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Sound Off! calls published Jan. 21, 2009
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• Do city officials care?

Hey Jeff, I had to comment about your article, "Reversing a culture of trashiness." I wholeheartedly agree. I grew up here when it was fields and a small community that had a lot of pride. Now in the last five or so years with the influx of building and population, I see my own neighborhood ugly and dirty and unsafe. It's really sad. I know we're supposed to accept people and all that, but the bottom line to me is that it wasn't that way before.

I offer another thought though: Have the city officials care. Stop trying to make us into L.A. I know money rules the world, but the best towns I've visited on the road, were the small ones.

So honestly you did a great article and I agree people should care, but that includes the city people as well. I don't know if I would 90 percent blame teens, but they are a part of it. The Boothe Road neighborhood is unsafe, ugly, and a lot of the houses are just not taken care of. It's sad but for me and my family, it may be time to leave.

Thanks and again great job.

• Already have rights

Your article on Jan. 14, "CUSD trustee areas to change for better Latino representation." Please, would you explain to me just what could be offered to the Latino Hispanic people living in the Ceres school district that is not offered to all? In the last two years, voting borders have been moved and tweaked to better serve hispanic people.

Please. Maybe I would not be so uptight to read "areas to change for better Latino representation" or see the Mexican flag flying.

• Race card excuses

I'm just calling about the riots in Oakland over the cops shooting that kid at BART. We don't know what happened but that just seems like it gives black people a race card for them to riot, tear up and steal from people. I just think they need to all grow up and quit pulling that race card and quit using that as an excuse to rob people and tear things up.

• Marco a fine young man

I'm calling in reference to the young people who were selected to be Homecoming King and Queen and there was one young man in there - Marco Flores - that definitely deserves this. This is the nicest young man that I know. I'm a senior citizen and he has been more than friendly with me, always offers to help me, just really an all-around nice young person.

• Cleaning up Ceres

I'd like to respond to the "Anti-littering campaign, yes!" I, too, am an Hispanic American. My grandparents came from Mexico and I, too, am disgusted by the trash that I see in the city of Ceres as the Hispanic population grows. My neighborhood was once a very pleasant neighborhood to live in; it's now thrashed with McDonald's bags, garbage, graffiti, you name it. It's everywhere. Ten cars parked on the lawns and what have you and it's all because of the Hispanic community. I'm sorry if this offends people but ... Hispanics, you guys embarrass me. You guys need to prove us wrong and clean up your yards, clean up our cities. It's disgusting and it's embarrassing.

Again, I too am Hispanic and I cannot wait to be able to leave the city of Ceres when we can afford it.