It had been our tradition to buy cars at Razzari's Motors for some 30 years. We personally knew owner Tim Razzari made donations and is committed to Merced area charitable nonprofits, especially the performing arts.
We had a good feeling going in. We purchased a new car on Dec. 31 and paid fully by certified check.
The service we received could not have been better. The staff knew many of the same community leaders we knew. The finance sign-out officer shared his baseball career tryouts and deep Atwater family connections.
Sadly on Jan. 1, my husband Robert who battled chronic congestive heart disease for 11 years, lost that fight. I do not operate a motor vehicle.
Our son drove me to Razzari's office the next day. We were greeted warmly and offered sincere condolences. In less than 10 minutes, manager Eric Hamm returned my check, no questions asked.
Since I had no use for it, he took our 13-year-old PT Cruiser off my "worry list," giving me $1,000, then sent us on our way.
Relationships mean everything when making purchases. Please, shop locally.
Thanks for helping warming center
I would like to thank Merced County Supervisors John Pedrozo and Hub Walsh for coming to the Warming Center rescue in donating money needed to purchase sleeping cots. Their response, along with that of the American Red Cross and Big Five Merced in making sure the purchased cots were here in one day, reaffirms my belief that Merced and the people that live in and work in our community go above and beyond the call of duty when asked. I, along with the many homeless people who are sleeping in the warming center on these cots, sincerely thank you. You have made their lives a little better.
Cyclists need a place to stay
I would like to thank all the gracious folks who have opened their homes for the participants of the 2013 MERCO Cycling Classic. This is the 20th year of this exciting event put on by Merced's own Doug Fluetsch with help from many dedicated volunteers.
This year, cycling teams such as CashCall, Mikes' Bikes and Team Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada are already signed up with hosts, but more than 20 cyclists are still in need of a place to stay.
Last year, cyclists reported their stay in Merced to be delightful and they looked forward to returning and many stayed in touch with their hosts throughout the year.
Cyclists don't need much. Their basic needs include a place to sleep, shower, wash their clothes, secure their bikes and store their food.
Approximately 70 cyclists have found a place to stay thanks to our friends in Merced, Atwater and Snelling, but we are currently in need of at least 24 additional spots. If anyone can spare the space, we would love to connect you with some amazing cyclists during this year's MERCO Cycling Classic. Call me at (209) 756-3090 for more information. Thank you so much!
MELISSA KELLY ORTEGA
Women's prisons too crowded
I was paroled from Valley State Prison for Women in April after doing 18 years. I was subjected to being crammed in those four-person cells with eight women, and it is hell! The lawsuits initiated over inadequate health care listed overcrowding as one reason why care was so poor.
The proverbial ball started to roll when it was ordered by the federal courts to reduce the population, but that didn't last long, did it?
These women are once again crammed in like sardines and the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation continues to deny it. Do the math, folks! Not to forget the dangers for both inmates and correctional officers guarding them. It is an explosion waiting to happen every day.
Women's prisons are becoming increasingly dangerous due to many factors, but overcrowding is a big one. I experienced more violence and turmoil when crammed in these small cells with eight than I did for the short lived period of time we had only four (seven months).
Ignore what officials may say
So many stories in print just call for a comment. Here are a few thoughts.
Remember the assurances from "officials" that the Chowchilla prisons would only house women? Obamacare would save billions and our rates would actually be lower or not affected at all while adding millions of new patients to the system? Democrats are big on the environment until the EIRs get in the way of their pet projects such as high-speed rail, and then we need "reform" to remove "barriers" to progress. Politicians are in favor of "transparency" and "accountability," but do you ever read about any officials being penalized for mistakes, wasteful or even corrupt actions or decisions?
Columnist Dan Walters commented on the games the Sacramento legislators play to pad their salaries. How procedures and laws are circumvented to pass bills never read or are secret or tied to "trailer" or "spot bills." Then we are supposed to support "fairness" and "choice" but only when it favors liberal agendas such as gun control, abortion, anti-Christian and/or free speech issues. Yes, the public is disgusted and cynical. No one is responsible for anything and that is because our society has abandoned the Ten Commandments, the existence of absolute truths and moral standards. We are on a very slippery slope!
ALLAN R. SCHELL
Will our sheriff speak out?
Can we expect to see a response from Sheriff Mark Pazin concerning his position over the wave of new gun-control laws sweeping the nation?
This is the perfect opportunity for him to stand up to this well-intentioned but extremely misguided effort to combat crime.
The true offenders are escaping justice and being robbed of mental help; the equipment being blamed is illegally acquired or operated in an illegal manner hence drafting more legislation is destined to only be ignored by those already dodging the law. Guns don't shoot people; cars don't run people down; spoons don't make people corpulent. Where does the personal accountability come back into the picture?