Schools need to stress STEM

Dear Editor:

Assemblymember Bonilla is right to take a critical look at how schools are implementing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum.

Statistics show that California has nearly 1.5 open jobs in STEM fields for every qualified job seeker. We must address this skills gap to remain globally competitive.

Antioch, Mt. Diablo, Pittsburg and West Contra Costa school districts have embraced Linked Learning as their high school transformation strategy. Combined, these districts offer 41 rigorous and relevant industry-themed Linked Learning pathways that prepare students for both college and career. The majority are in STEM fields like engineering, IT and health care.

Linked Learning is an education approach that can only work with buy-in from industry partners who provide guidance to teachers and real-world learning opportunities for students.

This year the legislature approved a $250 million Career Pathways Trust to build stronger connections between business and schools. Regions that foster strong, sustainable partnerships with employers will stand the best chance at earning these dollars, and employers will ultimately benefit by getting the skilled workforce they need.

Dr. Sean Wright

CEO, Antioch Chamber of Commerce

Control renters, control crime

Dear Editor:

I just wanted to share my thoughts on Measure C. First of all my husband and I voted no and I wanted to explain why.

All the police in the world will never rid Antioch of all the shootings and burglaries, and all the other crimes that are going on. What needs to be done is to stop all the Section 8 renters from taking over our city. Our city is becoming like Oakland and Richmond because of the type of people that are moving to Antioch due to Section 8 housing -- it being so cheap and they can live in big beautiful house. You ask anyone what they think of Antioch and most will say the Section 8 housing is out of control. I'm not saying that all Section 8 renters are bad news, but a lot are.

I won't even walk my dog during the daytime anymore as I do not feel safe at all. I also have an alarm and do not feel safe in my house. We have wayward home for boys around the corner from our house, and the kids just glare at us as we drive by -- and along with them comes their friends who are trouble.

Also, when Measure C was going around a while back, there was also talk about making these landlords pay more taxes or a new tax of some kind (I feel the city and these landlords who have Section 8 rentals are mostly to blame for all the crime in Antioch) and if that would have been kept as part of Measure C, then I may have voted yes.

The citizens pay so much in taxes already, and yet cities, states and federal government just keep coming to the taxpayers for more money. There comes a time when enough is enough. A lot of us live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet and we just don't have anymore to give.

I say go after the Section 8 landlords and give us a break before we all say we've had enough and we are moving!

Donna Tavis

Antioch

Frazier is too beholden to labor unions

Dear Editor:

I was both angered and disappointed to read in the San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 18 that despite the hardships placed on the residents of East Contra Costa, Jim Frazier, Assemblemember District 11, would not support a ban on future BART strikes. This was even more shocking to me considering that as our elected representative, he should be aware of the commute challenges we already face with congestion on Highway 4.

It was a complete mystery to me as to why he would not support a ban on future BART strikes, given the undue hardships it caused on those he represents. However, it became clear to me when I read his campaign donors list from 2012. According to his campaign records, in 2012, Assemblymember Frazier accepted a total of $250,000.00 in campaign contributions from labor, public, and transportation unions. Frazier has made it clear that he has placed pandering to public unions above the health, safety, and welfare of those of us who formerly entrusted him with our votes. Frankly, we deserve so much better than that.

Thank God for candidates like Steve Glazer who have the courage to stand up to the unions and fight for the people he hopes to represent. I only regret he is not running in District 11.

Remember this when you cast your vote in 2014. Remember what happened during the first strike. Remember how we lived with the threat of another strike hanging over our heads, not knowing how we would be able to get to work until after midnight, and remember the hardships caused by the second strike.

Most of all, remember Assemblymember Frazier who is too beholden to unions to ensure this never happens to us again.

David Smith

Antioch

D.C. leadership is a total mess

Dear Editor:

Our country is in serious trouble due to a defining lack of leadership over the last five years, and it appears that this will continue for the next three years. Our leadership in world events has diminished to the effect that we have little or no influence in the events.

Who is to blame for this? We are! We keep electing the same individuals over and over again knowing full well that they can't or will not do the job that they were elected to do. "Shameful."

I blame both parties, but most of all the Democratic Party as its rule of law has been "my way or the highway," and this is very evident in the passing of the so-called Affordable Health Care Act. There was very little discussion regarding this law between the two parties, and before the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated, very loudly, "pass health care reform so you can find out what's in it!" And that's exactly what the Democrats did, with not one vote from the GOP or IND representatives.

This makes it mandatory for every citizen to have health insurance with penalties for not doing so. To insult the people even further, the representatives then "exempted themselves" from this law. In other words, they have told us that they are better than us. No wonder their approval rating is less than 23 percent.

For the next two years we can start doing something about this mess and vote these career politicians out of office, and replace them with politically mature individuals with a fresh voice to our future. Only then will we able to tell the world that we truly are "one nation of the people, by the people and for the people." Please review future candidates credentials and vote to take back our country.

Eric Salmon

Antioch

Obamacare is a disgrace, disaster

Dear Editor:

State health website lacking? It's a disaster, a disgrace.

California was given $1 billion to implement Obamacare and had 3 ½ years, like the federal government, to get it ready. Both have failed miserably. There are few news reports on the progress of the implementation because there's no good news to report and the news media prefers to hide those facts.

Five national unions have demanded Obamacare by repealed. President Obama has postponed the employer mandate for a year. He's agreed to pay the premiums for Congress.

The small business exchanges aren't working, nor the security software, leaving everyone who uses an exchange subject to identity fraud. Applicants can't see or compare insurance companies and the "back-end" software isn't working so the exchanges can't send new applications to insurers chosen by applicants.

States can't report how many people have enrolled. In the few states that can, the numbers are in the hundreds, not the thousands. Some states have turned off their exchanges since they have collapsed anyway.

I just received my annual enrollment; my insurance premiums have gone up 26 percent. Every promise the president made was a lie.

Hal Bray

Brentwood

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