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Sound Off! calls published Sept. 29, 2010
• CPD, change your pursuit policy

Ten years ago Ceres police chased a car past the park and into our house at 50 mph because the driver did not have a seat belt on. This was a Saturday morning. It costs tens of thousands of dollars of damage to our property. Now it's happened again on a Saturday morning, by a park again, and according to Art deWerk as long as they have their lights and sirens on, the cops can drive as they please. What does it take? A child at a park or an innocent homeowner to be killed? Change your pursuit policy and quit putting public lives at risk.

• Thanks to Ceres Police Department

I am a new resident here in Ceres and I really enjoy reading your Crime Digest. It keeps me informed and makes me feel a little safer in the community.

I just wanted to let you guys know I think the Ceres Police Department is doing a really fine job and want to give big kudos to Officer Jon Vera for taking these bad guys off the street. A big thank you for putting your lives on the line just to keep our community a little safer.

• Courier was not singling out Latinos

I'm calling on the call, "Why only show Latino biz violations?" in the Sept. 15 Courier's "Sound Off!" section. I laughed. The caller wanted to know why only Latino businesses were shown in violating the sign ordinance. Why do people always cast racist aspersions like that when they are caught doing wrong? I am pretty sure that Little Caesar's sign flipper is not representative of a Latino business. Who would know if they are? All four photos were good ones - and it just so happens to be three are Latino owned - that show examples of problems with signs.

I'm offended that someone would suggest the Courier is racist when running photos of the sign ordinance is being violated. The Courier wasn't saying only Latino businesses do this stuff. I'm sure there's white owned businesses doing this stuff. Give me a break, people. I personally think the pinata shop looks gaudy. I think the video store opposite the park is also gaudy. Let's have some standards. Ceres doesn't have to look like cluttered crap.

• Woman feeding feral cats

I am a resident of the Roeding Heights neighborhood. I do not own any pets nor would I like any pets. Every night there is a woman in a red Honda who canvasses the neighborhood and leaves trays of food out for all of the stray cats in the neighborhood. I don't mind her feeding the cats but not in front of my house. She feeds the cats and they have kittens in my yard. If she likes the cats so much she should round them up and take them to her place of residence. I called Animal Control and they informed me that I can rent traps to catch the cats. Imagine that. I've contacted the police department and there is nothing they can do but they did inform me to report who is feeding the cats.

• Questions about Keyes School

I'm calling because last week Keyes Elementary School sent home a paper saying that their GPA is so low that you can transfer out of that school as long as you provide transportation. And now my kid tell me they're putting up some kind of "smart screen" in every classroom; it sounds really high-tech, I'm sure they're really expensive. It seems kind of upsidedown. Shouldn't we be paying more for education, better teachers or programs as supposed to a smart screen. Whatever happened to our overhead projector?

(Editor's note: Keyes Supt. Karen Poppen said the letter that was mailed home recently relates to the state's Open Enrollment Act. Keyes Elementary School, based on its 2009 decile rank on state tests, was listed as a low-performing school. According to the temporary regulations for the Open Enrollment Act, Keyes Elementary School had to notify parents that they could transfer to a school with a higher API score. Also, she noted that Keyes Elementary School received a grant that is enabling it to update its technology. The goal of these funds is to keep up with 21st century curriculum and instruction in order for our students to be prepared to attend college and become productive citizens in the future. SmartBoards are being installed in each classroom, and teachers will get new computers and other technology aids. The grant money could not be used for teacher salaries or for other programs for students.)