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Your hometown weekly newspaper


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    nalAwardWinning Newspapers

    Visit Your Hometown Website www.thepress.net

    Vol. 11, No. 47 YOUR HOMETOWN WEEKLY NEWSPAPER November 25, 2011



    Calendar ............................ 19BClassifieds ......................... 11BCop Logs ............................ 18BEntertainment ................... 9BFood ...................................... 8BHoliday Gift Guide ............ 1BMilestones ........................ 17BOpinion ..............................16ASports .................................17A

    Presents with presence

    Unwrap our Holiday Gift Guide and discover ideas thatll make this season memorable for your family and friends. Page 1B

    Mark yourcalendars Looking to hook up with charitable activities or seasonal entertainment? Check out our lineup of holiday events. Page 5A

    Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that were here for something be-sides ourselves.

    Eric Sevareid, journalist

    The holiday season is upon East County, and members of the community are opening their hearts to offer support to local charity drives offer-ing aid to those in need. Local

    businesses, schools, churches and municipalities are collect-ing food, toys, blankets and coats to make sure everyone has a warm, happy holiday.

    As its been doing for more than 45 years, the Brentwood Regional Community Chest (BRCC) is collecting non-per-ishable food items and toys to bring the joys of the holi-days to 500 families. Barrels have been placed throughout the community, and all of the

    Volunteers needed for charity events

    by Samie HartleyStaff Writer

    see Charity page 8A

    Santa had his hands full with reluctant visi-tors Charles LeVeque, Jr., 3, and Raya LeVeque, 1, following the Holiday Parade in Brentwood last week-end. If your young-sters are also a bit shy about meeting Santa, they could be a winner in the Scared of Santa Photo Contest on thepress.net Facebook page. Submit your nominations between Dec. 5 and 11, and tell your friends to vote between Dec. 12 and 18.

    Scared of Santa

    Photo by Michele Chatburn

    Remember: shop Oakley first

    The holiday shopping season is offi cially here, but instead of battling shoppers in the malls and outlets, why not do your shopping without even leaving Oakley?

    Last year, the City of Oakley and the Oakley Chamber of Commerce launched Oakley First, an initiative to promote patronizing local businesses. Now that the holiday shopping is in full force, local offi cials are asking the community to remember to shop in Oakley before venturing to neighboring cities.

    Oakley isnt traditionally considered a retail hot spot even by Oakley residents. Ive lived in Oakley for fi ve years, but I dont know how much Christmas shopping Ive ever done here, said Oakleyite Jeanette Richards. I grocery shop here. I use the drug store. I eat at local restaurants, but when it comes to gift shopping, I normally head out to Brentwood, where I can fi nd more variety.

    Oakley might not have a Streets of

    Brentwood, Slatten Ranch or Lone Tree Crossing, but still offers a host of options for conquering your gift list. Everyone knows the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, when the bravest deal hunters wander sleep-deprived into the chilly November morning to load up and save big. But a new

    post-Thanksgiving tradition is gaining

    steam. Saturday, Nov. 26, marks the second annual

    Small Business Saturday. No need to

    rise at the crack of dawn or go through a series of pre-shopping stretches to prepare for warding off fellow deal hunters. Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to shop in your home town, take your time and enjoy its quaint atmosphere and boost the local economy.

    Kevin Romick, Oakleys vice mayor and champion of the Oakley First campaign, emphasizes the benefi ts of shopping Oakley. It doesnt matter if you shop in a chain store or an independent business, wrote Romick in an e-mail. Buying local keeps the money local. Not only does 1 percent of the total state sales tax come back to our fair city to be used locally, when you buy locally,

    but it is the primary source for making our community a great place in which to live, providing us with police services, street and landscaping maintenance, senior services, youth activities, parks, arts and community events and much, much more.

    Romick urges residents to search Oakley for gift ideas before hitting the larger shopping centers out of town, remembering that its the thought that counts the most. But even if youre looking to surprise your recipients with the perfect gift, it might surprise them more that you did all your shopping in Oakley.

    When we shop locally, we help fuel our economy, said Lynn Stahli, Oakley Chamber of Commerce offi ce manager. Its like a gift to the community.

    To comment, visit www.thepress.net.

    by Samie HartleyStaff Writer It doesnt matter if you

    shop in a chain store or an independent business. Buying local keeps the money local.

    Oakley Vice Mayor Kevin Romick

    Timely talons serve Falcons

    A last-minute blocked field goal attempt allowed the Falcons to live another day in the North Coast Section playoffs. Page 17A

    A local credit union is making the holidays happier for those who need it most.

    Crucial creditgo to news/WebExtras!

    Californias lead-ing small-business association urges holiday shoppers to buy local.

    Local largessego to news/press releases

    Antiochs exposure to the Occupy movement was untraumatic.

    Occupiedgo to multimedia/videos

    visit thepress.net like us on facebook follow us on twitterScan QR code with your mobile device to access these websites.

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    Local protesters turn focus to banks

    Members of a local MoveOn.org group protesting against income in-equality and other issues turned their attention to major fi nancial institu-tions Saturday.

    Brandishing signs scolding big banks, about 30 people participated in the East County sector of the Oc-cupy Wall Street movement, picket-ing outside Wells Fargo and Bank of America on Somersville Road in Antioch. The protesters spoke out against major banking practices they felt are unfair.

    Many cars passing by honked in support of the effort.

    I think its wonderful to have that many people out here, local MoveOn.org representative Chris Flores said. Weve had really good sign-ups, but I think more people turned out than I thought. I love the positive feedback.

    However, while Occupy rallies in Oakland and other big cities have made headlines for violence and van-dalism, those who coordinate these events in East County have made sure theres no reason for the police to be called.

    Organizer Harry Thurston even made sure to stay on the sidewalk

    during the rally, and not step onto the ramp leading to Bank of Americas ATMs. Thurston, who walked around leading cheers with a megaphone, said the Occupy movement is most success-ful when these protests are peaceful.

    Protesters didnt physically con-front bank employees or customers, but simply stood outside the banks and raised awareness. Organizing members also passed out information showing the benefi ts of opening an account at a local credit union instead of a major bank, as well as how to do so.

    This is not about destroying, its about fi xing, Thurston said. Change comes through peaceful, determined, purposeful need. We can only do things peacefully. Civil dis-obedience doesnt mean violence; it means peaceful requests for change. Thats how change will happen for the better.

    Those who stood out and partici-pated on Saturday came from many walks of life, from students all the way to a World War II veteran. Los Meda-nos College student Red Westfi eld of Pittsburg said she had been following the Occupy protests in the news and was excited to hear of local events. She held a sign in front of Bank of America that read Outlaw corporate tax havens. She said she plans to at-tend more of the local Occupy ral-

    lies, since it saves a trip to Berkeley or Oakland.

    Now that its here in my home-town, Westfi eld said, I feel almost an obligation to come out and show my support.

    The Occupy protesters gather together under the phrase We are the 99 percent. The members have spoken out against the statistic illus-trating that the richest 1 percent of Americans account for more than 40 percent of the countrys wealth. Many protesters express displeasure with the high price of health insurance, the war in Afghanistan, joblessness and the disproportionately low taxes paid by Americas richest citizens. Ac-cording to the California Department of Labor, 10 percent of Contra Costa County residents are unemployed.

    These rallies serve as a way for people to have a voice and speak for what they believe in. Thurston not-ed at a previous rally that while the regular citizens who comprise the 99 percent might not have money or po-litical power, they do have strength in numbers.

    I feel really good about it, get-ting people out here, Antioch resi-dent Jimmy Rumelhart said. Its bet-ter than sitting around and not doing anything.

    To comment, visit www.thepress.net.

    A couple of Occupy protesters speak out against the business practices of big banks during a MoveOn.org rally on Saturday in front of Bank of America in Antioch.

    Photo by Justin Lafferty

    by Justin LaffertyStaff Writer


    Times Good for 11/23-12/1 *Denotes No-Pass Engagement#Denotes special engag