Letters to the Editor

We’re working to clean up a mess in Modesto; come help us

We’re working to clean up the mess

Re “Volume of garbage is growing in ‘unofficial county dump’” (Front Page, Aug. 29): Reading this article, we felt other readers of the newspaper would have a negative perception of our community even as many people have been working hard to improve the area through organized clean-ups and community-building activities. Twice a month, we gather to plan and organize community projects.

We participate in the Airport Neighborhood Collaborative, a body of residents, public agencies, community and religious organizations, schools and businesses to provide services in the Airport Neighborhood.

Through these venues we have organized seven cleanups of the neighborhood, community and parks with more than 340 volunteers who have collected approximately 23 tons of garbage.

We are actively involved in efforts to improve our community and invite everyone to the next cleanups of Legion Park on Oct. 13 and Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Yasmin Salceda, Modesto

Sanford would be out of her depth

The office of Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools is no place for on-the-job training. With all due respect, Shannon Sanford simply lacks the skills and experience to run the largest and most complicated school district in the county. Her experience teaching second grade and serving as principal/superintendent of one the smallest districts in the Valley simply doesn’t make the grade.

Gratton Elementary District in Denair, with fewer than a dozen teachers and approximately 130 students, cannot provide the experience necessary to run the Stanislaus County Office of Education, which oversees almost 110,000 students. In addition, Sanford has no experience in high school instruction and curriculum, alternative or adult education or vocational education. These are key areas a county superintendent needs to know on the very first day. Her management of Gratton’s budget of approximately $500,000 does not prepare to oversee $261 million SCOE must manage.

The only candidate for Superintendent of Schools with all the necessary skills is Scott Kuykendall. His experience at Modesto City Schools and SCOE has prepared him for the challenges ahead.

Ken Adair, Modesto

Blame Democrats for water grab

The Bee writes good articles about the state’s water grab, but it also endorses candidates from the political party that is behind it. California is run by the Democratic Party and they have all the power which is what it is, but why does The Bee make a stink about the water grab when they are backing the people that are taking it?

Jeffrey S. Diehl, Modesto

Not sold on Escalon bonds

Escalon Unified School District wants voters to approve yet another tax “for the children.” Please explain the last one – the expansion of Van Allen School to accommodate overcrowding at Dent. It was sold as “desperately needed,” and was completed in 2007 but didn’t open until several years later. I can’t get an answer. You won’t find any of this in the board minutes because after years of taping meetings, the district decided to take notes – easier to manipulate.

Superintendent Ron Costa said 58 percent of our children are on free or reduced lunches; where are these families supposed to get money for this extra tax?

We stopped doing business in town many years and a couple of superintendents ago because the head mechanic wanted to do business with a parts store in Stockton, his hometown. Now you want these businesses to pay more in taxes to support the schools?

Costa and the elected board are trying, but there’s still a lot of cleanup to be done before getting my vote. Buyer beware!

Grace Joyce, Escalon

Actions speak louder than words

Re “Our ally in D.C.: Jeff Denham” (Letters, Sept. 19): I read with interest my friend’s letter supporting Jeff Denham, but I think it might be time for all the cops I worked with and other citizens to reevaluate what is ethical, professional and patriotic. In spite of police support, Denham enables Donald Trump to attack federal law enforcement, the judiciary, the Department of Justice and the rule of law.

Trump’s conduct would have brought charges against anybody else, but he’s protected by Republican accomplices, including Denham. When the NRA, professing to be patriots, uses $30 million in laundered Russian money to elect Trump; when the RNC uses hacked data to support their candidates, it’s not patriotic, legal or ethical. Support at this cost isn’t worth it.

It’s not enough to say, “I’m a patriotic American” and wave the flag, or to say I support law enforcement without supporting the purpose of what those institutions stand for. You aren’t what you think you are. You are what you do.

If you support people or organizations that blatantly break the law, you might not be an accomplice legally, but you may be one in reality.

Dale Hoagland, Modesto

My grandparents would be denied

I was raised in Turlock in the Assyrian community. My grandparents, aunts and uncles literally had to run for their lives because of religious persecution. America welcomed them. Today, in the Trump era, they would not be welcomed. Time for change. Let’s start with Congress.

It has been reported that after the election, the Republican Congress will go after the Affordable Care Act and “entitlements.” Since they are the majority party, the only way we can stop this from happening – protecting our healthcare and Social Security – is to vote Democrat. If someone you love has a preexisting condition, vote Democrat. If you care to preserve Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, vote Democrat.

If not, the consequences will be horrific. Jeff Denham let us down; he told us he would vote against Trumpcare but voted for it. We need someone we can depend on to be honest and on our side. Josh Harder will protect his constituents and fight for our rights. Time for change.

Dee Pinto, Modesto

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