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Letters to the Editor published July 15, 2009
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Be proud of the Ceres School Board

Editor, Ceres Courier,

The title of last week's "Sound Off!" call, "Can't believe the decision," says it well. For someone to decide to bring my late father's name into the present controversy over the naming of schools, and state that my father would "turn over" and not support my mother, is out of line and just flat wrong. The fact that the individual did not have the guts to sign their name only illustrates their lack of character and integrity.

For those who did not have a chance to know my parents, Elvis and Faye Lane, they were a team and always supported one another. My father and mother have always cared about people and did not base their care on the color of someone's skin. My father would have been proud that my mother is on the CUSD Board, working to serve and represent her community. Faye Lane is a "healer" and an encourager who is characterized by her humility and her service to others. To attack such a person, in such a cowardly way, clearly demonstrates either a misguided perspective, or a mean spirit.

After reading the racial attack and the animosity reflected in "Sound Off!" I believe that this whole controversy is getting out of hand. Remember, this is the naming of a school, not the fighting of a war. If we decide to waste our energy in such a combative, destructive manner, we take the focus off what's truly important: Our children's education.

As a Campus Supervisor officer in a neighboring district who works with all kinds of students, I am becoming very concerned that the Courier and those who have attacked my mother are creating and fueling divisions within our community. Remember that our children watch what we say and how we say it and then go to school and model this behavior. If those who are bickering over this issue do not begin to handle their differences in an adult manner, our schools and our community will become a racial battleground.

My mom should be proud of the way she voted, because it takes a team working together to achieve results. It may or may not have been her choice, but they came together as a team and you don't see them fighting. They were elected to serve the children of this district. Be proud of your School Board. Look around, schools are closing, people are losing jobs, but they are working with administration and the unions as was mentioned to save jobs, keep the schools open, give the students the best education possible and make them feel proud and safe that they attend Ceres Unified schools.

Don't criticize the School Board; they are working together, not like Sacramento working against each other.

I am proud my Dad and Mom gave me the foundation I have today. kin/language doesn't matter unless you make it an issue. Dad this is for you, thank you.

Stan Lane,


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Bad memories of Cesar Chavez and the UFW

Editor, Ceres Courier,

When I read the headlines that the "School Board sticks to Chavez Jr. High," I was sick. I worked on the West Side and Chavez picketers threatened our tomato workers, threw rocks and tomatoes at the workers, threatened that when they got off work, their children would be taken from the child center, unless they voted for union, even though they would make less with the union than working on our farm without, they were threatened and scared, many left their jobs but the loyal stayed.

I love your paper, the Ceres citizens are lucky to get a copy every week, we still have freedom of speech as long as we respect and appreciate what you give us, "Sound Off!" Thank you. Us Americans are honored to have you in our community. I hope we don't wake up too late to see what may be happening to us as individuals and take over of our businesses by the government.

Judy David,


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Trustees violated trust of many

Editor, Ceres Courier,

This letter is in response to Mike Welsh's letter and the Ceres Unified District Board of Directors naming a local school after Cesar Chavez.

You can try to justify your actions but it is not satisfactory in the eyes of a large part of our community.

Fact 1: You did not follow your board policy as revised Jan. 11, 2007. Cesar Chavez did not make outstanding contributions to the school district or community.

Fact 2: The application submitting the name was not completed as required and was in the name of a person who does not live in the school district.

Fact 3: The community knows how the schools have been named in the past. If the School Board had announced they were going to change their direction, they would have generated more interest.

It appears quite clearly that some of the board and administration had a hidden agenda, thereby violating the trust of many.

Being on the board is not easy and, yes, decisions must be made, but when a decision is made that many people feel is inconsistent with policy, they should revisit the subject. Failure to do so would suggest a change is needed.

Sid Long,


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Outsiders helped pick outsider's name

Editor, Ceres Courier,

This letter addresses the issue of the CUSD board's decision to name a new school after Cesar Chavez. During its meeting on Thursday, June 11, those present advised the school board as to their favorable or unfavorable opinions concerning a school being named in honor of the controversial figure. Cesar Chavez had nothing to do with our community beyond briefly passing through it on business a couple of times.

Out of those that supported the board's pro-Chavez school decision, nobody knows how many were or were not residents inside the Ceres Unified School District. However, Hispanic Leadership Council president Balvino Irizarry (a resident of Modesto) spoke in favor of Cesar Chavez Junior High.

The Ceres Unified Board (as led by its president, Teresa Guerrero) now places equal if not greater importance on the views (and nominations) of community outsiders as they do with us, the local voters who have elected them. They arrogantly call this "diversity." If we attempted to tell the Modesto school boards what to do, they would quite understandably tell us to go fly a kite.

Our board has criticized us, the Ceres/CUSD voters, for not attending meetings. While it is true we should each take more of an active role in community meetings, we have entrusted our elected trustees to act in our best interests no matter what. Our School Board works for us, and it is answerable to us... not the other way around.

Janice Gilgert,


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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