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Council wannabe’s social media post raises brows

Rosalinda Vierra has announced that she’s running for Ceres City Council District 2 in November.

Vierra has served on the Measure H Oversight Committee since September. The committee is a requirement of Measure H, the half-cent sales tax measure for public safety passed by voters in 2007.

Vierra has raised eyebrows about her January social media post voicing her displeasure that a city code enforcement officer enforced a violation she had on her property. She was cited and fined $150 because her three trash cans were stored in public view.

Vierra kept her three containers in her driveway, partially obscured by three fence boards. The problem is the cans were still in view from a side angle.

On Jan. 22 Vierra posted a photo of the code enforcement officer doing his job, with this verbiage: “Ceres passed a no trash can visible from the street ordinance last year. Although I felt mine were blocked with high fencing, apparently our new code enforcement officer doesn’t feel it is. Although he didn’t site (sic) my neighbor who has them on his lawn. Just be mindful if you live in Ceres, he’s out to make an impression.”

Out to make an impression? The man was hired to enforce the city code, not making impressions.

Ceres resident John Warren, an anti-blight crusader, pointed this out to me and thinks Vierra’s disrespect of the code enforcement officer – she called him “overzealous” – warrants her removal from the Measure H Committee.

The code is pretty straightforward. Trash containers may not be stored in public view outside of the time they are at the curb for garbage collection. The officer clearly spotted her cans in view from the street. She was in violation. She was cited. No overzealousness here.

Of course, Vierra’s friends offered their sympathies and suggested she fight it. One of her friends asked “the mo fos are worried about this?”

Ms. Vierra noted that she would take up the citation with Mayor Javier Lopez, (who supported the law about keeping cans out of view): “I already told the mayor I did not like it. I had shoulder surgery in October so I can’t have any weight on my shoulder… and I wasn’t sure how I was going to bring my cans into the garage or back yard! ... I did not like this ordinance at all. The idea is great in a perfect world.”

In exchanges with Facebook friends, Vierra acknowledged that the council passed the ordinance in 2021 “because it can be out of hand,” yet said the city didn’t have better things to do; and in yet another thread decried “the stupidity of it.”

Vierra also posted something ill-advised of a Measure H Oversight Committee member: “yes they enforce trash cans not being hidden over crimes and catalytic converter theft, robberies, etc. But this is easy money for the city. If I see trash cans that’s $150 fine.”

If she’s suggesting police aren’t looking out for thieves and robbers and she doesn’t believe codes need to be enforced, she is ill-suited to serve on a committee that overlooks where the city spends its public safety tax monies.

She should know better that the intent of the citation is not to generate revenue but to get residents who have first been warned to comply with law.

After citing recent crimes in her neighborhood and the recent Stanislaus Farm Supply fire, the council hopeful said she was “getting to (sic) old for the big stuff.”

“Too old for the big stuff” is not exactly a platform to run on.

* * * * *

For decades I’ve visited Columbia State Historic Park in Tuolumne County and found myself in the museum, searching out a small autograph album, with an elaborate drawing in pen, displayed behind glass. If memory serves me correct it’s an ink drawing of a mansion and yard done by James Fallon, an early Columbia resident. The fine detail is amazing.

I’ve marveled at that page, because as a kid I held the false illusion that the folks living 100 to 200 years ago were inferior to us, dumber than we are and less sophisticated. Oh how wrong I was. In fact, I now believe the exact opposite.

Young people back then were subject to higher expectations in behavior and academics. They were tutored under stringent disciplines. They were taught the arts, and could appreciate poetry. They practiced penmanship to a fine degree. Today’s kids, who aren’t even taught cursive, would be unable to read the documents penned by our Founding Fathers.

Kids were also instilled with a respect for their elders and most were expected to be in church on Sunday in the full tow of both parents. (If you’re a young person reading this and just whispered, ‘Okay, Boomer,’ you just proved my point about lack of respect.)

In many respects, kids back in the 1860s were vastly more intelligent and possessed greater common sense. For example, they knew there were only two genders – male and female – unlike the generation today which has been brainwashed into thinking there are more like the 58 used by Facebook as identified by ABC News.

* * * * *

It used to be that you went to college or University to expand knowledge, not participate in shutting down free speech and being inconsiderate to guest speakers on campus. Typically it’s the liberals shutting down free speech.

Students shouted down speakers at Yale and UC Hastings earlier this month, prompting questions about free speech, academic freedom and the employability of those who disrupt such events.

Their conduct is appalling and a far cry from the disrespect that one of my classmates showed toward Congressman John J. McFall when he spoke to my high school in the 1970s, by rolling a coin across the floor. One of the civics teachers buried his head in his hands in absolute mortification. That’s nothing compared to how students in 2022 treat guest speakers. 

At the University of California Hastings College of the Law, a guest speaker barely got out a few words when a mob acting like infantile brats, began chanting, clapping and banging on desks in protest.

The event was put on by the Federalist Society, a conservative group with chapters on college campuses. The event featured a poster with the Federalist Society logo and the motto “Debate. Discuss. Decide.” But the students already decided they didn’t want to hear anything that Ilya Shapiro had to say about the Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring justice Stephen Breyer.

Conservatives are routinely harassed and disrespected on campuses. But Shapiro drew their ire for a tweet of his saying that D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals chief judge Sri Srinivasan would be the “best pick” but that Srinivasan “doesn’t fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman.”

Of course, he wasn’t denigrating black women, only stating that Biden was would choose color over qualifications.

UC Hastings’ academic dean and provost Morris Ratner, tried to restore order, urging students to recognize the value of free speech and allow Shapiro a chance to share his views. Ratner later stated: “You’d think that law students should have a particular appreciation for spirited and open engagement with provocative ideas. After all, they’ve chosen a career that centers on argument and persuasion.”

That’s not the world we live in. Today it’s Cancel Culture, the purest example of totalitarianism.

A similar shutdown occurred on March 10 at Yale University where Kristen Waggoner, general counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (a conservative advocacy group) took part in a discussion on civil liberties that ultimately continued despite student interruptions.

Waggoner was there to talk about a case whereby a Christian student was prohibited from sharing his faith on campus due to restrictive speech policies. The 120 or so student bullies held up signs supporting the rights of transgender people and other LGBTQ+ causes, with one protester loudly proclaiming, “I’ll literally fight you, B----.”

And this same group decried Trump for being a bully and mean tweets? Apparently progressives accept bullying for their cause but if you’re a conservative saying something disagreeable they’ll bring out the pitchforks and torches.

The same Yale bullies signed an open letter accusing the law school of undermining “our community’s values of equity and inclusivity at a time when LGBTQ youth are actively under attack in Texas, Florida, and other states.” They also didn’t like being called out as “childish” by the moderator who had to remind them that the school code of conduct does not allow such disruptive behavior. The students called their disruption a “peaceful action.” And they didn’t like the fact that armed police officers were posted to keep the peace. They loathe the police.

All this could backfire on the narrow-minded bullies. Days after the event, U.S. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman sent an email to a judicial Listserv urging his peers to think carefully before hiring any of the protesters at Yale as law clerks. “All federal judges – and all federal judges are presumably committed to free speech – should carefully consider whether any student so identified should be disqualified for potential clerkships,” Silberman wrote.

Academia is concerned about the direction of the country with the present Cancel Culture at play. Erica Goldberg, a law professor at the University of Dayton School of Law, said: “there’s a huge clash of values between people of the generation being educated now and potentially the generation that is educating.I think that there is an increasing set of values that just says the only solution to certain social problems is to shut down all discourse about them, to shame all people who pose what some people believe is an existential threat to their identity.”

These are scary times in America.

* * * * *

Did you hear about the irate parent who attended a Cherokee County School District board meeting in Georgia and created national news? She protested what was being taught and when she began reading a graphic passage from the book “Homegoing” that is required for some students to read, the school board shut her down. “Excuse me, we have children at home,” the board member rebuked of Michelle Brown. “It’s livestreaming, and it’s really not appropriate.”

Brown replied: “Don’t you find the irony in that? You’re saying exactly what I’m telling you. You’re giving it to our children. I would never give this to my children.”

Board trustee Clark Menard, trying to cover the board’s collective butt, said Brown was removed “because they were warned that they were disrupting the meeting.”

Across our land, parents are rightfully concerned about what their children are being exposed to in public school.

A teacher from a Manteca school district approached me at a recent press event to tell me that she’s fed up with the public school system. Apparently there are unisex restrooms in that district.

She told me that if she had children they wouldn’t be going to a public school today.

* * * * *

I’ve long known that the Democrat Party is the party of death. They believe so much in the “right” of a mother to kill her unborn child that now they have made it even easier. Gov. Newsom, who never fails to cater to his base in extreme ways, signed SB 245 that prohibits health insurers from imposing co-pays, deductibles or other cost-sharing requirements for women wanting abortions. 

Isn’t that great? A woman can now kill her baby and make private insurance companies eat the cost!

And don’t you love it when Democrats equate baby killing to “women’s health care”? Tell that to the female babies being summarily executed. If only Democrats believed that executing Death Row inmates was a matter of health care.

Newsom said: “We’ll help ensure equitable, affordable access to abortion services so that out-of-pocket costs don’t stand in the way of receiving care.”

Care? Turning a viable fetus into a pile of mush is care? In what world?

California First Lady Siebel Newsom – he strangely calls her “First Partner” – put in her two cents with this: “In the Golden State, we value women and recognize all they shoulder in their dual roles as caregivers and breadwinners. California will continue to lead by example and ensure all women and pregnant people have autonomy over their bodies and the ability to control their own destinies.”

Speak for yourself, Siebel. Some of us in the Golden State don’t like with your offensive suggestion that aborting babies qualifies as being a “caregiver.” And why is there zero concern about the ability of the child to have autonomy over his or her body and live out the child’s own destiny other than being snuffed out?

I rue the day Californians voted this guy into office – and then supported to keep him in the recall election.

* * * * *

You know it’s that political season when you see folks showing up for social events when they’ve been hidden from view for about a decade.

They make grand promises, saying they are the ones who have the answers as we voters are tired of promises never fulfilled.

We have candidates who beg for votes saying party doesn’t matter and they’ll work with both sides of the aisle while most who go to Sacramento vote only the way their party bosses order. There is no balance of power in Sacramento. Democrats own the whole shop and call all the shots. The Democratic Party currently holds veto-proof supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature. The Assembly consists of 60 Democrats and 19 Republicans, with one independent. The Senate is composed of 31 Democrats and nine Republicans.

So you can see why the Republicans have been neutered and can’t get anything passed. No water projects for the Valley because the Democrats don’t like dams. Instead we get a colossal waste of money in high-speed rail, rampant homelessness, housing shortages, higher gas prices and freeways clogged with traffic.

And then folks back home get disillusioned when Republicans join the Democrats in raising taxes, like the time Ceres own’ state Senator Anthony Cannella cast the deciding vote for the $52 billion tax increase in SB 1.

No, Sacramento has far too many Democrats and not enough Republicans to counter their extreme brand of legislation that has rightfully earned the contempt of the rest of the country.

This is one voter who sees through their sham and will never vote for a Democrat – nor anyone who acts behaves like one.

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or 209 Multimedia Corporation. How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at