I am 1994 graduate of Tracy High and have been in the Army since I graduated. I am on my fourth trip in Afghanistan and today I received a care package from the Military Moms of Tracy. I’m pretty sure I know who provided my address and I am thankful for her thought. Likewise, I am thankful for all those who donate to Military Moms of Tracy — enabling them to send care packages to the troops. Mail comes once a week here and it’s always a great day when a package arrives with your name on it. It’s something from home. So I wasn’t expecting anything today — it was a nice surprise. So if you ever run into the Military Moms of Tracy organizers, please pass along my sincere thanks on behalf of the troops — thanks.
CW3 Michael R. Ethier, Special agent in charge, FOB Lightning Counterintelligence Team, Gardez District, Paktiya Province, Afghanistan
City should welcome public records requests
I am writing in response to the article on the cost of Public Records Act requests to the city. While I can appreciate that PRA requests require staff time and resources, the suggestion by city staff that alternatives to a PRA request are viewing files on a kiosk in City Hall or requesting individual conversations with staff belies the purpose of the PRA, which is to ensure that the public has access to information about the conduct of the people’s business. A kiosk limits access to those who can get to City Hall during business hours, and individual conversations are limited to the information that one staff person holds. There is a cost to PRA requests, but there is also a cost of continuing to do business as usual. For example, yes, it cost $15,000 for requests related to city credit cards, but there were also ongoing costs to maintain 160 credit cards (March 21 Tracy Press article), fees associated with those cards, and staff time to process payments and reimbursements. In regards to the burden of paying overtime to meet the requests, staff and the public should be aware that the PRA allows an agency to give itself additional time if requests are deemed voluminous, and for the collection of some costs related to copying. In its goal to “support the community,” the city, conducting business on our behalf, should welcome an examination of its business practices.
Lea J.E. Austin, Tracy
Not so fast
Wait a minute! Do you really think they are going to build a new animal shelter? What’s to say we don’t have to go get another approval three times in a short period of time? Come on, you know they will find some needless thing that they feel is more important than the animals. Isn’t this what the powers that be have done for years?
I still will have to see it to believe it after all these many years of waiting. The city could see we needed a new animal shelter but chose to put in buildings and things we didn’t need. They should have put a new one here without a public outcry. They have always had the money. Shame on them.
It is so sad to see dogs and cats mistreated. Especially the feral cats. They don’t stand a chance. Some people are so mean to them. They even chase off mothers of newborn kitties, and we know what happens to the poor baby cats. There is a place for people like that. God bless the people of Tracy who have stood up and spoke up to defend the helpless cats. We will be rewarded for compassion. Let’s just see if the shelter comes to pass.
City Council, stop thinking of any other thing you are going to bring into Tracy. First things first. Put the animals first for once. This is their time. And the people who love them, don’t force us to have to come to yet another meeting to ask for what you should have done a long time ago. I wish I could tell you just exactly how I feel. But some of that would be unprintable.
Always for the animals, especially the cats.
Arleen Robbins, Tracy
Society seeks volunteers to drive cancer patients
Thanks to medical advances over the past few decades, tremendous strides have been made in the battle against cancer, and more people are surviving the disease. Despite this progress, the road to recovery for many cancer patients can be a long and difficult one. Many patients need daily or weekly outpatient treatment, often over a period of months, and for thousands of them, lack of transportation to treatment is a major problem. The greatest medical advances are useless if a patient cannot get to treatment. For 30 years, the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Program has been providing free rides to cancer treatment for patients. Due to the global economic downturn, though, the society is witnessing a simultaneous increase in demand for services and a decrease in capacity to meet that demand. The American Cancer Society is seeking volunteers for its Road to Recovery program. Volunteers are needed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week to drive patients to and from treatment. A valid and current driver’s license, a safe driving record and a valid insurance policy are required. The American Cancer Society will provide a training session for new volunteers. Road to Recovery volunteers arrange their own schedules, with some volunteering as little as one afternoon a month and others driving people as often as three to four times a week. If you have a car and some spare time, you can help someone keep a lifesaving appointment. For more information, contact your American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345 or visit Relay For Life of Tracy on May 17 and 18 at the West Valley Mall.
Sue Mudd, Tracy
Random act of kindness
About two months ago, my sisters and I were having brunch at the taqueria on 11th street. We get together every Saturday, go garage sale-ing and have lunch; this way we stay connected and get caught up on family news. When it came time to pay the tab, our server notified us that the young lady with a baby sitting behind us had paid our tab. We had not even noticed her. Our server gave us her name from her credit card. Christine, thank you, and I want you to know that we have paid it forward and continue to do so where there are children involved. I want you to know that your generosity has made a small difference in this town. A random act of kindness does make the soul feel good.
Connie Arellano, Tracy