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Letters to the Editor published March 2, 2011
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Ceres needs more 'living wage' jobs

Editor, Ceres Courier,

I have lived in Ceres for over 45 years and love this town. I could live anywhere but chose to live here. It's a great little town and growth has been managed pretty well. The character of this community will be changed forever and a Walmart Supercenter will be the death of several smaller stores in Ceres. It's just common business sense that Richland Market, Save Mart, Cost Less Foods and Food4Less will not be able to compete with a Walmart Supercenter. another number of other general merchandise stores will not be able to compete as well.

Every one of these stores is an anchor store for each shopping center. What will happen to each one of the shopping centers when these stores close? Look at Whitmore Plaza right now; after Rite Aid left half of the stores are vacant. Hatch Road businesses are doing pretty well right now. Most buildings are full now after several years of blight. It appears Longs (CVS) will be gone soon if the council gives in to the CVC controversy pressure. What happens when Kmart goes away along with Cost Less Foods across the street?

There are already several vacant commercial buildings up and down Mitchell Road. What will happen to the old Walmart building? How long will it sit vacant?

Ceres does not need more minimum wage jobs! It needs more living wage jobs. If all of the present employees of Walmart move to the new store along with the management staff, so how many new jobs are really being created? I will not believe the spin put out by Walmart, the EIR or the so-called consultants. I believe what I see has happened in other small cities all over the USA. It's just plain old common sense!

And we haven't even addressed the traffic mess this store will create. I don't care what the EIR says - it's going to be a mess. The Mitchell/Service/Highway 99 interchange must be addressed before any development of this size is allowed in this area.

Take a lesson from Turlock.

Burl Condit,


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Ceres should enhance itself, not settle for 'net neutral'

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Here is a thought I hope the City of Ceres will consider: let's go farther, let's do better for our town by not only "not harming" it, but let's go even farther and actively "enhance" it.

Would a Supercenter, which carries and competes on many categories including groceries, general goods, pharmacy services, etc., be the best anchor, the best opening view, would this be the best that we can do at the opening of our fair city of agriculture? Remember, we have many small local business here which can't realistically afford the loss in business, and many retailers do not build within the same parking lot as a direct competitor, so this reduces the variety of businesses that would potentially be interested in using the allotted space along Service and Mitchell, and diversity is generally a helpful thing to all involved when it comes to a well-considered grouping of retailers.

What about a business park with some smaller (or, say, regional in the sense of maybe western states chains) shops and, say, a nicely built-in consideration for a good sized farmers' market?

Maybe an entertainment venue so that we can say that there is actually something to do in Ceres?

A setup such as this would likely have fewer traffic issues due to a lower volume of large delivery big-rigs.

If we are going to build, let's build with utmost consideration and thought, and not settle for a mere "net loss" or "net neutral" effect. Let's shoot for "net positive." We can do better than to just take the first bid that comes along.

Katie Kitchell,


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What is wrong with a little competition?

Editor, Ceres Courier,

I for one am for a new Supercenter. Look at all the revenue the city is losing by delaying this store. It should have already been built and running. And for Save Mart and Food4Less and all other grocery stores, what is wrong with a little competition to get prices down in these hard times?

My family and I go to Turlock and Modesto to go out and eat because Ceres has no major restaurants.

So let's get off our backsides and get this store built.

Dean Hendryx

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Supercenter will be a blessing to Ceres

Editor, Ceres Courier,

As a resident of Ceres for 22 years, I would love to see this Wal-Mart Supercenter here. It will bring in more money from the people from other towns and continue to help Ceres grow. Our Savemart is so outdated that one has to go to Modesto to shop. Cost Less and Food4Less are limited in their food selection and their prices and quality of their meat is not as good as Walmart. Being on a fixed income I feel that Walmart offers more for your money, and will differently be a blessing to Ceres.

Also after seeing all that Walmart does for our community and what it offers Ceres I cant understand why on earth our city leaders didn't approve this project.

Gerri Mello


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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