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Sound Off! calls published July 20, 2011
• She'd paint over graffiti for less

I just wanted to say reading over the paper this week that graffiti removal cost costing $70,000 a year. I would do it for $10 an hour very easily. I used to do old construction and painting is not that hard. Think of the money it would save the city.

• Carry a bag for trash wherever you go

All people listen up! All we need to do to take care of our trashing problem is to put a trash bag in your car and use it. Carry a bag while you are walking and help pick up anything around you. Carry a grocery bag to the store so you will not be tempted to push a cart halfway home and leave it on the street or walkway.

• Are you sure you have it right?

I was just calling pertaining to this morning's paper on the Stanislaus County Fair centennial. I got a newspaper right here from 1954 saying that that was the Stanislaus County Fair centennial. I just wondered how that can be.

(Editor's note: We have no idea what you are talking about. The fair traces its origins to the Turlock Melon Carnival which was held in 1911.).

• Please don't stop supporting the team

This is in regards to the "Sound Off!" call "Wants team to make good" published July 13. As a close supporter of the Central Valley football program, I would hate to see other members of the community stop supporting what the players and coaches invest so much of their blood, sweat, and tears into over the cost of $25. There is a misunderstanding over circumstances surrounding this fundraiser. Unfortunately, it did rain the day of the car wash, but the football program held the car wash in the rain with full intent to offer refunds to any person requesting one. The coaches and players huddled under canopies in the rain for four hours that morning to try to make good with their supporters because rescheduling was not an option. Other clubs and programs had car washes scheduled on the following weekends. I am also certain that the football program would be more than willing to reimburse this person at their convenience. It's just as easy to contact the football program to gather information as it is to "sound off" in the newspaper.

• Defending Jeff is fine but don't rip Latinos

I'm calling in regards to the person defending Jeff Benziger. I mean, there's nothing wrong with them protecting him. I agree; he's a good person but I don't like how she attacked the Hispanics like they're the only ones in society. She's didn't have to go into so much detail saying that we don't pay our taxes, don't work hard when we do jobs some people don't even want to do. So I suggest that they lay back because that's not necessary to start controversies over something stupid like that.

• Go and talk to shop owner directly

I'm calling in regards to "Get rid of creepy graffiti next to post office" (July 13 "Sound Off!" column). I agree the picture may not be the most tasteful but I feel they have a right to put it up there. It's just a tattoo shop; if he wants to have it there he can. The guy - he's a really nice guy - I go there to get tattoos. If you don't like the artwork, why put him in the paper? Why not just go in and maybe talk to him? He does his own artwork, he does his own paintings in there. Go in and talk to him. I know he would probably change the art work.

He is a really nice family guy. He would change it for you.

Why do people always have to print things in the paper? Why do they always have to be so negative and instantly complain about everything? Why can't they just go and talk to people? Come on people, we are all grown up. Talk to each other. Stop being such negative nags.

• No one said Ceres was in dire straights

I'm not sure why Wal-Mart in the Ceres Courier portray the speakers of the Walmart Supercenter hearings in a negative way. No one said that Ceres has a "dire retail environment." The discussion at the July 11 City Council was about filling the old store Walmart won't sell to a competitor. Sherri Jacobsen continues to make a number of sensible points and reasonable objections. We could use more leaders like her and her group, Citizens for Ceres.

• How about active enforcement?

As a lifelong resident of Ceres, I have come to realize that our community has visually deteriorated over the past 10 to 15 years due to many factors. Including lack of community pride, ongoing maintainance, code enforcement, respect for others and more recently the economy.

Many Ceres residents blame the minorities and the youth of our community for the trash and overall apperance of Ceres. After all, most of us were also the minority and the youth of our community at some time in each of our lives. So why are the minorities and youth blamed for what we have become?

Some of the local churches and city residents have stepped forward to make a difference. However, the leaders of those scheduled events appear to have their own agendas. In my opinion they have not made an impact in our community. With that said I applaud their efforts.

Rather than a complaint driven system of Code Enforcement that pits neighbors against neighbors, we must have enforcement by our paid officials, including police, fire and code enforcement. Additionally, all Ceres residents and city staff can assist by being the eyes and ears for our community when we are out and about.

I challenge everyone that reads this to do their part and when you see problems call Code Enforcement at 538-5799.

Together we can all make a difference!