Please keep the sand castle competition


I am Brandon Byrne, and I am 10 years old, and I heard the sand castle competition is canceled. Well, I have been in it since I was 5, and I don't do it for the prizes. I do it for the fun.


Also, if I'm not signed up I help other people. Even my friends don't do it for the money. So can someone please reschedule it?


Brandon Byrne, Barstow



Focus on street repairs


The pothole said to the car, "Three more like me and your tie rod is gonna go!" The mechanic said to the car owner, "That will be $350." The car warned the pothole, "You are going to disappear soon, the Barstow City Council is going to see to it!" Time alerted the city's car owners, "You better not count on it!" The pothole said to the car, "There go two of your lug nuts!" Time said, "It's going to get worse, trust me." Barstow city residents sighed, "Yep what else is new?"


The preceding fairy tale is not such a tale after all. Things go round and round the City Council meetings until most members barely know what exactly is being talked about. It's a joke. Our streets are pathetic and the more we complain, the less gets done. It's embarrassing that our infrastructure has finally caught up with frivolous actions of councils past and present. First you take care of the core of a town: infrastructure and safety. Then you enhance it in order to attract growth. I've been through many towns that are similar in size and nature to Barstow; they don't look as run down and sad as we do here. We have so many possibilities and no motivation or incentives to offer other than to the downtrodden.


We've paid for studies and plans; we've paid a ridiculous amount in white-collar city workers' salaries and not enough on blue-collar work. We definitely get what we put into it, and it shows. It's like a disease has overcome this town, and it begins with the basics, and yet we have a hearty bunch of longtime residents who just keep trudging happily along in apathy, ignorance, or silly hopefulness.


Imagine this: "Welcome to Barstow (avoid certain areas)! We have an Old Town (and a city full of cobblestone asphalt roads) and plenty of street life (no explanation necessary here)! Enjoy our fine murals (if you can keep your eyes focused and hang on to your steering wheel)! Lovely housing (especially the newest section 8 area), fine shopping (Wal-Mart's on Armory, or do you prefer shopping for less than a buck?), and plenty of recreation (we play "Can you find the ultimate worst road in town?" or "Do you think they're selling meth or pot?"). Oh! ... and the new hospital should be in place in a couple of years!


I see so many here that do so much to help others and yet this town continues to slip away from us and into much despair and disrepair. It's a sad, sad situation. No wonder we are the laughing stock. Dismal? Yes. Unrealistic? No. Fixable? It's up to us. We deserve better than this. I always say that if you want to see the heart of a city, walk it's streets. Not just the fancy ones, all of them. How many of you would do this?


Annette Sauer, Barstow