Are solar panels really green?

Dear Editor:

As I watch the construction of the solar panels at our schools, I cannot help but wonder how much carbon did it take for the miners to get to work to mine the aluminum? How much carbon did it take to mine the aluminum, smelt it, transport it, get the people to the manufacturing plant, and manufacture it into its shape.

Not to mention transporting it, transporting the workers to the job site day after day, trucking the fork lifts and other equipment to the job site, and run the equipment on the job site? The same goes for the solar panels. How much carbon will it take over the life of the panels to service them? How about making the materials for the panels and the panels themselves?

Are we fooling ourselves that this is green? I bet the owner of this equipment got a tax-paid subsidy to build this solar array that blocks the view of our truly green hills of East Contra Costa County. Want to talk about the giant wind mills on Vasco?

Tim Guernsey

Brentwood

ENCORE open house is April 15

Dear Editor:

The goal of the Antioch Unified School District is to "advance student achievement." AUSD offers several alternative education options that help achieve this goal. One of these programs is the ENCORE Home Schooling Program.

The school board is currently considering cutting a teacher from ENCORE.


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ENCORE combines parent-lead instruction with teacher-guided direction, and resources. These teachers arrange individualized curriculum, tutoring, field trips, science, writing, and art workshops. This program truly meets the district's goal to "advance student achievement" in a way that cannot be duplicated in traditional classroom settings. Four teachers run this extraordinary program. Removing one would ruin the unique attention the students receive.

An ENCORE open house will be held at the Antioch Library on 18th Street, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 15. A public forum will be held at Barnes & Noble on Lone Tree Way in Antioch at 7 p.m. April 19, with information about ENCORE and activities for kids available all day. Please encourage AUSD not to make this teacher cut.

Tamar Liberatore

Antioch

Nominations open for awards

Dear Editor:

The Antioch School's Education Foundation has opened nominations for our annual Mary Allan Fellows awards. Our awards are named for Mary Allan, the Antioch grade schoolteacher who was named California's teacher of the Year in 2001. This award comes not only with recognition for a job over and above well done, but with a monetary award for his or her classroom, and an award for personal use.

If you know of a teacher who has gone above and beyond, be sure to download a nomination form and nominate your outstanding teacher. The deadline is April 26 -- but don't wait until the last minute.

Our board visits the classroom of each nominee to judge the winners. Nomination forms are available at www.asef.us or go to www.antioch.k12.ca.us and you'll find a link to our website. After downloading the form, you can checkout our photo album from last year's celebration.

This year's awards dinner is on Sept. 17 at the Lone Tree Golf and Event Center, 4800 Golf Course Road in Antioch. Don't let this opportunity to recognize the work of our dedicated teachers slip away -- nominate your teacher today.

Martha Goralka

President, Antioch Schools Education Foundation

City shows a touching tribute

Dear Editor:

On behalf of Brentwood's chapter of the American Legion Riders, I would like to express to the people of Brentwood and Oakley the deepest gratitude for the reverence and respect granted to Marine Lance Corporal Sara Castromata, as her funeral procession passed through the downtown districts of both cities.

The escort from church to cemetery with more than 50 American flag-draped motorcycles, was organized by California's chapter of the Patriot Guard in conjunction with the Warriors' Watch, and included numerous local veterans service organizations -- the American Legion Riders, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Patriot Sentinels VMC, and Combat Veterans MC to name just a few.

It has been said all too often that Americans have long forgotten how to respect both their flag and their dead. The people of Brentwood and Oakley proved that wrong on April 3. With few exceptions, traffic was stopped midday in both directions on busy streets as the funeral procession for this young Marine passed. More than 2,000 students and staff from Liberty High School left their classrooms to line the streets and say goodbye to one of their own -- many with hand-drawn signs of personal remembrances.

Business owners and customers alike stopped what they were doing and held hands to heart as Lance Corporal Castromata and countless American flags passed slowly by. Although I did not know this young Marine personally, I was drawn to tears several times as I rode with the procession and watched these communities come together in reverent acknowledgment of her personal sacrifice. I felt both proud to be an American, and proud to be from Brentwood.

Jeff Weber

President, American Legion Riders Chapter 202 Brentwood

Take care with special child

Dear Editor:

There is a local kid in Antioch by the name of Kenny. He is African-American, stands about 6 feet tall and walks around town with a backpack full of plastic spoons and forks that he twirls around in his hands as he walks behind a plastic bag.

He also is well-known for showing everyone that passes by in the street, his middle finger. There are people that make fun of him every day of his life. I know this because I work in the Somersville Towne Center mall and see him frequently. I was appalled that someone has made a fake Facebook page with pictures of him and profane language attached to the photos. The child has a disability and is not a violent person. People who see him don't understand that he is one of God's special people.

I am fearful that someone will hurt him one day not knowing that he is not who they think he is.

Steven J. Evans

Antioch

Letters policy

Let your East County neighbors know what you think about issues of the day by writing a letter to the editor.

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