By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sound Off!
Placeholder Image
I would like to know why we cannot have blinking cross lights at Central and also on Don Pedro in front of the school. This is a very dangerous intersection on Central Avenue. What are they going to do, wait until some kid gets killed or hurt very seriously before they put something up there? It's dangerous because of the kids at Central Valley High School.

We need some kind of lights down there, either a red light in the air, a stop light or blinking crosswalk.

• Kudos to Jeff

Kudos to Jeff Benziger for his fair, balanced and downright riveting coverage of local political races. As the respective campaigns for Ceres City Council and School Board heat up, I would like to take pause in order to commend Jeff. He does a fine job of highlighting each candidate's history and positions on the issues. He also does an equally good job resisting the temptation to take sides.

Plus he does a killer, killer job with his spell check tool. Rarely do you see spelling errors in "Sound Off!"

• Urine soaked kid in store

Today is Monday, Aug. 20 and I visited our local retail store at Hatch and Mitchell. I was appalled at what I saw. A 2- to 3-year-old child had urinated in the middle of the toilet paper aisle. Her mother paid no attention to the child's cry so then the child opened a Kleenex box and began stuffing Kleenex into her pants. Her mother, obviously paying no attention, left her there. She threw herself on the floor and began to drag her soiled, urinated pants as well as the Kleenex box, all over the floor, down the aisle.

I brought it to the attention of the employees who then told me, "Oh, you should see when someone has a bowel movement. We see it all the time."

My comment is this: What kind of country do we live in when it's okay that children drag their urine and feces all over a public retail store? To me that is just appalling and absolutely disgusting and I fear that if we open another store of the same stature in our town that it's just going to be worse. How about we clean up the stores that we have before we allow anyone else to build?

• Wal-Mart could close first store

I read in the Modesto Bee where Ceres thinks two Wal-Marts would be good? What makes you think they'll keep both of them open after they get the new one built? They were going to put in a Sam's Club behind where they're at now. After their three-year agreement with them, a year later they canceled the plan and decided they didn't need a Sam's here. Now they need a Supercenter? I don't think so.

• Wal-Mart destroying towns

City of Ceres, wake up! Wal-Mart is taking over your town just like any communistic everybody-must-shop-at-one-place and suck out the life of any kind of diversity as other merchants. Everybody has to dress the same, look the same, shop at the same place. That's what they're doing across the entire country.

And our little stupid hayseed city councilmembers are not going to stop it because they're ignorant. You know that Wal-Mart is such a big juggernaut that in 1998 in Nashville, Tenn., they dug up 134 men, women and children's bodies from an Indian grave site that was protected in order to build their Supercenter.

I hope that they don't plan to change their plans and build it in the Whitmore cemetery because you know what, you won't stop them.

Shake the hand of your auto mechanic, your grocer, your drug store person, your everybody and say good-bye because as soon as you let them in - like the other towns already knew - you kill off everybody else. If you want to be a bunch of communists and do that, that's fine.

(Editor's note: Aren't communists the ones opposed to the free enterprise system, not the other way around? Let's remember that nobody points a gun at heads of customers to make them shop anywhere. When the original Wal-Mart was introduced to Ceres in the 1990s, we heard the same exaggeration that local merchants would be driven from business. It didn't happen, proof that not everybody shops at Wal-Mart).

• Wrong mail delivered

I've been living in Ceres over a year and have had trouble receiving my mail. I have to deliver other neighbor's mail at least two times a month and overnight envelopes addressed to my residence mysteriously appear in my box! I didn't know the mail carriers work graveyard shifts. The ones that work day shifts are more interested in their cell phone conversations, rather than verifying addresses (unprofessional). If I have a question/concern, I am given dirty looks or the rolling of their eyes. Does the government not hire dependable employees these days?

• A 'Rafflegate' operation

Thursday (Aug. 16) at Back to School Night at La Rosa, Mrs. Mariani addressed the parents that they were going to sell raffle tickets on campus for $10 a piece with a grand prize of $5,000. The school was going to receive $5 and the Ceres Unified School District Foundation was going to receive $5.

Ceres Unified School District Foundation is a non-profit organization, with only Walt Hanline named on the document. Ceres Unified School District Foundation is not accountable to the taxpayers of CUSD. That's a conflict of interest. Dr. Hanline is making the school sell "Rafflegate" tickets for his foundation. Betting, gambling and chance of luck on school campuses, using school district employees, supplies during working hours is an appropriate use of our tax dollars.

I hope CSEA and CUTA unions and the parents will boycott this misuse and contact school principals and board members to have this "Rafflegate" stopped. If you want to help the schools, give them the $10. These employees work hard to educate our children, not to rafflegate them and their families.

Who knows what's next? Mr. Hanline will want to put lottery machines in all the school offices under the CUSD Foundation.

(Editor's note: Dr. Hanline said this call was "politically motivated and lacks substance and again is an unnecessary personal attack on me." He noted that the Foundation is a federal and state approved non-profit corporation whose Board is annually appointed by the School Board. The Foundation is audited on an annual basis and available to the public, on request. Hanline is board secretary, with members including Dave McConnell, Arlene Vilas, Scott Siegel, Liz Hosmer, Bernadette Richardson and appointed CUSD staff members Mary Jones, Bob Palous and Lori Mariani. The raffle is seeking "donations" of $10 for each ticket. No one is required to buy a ticket. The foundation was formed to raise money to supplement the educational programs provided in the CUSD, including Outdoor Education camp, arts and music programs, cultural activities and more. In past years, these activities have been solely funded through small fund-raising efforts that included car washes, and candy sales, with students soliciting members of the community multiple times in a single year. Historically, schools have been required to return more than 50 percent of fund-raising proceeds to vendors to pay for products sold, such as candy and cookies. As a result of CUSD Foundation Fund Development Program, Ceres schools and the CUSD Foundation will receive all of the funding for special projects, including the Teacher Mini-Grant Program that enhances student's interest in learning. Over the past three years the CUSD Foundation has raised over $92,000.)

• Get the facts about Keyes Fire

To the person who wrote into "Sound Off!" about Keyes Fire, get all the facts before you condemn. The firefighters were on a fatal auto accident and were unable to leave the scene.

The house did not burn to the ground.

This is not a paid department; it's strictly volunteer.

Within Stanislaus County there is a mutual aid agreement and it works in times like this. When one agency is out on a call, the neighboring agencies help out.

Walk in their boots before you pass judgment.