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Your hometown weekly newspaper



    Vol. 9, No. 52 Including Surrounding Communities www.thepress.net December 25, 2009


    nalAwardWinning Newspapers



    Sign in! Connect with the community.Create your free account and start reaping the bene ts at www.thepress.net. See page 8B.

    Pristine preseason

    When league play tips off in January, the Falcons will be primed to hit the court running.

    Page 3B

    Calendar ..........................19BClassifieds ........................12BCop Logs ..........................15AEntertainment ..................8BHealth & Beauty ...............6BMilestones .........................5BOpinion ...........................14ASports .................................1BWebExtras! .......................1B


    Friends deliver baskets of caring

    Christmas came early to Oakley as volunteers serving as Santas helpers made sure fami-lies in need were able to enjoy the holidays.

    More than 200 elves pitched in to support the sec-ond annual Friends of Oakley Christmas Basket Program, sorting and boxing donated food

    items for 200 Oakley families and wrapping toys for more than 600 children. After a year of plan-ning and a month of collecting donations, the distribution day went off without a hitch.

    It was an outstanding ef-fort, said Friends of Oakley Vice President Jim Frazier. It was like clockwork. We gave food and toys to 185 families in two and a

    A young vol-unteer, one of hundreds who showed up to help with the Friends of Oakley Christmas Basket Program, quickly carries out her as-signed task at OHara Park Middle School Sunday.

    Photo by Samie Hartley

    by Samie HartleyStaff Writer

    see Caring page 6A

    Grief grips local schools

    It was a grim week for the Oakley education community, as three teachers passed away in unrelated circumstances.

    Pages 8-9A

    As another year draws to a close, its time once again for our annual message of thanks and good wishes to the communities that we at the Press newspaper group have been proud and privileged to serve for 10 years now. A lot has changed for a lot of people and companies during 2009, and due to the economy, not all of the change has been pleasant. Nevertheless, we hope your dif culties this year have been offset just a bit by the stories of success, achievement and caring weve been able to share in these pages and on our Web site, thepress.net. As we all look forward to a more prosperous 2010, we hope youll continue to share your lives with us and your neighbors, and we wish you a world of health and happiness along the way.

    From the Press family to yours

    Photo by Jennifer Fink

    to all ourPress Readers


    Christmas came early for hundreds of Oakley kids, thanks to the Oakley Po-lice Department and the Sheriff s Delta Station. The Fourth Annual Cops for Kids event, held at Oakley City Hall on Dec. 18, was an evening of celebration complete with food, pictures with Santa,

    arts and crafts, and toys for all.This was an awesome event, said

    Oakley Police Chief Chris Thorsen. We had over 200 people this year our biggest turnout ever. Its a nice community event for folks in need of a little holiday help.

    Refurbished bicycles tuned up and

    polished up by inmates at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility were available for gifts, as were box games, sports equip-ment, dolls and more.

    The evening, said Thorsen, was the result of plenty of hard work on the part of countless individuals and volunteers:

    This event was made possible through the generous donations of local business-es, community groups and individuals who partnered with us to make this years event special for the kids who attended. I cant thank everyone enough who helped make this such a success.

    Cops come out for kids

    Of cer Michaud of the Sheriffs Delta Station assists a new bike owner with his selection during the Cops for Kids party last weekend. Below, Santa had plenty of visitors waiting to submit their Christmas wish lists at the Cops for Kids event at Oakley City Hall.

    Photos by Kevin Bartram


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    Mayor Bob Taylor has taken off his tur-key suit for the last time this year after paying off in spades his promise to wear it in pub-lic. His The Mayor Is A Turkey fundraiser brought in more than 750 turkey donations to the Brentwood Regional Community Chest Christmas Basket program, far exceeding his original goal of 300. Above, Gobbler Bob poses with members of the fi refi ghters union

    Local 1230, which donated 75 turkeys, and the Brentwood Police Offi cers Association, which added 25. At top left, First Lady Pam Taylor bastes him at the Christmas Basket event. Left, hizzoner encounters pretzel and ice cream cone characters while cruising the Streets of Brentwood. This was wonderful, Taylor said of the citys response to the effort. Next year, were going to go for 1,000.

    This turkey is done


    Antioch girl takes care of angelsMegan Vallee is only 10-years old,

    but for many local children this holiday season, shes the answer to their prayers.

    Recently while dining with her family at a local restaurant, Megan noticed a Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree on display. When the Antioch fi fth-grader began reading a few of the tags asking for gifts and essentials for needy families for Christmas, she asked her parents if they could help. The answer, of course, was yes, so in her enthusiasm Megan took all of the remaining tickets approximately 15 off the tree and popped them into her pocket.

    Megan was very moved by the fact that all of these children were just asking for simple basic needs such as jackets a