Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

Letter writer upset about proposed state gas tax increase

Friday, August 19th, 2016


Assembly Member Jim Frazier wants to add a 17 cent per gallon tax on gas in addition to our already outrageous cost of living. He wants this tax increase to cover transportation costs. This tax would generate $7.4 billion.

Illegal aliens cost California taxpayers more than $25 billion per year. Here is a novel idea, stop supporting these illegals (in some cases they receive far more than U.S. citizens), and many problems would be solved at the same time, by the same action. Most illegals would return to their country of origin or go elsewhere. This would relieve the strain on the state budget, the strain on the water supply, the strain on the judicial system, education, jail systems to name a few.

All of these positives and more could be achieved by actually enforcing current, existing laws. By doing so, we would not need a 17 cent per gallon gas tax increase and would still have more than $17.6 billion left from the $25 billion that illegals cost California taxpayers annually.

In an honest system, we could even receive a tax cut, but I just do not see this happening. By myself, I have supported more families than I have actual family members. I, for one, am growing extremely weary of it.

We are no longer citizens or constituents, only taxpayers or dollar signs.

Steven Payne

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Antioch resident thanks postal worker who rescued her from rattlesnake in home

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
Rattlesnake in letter writer's home.

Rattlesnake in letter writer’s home.

Dear Editor:

On July 29th, I came face to face with a four-foot-long rattlesnake. All my gratitude goes to my mailman, Patrick Dorn, who has been working for the U.S. Postal Service for thirty-three years. Pat, as I know him, has been safely removing snakes from homes all around the Mira Vista Hills where I live for years, always on his own time. In only the last five years, Pat has relocated at least seven snakes, protecting all the human (and reptile!) lives involved.

That warm July morning, I spent the early hours doing chores around my house. I stepped outside to water plants and feed the birds, and when I returned inside, I heard a strange noise I couldn’t place. It reminded me of a loud hiss, like air escaping a pipe, so I called my daughter to tell her about what I thought was a gas leak. Her husband suggested that perhaps a water pipe had burst under the house, a common issue in my area.

So I went about my usual business, tidying up my living room and cleaning my dining room table. For nearly two hours, the hissing continued, and I was completely puzzled, looking all around my house as I asked my daughter to come over and inspect it with me. When she arrived with a small search party, my tiny Japanese Chin was mysteriously quiet; usually, when I have visitors, my dog barks very loudly, but today she was whimpering. I never even considered why she was so silent.

Postal worker Patrick Dorn

Postal Carrier Patrick Dorn

Together with my daughter, her husband, and my son-in-law, we began to search for the source of the hissing. I was looking at the ceiling when suddenly, my daughter grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me backwards, her landing on top of me. We landed on a table, toppling it, sending remotes and snacks clattering to the floor. It happened so quickly I had no time to question her actions, no time to even feel pain, because from there on the floor, I could see the source of the bizarre noise.

There, under my dining room table — the very same table I had cleaned earlier that day! — was an enormous rattlesnake, curled up and shaking its tail. It was a huge, thick adult with at least eight rattles on its tail, and my heart jumped into my throat. My daughter helped me scramble to a safe distance, and all at once, my son-in-law and my daughter’s husband began to debate how to safely get rid of the snake. Animal Services was closed that day, and although we called the police, they never arrived. As the men in the room pondered the safest way to remove the reptile threat, I recalled my mailman Pat telling me to call him if I ever found a snake in my home. Fingers shaking, I quickly dialed his number.

Pat explained that he and his wife were “on vacation,” enjoying lunch at a Chinese restaurant and preparing to leave for Hawaii the next day. Nonetheless, not thirty minutes later, Pat arrived at my home with a borrowed snake stick. If the snake had come into my house just a day later, Pat would never have been able to come get him.

Exuding calm expertise, Pat set an empty trash bin beside my table and brandished the snake stick. Slowly, he pulled out one of the chairs, and the snake rattled again, the sound almost deafening in my echoing living room. With careful and practiced movements, Pat pinched the snake with the stick and lifted it, gently placing it at the bottom of the trash can before placing the top on. Now the snake could be relocated far away from my and other homes in the Mira Vista Hills.

I felt my body slump with relief, and all I could do was thank Pat over and over for coming to help me. No one should ever try what Pat does without the knowledge he has! He knows how to handle these snakes, how to read them and know if they are aggressive or lethargic. This is not a how-to guide for wrangling snakes. This is simply the story of how my kind and brave mailman saved me from a rattlesnake, and I am so happy that Patrick Dorn is my friend and now my savior.

The writer chose to remain anonymous.

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Royal Family Kids thanks those who helped make camp for foster children possible

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Dear Editor:

Our heartfelt “Thank you” to the following gracious donors who supported Royal Family Kids 2016! Your generosity allowed us to take 51 local foster children to camp this summer! On behalf of the children we serve and that you blessed, “thank you!”

JDK Realty, Terry Beyers, CMA-Christian Motorcycle Association, Linus Project, Delta Quilters, Rich Products, Great America, Deer Ridge Golf, Buffalo Wild Wings, Disneyland, Lucy’s Nail Salon, Twin Palms/Alicia Powell, Sweet Affair, Lauryn’s Jewelers, Vic Stewart’s, Brentwood Auto Spa, Kids-N-Cribs, Kevin Murphy Salon, Trinity Gunsmithing/Chris O’Connor, Shadow Lakes Golf Course, Movement Mortgage, Cornerstone Church-Brentwood & Walnut Creek, Of His Fold Photography- Rita Ortiz, Allen Payton & Antioch Herald, Delta RC Hobbies, Jenness Park, Audrey Hammel, Harvest Park Bowl, Battlefit Gym, Miettes, Crixa Cakes, CMA in Nashville, Daryle, Arnold Knoll, Eden Plains Nursery, Sofas 4 Less, Erica Turner, Mike Hester, Golden Hills Community Church, Pink Zebra, Good Scents Florist, GHCC Kairos Team, Brian & Anna Beakhouse, Rosa Franklin, Hook Line & Sinker, San Francisco 49ers, House of Charm, Starbucks-Antioch & Pittsburg, House Pet Sitting Services/Jenna Loewen, Spirit West Coast, James Andreggen/Pixar, Alert K-9, Jerry Theobald, Clif Bars/Mary Morris, Joanne Bell, Stockton Ports, Joslyn Fenyes, Tim & Cindy Demercurio, Karen Maze-Bettancourt, AMC Theaters, KorrieDidio, Big O Tires/Pittsburg, Lone Tree Golf Course, Tonic, Max Martial Arts/Matt Rosalez, Hair by Caitlyn, Revive Salon & Spa-Brittany Thorpe, Cushing & Gann Optometry, Robert & Susan Martinez, Amy Vasquez, San Francisco Ballet, Melissa Buell Photography,    Foster a Dream, Discovery Bay Yacht Club, Skipolini’s, ThirtyOne, Steve Todd, Mike’s Pastry Shop and Sweet Streets Desserts.

For more information about Royal Family Kids, please visit

Dave & Sue Bowers, Directors

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Letter writer wants to know who paid for The Wilson Watch ad

Friday, June 3rd, 2016


The campaign ads in the June 2016 issue are not surprising and all enjoy their freedom of expression.

I just have one question to ask.

The full-page ad for Hardcastle is identified as paid for by Friends of Hardcastle.

The quarter-pager for Amador is identified as paid for by Amador for Congress.

And the full-page No on E ad is identified as paid for by Antioch Friends for Local Control.

All these show either an active FPPC ID or a Facebook page.

So riddle me this:

Who paid for the full-page hatchet job on Wilson?

Neither group name, nor FPPC ID, nor any mechanism of contact is offered from this party, which ends its layout with a fusillade of well-worn dog-whistles concerning our economic refugees, nearly non-existent voter fraud, and any manner of advanced understanding of citizens of alternate gender classification. This following a ceremonial shaming of someone for being a member of the so-called “precariat”.

I have been lucky to work at my present employer for nearly 15 years, but my work record before this would not have passed this ad-maker’s muster of being employed somewhere longer than five-and-a-half years. What are we to make of these unnamed snobs who thumb their noses at those of us to have had to work to find work?

For a faction positioning itself as a watcher, they sure like their invisibility.

Avery Colter


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Former long-time Oakley School Board member and teacher endorses Doug Hardcastle for Supervisor

Saturday, May 28th, 2016


Honesty – Community Dedication – Fiscal Responsibility

I have known Doug Hardcastle for over 25 years. I know him to be hard working, honest and dedicated to the improvement of the whole community. His community work has always been based on what is best for the citizens.

Bob Kratina

Former Oakley School Board Member, 21 years

Retired Teacher, 38 years

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Former Antioch Mayor Pro Tem wants Burgis to stay on Parks Board, endorses Hardcastle for Supervisor

Friday, May 27th, 2016


As a lifelong resident of Antioch, I have a few perspectives on the upcoming election for Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor. I have watched the political career of Diane Burgis for some time. She is one of the best representatives on issues involving our environment. I am concerned though with her recent candidacy: is she just someone trying to climb the political ladder?

She was recruited and is backed by Supervisor Mary Piepho which isn’t necessarily a good thing, at a time when Piepho is part of the county’s numerous problems. She voted herself a 33% pay raise and then defended it when voting to reverse that decision. Piepho then wanted to double dip and get both a car allowance and mileage reimbursement because her district is so big. She even wanted Walnut Creek in her district during the redistricting process in 2011, but the rest of the Board wisely said “no”.

Burgis needs to stay on the East Bay Regional Parks District Board, as she was elected to in 2014 (half-way through her first term on the Oakley City Council) where she can use her expertise in protecting creeks, open space and trails and actually fulfill a commitment and serve a full term in office.

We desperately need to elect someone with broader experience on major issues like transportation, job creation and economic development, as well as protecting and improving the Delta. I’m supporting Doug Hardcastle for this elected office. Doug has over 15 years of proven leadership in office, and in this race experience matters most.

Hardcastle entered the race, last September and was willing to take on the incumbent and will help clean up the fiscal problems created by her and the rest of the current board. Piepho facing the real possibility of losing, decided against running for reelection in December.

Steve Barr of Brentwood may be a nice guy, but he seems to be another political opportunist running for higher office. He announced his candidacy only after Piepho backed out. I’m concerned the real reason he’s running is because he couldn’t get elected mayor in Brentwood in 2012, and can’t beat Bob Taylor this year, either.

In virtually every race this year, experience matters most, and Hardcastle is the most qualified. As you make your choice, consider if the person you’re voting for is running to be something or running to do something. I’m tired of seeing people elected who want to be something. Doug Hardcastle is running to do something which is why I’m urging you to join me in supporting him for County Supervisor.

Manny Soliz

Former Mayor Pro Tem & Councilmember

City of Antioch

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Former Save Mt. Diablo leader endorses Burgis for Supervisor

Thursday, May 26th, 2016


District 3 needs to elect a champion for our environment and quality of life for people living in the county.  Diane Burgis – executive director of Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed and an elected Member of the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors – has a record of success in protecting the Delta, agricultural lands, open spaces, and wildlife.

Diane was recently inducted into the County Women’s Commission Hall of Fame.  She was named the Contra Costa Watershed Champion for her work in inspiring others to conserve our environment. She has been involved in the East Contra Costa Habitat Conservancy for eight years and served on the Delta Protection Commission.  No other candidate has the environmental leadership experience she offers. The League of Conservation Voters and Retired Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan endorse Diane, along with numerous environmental leaders including myself.

Voters that care about water, open spaces, and agricultural lands need to elect Diane Burgis for Contra Costa Supervisor.  She is the best candidate to represent residents of our community.  Visit her website at

Ron Brown

Retired Executive Director, Save Mount Diablo

Walnut Creek

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Writer questions results of Antioch economic development efforts, staff

Thursday, May 26th, 2016


In the S.F. Chronicle today, 5/25/2016, there is a story about a new electric car company moving to Mare Island, Vallejo.  Was Antioch in the running for this endeavor?  Did we submit anything?  Wilbur Avenue in Antioch would have been perfect for this type of company.

Our Economic Development Manager is Lizeht Zepeda.  The governor’s office in Sacramento has an “Office of Business and Economic Development” or “GoBiz” to help cities like Antioch and Vallejo recruit business.  It also grants millions in tax credits to the city.  Does Antioch even know this is available?

Ms. Zepeda makes a nice six figure salary in this job and I see no results anywhere except small businesses.  Has she ever given a report to Council?  Is she still “in training” as I have been told?  We needed a person in this position highly skilled at bringing in business not a friend of another employee.  Two council members have told me they have never received any kind of report from Ms. Zepeda.

Marty Fernandez

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