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Sound Off! calls published Dec. 24, 2008
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• Learn English or pay

I saw an article in "Sound Off!" I mean after reading pages and pages of stuff about the election - oh my gosh we're just innundated with all these issues - and then somebody calls in to say the hearing for our water rates should be printed in Spanish? Hey, this is the United States. That really got my heart rate going fast. If they want to have utility meetings in Spanish, you know, it would seem like they could do that in some other place that speaks Spanish. This is the United States: Did they forget?

It's crazy. Why don't they learn to speak English? Their lives would be a lot easier, right?

• Supercenter would be great

I was reading about the Wal-Mart store and the negative part about it. Why don't we get some positive stuff about it because you know what, this is a neat store. I leave Ceres already to go to Stockton or somewhere else because I don't shop in Ceres other than our Ceres Wal-Mart. I have noticed that I went to one of our other local stores closer to me and things were at least a dollar higher. I couldn't believe the prices. And I guess what I'm really after is the location of the store - I think what a great place it would be and I know Ceres needs the revenue and people coming off the freeway would see this sign. They would also come into our town.

I just think it's a great store.

I've talked to people at Wal-Mart about their health insurance and they've got good health insurance just like anybody else. And right now, if they're only making 10 bucks an hour it's more than somebody is getting because they don't even have a job.

Let's let this store come in. We have the right to be able to go to one store and get things at a bakery or deli or whatever.

It's always negative when somebody wants to come into our town. Let us go shop where it's cheaper.

As far as the other store, maybe they can make it into some kind of family center for movies or skating or things to do with your children.

• At least you get e-mail, Jeff

Jeff, if you disconnected your computer from the internet you wouldn't get spam e-mail. Be thankful you can get spam e-mail. Millions in this world cannot receive spam e-mail.

Yes, it gets aggravating that there are people in this world with nothing better to do than try to scam people out of money, time or pleasure. They have been around ever since Eve was scammed into eating from the tree of good and evil.

I am unemployed at present and am using the internet to help look for employment and I get scam job offers every day, as well as all the "pay us money to show you how to get rich for doing nothing" scams that also advertise in your newspaper, plus all the insurance, brush, knife, etc., sales jobs that also advertised in your newspaper. A person has to learn not to be so gullible and take responsibility for themselves and their money. It is not your responsibility to screen your ads to see if they are good for the majority of the people, because one person might want to be a brush or knife salesman and you would deprive him of that chance if you didn't run the ad. I get a nice fresh cup of coffee, a snack in hand, relax; then I open my e-mail, delete the scams and spams between bites of snack or sips of coffee, read the new scams for education; then when my break is over I am ready to get to work on the serious mails or serious ads in your paper. Enjoy the internet 23 hours and 50 minutes a day then take a 10 minute coffee break to get rid of the spam. Spam is not as bad as the commercials on TV. A one-hour show with 25 minutes of commercials. That's life. Smile and look at the good side.

• English spoken here

This is an English world, the United States. And if they have to pay (the increase) its better they pay it than send it to Mexico.

• Legalized thievery at city hall

For those of you who believe you will get a chance to really vote or be heard regarding the water and sewer fee increase do not believe it. The city of Ceres has already planned on how to deal with you disgruntled citizens. This city is like a pack of legalized thieves. You give them a half a cent sales tax increase and then they shuffle funds to give themselves a pay raise when all of us are hurting due to the economy. Then they try to justify it with a self-constructed survey - or most likely a consulting service - that they knew would support them. Get a copy of their old budget and you will see that some of the funding for police and fire is spread out through different line items in different city departments. Of course there will still be budgets listed for police and fire. A very neat way to hide money to fool you, the public.

I remember a few years ago that Ceres raised the utility users tax to fund police and fire, saying they would never have to raise taxes or fees again because as the population grew and prices rose these services would be fully funded. Well, they waited a time of patience and most of you forgot about it. Then they said they needed a half-cent sales tax to fund what was already funded. Well, do you feel like you've been goofed? You should.

Vote? Do not kid yourself. There will be no election on this water/sewer hike. You will raise your concerns and maybe in force a lot of you may show up. But as usual the city will wait a time of patience and you will get tired of fighting and they will do what they want to anyway. If you really want to stop them, form a group and get a lawyer and collect money jointly to fund the legal fees. I will donate! Don't fall for the old "we will put a city committee of taxpayers together to validate and monitor our needs and rate hikes" scam. I believe they call that a stacking deck. They appoint like minded or friends wanting future political appointments. The city attorney is a good old boy of years past and will be easy to beat in court. Make the city go for an official election and get the word out to defeat the continued waste of your hard-earned money. Walt Butler would be a good individual to spear the committee to defeat the city. He is familiar with their tactics.

As far as the half-cent sales tax, I buy nothing in Ceres except for food items that are not taxed. I refuse to give the city any more pay raises. The only way to get any tax money from me is my utilities and if that tax gets too expensive I will move and let you pay the good old boys and their friends from generations of dynasties of City Council.