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Letters to the Editor 7-3-24

Book sale success


Dear Editor,

The Friends of the Oakdale Library, Inc. has held a used book sale almost every year since its foundation in 1963. Each year bibliophiles have looked forward to this event. They have enjoyed hunting for books by their favorite authors and genres. They have especially appreciated that they could stock up on reading materials because the “price was right”. This year’s sale, held at the end of April, was no exception. Many who attended remarked that they loved being able to browse through the books and audiovisual items displayed in the Oakdale Library’s patio and Outdoor Educational Space (aka Meyer Park).

The Friends Board thanks all the volunteers who helped plan and staff the sale, but we especially want to recognize and give a big “shout out” to a quartet of Gen Xers who made it possible to use the outdoor location. Christopher Smith and Jeanne Marquis set up tables and easy up canopies to provide shade, shelter and protection from rain for books and humans alike. They also helped promote the sale by putting up posters and banners around town and making sure the sale was publicized on as many social media platforms as possible. Jolene O’Neil and her daughter Jenna, a student at OHS, collected dozens of berry boxes used to display the books. Additionally, Jolene worked all four days prior to and the two days of the sale, sorting and displaying items. Hondo Arpoika, recruited and supervised about 30 OHS students to first, early in the week, move the donated books to the library from storage for sorting, then move them again to the outdoor area a few days later for the sale, and finally, after the sale, consolidate and move those that didn’t sell to a location where they could be picked up by Community Hospice to sell at the Hope Chest Thrift Store. Without the help of these younger community helpers the Friends Used Book Sale wouldn’t have happened.

To all of you we say kudos and many thanks.


Sharon Arpoika, President

Friends of the Oakdale Library, Inc.



Farewell to O’Brien’s


Dear Editor,

As the Riverbank O’Brien’s Market prepares to close its doors forever, I want to take a moment to recognize all they have done for the City of Riverbank. When they first opened their doors in 1994, they were the premier grocery store for all of Riverbank. But they were more than just a place to shop for groceries. The O’Brien’s family and business set out to serve the community as well. Bill O’Brien served on the City Council and also served as the youngest ever mayor for the City of Riverbank. In addition to personal service, O’Brien’s, as a business, has supported the Riverbank Historical Society by donating food for their After Mother’s Day Omelet Breakfast year after year. This allowed a greater profit to be made by the Historical Society which in turn is used for scholarships, murals and preserving the history of Riverbank. O’Brien’s also placed ads in school brochures to help students fund programs such as sixth grade camp and band trips. These are just a few many community programs they have supported over the years.

O’Brien’s provided quality shopping with a small-town feel. We knew the staff by name, and they knew us. The butcher, managers, checkers and produce staff. It felt comfortable shopping there. O’Brien’s is the place many teens were hired for their first jobs (our three daughters included). Learning customer service, how to bag groceries properly, retrieve carts and of course, “clean up on Aisle 7,” were valuable lessons that they would carry with them throughout their lives.

We want to personally say thank you to Chuck O’Brien and especially Bill O’Brien for your time here in Riverbank. You and your store have truly made a positive difference in our city. You will be greatly missed and we intend to support your other stores as much as possible.

Rich and Chris Holmer