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"Sound Off!"
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• Appreciate those who put life on the line

Okay, first of all, I support the tax 100 percent. Let's just get that clear because I'm not one of those people who just keep on complaining about our heroic men and women police officers in this town. I would also like to thank them from the bottom of my heart because they are still out there on the streets trying to protect all of you and you never just stop and appreciate them.

I just laughed when I read the comment "Big toys" because that is certainly not the case at all. If the police force had that armoured vehicle the night Sgt. Stevenson was killed and Officer Ryno critically injured, things probably would have turned out differently. If you were saddened by the death of Sgt Stevenson then you would have compassion for his co-workers who could also be in danger. They are in desperate need of equipment and if you're too selfish to realize that then just think if you need help one day. Are they going to have the right equipment to save you or your family? You might want to think about that.

They also are very nice officers and if you don't think so go to L.A., then maybe you will appreciate our officers here.

• Time Ceres PD gets a review

I think it's time that the Ceres Police Department gets a review. It's funny that a teen recently just got shot not too long ago and they have no suspects but they are quick enough to go shoot someone thats holding a knife. Come on now, let's get our priorities straight. According to the articles I have read about this incident, the neighbors heard no warnings coming from the police before they shot fire (Modbee). Also, the reason of the 911 call was because his knife hit a neighbor's pickup truck instead of a tree (CeresCourier) nOT because this person was threatening anyone with the knife. It would be understandable if he was threatening to harm the neighbors or himself. I am pretty sure that's when stereotyping comes in and I'm pretty sure because this gentleman was Mexican and looked "gangster" it was enough for them to shoot. Were they really that scared of a knife when they are trained officers with guns? It's sad to know there is dirty cops in our small town.

• Discrimination between schools

I am the parent of a student who is involved in sports at Central Valley High School. I recently asked a coach why CV seems to have so many more fundraisers than Ceres High School. I was told that Ceres High's teams are given money by the district to cover their costs, but CV is not and that CV team members have to pay for most of the expenses themselves. This is outrageous and it is discrimination!

All teams at Central Valley High should receive the same amount of money that Ceres High's teams have received over the past two years, and money for this year immediately (while the students and parents who have been ripped off are still there). CV parents should refuse to participate in any fundraisers until this happens).

(Editor's note: We contacted Supt. Walt Hanline regarding your statement and he said that it's not true. "Both schools receive equal funding on a per student basis," he said. He noted that teams at both schools raise funds and that if any school has received more attention in recent years it is CVHS since they were given money for new uniforms. "I can't believe a coach would be that unaware," said Hanline when asked to comment on the coach's statement to the caller).

• Explain why city comes up short

I would love our city officials to explain how this city is short on cash. I just finished reading Kathi Foster's letter to the editor in support of the city's proposed tax hike. While I understand that there is need for firefighters, police officers and numerous other police services, I don't understand the shortage completely. In the past three years, all I've seen is new homeowners and new subdivisions and with that comes the need for more services. But why allow these new homes to be built without making sure that these new communitues would integrate smoothly with the city's current infrastructure. These new homeowners bought at a median of about $300,000 in this city and are paying taxes on that amount. Stanislaus County alone seen an all-time high in tax revenue in the past two years. So how is it we're short on cash? Please explain. Stop reckless growth and promote responsible growth. From now on, I'd like to see permit fees raised and more stipulations added to new home contractors to make sure those new divisions can be added without burdening the city's infrastructure. There is nothing to gain if growth is made irresponsibly.

(Editor's note: New homeowners are paying substantial fees and paying an annual assessment for city operations to cover police, fire and parks services.)

• Mail delivery a luxury?

Hey, any citizens out there, if you're missing mail or if you keep getting other people's mail and find yourself delivering other people's mail more often than the postal carrier, guess what? They don't have to deliver your mail. That's what I just got told by a woman in the post office. If there is a lock by the box and they don't want to deliver your mail for two days, you're out of luck.

If I were you I'd call the post office and complain.

• Keyes fire can't do its job

I'm calling about the fire that happened in the new subdivision in Keyes last night. I'm wondering how safe it is to live in this town when it takes a fire department over 30 minutes to respond to a fire with over dozens of calls. I'm very upset with the fire department in Keyes. They showed up about three minutes before Ceres showed up. We had Ceres, we had Hughson, we had Westport, we had Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department. We have five fire departments here and it took them over 30 minutes for Keyes to respond, which is ridiuclous. I kept calling. The house almost burned to the ground. These poor people. It's ridiculous; the fire department is not even five minutes away and it took them over 30 minutes to respond. What kind of fire station do we have here?

They've got to get it together. We've got a fire service that we pay for that does not provide a service.

• Complaint of Al Jolson photo

I have a complaint of your B-4, the section on Al whatever the hell his name is. I don't appreciate you guys putting a blackface (photo) of him. I do not appreciate that. That's discriminating.

You need to check it before you put it in the paper. Think about it because black people do read the paper.