Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

Writer shares his statement of concerns about City’s employee contract votes, Tuesday night

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Dear Editor:

Following is the statement I gave to the Antioch City Council, tonight.

I question if you really care about this city over your personal, political wants. By paying labor agreements that lack actual funding, is a knife in the back of Antioch before you are out the door. I hope the labor unions that you have talked to fully understand how bankruptcy of a city can impact personal incomes. Tonight, you’re putting Antioch in a position of almost certain bankruptcy.

We already carry major unfunded debt on our books and now you add an additional burden for your successors to deal with. And that can only be seen as a political move.

I figure if you lay this groundwork tonight and hurt this city, as I know you will, you then as the knights in shining armor, can ride back in during the next elections and pretend to save the day.

Tonight you plan on taking advantage of a city that is already bruised, battered, underfunded and unsafe, for what purpose? For the betterment of our city? Or for the appeasement of your political base and to grease the skids for your future election.

Hold off any vote and let the new council decide what is best in managing the budget as they will hold the responsibility and accountability to our city and its future.

Fred Rouse

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Antioch council candidate who lost offers his parting comments, thanks

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Dear Editor:

I take pride in knowing that our Democracy has once again allowed the people to exercise their right to vote. I also take pride in the fact that so many people voted for me in this election. Concession statements are hard, but are needed.

I wish congratulations to all the winners of the City of Antioch election. I know the final votes are not in, or certified, but I also know that with such a margin, this time, I will not accomplish the goal of obtaining a seat at the table. It was a well-fought campaign. And I am very proud that we stayed above the fray and respectfully debated and let the people decide the outcome.

I thank the more than 1,700 residents and community members that cast their vote for me in this election. I assure you that I will continue to fight for our needs as a City and as neighbors. I truly appreciate your support.

I thank my family for the support and kind words during the last 18 months of this effort. I love you, and let me assure you that I have used this effort to better myself, and to remember who I am.

Although I am disappointed by the outcome, I am not giving up in my growth and I will continue to be an active citizen in the process of repairing the City that I live in. I sincerely hope you will take similar actions in your Cities so that all communities will tackle today’s challenges.

I am very lucky for the great love and support of my wife Tina Chavez-Rouse. Her never-ending confidence in me, not only in my entire life (we met in High School), but her focused support of me during the last 18 months, has been a gift from God. She spoke up for me, collected signatures, helped me place signs, let us spend our family money, and helped me sculpt my statements.

Finally, to the people who did not vote for me. We have yet to meet. You have yet to hear my words, and get to know me. I think if I work hard, you will know me. And possibly then, we will, together, really take on the challenge of change. Remember, even at our City level, a small local race can change your life. Thank you.

Frederick Rouse

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Candidate for Supervisor writes to say thank you, asks for support one last time

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Dear Editor:

With Election Day almost here, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you. This campaign has reaffirmed for me how proud I am to live in this community, and it’s the people that make our community so great.

I am very proud of the campaign we ran. My campaign stayed positive throughout the campaign, even when I was being attacked and my record was being distorted. This was a commitment I made to the community when I started the campaign, and I’m proud to have seen it through.

Over the last few months, as well as last spring during the primary election, I have walked door to door across most of the district. I walked so much I actually wore through two pairs of shoes. And by knocking on so many doors and meeting so many in the community I hope you saw firsthand the energy I bring to the job and how involved I would be in the actual community.

It was a pleasure meeting and talking with so many of you, and I learned a lot about the different communities within our community, as well as the daily struggles, the frustrations with policy, and the desire for actual change. Most of all I saw that the learning process is never over, and that there is always a need to be out in the community working directly with the people we serve. This job can’t be done, stuck behind a desk.

And now that the campaign is coming to a close, I’d like to make one last ask for your vote. Representing you at the County would be a privilege, and a partnership that can get results for our community. Thank you.

Steve Barr, Candidate for County Supervisor

Brentwood

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Subject of letter opposing Rocketship writes in response, claims it’s a defamatory smear

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Dear Editor:

In an election year that has been notable more for wild hyperbole than substantive discussion, even our local races have not been immune from the kind of irresponsible and baseless rhetoric that has plagued those on the national stage.

One case in point. Last week an opinion article written under the byline Selina Button was posted by Mike Burkholder on his East County Today blog, and posted as a letter to the editor on the Antioch Herald news website. The article included false, defamatory, and possibly libelous statements about me, my wife, Argentina Davila-Luevano, and my friend, John Crowder.

The reason for her unwarranted attack? We were quoted in a press release by Rocketship Education as being in favor of their building a brand new, high-performing, elementary school in Antioch. Ms. Button characterized our positive comments as, “an effort to support their own personal financial gain.” She went on to ask, “Were they possibly promised a job by Rocketship?”

For the record, we have absolutely no gain, financial or otherwise, coming our way from Rocketship. Neither have we been offered jobs or anything else. In fact, the only thing we were promised was that people who want to maintain the failed status quo would likely try to smear anyone supporting their efforts…something I didn’t want to believe at the time.

Regardless, we stand by our support of Rocketship. As those who know us are aware, Argentina and I are long-time advocates for children, and particularly for children of color and/or those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. We see the addition of a Rocketship school as an important step in solving the problem of the horrifically underperforming schools in our city.

Unfortunately, It is clear that those who stand in the way of much-needed education reform in Antioch are willing to make false statements, to bully, and to try to mislead the public about a good organization, Rocketship, that truly has the best interests of our children at heart. They have shown that they are willing to use such unseemly tactics against Rocketship’s supporters, as well.

We’re not going to back down, though. We’ve fought for years for the rights of children. The right to a good education for all is too important for us to cave in. We urge everyone who realizes we need change to get the facts about Rocketship. Their model is working for students around the country. Let’s make sure they have the chance to bring this same success to Antioch’s students, as well.

Angel G. Luevano

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Council candidate upset Antioch City Council will meet on night of election

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Dear Editor:

I just discovered and I am outraged this morning that the Antioch City Council intends to hold a council meeting next Tuesday, November 8th – election day.

My wife Tina and I do not suffer fools well. It is very ironic that not only is a meeting planned, but the agenda reflects an urgency item and two public hearings. I find it funny and convenient that these important matters are squeezed in at times when the public may not be fully available to attend.

I have not reviewed the 2015-2016 calendar completely, but it seems odd that major issues of importance seem to make it to the agenda around the time when citizens are least available.

I urge the City Council to cancel the meeting that is scheduled for November 8, 2016 and reschedule to a date and time that the community can be available.

Some will say that most voters in our county have voted early. But, considering how important and controversial our national election is this year, most will be glued to the news outlets covering the election.

So, in my view, they are attempting to sneak more decisions by us while we are looking the other way.  I am angry, as my wife and I expected the City to have greater consideration for the citizens of Antioch.

Fred Rouse

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Letter writer condemns mailer attacking Burgis’ salary from non-profit

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Dear Editor:

In yesterday’s mail I received an attempt at a smear ad for one of our local candidates for County Supervisor, Diane Burgis. The claim, in bold red font, states that she intends to draw a salary and benefits for that position, paid for by the taxpayers. Does candidate Steve Barr, therefore, intend to forfeit his salary and benefits if elected?

Further, it attempts to slam her for drawing a salary as Executive Director of Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed (FOMCW). She can’t be chastised for drawing a salary for that work, as she is paid with grant funding to organize and mobilize volunteers, engage in community outreach, run successful creek cleanups of our local watershed, and support academy internships for local students. FOMCW saves the County money, especially with the trash cleanups. She has done a fine job linking people of all ages to their local environment and to the scientific community.

I find the ad misleading, lacking integrity, and unprofessional. I hope fellow community members see through the lame attempt by big oil and so-called “criminal prosecutors” to discredit a person who has fought for improved health of our local environment. I doubt these folks from Sacramento have ever organized a community volunteer force like Diane Burgis has.

I’m going to donate more money to FOMCW out of spite for this negative political ad. The community organization has done a fantastic job over the fifteen years I’ve been familiar with it, and it is an honor to continue to support FOMCW as well as Diane Burgis for County Supervisor.

Sincerely,

Spencer Holmes

Brentwood

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Piepho writes in support of Burgis for Supervisor

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Dear Editor:

When I made the difficult decision to not seek reelection to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, my choice was made easier by the fact that Diane Burgis would make an extraordinary County Supervisor. She is a smart and dedicated public servant, and I have been proud to work with her for many years.

I wanted to take a moment to cut through some of the smear tactics and tell you about the Diane Burgis that I know and trust.

I was surprised to see the recent hit pieces mailed by real estate developers and “Big Oil”/petroleum interests that support Diane’s opponent and attack Diane Burgis. These ridiculous mail pieces accuse Diane of “climbing the ladder.”

Well, – that’s what capable people do – when opportunities arise they move up to greater positions of responsibility and governance. Talented people, such as Diane Burgis, are recruited by the community, and by those leaving office, to carry on the work that must be done in the publics’ best interests.

That is why I asked Diane to run for County Supervisor. She has proven to be a thoughtful, regional leader, one who brings people together to find workable  solutions.

The campaign process is well known as “silly season”. It is to be expected. However, I believe we are beyond the point of telling one of our most respected female leaders that she should stay put and know her place.

I believe Diane will make an excellent County Supervisor. She is talented, compassionate and hardworking. She will work every day to improve our community by reducing traffic, boosting public safety and defending our precious Delta.

Please don’t fall for the dirty tricks. Join me, Sheriff Livingston, District Attorney Mark Peterson, local Firefighters, Deputy Sheriffs and many other community leaders in voting for Diane Burgis for County Supervisor.

Mary Nejedly Piepho

County Supervisor

Discovery Bay

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Writer opposes Rocketship, Antioch School Board candidates supported by charter schools

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Editor:

Wake up Antioch voters. Our students are not for sale.

You may have noticed in the last couple of weeks in the midst of the huge amounts of campaign material in your mailbox, two very expensive campaign flyers supporting 3 candidates for Antioch School Board, Navarro, Terry and Sawyer-White.  What is important for the voters of Antioch to know is who paid for those campaign flyers.  Up in the left hand corner of these flyers you will notice these were paid for and sent out by the California Charter Schools Association, Advocates Independent Expenditure Committee, FPPC #1339522.  What is even more interesting is that there is a pending application before Antioch Unified School District for a Rocketship Charter School. You may or may not be in favor of Charter Schools. I personally am not opposed to community driven nonprofit Charter Schools, Antioch already has two very successful community driven Charter Schools, ACA I and ACA II,  that are supported by Antioch Unified. So what is the difference?

Rocketship Charter Schools are sweeping the state, infiltrating communities that have many families that are economically challenged, in an effort to expand their schools. Because of flawed laws governing Charter schools, they receive dollar for dollar what would otherwise would go for a student in our public schools. They take our hard earned tax dollars that are designated for public education, set up shop without having to meet the stringent standards of public education, and in most cases stick their students in front of a computer with as many as 50 students in a classroom without the benefit of a credentialed Teacher.

Many of the Charter School investor’s benefit from business related partnerships on track with the Charter schools for things such as their curriculum, construction projects or retrofitting Rocketships sites and more. Most of these investors are millionaires looking for a way to profit off the back of students and their families.  Two of the three candidates mentioned above have taken campaign donations from these outside millionaires as reported in their mandatory reporting 460 form.

What is also terribly troubling is that several other local residents have joined forces with this sham in what appears to be an effort to support their own personal financial gain.  John Crowder, Angel and Argentina Davila-Luevano have been disappointed in Antioch Unified Schools Districts financial support of their afterschool Math program and John Crowder has wrote disparaging letters about other School Board candidates. Could this be an effort to support the Charter School Association and Rocketship’s agenda?  Were they possibly promised a job by Rocketship?

[A] picture [was] taken over a month ago at a Rocketship School in San Jose, Ca. In the picture are current appointed School Board Trustee and School Board candidate Fernando Navarro, who is aggressively promoting the pending Rocketship application before Antioch Unified School District and John Crowder, Angel and Argentina Davila-Luevano with a Rocketship employee. This photo was taken on September 30th the same date as the submission of the Rocketship application to Antioch Unified School District.

I have always wondered why Rocketship Charters are not in wealthy communities if their “style” of education is so successful. Why do they prey on poorer communities?  This is a question you need to ask yourself before you vote next week.  Are our students in Antioch for sale to millionaires who think they can take advantage of them?  Should current sitting School Board Trustees be publically supporting schools that take away much needed public education monies for our students? Please do your research, visit stoprocketship.com and please consider voting for those candidates for School Board that have shown years of commitment to the Antioch community, Antioch schools, students and families.  This is not a game, it is serious stuff, and we need to wake up before it is too late.

Selina Button, 28 year resident

Antioch

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter