A tribute to the Watchdog, Barbara Zivica

Barbara Zivica from her Facebook page.

Barbara Zivica from her Facebook page.

By Allen Payton

The self-named Watchdog of local politics, Barbara Zivica, passed away on Saturday, May 21 following a long battle with cancer. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she graduated from East Rockaway High School and earned a degree in Management from St. Mary’s College in Moraga. Before she was the columnist for the Antioch Herald, Barbara was a columnist for the Dawn newspaper chain in East Detroit, Michigan, the Valley Merchant in Concord, CA and the Ledger-Dispatch in Antioch. She also worked at the Antioch Police Department for many years.

Barbara served on the Antioch Waterfront Commission, was a Charter Member of the Delta Toastmasters, and Executive Director of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association.

She was especially proud of being in charge of a referendum to locate the Walnut Creek City Hall where it is, today. As a result, in 1980, the Mayor gave her a brick and certificate of commendation for her efforts, which she had on display in her home.

She is survived by her two daughters, Stephanie Simonson of Scottsdale, Arizona and Stacey Anderson of Benicia, and five grandchildren, Destiny, Todd, Skyanne, Jacey and Jenna, and Barbara’s long-time companion, Hank Bagwell.

Barbara wanted the following poem shared, which it’s believed she wrote:

Beneath the bridge and waves so blue

I commit my soul to life anew.

To those I love I leave this thought

Don’t let life be lived for naught.

Taped to her computer monitor she had the following quotes:

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.  – Benjamin Franklin

Then, of course, this quote:

Our liberty depends on freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost. – Thomas Jefferson

I enjoyed her writing and our discussions on local issues. Although we didn’t always agree, I respected her opinion and research skills. Barbara wouldn’t let me pay her, even with gift certificates from local businesses. She created the logo for her column, a photo of her dog Hooch, who she also left behind.

Her final column, about water issues, was posted on the Antioch Herald website on May 10, 2016 and will appear in the July issue of the paper.

the attachments to this post:

Barbara Zivica from Facebook

7 Comments to “A tribute to the Watchdog, Barbara Zivica”

  1. Karl Dietzel says:

    I always loved her articles. RIP Barbara

  2. M & N Fernandez says:

    We will miss Barbara’s passion for Antioch. Thank you Barbara RIP

  3. I, too, had occasional policy differences but that makes the world go around. In the end, I will remember her
    as was one gutsy woman and that is a quality in short supply in this cowering world.

  4. Jack Weir says:

    As the current executive director of CoCoTax, I appreciate fully the effort and dedication Barbara put into taxpayer advocacy. The few differences in opinion we experienced over the years pale in comparison to the common ground we shared. Barbara was a staunch advocate of transparent government, integrity in public policy and fairness to taxpayers. I will always value the wisdom and quality of her mind.

  5. Arne says:

    Barbara was a remarkable woman. She described herself as a compassionate humanitarian and didn’t affiliate with either major political party. Through all her physical ailments, she persevered. Thankfully her companion Hank was there to help Barbara through the difficult days. I know how difficult losing Barbara has been on Hank.

    When Barbara decided to write on a current event, she really did her homework. We may not of all liked the light she shown on a subject, but we all appreciated that she brought an issue to our attention which could generate considerable discussion.

    We were lucky to have Barbara in our life and thanks to the Internet, she can be Googled and be with us any time we want.

  6. Donna Wilson says:

    Although I’ve never met her personally, I’ve always known her by name. I always respected her articles. I felt she truly had a “know in” on many issues. I’m very saddened to hear/read other passing.

  7. Iris Archuleta says:

    Rest in Peace Barbara,

    We did not always agree, but at least I could call you, and you would listen.
    That is an honorable and admirable quality.


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