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"Sound Off!" calls published Oct. 10
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• Rent control advocates are not helping out

I am writing with the concern of rent control in the Colony Park Mobile Home Park in Ceres. We have been on the news and in the papers, about rent control. Nothing is happening so far. Sharon Burch has been promising us rent control and it still hasn't happened. Currently our rent is $606 (for those who have signed a lease) a month, and for new buyers, it will become $620, plus $11.75 for water, sewer and garbage. Here is where the problem comes in. I have been trying to sell my mobile home for awhile, as well as a lot of other tenants in here. I was told by my agent that a prospective buyer was interested in my home. As he was in the park, someone approached him and told him that the rent space was going up to $900, which is false! There have also been other accusations that rent will be as high as $1,200 a month per space. These rumors and lies are hurting us who live in here who are trying to sell.

I want to tell the people who are interested in buying in here, these are false statements they are getting, and I want to inform the people in here who are telling these lies to please stop. You are hurting all of us in here.

Yes, our rent is out of control and being raised yearly, every March. In March 2008, tenants who signed a lease their rent will go to $631.75 for old tenants and raised $25 each year for the next five to seven years. I am on a fixed income, and can't continue to pay this, therefore, I must sell. But these people are hurting a lot of us in here, just so the rent control lawsuit can continue. People in here need to keep their mouths shut and mind their own business. The lawsuit has gone nowhere, and the picketing is not helping. How many honks does it take to get rent control? None! Keep your mouths shut and move out!

If you want to fight for something, then let's fight to get a signal light at Central and Don Pedro. Parents and high school students are running the stop sign when parents and students walking to and from Don Pedro are in the crosswalk.

• Post Office doing a good job

Regarding the Ceres post office and their service. I have lived in several cities in our country and one in Europe. In my 14 years in Ceres I have not experienced a better quality of service. Of course there have been very minor mistakes, but I say to you, get a life and don't sweat the small stuff. If you think the service is so bad than I suggest you get yourself up before the crack of dawn and get yourself down to the post office and do all the preparation they must do before they can even go out to deliver your mail. And yes, they are out in our famous Central Valley heat, the rain and sleet; true to their motto.

Remember this is America where we have jobs from cotton and fruit pickers all the way up to high corporate positions and every one of them makes mistakes at some point. And so I say to you that if the mail is your biggest problem then you are blessed and maybe you should try to see how hard these folks work and surely not for corporate pay. Or better yet, go rent a mail box and go get your own mail then you can concentrate on other small and petty things in your life.

Maybe this will give you a few extra seconds to stop a mail carrier and offer a drink of water in the heat or a cup of hot chocolate in the winter. They are doing a great service for all of us and should be appreciated.

• Voting no on Measure H

Regarding this new tax, I'm voting "no" and hope others do too.

A government's foundations are to protect and serve the public. Local governments are in power to give people the power of zoning and protective services above and beyond a county, state and federal capacity. Public protection should be the default of government spending.

I would rather see local government use all available money in their general fund, approaching 100 percent, for public protectiom and then ask their citizens of Ceres to support new taxes for other programs, such as parks and recreation, city facilities, etc. Programs beyond protection of the people of Ceres should be the extra taxes that are voted in, not the issue of protection itself unless it is already the entirety of the budget.

• Get your heads out of the TV

I whole-heartedy agree with the person who called in asking for something nicer in Ceres than another Wal-Mart. Wouldn't it be great if Ceres woke up and thought about something other than bargain prices and fast-food restaurants? What if Ceres got all cleaned up and realized that garbage and abandoned buildings do not have to be a way of life? This could be a really quaint little town. As it stands, it's a crumbling area full of residents who are either asleep, or watching television.

Another Wal-Mart will kill off the rest of the small businesses, and offer one option for shopping. The downtown area, such as it is, will never be revived -- and it should be. Nothing good will happen to this city if we don't look away from the screen.

• An ice rink for Ceres, please!

What would it take to get an ice skating rink around here? I hear all kinds of news of restaurants, Wal-Marts, but besides the coming of a community center, can you just imagine what an ice arena could do for our city? Wow, what fun and excitement! Something for the whole family to enjoy all season long! Just think how our city could benefit from the whole idea, not to mention the benefits of young children getting some fun and great exercise!

I think this is something that should seriously be looked into. Stockton wasn't a big city when they built their ice rink many years ago. People from all over go to Stockton just to enjoy the fun and benefits of ice skating!

And the jobs it could create! Something different for our city.

Please, can somebody out there, whoever is in charge of this kind of stuff, give this some serious thought and consideration?! I would definitely love to work there! As I am sure many would.