Your Voice: THS students need to wake up, a local soldier explains Afghanistan and watering lawns during a storm
Feb 28, 2014 | 7795 views | 21 21 comments | 239 239 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wake up, Tracy High kids

EDITOR,

I’ve been following the debate regarding the beleaguered Tracy High School students and their parking woes. I really need to say something to the kids. Wake up and smell the coffee. Get up earlier and drink a cup.

Stop whining about “having to drive.” You’re blessed that you or your parents can afford a vehicle, gas and insurance for you. We can’t afford a car for our son, and he’s going to Stockton, taking buses. We have to pick him up certain evenings. Sorry, but it’s really hard to be sympathetic to your plight.

I’ve heard from a lady who lives on 12th Street. Her truck has been hit twice, and her daughter lost her side-view mirror. Put yourselves in the residents’ shoes being harassed by students. Maybe you’re not the one doing the harassing, you’re a good driver, and you’re not littering. But that doesn’t mean the people who bought a home years ago should be penalized because this generation of kids feels such an air of self-entitlement. It’s not a good reflection of your character, or your parents excusing your actions.

Other established cities have permit parking by high schools. So take a lesson from the people who get up at o’dark-thirty to commute. Plan on walking a little, if you don’t get the close parking space. And don’t fault the nearby residents for expecting to be able to get out of their driveways, or hoping that their cars will not be hit by new, erratic drivers.

Do something constructive instead of whining. Your predecessors at Tracy High used to have jobs on the family farm, rising with the roosters, before traveling to your school. It’s all in the perspective. And quit acting like the people who own homes around your school owe you a parking spot.

Deborah Littleton, Tracy

Time to educate America

EDITOR,

Nowadays, civilians have very little knowledge why we are here in Afghanistan, which is why the majority of Americans do not agree with or support the war. If you are not going to support the war, at least support the men and women fighting it. The majority go against their will, leaving behind their families and loved ones. The problem is the media. They only tell you what you want to hear, leaving a lot of the important, critical information unreleased to the public. Information which could quite possibly change the outlook of many about the war we are fighting. The media needs to educate Americans on everything about this war so that people may better understand it. I know a big thought people have is that because we are at war with Afghanistan, all the people of Afghanistan are our enemies. One word: false.

Based on what I’ve seen since I’ve been here, the people of Afghanistan live in poverty in a third-world country with little resources. Some live without running water, heat and electricity. They are hard working and do their best to support their families, provide them with shelter, food and provide their children with the best education they can get. The majority support our presence here, because just like us Americans, they are also affected by the Taliban. But some people will never believe this. I believe this is one of those “You have to be here to see it for yourself” moments. We are here to help and better the people of Afghanistan with our knowledge and work to form an undying friendship. The more Americans that understand, the better. We need to open closed minds, and open the eyes and hearts of many. All I want to do is educate. Because that’s where it begins with, education.

U.S. Army Spc. Reynaldo Del Rosario, Mountain House

Don’t water during a storm

EDITOR,

While driving home Wednesday night, I happened to notice the landscaping sprinklers dutifully watering while it was raining. This is the second time I have witnessed this scenario this year. The Wednesday storm has been the highlight of the daily news for more than a week. With the entire state of California engulfed in a serious drought, modus operandi for the city public works should be to take a proactive stance while setting a good example for city residents to modify watering schedules or temporarily shut off the sprinklers ahead of a large rainstorm this year.

Nancy Strohmaier, Tracy

Hospital foundation closed off

EDITOR,

I am very disappointed by the lack of openness at the Tracy Community Memorial Hospital Foundation.

I have asked repeatedly since September to speak to the board. My first attempt was blocked by David Thompson, CEO of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital. He stepped between me and the meeting room door and told me it was a closed meeting. I asked him to be put on a future agenda. Getting no response, I have subsequently asked the chair twice, the secretary of the board once, and the office staff many times to be added to a future agenda. I’m still waiting.

I have requested to see the foundation’s Articles of Incorporation, by-laws, and minutes for the last two years. I was told by (an) office staff (member) that she called Modesto and was told that I must submit a request in writing. It should be addressed to Mr. Thompson and Jennifer Svihus. And no, I can’t just walk in and look at the records.

Is there something to hide? Who is running the foundation? Is it Sutter or the local community?

Pete Mitracos, Tracy

 

The Tracy Press accepts letters to the editor of not more than 300 words at tpletters@tracypress.com or at 131 W. 10th Street.

 

Comments
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rdr0812
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March 02, 2014
So the other day I had the opportunity to take part in one of the most hardest ceremonies I have ever been a part of. It was a memorial ceremony for the two we lost in a recent incident here. I cannot share any information about the two that were taken from us. Although it was through another act of violence from the Taliban who claimed full responsibility for the attack.

First off there were two ceremonies. The first one on the day that it happened. It is known as a Ramp Ceremony. Everyone on the FOB formed two lines leading to the Black Hawk that was to take the fallen to a main airstrip to get on a plane that would take them back to the United States. Once the Blackhawk arrived, the bodies of the fallen were carried to the aircraft between the two lines and were given a final salute by those in the line to honor them for their sacrifice. For me it was an emotional event having never experienced anything like that before. My emotions ran wild as I saw those affected personally by the incident.
rdr0812
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March 02, 2014
The second Ceremony was more formal. I was to be part of the Three Volley Salute or also known as the 21 Gun Salute. The Ceremony began with speeches about the men and about personal memories certain individuals experienced with them while serving alongside them. The hardest part was the final speech which was the Role Call. In which the First Sergeant or Non Commisioned Officer In Charge conducts Role and begins calling individual names. You hear the first few answer with a "Here First Sergeant!!". Then the names of the fallen individuals are called with no response. Just silence. The kind of silence that gets you choked up because it reminds you they are no longer with you because someone has taken them from you. At this point I was fighting back the tears as our part was seconds away to conduct the Three Volley Salute. The sound of my NCO's voice calling "Ready Load" caught everyone off guard as if we weren't ready, because we were fighting our emotions. After countless hours of rehearsal and perfecting our part in the ceremony, emotions got in the way. I personally fought back tears after each shot was fired. There was not a dry eye in the ceremony.
rdr0812
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March 02, 2014
I did not personally know the two men but I did happen to see them almost everyday walking around the office. After the final memorial ceremony I learned one of them left behind a wife and four kids. The other was to be married on February 15th. Just a couple of days ago. These individuals sacrificed their lives for their country and wil always be remembered.

Being here in Afghanistan has given me a new and greater outlook on life and has also taught me to live each day like your last and appreciate everything that I have. I think everyone should learn from this experience and learn not to take advantage of things. Cherisih and be thankful for those moments you have with your loved ones; friends, family, kids, etc. Make everyday a memorable one and do not regret anything. Take each experience wether negative or positive and grow from it. Let it make you stronger and build you as an individual. Too many people take things for granted and don't appreciate the life they have and embrace every moment. Wether it's holding your spouse, your kids, visiting loved ones or just a simple message or phone call to a loved one can make a difference. Optimism is key. You cannot let negative events in your life hold you down from moving forward. Get back up and drive on!!! You control your life. You cannot let other people control it for you. Take the Wheel!!!

BobYoung
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February 28, 2014
Deborah Littleton,

Great letter. I loved your o’dark-thirty comment, as well as your entire letter. Having once lived near a school, the problems you mention are familiar.

But ... the kids have a problem too. For most of them, Tracy High is too far away from their homes to walk, and bus service in Tracy is less than convenient. Yes, some of the kids are careless and inconsidarent, and yes, some feel self-entitled, but most of them are good kids. Parking is not their problem to solve, and it is not the neighborhood's problem to solve. It is the high school's and the city's problem to solve, and it is time for them to solve it.
tinwings
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March 04, 2014
Deborah should get a grip and understand that she is part of the problem without supporting a solution. Too many times have I heard complainers whine about their plight as a resident of a nearby school. Perhaps she should find a way to support the effort being made by these kids who would love nothing more than to have a place at the school to park and be off the street. They really have no desire to park in the street. Perhaps Deb arrived here in a covered wagon when parking wasn't a problem.

Tracy has not used intelligent planning when the new school was built. parking should have been a major consideration, but wasn't. These are modern times and kids do have vehicles and that won't change any time soon. So, Deb should get off the couch and stand up to the school planners to help these kids to their goal or stop complaining.

ketchupsavegetable
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February 28, 2014
Average, the invasion of Afghanistan was all about capitalism, and I assure you, the last person in the world to profit from it is you. There are two arguments here, which I expected. First, if you don't like things here, move, which anyone over the age of eight could say. Second, how dare you not be grateful to those who defend your freedom and safety. I'll address that now: I defy anyone to explain how the phony war in Afghanistan makes me either free or safe. I can tell you how it does the opposite. It makes me less safe because it is the best recruitment tool for anti-American terrorists all over the world. It makes me less free because it stifles adult dissent and debate, and promotes censorship. If this comment even gets posted, it would be a miracle, because we're all supposed to be in lockstep and not dare ask questions. The REAL problem is the shoddy, underfunded education and library system in Central Valley. And also the matter of personal responsibility; the willingness to read and find things out. Until those issues are resolved- and I'm not holding my breath- American will always be engaged in endless wars that profit only the profiteers who start them.
rdr0812
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March 02, 2014
For you to say that this war is phony is ignorant. I can assure you this is not a phony war as you put it so disrespectfully. I have lost friends to this war that you call phony. Regardless who or what started this war, we are still fighting a war. Just because you say such and such started it, it does not change the war in any aspect. For you to call it phony is not only disrespectful to me and every Veteran of this War and every Military Member in our Armed Forces, but it is greatly disrespectful to every Military Serviceman or Women who lost their lives in this war. And it is also very disrespectful to every Gold Star and Blue Star Mother in this Country. I refuse to converse with someone with a low IQ and no disrespect like yourself. Please feel free to leave this country at anytime. Like you said any 8 year old can say that, but any 5 year can say a war is phony. You do not deserve to live in this Country under the Red, White and Blue.
bobrod
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March 02, 2014
rdr0812-Thank you for service. There are people in town that think the same way as you do. There are also some people that don't. For those of us who have taken an oath, walked the walk and talked the talk, we wish you the very best and a speedy safe return home.
Hahahahahaha
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March 02, 2014
rdr0812, you really shouldn't waste your time responding to "ketchupsavegetable." All you're doing is feeding the troll.

ketchupsavegetable, aka Carl Dellanno, is a resident conspiracy theorist and all-around whack-job. Just google the guy.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 09, 2014
bobrod

I proudly an with respect took that oath in th 60's, served honorably in combat an was honorably discharged several years later shortly after that "police action" ended fer th last time an I still am bound ta it. Once an oath is taken it can't very well be untaken.

Did, in my youth, I comprehend everythang wrong in that action? Nah, but it wasn't my responsibility to either. My responsibility was ta live up ta th oath that I took no matter how much I might disagree, or even agree with.

Spent my entire life workin in an around th military an military people. Yep, thair are a few loose cannons thair that cause a lot of problems. Although at this moment I believe our Foreign Diplomacy is more of th problem than anythang else. Fortunately those loose cannons are in th vast minority an are, generally speakin, overwhelmed by military members who serve honorably an with totally honorable intentions even if they do not understand all of the ramifications of their individual deeds, not havin a 20/20 view of future history.

In short, th historically honorable intentions of our military squarely rests on th shoulders of th honorable intentions of those who control them.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 09, 2014
Who are those who control our military? Essentially its people like us.

We elect th politicians that pass th laws an fundin that controls our military an it’s useage.

We elect th president who ultimately makes th sole decision on how they are ta be utilized through his appointed Cabinet Military members comprised by the Senior Generals and Admirals that each command their portion of the military.

We also elect the president who appoints diplomats approved by a congress that we elect to make peaceful attempts to settle international differences between our nation and the rest of the world.



I have met many many fine examples of honorable men an women in uniform an have the utmost respect for them. I have also met a few stinkers an we can honestly do without them.

For th political scene, I have met some politicians that I feel are doin a good job an do not doubt thair sincerity ta perform thair tasks honorably an with th intent of honorably serving th citizens who elected them ta office. An yes, at times these make mistakes. It’s how they deal with those mistakes that become important. An honestly, a mistake isn’t a mistake unless it’s proven ta be one. It could be just an inappropriate but not intentional oversight or a lack of understandin.

But thair’s a problem with th political as well as th military or thangs can quickly go wrong. They both have to be closely monitored to ensure nothing wrong of real importance that can harm our nation takes place. Emphasis on REAL IMPORTANCE as people tend to absorb themselves in minutia rather than tackle th really big problems.

So ya might now ask, well then, who’s at fault here? It’s a fair question an thair is an answer. Th answer lies in th substanciated fact that most of our population doesn’t care ta even vote, much less see what thair government is really doin, an those that do vote do so largely ignorant to what they are voting on or how ta fix th problem. They simply seem ta expect that someone else is gonna do all that fer em an listen ta all th vain an empty promises th shyster politician makes simply ta get elected regardless of his past history, in some cases largely unknown by intentional design.

So, th answer that question, who’s at fault, is you, me an virtually every other citizen voter, an many times, non-citizen voter who have abrogated their responsibilities and have completely handed em over ta people they don’t know, haven’t really heard of an have very little concrete evidence of thair past activities in order to determine if their character is worth supporting or not.

I hold high regard for those in our military, past an present, an completely understand that, for th most part, they can only follow th orders given em an execute them as they took that oath indicating that they would. There oath is not to question why but to excute faithfully th orders given them by their commanders. It’s an oath that lasts a lifetime and one I still take seriously today. And yes, when I see members in uniform acting inappropriately I still take the responsible an appropriate action to see that member is brought ta th justice he or she rightfully deserves. I suppose I don’t have ta tell ya what I thank of Snoden.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 09, 2014
Well yer salacious comment was posted so thair one conspiracy theory shot ta hell.

Ya whine about capitalism as bein th source of th problem.

Let me ask, do ya eat? Whair do ya get yer food an how do ya get thair? Do ya just take it or do ya have some type of commerce system whair ya can buy it? Do ya work fer th money ta sustain ya an hopefully have a little ta play with after yer bills are paid?

Well if ya do all of that (sar)my friend (-sar) yer a capitalist, th very thang ya seem ta hate. Sort of a psychological problem if ya ask me but ya didn't so what do I know?

"I defy anyone to explain how the phony war in Afghanistan makes me either free or safe."

Assumin it's really a phony war, precisely, not imaginary, how does it affect your freedom? The second question is simply, precisely, not imaginary, how does it affect your safety?"

As ta terrorist activities that endanger ya, ya don't have ta look half way around th world ta find it, it's just outside yer front door step an our military had absolutely nothin ta do with that.

Cont
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 09, 2014
Na, th real problem, in my opinion an firmly within th boundaries of free speech as guaranteed me by th First Amendment of our Constitution, is people like you who continually spew nonsensical drivel by pointin an accusatory finger at everyone an everythin else fer th problem while all th while that finger should be pointed like you an all of those like you who mindlessly complain an yet are a tremendous part of the problems burdening society today.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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March 09, 2014
Sorry, my last two posts were directed at ketchupsavegetable.

ketchupsavegetable
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February 28, 2014
If I thought there was any chance you would go to a library, Reynaldo, I'd have recommended it. You can try to convince yourself that since something can be googled, it is worthless. Good luck with that. There is no way... absolutely no way in the world you will look up the TAPI pipeline project and find out that the last thing in the world the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was about was 9/11 or making America safer. Since you don't read, I'll inform you: nobody can control Afghanistan, although it has been attempted from Alexander the Great right up to the old Soviet Union. I am not grateful for your service for two reasons. Firstly, you'll fight for anything, too lazy and uncurious to find out what the mission really is, in this case protecting a private consortium building what will be an extremely profitable pipeline. Secondly, the war profiteer-driven adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq make me LESS safe because they recruit more anti-American terrorists, and give me LESS liberty because politicians of both parties use 9/11 to shred our Constitution, not defend it. The way to support our troops is to keep them out of phony wars and only use them for real ones.
rdr0812
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March 02, 2014
You are absolutely right. I won't google it. Because for the simple fact we are already here in Afghanistan. Why dwell on the past and what brought us here if there is nothing we can do now to change the past? What we should worry about is the present and the future. And to assume I don't read and to degrade me on the internet must make you feel pretty awesome. I understand you don't support the war or the troops or anything about the war, but I believe you should be a liitle mnore respectful. I will not fight for anything. I follow orders and do my job. A job you probably couldn't make it in. So before you judge the Troops and what we do, ddo your homework. Rather than call us lazy and uncurious when you know nothing about us and what we do. And believe, I work with a lot of VIP's here so I know what the current mission is, however, I am not at liberty to discuss it due to OPSEC. But while you're sitting behind your computer at home, I'll be here in Afghanistan away from my family and loved ones fighting off the ones that want to do this world harm.
ketchupsavegetable
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February 28, 2014
"Time to Educate America" is childish drivel. Here's big news to the person who wrote it: you need to have an education before advising people to get one. The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, like the ones in Iraq, had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Although bin Laden had camped there, he fled to Pakistan either before or soon after the invasion. Bush himself said, when asked about former business partner bin Laden, "I really just don’t spend that much time on him." It's nonsense to think Americans think Afghanis are enemies. Americans don't think that or, for that matter, know where Afghanistan is, or why we ever invaded, except the propaganda that it was for our security. The best compelling argument was some notion that "bad guys" trained there. Well, if we went to war with where the 9/11 hijacker learned to fly, then we would have invaded Florida.

It's not too late to learn: google TAPI pipeline Carlyle Group, and find out why, as with Iraq, war profiteers wanted to invade Afghanistan long, long before 9/11. Being a stooge-pawn for a private pipeline consortium that will make trillions isn't exactly something to boast about, and it never made us a bit safer.
rdr0812
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February 28, 2014
I understand people have their own opinions on things. Freedom of Speech. However, I only wrote this to open minds and help people who do not understand. I did not write this to cause a debate or to be "political". Or to have someone tell me to get an education. Don't know what type of education you expect me to get. But right now I am certainly receiving an education in Afghanistan on the war in terror, and how war affects one Country from first hand experience. I am receiving an education on how to grieve from unexpected death caused by the enemy who want to do us harm everyday. I receive an education on how to survive while being attacked by the enemy. I am receiving an unforgettable education that will most likely haunt me for life.

Also let me make myself clear. At no point did I bring up the cause of us going to Afghanistan or once mention Iraq. And the only reason why I mentioned that a lot of people think the people of Afghanistan are our enemies is because of Social Media and people talking about dropping a Nuke on the whole country.
rdr0812
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February 28, 2014
There are a lot of people that aren't like you. A lot of people out there that don't know a lot about what is going on. I apologize if I have offended you in any way by my writings. But it's good to know you can get an education from Google.
TracyBornAndTracyRaised
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February 28, 2014
Ketchupisavegetable, you clearly missed the point of Spec. Del Rosario's letter if that was your takeaway. Whether or not someone supports a specific war has nothing to do with supporting the men and women who risk their lives every day so that you can have the freedom to belittle them and their work so freely.

As the sister of a United States Marine headed to Afghanistan in the near future, it greatly saddens me that there are people like you who take our country's freedoms so easily, but feel no need to thank those who provide them. As a Stanford-educated woman, I understand the arguments both for and against the war quite clearly. I also understand that none of those arguments have anything to do with supporting our troops.

Thank you for your service Spc. Del Rosario. Come home safe.
AverageBri
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February 28, 2014
ketchup,

It is obvious you hate capitalism, freedom and this country, so feel free to move elsewhere...you won't be missed.


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