Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

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 www.Brentwood.RoyalFamilyKids.org.

Dave & Sue Bowers, Directors

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Analysis: Antioch voters reject Council’s direction on ballot measures

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Last week, the people of Antioch voted the complete opposite of the intent and desire of the Antioch City Council by overwhelmingly passing one measure and rejecting the other, that the council placed on the June ballot. Measure E passed and Measure G failed, both by about two-to-one margins.

Measure E passes

First, Measure E, which made changes to the city ordinance on card rooms, and now requires an election for a second one, passed by 67.04% to 32.96%, according to the latest figures. Of course it helped that the owner of the California Grand Casino in Pacheco spent over $310,000 (almost all of it out of town) to eliminate additional competition for himself in Antioch.

Yet, only three of the council members actually put some of their money where their mouths were by helping pay for a newspaper ad and a few campaign signs. Councilwoman Monica Wilson abstained on the vote to place the measure on the ballot, after having signed the petition to force the council to either adopt the language or send it to the ballot. So, I didn’t expect her to do anything to help defeat it. But, after talking tough, saying “we will not be bullied” Mayor Wade Harper didn’t do a thing to help defeat it. That reminds me of his tough, but hollow campaign slogan in 2012 of “Zero Tolerance for Crime.” While three of the council members spent a total of $415 of their own money, that was it. Neither they nor the mayor raised money from any of their supporters, or even wrote a letter to the editor to try to help defeat it.

I urged the mayor and council members to step up and lead the charge. But, they left it up to the family members who own Kelly’s – which was the target of the measure – to form the committee and financially back the No on E campaign. The family spent about $9,000 of their own money (most of it in Antioch) to try to defeat the measure, in spite of the fact they’ve pretty much been out of business for years.

Even the local front person for the Yes on E campaign, Lamar Thorpe, didn’t contribute even $100 or raise any money to help pass his pet measure, based on the campaign finance reports. So, he didn’t put his money where his mouth was, either. Now, I guarantee you he will try to use the issue to help him run for City Council, this fall saying how he helped protect the people of Antioch. All he did was let that Pacheco casino use him to advance their cause of eliminating more competition. Antioch won’t be any safer as a result of the passing of Measure E. We were lied to. Plus, what a hypocritical message for him and his campaign to say “stop the expansion of gambling” by using money from a casino.

Measure G fails, again

The other item on the ballot was Measure G, another attempt by the City Council on a 5-0 vote, to turn the elected position of City Treasurer into an appointed one. Once, again the voters said “no” loud and clear by defeating it, according to the latest figures, by 63.17% to 36.83%. We sent them the same message just four years ago in June, 2012 when we voted to oppose changing both the City Treasurer and City Clerk to appointed positions by 70.85% to 29.15%.

Here, again, the council members did nothing to help pass the measure. They didn’t form a campaign committee, raise any money, pay for any signs, advertising or mailers, or even send one letter to the editor in support of the measure. Two of them were too busy running for higher office and raising money for that, to bother putting any effort into fulfilling their current positions – serving the people of Antioch.

It’s time that the current city council members and treasurer, Donna Conley, as well as all future council candidates and city treasurers got the message that we the people want a separate, independent set of eyes on the city’s books. That’s needed now, more than ever with the way Measures C and O monies are being collected and spent.

It’s also time the City Council gave back the necessary responsibilities and authority to the treasurer’s position to be the check and balance we want and need, and will hold the city staff and council accountable.

In fact, one thing the council should and can do immediately is create a seat on the Measure C Citizens Oversight Committee for the city treasurer, to help be a watchdog over the city’s finances.

But, even if the council doesn’t return any power to our elected city treasurer, the person who holds that position can still use it as a bully pulpit to keep us informed with clear explanations of how our money is being spent and/or wasted.

According to County Registrar of Voters, Joe Canciamilla, his department “provided the City of Antioch with a cost estimate range for these two measures of between $2.00 – 2.50 per registered voter in the City of Antioch.  We won’t have final billing information to them with the exact amount until August.  With some 48,677 registered voters as of the 15 day close of registration this would put the cost at between $97,374 and $121,692.”

So, basically, the results of the June election are as follows: First, the voters will now get to vote on approving a second card room in Antioch; second, the city treasurer will continue to be an elected position; and third, they sent a message to the mayor and council, clearly repudiating their lack of action which wasted as much as $120,000 of taxpayer money by placing both measures on the ballot, then doing little to nothing to pass or defeat them. If they weren’t going to make a serious effort to defeat Measure E, they could have just adopted the ordinance, instead. While it only cost a bit more to have Measure G on the ballot, it’s still our money that was wasted, since no campaign effort was mounted to pass it.

Note to current and future council members: if you’re going to spend taxpayer dollars to place a measure on the ballot, you need to be willing to mount a serious campaign to pass or defeat it. It’s one thing to talk tough. It’s another to actually take action.

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Rep. McNerney issues statement on Orlando nightclub shooting

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Washington – Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) issued the following statement in response to the horrific Orlando nightclub mass shooting that has so far left 49 people dead and 53 injured:

“Our entire nation is in shock after yet another senseless mass shooting devastates the Orlando community, and I mourn with the families and victims of this tragedy. Our mourning must be coupled with action. This is the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history where 49 Americans were killed and many others injured by an assault weapon. This was also an act of hate against LGBT Americans who were gathered together to celebrate Pride, like so many LGBT communities across America will do this month.  We cannot stand for these acts of hate, violence, and terrorism that cut short the lives of too many innocent victims. Gun violence is a problem that affects our communities on a daily basis and we must take steps to reduce it. This means passing commonsense gun reforms that will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and dangerous people and making sure our law enforcement officials have the tools and resources they need to keep our communities safe. I stand with the people of Orlando, the LGBT community, and all victims of gun violence to fight for solutions that will reduce violence and save lives.”

McNerney represents the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District which includes portions of Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties. For more information on his work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.

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

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Editor:

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

Antioch

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Publisher’s comments regarding The Wilson Watch ad in our June print edition

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

By Allen Payton, Publisher

It has come to my attention that some people think the full-page ad about Antioch Councilwoman Monica Wilson who is currently a candidate for Supervisor, entitled “The Wilson Watch” in the June, 2016 issue of the Antioch Herald was paid for by me or was from the Doug Hardcastle for Supervisor campaign. This is to clearly state that it was not paid for by me, nor by anyone associated with Doug Hardcastle or his campaign, for which I am a paid consultant, as I explained in the March, 2016 print edition of the Antioch Herald.

The ad was purchased by a party who chose to place it in the paper, and remain anonymous, which is why I required the words “Paid Advertisement” be placed at the top of the ad.

While the purchaser is not required to be identified, because the ad is not considered a political advertisement under state law, as it does not advocate for or against a candidate, I informed the purchaser that if I am legally required to provide their name(s), I will. They accepted that fact before placing the ad.

Refusing to run such an ad would be considered censorship. However, neither I nor the Antioch Herald accepts any responsibility for the content of the ad.

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

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

Editor:

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

Editor:

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

Editor:

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 DianeBurgis.com.

Ron Brown

Retired Executive Director, Save Mount Diablo

Walnut Creek

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