By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sound Off! calls published August 24, 2011
• Ride your bikes with sense

This message comes from a 66-year-old avid bicyclist. All people committing suicide by car on their bikes are just plain stupid. I've seen ... accidentally running over the fools who refuse to use crosswalks and street signs. Don't go crying to emergency room doctors or 911 servants when you get to your own stupidity. You're making it bad for the rest of us who love our bicycles.

• Push to learn English is racist

Regarding the person who commented on my opinion about Ceres police, I only speak my opinion because of personal experiences. If you were in my situation, you wouldn't be bashing my family the way you did. It would be the other way around. I have every right to feel the way I do, unless someone changes my mind otherwise.

Obviously you weren't smart enough to read the text right when it said, "My grandfather can't speak/understand English very well." That implies that he only knows enough English to get him by, not when there are five guns pointed at him and he's scared for his life. He's an old man. A lot of old men can't think as well as they used to. You are probably not thinking about that are you?

You may say that he isn't bright, but he's a human being and just because he's old and doesn't know how to do things in our language, doesn't mean he can't do the same thing in his language.

You say that you don't like my attitude. Well I'm sorry if I offended you, but I don't appreciate criticize from people like you who are racist against my grandfather and (my family in general) just because we're Mexican! Just because you live in the United States, doesn't mean that you have to forget where you came from. We are a melting pot of different races, who come together as equals.

So let's switch this around, why don't you learn Spanish because in this great country that we live in, you most likely should be bilingual, and talk to a Mexican family and understand their lives on a personal level and not automatically be racist. Mexican families are just like your families. We walk, we talk and we do what you do, it's just not in the same language.

I hope you realize one day that just because you tell a person to learn English while your living in the U.S., that doesn't make you American; that just makes you racist and ignorant.

• They are stealing our country away

I am a Vietnam veteran and a Mexican-American. I immigrated to the state legally in 1967. I do not believe the Democratic view of free-loaders and moochers. Hundreds of thousands of people took the time to vote on Prop. 187 and then one judge called it unconstitutional. Where is this accountability? California people knew the state would go bankrupt. That was judicial arrogance. I fought for this right to vote. Did this judge? Illegal immigrants don't do the jobs Americans won't do? They do the jobs for less money because we pay for their food, housing, medical and education. They work for cash, pay no taxes and send their money home to Mexico.

My son fought in Iraq, he works at a grocery store and can barely feed his family.

My daughter teaches school. She cannot apply for most promotions because she does not speak Spanish. I taught my kids the nation's language, English. I did not teach them Spanish.

My cousins came here illegally. The families speak only Spanish and they won't let their children speak English at home. They get free food, housing, medical and make the school teach Spanish to their kids.

Every year I work the polling place. We give folks ballots in Spanish with no identification. I know citizenship requires reading and speaking English. They're stealing our nation's votes! I fought for the right to vote. The television news, the unions and the Democrats are destroying our city, state and country.

-Manuel Mesa,


• Ceres officers act bigger than the law

I'm calling "Sound Off!" because I wanted to respond to "She'd afraid of police because of incidences." I feel for this young lady. I have been in Ceres for 16 years. Every time I've called Ceres Police Department they have come at me with attitudes. Just for instance on the Fourth of July a neighbor was trying to break into my trailer. When I called police, one arrived and he asked me if I was drinking - which I showed him my can of soda because I told him I was diabetic and don't drink. And another thing was he said I had to prove intent. Well, the intent was to get into my trailer. He said it's on public property - even though it was on my own personal house property - and anybody can go check it out. I did speak to the lieutenant. He then gave me a form that I would have to fill out for an investigation. I questioned why this officer was not wearing his badge.

It's sad Ceres has a morale of some sort of racial profiling. We are honest, hard-working citizens, paying our taxes to help protect us but they come across as they are bigger than the law and they can make choices because they don't want to fill out reports.

• Not an apples to apples comparison

Equating the closure of Raley's with the Ceres Walmart is absurd. Raley's is closing their store because they have not been able to make a goal financially. The Raley's space will likely be rented to another productive tenant. On the other hand Walmart has a deliberate global strategy of building a store, driving smaller retailers out of business, then abandoning the store to build a bigger store in the same area thereby grabbing as much market share as possible. The abandoned stores are often left empty because Walmart refuses to rent to competitors and then cannot find retailers who can utilize Walmart's large abandoned store spaces. As a result, blight occurs, crime goes up and property values go down.

(Editor's note: Walmart said it's conceivable that the large store space will be divided up to accommodate two to four individual retailers).