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Letters to the Editor published on Oct. 31, 2012
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Gray can 'get things done'

Editor, Ceres Courier,

There have been too many "pledge signing" legislators who think their job in Sacramento or Washington, D.C. is to just say "no" to any legislation that crosses their desks.

Adam Gray is not one of these. He knows how Sacramento works but more important, he knows how to get things done. While cutting his teeth in the political world, Gray effectively met with constituents, wrote legislation and worked with members across the aisle to get things done for California.

A vote for Adam Gray is a vote for improving things in Stanislaus and Merced counties.

Walt and Pat Butler,


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Odd how Hernandez is silent on NASA funding

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Why is astronaut/candidate for Congress Jose Hernandez not critical of Obama funding cuts of NASA and the Armed Forces?

No new space exploration projects are slated for the foreseeable future other than paying Russia to allow our astronauts to hitch a ride. Yet, Hernandez just spends time encouraging people to "reach for the stars" while running for Congress against Jeff Denham.

Congressman Denham is a veteran of war who served as an aircraft crew chief in the Air Force during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope. He is very critical of current and looking defense cutbacks.

If not just from the perspective that the Air Force and the Navy have each performed vital roles in NASA's success, it seems like Hernandez would have some budgeting concerns over sequestration and military downsizing. Due to his unexpressed opinion, perhaps his slogan should be changed to "reach for the status quo."

Hopefully Jose Hernandez will one day come back to Earth, and find the courage to disagree with Obama's positions when he is wrong. In the meantime, it can be said that Hernandez is an astronaut, congressman-not.

Bruce Lutes,


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Richland had a small town feel

Editor, Ceres Courier,

I wanted to send a letter publicly thanking Richland Market for being in Ceres for so many years. It feels like the end of, well, small town.

My family lives around the corner from them and more than a few mornings I have run out the door - almost in my bunny slippers - after discovering I don't have something in the cupboard for breakfast. I'd drive around the corner and be back before the biscuits were finished baking. I'd see the same familiar friendly faces helping me check out quickly.

There was the stroller trips up to the center with the first then second granddaughter to get out on a nice day and pick up a few things and have them pack it carefully so it would fit in the stroller.

Or if we were walking, make one bag real light for a two-year old to proudly carry. Special little walks to get a treat and some bonding time.

Then as they've grown, running in to get a bottle of water for them and a soda for myself when they got out of dance class next door.

It wasn't just a place to buy food. It's where my son-in-law has lived his whole life knowing the clerks when they were younger too and jokes that he's known some when he and they all had more hair. It evokes memories and becomes part of your life.

Richland closing was just sad. I heard that word a lot in the last days. And it's not because we have to go somewhere else or I need to watch my cupboard contents better, but because we have lost a big part of Ceres. Taking those walks with my granddaughters won't be the same little adventure for them , or me really.

Thanks so much Richland for being in Ceres and a part of our - everyone's - lives.

Azenda Campbell,


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Why Social Security is now in trouble

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Democrats are always saying the Republicans are trying to destroy Social Security. I will give a little story about Social Security as I did work for the agency for a few years.

It was started by Franklin Roosevelt about 1935. Not a bad idea.

Here's the ground rules laid out in 1935:

• The program would be voluntary.

• Participants would only pay 1% on the first $1400 of their annual salary.

• The money contributed would be deductible from their income taxes.

• The monies were placed into an independent "Trust Fund" rather than into the "General Fund."

• It would fund only Social Security Retirement Program and nothing else.

• The annuity payments would never be taxed as income.

We are now taxed on 85% of the money as income.

Which party placed Social Security into the General Fund? It was LBJ and the Democrat controlled House and Senate.

Which party eliminated the income tax deduction for FICA withholding? The Democrats!

Which party started taxing Social Security? The Democrats did with Al Gore, as Vice President, casting the "tie-breaking" vote.

Which party started giving annuity payments to immigrants who had never contributed to the program? It was Jimmy Carter and the Democrats.

For the above reasons, mainly moving monies into the general fund and giving monies to non-contributing immigrants, Social Security is becoming insolvent!

It could still be saved by stopping the raiding of the money and removing non-contributors from the program.

Dale Burnham


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Remove U.S. regulations

Editor, Ceres Courier,

During early October, California hit an all-time average gasoline high of $4.61 per gallon (over $5 in some areas of the state). We have been paying gas prices at around 70 cents per gallon above the national average. Refinery shut-downs reduce supply (when they occur), as do state mandated environmental pollution seasonal blend switchovers. In each case, prices spike higher at the pump, as well as for distributors and station owners at the wholesale level.

Added to our regional problems the national regulatory restrictions placed on exploration and production and we have a man-made economic disaster. Of further consequence is the severe adverse effect on the ability of distributors and stations to maintain strong profit margins, and for middle class consumers to make ends meet.

I would like to extend a note of gratitude to Congressman Denham, whom I learned much of the information from at his meet and greet recently held in Salida at the Vineyard 76 station. Let's re-elect a representative who can end and will work with federal and state officials to remove governmental roadblocks that impede independence and competitive lower pricing.

Curtis Hinds,


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Averting disaster

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Fifty years ago, the world woke up to a crisis that brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of a cataclysmic nuclear war. Today, the U.S. has over 5,000 nuclear weapons and five additional countries have become nuclear weapon states since 1962.

We need bold action to move the world towards the elimination of these deadly weapons. Only through mutual, verifiable reductions in nuclear weapons can we begin to reduce the nuclear weapons threat. A national security policy based on luck alone is not a wise strategy for this country or the world.

Dan Marsh,


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Reminiscing was all good

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Indeed, many of the 1942 first grade class are still living and remain in the Ceres area. It was with good humor as a group from the 1942 class met and perused the article in the Courier on June 13. The picture brought back many old memories and stretched our memories as we tried to name as many as possible.

Please notice that Mrs. Hines had 41 students in her first-grade class and no aide. Despite these handicaps, Mrs. Hines did a stellar job of teaching, and in our opinion, helped produce some fine citizens.

Marjorie Derby,

Beverly Western Forbis,

Dolores King Machado,

Annette Service Van Norman

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LETTERS POLICY: 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