Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

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

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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

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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

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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

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Council candidate writes to criticize new Antioch marketing video

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Editor:

I just got through reviewing the latest marketing video for Antioch. This is getting ridiculous.

Walnut Creek for your shopping? We have many businesses here in Antioch that provide a wide selection of goods and services. In fact, is that not our plan to bring more business here? Now the City tells the public they can head to Walnut Creek to spend money. Absurd.

I am trying to bring new business here to Antioch and how is that possible? We could be saying how we have room for new business, looking for new business, want new business and support new business. I am sure this video was not free to create and produce. Did you notice Tiffany and Co. is shown? Come on folks, really? This image is just so far-fetched and removed from reality. I am disappointed that we continue to present a video of our City as just “parks, parks, parks”.

We should have included a map to Walnut Creek. Then they can bypass Antioch altogether. Wow.

Frederick Rouse

Antioch

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Education research institute fellow writes letter in support of Navarro, Terry, Sawyer-White for school board

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Editor:

Three cheers to the three school board candidates for emphasizing their commitment to parental involvement in public schools, for giving credit to private schools for what they’re doing right, and for talking about something other than STEM education.

Their letter was a refreshing change of pace from the typical campaign talking points, and I wish I lived in Antioch so I could support these three candidates with my vote. I hope, anyway, that they are successful, and their leadership inspires others to adopt similar outlooks.

Teresa Mull, Education Research Fellow

The Heartland Institute

Victor, Idaho

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College board president writes to support Burgis for Supervisor

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Dear Editor:

As an educator, I have seen Diane Burgis fight for all of Contra Costa’s students. She is a mother, a mentor and an environmental nonprofit leader who takes the time to develop young new talent. She knows the importance of a great education and how that helps create a strong local economy.

We all want our children to have a bright future. We also know a strong education is the cornerstone of our economy. Our community college system has worked diligently to partner students up with local businesses and organizations for hands on career opportunities. But to provide more of those career opportunities to our students, we need a strong local economy and a county that prioritizes career technical education and other educational opportunities.

Diane is a strong independent leader who brings different people together to find solutions. She has made it a priority to work on building our economy – creating jobs and opportunities for all county residents. As a County Supervisor, Diane will continue her work. Please join me and other educators in supporting Diane Burgis for County Supervisor in District 3.

Vicki Gordon

Contra Costa Community College District Board President

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Local magazine publisher, an LMC professor writes to support Burgis for Supervisor

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Dear Editor:

As an Oakley resident and small business owner for the last five years, I have seen Diane Burgis’ leadership on many local issues. From her time as an Oakley City councilmember to watching her get sworn in as an East Bay Regional Parks District Board member at Dunsmuir in Oakland, Diane always demonstrates a unique skill in joining different groups to solve problems and get things done.

I’ve been an East County resident for over 28 years and have known Diane Burgis for almost 10 years.

Diane knows what small businesses need to succeed, because she was a small business owner herself. She has built a business, balanced budgets and knows first-hand the tremendous struggles and rewards of being a small business owner. This experience will be essential when she takes the reign of our region’s complex economy. I’m confident she will responsibly and diligently develop our county while promoting jobs based in growing industries.

Diane’s time as a small business owner and a nonprofit director has given her the skills and talent needed to build the consensus necessary to make the economy thrive. Diane is no stranger to hard work; she’s always ready to roll up her sleeves and get work done.

I am voting for Diane Burgis for County Supervisor and I support her platform, goals and enthusiasm to make progress for all of us. Please join me in casting your vote for Diane Burgis on Nov. 8.

Charleen Earley

Publisher & Founder, Delta Living Magazine

Professor, Los Medanos College

Oakley

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