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Sound Off! calls published March 4, 2009
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•City making us poor

Shame, shame, shame, city of Ceres. First you raise the water and sewer rates to more than $27 a month for some city citizens, then you take away the only "bridge" between the Ceres Latinos and "the trust" that was built by Enrique Perez for community relations. Have the city's city fathers lost their minds? Do they need to be told, "No! No! No!" like children for making these kind of mistakes for the "benefit" of our city and our citizens? Surely they will rescind these terriible mistakes for the sake of the community.

Most residents who pay utility bills in Ceres probably haven't even opened their statements. Just wait, I hope they don't have a stroke.

Mr. Perez doesn't deserve this kind of treatment with all the hard work he has put in for the city and itd people. Other city employees as well have lost their jobs due to bad decisions.

Oh well, even children have to make mistakes as they grow up in life. It's just to bad the people of Ceres and city employees as good as Mr. Perez have to suffer for them to learn.

Let's hope it doesn't take us all to the poor house before they do.

• Glad Hot Dogz has opened

The "Sound Off!" section is usually full of negative opinions, but I would like to put in a little note of thanks and welcome to Hot Dogz Groomers on Mitchell Road. I will try miss DeAnn who was so sweet and good with the dogs until her illness brought the closing of her business. I was not looking forward to searching for a new groomer so I was glad Hot Dogz opened in her place. I am grateful for a groomer in our town again who does a beautiful job on the dogs, as well as re-doing the shop with more features.

• Can you afford a bike lock?

I'm calling about the bikes stolen at Rite Aid (call). At the risk of sounding heartless, if you could afford three bikes in a year, why couldn't you buy a lock for the bike? Seems like you keep rewarding bad behavior with new bikes.

• Cut unnecessary spending

Regarding the city of Ceres' layoffs, I work for the city and was told I might be laid off. Why is it that the director of Public Works drives home a city vehicle and does not live in Ceres, which means Ceres taxpayers are paying for his gas and he's also spending unnecessary money?

He also plays favoritism, saying that the sewer and water divisions are his priorities and the streets and parks are nothing. Does he really know what the priorities are for Ceres citizens? Cut some unnecessary spending and save some jobs.

• Jeff's piece a breath of fresh air

That was a compelling article you wrote on the 18th regarding elections and racism. My daughter and I were actually on Times Square in New York the night of the presidential election. CNN was there televising and allowing passer-bys to make buttons. It amazes me the amount of open hostility that was unleashed on the rare McCain-Palin advocate. And in the verbal onslaughts that ensued when one of us conservatives dared to write our candidates names on the buttons, rarely was there any mention of politics. Instead there were outright accusations of bigotry and racism to anyone who questioned Obama's competency to take the highest office in the land. Apparently if one opposes any candidate that is not white, they are racist regardless of their political opinions. It doesn't surprise me that this is exists even in a small fish pond such as that of a school board, but it does take me aback occasionally when I see so many people buying such drivel.

Your article was breath of fresh air in a media format that, for the last generation, has been pretty pungent. Keep it up.

• No mention of teacher hubby

I was noticing the piece on Lynda Maben and that was very kind. However, she has a wonderful husband, a sixth-grade teacher, that she neglected to mention. That would have been nice to have seen in the article.

• Cell phone no-nos for city

This is in regards to Chief Art deWerk's column in the paper today. I think he is so right and I support it. Our officers do need to use cell phones while they are on the job. He's got our support. But on the other hand, what about our city workers here driving around all over on cell phones? I don't think that's right!

Also, the other night I was at a Mexican restaurant and there was a couple of city trucks parked there at about 7:30 at night. They were eating, laughing it up in the restaurant. With all the budget crisis ... our workers don't need to be wasting our money.

• Rude property owner

I'm calling about the duplexes on Shushan Drive that (name withheld) owns. (He) owns quite a few things in Ceres and he's nothing but a "slum lord" and I wanted to report that because my husband has been spraying his apartments for the last 20 years with Round-Up to kill the weeds to keep it presentable going down our street. And he's never got one dime from that man and he's called him several times to ask him to clean up the properties.

My husband also fell off the roof at the end of December and he hasn't been able to take care of the weeds so he called (him) to spray and take care of everything and keep the duplexes looking good for the value of our homes ... and he said "No" and "Hey, thanks for spraying" and hung up on him. He was so rude.

• Police "mistreated" grandma

I'm calling in regards to a situation that took place Feb. 13. I had a warrant for my arrest. Well, Ceres Police Department came out and told the lady that they just wanted to speak to the person who had the warrant, that he wasn't in trouble and that he needed to get a hold of them and talk to them. So, knowing the cops weren't telling the truth about the matter ... then they bring eight cops to pick up this person - three around the corner, two in the front and they make a total scene. Granted, I had a warrant and was running, that's fine, but the way they acted toward the elderly lady who was not harboring me, (she) didn't know anything about where I was. Ceres police told her that if next time she didn't tell where he was at that she was going to lose her home. That was just a lie. This was my grandmother and I'm the one who had the warrant. They were just awful. I'm not a mean person. I did make mistakes. The way that she treated her because of me is totally out of line and totally disrespectful. My grandma and grandpa were well respected citizens of Ceres. I'm furious over it.