Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

Writer says Bonilla has muddled record on gay rights

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Dear Editor:

Susan Bonilla must come out to voters on her gay rights record.

As a member of the LGBT community, I am appalled by Assemblywoman Bonilla’s muddled record on gay rights. Not once in her candidacy for the 7th State Senate seat has she explained why as Supervisor she voted for Contra Costa not to stand up against Proposition 8.

Bonilla’s deciding vote made us the only county in the Bay Area to not join the fight against Proposition 8, even though her district voted overwhelmingly against it. And while today she claims to be a support of gay rights, her endorsement of pro-life, anti-gay candidates flies in the face of her newly formulated positions.

There’s only one candidate on the ballot who’s consistently supported marriage equality since her first day in office, and that’s Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan. Joan opposed Proposition 8 when it was politically unpopular, and has a zero-tolerance policy for endorsing candidates who do not support equal rights.

Please join me in supporting Joan Buchanan for State Senate on March 17, 2015.

Robert D. Camacho, Concord

Camacho was a candidate for the Concord City Council in 2012 and a 2008 Hillary Rodham Clinton Delegate from the 10th Congressional District to the National Democratic Convention.

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Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Why the Grassroots Democrats
are for Joan Buchanan

Four local Democratic Club Presidents say why they support
Joan Buchanan for Senate District 7 in the March 17th primary.

Submitted by Ellis Goldberg

Four Democratic clubs endorsed Joan Buchanan and are actively working on her campaign. Club members are sending personal notes to voters urging them to vote for Joan. This is what the club presidents are telling voters.

Brodie Hilp Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Brodie Hilp
President
San Ramon Valley Democratic Club

Joan has spoken at our club many times and each time we are amazed at her expertise on a wide range of issues such as California water issues and the California budget. If you attended the candidate debates, you heard the other candidates speak in platitudes and generalities. In contrast, Joan’s answers were thorough and at a much higher level than the other candidates. Another example of her intellect and commitment to high standards is when she rescued several legislative bills from erroneous wording which would have left loopholes and cost taxpayers money. Besides her intellect, equally undeniable is her passion for public education and compassion for the children in California. In summary, we at the grassroots level support Joan for State Senate. She may not be good at wooing big organizations with big money for campaigns, but she is has a big heart and the intellect to get the job done right.

 Ellis Goldberg Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Ellis Goldberg, President
TriValley Democratic Club

Joan Buchanan does her homework!State legislators consider 1700 bills in each two year session, they can’t have a good grasp of all of them. When state legislators need an analysis of the effects, costs and unintended consequences of a particular bill under consideration, they go to Joan. She is a highly respected, influential “GO TO” legislator known for insightful thought out analysis. When other legislators can’t get their head around an issue they come to Joan. That’s how she leads. It is not enough to vote on the issues, championing issues is required. Joan Buchanan is a champion.”

Karen Cohen Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Karen Cohen
President
Diablo Valley Democratic Club

Our club unanimously endorsed Joan because of her integrity and her grasp of complicated issues that is the result of diligent study combined with unusual intelligence. We know we can count on her to make decisions for the good of all citizens.Joan is committed to securing a positive economic future by passing responsible, performance-based, balanced budgets; supporting small businesses and innovative technologies; and prioritizing education in order to ensure a competent workforce.

Jane Walter Democrat club leaders explain their support for Buchanan in State Senate race

Jane Walter
President
Democrats of Rossmoor

Our club has voted to endorse Joan Buchanan’s candidacy for the State Senate for many reasons. Joan has a special relationship to Rossmoor. She is a dues paying member of our club and a popular speaker at our meetings which she attends on occasion. Joan has held constituent meetings on our campus and understands the needs and interests of the Rossmoor community. As our representative in the State Assembly, Joan was especially effective in the areas of technology, fiscal planning, and education. She is a passionate advocate for our public schools. Joan always does her homework and has never failed to impress us with her deep understanding of the issues facing our state and region. We know that she deeply cares about the causes she supports and never acts or speaks out of political calculation. As our State Senator, Joan would continue to work for the causes which we as Democrats would like to see supported in the State Legislature. 
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Letter writer says a Bonilla victory will cost taxpayers for another special election

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Dear Editor:

While both candidates for the upcoming State Senate special election are very much in alignment on paper and in their votes on the issues, one of the best reasons to vote for Joan Buchanan on March 17th is that if the current Assembly Member Susan Bonilla wins, it will trigger yet another special election, thus costing our great county over one million dollars; money that could well be spent on other programs and services.

The next step is for Assembly Member Susan Bonilla to finish up her just recently elected two-year term and let’s send Joan Buchanan back to Sacramento to continue to protect seniors, make college more affordable, and keep our budgets balanced. It is a win-win.

Ken Richard, Walnut Creek

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Letter writer questions power of State Democratic Party versus local club endorsements

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Dear Editor:

The conundrum of the California Democratic Party versus the local Democratic club endorsements. The California Democratic Party endorsement of Susan Bonilla in the State Senate District 7 race was based on the outcome of a vote of 75 local people authorized to vote in this internal party process. A total of 44 additional votes were gathered by Bonilla thanks to a greatly discredited rule that allowed any state legislator currently in office to get ‘proxy’ votes from anywhere in the state. Advantage Incumbents. (The rule’s been removed from the Party By-Laws, but not officially until May, so it was still ‘legal’ to use this procedure).

The Democratic clubs within Senate District 7 that have chosen to make endorsements represent a larger group of people.

Joan Buchanan endorsements:

Rossmoor Democratic Club – 600+ members

Diablo Valley Democratic Club -  70 members

Tri-Valley Democratic Club – 60 members

San Ramon Democratic Club – 73 members

Susan Bonilla endorsements:

Concord Democratic Club – approximately 20 members

Do the math.

Sue Hamill, Walnut Creek

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Antioch recall leader responds to Mayor Harper’s response

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Dear Editor:

Mayor Harper’s response to the recall can be summed up in a few salient points:

Mayor Harper has sworn in 10 police officers.

The mayor’s claim is years late.  In 2010 he started his getting tough on crime and had zero tolerance to crime.campaigns.  Again in 2012, same thing and in 2013 was going to hire 22 officers.  In 2010 the Antioch Police department staffing was authorized for 102 positions, they had 90.  In 2015 they are still authorized for 102 positions and they still have 90. Doesn’t seem like much of an emphasis on zero tolerance or being tough.

Mayor Harper claims the recall will cost $198,994, the cost of two officers.

The mayor’s claim is so exaggerated it is ridiculous.  Measure O cost one-fourth of that amount and is likely to be the same if not less and if an officer costs $100,000 then why didn’t he authorize the hiring of 42 officers instead of spending over $4.5 million on overtime in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  That was OT only, not benefits or base pay, OT only.  Obviously the city had the money.

Mayor Harper says “under his leadership” he got a grant for $625,000 to hire 5 officers.
The mayor’s forgot to mention that is for 3 years only.  What happens to the 5 officers when the funding runs out after 3 years.  When is this going to happen since it took 5 years to get to a net zero in police staffing?

Mayor Harper says, “Police Department conducts weekly crime suppression operations – one of which resulted in 87 arrests in just a five-day period.” 

Which is a true statement, but if you were at the council meeting when the chief explained there were 150 officers and 8 agencies involved and only 7 of those 87 arrests were Antioch’s.  Yet another gross exaggeration by the mayor.

Mayor Harper states twice, regarding safety that, “Our families deserve to feel safe, ” and “Nothing is more important than keeping our neighborhoods and children safe.” 

Mayor Harper, the problem is we don’t need to “feel safe”, we need to “be safe” and if nothing is more important then why haven’t measures been taken to ensure success in maintaining safety of the neighborhoods and children.  Ensuring safety is not abandoning children after a couple of visits to Deer Valley Plaza and then coercing the AUSD to hire security to detain the children and let the APD arrest them.  What happened to “no child left behind”.  The Deer Valley Plaza takeover by Strategic Threat Management has done nothing but move the problem to neighboring establishments.  What the Mayor has been successful in is promoting their disrespect of the APD and fear of the STM.  They know the APD won’t arrest them so they go where they are safe. Their fighting, en mass, has not stopped, just moved.  Their problems have not been addressed, just moved.

Mayor Harper claims to have, “ended work furloughs city-wide”. 

That is correct, but only after withholding information from the voters to ensure passage of Measure O.  The City of Antioch received the following payment and never let anyone know until voting had started on Measure O it appeared passage was successful. The following payments were received and the information withheld on:

Apr, 2014 – $2,698,000+

Jun, 2014 – $550,000+

Oct, 2014 – $269,000+

A total of over $3.5 MILLION

The City of Antioch waited over 6 months to bring the city back to full-service for the sole purpose of withhold that information to help ensure the passage of Measure O.  Measure O only passed by less than 600 votes.  How people do you think would not have voted for Measure O had they known how much the City of Antioch was sitting on.  How many city employees would have preferred to be working full-time instead of waiting nine months.  How many residents and business do you think would have preferred to have the city full-service instead of waiting nine months.

Mayor Harper wants everyone to believe that he is powerless and does not have the ability to do what he said he was going to do.  The fact is, he shouldn’t, the reality is, he does.  A recent article in the Antioch Herald exposed another power play by Mayor Harper to take control of the city council for the last two plus years.  The City Manager not only condoned what the Mayor has done, he supported it and argued that it’s existence has been around long before Harper, a fact dispelled by the prior mayors and council members.

The fact is that the leadership of the City of Antioch must be changed and replaced with person(s) that care about Antioch, not just political aspirations. 

Mayor Harper makes all kinds of claims and promises, but the reality is none of them are real or have happened.  What is real is how much the average person is losing because of higher costs and lower housing resale amounts, both of which amounts to huge losses in revenues to the city.  Additionally, residents end up paying higher auto and housing insurance premiums.  Shopping visits include trips to other cities for security reasons and because so many businesses have moved out of Antioch.  The list goes on and on and is never ending – all because of a lack of tolerance toward crime and being soft on crime.

Rich Buongiorno

Antioch

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Letter writer questions 2,841 new homes proposed for southeastern Antioch

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Dear Editor:

How many people in Antioch are aware that huge new housing developments are being planned? Do people know what kind of impact this will have on traffic, city services, and taxes?

We need to have a Town Hall meeting to inform the Antioch residents of these new expansion plans.

Such a meeting should be widely publicized using every kind of outreach tools available. The information presented to the public should cover general topics about the potential impacts to the city and a general description of each new area including maps.

In the recent City Manager Weekly Reports, there are three housing developments under review that will add 2,841 new homes in southeastern Antioch. That area is mostly rural now, so this will add a lot of requirements for new services such as fire service, police service, water and sewer maintenance, code enforcement, animal control, traffic lights, etc.

Will these be high-density housing areas with cluster houses, small lots, and narrow driveways serving multiple houses?

What sort of fees will these developers pay to cover the cost of building new schools, fire stations, and expanding city services? Will the new residents pay annual assessments to cover a portion of the ongoing new costs to the city?

Joseph Ramus

Antioch

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Letter write questions the need for Antioch recall

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Dear Editor:

Rich Buongiorno…“$33K for a recall is nothing”…

Not able to be, blindly for, or against any faction or person. Nope, can’t. My thoughts and opinions were and continue to be formed via a life long habit of “going in” to learn and understand.

In late August, 1993, on our second day in Antioch, we made a first shopping trip to a local grocery store. By the entrance was a “Recall The Mayor” group. They asked us to sign their petition and my husband said, “Not interested.” Coming out of the store with a cart full of bags, we were greeted by much more aggressive calls to sign. We chose to remain silent while proceeding to the car and unloading of the groceries into it’s trunk.

Our silence set off two in the group. They followed us, waving the petition and shouting at us. I remember accusations of “being part of the problem”, “stupid irresponsible snobs” and we got into the car to “dam commuters.”

Some years later, a couple of new council members had a public TV program where they railed angrily against anything to do with Southeast Antioch. A common theme was to warn possible new citizens about “miserable, crowded schools” and unimaginable traffic. They leveled accusations, specifically naming various people and institutions in town for destroying Antioch’s quality of life. Anger and complaining was vented over “gentrification.” “Wasteful street landscaping” and unaffordable taxes were stressed.

A year or so later an uproar was raised to a new city code requiring storage of RVs and boats out of sight. Southeast residents were routinely charged with ruining Antioch’s quality of life. I subscribed to the Ledger-Dispatch to learn more about my new town. Unfortunately, the paper’s columnist, Clay Kallam, could find nothing good with the town. In disgust, I cancelled my subscription. Later I would try again and Mr. Kallum’s constant negative droning would lead to me to cancel my subscription, again.

An Antioch, “Old Timer” told me about the anger and loud complaining that resulted from the building of the new police station. I researched and read the stories about that new building on 2nd and L Streets. The opposed citizens nicknamed it “Taj Mahal.”

After 22 years in Antioch, it seems that whatever the civic problem arises, it must always be “someone’s” fault. Some one, one person. Some one isn’t doing their job. Come to think of it, during last November’s election, voter turnout was a low record for Antioch. Some one, one person must be at fault. Below is a list from aU.S. federal government website of our duties as citizens.

  • Support and defend the Constitution.

  • Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.

  • Participate in the democratic process.

  • Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.

  • Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.

  • Participate in your local community.

  • Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.

  • Serve on a jury when called upon.

  • Defend the country if the need should arise

Could it be we are asking our leaders to do our jobs, as well as theirs? Another thought that comes to me is that if $33K for a recall is nothing, couldn’t it be better spent on, say, a season’s after school part time jobs, with students running enrichment activities on-site at our beautiful parks?

Hilda Parham

Antioch

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El Campanil foundation says thank you, announces winners of raffle rundraiser

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Dear Editor:

On behalf of El Campanil Theatre Preservation Foundation, I would like to thank all of those involved with our recent Gift Basket Raffle Fundraiser. Our goal was to sell 1000 tickets and raise $10,000. We met our goal and exceeded it by nearly $500! We congratulate our winners Floyd Furgeson of Discovery Bay, Leslie Munson of Antioch and Ali Shironi of Antioch.

A very important part of any raffle is the prize donors. We are very thankful that Southwest Airlines, Disneyland and many local businesses donated the wonderful prizes which were a part of each gift basket.

I want to let our Executive Director and Board know how much their time and support in procuring prizes and selling tickets is appreciated.

Finally, we are all eternally grateful to every person who purchased at least one raffle ticket during these past few months.

As a Board, we are committed to do everything possible to continue to sustain our local landmark and treasure, El Campanil Theatre, bringing quality entertainment close to home at affordable prices.

Ron Yarolimek

Foundation Board President

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