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Sound Off! calls published on Feb. 13, 2008
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• Kudos to Ceres Police!

Hats off to the Ceres Police Department. They came and arrested and fined the man who wrecked the grass at Sam Ryno Park. That is good work! I feel like my tax money is going somewhere when I see something like that. Can't catch everything all the time, and it's not fair that people come down on police. But I'm telling you that was the awesome-est job in the world. And for any other child who thinks they're going to wreck the park, better think twice because Ceres Police are on the ball.

• Wal-Mart mistreats employees

Ceres should say no to the Wal-Mart Supercenter. The Wal-Mart Corporation is not super and keeps infringing on the human rights of its workers and in communities it overtakes. Supporting a corporation that cares more about its profits than the people is a mistake for Ceres. If a local business owner mistreated its employees, the whole community would be in an uproar. For some reason we excuse Wal-Mart when we hear the damage that they are doing.

• Return metal detector, please

This is to the kid who hangs out at the skatepark who stole my metal detector (Whites Spectrum XLT) on Sept. 6. My father, when he was alive, knew I had a lifelong dream to strike it rich looking for gold. He knew I wanted that metal detector to make my dream to come true because this one I could design my own programs in. After 10 years of of hard study, my father died of a stroke. My father knew I wanted to money from him but he left me enough to buy that detector.

For 12 more years I studied and designed three programs for my detector and just before my gold mining trip, my detector was stolen - 22 years of experimenting, learning, studying mineral survey maps and designing programs, all gone. All gone by some kid.

Now at 48 years old God has decided to take my life slowly and painfully with a lung and spine disease. Please return it no questions asked. I have two young men - they are like my own younger brothers - who could make that life dream come true.

• Classified staff deserves better

As a concerned parent, I try to attend as many Ceres School Board meetings as my schedule allows. Most of the time I feel pretty good when I get home regarding what I learn. However, after tonight's meeting (Thursday, Feb. 7) I am still shaking my head. My understanding is that the board gave administrators and confidential staff a Cost Of Living Allowance back in July and is refusing to give classified staff and teachers the same thing. Aren't the budgets planned well in advance for these sorts of things? Isn't the money already sitting in your account to give to these hard-working people?

My next question is: If there are going to be cuts, how can you justify giving yourselves a raise while cutting off the monies to the classroom and other employees? Do you understand that without these people there would be no one at school to teach and take care of our children? They not only teach, they pick them up/take them home, feed them, protect them, repair, build, paint, clean up, watch them at play, etc. Should you have to do the possible layoffs you mentioned are you going to be willing to leave your offices and take care of my children the way your employees do? Do you even know how to do these jobs? What are you going to do when they have to look for the higher paying jobs because what you are paying them isn't allowing them to take care of their families the way you are taking care of yours? The process of hiring new employees will probably cost you a lot more then giving these employees their earned raises that are sitting in your bank account at this moment instead of theirs.

I am really sorry that I didn't stand up and give both the speakers tonight a standing ovation. Anne and Keith - I believe were their names - I apologize that I didn't stand up for what you and what I am going to call your "sea of blue." It must have been because I was in shock and appalled at the same time by what our school district is doing to you. It was truly amazing to see how many of your co-workers were there to stand by you. I for one will wear a blue shirt from now on when I attend these meetings in support for you.

• Why pay Siegel more money?

Dr. Hanline has been in the paper making a big deal about having to cut the budget by $4 million to $5 million. What I don't understand is if it is that bad then why he is in the paper talking about making Mr. Siegel the next deputy superintendent? The school district has ran fine without one until they made Mrs. Kjellberg one and they did that so they could give her a big raise so she would have a better retirement. Why do we need a deputy superintendent? It's just an excuse to give Mr. Siegel more money. If the school district needs to cut back, then Mr. Siegel should not be getting a pay raise for his new title.

• Foxes not handled with care

We won't see the foxes on the anticipated Wal-Mart Supercenter site now that heavy equipment and workers were there. In September at a public meeting the city and land owner were told of the foxes on the site. In November when the demolition crew used large cranes to remove the houses, a family of foxes was among the rubble. Maybe the city and the land owner followed the law but why would the demolition permit be issued knowing that the foxes were there. Arrangements should have been made with the local Animal Control ahead of time before the demolition took place. The right thing to do would have to catch those foxes and move them to a new habitat.