Editor, Ceres Courier,
I must respond to Jerry Mankins' inane letter published April 16.
Where do I begin? The Schizophrenic theme of the letter from the Supercenter enemy is full of propaganda and frankly I don't think he understood the spirit of Jeff's column at all. The editor's April 9 column, "A longtime editor could very well blame gray on job," was a reflection of all he has personally gone through, including the illness and death of his wife, and as his long history with the Ceres community covering the news. But Mr. Mankins ends the letter by poking fun at Benziger's graying hair. More insults come by suggesting Benziger dye his hair after purchasing products at the local Walmart. Benziger's reference to Walmart Supercenter was limited to one sentence.
I am appalled that Mr. Mankins compares members of Citizens for Ceres - yes, they are knuckleheads - to those who fought racism, like Rosa Parks, or who fought sexism in Susan B. Anthony. I'm sure that Mr. Benziger stands with me in saying the comparison is beyond ridiculous and that the brave woman who refused to sit in the back of the bus is leagues apart from local anti-competition crusaders. Citizens are not campaigning for social justice; they are harassing a company that has spent millions already trying to open a place to do business and give jobs and shopping opportunities to Cereans. Some of us want to shop locally where we can make our dollars stretch. Walmart did everything right and spent years of work on the project, won approval and now faces a group of elitists who only delight in seeing Walmart burn through its legal fund.
They have deliberately dragged the Supercenter project through every conceivable delay and tactic. It started when they suggested poor kit foxes would be deprived of a home if this vacant parcel was destroyed. Then they fought the removal of an abandoned shed, claiming an environmental disaster occurred. Then they came up with every argument in the book to fight it, down to the design and how much energy it would use. These people are not thinking of the community which overwhelmingly wants the store and all the other stores promised in Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center. Even Applebee's has said they want a pad. So yes, they lost the battle when the Ceres Planning Commission and City Council approved the project.
The poor losers couldn't accept their defeat and turned to attorney Brett Jolley to launch a continued legal attack. The delays are in no way due to the city or Walmart but lays solely at the front door of every member of the so-called Citizens for Ceres.
I wish that each one could be personally sued for the loss of profits for each day they prop up this phony legal charade. I personally hope my city leaders do not cooperate with the tag team of bullies who are only trying to fight something that someday will be built.
Adam J. Turnquist,