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Sound Off! calls published August 31, 2011
• Lane disrespected Walmart

I attended my first council meeting that is dealing with the building of a new Walmart store in Ceres. If there were a crowd of this magnitude at all the council meetings it would not surprise me that nothing at all would get accomplished. This process concerning Walmart has been going on now for a few years. After Ken Lane's performance last night, if I were Walmart I would tell Ceres to take a hike.

It seemed that Walmart has met the criteria set by the Planning Commission and council, yet Lane is still sitting on the fence asking for yet another delay.

Guillermo Ochoa and Bret Durossette stepped up to the plate. I was proud of them both for taking their stance. Lane, on the other hand, seemed unprepared. It almost seemed that he had it on his mind to delay this process before the meeting ever started. Lane is not up for re-election this November, that's alright. I have a good memory. I will not forget about this meeting. I think Mr. Lane's actions upstaged his mother's decision to break protocol and name the new Ceres junior high Cesar Chavez. We all remember how that fine decision divided this city.

• Little respect shown to community

I would like to take a moment and remember our town, Ceres, only 10 or 15 years ago. Then it was an ideal place to live, where families could grow and be safe. Streets were clean neighborhoods were safe and everyone knew their neighbors.

As an adult, I look at our town with disappointment and realize that shop fronts have been neglected, some of the nicer areas are now worn down and unkept and trash litters the streets in some areas. Once an exemplary small town, now a worn-down city whose residence wish it to be as charming as the past. I as many of my many fellow citizens appreciate the improvements that have been implemented such as the new Whitmore Overpass. It turned out so nicely! But, there is still dead grass, weeds, and garbage strewn about. Rather than just leaving it, why not plant some indigenous wild flowers or ice plant for that matter?

What I am trying to say is that it seems as though the plans are all done with good intention end up forgotten in time. What happened to the respect we once had for one another and the integrity we had for our community?

• Knows of a church giving out food

I read in the Sound Off! column that someone was inquiring about food programs. The Hispanic minister at Echoes of Praise Pentecostal Church of God at 2928 Fourth Street gives away free food every first and third Wednesday at 10 a.m. ... it's the big gray building across the street from Ceres Drug Store and they have a lovely thrift shop too.

• It's not worth it ratting out gangs

I'm calling about the chief's article, "Citizens must rat out gang activity." It's easier said than done on your part. You can say it because I bet nobody's ever done anything to you.

It doesn't pay to tell the cops because they say they'll look into it and they don't.

• Girl needs to make 'lemonade' of trauma

I have been thinking recently about the girl who was traumatized by police and it had to do with her grandfather being detained. It sounds like it happened several times. My thoughts on that are my mom was in the race riots of the 1960s and she had bricks thrown through her windows and everything and she doesn't hate all white people because that happened. This girl had a traumatic experience and I would like to hear that she turned it around and made something good happen because of what happened but that she does not hold onto hate. The police are there to protect and defend us. She should not be overly fearful of all police. That is our system. We pay them to help us and sometimes she might need them. But I would like to hear that she made "lemonade" out of this situation, that she went out there and said "I'm going to do something really, really good. I had this terrible thing happen but I'm not going to be dragged down by this."

I don't know if I'll ever hear back but I prayed for her today.

• Five years is long enough!

I'm calling about the Walmart situation and they'll pass up jobs. I'm extremely disappointed with Vice Mayor Ken Lane for his action at the Ceres City Council hearing. It's already been difficult for Walmart. Over the span of some five years, Walmart has played unprecedented concessions to work with the city only to hear it wasn't good enough for Mr. Lane. Given that the city has one of the highest unemployment rates in the county, delays such as these will prove very costly.

I applaud Councilmember Ochoa and Durossette for recognizing this. It's time the council got off its butt, approve this project before Walmart re-considers a new store and creating jobs in our community.

Also, why don't you just plow under (the old building)? That way there will be no graffiti, no nothing there.

At least they are trying very hard to get other people in. I would love to see this building.

Come on, Lane, get in there. Let's make the right decision at the next meeting. We're tired. We all need a decision. Five years? That's long enough. And these people have jumped and done every stinking thing you told them to do.

• He will have to find other ways out

The people who are supposed to be running Ceres, want to compete with Modesto, Turlock, Riverbank. Well congrats. The lights suck. The streets need repair. We pay Turlock to ship our sewage to them. We have drive-bys and gang-bangers. We even have brownouts when LA does. They want to add more lights down by the freeway, so traffic can backup on the freeway during rush hour and on Mitchell Road. I guess I will have to find other ways out of town.