Ask anyone on the street what they believe is California's top problem and most will tell you it is unemployment. The state's economy is so bad that most people worry about their job, are out of work themselves or know someone who is.
Another sign of the Apocalypse was recorded last week when the one and only book store in Laredo, Texas - which has a population of 250,000 people - closed its doors. People in Laredo now have to drive 150 miles away to San Antonio, Texas to buy a "Twilight" book. When news of this literary nightmare reached me, I imagined a "Book of Eli" -esque scene where culture-starved Laredoians set up ambush sites for travelers in an effort to steal reading material.
I was lucky enough to spend Saturday, the only sunny day this week, wandering up and down the coast of Monterey Bay. I took in the sights and sounds of Cannery Row in Monterey, I watched seals play at the Santa Cruz Municipal Warf, and I ate far too much seafood in Capitola.
Forget the law. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has allowed the trial over a challenge to overturn Proposition 8 - the 2008 California ballot initiative that limited marriage to "a man and a woman" approved by 52 percent of California voters - to turn into what the measure's opponents like to call a "teachable moment." That's another way of saying that the law isn't as important as feelings in this trial.
Cheerleaders and coaches have very different roles on a sports team.
Many of us - perhaps most - living in the far Western states know what it is to feel the power of seismic waves passing through the Earth. The sharp jolts are unmistakable, and the sense of chaos is terrifying even to those of us who like a thrill.
Attention all local elected officials and members of public boards: You are responsible for knowing and adhering to the provisions in the Ralph M. Brown Act.
I hate to admit it, but the City of Turlock has a well-deserved reputation as being, well, a bit boring.
It's a world-famous grass, and crucial to our bellies. It's called Zea mays by botanists; rock-heads like me call it corn. Compared to many plants, it's excellent at tolerating drought and heat - almost in a class by itself in that regard.
Turlock is not starting out 2010 in the way that I had hoped. In fact, after reading Journal reporter Sabra Stafford's article on the mini-crime spree that rang in the new year and reading the police call log for the past weekend, I'm thinking about moving.
We Scandinavians have several strange customs, including our hallmark fish dish, which is cod that's been processed for days in caustic lye. This truly imaginative creation is known as "lutefisk," which means lye-fish.
As another year ends, it's natural to look ahead and wonder what the next 12 months will bring. Lucky for you, the Journal editorial staff have all gazed into their crystal balls and made some predictions for the year 2010.
As the holiday season starts to wind down - except in Russia where they celebrate through Jan. 10 - I find myself feeling a little blue.
Congratulations on purchasing your Wonder Fun Doll Dream House with Stables, Orchard and Shooting Range! These are your assembly instructions, so if you're a man, you're not reading this.
The recent massive snowstorm that moved from California across to New England certainly got the nation's attention. While some Americans dealt with snowfall measured in feet rather than inches, my part of the Northwest simply endured temperatures near zero, night after night. (Where I live, we think of ourselves as human weather stripping, nobly protecting states to the south from Canada.) Either way, we all had a moment, I'm sure, to reflect on the fact that a major change in the weather in late fall will mean a major spike in our heating bills in January.
The emperor has no clothes.
Look up in the sky. It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's...
Getting in the room to see the doctor is the hardest part. That is what I hear most often from the tens of thousands of Central Valley veterans. Long wait times for appointments and lengthy commutes prevent them from accessing the care that they have earned through their service. In Turlock, a veteran looking for specialty care faces a 90 mile journey to the nearest full service Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Palo Alto. This trip is especially difficult for elderly veterans or those with limited financial resources.
The older I get the more I think about what I will leave behind when my days here on Earth are done.
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