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Sound Off! calls published March 16, 2011
• You can always write a letter

This is in response to "The editor must be drunk" comment on March 2. To the person who called this in, in your words you said, "even I can write better than your paper. I could write better than anyone down there. Care to take me up on it?"

Well, you can. You can write letters to the editor. Of course, these letters require a signature. If I may make a suggestion: Whatever you write, it would be nice if you write your comments in a positive and constructive manner, not with anger and hostility.

I have no affiliation with the Ceres Courier, although I am a loyal reader.

• Ceres really needs a hospital

Ceres really needs a hospital. We can't depend on the ones in Modesto and the one in Turlock. We have elderly people, people who don't drive, disabled people. We need a hospital in Ceres. I don't know why the other one got closed (in 1993). I don't want to know the reason why because we are big enough now. We need a hospital and hospitals bring in jobs. If not doctors or nurses at least the laundry room, cooking and cleaning.

So why don't we get our City Council together and try to get us a hospital?

• Disliked tactic of union employees

After going to the Planning Commission and listening to the Walmart Supercenter proposal heard many Walmart employees saying how they like working for Walmart. I noticed that when the union representatives of Save Mart got up to speak they denigrated the jobs of the Walmart workers. I think I have to rethink where I shop in the future; maybe non-union businesses need to be supported more.

• Editorial was right on the mark

Your editorial dated March 2 regarding the proposed Ceres WalMart was right on the mark. It seems to me that the question boils down to just a few questions:

Does the proposed project meet zoning requirements, or does it not?

Will Ceres benefit from the increased taxes, or will it not?

Will additional jobs be generated by the project, or not?

Another question, not directly related, is: Is the project likely to keep some of the local shoppers money in Ceres, as opposed to going to the Turlock Target, or Costco? I think it will, At least it will keep most of mine.

Good job, Jeff. Keep fighting for truth, justice and the American way.

• Question about lanes on Whitmore

I just want to know if the city of Ceres plans on making two lanes on Whitmore Avenue up to Central or are they just going to stay with the one lane going straight to the overpass? Or they going to go with two lanes because the right lane goes currently onto Central with people cutting people off all the time there because they don't realize (the lane turns).

They need to put some cones there to delineate that so people cannot do that.

(Editor's note: City Engineer Glenn Gebhardt said absolutely the two lanes will go back to normal when the overpass/interchange project is finished. The right turn dedicated solely to right turns onto northbound Central Avenue is temporary only because there is room for just one forward lane during construction. This arrangement has allowed more vehicles to pass through the project area, said Gebhardt.)

• Supports Walmart Supercenter

I live in Ceres and my family and I moved here from Stockton to get away from a big city! I like and enjoy Ceres. It's now been 10 years since moving from Stockton. I believe Walmart is wonderful and support the building of a Walmart Supercenter. That doesn't mean that I would always go grocery shopping there although I do go to the one in Modesto on McHenry there's just some things that I can't get a Food4Less, Save Mart or even Cost Less. I support this building. You have to see what it's going to bring in and it's so much revenue from Ceres, Modesto, Turlock, and other towns. I work in Turlock and many people who I've talked to say they would shop at Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Please leave politicking out of this. Don't we have enough prideful people in this country already?

• Unions need to back off

I was at the Feb. 22 Planning Commission meeting and listened to all the complaints about the proposed Walmart Supercenter. I've also read the March 2 Courier article on the Supercenter delay and Jeff's "Editor's Thoughts" about "Planning issues and politics." The way I see it, most people were complaining and worried about job losses and stores closing because they didn't think the stores could compete with Walmart. I think they shouldn't be sniveling about unfair competition and trying to hide behind the Planning Commission's skirt. The stores they work for should be looking at remodeling and attracting more customers with superior service and more competitive pricing. They shouldn't be relying on union personnel to stop competition and hold Ceres residents hostage with outdated stores, poor selection and high prices. The unions need to back off and let free enterprise progress. After all, that is what's made our country and cities great.

Like Harry Truman said, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

I can't believe the Planning Commission allows other businesses like Rite Aid and Burger King to relocate and build new modern facilities to enhance their market share and are working with CVS Pharmacy to do the same. I think if the Planning Commission doesn't approve the new Walmart then it is dealing with legal issues as restraint of trade and unfair competition.

• Bike path will help out thieves on bikes

I am calling concerning the bike path by the canal on Hatch Road. The worst idea anyone could ever have. The houses and cars get broken into. An easy path for all the tweakers and kids who vandalize, to steal, to break in and stuff. And the city of Ceres does not care. When you complain to them and talk to them, they say well, this time nothing can be done and the citizens have to pay thousands of dollars to repair this stuff.

• Shopping center has a problem

I'm calling concerning the Richland Shopping Center. You know, the Pallios' spent a lot of money into this place to make it look really nice, for people to come in and to admire our little town. Our little town looks bad enough but when people try to fix it up we should try by keeping it clean. I was walking from the liquor store over to Richland Market and there in front of the Family Pizza, that is the most disgusting mess I've ever seen in my life. It smells like urine and there's cigarette butts everywhere. If they are going to rent that space, then they need to keep it clean. It's awful and disgusting and it makes Ceres look really bad.

• Supercenter yes, Don Pedro access no

I think it'd be great if they built the new Walmart as long as the entrance for the big trucks that are going to be bringing in the merchandise is not on Don Pedro. I used to live on Don Pedro Avenue and ... the big trucks went by and you could feel the houses shake as they go by. If they let the entrance on that street, then there's going to be very mad people who live on Don Pedro, Please, check the entrances any other way than Don Pedro.

• Ceres needs a walk-in theater

We need some walk-in theaters and maybe there wouldn't be so much kids goofing off with sex. I mean, there's nothing here. It's dead. There's not one thing. When we were kids we had skating rinks, ice rinks, we went to rodeos and went all over. This town is dead. No wonder there's just so much going on, gangs and drugs.

Parents, put your kids in a church and have a thing to do with a church and know Jesus. Parents, get involved in their lives. These kids are just running wild and it's sad.

• Accidents will happen if center is okayed

I just If they don't fix the Mitchell/99 interchange so you can come off of 99 onto Mitchell a lot easily (than just at that stop sign) and we're supposed to attract all those new people coming into town to shop at the Walmart Supercenter, how about doing it this way?: Where the Walmart is now why don't they turn that into a hospital and that way all the accident (victims) wouldn't have to go that much farther? Because Ceres will need a hospital if they allow anything to go in there with the way the off-ramp is now. And that 20 years is 20 years of too many dangerous accidents already going to occur.

• Help neighbor with trash cans

I've taken lots of walks throughout my neighborhood and notice trash cans sitting out three days or longer after the trash has been emptied. Why can't people be more helpful and just walk over and pull the cans into the yard? It takes all of one minute out of their day. Maybe this person who lives there has been called out of town, maybe they're sick, maybe they're even in the hospital. I think we need to be more caring and helpful toward our neighbors, even if we don't know them. It's just the neighborly thing to do.