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Sound Off! calls published on March 12, 2008
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• Keyes streetlights already dim

I was raised in Keyes and to tell you the truth, those street lights don't put out enough light to light up the ground directly under them.

Also the KCSD a few years back purchased a truck to service the lights (approximately $15,000 to $25,000) then had to build a building to house that truck ($25,000 to $30,000 or more) and it is used about three to four times a year. I once counted 30 some odd lights and found that 19 were not working at all. Four were covered by trees and the towns people have complained about being charged for a service they are not provided. And may I add that if you stand directly under the light itself it lights up, and they are only on the corners. I am sure the people would be glad to pay if they would get the benefit from the lights.

• Why not yard sale for CUSD?

There are ways for our school district to make money. If they would gather up the equipment that's laying around doing nothing forever and have a big sale and put that money into the district it would certainly help out a lot. Go to each and every school: Check their supply rooms, check their storage rooms, see stuff that has been sitting there forever and not used and sell it.

• Where is the concern for CUSD?

As a parent/employee of Ceres Unified, I am wondering why our community is not more concerned with our district's pending budget crisis and how the district plans to deal with this crisis. Why hasn't the community shown its concern at the board meetings like Modesto did? Don't you want to know how the education of your children is being affected by this crisis? Is the community concerned about the consequences of the budget crisis? Or where the cuts will be coming from and how the cuts will affect the students? Who influences your child more than the certificated and classified employees that work directly with the students on a daily basis? The classroom teacher who monitors your child's improvements to the cafeteria cook who makes sure your child's lunch is nutritious to the custodian who sanitizes your child's daily environment or the maintenance worker who repairs the playground equipment to ensure your children's safety - these individuals are the backbone of our school district. Why is it that these individuals bear the brunt of our budget crisis? Isn't it time for the community to recognize that cuts need to start from the top where there is less affect on the students of our district?

• U.S. has lost its wealth

This is in response to the conservatives and liberals. The United States has lived under an American fascist government from 2000 to 2006. It is a government that likes to send the military to war but no tax increase to support the military. Sends troops to combat without proper armor. No more taxes is the conservative rhetoric but the conservative borrow and spend like liberals or like there's no tomorrow. The trouble is they borrow from the Chinese and Arabs because the United States has lost most of its wealth in the free world's market.

• Plea to save her Riverbank job

Hello citizens of Ceres. I am calling to inform you of an appalling situation occurring in our neighboring city of Riverbank that affects my family directly. I work as a relay operator for the deaf and hard of hearing. I may lose my job because 500 operators are being laid off in Riverbank alone and our company is hiring operators in the Philippines to replace us. My job is paid for by U.S. taxpayers so basically as a taxpayer I am paying to have myself laid off and have my job shift overseas. I feel this is ridiculous. If you feel as I do and don't want your tax dollars being spent to fire relay operators in our community and rehire them in the Philippines, which would be bad for our local economy, I would strongly urge you to write or call our representatives, including Dennis Cardoza, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Arnold Schwarzenegger. My family and I thank you in advance for trying to help save my job.

• Victim a gang member?

I'm calling in regards to the 24-year-old man who was stabbed outside of Richland Liquors market on Friday night (Feb. 29). Fright night being the key words. If these people were waiting for him and seen that he was wearing red at night time, doesn't they give you a big red sign that says that he's a gang member? Considering that the back retaining wall there along Richland Avenue is getting tagged by gang members almost on a daily basis. If there were four of them waiting for him for sure, he obviously had to have done something. He just might be a gang member and he just might have done something wrong.

The police need to start watching the apartments a little bit more.