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Letters to the Editor published May 18, 2011
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Unlicensed driver only has herself to blame for impounded vehicle

Editor, Ceres Courier,

This letter is in response to the May 5 Bee article, "Ceres looks at licenses." The article starts out by talking about the fear and confusion a 10-year-old girl felt when her mom was pulled over for driving without a license. The car was impounded, the mother and daughter were left to walk home. The mother was also in this country illegally (the Bee preferred to call her an "undocumented immigrant.")

Call me old fashioned, I still say "Merry Christmas" instead of happy holidays, and I prefer "illegal alien" instead of "undocumented immigrant." Of course, there are those in the Hispanic community calling for special consideration in cases such as this. I find it hard to believe that she was not given any options to assist her into getting home.

This country was established by laws; no special privileges should be given for race or religion. This woman broke the law by being here illegally. She is the one who put her daughter in harm's way. She also chose to drive a vehicle without a license or insurance, putting at risk other motorists. If she were to have an accident, who do you think would pay the bill? It would be motorists like myself who pay high premiums every month to protect myself from such people.

If a vehicle of a Caucasian were impounded for the same reason, it would have never made the paper. This woman broke the law, once once but three times that we know of. It was right to impound the vehicle. It's a privilege to drive, not a right.

She's fortunate that California is so liberal on the matter of illegal immigration; if she had been in Arizona, she would have had no problem getting a ride - in the form of a one-way bus ticket to where she came from.

I hope Ceres takes a tough stand on this matter. It should be the same for everyone.

Don Cool,


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Are there really people who want privileges for those break U.S. laws?

Editor, Ceres Courier,

I've often been moved to reply to your excellent columns but failed to follow through. However, the content of the May 11 editorial ("No kid glove treatment for illegals who drive") is of such rudimentary importance that it frightens me not to add my "voice" to yours.

Are there really people who feel special privileges should be given to the guilty?

It has been taught since the beginning of our country that the role of government it to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. Have we now arrived at an enlightened position where people demand that we protect the guilty and punishing the innocent? One might object, "How are the innocent being punished?" Every unlicensed and uninsured, and/or inebriated driver puts all others at risk.

I was punished when an unlicensed, uninsured driver T-boned my car. I lost my car, contracted pain, and I had to pay for the pleasure with my uninsured motorist policy.

The idea that the role of government is to protect its citizens is actually an ancient one. We find the following verses in the Bible: "For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil." Romans 13:3, 4

The issue is really very simple. Is it a crime to drive without a license or insurance? Yes! Is it a crime to be an illegal alien? Yes! Then those who commit the crime shouldn't be surprised when they are caught and punished. Many years ago I heard a man make the following statement, "One day soon the innocent will be locked up and the wicked will run free." What could he have meant by that? Well, as I "club" my car, latch my dead bolts, turn on my porch and patio lights, and arm by alarm I believe I now understand. Enforce our safety laws, or no one will be safe.

Jeff, please keep speaking out for what used to be known as common sense.

Dave Moore,


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Walmart will seal fate of Southern Gateway

Editor, Ceres Courier,

This is a response to questions posed at the Planning Commission hearing by Wal-Mart's attorney who said: "...Regency (Centers) wouldn't get the same type of resistance," referring to the national shopping center developer that originally planned to build the proposed Mitchell Ranch Center. "Is it really about competition? Is it really about development? Or is it about Wal-Mart?"

This rhetoric, of course, misses the point. Whether it is Regency Centers or Wal-Mart or some other developer, Citizens for Ceres members are concerned with the finished product that will be displayed as the gateway of the Ceres community. We are concerned about the uses proposed. We are concerned about the project's impacts. We are concerned with how the project proposed will both positively and negatively affect other parts of the city. Wal-Mart, not the community, selected this as the proposed location for its store, so Wal-Mart must deal with any resistance it receives.

I wonder if Wal-Mart's obtuse questions were a deliberate way to avoid citizens' legitimate questions and Wal-Mart's legal responsibilities. The reality is that Regency Centers and Wal-Mart didn't complete several environmental studies before the demolition of the site occurred in November 2007. Neither Regency Centers nor Wal-Mart ever acknowledged why the foxes living on the site were neither captured, nor relocated, humane actions that should have been implemented.

Wal-Mart ignored these and other issues, showing a lack of disregard for our land and values. When instructed by the Planning Commission to present architectural alternatives, Wal-Mart refused and instead presented the same cookie cutter renderings seen throughout the Valley. Shockingly, the Planning Commission gave Wal-Mart a pass and didn't hold their feet to the fire.

Ceres already has a very large Wal-Mart store so denying the proposed Mitchell Ranch Center project will not deny our community of Wal-Mart. But approving it will seal the fate of our gateway, result in the immediate vacancy of over 120,000 square feet of retail space, cause store closures and job losses at other shopping destinations in Ceres, without bringing anything new to Ceres. If Wal-Mart wants to build at our Southern Gateway, Wal-Mart needs to offer its very best behavior and product -- but I'm not holding my breath.

Rick Rushton


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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