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Letters to the Editor published March 24, 2010
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Caswell School will miss its beloved teacher Penny Tyrell

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Caswell has lost a dear friend. Penny Tyrell was Caswell's resource teacher, and she passed away in her sleep on March 17. "Miss Penny" would literally give you the coat off her back if you needed it. She was loved by all the students at Caswell, but particularly by the students she devoted herself to, giving them what they needed to succeed. She provided a refuge for children with challenges, where they could be themselves and excel.

A fanatic about all things Disney, she was also well-known (and beloved) for bringing oodles of gifts and gadgets on holidays for everyone. They were always prized and treasured - never so much as now.

Our sympathies go out not only to the Caswell community, but, most importantly, to her family. Her husband, Luke, who she met while on vacation in Jamaica. A love story for the ages, they were married for over wonderful 20 years. And her two beautiful children, Nick and Sam - she was so proud of all your accomplishments. Her devotion to the kids at Caswell was only exceeded by that to her children - she made it a point to attend all of their activities, regardless of all else.

How can you not mourn someone who worked with students with the biggest challenges - and made them proud of their accomplishments? Who was able to make the quietest, most withdrawn students laugh? Who could make a troubled child truly believe it when she would tell them "I love you best." Her unconditional love for all of us is something we will never forget. Even now we can hear her say "The president just called," and a student would naturally respond "What did he say?" And she would respond with whatever task she wanted him or her to complete - and succeed.

Penny - we will miss you. Our loss is a profound one. Fortunately, for us, you will never be really gone. You will always be in our memories, and, most of all, in our hearts.

Jim Velarde,

Librarian/Media Clerk,

Caswell Elementary School,


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False comments about sheriff

Editor, Ceres Courier,

It was very disturbing to read letters from readers who are either ill informed or have a concealed political motive to injure the integrity and good name of individuals. With the election for Sheriff coming up this year I'm sure there will be those who will make many misguided and false comments about harassment at the Sheriff's Department. Their hope is to confuse the voters in hopes that their unknown candidate can steal the election.

I'm glad the County finally allowed one of the sexual harassment suits against the Sheriff's Office to go to trial. We saw how fast the jury threw out all the allegations. I must say that the County acted stupidly by allowing the previous settlements, over Sheriff Christianson's objections, especially when they knew the election for Sheriff was coming up this year. They opened the floodgates for all who want to abuse the system for political and monetary gain.

Even with our depressed economy, Sheriff Christianson's department has lowered the crime rate in the area they patrol to the lowest rate since 1981. The auto thefts are amazingly down 46 percent since 2005 and property theft is down 30 percent since 2005. They also have more successful rural crime and gang suppression programs. There are many other achievements that are too numerous to mention here. I would like to thank the Sheriff, and his department, for a job that is being well done.

Jeff Zaya,


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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