Escrow closes on new center
The Town of Discovery Bay is pleased to announce that escrow closed last week on the purchase of 7.25 acres of land that is now home to the Discovery Bay Community Center. The site was formerly the Discovery Bay Athletic Club and is at 1601 Discovery Bay Blvd., across from the Discovery Bay Shopping Center.
While the new community center is not really new, there will be noticeable changes in the weeks and months ahead, beginning with some upgrades to the exterior portions of the facility. The facility's interior will also undergo some minor renovations as long term future facility plans are contemplated by the community center committee and the board of directors.
Probably the biggest upgrade will be planned swimming pool renovation. The pool is slated to reopen this summer and for a small day use fee, available for anyone who wishes to use it and its facilities.
The biggest difference, however, is that the club will no longer be a membership-based facility. All residents of Discovery Bay are invited to visit their new community center in February and use the facilities free of charge. While the community center will offer a variety of fee-based programs and activities, there will also be a number of opportunities for residents to use the facility free of charge. During the coming months, additional services and a variety of classes for residents of all ages will be offered. Keep an eye out as we continue to develop programming that will stimulate, educate and enrich the lives of people within Discovery Bay. We encourage you to stop by and see what is planned for the site.
The first "big" event that will take place at the community center is the 2013 Discovery Bay Earth Day Volunteer Project and Family Festival on April 20. The event will include local vendors, a food truck, activities for all ages, all capped off by a concert in the park. Watch for details on this fun-filled family event.
As we progress with planning, we encourage all residents to participate in the ongoing progress and development of the community center. The community center committee meets regularly. The next scheduled meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the town's office, 1800 Willow Lake Road.
Rick Howard, general manager
Town of Discovery Bay
Please stop dumping trash
I would like to ask the individuals who continue to dump "their trash," old travel trailers, palm leaves, TVs, etc. along Delta Road at the Marsh Creek crossing to please stop.
Antioch chief shows honesty
Tuesday, Feb. 12, was the best of nights -- it was the worst of nights. The bad news was the grim crime numbers in Chief Allan Cantando's annual "State of the Antioch Police" address.
The good news was what one council member described as the chief's refreshingly brutal honesty. If you like getting an unvarnished story, this is a guy who gives facts, "just the facts, ma'am."
We are blessed that the chief is a great communicator, straight-up guy, and local resident, who as a parent and homeowner, lives and breathes our daily dilemmas.
The council, as well, is to be commended for its unity of resolve. Any ideological differences were cast aside as Mayor Wade Harper, Vice Mayor Mary Rocha and council members Gary Agopian, Tony Tescareno and Monica Wilson, all committed to fully supporting the chief come hell or high water.
It is going to take everyone on deck, from top city brass to everyday citizens, to turn this ship around. To their credit this council acutely realizes crime is the city's pivotal issue. Safety, after all, consumes Antioch's conversation at the office water cooler, the beauty salon and the family dining table.
Some positive underscored in that we seemingly have hit bottom on police staffing with a handful of recruits gestating. It was heartening to also hear that deteriorating response time is finally flattening out.
Other news, though, was chilling. We have 88 sworn officers, one more than in 1995 when we had 28,000 fewer residents. The chief said that our previous high water mark of 126 officers is minimum baseline, with 144 ideal. Remember, we currently have no school community resource officers, gang prevention, narcotic, or traffic control units. Community service officers are just trickling back and code enforcement is bare minimum.
You can't make filet mignon out of hamburger, try as our dedicated officers do. Antioch violent crime is up 30.6 percent from last year. Burglaries seem epidemic, our crime rate doubles that of neighboring Pittsburg, and, as perspective, Antioch High had four lockdowns last year due to shootings within proximity.
Obviously, we can't afford to do nothing. Like it or not, we pay a price everyday in daily anxiety, looking over our shoulders as we walk the dog or go to our cars in the store parking lot, worrying when we get back home from work if our house is undisturbed, fearing vacation absence, and seeing depreciated real estate values.
The chief, our brave men and women in blue, and our city council need and welcome your ideas and your unwavering support. Please come to a town-hall meeting on crime at Beede Auditorium at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28.
We are a resilient lot. Antioch can and will reclaim public safety.
Postal service needs more cuts
The U.S. Potal Service's plan to eliminate Saturday service needs to be bolder. Instead of cutting out Saturday delivery, or one-sixth of the costs, why don't they reduce residential delivery to every other day? Certain routes would be delivered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while the rest would be serviced on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This would cut out up to half of the costs of the service without any loss in benefits.
There is no reason I need mail daily. If I received it every other day, my bills would still be received and paid on time. I could throw out the junk mail half as often as I do now! My postal box certainly has the capacity to hold twice the number of envelopes and packages.
You would need to drive the delivery routes half as often, extending the life of the delivery vehicles twice as long, reducing a huge cost to invest in, service and fuel them. This would result in a 50-percent reduction of vehicle emissions into my neighborhood and the community.
I understand that meeting the letter carrier is an important social outlet for some citizens, but let's help those few find another outlet for human interaction, such as city activity programs.
With the prevalence of the Internet, electronic billing, automatic payments and a reduced volume within the postal system, it is necessary to reduce the overhead and capacity. If a certain household requires daily deliveries, encourage the use of a P. O. box with daily access.
We receive every other week pickup of the recycled trash and green waste. I only attend church once a week, except during the Lenten season. On the other hand, I can access the historically mailed information such as bills, letters (emails), catalogs and advertisements instantly with the Internet technology at my house.
I understand that the system would require fewer people employed. This is an unfortunate result of the introduction of alternate and substitute systems and technologies to the century's old postal system and processes.
So, why be timid and fight an historical system change for only one-sixth of the benefit? By moving to an alternating day's delivery, up to 50 percent in cost reductions for providing the delivery services can be achieved.
Brentwood is declining
I speak for several neighbors who are affected by Berenice Arteaga, senior code enforcement officer for the city of Brentwood. Her husband, Antonio Arteaga. is also employed by the city of Brentwood.
The Artegas own a house on Carnegie Lane, one of several homes they own in Brentwood. It is unfair to the taxpayers to be paying the Arteagas' salary and for them to be receiving payment from the Housing Authority. Is there no shame for the Arteagas? As a matter of fact, in my opinion, our neighborhood is in decline. Walnut Park is no longer a nice area to go to. It seems that we are getting lots of new people from other areas who lack respect for what was a nice area to live in. Brentwood is declining.
Let your East County neighbors know what you think about issues of the day by writing a letter to the editor.
Send letters to Editor, The News, 1700 Cavallo Road, Antioch, CA 94509, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to Judith Prieve at 925-706-2305.
Letters should be signed. Both letters and email should include the daytime phone number and address of the writer. The information will not be printed but rather used for verification purposes.
We reserve the right to edit or not publish letters deemed potentially libelous, that are ads for local businesses or are otherwise unsuitable for a family newspaper.
Also, we are looking for guest commentaries, especially on local issues. Please send your guest commentaries to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, call 925-779-7178.