Only one choice for mayor
It is election time. They will say any thing and promise you every thing. Here in Antioch, we are stuck for another two years with Wade Harper and Gary Agopian on the council. Why run for mayor when you haven't done anything for the last two years? They both say they are for public safety now to get elected mayor. What did they do for public safety the past two years? Gutted it. Did nothing. The only choice for mayor is Donald Freitas.
For council the choice is a little easier. We can vote Mary Rocha out seeing she has done nothing in the past four years. Vote Noel Pinto in. He has 25 years administrative experience in the things we need. For the second seat on the council, there is no one qualified. It is a shame.
Voters should back Enholm
Far East County voters can get on track to have a full 110-acre community college centrally located to benefit all residents of Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, and nearby unincorporated communities, including Bethel Island, Byron, Discovery Bay and Knightsen.
In the Nov. 6 election, voters can show their support for Greg Enholm for Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board (Ward 5) who has pledged to replace the 11-year-old Los Medanos College Brentwood Center on Sand Creek Road, with a full 110-acre community college at a convenient, centrally located site such as Laurel Road. The college district bureaucrats at their Martinez headquarters are all set to build a small, 17-acre, inconveniently located, non-expandable campus at the Trilogy location at Marsh Creek Road.
Without holding public/community hearings to let far East County residents say what they want, college district bureaucrats are planning to build a 17-acre campus (which can never be expanded) in a gated, retirement resort Trilogy complex, at the southernmost end of Brentwood. This location is not convenient for the 650 Antioch students and 500 Oakley students who now attend the Brentwood Center on Sand Creek Road.
I ask far East County voters to strongly support Greg Enholm for Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board Member (Ward 5). Enholm is an East County resident for 16 years, a financial analyst for 17 years, a high school math teacher for 10 years (including at Liberty High School) and is now a college math professor.
A full 110-acre community college is needed for far East County, and Greg Enholm is the candidate who can make a full 110-acre Far East County community college a reality!
Cowan for school board
We urge Antioch voters to elect Barbara Cowan as a member of the Antioch School Board this November.
She has 39 years of experience as a classroom teacher and middle and high school principal. Her understanding and compassion for children is a solid part of her persona.
Barbara has also served as a special education coordinator in a previous district. Barbara Cowan's literacy in Spanish gives her a valuable understanding of the needs of Hispanic students. If elected, she will be the only Spanish speaker on the Antioch Board.
We have a daughter in the Antioch schools and soon will have another. A board member of Barbara Cowan's quality, gives us security in knowing that sound leadership is on the board and thus good decisions for our children.
Karen and Michael Williams
What is value of one year of your life?
Public servants are in the public cross hairs, once again. Not for the lives they save, educate or protect, but because of the wages and compensation they received through a public process over the years.
Ironic, the public support, gratitude and hero's welcome we receive when we help to save a life, home, open a locked car door -- with a child inside, or pay the ultimate sacrifice, is under fire.
When I began my fire service career in 1984, it wasn't for the money. In fact, I had a 120-hour workweek, no overtime, paid 9 percent of my PERS contributions, and was paid $1,086 per month. Employer-paid dental and medical were the benefits, but more importantly, it was the pride I have as a public servant that makes this career so rewarding. During my fire science education, I was taught that statistics revealed my life expectancy was five years after retirement.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of firefighters. There's much unspoken about the stress and hazardous exposures the job entails. I expect this, as conditions have improved, and know when I check out, my family will be taken care of. This was part of the collectively bargained 3 percent at 50 retirement formula. What is a year of your life worth? Do you complain about your homeowner's insurance rates you may never use? Ken Hambrick writes: "Confire ran 41,000 calls but only 486 were for structure fires. Seventy percent were medical calls." Some education on that: After 4 to 7 minutes of non-breathing, you suffer irreversible brain damage. Fire stations are located to respond within that time frame, to any address in their district. The fire department stabilizes the patient, AMR transports that patient to the hospital (oftentimes with the firefighter in the back to assist with patient care). Our job description is unlimited. It ranges from public education (equals fewer fires through public safety education), hazmat, fires, explosions, water/ gas line breaks, odor investigation, animal rescue, trench/building collapse, traffic collisions, shootings stabbings beatings, bites, overdose, suicide, hangings, hemorrhage, vomiting, sickness, lockouts, leaks, lift assist, rescue, debris removal, floods, water rescue, extrication, and anything else you dial 911 to fix -- and then, safely coming home to my family, like it was just another day at the office with my emotions in check.
I'm a taxpayer. Does that mean I make even less because I contribute to my own salary? The Contra Costa Times loves to promote our salary benefits and "overtime," which just happens too often times, be mandated to us, to fill an opening and maintain our staffing levels. Mandate means we are "assigned to work," even if we don't want to. Could be on a holiday, anniversary, first day of school or our child's birthday. I'm proud of my career, and I look forward to telling people I meet what I do for a living. However, I am disappointed at how public servants have come under fire for what we have bargained for over the years.
Maybe when everybody is back to work, economy improves, or we have a major loss of life and property through a disaster, we can put our compensation debate to rest.
If you want less, tax it more
The city of Richmond wants to tax sodas so people will drink less of it. The state taxes cigarettes so fewer people smoke. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority increased tolls (a tax) on bridges so fewer people would drive.
A general principle to follow is if you want less of something, tax it, more of something, reduce the taxes on it.
President Clinton reduced the taxes on dividends and capital gains from 28 percent to 15 percent. We got prosperity and the federal government gained billions in new tax revenue: Eighty-four billion the first three years (says The Wall Street Journal). Investments in the private sector grew, creating more successful businesses that paid more taxes and hired more employees -- all of whom paid more taxes. And, investors paid more in taxes on their dividends and capital gains.
Barack Obama wants to raise investment tax rates back to 28 percent. Does he want less investment in businesses or less tax revenue for the federal government? For more than 100 years the lowering of tax rates has generated more investments, more jobs, greater prosperity, and more tax revenues.
Is Barack Obama simply ignorant on economic/fiscal issues, or an ideologue that is destroying our private sector economy? Maybe both.
Obama's failed foreign policy
President Obama's soft, touchy, freely approach with the Arab nations has definitely sent the wrong message to our allies on where the United States stands diplomatically in the world.
This administration doesn't believe in American exceptionalism. The traditional role, is that America should lead. This president feels that we should lead from behind. Mitt Romney was absolutely correct in speaking out on America as being perceived as weak. These are dangerous times that we live in. We need a strong leader that will not back down, apologize, nor make excuses. Our embassies should be protected by the leaders of those countries that receive generous aid from the United States. Why are we continuing to fund these countries with our taxpayer dollars if they're truly not our allies? Our moneys can be better spent taking care of our own. Our military needs to be strengthened, not reduced. Obama's policies have not worked. It is truly time for change. This is the most important decision that you will be making in November that will decide the direction that our country will be taking. Remember, we are one nation under God, not one nation under government entitlements.
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