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Sound Off! calls published Feb. 18, 2009
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• Cut out Saturday service

The reason I'm calling "Sound Off!" today is the one about the postal workers which is going around about them cutting Saturday delivery out. What I think would be a great cost-saving item would be if they would just deliveries to addresses every other day, for example, the way we can water our lawns. If someday does want special delivery every day maybe they could post a fee with the Postal Service, of, you know, $1,000 a year. For myself, I only check my mail two or three times a week. I pay most of my bills online. Most of the mail I get is junk mail - well over 50 percent so it wouldn't bother me a bit if they didn't deliver to my postal box every other day.

• Go back to volunteer firemen

About the city's budget shortfall, I know we need firemen and policemen but it just seems like they're untouchable when it comes to layoffs or anything of that nature. I guess that Measure H, the half-cent sales tax, wasn't enough for them. But you know if I had a business ... and I had a thousand or more people applying for that single job I would think I was overpaying for that job. Now I know we need firemen and I know they put their lives on the line but to me ... the supply and demand ... there's just so many firefighters looking for jobs and the pay is too much for someone who works 10 days a month. They have three schedules and work a 24-hour schedule. Granted, they're away from their home so 10 days a month. I drove truck for a number of years and I was away from my home and I was home maybe two or three days a month. I didn't get paid for sleeping; these firefighters, that's part of their shift is sleeping. I know they're on call and all that but still truck drivers and people in the military, they're away from their families for a lot longer.

It's just something to consider. What a cost saving it would be if they basically went back to a 90 percent volunteer fire department.

• Pitbulls are not nice dogs

This message is for the guy who believes that pitbulls are nice. Wake up, you're an idiot. Pitbulls are not nice dogs. Today they are protecting your family, tomorrow they're using your throat as a chew toy. And anybody stupid enough to have pitbulls around their family deserves what they get but their children don't deserve it.

Pitbulls and children do not mix.

• Protest a waste of air

I'd like to address the comment, "Where were the protesters?" People probably didn't go protest it for the same reason I didn't go protest: it wouldn't do any good. Like blowing smoke up their rear. They're not going to listen. I don't know why you feel since you protested why you should get a discount.

• Ceres poorly promoting itself

In October 2008 you wrote how efforts were made to have a family sit-down restaurant on Mitchell Road but apparently after two years of coming up with nothing the Ceres City Council allowed the developer to terminate the contract agreement for a sit-down restaurant in that location. Councilman Bret Durossette, who have never been in marketing or city planning before, said: "I don't think that it's a very good location for an actual restaurant." Vice Mayor Chris Vierra called the termination a "win-win situation since Rite Aid is interested." We need to educate our council because allowing Rite Aid to build a new facility and abandon its existing store in the Save Mart Shopping Center promotes costly leap-frog sprawl. Would the council also agree to give away our tax money to help the developer build a new Rite Aid?

The Rite Aid chain is on a list predicted to close stores due to mounting losses. I am tired of poorly thought out decisions by the City Council. Ceres isn't marketing itself to smart growth.