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Sound Off! calls published on Nov. 18, 2009
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• Many troublemakers admired

I have been following the Ceres Unified School District's election since the moment of controversy due to the naming of Cesar Chavez Junior High. I thought it was odd that School Board members were being targeted, and quite ruthlessly on this paper's site and other message boards for their position on the naming.

In a time of financial crisis when schools throughout California are forced to lay off qualified educators, cut essential programs, and sadly, close schools entirely, the Ceres community was able to break ground on a new school, no small feat in any economy. I believe those board members were voted out as mere targets of a "We'll get you out!" campaign and in essence it became a vote for "anyone but the incumbent." I truly hope that isn't the case, because ultimately the students of the Ceres community would become collateral damage in this twisted story.

My second concern is that you labeled Cesar Chavez as a "troublemaker." History and the American public have a deep admiration for "troublemakers." Our nation's first president, George Washington was a well known troublemaker to the status quo of his time, as was Abraham Lincoln. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, are Mother Teresa, all examples of "troublemakers." But I'll save the history lesson for another time, as a the more relevant issue really is: should schools only be relegated to regional figures? The logic behind that would place John F. Kennedy named schools in Massachusetts, and George Washington named schools in Virginia. It shortchanges the entire country by keeping a "our name only" policy.

Lastly, while the bosses in the agriculture business may not have liked Mr. Chavez's efforts for decent wages for farm workers, those workers and the workers who continue to labor over the hot sun, putting food on California's tables, are thankful.

(Editor's note: For the sake of clarification, I did not label Chavez a trouble maker in my column. What I said was that many farmers saw him as a trouble maker who caused them untold financial losses. With the name of Cesar Chavez being used for school facilities in over 30 school districts in California, how can you say the nation is being short-changed by a local names only policy being used in Ceres?)

• We need to stop food stamp abuses

Today I was in Walmart in Ceres and when I was waiting to check out, the people in front of me had purchased $117 worth of soft drinks and paid with food stamps. Someone told me that they then take it to their stre and up the price and sell them. Their nationality was from some other country that wears cloth on their heads. I understand it happens quite often.

They are using us to stock their store. As a citizen of the United States I do not feel this should ever happen. Is there no way to keep tabs on what these people purchase with their food stamps?

• Explanation for so many cops in chase

I'm calling for the "Sound Off!" call that was published on Nov. 4. "Why so many cops in chase?" The person who commented is ignorant because all those officers who were responded were probably there for a good reason. Dating back to when the officer was killed several years ago, only two units responded. There was no knowledge of what was going on to any of the officers and it's better to have several units respond than just one because you don't know what you have at the current moment. And as far as being worried about guys going 80 to 100 mph on the freeway is probably the least of any officers' concerns. I think crime in the city of Ceres is more important; it it important to me because I'm a citizen who lives here. I believe our officers do a fine job protecting our citizens.

• Coach Johnson is all for the kids

I would love to know who wrote the "Sound Off!" (titled, "CHS coach needs to step aside") because I'm almost 100 percent sure they have no clue about what coaching is, let alone how hard Coach Johnson works on and off the field. None of you people know how much Coach Johnson does for our team; no one will ever no but us. Give him some credit. And seriously, what else can he teach us? He has taught us everything. Look at our game stats; it's not a matter of coaching, it's that we have three to four turnovers a game. What can coaching do for that?

And as for those second stringers....have you heard of a word called pride? I'm pretty sure that was a good decesion of keeping us in seeing that we want to get some points on the board. And plus, no one is at our practice to see most, if not all of the second stringers sitting on the sideline talking about random stuff that has nothing to do with football.

Everything that Coach Johnson does is for our sake. And plus he calls the defense for our team and if you come to our games and actually have a little tiny bit of football knowledge you will see that our defense is the best part of our team.

Hopefully someone will open their eyes and look how hard the kids and Coach Johnson works for the team.