dixon Family Services, 678-0442 or email email@example.com . You can also talk to any DFS Board Member.
You don’t have to be Scottish to enjoy the culture, music and history of Scotland. You can find a ‘wee bit’ of Scotland with the Dixon Scottish Cultural Association (DSCA).
Founded in 2000, the non-profit organization will host its 16th annual Dixon Scottish Highland Games on Saturday, September 24 at the Dixon Fairgrounds. The festival will feature bagpipe bands, Highland dance performances, Scottish folk and rock music, Scottish athletic competitions, Scottish food and gift vendors, Scottish animal exhibits and more fun.
“We are expecting more than 3,500 visitors at our Scottish games this year,” said Don Burns, event publicist. “But, our club needs more volunteers to make this a successful community festival,” he added.
DSCA members meet at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the American Legion Hall, 1305 North First Street, Dixon. Upcoming meetings are June 15, July 20, August 17 and September 21. Club membership is not required to be a Dixon Scottish games volunteer.
“Portions of our Dixon Scottish games profits have been pledged to encourage local youth to get involved in Scottish culture. We have made donations that enabled young future bagpipers, Scottish Highland dancers and Scottish sport athletes to take classes to advance their skills,” said DSCA sponsorship chair Bill Scott.
“We also support the youth of Dixon. Our donations have been made to American Legion youth programs, Dixon Future Farmers of America and Boy Scout Troop 152,” Scott stated.
The Dixon society also hosts other Scottish cultural activities, including its formal Robert Burns Supper in February.
For more Dixon Scottish festival information and how to join the DSCA, please visit www.scotsindixon.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas Kersey Soars to Eagle Scout
Saturday, May 21 Thomas Kersey, a Dixon High senior will be recognized for his accomplishment in achieving the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America, that of Eagle Scout. He will be presented with the badge of honor during an Eagle Court-of-Honor that night.
It has been a ten year journey which began as an eight year old cub scout. He graduated from Dixon’s Pack 261 having achieved the highest rank in cub scouting, that of Arrow of Light. He continued on, joining Boy Scout Troop 261 to begin the “Trail to Eagle”. Then completing the trail as a member of Varsity Team 261.
The ‘trail’ involves learning, practicing, and developing various skills, some of which are first aid, knot tying, orienteering, and emergency preparedness. Citizenship is also a connecting theme stretching between family, community, nation, and world. For a Boy Scout to achieve Eagle Scout, he is required to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, 13 of which are specifically considered ‘Eagle required’ and an additional 8 of his choosing. The earning of merit badges leads to a boy learning and gaining experience in new areas of interest, that may eventually lead into a future occupation. Thomas has earned a total of 26 merit badges.
Service and leadership are also an important part of the boy scouts experiences and growth. Throughout the stages of advancement the Boy Scout must give many hours of service, and fulfill various roles of leadership. Thomas’ leadership began as a patrol leader in the troop, as well as president of the Deacon’s Quorum, of the Young Men’s group of the LDS church. He served as junior staff for two years at the BSA scout camp Camp Cole. There he assisted with teaching the Forestry and Astronomy merit badges, and working in the kitchen. As a member of the varsity team, he served as a co-captain, while serving as president of his Young Men’s Teachers quorum in the LDS church. Thomas was awarded Varsity Scout of the Year at the Yolo District Boy Scout dinner in May 2014.
Within the Boy Scout organization, is a National Honor Society commonly known as the Order of the Arrow. Scouts are selected by their peers as best exemplifying the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law. Thomas is one such scout. In June of 2013, after being elected into the OA, he completed what is known as the ‘Ordeal’, a weekend of reflective service. Then as a member of OA, he served on the dance and ceremony teams. One of his roles was a participant, then later Lead, on the Arrow of Light ceremony team. The Arrow of Light team visited local Cub Scout packs and recognized Cub Scouts achieving the rank of Arrow of Light.
As a requirement for the Eagle Scout rank, a boy scout must choose a need in the community, and organize, plan, and, lead over an ‘Eagle Scout Project’ that leads to serving that need. The project is more about the boy scouts ability to take on responsibility and lead over a group of volunteers. This past February, Thomas oversaw a refurbishing project of the landscaping of Dixon Family Services. The project included spreading mulch, repairing and repainting the front flower boxes, resurfacing and repainting the front sign, repainting the stripes on the entrance steps, and converting a portion of the small enclosure fence into a gate. His time included meetings with Cookie Powell, DFS Director, obtaining materials, recruiting, and leading over volunteers.
For the Kerseys, scouting runs in the family. Thomas’ grandfather, Bob Kersey a 42 yr. Dixon resident, was a Boy Scout as a youth. His father Rob Kersey, also a Dixon resident, and a Dixon High class of ’85 graduate received Eagle Scout in 1984. His brother Robby, a Dixon High class of 2014 graduate received Eagle Scout in 2013. His uncle Michael Kersey, a Dixon High class of ’87 graduate received Eagle Scout in 1986. Three of Michael’s five boys have already received the rank of Eagle Scout.
Thomas’ Eagle Court-of-Honor will take place at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building, 305 North Lincoln St., at 7:00 pm, on Saturday, May 21. All who have known Thomas are invited to come and join in the celebration. There will be refreshments and socializing afterwards.
A special meeting of the Dixon City Council was held at 6 pm on Thursday November 19 due to the appeal of the action taken by city manager Jim Lindley firing well liked and admired Police Chief Jon Cox. The hearing lasted over four hours and was attended by close to 200 people, both members of the Dixon community and from Cox’s church in Vacaville. Support for Cox was widespread amongst the religious communities in both towns as well as community service organizations, such as Dixon Family Services and the Teen Center, of which Cox remains on their boards.
The hearing procedure was outlined by Mayor Jack Batchelor. The city was to give its stance first, explained by city attorney Douglas White, then the attorney for Chief Cox was allowed to speak and call his witnesses. That was to be followed by public comment. Speaking times were limited for the public to 3 minutes, with extensions when requested, but somehow Cox’s doctor, William O’Connor, was not treated as a witness but rather a member of the public.
The supposed point of the hearing was to allow the city council, Batchelor, Steve Bird, Jerry Castañon, and Scott Pederson – all of whom are in the process of being recalled because of their poor decision making ability – and Ted Hickman to hear both sides of the story without having their minds made up and then to decide whether Cox’s firing was justified. The unanimous opinion of those in attendance who stayed for the entire hearing was this was yet another “done deal” as many noticed the prepared statements read by the councilmen when it came time for them to make a decision.
The city’s allegation and accusation against the Chief was that he lied during his deposition in stating he had adhered to work restrictions given to him by doctors due to injury his back on the job in July of 2014. Cox had admitted during his deposition that his job as chief put him in emergency situations where he had to violate these restrictions. The deposition’s questions were focused on Cox’s job with the city, his wife’s antique business, and his home.
The city staff made the leap of judgment that Cox was stating he did not violate these restrictions, other than as admitted, anywhere else such as when helping to load auction material in Vallejo for the Teen Center’s benefit. Cox’s attorney, Steve Welty, countered that the proper question was not asked and the focus of the questions that were asked eliminated any potential perjury on the part of Cox. Excerpts of the video were played for the audience.
The public comment of Dr. O’Connor was focused on the appropriate point that Cox had been trained by O’Connor in how to position his spine so he could function and exceed the restriction limitation put on him. At no time during the hearing nor during the deposition was an allegation made that violation of these restrictions resulted in further injury to Cox’s spine.
Tim Bittle, who identified himself as an attorney, chastised the council for using the deposition as a basis for making this decision. While he also testified as to Cox’s support for church work, Bittle’s main point was this should have been decided in court.
Katrina Meek, a Human Resources professional, said this was not how the system is supposed to work. Local resident Ian Arnold, an SEIU union official who often testifies in court, railed against the workman’s comp attorneys for their obvious intent to defraud Cox of his right to medical attention for a work related injury.
Arnold did not stop there, however. During prior public comments, members of the audience applauded several speakers. The mayor took issue with this and attempted to halt it by saying it wasn’t permitted under their code of conduct. Arnold pointed out that applause is a form of “expression” guaranteed under the First Amendment. The applause continued.
Two closed sessions occurred during this meeting. The first before the meeting began and the other four hours into the hearing. Supposedly no decisions were made or reported out, but after some residual public comment, the council began their statements. Both Hickman and Pederson were unaffected by the doubt cast by Welty about the deposition. When comment got to Steve Bird, he stated he had a compromise but allowed others to finish commenting first.
Bird’s idea was to “reinstate” the chief only to have him put immediately on “paid administrative leave” because he believed Cox “was unfit for duty”. Cox was also forced to retire in the first week of January 2016. All of this had the appearance of attempting to assuage the anger of the audience, many of whom had called for Lindley’s ouster. The end result of the hearing was Cox’s honesty was not vindicated but he was made financially whole. When it came time for a vote, all but Batchelor quickly voted “yes.”
Short Tuesday Council Meeting Ends With Attack On Public
A forty minute council meeting resulted in increased fines for “nuisances” and a call by councilman Jerry Castañon to have the ordinance restricting the right of the city manager to fire department heads placed on a January agenda. Castañon stated he didn’t want to see what happened to Chief Cox reoccur. Others stated that they felt city manager had unfairly taken the brunt of the response to his action.
Also during council comments, Scott Pederson asked for an update and “full accounting” of certain projects because “the truth needs to come out”. Pederson also spoke of 300 building permits and businesses entering Dixon. This turned out to be a prelude to city manager Jim Lindley’s comments at the end of the meeting.
Lindley was upset with the Independent Voice’s columnist Michael Ceremello for selected points he made in one paragraph of one of his past columns. Lindley stated that Dutch Bros’ coffee was proof that there was commercial development and pointed to the continuing residential construction in the Brookfield development as proof of residential development. Much as Lindley broadly interpreted the allegations in Cox’s deposition, he did the same with Ceremello’s statements.
When Ceremello requested to respond, as is his right under the Brown Act to speak to any item on the city council’s agenda, Batchelor told him he had already had his opportunity to speak, perhaps alluding to public comment at the beginning of the meeting. Castañon was no better in also attempting to silence any response when he asked that the meeting be adjourned. Ceremello’s parting shot was to call them “cowards” and “gutless wonders”, totalitarian government at its finest.
The Dixon Toys for Tots/ Community Christmas Programs kicked off its 49th year with its only organizational meeting Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6 pm at the Dixon Fire Department.
The seven part Christmas program has been a staple of the Dixon area encompassing all of the holiday needs for qualified families living in the 95620 zip code. Although a stand-alone group the Dixon community group works in conjunction and approval of the U.S. Marine Corps national program.
According to organizer, Ted Hickman, “I think the reason we have been successful all of these year, and the reason the community supports us financially, is because they know we work very hard to help those who ‘need’ help not those who just want it.” Hickman said all 300 to 350 families are screened for need and must provide proof of income, and their children’s (700 to 800) school ID cards and proof of residency just to be eligible for assistance. He said if they can’t or won’t supply the information they can’t or won’t be able to help them. He noted special arrangements have been made for the homeless with children whose need and situation can be verified. He added if you aren’t a senior citizen or have children you’ll need to look somewhere else for help.
He said, “We have been at this a very long time and our goals this year are the same as always. We don’t want to see one child go hungry during Christmas vacation or not get a gift from Santa nor do we want to see one senior citizen alone on Christmas Eve. Everything our hundreds of volunteers do is geared towards these goals.
Hickman said, “Our annual budget is $15,000 which all comes from private donations like businesses, service clubs and just people who know about an believe in the programs. Our continual sponsors have been like the Dixon Lions Club, Rotary Club, Soroptimist Club and in recent years Wal-Mart and Gymboree which makes up about half of our budget.” He added, “We are all volunteer with no government involvement or funding. We are a private 501C-3 supported only by those who believe in the spirit of the holiday.”
The process for receiving donation of both new, unwrapped toys and coats will start this week with the
B of A, First Northern Bank and Cindy’s Place downtown, the police and fire departments plus numerous businesses all around the city will have the Toys for Tots collection boxes. The goal to collect about 1,000 coats, one of the programs, for the seventh year in a row gets underway at the same time.
Financial donations can been made at Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America and the First Northern Bank in the name of Dixon Toys For Tots and/or Dixon Community Christmas Programs.
For further information Hickman can be reached at 707-678-2203.
Former Dixon Chief of Police Jon Cox says he is eagerly looking forward to the public hearing scheduled for next Thursday, November 19, about his firing. Cox was abruptly dismissed by City Manager Jim Lindley last month, to the surprise to Cox and the entire community.
Cox said he would describe unethical and unprofessional in the ciy’s actions in this and other matters.
Cox stated he will personally challenge his dismissal at the hearing, although his attorney will also be there and likely will speak. Cox’s attorney is Steve Welte from the law firm of Mastani-Holstedt of Sacramento. The firm specializes in public employee law. Welte has represented hundreds of public safety clients in administrative investigation and disciplinary actions.
Cox stated he is thankful for the support and prayers he has received from the people of Dixon. “That’s what Dixon is all about,” Cox said.
According to public statements of Lindley the issue has been under review for at least the past five months. However, the Chief’s current contract with the City was negotiated and approved just two months ago. Prior to that new contract, the Chief was an “at will” employee of the City – Not of the City Manager. It is not known why the city would negotiate and approve a new contract after three months of a five month investigation.
According to the city’s prior contract with the city’s management employees association, they are “at-will” employees of “the City” and are “subject to termination at the discretion of the City.” The term “the City” customarily refers to the City Council, not the City Manager alone.
Lindley has said the firing was “for cause.” If that assertion holds up , Cox would not receive any severance pay and would lose his retirement and other benefits from his time with the City of Dixon.