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Letters to the Editor for Nov. 7
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CUTA engaged in divisive tactics in a positive district

Editor, Ceres Courier,

A recent ad that was placed in the Ceres Courier by the Ceres Unified Teachers Association raises a number of serious questions.

Is the teachers union aware of the federal Brown Act? If they were, it seems that they would refrain from chastising the Ceres Unified School Board because of its meetings are held in closed sessions. Due to the sensitivity of certain issues, the government requires that elected regulatory bodies at every level adhere to a set of professional guidelines.

Would the CUTA (Ceres teachers union) have had Ceres School Board member Betty Davis violate the Brown Act and report confidential information from closed sessions to it on a regular basis? Davis deserved to be censured, and clearly demonstrates that her status as a former CUTA union leader represents a conflict of interest. This causes further concern to me over Ceres School Board candidate Jim Kinard's possible conflict as a retired Ceres teacher who is endorsed by the local teachers' union.

How ridiculous the CUTA's inference is that low attendance is an isolated problem that exists at Ceres School Board meetings but not at other public meetings. Disinterest and people's busy schedules negatively impact public involvement everywhere. Besides, many board meetings are heavily attended and bursting with enthusiasm.

The divisive tactics of the local teachers' union are self-serving, puerile and scary.

As a parent, I take pride in our Ceres schools. We are fortunate that Walt Hanline and the Ceres Unified School District Board on the whole have consistently demonstrated strength of character, and remained professional and constructive.

Dr. Bruce Lutes,


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Land use issues complicated

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Land use issues are paramount to any city and its people. Most typically the land use issues we read about in the headlines are adversarial: a community or an individual against a particular project or a particular store. Unfortunately, headlines do not capture the crux or complexities of land use issues.

Land use issues are complicated to report in 250 words, but the impact on our economic, social, cultural, and natural environment is powerful. The relationships between these environmental elements and the knowledge of history, law, environmental regulations, city general plans and more are the basic components of land use.

During the recent Ceres Planning Department scoping meetings, Daniel Hamilton gave a simple definition and overview of the California Quality Environmental Act, and he addressed the issues evaluated in the initial study for the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter. The complex components of land use (as a whole process) were not addressed but citizens were able to air their concerns.

Hearing fellow neighbors express their perspectives with clarity and emotion was essential to the project because all quality of life issues that create our human environment are part of land use issues. Citizens revealed their apprehension, their immediate concern for the impending possibility of increased noise, traffic, crime and the lack of infrastructure and poor aesthetics.

In this case, the future of our town's beauty, scarcity of our prime farmland, and the diminishing of our small-town values are disquieting. Until you are up close and person, listening to your fellow neighbors and city officials, you cannot fully appreciate the impacts of land use.

Sherri R. Jacobson,


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Halloween was safe, thanks to community

Editor, Ceres Courier,

It has been many years since Ceres has had a virtual crime-free Halloween. The evening of Oct. 31, 2007 turned out to be one during which there were no reported Halloween-related cases of vandalism, traffic collisions, thefts, injuries, harassment cases or other negative events.

I observed numerous groups of trick-or-treaters who were accompanied by adults, they stayed out of traffic and most important, they were having lots of fun. My compliments to all of our residents and the city of Ceres for ensuring a safe and problem-free Halloween. Good job Ceres!

Art de Werk,

Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety

City of Ceres

Letters must be signed with the author's name, and sent to: The Ceres Courier, P.O. Box 7, Ceres, CA 95307. Letters may also be emailed to