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Sound Off! calls published Oct. 15, 2008
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• Foreclosure eyesore

We have a house that's in foreclosure in the 1600 block of Richland Avenue and if you drive by you will notice that the neighbors are trying to get the yard greened again. But in the meantime the homeless people have taken off the screens, broken the windows and now they've even taken the back door off so they have free access to the inside and outside of the house. If you call the Police Department, it's a low priority. What are they gonna do, wait until it gets cold weather and they burn it down?

• Kids aren't wearing helmets!

I'm calling about the helmet laws. These kids around here just don't seem to get it or they're just not listening to their parents or the parents aren't even telling the kids. I never see a kid wearing a helmet. As I pick my son up from school and we drive home, I'm seeing anywhere from 8-year-olds to 13- to 14-year-olds. I know the law is 18. You parents need to tell your kids they have to put a helmet on. If your kids love and trust you, they're going to understand them and they're going to do it.

All it's going to take is a kid losing his grip and putting a hole in his head - hitting the ground. I don't know if you parents are paying attention.

• Voting no on Measure S

I just say no to Measure S. Look it. People are losing their homes. People can't make their automobile payments. People are losing their jobs, which in turn means that eventually they'll probably lose their health insurance. People are having problems paying their fuel bills. Groceries are getting much more expensive. And what is government's solution to all of this? Raise the sales tax. Whatever happened to the money that should have been utilized from the sale of gasoline or diesel to fix and/or repair roads? Did the politicos spend that one something else? The politicos are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. If the politicos can bail out Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, Wall Street, etc., well then folks they can find the money to repair our roads. Please vote no on this Measure S. We the voters did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

• Garbage cans are visible

I thought all trash recepticles are supposed to be put out of sight from the street when they're not due to be picked up. I note this does not happen. There's a place I drive by regularly that has theirs outside the fence right by the sidewalk and it is easy to see them. And they stink.

• Can't see own grandson

I called in not too long ago about my daughter-in-law keeping me from seeing my grandson and I saw his picture in the paper today and I didn't recognize him. I went through the varsity football pictures not noticing the names, just the pictures, thinking that I would recognize him but I didn't. I had to go back through the names. How can people be so cruel to grandmothers? It breaks my heart. I don't understand how a son can love ... (unintelligible because of the sobbing).

Unfortunately he married a woman who thrives on being manipulative. She manipulates him and the children. She's never kind to anyone unless there is something in it for her. She thrives on insulting remarks, gossip, lies and deception. I've asked myself so many times how could a good, kind gentle man like my son choose such a woman. I don't know who he is anymore.

• Signs do trash up Ceres

I was calling in regards to the comment that was made in this week's Courier, on the 24th. The person writes that she doesn't think it's a big deal about having the signs left up after you have a yard sale; that she has yard sales at least once a year and she always takes her signs down. Or she says sometimes you might forget where you put them. Well I suggest to her to maybe write down where they put them and then go back and take them down. She doesn't think it looks trashy. I believe it does make Ceres look very trashy. I commented about this a year or so ago; that I thought they should be fined. It's a very simple thing. If they've got their address on their cardboard and they're up there after the sale, they should have the community service person go over there and fine them for leaving them up. There's got to be a way to make these people realize that those signs have to come down.

It isn't fair also to people looking for yard sales - after the fact those signs are up there, some of them don't have dates on them and you go looking for this yard sale that is no longer happening. So come on, people ... we want Ceres to look nice and neat.

• McCain critic lobs one locally

The Courier, as the voice of the right, has a duty to be responsible and call for an end to the politics of hate and violence baiting that the McCain/Palin ticket is encouraging. Several recent disturbing events at Republican rallies such as calling Barrack Obama a "terrorist" and "traitor" are indicative of a visceral hatred towards a man who is the standard bearer of a major political party as well as an elected member of the Senate. I've noticed that any mention of Palin's support and membership in the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) which openly advocates the seccesion of Alaska from the United States of America is woefully underreported by the right (I guess being a "real American" includes wanting to leave the country). America has a terrible history of racism and violence the flames of which are being openly fanned by McCain and Palin by failing to discourage their backers from the politics of hate and violence. Failure to address this issue by the Courier indicates a support of these policies by the editorial staff.

(Editor's note: While we'd agree that occasional shout outs from the crowd at McCain-Palin rallies are inappropriate - but possibly Obama plants as a set-up - they are based on a very real perception that the national media is glossing over stories dealing with the very real associations that Barack Obama has with Bill Ayers, the unrepentent terrorist who bombed the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. If McCain and Palin are faulted for pointing out his connection to Ayers, we hardly consider that fanning the flames of hatred. We think that Obama needs to come clean and address the issue, rather than issue false charge of racism whenever things get heated for him.)

• CHS freshmen ignored

I'm calling about Ceres High freshman football. Two weeks ago we played Calaveras High School and we lost the game 8-6; it was a nail-biter right down to the end. Down to the last minute of the game we were on the goal line ready to score. We could have won that game. The paper came out the next week and there was not mention of the Ceres High freshman football game. But Central Valley had a full article on their freshman football game.

Then last week we went to Sonora; we beat them 45-7. And all we get is a little mention inside the JV football team's loss. If you weren't reading through the JV team's loss, you wouldn't even get to our win. And again, Central Valley has their own headline, little article, for their loss again.

I just want to know why, it seems to me, the Ceres High freshman football team is getting the shaft here. Can we get a couple of articles?