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The Madera Tribune

Letters: Owens Games are safe, director says

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webmaster | 03/26/12

I have been the director of the McNally Park Jesse Owens Games for the past 25 years. The McNally Park Jesse Owens Games is, and has always been, a community-based recreational track-and-field event for boys and girls, 7-14 years old. The city of Madera took a vested interest in our growing program. This is our 25th year.

This program has produced a large number of successful participants, who have went on to pursue their dreams. As years have passed, many of our participants have returned to this program with their own children. Parents are always welcome as volunteer staff, or as bystanders, supporting the safety of our children.

A growing number of our city’s youth enjoy a six-week venture of run, jump and throw techniques, learning the true meaning of friendship, diversity and sportsmanship, both on and off the field. The yearly sponsorship and dedication of both public and private businesses, organizations, and individuals of the city and county of Madera provide a healthy and safe environment for youth who participate in this event.

The City of Madera Police Department has always been a positive force, providing foot patrol and car patrols while we are engaged in our activities. They provide presentations which allow the children to ask questions and interact with the police officers. Many times the discussions make a big difference in how the youth accept their own realities.

Recently, via “social media,” I found information addressed from Madera’s local branch of the NAACP suggesting that the McNally Park Jesse Owens Games is being conducted in an unsafe environment, due to the local “city-wide” gang activities.

To my knowledge, the current administration of the local branch of NAACP has never attended, volunteered or participated in any of the McNally Park Jesse Owens Games, which have been going on annually for the past 25 years. I appreciate the concern of the local NAACP branch. It was my understanding that the branch was to contact me for further discussion. To date I have not heard from anyone. I am sure if they contact me, or any of the sponsors, volunteers, parents, or staff of this recreational event, they would be assured that the safety of our youth is of my utmost concern. The safety and well-being of the youth of our city are of utmost concern to me on a daily basis!

I would like to invite the community, or your organization to come out and support the youth of our community. Your participation is welcome!

Donald E. Holley, director
McNally Park Jesse Owens Games

Good column, but that last graph ...

At the suggestion of our editor, Chuck Doud, I read Jim Glynn’s article on Health Care. Everything was “OK” until the very last sentence: “Our children and grandchildren, who will be crushed by the debt created by the excesses of this generation.”

Excesses of this generation? What does that mean? Air-conditioning? Fishing boat? House big enough so everyone has a bedroom? Three square meals a day? What?

Excuse me, but we worked for what we have. Lots of us worked overtime to have the “extras.” Or excesses as he calls them. Social issues are what caused the excesses. Catering to criminals; mental health; rehab; feeding the “hungry;” free health care to illegals. Programs that overlap to bring lazy slobs to middle class or better “standards of living.”

Where is the criticism of these gang shootings that have cost us hundreds of thousands of tax dollars in “free” medical care? Free, free, free for those with illegitimate children. Free, free, free for those that chose to use drugs and alcohol. Free, free, free for those in prison who want their teeth fixed. Don’t talk to me about “excesses.” Talk to the liberal leaders that keep dishing it out. When you are on Death Row, and they say you are too ill to execute, that’s excessive.

Bill Hoffrage,

Enjoys this band

Have you ever seen or heard anyone play only the black keys on the piano?

My husband, Ray, and I started going to hear the people play and sing every Friday night since you ran the article on the front page of the Tribune recently. We know some of the people mentioned.

Several churches are represented in this musical group: Pentecost; Baptist, one LDS (guess who?). I think probably more than one Pentecostal, but different names of said churches.

I wanted to tell you that one man plays the piano, but only the black keys; he cannot read music, but plays very well and sings out.

Thanks for giving us information on good, clean entertainment. All of these folks get along, no criticizing of different religions.

Well, we haven’t spoken of politics yet…!

Ray and Audrey Pool,


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