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Letters to the Editor published Feb. 15, 2012
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Cities would find relief in passage of SB 659

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Senate Bill 659 is a pertinent piece of legislation that would extend the Feb. 1 deadline for redevelopment agency dissolution as prescribed by last year's Assembly Bill 1X 26. Without it, cities throughout California are facing significant job losses and financial burdens, bond payments will be at risk and credit ratings threatened.

In Ceres, we are facing the loss of 390 jobs at a time when job creation should be a priority of the Legislature.

In Ceres, we will be forced to pay for the design contract of the Downtown Specific Plan implementation and the loss of potential jobs that will never see fruition. These projects were expected to bring 390 jobs into the community. Being forced into dissolution without alternatives for carrying on economic development projects is a sheer waste of money in our community.

For the sake of my city and its employees, I urge Assembly Speaker John Perez, Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Gov. Jerry Brown to make decisions that are right for the vitality of California communities and support SB 659. Jobs and economic development need to be a priority.

Chris Vierra,

Mayor of Ceres

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Virginia Parks does reach out to locals first

Editor, Ceres Courier,

We would like to respond to the recent article "Why aren't locals being invited?" We, too, are parents at Virginia Parks School and wanted to clear a few if not all of your comments and/or concerns.

We have an amazing PTC which invests a great amount of time planning and organizing our school's events. The comment about our school not supporting locals couldn't be further from the truth. We have always reached out to our community first! We have never had Modesto PD come to one of our school events. We've had the Sheriff's Department come out alongside Ceres PD to our day and evening events because they both work in conjunction with projects that help keep our community safe. We also have many students at Virginia Parks whose parents belong to different law enforcement agencies in Modesto. Are we not to support those parents if and when they want to volunteer at one of our events (or anything for that matter) because they are from Modesto? Our school supports our families because we as parents support our school.

Now for the comment on Dr Barton, you are absolutely right. He has done all of that which you've mentioned and more! It was never our intention to step on anyone's toes by having another orthodontist office at our program. It was a last-minute decision in which someone from our community stepped forward to fill in a cancellation. You failed to mention all of the other Ceres community based organizations that were present that night.

We only wish you would've brought your concerns to our school first or at one of our monthly PTC meetings which is open for all parents to bring any comments, suggestion or concerns whether they be positive or negative. With our election for next year's PTC board members fast approaching, we invite you to come to our next PTC meeting on Feb. 28 and welcome you to run for any one of our board positions.

Erika Contreras,

Dee Dee Holcher,

Angela Scarbrough,

Darlene Tobler,

Members of the Virginia Parks PTC

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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