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Sound Off! calls published on April 2, 2008
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• Stores aren't keeping up

Hi Jeff, this is regarding your column on shopping cart thefts. I just want to say please don't take our shopping carts from the stores. I've been to Rite Aid lately and there's no carts for any shoppers to use. And for those of us who don't have any transportation, they need to think about another way to get their groceries and things home and if they can't do it by hauling them in a couple of bags, then by all means they need to take the carts back. They got them from the store, so exercise is good - they can haul them back down there. We residents of the Whitmore area are definitely getting tired of calling the stores and having their people not pick the carts up. People are throwing them in the canal and we're getting tired of watching our TID spend money to haul those out. And it's just not really good for Ceres and you're right - the neighborhoods look really horrible. I'm glad that you put the word out for us. Hope our town gets rid of this mess. Thank you, Jeff.

• Appreciated Easter chalk art

This is a comment on some artistry that I saw at the corner of Running Lane and Glasgow here in our beautiful town of Ceres. Some people call it graffiti but I'm going to call this art. It was done in colorful chalk and it had "Happy Easter" and a beautiful cross and said, "Jesus Lives," for which He truly does. And I just wanted to say thanks to the artist. It lightened my day. I just can't tell you how wonderful I thought that was. I thought, you know, it's not spray paint. Whoever drew it, thank you.

• City quick to turn off water

This is in regards to the practices of the city of Ceres and utility bills. They do shut your water off with one notice. I'm only three weeks behind on this month's payment and they just shut my water off this morning.

• Expand library services

I think it is great that the library has options for our teens during the evening hours. Any type of activity that involves a safe environment for our children to be in without parental supervision is good for them. It gives them the freedom they want and they won't get into trouble while doing it. I hope the library hours expand as well. I am full-time college student and some times I would like a quiet place to go when I need to study. My son who is six would absolutely love it if he could hang out at the library while I study.

• Hope that was a misprint

I'm calling about the article in the paper in March 26 about the downtown vision being cast. And they're paying this DC&E $350,000 to do a study. I was just hoping that was a misprint. I thought the city already had engineers to do studies of that nature for infrastructure and parking and things of that nature. Three hundred fifty thousand dollars that's $168 an hour for one person for one year at 2,080 hours. I just think that is absurb. The City Council is just out of line for approving it. It's way overpriced.

(Editor's note: It was no misprint).

• Differing with Bee letter writer

I'm calling in regards to a letter written by one of our fellow Cereans in the Modesto Bee on Thursday, March 27, stating that we print all of our election materials in English because English is our official language. Actually it's not our official language. We do have an official language but it's not English and I'll get back to that in a second. But he talks about taking money from the rich, I guess, and sticking it to the poor and taking back 10 percent (I'm sure he's talking about school budgets and the governor wanting to take money from the schools).

Putting a limit on lottery winnings - I don't know why somebody would want to do that. I don't know what it matters to him what somebody would win in a lottery.

But going back to our official language. Back in the 1980s we voted for English only and a judge overruled that and made it to where English ... never was the official language. By careful what you wish for. English only. Does that mean that you cannot print it in Braille for the blind? They're still a citizen of the United States.

The only official language the United States has is Hawaiian and it was voted in when Hawaii became the 50th state back in 1950s. In order for them to become a state, we had to accept the Hawaiian language and on the books Hawaiian is the only language.

And claims about illegals taking billions ... without paying taxes. Last time I went to the store they didn't ask if I was illegal or legal.

Who else isn't paying taxes?

I do think English needs to become the official language of the United States.