Danville Express

Newsfront - July 13, 2007

Mayor hosts congressman, super speller

Danville Mayor Mike Shimansky hosted U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D., 11th) at his monthly breakfast at Father Nature's last Friday so he could present him with a new Panama hat after he left his old one in Danville while having dinner here recently.

Another special guest was 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Evan O'Dorney. Evan's first love is mathematics, he has said, and since McNerney has a Ph.D. in differential geometry, the two discussed this interest.

McNerney noted that young people in America need to be inspired to create ways to make buildings more efficient to be able to face the challenges in climate change.

The informal breakfast is a chance for any resident to talk to the mayor and town staff. On this morning, Shimansky encouraged folks to talk to their congressman.

One man expressed his concern about medical care in the United States, stating his opinion that doctors should not be able to get rich at the expense of sick people.

"You'd be surprised to know how often I'm asked this question," McNerney responded. "I think in 2009 we will have a chance for a major overhaul."

When asked, McNerney said his No. 1 priority, short-term, is to end the war in Iraq. His second priority is to improve education.

"The way America invests in education is part of my job," he said.

Someone else asked about the Veterans Affairs facility in Livermore, which has included a hospital, a clinic and a nursing home.

"Veterans need more services," said McNerney. He envisions the scenic 113-acre campus on Arroyo Road in Livermore serving as a place for veterans who have served in war zones to spend a month or so before transitioning back into the general population.

"Some are going to need care for the rest of their lives," he said. "We are going to need to provide that."

-Dolores Fox Ciardelli


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