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Sound Off! calls published March 19, 2008
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• Why is Obama "black'?

I have a question that maybe other readers wiser than me can answer. The Democratic Party has offered America the first woman or first black president. I know why she is considered a woman. My question is why is he considered black? His father was black but his mother is white. Why is he not equally considered white? Who decided that he was a black candidate? Did they do it because of his skin color? Isn't that profiling? I thought the Democrats were against profiling.

• City itself has a weed problem

I would like to comment about weeds in the city rights of way. I read the chief's column about this issue. Has any other Ceres citizens noticed the island just east of the Whitmore overpass? It looks terrible with all the weeds. Also the area behind the new shopping center at Giddings and Paramount has been weed infested for months. This is an embarrassment as a citizen of Ceres. Can someone place take care of these sights? Let's have some civic pride.

• Caller's statement senseless

I am calling in regards to "Victim a gang member?" Someone has replied to this mess about the 24-year-old stabbed outside of Richland Liquors. The person said that the kid was possibly a gang member and had to have done something wrong in order to walk outside and be jumped and stabbed. That just does not make any sense at all. Why can't a person wear whatever color clothing they want to wear? Why can't a person be young and feel safe? I have no idea. So because the kid is 24 and maybe he had on some red... I'm in my 30s and I like to wear red once in a while and would like to feel safe going to a liquor store. I mean, there's other things in liquor stores besides smokes and alcohol. So I don't understand why this person would say that the victim must have done something wrong.

I happen to know this kid and he's a good kid. He has a fulltime job and makes a very good living.

• State aid better used in schools

I'm sounding off about Arnold Schwarzenegger, how he can give people $30,000 but yet take from the school districts when our children will become something in this world and take over when we are gone. He needs to think about what he's doing, maybe take that $30,000 back from people who can't afford houses anyway and give it to the districts. That would really help.

• Congrats to Footnotes teams!

I would like to congratulate the Footnotes Fusion dance team on another awesome year of competition. We have some very talented girls here in Ceres and for them to take first in USA nationals is an honor. Footnotes Fusion will also be representing Ceres on March 28 in Las Vegas for the JAMZ national competition. We are hoping to take first again.

Also congratulations to some of the girls going to Florida in April to the Dance World. This will be something you will always remember. Good luck to all seven teams that will competing in Vegas and bring us home the gold!

• Officer failed to see girl wave

It was a beautiful day in Ceres on March 12 at a little past 6 p.m. on Boothe Road. Children were playing. People were out talking to neighbors. People were crossing the street. Everyone else was aware of their surroundings except one person - a Ceres police officer in a police car. He is driving toward Whitmore Avenue, not paying attention to anything. A little girl saw the officer and waved at him as he passed. The officer did not see the little girl and kept driving. Her parents or a teacher taught her to wave at an officer. How can this be? An officer on duty not paying attention to his surroundings? I have the answer: He was too busy talking on his cell phone for almost a mile driving down Boothe Road. This little girl just wanted that officer to wave at her and make her day. Way to go, big guy, for breaking her little heart.

• Keyes needs lights to stay on

Thank you for the article on March 5 regarding the street lights in Keyes. Residents in Keyes are in danger of having their street lights turned off in the fall (the darkest months of the year). The current $10 per year fee for service does not cover the cost of running the lights all year. Residents must pass Measure P on the June ballot to keep the street lights shining. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to vote "Yes" on Measure P to keep our lights on all year. The cost ($20 per year for the first three years and $25 per year after that) is a small price to pay for the security that comes from lighting our streets and our property. Thank you.