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Superintendent praised; memories shared

The Madera Tribune received the following comments online about articles and local happenings. New MUSD head

Readers responded to the choice of Todd Lile as Madera Unified School District’s newest superintendent. Below is a sampling.

Amanda Vela” wrote: “I can’t express enough how satisfied I am with the choosing of our new superintendent Todd Lile. So far he has never forgotten where he’s comes from, he’s Madera grown, he’s humble and he does what’s best for children I wish him the very best in his success and I can’t wait to see the future of MUSD.”

Elda Adame” wrote: “Congratulations Mr. Lile! I have no doubt in my mind our schools are in great hands.”

Sharon Cotter” wrote: “We will encourage you to lead us with pride, Mr Lile. Congratulations.”

April Lindblom” wrote: “Congratulations, Todd. You are the best person for the job.” High school flashbacks

A few readers discussed their high school memories in response to an article on Madera South High School’s new football coach and weight room.

Carlos Raygosa” wrote: “Wow, nice weight room. All we had was a concrete block room with no windows. LOL. Yet we still had a lot of guys make iron man and elite ironman.”

Morrie Estrada Jr.” replied: “Remember Jimmy Barker?”

Raygosa replied: “Ya, Jimbo and Kenny. The party bros. Long nights in the hot tub and crashing on the floor. He was a real ironman.”

Estrada replied: “He was my neighbor in the early ‘80s. He’d come over to hang out just wearing trunks, looked like the Hulk. LOL. When we’d go to Pioneer Chicken, he’d get a bucket of chicken just for himself. He was a crackup. Last I heard, he was coaching football somewhere down south. It’s been a while.”

Raygosa replied: “Ya, Jimmy was fun to hang with. We had lots of laughs. We used to go to Round Table and Andre Hofke would give us free pizza ‘till he got fired for giving free pizza. LOL” Labor shortfall

A few readers reacted to news that farmworkers appear to be declining in California.

Donald Brown” wrote: “Not true! There is called farm labor companies! The same ones that have been operating for years legally! Because hiring an illegal alien is illegal thanks to Bill Clinton.”

Alberto Hernandez Onofre” wrote in Spanish: “Where are those American citizens who are claiming their jobs? Ah, he’s ready to work.” Calling campaign

Readers continued to discuss Chuck Doud’s Editor’s Corner essay on alleged telephone harassment of U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock’s office.

Rodney Wells” wrote: “Exercise of a constitutional right to contact our government reps is not harassment.”

Carol Ann Rubin” wrote “This article misrepresents the truth and paints a ridiculous picture of special interest groups, not constituents, gathering and targeting representatives for the sole purpose of disrupting business. I have been a caller on several occasions, and spent a considerable amount of time and effort to get through, to voice my concerns on several issues. Not so-called issues; not a so-called Democrat; not with the intention of disrupting business. This is the way I understand that my voice, as a voter, should properly be heard. ... And get used to it; as long as we are not listened too, we will continue to speak out!”

Andrew Sarkas” wrote: “The editorial ends with ‘It makes one wonder who’s paying for all that time spent dialing telephones.’ I haven’t been paid a dime for the times I’ve called; I don’t know anyone who has. No evidence provided. ... Journalism is supposed to be fact-based, even when writing an editorial.”

Cheryl Westwood Harvat” critiqued an accusation that the essay was libelous: “This is an editorial; an opinion not stated as fact. It is not libel.”

Kate Frances Hege” replied: “It is full of statements of fact. An editor of a paper publishing statements of fact w/in an opinion piece does not make them statements of opinion. If I said ‘Cheryl Harvat tortures animals as part of her worship of Satan’ and put that within an opinion piece in my paper, it would still be libel. If I said, ‘I think Cheryl Harvat is a bad person,’ it wouldn’t be … (even though) both statements are obviously false.” Rants and raves

Rave — “Thomas Chagoya” wrote in response to a call for applicants for the Madera Police Department’s Citizens Academy, which begins Aug. 17: “I recommend it. Worth your time.”

Rave — Valley Children’s Hospital shared a Tribune article on its farmers market and wrote: “Thank you to The Madera Tribune for this story and to Valley Fresh Farmer’s Market for bringing good food to our patients, families and staff!”

Rave — Readers praised Sophia and Isabella Mirelez, who competed last Saturday for a chance to run in the National Junior Olympic Track and Field championship planned for July 24. Typical comments include: “You go, girls”, “Awww … good job, girls” and “Awesome job, girls!” Long rants

Online from “Dawn Wolfson:”

Your editorial regarding constituents flooding Congressman Tom Clintock’s office with calls is off base on so many points.

First of all, there’s your incorrect assumption that it is “Dems,” “Democrat activists” and/or “so-called Democrats” who are calling. There are members of all parties as well as people with no party affiliation who call McClintock frequently with comments and concerns.

The people living around the Red Hawk gun range, for example, call frequently because the Congressman has been very unresponsive to their concerns regarding alleged bullying by the tribe.

Regardless of political affiliation, we are his constituents, and we have the right under the Constitution to petition for a redress of grievances.

I have never had a problem getting through to the Congressman’s office, and I believe he and his people are framing the narrative to make concerned constituents look bad, just as he did in a recent letter that referred to these mostly middle aged and retired citizens as “the radical left,” “radical leftists,” etc. And remember, this is the very same Congressman who, back in 2009, advised his supporters to “agitate, agitate, agitate.” It seems that Mr. McClintock can dish it out, but he can’t take it. Online from “Ted Herr:”

First of all, kudos to Congressman McClintock for holding town hall meetings. I’ve never attended one, but as a constituent, I appreciate that he does this.

When I first registered to vote, it was as a Republican. Later in life I switched to Democrat, then back to Republican. I have been a “decline to state” now for I think about 12 years.

I am a member of the calling group. I participate in the online discussions. I call about once a week, when bills of interest are current, such as health care, Internet privacy, net neutrality, national debt, air and water cleanliness standards, climate change, the Russia investigations, and dismantling the EPA.

I called to thank the congressman when he came out and publicly called for an independent investigation of Russians meddling in our elections. He and I seem to agree on the national debt, but I disagree with his stance on those other topics.

I am bothered by the name -calling on the part of Mr. McClintock, which also appears in this opinion piece in the Madera Tribune. I am not a paid protester, an anarchist, a radical leftist, nor in fact, even a Democrat. If you want to do the name-calling thing, at least be accurate and call me a cranky old man.

One of the pieces of wisdom I’ve garnered lately came from Mr. McClintock himself: “When the other guy is calling you names, you can know two things for certain. First, you are winning the argument. And second, the other guy knows you are winning the argument.”

I’d rather we engage in discussions, but quite frankly, if the best argument Mr. McClintock and the Madera Tribune have is name-calling, then so be it. It would be a fruitless discussion, and another marker in the road of decline of this great nation.

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