By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sound Off calls published on May 13 and 20, 2009
Placeholder Image
• Who cleans up hill?

I live directly behind Ceres High School, specifically, behind the football field. My backyard view includes the back of the bleachers of the visiting team. My question is: Who is responsible for the clean up of the small hill just below the bleachers? It used to get cleaned up at least twice a year, either by the city, or the Ceres School District. It is currently a wasteland of weeds, garbage, and more garbage. To say this is an eyesore is an understatement. Most of us work hard to keep our backyards nice, but it's sort of a futile effort, when just beyond our fences is a small city dump. Who do I contact about this?

• Heard of new Obama burger?

I hear that Washington is coming out with a new American food and it's called the Obama burger. It has two patties (but no meat), a golden bun (that isn't really there), all the condiments one can desire (the bottles are empty), and it's free (except for the tax). The media is pretty hyped about it and promises lots of coverage.

• Pathetic clean up

I went down to get my prescription filled at Ceres Drug on Monday and Fourth Street looked like a Tijuana flea market had been held there. I know the Street Faire was going on but I can't figure out why they didn't clean up.

The street sweeper came through when all the customers' cars were parked there. That didn't make any sense. And they also left up the paper no parking signs stuck to the poles by that silver duct tape. Not very classy.

• Quotes to ponder

Because of the poor public education system in which teachers care more about teaching about the destruction of the rain forest and using energy-saving bulbs rather than teaching reading, writing, math and proper grammar and spelling, I thought I would share some amazing quotes from our past. Read these and then understand why we are in the shape we are today with our national leadership.

"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a Congress." John Adams.

"If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed." - Mark Twain.

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself." - Mark Twain.

" I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." - Winston Churchill.

"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw.

"A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money." - G. Gordon Liddy.

"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." - James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994).

"Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries." - Douglas Casey, classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University.

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." - P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian.

"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." - Frederic Bastiat, French economist (1801-1850).

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." - Ronald Reagan.

"In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other." - Voltaire (1764).

"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." - Pericles (430 B.C.).

"No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." - Mark Twain (1866).

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." - Mark Twain.

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools." - Herbert Spencer, English philosopher (1820-1903).

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson.

Think about these words of wisdom, people, the next time you vote.

• Yes, red curb is hard on many

Thanks to the person who called in about the Valley First Credit Union ATM located in front of the Ceres Police Department. The red curb leaves no parking. It's hard on everyone, especially the elderly. Maybe there will be some changes made.

• Problem with Faire dance act

I just want to to say thank you to the Street Faire Committee for putting on another great Street Faire this year. All the entertainment was really great to see all the kids from the community out performing.

The only problem I had was with one dance studio; they were out there and they dropped their pants during their performance, which was inappropriate, especially for a bunch of teenage girls. It just was not good for a family event. Other than that everybody else was really great.

• Appalled by council

I would like to comment on May 6 article on "City won't fight fed's onerous stipulation." I am appalled at the City Council and Gebhart's comments on federal funds guidelines. I am sure when they applied for the funding that they were aware of the federal goverment prohibts against discrimination by race, color, religion or national origin. The City Council members should be embracing diversity. Let's make Ceres an Equal Opportunity Employer. Wasn't that what they had in mind when they approved to spend all that money on making Ceres look more appealing to the world? By the way, discrimination is against the law. I expect - no demand - so much more from our city officials.

(Editor's note: The council is not opposed to hiring minority-owned firms. They are, however, opposed to spending tax dollars they don't have to assist disadvantaged businesses in securing contracts).

• Troubled by council action

I can't buy what the city is selling. I will tell you why the city of Ceres sold the Whitmore House to the Ceres Redevelopment Agency. The $375,000 was ripe for the taking. Our city fathers simply wanted more money for their pet project, the new Community Center, which hasn't been properly budgeted for. All palatable as it sounds, no one seems to care about how run down Ceres stays. Our city fathers do not have the smarts or education to do anything more than ciphon off reserves from Ceres Redevelopment Agency that were set up to restore the older parts of Ceres. In my opinion, new projects shouldn't be funded by the redevelopment agency. As long as my neighbors and local business owners are too afraid to speak up, our local government will continue to do what's easy. New projects will continue to get priority over the older or empty parts of Ceres. This is terribly troubling to me.

• Sounds like a war zone

I'm calling about the firing range over on Blaker and Service. I live over in that area and the firing range has been going on for quite some time. I've called Ceres PD in the past and they told me that it would never go past 9 p.m. Now it's 10 o'clock at night and I've been trying to go to sleep for the past hour with my window open because it's a nice evening and all I hear is gunfire. It's quite disturbing.

I've talked to some of my neighbors in the past about the gun fire. They told me they were afraid to call and complain about the gunfire because of what the Police Department might do to them. I just couldn't believe that. It's pretty sad when you think about the citizens afraid to call the Police Department when they hear gunfire, especially what happened over May 1-3 with the people shot over in South Modesto and Ceres.

It has slowed down an awful lot since February and March but it's still going on. They shoot 9 mm and .357 caliber weapons. I'd imagine they shoot rifles and shotguns over there as well.

It needs to stop completely. I know the Police Department gets paid quite a bit of money from the Police Academy for using it but it doesn't need to be going on in the city of Ceres.

Clean our city up and start by not having a firing range. It sounds like a war zone.

• Leave fence owner alone

I'm sounding off about the fence that was put up and the city is trying to make them take it down or move it. They took something that was ugly and made something very beautiful.

I feel if their last name was Vierra, Durrossette or Cannella there would not be anything in dispute. They should leave them the hell alone.

• Dislikes Charter cable

It was my understanding that the city of Ceres required that Charter Communications have a local office. So why is it they are closing the Ceres office and all customers will have to go to Turlock effective June 1?

Also, I read that another cable TV company was coming into the area so we would have a choice. What happened with that?

I would like to get away from Charter and their fradulent billing practices as soon as possible.

• Policeman beeped at her

The other day I was trying to get into my driveway and a policeman was behind me and as I slowed down he beeped at me.

(Editor's note: Did you give a signal?)

• Practice what you preach

This is for Chief deWerk and your column - no drivers license, go to jail. No proof of insurance on your car, it's towed. No exceptions. You even quoted the code number of the law and said how much the tow charges would be.

Check your files. On the corner of Whitmore and Crowslanding, there was a motorcycle and car collision. The motorcycle had a legal drivers license and insurance. The car had a legal drivers license and no insurance. No tow.

Police let her go down the road for her next victim. Maybe death next time?

Art deWerk, is this political hot air?

• Shoes on wires need to go

I live on Richland Avenue and there's these tennis shoes up over the wires in front of my house. I've phoned the Police Department, AT&T, the city and everyone tells me to contact the other one. It's been like this two days now. I can't get any help to remove these gang things from my house. Maybe somebody in some office wil say that's our problem and take care of it.