Teen felon gets slap on wrist?

Dear Editor:

I was assaulted July 28 and left unconscious by a 13-year-old criminal out on probation. He had three felony convictions. After attacking me and stealing my car (and caught), he pleaded guilty to two more felonies. With five felony convictions, I've learned he is out with an electronic bracelet, and attending "Christian school."

Why are there so many criminals in Antioch? Because they know a slap on the wrist is the worst that can happen to them.

I am outraged and disgusted. Justice? What a joke.

Jan Brandt

Antioch

Here we go, again!

Dear Editor:

Well, here we go again with the East Contra Costa Fire District board and its fire chief thinking they can come after the taxpayers to bail them out after their continued failure to manage their operational and benefit budgets within the current money they have available to them.

It's clear that Joel Bryant is already using dirty tactics by making misleading statements like "warned that a repetition of this scenario would cost more lives." This is his opinion and should have been stated as so, because it certainly isn't a proven fact and it shouldn't have been stated as so.

In 2012 the ECCFD budget was $8.2 million, but the district had been spending $12 million a year, so cuts should have been taking place well before its failed attempt to milk more money out of the East County taxpayers. In 2012 their Measure S attempted to get a budget approved that added up to a hefty $16.7 million, which was double its actual $8.2 million budget, and you may remember the smart people of East County voted their Measure S down to defeat. Now we are reading the board approved a 2013-14 primary budget of $11.9 million, which they apparently can manage with the federal money they received, but that money is running out, so they are thinking it's time to come after the taxpayers again.

You people need to wake up and accept the facts that changes need to take place to reduce your operational and benefit budgets without thinking you can milk the tax payers into paying for your out-of-control spending. I can't wait to see what you people go after this time, because I believe you will have the same results as you did in 2012, and it will be voted down again.

Johnny Merrill

Brentwood

Count our blessings

Dear Editor:

After the tragedy in Byron, the loss of a child should have a major impact on our regular everyday lives.

We take for granted the hustle and bustle of regular family day life. Drop the kids off at school, going to work, grocery shopping, just regular routine family stuff. Maybe now we take a deep breath, slow down and capture the essence of our being and look at our families and life a little differently. Reality certainly will give credence to what is important in our everyday experiences. Brentwood is a family-orientated community with many school activities. Nothing can beat hearing the laughter of a child, squeals of joy while playing with friends and the many sports activities throughout our city. So, I encourage everyone to count our blessings and be grateful for the good things we enjoy on any given day and time. I extend my condolences to the family and can assure them that the Brentwood family shares their grief during this mourning period. May God bless their family and help guide them.

Bob Taylor

Mayor of Brentwood

Drivers need to use caution

Dear Editor:

Over the past eight years the road that connects Contra Costa and Alameda counties has seen an overwhelming increase of daily commuters. These two counties are experiencing rapid expansion along with suburban development in the rural areas.

Today, many people argue that Vasco Road has outgrown its original functions as a county road and is now being used as a major thoroughfare. With Contra Costa County being one of the fastest growing counties in California, there has been a rise of population in the East County area as well, causing many to rely on Vasco. With so much congestion on an outdated road, there are bound to be major concerns. From 16,000 accommodated vehicles in 1996, to today, more than 25,000 motorists commute via Vasco, and with such commute taking place, the road quickly deteriorates as growth in traffic erodes any kind of small improvement made in the past.

The "Contra Costa County Vasco Road Safety Recommendations Summary Report" shows a 2004 engineering study that recorded more than 250 collisions due to heavy congestion, excessive speed, unlawful passing, reckless driving, drunken driving and other serious moving violations from 1996 to 2003, and has drawn the public's attention for safety improvements.

The state acknowledges that the road needs long-term improvement solutions, but such a task requires a lot of funding, which is something the counties cannot currently afford. Necessary means are taking place to receive appropriate funding, but until then, we must rely on short-term solutions such as stepped-up law enforcement and reengineering (i.e., rumble strips). Until long-term solutions take place, we urge drivers to be careful when driving Vasco because it is considered an extremely dangerous road.

Sahar Masudi

Antioch

Homecoming thanks in order

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Liberty High School 2013-2014 Leadership Class, I would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their continual support of Liberty High School, the leadership class and the homecoming tradition that makes LHS a standout among local high schools.

First, we would like to thank His & Hers Formal Wear in downtown Brentwood. Annette Beckstrand, at His & Hers, generously donated the tuxedos that the homecoming court princes wore during the week's festivities. The experience of our students was such a positive one, and that is owed to the excellent service provided by His & Hers. Thanks so much!

Next, the leadership program would like to thank Brentwood Florists & Gifts. The annual "rose ceremony" by which we reveal the homecoming king & queen could not have taken place without the generous donation of Brentwood Florists & Gifts. We thank them for the donation of all flowers used during homecoming week.

For over a decade, Delta Fence Company has generously donated fencing to Liberty for dances, charity events, and most recently, homecoming. Student safety at the homecoming dance and homecoming float building was ensured by the donation from Delta Fence. We hope the Brentwood community will support this stellar local business.

Without the assistance of the Brentwood Police Department and Police Explorers, the yearly homecoming festivities would not be a possibility. We thank them for going above the call of duty!

Additionally, we would like to thank the following individuals and businesses for the time and effort on our behalf: Steve Barr, for his donation of a flatbed truck upon which our judges and emcees could host the parade; Valerie Austin, who provided the homecoming court breakfast, waking in the early hours to create a positive experience for the homecoming court; the LHS maintenance department for its tireless efforts on behalf of Liberty; Wayne Reeves for procuring lights for float building; Julie Hubbard, Marci Lapriore, Jorge Ruiz and Nate Smith, for serving as float judges; Nate Smith for serving as our parade announcer within Ohmstead Field; and finally, to Bart Schneider, for serving as our master of ceremonies at the homecoming parade.

Thanks also to the downtown Brentwood businesses who allowed Liberty students to decorate the storefronts along the parade route, spreading Lion Pride throughout the city. Finally, thank you to the individuals who volunteered to drive their convertibles in the parade to escort our homecoming court and other distinguished guests.

The Liberty Homecoming tradition continues because of the support of the Liberty Union High School District employees and board of trustees, as well as the administration of Liberty High School: Pat Walsh, Sara Branstetter, Ilene Foster, Sandra Guardado, Kevin Morris and Wendy Thigpen.

Homecoming is a tradition that reminds us why we moved to Brentwood in the first place, and why we love to live here. Thank you to the community at large for their support of homecoming now, as well as for years to come!

Summer Rodriguez

Director of Student Activities, Liberty High School