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Letters to the Editor published June 24, 2009
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Fraudulent political correctness

Editor, Ceres Courier,

In line with our School Board's rogue new multinational policy toward naming schools, why not at least recognize someone like famous mathematics professor Jaime Escalante instead of junior high school dropout Cesar Chavez? Dr. Escalante taught previously failing high school students calculus in motivationally innovative and interactive classroom environments.

Along with Chavez's uncultivated educational background, he joined the extremist environmentalist bandwagon and made demands that government impose crippling regulations that render agribusiness far more costly and difficult for farmers.

Ideologically, Chavez opted for ghetto socialist principles over those of the American free market. "When the poor share the same power that the affluent now monopolize, we (Mexican Americans) will give a damn." Due to accepted political correctness, the man insulted the intelligence of his own ethnic group and got away with it...coming off as a hero.

One wonders if CUSD board president Teresa Guerrero believes as Cesar Chavez did about "sharing the wealth" by using government to take the earnings away from the rich, and then giving it to the poor (regardless of work ethic). Is class envy part of the education that Guerrero and our school board desire to instill (brainwash) into the minds of our students?...our future? If so, the board is completely out of step with what responsible academic school leadership is supposed to be about.

Voter trust and student trust have each clearly been violated. It's a sad day for our divided by ethically fraudulent politics.

Dr. Bruce Lutes,


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Confused over choice of Cesar Chavez

Editor, Ceres Courier,

In reference to the School Board's decision to name the new school Cesar Chavez I find myself confused. I understand the board's desire to acknowledge the Latino communities of Ceres and I applaud their effort. When a race makes up 60 percent of a city's population it is fair and fitting that a representative be chosen to honor their contributions.

What I find insulting is the fact that the board changed its long standing tradition of picking upstanding citizens from the city of Ceres for this honor. Are they saying that there is not one male or female of Hispanic descent in Ceres that has invested their time and money toward the youth of Ceres? Are we to believe that this proud race of people have not produced one single outstanding public minded individual, not one upstanding male or female that values education and the law? I find this to be a slap in the face to the entire Hispanic population of Ceres.

Does the board truly believe the best man for our school system to honor from the Latino communities doesn't even come from our community? That Cesar Chavez, an individual who at the age of 15 dropped out of school after the eighth grade is the best the Latino population has to offer? Is the message we want to send to our children, when life gets hard drop out of school? Do we really want them to look up to a man whose entire claim to fame came from picketing, protesting and fasting? Is this really the best choice for Ceres? Do we really want to teach our children when the school does something they don't like they should walk out in protest? If the cafeteria feeds them food they don't approve of they should starve themselves? Does the board really believe the school should be named after Cesar Chavez, a man who spent almost a month in jail for violating a court injunction against a boycott he was leading? Yes, the court of San Francisco finally ruled in his favor but this does not change the fact that at the time of the violation Cesar Chavez went against the courts of our country and the police. Is this really the message we want to send our school children, if you disagree with a court order ignore it? Our schools accept legal citizens and illegal aliens as students. We should pride ourselves in the fact that a child's nationality has no bearing on Ceres' willingness to provide them with a good education. Cesar Chavez would not have agreed with this policy. He was well known for informing the INS about immigration status of individuals that he felt were not cooperating with him and his cause. If an illegal alien attempted to support his family by working for a farmer that Cesar had chosen to picket, the INS received a call. If an illegal alien refused to join the union Cesar was representing, the INS received a call. Chavez even went so far as to organize members of his union in what he called a "wet line." They guarded the Mexico border forcing anyone who attempted to enter the U.S. illegally to return to Mexico. Is this really the example the Ceres School Board wants to send to our children? We will accept you as long as your birth certificate proves you are legally one of us?

Yes, let's honor a member of the Ceres Latino population by naming a school after a long standing Hispanic citizen of Ceres who exemplifies the values we want our children to appreciate and follow. A high school graduate who donates their time, love and energy to children, but let's not insult everyone involved by choosing an eighth grade dropout, protesting, illegal immigrant hating, law-breaking, media produced myth of a man.

Susie Catlett,


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School's name is not justifiable

Editor, Ceres Courier,

As chosen by the CUSD Board of Trustees, the moniker, Cesar Chavez Junior High School is creating an unnecessary racial rift in Ceres. Unless we desire to make Ceres appear to be a collection of national monuments, we should avoid naming any school after historic national figures.

People such as John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez have already received recognition numerous times by having everything under the sun dubbed in their honor. Approximately 31 schools have been given Chavez's namesake.

Local community leaders receive little recognition for years of commitment toward improving our schools. Is it too much to ask that the School Board not waiver from its established local policy intent when naming a school after a prominent leader?

It is an insult and a violation of voter trust that board has now pretty much declared that the intent of their newly expanded policy direction is to represent the global order of political correctness instead of our local community, whom, by and large, they apparently consider to be course local yokel hicks. With this in mind, it is important to note that Cesar Chavez Junior High is to be named after a junior high school drop-out. Chavez quit attending school after the seventh grade.

The contributions of those of Mexican American heritage do need to be better recognized in the CUSD area. What would have been wrong with naming a school after former Ceres mayor and committed community activist Louie Arrollo?

Narinder Mann,


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Help appreciated for Renaissance program at BK

Editor, Ceres Courier,

We will be starting a Renaissance Program at Blaker-Kinser Junior High School this coming school year.

Renaissance is a nationally recognized program that has proven to be a successful motivator in encouraging students to reach new academic and behavioral heights. This program is built to empower students, educators, and the community to work together to encourage and celebrate the achievements of students. Blaker-Kinser's slogan for the upcoming year is "Making the Grade." In order to provide incentives and celebrations for the program, we have asked community businesses to donate revenue, merchandise, and discounts as incentives for our Renaissance students. A few of our local business owners have already donated generously. We would like to thank Dr. Barton and Ceres Drug Store for their quick response to our request. I know more of our Ceres community businesses will follow suit.

We would also like to thank our county amusement parks, Boomers! and Funworks! for sending attraction certificates.

The Modesto Nuts have also agreed to participate in our kick off assembly at the beginning of the year, sending their mascots with prizes to ensure a fun and exciting start to this valuable program.

Blaker-Kinser Jr. High's Renaissance committee looks forward to working with our community to create a highly successful program that supports our students becoming successful, productive citizens.

Eve H. Quesada,

Assistant Principal,

Renaissance Committee administrator

Blaker-Kinser Jr HS

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Disappointed that the board failed to give Wayne Salter consideration

Editor, Ceres Courier,

This letter is regarding the recent Ceres Unified School Board decision to bypass local community leaders whose names were submitted for the naming of the new schools.

With a board policy in place that spells out schools will be named "in honor of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the school district or community," it saddens me that the board took the liberty to ignore the 13 fully completed recommendation forms, completed by citizens of Ceres, which were for the same person. No one else received more than two.

As a School Board, we expect them to hold our children's educators to a high standard, but to also know some of the history of the community they serve. Mr. Wayne D. Salter, who received the 13 recommendations, served as a president of the Ceres School Board in the 1940's and 1950's. The fact that he has lived in Ceres his whole life (95 years), contributed to the school district and the community, and is a respected local farmer, seems to have escaped the School Board members.

Mr. Salter stands for education. He graduated from Ceres Elementary School in 1927, Ceres High School in 1930 and then continued his education and graduated from the University of California at Davis in 1933.

He helped start and supported the Ceres Peach Harvest Festival, now called the Ceres Street Faire. He was honored as the Agribusiness Man of the Year in 1993 and a member of the Ceres Christian Church for 83 years. Just to name a few of his accomplishments.

This man obviously has roots that go deep in the Ceres community.

Perhaps the School Board needs to go back to school and realize the value our local history and our responsibility to make sure that those who humbly serve our community are recognized, when the opportunity presents itself.

Becki Barton-Nicholes,


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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