Antioch looks like a pig pen, and believe it or not, it's not all the city's fault.

We need to take some responsibility, especially for those areas around our homes. Unfortunately, those who really should be reading this probably are not.

Take three to five minutes a day and walk around your yard and, if necessary, the house next door or across the street. Just pick up the trash. If you don't, no one will. Usually, most of us wait for the wind to blow it down the street, then it's someone else's problem.

If there's a house in foreclosure around your house, help the other neighbor (or do it yourself) make it look presentable. Even if the water is turned off, cut down the weeds and pick up the trash. You never know, it might even increase the value of your house.

If you still have your Christmas lights up, take them down. They look awful and probably won't work next year. Please, any help would be appreciated.

Nick Howe

Antioch

Rubber stamp

Assemblyman Guy Houston wants to be a county supervisor. That's going backward.

In my opinion, he is a rubber stamp on issues someone has presented, and he pats himself on the back for voting for the issue and sends out e-mail and letters about how he voted .

At a town meeting, when asked about illegal immigrants, his answer was "Don't hire them."

His position seems to be anything illegal is OK as long as you don't hire them .

He states, "I believe as the past mayor of Dublin and as a state lawmaker (it) will allow me to make a valuable contribution to the county."

He is not a lawmaker .

He refused to correct laws at the state level, or he doesn't know how .

In my opinion he is a castoff from the state Assembly .

Do the voters want a state rubber stamp Assemblyman for a rubber stamp county supervisor ?

We have had problems with three county supervisors, (before Mary Piepho's time ) That's why the county is in the financial mess it has today. Are we ready to put another problem back in?

John E. Fritz

Discovery Bay

Hypocritic Oath

The Hippocratic Oath is simple: First, do no harm. Corollary: If doing nothing's the least harmful, then that's what you do.

In our times, there seems to be another oath taking precedence, the "Hypocritic Oath." First, make money. Corollary: If doing business today is harmful to any, you can clean up the mess later and, hopefully, make a buck doing so.

I got a postcard from my insurance carrier several weeks ago, saying, "Don't expose yourself to unnecessary risk." The next week, I got a flier giving notice of plans to erect a cell phone tower on that insurance man's roof.

Thinking that my insurance man must not be aware of the potential harm he would be subjecting us to, I thought to speak with him, educate him. I was the one who got educated. My insurance man wants the tower because it means money for him. He doesn't believe in global warming and he doesn't believe in the science on radio frequencies.

He believes in making money. In 10, 20 years, when the stats are in, he'll be charging a higher insurance premium for houses and people subject to radio frequencies. Business is good! Too bad about the leukemias, the Altzheimer's, cancers.

Jan Dederick

El Cerrito

Pandering to lobby

Every Californian should be outraged that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to release 30 Israeli prisoners, many of whom are serving sentences for such serious crimes as murder, money laundering, drug-trafficking and fraud.

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth credits the release to lobbying by leaders of California's Jewish community.

There currently are 177,000 people in the state prison system. Why does Schwarzenegger favor Israeli citizens? Rather than releasing convicted criminals, he should ask his Israeli friends to release the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails (even though many haven't been charged or convicted of any crime.)

The Palestinians wrongfully imprisoned include 103 women and 367 children, as well as several elected members of parliament who were kidnapped by the Israeli military.

The precedence of releasing convicted Israeli criminals is appalling, given the threat of Israeli agents committing serious crimes, including espionage against the United States.

Convicted spy Jonathan Jay Pollard is not an isolated case. Two weeks ago, Ben-Ami Kadish, a mechanical engineer at the Army's Armament Research Center in Dover, N.J., was arrested by the FBI for disclosing classified defense information to Israel.

Pandering to the Israel lobby will not advance the interest Californians or the security of the United States.

Hassan Fouda

Kensington

Inspiring story

What a moving, heartwarming story in the Times. Kudos to the St. Mary's students who helped clear and rebuild homes in New Orleans' lower Ninth Ward neighborhood!

It was so inspiring to read about the student volunteers and Katrina survivor Don Palmer. Something good came out of this tragedy after all.

Maybe your story will inspire others to volunteer their future efforts in New Orleans, since there are still homes in ruins.

Kudos to Jackie Burrell for writing such a great story. I hope she wins an award for it. I can't stop crying, moved to tears by the kindness of strangers.

Kathleen Rich

Benicia

Out of touch

The recent actions of state Sen. Carole Migden lend credence to the old saying "Liberalism is a mental disorder." Migden, true to her ultra left-wing and out-of-touch-with-reality thinking, joined the illegal aliens protesting the prosecution of the lawbreakers (illegal aliens.)

She should be recalled for siding with the illegal aliens who were working at the chain of restaurants in San Francisco and San Jose.

I say hooray for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Let's continue to capture these lawbreakers and send them back where they came from. It's time we take our country back from these illegal alien lawbreakers. We also need to address the left-wing sanctuary city nuts and cut off any federal funding for these cities.

John Walker Sr.

Pleasant Hill

Don't harm students

The teachers at my child's high school seem to be staging a "virtual strike." Last week, some teachers notified students that they were no longer available to students before school, after school or during lunch.

These teachers have explained to their students that they are doing this because they are frustrated that they still have not settled the issue of paid medical benefits with the district.

While it is time for the district to complete its negotiations with its teachers, these latest actions by the teachers are negatively impacting the students.

If teachers are going to stand together for a cause, then do it in a way that does not affect the students who are innocently stuck in the middle of this mess.

Could it be that the teachers' union is misdirecting it members again? For the teachers who are not limiting their availability to their students, thank you.

De Ann Jones

Martinez

Pastor unqualified

Recently on the radio I heard an excerpt of questions posed to Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

A woman quoted Jesus Christ when he said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Then she asked if Rev. Wright believed what Jesus claimed. His answer made it clear to people knowledgeable about the gospels that he does not believe it.

Thus, we discover that he is not spiritually qualified to be a pastor in a Christian church. I hope he will change professions soon.

Barbara Tagashira

Martinez

Ugly situation

I am a graduate of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, as are my three sons. Over my 40-plus years of experience as a student and teacher and as a parent in this district, I've never seen the kind of ugly situation that has been allowed to develop under Superintendent McHenry and the current School Board.

MDUSD teachers are working harder and more effectively than ever to help a highly challenged student population meet extremely rigorous standards. At the same time, we are the lowest-compensated teachers of all other 23 unified school districts in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Due to low pay and the lack of district provided medical benefits, our teacher turnover rate is dramatic, threatening student achievement and negatively impacting those teachers who stay in the district. Teachers have been working without a contract since June 30, 2007.

MDUSD's Administration and school board need to adopt a different attitude toward teachers and students, if they ever hope to get this district back on the track.

Cindy L. Flood-Pease

Concord

Self-absorbed

Both Bill Clinton and Jeremiah Wright are so pathetically self-absorbed they can't see straight. They embarrass Hillary and Barack, and neither will shut up.

If the Democrats lose this one, they'll have Bill and Jeremiah to thank for their tiresome and exhibitionistic antics.

For the first time we have the spectacular drama of a talented woman and an inspiring African American running for president, and two bombastic jackasses reducing the drama to farce.

Thomas F. Mader

Walnut Creek

Vote for Glover

The No. 1 issue for all of us who live in East County and commute to work is traffic.It's not only the time it takes, but the cost of gas as we sit in rush hour traffic. There doesn't seem to be any relief.

When I vote on June 3, I am only going to vote for people who are actually working to do something to improve Highway 4. In my opinion, the only person I see as having done anything is Federal Glover.

Supervisor Glover has been the only politician to stand up to the developers to say no to new development, which has caused so much of our traffic mess. He is the only one who actually secured money to widen Highway 4 and to help make the Highway 4 bypass a reality.

In an election year, a lot of the candidates pontificate about improving our roads and getting traffic going. I'm going with the proven one, the person who has actually done something more than talk. I'm supporting Supervisor Federal Glover on June 3. Please vote!

Anthony Cuellar

Antioch

Not for Nunn

When I decide who I am going to vote for I don't always make my decision solely on the issues. Sometimes I use good, old-fashioned instinct to tell me if a person is sincere and best able to represent our views.

I am not sure who I am going to vote for in June, but I can tell you this: I will not be voting for Erik Nunn for supervisor. Something smells awfully fishy about him. He works for a building contractor — hmmm? He was a lifelong conservative Republican until a few months ago, when he began running for office and wanted our vote — hmmm? I can't put my finger on it, but Nunn looks like the kind of person who will say anything just to get elected. We don't need that kind of insincerity representing us.

Darnell Turner

Pittsburg