Support for 110-acre college

Dear Editor:

As residents of Brentwood, we support the proposal of a 110-acre community college campus at Laurel Road between Antioch and Oakley. The college district's current proposal of a small, 17-acre campus at the southernmost end of Brentwood in a gated-resort/retirement community, i.e. Trilogy, does not permit for future expansion and is poorly located. We strongly favor a 110-acre Laurel campus because it is much better suited for students and residents of Brentwood as well as for students of East Contra Costa County (www.citizensforbrentwood.com).

We also strongly support electing Professor Greg Enholm as the College Board's Ward 5 Trustee on Nov. 6 because he has pledged to work to make a 110-acre Laurel campus a reality (Go to Facebook page "Far East County Deserves a 110-acre Community College").

A 110-acre Laurel college campus will also address another important issue: eBART. Ultimately, we want full BART not eBART for far East County. We propose that there be an eBART station at the 110-acre Laurel campus with a parking garage that can be utilized for students as well as eBART patrons so that students/patrons and their vehicles can be protected by college district police. BART police will not be present at eBART stations. Eventually, we will petition BART (and our local elected officials) to upgrade eBART to full BART before extending service through Brentwood.

We also favor small, conveniently located park and ride parking lots throughout Brentwood with a quality shuttle bus to take people to the Laurel Road eBART and/or Pittsburg BART stations.

Yildiz Karaibrahimoglu

Mark Begin and Cong Begin,

David Redding and Gloria Redding,

Charlene Straub

Brentwood

Concerned about mail-in votes

Dear Editor:

I have been mailing in my votes for years; however, I am now concerned that they are even being counted. According to television and newspaper reports, if the signature is in anyway different from the original it is thrown out. As people age their signature changes. When a person has tremors, for example, there can be days when they cannot write any kind of signature. This year I am carrying my mail-in vote to the polling place to make sure that it is counted. There needs to be some method of being sure that your mail-in vote is counted and carrying it in may be the only way.

Betty Weldon

Antioch

Classical music in the schools?

Dear Editor:

In his attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor, "e-views" (Oct. 12, regarding truancy) contributor, Ralph A. Hernandez, has inadvertently hit upon a brilliant suggestion for the enhancement of our public schools -- classical music in the classrooms! After all, this type of music has been touted as a boon to the growth and luster of our houseplants, a calming influence on colicky babies, and an IQ-raiser for the unborn when administered through headphones on a pregnant belly.

Just think of the benefits of piping in a steady stream of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms at the elementary school level. We would produce smarter, less fussy yet strong and robust students who wouldn't dream of being truant by the time they reach high school.

Renee Anderson

Brentwood

Vote 'yes' on Proposition 37

Dear Editor:

Will this truly cost us? Only the producer of the genetically engineered ingredient is responsible for the compliance, not the grocery store. Stores can make money on anything. It's easy for producers to substitute ingredients, without a major price increase. The only farmers who could be affected are those that grow genetically engineered seed crops, and they are not obligated to grow them.

The proposal only requires animals "themselves" that are genetically modified, such as the new genetically engineered salmon, to be labeled, not cows, because they "ate" a food with genetically engineered ingredients, thus there is no inconsistency between products. Because genetically engineered seeds are "patented," only their producers can research their effects.

Who is most opposed to this proposition, and if these foods are that "safe," why are they afraid to label it? Will this labeling rule offer us more or less choice of food? No one is saying we can't still eat these things, we just want to know. Consider the long term implications of food policy.

Pam Gosling

Bay Point

Toughest critic for Ruehlig

Dear Editor:

I am Walter Ruehlig's toughest critic. Whatever arguments there are for or against his campaign and candidacy for Antioch City Council; I vouch my husband will bring to the council one undeniable and most important character trait. Walter Ruehlig cannot be bought nor bullied.

The German origin of the Ruehlig last name means calm or steady. However, adversity has toughened the spirit underneath the gentle facade. His mother Marie, died of cancer when Walter was 10, and when he was 14, Richard, an older brother, was institutionalized for mental illness. Walter worked his way through college and graduated cum laude from the State University of New York in Albany. One of his first jobs was teaching English as a second language (ESL) for the Peace Corps in Sultandag, a village in Turkey that had neither running water nor electricity.

It is no surprise then that Walter was undaunted when he joined the Antioch Unified School District board of trustees in 2004 while the district was on the fiscal watch list with a 9 million dollar deficit and a 703 Academic Performance Index (API) score. Today, the district has a $34 million ending fund balance, has climbed to a 742 API score with eight schools hovering or above the vaunted 800 mark, and has become a state trailblazer in link learning with five career academies.

Walter will not be deterred by the challenges of crime, blight and economic lethargy. This gutsy, transplanted New Yorker will help build the city that we envision and stand unfazed by allures or threats from special interest groups that carry a price tag for their loyalty. For Antioch, the best is yet to come.

Cynthia Ruehlig

Antioch

Gill never had a full-time job

Dear Editor:

I'm getting totally fed up with these phony hit pieces put out by this wet behind the ears 27-year-old kid Ricky Gill. Not only has he never held a full-time job, he's never held an elected office, but even worse than all of this, he's supporting the Ryan "voucher proposal" on Medicare that will definitely screw the seniors.

In the 30 years I've lived in Antioch, which is three years longer than Ricky Gill has been alive, I've never seen or heard of Ricky Gill doing anything -- zero -- in East County. I think the choice for our U.S. Congressman is very simple. Honesty, integrity and experience; it's Jerry Mc Nerney.

Greg Feere

Antioch

Thank you for Charity Roundup help

Dear Editor:

A thank you to all for helping the Delta Advocacy Foundation by supporting our Annual Charity Roundup at the Roddy Ranch held on Sept. 29.

The sponsors were: Twin Rivers Insurance, John Slatten, Allied Waste, Tom Anderson Family, John Martinez family, Paradise Skate Roller Rink, Sutter Delta Medical Center, Scott Bergerhouse, Painting by Stefan, IBEW Local 302, Karste Consulting, Rotary Club of the Delta, Nancy Green, Graunstadt Enterprises, Contra Costa Building Trades, James Libbey Family, Genon, Umpqua Bank, Roddy Ranch Golf Club, and Roddy Cattle Co.

The in-kind sponsors were: Boy Scout Troop 450, Knightsen 4-H, Brentwood National FFA Organization, Dinelli family and crew, Bronco Wine Company, Ray Robertson, Tom Guarino, Jimmy Bean, Alan Payton, Greg Feere, Katie Myers, Uno Chicago Grill, Celia's, Kids and Cribs, Rundles and Associates, Winner's Circle, Lone Tree Golf Courseand Event Center, San Fransico Giants, Oakland A's, Kevin Fitzgerald, Contra Costa Electric, Bear Flag Vineyards, Straw Hat Pizza, Rivertown Impressions, Contra Costa Fair, PG&E, Trader Joe's, Brentwood Golf Club, Cold Stone Creamery, All in one Limo, Gerald the Magician, Wright's Chiropractic, Lumpy's Diner, Jackie Mancuso, Mangini Farms and Mary Proznik.

And our very special thanks to Jack and Donna Roddy for their generous support and to you, the people who attended this year's Charity Roundup. Because of your generosity, The Delta Advocacy Foundation will continue to support local charitable, educational and cultural causes in Eastern Contra Costa County.

Nancy J. Green

Delta Advocacy Foundation, treasurer

Freedom High students create native garden

Dear Editor:

As summer comes to a close, most Californians are waiting for the first sign of rain to reduce the dust and turn our hills green again. This time of year, the value of fresh water should be close to the hearts of any concerned citizen, particularly in East Contra Costa County. Yet, we still let faucets flow -- taking long showers, saturating our lush green lawns and providing carwashes every weekend.

There seems to be a dire disconnect between awareness of battles over water and the tendency for droughts in our state. The history and future of water resources in California is a major topic of discussion in the environmental science class at Freedom High School. To make this lesson more personal and realistic, we are in the process of developing a 6,000 square foot sustainable school garden.

Last May, the school received a generous contribution from Terracare Associates. Under the direction of company Vice President, Bill Horn, a team of landscapers and students transformed a barren stretch of dirt around one of the school entrances into a magnificent display of drought-tolerant plants. The enthusiasm and positive response motivated us to think on a larger scale.

The California Native Garden Foundation awarded Freedom High School with a grant that would pay horticultural interns from UC Davis to create a professional landscape design. They are incorporating five microclimates, planters for edible agriculture and a large teaching area. The benefits of native plants are diverse -- attracting pollinators, providing a natural habitat, and especially conserving water.

With the design nearly complete, we are now seeking community support to help this dream come true. On October 19, the FRESHH Environmental Club is hosting a free informational event. Representatives from Contra Costa Water District, Ironhouse Sanitation, the Delta Science Center, Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed and Master Gardeners will have booths set up to share their expertise about plants and water conservation. We hope you will join us from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, at Freedom High School, 1050 Neroly Road (use Brown Road entrance on the west side of campus).

For information go to http://libertyunion.schoolwires.net/freedom/site/default.asp and go to the activities tab.

John Sierra

Liberty High School teacher

Romney was ready for debate

Dear Editor:

For the first time in my life, I am afraid for my country and for my future as a senior under the current administration. I hope the debates will influence the election. As I watched the debate, I couldn't believe that the president of the greatest country on Earth, acted like a petulant teenager who hadn't done his homework.

No one has ever asked him to explain some of his decisions -- the press treats him as an idol.

Of course, he didn't have his teleprompter so he was on his own with answers. Mitt Romney was prepared, and in the dangerous world we now live in, I want a president who is prepared to make difficult decisions.

Gayl Krumland

Antioch

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