Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 6, 2019 | Modesto clueless in dealing with homeless

City’s homeless are not animals

The homeless encampment that Stanislaus County and the city of Modesto has set up to comply with the recent 9th Circuit Court decision is a step in the right direction, but it’s obvious the city doesn’t have a clue as to how to deal with our needs and it is in way over its head.

Continuing to enable us does not help us. Had the ridiculous program known as Focus On Prevention focused on reality, as was suggested numerous times, the city would have been prepared for this. After all, the city council was told that their anti-camping ordinance would be overturned even before it was implemented. Liability seems to be the catching point at the encampment. Vandalism, theft of personal property, etc., are issues that those who are supposed to be overseeing the encampment refuse to acknowledge and just turn a blind eye to.

If the city doesn’t pull its head out of the sand, it will be facing a lawsuit all of its own. We aren’t animals and wont be treated as such.

Ralph Carpenter, Modesto

Helping The Bee’s mission continue

Re “The stories that meant the most to us in 2018” (Front Page, Dec. 31): We’ve been debating about renewing our yearly subscription to The Modesto Bee – is it worth the $$$ with less pages, etc. After reading today’s feature by Editor Brian Clark on 2018’s top stories investigated and reported by Bee staff, the decision was easy! We appreciate and enjoy The Bee and will remain part of the family of subscribers. Thank you all for an informative community newspaper!

Ron and Judy Rowe,


Editor’s note: Only with subscribers willing to support our journalism in print and online can The Bee’s work continue.

Sorrow for a fallen comrade

Yet again, I am obliged to drape my retirement badge in a black silk ribbon. Yet again a comrade has fallen in a hail of bullets.

In November, Fresno police officer Al Hernandez wrote about the high police officer suicide rate, and the “tragedy and darkness and evil” that they witness. Corporal Ronil Singh’s death was a tragedy that all police officers fear. A fear they must conquer while learning the streets of their city, a city that is suddenly a different world. The “tragedy and darkness and evil” are immediate, whether it is an overdose death, or a horrific auto accident, where both mother and newborn baby are crushed to death, or a domestic fight when a woman puts a butcher knife between her husband’s ribs. They see the worst in people, the worst in human nature – such as child molestation, murder – and they investigate all the suicides.

It’s not like that every day; sometimes it’s boring. But when it’s not, it is bad. Bad like it was for Cpl. Singh, and his wife and child. May God bless them all.

The next time you see a policeman, thank them for their service; or say a prayer for them.

James A. Wells, Modesto

Taking flight with Mary Poppins again

Fifty-four years ago I watched the most magical movie of my childhood, Mary Poppins. I sat with my family and was in total awe, watching cartoon characters come to life singing and dancing with Bert and Mary on the big screen.

The days that followed the movie were just as magical; my dad bought the original soundtrack album, and for days we played that album over and over again. We all learned the words to all the songs and to this day they are all engrained in my brain.

My dad is a Dick Van Dyke mimic, he can sing, he can dance but most of all he can be silly and fun. I grew up with amazing parents, my own Mary and Bert. Our home was always full of fun, dance and music. The memories that were relived on New Year’s Eve, and the tears that flowed that day in the theater, were that of a 7-year-old within. However, of all the emotions and thoughts I felt that day, nothing compares to the heartfelt appreciation of being 61 years young and to watch Mary Poppins Returns with both of my parents, who are 80 and 86. Priceless!

Julie Oblauskii, Modesto

’Twas a job very well done

Twas the day after wrapping,

and all through the space,

not “one” tag was found,

not even a trace.

The boxes were empty and stacked with great care,

stored for next year without any flair.

Only 9 children’s names remained on our Tree,

and 8 tags were missing … where could they be?

Some of our shoppers, their gifts not returned,

We’re sure there was reason, but we were concerned.

44 in total with no gifts in sight,

Required our elves to work into the night!

We made up gifts to cover these needs

shopping for items with great care and speed.

We hustled and bustled, with love in our hearts,

filling orders so quickly, and checking each part.

And as we envisioned, each child received

that gift of hope, so they could believe!

We thank those who helped us, with kindness and love,

and hope that you know, you are blessed from above.

So now as we settle and give time to our own,

we can look back and say, “twas a job well-done.”

In looking it over,

we rose to great heights,

and we say, “ Thanks to you all

and to all, a good night!

JoAnn Found, Public Awareness, Sorptimist

Community Christmas Tree, Modesto

Will scary movie make them care?

Humans are prone to ignoring problems until it is too late. Normally, that’s not catastrophic. In the case of global warming survival of humankind could be at stake. I am 95, and not much will change in my lifetime. However, I have a background in geology, chemistry and hydrology, and would like to contribute to the survival of my descendants.

Trying to extract carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere is a waste of time and energy. We need to concentrate on stopping the addition of CO2, to the extent we can, then worry about reducing existing atmospheric gases. We have several means of generating non-polluting energy, but it takes energy, time and lots of money to manufacture the equipment. It can be done only by persuading Congress to act and soon.

But Congress acts only under public pressure. The average citizen knows little about global warming.

But the public loves horror films, the scarier the better. Let’s prepare movies filled with brown vegetation, wholesale death and make it as terrifying as possible. End each movie by saying this is the future unless we go “all out” on global warming. Movie makers will have to be convinced that this will make money and save humanity.

Alternative ideas for convincing Congress would be most welcome.

Vance Kennedy, Modesto