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Sound Off! calls published on June 17, 24, 2009
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• Where's promised help?

Seniors like myself on very low incomes are finding it harder each day.

Ceres Water went up considerably and I didn't even see a notice on that, my cable went up considerably too, gas, well I just stay home much more.

Everywhere I go from the Kaiser Pharmacy to the grocery store prices go up and up. I had to drop another prescription this month because I couldn't afford it.

I'm over income for food stamps so I'm eating the cheapest TV dinners once a day and juice and crackers from the dollar store the rest of the time. In fact I found some fish and other healthy foods at the dollar store, I'm going back next month when I get another check. No raise in SS for two years? What will become of us?

I know it's not just seniors who are suffering because of the massive layoffs everywhere but when and how we all make it out of this mess? Mr. Obama, you promised us, now please help us.

• Molesters rarely rehabilitate

I am very disturbed that every time it seems when I tune into a news program I hear about a child being adducted or killed. Why do our judges let these sex offenders off with an 18 month to two-year sentence? If I know they must know that a rehab rate for a sex offender is only 1.3 percent out of 100. After their first offense they should be put in prison for life without parole. Why not pass a law: One sex offense against a child and you're sentenced to life.

What's wrong with our judicial system? With our elected officials? Don't they know that our children are in jeopardy? Do you know how many sex offenders are in your area? If not, get on line because you need to know.

• Why not be proud of country?

I'm just calling about the "Sound Off!" call that was published on June 10 in response to "Thanks for the voice." This guy said it irks him to walk into a store and hear Spanish being spoken more than English. Why does it irk you to hear? Is it because you are jealous? Is it because you think or assume that when someone speaks a foreign language they are talking about you? Or is it simply just a fact that you are a racist?

My parents came from Mexico and they learned English as fast as they could because they understood how critical the English was for their success in this great country and the future of their children. Don't hate people who speak another language. Yes, this is the United States of America and yes English is spoken here. However, this is such a diverse nation with so many different ethnicities. So what is wrong with speaking your native language? If your parents chose to speak nothing but English coming from Portugal, then I have nothing to say about that. However, my parents taught me both languages; they never forgot where they came from. I am proud to be a Mexican-American, thankful for being able to speak, read, write two languages and grateful for my parents who provide opporunities in this great country.

I know in my family we're encouraged to speak and understand language because we understand that is key for us to be successful.

I hear people all the time saying immigrants, or illegals, are taking all the jobs and that is why they cannot gain employment. So you mean to tell me that you speak English, have experience and education and an immigrant or illegal person got the job over you? What the hell does that tell you about you? The majority of employers are requesting biliguals because they want that Spanish-speaking money. And if you don't have that required skill, then go and get it! Just like you would get a bachelor's degree. Get that skill.

In response to the other comment that we are too lazy to even try to change for this country while the real Americans are doing all the changes. Wow. I can't even believe you said that. That goes to show you that you are racist and ignorant. Lazyness is the furthest thing that we are. You have no idea how much collaboration is going on with major corporations, financial institutions and community-based organizations throughout this nation, along with the NCLR, to ensure that we, as a country, are moving in the right direction and continue to be a successful and thriving nation regardless of race. This collaboration is focusing on the Hispanic people because soon as you well know the Hispanic people will be the majority in this country and we must prepare our Hispanic youth and eventual leaders of this great nation to continue the success of the United States for everyone regardless of race and ethnicity.

The other thing ... that irks him is waving the Mexican flag from their vehicles and homes. We wave our Mexican flags because we are proud to be Mexicans and we are also proud to be Americans. Don't get it confused. What is wrong with being proud of what you are and where you came from? Just because I wave the Mexican flag doesn't mean I hate the United States. I love this country, it is my home.

All this hate has got to stop. Everyone is blind on this race crap.

(The following calls were published on June 24)"

• A hidden agenda?

I agree with what you said in the Ceres Courier today. Also I agree about the opinion on the naming of the junior high school. I am against the Chavez naming also. Why didn't they have those who are paying for this vote for the naming of the school? I mean, how about us here in Ceres who own houses here and the property tax assessment is from our pocketbook paying for this school? It just seemed unfair that everyone was allowed to vote for that measure for the schools when they weren't going to have to pay for it. Now I feel it will be a Hispanic school promoting segregation, in my opinion, with that name being such a stigma. If you are white and go to that school watch out.

• Anti-Mexican newspaper?

Wow, I just opened up the "Sound Off!" and it looks like it's anti-Mexican Day in the Ceres Courier again. No matter who is writing, whether it's Jeff Benziger, the chief of police, whoever is writing your guys' articles always has something to say about Hispanics, whether it's the language we're speaking, if you're talking gangs you want to say it's all Hispanic people. I've read several of Benziger's articles all the time. This newspaper is just like a new version of the KKK handout. Every single week there's something anti-Hispanic in there. Why, if it's known that there's a big Hispanic population, like to publish all this anti-Mexican stuff. It's not anti anything else. You say you're not racist, then go on about what you dislike about Hispanics.

Hispanics, keep it up and don't let all these haters in Ceres and all these racist people try to put us down.

• Police car riding in park

Yes, these are difficult times. Yes, it is necessary to protect public property. Therefore, what justified the police car on 6/19 at 6:30 p.m. to drive over the lawn and curbside at Smyrna Park. Unfortunately we were unable to identify the license number nor the ID of the police car.

• Proud of Mexico? Go back then

I am calling in regards to "Why not be proud of country?" If you're so proud of your Mexico, go back to your Mexico.