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Santa will be skipping over lots of naughty people
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There's no shortage of people who consistently fail to do the right thing.

Perhaps their parents didn't teach them to do the right thing but all children learned the concept that Santa is "making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out out who's naughty and nice."

Santa will be skipping over lots of naughty people this Christmas. I'm not just talking about the San Fernando Valley woman who, on Black Friday, pepper-sprayed fellow Walmart shoppers to make off with an Xbox she wanted to buy. No, right here in Ceres there's plenty of naughty people in this season of peace on earth and good will toward men. They include the plethora of metal thieves, litter bugs, hit and run drivers and malicious vandals who place chunks of concrete in the road in the cloak of the night.

I've been asking myself who does twisted things like paint big blocks of concrete black and strategically place them in a lane of traffic so somebody will hit them and incur possible injury, expense and the headache of repairs - repairs if they are insured against such mayhem? I have no answer but some sick and demented soul in Ceres does that. I bet they had parents who didn't bother a darn to lay a hand or paddle on his fanny while growing up.

One victim hit a large rock placed in his lane on River Road on one dark night in October and ripped his oil pan loose. He came into our office wanting copies of articles of similar incidences as a way to convince his insurance company to pay. They were claiming that he could have averted the disaster and weren't going to pay. It figures that insurance companies would find reasons not to make good on a claim after milking the insured dry through premiums. In the real world, sometimes you can't avoid hitting things like large rocks in the road in the night, especially ones that have been camouflaged. After all, that's why we buy insurance. Even insurance companies will fail to do the right thing by their customers.

Next. A woman fell into a hole in the parking lot of Hope Chest on Mitchell Road after someone steals the grate covering it. What unscrupulous metal buyer would touch those with a 10-foot pole? Who in their right mind would not question a commercial drain grate? Again, not doing the right thing on the part of the thief - and the scraper - who buys purloined metals.

Last week we received a call from the mom of a Ceres teenager who wants to know who hit her daughter's vehicle and took off Tuesday evening, Nov. 29. That's because their insurance company won't cover the $500 to $1,000 in damages caused by the hit-and-run driver - unless a license plate or suspect is produced.

The crash occurred at 9:35 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29 as the daughter of Kimberly Russell of Ceres was traveling westbound on Service Road east of Mitchell Road. The hit-and-run driver was exiting the parking lot of the 7-Eleven when they ran into the passenger side rear quarter panel of the girl's white Geo Prizm 1998. Russell hopes someone will contact Ceres Police to report what they saw. Because the teen driver only had liability coverage extending to damage caused by an uninsured driver, the company insists on suspect information before they cover the damage.

One can only assume that the driver of the SUV didn't stop because they have no conscience or didn't have insurance. Perhaps they had no driver's license. It's plausible but speculation that there was no license nor insurance because the driver isn't a legal resident of this country.

It would have been the right thing to do for the driver to stop and offer to pay for the damages they caused this young lady.

Talk about doing the absolute wrong thing, what possessed the person who dumped an infant baby in the trash at a Waterford convenience store last week? There's no excuse to do the right thing because in this state any young mother can hand her unwanted baby off to any fire house or hospital without prosecution.

And while they weren't "naughty" - certainly not nice anyway - there were the 7-Eleven clerks and customers who failed to help a police sergeant on Oct. 29 apprehend a suspect who moments prior was standing outside with a handgun. (Imagine if the gun had been used to commit a crime against those shoppers or clerks had the officer not intervened.) The bystanders only needed to render aid by ganging up and grab an arm or a leg or even sit on the suspect. One gentleman in the background held his place in line to buy beer rather than assist someone in need.

Again, what would the right thing have been?

The list of the local "naughties" goes on. Customers who push grocery carts miles from stores and after it suits their needs, leave them to trash up the neighborhood. The creeps who steal from Christmas Tree Lane displays. The inconsiderate who drive like speed demons up and down Rose Avenue.

Just when you start to lose your faith in mankind, last week we were treated to an example of someone doing the right thing. A woman who was the subject of the "Wish old lady took the high road" call in "Sound Off!" contacted us to make things right. A shopper at Rite Aid called "Sound Off!" to say that she dropped her receipt containing over $50 in rewards and chided the woman behind her for picking up the receipt. The caller accused the woman for not taking the "high road" and returning the receipt.

Well, the woman who picked up the receipt read the call in "Sound Off!," knew it was about her and called the Courier wanting to know how to contact the shopper to return the receipt.

She did the right thing, which was no doubt a hard thing to do.

Another caller, Ian Snider of Prescott Valley, Ariz., recently praised Ceres for turning in his lost wallet during his trip here. He wrote that "There are truly honest people in this world! You have proven this to me."

No doubt that Santa will be pleased at latter examples. But the way things are headed, Santa has less to visit around here on Christmas eve than he did last year. I'd caution him, however, to check to see if someone hasn't placed a cement block on his roof on the good people he might visit. Or to check to make sure some knucklehead didn't spike the eggnog left for him.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know by e-mailing him at