In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
Antioch Mayor Wade Harper recently led a community forum to look for solutions to the rising crime problems in Antioch. What areas do you think the police should focus on, and what solutions, suggestions do you have to clean up crime in the area?
THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY advocated daytime student curfew and increased truancy sweeps perhaps low-hanging fruit bearing dividends for a thin staff.
No statistics at hand, but Neighborhood Watch conversations about nine attempted burglaries in a three-block area surrounding my house over the last year, suggest these break-ins are heavily teen-weighted.
Maybe there were other simultaneous factors, but when Rohnert Park initiated a similar curfew, burglaries dropped 70 percent. Let's consider.
MORE STAFFING AND support for code enforcement. Curious how crime follows a deteriorating neighborhood. Keep the houses and neighborhoods neat and clean, and watch minor crime drop. It may be just that simple. In any event, it would be a good start to improve the quality of life for everyone.
ON FEB. 28, I attended the Antioch Crime Prevention Forum held by the Antioch City Council. Many constructive ideas on curbing criminal activity in our city were brought forward by citizens.
Among the notable ones, which I felt were good, included a proposal to have a special tax specifically to raise money only for the hiring of more police officers, Walter Ruehlig's suggestion that we target the truancy problem and another speaker encouraging more people to become involved in Neighborhood Watch programs.
Oakley's recent endorsement of Nextdoor (a concept we joined in our Neighbor Watch area) is a further step to network law abiding people and the sharing of information within their immediate areas.
We can't expect the Antioch Police Department to be our only answer to fighting crime. It takes a community effort as well.
ONE AREA TO focus on would be Cot On The Web, located on 2333 Buchanan Road in Antioch. This illegal gambling activity has been in action for over one year. The State Gaming Commission has publicly said it is an illegal.
I have seen prostitution in the parking lot, drug sales in broad daylight, "customers" rolling marijuana cigarettes in broad daylight -- directly in front of the business. There are people loitering in front of the location and in the parking lot at all hours of the day and night, transients urinating in the parking lot, etc. Customers at the Domino's Pizza right next door have to endure this, and much more, including a parking lot jammed with vehicles used by people visiting an illegal, criminal activity.
Why has the review of an Native American request to build a casino here rejected based in part on it "drawing a criminal element" to Antioch, when we already have an illegal gambling activity doing business in front of us in broad daylight?
The idea of the city insisting on an illegal gambling establishment have a security guard, is the equivalent of insisting that a street corner drug dealer be armed for protection. This criminal activity is located in public right next to a place where kids go to get pizza.
Get them closed down. Give them 90 days. The longer we wait, the more we legitimize their criminal actions, and make the city liable for the consequences of issuing a business license to an illegal gambling location.
Until Cot On The Web opened, I never had to worry about taking my children to get something as innocent as a pizza.
This week's question:
Do you think your city should establish a daytime curfew for students in an effort to cut down on truancy and potential crime? Why or why not?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.