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Letters to the Editor published April 20, 2011
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Dr. Bettencourt's work on pets is appreciated

Editor, Ceres Courier,

I want to thank the Ceres veterinarian, Dr. Matthew Bettencourt, and his wonderful staff for participating in Spay Day USA in February. Spay Day USA is an annual observance on the last Tuesday of February that was created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1994 to bring attention to the nationwide pet overpopulation problem and to encourage animal population control by neutering pets. This is the third year that Stanislaus County Animal Services, Humane Society of Stanislaus County and Alley Cat Guardians have worked together in the month of February to celebrate Spay Day USA with low-cost or no-cost spay and neuter programs.

Dr. Bettencourt and his staff volunteered again this year to help us achieve our goal with this community project of spay and neutering dogs and cats in Stanislaus County.

Karen Mosser,


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Editor misstated the facts

Editor, Ceres Courier,

I attended both public hearings (on Feb. 22 and on April 4, 2011) for the Mitchell Ranch Center, Walmart Supercenter. The Courier editor, Jeff Benziger, has misspoken about the facts concerning members of Citizens for Ceres in his April 13 article, "Merits of project reflected in 3-1 commission vote." Benziger states, "In Ceres' case, Jolley often uses the name of Jacobsen as a member although names of other members has not been disclosed."

At those hearings, others announced they were members of Citizens for Ceres, as I myself did. At the first meeting, Mr. Jolley mentioned that members' comments were already on the written record and that some would speak to the commission, which we did. The names of members who spoke can be checked out when the city of Ceres releases the Planning Commission's written records for those meetings. Additionally, since the article was published, 95 people signed the appeal letter, as I did.

You needs to run a retraction.

James R. Vinyard,


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Opposition group not supported by unions

Editor, Ceres Courier,

You asked readers to let you know how we felt...I barely know where to begin with my response. Your article seemed to be more of a personal attack on Commissioner Kline, Sherri Jacobson and Brett Jolley instead of an objective report on the pros and cons of the project ... but I guess that's why it was in the opinion section.

As the editor of the local paper I would think you would be interested in truly understanding why there is resistance to the proposed project and report facts. Had you taken time to do research or maybe taken better notes while at the meetings you would have the names of many members of Citizens for Ceres as we publicly identified ourselves and we are in fact citizens of this city. Instead, you chose to deride the veracity of the group by writing that it is instead "to pretend that there is a groundswell of locally concerned citizens" and that the presumed appeal will "probably come from Jolley since his money comes from union shops."

For the record, not one penny for the appeal came from Jolley, but instead from actual citizens of Ceres just as the group name implies. I personally have been at every meeting since the first public notifications in 2007 while I believe your presence has only been at the last two planning commission meetings. I guess this might explain your warped perception of the opposition.

No one is trying to say that this land should not be developed but we have been trying to get city personnel and planning commissioners to look at the large picture and the true overall impact on the city and its future. This is the last large area of land the city has to make a statement about who we are as a city and it is imperative that we look at the overall vision and weigh the envisioned benefits against the reality of logically perceived costs.

Our fate will soon be in the hands of our City Council.

Marsha Harris,


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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 may be sent to The Ceres Courier, P.O. Box 7, Ceres, CA 95307, or emailed to