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Letters to the Editor published April 15, 2009
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Third junior high means less crowding

Editor, Ceres Courier,

It just disheartens me to see these articles written about any type of "protest" towards the new junior high or where it will be located.

There's no denying the fact that the housing market boomed, thus the community grew leaving the need to accommodate elementary aged children from the growing families, so we received new elementary schools. Now we find the need to accommodate these elementary school children as they move into junior high. It would not serve our children well to continue to overcrowd our junior high schools. Statistics show that smaller classes are better for students and their learning environment.

In a time where school districts are laying people off and closing down schools, let's appreciate that our school district is in a pretty darn good place with the passing of Measure U. Not only are we able to keep schools open, improve the ones we have, but build new ones too!

It is understandable that the "old time" land owners are having a hard time seeing buildings placed on land that has been open for so long, but times change. things and people grow. opportunities rise. Let's accept this and welcome the changes that this school will bring. Let's keep our focus on the future. The future IS our children and their education.

When I moved up here 10 years ago, it was a no-brainer that I wanted my children to attend Ceres Unified School District. If you speak with other communities, you will find that we have one of, if not the best school district around. We have leadership that continues to move us forward and grow into current times. That same leadership has carefully worked to find the means, money and location for our third junior high. I think we should be appreciative of their efforts and dedication. I know I am.

Kathi Foster,


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Vote no on Prop. 1E

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Proposition 1E will divert funds that local governments are using and plan on using for programs that help our most vulnerable citizens: our children, parents, grandparents, friends and community members suffering from mental illness. When we vote for a proposition we expect that the funds will be spent as intended, not robbed to fund other state needs. If 1E passes, this will be the third time in 30 years that funds promised to mental health have been diverted to other areas of government.

The expected savings from Prop 1E is a fraction of one percent of the state budget. Diverting funds from existing mental health programs will have a long term devastating effect on those with mental illness. Prop 1E is unnecessary and will end up costing the state far more than it's expected to save. Right now, 200,000 people, including 50,000 children, have successfully utilized voter-approved funds that are strictly earmarked for those with living with mental illness. Without these funds, we will witness an increase in homelessness, hospitalizations and incarcerations since these people will no longer receive the mental health treatment and care they need and deserve.

Please vote NO on 1E.

Karen Hurley,


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'Hate crimes' about political correctness and not equality

Editor, Ceres Courier,

With "hate crimes" legislation coming before Congress again, we should take a look at this issue to make sure we understand what it involves.

What makes a "hate crime" different from other crimes? The proposed "hate crime" legislation seeks to judge the "evil" of a crime based on who committed the crime and who was the victim, rather than the nature of the crime itself. This divides people in to classes of those protected under hate crime law and those who are not. These classes will be based on categories such as race, sexual orientation or maybe even religion.

For example, if an individual in group A (a non-protected class) commits a crime against an individual in group B (a protected class), that would be considered a hate crime since individuals in group B are considered potential victims of hate crimes. But, if an individual in group B commits the same crime or one even worse against an individual in group A, that would not be a hate crime since group A is not a protected class. Only protected groups can be victims of hate crimes!

To take this even further, if an individual in group B commits a crime against another individual in group B, that would not be a hate crime because only non-protected groups are capable of committing hate crimes. Likewise, if an individual in group A commits a crime against another individual in group A, that is also not a hate crime because only individuals in protected groups can be victims of hate crimes.

The same standard is set in the concepts of "hate speech." If group A speaks in a negative fashion about group B that is hate speech. This is the case even if what group A said was 100 percent factually true. It would still be hate speech. But, group B can say anything they desire about group A and that is simply "free speech."

Not only are these protected species of people able to have a different legal standing than the unprotected species, they will also become eligible to receive assistance based on who they are rather than based on their need.

Does this sound fair? Does this sound like equality?

Fair or not, hate crime laws have nothing to do with equality. Hate crime laws are simply a means to some political end. But then, where will all this foolishness end?

Stephen Kassey,


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Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed with the author's name, address and telephone number. Letters should contain 250 words or less and be void of libelous statements. Letters should be sent to: The Ceres Courier, P.O. Box 7, Ceres, CA 95307. Letters may also be emailed to