Half-cent sales tax needed

Dear Editor:

"Don't cut off your nose to spite your face" was a comment I often heard from my grandmother whenever I would complain, as a teenager, about how I had been wronged in some way and wanted to get back at those that hurt me. She's been gone now for more than 40 years, but her advice is as good today as it was back then.

If the one-half cent sales tax in Antioch is rejected by voters, the community will need a complete face lift, not just a nose replacement. It's true that we need more police officers, but we also need a whole spectrum of other important things: Community development, code enforcement, job growth, road repairs, care for our seniors and young people, water treatment, transportation and many others.

That's why I accept the council's decision not to dedicate all the new revenues to just police services and public safety. To do so at this time would be short sighted. If Antioch is to have any kind of a future we need to plan for it now while we still have the chance.

As to the argument that our residents will leave this area to shop in neighboring cities; I don't buy that argument. Pittsburg and Brentwood residents haven't flocked to Antioch because of their tax increase. They're still shopping at the stores they like -- it's just human nature. The fact that the tax will be eliminated in seven years means that the economy is expected to grow and eventually be self sustaining, making our community a place we can all be proud to call home.


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I'm not happy about it but, it is, what it is, and it won't get any better until we all put our money where our mouth is. I'm confident there are a multitude of people out there who will make darn sure our money is spent wisely!

Barbara Herendeen

Antioch

A call for artist participation

Dear Editor:

I am writing to express my enthusiasm for the city of Oakley recognizing the important role the arts and artists have in building, shaping, and nurturing relationships and communities.

There is a call for entries for the city's inaugural art exhibition, "Origins of Oakley: Our Cultural Heritage and Immigrant Stories;" Oct. 26 -Nov. 22 at Oakley City Hall. This exhibition is sponsored by You, Me, We, Oakley, one of only two Welcoming America initiatives in the state of California. It is a program to build a safe, strong and vibrant community comprised of longtime residents, recent immigrants, and a growing number of visitors in which everyone feels welcome and included in Oakley.

You, Me, We, Oakley wants all people with a connection to Oakley to submit a creative expression that embodies their cultural heritage, immigrant story, and relationship to Oakley, a city at the gateway of California's Delta region.

Many people live, work, recreate and visit Oakley or have relatives that settled in Oakley. It is a locale that was historically settled and farmed by people from Italy and Portugal. Today people from other regions of America, China, India, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, and the around the world are making Oakley their home. "Origins of Oakley" is an exciting way to share the cultural heritage and traditions of the diverse community.

I am a fine artist who has lived and created in Oakley for over 25 years. It is encouraging that the growth of Oakley has people involved who are responsive, resourceful and proactive. They see art integral to the life of a community, and that art is the vehicle through which we effectively share our stories, our diversity and our similarities. The creative process can be innovative and retain the integrity of tradition and heritage.

My art uses the traditional Japanese sewing technique, called Sashiko, that enabled farmers to quilt, strengthen, and reinforce their clothing, bedding, and utilitarian textiles. It was taught to me by my uncle as a way to spend time together, because I speak no Japanese and he spoke no English.

The relationship with my uncle has heightened my sensitivity to the layered relationships of ink (sumi), indigo dye, and 23-karat gold gilding that flow through the fibers of large sheets of handmade papers. Sashiko is stitched in a conversational response to the layers by changing traditional patterns as ink flows beneath the gold and over a stroke of indigo. It is always a surprise when I am asked to send my work to exhibitions around the country and faraway places, like Pakistan, Brunei and Djibouti. Living in Oakley and walking along the water is a constant reminder that we are all connected to the rest of world.

It is my hope that people will reflect on their own cultural heritage and traditions, their immigrant stories, and their connection to Oakley and share with the rest of the community. We all feel the need to belong, to be understood, and most of all feel welcomed. You, Me, We, Oakley is reaching out. May artists and all creative people with a connection to Oakley respond to the Call For Entries to participate in the art exhibition, Origins of Oakley: Our Cultural Heritage and Immigrant Stories.

For more information, entry forms and deadlines, contact: www.youmeweoakley.com or 925- 625-7011. Information packets are available for pickup at Oakley City Hall, 3231 Main St, Oakley.

Lucy Arai-Abramson

Oakley

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