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Sound Off! calls published on August 20, 2008
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• Will meet Chester again

I now live in Texas with my wife and children. Two are grown and our youngest daughter is 13. We adopted her in Modesto, after being born on drugs. I lived in Modesto and Ceres since 1948 and Chester (Smith) became a well known name around our house. I used to go out to the new TV site being built and thought what a great thing it was. My mom, dad, sister and brother thought well of him. He will be in my thoughts till my day comes to meet up with him again. I just turned 65, on August 7.

I learned of his passing through the internet. The Ceres Courier is on my computer, as a favorite site.

• Charter service unreliable

What can we do to get another internet service provider (ISP) into Ceres. Charter Communication is going down way too often. I work from home and I need something that is dependable. Please let me know if I should go ask elsewhere?

• Report damaged Trooper, please

My wife's car was rear-ended today in Ceres by a dark-colored Izusa Trooper. So if you see a front end damaged Trooper around Ceres, would you call the Ceres Police please? I'd like to get this hit and run guy.

• Sees pets dumped off, too

I'm calling in regards, "Stop dumping off your pets." We're homeowners here in Ceres. We've owned our home for 12 years. There's not been a year that's went by that we haven't had an animal dumped in front of our home. And it's really funny because the lady down the street dumped her kitten off. We have her. I know she sees her in the window but yet she's never said a word and it's been years. And we have one that's been dumped off that was so abused and we had to trap him to get in the home and now ever since then he has not let anyone touch him. He will never ever be able to go to the vet and get taken care if anything happened to him. That's how people take care of their animals around in this area here of Ceres. They just dump them and dump them.

And also when we lived in Modesto we had people dump them. They would dump them right on our front porch. We've seen them dump them in dumpsters ... in boxes. You guys need to do something about regulating people with their animals who don't care of them because it's getting way out of hand.

• Wants Courier delivered to house

It is Aug. 13. I'm just calling to complain to you, Ceres Courier. In the whole month I've been swinging by picking up my Ceres Courier newspaper, and calling in and asking how come I'm not getting it any more, and all the answers have been, "Well, you should be getting it. We'll drop it off. We don't know what's wrong." Now it's your turn to get complained on. Please, just get my Ceres Courier to my address ... on River Road.

• Adopt an abandoned yard

I'm calling about adopting a yard. All these houses that are abandoned and bank owned where nobody's living in them. Some of the neighbors in the area could go and just water the lawn and mow it once a week. It wouldn't take but maybe a half hour out of a person's week, keep it looking good and keeping blight down. As far as the city goes, if you get the neighbors doing it, the city should just keep the water on at these homes so these lawns can be watered. I personally currently do three yards a week of these abandoned homes around my neighborhood and around my mother's neighborhood. I water them, mow them once a week, pick up the newspapers and trash in the yard and just do that. So I'm asking the citizens of Ceres if you see an abandoned home in your neigborhood or next door to you, go ahead and adopt it. Clean it up. Water it. Keep the city looking pretty. Don't make it look like a ghetto.

• Lighten up on truckers

As far as the truck parking issue goes ... people are complaining about trucks parking on the street. Remember, our goods do get to the stores by truck. If we didn't have the trucks we wouldn't have anything.

Trucks pay a lot in taxes. They pay more in taxes for a gallon of diesel than cars do for a gallon of diesel. Plus the licensing just for their tractor is a few thousand dollars versus a few hundred dollars for cars. So, yeah, they are paying their taxes and they should be allowed to park on the road. I was a truck driver and it was nice to be able to stop by my house, have dinner with my wife and kids and see them and have a place to park. But there's no place to park.

And truck drivers do have to park to rest. That's the law. So please lighten up on them.

• Allegations against police

I live in Ceres and my boyfriend has lived here his whole life, right, and his mom and dad bought their house. Anyways, I guess they were doing yard work and we saw the cops and they were beating this old guy up. And he's handcuffed and everything. So my old man told a friend to come and videotape it and so he did. And when he did the cops came over and started harrassing us and they took our video camera and they erased it. And ever since then they come over every day now and they're harrassing us. They took my old man's flashlight. I mean stupid stuff. I just think it's bull crap that they can just get away with harrassing innocent people when we weren't doing anything wrong. What's up with that? Cops don't have no laws to follow?

(Editor's note: We ran the text of this call by police officials who stated they needed information to be able to verify if this incident occurred. Chief Art deWerk suggested that the caller report the incident to his agency for investigation, or to the FBI. The caller did not leave any contact information nor any times, dates or locations.)