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Sound Off! calls published March 25, 2009
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• 911 over a rooster?

Well, if you're wondering if the whole world is crazy - and, of course, you know it is - I finally heard the ultimate one. I heard on the scanner I have at home. This morning, about 5:25 in the morning, they got a call from the sheriff's department to go to Hughson because somebody called the cops because, believe it or not, there's a rooster sitting on a fence and it's crowing and it woke them up and they're not going to tolerate that. Imagine that, a crowing of a rooster, since the beginning of man, and they call the police. That's going a little far, don't you think?

(Editor's note: On the other hand, it is illegal to own chickens in the city limits).

• Why leave the area for prom?

I'd like to know why our Ceres High School kids have to go out of town for their prom. I don't understand that when we have venues here in Stanislaus County that they could use, such as the Double Tree. No longer can we get a limousine for our children prom; our kids have to be bussed mandatorially. I'd like some answers as to that. We need to keep the money here in our community, not over in Stockton or other places out of town.

• Mini idiot in Mini Cooper

My message is about the morning commute on Hatch Road. The traffic between Mitchell up to 99 and sometimes beyond 99 - all the way to Carpenter Road - is pretty busy. But then we had some idiot driving around in a little black and white Cooper who had been getting in my way as I'm driving, he zig zags in and out of traffic. I have seen other vehicles hit their brake lights, swerve out of the way to keep from smashing into this little car. If he gets in my way one more time, well, I hope he doesn't. If I was a policeman, I'd keep an eye on this little Cooper before he gives somebody enough trouble to where they're going to have an accident. I would stake out that area and catch this idiot, an a-hole.

• Parking near bank a mess

Hey, I'd like to ask Ceres public works people why they haven't closed off the parking stalls in front of the Wells Fargo Bank? The reason is that when people back up and move in to park, it backs up traffic into the roundabout. And when traffic backs up into the roundabout at Fourth and North, it can literally stop the whole intersection from moving. I have seen it.

I understand that the bank has a real parking issue because they share the lot with Ceres Drugs and maybe it's time they looked at moving.

• Apartment complex worse off

California Corporation bought Ceres Christian Terrace and since then it has steadily gone downhill for staff and occupants alike. Manager Della Hall, works hard every day to manage and help the residents that she cares about so much. She's a wonderful Christian lady, but her hands are tied, because of employer California Corporation.

First of all, the new owners, California Corporation of Westlake Village in Southern California laid off weekend staff, and most of the kitchen employees. The residents who are 62 and over, and some disabled people, depended on staff in case of emergencies large and small.

On Sunday, Feb. 8, the fire alarm went off. Residents - mostly ladies - were afraid and no one was there to organize, to see what was burning, if all were out of their apartments, or to help frail residents down the stairs of the three-story apartmemt building. When the fire alarm is turned on the elevator stops working. Some residents ride in small electric chairs to get around. Fortunately, the fire was a burnt pot of food and the alarm was turned off by the man who is a resident and referred to as the "key man," who has the keys to open apartments in case of a medical emergency. Since California Corporation laid off the weekend staff, there is a letter on the front glass door explaining in detail, to emergency personal, whom to call to get the key man to open the front door (stays locked after 5 p.m. and on weekends) and apartment doors of residents in case of emergency. But twice in the recent past, the fire department had to take a hatchet to get into the residents' apartment to get in. Residents have been told that the fire department has a key to get in, but some residents are skeptical and afraid if they have a serious medical emergency since there is no longer a staff personel after hours and weekends.

Residents were promised nothing would change, but things have changed for the worse. First of all, the Monday through Friday lunch meal - which is mandatory that each resident pays for - was raised from $108 per month to $120. Most residents are on fixed incomes. The kitchen was told to cut back several thousand dollars on food, leaving some unhappy with the food and that there is no special menu for diabetics. Promised by the owners, residents have asked about a computer room, and classes, networking, repair the broken TV in the sitting area, (tenants were told that the residents would have to raise the money to repair the TV, that they had no intention of repairing it), better more nutritious food for diabetics and everyone alike, but it seems that "California Corporation's mission to improve the lifestyles of our tenants" was a fallacy that has left residents frightened and unhappy.

Maybe Ceres Christian Terrace isn't so Christian any more?

• Big spender Uncle Sam

In the Save Mart center at Mitchell and Whitmore, go to the Army Recruiting station and you'll see three brand new Chevy Impalas, 43,000 plus dollar cars sitting there by GSA, the Government Services Agency, the biggest pork barrel spenders in the world. On our tax money, three of them sitting there.

• Only poor don't learn English

I want to sound off about people who don't learn English when they come here. It seems like whenever I go to the poorest areas of the county, they all speak Spanish. What does that tell you? Hey immigrants, if you don't learn English, you're always going to be poor. How about educating yourselves? Your kids know more English than you do. That's a shame.