Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019: Sexual abuse, Highway 132 bypass, country quiet

Abuse victims deserved better

I was a youth member in First Baptist in Modesto from 1976 to 1982 with extensive, direct interaction with Les Hughey in from 7th to 9th grades. Based on what I repeatedly observed firsthand, I’m not surprised in the least, but heart-broken for his many victims.

I clearly recall men who held leadership and supervisory roles. Church leadership is accountable for the dark and depraved sexual exploitation of minors by ministers in positions of power. Behavior parameters and close scrutiny must be enacted by a panel of leadership and parents in all youth ministries. Otherwise, the leadership is complicit in sexual abuse of minors.

I cannot fully comprehend the damage that permeates these innocent, beautiful souls. Why would any Christian seek to extinguish the light of truth in caring for one another? The fact that several church leaders instead chose to perpetuate secrecy and to shame the victims when they asked for help is reprehensible.

Kimberly Stephens, Colorado Springs, Co

Satire on bypass ceremony

A funny thing happened on my Friday morning walk. Heading up Carpenter Road past the motorcycle shop, I noticed the gates to the state owned property were open and a party was going on. There were balloons, golden shovels, canopies and a Caltrans sign saying “Opening Ceremony.” I asked the man at the gate if I could come in and he said this was a public event.

As I wandered around, I noticed everyone had name tags. There were politicians, government employees and their contractors. Eight keynote speakers congratulated one another for their efforts. They spoke of how this freeway was in the works since the 1950s and the new bypass would relieve truck and commuter traffic on Maze Boulevard. The things I learned that morning. Who would have thought Modesto had truck and commuter traffic in the 1950s?

The speakers urged a round of applause for citizens who approved Measure L.

It had been a tough week and I was glad to see so many happy people. As the festivities were winding down, I couldn’t help but chuckle.

Virginia Hammond, Modesto

Sprawl harms peace and quiet

Who are these people who prefer the sounds of sirens, gunshots, nighttime helicopter patrols and car alarms over the howling of coyotes, hooting of the great horned owl and cackling of migrating geese as they stop in dwindling fields on their way south?

Probably the same people who prefer graffiti over wildflowers, urban blight over foothill views and the same greedy individuals who voted 5 to 0 to approve the development of Crossroads West.

In an area already economically depressed and poorly utilized, why not add more? More traffic, more crime, more gas stations, more fast food, more drain on an aging infrastructure, and more demand on water. All in the name of what? Progress?

Rick Kimble, Riverbank

Wasn’t Lottery supposed to fix schools?

I’ve lived in the Central Valley for 50 years, and I have seen so many changes. I love the Valley. We have the ability to buy fresh fruit when we drive down the street. The Valley feeds this country. We produce so much, and I think it’s time that we see reinvestment here. The population is growing, but the investment in infrastructure isn’t keeping up with it.

If you live in Modesto, you see homeless people everywhere, and it is something that should be addressed. All of these problems are connected. The Valley has been neglected for a long time. Everything is increasing, but our wages aren’t. They are not keeping up with the cost of living.

We don’t have children in school anymore, but we are still paying taxes that go to schools. I really think the problem is that the funds are not being distributed properly. We have the lottery and we have voted for school bonds. Homeowners pay 72% of property taxes while corporations pay 28%. It’s time to balance the books and reinvest in the Central Valley.

Cindy Curci, Modesto