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Sound Off! calls for August 15
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• Trim the fat

at CPD before

seeking more

I'm calling on "Supports the tax" that was in the Aug. 8 Ceres Courier. I have no problem with the half-cent sales tax but the question I have is ... will the tax be wasted on big toys? Big toys such as fire trucks that go 10 stories high, which we have and don't need in the city of Ceres. An equestrian mounted police department? Horses for Ceres we don't need. A swift river rescue team, which that should be done by the county and not the city. An armoured personnel carrier. I'm saddened by what happened to Sam Ryno and Sgt. Stevenson but the answer, I don't think was armoured personnel carrier. Just big toys. Harley-Davidsons that they don't use in neighborhoods to slow down speeders. I've called numerous times to the Police Department about speeders up and down our streets.

Yes, we do need more police officers but we need police officers who are friendly. About 20 years ago when I moved here you could wave to a police officer and they'd wave back to you and say hi. Now they'll just just you a dirty look.

• Quit wasting money first

I'm calling in reference to the tax they're talking about to get more firemen and police in Ceres and that's probably a very good idea. But we need to quit wasting money on roundabouts and clocks in the middle of the street. Heaven knows we're not that big a city to need that and people don't know how to use the roundabouts anyway.

(Editor's note: The roundabouts and clock in downtown Ceres were put there years ago with mostly money financed by the downtown merchants themselves who pay with the Ceres Downtown Revitalization Area Board!)

• DeWerk contradicts himself

There he goes diverting the main issue by bashing victims who cannot defend themselves, and women grieving for justice by protesting (nice work trying to discredit at least one of the moms). Police Chief de Werk spoke of a mother of a slain son "violating terms of her probation." Who cares about that? The real problem is these women lost their sons by a man, not just any man, but a man who has killed twice. Is this a mere coincidence? No, just labled "awkward."

Mr. de Werk clearly contradicts himself by saying "I don't necessarily disagree with the D.A.'s office rejection of the case," and then states "I don't feel justice is being served but I'm not in a position to outguess or question the DA office." It seems like Mr. de Werk's words flow every way the wind blows. The only position Mr. de Werk seems comfortable addressing are the weekly commentaries on serious topics such as garbage, shopping carts and the battle against blight. Maybe de Werk needs to work for Bertolotti. And maybe we all should ask Modesto Police Chief Roy Wasden if we too, can get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I wonder if Ford is related to him to get such personal permission.

The article also states that Ceres Police supposedly exhaustively investigated the case leading to 650 pages. That's horrible and just to think Harry Potter's book was longer than that.

I bet Mr. de Werk if it were your son, brother, uncle, police brethren, you would make sure Ford would win a one-way ticket to Death Row with a big red bow around his neck. I guess it pays to know either people in law enforcement or how high you social and economical status is.

• Awaiting son's diploma

My comments are directed to Ceres High, the principal, the office staff or anyone who might have had a hand in the organization of the graduation and the diplomas. My son attended a special day class at Ceres High. Due to, what I guess was a reorganization of prioirities, the special day class that he was in was transferred to the new Central Valley High School. There were few seniors there. I was glad that my son attended Central Valley, even though there were only two seniors. At least he was with the general population of the school and he was treated equally. In comparison to Ceres High where he was stuck in a cubicle past the ag shop, down almost by the bingo hall, isolated, I would say.

Any dealings with Ceres High was not that enjoyable. Every year when it came time for the yearbooks they had no record or said they hadn't received anything from me and I would have to take the receipts down to show them that I had paid for these things so my son could get his yearbook. The same thing with the cafeteria. I'd put money on his books. I'd have to go down there and show receipts again, that I had done so, that there was money on my son's accounts and it needed to be credited.

And really the question is what is high school? They teach no real life skills for the working world. The emphasis is basically passing the exit exam. They cram that down their throat. I realize that our students need to have knowledge about math, English, reading, history, foreign language, arts, etc. I am very proud of my son's accomplishments. Being that he had so many obstacles and he actually overcame them.

So when it came time for graduation, we were very proud. We showed up early to get our seats. We started looking over all the students names who were going to graduate that evening; there were quite a few. I looked for my son's name and it wasn't even there. So we sat through the graduation ceremonies and had a nice time and went home. A couple of weeks down the road I was informed by my son's special ed teacher that my son's diploma would be mailed to me. Never received it!

I called Ceres High three separate times. They said they had no record of my son, that there was no diploma for him and that I needed to contact Central Valley High School. In return, Central Valley called Ceres High back and basically asked them what the deal was. So an office clerk from Central Valley called me and said that I would receive my son's diploma in about two weeks. Well, that was the first week of July. I have yet to receive it.

I was also told the night of graduation that the principal would talk to the printer and have these programs printed back up so my son's name would be in it. That's something that I would like to have. He deserved it. He earned it.

I am still waiting for my son's diploma. I'm waiting for a courtesy call from Ceres High.