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Sound Off! calls published Dec. 10, 2008
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• All deserve hot meals

I'm calling in regards to the Ceres Unified School District. I think it's pretty ridiculous that they only serve 30 hot breakfasts to the children in the morning. Anybody after that gets a cold breakfast. I feel that is very unfair to the students. Why should they have to get up extra early to make sure they're first in line so they can get a hot breakfast? Every child deserves a hot breakfast. We as taxpayers pay for that hot breakfast for those children. This needs to change.

• Editor is small minded

You are the editor of a weekly, small town paper where residents can read the local news, and an entire page is often devoted to where Bible lessons are being held. Since you "don't cover national news, nor the outcome of presidential races," why would you write an article which attempts to shame voters who don't agree with your support of John McCain?

Not to mention the chicken issue, which is actually its own article, and a much more appropriate subject for this paper.

I think what bothers me most about your editorial is the negativity you aim at those who feel differently from you. Like McCain, you're sneering at Obama, and those who support him. Perhaps Obama won the election due to image and substance. He represents a new chapter in American politics, and one that is desperately needed. McCain was simply not up to the task. Sarah Palin is an embarrassment. Aside from your opinion -- and mine -- Obama is our new president. He did not win by merely "duping voters," but by providing a new outlook and some hope. These are not bad things.

Your opinion on the Prop. 8 issue is an example of the mindset in this area. Not all homosexuals are "militant" just because they want to get married, and they continue to fight for that right. But then, we didn't let African Americans vote until they just wouldn't shut up about that either. It's irresponsible to let your opinion bleed into a community which already struggles with prejudice and lack of education. Obviously, you know chickens but not many gay people.

And then, "don't think that parents should know when their teen daughters are seeking to suck the life of their unborn baby into a sink." Are you kidding? Even if you feel this way, what would possess you to print it? Did you, for a moment, think you were writing for The Chicago Tribune?

Since you have the opportunity and the space, be an example of compassion and acceptance. Be hopeful and kind. Ceres is a hot bed of hate and backward thinking. Do what you can to reverse this. Griping about "big city voters" makes you sound like a hayseed who lives in fear of change. But, as Obama said, he will be your president too.

• Let city say Merry Christmas!

On the little marque signs as you come into Ceres off of Highway 99 on Mitchell Road and the one near River Road on Mitchell Road. I'd like to see that it's okay to say "Merry Christmas from the city of Ceres" or something like that. I'd ridiculous when you're out Christmas shopping and everybody knows what you're out doing with Christmas shopping and your buy something and the clerk says, "Happy holidays!" That just frustrates me to no end. I worked for a retailer years ago - about 20 years ago - and they informed us we were no longer allowed to say "Merry Christmas." That just frosts me.

I think people would like that, to make them feel good if they saw that if Ceres took a stand, draw a line in the sand, so to speak.

• Supercenter would be nice

This is in response to the "Supercenter not all that desirable" letter by Walt Butler. I think in this economy I see it being as very desirable. The writer questions if it would be providing a good job, a living wage. From what I've heard, obviously the 4,000 plus people who applied to the Supercenter in Modesto believe that it would.

He also stated that Wal-Mart is not the answer and that we sold out to the dollar and allowed jobs to leave and go abroad. From my research on the internet, Wal-Mart has never shut down a store and moved aboard, leaving their employees to fend for themselves like Hershey's did. Many, many companies have left and gone abroad. It's ridiculous he would say that.

Wal-Mart isn't perfect but what company is? I like shopping at Wal-Mart, you know, the one stop shopping and good prices. So I don't know what this guy is talking about. I went to the Modesto Supercenter. It's small but nice and it created over 400 jobs so that's great in this economy. My brother's been looking for a job for almost three months and having a very hard time. So I think a Wal-Mart Supercenter would be great for Ceres.

• Control the show, Ceres

I read in the paper that there was going to be carols sung and directed by someone at the Christmas Festival this last Saturday. So we invited some friends from out of town. We were all very impressed and enjoyed all the activities. Our friends were so impressed with this community event and outpouring of joy and general goodwill. My hopes were high as we started to watch the dance groups perform. I warned our friends that through the years, there we less carols and more performances. What I did not even expect was the high school group to pull a fast one. I was embarrassed and disappointed the choices of songs were not even Christmas songs, but songs about bars and even used expression, "Hoes" in the song! Wake up, city officials, and get control of what show you sponsor! I am disgusted at the lack of Christmas in your Christmas Festival show! I love the event, I love the good cheer and generosity of all people involved. Unfortunately, a few bad apples got in there. Don't let it happen again, please. I miss the carols and want them back. I know I speak for many.

• Some voters are clueless

Great opinion Jeff, I really feel informed about knowing how much difference there is between the voters of our communities compared to those of the completely unaware and clueless large cities votes with issues unrelated to their communites (chickens and mountain lions)..seems we should be restricted to voting and imposing laws where it is only relevant but then again, another idea or concept for something that makes sense and that never seems to happen, I'll continue to read and be impressed by your informative and intuiative information.

• Forget downtown rehab

I was reading in the Courier about the city trying to buy parcels downtown. I think they should just abandon that idea of re-doing downtown. That would be nice if they could. It would be a long process trying to buy each parcel. But if they could just take and make a new marketplace or a new downtown over there off of Service and Mitchell. I mean, they have a lot of land there.

• Don't move away, Jeff

Jeff, I read your commentary titled, "No faith in voters any more." I was not surprised with the Prop. 2 animal rights foolishness act, but this is California and is the land of fruits and nuts, if you know what I mean, and has been for a very long time. I know this is true because I've lived in several other states and California isn't just another state; it's a completely different story.

I agree with you regarding chickens being somewhat dumb, but they do make very good pets, and I like eggs and drumsticks, too.

Now I'm sorry to see businesses like Gemperle's leaving this area but states like Nevada, Idaho and Utah would be a much more inviting and profitable business climate than California.

Just one more short comment, Jeff. Do not leave the Valley. I know exactly how you feel. The only thing that keeps me in this state of confusion (California) is family. I'm proud to say I didn't leave my heart in San Francisco but I did leave it in northern Idaho, Coeur d'Alene, as a matter of fact.