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Two social media postings that lead to serious local ranting

It’s strange how social media posts can end up as somewhat of a “party line.”

Many of you don’t remember party lines. They were telephone lines that multiple households used. You’d pick up the phone and hear your neighbors talking and have to hang up and wait for a cleared line to make your call. Kind of like a communal bathroom.

So when I posted some drone videos of both the Ceres water tower and the new downtown, it generated some wonky conversation. The posting appears on the “Ceres, CA –Memories and Current Events” Facebook page.

First was the video of the water tower, which prompted a discussion about the merits and follies of restoring the water tower, with many weighing in that $500,000 seemed way too pricy. There was talk of getting more competitive bids rather than rely on a years-old bid obtained by the city. A discussion ensued about how Hughson managed to get its tower painted decades ago and it still looks good. At least one person chimed in and said she loves how the tower looks in its badly rustic state of being.

Then sour milk entered the discussion when Andy Constantinou took aim at the city manager and businessman Jim Delhart. Of Delhart, Constantinou said: “We will never move forward when some people are determined to make our town look like Oklahoma again.” It was a direct aim at how Delhart displays mattresses on the sidewalk and how Toby Wells has not answered him satisfactorily  on the issue of citations. Constantinou then threw in some photos of a rusty door on the side of Delhart’s building and then more of all of Delhart’s properties in downtown. Constantinou then posts again: “So, let me understand. Downtown received hundreds of thousands in improvements but they left out the most visible prominent feature.” When someone suggests the conversation move along, the former city councilman comes back with: “We can’t move forward when the same person(s) who failed at improving and continues to ignore blight. The condition of the tower is a result of poor foresight. It’s not going to get better without accountability.”

Perhaps Mr. Constantinou is prepping for a council seat in two years?

Why would it cost so much to paint the water tower? Because of environmental laws dictating the handling of the lead-based paint which is on the tower and would have to be sandblasted off, just like the process involving the TID-MID electric transmission lines through Ceres. That means the tower has to be completely shrouded, with men in haz-mat suits and breathing apparatus to do the work. The paint waste then has to be carted off for the proper disposal method. Then it has to be painted with high quality paint that stands the test of time. Voila, big bucks!

There was also a lot of commentary following my drone video of the renovated downtown. Many said downtown looked great but then there were the naysayers, like Mike Curtis who said, “It looks ridiculous, people.”

From there things went to why the money couldn’t have been put towards fixing “real problems” like homelessness. Cathy Garcia bristled when I posted: “It seems most homeless are there by choice, drugs or mental illness,” to which she replied: “that’s not true, nobody wants to be homeless!!!” Three exclamations, mind you.

Marge Derby, who works with the Salvation Army Red Shield Center, agreed with me, saying: “Someday talk to the captains of the Salvation Army homeless shelter as they fully explain the various reasons for homelessness and why some of them actually do refuse help. It is astounding to those of us who have a home. Jeff, is correct.”

Tracy G. Smith made a short-sighted statement who he poo-pooed the new palm trees in downtown when he stated: “I have not ever seen Ceres had them in downtown at all in history. Pull them out!” I informed Tracy that there were palm trees in downtown dating back a century. The Ceres Fire/Police station on Third Street had them and so did the Clinton Whitmore Mansion on Fifth Street and the Castle on Fourth Street.

Linda Scudder Flores voiced what a lot of people are thinking: “I love Ceres Drug for shopping and to eat at Pastas Pronto and the Rusty Nail is nice, but really, what is there to truly brag about downtown? The buildings need a makeover, too!! I think the lone house could be turned into a cute coffee house or sandwich shop, something fun. An ice cream shop or small bakery would add to the quaintness.”

When Bruce Tharp suggested it looked like “slamscape” (whatever that is), Marge Derby suggested more positivity in this posting: “Let’s get over it! The street is in, the palms are planted. Now, let’s try to reach out to people who might wish to put in a coffee/tea/ bakery shop; a florist shop; persuade Mr. Delhart to put mattresses in his store and not sidewalk; a home crafts/ sewing supply store and the list goes on. We must bring in people to occupy the vacant buildings and encourage existing owners to try to improve the exterior of their store. Kudos to Ted Smernes who now owns my father’s newest drug store as the store is immaculate inside and out. We need more of that and less whining about what is now in place. With a project that large the city will not change it to appease those who don’t care for the current look. So, perhaps it is time for those who care to see if it is possible to assist the city in achieving positive and doable goals.”

Keep in mind that the city invested in downtown to make it look inviting so that some private money will come in and do what government can’t. Private money can, and is, buying up properties and improving them and bringing in new business. It takes time, for sure.

* * * * *

If you think California’s rabidly liberal policies are already drawing too many illegal aliens to the state, just ponder what will happen if Gavin Newsom – who is farther left of Jerry Brown – gets elected. Newsom wants California to have a single-payer healthcare coverage that’s extended to even illegal aliens.

When President Trump was in Billings, Montana, last week he mocked Brown and Newsom there when he stated: “He just announced that he wants to open borders, and he wants to let anybody come in that wants to. And then he wants to pay for all medical, for all school. What happens, I said, if the entire world decides to go to California because they get free healthcare, free medical care, and free education? “California has just increased in size to 500 million people.” …California – think of it. He says “I want to open the border, I want everyone to come in. At the same time, for illegal aliens, for illegal immigrants – a lot of different names – he wants to get rid of ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement], he wants to cut down on law enforcement, and he wants to pay for their medical, their health care, and their education. But I really asked – look, it’s all about common sense. I think I won because of common sense … Everyone’s going to come in. I may even move to California to get free health care! I may move there!”

Tough guy Newsom tweeted back: “Hey, @realDonaldTrump -- Next time you call me and my policies out, have the guts to @ me and we can have a chat.” Newsom didn’t, however, address any of Trump’s claims, probably because he lacks the guts as well.

Pronolsky Research just released a poll showing Newsom at 43.8 percent, John Cox at 38.7 percent and 17.5 percent undecided. With the race coming that close, Newsom seems indeed to be the coward. Cox wants five debates and Newsom only wants one. He doesn’t want to talk about his horrible record and his horrible ideas. So far there has been no agreement even on one debate. 

Last year, California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) refused to allow a vote on a single-payer health care bill that had passed the State Senate because there was no plan to pay for the policy, which was estimated to cost $400 billion a year – twice the current state budget.

While in a utopian world it would be nice if everyone had health insurance but government mandates and higher taxes are not the solution – especially for a state already mismanaged. California’s taxes and regulations are killing businesses and driving the homeless into our streets.


* * * * *

In Rohnert Park last week, Cox rallied to repeal the controversial $52 billion gas tax hike, to build water storage, to build three million homes in the next 10 years, better manage our forests to reduce wildfires and improve our schools which are 47th in the nation in performance results despite us spending $100 billion a year.

Is California ready for a sane governor again? I hope so. I hope so.

* * * * *

Remember how the Democrats glommed onto David Hogg, the Parkland High School student and overnight anti-gun crusader? Michael Moore was using Hogg for an anti-Trump event in Canada last week when Hogg suggested that all prisoners in U.S. jails get the right to vote and he embarrassed himself by calling for Canadians to donate to political campaigns in the U.S. Moore set him straight that such activity is illegal. Hogg then told the Canadians to: “Learn from us. Don’t let this happen here.”

What the ignorant young sap doesn’t know that in Canada which has socialized medicine, lots of people waiting for care and thus flock to the United States for treatment. In fact, last year a million patients waited for necessary medical treatment.

The Left needs to be careful in sending out young teens who don’t have life experiences and reason far less than they “feel” about issues.

How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at